Faith, Observations

To Serve Mankind


Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it. (Mat 16:24-25 WEB)

I have witnesses to what I am about to tell you.

When I was a teenager, I was also an evangelist.  I wanted to be the next Billy Graham.  When I couldn’t get anyone to stand still long enough to hear me preach, I would go out to Camp Bowie, Brownwood, where certain Cattlemen kept their cows.  I would preach to those poor cows.  I have to warn you, if a cow accepts Jesus as His or Her Lord and Savior, be careful when you baptise it.  Cows are very difficult to baptise.  Just trust me on this, OK?

I fell from grace when I was in my 20’s.

When I was in my early 30’s I repented, reaffirmed my relationship to Jesus Christ as my savior, and started evangelizing.  What I thought was a repentance was not much more than me missing being a baptist.  I even went to a baptist seminary.

I discovered the depth of my “renewed” faith when something really awful happened.  When that awful thing happened, God let me know in very clear terms that, if I stand with Him, He will guide me through this very hard thing.  The weakness in my faith revealed itself, though, and I returned to that life of rampant sin and violence I lived in my 20’s, but I did it even more and to greater depths.  When I committ, I go all the way, or no way.  I don’t really have an in between.

Four years ago, I discovered what the Cross of Christ is really about.  I learned what terrible price Jesus paid for me.  I learned He didn’t die for my sin, he died for me, OF my sin.  All sin.  Past present and future were put to death on the Cross with Christ.  Eventually, I learned, as Paul pointed out, that when He died on that cross, and because I accepted that free gift, I also died with him.  Now, I live by the grace of God through the measure of faith Christ invested in me (Galations 2:20).

Before this revelatrion of Grace, the music my soul played was awful.  I was awful.  I hated everything and everyone.  When people saw me coming, they left the room before I even got there.  (Very true story, if you want witnesses, I’ll tell you who to call).

After Grace happened, I saw everyone as someone Christ died for.  Instead of wanting to harm people and hate people, I was filled with an understanding of the Love God has for everyone.

I never knew such a spectacular love.  I never realized what Grace can do for a person.  The grace of God, His mercy, His love, His free gift of salvation is spectacularly immeasurable wonderful.  And it IS free to anyone who will accept it.  Simple, right?

Just after my real and very power conversion, another very bad thing happened in my life.  This hurt goes deep to the bone, to the heart, through the soul.  The difference this time is, I belong to the Living God through Jesus Christ…for real.  I am determined to not repeat the mistakes I made the last time I was hurt this badly.

I knew I was supposed to come to Colorado.  My belief was that I would walk right into a ministry and serve.  I want to serve so very badly.  I figured that God was orchestrating this, too.

I figured this because my getting here was a miracle in itself.  I didn’t have the means to move to Colorado, but the means came to me, unbidden, in ways that let me know God was doing this.

I got to Colorado.  Pueblo, specifically.  There is a reason God had me come here.  I wanted to live in Colorado Springs, but God orchestrated things so that I ended up here, instead.

And I still want to serve.  And I pray to serve.  But God’s answer is, and remains, “Be Still, you are not ready to serve.”

I asked God what he meant.

I’ll share His answer with you.

See…for Christmas, I got a Slow Cooker.  I am a terrible cook, but I am learning how to survive on what I make using the slow cooker.  I am alone for the first time in my life, and have no cooking skills whatsoever.  But I am learning.  Last Thursday evening, I started up the slow cooker before I went to my Pilates class.  I was praying while I was preparing.  I was asking God when all this grief will pass, and when will I be allowed off the bench and into the game.

After I got home from Pilates, the house smelled wonderful, but the meal was not ready.  While I added water and some spices, I prayed again about my wanting to serve.

God answered me with this illustration:

Thursday, right after work, and before my Pilates class, I grabbed some ingredients and placed them in the slow cooker.  I put in Salmon steak, rice, assorted vegetables, spices, and a can of Progresso Spicy Vegetable Soup.
Each ingredient alone is good, savory, tasty, and delicious.  Ingredients, however,  are better when they are cooked together in a slow cooker.
Ingredients in a slow cooker are not a meal until they have cooked at the right temperature and at the right pressure.  It is a meal when it is the right mix (You wouldn’t drink a Sesame Orange marinade right out of the bottle, but you’d love the way it flavors your meal once it has infused into the rice and fish), and have been blended in a way that make a meal, and have cooked the right length of time.  Time and temperature take care of the cooking.
Eventually, the aroma of the thing being slow cooked starts to waft through the house.  It smells good, but it is not a meal yet.
 After Pilates and my errands, when I walked into the house, my house smelled wonderful, but it still was not a meal.
I had to get a big spoon, stir, add a touch of water, maybe a spice or two.
(Some spices aren’t supposed to be added until a certain amount of cooking happens, and stirring agitates the blend of ingredients so that the flavor is evenly dispersed, and the food doesn’t burn (Thereby ruining the meal)).
All this time, heat, pressure and effort goes into so simple a thing as slow cooking.  There comes the point in the process that the aroma is so delicious that you KNOW intuitively, YOU HAVE A MEAL READY TO ENJOY.  And that first bite tells the story, and is delicious and filling and…yummy.
 Serving a meal takes time and effort.  The bitterness of some vegetables is removed during the cooking process, and they become sweet or savory vegetables when it is time to serve them.  Salmon is a great protein, but you cannot eat it frozen and shouldn’t eat it raw.  But when it has been properly prepared, it is delicious and succulent and savory.
That is what it is like to be prepared for His service.
I have all the ingredients to serve, but I have not been properly prepared, properly seasoned, properly stirred, properly simmered…yet.  But when I have been, God will say, “Now he is ready to serve.”
God has to prepare his servants.
We are to give up our individual identity and be part of something greater than us.  We are to be altered to the point where we are no longer inedible, but are savory and inviting.  Service is not a part-time hobby.  God’s true servants give up their identity and very lives for God.  When we are a pleasing aroma in His nose, then we are ready to be served up to a hungry world in need of answers.
And we will be consumed by serving, because, Like Christ, we are to be completely consumed by our call.  A hungry soul is looking for something he can sink his teeth into, and the soul that belongs to Satan wants to destroy God and all His servants, and throw us out.  Either way, we cannot be accepted or rejected until we have been properly prepared to be the meal offering that God needs us to be.
That is the lesson God showed me while I was impatiently waiting for the timer on the slow cooker to ding.
If, like me, you want to be served up, you have to wait for God to prepare you, temper you, stir you up, put you under pressure, and strip you down until you are no longer your own, but part of the Free Gift he is serving to a dying world.  It takes time and patience.
Let’s Be About It!
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Faith, Observations

