“Yinneythought” for the day.

Sloth-Hanging-Out_300x300 “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.”        (Proverbs 18:16)

Have you created YOUR room? Perhaps this is a little different spin to the verse, but if you have not created “a” room from your particular gifts, and live in that room, then don’t expect your gifts to ever bring you into great opportunities.

This room must be built from the material of your gifts, and nothing less, but that’s hard to do if you don’t even know what you’re about.

Seek your Vision. Who are you?

Don’t waste your life living in rooms less than who you’re called to be. God placed your foundation stones even before you were born, but you choose what is built from there.

How have you done so far?

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“Yinney” Chapter 28

Sloth_large The sun rose amidst the sounds of  brightly colored birds cawing and singing, monkeys screaming and hooting, and wild cats snarling as usual in the Amazon. Rain drenched the jungle in the early morning and now the rain forest was a hot steam bath, but all this was normal as Yinney prepared to leave the rubber trees of Bubba and continue his own journey back to his 7th Day Tree.

Bubba and a few monkeys had gathered to bid him farewell, but Bubba also had one last question, “If I may be so selfish to ask one last question as you are preparing to leave, I would be most interested in your answer.”

“Of course,” Yinney agreed.

“It pertains to faith and works,” Bubba began. “You say Buddhism is a religion requiring the devotee to perfect himself, or a salvation by works as you put it. Is that right?”

“Yes,” Yinney confirmed, “And you agree the 8 Fold Path is the target of your discipline to become such a selfless person as if no longer having fleshly cravings, but completely ‘No Self’. Right? And with every reincarnation you hope to finally reach that selfless life.”

“That is correct,” Bubba agreed, “but does not your own religion state that faith without works is dead?” Is that not the same thing?”

“Oh, you are very good, Bubba, and that is such an excellent question. I have so enjoyed our conversations. I do hope you will also visit me at my 7th Day Tree. I would love to teach you deep things concerning God’s REST we enter into. Just as God ceased from his own works after the 6th day and entered REST on the 7th.”

“Adam and Eve were created on that 6th day. So they woke up in all the preparations God had already made. The work was done and they flowed into that 7th day of REST with God, and lived in that until they broke the REST with sin. That was all a picture of reentering God’s REST one day through Christ. Jesus has already made all the preparations. We reenter a spiritual garden with him. When we are born again, we wake up in the 6th day but immediately enter into a spiritual 7th.”

“Faith is a powerful force. If it is true faith it changes what our goals and desires had been before. We suddenly have new focus and new desires. So naturally we begin to move in that direction. This is a form of works, but not because we are trying to save ourself, we REST in Christ for that. It’s actually ‘God at work’ in us. We become a temple of his Holy Spirit, who is like a supernatural gardener! He begins recreating a garden of Eden in us!”

“It is as if he continually works against the weeds in us, and plants new flowers and plants bringing forth good fruit. We begin to live differently as naturally as an apple tree bears apples. It is a form of work, but completely powered by our love for him, and God’s love for us.”

“God told Adam to tend and keep the garden. But it was a perfect garden, so what work was there for him to do? It was about maintaining the spiritual atmosphere. It was about maintaining the Presence of God in the garden, the relationship Adam had with God. There was a certain spiritual table-setting in that place, and Adam allowed Satan a seat at the table. Much like Judas, but Jesus pointed Judas out and maintained his faithfulness to God even though Judas was there. So those scriptures you speak of, is simply the apple tree bearing apples, as it should naturally do, because of God at work in us.”

“Maybe it is hard for you to see the difference, but that is where grace comes in. Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden is light. It’s not about a bunch of rules and laws anymore. Jesus set us free. It’s about a love relationship in which you delight in pleasing the one you love, and your life flows in that relationship as you walk together with God in the garden.”

Yinney ended his explanation, and Bubba smiled, “Once again you have succeeded in giving me a very deep answer, and yet so simple, my slow moving friend. I understand a garden and gardener. I understand love and relationship, for I lost a very special person in my past. I understand a banana tree bearing bananas, or it is not a banana tree!” Bubba shouted and began laughing again along with all the other monkeys too. “Go in peace my friend. You have given me many beautiful answers, and in my faith we appreciate true beauty. I will visit your tree and learn more of this REST you speak of.”

