Mar 12, 2012

Monday SHINE....

Today's Reading:  2 Samuel 4


Good Monday morning, SHINE girls!

I hope your weekend was the best! It's so good to get back into our reading. It gives me something to look forward to on Monday's.

Seriously, it does.

A lot of fun in store for you this week.  Hope you are ready!

Since we are Spring-breaking it this week, we have several guest bloggers. Yay!

SHINE is made up of ALL of your voices. God made it this way. 

All of the wonderful attributes of this ministry are because of YOU, our SHINE girls.

God has totally hand-picked YOU to take this journey into His Word with Him

Surrounded by other believers. 

This is what SHINE is all about.

Simply glorifying HIM. Together.


Enjoy the heart of your fellow SHINE girl today.  Be blessed.



Monday, Monday
by Rebekah Vepraskas

In the beginning, of a week like this. . . .  We want all of the good stuff.  I know I do.  I just started a semi- new part time job and I think – maybe I have just found my niche.  I am praying about it, which is good, the Lord wants to hear me and know me in this way.  He wants to bless me, I know.  Right?

I loved Jamie’s blog on Saturday about the quiet and simple times of life—we long for them.  The Lord so uses quiet to speak to us.  Sometimes, for me, quieting occurs most during vacuuming.  Ironic.  Somehow, quiet can happen best when everything else is drowned out of our consciousness.

The Lord reminded me of Caitlin.  Caitlin is a lovely and sweet young wife in my small group.  She is a newer friend and I LOVE her, y’all.  She has precious, soulful eyes and the Lord is really working in her heart and life.  She is a breath of fresh air.  Caitlin is a dancer.  Period. Exclamation point! She has danced all of her life. Her sister dances, her friends dance, she is all about being a dancer.

Her life is being redefined in the aftermath of an auto accident that badly injured Caitlin’s back.  Meeting Caitlin now, you would never know the heart break she face(d/s).  After a subsequent surgery and long recovery, she has been and still is determined to understand what God has in mind next in her life.  She still loves dance, though she isn’t able to participate anywhere near how she did before.   She takes it day by day, but she’s struggled to start over after defining herself, always, as a dancer.  This past week, her prayer requests included a praise, which struck me.  She thanked God for giving her great health insurance at the time that she needed back surgery— post accident.

Ahem? Wow. . . .

It’s incredible that Caitlin can even go there.  In the midst of pain and loss— there it is—gratitude and hope.  It’s a valuable lesson:  being grateful for where we are and the Lord’s presence in the wilderness.  It’s also really, really important to God.  It’s not just a trite expression. 

I am reminded of the Israelites.  In these passages in Exodus 14-17, there are several times where the Israelites questioned God and asked for more, more, more.  Just after being delivered from the Egyptians, where the Lord commanded them to cross the Red Sea and they crossed on dry ground. You may remember that the Pharaoh and his soldiers were swallowed up by the sea and drowned.   Just after this, the Israelites were rejoicing, but only for a moment.  They were then accusing God and Moses of trying to kill them, by taking them into the desert.  They were hungry and thirsty and mean.  Moses and God were doing everything they could to keep the Israelites happy.  It was impossible.

 Parting the Red Sea, manna – bread and quail from heaven to eat, water flowing out of a rock in the desert. 

They were unimpressed moments and days later.  They were griping mostly and seeing a lot that the Lord could do, do, do.  They glossed over the biggest miracle(s) of their lives.

We have A LOT in common with those Israelites.  

I know I do. 

I also know what you’re thinking!  I do!  You’re thinking, “well, I’m grateful. I know what God’s done for me.”  That’s what I would say.  But can we land there for today? Seriously, land there.  Really marinating in the richness of God’s care.  Could we, together, take time to listen to Lord today, with a humble heart? Show me, Lord. Show me how you have loved me, even when I wasn’t paying attention.

Like the Israelites— What’s your Red Sea?

What’s your “manna from heaven?”

Like Caitlin— What’s your good insurance coverage during a career ending back injury?

Literally, scores of things are popping into my mind and I am overwhelmed with gratefulness.  I am going to consciously move my new job the back burner and thank God for who  He is in my life.

I pray that the Lord shows us many new things that we have perhaps glossed over or forgotten.  {Even the little things inside of the BIG things.}  The things that ensure God’s goodness and provision—His love and care.


