Finding your “Why”? #1 /God

936f717ef2b27bbf975776c3907e40e3--good-morning-coffee-morning-bed Imagine you’ve set yourself aside from the world and isolated yourself on a sailboat with all the coffee you could need and a good book. The sound of the water against the hull and the wind in the sails are your only distractions. You are surrounded by beauty and nature. You find your favorite reading spot, got your coffee in hand and now for the book! A real mind-twister! A murder mystery! A real “Who-Done-It”?

He was a rich man, found dead. In a high-rise building. Security cameras. No one had a clue, but there he was dead, shot through the head. His body lay on the floor along with the pool of his blood. The police were baffled and Detectives were called in; even an FBI Agent showed up.

No fingerprints. Somehow the cameras had been evaded. No clues had been found to follow. So what are they left with? There is one thing none of us can escape. One thing of utmost importance in every crime… “MOTIVE”! What could be the motive behind the act? The motivation driving the action?

It is human nature. It is how we function. We live and breathe by what motivates us, or a lack of motivation. Who might have a reason to murder this man? Our true MOTIVES can be hard to hide, but some do it well. We are especially good at hiding the truth from ourself, but not God. WHY might we want to hide our true MOTIVES even from ourself? Even from God if we could? And especially if we’ve murdered someone and don’t want to end up in jail! The “WHY’s” of our life can be very revealing, but also very helpful if we are wise enough to heed them.

As the investigation progresses, more than a few are found to have potential “MOTIVE” for the murder. Like I said, he was a rich man. A lot can happen climbing that ladder of success. So how to narrow down the suspects? Who has strong alibis and who do not? But still…no proof has been found and the police are baffled.

A few days later another man is shot dead in the same manner, and he worked in the same company as the first victim. He was even a suspect! The waters become murkier as the plot thickens, but there is one potential new clue. Both murder victims were shot dead at the exact same time! 10:44 p.m.! A coincidence? 

You lift your eyes from the pages of the book. Staring out at the horizon sparkling before you, you ponder the clues. Taking a slow sip of your coffee, you think, “Surely this 10:44 p.m. execution time is more than a coincidence, it is a clue to the motivation of the killer!” Congratulations, Sherlock! You’re on your way to solving the mystery! But what could it be? What is the evidence revealing about the MOTIVE of this executioner? What is the “WHY” in the mind of the killer?

Every good Detective, and every student of human nature always looks for a person’s MOTIVE. It is a basic element to understanding everything we do. What are the “WHY’s” in your own mind? A study of “WHY’s” is always very revealing, and can be very rewarding.

“The Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1st Samuel 16: 7b)

If the previous story sounds familiar, yes, it is some movie I saw some where, but it is proven fact we are driven by our motives. Our “WHY” factor. But do we take time to examine our “WHY” in any given target of our own personal living? The Lord does not see as mortals see! And WHY should we? Do we not have an immortal soul? WHY live in flesh rather than spirit?

As a person fascinated by human nature, the question of how we got here, and where we go after this, the subject of a “Creator”, and a supernatural spiritual world is big with me. And this brings me to the real MOTIVES behind this web of thought I have woven thus far >>>>>>>

“What is the real MOTIVE, or ‘WHY’ behind your Christianity?”

If you have read this far and now know the real subject of this series, will you honestly face the question, or run from it? And if you short-cut this question and give it a quick shallow answer simply to make your escape, then WHY? What is causing you to do that? What is the reason behind your action? What was the “reason” someone was murdering certain people at 10:44 p.m.! (There were more yet to die.)

We will examine some of the different MOTIVES that are being pushed from the pulpits these days, as to “WHY” someone should be motivated to follow Christ. That is basic Christianity in its purest form, Jesus speaking to us, “Follow Me.”

There is a new wine flowing that has challenged me to be more missionary in my Christianity, in my following of Jesus, because that is what Jesus did and taught. I now have a team of 3 people in this vision to use rescued dogs to rescue people who may have “issues” they need help with. If we succeed, this will be my missionary path into the lives of special people God will lead us to.

