Last night in Woman of Worth, we discussed friendship. As an activity, we made friendship soup!
We discussed the importance of choosing friends wisely, forgiveness, and the number one friendship killer–gossip. Someone asked Jesus how many times do we forgive a friend?
Jesus says to him, “I say to you not up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven! Matthew 18:22
Meaning…..we know up front we will hurt others, and they will hurt us, so get your forgiveness game on. Recognizing that consistent, harmful relationships should end. We challenged ourselves to remember this guideline:
The best way to handle conflict in a relationship is to go to the person and talk it out. If you need guidance on the matter go to a trusted adult, not another friend and gossip about that person.
As we went through the lesson, we wrote characteristics and qualities of a good friend and made friendship soup:
Able to be trusted
Would never harm you
Has your back
Sense of humor
Influences you in the right way
Similar values and grow together
Not ashamed to be with you
To be loyal, faithful
Good listener; Someone who won’t judge
Take the time to help you
Keeps your secrets
Someone who thinks of others
Someone who will hold you accountable to the Lord
Can act like “the bigger man”
Competitive to challenge me
Doesn’t gossip a lot
Doesn’t tear you down
Not afraid to say it if they think you did something wrong
Helps in your time of despair; talks to you
undramatic: who brings happiness and no guilt
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
WOW! What a great reminder of friendship. We began and closed the lesson reminding each other that God is our first and perfect friend who can help us be a true friend to those He puts in our lives.
Last night at the Women of Worth Rally in Colonial Heights the theme was “modesty”. From scripture, to video, to Bible study, to speaker, we learned the importance of modesty in the eyes of God. (I Timothy 2:9)
Girl Defined is a great resource for teenage girls and women on how to stay pure in the counter-culture that opposes God’s truth.
Here is a great video on how to wear fashion and still be modest:
The girls in my group are in 6th grade and some of the topics discussed in Bible study are not head on struggles for them. They are influenced, but it seems they are preparing and making sure they know truth for the potential battle to come.
We discussed how the women we see portrayed as “objects” of unrealistic beauty in magazines, movies, and music videos create feelings of anger, disappointment, sadness that someone would think that’s okay, and conviction. We know the truth and stand against the image, but we also realize we are human and wonder, “Why don’t I look like that?” Even though we discussed how most models in print are drastically altered using technology to make them smaller, taller, or more alluring to the world standards, we admitted we still feel “inadequate” at times.
Mrs. Becton of Precious to God ministries spoke on human trafficking, and how the ministry seeks to help restore oppressed and exploited women by inviting others to share their pain through prayer, awareness, mentoring, and networking. Within her talk she made it crystal clear the differences between the goodness of God, and the lies of the enemy. God is for us, and He is faithful. He keeps no record of wrongs, and He wants to redeem us. The enemy is darkness, confusion, and is against us.
One thing she said that stood out to me was the following:
“Sexuality should not be a burden.”
God created sexuality and is the authority on it. Everything He made, He stood back and said, “This is good!”
When we step into a place as a young lady, or seasoned married woman of our sexuality being a burden, we need to seek God’s truth. If we feel inadequate, abused, oppressed, frustrated, worried, unattractive, not good enough, fearful, apathetic, angry, or confused something good has become a burden and that is not what God desires for us.
Single women and teenage girls embrace God’s truth and know you are precious in His sight. Get to know Him as your perfect heavenly Father who is for you. (Psalm 139)
Married women, no matter your age, size, or season in marriage celebrate the beautiful union between a man and woman –one flesh, created by God, and His gift for marriage.
Your role is of utmost importance in the development of your daughter’s sexuality. When Mrs. Becton works with women who have been exploited and oppressed, many of them talk openly about their relationship with men as little girls, and especially their father, or lack of father. You are the first male role model they witness loving the females in their lives. How you show affection to your wife and to them is their example of how they should be treated by a man.
Fathers who intentionally show affection, love, and engage in the molding of their daughter’s self-worth will reap a harvest of confident and courageous daughters.
If I have a daddy telling me I’m beautiful and worthy, why would I seek that elsewhere? I am satisfied and filled.
The simplest of actions such as love notes, date nights, small gifts just because, taking interest in their hobbies, and leading them in prayer and Bible study will speak volumes to their worth! Time tells them “I must be valuable!” The time you invest says to them “You matter to me!” Research says that most little girls grow up to marry someone that is like their father–the role model they’ve come accustomed to.
Sometimes showing affection is easier when they are smaller and more difficult when they become teenagers. Don’t stop. Don’t pull away. They need you more than ever to guide them, laugh with them, and spend time with them. It may mean a sacrifice of your time, your comfort, or personality, but it’s your God give responsibility to connect and protect.
Ask: How will I engage with my daughter in a positive way, and what does she need from me?
