Friday, August 15, 2014

Captive or Ready

The concept of "rescuing the captive," best describes my mission in Biblical language. Youth work is what I do, my purpose in life. Most of us are captive, especially the youth. I have written about how effective poetry is as a teaching and learning method among young that face captivity of the minds and heart. Let's face it, the lack of money is enough to stop dreams. If dreams are not pursued because of captivity, purpose is delayed or denied. The following was written by a young captive as a requirement of Indiana Black Expo in 2014. Their theme for the Youth Summit and the topic of this essay was "Ready for the World." 

Am I ready for the World
Adell “Isaac Inman” Badgett III

I know that I’m young, still with knowledge to spare. I pledge my promise to my brothers with the same blood we share. We come from different bearings, hair straight, locked and curled.
Still I proceed to realize that I am not ready for this world.
The world is full of love, enough to increase your heart rate. Yet every day a brother is killed, adding on to the death rate. We try to ready our troops with pistols, gear and knives. Instead let’s ready our children with knowledge...take the world by surprise.
I feel like I’m an ameba in this ocean called earth. I know that I’m not ready because I still don’t know my own worth.  Maybe using rhyme, I can illustrate an image.
 I’m NOT prepared to enter the world, for I barely know what’s in it.
Notice  how white and black races seem to always be at war. You might not see the lion, yet you still can hear him roar.
I believe that I’ll be ready when I feel the time is right. Let me reflect upon my past like LIGHT, reflecting like a cleansed armor of a knight.
I’m still depending on my mom to show me the ropes. I take hold, she tries to push me, screaming “don’t you let it go!” Before I'm ready for the world, I’ll request a team of line-backers. Help me when I’m in need to bounce back, not bounce backwards.
I appreciate you taking out the time to read but before I blossom, I must be planted as a seed.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rescue the Captive: A Work of Mercy

Having a purpose in life is one thing, having a Biblical purpose that aligns to one’s mode of operation. As a result from training received from the Devos Urban Leadership Initiative, I have learned about a concept that is as old as Christianity, the works of mercy. These works are primarily found in the histories of Calvinism, the Presbyterians and the Catholics. Works of mercy are basically acts of love that God performed and demonstrated by first loving us. There acts including —feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned and burying the dead. The first six of these works are found in the Last Judgment parable in Matthew 25:34-45. Having learned about the works, it is clear that my life has always centered on the mercy task of “rescuing the captive.” As a result, this blog will have new directive, to reflect the direction my life has taken in ministry and to share lessons learned in the process. My desire has become to empower others with the Biblical directive to rescue the captive.

Biblical examples of mercy can be found if we look closely at the Good Samaritan in the parable of Luke 10:25-37. In this passage, there was a man lying wounded along the road. This man received mercy on that day from a Samaritan willing to step into chaos and set the captive free. Showing the works of mercy often means that one must be willing to a step into the chaos of another

Showing mercy as Jesus demonstrated should be practiced early and often. In the middle ages, the monasteries become centers for extraordinary mercy due to the growing needs of the days: the fact that people were hungry, thirsty, homeless, without clothing, sick, incarcerated and in need of burial services. It took several centuries before becoming a cornerstone of the Christian life.As it was in the past, so too is the need ever present to show mercy. Not only should we show mercy but a discipleship process must follow. From this point onward, this blog has a new focus…All future and even some past articles will be written to reflect this new and necessary direction of entering into the chaos of orders to make them strong. But this alone is not enough. We must be willing to teach others how the process of rescuing the captive works.   

Friday, May 23, 2014

Using Poetry to Rescue the Captive

Poetry is a dynamic method that can be used to rescue a captive mind. The urban captive are all around us, desiring to be freed. Some are captive in juvenile centers and jails. Some roam the streets freely but their mind is still captive. 

Words flowing creatively are the foundations of hip hop music. Perhaps this is the reason, young people tend to listen and reflect when the right poetry is spoken.  I am constantly looking for relevant poetry that can be recited to free the captive mind. 

The below poem, “Will the Real Man Stand Up,” was written by an unnamed inmate at Marion County Jail II in the 2001 Selected Program Highlights Vol. 1 of 2001 newsletter Knowledge to Go, published by the Purdue Cooperative Extension.  

Now the Bible says, the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.
But it looks like I have to take two steps back just to take one step forward.
So will the real man stand up and show me the way, show me what to do, tell me what to say.
Now the Bible says a good man obtaineth favor of the Lord. Now favor is something I need
But I definitely cannot afford.

So will the real man stand up and get on your knees to pray…put in a good word for me so I can make it through the day.
Now the Bible says a good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children. But it seems like I’m just leaving children behind, their stomachs are empty and so are their minds.
So will the real man stand up? Show me how to make my family right. Hold your children close. And tell them you love ‘em every night.

The Bible says, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things.”
Well I don’t know about you, but I’m not bringing forth anything but my hand and you best fill it upon my demand.

So will the real man stand up and show me how a heart should be?
Show me that a heart doesn’t have to be hard. Show me a heart that is set free.
The Bible says, if any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man and able to bridle the whole body. Well I don’t know about you but I just got my mind on the next hottie.

