POWERFUL GRACE


10513399_10152600234320628_3221227884745986876_nTHE BURNING QUESTION

 

Have you ever prayed fervently for something, and got what you prayed for? I did, and it caused problems. The problem it caused is that I discovered I cannot serve two masters. I cannot have it my way, AND God’s way…not when my way does not harmonize with what it is God is trying to accomplish in my life. I discovered that what I had asked for was a compromise position on what it is that God wants to accomplish in the life of my family.

See, Sandy and I have been praying fervently that God grow us up, make real believers of us, and remake us to be the image of Christ.

I also asked God for something that I have been asking Him even before I came to know Him in a very real way, last August. Strangely enough, I got what I asked for. EXACTLY the way I asked for it.

At the time I did this, I didn’t know there was a big difference between what I want and what God wants for me.

It turns out that, God will place at your feet anything you ask, if you ask believing it will be done. The problem is that, you have to make sure that what you ask is what GOD wants to see happen in your life.

If what you get does not harmonize with the will of God for your life, then what you experience is going to end up being a painful experience. You will discover that you have to do things God’s way, your way, or someone else’s way.

Here is an example of what I am talking about. God called Abram of UR, out of UR to go to another land. Abram didn’t go right away. He was supposed to go when he was called. He was supposed to go alone, too. He waited, and then took his uncle, relatives and his half-sister, whom he married. He didn’t go to where God told him to go, either. Where he ended up quickly became a barren land and had a famine. God told Abram to go NORTH. Abram went SOUTH, to Egypt. THEN Abram lied to everyone and said the hot babe on his arm wasn’t his wife, but his sister. Eventually the truth would come out, and people would kick Abram out of the place, but offer him peace offerings for nearly committing adultery with his wife.

Foreigners had to tell Abram he was sinning against his own God. By this time, Abram is old, and has not seen the promise of a great multitude occupying the land. You know the rest of the story.

The point is, God called Abram, told him what needs to be done, and Abram did it his way. The Bible describes it this way: Pro 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. (e-SWORD).

Abraham did what he thought was the right thing to do based on his understanding of the circumstances. What he did, however, slowed down the progress that God had in mind. But, through it all, Abraham became a man of great faith, because he got to see what God can do INSPITE of Abraham’s interference.

Abraham got the promise, but it took a long time. None-the-less, God was directing Abraham’s steps out of the path Abraham chose, and led him back into the promise.

When we take matters in our own hands, we slow the promise of God down. Then we end up in a situation. If we are smart, we will stop and ask relevant questions of God.

“What are you trying to reveal to me, God?” “Where are you in this situation?” “What are you trying to show me now that I am listening, that you couldn’t show me because I was asking for my own way?” God could have, by his power, prevented what He allowed to happen by His wisdom. The reason is because God needs to reveal Himself in every aspect of your life.

TRUST IN THE LORD

 

When you can finally quiet your heart, you have to ask these questions, then be still and listen for His answers. He WILL answer. If you ask God to rescue you from the consequences of you having your own way, He may do that, too. However, He will see to it that the lesson is repeated until you finally catch on to what it is that God is trying to show you.

The Bible puts it this way: Pro 3:5 & 6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

I asked for what I wanted, and God let me have my way. I discovered that, having my way exposed several weaknesses in my character, and that I have a lot of growing up to do. God turned my selfishness into a blessing. Sandy and I pray constantly to be made like our Savior, Jesus Christ. If I ask for anything from God that contradicts His character, His will for us, or His vision of who we are in Heaven, then I have to be prepared to deal with the outcomes. Even then, God is not judging me. God has already fulfilled all his judgment in Christ Jesus.

God is going to use even my selfishness to teach me and upgrade me so that I can be better at understanding what it is that God wants us to do.

It is the way of the flesh to call someone out on their failings, and judge them and condemn them. It is God’s way to take your failings and call you up to a higher standard.

Through the power of God’s Grace, He will show you what it is you need to do. Through the power of His Grace, God will empower you to do that very thing.

THE OUTCOME

 

Sandy and I have not yet understood all the lessons we need to learn through our circumstances. But one thing we do know, He made a promise to us, and, one way or another, He will see to it that His promise in us is fulfilled in us.

We are called to serve God because of Jesus Christ. We feel the urgency of this call, and we have a burning fire in our hearts to obey. Now we wait quietly to see what God wants us to do next.

Your outcome is secure if you have genuinely given your life to God through Jesus Christ. God is calling all of Humanity to come home to a relationship with Him. We have had several millennia to see what life is like apart from God. Jesus Christ did for all of humanity what we are not able to do for ourselves. He became all sin, all failure, all disease, all things that formed a barrier between us and God, and, for our sakes He died of them. He became the judged. He was the sin eater. He went to hell on our behalf. And he rose again to prove he has the right to be called the Son of God.

Sandy and I want to be part of the team of messengers He will be sending out to reap the final harvest.

The outcome of even my failings is, I will grow to be just like Jesus Christ. This is God’s promise to you, too.

 

MY PRAYER FOR US ALL

 

Father God, I come to you in the name of Jesus, our Savior and Lord. I pray you give us all a vision of what needs doing, and the power of your Grace to get it done. Grow us all up to be just like Jesus Christ. Teach us to put aside all our vain imaginings, and selfish desire. Teach us daily how to be your Child. Make us into the image of Your Son, Jesus. Time is running out. The enemy is afoot, and we are too busy being religious and selfish to care what goes on around is, in front of us, and even because of us. Grant us mercy. Show us all your love and your will.

