November 23, 2017

GCH:decaf – Circle of Friends

Circle-of-Friends

There is a semi-old song that I think about when I think of the girls I have met through this GCH:Decaf ministry.  I have been singing it a lot lately.  If you have never listened to the girl group you should really look them up.  They have some awesome harmonies and the words to their songs are really relevant.  Chances are you have heard their songs and just didn’t know who sings them.  Anyway, the song I have had on my heart is “Circle of Friends”.  Here is the first part:

We were made to love and be loved

But the price this world demands will cost you far too much

I spent so many years just trying to fit in

Now I’ve found a place in this circle of friends

In a circle of friends we have one Father

In a circle of friends we share this prayer

That every orphaned soul will know

And all will enter in

To the shelter of this circle of friends

That is how I feel about all of the new friends I have met through the study of “A Daughter’s Worth” by Ava Sturgeon.  We began the study as just a group of random hearts from all over the United States mostly, then, we had friends join us in other countries.  People began reading our study blogs in over 100 countries around the world.  The leaders and the girls in the groups became friends and we got to know each other through our Facebook groups.  This study, this group of leaders, this group of girls has changed my life and I want to say Thank You to each one.  I’m sure there will be more lives touched through the words spoken through the blogs than we will ever know.  I pray that God multiplies the hearts blessed by the words He inspired us to write and publish.  The next verse of the song:

If you weep, I will weep with you

If you sing for joy the rest of us will lift our voices too

But no matter what you feel inside there’s no need to pretend

That’s the way it is in this circle of friends

Many of you have shared your hearts and hurts with us during this study.  We have grown close and that makes this Mama’s heart so happy.  We have loved to cry with you and sing with you and celebrate with you.  We are your FRIENDS and you are ours.  As we began making plans for the next study we looked at many things that might make a difference in the lives of teen girls and young women.  We began talking about doing the study “not a fan” by Kyle Idleman.  As we continued to pray and make decisions, it was becoming apparent that we needed to take a step back for a time.  We have decided to not go forward with a new Bible study for teens with Girlfriends Coffee Hour Ministry right now.  There are many exciting things happening at GCH.  I believe God will continue to bless the women as they minister to other women all over the world in the areas they have chosen to pour their hearts into.

                Among the nations, tribes and tongues we have sisters and brothers

                And when we meet in heaven we will recognize each other

                 With joy so deep and love so sweet

                Oh we’ll celebrate these friends

                And a life that never ends

                In a Prayer

                That will not be long before

                All will enter in

                To the shelter of this circle of friends

Because we have all become social media friends, we can contact each other whenever we want to.  Please know that your leaders love you all very much and would love the chance to keep in touch and be a part of your life as you mature.  Remember us if you ever need someone to pray for you, we would love that.  If you have questions about anything, please message us and we will be there for you.

                In a CIRCLE of FRIENDS we have one FATHER,

                In a CIRCLE of FRIENDS we share this prayer,

                That every orphaned soul will know and ALL will enter in,

                To the shelter of this CIRCLE of FRIENDS.

May our Father God bless and keep each of you until we meet again.  If you want to reach me you can find me at Teresa@girlfriendscoffeehour.com or leave me a comment here.  I’d love to hear from you.

Mama T

 

Song Credit goes to Point of Grace – Circle of Friends

Words and music by Douglas McKelvey and Steve Siler

GCH:decaf – Friends are IMPORTANT! and so is FAMILY

We have been having a most AWESOME time getting to know each other these last three months.  We began our Teen Ministry with the hopes that we would be able to reach young women all over the world with the love of God and for them to see how much they are worth to the Father.  In the process, we got to know many new hearts and smiles.

Yesterday Diane shared with us about her friend, Jesus.  How many of you truly think of Jesus as a friend?  Does He have a place in your heart like your best friend does?  When bad stuff happens to you, who do you run to?  Is Jesus first, or do you go to a friend, or a parent?  Sometimes Jesus is the LAST person we go to – and only because we couldn’t figure it out on our own.  That’s not cool.  That is not how Jesus wants us to think of Him.  How long would we have a best friend if we only talked to them when we were bored or in danger?  Not long, I think.  Friends need to be cared for even when things are fun and good.

