The Essence of His Presence – By: Gayla Bagwell and Jane Dawson


This inspiring Christmas celebration began with an enticing line-up of foods created and prepared by Danon Gale which included:


Pan Seared Scallops & Bacon Bites

Grilled Chicken Bruschetta

Mini Caprese Skewers w/Balsamic Glaze

Strawberry-Spinach & Arugula Salad w/Zesty Vinaigrette &

Candied Walnuts

Italian Mini Meatballs




Mini Chocolate Eclairs

Mini Red Velvet Bites

Assorted Christmas Cookies


All the food was delightful and beautifully prepared!

Immediately upon arrival in the lobby our senses were set alight with the beauty created for everyone’s pleasure as well as the smell of something delicious cooking.  There are two brilliant 9 foot and 15 foot Christmas trees exquisitely decorated in the lobby! Since this evening is all about the Presence of Jesus, the focus was on the sense of smell that emanates from Jesus when we spend time with Him in His presence; smells such as the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.  To highlight this, hanging from the chandeliers in the lobby were extremely large images of perfume bottles along with the most beautiful red rose garlands.  While people enjoyed appetizers and desserts, they were entertained with “carolers” singing the sounds of Christmas.  It was a festive atmosphere and you could tell that everyone was enjoying this special “Shine Event.”


After relishing our time of fellowship and food, we moved into the sanctuary where the first thing you noticed was the beautiful “video mapping” on the walls and ceiling with Christmas designs as well as the colorful lights flashing across the auditorium. Every woman received a heart shaped box of chocolate soaps (be sure you don’t eat them please) and their choice of two or more samples of fragrances which were generously donated by Nordstrom’s, Macy’s and Dillards!  We always get spoiled at SHINE events!  There were large cut-out fragrance bottles on the stage, as well as the smell of different fragrances emanating from selected fragrances.

Then we entered into a time of worship provided by the Word of Life Worship Team and the presence of the Lord filled the room as we all poured out our love to Him in song and worship.  Truly Jesus shows up when we worship Him in spirit and in truth!  It is in His presence that we receive healing, peace, joy and love for ourselves so that we can give it away to a hurting world.  II Cor. 2:15, “For we are unto God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”

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Of course a SHINE event always includes a time of giveaways!  This is the most fun as women get very competitive about receiving the six special gifts which have been beautifully wrapped and chosen for the giveaway.  Tonight the giveaways were especially prepared by Melissa De Diego and consisted of an oil warmer with several beautiful scented oils.  Of course everyone wanted one but only six were chosen if they were the first to answer the questions about perfume correctly.



After the giveaways, the SHINE singers performed, “Pour my Love on You.” These ladies have the most angelic and amazing voices.  We always look forward to hearing their performance.  They truly help to bring in the presence of God and set the stage for the message that Gayla Bagwell will deliver to encourage us, strengthen us and bless us as well as entertain us because her messages are always packed with creativity!


Gayla’s message was all about the fragrance of Jesus! It was titled, “The Essence of His Presence.” She shared how Christ has made each of us to be a unique designer fragrance. We have the “oil of grace” which is like Myrrh (a noted healing balm or salve). Grace is a healing balm for our souls. Added to that is the essence of The Rose and the Lily. (Song of Solomon 2:1, “I am the Rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys.”) She also captured the thought that our tears are like frankincense which are formed as resin on tree bark to look like tears. When frankincense is burned it has a strong fragrant scent that speeds healing and its aroma is an anti-depressant. When we pray, our prayers with tears are burned as a sweet scent before God. He knows our personal scent and He hears us when we pray. He heals our diseases and calms our anxious hearts because of His great love for us.


To end this glorious evening of having our senses heightened in many different ways, the altar was opened and many ladies spent time with the Lord at the altar pouring out their “alabaster box” to Jesus. It was a beautiful sight! Pastor Gayla walked around and anointed hundreds of their hands with the sweet smell of rosewater.  As each woman left, they were given one red rose as a reminder that Jesus is our Rose of Sharon and how we carry His scent wherever we go – the scent of faith, hope and love to a world in need of a Savior.




  1. Patricia Barhite says:

    His Presence was truly manifest in the midst of all the activity. I love His Presence, and I really enjoyed the teaching. Thanks, Pastor Gayla and team.

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