A goodbye letter to my teenage students..

If you have a child this message will make sense to you.  If you know a child this message will make sense to you.  If you love a child this message will make sense to you. If you ARE a child (practically adult, I know) this message will be maybe not so typical for you.

  
Dear teenagers that I love,

#1.) You are so much more beautiful than you realize.  Understand that we aren’t created to be perfect, we are created to do God’s work and when you build great friendships and develop a great support system you won’t doubt how amazing you are. You will truly know that you are beautiful in the deepest place of your heart when you find yourself developing a deeper relationship with Christ.  

#2.) Only God can determine your worth and he thought you were worth sending his son to die for.  Quit letting boys determine your worth, or E!, or Instagram filters, or a good snapchat angle.  Please understand that no man or anyone for that matter can ever explain to you how much you are truly worth.  Once you realize God sent his one and only son to die for YOU, only then will you realize how worth it you really are.

#3.) Quit putting friends and boys first.. But if you do, don’t forget to love the people who love you most. It’s so natural to want to put the people who “get you” first, but I want to remind you to please love and honor your parents.  I totally know sometimes it’s so hard BUT they love you, in a go to bed at 8pm kind of way.  Even though we want boys to hold us and friends to laugh with us our parents are truly the people God sent to love us unconditionally without question.. So, don’t forget to love them back even when life sucks.

#4.) Think about the mission.  It’s okay to laugh, try new things, meet new people, dress crazy, and love food passionately BUT don’t forget that past middle school and high school there is a world that won’t care about you, but God always will.  There is a world that will beat you up, but God always has the ice pack and heating pad.  Don’t forget that once this crazy ride called school is over there is a bigger mission.  One of my biggest regrets in HS is that I spent more time bullying and gossiping then I did loving and forgiving and imagine the students I could have gotten to see Christ if I had just BEEN an EXAMPLE of Christ.  So, don’t forget that even though I’m not there to remind you, think about the mission, Christs mission.

#5.) Be You.  I remember thinking I had to try alcohol and stuff because everyone else was.  I remember thinking “of course I have to share this meme about drugs because I need to be accepted by this group of friends”.. But it wasn’t me.  I did things, & said things just because I wanted to be liked by certain groups of people.  I know that’s normal, but trust me when I say what God created you for was to be exactly You.  He doesn’t want you to be like that boy or your friends he wants the heart you have deep inside to be the one you show the world.  Be you.

#6.) Pray.  I know you feel like no one hears you.. I know you feel like it’s so hard to focus.. I know sometimes you feel like it won’t do anything, but please pray.  Truly, I tell you God promised in His word that He hears your prayers.  Don’t ever miss a moment to tell the creator of the universe thank you for what you have and don’t ever be afraid to share your heart (broken or not) with Him.. He created it anyways.

#7.) This is the last and most important thing I’ll leave you with.. Love. Love God and love the world.  I am convinced high school is meant to test us.  It is meant to be a test if we can stay true to ourselves, love our God, and love others even when they gossip behind our backs.  I know she sent that nasty snapchat, I know she totally didn’t tag you in that Instagram group photo, and I know you totally hate her guts right now BUT love anyways.  God loves you and you’ve definitely screwed up right?  So, love that mean girl anyways.  Love when God doesn’t always give you what you prayed for.  Love even when it’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do, I promise, God says it will be worth it on that judgement day when we see him again. 

Teens,

I love you. I love you so much.  Thank you for letting me teach you about God.  Thank you for forgiving me when I missed your cheerleading or your track meets.  Thank you for coming to YG even when you wanted to sleep.  Thank you for loving me unconditionally.  Thank you for always saying “I love you” back.  Thank you for trusting my ministry in Dundee and thank you for opening up your hearts to me.  I am moving on to the next chapter I know God wants me to write, but while I am leaving I am always going to be here for you.  Don’t ever forget that it’s never been about me, it’s always been about Jesus and I have complete confidence you will all discover yourselves in Him in due time.  I love you with every beat of my heart.

Sincerely,

Chelsea MacAdam 

Dundee Community Church of the Nazarene Youth Pastor ❤️

   
    
   

What are the qualifications?

If you’ve read any of my blogs you are well aware I was not raised a Christian.  Your also well aware that I did not start believing in God until a few years ago and began in Youth Ministry a year after I was saved by the Lord.  The journey has been beautiful, insane, crazy and incredible.  When I first felt a call into being a youth pastor I first asked God, “what are the qualifications?”  In fact, I think I asked many people, “how can I feel this call with NO qualifications?”

  

 God doesn’t call the equipt, he equips the called.

