My Take on Halloween

Chilly —  October 29, 2014 — Leave a comment

(reposted by request)

Candy, Costumes & Christianity

HALLOWEEN… is it as evil as “they” say it is?? Or are Christians playing defense and missing the whole point… again?!! What IF this is a chance for us to PUNK the devil and have fun laughing at death?! Read on…

IMG 0646 300x224Since the eigth century Christians have celebrated All Saints’ Day on November 1 to celebrate the known and unknown Christian Saints. Saints are not just those whom the catholic church has canonized, but ALL members of the “cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) who proclaim Jesus as Lord – including you and me!

Almost as old as the celebration of All Saints’ Day is the tradition associated with All Hallow’s Eve. (“Hallows” mean “saints,” both mean “holy ones.” As in “Hallowed be thy name.”) So, Halloween means “the evening before All Holy Ones’ Day.” Today we call that festival Halloween and we have many secular ways of recognizing it. However, it’s important to remember that it’s celebration has a long, positive history in the Church.

“Are you crazy, Chilly?! This day is evil & satanic!”

Continue Reading…

Don’t crucify your today between the two thieves: yesterday and tomorrow.

~ Chilly

Make Today Count

ReFocus

Chilly —  October 16, 2014 — 11 Comments

Today I deactivated my Facebook account.

Gasp! What?! Why??

I know, I know! Crazy, right?!

I had 4,211 Facebook friends. I was Administrator of 4 Facebook pages and 2 Facebook groups. Probably had a combined influence of nearly 10,000 people.  And…

I’m done.

I could give you several personal, specific, reasons for this action. We had some security concerns and I made a decision best for my family.  I also made the decision to refocus my time, attention, interactions and rest.

Here’s a few other questions or thoughts that played into this decision:

  • quitting-facebookWhy do we spend so much time trying to maintain relationships, statuses and expectations of people online and so little time loving and serving our family, neighbors and community?
  • How much time do we waste or sleep do we lose lost in social media?
  • Do you have any idea of how many potentially dangerous entities exist on the other side of our computer screen or handheld device? Have you looked closely at these sites on your spouse’s or children’s smart phones and laptops? A few sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouNow, Kik, Youtube, Vine, Vimeo, Pinterest, OooVoo, Pheed, Wanelo, Reddit, and MORE! Overwhelmed yet? Any of these could introduce loved ones to predators, pornography, fraud or worse!
  • Yep, I know there’s good things that happen via social media — that’s why I’m not telling you to stop. I’m telling ME to back off and refocus. I’m evaluating each media application and seeking to minimize my activity and accessibility.
  • The people who truly love you and desire to know, WILL CONNECT WITH YOU. Rather than a random, “hey you” that leads to hours of mindless chatter rarely producing authentic relationship, focus on people you can look at, touch and do life with…
  • Facebook was step one. I’m evaluating ALL applications and sites. I’m excited to simplify.
  • It’s ok to use social media but DON’T let it use you.

Well, that’s my street corner, megaphone, blog-post rant. Are you still here??  Yeah? Cool! Then let me throw a couple verses at you that I’m meditating on today:

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:2-3

IF you still want to be connected online, you can subscribe to this blog – there’s a place for your email address in the top right. I’d also welcome a coffee in person sometime!

Thanks again for being in my life — for praying for me, reading my stuff and spurring me on! My life is enriched through true friendships!  Love, Chilly

When you stop pouring yourself
into others, the anointing stops.

Discipleship is a lifetime calling.

~ Chilly

Keep pouring!

I’m still learning.

Chilly —  October 10, 2014 — 7 Comments

Notes from my journal
(This Sunday we celebrate 10
years of ministry in Detroit.)

Things I’m learning today

… that I had NO clue about 10 years ago.
Part TWO.

You kids are capable of SO much more than you can even begin to imagine!

  • my FIVE heroesWhen we begin, we had three little girls (ages 12, 8 and 4). Since then, we have added to boys! So, we are now: Mariah 22, Courtney 18, Zoe 14, Maximus 9 and Chase 8.
  • They have had to adjust to various types of schooling (public school, home school, charter school, online school).
  • They have had to adjust to various types of sports leagues (Upward, Homeschool, PAL, Community).
  • They have had to adjust to various types of church buildings, leaders, people & programs (Hamtramck, Midtown, Mexicantown … Bars, Apartment Penthouse, Nightclubs, Bowling Allies, Church buildings).
  • THEY ALL LOVE GOD — LOVE THEIR PARENTS — LOVE EACH OTHER — LOVE THE LOST — LOVE CHURCH — LOVE THE MINISTRY!
  • My adult daughters are leading ministry with joy and passion. And my younger kids can’t wait to be at church or at outreach or whatever is happening! They LOVE IT!
  • They’ve had people come in and out of their lives. They have seen people fail. They certainly are eye-witnesses to my flaws & short-comings.
  • But, they have also seen hundreds & hundreds come to know Jesus. They have seen miracles. They have seen, experienced and expressed unconditional love.
  • And, most important, they EACH have a very real, personal, relationship with Christ.

I can’t even imagine all that God is doing and about to do IN and THROUGH each of their lives. They are my heroes!

Blood is thicker than water, but Spirit is thicker than blood.

  • This is a quote from my friend, Pastor Tim Dilena — he spoke this in reference to our family & friends in the faith.
  • One of the hardest things about being in full-time ministry is living far away from your family. Netta has family in Colorado and Kansas; I have family in Missouri, Minnesota and Georgia.
  • So, we are rarely with our natural families – especially when most people enjoy these times: holidays, birthdays and special events.
  • As much as we miss our natural family, our lives and home are filled with spiritual brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, sons and daughters. There’s a bond with those we serve with, that God has given us, that is powerful, personal and awesome!
  • We hope our kids will always live close and serve alongside us but if God leads them away — we are confident that He will surround them with spiritual family.

Thank you to BOTH our natural and spiritual families. WE LOVE YOU!

God doesn’t always lead through policy manuals, flow-charts and business plans.

  • Yes, I know that God is a God of order. But, I also know that sometimes ministry can be (or appear to be) messy, crazy and chaotic.
  • We’re working with people not machines. People are weird. People break down suddenly. People change. People die.
  • Our processes may not allow for the unpredictable wonderfulness, found in people.
  • Yes, we should have a plan. There should be organization.
  • But, we also must recognize that discipleship cannot be done in vacuum or delegated. It’s personal and every person is different.

Spirituality is a mixed-up, topsy-turvy, helter-skelter godliness that turns our lives into an upside-down toboggan ride of unexpected turns, surprise bumps and bone shattering crashes … a life ruined by a Jesus who loves us right into his arms. Mike Yanconelli

Yes, I will still trust the policies, constitution and by-laws, programs, and plans created by amazing servants of the Lord. But, I will not be limited by these things. They are the launchpad not the rocket ship!

IF you missed Part One, be sure to scroll down!