Pray: Be on your knees and in God’s Word praying for her.
Lead: Seek to be the visionary for your family, and lead your family in the way of God’s truth. Do not leave this job/role solely to your wife. As a father, God has equipped you to lead and love:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25
The greatest love gift you can give your family is to learn to lead and love like Christ loved the church. His Word will guide you.
So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do. – John Mayer
Looking into the manger of baby Jesus, It makes me wonder about Mary as a mother. When Jesus searched His earthly mother’s eyes for the first time, did Mary weep? Did she, like all mothers in that bonding moment, cry tears of joy?
Mothers, go back in your mind to that moment in the hospital when all the labor was done. Your little girl was whisked away to be cleaned up. You laid there in awe and exhaustion. When all the guests have gone, and it’s just you and your baby girl you looked deep into her eyes, and you see her searching your eyes with such intention. Her little mouth puckering and forming what will soon be her way to eat and talk to you. If I close my eyes, I can go there in a minute and weep. Maybe you are a grandmother and you are remembering your grandchildren and that moment. Maybe some of you are thinking about your mother who has gone on to be with Jesus. This Christmas is filled with a longing to look into her eyes again.
Mom, I don’t remember that moment, but because you loved me so much and cared for me, it began a journey of attachment to someone who loved me beyond my comprehension. As I grew, I realized that In my mother’s eyes I could see acceptance, concern for me, love, a sense of belonging, joy, tears when I hurt, anticipation, pride, expectation, and, yes, the occasional: “You are in trouble young lady!”
My eyes have changed over the years. My eyes have seen much, experienced much, and there is a depth found in my soul work with Jesus that altered my “20 something eyes”.
Mom, maybe your eyes have more tears, more wear and tear, and unexplainable joy, but they have pointed me to Jesus who is my perfect parent. It’s okay. In fact, I bet Mary and Jesus often looked at each other, and Mary was overwhelmed with her “humanness”. You’ve taught me mom to look into the eyes of Jesus and for that I’m grateful. Remember the hymn we use to sing?
Turn your eyes upon Jesus! Look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace….
Mom, here I am with you, my future child’s great grandmother, aunts, and my spiritual family. What great joy and anticipation! Let’s celebrate Christmas with anticipation just like Mary awaiting Jesus’ birth. Let us prepare our hearts and anticipate not only the Christmas morning, but His coming again.
I love you.
Mom, I look forward to my time alone in the hospital with my child—that mother/daughter moment in the dark, and quiet of the night. I will love, remember, and just like Mary “treasure these things in my heart”. Just like I found in my mother’s eyes a reflection of who I am and what will be, I hope my sweet baby will find that same reflection in my eyes, and most importantly the eyes of Jesus.
Victoria and Anna singing In My Daughter’s Eyes in 2011 at a Christian Woman’s Club Meeting. I loved closing our presentation last night with this duet. Through the years, this song has brought new meaning and great joy!
Mother Daughter Woman of Worth Mentoring Ministries Christmas Party, December 18, 2015
What a sweet night with Jesus and our daughters. Ladies–the night brought great joy! This season we are encouraged to celebrate JESUS and share His love.
Don’t forget to have your mother/daughter Bible study time with yummmmmmy hot chocolate. The Bible Study is below if you need it.
“College is the land of opportunity” (Henderson, 2013, pg. 17). You probably have already signed up for clubs, developed a routine, and continuously discovering that there is “oh so much to do”.
Be effective by being selective
Let’s face it most of your days will be busy with constant deadlines. However, by being selective about new opportunities and prayerfully considering your time, God will show you when to say “no”, and when to say “yes”. In my life experiences, there have been insane moments in which I felt strongly to say “yes” even though I knew it meant more time and effort. I trusted God to provide the strength and provision of time. In faith, I knew I had to say yes. Other times, I’ve equally felt God calling me to say “no”, and I had to trust Him. What are your spiritual gifts, and how can God use you to further His kingdom work? When you know your gifts, you can be selective. Never limit God’s calling you out of your comfort zone, though. Trying something new, may open doors for growth.
Jesus “went away to a quiet place to rest”, and God rested on the 7th day. God created sleep to rejuvenate you, and heal your body. Lack of sleep impacts your memory, emotional well-being, and in some cases irrational thoughts/hallucinations, and has been linked to heart disease and other health related issues. Sleep is a time for you to store all of you’ve learned in your memory, and to heal your body. Laying in the bed and checking your phone, and being on your computer is not resting. The blue lights from computers and phones causes a decrease in melatonin, a natural hormone that helps you fall asleep.
Schedule your time and keep a list
List your top five priorities, and ask yourself how you will make time for these priorities. Get a good paper or computer calendar and make sure your priorities are listed–Family, School, Church, God, Job, Friends, etc…
Ask yourself honest questions. How much time are you on social media in comparison to homework or spending time in Bible study? Readjust and make time for your priorities.
