Growing In Christ – Is Your Water Safe?


Rivers-of-Living-WaterWatch over your heart with all diligence, 
For from it flow the springs of life.

Proverbs 4:23 NASB

NOTE TO READER:  Sometimes I ask myself why I blog so many personal things?  My answer to myself is, there just might be someone else out there going through this, too.  If exposing myself, and showing what God is doing through my circumstances helps someone else, then I am glad to be laid bare so that God will be glorified.  God is doing a great work in all of us.

My mom wrote me, recently, and asked me if I have any good news to report.  I don’t want to lie to my mom, but I don’t want to go into a litany of how hard things are either.  

So, I thought about it for a few minutes.

I can say with great joy that a sink hole has NOT sprouted underneath our house.  THAT is very good news.  I actually feel like I dodged a bullet there.

What else is good news?  Let’s see… … OH!  Here is another bit of good news.  So far, the Bubonic Plague has avoided our neighborhood.  I can’t tell you what a relief THAT is.   Nothing like a flood of rats invading your neighborhood, and starting a plague, to put you in a foul mood.  I find it difficult to look on the bright side as I cough up a lung.  Call me a buzz kill, but there’s the truth at last.

Even more good news….my kittens have discovered the joys of attacking  rolls of toilet paper.  It looks as if teenagers sneaked into my home and rolled the interior of my house.  I am not sure I want to know how two very tiny kittens got toilet paper draped all over my ceiling fan.    But there it is.

Before I could burst into flames and get mad, I had to do a gut check.  These are, after-all, mere kittens.  Serving them up for dinner might be an overreaction on my behalf.  So, I wanted to look on the bright side.  I looked, and looked…and looked.

This is all I could come up with:  If we are ever invaded by hordes of ravaging rolls of toilet paper, our home is safe.  Our kittens would be heroes of epic proportions.

See… that is good news, right?

Aside from not having a sink-hole filled with plague, and toilet paper, in my neighborhood, I have been having a difficult time looking for excuses to do the happy dance.

There is this pesky thing called circumstances.  Some circumstances loom large enough to make you look forward to rampaging rolls of toilet paper.

What do I do with the circumstances in my life when all they want to do is bring me bad news?  Not bad news like, “Hey, Dude, you have a flat.”, but the bad news that the continued onset of unemployment brings?  What do I do when life gets real?

Do I embrace the fear and let it tear me apart?  Do I wallow in the immobility of that fear, like a deer in the headlights?  When life gets real, what do I do?

Here, again, is where we have had to learn that the Warriors of God do battle best when they are on their knees.  When the world is taking your home away, when your friends have given up on you for being a constant failure.  When no one will hire you for what ever the reason of the day is…what do you do?

Do I let the overwhelming doubt and fear I feel consume me?  Do I paint my world in the colors of fear and panic and doubt?  I have learned that, when I paint like that, I have put an ugly filter on every thing I see, do and believe.  It is in this fear that I can really mess up my head.  You can believe you are a failure.  You can believe this is the end.  You can believe there are no answers.  And that becomes your reality.

Some realities you may have to endure.  Looming homelessness is not one I want to experience, but if it does, what will flow through my heart?  I will I curse God and die?  Will I abandon this faith I have been writing about?  There are some circumstances that no amount of “Positive Affirmation” will overcome.

But when I am blocked by raw panic and fear, there is one thing I can do.  I can trust God that, no matter what my circumstances are, He is aware of them.  I know that God is my Father.  God has no evil intent for me.  He has only good and loving kindness for me.

I rest assured in His love for me.  Losing everything I have might be the very best thing that could happen to me.  I know that, when I come through this, I will be a better Child of God for it.  Sometimes God has to purify us so that all idolatry is burned away from our hearts.  What I will gain from this trial is far better than anything I will lose.

The blessings do not begin until I learn that I can trust God with all confidence and unconditionally.  In my poverty, I can assure you, dear reader, that God is love.  In my need, I have learned to pray blessings on you.  In my salvation, I pray for your salvation.  I have been given a gift of Love that was never there before.  And I can tell you, my brother, that I love you without condition, just as God loves me.

I have peace in the midst of this storm.   That is the benefit of knowing God.  I cannot imagine going through this trial without the strength of God in me.    I have been stricken in my body, I have been stricken in my wealth, I have been stricken in all the things I hold dear and valuable, but I am willing to lose all I am and have if it will draw me closer to God.

WATCHING MY HEART

Here is why I am writing you, my friend.  Jesus said this:  “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38 NASB

Left to my own devices, raw sewage would flow from my heart.  But Christ has changed, and is changing me.  I just have to be careful to guard what I let into my heart.  It doesn’t take much plutonium to poison an entire river.

