Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?

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The four Bright Lights interns (Alexandra, Karissa, Hannah, and Mary) helped to teach Bright Lights last night. They all did a great job. And, of course, everyone enjoyed the funny skit they planned.

The topic of the meeting was guarding our words. The girls emphasized a practical way to screen what comes out of our mouths. Before you speak, ask yourself three questions.
1) Is it true?
2) Is it kind?
3) Is it necessary?

If it doesn’t fit into these categories, don’t say it!

Jesus said:
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Mt 12:36)

4:12 – Organized, One-on-one Discipleship

If you would have come to the Bright Lights office last night, you would have found pairs of girls scattered throughout the building studying and praying together. It was the first night of something new in Bright Lights. Something special! Sarah designed and organized a new way to provide one-on-one discipleship for those within our Bright Lights group who are interested in deeper fellowship and accountability.
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Emma and Hannah

She divided them into pairs (an older girl and younger girl) and gave them each 4:12 booklets to do together. What do I mean by “4:12”? Well, that’s what we named this new program. It actually stands for three Scripture references:

1 Timothy 4:12 – “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

Ephesians 4:12 – “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”

Colossians 4:12 – “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

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Ellen and Katie

Each pair spent time getting acquainted, studying Scripture, sharing prayer requests, setting a “goal” for the week, choosing a memory verse for the week, discussing and talking through several other thought-provoking questions from the “4:12” booklets, making braclets, and eating freshly baked cinnamon sugar soft pretzels.

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Mary and Abigail


The partners will meet once a week for eight weeks, praying for each other throughout. We are excited about each team and how they are paired up. We prayed over each combination and feel that the Lord really arranged just the perfect matches. I think He has special things in store.

Desktop Publishing Class

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This week Stephen is teaching a “Desktop Publishing” course. He’s teaching the class primarily for our four Bright Lights interns (so they will be more capable and equipped to help with Bright Lights) but we also opened it to our community, and we ended up with a nice sized group of home school students.


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Today (day one) everyone learned the nine steps of graphic design, the importance of drawing “thumbnails” before you start your project, the eleven design rules, how to organize text on a page, how to edit photos in Photoshop, and how to make grids and insert text and graphics into InDesign, and all about picas, points, CMYK, RGB, different types of files, and other basic information, etc.

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The day was somewhat intense, especially for those who weren’t familiar with InDesign and Photoshop, but everyone did great! We are looking forward to a fun and stretching week!

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( “…Help, Stephen! ……it’s not working…… ” )

Lincoln Day

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Abraham Lincoln, February 9, 1864, Washington, D.C. Anthony Berger Photograph

As you may know, today many people are celebrating “Darwin Day” –Darwin’s 200 birthday. Coincidentally, today is also Abraham Lincoln’s 200 birthday. Who’s birth do you think we should celebrate — he who freed the slaves or he who degraded blacks by his racist writings?

In Darwin’s book The Descent of Man, he called those with dark skin “degraded,” and wrote that he would rather be descended from a monkey than such a “savage.” In contrast, Lincoln wrote that all men are created equal and should be treated equally before the law and God.

Internship “Orientation”

Yesterday was a full day! We started out with a time of sharing from the Word and prayer. We also heard some neat testimonies from the girls of how the Lord had worked in their lives to prepare them for this time – again confirming to us how the Lord brought just the perfect team for these 10 weeks.
Then Sarah shared with them the complete story of how the Lord provided the office into which we just moved. (I am planning to share this story on Grace Notes as well in coming weeks.)
Since yesterday was the first day for all of us to work in our new office, it was rather exciting, as can imagine. We still keep asking each other, “Where do we keep this?” “Where do we keep that?”

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Here Nickie is explaning to the girls how to process “orders”. After we all practiced a few times I think we understand… 🙂
Nickie also trained the girls in knowledge of the Bright Lights material we ship out and explained to them the details of how it all works (i.e. the discount prices Bright Lights leaders get, etc.) how to package orders, and how to answer some of the most common e-mails that we receive.

Sarah also gave the girls a few projects to begin working on for Bright Lights this week. (Writing ideas for a Before You Meet Prince Charming Study Guide, helping to plan our next local Bright Lights meeting, etc.)

Late afternoon/evening the girls went grocery shopping. Some of the evenings they are planning to cook and eat on their own in the guest house, and some evenings they are planning to eat at our family’s house.

Internship Begins!

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We are so excited. A new era is beginning! Karissa, Alexandra, Mary, and Hannah (left to right) are our first “official” Bright Lights interns. (Mary’s mom and brother also joined us for lunch).
We couldn’t have asked for a sweeter team!!

We had a very encouraging discussion at lunch today rehearsing how the Lord had worked in our lives, and their lives, preparing us so perfectly for this time.

The girls will be living at the “old Bright Lights office” (the house behind our family’s home) for the next 10 weeks and will be working with us in the new office. (Think how much more we’ll get done with four more people. 🙂 )

Seeing the Lord’s faithfulness in each little detail encourages us, and we can’t wait to see what He has planned for the future!

Obedience in Every Area of Life…

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Bekah May, a good friend who has been involved in Bright Lights for years, taught the lesson last Monday night. She covered lots of great topics including accepting the way God created you, saying “no” to the flesh and “yes” to the Spirit, nutrition, and developing a motivation to glorify God vs. pleasing others. She has an incredible testimony of how the Lord has changed her life in this area. Thanks, Bekah! We praise the Lord for you and the testimony of your life.

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Fellowship and crafts during “small group time”