It is a FACT that bad things will happen in our lives.  It is a FACT that we need other people to walk along side of us for support.  It is a FACT that Jesus wants to be that person that we go to FIRST…even before our friends or our parents.

Through this teen ministry of GCH:Decaf I have met some pretty amazing women, teens and friends.  We have been introducing you to some of the girls that responded to our interview questions.  Today, I would like to introduce you to a pair of sisters who I met while doing the first study and preparing for things to come.  It is truly amazing how God works miracles in our hearts and lives when bad things happen to us.  Some things girls go through are just too awful to survive, let alone use that terrible thing as a ministry opportunity.

These sisters reminded me of the scripture in Psalms 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”   Through our online study group I met Trinicia and Carlia.  They answered my interview questions very honestly, just like the other girls did.  I love these girls so very much that I want to get to know them in person.  I want to watch their ministry unfold as they walk out the path God has laid before them.  The events in older sister’s life affected the life of the younger sister.  That is the way we were designed to be.  We bear each other’s burdens and joys.  I love that they are sisters and support each other.  I love that they have a heart for God.  Here is their story:

CarliaI first want to introduce you to Carlia.  She is 13 years old and lives in Memphis, Tennessee.  She likes the group One Direction (much like many of our girls here at :decaf) and this girls LOVES LeCrae.  I have to say that I am loving me some LeCrae myself these days.  I got a new CD for Christmas.  J  Her favorite movie is “Home is Where the Heart Is” and her favorite TV show is House of Payne.  By these choices alone you can tell Carlia values “home”.

 Carlia loves to dress eccentrically and to do that she needs to SHOP with her friends. When asked about food, she responded that all things “Rafferty’s” was her fave.  I have eaten at a Rafferty’s and I would have to agree that they have good food.

 Now here is the answer to the question:  What is one thing that changed your life?

“The day my oldest sister told my Mom that my dad had been touching her in a bad way.  It was hard because that was my dad and he was a part of me, but so was my sister and she was a girl, so I could feel what she was saying and it was hard for me to deal with.  It still is sometimes.  It did bring us closer as a family and it has made all of us stronger and more protective of each other.  I love her!”

Carlia loves her big sister, Trinicia.  God truly came close to these brokenhearted sisters, daughters and friends.  He has begun to heal the wounds that have crushed their spirits and out of these precious hearts, a ministry has been born.

 Trinicia

Let me introduce you to 19 year old, Miss Trinicia.  She goes to college in Nashville, Tennessee.  Her favorite singer is Beyonce and her favorite Christian artist is also LeCrae.  Oh, yeah, and he is CUTE, too.  Trinicia said that Disney’s Pete’s Dragon is her all-time favorite movie and she likes to watch Criminal Minds and Cold Case on TV.  Don’t mess with her, she’s analytical.  LOL  Trinicia likes to be casually dressy.   She sounds pretty classy to me.  Her favorite thing to do with friends is go out to eat and her favorite is Chinese food.

 So here’s the kicker for me; when Trinicia was asked about one thing that changed her life she responded:  “Meeting my best friend Devin at a time when I had to disclose to my mom that my stepdad… had been molesting me and raped me.  God has used that horrible time in my life to help other girls and women get through such a horrific moment in their life.  God has really given me a ministry!  He has used something bad and is using it for His good!”

Trinicia could have said that the action was the thing that changed her life, but what really changed her was the friendship of Devin who stood by her when she needed support to talk to her mom.  Do bad things happen to good people?  Absolutely.  Is it fair?  I don’t think so, but life isn’t fair.  The thing that matters is how Trinicia responded to the bad thing that happened in her life.  She gave it over to God to use as He saw fit and now Trinicia has a ministry helping other girls and women recover from these crushing blows of life.

Did you notice that not only did the bad stuff affect Trinicia, it affected Carlia?  Did you notice that Carlia said that their family is “closer” now than before they found out about the “bad stuff”?  How can that be?  I can understand how these sisters were reluctant to join us in our study “A Daughter’s Worth”, but getting to know them I see that they know the Father loves them and they return that love.  They have turned their pain into ministry to others who are hurting.  I truly love these young ladies.

