Sep 29, 2012

Prayer Requests and Praises week of 9/30-10/06....

Please post your prayer needs & praises below!! We are honored to pray for you and with you. We trust the Sovereignty of God! 

Also, you may always click on the prayer request button on the right of your screen to access this page throughout the week.

God bless you, girls! I love you!
Rebekah

Sep 28, 2012

Friday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Haggai 2

Happy FUN Friday, girls, we made it!! :)  It's FRiiiiiiiiidddddddaaaaayyyyyy!

This is Rebekah and I hope I can be as fun as Jill for y'all on this Friday morning post! 
Jill could get me excited about anything, it's true! (I know you know what I mean!) So, my challenge is to recreate a Jill kind of excitement... here goes! :)

So, it's Haggai 2, not very exciting right? Wrong! On top of our introduction to Haggai yesterday (thank you, Aunt Teddi), we get to the good stuff today and the conclusion of Haggai, that was fast, huh? Only 2 chapters-

Speaking of Aunt Teddi, a few days ago, she and I were talking about the battle of the mind, being moms, stress and hormones. Teddi began talking about filling our minds with "positives" so that we can guard ourselves against our negative thoughts, emotions and words.  

She said, "Rebekah, be intentional about clicking on your praise music, fill your house and your car with positive, life giving words. It's simple and it works and don't you feel so much better!? If you're praising God, you will look at your whole day differently!"

She's right. Haggai 2 is like that as well. Victory is running through our scripture reading today, girls! To me, VICTORY is FUN!!  I love me some victory!

5‘Yes, get to work! For I am with you.’ The God-of-the-Angel-Armies is speaking! ‘Put into action the word I covenanted with you when you left Egypt. I’m living and breathing among you right now. Don’t be timid. Don’t hold back.’ Haggai 2:5

Wow!!! 

Even better:

9 "This Temple is going to end up far better than it started out, a glorious beginning but an even more glorious finish: a place in which I will hand out wholeness and holiness.’ Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.” Haggai 2:9

So..... The fun part?! Be intentional, at home or in your car, how about, clicking on your favorite praise music or dusting off your favorite praise CD or clicking on your local radio station that plays christian songs- even if you have never tried that before... Go from one forum to the next with a kind of "God soundtrack" playing in the background, girls. That is fun, it is bringing His love and your faith to the forefront of your mind.

I told Aunt Teddi that I already do this some, but today, I am going to turn it up even more and keep it going at home and on the road! While I clean my house- whatever the day holds!

Remember: "This (temple) SHINE girl is going to end up far better than (it)  SHE started out, a glorious beginning but an even more glorious finish." Haggai 2:9

 

Now that's a FUN Friday-- Let's do this!

Cranking up Jesus today,
Rebekah  :)

Sep 27, 2012

SHINE girl winner.....

Pardon this interruption...

First of all, I apologize for posting the WRONG link to the SHINE girl give-away yesterday. Good grief.

Obviously, my brain is mush. At least you now know for certain that I truly am a natural blonde. ;)

Secondly, please forgive my grammatical errors on SHINE. I just proofed a few entries and was completely mortified. Promise me that you will love me anyway! Anyone up for an "editing" position here at SHINE, I'm all ears! ;)

Now, let's get to our SHINE give-away winner!!!! I loved reading all of your "things you Love!". Each one made me smile so big! Your little hearts are just the sweetest. Precious, precious, you are!

a little sneak peak from our date last night!
yes, i LOVE him! :)

I let Lem pick our SHINE winner since it was our anniversary. :)  He drew the name, so if you didn't
win...blame him!

Our winner posted this comment:

"I love that my husband is such a strong Godly man who just doesn't talk the talk, but walks the walk. I love the evenings when he leads our little family in nightly devotionals and prays over us. I love that God chose me to be the mom to my sweet, precious babies. I love that split second when I see my son smile while watching me. I love hearing my sweet girl telling me what a great mom she thinks I am that she wants to be a mom just like me. I love the deep belly laughs of my children when their daddy is tickling them. I just love this crazy life that God gave me. 
N. Wilson"

Congratulations!!!

Please email me at shinegirlsshine@gmail.com, and I will get your SHINE t-shirt to you!

She won a SHINE shirt in the color of her choice...Black, or Chocolate brown. :) If you haven't seen our SHINE shirts, go here and check them out! Super cute and a great way to spread your SHINE!

By the way, we will have long-sleeved shirts coming soon! So, be on the look out!




Thursday SHINE.....

Today's Reading: Haggai 1

Happy Serve Day Thursday, SHINE girls! Let's serve someone in our path today! Let's how someone Jesus today in our actions, our words, and our love walk!

Are you a little sad to be leaving 1 Corinthians? Me too. I love the way Paul preaches. Direct and to the point. My kinda guy.

Today's post comes from one of our very own SHINE sisters since day one. She is also a huge prayer partner here on SHINE. Many of you know her by "Aunt Teddi.", or "Women who Pray."

