"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" – John 14:6

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Reminders to start. (love)

A reminder. I need them all the time. 

– I will need one to wake up

– I will need one to make a phone call

– I will need one to get to work on time

– I will need one to remember to send a birthday card

– I will need one to go grocery shopping

I could probably continue this list of items that I will need reminders for, but I can’t remember everything right now. Kind of ironic I think. The truth is that I actually don’t have a note written down somewhere that is actually reminding me, although maybe I should, of all these reminders. For example, while making this list I remembered that I am pretty much out of food and need to go shopping, but I am not going to write a note for myself. I will be reminded whether I write a note or not. However, it would be better for me to write a note because the only other way I am going to remember is when I go to cook dinner there will be nothing to cook with. This is not really the best way to remember things In fact it it is the worst way, because then I have to go out to the grocery store. What is funny is that I will probably use this kind of reminder several times before I actually go shopping. It is like being hit over the head every time…you need food…you need food….you need food. You get the point. Then there are a few things on this list that I definitely have reminders for, like what time I need to go to work. My point is there are different things in my life that are necessary reminders for me, whether they are planned or not. Sometimes they are the hunger pains and the annoyance of not having food in the frig again and sometimes it is the simple alarm going on off on my phone. Some are occasional and some are routine.

Daily I have been reminded of my need to be in the presence of Jesus in order to strengthen my relationship with Him, and that is something that I try to work on and remind myself, with the help of nudges from God and friends. But this week God has been reminding me of His love for me, His love for others and His desire to use me to love others. This is not one of those things that I wrote down on my calendar to remember, but it was something God has been reminding me off occasionally throughout the week. It has come up for me at work, at church, with friends, with strangers, and in my time in the Bible. So instead of me trying to write a mouthful more of my own confusing words on this page, I am going to write down what God says about the subject of love in the book of 1st Corinthians in chapter 13.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a    clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

 

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

 

Also in the book of 1st John chapter 4 verses 7 & 8.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

