“Yinney” Chapter 36

sloth_blog “They tell me that all dogs were once wolves,” Yinney began, and all fell silent. “One day a wolf decided he would give up his wild selfishness and would be meek and serve. He became a dog.”

Yinney looked around at the small group gathered at his 7th Day Tree. The macaws were doing a wonderful job of spreading the word about the Fellowship. Not only were the three macaws here, but also some howler monkeys from the rubber trees! Bubba the Buddhist had sent them to listen and learn, and then return to him and share, so he could consider and compare.

Another wonderful surprise was Cappy the capybarra! He was visiting for the first time and sat patiently on the ground looking up and listening. Yinney had moved lower in the tree for the sake of Cappy, and looked forward to talking more with him after the meeting.

It had been a couple days, but so far Tornado Turtle had not come around. Probably distracted by some glittering treasure somewhere, but he still hoped he would see her soon.

“We all know the loyalty of a good dog,” Yinney continued, ” and yet they use to live as wolves! Predators! What a picture of transformation, and making a different choice, not to live as a predator, but learn companionship, love, and devotion. The wild wolves are being slowly but surely exterminated. While the devoted and faithful dog is more and more inheriting the earth. Yes, we are teaching on the Beatitudes, and the Sermon on the Mount.”

“Our Creator came in the form of a man to fulfill what we could not, and teach us that it is not the predators who will inherit the earth, but the meek. Now in these parts, in our beautiful Amazon jungle, we know of Jag the jaguar, and how we must always be watching lest we be taken unaware. And many other predators of this jungle, meat-eaters, carnivores, who live after the hungers of their flesh, and think nothing of hurting others to satisfy their own desires. But our Creator has promised they will not inherit the earth, but are fit for destruction themselves. Their own predator ways will come back on them, reaping what they have sown.”

“All are welcome to this tree and in this fellowship as long as they continue in exactly that, fellowship. What a wonderful thing it is to have a community of unity. But this wonderful thing will only happen if we stay in a proper spirit, and for this we teach three foundational truths: The Lord’s Supper, The Lord’s Prayer, and The Lord’s Sermon. The Beatitudes as found in Matthew chapter 5 is the starting point of the Lord’s Sermon. It is the starting point, but the whole sermon revolves around what the Lord spoke in verse 48, when he said: ‘But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.’ “

“Does the thought of perfection scare you? A mark so high? A standard so impossible? Yes, impossible for us, but not God. So do not be afraid, just know that God from the beginning said he was taking us to perfection, that is our promised land. This is no new thing, and we have all eternity in Christ to reach it. The ability to fellowship without eating each other is part of our training in the perfecting. The early church knew this, and the early church fathers taught and practiced it,” he concluded with a smile, and then began the discussions. Church was just getting started.

Frank now understood he would no longer be a New York City cop. The damage to his spinal cord gave him about a fifty-fifty chance of being confined to a wheelchair. No one knew if he would walk again, but therapy was beginning soon. He was now officially retired from the force, and feeling lost. “What now?” he questioned. He really hoped he would at least walk again.

He had only been conscious a couple days. His partner, Sam, promised to help him anyway he could. Sam was a great guy. Their friendship would continue.

His sons were there for him too, and Rachel and her daughter, Clara. As a matter of fact, he thought he noticed his youngest son, Tommy, and Clara having a lot of private conversations over the past two days. What was that about, he wondered? But Tommy would be leaving soon to go back to his job, working on that road in the Amazon.

More than anything, he wondered about Rachel. Their relationship had began while he was strong, healthy, and still a cop. Would she want to marry a cripple? A man most likely too damaged to even carry her across the threshold? If he had any chance with her before, which he still did not know, did he have even less chance now? Was she constantly visiting him out of sympathy, and would eventually slowly fade out of his life as soon as she was sure he was going to be okay?

All these questions and more rolled around in his mind as he lay in the hospital bed with so many hours to ponder every little fear and negative thought. The view out his window was an ugly concrete wall only an alley away, with clouds and drizzle decorating. A new life lay ahead. The details and potential of that life he did not know. It certainly still had lots of possibilities, especially if Rachel was part of it. He hoped she was, even more than he hoped he walked again, and he really wanted to walk. Fight hard he would. Both to walk, and win Rachel’s love.

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“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

 

 

 

 

“Yinneythought” for the day.

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I came across this photo of myself the other day, and it blew my mind. It was stuck away in a bunch of other photos as so often happens. I’m 63 now, and I was around 29 at this time and doing 4 years in the Army. I’m not sure if I was in Georgia or Maryland for this picture. I think it was Maryland.

