“Yinney” Chapter 6

images Today was the day. Yinney was on the move through the trees, covering about 13 feet per minute. Rain was a normal thing in the Amazon Rain Forest. He had never known anything different. Lots of rain, almost like all the time, and this day started the same way as he steadily hooked each limb with his claws. Normally the rain mattered not to him, but today it was somewhat of a problem.

The limbs of trees were Yinney’s roads and pathways. Once he chose his 7th Day Tree he would learn his area just like anyone learns where they live. He would know the best paths, the shortcuts, and places having the best leaves for eating. But today all he had was that flashing glint he saw yesterday. With today’s heavy rain, the sparkle had disappeared.

So far the urge to poo had not arrived, but it was like a ticking time bomb within. It could start at any moment, and he would only be able to hold it so long. Yinney the sloth would need to poo! And he needed a safe place. He needed his sacred tree. Was it just ahead? This would be the perfect time to panic, but he was of the “Old Ways”. He was of the three-toed brown throated sloth family, still faithful to soul, and something called faith.

Yinney had been taught that true faith is a state of rest. Fear, doubt, stress, discontent, greed, none of these states of mind are faith. They disrupt faith. Faith is a powerful force if not disrupted. But faith in what? Well… the Creator, of course. What else? His heart was still full of peace and joy for he knew his Creator loved him and always provided if he stayed in the Creator’s ways.

Actually, sloths of the three-toed family were highly sought after in the jungle, as spiritual teachers. Once Yinney had his tree, he would begin growing his algae mantle of green and hang out his simple shingle as spiritual teacher. The 7th Day Tree was so important to everything, his reason for being, his purpose in life.

As one of the Creator’s teachers, he found it hard to believe so many people live lives contrary to their own spiritual design, causing much harm to themselves and all around. It really made no sense, but greed, hunger, desire; these were powerful forces causing great storms in people’s lives, and the lives of others. Obviously these Predator Cities Lu-Lu spoke of, were full of and driven by such people. People having no respect for their own Creator, and as such, they often did not realize, but in such a spiritual state one cannot have proper respect for others either, nor the environment, nor their own life. It’s all very sad, Yinney thought, as he reached for the next limb, moving like a slow flowing river. He thought of it as a vicious circle that once one is caught, they may never find a way out. But with the help of teachers, such as he, one might yet find transformation.

The word “suddenly” is not really a sloth word, unless something “suddenly” springs upon them. So…just as Yinney was becoming aware of the urge to poo, he slowly pressed through a limb full of leaves and suddenly saw the reason for the glint! And it was just as he hoped! The Amazon is full of many rivers, but this sparkle had come from a large pond, or type of lagoon, the offshoot of some river somewhere! Now all he had to do was hope there was a worthy tree for him to choose! “Oh that it would be so!” he prayed to his Creator.

Yinney considered his urge to poo. It was growing stronger. The Creator would guide if he let him. If the urge is growing quickly, then the tree must be close, on this side, not any of the trees farther away.

Still hanging upside down he looked to his right, then he looked left, and yes, there was a massive tree holding incredible potential! He knew what he was looking for. You see, Yenny had a plan. Most people don’t know sloths are actually quite good swimmers. And, in a meditative state they can lower their heart rate to one third of normal and actually hold their breath underwater for as long as forty minutes!

Most sloths are aware of their water abilities but still spend all their time in trees. Yinney was a little different. He actually enjoyed the water. Not so much to live in it, but to enjoy upon occasion, and one more thing, to have it as a possible escape route when pooing! If the tree was located right, he would have two ways of escape, not just one. He could either try to regain a high place in his tree, or possibly slide into the water! This was his grand plan, and now, his prayer just might be manifesting right before his eyes.

It took another hour of persistent moving to get there, but the tree welcomed him with open arms. He felt right at home from the moment he slowly climbed into the embrace of her many limbs. He could see it was close to the water with branches actually reaching out and hanging over! So…location was excellent! He could check off that box. Now it was time to taste a leaf.

Yinney wanted to fully enjoy this moment. The urge to poo was still under control. Slowly he chose his leaf. Slowly he reached for it. Slowly he plucked it with tender care. Slowly he gazed at the marvelous green thing that sustained his life. Slowly he brought it to his mouth, but first paused to smell of it. Slowly he savored the aroma, and then tenderly fed it in, and gratefully chewed. The leaf was good. Only one test left. Where to poo?

It was time. Downward he began traveling. Jag was not the only beast to watch for. There were many to consider. All the jungle said a sloth pooing was an easy meal. There was also the Anaconda. The largest of Amazon snakes. His mother had said the Anaconda was rare in this neighborhood. Jag had killed one once. He liked snake meat. Maybe that kept them away, she didn’t know, but one never knew when another might move in.

Downward he went, out of the high places, towards the dirt, towards the earth, towards the predator cats and other dangers. The urge was growing. So far so good. Finally reaching the bottom by way of a vine, Yinney dropped onto the ground and did not move. He was even more motionless than a solid stone.

