A Journey begins with a single step

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A step is often underestimated. It seems so simple and constant that we begin to pass over the significance of each step coming and even the after effects of that step. Repercussions are rarely considered when taking a step. A step taken is often the least thought about move we make all day, but the most consequential.

It is a step that takes us into that storefront we might one day own. It is a step that connects you to your lifetime partner. It is a step that will begin your journey into your career. It is that step that leads that dance that still brings you to tears.

That simple step, that tiny seemingly insignificant step, is the tipping point to a greater moment.

Mathematicians believe the average person (one who commutes in a vehicle) takes from 5,000 to 8,000 steps in each day.

During those 5,000 to 8,000 steps, we walk into trouble, triumph and tears. This half a second move of the foot in a forward motion can bring you into a better life or help usher you into a bad situation.

In a lifetime, it is estimated that the average person takes somewhere near 136,875,000 steps. In those steps, it’s decided to fail or succeed. In those steps lie the courage to take another step and another.

Your journey begins with the step you take not the words you say.

Your journey will be defined by the steps you take not the words you say or the things you believe. I can firmly say that a change will be ushered in through a single step in a new direction. All it will take is a step to begin.

A Journey begins with a single Step

Contest

Through the month of April I will be doing a Contest for free shirts and other products. I will choose the winners at the end of April. All you have to do is upload a photo that captures your journey onto your favorite social media account. Use the quote “A journey begins with a single step.” #Rickymaye

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.

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 Jesus taught me about being an ass

6214666-jesus-journey-on-the-donkey“And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.
And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.
And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.
And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt?”

Mark 11:2

We have an example of a God who would come bearing weakness and wearing brokenness. A God who came giving up his robe rather than wearing it. A God who sat in the dirt with a whore rather than on a throne, and ate with the scum. This is a God who needs me, even in my imperfection.

Heading into Passover Jesus called for a donkey to enter the city in.

In what I consider one of the Bibles most revealing and revolutionary statements Jesus says, “The Lord has need.”

Jesus has a need!

We receive a vital piece of information and insight into the person of Jesus by finding that he has a need for something and in that moment it is a need for a donkey.

As I’ve always taught and will continue to teach, the Bible has more layers and deeper meanings that will allow God to speak in a new way.

This story isn’t just about an ass that was an animal in the right place and right time to give the savior a ride though the city.

That colt is all of us; you and me. It is the story of a life bound and forgotten not being  experienced and one day a savior smiles upon him.

Why, because he has to make himself feel great? No. He has need.

He has need of a person tied down. He has need of that junky that has lost everything. He has need of that teen who feels like failure awaits every person she attempts to love.

This is one of the most powerful verses in scripture because it tells us why.

For God so loved…

But why?

Because he had need!

It’s exciting to me because this means Jesus wanted me with all my doubts.

Jesus wanted me even with all of my mess.

He wanted me with all my uncertainties and my insecurities. He has a need for me.

The gospel isn’t about winning souls; it’s about connecting an ass that is tied up to a savior who will liberate.

One thing I just have to say that I love about this scripture is that Jesus chooses the inexperienced donkey.

He didn’t want the donkey that traveled the land. He didn’t want a donkey who knew what it was like to carry a king. He wanted the donkey that was tied up and never ridden.

Some of the best people for the job will have never done the job.

Some of the best experience is the least experience.

The end of the verse reflects often what we see in our own lives as we begin something new.

As the disciples untied the colt and was about to bring it to Jesus as he asked, people questioned.

How many times have you wanted to start something, a business or even a career and the people around you seem to have all these questions.

Jesus had no incentive to question this colt, he just wanted to free it.

Don’t ever let your inexperience hinder you from dreaming. Out of your inexperience will come many blessings. You may be an ass with no experiance, no money and nothing looking up, But Jesus has need for you.

Rachel’s storm

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This week is the launch of Rachel Held Evans, A year of Biblical Womanhood.

I’ve had to pleasure of being able to speak with Rachel, support her and watch as she has engaged multitudes. Rachel Held Evans has a gift for starting conversations, however messy they may become, they always spark thought and insight.

As Rachel braves storms both literal and religious we can do a few things to help her.

1. The biggest thing you can do for any author is go to a store and buy the book on day one! Store sales will make a difference.

2. Share the book with your friends ( don’t forget to make note of her witty humor.)

3. Review the book. Not just Rachel’s, but any author or book you’ve read. Go to goodreads, Amazon, Etc and leave a review. It supports the author in amazing ways.

In addition to all of those, Rachel will undoubtably receive much backlash and criticism. Speak up for her intent and stand up for the message.

I hope that you support Rachel in her book launch but also the community of authors around her.

See ya
Ricky

Take a breathe

I couldn’t relate to God and nobody seemed to really care.

In church they told me God was a father, they called him Abba, I liked the word but I never knew my father, he hurt my mother and never helped me or my family in any way, that kind of father? They told me God was a provider, they called him El Shaddai, but my mom worked 3 jobs and put herself in the hospital to provide for just me and my brother, I was told we were all God’s children, “he has to provide for all these children!” I thought, I guessed I’d never see him, he’d always be working. I went to Sunday school on some occasions. When we were not coloring pictures depicting Noah’s Ark or David and Goliath we were memorizing scriptures and what they called the A B C’s to salvation. In a few years when I was older I was lucky to move up to the youth group which focused more on memorizing entire scriptures intended for making us feel guilty for doubt, sex and bad grades. We also talked about this thing called apologetics, which was all about defending our faith in school. Most of my time in church was spent learning how to defend this faith I still had so many questions about. They spent more time telling me what to believe, rather than who to believe in. I still didn’t know how to relate to God.

Now things are different. I spend much of my time helping many people find God in the world around them. Let me introduce you to my brother Allen, he is a writer of music, he is a worship leader, he plays almost every instrument know to man. He has a passion for music few will ever understand, he’s gone as far to make music his profession. He is not necessarily the most religious or typical Christian, he veers from theological topics and keeps distance from taking a verbal stance on many things because “we are all different.” I’d imagine if you ask my brother Allen who God is, he might pass over the father, provider and burning bush euphemisms. I think he would say something along the lines of how God is a vibration, to him God speaks through the vibration of strings, leather on drum heads and the vibrating of chords in the throat while singing. For him I think music goes farther and deeper than it does for me, but God is speaking to him in a different way when someone is playing, singing or dancing. This is his Horeb moment.

How beautiful to witness a God who distinctly will reveal himself to each one of us as we need. A few years back I decided to take a breather from this Christian thing. I chronicle this journey in my upcoming book, An Emerging Spirituality.

I took some time to breathe and what God began to teach me was when I take time to breathe I am becoming closer with God. God gave existence to everything in the garden of Eden, but he only breathed into man. He gave mankind something called “life”. This life was something different than being alive because the animals, water and plants were alive, but they didn’t have life. Life is purpose, life is intention, life is hope and dreams. Animals are alive, but a dog doesn’t get upset when his finances are in peril because he has stuff to do before he turns 30, he doesn’t cry when he sees a child starving to death when he knows he can do something. When we take some time to breathe we are taking a moment to become aware of God and the more he wants to do with us, we are becoming one with God.

Take a breath today, just breathe.