Set 3 & 4 Review

IMG_3436We had our last meeting for the school year on May 9.  For our singing time, the girls picked their favorites from the Bright Lights songbook.  We then had a short lesson reminding us of the importance of what we learned in Bright Lights this school year, and different ways that we can keep ourselves from forgetting it in the busyness of the summer.  The girls then went to spend some time with the Lord asking for His help to apply our Bright Lights lessons this summer, and to write a testimony of how He used Bright Lights to work in their lives this past school year.

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Next, we divided into 4 different teams for a review quiz of Set 3 and 4 of the Bright Lights curriculum. We had a lot of fun, and it was a great way to jog our memory on the important truths that we learned this school year.

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The winning team had the reward of going through the snack line first… and we had an ice cream sundae party to close out the meeting.  Each of the girls brought a different topping.  What a treat that was!

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Everyone stayed past our usual ending time as we enjoyed fellowship with each other one last time for the school year.

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And we finally managed to get a group picture!

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May the Lord bless all of you young ladies as you seek to be strong for the Lord in your youth and shine as bright lights in this dark world.

Bright Lights, shining in the darkness.  Bright Lights, standing for the truth.
Bright Lights, serving the Lord in our youth.  Lighting up the world, Bright Lights!
Together we will be Bright Lights!

-Teresa Mott-

Standing Alone

April 25 concluded Set 4 of the Bright Lights curriculum.  Since the Frasers were out of town, Hannah S. taught the lesson on Standing Alone.

In order to apply the lessons that we have learned in Bright Lights, we need to be willing to stand alone.  Friends and those around us may think we’re strange, laugh at us, pressure us to do things the world’s way, or misunderstand our decisions.  It will require strength, courage, and boldness to follow God’s ways.

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Hannah teaching the lesson

Many people take the broad path, but only a few are willing to take the narrow road.  If we are seeking to do things God’s way rather than man’s way, we can expect to be different, lonely, persecuted, and misunderstood.  This will be difficult; it will require faith.  But we are seeking God’s rewards, not man’s — and the rewards will be worth it.

Following the lesson, Mrs. Carol N. led the girls in their activity time.  She posed a court case scenario for them based on the story of Daniel and the concept of standing for the truth.  The girls were split up into groups three different groups and had to come up with their own arguments to present before group.  Here’s some pictures:

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Mrs. N leading the activity
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Preparing to present their case
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And more preparing
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Presenting the case in front of the large group

The meeting was concluded with snacks and fellowship.  We’re looking forward to seeing all of you young ladies again at our last Bright Lights meeting of the year on May 9.

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Lots of beautiful and delicious snacks

Courtship

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
-Proverbs 4:23-

We were so encouraged by the fact that most of the girls were able to make it to this past meeting as we discussed the important topic of courtship…

The enemy wants us to have dim lights or no lights at all.  Temptation in the area of boy/girl relationships is one of the biggest snares that the enemy uses to damage the lives and testimonies of Christian young people. In order to be strong for the Lord in our youth, it is essential that we understand the importance of this topic, make personal commitments in this area, and learn how to guard our hearts.

Getting married is one of the most important decisions that we will ever make . If we truly desire God’s best for our lives, than we need to be willing to marry God’s choice. We cannot marry someone who is not a Christian; we need to marry a strong Christian.  Often girls begin to be worried that they will never get married and they settle for second best. They do not seem to realize that is much better to never marry than to marry the wrong person. If our goal is to have the best marriage possible, then we must be willing to exchange the lesser pleasures for the greater treasure.

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Courtship is entering a relationship for the purpose of determining whether or not you will marry that person.  It is a commitment.  With dating, on the other hand, people plan to break up if things don’t work out.  This is practice for divorce, not marriage. Ultimately, God is the One who brings people together.  If marriage is in His plan for you, He will bring you the right person to marry in His perfect timing.  There’s no need to date, have a boyfriend, or worry since God is in control or every detail of our lives. There is no reason to cultivate a romantic relationship with someone for any purpose other than marriage.

Marriage is an extremely important decision, and we should be very grateful for our parents’ protection and willingness to be involved. Our parents know us better than anyone else does, and they desire the very best for our life. Our parents also have more experience and understanding than we do. Make a commitment that when you get old enough to be thinking about marriage, you will send any young men that express interest in you to your father/parents.

It is easy to give a piece of your heart away to a young man without dating him at all. A common mistake we as young ladies can easily make is encouraging guys to be interested in us simply because we like the attention. Ask your parents for advice on how to interact with young men; they know you and understand your strengths and weaknesses and will be able to give you specific guidance. The Lord wants us to be thinking about Him, not spending all the time dreaming about marriage and romance.  When a wrong thought comes, use it as a springboard to direct you to pray and delight in the Lord.

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Marriage on earth is a picture of the spiritual relationship that the Lord wants to have with every one of us. We long for someone who loves us, understands us, listens to us, protects us, cares for us, etc. – God wants to meet our every need, and He is the only One who can give us true fulfillment.  The Lord wants us to be excited about loving Him, serving Him, and being with Him. Fill your mind with Scripture, work on developing a more intimate relationship with Jesus, and delight yourself in Him.