AMEN

Let’s Be About It!

I Love You

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

7 Things That Make Someone Special


(I posted this on my original WordPress blog. It was around 5,000 words. This edition is shorter. I didn’t come up with this, either. A Rabi, friend, taught me this. I heard it again on the Dr. Laura Show.)

 


The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savor of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee. I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

…Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

… I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots. Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold. We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver. While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof. A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts. My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphor in the vineyards of En–gedi.

…Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes. Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.
(YES, THAT’S IN THE BIBLE!)

 

WHEN YOU’RE HOT, YOU’RE HOT!

Apparently, Solomon and Sheba were a red hot item in Israel. Sheba came from Ethiopia to see if King Solomon was really all that. She had heard he was very wise and VERY wealthy, and maybe not all that hard to look at. After all, he IS King David’s son, and the ladies really liked King David. So, she pulled her chariot up in his driveway, dusted off, and strode to the front door of the palace. She was all prepared to challenge his wisdom, to look him in the eyes and dare him to be brilliant. She also wanted a peek at his bank account, just to make sure he was really worth the drive from Ethiopia. Sure, the palace was a wonder, but anyone can rent a palace, now days, without good credit.

Before she could knock on the door, she heard the bolts of the entry way unlocking. She set her posture in her bravest and strongest, “Ï am woman, hear me roar!” stance, fixed her gaze at about the height she figured a Jewish King would stand. And prepared herself to be the toughest gal Solomon EVER ran across.

Solomon opened the door.

She adjusted her gaze about a foot higher. Her eyes dilated, her breathing grew a bit faster, and she started sweating. “Holy COW, he IS hot!!””, Sheba thought. She did her best to maintain the strong woman posture, in spite of the fact that her knees suddenly conspired to melt like butter.

King Solomon was worse off than her. He heard someone drive up. He looked out the curtains and saw a hot pink chariot parked where HE parks HIS chariot. He thought, “Great, just what I need…another gold digging babe to interrupt my thoughts!” When he opened the door, he forgot how to speak proper Hebrew and got that stupid look on his face all guys get when they meet the most incredible woman they have ever met, and…Well, the rest is history.

They were a very special item. Solomon and Sheba were special enough that their story has been told all over the world, throughout history. You can read about it in “The Song of Solomon” in the Bible.

 

Great relationships are God’s idea.

 

It was God’s idea that Male and Female, Man and Woman, be the epitome of what a great Human relationship looks like. It was probably easier in the Garden of Eden than it is today, but you know how that went, too. God invented relationships long before the fall of man. Great fellowship, companionship, love, sex, laughter, all that that makes up a relationship is God’s invention. What we see today, is the result of a flawed and fallen view of what God invented.

Today, relationships can be tougher, because no one has any idea what one is supposed to look like, or what to look for in a potential life mate. Today, because we are not taught what to look for in a mate, we overemphasize one aspect over others. When all the fun wears out of that aspect, then what is left? Either it works out, or it doesn’t. Statistics say the odds are against it working out.

Before my daughter decides that someone is really special, I want her to know what special looks like. I am also sharing this with you, too.

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE S.P.E.C.I.A.L.?

(Dedicated to my friend, Messianic Rabi, Dani Moyal)

Following these guidelines will more likely lead you to the best relationship you have ever imagined.

  1. S = SPIRITUAL – Make sure you both see eye to eye on what matters to you spiritually. This may not seem like such a big deal while the fire is hot, but when it cools, this becomes a hidden, but important thing. If your mates and your spirituality is not shared harmoniously, the difference will eventually add up to be hidden stress cracks in your relationship. Agreement in your spirituality is paramount. Agree to be Christians, or whatever spiritual belief you hold dear (I am a Christian, so you can bet where I lay my hopes). The hidden fractures of not being spiritually aligned create more serious problems than anyone even knows. Your Meta-view of the universe affects everything else you think, believe, say or do.

     

  2. P = PHYSICAL – Yes, PHYSICAL. If you plan on being together the rest of your life, make sure you don’t need a bag to cover his or her face before you will have sex with him or her. A long lasting relationship has healthy and consistent sex. It has been proven that committed couples have more satisfying sex than anyone else. God meant for it to be fun and satisfying. Even after YEARS of practice. So, make sure you can stand to look at that person naked, with the lights ON. Remember, too. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What appeals to me might not appeal to you, and vice-versa.

     

  3. E = EDUCATIONAL – CAVEAT: If you both have mastered your ego, then this will not be that big of a deal. Most people, however, are still struggling with EGO. If you have been to a college or a university, and have a great education, and wonderful memories, and your significant other doesn’t, this can be problematic as it may be intimidating to your significant other. You may eventually let the pride of life lead you to get a sense of superiority over your mate, and your mate may develop a resentment that you lord your education over him or her. You will have different sorts of friends and you will have different ideas of what it means to know something. While a good education is important, you both have to understand that, graduating college doesn’t mean you have a good education. In other words, if there is a disparity between your educational levels, you have to just get over yourselves. Otherwise, find someone who has more in common with you, educationally. It will be less stressful if you don’t have to fight that fight.

