Dec 31, 2012

Prayer Requests and Praises for January 2013....

Prayer Requests and Praises for 12/31-1/31 2013


As we begin this new year, we will have a little change in our prayer request page. We will now have monthly prayer request pages. I feel this is a needed change, because we have many requests that come in and they need constant prayer.

If we have them on this page monthly, we will be reminded over and over again to lift up these needs.

We have many SHINE girls lifting your requests to the Father, and standing in the gap for your needs. Prayer is powerful. Let's use this power to change the world!

on my knees,

jill

Monday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Psalm 115

Happy Monday, SHINE girls! Tomorrow is the start of a new day...and a new year! Wow!

Two things and I will let you go on your merry little New Years Eve way.

First, I don't have our reading plan for the week yet. I only have today posted. As soon as I get it, I will post it here on the website. 

Secondly, we have our Monday Memory verse! I prayed that the Lord would show me a verse that would be fitting to start this New Year with. 

He showed me Psalm 119:105:

"Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path."
Psalm 119:105

SHINE is all about reading His Word, daily. So, what better scripture than this one? His Word is our lamp, it is our light. It is our everything.

I made a pretty little printable below with our scripture this week. Print it out if you want, or write it down in your little notecard book we talked about a few weeks ago. :)

I will not have cute, pretty little printables every week. I just had a little extra time today and put this little ditty together. :) 

Okay, girls! Go, read, pray and get ready to ring in the New Year! 

celebrating a new year to worship our Savior,

jill

If you click on this, 
you can print it out, share it on twitter,
or on facebook. 
pretty cool, huh?
 oh, the things you find on the internet.
(can you tell I have been lazy this weekend?)

Dec 28, 2012

Friday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Luke 24
Weekend Reading: Isaiah 53 & Psalm 22

Happy Fun Friday, SHINE girls! Wow, it is so good to be back and to write to you sweet girls!

I sure hope your Christmas was overflowing with goodness! Besides the sickness that hit our house the week of Christmas, we had a wonderful week full of precious memories!

Today, we finish our reading in Luke. As we read about the death and resurrection of Jesus, I am reminded of another year ending and a new year beginning.

I love the start of a new year. It's a clean slate. A fresh start.

Don't you just love that?

A few years ago, I did a bible study. I remember this sentence as clear as a bell: 

"You are who you've been becoming."

That sentence stuck with me and continues to stick with me.

It's powerful.

At the time, it was like a huge light bulb went off in my head. "Who am I becoming?? Do my daily actions and routines embody who I want to become?"

Sometimes we get stuck. We are creatures of habit, so we do the same things over and over. Even when we derive no benefit from it.

Sometimes it just takes a very conscious action on our part to change. We just have to make the decision and do it. Period.

What is it that needs to be changed in your life? What in your life needs a major tune-up or maybe even needs to be totaled out all together?

If you are not sure, pray about it. Ask God to show you what needs some re-assessing. He will.

Our Fun Friday Challenge:

Think about who you've been becoming over this past year. Is this person the person that you desire to become? Or is it just something that has creeped up on you because you have not put the effort into making a change.

I know this is not an easy challenge. However, we need to be challenged in a real way. An honest way. It keeps us sharp and it keeps us polished.

We need to SHINE for Him, right?

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, 
and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
Matthew 5:16


tuning up, 

jill


Dec 24, 2012

Monday SHINE.....

Reading Plan for the week of 12/24-12/30:


  • Monday 12/24: Luke 1
  • Tuesday 12/25: Luke 2
  • Wednesday 12/26: Luke 22
  • Thursday 12/27: Luke 23
  • Friday 12/28: Luke 24
  • Saturday & Sunday 12/29-12/30: Isaiah 53 & Psalm 22


Merry Christmas Eve, SHINE girls!

Pay close attention to the reading plan this week. We are reading Chapters 1 and 2 in Luke today and tomorrow. These chapters recount the birth of Christ.

Grab your Bibles, a blanket, a cup of warm coffee, and snuggle up to the greatest story ever told. The story of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

After Christmas Day, we go back to Chapter 22 in Luke and finish out from there.

We will not have a new verse to memorize this week. So, this will give you time to work on last week's if you haven't quite gotten it smoothed out yet. :)

Here's the verse to refresh your sweet memory:

"Do not be anxious for anything, 
but in everything, by prayer and petition, 
with thanksgiving, 
present your requests to God."
Philippians 4:6

Merry Christmas, SHINE girls! May His Love surround you and fill you with JOY this week!

much love,

jill

Dec 21, 2012

Friday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Luke 19
Weekend Reading: Luke 20 & 21

Happy Fun Friday SHINE girls!

Just a few days now until Christmas, girls! Are you so excited? Me too!

Your Fun Friday Challenge:

Keep Jesus in your hearts this weekend in all you do.

Focus on the gift of Him from our Heavenly Father.

The best gift ever.

Enjoy your weekend, sweet girls!

grateful for the gift of Jesus,

jill



Dec 20, 2012

Thursday SHINE.....

