Saturday, June 29, 2013

Introducing "Following in Your Footsteps"

My boyfriend told me about this book called, "The Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne.
He loves this book. In fact, he bought multiple copies so that he could lend to people. Aside from the Bible, he told me that it was one of the most life changing books he has ever read.
So with that high of praise, of course, I would want to read it!
I started reading it about a month ago. I'm sure I could have finished it faster, but it is full of really thought provoking ideas that you really need to sit and chew on before reading further (plus, I've been really busy lately).
My mom actually started reading it before I did and the first day of reading it for hours, she was totally impacted. Once I started reading it, I was affected the same way. I believe this book is meant to challenge get us out of our comfort zone of Christianity and get back to the like Jesus.
With that being said, check this book won't regret it!
Our flesh may make it difficult to live like Jesus, but Jesus has told us, "follow me". After reading this book, as well as a few others, I've been inspired to do a new blog series. It's been awhile since I've written a series and I'm really excited about this one. So grab a cup of coffee and join me in the next few weeks as we talk about what it really means to follow Christ!
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Where are you?

As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
    among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.
~Psalm 42
Yesterday, I went to my boyfriend's church.
The sermon was based upon Psalm 42. It was very relatable so I figured I'd share some of my favorite points with you.
During the sermon, Pastor Eric painted us a picture of what it looks like to be caught in the middle of a drought. Not literally, but figuratively.
The kind of drought that brings about questions and emotions. Not just any questions, but questions that are so desperate for answers. Questions that are life changing. Questions of why, where, and how.
Not just any emotion, but raw emotion. The emotions that well up deep within the soul that are fighting so desperately to come out. Emotions that come from an experience that often leaves a person feeling wrecked.
This is the kind of drought I'm talking about.
As I listened to the message, tears rolled down my cheek. My mind went straight to my close friends who have recently lost parents. I haven't experienced the death of a loved one so I can't really relate, but I do know that what so often follows a death are questions like "Why God? Where are you?!"
My heart aches for them.
Although I haven't asked those questions in that sense, I have asked them.
I've asked these questions when plans haven't work out the way that I had planned.
I've asked these questions when I've seen the world, as well as the tragedy it has faced.
Mostly, I've asked these questions in terms of my health. While I've writhed in pain, I've cried out to God, "Where are you? Why are you letting this happen? Rescue me!"
I'm sure you've faced similar experiences. If it hasn't been a death or illness, maybe it has been a broken relationship or disappointment. Who knows, but I bet that you've asked the why, where, and how questions before.
While some people may say that questioning God is bad, Pastor Eric encouraged us that questions are good. Questions are healthy, as well as emotions (even anger and sadness). He said, "being Christian doesn't mean we have it altogether, but what happens when you get it wrong."
So be encouraged if you are facing a drought right now and don't understand why...I may not have an answer for you, but I do know it isn't because God has left you. He hasn't left you. He is by your side. He never promised that life would be easy. He never said that if you follow Him nothing bad will happen, but instead Jesus said, "take up your cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).  The cross may be heavy and may rub the wrong way at times, but it's worth it in the end.
Don't feel ashamed to question or to feel emotion. Lean upon God and have hope.
You see, a drought is always followed by a shower.
If you are in a drought, I pray that you will feel a shower of love, peace, and comfort that only God can provide.
(If you need more encouragement check out my post, Joy Abounds),
In loving memory of Andi & Jim - 2 people I was blessed to have known.
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
Reading plan for the week:
Today: 2 Chronicles 28-31
Tuesday: 2 Chronicles 32-34
Wednesday: 2 Chronicles 35-36
Thursday: Ezra 1-3
Friday: Ezra 4-7
Saturday: Ezra 8-10
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

leaving a legacy

So I know it's Tuesday and I normally post "Sermon notes" on Sunday, because that's when I go to church. However, I've been crazy busy the past few days so "Sermon notes" on Tuesday will just have to work. :)

I went to my parent's church on Sunday because it was Father's Day and boy, am I glad I did?!
Pastor Brian gave the message and it is now in my top 3 sermons that I've ever heard.

As a church, they've been journeying through a sermon series over "legacy". I believe this sermon was the last of the series, but even though I came in on the last, it was still wonderful!

