Showcase | Fellowship | Inspire
Showcase | Fellowship | Inspire
Nikki Washington shared:
"Risky Business"
Growing up, some women were what we’d call “Daddy’s girls.” For me, growing up I was what I affectionately refer to as my uncle’s shadow (smile). Ride or die, wherever he went I wanted to go. If he was playing ball outside, I wanted to play. If he was cracking jokes with his friends, I was taking notes.  If he was swimming in the pool, I wanted him to teach me how to swim.
 
I still remember the day I learned how to swim.
 
I was 5 yrs-old. It was a warmer than usual California day. My family and I were all around the pool. I was wearing a yellow one-piece swimsuit with a “Care Bears” theme on the front along with some HIGHLY fashionable matching arm floaties (smile). And over and over again, my uncle stood in the middle of the deep-end of the pool and yelled, “Jump!!” And right on cue, without hesitation I’d jump. All afternoon. He’d call for me and I’d come running. The faith of a child is so amazing when you think about it. Never once did I think the floatations on my arms would deflate. Never once did I think my uncle would fail to catch me, and never once did it ever occur to my 5-yr-old mind that I would drown. Not once.
 
And although many years have passed since I first learned to swim, I feel like that’s where I am right now… Launching out into the deep. As I grow older, I’m in expectancy of so many great things. Now, I would love to say that it’s all just a cake walk, but no. Anyone who has ever walked in expectancy knows that along with it, you have to exhibit great faith. And if I’m transparent, great faith doesn’t always feel the best. Really, it can be scary. Uncomfortable. Vulnerable. And even SEEMINGLY risky.
 
Risk.
 
Everyone wants the reward but few are willing to really “risk” to get it. Think about it, how many things do you want to pursue but won’t because of apprehension? Are you working that job because it’s what you love to do or is it because it provides you with a sense of security? Are you involved in that relationship because you really love them or are just afraid to be alone? Are you deferring that business venture because God said so or are you intimidated by the current economic climate? Hmmm…just a little food for thought.  
 
My prayer is that you begin to look at risk differently. That you begin to really understand that in God there is NO failure. And that ultimately, you find yourself taking off whatever floatation device that has been your crutch and truly jumping out into the deep.
 
See, in my life I’ve decided that I’m no longer “playing it safe.” I figure if at 5-yrs-old if I could allow my uncle to talk me into eventually jumping into the pool by myself and without my floaties on, surely I can trust this big Powerful God who has the blueprint for my destiny! And I can’t speak for anyone else, but I refuse to be a prisoner to a life full of “what if’s…”  And you shouldn’t either!
 
Plus, you know in your heart that you were never made for average. That’s why you toil with the bigness of what God has placed in you to do. That’s why you’re not satisfied with where you are. That’s why people who are not driven and settle for average work your nerves. It’s because unlike some, you know better! You know greatness is on the inside of you. You know deep down that God is just waiting on you to stop fighting and agree with Him. Think about it, how can you and God walk together unless you agree to His plan for your life? Selah.
 
So, take the floaties off.
 
They’re not what’s sustaining you anyway. He is…
 
Nikki Washington, Professional Scuba Diver (smile)
 
 
 
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Nikki Washington shared:
"Sex Ed: The Marriage Bed Edition"

People lie for it. Cheat for it. Some even risk getting a disease and dying for it. It’s been known to make a grown man cry and a young girl’s knees to grow weak. So, what am I talking about?…

Sex.

For a few minutes of pleasure some will go to great lengths to satisfy horniness. And yes, I know it sounds coarse but isn’t that what it boils down to? Lust? Think about it…

Whether we acknowledge it or not, the fact remains many singles IN the church are doing “it.”

