Journey to Micro Church – #4

harney-peak-jpeg There were a few things driving me from our modern Church system. One: The complex and business like nature it had become. I was looking for the simplicity of Christ, not complexity. Jesus was simple and deep, not complex and shallow, and so should his Church be. But most Churches today are completely “program” oriented, rather than the simplicity of flowing in the Holy Spirit.

Two: Along with the business like system, came a constant need for money. Somehow pastors were no longer living by faith and love offerings, as the early church did, but built mansions, ate expensive meals, drove luxury cars, fine clothes, had 401k, retirement funds, investments, and all while preaching about the one who taught us to be nonmaterialistic and help others. These big Churches were money hungry machines teaching a different Jesus than the Apostle Paul taught! (II Cor. 11:3-6)

Third: Jesus shifted us away from stone cold temples to the family warmth of tables in homes. He sat and ate with sinners. He got thrown out of temples. He showed us a Church “family”, not a congregation. But Rome and Constantine took us back into those cold temples, not Jesus, or the Apostles, or the early Church fathers of the first 300 years!

I could make quite a list of reasons, actually. The stage platforms, all the shish, boom, bah, and hype. Manipulation. Etc, etc. But so much of it seems to come back to the ego and pride of man, and a love for money, though they deny all this.

Black Elk experienced this first-hand in his day. Let me continue a couple of his quotes, and it will be very obvious what I’m referring to.

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Black Elk > “But if the vision was true and mighty, as I know, it is true and mighty yet; for such things are of the spirit, and it is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost.” (Black Elk Speaks – Chapter One).

(Black Elk Speaks – Chapter Seven) > “Afterward I learned that it was Pahuska (General Custer) who had led his soldiers into the Black Hills that summer to see what he could find. He had no right to be in there, because all that country was ours. Also the Wasichus (basically referring to the white man) had made a treaty with Red Cloud (1868) which said it would be ours as long as the grass should grow and water flow. Later I learned too that Pahuska had found there much of the yellow metal that makes the Wasichus crazy; and that is what made the bad trouble, just as it did before, when the hundred were rubbed out.”

It is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost. I love the way he says that. And the yellow metal that makes the white man crazy! Indeed, indeed. Some things never change, but it ought not be so in the family of God!

The love of money. Ego and money are such temptations for man. I spoke to a lady the other day, who has struggled all her life to keep bills paid, while her Pastor is currently building himself a mansion; complete with vaulted ceilings, spiral staircase, a lake right out the patio doors, I mean really really nice. I asked her what she thought of this? She shrugged her shoulders and said, “Oh well.”

The old story of the King who thought he was wearing fine clothes, but was actually walking around naked, but no one would say anything, because of whatever reasons they may have had, until a young boy asked too loudly, “Why is the King walking around naked?” And the crowd was shocked!

These are a few of the reasons I left and simply went to God’s word in my Bible and began seeking simple truth. It’s there! And early Church fathers verify it all in early records written, and so much more! The fork of the road leading to the Dark Ages is there! And we are repeating much of history today, but for some reason, few there be who are willing to point out the naked king and offer real solutions.

This was all part of my early journey as I sought God in the Black Hills. That book came home with me, from South Dakota to Indiana. I was amazed at the greed, the love of money, the needless slaughter of the bison, the Indian’s food! For the love of money! And I see that same ugliness in our modern religious system! And we shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh well?” I can no longer do that.

I hadn’t been home long when God led me to download 5,000 pages of early Church history and begin my studies. How enlightening it was. Men like Polycarp, disciple of the Apostle John. And events that were taking place at that time. Decisions being made. The path to the Dark Ages, but not till 300 AD!

So how did we stray from a Church that turned the world upside down, to a Church acting like the Roman Empire?! Hhmmm. Well…you can bet pride, power, and money had a lot to do with it. Few there be who was pointing out the naked king, and those who were, were not of the popular opinion, but time certainly proved them right. Those who had wisdom, those who spoke the obvious truth, those who were right, were ignored and pushed aside, their voices silenced!