Today's Reading: Luke 18

Happy Serve Day Thursday, SHINE girls! Today we serve those around us. Pray that the Lord will show you ways to help and serve others today. Maybe it is an act of service or kindness. Or maybe it is serving someone with our time. Pray that the Lord will guide you and direct your steps today. He will!

I'm behind on my reading, so I am going to take today to catch up. My body feels like it has been hit by a semi-truck, twice.

The doctor confirmed yesterday that I have the flu. Yuck.

I pray that YOU all are staying well! A good way to do that is to stay at least 30 feet away from me and my house. You do not want this stuff. No fun. At all.

My Joseph has it now too. Poor baby.

Okay girls, so take time to read today. Take time to serve today. Those are your orders. ;)

Thank you for all of your well wishes and love! It sure means a whole lot and it sure makes me smile! Even through the aches and pains! :)

this is how i feel. and how i look.
just in case you were wondering. :)


Stay well, friends!

popping the Advil,

jill


Dec 17, 2012

Monday SHINE....

Reading Plan for week of 12/17-12/23:

  • Monday 12/17: Luke 15
  • Tuesday 12/18: Luke 16
  • Wednesday 12/19: Luke 17
  • Thursday 12/20: Luke 18
  • Friday 12/21: Luke 19
  • Saturday & Sunday: Luke 20 & 21

Happy Monday, sweet SHINE girls!

Are you ready for your Monday Memory Verse? Me too!

This verse kept popping up at me everywhere the last few days. There are many things in this world that we do not understand. We never will.

We are not supposed to be able to "explain" it all. Our God is Sovereign. He's in control. Always has been, and always will be.

There's great comfort in knowing that He has us all in the palm of His big hands. Shew. Now that's a major relief.

Our verse for this week is found in Philipians 4:6




My children already know this one by heart. They learned it in a song from church. 

Girls, when we learn scripture, even through song, we are hiding His Word in our hearts.

Just recently, I used the word "anxious" in a sentence. My daughter spoke right up and said:

"Do not be anxious, about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

When we feel those feelings of worry, anxiety, and fear rising, we can go quickly to His Word. His Word that is now hidden in our hearts. Just like my little girl's. 

We believe His Word even more when we use it in our everyday lives. It becomes a part of us. It lives in us. It dwells in our hearts ready to comfort, soothe, and minister not only to ourselves but to others.

Write it down, girls. Start reciting it. Speak it out loud. Get cozy with it this week. 

You are being changed by Him day by day. What a beautiful sight. 

grabbing my note card and sharpie,

jill

Dec 16, 2012

Prayer Requests and Praises for the week of 12/17-12/30.....

Please put your prayers and praises under this post. We love lifting you to the Father, daily.


Dec 15, 2012

Saturday SHINE....

Weekend Reading: Luke 13 & 14

I will not be giving daily challenges for our Giving Christmas Away here on the SHINE blog, but I wanted to share this one with you that I challenged my friends with today.

Giving Christmas Away:

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

Today, pray that God will open your eyes WIDE to the needy and forgotten around you!

Ask the Lord to put them in your path. HE WILL!

Be prepared to GIVE them something. A  smile, a word of encouragement, a cup of coffee, a small gift card for food, a warm blanket you may have lying around, a jacket that is hanging in your closet. ANYTHING.

The key is being prepared. Have something with you to give...even if it is just your pretty smile!

This is a BIG challenge! We can do this! 

Get ready for God to show up BIG today, girls!

Happy giving!

jill




Dec 14, 2012

Friday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Luke 12

Happy Fun Friday, SHINE girls!

Wow! What a week this has been!

I am SO excited to announce that we delivered the SHINE Mission Project Donations to The Sparrows Nest in Athens this week.

Needless to say, I was blown away by what the Sparrows Nest is doing for the homeless community in Athens. Wow.

I met  many incredible people that I hope to see again one day.

From left:
Jerome (nickname: Bear), Bernice, Angela, Wiley, Missy, and Chris


                   same folks--minus Missy, plus me on the end. :)
They were VERY grateful for YOUR donations! 
'
So, thank YOU, again!

Speaking of giving...

Our Fun Friday Challenge:

It's the 12 Days of Giving Christmas Away Challenge!

I gave this challenge to some friends on Wednesday, and they were all on board with doing this!

Are you?

Here's what you do: For the next 12 days, give ONE thing away to someone every day.

It does NOT have to be of monetary value. 

For example: My son helped a kid at school with his homework. He GAVE his time away. 

You can give anything! Your time, some encouraging words, a note to someone, offer to help someone with a project or run an errand for them,. a back rub for you hubby...get creative, girls!

At the end of the day, talk to your family or some friends about what you did that day to give Christmas away. 

This challenge forces us to be others-focused. Don't you just love that?

Okay, you know the deal....

Now, GO! GIVE!


give it away girls,

jill

Dec 13, 2012

Thursday SHINE....


