“Learning to Share” Part 2

5738 So the REAL JESUS tells me I have to learn to share. Hhmm. If you read Part I, you know how I described my isolated and introverted childhood, not so good for learning to share. We also shared the analogy of the wolf verses the dog. The dog has wolf ancestry but chooses to love and serve a master. Dogs are such a picture of devotion and choosing to share.

Jesus said the meek shall inherit the earth. Wolves shall not, but the lovable mutt that works their way into your heart will survive! In the above picture, my friend Jason recently took on a new member to his family. Meet Luke. A full blooded yellow Lab.

However, Jason already had one dog, a chihuahua named Zak. And now Zak, who had been an only dog, is having to learn to share!

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“And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.” (Acts 2:44-45)

This is the Jesus I kept bumping into in our large fancy modern Church buildings that cost more to run than what we probably feed the poor, or help our neighbor. I was in a pickle and didn’t know what to do about it. I feel sorry for Zak, but he may be doing better at it, than I.

So I began sharing this spiritual dilemma with our Fellowship we started. We left the modern Church system so we could be REAL, like the Jesus I kept bumping into. As you can imagine, we all three felt the strain of living up to what Jesus actually taught, especially his whole Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are the poor in spirit? Well…maybe because they know what it is to lack, and need to share, in order to survive. Their hopes and dreams have been dashed so many times, now they are a broken vessel no longer prideful or attached to things. But what about me? I’ve always been lower middle class and never lacked. I also have stuff. Not just needs.

We know what it is to live from paycheck to paycheck, and barely squeeze by. But we have a small house of 1400 square feet in the big city. We have transportation, old though they be. We have food, heat, AC, medical if we need it, and a little extra for entertainment, and helping others, but the Jesus I kept bumping into wanted to take things to a much higher level! Because he is LOVE! And it seemed to be connected to COMMUNITY/ GOD’S FAMILY. And it’s all through our New Testament and early Church fathers. There is no denying or escaping it if your HONEST, and much of modern Church IS NOT!

I do love the wolf/ dog/ sheep analogy. They say sheep are the most stupid animal, but they happen to be smart enough to choose following a “higher being” than themself, known as man, also called a shepherd.

The dog also has chosen to follow a higher being, known as man, and master. But the wolf only follows another wolf. He is the alpha, small “a”, and he’s just another wolf.

The real Jesus says, “Follow me.” The real Jesus asked Peter, lovest thou these more than me?

Do I trust him? Do I love him? Am I making disciples? This Jesus tells me in Luke 14:33 that I cannot become his disciple without giving up everything I own. And I am to help the poor. The greater are always supposed to help the lesser, and there is always someone greater than you, but also having less than you. Those with less rarely can do much for those having more. That doesn’t even make sense.

So as I examined my possessions, I still have no real savings, not even a 401K. LOL. That got burned up in my back surgery. Our 2 vehicles are old and needed. The only thing leaping out at me is our small house. So I laid it before the Lord and asked, “What would you have me to do?”

This led to me, as the Bell Sheep of our Fellowship, this led to me sharing the vision of “what to do” with our small Fellowship, of which my wife is one, and Jason the other. Well… as you can imagine… I tried to blame it on the REAL JESUS… but somehow she kept looking at me.

This story will continue in Part 3.

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My dog, Shadow. We are dog lovers here.

“Yinneysnippets” of great Teachers.

three-toed-sloth These quotes can be read in 90 seconds or less, but pondered for a life time.

(Study to show thyself approved.)

Quote> “A small root in the right place can crack a whole building. A fine wine of the right brew can burst an old wineskin.”

“It’s the principal of life; of ferment; of small beginnings with great promise.”

“Radical renewal means getting back to basics; going to the root (radix). Radical renewal is so powerful that it can turn a world rightside up.”

“But only if the root is alive. Only if the wine is real.”

Written by: Howard A. Snyder / Book: “Radical Renewal – The Problem of Wineskins Today” / Copyright 1996 / Chapter: Preface.

“Yinney” Chapter 36

sloth_blog “They tell me that all dogs were once wolves,” Yinney began, and all fell silent. “One day a wolf decided he would give up his wild selfishness and would be meek and serve. He became a dog.”

Yinney looked around at the small group gathered at his 7th Day Tree. The macaws were doing a wonderful job of spreading the word about the Fellowship. Not only were the three macaws here, but also some howler monkeys from the rubber trees! Bubba the Buddhist had sent them to listen and learn, and then return to him and share, so he could consider and compare.

Another wonderful surprise was Cappy the capybarra! He was visiting for the first time and sat patiently on the ground looking up and listening. Yinney had moved lower in the tree for the sake of Cappy, and looked forward to talking more with him after the meeting.

It had been a couple days, but so far Tornado Turtle had not come around. Probably distracted by some glittering treasure somewhere, but he still hoped he would see her soon.

