Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Who Are We Up Against?

Hey girls,
Here is our new verse for this week.

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers and this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12

Sunday night I went to a meeting for new students in our church's youth group. The leader made this statement "Hurt people hurt people, healthy people heal people". Wow. It has been two days and I keep thinking on that nugget of truth.

So many times when I have been hurt by someone, I have made it all about me. What did I do? Why did they do that to me? I didn't deserve that. This statement turns all of that around. Instead it becomes: What is going on in them? Why did they feel the need to do that? Why are they hurting

Last week, my friend Zoe said it was her goal in life to become a Q-tip. Quit Taking It Personal. More great advice.

This week you will have opportunities. Opportunities to look at someone who is hurting and decide to be part of their healing process or decide to become another person on their list of people they have offended. Take His road. Embrace that person and become a healer!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Run With Me

I can’t believe I did it. Somehow, I committed myself to running a half marathon with some friends. That’s 13.1 miles! How did I get myself into this? It is true that I enjoy running, but this is taking it all a bit far. See, for someone like myself who easily becomes bored with exercising, this is big!

Over the years, I have discovered something about myself that I am not too proud of. I am not highly motivated. When I run, if I am running alone, I stop to walk up the hills, but when I am running with a friend, I keep going. In fact, just this week I ran 8 miles without stopping! All because I had someone who ran with me.

My running habits look a lot like my faith habits. Ecclesiates 4:9 - 12 says it all: "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall (or want to quit like me!), one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone with he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (NKJV)

I need friends. I need ones who will come along side of me and encourage me to pursue Jesus. I need ones who will be honest with me and push me to grow.
Maybe you too are like me. You also need a friend to come along side of you to encourage you to keep going; to push yourself up that spiritual hill and become stronger. If you already have that friend, let them know that you are counting on them to support you in this race you are running. If you don’t, ask the Lord to bring you a friend that will not only encourage you, but that you can encourage in return. You just might be the answer to someone’s prayer today.

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Thank you for always being beside as I run this race called life. Please help me to find another friend who will not only run along with me, but one that I can encourage as well. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Think About It:

Do I tend to want to give up in my run with Jesus when I hit a hill or am I the type who digs in and pushes on?

Do I have a friend in my life already that I need to be encouraging, even when it might feel a little weird to talk about our faith? Do I need to pray for a new friend?

How about my parents? Consider sharing with them that you need a little support to keep heading up the hills in your life.

Live It:

What are some practical ways that you can encourage your friends? Try one of the following:

· Invite them to a Christian club at school or your youth group.
· Ask them how you can pray for them.
· Memorize a verse together that talks about something you are both struggling with.
· Pray together for some mutual friends who need to know Jesus

Power Verses:

2 Timothy 4:6 & 7 The Message “You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way!”

Hebrews 12:1 – 3 The Message “Do you see what this means – all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running – and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside of God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”

Philippians 3: 14 The Message “Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

Friday, September 12, 2008

Truth Will Set Us Free

Since our new group started a terrific book called Lies Young Women Believe and The Truth That Sets Them Free, I thought we would memorize a verse this week that will help us to remember what our goal is: to walk freely with Jesus!

It is John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!" These words came directly from Jesus.

If you find after a couple of days that you already know this one, just comment below and I'll post another!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Give Them a Try

“For if they fall, one will lift up his companion, but woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NKJV)

I read an interview with a seventeen year old girl that blew me away. She talked about how badly she wanted her parents to know what was going on in her life: who she was dating, how far they had gone, how he treated and the mean things he said to her. She didn’t tell them though. She was afraid; afraid of how they would react.

As a parent, this crushed my heart. I want my kids to be able to tell me the things in life that they are struggling hard with. I want them to know that they are not alone. I want to be able to pray for her, love her and hold her when she needs it, but the only way I can do that for her is if she is honest with me.

Honesty; that is a tough one. If we are not honest, though, how can someone support us when we need it? How can someone help us to avoid trouble?

The Lord has given us parents to be these exact people; people who can help us up when we fall. People who will love us even when we find it hard to love ourselves. People who believe in us.

Give your parents a try. Ask them to not freak out; to just listen to you. If you give them a chance, you may find your parent to be just the type of friend you need!

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Thank you for the whole plan you had of parents; what a great idea. Help me to be able to trust my parents. Show me how I can develop a better relationship with them and find that extra bit of help I need in life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Think About It:

Do I trust my parents with my really personal stuff?

Why do I withhold information from my parents?

Do my parents have the wisdom I might need for exactly where I am at right now?
Live It:

Figure out a time when you can get one-on-one with one or both of your parents. Try a walk at the park or dinner out. Begin to share some things with your parents and see how they handle it. You can start small; just be sure to start!

Pray and ask the Lord to help you to build a trusting relationship with your parents where you trust them and they trust you.

If you don’t have a parent who is a believer, look for another adult who loves the Lord and start building a great relationship with them.

Power Verses:

Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.” (NKJV)

Ecclesiastes 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (NKJV)

Psalm 51:6 “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” (NKJV)