And it’s sad that the misappropriation of sex has caused there to be such a negative stigma surrounding such a beautiful act. Really, have you actually thought about what God’s original design for sex is?  Aside from procreation, sex is a time of worship and discovery between a HUSBAND and a WIFE.  But, here’s the thing, in order for us to ever get to the TRUE intent of sex, we first have to stop doing it the wrong way…

Now I know with that last sentence some of y’all just got off the bus, lol. And I’m sure some are thinking, “Whatever Nik! Don’t talk to me about what you’ve never had!” And I know. I get it.  But real talk, I’m a virgin not a eunuch, lol. Hello!

And I get where you’re coming from. So, maybe you haven’t made the best choices. Maybe sex is an area you struggle in. Maybe it seems it’s too late to change but did you know as long as God grants you another day, it’s never too late to start again? Did you know restoration could take place the moment you make a decision to stop sexing? Did you know where you fall short; God will empower you to stand?  And did you know when you choose to reserve sex for covenant; the sex you had in the world can’t hold a candle to the intimacy the undefiled marriage bed offers?

Think about it, most assume experience is the best teacher, but I’m inclined to believe the GOD of the experience is the best Teacher. Really, who else but our Creator is best qualified to teach us how to express intimacy?  And some can front if they want, but when I marry I’m not just becoming a student. No, I’m studying for my doctorate! LOL. Someone tap your neighbor and shout “Final Exam!” LOL. Whew, I promise I am too funny to ME!  But I digress…

I just want to encourage you to save yourself for marriage. Don’t cheat your future spouse of what rightfully belongs to them. Make a declaration to God and a vow to yourself that true love does wait and so will you. And then watch as God blesses you with double for your trouble. [Insert happy dance here]

Keep the faith family!

It’s worth it.

 

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Nikki Washington shared:
"Goodfellas: The Godly Man Edition"

Whenever I write, it’s almost always in relation to something that I have gone through or something that I am currently going through. In fact, I’m still amazed at how many responses I receive from people who feel as if what was written was directly to and for them. I suppose that’s what these writings are supposed to do. Speak directly to the heart of the reader. For that I’m truly grateful. But recently, I was asked why I tend to address my sisters more so than my brothers in my writings. And in pondering the question,  I thought what better time to address my brothers than now, right? Right (smile).

My Goodfellas.

To say that there are no “good men” is not only an insult, but a lie. Now, I can’t speak for everyone but I can soberly say that, at least from where I stand, I’ve been blessed to know a host of amazing men. Now, are they perfect? No. But, they’re God honoring nonetheless.

I see men whose heart desire is to do the will of God. Men who know how to walk upright and still live full, FUN lives. Men who love their wives, take care of their kids and submit to good leadership. Men who daily march out into the world and leave their hearts on the field in the hopes that something they contributed will make life better for their children’s children. Men who love God, love people, and aren’t ashamed to show it. Men like the Kingdom warriors reading these words.

Men like you.

So, to all the Godly men, we as the women of God, applaud you.

Thank you for pouring without taking. Thank you for every word of kindness and genuine concern. Thank you for every correcting word. Thank you for making the art of submission easy. Thank you for never being so intimidated by the perception of us that you failed to see the heart of us. Thank you for being our leaders, mentors, spouses, brothers, and loved ones. And lastly, although we surely don’t say it enough, know that we value you. And, we see your efforts. So keep going. Press towards the mark. We’ve got your back.

So, that’s it. Brothers, we’re praying for you. And we know you’re going to make it. Just keep the Faith. Stay encouraged. And take some time to actually LISTEN to the women God places in your life, lol. You never know…she might just actually be a blessing to you (smile). Really, just ask Esther…Selah.

Luv ya,

Nikki Washington

 

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Nikki Washington shared:
"The Heart of Marriage"

You ever meet someone and even though you weren’t “bosom buddies” you know that your life was made better by simply being around them? The type of person that leaves such an impression that you find yourself thanking God that you could even glean just a little bit from their example?…I have. This past week we lost one of our sisters in the faith. She was a beautiful woman in every sense of the word. A lover of God. A servant, mother and a wife. A wife. It’s amazing. Even in her own pain my sister was still more concerned about her husband than herself. So much so that it was more than apparent to all of us that she was holding on until she felt he would be okay. And what’s even just as amazing is through it all I watched my big brother exemplify what it means to be a husband. No matter how tired he was he never quit on her. (more…)

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Nikki Washington shared:
"The Dating Equation"


LESS than 4 – is the number of relationships I’ve been in.

ONE –is the number of times I’ve been in love.

ZERO –is the number of people I’ve had sex with in my life.

The sum total of my point: I’m not casual, fickle or flakey when it comes whom I share my time with. I don’t jump from relationship to relationship. I don’t randomly select people according to some list and begin weeding through suitors. And I don’t look at every man I meet as a potential spouse.

Because of the nature of my call, I have a large number of single friends. And because of that I always seem to come across those who like to “hypothesize.” Whenever someone sees me speaking with a brother, I automatically get the “Is that your Boaz?” line of questioning. And then don’t let me have the nerve to be supporting one of my homeboy’s visions, rallying behind his cause or just hanging out with a buddy. People immediately go into “Chuck Woolery” mode. Yet, RARELY does anyone ever bother to straight out ASK if I’m courting OR better yet, if I’m even remotely interested in the person I’m ASSumed to be courting with. It’s as if everyone around me is waiting to see who will be the man that “Nikki the Virgin” allows to capture her heart…and yes, I just wrote about myself in third person –don’t judge me. (more…)

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Nikki Washington shared:
"An Inside Job"

I read a quote the other day that said, “My prayer is that the church will be a place where people belong…long before they behave.” –J. Smith.

When I read it, it immediately resonated with me for two reasons: 1) Because of who I am. 2) Because of where I’ve been…

Although I’ve had my share of trials, temptations and test, for the most part my life has been pretty straightforward. When I re-dedicated my life to God at 18 yrs-old, I made it my mission to live “upright” to the best of my ability…and in that last statement alone was the error in my thinking. Trying to live and do in MY ability instead of His. In retrospect, what I thought was righteousness, was pride at best. I prided myself on the fact that I wasn’t a “rule breaker.” That I’d never drank, had sex, smoked or did drugs. It gave me some sense of achievement to say I worked diligently in ministry. Yet over the years, I would become so consumed with following a list of rules, I would miss the heart of God in so many other key areas.

So often we think salvation is about maintaining rules that we never take time to look beyond legalism and into the heart. And for me, it wouldn’t be until God began the internal work that I would soon discover although I wasn’t always wrong, I wasn’t totally right either. Which meant in the end…I was still wrong… See I believe if we’re honest with ourselves, ALL can admit there have been things we have said or done SINCE we’ve been saved that weren’t pleasing to God. And I believe God is calling for a transparent church. I also believe that in order to experience the grace of God, we have to first acknowledge we need His grace.

Lord knows I did…and still do…

I know we never hear leaders admit fault, but no. No, I need Him every hour. Really, what good is my obedience if it’s performed out of legalism rather than love? Who can I bless with the Truth of His Word if I’m continually presenting the truth with judgmental undertones? And how will I ever be a light in those dark places if I take on the “spiritual elitist” mentality of not associating with those whom “The Church” deems unchangeable…

See, at the end of the day I don’t want to be a hypocrite. And long gone are the days of pointing the finger at people who don’t meet our “acceptable sin” standard yet never dealing with our own character flaws. Long gone are the days of privately condoning the sins of our friends yet openly throwing rocks at others that operate in the same offense. And no more are the days of excusing the sins of people with talent or notoriety yet disassociating ourselves from the ones who aren’t on our “VIP” list or meet our man-made morality meter.

And trust. In sharing with you, I first speak to me. See, along my journey what I discovered was although I desired to please God, my ways weren’t always God honoring. I needed to learn how to value people in a greater way. I needed to learn a deeper level of humility. I needed to grow in grace, love and patience.

I discovered that right motives with wrong methods never equal right results. Really, it doesn’t matter how correct we are, if the presentation isn’t palatable it’s unlikely to be received. And I share with you some of my transparent truths in the hopes that someone doesn’t make the same mistakes I made…

That’s all.