Yinney smiled and waved good-bye as he began his slow but methodical trip home to his special tree. He had no other encounters and in two days his home came into view. He rested, and then the next day made his dangerous trip to the ground to poo. This special poo which even included nutrients from poisonous leaves only he could eat, would strengthen his tree for days to come.

Yinney was very happy with his first trip out. He had met Cappy the capybarra, Kujo the spider monkey, Bubba the Buddhist and his friends. Word would begin spreading of a sloth and his 7th Day Tree. He would hang his little sign offering spiritual teaching to one and all, and live each day in the glow of slow.

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“Yinney” – Chapter 12

download (2) “So what does it mean, Yinney?” Lu-Lu asked. “What does it mean if a man comes here?”

“That’s part of the mystery,” he answered. “In three years we will find out. In the meantime, we are to prepare a place of community and communion, in other words, a place of true fellowship. You can’t have fellowship with someone who wants to eat you.”

Yinney silently pondered, before finally asking, “What is this race of man? How have they become such predators?”

“They are not all that way,” she explained. “The predators are fewer in number, but they feed off the masses. They manipulate the masses whatever way they want them to go. They have their own food chain. Like Jag is considered to be a creature at the top of our food chain. There is always someone at the top of the food chain, and those under them. But way towards the bottom are the ones being fed on. So these people are always scrambling not to be at the bottom. It is a jungle of their own making. But I hear there are also those like us. Those who only desire to live peaceful lives and do no harm, in a world of predators.

“I see,” Yinney acknowledged. “So these people live in a world much like ours, predators and vegetarians, but who are the ones cutting a road through our Amazon? Are they predators or peace-loving? Are they here to do harm? The vision said bad things were coming.”

“Most of them will simply be hard working people just trying to stay off the bottom of the food chain so they don’t get eaten, and they want things. They want more than they already have, and someone at the top, a true predator is giving the orders they blindly follow in exchange for something called, money. I have seen these things with my own eyes.”

“Yes,” Yinney spoke deeply, “we will create a place of fellowship where no one eats another, and all predators are not welcome. We will not live in fear or manipulation. The All-Creator will help us. And this man, when he comes, a lot depends on what has brought him here. The vision said he was a special man, and when he returns with the message, he will suffer much because of it.”

“We have a great purpose, Lu-Lu,” Yinney continued. “This tree will be a medicine tree, with leaves for healing. All those who come to these healing waters will find peace. It is medicine to the soul. The lagoon, the tree, our teachings, and our fellowship offers a different way of life based on simplicity and God-loving values, to do no harm.”

“This road… why does it come here?” he asked.

“For wood, and other natural resources. But wood is high on the list. They take trees and cut them up into many slivers. Their appetite knows no end. You have a human settlement some twenty miles from here. It is called ‘Benjamin Constant’. They want the road to reach that settlement. Your area, Yinney, is not far from the Javary River. This lagoon is probably fed by it. The Javary joins the Amazon River in the same area of Benjamin Constant. The Javary lies west of you, but it runs north and south. The Amazon River junction, and the settlement lie north of you.”

“And why do they want trees so badly? I love my 7th Day Tree, but is not one tree enough?” he asked.”

“They eat trees to build great homes for living in. Some people are very reasonable in their wants, but many have the hunger. They are predators wanting more than is good. They see it as a sign of success, and they greatly value success and the money that goes with it. They say they work hard and deserve it. They have earned it. To them, other values do not matter. They are the elite, and the world is here to serve them, please them in any way they desire, and as much as they desire. They have no respect for sacred ways as you do. This tree is simply wood for them, and it takes many trees to make one great house.”

“Yes, Jag would be right at home with these people,” Yinney concluded. “You can’t have community with someone who wants to eat you, and there are many forms of being eaten. We will create a fellowship, Lu-Lu, and among other things, when the man comes we will show him a fellowship based on soul.”

