I had the pleasure of visiting my Sister the other day. The entire family was there: Hubby was grilling, and my Niece and Nephew were playing together. Something was different this time. My little niece normally runs around the house, barely noticing me. I could try a million different conversations with her, and she would ignore me. Not today.
My eyes welled up with tears as she came right towards me, arms outstretched as she allowed me to pick her up. Next, she rested her head on my shoulder, and I rocked her back and forth as I sang songs to her. She didn’t move. What a moment!
Recently, I took the adorable little girl with me to Church a few times and placed her in Sunday school for babies. Maybe that was it? She finally recognizes her Auntie? Whatever the reason – I’ll take it. Later, I asked her a few questions. They were very simple questions. I was shocked that she actually could talk. Well, at least she could say one word,
She said “Yes” to both of my questions! What music to my ears!
I left the house that day beaming!
Last Sunday, I picked her up and took her to a Church carnival. She ran straight towards me saying “Yes” again.
Sweetie, I will “Auntie-sit” you anytime, if you keep saying “Yes” to me. It made me think:
I wonder what the moment must have been like for Jesus when I said “Yes”.
I bet he was BEAMING!
It really is something to behold when someone “shows you some love”. Whether it is the joy of being married to the one you love, or the support of friends and family through life’s ups and down. Or, when people support your business and buy your products and services. When they say “Yes” to your artwork, your film, your books, CDs, etc.
Let’s be honest: when people say “Yes” to you, it makes your day.
I must make one correction though: when you say “Yes” to Jesus, it makes YOUR day also! He wants to shower His love upon you, allow you to bask in His presence, and soak up every bit of Joy and Peace that only He (not the world) can give to you. It benefits YOU when you say “Yes” to him. You also get a seat at the “heavenly table”. That is the best part. I can’t wait for that!
So the next time someone asks you to say “Yes” to Jesus, what do you say?
I watched the Presidential Debate along with 67 million other viewers around the world. I was exhausted after a long day on my feet, but I did my best to stay engaged. This was a historic moment!
I must admit, I fell asleep during the last 15 minutes. When I am tired, it doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing, I just fall fast asleep – pray for a Sister!
The next morning I read all of the twitter and Facebook posts, and watched the news. 67% of the viewers felt Romney won and 25% felt President Obama won. The Romney supporters seemed energized, while many of the President’s supporters seemed disheartened. Yet, even some supporters and many “on the fence” seemed ready to move to the Romney camp.
Regardless of who you support, I ask “Is your support so shaky that one mistake can change your mind?’ I mean, for my speaker or singer friends out there: have you ever had a bad night? Heather Headley just tweeted yesterday that her vocal chords were giving her trouble. Have you ever been sleepy, dealing with family issues, or otherwise distracted when you had to get up and go face the public? Did you ever walk off the stage and say, “That wasn’t my best?’ How many fans did you lose because your voice cracked that night or you were a bit flat or sharp? Most true fans give you a ‘pass” because they have been fans for a long time or they have seen you before, or they “know your work”.
Let’s make this even more real. How many people have just messed up? And messed up for the whole world to see? Or maybe messed up and only your closest friends or family know? Maybe only God knows what you did? I know I’ve messed up in my life. In fact, I make mistakes quite often, some publicly and some privately. How many friends turned their backs on you during that time?
I have learned a lot about grace and forgiveness between friends. On a lighter note, I have learned a lot about “friends and followers” through twitter and Facebook. I find it interesting how one comment can draw new followers in droves. But make the mistake of posting one comment that doesn’t resonate: that “unlike” or “un-follow” button is on speed-dial! It’s interesting that online relationships and communities can be so fragile that one post can determine its strength.
This is why we must put our faith and trust in God. If God changed his mind about supporting or loving you and I with every bad tweet, private sin, or public mistake – who would He love??
If you would be the last man standing, send me a note. I want to meet you.
I am thankful that God loves us unconditionally. His love for us is not based on our performance. If you have a bad night, God still loves you in the morning. If you have a bad day, God will comfort you in the wee hours of the night. To feel His love requires spending time with Him. I encourage anyone today who “messed up” to spend some time with the Lord, before His throne of Grace. Let Him wrap His loving, comforting arms around you and whisper “I love you” in your ear. Join Him as He washes your sin away in the Sea of Forgetfulness. Let Him give you strength to “dust yourself off and try again”.
And I pray that I will be more like Jesus and extend the same grace to others who “mess up” around me.
Let’s all try that!
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9)
I never thought I would have a connection with a 16 year old Olympian. I haven’t won any Gold medals, nor have I been crowned “the best” at anything in my lifetime. I just try to do a little bit here ’n there in an attempt to make a small contribution to society. Who knew that my hair would be cause for such uproar?
