Jun 28, 2013

Friday SHINE....

Today's Reading: 1 Samuel 2:1-11

Happy Fun Friday, SHINE girls!

Oh, wow, what a week it has been around our house. A whole lot of emotions going on here.

We had to put our dog, Aspen, to sleep this past Tuesday. She's been with us for almost 15 years. :(

The month after Lem and I were married, we brought her home. She was our very first baby.

We've cried, we've remembered, we've celebrated her sweet life, and we've cried some more.

My tear ducts have run dry.

Yesterday, I spent my day thinking of things I should have done different. I should have spent more time with her. I should have walked her more. I should have petted her more. Did she know how much I really loved her? Did I give her enough attention?  And so on, and so on.

It's a natural grieving process. Regret.

Why am I telling you this sad story about my dog, Aspen?

I think it applies to our memory verse this week.

"Above all, love each other deeply,
 because love covers a multitude of sins."
1 Peter 4:8

I believe the Lord put this verse in the Bible because He loves us and He wants us to not live life with a heart full of regrets.

We are prone, as humans, to think that life on this Earth will last forever.

It won't.

Heaven is eternal, but life here on Earth is not.

We think that there will always be time to make amends, to apologize, or to get right with a loved one.

It's just not true.

We were created to eventually die.

The sad part of this is not the ones who die, but the ones left behind.

The ones left behind with regrets.

The ones who would do anything for just one more day on this Earth with the deceased loved one.

Even if you had a wonderful, joyful, relationship with the person that dies, you will probably still be prone to have regrets.

I believe this is why God tells us to "love each other deeply". He knows us best. He knows that we need to love, to forgive, in order to have peace and to not live a life full of regrets.

Our Fun Friday Challenge:

If there is someone that you need to make amends with--Do it. Today.

It may not be as simple as just "doing it today". However, you can pray and ask the Lord to show you and to lead you in what you should do.

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you."
Psalm 32:8

Maybe it is just something that you need to go to the Father about, and ask His forgiveness for some
bitterness that has been harboring in that heart of yours.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me"
Psalm 51:10

I challenge you to take it to Him, today.

Or, maybe you are the one left here on Earth, living a life of regret. You may be unable to make amends, because the loved one is long gone from this Earth.

I encourage you to give all of that regret to the Father. Take it to His Throne, and let it go.

God will bring such swift peace to your heart that it will knock you to your knees. He's just so good like that.

"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
Isaiah 43:18-19

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
2 Corinthians 5:17

Will you take this challenge today?

I think I hear the sound of some huge walls of regret and unforgiveness falling down.

What a beautiful sound.

no regrets,


Presley with Aspen {the big white dog}
 and our other sweet dog, Holly.

Jun 27, 2013

Thursday SHINE....

Today's Reading: 1 Samuel 1

Happy Thursday, sweet SHINE girls!

I'm bursting with excitement as we begin 1 Samuel this week. If you are new to SHINE, you need to know that 1 Samuel is the VERY first book we read beginning way back in January of 2012. YES!

I first fell in love with King David when I was introduced to him in 1 Samuel, a year and a half ago.

Yes, it's true. King  David is my boyfriend. {Lem knows, and he's totally cool with it.}

I love this fella. Like really, really love this fella. You will see why soon.

Get ready for the ride of your life in 1 Samuel. You will never be the same after reading this book of the Bible. It's good, good, good stuff.

Trust. Me.

You will see this continuing theme here in 1 Samuel:

God often accomplishes His will  using common people with an uncommon faith.

We just finished the book of Ruth. She was as common as the day is long.

However, because of her faith, devotion, and obedience, she became the great grandmother of Kind David. In the direct lineage of Jesus Christ.


I challenged all of us in our small group last night to think about what "uncommon faith" looks like.

God can and will use us in great and mighty ways!

It doesn't matter what we look like, where we came from, who we are, who we are not....

He's just looking for a heart completely devoted to Him. A heart with uncommon faith.

Oh, friends, I cannot wait for you t jump into 1 Samuel today. It will take your breath away.

Ask the Lord to speak to you today. Let Him breathe life into those lungs and revive you with His Splendor and Glory.

Get ready to meet some more common folks in the bible, with a ridiculous amount of uncommon faith.

I can hardly wait!

bursting with anticipation,


"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, 
for he who comes to God must believe that He is, 
and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." 
Hebrews 11: 6(NKJV)

Jun 25, 2013

Tuesday SHINE.....

Today's Reading: Ruth 1, 2

Happy Tuesday, SHINE girls!

This will be short and sweet. I just feel led to extend to you a prayer that I found in one of my favorite books EVER, besides the Bible of course.

It's called, "Prayers that Avail Much" by Germaine Copeland.

If you are struggling with forgiveness today, I encourage you to pray this prayer. Sometimes we just do not know where to start with forgiveness. This prayer is a wonderful beginning.

We are hurt, we are bruised, we are damaged by others.

However, Jesus has taken all of that and washed it clean, sweet friends.

He is just waiting for us to renew our strength and restore our hearts in Him alone.

If you need help in forgiving today, go to Him. Say this prayer over and over if you need to.

