4 Girls 1 Purpose

We are 4 girls who love Jesus and have a passion for encouraging & equipping others to be all they can be for Him!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's Okay... To Be Single!

 I know I know, another post on singleness and how I need to find myself and BLAH BLAH BLAH!!
BUT hear me out for a minute, we are gonna have ourselves a little girl talk. :)
So, about a month ago I was talking with a 19 year old that I had just met and we were discussing relationships and a sentence came out of her mouth that made my jaw drop… “If someone’s not married by 25, they just need to give up” … um, I’m sorry WHAT!? (for one I’m 25 and not married!!)  Now behind this statement there could have been a bit of exaggeration, but I feel like she truly believed that. So at this point the conversation got real! I don’t know where all of you are in the area of relationships, but I pray that you do not think or believe that if you aren’t married by 25 that you should give up or that something is wrong with you.  I went through too many relationships and even was engaged (when I knew he wasn’t who I needed to be with) because I myself wanted and put an expectation to be married young, I tried to rush into a season of life that I was not ready for. Now, I don’t have time to write a book about how to avoid what I went through that affected me mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically- for that you can email me if you would like, because I would love to talk to you! :) So for now I want to give you a few things to just ponder about in your own life and whatever season you are in.
ask yourself : Why do I want to be married? 
“No one, not even the man you will marry
one day, can make you happy-
only Jesus can.” -LIW*
Marriage doesn’t give you purpose, you have purpose because you belong to God!
^You can also replace the word "marriage" with anything that you are looking to to bring you value, 
worth or satisfaction. Only God is going to be able to give that to you-I PROMISE- and the beautiful thing is, he already calls you worthy and has placed value over you! If you have trusted in him as your Savior, you are a daughter of the King and He has made you a new creation. Your past does not dictate who you are or who you are to become! Praise God! Now don’t get me wrong, marriage is a beautiful gift that God gives us, it's a relationship that is suppose to express to the world the picture of Christ and the church and it's a high calling, but it's not our only calling. Wherever you are in your life, I want to challenge you to learn to be satisfied in God. “If your life’s not complete, you know that Jesus is, and your life He will fill, if you’ll only put Him first each day and live to do His will.” - Donna L. Mihura
Some things I encourage you to do: 
-Seek the Lord and pursue that relationship first.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”(Matt 6:33)
“Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually.” (Psalm 105:4)
-Love God and Love others.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”(Matt 22:37-39)
-Find older women who are walking with the Lord  ask them to mentor you. 
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”(Titus 2:3-5)
With love,
Nicole Bischoff


Book Recommendations: 
*Lady in Waiting by Jackie Kendall & Debby Jones
*Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot


{Meet Nicole}


Nicole has been around the world and done some incredible things, but she will be the first to tell you that the greatest thing she's ever done is make Jesus the Lord of her life! She has a passion for encouraging and equipping others to be all they can be for Jesus. We are honored to have her partner with us & be a guest writer for 4G1P! 


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Secrets

According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, a secret is information that is "kept hidden from others" or something that is "known to only a few people." If we're to be honest, we all have secrets. They may be small ones, big ones, silly ones, or serious ones. The reason they are called secrets is because we don't want anyone to know about them. Often times we are keeping secrets because we are scared of what people might think if they knew something that is not perfect about our lives. We might be afraid that they will judge us or think less of us. Sometimes, we might even keep secrets because we feel embarrassed.

What is the biggest secret you have? Whether it be a secret of a mistake you made in the past, a secret of something you may be struggling with at the moment, or maybe it's even the secret that you still sleep with your favorite baby blanket and teddy bear every night. What if we told you there is someone who knows all of these things? Someone who knows our deepest thoughts, our greatest desires, the things that excite us, the things we're afraid of... someone who even knows the little quirks in our personalities. Do you know who we are talking about? If you guessed God, you are correct! He's our Heavenly Father and He knows everything about us! He knows our pasts. He knows what we are struggling with today. He knows our thoughts. He knows the things that we try to keep to ourselves. The crazy thing about this is that He not only knows all of these things, but He loves us in spite of them. Our flaws do not change how God feels about us. He loves us unconditionally. He does not hold our past or present secrets against us. Not only does God love us unconditionally, He also loves us infinitely more than we could ever hope or imagine. Romans 5:8 says, "But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Did you catch that? God loves us SO MUCH that even though He knows we are sinners, He sent Jesus to take on our sins, even the secret ones, so that we could be saved.

