Switch Girls

Being a Godly Girl in Today's World

It’s Not Over June 26, 2012

Filed under: Faith,God,holiness — switchgirls @ 1:53 am

It’s a relief to be back home. Back to familiarity. Back to routine. Back to your own bed, your own shower, your own room. Back to everything that is comfortable.

But there’s always a pang in coming home from camp. You feel like something valuable is left behind. And the longer you’re home, the less weight your camp decisions seem to have. It becomes easier and easier to slip back into your regular old life. Not that it was a bad life. But you have a little voice in the back of your head whispering that things were supposed to change. You were going to be different. Why are those camp commitments often so hard to hang on to?

Could it possibly be the discomfort that frees you while you’re at camp? Your routine is thrown off, your cell phone is gone, you’re sharing a room with a bunch of people. Nothing is as comfortable as home. And so perhaps you’re more aware–more open to what God is doing in your life, because you’re paying more attention. You’re not just running on autopilot.

Comfort is a tough thing. We all want to be comfortable. We want to feel secure, have a sense of routine, have a feeling of belonging. And none of these are bad things. But sometimes our comfortable life numbs us to our need for change. It’s easy to think everything is fine because everything is going on like it always does. It’s also easy to put off change because we aren’t quite ready to disrupt things. Change threatens our comfort because it inevitably pulls us into the uncomfortable zone.

Even though none of us likes discomfort, it is the state God most often uses to work in us. When we are uncomfortable, we most clearly see our need for Him. When we are uncomfortable, we most clearly see our weaknesses and our inabilities. And when we are uncomfortable, we most clearly see His hand and His involvement in our lives.

That’s often what happens at camp. You’re less comfortable than usual, and more open to God’s pulling on your heart. You realize He’s trying to get your attention and you respond because there’s no other place you have to be. You can stop and focus on Him because your normal, comfortable life is back at home, and you are free from it for a few days.

So does that mean you can only hear from God at camp? Of course not. He is always trying to get your attention. He is always wanting to work in you. But when you’re at home, you may be too wrapped up in the familiar to break away and listen. That’s what needs to change when you come home. You need to make it a priority to get “uncomfortable” somehow. That may mean changing up your routine to include daily time with God. That may mean finding a place to serve where you’ve never served before. It may mean speaking up more boldly about what you believe. Whatever it is, you will have to deliberately step outside your comfort zone and do it. That’s where real change happens.

 

Mistakes January 25, 2012

oops

Mistakes are inescapable.  You’ve made them; I’ve made them. Everyone’s made them. And yet we often find it so hard to get past them.

God’s Word says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).  You’ve heard that before.  But does it sink in?  Does it really help you forgive yourself and accept your imperfect-ness?

If you’ve ever struggled to get over a past mistake, you’re not alone.  Here are several examples of people who messed up (some of them BIG time) and yet are known for serving the Lord faithfully. 

Moses killed a man in a fit of anger (Exodus 2:11-15).

Abraham lied to a king (two different times), saying his wife was his sister because he was afraid of being killed (Gen. 12:10-20; Gen. 20:1-18).

David slept with a married woman, got her pregnant, tried to cover it up, and then killed her husband (2 Samuel 11).

Peter denied that he knew Christ three times because he was afraid (Mark 14:66-72).

These people made mistakes.  But they were not defined by those mistakes.  Genuine repentance coupled with accepting God’s forgiveness allowed them to put those errors behind them and push forward. 

God’s forgiveness is absolute.  If you sincerely seek it, He will give it.  And if He has given it, then you can rest in it completely.  You don’t have to relive your mistakes over and over.  God has removed them as far as the east is from the west (which is infinitely far, by the way, because the two will never ever meet). He has cleared the way for you to follow after Him.  Don’t let yourself be held back by something He’s already conquered.

