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Start 2016 Off Strong

So here we are in 2016! A new year with new possibilities! It’s kind of exhilarating isn’t it?

For most of us we a look at 2016 with hope for a better year. For you maybe 2015 was filled with disappointments, or maybe it was full of mistakes, or maybe it was just dotted with missed opportunities. However you might describe 2015, we all look forward to this year being better in some way. In fact everything inside of us screams it can and should be better. Our culture around us promises that if we just try harder we can make it better. So we make a resolution. We tell ourselves that we will work harder at this, or stop doing as much of that, or start doing whatever it might be. Then we grit our teeth and try to follow through.

Some of us make it months with our New Year’s resolutions in tact. Some just a few days. When we fail to keep them we feel disappointed, or frustrated, or like we really can’t do anything to change. But what if God has more in store for you in 2016?  What if He wants to see you not just have a better year, but to see you grow more closely into the person He created you to be all along? What if He has real power to bring about change in your life?

We believe He does! And we want to help you step into the change God has for you this year. You see real, lasting change is always a process. And one way that we try to engage in that process is through My One Word. This isn’t a magic tool to make 2016 better, but a lens through which you can see what God wants to do in you this year. We invite you to join us in picking One Word and watching God change you from the inside out! Here’s how to start the process:

  1. What kind of person do you hope to become this year?  Take some time with this first step. Write out your thoughts. Be specific. Don’t just think of how you want to be better than you are, but look deeper than that. Pray. Ask God who He might want you to become this year
  2. How would you describe a person like this?  Don’t just think about what a person like this does, but why they do it. Describe the character of a person like this.
  3. Pick your word!  Somewhere in this a word is probably standing out to you. Pick a word that means something to you, that helps sum up the person you want God to form you into this year. A word that you don’t mind look at and through for the next 12 months!

If you embrace this process, we know that you will see God do some amazing work in and through your life this year! For more information about My One Word or to share your One Word for 2016, check out myoneword.org!

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Your Story Matters!

Stories matter. Through them, we learn more about who we are, how God works, and what we have to offer others. In the first series of this semester we looked at the stories of Peter, Solomon, David and Joseph from a fresh perspective, to see what God was doing in and through their lives. It’s pretty clear that their stories matter because they still impact us today. But here is the part that can be harder for us to believe: our stories matters too.

 

Your story – all the parts and pieces that make up your life to this point – matters! Every victory and every failure, every trophy and every scar, every high point and every low point in your life has shaped you into the person you are today. Your story makes you a completely unique individual. So take a look into your story and see what God has been doing in you and teaching you all along. As you do this, we think you will realize that your story matters too much for you to keep it to yourself.

 

You have to share it with others! Your story might be exactly what someone else needs to hear right now. Most likely there is another college student that has questions-tough questions-that your story can help answer. There are students living life right now without hope that need to see the hope of Jesus made visible and tangible through your story, through your life. There are students out there that just don’t get God, they just don’t get Him because He seems like such an distant, vague, un-relatable God, but your story might change all that because God has been so real, so close, so involved in your story.


We want to help you articulate your story. So here are a few questions to help you think through (and maybe even write out) your story:

  • Think about the people, experiences, and circumstances that have been significant in your life.
  • What were some of the most positive and most negative of those?
  • Are there some that you would consider to be defining moments in your story?
  • If you have a relationship with Jesus, how did you come to that point?
  • How has your relationship with Jesus changed your story?
  • What have you learned about who you are and who you are becoming? Who God is and how He works?
  • And what help and encouragement can you offer others through your story?

If you go through and answer these questions, we feel confident that you will be able to effectively share your story with others and we believe that amazing things will happen in your relationships when you do so!  

So the question is: who are you going to share your story with?

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13 Things To Know About Starting School In Wilmington

Whether you’ve lived in Wilmington your entire life or have just flown in from somewhere around the globe, the first week of college is usually a mix of fear and excitement. To help make your adjustment as painless as possible, we had some seasoned upperclassmen from Overflow think through what they wished they had known as incoming freshmen. You’ll find some “nuggets of wisdom” that they picked up and had to learn on our own personal Wilmy journey. We hope that their experiences help you to ease your way into college and allow you to enjoy the beginning of this new chapter of life to the fullest! Here we go!!

1. In Wilmington, when it rains, it pours. The odds of being wet when you enter a class are about 90% not in your favor- especially in August and September. The reality is that you will probably either be soaked from rain or dripping in sweat after traveling across campus. But don’t let this dampen your spirit! Everything will be OK because everyone has been there (it’s almost a rite-of-passage in ILM). It teaches you to live successfully with whatever life throws at you (even if it’s mass amounts of sweat or rain on your new super dope outfit). You cannot change the weather, but you can be prepared. Investing in a good rain jacket,  always carrying an umbrella, or sticking a grocery bag in your backpack for your bike seat can take you a LONG way in Wilmington.

