Share the vision
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Connect the leaders
From the National Commissioner
Fun is the theme of this Reachout. It is one of the core values we have in Girls’ Brigade – to have fun in all we do!
Are you having fun yet? Do you work toward that value when planning your GB night? You can have fun whether you are eating ice cream or learning a memory verse; making silly faces or serving in the community.
Solomon declares in Ecclesiastes 3: 9 -13 , “But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.”
One of the greatest responses to this life is to make the most of it; not in a wasteful sense, but in a spiritual sense. We enjoy life by including God in all that we do and being filled with joy. Biblical faith is a call to joy.
Timing is everything. Let’s face it, life is stressful. It is filled with all kinds of pressures from people, projects, pursuits, and more. For example, I could get a cold or flu this week. On my way home from GB, a car could cross the centre line and hit me head-on. I may learn that I have some form of cancer. So it makes sense to enjoy this life. Eat ice cream, watch a movie, play in the rain with your kids, have fun at GB. Yes, be a wise with what you have. There’s no need to be extravagant, but make the most of your days on this earth.
Today, is our chance to have fun with girls, to help them experience the joy that comes from including God in all we do. How will you depend upon Him for everything in? Will you acknowledge that His timing is everything to you?
Christmas is almost upon us – I hope you have a truly blessed time this year with family and friends as you celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus who is the giver of all joy!
From the National Chaplain
As we finish a year of being “courageous” and enter a new year of “empowerment” have you taken the time to determine what God has been speaking to and shaping your heart through this journey?
As we have looked at the life of Joshua in “soul connection blog” we learned about how a leader’s courageous forward faith brought the promises of God to fruition: entering the Promised Land and claiming the words spoken many generations earlier to Abraham.
God knew that Joshua could not do the task at hand on his own. God also knew that Joshua needed the empowering of the great “I AM” to bring this to completion. Consequently, He commanding Joshua to be bold and courageous several times. As we move into the year of empowered know that, like Joshua, God calls us to be bold and courageous to empower us to do what he has called us to do.
Over this season of rest and renewal reflect on this year: the moments when God has commanded you to be bold and courageous. * Take this season to sit at the feet of your Father, listen to his whispers to your heart, and study His word to determine the calling he has for you in the upcoming year of empowerment. Start to meditate in the books of Acts, seeing the empowerment of the early church and the body of Christ. Why not take time to return to the “soul connection blog” and revisit the many lessons we learned from Joshua and his forward faith?
From my heart to yours, may God richly bless you as you take time to be still and know that He is God. This season prepare Him room in your heart, soul, spirit and strength to fall deeper in love with a God willingly who gave of his only son.
A giraffe on the wall – Hannah V
My first memory of Girls’ Brigade was when I was not even yet in school and my local company had a ‘bring-a-friend’ night. A friend who was already in GB bought me along (I must of nearly been school age to be allowed to go along). My only memory from that night is something to do with a giraffe on a wall. The theme for the night was Africa I think, but it must’ve been fun because by the time I was old enough, I was going to Girls’ Brigade.
I then proceeded to go through Cadets, Juniors, Seniors and Pioneers. I had different friends come and go over the years, but I am thankful that there were always other Christian girls with whom I could make friends there. I attended Church, but there were not many other girls my age there, and at my school I had friends who were girls but were not Christian, so Girls’ Brigade filled that void of friends who were both Christian and girls.
I think more importantly, though, GB helped fill my spiritual need – well not Girls’ Brigade itself, but it pointed me toward God, who ultimately does. There in that Church, every Thursday evening, I would faithfully be taught Bible stories and truths from the Bible. I can picture myself sitting on the mat as a little cadet, probably not grasping the full implications of the devotion we were doing, but storing it up in my heart and mind. Week after week, and year after year, Girls’ Brigade built a strong foundation for me, one built on Christ and in the Bible.
As I continued to grow up and grow in my relationship with Christ I began to realise how much of a privilege it is that I was able to learn about God and the Bible. Not just in my childhood, but in general – the privilege that I live in a country where Christianity is allowed; where organisations like GB can run; where I have the Bible in my mother tongue; where I can attend Church and have fellowship with other believers. These things which were true for me, are not true for the majority of the world.
And that has begun to shape and transform how I am using this life God has given me. I have just returned from England where I spent two years studying the Bible and training for cross cultural missions, becoming equipped so that I can go to parts of the world and share the Good News that Christ has died and paid for our sins, and also risen so that we may have eternal life.
I would say undoubtedly my time in GB has helped as I travel this road that God is putting before me. As I already mentioned – the Biblical foundation it gave me – but taught me responsibility, how to run games, prepare crafts, and give devotions. Pretty much everything that is needed to serve in ministry at any local Church, I was able to learn at GB.
Can I encourage you, that while this journey God takes us on as we submit to His Lordship can be scary; it can be uncertain; sometime is can downright be hard, but it is also exciting? It is fun. Grant it, God isn’t only concerned about our life being fun, His chief aim is to glorify His name, but as Psalm 107:1 says He is God and He is Loving, and often that manifests in a fun way.
Serving God isn’t boring- GB leaders know that. From the games of the cadets, to the crafts of the juniors, to the giggling of the seniors and to seeing the growth of the pioneers, it is exciting and fun. In the process of transforming girls lives for His glory, God loves to make it enjoyable.
God transforms lives for His glory. He can use people and missions like Girls Brigade to do that, and as He does that, it is a fun filled journey, often using crazy things like giraffes on walls to teach and bring people to Himself.
Have you ever googled “should Christians have fun?”? You get some interesting options: “Why can’t Christians have fun?”, “The Biblical basis for Fun!”, “Why so many rules?”, “Is the Christian life supposed to be boring?”, “Can Christians have fun at parties?”!!
So, should we? How can GBA have a core value of fun? I think God wants us to have more fun.
But let’s make clear what fun isn’t. It’s not at the expense of others. It’s not lewd. Fun doesn’t forget the hard calls on us as followers of Jesus. It doesn’t downplay the epic, eternal story we’re in. Fun is not escaping from reality—it’s entering in more fully. First off (literally) is creation. Seriously, God must have giggled while making the giraffe, the platypus, the lantern fish and papaya trees. Dr. Suess has nothing on reality. I think creation itself must have been a lot of fun, and in some way, our joy in art must arise from this.
Secondly, God commands celebration: Deuternomy 16:14-15. “Be joyful at your festival…”.
But best of all, Jesus models fun. He was at regular dinners and parties. He is the one who said we are to have life to the full AND He said is burden is easy and light. How could we NOT have fun? And lets face it – being with children (girls) is FUN! They say and do the funniest things and keep us young as we share with them.
Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/practical-faith/biblical-basis-fun#jKLEmdc1vJpWSTSf.99
Recent enquiries into child abuse in Australia have grimly revealed the immense damage that can be done to lives and indeed whole communities when individuals and institutions fail in their responsibility to protect children. If there’s one thing that’s surely now very clear it’s that we all have a role to play in preventing and responding to child abuse, and we all must play a part – because it’s the law, because we need to protect our organisations from financial and reputational damage, but mostly because it’s the right thing to do. GBA is committed to providing a safe place for girls and families to experience the transformational power of God.From 2017 all leaders will be trained in Child Safe practices through SMO.