Because Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, I have something I never had before this.  I have hope.  I have faith.  I have love.  These things live in my heart.

HOPE:  I have hope that God will take away everything that gets in between He and I, and I will be made into the image of Christ.  I have the hope of eternal life in me.  I am saved.  Nothing the world can do can take that from me.

FAITHI have faith that, no matter what my circumstances are… “…I know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  And I am definitely called according to His purpose.  It doesn’t matter why I am in the circumstances I am, whether my foolishness brought this on, or it is by design, or any other reason you can think of.  I know that GOd turns even our worst mistakes and trials and troubles into blessings.

I have faith that this is exactly what God is accomplishing in me, today.

LOVE:  I have Love in my heart where, just a few months ago, I had a heart of stone. I receive this love from the Father, and I gladly give this love to you, and anyone else that needs to see that; in this cold and callous world filled with darkness, fear and hatred, there is one who loves you more than anything else in all of creation.  God loves you.  God IS love.  Nothing can separate us from the Love of God when we belong to Him through Christ Jesus, our savior and lord.

BREAKING THE DAM

My fears can block that flow.  My doubts can turn this flowing river into a stagnant lake full of unclean things.  When I take the reins from God’s Hand, and tell God, “I got this, God”,I have just blocked the flow of faith, love, hope and joy.  I have turned the living waters into a cup of sweet poison.

Faith, Hope, Love, Joy…these are all gifts from the Loving and ever giving God.  They are our possession because of Jesus Christ.  They belong to us in abundance only in as much as we are willing to give it away.

I can look at my circumstances, or I can look at what I DO have.  I do not have wealth.  I do not have a home.  I do not have many possessions, but what I do have, I give freely.  I give because God gave freely to me through Jesus Christ.

It isn’t when we have things from God that we become wealthy, it is when we, in our poverty, approach God, our Loving Father, in Heaven, and trust Him that we have all our provision.  And what he gives in abundance, we give likewise.

Today, all I have to offer is this Hope:  You can have eternal life if you accept the sacrifice that Jesus made, on the cross, on your behalf.

Today, all I have to offer is Faith:  Faith in God, faith in the atonement for my sin, faith that all things will work out for my good.  How will I know what being poor is like unless I comprehend it?  How will I understand giving until I am in need?  How will I see God’s provision unless I have been driven to the place where that is all I have left?  I pray you never ask to be made into the image of Christ unless and until you understand this; God will do whatever it takes to humble you, and make you aware of what is important to him.

Today, all I have to offer you is this Love:    That God loves you enough that he, in the form of Jesus Christ, came to this earth in the flesh, a perfect man, and for our sake, took on the responsibility for all our sin, and died on the cross for that sin.  His love for us held Him to that cross until the entire debt was paid.

When Jesus said. “It is finished”, he announced the begging of your life, if you accept it.  You are already dead in your sin, if you chose to be.  You will have eternal life in Him, if you accept this free gift.

This is what I have to share with you.  Maybe in time, God will bless me in ways that I will have the heart and means to seek out the poor, the lost, the starving, the prisoner, the naked, the sick and bring them to the living waters I have found.

My Prayer:  Dear God, My Heavenly Father, I praise you that you love me enough to discipline me.  I am joyful, deep in my soul, that you are making me into the image of your Son.  I pray, Lord, in Jesus Name, that you get me out of the way so that your son, Jesus Christ will be all people see when they meet me.  I pray abundant blessings on everyone who reads this  poor tome.  I pray you fill them with your love, just like you have filled me with your love.  I pray that you are their provision.  I pray that, where this ill-health, you heal it, where there is discord, you make holy harmony.  I pray where there is lack in you, you become the abundance they need.   Teach us to not inhibit the flow of your love and calling.  Make us all fountains of YOUR living water.

 In Christ here is life, love, healing, hope, faith, and most of all, there is LOVE.

Let’s be about it.

I love you

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Growing In Christ – Dealing With Your Past


English: Broken Heart symbol
English: Broken Heart symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This tome is written to men and women who, like me, strayed from the Love of God and the Joy of Salvation, and lived a life that you’d rather forget ever happened.  I am writing this to you.  I am writing this from a lesson I am going through as we speak.

I want to try to prepare you that this is coming.  I knew in my heart of hearts that, eventually, the Lord will deal with this issue in my life, but was still blindsided by the intensity of it.  Not every act of obedience will bring immediate joy, but it will eventually lead you to a joy that you will never understand until you grow in Christ.