Are You Thirsty


Writer’s Note:  Recent events have led me to repost this.

Deer
AS A DEER GETS THIRSTY FOR STREAMS OF WATER;
I TRULY AM THIRSTY FOR YOU, MY GOD.
IN MY HEART, I AM THIRSTY FOR YOU, THE LIVING GOD.
WHEN WILL I SEE YOUR FACE?
PSALM 42:1 & 2 – CEV

Are You in that Wilderness?

Have I come to that place in my heart that I can say, “Enough!”? Has my rebellion against the will and way of God driven me far enough afield that my thirst for God has overpowered me? Have I come to my senses and finally seen that MY way has led me into the wilderness?

If I Thirst…

If I thirst, is it because my willfulness and rebellion has led me away from the source of “Living Water“? Only when I stray will I know this kind of thirst. Once I have drunk the Living Water, noting else will satisfy. If the cup is not at my lips, it is because I have put it down. It is not the father who has made me thirsty, it is my rebellion.

Whoever Drinks…

“Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.”

I have to humble myself in order to receive this water. I have to drink His cup in order to know real satisfaction.

When will I come and appear before God? When I have had enough of my own way.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:17

Let’s be about it.

I love you in Jesus’ name.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith, Observations, Short Stories

Cast Your Cares


Cast your burden on Him.

GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

(1Pe 5:4-7 NASB)

I threw hay once. It was in the early 1990’s. I spent an entire summer throwing hay and cutting down trees for the winter season. Missouri can have very cold winters.

Well…anyway, hay. The farmer (Bill) drove the tractor that pulled a wagon. The farmer’s Son stood on the wagon and caught the hay bales that were tossed up to him. He neatly stacked the bales on the wagon.

My job? I was the idiot who agreed it would be GREAT fun to run along both sides of the wagon, grab a bale and toss it to the guy on the wagon. In those days, I ran long distances, and I was a weightlifter. So, how hard could throwing hay be…right? Right? Ok,…it was hell.

The bales were in rows on both sides of the wagon and staggered so that, when you grab a bale and toss it, you can run around behind the wagon and up to the next bale just in time to grab it, spin and toss. As soon as you tossed that bale, you had to run right back around the wagon for the next bale in the first row.

We tossed hay from daybreak to dusk. We stopped every 30 minutes for food and water. We did this all summer. There were several farms all along this rural route in Missouri, and my Cousin’s neighbor, the Farmer, said he’s delighted to gather all the hay and stow it in the barns for the local farmers. There was nothing he loved more than to spend the day riding his tractor and singing hymns.

All. Day. Long.

At the end of one day, just as the sun was setting, and we had stored the hay in the loft and barn, the Farmer looked out at the field and pointed out I had missed a bale. I looked. My heart sank. Way off on the other side, out in the field we just cleared, you could just make out this lone bale. Guess whose job it was to drag his tired butt all the way over there to get that last bale and bring it home? Yup. It was my job.

Carrying that one bale all that distance after a hard day in the sun was more work than anything I had already done that day. The burden was too great. I thought it would kill me before I got it to the loft.

When I got to the loft, Bil, the Farmer, chuckled and held his hands out to me and said, “Here, I’ve got this, you go rest.” I nearly wept from the relief as I stripped down and washed in the trough he had set up. My burden was no longer mine.

I had blessed relief.

THAT, my dear reader, is exactly what it means to cast your cares on the lord. You may be the reason you are so burdened, but you cannot manage it. Only God can. He is waiting with outstretched arms, telling you to let him have it. It is, after all, no longer yours.

Your burden of sin and arrogance and living a fallen life is why Christ died on the cross. He didn’t die for your sins..no. He died for YOU. He died OF your sin. He took your burden and dealt with it, and asked you to rest.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Jesus

(Mat 11:28-30 – NASB)

Cast all your cares on Him. He will give you rest.

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com  (Write me, sometimes, I’d love to hear from you)

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Faith, Observations

Despair is Not a Fruit of the Spirit


from “Peanuts”, by Charles Schultz

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,[a] 23 gentleness, self-control.
Against such things there is no law. 

Galatians 5:22-23 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Footnotes: a: Galatians 5:22 Or faithfulness Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

SARCASM IS NOT A SPIRITUAL GIFT

I was looking at the most accepted list of what is considered Spiritual Gifts. Depending on whether you are a Baptist or a Charismatic, your list will vary. (That is a whole other blog in itself!).

