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The Jewels in Your Crown: Forgiveness Part 1


David G. Perkins

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. EPH 4:32 KJV

Definitions: 
kind – χρηστός – chrestos – good, be ye good…., gracious, be ye gracious…., easy, take it easy on each other.
tenderhearted – εὔσπλαγχνος – eusplagchnos, – pitiful, tender-hearted.  Have pity. The Greek workd picture here is a picture of it coming from your guts.  The Greeks felt that strong emotion, passion and genuine emotion came from your guts.  Have pity flowing out of you.  Have tenderheartedness flow from you. 
forgiving – χαρίζομαι – charizomai – to grant as a favor, that is, gratuitously (freely, undeservedly), in kindness (see def above), pardon or rescue: – deliver, (frankly) forgive, (freely) give, grant.
Keep on becoming kind to each other. Have pity, and favor, and grace, however undeservedly, forgive even as God forgave you for the sake of Christ.
A few years ago…

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The Jewels in Your Crown: Forgiveness Part 1


And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. EPH 4:32 KJV

Definitions: 
kind – χρηστός – chrestos – good, be ye good…., gracious, be ye gracious…., easy, take it easy on each other.
tenderhearted – εὔσπλαγχνος – eusplagchnos, – pitiful, tender-hearted.  Have pity. The Greek workd picture here is a picture of it coming from your guts.  The Greeks felt that strong emotion, passion and genuine emotion came from your guts.  Have pity flowing out of you.  Have tenderheartedness flow from you. 
forgiving – χαρίζομαι – charizomai – to grant as a favor, that is, gratuitously (freely, undeservedly), in kindness (see def above), pardon or rescue: – deliver, (frankly) forgive, (freely) give, grant.
Keep on becoming kind to each other. Have pity, and favor, and grace, however undeservedly, forgive even as God forgave you for the sake of Christ.
A few years ago, a brother in the Lord told me he forgave me.   He had been very angry with me.   Somehow I was not convinced that he meant it, but I accepted the effort, as I love this person, and want to grow in the Lord with him.   Later on, I went to his property to help him with an electrical problem.   I did the work, shook his hand, and left.  That evening, someone else told me that the whole time I was there, he was bad mouthing me to anyone who would listen, and that he had been bad mouthing me all over town.   As I suspected, I knew that that brother was still angry with me.

Forgiveness isn’t easy.

I am not talking about whether I forgive him, because I honestly do.   I honestly love this person.  I am telling you something that I would normally not consider any of your business in order to illustrate a point.

Forgiveness is not easy.

The root of unforgiveness is anger.
The root of anger is fear.

Anger is a chain that binds you to sin.  Sometimes we get angry with others over things we know we ourselves are tempted to do.  Sometimes we get angry for a genuine wrong committed.  Sometimes we get angry because we are afraid.  We know in our heads that perfect love casts out all fear.  But how do we get that into our heart?  How do we let go of Anger?

It is a process.
Some people do not even know they harbor unforgiveness.  They remain slaves to the unforgiveness.  Unforgiveness will stop you from growing spiritually.  Eventually, the poison of unforgiveness will consume you untill you become heard hearted and bitter.  It will rot your bones.
So a decent definition of Anger that leads to unforgiveness is that Anger is a strong feeling of INTENSE displeasure or indignation or hostility as a result of a real or imagined threat (fear), or insult (pride), or frustration (impatience), or injustice toward yourself or someone who is very important to you.
Forgiveness is the willful giving up of that rage, displeasure, indignation, hostility, threat, insult and frustration.  You give up the “right to get even”.
Unforgiveness is a deliberate refusal to forgive.  It is the belief that you have the right to hold a grudge because: Someone has got to pay!,  He has hurt me. , She lied to me. , She said I was this or that.,  She didn’t say “HI” to me yesterday.,  He is two faced.,  He lies about his faith by saying one thing and doing another.
However, saying you forgive, and experiencing it are two different things.
Forgiveness says, “I give up my right to pay you back.”
Look at the book of Mark 11:25 –
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in Heaven may forgive you your tresspasses.  But if you do not fogive, neither will your Father which is in Heaven forgive your tresspasses.  Mark 11:25
 
Until we can forgive, we have to lay down our progress, our gifts to god, our growth in the Spirit of God, our effectiveness to demonstrate grace, love and mercy.
 
