Journey to Micro Church – #3

 

I try not to question how God speaks to me, whether it seems logical or makes sense in my carnal mind. I have only learned to know His voice, like a bellwether sheep; and as long as it does not conflict with God’s written word, then I have peace and go forward in faith, like a little child. I don’t try to figure it out. I look for what is God speaking? And that is how I ended up in South Dakota at a time few tourist go.

They had had a big snow just before we got there, and yet we had wonderful weather the whole time, and I had Harney Peak and Black Elk Trail all to myself, because I followed that voice. Now…as I hiked up that path…God was speaking to me of some native Indian? Named Black Elk? And how would this Black Elk have anything to do with me in my day, and my search for answers? I did not know.

I have shared only a very little so far, of the words Black Elk spoke that have confirmed so much to me, about the nature of man, and the darkness in his eyes. His words confessing he felt as a man who had been given a great vision too big for him; those words glued to my heart from the first time I read them. And I ask the question, have YOU ever felt that way about anything? Can you identify with the words of a wise man native Indian who lived before your time?

The fact God led me to this very mountain and this very path leading to a peak this native Indian once stood upon and had a great vision, and I knew nothing of any of this. I had heard of Crazy Horse and Bear Butte. I had been there too, but I knew nothing of all this until I began reading the book after I came down out of Harney Peak and Black Elk Wilderness, and happened to find one copy of his book at an old bookstore. This is how my journey to Micro Church began. How strange. How unpredictable. And now that I have made this point, I’d like to share a little more of the vision Black Elk had, because somehow I identify with that too. And I think most Christian will. How very strange.

I will follow this quote with a small parable of Jesus. See if you see any similarities?

Black Elk > “But now that I can see it all as from a lonely hilltop, I know it was the story of a mighty vision given to a man too weak to use it; of a holy tree that should have flourished in a people’s heart with flowers and singing birds, and now it is withered; and of a people’s dream that died in bloody snow.”

JESUS CHRIST > “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plantsit grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”  (Matt. 13: 31-32)

Again, I feel the pain personally, in Black Elk’s words, because I have spent 60 years involved in this modern Church system, only to feel it has devolved into some money hungry machine, mass producing warped disciples, of which I am one. But having found a new tree flourishing! A tree resembling what Christ first spoke and did, I have found such a refreshing in my spirit man as I have never experienced before!

Scripture confirms God always has a true remnant! His Kingdom of Heaven tree has never ceased to flourish or provide rest and refreshing in its branches! So even though I know Black Elks pain on the one hand, I find myself rejoicing every day with the treasure found in the field! I did not die in the wilderness! Before my eyes did close in mortal death, God has blessed me so, and I could want no more! Here’s a poem I’ve been working on >

“Death’s Door”

When my work is done, and my body spent, I will pass through one of many doors. There is but one I seek. The door of peace.

So many doors of regret, fear, and failure; but not this one.

Not the many doors of a wasted life and misspent time, but that one path of pure devotion. And tho my heart does anticipate, yet not before my time; God’s will, not mine.

Jesus told his mother, “It is not my time.” Yet to his Father he prayed, “Thy will, not mine.”

Even today if it be so, or much longer if God should choose, we seek this one door. The one labeled: Well done, good and faithful servant. This door I pray to see. This door I seek.

Filled with Holy Spirit and God-ambition, self melts away. He determines my day and the tasks thereof. An Enoch people. Steps ordered of the Lord. A life that soars. A fallen leaf flowing downstream.

Light and Day. God’s first creation to us, and they are one. Children of the Day! By way of Christ, not Moses! By way of Sarah, not Hagar! 

Not a Covenant of laws cut in the dark! But a bright Covenant of Light! One was born in darkness… but the other in a rising Son!

Perfect love cast out all fear.

The life of regret is the fear of death. The lost die badly. They die in fear, disappointment, defeat, disillusionment, struggle, anger, and darkness. With many questions and few answers.

But children of the day burst the cocoon with visions of transformation! It is not an ending for them, but a greater beginning!

Of this they have no doubt!

<<<>>>

The poem is still a work in progress, but getting close. Unbelievers will laugh at the faith of Believers. But at home in the dark, they do not laugh.

There is more to be said of Black Elk, and the journey we have made to new visions of understanding. More to come, next episode. Thanks for reading. If you like what you read, if it has blessed you in any way, or made you slow down and think, if you would hit the “like” button, it is very encouraging and appreciated. Thanks.

Harney Peak in Black Elk Wilderness will always be a special place to me. Picture yourself there and perhaps you might catch a glimpse of what I mean.

 

 

“Yinneysnippets” of great Teachers

three-toed-sloth

These quotes can be read in 90 seconds or less, but pondered for a lifetime.

Quote> “To see God in the midst of the ordinary! Then the sordid becomes the sacred, then penury need not snuff out poetry, then every bush is aflame with God and all life has meaning.”

Author: E. Stanley Jones Book: “The Christ of the Mount”. Chapter: “IV” Copyright 1931.

“Yinneysnippets” of great Teachers.

three-toed-sloth These quotes can be read in 90 seconds or less, but pondered for a lifetime.

(Study to show thyself approved.)

Quote> “Possessions delude the human heart into believing that they provide security and a worry-free existence, but in truth they are the very cause of worry. For the heart that is fixed on possessions, they come with a suffocating burden of worry. Worries lead to treasure, and treasure leads back to worry.”

