Close

In Deep

I don’t know about you, but I REALLY want to see God do something amazing in and through the Church. I want to see courage arise in the lives of those who follow Christ. I want to see genuine faith demonstrated. I’m tired of the Sunday commitment and the title. I want to see the life lived out.

Advertisements

Last night we started tackling the creation of what will be the Outreach Office. We are painting, repurposing, and forming a space that will be a refuge and place of prayer for many people. It is exciting to see things form, even though there is a long way to go.

As we were working, our friend Mark stopped by and we all began discussing how we see God moving and reshaping so many things. Mark compared it to driving on a curvy road through beautiful mountain scenery. There is so much to observe all along the way.

And it’s true that the world around us is changing dramatically. However, it’s important to note that it’s not just changing in a bad way. I believe the Church is being called up from the ashes like never before in history. The question is: will we answer that call?

If we do, we will see things that we never imagined happen in our communities, nation, and world. I don’t know about you, but I REALLY want to see God do something amazing in and through the Church. I want to see courage arise in the lives of those who follow Christ. I want to see genuine faith demonstrated. I’m tired of the Sunday commitment and the title. I want to see the life lived out.

The Church is standing at a moment of decision. Mark used the illustration of jumping off the diving board for the first time. There are some who go up first and jump, and others who stand back and watch them, trying to build up the courage to do it themselves. I think that’s truly what it means to encourage each other – to give each other courage to climb up that ladder, walk to the edge, and jump.

Can I speak right now to all who love Jesus, to those who follow Him? Can I speak to those who are afraid of taking that step, any step, toward that choice? Let’s do this together. Let’s go in deep.

Jesus uses the illustration of a seed that must die for new life to rise up. The same is true with us. We must die to our fear, selfishness, and pride. We must get to the point where there is no hesitation when we hear His voice. As the Church, we must be unified for one purpose – to see light conquer darkness and to see God’s love conquer the world of hatred that is rising up so powerfully right now.

And you know what? I’ve read the end of the book…and we win. Jesus wins. Do you realize what a big deal that is? Remember that – when times get hard and you want to back down. Remember that – when everything inside of you is screaming to take what seems to be the easy way out. Remember that – when your life is put on display for the cause of Christ. We win.

So take that step. Climb that ladder. Walk to the edge and jump. Come on, Church! Let’s go in deep. The time is NOW.

Like Only You Can Do It

You don’t have to do things the way they have always been done…or even the way they have ever been done. God created you unique, so be unique. Love Jesus and disciple others…and do it in the way that only YOU can do it.

Right now I am sitting in Starbucks listening to carefree music over the speakers that should be calming me down, but is actually annoying me. I had dedicated tonight to working on leadership material for this training course I am developing, but the whole evening has gone downhill. Weeks of work and 45 pages later and I am considering throwing it all out the window and starting over.

Chelsea, that is the absolute worst way to start a blog post. Yep, that’s probably right. But it’s honest. This is me being honest right now.

I can’t do this. I absolutely can’t do this. And then I remember the quote that I have been preaching to myself all week: “You will be the most tempted to quit when you are the closest to your calling.” (Steven Furtick).

Like, dude. What? I used to think that quote was so true, except right now when I’m in the moment and I feel the farthest away from accomplishing my objective. I came here to finish this, not dig myself deeper into a hole. I’m sitting here staring at pages and pages of great material and it feels empty.

Why does it feel empty? I’ve written a great class…awesome for study. There’s one problem: it’s not me. This isn’t who I am. This isn’t my style. This whole thing is put together the way I think it SHOULD be done…not the way I would teach.

I wonder how often this happens for us in life. We are frustrated in certain areas, not because we are doing something badly, but because we are doing things the way we think they SHOULD be done, rather than the way we were uniquely created to do them. Then we end up in Starbucks at the end of our rope, and no one wants to be there…at least at the end of our rope…although we might still should end up in Starbucks.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: if you’re going to end up in Starbucks, make it a happy thing. You don’t have to do things the way they have always been done…or even the way they have ever been done. God created you unique, so be unique. Love Jesus and disciple others…and do it in the way that only YOU can do it.

So today, if you are finding yourself at the point of giving up on a project or calling…ask yourself the question, “Am I frustrated because I am limiting myself to the way I think it SHOULD be done?” Then go get some Starbucks (preferably a Chai Tea Latte with six pumps of vanilla…just kidding…get what you want) and do it like only YOU can. Ready…set…GO!

I Want to See

I want to see Jesus lifted high. I want to see brokenness made whole in the presence of God. I want to see hearts renewed. I want to see hope rise here…right here…in North Platte.

