When Worry Comes Knocking the Door

The calm pond water lapped against the curve of the grassy bank, an inviting place for fowl to meet and prune together. Oblivious to those walking nearby they pecked and pruned as if getting ready for an important event. They were focused. Not even the dogs passing by concerned them.

An idyllic scene for sure. Ooh wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have a care in the world like the waterfowl, unperturbed by menaces that pass close by?

God! Look! Enemies past counting! Enemies sprouting like mushrooms. Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery: “Hah! No help for him from God!”

Alas, as we know all too well rough seasons come, and when they come it can feel as if all of hell is against us. Worry and anxiety knock on the door of our heart and bids entrance…

…we open just a tad and they come in along with their relatives fear and doubt.

We worry we will never get out of the mess we are in. We pray but we fear He no longer listens, though we know in our hearts He does. Yet, we doubt He is listening today. Anxious thoughts spin and turn like a never ending revolving wheel.

We feel forgotten and abandoned by God. No longer do we share sweet moments of fellowship with Him. Instead we set about fixing our problems by ourselves….

….and He waits for our return.

But you, God, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high; With all my might I shout up to God, His answers thunder from the holy mountain.

Patiently, like a loving Father waits for his child who insists on learning the hard way. He waits for us. He doesn’t stop caring, He doesn’t stop looking, He doesn’t stop listening. He waits for us to look to Him as our Helper and Deliver and when we do; He lifts up our head and grounds our feet in Him.

Real help comes from God. Your blessing clothes your people

Sweet fellowship returns when we look to Jesus. Fear, anxiety, worry and doubt has to leave in His presence. His peace fills us calming our troubled emotions, bringing clarity to our thinking and enabling us to live in His love once again.

Sweet fellowship awaits you dear friend.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Scripture used in this article was taken from Psalm 3 Message Bible. Photo my own.

Share this post on social media or with a friend, they may your encouragement today.

 

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Has Your Halo Ever Slipped? Mine Did.

I did not flick him off!

I like to think for the most part I’m a nice person. I guess only those on the receiving end can testify whether I am or not. Please don’t think I’m fishing for compliments, I’m not.

I’m washed in the blood of Jesus, forgiven and growing in God’s grace. But alas my behavior does not always reflect the redemption bought for me by my savior. I wish it did.

It’s not like I get up in the morning and think to myself, “Today I’m going to be mean.” Yet, mean erupts from time to time. Sometimes it seems to come from out of nowhere but other times it can be pinpointed to an underlying concern.

Enter Miss Mean

I turned into Miss Mean a few weeks back. It was ugly! Yes I should have taken control of my feelings after all they should be subject to me and not I to them. That day I lost the battle, more of a skirmish; but not the war.

Oh yes, I had talked to the Lord about my concern telling Him all about it as if He didn’t already know. He listen. He let me ramble on while I reasoned it out in my own mind. Eventually I put it in the His hands though I still felt the sting.

My unresolved, underlying concern that had simmered beneath the surface, was fast coming to boiling point on the day I drove into the parking lot. I had been looking forward to a particular event, but now the day was overshadowed with insecurity.

Not Guilty Your Honor

If my mouth is moving my hands are also moving, and the faster my mouth goes so goes the hands. The parking guys pointed in the direction they wanted me to go. Bummer! I wanted to park where I normally park. I threw my hands up in the air in frustration as I informed the Lord how unfair it was. I know. I was acting like a spoilt child. Sad to say it got worse as my emotions accompanied by mouth and hands spilled out over innocent people. I was shocked when I was accused of giving one of them the finger. To me that was like being accused of a federal crime; one I did not commit.

I felt ashamed of my behavior.

I texted an apology to the parking supervisor, though texting is not the best form of communication it was all I had on hand. I confessed to the Lord and received forgiveness. I forgive myself and hoped the parking guys would forgive me for my attitude.

Hurting people hurt. That day my hurt, hurt others.

Refocus on Jesus

For several weeks I have not been able to write a fresh blog post. It was as if I no longer felt worthy to give encouragement to others regarding their walk with the Lord. My halo had slipped. I had fallen. I was forgiven but still my head hung low.

Have you been thinking you cannot be used by the Lord because your halo slipped? The good news is there is forgiveness in Jesus. It’s not in our own righteousness that we walk but in His. It’s not in our own worthiness that we minister to others, but rather in His.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

Join me in turning our eyes away from our own failings and instead turn them to look at Jesus. We are more than conquerors in Christ because He has won the battle for us. Read Romans 8:31-39 to get a fuller picture.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

 

 

 

 

Discovering the Riches of God

As a child I would sometimes accompany my coal miner father to the colliery a.k.a. the pit, to collect his pay from the  wages office. A cut out in the glass window allowed the wages clerk to pass the small brown envelope containing my dad’s wages to him. No direct deposits in those days. Real money in your hand.

