devozine

For Youth Workers Post

Inner Strength

Ciona D. Rouse

For use with devozine meditations for March 4–10, 2013.

 

MAKING THE CONNECTION

“When I was four years old, I had superpowers. If I were playing a game and losing, I would take a break and say, ‘Hold on. I need to put on my superpowers.’ From that moment forward, my competitors didn’t stand a chance. I won the game because of my superpowers. I was able to free myself from my father’s playful tickle fests because of my superpowers. I crossed the finish line before my sister because of my superpowers. I could do all things!

“Now that I’m older and realize that I’m not actually Superwoman, I sometimes wish I had my superpowers again. I also know that I never had extraterrestrial strength. As a child, I tapped deep into all that God had given me and decided to believe powerfully in myself. My inner strength gave me wings. Now, on days when I feel weak or weary, I simply step into my inner strength as if I were changing into shiny blue spandex and a flowing red cape.” —Ciona

               “Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you.” —Rumi

 

MEET THE WRITER

devozine Ciona Rouse _MG_5836

 

Ciona D. Rouse is a writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. She recently launched a website encouraging people to tap into their inner strength and to live into their deepest passions: “Do the Crazy Thing.”

 

STUFF YOU WILL NEED

  • a Bible
  • a computer with Internet access
  • poster board or chalkboard with “The Prayer of St. Francis” written on it
  • paper and pens
  • copies of “The Prayer of St. Francis” (for “Sharing in Prayer”)
  • optional supplies:

    •  markers
    •  paint and paint brushes or paint pens
    •  small canvases
    •  small hand-held mirrors
    •  one large mirror
    •  permanent markers

  • Print-Friendly Version of Session

 

PLUGGED IN

Use the following ideas to help you plan or lead the session:

 

Blog

+ Last year, I wrote “Rooted and Reaching” on my blog entitled “A Thing with Feathers.”  Consider using parts of it with your group.

 

Songs

+ Natasha Bedingfield, “Strip Me

+ Katy Perry, “Firework

+ Relient K, “More than Useless

 

CHECKING IN

Invite each person in turn to tell about a time during the week when he or she felt strong, emotionally, spiritually, or physically.

 

EXPLORING THE WORD

Scripture: Romans 8:31–39

 

Read aloud Romans 8:31–39. Then invite discussion:

When have you felt especially weak?
Who is God when you feel weak?
How does God show up at those times in your life?
If God is for us, who can be against us?

You may also want to introduce the idea that we are made in God’s image and have been empowered by God to live into God’s strengths.

 

Play Nicole Nordeman’s “I Am.”

Invite group members to write “I am” statements, describing their strengths. They may want to write statements on paper and then say them aloud; or they may want to be creative with paint, small canvases, small mirrors. As an option, provide one large mirror and permanent markers. Ask people, one at a time, to approach the mirror and to write on it an “I am” statement about who they are and what their greatest strength is. The large mirror will provide the group with a visual display of all their strengths.

 

SHARING IN PRAYER

Say: “God gives us all our strengths, everything that makes us amazing and extraordinary, to be gifts for the world.”

 

Invite group members to pray together “The Prayer of St. Francis”:

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

“O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.”

 

TAKING IT FURTHER

Invite a speaker with an extraordinary story about overcoming a hardship, illness, or accident. Let the group find inspiration in his or her inner strength.

—from devozine In the Habit (March/April 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.
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