Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why Can't We Be One?

My spirit was so heavy this morning when I went into my office. And as the Lord does, He drops so many thoughts when I’m trapped in a meeting that I really don’t want to be in. Surprisingly, He did that very thing while sitting in a meeting this morning and was able to remember each thought as it relates to this topic. With that, let me begin.

Why can’t we be one? Why can’t the body of Christ be on one accord? The truth is: we can be on one accord, if we WILL to do it. It’s as simple as agreeing with you and you agreeing with me, regardless of what our personal opinions are. The tragedy is that we don’t want to agree because we’re inadvertently selfish. So what are problems that need to be addressed so that we can be one?
  1. Church cliques – where I only deal with people from my church
  2. Being a part of the AMCC – earlier this year, I did a blog series about the American Middle Class church, where it’s all about me, my family and my clique
  3. Our personal agendas take priority over God’s agenda
  4. Esteeming a leader that itches our ears over what the word of God says
  5. Pride in our titles (and I believe that some are self-appointed especially with some of the attitudes I’ve seen)
  6. Divisions due to racial/ethnic prejudices
  7. Labeling true believers as enemies (especially when they’re going through something) and labeling enemies of the cross as true believers
  8. Lack of balance (focusing too much on Ephesians 4:11-13 and not on the other key elements that assist in us being on one accord)
  9. Allowing demonic spirits in churches and granting them access to pulpits and/or platforms (yep, you know it, I know it, God knows it and the devil knows it)!
  10. Judging a brother/sister when they stumble, but tell others to pray when their church leader sins (this is just downright partiality – a hindrance to one accord)
  11. We want feel good experiences over genuine worship – ears to be itched over hearing the Truth!

Now these are just some (and I’ll expound on just a few of them). Yes, this post is to rub our personal agendas the wrong way. And many will bypass this post because of bullet point #1 (I’m not part of their church clique). Think about this: if your leader were to point this out, you’d rejoice. But because I don’t have a title or am not popular, you’d throw stones at me.

With #3, if we leaders are to have a high standard, why are we so focused on personal agendas? If we can’t even forgive our brother/sister (over something minor), we should forget about being one! What example are we showing to the world?

With #7, here’s a perfect example as to someone who had a problem with a fellow believer, but didn’t cut him off. Paul rebuked Peter, but Paul didn’t cut him off. We (cause of our selfishness) will cut other fellow believers off and count them as enemies. In fact, we’re living in a time where true Christians are considered enemies to fellow believers as we accept imposters into the fold (without presenting them to gospel and compromise with them).
Still on #7, let me push the envelope a little bit further. There are two quotes that I could say that would cause you to believe I’m creating division in the body of Christ:
  1. Why should God cancel your debt if you haven’t been delivered from poor financial habits? (bible reference: Luke 16:11)
  2. Why should God heal you from AIDS if you haven’t been delivered from homosexuality? (bible reference: Romans 1:18-32)

With #8, I have no problems about preaching on Ephesians 4:11-13. I believe that we put too much emphasis and we fail to address those with titles who have an aught against a brother/sister (over a personal agenda). The five-fold ministry is a component to one accord, but there’s more to it (such as the application of prayer, fasting, intercession, speaking the same thing, laying our personal agendas down for the sake of the Kingdom, and the list goes on).

With #9, let me just say this: just because someone is gifted does NOT mean they are anointed by God. These days we’re living in is not the time to turn your discernment spirit off just because your ear is being itched!

I can’t help but to think about this: one person said to me years ago that I can’t be a Christian if I’m not a democrat. I scratch my head and think, really?! If I were to say that the President sneezed a certain way, you would label me your enemy and say I’m not of Christ. This is a perfect example of us clinging more to personal agendas over the Bible.

Matthew 24 tells us to not be deceived and false prophets shall arise. It’s hypocritical to talk about oneness and harbor unforgiveness. Question: how would you feel if God cut you off because cut off a true believer?

Let me end this post by saying this: this post is not designed to attack anybody. But we as the Body of Christ need to get it together and come together. We need each other to survive! We have been playing church games too long (putting leaders, churches, denominations and church cliques over the Bible). Together we stand, divided we fall. So we can be one, we just have to do it. If I’m holding unforgiveness among anyone reading this, let me know so I can repent and ask for your forgiveness. We have a job to do (and yes, there may be a time where we may have to separate like Paul and Barnabas, but we shouldn’t consider each other as enemies). The enemy is the author of division, and I don’t like division especially within the Body. Much love to you all.