“Worry is always directed toward tomorrow. In the strictest sense, however, possessions are intended only for today. It is precisely the securing of tomorrow that makes me so insecure today. ‘Today’s trouble is enough for today.’ (Matt. 6:34b)”

Written by: Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Book: “I Want to Live these Days with You” (A devotional.) Chapter: January 5th. Lived from: February 4, 1906 to April 9, 1945. Hung by order of Hitler.

“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.

Sloth-Hanging-Out_300x300

 

“Yinney” – Chapter 17

images (3) Turns out it was a good thing Jag moved on because Yinney was feeling the urge. The urge to poo was very predictable as far as it happening every seven days, like clockwork. But what time of day, that was not predictable.

Soon after the macaws left, the urge began. Slowly down the tree he made his way to perform his 7th Day duty, fertilizing his sacred tree. As he surveyed the jungle below, he saw no sign of danger. However, most predators were very good at remaining invisible. The need to poo was the most dangerous thing he did, and it happened every seven days.

Yinney did not even know Jag had been there just one hour ago. A sloth never indicated if he was in the need to poo, for if he did, a predator on the ground would simply wait for his easy meal to come down out of the tree. So he always acted as if he were simply slowly moving about, but of course, once his moving grew closer to the ground, this would cause any predator to hang around.

Yinney started moving outward and upward. This was meant to fool a waiting predator. As a matter of fact, by the time he would finally reach the ground, probably about two hours would pass. Yinney could hold it! And this was the way of survival for a sloth. Never get in a hurry about anything.

Jag was not thinking about the sloth anymore. He had moved on and the gnawing in his belly almost hurt, he was so hungry! He had urges of his own, the never ending hunger. It was a relentless cycle of feast and famine. He would endure the pain until he made his kill, then he would feast.

He eyed a fat monkey on the ground ahead. It was plump enough, but was it slow enough? Was it distracted enough by whatever it was fiddling with? Silently he worked his way through the shadows, making use of every dark spot he could camouflage into. He was the grim reaper of the jungle.

If he took too long the monkey would move. They are known for moving a lot. Jag eyed the prey, drool formed in his mouth and began dripping. He could taste the thing. Had it not been a fat monkey, he would have passed on by, but this one had some meat to offer.

Suddenly leaping out of the last dark spot he could find, he made his move! The monkey screamed in terror, also warning all those around. If he could only gain another two seconds the fat monkey would be his! But no… not this time. His claws slashing through the air came up empty, and now the fat monkey was screaming at him from the trees. Mocking him as he slinked away. “Next time monkey,” he snarled. “Just get a little fatter and slower. I’ll have you, and when I do, I’ll rip you to shreds, and have my feast at your expense.”

The hunger continued driving him. He would not rest until he fed. Another hour of hunting crept by. Finally the jungle offered a real prize, a capybara!

Jag froze the moment he spotted the capybara, but had he been seen? The very large rodent had been eating grass as usual, but suddenly stopped, lifted his head and began testing the winds. Had the creature sensed him?

img_cuidados_de_una_capibara_20185_600

The Amazon had the largest rodent in the world, the capybara. They could get up to one-hundred and fifty pounds, but this one was more like one-hundred. Jag always preferred the kill of a vegetarian to a carnivore. Carnivores fight back, but the vegetarians are a safe bet. Plenty to eat and little danger. More than he would eat on this one. But that didn’t matter. He would feast! He would satisfy his hunger.

“Yes,” Jag silently bragged, “why fight another predator when you can slaughter a peace-loving vegetarian?” he laughed to himself, thinking himself so wise.

Finally the beast went back grazing. Now Jag could begin to do what he did best. He had a serious contender here. The game was on.

capybara3

When Jag finally made his move there was little doubt of his success. His final leap came squarely down upon the back of the beast and his fangs instantly sank deep into the spine, on back of the neck. There was a snapping sound. The capybara helplessly paralyzed, and Jag began ripping, shredding, feasting, and gloating! At last the craving would go away for a little while, and he would feel good. He would be satisfied, until the craving began again, and so would the hunt.

Yinney finished pooing. He peacefully scratched some dirt over the poo and thanked the Creator for his 7th Day Tree. Now he could head out tomorrow on the first of his three day voyages. Three days outward, and three days traveling back, allowing plenty of time to poo here again in seven days. But as for the rest of today? Yinney looked at his lagoon and decided a swim would be nice. Slowly he traveled the few feet and entered in.

Once again Jag had proven his ability to thrive. He did not care others would eat what he left. He had his fill. Now was time to sleep and enjoy his satisfaction for as long as it could last. So with a final declaration of conquest, he gave his jaguar cry before disappearing one more time into the shadows.

angry-jaguar

And so it was another day in the jungle. The killers feasted on any they could catch. Whether it be a sloth pooing, a monkey playing, a capybara grazing, it did not matter. If the victim was foolish enough to be caught in a moment of weakness, they would pay the price. And is it any different in the land of man? You’re caught in a moment of vulnerability. Your car breaks down. Your health fails. You lose your job. How many predators are just waiting for you to come down out of your tree to fix your need?

Some very successful people pride themself on how smart they have been to set themself up as the hunter, the predator, not the prey. Fortunately, there are good people out there, if you can find them, or fix it yourself. Or somehow do without. Who needs those very expensive meds anyway? No one lives forever, right? God sets on his throne seeing all. The predators will know one day, that nothing goes unrecorded, or unrewarded, whether good or bad.

Yinney saw the tree below and began diving deep to his favorite spot, where he would hold his breath forty minutes, suspended as if between two dimensions.

>The continuing story of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo” is the property of Don Allen and “Fellowship of the White Path”.<