October 27, 2018- For the third year, our ministry was invited by Livingstone College Campus Pastor, Troy Russell, in Salisbury, N.C., to minister to their students. This year’s message was entitled “Identity Theft!” as we helped students identify Satan’s methodology and tactics in an attempt to take us out of our God-given identity by replacing it with lies and false information. Genesis 1:26-27 tells us that God created us in His image; male and female, He created us. Satan, called by Jesus as the “father of lies,” is a thief who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy;” as told to us in John 10:10. He creates confusion among genders and sexual identity. He steals from men to be husbands, fathers, what God created them to be. Out the gate, Satan challenged the order of God. He tried to confuse the roles of man and woman. The identity crisis. Satan from the very beginning has been challenging God and His designs to fabricate a totally different design. In order for us to acquiesce to Satan’s design, we’d have to change our identity. The false identities are camouflaged in “courage” and “acceptance.” That’s the appeal. But it’s a bunch of empty promises from Satan.
Every deception and wickedness begins with the same pattern of lies that Satan told Eve: 1) starts with a lie (Satan lied to Eve), 2) he then gets people to question God’s Word (“did God really say this?”), and 3) we don’t need God and can lead our own lives/decide for ourselves what is right/we can be like God. In confusing the truth about our identity, he sows seeds of depression, hopelessness and apprehension about our future.
But Good News: Jesus came that we may have life, and have it to the full!
To reclaim and remain in their God-given identity (which is all we need), we encouraged the students to:
- Plug into the Vine (God), become His branch and receive your instructions–the accurate information. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5) The devil says just the opposite: “You don’t need God.”
- Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 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)
- Go towards life. The other way produces decay, disintegration and destruction. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
- You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14); already created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27); you have a great future and purpose in God (Jeremiah 29:11); you have to believe this is the truth. You cannot believe lies AND the truth.
We also answered students’ questions on identity as it pertains to career and success during our panel discussion.
We were also blessed with great songs by up and coming talented singer Destiny Stone, a senior at Catawba College, and performances by Charlotte-based Christian rap artist, Phresh.
September 23-24, 2017- Our ministry was invited again by Pastor Troy Russell of Livingstone College, to bring God’s Word to students during their Week of Prayer. In collaboration with Livingstone College and our dear brother in Christ and Christian rap artist Crucial, we presented “Building Your Foundation” on Saturday, September 23, 2017, with messages to help students build their foundation on Christ Jesus followed by a panel discussion to answer their questions on the challenges in doing so. Crucial performed a few tracks from his newest and 10th album, A Musical Inspiration of Epic Proportions.
The students were truly engaged and asked excellent questions which led to our delivery of the truth by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit truly moved upon hearts as several students asked us to pray over them. We praise God for how He broke chains, shed burdens; that seeds were planted and watered! Glory to God! We enjoyed food and further fellowship afterward. We also welcomed students from nearby Catawba College to the event where Catawba College student, Destiny Stone, sang her song, “Have Your Way,” which has been our playlist since we learned of the powerful ballad in July. Destiny, event coordinator for Catawba College’s Black Student Union, invited Voices Against the Grain founder, Nicole D. Hayes, as a guest speaker during their morning services on Sunday, September 24, 2017, where she delivered a Holy Spirit-led message on being “Dangerously Lighthearted” before a Holy God. The message was a call to holiness for God’s People and a desire to mature in Christ Jesus as His image bearers. More victory for God’s Kingdom, several students adhered to the altar call where burdens where laid down, chains were broken and peace, freedom and joy was restored! All to the Glory of God! We thank Livingstone College and Catawba College for allowing us the opportunity to pour into their students. Here’s a detailed blog post on the overall experience!
August 4, 2016- In our fervent desire to help today’s youth successfully navigate societal trappings in Christ Jesus, we are pleased to now join more than 750 pastoral and ministry leaders as a Shepherd Advocate for at-risk youth with Shepherding the Next Generation. Just as Jesus addressed the policymakers of his day, Shepherd Advocates work with local, state, and federal policymakers to support efforts that have proven to:
- Cut abuse and neglect of children of at-risk teen moms nearly in half.
- Increase the likelihood that children of at-risk families will graduate from high school.
- Decrease new arrests of troubled teens by as much as half.
- Increase the likelihood that at-risk young men will be present participants in parenting their children.
How is this accomplished?
- Draft letters to policymakers that educate them about proven investments for children at risk;
- Meet with state legislators, members of Congress, and other key decision-makers so we can voice our concerns;
- Write opinion editorial articles and letters-to-the-editor of local newspapers;
- Teach and preach about God’s heart for the most vulnerable citizens in our communities.
