Journey to Micro Church – #5

Black_elkHoF Black Elk Speaks > Chapter 10 > “Walking the Black Road” >

“Wherever we went, the soldiers came to kill us, and it was all our own country. It was ours already when the Wasichus (white man) made the treaty with Red Cloud, that said it would be ours as long as the grass should grow and water flow. That was only eight winters before, and they were chasing us now because we remembered and they forgot.”

Do we think we’re different now? White man found yellow metal in those hills, and nothing, not their word, not laws or right or wrong would stop them. Are we saved today by the teachings of Jesus? Then why do I see the same in the Church!? Have we forgot? Have we forgot what Jesus said and did? Hey Preacher living in your wealth! Have you forgot? Have you distorted what Jesus said and did? Have you distorted his Word? Have you twisted the truth until it is true no more?

These are but a few of the things that drove me out of of our modern Churches to begin a simple path in which two joined me. One had been a devout Catholic all his life, and never baptized in the way the Bible actually says. He asked me to baptize him, and we did. It was simple, meaningful, and my great honor to do so.

So we started a small group of three, called it a “Fellowship”, and named it “Fellowship of the White Path”, because Jesus walked the red path of his own blood, so that we might walk the white path of his own righteousness.

We also began having a proper Passover every year, according to what your Bible still says, and I believe God is very pleased in our effort to do the best we can with what we have learned as we study early Church, those first 300 years, of which man seems to have tried to muddy the waters of history, so it can be difficult to see. But once the maze begins to open up, a lot of light begins shining in very rapidly, even as a flood!

How much of what we did to the native American Indian is still in us? We try to deny it, but what do our actions so plainly reveal? Our actions betray us! They betray our words to be nothing but lies! When will our hands be clean? Not till we actually live what we profess, and flee those leaders who do not!

I see so much greed in the Church where it should never be! But it is. Where are the Pastors living on faith and love offerings today? Where are the Pastors developing disciples ready to split a group and multiply, for the sake of keeping it as family, and the sake of Gospel Propagation as the early Church did? No group should be bigger than what a Pastor can properly pray for, and a family atmosphere can maintain. We are the family of God, not a copy of worldly ways who love money, numbers, and an image of success.

As mentioned before, I am working towards starting a Podcast on this subject, as someone suggested I should do. We have our equipment now. We have downloaded “Audacity” and hooked up to it. We slowly progress, but I still have things to learn before we achieve this goal, and these technologies do not come easy for me, but if God’s will is in it, it shall be done.

I think it’s pretty obvious now how my trip to the Black Hills seeking God, and God leading me to a book by a very wise man named Black Elk, has helped confirm many things to me about a path I was already seeking, and had begun, without even knowing, and how I eventually discover we are very similar to what is now being called Micro Church. I need not write more on this at this time. It was a strange path perhaps, by what would be modern standards, but it has led here, nonetheless. It amazes me.

I have it in me to begin a series called, “The Covenant of Darkness”. It’s about the Old Testament and how from the beginning it was designed for man to fail, and God to fulfill, so that we might have a covenant actually bringing salvation. Jesus not only saves us from our sin, but also the judgement of the Old Covenant, an eye for an eye. For us to drag anything of law from that covenant is as a slap in the face of Christ, and what he died for, to bring us the New. It is as if we practice Judaism, rather than Christianity, and this includes the teaching of tithing. Drug from the Old, it can not be supported from the New, unless you are a Pharisee.

We live in a day when the love of money has twisted much. More Churches are like Laodicea than Smyrna. And Smyrna holds a great key to unlocking the man-made-Maze! We need to get back to our early Church fathers. We need to get back to the disciples of the disciples. We need to get back to the Apostles and what our Bible actually says. We need to get back to Jesus!

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” (Jeremiah 6:16)

Journey to Micro-Church – #2

Black_elkHoF Black Elk > Oglala Sioux Medicine man.

“But now that I can see it all as from a lonely hilltop, I know it was the story of a mighty vision given to a man to weak to use it;…”

As I shared in episode #1 the great vision set before me, my mountain to climb in my old age, I so feel the words of this Indian wise man. I am so excited about the growing move of God in this spiritual wave we have given a label of “Micro-Church”. I see a growing wave still far out at sea but rolling this way, and I want to be a part of it! It’s building as it rolls. It’s growing into a fresh move of God. It can be called a 2nd Reformation for surely that is how it feels to us who have become sickened with a prosperity message, a “king theology”, and traditions of man! We’re coming out!

