“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.

“Learning to Share” Part I

20171014_160523 In the last chapter of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo”, (chapter 36), Yinney shares the story of the first dog. How every dog was once a wolf, but one day, one wolf decided to give up his wild and hungry ways, and came to stand beside a man. This wolf became the first dog.

Jesus says the meek will inherit the earth, not the wolf. All you wolves out there? You may appear to have the world by the tail, but that tail is attached to a dragon who will eventually eat you. God has promised wolf ways always self-destructs, but there is another way for all those willing to love their neighbor as themself.

Unbelievers do not believe that GOD IS LOVE. And yet they refuse to come to him because that is exactly what he is and what he demands. Yes, demands. You either truly follow Christ and his message, or you don’t. Most unbelievers may not realize their rejection of God is really connected to their own desires of selfishness and lack of real love. So the accusers of God really convict themselves and prove God to be love.

Now as to the Church. I left it. And I feel led to take a break from “Yinney” to share my journey to know the REAL JESUS CHRIST, because somehow I lost him in the Church. I was raised in Church all my life! I thought I knew the real Jesus because the spiritual experts with diplomas hanging on their walls had taught me all about him! Hhmmm. But I kept bumping into someone in the Bible I did not know. He kept confusing me. At the age of 60 I finally demanded to know who he was! And he said he was the real Jesus. I said, “Prove it.” And he did. And you know what? It wasn’t even hard for him, because this false Jesus has no clothes.

I kept looking at the original Church in Acts and comparing it to modern American Churches. Something was amiss. And how do you have all things common? How can God even expect that of us today? Maybe things have changed? But God “IS” love.

Here’s my story: My childhood was not good grounds for learning to share. I was the first born son, with only a younger sister. We moved to the country and were pretty isolated. I was also pretty introverted. And even though my parents told me to share, I found a younger sister to be pretty annoying. I avoided her a lot. Easy to do as a boy, older, stronger, faster, and a big countryside to disappear into.

Also, my boy stuff wasn’t exactly her thing, and since there was no other boys, it really wasn’t that hard to say this is “your stuff” and this is “my stuff”. Leave my stuff alone!

My dad liked westerns, like most men of his generation. The cowboy way was “stand on your own two feet”! Be a man! Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps! Take care of you and yours! And only in the worst of conditions did you ask for help, and then, the community would come together to save you, but it had to be circumstances beyond your control. While my parents told me to share, I was also learning the cowboy way.

But we went to Church every Sunday, most Wednesday nights, and actually twice on Sunday, where I saw other Christian men who appeared to be very successful in their fine cut suits.They were good at taking care of their family. So was my dad, but I must say, he was not very loving. Work, work, work.

The preacher preached his messages, but somehow he never did in depth studies of the original Church, nor the early Church fathers. No…we learned what came after the Reformation. We learned how bad the Catholic way had gotten, but we didn’t dare go all the way back and compare our current Church system to what Jesus actually did. But I loved studying the Word, and I kept bumping into this person in scripture I only thought I knew.

When I began to really hear Him, the first thing he said was, God is love. Love your heavenly Father with all your mind, heart, strength, and soul. And love your neighbor as yourself. And for perhaps the first time I began to consider what that really meant. Now as I started this story I went into detail as to how selfish the world of my childhood was. I did this to make a point. The REAL JESUS was not easy for me. The REAL CHURCH was not natural for me.

I thought I was a good person. I helped people who deserved help when I could. I put money in the Church plate every week. I even believed the preacher when he said I was robbing God if I didn’t give at least ten percent. I took care of my family. I worked hard. I made every effort to stand on my own two feet, witness of Christ, be involved in ministry, but… I had very little understanding of what “Communion”, “Community”, “Communication”, God’s family, and God’s love really meant. And when I got the revelation, I found a whole new world I knew little of and I was ill equipped for.

But God was on my side. God looks at our heart, and he saw I was willing to learn no matter what. No matter how slow a learner I might be, this wolf wanted to give up his predator ways and enjoy the world promised in the Lord’s Sermon. Blessed…happy… joyful…peaceful…beyond death… are the poor in spirit. The rightside up Kingdom of God that appears to be upside down. The first shall be last.

And so this story, my story of learning to share, and comparing my Christianity to the Church of Acts begins. What is the balance of all this? How do I share my stuff in today’s world? How do I become “community”? You probably would not believe where this vision has led me, what we are preparing to do, and how it slowly grows like a beautiful unfolding blossom of rich color and vibrant purpose in life! The true vision of Christ has only made my life richer in every way.

The story of Yinney is on hold for the next 3 or 4 articles, but in reality the story is not on hold, because this really is the story of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo”. It is how that fictional story unfolds in the world of non-fiction.

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“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 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 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”.<