Journey to Micro-Church – #1

Black_elkHoF It’s strange how my story of Church would go back to this guy, Black Elk. I mentioned in my last article how “once upon a time” I left the modern Church system in spiritual frustration at the complexity of it all and took a nine day vacation to the Black Hills to pray and listen for the leading of God. I needed clarity and direction. I needed some answers from God.

I did not know what to expect on that trip, as to how God would give me those answers. But now, what I received there, has led to a vision I began pursuing then, and still pursue today. That vision has become development of a Micro-Church, this Blog site, a prayer garden and free laundry mat from my home, a spiritual retreat in the country, and now the challenge of developing a Podcast to share our Fellowship.

In this continued journey, many words of a native Indian I never knew, or knew of, until those nine days, has become more and more meaningful to me. Today I would like to share this quote from him, from a book called: “Black Elk Speaks”. It is a “partial” quote because I want to focus on a certain “point” of his statement, and I wonder how many of you might feel the same way he did, in the words he spoke. I know I do.

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“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 to weak to use it;…” Partial quote from 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;…” Black Elk

We may slowly share the rest of his words eventually, for they are so rich, and fit our spiritual drama of this modern day. When I left the religious system to go searching, I knew nothing of Micro-Churches, but my soul was very hungry for something, and as I sought God for answers, I began following those answers one step at a time. Soon we developed a small Fellowship around what we began to see as obvious in God’s Word, and early Church history. Then further down the road I began hearing of Micro-Churches and discovered that was basically what we had already become, without even knowing!

How God led me to the book containing the words of this man is interesting, and as I look back on it, it happened just the way I have learned to be aware of God’s voice. Our nine day trip to South Dakota only had time for so many things, as it is in this mortal world. I had a rough idea of places I wanted to go, as we had vacationed there once before, like twenty years before. I wanted to revisit some places, and explore some new. But one place that was special to me did not fit the schedule, no matter how I tried to work it.

It is called “Harney Peak”. The highest point in South Dakota. A beautiful trail climbing into the mountain leads to that peak. I went there twenty years ago and wanted to do so again, but there was no time if my wife and I were going to reach a point farther west we had picked out. I can’t even remember the name of it now.

We never reached that westward point, because we revisited “Crazy Horse Monument”, only planning on spending a couple hours, but got so caught up there that we both did not want to leave! We spent several hours there, and a town close to it. We both realized we were sacrificing our plan, but we also realized God had a plan and that was the real reason we were there! God was speaking!

So as it were we gained an extra day in the Black Hills and I suddenly realized I could use that day to go alone, up that lonely path, to the highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains. It’s elevation is 7,244 feet. But the weird thing was, every time I tried to find information on the path leading to the peak, I kept finding something called “Black Elk Trail”. This is not what it had been called twenty years ago. As a matter of fact, I learned the name had been changed just before I got there! And who was Black Elk? Why did God have this trail name changed just before I would arrive seeking answers? My brain began whirling with possibilities. And I knew early the next day, I was headed to hike that trail and relive a climb I made twenty years before, but what would that path speak to me now? And continues to speak more and more loudly each day?

I want to do justice to who Black Elk was, and also my experience that day, and where it leads me today. So we will continue our story next episode. To be continued.

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II Samuel 21:22 – 22:4

20170429_143623These four were born to the giant in Gath, (Goliath), and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants. And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul: And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies.”

I did not know it that day, but I have come to realize an important part of God’s message through me is the misguided effects of what I call King Theology. What are the odds that a very special marker fell between the pages of scripture speaking of God as my rock, my fortress, my high tower, while we were in such a high place surrounded by rock fortresses?

How my eyes fell on the last verse of chapter 21, and the beginning verses of 22, I cannot explain other than God. They were not highlighted or marked in anyway, but my eyes went straight to those verses when I opened the page. But those verses mean so much more than a high and rocky fortress to me, especially relating to what I had just come out of.

These verses specifically said David was delivered out of the hand of all his enemies “AND” the hand of Saul…”KING” Saul. David did not consider King Saul his enemy, even though Saul was trying to kill him. David’s heart broke over the death of King Saul and his son, Jonathon. Jonathon was David’s closest and most cherished friend. And yet the scripture is specific to both list David’s enemies and also King Saul. God had delivered him out of two very different kinds of threats.