 

~~~~~

Thank you Jesus that You remind me of Your love for me despite where I am at and what I have done or not done. I am thankful that You are there to support me during hurts and pains, joys and happiness. I am also thankful that you work in my life when things are going well, but also in those times that I mess up or life seems to be hitting me over the head with lemons, that You are molding and shaping me into the good work that You created me to be! (Philippians 1:6) Help me to love You in part by loving everyone around me. I struggle doing that sometimes and I ask that You would forgive me for when I do not, but that You would also teach me how to do it better. Amen.

-chad

Active

This past week a friend of mine and myself had a quick conversation on actively/purposefully sharing the Gospel of Jesus versus passively sharing our faith by letting our actions be how we share this love.  This conversation has caused me to take a step back and look at my life over these past few months and how I have lived my life.  I have determined that I have “lived” my faith out and that others do know that I am a Christian, but what impact has that had others around me?  Now I do believe that how I have lived the past months have shown and demonstrated some of the aspects of Christ’s love for others, not all of it though… How can I really share all of Christ’s love without opening my mouth and sharing the message of Jesus? If all I do is live the new life I have in Christ, others may wonder what is different but will not know because I do not share verbally.

Even though I feel as though I have not been a verbal witness for God, He has still used me in random ways.  But in some of those random ways, like on a very delayed airplane, I still had to speak and share verbally what I believe.  I hope that you have experienced sharing the truth of Christ verbally and how God can use you in that.  I am sure that God has used you without you speaking, but take a risk and use words.  This can be super challenging and admittedly scary, but when you open up to the nudging of the Holy Spirit to be a verbal witness for Christ, it WILL  be an amazing experience. I hope that this note is encouraging to you and where you are at in life!

~Romans 1:16=17  “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone wo believes, to the Jew and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written. ‘But the righteous shall live by faith.'”

No matter what, unending.

I was driving this evening and heard this song and had an urge to post the lyrics. It is a great song that calls to mind the simple fact that I am guilty in my life of so many things that have hurt other people, myself, and most of all God.  I think it is so easy to think about the people who betrayed Jesus and even the soldiers who carried out the act of hanging Jesus on the cross, and think I would have never done such a thing. The sad fact is I have.  I have betrayed Jesus.  But… He loves me anyways. That is how great God’s love is for every person. Despite the face that we have betrayed God, He loves us anyways.  Here are the words to the song, and thank God for His unending love.
You Love Me Anyway by Sidewalk Prophets
The question was raised
As my conscience fell
A silly, little lie
It didn’t mean much
But it lingers still
In the corners of my mind

Still you call me to walk
On the edge of this world
To spread my dreams and fly
But the future’s so far
My heart is so frail
I think I’d rather stay inside

(Chorus)
But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
How You love me

It took more than my strength
To simply be still
To seek but never find
All the reasons we change
The reasons I doubt
And why do loved ones have to die?

Chorus

I am the thorn in Your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway

See now, I am the man that called out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then, I turned away with this smile on my face
With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life

Chorus

You love me, You love me
You love me, You love me
How You love me
How You love me
How You love me

 

Last Newsletter and Transition

image

and with your feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” — Ephesians 6:15

Times SquareJune, 2011

Dear Friends & Family,

Thank you! Thank you for your prayers and support for the last two years while I have been serving as EDGE Corps staff with the Navigators at Purdue University. It has been two years of challenging but rewarding work that could not have been done without you!

Spring Break crew in Times Square!

This year’s Spring Break trip to New York City was much like our Spring Break trip to Washington D.C. last year. The intent was for students to have a fun destination that would not only interest them, but also would be something to which they could invite friends outside of Navigators to come on. This year we also added two small service projects to the schedule. One was working at a food pantry having direct interaction with homeless people of New York, and one was at a goodwill organization sorting clothes. We brought fourteen students total including six international students. It was a lot of fun, and a great success!

I am so encouraged by how God has used me in the lives of students on campus. I have been blessed to share the Gospel with so many, to hear their responses, and see their growth in the understanding of it. I did not get to witness anyone come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but I am confident that God will use the words I have shared, times in the Bible, and the witness of Christians around them to lead them toward Himself. God says in Isaiah 55:11 that His word does not go out without accomplishing His purposes for it. I am taking confidence in that fact as I leave the relationships with students with which I have had the opportunity to share.

Below are picture of some of the people that have been blessed by God because of your generous prayers and support. Thanks for being a part of what God is doing at Purdue

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Since this is the end of my last year on EDGE Corps staff, I had to make a decision on whether to continue on working in the Navigators campus ministry. This decision was not an easy on for me to make, as I do love the interaction that I have had with students both while in school at the University of Wyoming and on staff here at Purdue University. It has been awesome to receive the training that I have from the Navigators, and I am confident that it is something that I will carry with me as a transition into a different career. I am not sure what God is leading me into next, but I do know that He will use these skills He has taught me. I am nervous for what is next, but I know that God does provide, just as He has for me these past two years. God has shown me His grace through providing me with all of my physical needs and more. He has proven that He is trustworthy. I also know that God wants to use people wherever they are at, and so I am confident that God will do just that as I move forward into this next phase in my life.

