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! šŸ¤—šŸ¤Ŗ

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

Ā©2019 ā€¢ Chanā€™tel Nikole Grayson

8 Scriptures To Keep You From Turning Back

It’s the first day Fall and it’s hard to believe we’re nearly finished with 2019. Whoa! Time for a check-up. If you had a resolution for the new year, it may or may not be out the window at this point. By this time, you’re either growing strong or possibly looking forward to 2020. For those who feel they have let themselves down, I thought I would dedicate this post to you as encouragement. How about we stop condemning ourselves, repent, and start over right here and now? Finish the rest of the year strong, and don’t look back!

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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:10 (NIV)

That “they” Jesus is talking about is you, boo! What I have found is that many reasons we fail to stick to things is because we attempt to do things in our own strength. Since we’re naturally sinful, jacked up people, we need God’s help…like big time! That being said, before anyone attempts for the umpteenth time to walk this narrow path and follow Christ, my greatest recommendation is that you ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit which enables us to produce all of that good fruit listed in Galatians 5. Get you some of Him before you try again, okurrr! Your will may get you started on the right path, but the Holy Spirit will keep you on the right path.

My second recommendation is to use your sword (the word of God) as your weapon. I don’t know about anyone else, but the enemy has used plenty of words, labels, images, people, you name it to beat me down, and I have successfully used God’s word and other weapons of warfare to beat him down and reaffirm God’s truth. Boom! The example of Jesus being tempted in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 4) teaches us how to fight in spite of our feelings. Victory through Christ Jesus is guaranteed. So, below are 8 scriptures to help you fight and keep you from going back to nowhere-land.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
– 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
– 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
– Psalm 119:11 (ESV)

Stand-fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
– Galatians 5:1 (NKJV)

Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
– Luke 9:62 (NIV)

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.
– Proverbs 26:11 (NLT)

Anyone who continues to live in Him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know Him or understand who He is.
– 1 John 3:6 (NLT)

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from Godā€™s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrowā€”not even the powers of hell can separate us from Godā€™s love.
– Romans 8:38 (NLT)

Writing these scriptures out alone has been helpful, but inserting my name in the passages and pinning them in frequented areas, reciting them aloud as prayers and affirmations (as a means of downloading them internally), has helped tons! When the word is in you, the Holy Spirit has something to recall. Whenever negative thoughts pop up, your spirit man can pop up too. Now, that’s how you shoot your shot! If you’ve ever been haunted by the past – Go ahead and sling these rocks at your giant. They do fall (1 Samuel 17:49).

Love you.

Ā©2019 ā€¢ Chanā€™tel Nikole Grayson

Can’t We All Just Get Along?! #Harmony #Unity

As I browse through the timelines and hashtags of social media, I see so many saints distracted. I see celebrity headlines and discussions highlighting Kirk Franklin, Kanye West, Kylie Jenner, Meagan Good, Donald Trump, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera! *gag*. When will it end?! It’s always someone, and if we’re not careful when engaging, it certainly has the potential to destroy our fruit.

weapons of mass destructionLook here: All of these people need Jesus, just like you and I. Where’s the remnant that is praying for them instead of reading and talking about them? We don’t need to indulge past the headlines to do that. Forget pop culture. Where is Jesus culture? Must we mix?!

 

Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” – 2 Corinthians 6:17 (NLT)

Let’s be honest, some of us are just feeding our flesh with these discussions. We gave up “Scandal”, but we’re still “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” (no shade, I used to keep up with them too! lol). This type of chatter just fuels our sinful nature and employs gossip and drama as horrible department managers within our temple. We live in an era where fasts from social media are at times legitimately necessary, and sometimes harder than fasts from food! Believe me, I know. Been there, done that, do that!

 

blah blah blahI see Christians debating over justifiableĀ topics too like what day the Sabbath is, or whether or not Christmas and Easter are pagan and should be celebrated; *sighs* my spirit is grieved. Meaningless! Meaningless! Meaningless! Here’s a suggestion: Keep every day holy.Ā When we feud with one another we don’t represent our new spiritual identities in Christ. No! We shine light on our carnality, and remind the rest of the world why He was crucified.

Now, I’m not saying shut up and don’t ask anything. Questions are the devil, chile! Noooo. But, I do recommend that we check our heart motives for asking,Ā stop relying so heart-check.jpgheavily on people for the correct answer, and we stop judging one another based onĀ what we believe is the wrong answer. It’s meaningless!