As a spiritual warrior, and not just someone who sits on the side bench of the battleground, we all now what it is like to have enemies of all sorts. Our enemy will use whatever means to stop the will of God in us. It can be finances, health, people, lies, demons, and circumstances of all sorts; but for David, King Saul and his son, Jonathon, was a very complicated issue. Now God seemed to be speaking these scriptures to me, on this second day of our quest, in the high place of Bear Butte. What did it mean?

I believe God was saying no enemy would be able to stand before me as I undertook the coming vision, the development of a school in the wilderness. God would be my rock fortress and my high tower of refuge. Of course this is very good news! But it was the other part that had me in such amazement and deep contemplation. How did God know? How did he manage to speak so specifically to my “weakness” in scriptures written thousands of years ago, and then guide me to land on them with my eyes in this moment?

Not to go into too many details, but, my best friend of over forty years had been one of the main reasons I ended up at the church where I lost my name. I had always thought we were meant to have a ministry together, and I had been very slow to give up that idea, because we were more than ordinary friends. We were comrades.

Looking back from this high place I could see how this church, and perhaps my friend too, had a King Theology, of which I could not fit into or agree with. This path was doomed from the beginning, and there I was trying to make it work. Now I could see God was listing this as part of what I was delivered out of. How could he find such a list…describing my current physical environment and location…two very specific false paths that had been revealed…and land me on those scriptures at this very moment and place in time? Wowwww.

My first warning light at this church was when I first started going there. Through my friend I had a quick connection to important people, including the Pastor. The Pastor became interested in a teaching I had put together about emphasizing our Priesthood over Kingship. He asked permission to preach it and I agreed. I felt honored, and for the next three weeks he was doing an excellent job of preaching it, until the congregation began complaining and attendance dropping. Many there felt they could not identify with the priesthood aspect of our birth in Christ, unless it included King Theology.

On the fourth week the Pastor made a switch and preached the King-side of the equation, as falsely translated in the King James version of the Bible. Details of this teaching can be found under my menu button: “VISION”. A red light went off in my spirit that very day, but it was still too early to say for sure, so I continued forward with the best of hopes. As I did, I ran into more and more church “political correctness”, which we would call church government.

David was delivered out of “heathen” ungodly enemies. He was also delivered out of the hands of his government, as in King Saul, and he was separated from his good friend, when Jonathon died. At least three specific things God delivered him out of, and I had just come through a season of all three of those things, which had brought me to such a spiritual state of which I had lost all vision, and my sense of who I was. All I had left was the sacred fire still burning in my belly, and so I had taken my vacation time and decided I would seek God, to find my purpose again. A new vision, for I had surely wrecked the previous one.

I could look back and see exactly where that other vision died. I could see where I switched to a different path, began to ride a different horse, in order to obey the leading of the Pastor, or the “House Vision”, they might say.

My heart was sad when I looked back. It still gets sad when I look back even today. But the new vision is actually similar, only in a different location. We are establishing a “House of H.O.P.E.”, a House of Prayer Everyday.

The specificity of these scriptures, and the card that guided me to them, (The Eagle Huntress), still amazes me to this day. If I had any doubt God was speaking, those doubts could not stand against the overwhelming odds of these things ever happening. I had been through a lot. I was at a place of doubting myself in every way. I can only believe God knew I needed some strong evidence I was still hearing Him.

There is a language that is personal between you and God. He knows what different things mean to “you”. He can use those things to get your attention if you seek him. He can confirm things in ways no one else can know.

I tied a prayer cloth to a tree for my wife and I that day, a bright red bandana. It blows in the winds of South Dakota, high on Bear Butte at this very moment.

Turtle Faith Lady barely managed to get down from the high places before dark. I was actually worried if we were going to make it. We were the last to leave there, and a huge male Bison crossed our path as we were leaving, a symbol of power, strength, endurance, and abundance. God was speaking, and I was doing my best to listen and properly interpret. Knowledge is not enlightenment. Truth is enlightenment.

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Our bandana flies from that little tree you see at the point. Yes, that one by itself, way out there.

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