Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Meet Our 2012 GIRL Summer Interns!!!

Hey! I am so excited to introduce our TWO girl interns for this summer! Payton and Devon both grew up in our Youth Group and Girls Ministry and just completed their Freshman year in college. Payton was an intern last year and was a featured guest blogger several times. I asked Devon to be our feature blogger today but also wanted to Payton to give a little shout out below as well. SO excited to invest in these girls this summer as they invest in our FBC girls! We just got back from an awesome Junior/Senior Trip to Arkansas and it was such a blast! I am more than excited for what is in store this summer. God is SO good and so faithful!  -- Ms. Suzanne

            Hey girls! :) My name is Devon Vaughn, and I am so excited to be interning with the youth at First Baptist this summer! I just wanted to take a little bit of time and introduce myself and tell everyone how excited I am about interning this summer, and a little bit of what God has been teaching me lately.
            I graduated from Cleveland High School last year and just finished up my freshman year of college at Tennessee Tech University. I am majoring in nursing and hope to get into nursing school for next spring. I absolutely love Tech and had a fantastic first year, but I am so happy to be home for the summer and get to spend some time with all of you! I am expectant and ready to see what God has in store for us this summer!
            Like I said, I am sooooo excited about interning and working with all of you throughout the next couple of months! I grew up here at First Baptist and some of my fondest memories of are of the interns when I was a youth and how much fun we had and their influence on my life...that is why I can’t wait to spend the entire summer with you guys! I know that we are going to have so much fun and create some awesome memories this summer. I’m probably most looking forward to Camp Cherokee. I have not missed a summer at Camp Cherokee since I was in the 6th grade; it is one of my favorite places in the world and always the highlight of my summer - I hope to see all of you there! But besides camp, I’m excited for all the other fun activities going on this summer, from senior trip, to Haiti and DC, to Wednesday night services – I’ll be there and I hope you are too! :) *Oh and if you haven't signed up for camp yet, you should >> click here << and do so NOW!
            I also just want to share one quick thing with you guys that God has been showing me lately - that He can use any situation at any time to teach me something. So many times I am guilty of thinking that I can only learn something from God on a Sunday morning or Wednesday night. I just go throughout every other day of the week not expecting or waiting to see what God will bring me. But recently, He has been showing me that if I open up my heart, even the most mundane tasks of the day or a situation can be used for God to reveal Himself to me and teach me something new! It is awesome! God has been showing me so much in the areas where I least expected. That’s what makes our God so incredible. He can turn the best or the worst days, or areas we perceive to not be very important into an incredible teaching moment to enable us to grow closer in our walk with Him. What an awesome God we serve! So I really just want to encourage all of you to constantly to be on the lookout for God in every aspect of your life. Maybe it’s in a conversation you’re having, or something you see throughout the day.  Just know that God is ready every day to teach us something new, we’ve just got to be open and aware, looking for Him in every aspect of our lives - and I promise He will show up when you least expect it!
            I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work with the Girls’ Ministry this summer, and I hope to get to know each and every one of you! Please, please come up and introduce yourself to me and tell me something about yourself if I don’t know you already. And know that you can come to me with anything – questions, concerns, funny stories, whatever! I want to do everything I can to help you girls this summer, and just be able to do life with you.  I am here to serve you girls, and I can’t wait to see what the Lord does through all of the things we are going to experience together this summer!

And a Note from Payton:

Hey girls! My name is Payton Tipton, and I will be one of the interns this summer! For everyone that I had the honor of working with and getting to know last summer, I am SO excited to be with you all again! I just finished my first year at King College where I am an English major and a member of the volleyball team. It was somewhat of a tough year, but one filled with many learning experiences from the Lord. He taught me so much about seizing opportunities that He gives and making the most of every breathe He supplies. High school and college fly by, and I want to make my time count for Him! I pray and hope that you all will experience that as well, because you all can make a huge difference. I am so excited to learn, grow, and have tons of fun with you this summer. Please feel free to contact me for anything!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer is Here but Modest is Hottest with @SwimLimeRicki

I LOVE summer! I love the sunshine (all that extra vitamin D makes me happy), playing in the water at the pool, at the lake, on the river, or at the beach, opportunities to travel....and I love doing all this with students! Summer is just a happy time, don't you think?!