Two months ago, I made the decision to remove my hair weave because it was causing baldness around my forehead. Beyond accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, this is on the list of one of the biggest decisions of my life. #keepingitreal
Yesterday, I received the following Facebook message from a family member who I haven’t heard from in a year:
Kellie please don’t get angary with me, but I tell you in love and only after praying about if I should. So here goes “please consider changing your hair back to the other look” I know this is easy, cheaper and yes natural, but I have heard many negitive remarks by friends, family and people who want tell you that this is not becoming on you. I have erased this e-mail several times so know that it’s hard for me to tell you this, but I do love you and hope you understand that this is truely only in Love that I tell you this. Please feel free to call me (xxx)xxx-xxxx if I hurt your feelings for God knows this is not my intentions. Love you
My first thought was Gabby Douglas. Did my relative not see the drama ensuing on International Television with Gabby Douglas? Did my relatives and friends who were convening on my behalf to discuss the “atrocity” of my hair not see how much of an unnecessary distraction this has been for Gabby and BLACK folk in general? I mean, I had heard that BLACK folk were complaining about her hair, but honestly I thought that was a typo. Now I am clear, many of my people really DO have a problem with ourselves and how we were designed.
On the flip side, after taking out the $600 “easy, wake up, shake out, and GO!” weave and transitioning to the daily twisting, moisturizing, pulling & patting of my $200 natural kinky coils, I made a decision: I am going to embrace me. This is Kelly Chapman in her most pure, unadulterated state. I even felt guilty putting on a lot of make-up with this new look. I decided that at this point in time, I am going to learn to love myself not because of air-brush or a hair brush. Should I elect to put on a wig down the road or put in some extensions for either a photo shoot or a change of pace, I am CLEAR – I know who I am. I know what I look like, and I embrace the ME that GOD designed 100% every day. Whether my hair is straight, having a lovely day of coils or on the verge of a nappy Afro on day 5 – I will WALK OUT OF MY HOUSE BOLDLY.
…and let my hair do whatever she wants to do on that day. I will rock ME.
I understand this concern was raised because I posted a ton of photos on Facebook of me working at the Kelly Chapman Ministries Mobile Pantry. I was working in the 100 degree sun on the verge of heat stroke, passing out food to over 700 people in the City of East Cleveland. As these “concerned loved ones” were viewing my photos, did they miss that I needed volunteers and/or tax-deductible donations for the pantry as they read my postings? Where were they? When I asked for prayer for my daughter’s vocal chords two weeks ago, did this same group convene, come over, or even call? But the above message was sent after much thought and “prayer” to be exact. And God supposedly said that photos of me passing out greens and bread with kinky hair to needy families is not “becoming”. That my appearance is a bad look. Or at a minimum, my hair is distracting them from being able to FOCUS ON JESUS???
Did Jesus make sure he had a “flat-iron” before he went out to feed thousands with two fishes and five loaves of bread?
I know that I have to accept that when I agreed to allow myself to be in the public eye, I would have to accept scrutiny. I get people who “Pop off” all of the time about lots of things: Whether they like/dislike my music, my blogs, my posts, or my lifestyle. People think I should fly all over the world for free and never ask for a dime to pay for my child’s food or shelter.
I could go on and on. Yes – I get it all day long.
I really REALLY hope that God gives me the same peace that He gave to Gabby. A peace that says, “I don’t have time for this”. Even at only 16 years of age with a whole lot more years left than me, she doesn’t have time.
…and I don’t either.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2)
As I think about the different people who I have been honored to lead to Christ, I had to pause and reflect. It was interesting to think about how it came about. It wasn’t necessarily because I was wearing my Jesus Tee, or because I was passing out tracks (which I have done, and think is a worthwhile practice). It is interesting to note that when it happened with me it was via one of two ways:
In the course of daily life and conversations, an opportunity to console, encourage or extend grace emerged. Or, in the course of my life, sharing:
- how I may weep for a night, but joy will come in the morning,
- confessing and believing that the joy of the Lord is my strength,
- or sharing how the Lord gave me hope and brought me out of a bad situation.
…And actually sharing the praise report and giving God all of the glory!
These two ways for me have spurred the opportunity to witness. In pure honesty, and transparency, reaching someone who is ashamed or afraid to talk to someone about their struggles for fear of judgment. It was in those moments, a deep conversation led to an opportunity to lead someone to the Kingdom.
I don’t recall leading anyone to Christ by beating them over the head with scriptures, scaring them straight (although I believe Hell is real for the non-believer) or by bragging about how holy and righteous I am. Sometimes, I feel holy and sometimes I feel like I need a re-do. I do know that by using God’s Word to encourage and extend grace and love, I have seen uninterested souls develop a hunger for knowledge and answers only found in His saving power. It is pretty awesome! I can’t speak for what works for anyone else, but I know how God has used me. I respect that He uses us all in unique and different ways. I hope you don’t mind, but this is my testimony for just a quick moment.
So as I reflect upon that as I finish lunch today, I have one hope. I hope that as He enlarges my territory and my sphere of influence, that I may continue to be a light – in the unique way that He made me. After all, He knew me before I was formed in my mothers’ womb. No mistakes here! And He formed me for the exact purpose that He is fulfilling every day, to share with a lost world, an honest, pure & loving exhortation to know Him, and be strong in Him.
