Carletta Traylor: Quirky Cornball For Christ!
By: Carletta Traylor aka C.N.
Happy Tuesday, everyone (I know how much you all love Tuesdays! YES YOU DO!!! Who doesn’t love getting up at 5am to get the kids ready for school (with their funky attitudes and equally funky breaths…just STANKY! For the love of God, would you PLEASE brush your teeth and use mouthwash before you burn my nose off with your dragon breath?!?! I’m melting!), get yourself ready for work, and realize that your weekend is OVER?!?!?!)! I pray that you all are doing well today (i.e. I hope that y’all haven’t backhanded anyone or punted a teddy bear through the front window yet. Haha)!
I know that we haven’t spoken in a while (life was being a major BUTTHEAD again!), but that’s all about to change (y’all know that I can’t stay away too long! There are too many Bible stories to write, too many souls that I want to help win for the Kingdom of God (Team Jesus Christ all day, baby!), and too many corny jokes that I’m DYING to tell you all!)! While I usually remake popular (and some not-so-popular) Bible stories in funny, understandable, relatable ways (usually in play form), I want to do things differently today: I want to briefly explain how I became a Christian.
For those of you who don’t know me personally and/or have never visited my website before, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Carletta (hey, y’all!), and I’m a goofy 20-something year old black gal (or should I say, African-American. Haha) from Chicago. I love long walks on the beach, I love to learn (I work in the legal field), I love sports, cars, and music (not the Grade-A garbage; only the good stuff. Haha), I love my family, but most importantly, I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I was raised by my southern, church-going grandparents, and they ALWAYS had me in church…ALWAYS. Haha. I would go to Sunday School and church on Sundays, Bible study on Wednesdays, choir rehearsal on Thursdays, anything remotely related to children and learning about Jesus on Saturdays, and anything else that they could think of (God bless their hearts and rest their souls).
I was baptized when I was 7 years old (my grandmother (may she rest in peace) made me wear this ridiculously hot and itchy pink housecoat with a lamb head on the front and a dog tail in the back to be baptized in-I looked like a confused pinata and cotton candy that had been left out in the sun too long). Erm, Carletta?! What does it mean to be baptized? I’m glad that you asked!
To be baptized means to be dunked in freezing cold (sometimes warm) water, y’all! It’s a divine dunking booth! Fabio and Aquaman COMBINED don’t have anything on my wet hair in slow motion! Wapow! Hello! When we’re baptized, we are baptized in the name of the Father (God Almighty), God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit (the Holy Spirit, which lives inside of us to guide us when we accept Jesus Christ into our lives and hearts as our Lord and Savior).
Let’s think of it this way: when we repent of our sins (ask God to please forgive us for all of the bad things that we say, do, don’t do, and/or think, that God doesn’t like, as well as ask God to please help us to stop sinning) and ask Jesus Christ into our lives as our Lord and Savior, we become new creatures (the circle of life! MAN! The ORIGINAL Lion King was my movie! Please don’t talk to me about that poor excuse for a remake…just…no. Haha). Our old sins and ways of living are washed away; we are made brand new (look at that shine! I’m SPARKLING!).
When we are baptized, we are dunked into a pool of water and brought back up again-our old selves, lives and sins have been “washed” away; we are now clean, pure, and spotless in God’s eyes, and we may inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (We’ll be partying with God Almighty and Jesus Christ in Heaven forever, y’all! AYE! Turn up! Ain’t no party like a Holy Ghost party, ‘cause a Holy Ghost party don’t stop! Party over here! Ooh-ooh! Party over here! Ooh-ooh! Haha).
Anywho, once I was baptized at age 7, I became very involved in my church-singing in the choir, praise dancing, reciting speeches/playing the piano for various programs (Christmas programs, Easter programs, choir musicals, church anniversaries, Pastor’s anniversaries, Spring revivals, Sunday morning service, Black History Month, etc.), so forth and such which.
