Maximizing The Gifts Given!

Maximizing The Gifts Given!

Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. I Corinthiains 12:1-12 NIV

We have all been given spiritual gifts as well as natural gifts as He determines, not how we covet. The gifts He gives–the innate ability to accomplish–is ours to maximize for the good of all, not just us as individuals for our own glory, but to His. Now is the time for everyone seeking to understand their gift to work to maximize what has been given and to use those gifts–naturally and spiritually–for the good of all–especially Americans.

Some of us–naturally have been gifted with curiosity, which we can maximize by our intensity to know–through research and critical thinking–asking the right questions and analyzing the answers we receive.

Some of us–naturally have been gifted with the ability to connect with others through either charismatic personality, gift of gab or intuitive reasoning.

Some of us–naturally have been gifted with compassion and empathy for others around and others see us as nurturers.

Some of us–naturally have been gifted with ability to communicate through the effective use of words and understand that words matter.

As for the spiritual gifts–God has given those gifts He chooses to those who will use them to His glory and through constant use, prayer, and humility–those gifts are maximized in our lifetimes. Whether we understand how God chooses to whom He gifts is totally irrelevant since we know that His gifts and calls are without repentance. In other words, either the gifts are used or they stagnate depending on what we do with them, not what we become or how we act.

When we actually realize what gifts reside in us and how we can maximize them–both naturally and spiritually–we begin to understand the roles we can play in society to make this world a better place. This then, is how I plan to utilize the gifts given to me to govern in the White House as President of the United States in 2021.

God has given me an abiding intensity to discover knowledge and an ability to analyze what I discover, effectively communicating in writing and in verbal communications conclusions that are verifiable. He has poured into me a deeply rooted faith in Him that leads me to believe I can move mountains–which is why I plan to run for president and win.

Now, I’m not foolish enough to believe an election win will be accomplished through osmosis, so I’m spending my time wisely, making sure my name and stance are well known in advance of the upcoming elections. I am not seeking financial contributions from anyone at this time, but their support and assistance in getting my names on ballots across the country. With enough support to get my name on the ballot and opportunity to express my stance, publicly for the nation to hear, I know wisdom will intervene in the hearts of those listening and they will watch what I do, coming to determination that I will do what is best for all Everyday Americans–abandoning none–but seeking solutions to all problems from those who are wiser than I.

To that end, I implore everyone reading to get to know me better. If you’ve reading my blogs for the past seven or eight years, you know my faith has not wavered. It has only been since April 15, 2017 that I was inspired to get more actively involved in politics because of the chaos and miasma that currently exists in the White House. Though I have not the political background of some other contenders for the White House, I have a more than average knowledge of how government works, what’s good for the economy, how to be civil to others, and how to take a strong stand–without flinching–against those who would be enemies of America. I have lived the challenges and struggles of the average Everyday American and can seek solutions that benefit all.

In addition to my blogs found here, additional information about me can be found on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Medium, Amazon, and of course in all of my books found here Author.to/marysbooks.

Any other questions, not addressed through these media can be left on my facebook.com/YesIAm2020 page.

My love of the Lord and desire to please Him in all things–especially in defending the rights of the poor, needy and vulnerable are stronger than ever and I don’t see a change in that regard. Your support is needed and appreciated if we are to have an opportunity to see how God works things out when maximizing the gifts given to me–and you!

Raising The Standards

Knowing Your Gift!

Knowing Your Gift!

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:4-10 NIV

One of the reasons many people never accomplish what God has planned for them is because they have really identified and refined the gift He has given each and every one of us. Every person has been given at least one gift and many have multiple gifts they have identified and refined–some natural and some spiritual, but we need the spiritual gifts to identify the natural, develop and fine-tune them.

What keeps people looking sideways at others as they move along the continuum of life–envying and coveting the gifts of others— is they have lost their focus and never sought God for understanding of what He has given them. In order for us to walk the path He has designed for us, we must always seek Him, first.

