Due to the fact that our first meeting in January was cancelled because of the weather, and that the Fraser’s were out of town for a month, the lesson “How to Make a Wise Comment” came before the lesson “The Reliability of the Bible”. Hannah S. led the meeting while we were away and there were several others who stepped in to help with the activity and snacks. Thank you all so much for your willingness to help out!
For the lesson time, the girls learned that words are very powerful. They have the power of life or death (Prov. 18:21). We will give account for every idle word spoken (Matt. 12:36). As ambassadors of Christ, we need to choose words that are meaningful, edifying, and profitable to others. It is important that we learn to relate to others in a way that is respectable, thoughtful, and mature. Learning good conversation skills is an important part of shining brightly for the Lord.
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” -Ephesians 4:29
For the activity time, Havala S. taught everyone how to make lip balm. It was a fun and girly activity that everyone enjoyed. You can use it to help you remember to watch the words that come out of your mouth.
I am looking forward to seeing all of you again this Thursday… its been a long time and I can’t wait to see you again!
On November 1, we held a special “Bright Lights Retreat Day” for the older girls in our group. Since we have such a wide age range in our Bemidji BL group, we wanted to spend some time encouraging the older girls in their walk with the Lord. There were nine of us who spent a very full day in learning from the Word, study, fellowship, and prayer.
The retreat began at 9:00am and we began with some Bible charades as we waited for everyone to arrive. We then had some announcements, handed out journals to the girls, Deborah served us all some tea, and we began our first session.
Session One was called “Being a Bright Light”. It was a DVD from the BL Leader’s Training taught by Sarah Mally. In this session, we were challenged to be leaders (rather than followers), to keep the Lord as first place in our lives, and to have a good testimony to others. Sarah reminded us that our goal should be to follow Christ so closely, that whoever is following us is really following Him.
Session Two was called “The Power of Your Testimony”. We talked about holiness and how this makes us different from the world. We also took a look at Daniel 1:8-13 and noticed how he set an example for his friends in honoring the Lord. In verse 8, it says that Daniel “requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (notice the singular). In verse 12, now he is saying, “please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink” (notice the plural). Now Daniel’s three friends are now standing with him. In chapter 3, we have the well know story of Daniel’s same three friends now standing up to King Nebuchadnezzar in the face of death. Daniel is not mentioned at all in this chapter – his friends are no longer waiting for someone to set an example for them. And because of their testimony and deliverance, King Nebuchadnezzar has a change of heart and praises the One True God. It all started with Daniel’s testimony in a simple matter.
In the same way, when we are willing to stake a stand for what is right, our example to others becomes a powerful testimony. God has placed each one of us in the right place to influence others for Him. Just like Daniel, if we can influence just one other person to shine for Christ, and that person influences someone else, we have the potential to influence millions for Christ. We were challenged to live for what counts and lasts for eternity!
Session Three was called “Developing a Ministry” and was another DVD taught by Sarah Mally. Sarah shared that the point really isn’t about develop a ministry, rather it’s about having an eternal focus. She talked about areas of ministry to focus on and insights for prepared for ministry, as well as obstacles and enemies to ministry. We need to be zealous to press on, be aware of the attack of the enemy and our complete dependence on the Lord, and to be asking the Lord “What is your calling for me right now, right here?”
Session Four was called “The Importance of Biblical Disciplines”. We talked about how spending time with the Lord means that we develop a closer relationship with Him. If we are close to the Lord, we will want to do the things that please Him. The most obvious way to give the Lord first place in our lives is by spending time with Him in His Word and prayer. That’s why Satan will do whatever Be can to keep us from the Word of God. Jesus Christ is the Word (John 1:14), and so reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on Scripture keeps our focus on our Savior.
In this last session, we focused quite a bit on how to study the Bible, since studying Scripture ourselves helps us to fall in love with Author Himself. This was an exciting session since there was a lot of practical ideas for being in the Word, memorizing/mediating on Scripture, and prayer.
We ended our retreat by spending an hour in prayer together. This was such a refreshing time as we got to pour out our praise, thanksgiving, and requests to the Creator of the Universe, the King of kings, our Heavenly Father! This was defiantly a highlight of the retreat for several of us.
Between sessions, we had personal study times and group discussions as well as lunch and fellowship. We had a couple things planned into the day that we weren’t able to get to because of time, but it was still a very rich time that the Lord greatly blessed. It was an amazing day and we were so encouraged by every girl who made an effort to be there – committing a whole day to being in the Word!
A huge thank you to everyone of you who came and to the mothers that willingly brought you. Also, thank you to my wonderful Mom for serving us a delicious lunch. We so appreciate all of you who contributed to this retreat in various ways. Praise the Lord for richly blessing our day in so many little details! May each one of us continue to seek the Lord and continually give Him first place in our lives.
