Jul 28, 2014

No Offense....

July Reading: Psalm 1-31 {Read a Psalm a day}
July Memory Chunk: Psalm 1:1-3
Prayer Requests go here.
New to SHINE? Go here.

Today we have a guest post by Suzanne Chambers. She's posted before, and it was a huge blessing.

Grab your coffee, and be encouraged and spurred on today by her wisdom. 

No Offense Intended
by: Suzanne Chambers

Last Sunday in our Young Marrieds' class, a really good teacher shared some great truths.  I could take about 5 different blog posts to tell you about his lesson (and maybe I will.....) but one thing that he tossed out as an aside really stuck with me.  He said that he and his wife pray "to be un-offendable".  He went on to explain that they want to be folks that don't get their feelings hurt easily, don't assume the worst in terms of motive, intent or message but instead believe the best about people and situations.


Sounds like an application of I Corinthians 13: 5 to me where Paul explains that LOVE  is  not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered. 


Can you imagine what our homes would be like if husbands and wives and brothers and sisters weren't "offendable"?  Our churches?  Our communities?  Our country?  Our world???? What would happen if, instead of letting our feelings get hurt and then reacting out of retaliation or at least self-protection, we just let go of the offense.  No keeping score of the last wound received or delivered.  No assumptions that someone else intended to hurt us with that remark or exclusion or slight. No desire to inflict pain in an effort to alleviate our own.


Wow.  That would make a whole lot of difference in our marriages.  In our friendships and our parenting.  In our neighborhoods and our schools and our churches.


That's become my prayer, too.  To be unoffendable.  I hope you'll join me.


And we'll see the fruit  - because Love Never Fails.  (I Corinthians 13:8)




Jul 24, 2014

The Prayer That Changed Everything....

July Reading: Psalm 1-31 {Read a Psalm a day}
July Memory Chunk: Psalm 1:1-3
Prayer Requests go here.
New to SHINE? Go here.






"The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Psalm 24:1-2


 My husband Lem and I have been married for 15 1/2 years. Yes, we married when we were 5. ;)

As time passed, children were birthed, finances were strapped, things started to change.

Suddenly, I saw Lem differently.

I began to see his flaws. Magnified.

When life gets a little crunchy, this tends to happen. Things that normally would not bother you suddenly become a big painful thorn in your side. This was the case for me.

My happy fairy tale world, suddenly exploded in my face.

He got on my nerves. He never seemed to say the right thing. He never seemed to do the right thing.

And, I told him so.

Years passed and I prayed the same prayer over and over and over, "Lord, change Lem! Make him nicer, kinder, more thoughtful, more spiritual!"

Oh if y'all could see my prayer journals! My tears are splattered all over the pages. Lament after lament of asking for God to change Lem.

Make him more suitable for me. Make him different, Lord. Change him!

One day, I got really angry with the Lord. I was frustrated because none of my prayers were being answered. Nothing changed. Lem was the same and I was even more bitter.

I cried my eyes out to God and told Him how I felt. Tears flooding my face, I told the Lord I was done praying for Lem. It wasn't working, and I was done.

Lem came home from work that day and we got into an argument about something. Afterwards, I looked him square in those big blue eyes that had captured my heart at the age of 21, and told him I was going to stop praying for him to change. I told him none of my prayers were being heard and I was tired of praying them day after day after day. Tearfully, I confessed my unhappiness with his "unchanged" ways.

The look that he gave me I will never ever forget.

His blue eyes showed the hurt his heart must have felt.

All he said was this, "I have never prayed for you to change, Jill. I had no idea you were so unhappy with who I am."

Bam.

Knife to my bitter little heart.

Suddenly, I knew what the problem was. The Lord shined His bright Light of Truth and Love all into my dark and shadowy heart.

I was the problem.

I was the nagging wife.

I was the one that needed to change.

From that day forward, my prayers changed. Drastically.

My new prayer for my marriage is two-fold.

It goes like this:

"Lord, change my heart. 
And Lord, bless Lem! Bless Lem BIG!"