When I saw it, I couldn’t help but be struck by the similarity of the sloth picture I have been using, and the picture of myself! Figure the odds! How in the world? And something like 34 years ago?

Jesus spoke in parables that the Pharisees hated and would have refused to read. The spiritual meaning of his stories went right over the head of others, but then there were also those who loved them. The simple story of a sloth named Yinney in the Amazon jungle is much the same way. The God we love is a gardener, but many people live lives of the jungle instead of letting God do his work. Our God also is peace-loving, but many live lives of being a predator. I love the unique perspective on God and what it means to be a Christian this story offers.

I am amazed at the simplicity and spiritual depth found in a story of a sloth. I hope we’re not to busy to take the time to slow down and hear God in a simple story. If I was ever so sure of anything I have written, Yinney has stolen my heart. The beauty of slow is not appreciated in our modern times, but God says gardens are slow grow, and weeds love speed. Think about it.

Chapter One of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo” starts on January 20, 2019. Simply go to archives and find January to begin your forward journey with Yinney.

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“Yinney” – Chapter 20

sla-industries Rachel had just witnessed a murder. She was in no physical danger herself, but her mind kept repeating the execution style actions so heartlessly carried out. “How can people do that?” she almost yelled into the phone without realizing.

Unfortunately, Frank was still tied up at the precinct, but the call was immediately put forth and Officers were on the way. “You got at least two squad cars that will be there in less than two minutes, Rachel. They’re on the way. Are you sure you’re in no danger?

“Yes, I’m too far away. They couldn’t see me, but I watched the execution like black shadows performing on a high stage. It was awful, Frank. I can’t get it out of my head. How do you deal with such things on a daily basis?”

Rachel didn’t even realize the light drizzle had returned and she was shivering from head to toe. It was a chilly nasty night in every way, and now her mind would be scarred forever with what she had seen. She considered going to the scene where the man’s body had fallen. It couldn’t be far away. She actually heard the body slam the concrete; or did her mind play tricks?

“I would like to say you get use to it,” Frank answered, “but you really don’t. I do it for people like you, Rachel. Most of us are what I call ‘human’, we have a conscience and a set of morals. We just want to live and let live. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But there are other people who are nothing but animals. They live like animals and die the same way. These people take the theory of Evolution to the extreme. Somebody has to be that hedge of protection from the animals in our world. I’m part of that hedge.”

Now she understood. No matter how much she thought she understood before, she did not. Now she felt the difference in her very soul. Thank God for people like Frank, she thought. “Do I need to go there and be a witness?”

“No. Don’t even go there. I’ll add your name to the list and someone will probably meet with you. Just to be sure if you have anything important to add, but from the sound of it, you don’t. Unless there is some hard evidence turned up at the scene, most likely these guys have disappeared into the night. They might be living right next to you, Rachel. You can never be too careful. Make sure Clara understands this too.”

“I will,” she said, and began walking towards her apartment at a rather rapid pace, her heart still racing, and suddenly realizing how cold she was.

“I’m leaving now and heading to the scene. I’ll see what I can find out. How soon can I see you? You’re gonna need to talk to someone. I know Clara is there, but what about tomorrow?”

Rachel thought for a moment as she hurried down the cold wet sidewalk. “I guess a morning coffee would be good, if you want to join me?”

“Just name the time. I’ll be there.”

Rachel finally reached her apartment and immediately grabbed Clara in a big hug. Clara looked at her mom wondering what was going on?

“I saw a man cold blooded executed tonight!” she began. “He was on his knees begging for his life and these animals shot him in the head like he was nothing! As if life means nothing! I actually heard his body hit the ground! I can’t get this out of my head! I keep seeing it and hearing it. I don’t know how I’m gonna sleep tonight?”

The look of horror on Clara’s face didn’t last long as she immediately went into rescue mode for her mother. This was a new twist, but they would always be there for each other. “I know what we’re gong to do. First we’re going to make sure all our doors and windows are locked tight. Then I’m going to fix us some hot chocolate and you’re going to talk as much as you need. Then you’re going to take a sleeping pill tonight, and tomorrow will be all better. I assume you called that boy friend of yours. At least I hope you did.”

“Yes, I did.”

Frank arrived at the scene of the usual police tape marking off the area and squad car lights flashing. “I wonder what this guy’s story was? Well, whatever it was, it’s over now.

We all have a “The End” to our story, whether our book has many pages or few, we do not know. But the only thing that really matters is what we have filled those pages with. Will those who have read our story, been affected by our story, will it be worth reading, does it lead somewhere worth leading?