The scripture references are at the bottom of the prayer. Look them up, highlight them, write them down if you need to. Let this be the day that your heart is washed clean of unforgiveness.

I love you girls, and I am praying for you.

Forgiving Others
Prayers that Avail Much

Clothed in Your armor, Father, I forgive anyone who has caused me distress, grief, embarrassment and/or financial loss. I choose to forgive in the sight of Christ, in order that Satan might not outwit me. For I am aware of his schemes.

Father, in the name of Jesus, I subject myself to You and resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from me. I let go of all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language). I am ready to be useful and helpful and kind to others, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving others [readily and freely], as You in Christ forgave me.

I accept life and make a commitment to be patient and tolerant with others, always ready to forgive if I have a difference with anyone. I forgive as freely as You have forgiven me. And, above everything else, I am truly loving, for love binds all the virtues together in perfection.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Scripture References:
    Ephesians 6:11    Ephesians 4:31,32 AMP
    2 Corinthians 2:5-11 NIV    Colossians 3:12-14 
    James 4:7 AMP

Jun 24, 2013

Monday SHINE.....

Reading Plan for the Week of 6/24-6/30:

  • Monday 6/24: 1 Peter 5
  • Tuesday 6/25: Ruth 1, 2
  • Wednesday 6/26: Ruth 3, 4
  • Thursday 6/27: 1 Samuel 1
  • Friday 6/28: 1 Samuel 2:1-11
  • Saturday 6/29:  1 Samuel 2:12-36
  • Sunday 6/30: 1 Samuel 3:1-3-41a

Good  morning, SHINE girls! Are you ready for another week in the Living, Breathing, Active Word of God? 

Me too!  

Girls, let me just shoot it straight as an arrow....I am so lost without the Lord.

 I mean, truly, I am an utter catastrophe.

He's made me realize just what a mess I am without Him time after time.

I can mess up. BIG time.

Just when I think I am going along great, in a good place, and not so dependent on Him or His Word....BAM!! 

I fall back down hard on my face. 

So many times I have failed. So many times I have forgotten just how weak I am without Him. 

However, He never gives up on me! Ever!

I remember recently something happening {again} and I just went straight to Him and told Him this: 

"Lord, I cannot live without You. I know you made us to depend on You, but I think I need You the MOST! Why did You make me so helpless without You?"

As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew the answer. 

He made me weak, so that I would be strong through Him, and Him alone. 

"But he said to me, 
“My grace is sufficient for you, 
for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

He made me a big ball of flesh, so that I would always remember that He's the only One that can heal me and save me. 

He's allowed me to be hurt and disappointed at times, so that I would rely on HIM and HIM alone. 

Do you see what I mean?

Girls, we need Him. More than we need the air in our lungs. 

We are hopeless, helpless, and down right messed up without Him.

Our memory verse this week is very personal to me. It is also found in our reading from yesterday. :)

"Above all, love each other deeply,
 because love covers a multitude of sins."
1 Peter 4:8
This verse is powerful because we can look at it in the way of God's Love for us, and also in the way that we are to love others. 

When I mess up, I ask Him to forgive me and cover my sin so that others will not be hurt from it. 

I can remember many, many, many conversations that I have had with others and then thinking back upon them I would shudder. Like shut my eyes, shake my head, and shudder loudly. Yikes.

I would quickly say to the Lord, "Lord, cover that, please. You know my heart, and you know that my words did not come out right. Please allow your Love to cover all that mess I just left behind."

I have also had to use this verse when I am in a situation of needing to forgive.

"Lord, do I really have to love and forgive like this? Really??"

Yes, Jill. You do.

What if the Father chose to hold a grudge and chose not to forgive us when He have messed up?

Oh, my. We would be in a heap of trouble, wouldn't we?

Oh, and let's not forget that I have many times been the one needing the forgiveness. Oh, how I love that verse in times like these! I would pray that the person I had wronged would love me enough to forgive me. 

We must take this verse to heart, girls.

Memorize it.

Practice it.

Live it. 

Once and for all.

Lord, let us love others like You love us. There's no telling the thickness of the walls among all of our hearts that need a giant slam of the forgiveness hammer. Your Love truly covers our mess-ups, and our sins. Help us to receive Your forgiveness, as well as to administer forgiveness to others. Help us to love each other deeply, and to cover each other and our giant messes. Just like You do for us. In Jesus name. Amen.

Jun 21, 2013

Friday SHINE....

Today's Reading: 1 Peter 3:1-12

Happy Fun Friday, SHINE girls!

I just have to let you know something....YOU are always on God's mind! Yes, YOU!

As much as I love and adore each pretty one of you, God is smitten with YOU!

Let that sink in for just a second.

As we talked about holiness this week, and memorized our memory verse, I can't help but feel that He adores the fact that we are in pursuit of holiness for Him.

I mean, just think about it. He pursues us daily, hourly, minute by minute.

When we pursue Him through holiness in our hearts, our minds, our actions, our time, and our words...imagine how LOVED and ADORED that HE must feel!

We love to please people, don't we? I mean, for the most part, as women, we like to make people happy. There are a few of us that are not bent this way, but I think MOST of the women I know, have some desire to please those around them.

As I sit here and ponder this, I feel the Holy Spirit saying that the "need to please" was not created in our hearts for us to please other people.