This simple prayer has changed my marriage. This simple prayer has changed my life.

Instead of praying for him to change, I pray for me to change.

Instead of praying for him to change, I pray for him to be blessed. Abundantly.

Lem is not mine to change. He really doesn't belong to me, he belongs to the Lord. And, the Lord does a pretty stellar job at changing hearts. Especially our own.

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10



Lord change me,

jill

 

Jul 22, 2014

A Lesson to Remember....

July Reading: Psalm 1-31 {Read a Psalm a day}
July Memory Chunk: Psalm 1:1-3
Prayer Requests go here.
New to SHINE? Go here.


  
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.             
   Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
 your rod and your staff, they comfort me             
   You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
 You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.             
    Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23
 

As we come to Psalm 23 today in our reading, I am jolted back to a moment several weeks ago.

If you will remember, Psalm 23 was our memory chunk last month. I really wanted my kids to learn this one with us. It's a powerhouse of peace.

My daughter struggles with fear from time to time. I've written about this before. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree in this family.

Night time is the hardest for her. She gets fearful many nights.

This one particular night, she had gotten into bed and I told her I would be there shortly to tuck her in.

I took a little longer than expected, and when I finally turned the corner to go to her room, I stopped dead in my tracks.

My daughter was whispering Psalm 23 through tears. She stumbled through the words, but she kept reciting the Psalm over and over.

My heart melted right there in that hallway outside of her bedroom.

The Lord revealed something to me in that moment that I will never forget.

I will not always be able to be with my children, but He will.

There are so many times when I want to be the one to soothe them, to nurse their fears and scary moments away. I want them to know I will always be there to dry their tears, take away their pain.

But, when I am not there, what will they do? How will they cope?

God showed me right there in that hallway that my children need to be taught to depend on Him in these moments.

As they grow older, and further away from the safety of my arms, they need to know where their true security lies...with Him. Not me.

Soon after my daughter prayed and recited Psalm 23, she fell asleep peacefully. You have no idea how much I wanted to wake her up and tell her that I was right there outside of her room. I wanted to tell her that I was just about to go tuck her in and soothe her fears.

However, I didn't.

I knew the Lord was teaching me, as well as her. My job is to train her up in the way she should go, not to train her up to depend on her momma.

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6


My daughter is learning where her strength and peace lie. Her momma is learning the same lesson.


training in progress,


jill

Jul 20, 2014

What is your heart's desire?

July Reading: Psalm 1-31 {Read a Psalm a day}
July Memory Chunk: Psalm 1:1-3
Prayer Requests go here.
New to SHINE? Go here.


"May He give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed." Psalm 20:4


We all love this particular verse in Psalm. Perhaps, this is your first time reading it. What's not to love about it, right?

There's not a woman in the world that doesn't want the desires of her heart met, and to top it all off,  for all of her plans to succeed.

However, when we read the Word of God, we must look at the whole counsel of God's Word. We cannot just pick and choose the verses we prefer and build our foundation upon that verse.

This can be dangerous.

We must ask daily for God's wisdom when reading scripture.

For example, just looking at this verse, it would seem that God will give you everything your heart ever wants, your every desire. On a silver platter.

This is not true.

The truth is that God is sovereign. His will overrides ours, and it should.

Thank Heaven all of my heart's desires over my lifetime haven't been granted. Goodness knows where I would be!

We must build our desires around Him. He should be our one true desire.

When David wrote this Psalm, this was David's desire. Yes, David wanted God's favor, His Wisdom, His blessing. But, the one thing that David desired most was God.

Read on a little further in Psalms and you will find this prayer of David's:

One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4

God was David's one true desire. His life was a testament to this. Yes, he made mistakes, big ones. But David's heart was devoted to God in a profound way.

Surely because of David's greatest desire being God, it made his heart change. In fact, scripture even tell us this.

"After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.' Acts 13:22


When God becomes our greatest desire, our own desires change.

His desires become our desires.

