7 Things I Want To Teach My Kids About Spirituality

Image7 Things I want to teach my kids about Spirituality.

Often I think, the last thing the Internet and blogosphere need is another list. There are always special cases where the words and insights bring us into alignment. Today was my birthday and I received a few emails reminding me to reflect. Well I did, and as always a little too much but I though about my life and what I wanted to share with my kids. Something bigger than morals, something larger than words and books. I want to be able to share with them something that can not be captured in a doctrine but explodes with relevancy.

7. Sex
Sex is one of the most spiritual acts that you can participate in. You are valuable, treasured, and you do not need a purity ring or a “true love waits” commitment card to find value within yourself and your sexuality. Since the days when I was a child growing up, all I can remember being taught about sex was that bad things happen when someone has sex. I wasn’t taught that sex and my sexuality was something to be valued and treasured.

I remember reading a book called “Kissing Dating Goodbye” from a guy who I couldn’t for the life of me understand why he couldn’t have any girl he wanted.  Being taught about not dating from a handsome guy is like being taught about poverty from a rich man.

6.  Love
Oh I know this one was predictable, but the word Love is used over 500 times in the English Bible. The Qur’an uses the word Love almost 70 times. Whether it is the Greeks Agape or the Middle Easts Hubb or even the French’s Amour, we are encaptured by the need to be loved and give love.

Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Life without love is no life at all.”
Shakespeare Pleaded that we, “Love all…”
Jesus said, “Let me give you a new command: Love” The Message

Despite our many obvious and veiled differences, we all have the same passion for love in our lives. A baby reaches out with love to a mother it only unconsciously knows. We open a book in search of love. Music, speaking, plays, etc all bring feelings of love. Love, I think is the one thing that is beyond our verbal boundaries of expression.

We must take this Biblical love literally or we cannot take anything literally.

5. Paths
There may indeed be one answer, one way, and one God but one piece of wisdom I’ve gained is that God may use many different paths, methods, and ways to bring people to himself.
But Paths are tricky. See paths can have obstacles and unseen hindrances. And no matter what path you take, you will undoubtedly face turmoil and pain on each path.
My hope for my children, and all those reading this is that while on these many different paths you travel, you exercise patience, grace and love.

4. God is Good
Throughout Churches,I’ve heard one consistent phrase since I was young, and this phrase wasn’t hindered by denominational factions. Southern Baptist though episcopal-all the way through the progressive, I heard the Phrase, “God is Good, and all the time God is Good.” I love this phrase probably for different reasons than many. I believe it’s meant as an exclamation of God’s goodness towards our lives. I want to teach my kids that above all else, “God is Good.” He is goodness, good things,and good hopes. In every bit of goodness is an opportunity to experience God.

It is not just a phrase to say, but something to experience everyday.

3.  Heaven and Hell
Hear me out on this one. I know we are treading some thin lines. But for my kids, I want them to know that one thing the Bible teaches consistently throughout its covers is this concept of a Heaven and a Hell. Definitions, locations, and interpretations can cloud what I think is the real beauty of the reality of a Heaven and Hell idea for Christians and non-Christians alike. (I am using the words Heaven and Hell loosely since few times are they mentioned in the same manner and objective in the scriptures. I am using the modern words as a pointer to a bigger but mainstream concept that we have of Heaven and Hell.)

The reality of Heaven and Hell brings to the surface the intense revelation that this moment – this life is about more than just this moment. It’s about more than just this life.

Life, it is more than just you. It gives us the revolutionary realization that this moment is more important than we might think because it can affect myself or someone else down the road. My struggles can be my generational burden.

Whether or not our beliefs and doctrines of Heaven and Hell match,  the literary descriptions, or are even all on the same page, we can find a muse to be more conscious of our actions and deeds. If we live with heaven in mind, we’ll see heaven in our sight.