The Mayne Man

My Thoughts on this "Knockout Game"

About a week or two ago, I was at the gym and much to my dismay, I see on the news teens knocking out random people just for fun. And they call it the "knockout game." Before I continue to share my thoughts, here's some info about it (from the website:

New York (CNN) -- New York police Thursday were investigating a sucker-punch assault on a 23-year-old man for a possible connection to a series of attacks known as the "knockout game."
In the latest assault, the unidentified man was walking on a street in the Bronx on Wednesday afternoon when he was punched in the head and fell to the ground, police said. After he was down, two other men punched him several times before running away.

Nothing was taken from the man, and police were looking into a possible link to assaults around the country where teens randomly try to make strangers unconscious with a single blow. The victim suffered bruising and swelling to his face but refused medical treatment.

At least eight suspected "knockout" attacks have been reported since October in New York, but police have said they see no evidence of a trend.

Authorities have reported similar incidents in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri and Washington.

In New Haven, Connecticut, police said there were seven reported incidents possibly connected to "knockout" assaults, but it was unclear if they were carried out by the same person. There were no major injuries in the attacks, which occurred in the same three- to four-block area on November 17-18.

The assaults stopped after police questioned a suspect, though no arrest was made. "We have no reason to believe this is a hate crime," said Officer David Hartman, a New Haven police spokesman. Some previous assaults in the region have targeted Jewish people.

Hartman said police believe the attacks were copycat crimes spurred by media attention.

Youth violence expert Chuck Williams blamed the media and parents for what he called extreme aggression by America's youths. Negative attention, he said, is often rewarded.

"That's America. America loves violence, and so do our kids," he said. "We market violence to our children and we wonder why they're violent. It's because we are."

Williams, a professor of psychology and education at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said some young people are desperate for attention. He called it the "Miley Cyrus effect," where teens will do anything to get noticed, no matter how unconscionable.

"These kids know the consequences," he said. "They want to get arrested. They want to get caught, because they want that notoriety. They know they won't go away forever because they're kids. It's a win-win all around for them."

My thoughts: I don't know if you caught the last paragraph. You mean to tell me that THESE KIDS KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES AND THEY WANT TO GET ARRESTED? THEY WANT TO GET CAUGHT BECAUSE THEY WANT THAT NOTORIETY? Well, we could easily blame the media considering celebrities get notoriety when they are arrested (but then let out after a day or two - depends on who the person is of course). I don't know about you, but I would strongly advise that you pray for your children, pray over your lives and your family! Cover your house and family with the blood of the Lamb. You can tell these kids are plagued with a demonic spirit (think about it: they are laughing at their bruised victims). Now let me offend some people, notice that Rev. Jesse Jackson hasn't said much. Rev. Al Sharpton finally said something (truthfully, they won't say anything unless they can be in the center of attention). Now what about the police force? Chicago Police has gone on record stating they don't want to arrest anybody because the civil rights leaders will cry racism? What's up with that people?! 



The Mayne Man

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

What is Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)?

Well, according to the National Center for PTSD website, this is what it entails:

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) occurs when a current or former partner uses behaviors or threats that can make you feel scared, controlled, or intimidated. A relationship in which IPV occurs is known as an abusive relationship.

IPV could include any of the following:
Physical violence: hitting, pushing, grabbing, biting, choking, shaking, slapping
Sexual violence: attempted or actual sexual contact without your consent
Threats of physical or sexual abuse: words, looks or gestures to control or frighten
Psychological or emotional abuse: humiliating, putting down, isolating, threatening
Stalking: following, harassing, or unwanted contact that makes you feel afraid

Relationships can be complicated in general. A relationship with IPV can be overwhelming and confusing. Sometimes it can be hard to know if you have experienced IPV. The following questions give some examples of unsafe behaviors that can happen in a relationship.
  • Does your partner control all of the family income and budget? Control your work or your schooling?
  • Does your partner keep you away from friends and family? Control you by questions and threats about what you do, where you go, and people you see?
  • Does your partner put you down, or make you feel guilty or ashamed? Blame you for the abuse?
  • Does your partner make or carry out threats to hurt your body or your feelings, or those of someone you love? Threaten to ruin your reputation? Threaten to take your children away?
  • Does your partner scare you by breaking or destroying objects, or punching holes in walls? Hurting or threatening pets?
  • Does your partner physically or sexually assault you or your children?

How common is it?
You are not alone. IPV can happen to anyone no matter how much education or money they have. IPV happens to people of all racial, ethnic, or cultural groups, and of any religion or sexual orientation. An estimated 22% to 31% of American women report experiencing IPV at some point in their lives.

How might IPV affect me?
You may not realize it, but the impact of IPV can reach far beyond the actual or threatened abuse. Here are some general examples:
  • Experiencing IPV may mean that you have more physical health problems. Women with a history of IPV report 60% higher rates of health problems when compared to women with no history of abuse.
  • Experiencing IPV may mean that you have more problems with your mood. IPV can lead to depressed mood, feelings of worthlessness, anxiety or worry, feeling emotionally numb, problems with alcohol or drugs, and suicidal thoughts and behavior. Your health care provider may assess you for posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and depression.
  • Experiencing IPV may also affect your job or career. Women who had experienced IPV were found to be more likely to have periods of no work than those who had not experienced IPV.

Staying safe
Only you know what is safest for you and your children. What you may do to keep yourself safe may change over time. Whether or not you are in an abusive relationship, safety planning is something you can do now to help improve your safety situation. Some important safety practices are as follows:
  • If you think that you or your children are in danger, leave the situation right away.
  • Make a note of safe places within your home to go when conflicts begin to heat up. Avoid rooms with weapons (such as the kitchen) or with no exits (such as closets, bathrooms).
  • Consider finding a code word to use as a distress signal to family members, children, and friends. Inform them in advance that if they hear you use the code word, they should get help right away.
  • Pack a suitcase with items to take with you when you leave. Make copies of important legal documents (such as driver's license, social security cards, birth certificates, medical records showing previous injuries) and set some money aside. Hide these items in a place where your partner will not find them.
  • Make a list of people and agencies you can call or go to in case of an emergency. Learn key phone numbers (such as the number for your local shelter, even if you think you won't need it).
  • Talk with someone you trust. Even if you do not want to discuss the details of your situation, simply telling one person that you trust that you have experienced IPV and that you may need their support in the future can help.
  • Consider talking to neighbors about calling police for you if they hear loud noises or fighting.
  • Consider sharing your situation with your supervisor at work so that they might be able to help you with safety planning in your workplace.

What if I have children in my home?
If you have children in your home, here are some things you can do to to keep them safe and protect them from IPV as much as possible:
Ask your children straight out if they have ever been abused or experienced violence. Studies have shown that in 40% to 60% of families where there is IPV, child physical abuse is also present.

Develop a safety plan with and for your children:
  • Tell your children about safe places to go in the home when conflicts heat up. Practice escape routes with your children.
  • Teach your children whom to call for help in emergencies. Help them to learn important emergency phone numbers by heart. Very clearly explain to them how and when they should call for help.
  • Some children may try to stop a fight or argument in order to protect their parent. They may get hurt as a result. Teach your children not to get in the middle of a fight. Teach them what to do instead when a fight occurs. (They could go to a safe place or call emergency numbers.)

Getting support
Many people who have experienced IPV have a hard time talking about it. Experiencing IPV can bring up feelings of shame and low self-esteem. These feelings can make it hard to seek help. Also, since violent partners often try to control and keep their partners away from their loved ones, experiencing IPV can make you feel alone. If you have been threatened, even indirectly, with harm to you or your loved ones, you might feel afraid of what could happen if you tell about your experiences or try to get help. It can take a lot of time and courage to decide to seek help.

Remember that although you cannot stop your partner's behavior (only he or she can do that), you can find support for yourself and your children. Stay connected to friends and family who support your health and safety. Also, many professional resources and providers are available and well-trained to help you in a private and respectful manner.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Author Spotlight (Regina Long Southall)

I was privileged to meet this author at the UBAWA Book Fair (in Atlanta GA) September of 2013. Without further ado, this week's spotlight is on author Regina Long Southall.

Author, publisher, and retired educator, Regina Long Southall is a freelance writer and poet.

Writing expertise dates back as far as high school. This skill was further mastered after becoming a teacher.
Having served as grade chairman for many years, writing abilities were extensive. Regina always had a
passion for writing poetry about everyday life experiences.

Regina has written more than 100 poems, including The Neighbors We Should Be, Another Day, The Effects
of Hurricane Katrina On Our Nation, God Is Getting Our Attention, Anchorman Peter Jennings, My Three Best Friends, Thank You Rev. Dr. Kenneth Eugene Lillard, My First Teacher, My Favorite Pharmacist 2010,
Farewell Kappa Sweetheart Melvin Twitty, and The Presidential Election of History.

In the early 90's Regina was selected to be the writer of the 2nd grade curriculum for World Class Social
Studies for the Portsmouth City Public Schools, Portsmouth, Virginia. In 1993 she became the citywide writer for the 2nd grade Family Life Education Curriculum.

