Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Leave The Old Behind

You are God's Girl. You are God's Woman.
You have NO TIME for Games, Tricks, Players, or Randoms.

Here's 5 things you can leave behind:

1. Leave behind the need to feel wanted. God wants you. He always has and always will.

2. Leave behind the desire to be seen. God knows where you are. He knows how to point you out.

3. Leave behind the games. God is serious about your heart. He doesn't want it broken.

4. Leave behind the competition. You are a prize worth winning. God said so. See Proverbs 31.

5. Leave behind waiting by the phone, the window, the curb...God has plans for you that will not wait. See Jeremiah 29:11

Sister, Daughter, Friend, if you can leave these things behind, GREATER awaits you! God has plans you can't even begin to imagine that have nothing to do with a guy but everything to do with Jesus, the lover of your soul. Let him bring you into those plans. You'll discover you're right where you need to be, found by the person who deserves you and knows they are blessed because you are apart of their life!

Keep That Mind open to the Mind of Christ and your possibilities will be endless!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Treasuring YOU- An Indescribable Gift

Mirror Mirror
On the Wall
Who's the loveliest 
of them all?
What will I do 
With What I See?
 I must believe in myself
I must treasure Me.

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I can admit that I didn't always feel that way. Even as a teenager who was dating randoms as Pastor Heather Lindsey would call them. I could count on the Random who broke up around Christmas and Valentine's day. I could count on the Random that had a boo on the side. And the Random that was married (to my terrified surprise!) and had to celebrate the Holidays with his 'real' family. I am so very glad that at 18, I chose to rededicate my life and stop the relationship roller coaster. I kissed dating GOOD.BYE. Yes, at the age of 18, when everyone says, "Girl, you're in college, and it's time to let loose and explore!" I did just the opposite. I came to college a buck wild freshman at 17. But a brush with death, and shortly after, an outside the 4 walls encounter with GOD the Father WRECKED ME. Completely. I knew what kind of off-the-chain- party girl I had been. And I wanted something completely different. I began to get into the Word. I devoured it. I didn't want to be the girl everyone used to know. 

I came upon probably one of my favorite Women in the Bible. Ruth. I figured she had to be important because very few books of the Bible are named after women. It was only 4 chapters, so I dug in. WRECKED MY WORLD. Through the book of Ruth, I learned lessons that have shaped me to this day.
For some of those lessons click here  http://legsclosedmindopen.blogspot.com/2011/09/unexpected-relationship-coach.html

Through reading the Word and understanding the value that God placed on me as his child, as his daughter, as his precious one made in His image, I had to take stock of how I viewed myself. I had to make sure that my own world view and even the view that had been shaped by city, neighborhood, family, friends, teachers, ideas like "nicknames" was really a reflection of Me. Whatever was not a reflection of how God saw me, I had to chuck, even if it made some people angry. I also had to throw out old ideas about myself, even if it made me uncomfortable.

The more I discovered who I was in Christ, the less I relied upon people to confirm, affirm, or validate what God had already declared about me. It's great that people can recognize who I am, but it's more important for Me to recognize it and appreciate who God says I am. I'm still discovering because God is still revealing who He is, and in turn, revealing more about me as His child.

Beloved, You are a treasure and an indescribable gift. The moment you take hold to that truth, you also have to understand that people may not agree with it. That you may have to renew your mind about yourself.

I want to encourage you to spend some time with the Lord this Holiday season. Steal away with him. Read the Book of Ruth, the ancestor of Jesus. I believe that God is going to speak powerfully to you as a Young Woman. Maybe you have a past, maybe you are a Widower and have given up on a second chance at love, maybe you have made some bad decisions and think that you have been disqualified or are not good enough for someone like Boaz. Maybe you feel like used goods, and God asking you to hang out with virgins is a really bad idea (my own story there :)?  God knows where we are, and what we need. Let him unlock the Gift of You. 

The Son of Man wants to take you out, dine with you, and present you with an eternal outlook. You really are a Treasure! I challenge you to discover just how much!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Walk This Way~ Girls & The World Of Shoes


 From pumps to sneakers, I have yet to meet a woman that has absolutely no love for a good pair of shoes. Here are a few interesting facts that you may not know:

Women spend about 18billion a year on shoes. A woman will spend about $25,000 in her lifetime.
They say, "If the shoe fits...buy it in every color."

Typically, women buy for emotional reasons and create memories around what they buy, marking time, place, people, significant moments by their shoes. I remember the very first pair of shoes my husband bought me near the end of our engagement. They were chocolate with kitten heels and ankle straps. He bought a dress to match them. It was a clue to how he thought of me and also clued me in that he had very good taste!