What are the obstacles to Forgiveness?  There may be many, but they can be reduced, by thoughtful analysis to 4 things:
1.  YOUR WILL – It ias to be your WILL and Desire to forgive.  Unwillingness and not wanting to forgive are deliberate acts.  You have to do this on purpose.
2.  PRIDE – The arrogance of pride gives you the self righteous attitude that says, He or She should come to me to ASK for forgiveness.  I shouldn’t have to go to them.  Or if you are the one who needs forgiveness, you say to yourself, “Sure it bothers me that this happened, but I don’t think I did any harm, and besides, I was right when I did it.”
3.  REHEARSING – This one is something every humand being does.  This takes real discipline to overcome, and can be overcome by a lot of prayer, and realization of just how much GOd has forgiven you.   The more you go over it in your mind, the farther from grace you get.  You rehearse in your mind and heart the wrongs or offenses done against you.  This will only strengthen the chains that bind you, and will eventually become a poison that turns into a well spring of bitterness.  The Joy of the Lord evades you.  happiness becomes a memory.  Anger becomes your reputation.  You get stuck right where you are in your spiritual growth.  Eventually, you become content with stunted growth, or your heart becomes so hard that you no longer desire a working relationship with God.
4.  FEAR – Wether you are the one who needs to forgive, or needs forgiveness, FEAR can stop you dead, too.  Maybe you are afraid you will be taken advantage of by the person that you need to do business with.  Maybe you have a fear of being rejected.  Perhaps you are afraid of rejection.  These fears are real, and it is possible that these things will happen.   But you have to have the courage to face this fear and do the right thing.  THere is nothing you can do to control the reactions of others.  You can only obey God, and leave the rest to him.  This is letting go of fear.
Dealing with these 4 things above will give you FREEDOM from the enslavement of Anger and Fear.  It will free you from the spirit and heartlessness of Unforgiveness.  The flow of living water will return to you, and you will know the joy of your salvation again.
Sometimes forgiveness is stalled by the following things:
Friendly but bad advice.  Your brothers and sisters in the lord love you, and they mean well, but they are just as human and fallible as you are.  They will tell you, “Well, if I were you, I’d…”, or “He needs to suffer…”  “Why don’t you just leave him, he is not good for you…”, or “Buddy, we need to go have a talk with him ‘in love’ and straighten him out”
Have you been told this?  Have you said it to others.  Friends mean well.  You should always be glad of the number of friends you have.  But you MUST ask yourself, “Is this FRIENDLY advice GODLY advice?”  Do nothing that will contradict the nature of God, or reflect poorly on your walk with God.  Taking matters in your hands, with the heart felt endorsement of your friends, is till wrong.
PARTIAL FORGIVENESS.  
Maybe he or she did several little things, or one big and several little ones, or some combination like that.  Do you list them (rehearse) and say, “Well, I can forgive that, but not this, and I can forgive those, but not these!”?  Partial forgiveness is just like partial obedience.  Partial forgiveness IS unforgiveness.  Partial obedience is DISOBEDIENCE.  Don’t take half measures when God showed His love for you by going all the way to the cross for your sins.
MAKE EXCUSES. This little fox is a sly one.
This is what some people do to avoide genuine forgiveness.  They might say things like, “THey probably didn’t mean that.”, or. “It was probably a mistake.”.  If you use excuses to justify someone elses wrong, not only are you deluding yourself, and setting yourself up for more of the same, but you short circuit your ability to discern between right and wrong, and you stop the other person’s chance of learning from his mistakes.  Forgiveness is just as much an act of love, as it is an act of grace.  When you love the unlovely, it pours coals on his heart, and will ultimately lead him to repentance. This is the same behavior you hear about when you read the testimony of the battered woman.  She made excuses for the batterer.  Forgiveness is not for sissies.
Unforgiveness puts you in danger of the judgement of God.  “But if you do not forgive  neither will your Father which is in Heaven forgive your trespasses ”  Mark 11:25  
 