- Participate in press events where we speak out on the best ways to strengthen families;
- Equip our congregations with the tools and experience necessary to effectively minister help and hope the families at risk in our own community.
If the Lord so leads you, learn more about their work.
March 3, 2016- We enjoyed lunch and fellowship yesterday at the OTHER White House. The Southeast White House in SE DC, a manor home built around 1910, has been used in the last 20 years to mentor the city’s high-risk youth by showing love through Christ Jesus, helping the youth reach their goals. In our desire to reach more of our young people, we appreciated the invite to join them. As one of the mentors said, “The house is used for however the Lord intends.” Amen! Read more on the Southeast White House’s mission to serve high-risk communities.
February 12, 2016- Listen Up! After a much needed pause, we are EXCITED to resume our Voices Against the Grain radio show on Wednesday, April 6 at Noon ET! We have missed communicating with you in this way. We also know that several of you have been blessed by the information and guest testimonies shared on the show. We’ll have more discussions and guest interviews to help you successfully navigate in God’s Word today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. We will adopt a 30-minute format instead of our usual 1-hour show to best accommodate folks on the go! Stay tuned for more details. Meanwhile, check out our previous shows. Thank you for listening!
February 11, 2016- Great news! We are now members of the Evangelical Press Association, the world’s largest professional organization for the evangelical periodical publishing industry. Members of the Evangelical Press Association include writers, publishers, editors, graphic designers, photographers and others who share God’s Word to millions of readers through print and digital periodicals and content sites. A blessing to share God’s Word in excellence and build relationships with this community of Believers!http://www.evangelicalpress.com/
October 2, 2015- A blessed day we shared with Livingstone College students, campus minister Pastor Troy Russell and student government association staff as we hosted our “Are You Living in the Gray?” panel discussion at Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C., on Saturday, September 26. Several VATG team members (Ana Martinez, Herbert Bowen, Jr., Nicole D. Hayes) and honorary team members Charlotte-based Christian rap artist and VATG radio show guest Matthew “Crucial” Slyman, and panel moderator and photographer Barbarella Brown, joined us. We also thank onsite event coordinator Vena Vaughn of Dare 2 Dream, Inc., for preparing gift bags for the 35 students served.
During our discussions, we answered the students’ questions on understanding their purpose, how to deal with temptation, how to view failure, how to balance life, school, and more. We provided truthful responses rooted in God’s Word to help them successfully navigate today’s challenges as young adults. Great questions asked! We later served them pizza (thank you to the local Domino’s Pizza!) and fellowshipped with them. We thank Pastor Troy Russell and Livingstone College staff for allowing us the opportunity to share messages of truth with the students. We’re grateful and excited for the invitation to return next year! We understand the students have continued to speak about the event since we left. We praise God for seeds planted in hearts and minds!
September 26, 2015- Voices Against the Grain will host “Are You Living in the Gray?,” a thoughtful panel discussion with Livingstone College students. We’ll answer their questions on dating, singleness, relationships and other societal issues they face as young adults and how to navigate such issues successfully by being grounded in God’s Word. We are excited and prayerful. We thank Livingstone College for inviting us to collaborate with them to host this event. We’re also excited to be joined by our brother in Christ and Christian rap artist, Crucial, who will speak God’s Word in song.
May 28, 2015- Voices Against the Grain turns 2! Praise God for how He has used our ministry platform as a vessel to equip and empower Believers; to bring clarity, truth and restoration through His Word to unbelievers walking in confusion, deception and brokenness caused by Satan’s counterfeit schemes. We are grateful to be in His service! With a continued mission and mantra of “Advancing God’s Kingdom in a ‘do your own thing society’,” we are excited for what the Lord has done, what He is doing and will do through us and others.
I am grateful to God for each of our team members who He has gifted with talents, messages and their own ministries: Ana, Destiney, Herbert, Jason and Jill. Thank you for our ministry partners PureHOPE and The Family Hope Line who have blessed us with support. Thank you for each of our radio show guests who’ve brought excellent messages of truth and restoration to our audience since the show’s launch on September 4, 2013. Thank you to my amazing and dearly loved prayer partners, mentors, family and friends whose godly words, counsel, prayers have guided me on this journey. Blessed to serve and love in truth those who we are reaching through written content, messages from radio show guests, etc. How did Voices Against the Grain start? What were my feelings about it? Read my first blog post from our May 28, 2013 launch. Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we grow and disperse salt, light and truth into the territories God has called us to! Love and Blessings to each of you and yours.
May 8, 2015- “Bring Godliness to DC and Society!” Voices Against the Grain has been invited to host a weekly 30-minute radio show with a mainstream D.C. station. The station also streams online. God has blessed us to move His message from our current online show to reach a captive, mainstream audience.