This need-to-please place in our hearts was created for us to please Him.

When we pursue holiness, we are pursuing the very thing that fills this gaping God-sized hole in our hearts.

I truly believe holiness begins with a heart change.

A heart bent on pleasing Him and worshiping Him. From the overflow of this heart change comes our outward holiness. The holiness that cannot help but to saturate those around us!

Not for show, and not for us to "look the part".

Just an uninhibited overflowing of holiness that He pours all over us because of our desire to please Him!

Whatever is going on our hearts, will be coming out of our pretty little lip-glossed mouths. Every single time.

"For whatever is in your heart determines what you say."
Matthew 12:34 {NLT}

I have this visual of a  2 liter of  Diet Coke.

What happens when you shake that baby up before you open it?

It spews everywhere, right?

When we let God get a hold of our hearts, we cannot help but to spew His Goodness on everyone in our path.

The same thing goes for the not so holy things that we let get inside of our precious little beating hearts. What spews out is either life giving, or death giving.

"The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit."
Proverbs 18:21

Our Fun Friday Challenge:

Ask God to renew your heart today. 

Ask the Lord to: "create in me a pure heart, Oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me"  Psalm 51:10

Let this be your prayer.

Along with this prayer, tune your mind, your body, and your words to holiness today. Before you do anything, or speak anything today, pause, and think/pray about it first. 

Would this please You, Lord?

Imagine the difference this will make in our relationships, in our prayer life, in our thought life, and most of all in our pursuit of holiness.

Let God shake up that pretty heart of yours today.  Get ready to spew His Love, His Kindness, His Goodness, and His Holiness all over those blessed enough to be around you!

shake me up Lord,


Jun 19, 2013

Wednesday SHINE....

Today's Reading:  1 Peter 2:4-17

Happy Worship Wednesday, sweet SHINE girls! I love Wednesdays...even more than usual!

Wednesdays are the days that our little SHINE small group meets. I love these women and their hearts for Jesus!

I encourage you to gather with some friends, and just talk about Jesus. It's the BEST ever. Really, it is.

On another note, MAN, do I have a story to share with you girls! I'm still fresh off of it all happening, so I may need a day or two to get my head back on straight. However, I will share it with you this week if possible.

Curious, aren't you? :)

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce a very good friend to you. If you have been reading SHINE for a while, you have already met her. And probably love her. Well, of course you do. ;)

Be blessed by my friend Leslie Jones today. I pray the Lord uses this post to speak to you, because it sure spoke to me.

Wednesday SHINE
By: Leslie Jones 

Leslie and her husband Hal
Aren't they precious? :)

I've shared on Shine several times, each time bearing my soul. I think, if you follow Shine, you know me pretty well. I had a revelation about myself last night, I thought you needed an update...I'm weird. I mean really weird.

My husband is playing in a golf tournament this weekend. Last night I accompanied him to the tournament dinner. As we started thru the buffet line I passed on the first dish, Hawaiian chicken. The lady behind me asks, "Don't  you want chicken? It looks great!". "I don't eat anything on the bone", I replied. The other meat option was a hamburger. Not my favorite, but I had to eat. "You missed the buns", my friend adds. "Oh, I'm not a big bread eater", I tell her. As she and I are sitting down with our husbands she says, "well maybe something on that beautiful dessert table with fill you up". I held my breath as my husband says, "Leslie doesn't eat processed sugar".  Now this lady has heard it all.

Webster's dictionary defines "conviction" as "an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence".  Stay with me here...this post isn't an attempt to sway you to avoid eating anything on a bone! I simply shared that to show you how casual some of my own "convictions" are. I paid $20 for a hamburger patty , 2 slices of tomato and a glass of water. Even the cost couldn't sway me to eat something I usually wouldn't. I wondered after, am I this strong in my Biblical convictions? Or am I easily swayed? Food for thought, no pun intended.

I'd like to say I hate  gossip, but when I'm around it do I stand strong?
I find myself blushing when I read or hear James 3:9, "With the same tongue we bless the Lord and curse men...".
I tell myself I have childlike faith but when overcome with fear am I fully trusting God?
I ask The Lord every morning to help me be more like Him, but can those around me see it?
I tell The Lord I want to be used of Him in everything but does my bank statement reflect that?

A popular scripture many of us have posted in our homes is from Joshua 24:15, "as for me and my house we will serve The Lord". I had this written on the chalkboard in our kitchen last week and I can't shake it. I wanted to share with you the context in which this famous line was said. When God parted the Jordan River Joshua led the people across it, when God tumbled the walls of Jericho it was Joshua who had led them around the city 7 times. It was Joshua who led the Israelites into The Promised Land. Right before Joshua died he gathered the people together and reminded them of all I just mentioned, and so many other things God had done in their lives. In spite of all God had done, all these people had seen God do, they still had pagan gods in their camp. They still had idols. This is when Joshua said, "But if serving The Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord!"

I'd like to ask, "how could they witness so many miracles and still have idols in their camp?"...but am I much different? Gossip, ugly language, fear, worldly desires...I will stop there...

Today, serving The Lord seems desirable to me! I choose today to stand strong in my convictions, to not be swayed. To live each day for Him, no matter what the cost. Weird and all.


