Previous Women's Weekends
Young Women’s #29
Theme: Spirit Move … in the Refiners Fire
“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us,
and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged.
Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!”
Expecting Him to Move! –In the secular world we think of this as positive thinking. In the Christian walk we know it means SO much more!– But we’ve got to be looking for Him! Looking for His Glory
and His Beauty in the midst of our struggles. Knowing, trusting and believing that Holy Spirit intends to Show Up and Move in our life (and in this weekend) in a big and bold way! And it is in the struggle that He is refining us!
There is NO refining without the struggle! No one wants the refining. It’s painful.
But it’s the only way to move closer and closer to Him. *Not only are we never alone in this walk, but there are blessings in the midst of His refining better than we could ever imagine for ourselves!
The Visual: I’m a Louisiana girl. Tim and I grew up in Louisiana. The Louisiana state wild flower is the Iris which symbolizes and resembles the fleur-de-lis which symbolizes our Cajun French heritage as well as the Holy Trinity.
When thinking about how I might incorporate the fleur-de-lis image in my weekend, I went hunting for images and discovered there is actually a variety of Iris called Refiners Fire.
Weekend Song: Spirit Move by Kalley Heiligenthal (Bethel)
Director: Sarah Shepherd
Theme: Who He Says I Am
Isaiah 40:27-29 and Isaiah 41:10
“My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Identity is a huge deal. Everyone knows that. But what is my identity? Where do I go to find it?
It seems like everyone has an opinion of who other people are. But they still have no clue about who they are themselves.
People tell me, “Go to God”. And, that’s great. But what does that actually look like in every-day actions? How do you hear from God?
First, you have to know who God is. Ok, who is God, actually? Without all the filters and all the things people have told you, do you actually know what He’s like and what He’s capable of?
Second thing. Who am I? Well, really, to get the truth, you need to ask a slightly different question. Who does God say I am? Because He is the only one that never lies and sees EVERYTHING about me. So, He is really the one (and only one) who is qualified to answer that question. Guess what? It’s not what you think. …
The more you focus on getting to know Him, the more He will teach you which thoughts are from Him and which aren’t. The more you get to know Him and who He says you are, the more confidence you will have to face every day’s challenges. The more you let Him help you with every-day things, the better you can face anything that comes your way. He’s got this. He’s got you. Therefore, you’ve got this!
My prayer is that both servers and campers will be able to discern the counterfeits in life from God’s voice and then have the confidence to step out and go on adventures with Him! You can serve, you can sponsor a young girl, you can donate and pray. All these things are very important! Please pray about which of these things God wants you to do and see where it leads you!
Director VNTB #28
Director: Jennifer Chadwell
Theme: But First
English Standard Version
"But first, be concerned about His kingdom and what has His approval. Then all these things will be provided for you." God's Word translation
Our culture and our society trains and encourages us to live and choose with our flesh, for our pleasures, seeking what is quick, instant, easy, and our way.
The choices we make from this position model that our decisions and our desires trump all else!
BUT, Matthew 6:33 instructs us to seek FIRST His kingdom and His righteousness - not ours, but HIS!
Not just in times of trouble or need – or when we thank Him when He answers us the way we wanted Him to. But also in our day-to-day tasks (Father, should I have lunch her today?), the enjoyable-but-not-pressing matters (Lord, is this movie appropriate for my eyes and heart?), the major decisions we may not recognize should be seek-Him decisions (God, I need your guidance on this vehicle purchase!), and in quietness as we listen and talk to Him throughout our day. Not just for our needs and wants, but for simply being in His presence, too.
Let us re-write our hearts to remember to seek Him first, when it's easy and when it's hard, when decisions are big and when they are little, in our busy-ness and in our calm,
when it's popular and when we must do what is contrary to what our culture says we should.
No matter the position, it all begins when we seek Him first!
I pray you will join me on this journey, in prayer, study, and action!
:: Pray for our team and our candidates, and for every detail He sees as important for this weekend ::
:: Study His word on this topic and look for an area or areas where He's nudging you to put Him first ::
:: And join me in service on this weekend, as a team member, as a sponsor, as a provider of our special blessings :
Director :: VNTB #27
Director: Mindy Bowman
Theme: Furious Love
I pray that Christ may live in your hearts by faith. I pray that you will be filled with love. I pray that you will be able to understand how wide, and how long and how high and how deep His love is I pray that you will know the love of Christ. His love goes beyond anything we can understand. I pray that you will be filled with God Himself.
There comes a time when every girl dreams that her white knight will ride up on his trusty steed and battle all the forces of evil to rescue her from the ivory tower. Most of the time our reality is far, far from the truth.
The world continues to drum into our heads that we need things and people to “save” us. While these things can be great at teaching us lessons, they mean nothing unless we understand one, simple truth – God needs to be our foundation in ALL things.