We are excited that God has opened this door to share His Truth! We stand at the door, but request funds to walk through the door to host the weekly show for this year and into next. As we seek local and national sponsors, we request your partnership to help us expand our reach, extending to our nation’s capital and beyond. Learn how you can help us “Bring Godliness to DC and Society!”
October 15, 2014- “Women of Excellence Uniting for Change” on P.O.P.S. Movement Radio. Voices Against the Grain founder Nicole D. Hayes interviewed with Monique Singh-Bey and AyDe Saxton on their P.O.P.S. Movement radio show. She shared about the mission of VATG, using your gifts, wisely guarding your time and keeping your word to others. Several callers into the show expressed being blessed by the information Nicole shared. We appreciate them hosting us. Listen here. In November 2013, we hosted Monique on our radio show and were blessed by her testimony of how Christ rescued and restored her from 34 years of substance abuse, gang life and prostitution. Listen here to “Hooked on Jesus: Monique Singh.”
October 11, 2014- Welcome, Destiney Bishop! Savvy in social media with a passion to advance communities, lives and organizations through skilled communications strategies, we are excited to welcome Destiney Bishop as our Digital Media Coordinator with the Voices Against the Grain team. In her role, Destiney assists in our social media engagement with like-minded and synergistic individuals and organizations to uplift various conversations within the Body of Christ and to support the Voices Against the Grain mission of “advancing God’s Kingdom in a ‘do your own thing’ society.”
Destiney is a 2012 graduate of The George Washington University Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, where she majored in Human Services and Social Justice. There, she fulfilled her passion for service and community building through multiple initiatives and organizations on campus, including the Student Association Executive Board and the President’s Council in Diversity & Inclusion. She also served as president of the GW NAACP chapter, where she was recognized for her exemplary work by receiving The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commendation for Service and Leadership Award. Destiney works at Viacom in NYC, the world’s fifth largest broadcasting and cable company operating more than 170 networks.
Having grown up in the church, attending bible studies and singing in the choir, Destiney comes from a family of ministers. Still growing in Christ, she understands all too well the moral and societal challenges that young Christians face in their faith walk. She says “I get it.” Because she understands those challenges, she desires to compassionately bring God’s messages of truth and inspiration to today’s youth who sometimes live in the “gray” rather than the black and white in their Christian walk. As she grows in God’s Word, these two scriptures often ground her: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6), “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded (required), and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)
September 26, 2014- “5 Truths That Strike the Right Chords in a World Out of Tune,” written by Voices Against the Grain founder and Gospel Today faith columnist, Nicole D. Hayes. Nicole shares five truths to help Christians harmoniously discuss with others the sensitive subject of homosexuality in God’s truth and love.
August 11, 2014- “Dear Striver: You’re Already on the High Ground,” written by Voices Against the Grain founder and Gospel Today faith columnist, Nicole D. Hayes. In a world that is always pushing for “next,” Christians need to understand they’re already successful in Christ; already seated on the high ground. Learn four ways you can successfully navigate in this progress-driven world.
July 10, 2014- The Family Hope Line Welcomes Voices Against the Grain as Ministry Partner. It is our joy and honor to serve as a ministry partner with The Family Hope Line. A great organization founded by Dawn Bauer that helps struggling teens overcome challenges by making decisions that “positively impact their lives emotionally, personally, relationally, academically, physically and spiritually.” Praise God! Dawn interviewed on our radio show in March and is a great, compassionate woman of God. You may view our page on their site here. View their website to learn more about their services.
June 2014- Cool News: Voices Against the Grain creator Nicole D. Hayes has been welcomed as a Faith columnist for GospelToday.com. She will share content to equip today’s believers to stand in a fallen world. Thank you LORD for the opportunity to share your Word with an extended audience. http://www.gospeltoday.com/
Voices Against the Grain t-shirts are in! Request and boldly wear your t-shirt today! VATG logo displayed on front and “Advancing God’s Kingdom in a ‘do your own thing’ society” displayed on shirt backside. Available in ladies’ small-3XL and men’s medium-3XL. Email us with your request at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donation of your choosing requested to cover printing and shipping costs. Thank you.
April 14, 2014- What’s the truth about today’s media landscape, how has media changed? And how are we advancing God’s truth in a “do your own thing society”? Find out by listening to my interview w/Michael Fordham, host of “A Measure of Truth” radio show.