So as I enter the next stage of my life, I want to keep you up to date every once in a while with posts on this blog. So since I will no longer be at Purdue I am going to have to change the name of the blog itself.

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”                   – Mark 7:14

I hope and pray that as I go forward with life that God would bless me in allowing me to walk alongside others through this narrow gate on the path that few have found.  I pray this same thing for you. I hope that future posts about my life may encourage and challenge, and that we can walk together on this road. Thank you.

Your partner following Christ on the hard Road That Leads to life,

-Chad

The Life I Now Live

Galatians 2:20

 

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

The Life I Now Live was the theme for the Purdue Navigators Spring Retreat 2011 in Indy this year.  We were excited with the privilege to hear Bill Tell speak to us on the subject. Bill currently serves as Chief of Staff and as Vice President of The Navigators, so it was great to be able to have him come and speak to us. He has such a great passion for others to understand the new freedom that we have in this new life that God has given us through His Son Jesus on the Cross.  Both students and staff at the retreat were reminded of the truth of the Gospel, that it is nothing that we as people have done, do, or have yet to do that will save us. It is all about the cross and the fact that God no longer views us based on what we do or how well we perform. God views us based on this new  life given to us through the work of the cross. There is nothing that can change that. It was a great reminder of the truth and Gospel.

One great thing that I saw God do at the retreat was use students. When you go on a retreat it is normally just about learning and growing in our individual relationships with God.  However, as one student pointed out, the retreat was different because we were in a hotel in the middle of the city surrounded by people.  God calls us to live in the world and be a light to the world around us. With so many people around us it provided an opportunity to share this Gospel that we are experiencing with those people in the world around us.

On Saturday over lunch, the students were encouraged to step out of there comfort zones and initiate with people and try to engage in some sort of spiritual conversation.  In the afternoon and evening that followed, it was amazing to hear the stories of how God used this time to not only grow students, but also to share His love with people. Everyone that I talked to afterward said that they were involved in some kind of conversation. Many students not only talked to people, but bought lunch for some homeless people and a listening ear.  God not only let the Gospel go out, one person accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior as a result of students stepping out in trust and sharing the love of Christ with her!!!

Sharing God's Love

Praise God for the work he does!!!

I am so thankful for the way that God used the speaker, experiences, and entire weekend to affect not only those that attended, but people in Indianapolis as well.

Praise God for the weekend!!!

-chad

 

 

 

Thoughts from January

  • As I drove down the road tonight I noticed something. A very large moon. I saw it sitting there in the dark, not a star could be seen all around it. It was just sitting there in the dark, easy to overlook if you don’t look in the right direction, but still there shining its light that has an affect on shadows of trees and buildings and people. Noticeable, but ever so slightly if your not looking directly at it.
  • As I drove down the road tonight I notice something. On the radio there was a song playing that made me think. The title is “What Love Really Means” by JJ Heller.  In it we see a kid crying who just wants someone to love him, a woman who’s husband just left and she wonders if he would have left if she was thinner, and a murderer sitting in his cell waiting to die and cries out to God with regret and repentance.  Each story holds elements of intense pain that people go through everyday. I am not just talking people in desperate situations, I am talking about everyday people.  People you see in the store, at work, or in the dorm that are hurting that are just looking for love.
  • As I drove down the road tonight I was thinking about life and pain. Everyone in life has pain and sorrows. Everyone has or will go through trauma in their lives. I think, how often do I not notice others in pain because I only see my own? How often do I choose to ignore the pain of others?  How often do I choose to ignore my own pain? How often do I act as if pain is not something I deal with?

You know the effort I have given
And you know exactly what it cost
And though my innocence was taken, not everything is lost
Not everything is lost, no

But your love, your love
The only thing that matters is
Your love, your love
Is all I have to give
Your love is enough to light up the darkness
It’s your love, your love
All I ever needed is your love

— from “Your Love” by Brandon Heath

I have been noticing something in worship music on the radio lately. This may not be a new phenomenon, but there seem to be songs that are just being honest with both God and others about who we are as people, weak and hurting.  They also are about God’s love being the only thing that can handle our deepest issues and needs. We know that we all have needs, but I say issues, because we all have them even when we don’t admit it.  We all fail in ways, whether we are failing ourselves, others, or God, or all three. I think that then are natural reaction is to try to hide these issues and not let anyone know they exist, but as I have witnessed, this does NO good. The more we hide are problems, the more entrenched in us they become. We become more and more fearful of being seen as someone who is not good, put together, or just being labeled. But hiding is the wrong thing to do. The more we hide it, the more we choose not to deal with it, and the more of a thorn in our side it becomes. I think that is way the verse  in James 5:16 is so crucial. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” We need to get our issues out there, tell someone you trust and then go to God with it together. God is there, even when you don’t see him. He is the moon that you have your back to, He is that one you cry out to for love, and He IS the only one that will answer with the kind of love that will forgive and embrace fully!