There are times when it appears–to others–that some of us are off track, but that’s because when we do things that seem unusual, we do them at God’s guidance and not man’s and therefore they would not understand. Being obedient to God is not always; especially when the outcome is uncertain and we have to complete an obstacle course, that could be perilous. Nevertheless, if we trust God, we must simply follow through on what He has spoken to our hearts and if others don’t understand–it’s okay.

When we look at Paul’s life and how he started–being a stalwart defender of what he was taught by men–and then after his Damascus Road experience appeared to take a 180 degree turn in his promotion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was actively engaged in the community of Believers and non-Believers–inspiring many and even though he lost his life–he was obedient to God.

I know some are concerned with my current direction in actively engaging in resisting a Trump presidency, but they can rest assured, I have spent time with The Lord and know I am obeying what He would have me do in this season. Whatever happens in the interim, I know–what He wants me to do and I know it is for the good of all, not just myself.

We know that in order for evil to reign and change the landscape–good people sit silently and watch it unfold–doing absolutely nothing. My gift is research and writing and then expounding upon the truths found–by any means necessary. That gift is not only meant in teaching God’s Word, but in the secular setting in which we all reside on a daily basis. If I did not research a subject matter, I could not teach it effectively and if I am not teaching effectively, I am not utilizing the gifts He’s given me.

Here’s the thing–man has no ability to gift us with anything other than material items that will rust or fade in the course of time. The gifts God gives us are for our use for as long as we walk the earth. Therefore, I will not allow what people think of me–one way or the other–to hinder my obedience to God. I’m mindful of Noah when people thought he was crazy in building an ark and talking about rain when it had never rained; Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt; Daniel opening the window and praying out loud even though it was forbidden; Esther going to the King without being summoned. The list could go on and on.

The bottom line for me is–man has no eternal resting place for me, but my Father in Heaven does. Guess who I will obey? No matter what what happens, I’ll know I played a part in the historical events unfolding in this season and will hold them dear to my heart.

Lord, open the eyes of those who are blinded by fear and whose hearts are clouded with doubt and uncertainty. Let them see there are more with us, than against us–both naturally and spiritually and that victory in Jesus will be celebrated.

30 Days of Prayer and Praise–12!

30 Days of Prayer and Praise–12!

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me–God sends forth his love and his faithfulness. I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts— men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. They spread a net for my feet— I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path— but they have fallen into it themselves. My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. Psalm 57 NIV

Day Twelve

Lord Jesus,

We know You see how those who love You are treated and vilified; how liars spread falsehoods and engage in activities designed to bring us to a place of disaster. But we know, how much You love us and how much You care for all who love You. We thank You for Your faithfulness towards and continued mercy and grace.

Lord, look upon all those who dare to plot against Your children and deliver unto them the same fate they plot against us.

For every foul deed they plot--have it turn again unto them. For every lie they tell to make themselves seem more than they are–expose the lie with truth for all to see.

For every trap they lay–let them be caught in the traps of their making.

For every pit they dig–let them fall into them and suffer whatever plight they planned for others.

For every lie they tell–send ten messengers of truth to expose their lies.

For every deception they plot to fool others–let them fall into the peril of being deceived more mightily than they planned.

For everything they plan to steal to enrich themselves–let it be stolen from them one hundred times more.

Lord, for everyone who plans to do what is right–let their good deeds be known to all and their reward be great.

For everyone who gives out of the capacity of their heart to those who are in need, let their giving be returned unto them one hundredfold.

For everyone who loves–unconditionally–everyone they meet--let the love they share with others be returned without measure so they will continue to love.

For those who encourage hope–to keep others moving forward and never in despair–keep the flame of hope ignited and never let it die within them.

For those who are feeling unloved and discouraged--send to them one who knows You and Your love and is willing to share Your love with others.

For those who are without shelter–guide them to safety and keep them covered, embraced by love and a shelter without fear of being robbed or abused.

