“Staying Warm”

20190130_142026 Yes it is verrry cold in Indianapolis Indiana! It’s windchill of minus 14 and on way to windchill of minus 30-40! Yikes! But the wife and I are snuggled up and enjoying the great indoors.

For some odd reason she surprised me with a stuffed animal of a sloth! Now she has always liked turtles, and I gave her the nick name of Turtle Faith Lady. So when I sat down the other night and found a sloth staring at me, I got her stuffed animal and put her right where she belongs, in my arms! Especially with as cold as it is.

Okay, she likes the story of Yinney the Sloth so far, and wanted to surprise me. I do really like it, because I am so enjoying this unfolding story of Yinney and his 7th Day Tree. I usually never have a well developed plot. I like a very general and flexible idea, because I never know where the character and their story are going to take me. I like to let a story lead me where it wants to go, so most of the time I get a lot of surprises along the way too. I like it that way.

We are 10 chapters into the story now, and Yinney has his sacred tree and a dire warning about Predator Cities. (Terminology I picked up in a movie, but it fits so well.) He also had a vision of a man coming from another land whom he will speak to. How can this be? And what does he have to say to such a man? And what danger are these cities to Yinney, who lives so far away, deep in the jungles of the Amazon?

All these are good questions I’m looking forward to learning the answers to. So… hope you all are staying warm wherever you may be. We had a couple thousand power outages around here. Our place was spared. Most of those people are back up and running, thank goodness, but we still have one more night of this, so all you people in those warm southern states, please keep us all in your prayers, and we will be back up to a nice toasty 16 degrees before you know it! Ya!

If you have not read the developing story of Yinney, I hope you check it out. Many more chapters coming soon. Have you had your Yinney today? 

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“Yinney” – Chapter 8

images (3) Yinney had slept long and deep through the night, but as the sun rose, so did his “Sacred Sloth Morning Song”.

Rising morning sun, I greet you. Singing morning birds, I thank you. Gentle cooling breeze, I welcome you. Great and mighty tree, I hang from you.

Predators may lurk jungle below…

And so his morning worship could be heard for the first time in this area of jungle, and beside this lagoon. Yinney was preparing for a special meditation this day. It had been a thing in his mind for a long time. Sloths are prone to meditate. It is part of their God-given nature. But he understood that worship and prayer were not the same as meditation.

Sometimes prayer can be very meditative, but prayer and worship are still directed towards the Great Creator, the All-Father, whereas meditation is not necessarily so. Sloths are very deep thinkers. To go within oneself and pursue a thought, and perhaps many before finishing, as one thought may lead to another. This was his way, and Lu-Lu had given him much to think about.

Had Yinney been a person instead of a sloth, people would have told him, “Yinney, you think too much. Don’t take life so seriously. Just have fun! Party till you’re done!”

But Yinney did take life seriously, very seriously. Life was a great and precious treasure, not to be wasted, or aborted. People would have said he was born with an old soul, and perhaps so, he had been this way from very young. But in the animal kingdom, it was expected for a sloth to be of an old soul nature.

In the animal kingdom there were a few other creatures that Yinney considered to be spiritual teachers. The slow moving turtle, who traveled light as he carried his home on his back, and lived very simple. The eagle, who lived in high places and understood the ways of the wind, to soar more and flap less. The spider who with great patience wove an invisible web of faith and waited for the wind to carry to her everything she needed. The deer, who could leap with such a grace, and disappear, become invisible. The owl who who who who could see in the dark and fly with such silence. These five, and of the ocean creatures he did not know.

All morning he had been motionless in his sacred tree as he watched animals coming and going to the lagoon. This was a watering hole. He saw no fear from the animals towards the water itself. No sign of piranhas, large snakes, things of that nature which might be living in the water.

A sloth has a max speed of 15 feet per minute in a tree, and 9 feet on ground, but in water they can travel 44 feet per minute! They are strong swimmers with those long front arms. But even more impressive, they can slow their body metabolism to one-third of normal and hold their breath underwater for as long as forty minutes! If a sloth can be motionless in a tree, they can be just as much so sitting on the bottom of a lake. Yenny wanted to meditate while sitting motionless at the bottom of this lagoon. It had been a thing in his mind for a long time, almost as if the water called to him. Might this be a special body of water next to his sacred 7th Day Tree? Might it be magical?

