An Advance Not a Retreat

This past week, I was blessed to attend the SHINE Conference at Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida with three dear friends and about 42 other beautiful ladies from our church that I also call friends! It was simply amazing. The first image I notice as I enter the building is a beautiful life-size wedding dress that you would never suspect from a few feet away was made of paper and decorated with a trail of paper flowers cascading down the front. The next sight was a huge cloud structure hanging from the high ceiling and suspeded from those clouds were letters dangling at different lengths. One of the letters caught my eye! It said, “Do you not know, I have loved you with an everlasting love!” This is based on the scripture in Jeremiah 31, ” This is what the Lord says:“The people who survive the sword will find favor in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel.” The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful.”  I took this very personally, you see, there were no less than twenty letters hanging down from this cloud but my eyes were drawn to and captivated by this one alone! I was soon to see the theme of the Conference was Wonder, what a way to begin on this journey!  Now, looking back, I know that the Lord was preparing my heart for what would be to come!

One of my first take away’s as Session One began was: “Don’t let the mundane get in the way of the magnificent; and Don’t let the magnificent become mundane!”  How appropriated to start of with a directive not to let the wonder and magnificence of God’s touching my heart through the simplicity of the beautiful decorations; a reminder that we are the Bride of Christ, precious in His sight and in the sight of Father God, slip away!! He sings over each of His Beloved.

 Zephaniah 3 (GW)  ‘17 The Lord your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you,renews you with his love, and celebrates over you with shouts of joy.”  
Some translations use, “He sings over you.”
 Oh what freedom and joy we would know if we would just step into His Word seeking to learn all about His character and to fully know how much He loves us and who we are and who we can become in Him! What a difference it would make in our lives to fully realize that we are  adopted by God, daughters of God; betrothed to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords as part of the Bride of Christ (His Church)!  Is it possible to truly grasp He really does love us with an everlasting love? That He calls us His beloved? Perhaps He even calls us ‘My Princess’? Imagine for a moment, if you dare that right this minute He is with you; your hero coming to rescue and save you; that He is rejoicing over you with singing; renewing you with His love and celebrating over you with shouts of joy! Can you imagine just how much that one verse could change our lives? He really does love us and His plans for us are for good, are you game to find out what His Word says about how precious you are in His sight? I promise it will be the adventure of a life time!!

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