     

  4. C = COMMUNITY – What does your social environment look like? Who are your friends? What is your idea of a great neighborhood? Are the people you like to hang out with the same as the people your potential mate likes to hang out with? Will your friends blend in well with your mate’s friends? This doesn’t mean you cannot have one or two exclusive friends, as long as that is not a secret. Downplaying this element of a relationship can be the death of your relationship. In the end, you both will have to choose between loyalty to your mate, or loyalty to your friends. This problem is vastly reduced if your friends are likely to get along with his or her friends. Do you agree on where you should live and how you will live. Do you have the same environment in mind? If not, your community choices can lead to disastrous outcomes. God designed couples so that they are their first and best friend, and the community you chose to live in is a shared vision.

     

  5. I = INTELLECTUAL – Do NOT confuse education with intelligence. Some of the most educated people have actually been president, and they were still stupid. I have a pretty decent IQ, and a strong education, but my wife is vastly more intelligent than I am. It can get frustrating to have to wait for the light to dawn on your mate. Again, this can become an ego situation. Do you both love the same intellectual pursuits? While you are plummeting the depths of “The Iliad” in the language it was written in, does your mate think watching truck pulling competition to be the best mental stimulation in the world? What starts out as cute or adorable in the beginning of the relationship, can become the very thing that makes you want to run barking-mad up the street. Shared intellectual interests will build a very strong bond.

     

  6. A = ACTIVITES – Remember that person that loves to go to Truck Pulling Contests? Do you, too? Or, do you go to the ballet, or a good opera, while he has a few beers at the local truck pulling arena? If you are going to survive as a couple, harmonizing in as many activities as possible strengthens the bond between you. It doesn’t mean you HAVE to do and like every single thing he or she does, but the more you harmonize here, the more resonant the bond is between you. Share your life with each other. Find things you like to do together and make sure you have a steady diet of doing it. This is where most of the really good memories come from. “Hey, honey, remember when we…?” THAT is the good stuff.

     

  7. L = LOVE – Yes, LOVE. And yes it is at the bottom of the list. It is not the least, though. A very strong love goes way beyond what Solomon and Sheba had. Sheba eventually left Israel and returned to Ethiopia. They had separate lives, separate interests, separate communities, differing intellectual pursuits, and differing spiritual beliefs. Their sex life was a thing of legend. It was phenomenal. But as the Friar told Juliet, in Romeo and Juliette, “Even the sweetest honey is loathsome in its own deliciousness.” Trust me, knocking boots is great fun, but if that is all you have, you will eventually not even have that. In the end, Solomon and Sheba stopped being an item and became a legend instead. A strong love is built out of all the things listed above. Love is the foundation, but the ingredients for that foundation are what make a relationship special.

I want to be clear on what love means.

Love is made of 4 components.

Agape = Unconditional Love. The, “Ï love you no matter what.” That is the love God has for us.  It is unconditional.  Never varies.  Is not affected by circumstances.  It is bold and unflinchingly eternal.  NOTHING can change it.

Phileo = Brotherly Love. It is not strictly a male thing, either. It is the love that says, “Even when you are a complete and total jerk, I have your back, because we are brothers/sisters.” My big brother and I were close like this. We differed in many ways, and we had our share of fights. But let anyone else come in between us, and you dealt with both of us. I have a friend who is close to me, like a brother. If he ever needs my help, no matter where I am on this planet, I will stop and help. Brothers can be counted on. Not all friends are brothers.

Eros = Erotic Love. This is an invention of God. He meant for us to enjoy this, just as much as any other type of love. What the world has turned this into is not love at all.

EGO = Self Love. God designed us to love ourselves. A strong sense of individual identity lives in all of us humans. We are all unique, just like everyone else. A warped EGO is what the world has taught us. Instead of being at peace with who we are, we are taught to place ourselves far above all other considerations, because we may end up lacking something that others will get first. Today, the idea of being so self-actualized that you are free to be selfless with others, is a foreign concept. Even amongst the Brethren of the Lord, Jesus. We are never to act in a way that supports our sense of self above others. We are to be so well identified and comfortable in our own skin that interacting with others becomes a positive thing for that person. We have gotten this one very backward. Warped EGO tells us we need to take from others so we will win and be better. Godly EGO is not like that at all. Jesus said we are to love others AS MUCH as we love ourselves. A weak and selfish EGO will keep you from reaching out to others. A healthy and strong sense of self is a healthy EGO.

A good, strong, lasting love is built of all these things.

These lessons are lessons I have had to learn by getting it wrong repeatedly. I destroyed my first marriage because I didn’t understand this at all. I have been intimate with far too many women without even taking in consideration these things. Today, I have a relationship with Sandy that goes beyond anything I ever thought could be possible. What makes it so special is that, now I am a believer in Jesus Christ. That has changed me so dramatically that all the above has become true in our relationship.

What sandy and I have is, indeed, very SPECIAL.

Let’s be about it!

I Love you,

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

www.sammysnardfarkle.com

 

 

 


Lessons Love Taught Me


 

The old man sat on the swing under the large sycamore tree. It was his little slice of heaven, his place to sit and watch, to see what else nature could teach him. Ancient and strong, the sycamore’s branches stretched far and wide, shading a very large portion of his back yard. Sunlight filtered green and golden through the giant leaves that sheltered all that sat in her shadow. Years ago, he had hung that porch swing on the low, horizontal branch, itself large enough to be a tree trunk for a smaller tree. Just like that old tree, my grandfather was ancient and strong.