Let us encourage you to read Genesis chapter 16. It is only 16 verses; but, these 16 verses are a great reminder that God sees all and loves us anyway!

Lots of love,

Leiah, Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pursue the Overflow

Being a woman of character and faith is worth far more than rubies (Prov. 31). God’s Word reminds us of the value that Christ places on women. But being that mother, sister, and wife that reflects godliness, can sometimes be difficult. I don’t wake up every morning oozing grace as much as I wish it were true. And there are days that I want to be in the driver’s seat, calling the shots in my own life, or even days when the busyness of life seems to snuff out my passion. But it is in those times that God always seems to remind me that my character will be strengthened, my cup filled with grace and my day less complicated when I pursue Him first. The greatest way to be godly is simply to pursue Christ... Everyday, on your face before the God that already knows every hiccup that will come your way and your reaction to it. Pursue Him with intentionality. Talk to God. Allow Him to so penetrate your heart that He shines out of you and spills over into every relationship you have. When your husband eats your leftovers that you have been craving all day, let God’s grace spill over. When your toddler asks you the same question for the fourteenth time, remember how patient God is with you. When you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, remember Christ’s perfect plan in creating you. Pursue Christ, get on your knees, love on those around you, and do it all over again the next day. 

But for those of you who have not yet experienced the chance to extend God’s love within a family unit, do not fear, your day will come. I was once one who was patiently waiting, or perhaps tapping my toe, for God to bring that special person into my life. Take heart. One of the most difficult tests a Christian sister can endure is the relinquish of control in the area of relationships. You see, God made a woman’s heart to specifically crave an intimate relationship with the opposite sex. So, it can be extremely difficult to wait on God’s leading in that area of your life. In Jewish tradition young ladies would only enter into a relationship with a man when he literally came to her fathers house and knocked on her door. If she chose to open the door, their time of betrothal would be official. While the girl ultimately had the final decision as to whether to open and accept or let the door remain closed, the details were pre-arranged by someone who knew her and loved her more than anyone; her father. I can only imagine hundreds of Jewish teenage girls worrying and wondering if and when their prince was going to come. But the point is that he did come. We would do well to follow their example and to trust the process to someone who ultimately loves us and has the puzzle already figured out. Wait in joy! Your prince will come for you. Pray without ceasing and trust with all your heart. Pursue Christ!

-Lacey Arocha


{Meet Lacey}


Lacey is married to Cesar Arocha and they have two daughters. Lacey and Cesar lead the student ministry at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma. Lacey is an incredible wife, mother, friend, and mentor, but above all she is a huge Jesus lover and she has devoted her life to making him known. We are so excited to have her as a guest writer for 4G1P!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Plane Perspective

Recently all four of us have had opportunities to serve Jesus in other countries. Those trips have been amazing, fruitful, and incredibly life changing... But for this blog we actually want to share our thoughts from the plane rides. If you have ever been on an airplane, you will know what we are talking about. If not, that's okay too! Imagine with us for a second...

Looking out of the window from a plane that is thousands of feet in the air, the world looks so small. People look like ants, cars look comparable to the tip of a human thumb, buildings look like Legos, and water looks like a spilled drink. We do not want to take away the beauty of seeing the world from this perspective, because it is absolutely incredible! We just want to drive home the point that what might seem so big to us where we are right now, from a different perspective, such as a plane, is so small.

That is kind of like us and God. Our God is SO BIG that He is able to hold the whole world in His hands! Does anyone remember that song? Sing it with us now... "He's got the whole world in His hands..." 

Psalm 95:1-7 says,
"Come, let us sing to the Lord!
    Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
 Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
    Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
 For the Lord is a great God,
    a great King above all gods.
 He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
    and the mightiest mountains.
 The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
    His hands formed the dry land, too.
 Come, let us worship and bow down.
    Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
      for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
    the flock under his care.
If only you would listen to his voice today!"

