Jun 11, 2012

Monday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Job 38

Good Monday morning, SHINE girls! 

I hope your weekend was spent being very "intentional!" We will definitely be re-visiting this "be intentional" challenge, don't you worry! :-)

I have a special surprise for you!

This week, in honor of Father's day coming up this Sunday, we will be celebrating some very special Fathers! 

Several of your fellow SHINE sisters have written precious stories about their incredible Daddies. Their stories will be posted all this week...starting today!

Today, we begin with my friend Leslie Jones' story. I LOVE when she talks about her daddy, because his name is LEM. (just like my husband's name!) 

Be blessed by Leslie's story, sweet SHINE girls!

Also, don't forget to comment under our SHINE weekday-give-away post to win a really cool prize! We will draw the name sometime this week! :-)

My Daddy:
by Leslie Jones

"Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father". Galatians 4:6

Abba is an Aramaic word which means "daddy" or "papa". These two names touch a special place in my heart. I have always called my earthly father, "Daddy".  I truly hate you can't hear me saying it right now. I've been told many times that I say it with pure joy; that's probably because this man brings exactly that to me! Next, when my husband and I found out we were going to be grandparents we took special care in picking the names we would be called. As I shared in an earlier post, I'm "Gram". But I don't think I shared that my husband chose "Papa". So....thinking about my sweet Daddy and Dakota James' Papa when reading the verse from Galatians gives me goose bumps.  God, the creator of the universe, is my Heavenly daddy...my Heavenly papa. Wow.

My image of God is so incredibly precious. I truly believe this is because of my earthly father, my Daddy. I was blessed with the most amazing man to be my daddy! This post doesn't allow enough room for all I could say about this man. First of all, he is a man after God's heart. When Daddy was 40 years old he left a successful business career to accept the call into the ministry. This created financial stress that called for him to work crazy, physical, demanding jobs to provide for us. I only know this now, looking back as an adult. He never complained, never seemed to tire or allow all he had going on to keep him from his family. 

He was an incredible provider; providing both our needs and the majority of our wants! We had a sandbox, monkey bars, trampoline, tree house and go cart. When we finally came inside from all these fun things Daddy provided warm hugs and tons of laughs! 

 My favorite thing about my Daddy is his sense of humor and personality. He can make me laugh faster than anyone I know and he never meets a stranger. He has the ability to relate to people on their level, right where they are. My parents provided a safe and loving environment for me to grow up in. As I've gotten older I've realized what an incredible and priceless gift this was and I thank God for it. 

I loved to sit on Daddy's lap, or if he were standing for him to hold me. In fact, it was a running joke that he would carry me down the aisle when I got married! To be honest, I still find comfort on his lap and in his embrace! To this day I don't hesitate to call him when I'm happy and want to share good news, when I'm sad and need to cry, or when I'm just flat mad and need to vent! 

In the same way, I don't hesitate to run to God with everything. He is always quick to rejoice with me, hold me while I cry, and just listen. And oh what joy and peace this relationship brings to my life. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life; through them all I knew both my Heavenly Father and my Daddy would be there to forgive me and love me.

Matthew 7:7-11 says, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!" 

Some of you didn't have the kind of relationship with your earthly father that I've described. Maybe the relationship you shared with your earthly father distorted your image of God. Maybe you've allowed that image to create distance between you and God. Don't let this interfere any longer. God wants to be your daddy, your papa. He wants to have an intimate relationship with you! He wants to give you good gifts. He wants you to run to Him! His Word promises that if you seek Him you will find Him.  

Joel 2:13 says, "Return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing."

Sweet sisters, pause right now...imagine yourself crawling up into your Abba, Father's lap...let Him hold you...let Him love you...allow Him to lavish His steadfast love upon you...receive all He has for you today...

Be blessed!
"Daddy holding me"
"In Daddy's lap"

"Daddy and I-still today. love that embrace!"

"Dakota James and her Papa"

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