All posts by lynncherry

Five Steps Toward Courage

You may sometimes feel that you are living with a low-grade level of fear and discouragement.  It drags you down and you feel less than your best.  You may even feel that you are living with a malaise of anxiety that grips you.  But God wants you to be courageous.  Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous.”  Do you want to know how to do it? The following is how you take courage: 

Remember your position 

Courage comes from recognizing your true position in Christ.  You were born (again) for courage.  Born for victory, born to overcome.  You are righteous, not because of what you do, but because of who you are in Christ and the free gift that God gave you when you accepted Christ as personal Lord and Savior.  And, according to Proverbs 28:1, the righteous are as bold as a lion.  (Get ready to roar in victory.)   

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. –             2 Timothy 1:7 

Train yourself to see life out of two lenses at the same time 

Be honest about the challenges you face.  Embrace the reality of what is happening.  Nobody benefits from refusing to see what is happening in this world.  However, at the same time, recognize what comes after the “but” in the following two Scripture verses: 

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. – John 16:33 

While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:18 

 Turn and face your fears 

Something supernatural happens when you turn and face your fears.  When you face your fears, God will give you courage.  It has been said that courage is fear that has said its prayers. Courage is not the absence of fear.  Fear is necessary if you are going to have courage.  It’s what you do with fear that makes you courageous. 

Transfer courage to each other 

You don’t need to go through life alone.  You can get courage from other people.  Encourage one another to see from God’s perspective.  Courage is available for you to grasp by faith.   

Trust in God’s everpresent love 

When you know the Lord is present, you gain courage.  The Lord is with you.  His love will sustain you.  You can put your trust in Christ.  Focus on Jesus.  As the Bible says, God is love, and He is perfect.   

Perfect love casts out fear  John 4:18   

When you add courage to your life, you’ll live with the peace, joy and strength that God wants you to have.  Become the best version of you. 

Tips for Reconciling Relationships

Relationships can be wonderful, and they can be a challenge. We all deal with relational issues from time to time. Today we want to look at what makes things spiral out of control and how we go about reconciling relationships.

Family and friends make life fun. Relationships bring joy and productivity, but there is some fine print. There are some hidden fees and a lot of – how shall we say it? – poop. Listen to what Solomon said in all his wisdom:

Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests. Proverbs 14:4 NIV

There are great benefits to relationships, but even in healthy relationships things can get messy.  What causes relationships to go sideways?

Unrealistic expectations – Sometimes people enter into relationships with the hope of finding a savior – someone to meet their every need. Unrealistic expectations snuff the life out of a relationship. Jesus is the only one who can save.

Drift – If we take our relationships for granted, we get carried away by the current and we drift apart. Drift is the opposite of savior syndrome. Sometimes relationships are destroyed not by what we do, but what we don’t do.

Unforgiveness – We are all flawed individuals. We all make mistakes. Unforgiveness keeps us stuck in the pain of our imperfection. Without forgiveness we never move forward.

 

Healing broken relationships is what Christianity is all about. Reconciliation is the byproduct of love and love is the highest value in the kingdom of God. The Bible offers us a clear pathway for reconciling relationships.

 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. Matthew 18:15 NIV

Go – It’s not always easy to go. It’s scary. It’s risky. You may have to press through some fear, but love goes. Love takes the risk of moving toward reconciliation.

In private – It’s not easy to keep conflict between the two of you. Be aware of polluting other people’s minds with the temporary toxicity of your conflict. Please don’t post your relational conflict on social media. Go in private.

Seek to reconcile – When you go in private, with a heart that seeks to reconcile the relationship, you have a much better chance at restoring and reestablishing your relationships. All relationships have difficult moments. There is too much at stake to just walk away.

 

We are Kings and Queens

We were created to rule and reign on this earth. We are kings and queens, that means we are crowned by God, but we don’t always live out of the authority God has given us.

Listen to what the Bible says about your position of authority:

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet Psalm 8:3-6 NIV

So this version says we were made a little lower than the angels, but the actual word in the original language says we were made a little lower than God. Whoa! Let that sink in for a minute. Can you feel the victory in this passage? We are crowned with authority with all things under our feet. We are crowned.

Crowned in His Image – You are created in God’s image. God used himself as a model and designed you to reflect his glory. You are not an accident. You are like God spiritually, mentally, morally and socially. When you begin to believe where you came from, it affects everything.