As we drove down to the beach a couple of days ago, I had a ball of yarn in my lap, a gold crochet hook in my right hand, and my trusty little "how-to-crochet-the-easy-way" book squeezed next to the yarn in my lap.

I spent the entire car ride, all 5 1/2 hours,  trying to learn a new craft. The thing about crocheting, is that you have to start a foundation row first. Everything is built upon and around your foundation row.

Each time I started building on my foundation row trying a different kind of stitch, I would end up ripping it right back out. Back down to the foundation row.

Sometimes I would think I really had something going, and then bam, I had messed up somewhere and gotten off track with my rows. This would leave big holes in the pattern I was trying to make.

The Lord kept reminding me as I stitched, that our faith walk is like this foundation row.

He is the Foundation.

We can make beautiful, intricate things when we are stitched into Him, our Foundation.

 However, we can also get way off track, and end up dangerously far from our Foundation. {kind of like my crocheting looks sometimes!}

When we look at the whole counsel of God's Word and see what Jesus commanded us to do, we have instructions for staying stitched into God's foundation.

"Jesus replied: “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40

Breaking it down, Jesus teaches us that the greatest commandment He has given us is this:

To Love God, and to Love others.

The end.

Wow!

How simple is this?

Yet, how hard is this.

We get away from our foundation when these two things are not being lived out.

When these two things are not stitched firmly into the foundation of our lives, oh girls, everything will start falling apart. Just like my crochet project.

We can even be doing some seemingly "good" things and be far from our Foundation if those "good" things are not stitched in love.

Girls, we don't have to be hyper-spiritual and full of biblical knowledge to get this.

We need to Love God first.

We need to Love others second.

Who needs love today, friends?

My children could care less how much biblical knowledge I have. All they really want is for me to love them. That's it. That's the greatest way I can show them Christ.

Let's don't fool ourselves into thinking that others are swayed by our love and devotion to Jesus. They are only swayed by our love for Jesus when it's poured out onto them.

The world doesn't care about how much quiet time we have, how many bible studies we attend or teach,  or how many scriptures we have memorized.

The world craves the Love of God. Oh, and how the world needs the Love of God.

Love is what will draw their hearts to His.

So, bottom line....

Do you want God to give you the desires of your heart? Do you want your plans to succeed?

Stay on the firm foundation of Christ by....

Loving God.

Loving those around you.

Your plans will succeed, because those are His plans for you.

How do we start?

Make it a daily prayer that God will help you to Love Him first, and Love others second. Before anything else, ask Him to make this your life mission. Ask Him to keep you stitched tightly into the firm foundation of His Love in every single thing you do.

Girls, He will fulfill this desire of you heart. In ways that you cannot even imagine.


staying stitched to Him,


jill


Jul 17, 2014

Do you like me?

