Field Days

This past summer I had the honor of serving with Kaleo, a missions organization that partners with church plants (like Swerve Church) in select cities and states to help impoverished communities through various outreach efforts (i.e. assisting with school organization, food pantries, shelters, street evangelism, prayer walks, community clean-ups, etc.). In a nutshell, we spread love and share the gospel.

Kaleo hosts church youth groups (junior/high school) from all over the United States interested in serving, and they chose me (and a couple of others) to lead these groups that were arriving weekly to serve in Brooklyn (Bushwick). Such a great honor and experience. The harvest was and still is plentiful! May God bless the workers still there and send more according to His will!

Now I had originally planned on keeping my followers updated often throughout my time there, but I ended up only documenting a little on my Instagram stories (now highlights) and on a couple of posts. Between our long, sweaty days of serving and leading debriefs, it honestly wasn’t a high priority for me to talk to anybody but God (ha!)…’cause your girl was so tired! Just being honest.

I did, however, share a bit of my heartfelt perspective over on Kaleo Missions’ Blog that I wrote during my deployment. Though I was there for only a season, my investment was eternal.

In case you’re wondering what I’m doing now on this adventure with Jesus…welllll, my calling remains, folks! I will forever work with youth in some capacity, and I’ve recently adopted 22 little 4-year-olds. What can I say?! I am now crazy for Pre-K! ūü§óūü§™

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“If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!”

¬©2019 ‚ÄĘ Chan‚Äôtel Nikole Grayson

Cloudy Days

In recent months I have had more cloudy days than I would like to admit, but I have began to realize how important it is for us Christians to actually talk about them instead of projecting this image of a struggle-free, happy-go-lucky life. Social media doesn’t help either, as more often than not, it’s a reel of good times – which I actually don’t think is all bad, until comparison rears it’s ugly head.

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. – John 16:33 (NLT)

The past 4 years of my life have been incredibly challenging. God sure knows how to prepare us! I have grieved several unmet expectations of perfection, despite knowing the word above. And to be honest, I’ve lost a lot of hope for tomorrow in the process.

I used to sing the same optimistic song: “The best is yet to come!” But, new year after new year, I have waited, and the road to the best has been flooded with tears and more growing pains. My heart has gotten pretty sick of the deferred hope (Proverbs 13:12) for the long-awaited responses to my ancient prayers. My new song belts, “Great is thy faithfulness!” unto the Lord, and in my state of reality or doubt (yikes!), it also faintly whispers, “Even if You don’t, I will be okay…and I will praise You”.

“I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” – Mark 9:24 (NLT)

Do not be ashamed if you have felt or are feeling this way. The healing process begins with honesty. You are not alone! Let me say that again. You are not alone! Myself, many other believers, and our Savior feels your pain! I don’t know about you, but I find it so comforting to know that Yeshua has endured everything that we have or ever will. And we have a book full of reference points to help us with our challenges too.

Quick Story.

At the end of December 2018, as the new year approached, I began reflecting over the year. To be honest, I ruled it as overall horrible, and was feeling quite depressed about it. Before I could swim in the deep end of that lie, my Godmother who loves to take photos and document memories randomly sent me a slideshow full of captured fun times we’ve shared in 2018. Talk about God’s perfect timing.

I literally laughed out loud at how ridiculous I looked sulking, when right there in my face was proof that it wasn’t all so bad. I’m tellin’ y’all…THE DEVIL IS A LIAR! And you want to know what was even more ridiculous?! Some of the moments she shared were recennt! I’m talking within the last month, recent. Geez Louise.

See how depression warps our perceptions regarding our current circumstances; causing us to believe lies and throw a pity party of one? Things just aren’t clear through the lens of depression, my friends. In its selfish nature, it causes us to look for justifications to remain downcast. Instead of mentally going down a slide of injustices, we should be recounting the goodness of The Lord and thinking on virtuous things (Isaiah 63:7; Phil. 4:8). For some of us depression is a short season, and for others, a long one with evidence of being a stronghold. In both, God is the answer.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. – Psalm 43:5 (NIV)

Now, I am not ignorant to the fact that there are a select few who remain depressed because they flat out refuse gratefulness. Maybe they fear freedom (a real thing), and having been bound for so long, those demons have become family. Maybe they don’t want to relinquish the sympathetic attention that they may gain from wallowing. Only when we genuinely decide that we want to be victors instead of victims is there hope for us through Christ.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. РProverbs 17:22 (NLT)

We also can’t forget that certain foods and beverages trigger mood changes as well. They can cause dips in emotions and/or increases in anxiety. Examine yourself and any habits that may be contributing. We worship God in our eating as well. Give us this day our daily bread, Lord… spiritually and physically! Ask God what you need for today. He knows and has gone before you.

