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.

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

Low Life

Low life; a step into real Christianity.

The spiritual journey often begins low. More often in church height in spirituality is encouraged. More learning, memorizing and volunteering seem to be a sign of spiritual maturity.

However the message of Jesus tends to be focused on those that live low; those that give everything and those that have little left.

Jesus gathered his disciples to a field and gave them a raw word of direction. Jesus boldly proclaimed that the goal of everyone should be to take up their own cross and carry it. (Matt 10:38)

This is a call for hardship to be embraced and suffering to be celebrated, but it is also a call for each of us to journey lower.

Some see this as invitation to die with Jesus but that would be without reason, yes it’s a nice sentiment but not a reality. Us dying with him is less than void, his death is what mattered in regards to experiencing this eternal life God has in store for us.

We are not called to die on that cross but to carry it, to experience it, to journey with it.

The cross is heavy, it’s burdensome, and it is just plain lowly. When that cross is pressing down on our backs and we can’t stand anymore, we become low. This is spiritual maturity according to Jesus, not the heights of ordination, leading studies Bible studies or church attendance.

Mary thanked God for recognizing her low status when impregnating her with the divine seed. (Luke 1:48)

Embracing our low standings should not be our only goal. We should seek to take whatever good standings we have in money, talent and resources and share that with those who are in need of whatever we can provide.

Paul echoed this in his writings to the Romans when saying, “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”
(Rom 12:16)

In some churches the goal is how high you can get; how many service attendees, how many financial pledges they can bring in. In contrary, the christian life cannot be lived in height but only in low stature.

No “Them” Allowed

The Church has become a Club house

This supernatural journey I had been on for 10 or so years had finally slowed down. I didn’t stop believing in God, I still believed the same things, but somehow I knew something was missing. Keep in mind I had been a part of booming churches and I saw God move in ways I couldn’t explain. I saw good happening to people inside these doors, but outside I saw a hand written sign that was reminiscent of the “NO GIRLS ALLOWED” signs we used to have at the club house. Except these signs read, “No gays allowed, No questing allowed, or marginalized, no homeless, no outcast, no misfits…

I remember the days when being a Christian was simple. Being a Christian was more about avoiding the “bad” things life had to offer; profusely apologizing to God on the many occasions when I mess up, sin and even think of doubting.

Lest I forget the staple of the Christian life, guilt; guilt when we mess up, guilt for missing one Sunday service, guilt for humming the newest secular hit, guilt for our sexual humanistic thoughts, guilt for the doubt that we may struggle with, the anger we feel when a loved one is taken in a moment from us. Most of all, the guilt we feel when we can’t live up to the Christian model that is dangled in front of us. I always felt like I could never live up to what God wanted me to be.

I miss those days when being a Christian was more about looking and acting a certain way. Now my journey is moving in a new direction.

I am beginning to walk down a new path of faith; this road is, to some extent, reminiscent of the former road traveled. The only difference is my awareness to how God sees me and others around me.

The Christian walk, for many of us, becomes repetitious, mundane, consistent and more focused on pleasing God rather than trusting God; more focused on pleasing man rather than serving man. The latter two Jesus spoke of and said, “These two, hang all the words of God.” (Matt 22:37-40) The Christian life, for most, will become filled with meaningless repetitions and traditions that boast a resemblance to the Pharisees in many ways, and many of us will be left empty and hurting.

As you will find, this is a book about singing songs and playing harps in Babylon, finding hope in Egypt and praising while wandering in the desert.

This book isn’t for the saint, but for the slave in Egypt, for the wandering, lost and misguided follower in the desert and for those that stand with Jesus and betray, deny and forget the very savior we devote our life to. This book is about what happens on this journey; the struggles we face, giants we encounter and what to do with the many different roads we are faced with.

Many times we tend to focus on the beginning of this race, or the end; salvation and eternal life have a propensity to run the discussion, when most of us are having trouble just being a Christian and heading out the door. If you are fine with your relationship with God, this book isn’t for you; you are blessed and I envy where you’re at on your journey.

For me, the Christian faith is exclusively for these moments; moments of pain and struggle. This book is for all of us, wherever our relationship with God may be. This book is intended for those on a journey (and walk with this Jesus) who want to know, what now?

If you don’t have a belief or faith, but are pondering the thought of a different kind of spiritual walk and are asking, what now? This book is for you. If you have walked away or taken a break from the Christian life and are hesitant to go back, so you find yourself asking, what now? This book is for you. If you’re a Christian and have found yourself asking more and more questions about beliefs that you used to defend ruthlessly, for some reason they just don’t settle well anymore. This book is for you.

I want to stand with those who need a God who meets them when a loved one passes away or when the cancer comes back… when life is happening.

despite all I saw and experienced. I was still empty. I was still confused. I had nowhere to turn.

So, more than ten years after my initial conversion experience and after ten years of teaching what God had shown me to countless groups of people, I decided to walk away from it all.

I wasn’t rejecting the faith, I didn’t set myself up as an enemy of God to oppose him, nor did I harbor any ill feelings towards the Church. I just decided to take a few years to myself; away from the ministry, away the politics, away from it all. I decided to let God speak for himself, when I needed him to do so the most.