His love is a furious love that knows no bounds. His love will follow you to the ends of the earth and back. His love will battle the forces of evil and save you from your ivory tower. And we all have our ivory towers - female and male alike.
I pray that you will be able to understand how wide, and how long and how high and how deep His love is I pray that you will know the love of Christ.
His love goes beyond anything we can understand. I pray that you will be filled with God Himself.
I also pray you will join me in serving the candidates and team of VN #26 where we will learn about and experience God’s Furious Love.
Director: Tiffany Catledge
Theme: Redeemed and Renewed
“'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you."
Psalm 51:10 (ESV)
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."
Redeemed and Renewed
Have you ever felt like there was no way Jesus could ever send you to shine His light because of how dark your past
(or even your present) feels?
Do you ever struggle to accept and live out your true identity as God's daughter because you feel ashamed or unworthy?
Are we overwhelmed by His grace and empowered by His Spirit?
Do we run into His arms, knowing He loves us?
who Jesus has saved and set free!
Director: Pat Bass
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.’
The theme for the Young Women’s VN 24 is “Enough.” So many of us girls (younger and older alike)
go through life feeling like we’re not “enough.”
We feel we aren’t pretty enough, smart enough, talented enough, spiritual enough, etc., just fill in the blank. One by one the petals fall from the beautiful flower God created us to be. I believe this is one of the enemy’s weapons he uses to keep God’s children in bondage to feelings of inferiority,
insecurity, and inadequacy. He wants us to believe that we are not enough.
BUT WE ARE ENOUGH! Because of JESUS – We are enough!
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.’
Jesus already loved us enough to die for us and He made us a new creation
once we accepted His gift of salvation.
Jesus is more than enough and because of HIS enough - I am enough and you are enough.
If you’ve never served on a VN weekend, I invite you to come and see how God touches the lives of these beautiful young daughters of God.
If you have served before, I invite you back to serve again.
The investment into the lives of our young people is eternal.
God bless you and keep you,
Pat Bass, Director
Young Women’s VNTB #24
Director: Christine Olivieri
Theme: Shine!... Out of the darkness
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way,
let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness
into his wonderful light.
VNTB #23 -Shine! ...out of the darkness
Darkness – is the absence of light.
Flipping a switch makes the darkness vanish in an instant.
Fear of what is around the corner?
Suddenly you are aware of being alone and not in control.
What will happen next? Sometimes our fears hold us back from moving forward.
And guess what, we have an enemy that celebrates when we are frozen by these fears.
If we are frozen we are held back from fulfilling God's purpose for our lives.
When we ask God to help us conquer these fears one by one, we are able to move forward - bolder, more confident and in union with our Heavenly Father.
Fear to participate, fear of being rejected, fear of being alone, fear of being labeled stupid, ugly, not worthy....and my list can go on and on...
Vida Nueva #23 is all about how God cancels out the darkness in an instant with HIS incredible power and love. We are not left alone to stumble in the darkness;
HE is always with us. HE gives us the sun in the morning, the moon at night, plus HE gives us the light of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.
HIS light gives us such a hope and a peace that it is way beyond our own understanding.
HIS amazing light fills the shadows and empty places in our hearts
so nothing is hidden. Our ultimate goal is to reflect God’s image and shine like the SON.
Do you feel frozen and stuck in some areas in your life?
Let God have full reign so He can turn our light on so brightly that others will see HIS power and HIS Glory in everything that we do.
Director: Cindy Mitchell
Theme: Let Go ...and Know!
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need,
and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
As we get closer and closer to the next upcoming VN weekend, my anticipation builds!
I am always in awe of what God delivers when we seek him! Having said that,
I was feeling crazy pressure after I said “yes” to the call to be upcoming director.
I couldn’t get out of my own way with my thoughts of insecurities. How could I possibly be like the many directors before me who always left me looking up to them with such admiration?
Then came the list in my head of all the reasons why I shouldn’t do this. Honestly, I’m not in His Word daily, I’m uncomfortable praying out loud, I’ve broken more than one commandment (and probably will again), and I’m afraid of being judged.
After really seeking him, and taking time to listen to what God wanted me to hear,
I realized something that changed everything.
It’s NOT about ME! Duh! Wow! That took some pressure off!
This, and every other VN weekend is about HIM and allowing God to reach us wherever we’re at, imperfections and all, and truly being able to trust in his timing, and his choices in our lives knowing HIS plan is perfect. Throughout this I kept hearing “Let it go, Cindy”
God already has this weekend ordained to be exactly what HE wants it to be. I’m only here to be the party planner, with Jesus as my boss. And, anyone that knows me knows how much I love to plan a party!
The theme for VN # 22 is “Let Go...And Know!”
Do you know someone who needs to “let go and really KNOW and trust God and his plan for your life?”
Do you have trouble with control or your temper?
Do you struggle with lying or conforming to the world in order to feel connected?
Do you have to be perfect...the perfect student, perfect mom, perfect girlfriend or wife in order
to “prove something to yourself or others?