Crowned a New Creation – Mankind bought the lie that we could make it on our own when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. But God had a plan all along to send Jesus and restore us to right relationship with him. We are forgiven and made brand new. We are sons and daughters of God.  He is the King of Kings and that makes us royalty.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

Crowned with Unique Gifts – There is no one like you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are God’s masterpiece created to fulfill a purpose in his kingdom.
There are victories to be won and you can win them.
There are battles to be fought and you can fight them.
There is authority to take and you can take it.
We are kings and queens!

Ladies, we invite you to join us this Friday October 6th at Shine Women’s Conference. You’ll learn even more about how you have been crowned the royal daughter of God.

Shine Stories

Our annual Shine Women’s Conference is coming up Friday, October 6th. It’s the can’t miss event we create for the women of Shoreline. It’s the exclamation point on our year! We hope to see you there!

This year our theme is Crowned. We are his royal daughters. We are his beloved. We are his crowning jewels. Let’s come together, in this sacred space and soak in this marvelous message that God created us to SHINE!! You’ll find all the details at Shinewomen.com along with inspirational quotes and stories. Here are a few highlights:

 

She looked me straight in the eyes as she was placing the crown on my head and said, “Wow, you are gorgeous.” The sincerity and love in her eyes, made me feel like I was a beautiful woman. I felt overwhelmingly loved. This peace overcame my body. It was as though God was telling me I was qualified regardless of my insecurities. She said, “You are strong and confident and created in Jesus’ perfect image.” I felt joy, happiness, pure, loved, strong, empowered, lifted high. It was a beautiful moment I will always keep in my heart. Since I was a little girl, I’d always dreamed to be a model and that day I got to be a model for God! My dream came true. I learned so much about myself that day.  FRANCISCA ORZUA

EACH TIME WOMEN GATHER IN CIRCLES WITH EACH OTHER THE WORLD HEALS A LITTLE MORE. -WILD WOMAN SISTERHOOD

Pastor Laura has had the opportunity to meet my mom a few times. During the photo shoot she talked about how she loved the relationship and unique dynamic my mother and I have. She said we are a wonderful example and reflection of God’s diverse and unique love. My mom is a tiny blonde haired blue eyed white lady and I’m…. well, a tan-skinned, crazy-haired Amazon woman, and despite a world of differences we are besties! We all love our mommas! When Pastor Laura highlighted our relationship it truly validated the feelings of love and how much I value my relationship with my mom. Everything she has sacrificed for me… her relentless pursuit to instill Gods love in my life…. And lastly, she made me feel like “our story” was significant and worth sharing with others even as she expressed, “We should have invited your mom to be here.” It’s going to sound super cliché and cheesy, but during the photoshoot Pastor Laura told me I am beautiful and special. When someone says that to you and you see the sincerity in their eyes…. in their smile…. it makes you feel incredible. Like so many women I suffer from body image issues, low self-esteem, and feeling inadequate, but when she said those words I felt them. We wore a one-of-a-kind-crown that day, and at the end of the day I felt like I was one of a kind!
SHAINA MAYBERRY

THE LORD WILL HOLD YOU IN HIS HAND FOR ALL TO SEE – A SPLENDID CROWN IN THE HAND OF GOD. -ISAIAH 62:3 NLT

As Pastor Laura crowned me; she said “I have been praying for you since before you were born. When I look at you, I see hope.” I have struggled with an eating disorder for the past eight years and debilitating anxiety for the past sixteen years so even though it can feel like darkness is always closing in, hope continues to shine through. If someone who lived across the country can care about me this much before ever meeting me, how much more does God love me? I am his beloved.
ALLIE HERNANDEZ

 

Be sure to follow the Shoreline Sisterhood page on Facebook and Instagram for even more Shine Stories! We will see you at Shine!

5 Keys to Growing Enthusiasm

In a recent study participants were asked to complete this statement, “I feel __________.”  The top two responses were tired and bored.  Listen, we all feel tired and bored from time to time, but we don’t want to live our whole life out of that place.  If we are going to live our best life, we need to grow enthusiasm.

The word enthusiasm comes from the Greek words “en theos” which means in God or God within.  Did you know that enthusiasm had such a strong, spiritual correlation? As Christians we want to be brimming with passion, drive, excitement and enthusiasm for life. Maybe you don’t feel that way at this moment. You can cultivate enthusiasm! Here are 5 keys:

Embrace Your Purpose – Vision is critical. A clear vision produces passion. When you understand your purpose you will have direction, protection and motivation.