My grandparents taught me how to pray (i.e. we talk to God like you and I are talking right now…absent my sass and corny jokes. Haha. When we pray, we thank God for being so good to us (loving us, sending Jesus to die on the Cross for our sins, keeping us safe, giving us the things that we need, etc.), we ask God to please forgive us of all of our sins and please help us to stop sinning (i.e. to do better), and we tell God what’s on our minds (how we’re doing, how we’re feeling, what’s bothering us, what we want/need, etc.). God loves to hear from us, and he’s always free to talk to us (God’s line is ALWAYS open, y’all! No busy signals, voicemails, dropped calls, or hung-up calls over here! Can you hear me now?! GOOD!).
My grandparents also started reading the Holy Bible to me (this is God’s Holy Word; God speaks to us through the Bible, telling us exactly what we need to do and how we need to live to make him happy and live it up with him in Heaven forever!), as this would help me to better understand God’s heart, would draw me closer to God, and would help me to make good decisions throughout my life.
Here’s the thing, though: though I started praying, reading the Bible, and was highly involved in my church for years, I was still living the same way, doing the same sinful things I did before I gave my life to Jesus (i.e. I will be the first to admit that I used to lie my head off (I would have put Saturn’s eye out with my no good, lying, Pinocchio-nose-having behind. Haha), I wanted to watch sports/wrestling instead of go to church (*cough, cough* Sunday morning football, NBA Sunday, the Cubs game, WWE, anything that I could possibly think of *cough, cough*), and I wasn’t thinking of Jesus like I needed to outside of the actual church building. This all changed, however, during my Senior year of high school.
I’ll just come out and say it! I was a highly competitive student growing up-I wanted the best grades, the best rank (for a time, I actually had a “valedictorian or die” type of attitude-if I couldn’t be the absolute best and graduate #1 in my class, I would not be happy, I would feel like my life was a waste, and I would feel completely worthless. Yep. I was one of THOSE people), I wanted to be the best at everything that I did (from grades to sports to running the 100-yard dash and/or the mile in school, etc.), and anything less than that was unacceptable to me.
During this time, I could tell you about Jesus (he was God’s Son, he was perfect (he never sinned in his life…not even once!), he died on the Cross for my sins, he rose from the dead 3 days later, and he was an overall great guy), but I didn’t have a close, personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ; in other words, I KNEW OF Jesus, but I didn’t truly KNOW Jesus.
Please allow me to explain the difference. When we know of Jesus (or anyone, for that matter), we can blurt out a few facts about him, maybe say what he looks like, or even quote a scripture or two from the Bible (John 3:16 (KJV) is one of the most popular scriptures in the Bible, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”). When we know of Jesus, we may think that he’s a “swell guy,” but our love and dedication to Jesus stops there.
When we truly KNOW Jesus, however, we have a close, personal, intimate relationship with him (we have heard God’s voice, we have felt his touch, God has done something in our lives that only he and he alone could do (I believe in miracles! *Break it down, now!* I believe in miracles!), and it causes us to want to truly put God first in our lives). When we truly KNOW Jesus, we want nothing more than to make him happy (i.e. by listening to Jesus, doing what he tells us to do (loving what he loves), and not doing the things that he doesn’t want us to do (disliking the things that he dislikes). When we truly KNOW Jesus, we want to tell everyone that’ll listen how good Jesus is, how much Jesus loves us, all that Jesus has done for us, and how life will instantly be better (and will never be the same) if/when we give our lives to Jesus. This is where Senior year of high school comes in.
I remember it like it was yesterday. We had just come off of a three-day Labor Day weekend, and it was time for us to return to school that Tuesday. That morning, like so many mornings in the past, my alarm had gone off, and it was time for me to get up. Here’s the thing, though, I couldn’t move. I couldn’t move my limbs, I couldn’t breathe, I had broken out in a cold sweat, and I was essentially helpless. I didn’t have the strength to call out to my grandparents or call 911 on my phone; I was just stuck there. When my grandparents realized that my alarm was going off longer than usual, they checked in on me and discovered what had become of their 17-year old granddaughter.