Yinney had made up his mind. It was a risk he had to take. Several hours had passed as he prayed and studied the water. He would do this thing. The best limb to enter he had already picked out. It took an hour of slow sloth ninja moving, but he finally had himself hanging just above the reflecting pool. He saw himself hanging there. His moving had been so slow, perhaps not another critter around had even noticed this fur-ball making his way towards the water.

His eyes stared deep into the lagoon, the water so clear he could easily see into it. Little fish swam about, but he saw nothing of danger… and in he slid.

He needed to go deeper. The Amazon was very hot and the cool water refreshing. His long arms beginning their steady slow stroke. He loved the water and now he lived right next to it. How had he been so blessed?

On his first trip he did not want to go any farther than necessary. He would need something to cling to at the bottom. Spotting a large tree sunk to the lagoon floor, he decided this would be the place. It was time to focus. It was time to float, catch his breath, slow his heart rate, take a deep breath, and then… Yinney went under.

<This continuing story of “Yinney the Sloth” is the property of Don Allen, alias: Grandpa White Feather.)

 

“Yinney – Notice”

three-toed-sloth Just a quick notice for my night people who may have missed chapter 3 coming out this morning. If you’re following “Yinney the Sloth who needs to Poo”, don’t miss chapter 3! The story is really starting to take shape. In chapter 3 Yinney sings the “Sloth Sacred Morning Song”, and a bird called Lu-Lu shows up with a dire warning!

“Yinney” Chapter 3

Note to the reader: I know it’s not normal to write a story, as like a book, on a blog site. It’s a bit awkward to land on chapter 3 and need to scroll down to chapter one if you want to get the whole story, but for some odd reason I’m doing it anyway. This story actually starts with an article I wrote on 1/19/19 titled: “Do No Harm”. I highly recommend going to the trouble of scrolling if you want to get the full impact of this very simple story of “Yinney the Sloth who needs to Poo”. This story is quickly growing and there will be much for you to Enjoy.

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Chapter Three

Another day was just beginning as Yinney sang his sacred morning song. It was a cheerful little medley that bounced about like a fluttering butterfly. Only a sloth of the sacred ways could sing it properly, but you can try if you like. The words flowed out of his heart with great respect and gratitude, which was how his father had taught it to him. It was one of the few things he remembered of his father.

Rising morning sun, I greet you. Singing morning birds, I thank you. Gentle cooling breeze, I welcome you. Great and mighty tree, I hang from you.

Predators may lurk the jungle below, but our ways are higher in the trees, our ways are touched with cooling breeze, our ways are invisible in the leaves, our ways are blessed with peaceful flow, our ways are blessed with S-O-U-L.

(Repeat as much as the Spirit moves you.)

It is hard to explain how a sloth sang that last word, “SOUL”. Perhaps only a sloth can do it. But it was beautiful, and the word hung in the air for a spell, as if supernaturally empowered. It hung in the air much like Yinney himself hung from his limb as he sang. Perhaps that is part of the magic of the song? If you climb into a tree and hang from a limb like a sloth, looking at the world around you upside down, and sing this “Sloth Sacred Morning Song”, perhaps you will get the proper sound of that last word, too. It’s worth a try, don’t you think?

Suddenly, Yinney’s morning was interrupted by the sound of a brightly colored bird. Her feathers were the bluest blue!

“Oh that was lovely!” the bird said. “It has been so long since I’ve heard that song sang by a sloth of the sacred ways. Hi! My name is Lu-Lu!”

Yinney was not sure what kind of bird Lu-Lu was? She had the rich colors of an Amazon bird, but mostly males wore the bright colors. Lu-Lu was somewhat different in that respect. Her blue was so rich in it’s radiance! But all that aside, he appreciated the compliment and said, “Good morning, my name is Yinney.”

And so the morning of his third day started in this very way, with only four days left to find his sacred tree, his 7th Day Tree. But there was no hurry, for Yinney knew that even this might be the Spirit ordering his steps to finding just the right tree. The Spirit worked in mysterious ways, weaving a path easily disturbed by selfishness, rudeness, failure to recognize and appreciate simple blessings, such as a chance encounter with a bird like Lu-Lu. In some ways Spirit life was like walking on water, not dirt.

“So where is your sacred tree?” Lu-Lu asked. “Is this it?” Obviously she was “knowing” in the ways of his people.

“No. This is not the one. I am on my journey to find my 7th Day Tree. This is day three. I have four days left.”

