Monday, October 26, 2009



Mission Abilene is hosting the 3rd annual “Stop the Violence, Start the Love” Rally on July 17th, 2009 at the Abilene Civic Center. The purpose of the family-friendly event is to shine a light on violence and crime within our city and to raise awareness to the devastating and long-term consequences of violent crime. Proceeds will benefit the Regional Crime Victims Crisis Center.

Admission is free. The event will give citizens of Abilene the opportunity to enjoy live music with bands as well as experience local known artists painting, drawing, and creating on site, children’s activities, air castles, balloon tricks, a ventriloquist, a tattoo contest, concession stands, t-shirt sales, and merchandise. A featured exhibit of local non-profit agencies and organizations will provide needed information, education, and resources to the residents of Abilene and the surrounding communities. A city-wide memorial service will be held to honor those who have been killed by violence. MORE DETAILS WILL BE POSTED AT A LATER TIME.

The local and national television news stations and newspapers broadcast story after violent story every day but all too often viewers remain unfazed until violence personally touches their own lives. Gang violence is dismissed because viewers perceive both the killed and the killers as criminals yet each one of those is someone’s child, brother or sister, father or mother, or beloved friend. Too often, society easily forgets that the consequences of violent crime reach far beyond those directly involved until they hear about innocent victims who have been blamelessly and unwillingly targeted by driveby shootings, hit by stray gunfire. Far too many are wounded or killed in the midst of gang warfare—battles that are not their own. Viewers and readers shake their heads in dismay and pity at the cruel and endless stories of domestic violence and abuse when an abuser finally hits one too many times or too hard or loses all sense in a rage and kills. Yet they remain unaware that those victims who silently suffer for years are the next door neighbor or the women who quietly sit in the same at church or the child who plays with their own children. If people suspect, they often look the other way because they are not willing to get “involved.”

Chad Mitchell, pastor of Mission Abilene grew restless when too many of the church members victims or were family members. After Albert Cadena’s death last year, he and Mission Abilene decided it was time to take a stand against violence—to get involved. Change is not the sole responsibility of law enforcement or the legal system. Change begins with each and every citizen—in their own homes, in their own neighborhoods. Change begins when one makes the choice to stop the violence and start to love. The first city-wide rally was held in August of 2008 and people began to see their ability and responsibility to make a difference and be the difference. Mission Abilene invites each and every citizen to join them as a community to honor those who have been senselessly murdered, to help those who still suffer as victims through raising funds for the Regional Crime Victims Crisis Center, and to take a united stand against violence.

Event: Stop the Violence, Start the Love Rally
Date: July 17, 2009
Location: Abilene Civic Center
Host: Mission Abilene and partnering sponsors
For information, or would like to help please contact Mission Abilene at 325-232-8258

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why Not Me?

The Bible tells a story about a man named Job. Job is presented to us as a good and honorable man. He was honest, righteous, and blameless in the sight of God. And he had enjoyed good health and had been very prosperous. But all that changed. Over a period of time, he lost everything he owned, his family members were killed, his servants were killed, and he was left with nothing. In this Scripture we know so much more than Job knew about what was going on. Job was lost as to what was happening. Job just kept saying “I’m not guilty of any sin!” He would say “I want to face God myself and argue my case”. Job basically was saying that God didn’t know what he was doing and how good he was. God didn’t understand him. Job was saying – Why me, why me? I have asked that very same question countless times in the midst of struggles... But in all reality, I guess I need to replace that question with “Why not me?” I mean what makes me so special that nothing bad should ever happen to us? The reality is if Christ is who I say He is in my life, I'm going to be okay regardless of what I undergo in the physical.

The Gavel

Too often we, as the church are quick to swing the gavel as the judge, instead of opening our arms in acceptance. One particular day I received a phone call from one of our staff pastor, Brian's wife, Leah. She said Chad you have got to go check out the marquee out in front of a certain church, whose name I won't mention. She went on to say "it says we are videoing on Sunday please dress your best." I said you have got to be joking. So I went and witnessed it first hand. I sat in my car in the parking lot of that church completely speechless. A part of me was absolutely furious, and then my soul began to feel a great sense of sadness. I instantly thought I bet Jesus isn't too happy with this church. I mean can't you see it now, Jesus walking into their church after a long journey. He is not smelling so friendly, his hair is somewhat matted from the sweat that rushes over him as a result of the journey. Would they honestly let him in that Sunday? Most likely not, I mean, come on they are videoing. My heart then literally begins to break for this church. It was at this precise moment that the revelation of Matthew 7:2-4 came to my mind. It states "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?As I put my car in drive I begin to focus on my own church. What if Jesus showed up to my church, the church I pastor? Would He be welcomed? Would He be accepted? Would He see the people of our community as real, genuine human beings? Would He see our people dripping with compassion and mercy for the lost? OR Would He see people that have their own agendas? Would He observe people that come to church because they are consumers, attempting to make the church what they want, not what He wants? What would He see?