Our God, the One that created the world, is so big that He holds the world in His hands; yet He still watches over us! Not only does He watch over us, but He knows every little detail about us. The Bible even says that He knows the number of hairs on our heads. (Luke 12:7). If our God is that big AND that involved in every aspect of our lives why do we still doubt Him?

This week we want to encourage you, as we are also being encouraged, to step out and look at the world from the perspective of one sitting in an airplane. When you start to feel overwhelmed because of the challenges that come with life, remember that God is good and He is there for you. You are so valuable to Him and NOTHING is too big for God!

Lots of love,
Leiah, Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Monday, June 23, 2014

You Can Change

We have been reminded lately of 4 incredible truths from author Tim Chester. In his book,You Can Change, he says, "God is great- so we do not have to be in control. God is glorious- so we do not have to fear others. God is good- so we do not have to look elsewhere. God is gracious- so we do not have to prove ourselves."

Let's break these down for a minute:

1. "God is great- so we do not have to be in control." Will any of you admit to sometimes being a control freak? We certainly can! Some of us are self-proclaimed "control freaks". As we see, Chester reminds us that because God is so great, we don't have to be in control! Actually, outside of how we respond to life, we really have very little control, if any, over anything. Therefore, we should take comfort in the promise God gave to Joshua and extends to us. "This is my command--be strong and courageous! Do not be  afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

2. "God is glorious- so we do not have to fear others." Have any of you ever struggled with being a people-pleaser? You know, doing things just to gain the approval of others? If we're being completely honest, we have too! In fact, some of us are STILL struggling with it! But listen, God is glorious- so we don't have to fear others! What does glorious mean? "Having a striking beauty or splendor that evokes feelings of delighted admiration." God's glory is so much greater than anyone else on this earth! The apostle Paul is a great example of how to live without the fear of winning the approval of others. Take a few minutes and read Galatians chapter one and be encouraged by his testimony.

3. "God is good- so we do not have to look elsewhere." Plain and simple. God is ALL we need!! Nothing could ever compare to His glory, greatness, power, goodness, grace, and love. "Lord, there is no one like you! For you are great, and your name is full of power." Jeremiah 10:6

4. "God is gracious- so we do not have to prove ourselves." This might be the most freeing truth of all! When we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus, His blood covers all... This means that we no longer need to prove ourselves! We never have to prove ourselves to God, because for those of us who have a relationship with Him, Jesus is all He sees when He looks at us. We are covered. We are free! "So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free." John 8:36

We would encourage you to pick up a copy of Tim Chester's book, You Can Change. It is rocking our worlds!

Lots of love,
Leiah, Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Monday, June 9, 2014

Red Is The New Black


Let's be real. When it comes to fashion, black is a very flattering color! I'm sure all of us can admit that we have a favorite pair of black skinny jeans! Or a LBD that is just to die for. Maybe we even rock the sparkly black nail polish from time to time to give our look some edge. However, when it comes to our spiritual life, red is definitely the new black. 

Wait a minute. What does that even mean? Red is The New Black. Great question! Read on. It will make perfect sense.

While the color black may be great for fashion, spiritually speaking it is not so good. It represents what our hearts look like before we enter into a relationship with Jesus. Our hearts are darkened by the stain of sin. This darkness looms over our lives filling us with shame. The Bible teaches we were all born in this sinful condition. (Rom. 5:12) So before we ever made our first decision, we were sinners. If we were to die physically in our sin, we too, would die spiritually spending eternity in a real place called Hell separated from God and His love forever. This is why spiritually speaking, "Red is The New Black." 

A spiritual makeover is necessary for our sins to be forgiven. We must exchange the black for red. Red is the color of blood and the Bible clearly teaches that "without the shedding of blood their can be no forgiveness." (Hebrews 9:22) We need Jesus' blood applied to our lives. His perfect spotless blood can wash away ALL the darkness in our lives: past, present, and future. Jesus was born of God: without sin, and He lived without sinning His entire time on earth. God allowed Jesus to be put to death on a cross to make payment for every single one of our sins. When we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, His blood (red), washes away all of our sin (black). It doesn't stop there! When His blood washes away our sin, the darkness is removed forever, and He then makes our hearts white as snow. 

