Dr. Maria Seaman: Loving You For Real!
As we embark upon the month of February, this is the one month that we will hear the word "love" spoken and expressed possibly more than any other month. But what does the word "love" really mean? Without getting a dictionary, how do you define love?
Well, the American Heritage Dictionary defines love as "an intense affection for another person based on familial or personal ties." Now, please read this definition again and really think about it. Is this really love? The phrase "based on" honestly annuls it from being a true definition of love, because it suggests a condition upon which to love. However, when you love someone, especially the way God has commanded us to love, it should not be based upon anything other than the perfect love of God revealed to us through His Son Jesus Christ.
So how do we love people in spite of their wrongs or faults? How do we honestly demonstrate the love of Christ to all people? Well, this month's featured preaching woman, Dr. Maria A. Seaman (Dr. Seaman), Founder and Pastor of Shekinah Worship International Ministries (SIM), at Shekinah Worship Centre, Bermuda, covered under the apostolic helm of Dr. Karen Bethea of the Set the Captives Free Outreach Center, Baltimore, MD, is here to share some strategies with you. We are honored to celebrate Dr. Seaman as she reminds of us of God's Perfect love and one of His greatest commands, "To love people for real!"
Graced with a revelatory preaching and teaching style partially attributed to her original vocation as a Biology and Science teacher, Dr. Seaman has an uncanny ability to vividly illustrate the mysteries of God's wisdom through His love in such a way that lives are immediately impacted and changed. On account of her unique anointing, God has provided opportunities for her to preach in Barbados, Trinidad, The United Kingdom, South Africa, and many places within the United States.
Having obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Saint Leo University; Master's and Doctoral Degrees in Biblical Studies from Andersonville Theological Seminary, Dr. Seaman is the author of three books, The World of the Womb in God's Plan for Man, Wombs II and A Voice Crying out in a Wilderness called Paradise. She also writes a weekly column in the local newspaper, hosts a weekly radio broadcast, Echoes of Shekinah, and will soon host the talk show, "Light It Up" which will air on the church's soon to be, 24 hour local Cable channel.
In addition to ministry, Dr. Seaman recently established Vine Creations House Publishers, for the express purpose of editing and publishing works by other authors and poets.
PreachingWoman.com founder, Evangelist Nichelle Early, welcomed the opportunity to speak one on one with Dr. Seaman about God's Perfect love. So sit back and relax and enjoy!
NE: Dr. Seaman, can you please share with us the mission of your personal ministry?
MS: The key mission and emphasis of the ministry that God has given me is to teach people to know and receive God's perfect love, His mature love. This love is brought about in our hearts by His Spirit. God's wants us to know that through His love, everything that needs to be done will be done. Whether it's in the community, in our church, or in business, love makes all things possible. ...In July 2006, when God called me to pastor, I was standing at my kitchen sink and He said to me, "Maria, if you teach the people to love, you will have everything you need." Therefore, what I stress in ministry is this: "Let's really love; not just talk about it, or simply seek to understand it; let's move from understanding love to becoming love."
NE: Dr. Seaman that is awesome!
MS: Amen! You see there is no greater fruit of the spirit than love. It was through God's love that He sent His only begotten Son that we might have live; So, I'll say it again, we must get back to perfect love.
NE: Dr. Seaman, what do you believe has caused some churches to get away from focusing on God's perfect love?
MS: Anytime a nation or a people feel powerless, they endeavor to seek power. Naturally, God created us to have dominion over the earth; However, due to the fall of mankind and their effort to regain their position, that dominion became interpreted as control. For example: When God created Adam and Eve, He said that Eve was meet for Adam. In other words, she was good for Adam...God gave the earth to Adam for dominion and He gave Eve to Adam for relationship.
Therefore, when businesses or churches lose relationship with people, all that's left is dominion in the form of control. And so we see today, that people will choose dominion and authority over relationship in order to satisfy the desire for power and control. There's a quote I appreciate that simply says, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely..." There's no way a man or a woman should have absolute authority over anybody. There should be levels of accountability in every organization, not only to man, but to God. Pastors, especially are accountable to God, and that's even more serious...So, when you get leadership that are not in relationship with the people, they will become drunk with power. Then they will eventually have a people that will worship them instead of God, and the people's image of God will become skewed...Therefore, if the love relationship is not there, we can't effectively minister so that the people's hearts are changed by the Rhema Word of God.