This reminds me of the historical bickering in Paul’s day regarding the circumcision of Gentiles. Remember? This is what he had to say about that:

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and donā€™t get tied up again in slavery to the law.Ā Listen! I, Paul, tell you this:
If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. Iā€™ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses.Ā For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from Godā€™s grace. – Galatians 5:1-4 (NLT)

Let’s forget about the legal nonsense and keep God’s grace in the race! Our reasons for wanting an answer should be purely for the edification of the church. In all honesty, some answers will likely vary from person to person, or season to season. I’m ever discovering that God is much more out of the box than I think. If you’re hollering that Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season, yet you don’t feel like it’s Christmas unless you have a tree, that’s a heart matter to address. Do you see what I mean, here? It’s much deeper, and what may be sin or inappropriate for me, may not be sin or inappropriate for you. Ā The heart of the matter and the preservation and growth of our relationship with Christ should be priority.

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. – Philippians 2:13 (NLT)

So, How about we put an end to all of this dissension and choose to agree to let God reveal His truth to us and make us right? There is power in that agreement. We don’t have all of the answers. We are but little children seeking an Almighty Father for keys to His Kingdom.

Ā Let us remainĀ focused on thisĀ simpleĀ sum of instructions given by our Savior:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. – Matthew 22:37-39 (ESV)

i'm for truthA person who loves God keeps His commandments (See John 14:15), and a person who is filled with The Holy Spirit, and heeds the convictions of the Spirit, wants to be right for the right reasons. They don’t want to argue. They just want the truth to win, and one who loves God will rejoice when it does! ( See 1 Corinthians 13:6)

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. – John 16:13 (ESV)

Some things we don’t need to know, but the things that we should, I pray that the Lord would reveal them to us, so that we won’t suffer ignorantly due to lack of knowledge (See Hosea 4:6). If you happen to be that person in the body of Christ that The Holy Spirit revealsĀ itĀ to for us all, please do share it in love. In the meantime, the only question I have is…Can’t We All Just Get Along?!

To Pray or Not to Pray #Prayer

Warning: This post is longer than long. READ šŸ™‚

A lot has been going on with me (internally), and if you haven’t noticed, well, I haven’t been writing about it ha. I really don’t know where to begin or if to begin for that matter, so…

This is what I’m going to talk about TODAY — today, I’m talking to Christians. Today, I’m talking to Christians who like me have been brought up in church all of their lives. Christians who rarely missed a Sunday. Christians who have consciously or unconsciously grown accustom to thinking and doing things a certain way, lawfully (religiously) and would dare not do it any other way ’cause that’s just not what you’re supposed to do, right? The Lord don’t like ugly. Now I’m not mocking, ’cause really, I’m talking to us. I’m just grateful to have come to an understanding that all of that extra has nothing to do with me and my relationship with the Lord. That a lot of those practices and ways are not mandatory or even necessary to enter the kingdom of God or get a “Well done my good and faithful servant”. That My God, who knows me better than I know myself and HAS ME, has no problem with me not doing some or any of those things — people do. We have are own preferences (some for great reason) that we sometimes impose on others.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh. -Romans 8:1-3

There is no reason for you, or me to be bound to anything. For whom the son sets free, is free indeed (John 8:36). Now don’t get all crazy, analogically speaking, I’m just saying, gon’ and wear your white after labor day lol.

Let me share this:
We are spirits with souls living in a body, right? So when prayers are prayed that align with the will of God and the Holy Spirit, everything (internally), within are spirit is smooth and in agreement. When prayers go up and others things go on that don’t align with the will of God (or the person — ’cause free will is a gift that God has given us), and are prayed selfishly to control, curses spoken, etc. things get knocked off. Everyday we’re all in spiritual warfare. In heaven, right now, there are wars going on and being fought on your behalf and when we offer up prayers that allign with the will of GOD and not our own or others, it assists those angels in waging these wars leading to victory. Or, at least minimizes the length of said wars (stay with me). Woot! Woot! Team Jesus!

The Holy Spirit dwelling inside often moves me to do or not do certain things but daggonit that condemning stronghold of a religious spirit surrounding me (us!) or just really from our own upbringing attempts to keep us bound to _______________.