But at the age of almost 64, how much of this wave can I still ride? Is this a vision given to a man to weak? And yet, I have to believe, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD!

As I write these words we just got very bad news on my sister who is three years younger than I. It was only supposed to be one artery 70% blocked. A simple stint was supposed to fix it. She would be out of hospital next day. But as we drove to visit her and celebrate a successful procedure, my phone rang. Her husband gave me the new report. 5 blockages! Main artery 90%. Another artery 70%. Transferring to a different hospital. Major open heart surgery. We wait for a doctor and surgery date.

I’ve been aware my whole life how heart disease, diabetes, and colitis runs in my family tree in a big way. We do seem to escape the “C” word for the most part. My only sibling developed the type 1 diabetes very young. And now the heart disease. I’ve had the colitis most my life, but very mild compared to my mom. Still… our days are numbered and how well we know. Most my grandparents died in their sixties. We do not live in denial, but we trust God in all things. So yes, at my age the vision God has given me looks quite large, like a huge mountain, but life would be so much less interesting without it!

I was 61 as I hiked that mountain path that day, the one now called Black Elk Trail, and I didn’t even know who he was, but I knew I was going to find out. I had been 41 when I hiked it before, twenty years ago, and believe me, I noticed a slight difference, but the joy was just as great!

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It was just me and the Lord that whole day. I asked him how his Church had become such a place about money, and more business like than family oriented, when He had been so against hoarding money, and was totally non-materialistic! How do rich pastors preach from luxurious platforms about the man who had nothing, and called us to lay aside our kingship for a time, and be servants!? To live a life rich in love and sacrifice! How do we justify all this? I could make no sense of it.

I hiked all the way up Black Elk Trail to that small mountain fortress at the top. I was there earlier than the normal tourist season and had the whole place to myself. The weather was awesome! It was a shifting swirling thing! Bright sunshine and warmth for a few minutes, then clouds and snow blowing for a few! It was totally inspiring as I ate my food at the top, shared some of it with 2 ground squirrels and a Jaybird of some sort. And God spoke to me as only he does, and gave me a strange phrase: “The path of the white feather.” I have kept those words in my heart ever since. I pondered those words as the elements shifted back and forth around me.

I spent an hour or so at the top. Offered up prayer and worship. Came down out of the mountain and drove back to town where I found an old bookstore. They had a very nice copy of “Black Elk Speaks”. I was very excited as I bought it!

When I got back to the hotel I did not waste any time opening it up, and soon found this man before my time, speaking of the “darkness in men’s eyes”. I was amazed at how simple and true his words were, and wondered why our preachers today seem to lack that? The words of Jesus are simple and true, too. The path of the white feather. I had come to South Dakota to get away in nature, seek simplicity, hear God, and God was showing me a path I would never leave.

I may have left the Black Hills, but my feet had been set to a spiritual path leading to a move of God I was unaware of. Little have I known. (To be continued.)

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Journey to Micro-Church – #1

Black_elkHoF It’s strange how my story of Church would go back to this guy, Black Elk. I mentioned in my last article how “once upon a time” I left the modern Church system in spiritual frustration at the complexity of it all and took a nine day vacation to the Black Hills to pray and listen for the leading of God. I needed clarity and direction. I needed some answers from God.

I did not know what to expect on that trip, as to how God would give me those answers. But now, what I received there, has led to a vision I began pursuing then, and still pursue today. That vision has become development of a Micro-Church, this Blog site, a prayer garden and free laundry mat from my home, a spiritual retreat in the country, and now the challenge of developing a Podcast to share our Fellowship.

In this continued journey, many words of a native Indian I never knew, or knew of, until those nine days, has become more and more meaningful to me. Today I would like to share this quote from him, from a book called: “Black Elk Speaks”. It is a “partial” quote because I want to focus on a certain “point” of his statement, and I wonder how many of you might feel the same way he did, in the words he spoke. I know I do.

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“But now that I can see it all as from a lonely hilltop, I know it was the story of a mighty vision given to a man to weak to use it;…” Partial quote from Black Elk.

“But now that I can see it all as from a lonely hilltop, I know it was the story of a mighty vision given to a man too weak to use it;…” Black Elk

We may slowly share the rest of his words eventually, for they are so rich, and fit our spiritual drama of this modern day. When I left the religious system to go searching, I knew nothing of Micro-Churches, but my soul was very hungry for something, and as I sought God for answers, I began following those answers one step at a time. Soon we developed a small Fellowship around what we began to see as obvious in God’s Word, and early Church history. Then further down the road I began hearing of Micro-Churches and discovered that was basically what we had already become, without even knowing!

