Going Beyond

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
I felt compelled to write this, and I'm really happy to start taking the first steps to making my vision a reality!

Submitted: July 07, 2009

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Submitted: July 07, 2009

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Recently I spent an amazing week in Bagdad, Kentucky at a beautiful camp called Cedarmore run by the Crossings Ministries. The theme of this camp was Beyond, and the pastor challenged us to go “Beyond” in several different aspects of life. To go beyond our position, performance, and pressure. It really fit everyone in the camp, I think, because we are all at different walks in life. Some of us were out of practice Christians who needed the reminder of who exactly we were living for and why we were living for it. Others of us were the people who claimed to be a Christian on Sunday, but Monday through Saturday we were someone different, living for us and faking everything we claimed to be essentially. And then there was the third group, the people who were what your Evangelical Christians call “lost”, which is where you don’t have a personal relationship with God for whatever reason, whether it be skepticism, atheism, agnosticism, or thinking you were not in the place where God would accept you.
One July first, I realized that I was not in the first group of Christians, as I believed that I had been for eight or so years. I lived for Monday through Saturday, not Sunday everyday. And this really hit me hard, because I believe that there is a God, and that God has a son, and that son died for me, so I could sit here, and write about Him, and the changes he made in this world so everyone, not just the Jewish had a chance at eternal life. And while I still can’t wrap my mind around eternity, I can say that my God is the God of the universe, Creator of all, the one true God, and he is the reason that I can live. I changed that aspect of my life. And now I’m moving beyond. I’ve already out-stepped my position, and now I am going to change my performance.
God gives us each different abilities. I learned of a boy, while I was at camp, who had a profound love of basketball, and he started a competition that donates money to help underprivileged children in Africa, and with the money he has raised thus far, he has built a school for them. This year’s proceeds will go to build a hospital for the HIV positive community in that same area. This boy, this child, is 13 years old. I also learned of a girl who lived in a community where her church had an extensive ministry for foster children and adopted children. She went to her pastor and asked for a simple closet in which to fill with clothes for the underprivileged and foster children in her area that were of good quality and little or no cost. Big name department stores donate excess clothing to her. Her ministry grew to where, at age 17, she now owns a 40,000 square foot warehouse for this very purpose. She started when she was a little over 12 years old. My point is, while I have not a great love for sports or the ability to provide much for the less fortunate, I do have some ability. I can write.
And this set me to thinking, if they, at a young age can do amazing feats such as building hospitals and schools and large warehouses, why can’t I influence the people who may possess these abilities? I certainly can write fairly well, why not use this to go beyond my performance. Every year I have a summer project to keep me to going insane from boredom, and this year, I choose to influence people through God to think about what they can to change their world. It starts on a small scale, and I just happen to be where I can have more than one of you read this.
Can I challenge you? Why not move beyond your comfort zone? What is holding you back? I’m certainly putting out a lot of myself right now, I never talk about my relationship with God out loud, or outside of church. And here I am, posting an article on the internet! I really feel God telling me to do something, and that is why two of my really close friends of mine and I are going to start a writing ministry at our church. We’re going to start putting out things people can read to better understand God. I don’t know how or when or what exactly it’ll be, but God’s there and He knows what will happen and that’s the best I can ask for. What I have now is more than I asked for, it is happiness beyond all understanding. I’m not going to say that it’s that way all the time, because there are certainly times when it’s difficult to keep going or times when I feel like falling apart, but I know there’s hope for things to get better, because God has a plan.
My challenge is this: Go beyond. Do something you’re not comfortable with. Want to know more about God? Ask someone! Ask a Christian friend! They can answer some of your questions, but don’t get the misconception that they can answer all of them, because they can’t, but they certainly can answer a lot. That is the first step in going beyond. Already a Christian and don’t know what to do now? The preacher at camp told us to think about our passions and burdens, and then told us to come up with visions that combine those two things. Then pray, and ask God what he thinks. He’ll point you in the right direction. If it’s a big vision, He’ll provide the first step to making it work. It’ll be hard, but that’s what going beyond is about. Do you have a vision? Good! Pray is the next thing I can tell you to do. Ask for guidance, ask for diligence, ask for confidence, ask for patience. Find someone to hold you accountable. That is the best way to stay on track. They can make sure that you are doing what you can do to keep your vision in reach of reality. There will be pressure and trial along the way, and at times it will seem too hard to go on, but God will provide you the strength to keep going. If you have more questions, ask me! I am completely happy to answer any questions you may have!


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