These dogs have been abandoned. We have too many abandoned dogs! If they find no home, they are “put down”. I believe the Spirit of God led me to a special lady who has been saving dogs and finding them homes out of the pure “LOVE” of her heart. MOTIVATION! We visited this “4 Legged Ranch” and met a few dogs they currently have. We would be a volunteer foster home and trainers for the dogs. Once the dog has healed of their issues, they are ready for a good home. This Dog Ranch never puts a dog down.

I went to meet this lady and check her MOTIVES, her “WHY” for doing what she does. The evidence I saw showed no sign of a “love for money” connected in any way, not even her helpers. This is a lot of work, sacrifice, and if anything a loss of money.

After enjoying the place for a spell, and getting to know her more, I said, “This is a ‘calling’ for you, isn’t it.” She smiled. “You’re certainly not doing it for the money,” I said, and both her and her helper broke into laughter.

So…this is the beginning of another series. In October you will likely be seeing dog pictures popping up here. These dogs will all have a story, and a future! We will work with them. Eventually we hope to use these dogs to help people who will also have a story and a future. But what is “our” story? What is the “WHY” of why we personally follow Christ? Is it because we want to be a “King’s Kid”? Or a Servant of Love? Hhmmm. Good question. Now we have the mystery of our own heart to solve. Should we get to know our own self?

Our Creator knows the answer in our heart. And if we have chosen Christ so we can “have our best life now”, well…it all depends on what you mean by that? Who are these prosperity churches when Jesus taught minimalism? He chose a donkey over a fancy stallion. I must admit, I really don’t understand you, or your churches.

I’m just beginning to search this mystery of spiritual motives. What was the “WHY” when you got baptized? Has your “WHY” changed over the years? “WHY” are you following Jesus? What is your “WHY”? And as His disciple, His follower, what do you see your holy task from Him to be? And “WHY” do you go to whatever type of Church you go to? Are they really challenging you to be all you can be for Christ? Or to have your own best life now? Is it all about YOU? Exactly what do those words mean?

“We need to know our “WHY’s” in life. This is a very good skill to develop in all we do, the asking of the question of what is my true “WHY” here? If I give that 10%, why am I giving it, really? Is it because I think I have to, like a law? Is it because I want more back than I am giving? Is it like a spiritual stock market? I’m giving more so I can have more? What are our true motives?

What is God’s “WHY” when it comes to His relationship with man and all He has instructed us to do? The Bible very plainly states it. God is very “upfront” about His “WHY’s”. He knows them well.

There is much we need to consider when it comes to “human nature”, “how we got here”, and “where are we going”? Let’s look deeper into the “WHY’s” of the mysteries of this life, together. May our compass read true.

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“Secret Gardens” #1 / Microchurch

20200804_180842 The best kept secret in town, they sometimes say. It usually refers to a special place not yet discovered by very many.

Our house is becoming a House church. I have so changed this house you wouldn’t believe it, but now, even though not complete, considerable ministry is growing here, along with our “Bird Garden” sanctuary we have started.

Yesterday we had a couple here for marriage counseling. They did not have to go to some Pastor’s office at the church building, they came to our home. We set up a table and 4 chairs. We had some drinks and easy snacks. Music played in the background. The bird sanctuary glowed through the French doors with all the activity of our small animal refuge. We have 2 ground squirrels, a rabbit, a male cardinal and 2 females, 2 hummingbirds, lots of sparrows, 2 squirrels, a small pond fed from our basement sump pump (lol), and of course the unexpected creatures that visit.

We were not on any schedule. We made a “His” and “Hers” sheet as we helped them communicate about issues. My wife was a big help with the ladies side of things. It was not real professional, but it was personal, cozy, non-threatening, and real. We shared our home with them, and they shared their struggles. I think they have a real good chance of making it. We scheduled a date to play Yatzee at the same table in 2 weeks. We will see how they are doing.

This is our Secret Garden growing. Brian Sanders and his book “UNDERGROUND CHURCH” has inspired me to be more “creative” with ideas for outreach/ missionary outreach, thinking outside the box. We have an idea and we are moving towards it. It involves dogs and young people needing role models in gang ridden areas. We expect to succeed in our target. I look forward to sharing more as it goes, and as it grows. We plan to launch in October.

