Archives For Chilly

Are you feelin’ me?

Chilly —  December 8, 2017 — Leave a comment

SaturdaySighIt seems that often, far too often, we “Christians” find ourselves over-our-heads in pity, condemnation, discouragement or doubt because of this little thing called: “feelings.”  We don’t feel like reading our Bibles, sharing our faith, going to church, etc.  Or, we don’t feel like anything is happening in areas where we need answers or miracles (me, right now) … So, we long for those times when we felt God in such a real way we thought we were going to explode!!

Feelings by their very nature are misleading. Surely you’ve felt something one day, only to feel nearly the opposite the next. I believe feelings and emotions are part of being a Christian and in being human in general, but God calls us to much more than that. God calls us to work. We certainly aren’t saved by works – as Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us – but we sure aren’t saved by feelings, either. We’re saved by God, and therefore should take Him seriously when he says, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17). That means it’s possible for us to feel as though we have faith to move mountains, yet in reality it could be that we have the dead faith spoken of in James 2:17. God calls us to be and do rather than to simply feelHe calls us to have real faith instead of only emotional highs.

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Don’t Call it a Come Back!

Chilly —  December 6, 2017 — 2 Comments

I’m not DEAD!

In fact, I’M MORE ALIVE THAN I’VE EVER BEEN!!

Recklessly AbandonedAfter almost 14 years planting churches, building friendships, reaching communities, training ministers, loving teenagers and raising leaders in Michigan (11+ years in Detroit and 2+ years in Lansing); God is leading me and my family to Burlington, Vermont!  I will be launching a community-based student outreach called Revolution Youth in the most unchurched community in America.  Read previous post, Life Update, for details.

When I was young in ministry, I often said “I’m youth ministry for life” and I would quote Psalm 71:18, Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” … I believed this and, back then, “old” seemed like forever away! Then, our church planting, being a lead pastor and presbyter and other grown-up stuff happened. Not to mention changes in my family! LIFE happened! So,   was I wrong? Did God change His mind? Was it immature or irresponsible to stay in youth ministry?  Was I chasing some fictional fountain of youth??

Absolutely not. Even when serving in those roles, my heart, style, approach and passion continued to have a youth edge and emphasis. I believe in the next generation! I love millennials and generation z!  They must be the heart of the church today because they are the hope for the church tomorrow — I believe this!

So, here I am, in over-my-head in crazy, faith-required, youth ministry…

God’s timing is perfect. The seasons & roles leading up to this were right (obeying God always is). I wasn’t wrong about the serving the other roles — they were character building and helped me mature in ways I didn’t even know that I needed. And so, YesI’m still living THE DREAM (which happens to be satan’s nightmare)!! With this in mind, I thought I might share a few lessons – in no particular order – that I’ve learned through all of this…

    • Tell A Vision — don’t be afraid to share the vision God gives you! Share it with your team, staff & supporters. Yeah, I’m sure over the last 14 years some have thought “yeah, right, it’s never gonna happen” — maybe even a few rolled their eyes. But it DID happen! And this teaches us that God’s timing is perfect and that perseverance builds character, trust and loyalty. And, doing your current assignment with all your heart qualifies you for the next assignment. Don’t get ahead of the vision.
    • Revel in ANY Win — sometimes the thought of winning Detroit for Christ seemed insurmountable or raising the capital to fund the BIG vision is so daunting. And, now, reaching 1000’s students seems ridiculous!! So, focus on what you can do TODAY, this week, this month… find joy in the little victories (which often are way bigger than your realize)! When you begin to experience win after win after win, you’ll believe for bigger things and you’ll create the momentum & confidence needed to GO FOR IT! Plus, it sets an atmosphere of joy!
    • Laugh at Yourself  A LOT — oh wow, I’ve said and done some things that are simply ridiculous! They make for a great story and, hopefully, build camaraderie amongst my team but not every idea works, not every sermon rocks and not every outreach wins. But, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, right?! Face it, some things don’t always work or maybe something work only once. Don’t get locked in on methods — ONLY the message is sacred!
    • Disciple — be personally involved in making disciples and stick with it until your disciples can make disciples who make disciples! Then make more!! This will produce life, love and purpose inside of you and will bring about cool changes in your own walk with God! You can’t simply delegate this or allow it to become a program. Our Lord’s last few words before ascending told us to do it — He’s going to ask us about it — so, DO IT and do it well. Because of my heart for discipleship, I’m NOT moving to Vermont alone! No way, I have 3 young adults stepping up & stepping out of their comfort zones to join this amazing adventure! Discipling them and seeing them thrive has been and will continue to be one of my greatest joys! And, more are being raised every day!!
    • Plant the Flag —  In our short-attention culture, it’s hard to find people who stick with anything for very long… I think we must learn to plant the flag. To take our stand and be determined to STAY until the task is complete – no matter who leaves you, no matter how big the other offer is, no matter how frustrated you get, no matter how bad it hurts, no matter what advice you’re given… fight to be faithful and fight to finish! And, by the way, the first and best flag you plant should be ALL white: Surrender! He can take it from there!  In fact, our logo for Revolution Youth is based on a white flag…