1 Corinthians 12:

administration, apostle, discernment, faith, healings, helps, knowledge,
miracles, prophecy, teaching, tongues, tongues interpretation, wisdom

I am dismayed to find that many of what I consider my most endearing charms are not listed.

Take Sarcasm for example.

My first awareness of sarcasm was when I was about 4 or 5. We lived in Shreveport, Louisiana. Louisiana in the summer is not a treat. It was the early 1960’s, our Chevrolet Biscayne didn’t have air conditioning (yet, Dad later added it, but that, too is another blog, under the heading of, “How On Earth Did I Survive My Childhood?”).

Mom was careful to not use expletives around us kids, but she had a whole raft of colorful metaphors that covered her cussing. Dad taught us many of them, and Mom used them liberally. The family favorite was “Toot Blossom”.

Mom had taken me with her to the grocery store.

We left the Piggly-Wiggly store, and were on our way home. Mom was already angry because for the exorbitant price of $55.00, we only got 20 bags of groceries.

On top of that, the traffic in Shreveport, Louisiana was bad. Mom was trying to merge into I-20 traffic.

In the South, you take the on-ramp, get up to Highway speed, and merge with oncoming traffic. You let on-coming traffic know your intentions with the blinker. An oncoming driver dove into our lane just as we were merging. Mom had to swerve to the shoulder to keep from getting hit. She slammed on the brakes and said, “My stars and garters, that idiot nearly hit us!”, then she shouted at the offender, “TOOT-BLOSSOM!!!!”.

That is not the sarcasm part, although it did set the stage for what happened next.

We were sitting on the shoulder of the road, re-gathering our wits. The windows were down, and because we were not moving, we began to bake like potatoes at a Baptist Luncheon. The dirt from the road hadn’t even settled around our car when I told Mom in a very demanding voice, “I’m thirsty!”.

I had fantasies of getting a cold bottle of coke. (In the south, every carbonated beverage is called “coke”. It is only when you make your purchase that you get into the discriminatory categories of which one you mean.)

Mom slowly turned around to glare at me as I stood in the back seat of the Biscayne (Life was simpler back then. No seat belts. No one cared if you bounced all over the car as your parents careened from post to gate in their land yachts. If you lived long enough to get your license after all that bouncing, everyone figured you could be trusted to drive. After all, you already understood the physics of inertia and speed.)

Mom glared at me after I pronounced the depths of my thirst. She asked me, “What do you want me to do, spit in your mouth? Because that’s as close as you’re going to get to anything to drink before we get home!” She slammed the car in gear and sped off, daring any other careening toot-blossoms out there to try to ram her. She gave me a lot of visual imagery to think about as I bounced all over the car and quelled my disappointment. I decided as I ricochet off the rear window of the Biscayne, that guided sarcasm is a powerful weapon in the right hands.

WHAT FRUITS MAY BEAR

My other endearing gifts are a critical spirit and anger. I am a glass half empty kind of guy, and am willing to fight over it. I managed to perfect these gifts, as I tend to think I am an overachiever when it comes to some things.

The down side to all these amazing attributes is, you really do reap what you sow.

I fought a lot when I was in High School. My toot-blossom got stomped too many times, so I studied the Martial Arts. It helped me win fights, but did nothing to reduce the number of them. I took more beatings than I handed out.

I used to think all that fighting was because I was only one of about 7 or 8 “hippies” in Brownwood, Texas. Brownwood is a small cattle town in central Texas. I tell people Brownwood is where men are men, women are few and sheep are nervous. (See, Sarcasm!)

I drove a multi colored Volkswagen, had long hair, and didn’t play football or do rodeo. In Brownwood, if you are a male, and you do not do these things, then you are considered gay. I stacked the deck against myself, too, because I was Drum Major of the band for about 4 years, and held office in the Drama Club. I performed in musicals, took piano lessons and wrote horrible poetry. So, I wasn’t doing myself any favors at all.

I also used to think the fights were because, while all the Football players were busy calling me a fag, I was messing around with their girlfriends. When I got caught in the act with someone’s girlfriend, the red neck that caught me would shout at me, “Hey, Faggot, what the hell do you think you are doing!?!?!?”. I was dismayed because, traditionally, gay males do not engage in flagrant fornication with females. I mean, if you can’t figure out what you’re looking at, then you need your daddy to discuss the birds and bees with you.

I added insult to injury by explaining my thinking with him.

After he suggested a bout of intercourse, (he actually said something that starts with an F, and ends with a U) I replied, “No thanks, I prefer females!” Which, in my mind, if a red neck is offering to have intercourse with you, it may explain the whole girlfriend issue.

You can use martial arts with your pants around your ankles, but it isn’t easy.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS FRUIT

It has taken me 57 years to discover that my ways are not God’s ways, my thoughts are not God’s thoughts, and if I am ever going to learn to be like Jesus, I need to spend more time learning the scriptures, praying, and getting out of my way, so the Lord can get IN my way. I have especially learned that there is nothing I can do for myself that will make me be like Him. I actually have to die to myself in order that Christ will manifest in me.

Die to self. What a concept. It is especially a risky proposition considering that I suffer from depression. I haven’t always been depressed. Depression has manifest itself more and more over these last 24 years. I have actually considered suicide as an option.

As bad as I think things are, though, I still belong to God through Jesus Christ. I figured I will put off suicide so I can see why God is allowing me to go through this trial.

God has steadfastly said, “There is a reason for it.”

THIS IS WHY I AM WRITING THIS SERIES

God is using this time to teach me how He sees me.  If you are going through this, I hope you read this.