How God led me to the book containing the words of this man is interesting, and as I look back on it, it happened just the way I have learned to be aware of God’s voice. Our nine day trip to South Dakota only had time for so many things, as it is in this mortal world. I had a rough idea of places I wanted to go, as we had vacationed there once before, like twenty years before. I wanted to revisit some places, and explore some new. But one place that was special to me did not fit the schedule, no matter how I tried to work it.

It is called “Harney Peak”. The highest point in South Dakota. A beautiful trail climbing into the mountain leads to that peak. I went there twenty years ago and wanted to do so again, but there was no time if my wife and I were going to reach a point farther west we had picked out. I can’t even remember the name of it now.

We never reached that westward point, because we revisited “Crazy Horse Monument”, only planning on spending a couple hours, but got so caught up there that we both did not want to leave! We spent several hours there, and a town close to it. We both realized we were sacrificing our plan, but we also realized God had a plan and that was the real reason we were there! God was speaking!

So as it were we gained an extra day in the Black Hills and I suddenly realized I could use that day to go alone, up that lonely path, to the highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains. It’s elevation is 7,244 feet. But the weird thing was, every time I tried to find information on the path leading to the peak, I kept finding something called “Black Elk Trail”. This is not what it had been called twenty years ago. As a matter of fact, I learned the name had been changed just before I got there! And who was Black Elk? Why did God have this trail name changed just before I would arrive seeking answers? My brain began whirling with possibilities. And I knew early the next day, I was headed to hike that trail and relive a climb I made twenty years before, but what would that path speak to me now? And continues to speak more and more loudly each day?

I want to do justice to who Black Elk was, and also my experience that day, and where it leads me today. So we will continue our story next episode. To be continued.

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“Yinneythought” for the day.

3toed-sloth-1280x720 King Solomon said: I have watched the way our world works.

A poor, wise man knew how to save the town.

But afterwards no one thought to thank him.

Those who are wise will be despised IF THEY ARE POOR. 

Better to hear the quiet words of a wise person than the shouts of a foolish king.

Highlights of Ecclesiastes 9:13-17

God still speaks highly of the poor, just check the Beatitudes, but do we? Is it possible to be poor, and wise? Is it possible that in the eyes of God, the poor are more wise? Let your moderation be known in all things. And remember Lot’s wife.

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“Yinney” – Chapter 37

maxresdefault The morning rain was over, turning the Amazon into the steam bath it was known for. Yinney thought little of it for this had always been the norm in his world. While he was in his morning worship song, he felt led to start writing his book this day. It had long been the desire of his heart. Today would be the day it finally began.

“Title,” he paused for a moment before slowly speaking out loud, “The Beauty of Slow”. And then he sat there smiling as he looked at those words on the bright white screen of his little laptop. You ask how can a sloth have a laptop in the Amazon jungle? It ran on solar power, of course, and was currently fully charged.

“The Beauty of Slow”. He repeated to himself again. He loved those words and the mental picture they produced. A life of resting compared to rushing. A life of flowing rather than  flapping. A peaceful journey rather than a rat race. It was indeed a beautiful thing. The art of living in beauty rather than chaos. Yes, this would be his book.

“Subtitle,” he smiled again as he pecked at the keys causing the little letters to magically appear. “The Teachings of Yinney”. There, it was begun, and now for chapter one. He had no lack of thoughts or direction. It was like releasing a dam that had been closed off far too long, and had stored much water.

Chapter One, he began. “What is the beauty of slow?”

It is having already reached, while still reaching. His words beganIt is having already arrived and yet still in the journey. It is taking the time each day to ask a simple question: What does my ‘soul’ need this day? It is living for spirit more than material. It is God not being a stranger, but a friend. It is seeking the Kingdom of God first, in the full assurance you already have all things. It is peace that truly passes understanding. There is no explaining it scientifically or psychologically. It is supernatural, because its source is God.

I, Yinney, as one who is a student of observation, must state the obvious to all those who are awake. Because most people are not, and the following question seems to be not obvious to them. They never give it a thought, unless forced to, and so we do.

“Why is it so hard to seek first…’soul’?”

