Category Archives: Personal

Doors Open, Doors Close

Over the last few years, I have been on an amazing ride with a number of other believers to create a gap year discipleship program for young adults in the Richmond area. After a successful first class last year, I thought the dream was really catching on. But over the the last year despite a significant recruiting efforts, RVA LEADS has not been able to obtain enough students to launch a second class in 2017/2018. We might have been able to reach our goal if we significantly changed the model and cut our costs structure. And at the same time we faced some staff challenges with major members of our core team experiencing some major life shifts. With all of these things going on, it became clear to me that we couldn’t really pull off LEADS this year and have it be the caliber program we want with the right number of students.

At the same time, some opportunities have opened up for me out West in Colorado. It is amazing how one door closes and another opens. I am reminded of what it says in Scripture, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

I have lived in Richmond for so long. It is hard to imagine moving. But in late October, I am going to be moving out West to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I will be serving on the leadership team for Protege, the discipleship program run by my good friend, Daniel Susenbach. In addition, I expect to jump right into some leadership opportunities at Steamboat Christian Center. And I am looking forward to finally realizing a dream of living out West in the mountains.

Don’t fret my Richmond friends. 🙂 I will still be traveling back and forth from time to time as my job and family still reside in the Richmond area. Hopefully, some time in late October I will have a final going away shindig for friends to stop by and see me before I depart.

I am very excited for what God is doing. The Protege participants are amazing, and I look forward to working with them to spur them onto deeper discipleship.

It is hard to see a dream sort of die. But I think that God used LEADS to teach me so much. I am so thankful for all of the work of our staff and volunteers. I am so grateful for the students who went through the first year’s class. And I believe that the Lord is going to use what I learned to help others in some way in the near future with the gap year movement. I am just not quite sure how yet.

I am still around for about a month or so. Call or text me if you want to connect in  person. Godspeed — Chaille

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Things I Wish I Had Said

When a young person or anybody tragically dies, it can be hard on special occasions, such as birthdays. It was recently the 21st birthday of a young man who died last year. I had known this person since he was just a kid. I remember throwing football with him in his front yard. I remember him pulling pranks on me during camping trips when he was in middle school. Occasionally, I would work with him on advancements in Royal Rangers.

Through the years, we kind of lost touch. We would see each other maybe a few times each year. I remember going to some high school football games. Every once and a while I caught up with him for lunch or just gave him a call to let him know that I cared.

I remember playing pool with him a few years ago when he had just come back to Christ and turned some things around in his life. It was a blessing to hear how God was moving in his life despite some significant challenges. That is why it was so hard when he died.

I remember the week that he died. The Holy Spirit placed him on my heart several times. And in the busyness of life, I never called. I forgot. I got sidetracked. Good intentions, but no real action. Then, the next day I planned to call, but he was already dead. His life snuffed out too early.

This is not a confession or some kind of apology. He had many loving people in communication with him the week that he died. But I do wish that I had called. This reminds me that the next time the Holy Spirit brings somebody to remembrance, I should stop to take action. I should never be so busy that I cannot stop to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit or take time to connect with someone in the moment. There are things that I wish that I had said that week. Maybe they wouldn’t have made a difference in the end. But at least he would have known that I said them.

Chris, buddy. I miss you man. Know that I always believed in you and still do hope for the best. Happy 21st!

Are You Living in Your Divine Calling?

While in discussion with some students at The Mix tonight, I noticed how they all seemed to think of the term “calling” as it relates to their future job or career. We were discussing God’s callings for our lives. It was a fairly open context. But the discussion tended to gravitate toward skills, interests and careers.

Sometimes we tend to think our call is just about what we do as a job. But it is so much more than that. It really touches every area of life. Our calling is really whatever the Holy Spirit is directing us to do at the moment. I believe that our calling is both a very complex and simple thing. Really, our calling can change through the years as we transition through various phases of life. What we do when we are sixteen is not likley to represent our life 10 years later, 20 years later or 40 years later.

Yet, as a Christian there are some callings that I believe are not unique to me. But they are part of the calling for every true believer. All Christians are called to love God and live for His Kingdom and glory. We are all called to be witnesses of Christ’s message and be connected to a body of local believers. We are all called to pray, read the Bible and seek to know God better.

Thinking about my own calling, I am reminded of what the Holy Spirit impressed on my heart ten years ago when I went out to Kansas City to pray at IHOP just as the prayer center was getting its start. I believe God placed the following four key calls on my life: 1.) Seek God’s face in a personal, intimate relationship, 2.) Write revelation that God reveals as I seek His face, 3.) Pray for those God has called me to love, 4.) Disciple the remnant.

The first part of my calling is very generic. All Christians are to seek Christ. But the second was unique to me. I was to write the revelation that the Spirit showed me as I seek God. The third connected to the fourth. Prayer was to fuel my ministry to disciple and train up future leaders in God’s Kingdom. All of these callings developed through the years. For example, I came up with a pretty well developed sense of what God meant by remnant.

I am seeking all four callings in some respects in my life today. None of these callings are directly related to my job as a journalist and publisher serving the forest products and logistics industries. My job provides me the resources, time and flexibility to carry out these callings.

It seems that sometimes when people are young they get all worked up over what they are going to do with their life. My suggestion is to simply give it away to God. Realize that your career path may change, but your identity as a Christian doesn’t – in time you only get to know the real you better.

I believe that more than worrying about your future career, the best thing to do is to make sure that you are living for God today. Focus on whatever path you are on to live as much as possible for God. Sure, you can prepare, study, and make smart education and lifestyle decisions. Education, training, hard work are all good things. You should think about the future. But you should not get so worked up over your decisions that you fail to realize how you walk down whatever path you take is as important as which path you choose to take.

Are you living in your divine calling? Stop to ask the Holy Spirit today to help you get to know the real you.

It’s Been A Long, Long Time

Sorry it has been  several months since my last post. Life has been beyond busy. I need to get back to my blog because I have some intellectual constipation. This blog has always been a cheap form of therapy for me. It’s the place that I can vent. Hopefully, it helps other people too.

Today,  I saw an interesting CNN piece on the differences between boys and girls in education. The concepts are very simple and obvious. I have generally thought that many classrooms are setup to make some students fail. Honestly, can every other middle school boy really be ADD? Or do we just like to label boys as classroom problems because they can’t stay still?

View the CNN video spot and see what you think.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/12/09/am.chetry.single.sex.class.cnn