Saturday, November 23, 2013

The True Beauty of Spiritual Warfare

This post was just dropped on my spirit about an hour ago. I got saved in 1996, but when 1998 rolled around, I was one of those baby Christians that wasn’t afraid to engage in spiritual warfare. Because I was new to the faith, some people were able to understand my motive and there was some who either feared me or were intimidated by me. The latter was something I never wanted, I’m flesh and blood like everyone else (just engaged in a serious battle). Being on FAMU campus in 1998 was indeed a battle (for those of you who were with me during that time).

Sometimes when I talk to people, a lot of people feel that I’m attacking them. That’s the last thing I want do (but the devil sure wants people to feel that way – and will sometimes twist my words to make people feel like I’m attacking them). This is one of primary reasons why I apologize to let them know that I love them and that I’m not attacking them personally. But I understand that when we all sin, it’s the enemy and/or our flesh that drives us to it – so it’s only right to put the anger at the enemy or our flesh. We must stay engaged in this war (never to take our war clothes off). Granted, when I sin, you should be angry at the enemy and/or my flesh. Sometimes we as Christians can get so holy that when a person has done something sinful in the past and repented of it, that we re-open their wound, or even worse, curse them and put a wedge between you and them (when they’re actually in the same fight as you).

It’s interesting that we’ll engage in spiritual warfare for things that are for self and not for the kingdom of God. Understand that the things for self have their place, but the beauty of spiritual warfare is when we understand that it’s to ensure our holiness and to see holiness in your fellow brother/sister, to cast down strongholds within your realm and people who are blind to the gospel.

I covet your prayers in this spiritual warfare (and I touch and agree with your prayers in this spiritual warfare). Knowing the purpose God has given me (and I’ve known this since my baby Christian days), that the enemy would love to take what I say to try to punish a fellow brother/sister who did a sinful act and repented. The anger needs to be placed where it needs to be (at the devil – who is already defeated, but trying to get many to join him in the lake of fire; and the flesh who is always at war with the spirit).

The true beauty of spiritual warfare is that first and foremost, flesh and blood is not the enemy (in short, you are not my enemy). Remember God is not the author of confusion. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Yes, there are many people who are walking this earth who are possessed with demonic spirits (and many who are oppressed by demonic spirits – refer to the post from a week or two ago about the difference between possession & oppression – written by Dr. A’ndrea Wilson). That’s where spiritual warfare is needed the most. Let’s get on with 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 along with Ephesians 6:10-18, declare war and start breaking chains.

Just wanted to share this with you all. Blessings.

The Mayne Man

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why We Run From Our Calling (Parts 1 & 2)

(Part 1 of 2)

I sat on this topic for months and then I was pressed to ask some of my brothers & sisters to share their thoughts on this (and I thank everyone who shared their thoughts on this topic). So, sit back and hear  their perspective as to why we run from our spiritual calling. I will say that this is a long post (excuse me for that), but I want to put this all out due to the importance of this topic!

So, let's begin!

Prophetess Danielle Taylor: The reason most people run from their calling is due to the rejection from others and the hurt that others can dish out. There's nothing more hurtful than church hurt even when it comes to family... God is the one that does the calling and anointing, so that means it doesn't matter what MAN THINKS OR SAYS..... ITS WHAT GOD HAS DONE ALREADY!

Brother Michael Jones: some run away because of fear, they pay too much attention to what people will say (especially those haters that call you friend). Then there are some that aren't ready to let go of the flesh. I accepted my calling but wanted the flesh one more time. As a result, it took 15 years, but it still worked and I was conscious of the mission. I wanted to let go but I was being pulled back into my sin.

Prophetess Kelly Turner: One runs from the call because they know they're held accountable once God gives them the command to fulfilling their purpose. The mandate for many is too time consuming and one must decide to choose the way of God or their flesh.

