When: October 15, 2011, Morning
Theme: Battling Fear
Expected Number of People: 3-6
Door Prize: “Moving From Fear to Freedom” – A DVD Study, and a $5 gift certificate to Cupper’s
Gift of Encouragement: An interactive experience in battling fear and finding encouragement.
It’s been on my heart that I put stuff like this on a to-do list. My mind is always on the next thing, rather than on the present. Today was different though.
A blog post changed my mind about how to start my Praise and Coffees. That morning I began by praying for the women coming to the meeting and for the meeting in general. Some meetings are just fun. Nothing spectacular happens, but people are encouraged. Some meetings, like this one, shine.
We opened with prayer. Then, I gave a short background of Grace Fox. The DVD Study and book were the door prize as well as a $5 Cupper’s Gift Certificate. After the background, I played lesson 1.
You know when someone gets it by their reactions to something. Both women were writing down things that hit them. What most impacted me was how one of them needed to hear Fox’s words. She needed to have the encouragement of friends.
I asked God to be present, and He showed up.
Our pastor’s wife once said to me, “It’s okay that only a few people showed up.” I once thought a gathering was a complete failure if half of the people I invite don’t rsvp yes. I feared rejection more than I pursued people.
That day two people showed up, but they were who God wanted to show. The connections we made that day really left me feeling incredibly happy. I’m seeing God work in these two lives in big ways, and through my own life, too. There’s nothing more I love experiencing than God working right here.
We stayed and talked even after we ended at noon. No other group was scheduled for the back room and we weren’t in a hurry. After everyone left, I met a new person who also wanted to be a part of our group. We spoke for a little while and I left.
God is in the details. I believe it. My car was parked beneath this huge tree. As I walked to my car, it rained golden leaves on me and a gentle breeze fanned my cheek. I inhaled and watched as one leaf drifted onto the seat of my car. I held that leaf in my palm and smiled.
Change is painful, but it is good.
Gift of Encouragement Interactive Experience:
The box symbolizes the fears we hold to tightly and box up inside. It symbolizes our lack of trust in God to take care of them.
I had them write their deep-set personal fears on a square of paper. No one was allowed to put things like snakes or spider phobias. I also told them they could keep those fears to themselves if they wanted; sharing was optional. They wrote it down and crumbled it; then, put it in the box.
After we watched the DVD, we had a good discussion about it, and then, I shared my fears. I said, “open your box and dump out your fears.” This symbolizes trusting God with them. Then, I said, “God will do something great as we trust Him with our fears. We go forward in fear, but with courage, because courage is not without fear. Now tear open the paper on the inside lid.”
The gold chocolate coin symbolized the joy in trust God with our fears and what He could do with our story.