Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thoughtful About . . . Shine!

Last Thursday I mentioned that I was asking the Lord for a word for 2011, both for me and our small church. A word that is either something to live up to and strive toward, a goal, or a promise from our Father.

Saturday morning (we're Sabbath keepers) I was making bulletins for church and choosing the songs to sing. My usual method of doing so is to consider time of year, sermon topic, and otherwise just do a quick prayer and flip and pick whatever catches my eye. Said method resulted in our opening hymn being "Shine, Jesus, Shine." I typed the page number and title without thinking much about it.
Then in church, as we sang it, I got that shiver of awareness all through me, and my voice wobbled. My heart welled up inside. I could barely sing, barely play the organ. Because I knew the Lord had just given me my word: Shine.

Still playing, still singing, I started to pray. Was this a private word, just for me, or did it go for the church too? I'd been praying that whatever He gave us for the church, He give to several of us for confirmation. So I asked Him to make clear who all this word was intended for.

After we sang the chorus the final time, my mom (the worship leader) raised her hand and said she wanted us to sing that chorus again. And more, she wanted us to make it our prayer for the year. That the light of the Lord would shine through us, and that we would be the mirror to reflect Christ and his love. My dad (the pastor) added that the words "set our hearts on fire" struck him, and that we ought to pray for that too. And so I also added what I'd been praying for, and how this leaped out as an answer.

I get shivers again remembering. We're a small church, a tiny congregation of mostly-family. Yet in this little body of believers, I've grown closer to the Lord, I've heard from Him more, and I've felt the moving of the Spirit more than in all my life before, combined. And on Saturday, I latched onto this newest whisper of my God.

Shine.

Shining isn't easy. It means being bright when you feel dull. It means projecting out when you want to huddle in. It means being filled with light and heat when you might want to crawl into a cool, dark corner and sleep for a century or two. 

And not just that--because we are not light in ourselves, because we are, on our own, empty vessels, it means, like my mom said, being that mirror for Christ. Not just when we're "on," not just when we're trying, but always. It means, like my Dad pointed out, having hearts on fire for our Lord and Savior.

I'm not going to claim that already I'm this brilliant, shining creature, enjoying the success of the Lord's word. But I'm sharing it with you all because I want to be accountable, and because I think it's a word we can all share. If ever you see me stuck in a shadow, remind me to Shine. And if ever I see you in one, I'll point my mirror your way and try to share what light I've got with you.

That's the beauty of being a mirror--we can reflect on others without losing anything. So come on, friends. Shine with me. Let's fill the land with the awesomeness of His presence.

9 comments:

  1. Nice!
    cb
    http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com

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  2. I literally got goosebumps as I read this; that is just so spectacular how you got the word -- and that other people did, too. Shine. And I love the relecting thing, "we can reflect on others without losing anything."
    Shine, Emii :)

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  3. I love to joke with you...you know that. I love a person with a sense of humor and you certainly have that! But, in reality I'm going through a very dark time physically, which in turn affects us spiritually and emotionally. I was ministering to a young woman the other day over the phone and I'm thinking,"How can I do this when all I want to do is like you said, curl up in a ball and huddle up in a corner somewhere." I felt like I was the one who needed ministering to; I was just too empty and broken. This young woman private mssgd me and told me that she had been crying and that her faith had been lifted up by my ministering to her. So your post really encouraged me...I want to let me shine so that no one can see my pain, just Jesus! Also I am in a smaller church with alot of faith-filled family members and have been wondering whether I should go to a larger church. Your comments on your church and how you've grown there, was confirmation that I am to stay put. The size of the church doesn't matter, the size of the member's faith is what matters, and their sincerity and love for the Lord. I truly felt the anointing of God's presence as I read this with tears in my eyes. Thank you, Roseanna, for sharing this and please pray that my health be restored! Thank you.

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  4. First and foremost, Diana, know that I'm adding you to my prayer list for physical restoration. Next, know that you are a blessing to so many of us. Whether you realize it or not, you shine on me and a lot of others regularly.

    This made me think of a book I read years ago called LAUGHING IN THE DARK. It was about a comedian's journey through depression, and though I've never struggled with that, there were a lot of parts that applied to any struggle. One of the things that most sticks with me is when the author pointed out that faith and salvation are not FEELINGS. They're always there, whether we feel them or not, whether we feel well or not, whether or not we're just plain ol' not-feeling-it, and we must trust in them and act on them. When we do that, the light of the Lord comes back upon us and fills US up in response.

    I always wonder when it comes to personal posts like this if I should share--I'm so thankful the Lord nudged me to do it, and so thankful He used it to reflect His warmth and brilliance your way.

    Praying for you, sweet friend!

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  5. The enemy would have loved for you not to post it...I'm glad you gave him a black eye.:):)

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  6. Also thank you for the kind things you said about me...really touched and encouraged my heart, dear one.
    ~Blessings, Diana~

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  7. Hey, busy lady. I am so glad your post helped me see that I was to stay put in my church! A visiting preacher who doesn't know me or the darkness that I've been going through stopped preaching and walked back to me and gave me a wonderful word from the Lord! What he told me only God could have given him! The last thing that he shared with me was that God was going to give me the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness---Praise the Lord! So thankful for someone who will step out in faith and obey God. I am also thankful for your post about SHINE and how God used you to let me know the answer to one of the most important parts of my life...where to go to church. Blessings to you, my sis in Christ!

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  8. That's awesome, Diana!! Isn't it amazing when He speaks to us through people who may be strangers to us, but who are close friends of His . . . and so our brothers and sisters? Oh, praise the Lord!

    Interestingly, I was just praying for you, then looked up and saw your comment here. I'm praying for that garment of praise for you!

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  9. Thank you so much,Roseanna. What an awesome God we serve! Not only has He lifted me up, but He is letting you know that He is hearing your prayers as well...by my comment being on here as you've been praying for me! Keep shining, girlfriend!

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