In Matthew 22:37 it says, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’”  That verse sums up what we were trying to learn in our last Bible study.  We want to seek God with everything in us, make HIM a part of us that we cannot live without.  We would be lost without our HEART, our SOUL or our MIND.  Make it a point to get to know Jesus this year like Trinicia and Carlia have.  Make 2013 the year you become a true FOLLOWER of Jesus!

I love all my girls,

Mama T

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 If you are interested in sending a private message to Teresa in regards to this blog, please email her at: Teresa@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

GCH:decaf – Meet Diamond

Meet my beautiful

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DIAMOND

 

I have been a fan of this young lady for several months now.  I have been watching her…  not in a creepy way (I hope), but really watching to see what she is made of.  We began this online teen ministry and this girl named Diamond signed up.  She was very quiet, at first.  Then one day out of the blue (to me anyway) Diamond posted the most mature, profound question and response I think I have ever seen.  While we were studying “A Daughter’s Worth” we were talking about dating and how that fits into our lives.  One day this awesome girl posted a statement that blew me away with her insight and maturity.  After I did this interview I realized that Diamond was 12 when she got this revelation from God to her heart.  I was immediately drawn to her.  I can’t wait for you to “meet” my friend Diamond.

This sparkly beauty is 15 years old and lives in Lexington, South Carolina.  I have family in South Carolina so I can’t wait to go for a visit and see Diamond on the way.  Look out girl!

We talked a little about music and she brought up this band that I keep hearing about:  One Directionor something like that.  I have seen the pictures of these guys and they are rather unfortunate looking.  I really hope they can sing.  LOL  There are several girls in our group that like these boys!!!!  Hmmmm  I may need to check them out a little better.

NOW, when we got to Christian artists, Diamond and I think a lot alike.  She loves  tobymac and so do I.  I have seen him in concert several times and I plan to see him again in February when he is in Nashville.  Diamond has pretty good taste in her tunes!!!

We talked about TV and movies a little.  She loves, loves, LOVES the movie Grease (I’m sure the original one with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John) and she goes “old school” Will Smith with the Fresh Prince of Bel Air for her favorite TV show.  I have to admit that I have seen Grease more times than I probably should and I have seen ALL of Fresh Prince (even when it was new, LOL).  Those kids sure did get into some crazy trouble.

Diamond’s favorite thing to do with friends is just to spend time.  I love that.  Time is monetarily free, but is priceless.  It doesn’t have to cost you money to have friends.  They want your time and attention, so just hang out.

On this next topic of food, I must say Diamond surprised me.  I know she is from South Carolina and I know my family in South Carolina can COOK.  I love South Carolina Barbeque (especially the mustard sauce) and macaroni cheese pie.  When I asked Diamond what was her favorite food she said…  Chinese (and more specifically at China House restaurant).

So then I got this funny picture in my head of Diamond at China House in NERDY glasses listening to tobymac and I just had to laugh.

Our pastor shared a scripture with us and I thought about Diamond again.

It was 2 Peter 1:5-9, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But if anyone does not have them, he is NEARSIGHTED and BLIND, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.”

Then that brings us to the Bonus Question:  “What is one thing that changed your life?”

To that Diamond answered a very mature “The one thing that changed my life is when I realized that dating isn’t everything. God showed me this 3 years ago.”  That is what Diamond shared with the GCH: Decaf group back in the beginning of our first Bible study together.  This one statement told me that Diamond was listening to what God had to say to her about her life.  She took it to heart and applied that truth to her relationships.  Diamond doesn’t need a boy to make her feel complete, she has her relationship with God in first place.  Not only did she hear what God said, she was willing to share that knowledge with the other girls in the study group.  I love that!  Every experience is useful if we share it with others and help lead them to the truth of Jesus.

Thank you Diamond for being a light in our last study!!!  You are one very special young lady.  I can’t wait to see how God uses you in our “not a fan” study that begins in February.  I can already tell that you are not a fan.  Keep on teaching us how to be committed followers of Jesus.  Love you girl!!!

Mama T

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We begin our next study on the book by Kyle Idleman, “not a fan”.  We will be working from the red, Teen Edition book and the Follower’s Journal.  Get your books now and be ready to start the study on February 4th.

If you are interested in more information about GCH:decaf, email us at: GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

If you would like to send a personal message to Teresa, you may email her at: Teresa@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

 

GCH:decaf – Meet My Friend VICKY

It’s Tuesday, January 1, 2013!!!  We made it!  Of course the Mayans were wrong…the BIBLE says in Matthew 24:36, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”  Let’s live 2013 like it is a GIFT from God…because it is!  The month of January we will be meeting a different GCH:decaf girl every day.  Each blogger will be introducing you to a new friend.

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Today, I want to introduce you to my friend VICKY.  She is a rockin’ awesome girl that I have met personally (swoon).  We did an interview session and I want to share what I have learned about Vicky.

Vicky  is 14 years old and lives in Murfreesboro, TN.  When asked “Who is your favorite musician or group”, Vicky answered, “One Direction”.  Hmmm, I’m really gonna have to look these English boys up.

Vicky’s favorite Christian artist is Francesca Battistelli.  She writes and sings her own music and is a totally cool young woman.  Frannie actually lives the life she sings about.  Check her out.  Thanks Vicky!

I asked Vicky what her favorite movie of all time was and she said, “Spiderman”.  That surprised me a little.  I’m going to have to investigate that topic a little further with her.  Is it because she has 4 brothers and they made her watch it so many times?  Is it because of the boyish good looks of Peter Parker?  Does she like to swing by spider silk???

Vicky and her mom, Megan, like to watch Grimm together.  I introduced them to Once Upon a Time and now they like to watch both fairy tale related TV shows.  Those Grimm guys are a little dark for me, but Vicky LOVES them.  Have you seen it?

When we talked about clothes and style, Vicky said she is a fan of all things PANTS.  I’m with her.  She looks mighty cute in her pants and she accessorizes them nicely.  Way to Go!

If you were one of Vicky’s friends you would hang out and watch movies together.  She loves to curl up and watch movies.  I’ll bring the popcorn.  You guys should totally show up and crash her couch.

I bet while she is watching movies she has a plate full of her favorite cookies.  Vicky has been taking a course in home economics and has been learning to cook.  We have seen some pictures of her delicious creations on the fellowship page.  I bet those are some good cookies!  Let me know when the next batch is coming out of the oven.

I asked Vicky one final bonus question.  “What is one thing that changed your life?”

Vicky has shared with us before in our last study that “Having her mom, Megan, come into her life” was a life changing moment.  Does that seem odd to you guys?  Life deals us some pretty rough things to handle sometimes.  But when it does, GOD is there to give us a hand out of the rough stuff.  Vicky’s mom, Megan, was adopted into their family.  Maybe you guys have similar situations.  I am thankful for Vicky and for Megan and their willingness to share their life story.  It’s pretty cool.  You really should get to know my friend Vicky.

Each day a blogger/leader will introduce you to another fellow decaf friend.  Check back every day and get to know the hearts in your study group.  We love each of you very much and pray for you daily.  If you ever want to talk to us, just leave us a message.  We would love to get to know you better.

Thanks Vicky for being such an GREAT interview subject and for doing such a great job on our study “A Daughter’s Worth” by Ava Sturgeon.  You are a true blessing.

Love you,

Mama T

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If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf  Teen Girls Ministry, please click the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage. Just follow the instructions on the form and hit submit. We’ll be happy to add you to one of our Online Bible Study Groups! Please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.

GET READY!!!!! 2013 is Almost Here

Welcome Back, EVERYONE!!!  2013 is almost here and we are READY to get started in a BIG way.  We just completed our very first online Bible study of “A Daughter’s Worth” by Ava Sturgeon.  We had approximately 30 girls and lots of women participating in our ministry in 2012.  As our study came to a close, we were looking forward to Christmas and then the New Year.  We had time off from school for winter break in the United States and summer break in South Africa.  Is that not a wild concept???  Christmas is still Christmas, but it’s winter on one side of the world and summer on the other!  We have gone from a brand new online ministry to a ministry that is being read and has participants in over 100 countries across the globe.  God is SOOOOO good!

Do you think that when Jesus told the disciples to “Go and Tell the World” he would know that we would have the internet and Facebook and friends all over the world that are as close as our keyboards and phones?  The original disciples and followers of Jesus walked from city to city.  They floated a boat from coast to coast.  It wasn’t as easy to tell the world about Jesus as it is today, BUT THEY DID IT!!!  You know how I know they did it?  Because if they hadn’t, you and I would not know the name JESUS.  We would not be here, in this place, in this time if the followers of Jesus had not GONE and TOLD about the Savior of the World.

Over the next few weeks, the month of January, we are going to get to know each other.  We are going to see just how much we have in common, no matter where we live.  The central, most important thing we have in common is JESUS.  I want to “hear” you guys talking and getting to know one another.  I have had the chance to “meet” some wonderful friends here at Girlfriends Coffee Hour and my teen friends here at GCH:decaf are THE BEST!  I have even gotten to meet some of the girls and ladies face-to-face.  That has been so much fun.  Megan, Tina and I are going to start meeting with girls in our area to help the friendships grow.  I want you guys to form your own groups and send us pictures, videos and stories of how you are sharing GCH:decaf and Jesus with your friends and your community.  Jesus said, “Go and Tell the Good News”.  Let’s DO IT!!!

We are going to be studying the teen book “not a fan” by Kyle Idleman and working through the teen edition Follower’s Journal.  You will need both books to keep up and get the most out of our study.  We are going to look at our relationship with Jesus and see what our relationship status is.  The book starts out telling us that believers fall into TWO (2) categories:

1.  The “I Like Jesus on Facebook” group, and

2.  The “Why does Facebook even ask about religion?” group.

I liked this book from the start.  No nonsense, no church-y words, just real life.  We are going to learn a new term:  D.T.R.  (Define The Relationship).  Every girl knows that when you have a crush you want to know if that special someone likes you too.  It doesn’t take very long before you want to define the relationship (know where you stand).  We are going to do that with our relationship with Jesus, too.  He already knows how HE feels about us.  He loved us so much that he came to earth as a baby (Christmas) and died (Easter) for our sins so that we can live with Him forever.  While He was here, he taught average, normal, lost people about himself and His Father in Heaven.  Then He told them to spread the word.  The story of Jesus started with 12 disciples who followed Him and has grown to believers that cover the globe.

As we finished the study of “A Daughter’s Worth” by Ava Sturgeon, we hope that you have a better understanding of who you are to God and why Jesus came to save you.  Some of you shared how your lives were being changed and we are very thankful for that feedback and for the difference Jesus makes in your life.  The leaders were definitely changed and grew closer to the Lord and each other through this study.  We ask you to go a little deeper and define your relationship with Jesus.  Find out just how deep your crush on Him goes.

In addition, we are going to have TWO (2) age groups in GCH: decaf.  The older group will have ladies from 18-24 years old and we call them VENTI.  The younger group is for young ladies 12-18 years old and is called GRANDE.  We want you all to feel comfortable talking about relevant life issues in an age appropriate way.  The fellowship group is open to all ages, so we will get to “see” all our friends and chat and giggle with each other.  Tell all your friends.  There will be a contest coming in January and the student with the most referrals gets cool prizes.  The leaders are already recruiting and want to compete too (SMH, smh).

I cannot tell you all just how excited we are to be offering “not a fan” beginning Monday, February 4th, 2013!!!!!  My relationship with JESUS is the most important one in my life.  I hope you D.T.R. and see that it is the most important in yours as well.  Get your books.  Begin READING the RED book and we will begin the Follower’s Journal on February 4th.  Same great bloggers, same great schedule.

Let the NEW YEAR begin………………………………………….

Much LOVE to you ALL,

Mama T

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If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf  Teen Girls Ministry, please click the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage. Just follow the instructions on the form and hit submit. We’ll be happy to add you to one of our Online Bible Study Groups! Please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.