July 23, 2017

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 12 / Day 2 – Recognize the Holiness of God

 

It is very fitting that the final week of our study is coming to a close just before Christmas.  It could not be more perfect to recognize that God wants to “come alive” in our hearts and lives than at Christmas when we celebrate Jesus coming to live with us.  We began this study learning who we are to God and just how much HE loves us.  We continued the study to learn how we are to respond to HIM as Father.  It has truly been an awesome journey to realize what A DAUGHTER IS WORTH to God.  He gave His only Son for you.  Your life matters to HIM.  How will you show Him how much HE matters to you????  Words are cool and everything, but ACTIONS speak louder!!

How are you going to bring HIS love to LIFE inside of you?  God calls us to be different from the world.  He wants us to be holy, like he is holy.  Today’s lesson focuses on church and how we are to recognize God’s holiness.  I would like to challenge you to think outside the box (the church box) and apply God’s call to YOUR LIFE – how you live every day.  When people think of you, do they think “holy”?  Hmmmm

The only time many of us use the word ‘holy’ is when we need an adjective to make something seem important.  Like cows and moly and poo.  Well, “HOLY” is important. It means to show a devotion to God and to a life of virtue; to set apart or worthy of respect by association with God.  Holy means being completely WHOLE just like GOD.

“But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God — who chose you to be his children — is holy.  For he himself has said, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:15-16

Peter says we have been chosen to be God’s children – HIS Daughters – and we are to be holy, LIKE HE is HOLY.  God is calling out this generation to bring HOLY back.  Don’t be afraid, BE BOLD.  Can there be any safer place to be than a chosen daughter of the King of KINGS?  When God makes a promise, HE DOESN’T BREAK IT!!  All those promises in the Bible; they are still good.  God is still providing for every promise He ever made.  All those promises in the Bible – they are YOURS.  Claim them, they are free.  Let those promises bring holy to life inside of your heart.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12 ESV

God knows what is in your heart.  Do not be deceived to think that you can say one thing and act another and God will not know.  Give God permission to change your heart to be like HIS and He WILL.  It’s a promise.  You won’t regret living your life for Jesus, but you will regret it if you don’t.  This season of Christmas when we celebrate Jesus being born as a baby and coming to life a life as a human, embrace the story of His holiness.  Take it inside you and let it change your heart.  Let your heart break for the things that break HIS heart.

Let Love Come to LIFE Inside of YOU this Christmas!  As Ava tells us, “As a worthy daughter, being holy is both challenging and rewarding.  You may not be perfect every time, but working toward purity is all that God asks.  Don’t be frightened by a lifestyle of holiness; after all, the Holy Spirit is in you, making all things possible.  Praise God for His presence, and most of all, acknowledge His awesome holiness.” (p. 171)

Let’s Praise God together:

Father, we praise You for WHO You are.  We thank You for Your promises to care for us and lead us and guide us every day.  Father, we give You permission to bring our hearts to life inside us and make us burn to be Your hands and feet.  Make us holy like You are holy.  Make us whole and complete in Your love.  We love You, Lord.  Thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your Son to this earth as a baby to be a sacrifice for our sins.  May our generation be one that lives to love others the way You would have us to.  Continue to teach us your ways.   AMEN

My love to you all and Merry Christmas,

Mama T <3

If you have come to a place that your heart is telling you to ask Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior, please ASK HIM.  It’s easy, it’s free and it’s the best gift you could give Him for Christmas.  We invite you today to ask Him into your heart.

Please pray with us:

Lord Jesus, I come to You today and ask You to be my Lord and Savior. I have learned who You are through this bible study Lord, and I want to know You personally.  I admit that I am a sinner, I confess the sins that I have in my heart, and I believe You will forgive me for all my sins. I ask You now to come into my life, as my personal Lord and Savior. AMEN!

If you prayed that prayer today, let us know.  We would love to rejoice with you as you celebrate you BIRTHday as a sister in Christ.

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.

Lord, Teach Us to Pray – Week 12

Today we are finishing the series entitled Lord, teach us to pray!

Do you ever cry out with that same desire as Jesus’ disciples did — ”Teach {me} to pray”?

Each Saturday over the last few months, we have been intentionally pursuing asking the Lord to do just that—teach us to pray. I believe that, as we have looked at learning how to pray through the Scriptures, we have developed the heart of daughters who delight, yearn, love to pray to their Father!!!

Jesus was asked this important question by His disciples. One of the places that it is recorded is in Luke 11, verse 1: “Then He was praying in a certain place; and when He stopped, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray….”

Listen to the words that He spoke to them when they asked:
Pray, therefore, like this:
Our Father
Who is in heaven,
hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts,
and have given up resentment against) our debtors.
And lead (bring) us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Amen.
Matthew 6:9-13

The first week, in this series, we focused on the very first, and most important aspect, of Jesus’ instruction—addressing God Almighty as “Our Father….” We found that He wants to be our Father…our Abba Father!