July Reading: Psalm 1-31 {Read a Psalm a day}
July Memory Chunk: Psalm 1:1-3
Prayer Requests go here.
New to SHINE? Go here.
The Lord has been nudging me to tell this story for a while. I've been wrestling with Him over it. Of course, in the end, He wins. So, here goes.
In the Fall of 1992, I was crowned homecoming queen at my high school in Conyers, Georgia.
I remember when they called my name, I looked around, wondering where Jill Allgood was.
My sweet daddy said, "Jill, it's YOU! You are the one they are about to crown!"
What? I was overwhelmed with disbelief.
When they put the sparkly crown on the top of my hair sprayed head, I remember thinking, "This is the GREATEST moment in my life! Nothing will ever compare to this day!"
How wrong I was.
For many, many years after that day, I spent my life trying to be everyone's homecoming queen.
In fact, some of my nearest and dearest friends will lovingly tease me and call me "HQ".
I polished that crown for many years thinking that I had to life my life living up to that crown. It became an idol. Not the crown itself, but the life behind the crown.
The people pleasing girl, the sweet girl, the do-anything-to-be-liked girl, the craving affirmation girl...you know...THAT girl.
For a very long time, I didn't know who I really was. I became who everyone "wanted" me to be. I fit whatever role made them happy, in almost all of my relationships.
If you know what I'm talking about, then you know it's a dizzying cocktail of self-love and self-hate.
I loved myself when I became what I thought others wanted me to be. On the other hand, I hated myself for becoming what I thought others wanted me to be.
When Facebook made it's debut several years ago, it was like a drug for an affirmation queen like myself. It fed every ounce of my desire to be "liked", noticed, and "followed". I could not get enough of the affirmation that it gave.
Birthdays were my favorite. I would read every word, over and over. Always making sure to comment back on the well wishes. Yes, people pleasing to the millionth degree.
In 2012, the same year, God brought SHINE girls to life, He also started the process of refining and pruning me in this affirmation area. God knew it had to go, I knew it had to go. However, I didn't know if I could live without the affirmation from others.
I remember telling the Lord, "God, it's just who I am. Please don't change me. People like this about me."
As soon as those last 5 words came out of my mouth, I knew the depth and the breadth of this paralyzing disease of people pleasing. I mean, I had spoken the words myself.
My life had revolved around the drug of affirmation and the desire to be liked.
God was ready to wean me. He had better things for me. Like His affirmation, and His alone.
In June of 2012, I deactivated my Facebook account. It's sad that I still know the month and day. It was like a death. A death that I didn't ask for.
I mourned the loss. You probably think I am crazy, but it's true.
I was lonely.
I was sad.
I was depressed.
I was unnoticed.
Who would I share my family pictures with? Who would I tell all the cute and funny things my kids said to? Who would I tell all those great status quotes to? Who would I encourage with God's scriptures and share His goodness with? Where would I go when a needed a big shot of affirmation and likes?  And for Heaven's sake, who would ever remember my birthday??
My Heavenly Father, that's Who.
It has been a long and painful process of weaning. I have felt every thorn that has had to be pulled from my affirmation craving heart.
However, which each thorn, it gets easier and easier for me to truly trust Him and lean into Him for my affirmation.
Throughout this process, we have had countless quiet times together. Just He and I. My time with Him became more special, because somehow it wasn't as rushed. He became my first priority for the very first time.
My desire to be liked, noticed,  and sought after, was fulfilled in the purest and most beautiful way. By the Lord Himself.
He has filled most of these holes. I still have a ways to go, but I am so much closer than I was two years ago.
I still have the tendency to look to others for approval, however, I now know the other side. I know the peace that comes with surrendering to Him in this area. Laying my flesh down, as He breathes affirmation into my weary spirit.
It still gets lonely some days. Even with all of you, and this incredible ministry that He has laid in my lap, my flesh still can get lonely. I crave connection and communication with others.
When this happens, I try to remember to go to Him first. Seek connection with Him above anything or anyone else.  
Then, I might  make a phone call, send a text, interact with my children, sit next to my husband on the couch as he watches ESPN, send a letter to a friend, ask a friend over for coffee....
I have tasted {after much wresting}the fruit of surrender and obedience, and it is the sweetest thing you have ever laid your mouth on.
My prayer is that by telling my story, even the ugly parts, you draw closer to Him on your journey. Maybe your journey is different, maybe it's strikingly similar.
Whatever the case, I pray He speaks to your heart.
I am not in any way advocating logging off of Facebook, or logging on to Facebook. I am only sincerely advocating guarding our hearts before we do.
We must never find our value or our worth in anything other than God Himself.  
Say a prayer before logging onto social media. Ask the Lord to guard your heart from any kind of  jealousy, need for approval or likes, criticism, comparisons, or anything else that will rob the joy right out of your beating little heart.
I can say this, because I lived it, friends. I know the great things that can happen on those sites, and I know the heartaches that can stem from those sites.
Guard those hearts with God's Truth.
"Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."  Proverbs 4:23
"but in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord" 1 Peter 3:15
Limit your time on those sites. I would spend so much time browsing my phone, refreshing it for updates. My daughter actually said to me at one point, "Mommy, do you love Facebook more than me?" Yikes.
God has better for us, friends. So much better.
Yes, we can be blessed by an encouraging status update, but nothing takes the place of Him speaking directly to us. We don't need others to translate His Voice. He will speak right to our hearts if we put Him first. Who wants leftovers of His Word when we can have the main course with Him, day after day. We need to put away our phones, our computers, our Ipads, and communicate with the One who desires us most.
 Oh the things He will tell us! Oh the things He will show us!
"Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heard, that I may fear your name." Psalm 86:11
taking off my crown,
jill

