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Shine, Jesus, Shine!

I was reading in the book of Daniel this morning–the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. If you don’t know the story, three Hebrew boys refuse to bow down to the King’s gold statue, so King Neb (as I like to call him) throws them in a furnace. Ultimately, God saves the three boys for putting Him first and refusing to bow to any idols.


Although I’ve known this story since I was a little girl, something stood out to me this time.


Society daily prompts us to take our eyes off Jesus. The pressures of “Everybody’s doing it” or “Everybody has it” might be glaringly obvious or way more subtle. One thing’s for sure, practically anything has a potential to become an idol, and the attractiveness of it gleams brightly—just like the gold statue. It was ninety feet tall and nine feet wide. We don’t have gold statues hanging around our homes, but we might have other things that could very easily gleam as brightly:


  • Food
  • Technology
  • Relationships
  • Cars
  • Movies, songs, and other forms of entertainment
  • Dare I say, social media.


Unlike the gold statue, these “things” aren’t necessarily evil. In fact, I like these “things.” I’m sure you do too. But liking and worshiping are two different things.


  • Could it be that we are knowingly–or unknowingly—giving in to peer pressure, diverting our eyes off Jesus, and fixing them onto these not-so-obvious shiny idols?
  • Could it be that the lures of the “new and improved,” “the latest and greatest,” and “constant connectivity” have so captivated us that although we focus more and more of our attention on them, we still can’t seem to fill the longing inside of us?


Our idols may gleam for a while, dear one, but inevitably, they start to lose their luster. For some of us, we may already see their brightness disappearing. I’m sure the gold statue didn’t shine brightly for long.


Let us vow not to bow except to the One who deserves all our adoration and admiration—Jesus. He might not be popular, but He alone deserves our ultimate attention and affection. He is our light (Psalm 27:1), and He outshines anything that threatens to take His place (Psalm 76:4). Jesus will never lose His luster–He will be our everlasting light (Isaiah 60:19). Jesus—only Jesus—is bright and beautiful (2 Corinthians 4:6Psalm 80:19). Jesus—“the brightness of the Father’s glory” (Hebrews 1:3).


Jesus–the Light of the world (John 9:5).




Shine, Jesus, shine!


Come alongside… What idol has your attention lately? What steps will you take to refocus and worship Jesus, the Light of the world? Thoughts?


Guest Post: Love Twisted. Love Defined.

I am honored to have my dear friend, Sara Robillard, as my guest blogger for today. Sara and I have known each other several years, and she is truly the sister I never had.  She is my “Sissy.” Sara is one of the best lyricists I know. She writes recovery testimonies and recovery-related blogs. She’s also a ghost writer for a non-profit organization. Sara’s story is one of hope and healing. I’m honored to have my Sissy share her heart with you today and hope you will be blessed by her story, “Love Twisted. Love Defined.”




“Love Twisted. Love Defined.”

by Sara Robillard

Find Sara on Twitter




Love twisted. Love Defined.


That’s been my life thus far in a nutshell.



As a victim of physical, sexual, spiritual and psychological abuses for the first 20+ years of my life, it’s safe to say I felt pretty screwed up coming out of it. I had seen despair, I had felt hopelessness, but never as profoundly as I did entering recovery. I began to understand that I was being held accountable, and I needed to trust God if I had any chance of surviving. I fought it at first. I had my own way of dealing with things, but God began to break through all my mechanisms, drawing me to Himself.  At the end of a long, weary battle, I found myself on my knees, my heart absolutely crushed, and throwing myself at Christ.  He finally became my source of life, of hope, of love. No more idols. No more ideals. No more disappointment.


I struggled with how to handle this love relationship I had with God.  I had been told I was “loved” before, but that was the twisted sort. Taking and demanding. Using and abusing. Based on merit and emotion. I turned to His word, looking for the truth. And I found it. I found it in the example of Christ, in His action upon the cross out of love for me (1 John 4:9). I found it demonstrated through His people as they ministered to me (1 John 4:11-12). I found it as I began to understand how to express my love to Him through simple obedience (1 John 5:2-3).


He chose me. He set me apart to be His own before the world  began. I know that I have never been alone. And I am constantly being romanced by Him in all that is around me. Somehow, I have  found myself desperately in love, going from one extreme to another. I have no idea how it happened…it was so subtle, so profound, so beautiful.


And to think, this is what He desires for us all.




Come alongside…Has love been twisted for you? Can you allow God to define it? Comment below.


I am like Whitney

I didn’t believe it when I first heard the news early this week, but alas, it was true: Whitney Houston was dead. I tried to keep it together, but I admit: I cried–a lot. She was my favorite singer growing up. I wanted to be–and sing–like Whitney. What girl in the ’80s and ’90s didn’t?


I’m not sure how or why her life ended so soon. But as I thought about her life, I was saddened. What made it worse were comments from people who were quick to judge her and her actions.


Dear friend, please hear my heart…


  • We all have issues.
  • We all sin.
  • Whitney was no exception.
  • Neither am I.
  • Neither are you.


God has used my life experiences–good and bad–to show me one life-changing Truth.


  • Any person can make unhealthy choices.
  • Any person can make a mistake.
  • Any person can fall.
  • I can be that person.


What separates my life from Whitney’s?


  • The cameras.
  • The tabloids.
  • The news.


Her private mistakes were made public. Her unhealthy choices were publicized for the world to see. Her addictions were on the little screen and on the front pages of newspapers and magazines.


What about me? My mistakes? My unhealthy choices? My addictions? They remain mine and mine alone–hidden from view of the world, my workplace, my church, my friends, and even my family. I am no better, no worse than Whitney. It just so happens that my issues are not on display for the world to see. Nor would I want them to be.


Dear one, I don’t want to judge others. I don’t want to pick on them, jump on their failures, or criticize their faults (Matthew 7:1-6). Instead, I pray for God to have mercy on me, for I–like Whitney–am a sinner (Luke 18:9-14). I–like Whitney–need Jesus to remove the deep stain of all my sins–public and private. I need to be as clean as freshly-fallen snow (Isaiah 1:18).


We are all like Whitney. But this I know… Jesus loves Whitneys.





Come alongside… Have you been judged? Have you judged others? How do you feel when you hear that we all have issues and are all sinners? What sins do you need to confess today? Can you accept that Jesus loves you? He does, you know…


New Article… “Alpha, Beginning–Omega, The End”

Awhile back, I mentioned that Mentoring Moments for Christian Women invited me to become one of their staff writers.



“Alpha, Beginning–Omega, The End” is the first of my contribution to our year-long series of “Jesus is…”


I hope you will read, comment, and share.


And if you haven’t already subscribed to Mentoring Moments, I encourage you to do so.


Big hugs,

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.