I'm Talking About "Them"

Over the years, as God has been shaping and refining me, I have noticed that my character defends me time and time again. I’ve seen the enemy silenced, narratives debunked, and foes scattered. God knows how to get things done, my friends, and what an honor it is to be used to getthingsdone for the kingdom! It’s worth it to just show up sometimes.

The Lord  will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.

Deuteronomy 28:7 (NKJV)

I know society tells us not to dwell on the past. I’ve said it too, but today I’m talking about it. I’m talking about them. Those we know have had negative conversations about us behind our backs. Those frenemies who have fired shots with backhanded compliments and somehow caused public humiliation…without public notice. Those who have allowed their jealousy to rise up and morph them into bullies, making us their target. Those who have rallied troops against you…and me. Those who have masked their nosiness with concern, only to vomit all you’ve shared, with, guess who? more of them!

This is what I have to say to you about them.

Forgive them.

Call me naïve, but I wholeheartedly believe that there are so many who know not what they do when they do those evil things. We don’t know all that is in our deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9)! I think few people are hurting us intentionally, and many are living and loving the best way they can…even if that way is trash. Forgiveness doesn’t mean a rocked relationship will be restored to what it was. It may be better, it may be very different, it may or may not be both.

Forgiveness does not mean excusing.

– C.S. Lewis

Forgiveness can be super tough, but is always worth it. It keeps our most prized relationship (with God) intact and functioning healthily. The sin of unforgiveness is way too costly for us to allow it to gestate. It can manifest through bitterness, physical pain, strife, sickness, disease, etc., as it slowly… separates…us…from…God. Christ gave us a prescription for many things on the cross. Pardon them, He pardons you (Matt. 6:14).

Don’t bend for them.

I know the room is dark, but keep showing up and letting that light of yours shine. oh, and please don’t dim it when you get there. I know you feel alone, but God is on your side, fighting for you! Dwell on the good that God has done and keep a grateful heart. Don’t let them make you shrink back or give in. I know you don’t want them around, but God has prepared a pretty awesome table for you in their presence. The spread is for you, friend! 😉

You prepare a feast [table] for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.

Psalm 23:5 (NLT)

Pray and release them.

The truth is, we’re not the only one He loves, ya know. God loves them like crazy, too. They too are image bearers of Christ, (though it may be a greatly distorted image in this season of their life). We may unknowingly be a “them” for someone else. If you can find it in your heart to forgive and genuinely pray for them, it’ll do humanity some good. If you can release that prayer to heaven and leave it there, it’ll do you some good. Sometimes we forget that we really can change the world with prayer. As my late aunt would say, “prayer is the most you can do.” When we release them in prayer, the matter is out of our hands and head, left in the best hands of all. We are free to be, trusting that it’s taken care of by a Righteous Judge.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matthew 5:44 (NIV)

This song is an oldie but goodie that God used to bind up my wounds and reaffirm truth. I hope it encourages you as much as it has encouraged me!

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:13 (NIV)

©2020 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

#Kingdom #Business is Booming…

Today, I have the most amount of friends that I have ever had in my life at one time. I mean, I have had plenty of acquaintances, but the number of genuine people that have been a friend to me can be counted on one hand. The number is small, and personally, I like it that way, but I feel God stretching me.

I try to give the people and things that I care about my undivided attention. I’m the person who’s not on their cell phone at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I also don’t like rationing out my love. I like to give out as much as I can for keeps, and for free, if you’re not a pig, that is (See Matthew 7:6). Up until recently (like hours ago recently…this is fresh!), my analytical mind figured a small number of friends would allow me to strategically drop lump sums of love on everybody, resulting in happiness for all. It was a big fat burrito versus numerous street tacos kind of approach. street taco burritoIf you ask me, it’s a brilliantly inappropriate formula that works as long as the numbers don’t increase. But, Kingdom business is booming, and something’s gotta change. Times like these make me happy. They are those sweet and sour crooked path being made straight types of moments, and I’m all about it! I’m noticing that there are suddenly more mouths to feed, and I am but one chef cooking in the kitchen. There are suddenly more sheep to tend and I’m just a little ol’ sheep myself. Kingdom business is booming, and something’s gotta change.

business booming

cut the stringsMany of my friends, like myself, are probably used to my level of availability. Their level of support and maturity vary, but regardless, it comes down to me. I’ve been the kind, single friend with a different type of busyness that truthfully, I haven’t respected much. I’ve had a willingness to be there and set myself aside. Sometimes it’s a labor of love, which is great and necessary, but mostly it’s been a neglectful puppet act that displeases the Lord, and myself. It’s been an unhealthy form of bondage, like all forms of bondage are…unhealthy. My puppet strings are showing, and I can’t do it anymore.