Today's Reading: Luke 11

Happy Serve Day Thursday, SHINE! Guess what we do today? We SERVE! 

If we serve those around us in small ways, it can make a BIG difference! Just think of a time when someone did a small act of kindness for you. How did it make you feel? 

See what I mean? :)

Today, my precious friend Michelle Chapman is posting her SHINE girls serving story.

I could literally write an entire blog about this sweet friend. She has been such a great friend to me over the years. I am incredibly blessed to know her and call her my friend!

Before you read, please disregard the embarrassing praise that she gives me. I blushed reading it, and begged  her to let me take it out of the post.  

We arm wrestled over it, and she won. (not really.) :)

Get ready to be blessed by Michelle's serving story. It's good, good stuff.

My Story
by: Michelle Chapman

Hi y'all!  Okay--I'm SO not a writer...when sweet, sweet Jill asked me if I would post (way back in October :/), I honestly thought she texted the wrong person (true story: )  I'm all over the place and go from one thing to the next, but I'm going to try really hard to keep it to the point and somewhat "together".  Praying God will just lay his sweet hands on mine while I type and my boggled mind just flow words of the Spirit not the flesh...
 
I can't sit here and type this without giving credit to Jill and this SHINE blog. It has literally changed my life. Jill has changed my life. I hope I'm not embarrassing her, but for all of those that know Jill, you know--she is amazing! Beyond A-mazing! I've honestly never met anyone like her! She inspires me. She loves me when I'm so unlovable! She is the epitome of a true spirit led and fed friend. She is so wise and always there for me...you can see the spirit just radiating from her beautiful face! Jill & SHINE have been SO humbling for me. God knew I needed her!
 
Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" 
 
Where to start?  My testimony and life is somewhat of a boring one...It's kind of weird, but I feel like I have known Jesus my whole entire life.  We never attended church regularly, but Mom & I would go sometimes and I would go to VBS and to Church with my Aunt Lisa a lot when I was little.  I always LOVED church.  Adored church.  It always just felt right to be in the Lord's house and I always felt so loved by Jesus ever since I can remember.  Well--I was saved when I was 17.  It was truly amazing...y'all all know the feeling when the Holy Spirit stirs your heart and you don't remember anything after that moment but LOTS of tears and just pure joy and love for Jesus!!!  I told everyone...I wanted to scream it from the rooftops!  Well...of course I was on fire for awhile.  I attended church and read my Bible, but slowly stopped going to church and reading my Bible.  Then, I went off to college.  He never ever left me, but I left him : (  So sad to admit that, but all I was concerned with was the "college life".  Then I met my soul mate...my now husband.  Thank the good Lord he was a Christian and we talked about God A LOT (Although our dating years were NOT easy, I honestly can say it made us stronger and what we are today).  We got married In October of 2000.  Our first couple years of marriage was hard, but God pulled us through it and we moved to North Georgia where we live now.  We started a family and started going to an awesome church. 




 
Girls, I THOUGHT for so long that I was right with God...I am a natural law follower so that part is easy.  We went to church, I read my Bible(not enough), prayed(not enough) and taught my children about the Lord.  I had Faith and loved the Lord with all of my heart, but I never truly "Let go and let God".  I wasn't giving him my all.  I was miserable...FOR YEARS!  I would commit to changing during church and wanting SO bad to be all He has in store for me, but I just never seemed to change.  It just was never enough.  I know He expected so much more out of me!  I felt like a failure.  I just couldn't understand WHY I couldn’t change.  Why was I so desperately holding on to this ugly, ugly flesh of mine??  Ugh!   I would cry every single Sunday at church because my heart was SO heavy.  This is when he slowly and sweetly started teaching me obedience, the meaning of it and truly what it means to die to oneself.   HE patiently waited on me...Oh' girls, I just LOVE how He has SO much patience with us stubborn ones!!! He is just SO good!  I started fully understanding what these two verses meant:   
 
Galatians 5:16--"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."
 
Luke 9:23--Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."
 
 
In complete honesty:  this has been SO hard for me!  Fully giving EVERY part of my life to the Lord.  It is a daily battle!  Struggling with my flesh and living in this world is hard.  There is so much darkness and sin. I struggle with this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I yearn Goodness. Happiness. Purity. for everybody. I want everyone to know the Lord!  REALLY know Him!  I have such a heavy heart for lost souls...I am burdened by it daily and it is literally the hardest part of my Christian walk:  Witnessing. Oh, I'm SO not good at it, but desperately want to be.  My prayer to the Lord daily, is to take this "world" out of me and live wholly for the "spirit".  Oh...how I long for this!  
Titus 2:12--"Training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age"
 
Girls-I was so desperately holding on to my flesh and it was unwilling to let God in control for so long.  Even today, I still have A LOT of "flesh".  I have some major OCD and "Control issues" along with being a complete "germaphobe" (mainly just the stomach bug)...Ugh! He is again, patiently waiting for me to give all of that completely over to Him (the germ part is HARD)! I have come a LONG way though...Through much, much prayer, I, at least don't have the panic attacks anymore...PRAISE THE LORD!  Whenever I get that "hopeless" feeling of not being in control of something and anxiety starts seeping in, I cling to this verse: 
 
Matthew 17:20--He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
 
Such power in His living word!  AMEN!!! 
 