But today…the Internet…easy access to information, books, historical records… podcasting… the truth is getting out there… knowledge is spreading… some are asking about the naked kings… a revival is building, but not in the big Church buildings. This modern system is too much like a copy of the world. It has become a millstone around our neck showing the world a different Jesus. Not the one who walked Jerusalem in the day, and died on a bloody cross, without a place to even be buried.

Yes, much of what an old Indian before my time had to say, speaks to me. God surprised me with that. Black Elk speaks, and so does God! Of the seven Churches of Revelation, are we Smyrna or Laodicea? The answer seems obvious to me, but not to those still applauding naked kings. It’s time to awaken, light your lamps, and see if your light is true, or dies? When was the last time you got away from all the rat race and shish-boom-bah, and went out somewhere “simple”, alone with God, and heard his “whispers”? This is where my journey to Micro Church began, though at the time, I had no idea.

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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.

 

 

“Yinney” Chapter 35

tmg-article_tall It had been a while since Yinney had entered the lagoon in which he had the vision. But on this day after morning prayers and his morning song, that is exactly what he found himself doing. He couldn’t help but wonder what might happen this time?

Visions were not a normal thing in his life, but he had never meditated underwater before either. Would it happen again? Stroke by stroke he steadily swam through the water towards the sunken tree.

Since that day he had adjusted his life in the direction of the vision, calling for a “Kingdom of God Community of Unity”. The best way he knew to do this was by keeping an emphasis on “Fellowship”. And, as it had become common place for him to say: “You can’t have fellowship with someone that wants to eat you.” True fellowship is a good test for true Christianity, or not! It tends to eliminate the false and fake in a very natural way.

“Predators”… he pondered as he swam. Being a predator was not the way of Christ. Predators don’t like for you to see them coming. So they disguise themself, try to blend in, make you think they are your friend, one of you, family, but they are out to get something from you, to eat you. Hhmmm. You can’t have fellowship with someone who wants to eat you.

Yinney thought about II Peter 2:3… “In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money.”

Of course, as a sloth, Yinney didn’t have money, but the kingdom of man did, and the name of Christ was slandered every day by false prophets manipulating vulnerable people to get their money, causing the heathens to hate the church and slander God’s name. Even many good churches had fallen prey to much greed and become predatorial in practice.

Under the New Covenant of Christ, the only time a tithe is ever mentioned is related to Pharisees still under the law. Two examples can be found in the Gospels, but what Christian wants to be known as a Pharisee? And yet somehow we still hang on to that one law, and it just happens to relate to money? Uh-huh. Predators come in many shapes and forms. We must be careful, lest we become one ourself, and do not even know, Yinney warned himself.

Actually, we surrender everything to God now, not just ten percent, his thoughts continued. And the freedom in the Spirit leads us to give as God directs. God is not a program. God is like an eagle soaring, not a sparrow flap flap flapping. And with that thought Yinney took a deep breath and began his decent to the rotting tree on the lagoon floor, where he would latch hold, as if suspended between two dimensions, begin slowing his heart rate, and meditate. A sloth can stay underwater for as long as forty minutes.

Yinney was no longer thinking about predators as he drifted in place, suspended. Thoughts of the fellowship at his 7th Day Tree filled his heart with joy. Lu-Lu, Me-Me, and Jo-Jo, had done a fine job of coming up the the name of “Fellowship of the 7th Day”, for much of what Yinney taught was about entering into God’s REST, as described in Hebrews, and other places, such as Jesus describing his yoke. Which he explained as “good”, and “light weight”, not heavy. Yinney pondered what those words meant, and the fact Jesus chose them. “Why those two words? What was Jesus emphasising?” he pondered.

He was so lost in deep thought about all the implications of those two words that he did not see a shadowy form propelling through the jade green hue around him. It passed him by once, then again, and finally a third time ever closer! Finally it bumped its nose right into him!

Yinney found himself suddenly staring wide-eyed into the wide-eyes of another creature, nose to nose! It so startled him that he belched a bunch of air from his lungs into the face of the creature! At which point, both Yinney and creature began stroking towards the surface! Yinney needed air, and the creature? He did not know. He only knew it was after him!

Breaking the surface he gulped some air as he searched the waters. Where did it go? He did not know until a voice popped up behind him, “Are you a sloth?” the creature asked and kept talking, “I heard sloths could go underwater, but I never saw it before! I thought you got stuck to that tree and was dead! I was so hoping you were not dead. I did not want to find a dead sloth stuck to a rotting tree, know what I mean?”