God’s discipline is a good thing, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.  Remember, God disciplines the ones He loves. When He disciplines you, it is in love, not wrath.  Jesus already took on the wrath of your sin.  What God is doing is a gift of the Holy Spirit, so that you will grow to be like Christ in all things.

The hard work of the walk is, after redemption, you still have to deal with the mess you made in the wake of your fallen state.  You will have to deal with the forgiveness and contempt you hold for yourself.  You will have to deal with the anger and unforgiveness of others.  You will get to learn what grace feels like when others forgive you, and mean it from their hearts.

God wants to take you from where you are positionally in Him, forgiven and complete, to where His view of you in Christ is materially obvious to others, so that, when you live, you will live in the image of Jesus Christ.  There are still lost souls out there who need to know that it is possible to get from where they are to where God is.

First, I need to define some very real truths:

1.  Accusation is from Satan.  When the enemy (Satan, the World, etc) decides to point out your flaws, you will feel condemned, unworthy of the love of God, and basically, despair.  The accusations of Satan are like tormenting fires.  His accusations are arrows that hit you and burn you.  The goal of Satan is to get your eyes off the work the Spirit of God is doing in your heart.  The goal of Satan is to get you to take your eyes off Jesus.  The goal of Satan is that you forget the joy of your salvation.

2.  God is Love.  God, in His love of you, disciplines you.  He does not condemn.  Your condemnation was taken care of on the Cross of Christ.  If you have accepted the Salvation of Jesus Christ, then your sin is forgiven.  The Bible makes it clear that there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ.  You are not going to Hell.  You are saved.  Nothing can take that away from you.

3. We have to grow up, sometime.  God insists you grow up in all ways to be like His Son, Jesus Christ.  You were not raptured the second you believed because God intends to use you in His service.  He wants to make you into something beautiful so that others will be drawn to the saving glory of Jesus Christ.  He will not allow you to be comfortable in your old habits.  However, this, too is optional.  You will grow into Christ likeness only as you are willing to grow, and eager to surrender your old ways to His new ways.

THE SUBJECT AT HAND

The groundwork is laid, and I hope you got it.  I am deeply sorry if I have done an inadequate job of not making the above clear.  But if this is you, you will know it.  If this is not for you, please pray for the person that is going through this.

A: The Unforgiveness and contempt you hold for yourself.

This is a tough one.  The more tender-hearted you become, the more you realize what a large swath of pain and confusion and anger you have left in your wake.  This is, perhaps, the strongest shock to your system you will face.  This is where you have to learn some important lessons.

LESSON 1:  You are Forgiven

Where did your salvation come from?  It came from the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross.  The perfect human took on all our imperfections and our sin and was nailed to the Cross and died for them.  In His dying, Jesus absorbed and accepted all the complete wrath of God.  “For the wages of sin is death.”  And Jesus paid that wage for you.  When you realized that you were in sin, and you were led to the Cross of Christ, and confessed your sin, you immediately felt the forgiveness of God, and His cleansing Breath (Ruach Ha’Kodesh – The Holy Spirit) enter you and cleanse you of the stain of your sin.  You are forgiven.

LESSON 2:  Forgive Yourself.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

It is hard to look at the destruction our pre-Christian lives left behind.  And if you took the time and diligence, as I did, to make a thorough mess, there will be more to face and deal with.  Sometimes you just have to take things one at a time.  Sometimes, you will have to face it over and over.

Sometimes Satan, the World, and others, will not let you forget what you have done.  This feeds the fire of your unforgiveness of yourself   Here you have to cling to the truth that God has forgiven you.  He has cast your sin as far away from Himself as the East is from the West.  God has chosen to forget your sin.  When God sees you, He sees His beloved Child, covered in the blood of Christ, who died for that very sin you are beating yourself up over.  When others want to rehearse your sin, when YOU want to rehearse that sin, you have to return to what you know.

You know that you are forgiven.

WHAT ABOUT THE PAIN?

The grief you feel is the grief God felt when you did all that destruction.  It is actually healthy.  Before you were saved, you may have felt a bit guilty, or not.  You probably went along justifying your actions, like I did.  Eventually, you built up a wall around yourself so that other’s couldn’t bother your conscience.   The thing about walls, while they effectively keep others out, they also keep you imprisoned in your own world.  You become unapproachable, unteachable, unassailable, and unwelcome.

There will be some measure of pain when this wall is torn down.  The reason you feel this pain is because you finally have a conscience.  Embrace the pain, and take it to God.  Don’t deny the pain you feel.  It is normal.  It is what remorse is supposed to feel like.  You feel remorse because God intends to grow you up, and teach you how to deal with your messes.  Learn from this remorse, and see what God wants you to do with it.

