The Blog that Builds Up
June 6, 2011
So we've reached the end of our latest God Book series titled, "The Christ-Ruled Church"based on the book of Colossians. Another great series, more moments of learning, growth, worship and building.
I don't know about you but when I get to the end of something big, it automatically causes me to take an inventory of what I've experienced and how it has affected my life. And in puting it into a simple sentence, I've been reminded of this fact:
I, Chris Chase, need people. I am NOT Church. We are.
This is contrary to the current post-modern cultural lie, which encourages a me-first attitude. It's important that out of this series, we leave with a sense that we are all a part of something huge! Something colossal! And each of us play a role in it. And we need each each other to encourage, exhort and lovingly correct one another to stay on the course God has for us. My salvation experience is not just for my own personal benefit. It is not simply to get me to heaven. It is to connect me to God's large purpose of redeeming, restoring and reviving what was lost.
And that connects ME to YOU and YOU to everyone else that calls Jesus their Lord!
And together, we're to be the voice against injustice, poverty, abandonment and evil. We are to be the breath of life to broken social systems, hurting people and darkness. We are to be joy and stability when turmoil rears its head. We are to represent Jesus in locker rooms, classrooms, breakrooms, meeting rooms and more. We are to give #shoutouts where we can. We are to be, as Christ prayed in John 17:20-23, one just as He and His father are. And as the world sees us live as one, despite our many differences, it'll be the greatest witness to the power of God!
And we can't do ANY of this alone. We were never supposed to.
We are in fact, stronger together!
About the Author
May 30, 2011
This past Sunday, I conducted an experiment.
I thought to myself, "What would my week look like if I started it off by encouraging other people? Not to get something in return but simply to lift them up?" So through the social media connector known as Twitter, I created a hashtag (twitter talk for starting a trending topic) with the words "*ShoutoutSundays" behind it. I then would write a kind note about someone and what they had done for me or someone else (take care of the kids of APC, lead worship at Resonate, show kindness to a stranger, etc.) with the words #shoutoutsundays behind it.
I did this to let them know someone cared about their actions and appreciated who they are and what they do. I did this because being the church means noticing the others IN the church and building them up in the most holy faith. I did this because I need to spend more time on others than on myself.
And you know what? I've never had more fun!
My eyes were open to gifts and talents in others I'd never seen before. My heart was bursting with joy at seeing friends attempt new ventures in God. My mind was thinking of ways to put in words how awesome they were! I spent so much time on OTHERS that worrying about ME never came up. It was about lifting THEM up. It even translated to Resonate as 30+ students spent a great portion of the night building one another up! It was awesome!
As the day turned to night, my twitter feed and email inbox was filled with encouraging words to me, words that spoke directly to where I am in my life. I was able to put my head to the pillow knowing I was cared for, loved, prayed for and supported as the rigorous work week began. And I don't have to tell you what a good feeling that is!
I really believe that as the church, if we're focusing on others and on how we can lift them up, in turn, God will send someone our way to lift us up in return! So next week, on your way to church, at APC or wherever, why not BE the CHURCH and start your morning with some shout outs? You won't regret it!
*Note:In hip hop terms, a "shout out" is verbal recognition of a cool thing someone has done (if you need an example, see any award show...)
About the Author
May 24, 2011
Down with Rules??
I think teens look at rules
in one of two ways:
One, they look at rules as lame.
Two, they look at rules as lame AND stupid.
No teenager LOVES a curfew. No teenager loves NOT being able to do whatever they want. No teenager looks forward to NOT being able to date while in high school, NOT being able to spend their money on whatever, NOT being able to hang out with the wrong crowd, et cetera, et cetera and et cetera.
I would be lying if I said a didn’t break a rule or two…or 2,000,000 cause I was a typical kid who knew exactly how life should go. What I didn’t realize was that while certain rules were, looking back on them, both lame AND stupid, the majority of them protected me from getting hurt or into trouble. Curfew kept me off the streets. TV and video game limits helped encourage book and other types of activities. Napping simply made me appreciate sleep (a commodity I took for granted and am paying for now!). Reading my Bible helped me understand God’s heart and will for my life.
So rules were AND are worth it.
A world with no rules falls to chaos, militant stances and destruction. A world without rules allows the sinful nature in each of us to jump to the forefront, displaying the true contents of our hearts. As we follow God’s word and take it to heart, we realize that His rules aren’t really RULES as they are more guidelines that free us up to experience life as He truly intended us to. His word in us with the Holy Spirit, grows godly character, fruit, and love.
And THEN we no longer do things because we HAVE to. Instead, in light of the cross, we obey because we WANT to. The “rules” become our joy, no longer lame.
That’s a good place to be.
About the Author
May 17, 2011
The Upfront Pain
When I was a kid, I hated getting needles.
I knew they were good for me, at least that’s what my parents told me. And I knew they’d protect me from getting really sick. I knew all of that. But I still hated them.
Why? Because they hurt! The thought of a needle poking into my arm brought severe distress, fear and I have to admit, a few tears as well. I never saw, as I do now, the long term benefit of the medicine I was receiving. All I saw, and felt, was the upfront pain. The tearing off of the band aid-type pain. Not even the receiving of a lollipop and sticker could make me forget it or appreciate it.
I think we look at forgiveness that way. If we’ve been used to being angry with someone and we’ve gotten used to that feeling, to suddenly become vulnerable and forgiving hurts. If we’ve been on the other side of wrong and need to ask for forgiveness, that act of humility hurts. We don’t see the long term affects (a clean heart, a right relationship, a cleared connection with Christ, a story to tell, etc.). We only see, and feel, the reminder of hurt, loss and tragedy. And so we avoid the ‘needle’ and choose to get sick instead of taking it, forgiving someone and getting better.
Now, unlike me as a kid, no one can force us to forgive (I wish my parents didn’t have to force me to get my shots!), but if we are the Church, a part of that is taking the needle and the short-term pain for the long-term blessing of a healthy community. Hopefully, during this ONE FOCUS, we will all take the pain knowing that it’ll keep us from getting sick.
And who knows? Maybe you might get a lollipop and sticker too.
We’re never too old for that.
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