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” – Galations 5:1

So based on what I’ve been experiencing and feeling I ask this of you: Will you be mindful of what you pray and why you pray it? Ask, Who is it for? You or them? Is it what you want for them? Is it something they want for themselves? Better yet, ask the Lord. Let’s try not to do things we have no business doing. It doesn’t matter whether they mean well or not. THAT is why I’m ticked off. It’s controlling. When we do that concisously or unconsciously we operate under a spirit of witchcraft. I know that the last thing I wanna do. It’s hard enough striving to stay free without someone praying to keep me bound ha…help a sista out, dag. Just stay on my side. You can never go wrong with simply praying for God’s will to be done.

Ooh I got a lil example. I recently had the opportunity to pray for a friend. In that prayer it was my will to pray specifically for certain things that seemed like they should be prayed and would “fix it”, but as I was praying I felt the resistance of the Holy Spirit to do so. Our obedience and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and how the spirit operates is crucial to our well being and way of life. I trust that the Lord has a plan and knows what He’s doing (or leading me to do) and why. Since I do trust Him, He’s probably the only one I’m ok with not questioning and feeling the need to know why. It hasn’t always been that way, He’s definitely proven himself faithful and does great at making me feel secure. Excellent track record, My God.

To Pray or Not to Pray? That is the question!
My answer would be definitely pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17), and definitely pray about prayer. Annd…definitely cease praying what I’m gonna call “witchcraft prayers”.

Remember the scripture, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” – Proverbs 22:6? Well, I love it. What a wonderful guarantee. I’m in. I just hope that I can do this and do this well, and without all of the unnecessary extras, ya know? But, it starts with me…with us. So this is what I ask of you. Pray for my continuous freedom while I pray for yours. Meet ya on your knees šŸ˜‰

On #Stage. # Lights # Camera #Action

Good Morning motha lovas! I woke up this morning to dig in my word for a bit and ran across this scripture passage I had highlighted a while back that reminded me of a story. I’ll share it with you today.

1 Corinthians 8:9-13

“9) Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10) For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? 11) So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12) When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13) Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

It’s not about us.

Now I know that the portion about the eating of the food and idols may be a little confusing to some. But, the bible is full of tons of literal and figurative analogies from long ago that remain lively applicable.

I’ll never forget when the Lord showed me this passage. I needed it. I asked Him for understanding, and BAM…He’s faithful, and gave me just that and more.

Before I share the story, let me say that I am a woman of God and believe in ALL of His principles and teachings and try my best to live a life of worship. This does not exclude the principle of tithing. I sung in the music ministry of the church I used to go to back home on the West Coast. Being in the music ministry, we were always on stage and seen and well, an example whether we wanted to be or not. Ha…the girl who likes to work behind the scenes is on stage???… and it’s televised. Ay yi yi! lol.

Anyway, we were on stage during offering as well and an usher would come on stage and go by and collect our offering envelopes. I never had one. I got looks of all sorts sometimes…confusion, condemnation, etc. Couldn’t read them all, but people were definitely thinking something, and I didn’t care. People probably thought how the heck is she blessed and she never tithes?! The preacher talks about it’s importance and she goes up there and sings and pours faith out into the atmosphere in this beautiful ministry, but doesn’t tithe?

I am definitely a tither. I gave online. The Pastor’s wife of the Music Ministry even pulled me aside one time and explained how we’re an example and I should tithe and stuff. I thought blah blah blah, I do, and possibly more than you. I was sure that this was coming from a religious perspective. Do as we do cuz this is what we do. I didn’t care what people thought. The Lord was definitely going to have to make sense of it. And, I’m grateful I had enough sense to ask Him to do so. I was sure He was gonna tell me I was right haha. But you know what, I was wrong.

He showed me that it wasn’t about caring what people thought – ’cause in all honesty, that is still true about me, I don’t care that often. But, it was about caring about the people. It was about realizing that “Helllooo!!”, I am an example and a representation of Christ Jesus. So, If being a representation means putting a dollar or 2 in an envelope for show in addition to my online giving/tithing so that my brother or sister out there trying to possibly get on my level and grasp this blessed principle can succeed without me causing them to fall, so be it. It’s a small thing.

It’s our duty to care for one another. I loooove freedom and hate the idea or feeling of being controlled by anyTHING. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m very comfortable with myself and simply knowing for myself that all I do or say is understood by me is often enough. <– did that even make sense?! Any way, I have to constantly think outside of me. If I do or don’t do this, who will it affect? Why am I resisting this? Should I be?

As Christians, in life, we stay on stage. I’m praying for our performance and I hope you do too cuz when it all comes down to it…

It’s not about us.