The Dreams Kept Under The Covers

At the start of my junior year of college, three of my friends decided that they were going to spend the semester and study abroad at Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, Belgium. Two of them were really good friends of mine who previously were hall mates and roommates. The other, Hannah, had served with me on student council, but outside of council our relationship was pretty surface-level.

Before that fall, Matt, Jo, and Hannah spent much of the last semester trying to figure out all the technicalities involved with going overseas for several months. They all had to decide some time before the trip whether or not they were going. It was a big personal investment. I’m sure the decisions were tough for all of them, but I could clearly see Hannah struggle with the decision.

It wasn’t that she wasn’t sure if she should go. I think she felt surety that Brussels was where she needed to be that fall. I think doubt started creeping in when many of her closer friends expressed their opinions on her trip. Some took the selfish approach and said they couldn’t stand being without her. Some took the “good friend” approach and expressed their fear of her going. They didn’t think she could make it in a foreign land for that long. Others saw it as a pipe dream – good to talk about theoretically but not to actually go out and do.

Too many people keep their dreams under the covers in their bed, and they never walk their dreams out the door into the unknown. It’s easy to criticize someone else’s dreams when our dreams are under the covers.

Recently, I decided to do something online called the, “Start Experiment.” This is an experiment started by NYT Best-Selling author, Jon Acuff. The experiment is based off of his newest book, “Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters.” The title and experiment are pretty self-explanatory – start something new. I joined the experiment thinking that it would help me with my new-founded college-age ministry in CT.

My friend Hannah could have followed the “advice” she was getting from her friends. She could have decided that CTS was not a good idea for her. Too often people would rather join a revolution or a winning team or be a part of the bandwagon than decide to go against the grain or start a movement of their own or adventure on the road less traveled. Hannah decided she would go on the trip regardless of what her friends said.

This is the part of the story where I come in. A couple weeks before Hannah would leave, she visited campus where I was staying for the summer. We went out to dinner and shared our life stories, and I just encouraged her about her trip. I helped her feel affirmed in her decision to go overseas, and we would be great friends there after.

Hannah has since been a beacon of light for me when I needed hope. One time, during our open dorms at school, she even took the time to hide post-it notes of encouragement all over my room! Encouragement and affirmation spread like wildfire. They are like a bright light in an abyss. The friendship I have with Hannah reminds me of that.

I know this is going to sound hypocritical, but I am going to ask you to stop joining movements, and join a movement to start a movement (I know, you probably had to re-read this sentence just to figure out what I mean – Sorry).

One of my favorite things about the Start Experiment is the wave of encouragement coming from all the other people in the group. No one actually knows each other outside of cyberspace, yet there are countless posts and comments of encouragement and love and unity. These are all coming from people who are trying to start “being awesome” – it sounds like most of them already are awesome!

Start a movement. Be a light. Live your dream.


Becoming The Abstract: The Start of a Beautiful Journey.

Recently I moved to Greenwich, CT from Springfield, MO to start a College-Age Ministry at Harvest Time Church. The past few weeks have been crazy. I traveled across country, then halfway around the world with my boss, then I moved into an apartment, all while writing and developing stuff for this ministry I am creating ex nihilo. This is my reveal. It isn’t official. This isn’t like a junior high Facebook official romance. This is my heart and my passion for those in transition. It is to reach a demographic that has been overlooked for too long. Introducing: The Abstract.

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The Abstract College-Age Ministry:
John 14:6 – “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.’”

The Purpose:

Too often the world tries to put God in a box. “The Abstract” is about coloring outside the lines. It is about taking a journey in discovering what “truth” really is. It is about teaching rather than telling, listening rather than talking, and experiencing rather than spectating. “The Abstract” is about finding the Constant in an ever-changing world.

The Process:

The mission is three-fold yet inter-connected.
1) Be Abstract: This is the process of pursuing the Truth, that is, Jesus Christ.
2) Live Abstract: This is the process of allowing God to transform your inner character.
3) Act Abstract: This is the process of allowing God to transform the expressions and actions in your every day life.

The Point:

Amidst the impressionist era there was an artist named Georges Seurat. His art was unlike any of his contemporaries. All of his paintings were done completely with dots. This type of art is called “pointillism.” If one stared at his paintings up close, it would appear to only be polka dots. But it isn’t until one takes a step back that they see the full canvas, and the full beauty of the painting is seen.

Many times in life it seems like the world is crashing down around us. It isn’t until later when we take a step back and see the big picture that we understand the purpose of all the events of the past. The Abstract is meant to help college students at their spot in life to take a step back and see the big picture of Salvation History and their place within the story.

Join the Journey and follow us on Twitter: @TheAbstractMin

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