2. If you’re living in the dorms, keep your door open! It is such an easy way to build comradery  on your floor. It lets others know you’re free for an impromptu adventure, a nice chat, or even help with your homework. By opening your door, you let those friends into your life!

3. Coffee might be your new best friend. Learn how it affects your body and your mind (all the positive and negative effects) and then use it to your full advantage. #coffeeisbae

4. In high school, napping might have seemed lame. In college, naps are essential. You may laugh now, but sometime in the future you will find yourself in a desperate place. It’s even okay to catch a few z’s in the library. And let it be known, those tan ottomans in the middle of the library are superb for a little curl up. #Randallisalsobae

5. College is all about learning. It’s about opening up and understanding how to interact with others, it’s about learning more about yourself (this never ends because you are constantly growing!) and, let’s not forget, school is also about cramming your brain with educational information. What you will find is that it’s all about a balance. No one said it was going to be easy, but make sure you take time to fully develop each trait. The thing is that you cannot successfully interact with others until you know who you are and begin to understand your identity. The only place to do that is with Jesus. The world is a desolate place without the hope, love, redemption, and adventure of Jesus. And you never know it until you spend time with Him. He is fierce love. And when He tells you who you are—that is when you can fully impact the world and its inhabitants successfully. Surround yourself with others that also seek Him.

6. Make sure you branch out and try new things! You don’t have to be the best at something to wholeheartedly enjoy it—try something you’ve never heard of or have always wanted to do i.e. slacklining, student government, longboarding, an honors project, ultimate Frisbee, art club, photography, or even spikeball. To see all of the awesome clubs that are on campus, make sure you check out the Involvement Carnival that happens at the beginning of the semester. Not to mention you come away with a bunch of free stuff!!

7. Advice: go to class. You can now skip with generally no visible penalty (except those 2 miss, drop a letter grade teachers—woof, those are harsh). But you’re paying for them and it’s amazing how much you can soak up by actually listening to a teacher—even if they seem as dry as the Gobi desert (believe me, I’ve had those ones) you can still learn from them. It’s a great time to practice faithfulness and perseverance.

8. Since we’re on the topic of listening, learn how to actively listen. You cannot successfully listen with your earbuds in or with iPhone in hand. Jim Elliot said, “Wherever you are, be all there.” It’s increasingly difficult to remain in the present with easy escape into Instagram or your favorite artist’s new hit album. But it is simply escape. Choose to be in the present moment. Listen as you walk down Chancellor’s—listen to the birds, the noisy construction, the surrounding laughter. And then choose to listen when others speak. When they speak, hear their words and pay attention to their meaning. Remember someone’s name. When you listen, you tell others they are important and you learn an incredible amount about the people and world around you. You have been placed into your environment with other humans that you may connect, learn, and grow with them. Do it with open ears.

9. Connect with others. On Chancellor’s, I often use the “yell and smile” technique. Feel free to steal my style or cultivate your own. In the classroom, the “yell and smile” technique doesn’t go nearly as well. I like to stick with “average voice and friendly vibe” for indoor settings. Once you’re there, introduce yourself to the professor (before or after class, not during)– they’re human just like you and by creating that connection you build a nice rapport. Also, speak to the people that sit next to you. There technically aren’t assigned seats, but you quickly find out that everyone picks their spot early on and keeps it for the semester, so make friends with those around you. It makes classes better.

10. Explore Wilmington. Whether it’s an adventure walk around campus, a visit to the secret mailbox on Wrightsville, or a picnic dinner on the parking deck roof downtown, make time for fun and exploring your city. Take advantage of living in one of the most beautiful places in the country! (Did you know that USA Today rated Wilmington as the best Riverfront city in the United States?!) As Russell from Up so eloquently spoke, “Adventure is out there!!” So get out there and experience it. (Also, check out #OverflowNC on Instagram!)

11. Don’t buy books until after your first day of class. There are exceptions of course, like when the prof threatens in the syllabus to have your book by the first day of class “or else.” But more often than not, I have bought a useless book. If this thought causes you anxiety, it’s fine… you can buy them 3 months in advance. Just please… buy them used and online.

12. Learn the basic local eating spots. Islands for dollar tacos. P.T.’s for burgers. Causeway for breakfast. Cook-Out for milkshakes (ok so it’s not local but it’s a college student essential). You’re welcome.

