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

Sweetness in July

Oh, God
please tell July
to be sweet to me!

May it adorn me with it’s sun
Make me shine like a penny
Let’s walk many streets
And love, oh so many!

May it drop me a beat
Help me take steps towards my dreams
May it foster new hopes
And build new teams!

Like Scruff McGruff
May it take a bite out of crime
Bring swords and make peace
During this time

Let’s go to Austin and listen to live music!
Let’s go to bed; I’ll praise You while I sleep
Let’s sing karaoke with no care in the world
Let’s laugh, laugh, laugh
Way more than we weep

May it cheer me on!
And bring great support
May it say hello to new ventures
And a harvest of praise reports

May it tell me a joke I’ll remember
The cornier, the better!
And indulge in cute sandals
For this hot Summer weather

May it give Fall and Winter a heads up
Its cooperation is needed
And remind them of the details
May each one be heeded!

May it be full of great feasts – dinners, breakfast, and lunch
May it lead to parks on Sunday
And maybe even brunch!

I don’t know what all of Your will is
I must wait and see

But Oh, God
please tell July
to be sweet to me!

©2019 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

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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

 

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.

Next Chapter #Home #NewBeginnings

As I lay here in bed at my grandparents house I feel this great sense of peace and gratefulness.  I recall the Lord’s promise to me that no matter where I go, “I’ll always have a place”.  It’s true.  No matter where life takes me or how the Lord elevates me, I can always come home to a familiar place, or familiar people that truly know me and love me for me; my family. (The theme song to “Cheers” just started playing in my head).  My best friend would probably be making fun of how “old” I am right about now lol. Any way…

I remember watching one of Oprah’s episodes of next chapter featuring the fine Mr. Curtis/50 Cent (ha).  He was saying that whenever he comes home and visits his grandma, he’s just Curtis and only to the rest of the world is he this big shot.  He still rubs her feet and paints her toenails and everything.  He doesn’t drink out of any fancy cups or sleep in any fancy bed with 5,000 thread count sheets.  Nope, cuz he’s home.

When I first moved back West and was in funky adjust mode (remember?), my mom hugged me and said “This will always be your home”.  I get it, I love it, and I’m finally grateful for it and a bit embarrassed that I wasn’t before.  Home is safe.  A time to rest, restore, and just be.

I don’t know what’s next or where’s next ha, but I feel it coming in my spirit and so I’m just embracing this time at all of my places with my lifers – individuals that I have allowed and hence chosen to remain in my life forever.

Not once has my coming in or going out not been blessed. The Lord is faithful. He’s always granted me the necessary quality time and/or conversations with people before launching me to the next destination.  I’ve never ever left thinking “aww man…” or feeling like “If only I had the chance to…”.  Nope, His timing is perfect.

 

I’m crying because I’ve felt this before.  I’ve experienced this before.  I know what’s happening.  This will soon be a much cherished moment, again.  Glory be to God for having a plan.  And thank you wisdom for teaching me how to stick to it despite my fleshly desires.

What do ya know, I’ve had my own place all along.  I have learned that it is not until the moment of realization of whatever that needs to realized, that it actually exists.  Everything up until that point is just in the atmosphere.  Not until you grasp the dangling truth (because it is there) is it true for you.  And, when it is, no one can steal it.  I’m so grateful for God’s timing and faithfulness.

So, all that being said, it feels sooo good to be home and it always will everytime I return.  I can honestly say I’m ready for my next chapter.  Le’go!

#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