Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Persistence Of M

©2017 Chantelle Henderson
I think some of you will pass out because this isn’t an essay.  I believe it’s probably going to be the shortest post I’ve ever written but the message is so powerful it needs to be shared.

Ok, so I'll TRY to make this quick.

This is for anyone who invites people to church & it seems like the person is just like, "Yeah, whatever".

Let me tell you a story.

That was me for the past 7 months. Long story short, before I lost my job of almost and only 3 months one of the managers would come to me, usually on Fridays, every week like clockwork and ever so gently invited me and Ry to go to church with him. He wasn't pushy in the least bit, always gentle, and pure in spirit. Over time I shared some things that explained why I had no interest. Well, wouldn't you know that after I lost my job something told me to text him and JUST GO. So I texted the manager and said, "Okay. We'll just TRY IT OUT". With much hesitation and skepticism, we showed up. That was last week. I can undoubtedly recognize that it was the beginning of the Lord turning my stony heart into a heart of flesh. This week I couldn't wait! I went with great expectation and yes, even excitement. As I stood there hands lifted up, totally immersed and in awe of how HE worked it all out I wept tears of healing, restoration, grace, hope, joy, and love. I looked at my ex co-worker-now friend, with tears running down my face and whispered, "Thank You." I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that he never ever stopped reaching out to me.
Picture Taken Outside Our 1st Night There
I'm just saying all this for those of you who have been praying and inviting and reaching out to people with seemingly no response or someone responds with an "I'm not interested" attitude. Week after week for nearly 3 months my coworker gently nudged and encouraged me and was patient enough to respect that I wasn't ready and that I truthfully had no desire whatsoever. Now we love our church and are planning on joining when they hold their first membership class in late November. Keep inviting. Again, keep encouraging. Keep praying. Keep loving. Who knows, one day that person’s heart shifts and what seemed was a hopeless situation became a life-changing, eternal treasure.
Thank you M. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Made For Battle

© 2017 Chantelle Henderson

Women of God it’s time to rise up! We were made for battle! Don’t ever forget that the enemy wants you merely existing and not thriving in your calling. In fact the word says he desires to sift us as wheat. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy - Spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially, and in your relationships. We are meant for amazing things. He will use people, your jobs, and yes, even your seasons of blessings. He will use anything or anyone to bring you down in the areas above. But GREATER IS HE WHO IS IN YOU THAN HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD.
Use your tool, the word of God. Read as much or as little at a time. Don’t feel dumb or silly for it not making since at first. Ask the Lord to help you understand what you’re reading and I believe your heart, mind, body, and spirit will show you truth after truth. Again, all it takes is one good scripture to bring the enemy of our soul down. Then we have the power of prayer and speaking what HE says about us and our loved ones. The good news is that He - Father God shows up no matter where you are in life. He never ever, ever leaves us or forsakes us. When the enemy hears daughters of the King pray and sing praise and worship Him a shift occurs in the Heavenlies. Remember, one good scripture is all you need to take the enemy out!
If you’re stuck in a relationship, here’s a way to make it clear, “Be able to discern your Judas from your Peter. Peter had a bad day. Judas had a bad heart. Peter, you restore; Judas you release.” - Unknown. You May have to release some people but you are a warrior princess. You are a survivor. You were made for battle! And the truth is that you will probably have to release some folks because they cannot go where the Lord is taking you.
Lastly, don't forget to put on the full armor of God.  He's given you everything you will ever need to clothe yourself for battle.  He has given you everything you will ever need to be victorious.  I am putting two versions of Ephesians 6:10-17.  One is in the Amplified version of the Bible and the other is in the New Living translation.  It breaks it down for you and expands on what happens when you go to war against the enemy of your soul.  YOU WERE BORN TO WIN!  YOU ARE VICTORIOUS!  A MIGHTY WARRIOR!  YOU ARE A DAUGHTER OF DESTINY!  YOU WILL WIN!
New Living Translation
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.  Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Amplifed Version:
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.  Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news].  Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

***Art Work Credit Goes To IIse Kleyn***


Friday, March 3, 2017

Grief


©2017 Chantelle Henderson

Friends, today I will share about grief-my personal journey of grief; how it comes out of nowhere, even on your most joy-filled days.  Just some quick background.  For two weeks I've been journaling, reading, and studying far beyond the norm because I made a "simple" request [prayer] to hunger and thirst for righteousness more and more.  When you ask Him for anything, in faith, be prepared for Him to answer you in whatever way HE sees fit.  After my prayer, my desires were diverted from my usual daily routine and distractions to things of eternal value. 
As the hymn goes, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of the earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."  It's true.  Without all this other "stuff" to distract me, I have gotten refocused and re-gained eternal perspective. 
I digress.
It was during a moment of pause and reflection this afternoon that I began to think about Heaven and that ultimately led me to think back on cherished memories shared with my daddy.  I remembered things such as him surprising me on my 16th birthday by showing up at school and checking me out for the day so I could go and get my drivers license, or the obvious and overwhelming pride he showed when I graduated at the top of my class in Business College as a single mother.  I recalled the exact moment on my wedding day when I was in the bride room with my matrons of honor and he slowly entered the room. In an instant I looked up and pierced into his eyes and beheld a father's pure love and adoration for his "little girl".  I also sensed a trace of sadness on his part because it was time for him to let me go to be joined with the new man in my life.  I even laughed out loud in the midst of my tears when I could hear him asking me, as we were arm and arm, preparing to walk down the aisle, if I was sure I wanted to go through with the wedding because if I didn't he had a car waiting. 
Memory after memory after memory flooded my heart and my mind today.  I could not have stopped them if I wanted to, but that's the strange thing about grief.  I didn't want to stop thinking about a handful out of thousands of moments shared with the man who was my hero, my confidant, a best friend, and faithful companion. 
It's now been 5 months, 2 weeks, and 6 days.  Grief is not as constant of a companion as it has been these past few months, but it still shows up unannounced just the same.  It needs no invitation.  And once it has arrived it will stay until its work is done.  Sometimes it's ten minutes and at other times can linger for days.  Regardless of how short or long the visitation, my Heavenly Father says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."  I can testify that His words are true as I sit here, salty tears streaming down my face, accompanied by deep pain and sorrow, that His Spirit is indeed comforting me, covering me, and engulfing me.  Even amidst the grief I rejoice in knowing that daddy is in his eternal home in Heaven. 
I am grateful for the 45 years I had on this side of eternity with him.  In these paragraphs I only shared stories about me and him but I could write endlessly about my daddy and how he was with others.  Family and friends could flood you with their own stories.  We would both, no doubt, paint a picture of a man who could be described as "Jesus with skin on" to so many people.  It sets a fire ablaze in me to strive to do the same by carrying on his legacy which can be summed up in Matthew 35:35-36,   “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me." 
So you see, grief is not a bad word and it's not some horrible monster.  Grief can bring with it a gift of remembrance which can evolve into a devotion and eagerness to honor your lost loved one in ways you may have forgotten; especially when that means being Jesus with skin on to those you come in contact with.
Today I am thankful for both grief and the promise of comfort that followed.
#grief #death #loss #comfort #mourn #healing #eternity #eternalperspective #jesuswithskinon #hunger #thirst #Righteousness #daddysgirl #dancewithmyfather #butterflykisses