So to my friends, I thank you for each day that you share in my journey. My journey of hope, contentment, overcoming trials, and an ongoing desire to have more Brothers and Sisters in the “family”. I also welcome any seekers to join my family! It is actually pretty “green on the other side of the fence”.
Lord, I thank You for the grace that You have and continue to extend to me, your child who seeks to be just like you. Knowing that I cannot attain your perfection, but that You allowed Yourself to be beaten and nailed to a cross to save me for all of my sins. I thank You for the grace You’ve given me to share honestly about my challenges and successes, knowing that You have forgiven me with your shed blood. No more rituals, but by calling upon your name, I am saved.
Help me to extend love and grace to all who come in contact with me. I know that many face trials and tribulations in this life, and many make mistakes. Who will they turn to for help if they don’t turn to you? Help me to show your lovingkindness so that more may turn to you and want to follow you. As I fear you, help me to be wise and strong and unashamed. I thank You for everything you have done, and in advance for what you are going to do in my life and the lives of those around me.
In Jesus name, Amen.
So today has been an amazing day! I started off my day making myself some eggs n cheddar with bacon (cause I don’t believe I will catch the swine flu).
Next, off to a women’s retreat hosted by Prophetess Tyear McCrary of Ecclesia Fellowship Church. They did it up: Gold chargers and glass goblets, salad, chicken marsala, etc. But most importantly, the Lord’s presence was there and he used several powerful and anointed Women of God to deliver messages on Forgiveness, Your destiny and The Storm. Then we had intercessory prayer – Whew!! I am full.
So I leave the retreat, and start driving through East Cleveland (a wonderful neighborhood full of my brothers and sisters). As I drive down Euclid Avenue, I see a beautiful dog in the middle of a busy four lane street. He looked like a toy Pomeranian. I started honking my horn so that all of the cars around me would stop. And they did – Whew Again!!
So, I see a woman who was fairly heavy, and oddly enough – not black. She was walking across the street trying to catch the dog. But she clearly could not catch him by walking. I screamed “Do you need help?” out of my window? She said “Yes”. I screeched my car to a stop in the McDonald”s driveway apron, blocking traffic. But I didn’t care. I jumped out of my car, and started running after the dog – in my dress and 5 inch stiletto heels.
Finally, I said to the woman, “can you watch my car, and I will go get your dog?” She said, Okay. The dog ran back into the middle of Euclid Avenue. I ran into the middle of the street trying to ensure that no car would run the dog down without running me down first… Yes, True Story. My car door is wide open and my purse is on the front seat.
The dog finally crossed to the other side and ran up the hill. I chased him up the hill in my dress, and up another side street. Neighbors are watching while hanging clothes and smoking blunts. Children are watching me. I say, “did you see a dog??” They all pointed me further up the hill. Two brothers with blunts said, “How you doin? You lookin good today.” This was AFTER I asked them to piick up the dog!!! No gentleman in the vicinity???
I kept running.
Finally, a blue van stopped to grab the dog unsuccesfully. But both the dog and the blue van turned into the same driveway. The dog ran into the backyard. Another non-black man got out of the van. I said, “are you the owner of the dog, and the wife of the woman down the street?’ He said, “That is my daughter and yes. He got loose. We are trying to move out of this home. He someone got away as I was loading up the van.”
So I ran all the way down the hill to check on my car. She had closed the door, and was waiting there. As I got closer I looked carefuly and she appeared to be someone who may have Down’s Syndrome. And she was the sweetest person! I offered her a ride up the hill but she decided to walk.
I can’t believe I chased a dog like it was my own child in the street!! And I can’t believe that my “peeps” would watch the whole thing and not help. I mean, has the world gotten to the point of, “it is all about me and my blunt????” No gentleman??? No superman??? Got it.
I am thankful that the dog is safe and sound.
Now onto the single diary: Dinner with a good friend. I gotta tell you, today was a day of tremendous blessings. I had been praying about this “friend” for a while. Today the Lord revealed all of my answers. It was like he turned into different person… I was in shock listening to what he was saying tonight. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matt 12:34). He even spoke things about the Lord that shocked me. But it was so good to hear. Because now I know how to pray for him, and also I know – that I know – that I know… we won’t ever date again. Thank you Jesus!
I was able to tell him that I wish him God’s best, a deeper walk with Him, and blessings to his family, his career, his love life, but that I ain’t the one. And I can stand here and say, “Thank you God!!” Tonight, I feel like I was knocked over, but I feel like I bounced back with power!
So, as I write and share in my public diary, I pray that someone needs to hear this today. Someone needs to know that if you ask God to share with you, HE WILL!. (Jeremiah 33:3) He will reveal things to you. Ladies, He will tell you if the man in your life is right for you. And God has been faithful in my situation to move many of the knuckleheads out of the way, so I didn’t have to figure it out myself.
Wait, I say, WAIT on the Lord! He is never late… There is nothing like being in the perfect will of God. What joy! What peace! Wait, I say!
I want to share a song that has blessed me over the years. What a coincidence that an old friend put it in my inbox this evening.
Yes! …In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.