Since we'll be talking about leaving a "legacy", I think it is only appropriate to know the definition...
According to Webster's dictionary, a legacy is "something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past".

 I think of legacy as leaving a lasting impact...influencing those who follow after you.
Have you ever wanted to make a difference in the world?
If you have, I would say you want to leave a legacy. I think that's a wonderful thing! However, what kind of a legacy do you want to leave?
A legacy of materialism?
A legacy of charity?
A legacy of judgment?
A legacy of acceptance?
A legacy of hatred?
A legacy of love?
As Christians, we should strive to leave a legacy.
Not just any legacy, but a legacy of worth.
A lasting impact that is life-giving.
Pastor Brian outlined it in this way...
1) To leave a legacy of worth:
A) we must widen our circle
*we should get past ourselves, our families, our friends and reach out to others...people who we normally do not associate with.*
B) imagine the end
*Remember that God is always on His throne...this can relieve the stress that we may face.*
2) There is a war raging! And the battle ground is the hearts of God's, image bearing people.
*We are all made in God's image (Genesis 1:27 - So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God he created them.)*
*It is in our hearts where we face struggle."
3) Moses knows that leaving a legacy of worth means love for the hearts of people.
*Love people for who they are...for what is in their hearts, instead of what you think they're about.*
4) Fighting for the hearts of people is always better than fighting with people.
*When we fight with people: we want to win, we build up walls, we don't listen, and we act out of selfishness.*
When we fight for people: we want them to win, we break down walls, we listen, and we act out of selflessness.*
Pastor Brian used the story of Jesus and the adulteress in John 8.
Many theologians have questioned what Jesus was writing on the ground, but Pastor Brian encouraged us to focus on Jesus' posture. He knelt down to the ground, just as the woman did in shame and fear of being in shame. Instead of Jesus standing and pointing his finger at the woman, He got down on her level and fought for her.
That is exactly how we should live. Instead of pointing the finger at someone, we should step in their shoes and fight for them.
 This point was my favorite out of the whole about convicting!
5) When it comes to communicating rules, regulations, and obedience, it's always best to do it with love.
*I think it is so easy for us to tell people what they should and shouldn't do, with a judgmental demeanor. Instead, we should always act out of love, because that is life-giving.*
"Love is the way to a legacy of worth."
So what kind of legacy are you going to leave?
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
Reading plan for the week:
Monday: 2 Chronicles 6-8
Tuesday: 2 Chronicles 9-12
Wednesday: 2 Chronicles 13-17
Thursday: 2 Chronicles 18-20
Friday: 2 Chronicles 21-24
Saturday: 2 Chronicles 25-27
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Friday, June 14, 2013

Please never leave me

As I've been journeying through the Bible, I've noticed several reoccurring themes such as love, grace, redemption and others.
The theme that I've noticed throughout both the Old & New Testament that has offered me such an abundance of hope during my treatment of Lyme Disease, has been the truth that God has never left my side, never will and I say that with confidence!
Many people say, "never say never!", but I have confidence that I can use "never" in this situation.
God will never leave me.
God will never leave you.
I know I have talked about this several times in other posts (God was with me, Fear of Separation, Clueless, Overwhelmed & Excited), but I feel like we need to be reminded of this truth often. Today, maybe you need to be reminded that God is with you...right now...and He'll never leave you.
If you have been joining me on the journey-through-the-Bible in a year plan,
you read in 1 Chronicles 28:20-21 that King David was encouraging Solomon by saying...
"Take charge! Take heart! Don't be anxious or get discouraged. God, my God, is with you in this, he won't walk off and leave you in the lurch. He's at your side until every last detail is completed for conducting the worship of God." (The Message translation)
This isn't the only place in the Bible where we are reminded that God is always by our side. Many people wrote to us exclaiming, "God is with you!" They were all in different situations and different places, but God was still with them.
You may be in a place where you feel lonely and abandoned, but you aren't...
God is with you.
You may be in a place where you're distracted & far away from God, but you aren't...
God is with you.
You may be in a place where you doubt God because of your circumstances, but you aren't...
God is with you.
We all are in different places and situations, yet we all share something...
God is with us.
Isn't that amazing?!
He wants us to realize that He is here for us, no matter what.
No matter where you are, God is there for you.
He's reaching His hand out to you, waiting for you to grab hold.
I hope this brought encouragement to you.
This morning, God was telling me, "Chelsea, I'm here for attention to me." We can get caught up in our busy lives and miss out on the most important thing...our relationship with God.
Check out this's one of my favorites :]
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"The Thread"