I intend to share this with you because He sees you the same way.

I have come very close to making a decision that cannot be unmade. I am not there, yet, but I am standing on that precipice, and the wind of decision is blowing me hard towards that irretrievable abyss.

I am writing about this until I can tell you what it takes to get from here to where the fruit of the Spirit shines through both of us.

I am going to be open, honest, truthful, and frank, in hopes that I can urge you to do the same.

BEFORE YOU DECIDE

Yes, a Child of God can suffer from severe depression, in spite of what all the well-intentioned “Christians” tell you. Augustine, Martin Luther, the Apostle Paul and others suffered severe depression. Many great Christian leaders did.  And God used them, and they knew joy.

Jesus was tempted in all ways, like us. Never lose sight of this.

Before you decide to end yourself, let’s sit a moment and think about other possibilities.

Let’s find out how we can get out of our own heads and into the life of Christ together.

Shall we explore?

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the name of Jesus Christ, who is our hope and salvation.

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

PS – I strongly recommend two books:

“How to Stop the Pain”, by Dr, Jim Richards

“You Cannot Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought”, by Peter McWilliams

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Faith, Observations, Stuff

Let It Rain


Cloud Over Little Man Another day has almost come and gone
Can’t imagine what else could go wrong
Sometimes I’d like to hide away somewhere and lock the door
A single battle lost but not the war

‘Cause tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain

– Jo Dee Messina & Tim McGraw – “Bring On The Rain”

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

DAYS LIKE THIS

The Flight Attendant brought me a fresh, steaming cup of coffee. I had been up since 4:30 in the morning, and was on the last leg of travel that would get me to Chicago. I hoped the coffee would wake me up enough to make this final leg of my travels.

As the flight attendant hurried down the aisle of this tiny and overcrowded jet, I stirred in my sugar, and lifted the cup for a sip. Just as I did, the flight attendant came rushing back down the aisle, stopped suddenly next to my seat, and turned around to talk to another passenger. As she turned, she forgot to tuck her elbows in. Her right elbow struck the bottom of my coffee cup just as I was taking that first sip.

Hot coffee splashed all over my face, my glasses and my shirt. I cleaned up as best as I could under the circumstances, but reeked of airliner coffee the rest of the day. I was finally wide awake. The coffee had done its job.

Our flight landed and was delayed on the tarmac because the gate was still occupied by another jet.

After debarking, I headed to baggage claim B, where my ticket, and the flight attendant, said our bags would be found.

It took an additional 30 minutes for the bags to get to the wrong baggage claim kiosk. I wouldn’t have discovered this if I had not heard another passenger ranting about how the bags ended up in the wrong place. The electronic board at baggage claim happily claimed that my bags would be at claim B, even though the bags were being offloaded somewhere else.

The delay of the jet getting to the gate on time, and the confusion in baggage caused a delay in getting to the shuttle for the hotel. I ran as fast as a fat guy could run, but arrived only to see the tail pipe of the hotel shuttle bus speeding away. I called the hotel. They said they will send the shuttle back, but I would have to wait.

Two hours later, the shuttle returned. On my way to the hotel, I was lectured on what the shuttle schedule is, and why it is important to be on time. It would have been pointless to tell the driver about my adventures with the airline.

While I was in training class, my computer crashed and had to be replaced with another one. After that, the software we were learning how to use kept failing to do what it was advertised to be able to do. In order for me to complete my training labs, I had to shut down the program frequently, restart, and continue on where I left off.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

Before I left for my trip to Chicago, my company issued cell phone decided that it needed to reboot itself repeatedly then die. It is now dead. I get a “New” one this Monday.

LIFE LIKE THIS

During a lull in training, I thought about these things. The cell phone, the coffee, the baggage, the hotel shuttle, and the computer issues. It occurred to me that my life is generously peppered with little events like this.

LATELY

Lately, it seems as if my life has been one interesting event after another, peppered by occasional bouts of normalcy. The frequency of these interesting events has increased ever since I started my job at this internationally famous company. I do NOT hold them responsible. I merely use this event as a time marker that earmarks when things really started getting even more interesting in my life.

My boss wrote me, regarding this run of “luck” I seem to be having, and asked,

“David, Have you always gone through life with that little cloud over your head that follows you everywhere? Eleanor (A co-worker who issues our phones) and I were talking about you…and all the things you have had to endure since you have been with us. Satan is really trying to trip you up, isn’t he?”

IT IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

Chinese Symbols for CrisisThe Chinese symbol for crisis is shown here. It is two symbols meaning “Danger” and “Opportunity”. They occur simultaneously. How you handle them is what determines if it is a crisis or not.

Jesus never said that becoming his disciple would protect us from life’s circumstances. – Jim Richards, “How To Stop The Pain”

Even Jesus was tempted in every way we are all tempted. In Matthew 18:7 Jesus said, “It is necessary that temptation comes.”

The Opportunity

The opportunity my circumstances bring me is the chance to allow the Spirit of God to work in my life, making me a light and disciple of Christ.

The Danger

The danger is that I will not.

Problems happen.

That is not how the bumper sticker says it, but you get my drift.

I used to get seriously angry at all these little paper cuts. I am learning, through experience with the Holy Spirit, that blowing up only means I get to do it all over again.

I handle big events rather well. It is the little, niggling, “dogs chewing at my shoes” events that tend to bring out my worst.

Even though God Himself tempts no man, God is not going to stop problems from coming your way any more than He prevented them from happening to Jesus.

We are not better than our master.

How we deal with circumstances is what tells the rest of the world how much we really believe Christ changes our lives.

