A Journey into Discussion

Conversation
Discussion is holy. The object of discussion is not to know, for once I know, I will know no more. When discussion has come to an end, the hunger and desperation in seeking the answer is gone.

Discussion is a journey.

The Hebrew word for the word conversation is intriguing it’s definition is, journey, a road, a path no near end.

So then we can gain that conversion and discussion are not about finding an answer but going on a journey.

What does a journey entail? Sightseeing, stories, memories, heartache and laughter.

Conversation isn’t about proving a point, true conversation is about going on a journey with the people you are speaking with.

When gaining knowledge has come to an end, moving and growing have ceased.

A conversation lacking journey is like traveling forever in a white room that leads to nowhere.

When we can incorporate this in every moment we gather and converse, the conversation becomes less about making a point and more about walking a road together.

Instead of debating, arguing and stuffing with knowledge, I begin to know you, and you begin to know me.

A conversation is somewhat of a dance, among strangers it’s beautiful and informative. Among friends it’s almost intimate, accountability and trust with every move, no longer am I walking alone, because when I speak they follow me on my journey.

Any exclusion to a conversation is in a sense neglecting someones journey.

Let’s create discussion, let’s join each other on this journey.

Adapted from the forth coming book, An Emerging Spirituality by Ricky Maye

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Resurrection

Resurrection at its core, confronts.

It confronts death and fear. Resurrection is about more than death, it’s about losing life, losing those things closest to you, losing dreams and then waking up from this sleep.

I had the pleasure of being blessed to know a young couple that had been in love with each other since kindergarten, if you were to ask them they’d say everything has been perfect for them.

Duties were oppositely divided; she was a prominent and active attorney. He however stayed home and tended to the needs of the house and family.

The wedding was three days away.

The husband received a phone call with very little details other than being notified that his wife is in the hospital, as you can imagine panic ensued quickly.

He arrives at the hospital, to find a former client had shot his wife. She had been temporarily paralyzed. Needless to say she wasn’t going to walk down the isle anytime soon.

While she’s awake they prayed for God to show up, to do a miracle, after all this is the God they have always     believed in. While she is sleep he makes the calls to family and businesses to cancel the wedding.

Well visit this story later, but right now I want to to focus on a very real part of life. Death.

Death

I fondly remember my visit to a Vacation Bible School classroom, the kids had so Many questions for me, you will be amazed sometimes if you just listen to the questions your kids have.

Somehow we got on the subject of divirsity and one kid yelled out, “Ricky! What do we all have in common?”

Without a chance to answer because I had to take a moment to ponder a Christian Correct answer and a kid friendly response, one of the kids yelled out, “we all die!”

What a dark yet insightful answer I thought and it still sticks with me to this day.

Death is powerful, death is unavoidable, and death doesn’t seclude anyone. Death is not like us, it doesn’t discriminate, and this is true for physical death and spiritual death.

Death is the one time we see Jesus angry in one situation and tearful in another.

He said to one of his disciples, “let the dead bury themselves.” (Matt 8:22) when a young follower needed to go to a family funeral, Jesus was angry because other business had to be taken care of at that moment.

In another incident Jesus was approached by two sisters with a history with Jesus, Mary and Martha, their brother Lazarus was laying dead in a tomb and they needed the help of Jesus. (John 11)

A pause follows, and then we read that Jesus wept, simply and shortly said, but powerfully visual (John 11:35) this thing called death even brought Jesus to tears.

When I hear that, “come forth” for Lazarus to rise out of that tomb, I here, come forth dead dreams, dead hopes, maybe Jesus wasn’t just limiting this “come forth” to the life in Lazarus, but maybe to my everyday, to your bad day at work, your rejected album submission letters, your book project.

I am defined by what I overcome, and this Jesus taught that we, yes you, and even me, we can overcome this death.

Because I’ve died, I’ve woken up and I’ve felt so dead some mornings and with some unexpected blessing Life comes out of nowhere.

I can go on all day about life because I’ve experienced death, death is no who I am, I have overcome death, and I am overcoming death everyday.

Death cannot stop you, depression cannot stop you. Life is promised to you.

Adapted from the upcoming book, An Emerging Spirituality by Ricky Maye and Alex Gamble

Take a breathe

I couldn’t relate to God and nobody seemed to really care.

In church they told me God was a father, they called him Abba, I liked the word but I never knew my father, he hurt my mother and never helped me or my family in any way, that kind of father? They told me God was a provider, they called him El Shaddai, but my mom worked 3 jobs and put herself in the hospital to provide for just me and my brother, I was told we were all God’s children, “he has to provide for all these children!” I thought, I guessed I’d never see him, he’d always be working. I went to Sunday school on some occasions. When we were not coloring pictures depicting Noah’s Ark or David and Goliath we were memorizing scriptures and what they called the A B C’s to salvation. In a few years when I was older I was lucky to move up to the youth group which focused more on memorizing entire scriptures intended for making us feel guilty for doubt, sex and bad grades. We also talked about this thing called apologetics, which was all about defending our faith in school. Most of my time in church was spent learning how to defend this faith I still had so many questions about. They spent more time telling me what to believe, rather than who to believe in. I still didn’t know how to relate to God.