Aunt Teddi breaks down our reading today. Be blessed by her wisdom, sweet SHINE girls.

*This post was taken from Teddi's website, www.womenwhopray.net*

Is it time for You to Dwell in your Paneled Houses, and My Temple to Lie in Ruins?
by: Teddi Holt




I’m studying with SHINE girls on the Internet.  Such a blessing this has been for me this year.  Our goal is to read through the Bible, and we are doing it one chapter of one book at a time…5 days a week…catching up on the weekend if we fall behind.

What a challenge!  I love the WORD, and I have read the whole New Testament more than once.  It is easier to read than the old, as we do not like to drudge through all the begats…and the repetition of history through the Old Testament.

I completed the whole reading of the Bible…straight through from Genesis to Revelation in a college class…when I was very young…in my 20′s, in fact.

I took on this challenge because a niece of mine plugged me in…and 2 others made me aware of this group who were reading the Bible through.

We began with 1 Samuel…and have moved back and forth from the O.T. to the N.T.  We are following the outline of our leader’s church.

We just completed 1 Corinthians…what a great book…actually it is one letter to the church of Corinth from Paul.

Tomorrow and Friday’s reading is Haggai…a very short book…only 2 chapters.

Yeah!! Another book completed of the 66 total.  Woo Hoo!!

Well, as you see my title is based on Haggai 1: 4

I want you to turn to your Bible and read Haggai 1…I’m in the NKJV…

After asking the question in the title…Haggai is prophesying…and beginning with verse 5, we find:

Now, therefore, says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways!”

6) “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but you do not have enough; Your drink, but you are not filled with drink; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.

7) Thus says the LORD of host: “Consider your ways!”

8) “Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LORD.

9) “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the LORD of hosts, “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.

10) “Therefore the heavens above withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.

11) “For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”

12) Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehoazdak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him; and the people feared the presence of the LORD.

13) Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, spoke the LORD’s message to the people, saying, ” I am with you, says the LORD.”

14) So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the Son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God.

Whooooaaaaa!!!!! I mean what about that?

You mean, our God holds back the rain from His children…His people?  He allows us to sow and not reap. To buy food and not have enough.  He allows things to happen to us.

YES!!!!!!!! a hundred times YESSS!!!!!

Why? Why would He do this?

Because just like this scripture says, ” we are running to our own house”…we are seeing about ourselves and what is ours…mine…looking after me!!

And, what about the LORD’s House!!!

Now, today we don’t live in community and attend one temple…like this story!

But we are individually and corporately the temple of the Holy Spirit!

Just how are you individually? I mean spiritually? How do you spend your time and your money?

How is your church? Bible Study? Prayer group?

Are there any sick? Are there any needs not met? Are there any needing a glass of water, food, clothing, a place to stay?

I remember when the LORD made me aware of my condition of not tithing.  I remember when everything was falling apart and I read this scripture.

I remember telling my husband…we have to start giving…or we will always have holes in our pockets.  We were very poor…I mean very!!!!!

We were working soooo hard and it was not going far enough!!! We had 3 children…we had things breaking down…we were fighting all the time…

And, Haggai spoke to me!!!

I heard and received for us!!!

I pray this ministers to you! I was not a tither…I knew to be…taught by parents…I was cheating God!

You know, He just won’t let us cheat! He will withhold blessing from us!!

How? I mean it can be abundantly raining all around the disobedient child of God and we not receive one drip.

So easy, now, that I’m old…

Now, I have walked so long with Him…my JESUS…that when things are not going right…I always make sure that I’ve written my check…or spent my time…

I can’t out give Him!!!  Malachi speaks to my heart!

Trust Me! Try Me! Prove Me saith the LORD of Hosts and see!! If a Blessing…unmeasured Blessing…I will not pour out on thee!!

Woo Hoo!!

Until the next time…

Teddi


Sep 26, 2012

Wednesday SHINE.....

Today's Reading: 1 Corinthians 16

Happy Worship Wednesday, SHINE girls! Turn up the music, roll down the windows in your car, and praise Your Man Jesus today!

Doesn't He deserve our adoration and full-on abandon in worship? YES!

Today is my favorite day of the year! Lem and I celebrate 14 years of marriage today!

It's my favorite day because it's ours. This day belongs to us. Well, and anyone else celebrating something special today. We will kindly share this day with you as well. ;)

 But, in our little world it's just our little 24 hour day.

Oh, and I do celebrate this day ALL day. Just ask Lem. :)

On Saturday I told you I wanted to give something to one of you SHINE girls out of the overflow of Love pouring out of this little beating heart of mine. Remember?

If you didn't see it, go here and post your comment to enter to win. :)

Tonight, when I have dinner with my man, I will have him draw a winner out of all the names. It's kind of like you will be eating dinner with us! We will be celebrating YOU! Yay!

I will announce the winner in Thursday's post. :)

As I think about marriage, and life, and love and all of that today, I think about His great Love for us.

