Chelsi Woods

Love God, Love Others, Live Loved

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What to do when you don’t know what to do….Finding the Perfect Peace

I love my Sunday School class. Hands down.  I love each and every woman in my class, everything they are about, and all the wisdom that they offer me every Sunday.  While I am easily the youngest person in my Sunday School class by a few decades, I am absolutely in awe of the wisdom that these women have obtained over the years and are able to share with me and others around them.  

What initially drew me to the class was that God had been pulling me towards the book of Deuteronomy, and it so happened that this class was beginning the book that October. After one visit I was hooked.

Honestly, throughout my Christian life, I had never spent much time in the Old Testament, and if I had, it would have been in Psalms or Proverbs, and in my later years the book of Isaiah.  Deuteronomy was different though, it was history, it was part of the back story, and I couldn’t wait to dive in.

What has intrigued me so much has not just been the key verses, but what I have learned about God’s people and how it has applied to people like me today.  It has taught me the real struggles of the Israelites,  the mistakes and triumphs that they endured, the struggles they had, and how they are so similar to us today.  What is the most amazing, awesome thing about it, is how we truly see that God is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

What does this have to do with finding rest? As I was reading through the book of Jeremiah the other day, I came across one of my favorite verses”

This is what the Lord says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
    Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jeremiah 6:16

As God opened my eyes to this scripture, I began to see a correlation.  When we are in the Word, we learn from our predecessors. We learn from our ancestors, we see mistakes, we see consequences, we see blessing, we see curse.  What we see, a theme that never fails us, is that when we travel the old, Godly way, there is always a sense of peace and rest. 

We all encounter a crossroads at one time or another. There are times when we don’t know what to do…and it seems like God may not just be giving us an audible answer.  That’s what I love about God’s word!  When we are faced with a decision or crossroad, we can find peace in several ways.

1) Be Still. God may not answer right away, but we need to be still, stop talking and just spend time listening to the voice of God.  

2) Pray. This is the obvious, but when we pray, ask God to not only show us, but to open our eyes and ears to the things he may be telling us.  When we ask God to open our eyes, ears and hearts, even a scripture we have seen 100 times will take new life.

4) Read your Bible. This where Jeremiah 6:16 comes in. We won’t know the Godly way if we don’t read about it. Learn from their mistakes, trust what they have to say! When we get into the word, God will reveal what we need to know. 

3) Give up control. Its not just trust, its just letting God deal with it and trusting Him to give us the wisdom that we need to deal with our crossroad.

Isaiah 26:3 says

You will keep in perfect peace

    all who trust in you,
    all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

4) Thank God in advance. God’s got it! If you trust God and you involve him in your crossroads, you will have a perfect peace. He will always take care of you. 

Finally take the words of Paul to heart. He says in Philippians 4:6-7: 

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

I know it’s easier said than done, but just try it, little by little. Stay in the word, learn the godly way, trust Him, and you will be sure to be taken care of! 

Love you guys!

Love God, Love Others, Live Loved!

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And when your world is falling apart, that can mean everything….

It’s been a while since I have blogged. There has been a lot going on in the crazy land of Chelsi. I have started back to school full time (yay!), we are in full on soccer season and end of year stuff for my lil baby nugget,  And I have been going through some changes in my own personal life. 

When we struggle, and things are getting difficult, or life doesn’t feel right, looking to God is the obvious solution. Sometimes we want God to change our situation, or change a person. God gives every person free will, so the only person he is going to change with your permission is you. 

As I have been praying about some struggles this past couple of weeks, I have been praying the wrong prayer, even though I knew better. I prayed, “God please make this situation better, God please change…” and what really needed to change was me. 

