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.

   

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..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

God, are you there?

“Chelsea.. I think I want to end it all.” 

“Chelsea.. My grandma is dying & I can’t imagine life without her.”

“Chelsea.. I hate my mom.”

“Chelsea.. How am I supposed to tell people about Jesus when I don’t know if I believe?”

These are very real text messages I have received in the last 4 weeks or so.  At one point three of them very similar to these were on the same day, the above texts are only a few of the many.  The point?  This is real.  These are teenagers. These are their very real battles that very few people see or hear.  These are the true battles of being a teenager.  The hardest part? These are real struggles of the youth ministry.

God,

Are you there?  Today I feel a sense of overwhelming fear that I can’t be the woman you need me to be.  Father, I am so afraid that I will fall short of who these teens need me to be.. Of who YOU need me to be.  I feel like I’m in the ocean, the waves are tumbling over me and I can’t get a breath.  I feel afraid that I won’t make a difference in their lives.  I am scared I won’t be the one person they need to understand.  Lord, I am just a sinner who didn’t believe in you for 22 years.. What value could I ever bring to these teens?  How could I make a difference?  Be with me Lord because I am afraid. 

-A 24 year old new in the youth ministry.

Cue God.. 

“Chelsea, I have to write about a hero at school.. Will you be my hero?”

“Chelsea.. Thank you for being there for me, your the only person who understands me.”

“Chelsea, I don’t know what I would do without you.”

*DISCLAIMER: Please realize this blog is not to realize how good I am, it’s to realize how big God is*

  A few hours after I prayed the prayer you read above, these texts started flooding my notifications list.  You see, I was asking God why me? I was asking him to rescue me & I was telling him how overwhelmed I was feeling.  God explained to me that I was overwhelmed because I was hearing from him.

  Priscilla Shirer best described it in her bible study “The Interupted Life” when she called it “The Privilaged Life”.  It was in doing this study I realized what a blessing my crazy, stressful, overwhelming life is.  The problem wasn’t my God, it was my ability to realize what exactly my work was, his.  God never promised his work was easy. No where in the Bible does it explain how simple the ministry will be but what a blessing it is and what a privilege to know exactly what the Lord has called you to be and do. 

God, are you there? Quickly erased from my mind when I realized every single time a teen dialed my number is was because God believed in me.  Every time a teen needed me it was because God was calling me.  Every time a student feels broken & texts me it reminds me how there my God truly is.  Everyday I fall short of God, but everyday when I start to feel overwhelmed it hits my heart because it reminds me the devil is losing & my God is talking to me.  The 24 year old broken, sometimes afraid woman has the privilage of hearing him.

Let moments of chaos, stress, & fear be the moments you are reminded how mighty our Lord is & how beautiful it is he has called you to be that person for someone in this broken world.  What a privileged life. 

“Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure”     

-Psalm 147:5

  

  

Hang on Tight..

Let’s just get this out of the way.. I did not grow up in a church.. I did not know anything about religion.. I assumed John 3:16 was a 316 year old magic character from a book the church popped open on Sunday.. Wait.. Was church always on Sunday?  I couldn’t have even told you that.  I was not a Christian. I was an Atheist.  a·the·ist // noun // a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

Yes, that was a perfect description of who I spent being for the majority of my adult life (ehh who defines what an adult is? Let’s just say from ages 18-23), a very committed atheist.  I spent my entire life working with kids.. I LOVED kids!  In high school I took special classes to study Early Childhood, when I started college at Eastern Michigan my main focus of study was initially Early Childhood Education.  My entire life God knew exactly who I was destined to become..I mean he created me, but me discovering God.. that took some time.


I would say lets fast forward to the part about where our Youth Group grew and things were great and life was nothing but rainbows but there are two problems there.  one.) The ministry is never all rainbows if your doing the job God is calling.  Two.) your testimony matters.  My relationship with God began when I met Pastor Jeff Cardimen and his wife Erin.  They didn’t call us out for being sinners, or tell us how much we needed Jesus. Instead, they invited us into their lives.  We became friends very quickly and after a couple weeks they invited us to church.  Of course, if you are an Atheist you understand that church is the absolute last place your going to go.  However, God was giving me Grace before I ever even knew what Grace was.  After a long talk my husband and I decided to try church.  We walked in that Sunday and sang songs praising a man I knew nothing about & worshiping a God I didn’t believe in.  I felt uncomfortable but I continued to come back.  Very quickly, church became apart of our lives.. I cried at my bedtime prayers praying to find Faith & one fall day in November God gave me just that.  Once I accepted the carpenter from Nazareth into my heart my entire life changed.  The Holy Spirit began work & my life became transformed & I became a New Creation.  Eight months later I told my head Pastor, Jeff Cardimen, that I felt a call on my life to become a Youth Pastor and that is where my story begins.


I titled this first blog Hang on Tight because that’s exactly what I have had to do in my minsitry and in this new found Faith.  I decided to write this blog to encourage atheists to find God, to reach other Youth Pastors that know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed, but mostly to share with people who will read what it’s like to be in the life of living second.  I want this blog to be a place for me to share what it’s like to live second while you put God in charge of your life.

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Hang on Tight my friends, this life we call Ministry requires a whole lot of prayer, but a whole lot of laughs too!  Remember, your not reading my story your reading HIS story through my journey.

Acts 20:24 (NIV)

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.