I always get excited when I run across a cool video...
just like last week, I figured I'd share this video with you too!
A few months ago, I talked about the class I was taking called "Perspectives".
One of the things we talked about how there is a "thread" throughout the Bible...
a reoccurring theme...a story that includes us.
This video basically explains that same idea just in a unique way.
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
Reading plan for the week:
Monday: 1 Chronicles 15-17
Tuesday: 1 Chronicles 18-21
Wednesday: 1 Chronicles 22-24
Thursday: 1 Chronicles 25-27
Friday: 1 Chronicles 28 - 2 Chronicles 1
Saturday: 2 Chronicles 2-5
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Sunday, June 9, 2013


I hope everyone had a great week!
What do you find pleasure in? What makes you satisfied?
Do you find pleasure in worldly things? Or do you find satisfaction in the one who made you?
Sometimes I can get caught up in the things of this world, but I'm constantly checking myself...focusing on the truth that I can only find true satisfaction in the One who made me.
It is only when I align myself with Christ that I can find true pleasure and satisfaction in this life. That indescribable satisfaction found deep within our souls can only grow from the seed of life...Christ.
So I stumbled upon this video journal by Tenth Avenue North and thought it was too good, not to share with you!
Check it out!
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Sunday, June 2, 2013

I like a challenge

Going to new places and seeing new things is always fun for me. Driving through a new town, seeing the sights creates an excitement in me and a motivation to explore!
Seeing the landscape, learning about the history of the town, and {probably} getting lost along on the way, keeps me on my toes and gives me a challenge.
{I like a challenge!}
It doesn't always stay that places turn into old places, the unfamiliar turn into familiar, and the uncomfortable becomes comfortable.
The day my family started looking for places to move, we drove to this country town (my hometown now) and kept our eyes peeled of our surroundings. We were checking out the houses, schools, stores, land and more. We didn't want to miss a thing. Our eyes were wide open to make sure that this was the place we wanted to live.
15 years later and I no longer pay close attention to the small details of my hometown. 
 You know why?
I'm comfortable.
I can tell you all the short cuts, which roads lead to what cities, and of course, where you can find the best sno-cones in town ;)
The familiar can be rather comfortable (and that's okay!),
BUT when we start to get comfortable and familiar, we stop exploring.
We stop finding new routes or meeting new people and we stay in our comfort zone, afraid to become unfamiliar.
This reminds me of how our faith can become. We often get comfortable with what we learned from our parents and church, which keeps us barricaded in our own comfort zone.
Now, I'm NOT saying rebel from your parents and picket the church, but I AM saying, don't be afraid to move the barricades and set out on an unknown road. We stop reading our Bibles. We stop asking questions. We stop hearing different perspectives and we wonder why we aren't getting anywhere. We're stagnant, comfortable, and familiar.
There's nothing wrong with believing what your parents or church believes, but don't be afraid to challenge yourself by thinking outside of your comfort zone.
Study the Bible for yourself and not for anyone else.
Read articles/books.
Talk and listen to people with different perspectives.
Find someone who will challenge you.
Keep an open mind.
Don't be afraid to get uncomfortable.
It's important to never let your faith get familiar.
Have a heart that is always wanting to learn and grow.
Maybe you aren't ready to get out of your comfort zone and I totally understand.
That's okay!
Come to God and ask that He gives you a heart that is ready to embark on a journey of growing closer to Him, even if it's uncomfortable.

I've definitely had my fair share of familiarity, but thankfully God brought someone into my life that has challenged me to ask the tough questions. Someone who isn't going to judge me and tell me what to believe, but to simply challenge me to seek out the nature of God.
I hope and pray that you can be challenged the same way! Feel free to email me if you are unable to find someone who can challenge you-I'd love to talk :)
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day! 
This week's Bible reading plan:
Monday: 1 Chronicle 1-2
Tuesday: 1 Chronicle 3-5
Wednesday: 1 Chronicle 6
Thursday: 1 Chronicle 7-8
Friday: 1 Chronicle 9-11
Saturday: 1 Chronicle 12-14
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