Jun 17, 2013

Monday SHINE....

Reading Plan for the week of 6/17-6/23:

  • Monday 6/17: 1 Peter 1:1-12
  • Tuesday 6/18: 1 Peter 1:13-2:3
  • Wednesday 6/19: 1 Peter 2:4-17
  • Thursday 6/20: 1 Peter 2:18-25
  • Friday 6/21: 1 Peter 3:1-12
  • Saturday 6/22: 1 Peter 3:13-4:6
  • Sunday 6/23: 1 Peter 4:7-19
Happy Monday, sweet SHINE girls! I hope your weekend was full of JOY and family time. 

We are heading back from vacation today. It is so much more fun on the drive to the beach, rather than the drive home. 

I literally soaked up God's glorious creation of the ocean, sand, blue skies, and white fluffy clouds. I sat and inhaled His Goodness, and followed with an exhale of thanksgiving.

When I am away, and my mind is at rest, I seem to hear the Lord speak to me very clearly. Without a hectic schedule, my heart seems to be more in tune with the Father. 

I got up the first morning later than usual. At home, on my Summer schedule, I am up by 6:00 am. So, when I slept until 7:30 our first morning, it was very strange. I felt like I had missed a big part of my day! {crazy, I know!}

I ate my breakfast, drank my coffee, checked my emails, and headed to find a quiet spot with Jesus.

This did not work. Everyone was now up, loud, and ready for their breakfast. Shoot.

As the day went on, I just felt strange for not having "my time" with Jesus. Something was just amiss.

I asked the Lord to show me why I was feeling strange and somewhat disconnected from Him.

As clear as you are reading this, I heard in my spirit Him say to me that I needed to put Him first in the morning, before anything else. Even if that meant waiting on my breakfast, or my coffee, or checking emails.

Not only does He want me to put Him first in the morning, but He wants to be the last thing I think about/read about before I go to sleep at night.

Yes, first. Yes, last.

Now listen closely....

I'm not telling you this to make you feel convicted about how He wants you to spend time with Him. That's between you and Him. 

This is just what He was telling me that day. Actually, He has been nudging me for a few days about this, I've just kind of acted like I didn't hear Him. {oops}

I kept hearing the word "holiness" in my spirit. Over and over and over. Holiness, in the sense of my love for Him. Showing Him my love through holiness of how I choose to spend my time.

"Consecrate yourselves therefore, 
and be holy; for I am the Lord your God"
 Leviticus 20: 7

We all have a very intimate relationship with the Father, and He speaks to us in different ways.

This, for sure, was Him telling me to change a few things about my schedule.

Let me get something clear though......He is not demanding me to do this. At all.

He's just letting me know that the peace I had been lacking, and the emptiness I was feeling that day was because I didn't go to Him first. 

I could continue to do things my way, and He would still love me the same. However, I know Him well enough by now that when He tells me to do something, it's for my own good. Not to punish me, but to sharpen me. To draw me even closer to Him and His voice.

Make sense?

So, as I looked at our reading for this week, I almost fell out of my chair when I read this verse in 1 Peter chapter 1, our memory verse for this week:

"Be Holy, because I am Holy.."
1 Peter 1:16
Holiness is honoring Him.

Holiness is giving Him the praise, the devotion, the honor, in all we do. 

Holiness is making a conscious effort to praise Him in our actions, our words, and how we spend our time.

Holiness is resting in His shadow and soaking up His goodness.

Holiness is not about being prim and proper and a "good girl" Christian.

Holiness is actually surrendering ourselves to Him in spite of the beautiful  and crazy mess of our lives.

Holiness is not perfection. Holiness is not another burden for us to carry, or another thing to check off our our Christian-y list.

Oh, the contrary.

Holiness is a broken girl giving our Holy Father the very best of our messy day. The very best of our chaotic schedule. The very best of our wounded and broken hearts.

Holiness is an expression of our love to Him. 

Father, show us any place in our lives that lack holiness. Show us where we need to brush up, or clean up some unholy areas. Our hearts crave You, Father. Help us to honor you with our thoughts, our time, our actions, our finances, our conversations, all of it. We long to give you the very best of us, Father. Help us to honor You in holiness.  In Jesus name, amen.

"Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; 
without holiness no one will see the Lord." 
Hebrews 12:14

Jun 14, 2013

Friday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Judges 19
Saturday 6/15: Judges 20
Sunday 6/16: Judges 21

Happy Fun Friday, SHINE girls! If you are new to SHINE, Friday's are kind of fun around here. ;)

We like to end the week with a CHALLENGE!

Are you up for it? Yeah, I thought you would be. :)

Our Fun Friday Challenge:

Remember from Wednesday's post we learned that God has a New Name for us? A name that is so wonderful, magnificent, and breath taking that there is no way to describe it in human words?

Today, I want us to take a small note card, or a sticky note and write a new name on it. A name that You desire to be called by the Lord. A name that is polar opposite of the name that you have attached to yourself from the past.

No more Fearful, Lonely, Rejected, Unloved, Unworthy, Weak, Angry, Regretful...names.