You risk your growth in the Lord.  You risk having God stop dealing with you until you have done business with those who you need to forgive, or who you need to seek forgiveness from.
Forgiveness sets you free.  It cleanses your soul.  It teaches you about Godly love in a way that no other action will.  You will become like Jesus Christ the more you obey.
I will finish this up in part 2, at least this part of the facet on the gem that is Forgiveness.  There is more, and it is not all fire and brimstone.  Hang in there.  It gets better.
OH!  And yes it is a process.  How long does it take until you can come clean and forgive?  I don’t know.  Sometimes it takes a long time.  It took me a very long time to forgive someone I used to know.  The hurt was deep, and God had to do a work in me.  With that brother who said he forgave me, but didn’t, I am good with that, and I forgive his dishonesty, and his gossip.  I am free of the harm he has done.  I love this person and would take a bullet for him without hesitation.
I have to keep in mind this verse: Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others. Ecc 7:21-22See you next time for Part 2 of this facet on Forgiveness.
I love you
David Perkins

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The Jewels in Your Crown: Forgiveness, A Jewel With Many Facets – Introduction


And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 KJV

A person very close to my heart told me that she would like to read about Forgiveness. So here we go.

I hope, through this series, to show that forgiveness is fundamental to our faith, our well being and our growth as Christians.

Unforgiveness has the power to destroy you, your faith, your walk with God, your health, your mind. Unforgiveness is a pernicious poison that, if not dealt with, will ultimately destroy everything you are trying to achieve. The lack of forgiveness is a stumbling block that inhibits your growth.

I have struggled with this issue a great deal over these last 20 years. I have sinned, and been sinned against. I have had to deal with both sides of the equation of Forgiveness.

I have had to forgive myself & others. I have had to seek, and am still seeking ways and means to get forgiveness from others. I have had to learn that it is not a switch that you can just flip, and voila, forgiveness happens. It is often a process. Sometimes painful, but necessary. Sometimes it is not reciprocated, or appreciated. Sometimes, others will never choose to forgive you, or receive your forgiveness.

I have discovered that, when God deals with you in the forgiveness arena, it can be painful and joyful. Sometimes the pain precedes the joy. I say this because, when God deals with you over your need to forgive, or receive forgiveness, the dirty laundry comes out.

God will deal with you over your anger, your pride, your distorted sense of God’s righteousness, and the sin of self-righteousness. If you are listening, you will be reminded of just how much you have been forgiven of – all the things you did before you were a Christian, and especially all the things God has graciously forgiven you of after you became a Christian.

This series has already become a challenge for me. In writing the outline for this series, I found I had been keeping a grievance on a back shelf. I had forgotten it was there, until I ran across a few verses that reminded me of it. I immediately had to stop what I was doing and seek that forgiveness from that person, and forgive that person for wrongs done. We both had sinned against each other, and we both had buried it deep. The effort was painful. Obedience isn’t always a “cumbayah” experience. The reward was so sweet, so good, so joyous, I wonder why I ever kept that grievance rotting in my mind. I am free from that chain, and so is the person I went to. We both needed it, and it was very good.

If you are going to be a Child of God, a Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, Forgiveness is one of the first muscles you will have to develop. Forgiveness is not for sissies. It is not for the prideful. It is not for the self-righteous. We have to humble ourselves before God in order to be forgiven, and we have to understand grace and mercy in order to forgive.

Forgiveness is more important than I realized. It is powerful. It serves you to forgive others, and it further’s the kingdom of God when you do it.

I ask your forgiveness because I cannot offer an outline for this series. I have only written this introduction and the first two parts of this series. There will be more, because, as with every true doctrine of God, every doctrine is a gem with many facets.

