The girls call themselves "God's Girls" and they do a brief Bible study/devotion, work on a project or learn a new skill, and then have some time to play and hang out. I was a little stuck on what to do for our devotions this fall, and then the Wednesday before the meeting, this came in the mail (check out my cool linking picture)...
I flipped through it, and it seemed perfect. It has a short story about the childhood and life of the writer of a time-loved hymn. It has a reference to a scripture passage that goes along with the hymn. It has the lyrics of the hymn, and a CD. And Joni Eareckson Tada is one of the authors, so you know its good. (And yes, I had to go look up how to spell her name.)
I showed the book to the girls, and read to them some of my favorite bits of the introduction. They were interested in reading the book and using it as a basis for their devotions. So, we started with it that Friday.
The first vignette was about Reginald Heber, who lived from 1783-1826 and who wrote "Holy, Holy, Holy". The book begins its story by saying, "Two wonderful things about a young boy named Reginald Heber amazed everyone who knew him. First, he just loved books." Immediately, the girls, who all love books, were right there with Reginald. The story painted a fleeting picture of his home in England in the late 18th century. "The other special thing about Reginald," continues the story, "was his love for God." The girls were completely absorbed.
Our first devotion activity was born from the following passage: "There was a contest at Reginald's school one year, and he wrote a poem that one the top prize. He knew that God had given him the ability to write. After the ceremony, Reginald decided to go back to his room to thank God." We stopped and discussed what abilities and gifts we had been given. The girls each took a moment to write in their journals a brief prayer thanking God for the unique gifts and abilities He has given them.
We finished reading the story about Reginald, and we read how in his hymn, he used the words the Bible says the angels sing when they worship God in heaven. We read a short devotion by Joni Eareckson Tada about the throne room in heaven, and we read a few verses from Revelation 2. We read and discussed the lyrics for "Holy, Holy, Holy," and we ended our devotions in Sweetling's room singing the hymn along with the CD. (With Sweetling climbing up on her loft bed to operate the CD player.)
It was perfect. The girls loved it, they read a section of scripture that they hadn't before, there was a practical and personal application, and we had a sweet worship time with the music. (And we still had plenty of time for a project *and* to play.) This Friday, we'll be doing the section for "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."
Two of the girls gave me permission to share (anonymously) the prayers they wrote in their journals:
Thank you for all the talents that you gave me and all the gifts that some people can't do. Thank you for the abbility to read, write and speak to my friends. Thank you for making me be myself. Amen
Lord, thank you for everything. I know that sometimes I call myself stupid, Dum, and horible, but I know that I am Your creation, and You Love me. Amen.
PS. if blessed be your name would show up in my life, I would love it.
I Love you