Our new names from God sound more like this: Strong, Bold, Courageous, Beautiful, Wanted, Loved, Worthy, Joyful, Peaceful, Beloved, Daughter of the King, Treasured, Masterpiece.

Those are the kind of names that He really calls us.

“For we are God’s handiwork….” 
Ephesians 2:10

 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.”
 Deuteronomy 7:6

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:18 

If you don't believe it, just ask Him. Go to His Word, go to Him in prayer. Seek Him, and you will surely find Him.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." 
Psalm 29:13

This past Wednesday night, our SHINE girls small group did this very exercise. We all took sticky notes, prayed, and wrote down one of the names that we believe God calls us.

Several girls shared how their old  names held a whole lot of power over who they believed they were. They were believing a big fat ugly lie of the enemy.

Praise Jesus for our new identity in Christ! I cannot tell you how great it feels to shed my old name and the shame that I have attached to it over the years. I will have no lingering feelings for that old name.

Since I am the one asking you to do this, I will share one of the names I believe God calls me.

Fair enough?

Okay, here goes...

I think He calls me this, because I have struggled for so long feeling just the opposite of this word. He created me to be courageous. I just chose not to believe it for many years.

Today, this changes.

The Lord reaffirmed this to me yesterday.

My family and I were at a bookstore, and my daughter walks up to me and hands me something as I am browsing some books.

I look down to see what she handed me, and see that it is a silver necklace. The charm on this little necklace read this:

"Be strong and courageous. 
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
 for the LORD your God goes with you; 
he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

Completely out of the blue she says, "Mommy, this is for you."

Tears flooded my eyes, and she sweetly walked away. Simple as that.

See, God was just reassuring me that this was one of the names He calls me.

How about you?

What does He call you, sweet girl?

cherishing my new name,


Jun 12, 2013

Wednesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Judges 16

Happy Worship Wednesday, sweet and precious SHINE girls! I hope your week is going well. For us, the countdown is on until we leave for the beach---tomorrow! {back hand spring!}

To say I am excited is a complete and utter understatement. I am ecstatic! {ok, i will shut up now}

How's the reading going? Are you fascinated with Samson and Delilah? I mean, wow, what a story. I love the Bible. So much awesomeness happening. It never ever gets old.

Something has stuck out in our reading. Something that God will just not let me forget about.

In Judges 13:18, the angel of the Lord says this to Samson's father after being asked what his name is:

"18 The angel of God said, “What’s this? You ask for my name? You wouldn’t understand—it’s sheer wonder"

Okay, let's park here for a few minutes.

This gave me chills. Still does, actually.

This angel of God has a name so wonderful, that there are no human words to describe his name.

Fast forward a few hours from my reading from that Monday morning, to Monday afternoon in my car.

My son is reading from Genesis in the bible as we are out and about running errands. He reads me this passage from Genesis 32 about the "nameless" angel that wrestled with Jacob. Remember that story? Go, check it out when you have a minute. Fascinating stuff, I tell ya.

So, once again this angel has no name. 

I see a pattern in what the Lord is showing me. He is showing me that we have such attachment to our names. Not always a good attachment either. 

I remember when I first got married and realized that I would now be "Jill Hill". What?! I would forever have a name that rhymed? Are ya kidding me, Lord?

No, He wasn't kidding.

I hated my name for the first 5 years or so of our marriage. I tried to get people to call me by my birth cerificate name, "Jillian", to take the edge off of Jill Hill.

It lasted for about 3 minutes. It didn't stick. You can't just change your first name after having it like that for 20 something years. Shoot.

I was destined to have a rhyming name. {Thank goodness, the man that gave me that name is a keeper though!}

So, back to the God part....

He is showing me, showing us, that He has a new name for us! A name that is so wonderful and so magnificent that we cannot even describe it in human words. The name He has given us is incomprehensible to our simple little minds.

I don't know about you, but this is so freeing to me! I have many labels that I have stuck like glue to my name throughout the years. Labels that I thought were just a part of who I was.

Labels like: fearful, rejected, shameful, doubtful, unfaithful, regretful....I could go on. For days.

God is showing US, that He has a new name for us! Every single pretty one of YOU! Yes, YOU!

"All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God--the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name." Revelation 3:12

Let me ask you something, sweet girl, what label have you attached to your precious name that God never intended for you to have?

Can I tell you with 100% assurance that He calls you by another name? He calls you by a name so wonderful that it would make you melt if you heard it! 

"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-" Ephesians 4:15

Do you see it here in this passage above? We are adopted as his sons and daughters. What happens through adoption? We get a new name. Praise Jesus in heaven.

Just like in the story of Jacob, when he renamed him Israel, God has give you a new name, sweet friend. 

Peel the old label off your darling little shirt, and receive the crown of your new name in Christ Jesus.

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."
John 1:12-13

hello my name is child of the one true king,


**For your listening Worship Wednesday pleasure. Enjoy....

"Hello, My Name Is"
by Matthew West

Hello, my name is regret 
I’m pretty sure we have met 
Every single day of your life 
I’m the whisper inside 
That won’t let you forget 
Hello, my name is defeat 
I know you recognize me 
Just when you think you can win 
I’ll drag you right back down again 
‘Til you’ve lost all belief 
These are the voices, these are the lies 
And I have believed them, for the very last time 
Hello, my name is child of the one true King 
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, and I have been set free 
“Amazing Grace” is the song I sing 
Hello, my name is child of the one true King 
I am no longer defined 
By all the wreckage behind 
The one who makes all things new 
Has proven it’s true 
Just take a look at my life 
What love the Father has lavished upon us 
That we should be called His children 
I am a child of the one true King

Jun 11, 2013

Tuesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Judges 14, 15

Happy Tuesday, SHINE girls!