Many many miles away in the Amazon Rain Forest, Yinney had predators of his own to deal with. His was a peaceful world high in the trees, while slowly eating leaves. He started every day with his sacred morning song as he sang to his Creator and prayed for a supernatural protection. God had a hedge of protection also, and even though the will of God sometimes meant very hard things, at least what God chose had an important purpose, like Jesus on the cross. He would thank his God and never take for granted the precious blood of his Lord and Saviour.

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

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“Yinney” – Chapter 19

sla-industries Frank had just enough time to swing by the Coffee Cafe and check on Rachel before going on duty. Actually, this cafe was part of his territory. Had it not been, they probably never would have met.

The night was wet, chilly, dark and nasty as he made his way down the tight streets. Horns blared and echoed on the concrete walls every time a red light turned green, the very second it turned green. It was a New York City tradition. The locals thought nothing of it. The glare of headlights and store lights made driving extra hazardous, but then the driving was always hazardous in the Big Apple. Vehicles passed each other with inches to spare. Bicycles darted in and out. It was crazy as usual, and normal for NYC.

Fortunately, parking was not a problem for him, a back alley spot served the purpose and he came in his usual way for his usual coffee. Of course Rachel was expecting him. He had been doing this every night she worked. Not so much in the beginning, but as their friendship grew closer, he always wanted to check on her, and she appreciated it.

Rachel was a bit gun shy about a new relationship. Her first marriage had turned into a nightmare. Alcohol was mostly to blame, but after years of abuse and unfaithfulness, she finally filed for divorce. She had one daughter named, Clara, and both of them had been through a lot together, but it had only served to draw them closer. Clara was a young teenage lady now, well able to take care of herself, and she was wise beyond her years. She did not want to repeat her mother’s mistake.

Nor did Rachel, and now with Officer Frank showing up, she wanted to be sure not to rush into anything, and Frank said he understood. She knew he had been a good husband before, in a relationship that lasted, until the cancer took Jane away. She had every reason to believe Frank was a good man. Clara liked him too. She was even allowing herself to “hope” again; something she had not done in some time.

“Hey tall dark and handsome. You here checking on my welfare again?”

“You know I am,” he quietly admitted, and then almost as an afterthought, “Oh, a black coffee would be good too,” he smiled.

Rachel already had it behind her back. Pulling it forward, he smiled again, they laughed and began quietly talking as he leaned on the counter. Things were always slow at this time, which was why she was about done with her shift and ready to head home.

After a few minutes of talking and no new customers walking in, Frank asked, “You ready?”

“Hey, Doris, my time to go. Frank’s here. You got this?”

“I got it, Honey. Another slow two hours and I’ll be locking her up. You get on out of here.”

“Thanks…I’ll see you tomorrow.”

A subway entrance was only three blocks away. Frank gave her a ride to that entrance where he would drop her off and head to the precinct. Usually within twenty minutes Rachel was home to her small apartment where Clara greeted her. The bond between them was strong. They were survivors.

Frank stopped his car and reminded Rachel one more time, “Now remember, you got my number. Anything at all don’t look right, you call me. This is my beat. I won’t get in any trouble coming to your rescue unless I’m already involved with something. Which doesn’t usually happen until after I leave the precinct. Got It?”

“I got it, Officer Frank,” Rachel confirmed with a smile, before adding, “You know, you don’t really have to do this. I’m a big girl. I walked this three blocks many times before you came along.”

“I know I don’t. But I want too. If it’s alright with you. I look forward to the free coffee you give me.”

“Ha!” she laughed. “Now the truth comes out. Okay. You make my day, Frank. See you tomorrow.” A quick kiss and out the door she climbed. Waving bye, he watched her disappear into the subway. Saying a little prayer under his breath for her safety, he hit the gas and shot forward.

Once Rachel got off the subway, she had another four blocks to walk. No one thought anything about it in New York City. It’s just the way things were and people did it. It was a way of life. Everyone was aware of bad things that could happen, but even at that, the odds were still in your favor. Most people lived long lives in the big city without any horrendous events, but everyone kept both eyes wide open, because you just never knew. People did crazy things.

She was only one block from the subway, with three still to go, when she thought she heard a man crying, even begging for his life! The sound of his voice, the terror, immediately sent chills though her own body and soul. Quickly ducking into a dark place, she strained to control her emotions. She was afraid to go forward. Where was the sound coming from? She might walk right into it!

Her eyes widened, finally locating the sound, and she could not believe it! A man on his knees begging! High on some piece of construction. Another man with a gun pointed right at the begging man! Even two more dark figures backing him up! Their forms were silhouetted against the lights of taller buildings. A man was about to die, and there was nothing she could do!

Frantically reaching into her coat pocket and grabbing her phone, she hit the speed dial for Frank. She was in no danger.  They could not see her, nor could she identify them, but a murder was taking place and she was witnessing it! Before Frank could even answer, the shot rang out. The begging man went limp, slowly crumpled over, his form falling from the building. She heard the sick sound of a body making contact with concrete. Immediately a woman screamed, and the men above simply disappeared into the darkness. Frank answered the phone knowing something must be wrong.

“Rachel, what’s wrong?!”

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“Yinney” Chapter 4

Dorothy was bored. Dorothy was lonely. Dorothy was restless. Dorothy was gaining weight. Dorothy was Jerry’s wife.

Jerry was gone to work as usual, and both children were at school. She flicked off the flat screen after watching the latest episode of finding homes for lottery winners. She would have a fine home like that someday, but what to do today?

Rising from her sofa and opening a closet door, she looked at herself in the full length mirror. “Hhmmm, I don’t like what I see, Dorothy,” she scolded herself.

She considered turning on some music, but had done that all week. Looking outside it was a cold nasty day. She didn’t enjoy reading, had tried that, too, but it just wasn’t her thing.

Once again Dorothy was drawn to her bulletin board where she had stuck an add torn out of the paper. Her local L.A. Fitness was running a special if you joined this month. The special included a personal trainer for the first six weeks. Time was running out. She looked around at the quiet house. It felt dark like a cave. It was a cave she spent too much time in alone. She needed to get out, make some adult friends, live a little. It was time. She would do it, and no better time than right now.

Grabbing her keys, purse, and jacket, Dorothy headed for the door. No looking back. This was her answer. She needed this. The fitness center was only a fifteen minute drive away. She was there in no time; and signed up even quicker after one of the trainers showed her around.

She couldn’t help noticing how fit the trainer was. His name was, Kevin. Mmmm, Kevin,” she thought. He was hot. So were a few of the guys working out, she noticed. Jerry use to be that way. But those kind of thoughts were for days gone by. Weren’t they? Of course they were! “Get your head on straight, Dorothy. That’s not why you’re here.”

Many many miles south, Lu-Lu had just finished describing to Yinney what she called Predator Cities, and the danger they posed. “They are so hungry!” she added. “They are always on the hunt. They never seem to be full or satisfied.”

Sloths are prone to lots of meditation. They spend a lot of time “not moving”, but a lot is moving on in the inside, in the soul. Yinney knew he only had four days left to find his 7th Day Tree, but now he wanted to ponder this new knowledge Lu-Lu had revealed to him. “Thank you, Lu-Lu, for a great revelation I did not know. I will meditate on your words. Will I see you again?”

“You most likely will,” she affirmed. “I like this neighborhood. I still travel around from time to time, but I live a more settled life now. I’ll be seeing you, Yinney. Good luck finding your tree,” and away she flew.

Yinney did not move. He was on his way deep within, deep in thought, as he pictured these ugly, dirty, noisy, hungry cites Lu-Lu had so vividly described.

Jerry, on the other hand, was not bored at all, and never one to meditate, he was in his element at the mill. He had been on the phone making calls, selling lumber, wheeling and dealing, and laughing all the way to the bank. Now he was very much enjoying himself as he read some very interesting statistics on the Internet.

“I am definitely in the right place at the right time!” he shouted while quickly jotting down some numbers on scratch paper. “According to this,” he continued out loud, “the average square footage of U.S. homes have nearly tripled since 1950! The average in 1950 was 1000 sq. ft.. By 1970 it had risen to 1500 sq. ft.. 1990 it grew to 2,000! And present day is almost 3,000! And all this in a time when the size of the average family has dropped tremendously! How in the world do you account for that? That doesn’t even make sense! Most families do not exceed two children, and yet? Hhmmm. Ha! Whatever the reason, it’s all good for me!” Rejoicing in his good fortune he hit the computer button and decided to check on his workers. They had a big order that needed to be completed soon, and he was hoping not to pay overtime.

The clock was ticking for one and all, as time always does. Time is a river always flowing forward. Dorothy saw her life flowing by in the mirror, asking if her best days were gone? Yinney knew he only had four days left to find his sacred tree, but went into meditation anyway, for what good is a sacred tree if one does not live in a sacred way? Jerry was worried about his bottom line. He saw time as money! Time that would cost him “time and a half” if his guys didn’t get a move on! And so it was on planet earth as a simple sloth named Yinney needed to find his tree to poo.

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