Most say they have no time, therefore the great need for such a book as mine. Does the rat race bring you pleasure? Does chaos bring you delight? Of course not, and yet most people live in the grip of the rat race and chaos simply because they refuse to slow down and put first things first. In doing so they short circuit the supernatural life they could be living in, and are stuck in all the struggles of the natural. This begins a chain reaction of results as predictable as a path of falling dominoes.

First…life becomes an exercise of survival, rather than a flower simply gracefully blooming. There is the constant fight and struggle. The ways of flesh rather than spirit. The ways of hunger rather than contentment. The ways of excess, and storing up, in fear and desire, rather than contentment and moderation. The way of always running, rather than simple faith, trust, and rest. A peaceful journey lived one step at a time.

As a result people enter into a predator lifestyle. Always hungry for something. Always on the hunt for that something. Eventually there is the hard chase, the capture, and the kill! Then they feed to their satisfaction. In a little while, usually not very long at all, the satisfaction fades, the hunger returns, and it all repeats again over and over again like a nightmare merry-go-round they don’t know how to get off of. Up and down up and down round and round we go. Where we stop…nobody knows.

They believe themselves to be peace-loving, but they have become predators and do not even know. The truly peace-loving can plainly see their disfunction. It is obvious to those who love the ways of soul and spirit. The way of the predator is a danger to the whole world. You cannot have fellowship with someone who wants to eat you. For example, the mechanic who charges you four-hundred dollars to flip a switch on your car that you do not know, and he does not tell.

Predators come in many forms. After all, in our current society what they need most is your money, if you have any, and they want as much as they can get. Their hunger is never satisfied and they never have enough. They trade time for money all the time. And yet what is life made of? Time, or money? Such a foolish trade, but such is the foolishness of the predators, for God has said it is the meek who will inherit the earth, for the foolish will waste their precious time and be gone.

So we have those who are asleep, but never resting. However, the beauty of slow is to be fully awake, while still in a state of REST. This is the beauty of slow and the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ of which I am a teacher of his ways. This book is about slowing down and hearing God.

In the hearing of God we invite the supernatural to take over in our daily affairs. Now we can be at peace and fully confident in our being, for God is love. The problem is, most people only ‘think’ they understand love. They claim God cannot be love, but that is because they are not love. Most people reject God because he demands us to walk in REAL LOVE! And most people who claim to be love, do no harm, and yet when challenged of God to live fully in LOVE, say, “No thank you. I cannot live by your rules.” And what are those rules?

Love God with all your heart? Love people, even your enemy, as yourself?

So yes, sex without full commitment is not love! The God of love says it is sin. Stealing, lying, and cursing is not love! Living in luxury while someone is starving is not love! Oh my, I’m only just getting started. And you say God is not love? Because he demands, yes demands love, or you are not fit for the Kingdom of God?

And why would such a book as mine start by pointing out such blatant error, and twisted thinking in the mind of man? Hopefully… so we can wake up…become fully awake… and enter into God’s true REST…and the Beauty of Slow.

<End chapter one  of the teachings of Yinney.>

Far north of the Amazon, Frank was beginning his therapy, and Rachel decided to invite him to her church. Soon he would be released and if they had a future together as she hoped, now was the time to approach this subject. What better time?

Dorothy, on the other hand, was now in the midst of a full blown and passionate secret affair. Her emotions totally out of control. Desire was feeding a flame and she had the fever. Even in her new addiction she tried being as careful as possible, but it was hard. She had such a hunger, and little did she know the other woman, the wife, had suspected her husband of being unfaithful for many years, and she was just now placing a phone call to hire a Private-Eye to look into the matter.

Learning to Share – Part III

5883 “So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.”

Did Jesus really say these things? > Luke 14:33

“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison — your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

Did Jesus really mean these things? Literally? Most today would probably say, “NO, not literally. But that is our modern Christianity speaking. Of course he meant what he said, and the early church in Acts proves it! So what do we do now?

Some would try to say, as I also considered, maybe all that is just for those who become “Disciples”. I just want to be a simple child of God. However, that don’t work either. Jesus plainly taught to go and make “Disciples” of all nations, teaching them to do what I have commanded. Commanded? We are to become disciples.

Jesus said: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

What the heck does that mean? Again, does he really mean that?

These were just a few of the reasons I left the modern American Church system. It was time to get real. It was time to face the real Jesus Christ in spirit and in truth. Am I a real Christian, follower of Christ, or not? And as I left you hanging in Part II, I had just shared the vision of how I wanted to share my house with the less fortunate, and my wife was setting there looking at me with eyes that plainly said, “You’re breaking my heart!”

