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 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

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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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Dismissed by a Righteous Judge #Judgement #Mercy #Repentance 

A couple of months ago I traveled through a small rural town of Texas on my way to visit family in Oklahoma. It was good ‘ol Omaha! I quickly went through it and received a speeding citation that would cost me nearly a third of the town’s population in dollars. Dangit! I would so prefer buying an airline ticket.

The police officer who pulled me over asked, “Do you plan on being in the area any time soon?” I wasn’t sure if he was slightly ridiculing me after viewing my address on my driver’s license or what, but I chuckled aloud at the ridiculousness of his question, and belted a “No way!” out of my mouth. My response clearly caught the officer by surprise. He tilted his head like a bewildered puppy and asked, “No way?!”  I chuckled and repeated again, “No way.” In disregard, he proceeded to make hand gestures that gave directions to the courthouse around the corner, where I would be required to make an appearance. I thought to myself, “just give me my ticket, dude”, and he did. Insert low-pitched bitter growls and rolled eyes here.

I went on my way, and with the hour left to drive before arriving at my family’s home, I began reflecting and praying. I confessed my wrong to God. I was speeding and I did rightly deserve that citation regardless of how badly I didn’t want to attend court or pay anything. I was disobedient to His instructions to abide by the law of the land that I inhabit (Romans 13). My beef was not with the city of Omaha, my beef was with God. I pled for His grace and mercy. I knew there were steps that I would have to take to resolve this, but the first step would be to face things with God before attempting to handle them with man.

We don’t get to choose what is considered right, but we do get to choose whether or not we adhere to what is.

After later reading the fine print on my ticket, I discovered that court was only held the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month between the hours of 5 pm – 10 pm. Great. Oh…come…on, Omaha! I had the option to write a letter to the judge to request dismissal by a non-guilty plea, or to request a reduction by admission of guilt and completion of a grueling online driving course. I could lie and plead non-guilty out of fear of my consequence and fight this alone, or, I could tell the truth and hope that God would fight for me and with me. I chose the latter.

I wrote an honest letter and attended court accordingly. Thanks be to God, I found favor with the judge who was pleased with all of my efforts to resolve the matter! Not only was my ticket dismissed in entirety, but because I had to appear in court on an awkward 3rd Wednesday in the evening, it led to an extension of my stay, and the enjoyment of more time with my family. I was even reconciled with an estranged family member during this trip!

God has an amazing way of making things better than before. He has an amazing way of righting our wrongs when we acknowledge the truth. He is merciful! He dismissed my sin in heaven, before it was ever dismissed in Omaha. And for that reason, I was at peace with whatever happened thereafter. Knowing that I was pardoned by my Righteous Judge, Christ Jesus was all that mattered.

I encourage you to examine yourself and talk to God about whatever that requires your repentance too. There is nothing too small. In fact, there is nothing small at all. God wants His bride (us) without stain or wrinkle, or any other blemish (Ephesians 5:27). Go to your Righteous Judge in confidence, knowing that Jesus has already made a way for you. His grace is sufficient, and He is ready to hear your case and is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all you can ask or think.

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

 

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’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s 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.

help

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…

beatitudes

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)

ISIS: A Message to The Body of Christ #HaveNoFear

The Lord recently gave me a dream that Isis (Islamic State) came here. To the United States, I believe California. There was a terrorist invasion and I, with a group of others were captured and they tried to get me to deny Jesus Christ and I didn’t. I remember not denying Christ and then being killed quickly. Amazingly it was like a wonderful quick trip to somewhere I had always wanted to be.

We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 5:8 (NIV)

I didn’t know that I was a martyr until I was on the other side (not on earth). I didn’t know at any point leading up to then. We have so many callings that come into fruition. Death was better than “life” and I had won! I didn’t know if I was in heaven, but It was all-around good…and maybe the state, was what was good. Similar to earth in the way that perception is everything and the truth sets you free. I was in truth…and in hope…and in love…and in goodness. It was a state being, and that is where I was. Maybe that is what heaven is.

What I want you to know is: It’s all a lie! We have nothing to be afraid of. We can live amazing, bold, free and radical lives for Christ here on earth, and eternity awaits thereafter! The enemy is deceptive. He makes us think and feel that leaving this earth is a bad thing; that it’s horrible, that’s its a loss. But, that’s only the case if you haven’t accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior. JESUS IS LORD. 

The Lord says…

The end of a matter is better than its beginning… – Ecclesiastes 7:8a (NIV)

Here on earth we cry when people die because the earth is full of pain and sorrow. That doesn’t exist in the presence of God. So all of my earthly family and friends should really wipe their tears, if possible, and celebrate, if possible, and remain hopeful, if possible, that they too will get to join in at this party. So go out and work hard. Not for man, but for God’s kingdom. Invite and bring as many souls as possible…there’s so much room.

After this dream, I know that If anything ever happened to me “tragically” on earth,  I would never want to be resuscitated, because death here (on earth) is a wonderful and beautiful life somewhere else. Please, release me in love and let me live.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. – 1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. – Acts 13:49-52

My prayer is that we as Christians, would be so full of the Holy Spirit that demonic principalities at work; the evil one, cannot harm us. It is my prayer that we would easily dust our feet when needed, and always leave full of joy whether the word of The Lord is received or not.

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. – 1 John 5:18 

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) ~