Gospel Life


If you have been walking with Christ for some time, as I have and grown up in church, then you have heard more times then you can count the word "gospel."  But just what does this word mean and what does it mean to us today as the up and coming generation of followers of Jesus?

Last week I took an intensive class about how to communicate cross-culturally.  For those of you who don't know, an intensive is a three credit course done all in one week.  I was there from eight in the morning till five in the evening.  With these crazy hours, it was obviously physically tiring, but man, was it spiritually powerful or what?!  I thought we would be talking a lot about other cultures, which is something I love to learn about, and although that is not what most of the material was focused on, it was probably the best class I have taken in my college career thus far.

I've been continuing to wrack my brain for just what I want to share with you all from what I learned last week.  I've been journaling, praying, and talking to friends about the many things that we discussed.  I realized that I have been all of the pressure on myself in spreading the gospel.  I had this mentality that teaching and sharing the gospel had to all lead to the plan of salvation and the point where the individual had to make a decision one way or the other.  Now don't get me wrong, the plan of salvation is a HUGE part of the gospel, but that is not all of it.

The gospel is simply Jesus.  The completion of the story of Israel, his life, his death, his resurrection, his kingship, and the promise of his second coming.  If we share the story of Jesus we are sharing the gospel.  It's that simple.  I had this skewed view that if I didn't present the gospel in the proper way or left out a part that a person would never come to know Christ or would discount him because of an error in my memory or accuracy of Scripture.

This is completely wrong on so many levels.  First of all, how prideful of me to think that the outcome and response of the one I am sharing the gospel with rests on my shoulders.  Who am I to think that I can do the work that only the Holy Spirit can do.  And how silly of me to fear that something I say/don't say can nullify the Holy Spirit's power.  Jesus didn't have training sessions for the disciples before he sent them out to teach.  Some of them had just professed that they finally believed he was the Messiah for crying out loud!  Who are we to hold back with the knowledge of Jesus and His Word that we do have because we fear that won't live up to the level of intelligence that we want to portray that we possess.

This post is not meant to make you feel guilty or discourage your, but instead I pray that the Lord humbles you as He did me.  Also that you would be encouraged to share with others around the good news of Jesus Christ, no matter how long you have been walking with him, no matter what your profession is, and no matter what stage of life you're in.

Also, a HUGE shout out to Ashley of Overcome the Lie for asking me to be a part of her blog tour this month.  I am so thankful and it is such a privilege!  Definitely go check out Ashley and her team via their blog and social media.  You will be encouraged without a doubt!    

2013 Year in Review: March



shared with over 50 middle school girls about the love and grace of Jesus
had way to much snow in va
spring break
went to the byrd for the first time
officially became a senior
went on my first blackwater creek trails adventure
the dream team was born
easter weekend at Ab's house

Harry Potter Movie Night: Part 1


I'm reading through the Harry Potter series and just finished the first one over Christmas break.  Thankfully the library had the movie so I could watch it before I started the second book.  Sadly, not one member of my family was willing to watch it with me.  So I had a movie night all by myself.  and I may or may not have documented it...

I think I'm going to try to document when I watch each one.  Hopefully I'll have a friend or two next time.  But for now, you get to enjoy these nerd pictures of my movie night as I fly solo.

2013 Year in Review: February



went through RA experience weekend.
the banana was termed.  #annexhasbigbeds
did a scavenger hunt around lynchburg.
met ms. donna, a former missionary in austria and now my dear friend.
was a valentine fairy.
brother visited me at school.
first baseball game in our new stadium.
played the longest game of phase 10 ever.  
moved out of the house i grew up in.
had my first morning of quiet times on the docks.
got the frames for my glasses.

Life According to Instagram


1. At school you could get INSIDE of the Christmas tree.  It's probably the coolest thing ever... and against the rules.

2. I watched a little boy slip a note to Santa in this mailbox a few days before Christmas.

3. Visited THE cutest little town ever with Em.

4. Went to DC for the first time with Abs and saw the Christmas trees in front of the White House.

5. Hung out with a bunch of kids from youth group.  We ate lots of food, played catch phrase, and laughed till our bellies hurt.  It was wonderful.

6. Attempted to teach myself how to crochet.  It was a fail for anyone wondering, but I am going to get someone to teach me very soon.

7. Fell in love with George Bailey all over again.  #mancrushmonday

8. Found this great frame at Goodwill at the beginning of last semester, and FINALLY got some chalkboard paint to put it to some good use.

9. Ate at Urban Farmhouse for the first time.  Had a "grown-up" grilled cheese and mocha and they were yummy in my tummy!  

2013 Year in Review: January



new year.
started loving mornings.
addiction to coffee began.
spotify was downloaded.
taught james black how to dougie.
became content in the Lord.
baked cookies.
almost wrecked Oliver in a snow storm.
got the best roomie ever.
met one of my best friends.
started talking to mission agencies.
started having partial anxiety attacks.
had a picnic in a cemetery.
hiked flat top.

Bring It, 2014!


Happy New Year!

I said goodbye to 2013 with some Just Dance with some high school students and then sweet tea with momma while belting out New York, New York.  What a crazy year it was.  This year has certainly proved to the most challenging year for me in pretty much every way, but to make up for it I have made new friends and made more memories with old friends that will last a lifetime.  I couldn't imagine my life without some of these people.

In 2014, I want to spend more time outside all by myself.  I love sharing adventures with friends, but I have seen just how much the Lord speaks to me when I take time to get alone with him in a place where there are no distractions.

I want to be brave and start conquering my bucket list (I've made much progress on my Liberty one, now just for the life one.  I will most certainly be crossing off that bachelor's degree!).  I want to take a pottery class, run a 5k, and get myself a typewriter.  I want to get in the habit of waking up early again because mornings are simply glorious.

I need to learn how to play my ukelele.  2014 will be the year that Jessi will finally learn to play an instrument.  I feel somewhat bad for my roommate.  Maybe I'll buy her earplugs for the first month or so...

I hope there are more days of hiking, hammocking, and bike rides in 2014.  I hope there are more postcards and handwritten letters.  I want to continue to know and love Jesus more.  I want to be braver.  I want to know that I am not defined by what others think of me or what I think of me.

These are just a few of the vague hopes that I have for 2014.  I can't wait to see what the Man upstairs has in store.  What about you?  What are your hopes and dreams for this new year?

Happy New Year my friends!

Photo Cred: Abbey Deer Photography

RVA: Brown Island, Canal Walk, and Shockoe Slip


 There are just some things in this pretty town of mine that bring me such joy.  These places are special because they're not the "big" usual tourist spots.  Being able to just walk along the canal and on the island was so peaceful.  It is such a quiet, pretty place.  Yes, we did run into a couple of runners, old couples, and homeless men, but that made it even more unique.  Fellow Richmond enjoying our city.  Also, I've become pretty good at navigating downtown if I do say so myself.  

First, we went to Tredegar Iron Works and Brown's Island.  Afterwards I told Em I had a surprise stop for her.  That's when I brought her to her heaven, a bookstore.  We stopped in at the Antique store next door, which was where I realized that it's not just crowds of people that make me nervous/anxious, but also lots of STUFF.  Note to self: DON'T go to a crowded antique store.

We also went to Urban Farmhouse.  We got grown-up grilled cheese and mochas.  It was quite yummy, especially the carrots (I love bunny food).

I just love adventure days.  We do live in RVA, after all.