Friday, January 25, 2013

Reflection Friday

If you are new to .Redeemed., I lead a middle school girls eGroup. Thursday evenings with the girls is one of my favorite parts of the week. They are an amazing group of girls and they teach me as much as I teach them.

Icebreaker: Catch Words.  It's a free iPhone App that's similar to Catch Phrase.  First team to seven points wins.  We had a blast trying to beat the timer!

Discussion Highlights:  This week, we discussed honoring, being obedient and bringing joy to our parents.  We had a delightful discussion about what it looks like to honor your parents and practical ways we can begin being obedient and bringing joy to our parents. 

The girls are going to try respectfully responding to chore requests, instead of rudely declining.  When asked to do the dishes, they are going to work on thanking them for the opportunity.  They are going to remember that Hebrews 12:9-11 says that we are disciplined out of love. 

Closing: We closed by praying together, and talked about our next outreach project.

During the Week: This week, we will be reading YouVersion's "What's Next: Student Edition" Bible study.  The girls will begin brainstorming how we will pull off a bake sale for A Place for Hope.

Next Week: We will discuss what we read in our study during eGroup.  We will make snack packs for A Child's Place.  A Child's Place is one of Elevation Church's outreach partners which exists to erase the impact of child homelessness.  We will be putting a healthy snack together to go home with some kids. 

Personal Reflection: I'd say that tonight went pretty well.  Catch Words was a great way to get our evening started.  I enjoyed the heart racing laughter that the timer on the game caused.  We had a blast!  It was great to discuss honor, obedience and joy with the girls.  At thirteen/fourteen, honoring your parents can seem like the hardest thing there is to do in the world.  I can't wait to see them change the way they treat and look at their parents. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Reflection Friday

If you are new to .Redeemed., I lead a middle school girls eGroup. Thursday evenings with the girls is one of my favorite parts of the week. They are an amazing group of girls and they teach me as much as I teach them.

Icebreaker: What is keeping you from doing great things?

Discussion Highlights:  This week, we discussed who God has made us to be.  God has made us to do great things.  Teenagers typically get looked down on because they are young, but 1 Timothy 4:12 says that not to let anyone look down on you because you are young.

We talked about the things that are holding us back from doing great things.  We talked about who the world tells us we are, who God says we are, how those two differ and which we should believe. 

Closing: We closed by praying together, believing that we can do great things, in spite of their young age.

During the Week: This week, we will be reading YouVersion's "Parent's" Bible study.  This Bible study is about honor and obedience toward our parents and bringing them joy.

Next Week: We will discuss what we read in our study during eGroup.

Personal Reflection: Mmmm... This week's discussion was great!  I strongly agree that these girls can and will do great things.  Their young age should never hold them back from doing great things.  I think it is so important that we pour into today's younger generation and let them know that they can do great things.  I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for each of their lives.  Shoot, they are already doing great things... Just take a look at some of these Proud Momma posts.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dressed for Christ

Pinned ImageThis week, I was having a really great conversation with my roommate.  She went on a road trip to Raleigh to hear her dad preach.  Her four hour drive home was filled with good Pandora music, windows down and a powerful revelation from God.  She isn't into blogging or writing, so I told her I would share her smack in the face with y'all!

Do you have a position that makes you want to look presentable in your community?  Do you ever go out looking like a raggamuffin and are scared that you are going to run into someone important?  You want to represent what you stand for well, right?

Whenever my roommate and I go out, we always wearing a t-shirt and gym pants.  We'll go out looking like bums on a regular basis.  She just got a job in the military.  She'll be moving in a few months to Texas and will go in as an Officer.  She was thinking about how when she moves, she'll want to look a bit nicer when just going grocery shopping, to represent her branch well.  Makes sense, right?

As Christians, we are part of the only thing in this world that is eternal.  We hold the information to a new life.  But, do we walk around presenting ourselves as Christians?  When we go out with our friends, are we showing everyone who we are in Christ?  When we are driving, are we showing the world how Christians are different?  When we are talking to our friends, are we showing them what it means to be a Christian? 

Very rarely, do we show the world who we are in Christ through our actions.  On Sundays, our actions and words are honoring to God.  But, Monday - Saturday, we use foul language, we show too much skin and seldom do we honor God with our behavior. 

We must start dressing ourselves, spiritually, physically, mentally and verbally to represent our Heavenly Father well.  Actions speak louder than words.  Our poor decisions speak mounds to those around us who are far from God, as do our good choices.