Over the past year, I have grown more in my walk than in the 20 years that I've been a Christian.  It's been unreal!  I can't even put it into words...I yearn His word.  I literally soak in every single word and have such a hard time putting it down in the morning to start my housework.  I yearn for His presence.  I pray like I've never prayed before...I fall on my face in His reverence.  I was just telling my husband the other day, that I couldn't imagine living in that place again and being so far away from God and out of His will.  I never want to experience that again!  I know as a Christian we will have our "valley's" and "peaks" on the mountain, but I can't fathom losing this closeness to my Jesus ever again!  He is teaching me so much and has taken me out to the woodshed more times than I would like to admit over the past few months.  It's so hard to explain.  This past year has been hard, but a good kind of hard.  He is teaching me to lean on Him, to trust Him in everything I do.  Simple Obedience.  I pray before I do anything now.  I fall on my face in prayer...I cry out to Him and fall at His feet...I have conversations with Him all day long.  He is my best friend and He is showing me that my spiritual gifts of discernment, faith & encouragement means serving.  He has instilled in me a heart to serve which I am FINALLY pursuing fervently!  I am so sad that I wasted so many years not fully serving Him like I should have. 
 
I feel like sometimes we just kind of live in a little bubble...taking care of our own little life and going to church and serving in the church and it stops at that.  I always thought "serving" just meant finding what your gift is in the church etc. and donating every now and then to charities and shelters and tithing.  I have been desperately seeking what my duty in the church was suppose to be for over a year now...to no avail, because I had it SO wrong...Oh my--SO wrong!  What He has taught me over the past few months is totally the opposite.  He has showed me that my serving is not in the church but in this lost and dying world...being the hands and feet of Jesus!  Making myself have a "witnessing" opportunity.  Just this past Thursday, my friend Nadine & I went and served at a local Homeless Shelter in Gainesville.  I was beyond humbled and everything about that night just felt right.  I loved every single second of it!  I couldn't believe how much He blessed ME by serving those sweet precious souls!!!  OH MY!  I am dedicated to serving there as much as I can now. That night changed my life.  I came home and wanted to give everything I had away.  I was just so distressed at how much "stuff" we had and these people had nothing!  I get SO attached to people and can still remember each face...I can't wait to go serve them again!  I now know what my Christian "serving duties" are--without a doubt.  I am fervently seeking to find other ways to serve.  My husband and I are starting to visit nursing homes every other Wed morning (you may be the only person that will ever stop by to see them and tell them about Jesus!  I have such a soft spot for the elderly).  I am collecting items for a local woman's shelter and donating weekly to our local community helping place, since we don't have a shelter here.  It's almost like I can't get enough of it!  I have found my JOY!  My life's "calling".  So humbled that he opened my heart and eyes...and so thankful that he was so patient with little ole' me!!!
 
 
Proverbs 22:9 “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.”  

Dec 12, 2012

Wednesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Luke 10

Happy Worship Wednesday, SHINE girls! Turn up the praise music and worship Jesus today! Worship Him in ALL you do!

Sing to the LORD a new song; 
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Psalm 96:1

I love Worship Wednesdays! The kids and I love popping in our favorite CD's and belting it out before the Lord!

Okay, today, I just have a couple of things to fill you in on, then I will let you get your groove back on. ;)

SHINE t-shirts: If you want to get one for you or a friend/family member before Christmas, the deadline to order them is this Friday 12/14/12.  We now offer long sleeve as well. You can click here and it will take you straight to the ordering page. If you have ANY trouble with loading that page, email me at shinegirlsshine@gmail.com and I can help you from there. :) 

Serving Opportunity:  My friend Lori Caldwell from Journey Church in Covington is looking for some volunteers to help her organize the AWESOME donations you made for our SHINE Mission Project. There is an opportunity tonight to help starting at 6:00 pm. Also, there is an availability to help this Saturday 12/15/12 from 9-2. They are very much in need of some volunteers. Will you consider it?

Please contact Lori if you would like to volunteer @ lmcaldwell@bellsouth.net


I hope you girls are using your Memory Verse a lot this week! I have quoted it over, and over, and over during some tough moments this week. It's incredible the Power that comes when we speak God's Word! Whew!

"The Joy of the Lord is my strength."
Nehemiah 8:10


Have a WONDERFUL day!

worship music blaring,

jill

Dec 11, 2012

Tuesday SHINE.....

Today's Reading: Luke 9

Happy Tuesday, SHINE girls!

Today's reading is very up close and personal for me.

The story in vs. 12-18, are the very scriptures in His Word that SHINE was founded on.

God showed me this story over and over the months before SHINE was started. I had NO idea what they meant in my life. "Why in the world are you showing me these scriptures, Lord??"

