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Redemption’s Story

God honors an honest heart, and He LOVES YOU. He doesn’t just want to give you healing, but He wants to RESTORE what was once broken. He wants to turn what was ugly into something beautiful. He wants to see you and the rest of His children dancing in freedom.

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So I have been thinking a lot lately about this thing called Redemption. What does that even mean?

It means that every one of us has a story. Every one of us has experienced difficult things, has done wrong things, and has been broken in some way. Every one of us has things in our lives that we would rather keep hidden, because to us, it’s shameful, hideous, and just plain ugly. We are satisfied to be released from the clutches of those chains, but would rather not share about that thing with anyone. However, I’m finding that God is not satisfied with that.

You see, God is interested in freedom – for all His children. He is SO HAPPY to see you live in joy and liberty from the bondage you were in, but the story doesn’t stop there. He ALWAYS calls us to step out and share that freedom with others as we are ready, as He prepares us, and as He opens doors. And you can be sure that He WILL open those doors, and it won’t be ugly anymore. It will be beautiful. Because, as the song says, He makes beautiful things out of the dust.

For fifteen years, I struggled with a secret sexual sin that I told NO ONE about. Even when God freed me from this addiction a year and a half ago, I was determined to tell NO ONE about it…because it was shameful, hideous, and totally ugly. However, little by little God began to drive home this idea of redemption…that it is not just for the socially accepted parts of me, but for the secret things as well. He began to lead me to people who had also struggled with similar things, and began asking me to share publicly about the addiction and the healing.

It’s amazing how common our struggles are, but we don’t realize they are common because we don’t talk about them. Rather, we believe the lie that we are “the only ones” and that we must find the solution on our own…or keep it hidden well enough so that no one could ever find out. However, hiding doesn’t work, because if there is anything that I have learned in ministry, it’s that everything comes to the light in due time. I have learned that it’s not worth it to hide anything, because the fall is a lot harder to recover from than the unveiling. God honors an honest heart, and He LOVES YOU. He doesn’t just want to give you healing, but He wants to RESTORE what was once broken. He wants to turn what was ugly into something beautiful. He wants to see you and the rest of His children dancing in freedom.

So as hard as it is, I have determined to hold nothing back. As God leads, I will share – even the ugly things – if it will bring Him glory. If it could open the door to freedom for someone else, it’s worth it. Because I know what it’s like to be in bondage…I know what it’s like to be addicted, and it’s a dark place to be. Now I’m free. And I want you to be free too. Would you be open to REDEMPTION’S STORY being made manifest in your life? Take that step toward Jesus today and watch the pages unfold.

Transitions

Don’t ever stop speaking words of life into the people around you – because YOU are a huge part in giving people courage and strength to do what they know they must do.

Transitions are tough. The past couple days have been spent on the phone with people that have been supporting me financially for the past three years, explaining to them about my change in direction and thanking them for their support. These conversations could have been a defensive thing, trying to convince the people in my life that I am making the right decision. However, God in all His sovereignty has made it something entirely different: a time of encouragement and a reminder of the amazing support system that He has given me.

I have spent a lot of my life feeling lonely, many times not even seeing the crowd of fantastic people who have stood behind me and believed in me. And I have gained many amazing friendships along the way. Each season is filled with people that are there for that season, and that’s ok because that’s life. However, there are some that stay, and these precious gems are truly what Mastercard would describe as – priceless.

If I could be honest, I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. I had just made a very difficult decision public, and although I am 100% sure that it was the right decision, it’s a vulnerable place to be. A lot of emotion has gone into moving in this direction. However, as the day has continued on, it has once again been filled with encouraging messages and conversations. To those who have believed in me, invested in me, and encouraged me – I want to say THANK YOU. Following Jesus is not easy (understatement of the year). Even in right decisions, there is pain. In growing, there is pain. In dying to self, there is pain. Don’t ever stop speaking words of life into the people around you – because YOU are a huge part in giving people courage and strength to do what they know they must do.