There is one area of summer that is a little more challenging though....the SWIMSUIT. No other time of year would anyone find it appropriate to run around in our undergarments, but for some reason, all views of modesty are out the door when it comes to these yearly months of summer. I've written extensively on this subject already >>click here<<, so I won't get back up on my soapbox, but as you get ready for beach vacations, tubing on the lake with friends, and laying out by the pool, I will beg you to at very least protect what you post on facebook, twitter, and other social networks. Guard the hearts and eyes of your brothers, pastors, father-friends, and the average Joe Shmoe. Please.

I don't want to leave you high and dry either! Last year I posted a laundry list of places that sell uber cute one-piece suits and/or *appropriate* tankinis. One of my most fav sites is! Love, love, love them....and they love, love, love Girls for His Glory girls!! So much so that they are offering us a special 10% coupon code that's good now through June 6th! Now you have no excuse not to have a great suit for camp, pool nights, river nights, and any other awesomely fun water activity this summer!

Just type "Girls4HisGlory" in the promotion code box at check out! Thank you Lime Ricki for loving our girls!

Remember an appropriate suit covers your chest, entire sides and doesn't dip excessively low in the back. No cutouts or low loops. An appropriate tankini is one that fully covers your stomach, even when your arms are raised high. Be smart when choosing a suit for summer actives with FBC, if your suit doesn't meet these requirements, we will still let you join in on the fun - but you will need to wear one of our old, dark t-shirts the entire time. I can't guarantee it will be a clean shirt either haha.

Let's gear up together for one amazing, God-glorifying, brother-protecting, fun summer! It's gonna be hot...but Modest is Hottest! ;-)
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Girls Ministry 411 on BOUNDARIES by Renee Curry!

Last month Mrs. Renee Curry lead our last High School Girls 411 of the school year! She did a GREAT job teaching on how to set up healthy, godly boundaries and I just had to have her share a recap with you here! This lesson was derived from Mary Kassians "Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild" book, which we have LOVED. Thank you Ms. Renee for your faithfulness to loving, serving, and teaching our Girls For HIS Glory girls! 

At our last 411 we talked about boundaries. Boundaries are something that indicates bounds or limits.. God gives us boundaries because He loves us so much and wants to keep us from harm.  If you were not able to be with us let me ask you to go to Youtube and watch “SlowFade” by Casting Crowns.  It is a great song that we all need to take to heart. It is the small wrong decisions we make that lead us to the bigger mistakes!  We need to have our boundaries in place now BEFORE we are faced with the situations.

Guard your life against the potential for sin and avoid being trapped by it. A fool is someone who doesn’t take precautions and thinks she won’t get hurt, someone who thinks they can handle it. As Proverbs 14:16 says, “A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.”

So how can we remain pure? By living according to God’s Word (Psalm 119:9). We must identify the pitfalls of sin and avoid and guard yourself from the traps of it.

A hedge is a protective method that lessens the risk of something negative happening.  In business strategy it is used to minimize exposure to unwanted business risk.  For us boundaries defend against loss, protects against sexual injury and loss, or it’s a personal rule that minimizes a woman’s exposure to an unwanted sexual risk. Hedges need to be clear, definitive and strong; if we disregard these we leave ourselves susceptible to the danger of sin. Just because something is allowed does not make it right. We must guard our lives so that we do not become slaves to sin (1 Corinthians 6:12).

