Sweet 16: A #Reflective #Poem and #Prayer for a #HappyNewYear

Whew.

You grew me up sweetly through the times that were bitter. I mean, I moved four times, wrote two books, and forgave seventy times seven, all while being a sitter.

Instead of buying, I traded. ‘Cause the new things I wanted didn’t cost dollars, they cost souls; something way more valuable than silver and gold. It’s just a fresh perspective on a word that is old.

Death was but a shadow that couldn’t stand the light, so we won. The truth? It made me free to soar over seas, flowers, and trees, pollinating like bees, please believe I ain’t the same because of it; see me. You will…when you start seeing Him. When He opens your eyes and your vision ain’t grim. It will be beautiful, and I smile at the thought of being a part of the giving of the gift that I got.

Like Mali said, “I fight for you, I’m right for you, I’m here on purpose”. And I’m not waiting to the end…of the year for the storm to be over and your heart to repent. By faith, I welcome the rainbows now, and before ’17 comes, I pray God makes it happen somehow.

If 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

© 2016 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

Advertisements

I want to leave this world empty. #legacy

Let it be known
That I gave it all I’ve got
And that I kept on walking
Long after I got shot.

They tried to kill me
But He healed me
And now I can surely say
There’s no doubt in my mind
That God isn’t The Way.

He’s not a man that He should lie
So there’s no good excuse
Not to serve Him ’til we die
Not put our gifts to use.

I want to leave this world empty
On time and On “E”
I want to leave this world empty
And full of all of me.

He paid a pretty hefty cost
For our sinful, wretched mess
Then He rose; sent Help
And proceeded to call us blessed.

I thought I lost some here and there
But He said, “Nah, they quit the race.”
He said I chose to keep on running
And they chose to save face.

I want to leave this world empty
Having done all I loved to do
Love God, Love People
Love Me, Love You.

I want to leave flecks of gold
That shimmer within smiles
I want to leave hope, lots of hope
That lasts a great while.

I decided long ago that…
I wanted to leave this world empty
On time and on “E”
So that all would know, truly
That I was naturally me.

So when that day comes…
Let it be known
I didn’t leave early
Let it be known
I hate being late
Let it be known
I’ve waited long enough
For that Oh, so precious date.

© 2016 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

 

God, Man, and Woman #Feminist #Leadership #Power #Authority #GenderRoles

I recently finished up one of Ron Carpenter’s teaching series titled, “What Makes A Man”, and found it to What Makes A Manbe wonderfully insightful.  Initially the title brought some doubt about whether or not it was for me (a woman), but after hearing his introduction, I was convinced that he would share something that my heart was ready to receive.  By learning “what makes a man”, it became clear to me, that which does not make a woman, and therefore, what a woman should not seek to make herself into.  God has already done a great job.  You, woman, are beautifully made and there is no flaw in you!  (Song of Songs 4:7)  My heart was stirred, and any competition within it was getting squashed in my prayer closet!  Yaaaay!  This night…I was hearing, I was receiving, and I was getting. my. life!  God is truly for us.

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”
~ Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV) ~

My attention was drawn to the somewhat controversial topic of a woman’s role.  I want to flashback to Genesis and recall a story about us and for us.  My goal is to stir your heart and make you think about God’s word in relativity to the way we live (mind, body and spirit).  I’ve included many scripture references for you to do your own study (and I hope you do!).  I encourage you to test the spirit delivering this message (1 John 4:1)!  And If the truth stings, let it sting!  It is a small cost for liberty.

Men vs Women

Briefly about Adam…
Back in Eden, good ol’ Adam was placed there before Eve.  With his God-given glory and dominion, he reigned slightly lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7).  Adam was a man with great responsibilities, and therefore many requirements (Luke 12:48).  He named animals and tended an entire “garden” stretching across the Middle East!  It pleased God to watch Adam do his thang.  He came from God, “looked” like God, and walked with God; like Father, like son.  Gon’ Adam with yo bad self!

Briefly about Eve…
Without coincidence (on purpose, for a purpose), Behold! God had created the lovely Eve from Adam, for the purpose of help and companionship.  The woman’s role then and now is to simply help the man with what he needs.  Side note: This is why it is extremely important for a woman to choose a man who is Christ-centered and truly walking with God.  A wise woman once told me that the real ones are not trying to convince you, they are doing it.

