Inner Circle – continued.

20181007_154219 God Task + Inner Circle + Prayer + Simplicity = God Balance / Peace.

The Grand Opening with our Teepee was a “HUGE” hit! This picture shows 3 of the grandkids having a great time on the rope swing inside Teepee. There were 17 of us all together, including my mom and dad, great grand parents. Four Generations!

 

In the Church early days, people used their homes for gatherings. Was that of necessity or intentional? Many feared something would be lost when large buildings began to be used. I see a common challenge in our Churches today, as many are waking up to the need to be more than a gathering, but to be “family”.

I believe the strong “discipleship format” of the early Church created close relationships and family. I also believe “homes” were best suited for that. The Church today is wrestling with trying to get back that “spiritual family” relationship while in very expensive modern buildings that do not feel like home or family.

The most successful youth ministry I ever had was in my home! It was amazing the kids who were being attracted to it. Many of them had single parents and broken homes. They were actually drawn to the family/home atmosphere we had. But I think it is even bigger and deeper than that. I think that is why Jesus did it the way he did, and he was showing us that true religion is more about a “Table” than a “Temple”.

It was a hot day, so we had the inside table and an outside. My truck tailgate was part of that. Chicken was roasting on outside grill, while others roasted a hotdog in the indoor chiminea. Cold lemonade was the main drink. The fellowship was awesome. We had a perfect atmosphere for fellowship. We had Table Ministry, plus food, rope swing, a secret fort for the kids, and archery for the adults. And what would all that be without the opportunity to chop wood? Here’s some various pictures >

 

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There are many more pictures that could be shown, but the point is: Family/Fellowship. Real relationships. Table Ministry, like the Lord’s Supper, not short form Temple programs.

Do you have an Inner Circle in which you are involved in Table Ministry and real discipleship? This is real Church Jesus way. 

Our next article will move on from the Inner Circle element of our Formula, but I hope you don’t forget the importance of this element. Table Ministry/ Discipleship is near and dear to the heart of God. Modern Churches are struggling to make this work. Some are trying to force something that should come naturally. I heard a preacher preach the other day that he was “forcing” his people into the streets. They had a program they hoped would accomplish this. I’m sorry, I’m glad they got the big picture now, but I still think they are misguided on the “how”. Just my opinion. Many religions force their people into the streets. God looks on the heart. He looks for the cheerful giver, and so on.

So… here is one last picture of the names growing on our “Signing Wall”. To sign the wall a person must have done something benefiting the Teepee, or visit three times. On third visit you can sign the wall. I’ve painted short messages on outside Teepee also, so I’ll leave you with 3 pictures. Grandpa White Feather saying, until the next time, happy trails to you.

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White Feather Neighborhood

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It looks so calm on this side of Teepee. Everything was happening on the other side. LOL.

Fear & Pleasure – which came first?

838843 As explained in previous article, Grandpa White Feather just spent time in Georgia with two of his Grandkids. He had stories to tell, and names with “meaning” to impart. But that’s the previous article. One of my sons is in the military and stationed just south of Savanah. I was in the military also and spent some time at Fort Gordon, so I have a few memories of Savanah and a beach called Tybee Island from 35 years ago. I was 27. Wow…where does the time go?

I decided as I began my trip home I would take the scenic route and visit Tybee Island. I felt God was drawing me there. Many things about this trip became a vision quest along with my original reasons for going. We slowly share them.

So as I arrived I discovered, as I was expecting, the place had evolved over the 35 years to be more commercial, more money oriented. I passed through an area of shops before reaching the beach. I was worried it had become just another crowded and hot beach, but I’m pleased to say it was not. There were more people there than used to be, but still wasn’t bad.

So I grabbed my coffee, chocolate chip cookies, journal, pen, book, and a jacket to sit on and headed onto the beach. I wasn’t there to swim. I was there to “remember”. I wanted to wade in the water, look for shells, be quiet in my soul, and remember 35 years ago. My young wife, and our first two of five children. Perhaps I would even hear God speak.