The Evangelism of today teaches something quite different.  It teaches you that you can just walk away from all your past without a second thought of the harm you have done to others.  This is an ungodly teaching.  Modern Evangelism teaches that there is no need to repent of sin, or regret your sin, that that is an unhealthy emotion that is bad for your self-esteem.

The Good news of being a Child of God is, you are no longer the sinful you.  It stops being about you.  It starts being about being remade into the image of Christ.  In that rebuilding process, you will find freedom and joy.   To assume there is nothing to go back and make right is one of the most self-indulgent things you can ever believe.

The pain of seeing, finally, what you have done to others is healthy.  It is so that you will be able to see outside of your own self-interest and see what others had to endure because of your sin.  This pain is actually the road to your freedom, as it drives you to obey God and make things as right as you possibly can.  How rich and joyful is the Grace of God, and His mercy.  What a sense of freedom you will know when you obey God, and do His will.

Part of the pain is that the old self just doesn’t want to die, and the new self doesn’t need all that baggage your old self left at the door.  The New Self, the new creation, has to deal with this.  The new self can deal with it because Christ makes you able.  In Him is your strength.  You can do all things through Christ.

You will have to deal with the anger and/OR unforgiveness of others.

This is where you get to have YOUR grace and mercy tested.  WHere it is at all possible, find the people you caused harm to, find the people you lied to, the people you used, the people you led into sin.  Confess what you have done.  Seek their forgiveness.

What you will discover:

1.  Some people have already forgotten it.

2. Some people remember it, but don’t care.

3. Some people remember it and forgive you anyway.

4. Some people remember and will not forgive you.

5. Some people remember it, will not forgive you, and want you to suffer for it.

6. Some will say they forgive, but the anger that shows in their eyes tell you other wise.

I can go on and on, here.  I know about this because in my efforts to make restitution, I have faced everything from happy tears to death threats.  And I am not making that up.  I have tried my best to exclude exaggeration in my discourse, unless I am trying to emphasize a very obvious point.

SO WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THESE PEOPLE?

To those who have genuinely forgiven you, and have shared the fellowship of Joy in the Lord, you have gained a brother.

To those who forgot, you still seek forgiveness, but don’t rehearse the issue.  Let it go.

To those who say they have forgiven you, but the look in their eyes tells you otherwise, all you can do is ask their forgiveness.  You probably have given them a good reason to write you off, but you cannot beat yourself up over it anymore.  You can pray for them.  Their anger is their poison.  Your prayers are the antidote.  Leave it at God’s feet.

This is especially hard when you encounter this attitude with people you genuinely love, and want to have fellowship with.  Some hurts never heal.  Some people will never like you, or accept you.  That is the hard part.  But you need to take it to God.  And you need to leave it with God.

HERE’S THE GOOD STUFF:  You will get to learn what grace feels like when others forgive you, and mean it from their hearts.

This is definitely the good stuff.  How sweet it feels when a brother genuinely forgives you and shows it.  It is a wonderful thing to gain a brother.  It is good that you have a new friend in Christ.

Being shown Grace is powerful.  It is the genuine reflection of Christ in others.  It teaches you that Grace is obtainable.  It teaches you that you can do the same thing.  Grace is a gift, and when you receive it, and you give it, it multiplies.

How sweet are the tears that forgiveness brings.  How deep is the laughter and joy when you are clean of this sin.

This is what really makes it worth it, from a human stand point.

Being shown grace does wonders for you.  It gives you hope, and teaches you that YOU TOO can be Christ like.  A living example of a brother showing the character of Christ is good medicine.

It is true that some people are just plain weary of dealing with you.  But it is a genuine joy when you encounter real grace.

SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET:

Now that you have reconciled with Christ, all the skeletons get to come out of the closet.  As scary as this sounds, this is a good thing.  God will take your past and turn it into a blessing.  If you have told God you want Him to make you into the image of Christ, and into His Character, then all the closets, both obvious and secret, will eventually have to be dealt with.

Don’t be afraid of the skeletons.  They are dead.  If you are in Christ Jesus, you are a new creation.  Let love have her perfect work.

Let’s Be About It.

I Love You

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Have a Heart


Dr. Martin Luther King at a press conference.
Dr. Martin Luther King at a press conference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 Samuel 16:7

English Standard Version (ESV)

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King marched on Washington D.C., and gave one of the most stirring speeches I have ever heard in my life.  I still get chills when I hear recordings of his landmark speech, and want to shout AMEN!