The second week, we looked at the very next aspect of prayer that Jesus deemed of importance—“Who is in heaven.” This attribute tells of the utmost importance of God Who is in heaven. And we also were reminded of an awesome promise from God, that we will dwell for all eternity with Jesus and our Father, Who is in heaven.

Then we came to the third aspect, as we followed Jesus’ instruction,— “hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.” And we looked at five examples in the Scriptures where Almighty God is described as holy: we saw the Psalmist proclaim that ‘You are holy’…that the prophet Habakkuk called Him ‘my Holy One’…that Isaiah saw in a vision God seated on His throne with the seraphim proclaiming ‘holy, holy, holy’…that Jesus our Lord prayed ‘Holy Father’…that one of the seven angels praise Almighty God saying ‘You Who are and were ‘O Holy One.’ What a privilege that our Father…Who is in heaven…would allow us to come before Him and call Him ‘holy!’

After that we looked at the next aspect of prayer that Jesus deemed important—‘Your Kingdom come.’ We considered the question, “What is the Kingdom?” by focusing on just two ways to understand what Jesus meant. The first connotation that “Kingdom” has refers to the eternal Kingdom. And then to understand “Kingdom” in another way, we looked specifically at Matthew chapter 13 where Jesus spoke in parables and used tangible examples to help His disciples (and us!) to understand the importance of having the Kingdom established in our hearts. He wants you and me to be in that Kingdom along with Him.

Then the following week we focused on another aspect of Jesus’ instruction: ‘Your will be done.’ It is Almighty God’s will that we are to be concerned about…not our own. We considered scripture after scripture and saw our Lord’s constant example of desiring not His will but His Father’s. If it were ever possible for anyone to justifiably state and act on their own will, it would have been Jesus; true? Jesus always desired His Father’s will, always sought His Father’s will, always purposed to know His Father’s will so that He always did His Father’s will. And what did we find was His Father’s will?—salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ.

And the next week we studied the phrase ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ from the perspective of our Lord’s life and ministry. We read that Jesus came down from heaven not to do His own will but to do the will of His Father on the earth. Jesus was always the perfect example to His disciples. He simply and clearly taught His disciples (and us!) to do always seek to do the same.

The following week we considered the phrase, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We recognized that Jesus IS the ‘bread of life.” We clearly saw Jesus’ heart of compassion, wanting His disciples (and us!) to live forever by partaking of the Bread of Life. We also looked at Jesus’ instruction that if they would pray, “give us this day our daily bread…” they would be humbly acknowledging that their heavenly Father already KNEW what their needs would be that day.

Then we focused on the next direction Jesus gave as He taught His disciples (and us!) to pray. It is the request to “…forgive us our debts.” We looked first at the record where Peter asked Jesus how many times did he need to forgive? Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!” Nothing has changed. We, too, are to forgive “…seventy times seven…” (In other words, just keep on forgiving!) Then Jesus gave further clarification and direction to Peter and the other disciples. He held nothing back in communicating that forgiveness, or the refusal to forgive, is an issue of the heart. God through Christ has forgiven us for SO much! And He compassionately, mercifully, and lovingly, continues to forgive us as we repent and ask.

We looked next at His direction to His disciples (and us!) to ask our Father to “lead us not into temptation…” Of great importance is to remember that God does not “tempt” anyone (James 1:13, 14). And in Matthew 4:3 we clearly saw that THE tempter is satan, our enemy. We are not alone in handling temptation. He understands and has shown us how to handle satan’s tempting. We saw Jesus’ great example in Matthew 4:1-11. His response—the very thing that kept Him from being tempted—was the truth of the Scriptures. Jesus replied to satan each time with “…it is written….” We, too, can have the assurance of the truth of the Scriptures when our enemy tries to tempt us.

And then we focused on the final instruction Jesus gave to His disciples (and us!) as He taught them how to pray–“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” These two phrases are to be understood together in their context. Jesus clearly stated that not only did they need to recognize temptation but also recognize that they could not ‘handle’ it on their own—they needed to pray for God’s deliverance. One portion of Jesus’ prayer (in John 17) includes asking God “keep and protect them from the evil one,” and also Jesus praying for “…all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me.” THAT IS US! You and me…mentioned in Jesus’ precious prayer to God! Our reliance on our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus (seated at His right hand) gives us the ability, the strength to be delivered from evil.

Now, the phrase we studied last week was ‘for Yours is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.’ In Jesus’ teaching His disciples (and us!) to pray, He began and ended with praise. Praising God should be a part of all of our communication with our heavenly Father but especially in our prayers. Jesus made sure that His disciples (and us!) knew that God was to be glorified and praised! His final point to them (and us!) when they asked Him to teach them to pray was the importance of praising and glorifying God.