I may be adding more to this tomorrow but I wanted to just throw down a few things to get you thinking. Feel free to jump on any of these points in the comments. I’d love to hear where you’re at in all of this… please invite others to the conversation too by using one of the social media buttons below this post or top of the site). And, after reading this, IF you feel a tug on your heart be part of our adventure in Vermont (in prayer, with finances or even, in person); I would LOVE to hear from you!!  Thanks!

I BELIEVE IN YOU!

Press on my friend, Chilly

Tried and True

Chilly —  November 28, 2017 — 1 Comment

Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me.
Test my motives and affections.
 Psalm 26:2

Why do you do what you do? Yeah, what’s really behind the things you do? The music you play? The clothes you wear? The things you read? The friends you hang with? The prayers you pray? The money you spend? Etc…

trueYou see, God knows your motives and affections… He knows the truth. Your service to God and others (yes both) will reveal who you truly are. It’s not enough to pray and read your Bible – no, you must OBEY it AND you must LOVE God & others with ALL your heart.

Does our faithfulness defend us or expose us? IF we have the character and nature of God, faithfulness is not an option: O LORD God Almighty! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, LORD? Faithfulness is your very character. Psalm 89:8

It’s not enough to look in the mirror and convince ourselves with “I’m ok” statements. What’s the purpose behind your efforts? Selfish gain or sacrifice? Laziness or long-suffering? Happiness or joy? Oh yes, my friend – our motives count and God knows exactly what’s up! People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives. Proverbs 16:2

“Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ.” A.W. Tozer

We’re not on break… EVER. We constantly stand before our God and anything less than our very best is not just unacceptable – it’s sin. You do not have “free time” unless during those times you are FREE in Christ. Fight the urge for “me time” and seek God like never before – He’ll take care of your “me needs” in a far superior way than you could ever do for yourself.

fighting to be faithful, chilly

LIFE UPDATE

Chilly —  November 27, 2017 — 1 Comment
After months of praying, talking, listening, fasting, researching and visiting; we have received our next assignment from the Lord… drum roll please… no, seriously, do that thing with your tongue.
 
My family and I will be transitioning to Northern New England where I will be planting, and serving as the Executive Director of, Revolution Youth Community in Burlington, Vermont. This is a HUGE step of faith and it is certainly way outside-the-box of anything else that we have done or considered. In a word, it’s an ADVENTURE!
 

Lake Champlain Burlington, Vermont.

According to Barna Research Group (see attached article), Burlington, Vermont is the #1 most UNCHURCHED city in America! What better place to rethink how we do church and offer a collaborative opportunity for communities, families and churches to come together for the sake of their teenagers and young adults? We are not seeking to abandon existing churches but, instead, to provide a unified, off-site, setting for students to build friendships, receive love, encouragement and hope. We will also provide a judgement free environment for students to explore the outrageous claims of Christ with honest, unfiltered curiosity! These types of opportunities are difficult in smaller church, youth group, settings.

 
I will serve as a missionary to the most post-christian region & people of America!
 
Lives will change. Hope will rise. Morality will flourish. Communities will be impacted. Schools will be influenced. Jesus will be glorified!
 
We can’t simply standby and watch the next generation walk away from their faith and we, certainly, must stop blaming the millennials for being apathetic…
 
I’m stepping up to fight for our future by believing in our youth TODAY. This model may not be needed or sought in your community but parents, businesses and churches are excited to assist, invest in and wholeheartedly support what we are doing in Vermont! I believe this will be the first of MANY “Revolutions” – maybe your community will be next?!
 
WANT TO JOIN US?
We invite everyone to PLEASE pray for us and get behind this! In a few weeks, we’ll begin raising some funds via various opportunities and also looking for skilled people to assist in other ways (website, design, videos, marketing, etc) and we’ll also be seeking equipment (MacBooks, projectors, sound, lighting, video equipment, etc). Lots of you have unique relationships with people who can pitch in and INVEST in this amazing Kingdom adventure!
 
Last of all, let me leave you with the verse God spoke to me the night He called me into youth ministry 34 years ago, “Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” Psalm 71:17-18
 
This verse rings even louder in my head and heart today! This will be my life story. I have never sought to be famous or to advance my career. My joy is found in obeying God and making Him famous. He designed the church and it’s my desire to see that it thrives until He returns!
 
Living a Revolution,
Chilly
 
A few articles about the area God is leading us to: