Well, Caitlyn and I are back from Sugar and Spice. Excepting the heat, it was a rather relaxing time and I didn’t get overload of learning new things. Before the first session, we had a quiz on cars… that was fun. Mrs. W. talked on our identity, and that it should be an identity in Christ and not the world – Christ is eternal, the world is not. People will let you down, God will never let you down. Also, think about the big picture – it’s not just about yourself. (Esau and Jacob… Esau only thought of how hungry he was). When you’re struggling with your identity, make sure you’re living in obedience to God. Sink into the word. Let your life overflow with thankfulness, and don’t let the world deceive you. Only God can make us whole.
My first small group session was on Friendship. Basically we brought it down to this: a friendship is investing in someone’s life, a relationship that involves encouragement, love, trust, and acceptance. A good friend should be a Christian who knows you well enough to correct you and help you become closer to God. Jesus is our best friend, he always gives you the right directions, they’re always true. Friends can influence you in a bad way.
Pray for a good friend. Make a list of characteristics you look for in a good friend. When there’s no one else with you, trust Jesus. Guy friends need to help you look to Jesus and help you grow in the Lord, too. Friends should value your character.
After lunch (during which I found I can eat a fairly large apple in 5 minutes…), we had our second session, taught by Fiona. Her talk was on being a godly woman in an ungodly world. She started with the question “What makes us want the things that you want/don’t have?” The answers we came up with: sin, discontentment, striving for perfection, and pride. The world offers many things that can be stumbling blocks, but if we focus on what God has to say about that, then it makes it harder for Satan to get at us. The media’s message: we can make you better. God’s message: you are my Child. You are valuable, important, and you have a purpose.
Learn your weaknesses so you can strengthen them. If you have trouble with comparing yourself to those you see in beauty magazines, stay away from them, etc… Focus on Jesus.
My second small group session was on emotions. We ran out of time, but the little we did do was encouraging. God filled us up with things to make us who we are, and everyone’s different. Stuff in life is sweet and sour.
Jesus knows what we’re going through (Matthew 21:12-13, John 11:35, Luke 22:41-44). He was human. God doesn’t get intimitated by our troubles.
So what do I do with these feelings?
Psalm 61:2 = God says ‘Come to ME’ Go to Him, pour out your heart to Christ. You could go anywhere… don’t. Come to God.
Romans 12:15 – Community. After God, go to trusted friends. Be open with them. Be sensitive to them if they are down.
Ephesians 4:26-27: You can be angry, but do not sin in your anger. Have Christ-like anger.
Don’t withdraw when you’re hurt. Instead, communicate. Withdrawing can make you overboil. Instead…
1. Choose a time when you’re calm.
2. Tell them how you feel. “I…” Be short and specific.
Be prepared to say sorry.
Coping strategy – what do you do when you’re angry?
Response – with thinking.
Reaction – without thinking, natural reaction.
Anger rules: Don’t hurt yourself, don’t hurt others, don’t break anything.
Take deep breaths. Do something you life.
Get rid of ungodly beliefs and replace them with godly beliefs. Write them down for 40 days.
People can need help when…
– There are changes in their sleeping, eating, and behaviour/acedemics.
– They think bad thoughts about themselves.
Our third main session was taught by Amy… it was on being a woman after God’s own heart.
Who demonstrates being a woman after God’s own heart? And why?
Make Proverbs 31 your guide. But don’t just have the accomplishments. You need character, you need to fear the Lord. the bread on the sandwich. It’s not about the doing, it’s about the be.
What am I running after? Where am I going?
1. God delights in you. Remember who you are. Isaiah 43:1 We are His. Remember that.
2. We need to delight in God. Put Him before everything else. Rejoice in your relationship with Him. Enjoy spending time with Him.
Take-down was fun… we were singing Christmas carols as we rolled up the cloth from across the ceiling, and were sliding across the floor in our flip-flops. In the bus on the way back, we ate cookies and bread, and then Jen, Ashlea, and I sang all the way through 99 Bottles of Milk on the Wall… all the way down to 0.
Offering all of me
Jesus, you’re all this heart is living for.”