“Who Am I?”

20180811_135130           What does it all mean? – Part 4

“From the personal Journal of Grandpa White Feather”

8-17-18> I’ve always been this way. Because I took God very seriously at a young age, I’ve always been able to live life very unseriously.

Life for me has been an adventure. I’ve taken risks. I’ve broken this world’s “rules for success” over and over again in my pursuit of God, but yet somehow found great joy, peace, and fulfillment. My marriage is awesome and we somehow raised five great kids. But I’m still breaking rules and adventuring with God even right now, because I’ve always taken God and his Word very seriously. And I need to add this, what is adventure if it does not occasionally scare you? Must not be much of an adventure.

I’m the guy who all my life has taken some of my vacation time to get away from everyone and seek God. That may not sound like your kind of vacation, and for most, it would not be. I’ve done it camping at “The Dunes” in northern Indiana many times. I’ve done it on top of Mount Mitchell North Carolina at least 3 times. I’ve done it in New York City 3 times. I even visited the church pastored by David Wilkerson while there. I’ve done it at the Black Hills of South Dakota, even from Harney’s Peak, twice. I’ve done it without leaving home I don’t know how many times. I’ve journaled every day, talking to God, for the past twenty years.

I’ve experienced many churches over my 62 years. Everything from Holiness to Baptist to Pentecostal.  I tried to fit in, was even ordained in one, was offered to be ordained in another, but in the end left every one of them because I did not fit their vision of things. So either there is something wrong with me, or I simply have an appetite different.

At age 61 I went searching for the “Simplicity of Christ”, and I found a Table! I believe I found Revelation 3:20, that goes all the way back to Exodus 24:11, and probably even into the Garden of Eden itself… The Lord’s Table!

Even on the day of his betrayal, the day of preparation for Passover, he did not take his close spiritual family to a Temple, but to a Table, His Table. I have always felt like a person of simplicity in a world where church has become complex. They say in today’s world you cannot run a church without also knowing how to run a business. Sooner or later I’ve always left, and now I have a Tipi. (Of all things.) And its done nothing but cost me money, paid me nothing in monetary terms. But oh what a delight it is to me, oh His Presence I have felt, and God keeps providing. There has been no shish-boom-bah there, but the Wind, great peace, and a small still voice hard to hear in all the shish-boom-bah.

So last night I shared with a good friend, still in the last church I left, what I believe to be a pearl of great price, a revelation of “The Lord’s Table”. The shift from Temple to Table. A simplicity. And then I got scared. My head started asking questions like: How can it be that everyone else seems to have missed this? How can I be the only one, or the first to see? Surely I must be wrong. What if modern church is right? What if I’m misleading people? What if I mislead one of my best friends, or those who read this site?

Now I know I’m not the ONLY one. BUT… I seem to be the only one in my circles. And I don’t know how few our numbers really are. I know there is some kind of a movement happening, but in all my blogging so far, no one in my area seems to have popped up saying we’re over here! Can we join you? Or will you join us? (Know what I mean?)

So… I started playing back in my mind the journey and study that brought me here. I repeated quotes from early church fathers I’ve read concerning how the Lord’s Supper was done in their time. I looked again at the Bible description of the early church in Acts 2 and Paul’s description in First Corinthians 11. I rehearsed what I studied in early church history, where Polycarp, and the Asia Minor churches begin standing against the Bishop of Rome, because of changes he wants to make to the Easter weekend, because a thing we now call “Lent” seemed to be instituted. Big changes were being made in the way the Apostles all taught to observe the Lord’s Supper and the Christian Passover.

I remembered how the battle raged spiritually for many years, until a Roman Emperor named Constantine, claiming to be a Christian, but was obviously very CARNAL if Christian at all, was given great influence in the church, and things were never the same in the church again! I remembered what the church became! Proving the foolish choices of that time! Did we ever really go back and make things right?

I looked at the complexity of most modern churches today. I did not see the simplicity or the fellowship of the Lord’s Table. I saw complex Temples with “programs” of strategy more than prayer and sacrifice. Programs using worldly methods, like a business, more than simply waiting on the Lord. Name tag machines, stage lights, expensive budgets, shish-boom-bah, user friendly like the church of Constantine, coming to Christ for worldly benefits or emotional hype, not true conversion and sacrifice of self and sinful ways. And I realized whether scared or not, I simply could not stay silent, or go back to that way. I already tried too many times. And now, I have seen too much.

And I also realized, all the other teachers of God’s Word are still out there. All the other churches are still out there. No one is being forced to listen to me. I’m simply one voice out there offering something different, like a different restaurant for those of a different appetite, like me. The Lord will add to this movement if it be truly of Him. If there be a 2nd Reformation at hand. We force no one to come, no one to stay, we don’t even believe in a Membership role, a salary, or pass a plate. Part of our simplicity is people are free to come and go as much as they like, and I am open for church 24/7, or as much as my body allows. Our schedule is very flexible and even individual to a point. We seek for God to order our steps.

