Monday, December 21, 2015

Church Dropouts

One of my favorite pastors was teaching a lesson a few weeks back, and made reference to Church Dropouts and I allowed the Lord to speak to me about this very thing. You know there are High School Dropouts and College Dropouts, but we never really give thought to Church Dropouts. Allow me a moment to explain how Church Dropouts occur.

When I think about how high school dropouts occurs, there are two sides. There is the side of the school (and the people within it), and then there’s the person who dropped out. Both side have to bear responsibility for the person who dropped out. The same holds true to those who drop out of church (religion) altogether.  Now, I want to focus on the side of the church and the people within it more than the person who dropped out of church.

You might be asking why am I addressing this? If we are claiming to be the church that represents Christ, we have to own up to our own failures, and repent. And that’s not a bad thing. If anything, it’s showing humility on our part, which is actually worship to Christ. I have been in church for quite some time and it’s amazing as to why we act puzzled, or angry as to why people have left (and then point the finger at them as to why they left). Sure, they make the final decision to leave, but at the same time, we have to look at our hands to ensure that we don’t have their blood on them. And sad to say, we have a lot of blood. So, let’s talk about this.

How have we caused church dropouts around us? Pride and ego are the biggest two culprits.  How do they manifest themselves?
You go to that church? Our pastor can preach!
We had church over here!
Get over your issue (you should never have issues)!
I’m so holy than you that I can point out your flaws!
It’s your fault as to why you’re struggling!
It’s your lack of faith as to why you’re in the shape you’re in!
We care for our own (clique) and the rest of the people around me can go to hell!
I hear from God and I’m the only one who hears from Him.
Men are to dominate their women, and the women have no voice!

Those are just some examples, and I’m sure you can think of others as to why others either condemned or they feel they will never measure up to God. The beauty of God is that He loves us, even with our flaws.

I want to real quickly focus on one sentence I typed up there because I want to say something to that: “We care for our own (clique) and the rest of the people around me can go to hell!” This is one that I’ve seen that has caused many casualties in the church (and they eventually dropout). I don’t know about you, I can’t sit around and watch people go to hell.  Intercession is so necessary (and just because you go to intercessory prayer, doesn’t make you an intercessory prayer warrior). And now this takes me to my next point.

How do we stop the church dropout epidemic? Deny yourself (I heard one pastor say “Kill yourself – the flesh, that is), and humble yourself. In fact, Jesus said that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In fact, Paul talked in Philippians 2 about the importance of being like-minded. Sadly, in the church, we care more about legalism, and our personal agendas than we do what God is requiring of us. To love and coming together on one accord. Jesus talked extensively about sacrificing for the glory of God. But as a result, we have many casualties, and we curse the very ones who are wounded. Maybe we need to read Luke 15 and get out of our comfort box (go after the lost sheep, lost coin and the son that’s lost).

Let’s go after perfection in Christ.


The MayneMan

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Why The MayneMan Took A Vow of Abstinence

Before I begin, I want to share a thought: If everyone can come out of the closet, why can't those who vowed abstinence come out of the closet? It's not a bad thing at all; in fact, it's a God thing! Come on somebody! Now let's talk about why the MayneMan took a vow of abstinence until he's married.

This past Monday morning, I had a dream about my vow to God (at the age of 18) of abstinence until marriage. In the dream, I must have been frustrated with remaining abstinence, and I decided to give up my vow. After it was all done, there was a guilty conscious hanging over my head. When I woke up from the dream, I was a bit startled, but at the same time, I was very thankful that it did not happen in real life. Just to let you all know I’ve been abstinent ever since November of 1986 to present day. So I’ve been abstinent for 29 years. I give all praise to God. But allow me to share with you the entire story behind my decision. I hope this will make you laugh, cry, smile and give praise to God as a result.

If you’re familiar with my story (whether it be me sharing with you all in person, via my novel Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid, via my YouTube interviews, etc.), you’ll find that my life was/is not picture perfect. It’s my prayer that this encourages someone. At the age of 10, my uncle violated me and then a year later, a female relative violated me. All of the violations stop at the very end of October of 1986 (I was 12 at the time). As I look at the school year of 1986-1987 (I was in the 7th grade), I was a hot mess. I tried to get next to my girlfriend at that particular time (thank God that didn’t happen), and then I tried to ask one girl to have relations with me (knowing in my mind that my uncle had relations with her as well). Again, thank God that didn’t happen as well. Later in my 7th grade year, one girl in class came up behind me by the pencil sharpener to say that the reason why your collarbones stick out is because you have AIDS. Now I had heard of AIDS before then, but didn’t understand the meaning behind it. Later that night, I asked my father a simple question, “What’s AIDS?” Let’s just say that I got an earful that night. It was very insightful, but also frightening because my parents didn’t know the full story of the violations. 

If you read my novel DDBS, you may remember this scene:

August 15th, 1987:
Later today, I pulled out my condom from my wallet. I bought it, because my friends had one in their wallets. I decided to experiment with it, and then realized that I will never use it, considering no girl will ever date me because of my uncle, and that I’m too dumb to know how to put it on. And there is NO WAY I am asking for help. I think those contracepty things will be a problem in the future, because of all of those lubricants that are on them.