I told you Judges was getting juicy, didn't I? Keep reading, it's good stuff.

Speaking of good stuff--today we have some GOOD stuff!

It is my pleasure to introduce Christa Rooks today as our guest blogger. Christa is an absolutely precious woman of the Lord. She also happens to be one of our very own SHINE prayer girls! So, you need to know this girl. She prays for every single one of you! :)

Christa also sings at our church, and her voice is just as angelic as her sweet spirit.

She also has a website and a blog. Her heart is in her music and her writing. Please check her blog out when you have a minute. Take a listen to her CD as well. You will be blown away by her beautiful voice.

Be blessed by Christa's post today. I know you will be!

Snake & Angels
by: Christa Rooks

Have you ever spent time meditating on how many times God has protected you? And I’m not talking about the times that we can’t particularly pinpoint.  I’m sure those happen thousands of times daily, and we don’t even know it.  I’m talking about times where you experienced His hand covering you …

I think about it often.  And I think it’s good for us to reflect on His goodness and how He protects and loves us.  It draws us closer to Him.  It causes us to have a heart of gratitude to our Heavenly Father.

So you wonder what I’m talking about? Well, there is a spiritual battle going on that we are not always permitted to see.  So many times, we get caught up in our daily activities and busy lives.  It’s often too easy to forget that there is a spiritual war going on.  Satan and his demons come to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10) Evil lurks and has dominion over the earth.  Yet God’s goodness overcomes! And our God has assigned angels over us to encamp about us and combat the enemy (Psalm 91:11).

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!" … For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone. – Psalm 91:1, 2, 9-12

I’m so glad to serve a God who protects us against the enemy.  While He does allow us to suffer and go through very difficult times, even some to death, if our faith and trust is in Him, He ultimately rescues us from the snares of death and from the defeat of the enemy.  For if our faith and trust is in Christ Jesus, His blood shed on the cross covers us and makes a way.  Even though our flesh may die, Christ’s sacrifice lets us be with God for all eternity! Praise the Lord!

Christa & James
As long as we’re on this side of heaven though, we do live in a fallen world where the enemy is on the prowl.  There have been countless times in my life where I was able to clearly see God’s hand covering me.  And that’s what got this post started.  I can sit and remember many times over my lifetime so far. 

A few years ago when Noah, my first-born, was about two, we were swimming in my parents’ pool with my brother and his wife.  James, my husband, was playing with Noah while I was standing in the shallow end talking to everybody.  We were all laughing and having a good time.  James and my brother were playing with Noah and splashing.  And I remember they had been jumping off the diving board.  So the water in the pool was active and wavy.  In the midst of all the fun and commotion, I felt something brush over my left arm.  I glanced down to what looked like my wet hair at first, but a closer look revealed a brown copperhead snake slithering across my arm!! Yes! A snake was ON me! (If you know me, you know that snakes and spiders creep me out! I am that girl who is UH-FRAID of slithery, creepy creatures.) Oh my goodness! It gives me the creeps just thinking about it! Needless to say, you can probably imagine my horror.  I was out of that pool fast.  James said it looked like I walked on the water.  And I was worried about everyone else, especially my little boy!! It took me several minutes to calm down. 

The Rooks adorable little darlings!

 Well, I think it’s awful that a venomous snake was on me.  But how much more awful could it have been had the snake bitten me or one of the other people in the pool? I believe God’s angels were with us. 

And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been walking down stairs or downhill on a dangerous trek where injury would be inevitable, feeling myself about to trip and fall, and somehow I regain my footing without falling.  I remember that happening often on campus at UGA going to and from classes.  And now that my kids’ bedrooms are upstairs, it happens even more going down the stairs.  And it may seem silly, but I thank the Lord in the moment.  Whether under my breath or out loud, I thank the Lord that He kept my feet from slipping.

The Rooks! {aren't they just the cutest?!}

Or what about the times when you’re in your car heading somewhere and you are almost sideswiped by another vehicle?  And you can see before your eyes, as if in slow motion, how the hand of God or a line of angels was right with you keeping you from harm.  Those are moments that almost take my breath away.  And when I consider the magnitude of what just took place, I’m shaken with the reality that my God is surely right with me!

Those are just a couple examples right off the top of my head.  There are so many other instances of which I can think that God has intervened on my behalf.  Some big.  Some seemingly smaller.  And that’s just in my own life.  I can reflect on stories from family and friends who have been guarded and protected in so many situations. 

Read over and ponder the following verses for a moment:

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Rom 8:5

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Col 3:2

See a pattern? It’s easy for our minds to be set on flesh or earthly things.  We live in this world with all of its enticements and temptations.  But if we have trusted in Jesus as our Savior, He has brought us to life in Him.  Our spirits are new.  And He tells us to set our minds on Him and what the Spirit desires.  God gives us the power through Him to accomplish this.  It’s possible with Him!