Some of the hedges we need to hold fast to:
  • ·      Time hedge – Often we make excuses that we don’t have time when it comes to reading God’s Word, praying, or spending time and having a fellowship with him. When we don’t do these things we have given Satan a huge gap in our hedge! Read Proverbs. 7:2-5.
  • ·      Location hedge – avoid unhealthy environments! We cannot entertain, think on, or contemplate ideas that are wrong. It is not good for us to try to decide how far we can go without getting burned. Read Proverbs 6:27-28 and 1 Corinthians 15:33.
  • ·      Pairing hedge – The person you date should be a Christian – do not be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). The pairing hedge goes for friends as well. Read Proverbs 12:26. 
  • ·      Seclusion hedge – Avoid party parties and secluded places! We will interact in places where we can be seen, and this helps to protect us and our decision to stay pure.
  • ·      Communication hedge – sin loves darkness because it loves to hide! Social networking and text has brought people to do and say things they normally would not have done!
  • ·      Contact hedge – limit contact! Do not be in a relationship that leads you to neglect your family, obligations, responsibilities, or opportunities God places in your path.
  • ·      Curfew hedge – follow your nighttime boundaries! There is a reason God gave us parents and your parents give you a time to be home! Too much time can lead to too many opportunities for things other than God’s desire for our lives.
  • ·      Encroachment/ Touching hedge: We must set up proper limits in our lives. Determine now what is right and wrong and set up your boundaries. Be modestly dressed and commit to standards such as no parts of your body will be touched except hands, arms, upper back and shoulders, or that you will not lay beside, under, or on top of someone, or mimic even in play anything that resembles a sexual posture.
Ask yourself this important question: What will my boundaries be? We must determine our boundaries ahead of time, before we are confronted with the situation.  When you are faced with things that cross your boundaries, your heart and mind question it and send up a flag of warning.

Some other verses you might want to look at about setting and maintain Godly boundaries:
1.     2 Timothy 2:22
2.     James 4:7-8
3.     Proverbs 3:5

I am so thankful for the time I was allowed to spend with all the girls!  You all mean so much to me and I am very thankful that God has allowed me to be with you during this time in your lives.  Know that I am praying for all of you, that you would see all that God has for you that you would seek HIM in all that you do, in everything you would seek to share HIM with all who are around you.  Jeremiah 29:11-14 – God has plans for you – seek HIM with all your heart and you will find HIM!  Keep seeking!!! 
- Ms. Renee

Check out more pictures from this 411 on our FBC Girls Ministry Page >> HERE << !!

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Catalyst Leaders...Are Present

Two weeks ago I had the awesome and unique opportunity to attend the Catalyst West Conference...yes, West, as in CALIFORNIA!! It was awesome! Because of some very great friends I had a lot of my expenses taken care of making a trip like this possible. Which also meant the bonus of seeing some of my very best friends, engaging in awesome, soul refreshing conversation in addition to an amazing conference under some of the country's best leaders.

The theme of the conference was "Be Present." They encouraged us to disconnect from social media and mobile devices while in each session and just be present. However, on the last day this theme really hit me hard after hearing Brenda Salter McNeil's talk on John 5 and the paralytic man that Jesus healed on the Sabbath. She focused on John 5:17-19 from the Contemporary English Version:

But Jesus said, “My Father has never stopped working, and that is why I keep on working.” Now the leaders wanted to kill Jesus for two reasons. First, he had broken the law of the Sabbath. But even worse, he had said that God was his Father, which made him equal with God.
Jesus told the people: “I tell you for certain that the Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing, and he does exactly what he sees the Father do.”

Two important things to remember: 1) God is at work NOW! He's always been at work and He'll continue to be at work but don't miss out on the work He's doing now. 2) Jesus did whatever he saw the Father DOING (again, present tense!). He didn't just do whatever he wanted to do, but He did what He saw the Father doing. What can we take from this?