Jul 16, 2014

Your Greatest Assignment.....

July Reading: Psalm 1-31 {Read a Psalm a day}
July Memory Chunk: Psalm 1:1-3
Prayer Requests go here.
New to SHINE? Go here.
 

Before I start this post, I just want to encourage you to memorize our chunk of scripture this month. The ONE thing, besides the Grace of Jesus, that has changed my life the absolute most, has been God's Word.

When we "hide His word in our heart" as Psalm 119:11 tells us, our insides change. We breathe in the scriptures, and we exhale His truth. Something marvelous begins to happen in our souls. We are renewed, refreshed, and encouraged to "keep going".

His words will bubble up and remind us of His Promises and His Truth when the world is trying to convince us otherwise.

"Lord you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure." Psalm 16:5

As we dive into this scripture today, let's look at the word "assigned".

Good ol' Merriam-Webster defines "assign" as this: to give someone a particular job or duty : to require someone to do a particular task

So, when we apply this meaning to our verse, it tells us that the LORD gives us our job and tasks. We don't decide what we do, HE does. Not only this, but He "requires" us to do this particular task.

I'm not sure about you, but this causes my shoulders to release a whole lot of unwanted stress and tension. He is in charge of me. Not the other way around.

As women, we are task masters. We have or daily to-do's and we hit the door running most days.

What a fresh breath of sea salt air to know that God Himself is the One really in charge! Sure, we can make plans, we can dream dreams, we can set goals.....

However, the Word tells us this: "In His heart a man plans his steps, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9

Y'all, surely you hear that freedom bell ringing in the background. THIS is PROFOUND if we really start to absorb the truth of it all.

On days when I sleep through my quiet time, when I forget to do something I had marked down on 3 of my calendars to do, when my laundry makes me want to go into the corner and suck my thumb for hours, when I have to tell my kids for the MILLIONTH time to be nice to each other....

I can say to the Lord, "Lord, YOU have assigned me this life! You knew the kind of day I would have. You foreknew my melt down at Publix because my daughter rammed into the back of my heels with the buggy 4 times! You knew I would come home to a boat load of dirty dishes after a long day!"

When we grasp the peace in this scripture, we begin to see the grace in all of it.

  • We see our Heavenly Father with us in the dirty laundry.
  • We see Him with us as we try to make sense out of a checkbook that seems to never balance in our favor.
  • We see Him in the loud mornings with our children, when all we want to do is hit our knees in the bathroom and cry our sleepy eyes out.
  • We see Him at the job that we are tired of going to, day in and day out, as we daydream for better days.

Girls, He has assigned us this life.

He will use us to further His Kingdom, exactly where He has us.

It may not look like what you imagined, maybe even far from it. Oh, but don't you think for one second that He doesn't have a master plan working on your precious behalf.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Y'all, you can take this with you to the BANK. He is working for GOOD in your life.

Even through our darkest hours, He is working to bring together His perfect assignment for our life.

Who are we to argue?

My new prayer for the last few weeks has simply been this:

"Lord, Your will be done on Earth as in Heaven"

When I wake up to fussing children, "Lord, Your will be done today."

When I am confused about which path to take, "Lord, Your will be done in this situation."

When a relationship is strained, "Lord Your will be done in this."

When life just seems too overwhelming, "Lord, Your will be done."

Really, there is no better way.

He has given us an assignment.