My formative years were in the South.  I have very clear and vivid memories of the race riots.  I recall that restrooms and buses and most public discourse was very divided along racial lines.   Later on in life, our family moved to Texas.  I was in 6th grade by that time.

I had family members in Mississippi who were in the Klan, and I never understood why they were so angry at everyone else.  What I did know from the Klan was, it was founded by the Democrats.  You couldn’t hold down a job in Louisiana if you weren’t a democrat, back then.  My Uncle was some kind of grand poobah in the Klan.

It wasn’t until I moved to Brownwood, Texas that I encountered different races.  I loved it.  I embraced it.  I did this because, regardless of the color of their skin, they wanted love just as bad as I did.  And I didn’t know I was supposed to not like anyone that was not white.

I heard just as much racism in Brownwood as I heard in Louisiana. This time it was divided along MANY lines; Black against White, Black against Hispanic, Hispanic against Black, Hispanic against White.  White against Black, White against Hispanic.

I still didn’t get it.  Why were the same people I was going to Church with, the ones who say Jesus is their Lord, behaving this way?  Why were Christians of other races doing this, too?

Maybe I didn’t know I was supposed to be a racist.  No one in my family ever said I needed to hate anyone.  So I didn’t.  Three of my closest friends were not white.  One was black, and gay, one was Hispanic, and one was American Indian.  It never occurred to me that their skin color should matter.  I was taught all my life that God is love, and that we are to love one another.

When I got to High School, I was the only white guy in the first ever Black History class at Brownwood High School.  I wrote my Term Paper on John Washington Carver.  That really opened my eyes.  I memorized Dr. King’s speech.  I analysed it to the nth degree.

The one thing that Dr. King asked everyone to understand was that we all live for the day when we are not judged on the basis of our skin color, but on the content of our character.

I am not saying this so “Whitey” can play up to the brother.  That is not at all my motive.  You will like me or hate me for reasons that are your own.  I cannot control that.

This is why I am writing this blog, tonight.

The prophet, Samuel, went to find the future King of Israel among the brothers of David.  God rejected all of them, then told Samuel to anoint David as the future King of Israel.   Samuel was flabbergasted.  The Oldest brother was first in line.  He was the eldest.  He was tall and handsome.  But God told Samuel that Samuel was looking only at exterior appearances, but God was looking at the intent of David’s Heart.

What is it that makes any of us worthy of anything?  What is it that makes even our enemies respect us?  It is a matter of the intent of our heart.

Do I want to hold a grudge against anyone, regardless of skin color?  What gives me that right?  If I take my judgement over the will of God for a person, I am rebelling against God.

Do I want to hold on to a bias, a racism, a hatred that is generations old?  Why?  The problem is not skin color.  It isn’t because I am white, or you are black, or Hispanic, or from the Middle East, or China or Japan, or Mars, even.  Your racism has more to do with the love you have of your desire to sin than anything another person’s skin color ever deserves.

Does it matter if that person really hates you?  NO.  Jesus said to turn the other cheek.  He said to love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.   If racism is a problem for you, look into your own heart.  The hate is in there.  The ugly creature that loves his skin color above the will of God is the one who is the problem.

God is spirit, and is to be worshiped in Spirit and in Truth.   Jesus sent the disciples into all the world to tell of the good news of the coming of Christ.  Jesus did NOT say, only if you are a certain skin color.  He sent this message out into all the world.

Point all you want at the flagrant racism of people of other color, but first, look into your own heart.  Are you not also a racist?  Then start there.  You cannot serve the Living God and be a racist.  It ends in your world when you give your heart to Jesus Christ.

The problem is not skin color.  Not really.  The problem is the unresolved evil that lives in our own hearts.  It is easy to cure, too.  Recognize you are in sin when you are being a racist.  Confess this sin and ask Jesus into your heart.  The Spirit of God will lead you into an understanding of the ways of the Kingdom of Heaven.

The evil that lives in your soul is what makes you hate anyone else.  It is not their fault, or their problem.  Even if that other person is being a hate filled vile person who wants to kill you simply because your skin is not the same as their skin.  If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, the Spirit of God will teach you a love for them too.

No laws, no legislation, no regulation, no force on earth can change your mind about anything.  Not even God, not if you don’t want to change.  If you love swimming in the sewage of your own evil thoughts, then disregard this blog.

If you want to end racism, let the Spirit of God change you.  You can end it in your heart.  Starting with YOU is the first step to healing.  Only the Living God can change a man or woman.  But not even the Living God can change you if you do not want to change.  The only way to get this change is to realize that this sin separates you from God.  The wages of sin are death.  Jesus Christ came to this planet, as the SOn of God, and died for this sin, along with all other sin.  He rose from the dead to prove he is Lord over Life and Death.

