Pull out the streamers! Toss the confetti! There’s a party going on. Shantel’s on the single train! Finally free.
I’ve embraced this journey. Not knowing half of what I’d be getting into, I boldly proclaimed Yes.
Yes to letting go. Yes to allowing my heart to heal. Yes to a life of surrendering. And yes to being vulnerable. Because being truthfully honest, 2017 has been a year of surrender.
I’ve had to put aside my pride and realize that God’s guidance is needed to get through this journey. Although I have had many foolish habits, I’ve learned that God still provides. Although at times I didn’t manage my time wisely I’ve learned that God still gives grace. While scraping my knees several times I have discovered a new beauty. A beauty in crying out for help.
O Lord, I cry out to you. I will keep on pleading day by day. Psalm 88:13
There is such a beauty in crying out to God. As our loving Father, He is truly compassionate and able to bring healing. When we embrace our child-like nature, we experience God’s fathering nature.
They will be my people and I will be their God. Jeremiah 32:3
God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. John 3:17
Imagine having one child. Pouring into that child, instilling wisdom in him, and nurturing him. Imagine a crisis taking place. A crisis so terrible that you had to choose to send your child away to another place to restore order. Would you give up your only child?
For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
I began to shift my perspective when I discovered the strategy of the Father. He gave His only Son. There were not multiple children to choose from. Jesus was the only one. Christmas is all about sacrifice.
The Gift of Christmas
Christ gave up His home in heaven to become man and go through the process that led to our redemption. Christmas is more than the presents we place under the tree. It’s about giving yourself to bring healing to others. Laying down your life similar to how we lay presents down before Christmas trees. Give your all to God this Christmas. After all, he gave His all for you. It’s a holiday of celebrating the Father’s giving nature. So in return we give of ourselves.
Ways to Give
- Serve at a homeless shelter.
- Donate gifts to children/families in need.
- Be kind to others.
- Encourage someone.
- Volunteer at a community event.
- Donate items to the Salvation Army.
- Donate to organizations that are serving in your community or internationally.
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.
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!
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 4:8, John 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!
Check out this week’s featured song!
If you would like prayer, submit your request here.
It is often stated that we walk by faith and not by sight. The passage comes from 2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV). Many are adamant about “walking” in faith. But I’d like to share how walking is not enough.
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? – James 2:14
As a saved woman I have learned how to operate in faith. There have been days when I’ve sat around in procrastination. Just “walking” in my faith and expecting miracles. But when I saw the results were not coming, I decided to analyze my level of expectation and actions toward my so called “faith”. What I realized is that I had unrealistic expectations and no investments toward my goal. Would someone just come up to me and give me a job? Would the rent money come in a package from nowhere? I have now seen results by using my hustle & faith.
Hustle & faith means I’m gonna show God how bad I want [his results]. – Marcus D. Wiley
What the world sees as a definite loss, I see as a possibility of greatness; an opportunity for God’s gain.
So lately I’ve been doing a lot of sorting and thinking. Trying to conjure up an explanation for why I am in this current season. Trying to figure out where to go from here.
I don’t know where I’m going but I know that God is taking me there. – Marcus D. Wiley
I have asked God for many things in the past. A certain type of profession. Husband traits. Home architectural properties. God has blessed me with some things I said I wanted. Sometimes I wonder if I should have asked to be a music teacher. Life can throw you curveballs and make you question if this is what you really wanted. But then I remember the lives that have been touched and the sacrifices made that have brought a sense of fulfillment and completion.
My journey is far from over. I am on God’s GPS accelerating to where He is taking me. He knows the destination. My hustle and faith rejuvenate me along the way.
Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. – James 2:15-17
I encourage everyone to purchase Marcus D. Wiley’s book titled Hustle & Faith.
Check out my singing cover of Fight Song 🙂
GOD IS WITH YOU. NOW BE BLESSED…
I’ve been struck. Man down. My face hits the ground. Ash rises from the impact and covers my wounds with a bitter taste. The sharp pain engulfs my wounds making me see that my worst can get worse. I hear him laugh. From the corner of my peripheral I see his gray scaly skin as he slithers around me. He cannot come too close to me. His dry voice full of cough and dust says that I am defeated. As I slowly pick my face up from the gravel I pant with determination, “I…am…not…defeated.” He says,”But look at you. You’re down and out” I interject,”But I am not underneath you.” He shrivels and gasps for air. I push my body up from the ground slowly moving inch by inch, muscle by muscle. My knees press into the ground. Then I hear him say, “You’re too weak to rise up. You can’t make it.” I say “When I am weak my God is strong. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He sinks into the ground. As I step up with one foot and then the other he says “You can’t rise up.” As I look ahead of the journey I say “Who is stronger, you or the God in me?” He says in defeat “The Almighty God” and vanishes in the gravel. I RISE. I SURVIVE. I ENDURE. I PREVAIL. I AM FREE.