Don’t get me wrong, we can pray for people, we can pray for God to move on the hearts of people, but ultimately the decision to turn to God is up to them. We can pray for strength in situations, but sometimes the solution is for your situation to change.  What we can do, is trust God with ALL our heart (Proverbs 3:5) and say the “Change Me” prayer to God.  Sometimes change is painful, but God is our healer and he will leave you better than you came. The key is trust

We had a good discussion about this at Celebrate Recovery last night, and along with our inventory, we talked about what we can do to work on ourselves, and how we can draw near to God by doing that.  Rick Warren said it better than I ever could have, and this devo was a God send this morning. 

I leave you with the words of Rick Warren, soak it in, think about it draw near to God. Remember, Love God, Love Others, Live Loved!

“Let us examine our ways and turn back to the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:40 MSG)

You can’t change everything. But you can change you.

When your life feels like it’s falling apart, knowing what you can change — and what you can’t change — can make all the difference.

You can’t change your past. You can’t change your parents. You can’t change the gifts and talents God has or hasn’t given you. You can’t change a handicap you’ve been given. You can’t bring back a dead loved one.

You might as well accept all of those things. You’ll start to find peace in the midst of troubles when you accept what you can’t change. Otherwise, you’ll make yourself and the people you love miserable.

There’s much you can’t change, but there’s something important you can change: you.

When Jeremiah’s world was falling apart, he wrote in Lamentations 3:40: “Let us examine our ways and turn back to the Lord” (GNT).

What’s going on in your life that doesn’t line up with what God wants? Depending on how we react, crises can help us as we learn to focus our eyes on what matters: Jesus.

To re-order your life God’s way, it’ll take some gut-level self-evaluation. You’ll need to do an inventory of every area of your life. You’ll need to take a look at your relationship with God, your spouse, your kids, and your co-workers. You’ll need to look at hurts, habits, and hang-ups that may be bringing you down. Nothing can be off limits.

It’s not easy. It can get messy. It’s always tough to turn from sin even when it’s tearing us down.

But you can’t find healing otherwise. Healing apart from repentance can’t last. When your world is falling apart, you’ll be tempted to bemoan every area of your life.

That’s a waste of time. You can’t change everything — but you can change you.

And when your world is falling apart, that can mean everything.

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The Peace that Passes all Understanding

Are you anxious, stressed out, worried today? Look at it as a gift, look it as fuel to drive you closer to God. Let whatever you are going through drive you closer into the arms of Jesus. Memorize this verse, meditate on it, and let the love of Jesus overflow into your hearts. I love you friends! Love God, Love Others, Live Loved!

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God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

1 Peter 4:10-11

New Living Translation (NLT)

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Are You Living Loved?

I don’t know how many you may have seen, or read the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but it is an amazing story. The story is about an introverted, awkward freshman boy who is dealing with first love, his past, and finds friendship in two quirky seniors. I’m not going to get too much into that story, because it’s really irrelevant at this point, but at one point in the movie, Charlie is told by his English teacher/mentor “We accept the love we think we deserve.”

 When the teacher said that, it really hit me, is that true with our relationships? Is that true in our relationship with our Abba, our God? 

I think a lot of times we run away from God because we don’t think we deserve His love. We think that we are unlovable because we are sinners. I stated this a couple weeks ago, but I feel like I need to emphasize it again. God knows everything about you…..He knows your past…He knows your present….and He knows your future.  Nothing surprises God, He loves you EXACTLY the way you are, and He is just waiting on you to turn to Him. 


Brian Welch, former guitarist for the hard rock band KORN was a slave to addiction when God moved on him. In an article from CBN.com, Welch says of his first encounter with God:

“So we went to the service. And the music came on and all these people went up to the front and started praying. And I was like, that is just weird. But I was drawn, I felt something going on,” Brian says.  “He said, ‘Does anybody want to accept Christ?’ And I did it for myself. I said the prayer and went home rolled up a hundred dollar bill, laid out a big line of ‘speed’, snorted it. And I said…I remember perfectly. I was clear…I said, ‘Lord, If you’re real like that guy says, please take these drugs from me. I can’t quit, I don’t want to do them, but I can’t stop. I want to be here for Jeanea. She lost her mom to drugs. I need your help, Just help me. Help, help me God.’ I said it from my heart.”