"He replied: You give them something to eat."
Luke 9:13

God was telling me that His Word was the food that needed to be passed out and fed to the hungry. I was actually the one in the most desperate needing of feeding by His Word. I needed it badly.

It all began with an email days before January 1st. I asked a few girls to read the bible with me daily.

They agreed and asked their friends to join with us.

The rest is history.

Here we are today, reading chapter by chapter of God's living breathing word. Every single day.

Girls, when God reveals scripture to you, listen to Him. Tune out the world and hear His voice. He's got big things to reveal to you!

NOTHING is coincidence. EVERYTHING is God. Remember that.

He wants to walk close with us and speak to us and tell us wonderful and glorious things. Are we listening? Or are we doing all the talking and asking?

Keep seeking Him, sweet girls. He's got treasures upon treasures stored up for you!

scripture by scripture and day by day,

jill

Dec 10, 2012

Monday SHINE.....

Reading Plan for Week of 12/10-12/17:
  • Monday 12/10: Luke 8
  • Tuesday 12/11: Luke 9
  • Wednesday 12/12: Luke 10
  • Thursday 12/13: Luke 11
  • Friday 12/14: Luke 12
  • Weekend Reading: Luke 13-14
Happy Monday, sweet SHINE girls! Are you bubbling over with JOY because the Christmas season is here?

I pray that you are. 

Let me just say that it is not always easy to find Joy during this month. Life gets really busy. People get really cranky, and our wallets get really slim. (or slimmer.)

For some of us, this Christmas brings sadness because of loved ones no longer with us. Or maybe, our lives are just not like they used to be due to change. 

My sister, Angela, has expressed this many times over the last month. Her oldest son is in the Navy this year, and her oldest daughter is away at college. 

Girls, this is HARD. 

Change is hard. 

Can I just be honest and say that I struggle with change? It is truly a daily battle for me to find JOY in the changes going on. 

The good news is: Joy is there for the taking. It always is. We just have to grasp it and embrace it.

I have prayed about what our memory verse should be this week. It is suddenly crystal clear.



I've told y'all before that this verse has been my ROCK through the years, right? Well, I think it's time to remember the promise held in this simple verse.

"The Joy of the Lord is my Strength." Nehemiah 8:10

So, grab your little notecard and write it down.

When things get hard today, say this verse out loud.

When things get sad today, say this verse out loud.

When things just are not the same, say this verse out loud.

Oh, girls! Believe in the Power of His Strength. He will never, ever, ever let you down pretty girl.

Find your strength today in that. 

**Just a suggestion: If you go to the dollar store, you can find a little 3x5 index card binder. You can store all of our Monday Memory verses in there. Keeps you organized. Plus it's handy when you need to find a verse at your fingertips! If your kids are doing it with you, get them one too!

I found this one on Etsy. I think I'll add it to my wish list.:)
The link is here.


Okay, go read your daily reading and write down your scripture. Got it? 


finding Joy in Him,

jill

Prayer Requests and Praises for the week of 12/10-12/17...:


Hey, girls! Leave your prayer requests and praises here under this post. We love lifting you up to the Father daily. If you have trouble commenting, please email me at shinegirlsshine@gmail.com and I will post your prayer for you. 

Be blessed, sweet SHINE girls!

Dec 8, 2012

Saturday SHINE....

Weekend Reading: Luke 6 & 7

Happy Saturday SHINE girls!

We have a WINNER for our SHINE girls Giving Christmas Away Prize! Yay!

My husband carefully drew the name this morning...are you ready?

Our SHINE girl winner is.....

MOLLI BROWN

Her comment was:

"My favorite will always be "Away In A Manger" - It was even Lullaby that I sang to both of my babies :)"


Your SHINE girl prize is....

A CD from this AMAZING artist...


Christa is a precious friend with an incredible voice! I am so proud of her and what she is doing for the Lord with her music! You can check out her website at www.christarooks.com.

You will  be so blessed by Christa's music, sweet Molli!

The kids and I listen to it over and over in the car!

SHINE girls, if you want to hear a sampling of the music on her CD, go to this link at Itunes and listen. 

Order yourself one, or order some for friends! You will LOVE her music!

Congratulations, Molli Brown!

Email me at shinegirlsshine@gmail.com and I will get this in the mail to you. :)

Happy Weekend Friends,

jill



Dec 7, 2012

Friday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Luke 5
Weekend Reading: Luke 6 & 7

Happy Fun Friday, SHINE girls! Do you have our memory verse memorized? You should be close!

Today, in our reading, Jesus calls his first disciples. I love this part of the New Testament!

Okay, seriously, imagine this: You are going about your business...being a homemaker, being a saleswoman, being a teacher, being a grandmother, being a student...whatever it is you do each day. It's a normal day for you.

You are going about doing your business when suddenly Jesus shows up and calls YOU to follow HIM!

Can you even fathom the thought?

Little did these men know what their future would be like. My goodness! They had NO idea the adventures in store for them with this Man, Jesus.