Shoes are one place where comfort can meet style.- SAC
Shoes have a long history, including a Biblical one:
In Isaiah 3:16,  women so loved shoes. In the Song of Solomon 7:1 men recognize them too :). In the book of Ruth, shoes were used as a way to conduct legal transactions between men, symbolizing ownership.

Historically, heels were invented by jealous husbands who hoped the cumbersome movement would make illicit relations difficult according to a 15th century scholar on heels. (and we know how that turned out!) Heels have also been invented out of lack and desperation. Cork wedge shoes came from a #shortage of material. Salvatore Ferragamo sewed wine corks together when he ran out of leather.

There are many suggestive ways that shoes have been programmed into the psyche to "matter" to young girls who ultimately grow into Young Women:

Cinderella- glass slipper that must fit the princess
Woman who lived in a shoe (not store)- Nursery Rhymes
Dorothy- the red shoes that would take her back home
Those shoes became an Iconic prop when they were changed from gray to red.

Yes, we have been trained by our culture that "clothes make the man and shoes make the woman".
In fact, 80% of women suffer from some type of foot pain, some the direct result of trying to make a shoe fit that doesn't, much like Cinderella's stepsisters.

Some practical tips about shoes?
Don't buy shoes you can't return & rotate your shoes so they will last longer.

So, whose got the largest closet?
Author Danielle Steele has the largest known collection in US right now with #6,000 pairs

What do retailers know about Women and Shoes?
The most direct route to a woman's heart is often through shoes. Loyalty to a store starts with the shoe department. - Terry Lundgren, Macy's Chairman & CEO

The world of shoes is vast, and for some it has created the perfect place to build an idol. Consider these verses:

For we walk by faith and not by sight - 2 Cor 5:7

You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess. - Deut. 5:33

Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me. Psalms 119:133

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. - Ephesians 2:10

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6:8

Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. -Genesis 5:24

Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. -Romans 13:13

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.- Galatians 5:16

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 2 Peter 2:21

Walk worthy of the calling you have recieved- Ephesians 4:1

Like seeking out the perfect shoe that looks and feels great, we must put the same effort into walking out our lives in a way that is pleasing to God. Our standards should be higher than our heels, and we should engage in nothing that causes us to stumble. There's nothing wrong with a good pair of shoes, but there is something great about having a spiritual walk that matches!

Keep your mind open today, Ladies!

Monday, October 28, 2013

False Promises

Where you lead me
I will follow
- Classic Hymn
I had a very enlightening conversation with some young teens and tweens. I've been noticing the number of missing cases of girls are on the rise as this year continues, although statistically April not October sees the number of missing people rise (Many are not aware how many demonic rituals happen in April and can be linked to these missing sacrifices).
They shared something really important that I think girls and young women need to hear: Many of these girls are hopping into cars with strangers they don't know, but they go off WILLINGLY. One teen described her friend as doing this FREQUENTLY and that she is afraid she's going to hop into a car, looking for a good time, and never come back. So far, so good, she says, but she knows that her friend is playing with fire.
Another teen said, "These guys promise them a good time, or promise them they are getting their picture taken or that they want to shoot them for a film. They hand them money and tell them this is 50% up front and 50% when the shoot or the film is done." In one case, the teen said her friend got there and it was not the film she expected, meaning PORN. She gave them back the money, but they left her stranded. It could have been worse.
So, let me say this first to PARENTS:
1. Pay attention to your GIRLS. Just because they are getting older and may be involved in "activities" does not mean they are happy, or are even enjoying what they are involved in a t school. It may be something to kill time until something more exciting comes along (like an offer to star in a 'short film').
2. If you can help it, try not to leave your tweens and young teens at home alone. If you are there, engage your children. It is so tempting to just leave them to their own devices while you have that "Calgon" moment of  me-time, but while you are ignoring your child's need for direct mentoring and parenting, someone else could be seducing them online.
Now, let me say this to Young Tweens and Young Women:
1.If an offer to act, or model comes your way, never take it at face value and NEVER hop into someone's car on a "promise". If it is legitimate, the offer can wait until you check the people, sources, and company involved. Better safe than sorry.
2.Idelness can lead to bad decison making. Know what it is that YOU really want to do with your life. Develop goals for yourself. If you don't know the direction your life is headed, ANYONE can come along and direct you into their part for you.
3. You have friends and family that you matter to. Don't create unnecessary worry, anxiety, or distress. Think beyond the moment and beyond the "good time".
4. With all of the terrible things happening in the world, you don't want to wind up as another statistic. Be safe. Be smart. Listen to your friends and family. Don't run off with strangers, no matter how exciting, friendly, good-looking, or wealthy they might seem. That good time may be your last.

For more on how to stay safe, check out my former article
We've got to keep our eyes open, our hearts guarded, our ears alert, and our minds open to think wisely! Remember, someone is counting on you!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hey Sis, GOD don't make NO JUNK!