Yinney tried to turn quickly, but of course it was slowly, and discovered the creature was a box turtle! What a relief, he thought.

“So how do you do that?” the turtle continued. “My kind practically live in the water. We’re in it every day. But you guys, not so much. I’ve always hoped I would see this one day, and now I have! Yaa! I’m Tornado, by the way. Glad to meet you!”

Yinney was amazed at the speed of this turtle, because turtles are very slow creatures, even as he, but this one was in hyper-speed as far as turtles go. “Tornado?” he finally repeated, not sure he heard that right. What kind of name is that? Especially for a turtle? And a female turtle at that. His questioned to himself.

“Yes! That’s right. It’s sort of a nickname. They call me Tornado Turtle because I’m not very organized. They say I cause a lot of chaos and probably will die young.”

“Oh, that’s sad. My name is Yinney, and I live in that tree at the end of this lagoon. Glad to meet you, Tornado. Please visit me sometime, if you like.”

“Oh, that would be nice, to visit someone. I’m a treasure hunter, you know.”

“No, I didn’t know.”

“Oh yes. You’d be surprised how much stuff I got in this house of mine. Sometimes things fall out. I’m trying to add on, you know. Expand the shell so I have room for more stuff. You got any idea how to do that?”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t.”

“Yeah, that’s what everyone says. But I know there has got to be a way.”

“I can ask around,” Yinney said, “We have a Fellowship at the tree. Maybe Lu-LU, Me-Me, or Jo-Jo have heard of something. They get around a lot more than I do.”

“A Fellowship?” Tornado asked.”

“Yes. We call it ‘Fellowship of the 7th Day’. Let’s swim over to the bank under my tree, and I will tell you all about it.”

“Well… I would… but what about all my stuff?”

“I don’t understand,” Yinney said.

“I unloaded some stuff before I entered the water. I hid it real good. If I go in the water with all the stuff, I sink like a rock!” she said and began laughing so hard. “Tell you what, I’ll try to stop by in a few days and you can explain to me this ‘Fellowship’ thing. Can I fit one in my shell?”

“Well…I believe you could, Tornado. I believe you could.”

And with that they said good-bye for now and see you soon. As Yinney slowly swam back to his tree, he considered now how both times in the lagoon had produced unexpected events. And yes, Tornado Turtle certainly was an event, even a force of nature. But what a heavy load she put on herself with all that stuff.

Soak

 

 

 

 

“Lot” Part II

20180728_145905 So… II Peter 2:7 declares that Lot was a righteous man in spite of his soul being tormented every day by what he saw and heard as he lived just outside of Sodom, and as he was involved with that predator city full of predator people. What drew Lot to live in such an area? Was it the money?

I’ve pondered so many times why his wife was turned into a pillar of salt, of all things? I thought salt was a good thing, symbolically speaking. Are we not called to be the salt of the earth? And so when his wife looks back at Sodom being judged, which she was strictly told not to do, why did she turn into a pillar of salt? Why not pig dung, or catch fire or something? What is the Bible trying to tell us?

“But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” (Gen. 19:26)

I welcome any theories on this, but the best I’ve come up with is that salt was also a form of money in those days. It had value. In desert areas where you sweat a lot, it could be used to pay for other things. Also where the phrase, “Are you worth your salt?” came from.

So she just can’t help herself. In spite of the warning, she looks back at everything she is losing. All her earthly stuff. And whamo! She turned into a statue depicting a form of money. Jesus warns us also; when speaking of the last days, judgement, and possibly rapture, he tells us to “Remember Lot’s wife!” (Luke 17:32)

As an American, how hard is it going to be for me not to look back at my earthly goods with some kind of longing? I think that was the real problem with her looking back. She was too attached to her material things. Are my affections set on things above?

In the account of Lot’s rescue by the two angels, which is in detail in Genesis 19, the word angel is used 7 times! That’s kind of a lot. Angels were heavily involved in the rescue of Lot, his wife, and two daughters. Those angels were likely there because of the interceding of Lot’s Uncle Abraham. I want to look closer at angel involvement in the last days in Part 3, but for this article, I want to consider something else. I want to examine where the angels told Lot and his family to flee. They told them to escape to the mountains! But Lot said that was too hard. They would die there. And he begged for another place.

