Faith, Friends & Fun for Girls who want to follow God

Revolve Tour

4real_generic_125x125How does a weekend with some of your best friends, complete with great music, advice on guys and other stuff, and talk about how to make God part of your everyday life sound? Like something you might want to check out? Then you need to get the lowdown on The Revolve Tour: 4 Real.

The Revolve Tour is sponsored by a national women’s ministry called Women of Faith. It’s just for girls in 6th-12th grades and answers a lot of questions you probably have about friends, family, dating, God and other big deals in your life. Plus there’s Christian music that’s something you’d actually want to listen to, skits and jokes, and just time to hang out with your best friends.  The conferences are Friday night and all day Saturday and are just getting rolling, so tickets are still available for plenty of tour dates. It’ll be stopping by cities from Baltimore to Fort Worth to Philadelphia to Sacramento — from one side of the country to the other.

Here’s a preview clips for what to expect if you might want to go. And for all the scoop (and a longer preview), just go to the Revolve Tour: 4 Real website (or do a You Tube search for Revolve Tour 2009 to see clips from some of the conferences they’ve already had this year).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-VkVSLL4Sg 

If you decide to go (or have ever been to one of their conferences before), be sure to leave a comment. Telling how excited you are or how much you enjoyed it just might be what another girl needs to decide to try it herself!

Psalm 139:1-3

I love to read different Bible translations of verses, just to see what the differences are from one to the other. One of my very favorite chapters in the Bible is Psalm 139, and the first few verses are great ones to start a week with:

You have looked deep into my heart, LORD, and you know all about me.

You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts.

You notice everything I do and everywhere I go.

Psalm 139:1-3 (Contemporary English Version)

Wherever you go and whatever you do this week … whatever teacher is driving you crazy … whatever laughs, tears, or fights you might share with other people … however a day is good or however a day is bad — God is with you. Sometimes that doesn’t seem like much, but some days that’s exactly the thing I need to remember so I can still hang on for the ride.

The Lord of all creation, the God of the universe, knows who you are and exactly what you’re doing at any given moment of the day. He loves you, He pays attention to you, and He really does care. Ask Him to help you remember that this week and enjoy going from one minute to the next with Him at your side.

Have a blessed week! :-)

I’m teaching junior high Sunday school this quarter, and we’re getting into all sorts of relationship issues (and I mean All Sorts of issues, but we won’t get into that here!). We’ve already talked about friendship and how your friends (and anyone else you’re around, really) have a powerful influence on you. Today we took the topic of friendship one step further and talked about how important friendship is to God — and how important it is that we treat everyone the way God would want us to, even if we don’t consider them our “friend.”

One of our Scripture verses was 1 John 4: 20:

If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

Can’t get much more blunt than “If you claim to love God but don’t love the people around you, you’re a big fat liar.” Youch.

We also talked about how the way we treat other people is a direct reflection of our relationship with God. If we love God and are truly trying to do His will, that love comes out in how we act toward others. If we claim to love God but keep being bad friends or keep treating people badly, then we don’t really have much of a relationship with God. Double youch. The two things (or relationship with God and our relationship with other people) are connected, like the two sides of a coin.

We’re a mirror, reflecting back to the world what we’ve let God do to us on the inside. Maybe I need to add Windex to my morning arsenal of make-up and hairspray and help make sure my internal mirror is clean as I start the day. What about you?

Catching on fire

fireDo you ever read the signatures that people include with their emails? I do. If you include a quote or Scripture verse, I’ll read it. If you include a Scripture reference but don’t write out the verse, I’ll probably look it up. If you list a blog or website, I just might pop by to see what it’s like.

I saw a new quote in another writer’s signature line this week that I loved. It’s a quote from John Wesley, the man who’s basically credited with founding the Methodist Church movement:

Catch on fire and people will come for miles to see you burn.

Isn’t that the truth?! Many of us are nosy and want to know what’s happening around us. If we see people getting all excited about something, we want to know what the big deal is. If everyone seems to be talking about a particular movie or book or TV show, we want to check it out ourselves. We want to be in the middle of — or at least on the fringes of — the attention.

But here’s the deal — as Christians, we want to be so on fire for God that people can’t help but see Him in us. We shouldn’t want them to see us, but to see God through us. It’s easy to say, but hard to do. We want to be different like God wants us to be, but we want to be different in the cool way that makes people want to get to know us better, not the weird way that drives them in the other direction.

Is our fire for God big enough to catch people’s attention and make them come see what’s happening with us? Is it flickering flame that dances and almost goes out with every little change around us? Or is it just the smoldering embers of the torch we used to carry in our hearts for God but that got doused along the way?

Some days I’m discouraged and feel burned out. Some days I’m OK, but know I’m not as strong and faithful as I should be. But on other days — the best days — I’m on fire for God, loving Him and feeling Him whichever way I seem to turn. Eager to get to my Bible study time and to talk with Him. Not afraid to stand up for Him or share Him with others. Those are the days I want to have more of! And the best part is, I CAN if I only ask Him to help me with it. He wants us to spend time with Him, to talk with Him, to see Him everywhere in our day. We just need to ask Him for the desire to be that way, and the more we ask, the more we’ll see it coming true in us. What a gift!

So how about you? Are you burning bright enough for others to want to see what’s going on? And — more importantly — once they come near, what will they find you burning for?

Easter and Psalm 139

choc-bunnyEaster has hopped around again, with bunnies and candy and fluffy little chicks. It’s also spring break for lots of schools, but don’t let the week of fun overshadow what makes this week special: it’s Holy Week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter.

One of my favorite chapters in all the Bible is Psalm 139, that wonderful Pslam of David praising God for knowing us so intimately before we were even born. No matter how many times I read or study it, certain verses always jump off the page:

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. … You are familiar with all my ways (vs. 1-3).

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. … All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (vs. 13-16).

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (vs. 23-24).

crucifixionThis might not seem like it ties in with Easter, but it actually does.

You see, God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows the sins we hide from others, the countless times we fall short, the insecurities and fears and impatience. And yet He loves us anyway — so much that He sent His Son Jesus to be our Savior and take our place on the cross.

Thank you, Father, for sending your Son, and thank you, Jesus, for coming to earth and dying for us. May we never forget that love and sacrifice, and may a new awareness of it make this Holy Week and Easter one of our most precious.

Like to read?

If you like to read and are looking for a way to learn about books you’ll enjoy but won’t have to hide from your mom, check out www.novelteen.wordpress.com. The folks there post reviews and video trailers for clean fiction appropriate for teens. If you like the things you read about there, they also have a long list of links to young adult authors you might want to check out.

Go pay them a visit and enjoy!

Specially Made

Psalm 139 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, with its description of how intimately God knows each and every one of us before we’re even born. I don’t know about you, but that just helps prove to me exactly how smart and powerful God really is and how much He really cares.

Our church recognized Sanctity of Life Sunday this week and our youth praise band sang a song that ties in with the theme of God knowing everything about us and loving us anyway. It’s called “He Knows My Name” and is by Tommy Walker. You might have heard it before, but even so, it’s good to read the words and let their meaning sink in.

He Knows My Name, by Tommy Walker

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call
I have a Father
He calls me His own
He’ll never leave me
No matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

Be blessed as you remember that God really does know your name!

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