Bottom line: It is impossible to be depressed within the presence of God. The fruits of His spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). So I encourage you to fight to praise Him for who He is and not just what He has/hasn’t done. Worship is key in the slump of depression.

One of my favorite ways to worship the Lord is in song. In no special order below, I have listed 20 songs that have helped me (and others) during dark times when it seems the enemy’s lies are just so dang loud. Maybe some of these can help you jump start a healthy playlist of your own. In my opinion, there’s nothing like reading the lyrics as you listen to really penetrate and motivate the heart to fight.

I pray that each time you get up, you get up stronger.

  1. Draw Nigh (Psalm 42:1) – Fred Hammond
  2. You Say – Lauren Daigle
  3. Fear Is A Liar – Zach Williams
  4. It Ain’t Over – Maurette Brown Clark
  5. Power to Redeem – Lauren Daigle
  6. You Are – Javen
  7. Get Up – Mary Mary
  8. I’ll Find You – Lecrae
  9. I Smile – Kirk Franklin
  10. King of the World – Natalie Grant
  11. Tell Me Wear It Hurts – Fred Hammond
  12. I Ain’t Done – Andy Mineo
  13. Still I Rise – Yolanda Adams
  14. Even If – MercyMe
  15. Yesterday – Mary Mary
  16. Let Your Power Fall – James Fortune & FIYA (feat. Zacardi Cortez)
  17. The Breakup Song – Francesca Battistelli
  18. Please Don’t Pass Me By – Fred Hammond
  19. You Can’t Stop Me – Andy Mineo
  20. Speak The Name – Koryn Hawthorne (feat. Natalie Grant)

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. – Jude 1:24 (NLT)


¬©2019 ‚ÄĘ Chan‚Äôtel Nikole Grayson

Overwhelmed. #poetry #gratefulness #reflection

I’m loving all that You’re doing
And how my heart smiles upon my face
I’m loving all that You’re brewing
With gladness, I receive this cup by faith

I’m grateful¬†for that which I do not know
I’m trusting Your guidance in every step
I’m grateful for this opportunity to grow
And have comfort in knowing that even Jesus, wept

I’m loving me, because I’m loving You
And this couldn’t be a better time
To pour into new wine skins
Incredible new wine

When I look into the mirror
I see You
And I’m baffled that¬†it’s the truth
My gosh, You’re really in there shining out
You’re really my Boaz
I’m really Your Ruth

This love cannot be written
And I lack the words to fully express
I’m overwhelmed by Your sweet¬†kindness
I’m overwhelmed by Your caress

This is what healing looks like
This is what redemption does
It takes your mess and cleans it up
It embraces
It persists
It loves

I call for a recount of God’s goodness!
I¬†call for¬†rejoicing for¬†what’s to come!
I sing Hallelujah for His faithfulness!
Sing Hallelujah, everyone!

¬© 2017¬†‚ÄĘ Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

Trusting Doors #trust #faith 

I went to Sprouts Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago.¬†It was all a¬†normal trip,¬†and nothing happened¬†out of the ordinary…until¬†I went to exit and approached the automatic sliding doors.¬†They didn’t open.¬† I didn’t think much about it initially.¬† I just¬†accepted the fact that¬†they were having mechanical difficulties on this day, and so I gently pried the doors open, exited, and went on my merry way.

As I drove off in my car, I thought about those doors again.¬† I wasn’t frustrated, but I recalled that this was actually the second¬†time this week that automatic sliding¬†doors didn’t open¬†as they should.¬† Though both times I wasn’t making haste enough to¬†run into the doors, I wondered who would have.¬† I couldn’t shake the thought of how many of us trust mechanical doors¬†to open, almost to a fault.¬† I thought of how many of us¬†walk into elevators, confidently expecting them to open and close, take us up¬†and down and on to our designated floors.¬† I thought about how many of us trust creations¬†far more than we trust our faithful Creator.

