“Yinney” – Chapter 16

Bradypus “In this Fellowship we celebrate the beauty and wisdom of slow, because we are all about gardens, not jungles,” Yinney explained. “Our Lord loves a pleasant garden. There is peace in a garden, not strife, not worldly ways. The world is a jungle. We do not copy the world. We are a refuge from that rat race. Peace be unto you, our Lord loved to say.”

It was another day of teaching and he was explaining to the three macaws, Lu-Lu, Me-Me, and Jo-Jo, that he was about to go out on three day trips to spread the word of his 7th Day Tree. “However,” he explained, “this will be done very slowly. Fast growth is not what we seek. Weeds love fast. Weeds love speed. Weeds will overcome a garden very quickly and choke it out. People make the mistake of seeking fast growth. They see it as a sign of success, but how can you develop leaders for small groups that quickly? Leaders you know well enough to set in a position of leadership? How can you get to know your people very well so quickly? There is no depth! Depth requires time. True relationships require time.”

“Every garden needs constant weeding. There will be those we send away with an invitation to come back if they decide they want to share ‘fellowship’. It’s all about communion, fellowship, family, community. If someone cannot fellowship without causing contention, then they have not found the right garden for them. They might not even be looking for a garden. The jungle may be in them. The predator may be in them. We are not of the predator ways. Satan is the predator; our Lord a Shepherd and Gardner. Satan thought he could over throw and steal what God has slow grown, His Kingdom. But he found out different, because God is not only a Shepherd and Gardner, but also the ONE TRUE GOD.”

“The scriptures say, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go unto the House of the Lord. Church for many has simply become more stress added to an already stressful life. It’s another “Do List”, with all kinds of programs you’re expected to fulfill if you are a good Christian. But what we need is true fellowship with family. We need to ‘feel at home’. A safe place we can find opportunity to share our deepest feelings and thoughts. A place to be excited about our walk with God. A place to relax and enjoy. There must be true communion, or Church is failing to be Church, because Church is failing to be family… God’s family.”

“In a world rushing faster and faster every day, in this Fellowship, we choose to promote the beauty of slow, a way of peace, the growing of an inner garden in you.” And with that, Yinney smiled and opened the floor for conversation.

Jo-Jo was the first, “Your words are like cool water in a parched earth. You do not know what it is like to be a bird. You have always been a sloth. But ‘slow’ does not come easy for me. We birds have fast metabolisms. We eat constantly and burn food quickly. Our hearts race. Our movements are sudden and quick. But your words help me find balance. Your words quinch a thirst in my soul. I know there is a proper speed for me in which I too can walk as one with my Lord, in a garden, not this jungle we are surrounded by.”

“Here, here!” Lu-Lu and Me-Me both agreed with everything Jo-Jo said. Time was forgotten as the small group relaxed in the 7th Day Tree, shared some drinks and snacks, and talked about the goodness of God well into the afternoon. Anyone could come and go as they pleased. Me-Me was first to leave saying she had a family thing. But the fellowship continued no matter where they were. One in Spirit, one in God.

Lurking down below, Jag stared at the small group above. Of course, the macaws meant little to him, but he wondered when that sloth moved in? And when he would poo? His belly gnawed while he watched from a dark spot. Making note of the sloth and his tree, hunger finally moved him on. Something was going to die today, because his desire would be satisfied no matter what.

BLOG-16-05-2017-2

Actions, or just more words?

20180829_171204 My wife and I watched a Christian movie the other day: “God’s Not Dead 3” – “A Light in the Darkness”. Another very good movie. I’ve enjoyed all 3 so far. But from my personal perspective, with the things God has spoke to me about and changes that have occurred, because of such new knowledge I’m now responsible for, I must say there was one thing that bugged me, and I see it so very pervasive in American Christianity. We talk big, but our actions don’t follow, and sometimes, perhaps even most times, our actions actually contradict the words we have so boldly spoken!

So what’s the deal? Do we not see we are actually sabotaging the very message we have worked so hard to send forth? Is the message of God or not? I just spent 3 weeks listening to 3 messages a Pastor preached to his Church. I was put onto these messages because a friend knew I was very into the subject of “The Early Church”, and his Pastor had just preached a message about getting back to the start, and did some teaching on the early church. So he let me know, and I began listening.

The Pastor began by saying there is a movement “out there” of people leaving the church because it is not “perfect enough”. It has problems, and these folks say they want to get back closer to the early church. Then he began explaining how Christianity is not a “Church building”. The people are the Church. He wanted to make sure his people were not hung up on the “building”, of which they have a very nice one, and plenty of debt with it.

He said the church is not perfect because it is a place for the sick to come. It’s like a spiritual hospital. This is true, but to that I say, just because the church takes care of sick people, that is not an excuse for the church to be sick! Are we giving them what they really need? In some cases yes, but in many, no.

Anyway, sounded like he opened a big subject, (which it is), the early church fathers, and I thought sure he was beginning a series. He preached very hard about revival and getting back to what the church “ecclesia” means. However, rather than continue this very vital message that most the church is ignorant concerning, he dropped the subject like a hot potato and followed it with two weeks of sermons about people “struggling” with their Christian faith! (Whaaat?) What kind of menu is this?

Not only that, but the one message he did preach, taught nothing new, had no real depth concerning the church Jesus started, and even taught that Constantine was a Christian! He made it sound like a Christian Roman Emperor heard the will of God and that is how we left home churches and moved into large buildings! He made it sound like there was no debate or concern, and it was the natural leading of God, and all was perfectly well! Nothing is further from the truth!

There was no educating his people of how Constantine lived as an unsaved man who should not have influenced the church, nor of any debate concerning these big changes after 300 years of small group ministries! His people walked out completely uneducated concerning getting back to the beginning, which was what he said in the beginning about his message.

(And my friend seemed unconcerned about this very misleading message. All he did was make excuses, and probably regretted making me aware. Evidently, like most people, this was not any serious problem to him. This is my perception of the conversation we had. What else can I surmise from his lack of concern? As far as I know, he still does not read the articles I write, in which if he were concerned, he could easily verify if I have a point, or not? Please let me know, friend, if you’re reading, so I know you’re taking anything I have said seriously enough to at least investigate?)

So as I anxiously awaited his next messages, I was greatly disappointed, because I cannot see that his actions in any way support what came out of his mouth that day. Except he put that personal slant to his message because he really does still want big building ministry. His church will not function without a big expensive building. He really is not interested in getting back to the “start”. That was a message of empty words, followed by two messages of struggling with your faith. No thanks. Not the kind of food my spirit is hungry for. But that’s just me. For all those who crave such spiritual food, there are plenty of places to find it. There is no lacking of these messages. This is not the spiritual food we are starving for, as if a famine in the land. But there is a famine!

So, as I was saying, my wife and I watched “God’s Not Dead 3”, and as you probably now realize if you have seen the movie, you know where I’m going. They did such a good job of revealing a serious problem. I mean, that Pastor was really stuck inside the box! He could not seem to envision how many ways true Christianity could invade that campus. It’s like water! If people are on fire for God, it cannot be stopped! It does not need a building! It targets hearts! It needs tables of fellowship! But he was stuck in the same thinking God seems to be shinning a spotlight on!

This seems to be the message of the hour! So many people are seeing it, saying it, preaching it, even making movies of it, but how many are actually DOING IT? I hear their words, but the words are instantly swept away by their actions! They do not mean what they say! Their living in a virtual reality! Nice words, great movie, but you fail to follow through! They ease their conscience with great words, and then go right back to the same stinking thinking! Do they think they have done their job? Do they think they have obeyed God? Do they think they have alerted their people, and been a good shepherd? Do as I say, not as I do?

In our last article we talked about the visitations of Christ in the garden, and how he came to his 3 disciples; Peter, James, and John. He expected them to pass on the words of his visitation, but they simply fell back to sleep. Are we doing any better? Perhaps we are passing on the word before we fall back to sleep.