I fully believe God wants us to be aware and not forget about the spiritual battle that’s going on around us.  I challenge you to carve out some time to just sit in God’s presence and let Him reveal the many ways He has protected you, whether big or small.  And write it down so that you can come back to it.  In reflecting on His goodness and His power in your own life, I think it will help you remember all day long to thank Him. And it will keep our minds sharp. It will keep us from getting foggy and focused on ourselves and from doing things out of our own strength.  I want to live and operate in God’s power! I want to always remember that there’s a real enemy out to steal my joy and destroy others.  There’s a war for the souls of the lost.  God, activate my faith.  Help me see with my spiritual eyes.  Help me to always trust you and believe your word.  Lord, help me keep my mind on you and your ways so that I’m not distracted by all the things in this world vying for my attention and a real enemy that seeks to turn me away from You.  And God, help me to always give thanks for the many ways that You rescue and protect me in this life.  

Love this candid shot of them!

**All of these pictures were taken by Joy Neville Photography. Amazing, right?!**

Jun 10, 2013

Monday SHINE.....

Reading Plan for the week of 6/10-6/16:

  • Monday 6/10: Judges 13
  • Tuesday 6/11: Judges 14, 15
  • Wednesday 6/12: Judges 16
  • Thursday 6/13: Judges 17, 18
  • Friday 6/14: Judges 19
  • Saturday 6/15: Judges 20
  • Sunday 6/16: Judges 21

Happy Monday, sweet SHINE girls! Another week here in the book of Judges. Hang on in there with me little darlins!

We are about to get to some juicier parts--starting today, I promise. ;)

Enter, the story of Samson and Delilah. I won't spoil the story for you. Just know that it's juuuuuuicccyyyy!

We like juicy stuff, don't we? I mean, we are women. We  love a good story. They quicken our heartbeats, and they get way deep down into the smallest crevices of our hearts.

I'm so in love with God's Word. The Lord completely captivates me and I surrender willingly with each chapter I read. He leaves me completely mesmerized and amazed at the lengths He goes to for us.

For you and for me.

He never gives up on us.


Oh, but we give up on Him. Or, at least I have been guilty. Many times.

We give up and we resort to our own resources for our strength and our stamina.

It never works. We run out of air eventually.

He then breathes life back into our empty souls, and we are revived.

Why would we ever run from the only Oxygen that we cannot live without?

Why would we ever not go to His Word, where He speaks Life into us?

When we go without His Word, we go without air. We suffocate.

Why would we not go willfully and joyfully to the well of Living Water for nourishment and refreshment?

I don't know.

I still don't know why I run to everything else but Him some days.

It never fulfills. Ever.

It's like pouring water into a colander. It just seeps right through the holes.

However, when we pour in the Word, it fills all these holes. It sustains us.

Our Memory Verse for this week:

"With Joy you will dink deeply from the fountain of salvation."
 Isaiah 12:3

As I prayed about a memory verse this week, I opened my Bible and this verse was circled in hot pink marker. I am not kidding when I say: I do not ever remember reading this verse. Ever. 

It's brand new to me. Although it was circled in my bible, it was fresh and new to me when I stumbled across it just now.

This is not the direction I had planned on going with our memory verse this week. God has other plans apparently. {as usual} :-)

I encourage you today to drink up. Drink with JOY from His Word today.

Our weary souls need some nourishment and refreshing. Go to the Well, my friend.

drinking up,


Jun 8, 2013

Saturday SHINE.....

I usually don't post on Saturday, but felt a STRONG pull by the Lord to post this today. Maybe it's just for me, but maybe you could use it today as well.

If you know me, you KNOW how  much I love this.

It's the absolute TRUTH. Even the greatest greats of the Bible had fear. They just prayed and trusted and turned all that fear into courage.

Happy Weekend, girls.

saying my prayers,


Jun 7, 2013

Friday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Friday 6/7: Judges 9:1-10:5
Saturday 6/8: Judges 10:6-11:28
Sunday 6/9: Judges 11:29-12:15

Good morning, SHINE girls! Happy FUN FRIDAY!! OK, it's time for a little fun. And yet, I wonder how fun this week has been for many of us? 

If you are struggling or hurting or in the midst of a transition or if you are back in a wounded area that you were sure God wasn't going to make you return to, I have an idea.

Turn around. Really. Try it.

God is right there, desperately pursuing you, pursuing me. Jesus is right there, waiting for you to ask Him for His peace. The Holy Spirit is reminding you all of the ways you could find solace. We are running to something, or toward something. We are controlling outcomes, we are missing Him in our hot pursuit.

"It's the Creator, calling the created. The Maker, beckoning the made. The bride finding what she has always waited for...our Refuge. Our Sanctuary."  
(words from Mercy Me -"In You")

When we are needing encouragement, when we need a miracle, that's right where God wants us. This week we read, "The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.'" Judges 7:2

The Lord continued to whittle down Gideon's Army so that it would only be a God given miracle that they overcame the Midianites. WOW! 

Because we would always take the credit if the Lord didn't whittle us down.