There is a season for everything under the sun.

This season of interesting events lead me to either cling to God in faith, or curse God for allowing them to happen. It all depends on how well I chose to understand what the Bible actually says about pain and suffering.

Whether these temptations are genuinely from Satan or are just life happening becomes a moot point. Jesus said, “Woe to the world for such temptations to sin and influence to do wrong.” And “Woe to the person on whose account or by whom these temptations comes!”

The World and Satan are in league with each other in that, if they have to go to hell, then so do the rest of us.

If I have said I do not have to go to hell on account of Jesus and his finished work on the cross, then I have told the World and Satan they can stuff their ambitions for my life.

Satan and the World do not like it when a sheep tells them to stuff it. So they fight back.

We either trust our Shepherd to take care of us, or we don’t.

So…let there be clouds, and let it rain…I was thirsty anyway!

Romans 8:28King James Version (KJV)

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.

Now,

Let’s be about it!

Love always, and it’s good to be back in the blogosphere.

David Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Observations

What is Possible is Up To You


index
It is a good thing Orville and Wilbur didn’t listen to the experts:

“Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.”
— Lord Kelvin

“Flight by machines heavier than air is impractical and insignificant, if
not utterly impossible.”
— Simon Newcomb, Director, U.S. Naval Observatory, 1902

“Aerial flight is one of that class of problems with which man will never
be able to cope.”
— Simon Newcomb, 1903

“The resistance of air increases as the square of the speed and works as
the cube [of speed]….  It is clear that with our present devices there
is no hope of aircraft competing for racing speed with either our
locomotives or automobiles.”
— William H. Pickering, Director, Harvard College Observatory, 1910

“The popular mind often pictures gigantic flying machines speeding across
the Atlantic carrying innumerable passengers in a way analogous to our
modern steam ships. . . it seems safe to say that such ideas are wholly
visionary and even if the machine could get across with one or two
passengers the expense would be prohibitive to any but the capitalist who
could use his own yacht.”
— William Henry Pickering, Astronomer, 1910

“A popular fantasy is to suppose that flying machines could
be used to drop dynamite on the enemy in time of war.”
— William H. Pickering, Director, Harvard College Observatory, 1908

“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.”
— Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de
Guerre

“The aeroplane is the invention of the devil and will never play any part
in such a serious business as the defence of a nation.”
— Sir Sam Hughes, Canadian Minister of Defence, 1914

“By no possibility can the carriage of freight or passengers through
mid-air compete with their carriage on the earth’s surface. The field
for aerial navigation is then limited to military use and for sporting
purposes. The former is doubtful, the latter is fairly certain.”
— Hugh Dryden, 1908

“The [flying] machines will eventually be fast; they will be used in
sport but they should not be thought of as commercial carriers.”
— Octave Chanute, 1910

Their flight took off.  It flew.  Still, even afterward, the detractors continued to insist it was impossible, even though they were eye witnesses to it.

Whatever you do, never give up on your dreams.  Ignore the people who say it is impossible.

God has been waiting all this time for you to not know how impossible something is.

Go do it.

Follow your dream.  It is worth what ever sacrifice it takes.  It may be hard, but never ever give up.

Even after you start, lesser people will say it cannot be done.

Just imagine what YOU can do with all that passion in your heart.

God didn’t put it there just so you can ignore it.

Let’s be about it!

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Faith, Observations

It is time for us to join the battle.


cropped-praying-hands.jpegTo the Christians of Ferguson.  To the Christians of Missouri.  To the Christians of America.  To Christians all around the world.

The world is watching right now.  It is time to see the power of the living God at work in Ferguson, MO.

I believe prayer changes things. I believe that prayer can change the hearts of the people in Ferguson, The hearts of those who desire chaos, the hearts of those who desire anarchy, the hearts of those who say they want justice, but actually seek revenge.

It is written that God inhabits the praises of His saints. If you are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, you are a saint. You are, by definition, one who has been sanctified, set apart, for His purposes. No power on earth can get between you and God.

All we as believers have to do is pray, praise, and persist in the faith. No plan of evil can overcome the power of God.

Jesus said that where two or more agree as touching ANYTHING then it will be granted to you by the Father in heaven, to the glory of Christ.

Do you want Jesus to be glorified, or are you content to sit, cluck your tongue, and thank God you are not part of the problem? The enemy depends on your absence in this war. His desire is that you be AWOL in the middle of the fight. All he has to do to win, is convince you are not needed in this battle.

You would be mistaken to fall for that lie.

Praise Him in the assembly, Praise Him in the streets, praise Him in your lack and want and agony, and praise Him when your life is flush with good things.

Lift your hands in holy sacrifice, and watch the power of the living God make a difference in this world.

Are you distressed over what is about to transpire in Missouri? Trust God and pray. Because you are Christ’s, you are God’s own child. Ask Him whatever you will in the name of Jesus and it will be done.

Go find a friend to pray with. Do this now and until this trouble is past.

We are called to a greater thing than our own selfish desires and our own comfort zone.

Put on the whole armor and show up for this battle and watch the mighty hand of the Living God deliver peace and Jesus to this situation.

Failure to do this is to give the enemy the very ground Jesus died to save…human souls.

Today, decide you will do this. Watch the mighty hand of God work through his children.

Jesus is our Lord, and He has sovereign right and power over all that exists. Never doubt this. never give up on this. Always rely on this truth.

If you cannot do this, shut up about what a mighty Christian you are.

Many are called, few are chosen.

Let’s Be About It!!!