After the great climax of the show, when the Preacher finally realizes how far off base he has gotten in his representation of the meek and lowly Christ, he makes a great speech to everyone about how Christianity is not a “building”, but almost the next thing you see, and the way the movie ends, the Preacher turns over the first spadeful of dirt to build the new building! Wow. I’m sorry. Like I said, I enjoy these shows, but does no one see how stuck we are in this box? We are so blind to it that we do not even see when we completely contradict the message we have worked so hard to preach! All that work “undone” in a moment! And Satan laughs the whole time, thinking how easy these people are.

I turned over several spadefuls of dirt this week, because my Teepee continues slowly growing, is debt free, and I try to match my actions to my words. I am now putting in a wall and door! The small group atmosphere in this place is awesome! Getting stronger every day! By next summer this spiritual get-away, this prayer garden, this school in the wilderness, should be ready. It has not been easy, but no matter how slow it has been, my actions are in harmony with my words. And maybe…just maybe….there will be a people who see the truth of that… and they will come hungry for food to make a soul strong in the Lord…so there is not so much spiritual struggle in God’s body. Is the body of Christ unhealthy? Is it sick? Why so much struggle? It ought not be so!

As I said before, just because the church helps sick people, is no excuse for the church to be sick! This Pastor accuses others of leaving the church because it is not perfect, but then spends the next two weeks preaching messages confirming the problem! Am I the only one who sees confusion here? God is not the author of confusion!

Yes, we RESIST the devil. We war against him! But we are strong in the Lord! Our faith is strong, not doubting and struggling! God has not given us a spirit of fear! Oddly enough, this place to build healthy souls has also made my body strong and healthy as I have dug in dirt, chopped wood, drank water from a deep fresh well, and built this Tipi. Everything seems to confirm and be in harmony. We are not confused in our simplicity. We do not function as a business, nor do we have the stress of such operations. I simply want to move with God, and stay under his shadow. Here’s a couple more pictures.

20180829_155213 20180829_170629

I’m afraid all the hard work wore Shadow out. Supervision is a tough job.

20180829_165800

“A Christmas 2 Hour Delay”

I don’t know what came over me?

Well, I guess I do know, but would anyone believe it?

It’s the Friday before Christmas, and all through the town, not a single person was waiting as they rushed all around! Gas stations were jumping and traffic lights too, as all through the city people moved! They fled from their boredom and raced into freedom with one thought in mind! Can I possibly get home in time?

Well…nice try, but enough of that. I actually left my house just ahead of rush in hopes of getting a haircut I badly needed. So I go to my usual Great Clips only to discover one poor woman frantically cutting hair. She actually had to leave her customer to greet me at the counter! I saw five people setting and one in the chair, while the poor lady left cutting the hair! To my attention she hurried, as the old man’s hair stood all a flurry! Oops, there I go again. Sorry.

I asked if she was the only one working? She said, “Yes.” I asked how long the wait? She said, “Two hours.” Wow. I thanked her and quietly left. What to do now? Give up? And then I remembered a place caught my eye! Might as well give it a try! So I dashed to my Civic with bells on my toes and yelled onward to Blitzen, and wished we had snow!

I just can’t help it folks. A-n-y-w-a-y… I drove to this other place, and I never been there before. I had to park out a ways and decided I would nonchalantly walk past their window, casually glancing in as I go, to see if they were busy,…or onward I go!

But there was a man standing outside the store, eyeing me coming, smoking a cigarette, and walking about. As I drew closer he leaned against the wall. As I casually passed the window and saw people galore, I immediately knew I’d pass one more! But the man asked how I was doing, as I tried to pass by. He seemed determined to get a reply. This man who had eyed me all this time.

I said, “I’m doing fine,” smiled and kept walking.

Now this man did not know me from beans in a can, but this total stranger seemed to insist, “Sam I am”. And with only a few feet between us, I past by, he spoke again! Not letting me slide!

