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!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Recently I was sitting with an elderly lady at church who leaned over and said to me, "Life is too short to be sad. I wish more people were happy." She is right. Life is short. It is way too short to walk around sad especially when we have so much to be thankful for everyday. Think about it for a moment. Waking up each day means that first we can be thankful for another day filled with limitless possibilities. Not to mention that waking up means that we can simply be thankful for the borrowed air that we take in as we breathe. Borrowed in the sense that God has not promised any of us today. This is why I am convinced that today is always referred to as the present. Get it? Today is a present. It is a gift that we can be thankful for because many have gone before us that are no longer experiencing today.

Here is a simple challenge for us all. "Don't worry be happy." This will only happen when we realize the brevity of life and choose to make the most of every opportunity that we have to be encouraging and to be encouraged. Choose JOY. It will prove to be the key to your experiencing happiness regularly. 

JOY - JESUS.OTHERS.YOU

-Shonn Keels

{Meet Shonn}


Not only is Shonn Keels the father of Baylee & Brelin, he is one of 4G1P's biggest mentors and supporters. Shonn is an author, evangelist, and is currently serving as associate pastor at PCBC in Oklahoma. One thing that Shonn loves more than anything is telling people about Jesus! We consider it the greatest honor to have him as a guest writer.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

How To Have Thanksgiving Everyday

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."    
 {1 Thessalonians 5:18}

It's  November! This means it's going to be Thanksgiving soon!!! Here at 4G1P we LOVE Thanksgiving! We love the time of rest, the time with our loved ones, and we really REALLY love the food! But, most of all, we love the reminder to be thankful! Over the years, this reminder has helped us realize that we can have thanksgiving EVERYDAY!

For us to have thanksgiving everyday, we first we need to grasp who Jesus is. Jesus is love, joy, peace, life, freedom, etc... But let's not stop at these characteristics of Jesus. We need go a step further and define who He is in our lives. The key to having thanksgiving everyday is not only grasping who Jesus is, but defining who Jesus is to you. Jesus is love whether we realize it or not. However, it is not until we stop and look at how His love has changed us and is real in our lives that it becomes personal. Let's start by focusing on one thing that Jesus is to us.

Leiah: Jesus is my strength. In the midst of the mountain tops and the valley lows, He is my strength.
Kendall: Jesus is my comforter. When life gets overwhelming, He is always there to wrap me up in His arms & keep me calm.
Baylee: Jesus is my stability. He is holding me in His hands & He does not ever change!
Brelin: Jesus is my cornerstone. He is the firm foundation I stand on that can not & will not ever be shaken!

It's your turn. Pause right now and ask yourself, "Who is Jesus to me?"

When we make who Jesus is personal, we can turn everyday, every situation, the best or even the worst of circumstances, into thanksgiving!

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

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dark & Broken

I happen to be a very strange human being. I like things that are out of the ordinary, maybe a bit unpolished and scattered with a hint of darkness. I grew up chasing perfection and the art of doing exactly as I was told. There could be no darkness in me, I hid away all my problems and issues. I was the perfect child but I was miserable. I was following all of God's rules but couldn't have been further from Him. 

That's what happens when we chase perfection... a constant disconnect from the One who can heal our imperfections. We need a Savior. I mean, that's why He is called Savior, because we need saving! It is not until we become real with God can we understand that He longs to help up, heal us, and save us. Psalm 118:5 says, "In my anguish, I cried to the Lord and He answered by setting me free." God can set us free! Sometimes it takes us crying out to Him for us to see that He's been there the whole time. He's always there. We don't have to be perfect, He wants to be that for us. Our darkness doesn't scare God, He knows it is needed for us to truly understand why we need Him, the light. 

One of my favorite quotes comes from an organization I highly value, To Write Love On Her Arms, and it states, "The world I believe in is one where embracing your light doesn't mean ignoring your dark." I highly value this organization because of how passionate they are about community. We are not meant to walk alone in all this crazy. We are a collection of brokenness put together again by an incredible, loving God. Despair comes from living day to day in utter silence, scared to talk about darkness. Talking about our issues does not mean we sit in them and accept them, but realize we don't have to anymore. Your darkness is not who you are but it is a story needed to be told to embrace the light that God has given you. Light cannot be seen without darkness first being present. Healing and restoration cannot happen without brokenness. 

I would love to encourage you to get real with the challenges of your heart. Don't hide them, but present them to the Lord and ask for His light to flood the darkness in your life. Ask Him to help you work through them all! 

