A New Kind of Fathers

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.
Ricky Maye

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What does it really mean to Live Biblically?

bible-pagePeople often surprise me. That is to say I am often surprised by how people interact with other people.

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.

Struggling with Perfection

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“You shall be perfect with the LORD your God”
Deut 18:13

Man searches for perfection. God charges us with perfection. However perfection is not always what we think.

In the passage above, Moses commands us to be tamim (תָּמִים), or, “finished,” “complete,” or “perfect” before the LORD. This Hebrew word is not defined as ideal moral perfectionism but is defined as being thoroughly made or heading to a complete or wholeness.

The rabbi note that tamim is used to describe completed years (Gen. 47:18); healthy animal sacrifices (Lev. 22:21-22); nourishing vines (Ezek. 15:5); truthful speech (Amos 5:10); finished building projects (1 Kings 6:22); and even the fulfilled destruction of a people (Num. 14:33).
Jesus echoed this when He said, “Be perfect…” (Matt. 5:48).

Our definition of perfection is different than God’s definition of perfection.

Perfection is not in an action, but in an acceptance. An acceptance of the perfection you are pursuing in your life.

God created and did things that we would see as imperfect. Since perfection isn’t a standard but a labor, perfection will then look different for each person.

Perfection is not something to be obtained but something to be embraced.

I am no longer struggling with perfection.

I am no longer striving to be perfect.

I, me. I am thriving as a perfect, complete me.

The leading Father (A Fathers Day Post)

The leading father

Since my early days in church I’ve often been told I had to relate to God as a father. I just 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 this constant struggle 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 just didn’t know what it looked like in human form. 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, I think he has a message for you today.

One of the Hebraic words for Father is אמן and is pronounced ‘aman.

The definition beautifully brings to mind the prefect expression of what a father is and can be.

The definition for the Hebrew word for father is one who offers his right hand.

This word father here is more than a person who works, provides and loves. This 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.

Happy Fathers day to all the fathers

Let’s Talk About Sex (And Compassion)

Let’s talk about sex (and Compassion)

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Larry Flynt at one of his Hustler stores and the creator of Girls Gone Wild Joe Francis on one occasion a few months back

We shared words of wisdom and Love together and I realized that these guys are not the enemy I had once believed and once was taught.

Around five or six years ago I would have been one of those protesting someone sitting down with Larry Flynt, today I’m walking down a different road. Now I am the one sitting down with people like Larry Flynt.

I’ll get to what we talked about after I share with you a few misconceptions and ideas about sex. The Bible consistently brings up two distinct ways to apply a word, scripture, teaching and so on. The first is the physical and the second is the spiritual.

The word sex can be found to be defined as, “to amputate, or to cut off.”

So the physical act of sex is an intimate encounter reflecting in intercourse. The spiritual aspect is an encounter that is intimate in a different nature.

This spiritual aspect of sex is a giving up not a giving in. It’s a handing over rather than a handling.

Speaking of handling, the Hebrew word used for compassion is racham and is defined as, “to fondle.”

Now compassion can join our conversation, because it is just as dirty and raw as this discussion. Compassion is less of a social justice, humanist word and now a word describing an intimate encounter of aid and help.

The word fondle brings back memories of new lovers who can’t keep their hands off each other for me, I would bet it’s similar for you.

What if compassion took on this same intensity? We couldn’t help but help those in need; we couldn’t help but to console the hurting.  We couldn’t help but hold the broken. We can put the passion back into compassion.

Feelings and emotions erupt and display when you have given yourself in a spiritually intimate way, just as when you give yourself in a physically intimate way. Now your defensive for that person, now you have a Love for that person that can’t be put into words, and when that person hurts, you hurt.

We can go much farther into this and I may do that in a future book or blog.

The lesson we can gain is that people are not numbers, accomplishments or notches on our spiritual belt. They are people in need of something more than a bag of rice or a couple of bucks in change and some pocket lint.

We have the opportunity to have a spiritually intimate encounter with each person we come into contact with.

Later I’ll post the interviews but from the both of them but I gained a sense of insecurity from both. Even through these generations sex hasn’t been the answer for them it’s led them to more questions.

As we discussed sex means giving a part of yourself, this is why when he isn’t being faithful if feels like your involved in the “others” sex acts, or when she begins her adulterous performance in that hotel in Reno you might as well have been there, because it sure as hell felt like it.

Be careful with your partners, you have them with you, treat everyone with respect and love so much it creates life.

Lastly I would like to say when I met Joe Francis it was something last minute, but when I say down with Larry Flynt there were a few people who were condemning this man to hell. Let me tell you I had spiritual conversations with both and you’d be amazed at what these men have in their hearts. Instead of picking up stones and signs and bibles. Just talk and walk with these men, really they are all on the same journey as all of us.

*My newest and first full-length book is out now for digital download for the Kindle, Nook and iTunes. It is Available for purchase through http://www.rickymaye.com and by the end of the month will be available via amazon.com and bookstores near you.

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

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.