Arise to Shine will hopefully spur on the Christ believer in you and me. I began writing Arise to Shine 6 years ago. Then after only two years, I stopped. Just stopped. I cannot believe that much time has passed between my first post in 2011 and today (July 2017). I can view those years from three lenses:
1. such wasted, lost time…or
2. The Enemy of my life wants me to fail.
3. God-required maturing time.
My pride only sees #1. Reality accepts #2. My spirit, my heart accepts and sees #3. All three have been a part of stopping.
The lessons I have learned from set-backs, heartbreaking losses, and accepted consequences are the Gardener’s Pruning Tools. These lessons included being with friends and a community of fellow light-bearers. This pruning resulted in what I’ve wanted all along: to be a grownup. In the world’s scheme of things I’ve been a grownup for almost 50 years. But walking as a daughter of the King has only been in the last two decades. Therefore, I am just beginning my grownup walk.
Six years ago I had hopes and intentions for writing Arise to Shine:
“It may lead you a step closer to who God designed you to be. To shine a light on where you are meant to be on your journey, and what you are purposed to do…Many modern day prophets have risen up and are calling out to believers everywhere:
Go seek your God-given work while you are still here.
If you are in that state of frustration or wondering, and if you are asking God, ‘OK Lord, what’s next? I love You, I want to serve You, but I haven’t got a clue’, join the journey.”
Those words still speak the reason for Arise to Shine today.
My 6 year detour (maybe I should call it a sabbatical?) has added another purpose, and it is the very reason why Arise is Arise to Shine:
Shine, don’t just think about shining.
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Shining is major risk-taking. It’s sharing your story. It’s holding up those who are lost or lonely or hungry or weary. It’s speaking for Truth. It’s loving when you don’t want to. It’s giving up your safe, comfortable idols. It’s listening. Listening without adding anything to what is said. It’s actually doing the work He’s given you to do.
How Arise to Shine is Organized
Posts on Arise are organized around a theme (Kids, Perfection, Wisdom). I promise to investigate the theme, to seek out what God’s Word teaches about it, and share what others say about it. And then I will share what I find with you. Most of the themes have 3-6 posts. Hopefully you will add it to your arsenal of tools and supplies to keep your light shining.