Switch Girls

Being a Godly Girl in Today's World

Prepare August 1, 2012

Filed under: holiness,Hosea,Submission — switchgirls @ 10:55 am

fallow ground

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.”
(Hosea 10:12 ESV)

Fallow ground is ground that has been plowed. It is prepared for use. But no one plants seeds in it. No one cultivates it or tends to it. So nothing grows. For a whole season or more, the ground is barren. Empty. Prepared, but never producing.

What is the fallow ground in your life right now? Where has God been preparing you for growth and you have been resisting? Now is the time to surrender it to Him. Now is the time to seek the Lord.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Destructive Darkness October 26, 2011

Darkness.  If you want it, you can find it just about anywhere–in movies, music, books, TV shows.  In the news, in your friend’s gossip, or online.  Our society appears to love it, because it is promoted more and more.

One of the most disturbing things about darkness is that it is enticing.  You know it’s wrong, but you still want to read it.  Watch it.  Hear about it.  Find out how it ends.  Knowing that it’s dark and twisted doesn’t stop you from wanting to know more about it.  But be careful, Christian.  Darkness is dangerous.  You may begin delving into it innocently, but it will quickly take you down its evil path.

Some of you know what I’m talking about, but others may wonder.  Darkness?  Is that the same thing as sin?  Why is she being so dramatic? 

It’s not my intention to frighten or over-dramatize but to warn.  If you have the Holy Spirit within you, He alerts you to darkness when you encounter it.  And we should pay attention to His warnings. 

Our culture glorifies darkness in many ways.  Horror movies.  Teenage fiction that focuses on themes like betrayal, murder, sex, and other types of violence.  TV shows about serial killers.  Violent video games.  The twisted themes of many of these media have become so common that we don’t even recognize them as twisted anymore.

Does it bother you to watch a movie where people are slashed and mutilated?  To play a video game where you maim and murder others?  To read a book where characters sleep together and use language that makes you blush?  To watch a show where the characters seduce and betray one another with ease?

These things should bother you.  They are not normal.  They are not healthy for you mentally or spiritually.  And they are not pleasing to God. 

You may think I’m making a big deal out of a small thing, but consider these reasons for making an effort to avoid darkness.

1) We belong to God’s family now.  And God doesn’t do darkness.

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”” (John 8:12)

When we became daughters of God, we entered light.  That’s where God wants us to stay.

2) We aren’t supposed to participate in it.  We are supposed to be figuring out what pleases God, not what pleases us.  You may enjoy lurid stories or mature-themed shows/books, but God’s Word says that we should expose darkness, not take part in it.

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.” (Ephesians 5:6-12)

3) We aren’t supposed to dwell on it.  The things that you think about a lot affect you, and it’s no different with dark things.  For example, research has shown that people who watch a lot of shows about crime think their chances of being a victim are much higher than they actually are.  They are affected by what they fill their mind with.

The same is true with you and what you watch/read/listen to.  If you fill your mind with darkness, eventually you begin to assume that it’s normal.  Even if you don’t approve of it, you begin to accept its place in the world.

Darkness will be in the world until Christ returns, but we do not have to dwell on it.  Paul says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

4)  Loving darkness often reveals your heart’s true condition.

“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:19)

Would you give up shows, books or music with dark themes in order to please God?  If not, you may be clinging to darkness instead of light.  After all, the verses above reminded us that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  What do you love most? 

Satan wants to use darkness to twist your mind and corrupt your pursuit of holiness.  Darkness isn’t just a popular cultural theme; it’s a tool of the enemy.  Learn to recognize it and don’t be fooled by the deceiver.  God’s way, the way of light, is the one you need to pursue.

 

The VMAs August 31, 2011

Filed under: Galatians,God,holiness,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Matthew,Music,Purity,teenage girls — switchgirls @ 2:00 pm

Lady Gaga. Lil Wayne. Justin Bieber. Britney Spears. Nicki Minaj. Kanye West. If you watched the VMAs, you saw them all. Performing, accepting awards, giving speeches. You watched them overtly display their views about life, love, God, and who knows what else. 

Several of them thanked God for giving them success in their musical careers. But is God pleased by the things they sing about and portray in their music videos?  What do you think?

Jesus said in Matthew 12:33-35 that what we say and do show who we really are.  Paul echoed Jesus’ point when he said the following:

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. ” (Galatians 5:19-25)

So what do you think?  Are these performers keeping in step with the Spirit or showing sin to be evident in their lives?  And what about you?  Do you look up to these people and desire to be like them?  Or do you desire to be like Christ?

Paul says you can’t be like both.  The flesh (sin) is against the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is against the flesh (Gal. 5:17). Who will you choose to be like today?

 

Switch Life August 24, 2011

Filed under: Faith,God's Word,Gossip,holiness,Purpose,teenage girls,Tongue — switchgirls @ 2:00 pm

Sunday nights at 5PM, we’re starting Disciple Life classes just for students.  These are basically small group studies that help you grow in your faith.  We have 2 specifically for girls and 2 coed studies.  I encourage you to check out the info below and join us on Sunday night for our first session!

Girl Talk: The Power of Your Words
Led by Tracey Tucker
GIRLS ONLY
Gossip. Lying. Language. Sensual dialogue. Trash talk. You expect this on a high school campus, but not in church on Wednesday night. But the truth is that girls–even girls in church–struggle with their speech. This 5-week study addresses these tough topics and helps girls recognize that their words have the power to hurt…or to heal.

One on One with God
Led by Julie Davis
HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS ONLY
This study is a path that leads to knowing Jesus personally, a lifestyle of walking daily in intimate fellowship with Him, and a tool for making disciples and producing disciple-makers.   This 15-week study teaches the basic disciplines of the Christian faith.

Tupos: Becoming a Person of Impact
Led by Jason Miller
HIGH SCHOOL ONLY
You know the rules. Don’t drink. Don’t have sex. Don’t say that. Don’t date non-Christians. So why do you still break them? In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul explains to Timothy and other young people why five key areas of behavior are important: in order to be an example (in Greek: tupos) to other people. This 5-session study will focus on the five areas mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:12: speech, life, love, faith, and purity.

Back to the Basics
Led by John Honea
MIDDLE SCHOOL ONLY
This six-week study is designed to give students a foundation for godly principles in basic disciplines of their faith such as: spending time alone with God, establishing a prayer time, memorizing Scripture, sharing your faith, and engaging in discipleship.

 

Fighting for Innocence August 10, 2011

Filed under: holiness,Purity,teenage girls — switchgirls @ 2:00 pm

In today’s society, innocence is constantly under attack.  You should be the one actively protecting your innocence because most people aren’t going to.  Check out this article for more info about fighting for your innocence.

 

 
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