Instead of arguing with Him over our assignment, let's thank Him for what He's doing through it. The lives that will change forever because we allowed "His will to be done."

The very next line in that scripture reads this: "You have made my lot secure." Psalm 16:5{b}

Security. Who doesn't want some of that?

Thank you Jesus for our assignments. None is greater than the other. We are all a part of Your master plan as we carry out our tasks each and every day. Your will be done, Lord. On Earth as in Heaven.


resting in my assignment,


jill

Jul 14, 2014

Feelings Lie....

July Reading: Psalm 1-31 {Read a Psalm a day}
July Memory Chunk: Psalm 1:1-3
Prayer Requests go here.
New to SHINE? Go here.


I'm in love with the book of Psalms. The end.

Maybe it's because my boyfriend, David, ahem, wrote most of them. Either way, I'm full blown smitten.

I can relate to this book. In a big way.

Have you noticed how dramatic these psalms are? I mean, I can relate to some dramatic! "Dramatic" is my favorite language.

The psalmists pour their hearts out in this book. They lament, they cry, they grovel, they weep. They are living out real life right before our very eyes.

If God could pen our thoughts, wouldn't they sound similar to these words in Psalms?

Don't we all have these same thoughts from time to time?

For example, read this Psalm from 28:1-5:

O Lord, to You I call. O my Rock, listen to me. If You will not hear me, I will be like those who have gone down to the grave.   Hear my cry for loving-kindness as I call to You for help, and when I lift up my hands to Your holy place.  Do not drag me away with the sinful and with those who do bad things. They speak peace with their neighbors, while sin is in their hearts.  Pay them for their work and for the sins they do. Pay them for the works of their hands. Give them what they have earned.  They do not think about the works of the Lord and what His hands have done. So He will pull them down and not build them up again.


So, let's put it in 2014 real woman life:

Oh, Lord, listen to me! Hear my cry! Are you listening? If you don't hear my cry for help, I will die in despair! I need your love and kindness in this situation. I need you to do something and quick! Please don't turn away from my request, I need an answer from you! Please bring justice to this situation! I need you NOW! Show Yourself Mighty, I need You!

Ever had one of those talks? Or something similar?

You're not alone.

Now, let's move on to the very next verse following this desperate plea for God's help.

Psalm 28:6-9:

6 May honor and thanks be given to the Lord, because He has heard my prayer. The Lord is my strength and my safe cover. My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. So my heart is full of joy. I will thank Him with my song. The Lord is the strength of His people. He is a safe place for His chosen one. Save Your people and bring good to what is Yours. Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

You see what I mean?

Uh, the psalmist was crying in his soup the first part of the Psalm, yet immediately remembers the God He serves.

The God Who hears his prayer.
The God Who Is his Strength.
The God Who is his safe place.
The God Who is his shepherd.

These dudes are struggling with their feelings. They are struggling with their flesh. BIG time.

However, as soon as they confess how they feel, they immediately begin to recite TRUTH.

What is Truth?

The Truth is the opposite of how we feel. It's the exact opposite of what our feelings try to convince us of.

God's Truth overrides our feelings. God's Truth exposes our feelings and the lies within.

Fear has been the biggest feeling and stronghold that I have ever had to overcome.

I had to learn to change my feelings into fact, into Truth. When my mind would go haywire, producing feelings of fear, I had to fight them with Truth, with scriptural Truth.

I'm not kidding when I tell you that I have many 3x5 notecard flip books FILLED with scripture to combat fear. I would recite each one of them, hands shaking, mouth quivering, tears flooding my face.

For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His holy tent. In the secret place of His tent He will hide me. He will set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Psalm 27:1

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,  for God is with me. Psalm 23:4

The Lord will keep you from all harmhe will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:7-8

These are just a sampling of the pieces of Truth that I have in these little books. God's Truth has healed me from fear. My feelings no longer get the best of me when fear strikes it's ugly little head. I now rest in Truth.

God's Word proves true in countless feelings that we face each day.

When we feel injustice is being done to us, or someone we love...