What I’m teaching is available for anyone to discredit if it be not the Word of God. I’m an open book not seeking to deceive or manipulate. I don’t ask for money. As a matter of fact, we don’t believe tithing is even a part of the New Covenant in Christ! He who gives more (percentage wise), will be blessed more. He who gives less is blessed less. But God is more than fair in all of it, and the leader of it. A message on tithing would have been somewhat meaningless in the early church, when they considered all their belongings common. I don’t think anyone but a Jew still under the law was even thinking in terms of a 10 percent. It was all about Loving Upward and Loving Outward.

Loving upward, and in the power of that loving outward also. That’s how Jesus explained the law in the two great Commandments. That is the laws God has given us. Even in our definition of sin. Do nothing that would cause your brother or sister to stumble. So are we perfect? No. But do we desire to be? Does God’s love put that desire in us? Yes! So be obedient to what God tells you to give. Give it to what God tells you to. And don’t forget the poor.

I don’t know why I’m seeing this different kind of church based on simplicity and the Lord’s Table. I don’t know why there are not thousands also seeing it? But try as I may, I don’t see this wrong. I see the modern church wrong, and I have chosen to stay with the exiles. I have felt led to offer an Exile Restaurant of spiritual food from an Exile Menu. For you see, we exiles, as in Exodus, have our eyes set more on tents than we do mansions. More on simplicity than we do complexity. More on a Table than we do a Temple. We have a taste for a different menu, perhaps locust and wild honey! It’s just where the appetite in me, takes me.

We don’t like it when a Pastor gets up and talks about Jesus not having a place to lay his head, but in the next breath promotes the Harley Davis motorcycle ride the men are having the very next weekend. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Not the dish I came to church to eat. Sure, I’d like a Harley too! But…that’s a lot of money, and I’ve got more important things to do. I don’t need that temptation, distraction, thrown at me. And especially not in the same breath about the simplicity of Christ!

So after “the fear”, the doubt, knowing I’m not that smart, how do I find myself seeing these things while everyone else says I’m “off track”. I began writing my feelings, and this is my journal writings of these things. Set your affections on things above, not on things of this earth. Lay not up for yourself treasures upon earth….but lay for yourselves treasures in heaven …. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

So what do you do when the advice of the “Many Counselors” seem to be against you? And those counselors are the same ones who find no problem with Harleys verses Homelessness in the same breath. What do you do when 20 doctors are saying give the patient this treatment before he dies, and you’re the only doctor saying, No, give him this treatment before he dies? Did not all these Bible characters experience the same thing from the experts of their time?

Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel and his friends, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the minor prophets, John the Baptist, JESUS, all the Apostles, Polycarp, early church fathers, Asia Minor churches, Martin Luther, and how many others could be named? Revivals are happening in poor places around the world, places of simplicity, but not in America. We have asked the question over and over, and to that our experts provide another program, and shove more money at it.

Here’s the thing, it’s hard to argue against the information I have accumulated. I have seen first hand the power of this message, and that is what has scared me. I know how much this can affect people, and I don’t want to steer people wrong, but if the king were not so naked, if the king actually had clothes, then this message would not be so powerful! But because this modern king has no clothes, it’s very hard for him to defend himself, and this has given rise to people like…me. Of which I know I’m not the only one, but I wish I could find some others. Whether I do or not, this message must still go forth, and perhaps one day there will be others in this area, and those who are yet to follow will not find it quite so scary.

I have always been this way. Taking God’s Word more seriously than this present world itself. I know this life is but a vapor, this sets me free to break man made rules and adventure with God. It has been my way for 60 years. Take a walk on the wild side? This is Tent Life. It’s simple. It moves with God. It feels good to walk with God. For me, it’s that simple. And for this, I need a tent, not a mansion, or a Harley. The Passover meal was immediately followed by Tent Life for the Egypt enslaved Jews. Now that I’m in the Promised Land, I still prefer a spiritual tent.

Our Lord has many Tables. But some he likes more than others. And some tables he is near to leaving. Some he has already left. And some he was never there to begin with.

So after all this a great peace settled in, because, yes, it is a fearful thing to step out against what appears to be God’s church, even as it blasts the music of Micheal Jackson’s “Thriller” to the neighborhood. That which claims to be God’s church. How strange. Jesus did not use flashy things to fish for men. Evidently Jesus didn’t know much about fishing, and neither do I. I’m a simple teacher, who prays daily that if I be wrong, oh Lord, please let it be known. And in all this, a great peace has come.

Yesterday I sat outside my Tipi, under a shade tree, in a cool breeze, drinking black coffee and thinking white thoughts, such as these. Today, I share such thoughts with you. More to be treasured than silver and gold, the still small voice of our Lord.

I was surprised to find this year, that evidently I have a green thumb. Our garden has been a great delight. May God’s garden be, in each of us.

 

 

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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