Grandpa Perkins had been a woodsman most of his life. Felling timbers for International Paper in Sarepta, Louisiana, he had worked hard all his life. When he had grown too old to be a woodsman, International Paper had him spend the last years of his work life cleaning out the chimney stacks at the mill. That was just as hard, and even more dangerous. There were no real “Safety” regulations back then. Safety meant getting the hell out of the way before a block of ash fell on your head because you jarred it loose cleaning the stacks. He had grown up in a hard world, and learned the ways of the woodlands, and earned his keep off that woodland. Even as an old man, he looked to me to be strong enough to snap two by fours with his hands.

Momma told me to wait until after grandpa had his coffee before I pester him. So, I stood at the back door, looking out the screen, waiting for him to put his cup down, signaling he will be receiving an audience. Grandpa had an old border collie, named “Pup”. That old dog stood guard while Grandpa drank his coffee. When he heard the cup settle down next to the old swing, he would turn and wag his tail at Grandpa, and receive a good scratching between the ears for being a good dog. Pup growled low at most people who came up, but he treated me like I was his best friend.

Momma told me not to go out there and talk Grandpa’s ears off. So, I walked out there quiet as a church mouse, and, after giving Pup a good solid hug, I crawled slowly and quietly in to that old porch swing and just sat there, as silent as a tomb. Grandpa, Pup, and I would sit like that for the longest time. No one moved. There was no talking. The only sound we heard were the sound of cicadas or a slight breeze jostling the leaves on his prize “Cane Pole Garden”, and the chickens clucking in the yard. There was hardly any reason for us to chat. Grandpa was a man of few words, but even if he were a chatterbox, it seemed like it wasn’t necessary for us to have to talk. It felt as if all our talking happened through our hearts.

Eventually, Grandpa would turn his tired blue eyes on me, squeeze my knee, and nod. It was the benediction on a long and silent communion we alone had shared. It was time to do the chores.

His property was small for that part of Louisiana, but a poor woodsman could barely feed his family, let alone have a good stretch of land. What he had, he made the most of. He had a garden, he had chickens, and he had his famous cane poles, growing along the fence line. Grandpa grew the strongest and straightest Bamboo Cane Poles in North Louisiana. People came from far and wide just to try to get one. He had over a hundred poles growing at a time, but very few of them passed his standard of what makes a really good cane pole. What other men would accept as passable, Grandpa threw in the fire for kindling. Our first chore was to cover our mouth and noses with damp cloth and cut down some of the Bamboo Canes. Cane fibers would get in your lungs if you didn’t protect your breathing. Those fibers were like tiny spears that could penetrate your lungs. We had to cover up so we wouldn’t inhale them.

After that, he would choose which ones were worthy of being a Grandpa Perkins Fishing Pole, and have me strip all the tiny branches and buds off the pole. I had no idea I was working hard, all I knew was that me and my Grandpa were doing stuff together. I didn’t care, I was happy as a pig in slop just being around Grandpa. He taught me how to keep a really good cutting blade and a really good chopping blade. You don’t just go up to Bamboo poles and start hacking away at them. There is a way to cut them down. It is an art, and done right, means less hard work, and more poles to dry and season. I was too small to cut the big poles, so Grandpa had me clear the little bamboo from between the big ones. He said they would never grow to be a good pole, so they had to go. It was my job to make them go away. I felt like a real lumber jack cutting down those poles.

Grandpa was a woodsman, and being a lumberjack was mostly what he did. He taught me how to pick the right axe for the job, how to sharpen the axe, and keep it sharp. Out there, in rural Louisiana, there was no going to Home Depot to get a new axe or axe handle. I still have one of his axes. The one with the home made handle. That handle is better built than any I have used from a factory. Trust me; I have broken many axe handles, except that one. Grandpa taught me several lessons on that. If you want it right, do it yourself. Otherwise, you can’t say a word about it. Protect your tools, and they will feed you.

He showed me the different ways of cutting wood, and what type of strike did the most good for the type of tree you are felling and cutting up. He said that a man has to keep good care of his axes and saws because they took care of him. Besides, dull and badly kept blades made for twice as much work for half the pay. I had no idea what that meant at the time; I was just overjoyed to be around him, and him letting me inside his world.

Grandpa was known for being an outstanding fisherman. Louisiana is “Fisherman’s Paradise”, and Grandpa was famous for knowing all the hidey holes where all the good fish were. It was his secret, shared with no one else but me and my big sister, Carol. We would go out while it was still dark. I was little, so Grandpa already had the boat hooked up to his old Ford truck, and warmed up. He sat me in the passenger’s side and I fell back to sleep. The next thing I know, we are at Bodcau Bayou, near Minden, Louisiana. After swearing me to secrecy, we would launch our john-boat out to those hidey holes. Grandpa taught me how to hold a pole and how to “hear” the fish through the line. He showed me how to set bait, how to cut bait, and what to do when I catch a fish. Catching the fish was the fun part. Cleaning it was another. But Grandpa taught me that God gave us fish so we can catch them, eat and enjoy them, and be happy. Grandpa was very happy about fish.

I didn’t set out to learn how to make fishing poles, or cut timber, or catch fish, or sharpen axes and blades. All I wanted to do was hang out with Grandpa because I loved him so much. Learning how he does things was a byproduct of that relationship. He loved me very much, and gave me good things; simply because I thought he was more important than all the fish in Louisiana.