I wasn’t there long when something happened. I was sitting Indian style a ways behind everyone else, where the sand began to go up into some dunes. The cool breeze was awesome. The sound of the waves relaxing. Seagulls sailed overhead. Sand was hot and soft. A perfect beach day and I was enjoying it. People splashed in the water. The beauty of it drew you to enter in. Dive into the waves. Go for a swim, but then came the fin!

I didn’t see it at first. What I saw was a few people running towards the water and seemed to be frantically waving for people to come out of it. Of course, anyone out there could not hear the shouts. The waves were too loud. But the hand signals could not be mistaken as long as someone saw them, and they began to.

Sure enough, as we looked just a little farther out, a fin cutting through the water so plainly it could not be missed. As people saw it, they began frantically racing for the shore! I’m sure every movie of “Jaws” raced through their mind. Somehow this beautiful scene of peace, joy, and wonder had in a single second turned into a terrifying run for your life! Ever try running fast in water? Like your worst nightmare. How do things so suddenly change on planet earth? A peaceful drive while listening to music suddenly becomes a terrifying crash. So many examples could be given.

Fortunately for us on this day, in just a few seconds the fin did a curl and revealed itself to be a dolphin! And then another was spotted. Everyone was so relieved, but… you can bet your boots no one went into those waters with the same joy they were feeling before. If fear had not been there before, at least a little was there now. That little reminder of what else could be in those waters, and God spoke to me as I considered it all: Ever since the garden, this is the world man lives in.

We desire pleasure. We seek pleasure. We work hard all week so on the weekend maybe we can enjoy some pleasure. But our pleasure is constantly threatened with fear. This is the curse. This is our mortal world. But which came first? Fear or pleasure? PLEASURE!

God’s will for us was innocent and honorable pleasure. But we want more. God told me this is still our human nature to want more pleasure than is good, and so we cross lines we should never cross, then consequences begin to set in and the fear of many things, even our eternal destination. We live in a world of desire for pleasure at risk of consequences, and then comes fear. We desire to swim in the beautiful ocean, but there are also sharks out there. How far out should we swim? What is good and what is not?

Sex is good when devoted to a partner we truly love, not lust. A partner we’re willing to take on all the responsibilities of life together with. But how much lust has led to damaged children, or murdered children? You see, the shark doesn’t always just eat you, on planet earth. Our sins have real consequences. We’re not just hurting ourself. That’s another lie of the devil. We live in a world in which the ripples of our actions affect those around us. Many times those are people we supposedly love. We are all connected. When we sin we’re choosing to potentially hurt others.

There are godly pleasures, and plenty of them. God desires to bless us with them. When we live in God’s will, just knowing that diminishes all fear. Even if something bad does seem to come upon us, knowing we walk with God gives us a peace passing all understanding. But if we play with the “7 Deadly Sins”? We know the day will come when we harvest the bad seeds we have sown, and there is fear! Real fear! If you slow down long enough to think about it.

That is why most people keep running, keep drinking, keep drugging, keep sinning, keep denying, keep doing whatever they do to NOT THINK ABOUT IT. I will swim in these waters and not think about the sharks until I see a fin. But then…the day will come…when you see the fin too late. Those jaws are coming for you, and there is no escape. Your party is over, and no matter how much you scream, because scream you will, but it won’t change a thing. We push these thoughts away. Drown the pain. Avoid truth. Laugh and party. Deny reality. But it’s still real, and that day is coming.

This is the world so many people live in. This is not the fellowship of the white path in Christ, where peace passes understanding. Some of us are drawn to those waters. I do not try to explain that peace, because as the scripture says, it is a supernatural God-thing. Who can explain?