I apologize for those who read for those Hebrew Greek nuggets, next time I promise. If you enjoyed this I would encourage you to download or purchase my new book An Emerging Spirituality available on Amazon.com or Rickymaye.com and others.

Fondling the Hell out of people Part 2

-continued*

We started out with a new teaching from my next book about compassion. Compassion is often impersonal but that’s not the compassion we see exhibited through Jesus. The compassion we see from Jesus is almost intimate. The Hebrew word for compassion, as found in the previous blog, means “to fondle.”

The idea here is to bring passion back to compassion; not including change with change. Make every moment of compassion an intimate encounter.

I’ve seen a lot of hell just in the past few months. I’ve talked with Africans, Tai sex slaves, homeless across the country and the broken paycheck-to-paycheck residers. The culmination is all the same… we are all experiencing hell.

If everyone is dealing with hell in their lives, why is it that Christians, people who are supposed to bring life, want to give people more hell.

So I want to challenge you to do two things:

1. Love people and remind others to stop giving people hell; hell as a destination and as a situation. You may do this by using the hash tag #stopgivinghell. Even tell people to stop giving others hell. Life is hell enough for most of us.

2. Since we are all dealing with hell, remember this teaching of mine and share it. But most importantly, fondle the hell out of every person you can. I mean it! Fondle people with a type of compassion they have never seen before. Begin a passion for compassion in your community.

I’d like to end this blog… but we can’t. It will be continued with you. Make it a good story!

My New book An Emerging Spirituality is out now on the kindle for just .99 cents and 10.00 for a paperback.

http://www.amazon.com/Emerging-Spirituality-Spiritual-Revolution-ebook/dp/B005G7U034/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1319199495&sr=8-4

*If you Haven’t read the first blog, please do so this is the continuance.

A Journey Into Discussion

That night I was to meet a friend at his home to discuss some recent throwbacks involving his upbringing.

We sat on the couch simultaneously. Just as Quick he began to speak. “It was the divorce.”

He began to rapidly pant, explaining that he had a picture perfect childhood. That is until the divorce.

He recanted “that night.” Oh you’ve had a “that night.” That night will live no matter how much it needs to die. That night will cause weariness no amount of work could and that night will follow you closer than any stalker. King Xerxes had a “that night” which is recorded in the Biblical book of Esther and the Persian records. Jesus had a “that night” in a garden called Gethsemane.

As I sat and listened to him describe the events of that night, a study I did from my teens crept back at such a relevant time.

Usually in a discussion one person speaks and the other is thinking of the perfect answer, relevant statistics or a robotic like answer.

The Hebrew word for discussion is דרך and it’s defined as a journey, or road we travel. So conversation isn’t about having all the right answers or proving point. Conversation is about a journey we take together.

So sitting on this couch with a teary eyed adult I realized I had to throw out my robotic answers and feel good statistics and do more than listen and talk…I needed to walk.

Conversation is less about talking and more about walking.

While caught up in the story I sat on his childhood bed, Spiderman sheets and listened to what his parents said. I felt it… It hit me.

Discussion is journey…

I then could speak to him in a real and raw way because I didn’t hear a story that night, I walked a road with him.

Some of your most powerful conversations will be the ones with the least words spoken.

*Adapted from the introduction of An Emerging Spirituality: Your Spiritual Revolution Without the Smoke and Mirrors out now for the Kindle, Nook and iTunes only 0.99 Cents.

Paperback and soft cover books can be purchased on www.Rickymaye.com

*Coming soon to Amazon and a bookstore near you.

Death Things (Just poke it!)

Over my years of contact and conversation with hundreds of people, I’ve often heard sentences that begin like, “It just died.”

Prefacing this I’ve heard everything from Marriages, spiritual lives and hopes that have died.

For century’s death has been a common metaphor for the hopelessness, pain and restlessness we often feel.

Have you ever woken up to feel broken, near death, but perfectly healthy?

When approached with death, Jesus tends to react in a way that boggles the mind.

 

In dealing with the death of the daughter of Jairus, Jesus says, “she’s not dead, she’s sleeping.”

 

I am seeing this as an invitation to think of death in a different manner than the current end of life state it’s been so far.

 

Death, as we spoke about at the beginning of this, is more than just dying physically.

 

We can all speak passionately about the subject of death despite some of us having little experience with people around us dying. This is because we’ve felt the death in a less lifeless way. We’ve experienced death in decaying dreams, in distant hopes and seemingly hopeless situations.

 

I’ve been there as I am sure you have too, I’ve had dead dreams, and I had dead relationships. It hurts and just as Jairus did, I want to scream, Jesus! It’s dead!

 

When Jesus encountered this situation revolving around death, his response was staggering, he said, this can be woken up.

 

That dead relationship, just nudge it a little.

 

Those dead dreams, just wake em up.

 

This is an invitation to not plan a funeral for those college classes, the business, that book.

 

Your dreams are not dead! They might be sleeping.

 

Whether or not we believe in this Jesus we can resonate with these words of hope because we all have some dead dreams.

Wake them up, they are not dead.