Join a Team – One of the biggest contributors of our tired, bored feelings is isolation. When we are alone, we are the most vulnerable to discouragement. We need to be surrounded by great relationships to keep the fire of enthusiasm burning.

Determine to Give Your Best – When you determine to give your best, it produces passion. Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm.

And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. Colossians 3:22-23 The Message

Celebrate the Fruit – Taking time to celebrate makes even the smallest victories so much sweeter. When you celebrate, enthusiasm will grow.

Connect with God – Remember the root meaning of enthusiasm – in God or God within. Connecting with God is the clearest path to living with passion. There is nothing more motivating than experiencing God’s love. Love produces passion. Love produces enthusiasm.

The 3 Be’s of Confidence

Insecurities impact our lives in a host of negative ways. They keep us from enjoying healthy relationships. They rob us from reaching our full potential. If we want to live our best lives, we need to learn to live confidently.

Confidence is a huge asset.

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. Hebrews 10:35-59

We do not belong to those who shrink back! We can hold on to our confidence, but where does confidence come from in the first place?

Here are the 3 Be’s of confidence:

How you Behave – When you make good decisions, you are flooded with confidence as you enjoy the good fruit of your good choices. When you make bad decisions, sin produces shame and inferiority. And you have to live with the consequences of those bad choices. Don’t worry if you’ve already messed up, that’s where grace comes in! Confidence can be rebuilt as you move forward with wise behavior.

Who you Befriend – A lot of the value we receive, and how we perceive ourselves comes from the words of our peers. When we hear positive words from the people in our lives our confidence grows. When we hear negative words, the effects can be devastating. Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.

What you Believe – The level of confidence you live with has everything to do with what you believe. If you really believed what the Bible teaches about your identity and purpose, your confidence would be through the roof.

You are created in God’s image. You are the son or the daughter of God. You are royalty. You are holy. You are a new creation. When you believe that, you will throw your shoulders back, hold your head up high, put a smile on your face and walk in godly confidence.

Moved with Compassion

It has been so heartbreaking to watch the news lately and see all the devastation done by the hurricanes. I cannot imagine what the residents in affected areas are going through.

It can be overwhelming to think of their situation where in some cases, they are having to start all over again. At the same time I am reminded that there is still a lot of good in our world.

We see people from all walks of life, jumping in their boats to rescue people of all races, ages and backgrounds. For a moment again, we see people moved with compassion for their fellow man. It reminds me of the many times that Jesus himself was moved with compassion, and he did something about it. He couldn’t just keep walking by when he saw people in desperate need. He was moved deep inside and had to respond.

Every human being has the capacity to be moved with compassion and into action. Compassion is not only for “Christians.” I imagine all the rescuers may not be God-fearing people who know Jesus as Savior, but they are all human beings that have been moved by what they’ve seen. What the world needs in times like these are people who are willing to get outside of their own world and get into the world of others who need help.

Compassion makes you dive in to the needs of others and use whatever you have to make a difference.

I believe this is the Church’s moment to shine and really be the Church. AW Tozer once said, “A scared world needs a fearless church.” Even before the hurricanes, our world has been scared, divided, confused and even angry. What the world needs is the Church – you and I – people who are willing to go the extra mile, step out of their comfort zone, to give and share what we have and bring healing and love to our hurting world.

We are the carriers of hope and our world could use some right now.

I’m proud of all the people who have given, served and maybe even done what they’ve never done before. One thing to remember is that we don’t have to be in a devastating situation to be moved with compassion. This is how life should be. When we are moved with compassion, we can change the world.

Pastor Sam Mata

Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief

Our hearts are breaking over the unfolding tragedy in south Texas brought on by Hurricane Harvey. We are calling our entire church family to pray for all the victims and first responders as well as state and national leadership. Ask for wisdom, strength and compassion.

We believe prayer is powerful. We have also set up a comprehensive response for our church family who want to take additional steps.

You can donate:
We are collecting water, blankets, diapers, underwear, socks, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, non-perishable food, and flip flops. Drop of donations at our north campus 15201 Burnet Road, Austin 78728. Someone will be here to receive your donations Tuesday/Thursday from 9am-5pm, Wednesday 9am-8pm and during Sunday morning service times. We will load the truck on Friday from 10am-noon. Stay tuned in to our Facebook page for updates to collection items and drop off times.