May 28, 2014. One-Year Anniversary of Voices Against the Grain media ministry! Join us as we reflect on topics covered on both the Voices Against the Grain blog and radio show since its launch on May 28, 2o13. During a March 2013 visit and conversation at her dentist’s office, the Holy Spirit prompted Nicole D. Hayes to create the bold media ministry platform to bring clarity and God’s truth to those deceived by the world’s deceptions, to educate and empower others in Christ and to love in truth. The ministry mantra is “Advancing God’s Kingdom in a ‘do your own thing’ society. Read here how the ministry began. Listen to us at 1p ET on Wednesday, May 28 as we discuss how to operate in a world that says “yes” when God says “no” or “wait,” how to bend toward God’s will when the world says “make your OWN plans,” and God’s design for relationships in a world that counterfeits marriage and sex. Don’t miss this fruitful and reflective conversation with VATG creator and show host Nicole D. Hayes, and VATG devotional writers Ana Martinez, Herbert Bowen Jr., and Jason Alexandre.
“March with Us, March with Her.” March is nationally recognized as Women’s History Month. Each Wednesday in March, Voices Against the Grain radio show will host great women of God who are equipping other women to live out their God-given purposes/legacy during our “March with Us, March with Her” series. We know that by authentically sharing our stories, experiences and words of wisdom we quickly learn how much we have in common and what we can overcome together, through God’s grace, power and love. Catch our first show on Wednesday, March 5 at 1-2p ET, “What Is a Proverbs 31 Woman?” Guests: Pastor Kimberly Jones-Pothier of Conquering Hell in High Heels ministry and our Voices Against the Grain blogger Ana Martinez. In a society that promotes women living all kinda ways, what traits does a woman of God embody–whether married or single and waiting? Listen here.
February 21-22, 2014: The Justice Conference Charlotte 2014. We are excited to attend this event that unites people of God from all over concerned about local and global injustices. We seek to help those who need hope and new tomorrows. Read more.
“Sexualized Culture Encounters Staunch Opponents” Voices Against the Grain and pureHOPE partner as ministry catalysts to bring hope by slaying porn and sex trafficking (February 6, 2014)
WASHINGTON, DC, February 06, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ — Voices Against the Grain, a bold blog and online radio ministry, is partnering with the equally unflinching ministry, pureHOPE, to help people pursue sexual purity and oppose exploitation in a sexualized culture. By age 11, most children are exposed to porn and see over 14,000 sexualized messages yearly. According to HealthStatsCT.org, $3,075 per second is spent by men and women on Internet porn; a $2.84 billion-year industry in the U.S. Worse, unsatisfied online appetites fuel sex trafficking. UNICEF reports more than 1.2 million children are trafficked yearly worldwide-a $32 billion commercial sex industry.
Voices Against the Grain creator Nicole D. Hayes will host pureHOPE president Noel Bouché during their live radio show on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 1 p.m. ET. During the show, Ana Martinez, a Voices Against the Grain blogger, will share how Christ restored her from years of sexual abuse, rape, promiscuity and self-hatred.
pureHOPE, founded in 1983 with offices in Cincinnati and Dallas, provides Christian solutions in a sexualized culture and envisions a world free of sexual exploitation and brokenness. Bouché joined pureHOPE in 2008 after leaving a corporate law practice to advance the ministry’s mission. Many consider him a next-generation visionary leader.
“I believe God is establishing a caliber of leaders to transform our sexualized culture through purity,” says Bouché. “This starts by equipping parents, families and churches to usher in this lifestyle through prayer, understanding, resolve and engagement.”
Hayes believes God has long given her a burden to rectify how today’s sexualized culture devastates children, adults and families.
“A wise friend told me that ‘often when God gives us a burden for something, we need to look in the mirror. He gives us keys to be the solution’. Voices Against the Grain is honored to partner with pureHOPE to share how Christ can restore what’s broken,” says Hayes.
Shared content, possible event and initiative collaboration will serve both ministries’ synergistic approach to impact more audiences.
About Voices Against the Grain
Launched in May 2013, “Voices Against the Grain” is a blog and weekly online radio show daringly designed for audiences to learn and share how to advance God’s Kingdom in a “do your own thing” society. Voices Against the Grain operates with four key objectives: 1) to bring clarity and restoration from deception, 2) to educate and equip believers and non-believers, 3) to encourage, and 4) to show love while sharing the truth. For more information, visit https://voicesagainstthegrain.com/.
pureHOPE pursues a world free of sexual exploitation and brokenness by providing Christian solutions in a sexualized culture. Our content, resources, and equipping events help people live out Jesus’ love, purity, and justice in this pornified society. pureHOPE partners with churches, Christian schools, campus ministries, and partner organizations in three ministry areas: parenting, justice and recovery. For more information, visit http://purehope.net/.