Can you even fathom? Me either.

I mean, I just think I know what love is. Really, I have no idea.

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:17-19

Girls, oh how He loves you.

Grasp this. Get this. Wrap your pretty little heart around this.

Read that verse again.

I don't know where you are right now in life. Maybe hurting, maybe suffering, maybe longing , maybe lonely, maybe hopeless.

May I tell you that Your Heavenly Father has got you in the Palm of His Hand? You are safe in that Hand of His, friend.

Lem and I do not have a perfect marriage. Far from it. However, I am learning daily, that I should never expect him to be my "everything." Ever.

Lem is not capable of being my "everything", nor am I capable of being his. We are flawed. We are messed up. We are flesh. The older I get, the easier that is to swallow.

I truly believe that our relationships here on Earth are not perfect for a reason.

If they were perfect, we would have no need for our Savior. We would not need Him. Right?

When others fail us (oh, and do they fail us), we hurt. But, guess who is waiting in the wings of that big shadow of your heart heart for your attention?

Jesus.

He knows others fail us. That's why He never will. He can't. It's impossible.

Take a minute and roll around in that, sweet girl.

Others will fail us, they will.

He will never fail you.

He loves you more than you will ever understand.


Romans 8:37-39 "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 5:8 "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."




Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."


thankful that all else may fail--but His love never will,

jill


Sep 25, 2012

Tuesday SHINE....


Today's Reading: 1 Corinthians 15

Happy Tuesday, sweet SHINE girls!

So, here's where I'm at.  Some friends and I are right smack  in the middle of a "Love Dare Challenge." We are on Day 21, so the last few weeks have had my heart consumed with this "Love" thing. 

Remember, I posted about "Love" several times last week. (I'm kind of a one-track-minded girl.)

This is our 2nd annual Love Dare Challenge, and it's so much fun! (yet hard some days.)

Okay, so in March of this year, I had the pleasure of sharing the following story with our SHINE girls. Some of you were SHINE girls way back then, however a lot of you were not yet SHINE girls.

I feel led by the Holy Spirit to post her story again. These words have stuck with me and I bet they will stick with you too.

Be blessed by a fellow SHINE sister's testimony. It will knock your socks off.

Let me just end by saying this : If you cannot relate to this story--maybe you are not married, maybe you have a wonderful marriage--but, someone you know will need to hear these words. Maybe not today, but one day. YOU may be the one to share these words with a friend who is struggling and desperate for Hope. 

Our friend wishes to remain anonymous out of respect for her husband and her marriage. 

My Story:
by: your fellow SHINE girl

When you don’t think God can, when you don’t think God will, when you know God forgot you…

You know me; I am your sister, your friend. You know my name.  I write this because it’s one of those things you have to write down… to believe it’s actually true.

I was raised in the church, loved the Lord and then turned away in college.  I didn’t go “hog wild,” but I did what I wanted to and left my faith at home. I dated the wrong guy and then the 2nd wrong guy. I married the 2nd wrong guy and wondered why “happily ever after” wasn’t so happy??

 My husband drank.  He was 24 when we married, so no big deal. Every 24 year old drinks, right? I loved him and he was handsome and smart, everything would be just fine, right?  But, my man drank to excess every single time he drank, every day. Quickly, I could tell that it was becoming problematic and he was like a stretched rubber band and I couldn’t protect him from stretching himself past the limit and breaking.  He didn’t listen to me; he didn’t understand my need for him to settle down.  WE CLASHED.  He was out of control.  Now, when he was sober, he melted my heart and we were friends, but those moments dwindled into an abyss of drinking, spending, partying and lies. 
This went on for years and years, SEVEN YEARS to be exact, and I questioned God.

  I was furious that God wouldn’t change this man, and I was hopeless, desperate and searching, knowing that my husband would NEVER give up this crutch that he loved so much, alcohol.  He loved it way more than me.  The sound of a beer can opening literally made my heart race and nausea ensued.   I wanted to control him, be his momma and make it better.  I counted his beers, I would ask to leave parties early in hopes that we could exit before he acted out.  He was the life of the party until he went overboard and WE WERE MISERABLE.

Absolutely beyond hope.

We went to church through the first seven years of marriage (we had dated 5 years prior to the marriage.)  He only went to church to pacify me and he would often ask for forgiveness for the antics of the night before on the way to church. 

BARF!  I was so sick to death of the cycle and SO OVER HIM!!!!  One Sunday morning, Andy Stanley was preaching and he told us that we could ask for forgiveness for life mistakes we had made.  He said, “even if your mistake was your marriage, even if you were outside of God’s will when you chose your mate, you can confess that to the Father and ask for His blessing now. Admit you blew it, start over with God now.”

I did exactly what Andy said, as quickly as I could.  In that same heart change and in desperation, I told the Lord to CHANGE ME.

Now mind you friends---- I was NOT wrong.  He was.  I had returned to the God of my youth and my husband was falling into a black hole with no way out. I was attending Bible study. Me and the Lord were A-OK.