Lord, You are the greatest gift we could ever be given–our salvation, our hope, our light in the midst of darkness, our strength to keep moving forward–sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You, O Lord, are an awesome God! There is truly none like You and No One who will do the things You do for those You love. Our precious is Your love to all who seek to be loved and wide Your arms to gather, embrace and hold onto each of us–keeping us safe from harm.

Look upon this land and into the hearts of all and do justice according to Your mercy as only You can. In Jesus’ name we pray and thank You, Amen!

Living In Unity!

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1 NIV

My immediate thoughts are about the marvelous work that can be accomplished when people can work together–focused on the same goals. Assembly line work also comes to mind–everyone knowing exactly what their role is and how what they do impacts the final product–the car that comes off the line, ready to be driven.

This is how God’s people–all The Believers–should live in unity–each knowing their role and how what we do impacts the end result–promotion of The Gospel and perpetuation of peace.

If we all understand our individual giftings and work within them and everyone focuses on what the end result should be and determines to make it happen–more people would be introduced to Christ and the more we know Him, the greater the opportunity for us to experience peace.

We’ve heard songs about coming together for the greater good of the whole by various artists; we’ve read poetry and books about the importance of being united; and now–it’s time for us to practice what we preach and what we’ve heard. For as long as we refuse to live in unity–on one accord–the enemy will continue to divide and defeat us–at every turn. Isn’t it about time we recognize who our real enemy is and fight back by unifying the Body of Christ?

I’m reminded of the song, “We Shall Overcome” and wonder when that day will happen. If we cannot live in unity, without bickering, complaining, backbiting, and tale-bearing, how will we truly ever–overcome–anything?

Let unity begin with us–those who Believe in the power of Holy Spirit working within us and focus on bringing unity in the lives of all around us--especially the Body of Christ, no matter what denominationalism reigns–the goal is unity–being on one accord, living The Word!

Good Works Completed!

“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 1:4-6 NIV)

Relevance! When we look at what all those God inspired to write–we must ask ourselves or at least be willing to see–the relevance of what was said then to our lives–now.

This letter to the “church” (Body of Believers) in Philippi was to thank them and encourage them to keep doing the good work that God had placed in their hearts, helping them to realize that whatever He purposed for them to do, would be done–in His timing–even if it meant completion when Christ returns.

There are a number of people right now–some may even be reading this post–who have been inspired by God to do something good and wonderful, but obstacles rose and knocked them off track. That’s okay. The obstacles are going to rise every time we start doing what God has purposed us to do. But with prayer, the courage of our convictions and determination, and our faith in God, we will accomplish all He wants us to do!

Whether we know it or not–there are people praying for Believers everywhere. We pray that no heart becomes feint or allows doubt to deter them in whatever work God has given them. We pray them strengthened by the power of Holy Spirit. We pray hearts will hear Him when He speaks so we’ll know how to overcome those obstacles. We pray for wisdom in recognizing when the enemy has attempted to erect a wall of opposition and rebellion against God and the work He has put in our hearts. We pray for all to understand and use the gifts God has given us to finance all He has given us to do. We have no need to “beg” others to finance the plans God has given us. He has equipped us to accomplish all we need to do with the gifts He has poured into us.

Not every person’s gift is the same and it should not be, but all the gifts are given to complement all we are told to do. Some are gifted with musical ability to accompany those with voices who will praise and worship Him. Some are gifted with the ability to teach–explaining those things that others may not understand. Some are gifted with the ability to write–encouraging others by many venues to continue believing in God or in leading people to Jesus Christ. And the pool of gifts overflow our needs. Our abilities are limited only to the extent we have faith to move out in them.

“According to our faith, it will be unto us.” Whatever we have faith to do, we will succeed in that area. Whatever good works God has given us to do, when we move out in faith, ready to tackle every obstacle with our courage and faith in Him, that good work will be completed in God’s timing. Our job is to hear and obey and allow Him to be God.

