Archives For grace

reckoning

Chilly —  May 2, 2016 — 2 Comments

reck·on·ing   [rek–uh-ning]

the avenging of past mistakes or misdeeds.

reckoningDo you ever wonder what we’re really doing or at least supposed to be doing? Why are our methods, passion, and approach all greeted with such resistance, fear or doubt? Why are people in the community more intrigued by and engaged in transformation than people in the church? Why no one seems to be able to find the correct phrase or word to describe us? Are we nameless?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this…

What makes us any different from previous pioneers, revolutionaries or trailblazers of the faith?  Are our ideas so unique? Are sermons more inspiring? …hardly. Is it our tech toys, websites, blog pages, crazy videos, or loud music? … no, I don’t think so. Maybe it’s our jeans & t-shirt Sunday attire.  Ha, that’s not it either – but it’s definitely a perk! 

So, what makes us different? Why all the books, conferences, articles with words like: engaging, convergent, relevant, next generation, influential, mosaic, story-telling, etc.? You know what, I don’t know either…

Maybe the labels and titles came from the rigid, controlling, established, religious, on-their-way-out, leadership of organized churches & denominations. We tend to fear what we don’t understand, and a label always helps us sum up something we don’t really get… was that offensive – I’m sorry – that’s not my intention. Honest. I’m not picking a fight.

You see, I don’t think we’re really that unique. From the first century church to where we are today, there has been a need for individuals or groups of believers that stand up and bring radical correction to the waywardness or blandness of the church Jesus planted. Throughout history there has been a need to get back to the main thing:  Salvation, discipleship, and community.

When we stray from the foundation, we tend to take ourselves too seriously and the results are tragic: religion replaces relationship, selfishness replaces simplicity, lust for power replaces love for people, control replaces compassion, greed replaces grace, jealousy replaces joyfulness, conflict replaces courage, and frustration replaces freedom. Has this happened in your church (or mine)? Oh man, just the thought of this makes my heart hurts…

It’s easy to fall into this and hard to climb out – but, we must!  [Warning: Rant in 3, 2, 1 …] And, I don’t think the answer is to abandon ship – kick dirt on your church, or walk away because ‘they’ won’t change and only YOU know what authentic Christianity is – and, then use social media and toxic small groups to validate your righteousness & meekness (receiving applauds & pity from every ‘hurt’ leader) – grow up, shut up & move on – gracefully. [end of Rant]

For the rest of us, still in it to win it, let’s begin our adventure back to truth & life TODAY! It’s time for a holy reckoning to happen in and through you. I want a better church for my kids and the generations to follow – better doesn’t mean “new” – actually it’s just getting back to the book of Acts and living it in the 21st century. It may be simplifying: Love God, Love Others & Love Life.

Yeah, labels will come… judgments will be made… shunning could happen. Embrace it. And do what you’re made to do – be who HE made you to be. The message IS sacred, the method is not... keep that straight and LISTEN, LEARN, LIVE, and LOVE!  The lost are all around us – they’re looking for something genuine & trustworthy — someone to help them find the truth. Making disciples is still the Great CommissionYOU ARE NEEDED.  It’s time.

                                one to be reckoned with,
Chilly

Q: What needs a day of ‘reckoning‘ in your life or leadership today?

Gems

Chilly —  September 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

 Jesus said, “Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.”  Matthew 13:52

I like this for a couple of reasons:

rhodochrosite1. Jesus opens the thought & door for religious teachers to be redeemed – in fact, He speaks to the wealth (blessing) that such a conversion brings to the body of Christ!

2. So often we see Jesus ONLY rebuking them or them ATTACKING Him – but, there were many during Jesus earthly mission and afterwards that wholeheartedly changed – NEVER forget, John 3:16 was spoken to ONE man – a religious teacher named Nicodemus. Jesus loved (and loves) everyone!

3. When the ‘religious’ come to relationship with Christ, they bring an understanding of what God has done and what they have learned (the old) and then they are able to make the connection to what Jesus is doing & about to do (the new)…  new gems AND old gems.

4. Jesus wants ALL to be saved! Religious, pagan, rich, poor, young, old… ANYONE. And where they have been will become a blessing to where Christ leads them. What the devil meant for evil, God will turn for good. Oh yeah! It’s a Romans 8:28 thing!

Keep your heart open to the lost – fight prejudice, hurt or past… Jesus is STILL seeking & saving the lost. JOIN HIM!

So, those are my thoughts…  would love to hear your thoughts too!

searching for gems in the rubble of Detroit, Chilly

Loathes with a Passion

Chilly —  June 20, 2014 — 1 Comment

Here are six things God hates, and,
one more that he loathes with a passion
:

7-backlinks1.  eyes that are arrogant,

2.  a tongue that lies,

3.  hands that murder the innocent,

4.  a heart that hatches evil plots,

5.  feet that race down a wicked track,

6.  a mouth that lies under oath,

7.  a troublemaker in the family.

Proverbs 6:16-19 msg.

Hmmm…  many, if not most, of those things are somewhat avoidable – or at least should be, however, what really jumped out at me today as I studied Prov. 6, was that one that it says God  “loathes with a passion” – a troublemaker in the family (in your home or your church).  Wow. It’s so easy to think it’s no big deal when you are provoking others, complaining about them, and always finding fault in ‘the house’ or just being lazy & indifferent. Maybe you think, “well I don’t like the leadership or I don’t respect what’s happening”… my friend, IF God put you in the house, you’re to show respect and do your part JOYFULLY and thoroughly without complaining, starting trouble, pouting or running away. The Lord is developing character in you through submission and loving obedience.

We should hate the things God hates.

No justification or expecting everyone else to figure out when you’re ‘joking’ or ‘messin’ – simply STOP. Prefer others. Believe in others. ENJOY OTHERS! We all have faults. We all make mistakes. But, love covers a multitude of sins. 

 

    • Are you ready to eliminate ALL seven?

 

    • Do you hate the things God hates? Note: God doesn’t hate people, just sin.

 

    • Will you choose, joyful and gracious, peace?

lovin’ the family, chilly

 

Room for Improvement.

Chilly —  February 13, 2014 — 2 Comments

Serving God is such an incredible rush!  I love seeing lives changed by the power of Christ!  I have the privilege to know and love people with remarkable testimonies and mind-blowing potential! And, my daily life is involved in making disciples, planting churches, coaching young pastors and investing in world-changers all around the world. I’m part of two GREAT churches in Detroit and Lansing! It’s crazy! I’m so blessed! 

But, can I tell you something? It still bothers me that I cannot be MORE effective. Some say I’m hard on myself – I guess I just want to reach everyone. That’s not always EVER easy when you have to talk about the ugly stuff in people’s lives (yep: sin). I try to use different ways to draw others to the God’s grace and forgiveness: humor, examples, stories, and direct confrontation… many respond – but sometimes, especially in a crowd, some get angry, hurt or offended.  They shut down and stop hearing truth or experiencing love. They miss the bigger point. That really stinks. I want them ALL to be really FREE!

Improve-DefinitionIt’s so weird – I can hear 100 “great job” comments and still dwell on the one person who was upset and unmoved.  I know I’m not perfect… by a long shot. I know that I don’t deserve to live the life that God has set before me. Perhaps I’m in denial by believing I can reach anyone and everyone. And, trust me, I know that it’s Jesus who ultimately does the reaching, forgiving & transforming. But, I get to be involved too. So cool! And, you know what, I’m going to keep trying! I want to improve and will strive to find better ways to communicate the amazing realities of Christ’s love!  Continue Reading…