I felt like a big girl, walking through the busy work areas on the surface of the mine. I saw the big wheel that worked the shaft elevator (also known as the cage), saw the coalminers entering and leaving the cage as they started or finished their shift. I always loved seeing the pit pony, as the appointed coalminer walked it safely through the busy work area. On the surface was the offices, the engine room and the building that housed the showers. Believe me ladies, if your man was a coalminer there was NO WAY he was coming into the house covered in coal dust. Even after their hurried shower they still came home looking as if they were wearing black eyeliner.

But for all I saw, it was still only the surface of the coal mine that I experienced. The surface was an interesting place. But the coal, the treasure, lay deep below my feet.

I wonder how many of us have settled for a surface experience in our walk with the Lord? We settle for what we can see. We get involved in the busyness of church life, we give the right churchy responses while all along we have not dug deep into getting to know Jesus and the riches of His love.

And I ask him with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Ephesians 3 msg

To get to the riches of God, we have to leave the surface and choose to go deeper. Lord, take us deeper, show us more of your character. Show us who you are. Your love, your compassion and your grace.

As we allow His very character to saturate us on the inside. It is then, that those very same characteristics will flow out from us to others.

Time to Go

Go Down; down on our knees, to give thanks and praise for God’s provision.

Go Up; keeping our eyes looking up to our heavenly Father for His direction.

Go Out; move out of our comfort zones.

Go Beyond; beyond our self imposed boundaries.

Go forward; moving forward in our personal walk with God, into the future He has for us.

Go Deeper; deeper in the Lord than we have ever gone before.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

 

 

 

 

 

Rejoice: Delighting in the Lord/Plus a Book Giveaway

I asked my new to kindergarten grandson: “Why were you dancing in line?” (He had received a warning from his teacher).

His eyes grew big as he excitedly informed me: “Because I’m a happy kid!”

Google Dictionary definition of Re-joice: Feel or show great delight. Well, he was certainly expressing outwardly the inner delight he was feeling.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NIV

Honestly, we don’t always feel like rejoicing; not even before the Lord. Some days (or weeks/months) we find ourselves trudging through life with just about enough energy to put one foot in front of the other. We don’t feel delighted, so we don’t show delight.

My old trusty Collins Concise Dictionary and Thesaurus describes delight as; take great pleasure and enjoy, feast on, glory in, indulge in, revel in and savor.

Isn’t that what Philippians 4:4 encourages us to do? Take great pleasure, enjoy, feast on, glory in, indulge in, revel in and savor the Lord? Rejoice/Delight…in Him.

Let me put it this way; we are not going to dance in line unless we are a happy kid on the inside. How do we expect to feel and show delight when we are disconnected from the source of our delight?

Tap Dancing on the Inside

King David’s life was not all sunshine and ice cream parties and neither is ours. Turmoil surrounded him even in his family. When he was fleeing from his son Absalom, David declared to the Lord in Psalm 3:3 “But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.”

We may come before the Lord with our heads hanging low, but as we spend time in His presence, feasting on His goodness our heads will be lifted. We will dance again because He is our delight. Okay, all the non dancers don’t freak out, you can do a little tap dance on the inside…no one will know your secret except you, the Lord and….. thousand upon thousands of angels.

 You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough.     Psalm 30:11 Message

Whether we dance outwardly or inwardly is not the point. My point is; Jesus is our delight, not our circumstances.

“Jesus is our delight, not our circumstances.”

One way to express the delight we have in Him, is to write it down in a journal. One sentence or a full page, there are no rules, it is entirely up to you how much or little you write, or indeed how often you write. Whether you have a thousand journals…you know you need one more, or you are new to journaling I have just what you want.

I am giving away a beautiful journal with the words Rejoice in the Lord on the front cover and scripture on every other page. See photos.

When I saw the little bird on the front cover I wondered if I should signup for Twitter, so I can tweet about God’s love and grace. Do you use social media to brag on God?

How to enter: Simply leave a comment telling me what type of social media you use (please no links) to brag on God, OR a comment regarding journaling or about the Lord. Choose between the comment box on this site or gracelaceandpolkadots Facebook page. You can comment as much as you want, but only One comment per person will be entered into the drawing. Closes on Saturday August 19th at 10pm central time and winner will be announced Monday 21st in Grace Lace and Polkadots blog post.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

 

 

Hydrated in Love and Book Giveaway Winner

Last week we travelled through the prairie of Alberta, Canada and learned of the wide open spaces that only God can take us. Now come journey with me into the Canadian Rockies and see what lessons we can learn.