Someone recently read me that quote and I can’t think of a better quote to try and explain what God has put on my heart this week.  I have recently been doing a Bible Study on Jonah with one of my great friends, and this week she touched on something that brought all the hallelujahs and amens right out of my soul.  She talked about the Holy Spirit.  For any non-believers reading this, and yes, I believe you are because I would read stuff like this too and scoff the entire time at the ridiculous comments BUT I urge you to read this one through.  

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38

The gift of the Holy Spirit Peter said.  What a beautiful, incredible, amazing gift we are GIVEN by God when we repent and accept Him as Lord.  If you’ve been given the gift of the Holy Spirit YOU ARE QUALIFIED.  This was and still is the most difficult part of this call on my life to be a Pastor.. What are the qualifications?

JESUS TOLD US all we needed to know!  We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit so that God may do HOLY work through us!  We have the living God INSIDE OF US!  

Today, STOP asking God if you are qualified.  Stop feeling like you aren’t good enough.  Stop asking God if He is sure when it is YOU that are unsure in your Faith if you doubt who He is calling.

“Forgiveness of past sins qualify you for present service” – Pricilla Scrier Jonah Study week 3

Do you realize that?  Do you fully accept God in your life?  Then ACCEPT that you are forgiven and that you are qualified. 

 Quit asking God if He is sure and start telling God you are ready.  

What are your qualifications Lord?  No.  What are my duties Lord?

  

You can’t really have chosen me Lord..could you?

Your testimony matters.  To someone. To everyone. Someone, somewhere needs to hear your testimony.  Don’t ever stop sharing it.

Psalm 34:18
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit

  
*DISCLAIMER: if you are a drinker, a smoker, a broken woman or man, whoever or whatever you are or do I will NEVER judge you, ever. This is MY story, not a writing of judgement and hate*

The photos above were pictures of my life about three years ago.. I spent many nights with alcohol, & sin.  I was diagnosed with depression (anyone who knows me now wouldnt believe that), I was sick constantly and battling migraines all the time, I was unmotivated, pushing 270 lbs, doing the bare minimum in life to get by, and my priorities were so out of whack I bearly ever saw my family or siblings.  

I was introduced to Herbalife (cue God).  I started getting my health in order and felt amazing and slowly started changing my life.. Obviously didn’t cut the drinking but cut down, lost weight, got off meds, and discovered motivation.  My husband (fiancé at the time) and I decided we wanted to open a nutrition club, but for some crazy reason we kept getting denied at our Sylvania and Toledo locations (thank you God).  We randomly get a call one day that my friend from college parents had a space we could use but it was in Dundee, MI.  “What the heck is in Dundee???” I asked Tyler and he responded, “no clue but let’s do it”!  We did just that (thanks again God).  21 years of bad decisions and a life of sin BUT I saw a light as we opened our business in this small village of Dundee.  I continued to drink and make stupid choices that I don’t think are super important but my life continued on a path where I was still lost but there was a light at the end of the tunnel.  Then my husband and I met a couple who came into our nutrition club in this small town of Dundee.  This couple laughed with us, got to know us, and spent time with us.  A few weeks into our new friendship the husband explained he was a Pastor in the area. 

HOLD IT

My Faith then: who the heck is God? A fake, imaginary character you all make up in your mind to judge and be nasty to anyone unlike you.  Religion is a joke and your God Is a complete figment of your imagination. 

   Although I felt VERY STRONGLY about my Atheist viewpoint on Religion I decided they were too nice of people to shut out over differences in opinion so we continued to be friends.  Eventually they invited me to their church just to try it out, my husband and I talked and decided because he believed it wasn’t fair for me to rule that part of our marriage and we would go.

   I couldn’t tell you what Pastor Jeff preached on that week but I remember it made me feel weird.  It made me wonder and question my beliefs.  I walked out of that church wondering what having Faith truly meant and my life would never be the same.  I met with Jeff almost daily as we studied scripture and dove into the Bible.. I immediatly wanted what he had.  This secure, strong belief in something that he knew was so real. I wanted the fulfilling life he seemed to lead and the impactful man he was, was the woman I aspired to be.  I never stopped asking questions, but I had the hardest time  believing what he was teaching and telling me.  Here is what you need to know:  

I spent 22 years not believing in God and claiming to be an Atheist.  I spent 22 years believing in nothing. I spent 22 years disconnected from my creator.  

  I started attending church because of a RELATIONSHIP God created and I continued to go because of the curiosity he laid on my heart.  It was not easy.  I spent so many nights crying in bed praying to this God I still couldn’t believe in.  I cried out begging for Faith.  I cried out pleading with God.. “please Lord, give me Faith and give me a heart and mind to believe in you because I want to but I just can’t”.  No matter what I did or what I prayed I still didn’t believe the Bible I was reading and one day, a few months later, sitting in the pews at the Dundee Community Church of the Nazarene God saved my soul.  God grabbed ahold of me like no passion or love I had ever felt before in 22 years.

