Archives For iChilly

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

Truth IS Dare!

Chilly —  January 23, 2017 — Leave a comment

Truth is powerful. Truth is Jesus!

Augustine-Truth

I’ve found myself making choices in behavior, attitude and thought that directly relate to a renewed relationship with Jesus (truth) and His Word.  IF I’m not improving, then I’m proving that I’m lazy, lying or lost. Freedom is a gift not a right, it comes through Christ not charisma.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free … So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:32, 36

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Here’s a few quotes about TRUTH from my journal:

    • IF what you’re trusting as TRUTH doesn’t make you FREE, it’s false. That stinks!
    • How can we be entertained by lies and still claim to know & love the truth?
    • Want to make a difference? Live the Truth!
    • What you believe determines how you behave.
    • A lot of us are still choosing ‘dare’ (in “truth or dare” game w/ God). We would rather do something daring for God, then be known for truth.
    • Truth can speak anywhere because truth is everywhere… Jesus should not have to barge in on my insecurity and pride just to speak truth.
    • Truth will never define a coward.
    • Dont use spiritual terminology to cover up your rebellion. Call it sin.
    • You can lie to yourself about something so many times that you start believing it as truth… and even fight for it.
    • Truth is not what you make it to be… If you wanna deny truth to save-face with a friend, you’ve got it all backwards… and you’ve grieved the Holy Spirit.
    • Righteousness guards the person of integrity.
    • If you’re living in truth, talk to Him and find out where the shadows creep in and fix those cracks.

Are you living in a shade of Grey?  Move to Truth & experience God in ways you have yet to have embraced.  Truth cannot be stopped – so, be sure you’re living on the side of LIGHT!

A man can no more diminish God’s glory (truth) by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. ~ C. S. Lewis

Did any of the quotes (above) jump out to you?  Talk about it in the comments!

And, answer this: How is TRUTH impacting your life?

Daring to BE True, Chilly