Are you someone who never asks for help because you don’t want to appear weak or vulnerable?
Do you struggle with unforgiveness or shame?
Who’s ready to join me? I’d be honored to serve beside each and every one of you.
I hope you’ll prayerfully consider joining us in the spring!
The verse is Psalm 28:7. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”
And verse Philippians 4:6-7. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Humbled in HIS grace,
Cindy Mitchell Director, VNTB #22
Director: Michelle Licea
Theme: Love Me Free
“And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them;
and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh;
and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God].”
”The heart is free where the Spirit of the Lord is. The Lord is the Spirit. All of us, with no covering on our faces,
show the shining-greatness of the Lord as in a mirror.
All the time we are being changed to look like Him, with more and more of His shining-greatness.
This change is from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
In our seasons of brokenness God sheds light to lead us to a place of wholeness.
This is where I find myself as I accept the honor of being director of VN #21.
Unknowingly, the journey was set into motion during VN #16 when a candidate said, “I want God to Love Me Free”.
It resonated in me and began a quest to understand it’s meaning. With Jesus as my Teacher the best resource has been the experiences in my own life.
Not a request to be loved; but more of a request to be free:
1.) To experience (receive) the fullness of His love
2.) To be engaged to love God; myself and others freely; with abandonment; vulnerable and courageous.
The lies we believe and the unholy vows we make as a result of our past, present or future have held us captive to an untrue image of ourselves and of others. We have allowed our circumstances, along with disappointments and hurts from the world, and sometimes even religion, to harden our hearts. This denies true intimacy and vulnerability in exchange for a false sense of control. The truth does not come from how we feel or think, but from the ability to have God’s truth be known through His Holy Spirit within us.
and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh;
and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God].”
He promises to remove our hardened and rebellious heart in exchange for (another; a do-over) heart of flesh, tender and responsive to Him. To give us “one heart” (in Hebrew “first soul”). The original heart He had intended for us from the beginning that would think, feel, and will as He does. A new spirit that through the work of our Lord Jesus we would have within us the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the spirit of the “new man, new creature”. He made a way and equipped us to have the ability to be sensitive and responsive to God’s love and will.
The promise is a heart that is free by the presence of the Lord, who is the Spirit, within us (foretold in our Ezekiel Scripture). We can then experience the power of His love and freedom from those things that confine us.
As we commune with His presence, with uncovered faces (hearts free), we are then able to see and experience
the change into His likeness. To reflect the greatness of His love.
To reflect this kind of likeness in love and freedom can at times have a cost. In fact, sometimes there are moments
(or stretches) of discomfort and even pain.
However, truth prevails because His Word is filled with the rewards that come from this love and freedom,
both here on earth and in Heaven.
It’s so worth it! Jesus knew it was. So, are you willing to allow God to Love You Free?
If so, join me as we walk out the journey of VN #21.
Director: Cindy Garafolo
"Those who were not my people I will call My people, and her who was not beloved I will call My beloved."
I John 4:16
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."
Love and being loved is a powerful force. As girls especially, we crave it and God made us that way.
Just like we need air to fill up our lungs to breathe, we need love to fill up our souls. We know in our heads that God loves us, but for some reason we don't rely on His love to sustain us. From the time we are little,
we look for a tangible, touchable love from the people and things in our lives.
"Why doesn't my Dad tell me he loves me?", "Why is my Mom so critical;
doesn't she love me?", "Doesn't that boy know how special I am; why doesn't he love me?",
"How could my friends just walk away if they loved me?"
"Why (you fill in the blank here)?"
God absolutely loves on us through people around us, but it's when we begin to rely on it from a person that we can become disappointed and confused about love.
It's God's love that is always there for us to receive, it never disappoints, and it fills up our souls.
God loves us so much that He may be asking
"Why do you not see how much I love you?", "Why are you so critical of others that I love so much?",
"Don't you know how special you are to me?", "How can you just walk away?",
"Don't you know that I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU?"
In fact, He calls you His in Romans 9:25.
"Those who were not my people I will call My people, and her who was not beloved I will call My beloved." Beloved means; "greatly loved" and "dear to the heart".
Hearing that just brings me peace. When other people and things let me down,
I know that I am dear to God's heart.
Understanding God's intense love for you and then, the difficult part, learning how to rely on it throughout your life will leave you filled up with joy to pass on to others.
It brings more contentment in your earthly relationships because you will understand your source on true, unchanging love.
Director: Karen West
Theme: Radical and Crazy Free
"The Lord says " I will give you back what you lost..you will have all the food you want
and you will praise the Lord your God, who does great miracles for you.
Never again, will you be disgraced or put to shame"
" the joy of the Lord is my strength! "
Satan is a liar. He always whispers that if we are abused, slow, forgetful, fearful, or different that we are less than perfect. God says when we accept him we become righteous or just like him. As Christians we have tremendous power. Power to do anything. Power to refuse to believe the taunting lies of our enemy. Christian teenagers face a fierce battle, one where their heart and God assure them of one thing but the roaring liar says otherwise. VN # 19 is a call to stand firm in our power (God’s power) and know that as we fall, as that is inevitable, that we are picked up each time by the very one that taught a bird it’s song and created each of us to be beautiful and unique.
My desire is that each of the candidates, as well as each of us, look into the mirror of our soul after failing and falling and only see the reflection of our Jesus. After all, as children of God…that is all that God sees when He looks at us - Jesus, not our mess ups. VN# 19 is a vision adjustment to see the truth, believe the truth, and realize that even as imperfect as we are…we are valuable and strong.
He promises and actually says that we will come through these times, praising him, lacking nothing and never, never have to be ashamed of anything. God died for each shameful moment of our life and we can be secure in his love, his forever after love. VN# 19 is an encouragement to praise God through every fear, failure, and frustration and realize that we are complete and lacking nothing. God is wiser, stronger, smarter and more compassionate that the accuser of the brethren and as His children so are we.
Conflict should just be a stepping stool to victory. We are loved and adored by a very gracious God.
If God is calling you to be a part of VN# 19 please submit your application as soon as possible as team selection is currently in process.
Be radically expectant of an explosion of freedom.
"Radical and Crazy Free"
Director VN# 19
Director: Melinda Veloz
Theme: The Beautiful Fight
So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen;
for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Cor 4:18
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
Eph 3: 16-17
So often what we see, the external things, physical things the byproducts of what could be seen is how we perceive who we are, how much we matter, what we are worth.
We even allow it to effect how we perceive God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit. God is good when all is well,
when all is as we think it should be, but what about when things are tough,
when the outcome isn't quite what we expected. When you have had a rough, day, month, year,
maybe even life. What then....do you still believe God loves you? That He is good? That He is with you?
That His word is truth? Do you believe when everything around you is telling you the exact opposite.
When you feel alone and can't hear Him or feel His presence, do you trust that He has not forsaken you?
When we focus on the temporary external, physical things, it makes it almost impossible to see anything else. We surrender our feelings and our thoughts to be consumed to that which is seen. In essence we walk in defeat, because of the evidence we brought forward in the case we made against ourselves.
Our Heavenly Father is calling us to go beneath the surface, to fight beyond all that is seen and meet Him in the unseen. To take our eyes off of the temporary and fix our eyes on eternity with Him. There is so much to be revealed in the unseen. In fact, everything we see is the manifestation of something that was once unseen.
The Holy Spirit longs to strengthen our inner beings...to open our spiritual eyes, so that we may be able to comprehend what is the length and width, height and depth of God's love.
Will you join us in "The Beautiful Fight" to go beyond the exterior looking interior, beyond the seen into the unseen, beyond the temporary and into the eternal?
Love & Blessings,
"The Beautiful Fight"
Director: Jeanne Hooker
Theme: You're Invited
My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
We try and say all the right things so that others will like us and we will fit in. God in His beautiful, kind,
and loving way is calling us out of hiding.
He is saying to us “Show me YOUR face, let me hear YOUR voice, for the YOU that I created is lovely,
and YOUR thoughts and opinions,
personality and temperament …YOUR voice, is sweet.”
The invitation is personal and intimate. God is telling a story, a beautiful story, in which we each have a part.
What He is inviting you to is different than what He is inviting me to, yet all of us together are a part of the same story.
The invitation is as unique and individual as we are. Will you accept His invitation?
Will you come out of hiding? He is inviting you…”Show me your face, Let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”
In His Grace,
Director, VNTB #17
Director: Stacey Adkins
Theme: He Loves Me...
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
God loves us! That is the triumphant message of the Bible. That is the greatest message we will ever hear.
Thankfully, however, this is not just a message in words.
God wanted us to know His love for us, so He demonstrated that love at great personal cost.
We know that because He gave His Son for us.
He didn't want the power of "perish" to claim us, so He gave us the power of His love.
He sacrificed so we could have life. Don't ever doubt it.
Don't let the evil one rob you of this life-giving truth. God loves you and wants to give you life!
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion; He is slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness.
The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. He is true unconditional love.
I challenge you to awake every day saying these simple words:
HE LOVES ME!!
Know this with all your heart and may you be truly blessed and loved as we walk this Vida Nueva weekend together.
May God Bless you in every way, every day!
Director VNTB #16 He Loves me…
Director: Paige Brown
Theme: Love and War
This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Until we become receptive to God's love and filled with Him, we will never be able to love ourselves and pour that love over into the lives of others.
Satan is always at war with us. He may not be able to "have" us since we are sealed with the Holy Spirit,
In the end, satan loses!