I love you in Jesus’ name.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith, Observations

My Confession



Picture 732Dedication: This is for Pam, who constantly reminded me to guard my confession, and speak what God has said is true.
Now I get it, Pam…now I get it.

I am a former member of the Kaju Kiado Kwai Kwoon Do, a specific club of Martial Artists. When I was in the Kwoon, I worked very hard at advancing my skills and rank.

Notice I said I worked HARD.

It took me forever to learn that working hard is not always working smart. I could have worked smart with as much persistence and diligence, and earned my belts faster and easier than if I had merely worked hard.

This was especially true with throwing stars and knives. When people saw me eyeing these weapons, they suddenly had other places to be. I hit everything except the target. Captain Klutz was in the house!

In order for my stars and knives to hit the target with meaningful outcomes, I had to clear my mind, and focus only on what was true about the target; it is the only thing in the room. In order to do that, I had to forget my fears and ego (My opinion), and not allow anything else to distract me from my path. I did not focus on not hitting the walls, or other people or anything else (My Fear). There became only me and the center of the target. My hoped for outcome became the only thing in the room. When I could finally understand and do that, my knives and stars hit whatever I aimed at.

I finally passed my Black Belts not because my technique was near perfect, but because I brought a faith and understanding that defied mere physical observation. I believed and saw what was not readily apparent. I had already prepared myself because I saw and confessed in my heart what the outcome would be. The difference, then, between winning a fight and losing it, lay not so much in my skill, but in what I believed about my outcomes over what my opponent believed about his. The first thing I had to do was forget I was Captain Klutz. He died when I joined the Kwoon.

I spent more time developing what I believed was true in my heart about my skill, and less time sweating out the techniques. I went from a mechanic, someone who knows all the right moves, to being an artist, one whose moves are manifestly the true art.

Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that of which I am afraid befalls me.

When I have declared that Jesus Christ is my savior, I have put off the Old Self, through the resurrection of Christ, and put on a New Self (See II Cor 5:17 & Galatians 2:20). If I want my Old Self to stay dead, I have to know how God sees me now, and confess it WITH MY MOUTH. I have to renew my mind daily. I cannot allow external distractions to sway me away from the faith Christ has planted in me. When fear tempts me, or circumstances try to persuade me that things are not the way God has declared them, I have to relax in the finished work of Jesus, where an incredible power resides. Just like in the martial arts, my outcomes will be what I genuinely believe they will be.

I have a friend, Pam.

She has an incredible faith in Jesus. Pam could see that, when I was under stress, or impatient, or tired, my confession strayed from what I know is true, to what I fear is true. THEN I would give voice to that fear. My fear, being fed, grew very strong, and invited his other fearful friends. Pam saw this, and reminded me to watch my confession. I agreed with her, intellectually, but lacked the spiritual discipline to do so. Instead, I took matters into my own hands and tried to fight these fears on my own. The end result was that, the thing I feared overtook me. Life became very difficult because I had taken my faith off the finished work of the cross, and made my confession to be opposite what I said I believe.

Even though I had been raised in a very strong Baptist background and attended Seminary, I am still a baby Christian. I am new to the work of the Holy Spirit, the finished work of the cross, and all the implications of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I understood these things for real just last August. I have a lot of Old Self habits that do not know they are dead. My confession reflected that fact.

I am writing this to you so you can see what I am learning from this experience.

Pro 4:23 Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance, above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. – Solomon

Ephesians 4:22-24 NASB…in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

The battle field is in our heart. If we are in Jesus Christ, GOD is in our heart, His Kingdom is in our heart, the Holy Spirit is in our Heart. All believers, whether they are “new” or “mature” must DAILY labor to rest in the finished work of the cross. This happens not only by reading the scriptures daily, and praying daily, but developing, DAILY, a firm understanding of what being a Child of God really means.  When you do this, in your heart, your mind changes from a perceived reality, to what is really real in God.

My Old Self will work very hard at trying to get me to confess negative things, hateful things, shameful things, and untrue things. My Old Self does not want to be dead, and will exert all its efforts to try to get me to believe I have not really changed. Whatever you believe is true about yourself, IS what will manifest in your life. Most of my life, I believed only negative things about me. The discipline of laboring in to the rest of the truth of my salvation means, I must know and confess with my mouth what God has said is true about me.

We guard our hearts, not by focusing on what we want to avoid doing, but by confessing what God has done in us, and how He sees us now that we are His children. My knives and stars didn’t hit the target because I focused on NOT hitting the walls and my teachers and fellow students. I hit the target by becoming the object of my aim, and believing that that object was the only truth. When you do this, you have NO OPTION but to hit it. It is the only thing in the room. In order for my confession to manifest itself, it has to become the only thing in the room of my heart and mind. All other distractions have to lose relevance, and my awareness.

I know that what Romans 8:1 says is true, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  So my failure to trust and rest in the completed work of the Cross is not going to draw the wrath of God on me. God is not going to hold this against me. God will use this apparent defeat, and turn it for His good in me. The Holy Spirit will instruct me so I can learn from this.

 Heb 10:23 So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess (with our mouth) and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.

Today, I know that, if I want to live the victory of being a child of God, I have to approach everything from the viewpoint of Victory. I do not work from defeat INTO victory. I start at Victory and walk out what God has said is true about me. When adversity and trials approach me, I will have victory when my confession is what God says is true about me. This gives me the subtle awareness of the ways the Old Self tries to attack and, from the vantage point of Victory, I defeat the Old Self simply by adhering to the truth, with my confession, and my heart, full of belief and understanding of What God has done in me.Copy of Picture 708

I am learning, and am sharing with anyone who also is struggling with this.