“We all know the loyalty of a good dog,” Yinney continued, ” and yet they use to live as wolves! Predators! What a picture of transformation, and making a different choice, not to live as a predator, but learn companionship, love, and devotion. The wild wolves are being slowly but surely exterminated. While the devoted and faithful dog is more and more inheriting the earth. Yes, we are teaching on the Beatitudes, and the Sermon on the Mount.”

“Our Creator came in the form of a man to fulfill what we could not, and teach us that it is not the predators who will inherit the earth, but the meek. Now in these parts, in our beautiful Amazon jungle, we know of Jag the jaguar, and how we must always be watching lest we be taken unaware. And many other predators of this jungle, meat-eaters, carnivores, who live after the hungers of their flesh, and think nothing of hurting others to satisfy their own desires. But our Creator has promised they will not inherit the earth, but are fit for destruction themselves. Their own predator ways will come back on them, reaping what they have sown.”

“All are welcome to this tree and in this fellowship as long as they continue in exactly that, fellowship. What a wonderful thing it is to have a community of unity. But this wonderful thing will only happen if we stay in a proper spirit, and for this we teach three foundational truths: The Lord’s Supper, The Lord’s Prayer, and The Lord’s Sermon. The Beatitudes as found in Matthew chapter 5 is the starting point of the Lord’s Sermon. It is the starting point, but the whole sermon revolves around what the Lord spoke in verse 48, when he said: ‘But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.’ “

“Does the thought of perfection scare you? A mark so high? A standard so impossible? Yes, impossible for us, but not God. So do not be afraid, just know that God from the beginning said he was taking us to perfection, that is our promised land. This is no new thing, and we have all eternity in Christ to reach it. The ability to fellowship without eating each other is part of our training in the perfecting. The early church knew this, and the early church fathers taught and practiced it,” he concluded with a smile, and then began the discussions. Church was just getting started.

Frank now understood he would no longer be a New York City cop. The damage to his spinal cord gave him about a fifty-fifty chance of being confined to a wheelchair. No one knew if he would walk again, but therapy was beginning soon. He was now officially retired from the force, and feeling lost. “What now?” he questioned. He really hoped he would at least walk again.

He had only been conscious a couple days. His partner, Sam, promised to help him anyway he could. Sam was a great guy. Their friendship would continue.

His sons were there for him too, and Rachel and her daughter, Clara. As a matter of fact, he thought he noticed his youngest son, Tommy, and Clara having a lot of private conversations over the past two days. What was that about, he wondered? But Tommy would be leaving soon to go back to his job, working on that road in the Amazon.

More than anything, he wondered about Rachel. Their relationship had began while he was strong, healthy, and still a cop. Would she want to marry a cripple? A man most likely too damaged to even carry her across the threshold? If he had any chance with her before, which he still did not know, did he have even less chance now? Was she constantly visiting him out of sympathy, and would eventually slowly fade out of his life as soon as she was sure he was going to be okay?

All these questions and more rolled around in his mind as he lay in the hospital bed with so many hours to ponder every little fear and negative thought. The view out his window was an ugly concrete wall only an alley away, with clouds and drizzle decorating. A new life lay ahead. The details and potential of that life he did not know. It certainly still had lots of possibilities, especially if Rachel was part of it. He hoped she was, even more than he hoped he walked again, and he really wanted to walk. Fight hard he would. Both to walk, and win Rachel’s love.

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“Yinney” Chapter 33

Rachel had fallen into a routine of working her night shift at the Coffee Cafe, followed by a lonely walk to the subway and thinking about how much she missed Frank showing up, shower and bed when she got home, short conversations with Clara when she could, then dress for work but go to the hospital, where she would sit at the side of Frank’s bed praying he would suddenly wake up.

“Where are you God?” she found herself asking on the 7th day of her vigil, but then caught herself. “I’m sorry God. I know you’re here with us. I’m sorry for getting discouraged and doubting you. Please forgive me.”

Once again she began questioning her relationship. Is this what Jesus did? She felt in such a hopeless rut. The really good Christians, as she thought of them, were at church services 2-3 times a week. They were involved in various church programs. They tithed at least 10% of their gross income. They became church members, read their Bible through in a year, every year, so many things the church recommended doing to be a good Christian. Rachel had never quite lived up to all those things. Her life just didn’t fit that box. But from what she could see, Jesus didn’t fit the church box either. But what did she know? They were the experts. Pastor Simmons had a Master’s Degree in Theology. She could only be more wrong, and that made her feel even more unworthy.