This is actually a real-life scene in my life (around that time in 1987). I still believe that God was doing something with me at that time in my life, even at the age of 13.
Now let’s fast forward to 1991, when I was 17. I had just come out of a year of depression, but I was working at the library as a summer job. As I was shelving books, I stumbled across a TEV Bible (Today’s English Version) – also known as the Good News Bible. I checked it out and started reading Proverbs. That book gave me a reason to live, and then I would buy a Bible for myself.

A couple weeks before graduating high school (I had turned 18 a few weeks back), I was in Munich Germany with my track team as we were there for the Central European Championship. I brought that checked out Bible with me, and one of brothers on the team had an NIV Student Bible. I was scanning through Proverbs out of his NIV Student Bible and I stumbled across a note within Proverbs talking about “Whom Should You Marry.” This note would forever change my life (it was written by Philip Yancey & Tim Stafford).

Whom Should You Marry? (A good partner can make or break your life)

Proverbs 21:9 – Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Excerpt from the note: Not that Proverbs ignores the physical side of love. It urges marriage partners to rejoice in their love, to be captivated by it (5:18-19). It warns young people against sexual sin precisely because this wastes sexuality on unsatisfying, unloving relationships. Sex ought to be saved for the long-lasting, productive joy of marriage.

Proverbs on sexual sin: 2:16-19; 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:6-27; 23:26-28
Proverbs on marriage: 5:15-19; 12:4; 14:1; 18:22; 19:13-14; 21:9, 19; 27:15-16; 31:10-31.

It was that last sentence in the excerpt above where I made my vow to God to remain abstinent until marriage. Praise God that He’s allowed me to keep this vow to this day.

During of course of living, I have shared my story of abstinence with people, and I am always amazed at some of the responses I’ve received. Here are some that I received (mostly from women):
Don’t you feel you’re missing out?
I don’t know if I could do that!
Are you a homosexual?

My simple response is this: I’m not a homosexual, but at the same time, I know that I am not just dealing with this woman. I also have to know that she is created in the image of God and for me to defraud her, is really hurting God and my testimony before Him.

I pray that my story has encouraged you knowing that there are people out there who have taken a vow of abstinence despite the past (and for a man like me to take a vow at such a young age is probably unheard of). Anyhow, all glory goes to God.


The Mayne Man 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sometimes You Just Have To "Be Still"

This concept appeared in my dream last night. This blogpost could be subtitled as follows:
The Beauty of Being Still
The Rewards of Being Still
What It Means To Let Go

Now, when we hear of "be still," we usually think that it means do absolutely nothing and the Lord does everything. I don't know about you, but I used to think that. Yesterday, my spirit was troubled and I believe the dream last night shed light on what I'm about to talk about in this post. 

I don't know where you are in your life right now, are you carrying a burden that you think is too hard to cast over to the Lord? Are you afraid of what He may think when He takes it from you? I've been there and I'll admit I'm dealing with some loose fragments. Here's one more question: do you think when He takes it from you, that you will not see what you dreamed of come to pass? Allow me to take a step back because that's a heavy one for me. 

I want you to stop where you are. I want you to "be still," so you can be ministered to right at this very moment. 

When we typically hear "be still," we usually think of Psalm 46:10 - "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" 

A few other passages that speak on "standing still," - another way of saying "be still."

Exodus 14:13-14 (when the children of Israel were crossing the Red Sea) - And Moses said to the people, "Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." 

2 Chronicles 20:17 (when the Moabites & Ammonites were coming against the children of Israel) - You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand still, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.' Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you." 

In the Exodus passage above, you'll find that the Lord had them be silent. What this tells me is that total faith is required as the Lord fights for you.

In the 2 Chronicles passage, I didn't include it in this blogpost, but if you were to read a few more verses down, you'll find that they were to sing praise to the Lord. What this tells me is that praise and thanksgiving is required as the Lord fights for you.

So we have faith, praise and thanksgiving. These are required as you "be still." So whatever trial or challenge you have, be still and watch the Lord come through (show Himself strong) in your situation. Let me say that another way: Whatever mountain that's in your way (childhood pain, abuse, financial issues, marital issues, relationship and/or friendship issues, physical illness, mental illness, etc.), stop carrying that burden. What good has it done for you carrying it (or rationalizing why you want to carry it with your strength alone)? Not only does He want what you're going through, He wants to fight for you, deliver you, and make you whole. But you have to be still. As you are being still (standing still, letting go of the fight that's in you and/or around you, have faith that He's fighting for you in all areas and as you're waiting and trusting Him for the manifestation, give Him constant praise and thanksgiving. And please, please, please don't get discouraged when you don't get see the manifestation on your timetable. Be moved by what you believe and not what you see.

Many blessings:

The Mayne Man

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Anatomy of Prayer (by Min. Adria Carpenter)

One of my friends wanted to be featured on my blogpost, so this is a brief expository on my friend's study on prayer/intercession. Without further ado, here's Minister Adria Carpenter.