So will the real man stand up and show me how I need to be? So I can respect my queen and she can respect me.
Now will the real man stand up? Just let me know who you are. Cause when you stand up, I’ll be watching you, even if you aint watching me.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Wiles of Urban Mentoring

A Day in the Life of An Urban Mentor/ Mentoring the Urban Captive

             While I waited to be fingerprinted, processes and vaccinated, I wondered, “What have I gotten myself into?” This mentoring experience is not what I expected.
            I knew Dorian long before he got arrested and sent to Boys School. It was only after he was released that we got reacquainted. My objective for the day: allow him to learn of my world. Instead, I got an “eye-opener” regarding his world-views and perspectives. Once we left police headquarter in order to complete my police check, it was time to take Dorian to the Juvenile Justice class on the local college campus.
            I took Dorian to class upon the request of my professor. Dorian looked forward to this day, having called me several times the night before. Even the day of, when I picked Dorian, up he had an entourage ready and begging of my attention. There was an older youth, one brother and another old acquaintance all ready to go somewhere. They must have gotten it twisted-I did plan to take them to an event later that evening however, this class session could only involve Dorian. They understood!
            As we went to class, it was clear that college was another world to Dorian. I hoped that the university experience would plant within him a desire to excel. The whole day involved nervousness, wondering if I could mentor Dorian as desired given the fickle nature of youths.
            The classroom topic for that day dealt with listening. I was amazed. After having gained experience working with youths, the topic of how to listen to youth was something missing in previous training. So needless to say, priority was placed on hearing what Dorian was feeling after class. Ironically, he was very upset about the class. He sort of felt picked on or used when asked, “What is it like to have a juvenile record? Is it difficult to avoid gangs and crime in Indianapolis?”
            Dorian did such a good job, interacted with the class with such finesses. “Why are you mad,” I questioned- Actually, I had forgotten, Dorian never was a simple personality to understand. To be honest, he has always been nice, but under the surface, there was a nasty side which was far from obvious. He recently confessed one day that the courts ordered him to either get a job and education or else return to jail. Days later, he said if he went to a court-ordered mental treatment facility, he could avoid the dangers of a new sentencing.
             So to be honest, perhaps it would require a psychologist to know about Dorian’s mind-set. After all, I couldn't understand why I should be terribly upset due to the fact that the college experience left him “cussing and screaming.”

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Prophetic Times-Prophetic Measures

My motto for 2013 is, "Prophetic times call for prophetic measures." Actually, this is a good motto for life considering the days and times of this age. Since this blog has been dedicated to the "work of mercy" called "setting the captive free," tools need to be in place to counter-balance the darkness of this world. People need to see signs and wonder...the sick being healed and demons cast out. That might sound spooky however, what people do nowadays from crime, drugs and witchcraft is down-right spooky too. I'm glad that an Apostolic anointing is's not about the Apostolic denomination but the anointing that was demonstrated by the Apostles in the Book of Acts.  

There is a new church reformation occurring and its coming to a city near you. There was a radical departure from the spirit of "church business as usual." The first Reformation occurred during the days when Martin Luther broke from the Catholic church to establish the Protestant faith. So too is there a current church reformation according to the leaders of what is called the New Apostolic Reformation. Regardless of who calls it a movement or a thing is clear, God is dealing with the Church in different ways.   

Now let's be serious, many Christians will never experience this reformation. First of all, some leaders do not believe in the initial sign of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues as manifested in Acts 2:38, let alone the signs and wonders that will accompany the latter day move of God...namely the restoration of the offices of prophet. Yet in Joel 2:28 says "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:" You can't have it both ways. We are either in the last days or not. If so, expect God to equip His people with new gift and fresh power to combat the onslaught of the latter day kingdom of darkness. 

And so, as T.D. Jakes would say....get ready...get ready...get ready.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weird Naptown

It's kind of hard to rescue the captive, the main theme of this blog, without understanding how a city, community or place contributes to the captive mind-set. Some would say that people are in captivity due to no fault of anyone else. This is an argument for another blog however. Since I work with the captive in Indianapolis, it is important to understand how this city works....It is important for all to understand the history and politics of their place of habitation. 

Indianapolis is a weird sort of city. It was a superb host of Super Bowl XLVI. Yet all sorts of issues vital to growth and development remain…For instance, crime is a growth industry, kids can be disruptive while shooting up downtown landmarks, the Indianapolis Police Department says they have no more budget to pay their staff and key leaders are determined to take over the Indianapolis Public Schools.

These issues seem disjointed. In reality, they are related. First of all, Indianapolis has always been a city with a strong desire and push to enhance her image. Now this is a good thing. All citizens of any city should want to see growth and progressiveness. However, politics and a slight hint of favoritism which borders on old fashion racism, tends to promote a posture of exclusiveness, not inclusion. Take for instance the public transportation system, one of the worst in America. Once the Mayor Greg Ballard got re-elected, the first thing he wanted to do was improve public transportation. He got a lot of big-wigs…mayors, business leaders and the like to generate a grand plan which included rapid transit to regional locations. I can image this assembly, entitled the Central Regional Transit Authority, sitting around grand board-rooms with catered lunches, as they pontificated about the state of public transportation. One problem, they failed to ask the people forced to use the pitiful system of transportation called IndyGo.