Your faith is developed in your heart through your confession. When you confess anything, you see it, you feel it, you believe it, and you experience it in your heart. Whether the confession is true or false, positive or negative, real or fake, whatever you KNOW is true in your heart IS what will be true in your life. If you want to grow to be like Jesus, you have to confess that which is true about you in Jesus and Jesus in you. Because you are saved, and raised again with Christ, all that is true about Jesus is true about you. Visualize this fact in your mind, and feel the excitement of this in your heart, and confess it with your mouth, so your soul will understand, and it will manifest in your life.

 Rom 8:28 And we 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.

Ok, so, like me, you blew it. Romans 8:28 tells us what God will do, even when we blow it. Now, confess this truth. Say it out loud. Believe it when you say it. See it happening in your mind’s eye. Feel what it is like for this to be true. Feel the relief that God turns even our stupidity and curses into His light and blessings. When you are in the dark, do what Jesus did when He was in Hell on our behalf. CONFESS WHAT YOU KNOW TO BE TRUE EVEN IF GOD SEEMS A BAZILLION MILES AWAY.

Picture 571What you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart will come to manifest in your life. The only way to put off the old self is to stop confessing whatever the old self confessed.

See and understand how God sees you, now that you are His.

You are a new creation, so you get to make a new confession.

Let’s be about it!

 

 

I love you in Jesus Christ

David Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 


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Faith, Observations

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

 

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Faith, Observations, Stuff

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

 

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Faith, Observations

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

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“…but their hearts are far away”


Luke 6:46  ESV :  “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Luke 6:46 ESV : “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

The pressure to produce, lately, is overwhelming.  I have obligations, and the means to meet them are getting harder to come by.  As I fell into my “Charles In Charge” mode, and prepared to execute an action plan I had devised, I heard the Lord.

I recognize the voice of the Spirit, now that I have ears to hear.

“Come talk with me”, said the Spirit.

I am not used to this gentle Spirit of Love talking to me.

Keeping in mind the Business Model I have learned throughout life, I reminded the Spirit that I have things to accomplish, and I have broken them down into three categories:

1. MUST:   Do the things you MUST do first. KNOW THE MISSION, DO THE MISSION!   I have to accomplish a lot in a very little time if I am going to meet my obligations.  Earn your living, pay your bills, meet your deadlines.  If you have obligations, you MUST meet them, no matter what else is going on.  That is life, and how it is.  As I am running against real deadlines, and everything depends on me to accomplish them, I have to hit the bricks and perform my duties.

2. NEED:  Next, do the things you NEED to do. THESE ITEMS WILL ALWAYS BE HERE IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER.    I need to get the car tuned up, and have the timing belt replaced (It is a Toyota, and has greater than 200,000 miles).  I need to replace the weather-stripping on the back door.  I am not fond of trying to air condition all of Texas.  I need to get braces for Hannah, get my wife knee surgery, glasses, and take her out on a few dates…

3.  WANT:   Finally, do the things you WANT to do.  I want to spend all my time praying and serving God, because of Jesus.  I want to be the best writer that ever walked the face of the earth.  I want to take my family on vacation…I want to show them the places I have been on this planet, so they can see the incredible beauty I have witnessed.  There are a thousand more things I want to do.  And, while stopping to spend time with the Lord would be fabulous, I have obligations that take precedence.

The agony of my obligations have been gnawing at me relentlessly.

I MUST meet certain obligations…MUST, and do it NOW!!”, I practically shouted that at the Lord.

Did you know that you can actually hear the Lord sigh, and hear (see) Him grin?  It is true…you just have to know how to hear, and know how to see.

“Come talk with me”, said the Spirit. 

I am irresistibly drawn to His voice.

I lay my agenda on my desk…I cannot say “no” to His invitation.  

“Here I am, Lord”

“Hop on your bike and meet me at the third pond.”, He said.  (REALLY, Lord??  It is freaking HOT out here in Pearland.  HOT, and the Sun will melt me before I get out of the driveway!) 

“OK, Lord, I’ll do it.”

A few weeks ago, I decided I need to get back on my bike.  My car was in the shop, and I had obligations.  My bike was my back-up plan.  My first time out was a dismal failure.  I had a flat, and on the return leg, I had a mild heat stroke.  If it weren’t for the concern of two people whom I love very much, mild would have turned in to severe, and I probably would have ended up in the hospital.  After that, and after recovering, I decided I will get back on the bike, and relearn how to ride.  It really is an art, if riding a bike is one of your passions.     I am up to 12 miles, every other day.  I ride outbound 6 miles, to Highway 288, and ride back the same 6 miles.  The body doesn’t forget, and I had adapted to riding in real heat and humidity in decent time.  Perhaps I can lose that next 50 pounds this way.

I looked back at my agenda.  It lay on my desk, accusing me of being a slacker.  I HAVE OBLIGATIONS!!!  

“OK, Lord, I’ll do it.”

The rays of the Sun bore down like fine needles, piercing every part of me.

The 12 mile route includes passing by three water overflow reservoir, or ponds.  When it rains here, (AND IT RAINS HERE), these overflow reservoir collect all the run-off from all the neighborhoods in the area.  Reservoir abound through-out South Texas. Pearland is, after-all, in hurricane alley.    I pass by three reservoir when I ride.

I love to ride fast.  If found, however, that, if I maintain a 9 mile per hour pace, I get enough air flow so I can breathe (The air was just hanging around, not moving.).  I also discovered that, if I go faster than 9 miles per hour, the sapping energy loss of the heat and sun shine would deplete my reserves before I go a mile.  So, I kept the pace at a very leisurely 9 miles per hour.

