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 God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’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.

©2019 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

#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) ~

“Rib Tip”#Wife #Husband #TheStory

So lately I’ve really been wanting to get into my word differently.  Not just randomly ya know? I mean, nothing wrong with that but I just want more.  I’m hungry.  I don’t mind bouncing around and re-reading this chapter and going back to that book, but it seems like it would all just stick differently after having read the entire thing.  I’ve never read the entire bible.  I’ve attempted many times, but just never seemed to complete the task.  I would all of a sudden get bored of some parts, couldn’t follow others as well out of sequence, or come across a certain book of the bible that just was not an easy read for me.  I know there are supplements and chronological bibles, and different versions…but I wanted something really suited for me, not just another suggestion that sounds up my alley, ya know?  You know those bible in a year plans?  Yea, it’s like I start, doing well, and then I take a detour.  Remember that movie, “A Bug’s Life”?  All of this reminds me of that part where the bug is flying and then loses focus because it’s attracted to the light and gets zapped lol.  Yup, I’m sick of getting zapped.

Hmm…maybe the free spirit in me just doesn’t have an appreciation for the “helpful” guide telling me to read these 3 chapters in Daniel on Tuesday when maybe I feel like reading James this Tuesday.  I spiced it up a bit and now I’m off the plan lol.  I can only do monotony in moderation.  All that being said…*drumroll*….I’ve began reading “The Story” by Max Lucado & Randy Frazee.  It’s just that too…a chronological bible in the form of a story.  Yes! I hope I’ve found a winner.

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So in The Story, like the bible it starts with the beginning (Genesis) when God created the heavens, the earth, Adam and all that good stuff.  All of a sudden I became fascinated with this fact that I’ve known for years.  Fascinated with how beautiful it was for a woman to be created from such an awesome part of the man’s body that indeed does help and support, as us women are built and purposed to do for our husbands.  I love the picture that it paints.

“But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.”

As many of you probably know, the ribs surround the chest and in turn protect the body’s heart, lungs, and internal organs.  That’s a lot! Like the ribs, wives aid and protect their husbands in often the most gentle of ways.  His lungs which give him breath to live…and his heart, the origin of all matters of his being.  If those organs aren’t intact, neither is he. If he’s our leader and he’s not intact, shoot, neither are we.  That’s “one”.  That’s a great responsibility.  To be called a wife or a husband is such a high calling that I think gets taken way too lightly.  It’s never to early or late to start praying for your spouse.  You love them, right?  Prayer is the most loving thing you can do.  It covers a multitude.

Now, I was married years ago…yea yea yea but I don’t even feel like it.  I mean I recognize that it was big and it’s definitely one of those things that I would talk about in it’s entirety with my future husband, but It’s really like a childhood memory now, in the past.  I’m just sooo different from that girl back then, I’ve been single longer than I was ever married, and that ending was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  It brought me back to my first love appropriately and I began transforming and growing as I moved forward.  I’m new.  If you’ve ever moved forward, then you know very well that moving forward requires that you don’t look back.  God’s funny though, because then he’ll “bring you back” just to show you that you’ve moved forward.  So sweet, I love it.

But back to the rib.  So the rib is this super great part with a great role, right? but the fascinating part was that God created more than just a rib.  God created and entire being of it’s own.  A beautifully made woman perfectly suited.  I can see God now molding and shaping all the curves inside and out.  She went from good to great in His hands.  I’m sure Adam woke up like “heeeey” haha.  In the words of my best friend “Get you some of that” lol.

At my church, a man who desires and is looking for a wife is jokingly said to be “looking for a rib” haha. And so, whenever a guy is interested in me that I have no interest in, I jokingly say to myself, “Uh uh…I ain’t your rib!” We will not be making eye contact. You better pay attention to the sermon! lol…really though.

Now I’m no expert, but I do have pretty good relationship experience.  In thinking of how wonderful a man and a woman are apart, I can’t help but think about the beauty in them being together.  So here’s a “Rib Tip” If I may for singles like myself…

Fellas — If you want a good rib, I recommend you be a good and faithful steward and gardener in the small areas.  Take care of all that the Lord has already blessed you with.  While you do have to pursue and make your presence known, if she’s a wise woman you don’t have to try hard to get noticed.  A wise woman is not easily fooled and sees what matters.  It’s your choice to make that work for you or against you.  If she’s interested, I hope she’s praying for you.  If you’ve already found your soon to be rib, awesome!  Remember that loving her is truly loving yourself.  If you’re garbage, so is she.  If you don’t have it together, don’t expect her to either.

Ladies — The bible said a man findeth a wife, so if you’re looking for a man (or wearing nothing to get his attention), cut that out.  You are who you attract.  I don’t believe looking for him is your job.  Eve didn’t choose Adam, God chose Eve for Adam.  Let your man receive from the Lord on who his wife is.  Hold on to that truth…he’ll come.  And truthfully, who knows, he might already be there and you not realize it.  Some of the best relationships begin as friendships.  Pray that he finds you in God’s timing and that you are both prepared when he does.  Focus on loving the everlasting man you already have and should be your world, Jesus.  If you’re in a relationship, stay honest with yourself and your partner.  The second you recognize you’re not his rib, save the heartache and end it. It can turn into mess that God won’t bless.  Some days it’s annoying and you want your fairy tale prince to hurry up and awaken you from your slumber, I know.  But that’s not real, and you don’t want anything half-baked.  Easier said than done but just keep praying, sitting pretty, loving God, and loving people.  Forever is a long time – that’s how long you want with him, right? Well I promise this wait won’t be as long.  I love you and I’m praying for us.  Have a blessed day! 🙂

 

#Farewell.