Director VNTB #15
Director: Elizabeth Witherell
Theme: For Such A Time As This
I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
Psalm 139: 13-18 says that God uniquely created each one of us in our mother’s womb, and that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’
He says His thoughts toward each of us are precious and vast, and that if we were to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand!
then we have to ask ourselves the same question Mordecai posed to her in Esther 4:14. “Who knows, but that (you) have come into the kingdom for SUCH A TIME AS THIS?”
We each need to consider who, why, when, where, and how God uniquely created us to discover what He wants to do in and through the life He gave to us.
Come, join the team of VNTB # 14, and hear how God has been actively involved in the lives of His people, and carrying out His ultimate plan for His children!
Begin to see the gifts and talents He has given you, and be amazed at the marvelous things GOD will accomplish through YOUR LIFE!
“For Such a Time As This” Young Women’s Theme
Have you ever really stopped to think about who you are and how and WHY God created you the way He did? I have battled “me” as far back as I can remember;
from my short legs and frizzy hair to my quick tongue and ungentle answers, and probably everything in between. I’ve always wondered why I had to be ME, and couldn’t be someone else!
Now keep in mind, I wouldn’t have a clue WHO I WOULD want to be, if given the choice, but I didn’t like who I was.
I am assuming that most, if not all, of you can relate to this feeling of inadequacy.
The good news is that God promises that in our weaknesses, He is strong!
So it’s actually a GOOD thing to be weak, so that He can shine through us.
But the focus of this weekend is not on the weaknesses each of us feel we have,
but rather, on the PURPOSE for which He created each one of us.
Think about it for a minute: You could have been the opposite sex; you could have been born in another country; you could have had different parents,
been a different race, and even lived in a different time period. Why did God choose to create YOU with all those factors in a unique combination,
and why did He bring you into His kingdom and allow you to know the Truth?
I believe it is because He knows that you can and will affect the lives of the people you come in contact with and especially develop relationships with.
He knows He can use YOU to accomplish His purposes in the situations where only you are available.
In the story of Esther, the entire Jewish race was about to be slaughtered because of an evil plot, and God saw fit to place Esther in a position to be able to stop that from happening. She had to be willing to lay down her life, if necessary, to speak up for what she knew God had called her to do. In each of our lives, it may not be so dramatic, but the same thing is true for us. God HAS knit each of us together in our mothers’ wombs and called us to be the women He had in mind when He created us.
Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, was also placed by God in a position which would bring about deliverance for the Jewish people. I find it very interesting that so many seemingly little details have to line up to make this whole thing happen. I encourage you to look into your own life and see how God has intricately woven pieces together to make up “your life” and “your life story.” Mordecai was very wise when he told Esther, “If you don’t say anything, deliverance will still come, but you will perish.” That also applies to us. God WILL bring about His will, whether or not we choose to do our part. But what a tremendous blessing He is giving us, to allow us to be His tools and His workmanship!
So the theme for VNTB # 14 Women’s weekend is “For Such a Time As This,” and we will be focusing on why God created us for this particular time in history, at this place, and with the gifts and talents He has given to each of us. Our visuals will be crowns, timepieces (like watches and hourglasses), city skylines, sunrises and sunsets. Not sure how all that will work out yet, but I’m sure God has a plan! The song, “God of the City” has really been ministering to me and I think it’s supposed to be incorporated in there too, for “greater things are yet to come, and greater things are still to be done.” God could accomplish everything He needs to accomplish just by speaking the words, but He has chosen to allow us to be a part of what He’s doing. How exciting is that? I look forward to seeing all that He has planned for this weekend, for the candidates and the team, and the community as a whole. God is at work among us, doing great and mighty things! Stay alert; let Him captivate you, set you free, and help you to tap in for such a time as this!
VNTB #14 “For Such A Time As This”
Director: Ali Russell
Theme: Captivated Freedom
Verses: Romans 12:1-2, Isaiah 62:1-4
This weekend’s theme is “Captivated Freedom”.
What we find is that often we are captivated by things, stuff filling holes with temporary solutions, and instant gratification.
And we do it in the name of being young. The enemy wants us to have our focus on these things, he elicits these desires in us to distract us. And as soon as someone tells us its “wrong”, we say “I’m just trying to figure out who I am”,
“I’m supposed to do this when I’m young”. But when you’re captivated in the world, trying to rebel, be your own person, figure out who you are, you tend to think you’re testing the waters and trying to be “free” and find “freedom”. But what we don’t realize is that by doing this we actually become captives of our environments.
We are chained to this world.
The Christian band “Run Kid Run” has a song called “Freedom” that starts by saying “all these chains, I can’t disengage,
I don’t believe that I want to…One hand sings your praise, the other brings me shame, I have selfishness to blame.”
So we have to ask ourselves, do we want to let go? Only when we are captivated by God are we really whole.