What changes do you need to make to begin representing Christ through your actions?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Reflection Friday

If you are new to .Redeemed., I lead a middle school girls eGroup. Thursday evenings with the girls is one of my favorite parts of the week. They are an amazing group of girls and they teach me as much as I teach them.

Icebreaker: What are your new years resolutions?

Discussion Highlights:  This week, being the first time we met for 2013, I wanted to set the stage for a better year than we ended on last year.  Last year, we ended on a rough note.  The girls are coming to eGroup to hang out and not to study God's word.

Pinned ImageAfter discussing goals for 2013, we discussed some biblical scriptures representing standards that we should be held accountable for as Christians.  We are called to a higher standard, not to be stumbling blocks, and to live lives that glorify God. 

Closing:  We closed by praying together, and talked about our next outreach project.

During the Week: For the next three weeks, we will be doing one week Bible studies on various topics.  My goal is to get the girls to begin reading their Bible on a regular basis.  This week, we will be reading YouVersions "Student Leadership" Bible study.

Next Week:  We will discuss what we read in our study on student leadership during eGroup.
Personal Reflection: The evening didn't go as I'd planned.  As we're talking about not being stumbling blocks to one another, two girls are having [ not so quite ] side conversations about something unrelated.  This was a little frustrating.  I'm strategizing on how we can fix this.  Longer eGroup meetings?  Different days?  New location?!  They're too comfortable.

[ Side Note ] - If you'd like a copy of the standards I'm holding the girls accountable for this year, I'd be more than happy to send them to you.  You can email me at redeemebdblog[at]yahoo[dot]com!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

God Told Me To [ Pt. 1 ]

God told me to... I say this all the time.  Sometimes, I get looked at as if I have three heads.  Sometimes, people want to hear more.  But, there is always a unique reaction to the statement, "God told me to..."  I wanted to take a minute to explain some defining "God told me to" moments in my life.

Please read this all with an open mind.  God wants to speak to you through this post.  I'm merely a vessel of God, and He is using this post to speak to you.  Don't read this story and not see past me.  That will just lead to a missed opportunity for God to speak to you.

When God told me to quit my job...

I'm going to take you back to nearly two years ago.  I was working at a preschool.  I loved everything inside of my classroom; my co-teacher, my kids, and my parents.  I truly loved everything inside of my classroom.  The moment I stepped outside of my classroom, or a co-worker called my classroom, that love turned to hate.  I was miserable.  Toward the end of my time at the preschool, I would have to be relieved from my classroom to go cry in the bathroom. I would sit in my car and cry on my lunch break, and I would cry the entire way home.  I was miserable.

I felt like God kept telling me to stay.  I didn't know why God was putting me through this.  I was miserable.  I believed that he felt my pain.  But, He didn't seem to be helping me.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are...
Then one day, it was worse than ever.  I had just returned to work from a week off after my grandpa passed away.  No one was speaking to me, because I had taken more than the given bereavement days.  I was written up by my bosses boss for taking too much time off!  I cried out to God.  How could they do this to me?!  What in the world?!  I said that I would take the time off unpaid, but I needed more days than the three given.  I worked that day and the next day.  I spent every free moment praying, asking God for guidance and discernment.
Sunday evening, God told me to quit my job.  God told me to act in faith and just do it.  God told me not to plan. God told me to quit my job.
I told my parents what I was going to do.  What a fun conversations.  They did everything they could to talk me out of it.  It didn't make sense to them.  Shoot, it didn't make sense to me
Monday morning, I turned in my two weeks notice.  Monday afternoon, I sat down with my favorite family in my amazing class.  I wanted her to know the truth before some terrible rumors got out.  Right on the spot, she asked me to be her nanny.  Holy goodness! 
That is the family that I nanny for still.  That was May of 2011.  God is faithful.
And, that concludes the story of when God told me to quit my job.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Munching Monday

It's Not a Project, It's a Process
  • Trusting God with your life is a life long process.  It's not a one time project.
  • God has saved me - Ephesians 2:8.  He is saving me - 2 Corinthians 4:16.  God will save me - 1 Peter 1:5.
  • Just like you shouldn't disconnect your iPhone from you computer while syncing, you shouldn't disconnect yourself from God during the process.
  • Colossians 2:6-7 is not a command.  It is an invitation.  An invitation to invite Jesus into the process.

