Bright Lights Christmas Tea Party

P1140098December 17 was our last meeting before Christmas and so we planned a special tea party for everyone.  Several of the older girls were tasked with hosting a table and came early to decorate and add those special touches to their tables.P1140089

P1140090

P1140091As everyone came in, we told them which table they were at where they played a fun little game.  There was a list Christmas carol titles, but the problem was they were not named how we usually know them.  The girls had to guess what the carol was.  Example: Exuberance Directed to the Planet (Answer: Joy to the World).  It was a great ice breaker game.

P1140095P1140093P1140096

Next, we had a special time of reading through the Christmas story while Havala graciously played harp music in the background.  We interspersed the Scriptures with special music and singing Christmas carols.  The lights were off and it was a special way to remember God’s love for us in sending Jesus to be the Savior of the world.  We read Isaiah 9:6-7, Micah 5:2-5, Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-23, Luke 2:1-20, Matthew 2:1-11, and John 1:1-5, 14.  We closed our time a short devotional about the amazing gift God gave and the life of gratitude we should want to live for Him because of all He’s done for us.

P1140112P1140106 P1140100

Then we played a fun game… each girl got a paper plate to place on her and draw a picture as directions were given.  There a lot of hilarious drawings. :)  We also had a special Christmas quiz that reminds us the importance of following directions!

P1140121

We finished the evening with our tea time with lots of special treats and a variety of teas to choose from at each table.  It was a really special evening together!

P1140124P1140099

How to Be Wiser Than Your Enemies (Scripture Memorization)

December 18 was our last meeting of 2014. We learned about the importance of Scripture memorization. P1100443Every verse of Scripture is a precious and valuable treasure.  God wants us to diligently search for the wisdom, insight, and understanding hidden for us in His Word. Memorizing Scripture helps us understand things that we might otherwise overlook.  We have to slow down and think about it to memorize it.  This opens up rich insights and gives us new thoughts about the passage.  Memorizing the Word of God establishes a solid foundation of truth in your life (Psalm 37:31), gives you ready answers (1 Peter 3:15), and guards you from sin (Psalm 119:11).

Our mind is a battlefield and Satan wants to fill our minds with lies.  We need to combat those lies with the truth of God’s Word.  Things that we say over and over to ourselves become a part of us, become our beliefs, and effect our actions and attitudes.  We need to memorize Scripture so that we can think about it and say it to ourselves.  God’s Word is our foundation and is the truth that overcomes every lie of the enemy.

P1100438

Tips for Memorizing Scripture:

  • Don’t do it alone! Find someone to memorize with you and/or to hold you accountable– preferably someone who memorizes at the same pace/speed as you.  Perhaps choose someone from BL to be your partner.
  • Review it often! Don’t expect to learn it without looking at it and saying it. Repetition helps to ingrain it in your memory.
  • Write it out! I have found that writing out the passage helps me to memorize and retain it better. Write it several times and carry a copy with you to review throughout the day.
  • Read it out loud! This helps you not to miss any words.  There’s also something about hearing it while you’re learning that is very helpful.
  • Listen to it! I have memorized verses before simply by listening to them being sung/said on CD. You can also have someone read it to you.
  • Draw it out! If you are a visual learner, you might find it helpful to draw pictures for the key words in the passage.  Then you can remember the passage by the pictures that go with it.
  • Don’t give up! Even if you’re discouraged, don’t give up. Satan doesn’t want us to have God’s Word in our hearts and will do what he can to stop us.
  • Come back to it! Even after you’ve moved on to another passage, come back and review the previous one so you don’t forget it.