 Brian snorted “speed” and read the Bible for a week, searching for the answers. Then one day… 

 “I felt this peaceful presence and I started shaking a little bit and I got goose bumps everywhere. And the first thing I felt was ‘I love you.’ And I was like, ‘Father?’ I was frozen. ‘Father?’ This was God and then it went away. But, it was so real. It took over the high. And when it went away the drugs said, ‘That’s just drugs. That’s not real.’ So I did drugs all night long. And the next day I woke up and I had the feeling to go to my Bible. I opened it up and pointed, the soul who sins is the soul who dies. And to me, right then, it was like God told me I revealed myself to you last night. It’s time for you to stop the drugs. It’s time for you to be done. And I was consumed with fear and I went and grabbed all my drugs and threw them in the toilet and I said, ‘I’m done God. I’m yours now. I’m yours.’ That’s the last time I did drugs.

God was right there with Brian, even in the midst of his sin, calling him. 

It’s time to start living loved. We have a God who loves us so much, every single thing about us, that he wants us to receive that love. He wants us to run to him, even in our sinned condition…my prayer for you is that you would know how much God loves you, and you would learn to accept that love. 

I pray Ephesians 3:14-20 over you today:

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on the earth is named. 16 I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, 18 you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think, 21 to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

If you are struggling, call out His name, call out to your Daddy, Abba, God….He’s waiting. 

Love God, Love Others, Live Loved!

Filed under god jesus devotion theperksofbeingawallflower live love liveloved bible ephisians

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In honor of Celebrate Recovery Tuesday, I am giving away 5 Live Sober bracelets from Sober is Sexy! Stay tuned for details! 

In honor of Celebrate Recovery Tuesday, I am giving away 5 Live Sober bracelets from Sober is Sexy! Stay tuned for details! 

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Faith the Size of a….Watermelon Seed?

Did you know that there is an instance in the Bible that a common man actually amazed Jesus? 

In Matthew Chapter 8 we read the story of a Roman Officer who absolutely stunned Jesus (in a good way). It wasn’t because of his works, but it was because of his faith. 

Matthew 8:5-13 tells the story:

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer[b] came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant[c] lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! 11 And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. 12 But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.

Can you imagine? 

John Piper puts it this way:

Both Luke (Luke 7:9) and Matthew (Matthew 8:10) use the Greek word thaumazo (thou-mad’-zo) which we translate “marveled” or “amazed” to describe Jesus’ response to the centurion’s faith. The only time this word is used to describe Jesus’ response to others’ faith is in Mark 6:6, when he marvels at the lack of faith in the people of Nazareth, where he grew up.


Does our faith today amaze Jesus? 

I used to be guilty of having faith in the result that I want. Its a selfish faith that I think we all struggle with, because we are all human and we tend to want God to do it our way instead of the other way around. This perspective was changed for me 2 years ago:

If you know me you know that I have never been closer to an individual than I was to my grandma. 

We always had a very special relationship. She not only was pivotal for grooming my relationship and walk with God, but she fiercely loved me, my daughter and everyone she came into contact with. 

I remember once being concerned when she stopped and gave a young hitchhiker a $100.00 bill, she was the person who taught me to put love into action. 

A couple years ago, my grandma fell extremely ill due to a lung disease called COPD. She had been in and out of the hospital for years, and this time seemed no different, and when she was moved to the nursing home, personally I expected her to be there for a bit, and then recover until the next time. But this time was different. 

On a Wednesday night before Church, I had been to visit her, and she was almost in a comatose type state. She was dehydrated, and she wouldn’t eat. The Dr had said she would die soon if she didn’t hydrate, she might not make it through the night.

I was not ready to lose my grandma. I knew the answer….Watermelon.