This testimony is MY story.  This is what God did in my life.  I share this because of my current situation.. I spend days and nights sometimes worried that there is no way God called me into this ministry.  There is NO WAY God chose me to preach His word, teach these kids, or be this woman for His people.  Then I realize that is Satan still creeping in my life.  I remember that it is my testimony that it is proof of His grace and redemption.  It is a story just like mine.. One of a broken woman with a broken past saved in Christ, born into a New Creation to change His world and serve His people that inspires others to believe in Him.  I don’t share my testimony because I am perfect or complete.. I share my story because I am one of millions.  I share this because God didn’t just chose me.. He wants you too.  Even you reading this means He is crossing our paths and there is a reason.  

Psalm 34:18 — The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

The Lord saved me.. He restored my broken pieces & lit a fire in my soul.  The Lord is using me and will continue to use me because that’s exactly who he uses.  Do not let ANYONE lead you to believe you are beyond repair because the God who created the UNIVERSE wants to reach you, you just have to answer the door.  Don’t ever feel unworthy, I promise God created you for so much more.  He needs you, are you ready to share your testimony?  Are you ready to ask God to meet you?  Trust me, he’s already been setting you up for this very moment.

 Thank you Lord, for saving me.  Thank you for using me even though I am worthless without you.  Thank you for loving me, for trusting me with your work no matter where I came from.
 


Move over God, I’ve got this!

We are all faced with choices. Where do you want to live? Where do you want to work? What kind of car do you want? What color hair do you want? Even in random day to day activities we are constantly asked to make a choice. What if the choices get more serious? What if the choice determines your future? What if the choice is huge? Then what?  
Sometimes it seems so easy to let God take over parts of your life right? Sure God, you can take my choices.. I mean, most of them. Sure God, you can totally have my body I’ll take care of it for you. What about sure God, you can have my heart.. Sure God, you can have my life.. Sure God, you can have my kids.. What about those things?

        You see, it seems we have no problem giving certain things to God but we are so quick to hold back on so many things God requires us to give to Him. I am a firm believer that we hold these things back because we are afraid of the outcome if we are not in full control.  We have become apart of the world just as scripture warns.  We become of the world and start to feel this crazy need to be in control of all things at all times.. There are even self help books out there that tell us as long as WE manifest it we can have it.  WOAH, isn’t that nuts?  To think that we don’t need God?  We can, by just manifesting our wants, we can speak them into exsistance.  Even that very concept puts God in the backseat and that’s a very popular Personal Development concept!  What if I take that career and I end up with so little I can’t pay bills? What if I move to that place and don’t know anyone? What if i want to be in the drivers seat of my child’s life? You have to see the trend here.. The reason we spend so much time holding onto the steering wheel in our lives is because of the “what if” outcome and because no way are we letting anyone make our choices for us.  We MUST control our destiny!   

Let me challenge you with this. What if God has incredible plans in store for you? What if everything that is happening is exactly what he wants for you? What if you missed His plan for you because you couldn’t get out of the drivers seat?

Check out a few of these verses..

  
Trust in the LORD with all your heart;do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6) 

I, personally understand the difficulty in giving your life to the Lord because I spent 22 years not believing there was a God only to discover after 22 years of doing it my way that he wanted full control. I will never say it was the easiest thing I have ever done but it was absolutely the most freeing thing I’ve ever done. You see, when I gave my heart, my life, and my decisions to the Lord I gave up the life of sin I was living. God knew exactly what he was doing when he required me to put him first. I challenge you to do the same. I don’t mean let God drive only when it’s sunny out.. I mean give the keys over when it’s pouring and your afraid. Even if you feel nervous sometimes in the decisions God is making in your life just take a deep breath (you know the one He gave you), & relax. Take a moment when it feels scary to realize that He planned this before you were even a thought in your mothers head. He knows you, He loves you, & even though sometimes it’s the hardest thing in the world.. He has you in his hands.. Let go, hand over the keys, and get ready to watch your life transform in Christ. 

All I have is yours God, take it all.

   

..but my GPS said turn left?..