Gen. 19:17> “When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, ‘Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

(VRS 18) “Oh my Lord!”

Lot begins begging to be allowed to go to a small town called Zoar. He cries that they will die in the mountains, and the angel grants his request. But what does the mountains represent? A separation to our Lord, the high places, spirit life, the eagle, all the good things of God, the very life we are supposed to desire as the born-again, but Lot dreaded the thought of it! And the angels suffered his pleading. They allowed him to settle. But what ended up happening? We find out in verse 30.

After everything that happened, something began happening in Lot. Another fear began to invade him. After seeing such destruction and judgement, then it says he began to fear the people in Zoar! And he ends up going to the mountains after all! And some bad things happened there too, but… a new fear overcame Lot’s fear of the mountains. He was terrified of them before. He begged not to go there. But ended up going of his own free will, because of the evil he now saw in other people. Hhmmm.

We should not fear the high places of living in Christ, separating ourself to the love of God. We have nothing to fear in those high places, and everything to be gained.

“Afterward Lot left Zoar because he was afraid of the people there, and he went to live in a cave in the mountains with his two daughters.”

Obviously Lot had some issues after what he had been through, but it was his own selfish heart that caused him to take the bountiful looking land while he left his uncle with the desert. Then he decides to mingle with Sodom, and for what? Money? Was it worth it? I think not. But how careful are we not to be doing the same thing? Could we end up with a destroyed family and so full of fear we run to a cave? Don’t be too quick to say that will never happen to me.

Why should we learn from Lot? I suspect we each have our own Sodom we’re contending with? Are we living too close? If so, why? What is the motivation? Are we calling on the angels God has made available to us? More on that in Part 3, but for now, we would do well to take heed of the words of our Lord. A very simple 3 word recommendation, or is it a command? “Remember Lot’s wife.” 3 simple words.

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After Part 3 of “Lot”, the story of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo” will continue.

 

“Yinney” – Chapter 16

Bradypus “In this Fellowship we celebrate the beauty and wisdom of slow, because we are all about gardens, not jungles,” Yinney explained. “Our Lord loves a pleasant garden. There is peace in a garden, not strife, not worldly ways. The world is a jungle. We do not copy the world. We are a refuge from that rat race. Peace be unto you, our Lord loved to say.”

It was another day of teaching and he was explaining to the three macaws, Lu-Lu, Me-Me, and Jo-Jo, that he was about to go out on three day trips to spread the word of his 7th Day Tree. “However,” he explained, “this will be done very slowly. Fast growth is not what we seek. Weeds love fast. Weeds love speed. Weeds will overcome a garden very quickly and choke it out. People make the mistake of seeking fast growth. They see it as a sign of success, but how can you develop leaders for small groups that quickly? Leaders you know well enough to set in a position of leadership? How can you get to know your people very well so quickly? There is no depth! Depth requires time. True relationships require time.”

“Every garden needs constant weeding. There will be those we send away with an invitation to come back if they decide they want to share ‘fellowship’. It’s all about communion, fellowship, family, community. If someone cannot fellowship without causing contention, then they have not found the right garden for them. They might not even be looking for a garden. The jungle may be in them. The predator may be in them. We are not of the predator ways. Satan is the predator; our Lord a Shepherd and Gardner. Satan thought he could over throw and steal what God has slow grown, His Kingdom. But he found out different, because God is not only a Shepherd and Gardner, but also the ONE TRUE GOD.”

“The scriptures say, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go unto the House of the Lord. Church for many has simply become more stress added to an already stressful life. It’s another “Do List”, with all kinds of programs you’re expected to fulfill if you are a good Christian. But what we need is true fellowship with family. We need to ‘feel at home’. A safe place we can find opportunity to share our deepest feelings and thoughts. A place to be excited about our walk with God. A place to relax and enjoy. There must be true communion, or Church is failing to be Church, because Church is failing to be family… God’s family.”

“In a world rushing faster and faster every day, in this Fellowship, we choose to promote the beauty of slow, a way of peace, the growing of an inner garden in you.” And with that, Yinney smiled and opened the floor for conversation.

