Christmas Gift Guide | 2017

It’s SO hard to believe that it’s that time of year! You might currently be stressed with projects and finals as you’re finishing up the last week or so of the semester, but hang in there! Break is coming, and break brings Christmas, and Christmas gift giving [among many other wonderful things]!

If you’ve been wondering what else to add to your own wish list [due to being submersed in that studying, obviously], or want to know some cute, fun, or useful things to get for a galpal, we’re here to help you out!

Below you’ll find a list [+ some pics!] of some of our recs for Christmas gifts this year. Enjoy!

BROOKE

My favorite Lip Balmmm of all time! Specifically the Coconut Hibiscus one! So smoooooth and wonderful.

I love this book! Heather provides so much Truth to fill our minds with and also includes practical ways to renew our minds! A must read!

The Abridged Journal made by the awesome people at Letterfolk. This journal helps the wanna be journalers actually journal—it provides prompts and is so cozy looking. I’m putting it on my Christmas list.

My favorite candy of all time is Sees candy.  Have you tried it? You and your best friend need to share a box of these while watching Elf.

 

LINDSEY

Love Does by Bob Goff- Life-changing. That’s all.

L.L. Bean Wicked Good Moccasins (slippers)- I know they look like most slippers, but these are better than any others I have had. They are the softest, most plush slippers… and they have a lifetime warranty. They are well worth the price!

Dr Bronner’s Peppermint Organic Lip Balm- This stuff is bomb- so good for dry lips in the winter! It is so moisturizing and I love the smell. Also, it’s not filled with yucky chemicals, so that’s a plus.

Bose Bluetooth Speaker- Perfect for playing worship music in the background while you work or for those times when you need a dance party.

 

SARAH

Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey
Dried Mango from Aldi ((warning: addiction may occur- life changing yummy!))
Target Merona cotton-fleece leggings- SO COMFY and WARM- get them on sale!
Cool thrift store finds @ Fantastic Thrift in the Fan of RVA

MELISSA

These books are incredible. Rivers takes artistic liberties with them but Gods grace is clear throughout each.

Smells like Christmas joy!

A great bible study through the book of John for a group or going through John by yourself

Feels great! Smells great!

 

MAGGIE

A mug to drink tea/coffee in during time with Jesus

A craft you love and want to do but never make/have time

This devo about living life “unhurried” — [You guys can download the PDF of this HERE!]

And a glorious smelling candle.

KATHLEEN

1- really cozy Sherpa lined blankets (I have one that I’m obsessed with and have trouble leaving it in the morning)
2- cozy slippers
3- prickly pear and orange Sanpelligrino
4- late night bowls of popcorn

JOCELYN

 

You guys. I got this at Trader Joe’s this week and it’s almost gone. It’s a problem. Grab it while you can since it’s seasonal! But also be aware that it’s easy to eat a lot at once.

I recently found out about this company through instagram [@brunchcandlebox]. If you want to get/give a gift from a company that also gives back, and you’re addicted to candles like me, this company does a monthly subscriptions of a certain candle related to that month, and will even include a little snack in the box. For every box, they give a meal to a hungry child. You can just get/give a one time box if you want! The candles are great-smelling and last a while [even the small ones]. And it’s super fun to wonder what you’ll get!

You guys KNOW I love me some Ann. I’m always talking about this book but it’s so good and directs my heart to see the aspects of God’s grace all around me, even in the mundane.

For my creative types [or if you have one in your life]! This book my Jenny Randle is pretty cool. There’s different prompts each day to get in touch with your creative side, and there’s brief devo-type messages in each day to direct you towards God as the ultimate creator. If you need a little push to spark your creativity, this is a fun resource!

[thoughts on 1 Peter 2:9] (Lindsey)

During this time last year, I had returned from a Cru Intern training week and often found myself thinking and praying about 1 Peter 2:9. After spending time with so many people my age whom were committing one year or more to serve God in full-time ministry, I remember thinking that I had never felt more part of a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s special possession. It was AWESOME to worship God and read His Word alongside so many men and women whom were actively walking in His Spirit. What motivated me the most for our beginning weeks on college campuses was the desire for the experience of this verse to be true of the students’ lives. It’s like working full-time in God’s strength and power to make Heaven come sooner.