_____

And, finally, we come to Jesus’ very last word as He taught His disciples (and us!) to pray—“amen.’ In the Hebrew language, ‘amen’ simply is an affirmation, a recognition of truth, “so be it.’

I read a quote that impacted me greatly, and I would like to share it with you.  “The word “amen” is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is directly related—in fact, almost identical— to the Hebrew word for “believe”  (amam), or faithful.  Thus, it came to mean “sure” or “truly,” an expression of absolute trust and confidence.”*

But equally important, I think, is to put yourself in the sandals of the disciples. Think about it for a moment…. Here they are with their Master. Throughout the months that they have spent with Him, they have seen Him pray all along. And finally, one of them blurts out, “Lord, teach us to pray!” And so, as we have seen, He takes them step-by-step through a series of instructions; helping them to have the right heart attitude towards God when they pray.

That, truly, is what this instruction of our Lord’s is all about—having the right heart…not the perfect words…not a ‘method’ of praying. But rather to approach our Father God with humility and to…

Acknowledge that He is our Father,
and that He dwells in heaven,
and that He IS Holy, Holy, Holy.
Recognize that His Kingdom will come
and that His Will will be done on earth
just as it is in heaven.
Ask for our daily bread, every day.
Deal with forgiveness,
and to give up resentment against others.
Acknowledge where temptation truly comes from,
and our need to be delivered from the evil one.
Praise Him…giving Him the honor and the glory forever!

Jesus had so much compassion towards His disciples (and us!), knowing of their need to be led in such a way that they then could pray after He left them and returned to His Father in heaven. His instruction gave them (and us!) the ability to pray on their own.

Oh. How. He. Loves. Us. So. <3
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In our study A Daughter’s Worth, we have focused this week on being ready to hear God’s voice..being sensitive to leading of the holy spirit…being prepared to wait on God…being willing to accept His answer…being confident in Who God is and His perfect provision for us. Perhaps could we say that we have been working on preparing our hearts to say ‘amen.’ Or ‘so be it!’

This week instead of a question, I believe we can confidently make the statement, ‘I, ______, (insert your precious name here) am a daughter of the Most High God, and to Him I am of SUCH worth!

 “Amen!”

* I found this quote in a number of sources (the Online Bible, Bible.org, etc.) and have quoted from the ‘The Blue Letter Bible.org;’ source unknown.



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.

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 11 – Day 2: Be Sensitive to the Holy Spirit

 

I have a story to tell you and it’s not pretty.  It’s one of those stories that you really wish had never happened and you never had to own up to.  But the truth is, it did happen and it is part of my history.  Kind of like a Series of Unfortunate Events, only I was a main character and I made decisions that I knew I shouldn’t have and I paid the price for my actions.   I have to tell you so you will see how the Holy Spirit works in our lives if we let Him.

First of all, to have the Holy Spirit in your life you have to have given your life to follow Jesus.  That is #1.  Getting to know Jesus and what He expects from us is #2.  Learning to walk the walk and talk the talk is #3.  Making a mess of life and making changes to bad behavior and habits is part of #3.  Deciding that God’s way is best and that He wants what is best for me, that’s #4.  Today’s story comes in at #3 and I’ll tell you about how I learned about #4.

I have to tell you that I am a very stubborn and strong-willed person.  Sometimes that works in my favor, sometimes it gets me into trouble.  Finding that balance is where the Holy Spirit comes in.  I was raised in church and was drawn by the Holy Spirit to give my life to Jesus when I was 11.  Boy was that a hard admission to make when you are stubborn and head strong…and shy.  I knew I needed Jesus and I knew He wanted me.  I was afraid to admit it publicly because people would look at me.  My God did not give up on me and He continued to tell me to come to Him.  Finally at summer camp, during cabin quiet time, I gave my heart to Jesus.  No tears, no hysterics, no party…just obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  Peace entered my heart and calmed the inside of me.  That was pretty cool, then I had to tell my mom, and my pastor, and my church.  It’s biblical you know.  Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  So after I told my church, I got baptized…in the river, the Tennessee River, just like the old songs and the movies show it.

Man, I was on fire…on the inside.  Still shy, you know.  I dug in to the Bible even more than I had before.  My favorite verse was, and still is Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  At 12, I felt God (through the Holy Spirit) tell me of the plans He had for my life.  I asked Him questions and He answered me.  I have held those words in my heart all these years.  They are just as real today as they were when I was 12.  I am now living those plans that God revealed to me when I was young.  Never could I have known what my life would look like, or who I would marry, or how many kids I would have, or that I would be leading an online Bible study.  I had to trust that if I gave my life to Jesus, He would take care of the details.