How could she rise to that level? Every time she thought of it, all she saw was a prison of programs digging an even deeper rut! She loved freedom! A life flowing with meaning, purpose, and opportunity. And so as she dared to rise from her chair one more time and pray a prayer for Frank, she began, “Dear Lord, I’m so confused on what is right. I’m sorry I fall short in so many ways. I must be such a disappointment. I’m sorry such a programmed life does not appeal to me. And my prayers seem shallow. But Frank needs you, and for some reason I’m the one you put here at his side. I know the church is praying too, and Pastor Simmons stopped in on his hospital rounds. I do appreciate that, Lord. I’ll try to do better, but please let Frank come back to us. In Jesus name, Amen.” 

Having an after thought, Rachel added one more thing, “Lord, I’ve been telling Agatha, at the cafe, about you. She enjoys our conversations, but does not want to go to church. She says she don’t need all that hype. I don’t know how to convince her, Lord. I mentioned Baptism and she said I could baptize her! I don’t know how to do that! I’m not even qualified, am I? Please help me to help her, Lord. Amen.”

Once again thousands of miles away in the Amazon jungle, Yinney was in his 7th Day Tree teaching. Lu-Lu, Me-Me, and Jo-Jo had showed up to hear about his 6 day journey. And after telling them in detail about Capy, Kujo, and Bubba, he went on to ask a question, “So how do we create true ‘community’?” he asked. “How do we have true ‘communion’?”

The question hung in the air like a lead balloon. Me-Me looked at Jo-Jo. Jo-Jo looked at Lu-Lu. Lu-Lu looked at Me-Me. No one was saying anything until all three suddenly answered at the same time and Yinney couldn’t decipher a single word they said.

“Okay. Very good!” he said. “Lu-Lu, why don’t you go first.”

“Love your neighbor as yourself?” she answered as a question.

“Me-Me?” Yinney said.

“Invite people to join our fellowship!” she proudly answered.

“And Jo-Jo,”

“Pray for people,” she stated.

“All very good answers,” Yinney confirmed, and the macaws looked at each other very happy at their performance. Then he asked another question, “What does it mean to be a priest to your neighborhood?”

“It means being ordained after much study of God’s Word, so you can teach it properly,” Jo-Jo quickly answered.

“It can mean that,” Yinney agreed, “But, what if I told you, you became a priest of the Most High God the moment you entered into Christ by your own profession of faith? And God considers you a priest to wherever you are planted, i.e., your own neighborhood, workplace, wherever God has planted you. You are a priest of God’s ‘Communion’, even the Lord’s Welcoming Table, his Last Supper. As a priest you have a Communion with our Creator that only a child of God can offer to your community. The community we hope to grow, like a garden, is a community in love with God, knowing God, and coming to know him more as we fellowship like a family in Him.”

The 3 macaws stared at Yinney as if he had just invented the light bulb, or time travel. They were in awe and dumbfounded at the same time. Lu-Lu finally began slowly asking, “Could you say that again so I could write it down? I’m not sure I heard you right.” All three macaws were nodding their heads in agreement.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. A people for God’s own possession…” (I Peter 2:9)

“…you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood…” (I Peter 2:5)

“And he has made us be a Kingdom of priest…” (Rev. 1:6)

Yinney ended his quoting. Then Lu-Lu said, “I guess I did hear that right. Could you repeat those three verse locations?”

Yinney smiled.

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The continuing story of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo” is property of Don Allen and Fellowship of the White Path.

 

 

“Yinney” Chapter 32

28e223c9-f4f7-4ee2-9d62-2504d88782fe_rw_1920 At one a.m. Clara finally surrendered to going to bed with the stipulation Rachel wake her if anything important happened. Clara had an early rise for work, whereas her mother worked the evening and night shift. So after an exchange of hugs and words of concern for Frank, Rachel was now alone with the TV and her fearful thoughts.

Normally she would be in bed now too. But it would be useless tonight, she would only toss and turn. So she watched the TV intently, even as it repeated itself over and over. She saw no sign of Frank. The hours slowly ticked by, until finally the reporter confirmed Central park was now under police control. The stone building had been gassed, the gangs broken up and arrested, and yes there were fatalities. No names were given yet, until families could be notified.

Rachel was exhausted. She wanted to go to bed, but her worry was growing even more. Why hadn’t Frank called by now to confirm he was alright? He would have to know she would be worried. The fact he had not called yet, was reason for even more concern. But slowly without realizing, she drifted off to sleep on the couch, with her phone nearby.

Six a.m., and she only been asleep for an hour or so when her cell phone began ringing. At first it sounded as if in a heavy fog, and very far away, but slowly growing louder until she finally realized she had fallen asleep and needed to get the phone! But her brain did not want to work and her body did not function. Fumbling to hit the buttons she hastily answered, “Hello…Frank? You okay?”

The voice that answered was not Frank. “Mam,” he began, “this is Frank’s partner, Sam. He told me to call you if anything ever happened. Franks in the hospital.”