It’s amazing how God can change a person’s heart.

Six months ago I would have said, “Never again will I live in North Platte.” I should have known better, really.

So God called me back to my hometown, the one place I always swore I would avoid. He gave me a vision of His power and love being poured out on the people of this town, with a light radiating from the lives transformed by His Spirit. In the name of Jesus, North Platte will be a beacon of hope to a watching world.

I was like those cynical people that said, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” So God attacked my pride.

Yesterday as I was praying in the sanctuary of my church, I saw in my heart streams of people rushing in the doors. I saw them worshiping God, hungry for more of Him. I realized how much I want to see that, right here.

And so I am praying that through me or someone else, that God would shake North Platte with His love. I am praying for an awakening of His Spirit, and I am praying that my heart might be ready.

A few days ago a sudden storm ripped through our town, tearing down dead branches and knocking over dying trees. Only the vibrant remained.

The Holy Spirit has often been compared to a mighty wind. May He sweep away all that is dead and dying within me, within our church, and in our community. May the Breath of Life once again raise up the dry bones of fallen soldiers and fill their lungs with power. I want to see Jesus lifted high. I want to see brokenness made whole in the presence of God. I want to see hearts renewed. I want to see hope rise here…right here…in North Platte.

So Satan, bow down before the Lamb, for this city is no longer yours.

In the name of Jesus may the Church rise up and fight for a world that needs salvation. May we hit the streets with His mighty love. May we not be hidden away in neat corners, but out touching and transforming messy lives. May we feel the urgency of the times and stop at nothing to share the hope that we know. Lord, give us Your vision. Fill our hearts with Your passion. Lord, may we see Your hand move, and not later. I want to see it now.

Will you pray with me?

To THAT Girl

I want to write this letter to THAT girl…

I want to write this letter to THAT girl…

The girl who is always passed up, overlooked, and turned down by the guys…

The girl who is left trying to figure out what is wrong with her and what that other girl has that she doesn’t…

I want to talk to YOU. Have you ever been THAT girl?

The girl who is never thin enough, athletic enough, pretty enough, funny enough, brave enough…

The girl who shouts for joy with her friends when they are blessed with the desires of their hearts, but goes home and cries herself to sleep.

THAT girl.

I hear you. I see you. I understand you, because I AM you.

I’ve shed those tears. I’ve felt that pain. I understand the loneliness and the wondering if it will be forever.

I get the questions that go through your mind.

Am I too much or not enough? Am I too intense or too nice?

Am I worth it?

It seems like the world would say you’re not. It definitely seems like guys would say you’re not.

And right now you expect me to come in and say something to try to win back your hope…

Right now you expect me to say that someday Prince Charming will come and that you won’t even remember all the years of pain getting there…

But I couldn’t say that, because truth be told, I don’t know what may come someday. And I can’t promise that you’ll forget.

And I wouldn’t try to cheaply explain away your pain, because people have done that to me for years and quite frankly, I hate it. I hate the well-intentioned comments that people make. I hate the flattery. I hate false promises…I’ve heard enough of them to make me doubt a real one.

Are you THAT girl?

I AM.

But there is so much MORE to me than that. And there is to YOU too.

I AM the girl who said “Yes” to God many times when I was scared to death…and watched miracles happen before my eyes.

I AM the girl who has been able to do so many crazy things with my life because my path looked different from my friends’….and I’m not sorry for that at all.

I AM the girl who overcame countless obstacles to become who I AM today. No, really…you have NO STINKING IDEA what I have had to go through.

I AM powerful in Christ. I AM successful because of Him. I AM relentlessly loved by Him.

And I NEVER EVER EVER have to apologize for who I AM.

I am THAT girl, and you’d better not forget it.

And you know what I think?

I think you’re THAT girl too. You’re AMAZING. You’re BEATUIFUL. You’re WANTED.

You’re WORTH IT.

And guess what?

You NEVER EVER EVER have to apologize for being THAT girl. Seriously, don’t do it. There is so much more to you than meets the eye…so much more than even you’ll ever know…so much more than any boy could ever define for you.

Go out there today and be THAT girl.

Wherever Is Trevor

{ he asks himself the same }

Words From Wheatleys

Mike and Cailyn | Extreme Nazarene Missions

embrace real

motivational coach sheli G

Andrew Alleyne

Love God, Love people...

Anderson and Janary

And their Journey of a Lifetime

Cooking With Asian Magic

This girl's culinary guide to veggin' in. A look at cooking meat-free and delicious.

Extreme Nazarene Missions

Change Hearts. Change the World.