“So life is treating you okay, you say?”

My back is turned and I’m on my way, why is this stranger still bidding me stay? Is he really concerned as to who I am, and what’s my jam? Or is this the beginning of an elaborate scam?

I stopped in my tracks, giving a stern glance back! Something hit me! Something came over me! This man who eyed me from the start! I shot back at him this question not kind! “DO I KNOW YOU?”, I sternly asked, and gave him the eye!

I was suddenly on the attack and this has never been my nature. He began his nervous reply.

“No…I’m just trying to spread some Christmas cheer. You know, a little positivity’. Just being friendly.”

I love that word. “P-O-S-I-T-I-V-I-T-Y”. Immediately I knew this man was a snake in the grass, and I was going to nail him.

Positivity, you say? Well how about spreading the ‘godly’?” I asked.

“What?” he said. “Oh, yeah, of course,” he nervously smiled.

I spoke again, as I turned back in his direction. “So you want to have a conversation? Are you a Christian?” I asked as straightforward as I knew how. I mean, there was no beating around. I didn’t even know who I had become at this point, and I leaned against the wall next to him. Close like a friend, even though we had different skin.

“Well, yes.” he said weakly, and took another puff on his cigarette, glancing away.

“So you’ve accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, and you serve him?” I came right back, strong with the same question, only more pointed.

His answer was weak again, but he said, “Yes.”

And then I said, “I DON’T BELIEVE YOU.” As I looked him right in the eyes.

There was a pause.

He said, “You don’t?” A very nervous, I’m caught, kind of “you don’t?” And again, he kept glancing away, not wanting to look in the eyes, nervously flicking the cigarette.

“No, I don’t.” And I went on. “You want to have a conversation, you say. I didn’t come here looking to talk, but I guess you’re the reason I’m here. But that’s the problem, you see. You don’t really want to know me, or you might have to change.” And then I said, point blank again, “I don’t know what kind of ‘game’ you’re playing, but if I were you, I wouldn’t forget this, ‘conversation’.”

And then I turned and left.

He saw me walk up there. He didn’t know why I came. He didn’t know I checked out that barber shop as I appeared to walk on by towards other stores. So when I turned and left, as far as he knew, I did come there just for him. And I think I did.

From there I drove to another Great Clips and thought I’d give it one more try, but I expected I’d find the same overcrowded condition. Amazingly, I did not. A ten minute wait, and the lady did an excellent job. What a strange chain of events. A two hour delay at one place, led to a nice conversation with a total stranger, and then eventually getting a fine haircut in another place, with no delay. How strange.

I know a spirit of boldness came over me from the Lord. That’s what happened. Why it happened I cannot say, except God was speaking to that man at that time in a powerful way, to call him out on whatever the “game” he played. I hope he considers the strange Christmas Encounter. I hope his “positivity” leads him to a certain “Nativity” where he might really meet the Lord, and give up the games people like to play, for the reality of the true Christmas message.

A Christmas Encounter of a different kind.

20171202_173614

 

“ARE WE SERIOUS?”

“This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared. Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.” (Hebrews 7:15-16 NLT)

Jesus fulfilled the law for us, and disconnected us from the Levitical priesthood, by the fact he was not even a Levite himself, but the instrument of a huge change God was making, and connecting us to a different priesthood after the order of the mystery priest, Melchizedek. The schoolmaster of the law having now done its work, we were ready to graduate to a New Covenant of much greater promises in our High Priest, Christ Jesus.

As I have shared, I have not had to face these questions before, concerning what is required to set a proper table for God to show up in a New Testament Church service. I’ve always been just a helper, an assistant, an assistant whose opinion was not usually taken very seriously by those having a Bible College degree hanging on their wall.

Now I have this tipi, and God wants to show up there. I don’t know who he will bring in, but there are already some interested. Suddenly, I’ve got to read our New Covenant for myself and see what “God has said”. Some of it troubles me because our modern Church has ignored these things. So do I ignore them too? I’m beginning to understand my struggle with our modern church.