“Ohhhh,” Lu-Lu said. “Well, I would tell you you better hurry up, but I know that is not your way. Yours is a way of faith, a way of peace, rest, and trust. A way of contentment which is very much in danger these days.”

“Yes,” Yinney agreed and added, “You’re talking about Jag the neighborhood bully, right?”

Lu-Lu was silent for a long moment before answering very carefully, “True… Jag is a great danger around here. I have seen him rip more than one poor peace-loving creature to shreds!”

Yinney winced at the thought as Lu-Lu so bluntly described the event. “Be very careful where and when you poo, Yinney,” she warned.

“But Jag is perhaps not the worst of it,” she continued. “At least he is not a threat to the jungle itself.”

Yinney blinked slowly three times. When a sloth is in deep thought, sometimes they blink a lot. This remark triggered three blinks before asking, “What do you mean, Lu-Lu?”

“Oh, I forgot, you don’t get around much, do you,” then she chuckled.

“Well, my soul travels much,” Yinney corrected, “the search for my sacred tree fills me. It will become my center. My world will revolve around the 7th Day Tree, and I will bless it with my poo. I eat poisonous leaves no one else can, and the nutrients of my simple ways gives a tree strength no other tree will have without a sloth of the old ways choosing it. And the things I need knowledge of, somehow finds its way to me, perhaps through such a messenger as you.”

“Spoken like a true sloth of the old ways!” Lu-Lu blurted out brightly. “I like you Yinney. My wings have taken me many places, and let me enlighten you as to the greatest threat of all! Have you ever heard of ‘Predator Cities’?”

(This story of Yinney began on 1/20/19 and belongs to Don Allen, alias: Grandpa White Feather.)

“Yinney the Sloth”

I have been inspired to try something. Grandpa White Feather is the “Story Teller” in this family, and I have a story I want to try. So for the next few articles they will be small chapters of a character I’m introducing: “Yinney the Sloth”.  We will see if people want the story to continue, or not. The story will also be an analogy for messages of deep meaning for our modern times. I hope you enjoy. I think I could really enjoy developing a whole world around this character. Here we go. (Oh! To fully appreciate what this story shall be, you might want to read the article just previous to this one, “Do No Harm”.)

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“Yinney the Sloth”

Chapter One

Yinney was born in the jungles of South America, the Amazon Rain Forest, during a very hot summer. All summers were hot in the Amazon, but as a sloth, he never gave it much thought. Today was just another day of hanging out high in trees while a slight breeze caused the motion of the swaying limb.

He enjoyed the swinging little branch, the gentle movement relaxing and soothing. In this way Yinney could move without moving, and sloths loved that. To move without moving. Such was the life of a sloth. He felt in motion and yet he was wasting no energy.

Everything moves slow for a sloth, very slow. His people were masters at the beauty of slow, a treasure under appreciated by most other peoples. Sloths considered the wasting of energy very rude. “How rude,” they would say, and all would do a slow nod in agreement. One nod would be enough. Two nods a waste.

But today Yinney was on the hunt! Now for a sloth to hunt, the prey must be very slow indeed. As a mater of fact, it is better if the prey cannot move at all. This was true of his hunt today for he was in search of a tree! A very special tree, and they cannot run away.

As vegetarians, sloths really never hunt in the way predators do. Yinney ate leaves. Delicious green leaves. He never had to kill anything! But down below, in the jungle, lived many predators who would love to eat him if they could. It was very dangerous on the ground, his mother had instructed, and this was one reason the tree would be very special, and he would bless the tree with his very own fertilization once it was found.

Yinney’s mother’s name was Minney, and his father was Dinney, but he mostly remembered his mother. She taught him everything a sloth needed to know and now shared her territory with him as he headed out to live his own life in the trees. His mother told him, “Yinney, you must find your special tree within seven days, because you know what happens every seven days!”

“Yes, mother,” he had answered. Yinney knew in seven days he would need to poo. That is a polite way of saying he would need to go to the bathroom. Yinney the sloth would need to poo! And that meant going to the ground, the most dangerous place in the world for a sloth! He knew his time to find a special tree would pass quickly, but he would never hurry or rush, for the beauty of slow was the sacred way of his people.

Minney had warned her son that their territory was the hunting ground of one of the worst bullies around, a jaguar named Jag! And Jag considered a sloth pooing to be easy prey, and indeed they were. She taught her son the bathroom was the most dangerous place, because Jag, and others, were always looking for easy prey. They lived hungry all the time. You could see it in their eyes, never satisfied, always looking for something to kill!