Brother Davis Prime: First, any turn from a calling comes as a direct result of the enemy's opposition in some form.  The enemy is determined but lazy and typically strikes in the midst of fatigue, to remind those called of the daunting odds against success or the well-intentioned but discouraging words of a friend or relative.  His obstacles appear formidable but are flimsy.  They are like paper walls painted to look like brick, and they give way the moment they're tested.  All it takes is to keep moving forward, but the person who has turned to run believes the lie, believes the wall is truly made of brick.  Are you called?  Then, keep moving forward, because you will never fail based simply upon the odds in favor of failure.  God controls the dice and is above the odds.  

Prophetess Adrienna Turner: As I had a conversation with God on this very topic, He said look at Jonah as a prime example. He took the request to heart, and didn't feel that I (GOD) should help a nation that he felt was helpless, reckless, and rebellious. Yet, I am a just GOD, and knew that the word that Jonah would tell Ninevah was the needed message to lead them to redemption and repentance.  Therefore, people put themselves in the situation and emotions, and don't see it beneficial or what they expected or intended the calling that God gave them to do--and will run or hide instead. 

Then he said look at the parable Jesus gave about the one who buried his talents. He ran from his calling if you really think about it; He didn't see his worth. He didn't see how he could help. He felt what he had, wasn't enough to do what was required of him. Some people feel they are not capable, equipped, or even talented to do the call.

(Part 2 of 2)

Continuation of Adrienna Turner's thoughts:

Then there are those who are allowing doubt, disappointments, and worry to fill their minds and hearts. These emotions will only take us out of the equation instead of putting God in the equation. As I taught on last lesson, "dis" means relinquish, resign, and give up on what God has asked you to do. We allow these negative thoughts to camp on our parade, and will let it flood our emotions to the point, we run. We do not see the overall picture like GOD, and prefer to get out before we start anything that would ignite sparks to the vision.  

Evangelist Cynthia Lamb: Why do we run from our spiritual calling?

I have asked myself this question. I don't believe that I have run from my spiritual calling, but I recognize that I have hid from my spiritual calling. Let me explain. I once received a vision from God about what I was supposed to do with my gifts. It was so very powerful that I was overwhelmed by it. I said, "I'm not ready!" I thought, "It's too big! " 

"Please shut the door a little, or just open it a little, because that's all I believe I can do right now."

Well, God did just that.

A series of distractions began to unfold in my life. I welcomed the distractions, and called them blessings and journeys and discoveries and lessons.

A couple of years later, I found myself wondering why I was in a storm again. Why weren't my gifts growing?

Well… Could it be that I, in my fear, apprehension, and disbelief, had blocked my blessings, because I had blocked the calling that God had placed on my life? I asked myself this question.

Sometimes I think that is exactly the case.

So often I run to things. I run to the rescue of my family and friends when they are in need, or when they cry out for help. I run to sparkly, shiny, fun things that catch my eye, because they feel good. I run for cover when I am in fear, doubt, or just plain exhausted.

I pretend not to make excuses… but they are excuses just the same.

"Oh, I'm just tired."

"Oh, I'm just so busy."

"Oh, they need me right now." 

"Oh, I don't know if I can do that, Lord."

"Oh, I'm not ready yet."

Running… Call it what I will... Paint it any color I like... Speak it in any language I please… It's still me  not heeding the  calling God has for my life.

I am listening more attentively now… Facing my fears, ridding myself of my complacency, and stepping out in faith.

When God calls me again, this time I will heed His call, whether I feel ready for it or not… It is in trusting Him that I will become what He has purposed for me to become... It is in heeding His calling that I will discover the full blessing of my gifts and be able to be the light in this world He has called for me to be... Not for my glory but for God's glory. 

I began this piece by stating that I did not believe I was running, but instead I had hid from God's calling in my life. In retrospect, I recognize now that hiding is just a different form of running (running away)... It still creates the distance desired from that which causes discomfort or fear or anxiety. 

It is important that people of God, who have received gifts that they have been called to use, recognize them and recognize the spiritual calling on their lives... And walk in it, believe it, live it. Only then can we truly receive the fullness of the blessings God wishes to bestow upon us.