Being a prodigal child is good if it is God doing the prodigal act. God wants you to run, and run fast, but towards Him and away from this world. In Romans 12 of the message it tells us what we should do. “God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, and develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Ladies, God wants to give us freedom…he wants to break our chains to this world and give us the ultimate freedom we find in him. Listen to what the past weekends have shown us: The Lord delights in you. He thinks you’re wonderful, and one of a kind. Our God rocks and looks at us as his princess. Through this relationship we find true love. And by putting ourselves in the hands of the potter we grow in belief of God’s amazing grace. We are reborn, with authentic beauty, and with that, overflow with joy as we bask in God’s overwhelming mercy. Now, let’s embrace that captivated freedom he is so willing to give. Ladies, we’re going into battle. We have friends, siblings, cousins, hurting, lost in this world, needing to be rescued.
I challenge you to examine yourself, ask yourself if you’re willing to take the challenge of being captivated by God.
Accept the freedom only He can provide. And show that Freedom to these candidates. Fight for these girls, they need your help. God wants us to stand there on Friday night and tell these girls in our own words what God told us in Isaiah 62: “Because I love [you], I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for [you], I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for you until your righteousness shines like the dawn, and your salvation blazes like a burning torch. The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a new name by the Lord’s own mouth.
The LORD will hold you in his hand for all to see—a splendid crown in the hand of God. Never again will you be called
“The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,”
for the LORD delights in you and will claim you as his bride.”
Will you accept the challenge? I will.
Ali Russell Director
VNTB #13 “Captivated Freedom”
Romans 12:1-2, Isaiah 62:1-4
Director: Robin Conn
God’s creations are awesome reminders that express His love for us.
I can’t help but look at a waterfall and see it as a sign of living water flowing over an embankment that can’t hold it back.
Can you imagine allowing HIS living water to pour into you so strongly that you just couldn’t hold it back? And what about a rainbow?
In the midst of a rain shower, God shows us that His promises are real and JUST for us! These promises can hold so much! Joy, peace, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and hope.
Hope is often one of the hardest things to hold onto. This broken world can bring us so much pain. We wonder how we can find hope in the middle of it.
Our circumstances too often dictate feelings of despair, loneliness, abandonment, and anger.
Even we as Christians, sometimes live day to day just trying to survive and yes, even fighting the feelings of hopelessness.
Romans 15:13 says “May God, the source of hope fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust Him, then you will OVERFLOW with confident hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” And in Hebrews 10:23, we know that we can hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.
I believe that God is wanting us to trust Him so much that the promises He longs to give us will overflow into our lives. If we completely surrender our circumstances to Him,
He can use them to grow us into the confident women that He wants for us to be. Then we, in turn can OVERFLOW into the hearts and lives of others.
I feel that God has given me the theme for the Vida Nueva #12 Young Women’s weekend. It is OVERFLOW.
Think back to before you asked Jesus into your heart, was there an emptiness longing to be filled? Well, if you are living your life for Jesus Christ,
then he has placed His Spirit inside of you to fill that emptiness. He wants to OVERFLOW in your heart.
My prayer for this weekend and the months leading up to it, is that it will be a time for God to shower us with His living water, through His written word, worship,
prayer and serving together in a Spirit of love and honor. And I pray that the candidates will discover the source of Hope and trust His Spirit to fill them to overflowing.
If you desire to share in this special weekend, I encourage you to pray about serving.
Director, Young Women's VNTB #12
March 13-15, 2009
Director: Rebecca McDaniels
Theme: Authentic Beauty - Living a Life of Purity
Psalm 119:9-11 "How can a young woman keep her way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." "...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spiritof despair." — Isaiah 61:3 -
"I read this question the other day, and it really hit home with me…. “What makes me feel most dead to myself and alive in Christ?”
That is just it! We all know that we must lay down our own ideas of what we want to do in life, and do what Christ would have us do, but that is really hard.
Our selfishness tends to get in the way. We as girls can become so caught up in the emotions of life, Our looks, clothes, boyfriends, and more,
that we tend to forget that it is ALL about HIM.
What is truly important is what God thinks of us. He sees you as His princess, and He calls you beautiful, and wonderful. He wants to show you the beauty that He intended,
the beauty you might overlook. He wants us to live a “set apart” life of purity for others to see. Pure in our mind, heart, soul, and with our bodies.
The really cool part about this is that if we are following the path that He has planned for us, then being pure with our thoughts and with our actions will be so much easier.
I know that when I am having daily communion with my Jesus, that my mind is clearer to listen, my heart is longing to be obedient, and my spirit is filled with joy.
Living a life of purity is not the easiest road, but that is OK. As we are lead to the cross, our beauty will shine forth,
and He will be able to use us in ways we could never have imagined!
I am so excited about what God has in store for the team of VNTB #11 and the candidates to come. God is an amazing GOD that can do marvelous things
if we are open to listening and obeying. I feel so honored to be the director of VNTB #11, Authentic Beauty, Living a Life of Purity.
Please pray and ask God if He is calling you to serve on this weekend.
I would be so blessed and thrilled to serve along side of any one of you.