Do what you see the Father doing now - Be Present! If He's at work IN you then there's work He wants done THROUGH you. Don't get so caught up in the future, in "what's next" that you miss out on right now. Often times you will never make it to "what's next" unless you are at work in the present.

I know I needed to hear that! And as my experience has proven, I am sure their are others that need it as well. In addition to Brenda, there were other great points that just hit me at my core through the week. Here are some of my favorite quotes that I jotted down:

  • "Always be doing for one what you wish you could do for everyone." - Andy Stanley (ie: as your ministry grows don't get overwhelmed by the numbers but be constantly investing in those that can expand your influence further) "When you can do - DO"
  • "Everything I do today is a result of those that went before me and invested in me." - Craig Groeschel
  • "Young people are not the church of the future, they are the church of today!!" - Craig Groeschel
  • "Delegate authority, not tasks. Authority creates leaders, tasks create followers." - Craig Groeschel
  • "Always show honor up. Honor publicly results in influence privately." - Craig Groeschel
  • "I had to learn to shift my balance while spinning." - Tony Hawk (yes, the pro skater :))
  • "Haters only get loud when you say/do something that matters." - Jon Acuff
  • "We tend to discount compliments and obsess on insults. 1000 compliments + 1 complaint = 1 complaint." - Jon Acuff
  • If you chase "enough" outside of Christ, you'll never get there." - Jon Acuff
  • "Take the risk to speak what you see God doing." - Brenda Salter NcNeil
  • "Being present is being there, at the right time, for the right length of time...and then testifying about it!" - Brenda Salter NcNeil
  • "Leadership in the Kingdom is the overflow of love from the King." - David Platt
  • "God hates sinners. Sin is not outside of us. Jesus went to the cross for us, sinners." - David Platt
  • "God knows every sin we have committed and will commit and yet He chooses to love us anyways." - David Platt
  • People in the US are lost, but not unreached. They have access....2 billion people in unreached areas don't." - David Platt
  • "You can't be who you were made to be if you are afraid. When we aren't afraid, others aren't afraid. So...Go Big! Stuff happens when we aren't afraid!" - Bob Goff
  • "Your challenge is to take what is unique about you and make it useful!" - Marcus Buckingham
  • "Great leaders catch moments of excellence and reflect it back." - Marcus Buckingham
  • "We aren't called to live in our city. We are called to be ALIVE here!" - Charles Jenkins
  • "Acts 19...Twelve people turned that city upside down. It doesn't take an army or lots of money!" - Dave Gibbons
  • "God created us and in His image, so we shouldn't be surprised that we are creative beings. Until you live a life of intention you will never know the satisfaction and joy of what you were created for." - Erwin McManus
  • "Environments change us. What environments are you choosing and what environments are you creating??" - Ervin McManus
  • "Choose your companions before you choose your road. It's not the terrain that will suck your energy, but the others around you." - Mark Burnett 
  • "If you are only friends with people who agree with you in everything -- you will be extremely alone." Donald Miller
  • "Always be investing in someone that could one day replace you. Apprenticing: selecting, modeling, and coaching for the purpose of replacing yourself." - Andy Stanley
  • "You will never feel like you are adequately prepared to apprentice another leader. You are not responsible for knowing everything there is to know about your field or knowing more than everyone else. You ARE responsible for passing what you DO know to somebody else. Your responsibility it to EMPTY YOUR CUP! You might not fill theirs completely either, but you do have something to offer when you empty all you have." - Andy Stanley
  • "Always Model what you do, Explain why you do it, and Demonstrate how to do it!" - Andy Stanley
  • "Success is not measured by how capable you are of handling your responsibilities. Success is ultimately measured by whether or not you leave your responsibilities in capable hands." - Andy Stanley
I know that's a lot of gooooood stuff, but all stuff I couldn't NOT share. I hope in some way some of it encouraged you, challenged you, and/or lit a fire up under you like it did me! So thankful to First Baptist and my sweet friends that made this great experience possible! :)

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