Jan 28, 2012

Saturday SHINE.....


Happy Saturday, SHINE girls! If you are new to SHINE, we do not have any scheduled readings on the weekend. So, the weekends are the perfect time to catch up on the previous week. I encourage you to do this! You will be so blessed and fresh and ready by Monday.

As always, I will post the reading plan on Sunday.

Today's guest blogger is Rebekah Vepraskas.  She has posted before, here. We were all blessed by her post then, and we will be blessed again today.

Can I toot her horn for just a second? Okay, thank you.

I love this girl. I mean like really, really love her. Let me tell you one of the reasons.

Just this week, I got a note in the mail from her with another scripture that she had written down for me on a beautiful green note card.  The timing of her note, could only be the work of the Father. The day that I received it was a not-so-great Jill Hill day. Down in the dumps, dreary, feeling sorry for myself kind of day if I'm being completely honest.

Rebekah lives in communication with the Holy Spirit, daily. Her gift of  being  a "counselor", has helped me and many others through some deep, dark, and ugly days.

 If you are Rebekah's friend, consider it a gift from the Lord. For real.

Be blessed, friends. This is mmmmmmm, mmmmmmm, good. :)

Rebekah's boys. All 4 of them. 


Prayer, God and us:
by Rebekah Vepraskas

If I could rename 2011, it would be the year of prayer.  Prayer changed in my life last year.  Why?  Well, quite honestly, a lot of tragic things happened.  Cancer diagnoses in two, equally-incredible peers from high school, the death of my grandmother, a suicide attempt in my immediate family, the death of a my sweet friends’ child, the death of my friends' dad, miscarriages, the return of my nephew to jail--- over and over again, hurt.

If it were not for fear, hurt and tragedy, would we really turn to God?  Trials are gifts in many ways.  A chance to refocus our attention on Christ.


“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. “James 1:2

But, we don't believe that. We often say, Why God? And we look for relief.  He is our relief.  He is already there.  Are we listening? Are we open to Him, our answer?

1 Peter 4:12  
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.”  

This year, I prayed so much for healing for my two friends’ cancer, one friend was healed, totally cancer free and one went to heaven.  Were both healed? Absolutely!  However, I prayed and prayed for my friend to be healed of cancer, even if it was not God’s will.  As his health worsened, I literally prayed, “Lord, I do not want your will, if your will is for him to die; how can you be glorified in this man’s death?!”  Do you know what happened? My friend died and God was glorified. Gloriously glorified, really!!!  (I still can’t believe I challenged God in this way and that He still loves me. Thank you, Lord.)

He can work, He will work and He is working… do we trust Him?

Jill Hill was Christian when Christian wasn’t cool. :)  Trust me. She is my peer, but also she leads me in the sweetest ways in my relationship with Christ.  She was a friend in verb form this past year and prayed in all of these areas with me.  In one of our afternoon talks, she shared something she had recently learned about prayer that I will never forget, (I am paraphrasing); “When we pray, we are breaking through the flesh and literally taking hold of God’s willingness to do His plan on earth. Prayer causes His power to be released and manifested in our lives, on our behalf.”

Eureka!  Did we get that?  HIS POWER. Not “our power” or “our plan…”

Prayer isn’t what “I want."  Prayer is seeking God’s best so that it can be manifested in our lives.  What is God’s best?  Do we trust God with these lives that we have in our white knuckle grasp?

Quite simply, more often than not, No…

Doesn't the Lord want me to have children? God where are you? How could they be sick? God where are you? He isn't getting better, he’s getting worse?  God where are you? Are these the children I raised? God where are you? My husband is horrible? God where are you? My friend is really missing on Mt. Rainier? God where are you? We can’t pay our bills? God where are you?  My parent is horrible and not what I deserve? God where are you?  My friend double crossed me? God where are you? My marriage is a dead end? God where are you??????????????

Is it possible God is working and we don’t see Him? Is God there and we missed Him?
When we pray, and then look around, are we only really looking for the answer we wanted?
Are we acting in obedience in all areas of our life or are we just expecting others to be obedient while we complain?
Is that what God is waiting on, our willingness to obey?
If it isn’t what we wanted, could we miss an answer that is beautiful and clearly there?
If the answer came, would we see it?
Are we only waiting for God to bring about what we thought was the answer to the problem?
(I have done all of these things...  I have it all figured out, I just need God to get on board!  Do you know what I mean?)