The first thing God did in my prayer tonight was invade it with this specific word:

Don't YOU be the last person to notice or appreciate your own greatness. 

I thought, Whoa.  Why is that so important, Father?

He continued. 

Because it may be too late then. When you do not recognize your own worth and it is "spotted" or pointed out by someone else, it can become abused, misused, manipulated or controlled by that person. Whoever defines you, controls you. Many look to me as the last resort and don't live in the full measure of who I called them to be until late in life. When their worth is taken advantage of and they are cast aside as worthless, when they can no longer be re-purposed by the treacherous and the self-ambitious, then they turn to Me.

My resolve? 

Don't let that be YOU! 
Know your worth! 
Protect your worth!
Value your worth!
and KNOW that God don't make NO Junk!

 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are THY works; and that my soul KNOWETH right well. Psalm 139 :14

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Dear Girl Gone Wild: God Will Seek You Out

"YOU be prepared, for Jesus Is Soon to Come."-God The Father

I heard this in my ear as I lay next to someone NOT my spouse. I was only an 18 year old freshman. But I was caught in the Peaceable TERROR of GOD. What do I mean? The Message was one of Hope. The Terror came because at that moment GOD was speaking into my EAR and I was STILL ALIVE. I thought for SURE my time was up!
That was 17 years ago and I cannot forget it. I remember being in a state so shocked that I could only lie frozen, eyes and mouth open, terrifying the young man who I was with.

I thought again about why that encounter MARKED me for Life:

1. In hearing GOD, I was hearing past, present, and future speaking to Me all at once. Because I was not in right relationship when GOD spoke, I heard in him my future and it said Hell is your destination

2.God confirmed that JESUS was His Son. He did not say any other Name. That silenced every other voice and religion I had been studying at the time.

3. God confirmed JESUS imminent RETURN. He is soon to come. Without having turned a page in a Bible which I had not looked at in at least a year, God confirmed His Son (which he also does in Scripture) and His Return (which he also does in Scripture).

I did not see God, but I heard Him. Clearly. I had come out of a dream where I knew the end was coming and I was warning my family, going house to house. Then water came, and after that, a wind, and I was whisked away. I believe it spoke of the stages of the church. (Discipleship, Sonship, Kingdom Translation)

I encountered God in GRACE through his warning. Many times people ask about those who do not know Jesus. God comes and reveals His Son. It is up to Us to receive Him.

Now, when God speaks it's the Peaceable Love I hear. No terror is there. He's not just Creator, but Father. And that makes the difference. The message is no longer WARNING for me, but HOPE. 

You see, many are convinced that God will not come to rescue Girls Gone Wild. If you are searching for God in all the wrong places, He wants to introduce Himself. Only GOD can love you wholly, totally, and completely. No man can offer you the complete and fulfilling love that Jesus Christ can. 

Pray With Me: 
It's me. The Girl Gone Wild. I admit I am a mess right now. I've made a whole lot of unwise choices, some out of pain and abuse I can't tell anyone about, and some for the sheer heck of it. But right now, I acknowledge that I need You. I am a sinner. I accept your plan for sin through your Son Jesus Christ. Thank you for the gift of dying on the Cross in my place. Come into my heart and life. Give me your Holy Spirit that helps me to live life more abundantly than I have EVER had. I receive your forgiveness for my sins. Thank You Lord. It's in Jesus name, and by His shed blood for me that I am saved. Amen.

Hallelujah! If you prayed in Faith, You are God's Girl now. Please inbox me at shantaecharles333@gmail.com. I will be happy to send you some materials and help you find a local church in your area so that you can get connected to a local assembly of people who are walking out this Christian life. 

Feel free to explore this blog and find plenty of helpful articles on Growing in Christ. 
Also check out my FB Groups SaltSession https://www.facebook.com/groups/441479952537420/

 and CrossTraining for New Believers https://www.facebook.com/groups/480242582011514/
which has material to help you understand Salvation. God Bless You!

Now, You are a Girl Gone Wild for Jesus Alone!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

GPS- Girl Power Safety Tips (All ages & stages)

Put on the whole armor of God, 
that you may be able to stand 
against the schemes of the devil. 
Ephesians 6:11

Ladies, if we will be honest, we have spent more time teaching young girls to put on their make up correctly, how to put their hair together, how to accessorize, and many other things that just come natural to the world of femininity. But in all of this...let's not forget to help young ladies put on the whole armor of God. Today's world is dangerous for girls. Yes, there is a war on Women. It's been waging against fierce females, and women who know what God has called them to carry for centuries.

As I was praying before the Lord, he began to speak to me about the very practical things young women can do to protect themselves in an openly hostile world. Here are some practical GPS (Girl Power Safety) tips that can help you along the way as a budding young adult and young woman in general. 