That was the most difficult fellowship we had had to that date, and I know it was difficult for our third person as well, my friend Jason, as he felt her pain too, but it was REAL. We were not playing Church.

The only thing I own that has any value, and really the bank still owns, but we hope to own someday, is our house. It’s a very basic house. It’s 1400 square feet, 3-4 bedrooms depending, and ONE bathroom. We raised 5 children here. Four boys and a daughter. Here’s a couple pictures.

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So I laid our simple house before the Lord and asked, “Lord, how do I share this place in such a way as the Kingdom of God shines here? I bring this place into your common stock. Everything I own is not simply brought into a common community, but actually is common stock with your Kingdom. I own nothing here, but everything in you.”

Now realize, my wife is not in on this conversation. I would have loved for her to be in it, but this was not a question she was ready to ask, even with all the teaching I been doing on this. There finally comes a time we have to force an issue. Are we real, or not? Are we going to take up “our” cross, or not? It was time to put this on the table, but before I could do that, I needed to know what the vision could be? How could I share this house without actually selling it and giving all the money away? Actually, there wouldn’t be much money, if any.

We have to read the WHOLE word of God, and a man who does not take care of his family is worse than an infidel. And Jesus said to love our neighbor as our self. As in the Lord’s prayer, God is not asking us to become destitute. Our needs are to be met. But what could we do with this place to show the real Jesus who teaches us to share all things?

Let me digress 20 years for a moment. Back when I did not understand all this, I was heavily involved in Youth Ministry. Due to various circumstances at that time, we decided to use our house as a Friday Night Youth Church. We had an old van I picked “teenagers” up in. Believe it or not, this outreach started growing like crazy! We eventually had 40 teens coming in this house every Friday night! Yes, this very same 1400 sq. ft. house! (My wife wanted to shoot me then too, but the kids eventually won her over.) This group was about 50/50 % street kids to Christian kids! It was the most successful street outreach I ever had! And we preached to them hard!

This went on for 3 years! (And we do have stories we could tell.) And yes, the house took a tremendous beating. But I took a low paying job in order to start this ministry, a janitor’s job. I left truck driving. And after 3 years our vehicles were on their last leg, our bills were climbing, there was enough money to support the meetings, but not the house and vehicles. After all, it was our house. No one wanted to pay our house payment, or buy us a new vehicle. That was our responsibility.

So I had to go back to making more money. The ministry dissolved in sadness, but we remembered the good things, and began slowly crawling out of our hole. I still think people with small minds failed to support a ministry God was using. Or do Christians always obey God, and it died because we were doing something wrong? Will God let something die to test people? Hhmmm.

But during that time, and even to this day, Brenda (my wife), and I talk about all the nice houses around us, for ours is the runt of the litter in this neighborhood, and even though all these people had greater means to share, a greater house, greater vehicles, greater income, none of them were willing to share in such a sacrificial way. Such nice places kept only for them and theirs. And we wonder why God goes to poorer people like us?

This is the real Jesus Christ, to love your neighbor as yourself. Has it gotten that real for you at the Church you attend? Is it really a Church?

Well… that was twenty years ago, and after that I kept trying the normal Church system thinking maybe we failed because we ended up on our own, but all I kept finding was a watered down Jesus and watered down message all these years, until I could stand it no more. And now full circle, here I was again. My wife looking at me almost ready to cry. The one I love most in this world, and I was hurting her, causing her pain.

We’re over 1,000 words already. The top picture in this article is our place of a secret garden. Our house makes an “L” shape, and in that back area God spoke to me of the next step in our following the real Jesus and having all things common, real communion, real community. Looks like the details of the vision must wait for Part IV. I have not forgotten our story of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to POO”, but there are already 36 chapters to read and there will eventually be more. I write what God gives me, and for some reason God wants to camp here for a while. So here we are.

I know messages like this don’t get many “likes” in a selfish culture as ours. Unfortunately, it don’t seem to get many likes in the Church either. What is God to make of that? What are we to make of that? What does it tell us about ourselves? Dare we answer such questions? Do we really follow Christ? Are we really saved?

God’s word advises us to judge ouselves, so we need not be judged by others. Are we an honest judge? Or do we take bribes under the table? Perhaps I’ve said too much, but God will say more.

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“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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