We had shared a mutual affection for watermelon probably since the day I was born. We spent many hours together sharing an entire watermelon throughout the summers of my life.

The problem was, it was February, it was Wednesday night, and I had to go lead worship at youth, watermelon was probably not an option. 

I didn’t even pray about it to be honest. I was too worried about fulfilling my selfish need of wanting to somehow keep my grandma with me.  Its a good thing God has our back. 

I got to the church that night, and was talking to my cousin about what was going on, and low and behold, at that instant, my Aunt came walking down the hall with a giant bowl of cut up, fresh watermelon. 

I’m not sure how crazy I looked when I got so excited about that giant bowl of watermelon, but I quickly followed her upstairs, grabbed a small bit of it, and rushed to the nursing home and left it with my mom to give her.  I knew that God had provided, even when I didn’t think to ask…

That night I pleaded on Facebook for prayers for my Grandma. The problem is, I wasn’t looking out for what was best, it was what I wanted that I was praying for. I was trying to use God like a genie. If enough people prayed my way, God would have to let my grandma live, right? 

I ran to the faith chapter in Hebrews, Chapter 11. I was going by the book, trying to make God work for me by doing what I thought was required. Instead, God took me to the verse right before the Faith chapter began, Hebrews 10:9

But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls.

I knew right then I needed to stop shrinking back, and God told me right then that I needed to have faith in HIM and not the result that I thought that I wanted. 

In that instance, I told God I had faith in his plan, not in my own wants. I repented for trying to use Him, and I put my grandma, and her life, in His hands. 

The next morning I went to visit, and she was sitting up, eating oatmeal, completely coherent. I learned so much from God that day and I praised Him that I got another day with her. From that moment on, I had a peace about what was going on, and I knew that God had it all under control, and whatever God had planned for her, in life or death, I was ok with it. 

My Grandma went home to be with the Lord that summer. We got a few more months with her, until her poor body gave out. When she died, it was actually unexpected, but I had a peace that she was walking with Jesus that sweet June morning. 

What I’ve learned through that instance, and about faith in general is that we have to be intentional about our faith. We have to have faith not in the result that we necessarily want, but in the God that provides the best.  

Romans 8:28 says he works ALL THINGS together for the good of those who love Him. The good and the bad. 

I didn’t know how I was going to be able to live without my grandma. I didn’t know how to tell my 5 year old that her MaMa had gone to Heaven. 

God’s purpose was bigger than mine, he brought her a healing that could never be obtained on this earth, it just took a transition to be able to do it. 

I would encourage you, whatever you are going through that you would put your faith in a God that works all things together for the good that love him. Sometimes we can’t control things that happen to us, but the thing we can control is what we do with those situations. There is never a time when we can’t glorify God, because in the end….God always wins. 

Love God, Love Others, Live Loved!

Chelsi

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Abba’s my Papa…Who’s Your Daddy?

So I ordered a shirt today from a company called Abba Threads. You should check them out if you haven’t seen their work, they are amazingly comfortable. When I was in the process of ordering, I noticed the tag said “Abba’s my Papa” . Immediately for some ridiculous reason the beat to the 90’s smash “I love it when you call me big Papa” came into my head. 

Yes. I know. Highly Inappropriate. 

After i hummed the tune for a minute, I went back to the verse that goes with their slogan, Galatians 4:6

 And because we[a] are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”[b]

How do you view God?

Is he your Daddy? Do you see him as a Father, who loves you beyond any measure you could imagine?

The term Abba (Not these guys)

 is used 3 times in the New Testament. Once by Jesus in Gethsemane (Mk. 14:36) and twice by Paul where we read that the Spirit of Christ is Himself the one who cries in us: Abba. (Rm. 8:15 and Gal. 4:6) 

Abba isn’t the greek term for father. It’s actually the Aramaic term for “Daddy”. 

