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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How many times have you said, “I’ll be damned?”

Hell, a place originally prepared for the devil and his angels, per Matthew 25:41, and Jesus is very specific about it. 

Also note, these people being sent to hell have failed many acts of LOVE!

Most people don’t “LOVE”. They “love”.

They love self more than they know, and they don’t LOVE nearly as much as they think they do.

They accuse God of not being LOVE, when the whole time they reject following God because he requires a Kingdom of LOVE. Yes, requires. Is that so bad?

God is REAL LOVE. But most people only know selfish love, or human love, so they are no experts on what LOVE is at all, and so their judgement of God is false, while they themselves continue rejecting a life of LOVE.

Why do you think God declares sex without complete commitment is a sin, and not LOVE? Have you considered how selfish sex without total commitment is, and the many possibilities of damaged lives because of it? That’s not LOVE. And yes, because God actually is LOVE, he requires it. But if we choose to reject God’s way of LOVE, then we are choosing a “Being” other than God, which is Satan. We choose every day in every way.

Planet earth is a test. I guess our current Pope does not think God “leads” people to temptation, so he has approved the changing of our Biblical words of the Lord’s Prayer. But it was God who put that one tree in the Garden of Eden, not Adam, or the devil! And Matthew 4:1 still says Jesus was “led” by the “Spirit” (capitol S), into the wilderness to be “tempted” of Satan. And we could give other scripture.

God does lead us to be “tested”, but it is our “own” lust and lack of LOVE that causes us to be “tempted”. How can God prove us without tests? Who gives the test? God. Who brings you into a spiritual classroom and begins handing out a test? God. And why might God do this?

Getting back to the original scripture in Matthew 25:41, I’d say it is because of the devil and those who followed him. Lucifer and the other angels appear to have been created already in possession of heaven and all God’s blessings, and yet Lucifer could not be trusted. He lusted. He chose actions against his very Creator, the One who gave him power and life! He rose up in hate! And he ruined everything! God’s creation at that time. Which is quite possibly how creation is found in the condition it was in, in Genesis 1:1-2. (One theory, anyway.)

So, we see God creating man. He puts him in a beautiful garden. An earthly paradise. But he also plants one tree man is not to eat of. No problem, right? All those other trees! It should not be a temptation, right? But because of some desire in Adam and Eve, they are tempted. They should not be, but they are. God planted the tree, but he did not cause the temptation. We choose.

Had Adam truly LOVED God and his ways, the way he should have, temptation would have been overcome and the test would have been no problem.

But what of us? Do we feel all of God’s “Do Nots” come from a God of hate and judgement? Or do we realize all those “Do Nots” are actually instructions as to what LOVE really is? Do you see it? Thou shalt not steal? Hate? Murder? Commit adultery? Lie? ETC.

Do LOVE even your enemies. Help those in need. LOVE God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself.

Cain asked, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain was cursed of God. Our scripture in Matthew 25 shows people who failed to help those in need, living a hard-hearted lifestyle, or sin in God’s eyes, as the ones who choose the kingdom of darkness, rather than God’s Kingdom of Light. It’s our choice and we make that choice every day in our word’s and actions, not words only, but also actions.

So God planted another tree! The cross of Christ. And he LOVED us so much, he was willing to die a horrible death on that tree AT OUR HANDS! Yes, God is LOVE whether you choose to believe or not. And God is RIGHT. We are the ones who are wrong. And it’s His creation anyway! Sheesh! How lame are we???

So how many times have you said, “I’ll be damned?” That is a choice “YOU” are making, not God. Your own words out of your own mouth may be warning you! Our test papers prove our choices, whether heaven or hell, God or Satan. But we do choose. And even though God offers us everything we need to choose LIFE, many there be who choose death, and have the nerve to blame God. What kind of evil is that? What kind of darkness?

Light shines in the darkness, but darkness fails to comprehend.

There are those who will hate me for writing these words and putting the blame where it belongs, on us, not God. They do not want to face the truth, and they will hate me while they claim LOVE, but they only have love, if they even have that? Reality check.

Even these words I have written are not to invite hate. No one enjoys being hated. And it can be very dangerous! Just ask Jesus. But LOVE demands that my words shout about a place called hell, if there be any chance some might be warned, open their eyes to the God of LOVE, and swerve away from the cliff they currently are driving towards at break-neck speed, all the while blaming God.

They do not listen to that voice inside, warning them, verifying truth, because they love their life of darkness. That is the truth they hate to admit. They love darkness rather than light. They proudly take God’s test and declare their rebellion against their very own Creator. What kind of evil is that, to hate the very One who gave you existence, and gave you everything you need to have a truly fulfilled life and eternal future. God has not offered us a dead-end street, but a path without end! It’s our choice.

Such people would only ruin heaven anyway, and God’s not going to allow that to happen again. The POSITIVE side of this message is, God offers His LOVE in abundance! If only you could see that and change course! You will be rewarded immediately! And you will never regret! Not if you are REAL. God is REAL, but are you?

“Yinneysnippets” of great Teachers.

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

(Study to show thyself approved.)

Quote> “My words are the incarnation of, the offspring of, the son of my thought. So the Word, Jesus, is the Son of the Thought, God. As we look up through the words of a man to understand his thought, so we look up through Jesus to know what God is like. He is like that which we see in Jesus. And if he is, then he is a good God and trustable. I can ask nothing better. Streeter puts it in this way: ‘Suppose your child would come to you and ask, ‘Is God as wise as Einstein?’ You would probably laugh. But if the child should say, ‘Is God as good as Jesus?’ you should be able to say that God is better than any man, but in your heart of hearts you would probably say (to yourself and not to the child) that the real question is, Is God as good as Jesus?’ This is not overdrawn, for the modern doubt is not concerning Jesus, but concerning God.”