Once again, we held a special meeting to kick-off another year of Bright Lights. We invited all of the girls to our home on October 25 and we had an enjoyable evening of singing and getting re-acquainted through fun games. The Lord gave us beautiful weather and we enjoyed our snacks and devotions outside around the campfire. Here’s some pictures from our evening:
During our devotion, we talked about our mission that we have as daughters of the King. We read a story about a girl named Mary who had a mission to light the lamps in the lighthouse one dark, stormy night.
Her father was gone, she couldn’t reach the lamps, and there were evil men trying to keep the lighthouse dark so they could plunder ships that crashed. But Mary was determined to light them because she knew that there were ships at sea who desperately needed the light to keep them from wrecking on the rocks that lined the coast. In the midst of difficulty and opposition, she persevered until she was able to light the lamps to shine into the dark storm to guide the sailors to safety.
We too have a mission to shine the light of Christ to a world that is lost and in danger of dying out in the darkness. How are we doing? Are we being faithful to shine the light wherever we go? Or do we give up when things get tough and we feel like its not worth the effort?
Our testimony is an important part of shining the light. People won’t see Jesus in us if we are just like everyone else in the world. God won’t force us to accomplish this special mission to shine His light. We have to make the choice to be a bright light for Him and to get involved in His work! It won’t always be easy to fulfill the mission He has given us, but we can do it with His help. Let’s do our best for Him! Are we fulfilling the mission God has given us?
It was a special evening (we even heard some coyotes howling off in the distance while we were reading the story about Mary, and you could almost imagine it was the sound of the storm). We enjoyed seeing everyone again, and it was wonderful to see everyone’s excitement for another year of Bright Lights. See you all on November 6!
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
On February 27, our lesson was on the topic of orderliness. As we were beginning our lesson, we were interrupted by Deborah coming in late. She was very rushed, braiding her hair still, and was even wearing her slippers over unmatched socks. Her skirt was wrinkled because it had been laying at the bottom of a pile in her room, and she was late because she couldn’t find anything else she was looking for in her messy room.
Obviously, this was just a skit. However, it was a reminder of how orderliness is a big problem for many people in our culture. I shared a few interesting statistics with the girls:
Cleaning professionals say that getting rid of excess clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in an average home.
80% of the clutter in most homes is a result of disorganization, not lack of space.
The National Association of Professional Organizers reports we spend one year of our lives looking for lost items.
For every hour of planning, 3 to 4 hours are saved from redundancy, waiting for information, not being prepared and poorly managed tasks.
25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside due to clutter and 32% only have room for one vehicle.
The God we serve is a God of order. By observing the stars, the seasons, the plants, our body systems, or anything in His creation, we can clearly see His design, creativity, and order. To us, orderliness might not seem like a very important thing compared to everything else we’ve been learning in Bright Lights, yet we must understand that orderliness isn’t just a skill, it’s an attribute (character trait) of God that we should develop in our lives. And actually, orderliness affects many areas of our lives – our relationships, our testimony, our efficiency, our attitudes, and ultimately, our ability to fulfill God’s purpose for our life.
We all came up with a list of a few benefits of being orderly:
Having a clean room
Helps you find things
Is a blessing to your parents
Helps start and complete projects
Allows for efficiency
Demonstrates a godly testimony
Jesus showed orderliness in His earthly life – like how He rose early so as to be able to begin His day with His Father (Mark 1:35 & John 8:28). We should follow His example of arranging our day around the most important priorities. We can demonstrate orderliness with our time by giving the first part of each day to God. It is important that we establish an orderly pattern of spiritual disciplines in our lives (i.e. Bible reading, study, prayer, memorization, etc.) We need to carefully organize our time in order to use each minute wisely.
When we talk about orderliness, we need to realize that we are responsible to take proper care of the things that belong to us. Everything we own actually belongs to God and He has given us the assignment of being a wise steward of the things He has entrusted to our care. We also need to remember that we represent Jesus in all that we do. As Bright Lights, we want to develop the character trait of orderliness in our lives so that we can use our time and resources wisely for the Lord.
For our activity, we played a fun version of pictionary. After dividing into three teams, a girl from each team was sent to get the first word. They weren’t allowed draw the actual words (which were locations in which we can practice being orderly), but instead had to draw things in the location – like a pot in the kitchen, a shovel in the garage, towels in the bathroom, etc. Their group then had to guess what the word was as they raced against the other teams to complete the most words.
After our activity, instead of small groups, we had everyone anonymously write down an area in which they struggled being orderly with. Then we drew the slips out of a bowl and we all shared tips and ideas for keeping that area clean and organized. It was a lot fun, as well as very practical and helpful. During snack time, we continued on with sharing tips for orderliness and organization.
I just wanted to say a big “thank you” to all of the moms and daughters that stay and help clean up afterwards. It’s such a huge blessing to be able to focus on building relationships with the girls in our group rather than cleaning everything up. Your help is a ministry to me!