As Rachel remained silent, Sam could hear her breathing and decided best to just lay it out there. So he kept on talking, “He’s alive… but it’s not good. He took a bad fall. His back has some serious damage. He’s been unconscious, swelling on the brain. Their prepping him for surgery right now. I’m not leaving till he comes out of surgery. But he would want you to know. Do you have any questions? Do you need a ride to the hospital or anything?”

“No…” she answered. “I can get there. Thank you, Officer Sam.”

“You’re welcome, Mam.”

Rachel disconnected the call, slowly slid off the side of the couch onto the floor, buried her face into her hands and began weeping. She was exhausted, emotionally spent, but as soon as she could pull herself together she would tell Clara the bad news, and then she would be on her way to the hospital.

Frank was unaware of anything going on. He felt no pain, did not know his body lay on the bank of a small stream for a couple hours before he was found, was unaware of his ride in an ambulance to the hospital, and did not know he was being rushed into surgery at this very time. The extent of his injuries were not yet known, but the swelling of his brain had to be treated immediately, and there was spinal cord damage. One doctor estimated his odds of living about fifty-fifty, and his odds of walking again not that good.

Frank was mostly unaware of anything. He was sleeping in darkness and feeling nothing, not even the passing of time, except when there was a flash of light. At random times there would be a flash of something, like light, and a picture! Light flashed, he saw a tree over hanging a lagoon! In his unconscious and injured state he did not try to ponder what he saw, it was as a dream, it just was. Light flashed and he saw a tree, then he saw a lagoon, and it was as if in a jungle.

Time passed by and he was unaware of the passing before light flashed again, and there was the tree again, and something else, a sloth?

Frank was still in surgery when Rachel arrived at the hospital and quickly found Officer Sam. Frank had spoke of him as a fine man, but she and he had never met. He knew she had to be Rachel the moment he saw her enter the waiting room.

Walking over to her, he softly asked, “Rachel?”

“Yes, I’m Rachel. Any word?”

“No. Not yet. He’s still in there. His sons have also been notified and they are on their way. All but one. He’s got to book a plane. Can I get you a coffee or anything?”

“Yes, coffee would be good, and if you can tell me anything at all, about what happened to him?”

“Sure, lets get that coffee first, and find a seat,” Sam went to a coffee machine, put a card in, punched some buttons and waited on the coffee while Rachel spotted a place to sit. Soon he was joining her with two cups of hot coffee, cream and sugar.

“Well,” he began, “here’s all we know. Frank was found unconscious on the ground and almost in a stream of water. It appears he had gone over the side wall of a stone bridge. He must have been in a tussle with somebody. He fell in a bad way. Another officer was found on the bridge, his neck broke. We don’t know if the two are related or not. Frank and I got separated in the chaos. I didn’t see a thing, I’m afraid. And I feel terrible I wasn’t there to help him.”

Sam went silent at that point and Rachel gave him an understanding look as she reached to touch his hand. “Frank always spoke very highly of you. Said you were a good man and he was lucky to have you as his partner. Whatever happened out there, I’m sure he doesn’t blame you.”

Rachel saw tears in Sam’s eyes as he thanked her for her kind words.

Two more hours went by before Frank was wheeled out of surgery and into a special room. Sam helped identify Rachel as someone very close and should be allowed to be at his side when he awoke.

“If he awakes,” a doctor corrected. “His injuries are very serious. we’re hoping he does’t slide into a deep coma, and if he avoids that, then we don’t know if he’ll ever walk again. I’m sorry. I wish I had better news, but we just don’t know. Only God knows at this point.”

Rachel nodded her head that she understood, thanked the doctor for all his efforts, and settled in by Franks bed to wait. There lay the man she was afraid to love. Now it was likely his police days were over. How would Frank deal with such a change in his life? Was she meant to help him through such a time as this? All she knew was she was here for him now.

As morning was birthing thousands of miles south in the Amazon jungle, Yinney was singing his morning song…

Rising morning sun, I greet you. Singing morning birds, I thank you. Gentle cooling breeze, I welcome you. Great and mighty tree, I hang from you.

Predators may lurk jungle below, but our ways are higher in the trees. Our ways are touched with cooling breeze. Our ways invisible in the leaves. Our ways are blessed in peaceful flow. Our ways are blessed with S-O-U-L.

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“Yinney” Chapter 31

Central_Park_night “Sometimes something has to happen, in order for something else to happen,” someone once said.

“This is Chanel 10 News. I’m Tracey Copper reporting live from just outside Central Park where a major gang war suddenly broke out about thirty minutes ago!”

Clara and Rachel had not moved from the couch as they watched the horrible event unfolding. It had only been a few days since Rachel had been a witness to a murder, a literal execution, performed high in the night sky for greater impact; and now this? What was the world coming to?