Do you get it now? His blood cleanses us from all of our sin and we are forever made right with God through Jesus!

 Red is indeed The New Black!

"Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus..."


Lots of love,
Leiah, Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Monday, May 26, 2014

Breaking Bad

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to break the bad from our lives? Seriously! Have you ever thought about how difficult it can be at times to turn away from sin? Us too! The devil makes sin look so appealing. Think about it for a moment. Sin often looks really fun and sometimes very exciting. Because sin can look so enticing, when tempted it is natural for us to think things like, "Why not? After all, everyone else is doing it!" However, we are called by God to be different from "everyone else." We are called to live a life that is set apart. We are to live like Jesus. If we have a relationship with the LORD, we are sons and daughters of the One true God. The apostle Paul wrote about this a long time ago, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world." (Romans 12:2a) We are not supposed to live like "everyone else." To paraphrase a line from a familiar movie... Do not try so hard to fit in because you were born again to stand out. In other words, join us as we, with God's help, say no to the sin that can so easily pull us away from the life God desires for us to live. Let's say yes to our future by standing for what is right even when at times it may seem like we are standing alone.

How do we do this? How do we really "break the bad" from our lives? Friends, these are great questions. We are excited you are asking them. We, too, have asked these same questions. And not only do these questions deserve being answered, we are excited to share with you what we have discovered in our own lives as we searched for these answers!

First, we have to keep in mind that "Breaking Bad" is a life long process. It is not something that we do one time and then we automatically receive a get out of the temptation jail free card. No! As long as we have breath in our bodies, we will battle temptation at one level or another. And as temptation comes our flesh will fight against the Spirit of God that lives inside us. (Galatians 5:21-22) However, we can overcome this battle within and stand up under even the greatest of temptations. 

Okay, so we know that temptation is going to come and we know that it is a part of life. We also know that when the temptation comes there will be a battle that will take place within us. Now what? Great question. Check out the next step of "Breaking Bad."

The second step is to make sure that we are feeding the right one. The battle inside of us when temptation happens is between our flesh and the Spirit of God. The one that wins is the one that we feed the most. The apostle Paul wrote about this too in the last part of the verse we stated earlier, "... but be transformed by the renewing of your minds." (Romans 12:2b). Did you see it? Paul just answered our question. The key to "Breaking Bad" is simple. We must feed the Spirit of God who lives within us and not our flesh. 

What does it really mean to feed the Spirit of God that lives within us? This is another great question. (Again, we have asked the same thing!) The great news is that Paul also answered this question for us. He said that we are to be transformed by the, "renewing of our minds." This means we must regularly fill our hearts with God's Word. We will certainly be successful in "Breaking Bad" if we are regularly reading, meditating on, and memorizing God's Word. It will also help to spend time in prayer, listen to our favorite pastor on a podcast, jam out to some solid worship music, and watch videos that encourage us in our faith. 

Remember, "Breaking Bad" is not a one time event. It is more like a marathon than a sprint. Join us and spend time putting into practice the disciplines shared in the above paragraph and you will be sure, with God's help, to win the race. 

Lots of love,
Leiah, Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Monday, May 12, 2014

Consider It Joy

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."
{James 1:2-4}

What a command from James! "When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy." Let's think about this for a second. When troubles come our way, is joy our natural reaction? Probably not! The definition of joy is, "A feeling of great pleasure and happiness."  So the command is not just to "take things in stride"  or "deal with it"; but, the command is to consider the tests that come our way as great pleasure. That's hard stuff!

Verse 3 says, "For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." We see here that there is a purpose for the trials that we face. The purpose is clear. It serves as an opportunity for our endurance to grow. What does endurance mean? The dictionary defines it as, "The capacity of something to last or to withstand wear and tear."

Why is it important for our endurance to grow? We find the answer in verse 4! "So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." We will not be fully perfect and complete until we are in Heaven in our glorified bodies. However, James clearly calls us to a life of endurance so that we may grow to be more like Jesus. After all, this life is a journey designed to prepare us to serve God for all of eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven.