I must admit, I get a little envious of these twelve men. They walked, talked, dined, ministered, healed, preached, and traveled with JESUS! That's the most incredible thing I can ever imagine happening...ever.

Our Fun Friday Challenge:

Jesus tells Simon Peter in Luke 5: 10-11:

"Do not be afraid, from now on you will catch men."

"So, they pulled their boats up on shore, 
left everything and followed Him."

Today, picture yourselves being fishers of men. In everything you do, imagine you are reeling those in around you for Jesus. 

Let me warn you: This will not be easy. Some of those around you, you will not want to reel in. In fact, you may want to throw them right back. (quite possibly, even those within your own 4 walls!)

Do it anyway.

Let your attitude, your speech and your actions reflect being a fisher of men for Christ. 

Aren't we glad that Jesus reeled us in and didn't throw us back? 

Oh my, I sure am.

gone fishin',

jill

P.s...don't forget to comment under our SHINE girls give-away! Drawing TODAY! Go, comment!


Dec 6, 2012

Thursday SHINE....


Today's Reading: Luke 4

Happy Serve Day Thursday, SHINE girls! Today, we serve others! Who in your path could use a little extra help today? Maybe just a little encouragement? Reach out to them today. 

Sometimes we hesitate and think: "I will do it some other time. I'm just too busy today." 

Instead, let's say: "Today is the day! I will serve! I will keep my eyes open to the needs of others throughout my day!"

Speaking of serving....we are closing in on the end of our SHINE girls serving stories. 

Today, my sweet friend, Lori Caldwell is posting.



Lori graciously took many of our donations that were collected for our SHINE Mission Project. We had such an abundance of donations that we had to spread it over 3 different locations! Yes, for real!

In the very short time that I have known Lori, I am very impacted by her faith and her love for others. She truly has a heart that was made by the Father to serve. 

Lori has a passion for the less fortunate among us, as you will soon see.

 Be blessed and inspired by her story, sweet SHINE sisters. 

Giving Christmas Away
By: Lori Caldwell

Hello, Shine Girls! I am so excited to share something with you today, but first, I want to give a HUGE thanks to everyone who gave to the first-ever Shine Girls’ Mission Project. Thanks to YOU, families in our community will be receiving fresh FREE clothing and toiletry items through the Mission 25 Clothing Center at Journey Church, Covington.

Your donation will make a huge difference to people in need throughout the coming months, and we are so humbled and in awe of the way the Lord has worked through you! It also has served as a great reminder that the Lord is always close to the broken-hearted; He has encouraged and motivated me through your giving hearts more than you could ever know.

The purpose for my guest post today is to tell you about something very near and dear to my heart. I thank Jill for graciously allowing me to share it with you.

Could you visualize something with me for a moment? Close your eyes and picture the children you love most in this world. It may be your own kids, your nieces or nephews, a friend’s children or even the little ones you see every Sunday at church. See their sweet faces, their healthy bodies, their full bellies, their beautiful clothes and shoes. Now, imagine those same children you love so much, but with tired eyes, thin frames, barefoot, dressed in tattered garb, hungry, and alone.

The children I am about to tell you about are just like your children, and the only thing that leaves them in need of help is their geographical location. They were simply born into a harder life than the kids we know. The sad truth is that even the poorest people in our country are many times richer than most of the people in Africa

I urge you to take a moment to let that truth sink in. Even the poorest in our country are many times richer than the people from Africa.

After reading a book last summer called “Kisses From Katie”, I was hit with a huge burden to go deeper in my personal mission of helping others. I realized through the stories of this beloved young girl, Katie Davis, that there is a mission field that most of us never really think about. We are aware of the needs and issues that arise near us, but it’s easy to feel totally removed from the pain of those in other countries simply because we are unaware of it. It’s not broadcast on the news, or regularly discussed around our heavily-laden dinner tables.

But if we consider ourselves Christ-followers, we need to know. We need to be aware of this suffering and ask God to show us how we can help. I feel the Lord has not only raised my own personal awareness, but that He has called me to help raise that awareness to others. And that is why I’m writing to you today.

Through a series of events, I have been led to personally help the children of Blood of Jesus Ministries, an orphanage in the city of Jinja, Uganda, in East Africa. If you have read “Kisses From Katie” you already have a clear picture of what these sweet children are facing. There are so many children orphaned there due to difficult living conditions, disease, and malnourishment. Most Christian families take in kids that are not their own because they can’t bear to see them suffer. Others, like Pastor Ronald Lufafa, take responsibility for an even larger number of kids, creating small orphanages that struggle to survive in an area where day-to-day living is so hard.

What I am asking right now is BIG: for you, me and everyone involved. That is because we become more blessed by giving than receiving. And if we all come together, we could quite possibly be THE BIGGEST BLESSING YET for Pastor Ronald and the 25 orphans he lovingly cares for.


Are you ready? Here is the challenge: That we give some of our Christmas
away!