May you have a blessed and wonderful day!

Change in Plans!

I am called to life-long missions, and this is not an interruption to that calling, but rather another step in the process of following Christ, wherever He might lead.

Hello everyone! I wanted to share with you how my path has changed directions.

As most of you know, I have been fundraising to be a part of the communications department of Extreme Nazarene Missions. As of July of this year, I will be ending my time in that position and will be joining the pastoral staff at Parkview Community Church of the Nazarene in North Platte, Nebraska working in the area of outreach. My job description will include discipleship and better connecting our church with our community in North Platte. I will essentially be doing what I did in Ambato, Ecuador here in the United States. I also feel called toward ordination in the Church of the Nazarene, and this is something that I have worked toward for several years. This will be a year of continuing toward that goal. I am excited about all the ways that God will work this coming year.

I love Extreme with all my heart and believe in the mission to not only plant churches, but to raise up disciples, leaders, and missionaries that will go to the ends of the earth, that all may hear and know the hope of Christ. I have had an incredible experience with them and am very sad to leave. My decision to step down from the organization has everything to do with God’s leading in this season in my life, and I would encourage anyone who is wrestling with a call to missions to consider this awesome organization. If you would like to continue supporting them financially, please email me (cmaxweber@gmail.com) and I will get you in touch with our awesome donor relations guy, Nate. If you are exploring a call to missions, please contact me as well! I would love to talk to you!

I want to thank every one of you for your part in this journey; for your prayers, financial support, and encouragement. They have meant so much to me. I am no longer fundraising at this point, and I am working on personally contacting those who have been supporting me monthly. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

I am called to life-long missions, and this is not an interruption to that calling, but rather another step in the process of following Christ, wherever He might lead.

You can continue to follow my journey at my blog:
http://chelseamaxine-all-in.com

Also, since I will be transitioning out of my Extreme email, you can update your address books to my new personal email address:
cmaxweber@gmail.com

Love you all so much and I would appreciate your prayers during this time of transition!

-Chelsea

Dynamic

I want to be that woman – in front of people and in private – who pours her life out in love for others. I want people to see in me the richness of humility and passion. I want them to see simplicity and purity of heart. I want to be dynamic.

God created us to be dynamic. He created us to live out loud. That doesn’t mean we are obnoxious and in peoples’ faces all the time. It does, however, mean that the way we live our lives should scream love and passion, even if words are not necessarily spoken at first. Words eventually need to be spoken, but our lives should provide the context through which those words are understood.

What does it mean to be dynamic? It means that every single day I wake up and spend deep quality time with the Source of my passion. It means that every single day I ask God for opportunities and open doors to show love and I actively look for them. It means that every single time those opportunities come into my life, I respond with courage and obedience. It means sacrifice. It means being creative in how I reach out and touch each individual life. It means choosing to be fearless in the face of something that has the potential of paralyzing me. It means that I trust God with my future so I am free to fully be His hands and feet today.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “In order for one to learn the important lessons of life, one must first overcome a fear each day.” I have learned that every day, short as it may be, holds many obstacles to face and challenges to conquer. I recognize in myself the tendency to procrastinate doing many things. However, God is teaching me to be a woman of action who responds immediately to the nudges of His Spirit. There is always an excuse; there is always a reason to wait until later. However, someone who lives a dynamic life knows and understands from Whom her strength comes and that if He calls her to act, He will give her everything she needs to complete that action with excellence.

One of the most dynamic people I know is a 91-year-old lady who spends her days encouraging people, praying for people, and loving on people. She has done this for years. All who know her experience a warming in their hearts whenever her name is mentioned, because they have been touched by her love, joy, and passion for Jesus. She has shown me that I don’t need a stage to be dynamic; I simply need a heart that is so full of Jesus that it can’t keep Him contained. I want to be that woman – in front of people and in private – who pours her life out in love for others. I want people to see in me the richness of humility and passion. I want them to see simplicity and purity of heart. I want to be dynamic.