Even still, fixing my husband was impossible and he bucked every suggestion I made, anyhow.  So, my prayer began (quietly and with hardly any faith at all, totally and completely hopeless) Lord, change me.

Lord, change me.
Lord, change me.
Lord, change me.

If he could just not drink anymore, but how?  That would never happen.

So…I began to take a “hands off” approach to managing his problem for him. I didn’t talk to him about his drinking (as much), I tried to ignore it. I tried to love him anyway as his weight ballooned and his problem worsened.  Oh man, and I almost lost all hope.  People began to notice that he often smelled of alcohol, asking me what I was going to do… “Lord, change me.”
In the middle of mayhem, we started a family.  Yeah, I know.  Insanity.

I began to entertain these thoughts:
Everyone is happy, except for us. “Look at that couple, they’re happy.”  I compared us all the time.
I could just move on;   --find someone that I don’t have to “fix.”
He is gross; I CANNOT STAND to look at him.
It’s over, dead, done. Why am I here?
I don’t deserve a happy marriage.
I should have NEVER married him.  Why, did I do this?!

These were all lies from the prince of liars (satan) but, you couldn’t have told me that then.  I only believed that I was in a dead, hopeless marriage.

We fought. Outrageous, horrible fights. It was awful. I couldn’t hide my misery.  I could never fully explain how hopeless and how bad it was.   He was often wasted, so he didn’t remember our fight or know how bad it was!  I was so alone.

Then, the kicker came. Things got worse. I found that his spending had spiraled out of control. I confronted him and he lied, I asked, then begged him to be honest. “Whatever it is, we will get through it” I promised.  He said, “I am a cocaine addict on top of my alcoholism.” THUD.
MY HEART SANK---
WHAT???  I HAD NO HOPE.

I was this “goody two shoes” married to a “coke head?”  Really?  I had NEVER experimented with drugs. Never seen cocaine.  I was so na├»ve.  I had no idea.  Let me also mention that I had 2 little babies.  I kept on hearing my promise to my husband, “Whatever it is, we will get through it.” I couldn’t back out now.  I had to keep my word. He was entitled to a chance to make it right.  But was he?  Almost everybody tried to convince me to leave.  I just knew he couldn’t get better.  I knew he couldn’t be well. I had no hope.  Well, maybe a little, tiny, tiny bit of hope… I had also promised, “in sickness and in health I would love and honor him.”

He promised it would get better, but he had made that promise so many times before.  I said, “this is your first and last chance to get sober. No drinking. No drugs. Period. ”  He agreed.

I said, “I have no hope.” My husband said, “I have hope and I know that I can make this right.  I don’t want ‘this’ life anymore.”  He started his journey of recovery later that night as he went to his first “meeting.”

That was over 4 years ago. 

It’s is hard, as I write this, to explain what the Lord has done.  Goodness gracious.
My husband never drank another sip of alcohol. The Lord took away his desire for drugs.
He worked through his problem in a forum called NA and went to 90 meetings in 90 days and countless meetings beyond that.

Over time he became the professional that he had always dreamed of being, respected in his career and field of work.

He became the husband I had always hoped to have: A growing Christian, my friend, my protector, my lover, a wonderful, incredibly devoted father to our children.  A diamond of a man.
He loves the Lord and wants to honor Him.  Putting the Lord first in our family, raising our children in the saving knowledge of the Lord, Jesus Christ...

And so, those 2 babies are now 3 babies.

{Oh!  And, little ole’ me?  The Lord did change me. I began to learn to submit myself to my husband in our marriage as God designed.  I gave him the support that God requires as a wife and helper.  I began to give him the trust he was earning with his actions. I began to forgive him, girls, it took years.  The Lord gave me a love for this man, my husband, like never before. We lived for the future, we didn't talk about every thing that happened. We quit hashing out all of the wrongs. We realized that if we were a family in recovery, we had to look forward, to our new life together. It was real, deep down forgiveness.}

Miraculous.

And what satan meant for EVIL, the Lord turned to good.

Genesis 50:20  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

{Or the saving of many marriages…}

Is the Lord planting seeds of hope in your life? Is he just waiting on your obedience?  He was waiting on mine.  He still is!! Every day the Lord is hoping we wake up and become obedient to Him so that he can bless us and work through us.

Just to be clear, satan wants your marriage to fail.  Don’t you know… He wants your divorce to be the model your children also follow.  He wants to wreck your life, for generations to come, with you as a willing participant.

A good friend said to me recently, “The Lord did not call us to be happy, it is nowhere in the Bible. NO. He called us to be HOLY and seek Him in everything we do.” 
So, what if aren’t looking for the happiness the world gives, but looking for JOY in our faith in Jesus Christ? Instead choosing to be filled with His JOY, Divine JOY… He can work.  He will work. He will use it ALL for good.