Director: Katie Johns
Theme: Amazing Grace
Verses: Ephesians 2:6-10 & Isaiah 43:2
Ephesians 2:6-10 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
God’s Amazing Grace is given to each one of us because He loves us. There is nothing that we can do or say that will ever have God take it away from us. It is hard to understand this amazing gift that he so freely gives. It is just not possible for us to truly comprehend the magnitude of his grace, at least on earth. BUT, we can come to know grace better and more intimately.
My prayer for this VN weekend is that the candidates and team will feel and see God’s grace pouring forth. He washes us with it in each stage of our lives. When we accept Christ into our hearts, He never leaves us. We can lean on our Heavenly Father in trials and celebrations.
Please pray about serving our Lord this VNTB#10 Weekend. Bask in his Amazing Grace!
In Christ Love,
Director: Marilyn Hough
Theme: Believing God
Verse: Luke 1:45
“Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished. "
Believing God is far different than believing in God. Even the demons believe and shudder states James 2:19.
Many people believe in God and do not know Him as their savior and Lord. To walk in the victory He won for us on the cross, we must believe:
God is who He says He is.
God can do what He says He can do.
I am who God says I am.
I can do all things through Christ.
God's Word is alive and active in me.
(These statements of truth are from the book and bible study, Believing God, by Beth Moore.) This weekend will challenge the candidates and team to begin believing God by acting as if we believe. It will challenge one to move from mental agreement to acting upon the Word. I might mentally agree with the scripture that states that "I am the temple of the Holy Spirit," but do my actions show that I believe it? Would I be in the backseat of this car with my boyfriend or at this party if I believed the Holy Spirit was with me? Would I be making fun of my friend's clothes if I believed Jesus when He said, "as you do unto the least of these, you do unto Me?" Do I believe I am who the world says I am, or who God says I am? I act according to who I believe I am. Vida Nueva #9 will challenge me to believe "I am who God says I am," and that through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, living and active in me, I am becoming the young woman God has called me to be. Mary, in spite of being a virgin, believed the Angel Gabriel, when he brought her news that she was highly favored by God and she would bear the Christ child. VN #9 will challenge us to believe every aspect of His Word by acting upon it!
"Lord, help my unbelief!"
Director: Laura Priolo
Theme: In the Potters Hands
Verse: 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
“But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”
For young women’s Vida Nueva #8 God has given us the theme of In the Potter’s Hands. God tells us that we are the clay and He is the potter. Have you ever thought about what that means? When a potter works with clay the first thing he has to do is kneed it and make it pliable and soft. The potter puts the clay on the wheel, centers it and begins working the clay. The potter uses water to soften the clay as he shapes it. If the potter doesn’t use water it becomes brittle, cracks and eventually breaks. The potter takes time to mold the pot because he is passionate about his creation, his treasure. Sometimes the clay becomes off center and bends or becomes misshapen. Because of the passion the potter has for his creation he doesn’t ever quit, he adds the water it needs, the time it needs and works it in his hands for it to become what he planned all along. As we start our lives we are pliable and soft but as we grow and mature we can become dry like the desert. The way we make ourselves pliable is by giving ourselves water, the living word, the Bible. We can come off center like clay by making mistakes and falling off the course we know God has planned for our lives. Our God is mighty; He will never give up on us. He tells us in His word that “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”. In our lives we go thru many trials and circumstances that can cause us to become cracked and broken. In the story of Gideon God used the cracked and broken pots to shine brightly to defeat the Midianites. The imperfections or what we would call mistakes were there for a purpose. The potter already has a vision for our lives; he knows the outcome of every circumstance and uses it for His glory. Will you allow God to mold your life to be a light to others?
Director: Tricia McClendon
Theme: This is True Love
Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 (The Message) I’m absolutely convinced that nothing-nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way Jesus our Master has embraced us.
Do you realize that even before there was light, there was God’s love for you? Before He created the world, He loved YOU! And He has loved you with an eternal, unchanging, uncompromising, unfailing, absolutely amazing love. That’s true love! Not this conditional, temporary, worldly stuff. God’s love is different. We know the New Testament is about God’s love, how He loves so much He sent His one and only Son to die for us (Jn 3:16). How Jesus, God and Man, left the throne of heaven and died such a horrible, excruciating death out of love for us. How Jesus prayed and the Father sent us the Holy Spirit to live within each of us for our Councilor and Comforter—out of love. But that’s not all--the Old Testament is also FULL of God’s love for us. His unfailing love will lead us (Ex 15:13). He is compassionate and gracious . . . abounding in love and faithfulness (Ex 34:6-6). He will keep His covenant of love with you . . . He will love and bless you (Dt 7:12-13). The earth is full of His unfailing love (Ps 33:5). His love is better than life ((Ps 63:3). He does not withhold His love from us (Ps 66:20). His love stands firm forever (Ps 89:1-20). His love supports us (Ps 94:18). He crowns us with love (Ps 103:2,4). His banner over us is love (S.S. 2:4). God’s love is not the weak, watered-down stuff Hallmark talks about. This isn’t hearing “I love you” from someone today, only to be rejected tomorrow. This isn’t “if you really love me you will.” This isn’t “do this for me.” This is “I did this for you.” This is “I love you always. I want only what is best for you. You are my beloved.” This is God’s love--powerful, passionate, positive, and perfect. I want us all, candidates, team, & community—to “get” this. God shows us true love, anything else is a fake, a fraud. The world’s love will fail you, bring you down. God’s love will lift you up, preserve you, enable you to be the “you” He created you to be. He will NEVER leave you and NOTHING can separate you from His love. Immerse yourself in His love, draw near to Him, trust Him, rest in His true love. His desire is for you to love Him, with all you heart, soul, mind, & strength. If you fulfill His desire for your love, He will fulfill you in His true love.
