I love shoes. In my younger years I had many different types and styles in a variety of different colors. I enjoyed the hunt for a good pair of shoes to match my outfits. Having a variety made me happy. As a child I was taught to look at people’s shoes as “they told a story.” This was the way my family taught me to not stare at people while waiting for an appointment. Little did they know that later this would grow into a hobby. How much more does God love all of His different children? So much more than my love for shoes that I eventually grew out of. God never grows tired of His creation. He loves us so much that He plans our future for us, and this is no ordinary future. His Word declares, “’ For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jer. 29:11).
Show a PowerPoint presentation of God’s creation.
God has given us so many great things to enjoy. We can look around our world and see the many unique designs by our Creator God. He carefully hung stars that light up uniquely at night for our enjoyment. The vast number of plants tell us a story of our Creator’s mighty design. Taking a look at the plants and flowers from everywhere can allow us to experience what it might be like to live in another part of the world. Making flower arrangements can allow a bonding time while showing us how beautiful things are when we come together for a specific propose.
Sharing our Culture
Invite the women to bring in their favorite food dish or favorite fruit to share. They may want to bring an item that is unique to their culture. Sharing through food brings the senses alive and helps us to relate to other cultures.
Tips for International Fruits
Purchase some different international fruits for the women to try. The following website shows images of these fruits and a description of how they taste: http://everintransit.com/exotic-fruits/
Ask the participants to purchase flip-flops and take them to a women’s recovery facility, ARC, or homeless shelter.
Decorate each table with a specific country’s theme based on the women in your group. For Mexico use a piñata with a bright colored table cloth. Another table might have Chinese New Year decorations, while another might contain an English tea pot.
Made In The Image Of God
From the beginning God had a perfect plan. He created heaven and earth, sky and sea. He created a wonderful variety of plants and animals. He designed them with intricate detail. In the night sky He hung the stars, the moon and sun so that they would light up the sky. Then in the East He planted a garden where He put His special creation, Adam and Eve. God’s plan was always good. However, man’s disobedience and sin changed His plan.
We read in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female.” All humankind was made in the image of God. But sin came into the world because man wanted to be like God. “God created them [Adam and Eve] in a state of innocency, but by their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God” (The Salvation Army, Doctrine #5). Because of Adam and Eve’s sin we are all sinners. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:22:23). But the good news is recorded in Romans 3:24 “and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Because God loves us He made a way for the whole world to be saved. He demonstrated His love in the most sacrificial way by sending His precious Son, Jesus Christ to die for all our sins. John 3:16 tells us that because He loved the whole world … (the whole world) that He sent His son to die for us. God’s love is for the whole world, and because of that love we are to love one another.
Our God takes broken, worn–out, hurting people and restores them. He takes all of us who have been hurt by other broken people and He changes us, redeems us, rebuilds us, and restores us. When we allow God’s power to take over our lives, we can experience His love and we can love others through Him. When we surrender, we are able to experience hope for reconciliation, unity, the power of God and a surrendered heart, which changes our lives.
We all need to be restored so that we can love and forgive those who have hurt us. Jesus told us “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). When we realize how He has loved us, how can we not forgive those who have hurt us?
Heavenly Father, the reality is that we are all sinners. Today we stand broken before you and confess our sins. We hold onto the promise that, “If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Father, heal our brokenness and help us to forgive those who have hurt us because You forgive us. In Jesus name, Amen.