As an author, Regina has also written a professional book entitled 'Teaching In Elementary Schools: The Real
Deal,' which was published February 7, 2009. Her poems and educational resource allow the reader to
become involved in situations that have been encountered at some point in life.

Regina was featured in the January 1977 magazine, Early Years For Teachers Through grade Three. This
experience explained her expertise in reinforcing math skills for second grade students who were having
problems. Her local newspaper, The Virginian-Pilot, featured her in two of its city circulars in 2007 entitled The Currents and The Clipper. These articles made reference to what led her to become an author which caused her to publish 'Poetry from the Heart' in 2006. The newspaper coverage in February and march 2007 then led to her being featured in the 2007 May/June issue of Tidewater Teacher, A Magazine For Teachers Across Hampton Roads. The article, entitled 'Moving On,' made reference to Regina being the retiring elementary teacher who was now moving on to further pursue her writing passion. Regina is now the author of three books. Her third book, 'Coffee Table Poetry: Experiencing the Power of Poetic Literature,' was published February 29,2012.

Regina received the Apple for the Teacher Award in 1996 sponsored by Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.
In 2000 a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of dedicated services rendered in the field of education was presented to her by Delicados, Inc. Portsmouth Chapter at their 8th Black Educators' Awards Dinner.
Elizabeth City State University School of Education and Psychology held its International American Education Assembly Program on Thursday, November 18, 2010. The national theme was "Great Public Schools: A basic Right and Our Responsibility" and "To Boldly Go: Charting Our Common Future Through International Education." The guest speaker was Dr. Henry Johnson, B & 0 Consulting Team Senior Advisor, Former US Assistant Secretary of Education. Because of the efforts of her sorority sister, Saundra Copeland, head of the ECSU Department of Education, Regina was one of six authors recognized. She was the only author recognized that was not a ECSU faculty member. The other five honorees were ECSU professors. Regina represented the Portsmouth City Public Schools Retired Teacher/Published Author.
On June 24, 2012, Regina was one of fourteen recognized by the AREA II NAACP ACT-SO Coalition at their 'Tribute To Excellence Awards Celebration.' This honor recognized role models from the Hampton roads area that have made outstanding achievements in humanities, the sciences, music, business, entrepreneurship, medicine/health, leadership, dance drama, poetry, education, community leaders and activist, and the performing and visual arts. Regina was honored in the categories of poetry/education.
Regina was recently honored as a Black Author of the Month by UBAWA for the month of December 2012.

UBAWA Publications was founded in 2011 by Danielle Leach who features an online network of authors
across the country. UBAWA stands for Urban Books, Authors, and Writers of America.

Regina was also recently the winner of WE Read Literary Services "What Christmas Means To Me" 2012
Contest. She will receive one custom designed book cover.
On January 16, 2013 (Wednesday), Regina was interviewed by Rev. Dr. Verlean Hailey on her radio
broadcast show, Life&Me Plus Plan BE out of Corona, California. Regina was able to share how she was
inspired to become an author and also recited several of her poems. There is a video posted on her facebook page that Dr. Hailey has placed in her radio broadcasting archives.

On Friday, February 1, 2013, Regina finally met NSU Alumni Curtis Bunn, Essence No.1 best-selling author, at his book signing event. It was sponsored by the Chesapeake-Virginia Beach Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Hampton Roads Black Media professionals at the Chesapeake Marriott Hotel, 725 Woodlake Drive, Chesapeake, Virginia. Curtis Bunn featured his latest novel, 'Homecoming Weekend.' Regina was invited to attend to get her copy of 'Homecoming Weekend' autographed. She was elated because her name is mentioned on page 259 of this book. It reads as follows: "We have some really talented authors form Norfolk State: Nathan McCall, China Ball, Regina Southall--those are three more I can think of off the top of my head." Tranise said. "I'm so glad to get to meet you."

Regina is a 1966 graduate of I.C. Norcom High School, Portsmouth, Virginia, a 1970 graduate of Norfolk State College (now University), and a 1995 graduate of Regent University Graduate School of Education. She retired as a public school educator in 2004, rendering 32.8 years of dedicated service.

Regina is a Silver Star and Life Member of the Gamma Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She first joined her sorority as an undergraduate (Delta Epsilon Chapter) in 1968 at Norfolk State College (now University).

Regina now resides in Chesapeake, Virginia with her husband, Alton. They are the proud parents of one adult son, Jason and one adult daughter, Andrea.