The Anatomy of Prayer deals with prayer as a whole. My name is Adria Carpenter and as a minister and intercessor, I don’t want to just be doing something, but I want to be aware of what it is.  2 Timothy says study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly diving the word of truth. “The Anatomy of Prayer”, was birthed to stimulate people to understand the power that prayer carries.  I pray that this will give you spiritual insight on what an intercessor is.  First, let go to Webster and see what an intercessor is? An intercessor is a person who intervenes on the behalf of another, especially by prayer. I want you focus on the word especially, which means to a great extent, very much. In other words when you think about the word intercession, the first thing that comes to mind is prayer!!!   Prayer is an essential part of an intercessor, but there are many roles that an intercessor can possess.  As I began to do my study on intercessor, I asked God what is an intercessor? The name that was dropped in my spirit was Adam. I was puzzled with this for some time, because I didn’t understand why Adam came to me.  But I was reminded in Matthew 6:33 that says seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and these things shall be added unto you.  I sought God because I knew He wanted to reveal the mystery of His word unto his servant pertaining to my asking what is an intercessor? I studied the book of Genesis focusing my attention on Adam and his role in the beginning of time.  Adam was created from dust of the earth. Genesis 2:15 says The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. However, Genesis 3:1-4 says “now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God has made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it or you surely will die.’” This was the first sign when the spirit manipulation took place. Let’s continue in Genesis: When the woman saw that the good for food and pleasing to eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom she took some and ate it. She also took some and gave it to her husband, who was with her and ate it. 

Adam was responsible for being attentive and watching the garden. When you study the scriptures, you don’t see anything about God telling him to pray, because he gave him dominion over every living creature in the earth. Adam was obligated to cover and stay in covenant with what God authorize him to do. Cover- put something such as cloth or lid on top of or in front of in order to protect or conceal it.  

Covenant- an agreement

What are they saying??  Intercessor, Prayer Warrior, Gate Keeper and Garden Watcher the Nation is in need and soliciting the prayer from you.  There will be a continuation of The Anatomy of Prayer Blog to give additional information pertaining to prayer.

I pray that this Revelation was useful and that it blessed your life.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Plan of God vs. Man of God

I want to talk about the difference between the plan of God and the man of God. First and foremost, I want to say praise God for the men and women of God that God calls to the five-fold ministry (the truth is, we all have a role within the five-fold ministry and we’re called by God for a unique purpose). The problem is when we as humans put too much stock into the man/woman of God than we do the plan of God (which is the Kingdom of God).

The best example from the Bible is the story of Moses. Moses was chosen by God to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. The children of Israel were so used to the cruelty of Egypt that they couldn’t see beyond Egypt. And what was God trying to do? Bring them into a land that’s flowing with milk and honey. During that time, that was a blessing from God. But the children of Israel couldn’t see that. In fact, after they crossed the Red Sea, they wanted to go back to Egypt (they felt they could go back to Egypt and live on top of the world). Anyway, God was trying to get the children of Israel to rely solely on Him and He would provide. The people’s rebellion got to a point that God was going to strike them dead; however, Moses interceded for them. Where are the true intecessors in this time that we’re living in? That’s a different blogpost.

One of the challenges Moses had leading the people was that Moses had a desire for the people that the people didn’t have for themselves. As a result, Moses was so frustrated that he disobeyed God – and as a result, he was disqualified from leading the children of Israel over to the Promised Land. Fact: when Moses was disqualified, God already told the children of Israel that they were going to die in the Wilderness because of their lack of belief. They couldn’t comprehend the plan of God (or they didn’t want to trust God’s plan for them). In fact, they were so focused on the man of God that they missed God’s plan. Don’t let that be us where we’re so focused on the man/woman of God that we miss God’s plan.

When God raises a man or a woman of God to send a revelation, He’s thinking about the people and wanted to see them advanced. God wanted the children of Israel to advance, but they didn’t because they were focused on the man of God than they were the plan. Again, are we advancing to further His plan for our lives, or are we focused on the man of God. I’m not saying to disregard a man/woman of God. Praise God for them. I’m just stressing balance here.

When you obey the man/woman of God that’s to lead you, that you fulfill the kingdom of God. Those who have sow in obedience to the voice of God, you shall receive increase (now that will come in the area that God choices) – it’s just the mere fact that you’re cooperating with the plan of God – so get ready!

So why is it more about the plan of God than the man of God? Because people can get caught up with just the man/woman of God and their position opposed to the plan of God. The plan of God is the Kingdom of God – and God’s plan is locked into His purpose. In every generation, God will raise a man/woman in that generation for His plan – which is ultimately for His people. And when the people comply with the plan regardless of the man, they are increased. So, bypass the personality and position of people!!!

Example: If God gives me a Word for someone, try to bypass my personality (because I’m a handful – if you know me, you can testify), and just receive (regardless if it does or doesn’t feel good to your flesh).

I pray that you are blessed by this blogpost.


The Mayne Man