It is too often that we rely solely on what is seen, when the power of our unseen God is insurmountable.  Though His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and not always making sense to our finite human minds (Isaiah 55:8), He can be trusted more than anyone or anything!  Hallelujah!  Be Encouraged!  Unlike unreliable doors, God has no difficulty in coming through for us.  He does not malfunction, He does not slip up, and gratefully He never takes a day off.  Hallelujah again!  Thanks to Jesus we can approach God with faith and confidence.  And when we walk thoughtlessly through automatic sliding doors that open with ease, may we be reminded of how similarly, if not more, our trust should be in the God who made them.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
– Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

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#DearHubby: A Love Letter to My Future Spouse 

On October 24, 2014, following an inspiring bible study on the topic of “The Unloved Woman”, I decided to write a letter to my unknown husband-to-be. I’ve gone back and forth on my decision to share it for the simple fact that it’s his letter and was originally intended for his¬†eyes only. But, I gotta. ¬†I guess this is what happens when your wife-to-be is a writer.¬†Lord, bless him! Here’s what I wrote to my boo thang (giggles).¬†I hope there’s another woman or man out there like myself who can relate to this post and finds it timely and refreshing.

Hey Dear,

I went to bible study¬†tonight and returned home feeling both blessed and a mess! The speaker brought a word to us on “The Unloved Woman” and broke it down, identifying the why and this unloved woman’s characteristics. She said an unloved woman is dangerous because she is likely to cause harm. There are 6 types of this woman, and I identified with “the single woman never loved properly”. This woman says they don’t want or need things as a cover up. She doesn’t believe it’s genuine. Dang, that was me.

I received the word that FAITH HAS A VOICE. I realized that all of my “waiting” was due to a lack of faith. I’ve been saying I don’t want, what I do want. I’ve been nonchalant and complacent. The speaker has this ministry for single women. They (we) made baskets full of goodies for our husbands-to-be. Mine of course, is for you dear ‚ėļ. Before I let you dive in, I want you to know that I’m doing what’s necessary to get right, and tonight’s exposure was a great first step. God’s going to heal me for you. You’re worth my time and I am too.

So, I got a basket. Initially I got it because even though I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this whole marriage thing again, something in me knew it was right. So by faith, I will feel so right by the time it is full. I’m praying for you and me individually and collectively. I love you so much and truly want the best for you, so…I gotta do my part.

I don’t want you to have a broken woman. We will not awaken our love until it is time. I feel it won’t be long…so I’m working hard by submitting to God, being honest, and allowing him to make me whole.

Dear God, Please do not let my husband suffer on account of me. May I never blaspheme your word! Finding me as his wife WILL be good for eternity. 

I don’t want to be easy to love for just a while, I want to be easy to love for life. I bind the spirit of complacency. I submit to the Holy Spirit and say, “have your way, God.”

Any who…love you.

xoxo,
yo ‚ėļ

Hate & Blessings: A Reminder to The Body of Christ #Beatitudes

As representatives of Christ, any and everyone should clearly recognize who we are and Who we represent by the fruit that we produce.¬†As of late, I feel such a burden to encourage the body of Christ to increase their level of integrity. ¬†So, I’m blasting my imaginary megaphone and shouting loud and clear…”COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE YE SEPARATE!” (See 2 Corinthians 6:17).

stay holyAre you telling a little white lie?
Not letting the cashier know he/she overcharged you?
Ordering water, but filling your cup up with soda?
California rollin’ through the stop sign?
Illegitimately parking in handicap for just a few minutes?
Leaving tags on purchased clothing, wearing them, and returning them?

CUT THAT OUT!

These are just a few examples of spirit-grieving acts that lack integrity. These may seem small, but as long as you’re dishonest in little, you will be dishonest with much (See Luke 16:10). ¬†If you relate, I encourage you to repent and ask the Holy Spirit to help you cut this out. ¬†Ask God to purge you and for His Spirit to fill you. ¬†We already know that sin pays in death, so¬†don’t take the job!¬† Our brother, Paul, has clearly felt our pain in this area. ¬†He said…

14-16 I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are
spiritual, but I‚Äôm not. Isn‚Äôt this also your experience?‚ÄĚ Yes. I‚Äôm full of myself‚ÄĒafter all, I‚Äôve spent a long time in sin‚Äôs prison. What I don‚Äôt understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can‚Äôt be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God‚Äôs command is necessary.

17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t doit. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

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21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
– Romans 7:14-24

You better believe that the world is watching, and more importantly, our Heavenly Father is watching. ¬†As long as we’re bound, we’re incapacitated; unable to properly strengthen the body and help them get free from their sins that once enslaved us.