"He that finds his life shall lose it, and he that loses his life 
for my sake shall find it." (Matthew 10:39)

One of the not so pleasing responsibilities of the local church pastor is to officiate funeral services. As a result of being in ministry literally a third of my living years I have been apart of my fair share of funerals. I have officiated all different types of funerals ranging from a six week old baby, a homeless men, ex-gang members, and just the average Joes. One thing that I have never been able to comprehend is the reality of how I respond to the loss of a loved one or a close friend. Death, sadly enough has been a constant invader throughout my life. Whether it was my five friends, grandfather, uncle, or a mentor death has always done its toil on me. Each time my life is interrupted by the un-welcomed intruder, a constant thought causes mind to spin into a cloud of confusion. If we truly love someone we want the absolute best for them. In all the reality, the greatest thing that anyone could ever receive is the opportunity to be in the presence of the Creator for eternity, yet when I loved one departs from the homeland and finds salvation we become confused or even angry. Im not nieve to the fact that most of our feelings are birthed as a result of the pain of losing a loved one, but if our faith is we say it is, The question, “why do we pray for someone to be healed in the physical, when in all reality the best thing to ever happen with them would be for them to die and be with Jesus if they are a follower of Jesus Christ.

I remember as if it was yesterday, my cell phone rang. On the other end was Auntie. Her voice trembled as she said, “Chadman, we lost Uncle Shirley. Uncle Shirley was my great Uncle who had recently undergone hip replacement surgery. My Auntie went on to say, “Chad, I had my hand on his forehead and I prayed God, don’t let him hurt, give him peace.” She went on to say, “Then that was it, he died.” My Auntie was in total shock as a result of God instantly answering her prayers. What a living paradox it was that My Aunt, prayed a prayer for my Uncle to be in peace and when God answered her prayer we were shocked.

When The Honeymoon Fades

One disaster that tends to hit newborn Christians is the reality that the honeymoon experience doesn’t last forever. Sadly enough it is when this reality sets in and their world isn’t turbulence free, new many believers find themselves right back in the middle of their lifestyle that they walked away from days prior. Over the years, my faith has been tested countless times. Loss of friends, relationship struggles, and hard ministry knocks have made me confront my faith face to face. As the Honeymoon continues to fade and each time after the storms have cleared there is a consistent theme that somehow always surfaces. There is one truth that remains constant. Regardless if my world falls in, there is one who is there to put the pieces back together.

Only One Master Sculptor

After my life had changed, like most there was a constant tug of war between my past and my newly found present. As a 17 year old I must confessed I was a professional procrastinator. As a result of my procrastinator tendencies my life was usually lived fast pace. One particular Sunday was no different; I was late to church and had to leave my house immediately to make it to church. I backed my truck out of my parent’s garage quickly, without any regard to the reminders my dad routinely gave me. My Dad always expressed to me that I should back out the truck slowly due to the tight fit of the garage, and the divider in the center of the garage that created the two-car garage. With the only thing on my mind was getting to church, I pushed the gas pedal down, and threw the truck in reverse. Needless to say, I quickly was reminded of my Dad’s highly intelligent and helpful insight as I struck the dividing column. I jumped out of the truck and attempted to readjust the bricks back in place. Then I proceeded to go to church. In a matter of minutes my mom, who at the time was not a deeply committed follower shows up at my Sunday school class and ask to speak with me. I quickly become aware that my brick reconstructed structure did not eliminate the evidence of my absent minded collision. On that cloudy Sunday morning I realized that many times throughout life I have tried to be a master sculptor attempting to repair my own mistakes, but there is only one master sculptor and I wasn’t Him. Time and time again Jesus and Jesus alone rescued me out of my self-constructed agony. Yet He didn’t stop there, he continues to rescue me daily. It is because of this apparent theme, that I continue to survive and live each day. Regardless of the adversity, the pain and sorrow, and sleepless nights my only hope is Jesus alone. It is because of this hope that I don’t pursue fame and fortune, but faith and eternity.

Approach in Love

I have always had a deep connection with the streets. Maybe it was my teen years of actually running the streets or getting introduced to so many street people’s brutal honesty attracts me so intensely to them. I honestly feel a sense of safety among street people, I would much rather go visit a couple of homeless guy or thugs then speak to a bunch of church people any day. Through my ten plus years of serving with a homeless church I have came to the realization that the only thing that truly difference from the people that I have met on the streets and church people is homeless will expose their sin, church people conceal their sin. In other words a homeless alcoholic’s breath will reek with alcohol, a church going alcoholic’s breath will smell like mouthwash.