13. Don’t worry about messing up! You are going to make mistakes, but that’s quite alright!! It’s going to take a while to figure out where your classes are and where to be and how to do everything right– cut yourself some slack, no one is expecting you to be perfect! Plus, everyone else is so busy trying to get to their own classes on time that they won’t notice if you walk into the wrong class or even the wrong building. Remember to enjoy yourself! Take it all in. As a kid, I always remember adults saying that time speeds up the older you get; I honestly thought they were all insane, but in an unfortunate twist of events they all turned out to be right. Freshman year will fly by, and you are going to be packing your room up before you know it. Take time to notice the small things and savor every moment!

It is our great hope that you found some useful Wilmy-life hacks and that we made you think about some of the deeper things happening at this stage in your life. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but more like a nice, succinct survival guide brochure. Take our wisdom as you will; glean from our mistakes and discoveries. And when you find yourself in a blunder or you unearth your own hidden gems of helpful information, remember to share them with a freshman next year. 🙂

OVF Summer- “Hope Of Glory”

Overflow Summer – “Hope Of Glory” – Courtney Everett

Every single one of us has hope. And for the most part we hope for things that we don’t yet have. We hope for a good grade on our next exam, a new girlfriend, or a better boyfriend. But here is the beauty of the gospel… in Christ we have been given a hope that is ours already. Our hope is that we belong to God through faith in Christ… we belong to Him now and will fully realize that one day when we come face to face with Him!

OVF Summer- “Learning To Love”

Overflow Summer – “Learning To Love” – Zack Hamby

Love is one of the most fundamental aspects of our existence and at the very core of who God is. The truth is we all desire to be loved! Yet we struggle with love, and the problem is that we are scared of intimacy. We are scared to be deeply known. But in order to love and be loved we must know and be known! The only question is, are we willing to be vulnerable with others and with God in order to experience what we so desperately desire?

Overflow Seniors 2015

We have had the pleasure of doing ministry with some incredible people over the past 4 years. In honor of some of these students graduating today, we wanted to share a video that we showed on Senior Night at Overflow. Check out the video above to hear some amazing advice and wisdom that these seniors have to offer you!

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Also, we couldn’t send these seniors off properly if we didn’t have a little fun… Check out some of the outtakes from out time together, in the video below. Enjoy!

 

We love you, class of 2015!

Aaron's Message

21 Reminders Of Who You Are In Christ

Aaron's Message

Last Tuesday, Aaron Keyes spoke an incredibly powerful message over us at Overflow (check out his message here). He challenged us to get to know who we are. But the truth is, we will never truly know who we are, unless we know who God says we are!

In response to this challenge we’re giving you Twenty-One reminders of who you are in Christ. Walk in these truths today!

  • You are a child of God – John 1:12
  • You are a new creation – 2 Cor. 5:17
  • You are a saint – Eph. 1:1
  • You are a citizen of heaven – Phil. 3:20
  • You are the salt of the earth – Matt. 5:13
  • You are the light of the world – Matt. 5:14
  • You are the righteousness of God – 2 Cor. 5:21
  • You are forgiven – Col. 1:14
  • You are redeemed – Luke 1:68
  • You are loved – Eph. 5:2
  • You are reconciled to God – 2 Cor. 5:18
  • You are complete in Christ – Col. 2:10
  • You are God’s workmanship – Eph. 2:10
  • You are God’s coworker – 1 Cor. 3:9
  • You are God’s temple – 1 Cor. 3:16
  • You are co-heirs with Christ – Romans 8:17
  • You are a member of the body of Christ – 1 Cor. 12:27
  • You are a minister of reconciliation – 2 Cor. 5:18
  • You are Christ’s ambassador – 2 Cor. 5:20
  • You are Christ’s friend – John 15:15
  • You are God’s – 1 Cor. 6:20

“We find who we are by looking at the One who tells us who we are.” – Aaron Keyes.

Spring Small Group Connection TONIGHT!

Talking about Small Groups can be difficult… Joining one isn’t!

Tonight at Overflow, you will have the opportunity to meet several of our Small Group Leaders and sign up for a Small Group! The Connection will take place right after the service. Can’t make it tonight or have to leave early? No problem! You can sign up for a Small Group right here online. (Online Connection Card)

What’s the advantage of the Connection tonight? You will have the opportunity to meet your potential Small Group Leader tonight right after our service. If you meet a leader that would be a good fit for you, you can request them on your Connection Card that you will receive tonight at Overflow!

Have any questions? Just let us know! Email overflow@portcitychurch.org. We will see you tonight!

Welcome to the New Overflow Blog!

Hi there and welcome to the new Overflow website and blog! We are so excited to be able to connect with you in a whole new way.

Our desire for the blog is to be a place where you can be vitally connected to Overflow. Here we will share messages of truth and hope, amazing student stories, awesome activities and events that you can be a part of, and underneath it all, updates of how God is working in and through our ministry.

God has called us to make a difference on our college campuses, in our city, and in our world. We cannot wait to see how He continues to use us. We cannot wait for YOU to be a part of it!