Breaking & Bad Moments

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Breaking & Bad Moments.
Ricky Maye

Brokenness is the table where we all meet.

The occasion for each of us may be different. For many it’s hurt, abuse, or abandonment. But, you know what I mean when I say broken; pain and hurt that isn’t necessarily physical, but can transcend anything physical.

This surpasses any boundaries of explanations. Sometimes it can only be expressed by a scream, a shriek, or a sigh. No matter how much eloquence we use to depict this broken feeling, only you can know the word or sound to describe what broken has meant for you.
Over the years of talking to people, I’ve gotten a good description of what it feels like to be broken. Of course we all have our own experiences of feeling broken, and most describe a feeling of something missing. One woman told me “it was like a piece” of her left. It could have been a divorce, a letdown, or even a bad event.

In ,פָּרַח The Hebrew word for broken, In English it’s pronounced pârach, and .means to bud, to sprout, or blossom
In the plant world, a seed can easily be almost thought of as magic. Its mystical formation from a tiny seed somehow just became a thriving plant to rise above the rough ground it’s saturated in.

In actuality, all plants are born as seeds on the earth. All plants are encaptured with a purpose and the readiness to explode with purpose into the world. However, this seed must wait until its maturity. A seed is never just born into a plant. It’s something that has to reach a certain point.

There comes a moment in the seeds life where it experiences a breaking point. Although this sounds bad it is actually the tipping point of the plants life and purpose. The breaking this seed is going through is a spreading out… a spouting. This is the moment the seed decides to become a plant. Now this word pârach is making more sense. Why would a breaking mean to be sent out or sprout? Because this breaking you’re feeling is normal. You’re not imagining it. Yes this broken feeling has taken a piece of you away. But, it’s bringing you to fruition. Yes it is painful but it will help purpose burst forth. In the breaking moment you’re one step closer to purpose. You are about to flourish.

A wound is a place where the energy of the world enters you.

I would say we all experience these moments of brokenness. Some to different degrees and some that last longer lengths of time.
Those that aren’t broken haven’t really lived.

In our society we love to embellish the negative. Its easy to call attention to the bad around us. Call me unrealistic, but I think those moments of brokenness can be seen in a new way. A better way. As I said, the word pârach is the word broken in Hebrew, and alludes to a sending out; a sprouting, much like a plant.

I’ve always wondered why we deal with these broken feelings and experiences. I’ve always wondered why we actually feel like something’s broken or something is missing.

Being broken is nothing to be ashamed of. It is an exciting celebration of what will come. Something better is coming along. It’s inevitable; a seed must become a plant. You will grow past this and mature into a bigger and better purpose.

Over the next few weeks I will be discussing my thoughts from the hit show, Breaking Bad, as I go through it. I can’t tell you how many people have told me to watch it. I think there is much wisdom in this modern piece of art. I’d like to see if we can uncover something under the surface.

My last word here will be, that in every breaking moment you are laying down deeper roots of purpose that will be shooting out like beautiful flowers blooming.

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Us the Walking Dead

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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.

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

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.

What does it mean to follow Jesus?

Following Jesus, this Rabbi from Nazareth was of the utmost importance to these teens and young adults he called disciples, each of whom came from every existence at the time.

Some of these followers left family, some left lovers, others left jobs and some were rejected by the world around them. These men and women knew what it was like to be unwanted and alone.
At times, we see them exhibit that following Jesus was more important than funerals of family members, more important than having any possessions and more important than life itself. (Luke 9:61)
Following this Jesus was so important to these young men and women that they would neglect everything so that whatever Jesus was doing at the moment would be the one and only focus in their daily life.

I can make that statement fully confident that this was the mindset of many of Jesus’ followers.
I can see that same passion with teens from every denomination in Christianity.
But wait, I can also see the same passion with Buddhist, Muslim and Mormon followers. It’s limitless; the passion exhibited is something that seems to be universal and not exclusively tied to Christianity or followers of Jesus. We have even pondered how serial killers and cult leaders could also have similar dedication from their followers. So following Jesus must be about something more than just walking a similar path he did.
In fact, we see this passion in music scenes that have risen in the past such as Jazz, Hip-Hop, Hardcore and more. We have witnessed that all have followers that exhibit similar passion.

In these times of confusion, I love to dive into the wisdom that is the historical writings of Judaism. For me, the wisdom hidden in many early Jewish writings is a daily inspiration and guidance and more-so, knowing Jesus searched for the same wisdom in his life.
One of the Hebrew words used for following someone in the Torah, which is the name for some of the Jewish scriptures or the Christian Old Testament, means to follow after and carry something.
This is insightful and easy to pass over, as with much wisdom that presents itself in life.

When they spoke of following someone, it didn’t stop with following after someone but they insisted something would have to be carried. Following was not just about walking after someone.

The illustration we are beginning to see is that if someone follows a person or idea, they begin to carry what they are following or they begin to carry something the person they are following is carrying.

The Christian journey as it has evolved has also changed in its idea of what being a follower of Jesus really means.

I mean this not as an insult but an accountable observation. In our western churches, it’s often rare to see a church take place in a public place or common area.
Padded pews are a luxury of the Jesus follower of the past. We now have booming mega churches, media software that out-does most organizations, church brand coffee, bands that are composed of award winning musicians and sound systems that put arenas to shame.
Is this what Jesus had in mind when he said, “Come follow me”?

Are we carrying the same passion and call Jesus did when he walked the earth? Is his burden our burden?

Are you following Jesus empty handed?

Adapted from Barefoot Christianity coming next Tuesday!

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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

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.