Is there a good work that God has put on your heart to do? Know that we’re praying for all He has given to all Believers to be accomplished, hearts strengthened, obstacles moved or torn down, and courage renewed in all you do. Stand firm in what you have been called to do and know the good works will be completed.

Beliefs, Confession, Guidance!

In this coming new year, we all need to get an understanding of what it is we believe and then our beliefs (what we confess with our mouths) should guide everything we do.

If we say we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (God in the flesh) and we should live according to The Word, then we should not promote any beliefs or conformity to anything that does not align with The Word.

We should not hate or humiliate others simply because they do not believe what we do or because they are different. What a boring world this would be if we all looked alike, thought alike, and talked alike, and did everything the exact same way. If God had wanted clones, He could have accomplished that. He created us uniquely individual, capable of doing all sorts of great things to His glory, according to His Word. He has given all gifts–that differ–so we might all enjoy the collective benefits of all the gifts He has given.

The gifts I reference are not just the spiritual gifts needed by apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists, and teachers or those listed in I Corinthians 12–tongues, interpretation, miracles, healing, discernment, wisdom, knowledge, faith, or prophecy–these are needed to build the Kingdom of God so that all needs are met. I’m referring to the “natural gifts” that He gives so all may benefit–the gift of writing, creating music, singing, painting, sculpturing, nurturing, counseling, parenting, comforting, encouraging, helping, and a host of other gifts–that many can enjoy whether they are saved or not.

However, being saved–puts us in a unique position to promote the Gospel with the gifts He has given. The Believer should always utilize the gifts given to promote the Love of God and in obeying His Word. The unbelieving are also gifted and most of them use their gifts to entertain the masses according to their gift and in many cases, entice people to live in opposition to God’s Word.

It is not that Believers are superior to unbelievers; it is simply a matter of Believers knowing our Risen Savior and living to please Him, rather than appeasing fleshly dictates.

When the end comes, we are all going the same path–through death (if The Lord delays His return), so none are better than the other, but some are more astute than others because of the relationship established with Jesus!

Peace For All!

“He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.” (Ephesians 2:17, 18 NLT)

We are without excuse–no matter our gender, ethnicity, or religious affiliation–we have no excuse not to live in peace with everyone.

For those who were once non-believers and for those who were always believers–The Good News of peace is for all who will receive it. But we must receive it–before we can actually have it.

A gift is not a gift to anyone–unless it is given and received.

Love–standing alone–is beneficial to anyone unless it has an object on which it can be bestowed and received.

Peace–already given–amounts to nothing if not received.

God does His part, but when do we do ours?

Do we not trust Him and His plans for us? Do we think our plans are better than His? Are we wiser than the most High God and have led to think we know more than He does?

The solution to all problems and the resolution for unrest, chaos, and confusion are all found in the “reception” of the work on the cross and allowing Holy Spirit to lead us in all things.

We know the work on the cross was for the benefit of all who “would believe and receive” but if people do not receive, their lives and ours will not be changed for the better.

God did not just love some of us–“He loved the all of us in the world so much that He gave His only Son that all might be saved” (paraphrased). All means all–not just one group of people, but all who are willing to receive His love!

Therefore, since there is so much unrest, chaos and confusion, we can see that not all have received His wonderful gift and since they have not received it, cannot enjoy it and neither can the rest of us around them–for where chaos and confusion reign–God is not there.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to open our hearts to You and receive all of the many benefits You have for us so we might live in peace and prosper as our souls prosper. This I ask for everyone who has a heart to hear You and obey from this day forward and I thank You for hearing and answering prayer. We love You and we know–there is none like You who can turn things around for the benefit of all mankind.

 

Seeking Hidden Treasure!

“indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:3-5 NIV).

More wisdom from Solomon!

If we sought insight and understanding with the same fervor and diligence that some seek silver and hidden treasures, we would understand what it means the fear of the Lord and find His knowledge.

Some seek means of obtaining wealth without regard to the means or how it affects others, but never seek knowledge of God.

