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.

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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.

Thanks Giving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for many and for many of us it has become a day of the year we try to remind ourselves of the blessings we have received.

The word Thankful in Hebrew is yadah and means to throw something back.

In this holiday season present and coming that primarily are about money being spent for food, gifts and Decorative’s let us remind ourselves to give back out. See, being thankful isn’t about showing an emotion and being humble for a day, it’s about giving back out or as the Hebrew word illustrates to “throw back out.”

Your blessings can only be blessings if they don’t end with you.

—-
My thanks for 2011

First of all I am thankful for my family. My mother who is battling cancer and glaucoma and still standing. My brother Allen who is returning the gift he experienced as a youth by leading teens and standing with them. Most of all my kids who mean the world to me and Liz.

I am thankful for the multiple jobs I work, even though I work more than last year, it is so much less stressful.

I’m thankful for my house. I’m thankful for my friends. Most of all I’m thankful to be able to share my writings with all of you and I’m thankful for this year being so successful in my book projects. (I have so much better planned for next year!)

Lastly and most fitting. I’m thankful for my beliefs. My doubts, my fears and my struggles. I’m blessed to have so many people walking with me on this spiritual journey. These past three years have been crazy, hell and full of so many ups and downs but as one wise women told me, “thank and do.”

I wish you all happy holidays in all your endeavors and traditions. I pray that this season speaks to you and blesses you.

I Love and cherish you all.

Ricky Maye

if you haven’t picked up a copy of my new book please do.

http://www.amazon.com/Emerging-Spirituality-Spiritual-Revolution-ebook/dp/B005G7U034/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1322079016&sr=8-4

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.

 

Baggage

About a year ago I had a seemingly strong man sit down with me and we had a short talk only to quickly find out he was dealing with much more than how much he was going to bench today. He openly admitted this past abuse he was still dealing with would give him a short fuse with people and lead to unprovoked anger with others. I listened and told him abruptly told him to Stop! he continued, by saying he was told by Pastors, friends and family to forgive. I told him to stop, I knew this was going to happen.

I said, forgiveness in the way those people want you to forgive is like a bandaid or a mask, it will eventually come off and people will see the real stuff your dealing with and act like your the one with the problem.

I told him, to start thinking of his unforgiveness as a real thing, because in all sense of the word, it’s very real to us who deal with it everyday. See this hurt, anger and pain as a physical weight, or a bag if you will.

I ended that day by expressing that he wasn’t meant to carry that much weight, so here I am, this tiny, small young kid telling this Huge, Muscular man He can’t carry this. I think in any other situation it would have been very bad but here, it was right. The pain and hurt that no one can see weighs more than anything in a gym.

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.

To forgive isn’t about forgetting, it’s about letting things down, and if you let these bags down too fast it might end up hurting. Let these bags down, one by one.

You were not meant to carry that divorce.

You are more than that abuse.

These bags are too heavy, they are making their way into your work, into your family life. The weight of these bags are going to kill you.

 

Adapted from my new book coming at the end of the Summer entitled, An Emerging Spirituality which will be available on Amazon (kindle) (store) B&N (nook) Apple (Audiobook) (iBooks) and much more please stay in touch for more info or keep checking http://www.Rickymaye.com