Pastor Darrell D Kelly: Some believers attempt to run from the call of God because of “fear of the unknown,” which really comes down to a matter of faith & trust. For others it could be the feeling of “being unqualified,” as in the case of Moses. Some believers struggle with feeling “inadequate,” yet the Bible encourages us to Walk Worthy of the Calling.  Then there are those who are like Jonah and just flat out disobey God's assignment. Even God struggled to find just one who would make up the hedge and stand in the gap. The Truth is that God is everywhere at the same time, so if you are running from Him/the Call – Where are you going? It's a miracle how the path you take while “Running Away” becomes the same path that runs you right into His Will! (Ask Paul on the road to Damascus).

Pastor Shantae Charles: There are many reasons but here are 3 I will highlight: Some run from their calling because

1. They fear the responsibility of the calling- Your calling is a gift and you are a steward over that. Trying to take on the weight of the call without the Grace for the call causes the flight mode in some (see Jonah)
2. They have been convinced that the calling is insignificant- Some may not see or realize the importance of what they do. They must ask God to show them the significance in what they are called to. He will show you.
3. They feel unworthy of the calling (either in self-perception or they have been made to feel unworthy by outside entities). - Sometimes we look so much at what we have done that in our opinion or in the opinion of someone we value, we may be "unqualified for the task".
To the third reason, I say consider these forerunners: Rahab saved her family from destruction.  Esther, an orphan saved her people group from total annihilation.  Mary, a young pregnant teenager carried the Son Of God to the tune of criticism. David, the youngest of his family took on a National Giant and rid the country of a terrorist.  Paul, a murderer was transformed by the call on his life into the Apostle who wrote most of the Doctrine of the New Testament based on his revelation of Christ.
Running is always an option but it will not satisfy the desire of completion. Phil. 1:6

Me: Here are my thoughts as to why we run from our calling. We think the calling is about us (so we tend to focus on every fault we have, such as I'm still in sin, I can't speak, no one will listen to me, I'm not equipped from this task). We feel that we have to be right before God first before we walk in it. Granted, when we get saved, we don't have to be right before God first. We come as we are and allow God's Word to do a work in us. Same holds true for the calling that God has called each and every one of us to. 

Another factor as to our running is a word that people fear: ACCOUNTABILITY! Knowing that everyone has a unique calling, no matter where you turn, you are accountable for fulfilling His call for His glory. Yes, the gifts and callings are without repentance, but we must not be blind to the fact that we are responsible to our assignment. 

We run for fear of rejection, fear of what is to come with the calling. 

I can say more, but I will be repeating what was said above. Hope you were blessed by all of the guests on this post (and again, excuse the length of this).

I encourage you to take that step of faith today and pursue His call for your life. I promise you that it won't be easy, but it will be rewarding in the end. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Author Spotlight (Teleah Scott)

I was so blessed to meet this author at the African American Author's Expo (held in Timonium, MD) in August 2013. I heard a little of her story at the author's reception we had, and she has a story for you. What I love about her is her spirit. With that said, show your love to sister & fellow author Teleah Scott.

In January 2013, I published my first book, Free To Grieve: A Mother's Memoir In Black and White, which deals with grief and loss. I, unexpectedly lost my 16-year-old son, who was also a promising athlete to sudden cardiac death. My book is a moving memoir of my journey through the grieving process and how I came to accept the reality of losing a child. I talk about the events surrounding his death and how it was initially treated as an investigation similar to homicide cases.  Then I share what I've come to learn about sudden cardiac death in young athletes in order to help other families.