 

Seeking the kingdom of God…and all these things.

 

God brought all this to my remembrance yesterday. I cried happy tears at all those sweet memories. To this day, I still do those thing he did because I loved being with him, and he was a good and gentle teacher. That is the message God is trying to get through our sheepish skulls. Do you love God for all the stuff he will give you, or do you just love God, and want to be with Him? Sandy and I are facing some challenges in our life, right now, and we have been praying our hearts out over them. That is when the lessons my Grandfather taught came to my mind. I never asked Grandpa for anything, I just wanted to be near him and love him.

Am I to the point where that is why I want to be with God, or do I want to be with God because I want stuff from Him? Either way you go, God will be there with you. The difference is, if you hang out with Him simply because you love Him, all the rest of the things you seek will simply happen as a consequence of His love for you. In the meantime, He will help you grow up to be just like His beloved Son, Jesus. After all, it was Jesus who introduced you to God.

Love God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength. Seek Him and His kingdom (Which happens to dwell in you already), and ALL these things will be added to you. You will be just like Jesus then. You might be the only Jesus people meet before they die.

 

Grandpa Perkins, with my Big Sister, 1952

 

The Adventures of Captain Klutz


captain_klutz
Captain Klutz, by Don Martin. Captain Klutz was a big deal in the ’70’s and ’80’s.

MEET CAPTAIN KLUTZ

Brownwood, Texas, is my home town. I have no doubt that Brownwood has changed quite a bit in the last 40 years, but when I was a kid, in Brownwood, if you were a male, in school, you were in the Future Farmers of America, and/or played football (Coach Woods Mighty Lions! ROAR), OR you were thought to be a bit, um,…light in the loafers.

I was the Drum Major of the Band for years, was in the Drama Club, performed in musicals, and drove a multi-colored Volks Wagen Beetle. Guess what my days were like. It didn’t matter that I actively participated in three different martial arts, and was secretly going out with every other football player’s girlfriend…nope, my life was just plain interesting as a kid.

My big brother, Mike, gave me the nick name “Captain Klutz”.

See, here’s the deal, when I was not on the stage, or in the Dojo, or practicing my arts in the studio, or jogging, I was very clumsy. Mike used to watch me try something with tools and my Volkswagen, and declare, “Man! You could mess up an anvil with a rubber mallet!!, Here, let me do that!”.

I got a LOT of free VW maintenance out of Mike.

GO LARGE OR GO HOME

My biggest Klutz experiences, however, tended to be very public. Like the time I was leading the Band out onto the field at Half-Time, and my Drum-Major pants fell down. It is difficult to lead a band whilst holding up your drawers. I heard about that one for years.

LIVE TV and The Old Rugged Cross

My Dad and I installed Brownwood’s first television station. It was affiliated with KBWD Radio, and installed in First Baptist Church, Brownwood. We broadcast every Sunday and Wednesday service.  We even had a studio in the basement of the church, where we would interview folks around town, or a visiting pastor, or some such. My brother helped Dad with some of the more intricate and complex electronics, but I was the gopher, cable puller, installer, and eventually Camera Man.

We had three cameras. I ran one of them every Sunday morning. Picture this, we were about to sing “The Old Rugged Cross”, Hymn #430 (In 1975, that is where the hymn was in our hymnbook, I think it was Hymn #91 in the Broadman.) We thought it would be wonderful to superimpose a screenshot of that hymn over the great stained glass windows that were in our sanctuary.

Being the alert camera man that I was, I fixed Camera 1 on a stain-glass window. I fixed Camera 3 on the Pulpit. I set a hymn book on the ledge of the balcony so I could focus camera 2 onto it. Everyone was just starting to bellow out the Chorus, “I will cling to the old rugged cross…”, when my dad told me over the headset, “Zoom in Dave, we need a better shot.”   I zoomed, and I zoomed….”Not there yet, Dave, try to get closer.”   I moved the camera closer to the Hymn Book.  When I did that, the book fell off the balcony rail right onto one of the Blue Haired Praying Women of the church. She was a BIG donor, too. I don’t mean that in girth, I mean she gave a boat-load of money. Pastor Cummings said that one way or the other, we WILL strike the fear of God into you.

Everyone laughed but me and the Pastor.

If looks could kill, I would be with Jesus instead of writing this.

YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE

Then there was the time one of the TV lights went on the blink. We had three types of lights:

fresnel-jpg
We had Fresnel Lights
halogen-lamp-ellipsoidal-reflector-spotlights
We had Halogen Bulb Focused Lights
SCOOP
We had Large Scoop Lights (For the overall wash of the Choir Loft)

We had cut a large set of holes in the ceiling of the Sanctuary, and mounted several of these types of light so that their light would shine down on the Pastor and the Choir. If you were to stand at the Offering Table, and walk about 6 pews back, and look up, you could see these lights.

Church Service was just about to start, and this particular Sunday was going to be Big Doings at First Baptist. We were going to honor all the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Church, as it was Mother’s day. As my mom was playing some beautiful anthem on the organ, and crowds were just starting to mill around in the sanctuary, the halogen bulb went out on the Focused Lamp that focused right square on the pulpit.

Dad said I should get up into the Sanctuary attic and change that bulb as fast as I could. I locked my camera on the Pulpit, as that is where the announcements were going to take place, and those took forever.