I hope you will get as much out of this series as I have gotten researching it.

I will leave you with this fact, and a question:

FACT: Unforgiveness has its roots in Anger. So does fear.

QUESTION: Why are you angry? What are you in fear of?

That is where I had to start.

I will see you tomorrow with : FORGIVE, Part 1

In Christ

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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My Daughter The Author


My Daughter, Hannah, just turned 15.  Last year, she completed the first draft of her first book.  She allowed me to work as her draft editor.  Below is the introduction to her book.  The working title is “INDIGO CHILD“.

This is her work, and it is copyrighted.  I thought that, tonight, instead of posting more of my stuff, I would post hers.  Her goal is to get this first book published before she is 16.
The only contribution I have made to it is strictly technical.  The story and words are entirely her own work.  While I complete the first draft edit, she is working on Book Two of this series.
Let me know what you think.
INDIGO CHILD

Introduction

”I’m not quite sure if I want to believe your story.” the Judge said to the man sitting next to me, then looked directly at me. “But I may believe the child, he looks innocent enough.” “Tell me how this all got started, boy. How did you end up here exactly?”

I wasn’t ready for that. I had been lost in this man’s office. For a brief moment I had forgotten my pain, the stitches, the healing bones. The last time I saw an office this elaborate was in that other place…that other time, not very long ago, but it already seemed like another world.

Rich dark wood and leather furniture. Bookshelves as tall as three men. Secretarial stations here and there. The sun penetrated stained glass windows, revealing the dust motes floating in all the colors of the rainbow. This place spoke of power, but not of evil. I felt a sense of weight, that whatever I did, whatever I said, it had better be the truth.

“Young man, ” the baritone voice broke through my reverie, “You are trying my patience. Speak up!”

I looked directly at him. He was old, with graying hair that surrounded his otherwise bald head. His deep brown eyes, with the circles of fatigue penetrated my soul. It was as if he were a living lie detector.

When he told me to “Speak up!”, it wasn’t loud, but carried the authority of a cracking whip.

I choked on my words, trying to put them into place so that I didn’t sound like an idiot. How could I sum up my life in one simple paragraph? I knew I couldn’t. It was just one of those stories that had to be told, detail by detail, from the very beginning.

The entire office had fallen silent. The court reporter was the only quiet movement in the room, silently and diligently recording every sound and gesture. It was as if I were suddenly the most interesting thing in the room. All eyes were on me.

It was so hard to stay brave now when I knew that if I put one word out of place, it could cost me my life.

I glanced around as I rose to my feet. I felt a warm, strong hand on my back and knew it was the man sitting next to me, steadying my broken body. Our lives depended on each other’s. I felt instant relief by his touch, knowing that no matter what, we would make it through. Like a family. Of course.

“From the very beginning?”, I asked him, making sure.

“Yes. From the very beginning, when you think this first started.”

I let out a deep breath, knowing this would be a long story. A story that would be hard to tell, one that I was almost afraid to speak of. But I had to do it. I met the man’s penetrating eyes, looking as serious as I could.

I told him exactly what had happened…from day one.

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HOW GOD SEES IT


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  
In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3: 5 & 6  NASB

HOW I SEE IT
When someone reading your blog describes it as “interesting”, they mean, “Which Zoo donated the monkey for this experiment?” In  certain countries, my writing is considered a social disease, and it might be the real cause of all the trouble in the Middle East.  None-the-less, I have actually had 10 readers, and a couple of them are now subscribers.  Please accept my gratitude, the check is in the mail.

HOW GOD SEES IT
A recent career debacle has left me seeing that, after almost 20 years doing the same thing, I suddenly have to reinvent myself.  What I wanted to do when the rug was pulled was to run around like my hair was on fire, panic, grow a healthy crop of ulcers, and basically be an insomniac.  What I did instead was pray.  Really, I prayed.   And, this is the truth, I immediately felt a peace about all of this.  I knew that since I was radioactive in my career, I would not be able to do what I had been doing anymore.  I had to be remade.  I wasn’t worried because, after 20 years of running from God, I had spent the last 4 years slowly returning. I found out when I did that that I had not done anything but cross the palm of God’s hand.  Some of my recent blogs described my return to God, and how you can return too.