It is not my plan to ignore anything. Not if I want to set a proper table. I am praying hard for the wisdom of finding the balance of these things, because I believe Adam was just as wrong to tell Eve she could not “touch” the tree, as he would have been had he not warned her at all. Scripture is very plain we should not “add” or “take away from” what God has said.

So the first person I started showing these scriptures to was my wife. At first she did not see why I thought these old scriptures were so important. “Why are you taking these thing so seriously when no one else does?” she asked, obviously annoyed.

However, that was the question needing to be asked! ARE WE SERIOUS ABOUT THE THINGS OF GOD? ARE WE SERIOUS?

If you invited God to show up at your home for supper, would you do your very best to set a proper table for such an important guest?

If you’re starting a Church and going to be a shepherd of people’s soul, a huge influence on their eternity, should we casually ignore, or change anything God has said? And what of all those Pastors out there who are doing that very thing today, in a day scripture says people would heap to themselves teachers having itching ears, and unwilling to hear sound doctrine?

In Revelation chapter two, Jesus himself warns two different Churches about the fact they have allowed sinful people to remain in their fellowship. Starting in verse 14 there are some following in the way of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the Children of Israel. He taught them to sin by way of idols and sexual sins. They were also tolerating Nicolaitans among them, who follow the same teaching. Jesus called their toleration: Sin! And called them to repent! Or suffer consequences. Do we ignore such warnings today?

In verse 20 he warns the Church in Thyatira. “You are permitting that woman – that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet – to lead my servants astray.” These are people in two different Churches Jesus was saying if they won’t repent, throw them out! And yet I look around at the worldliness in our modern Churches and I know too much toothpaste is out of the tube! (And the church of Laodecea probably deserves an entire article of its own!)

A personal peeve of mine is Christmas. For my family and I, Christmas has always been about the birth of Christ, but I wish my Church would have educated me on the true history of this materialistic holiday originally being a heathen holiday, mostly worshipping the sun god, but the church interjected the birth of Christ into it to cover up for Christians being involved! Now we struggle to keep Christ in something he was never in to begin with! The paste is already out of the tube! It’s a perfect picture of the Church being swayed by the world even way back then.

I’ve heard of Pastors who completely left large Churches in order to start over with a different understanding of what Church was meant to be. They knew there was no way to change what had already been created. The only answer was a complete start-over.

That question, “Why are you taking this so seriously”, started a conversation between my wife and I that was eye-opening. The question should not be “why”, but “ARE WE” taking God’s written Word seriously? The Word of God is God’s will put in writing. Isn’t that what we pay a Pastor to do, take the Word very seriously, and teach us correctly? Lead us correctly?

There are things our New Covenant in Christ does not say, and yet we are being taught it does. Such things as “kings and priest” rather than “a kingdom of priest”. This is not a small difference. Such things as tithing still being a law, when the truth is Christ saved us from the law and moved us to a “heart / Spirit” relationship. The priesthood has changed! We have a circumcision of the heart! God’s laws written in our hearts, so we are led of the Spirit in our heart, or we are not his at all! The laws are written for those who are “not” his.

Then there are other dangers; dangers actually stated in our new Covenant we are not being told about. These things are contributing to out-of-control lust in God’s church and a divorce rate as high as the heathens! But it’s not serious, right? We want God to show up to our table of plastic silverware, dirty plates, torn table clothes, spilled drinks, and burnt food. Is he really showing up? Or we just enjoying “good feelings”? Emotional manipulation? Positive preaching and success motivation? If your Church is setting a proper table, then I know God is showing up.

I’m sorry if you think I’m being insensitive or unkind in my words. But are we serious? Or just hoping to slide by? God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. I want my tipi to be such a place. Whether it is visited by only a few, or by many, my desire is to set the table for God, not man. If God does not show up, then no one else should either. If no one else shows up, but God does? Hhmmm, now there’s a thought for ya.

20171117_161702