I scuttled up the ladder in the back of the balcony that takes you right up to the Sanctuary attic. I ever so quietly crawled out to that Halogen Focused Light, new bulb still in its’ package firmly grasped between my teeth, and reached that lamp. As I was unscrewing the housing so I could change the bulb, the new bulb slipped from between my teeth. Having the reflexes of Bruce Lee, I grabbed for the bulb, and I CAUGHT it! I was so relieved, until I noticed that when I did that, I accidentally knocked the whole lamp off the beam it was clamped to.

That sucker fell like greased lightning right smack dead onto the 6th Pew on the right hand side. It made a terrible racket. Glaring up at me, from that very pew, just a few feet from where the lamp rested, was that same Blue Haired Praying Woman…the one that donated all that money to the church.

SHE HAS A WAY ABOUT HER

Some people thought being a klutz must have been contagious around me, too. I had just started dating Kathleen. She was one of the prettiest girls in Church, and one of the top 10 prettiest girls at school. I was running Camera 2 in the balcony, when Kathleen decided she would come to where I was running the camera, and sit next to me. As she headed down the balcony steps to sit on the front row of the balcony, she tripped and fell all 20 steps. She was wearing one of the prettiest summer dresses I had ever seen. She was also, the whole church discovered, wearing Sunflower Bloomers. Kathleen was so embarrassed that, when she got up and turned to run away from the front row of the balcony, she tripped back UP those steps. When she got up, she was in such a hurry to get as far away as possible, that she tripped over her pretty shoes and fell flat on her face, right there in front of Jesus and everyone.

Kathleen was a dancer.

CAUTION

People got to where they stood at a distance whenever they saw I was going to do anything other than breathe or blink.

Maybe I was a Klutz.

I was very encouraged, though, when my Pastor told me, “Son, you’ll grow out of this some day.”  They let me keep on running the cameras, in spite of all the fun I brought to the church service.  I had to learn somehow.

That is how it is with God.

Because you belong to Him through Jesus Christ, you are His beloved child, warts and all. There will be times when you are brilliant and amazing, and there will be times when you just plain stink. God is OK with that. Failing is part of succeeding, when it comes to growing to be just like Jesus.

It isn’t how you fail, it’s how you get back up.

As long as you are doing what Jesus said we should do, and seeking the Kingdom of God, and all His righteousness, God will see that the Holy Spirit adds everything else you need to you and your circumstances so you will eventually grow out of being a Klutz of a Christian.

Romans 8:1-2: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Keep trusting God, keep moving forward. God will turn even your most embarrassing failures in to a blessing.

It is written:

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Let’s Be About It!
I love you in the name of Jesus,
David G. Perkins
sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com
http://www.sammysnardfarkle.com

 

Trust In The Lord


"He trusted in God; let him deliver him now; if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God."—Matthew 27:43.
“He trusted in God; let him deliver him now; if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.”—Matthew 27:43.

Proverbs 3:5-6
King James Version (KJV)
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Do I trust in the Lord when the larder is full?
What about when there is no food?
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

Do I trust in the Lord while my friends laugh with me and pat my back?
Will I trust in the Lord when I am alone, and no help is in sight?
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

Do I trust in the Lord while the lights burn bright?
Will I trust in the Lord when the lights go out?
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

Do I trust in the Lord when my bed is right here?
Will I trust in the Lord when there is no place to sleep tonight?
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

Jesus had no place to lay His head,
no place to call His home, but He said;
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. – Psalm 28:7

Reckless Abandonment


 

These are the free gifts of God, through Jesus Christ.
These are the free gifts of God, through Jesus Christ.

I rode 12 miles on my bike today. I know, that doesn’t sound like much, especially considering just a decade ago, 30 to 50 miles was my norm. Today, though, 12 miles was perfect for me. One thing bike riding does for me is burn out the extra energy I seem to collect. I am a physical/tactile learner, but I can be easily distracted if I don’t take time to get physical. I hung up my Superman Cape about a decade ago, so bike riding, I feel is the perfect way for me to blow steam. While I am busy working my rotund body, my mind is able to float free, get creative, imagine, explore, think, and sing. (My mind sings loud, when it sings…it comes with its own orchestra, too!) So, while the singing and orchestra was playing gently in the background (I love to take the Old Hymns and arrange them for a Solo singer, with vocal back ground, accompanied by a Knabe Baby Grand Piano, and the London Philharmonic. I KNOW! That’s a lot to put on one bicycle!)

Where was I… OH, singing quietly in the background… riding my bike. OK, so there was my mind, singing, flying high, praising God. My mind started looking at how far I have come since I first set out to ride around Pearland. Baby steps. I reflected on how much has changed in a year, in a decade, in my life. In my younger days, I was an adrenalin junkie. Suddenly, I realized when it began.