“It can start with just two. I would like to start one based on the writings of the Hebrews, who speak of a Golden Rule, a great Creator, and his Son. Would you like to help me start this? I will teach you from the ancient texts why the Creator gave us life, how we are meant to live it, and where he plans to take us from here.”

“Oh yes!” she agreed. “That sounds so exciting! And where do we start?”

“We start by lighting up your soul with the light of God’s words. You will learn that flesh and blood are temporary, but soul goes on forever. Flesh is but a vessel for soul. When we live in soul our desires change, because we know this place really doesn’t matter. Things really don’t matter. Only God and people matter. And…one more thing…where all of this is going…not where it is today…but where it is going.”

“Okaaaay,” Lu-Lu slowly said. “I think you lost me back where you said a fellowship can start with two. Can you say all that one more time?”

Yinney smiled and said, “I would be happy to.”

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“Yinney” – Chapter 7

images (1) It had been a long seven day journey, and now that he had found his 7th Day Tree he just wanted to rest and enjoy. In other words, not move! But as he laid back admiring the great tree his spirit had led him to, his mind and soul were rejoicing. Yinney’s inner world was highly active.

Sloths fool people. They look at a sloth and say, “Nothing much going on there. Hello? Anybody home?” Then they laugh and move on.

“Let them move on,” Yinney thought. “Maybe someday they will learn to appreciate the beauty of slow, when they are no longer young and foolish. Now that I have my tree, I can begin writing my book: ‘The Teachings of Yinney’, with a subtitle of : ‘The Beauty of Slow’.”

Yinney’s contemplation continued, “It’s not about slowing down simply for the sake of going slow, but it’s about the ‘glow’ of slow, and the ‘flow’. I will write of these things, and my 7th Day Tree becomes my classroom, my place of rest, my place of faith.”

The sacred tree was not called the “7th Day Tree” only because it was the place a sloth pooed every seven days. Sloth’s were avid readers of ancient texts. When a sloth is not moving, they may be reading. They have very tiny books hard to be seen by someone on the ground. His father had left books for Yinney, and among them was the great Jewish books of the Hebrews. These books were revered by all three-toed sloths because they spoke of living in a state of rest. If there was one thing sloths understood, it was rest.

In the Old Covenant, the Creator had instructed for the 7th day to be kept holy and be a day of rest. However, it is plainly written as the Christ completed the Old Covenant, that day of rest was expanded into a lifestyle! Not just on the 7th Day, but by faith live in the 7th Day all week long, even as Yinney would live in his 7th Day Tree!

He slowly reached for a leaf as he continued, “Most people don’t understand how you can be at rest and still get anything done, but rest is a state of peace, a state of faith, a state of flow, spiritual and supernatural, empowered by the All-Creator. It is contentment while still reaching,” his claws finally reached the leaf.

“So many people are asleep, but have no rest,” he continued. “But he who walks in spirit knows a rest that is fully awake. ‘Desire’ is a hard taskmaster. Better to be content and flowing forward like a lazy river, rather than caught in rapids. The beauty of slow is to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. You could say the journey is the destination. Does anyone ever fully arrive? And if one does, what happens then? Boredom?”

And so Yinney was enjoying the fruit of his journey as he laid back in his 7th Day Tree. It would be another seven days before he needed to poo again, meanwhile he was safe in his tree. The sounds of the Amazon echoed all around. The exotic birds, the occasional roar of a large cat, the screams of monkeys, he enjoyed it all, for the Amazon was full of life!

While Yinney rested way to the south, Jerry was fit to be tied in North America. He still had a large order of wood to deliver in two days. Tomorrow was Sunday and certain “church-goers” in his employ did not like working seven days a week. Not only that, but there was talk of inviting a Union Rep to organize all the mills around the state, and push to join the Union. If that happened, not only would overtime be “time and a half”, but Sundays would be “double-time”!

Jerry thought he knew who were the main two stirring everyone up about the benefits of the Union. He was still the boss here. There must be a way to stop this, he thought. No Union was coming into his mill if he could help it.

