The Search for Surrender

As we have begun our journey through reading the Gospels and discovering who Jesus really was as he walked this earth, I have kept this one verse on a loop in the back of my mind. As I’ve allowed the stories of the Gospel of John to play out in my imagination, I find myself looking for the moments in which Jesus faced all of the struggles I face in my own life today—from the intense and painful moments of my life to the seemingly mundane and innocuous ones.

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Reagan Perkins
Choosing Faith

I once asked my 9th-grade girls at Edge if Jesus feels real to them. I asked if they felt the bigness of what God did for us in sending the Messiah to die for our messes. I don’t know that they actually understood what I was asking, but I kept going. “It’s one thing to logically know it, it’s another thing to feel it,” I said to them. Then I told them what I so desperately wish someone had told me when I was their age, “It’s OK if it doesn’t feel real to you right now. It didn’t feel real to me for a long time.”

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Laura Diaz
Worth The Risk

Last June, I walked into Cathy Drake’s Thornton Park home—full of strangers—for a Connect group meeting. I didn’t go because I wanted to make new friends or because I wanted to get plugged into Summit. I went because I thought I should go. I was wrestling with whether or not Jesus is who he said he is and the implications it would have for my life if I chose to believe it. 

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Worthwhile

So maybe you’re thinking about joining a Summit team going to Africa this year. Or maybe you’re thinking about sponsoring a child. Or maybe you just find yourself thinking about Summit’s partnerships in Africa but you’re not exactly sure why.

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So Clearly

When my wife Kelly asks me, “Do you love me?” I know something is off in our relationship. That’s not the kind of question that gets asked just because. She doesn’t ask me that so she can hear me poetically describe my love for her using the Song of Solomon—saying her hair is like a flock of goats or her cheeks like pomegranates. She’s asking because she doesn’t feel loved.

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InsightsZach Van DykeVision
Christmas Eve Offering

One of the most beloved traditions we have at Summit is giving away the entirety of our Christmas Eve Offering to ministry outside the walls of Summit. Past offerings have gone to church planting, non-profit startups, global justice work, strategic initiatives with our global partners, etc. This year I am thrilled to inform you that the Christmas Eve Offering will be used to benefit vulnerable children in our own city through the very exciting work of two churches with whom Summit is forming a committed friendship.

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UpdatesJohn Parker
The Church Is

A little over three years ago, while traveling with my oldest son Samuel to visit friends in Uganda, I was struck by the thought that not everyone in our world or even in our church has a clear sense of our core identity as a church.

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InsightsJohn ParkerVision
For A Unique Purpose

The Riverside community is a small area that lies in the northern region of the Central Florida area. For years, though most of us didn’t even know exactly where it is, Summit’s staff, prayer team, and I have known it’s name. You see, one of the most consistent prayer requests I can expect to see from the Lake Mary Campus each week is, in one way or another, for Riverside.

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Not Over Yet

The sun is shining, although there’s a chill in the air. The sound of hammering is thick and chaotic. There are ladders and boards, and people milling about everywhere. There’s work being done, by many different hands. A laugh echoes across the property and you see in the faces of those gathered that there’s more being built here than just a house: we’re building a home.

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Joy Down In My Heart

It feels impossible to express the joy the children of Ethiopia gifted me. It feels impossible to express the courage and strength of the women I now call sisters. It feels impossible to tell the story of how I flew across the world with 11 strangers and flew back with the only 11 people who will ever understand why I’ve got the joy down in my heart.

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His Most Glorious Act

Over the summer, during times I was exercising, I listened to The Boys in the Boat, a very well-written book on the 1936 USA crew team that won the Olympics in Nazi Germany. It is an inspiring true tale of the quest for glory undertaken by a group of young men who rose from depression-era underdogs to icons of their sport and the American spirit. 

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InsightsJohn ParkerVision
God Has Something Better

The first time I prayed a desperate, cry-from-the-heart, kind of prayer was when I was about 8 years old and our cat went missing. I went into my bedroom, kneeled in front of a small statue of Jesus, and begged him to bring Smutty Nose back. While I was still on my knees, I heard my sister yell from the driveway, “Guys! Guys! Smutty Nose is back.”

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InsightsAmanda OberVision
A Found Belonging

Movies have always been really important to me. In moments of boredom, a movie is a quick and easy cure. In uncomfortable social settings, when my confidence is nothing more than a dog with its tail between its legs cowering in some dark corner of my mind, hearing someone quote a line from a movie I love is an instant bonding experience, one that gives me some ground to stand on.

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Unexpected

“Do you know Jesus?”
“What? Yeah, I know Jesus.”
“No. I mean do you know him as your personal Lord and Savior? Do you know that he died for your sins on a cross and rose from the dead three days later?”

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InsightsZach Van Dyke
Chart the Course

Justice. In today’s political and social climate, it’s a topic that has been on many of our hearts and minds. And in my own life, God used it to chart the course of my career from a very early age.

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Soma Nwokolo
Fall Short

“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” There it was. The first verse I was supposed to dedicate to memory during my summer long study on Romans. I was a little annoyed by it. I had memorized this verse when I was about 6 years old. Hello! Awana Bible drill, platinum crown holding Christian club member here! I’m gonna need a little more than a 12 word prepositional phrase to feel challenged.

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Reagan Perkins
True Grace

David Kaplan sits in a room full of men. The mood is somber, yet welcoming. Heavy, yet free of judgement and shame. He fidgets slightly in his chair as another man shares why he showed up tonight: the struggles he can’t beat on his own, the sins he’s been fighting for ages, and his desire to be known and loved despite how messed up he is; how messed up he feels.

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Laura CookreGROUP
Hurricane Relief

In light of the recent hurricanes, we know that many of us are looking for something tangible to do to care for those who were deeply impacted by the storms. 
 

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Summit Church
One After Another

Have you ever been a part of something historic and experienced that moment when you think, “Wow, I am so glad that I got to be a part of that!”? I am thinking of truly historic culture defining moments like, the moon landing, the fall of the Berlin wall, the first Free Willy movie, and now Summit’s 2017 Backpack Drive.

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John Parker