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Going Beyond

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“If we go out by ourselves, we can blaze a trail fast, but we’re going to burn out. But if we go out as kindred spirits, we go beyond our perceived limits. Are you ready to go beyond?

With this quote by preservice commentator and ultra-marathon runner Mally McLoughlin, the Council 2019 BEYOND invitation was made. Alliance Southeast District Superintendent Alfredo Gutierrez accepted that invitation in his opening prayer: “Lord, where You are leading us is beyond where we’ve been. But we will not go there without You.”

After the Grace Church (Middleburg Heights, Ohio) worship team and eager Council attendees raised the roof of the Orlando Marriott World Center convention hall, Alliance President John Stumbo began his message with a pointed question: How would people crazy enough to believe in the “beyond” not be able to get beyond the issues in our own hearts?

John cited the spiritual treks of John Mark, who accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journeys, and of Alliance founder A. B. Simpson to illustrate how human weakness or fear can hold us back from all God has for us—but this is not the end of our story “because we know the gospel is so much better.”

“We may not have a clear plan. We may be called to go inward and upward toward the unpredictable. A trail awaits—uncharted by us, but not by the Spirit,” said John. “We’ve never been, but there’s no place He hasn’t.

“Where is He calling you to go? Is there a great frontier of His love waiting for you tonight? Is there an inward, upward plan in our lives where the Lord is beckoning us to trust Him?” 

Attendees reflected and responded in a time of communion led by C&MA board member Steve Elliott, who closed the service with the enduring promise: “Our Lord Jesus is enough for all He asks of us.”

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