I can’t speak for anyone else but to the heart of me, I just want to please God. I want to live a life that points to The Cross. Yet what I discovered is I can’t do that if I first don’t learn to examine the truth of my shortcomings, repent and allow God to correct me. It’s like I once heard someone preach, “Dangerous is the leader without a mirror.” In short, we as leaders have to be able to see ourselves and allow the Truth of His Word to correct us that WE might strive to do better and be better. And I refuse to live all my life in church and then die and go to hell because I wouldn’t allow God to have His perfect work in me. No, when all is said and done, it won’t be said that I was perfect, but it will be known that I loved the Lord with all my heart and strived to live a life that pleased Him.

So, with that I thank God for His grace. I thank Him that when we admit our faults, He is faithful and just to forgive us. But most of all I thank God for the old me. Without her, how would I ever be able to tell a dying world of God’s conversion power? Selah…

Keep growing…

Nikki Washington

The Chaste Life

This inspirational word is brought to you as a program of Yes Lord Radio, your place for Gospel Internet Radio.

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Nikki Washington shared:
"The Love Connection"

From UNsolicited dating advice, to UNsolicited “hook-up” suggestions. From people trying to introduce me to their sons, brothers and friends, I get it all. And that’s just scratching the surface. Real talk, if I had a penny for every time someone tried to push me into a relationship, I’d take those pennies, put them in a sock and BEAT the person trying to hook me up, lol. Okay, I’m joking. Although I understand the sincerity behind the actions, RARELY do I have someone actually ASK me what I want. No, most just assume…

Because I don’t really discuss my personal life most assume I’m either on the verge of eloping or one step away from joining a convent, lol. And I get it. People are curious. But here’s the thing, I just don’t view relationships like most do. And because I don’t, I’m not quick to dive into anything casually. Really, if it were just about a marriage, I could’ve married already. No, to me it’s about more that. And I don’t believe we can just cover our eyes, throw a dart and that’s all there is to it. I don’t believe we should date haphazardly. And ultimately, I believe marriage is a call, not simply a choice.

And I know I sound old-fashioned but I still believe God is better at matchmaking than we could ever be. I believe He sees what we can’t, knows what we don’t and can discern beyond our comprehension. And, I can soberly say in CHOOSING not to be casual with who I share my time with, God has preserved me in ways I never thought possible. Truly, you can’t buy this kind of peace. It’s amazing.  And at the end of the day, I’d rather operate in caution now then end up with a man-made mess later. It’s with that in mind that I’m allowing GOD to govern my courting decisions rather than flesh.

And, that’s just where I am with it.

Thanks to all of those who always show concern. It’s partially appreciated, lol. Seriously, know that when I finally do CHOOSE to give someone my unwavering “yes” it won’t be because I followed a trend or the advice of some person who barely knows me. It won’t be because I settled. It won’t even be because I met someone who appeared to be what I needed. No, when I marry it will be because my spirit will bear witness to an agreement that was made long before I knew “him.” It will be because whoever my him is had the fortitude and patience it took to learn me, court me AND win me. And when I meet him, I won’t have to study him and wonder, “…is he him?”….no, there will just be a discerning. An assessing. And a knowing…

And it is so.

Nikki

This inspirational word is brought to you as a program of Yes Lord Radio, your place for Gospel Internet Radio.

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Nikki Washington shared:
"Social Networking: The Rules of Engagement"

Whether we call it a “side throw-off,” a veiled reference, indirect OR even direct communication, one thing is certain; People say things online they would almost NEVER say in “real life.” For whatever reason, SOME treat social networking as if it’s a fictional world that requires no accountability of words. And it’s been my experience through trial, error and observation that some aren’t even aware of how their words translate to others…..

It is with that in mind I share just a few things I’ve learned over time about the art of social networking. And no, I’m not an expert. No, I’m not versed in all of the psychology on human behavior. No, I’m just someone desiring to be of help. My prayer is that the words shared here would help serve you as they have served me. ….