If you’re looking for the new move of God in this New World coming, I highly recommend Brian Sanders book. I also recommend “The Forgotten Ways” by Alan Hirsch. (I am currently reading.)

God is never surprised, so why has the church been caught flat-footed so many times? Those who move with God are never behind the times, but actually ahead. The New World is coming, and there is a church already preparing for her. Those who don’t “move”, but are institutional, will be caught flat again, indeed, already are. The people of Israel lived in tents so they could stay in the fire and in the cloud. This new wine skin, this new wine, does the same. This next move is full of movement, outside the institutional church, in the streets and in the homes.

Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, Jesus said. Micro-groups, Micro-churches, Home-churches, may be small, but they are hard to target, as was Elijah. Small enough to be hard to target, yet big enough to still be deadly. Jesus is the Alpha of our pack, know what I mean?

Let’s get back to what Jesus actually did, and what the early church actually did. We have come full circle, it is time again. Don’t be caught flat-footed. Take wing!

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A Sea Change has come.

 

“What is my human doing now? Preparing to rescue dogs?”

20190312_164705 I’m very worried about my human. I mean, I just got him trained right. When he walks by and I wag my tail just right, I can usually get a belly rub out of it. He knows how much I love my belly rubbed and patted. He takes me to the creek for a bath and swimming. I even let him drive my truck to get us there. He feeds me every morning and every night. He brushes me and it feels so good. He throws my football. I love chasing that football. He even cleans my poop from my yard! Can you believe that? His wife helped with that training.

But lately he’s been talking crazy! He thinks God speaks to him! He says we’re going to use rescued dogs to rescue people! We’re going to become a foster home for dogs and find people who need them! People the dogs can rescue from loneliness, bitterness, and hate!

I don’t know. It all sounds pretty crazy to me. He says we got to get the house finished up before winter, because once we bring other dogs in, we’ll be very busy! Other dogs? He says they need us. They were abandoned. Who would abandon a dog? I don’t know if I believe him? But if it is true, then how horrible! I would be lost without my special human. We are a pack! His wife, and her little Tinkerbell, a small white fluffy pomeranian that I accidentally step on sometimes. But she’s so small!

So I just had to enter his blog site and tell this story. Who better to tell dog stories, than a dog? If you’re familiar with this site you know how famous I am, because I’ve been in some of the pictures. Right? Yeah, you thought I looked familiar. Now you know why. My name is Shadow, and were about to embark on a great dog adventure for God! I think. But who are these unknown dogs that will enter my yard and my house? Do they expect me to share my human with them? I draw the line at sharing my food! No, sir! No food sharing.

So he’s working hard on the house again. I of course hold a supervisory position.

 20200717_124605 My work is never done.

My human will be sharing this site with me now, as new developments have suddenly created the need for a canine perspective. I don’t know what is coming. Who will these stray dogs be? I have never been abandoned. I do not know the pain of not being loved or wanted. So I will allow my human to bring them into my house, and we will see what stories there may be to tell. He told me that if God be willing, we launch in October. So I marked my calendar. And I’m making a sign that says, “Shadow’s Food. Stay out!” Hey, I’m just a dog. What do you expect? It takes a lot to keep a 100 pound Lab well fed. Now Tinkerbell on the other hand…

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A Sea Change coming.

“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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If someone spends a day with me?

If someone spends a day with me, will they closer heaven be, when day is through?

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What is this crash course grinder God is putting me through? So I shoveled snow at the farm in subzero weather, and now have a bad cough. So much so I decided to call in sick at work, because I have a job interview at a Pet Shop tomorrow, and must be ready! I got one day to get over this.

So in this unexpected day off, I end up down loading a book about Saint Francis of Assisi, thanks to Brian Zahnd, and now find myself 60 pages into a study I never expected to be doing. I might add while coughing my head off. (Kinda weird?) And this shack is my future part time habitat? (Definitely weird!)

Funny thing is, I’m enjoying every minute of it. (Except the cough.) Stay tuned for further developments at Tumble Pigeon Farm and a journey away from modern Christianity.

Oh, and don’t worry. My wife and I do have a small house in the big city. God is taking good care of her while taking her husband on this journey. The shack is only part time, but very precious time, indeed. (My dog, Shadow, a 100 pound Lab, loves the shack!)