Mar 15, 2012

Thursday SHINE...

Today's Reading: 2 Samuel 7

Happy Thursday, SHINE girls! The weekend is almost here!

Are you enjoying 2 Samuel? I know I sure am! If you haven't caught up yet, try to do so this weekend.

It's really, really good.

Also, do not forget to get in on the SHINE weekday give-away drawing this week. I will be drawing a name on Friday!

Okay, today my friend Lisa is guest-blogging. She has guest-blogged before, so I know you all remember her.

Let me just say a little something about my friend, Lisa.

She was over at my house a couple of weeks ago. When she left, I dived straight into my Bible and on my knees in prayer.


SHE is the kind of woman that makes you CRAVE getting closer to the Lord. She is such a rare jewel in my life. I told her just this week, that she has the unique ability to draw others to HIM and not to herself.

You know what I mean?

Sometimes, we can  leave a conversation or meeting with a friend and feel worse about ourselves than when we got there. We sometimes feel like we don't measure up, and can NEVER measure up to certain friends.

Lisa, however, SHINE's the love of Christ so brightly that I don't see her, I see the LORD! It's an amazing gift, and one that I desperately want to possess.

I'm posting a little picture of her so you can see how lovely she is! Inside and outside she truly SHINE's!

Lisa and me celebrating our birthdays that are on the same day!

Hebrews 12:1-13 (NLT) “God Disciplines Those He Loves”

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child,don’t make light of the LORD’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.
6 For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?
8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.
9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.
11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.
13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

This is one of the chapters I run to when I am in; a place; being disciplined; hurting. Y'all know what I am talking about, we've all been there.  At times, we seem to live there more than not.

But I wanted to be an encouragement to those who are there, and if you're not there right now, you will be again...this is how it goes in this Walk.  Because we are here to become more like Christ and to bring Him glory. Period.  I Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

I really appreciate how this passage refers back to our parents and us, as earthly children and parents.  Because we mothers can oh so relate to disciplining, and if you're not a mother, you can think back to when you were disciplined as a child.

Why do we discipline our children?  Because we stinkin' love the heck out of them!!  It is exactly the same with our heavenly Father.

And what about those times he uses others or hardships to grow us?  He uses these things as sandpaper rubbing off those rough edges, in order to make us more like Christ and bring Him glory.

I know I can tend to pray asking the Father to change the other person, or remove the circumstances as fast as He can.  Right?

I think He wants me to say, “Lord, I have been hurt by ___________ [person].  Or, you have allowed ______________ [hardship] in my life.  Father what are You trying to teach me here?”

And I have been so bold to ask Him to teach me quickly so we can move on.

I have prayed this A LOT, so many times with hot tears running down my face because I am over it!  Can y'all relate?

I want to encourage all of us, to stop looking at eye level at all that is swirling around us.  I often picture myself standing still, and my hurt/disappointment/deep ache, swirling around me like mini-tornadoes.  And when I look at all that, I can feel very discouraged.

But when I literally look UP, then literally hold open my hands, [feebly] releasing whatever it is, I start to feel better.  Is it gone?  No, but I am looking at the Light.

Now afterward when I am at the kitchen sink, or my head is in the dryer and my brain goes right back to my circumstances and I can't get out of my head.  I go have to go back and do it again.  Holding open my hands and saying, “Father please take this (person/circumstance) and in turn, show me what it is I need to learn here...”

Read the above passage again.  He loves us!  He is disciplining us because of this great love.    What about verse 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

When I am in the thick of something and read these verses, I find if comforting.  It's like I run to it because I am wearing my hurt like a wet, heavy Winter coat.  Then I read the verses and say, “oh yay, that's right.  Ok Lord, what do I need to learn here, I'm ready...”

I will be honest here and say, most times the change or miracle happens inside of me.  Not in the removal of or bettering of the hard relationship, or in the healing of the friend or loved one.  But inside of me, His daughter.

Be encouraged SHINE sisters.  Rest in the fact that the place He has you, is not a mistake.  The fine grit sandpaper He is using, is going to result in your being more like Him, so you can SHINE His Light brighter.  And sisters, this is what it's all about.

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