 ((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. 1 Peter 2:9)) 

Barnes’ Notes on this verse states that the chosen people in this verse would be set apart to proclaim God’s glory and continually make known the wonderful things He has done through the following:
“(a) by proper ascriptions of praise to him in public, family, and social worship;
(b) by being always the avowed friends of God, ready ever to vindicate His government and ways;
(c) by endeavoring to make known His excellences to all those who are ignorant of Him; and,
(d) by such a life as shall constantly proclaim His praise – as the sun, the moon, the stars, the hills, the streams, the flowers do, showing what God does. The consistent life of a devoted Christian is a constant setting forth of the praise of God, showing to all that the God who has made him such is worthy to be loved.”
It’s exciting that the same God who formed the universe and each of us calls us into light. He calls us out of sin and shame, as well as, out of our ignorance. We were once rebels who did not understand God’s nature or our roles before Him. When we answer that call, it is important to know that we have been called TO something-called to be set apart for GOD’s purposes and called to declare His praises.

A final image I want to leave you with is one that struck me when reading Barnes’ Notes. When we imagine leaving darkness and entering marvelous light, we can picture how startling it would be for the day to go from midnight to noon. Imagine how surprised you would be by that change. Imagine how much more you could see. When God brings people into His light, the difference should be just as striking and how thrilling to experience the freedom that comes from truly seeing.

Depending on God in India (Lindsey)

Three seemingly short days ago, I was in New Delhi, India. I went with four other great people from my church in Powhatan. In our time there, we were able to reach out to 5 slum camps through hosting about 100 youth and over 250 children for Bible Clubs in a tiny room. Each child received a snack and a coloring book that told the story of the Gospel through illustrations and Hindi. We sang praise songs, discussed the Good News with colors from the wordless book and reviewed it with Gospel bracelets. We were able to have prayer and share testimony with believers, as well as, people whom have never heard.
A few things stuck out to me during my time there. One is that we asked God for big things. We spent a lot of time in prayer asking for things that only God could do. The pastor we were working with had a neighbor whom someone had put an evil spirit of voodoo over her home; she was afraid for her family. We were asked to come pray with her and share the Good News of Jesus. Feeling the darkness of India, it was easy to feel overwhelmed.
Last night, I received an e-mail that 12 youth came to church on Sunday, the day after we had left. Praise God! He has changed the world with about 12 people before. Please join me in praying for the next youth meeting planned for August 15 and that those youth would become multiplying believers. The e-mail also said that the woman we had the privilege to share the Gospel with and pray for had sensed peace in her home and attributed that peace to Jesus. She now wants to begin reading the Bible and coming to church. There is so much to celebrate and thank God for doing. He is so faithful.
Never have I been in a place so unreached by the Gospel. In the summertime in Virginia, I can drive down the street and see 3 or 4 children’s Bible camps at churches (VBS’s). We have churches here who pray that God would grow their numbers and while we were in India, we almost had the opposite problem. We sent a 50 passenger bus to pick up kids from various slum camps and each day about 100 children arrived on that bus. Dozens of children had to be turned away. In our team’s lack of understanding of their language and culture, God still used us (and translators) to communicate His great love.
The picture above shows our team standing in an empty space in the center of one slum camp that was donated to the pastor we worked with as a space for a future church. I would guess that the space was about the size of an average American bedroom and they hoped to fill that church with 50-60 people. It has two trees growing in the center and most homes surrounding it seemed to be around 6 or 7 feet tall. Many are built with mud but stones had been donated for this church. In the black shirt in the center is Gotham who is a little younger than me and will be the future pastor of this church.
Join me in praying for God to use this humble space as a light for His glory in a dark and hopeless place. Many people in this slum camp wear a string around their waist to ward off evil spirits. Pray that they would come to know the one true God, that He would save their souls, and use them for His purposes. Pray that this place would become awake and free in Christ.