Nothing was leaping at him. He could smell no danger either. His sense of smell was actually better than his sight. Looking towards the body of water, and the urge growing within, he began moving again.

Now he felt as crippled. On the ground he could barely move nine feet in a minute. He clawed his way along and finally reached the side of the trunk facing the water. He discovered a very nice indentured area that could become his bathroom. The Creator had blessed him greatly with this tree, and the water was only ten feet away. He could reach it in just over a minute assuming water levels remained fairly constant. This was indeed a sacred tree, and now he would bless it with his poo, and claim it as his own.

It was a great relief when the release came. Once done, he scratched some dirt over it and knew it would nourish his great tree. The long seven day search and journey was over. Yinney had found his home. Now he could begin to “know” his home. His days would be filled with simple pleasures and joy. He could hardly wait to show Lu-Lu the tree he had found, and hang his little sign.

The calling of teacher is a great honor. As once was said, the pen is mightier than the sword. Wisdom and values must be taught. In this way kingdoms change, swords are put away for another day, and peace can fill a land, a people, and a person. As history has proven many times, it can start with one, one simple teacher, and their words.

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<The story of Yinney is property of Don Allen, alias: Grandpa White Feather.>

 

 

Love Upward & Outward #3

>Love Upward first, and Outward also.< 

Our Lord offers us a “Table”.

We have a table in our garden now. We wasted no time in this point. “Turtle Gardens”, as I call them, are about a table… The Lord’s Table… and an invitation to slow down and hear God.

I recently spent time with a man in the hospital room he was about to leave, after spending many weeks there. We will give this man the name of Larry.

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Larry was dancing with the Grim Reaper on a daily basis. His prospects did not look good, and yet I’m here to say somehow he has survived. He is no longer dancing with the Reaper. God seems to have spared his life. Most of the time we do not know why one person dies while another is granted more time.

Larry was no angel either. Strip Clubs, drinking, motorcycle gangs, divorced twice, a life seeking whatever caught his fancy. However, during his time in the hospital he had a lot of time to think, and a chance encounter with my brother-in-law ended up with him asking Jesus to forgive his sins and receive him into his Kingdom. Larry humbly came to the Lord’s Table: The blood, the bread, and the cross. He crossed over from being an enemy of God and joined the family. But now there is a certain test that begins.

Is he teachable?

I have business type cards for this blog site and the Teepee Retreat. On the back of my cards I ask a couple questions: 1.) What value? 2.) Are you teachable?

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The Bible says we have this “Treasure” in earthen vessels, or clay pots. (II Cor. 4:7) What is the treasure it is speaking of?

Well… first of all… your soul! It is the only part of you that is eternal. We are a spirit (soul) contained in a body until released. Released into what? God’s Word calls our body a “body of death”, and so it is. It basically starts dying from the time we are born, but the soul, God says, is eternal, and it will either spend an eternity in a place “with God”, or “without God”. Our choice. The big fork in the road! We all choose one or the other.

So…my first question. “What value?” What value do you place on YOUR eternal soul? Do you treat it as a great treasure? Or ignore it, gamble with it, don’t believe in it, take it for granted, leave it to rot, assault it on a daily basis, cast it away like so much trash? This great “gift” God gave each of us. How we appreciate this gift reveals a lot about what kind of person we are. If you find that insulting, I’m sorry, but it’s true. Think about it. Have you ever given someone a great gift, only to watch them waste it?

Larry now faces this same question. We all face this question whether we are saved or not, but what does it mean when someone seems to sincerely receive Christ and yet goes on to ignore the relationship? Are they willing to spend time at the Lord’s Table? Do they value their soul and salvation enough to be “Teachable”?

I remember when I popped the big question to a very attractive young lady I was hoping would be my wife. Will you marry me? She could have said no. But when she said yes, I realized what a precious relationship she was granting me. Have I treasured that relationship? If not, I should be horsewhipped. But I think I treasure her more and more even as the years go by. What of our relationship to God? Is that not an even bigger gift? An even bigger marriage?

Planet earth is a garden in which both good and bad seed has been sown. What separates the good from the bad? A teachable spirit. Also known as discipleship.

Those Children of Israel God rescued from Egypt died in the wilderness because they had an unteachable spirit. I can plant a live flower in my garden, but if I neglect it long enough it will die. If I’m unwilling to learn how to garden and apply what I learn, then my garden will go back to wilderness. These are basic spiritual principals taught to us by nature itself. Nature, God’s silent witness. The wise understand that nature confirms God’s Word, and learns from it. Am I teachable?

The bad seed says, “I don’t care what my Creator says or desires. I’m my own boss. I’ll do as I please. I decide what is good or bad, right or wrong. Don’t put no guilt on me. To hell with God. I bow to no one. I don’t care I didn’t create myself, and can’t keep myself. I throw myself away so I can love my sins.”