You can volunteer:
We’ve partnered with Convoy of Hope to provide on-site disaster relief. Convoy of Hope has served more than 80 million people with the help of churches, businesses, government agencies, and non-profits. Visit convoyofhope.org to see how you can sign up to be a part of a disaster relief team and bring help and hope to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

You can give:
Your donations will go towards resources to help local members of Shoreline as well as those affected in Victoria and Houston, TX. Visit Shoreline.net to give now!

We love because he first loved us 1 John 4:19

Texans are strong and resilient people, with a deep sense of love and community. Let’s let our light shine and put action to our faith as we bring healing to our beloved state.

Waking Up To God’s Presence

We tend to believe that we have to stop what we’re doing in order to experience God’s presence. But we don’t need to switch activities. We need to invite him into whatever we are doing in the moment. Being with Jesus has less to do with what we’re doing and more to do with simply waking up to his presence.

While Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, her sister Martha was distracted by all the work she had to do in the kitchen. Jesus gently challenged Martha’s decision to allow distraction to pull her away from his presence. (Luke 10:38-42) Here are three steps that will help you resist the temptation to be distracted and consumed by the activities of life and experience God’s nearness whether you are sitting, standing, walking, running or climbing.

Learn to live in the moment – There is only one time that you can experience God’s presence and that’s now. Never the past and never the future, always and only NOW. Some of us have to let go of the past. Some of us have to resist the temptation to live in our tomorrows.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now Matthew 6:34 MSG

Invite Jesus into your whole life – Start your day with a prayer of dependence. Jesus, I need your wisdom and strength and joy. I will not live the way I need to without your help. Pray in the shower. Connect with God over your meals. Invite him into your career. Don’t hesitate to include him in your hobbies. Ask him to be present in your home. You don’t have to stop what you are doing, just invite Jesus to do it with you.

Tune into your pathway – Each one of us is unique. We are wired differently and God is big enough to accommodate every variation. There is enormous freedom in identifying and embracing the way you connect with God. If you’re not sure how to connect with God, here are some well-traveled pathways to test out:

  • Some connect with God through stimulating reading. They love to study Scripture and read what others have learned about the Word of God.
  • Some connect with God in their relationships with others. Jesus said wherever two or three are gathered together in his name, he is there. (Matthew 18:20) Small groups and community experiences become indispensable for these folks.
  • Some connect with God through serving. Jesus said whatever you do for the least of these you do for me. (Matthew 25:40) These people experience the presence of God powerfully as they serve.
  • Some connect with God best in creation. They find something life-giving and God-breathed about nature. You can be fully absorbed in a beautiful Texas sunset.
  • Some connect with God best through worship. Something deep inside them feels released when praise and adoration are given.

God is omnipresent. He is everywhere all the time. We just need to wake up to the reality of his presence with us.

7 Ways to Experience Intimacy with God

The Bible reveals that God is passionate about an intimate relationship with us, but we often live unaware. Our view is clouded by discouragement. We can be overwhelmed by worry and fear. We get so busy that we are too exhausted to pay attention. Or maybe we just forget, and we’ve grown accustom to living unaware.

We want to break through the fog of fear, discouragement, exhaustion and complacency and help you see that living awake to God’s presence is both attainable and life’s greatest thrill.

Here are 7 ways to experience intimacy with God

He’s knocking at your door – God knocks. And when someone responds by opening the door, he comes in to fellowship and share a meal.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20

He is the vine and you are the branch – We are connected to God like a branch to a vine, completely dependent on him. Our life comes from him. Apart from him we just shrivel up.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

You are the temple of the Holy Spirit – Way back during the days of the tabernacle and even Solomon’s temple, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies and God would come down in the form of a cloud once a year. Now, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. How close is God? He dwells within you!

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? I Corinthians 3:16

He calls you friend – Jesus developed a deep, personal connection with his followers. But there were not just his followers, they became his friends.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

He calls you his child – Think about all the dynamics in play between a father and his child. Instruction. Interest. Pride. Joy. Love. God, as powerful as he is, cannot force you to love him. That’s why he knocks at the door. He pursues you with love, grace, mercy, kindness and goodness.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. I John 3:1

He calls you his bride – Of all the images God could have chosen, perhaps the most intimate is that of marriage. God wants to be closer to us than we could ever imagine. (Ephesians 5:21-33)

He wipes away every tear – Only those who are extremely close to you would think to reach out, touch your face and wipe away a tear. God wants to be so close to you, that he himself will wipe away your tears.

 Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Revelation 21:3-4

God is not distant. He is with us and in us. You can grow in awareness of his nearness.It is time to awaken to intimacy with God.