My synopsis reads, Free To Grieve: A Mother’s Memoir In Black and White is a powerful and compelling narrative about a mother whose life begins to quickly unravel when her 16-year-old-son, a high school football player, is found lifeless in his bed. Her son had died without warning. After a harrowing plunge into the depths of despair and grief, she resurfaces with a greater sense of purpose to help spread awareness about the number one threat to young athletes. Intertwined with personal excerpts from her journal she began weeks after her son’s death, this moving memoir offers a chronicle of her emotional devastation and unspeakable pain to how she moved forward through the gravity of her loss towards acceptance, wholeness, and renewed strength. 

My bio is pretty much straightforward: "Teleah Scott's life has been a courageous journey of tragedy and triumph. The unexpected death of her son, Timothy, sparked her to conduct research to deepen her understanding and knowledge about sudden cardiac death in young athletes. In doing so, she gleaned a deeper insight on how important it is for children to receive heart screenings. A native of Harrisburg, PA, Teleah currently resides in Owings Mills, Maryland with her family. Never ashamed of her testimony, Teleah is a living witness that God is bigger than any tragedy life can bring you. She founded the Timothy Q. Scott Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help spread awareness about sudden cardiac death in young athletes."

Teleah's personal note: After attending the University of Pittsburgh, I became a social worker then attended law school at Duquesne University School of Law. My dreams of becoming a trial attorney were not exactly what God had in mind. I never became a trial attorney. So, I thought back to the very thing that gave me the most passion and I discovered it was writing.

I started writing as a playwright in 2004 and I penned several plays that were performed at my church. Soon, life and responsibility took over and my writing was put on hold. Now years later, I am realizing my dreams and I'm not looking back. My personal memoir about the loss of my son was my intro into the literary world. Next, I penned a children's book that focused on how children deal with loss and grief.  The story is told through the eyes of a child and it was released by Mascot Books on October 1, 2013.

However, I want to expand my writing even more. I want to write fiction so I plan to brand myself as a legal fiction author whose novels involve events that *ahem* never take place in a real courtroom. You can expect to find a mixture of mystery, suspense and romance! So, on December 25, 2013, I expect to release Passing the Bar, the first novel in my Odd Justice Series (Alyssa Parrish and Alex Knight Trilogy).

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Message To Church Leaders

This was heavy on my spirit this morning. I believe this was the case because a warning needs to go out to church leaders. There are many church leaders today from what I sense in my spirit that have some things twisted. What am I talking about? Many leaders today don’t want to turn on their discernment spirit and will blindly embrace those who attend the same church, like the same pastor, etc. (and will gladly place titles on those who God hasn’t even called to that title/position) – which is in short acting like what I called it a year or two ago (the American Middle Class Church mentality). At the same token, they will not use Godly judgment when calling sin out. Instead, they’ll show partiality (again to those who are part of a clique or will call some people with a certain sin out without calling out those who they admire and even idolize just because they itch your ear).

Sadly, there are many people in the body of Christ with titles who have serious ego problems. And their egos have gotten so bad to where they become very touchy, and will curse anyone who offends their personal agenda (that has no Scriptural base). There will be no unity if we continue to hang our personal agendas over other people’s heads.

Leaders need to discern those who are just using Christ for filthy lucre’s sake (I don’t care if they are an author, musician, politician, or a church leader). Sadly we’re not doing that. What we do instead is call those who call out those who are using you for self-seeking purposes as our friends and those who speak against it as our enemy. Not only is that twisted, it’s also shows that we don’t have spiritual discernment! The time for pacifying people (to get them to like you) needs to stop. And this is something leaders really need to stop doing: stop throwing your title over people (and cursing them just because they don’t have a title like you do) and stop having people that only have titles as the only people allowed in your inner circle.

If the leaders can’t get it together, what chance does the flock have? We want the signs and wonders, but we don’t want to check our egos at the front door. We want to preach and prove who we are as whatever title we have, but we show so much partiality to our brother and sister (coupled with hate and malice). Yep, somebody’s offended right now. But get this, we’re people who will take offense more to what somebody didn’t intend to do over when somebody intended to do (and this how we act in the Body of Christ).

I’m just wanted to be brief with this. Peace!

The Mayne Man ... (drops mic)