One year my husband decided to give away his birthday by requesting donations for charity water to help provide clean drinking water for children in another
country. This Christmas I am urging you to do something similar by providing a sponsorship to feed a child throughout the months of December & January. For just $2 a day, you can feed these children while they are out of school for break. So far 3 of these children have been sponsored, which leaves us with 22 more to go!

While our kids have a long summer break and usually spend that downtime on vacation and other fun activities, the kids at Blood of Jesus have their long break now, and spend much of their time tending to the garden and praying for ways to be able to eat every day of vacation. This long break is a big burden to Pastor Ronald because the kids no longer receive the daily meal subsidized by the school. The full responsibility of feeding them falls on him alone. This is an extraordinary burden that we can lift from this Pastor and these children. Here is how we can help.




For $60 a month, for the next three months, you can feed one child. There are 25 children. That equals $3500 to keep the entire orphanage fed during this time. Please prayerfully consider helping this ministry. I know times are tight and pray that the Lord moves us according to His will in this and that He provides in great ways for those who make this commitment. I pray that we can do something really HUGE through the grace of God! You can choose to do the full $60 per month, or just a portion of it if that is all that fits your budget. Of course, if the Lord leads you to do more, we welcome that as well. It’s my prayer that you simply pray then follow the leading that you are sensing from the Lord.


Here is a link to their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/bojmu?fref=ts), and here (http://www.bojmu.org/category/faces-of-uganda/)  is a link to their website where you can learn more and see the faces of the actual children that you would be helping out.

On a closing note, even if you are unable to help monetarily, I ask you to put this orphanage and Pastor Ronald Lufafa on your prayer list. I also ask you to do me a HUGE favor and encourage Pastor Ronald with an outpouring of LIKES on their facebook page. Feel free to leave any encouraging words that you wish to give. I know that it would mean SOOO much to him as he’s dedicated his life to care for these children.

For more information on this time of year and the needs, please take a moment to read a wonderful blog (http://www.bojmu.org/category/blog/)  by my dear friend, Kari Apted, who is also a columnist for the Covington News.

Let’s do this! Let’s Shine, Girls, by giving our Christmas away!

Dec 5, 2012

Wednesday SHINE.....

Today's Reading: Luke 3

Happy Worship Wednesday, SHINE girls! You know what today is, right?

Time to worship Your KING! Sing to Him, dance to Him, praise Him in all you do today!

Did you notice our reading today? Yes, we are starting in Luke Chapter 3. Why? Because, we are saving the birth of Jesus in chapters 1 & 2 for Christmas and Christmas Eve this month! Cool, huh?

Today is short and sweet. Just catch up on your Bible reading. Yep, that's it.

I know this new 7 day a week schedule has been a little (or maybe even a lot) more challenging. It has taken some time to get used to, right? Or, maybe it's just me. :)

Open that beautiful Bible of yours and get in His Word today. No blog post to read. Just you, God, and His Word.

Got it?

catching up,

jill

Dec 4, 2012

Tuesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: John 21

Happy Tuesday SHINE girls! Have you started memorizing your scripture yet? You better! ;)

I have heard from several of you that have it memorized already! (show-offs!) (just kidding!) I am proud of you...just a little jealous that you are so fast. ;)

We have just a couple more SHINE girl serving stories left. Boo. I am sad about this. I LOVE hearing these stories and being inspired daily by them. Don't you?

Today, Kimberlee Blazina is sharing her story. Kimberlee is a long, long, long time friend. I remember when we were in elementary school, she had the most beautiful long hair. She always had a big cute hair bow in her hair. I envied her gorgeous locks. And bows. :)

Now, she (we) are all grown up. Kimberlee is passionately pursuing Christ in her life and it's a beautiful thing!

Be blessed by her incredible story, sweet SHINE girls.

My story
by: Kimberlee Blazina

So Jill sent me a text in October asking me if I would write about a mission trip I went on over the summer.  Of course I agreed because who would turn sweet Jill down J  I have to admit though that I have been very nervous ever since she asked because I don’t write real well.  Writing is certainly not my strength in expressing my thoughts but I certainly will give it a try. 


A little back story for you.  I grew up going to church but only with my best friend and her family.  My parents never went to church except on holidays and only then it was just me and my mom.  My best friend that lived across the street went every time the doors were open and I always tagged along.  I remember the day I took Jesus into my heart we were on a retreat and my best friend looked at me and said “I don’t want to go to heaven without you” and I was saved right then and there and got baptized soon after.  Now moving along over the years I didn’t attend church as often and then got to where I wasn’t attending at all.  After I got married and my husband and I had our first child we started looking around for a church preschool for my 2 year old to attend.  We visited First United Methodist Church of Covington and we got sucked in pretty quick not only to the preschool but to the church also.  Now we are official members and both of our boys have been baptized there.  Praise God!