Let’s pray for God’s will and let’s walk in this sweet path. Let’s be accountable to each other to really, truly trust our Creator.  Let’s look for answers outside of the answers we thought were best.  Let’s consider letting God be the control freak of our lives.  He is surely better equipped.

How will we know?  Well, we will need to be in tune in prayer and we will need the Holy Spirit to meet us and lead us.  We need spiritual counsel.

John 14:25-27
He said, “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Listen to the Holy Spirit, love the Lord with all of your heart and keep His ways.(obedience)
Listen to the Holy Spirit, pray for the Lord to manifest His perfect will in your life.
Listen to the Holy Spirit, then, trust Him.
Listen to the Holy Spirit.

Lord, let us have a heart like King David. You protected Him, Lord, even through multiple attempts to end his life and to cause him pain. You made David victorious.  David was obedient and had beautiful trust in You, Lord. In response, You granted David favor at every turn.  Lord, may we turn and seek You, listen to You and walk in Your path. Refocus our eyes on You, Lord, and when we stray, help us to heed the Holy Spirit and come right back to Your way.  Help us to be so in tune that we can be bold and courageous in our faith just like David was.  Thank you for loving us while we strive to know You like David did.  Give us a humble, peaceful, childlike trust in You. Keep us in Your frequency, God, to hear You.  Fill us with your Holy Spirit and equip us for our walk, Amen.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can hardly contain myself when I think about how honored I am that YOU are my friend! What joy to know your heart and to share your love for God's people! You are a gift! You have a gift! You do not hold back--you share!! Thank you so much for kindly loving others and wanting God's will in their lives as well as your own. God does move-God is in control. Thank you for the reminder that we need every single day to just put our faith out there and HE will direct our needs. We are all created for purpose. His plan to be revealed through us. Give us JOY in the trials--for it will always, always make us stronger!! I love you my friend!! Because you are Jill's friend, you are MINE!!!
love,love,love you dearly!!
erin spinks :)

Samantha said...

this was so timely for me today....

THANK YOU!!!

You girls and SHINE are such a blessing in my life!

Sam

Lisa said...

I needed this Rebekah, as there is a place in my life that is dry. Like, desert dry...and I don't get it.

I want/need to remove myself and just see Him. I will admit I struggle getting out of my own way...and I whine a bit too. Nice.

xoxo, Lisa

Aunt Teddi said...

I, too, needed this very much, girlie. Pleased with my niece! Tears and swelled chest...:). You have had quite a year, and I have been privileged to be called in by you to pray for these many, many things. It's through this praying God be glorified in all things, that we have seen life and death as victorious!! He told us...death, where is thy sting? To be with Him..is precious in His sight!! I've been so very humbled by the move of the Holy Spirit in this ministry...Shinegirls. I felt such a tug to be involved as soon as Mary or you, Beka..posted on my wall. I came on 2nd Monday...and was so honored when asked by Jill to intercede..as you well know...;)! This has been a God move. I've been through a trial this week...hurt a lot! Ouch!! I've been misunderstood and licking my wounds...and yet, my God loves me soooo much that He prepared this Bible study to be at this moment of my life when I needed to not only see David as a man after His heart...and to see that David was already anointed King before he battled Goliath (certainly humbled that I did not know this and neither have some of those as long in this battle as me...always learning..for sure)...but to see Jonathan and his flesh relationship with his father, who he trusted..and his covenant with David (spiritual relationship) and had to choose..soo deep as Jill pointed out when I was pondering this. I know I'm wordy..guilty..but I have sooo much more I could say here! I am shouting ...Woo Hoo!...cheering on you women..younger than me...keep on keeping on...we have not seen anything yet...and the best is yet to come!! Glory!!!!! :)!! <3

michelle chapman said...

This was perfect for me today! Being the control freak that I am-and stubborn... it's hard sometimes to give God all the control. I feel like I miss so many times what HIS will is for me. I pray for HIS will in my life but do I really want his will or mine (the easy way) ?Listening closely today for HIS will...thank u Beka! !!

Jamie said...

I love your point about through the Holy Spirit we are filled with HIS power. "..what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe." Eph 1:19. It's an unearthly, supernatural power.

Rebekah Hudgins said...

Y'all, thank you! This is not originally the post I had written. :) I wrote a good post, felt uneasy and then called my mom to pray, finished cleaning the kitchen (because I heard I needed to) refocused and then started over with a brand new page. I wish I was kidding!