Man has tried long enough to force a change that only God can affect in our hearts.  All mankind has done is make it worse, by emphasizing it.  God makes this a non issue by filling you with His love.

When God looks into your heart, what does He see?

Let’s Be About It!

I love you  in the name of Jesus Christ.

David G. Perkins

PS – If you are wondering if I am a white guy, I had a DNA test done. Here is my pedigree:    My line begins in Israel.  It went from there to Mesopotamia.  From Mesopotamia to Greece, where it stayed a very long while.  While it was in Greece, it had an affair with some Basque people.  After a few Centuries in the Med, we moved to Scotland.  From Scotland, to the New World.

I am a mongrel.

The Adventures of Big Sweety – Chapter 2


Beaver Creek Ranch

Chapter Two

At first, things were a struggle. Not the farm. No, Pop was away enough that everyone else had learned how to do just about everything that needed doing. But for Big Sweety, taking on those unique skills that his Dad brought home with him, became his responsibility. He was glad his Dad had taught him so much about electrical wiring, plumbing, carpentry, painting and all the things that go into turning a house into a home. He had no idea how much work his Dad must have done between adventures in the NAVY. He had lots of opportunity to apply those skills.

Between him and Momma Sweety, the “young ‘uns” had everything they needed to grow up, get an education, and learn to be responsible adults. But Big Sweety had to stay home and help his Momma. Pop’s death was hard on her, and although she always had a song in her heart, and smiled a lot, sometimes, she would get that far away look, and then would go be alone somewhere on the farm. Big Sweety understood. He had to do that, too, sometimes.

Every time Big Sweety and Momma Sweety had a break, though, Big Sweety had to hit the books and do a lot of homework. He thought his Momma was the toughest teacher he ever had. When he took his Senior Year finals, though, he had made the highest scores in the county. Several colleges wrote him saying they would sure love to have him at their school. They offered to pay for everything. He wasn’t sure, yet, that he wanted to go. While he thought about things, he poured himself into the work of the farm. That was two years ago, and he was still thinking.

Momma Sweety knew all along that Dad had been teaching Big Sweety about shooting and survival skills. One day, she came up to him and said, “Sweety, you need to go git yer brothers and teach ‘em how to do all those things your Poppa taught you. They’re old enough, now, and it is time fer ’em to learn.”

Big Sweety looked at his mom as if the poor woman had grown an extra head. “Um…H..how did you know about that?”, stammered Big Sweety.

“Son,” Momma Sweety said, “ a woman grows eyes everywhere when she becomes a Momma. They ain’t no such thing as a secret on my farm. A rooster don’t catch a bug without my knowin’ about it.  Now git. Take your brothers and teach ’em how to grow up’n do the “man things” yer dad taught you…and take Daisy, with you too.”

“DAISY?!?!?”, Big Sweety was exasperated at that. “Momma, Daisy is a girl. What’s she need to learn all that stuff for?”

Momma Sweety looked Big Sweety right in the eye and said, “Lookie here, young ‘un. My girls are gonna grow up and know everything your Daddy taught you. I ain’t gonna have no fainting daffodils on my farm. No sirree. A girl can do just about as many things as a boy can do, and they can do some things boys don’t even know exist. So I ain’t gonna have no arguin’. Go git yer sister and teach her just like your poppa taught you.”

Yes Ma’am.” Said Big Sweety. He knew better than argue with Momma Sweety when she got that look in her eyes. That stare could put the fear of God in a statue. He might be twice her size, and stronger than anyone around, but he was not about to cross Momma Sweety when she starts glancing at the big wooden spoon. She was always telling him, “You still ain’t too old for me to spank, boy!”. He believed her. Besides, he really loved her a lot. She was strong and soft at the same time. Besides, he needed most of those spankings. He was glad she knew when to hug him, and when to swat him. He figured he has to have the best mom in the world.

He went and got Daisy, Dan and “Hassle”, and taught them what his poppa taught him. He also taught them how to do all the things poppa had done to make a house a home. He knew that men played as important a role as women did when it comes to making a home. It’s just that they see different things as being important.

Funny how life just picks up and keeps moving. That was fine with Big Sweety. He had a naturally sunny disposition, and welcomed each new challenge. Nothing seemed to really get Big Sweety down. He has a kind heart, a generous nature, and his Momma was always sayn’, “That pup ain’t never met a stranger!” Which is true. He wanted everyone around him to feel welcome and part of the experience, what ever the experience at the time was.

