What Are You Birthing?

Happy Mother’s Day. While serving in church today, the importance of mothers was brought up in many examples. A story was told of a man named Peter Richley who was saved because of his mother’s prayers.

On this fine, rainy day where we celebrate mothers all around the world, I’d like to pose a question to you. What are you mothering? What are you birthing?

We all have the ability to birth things in our lives. Children, friendships, partnerships, ministry, businesses, clothing, prayers, songs, etc.

If I can encourage you today, I’d say don’t stop carrying what you’ve been given just because you don’t see it birthed yet.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way on the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

There are many examples of mothers and people who have birthed things out of the creativity God has given them. Truthfully, regardless of if you are a woman or not you still have the power to birth.

I’m currently in a transitional phase in my life and I know all too well how uncomfortable it can be enduring the “growing pains” as my pastor would say. But what’s growing inside of you is necessary. So hold on and keep the faith. Love you all and look forward to continue sharing insight of what’s taking place in my life.

The love of a mother is the veil of a softer light between the heart and the heavenly Father.Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I thank God for all the mothers around the world and especially those who have mothered me. I thank God for my mother, her prayers, and love for me. I hope you all enjoy this day and honor your mothers.

Thanks for reading and supporting. Be sure to stick around. There’s more news abiut this season in my life coming soon.

My Beautiful Mother.

The Meaning of Purity

Purity is more than abstaining from Premarital sex. – Shantel Gross

Growing up, I thought I knew what it meant to be pure. I knew that when people asked if I was still pure, they were trying to see if I was still a virgin. I honored my decision to walk in purity but did not know in depth what it meant to live a pure life.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 ESV

In my pursuit of purity, revelation came like raindrops from the sky. I studied workshops, speakers, videos, scripture, and articles on the topic.

Holy Spirit began showing me that purity is beyond not having premarital sex. It is a mindset, a heart condition, and a way of life.

In Psalm 51:10, David asks of God “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” He cried out to God after having had slept with a married woman by the name of Bathsheba. Not only did he sleep with but after finding out that she was pregnant, he had her husband Uriah purposefully killed while at war.

I can only imagine the agony and stress that the adultery caused the kingdom. But King David remembered one thing. To call on the name of the Lord.

Pure

  • not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material.
  • without any extraneous and unnecessary elements.
  • free of any contamination.

Our intentions must be pure just as well as our actions. We must strive for purity in all encounters of our lives, more importantly within our hearts.

Living a pure life requires surrender. Every wound, every desire, every lust has to be surrendered to the One who can carry it all. Our Heavenly Father.

Although not always easy, we must guard our hearts so that how we live is a reflection of Christ, who is Love. We must love unconditionally and this is only achievable through the Holy Spirit.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6‭-‬7 NLT

It’s okay if you don’t have it all together or all figured out. Trust me, I am the same way. It is not merely in our ability to accomplish things on our own but our trust in God. Allow Him to lead you. Be encouraged my friends!

PRAYER:
Father, Help me to live a pure life. As your Word says, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. I surrender my will to you and give you permission to expose and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. I need you. Thank you for loving me and hearing my prayer. Amen.


Check out my latest Facebook live about living a pure life here!

Freedom.

So ever since the great news and success of the Promise Ceremony, I’ve felt like I’ve been rushing.

Rushing to stay busy and keep the momentum of everything going. But my body, on the other hand, has been like “Nah, Shantel. You need to slow down and rest.”

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV

Being newly engaged, there’s a lot that goes into it but I’m grateful for God’s Word and a partner who equally understands the importance of balance. My body has been through the ringer and I’ve felt the effects of all the commotion.

To give you a recap:

  • I hosted and directed the Promise Ceremony on 09/15.
  • Lead on the worship team at church and taught children’s church (voluntarily) on 09/16. Attended a workshop on kingdom wealth that evening.
  • Taught children throughout the week. (I’m a teacher.)
  • Went to my grandmother’s viewing on 09/21.
  • Attended and sang with family at my grandmother’s funeral on 09/22.
  • Had rehearsal the following day after service with my group.
  • The list goes on…

It’s safe to say that September has been jampacked and that’s not including the beginning of the month. But I’ve sensed God’s peace and have been reminded to trust Him throughout every season.

If God told the children of Israel to rest from their toil while in the wilderness and even rested Himself on the 7th day, who am I to try to be the Energizer bunny? There is an importance in resting and we can miss out on precious moments if we don’t choose to be still.

I took a walk yesterday with my love and we rested in that moment. Here are some pics of me sitting on a tree!

It’s okay to not have everything under control, but trust the One who does. He sees and He knows what’s best!

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.He leads me beside still waters.He restores my soul. Psalm 23:1-3

If you would like more insight on resting, take a look at this awesome article.

Not Of This World

Maybe you are preparing for this holiday season. Silver bells… I’m sure some of you have already put up the Christmas tree & lights. Well, as you are preparing the house and getting the list together, I’d like to share this reminder with you.

You are not of this world.

Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn’t go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the Passover. So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, “What is your charge against this man?” “We wouldn’t have handed him over to you if he weren’t a criminal!” they retorted. “Then take him away and judge him by your own law,” Pilate told them. “Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied. (This fulfilled Jesus’ prediction about the way he would die. ) 

Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him. Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?” “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” 

John 18:28‭-‬36 NLT

When questioned by Pilate, Jesus responded that His kingdom was not of this world. He knew that others could have defended Him but He remained driven. 

Imagine, being wrongfully accused by thousands and having to give a response. How would you feel and what would you do?

Jesus was sure of was His identity and the ONE who sent Him.

12/05 – Not Of This World

You are loved, treasured, and favored by God.

Because Jesus knew the Father’s love, He was able to boldly give an account of His purpose for being here.

We also must be reminded that we are here to produce good fruit and share the Good News of salvation with others.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 NLT

Be faithful over what God has given you. Do what He has called you to do wholeheartedly.

Don’t be disheartened when people do not understand you. Do not be dismayed when they wrongly accuse you. Your heavenly Father is with you and His reward is greater.

Prayer for the day

Thank you Father for Your goodness. Thank You for Your bountiful mercy and endless love. When I am overwhelmed comfort me with Your steady hand. Remind me of your unfailing love and your kindness. When others do not understand me may I be content in Your approval.

*If you’d like to learn about Salvation, click here.

Thankfulness.

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.” Psalm 100:4


As the seasons change, I am reminded of the beauty of fall. The leaves have turned this beautiful, auburn color with golden hues and hints of green. Even the air has felt more crisp and inviting. Tis the season of thanksgiving.

THANKSGIVING PRAYER CALL

1

thanksgiving

a capitalized :thanksgiving day

:a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness

2:the act of giving thanks

:a prayer expressing gratitude

Upon swift walks to and from work, beauty has captivated me. It’s as if the earth has been trying to get my attention. Meanwhile, I have been somewhat engrossed in getting to my destination.

Children out of their seats. Running around the classroom. Laughing, shouts, and paper planes. Welcome to my Thursday morning. As I stood there raising my voice and demanding respect I began to feel overwhelmed. I had one goal at that point: Get home on my lunch break. As I whisked through the next class, I swiftly got my things together. I was almost through those doors.

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When I stepped outside everything was at a stand still. There was warm air, birds chirping, a gentle blowing breeze, and colorful leaves surrounding me. I felt slightly disappointed that I considered the day to be horrible when it was actually abundant. God encouraged me to embrace the moment and to be grateful for it. I sat on a nearby bench and took it all in.

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Thanksgiving is a spirit. You don’t have to wait for Turkey day to be thankful and grateful. Show gratefulness in your life today. Don’t miss another moment!

 

Here are some reminders:

  1. Embrace the beauty in each moment.
  2. Learn from your mistakes. Grow stronger, not bitter.
  3. Shift your perspective. Don’t be narrow-minded. Think of the bigger picture.
  4. Give thanks to God in all things.
  5. Stop and smell the roses (or shall I say pinecone this season?!)

“Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,  yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.” Matthew 6:28‭-‬29 NLT

* Read Psalm 100 for more on thanksgiving. Peace and blessings! *

 

God Is L o v e.

On this week’s call, we discussed the importance of operating in God’s love. Because Christ sacrificed His life for our redemption, we can find ways in our daily lives to become more sacrificial.

As we embark on this journey together, take a look at some of our focus points and footage from this year’s Promise Ceremony and Conference!

Bear each other’s burdens. 

Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. Helen Keller

My friend Renee inspired me so much throughout the process of the Promise Ceremony & Conference! She prayed for me, fasted with me, and encouraged me throughout it all! That’s real love.

Renee and I sharing a few laughs as she prepared her poem. Check out her ministry, Sisterhood of God!

Do not be afraid to tell God your needs.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

Those moments when I made my petitions known to God, He supplied! There were even detailed requests i.e. videographer for my event, promise ring, new job, etc. Even if what you are asking for seems to be out of this world, believe in faith, seek God, and He will provide an answer.

Rings for the girlies!
Rachel and Deja delight in fun times! I’m grateful for their support of the vision. Justin supported tremendously as well!

Sometimes what we think we need is not what we really need at all.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 14:12

I thought that I needed a lot of supplies and fancy stuff to make the #PromiseCC event a hit! Boy, was I wrong. With those who blessed me, God exceeded my expectations.

At this point, I basked in God’s faithfulness amazed at how my friends operated as a team.
withLove! Check out their website! Withlovemusic.org

Be intentional. When it comes to communicating with God we must be intentional about the time we spend with Him. For some of us, the best time to speak to Him may be in the wee hours of the morning. Others, midday and finally some in the evening. But regardless of the time of day, let us choose to be open to God about everything in our lives. After all, He has come that we may have life and that more abundantly.

Ada indulges in God’s presence.
Bowing before the King! I continue on this journey of purity with my Saviour.

                     09/19 – God is love.

