A FRESH Perspective

“Never let your relationship with Jesus get moldy,” Daley said speaking to a group of girls entering college. She remembered a lesson I taught at @rpdsjax chapel a LONG time ago. I found a sandwich that had been left in a backpack all winter break. Disgusting. I told the kids that we can’t throw Jesus in a corner for a season if we think we don’t need him. Just like the moldy sandwich, our relationship with Jesus can get neglected.

With all my heart and soul, I want to point girls to Jesus, keeping their relationship with Him – fresh. Yesterday, @thouartexalted held an “entering college freshman” workshop (no pun on the fresh!)

We painted and epoxied a canvas for their dorm room, learned self-defense from T-Hi @t__hi and listened to Joy Lee’s Christian journey as a woman entrepreneur and owner of @momnijax boutique. We ate a lovely lunch from @biscottisjax, had a question and answer panel from Daley and @carolineelksnis, and I got to speak words of truth into their hearts.

Genesis 14:10-24 seems an unlikely place to teach college freshman but that’s what attracts me to Scripture again and again. It teaches.

When you look at Abrams’ rescue of Lot, we see the King of Sodom’s poor thought-out battle plan, Abram’s vs. the Kings’ response to victory, Abram’s oath before battle, and his pursuit of friendship with God. This is one incredible lesson for entering college girls.

First, you need a game plan. A battle plan. If you fall back into the “tar pits” of bad habits, approval on social media, alcohol, or popularity…quick defeat is inevitable. As a weapon, I gave the girls one of two of my FAVORITE devotionals. New Morning Mercies by @pauldavidtripp and Embraced by @lysaterkeurst.

Second, we see a stark difference between the King of Sodom and Abram after the victory. Where Abram GAVE 1/10 of his wealth, the King of Sodom’s first words were “give me.” GIVE verses GAVE. Are we going to be “Give-me-girls” or ones who let Christ “Live-in-me-girls?” @jodie_berndt says that “serving others frees us from the burden of self absorption.” 1 Peter 4:10 says “Use your gifts to serve others, faithfully stewarding your grace and various forms.” To remember to be a servant versus being selfish, I gave the girls a candle (to shine) from Trader Joe’s.

Thirdly, Abram was prepared. He took an oath BEFORE the battle that he would not take anything from the king. Are we claiming the promises of Scripture before we enter the battle? What promises are you going to claim when you are face-to-face with a hard decision? Your conviction of God‘s promises will make or break the winning or losing of the battle. In order to be prepared with Scripture, I gave them an art print from our TAE Scripture collection.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we need good friends. Godly friends will anchor us in good decisions and guide us toward a Christ-like character. The battle is real, and we need like-minded soldiers in the field to support and encourage us. I gave each girl personal prayers with their names printed on them from the book Praying Scripture for your Teens by Jodie Bernt.

What a day! As I sit here and reflect, here’s my prayer for all entering freshman girls: Go, enjoy, learn, make new friends, and have fun these next four years! Read God’s Word each morning and saturate yourself in His promises. Shine for His purposes. Claim His promises, do not get swept away in the culture of this world, and find friendships rooted in Jesus.

Start each day FRESH. And never throw your relationship in the corner. It’s gets moldy. Fast. ????

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