A Long and Awkward Silence – Part II

Lost and Confused Signpost

God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart. II Chronicles 32:31 (NASB)


Jalia was a formidable boss.  She was former Army.  A former Drill Sergeant. She earned her jump wings when women weren’t supposed to do that sort of thing.  Jalia was one of the most efficient fighters I knew. I watched her take down a man who easily outweighed her by 150 pounds.  Said man was no slouch as a fighter, himself.  She had a real “Can Do” warrior’s mentality.  At 5’2”, she was a presence that filled a room.

Jalia was responsible for turning all of us wanna-be programmers into real programmers.  Her standards were very high, almost impossibly so.  She suffered no fools, and expected you to catch on the first time.  We drilled and drilled and drilled till we could write code in our sleep.  We had to be very good at this because of the nature of what we did.  Our work was to be performed under the pressure of all hell breaking lose around us.  We had to be the coolest under fire, and the smartest people in the room.  We were not allowed the luxury of folding under pressure.  Whining could get you kicked off the team faster than you can blink.  She was so inspiring a leader that we wanted to exceed her standard.  We wanted to be better than the best.

Her mantra was, “Do it, Check It!”.   During drill, we practiced, re-practiced, did it all again, and took it all apart to make it even more efficient.  “Assumption” was one swear word never allowed on our Team.  While we drilled, we practiced under a simulated “Hot Environment”.  Murphy’s law was the rule during these drills, and we had to cope.  Failure after failure was simulated.  Every conceivable distraction that could exist did exist.  We had to be observant enough that our after action reports included even the most trivial events, including all the distractions, but we were expected to stay on task, get the job done, and not make two attempts at getting it done.  There were no do-over’s when thing were getting real, so there was no mercy when she drilled us.

Then came the tests.  We never knew when these little tests would happen.  There was no way to tell the difference between a test and the real thing.  All hell would break lose, and we were to saddle up and get the problem solved yesterday, if not sooner.

It was during these tests that we discovered what “Do it, Check It” actually meant.  At the end of the test, we analyzed every little detail, no matter how trivial.  When failure was discovered, Jalia did not resort to being the typical drill sergeant.  She had us note the failure, learn from it, and don’t do it again.  We did the drill, checked the outcomes, and learned what we need to do to be better at it.

Always, our baseline was Jalia and her amazing skill.  She was a living legend.  No one had accomplished the things she had accomplished, and no one had discovered the way to get it done like she did it. Her hell was that she had to turn ordinary human beings into people who could be as creative and cool under fire as she was.

Although Jalia was very hard on us, there was never any condemnation when we failed, only encouragement.  She helped us discover what we did wrong, what we can do right, why we hesitated, and how to stop hesitating.  We learned from our failures.

We dreaded drills, but we learned from them.


The Spirit of God will always be with you.  If you are Born again, the Holy Spirit fills you, guides, you, and leads you in all truth, and develops your character so that, in the end, you will be the very image and likeness of Christ.

There will be times in your discipleship where God will step back to see what you do.  This isn’t to trip you up.  God is not like that.  He loves you enough to discipline you and grow you up.  When God steps back, it is to see where you need shoring up.  Where your defenses are low.  Where you need refining.  We go through this because we are at war.  Very few people pass boot camp, but all His children are called to serve.

When God steps back, this is where you discover how well you have learned what you are supposed to have learned during this last evolution of training.  Until you pass completely, you do not get to go to the next step.

While religions and other ilk try to convince you that it is up to you to make God in your image, and then attempt to please that false God, the real God is looking for people who really want to relate to Him as an individual being.

There will be times where, paradoxically, you will be left alone, while He is there the whole time.

Don’t fight this testing.  Learn from it.  Rejoice that you are about to pass another test and grow some more.  Do not give up. Never quit.  God will, ultimately, not let you fail.


When He steps back to test you, remember your lessons.  Remember, you cannot do this without knowing Him through Jesus Christ.  Remember, the Spirit of God will be your strength.  The fist thing you have to learn is, you do not have the strength or ability to do this on your own.  God gets the bragging rights.  You get His character.

The reason you will go through this should be obvious.  We are at war, and, right now, it appears as if the enemy is gaining ground all around us.  We are to keep our heads when all hell breaks loose, and keep doing what we are trained to do.

All hell is about to break lose.  Many who think they are Christians will fall away from the faith.  Who will survive what is coming?  Those who welcome the training and rest in the completed work of Jesus Christ.  Those who know that apart from God’s grace, we are powerless to do anything.