 

A Formula for Success January 4, 2012

Filed under: Faith,God,holiness,Joshua,obedience,Purpose,teenage girls,Trusting God — switchgirls @ 2:00 pm

formula

The Israelites weren’t an easy people to lead.  They had a reputation for complaining, thanklessness, and insubordination.  As Moses’ right hand man, Joshua saw first hand the struggles Moses had trying to lead this stubborn group of people.  Those struggles couldn’t have been far from his mind on the day he took Moses’ place as leader.

In Joshua 1, God commissions Joshua as the new leader.  Joshua was probably feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of leading this huge group of temperamental people into an unknown land.  God, ever aware of our insecurities, told Joshua, “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” (v. 5) 

God not only encouraged Joshua that He would be with Him, but He also gave Joshua a formula for success: “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (v. 8)

Sounds pretty simple, right?  Be faithful to God’s Word; meditate on it morning and night; learn everything it says; do everything it says.  Okay, maybe not so simple, but it is at least straightforward.

God encouraged Joshua as a leader and equipped him for success as a leader.  He didn’t just say, “Okay, I’m giving you this important job.  I’m rooting for you. Good luck!”  He gave Joshua the means to be successful at his task: devotion to God’s Word, frequent meditation on it, and obedience to it.

The same formula God gave Joshua is still effective for us today.  God doesn’t call you to His work and turn you loose without any direction.  He equips you through His Word.  If you’re struggling with how to be more tuned in to what God wants you to do, get in His Word!  That’s where the answers are.

Joshua accomplished great things during his time as leader.  He defeated 31 kings during Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land.  He allotted portions of the land to each of the tribes (something they had been waiting for for years).  But most importantly, he was obedient to the Lord.  Joshua 24:31 recounts his most meaningful legacy: “Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the LORD did for Israel.”

God does not give direction in vain.  He gave Joshua a strategy for success, and Joshua’s life is a testimony to his obedience to that strategy.  If you desire success that pleases the Lord, follow His directions.  They work.

 

Happy Thanksgiving! November 24, 2011

Filed under: God,Psalms — switchgirls @ 10:00 am

Thanksgiving scaregrow

“Know that the LORD, he is God!
   It is he who made us, and we are his;
   we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
   and his courts with praise!
   Give thanks to him; bless his name!

 For the LORD is good;
   his steadfast love endures forever,
   and his faithfulness to all generations”

Psalm 100:3-5

 

Hearing God Speak November 23, 2011

Filed under: God,God's Word,John Piper — switchgirls @ 2:00 pm

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hear God speak directly to you? To tell you something personal from His heart?

In “The Morning I Heard the Voice of God,” John Piper shares his experience of hearing directly from God:

“Let me tell you about a most wonderful experience I had early Monday morning, March 19, 2007, a little after six o’clock. God actually spoke to me. There is no doubt that it was God. I heard the words in my head just as clearly as when a memory of a conversation passes across your consciousness. The words were in English, but they had about them an absolutely self-authenticating ring of truth. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God still speaks today.”
Read more here

 

Sorry, God, I’m Too Distracted. November 16, 2011

Filed under: God,God's Word,Philippians,Prayer,Reading the Bible,teenage girls — switchgirls @ 2:00 pm

music

What distracts you from time with the Lord?  Our society offers many options–Facebook, texting, Pinterest, YouTube, TV, iTunes, blogs, Angry Birds, Words with Friends…the list goes on and on.  It’s amazing how easy it is to find time in your day for all the things I just listed, but not time to spend with your God.

I want to challenge you to fast from one media-related thing this week.  Instead of the time you would be spending on that activity, spend it with the Lord in prayer or in the Word. It may seem difficult to give up at first, but I think you’ll find that what you invest in your relationship with the Lord produces a much greater return than what you invest in entertainment.

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…”
(Philippians 3:8a)

 

Power November 2, 2011

Filed under: God,Media,Music,Psalms,Taylor Swift,teenage girls — switchgirls @ 3:34 pm

Forbes Top 10 Most Powerful Celebrities in the World:

“He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.” (Psalm 147:4-5)

I’ll take God against all 10 of these combined.  What about you?

 

 
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