P1100441

We want to do more than just memorize the Bible, we want it to live in us and to become a part of us.  We want to abide in Jesus and let His Word abide in us.  Memorization is a first important step, but next we want to meditate (think) about what we have learned.  Meditation is spending time in quiet thought.  What do you find yourself thinking about throughout the day?  The more we turn our thoughts to the Lord, the more we will learn about Him and draw closer to Him.  Meditation is not emptying our mind, but rather filling it with God’s Word by thinking about it over and over.  There are many benefits/rewards of meditating on Scripture (Josh. 1:8; Psalm 119:97-98; Psalm 119:99; Psalm 1:2-3; Psalm 119:9-11)

Suggestions for Meditating on God’s Word:

  • Quote through a verse or passage that you have memorized.
  • Think about what the verse is saying and thank the Lord for it.
  • Pray the Scripture to the Lord, making it personal.
  • Think about how you can apply the it to your life.
  • Meditate each night as you are falling asleep (Psalm 63:6).

As followers of Christ, our main goal is to have hearts that are seeking the Lord, not to have a lot of “head knowledge” or be able to boast in our accomplishments.  Often times, those who are young are able to memorize more easily.  This is also the time in our lives when most likely have most free time than we will later.  We should take this challenge seriously to memorize as much as we can during our youth.  Make the most of your time for God’s glory!

P1100436

After the lesson, we split up into groups of two to memorize a Bible verse.  The girls used different methods to memorize, including actions, writing it out, and of course, repetition.

Then, for our activity time, we did a special Christmas activity.  The girls were split into four groups (or “towns”) and they had to send letters via the Christmas Train to the other towns to discover the message from each town.  Each town’s message was a name of Jesus associated with Christmas.  It was a fun activity, although the train needed a lot of repairs along the way.

P1100451

P1100450

P1100448

Bright Lights Family Christmas Tea

This year, we decided to do something different for our Christmas meeting.  We decided to host a family Christmas tea for the parents and siblings of the girls in our Bright Lights group.  Although the turnout was small, we had a wonderful evening of fellowship with the Lord’s people and rejoicing in the birth of our Savior.

All of the girls came at 6:30 to help prepare for the tea.  We spent our time setting up tables & chairs, going over game/activity details, decorating the room, and setting out the snacks to be served.

IMG_5133

IMG_5141

At 7:30 the families joined us, and we began our time together with snacks and fellowship by the light of candles and Christmas lights.  We had two games/activities planned for the night.  The first was a Christmas quiz based on the Biblical account of the birth of Christ.  There were a few trick questions that helped us learn that there are some things that are some things traditionally added to the story that are not found in the Bible!

IMG_5147

IMG_5148

The second game we played was called: “Draw On Your Head”.  With a paper plate on their head, everyone was given a series of instructions to draw a Christmas scene.  If was pretty funny to see how the drawings turned out (or didn’t) and to hear everyone laughing over their artwork.

IMG_5149

To close our time together, my dad gave a short devotional about the joy that the birth of our Savior brings.  We finished with singing “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” together.

IMG_5155

A big “Thank You” to the families who came out and helped to make the evening a special time.  May you all have a blessed New Year. We’ll see all of you girls in 2014! :)

Christmas Caroling

IMG_1107On December 13 our Bright Lights group went Christmas caroling at a nearby trailer park.  We started our evening at the church while some of the girls made up cookie plates (with treats that each girl contributed) and some of the girls decorated Christmas card tracts to go with the cookies.

Making cookie plates
Making cookie plates
IMG_1125
Decorating Christmas card tracts

Then we loaded up in two 15-passenger vans and headed to the trailer park where we caroled house-to-house for about an hour.  It was interesting to see peoples’ reactions… some were delighted, while others didn’t know how to react.  It was a profitable time.

Caroling, caroling through the snow...
Caroling, caroling through the snow…

When we got back to the church, we had tea and fellowship time by candlelight.  We also had a short Christmas activity to see who was good at following directions… almost everyone failed. :)  It was a good reminder how we need to carefully follow God’s directions for life.

We enjoyed our tea and snacks by candlelight
We enjoyed our tea and snacks by candlelight

Thank you to all of you who joined us for this special ministry outreach.  Continue to pray for those whom we visited – that the gospel message presented in the tract would cause them to think about eternity.  See you all at our next meeting on January 3, 2013.