As bright lights, we should be truly seeking to follow God’s way instead of the world’s way in every aspect of life – including marriage.  One of the wisest decisions that we can make now is to embrace – not just tolerate – safeguards of protection. It is important to make commitments now before the temptation comes.  It is your heart – your own personal commitments before the Lord – that will make the difference.   Only those who have formed their own personal convictions will have the strength required to remain pure and the discernment needed to escape temptation.

After the lesson, we had a short skit based on the story “Stay in the Castle” by Jerry Ross.  A princess was told by her father of a prince who was being prepared for her, and she for him.  Yet she must be patients, prepare, and stay in the castle.  As the years went by the princess began to lose sight of the one who was to come, and began to listen to the sounds of laughter in the village.  When one day she met a young man from the village who invited her to attend one of the village festivals with him.  The skit ended leaving the princess with a decision to make… would she visit the village with the young man?  Or would she listen to her father and stay in the castle?

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The Princess and the King busy with her preparation
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The Kings shows the Princess the direction from which the Prince will come
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The Princess meets the charming young man from the village

The girls were then split up into small groups to discuss the princess’ dilemma and how her decision would effect her future – relating to the lesson.  The discussions went very well and the leaders were encouraged to hear what the girls were thinking about this topic.

Following the small groups, Mrs. Mindy Caron shared her courtship story with us… how God brought her and her husband Ben together in His perfect time and way.  It was a great follow up to the lesson and helped the girls to see that courtship does indeed work! :)  Thank you, Mindy, for taking the time to join us and share your amazing story with us!

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Mindy shared lots of biblical wisdom with us throughout her story

We enjoyed our yummy treats made by Autumn, Hannah, Sarah, and the A. sisters while looking through Mindy’s courtship/wedding scrapbook that she brought with her.

BYMPC-bookThis meeting really only scratched the surface of this important topic.  I highly recommend the book Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally for more in-depth, helpful information… it’s a great book for parents and daughters to go through together.  Here’s some of the chapter titles: Dangers with the Dating System, Guard Your Heart, How Parents Can Help, Have a Life Purpose Bigger than Marriage, Dreams Must Die, Reserved for One, Delighting in the Lord, & Know that God Arranges Marriages.  This is a very helpful book for young ladies, and is available from Tomorrow’s Forefathers, as well as a number of Christian bookstores.

May the Lord bless you girls as you commit to waiting for God’s best for your lives!

Friends

At our last Bright Lights meeting (February 28), we discussed the important topic of friends.  We talked about how we are extremely influenced by the people around us.  Satan knows this and therefore wants to brings friends into our lives who will lead us in the wrong directions.  Wrong friends will keep us from living for the Lord; on the other hand, godly friends will encourage and strengthen us in the ways of the Lord.

We took a look at the biblical examples of Rehoboam and Daniel.  King Rehoboam listened to his friends that he grew up with rather than wise counsel.  As a result the kingdom of Israel rebelled against him (1 Kings 12:1-19).  Daniel on the other hand is an example of what a godly friend is like.  He took a stand for what he knew was right and his three friends followed his example (Daniel 1).  Who knows?  Perhaps we wouldn’t have the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego thrown into the fiery furnace if Daniel hadn’t been a godly friend (Daniel 3).  Whether we realize it or not, we are very influenced by those whom we choose as our friends.

Friends influence us
Friends influence us

On of the things we discussed was the four purposes of friendship:

  • To give spiritual encouragement (Romans 1:11-12)
  • To comfort (2 Corinthians 1:4)
  • To sharpen (Proverbs 27:17)
  • To work together for the kingdom of God (Acts 12:25, Philippians 2:25)

For a fun object lesson, we made “Friendship Fudge” with the different ingredients representing different aspects of a godly friendship.  We ate it for snack time… yummy! :)

The ingredients of a godly friendship
The ingredients of a godly friendship
Taking turns mixing the fudge
Taking turns mixing the fudge

It is okay to have unsaved friends or weak Christian friends, but they need to be “ministry friends.”  The purpose of these friendships need to be to win them to Christ or help them grow in the Lord.  To illustrate this, one girl stood on a chair while two others tried to pull her down.  At the same time, she was trying to pull them up.  This quick object lesson reminded us that we need to be cautious around these friends – make sure that you are influencing them, rather than them influencing you.

Object lesson: its easier for friends to pull you down than for to pull them up
Object lesson: its easier for friends to pull you down than you for to pull them up

Earthly friendships can be sweet for a time, but they do not satisfy.  Friends will fail and disappoint us, but Jesus never will.  He is more to us than any other friend could be (John 15:13)  Perhaps we don’t have any close friends in our lives right now because He wants us to focus on cultivating our friendship with Him.  We talked about some ways that we can get to know our best Friend:

  • Spend time alone with Him – good friends love spending time together.
  • Learn to get to know Him – good friends are interested in getting to know each other better
  • Demonstrate your love for Him by your actions – good friends are focused on needs of each other
  • Run into His arms whenever you need comfort – good friends comfort each other

In our small groups, we discussed the importance of being a giver in friendships rather than a taker.  If we have this focus, we are less likely to negatively influenced by our friends.