I couldn’t walk or move; I couldn’t tell them what was wrong (I didn’t know what was wrong), I couldn’t tell them what to do; I was just laying there. At that moment, my grandparents picked me up out of my bed, and when they realized that I couldn’t move on my own, they stood behind me, held me up by the waist, and they “walked” for me. What was going on?! What had just happened to me?! I was a healthy and highly active 17-year old-I played basketball, I loved to run, I was involved in various school clubs (including Speech and Drama Club, which was AWESOME! Hey, Mr. Badger!), not to mention that I had 5 AP (Advanced Placement) classes that semester and was thinking about graduation and college.
Needless to say, my grandparents immediately took me to the hospital to see what was wrong with me. The ER physician and staff asked questions, ran tests, and drew blood; NOTHING. They sent me home with pain meds and told us to come back if things didn’t improve or worsened (way to be helpful, Dr. Phil! Whom was your residency under, Dr. Doolittle?! Did they teach you all to talk to chickens, lay eggs, and fly South for the winter in medical school?! You all never learned how to help species of the human variety?! I’m sorry. I need to stop. I didn’t say all of that. Haha).
For a month and a half, I went from hospital to hospital, doctor to doctor, specialist to specialist, and no one could figure out what was wrong with me. One doctor actually told me that he thought that everything was in my head (there’s nothing wrong with you, Carletta! You’re just thinking that you’re in pain, can’t walk, can’t breathe, and can’t go to school! If you just turn that frown upside down, you’ll be just fine! Take a lollipop on your way out!). Everything was in my head?! Why would I want to miss a month and a half of school, have a BUTTLOAD of work to make up, have my grades and class rank slip, miss out on all of my basketball games and fun club events, not be able to spend time with my friends and family, and have to be in a doctor’s office CONSTANTLY for a month and a half…during my Senior year of high school?! I never had a stronger urge to run over a doctor with my grandparents’ car than I had in that moment (please forgive me, Lord! Please take the wheel, Jesus! Say “no” to violence, kids! Jesus loves you!).
Long story short, I began to pray and talk to God like never before. Sure, my family prayed for me, my friends prayed for me, my neighbors prayed for me, and my church members and Pastor prayed for me. However, up to this point, I hadn’t truly spoken to God on my own (by this point, I was able to talk again, so I didn’t have any excuses not to run my flapper in a productive/constructive way. Haha). I began to cry out to God (please help me, Jesus! Please heal me, Jesus! I need you, Jesus!), I apologized to God and asked him to please forgive me for all of my sins (I want to put you first and TRULY give my life to you, Lord!), and I promised God that if he would heal me, I would devote the rest of my life to serving him (we shouldn’t try to bargain/make deals with God, but in that moment, I didn’t know what else to do).
The following morning, I woke up, and everything was gone (AWWWWW, snapppppp!!!)! The pain had gone away, I could breathe, I could move, I could walk, I could talk, I could jump, I could run, I could do everything! It’s a miracle! It’s a miracle! God has just healed me! God has just healed me! The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me; the specialists couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me; my family and friends couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me; my Pastor and church members couldn’t figure out what wrong with me. For a month and a half, I didn’t know if I was going to live or die, if I’d be able to return to school, if I’d be able to graduate with my class, or what was going to happen to me. The moment I cried out to God, in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, and gave everything to him, he healed me! Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus! Praise the Lord! God is good! God didn’t heal me because I bargained with him; God healed me because he loved/loves me and was/is good!
I returned to school (what a celebration it was! Carletta’s back! Carletta’s back! YAY! YIPPEE! Hip-hip, hooray! Hip-hip, hooray! Bring the cake and ice cream out!), and though I had a month and half of work to make up (with 5 AP classes, mind you), God blessed me to make up all (and I do mean ALL) of my work (my weekends sure stunk, though. Haha), I received straight As for the semester, and though my class rank had dropped from all of the time that I had missed, I still graduated as one of the top students in my class. That’s not what mattered to me anymore, however.
I no longer considered being valedictorian as the bane of my existence (if I didn’t graduate valedictorian, I’d get over it. Just snap out of it, Carletta! Just CUT IT OUT with big scissors and a stencil! Get yourself together! Get your head out of your behind! You DISGUST me!!! Haha jkjkjk). What NOW mattered to me more than anything was my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, God in the flesh (remember, everyone, Jesus Christ is God himself, one-third of the Holy Trinity: God the Father (God Almighty), God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit (the Holy Spirit, which lives in our hearts to lead and guide us (help us to make the right decisions) once we’ve asked Jesus Christ into our lives as our Lord and Savior)).
