Have you ever been at church and heard a testimony from someone that makes you think: ‘what am I doing with my life?’

I recently attended the Wisconsin District Summit, a gathering of Assemblies of God ministers from Wisconsin.  During the missions portion of the summit, they spotlighted a little girl named Addy. She was probably 4 or 5 years old. Addy wanted to raise a 1,000 dollars for BGMC (Boys and Girls Missions). She decided she was going to make jewelry to raise money for missions. Her mom helped her to advertise on Facebook . Within the first hour, she raised over a 1000 dollars!

Addy isn’t the only young person making a difference for God’s glory.  Maddie is an 8th grader who is part of our Catalyst Youth Ministry. One night at youth group, I challenged the students with this question: “what is something impossible for you, but could be possible with God?” Maddie decided to raise enough money to build a well for clean water in Nicaragua. The cost was6000 dollars. She started a Facebook campaign, sold ribbons and even told her story on the news. In a week, she raised more than enough money for the well. She eventually raised enough money that she got to travel to Nicaragua to be a part of the well-building project.

I love to hear stories like these because they challenge me to rethink the “impossible.” These young people inspire me to achieve more for the kingdom of God. If we could all advance it one more step, and push back the gates of hell! What is stopping you and I from achieving great things for God? If I take a close look at my own life, there is often one big reason: excuses.

In November of 1596, there was a young boy living in Japan. His name is Ibaragi Kun. He was 12 years old. He and 25 others were arrested for claiming to be Christians and sentenced to death. Kun and other Christians were given crudely shaped crosses and forced to  march to the top of the hill. A nearby guard, seeing how young the boy was, pleaded with Kun to recant his faith.

Kun responded, “Sir it would be far better for you to become a Christian like me. Then we could go to heaven together.”

After a little bit if time, Ibaragi Kun asked, “Sir, which one if the crosses is mine?”

The guard pointed to the smallest of the 26 crosses and Kun ran to his cross, knelt down, and hugged it. 

November 23, 1596, 26 Christians were crucified for their faith.

Kun had no excuses. Maddy had no excuses. Addy, a little 5 year old girl, had no excuses. My prayer for myself and for our church is that this week would be a week of no excuses. Let’s throw away our excuses and join these young people in advancing the kingdom of God.