Us the Walking Dead

the_walking_dead_rickymaye

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 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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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

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Part 1: Doubting

Part 1: Doubting

In John 20:27 we see who is usually dubbed “doubting Thomas” like it’s a bad thing. Among all those who believed Thomas stuck out as the only one who doubted the Lord being risen from the grave after dying on the cross. 

More than 8 days passed and Thomas still didn’t believe, he still had doubts.  (John 20:26) 

His doubt spanned more than a moment, more than a thought. He couldn’t shake the doubt off, nor was he about to blindly believe. 

Tomas is often portrayed as the lower apostle or less than follower of Jesus because he doubted. When in reality it was his doubts that moved him closer to Jesus than anyone of his fellow apostles ever were. 

To doubt is to open the heavens for a celestial boost. To doubt is to admit humanity and depend on divinity. To doubt maybe be human but it will create the most heavenly atmosphere and experience. 

Some of you don’t doubt Jesus, your doubting doctrine. Some of you are doubting the church, it’s leaders or practices. Some of you are doubting because church has become an unsafe place for you. 

Some of you are doubting because you have been told, because of your doubts God can’t be expressed in your life.

I am here to stand with you and say we all have doubts, we all have moments of uncertainty, your joining the likes of Moses, David, Abraham, Peter and more, just as God used their doubt to bring new levels of spirituality, he will use your doubt for good. 

To be continued tomorrow. 
Coming soon this summer. An emerging spirituality by Ricky Maye

Second Chance; Divine Glance

                       My new book, The Everyday Revolution is Available on Kindle & Nook

Today I don’t want to talk about a Revolution, or a big miracle Jesus did, I want to talk about a place all of us have been. The bible says this.

“So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water into wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.” John 4:46

Its reasonable to say this man most likely lived in Capernaum, either with his son, or close to.

The comfort we find in this teaching is that nobody gets “near death” over night. So then we begin to speculate why this man wasn’t at Jesus first visit to Galilee when the water was turned into wine.

Was it that this man couldn’t get into the wedding because it was a private affair? I’m sure you’ve been there, people telling you that Jesus doesn’t come to your kind; your look, your gender, your race, your sexual preference, your denomination.

Or maybe he just missed Jesus, maybe he couldn’t get to Galilee in time and he saw the dust of Jesus but not, Jesus. I’ve had those days, I don’t know about you but I feel like I’ve just missed it, maybe he’s done here; questions, doubts and uncertainty begin to cloud the mind.

Whatever his reason, we get to be witness to the beauty of a second chance. A moment after the ‘all is lost moment’, a tomorrow after the sh*tty today, a smile after a frown.  We get a glimpse of a Jesus exemplifying a God for us that not only looks back but also makes second visits, and third and fourth. Etc.

I can imagine his friends, “You’re going to miss him man.” “Your wasting all of our time, this time should be spent another way.” “You think he’s going to help you?”

The gospel is our transcript of our personal journey connecting with this uncomprehendable grace.  That day, this man began his journey, searching and chasing a Jesus, he knew little about.

Maybe you’ve been told this Jesus isn’t for your kind of people, I want to tell you this Jesus is for all people. Maybe you’ve been told that the grace of God isn’t for people living like you, I want to tell you, Thank God those people don’t hand out grace.

This Grace is for you, this Jesus is for you, if you hear of a place to find him, chase him.

“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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