The Social Network: ….

Watch your words….

If you wouldn’t say it into a microphone in front of a crowd of people, you probably shouldn’t put it in a tweet or status update. If you don’t condone gossip in your everyday life, you probably shouldn’t spread it in a tweet or status update. And if you don’t want people meddling in your personal life, say it with me: “YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN’T PUT IT IN A TWEET OR STATUS UPDATE!!!” My point is this, be you. Be transparent. Be authentic to YOUR call, but don’t mistake “keeping it real” with dysentery of the mouth. Doing so may cause you to share words in the “heat of the moment” that you may later regret or didn’t really mean. In short, think twice –update once…..

Dyslexic Reading -SOME, not all, tend to make everything about them. This can become a dangerous and narcissistic reading habit. Doing so may cause one to misread, mistranslate and even take offense to things that were never said directly to them. And unless you really know a person, their personality and their heart, words on paper can often be lost in translation and the spirit in which they were shared misconstrued. In short, if you can’t discern a tone of voice, don’t assume. Also, if a statement wasn’t said directly TO you, don’t assume it applies TO you. If the shoe doesn’t fit, why put it on? Now, after all of your assessing, if you still feel a statement was directed at you, don’t assume –ASK! In doing so, you may just find what you perceived is not actually what was.

Virtually living vs. Living virtually – Facebook and Twitter are tools. And the issue comes in when we make the tool the primary thing and our lives secondary. I have been guilty of this in times past but over time I’ve come to learn how to make the main thing the main thing. Don’t become so consumed with chronicling every moment of your life that you’re not present and actually IN the moments of your life. Rather, every now and then take a step back from the phone. Turn the computer off and just be. In doing so, you may just find that the quality of you life improves and also your friends and family will appreciate the fact that you no longer have a phone glued to your hand.

So, that’s all

There are so many elements to social networking that we can’t go over all of them here. Just be mindful. Be light-hearted. Show Christ’s love. ….

Blessings,

Nikki

This inspirational word is brought to you as a program of Yes Lord Radio, your place for Gospel Internet Radio.

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Nikki Washington shared:
"Good n Grown: The Womanhood Thing"

 “I’m nervous. And I’m trembling. Waiting for you to walk in…tonight is the night…that you…make me a woman. You said you’d be gentle with me…and I…I hope you will” -Betty Wright, (Tonight Is The Night, 1975).

Soooo, where does this song fit into my writings you ask? It doesn’t. I’m just over here being “grown.” LOL! Ok, let me stop playing and get serious. And you cut out all those silly thoughts over there! Really, we have Jesus work to do, geeesh (smile). Ok, seriously. Let’s get it:

Womanhood.

Being a woman can be tough sometimes. Between being undervalued in the workplace. Raising children, often alone. Dealing with haters and naysayers. And even having to dodge womanizers and manipulators; women, collectively have our work cut out for us. And then don’t have the nerve to be a real woman of God on top of ALL of that. Whew, it’s a climb to say the least. And quite honestly, it can be painful at times. Oh, but thank God for the joy that comes after the pain.

Jesus broke it down like this: “A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” -John 16:21.

Although in this instance Jesus was speaking of His ascension and return, the principles of the story still apply. Now, that’s good news! Really, isn’t it good to know that our afflictions were but for a moment? Isn’t it good to know that the trial never came to kill us but to make us better? Isn’t it great to know that all that accumulated pain produced an anointing in us that is so powerful it’s changing everything we touch? Hallelujah!

Now, I know some of y’all are probably like, “Nikki but you don’t know what I had to go through.” And you’d be right. I don’t. Yet if you’re like me, I’m sure it was hellish to say the least. Really, anyone who’s called knows that the call may be great but the road to greatness can be torturous. And trust, even if you don’t think I get it, God does. He knows it’s been a hard labor. He saw you as you continued to extend open arms to those who responded with cold shoulders. He saw how you blessed those who cursed you. He was there when you applauded everyone else only to look around to an empty cheering section for your own life. Yet through it all, you never broke. You didn’t compromise. You never gave up! And so now for all of your faithfulness:

It’s YOUR time.