THE WELLS FAMILY REUNIONS

(Please wait while the Orchestra changes to nostalgic background music)

When I was little, the Wells Family Reunions were my favorite part of summer. Going to them meant seeing all my cousins, Uncles, Aunts, and my Grandmother Wells (A woman of God if ever there was one.) I haven’t thought about them in decades. Flashes of memory came to me…swimming like a tadpole in the big pool at the Carthage, Texas park. Next to the swimming pool is a large pavilion that can seat a couple of hundred people. We had picnic tables lined up everywhere, and food everywhere. After “Uncle Lindsey” gave his traditional (ONE HOUR LONG) blessing on our gathering, we dove into the food in supreme Southern Baptist Style. Herschel H. Hobbs would have been proud of this “fellowship”. After victuals, the Wells family participated in their favorite sport – GOSSIP. They way this worked is, all the hens sat at one group of tables, and all the men went outside to smoke and tell their balderdash about their triumphs and failures. After a few minutes or so, you had to rotate through the crowds, so you can catch up on any gossip you may have missed, and “share” the gossip you just heard. After a few minutes of this, we kids would decide that there had to be better adventures for us outside. If we dawdled, our momma would swat us on the hiney and tell us to “git!”. And we got.

When I was little, my big brother was the daredevil. So were my cousins, Jackie, Gary and Jeff. I was the observer. I really wanted to participate in their fun, but I was “the Brat”. During one of these reunions, I watched my brother and cousins and sister swinging on the swing set. From my perspective, they were flying high in the air. After flying so high, they jumpped out of their swings. The goal was to see who can fly the farthest. I wanted to do that, too. I would wait my turn, but my brother would say, “Scram, Brat!!”. And he would take the swing out of my hands. That was OK, it’s how brothers are. Things got better when we got older. But back then, I was just a Brat.

My Uncle Dan was my all time favorite Uncle. I loved him with a fierce love. I thought he was the funniest, most interesting person in the world. He was a sailor in WWII, and boy did HE have some stories! He could also tap dance like a fiend. He was able to make me laugh so hard my belly would hurt.

Uncle Dan must have seen me trying to break into the line at the swings. He came out and gave the big kids some money to go get a coke (In the South, in Texas, EVERY carbonated drink on earth is a coke, OK?). When they left, he asked me, “Wanna Swing?” I nodded my head yes. He picked me up and put me in the swing. He pushed me hard and I went higher than I had ever gone before. I laughed and screamed at the thrill of flying so high. He shouted, “Wanna fly like them (My cousins)?” I laughed “YES!”, and boy, did he push me really high. It scared hell out of me. I dug my feet into the ground on the down swing and hopped off. He asked me if I was scared? I told him I had never been that high before and it scared me. He told me, “Well, if you really want to fly, you have to try, and I promise to be there if you fall, OK, sport?” I said, “OK!”, and shook his hand. In those days, in the South, when a man shook your hand over a promise you made, it means that he believes you will keep that promise, and it means you absolutely keep that promise. A hand shake meant more to a man back then than it does today.

I got on my swing and screwed up all the nerve I could muster. Uncle Dan told me that, when he was on a boat in “The War, in the Pacific”, the air planes were shot right off the deck of the ship with a giant sling shot full of steam. Then he said, “Pretend you are flying that airplane, and I am the sling shot.” “Ready…Set…GO!”, And he pushed really hard, and made the sound of steam blowing out. He pushed me harder than I have ever been pushed before. And I was FLYING!

The exhilaration was magnificent. I couldn’t get enough. Uncle Dan must have pushed me forever, but he never grew tired. Eventually, I grew quiet. He asked me if I am still having fun. Uncle Dan was always about having as much fun as a person could have. He stopped the swing, and came around front. He asked me what I wanted to do now. I told him I want to jump from the swing, too, like the big kids. He looked me in the eye and said, “Well, a boy has got to earn his paratroopers badge.” He told me how to time my swing and jump, and how to fly my arms while I am air born, and how to land with my knees partially bent, and how to roll when I land. We pretended a few jumps, after which, he said, “Boy, I think you are ready to earn your wings.”

I was excited and scared, all at the same time. He reminded me, “Now lookie here; If you fall, I will catch you. OK?!?” I nodded my head. He counted down and pushed and made the steam blowing noise, and I was flying again. He said, “When I say GO, you bail out, cause the Japs have shot your plane full of holes! (I had no idea who the Japs were, but I trusted Uncle Dan.) He pushed me harder and harder, each time. I had NEVER been this high EVER, and I was beyond scared. Uncle Dan shouted, “GO!, GO!, GO!” and…

I ejected from my plane, flack filling the air as the Zeros buzzed past, firing their 30mm machine guns at me.

Then the reality hit me. I wasn’t over the Pacific, I was flailing upside down in mid-air in Carthage, Texas. I closed my eyes, put my arms over my head, and hoped for the best. I felt sick to my stomach as I fell, knowing I was going to hit the ground really hard. I was really scared, now. I had not yet, at this point in my young life, broken any bones, and I was imagining what all my broken bones will look like to my Mom, who would surely spank me for being so careless.

Uncle Dan caught me.

UNCLE DAN CAUGHT ME!!!!!

I laughed really hard at the relief of not splattering on the hard Carthage playground soil, and at the joy of knowing Uncle Dan was as good as his handshake said he was. He tickled me hard, and we laughed. Then he said, “You ready to go again??” I yelled, “YES!!!”. He said, “OK, but this time, I believe you can land on your feet. Wanna try?” I was not afraid anymore. I knew that if Uncle Dan saw I was in danger, he would catch me, like he did last time. That was the first time I ever knew that it was OK to make a mistake. Uncle Dan was going to be there to catch me. I became fearless. I wanted to show Uncle Dan I was fearless, that I was a big boy, and was ready to jump out of any old airplane. And I did, over and OVER until I think Uncle Dan was exhausted.