So HERE is where I MESSED up and had a NO good, DIRTY, rotten, Horrible DAY for about a year.  :-/  I was in church, in school and everybody had boyfriends.  I felt left out and really wanted a boyfriend soooo bad.  I prayed for a boyfriend, ANY boyfriend to make me feel special and show the world that somebody wanted me.  I was getting attention from some boys, but none that I really liked or thought would be a good choice.  I got really tired of waiting for the person God was preparing for me and decided to take a risk on a “bad boy”.  Well, in my defense, he was the pastor’s son, he rode my school bus and he was kinda cute.  He also cussed, smoked pot on said school bus and didn’t do his homework.  He and his buddies got into all kinds of trouble, but he liked ME.  HMMMMM, what’s a good girl to do?

So back to #3.  I got distracted from walking the walk, because the talk I was talking was not good.  I let this relationship with the boy distract me from the plan God had for me.  I got in trouble at school.  I lost some friends.  I got two In-School suspensions and one 3-day unpaid vacation that my parents were not thrilled about.  (sarcasm here)  I’m surprised they let me live.  It was a close call in my house for a while.  My sophomore year of high school is one I wish I could get a do-over, or take a HUGE eraser to and wipe it from my history.  I can’t erase it, because it brought me to #4, “Deciding that God’s way is best and that He wants what is best for me”.  I had to learn the hard way and some of you do too.  Maybe I went through that way back then so I could share it with you today.  DON’T DO WHAT I DID!

Ava tells us in today’s lesson, “When you focus on God, the Holy Spirit goes to work.”  Try really hard to get your heart focused on God.  Push out the distractions and listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to you.  Just because I messed up at 14, I didn’t erase God’s plan that He gave me when I was 12.  He didn’t throw me away because I made a bad decision, or several bad decisions.  He loved me and drew me back to Himself and taught me to walk the walk.  I’d like to say that was the only mistake I made in my life, but it’s not.  It is however, one that I was embarrassed to talk about for a long time.  Now it is part of my love story with Jesus.

LET’S PRAY: 

Heavenly Father, Thank you for loving us enough to let us make our mistakes, correct our path and give us a job that brings glory to YOU.  Forgive us when we mess up.  You know we are going to mess up and need you to come to our rescue.  Thank you for picking up the pieces of our heart and putting it back together.  We love you, Father and want to bring you all of us to use any way you want.        AMEN

Much Love,

Mama T <3

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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.

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 10 / Day 2 – Keep Your Life Clean

 

I talked to my girls about some of the names girls get called when they try to live out their life for God.  I added a few ‘old school’ words I heard when I was in school, too.  Things haven’t changed so much.  See if these look familiar:

Teacher’s Pet                                       Party Pooper                                        Weak

Goodie 2 Shoes                                   Kill Joy                                                  Stuck Up

Know It All                                           Buzz Kill                                                Goody Goody

Nerd                                                      Lame                                                  Add Yours Here

When people think about you, what kind of words come to mind?  I look over this list of words meant to hurt and cause peer pressure.  They say these words to make themselves feel okay about the way they are choosing to live their lives, not so much about the way a “good girl” lives hers.  So look back over that list again.  Is there really anything bad on that list?  Is there anything there that would cause God to be ashamed of your behavior?  Can you bring glory to God as you live your life…even if people call you names like that?   I know you have heard the words that “Bad Girls” get called.  Think about that list.  Is God glorified if you are living a “bad girl” kind of lifestyle?

At this point in our study, we have learned what God expects of us as a Daughter of the King.  We know how to bring our earthly parents joy and we know how to make our Heavenly Father happy.  It’s time to live out our faith in God.  There may still be some bad habits we have, or some areas in our lives we need to turn away from.  Look how easy it is to change:

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Psalms 51:10

When your heart is clean, your thoughts will change, your actions will change, people will notice.  In today’s lesson of A Daughter’s Worth, Ava Sturgeon says, “After accepting Christ, you begin to desire the clean heart that He provides. “  Then Ava encourages us:  “Sharing Christ is so much easier when you become a living testimony.” 

For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.  Luke 6:45b

Live YOUR Faith.  It’s impossible to give away something you don’t have.  Make sure the people in your life can see the change Jesus has made.  You won’t be perfect, but you will be forgiven and can begin each day fresh and new.  Show love, kindness, compassion and generosity.  There will be a different list of words people will say about you.  Words that truly do bring glory to God, the Father and words that you WILL NOT be embarrassed by.

Before we go, I want to remind you of ways to Keep Your Life Clean:

Put God first. This means making the commitment to seek God.

Finding ways to be a blessing. “Being a Blessing” means taking the focus off yourself and placing it onto someone else.