This past weekend and beginning of this week I traveled to Jackson, Michigan for a Youth Pastor’s Retreat (thank you Pastor Jeff T. from Plymouth for putting it together).  As I was heading up to the retreat my GPS took me to a different location than the actual cabin.. This happened 4 times that weekend as we traveled to various restaurants and locations.  Each time I plugged an address into my GPS somehow it took me to a totally different place, it was insane!  I wondered to myself, “how does everyone else’s GPS work just fine but I’m lost every time?!”. I quickly discovered on my quiet hour ride home today that God was allowing me to experience a message.  My GPS quickly stood for, Gods on Purpose Situations as he was revealing to me the importance of seeking his face as a first resort.  You see, there is a common thing that occurs each and every time I am stuck at a location that was not intended to be my final destination. There is ONE common thing I do when I am lost and have NO other choice.  I must call my husband.. No, just kidding, but I have to ask for help or I must use a different online GPS.  I am 100% reliant if I am lost, on my GPS, so I will sit in my unknown location for as long as it takes until my GPS gives me a second option or shows me the correct path.  It hit me like the worst dad joke you’ve ever heard on my way home.. I realized there is one common factor when I hit rock bottom too.  There is one common denominator when I have nothing left and I feel so hopeless..

Jesus Christ.  

Just like when I get lost and have NO choice but to turn to my GPS when I get overwhelmed, afraid, hopeless, or torn apart the only solution is my God.  What also occurred to me is that we spend so much time crying to the sky sounding something like this.. 

  • Lord, how could you do this to me?
  • Lord, I am a good person I don’t deserve this!
  • Lord, how could you make my life so miserable?

Just to name a few, Sound familiar?  We spend so much time blaming God for everything wrong in our lives that we don’t realize when we are in the most turmoil God is holding us closer than ever.  When we go through the deepest of waters God is more present and in our midst than ever before. 

“Beware that in your plenty, you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands…” (Deuteronomy 8:11)

Moses is clearly describing our lives in 2015 much clearer than we even realize in this scripture.  When we have plenty it is easy to let God fall on our priority list and lose sight of his promises by keeping his commands.  I am not suggesting that God sends havoc and lightening bolts on his people who forget about him, but I am saying the storms don’t always have to be storms from the devil.  How often as Christians do we say, “The enemy is just taking hold of me right now”?  Way too often.  The real issue is we struggle to view God as one who would challenge us in life to discover his Glory and Grace.  Just as Moses described in Deutoronomy we have such a struggle leaning on Jesus and obeying those commands in Christ when life is great.

Why would we not take some of the storms as blessings from God?

I lived 22 years as what I would probably best describe as an Atheist.  The beauty of spending 22 years without God is that it becomes SO clear how much you need him when it hits you that you believe.  Your heart becomes on fire for Christ because you know the withdraw of life without him.  What if we all realized we could spend eternity without him?  What if we realized that WE are supposed to struggle that burden everyday as Christians.  What if I suggested that WE were responsible for preaching the word to open the door for their relationship with Christ to begin?  NO WAY!  That is way too heavy huh?  The crazy thing is that IS our jobs as we acknowledge our call we are taking on that heavy task of being exactly who Jesus called us to become and do his work.  How could we ever do his work if we can’t praise him and worship him above all else?  If he isn’t the center of our lives how can we preach the true Gospel to others?  

STOP.  Stop assuming that every storm is the enemy and START realizing that centering our lives in Christ means surrendering it all no matter what the circumstances are.  Start being submerged in Gods word every day to remind yourself even when you have “plenty” that you have nothing without him.  Don’t let the long days, rough nights, and a heavy ministry blindside you from your number one task.. Loving and surrendering to God. 

#Heisfirst #SurrenderAll #ChristCentered #GPS

 

  

Ignoring God’s Divine Intervention..

Sometimes God “interupts” our lives by putting a call in our lives to preach, to teach, to pray more, to love that homeless guy you drove past, to reach out to an old friend… Although, I have most recently learned these are not interruptions they are what Priscilla Shirer describes as a “Divine Intervention”.

I felt like I needed to share a current situation in my life right now to maybe open your eyes to how often we ignore God’s Divine Intervention because we just don’t see it for exactly what it is.  A divine call from the God who created you, the world, and Everything Inside of it.  

When someone hits a point in their life where the end is near we find ourselves filled with a tornado of emotions.  We get the phone call or the text and we instantly get that lump in our throats as we start to feel an overwhelming sadness that can be quickly followed by guilt IF we haven’t spent enough time with that person.  I experienced that late last night when I discovered my aunt Linda was put into Hospice. 

 I remember when my nana passed away it was the hardest death I’ve ever faced in my 23 years of life & at the funeral I promised my aunt Linda I would spend more time.. I would make it a point to see her, to talk with her, to just be with her the way I wish I would have before I lost my nana. As the months passed I found myself “busier” and “busier”.. I can’t help but think “wow I fell short of that promise”.. Today, I dove into the book of Jonah and the way he ran from God and I think to myself “isn’t that sometimes what we do”? In my situation God had clearly put it on my heart to spend time with my aunt Linda but I decided to ignore that.