The moment that I TRULY (at the age of 17) repented of my sins (asked God to please forgive me for my sins and help me to stop sinning), I TRULY believed in Jesus Christ (Jesus Christ is God’s Son, God in the flesh; he died on the Cross for my sins; he rose from the dead 3 days later with all power in his hands; he walked the earth for 40 days after he rose from the dead; he went back to Heaven on a cloud; he’s sitting next to God the Father in Heaven right now, and he’s coming back to Earth to take his children (all believers in and followers of him) home to Heaven and to judge/destroy this wicked, sinful, evil world), and I TRULY put God/Jesus Christ first in my life (I now love to pray, love to read the Bible, love to go to church, and love to tell everyone about Jesus Christ, that they too will want to give their lives to Jesus and live for him and with him in Heaven forever!), my life forever changed for the better! Giving my life to Jesus will always be the greatest and most important decision of my life (yours as well!)!
I love Jesus Christ with everything in me (I don’t do the things that I used to do; I’ve been made new in Christ!), and that is the reason why I created this website. I want everyone, children and adults alike, to enjoy learning about Jesus Christ and God’s Holy Word (the Holy Bible). I don’t want people to run away from God because they can’t understand the Bible, don’t know what it’s saying, or can’t relate to it. I want learning about Jesus Christ and the Bible to be as fun, enjoyable, understandable and relatable as possible for all!
We all need Jesus, and Jesus wants a loving and long-lasting relationship with every single one of us. This is the reason why I rewrite Bible stories in funny and understandable ways; this is the reason why I crack jokes throughout my posts and like to write Bible stories in play form—I want us to be excited to learn about the Lord, so that we will give our lives to him, always be in love with him (as he’s in love with us), and can party with him in Heaven forever (living la vida loca! Move around with those ridiculously tight pants, Ricky Martin! That’s NOT cute! Haha)!
I always like to end my posts by explaining how we all can become saved (give our lives to Jesus Christ). Becoming saved is as simple as ABC:
· Admit that we’re sinners, and ask God to please forgive us of our sins (bad things that we say, do, don’t do, and/or think, that God doesn’t like) and help us to stop sinning (Please clean me up, Lord! I’m hot garbage, dipped in excrement, sprinkled in chitling grease on the inside (just STANKY!)!).
· Believe that Jesus Christ is God’s son, that he died on the Cross for our sins, that he rose from the dead (3 days later) with all power in his hands, that’s he’s back in Heaven with God Almighty right now, and that he’s coming back to get his children (take all believers home with him to Heaven) and to judge/destroy this wicked world.
· Commit ourselves to following Jesus Christ (listen to him and live for/like him forevermore).
When we give our lives to Jesus Christ and follow him forevermore, our lives are never the same (they’re a million times BETTER, y’all! Not only will God love, protect and take care of us here on Earth (we don’t have anything to worry about, y’all! God has our backs!), but God has promised us a HUGE mansion, streets of gold, an all-you-can-eat buffet (milk and honey for everyone!), and ENDLESS (non-stop!) music, family, fun, and happiness in Heaven FOREVER (cue the Dexter laugh!)! Heaven is a perfect paradise-there is NO sin, pain, suffering, sadness, anger, sickness, death, stress, or anything bad in Heaven; everyone is perfect and happy all of the time, y’all (in the words of Spongebob Squarepants, “I’m ready!!!!!”)!
Now that you all know a little bit more about me, let the Bible stories and my modern-day remixes continue! I have plenty of great posts in store! Stay tuned!
Here is a wonderful video from Saddleback Kids, which explains the awesomeness of Jesus Christ in song form (it’s SOOOO cuteeeee!!!!). I hope that you all enjoy the video!
Saddleback Kids-Jesus Song (w/ Lyrics)(YouTube):
If there be nothing else, I love you all, God bless you all, and I’ll see you all on the next one!