NE: Dr. Seaman that is absolutely amazing revelation!
So, how can we as ministers of the Gospel help restore the emphasis on God's perfect love in our organized ministries or churches?
MS: Well Nichelle, let me say this: When Jesus came to the earth realm He ran into the professional church, so to speak. In other words, he ran into the Sadducees and the Pharisees, who for the most part, emphasized doing things right, but they did them without love. Therefore, Jesus became the irritant to the church because unlike them, His focus was on love and not on the law. For example, the woman caught in adultery; the world is somewhat symbolic of this woman; when Jesus encountered her, even though she had sinned, He showed her love; He didn't try to embarrass her. The scribes and Pharisees desired to embarrass her and stone her. Sadly, today in the "professional church," we sometimes try to cast out people for their sins. Whereas the church sometimes "out-stands" people, Jesus's love "up-stands" them.
Therefore we, as pastors and ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, must teach the people to study the life and ministry of Jesus until they come to know the love of God. For the love of God is sent and manifested through the presence of Jesus Himself. When we teach the people to study the life and ministry of Jesus, then it will become less about rules and regulations and more about God's love. Remember, Jesus did not come to destroy the church; in fact the church was already destroyed by sin and law. He came to rebuild the church with love, which He accomplished through His compassion, every miracle He did, and by giving His life for us. So, as Pastors and ministers, we must always remember that the ground of the cross is leveled and we cannot do it on our own, but we must depend upon the presence of Jesus within us to restore perfect love in our ministries.
Dr. Seaman, in the case of those leaders who may have lost the love relationship that you speak of with their people, can you please share with us three principles necessary for them to restore it?
MS: Absolutely! I would offer the following: [non-exhaustive]
- Have a healthy understanding and respect for people - It is very important to look at people through the love of Christ, regardless of where they come from. Don't condemn them. Find out what angle they are coming from and make every effort as their leader to get in touch with where that person is mentally and spiritually.
- Be a good listener - When the people you lead come to you, allow them to speak; don't interrupt them or demean them; Let them share with you and purge whatever they need to with you as their leader. Then allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you about them and allow you to speak the wisdom of God in love into their spirit in order to bring the gulf that they may be experiencing in their spirits together.
- Empower the people - Based upon what God has spoken to you about a person and where they are, encourage them to move to the next place in God. When people meet Jesus, they have to upgrade! Therefore, remind them that they are not their past, and that they are moving into their destiny. Show them how to move to 'the other side' of where they are.
NE: Dr. Seaman, that is great advice!
You are just so full of revelation regarding the love of God until it's contagious! And I'm a firm believer that you can't impart what you don't possess. So can you share with us how you received such passion to impart and minister the perfect love of God?
MS: Well, I've always been one who pondered, or thought more than I spoke. As a baby, my mother (Diane Russell) always ensured that I was sent to the house of God. My mother became a Christian when I was about 5 years old. At about the age of six or seven, I had a dream. In the dream, I was in an amphitheatre kind of building and rocks were falling and I was calling for my mother; I woke up terrified calling for my mother, because I was scared that I wouldn't be with her when the rapture occurs. At that point, my mother led me to the Lord and I was assured that we would be together when the rapture occurs.
So, it was through the love that I have for my mother, and my wanting to be with her when the rapture occurs, that led me to accepting Christ; and it became the very prism through which I now see ministry. It propels me to do everything that I do, because I know other children love their parents just as much as I love mines. I don't want to see them separated from their parents or loved ones when the rapture occurs. So, it is through this love that I endeavor to see souls saved.
In fact, today my mother, Mother Dianne Russell is the Head Intercessor in the church today! My father, Father Raymond Russell Sr. is also a member of our church.
NE: Wow! That is so special!