So, here I am, career-less, and wondering what to do.  My wife and I prayed and prayed about this.  Just a couple of weeks after being home, in between job searches, I had the overwhelming compulsion to start writing again.  I had not written a thing in 20 years.  Writing was not even my first love.  Music was my first love.  But, suddenly, I got an overwhelming desire to sit and write.  So, I prayed again.  God let me know through several confirmations that I am to write something every day.  Not only that, I am to write a blog.

I know this might sound crazy to you, but eventually, you will see that this stuff really happens.  It happened to me.  Here is where Proverbs 3:5 & 6 comes in to play.  I needed a new path, and God has given me a thing to do.  I am doing it.  I honestly do not understand the why’s and wherefore’s of this, but one thing God has made clear to me, I am to write.

I am writing this for you.  I don’t know who you are.  I don’t know what you have been through, or are going through.  But I know that, as I obey God and write, He will empower my writing.  He will do this because of you.  Like me, you had given up on God, friends, family, and basically life itself.  To tell the truth, that 20 years of working in various jobs, for various companies, doing the same or related things, was not even related to who I really am, or what I really want to do with my life.  Chances are you are there now.

God restores all of us if we let him.  He is calling you.  The reason I am doing this blog is two fold.  1. I am obeying God.  2. God wants you to know you are not alone, that someone out here gets it.  And he wants you to know that He cares for you, and wants you to come home.
You do not even have to clean up to return to Him.  He will take care of that for you.  All you have to do is come home.

HOW I HOPE YOU SEE IT
Personally, I hope my blog eventually takes off, but that is not my real goal.  Over time I will be writing about several issues that may reach you.  This is for you, not me.  What I want out of this exercise is irrelevant to what God wants to accomplish.

You see, a revival is about to break loose, and God wants you to be a part of that revival.  You have a role to play.  You and I have to put down all our anger, desire for revenge, hate of the church, grudges, and whatever sin besets us.  We need to get our own lives in order so God can equip us to lead in the upcoming revival.

By my own understanding of things, I should be panicking because 8 weeks later, I am still unemployed.  But as I understand God, I simply have to trust Him, and HE will direct my paths. This is what He wants to do for you, too.

I have no illusions about being a “Great Writer“, but I know this is what I am supposed to be doing right now.  I am doing this out of Love for God, and in obedience to Him, and out of a genuine desire to see you return to God, too.  I do this because God has changed my heart.  I no longer feel the anger I felt.  I no longer hate.  I now love because He who is in me IS love.  And I love you, and want to see you join the battle and lead from the front in the upcoming revival.

Who ever you are, I hope this letter finds you.

Your Brother in Jesus Christ

David
sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Sometimes The Blank Page Wins


writers_blockThis time for sure.

I came in like a lion and placed my hands on the keyboard, ready to write words in such a way that readers would be captivated, and fellow word-smiths would stand and applaud.

The blank page looked looked scintillating; inviting, daring me to paint her canvas with a journey of delight and adventure.

My hands were poised.

My thesaurus like mind was generating explosive and compelling prose.

I embraced the blank page in a fevered grasp and started typing.

But the page was only playing with me.  She let me believe I had the upper hand, that she was unable to resist the blazing presence of my fiery mind.

She stopped me dead in my tracks and asked, “Have you started yet?” 

I was undone.

Instead of being steely strong, issuing wells of prose, my words lay there, shriveled up and pathetic.

I choked, I lost my momentum, the rhythm of my words were not right.  I fumbled and lowered my hands.

In that single phrase,  I knew there was no way I was going to have my way with this page.

The blank page won.  And this is all I have to show for it.

As I left the room, I heard her say, “It’s OK, it happens to every word-smith now and then.”

 

 

 

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