Friday, February 7, 2020

New Young Life Beyond video.

Young Life Beyond Malibu in conjunction with Zion Pictures. Created a new video. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Greatest Secret

You know the greatest secret that this universe has to offer.

You know the greatest secret that this universe has to offer.

You know it, but I will go ahead and remind you. It is this: You are known- beyond the point of intimacy, beyond those skeletons that fill your walk-in closet, even beyond those things that you can't stand about yourself so you've suppressed those pieces of you behind everything else just so you can bear to look yourself in the mirror each day- you are known beyond all of this. You are known, and you are loved.

You are loved with a love that abides eternally. You have been freed from petty attempts at trying to earn salvation. You are loved, you are loved, you are loved. I cannot say those words enough times or with enough power, that their true severity would be understood by our human minds and human hearts, but you are loved.

As Jesus died on the cross, He bore the full weight of every specific, individual sin that we have ever committed. And you can bet that He did not ignore a single one. Every sin, every time we pushed God out of our conscience just to have a little fun, every dark thought that we indulged in for just a moment, and even those soul-crushing decisions that we have begun to define ourselves by. Jesus was crushed by those same weights. Oh, how He must know you!

In the garden that night before He went to the cross, He was given a taste of what was to come. He was given full understanding of that burden He must bear. He was given full knowledge of who you are. He saw the full map of your heart. And He still went. And His grace abounds.

This love is what you have been looking for all of your life. And nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. He will never leave you; He will never forsake you.

You are known, and you are loved.

You know the greatest secret that this universe has to offer.

How will you respond?

-Tyler Jewess, Base Camp Staff 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Part of Something Larger

Rain: loud enough to force our voices to shout in order to be heard above the noise.

Wind: strong enough I fear my body will become airborne and swept away with the clouds.

I, a human, am out of my element in the midst of these elements.

Life stories. Questions asked. “In a hypothetical cage fight who are you fighting and who do you want to impress?”

I think this mountain overheard our private McKinley Fly conversation and said, “challenge accepted.”

To the mountain nothing is private. To the mountain nothing is left as personal. My feet are no longer my own. My toes are so cold that I almost feel the mountain might’ve taken them, and will keep them for good.

Then why am I here? Is it to feel small? Perhaps, but not quite.

Not to feel small, but to realize that I am not my own. I am not personal or private, but a part of something much larger. Something that I’m not at the center of. Something more powerful than myself.

And in that realization, once I embrace it, there is peace and rest. An end to striving and the beginning of watching (in awe) as the power moves, and joining with the power in its movement. Allowing myself to be moved. Realizing that I’m not the primary mover. That there is a primary mover greater than the mountains themselves, who even controls their movement. 

-Skye Cornell, Mountain Guide 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Our Table

This summer I find myself in the midst of a beautifully intimate community. There are quite a few things that make this community what it is. With the shared purpose of facilitating encounters with Christ, we have found ourselves knit together. Some of the threads which tie us together are glorious, but others, not so much.  One variable seems to foster the most growth, laughter, and conversation for us: The Table.

Each day during breakfast, lunch, and dinner you will find the members of our community seated around a cedar picnic table sharing a meal lovingly created with our own hands. There is a profound spirituality that revolves around the entity which is this table. To find it, you need not look further than the life of Jesus. As margarine is spread on our homemade bread, so are the examples of Jesus inviting people to His and to their tables spread throughout the Gospels.

So, what is the substance behind the spiritual purpose of the table? Surely it’s more than apples, oranges, bananas, and spoonful upon spoonful of peanut butter (though these are definitely staples). In my opinion, the purpose of the table is multi-faceted:

  • ·         The table is a space for restoration; John 21:1-19, where Jesus restores Peter over breakfast.
  • ·         The table is a space to serve and be served; John 13:1-17, where Jesus washes the disciple’s feet.
  • ·         The table is a space to praise; Mark 14:26, where Jesus and the disciples sing hymns at the Lord’s Supper.
  • ·         The table is a space with an open invitation; Luke 14:23, “Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and invite them to come in, that my house may be filled’”.

These are just a few of the many purposes of the table, and I love how I see them played out over our very own cedar picnic table. As a place to serve and be served, we make meals for one another and offer what we have. Our souls are restored as we meet together, and quarrels evaporate like the steam from a hot soup. The table is filled with praise as we thank the Lord for his provision and worship Him over fruit, oatmeal, and cinnamon rolls.