He stopped the swing and said, “I think you earned your wings, young man! Lets go celebrate in the pool with a coke.” And we did. I learned that, sometimes, you just have to have a joyful sense of reckless abandon in order to Accomplish your goals.

BACK ON THE BIKE

(As Josh Groban steps up to the mike, the orchestra plays the opening to “You Lift Me Up”)

By this time, I had ridden eight miles. I was on the return leg from Hwy 288, and I needed to stop at the 3rd Pond from home, and rest. The sun didn’t feel THIS hot when I left the house. Things started to go black, so I got off the bike and sat down. When I came too, and I could see again, I grabbed my water bottle and drank it dry. As I sat, feeling the cool breeze blowing off the pond, I thought about that family reunion and my Uncle Dan. That must have been, I dunno, 50 years ago? I couldn’t remember. But I remembered how brave I felt because Uncle Dan helped me learn to jump out of the swing. I sat and thought about all the daring things I have done since those days. I learned from Uncle Dan that I can do it if I believe I can do it. I don’t have to be afraid.

That is when it hit me.

I am a very young Christian. I know that because of the exchange that took place on the cross, Jesus took away all my sin and failure, and anything that separates me from God , and became all those things, and died of them. Jesus promised me that, now that I am a Child of God, I have all His inheritance, and that as long as I seek God and His kingdom, that:

John 14:26 – New International Version


the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” – Jesus

and

Romans 8:15 – New Living Translation


So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”” – Apostle Paul

I know now that, no power of hell, or fear of man can pluck me from my Father’s Hand. I now know, HE will be there to catch me when I fall.  I can grow in all ways to be like Christ. This doesn’t mean I will never fall, but it DOES mean the Holy Spirit of God will be there when I do.

Romans 8:1 – English Standard Version


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Apostle Paul

God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit will not condemn you, call you a failure, or judge you when you fall.  God has already poured all his wrath out on Jesus at the Cross.  In God’s eyes, you are His innocent Child, covered by the blood of Christ, filled with the Faith of Christ (Galatians 2:20), and filled with the Holy Spirit of God.  He will teach you how to fly, and how to land on your feet.  He will grow you up in all ways to be like Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior, and our Brother.  God the Father is not like an earthly parent who will condemn and criticize you when you fail, but He will demonstrate His love toward you and raise you up to be just like Jesus, His only begotten Son.

We are heirs and adopted children of God, and nothing in Heaven, on Earth, or anywhere else,  can take us away from Him.   No religion on earth can do for you what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Your religion says there always be one more thing, one more level, one more way to tell you that you still have to prove your worthiness to the Living God. Religion will give you an opinion of God.  Religion will give you the rules you must follow to please God.  This is all any religion can do for you.  God is our Father. When Jesus said, on the Cross, “It Is Finished”, all judgment on you stopped.  All that is left is the Grace and Mercy and Love of God toward you.  God loves you and accepts you right now, just as you are. You do not have to change one thing to come to God. All you have to do is believe:

 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  –  John 3:16 – 17 – Words of Jesus, the Savior of Mankind.

There is no other message for mankind on this earth. This is THE truth.

I am free to trust God in all things. I am free from the judgment of Man. I am free from the wages of Sin and Death. I am all that God says I am. I am an Heir with Jesus. I am righteous because of Jesus. I live in abundance through the faith Jesus has placed in me. I plant my tiny seed of faith in the garden of Jesus’ faith, and grow a mighty tree. I do not have a theological opinion of God, I have a relationship with the Living God, my Father, through Jesus Christ.  Jesus came here to destroy all barriers between you and God. He came to re-establish the relationship we lost in the Garden of Eden.

If you will accept him, You will be a new creation. (II Corinthians 5:17). You can trust with reckless abandonment that God is your Father, that you are His child, and the Holy Spirit will be there to catch you, and will teach you to be just like Jesus. IF you will accept this one and only truth.

Let’s be about it!

I Love you because God loved me.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Happy Father’s Day


I love you with all my heart.
I love you with all my heart.

1 Peter 1:3 ESV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”

I knew from childhood that you were there, but everyone told me to be afraid of you.

I was scared that you would “Get me for that”.

I wanted to please you so I became as religious as I could.

I never found you in my religion.

Then I met your Son.

He wasn’t mad at me.

He didn’t scold me.

He loved me.

I asked him why.

He smiled at me and said:

John 14:10 ESV

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

Then He breathed on me, and I believed.

Now I get it, God.

Just as you are Jesus’ Father, you are now my father, too.

In order to show us how much you love us, you had to send your own Son here:

To live among us.

To show us your likeness.

To die in our place for the fall.

And to rise again to show us that,

if we will simply understand,

if we will simply accept this free gift,

we are already saved, redeemed, and healed, and loved of God.

If we will simply understand that this is free, because you love us, and you did this for us.

John 3:16 ESV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

I do believe, now, Father.

I believe not because others tell me I must.

I believe because I met Him, for real.

What He is showing me about you takes my breath away.

You love all of us on Earth.

You are not mad at us.

Jesus paid the price for anything and everything that stands between us and you.

All we have to do is accept this gift, this free gift.

Where religion hid your love from me, Your Son revealed it.

What gift can I give to You, Father, that would show and demonstrate what an amazing love I have for YOU?

All I have is me.

That I willingly give to you.

I love you, my Father.

I love you.