While the City of Indianapolis cannot seem to improve IndyGo, the planning and execution of the Super Bowl did wonders for the image of Indianapolis. However, my lasting memory of this event is the estimated crowd of about 40 African-American and Latino residents stranded in the shivering cold, waiting on IndyGo buses. As it was becoming clear, the buses were not coming on that Sunday evening of the Super Bowl, the image of hospitality reserved for the Super Bowl patrons was clear: It seemed that every charter and school bus in the city was parked nearby, awaiting the beckoned call of those attending the game while the citizens went neglected. The IndyGo office was not available to answer any telephone call despite the $150-thousand federal transportation grant received to provide citizens with four days of free rides during this event.

And now the Mayor, the Governor and appointed friends are using their united muscle for a new agenda, the hostile takeover of the Indianapolis Public Schools. However, if a police department can overspend their budget in three months and a public transportation system ranks as one of the worst in the nation, what makes a mayor even begin to feel competent to handle the challenges of an urban system like the Indianapolis Public Schools? By the way, part of the take-over plan is that the Mayor should serve in a similar capacity as a superintendent. It is easy to create charter schools where all the good and intelligent students attend. However, education in urban systems involves entrenched social problems. I feel for the many urban principals that are regularly cussed out by parents, not much older than the students. Until these problems are solved, the highly qualified teacher being sought to solve these problems will remain unqualified. If the Mayor, Governor, Indianapolis Star and Mind Trust feel as if a hostile takeover of the Indianapolis Schools is the answer to the growth and development of the City of Indianapolis, I hope they fix these social problems by bringing all to the table for solutions, not just the politically correct appointees. After all, these problems in school spill over into communities in beautiful places like the downtown canal on warm weekend evenings.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A latter/prophectic church movement

After being exposed to Kingdom Valley Ministries, Oak Forest, Illinois, where the anointed ministry of the recording-artist Shekinah Glory is based, I was enlightened. I knew there was a difference in this worship, unlike and unmatched to anything previously experienced. After attending a few more services and with a little research, I am learning what the difference is. I have learned that many churches across this nation are uniting and praying around the 7 Mountains…As a result, not only do I have a renewed purpose but a better understand of the real purpose of the latter day church. In another post, I will elaborate more on the seven mountains. However, the days of “church as usual” are no more. God is calling for the “Ecclesia,” a church greatly different from the typical congregation we find in America today. The following information was inspired from the web site
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus calls for the formation of the ecclesia, a ruling body that governed the “polis” or city-state. This is a goal for those who would be His disciples. The goal involves a kingdom on earth that would have binding and loosing powers. This goal involves the governing of the heavenly principalities as stated in (Ephesians 3:8-10, 6:10-18). Not only is this trait lacking in many believers but many seemingly fail to believe this power is possible with men. As a result, the goal of transforming earthly communities has not resulted. We are not seeing the full manifestation of God’s kingdom on Earth. Another example of how this ecclesia should differ from the typical congregation can be found in Hebrews 10:25.
In other words, the church should not function just to fill seats for church growth on Sundays. The church should have a united agenda to turn this world order upside down (Acts 17:6). There is an extensive history, starting in the late 19th century, where the church serves only as a place for the rescuing sinners for a secluded life leading to heaven. The church lost a major part of the mission to change and engage the world. The church took on a mission to  resist and protect herself  from the world.

God is calling His latter day church to do something much more radical: Engage the world, govern it and affect the culture. Yet according to the web site mentioned above, “Church attendance in this nation is at an all-time high; however, cultural effectiveness is at an all-time low!” What wrong with that picture?
The church is supposed to disciple nations with global influence as listed in Genesis 1:28 and Matthew 28:19. As a result, when churches focus continually inwardly instead of outwardly, Para-church ministries have to be established to reach neglected city communities…Smaller-sized church tend to have more cultural influence than a “mega-churches. Could it be that many mega-churches are have become gathering places with very limited influence in the heavenly and earthly realms?
So here is a test to see if your church is making an impact, functioning as an ecclesia or as a typical American congregation. Is your church concerned with:
  • Being comfortable and conforming to the status quo?
  • Having a personality-driven leadership at the top or having the vocational calling of all its members? 
  • Training people for all of life or just church life?
  • Changing the surrounding community or only the individual souls?
  • Being at war against demonic entities in the heavenly spheres or simply at war with each other?  
  • Sending people out to serve their communities or calling for communities to attend Sunday worship experiences.
  • Bringing the kingdom of Heaven to earth or just satisfying their members with joy in their hearts. 
  • Being sanctified to serve others or being saved for the sake of sanctification.
  • Preaching that Jesus rose from the dead to “fill all things” (Ephesians 4:10); or that Jesus rose from the dead merely to save individuals from hell.
  • Influencing each of the seven cultural mountains of society or not influencing any, never having even heard of the mountains?