Jo-Jo was the first, “Your words are like cool water in a parched earth. You do not know what it is like to be a bird. You have always been a sloth. But ‘slow’ does not come easy for me. We birds have fast metabolisms. We eat constantly and burn food quickly. Our hearts race. Our movements are sudden and quick. But your words help me find balance. Your words quinch a thirst in my soul. I know there is a proper speed for me in which I too can walk as one with my Lord, in a garden, not this jungle we are surrounded by.”

“Here, here!” Lu-Lu and Me-Me both agreed with everything Jo-Jo said. Time was forgotten as the small group relaxed in the 7th Day Tree, shared some drinks and snacks, and talked about the goodness of God well into the afternoon. Anyone could come and go as they pleased. Me-Me was first to leave saying she had a family thing. But the fellowship continued no matter where they were. One in Spirit, one in God.

Lurking down below, Jag stared at the small group above. Of course, the macaws meant little to him, but he wondered when that sloth moved in? And when he would poo? His belly gnawed while he watched from a dark spot. Making note of the sloth and his tree, hunger finally moved him on. Something was going to die today, because his desire would be satisfied no matter what.

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“Yinney” – Chapter 14

maxresdefault How quickly the steady flow of the River Time adds up. It does not rush, and yet days soon become weeks and weeks become months, then they are years, and then you are old and looking back, asking yourself if you have done anything worth remembering? If you have been intentional in your living, and if you have pursued wisdom, then it is likely you have left a path for others to follow. Only the foolish know the sting of death, the regrets of a wasted life.

Yinney’s first week in his 7th Day Tree had passed. On the 7th day he made a dangerous trip to the ground to do his poo. His poo would fertilize his sacred tree. His tree would be as a pebble dropped in a pool of water, with ripples going forth to affect all those around him. His trip to poo had gone safely, and that was yesterday and now it was today.

Lu-Lu had returned for more teaching and Yinney was happy to do so. He was almost always available. He could teach at any time no matter what he was doing. If he was doing something, then that something became a part of the sharing and the teaching. But today he was free to simply teach, and Lu-Lu had brought her long-time friend, Me-Me!

Me-Me was another Macaw of the same type as Lu-Lu. But Me-Me was more laid-back, quiet, and reserved than her friend. They say opposites attract. Perhaps they counter balance. The Yin and Yang. Even as the Apostles Peter and John seemed to counter balance each other.

So after spending a little time getting to know Me-Me, Yinney had easily flowed into the beginning of his teaching, his favorite subject, the Beauty of Slow.

“When I speak of the ‘slow flow’,” he began, “I’m speaking of a soul at peace, at rest, content and fulfilled at the same time. This soul is still reaching for the next thing, and open for whatever may come, very adaptable, able to flow like water, a master soul who has learned to enjoy right where he is in his journey, while still filled with the vision of a destination. He has arrived while still arriving, and he has reached while still reaching.”

Lu-Lu looked at Me-Me and asked, “Do you have any idea what he is talking about?”

“Oh yes,” Me-Me acknowledged, “but I’ve never heard it described this way. It paints a beautiful picture in my heart.”

Lu-Lu stared at Me-Me as she said, “I knew you two would be perfect for each other. I’m taking notes, and maybe you can help me understand later? I wrote down that I should arrive without arriving. Sort of like I’m here but I’m not really here. So where am I? Does that sound right?”

Yinney sat smiling as usual, but Me-Me burst out in laughter. “I love you, Lu-Lu. We are best of friends, and you always find a way to make me laugh. We will enjoy some hot nectar from the flowers and discuss the beauty of what Yinney is saying.”

Yinney continued, “The peaceful river enjoys the journey. It is not ate up with desire for the destination, even though it is still progressing towards that worthy goal. A river with rapids is a dangerous place. Rapids are full of rocks ready to break your vessel and send you uncontrollably down stream, and fighting to keep your head above water. But the master soul, one who is trained in the ways of Spirit and faith, lives the peaceful way.”