He is there, He is. Even if we are weary now. I pray that just like Gideon with the fleece, that we would have our faith increased on this day and that we would SEE HIM. (Judges 6:11-27)

Lord, help us to turn around and see You. Help us to meet you as you are in desperately trying to reach us. Help us to be found by You. Show us the way, Father. Help us we pray!

Click this link and close your eyes. Imagine your Provider, pursuing you now.

Turning Around,

Jun 5, 2013

Wednesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Judges 7:1-23

Happy Worship Wednesday, SHINE girls!

We have a very special guest post today. I am so excited for you to read the words straight from a young girl's heart.

As I woke up yesterday morning, still bleary-eyed, I noticed I had a text on my phone from 1:43 a.m. My heart skipped a beat or two when I saw it was from my young, sweet, friend Taylor.

She said God had laid upon her heart a post to write for SHINE girls. {Be still my heart}

Taylor told me in the text that she had emailed me the post, but I didn't have to use it. She told me that maybe I could just save it and send it to someone that may need to hear it. She said she just felt led by the Lord to write it. {is she precious or what?}

A little back story--Taylor has been our babysitter for several years. Well, she is so much more than a babysitter. More like part of our family. {which tends to happen when you babysit our kids--whether you want to be or not} ;-)

I love this girl. My children love this girl. She radiates Jesus' love. Seriously, she does.

Lem and I always say that we hope our kids are as grounded and as in love with Jesus as Taylor Shultz is. For real, this girl is a treasure.

After reading Taylor's email, my eyes were filled with tears. Her heart is all over this post, right along with the hand of God guiding her sweet words.

Be blessed, friends. Please consider forwarding Taylor's post to some girls in your life. Some that may need to hear these words straight from the Father.

by: Taylor Shultz

Taylor and her sister, Bailey

I have known Mrs. Jill for what seems like forever now. I met her when I was probably a freshman or sophomore in high school, and I can remember thinking “This woman is so beautiful.” As I spent more time with her, babysitting her darlings and at church, and got to know her, I realized her beauty was something far deeper than looks. Her love for Christ was like a light or aura that got to you a minute before she did. Before the days of Shine Girls and Twitter (can you imagine?), Mrs. Jill’s posts on Facebook brought blessing to my life. It is only by God’s grace and ladies’, like Mrs. Jill, instruction and guidance that I am able to write this.


I love clouds.

I love the way they look. The different textures. The different colors. The shapes. The consistency.

The dark storm clouds, oh the personality they possess. The clouds meant for shade, white and fluffy. The clouds that look like they are a cotton ball pulled apart. Long and thin. The ones right after a big rain, with the sun shining through that one little hole. The pink clouds at sunset, my personal favorite.

Everything about a cloud is fascinating to me. I often find myself in the wrong lane while driving because I stare at the clouds. I have said that if I were an artist, I would paint clouds. All daylong. You can look on the numerous cameras I have and see multiple pictures of clouds.

Clouds are cool.

I have many friends who struggle with self-worth and self-image. Some struggle with cutting, anorexia and depression. It hurts my heart. It is a day-to-day battle for them. Of course these girls have nothing to fret over. This is just the grip that pesky devil has on their life.

Today, while I was driving (imagine that), I was thinking about clouds. My God spent time painting those clouds. For nothing but my pleasure. He knows that Taylor Shultz loves clouds. He spent time picking out the colors today. He carefully considered each stroke. I began to thank Him for that, for laying it upon my heart to notice the beauty He lays out for me each day and night.

Then I was thinking about my friends. Not just the ones who struggle with self-image. All of my girl friends. It struck me, if my Savior spends that much time on clouds, something so common and mundane, how much more time is He spending on us?

 Clouds are not created in the Father’s image; WE are. (Genesis 1:27)

Clouds are not fearfully and wonderfully made; WE are. (Psalm 139:14)

Clouds are not clothed in strength and dignity; WE are. (Proverbs 31:25)
            My favorite verse.

Clouds are not chosen and blameless; WE are. (Ephesians 1:4)

Clouds are not delighted in; WE are. (Isaiah 42:1)

It is my prayer that girls with grey hair, girls with young kids and a schedule full of ball games, working girls, athletic girls, girls in college, girls in high school, girls in middle school, girls in elementary school, and girls to come will know that if the Lord can spend so much time and pack so much beauty into a thing that will fade away, the possibilities with us are endless. Our Father looks at us with a heart full of love and sees a beautiful creation. While it hurts my heart to see women and girls struggle with their beauty, it breaks God’s heart. I pray that when doubt creeps into our hearts and minds, we will remember clouds.

Lord, thank You for the clouds. Thank You for the daily reminder that You create beautiful things. Father, it is my prayer that I will not doubt your masterpiece. I will not question Your reasoning and skill. Thank You for creating me in Your image. Help me, Lord, to live as a reflection of You. I love You and praise You for all that You have done. Amen.

Thanking God for the clouds,

Taylor J

Silly sisters and yummy milkshakes!

The Shultz sisters

 I love this family!
The whole Shultz gang

Taylor and her sweet Daddy

Sister love fest

Shultz Kiddos

Taylor with her beautiful momma and sisters
{i LOVE this picture!}

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