Okay so moving onto our mission trip.  My husband and I had done several Tuesday night studies at our church and we both had felt like we were being called to go on a mission trip.  Around the same time we had been talking about doing the study “Beyond Your Backyard” in our Sunday school class which is about stepping out of your backyard in areas to serve.  We approached our Pastor about a mission trip to Honduras that our church does every year.  He said being that neither one of us had gone on a mission trip before he suggested doing the Red Bird Mission (http://www.rbmission.org/) trip that would be coming up over the summer. Within this mission they help the community with housing improvement.  The people in Beverly, KY are very very poor and are typically older and don’t want to leave the area because they don’t know any different.  By going on this trip we could get a feel for a mission trip without having to leave the country.  We talked about it and signed up almost immediately.  I was very excited, nervous and anxious.  I am one that doesn’t like to step out of my comfort zone and I knew this would be doing just that like silly things like not knowing where exactly I’d be sleeping, being away from my kids for a full week, knowing cell service was very spotty if I got service at all (selfish silly things). 

Kimberlee & Kevin
So on Sunday, June 17th, we loaded onto our church bus and headed to Beverly, KY.  We arrived and before we could even get unpacked they had already changed our accommodations and all the women (14 of us) got put into a little building with bunk beds and 2 bathrooms.  Same with the guys but I believe there were only about 8 of them. Either way we all got a laugh at what we’d be spending the week in.  On the same camp there were about 5 other churches that came that week also totaling about 103 volunteers.  My thoughts after wandering around that afternoon were “am I actually going to be useful helping do construction/remodeling?  What have I gotten myself into?”  I was seriously nervous about the days ahead.  That night there was a service on the grounds with songs and some scripture reading.  After the service we played some games within our church group and headed to bed.  My hubby went one way and I went another.  There were some older women in our group and every night when I’d come in after leaving Kevin (my husband) I felt like I had been on a date and was coming in late lol. 

So each church group had their assignments for the week that was either onsite or in homes near the area for families in need.  Some examples were a new roof was being put on a building on the camp (the camp had like mini condos for long term volunteers), bathrooms were remodeled, stairs were put in, windows and doors were fixed etc.  Our daily routine consisted of everyone on camp coming together for a morning devotional, breakfast, then we’d split up and worked, came back for lunch, worked and then came back for dinner.  We’d be working 4 of the 5 full days we were there.  On one of the days we had an “off” day where we ended up going to a National Park and grilling out and playing some good ole’ cornhole.  After dinner each night there was always an activity together with all the church groups (talent shows, worship, communion). 

For the actual work that we were doing our church group broke into 3 different teams.  My team actually worked onsite and we remodeled 2 bathrooms making them into 4 bathrooms.  These bathrooms were in rooms for volunteers that stay on the camp for long periods of time.  Our other 2 teams within our church went offsite and actually worked on homes right down the road for families that were in need that didn’t have the money for the work that they needed done. 

Making a big bathroom that was shared by 2 women into 2 separate bathrooms.

Me sawing the old pipe to put in new PVC piping.

Kevin had to go under the house and take out all the old pipe so he could
put in new PVC piping also.
I'm putting in a fan in the bathroom and Kevin (below) has the new PVC piping in for
the toilet.

 When I first found out that I would be working onsite I wasn’t sure what to think of that because I really wanted to make a connection with the people in the area.  After sometime though being there I realized we were making a difference for someone else that was also making a difference AND I got to meet some of the women that were waiting for the bathrooms to be remodeled.  After talking to them and seeing their anticipation for what was being done and their thankfulness my heart was full. Remodeling these bathrooms involved me cutting PVC pipe, putting in bathroom fans, drilling holes, taking out old pipe etc.  It was quite a sight to see me handle power tools ha. 

On our last day our team did get to go offsite to finish up a project that one of our own teams had been working on.  They were making steps up a huge steep hill for this women’s daughter.  Her daughter has MS and the mom has custody of the daughter’s little boy because it’s hard for the daughter to take care of him with her illness.  Anyway, when the daughter comes to the house she has to crawl up this huge steep hill.  Can you imagine?  I was speechless hearing about this.  We take on own health for granted so much this certainly put things into perspective.  On this last day not only did we get to help with this project but I got to meet the family and to say they were thankful is an understatement.  Just seeing the joy they had for what was being done for them was simply amazing.  And all the while they were thanking God and I am so blessed to have met these sweet people.  Not only did we touch their lives but they touched all of ours also. 


The family we built the steps for

the steps :)
To try to really tell you all that happened that week in a short note is just not possible.  I can tell you that God was everywhere.  Between having a deeper appreciation for all that God has blessed me with… even the little things like steps, being able to make a difference for people in need and seeing their sweet faces and all the gratitude they had and meeting and making new friendships with people within my own church who I had never even talked to was amazing.  I’m so grateful for that week and my husband and I plan on going again next year.  I also still keep in touch with the sweet family that I got to meet on our last day. 

One thing I learned is when you don’t think you can make a difference you really can. You’ll will be amazed at the blessing you receive in return for helping someone in need.  I felt like I definitely gained more out of that trip then the people that we helped.


 Acts 20:35  “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”