The Lord wants and needs this from us and he is all about being praised.  And, remember, he LOVES our praise.  He is like a magnet to our praise, He’s ready to inhabit our praise.
Oh— and God knows we forget His goodness.  He asked Moses to keep a sample of His manna in a jar so that the generations to come would remember His goodness.  (Exodus 16:32) 


Wow.  He knows our gratefulness is thin and very short.  *SAD face*


Psalms 22:3
But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered]. 

Exodus 19:3-6 (NIV)
 3 Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

Beautiful Savior, and Lord, I pray for peace today for my sisters.  Give them Your voice and soft reminders of all You have done. We praise you, Lord, with hearts full of gratitude.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus, concerning you.

I love you, beautiful daughters of God and sisters of mine.

Rebekah

4 comments:

  1. Love, love, love this, Bek! Thank you for being the mouthpiece of God for me today.
    I'm just as guilty as those crazy Israelites...
    Lord, help me to see ALL that you have done for me and my bustling little nest. Blessings on top of blessings. Let me revel in this, Lord. Praising your name. <3

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  2. I also love this! I don't have a deep thought here today...a simpler (see Erin) one for this moment. Today, is my son's birthday, and I've had memories of that day today. It was during the time before sonograms...I and everyone just knew, he would be a girl...I mean I carried him low and in the hips...totally differently than my 1st-born. His name was to be Rebecca...named for my husband's grandmother. Interesting...huh?...Beka girl. I had had Timothy 5 weeks early...but this time...new doctor and all...who said the other one must miscalculated. Hmmmmmmmm...Well, I was busy studying for my Biology exam...planning to be a nurse...when, all of a sudden, my water broke. Uh-oh! Mama...Baba to you...got busy about coming over...Tim was at work...when he arrived, he showered, and changed clothes...all very slowly as I was contracting...I mean we were in the hospital a full 24 hours+ with Timothy. Then, it was a wild trip...I was on the back seat of PawPaw's cadillac...Tim was driving a tiny car...and he was following us...went off on the wrong exit. I told them...Baba and Paw Paw...that they had to wait for Tim...my contractions were like 2 minutes apart...so, Baba said Ted, we have to hurry to get her there. Anyway, I kept telling everybody to let me breathe and stop messing with me...but when they checked...I had already crowned...oh...finally, there was Tim. By the time we were there 45 minutes, I had this little red-headed boy in my arms...who barely cried...sounded like a kitten. From that moment, he had my heart. He was Ted Jefferson...named for both granddads!!! He was a handful from that moment on, and I'm very thankful he's alive...many close calls...smiley face with a wink. I would have sounded like the Israelites many times through the mischief and close calls...but, now, today, as I celebrate his 38th b-day...with tears flowing...and my heart singing and shouting...and dancing...I rejoice in that gift!!! Yes, another boy for me oh those many years ago...but, today, the man who has drawn ohhh sooooo close to me as he's grown...he looks after me everyday...a call...a text...a smile...allowing me to be so much a part of his life...with all three of his wonderful...girls! Yes, I said girls! He and his 2 brothers have blessed me with 5 grandgirls...2 of which are Ted's...and they are even here with me at this moment!!! Glory to God!!! Thank You, LORD, You made me a mother of boys...who are now men!!! And, I just want to thank you!!! I would not be the prayer warrior I am...were it not for my needing so much attention from you...so many, many prayers I had to pray...LOL!!! You, LORD, do have quite a sense of humor...love you, Beka!!!

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  3. Beka-

    Boy oh boy.....oh boy. Girl you seriously just brought it all home for me. Just this past Friday night I was literally in tears about what He has not provided for me - for a moment losing sight of all He has done and continues to do for me daily. It is hard sometimes for me to let go and just trust - it is truly a daily task for me to do this. I am crazy like those Istraelites too....wow, and a bit embarrassed by my behavior!

    Lord, forgive me for my short sightedness - I do trust you completely and know your timing is best above all. Thank you Jesus for your love and commitment to me!!

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  4. Wow, Beka! God has been and is so good to me, I can never, never thank him enough. You are a great blessing to me and I am so thankful for you and for all of my children, grandchildren, sons and daughters-in-law. I am so thankful for my wonderful, precious husband and for all of our years together. The older I get, the more appreciative and thankful I am. Sometimes I am reminded how thankful I am for for every day, for my home, for running water, heat and AC, electricity, washer, dryer, diswasher, a nice car, TV, computer, telephone, cellphone, Ipad, Kindle and etc. I am just blessed. Thanks for the reminder to praise God for it all. I love you.

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