You may decide to start by asking the Lord, “forgive me for walking outside Your will, Lord. Bless my mistake, turn it to good.” Ask Him for the desires of your heart and then ask Him,  “Lord, CHANGE ME.”  Forget the wrongs of your husband, sister, mom, mother-in-law, friend, daughter-in-law, son, step son, step daughter, boss, coworker.  Lord, change ME.  And, mean it. Even if it’s just a little bit of your heart.  God can work with that.

You know what, He’s ALL OVER IT.  He’s been there all along.  Be honest and tell Him where you are and then let Him guide you back into His will.  The Lord’s “nook” beats the very nasty nest I created.  I still fail every day and I dearly want all God has for me, but my discipline in following Him is lacking, greatly. But, I am always looking to get back into the nook. Right up under His covering so that His will can be released in my life.  <3

Your SHINE sister

Sep 24, 2012

Monday SHINE....

Reading Plan for week of 9/24-9/28:
  • Monday 9/24: 1 Corinthians 14
  • Tuesday 9/25: 1 Corinthians 15
  • Wednesday 9/26: 1 Corinthians 16
  • Thursday 9/27: Haggai 1
  • Friday 9/28: Haggai 2
Happy Monday, sweet SHINE girls!

Can I just be honest? I really wanted to skip today's post. I'm tired, my head hurts, and the last thing I felt like doing was turning on my (slow) laptop and typing. 

Guess who talked me into it? I will give you one guess....

GOD!

I was arguing with Him in my head saying this: "Do I really need to post today? Everyone knows where we are in our reading. If they don't, all they need to do is look back at the reading plan. Simple! I don't really think it's necessary to post today. Do You really think I have to?"

As soon as I was finished with my complaining, I remembered the post that Rebekah did last Tuesday about putting on the Armor of God.

Some days, I feel really really good. I don't necessarily feel like I have to stay so "close" to the Lord. I get a little too brave and think, "oh, I got this today. i think i can skimp on my time with Him."

Do I have to even tell you that those are the days when the enemy punches me right in the gut as I am carelessly coasting along?

Oh yes. Every.Single.Time.

So, as I thought about the importance of putting on His Armor daily, whether we think we need it or not (we do!), I thought about this "feeling" stuff. 

No, I didn't feel like posting today. 

My body was feeling tired and it was screaming to go to bed.

However, My Father was telling me to stay the course with Him. Do it anyway. 

Obedience won over my flesh this time. (you are probably thinking I should have stayed in bed.) :)

How many times do we let our feelings win over our obedience to Him?

How many times do we give in, give up, and go with the easy path? 

How many times do we let our emotions/feelings and mouths get the best of us instead of using wisdom, patience, and humility? 

For me, it has been too many times to count. 

Isn't it always harder to do the wiser thing??

Yes, sometimes (most of the time) it is. But, oh the way you feel soon after making that better choice.

I think that feeling must be God's gift to us when we please Him. When we choose obedience over our flesh, He gives us that indescribable warmth and peace that only can come from Him.

It's Monday, girls. Let's put on our Armor. I know you're tired, sweet girl. I am too. 

Let's do it anyway. For Him. But ultimately for us. 

Let's pray on the Armor of God this morning, what do ya say?

(This prayer is from my favorite book of prayers by Germaine Copeland.)

To Put On the Armor of God
by Germaine Copeland

In the name of Jesus, I put on the whole armor of God, that I may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil; for I wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places.

Therefore, I take unto myself the whole armor of God, that I may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. I stand, therefore, having my loins girt about with truth. Your Word, Lord, which is truth, contains all the weapons of my warfare, which are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.

I have on the breastplate of righteousness, which is faith and love. My feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. In Christ Jesus I have peace and pursue peace with all men. I am a minister of reconciliation, proclaiming the good news of the Gospel.

I take the shield of faith, wherewith I am able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked; the helmet of salvation (holding the thoughts, feelings, and purpose of God’s heart); and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. In the face of all trials, tests, temptations, and tribulation, I cut to pieces the snare of the enemy by speaking the Word of God. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.

Thank You, Father, for the armor. I will pray at all times — on every occasion, in every season — in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end I will keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints. My power and ability and sufficiency are from God Who has qualified me as a minister and a dispenser of a new covenant [of salvation through Christ]. 
Amen.

Sep 23, 2012

Prayer Requests and Praises week of 9/23-9/29....





We welcome you to post your prayer requests and praises here this week. God bless you, SHINE sisters!


Sep 22, 2012

Saturday Surprise SHINE give-away....

Happy Saturday, SHINE! As always, no required reading for the weekends. Use this time to catch up if you are behind, but mostly enJOY this gorgeous weekend with your loves!

I usually don't post on Saturdays, but I have a HUGE desire to bless someone!

Here's the thing: My wedding anniversary is coming up on September 26th--this Wednesday. (yippee!)

This day is my FAVORITE day of the year. It is a reminder of God's Promises and His Love for me. He blessed me with a man that completely and perfectly fit this odd shaped puzzle piece. (me!)