“Those whom we would call of a predator nature struggle to find contentment. This is because they do not understand how it is possessed. Predators only know to hunt, to chase, to pursue, to pounce, to attack, overcome, defeat, make it their own by conquering. But such methods only push contentment farther away. It is not captured. It can never be captured. It can only be slowly embraced. The beauty of slow. Contentment is attained by way of the peaceful slow embrace, not a hungry hunt, chase, and pounce. This is why the predator ways will never be a part of this Fellowship, and we must learn to truly love life, and do no harm.”

Yinney watched the two friends finishing up their notes, and then he noticed Me-Me seemed to be pondering something. Finally she slowly raised the tip of her rich blue wing asking to speak.

“Go ahead, Me-Me,” Yinney said.

“Well, I was just thinking, and could we come up with a name for this Fellowship? I think it would be great fun to have a name that befits our purpose,” then she lowered her wing and waited Yinney’s answer.

“I would love that,” he said. “You two work on it and let me know what you come up with.”

Not much later Lu-Lu and Me-Me flew away with great excitement over their new project of coming up with a Fellowship name, and Yinney took a nap.

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“Yinney” – Chapter 10

sloth_blog Yinney was happy. He had his 7th Day Tree. He had the lagoon to swim in. He had the Presence of God, and now he also had a vision. His life had purpose, meaning, and passion, and yet he had very little in the way of material things. His was a way of simplicity. One of Yinney’s teachings began with a question, “What is the ‘least’ stuff that makes you the ‘most’ happy?”

The question was deeper than most realized, or took the time to realize. Creatures of simplicity are aware of the law of diminishing return. It’s not more and more that makes us more happy. The focusing of a life upon their own special purpose is the happiness we seek. Therefore, we need our basic comforts met, and we need meaningful ‘fellowship’, but beyond that we mostly need to find our ourself, and who we were designed by God to be.

Yinney knew his gifting and found peace in that. He was a teacher of spiritual truths. He loved reading the ancient writings, especially of the Hebrews. His specialty was the understanding of both the old and new covenant, and why God’s relationship with man had to come by such an odd way. He knew many mysteries of the universe, but still had many more to search, and he loved it. Peace he had, and peace he taught.

Most people are living a fictional character the world has slowly shaped them into, but they have not found themself. Happiness continually eludes them and they do not know why. They have become a predator chasing more and more stuff, always hungry, always on the hunt for that next thing. They do not realize they are living as a character playing a part on a stage, but not the true self, in essence, they are fiction.

Yinney had his tree; this was his simple home. The tree provided food, shelter, and a certain amount of comfort. He was content in this simplicity. He also had a very rich inner world, because in his wisdom he focused more on soul than flesh. He loved his Creator, which brought relationship and fellowship. This had recently surprised him with a great vision while he was meditating at the bottom of the lagoon. The vision consisted of creating a place of communion, teaching, refuge, and there would be a man.

What was the message this man would carry back to his own land? And who was the man? How would he end up deep in the Amazon? How does he find his way to Yinney’s tree? Is he a traveler that simply gets lost? Surely there is more to it than that. And the vision said he had three years to prepare. But prepare what? A special place for the man to see? A particular teaching the man will need? Perhaps both? He did not know. He would follow his heart. He would follow the beauty of slow and it would unfold slowly, like a blossoming flower day by day.

People do not intend to become a fictional character. It happens very innocently. They have become fiction. They are not real. They may play the part well, but they do not know themself. God does not know them either, for they are far from his design in them, and so they do not know themself, they are but an actor playing a part on a stage, but who are they?

From the time of a child we have teachers. How else can we learn? And we love and admire many of our teachers, such as our parents, and we have a desire to please those ones we love. We desire the approval of those we respect. However, in our desire to please them, we may forget to ask, “Who has God designed me to be? What is my own spiritual DNA, for we are all a unique individual upon this earth.”

So before we are old enough to understand, we have slowly evolved into a character who pleases those we are influenced by, and this includes all the pressures of this world, which come at us from every direction. And in all this we forget to seek the one who absolutely knows us best…GOD.

Yinney was a sloth, and he knew it. He had no desire to be anything other than what God had gifted him to be. He lived in his personal design from God. As he pondered all these things, guess who flew in? “Lu-Lu!” he shouted. “I found my sacred tree! Welcome to my home!” And then, in a much more serious tone he added, “Boy do I have some things to tell you.”