A clay pot is a very fragile vessel to declare such big things. Fools are born every day, and you can usually tell when you hear one talking. The clay pot will suddenly break and their only treasure will be lost. But what is wrong with this treasure that it treasures the wrong things? Created from the God who said, “let there be light”, and yet chooses darkness.

Have we considered the wisdom of God to put such treasure in clay pots? It shows the utter foolishness of pride. Only a COMPLETE fool ignores their own mortality when eternity is within their reach! And only a COMPLETE fool ignores their own Creator.

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Those who treasure the temporary earthly pleasures of a dying world more than the eternal pleasures of their Creator will never become a part of the garden God is planting. If you don’t like God’s pruning and gardening, then the wilderness will over take you again. You may think you want to be king of the jungle, but believe me, you are a clay pot, and the jungle will eat you alive!

As for Larry, from what I hear he is hungry to know more. He is teachable. He is willing to read, study, and listen. He will have a bright spot in God’s garden if he remains teachable, as will we all. His life will bloom before him, one day at a time, under God’s skillful care, for all eternity.

So I hope you value the treasure in you, not only your soul, but also the Holy Spirit and God’s Word too. I hope you treasure it, for where our treasure is, there is our heart also. This clay pot will certainly break one day, and when it does I want it to be freedom! Not another prison. Praise God forever. Plant me in your garden Lord, and let me bloom!

 

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Turtle Gardens Forever!

“Will Luke Teach One More?”

That is the question, and you will have to see the movie to find out, but we have a Teacher, Luke Skywalker; we have a powerful subject to learn, the way of the force; and we have a hungry student, Rey; but will the Teacher teach one more? It only takes one, you know.

In our last article we talked about Luke secluded on the island and compared it to Elijah and his cave. In some ways, the comparison still seems to fit. God asked Elijah, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Rey seems to be asking the same question of Luke.

After Elijah gave his little prepared speech, which he actually gave twice, after God asked him the same question twice, then God ordered him out of the cave and sent him on another mission, which also included finding his replacement. God even told him the name of the person to find.

But we note Elijah was not given a quick ticket out. That chariot did not show up for a while. So what was going on during that time period? Did his replacement need training? Was this depressed man hiding in a cave going to be able to rise to the need of a student?

We find Elijah locating his replacement, Elisha, in I Kings 19:19. He found Elisha plowing a field with a team of oxen. He happened to be the twelfth team of twelve in the field. So this is his student? This is the life he is use to, a farmer, and hard physical labor?

Verse 19 says Elijah walked over, threw his cloak across Elisha’s shoulders, and then simply walked away! Oh my. Elisha had to know whose mantle was now resting upon his shoulders. And there he goes, walking away! You better think fast, Elisha. Are you ready for such a mantle as this? Can you afford to let the Teacher walk away? Or do you need him?

It says Elisha left the oxen and ran after the Prophet/ Teacher. He asked the Prophet for time to say goodbye to his family. And the Prophet said, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.”

What I have done to you…

Think about what I have done to you.

Elisha immediately returned to his oxen, his livlihood, slaughtered them, and used the plow for wood to build a fire and sacrifice the oxen. Something in Elisha was ready for what the Teacher would do to him. In our movie, has Skywalker decided he will never do to another, what he tried in the past, to be the teacher?

It’s a powerful thing to be a teacher, and a great honor to serve in such a way. Depending on the subject, there may be many teachers, or only a few. There may be great teachers, and not so great. But the hungry student needs training for that which he desires to pursue, and the greater the desire, the more the student realizes the value and need of the teacher.

We invite the teacher to do something to us. Turn us into more than we are now, and this is the mastery of which I seek! How bad do you want it? How high do you consider the value of what this teacher teaches? His subject may not offer much in worldly gain, or an easy path, but it still has value? What is the value of what you seek? You must be convinced of its value for yourself. What are you judging the value based upon? Double check your motives, and choose wisely.

Bruce Lee loved being a teacher, and he was highly sought after. He broke down barriers in his quest to teach. He fought many battles, inspired many people, and even caused a movement. The power of a powerful teacher. Bruce taught a certain kind of fighting style, even the way of having no way. Jesus teaches a fighting style too.

For those of us desiring mastery in our Lord’s way, we have God’s Word, the Holy Spirit in us, and also many people God has called and gifted down through the ages to be teachers, mentors, and pastors of God’s Way. I think I need a second article on this, but in the meantime, choose your teachers well, and consider what they will do to you.

Rey knows she needs a teacher, but this one she has found may be badly damaged. Still, no one else knows what he knows. Who else can she go to? The dark side? Will he rise to teach one more?

How about you? Are you a teacher? Does your subject have true value? Will you rise to teach one more? Do you know what your subject will do to a person? Will it change their life in a powerful and worthwhile way? Us teachers will answer for what we do to our students. Let us teach well. Let us teach that which has true value, and let us pursue excellence!

Merry Christmas to one and all.