The notion of Heaven and Hell is somewhat of a reminder for everyone that this day, no matter how bad it may be, has an ending. That in every moment there is a choice to be made; to do good or not.
2.  God Loves Religion
Religion often gets a bad rap, sometimes understandably so. The news is often so crowded with the stories of abuse and harm that we don’t get to hear the good being done in the names of many god’s spiritual leaders and religions. I am a believer that God loves religion. The Bible gives us a clear statement on what kind of religion pleases God.

James 1:27 Religion that God accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

I think that we can misinterpret what God wants us to be zealous about. It’s not a book, persona, or building. It is people.

In our day of equal rights, mentoring, and giving we can all agree this is the type of religion we need to be focused on. If religion is to be, than it should be an example of charity and assistance. This should be the focus of everyday expressions of God and belief.

Religion is what we would call a tool that assists in connecting us with what we cannot explain. As with anything religion can be perverted. But if you are religious about anything, be religious about serving and loving.

1. Miracles

I spent the past two years visiting over 200 churches while working on a new book and a journey of what I called My Spiritual Re-discovery. In the majority of the churches they spoke about miracles being an essential part of the Life of Jesus. I agree. I think often the biggest miracles of Christ went under shadowed by the more talked about happenings.

This is something I’ve always agreed with. However, my view of a miracle is a little different than what I’ve seen in many churches.

In the Biblical book of Luke, we get a clear description from Jesus himself as to why he was here and what he was focusing on.

“…to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed” – Jesus

Jesus had a different view of miracles than I see in many churches today. He repeatedly told the people, “See that no one knows about this.” Matthew 9:31

What if the real miracles were the forgotten teens Jesus mentored whom we now call disciples? What if the real miracles were the times he served and gave of himself?

I believe Miracles should be a daily part of this life journey we are on. It’s not necessarily a blind man being given sight or the dead being raised. Often times it will be needs being met, service being offered, and assistance with burdens.

You can be someone’s miracle today.

What makes the Bible special is that it isn’t a record of God, because God cannot be contained between two covers and some ink. What ultimately makes the Bible special is that it has the ability to tell the story of the reader, and is as unique to each person as the hair on their head.

What I am saying is, instead of us often taking what the Bible says seriously, we should take what it’s saying to each one of us seriously.

A New Year Revolution

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A New Year’s resolution is often about coming to a resolution and declaring new hopes for the new year. Some diet, work out or even stop drinking Starbucks. All this because we seek something to resolve inside us. But life doesn’t resolve. We will never understand why… We will never have everything we want…

Life just doesn’t resolve. We will always have questions life will always present us with the Mistry, and there will always be wonder.

One thing you can be sure of is that you are anticipated, you are not an accident, you are revolutionary.

While many will seek to make resolutions that five & ten months down the road will be forgotten or lacked.

I’ve been there, many times we are not happy with the results of a new year resolution or may have not gotten the answers we’ve wanted. One thing you can do is be confident in who you are and what you were created to be.

I think instead of making temporary resolutions this year we can seek to become revolutionary beings in our actions.

The word revolution has a tainted past and can bring an unsettled feeling to many. The root for the word revolution is centered around revolving which is a constant ,oving and progression.

Resolution is about becoming complete. While revolution is about growing, progressing, and going forward. That is what this new year will be about you becoming a better you you becoming forgetting where you came from and not experiencing that again

Revolution isn’t as much about impacting but rather initiating.

Let us press on beyond the past, let’s move above the hurt and focus on being better people, to the world and to ourselves.

I often see many homeless men and women and people are aware of the need for change, but revolution isn’t brought by giving change but embracing change. Revolution happen in your life, in our world, in our communities by embracing change and moving forward.

I encourage you as this year ends and a new one begins not to seek resolution but to create revolution within yourself.

You are a Revolutionary.

Ricky Maye

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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

Our Last Easter

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Our last Easter

With a handful of colored eggs and Jesus in a tomb on TV. I had the task of explaining Easter to my two year old.

If Easter is to offer a universal truth that goes beyond age and culture, then our celebration of Easter isn’t to be wrapped in atonement arguments or something as mundane as colored eggs and candy. My explanation couldn’t include the roots of 13 Century gods, bunnies or religion. It had to be bigger.