-Caitlyn Rouse

{Meet Caitlyn}


To know Caitlyn is to love Caitlyn. She is truly one of those people that always makes your day brighter! She loves Jesus so much and lives to express His love through art. Among other things, she is a fantastic dancer, choreographer, and teacher. We are so grateful for Caitlyn and how she's shared part of her story with us!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Overwhelmed

Ever feel so completely overwhelmed you don’t even know what to do anymore? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Life can be tough sometimes! We go through phases that are easier than others and some that are harder. Well, if you are in a spot where life doesn’t seem like it can get any harder (but somehow it does) we have some encouragement for you!

1. Find verses that comfort you and bring you peace such as these… 

“As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.” Psalm 119:143

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3

“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” Psalm 55:22

“God’s name is a place of protection - good people can run there and be safe.” Proverbs 18:10

“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” Isaiah 41:10

“God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him.” Psalm 46:1

2. Ask for prayer. It’s okay to be vulnerable! Go to your family, friends, or a mentor who you know will commit to praying for you day in and day out. It’s important to have people in your life who are going to lift you up in prayer!

3. Find friends who are going to encourage you. Friends who pray for you and encourage you daily are one of the biggest blessings in life! Have a support system so that you know you always have people cheering you on.

After reading over these verses and meditating on them, we hope you feel as encouraged as we did. Study these verses, write them on your mirror or school binder, commit them to memory. Whenever you are feeling down and overwhelmed, be reminded that God is always there for you with open arms! He wants you to run to Him. He wants you to need Him. Let Him embrace you with His loving arms. Surrender all your worry, stress, & anxiety to Him.

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

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Beauty & Things

Wellness. What comes to your mind when you hear (see) that word? For me, when I was first asked to write a blog about wellness my brain immediately said, “health and fitness!” I love working out and eating healthy so I immediately began brainstorming about all of the things I could write about under this “wellness” heading – most of which included all of the reasons why you should work out and eat right. Well, the more I thought and prayed about it, the more the Lord took me in a deeper direction. We’ll get there in a minute. First, I actually want to talk about health and fitness!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” It is important for us to take care of our bodies; for believers, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit! By exercising, eating whole foods and getting enough sleep we are taking care of the only body we will ever have. By taking care of our bodies, we are actually honoring God! There is a danger, however, of slipping into an obsessive mindset when it comes to exercising and eating right (which can quickly turn into dieting). It is SO EASY for your motivation to slip into trying to be as pretty as ________ (fill in the blank) or as in shape as _______ (fill in the blank) or so that you can get the attention of ________(fill in the blank). See where I’m going with this? We slide from desiring to take care of our bodies in order to care for our ‘temple’ right into being fully obsessed with ourselves. I will be the first to raise my hand and say that I am guilty of this! I was listening to a sermon by Timothy Keller the other day and he said that when a “good” thing turns into the “main” thing, it has become an idol in our lives. We live in the age of selfies and photoshop and are CONSTANTLY bombarded with people who are prettier/skinnier/more muscular/more everything than we, in our opinion, are. If we have put our self worth completely on the outward appearance, our self-esteem can take a major hit. Which brings me to my next point.
1 Timothy 4:8 “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
If you keep your motivation for healthy living in check, you can focus on what really matters: your INNER beauty! You can grow and develop this inner beauty by taking time every day to get into God’s Word (memorize it, utilize it), praying, and being still in the presence of our loving Father. He wants our hearts! 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “…man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Fight the temptation to constantly compare yourself to others (which is SO HARD to do!) and try to focus only on what the Lord thinks of you. He loves you so much! Let your definition of wellness stay grounded in striving for heart beauty and keep physical beauty where it should be, as a good thing but never the main thing. Our main thing always needs to be keeping our eyes focused on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!


-Kristin Chipley


{Meet Kristin}


Kristin is a worship leader, piano teacher, wife, and full-time Jesus lover. She has one of the sweetest spirits we've ever known! She, along with her husband Marshall, have a passion for encouraging others to be all they can be for Jesus. How excited we are that she has joined 4G1P as a guest writer!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"...And Live What I Sing"

“And I’ll be the poet who sings Your glory- and live what I sing every day.”
{Psalm 61:8b MSG}

How good are the Psalms?! We have been so encouraged by reading through them lately. This specific verse caught our eyes the other day and we haven’t been able to get it out of our minds. “And I’ll be the poet who sings Your glory- and live what I sing every day.” Let’s break this down for a minute.