When Jesus was crying out in Prayer, hours before the gruesome crucifixion, he was crying out … to his Daddy. His Papa. 

To me, when I think of God as my Daddy, I see him in a much more gentle, intimate sense. I see a God who loves me and cares for me, the hot mess that I am…God loves me unconditionally, exactly the way that I am. 

Are you an addict?

God loves you just the way you are. 

Are you broken?

God loves you the way you are.

Do you have secret sin that you struggle with?

God knows it all…. and He loves you anyway. 

Your Daddy loves you…he loves you exactly the way you are. God knows everything about you, your past, your present and your future. 

The kicker is…God doesn’t want to leave you that way. 

Once we turn to God, and we cry out to our Daddy, he is there to pick us up, hold us with His right hand, and bring you into a real, authentic relationship with Him. 

If you are struggling with the choice, if God is calling you, quit running…the time is now. Your Daddy is waiting. 

 

If you want to start over, or maybe give your life to Christ for the first time, or even need prayer, e-mail us at the 1212rebelution@yahoo.com. You can call me, I’ll pray with you and provide you with any resources you may need. 


Love God…Love Others…Live Loved!!!!

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Love Is: Kind….Love in Action

Ever heard the phrase “Love is a verb?” ? One of my favorite books is by a charming man named Bob Goff called “Love Does”  in which he writes about the importance of the action of love. You can’t have love without action, and never have I seen that so true within the past few days. 

Love is patient, and love is Kind. 

Yesterday my 7 year old daughter slipped and fell on a patch of ice and landed head first on the pavement. It turned out she had a bad concussion, and we had to stay home, with no TV, ipad, or light. She had to sit isolated from friends and  from school for 2 days so that she could rest her little noggin. 

You can imagine the trauma that my little 7 year old went through. Last year she almost cut her toe off in a bike accident, when she was 2 she broke her elbow while swinging, and now this. The ER is not her favorite place, but this incident had her scared deep down inside. 

Though this was a terrible incident, there is not a better way to express the action of love, then the events that transpired after. Our friend Amanda brought her color books, markers, paper dolls, and a puzzle. My sister brought her a stuffed animal and a balloon, K’s friend Charlie May brought her a picture that she colored herself, and then tonight, her AWANAS group at Church made her the sweetest video. When Kirkland saw that, she cried, she said, “I am so happy…why is everybody doing all this nice stuff for me?” 

That….my friends is love in action. 

When we think about being kind, it’s not just being nice to someone when we see them. Kindness is so much more than that. Kindness is a coloring book, a genuine compliment, a visit to an elderly person who has no family. 

Its a pastor who delivers DQ Blizzards to people in the town at 11:00 at night in the beginning of a Blizzard, all in good fun. 

Kindness is a rally to help a family who has lost everything, or a fund raiser for someone who has fallen into sudden illness. 

Kindness can be listening to someone, praying with someone, or for them even though they might not know it. 

Kindness is love in action. 

A lot of times we take our relationships with others for granted. We look at our kids, our spouses, and our friends, and we assume that they know that we love them. Knowledge isn’t enough…we need to step out and love aggressively and put it into action. 

We need to learn to love those who don’t love us back. Its easy to put love into action for those that are close to us, but what about those that aren’t particularly nice to us? 

That is the challenge that Jesus gives us in Matthew 5:43-45

"You have heard that it was said ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

Wow, Jesus. What a challenge. 

To be kind is a challenge, but its a fun one. 

I would encourage you to think of love as a verb. Go out today and put love into action. With your friends, with your enemies, and with those that surround you. 

Compliment 3 people a day, and mean it.

Check out a local shelter…see what you can do to help.

Go visit someone. 

Pray for someone…

When you put love into action, you are letting people see Jesus, and that my friends, is a beautiful thing. 

I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and examples of love in action. Feel free to comment and reply!

Remember, Love God, Love Others, and Live Loved!

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