What happens when we begin to taste God’s word for ourselves…

I stumbled across a jewel of a resource in my office this week that I absolutely love and wish was re-published.  It’s called:

Spiritual Journey Notebook.  (wow crazy creative title)  It’s truly a great resource though for discipleship and has some very helpful tools called Theographs, and charts, and —GOSH I love this journal!  (I hear the chants of my elementary friends saying, “Well why don’t you marry it?!) Well I’ve gushed about it enough, but it is a tool that can help in your very important covenant with your Saviour.  It can be legalistic if you allow it to become a checklist instead of a tool, but the theographs are a great guide for discipleship.  If you can find one…get it!

It was written by Milt Hughes.  Here is the information you can use to look for it on the internet.

But the main reason I am passing this along to you is because of the theograph that discusses the level of responses to Scripture.

It’s a great reminder of why we need to journey with scripture continually so that we literally  are moved into action and not just stopping at receiving.

1. HEAR: Romans 10:17  Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

2. READ:  Luke 4:16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,

3. STUDY: Acts 17:11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

4. MEMORIZE: Psalm 119:11,13 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.   With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.

5. MEDITATE: Psalm 119:148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promises.

6. DO: James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

I love that each response is more of a taste of God’s word than the response before.  I love that we see that once you start sampling God’s word, you can’t stop yourself from getting more.

I think if we looked at this more and stopped long enough to get a bite of God’s word, we would find ourselves truly longing to saturate our lives with it.  Surely if more of our students and families followed this, we’d have different stats than Barna’s book: Index of leading Spiritual indicators which says—34% of U.S. adults claim to open the bible once a week outside of church.  7.5% claim to read it daily.

When tribes don’t mix…

Yesterday I was talking with a friend who is also a leader of one of our girl groups. She has great insight and also some of the most unique ways of looking at a situation. It was our desire to have a get together for an entire grade, instead of just lifegroups. As we discussed it, the following illustration was used:

maybe this is like “back in our history” when  you knew certain indian tribes didn’t get along. And if they ended up in the same space, war would take place between the two and scalping would be the evidence of the battle.

I absolutely agreed that if we mixed these two groups, that we’d see history repeat itself and these groups may try everything including scalping each other. Each group is a different organism with different personalities, quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. I believe that it is important to continue to build healthy all-grade opportunities of fellowship, but be aware that for some middle school groups, it may be “best for the rest” to keep them in their small group habitat until around 9th grade.  If you have observed that two groups don’t mix well and you’ve tried it unsuccessfully then move into different strategies.

  • Talk to them about being sisters in Christ with other girls through some bible study series on friends and relationships.
  • Help them to become other’s focused through service projects.
  • Look for girls who can be a bridge into the other group.
  • Teach them to pray for the other group, by ending every lesson and having the group pray for a specific girl from that group each week.

These are some of the things we’ve seen happen for some girl tribes that didn’t mix well at first. Remember that this is like a spiritual lab.  Don’t get frustrated, but take heart in knowing that you have the opportunity to help girls know what to do when they don’t like someone.  Help them to look for value in that person and help them to know that God changes our hearts towards people by changing our heart about people. What about you? What have you seen work or not work with tribes?

A girls ministry talk about Halloween costumes + girls

originally published October 27th, 2010…but it’s been updated for 2013!

Cady’s thoughts: in the real world Halloween was a time for little kids to dress up in scary costumes. in girl world it was the one night a year a girl could dress like a total slut and no other girls could say anything about it. The hard core girls just wore lingerie and some form of animal ears. unfortunately no one told me this rule so i showed up like this.

I remember the first time that I first heard this quote from Mean Girls and thought, “Wow. Someone really captured what I have been seeing over the years.” I remember our church had an alternative halloween event for youth where you had to dress as your favorite biblical character. Of course 98% of the girls chose Esther, but then there was always that one girl who chose to really live on the edge and don a bathrobe portraying Bathsheba. Nope—that wasn’t me. I always liked to pick the obscure people like Rhoda the servant girl. (look her up–she’s real.)

My church leaders never began a top 5 list of biblical costumes that girls should not be allowed to show up to do the apple dunk in. Just for kicks,this is what I think that list would have looked like:
5. Rahab
4. Bathsheba
3. Woman at the well
2. Potiphar’s wife
1. Eve before the fall

I hope that our readers will choose to speak into the lives of girls this Halloween to begin some conversations regarding their costume choices. Or perhaps we can just hope the coolest girl in school latches on to my 2013 secret Halloween viral campaigns:

“Hazmat suits = the new bunny costume”
“covered head to toe is the way to go”
“mummies & modest monsters= eye candy”

Or maybe the following web badges will start spreading onto the “cool girl’s” facebook profile pics:




But in all seriousness, here’s an activity you can do with some of the girls you mentor to begin talking about Halloween Costumes:
Have girls use markers, pencils, glue, and old magazines to design a halloween costume for each member of their family—including pets.
Use those drawings to begin to talk about why they chose those costumes.
ASK: Did those costumes represent something about that person?
What do you think your costume represents about you?
Why do you think girls choose to wear costumes that are often innapropriate?
What do you think the message is regarding those costume choices?
How does Ephesians 3:5 impact the costume we may choose to wear?