As I sit here on this threshing floor with Jesus, looking at all the dreams and opportunities that He’s dropping on purpose for me, I realize that there is no way I can attain them with this posture. I am weak and I need His perfect strength to make me strong. I need Him to take it from here.

…He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Lord, please forgive me for taking Your place, and getting in Your way. It is not my job to meet the needs of my friends (or anyone). In fact, there is absolutely no way that I can do it, for You are their Shepherd! I see that Your family is growing. Your church is growing, and many new relationships are forming that I just can’t keep track of. Thank You for every friend, brother, and sister You have blessed me with. I submit them all to you, Father. Past, present, and future. I entrust them all in Your hands, and ask that You would appropriate each one. I am free to do Your will and mine, and I do not have to apologize or feel bad for doing either one, which are truly the same. I love You, and I thank You for bringing this up. Thank You for allowing me to come to the end of myself and recognize the err in my ways and my need of You, My Savior.

I thank You for these important life changes, and I ask that You would help me to set appropriate boundaries and help all who are affected by them to adjust accordingly . Snip my puppet strings! I remove the pressure off of myself to be someone that I am not, and I embrace imperfect me, and choose to love her. *sigh* Thank You for Your burden that is light, and Your yoke that is easy. You are such a Good Father. I ask that You would continue to do what You do, and help me to follow in Your way. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

 

#Life, #Love, & #Heaven on #Earth

Hello loves! It’s been a while, I know, but good news…I’ve been growing tons and have a bit of it to share.  Since my last post, I’ve raised my standard of living quite a bit with attention to a couple of key areas that I’ve outlined. Now, let’s see if I remember how to write ha.

I feel the need to share this because I think people frequently admire or develop a bit of hate towards a person based on what we do not know. We covet another’s physical and spiritual gifts and blessings, without fully understanding why they have what they have or what they did to get where they are.  Few are ready and willing to make the necessary changes to come higher.  Noses get turned up at those with high standards, while bitterness festers in their heart as if salvation isn’t free. Friends, you have to know and embrace this as truth: You can have as much of your inheritance that you tap into. To whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).  This is simply how I carry my cross, today.  Carry yours as you see fit.

music_notes“…Day and night they never stop saying:
‘Holy, holy, holy,

is the Lord God Almighty,’ 
who was, and is, and is to come.”

~ Revelation 4:8b (NIV) ~

MUSIC…

For years one type of fast that I have partaken of is a fast from secular music where for a period of time: days, weeks, month(s) progressively, I would replace all secular music I habitually listened to with worship music honorable unto the Lord (i.e. Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Christian Rap, etc.). As these fasts became easier, I noticed during them, that I also became stronger. I saw clearer. I heard better. I was further from the world and I was closer to heaven. That’s the goal, right?

This may come to a shock to some of you, but the angels in heaven are focused on eternal things that matter. They aren’t bumpin’ your favorite Kanye, Jay Z, or Beyonce jams. The fallen “angels” on earth however, are producing them (but that’s another post).

Media comes at us with junk whether we want to consume it or not. At some point we have to take responsibility for what we choose to filter.

Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (AMP) ~

So, in raising my standard of living and finding a new expression of love for My Abba, aside from minimizing television watching and narrowing selections, I have chosen to toss out all of my secular music that does not honor God or heaven. Now this doesn’t mean I don’t sing a random hook that’s already been downloaded in my spirit or bop my head while shopping, but hopefully one day, I will be able to be a bit more “not of this world”. I’m a work in progress. For now, I am proud of me. The praises of God are considerably outweighing any other sound in my life. He is worthy.

Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.

~ 2 Corinthians 4:8 (AMP)~

CAREER/EDUCATION…

I work in the legal industry, and recently, I was accepted into an outstanding paralegal program at a well approved university. Exciting, right? Yoddler_359_LargeYes, God is so kind.  God is kind because he honors our requests even when they are not necessarily best. The very day that I received acceptance, I was up late sharing intimate time with my Beloved, studying His word, and embracing His love. I suddenly became overwhelmingly saddened by the thought that in a few months, the bible I was holding would soon be replaced with a textbook. It would only be a year, but I couldn’t help but wonder in anguish how many souls that meant. In fact, I was praying fervently for a precious one that night!  If but one was lost, my heart would hurt forever.  The financial debt for career advancement was worth it, but the spiritual debt for potential hell advancement of God’s people? That is not.  One soul is too many.