King of the Hill


Crown of ThornsThere is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.  But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  Ephesians 4:1-7 NASB

Have I ever known the truth of the gospels?  Have I brought to the word of God my “informed opinions” about religion, Christ, God , Salvation and Lordship only to see that they are broken on the Rock of our Salvation, Jesus Christ?  His word is true.  My opinion of His word is formed out of my seeing Him through a Glass Darkly.  But the Spirit of God, who dwells in me, gives me sight to see, and ears to Hear.  I am able to discern between Heavenly truth, and a false doctrine.

Have I been so caught up in all the false doctrines that have become modern evangelism, that I have lost sight of what is true, what is genuinely Holy, what is eternal?  Have I become so “Purpose Driven”, so “Seeker Sensitive”, so caught up in “Church Growth Evangelism” that I have forgotten the very words of Christ?  Have I gotten so caught up in the “Word of Faith” Movement that I have turned the King of Glory into a vending machine of my earthly desires?  Does my “Emergent Church” become so muddled that the sacrifice of Christ has been turned from a conviction of sin to “Christ is my buddy”, and you can believe what you want about him as long as we all get along?

Christ was speaking plainly when He said of Himself:  “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” – Matt. 10:34 NASB

If I take my agenda, and use the scriptures to support that agenda, I make either myself a liar, or God.  The math is easy.  God is not a liar, as there is no hint of darkness in Him.  Jesus pointed out that Satan is the father of lies, and those who lie are his offspring.  Satan is not God.

Am I worried that I will offend people with my “dogmatic” view?  Not any more.  I had to come crashing against the hard truths of the Scriptures to learn that the Gospel according to Jesus will offend almost everyone who hears it.  My agenda has no place in His kingdom.  My purposes are no longer mine, not if Jesus Christ is truly my Lord.  If Jesus is my claim to salvation, I have to learn that, while I am positionally complete in God’s eyes, I am complete because the blood of Christ covers me, and the Holy Spirit is in me.

But in order that the unsaved, the dead in the world, can come to life, I have to let that completeness be made manifest in my earthly life.  I cannot do that and hang on to my pet theology.  As long as I insist that God has to agree with me, I am as big a liar and heretic as Satan is.

American Evangelism is doing all it can to lead people away from the real truths of the Gospel.  It eliminates the need for repentance, it makes Jesus your material slave to the benefit of your earthly delights.  It makes Jesus equal to all the other ways and theologies of the earth, as if “All Roads Lead To Heaven”.

Ours is an exclusive faith.  And it is a hard truth.  It is not a popularity contest.  It is not a truth derived by a consensus of the people.  It is not an excuse to live any way you want just because you have acknowledged that Jesus is real.

Jesus is the King.  He is the only way to heaven.  He rules and reigns throughout all the Heavens, and is returning to rule on this earth.

 He is the King of the Hill by virtue of the Hill He chose to Die on.  He said to anyone who will call Him Lord:    “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  – Matt: 16: 24-26 NASB

That is not a warm fuzzy, people, but that IS what the Lordship of Christ insists on.  He is the King of Glory, and the Lord of Hosts.  This is a hard lesson for me, but it is what my Lord insists on.

   Lift up your heads, O gates,

            And be lifted up, O ancient doors,

That the King of glory may come in!

        Who is the King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle.

      Lift up your heads, O gates,
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in!

      Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

Psalm 24: 7-10 NASB

Lets be about it!

I love you in the Name of Jesus Christ, My Lord and Savior.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit….


Mathew 5:3  “Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶνοὐρανῶν”

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Jesus

NOTES ARE FROM “THE BLUE LETTER BIBLE

Textus Receptus

InterlinearReverse Interlinear
English (KJV)  
Strong’s Root Form (Greek) Parsing

Blessed

g3107 μακάριος makarios  blessed, happy
are the poor g4434 πτωχός ptōchos

destitute of wealth of learning and intellectual culture which the schools afford (men of this class most readily give themselves up to Christ‘s teaching and proved them selves fitted to lay hold of the heavenly treasure)

in spirit: g4151

πνεῦμα pneuma

  the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is animated

the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides

the soul

for g3754

ὅτι hoti

that, because, since (Conjunction)

 

theirs g846

αὐτός autos

  1. himself, herself, themselves, itself
is g2076

ἐστί esti

 “he/she/it is” (third person singular of ‘to be’)
the kingdom g932 βασιλεία basileia
  1. the region above the sidereal heavens, the seat of order of things eternal and consummately perfect where God dwells and other heavenly beings

of heaven.

g3772

οὐρανός ouranos

  1. of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah

  2. of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Jesus

Jesus has a habit of choosing people who the world will overlook or ignore.  They are the common, uncomplicated masses that have nothing but themselves to offer.