1. Always be honest about who you are with and where you are going. If something goes wrong, those who love you are going to look for you the last place YOU said you were headed and with the person YOU said you would be with. Really, honesty is the best policy and has saved many lives.

2. Never accept an open drink or food from a stranger or someone you don't know very well.  There have been several cases in the news of late with young girls who were drugged, sexually assaulted, and even recorded by their "friends" for amusement and posted online. This tragedy has led to further tragedy for those families whose children committed suicide, overwhelmed by shame.

3. Always have enough money to make a phone call or take public transportation if you need to leave an unsafe situation. I've heard too many stories of girls who felt like they had no way out because they had no money, they were not driving, etc. If you cannot pay your way, it may be a good idea to sit this one out.

4. If you begin to feel uneasy about a situation, but your friends seem "cool" with it, and ignore you, don't ignore YOUR GUT FEELING. Call your parents or an adult you trust to come and get you or leave if you have transportation and money.

 The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. Proverbs 19:23

5. Do not allow someone who is "interested" in you to pay your way, especially if you have NO interest in them. Unfortunately, some people equate acceptance of a gift or "let me buy you a drink" as 1) interest 2) ownership or 3) control. And...when you show no interest, this can create feelings of rejection. So, if you have no interest? Pay your own way. Never put yourself in a position to feel obligated because of a gift.

6. Avoid partaking in anything that will alter your ability to make clear and timely decisions. Thus- drinking alcohol or doing illegal drugs  should be out of the question. Both of these alter your ability to make sound decisions. I met a dear woman who was wheelchair bound. Her story? She left a party, high on marijuana and headed home. Her reaction time was slowed and she got into a near fatal car accident. It only takes one bad or untimely decision to change the course of your life.

7.If you or your driver are ever flagged by law enforcement, continue driving and pull over at a well lit stop in PUBLIC view. With instances of police abuse on the rise, it is better to have more than one witness. Most officers are law abiding, but one can never be too careful. If the car is unmarked, call 911 and keep them on the line, stating where you are, and that you have been pulled over. 

8.Even if you are NOT driving, always be aware of your surroundings. Note exits, and landmarks. Use that I phone or Android, and take a snapshot of your surroundings when you get there.

9. Look as cute and glam as you want--but dress sensibly. My test for dressing up? If I had to run, could I actually run?  

10. STAY with your friends in unfamiliar settings. Avoid going off alone with someone you do not know. This is especially important when traveling overseas or to high risk countries known for kidnapping tourists. 
I normally do not write pieces like this, but I felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to put these in writing. Pass them on to your daughters, college friends, sisters, and aunts. 

 You, O Lord, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever.Psalm 12:7

My Prayer: Father, thank you for your wisdom and your counsel. Guide us in our friendships, our social activities, and our choices. Let us lean on the good counsel you have placed in our lives so that we will not open ourselves to any snare or trick of the enemy. Thank you for your love! Amen.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

I'm Not WHO I Was

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!~ Psalm 139 
10th Grade/Present Day
 Last night, I was deep in a conversation with my natural sister when she did what we just LOVE our family members to do: she whipped out a 'blast from the past'. "Do you remember this girl?" she texted me. Well, I did! It was my younger self and Boy,do I remember her! I even remember the outfit. We joked about how nobody could tell us we were not cute back then. I do remember her: this girl was finding herself, skipping school, dating guys who cared absolutely nothing about her. Yes, I remember her very well. This girl was trying to act 25 at 15, experimenting with makeup, breaking rules to see if she could. This girl was told she would not graduate high school and would wind up with 10 kids at the rate she was going. 

I am SO THANKFUL that God had another plan. You see, I'm not WHO I was. And neither are you! I still like my off the shoulder tops (every once and awhile) but the inner me is no longer a girl, looking for identity in what I do, or who my friends are, or how many boyfriends I've had. Giving my life to Christ and making him Lord and Savior has renewed me and I've come to discover my identity in Christ. Now, what God has planned for me shapes my world view, and His plans far exceed my expectation. 

So often, we let people or things from the past hold us to who we were, and not who God has created us to be. I am able to say with assurance, "I'm not who I was!" God, in his mercy, allowed me to make mistakes, allowed me to grow up, and he kept me many times from death when in my immaturity and impatience to be grown, I ran right into trouble! God also set me in a family of those who would counsel, pray, correct, and actively guide me into pursuing my talents rather than pursuing trouble. 

I encourage you to reflect on who God has made you to be and just how far God has brought you from. And remember, you are still a work in progress, a beautiful picture that God is painting!

Psalm 25:7

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O Lord.

Enjoy the link below to one of my favorite songs! Remember, You're NOT who you Were!