He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:6

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7

When we feel unsure, shaky, and anxious...

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. Psalm 28:7

When we feel rejected or forgotten...

"The needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish" Psalm 9:18

"Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23:6

"...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

Oh, do y'all see it?

God has a Truth remedy for every feeling that we face!

What are you feeling today?

Fight those feelings with Truth. Shine the Light of God's Healing Word over your feelings, and walk in victory today.

When we stand on the Rock of God's Word instead of falling prey to our feelings,  we stand on Truth.  His Word never returns void. Ever.

"so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11


back to some Psalm reading,


jill









Jul 11, 2014

Down Right Dirty.....

July Reading: Psalm 1-31 {Read a Psalm a day}
July Memory Chunk: Psalm 1:1-3
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"Blessed is the [woman] who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But [her]delight is in the law of the Lord, and on [her] law [she]meditates day and night." Psalm 1:1-2


The verse above is the beginning of our July Memory Chunk. I have inserted the feminine nouns and pronouns to give it a punch for us women.


When I break this verse down, I begin to clearly see the directive as it pertains to everyday life as a woman.

*Blessed is she who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.

Who am I seeking counsel from? Who am I sharing my inner thoughts and struggles with? Are they a safe place for me to share?  Will they lead me down the right path? Will they lead me to the Word of the Lord, or will they lead me to the world's ways?

*Blessed is she who does not stand in the way of sinners.

Who am I hanging out with? Are these people positive role models and influences? Are the people that I hang out with doing things that I know to be sinful?

*Blessed is she who does not sit in the seat of mockers.

 Do I confess to believe one thing, yet my actions and words prove otherwise? Would the world know that I am in love with Jesus if they just observed my actions and not my Sunday morning church attendance? If I didn't have the opportunity to ever open my mouth, would people know I was a Christian?

*But her delight is in the law of the Lord, and on her law she meditates day and night.

What am I spending my time doing? What kinds of things am I meditating on? What kinds of things am I showing the world means the most to me?

When we break it down, it seems a lot more applicable, doesn't it?

I don't know one soul who doesn't long to be blessed! Remember the verse starts out with, "Blessed is the woman..."

Much of who we are becoming has to do with who we are hanging out with.

If we truly want to be sharpened, encouraged, and spurred on, we must surround ourselves with sharp people. Life will wear you down if you try to do this life on your own.

"As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." Proverbs 27:17

"He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." Proverbs 13:20

God created us for fellowship.

God created us for community.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)

We must make sure the people we are in fellowship with are encouraging us. We must make sure they are cheering us on to be our best and not dragging us down in the mud and slime.

We must make sure that WE are not the ones dragging others down in the mud and slime.

"Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone." Colossians 4:6

I have left conversations feeling stained. Y'all know what I mean? Kind of like a ketchup packet that exploded on your gorgeous new blouse.

My stomach will be in knots, and I leave the conversation feeling....dirty.

I had no intentions of the conversation going South, but somehow, in some way, it did.

When we talk about others in a bad way...

When we dish about the latest gossip in town....

When we share another's secrets that we swore would not leave our lips...

When we talk about things that we KNOW are none of our business...

When we speak accusations about someone or "stretch" the truth for "effect" when repeating a story...

We suddenly get dirty. Down right dirty.

Are you tired of getting dirty?

Me too.

How about we choose to be a blessing today with our words and actions?

Let's strive to be the kind of woman who:

  • believes the best.
  • forgives. 
  • doesn't gossip or slander.
  • minds her own business.
  • doesn't slander her man, or anyone else's man for that matter.
  • tends to her own family business.
  • sees the good.
  • believes the good.
  • turns the other cheek.
  • is humble.
  • looks to bless those around her.
  • extends grace.
  • strives for purity instead of perfection.
  • surrounds herself with other women who desire the same.

Let's read the rest of that verse from above...

"[She] is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever [she] does prospers." Psalms 1:3

I want some of THAT.

How about you?



out of the mud,


jill