“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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