The quivers in her body that had faded away during her rushed hike from subway to home, had now returned. Conflicting emotions were at war within her. Frank was a good man, and she loved him very much, but now she resisted that love. How could she live like this? Even now, they were only dating but it was still tearing her up inside, knowing the danger he was in.

Had she not seen it with her own eyes, had she not seen the man begging for his life, and yet the shadow with the gun executed him as if it meant nothing! Life meant nothing! A human being meant nothing! His body falling from the high-rise, the sound of it hitting concrete below, and the shadows walked away as if it were nothing. What kind of evil is that? What darkness fills the minds of such people? And Frank faced that darkness every night, but could she? She didn’t think so, and the quivers running through her body even now were confirming that very thing. “Detach, Rachel!” her mind demanded. “Detach while you still can!” But the heart hangs on.

The reporter continued, “It appears the police are about to go in! Squad cars, helicopters, and spot lights are flashing everywhere! As far as we know, there have been two injured civilians so far, and no fatalities, but we don’t know who may be trapped in there and unable to get out. The police say they will enter to save those people and stop this gang war! They intend to send a strong message that this kind of lawlessness will not be allowed in New York City! You threaten our people, we’re going to hit you hard was a quote from the Chief of Police earlier. I believe I see them moving now! Yes! They’re going in!”

Adrenalin pumped through Frank’s body like a race horse straining at a gate. For half an hour now, gunshots, screaming, fighting, could be heard going on in the park. With all the natural cover it offered, it was more like a jungle war zone than a gang fight, or a mixture of both, but the natural conditions were prolonging the battle beyond a normal gang fight. No one had seen anything like this before.

The men were nervous but anxious to get in there. This had to be stopped before countless lives were lost. No one knew how many trapped civilians might still be in there. When the order was given, Frank leveled his gun and two-thirds of the officers began entering, as the other third was ordered to hold tight and protect the streets.

Frank’s partner, Sam, had found him and they now entered the park together. Frank and Sam had been together for a while and knew how each other thought. The sound of gunfire and angry voices made it easy to locate the main battle ground, but it had also scattered. At any moment an assailant could fire upon you from the cover of darkness, and it was almost impossible to prepare for.

In no time at all they found themselves pinned down and shooting at shadows. Bullets ricochet off trees and rocks around them. A report came across the radio saying the gang was holding captives in a stone building, and threatening to execute them all if the police interfered! At that same moment, Sam decided to make a rushed move to another tree. “Cover me!” he yelled as he suddenly shot forward into the dimly lit landscape.

Frank did the best he could, but that was the last he saw of Sam. They were officially separated. Frank was pinned down and unable to follow his partner. Out of the darkness a streak of silver flashed, a glint of steel caught his eye! A crazy guy with a samurai sword was attacking him! But his training instantly kicked in, and a sword is no match for a gun. The man fell to the ground and there was no time to even check his condition as automatic weapons still filled the air with streams of bullets.

Frank strained his eyes still trying to spot his partner. A special task force of officers were sent in with a mission of getting to that stone building, fill it with tear gas, and save as many civilians as possible. But everyone knew there was going to be loss of life. Frank began moving forward.

He was still searching for Sam when he spotted an officer in a life and death struggle with a very large man on a bridge! Was that Sam? He couldn’t tell, but it didn’t matter. This officer needed help, and between the two of them they should be able to overpower the guy and get him in cuffs. Frank ran the short distance onto the bridge, holstering his weapon as he went, and drawing his club. “Knock this guy out from behind,” he told himself. But just as he was almost there, the big guy snapped the officer’s neck and spun around catching Frank completely flatfooted! He easily blocked the club and Frank was instantly in trouble. How did this guy move so fast? He obviously had special training, and now he was alone against this giant, as the other officer lay on the ground not moving.

The man got hold of him before he had a chance to stop, dodge, or even redraw his weapon. His grip was like a vice! The battle was on, and he was straining every muscle trying to get some advantage, or escape, to survive, against this demonic monster he now grappled with. This had not been the plan. How had it gone this way?

Rachel knew something wasn’t right. She started crying and Clara immediately moved closer, asking what was wrong?

“I’m just worried about Frank. I can’t help it. I’ll be alright as soon as this is over and I know he’s safe.”

Frank felt his body beginning to weaken. His breath running short, oxygen deprivation. Lactic acid setting in from the pace of the fight and the strain. He was beginning to feel a sense of desperation. The big man suddenly spun him around like a rag doll. His back hit the short wall and the big guy was still on him. Desperation took over. He only had one chance. This guy was going to break his neck, gouge his eyes, or any number of ways he knew how to kill someone.