How is God calling you to be dynamic today? Decide to open the door to His voice and decide to live your life in response to His love. It will amaze you what God is able to pour into and out of your life.

Do It Anyway

It is only in obedience that we discover we have everything we need to live out the calling we have received.

I think God brings us through seasons of special challenge, where everything we come up against is an impossibility. We face the choice to shrink back into safety, or take that leap into the deep end of His miraculous story. From one day to the next and from one moment to the next we face one fear to the next. Insecurities that we did not even know existed come to haunt us while we are awake and while we are asleep. However, the choice remains, and we truly do have the power to make the decision to press on or give in to the paralysis that fear readily offers us with outstretched hands.

When I first came back to the United States, I didn’t experience a ton of culture shock. However, what overwhelmed me more than anything were all the responsibilities that flooded both my mind and my inbox immediately upon returning. I can’t even begin to describe the anxiety that I sought every day to overcome as I took it one step at a time, knowing that every step forward was making me two steps behind in many other things. But I kept going anyway. I kept chipping away at it anyway. I have been in the States for almost three months now, and I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, though I still feel behind in many things.

As I think about the future, I realize that this season, as ultimately good as it has been, has opened the door to doubt in my life. I wonder in everything if I can do it. Even things as simple as driving or counting back change have hit me like a wave of fear almost every time I have done them. However, I am a stubborn soul and I am a fighter, and I believe that God has placed a specific resolve in my heart in this season in the midst of it all: do it anyway. Do I doubt if I can do it? Do it anyway. Do I feel like I have insufficient strength for the task at hand? Do it anyway. Do I feel like I can’t keep up? Do it anyway. Do I think that I might fail? Do it anyway. Do it anyway. Do it anyway.

I think a lot of our courage must come back to faith. I think about the future that God has shown me for my life, running an organization and inspiring social change. That’s overwhelming, and the reason that’s overwhelming is because I was never meant to overcome that goal. I was never meant to figure out how to get there. My responsibility is to live out today to the utmost, and trust God to bring me to where I need to be tomorrow. I have not yet been given the grace I need to run an organization; however, I have been given the grace I need to attend my meetings, write my articles, and edit my pictures today. It may seem small and insignificant, but there is enough to overcome today – I can’t live out the future too. So I will face each challenge and each fear today with the resolve to do it anyway. And tomorrow I will do the same.

What big challenge are you facing right now in your life? Does it seem impossible? Do you doubt your abilities? Here is my challenge to you: resolve to live out TODAY with courage, and as each challenge presents itself and fear rears it ugly head, decide to do it anyway. It is only in obedience that we discover we have everything we need to live out the calling we have received.

Hands that Bless

I really want to create a community of people who enjoy making things for other people, who want to use their hands to bless their community and bring hope to people in need…I want a place where we can share ideas of things to make and how to bless people, and share stories of how we ourselves and others have been blessed in the giving.

This isn’t going to be a typical blog post for me, but it has been something on my heart and mind for a while now, and I would love your feedback.

I love to do crafts. I am a creative and I enjoy the process and freedom of making something beautiful. I am also fairly new to doing crafts, but I really want to learn more.

I think about all the things that we do with our hands, and I think there are endless possibilities of how we can use our hands to bless other people and bring joy to their lives. So often it is easy to get stuck on ourselves, but in my experience, some of my greatest joy has come in serving and loving others in whatever way possible.

I really want to create a community of people who enjoy making things for other people, who want to use their hands to bless their community and bring hope to people in need. Whether that would be making baby blankets for the crisis pregnancy center, or making greeting cards and sending them to hospital patients, or painting pictures to put in nursing homes…really, the possibilities are endless…I want to do this more in my personal life, but I also want to bring others with me. I want to inspire a movement of people who think beyond themselves and CREATE in order to bring joy to others. I want a place where we can share ideas of things to make and how to bless people, and share stories of how we ourselves and others have been blessed in the giving.