Foot Traffic

Even though I was a ninety minute drive away I could see the mountains in the distance. They rose up to meet the sky, forming one long dark wall that ran the length of the horizon. I was eager to see for myself the beauty that can only be appreciated when up-close and personal.

First stop was Johnson Canyon, due to time restraint my four friends and I chose to visit the Lower Falls only. A path along the side of the mountain lead us onto a man-made walkway suspended over the icy cold water that flowed from the fall. Narrow in places, the walkway creaked with the weight of foot traffic from the vast number of sightseers. I offered up a silent prayer for the walkway to hold firm. It did!

 

While many focused their attention on the waterfall, a handful of us met a friendly, brown ground squirrel, who stopped by for an impromptu photo shoot. It’s not just the big events in life that deserve our attention, interesting and beautiful things are found along the way too.

Snow in July!

I knew from an internet search Lake Louise is a popular lake to visit and I was about to find out why. As I emerged from the tree laden path into the open my eyes beheld what I can only explain as jaw dropping beauty. The light blue-green water of the lake against the dark rock of the  snow capped mountain was stunning. Snow in July!

I walked the path alongside the lake, taking in the majestic scenery. Unfortunately the path does not go all the way around the lake, so we walked as far as we could before turning back.

I Almost Missed It!

It was on my walk back that I noticed a small stream running down the mountain-side. It could easily have been missed as it was hidden by foliage and tree limbs. The stream poured through the dark underbrush, over rocks smoothed by its constant flow. Not even a fallen tree limb was going to stop it, on it flowed finally making its way into the lake.

I positioned myself for a closer look. I peered into the darkness of the undergrowth and the clear, refreshing water steadily pouring itself out. It reminded me of Jesus our living water.

Hydrated in Love

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 NLT

His love, truth and grace is constantly flowing from Him to us. No amount of underbrush, rocks or fallen limbs in our lives can stop the flow. When life seems dark, He is still present. When we feel dry, His refreshing water is still available. When life is rough, He makes a smooth path. When we feel empty, He fills us up.

We don’t have to be dehydrated in the Lord’s presence, He invites us to drink of Him. Not a one time drink, or an occasional drink, but a continual intake of His love.

Today, be hydrated in His love for you. Come before Him and learn of His grace, read the written Word (scriptures) and know His truth…. Nothing can separate us from His love.

Giveaway Winner

And the winner of Rick Bezet’s new book, Real Love in an Angry World is……Dorothy Johnson!!! Congratulations Dorothy. Please contact me by Wednesday 8/9/17 10pm to receive your prize.

I want to take this opportunity to welcome new followers to Grace Lace and Polkadots (GLP) and to thank all those who faithfully return week after week. If you would like to receive GLP blog directly into your email, you can signup on the blog…simply fill out Follow Blog via Email, It is on the right hand panel in the blog and way down the bottom of the page on a mobile device.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Photo credit for all photos in this blog: Helena Davies

 

 

 

 

Do You Throw or Carry Your Burdens?

Book giveaway details in post. Enter to win.

I have just returned from my first ever trip to Canada. What a beautiful country! Admittedly, I only saw a small portion of this vast land, but the portion I saw was awesome.

After being reunited with my childhood friend Glenda, and meeting her husband, Andy, at Calgary airport, we made our way south to their home town of Okotoks, just 11 miles away. Okotoks, is surrounded by prairie with a view of the Canadian Rockies rising up to meet the sky in the distance.

I looked out of the car window and I was amazed at the bright, almost florescent yellow fields that greeted me. It would not be the last time I would gaze upon the glimmering yellow canola fields as they were present in abundance.

The vast openness of the prairie was a source of delight and wonder to me. With only a handful of trees dotted here and there, I could literally see for mile, upon uninterrupted picturesque mile. Its beauty rolling out before me in a never ending carpet of green and yellow, reminded me of a verse found in the book of Psalms. (18 vs 19)

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delights in me.

Sometimes life feels so closed in, we worry and fuss, we busy ourselves with details and we wonder if reprieve is possible. The air we breathe is stuffy, our oxygen saturation numbers are low, spiritually speaking; and we gasp in an attempt to survive. Our thoughts and eyes are clouded and we feel trapped, unable to hold our head up: Life has become heavy and burdensome.

That is not how Jesus, wants us to live.

Learning to Live Light

Matthew 11:28-30 tells us, if we are weary and burdened to go to him. He promised to give us rest. He asked that we take His yoke on ourselves and learn from Him. He said He is gentle and humble in His heart. For the second time within the three verses He reminds us that He will give us rest. He tells us His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

I don’t like living closed in and worn down with a heavy burden. The Lord knows I spent way too long in that condition. Give me the open space of His love and the lightness of His yoke. Such a better way to live.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1Peter 5:7

It’s true! Jesus cares about us. He wants to rescue us and bring us into the spacious place of His rest. So why doesn’t He just do it?

Here’s why!

We were given free will, that means we have the freedom to choose. We can choose to stay weighed down by life, longing for rest, gasping for air. Or, we can choose to cast our burdens and anxieties on Jesus. (Google Dictionary definition of the word cast; to throw something forcefully in a specified direction)

It’s a choice. It’s up to each one of us whether we live feeling trapped or not. The solution is found in Jesus. Ladies (gentleman), let’s get good at forcefully throwing our concerns, burdens, anxieties, disappointments, and all that weighs us down straight at the feet of Jesus….and goodness me! Please leave them there.

Before I sign off it’s time for a book giveaway. Real Love in an Angry world: How to Stick to your Convictions Without Alienating People, released in July, author Rick Bezet, Pastor of New Life Church (NLC) Arkansas.

To enter: simply signup to follow me on Grace Lace and Polkadots Facebook page. That’s it! Nothing complicated. Winner will be announced Monday August 7th and will have until 10pm central time on Wednesday 9th to respond. No response and I will choose another winner. Those already following Grace Lace and Polkadots FB page will automatically be entered.

Join me next week as I travel into the Canadian Rockies.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

 

 

 

 

A Chance Meeting at the Lake

Smell the Bacon

Darkness had not yet given way to light, but it was coming, and soon. It was 5am and my husband was already up. As I slowly awoke from my slumber so did my appetite as the smell of bacon cooking wafted its way to greet me good morning.

It was almost 6am before I arose, the cooked bacon had gone, but not the welcoming smell. Daylight had made her appearance and bade me to start my day. Which was not going to happen until I had a cup of tea and a bowl of porridge (think Goldie Locks and the three bears).

Not My Usual Friday

It was Friday, that meant three things, (1) It was curbside recycle day. (2) Free Friday Download at a local store. (3) My mother’s weekly call (free calls on the weekend).

I hurried down the driveway, hoping not to be seen by neighbors while still wearing my pajama’s and wrapped in a dressing gown that made me look twice as round as I am (think soft, shapeless blanket). Hey! don’t knock it, I got the dressing gown on sale and it’s really comfortable. I needed to get the recycle bin to the curbside before the truck arrived, sometimes they come early and sometimes not. There was no way of knowing and I didn’t want to miss them.

My husband informed he had downloaded the Friday freebie and yay! it was a box of porridge. Something at last I would use. I normally pass the free stuff onto my daughter, but not this time….sorry Sam.

My mother usually calls around 4pm central time, that’s 10pm in Wales. The day was young and the weather an usually cool 78f for a July morning in Arkansas, I had plenty of time to walk and do errands before her call. My favorite place to walk is a local lake with tree covered trails, a welcome shade when the temperature rises.

The Lady With A Divine Appointment

I was half around the bigger of the three lakes when a lady with a hiking stick stopped and asked if I thought it was going to rain. I looked up to the bright blue sky with only a few white clouds feeling a little like Elijah’s servant looking for a black rain cloud. We conversed a little more about the possibility of rain, then she asked if she could walk with me as she believed this was a divine appointment.

We walked side by side, taking about Jesus. She asked me questions of how I received Christ as my Lord and I asked her similar questions. She shared about her family and asked about mine…I gave vague answers. Yes, I’m protective.

She loves gospel blue-grass music and insisted on playing a song for me. Know this I am not a blue grass fan, gospel or not. The song title is On My Father’s Side, maybe you are familiar with it? I wasn’t. The song tells the story of Jesus answering questions in the temple when he was 12 years old. Here are some of the words to the song.

“What’s your name son?”

“On my mother’s side my name is Jesus, but on my father’s side they call me Emanuel.”

“How old are you?”

“On my mother’s side now am 12 years, but on my father’s side I’ve just always been.”

For you [who are born-again have been reborn from above-spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified and] are all children of God [set apart for His purpose with full rights and privileges] through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26 Amp

In this world I answer to several names, Helena, Mam, Nanna, Nurse even the occasional “Hey You!” those are my temporary names.  As I listened to the words of the song I was reminded that my Heavenly Father calls me Redeemed, Beloved and Daughter; my permanent names. If you know Jesus as your Lord; Redeemed. Beloved and Daughter are your permanent names too.

Maybe it was a divine appointment that interrupted my normal Friday routine with a reminder from my Heavenly Father of who I am in Him.

4pm arrived and my mother called right on time.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

How has today been for you? Good? Interesting? Not so Good? Down right awful? Other? Using one of the five tell me in the comments how your day went.

P.S Just a reminder I will be doing a few giveaways in August, starting with Pastor Rick Bezet’s new book Love In an Angry World.