 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

~ Matthew 16:26 (NIV) ~

I made the best destiny decision of my life that night. I decided to seek first, the kingdom of God, and trust God to add unto me the rest (Matt. 6:33). My heart is still smiling at this decision and the idea of my Heavenly Father receiving maximum glory for all of “my” accomplishments. I’m just striving to get more names written in the book of life.  I’m going hard before I go home.

“LOVE LIFE”…

I am mentioning this because my “love life” for lack of a more fitting description, seems to always be an amusing blog segment and I dare not let ya down haha. I am happy to say that I am currently single and open to being pursued. Last year, I was crushing, but not open, and I requested in hopes of not limiting God, just one solid year to just establish myself all-around. He has granted my request. He’s so sweet like that.

loveDelight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

~ Psalm 37:4 (ESV) ~

All conceit aside, I am the strongest and most beautiful that I have ever been. The more I learn of my God, I learn of myself, and love me. I don’t hold the hands of time, but now seems like a pretty good one. In Christ I am assured that there is no need to rush on my end, for there is no delay on His; love is patient.

 [He said] I charge you, O you daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the hinds of the field [which are free to follow their own instincts] that you not try to stir up or awaken [my] love until it pleases.

~ Song of Solomon 2:7 (AMP) ~

Completely different books with the same color pages. #Christian #Poetry #Friendship #MothersDay

So once upon a time, back in high school, I was a popular tri-athlete. I was involved in every club imaginable and so-called friends with many and all. It was no shock that I won the title of homecoming queen and unanimously deemed me as “Unforgettable”, but ending my Senior year of high school and beginning my college years I was feeling the total opposite.

I went through some repeat back stabbings with my best friend at the time that lead to the demise of other relationships in our circle of friendship as well. Though I started college with high hopes in our relationship, I was stabbed for the final time. Ouch. I was done.

I used to cry and beg God for just 1 friend. “Just one, Lord!”, is what I would say. I thought if I had just one genuine friend, who would stab me in the front and drive me to the hospital afterwards, I’d be good.

I was a mess. Imagine…
A girl wearing her heart on her sleeve. So unknowingly desperate for a friend that she perceived every new person she met as an answer to her prayer. “Yes, they must be it!”, she thought. Poor people, they didn’t know what she’d been through. And it just led to another lonely night of her dorm room cries for “Just one friend, Lord!”

4-5 years later after becoming content with who I was and more in love with who God is, an old friend gave birth to my now God-son, whom I adore. His name is Zephaniah.

There’s something about babies that ignite changes in us adults.

The Lord restored our relationship and his mother is now my best friend. I’m grateful that even when we forget things, God doesn’t, and has our prayers stored away for a divine time to answer.

‘Til this day I’m so appreciative of our friendship. I am grateful for the experience of the rough dorm days when I was without a true friend. It definitely allowed for this level of appreciation for when one would arrive.

Never underestimate why God has you go through the things that he does and when He does. He’s building your character, chipping away the unnecessary, and preparing you for something greater that you will appreciate. He is shaping your testimony so that you can help others.

So in the spirit of gratefulness, I decided to write about one of my most cherished relationships. Not only is this woman a great iron and wise counsel to me, but she’s an amazing, admirable mother who I know one day will write a best-selling book for us all!

We’re so different, yet similar. This poem is for her.
Happy Mother’s Day, Shanté! I love you so!



We…
read completely different books with the same color pages,
White.

Captured by the light
to shine
when we dine
and feel inclined
to share
just how much
our Savior cares
And dares
not to stop,
even when we do.

We’re unworthy you see,
To walk this earth
And continue to make history,

We should be done!

But he is not,
and so, with grace,
we keep reading, friend…

Completely different books with same color pages,
White.

We…
have plenty of space
to write,
in the margins of life
about
the ups and the downs,
and all these demons around.
To write
about
our hopes and our dreams
and the way it all seems
to unfold
like valuable gold,
Before our eyes
can be blinded
by the glitter
that we shan’t choose
to make us bitter
because that choice
actually isn’t sweet at all!