Perhaps most importantly, the table is an open invitation. To those who stop by, we invite you to sit and be nourished. To those with whom we are frustrated, let us fill your cup with a hot bevy. To those who we love, let us share a seat and a smile. To those who do not yet know the body or the blood of Jesus, we invite you to come and taste at our table. There is room for you here, and yes, you are invited.

-John Wayne Seitzler, Sea Kayaking Guide 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

From Daredevil to Courage-Taker

To illustrate the difference between my twin sister, Kaitlin, and me, I love to tell a simple story that encapsulates my adventurous spirit and her cautious desire to protect me. One day, Kaitlin, my dad and I were hiking in a neighborhood park, and as I climbed onto a fallen tree to cross the creek, my sister, Kaitlin, anxiously yelled after me to stop. I boldly turned and replied, “I’m a daredevil. You’ll just have to get used to it.” Whether she has liked it or not, that’s exactly what has happened as she’s watched me adventure from one opportunity to the next since our adventures in the park. The most recent “daredevil” move- coming to Beyond Malibu to guide mountain trips- has taken me far from home, but has brought me close to kindred spirits who have willingly embarked on this latest adventure too.

Despite her apprehension at times, to my delight, my sister has grown to accept and support me as I travel. However, if Kaitlin were to reach out to stop me now, I think the insight I’ve gained during my time here would elicit a much different response than that of my childhood self. You see, over the past several weeks, I’ve come to view what it means to be a daredevil in a very different way.

To my eight-year-old self, being a daredevil meant doing things that might be scary to others but weren’t scary to me. After seven weeks of trips with participants and two training trips with guides across two summers, I’ve witnessed plenty of people doing things that scared them; things like crossing glaciers, climbing over ridges, scaling up root ladders, and walking for hours with a heavy pack on. My question about these participants, guides, and at times, myself, is this:  are all of us excluded from the title of daredevil while doing these epic things on trail just because we’ve experienced fear? If we are excluded, is the loss of such a title really something to stress over?

My last year and a half at Beyond has taught me many things, but one lesson that has most recently taken root is centered around the topic of fear. When I was younger, I viewed fear as this negative feeling to be avoided at all costs. Even in scripture we are commanded not to fear. However, there’s a difference I was missing. Scripture doesn’t tell us not to fear because we should never experience fear. Rather, scripture assures us that we do not need to let fear rule over us, because our God is near and will lift us up despite our fears. During two of my trips this summer, some participants encountered new terrain that scared them- lots of snow, icy slopes, root ladders, etc., but upon each encounter a unique opportunity was presented: remain immobilized by fear or press on with God’s peace in view. Fear would have us believe that moving forward is not an option, whereas truth beckons us forward. The choice is this: allow the hand of fear to be your master or force fear to submit to the hand of God by reaching out to Him for the strength and willingness to press on. In choosing the latter, we create a space to allow God to care for us and to protect us. In my old way of thinking, fear was limiting and weak. In my new way of thought, fear is just another place for the Lord to step in and pull me forward by the strength of his hand.

“I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped 
me.” Psalm 118:13

The reality of these words, and the sincere comfort they bring, takes on a deep importance when it can be translated literally to the mountains. But the truth is, we were not made for the mountains. We were made for the valleys where the truths learned in the mountains may take root.

The once cherished daredevil title, held dearly by my childhood self for its sense of adventure and excitement, has now been rewritten to a much stronger, worthwhile title: courage-taker. During the next step into post-graduate life, I may now proceed with confidence. Though I feel fear, I may turn my eyes to the Lord,

“In God, I trust and am not afraid… for you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the light of life.” Psalm 56:11,13

With the same confidence, participants may walk forward in courage and truth as they encounter new terrain and as they transition home following their mountain-top experiences. Now the question is, what about you? Are you striving for the daredevil title too, clinging to the idea that you have something to prove as you force away fear on your own accord, or are you embracing a new identity, courage-taker, by the grace of God’s hand outstretched to you?

-Lauren Bonney 

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Base Camp Prayer

“Have I mentioned how much I love this place?

I love this place. It is magical.

Your peace rests over it, coddles it like a fresh-out-of-the-dryer blanket.

Your grace settles like the rain: unobtrusive, subtle, gentle. Here you are at work. Everywhere you are, but here I am less blind to it.

I feel your peace in my soul. I feel tangible renewal. I feel the hot coffee slipping down my throat, warming my body. I feel the cool breeze tiptoeing over my skin.

It is euphoric.

It demands my attention.

I am aware because all the things I cram on my plate, heaping and ugly and messy, are wiped clean. All I have before me is to serve you, this community, and campers on trips.”

-Madi Krueger