So, in honor of our big day, I want to bless someone with a SHINE shirt! If you already have a shirt, you can bless someone else with one, OR you can choose a shirt in brown--our newest SHINE shirt color.  Your choice.

I am overflowing with gratitude for ALL of you. Without you, SHINE would not be possible. Seriously. It would be no fun doing this by myself. God had fulfilled this burning desire in my heart to have a bible study with all of my friends, all together. Seriously, only HE could make this happen. Blown away.

With that said, I want to honor you. I want to bless you. Will you let me? :)

Tell me something YOU love. Tell me what makes your heart beat out of your chest wall.

I cannot wait to hear!

The drawing will be held on our anniversary day. So, get your comments in! If you cannot post a comment, as always, email me at shinegirlsshine@gmail.com and  I will post for you. :-)

Thank you for letting me love on and celebrate YOU!

a heart overflowing,

jill

Here's a pic of what the shirts look like in black.
They come in all sizes as you can see! :-)
Our rehearsal dinner
September 25th 1998
(yes, we were only 12)
;)
"Better is one day in your courts, than a thousand elsewhere"
Psalm 84:10

Sep 21, 2012

Friday SHINE.....

Today's Reading: 1 Corinthians 13

Happy Fun Friday, SHINE girls!

Let's make this short and sweet, shall we?

Today, we read about Love in Chapter 13.  We talked about it in yesterday's post. Maybe you were really, really extra aware of your Love walk yesterday. (hopefully?)

Here's our Fun Friday Challenge:

There's someone in your life that trips you up when it comes to this Love Walk thing. As you were reading yesterday, maybe you even had a face that kept popping into your pretty little head.

Get a sheet of paper and a pen. (Go, get it!)

**I'm pausing until you get that piece of paper and pen**

Now, write this person's name (your unlovable person) on the sheet of paper. I know it's hard, but do it anyway.

Now, underneath this person's name, write this verse from our reading:


"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, there is NO way that you will do this challenge. There is NO way that this person is included in the "Love" part of your walk.

Do it anyway.

Even if you have to grit your teeth and throw something at me (please don't) the next time you see me.

Do it anyway.

Now, take the piece of paper and put it somewhere that will be close to you all day. Like your purse, your wallet, your pocket, your dashboard...somewhere that you will not forget.

When this unlovable person pops into your head again, I want you to take this piece of paper back out and read the verse out loud. If you cannot read it out loud, then you must read it twice in your head.

Got it?

Good.

Enjoy this day, friends. Hearts are changing, chains are breaking, and healing is taken place. Oh, you better believe it.

i will have no friends after this post,

jill  :-)


Sep 20, 2012

Thursday SHINE.....

Today's Reading: 1 Corinthians 12

Happy Serve Day Thursday, SHINE girls! Today serve someone in your path! Be the hands and feet of Jesus to someone. Make a difference in someone's life!

The strangest thing: I'm sitting on my back porch listening to the breeze blowing in the trees. Birds are chirping, nature is doing it's beautiful thing. All week I have been ready to write this post about Love. It was going to be my Fun Friday Challenge post.

Well, guess what? Today is THURSDAY! We are reading chapter 12 today, and the post that I wanted to write about is in chapter 13 of our reading--which we will be reading tomorrow.

So, there must be something to this. I am just gonna go with it. God purposefully planted me here on the back porch surrounded by His Presence at this very second to write this post. So, here goes. Hopefully He will lay something fresh on my heart for tomorrow. I'm trusting You, Lord!

Let's talk about Love. There's a lot of talk about love, isn't there? Books are written, songs are sung, movies are made surrounding this one 4 letter word. L-o-v-e.

What is love?

Well, Paul breaks it down for us in 1 Corinthians ch. 13 (tomorrows reading!) ;)

Here it is:

 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 corinthians 13:4-8

So, we kind of know this verse pretty well. I mean, it is spoken at almost every wedding I have ever been to. It is quoted a lot. Agree?

Well, let's bring it into reality for a minute.

I want us to insert our names everywhere the word "Love" or "it" is in this verse. Got it?

For example: : "Jill is patient, Jill is kind. Jill does not envy, Jill does not boast."

Now, you do the same with your name.

Whoa. Kind of speaks loudly doesn't it?

Here's the thing, girls. If we have the Spirit of God inside of us, we have this fruit of the Spirit inside of us at ALL times.  Just so you remember here is the proof: "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself" 1 corinthians 6:19

Remember that verse? We just read this chapter last week.

Love. Love is the very first fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22. The FIRST one!

So, stick with me here. If it is a fruit of the Spirit, then it is not just a gift that some of us have, it is a gift that ALL of us have that are believers in Christ. Right? (I know that you are thinking of someone in your life and shaking your head in disbelief!) :)

This kind of Love is not based on feelings, emotions, and circumstances. This kind of Love comes only from the Holy Spirit inside of us!