We…
wage war together.
And slit throats on our knees
While planting seeds
that grow trees
Yup, simultaneously…
Somethin’ like a G.

Satan tries to attack
but we call each other back
And tag-teamin’ we give him yet another smack
DOWN.

We…
stand tall together.
despite whether
or not
we got a ‘tude from that
little comment made
so rude!

You…
are such a blessing, friend.
And even so, it’s not my prayer,
that you were here
or I was there.

For I do understand
that for this season
for this race
for this fight
for this chase
God deems it
absolutely necessary
that

We…
read completely different books
with the same color pages,
White.

And I,
just want you to know
that it’s my honor to do so.

© 2013 •Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

 

There is something about nighttime. #GoodMourning #Poetry #Grief #Sorrow

I’ve smiled every day since I remembered you were here
But then long after sunset
my eyes shed a tear

There is something about nighttime.

I’ve laughed many moments before the high tide of darkness arrived until, “Bam!”, the news…

was prescribed
I sighed
before I cried
and denied
then realized that…

There is something about nighttime.

I thought you were just dancing to the beat of a hip, fast song
But all this time, the lights were dim,
And I was totally wrong.

Man.

When I prayed for your fire
And I prayed for your faith,
I had no idea how much was at stake
Believe me when I say, I knew
not at all that…
ashes would await.

Gosh.

Lord, you said that joy cometh in the morning but for all of us, I am requesting an exception for tonight. Because…

There is something about nighttime.

©2013 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

I met the finest man today. #Pseudo #Sike #Bozo #NotBoaz

I met the finest man today

who appeared to be better than you,

but somehow my heart knew that he wasn’t

and called him a brother.

I met the finest man today

who was humble and dressed to a t,

but somehow my heart didn’t let it phase me

and simply called it “nice”.

I met the finest man today

who stood regally next to me

sharing warm photos of what could be

but somehow my heart didn’t want it.

I met the finest man today

who smiled a contagious smile

but somehow my heart didn’t allow it to compare

to the challenge of making you do so even brighter.

I met the finest man today

who discerned that, actually, finest was she,

but quickly my heart whispered

that she was not for he.

I met the finest man today

who I may see again

but somehow my heart will only call him friend

for he is not you

and she is not me

and I refuse to carry on ominously.

I met the finest man today

who without a clue confirmed what Usher said

I got it bad.

©2013 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

Once Upon A Time #Poetry #Poem #Gratitude #Thankfulness

I’m blessed ya’ll!  Really and truly blessed.  I think I need to stop saying “this is the happiest I’ve ever been” because the best IS yet to come and well, to God be the glory that I’m going to be happier!

Life gets better when you serve the right God …and wholeheartedly, Amen?

The Lord is so sweet in his endeavors and always seeing about ME.  How can you not love a guy like that?!  Seriously.  But yea, in this post though, I wanted to show honor and gratitude to you and momma ‘nem.

I think about the word legacy in this season.  What I’ve inherited and not earned.  I think about all of those beautiful past and present selfless choices and sacrifices of others and I don’t take them lightly at all.  I think of all of those who’ve given me a dope beat to step to (ha) and worshipped You, Oh God.  Served You, obeyed You, gave their money and even more precious, their love and time.  I, thank YOU.

In the book of Galatians, it talks about how one reaps what they sow.  That’s a good thing!  We should be a people that rejoice at the comprehension of that scripture, not cringe!  Sow, and sow well because it’s not all about us.  Give honor and thanks to those who have sown and are causing you and I to reap.  My heart is full of gratitude, and in that I wrote a little something to show my appreciation.  If it applies to you, please receive it.  If it doesn’t, just know that you can choose to do something about that.  Enjoy 🙂

Once Upon A Time

There once was a rose that rose, that

I do not suppose

was watered daily

by the sweat of those

Who said “Sir”

Who said “Ma’am”

to carriers of spam

Who said “Thank You”

Who said “Please”

then grew thorns

as they appeased

There once was a rose that rose, that

I do not suppose

saw hope in a darkened room

of like colors that loom

Who knew you

Who knew me

and served their

unknown heredity

I am so thankful that

There once was a rose that rose, that

I do not suppose

grew tall in it’s bouquet

despite all thrown hearsay

Who chose to live

when some said die

and chose to smile

when most did cry

So strong, that beautiful rose.

There once was a rose that rose, that

I do not suppose

hoped for one day

where a new rose would blossom

and just say

Thank You.

©2012 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson