A New Year Revolution

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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.

Ricky Maye

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A Renewed Year

As this New Year has begun, I can truly say I am not anticipating it; at all. I am, however, hoping for a renewed year. A year of rekindled desires, relit flames and a spark of passion for those things I once had a passion for.

My hope is that a passion you may have laid aside in 2011 will catch fire in 2012.

The Bible is often seen as a book of firsts. However, I see the Bible as reflective of my background and environment… for me, the Bible is a testament of second chances.

The Bible is not about saving, but about redemption. God isn’t about giving, he is about restoring. Jesus isn’t about friendship, he is about reconciling.

The Bible for me is about second chances. Coinciding with that, this year is going to be about second chances, second glances and second standings; things in my life that may be asleep or dead will rise this year.

When Jesus came into Galilee for the second occasion (the first being turning water into wine), he came affirming this prophetic message to each one of us. He was approached by a troubled father whose son had passed away. Jesus said, “Go thy way; thy son liveth.”

I love the way the chapter ends. John reminds us that this miracle happened the second time he came into this city.

Abraham’s first word from God was to sacrifice his son. The second word from God was for his son to live.

The Bible says it this way in Gen 22:15-

“And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.”

We always associate life with the third day, but I believe the Bible has a message for us all; we need a second chance at something.

This year we can declare… No more dead dreams, No more waiting, No more compromise. Let those dead dreams live, let those ambitions live!

This year, 2012, will be a year of life and life to the full.

-Scripture reference John 4:50

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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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baggage

Dual baggage.

A few years back I was on a flight to Michigan and I saw a weird act of kindness. While checking in at the self check in (because it’s quicker!)

I laid eyes on a family who was over their carry on baggage limit by one, and they were arguing about which would have to be checked.

A stranger behind them said, “I’m on the same flight I’ll take it. My ticket allows one more. Bag”

So he took it, later when boarding the plane, his laptop and bag took up his lap space while all the overhead compartments were full. He was in a predicament.

Now he was posed with the same question, “what are you going to check?”

The families baggage quickly became this mans baggage.

This was such a spiritual inspiration to me as I was being taught by God about forgiveness and dealing with baggage.

Biblical forgiveness

When we hold something, it’s a type of baggage in our lives. We have good and bad baggage, even good baggage can get heavy, meaning even when your doing good things, life can still become unbearable; people begin asking for more, people begin expecting more.

When we hold hurt, unforgiveness and grudges, we taking the hurt and pain of someone else and carrying it ourselves. If we let this happen a few times we begin to carry these huge bags with us everywhere.

Some of you are sill dealing with past hurts and you can feel it physically drain you, this pain and hurt can even kill you spiritually.

For you, this baggage is more than real.

It can be a rape, it may be a divorce, or a break up, the list can go on, but this you don’t need any examples on, you know what your hurt is, you know what baggage your holding.

The Hebrew word for one dealing with common forgiveness is “nasa” and it means to lift; to hold up and put down.

When we hold unforgiveness we can cause ourselves to hold not only our own baggage but the baggage of others we will not forgive. My unforgiveness is making me carry her issues with her mother. My unforgiveness towards her is making me deal with her childhood abuse.

I don’t know about you but I have enough baggage to deal with than having to deal with her issues too, I don’t have enough room to fit his problems too.

My baggage is beginning to be become filled with her baggage when I just can’t let go.

Getting rid of it

When I forgive I am able to let this baggage down. Its not about moving on, you can’t lose it, anyone that tells a women to forget her attacker hasn’t been attacked, anyone who tells a child to forget his abuse hasn’t been abused. Forgiveness is about letting go, lightening the load, and checking a few bags.

This forgiveness journey isn’t about trying to be perfect in peoples eyes and saying I forgive and forget, because no matter how much you say it, it probably wont happen that quick, this journey is about getting rid of extra baggage.

Jesus echoed this by saying, “cast your care upon me.” Or “Let me take those bags”, my version.

A Clip from my new book coming at the end of the Summer entitled, An Emerging Spirituality

“Those Men”

“Those” Men

Sometimes we love to play the victim. I’ve been hurt by life many times. I have also been hurt by the Christian community many more times. It’s easy for us to point fingers and think we are the ones who are right. But when playing the victim we can also hurt too, we can also judge too, we may be fighting fire with fire.

We look down at those men; The men who condemned that woman caught in adultery. We all seem to think, “I would have never picked up that stone in the first place.”

The reality is.. We are picking up our stones, every time we retaliate, every time we argue, every disagreement.

But just as we need to become real and say, we have all been there, and we are all still dealing with stuff, we need to humble ourselves and say, I’ve picked up a few stones in my day, maybe even today.

The beauty of this Passage is that this women was wrong, she was a whore, she was breaking the law, but more notable is the response of Jesus to, “Put down our Stones.” He says even though she’s not living right, put them down, even though she’s wrong in her belief, put them down, even though you can fight with your theology, PUT THEM DOWN.

When talking about our hurt from the Christian community, and expressing our views towards different beliefs, we must make it our main priority to not throw stones, but to stoop down just Jesus did and sit with each other in our messes, our failures and sins, together.

My intention has never been to point fingers but to discuss. Throwing a stone hurts, if you don’t get the metaphor, here; judgment by you and me, never wins. It’s not our job, it’s not our responsibility, and it is not our place. If Jesus didn’t judge that woman then we sure as hell can’t.

Be careful to Defend rationally.

Discuss peacefully.

Put your stones down, stop looking for a fight. It may not seem like it sometimes, but we are all on the same team.

Let’s come to the point where we can open up and say I’ve judged I’ve hurt and I may have spoken negatively to someone…

I may have thrown a couple…

But Today I’m putting my stones away

I hope you can put your stones down too.

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Where Did He Find You?

In Jewish culture a tradition thrived over the years to place a symbol or monument declaring the victory, liberty or miracles that the God of Abraham did. This was often called a memorial.

These memorials began to be erected to stand as a visual reminder to the Israelites at the time, future generations and would stand as a testament of what God had done for the passer-byes.

Examples of this are flooded throughout the bible, Abraham on many occasions erected a memorial. Noah after the flood on the tip of Mt Arat made a memorial, interesting to note that God also created a memorial at that moment also (the rainbow).

Many countless reminders of God’s provision, help and miracles were left throughout the Israelites journey through the wilderness. Notably the provision of water from a stone.

Memorials of what God had done.

Where God has spoke.

What God declared.

These symbols of God’s unadulterated relationship with his creation was and still is a huge part of being a child of God in the Jewish faith.

Jesus being a good Jew would have grown up seeing and hearing about these memorials.

Jesus often spoke about a new way of doing this spiritual life. Not necessarily changing things but exchanging things.  He wanted to take repetition and create relevance. He even said “I don’t come to abolish… but to fulfill.”

—————————————–The Teaching————————————–

As Jesus began to teach in the temple he heard faint yelling. It was growing louder as he drew closer.

Not as quite as faint, screamed a women’s voice, “No!”

A woman had been dragged for miles by a pack of men perhaps wearing only a blanket or robe or nothing at all. They laid her at the floor of the temple.

The often oversight here is that many teach this scripture and say she was pulled out of the house of the man and thrown into the streets, but The bible says she was taken and thrown in the temple and condemned to death.

Can you relate?

Has anyone ever thrown you under the bus in church? Has the church been more of a place of condemnation than grace? Has the sentence of the church often been death rather than life to you?

Jesus now becomes an audience and a judge to a lascivious sexual and immoral adulterous act.  In English we would call her a whore. I know…a concept bound by time.

Found in bed with a married man. The Law of Moses was clear; she was to be put to death on the spot. Similar to an extreme version of the old show cheaters caught on tape (ahha)

This would have been frightening

Jesus steps in.

Jesus intervenes.

Jesus interrupted.

Have you ever had Jesus interrupt you in such a perfect way?

Let’s pause for a second. What seems to be the misplaced meaning here is that this scripture is a lesson on sin only. However this is a story about relationship. The relationship between God and his creation.

This scripture shouldn’t be an answer to just the question, how does Jesus react to sin, while it is notable how he reacts, there are deeper more personal questions being answered here.

Jesus, the bible says he spoke to the men. Then it says he stooped down to the women. The Greek word for him kneeling down is koop’-to and means to become level.

This is revolutionary, this is empowering but most of all this is an example of how he reacts to us.

We are witnessing a woman who is making mistake, a woman whose life choice is different than most around her. She has been thrown at the foot of the church and for her church isn’t a safe place anymore, church isn’t a sanctuary for her, it now becomes a place of torture and abuse.

But despite everything. We witness this Jesus kneeling down, getting on her level, getting in her mess and sitting with her.

Now a Memorial erects.

Jesus being a well learned Jew would have understood the physical and spiritual importance of a memorial, a symbol of how God intervened in a situation, just as we discussed earlier in this blog.

We left this amazing story when Jesus left the comfort of the temple and stepped down in the muddy, dung filled, smelly sand to get on this women’s level.

Jesus then began to take his finger and write in the sand. Now I’ve read great literary works that elegantly say maybe he wrote, “Amazing grace.” I’ve had friends preach that he drew a picture of the cross. I think most of this is a very nice thought but not practical.

What I believe Jesus was doing was placing a memorial for this woman in the sand.

At this moment where she feels vulnerable and attacked he says to her, remember this moment.

This moment where when every place and person has abandoned her, he has a place for her.

When there is no safe place, he says I’m safe.

This moment became this women’s building point. No more would she be condemned. She would be empowered.

Don’t forget where he found you.

We leave this story with the memorial Jesus left for us, the moment and state of that woman when she met him.

Where did you meet him?

In a jail cell?

In a room of solitude and silence with eyes full of tears?

Emotionally beaten and abused?

So many times Christians are quick to forget where God found them.

Evangelism has become finger pointing and condemnation rather than, “man, I’ve been there and he still came to me.”

Paul constantly reminds us where God met him, in what state he was.

This is supposed to be central to our faith, but somewhere cluttered in our self-righteousness and monkey see- spirituality (Next book? Haha) we have lost the ability to be real.

To be Continued to Sunday @ 7:00 Eastern

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***If you Enjoy what you are reading, this is similar content to what will be in my newest book entitled, The Everyday Revolution which will be out for sale on Monday May 2nd for only 0.99 on the kindle, nook, ibooks, and for digital download at http://www.rickymaye.com***

I Kill Christians

I was at a men’s retreat about four years back, after the main conference we broke off into small discussion groups (which is code for time for Ricky to piss everybody off an bring a new mood to the room). The topic is something we are still struggling with.

Cigarettes and anger seem to run the conversation. Then came me, I gently said, “I’ll pass.” I’ve learned to pass over situation that would pin me against the grain, I have learned sometimes division is not worth a point, hence Jesus telling us to shake off the dust and move on. They continued to probe, and many “come on Ricky’s followed. I gave in.

I leaned up in my chair dramatically as I always do. I said, I’ve killed Christians… I’m still killing them, I can’t stop, I don’t want to live this way. But I feel like it’s right.

The room silenced, everybody slowly glanced to the group leader. He said, Ricky… Please elaborate.

I began to tell my story. I see differences, I see fractions, I see separations. I label her the Baptist, him the Methodist. She’s the millennialist, he’s the Calvinist.

An old rabbi in the first century used to teach that anything other than pure love given to your neighbor was like a spiritual poison. It was slowly killing them. I am killing strangers that I should be loving as brothers.

Every time I don’t love like I am called to. Every time I let a difference get in the way, I am killing my brothers and sisters. Jesus tells of a similar situation, he is caught trying to heal on the Sabbath and he poses the question, “is It better to give the option of life or death.”

Despite our disagreements. Whether or not you even believe what I teach, we should love as brother and sisters, and when we don’t it’s as good as murder.

How many of us feel like Paul before his conversion? We kill Christians based on what we have been told, or doctrine we follow, or even because they have hurt us. Let us be bigger. Let us love in spite of.

“There is nothing anyone can do to ‘earn’ your hatred, if Jesus couldn’t find a reason to hate, neither can you.”

-Ricky Maye

 An Emerging Spirituality (out this Summer)