Girls, this is so important to me. This to me, is the make-or-break in our journey with Him. If we can wrap our little hearts and minds around this, things will CHANGE. Mountains that have been in your life for decades will crumble.

Why do we get stuck in our faith journey? Why does it seem that others are "getting it" while we remain super-glued to the same spot?

With all of my heart, I believe that it has EVERYTHING to do with our Love walk. I will be bold enough to say that when we are spiritually stuck--somewhere along the way, our love walk has taken a fork in the road instead of trudging through the "hard" and shaky dirt road that Love often leads us down.

We take that fork in the road when the love part is just too hard. We have been too hurt. We have been too abused. We have been too rejected. We have been too broken.

Girls, I want to look you in the eye--or in the computer screen--and tell you this: NOTHING is so big that Love cannot cover. NOTHING. "Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]."
 1 Peter 4: 8

With our own strength and flesh, this is impossible. However, with the Spirit of the Living God living inside of us ANYTHING is possible.  "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

 "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (8) Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."
1 John 4:7-8

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (13) Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. (14) You are my friends if you do what I command you."John 15:12-14

Or how about this little doozie:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment. (39) And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:36-40

If you were to google the words "scriptures about Love", you would get hundreds. He teaches Love in His Word over and over and over.

Think back to all of the stories we have read or that you have heard from the Bible over your sweet little life time. What is the common thread of the heroes: David, Moses, Daniel, Esther, Peter, Samuel, Mary?  Most of all, the biggest hero of all: Jesus.

The common thread they all shared was LOVE. In some way, form or fashion, they made a choice to Love when faced with life's toughest trials. They pushed through. They endured. They did not take the well-traveled fork in the road.

Starting today, let's grab the Father's hand and walk down the narrow dirt road which is less traveled. Only blessings and life to the fullest you will find at the end of that path, sweet girls. Trust Him to carry you when you feel like you cannot go on because your feet are tired and you need a break. Oh, sweet girl, He's got you.

Let's get this Love thing down, once and for all. When we get to His Throne one day, I want us to all be able to say, "Oh, but I loved, My King. I Loved just like You commanded."



I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. 
Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another."
John 13: 34




lacing up my walking shoes,

jill





Sep 19, 2012

Wednesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: 1 Corinthians 11

Happy Worship Wednesday, SHINE girls! What's on your agenda today?

Have you put on your to-do list:

  • Worship the Lord!

If not, go ahead and get a sharpie and add that to your list. I'm grabbing my sharpie now and will put it at the very top of my list! Do the same with me, will you?

What do you think people would say if they asked you what was on your agenda today and you said..."Well, the FIRST thing I will be doing is worshiping the Lord!"

They would probably think you were a little goofy and a little too charismatic.

Now, what do you think Jesus would think?

Do you think He would be smiling from ear to ear? Do you think His heart would be overflowing with Love for you? YES! Me too!

The Lord keeps showing me a story from Luke Chapter 7 (vs. 36-50). You are probably familiar with the story. If not, that's okay, we are about to crash this little dinner party. Ready?

Jesus is having dinner with some folks. A sinful woman comes to the party.

 "A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.  As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them."

The story continues with the men telling Jesus that this woman is a sinner--and well known for her sin.

Jesus replies with a story of forgiveness.

 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Oh, girls, I can hardly contain myself reading this! When I think about my life and the many mistakes, sins, regrets, and failures that I have made....I think about the magnitude of His Grace and Mercy towards me. Little ol' me! Not just me, but ALL who put their faith in Him. Wow.

Can you imagine the  humility it took this woman to enter the place where Jesus was eating dinner, wash His feet with her tears, dry them with her hair, and then pour her costly perfume on His feet? His feet!

Are we living our lives with such humility, such thankfulness, such worship for our Savior?

The perfume that the woman was pouring on His feet was worth a LOT to this woman. It was actually considered a very reckless and foolish gesture to "waste" such a thing.

What means the most to you?

For me, it is my time. The older I get, the more valuable my time is. Time with my husband, my children, my family, my friends.

So, if I were the woman in this story, instead of a jar of perfume, I would have been throwing my calendar out the window, canceling all activities, and sitting at the feet of Jesus. Time would have been of no value if it were Jill in this story and not this woman.

Now, let's bring the story back to present day. What are we sacrificing in order to put Him first? Or, are we sacrificing anything.

This story brings it all into perspective for me. This woman knew the value of being in the Presence of Jesus. She was willing to give all she had in order for those few minutes with Him.

I challenge all of us today to be like this woman. Let's put aside something that means a lot to us today, in order to worship our King.

Let's show Him today that He is our FIRST priority. Nothing comes before Him.

"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple." Psalm 27:4

Let's live in a way that doesn't just "fit Him into our schedule", but instead let's "fit our schedule into HIM!"

Maybe your schedule will not allow flexibility in any way today. That's okay. Worship Him in capturing Your thoughts unto Him, worship Him in your speech, worship Him in your mannerisms and in your love walk. Or, how about worshiping Him in your prayer life today. Girls, that all counts!

