ATTENTION PASTORS – I HAVE A QUESTION…

I had zero responses when I posted this question on a Sunday afternoon. Granted, I asked this on a SUNDAY AFTERNOON. This is when I choose to take a nap (or my body shuts down without warning). I assume a lot of pastors/church staff members do the same. It was brilliant to seek answers at that time.

So, I’m asking again…

Attention Church Planters/Pastors/Church Leaders:

I want to hear some things from you – What are your “in our first six months as a church” stories? 

 

I’m asking because with a heart so full it may explode (another post, another day)…I want to hear from you.

 

Sincerely and Thank you

Chantel

Repentance and Convictions…

Before I get started, I want to make one thing very clear. This post is not about another church. This post is not bad mouthing or judging anyone. This post is about my conviction, my failure, repentance and determination to remain focused on the task at hand. To prove it, I went back and changed all the “ours and we” to “I and my”.

The things that have been challenging and dare say groundbreaking to me over the last couple of years make me sad.

I repent.

Where did my ideas come from? How comfortable was I in my ideas of how things should look and be done? I’ve read books that have messed me up. The authors write about loving and serving people, giving, fighting against injustice…a lot of doing that kind of seems new. Maybe not new news, it’s not new. It’s as old and familiar as time. It’s all over the bible. I’ve read it. I thought I had lived it…till I realized that I really hadn’t…not to the capacity I was supposed to. I wasn’t actually doing it, living it, moving beyond the hearing or the comfort of serving the way I always have…actually being the Church outside of the four walls of the church, that is. My heart and my mind were never fully engaged in it. I’ve been serving in the church for about as long as I can remember. I’m learning to let go of the ideas that were simply just mine to begin with. I love people. Yet, there is more. We have a greater capacity and calling to love bigger and show that love greater.

It broke my heart.

I still wrestle with how this is supposed to look. I am grateful for the examples. The examples have shown me how what He is wrecking in me doesn’t make me crazy it makes me a part of the Story. I’m glad that it has pushed me the way it has. I love how it challenges how I read my bible. I don’t shy away. I see it everywhere…I see it more than I ever have before. I’ve never wrestled with this like I have in the last couple of years. I want to make a difference so bad that it rests heavy in my heart. There hasn’t been any going back for a while now, but the challenges continue.

I think that sometimes we make it way more complicated…

This is my conviction. The present and the future excite me!

My Reflections on Loss…

I have to start this off on a positive note before I get really reflective and think about what this day meant a year ago. This day has been special to me for a long time because two people who mean the world to me got married 22 years ago!

Happy Anniversary to Matt and Rhonda!!! Your life and marriage has always been an example and a enormous blessing to everyone around you. Love you guys!!!

Today marks one year since my cousin Kevin passed away from cancer.

These are just some thoughts on what has hit me about his loss in this past year. They may seem like scattered thoughts…they kind of are. You have been warned. I ask for your prayers today for my family.

I was 28yrs old and it was the first time in my life I had lost someone close to me. My whole family had their world turned upside down and broken.

I will never forget worship that following Sunday. I was in tears before I walked in the door. I had to walk away when a friend showed me a picture of the buck he had just caught (Kevin’s favorite thing). Tears are not the appropriate response for a woman when they see a dead buck…at least not this woman. I didn’t even make it through practice. I cried. Singing lyrics like “above all sickness, above all fear, above every heart ache here, in earth and heaven, my God reigns”, I was done. The second service something rose up on the inside of me despite grief. Those words were just as true as they were the week before. The truth remained. God does indeed reign.

I cried when I was making a Christmas gift list and started to write his name. I did when I changed my cell number and saw I still had his number in my phone. I can’t look at pictures of those with cancer without an ache in my gut and movies about such things make me feel emotionally unstable.

The last time I gave Kevin a hug he was healthy, had long hair and was the sarcastic, funny man I have always known. My mom said that is how I should remember him. The pictures alone of him suffering were too much to handle. Cancer sucks! I want to punch it in the face.

We miss his laugh, goofy facial expressions, his sarcasm, his heart, his nicknames…

I could go on and on. My family hurts today. I hate that. I can be grateful for many things. I can see God’s faithfulness in the midst of pain.

I’ve only been “Chantilly” to one person…and we miss him today.

Music Questions…

I have a question for whoever would like to answer on this fine Monday.

There are so many stigmas on music. There are ideas associated with style, genre, combinations of the two and personal preference as to what is good and what is not.

What is your favorite?

Is there a particular reason why?

When it comes to worship music/style, whats your favorite?

Why?

I’m in thought this morning and would love some feedback.

If I don’t have feedback, then I am just talking to myself.

Help a sister out!

Random Wednesday – courtesy of Tonkawa, OK

Here is a little something random  for your Wednesday.

A piece of my heart is in Tonkawa, Oklahoma…here is one really random reason why. One status update from one of the Reese’s. Copy/paste straight from facebook.

I warn you…it’s random. I love these guys! I assure you there is much to be learned from them 🙂

 

something controversial.
 ·  · Share · about an hour ago · Privacy:

  • Joshua Reese likes this.
    • Regan Reese Something argumenative

      43 minutes ago · 
    • Joshua Reese Something counter argumentative.

      40 minutes ago · 
    • Dalton White Something counter argumentive then vetoed

      32 minutes ago · 
    • Christopher Li Richardson Something irrelevant and filled with religious hostility.

      9 minutes ago · 
    • Joshua Reese Something really really long filled with statistics and unproven theories with arrogant haughty remarks and quips, finished with a light hearted joke aimed at making one look stupid, yet solidifying my point.

      6 minutes ago · 
    • Christopher Li Richardson Out of context scripture reference rebuttal. Pity my opposers.

      2 minutes ago · 

Second Chances…

This has been a constant thought the last few days. I decided to share it with you.

We say that God is a God of second chances. I honestly believe this. Then I question myself.

Do I really?

I mean, of course I do.

But really???

Here is where this thought came from.

My husband and I had a random and offensive (at least for me) restaurant experience a few months ago. I swore off the place (even though they were the best boneless wings I have ever had). Last week he suggested we return. I reluctantly agreed. The same girl who offended me was our server. I felt myself fight off the snippy attitude. My husband gave the general “everyone deserves a second chance”. I felt the wall rise up…of course…but this doesn’t apply here. Please pray for my depraved soul…

I know that this is DUMB!

I shook it off for one good reason….it was dumb! This is not what I believe about people. It is not grace. It is not biblical. Mind you, this is a ridiculous reason to write someone off. I started thinking about the people I believe in (and those who I have subconsciously written off….OUCH!), the people to whom God gives second chances. For clarity sake…that is ALL OF US. We are all saved by grace. We ALL fall short of His glory. We like to put that “ALL” into specific categories and judge accordingly. We don’t get to do that. It’s kind of an all or nothing…

If there is nothing that can separate us from the love that God has for us, why do we try to put up the walls for other people. I have failed. I have seen others fail. I have been hurt by failures of others. I have seen God restore…

He is indeed the God of second chances….

 

For some stories that will shut you up check out People of the Second Chance