Us the Walking Dead
With acclaimed shows like The Walking Dead and blockbuster movies like World War Z, the discussion over the zombies and the living dead have been running rampant over the Internet and many water coolers.
But what if I told you I didn’t think that many of us were living far from what we see the zombies as being. But this is not a viral strain, disease or mass infection. This is a little bit harder to see; this could be a relationship, work environment or even a bad habit.
I thought it would be interesting to discuss some of the roots and etymology of the word zombie since you all know how fond I am of word roots. But then I decided that I wanted to take this in a different direction.
This living dead perception that we have isn’t necessarily as far from reality as we’d like to think.
We treat life with certain precautions. Life is something that we are careful with. We treasure it, we cherish it and the majority of us understand the fragility of life. You don’t go out and run through the freeway because you know there is a very high chance of you not living through that decision.
See how we unconsciously cherish life and use crosswalks, drive safely and take the right amount of medication. We cherish the life that we are given and it shows in each one of us.
But we also have this emotional life and we have this mental life and the spiritual life. And the life that we have in these moments is just as real and sometimes more real than the life we are living right now. You know those moments when you are overwhelmed with emotions and it feels like you are dying yet you’re still breathing.
Just as we agreed that we wouldn’t see people running through freeways due to the fragility of life, I don’t necessarily see people exercising that same caution with their emotional, mental and spiritual lives.
When I look at the lives of many people I see them slowly killing themselves. Placing themselves in situations that are killing them. Whether it be a job, relationship, struggle. Whatever the situation, it may be slowly killing them, and many of us are in this place right now.
Many will say to each day that it owes them a living yet they aren’t concerned that they haven’t even lived one moment of that day.
You’ve seen these people; they often resembled the zombies that we are so fixated on. They are the walking dead. I’ve been in that place and it is not something I would wish on anyone. They are not feeling nor are they responding but they are dazed and crazed because they are dead inside. It is so easy for us to take part in things that may be killing us. It can easily mean we are taking on too much or placing ourselves in contact with toxic people.
I would encourage you to embrace life in your living. In all of your living don’t forget to live.
You need to stand up and remove the things that are killing you and those things that are taking a negative toll on your life. It’s very easy to get caught up with the standards we set up in our world that we forget to take care of ourselves. We then allow ourselves to be killed slowly and become one of these living dead, one of these zombie characters we watch.
Your life is precious. You wouldn’t gamble your very breath. Just in the same, you might be in a situation that is physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually killing you. For your sake and those who love you, Get out. You are no use to anyone dead, even if it is only emotionally, etc. We don’t need to become a walking dead mom, worker or person. We need to be full of life.
Anyone can die; in fact we all face that fate. Anyone can be unhappy and miserable. Only the determined and strong will truly live. I know that can be you today.
A New Year’s resolution is often about coming to a resolution and declaring new hopes for the new year. Some diet, work out or even stop drinking Starbucks. All this because we seek something to resolve inside us. But life doesn’t resolve. We will never understand why… We will never have everything we want…
Life just doesn’t resolve. We will always have questions life will always present us with the Mistry, and there will always be wonder.
One thing you can be sure of is that you are anticipated, you are not an accident, you are revolutionary.
While many will seek to make resolutions that five & ten months down the road will be forgotten or lacked.
I’ve been there, many times we are not happy with the results of a new year resolution or may have not gotten the answers we’ve wanted. One thing you can do is be confident in who you are and what you were created to be.
I think instead of making temporary resolutions this year we can seek to become revolutionary beings in our actions.
The word revolution has a tainted past and can bring an unsettled feeling to many. The root for the word revolution is centered around revolving which is a constant ,oving and progression.
Resolution is about becoming complete. While revolution is about growing, progressing, and going forward. That is what this new year will be about you becoming a better you you becoming forgetting where you came from and not experiencing that again
Revolution isn’t as much about impacting but rather initiating.
Let us press on beyond the past, let’s move above the hurt and focus on being better people, to the world and to ourselves.
I often see many homeless men and women and people are aware of the need for change, but revolution isn’t brought by giving change but embracing change. Revolution happen in your life, in our world, in our communities by embracing change and moving forward.
I encourage you as this year ends and a new one begins not to seek resolution but to create revolution within yourself.
You are a Revolutionary.
The Spirituality of Scooby Doo
1969 was filled with heroes of all kinds. It was a year that was bigger than life. Superheroes of all kind ran rampant through all walks of life.
The Beatles were at their height. Man was on the moon for the first time and Music festivals including the infamous Woodstock brought in over 800,000 people together for causes bigger than themselves.
1969 was a year of brave, strong and innovative people shinning in front of a gazing world. Imaginations were being stretched and ordinary people were solving all the worlds’ problems. Or it seemed. This was a wide-eyed generation with many types of Superhero’s to watch.
1969 saw TV shows such as bewitched, Star Trek and The Avengers running through the minds of ordinary people watching at home on the couch.
Amongst all of these heavy hitters, a new show began its run on the airwaves. A revolutionary show that would showcase everyday people changing the world, the broken and fumbled kind of man solving problems, this indeed would be revolutionary in a time of superpowers, bigger than life figures and sci-fi shows. Scooby Doo aired for the first time on September 13th, 1969.