Frank strengthened his grip on the big guy and with a sudden superhuman effort, over the wall they tumbled, completely out of control. Holding his breath and bracing for impact, the fall seemed to take forever, but when it came, it was sudden and hard! Frank landed on the bottom. He couldn’t breathe. He felt the big guy getting up. But darkness was swallowing him and he could do nothing about it. Was he dying? He was gone. He knew nothing, nothing but blackness.

“Sometimes something has to happen, in order for something else to happen,” someone once said.

28e223c9-f4f7-4ee2-9d62-2504d88782fe_rw_1920 This is the continuing story of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo”, and property of Don Allen / Fellowship of the White Path.

 

My Dog, Shadow.

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Someone recently asked about my dog, Shadow, so before going on to new chapters of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo”, here’s my dog and loyal friend, Shadow.

We were playing football the other day and I discovered she was cheating by using an under inflated ball! Deflate Gate!

What can I say? She was caught red-handed, nor did she try to deny it. She just looked at me with those big brown eyes and said, “Throw the ball!”

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She is actually a Lab and German Shepherd mix. Weighs around 100 pounds! She is so black she is invisible in low light. We have to keep a night light on where she sleeps because if we don’t, we have fallen right over her before! Thank goodness she didn’t get hurt.

She loves the water and I occasionally swim with her. Just got to watch out for those front paws when she’s doing the dog paddle. I learned that the hard way, trying to give her a hug in the water. LOL. Be sure you get to the side of the dog.

Fetching is her favorite sport. If you can throw it she will fetch it. A refrigerator, a live person, my wife’s yappy little white pomeranian, or even a dead person. If you throw it in the water she goes right in, so much the better. (Oh, that’s my 1990 Dodge Ram short bed truck in the background. Complete with Ram’s head on hood. Yes, I have a black dog and an old black truck. Sounds like a country song, but Shadow loves the truck as much as I do.)

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She’s not the fastest runner. My daughter has a sister of hers, and a cousin. They are smaller. Shadow stands head and shoulder taller. They outrun her to get the ball, but they better get out of the way when she arrives or they might get bowled right over. They swim faster too, but Shadow is a very strong and steady swimmer, just not so fast.

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She was the last pup left when I got her. The owners had nicknamed her “Hoss”, because she always tried to eat everyone’s food. They couldn’t fill her up. I’m sure if I let her, she would be fat and sassy. Lay around and not want me to throw the ball.

I’m so glad nobody picked her, nobody saw her potential. She is the very one I hope I would have picked had there been other choices, but maybe God was helping me get the right one? I like to think so. He that dwelleth in the secret place, shall abide under the SHADOW of the Almighty.”

So that’s my dog, Shadow.

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“Yinney” – Chapter 24

Sloth_large Early the next day Yinney was on the move again. We are all creatures of faith. We live what we believe. If we believe there is no God, we live in that belief. Whatever we believe to be most important becomes a focus, a sun we orbit around in our living.

After many years of studying the Hebrew writings, Yinney had come to believe that the Lord’s Supper was a type of “template” or “pattern” for everything God wanted his Church to be. And what was the Lord’s Supper? A communion. A community with his men. A last communicating of important things. A sharing of food at a table, and having things common. A communion with heavy emphasis on fellowship/family. Even as the original Church in Acts 2 had a heavy emphasis on fellowship, meals, the Lord’s Supper, and home tables. The early Church fit the Lord’s Supper template, but what of today?

This had become important to Yinney, and the vision he received at the bottom of the lagoon only served to strengthen it. His studies of many modern Churches had revealed short-form Communions and lack of true fellowship. One should not be surprised, he told himself, if one short-forms the Lord’s Supper, why not short-form fellowship too? Does not the one suggest the other?

Yinney’s belief about the Lord’s Supper template, had motivated him into much study of what “community/ communion/ communicating, and sharing” is. This had become a strong part of his message and how he represented the Christ to the world. Now he had hopes of connecting with a Howler monkey named, Bubba, who followed Buddhist ways, and taught it to anyone interested.

Yinney believed in fellowship at a table. He knew the power of sharing Christ in this way. Perhaps Bubba would one day see, that as wise as the Buddha had been in his time, a greater way had come in Christ. But it was not Yinney’s burden to convince anyone, but only to share in love and not bring shame upon the Lord’s name by misrepresenting him.

Kujo had given him directions to the rubber trees in which Bubba lived. Yinney had his mission, and was on his way, moving at an astounding speed of 13 feet per minute. After all, no need to speed unless being chased by a predator, then he could manage 15 feet per minute.

It was around high noon when the rubber trees came into view.

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Soon he was seeing Howler monkeys everywhere, as they also found him to be a curiosity. Two monkeys quickly approached him, “Why do you move so slow?” they asked.

Was he the first sloth they ever saw, he wondered. “Slow has it’s own beauty,” he answered, “it is my way.”

“Hhhmmm, I see,” the young monkey said while rubbing his chin.