For our activity we played a fun game.  We divided into two teams on either side of a blanket.  Each team sent a girl to sit on their side.  When the blanket was dropped, it was a race to see who could say the other girl’s name first.  It was a lot of fun to watch some of them blank out.  It was a good activity for helping everyone to know the names of the girls in the group.

Who can say the other's name first?
Who can say the other’s name first?

Our snacks were provided by Sarah and Lily.  We also enjoyed the “Friendship Fudge” that we made for our object lesson.  We’re looking forward to seeing you all at our next meeting for our “Little Sister Night.”  Remember to RSVP so we know how many extra girls to plan for.

Fellowship and snacks
Fellowship and snacks

Our Words

BL 030Our meeting on February 14 was a bit different than usual – the normal small group leaders were all down South enjoying the warm weather in Florida and Texas, while we were recovering from a big snowstorm from earlier in the week. :)  Thanks so much to Mrs. Monica L. for playing the piano for our singing time (and Hannah for picking the songs for us), and for Abby and Katie stepping up to lead small groups.  Your help was such a blessing and encouragement.

Our topic was on our words.  We started out by reading James 3.  The tongue is either an instrument of much good, or great evil – power to bring life or death.  Because of this, our words is one of the biggest areas in our lives that require discernment.  God has much to say about this topic – there over 150 verses about words and speech in Proverbs alone!  We discussed the kinds of words that we shouldn’t use:

  • Bad words (swearing) – Exodus 20:7
  • Harmful words (gossip, blame, criticism, complaining, unkind, teasing) – Proverbs 12:18
  • False words (untrue, lying, deceit, exaggeration) – Psalm 34:13
  • Proud words – Proverbs 27:2
  • Inappropriate words – Ephesians 4:29
  • Unnecessary words – Psalm 71:24

And then we talked about the three kinds of words that we should use, found in Psalm 100:4–

  • Words of praise – we should praise God, praise others, and praise God to others.
  • Words of thanksgiving – it is important to show our gratefulness to God and others by taking time to say thanks.
  • Words of blessing – we can speak blessing by expressing our desire for others to have success in their life and ministry, explaining how God used them to benefit our life, sharing the gospel, giving words of comfort and encouragement in a difficult time, letting others know you are praying for them, etc.

For an object lesson on encouragement, we had a volunteer come up and stick her hand in a bowl of ice water.  The next girl who volunteered was encouraged by all the girls to keep going, and resulted in her keeping her hand in longer.  This was a reminder of how encouragement is so powerful in the lives of others.

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BL 037Then we talked about how what is in our heart is what going to come out in what we say to others (Luke 6:45, Matt. 15:18).  If we are thinking about the things of this world, its patterns will creep into our speech.  As young ladies seeking to be bright lights, we want our words to be spiritually edifying to others.  This cannot happen if we are thinking about worldly pleasures all the time.  As we think about things that honor the Lord, we will want to talk about those things and encourage others with our words.

We closed with an object lesson.  I had a volunteer come up to crumple and smash a piece of paper.  Upon having her apologize to the paper :), we unfolded it and smoothed it out.  But it still showed evidence of the rough treatment it received – there was no way to make it smooth again.  This was used to illustrate how our words can cause great pain in others lives and can ruin our testimony for the Lord.  We cannot take our words back once we say them, that’s why we need to show much discernment in this area of our lives.  Matthew 12:36 tells us that we must give account for every idle word that we say. This should motivate us to guard our mouths.

After the lesson, the girls were given some time to do a personal worksheet.  Then we divided into three small groups for for discussion on how we can guard our mouths.

Our activity was to memorize “tongue tamer” Bible verses.  We memorized one with pictures, one by repetition, one with partners, one by song, and one by actions.  We memorized 5 different verses in about 20 minutes!  It was a profitable activity, and also encouraged us that memorizing Scripture usually isn’t as hard as we think it is.

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Our snacks were Valentine’s Day themed – pink and red M&M cookies (Katie and Tami), beautifully decorated heart sugar cookies (Jenna), and chocolate cake with pink and red hearts (Mrs. F.).  Katie and Tami also brought a bouquet of roses mad out of Hershey kisses for everyone!

Since our meeting, we have been doing a 2-week “Psalm 19:14 Challenge“.  Each day there is an assignment for how to use our words in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.  It is our prayer that this challenge will help us learn to watch our every word throughout the day so that our speech will be spiritually edifying to those around us and pleasing to the Lord.

Here’s a great little poem that sums up our lesson:

A careless word may kindle strife;
A cruel word may wreck a life;
A timely word may level stress;
A loving word may heal and bless.
-Author Unknown