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.

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The Spirituality of Scooby Doo

Ricky Maye on Scooby Doo

Ricky Maye on Scooby Doo

The Spirituality of Scooby Doo

1969 was filled with heroes of all kinds. It was a year that was bigger than life. Superheroes of all kind ran rampant through all walks of life.

The Beatles were at their height. Man was on the moon for the first time and Music festivals including the infamous Woodstock brought in over 800,000 people together for causes bigger than themselves.

1969 was a year of brave, strong and innovative people shinning in front of a gazing world. Imaginations were being stretched and ordinary people were solving all the worlds’ problems. Or it seemed. This was a wide-eyed generation with many types of Superhero’s to watch.

1969 saw TV shows such as bewitched, Star Trek and The Avengers running through the minds of ordinary people watching at home on the couch.

Amongst all of these heavy hitters, a new show began its run on the airwaves. A revolutionary show that would showcase everyday people changing the world, the broken and fumbled kind of man solving problems, this indeed would be revolutionary in a time of superpowers, bigger than life figures and sci-fi shows. Scooby Doo aired for the first time on September 13th, 1969.

My friend Len Winneroski has coined the phrase Ordinary Weakling and I love its appeal and igniting flair. When we look at the spiritual life, for most of us it can be filled with such outlandish expectations and hopes. Personal and metaphorical obstacles that can rival the skyscrapers in some cities can often seem so big we find it hard to get out of the bed each morning.

The beauty of Scooby doo was the bravery of an ordinary group of people to deal with outlandish situations with no help from super powers, radioactive spiders or billionaire contraptions. That day in 1969 was the launch of a new trend in our world and I’d like to share a few things we can gain from this change in pace.

  • Superheroes are no longer chosen; they are everyday people that just embrace the world’s call for help.
  • You don’t need superpowers to be someone’s hero. 
  • You don’t need explosions and celebrations to save the day. 
  • More than anything. We learn that you do not win by force, violence or anger but by attention, friends and perseverance. 
  • A hero stands up to the villain in himself. 

Often the villain we learned in this year of 1969 in The Scooby Doo series wasn’t a mutated super human or a bred from birth personification of evil but a man that often looked just like us.

In the popular cases of Batman and Spiderman facing the demons inside each of themselves we also can relive those unmasking moments in Scooby Doo where it was someone just like them, it wasn’t an “evil”, it was a person.

Sometimes the biggest hindrance to a dream is that which is staring at us in the mirror. 

Maybe our greatest enemy isn’t the evil around us, but the evil inside us.

Below I am sharing a video from a great musician, Derek Webb with a song that ties perfectly into this topic.

Thanks for reading.

Ricky Maye

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

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.

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

Comment, Share & Discuss.

***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***