“And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.”
~ 1 Timothy 2:14 (NLT) ~

Eve’s deception led her to believe that she was missing something.  She sought after this forbidden knowledge and power that seemed harmless and good for her.  She sinned, she tainted her legacy, and she placed her family in a position of struggle for life.  We are descendants of her, and God has a word…

“To the woman he said, ‘…Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.'” ~ Genesis 3:16 ~

God spoke, and the fight of woman for the position of man began.  Now singles, you may think the above scripture is only true for married women, but not so!  You, my single sister, are married to the best of the best, God himself! Your devotion and submission is to the Lord, holy in both body and in spirit! (1 Corinthians 7:34).

We Can Do ItI believe many feminist, “shero”, and anti-male movements are examples of Genesis 3:16; women attempting to change an order that was divinely set in place.  Now I’m not knocking women’s rights; I am for me, and I know that my greatest and highest thoughts of myself cannot compare to God’s thoughts of me (Psalm 139:17).  The concept that God exceeds us in every way must be grasped (Isaiah 55:8-9).  It is extremely important for us to seek God to learn what is right before we cause a mess.  Why cause a mess when you can enjoy rest in His will?  Instead of fighting God and man, we as women need to arise and kill our flesh that attempts to control man and obtain something that does not belong to us.  That my friends, is liberation!

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
~ Psalm 51:10 (KJV) ~

If us ladies are honest with ourselves and receptive to the word of God,  then we agree that there are a whole lot of us Evelets running around at fault; both single and married.  It is time to realign.  Awake!  Stop listening to the outside world and getting bound and entangled (See Galatians 5:1).  You can do this!

“Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.”
~ Psalm 17:8 (KJV) ~

The truth of the matter is, whether or not the bible says  go”this way”, we all have the free will to go “that way”, and when we This Way That Waydo, although we become separated by sin, we will never ever ever be separated by the love of our Heavenly Father (See Romans 8:31-39).  I’m not okay with that, though.  I am in no way okay with a one-sided relationship on account of me.  Relationships that only take and do not give are not rooted in love.  Love keeps the commands of The Most High God, and God has spoken (John 14:15).  Protest THAT!

Eve lost horribly and I refuse to lose like that. I may lose, but it will be God’s way, with a humble heart of surrender.  It is time for us as women to position ourselves for the restoration of our proper place of worship in God’s kingdom as He purposed it.  God uses those who are willing to be used.  I believe God’s will looks different for all of us, especially since fewer men are unwillingly rising to their positions, but seeking and discerning His will is key.  We may survive outside of God’s will, but only inside can we thrive. 

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
~ Acts 4:12 (ESV) ~

I Surrender All

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
~ Luke 9:24 (NLT) ~

#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) ~

#SALVATION on repeat. #Grace

“For The Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.” – Psalm 149:4

I was maybe 10 years old when the teaching of my parents transformed into truth for me.  “I got saved”, or accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and professed that I have come to believe in Him.  I believe He was who the bible said He was and that because He is, I am.  Baptism quickly followed, and communion became a sanctified practice.  Today, the more I grow in the Lord, the more profound his revelations are (and I realize I’ve known nothing lol), and the more I come to realize that salvation isn’t a one time thing.  I don’t know about you, but I want more of Him, I want to be made whole, I want to be healed, I want to be right in His sight, I want Him to look at me and not help but crack a smile and shake his head like, “That’s my girl!”.  I want to be faithful unto Him.

Salvation in my life is on repeat.  Every single time I experience God’s love through His ever so sufficient grace, boom…I’m saved yet, again!  Every single time I repent, boom, there goes my favorite jam!  (ha!)  Every single time he corrects, chastens, and loves me, BOOM!  It’s easier to love someone who in your eyes doesn’t deserve it when you think about how God doesn’t withhold a drop of his love for you.  There’s nothing that we could do or not do to make him stop.  Gosh, that’s amazing! Hellooo..is this mic on? lol

My heart is full of gratitude.  I never knew there was a love like this before. I can honestly say that I know, that I know, that I know, that Jesus’ blood was shed for ME. I know, that I know, that I know, that Jesus is mine. I am here for His delight and find delight in that truth!  What an honor to be called His.  What an honor to work for Him.  What an honor to perform on a daily basis, worshipping in all we do.  What an honor!