Photos courtesy of Symone Wharton of IofTiger Fotography.

Hanging with Holy Host!

So as you may have seen on my social media, I’ve recently joined a group -Holy Host Ministries! It has been nothing short of amazing.
I had been praying and seeking God for my next move in life. I knew that I was preparing for something great but had no idea to what extent. I continued leading the prayer call,  going to outreach events, singing and songwriting. 

I grew up in a musical household so singing was natural. But then I recall becoming fascinated with the structure of songs and playing the music keyboard. I’d tap at the keyboard playing 3rds from the C major and  A minor scales. I still can hear my first song I created! One of my passions has been to connect with people through music and to share the beauty of it.

Several months ago, God began sharing with me that I was going to join a local church in Baltimore. It was one that I had seen occasionally online but never attended. I noticed that a group I affiliate with would be having their next event at the church! I knew that that was my green light to go!

When I arrived, I stood in the back of the church before the event started as the people gathered to pray.  God spoke these words to me:

Why stay in the back when I’ve called you to be in the front?

I was given the opportunity to lead the discussion table at our event. The theme was Purpose. A handful of people joined me including the Holy Host team. What amazed me was everyone’s transparency and desire to grow in God. The connection flowed so naturally. 

From there I started fellowshipping at CAB. I was invited to sing and play keyboard with Holy Host on some Sundays. 

Then one morning as I woke up I heard God say for me to join Holy Host. Out of excitement, I immediately messaged Leviticus, the founder of the group. He informed me that he and Justin, another member, heard God tell them that. When I thought about how everything transpired, I realized that it was God’s hand orchestrating the whole time.

I have been given the opportunity to usher people into God’s presence and it has been thrilling. What I had prayed for, God surpassed with great measure. I rejoice in sharing a platform with others who are eager to make a difference. Our hearts are hungry for impacting the world.

Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them. Thomas Kinkade

Check out upcoming events at Holy Host Ministries!

Thank you.

Free: The Process – Prayer Call

This week we’ve started The Process series on the prayer call. This series will focus on different stages in our walk with God.

Many of us know that we are free because of Christ’s redemption but do we live free? For some of us, freedom may seem to be experienced when the bills are paid, debt is cleared, or a nice house is purchased. But freedom is truly much more than that.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17 ESV

Here are some of the points we discussed:

  • Freedom starts in the mind Philippians 4:8John 14:13
  • We are no longer bound to our past 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Freedom is a choice. “Fear is present when we forget that we are a part of God’s divine design. Learning to experience authentic love means abandoning ego’s insistence that you have much to fear and that you are in an unfriendly world. You can make the decision to be free from fear and doubt and return to the brilliant light of love that is always with you.” – Wayne Dyer
  • Fear paralyzes.
  • Freedom is a process. Isaiah 40:31

Listen to the call below!

06/20 – Prayer Call

Check out this week’s featured song!

If you would like prayer, submit your request here.

Be Still and Know

Did you know that you have purpose? Did you know that God’s plan is freely working together for your good? Here are some truths that I have learned along the way.

You were called with a purpose.

No, you’re not here by chance or circumstance. You were really born with a purpose. The eagle’s purpose is to soar. He catches a certain altitude then he spreads his wings and soars across the open sky.

God designed you with a lifetime of worth and value. Think about all the things you naturally do. You cook, you sing, you program, you design, you plan. You are uniquely you!

Your life does NOT equate to your mistakes.

How many times have you bashed yourself for making another wrong choice? Another mistake. Another missed opportunity. I don’t think I have enough pages to write how many times I have. You replay the scenario in your mind cringing every time you get to the negative part.

Similar to the popular game Sonic, you cannot go backwards. You can only move forward from here. Press forward!

…Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Phillipians 3:13,14 NLT

Walk in your freedom.

Get to the place where you collide with God’s grace. It is freely given. Not by works as stated in Ephesians 2:8. A friend of mine has many tattoos. She previously doubted getting them and wanted to have them removed. When I saw her regretting, I told her that they were beautiful. That they were now apart of her and so she needed to rock them! She received the exhortation and walk confidently. When you get to that place of embracing grace and new life, your past can no longer haunt you.

“Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.”

Pray without ceasing.

Don’t think that because you’ve experienced this new life that trials will not come. As stated in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” But take heart and don’t be discouraged. When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. Pray for God to direct you and keep your heart transparent before Him.

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. – C.S. Lewis

Care about others.

While you are walking in freedom it is not healthy to harbor bitterness in your heart. According to Dr. Kathy J Marshack, If that bitterness is left unresolved, you will begin to see the negative affects not only on your physical health, but your entire life.

I’ve experienced much pain in the past; to the point where I had been harboring bitterness toward those who did me wrong. It became habitual for me to stuff my problems inside instead of addressing them. I did not release it to God and people so my relationships and health were affected. Care enough for yourself and others to release your burdens. Have a talk with someone trustworthy. Ask for advice. If God leads you to, tell the person whom you have the issue with. Because we are loved, we should choose love in all situations.