I don’t know how to go about this. Do I start a group on Facebook? Do I build onto my website? I need ideas, and I need your help. Would you comment or send me a message? You can contact me here on my blog or on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/chelseamaxineallin

Thank you so much!

God’s Sermon Illustration

I may look stupid sometimes, but it’s going to be ok. I may stumble around a few times, but it’s going to be ok. Why? Because You taught the lame man to walk through the fisherman You taught to preach and to heal. Maybe if You could use the man who was lame, and if You could use Peter, then You could use me too.

This morning I was listening to a sermon by Steven Furtick and God shined some light on my mentality that needs to be molded just a bit.

The story takes place in Acts chapter 3, where Peter and John are on their way to church and encounter a lame man. This guy asks them for money, but they don’t have any so they tell him to, in the name of Jesus, get up and walk instead. So the guy gets up, starts leaping and dancing, and people start running toward them to find out what is going on. Then something crazy happens: the guy stops dancing and, verse 11 says, “the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.”

The question has to be asked: why was the man holding onto Peter and John if he had the ability to leap? Pastor Steven says, “Because his mentality had not caught up with his reality.”

God has me on a crazy journey right now and I have had the opportunity to travel and speak in front of many groups of people in the last two months. It has been a grueling schedule that has cost me a lot of energy, emotion, and strength. While it has been encouraging to not only speak, but also meet people at the different churches and pray for them and minister to them and be prayed for and ministered to, I have at times seen some old mentalities of mine threaten to hijack situations and steal the miracle.

Yesterday we drove about three hours to a church early in the morning, and by the time we arrived in town, I was almost emotionally spent. I hadn’t even preached yet. I prayed desperately that God would say what He wanted to say, and I am sure that He did because many people said that He spoke to them. I, however, did not feel like I was a good and useful instrument for Him. I felt a little lost and disappointed in myself. The pastor said to me, “You have a natural gift for speaking”, and inside, I laughed and thought, “That’s ridiculous. I can’t live that kind of life. No way on earth am I strong enough to do this longer than a few months. I’m not smart enough, strong enough, or gifted enough for that. This is going to ‘do me in’.” Today, God rebuked me for that thought.

Maybe it’s because we have certain expectations of greatness, and when we don’t see that greatness outright because God decided to use our weakness instead, we run to that place of disappointment in our minds and we shut the door. Thankfully, yesterday I didn’t shut the door and I was present when the lady came up to me after the service and poured out her life to me. I was obedient when God said to pray for her, and who knows, but maybe that was the most important thing I did yesterday. In so many ways I see in myself as I speak and minister to people that God has given me the ability to leap and dance and run, but I still have the mentality of the lame girl I used to be – believing that I can’t and I could never.

God has given me the opportunity to shine on that stand, but I still hold the bowl in my hand, just waiting to hide inside. And really, it’s not pride that put me on that stand; it’s pride that causes me to run and hide. It’s pride that says, “This isn’t happening in a way that I am comfortable with.” So I dismiss the possibility that maybe God would want to use me in that way for His purpose. It’s pride that says, “I don’t look the way I want to look and I’m ashamed.” So I dismiss the possibility that maybe I am exactly what God wants me to be for such a time as this.

Maybe my little sermons on Sunday morning and everything that happens in between are a part of a great sermon that God is preaching through this season in my life; and my mess of a struggle is His sermon illustration. Because to be honest, I’m still learning how to walk. I’m learning how to leap in victory and confidence and in peace…and I know a lot of people who do this so much better than me, and Satan, time and time again and in many ways, has tried to beat me up over that. But Jesus doesn’t do that…He doesn’t compare us to everyone else, but looks us in the eyes and sees the destiny and the purpose that He has for you and for me…individually.