But sloths were peace loving, respected the sacred, and had no weapons to fight. Even those long claws they had were simply to hook tree limbs and hang all day long high in a tree, invisible to the world below. Their claws were for peace, not fighting. There claws were for living in the high places, the refuge of great trees forming a green canopy, a world of its own throughout the Amazon jungle.

“Jag is very strong and fast. He is a great hunter. He has sharp claws and teeth. If he ever finds you, he is a killing machine!” his mother warned.

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(As of 1/20/19 this story of Yinney belongs to Don Allen, alias: Grandpa White Feather.)

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.

The Formula

2711 Eventually the truth comes out. Sometimes it may seem to come out too late, but when it does, the “fakers” are revealed, the liars are shamed, and the faithful are grateful they hung on to TRUTH!

If you’re familiar with the show “Singing in the Rain”, you know a very untalented lady was getting away with fooling everyone until… until… until silent movies were no longer silent! At that point her lack of true talent became more and more difficult to hide, and the person who should have been getting the credit, eventually became a true star. Until then, the “faker” was stealing from her! She grew more and more bold in her shameful pride, taking advantage of an honest and good hearted person, and seeming to feel no guilt about it. I wonder how often this happens? I don’t know, but I know it happens too much.

Sad to say, politics seems to be the devil’s playground for this very thing. But I don’t write about politics, unless it’s the government of the Kingdom of God, and today I want to begin getting into my personal formula for finding God Balance and staying God Centered. You see, the truth eventually comes out, and all those Churches who have twisted what Jesus was about, won’t be able to hide it for long. More is being revealed every day.

So we must look at WDJD. (What Jesus actually did.) The example he gave us. When I did this, I came up with a few things I have put into my own personal formula for spiritual balance, and perhaps it can help you too? You might even have something to add. Please feel free to share.

So…my formula goes something like this:

God Task + Inner Circle + Prayer + Simplicity = Balance and Flow… i.e. True Surrender. (The Fight of “No Fight”).

Please note, this may look like a “do list” of “7” things, but it’s really only “4”.

God Task + Inner Circle + Prayer + Simplicity =.

Remember, we’re talking about how to find and maintain a God pleasing “Balance”. Tonight we take a quick look at the first item in the formula, your “God Task”. Do you even know what it is? Can you hear the voice of God to know your personal task? Do you care? Consider how if you know what your personal “Task / Vision” is, how that begins to bring focus and order to your life, if you do it correctly! If you simply add it to an already overly busy list of events and chores, it can bring more chaos and stress!

There are several things to consider here. First of all, can you hear that voice? If we were talking face to face, would you be able to tell me the personal “priority” God has been laying on your heart? And I don’t mean something like I need to pray more. This is about your “function” in the body of Christ. This is about the “thumb” being about doing the work of the thumb. If you say “pray more”, then that means you are called to be a Prayer Warrior and should have a prayer ministry. We’re talking this is your ministry from God. It is the ministry of the thumb to be the thumb, and it’s not the same as what the neck does. The body of Christ has an assignment. Are we performing our “specific” part?

When I was considering how I find balance in my own life, and comparing it to Jesus, I know I’m very much a “vision” sort of guy. Give me the big picture, Lord, and let me go for it! Let it set me on fire and consume me! Let it force everything else in my life to orbit around it, not the other way around. I want everything to orbit around my “God Task”, not try to fit my God Task into an already over crowded agenda. And I see the same in what Jesus DID. He knew his God-given task, and it centered Him.

I’d like to spend a little time on this first element of the Formula. I’d like to share a few things about the “Teepee” in my life. In the meantime, think about what your personal God Task is? That one thing that stands out above everything else. If you’re honest with yourself, do you know what it is? If so, does your life orbit around your assignment from God? If you don’t know what it is…why not? Too busy? A sure sign of an out-of-balance life. Why continue in shallowness and complexity when you can have simplicity and depth? A good first step in the right direction is honestly asking God…“Lord, is there something special you want me to do?” Is there a VISION I am failing?

If done correctly, your God Task will bring peace, joy, serenity, and satisfaction to your daily living. It will give you a fire-burning reason to get out of bed every day, even when you don’t feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it. So says Grandpa White Feather. More soon. Hope you enjoy.

Peace we have; and peace we teach.

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