Now things are different. I spend much of my time helping many people find God in the world around them. Let me introduce you to my brother Allen, he is a writer of music, he is a worship leader, he plays almost every instrument know to man. He has a passion for music few will ever understand, he’s gone as far to make music his profession. He is not necessarily the most religious or typical Christian, he veers from theological topics and keeps distance from taking a verbal stance on many things because “we are all different.” I’d imagine if you ask my brother Allen who God is, he might pass over the father, provider and burning bush euphemisms. I think he would say something along the lines of how God is a vibration, to him God speaks through the vibration of strings, leather on drum heads and the vibrating of chords in the throat while singing. For him I think music goes farther and deeper than it does for me, but God is speaking to him in a different way when someone is playing, singing or dancing. This is his Horeb moment.

How beautiful to witness a God who distinctly will reveal himself to each one of us as we need. A few years back I decided to take a breather from this Christian thing. I chronicle this journey in my upcoming book, An Emerging Spirituality.

I took some time to breathe and what God began to teach me was when I take time to breathe I am becoming closer with God. God gave existence to everything in the garden of Eden, but he only breathed into man. He gave mankind something called “life”. This life was something different than being alive because the animals, water and plants were alive, but they didn’t have life. Life is purpose, life is intention, life is hope and dreams. Animals are alive, but a dog doesn’t get upset when his finances are in peril because he has stuff to do before he turns 30, he doesn’t cry when he sees a child starving to death when he knows he can do something. When we take some time to breathe we are taking a moment to become aware of God and the more he wants to do with us, we are becoming one with God.

Take a breath today, just breathe.

Confession is Bigger than Sin

 

 

In the book of James there is a verse that traditionally reads like this, “Confess your sins, one to another so that you may be healed.” James-5-16

 

I’m sure you can see how this has played a part as legalism in some of our denominations, churches and many different religions around the world.

 

When looking at the scripture at face value and using a lose understanding of the scripture this scripture cannot only become misunderstand, as it has. It can also be made into a doctrine that controls, scares and promotes a false emptiness for alot of people, which it has. that is not to say that some haven’t been helped by doctrines that focus on confessing sin to one another, accountability is something we all need. Most times in scripture we find that God’s ideas are bigger than ours, God’s idea of sin is more than just doing bad stuff, God’s idea of repenting is bigger than just saying sorry for sins. God is so much Bigger.

Moses wanted a way to put God in a box, similar to what we do today is the modern church, Moses asked God, let me see you, like Moses could have processed all that was God. Even at on behalf of the israelites, he said he needed a way they could express this God they couldn’t see. How do you speak of a God you can’t see? How do you share a God you can’t feel? They wanted a physical and mental box understanding of God, give us a name, some personality traits. But God said, no, he I will be who I will be, they will see me by my actions, they will know me when I come into contact with each one. He didn’t want a broad understanding of himself, he didn’t want everybody to know the same God, they would all have many different and diverse experiences with this God.

 

Back to the scripture, Two out of three translators do not translate this word “sin” which in Greek is Par-ap’-to-mah and they agree on the original word here should be used as faults, we all remember what a fault is from geography class, rocks or plates which are cracked and moving, which might eventually lead to something collapsing over time, or even caving in.

 

The word healed is a holistic, universal and all covering word. So it would be best to use the word whole based on the Greek word ee-ah’-om-ahee which is a verb that is very similar to the Greek word sozo used for salvation, it deals with healing, deliverance, safety, mental health. etc.

 

The word, “confess” here is a rapid violent rushed verb. This isn’t about just talking. A picture that the Greek gives us is a man unloading and throwing it on the ground, this is something heavy, this is a secret, a struggle, some baggage.

 

So looking deeper in the scripture It reads like this, unload your faults to one another so that you may become whole, really whole.

 

Go into your closet and unload all those things, you thought you forgot about but they still affect you. You’re out working so hard because mom never said, “Good job.” You gave yourself to all those guys because dad just couldn’t hug you. All those things, those heavy things need to come out and it needs to be unloaded, in your women’s group, your home study, to your pastor, therapist or spouse, whoever you can trust but it needs to come out, so that wholeness came come in.

 

So then the Christian fellowship becomes more about letting your secrets out rather than keeping them in, or worse pretending that you’re the only one who doesn’t struggle to be an example for those around you.

 

Me, I don’t have anymore room in my closet for anymore skeletons, my body is so full of baggage I’m carrying around from past hurts and regrets.

I vividly remember hearing Jim Bakker speaking in NYC and He talked a few minutes about shame, he paused and humbly said, “I don’t have shame, I am shame, I’ve been shame since the day I was born, I could never please my dad, I could never be good enough, can I say masturbate…I am Shame, but I am learning to live in the room of grace.”

I can’t tell you how much Jim Bakker has influenced me even to this day.

Confession is bigger than sin, it is unloading those bags, clearing out that closet, and coming to terms with who you are. You can’t do it alone, I would suggest finding a good church, some might hear your secrets and tell you to leave, but find a good church, good friends and spill it out, let those bags down one by one.

If you need to lay anything down, maybe it’s too heavy for you to lift yourself, shoot me an email and I will listen and well find out how to put it down together.

Email: Ricky@rickymaye.com

 

Adapted from a Chapter entitled, Humanity//Divinity: Talk about two faced from my new book coming this summer, An Emerging Spirituality.