"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His Holy Name." Psalm 103:1

I will leave you with the end of the story from Luke:

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 

You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.  You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”


throwing out my calendar,

jill


Sep 18, 2012

Tuesday SHINE....



Today's Reading: 1 Corinthians 10

Good morning, SHINE girls! 

It is my pleasure to introduce to you fellow SHINE sister and frequent poster here on SHINE, Rebekah Vepraskas. 

Rebekah and I go way back. Way, way back. I love the guts out of this girl. She's the kind of friend that is always in tune with the Holy Spirit. Yes, like always.

She's also the kind of friend that when she says she will pray for you, not only will she pray for you, but she will PRAY for you! Seriously, she does. 

Be blessed by Rebekah's post today. Grab your coffee and soak in the wisdom, friends.


for you visual girls:
here is Rebekah and her handsome boys!


Preparedness...?
Rebekah Vepraskas
I have been puzzled by certain thoughts lately… it's been really weird. I’m sorry, indulge me.  I have been thinking about how as modern day women, we have all of these accoutrements or items to prepare us for any inconveniences, elements or problems. We have glass cleaner for foggy glass. We have a vacuum for crumby floors. We have bibs and diapers to help us control definite messes to come with our babes.  We even have seat belts to keep us safely in our seats. (Not to mention the little bell that rings if someone forgets to buckle up!) Somehow, God created our faces to hold glasses… with ears at the perfect angle to hold on spectacles enabling us to see or be protected from the sun. Frankly, we are prepared for almost any obstacle life throws our way.

On Sunday morning, I got into the front seat of our car. The sun was at the perfect height to be almost blinding. Light was bouncing everywhere. It was about 9am.  I sat down in my seat and thought, ‘sunglasses. I think they’re in the other car…’ Then, I thought, it will be ok, the light was bright, but beautiful and I began to pray as my husband began to drive us to church. ‘Lord, what is it with these preparation things that you keep pointing out to me with all of our modern conveniences? We have something for everything, I understand that. So now what?’ 

Nothing. He said nothing to me and I began to run through in my mind all of the preparation I went through to get ready: shower, blow dryer, make up, coffee maker, travel coffee cup and a purse to carry around anything else I may need… My thoughts ran away with me and I was still confused.

We began to worship in song at church (my favorite part of Sundays) and I prayed to God, silently in my spirit, ‘Lord, please show me how all of these things (I keep on recognizing) apply to you? I don’t understand. We are spoiled? Not able to deal with anything inconvenient?’ I heard, ‘Put on the armor of God.’ 

Me: ‘Oh, of course. We can prepare spiritually by putting on the armor of God! It’s our spiritual answer to protection… But, Lord, can this be what you have been trying to tell me for weeks? Is it? If this is what you have been trying to tell me, show me, Lord!’

Fifteen minutes later... We sat down after worship and our pastor, Kris McDaniel, asked us to open our Bibles. He said, “Today we are going to look at what the Bible says about the armor of God.”

I AM NOT KIDDING!!! 

I began to shake my head, I closed my Bible and I began to cry.

Now, listen to this~ Our sweet mother had us recite this long prayer every morning as we started our day, which included the armor of God. I know this passage of scripture by heart. A passage of scripture that I have not dusted off in at least 20 years. Many of those years, I have faced life more or less unprepared, spiritually. Not anymore.

Ephesians 6:10-18
New International Version (NIV)
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace,16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.


These are my notes from the incredibly enlightening service and some more grown up reflections about the Armor of God. 
In the 14th verse: Paul begins- 
1st) By putting on the belt of truth: because truth is the foundation of our lives.
2nd) Then the breast plate of righteousness: because this is how are hearts are protected.
3rd)  Next our feet are covered with the Gospel of Peace: because we need His peace wherever we go.
4th) Paul explains that our we are to take up the Shield of Faith: because it protects us and keeps us safe.
5th) We place the Helmet of Salvation on our heads because: we need to protect our minds (our minds are where our faith comes from.)

This is the best part!

6th) Finally, we take up the Sword of the Spirit: because, Paul explains, it is the word of God.

(as a little girl I always imagined wielding the Bible like a sword. That may not be exactly what Paul had in mind.)

THIS WAS WRITTEN BEFORE THE BIBLE EXISTED IN IT’S CURRENT FORM.

Here, we can refer back to the gospel for an explanation of what Paul is saying. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” 
John 1:1

The word=God

Y’all, the “sword of the Spirit” is God. It’s Jesus. It’s His power in us. We have Him when we take up the sword of the Spirit.  I submit to you that it’s not only the “word of God,” it’s the “words of God!” 

As a counselor, I am entering crisis situations every time I meet with a patient. Sometimes, several times a day. I cannot tell you what a comfort and difference it makes to enter these situations with the armor of God to protect every vulnerability I have in my life.

I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit about the significance of the armor of God in your life!

Slipping on my Armor,
Rebekah