This is why God tests you.  Not to trip you up, but to strengthen you for what is coming.

We are to grow in all ways to be like Christ Himself.


David G. Perkins


A Long and Awkward Silence

Psalms 4:4

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart…, and be still. Selah.

– King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition


Life Affirming Events

WHEN:  The 1980’s

WHERE:  Nun Ya Biznez

The explosion was so sudden I didn’t actually hear it. I felt it though. I felt it come through my feet, my head, my heart, every bone in my body, and my mind. I was thrown some distance. When I came to, all I could see was a pink fog. I was deaf. Eventually, my hearing started to return. The world sounded as if I was hearing it through a foot thick layer of cotton.

As my senses returned, I could hear faint echoes of gunfire, more explosions and someone screaming. My partner was inches from my face and shouting at me to “Come back, damn-it!” I could barely breathe. What gasping breaths I could suck in, I used to shout out for my partner.

I was in shock. My mind had to reboot. Coming too was worse than the explosion itself. Searing pain wracked every square inch of my body. Ultimately, it took days for my body to recover, and even longer for me to get my mind right.

Nothing clarifies one’s sense of mortality than facing death. Had I been a few more feet in another direction, I would have been a pink mist. Fortunately, the explosion was concussive, not filled with shrapnel.

Nothing turns a warrior into a philosopher faster than learning to deal with one’s impending death. This is when you have to take stock and determine what life means and decide what is coming for you when you die.

I call events like this, “Life Affirming Events”. I have two choices when I get to have tea with the grim reaper; Commiserate over it, and grow maudlin, or celebrate that I came out of it alive.

I have had quite a few life affirming events. My pre-Christian response was to indulge in as many heady and sensual activities as I could. Before I was saved by Grace, I used women, alcohol and a very strong and passionate adrenalin drive to affirm I was still alive.

I have fewer “Life Affirming Events” anymore. But failing health and other considerations still serve to remind me I am mortal. All of these events give me the choice of deciding what is important to me, and how I will celebrate and pursue that importance.

In the end, I have discovered that all these events serve to draw me closer to the Creator. As I draw near, I have to decide if I want a relationship with that Creator.

God doesn’t make these events happen, but He will use them to reveal how closely related you are to Him.


Sometimes things happen in the new believer’s life. These things can be so disorientating that all you can do is wait for the smoke to clear, and get your bearings right.

Typically, when these things happen, it is probably because we, as new believers, have put more stock in the opinions and efforts of things and people other than God.

This is why I stopped writing for some time. I needed time to recover from some events that revealed to me what I truly believed about God, and how much I trust Him.

I needed time to think, to pray, to step away from all the noise so I can hear the signal of God’s still, quiet voice.

I found, in the shock of all the sudden noise, I was tempted to sin in mighty and destructive ways. I have no desire to ruin my relationship with God, so I did what Sun Tzu teaches when confronted by sudden chaos…sit still.

In taking time away from writing, and from many other things, I have had the opportunity to see where God reveals Himself in my life and my circumstances.

He is an ever present Father who upholds us, even when we think He is not there.

I took time off to learn this, and I am grateful for your patience.

The down side of all this thinking is, the Pearland Police kept having to pull me out of the park for sitting, and thinking naked. It seems that this is not the way to go about searching for the mind of God. It seemed to work for Rhodan’s “Thinker”…So, I figured, “What have I got to lose?” besides any self-respect and dignity. The pointing and laughing was hard to bear, too. I am no longer the svelte and muscular athlete I used to be. Living this close to the Gulf, I found many people trying to take me back to the ocean and shove me back in.

At any rate, I am grateful for the few readers who have written and asked if I have given up writing. The answer is “No!” But I will give up anything at all if it means drawing nearer to God.

Standing in Awe of God, and not sinning, are two very difficult tasks for a new believer. But, by the strength and power of the Spirit of God, I am able to do all things, as it is Christ who strengthens me.

I hope this is the end to my long and awkward silences. I hope I can find a way to translate the unspoken and meaningful voice of God into something that will do Him justice, as I write about what I have learned.

Thank you, gentle reader, for your patience.

What ever happens, dear friend, take this advice:

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…

Matthew 6:33King James Version (KJV)

I love you,

Let’s be about it!

Yours in Jesus Christ,

David G. Perkins