Part 1: “And I’ll be the poet who sings Your glory…” First off, whose glory are we singing about? God’s glory! We think most of us can agree that it’s fairly easy to sing God’s glory.  (When we say sing, we are including proclaiming, speaking, telling others about God’s glory.) Even when things in our life aren’t going the way we want, it’s still relatively simple to proclaim God’s glory with our lips. So part 1, check. We’re doing good so far! 
Part 2 is where it really gets challenging.
Part 2: “And live what I sing every day.” Eeeerrrr, hold on. Singing His glory is one thing, but LIVING out what we sing? Pause. Rewind. This is a big deal! How much more effective would we be in our Christian walk if we lived what we said we believed? If our actions matched the words we spoke? What if people looked at our lives and saw that we weren’t two different people, but they saw that we must be confident in what we say we believe because we’re proving it with the way we live? We reckon that lives would be changed! 
So here is a challenge to all of us:
(Please know that we are challenging ourselves in this too!)
When we wake up every morning let this be our prayer, “God, may I be the poet that sings Your glory- and live out what I sing every day.” And may we be so intentional about not just saying we love Him with our lips, but showing that we do with our lives. 

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

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pink Guitars in Busted Boxes

As I was praying and seeking the Lord on what I was going to write this blog about, I decided I would pull out my guitar and play around. When I went to get my guitar, I looked in the corner of my room where a beat-up box was leaning against the wall. My grandma had gone to a yard sale and picked up a guitar for an extremely low price. She brought it to my house one day and it had been collecting dust in the corner of my room ever since. So I thought that I should probably open up the box and see what this guitar looks like before I give it away, since it’s been sitting untouched for months.

I know that it probably sounds terrible, but I wasn’t expecting much inside the busted-up box! I expected it to be torn-up, to have strings missing, scratches, cracks, you name it! When I grabbed the box and opened it up, I was shocked. Inside there was a pink guitar (with glitter on it!!!!!) that had absolutely no scratches. It looked like it was brand-new, like it had never been touched before. I couldn’t believe it. I pulled the guitar out and ended up playing it for hours.

I thought that the guitar inside the busted-up box had no worth and nothing to give me. There are times when I have felt that way about myself, and I know many other people who could say the same. So many times, I have felt like I was something so insignificant that God couldn’t use me. But God tells those of us who are in Christ something completely different. So here are three things to remember when you start to feel insignificant.

1) You are God’s MASTERPIECE!

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” The dictionary defines a masterpiece as, “a person’s greatest piece of work… anything done with masterly skill.” How incredible is that? We aren’t something God made that just sits in the corner to collect dust. We aren’t a C+ art project. No, we are God’s greatest piece of work! The God who created the heavens and the earth, the God who owns the skies, calls you His masterpiece.

2) Don’t be surprised if the world tells you otherwise

Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He told His disciples, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” (John 15:18) The world will try to convince you differently of what God clearly states in His word. Some people will be jealous of you. Some will have prejudices against you. Some will ignore you. Some will flat-out hate you. But here’s what matters most: In God’s eyes, you are precious. In God’s eyes, you are smart. In God’s eyes, you are talented. Your worth to Him is immeasurable! So carry His words with you; they are the only words that have any real power over your life.

3) You are perfectly designed with an incredible purpose

There is a purpose and calling for your life. In Ephesians 2:10, it says that there are good things God planned for us to do long ago. Being a child of God also comes with great responsibility. Be sure to always keep your eyes on Jesus Christ and let the distractions fade away as you are focusing on your calling and purpose in life. When all is said and done, you won’t answer for what so-and-so did to you or what so-and-so said about you. We will answer for who we decided to be, despite what others said. You are a beloved child of the King with a purpose only He can command.

God has an incredible purpose for you and me! Stay in God’s word and remember what He says about you. I encourage you that if you aren’t plugged in to a local church, get plugged in. Being surrounded by a body of believers who encourage me and build me up has been huge in my own personal walk with Christ! When I tapped into who God told me I was and found my identity in Him, true transformation happened in my life.



I wish I had seen that beautiful pink guitar sooner. I wish I would’ve been confident in who God told me I was earlier, just like I wish I had started playing that guitar right when I got it. Be confident in who God says you are, march forward, and take ground for Him!

-Brianna George 


{Meet Brianna}


Brianna is 19 years old and is a Life Development intern at Barefoot Church. She will be the first to tell you that being able to help children learn about Jesus is one of her favorite things in life. Brianna loves Jesus with all of her heart and her love for Him shines through in all that she does! We consider it an incredible honor to have Brianna sharing her heart with us through being a guest writer for 4G1P!

(We also want to give a special shout-out to Kelsey Black for working with Brianna to make this blog the best it could be! We love you!)

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!