I am glad for those of us who it is "for." I think I could have written all night long about the Holy Spirit. He is here and He is even loud sometimes and I tune Him out with my flesh. He doesn't say what I "like" to hear. You know how it is?

What is the Holy Spirit telling us today? What are we resisting?

I feel strongly that the Holy Spirit is telling me to be "obedient." Constantly. In big and small ways, do what the Lord has commanded. Even as it is difficult and as my flesh resists. (Things like, honoring my husband, even when I think I am justified in not doing so. That is just plain wrong, right?)

In that case, I need to run, He's calling, there is much to do.
xoxo

Aunt Teddi said...

obedience...is the word for today...I, too, doing as my hubby said today...the order and everything...resisting feels sooo good at times and is soooo wrong...because I suffer soooo when the repercussions come...lol!!! I'm off to continue also....xoxoxo

conny said...

Thanks that is what I was need it today !!!! God Is
God

Jill said...

YES, Jamie!!!

Rebekah Hudgins said...

Girl, I am the president of your fan club. Love you SO much!!! :)

Rebekah Hudgins said...

Sam, I am so glad, your walk is a blessing to me.

Rebekah Hudgins said...

I am so glad. I pray He works us into fertile soil to plant His goodness. So glad to be on this journey with you.

Rebekah Hudgins said...

I love all of your connections, Aunt Teddi. I am excited to see what He is up to! I pray we "see."

Rebekah Hudgins said...

I know exactly!!! I am with you, listening all the way... :)

Rebekah Hudgins said...

I am praying for God to be with you, Conny, as He works to complete His will in your life. I pray that He is glorified, in you and through you.

Terri Abbott said...

Lisa, you are so precious. Yuck, a dry desert? A mountaintop is waiting after the Lord is done with whatever He is doing. It's all good. Hang in there.

Terri Abbott said...

Rebekah you HAVE had a year of trial, disappointment and grief and I've seen you struggle sometimes and I've heard you question God but after you have analyized, shook it up, called for help, prayer and councel, you have hunkered down and went after the God thing in it all. You were hit with wave after wave and even tho the flood's cannot rise above us, the Word says, you were up to your nose and swimming. I too sit with tears in my eyes and pride in my heart over you. Lay down your life for a friend? You have done this all year. God must love you, no love and adore you. I believe He likes when we challenge Him because it can lead us to a deeper and closer walk with Him. You have DUG IT OUT this year baby girl and you did it God's way. You may have wrestled but He has shaped and formed you and girl - you might just be SHINING! (: I love you so much.
I just want to add that I currently am doing the Beth Moore Bible study on the Book of James. Coincidence? (I dont' think so) that one of the scriptures this week is James 1:2-4. Rebekah posted; 'Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,' ...and the rest of the story is; 'BECAUSE you know that the testing of your faith (Lisa Inlow) produces perseverance. Let perseverance FINISH its work so that you may be MATURE AND COMPLETE AND NOT. LACKING. ANYTHING.' I don't know about yall but I LOVE confirmations. I LOVE a dual witness. I don't mind walking by faith but some help is muchly appreciated. I have already began -by faith- 'considering it a pure joy' when I have a trial and I look to the prize in the end.

Aunt Teddi said...

Woo Hoo, Terri!!! Say it again and again!!! Cout it all JOY!!! GLO always says REJOICE!!!! Her name Gloria...means Glorianna!!! in the Highest!! I'm glad you're in here with me. I told Beka today.. Your prayer about the Giant ... touched me!!! I stand in the face of that giant for my sister Carole and say!!! MSA let Tom Go!!!!!! You are bound...cursed to the root...you die...in Jesus' Name... and the LORD be glorified...forever and ever!!!! Amen and Amen!!!!!

Mary Hudgins Balicki said...

What ERIN SAID!!! I'm so proud of you, Bek and know that it's truly one of my life's greatest blessings to have a ringside seat as we journey together. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus in my life and for feeling things so deeply as you care (for me and the multitudes) and love and pray and pray some more. It's an amazing to watch you flourish in this area.
I really love pondering the power of God and how that power is made perfect through us. Thank you for this eureka revelation...I felt you on that one. Love and more love. :))

Terri Abbott said...

I agree in Jesus name for Tom adn Carole, it is done and I claim this testimony for the Kingdom of God. Amen.