Modern Evangelism sells is a faith that emphasizes self; Strength of self-will, strength of a beautiful and optimistic mind-set, the strength of what we bring to the table, what we can offer Jesus, to take or leave.  We make of ourselves managers of Jesus call, and make of Jesus nothing more than a vending machine who will make us wealthy and happy and successful.

There is no emphasis on the RICHNESS of His grace, the Joy of His salvation, and the discipleship of Jesus as Lord.

“But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,” 

John 2:24 – King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition

Growing up in evangelic churches in the South, I always heard the phrase, “Decide for Christ”.  This emphasizes something that Jesus never trusted: Our way of thought.  Jesus did not ask you to “decide for Him”, but that we should yield to Him, and that is entirely different.  To choose Christ means you will yield to Him.

Christ’s Kingdom on this earth, in this time, is made up of the “unaffected loveliness of the commonplace” – Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest.  

I can be the wealthiest man on earth, and still be poor in spirit.  What I am blessed in is my poverty.  I tried to conform to His will by my strength, my will, my knowledge, my nobility of disposition.  That is where I found that I have nothing in my own soul to recommend me to Him.  In my “Religious Bigotry”, I thought I could take everything I am and Christ would have to accept it, just the way it is.  I even gave Him permission to, if it actually needed it, to modify what I brought to the table.

On top of that show of raw arrogance, I began to claim treasures from Him.  I believed that if I were not successful in the world, beautiful to the world, and holier than anyone else, to be seen in the world as a saint, and a popular one, at that, then I was not standing fast in the completeness of all the Gifts God had given me.

It has taken my material circumstances to teach me that Jesus has no need of anything I bring to Him, and that His blessings are not as shallow as the ones I was “claiming” in His name.

He has no use for me being good, and bringing Him my imperfect accomplishments.  It is when I recognize the poverty of my spirit that the Kingdom has a place in me, and I in it.  I can enter the Kingdom and possess it only when I recognize what a pauper I am, and understand that treasures are built in Heaven, and that His riches surpass anything that the world has to offer.

No effort of mine will reveal the true loveliness of Jesus and His Kingdom.  This kind of loveliness that reveals God is unconscious.  The conscious influence I bring is something I add to what the Spirit is trying to do through me, the unconscious and unfiltered loveliness of Christ.  It is when I think that I am useful to Jesus, when I contribute MY opinion or My ability, that the loveliness of the Lord vanishes and I take the lime light.  The glow of His touch fades because I have taken its place by my strength.

It is when I come to Christ, poor in spirit, that what Jesus said is true: “He that believeth in me, out of him shall flow rivers of living water.”  If I stop and look at what is flowing, I immediately spoil and interfere with that flow.  It is in my unguarded moments that my real and true relationship with Christ as my Lord is revealed.  That is the unconscious and unaffected flow of Christ flowing from you.  I cannot improve on that.  All I can do is desire more, and as I submit to the Lord, I have more.  If I believe I have to stop what I am doing and add to that flow, than I become consciously and willfully an intruder on the unconscious and natural flow of the work of Christ.  It is when I keep my eyes on Jesus that I am the most useful to Him. I become a bystander to His glory.

The people who have influenced my walk in the Lord weren’t the ones who thought they did.  The people who genuinely influenced me the most were the ones who had no idea that they were even remotely on my radar.

I know when Jesus is at work when He produces, in the common people of life, and the common circumstances they live in, that lovely flowing river of life.  It is in the common place that Jesus is most inspiring.

My Prayer:  Lord, take me out of the way.  Teach me to abandon all the stuff I try to bring to you, and replace it with the knowledge that I am actually poor in spirit.  Make me teachable so your living waters will flow out of me.

I get, now, why Paul said that all He had was dung, compared to the greatness of Jesus and His salvation.

To serve Jesus, I must come to Him empty of my self, and desiring to be filled with Him.

Let’s be about it.

I Love You,

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?


In light of my last two blogs, I wanted to re-post this.

David G. Perkins

Walk as Children of LightA long time ago, while I was trying to be a student at Seminary, I attended a small church in Fort Worth, TX.  This particular church had more Seminary professors per square foot than almost any other church in Fort Worth.   I always wondered why this church was as small as it was.  The Pastor, another Phd. grad from Seminary, was trying with all his might to get this church to wake up and get about the task of evangelizing.

The Pastor was really working on this, one Sunday morning.  His sermon was full of urgency for the call of Christians to obey the will of God.  While he was preaching, the free verse narrative came to my mind.  When I originally posted this on my old web site, I thought I was giving a clarion call to the church.  What I only recently came to understand…

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