Quoted from “The Christ of the Mount”.

Author: E. Stanley Jones / Printed 1931

Chapter: “The Man on the Mount”

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“Yinneythought” for the day.

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To follow Christ is to love gardens and fight jungles.

We serve the God of gardens.

Weeds love speed but gardens grow slow.

The beauty of slow.

Is your day today a garden, or jungle?

20190323_152932 “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo” is brought to you by:

“Fellowship of the White Path”

Jesus walked the red path of His own blood so we could walk the white path of His own righteousness.

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“Yinney” Chapter 27

6000317729_e6e3d2bb13_b Bubba was stunned. “He fulfilled it,” he kept repeating over and over. No one had answered this before. At least not in a way that made any sense. Most had told him it was a progression God was taking man through, like a learning curve. When man failed to succeed in the first covenant, then God provided a better one. But this sloth was saying it was God’s plan all along! It was God’s plan for man to fail and God to fulfill? God said man would fail and then he fulfills? God did not replace the Old Covenant? It was perfect as it was? It was godly, of God, not a mistake?

Yinney added more at just the right time, “Not only did man fail over and over again, but he needed to fail, so he would finally realize he could never save himself. And even today people still believe they can be good enough and earn heaven. It is a salvation by works, not by love and grace. Even with all the evidence of the Old Testament records, and the history of human nature, man still thinks if his good out weighs his bad, he goes to heaven, but that is not the real problem. The real problem is, how can a person ever get rid of a single sin, except to be forgiven, by God? If you only sinned once in your whole life, how could that sin ever be gone?”

Yinney continued, “The question is not about how to be good enough, because we already know the answer is that we cannot! But the real question is, how do we have our sins forgiven and cast away into forgetfulness? How do we get free from even a single sin? Will prayer do it? Will a prayer wheel do it? Only God can decide if we are forgiven, and he decides the ground rules for that forgiveness. And that is what God made available to man, by faith in Christ, when he fulfilled the Old Covenant for us, and ushered in the New Covenant of faith and grace.”

Bubba was silent for a while before finally speaking again. “Your words are very profound,” he said. “I have always been interested in the prophetic. Can you give me an example of how you say, it was prophesied from the beginning that God would fulfill?”

“Oh yes!” Yinney almost shouted in his excitement. “I’ll give you two at the very beginning. So of course these will be Old Testament scriptures. As you know, the Hebrews say it all started with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, when they disobeyed God and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Now they were no longer in a state of innocence, but had to be accountable for their sins. But God immediately begins to prophesy his future salvation when he is passing judgement, and they are about to be exiled from the garden.”

“When speaking to the snake, in Genesis 3:15, God tells the future when he says: ‘And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her off spring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.’ God speaks of a child to come, ‘He’; and ‘He’ will strike your head. Later prophecies even state ‘He’ will be a descendant of King David! And will be born in Bethlehem. It’s very specific.”

“I am aware that Jesus was known as the son of David,” Bubba acknowledged.

Another excellent historical event according to the Hebrews, is when God comes to their forefather, Abraham, and he tells Abraham they will enter into a Covenant, and he is to make the preparations. This is all recorded in Genesis 15. It starts in verse 9.

So Abraham makes all the preparations. Several animals was to be sacrificed and laid open for the ritual, a blood covenant. The strongest of covenants. But in verse 11, vultures begin trying to attack the carcasses and Abraham is fighting them off as he waits on God to appear! But in verse 12 we read the sun was going down and Abraham fell into a deep sleep! And a terrifying darkness came down over him! Had the Covenant depended on Abraham’s strength and ability to do good, it would have totally failed! Abraham believed, but he was weak in his flesh. So when God shows up he begins prophesying the future of the nation that will be born of him, Israel. And Abraham woke up in time to see a smoking firepot, and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. Jesus stood in that place for mankind, not Abraham. That’s verse 17.”

“Abraham would continue to have both failures and successes. The nation of Israel, and the descendants of Abraham, would continue to have both failures and successes. But in the appointed time, the prophesied Messiah himself was born, and he did not fail. He fulfilled the Old Covenant we continually fail, and he ushered in forgiveness of sin, and grace through his blood. Not the blood of animals. They could never pay for sin, but the blood of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ.”

Several monkeys started clapping as Yinney spoke those final words. They had been so transfixed by the story, that when the exciting conclusion was spoken, they were moved to applaud.

“It is a wonderful story,” Bubba said, “But we are not convinced of ‘soul’. We seek a Nirvana where the cycle of fleshly cravings and earthly pain is finally broken. We are no longer born again and again to go through this same cycle, because we have finally let go of all selfness, no permanent self. We successfully attain the Eight-fold path, and this earthly cycle finally ends.”

“Yes,” Yinney said. “Christianity is the only faith where salvation, or heaven, or Nirvana, is based not on our works. It is based on our faith and God’s love. You have your own form of perfection you strive for, and if you’re finally good enough, the cycle will finally end. You receive your release. Do you think you can ever be good enough, Bubba?”

Bubba countered with, “Do you think you can ever love enough?”

“No,” Yinney plainly stated. “I no longer have a sin debt, but I have a love debt I can never repay, and that is why I am so grateful to my God for a salvation of grace. The only faith of its kind.”

Yinney and Bubba talked well into the night before finally retiring. They did so in a fellowship of mutual respect. Only time would tell if Bubba would ever decide that perhaps it was true, he would never be good enough. And perhaps this God of grace and love would speak to him too.

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