My friend Len Winneroski has coined the phrase Ordinary Weakling and I love its appeal and igniting flair. When we look at the spiritual life, for most of us it can be filled with such outlandish expectations and hopes. Personal and metaphorical obstacles that can rival the skyscrapers in some cities can often seem so big we find it hard to get out of the bed each morning.
The beauty of Scooby doo was the bravery of an ordinary group of people to deal with outlandish situations with no help from super powers, radioactive spiders or billionaire contraptions. That day in 1969 was the launch of a new trend in our world and I’d like to share a few things we can gain from this change in pace.
Often the villain we learned in this year of 1969 in The Scooby Doo series wasn’t a mutated super human or a bred from birth personification of evil but a man that often looked just like us.
In the popular cases of Batman and Spiderman facing the demons inside each of themselves we also can relive those unmasking moments in Scooby Doo where it was someone just like them, it wasn’t an “evil”, it was a person.
Sometimes the biggest hindrance to a dream is that which is staring at us in the mirror.
Maybe our greatest enemy isn’t the evil around us, but the evil inside us.
Below I am sharing a video from a great musician, Derek Webb with a song that ties perfectly into this topic.
Thanks for reading.
Since my early days in church I’ve often been told I had to relate to God as a father. I just couldn’t… I tried but.. Couldn’t.
See, I never knew my father, he caused my mother horrible pain and left our family to fend for itself excelling us into a deeper poverty and depression.
Amongst all of the constant struggles just for daily food and hoping for shelter in the coming months as bills piled up, in church I was told to pray to God, my ABBA father.
That word ABBA was foreign to me. Not in the sense of the definition, i knew how church folks defined it, I just didn’t know what it looked like.
In my mind I didn’t see much of a difference between God and a deadbeat father.
Over the past decade my thoughts have changed. Now I want to share with you some insight about real fathers. I hate to disappoint you but this blog won’t be specifically tied to God being our father, nor to biological fathers.
In my last book I taught of a new way to understand fathers. One of the Hebraic words for Father is אמן and is pronounced ‘aman.
The definition for the Hebrew word for father is one “who offers his right hand.”
The definition beautifully brings to mind the prefect expression of what a father is and can be.
This word father here is more than a person who works, provides and loves. This wisdom in the word father is about a person who seeks to lead, guide and walk with you.
I’ve never had a father. But I have been very blessed in my childhood to have many men and women come into my life to lead me and take my hand while on this spiritual journey and this life journey.
My hope on this day when we celebrate fathers we include those mentors, spiritual fathers and all who have had a hand in leading someone.
I am convinced that God loves puns when reading the Bible, and this Hebrew word used for father is ‘aman…or as our English eyes might see it, A Man. A man is someone who leads. A man is an example. A man is a guide.
Let us not only celebrate the men in our lives doing this but embrace anyone who leads and instructs regardless of gender.
To all the Leaders out there… Thanks from a former broken and lonely kid.
I sat down with Scott Blair and the wrestling with God podcast. Give it a listen.
Lots of new stuff coming up. Stay tuned in.
This week was no different, with tensions surrounding the Supreme Court’s recent contemplations and multiple recent tragedies this week. I happened to witness a lively but very civil debate.
However while walking by I overheard the phrase, “you just need to live the Bible.”
Is it possible to live the Bible? If so than how do we go about living the Bible, or living biblically?
Living a phrase of the Bible can be damaging. Expressing the Bible in your own life can be life changing.
In our pick & choose society we can often forget that the Bible isn’t a book full of good phrases and suggestions on how to live.
It is the raw and unfiltered accounts of real men and women who were trying to live and know God in their culture.
The word Bible is a fairly new word in the whole picture of history. The word the ancients often used to describe the words of God or the inspired words of God was scripture. The word Scripture is used all throughout the Bible and Old Testament books such as Daniel and the book of Psalms. In Hebrew the word is כתב and is pronounced kathab, it means a record of things.
The Bible isn’t an account of broken people who become perfect and try to live in a certain standard. The Bible is a chance for us to see the unique paths people that people travel with God.
The Bible is an exposé, and gives us a look into what real spirituality is; a journey that for each person is unique and distinct to that person. The Bible is a raw look into different people from different cultures exploring what is means to follow God and share that hope in their day.
I believe living Biblically is essential to a life of faith.
Living Biblically means embracing diverse roads, different journeys and celebrating uniqueness.
If we take living Biblically to mean a set agenda for everyone to live by, than we are no longer dealing with a divine inspired spirituality, we are dealing with man made standards.
If that was the case living biblically would be…
Dashing little ones against stones.– Psalms 137:9
Having slaves. — Leviticus 25:44
I will not go on with the many Old and New Testament scriptures that would not be fit for today’s living. My hope is that you begin to see the Bible not as an explanation of God but as an exploration of God.
When a faith is bound by two covers, it’s a book. When faith is built on God it has no boundaries and no walls.
So let us live Biblically and embrace difficulty and rise up against injustice and destroy walls people put up around God.