I watched them running that day as I sat peacefully on the shore eating my chocolate chip cookies, drinking coffee, and listening for God to speak. He spoke very plain and loud. I would not be afraid to swim in those waters if I decided to. I did 35 years ago and had a great time, my wife and I, and our first two sons, who were very young. There is nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy a beach and swim in the ocean, but it is the spiritual analogy we look at today.

I did not know today’s article would touch on the 7 Deadly Sins. So far we have only spoke of “Greed” (May 16 article: “White Wolf”). I’m not trying to hit that topic today, but we are still in those waters. What does it mean to walk the white path and have a good name? God has challenged me to teach the white path of a good name. What name would God give you, if choosing a name that fits?

I have a friend I recently named “Storm Rider”. (You see, Chief White Feather has power to do such things. Or so the story goes.) But he got that name because he wrestles with his emotions a lot, when things happen. Sometimes he rides the storm, and other times the storm ride him. It is a good name to inspire him to always ride the storm. Be the Storm Rider.

Another person I am about to name “Desert Joker”. People actually like him because of his dumb jokes. Somehow it works for him. (This is great fun while teaching spiritual points at the same time.) But this guy is the master of “dry humor”. Get it? It’s part of the way we fellowship with people. If you know someone well enough to give them a name that fits, and can help them, then chances are you’re having “Table Ministry” with them, not just a casual acquaintance.

So this is our message for today. Walk with God and know his peace! The fork in the road is ours to choose. Personally, I’d rather swim with dolphins than sharks. Call me crazy if you like, but if you do, I’d question your own common sense. And yes, you would not be one I choose to hang with. I would invite you to my path all day long, a path of God’s blessings, and a path of good medicine. But the sharks path only seeks to to harm; to steal, kill, and destroy. No thanks. Dolphins are great.

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“Surviving or Thriving!”

2711 Boy do I have the itch to write! Grandpa White Feather has been on the road for almost 2 weeks! I’m finally home, back in my territory! Ready to continue slow growing our spiritual garden. I have missed it, and it suffered while I was gone, but the mission was important. I have 2 grandchildren in Georgia, and Grandpa White Feather needed to see them, not to mention my 2 sons who also live there, along with their lovely wives. We are such a blessed family to have the unity we have.

So…I am the “Story Teller” in our family. I had a story to read to my grandchildren. The story is titled: “A Bird Called, Flapless”.  I am about to release this story over the Internet, and a link will be set from here. It’s what I call a children’s story for adults. Jesus said unless we become as little children we will not see the Kingdom of God.  It’s good for us to paint pictures of simplicity. It’s also a good story for parents to read to their children. About midway there is a section a parent will skip because it’s a bit too deep for children, good for adults, but the story continues for the children a couple chapters later.

2560So we put the story up on their flat screen and Grandpa did the reading. It was great fun. I hope this family has at least one story teller to tell the stories someday, after I’m gone. This important torch must pass to someone.

2616I made those wall hangers. They have our message of slow down and hear God. On the backside I wrote the spiritual name I gave them while down there, which was part of my mission. One Grandson went from “Boy Who Falls on Face” to “Sky Hawk”> He who dives in like a hawk! (Much better name.)

The younger Grandson really didn’t have a name yet, but he is now “Thunder Foot”> He who runs and kicks ball with thunder. (Another good name.) These will do for now, but as they are still developing their lives, who knows what their final name shall be? But I am here to constantly remind them of the “VALUE” of a “GOOD” name.

So we have much updating to do, because the gardens, the flower boxes, and the Teepee have been progressing, but I have not had time to update. The garden area for my mom has gone from this>

20180419_163408 To this… >

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20180507_184924 But now there is a story to be told and a spiritual analogy to be taught. The journey of this blog site has been a revelation of Jesus shifting everything from the religion of a Temple to the fellowship of the Table, including the Lord’s Supper which took place at a TABLE. Much has been written of this in previous articles.

