Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 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


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!


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.


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 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 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.

God is Closer Than You Think

The primary promise in the Bible is not that God would forgive us, but that God desires to and makes a way to be with us.  As Michelangelo so beautifully depicted on the Sistine Chapel, God is stretching and straining to reach man.

When God downloaded instructions for the tabernacle to Moses it wasn’t so that people would serve him or hear about him or worship him or tell about him, but so he could dwell among us.

Have them make a tabernacle for me, that I may dwell among them. Exodus 25:8

God wants to be with us.

We may think God’s ideal companion is someone with a pure heart, a devoted follower or a wise leader. But it’s not just them. God wants to be with you. He wants to be with me. God’s companions include people who are flawed, unsatisfied, restless, complainers and sinners.

A prime example is Jacob. He was a liar and a cheat. He stole his brother’s birthright, deceived their father and then ran away. But while he was on the run he had an amazing experience.

When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”  When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” Genesis 28:11-16

“Surely the Lord is in this place and I was not aware of it.”

I wonder if we could say the same thing.

  • The Lord was with us at home and we were not aware of it.
  • The Lord was with us at school and we were not aware of it.
  • The Lord was with us at work and we were not aware of it.
  • The Lord was with us in the car and we were not aware of it.

Something shifts when we wake up to the reality that God is with us. On every ordinary day. In every ordinary place.

God is straining and stretching to reach you. He is closer than you think.

The Chronicles of Everyone

In the movie “The Chronicles of Narnia,” one of the boys wanders off from his siblings to make his own way, like a prodigal son, betraying them and leading only to trouble. This scenario is not uncommon among us as human beings. So often, we want to decide for ourselves what is best. We don’t want others to tell us what to do. We know what it feels like to not want God to tell us what to do. Indeed, we want to create our own rules and be in control.

We all have this innate desire to be in control – more specifically, to be in control of our pleasure. According to the Bible, God says that He wants to give us abundant life. But we exchange God’s plan with our own plan – all out of a desire to be in control.

We can betray family and friends for the purpose of so-called “happiness.” But it doesn’t last. We inevitably get in trouble. We may not fall into the clutches of a witch like the boy Edmund in the movie “Narnia,” but we betray our own values, and there is a price for that. It’s amazing how fast our lives can unravel.

However, the good news is that grace and redemption are available to all.

In “The Chronicles of Narnia,” the lion-king Aslan says, “What’s done is done. There is no need to speak to Edmund about what is past.” This is an example of grace. Love covers all sins. When you confess your sins and ask Jesus to forgive you based on His death and resurrection, God tosses your sins into the sea of forgetfulness. This is reality.

In the movie, when the witch says venomously, “Every traitor belongs to me,” she insists that the boy Edmund must die. Yet, Aslan goes to his death as a replacement for the boy. SPOILER ALERT: Like Jesus Christ, Aslan overcomes death.

To paraphrase the Bible, God looked at the earth and said, “No price is too high.” So He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever confesses and believes in Him will not perish. If the witch in the Narnia movie understood the truth about sacrifice and the power of the perfect sacrifice, she would have understood the force which makes death itself turn backwards.

In “Narnia,” Edmund returns to his family and is restored, thanks to the lion-king Aslan. Similarly, in the story of the prodigal son in the Bible, the father was excited to see the restoration of his son. His father saw his son from a long way off because he was looking for him.

So [the prodigal son] arose and came to his father. But while he was yet far away, his father saw him and was moved with compassion, and ran and embraced his neck and kissed him. – Luke 15:20

The father gave the prodigal son a feast, put a ring on his finger, slipped sandals onto his feet and hung a robe on his shoulders, as if covering his son with grace.

The passion of our Heavenly Father is to run to us in our time of need. Like each of us at some point, we were lost, but now we are found. It’s nothing short of amazing grace.

(Note: If you struggle with control issues and you desire to control people and circumstances, you can attend the “Hurts, Habits and Hang-ups” group meeting in the Celebrate Recovery program on Tuesday nights at Shoreline South or Thursday nights at Shoreline North.)

Top Ten Reasons Why Shoreline Volunteers Rock

Shoreline volunteers rock. They rock so much we couldn’t keep the list to just ten reasons why. So here are 16 reasons why Shoreline Volunteers Rock along with a special invitation!

16. Shoreline volunteers rock because they value doing life together and make people feel like they belong.

15. Shoreline small group hosts rock because they open their homes and their hearts to help people make great friends.

14. Shoreline parking team volunteers rock because rain or shine they are in place to welcome our guests.

13. Shoreline volunteers rock because they step out of their comfort zone, build authentic relationships and lead others.

12. Shoreline production volunteers rock because they go the extra mile to make sure we can all see, hear and soak up a supernatural worship experience.

11. Shoreline greeters rock because they are enthusiastic about smiling, shaking hands and giving hugs

10. ShorelineKids volunteers rock because they give it all.  They serve from 30 minutes before the service till well after service.  They do everything with a smile and energy that points kids to Jesus

9. Shoreline volunteers rock because they are willing to allow God to use them to make a difference even though they aren’t perfect.

8. Shoreline ushers rock because they are diligent about keeping order while having fun with their fellow team members.

7. Shoreline Celebrate Recovery volunteers rock because they are here every single week even on holidays to help us deal with our hurts, habits and hang ups.

6. Shoreline youth volunteers rock because of their dedicated investment in the next generation.

5. Shoreline Connect Center team rocks because they get to know people and their stories by having conversations.

4. Shoreline design and hospitality team volunteers rock because they create the environment that makes everyone feel at home.

3. Shoreline volunteers rock because they have regular jobs and still make it a priority to volunteer.

2. Shoreline worship volunteers rock because they keep learning new songs and faithfully lead us in worship by their example.

1.Shoreline volunteers rock because they ask, “What else can I do to help?”


We are deeply grateful for all of the ways that Shoreline volunteers invest their time, talent, and treasure to make Shoreline the special place it is. 

As we kickoff the fall season, we want to take an evening to appreciate our volunteers and share the clear vision God has given us for the future! So, please mark your calendar and click here to rsvp for TEAM NIGHT – a special evening filled with fun, food, music, gifts and more!!


Wednesday, August 9th at 7 pm on the North Campus.
Thursday, August 10th at 7 pm on the South Campus.

We can’t wait to celebrate YOU!