Good morning from Maryland!
I am in the U.S. for a short visit and have had the opportunity to catch up with a lot of great people. Over the weekend I had a neat chance to participate in an activity at my home church, Crossroads Community Church in Westminster, MD. With Easter approaching, Crossroads thought this would be a great time to highlight lives that have been changed by the power of Christ. Instead of sharing our stories through speaking, the plan was to do “cardboard testimonies”. If you are not familiar with cardboard testimonies, the idea is to on one side of a piece of cardboard write what your life was like before beginning a relationship with Christ and on the other side to write how your life has been changed. The people who are giving the testimonies hold the piece of cardboard displaying the “old self” side and then flip it over to the “new self” side to demonstrate the difference Christ has made in their lives. The concept comes from the verse in the Bible in the second letter to the church in Corinth that says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV 1984)
This has definitely been true for me, although it has been more of a process. There are many things I could have written on my piece of cardboard, but one part of who I was and have now become resonated with me most. One the “old” side I wrote “disregarded and overlooked by others”. As I reflect on my past, I can think of many times when people told me I wasn’t good enough. I am sure this is true for most people, but, after hearing it many times, it became a part of who I was. One the “new” side, I wrote “Changing the World”. That may seem like a bold statement (because it is), but I truly believe God has called me to be a part of bringing his hope to a hopeless world. It is this belief and guidance from God, that led me to move to Nicaragua and guides many decisions in my life. I believe the hope that comes from an accurate picture of who God created us to be can change the world. It is this picture, found through a relationship with Christ, that changed my perspective on life and who I was created to be. The beauty of this is I don’t believe it is limited to me or the others who were on stage with me this weekend. I believe God gives everyone the opportunity to “flip their cardboard”. What does yours say?
– James Belt