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Just for Fun Questions:
- Which character did you most relate to and why?
- What was your first impression of Ainsley?
- What was your first impression of Richard?
- Did your feelings for Richard change when you got to know his parents, and if so, how?
- Why do you believe Ainsley couldn’t get the image of the child she saw in the inner-city apartment complex out of her mind?
- Why do you think she was so hesitant to follow her dream of singing?
- Throughout the story, Chris struggled with knowing how best to care for his mother. Have you or anyone close to you had to deal with a similar situation? What emotions did you/they experience during that time?
- Early in the novel, it seems as if Chris’s sister is uncaring and concerned only about the cost involved with switching their mother’s care. Do you believe this was so? If not, what behaviors or comments did she make later in the novel that made you feel otherwise?
- The Plaza in Kansas City is one of the author’s favorite places to visit over Christmas. Do you have a special place you enjoy visiting over the holidays, or perhaps a memory of a special Christmas excursion? If so, where was this and what did you most enjoy about the location or excursion?
- Ainsley had a very special relationship with Mrs. Eldridge, the woman who introduced her to Christ and later became a spiritual mentor. Can you think of anyone from your past that had a positive impact on you? If so, why and how?
- Early in the novel, Ainsley is thrust out of her comfort zone when asked to deliver medicine to a woman who lives in a crime-ridden area of Kansas City. We can really sense her hesitation in that first scene. How might the book, and her role in it, have changed, if she’d allowed her fears to override God’s still, small voice nudging her toward sacrificial love?
- Can you think of a time when God called you to do something uncomfortable? Did you obey, and if so, what was the result?
- Throughout the novel, Chris had a difficult time surrendering his mother to God’s care. Why do you think this is? How well do you normally surrender your loved ones to God, and what does that look like? When we surrender our loves ones, does that mean we quit trying or “doing”? Explain.
- The death of Chris’s father had a profound impact on him, one that caused him to make some drastic changes. In what ways has a tragic situation caused you to reevaluate your priorities?
- A major theme presented in Beyond I Do is that of discovering your divine purpose. Consider Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago” (NLT). What stands out to you in this verse? Does the verse give you any insight in regard to your purpose?
- Ainsley’s heart was touched when she heard Chris relate the sickness to Alzheimer’s to the sickness of sin, implying that those who are without Christ are powerless to behave differently. In other words, those who have not received the transforming grace of Christ are still under the control of their sinful nature. How might remembering this truth affect the way you interact with others?
- What do you believe was the source of Richard’s downfall?
- How might you complete this sentence: Selfishness leads to _________________ whereas sacrificial love leads to ______________________.
- When have you seen someone derailed by selfishness?
- When have you done something self-sacrificing and been blessed because of it?
- The author believes nothing happens by accident, and therefore, if you read her novel Beyond I Do, God had a message for you in it. Why do you believe God had you read this novel? Is He calling you to do anything, and if so, what?