Pursue excellence to the end
Pursuing excellence does not mean you will not make mistakes, or fall short. It’s about attitude and action. Colossians 3:23-25 tells us that anything we do, we do it for God, and with all of our heart–with passion. From cleaning your bedroom and bathroom to writing a paper for a class make sure you are doing it for God, not man. Talk to Him about it. Ask Him to give you wisdom and direction. Ask Him how the assignment or chore will help you grow. Most importantly, be grateful and give God thanks. Research has proven that gratitude creates joy. Feeling a little down? Start listing your blessings, and practice an attitude of gratitude.
One verse in God’s Word that encourages me is “to finish what you’ve started”. If you’ve made a commitment –finish it. Even when you may feel disconnected from the professor, the class is boring, or you are just tired or bored, “finish what you’ve started” and trust God not your feelings.
Prayer: Heavenly Father I pray that you will give me the guidance that I need to have fun while still maintaining a schedule of proper study and needed rest. Protect me as I seek your help in scheduling time for everything. I love you Father and pray this in Jesus name, Amen.
Church attendance among teens and young adults follows some important patterns. There are always some coming and some going. Yet something significant happens between the ages of 17 and 19 that accounts for the vast majority of those who leave. At age 17, the twice- monthly attendance of our study sample drops as follows:
16–17, drop 10%
17–18, drop 14%
18–19, drop 13%
Statistically, we found four factors that were the most predictive in determining which teenagers stayed in church:
I wanted the church to help guide my decisions in everyday life (prior to 18).
My parents were still married to each other and both attended church (prior to 18).
The pastor’s sermons were relevant to my life (prior to 18).
At least one adult from church made a significant investment in me personally and spiritually (between 15 and 18).
the freshman 15, chapter 1, Keeping the faith
Your faith will be tested, and little by little you may find yourself pulling away from a daily intimate relationship with Jesus.
How does this happen?
We often jump to answers surrounding temptation and rebellion against God’s principles and promises, but it can be summed up into one word:
College Students are usually busy with the following:
New living space
Extra curricular activities
Staying connected to your family
The pressure of the Dean’s List
Time spent with emotional thoughts–excitement, worry, fear, confusion, questioning
Matthew 6:25-34 reminds us not to worry about our life. If you’ve seen the movie War Room, the prayer warrior gives complete control over to Jesus in the most challenging of circumstances. This frees you up to pray, worship, and study God’s Word. You allow God to fight your battles, and you trust that He will provide.
The answer to busy?
PUT GOD FIRST
NO MATTER HOW YOU FEEL OR WHAT’S ON THE CALENDAR
In the Freshman 15 book, she gives you packing instructions for college.
Must pack: SEEK GOD FIRST
What does it mean to seek God first?
2. Must pack: SPEND TIME WITH THE LORD
What are the things keeping you from seeking Him first?
When are you going to set aside time daily to be in His Word and pray? Where (be specific)? What are you going to study? Will you keep a journal?
3. Must pack: GET PLUGGED INTO A LOCAL CHURCH
For example, I went to Christopher Newport’s website and found this! (click on the word “this” for a complete list)
Baptist Campus Ministries (BCM)
Baptist Campus Ministries is a student-led organization open to all denominations and anyone exploring their faith. It provides opportunities for Bible study, discipleship, fellowship, and missions. We strive to cultivate strong community and develop church leaders. Baptist Campus Ministries at CNU is a part of a nation-wide organization known as Baptist Collegiate Ministries. website: www.cnubcm.weebly.com
When searching, you want it to be a good fit, but remember it may not be like your home church. Churches are not perfect, and you are there to worship Jesus, not to find out if they have a coffee bar, comfy seats, or a pastor that’s hip and cool. You want teaching grounded in God’s Word and a place that emphasizes growing in the knowledge of Jesus, grace, and prayer.
I’m going to add a fourth to the suggested three in the book.
4. Must Pack: A COMMITTED MIND
Every decision you make and action you take, originated with a thought in your mind. The Holy Spirit is your comforter and powerful tool to keep your mind SET on keeping your faith. No one else can do this for you. There was a time your parents encouraged you in spiritual matters, but little by little, it becomes your journey alone with Christ. In fact, this is the most important decision you will make in college. Good grades, a career, perhaps a future spouse are the practical, most evident important decisions before you. Yet, unless you seek God first and His will for your life, these crucial areas could be disastrous or confusing. Your JOY is found in Christ alone, and He directs your path and future. Will you be courageous?
Choose THIS DAY whom you will serve!
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
Change the words Euphrates and Amorites to modern-day words like busy, apathy, influence of professors and friends, parties, relationships, school work, …..