A small picture on his desk momentarily catches his eyes, causing him to pause. There was Dorothy and his two kids. He reminded himself he was doing all this for them. He smiled as he thought of Dorothy getting in shape. She was all excited last night as she told him about joining the spa, how it got her out of the house, the great bargain it was, and it was good for her. Yes, she seemed happy. Jerry was glad, this distraction kept her off his back. She had been doing a lot of complaining about how much he was gone. He would gladly pay the spa bill if it kept her busy.

Suddenly pain hit his stomach and began crawling up his throat. “Yuk!” Pulling his desk drawer open he reached for the bottle of antacids. “I gotta stop drinking so much coffee,” he concluded, as he swallowed several pills. He had been saying that for a year, but so far drank just as much, maybe even more.

Yinney spent his day slowly exploring his new home. It was big enough to provide protection, with many limbs too small for a Jaguar to climb upon. But it was also a humble tree. It will grow with the nutrients of Yinney’s special poo. It was perfect, and tomorrow he would find the best limb dropping into the lagoon. Holding his breath for as long as forty minutes, he wanted to try underwater meditation. This had been part of his master plan all along.  He continued thinking about the dire implications Lu-Lu had spoke of also. Yes, if this was true, then there would be much need for three-toed sloths of the old ways. They would find his tree, and he would give them hope, as only his people could.

What could he see from the highest limb, he wondered. Looking upward he liked the idea of it, but decided to save his energy. It had already been a lot this day. Tomorrow the lagoon, and maybe a climb to the top the next day. After all, there was no rush. Yinney was in complete peace as he enjoyed his many pleasures.

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“I’ve Seen Enough”

20171202_173614  All I can say is, I fully understand why so many people are leaving what has become the church “System” in groves and flocking to small home groups. A lot of true Believers are leaving the modern church in order to save their faith.

They are tired of the repetitious Sunday services that have grown so old. Tired of Pastors who do not really know their flock. Tired of being told they must “tithe” when our N.T. Covenant does not teach that. Tired of falling through so many cracks in the system because it lacks personal relationship. Tired of a Gospel that preaches to be family but fails to deliver. Tired of services more about super talent and entertainment than real Christianity. Tired of complexity from a religion claiming simplicity. This to name but a few reasons.

Can God be found there? Yes he can, and for many this is the “gathering together” we practice in faith. Can we grow there? Yes we can, but is it the same growth the Apostles cultivated in the early church?

Notice I started all this by specifying “true Believers”, because all those looking for a place of high entertainment and low commitment are perfectly happy with such a place. I almost felt guilty when I left my last church, but I held my judgement because I suspected my answers were hidden in the days of the early church fathers. I would seek out that information before judging the spirit in my gut that kept driving me out.

So I downloaded 5,000 pages of church library and also began much research on the Internet, other books, any source I could find, even the study of all those early Rome “Popes” who were not really “Popes”, but the title was back-dated to them whether they wanted it or not, including the Apostle Peter! Personally, I think Peter already had a much better title.

Because of recently retiring, I have been able to do a tremendous amount of study in a short time. Its been three months of much digging and questioning. A week or so ago I knew I had finally seen enough, and my path was plain. Our Christian Passover meal was very much a success, and a meeting with a handful of people this last Sunday, in the food court of a mall, has also led to an outreach we are about to begin involving gardens. There seems to be no end to this path God is showing us. It is full of life and possibilities!

I take it very seriously where our N.T. instructs us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Therefore, I have made an effort to reach out in fellowship in various ways from the beginning, and it has been happening, and with good results I might add. Something living is slowly developing in a very organic way. I fully expect it to produce living cells that multiply into other living cells, rather than a bigger and bigger building. A building so large that people begin falling through cracks, or hiding in the crowd.

After my studies of the early church, a few scriptures have become particularly precious to me. Before my studies, every time I read these verses I somehow thought I was reading about some kind of an early church Commune, and I couldn’t see any way it could fit today’s reality. But now, somehow, those verses no longer seem to be complicated, but have melted into the simplest of structures, and clearest of instructions for what Church is supposed to be.