I’ve been watching a survival series called “ALONE”. If you’re in to that kind of thing, like I am, you should watch it. It’s my favorite. But one thing I’ve noticed, there is “surviving” and there is “thriving”. Some of the people dropped on the island merely survive, but a few actually seem to thrive. A close study of the life of Jesus as revealed in our Bible shows that Jesus barely “survived” in the Temples, but he “thrived” at the Tables. I’m sorry to say, but as we grow nearer to our Lord’s second coming, I fear it may be so again. History always repeats itself?

You may have noticed there is an apple tree providing wonderful shade at the end of this cement block building. We have NEVER had any family fellowship under this tree. NEVER! All my life this has been so. There simply never was a reason to. Trees closer to the house were much more inviting, and there was nothing to see there but a cement block building. However, the other day my wife, Turtle Faith Lady, ROLLED in a very solid TABLE under that tree, and I don’t have a picture of it, but before the day was over, my mom, dad, wife, myself, and my dog, Shadow, was all setting under that tree, enjoying drinks, a cool breeze, shade, conversation, fellowship, the Presence of God, and the developing garden. It was wonderful, and a “first” at the farm. Here are some pictures I do have.

20180526_165729 You might notice Teepee in the background. Stories about the Teepee and the firewood are yet to come. But progress also being made there. Here’s Grandma Turtle Faith beginning to roll her TABLE.

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20180527_130414 Final destination under the apple tree. Oh yeah.

20180527_131407 Such a simple Table. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it just needs to be real. This Table makes all the difference!

So much has happened and there is so much to write. Next article will be entitled: “Fear and Pleasure”. This is something God showed me while I was in Savanah Georgia. I’m taking leave of our topic of the “Seven Deadly Sins and our Spiritual Armor” for now…temporarily. The shift Jesus made from Temple to Table is SO IMPORTANT.

We need time at the TABLE more than in the TEMPLE. We ARE the temple. Study the church of Acts, the first church, and notice the emphasis on the TABLE. Revelation tells us there will be no temple in heaven, but God is our temple. As they were about to stone Stephen he asked, Who can build God a temple? The earth is his footstool and heaven his home! Jesus offers us to sit at the Table with God! Wow! Is your church about a Temple or a Table? This is our message today, with much more to come.

Our last article: “White Wolf”, I believe carries a very strong message. If you have not read, please check it out. We’re likely done with the Infinity War analogy, even though there is so much more that could be said. There are many people who can identify with the Winter Soldier to White Wolf transition. My path to Christ was peaceful in most ways, but there are many who have not been so lucky. You may be one of those.

So… we are back. The time seeing Grandkids and family was excellent. But it’s also good to be back here where we are building for God the testimony he has put in us. Praise the Lord, God is good. Always keep an eye to your path. Where are you going? I hope you know.

20180518_195449 Grandpa White Feather and Sky Hawk signing off. Where did that belly come from? Hhmmm. I got to work that off.

 

Love Upward & Outward #3

>Love Upward first, and Outward also.< 

Our Lord offers us a “Table”.

We have a table in our garden now. We wasted no time in this point. “Turtle Gardens”, as I call them, are about a table… The Lord’s Table… and an invitation to slow down and hear God.

I recently spent time with a man in the hospital room he was about to leave, after spending many weeks there. We will give this man the name of Larry.

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Larry was dancing with the Grim Reaper on a daily basis. His prospects did not look good, and yet I’m here to say somehow he has survived. He is no longer dancing with the Reaper. God seems to have spared his life. Most of the time we do not know why one person dies while another is granted more time.

Larry was no angel either. Strip Clubs, drinking, motorcycle gangs, divorced twice, a life seeking whatever caught his fancy. However, during his time in the hospital he had a lot of time to think, and a chance encounter with my brother-in-law ended up with him asking Jesus to forgive his sins and receive him into his Kingdom. Larry humbly came to the Lord’s Table: The blood, the bread, and the cross. He crossed over from being an enemy of God and joined the family. But now there is a certain test that begins.

Is he teachable?

