Mar 12, 2012

Monday SHINE....

Today's Reading:  2 Samuel 4

Good Monday morning, SHINE girls!

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

Seriously, it does.

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

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

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

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

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

Surrounded by other believers. 

This is what SHINE is all about.

Simply glorifying HIM. Together.

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

Monday, Monday
by Rebekah Vepraskas

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

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

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

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

Ahem? Wow. . . .

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

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

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

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

We have A LOT in common with those Israelites.  

I know I do. 

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

Like the Israelites— What’s your Red Sea?

What’s your “manna from heaven?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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