“My beloved is mine, and I am His…” – Song of Songs 2:16

I heard this beautiful song at church last week and my spirit can’t stop singing and dancing to it.  I’ve been singing it in the shower, the hallways, the car, you name it.  I thought I’d share it with you today. Have a fabulous weekend enjoying Him!

My greatest #commission.

“And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.'” – Mark 16:15 (ESV)

Great-Seal-of-California-GoldI recently became a notary public for the State of California (Woot! Woot!).  In a nut shell, what we do is legally serve the public (without offering legal advice), but mostly by signing and stamping documents with an official seal that pretty much makes them legit with the state to be used in court, or life, or whatever.  That’s the “Nu” version.

Ever since I found out that a “commission” is what I was to receive from the Secretary of State before I could perform notarial duties, I was intrigued by the word.  I looked it up and laughed.  It was like an inside joke between God and I.

I liked these below:

com·mis·sion

kəˈmiSHən/

noun

  1.  an instruction, command, or duty given to a person or group of people.
  2. a group of people officially charged with a particular function.

verb

  1. give an order for or authorize the production of (something such as a building, piece of equipment, or work of art).
  2. bring (something newly produced, such as a factory or machine) into working condition.

goodnewsI realized that this commission to serve the public in the natural was yes, something ordained by the State of California, but my greatest commission and high calling to go out and proclaim the gospel and spread the love of Christ in this hurting and dying world is far more valuable. I am grateful for the God-given revelation in this parallel and for the opportunity to serve Him in serving you, His people.  That, my friends is our greatest commission and we can expect a great reward in Heaven.  I don’t take my birth lightly, nor more duty following.  I heard Dr. Tim Storey say once that, “You’re a big deal” and I agree.  God does so much, and allows us as individual believers to go through so much…for just one sometimes.  What an honor to serve you, to teach you…what an honor to love you and prepare you (and me) for the Kingdom!

16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.

#Love, #Craigslist, #Netflix, and Joe.

So my younger brother has excellent taste in movies and yesterday he recommended yet another Netflix delight — a documentary film by the name of Craigslist Joe.  If you haven’t heard of it, I’ll sum it up for you like this:

joe-like pugJoe is a guy who decided to do an experiment.  For one month he would live completely off of Craigslist and see where it leads him.  He had no money, got a new phone and number, and didn’t communicate with anyone from his old life other than a guy he met on Craigslist prior to, to film the entire thing.

I shot a text to my uncle (another movie lover) recommending he check out the documentary but all he cared to know was, “How did it end?”.  That was a good question.  How did it end?  I thought.  How quickly I had forgotten about the details of the documentary.  I was focused on it’s impact and inspiration.

Here I was watching another adventurous individual, Joe, or, “my friend in my head” as Wendy Williams would say (ha – don’t judge me) whose experiment turned into an amazing pay-it-forward movement.  The documentary ended and I said, “God, I’m in!”…

1) Because I secretly love roughing it and succeeding with flying colors.  And,
2) I’m a lover and I’m still here.

Now I’m not crazy…I’m not about to go hitch rides with strangers or really “rough it” alone (any takers? jk), but I do desire to do what I can safely and more importantly, lovingly.  I believe we all share that in common; the purpose to love.  God has finely created us with many gifts, talents, and characteristics to do what he has purposed us to do, and love is the foundation of all of it.  God is love.

helovedusfirst

So this is what I did…

I went on Craigslist and browsed ads.  Some ads were indeed discouraging like some guy who wanted help euthanizing a frickin’ pit bull. Umm…yea, no thanks!  But just when I’d seen one too many ads that didn’t fancy me, there it was; Laura.  Verbatim, it read:

“hello i am a single mother ineed of clothes and shoes for my
two children i have a 5 year old daughter and a 2 year old boy .
i am really ineed of shoes and clothes for them as they fit at there size
and also would appreciate if someone made there wish come true for
them to have a good easter and helped me with easter baskets and eggs for them
to have a good easter please if someone would love to help me i would really apprecite it
you can please email me back and would respond instantly
god bless you :)”

Now I don’t have any kids and could not provide clothes, but by the grace of God and thanks to Craigslist, Netflix, and Joe, my brother and I were able to make some kids smile by expressing love in the form of Easter Baskets. Darn, I should have taken pictures!

Any who…have a wonderful ressurection celebration loves! Let us not forget why we’re here!