Acting right on purpose. This means treating people with kindness, respect, and patience, even those that are hard to love.  Right behavior is Christianity in action.

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father,  We want to bring glory to You.  We want others to see Your life shining through us.  Create in us a clean heart.  Give us the desire to remove those bad habits from our lives and live for You.  Help us to treat others with kindness, respect and patience.  Help us as we walk out our faith, especially on the hard days.  We love You Lord.  AMEN

Be A Blessing,

Mama T <3

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For the A Daughter’s Worth Online Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website from clicking the sign-up form button located at the top of our webpage.

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.

Winning Him Without Words: Learn When to Pray The Most Dangerous Prayer – John the Baptist

John The Baptist

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

ISAIAH 26:3

Lately I’ve caught myself saying “How GREAT is our God!” a lot. It seems like every time I open a book or read something on Facebook, God has left a personal message just for me to read. Last week my co-leader, Jennifer asked me if I could write today’s post because our sweet Beverly couldn’t. So of course I said I could write it. But then once I read it, I knew the real reason I was asked. It was because God had to reinforce a lesson in me. Yes, I would’ve read this section anyway and probably gathered some great information, but when I have to write about God’s word, I am forced (in a good way!) to slow down, take apart what I’ve just read and really understand it.

Today Dineen talks about John The Baptist and wonders if he ever felt left out, dissed, short changed. Did he feel like he should be part of the Twelve men chosen to walk with Jesus? He certainly had a right to feel that way. If he chose to Compare himself to the other Twelve, he was just as able to follow and spread Christ’s word, but he didn’t. He never questioned or bemoaned his role in life. He was satisfied to do what was predestined for him and he did it with honor and grace.

Sadly, I cannot say the same for myself. I have compared myself to others my entire life. In junior high a list went around our school where you rated the girls in our class based on looks and popularity. I was rated #2. Not too shabby, but to my 12 year old brain, it was devastating. All I could do was think of myself as #2. From that point on, it was my number on all my sports jerseys. I owned the number 2. It was my mind set.  I will always be second best to anyone that stands beside me.

As an adult, I still compare myself to others. And recently I’ve amped up my comparing.  Am I as creative as that mom? No. Am I as wealthy as that person? Certainly not. Will I ever be? No, because I have to be the #2. But I learned something in this chapter about being #2, or what I perceive as #2…it’s my role in life and it’s a GOOD role. I don’t have to be the prettiest wife on the block or the Martha Stewart mom or even the Beth Moore or Joyce Meyer of women’s ministry! I can be ME. Sarah Jane Boyer. And that is a great thing to be because He created ME and He has me on the path He predestined for me. First, He gave me the ability to work with words. Then later on down the path, He urged me to start writing about His words. For the first time in my life I am doing something I really enjoy and know that it is my gift from God, which makes it all the more sweeter. And ya know what? I’m not going to think of myself as #2 anymore. I know I am first and foremost with God because I have begun to make Him first and foremost with me. I don’t need to compare myself to others because there is no comparison. We are all #1 to God and all for different reasons.

What a freeing thing this is to not have to feel like I need to mold myself into something I’m not just to fit into one group/category or another. As long as I am pleasing God, I am in the right group/category. Like John The Baptist, I am content to fulfill the role God has chosen for me and I will do it with grace and honor to Him.

So how GREAT is our God, huh? He took this lesson and brought it to me to write on so that I would slow down, listen to Him and KNOW that I am right where I am suppose to be and there is no need to compare myself with others like I have been doing.  Thank you, God for the reinforcement!

Lets Pray:

Dear Lord, You knew I was struggling with comparison issues again and You brought this message right to me so that I would really sit up and listen. I pray that what I wrote will resonate with other ladies who read this post. Comparing ourselves with others is so harmful to our self esteem. Please show each and every one of our readers how important they are to You. Speak to them like You did to me and show them their special gifts that set them apart and make them #1 in Your eyes…the ONLY eyes that matter.  In your son’s precious name, Amen.

Your Assignment:

Today, please share with us what your special gift from God is. Let’s praise God for the gifts He has put in us to share with the world!

Godspeed,

Sarah

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Our next Women’s Online Bible Study “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan, begins January 6, 2013. To sign up for this Online Bible Study, click HERE and follow the instructions. You will also be given a link to where you can purchase this bible study. We’re looking forward to learning about this “Crazy Love” with you!!  

We would LOVE to have your feedback on this study! Will you take a few minutes to complete the following survey? Your responses will help us create the best online bible study experience for you! CLICK THIS LINK to fill out the short 10 question form. Your responses are completely anonymous, I promise!! Thank you so much!

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 8 / Day 5 – You Can Enjoy Being Single

 

Growing up in the South, it meant that teenage girls were supposed to have a boyfriend and be ready for marriage by the time you were out of high school. If you didn’t then you were expected to find a job and maybe find a future husband there or at college, if you could afford to go. That was a lot of pressure for a young woman, who may not have the self confidence she needs to be in a healthy relationship.

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians said it is better for you to be single, so you could be about the Lord’s work, than if you were married, because being married would be a distraction. So by reading 1 Corinthians 7:32 would you say that you could still serve the Lord if you were dating someone? I know it would be hard, unless he was as dedicated to serving as you would be.

Waiting for God’s best may not be easy, but it is so worth it. He may not want you to be married. He may want you to be a missionary that travels around the world telling others of His love for them.  He may want you to get married in your forties. Whatever God’s plan is for you life, make sure you are praying for clarity and not what you want. Ask him to give you a peace and comfort while you kneel before our heavenly Father and give him your heart and let him bring you his best.

Let’s pray,

Father, I want to do my best is serving you. Show me how I need to do this in order to bring blessings and honor to my life and glory to yours. Thank you for what you do for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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For the A Daughter’s Worth Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website from clicking the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage.

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! Our new study is A Daughter’s Worth! Please email megan@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 8 / Day 4 – You Can Handle a Difficult Break Up

I can remember when I was in Middle and High school… I never really dated until I officially got into high school. My dad was not really big on his daughters dating too much into our younger years in school. It was all girls in my family, so my dad tended to be a little sterner with us. He always said that he was a boy once, and he knew how they thought :). It did make it a little difficult for my sisters and me although, I will have to admit that yes, my dad was right: he knew how they thought.

As teenagers we all seem to think that our parents don’t know what they are talking about, we are quick to think that they are trying to make our lives difficult and hard, when all they are really trying to do is make it easier for us. They don’t want to see us hurt. They want to see us happy at all cost. Nine times out of ten, they have experienced heartbreak before and they desire to keep us from having to go through that type of pain.

Let me get to my story. I was in the 11th grade and I can remember my first real boyfriend. I was so in love with him. There was nothing that my wonderful dad could have done to help prevent that heartbreak from happening, although I am sure that he knew it was coming, because I was so head over hills for this guy. He was the perfect gentleman. We had dates to the movies, out to eat, long talks on the phone, good face to face conversations, etc… Then one day, he decided that he no longer wanted to date me. I was so heartbroken. I tried to figure out what I had done wrong, was it something that I had said, or did or didn’t do? It didn’t seem to matter because he just didn’t want to date me anymore. I was HEARTBROKEN!

My dad tried to comfort me, but it just didn’t seem to work. Honestly girls, I had to let God work His wonderful healing powers. I had to lean on Him to heal and mend my broken heart completely. Do I still feel that hurt sometimes? Yes I do, but I also remember how God sent people my way, who loved me dearly to help me work through that painful process. There were loved ones who baked me cookies, friends who sat and listened to me talk and held me when I cried. I can look back over that time and see how much God loved me that He desired to see me whole again. It was hard girls, it really was, but God got me through that painful process and He will do the same for you!!

There are two certain scriptures that are dear to my heart that show me that God is so concerned about us when our hearts are broken.

The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalms 34:18

AND

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalms 147: 3

God never wants to see His children hurt and heartbroken. He definitely KNOWS how it feels, just think about how He felt when He had to watch His only begotten son on the cross, bearing all of our sins and He couldn’t help Him because that was the decision that His son made, just for us, so that we could all be united with Him again. He also had His heart broken when Adam and Eve sinned for the first time by taking a bite out of the fruit when they were told not to. Wow! Yes He does know how it feels to have your heart broken!

So when you are experiencing heartbreak, yes you can go to God! He knows what it feels like. Take your broken hearts to Him, because He KNOWS exactly how to heal and mend them back together again 🙂

Let’s Pray: Dear heavenly Father please help us to remember that we can bring our broken hearts to you because you do know how to fix them. When the pain may feel like it is unbearable, please take that pain and help us to use it for good. Remind us that you love us so much that you don’t want to see us in pain and that you want us to be happy. We love you Lord and it is in your darling son’s Jesus Christ name we pray. Amen

Love Tonya 🙂

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For the A Daughter’s Worth Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website from clicking the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage.

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! Our new study is A Daughter’s Worth! Please email megan@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information

 

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 8 / Day 3 – You Can Go Too Far

I don’t think I could even begin to count how many times I have heard the question, “How far is too far?” And if I never have to hear that question again, it’ll be too soon. With that being said, that question has come out of my mouth. I have such a problem with this question because it is basically asking how much we can get away with. And how many times have we asked or heard someone say, “…well, the Bible only says that sex itself is wrong before marriage… It doesn’t say anything about the other stuff.” WRONG-O. Ephesians 5:3 says that the Lord wants there to be “not even a HINT of sexual immorality” in our lives.