As I prepare for my leave, a few key words have been swarming around and ringing in my ear. I just had to look them up! None of them mean goodbye, but mostly, “See you later”, “‘Til next time”, or “Chow for now”. You get my drift. These two have really stuck out in memory.

fare·well/ˌfe(ə)rˈwel/ noun

(1) an acknowledgement or expression of goodwill at parting.

(2) the act of departing politely.

After seeing this definition I had to look up depart and I must say…I love it and I agree.

de·part/ diˈpärt/ verb

(1) Leave, typically in order to start a journey.

(2) Deviate from (an accepted, prescribed, or traditional course of action).

I went to brunch with a friend this weekend and she gave me a new “journey” pandora charm to add to my bracelet. How thoughtful and appropriate! I loved it. She also gave me a card in which she wrote a lovely quote that I appreciate. It read…

“Don’t be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again after a moment or lifetime is certain for those who are friends.” – Robert Bach

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

I’m not gonna lie, I am indeed a bit sad. But both this quote and scripture is encouraging. Even through this bit of sadness that I feel…I know better than to make decisions based on how I feel, and I haven’t. I trust God that this feeling is very temporary and I am positive that it will not be regretted. You see, the choices we make in life (big and small) are so important and have an affect on individuals that we haven’t even encountered yet. How selfish of us to submit unto the Lord, say use me and then pout in the corner with our arms yelling “No!”. Moments like this can make us or break us. I’m willing to be broken to make it.

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.  Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.”

– Psalm 30: 4-6

I read somewhere that morning is whenever you wake up. I wish I could say I have fully awaken, but truthfully I have not. My feet are dragging lol. Still moving forward though (my mom would be proud). The bible, God’s word, my sword, the truth — that is there even when I’m not, and since I believe it, each day, with each passing day, I will enter greater rest and peace in The Most High, truly letting go, letting God, and reaping from it…and wake up and experience joy in the morning! 🙂 It’s just a matter of time. Keep me in your prayers.

These songs have been encouraging me through yet another transition on my journey. Speaking fo my journey, I’m glad you’re here. Enjoy 🙂

Before I Die – Kirk Franklin

In The Middle – Isaac Carree

Kim Burrell – Sweeter

My Own Place.

For the longest I’ve wanted my own place… A place to call my own.  No roommate, just me.  My own kitchen to clean up or dirty up, to cook up everything or nothing at all and try out all of The Divine Hostess’ fabulous recipes hehe.  A place to entertain loved ones and make them feel at home away from home.  A place to blast music and dance naked (yea, I said it) and bring sexy back like no tomorrow.  Or really…just a cozy blessed environment for your achy breaky heart.  Come over for a hug, a laugh, a movie, a chat, a meal, prayer…but call first (lol).  My very own place that I earned, I paid for, and I’m proud of…even if there is nothing in it.

Until recently (last year) the Lord finally gave me revelation that wherever I go, He will make sure that I always have my own place. Yes!  I was happy.  But then I started thinking wait, what does that mean??  haha.

For the longest I’ve wanted my own place… but to be perfectly honest, I don’t think the Lord ever wants me to live alone. Ha…I think He knows I’d like it too much.  I’d get comfortable and use to things being my way and when the time came to share a space with someone else, a spouse perhaps, I might not be as successful as I’d like in compromising and changing my bachelorette mentality.  He wants me around people.  While I love people, I do love my alone time and I get quite antsy when I’m deprived of it. I’m a thinker and pray-er for goodness sake!  I like to read, write, listen, meditate and often in pure silence.  I need that sanctuary.

Any way…I still don’t have my own place and in fact, after much prayer and going back and forth with the Lord, I have surrendered to His plan for me in many different ways lately, the most recent being to move back to the West Coast with my family (not in my own place) for such a time as this.  I feel like I’m just returning to headquarters or the corporate office for a bit to recharge before my next “earth camp adventure” (as one of my spiritual mothers calls it).  Don’t ask me where, I have no idea.  But, I’m open and I’ll keep ya posted.

This is ministry. My ministry.

The hardest thing about this type of ministry or missionary work is leaving.  As soon we get comfortable and our “work is done”, the Lord moves us *tears*.  As soon as we meet people that we want to be in our lives forever *tears* He takes them or us away. It hurts so badly. It’s like jerking people apart in mid-hug.  I wasn’t ready for it this time.  I wasn’t ready for it.  It’s hard to give answers to questions that you don’t have the answers to yourself.  Then to top it off, the enemy tries to harass you with lies and guilt and make you feel bad about following God’s will and reminds you of all the people you’re hurting in choosing this way.  He knows your gifts too and jumps at the opportunity to capitalize on them.  But, whatever.  I’m choosing God’s way and my mind is made up.  Can you see the struggle though? *shrugs shoulders* That’s where I am.

In the spirit realm, when we down here don’t release someone in our hearts, when we don’t free them or support them in doing what God wants to do in their lives, a struggle can arise. The flow of The Holy Spirit is interrupted for justifiably selfish reasons and things don’t sail as smooth. We move forward with an easy pass but still have to stop and pay tolls. We move forward with a rock stuck in our skates. We move forward wearing heavy snow boots in no snow. Just help us out; release us.

I feel myself wanting to ramble, so I’m gonna be wise and wrap it up.

I just hope and pray that the Lord would at least allow my distance to not disconnect.  That the love I’ve found in all of these relationships will remain mutual, and that we can always be a positive something that looks forward to catching up, swapping stories, and seeing each other again.

So in obedience…I count down the days.

I very much believe that Father knows best so forever I will roll with and agree with His perspective.  For now, “I’m okay” awaiting to be “great”….and I still want my own place LOL. Just being honest.