Well, let's transition a little... God has called you to Pastor a phenomenal church in Bermuda, Shekinah Worship International Ministries (SWIM). Please share with us regarding your call to the pastorate.
MS: Well, the call to the pastorate sat in my spiritual womb for about eight years. God initially spoke to me about pastoring in 1998. At the time, I was a part of a denomination and local assembly; but, circumstances transpired that caused me to really begin seeking God about His plans for me and whether I should leave the organization. However, God spoke to me and said, "If you leave now, you will miss everything that I have for you." So, at that point, I stayed put from about 1998 until around October 2005, until I had a release to leave...Now my husband, Elder Kent Seaman, is a builder and he built us a beautiful home. I named our home Shekinah Rest, because I believe that the home is where people should be able to find rest and I believe people should also be able to find rest at church... So, after hearing from God and being released to leave... we held our first Sunday service, July 2, 2006, with about 103 people. Of those people about 23 of them were seniors of the age 72 and older. Initially and temporarily, we called our church, The Gathering. However, on September 1, 2006, we changed the name to Shekinah Worship International Ministries at Shekinah Worship Centre, Bermuda. In November 2006, I was formally ordained as Pastor, and we've been going strong ever since.
NE: WOW! What a mighty God we serve. This just goes to show how important timing is when stepping out into the pastorate.
MS: Well, before I was a pastor, I was a biology teacher for 19 years; and so I do love to understand the working of the human body. Ironically, my own body gave me a challenge when it came to my own womb. I do believe that "our greatest miseries will really birth our ministry." I say that because I have a great love for the body in terms of biology, however, at a time the thing I loved most and knew most about (the body), was betraying me in terms of my own womb. So, I began to really research the womb and God began to give me unique revelations concerning the womb and birthing. The womb is simply a sacred house of safety. He revealed to me that there are:
7 Wombs of Existence:
- The Mind of God
- The Universe
- The Earth
- Human Mind
What we must know is that everything that is begun is completed in the mind of God, and each womb submits to Him. In fact, our very lives are wombs and therefore we must protect them, because the enemy is always after the womb. He is always after the seed which is housed in the womb. That's one of the reasons why we can't be so modern about abortion or a female making her own choice, because she should not supersede what God has allowed. Just like we can't choose the moment of conception or fertilization, we should not determine the moment of termination. It is God who knows our end from our beginning. Therefore, we must nurture our wombs for the blessings God wants to birth in our lives.
NE: People this is an awesome book and you need to get your copy today!
Well, Dr. Seaman, I know your time is precious so in closing, as you indicated that you once experienced challenges with your own womb, however, God blessed you and your husband with three beautiful daughters. What does your family mean to you, especially as it pertains to your ministry?
MS: My family becomes the echo of God's heart in terms of what He wanted demonstrated in the Garden of Eden. He wanted a safe place where His children could be naked and not ashamed; a place that was not about appearances, but about who we are in Him. I believe that God wants our families to demonstrate protection, love, and meeting each other's needs. He doesn't intend for the family atmosphere to be laborious, He wants it to be effective as a recreation of His original plan. So, I am pleased to say that I have a family that is ever striving to come as close to God's original plan as possible. I am so proud of my girls; they are so special to me. And as far as my husband of nearly twenty-seven years, well, let's just say this: He takes great care of me. Not only did he make sure that I had a home, but as I stated earlier, he built us a home with his own hands, and gave me children to fill that home. He not only takes good care of our natural home, but he also covers the care of our church. In addition, both of my parents are still with me. And to their credit, I didn't get married to leave home. They provided a great example of a loving family and fruitful relationship and I try to duplicate that love within my own family.
NE: How beautiful!
Well Dr. Seaman, last but certainly not least, what do you believe God is saying in this hour?
MS: I believe God is saying, "Return to me with your whole heart! Be passionate with your whole heart." Matthew 6:36, KJV says, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you[emphasis mine].
Every day, we should wake up and return to God those things which are already His. Our gifts, our mind, our talents, all of it, we must return it to God. When the church returns to God, the sinners will have somewhere to come to. As we return to God, people will be attracted to Jesus and they will come to see and experience a relationship with the Jesus in you and me!