You see, sometimes, we don’t realize that God can call us to do many things.  Sometimes we have it in our heads that if God is going to speak it’s going to be just like Jonah.  He is going to speak and tell us to go save a city.  I have to wonder, what if when God speaks it isn’t to move mountains but it’s to go spend time with your aunt?  To go see your little brother?  To carry a kit in your car you hand to homeless people you see?  What if when God speaks to us it isn’t always about reviving a broken city, what if it’s to revive our own relationships?

Today, I challenge you to stop what you are doing and talk to God.  Of course I mean prayer, but I mean deeper than the “Dear God I love you Amen” prayer I mean, “Lord, I promise to be obedient when you speak to me please speak to me.”  Then, listen.  After you have listened I challenge you to go one step deeper and ACT.  I challenge you to take what the Lord has placed upon your heart and run there.  

On the day of my Nanas funeral I heard and listened to God’s words he spoke to me but I failed to act on his Divine Intervention.  My prayer for you today is that you know to ACT once your hear him even if you aren’t required to change a city.  

“But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.  He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port.  After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.” – Jonah 1:3

  
Do not flee from the Lord, listen to his divine intervention in your life BIG or small.  Take action to be a “Doer” to the things he places on your heart.  May God be with my beautiful Aunt Linda in these final moments and please allow my Nana to be standing there with open arms next to the Lord as they welcome her into the kingdom. 

Two years, eternity to go.. ❤️

“Um excuse me do I know you?” – Chelsea Rogers

“oh, sorry I thought you were someone else.” – Tyler MacAdam

  Two Facebook messages that would change two lives forever.  Rewind five years ago.. It was a day in December right around Christmas and I had received a Facebook message from a guy I didn’t know and that led to the happiest fairy tale any girl could dream of.  He said he added the wrong person, but God knew that was entirely not true.  

  A Facebook message turned into 1 date.. 1 date turned into 5 dates.. And 5 dates turned into a relationship.  That relationship lasted 8 months before we decided we wanted to run to the alter and get married!  However, after much consideration we got engaged then waited a few years before actually having our wedding.  Two years ago we stood at The Little White Chapel in Las Vegas and got married.  BUT let’s back up.  We got the Vegas for a huge Herbalife (our company) event & decided 3 days before to get married.  You see, we had always talked about getting married in Vegas but were worried about our families making the drive.  Finally, we decided we were so ready and it was our time & we were going to do it!  My beautiful mom took me to get a wedding dress, I packed it in my suitcase, and before 24 hours had came we were flying to Vegas.

  I remember unpacking.. Hanging my wedding dress in the closet.. Unpacking my wedding shoes.. I remember the anxiety.. What if I don’t look perfect enough?  What if the shoes aren’t right? What if I get something on my dress?  What if there is something in my teeth?  Maybe I was just so scared he would realize the crazy girl he was marrying and run.. LOL!  Really though, I was so nervous.  Then, the day came .. & went .. Just like that it was gone.

  The first year was the hardest.  We fought all the time, & threatened divorce constantly.. Until we found God.  About 3 months into our marriage we accepted God as our savior & got baptized only 4 months after that and our marriage changed like night and day.  We were saved & so was our marriage.  With God in the center we moved forward.. Then we experienced 

“The firsts”..

  The first time we opened a business.. The first time we went to church together.. The first time we decided ministry was a call on my life & we were taking that call.. The first time we decided kids were something we wanted.. The first time we found out it wasn’t as easy as they say.. The first time we moved.. And the 3 times after that.. The first time we experienced loss in our families, together.. The first time we opened a second business together.. The first time we hit rock bottom.. The first time we truly made it.. The first time we realized we had the most beautiful, happy, incredible marriage in the world with God right in the center.. Yes, that was a first too!

  
The last year has brought so many “firsts” for us as husband and wife and every single day it feels so new. Every day that I wake up, roll over, & see him it feels like the very first day I called him my husband. I can’t find the words I need to thank God for this beautiful gift, but I just wanted the world to know there is someone God created JUST for YOU. There is someone out there just waiting to help you achieve your wildest dreams.  I promise you, there is a man for you who will blow your mind every single day.

Thank you Tyler MacAdam, for asking me to be your wife and for saying “I Do” at that small chapel in Vegas.  Thank you for every memory we’ve created since that day, two years ago that seem like yesterday ❤️ I love you. Happy two year anniversary. 

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9