You know what Jesus said to people when He wanted them to be His disciples? He said, “Follow Me.” He didn’t preach a three-point sermon on what it means to expand the Kingdom and say, “Have fun. Go and do likewise.” Rather He said, “Come with Me, and I will show you.” Pastor Steven said, “A declaration is empty without a demonstration.” Jesus didn’t simply declare His love for us, but He left heaven, walked the talk, and loved us to the cross. And then He says to us, “Come, follow Me.”

I don’t know about you, but I find great comfort in these words, because now more than ever I am aware of how much I don’t know what I am doing. I’m scared and I am not strong enough. I’ve experienced all these amazing things recently and seen so much change in my life, but I don’t know what to do about it. I have this huge calling and these gifts that God is bringing out in my life, and I am terrified because I don’t know what to do about it…and I’m leaning when I could leap; I’m still paralyzed in my mind when I could be dancing and praising God. Lord, help me…because I don’t know what I am doing.

Then Jesus sweeps in and says, “Follow Me.”

You mean I don’t have to do this alone, Jesus? You mean I don’t have to have all the answers now? You mean I don’t have to know how it’s all going to turn out to walk the path that you have for me? Because I am positive that I won’t be smart enough, strong enough, or gifted enough for that, but I know that if You go with me, it’s going to be ok. I may look stupid sometimes, but it’s going to be ok. I may stumble around a few times, but it’s going to be ok. Why? Because You taught the lame man to walk through the fisherman You taught to preach and to heal. Maybe if You could use the man who was lame, and if You could use Peter, then You could use me too.

Thank you, Lord, for that powerful message. Let’s walk on.

Tilling…Gross

As many times as I have looked at the future that God has shown me and said, “I could never do that,” He has responded with, “I know,” and gets to work, growing me and refining me with each new challenge.

I’m excited. If you saw my To-Do list today, you would be asking me, “Why are you excited?” Believe me, it has to come from Jesus.

This season in my life has been the most challenging season I have walked through, maybe ever. More than anything, this season has challenged my perseverance and trust. I have always believed that we work in partnership with God; that we expect great things from God, but that doesn’t mean we simply sit back on our beach chairs and wait for Him to respond. We must take action as well and prepare our fields for harvest. And while that is absolutely true, I don’t know that I realized how much I have to depend on God to even do my part, because lately I have not had the strength.

The reason I am excited is because I see glimpses of what God is doing and preparing me for along the way, and I believe this season has an incredible purpose in His plan. One of the many purposes that I am seeing so clearly today is that God is the One working the ground of my heart, preparing it for a harvest.

I am having to do so many things that I have never done before, face fears and insecurities that I have never dealt with before, complete a greater task list than I have handled before, and preach more than I have ever preached before. And while I definitely have moments when the tears fall, it has been without a doubt God’s hand that has held me together.

All this hurts and it is highly uncomfortable…and I am definitely not doing it perfectly. That is where He shows me His grace as He is tilling the ground. Although I don’t know much about farming or gardening, Wikipedia has taught me a thing or two. While tilling has many benefits, two of these benefits I read about are: 1. It increases the soil’s ability to hold water and nutrients and 2. It kills weeds.

The greater work that God is doing in my life is increasing the capacity of my faith and my ability to handle the responsibility of ministry. As many times as I have looked at the future that God has shown me and said, “I could never do that,” He has responded with, “I know,” and gets to work, growing me and refining me with each new challenge.

He is also killing the weeds in my life – the things that get in the way of the greater work He wants to do in me and through me. These weeds come in many forms, such as pride, inconsistency, laziness, fear, self-reliance, and the need for control. While those things sound ugly (and they are), they are common problems for all of us, but enemies of faith. If I want to live the life that God has dreamed for me to live, then these things must be uprooted and thrown out of my life.

Are you in a place right now where God is tilling your fields? Are you being stretched? Are things being dug up in your life? Get excited and press through! That means a harvest is coming!

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