I will be the first to admit that I did not value or protect my purity when I was in my teens. Did I have sex? No. Did I make allowances for the “other stuff”? Yes. I am being honest with you girls because I do not want you to be deceived like I was! I do not want you to think, “Well, it isn’t sex so it’s okay.” This is SO not true! It is NOT okay. Here’s why… When you start to bring the physical stuff into a relationship outside of marriage it BLINDS you and prevents you from seeing the reality of your relationship. That means that you can’t even tell if you really even like this guy! Another reason it’s not okay- The world tells you that only sex forms an attachment to a man. I can tell you first hand, that is false. You also, at some point, deal with shame and guilt.

If you’re like me and have had that “How did I get here?” moment, you know how disappointed you were. Disappointed in the boy for not stepping up and protecting your purity, but more often than not, you’re disappointed in yourself. The enemy LOVES when we have messed up and are grieving over our sin. He loves to come in and make us feel so much worse. Conviction and guilt are NOT the same thing. Conviction is from the Lord. When you are convicted about sexual purity, you know that God’s Word says to stay away from sexual immorality. And if you have taken part in sexual activity, you can repent, turn away from that sin, and run to the Lord. Guilt, on the other hand, makes you hyper-aware of your sin. You sit and you wallow in self-hatred for hours on end. And forgiving yourself? Ha! Yeah right. That never happens when we allow the enemy to make us feel guilty.

So where do we go from here if we have messed up? Or how do we prevent that from ever happening? We trust that God knows what’s best for us. He knows that it is not good for our hearts for us to take part in sexual activity outside of marriage. He knows that it will only end in heartbreak. If you’re currently having sex outside of marriage, please, please, please stop. Your Father in Heaven is not One to make rules to make us miserable. The guidelines He puts in place are to protect us, because He loves us, and He wants our future marriages to be AMAZING!! Girls, you HAVE to be intentional about setting boundaries in your dating relationships. Here are my new boundaries~ I am not going to kiss another guy until the day of my wedding. I can hear your gasps all the way from over here. I just know that I do not want the enemy to have ANY stronghold over my life, and I am not about to give him any opportunity. Set your boundaries TODAY, BEFORE you get in a relationship. Write them down. Tell them to the Lord. Tell them to a friend to hold you accountable. If a boy is pressuring you to do anything physical, I HIGHLY encourage you to get out of that relationship. You deserve to date guys who HONOR your boundaries and who have made decisions and set boundaries themselves.

Let’s pray~

Lord, Thank You for setting boundaries for us! We know that those boundaries are to protect us from heartbreak. Lord, set girls FREE who are reading this- free from sexual sin, free from the lies of the enemy! Give these girls the strength to make boundaries and stick to them. Give them armor around their hearts, that they would be guarded from any deception. Thank You for Your grace when we mess up. Thank You for freedom from sin! We praise You, Lord, for the GIFT of sex… A precious thing that is a gift if kept within the context of marriage. Give us discernment to know what is right and wrong, and give us discernment to know WHO is right and wrong for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

~Jordan

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For the A Daughter’s Worth Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website from clicking the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage.

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! Our new study is A Daughter’s Worth! Please email megan@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 8 / Day 1 – You Can Choose the Right Guy to Date

When I was younger I liked guys all of the time, but I never dated any of them.  In fact they never knew I liked them and it was ok because they never liked me.  Anytime I would talk about guys and my dad would over hear he would say, “Is he a Christian?”  I used to get so annoyed with my dad for throwing in that comment any time I would talk about something as simple as a crush on the cute guy with a pretty smile in my math class.  Only after I started dating someone who was most certainly not a Christian did I wish I would have listened to the advice my dad had given me on dating years prior.

As a teenager it is so hard to truly want to listen to your parents.  You hear what they say, but you want to figure things out for your own.  You want to take risks; they want to stop you from that type of behavior.  You want to try new things; they want to tell you not to because they have been there done that and you just should not be doing certain things.  Even though we cannot see it at the time, our parents are stopping us from things because they love us.  They do not want to see us make mistakes.  I know I wish I would have listened to my parents more than I did.

I know the feeling you get when you find out a guy likes you.  I know how good attention from guys can feel.  There is one feeling that is way beyond what those ones may feel like: the love God has for you.  Do you know how good that feels?  If you do not know, I highly suggest that you spend some time getting to know God so you can find out first hand just how amazing it is!  When we truly know God’s love for us, it will make us want to find the man God has for us and not settle for any guy that thinks we are pretty or who gives us attention from time to time.

Have you ever thought about what you want in a man?  Have you ever thought about what a relationship should be like?  Try writing down a list of qualities that you would like in a man.  (See page 105 and 2 Corinthians 7:1)Keep that list and pray about it to God.  When you are in a relationship ask yourself, honestly, does this relationship bring you closer to God or pull you away from Him?  If you hold out for a man who has the qualities you have been praying for- chances are you will grow closer and closer to God together!  Any relationship that brings you closer to God is definitely a good one to have.

Personally, I struggled with dating.  I never thought that there were men out there that would be what I wanted (someone who loves God, goes to church, reads the Bible, is kind to others, and will love me as Christ wants someone to love me).  So, as my high school years came and gone, I decided that I needed to change my standards.  I ended up settling for an older man who was not a Christian.  GIRLS, this was the biggest mistake I have ever made.  I ended up stuck in an abusive relationship.  I KNOW now that waiting for the man God has for us-a good guy who is devoted to God will come our way!  God will bring you together in His timing.  It is so important to hold out for that man.  And the best part is while you wait-you have the opportunity to grow closer to God and experience so much of the perfect love He has for you!

Please remember that you are not defined by what guys say or by how they make you feel, if you are getting attention from them, or getting no attention at all.  The only thing you are defined by is the love Jesus has for YOU!  You have the privilege to CHOOSE the man you go on a date with.  Make sure you make God apart of your choosing process.  Praying to Him to lead you to the right man will save you from heartache and the pain of dating the wrong one!

Let’s Pray: 

Lord, I thank you so much that you love us with unconditional love that no man will ever be able to replace.  I love that you have handpicked a man for us if that is your will in our lives.  I pray that these girls and I are able to hold out for this man.  I pray that we never settle for less than the best you have for us.  As these girls start to date, I pray that they choose wisely the men they bring into their lives.  May they seek you in each decision they make.  We love you so much and thank you for guarding our hearts.  AMEN!

Much Love to YOU all,

Diane

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For the A Daughter’s Worth Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website from clicking the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage.

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! Our new study is A Daughter’s Worth! Please email megan@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information

GCH:POTs (Parents of Teens)- Love God by Belonging to Christ

Hello POTs!

It has been 3 days now since I posted about God having 3 purposes for your teen’s life… Do you remember what they are?

  1. To love God by belonging to Christ
  2. To love God by loving others
  3. To glorify God by fulfilling your “This I must do” dream

Today, we will dive into the first purpose mentioned: “Loving God by belonging to Christ.” I pray that you were able to go to the Lord in prayer about this very purpose over your own life. . Really, if you are able to articulate about how God has impacted your life in this way, it will be much easier to relate it to your teen! If you found it challenging to get started digging deeper about this on your own, that’s okay…. You can work through it with me today and I pray this lesson will help encourage some awesome conversation between you and your teen!

Matthew 22:37-38

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul

 and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.

As a Christ follower, it is our purpose to love God by choosing (yes, intentionally making a choice…) to be transformed into a new person in the image of Christ. How do we go about doing this in real life? Well, it begins by reading God’s Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach to you fully surrender to Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

It is critical that you have help from people around you here on earth to walk this out. I’m specifically talking about your church family (including prayer partners, accountability partners, and mentors). In belonging to Christ, you have chosen to commit to a life of holiness, integrity, right motives, peace, and worshipping your Creator…… as well as helping others to do the same.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by

 the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test

and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

As adults…. This is HARD to do, right? Can you imagine how much harder it is for teens? Typically, their biggest fear is not fitting in with their peers. I know this has been tough for many of my kids, especially in middle school through 9th grade. If we can pinpoint and put names to our struggles with this very idea, then it will be much easier to relate to our teens about it. Do you struggle with this in your workplace? Maybe with friends you still have from before you were a believer? Maybe it’s your extended family that makes it challenging for you to live not of this world?

I urge you to spend some time with the Lord on this in prayer before you start the conversation with your teen. Let Him guide you in opening up with them about what this looks like in your life.

John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.

No one comes to the Father except through me.

Do you believe this? In your heart and soul, do you believe this? If so, how does this impact YOUR life? Explore that a bit before talking to your teen about it. I truly wish I could be a fly on the wall and hear every conversation each of you have with your teens about this divine purpose God has for their life! Read this scripture with your teen and help them unpack it. You know, they might just teach you a thing or two about your walk with God!

I would love to hear about how this is going in your home. Please share with me in a comment on this blog or by email how it is going working through this with your teen. After all, we are all in this together!

I will be back tomorrow to explore the second purpose God has for your teen:

To Love God by Loving Others!

 

Blessings to you and yours,

Megan

megan@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

https://www.facebook.com/megan.smidt

Sign up for one of our Online Bible Study or Fellowship Groups for Women and Teen Girls here:

http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/sign-up-for-girlfriends-coffee-hour-online-bible-studies/