Then second monkey asked, “Can we help you? How will you ever get to where you’re going?”

“”That’s right,” the chin rubbing monkey agreed, “How will you ever?”

“No, that’s alright fellas. I’m here to see Bubba.”

“Bubba? Well why didn’t you say so!” And immediately the monkeys grabbed Yinney with there long arms and started swinging through the air from limb to limb so quickly that he couldn’t even catch his breath to speak! He felt as if everything was spinning! And indeed it was, because the monkeys were flipping upside down and all around so quickly, his eyes could not even focus! All he could think was, “Speed kills…and please help me Jesus!”

In less than a minute the two monkeys plopped him down on a big fat limb, and then came the sound of deep laughter. Before him was a rather large Howler, of the “mantled” variety, the golden mantled to be precise, and he was laughing so hard, had he not been a monkey he would have fallen out of the tree!

“Regaining his composure as best he could, Yinney said, “Bubba, I presume?”

“Indeed, it is I!” the golden mantled Howler affirmed while still laughing, and also said, “It has been a while since I have seen a sloth, and a very long time since I seen one as disheveled as you!” And then slapping his knee he returned to hearty laughter!

“A merry heart does good like a medicine!” Yinney said, and chuckled a little too, but then Bubba instantly stopped, jumped close to him and asked, “Are you a spiritual teacher?

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“Yinney” – Chapter 22

images (7) It was time to make himself known to the neighborhood and begin building community, as the vision had spoken. As a spiritual teacher, Yinney was all about promoting peace, and promoting peace was all about true “fellowship”. And you can’t have fellowship with someone who wants to eat you. This was an important part of the message he carried in his heart as he went out.

His 7th Day Tree lie a day behind. He was in the early hours of his second day of travel. He could only go three days out before having to begin his journey back to his tree, because when Yinney had to poo, it had to be there. It was the sacred way of his people, and why have a sacred tree if you’re not going to live in a sacred way?

So far there had been no special contacts with anyone, but he still remained hopeful and prayerful. There was no reason to rush. No reason to allow the small Fellowship that had started with Lu-Lu to be overcome by fast growing weeds. Weeds flourished in speed. Slowly he moved through the green canopy of trees like a slow flowing river, at peace with himself, his God, and the world.

Sloths are masters of moderation. Their very survival depends on it. A diet of leaves does not provide a lot of calories, so they do not have the fast metabolism for speed. They must be conservative in stretching the fuel they have and waste no energy. They had learned to pace themself in the flow of slow, thereby maximizing a day’s progress. This usually meant moving through trees at a speed of 13 feet per minute. This of course was interrupted by regular rest breaks.

Yinney was now well into his second day of moving in just this way. The morning hours had long passed when he first heard the sound. But what was it? The sound of someone crying? He was not sure, but turned in that direction. Another twenty minutes later he arrived at the source. His sloth ninja movements had kept him unnoticed by the one he spotted below, someone obviously in distress. It was a capybara.

Yinney decided to make contact, after all, the capybara were peace-loving as himself. Perhaps they could have fellowship? He would tell the capybara of his 7th Day Tree next to the lagoon, a place of fellowship for all. But first he must inquire of the source of the large rodent’s sadness, for it was very clear the capybara was indeed weeping.

Yinney was now directly above the grieving beast, but still unseen. He decided it was best to simply make himself known and offer his help. “Hello, friend. Are you in pain?”

The capybara was so lost in grief it was not even startled by a voice suddenly coming from above. For one thing, predators did not come with kind words, but with slashing claws and sharp teeth!

“Oh! Your a sloth! No wonder I did not see or hear you,” the large Amazon rodent said while making a great effort to contain his weeping and regain composure, but the effort was only somewhat successful, when Yinney asked his next question.

“What is the source of you grief, friend?”

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My friend…my friend…my friend…” and he cried some more before finally adding, “he was murdered by that predator, Jag! Jag ripped him to shreds and feasted on his body! He left his carcass for others. He bragged of slaughtering my friend, and what a delight he was to feast upon. My friend is dead, and I miss him. There is no justice. His life was snuffed out by a thoughtless killer. All he wanted to do was graze in peace.”

Yinney managed to find a lower limb and moved closer to the grieving capybara who had lost a special friend. “There is nothing that can take away the pain you feel. Your friend is honored in your grief. You show yourself a true friend.”

Yinney said little after that. He stayed close and let the capybara talk as much, or as little as he felt, until finally a peace began to fall over him.

“My name is Capy,” he finally shared, his voice weak from so much emotion.

“Hi, Capy. I’m Yenny. I’m so sorry for your loss.”

A gentle conversation began between them as Capy maintained some control. He knew of the reputation of sloths being great spiritual teachers, and began asking more about faith and an afterlife.

“Is my friend still alive somewhere? Will I see him again, someday?”