With this task ahead, I wanted to get rid of my theological assumptions and explanations and figure out what the Easter season means to me and my son.

Growing up I knew what it was like to fall; to be down.

Emotionally my childhood was spent very low. What often brought me back to the Jesus story was the notion of resurrection, and we are celebrating that around the world very soon. But how does a child understand resurrection?

I speak of resurrection not fully in the physical sense of rising from the dead. But the metaphorical idea of things not ending when it looks as if the end has come.

My two year old like many kids know what it’s like to fall or get hurt. He knows what it’s like to crash into a wall or two. He often knows what it’s like to be stopped in his tracks.

So we sat down last week and my explanation of Easter didn’t include bunnies or tombs but something he and I could relate to very easily.

I told him we would be celebrating possibilities and second chances.
You might find us eating candy, or painting eggs we may read some scriptures of the resurrection.

But most of all Easter at our house will be celebrating the timeless example of Jesus and that dead things, dead dreams, dead opportunities do not have to die. They can rise up.

How will your family be celebrating the Easter season this year?

Let’s Talk About Sex (And Compassion)

Let’s talk about sex (and Compassion)

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Larry Flynt at one of his Hustler stores and the creator of Girls Gone Wild Joe Francis on one occasion a few months back

We shared words of wisdom and Love together and I realized that these guys are not the enemy I had once believed and once was taught.

Around five or six years ago I would have been one of those protesting someone sitting down with Larry Flynt, today I’m walking down a different road. Now I am the one sitting down with people like Larry Flynt.

I’ll get to what we talked about after I share with you a few misconceptions and ideas about sex. The Bible consistently brings up two distinct ways to apply a word, scripture, teaching and so on. The first is the physical and the second is the spiritual.

The word sex can be found to be defined as, “to amputate, or to cut off.”

So the physical act of sex is an intimate encounter reflecting in intercourse. The spiritual aspect is an encounter that is intimate in a different nature.

This spiritual aspect of sex is a giving up not a giving in. It’s a handing over rather than a handling.

Speaking of handling, the Hebrew word used for compassion is racham and is defined as, “to fondle.”

Now compassion can join our conversation, because it is just as dirty and raw as this discussion. Compassion is less of a social justice, humanist word and now a word describing an intimate encounter of aid and help.

The word fondle brings back memories of new lovers who can’t keep their hands off each other for me, I would bet it’s similar for you.

What if compassion took on this same intensity? We couldn’t help but help those in need; we couldn’t help but to console the hurting.  We couldn’t help but hold the broken. We can put the passion back into compassion.

Feelings and emotions erupt and display when you have given yourself in a spiritually intimate way, just as when you give yourself in a physically intimate way. Now your defensive for that person, now you have a Love for that person that can’t be put into words, and when that person hurts, you hurt.

We can go much farther into this and I may do that in a future book or blog.

The lesson we can gain is that people are not numbers, accomplishments or notches on our spiritual belt. They are people in need of something more than a bag of rice or a couple of bucks in change and some pocket lint.

We have the opportunity to have a spiritually intimate encounter with each person we come into contact with.

Later I’ll post the interviews but from the both of them but I gained a sense of insecurity from both. Even through these generations sex hasn’t been the answer for them it’s led them to more questions.

As we discussed sex means giving a part of yourself, this is why when he isn’t being faithful if feels like your involved in the “others” sex acts, or when she begins her adulterous performance in that hotel in Reno you might as well have been there, because it sure as hell felt like it.

Be careful with your partners, you have them with you, treat everyone with respect and love so much it creates life.

Lastly I would like to say when I met Joe Francis it was something last minute, but when I say down with Larry Flynt there were a few people who were condemning this man to hell. Let me tell you I had spiritual conversations with both and you’d be amazed at what these men have in their hearts. Instead of picking up stones and signs and bibles. Just talk and walk with these men, really they are all on the same journey as all of us.

*My newest and first full-length book is out now for digital download for the Kindle, Nook and iTunes. It is Available for purchase through http://www.rickymaye.com and by the end of the month will be available via amazon.com and bookstores near you.