Thoughts from January,

Chad

87

Yesterday was my Grandma’s 87th birthday. I only recall one person singing happy birthday the entire day. I was sitting next to Martin, an older gentleman that had become a very good friend to my Grandma. He sang as my father, two uncles, two cousins and myself sat in the room listening and looking at my grandma as she lie in her bed. Martin was boldly and tearfully singing with all his heart. Those words were ripping through this roomful of men that looked up on this fragile woman lying in her bed gasping for every breath. It was a touching moment and I am not sure if there was a dry eye in the room.
Early this morning, November 19,2010, my Grandma died. Yesterday, on her birthday, the following verse was read. I think it is an awesome reminder that we are powerless and that God is the only one that can save us, by demonstrating His love for us. Thank you Jesus for the hope that You have freely given us if we have faith in You! Marilou Stiffney, will be missed but I thank God for her continual faith and perseverance to the end.

Romans 5:1-11

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
— Goodbye Grandma

October Newsletter!!

Click on this link, NewsletterSept2010 , to view my latest Newsletter! Even though it says September 2010, it is an update for October 2010. Thank you for checking out this blog!! I really do appreciate the support and prayers.  I can’t do this work with out you as part of this awesome team!

Thanks and In Him,

Chad Stiffney

September Update (finally)

Hello there,

I cannot believe I have not said hello in so long. Thank you for being patient with me and this random posting, and thank you for spending time to read this blog.

To kick things of this year we spent some good time as a staff team really learning about the vision for the campus this semester. Which is that everything we do comes out from God and the truth of the Gospel, then a focus on spending personal time with God moving into community with others from that, and from community to start to minister to not only fellow Christ followers, but to those that do not know Christ yet.  And then all of these things tie back together; God and the Gospel, Personal time with God, Community, and Ministry, in order that we might bring glory to God. So that is kind of the focus for the semester for the Purdue Navigators. It was great to really dig into this in Luke 6:12-19.

Then we went into a couple of weeks of recruiting. The first week was specifically to recruit freshmen during a program at Purdue called Boiler Gold Rush. Which is essentially a week long orientation for incoming freshmen.  There are lots, like over 5000 of them! It was a busy time. Then the next week was the first week of classes and we were able to start reconnecting with students from last year as well as meet new people and start to build new relationship and share Jesus in those relationships.

Over the Labor Day weekend, we took a one day trip to the Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan. It was lots of fun, and we had close to 50 people going with us. It was great fun and we were able to get to know new students as well as continue to reconnect with old students. It was a fun weekend.


Students at the Dunes on Lake Michigan

Henry and I on the lake.

That then brings us to this week. it sure has flown by so quickly!  I think it is going to  be a quick, but great semester.

We are now at the tail end of the third week of classes on campus. Things are starting to get into a rhythm with Navs and I am happy to say that Bible studies are starting up across campus. I am excited to say that I am co-leading a study on the same floor that I was able to lead a Bible discussion on last year. I was supper excited about being able to continue to build relationships with these guys and see what God continues to do on that floor!

Would you please join with me in prayer for this semester on campus here at Purdue, that we as staff and students would really be living out the truth of the Gospel, by ourselves and as a community, in order that we might bring others closer to God and bring Glory to His name.

Thanks, in Jesus name,

Chad Stiffney

It is going to be good.

I am so excited!! I arrived in West Lafayette, Indiana last night and got to meet the new Navigators staff here at Purdue.  It is exciting to think that it is time to start a new year up on campus, and I am so happy that it is.  As I drove east from Wyoming, I could tell I was getting more excited to be getting closer and closer to Indiana.  That is something i am not real sure I thought I would ever say, but it is true. God really blessed my life last year with bringing me out to Purdue on staff. Last year was a challenging year, but ultimately a good and growing year both personally and for how I saw God work in students on campus.  I think that coming back has helped remind me of God’s work from last year and is making me look forward to what He will do this semester!

The next three weeks are going to be very busy as we as staff and student leaders prep for a new year and start to recruit freshmen and new students during the freshmen orientation and the first few weeks of classes. It is going to be good. Please remember in your prayers this time so that we as staff and students can remember, through all the the business, why we are are here. Which is for God’s glory.

As you pray for this time I would also ask that you would lift up my funding needs im your prayers. I am currently about $5000 short of being able to remain on campus for the entire semester. This seems like a huge amount, but nothing is impossible with God. This could be accomplished through 10 large gifts of $500 or through only 100 small gifts of $50. Can I ask you to please carefully and prayerfully consider joining my support and prayer team for God’s ministry here on the Purdue campus. Please respond to God’s call for you in this, whether it is to give financially or not.  If God does not lead you to give, please don’t, but if He does, please do.  If you feel lead to give, click on the donate button on the side of this website, or go to http://www.navigators.org.  To contact me please email me at stiffney@live.com.

Thank you for you prayers and support,

Chad Stiffney