::the perfect summer read giveaway::

“God we will do anything. Anything

This was Jennie Allen’s prayer a several years back.  She was growing weary of the safe, comfortable, happy American Christianity.  She wanted to live the way Jesus was calling her to live and so her and her husband prayed that prayer one night{“God we will do anything. Anything“}—she prayed for a life that was surrendered, reckless, and courageous…. and God has answered it in some amazing ways.  This is the perfect summer read! 

& to go along with this book Katygirldesigns has donated 2 prints with the perfect reminder!

& we are throwing in a journal so you can take notes on the book.

TWO WINNERS will receive all three gifts.  
To Enter:
1. Please like us on facebook and comment that you did “like” us on this blog post.  AND– include your favorite thing about summer & your email address so we can contact you if you win.  
2. The winners will be randomly picked July 23rd at 5pm.  You have a week to enter(& you can only enter one time please).
3. The giveaway is open to college students in Tidewater & Richmond & anyone and everyone else:) all are welcome on this giveaway!

love to you.

Parachutes and Patience {Laura}

This week I am volunteering at a youth Bible day camp. My friend and I are running a teamwork station for the younger kids, ages 6-9 and today was parachute day. Remember the HUGE colorful parachutes from camp or gym class when you were younger? They are awesome. And today was great…but so challenging. 

At the very beginning of the game I gave them two rules:

1) Your hands must hold the parachute the entire time. No letting go. 
2) If anything falls out of our parachute, let it go and a counselor will get it. 

Then we began to play our game of making “soup” with our parachute. Our pot was the parachute and we threw all kinds of “ingredients” (a.k.a. beach balls, pool noodles, wiffle balls, etc} into our pot and stirred it all around. If the rules were followed, this game would be so simple and take 5 mins. 

But… they did not follow the rules. I would say, “remember to hold on to your handle,” they would repeat it back to me, and then immediately let go and crawl under the parachute or go to chase a ball that flew off! Really?!? I felt body begin to tense up from anger and the desire to yell at them rise. It was frustrating to be blatantly disobeyed. The day proved to be an opportunity to see if I choose to walk in my own flesh or walk in the Spirit. It was a true test of my patience.

I often am told by others that I am patient. And I like to think that is true of me. But today made me wonder–am I really patient or have I become a master of putting myself in places where it is easy to be patient? Am I really loving? Or do I just put myself in situations where it is easy to love in my own strength rather than through the Holy Spirit? Though the day was hard, I’m grateful. It gave me a chance to think about how often I do things that appear good out of my own strength rather than out of the Spirit’s abilities. I want to put myself in more situations where I am forced to let go of control and surrender to the Spirit’s leading. 

And that is my challenge for you today. Place yourself in a situation that truly forces you to rely on the God’s strength rather than your own. Paul said it really well in 2 Corinthians 12:9….

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

When is the last time you’ve been in a place of weakness? Is it time to step out of your comfort? 

I Am Not A Mermaid {Lindsey}

Recently, I was babysitting a precious girl named Abi. She is not a baby; sometimes I feel like she’s older than me.

After arriving in the morning, we sat side by side reading our own devotionals while her funny, attention-hungry Chihuahua lay across my lap. I’ve never liked Chihuahuas but now I do.
Then we got in the pool and lay on rafts for an hour while having quality conversation. We had said that when we went back inside, we would eat pizza and watch a movie–best babysitting job ever.

But then all of the sudden-it was game time. Abi told me that we needed to throw coins on the bottom of the pool and pick them all up with one breath. I am not nautical.

Not only am I not the best swimmer, I’m also pretty terrible at holding my breath for any length of time. I whined, but Abi persisted that conversation wasn’t enough and that we had to play a game because it would create bonding between us and grow our friendship.

Abi is so wise.

We laughed and played and I was glad that she had encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and showcase my weakness against my will.

Sometimes showcasing our weaknesses is the best thing we can do. I don’t particularly care that I’m not the best swimmer, but this year has pulled me out of my comfort zone in many ways and I began to feel weak in MANY  areas that I once considered strengths.

Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.“ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Experiencing my weakness helped me to see a lot of areas where I had tried to be self-sufficient. I have discovered so many areas of my life in which I fought to control while marginalizing the authority and power of God.

As I have been seeing my weaknesses, I have felt guilt and anxiety for even having them. I so often forget the sufficiency of His grace. God has already forgiven these shortcomings in me. He knows my weaknesses better than I do and He still chooses to cover me with His love.

I am learning that as I confess my sins and weaknesses to God, I need to also receive His love and forgiveness. As I step increasingly outside of my comfort zone, I live the life I’m called to, a surrendered life in which God’s strength and power is made known.

Today I pray that you will bring your weaknesses before God and receive His acceptance. Who better to trust with our shortcomings than our God? His grace is sufficient. He deserves all the glory, praise, and honor. I’m so thankful to live the rest of my life experiencing my weaknesses so that I may live in God’s strength. May His strength be made known in each of our lives.