Some seek hidden treasure beneath the seas, expending every resource they have and often the investment of others, never giving up, but the same people seldom seek God for direction.

Some seek immediate gratification and wealth in gambling–playing the lottery, in the casinos with such tenacity that it would be admirable if they sought God with the same tenacity.

There is a hidden treasure within each and every one of us that most miss because they overlook the map that God has prepared for us in His Word. We are His treasure, and when we seek Him, He gives us insight to things to come and brings back to our remembrance those things He has taught us and a world of wealth (not just money) is opened to us. We have a wealth of compassion and love, forgiveness and peace within, and an attitude of gratitude for all we have. We communicate with Him on a consistent basis because we know without Him, we are lost and we need Him to keep us on the path He has established for us.

The treasure we seek, when we seek Him for direction does not remain hidden for long because when we operate with His wisdom and knowledge, the results are available for all to see. We have been given gifts–both naturally and spiritually–that most have never discovered–their treasure. Seek Him now to reveal the gifts He has given and learn to use them to His glory! We are His treasure (2 Corinthians 4:7 and Exodus 19:5)!

If we are amazed with all that God has created considered the “natural wonders of the world” then operating in the gifts He has given, would truly be a source of amazement. We are His gifts to the world when we do what He has asked us to do so through us, the world might come to know Him and His love and peace would prevail in all the land.

No Division In The Body!

“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought” (I Corinthians 1:10 NIV).

While reading the beginning of this letter that Paul sent to the church at Corinth, I was inspired to address “the division” in the Body of Christ that is revealed through all the “disagreement” about what God says and means.

Brothers and Sisters-in-Christ,

If we all serve the same God–who loved us enough to come down from Glory to hang on a cross for our benefit so that we might one day reign with Him, why is it that we are all not saying what He says?

Have we allowed religiosity and denominational banners to interfere with or dominate our thoughts over what God has said? Are we not able to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” so we are all preaching the same Word of Truth? Do we not all have access to Truth by the same Holy Spirit who imparts all spiritual gifts to all who are willing to receive? Is our belief divided by specific segments of the Bible so that some actually think “that is all” they should believe or that the entire Bible is not meant for all of us to understand? Do we not know how to pray to the Father and receive an answer from Him? Are we so hung-up on glorifying men and women in ministry that we have missed God completely?

No where in the Bible will anyone find that heaven is reserved for those of a specific denomination; especially since the denominations or divisions of the Body were formed by mortal man. No where in the Bible will anyone find that only those who “belong to a mega-church” are going to enter into heaven. No where in the Bible will anyone find that only those who are in places where they are few in number will be the only ones entering into heaven.

No where in the Bible will anyone find that God changes His mind about what He says–from the beginning to the end–about sin or what is sinful.

If we all serve the same God–The God of Heaven, the One who created all things and without Him nothing was created–we would all have the same understanding about who He is and how He wants us live.

My prayer, brothers and sisters-in-Christ is that we will all become one as they are One in unity and in the preaching of the Gospel so all will be saved–not to our glory, but to His. Until we who know The Truth are able to promote The Truth as one Truth, we will be bombarded by the half-truths that are perpetuated by the enemy’s influence and many will believe the whole lie (a half-truth is a whole lie).  We who have a relationship with God, must function in the earth realm as God directs, not men (mankind)–who have demonstrated they do not know God.

Promote and assist those who are promoting the Truth of God’s Word, knowing this–God knows those who are His and He also knows those who are counterfeits–seeking only what they can get. Let us get on one accord, teaching only those things that we have been taught–through study of the Word and relationship with God.

God give you strength and courage to stand firm in the face of adversity and continue to fill you with His joy and wisdom.

With all the joy and love that abides within me, I declare unity will abide in the Body of Christ-worldwide! I also declare that the Truth will destroy the works of the enemy and we shall be at peace–one with the other.

Love to love you!

God’s Humble Servant,

Evangelist Mary M. Hall-Rayford