“From the moment of conception we never cease to exist,” Yinney answered. “Soul is eternal. This is why we focus on the soul, not the flesh. These are things we teach. Jesus taught us to lay up treasures in heaven, not upon this earth, where sooner or later we must say good-bye. Did your friend have knowledge of ‘The Great Way’?”

“I cannot say for sure, but he spoke of an eagle who once taught him things very similar to what you say. I think I would like to learn more of this way you speak of, and the Fellowship. What is the name again?”

“Fellowship of the 7th Day”, Yinney answered, and further explained, “We are not confined to any time or place to have Church. We are having it right now. Jesus had Church all the time, and everywhere he went. My 7th Day Tree is simply where I live and can be found most of the time, but as you see, I also love house calls. I just can’t get there very fast, being a sloth and all.”

They both chuckled about that. Then Yinney dropped on down to the ground and spent some time explaining to Capy about the All-Creator, his Son, the Holy Spirit, and how God came to man through the Hebrew people, and the Book they wrote of the experience.

Capy could not get enough, he was so hungry to know more. He was at such a point in his life, with the sudden loss of his friend. He made sure he understood where the 7th Day Tree was before Yinney finally climbed back into the trees and slowly ascended out of sight into the canopy of green. Yinney was happy. Fellowship had connected. Community could grow, and maybe something could also be done to alert the peaceful when predators are around.

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“Yinney” – Chapter 15

651b0e0aeabb42018feddf04ae1d40ce Jag was a born predator, and he liked it that way. His god was the god of hunger. Satisfy, satisfy, satisfy…the hunger. It’s nothing personal, it’s just I’m gonna get mine, even if it cost you!

He liked being at the top of the food chain. He was good at what he did and he knew it. He prided himself on how well he lived. He deserved it. Let the weak and fearful live small lives, but I will thrive!

He liked his life, but was he happy? What’s happy got to do with it? It’s all about staying hungry, feeding the hunger, the hunt, the pursuit, the kill, the feast! He didn’t care about being happy, what he wanted was respect! And all around the jungle Jag was feared and respected.

He prided himself on being a hunter. When he went to the pool for water, he looked in the mirror and told himself, “You’re the one, Jag. You’re the one everyone fears and respects. After all, did you not kill the Anaconda, and make this territory your own?”

Jag would not admit it, but he had a slowly growing fear of his own. He was not as young as he use to be. He was not quite as fast. He felt just as strong as ever, maybe even more so, but he knew he was not quite as fast, and he didn’t know what to do about it?

If he didn’t stay strong, stay fast, stay hungry; then the day would come when another predator would eat him. It was the way of the jungle. There was no peace. There was only kill or be killed. Stay hungry. Feed the hunger. Satisfy, satisfy. But the satisfaction was always so short before the hunger grew again, and he was beginning to weary of this endless cycle. But he would be respected. If it was the last thing he ever did, he would never be disrespected! And with that thought he gave a strong jaguar cry, knowing he just sent fear through all who might wonder if he was weak enough to attack.

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Dorothy was at the fitness center again. The mirror she despised when she first came there was now becoming her friend. She was beginning to like what she saw. Dorothy was never far out of shape to begin with, so it wasn’t taking long to get “it” back, and she discovered a deep part of her liked “it”.

Guys were starting to come around, and she enjoyed the flattery. Jerry took her for granted. There was no passion, no romance anymore, and she hungered for it. If only she could find some contentment, some satisfaction, some thrill; then she would be happy. “I’m no different than anyone else,” Dorothy told herself. After all, it’s what she saw on her big screen all day long, people pursuing and satisfying their desires, the pursuit of the good life. She would know satisfaction too. The hunger was growing. “It is good to stay hungry,” she decided.

Turned out her trainer was married and faithful. Big disappointment at first, but then a couple other guys began coming around, offering to show her how to do an exercise better. Sometimes they got real close and personal as they helped her. It felt good. She wanted more. She had time. Jerry would never change. He was in love with money. She had found her happy hunting ground, and soon, she would feed that hunger and know satisfaction.

Only one thing worried her, the children. She never wanted to hurt them. They must never know. She would be careful. Choose her hunting well. Perhaps another married man who has a lot to lose too, if ever found out. Someone just like Jack over there. He’s been coming around a lot. He would be purrrr-fect.

Another day passed at Yinney’s 7th Day Tree in the Amazon, and another, and another. Lu-Lu, Me-Me, and another friend of theirs, named Jo-Jo came by with suggestions for the Fellowship name, but none of them seemed right. So he did a little more teaching and they went out still inspired to find just the right name. Soon, Yinney wanted to make a venture out himself, and begin to know his 7th Day Tree territory.

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>The continuing story of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo”, is property of Don Allen, alias: Grandpa White Feather, and leader to “Fellowship of the White Path”.<