One summer I was quickly reminded that when sharing the gospel of love with the streets, never fail to remind the in love part. With about 3 years of street ministry under my belt, I decided to be a part of a street invasion with my pastor at the time. Street pastors from all over the nation gathered each year to reach out to the streets of San Francisco. We awoke early the first day of the outreach. After spending some time in prayer, the time had arrived for us to hit the streets. Prior to the outreach I didn’t know that there would be people on our teams that were green in street ministry but I was soon to find out as the day progressed. We soon were off to share the good news with the streets of San Francisco. As the morning passed things were going rather smoothly. Then afternoon arrived with a little more excitement. It was around 2:15 in the afternoon when I heard some commotion behind me. I quickly turned around, not knowing what was the cause of all the noise I was hearing. There he was with a pale look on his face. A high school kid had approached some gang members sitting on park benches. A few gang members began to raise their voices at the terrified high school kid. After asking a bystander to fill me in of what was going on, I found out the high school kid told the gang members that they were going to go to hell if they didn’t change their ways. Although that kid was probably right, he quickly realized that he had approached these guys in the wrong fashion when they began to circle around him. Instantly I glanced around the now crowded street. Everyone was standing around watching, no one was attempting to rescue this poor kid. Adrenaline got the best of me that day as I pushed through the crowd to get where the kid was standing. Instantly I began addressing each one of the gang members in love and in a matter of minutes one by one the members began to step out of the circle that trapped the over zealous youth and I.

When God stirs your spirit to share your story with someone, never forget to approach the scenario in love.


Over the years I have underwent many interviews. A common question that has thread itself through numerous interviews is "what do I see myself doing in 5 years?" Each time I have to take time to pause, and intently evaluate the focus and direction of my life. In my opinion I wholeheartedly believe one of the greatest tragedy of society is the countless people that roam about the land without direction and vision for their life. Scripture states, "without vision people perish." What a powerful statement of truth. The sad reality is many people even though they are alive are really dead as a result of their lack of drive and recognition of their divine purpose. I challenge you to pause, take a deep breath and begin to step out in courage and pursue your deepest dreams and passions. Imagine how different this world would be if Martin Luther King, Jr. never acted upon his conviction, The disciple as a result of fear never shared the Gospel, more importantly Jesus never fulfilled his eternal purpose because of lack of drive... Look in the mirror and ask yourself, "Am I driven or is my lack of drive a ghost that HAUNTS me in such a way it causes me to waste away in a sea of lost direction?"

Live to Love.

Prison Break

Hey guys if you don't have a place of community we are starting a new series this Sunday called Prison Break. Sometimes our struggles with pain, worry, and loneliness can feel like a life sentence. Yet, the apostle Paul was locked in prison when he wrote Philippians-- the most joyful book of the entire Bible. Is there a way to be happy even when life seems crushing? Find out how through our new series at Mission Abilene called Prison Break.

Monday, October 19, 2009

In The Chains

Throughout life we are often faced with struggles that come into our lives unwelcome. Sickness, death of a loved one, loss of job, an end to a lengthy relationship are some of things that imprison us from time to time. All too my often in my life when i am chained down by a struggle I have spent entirely too much energy questioning God's presence, purpose, and provision. "Why God did this happen? What did I do to deserve this? Are you even there God? These statements sadly enough have been present in my thought life at one time or another. As I pause and really ponder about my times of struggles, a revelation has become apparent to me. That Jesus is in the chains. All too often I complain about the chains, instead of embracing them.

Friday, October 9, 2009


As I write traveling to the metroplex I am currently pondering today's current event. I don't know if you had time to pause today and catch the news but there was a 2 hour hot pursuit that originated near the metroplex. As I became aware of the news I quickly texted one of my buddies that is a a Dallas police officer to ask him if he was involved. He wasn't, but my conversation with him stirred a thought up inside me. When cops find themselves in an uncomfortable situation they immediately call for back up. What doesn't make sense to me is at times most Christians find themselves in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation we don't call for backup from our christian brothers or sisters. I mean didn't Jesus even have backup for the majority of the three and a half years he journeyed around doing ministry? When is the last time you paused and called for backup?
Live to Love,


As my life progresses I have came to the realization that greatness is not a split second in time, it is so much more than that. It's found in the steps that cause the catalyst of greatness to evolve. It's the sweat, blood, tears, laughs, and the smiles of sacrifice that make greatness what it is. As you proceed along the paths of your personal journey of life don't ever fail to recall to enjoy the steps you take.
Live to Love,