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. – Hebrews 10:26 (NLT)

Allow me to remind you of what the Lord hates…

Proverbs6-16-19

Now let me remind you of¬†the true definition of blessed…

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There’s a huge misconception in the world, and even in the body of Christ of what it means to be BLESSED. ¬†Do not be deceived! Following Christ is not your ticket to wealth, prosperity and instant gratification. ¬†If that’s what you’re after, you ought to follow Satan (or maybe you are unknowingly). ¬†He’ll give it to you now, as a down payment for hell later. Following Christ is your ticket to Heaven. We endure now, and prosper in eternity later.

Now don’t get me wrong, the Lord does give material gifts, but from my personal experience, they start flowing once they don’t matter (ha!). ¬†The world oohs,¬†ahhs and huffs and puffs in jealousy when they see your gifts, while all along in your heart, you’re like “pssh…this?”. ¬†God loves giving to these kind; they’re not discontent and adulterous lusting for more.

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.
– Philippians 3:18 (NLT)

#Babylon Will Fall: The End Is Here and Near #EndTimes #Prophecy

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
– 1 John 4:4

You’ve probably heard a thing or two (or a thousand) about the “End Times”. Well, I’m here to tell end is nearyou again, that the end is here and near, and I want to share what the Lord has been impressing on my heart. Do not be desensitized by this talk. Do not close your ears to the message God has for you. Do not miss it.

As Babylon falls, persecution will come through the despising of God’s people who are filled with His Holy Spirit.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
– Galatians 5:22-23

astrology planetsThose Luciferians who worship Satan and are bound to demonic/satanic forces and principalities of darkness. ¬†Those world-lovers, diviners, witches, warlocks, idol-worshipers, mockers, slanderers, blasphemers, prideful fools of corruption…they will be dumb-founded when Sovereign God shows himself strong! Their seared minds won’t be able to wrap their head around the thought that Satan actually can’t keep a deal (or do anything for that matter) without God’s permission.

Therefore, rejoice, O heavens!
    And you who live in the heavens, rejoice!
But terror will come on the earth and the sea,
    for the devil has come down to you in great anger,
    knowing that he has little time.
– Revelations 12:12 (NLT)

city on the hill

In the midst of chaos, your enemies will cringe at the sight of you, a bright city on a hill.  The body of Christ will be thriving internally, eternally in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!

world trade centerThis generation is building a new tower of Babel (See Genesis 11:1-9 regarding the old one).  The Lord will tear it down and Babylon will fall. There will be confusion in the land and God will not be mocked.  He has spoken clearly, but His words have been rejected.  He will not be mocked. Woe unto those who think the Lord does not see! Sin and technology drive this building project.

 Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap. РGalatians 6:7 (AMP)

In a selfish world full of various levels of immorality, money, fame, power, materialism, and sexual perversions, we must guard our hearts above all else!

23 Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life.
24 Avoid all perverse talk;
stay away from corrupt speech.
25 Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26 Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
27 Don’t get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil.
-Proverbs 4:23-27

Today’s generation heavily places their trust in people, finances, degrees, status, titles, positions, and job roles. ¬†They lust luke 16:13for more, more, more, and are bound, bound, bound! Yet sadly, they are praised and worshiped for “reaching the top” despite the demonic how: gaining the whole world to lose their souls (See Matthew 6:26).

Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. – Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NIV)

During this progressive fall of Babylon, many will mourn the loss of their earthly treasures, but those who know who they are and whose they are…those whose treasure is the One True Almighty God, will be sustained. Hallelujah!

 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. РMatthew 6:21

This will be a difficult and trying time for many. ¬†People will go straight nuts! ¬†They will ask “Where is God?” while surrounded by evidence of His wrath. ¬†How quickly they will have forgotten sowed seeds of old as they reap a great and dreadful harvest. ¬†It will be a time of increasing persecution for the body of Christ as well. ¬†Remember your purpose and calling to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, and love not your life so much that you are afraid to die (See my post “ISIS: A Message to The Body of Christ” for encouragement on living and dying for Christ).

21 “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 22 And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.
– Matthew 10:21-22

If you’re not genuinely riding with God now, building yourself now, reading your word now, filled with the Holy Spirit now,¬†I’m telling you now, that you are going to fall and be devoured. We cannot live on bread alone (See Matthew 4:4). ¬†We need the word of God in us DAILY. ¬†That is our nourishment and ammunition! ¬†WAKE UP! We need stay humble and seek God for wisdom and understanding so that we know what is true and what is false, and even then…be careful! (See 1 Corinthians 10:12) Come exactly as you are from wherever you are. ¬†Run to God, It’s not too late!

not too lateIf my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14

If you belong to the body of Christ, FEAR NOT!  

 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.
– 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NLT)

pearly gates