In His love,
Director: Linda Schilling
Theme: Will you be My Princess
Verses: Psalm 45:13-14 & Psalm 5:8
Psalm 45:13-14 (NIV) 13 All glorious is the princess within her chamber ; her gown is interwoven with gold. 14 In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her and are brought to you.
Psalm 5:8 8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make straight your way before me.
Will you be My Princess?
Every young woman will eventually have to address the question, “ Will you be My princess?” Our Heavenly Father calls us to service, to choose whether or not to represent our King and His Kingdom. What we fail so often to see is how our King sees us already. Psalms 45:13-14 says “All glorious is the Princess within her chamber, her gown is interwoven in gold. In embroidered garments she is led to the King. Ladies your body, mind and souls are your chamber, you are always in your chamber. The Lord sees you as glorious. He sees you thru the righteousness His Son has imparted on you thru His death. He has clothed you in your bridal gown white as the snow, interwoven in gold. Your gold ladies is what makes it thru the fire of testing of your life. Our garments are embroidered by the life we live and when our Father sees us He sees His finished work. He is leading you to Himself, thru His Holy Spirit. The question remains, “Will you be My princess?” He has given you the power to fulfill this calling. His son said “Not my will, but yours Father” and he humbled himself to the point of death on the cross for you and me. If you to desire to serve your King and make a difference in others lives won’t you join us in serving the Young Women who will be attending this Spring’s Vida Nueva #6.
Director: Kathy Beyer
Theme: Our God Rocks
Verse: Isaiah 25:1 & 26:4
Isaiah 25:1 1 O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.
Isaiah 26:4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Director: Tina Gasperson
Theme: One of a kind
Verse: Romans 12:1-2 (From the Message Version)
"1So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 2Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."
Director: Denise McDaniel
Theme: God thinks you're wonderful!
Verse: Psalm 139
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
We are FINALLY underway with Vida Nueva #3. I am very excited about all that God has already done and will do through each of you WONDERFUL ladies. We will be focusing on the part of Psalm 139 that says, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Just so you can start planning ahead, we will be using sheep, lambs, and Jesus as the Shepherd as part of our theme. We have lready had a blast finding all of the after Easter sales sheep everywhere. We figured there wouldn't be too many sheep out in the fall with all the Halloween junk. So you can start your palanca parties ladies! We now have our 3 Spiritual Directors. Rev. Noriega from Idlewild Central, Randy Evans from Grace Christian Fellowship, and David Brantley from Texas. I know that none of you probably know David, but he helped start Tres Dias in Tampa and is is from the area too. You'll love him also. I will not be choosing the team until school is out. I am really praying about where God wants you. I don't want to put people where I want them, but where God wants them. I have been talking to a few ladies about Head positions and then we will plug all of you in. So you be praying too. I really need it. I'll keep you informed.
Director: Gentry McDaniel
Theme: He Delights in YOU!
Zephaniah 3:17 "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
“The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior."
He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
He delights in YOU!
As girls, we all have the desire to be loved and to be noticed. We look for this attention and affection from our dads, our husbands, our boyfriends or others male figures. Yet we often forget that a loving God, who wants to fulfill each of these needs and longings, placed these desires inside of us. He is the One who will never leave your side. He is the Mighty Warrior that protects and guards you and He is the handsome Prince that will rescue you. He leaps for joy at the very thought of you and is not ashamed to be known as yours. He longs to wrap His arms around you when you’re scared or sad and holds on to you until your heart is quiet and calm. He rejoices over you and enjoys being with you. He truly delights in you. The flowers symbolize the gift that God gives us; a thoughtful gift of beauty for His “precious one”. He has handpicked each flower in order that you may know and remember how important and special you are. The heart is to show God’s never-ending love for you. The star reminds you that you are the twinkle in His eye and the spark that keeps Him fighting for you. The fun swirl stands for the delight and the joy that God takes in you and in just being around you.
Director: Glenda Watson
Theme: Hold on to God