Facts from this powerful passage:
1. Tests and trials are a natural part of the life of the fully devoted follower of Christ.
2. They serve a greater purpose.
3. The Lord is stretching and growing us through them so that we may be more like Jesus and better prepared for life in the future Kingdom.
4. We must face the tests and trials of life with great joy.


Remember, that we are in this journey of life with you. We, too, face trials and tests that stretch us sometimes beyond what we think we can handle. However, God's grace is sufficient for us when we call on His name. (2 Corinthians 12).

If you are struggling with finding joy in the midst of your trials, please let us know. We would be honored to pray along with you!

Lots of love,
Leiah, Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Monday, April 28, 2014

Worship & Idols

"Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him."
{Colossians 1: 15 & 16}

We were created by God, for God. We were created to worship Him. When you hear the word 'worship', what do you think of? Maybe worship through song, or worship through dance? Those are great... but that is not all that worship is. See, worship isn't just an event. We live our lives worshiping. The question is, what are we worshiping? Spencer MacCuish and Mark Beuving define worship as, "Declaring the worth or value of something or someone." With that in mind, let's consider the question again... What are we worshiping?
If we're being honest, there is most likely (definitely) something in all of our lives at times that we declare the worth of or value higher than God. And maybe we don't even realize it! We would call these idols in our lives. Do you have a relationship that you put before your relationship with God? Are you obsessed with money or material things, and put these above your relationship with God? What about social media? Do you spend more time on it than on your relationship with God? If we are not careful, we tend to worship these idols in our lives. 

So, how do we stop this? First, by remembering that we are always worshiping something. Next, by recognizing or identifying the things in our lives that we put before God. Third, realizing that, "Worship is not what we bring, it's who we are. In worship, we present our very selves to God. Our whole lives are lived upon the altar. Every action and thought come together to form the worship that we offer. Worship is not an act; it's a lifestyle."

This week, let's let this be our prayer:
Dear God,
We ask that you would reveal the idols in our lives that we are worshiping. And give us the power, through Your Spirit, to stop. God, we desire to worship You. Would You give us a heart of worship. Help us to worship You with all that we are, at all times. May You be glorified and lifted up above all else in our lives! We love You & are so happy to be Your children!
In Jesus' Name

Lots of love,
Leiah, Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Monday, April 14, 2014

Finding God's Will

Finding and knowing the will of God can be a very difficult task. The day we accept Jesus into our life as our Lord and Savior doesn't give us all the answers about every detail of our future. Now don’t hear us wrong, the Bible contains incredible answers to life's most pressing questions... But it does not give a clear step by step outline of each individual's future. So how are we supposed to find God's specific will for our lives? 

-Put God first. If we want to know God's will for our lives we must put Him first. We must submit our lives to Him daily. We must surrender all of our wants and desires to Him. If we put Him first, He will guide us down His intended path that He has for us. One of the beautiful things about being a child of God is that we do not have to know all of the answers; we just need to know the One who has all of the answers. As we get to know God more intimately by obediently following what we do know about Him, He will reveal in His perfect time the plan He has for each one of us. 
-Pray regularly about our future. It is okay to ask God to direct our steps? Is it right for us to ask Him what His plans are for us? Let's all keep in mind that God does not always work on our timetable.  Just because we ask Him something about our future that does not mean He will answer us right away. This reminds us of one of our favorite quotes, "Do not mistake God's patience for His absence." God is ALWAYS there! He ALWAYS listens! But we have to remember that He ultimately knows what is best for each of our lives. Just because He does not answer us right away doesn't mean that He doesn't hear us. 
-Practice our passions. Often times God will use our passions to further His kingdom. What are your passions? Could it be painting? Singing? Dancing? Playing sports? Cooking? God can use any and all of our passions to bring glory to His Name. Passions and gifts come in many different forms. We must find ours, get settled in it, and use it to glorify our Father. We can use our passions to the glory God... and they just might lead us to discovering and even fulfilling our purpose! 

The following passage is a great help to those who are searching God's perfect will for their lives (including us).
"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."

"God's will is more about who I am becoming than what I am doing."