Maybe it was the King James Version that made it sound so complicated. I do not know why it did, actually. I read it now and am amazed at the simplicity. And it was not a Commune. It could not have been. The early church did not even have any large buildings for such a thing, and it says they were breaking bread in their homes. Whose homes? Theirs! And once you see this, you begin to realize what you really have is a very simple set of instructions almost in list form!

Of course I’m speaking of Acts 2: 42-47. And you can read it for yourself, but I’m going to put it down in “list form” so you see what I’m referring to. I’m partial to the NLT Version, but most any version basically shows the same thing. Here is the list in the order given. Perhaps even the “order” is a clue to the “priority” of each item?

1.) Devoted to the Apostle’s teachings. (Which for us, is our N.T. Bible, and any early writings that are in harmony with the Apostles. In other words, study your Bible, know what it says, and live accordingly!)

2.) Fellowship! (Number 2 on list! #2 on the list! And also #3 and #7!)

3.) Share meals, including the Lord’s Supper! (Sounds like more fellowship to me. And I do believe the Lord’s Supper was actually a meal! Sounds like a lot more time spent at tables rather than temples!)

4.) Prayer! (Item number 4! Does this sound too hard or complicated to you? If Jesus said his house would be known as a house of prayer, look at the items that have been listed before prayer! Bible and fellowship!)

5.) They shared everything they had. They sold property and possessions to help those in need. (Okay, I admit this is one of the areas that originally scared me away. But we got to look at the whole picture. They are still meeting in homes, and these homes must belong to people in the body of Believers. Also, in chapter 5, Ananias and Sapphira lie to the Apostles, saying they had sold everything and given everything, when in truth they had kept some back. Peter tells them they are not in trouble for keeping some back. It is theirs to do as they wish, but they dropped dead because they lied about it. The more I look at the Book of Acts, I don’t see a Commune, but a people looking out for each other like family, and isn’t that what Jesus told us to do? Have you considered if you belong to a large church, you have a certain responsibility towards all those you are fellowshipping with? Be careful who you fellowship with. Not so to avoid giving, but people not truly saved could take advantage. Be harmless as sheep, and wise as serpents! And where would be the need for a teaching on tithing where all things are common?)

6.) They worshiped together at the temple, before getting kicked out. (After the first few years, the Jews denied them use of their temples.)

7.) Met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals. (Notice this is basically instructed TWICE!!! Not only are these things mentioned before prayer, but listed twice! How important is that?)

8.) They did all this in great joy and generosity while praising God and enjoying goodwill of all the people.

9.) And each day >the Lord< added to their >fellowship< those who were being saved. (Jesus himself will add to a group living this way. Sure, I need to live in such a way to shine the love of God, but I can’t save anybody, therefore, I just need to learn to live God’s love and the rest will happen.) (But think closely as to what is God’s love?)

So…I look at this list and I wonder why I thought it was too difficult before, and did not apply to today? Why did I think it had to be some kind of a Commune? Or the selling of every item I owned and a sure path to poverty?

So with new eyes I now turn to the modern church and I ask, are we practicing the family relationship the Apostles instructed? Well… we have “something”. And something is better than nothing. But a lot of people are now realizing the human heart hungers for something more, and only true and meaningful relationships fill that void. Not only relationship to “Our Father” in heaven, but also my family in Christ. Jesus said two things fulfilled all the law. Love upward and love outward!

People like to ask, “What would Jesus do?” But in this case maybe we should be asking, “What DID Jesus do?” Does your church look like what Jesus did? Did he constantly ask for money, or seek a fancy house, or large paycheck? Were his people materialistic, or their affections set on heaven? It seemed to me the materialistic did not last long with our Lord. Ever notice that?

My personal choice has become continuing this path of fellowship I am on, and that might also include a more traditional church setting eventually, but only if they have managed to capture a certain family feel to what they call church, a certain Acts 2: 42-47 way of doing things.

So Acts 2:42-47, some scriptures that use to confuse me, has now become one of my favorite verses and words for guidance. In our next article we will share another set that has become so very important in my walk with Christ, with my new understanding.

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