To all the Godly women, I salute you. Not only did you pass the test, but you don’t look like what you’ve been through. Really, have you looked at your sum lately? You’re a bad chick! And NOT because of how you look but because of what you HOUSE. You have the Holy Ghost. You’re anointed. You can flip a verse like no bodies business. And you’ve got more spiritual gifts than Lebron has rings, lol. Ok, bad analogy but you get my point.

You’re THAT chick.

That set apart one. That rare gift. Often imitated but never duplicated. By no means an easy win but still worth fighting for. You love God. You love people. And you live a life that proves it!

So sis, stay encouraged! Never let the labor pains of life break you. You’re better than that. Stop downplaying who you are to make others feel comfortable. You’re better than that. Don’t let anyone steal your swag, you’re better than that. So get up! Rise up! Be greater! You’ve allowed the copies of you to out produce you for far too long. Now it’s time for you, The Prototype, to snatch your spot back.

And yeah. We talk like this, ‘cause we can back it up (smile). Watch!

Luv y’all,

Nikki

This inspirational word is brought to you as a program of Yes Lord Radio, your place for Gospel Internet Radio.

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Nikki Washington shared:
"Striptease"

 

     This past year was rough for a lot of us. From people losing their homes to their spouses to their jobs, I’ve seen it all. Even in my own life, I found myself asking God, “Lord, how much more can I take???” Don’t get me wrong, God and I had some huge victories this year but to act as if it felt ALL good ALL the time would be a lie. No, truth is at times this past year seemed almost unbearable. It’s interesting in retrospect. When you love someone and make a life-long commitment to them, it doesn’t really matter what they do. Because you love them, come what may, you stay. Why? Well, because you’re committed to the covenant. And it was in that moment of thinking about the covenant I had made with God so many years ago that it hit me:

    I’m in love with a Stripper.

    And yeah, I know some of y’all call Him Jehovah Jireh, but I call Him God my Stripper, lol. And for all the overly saved folks, feel free to call Him the, “Ever Unveiling One” if it makes you feel better. 🙂 Ok, I’m half joking but my point is sincere nonetheless. See, last year I watched as God stripped me of everything that was not His Will for my life. Whether it was people, occupations, or business partnerships, that was the year God took off everything not meant to be. But through it all, the biggest stripping was the internal work He did inside of me.

    Me.

    People see the surface and make assumptions. And the nature of some is to try to box us in to make themselves feel comfortable with who we are. But this year more than ever I learned what it means to walk in whom God has fashioned me to be void of any outside influences. I learned how to shift with God. I learned the difference between God assignments and busy work. I learned how to love people without supporting sin. But most of all I learned how to embrace the woman I am called to be. And in doing so I began to understand why God’s stripping of me was so necessary.  See, He needed to rid me of those things in order to uncover His Will for my life and bring me into all that is new.

    I believe that’s what He’s doing in some of you too.

    And yeah, I know the feeling sucks. I know it may even hurt sometimes, but trust. You’re going to be amazed when you finally see the plan He has for you unfold. And then all of those years of struggle and turmoil will make sense. You will see why you had to lose the house, that you might gain a home. You’ll understand why you had to wait to love instead of rushing through the process. And you’ll see why you had to get laid off from that job, that you might manifest your life’s TRUE assignment. Watch! This is the season where it all comes together and God shows us why the end of a thing is better than the beginning. 🙂

    So, that’s all. I want you to be encouraged. The year ended, but it’s really just begun for you. God is about to use those areas of your life that caused you the most contention to bring Him the most glory. So smile. Hold your head up! God is moving.

    Flow with Him.

    This inspirational word is brought to you as a program of Yes Lord Radio, your place for Gospel Internet Radio.

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