I have business type cards for this blog site and the Teepee Retreat. On the back of my cards I ask a couple questions: 1.) What value? 2.) Are you teachable?

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The Bible says we have this “Treasure” in earthen vessels, or clay pots. (II Cor. 4:7) What is the treasure it is speaking of?

Well… first of all… your soul! It is the only part of you that is eternal. We are a spirit (soul) contained in a body until released. Released into what? God’s Word calls our body a “body of death”, and so it is. It basically starts dying from the time we are born, but the soul, God says, is eternal, and it will either spend an eternity in a place “with God”, or “without God”. Our choice. The big fork in the road! We all choose one or the other.

So…my first question. “What value?” What value do you place on YOUR eternal soul? Do you treat it as a great treasure? Or ignore it, gamble with it, don’t believe in it, take it for granted, leave it to rot, assault it on a daily basis, cast it away like so much trash? This great “gift” God gave each of us. How we appreciate this gift reveals a lot about what kind of person we are. If you find that insulting, I’m sorry, but it’s true. Think about it. Have you ever given someone a great gift, only to watch them waste it?

Larry now faces this same question. We all face this question whether we are saved or not, but what does it mean when someone seems to sincerely receive Christ and yet goes on to ignore the relationship? Are they willing to spend time at the Lord’s Table? Do they value their soul and salvation enough to be “Teachable”?

I remember when I popped the big question to a very attractive young lady I was hoping would be my wife. Will you marry me? She could have said no. But when she said yes, I realized what a precious relationship she was granting me. Have I treasured that relationship? If not, I should be horsewhipped. But I think I treasure her more and more even as the years go by. What of our relationship to God? Is that not an even bigger gift? An even bigger marriage?

Planet earth is a garden in which both good and bad seed has been sown. What separates the good from the bad? A teachable spirit. Also known as discipleship.

Those Children of Israel God rescued from Egypt died in the wilderness because they had an unteachable spirit. I can plant a live flower in my garden, but if I neglect it long enough it will die. If I’m unwilling to learn how to garden and apply what I learn, then my garden will go back to wilderness. These are basic spiritual principals taught to us by nature itself. Nature, God’s silent witness. The wise understand that nature confirms God’s Word, and learns from it. Am I teachable?

The bad seed says, “I don’t care what my Creator says or desires. I’m my own boss. I’ll do as I please. I decide what is good or bad, right or wrong. Don’t put no guilt on me. To hell with God. I bow to no one. I don’t care I didn’t create myself, and can’t keep myself. I throw myself away so I can love my sins.”

A clay pot is a very fragile vessel to declare such big things. Fools are born every day, and you can usually tell when you hear one talking. The clay pot will suddenly break and their only treasure will be lost. But what is wrong with this treasure that it treasures the wrong things? Created from the God who said, “let there be light”, and yet chooses darkness.

Have we considered the wisdom of God to put such treasure in clay pots? It shows the utter foolishness of pride. Only a COMPLETE fool ignores their own mortality when eternity is within their reach! And only a COMPLETE fool ignores their own Creator.

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Those who treasure the temporary earthly pleasures of a dying world more than the eternal pleasures of their Creator will never become a part of the garden God is planting. If you don’t like God’s pruning and gardening, then the wilderness will over take you again. You may think you want to be king of the jungle, but believe me, you are a clay pot, and the jungle will eat you alive!

As for Larry, from what I hear he is hungry to know more. He is teachable. He is willing to read, study, and listen. He will have a bright spot in God’s garden if he remains teachable, as will we all. His life will bloom before him, one day at a time, under God’s skillful care, for all eternity.

So I hope you value the treasure in you, not only your soul, but also the Holy Spirit and God’s Word too. I hope you treasure it, for where our treasure is, there is our heart also. This clay pot will certainly break one day, and when it does I want it to be freedom! Not another prison. Praise God forever. Plant me in your garden Lord, and let me bloom!

 

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Turtle Gardens Forever!