Love what you just read? Want to hear more? The entire message can be found for free at 12:00, 4:00 and 8:00 (AM & PM) here, or you can download the podcast for free!

What I'm munching on... 
For the past few months, when a true friend would ask me how I'm doing, the answer was likely frustrated.  Frustrated because I know where my life is going.  I know what God has in store for my life.  But, the direction my life is headed isn't my current destination.  Pastor Steven's sermon this weekend spoke straight to my heart.

Pinned ImageI could be caught any given day over the last few months saying that I wish I could fast forward the next three years and be done with my undergrad and graduate degrees, and be doing what God has called me to do.  But, I can't just fast forward the next three years.  I have to live out the process that will be the next three years.  God has something fabulous in store for my life over the next three years.  There will be struggles, but I will gain something from those trials.  If I fast forwarded through all of that, I'd miss it all. 

As excited as I am to be done with school, I don't want to miss out on the opportunities that I'll have over the next three years.  As ready as I am to be working at a church, as God has called me to, I don't want to miss out on the experiences that I'll have over the next three years.  And, who knows... I could begin working at a church before I'm out of seminary.  But, if I fast forward through the next three years, I'll miss out on so much. 

I'm going to learn to love the process.  I'm going to put Jesus at the center of this process.  I'm going to trust that He has a plan for my life over the next three years that are significant to who I will be after I finish seminary. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Week in Review

Week in Review... a new series of posts about how I'm working toward achieving my 23 goals while 23, what I'm reading in my Bible and anything else monumental I'd like to share with you.
This week I...
... Rang in the New Year at a sassy and classy New Years Eve Party where I made some wonderful new friends! I'm in the back with the black and white dress!
... Read over two hundred pages of a new book that I downloaded on my iPad for free! (Working on goal 11)
... Took a nice hot bubble bath after my first work out of 2013 and got my hair did and got a massage!  (Working on goal 22)
... Paid for my second to last semester of classes at Liberty University OnlineThanks Grandma!  (Working on goal 1)
This week in my QT with God...
... I started Start Your Day Right.  It's a fourteen day devotional by Joyce Meyer. 
... Realized how powerful my God is.  He will raise my valleys, lower my mountains and level rough land - Isaiah 40
... Realized how great my God is.  He has given and will give me all the strength I need in every situation - Psalm 18
... Realized how much I need my God.  When Jesus, the son of God, walked on Earth, even He was tempted by Satan.  When Jesus asked, at once, Simon and Andrew followed.  When Jesus, walked on Earth, he took time to get away and pray.  If Jesus can be tempted, so can I.  If Simon and Andrew can drop everything, so can I.  If Jesus needs to get away and pray, I surely do!  - Mark 1

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Recently, I was listening to the radio.  They were having people call in.  The topic was, "What did you not write in your script?  But, it worked out for the better?"  What a great blog topic!

When I think about what was not in my script, but worked out for the better there is a long list. 

... when I was sixteen, I got involved with a boy.  He was the first guy I've ever looked to and thought I want to have his babies!  My script was wanting to marry him, live happily ever after and make a family together.  What wasn't in my script was us growing apart and at nineteen, breaking up and being unable to speak to each other.  But, it worked out for the better!  My life is going in a completely different direction now, and I wouldn't be doing all these things if I had settled down and married him.

... I grew up thinking I was going to be a teacher.  I forced my best friend to play school day in and day out.  My script was becoming a kindergarten teacher and being a part of shaping lives.  What wasn't in my script was being two classes away from graduation, and feeling called to change my major from Early Childhood to Religion.  But, it worked out for the better!  Knowing that God is going to use me greatly through a religion degree is an amazing feeling.

... I left my Elevation Church campus to launch a new campus.  My script was to do anything and everything I could for that campus, being a part of life change and doing some great things because God led me there.  What wasn't in my script was being terribly let down, when it didn't work out for me at that campus.  But, it worked out for the better!  Because I left that campus, God led me to another campus where I've faithfully served for a year and can't wait to see what else is in store!

Pinned Image
Isn't it funny how the script that we spend so much time writing for ourselves rarely comes to fruition?  We spend so much time planning what our lives are going to be like according to the script that we write for ourselves.  But, in actuality, things changed. 

We miss an opportunity.  We get called to something greater.  We take the easy route. 

What did you not write in your script?  But, worked out for the better?