I discovered that riding this slow gave me the chance to see where I am riding, to absorb the beauty that is Pearland, Texas, to actually look people in the face as I pass them by.  My blood pressure started falling.  The knots in my stomach were coming undone.  I felt a song stirring in my heart, “This IS my Fathers world…” . I hummed the song as I rode my bike. 

Recent heavy rains meant the reservoir were still laden with enough water to support wild life.  I watched the cranes and heron and gulls sitting in shallow water, their wings open, so they could get some natural air conditioning.  “This is my Father’s world,  the birds their carols raise,  the morning light, the lily-white,  declare their maker’s praise.”  The oppressive heat turned into a warm embrace…I caught myself singing out loud.  When did I start doing THAT?

After just a few minutes, I arrived at the third pond.  I walked my bike around the pond until I found some shade trees to rest under.  I drank some water and let the breeze off the pond cool me.  Those birds really knew what they were doing.  I listened to the frogs, and dragonflies, and heard turtles making their way to the water.  I saw snakes hiding in the rush under some trees that had their roots in the pond.  What a good thing it is to sit and watch God at work.  Nature is God’s work.

“How was the ride?”   “Amazing”  

He grinned again.  “I’m glad you came here.”  “Me too, Lord, me too…”  

“What has you so fearful?  “My life just went out of control, Lord.  I don’t know what to do.”  

“What did you learn from your last mission?“, He asked, gentleness soothing my soul.   “I need to keep my eyes on you, Lord.  I got caught up in their religion, and made their 12 commandments more important than the author and creator of those virtues.  I looked to man for approval, not to you.  When I got too caught up in trying to observe the “Law” of the commands, I forgot about the Grace of the Lord.”  “I learned that religious people can hide some pretty intense hate and fear behind their “Positive Attitude”.  I learned that, whether we are in the desert crossing to the promised land, or in Texas, “Living the Dream”, if we turn your virtues into a law, and make the law more important than the Creator, then we have lost sight of what is really important. In the end, we make hypocrites of ourselves.  And we advertise that we follow these virtues when it is apparent to everyone that we don’t.”  “I also learned that when I am keeping my eyes on you, things go really well.  But when I look to myself or others, I fail miserably.”

“That’s was a mouth full!  And I think I hear some judgement encroaching your lessons, too.”  “David, I don’t judge you.  All judgement of all sin and failure was poured out on Jesus at the Cross.  I am here to teach you.  What you said is true, but you didn’t mention THE truth.”

“Lord, please tell me THE truth, then.  What am I to you?  What am I going to do now?  How does this apply to the fact that You sent me here?”

“David, I have called you and Sandy to serve me, and me alone.  I sent you here, and soon, you will know why.  I need you to learn these lessons, as painful as they are.  Keep your eyes on ME, and trust that I know what I am doing.  Stop trying to please man AND serve me at the same time.  That is not possible.  Remember at all times the Love and Grace I have given you.  You are to give generously to all who you meet.  Never take matters into your own hands.  I am your Lord, I care for you, I love you, and there is no condemnation on you because you are in Me.  Seek me first, in all things, in all ways, and all the rest of the things on your list will be taken care of.”   What you experienced at that place was, in fact, exactly what you asked me for.

“What?”  “It’s TRUE.”  “WHEN?” “Remember you prayed to work at a place where My virtues are pointed out, where people are Christians, where ‘Doing the Right Thing’ actually means something?”  “Yes, I do.” “You got what you asked for.  You have no more business judging them for their shortcomings than they do judging you for yours.  I sent you to where you asked to be sent.  But, even so, I always send you where I need you, where you will do the most good, and grow to be like Me.”  “You simply forgot why I sent you, that’s all.  Now that you have learned this lesson, I will send you where you can do some good.  Just remember to keep an eye on Me.  I will meet all your needs.  My promise is not conditional, nor is it based on whether you behave yourself or not.  I always keep my promise.  You will serve me.  The more like me you become, the less you will have to worry about in this world.”

American Christians are not yet at the point where it will cost them their lives for their faith.  We have become complacent, and have turned what God has intended for good into a religion that drives mankind far away from God.  We have fellowships that are more like clubs.  We do not readily accept the unwashed, the sinner, the outsider.  If I don’t think like you, then I am wrong.  The hard truth is, neither of us think like God, nor do we have the mind of Christ.  That is not an accusation, that is a hard-earned observation.  In my anti-religious stance, I have built a new religion.  In your Americanized Christianity, you have built a religion.  Jesus did not come here to build a religion, but a relationship.  Any time we forget that seeking the Kingdom of God, and HIS righteousness is more important than anything else we will do, then we are in error.  We are still saved.  But we are not following God, through Jesus Christ.

Jesus died of all our sin, all our failure, all our fear, all our poverty, all our lack, and anything else that built a wall between us and His kingdom.  In return for this, He gave us eternal life, eternal fellowship with God, and everything that HE inherited as Lord.  We abound in God’s goodness, if only we can remember how to hear and see what God has done for us.  When what we do as Christians drives people away from God, then we are being religious.  When what we do does not bring the lost to the Kingdom of God, and the Saved to be more like Him, then we are practicing a religion.  If we are running a business that touts the virtues of God, but does not actually serve God, then stop saying what you are, and just be what you intend to be.  By seeking God, your business WILL have those virtues, and God will make sure everyone knows it.  Bragging on HIS children is one of the things God LOVES to do.

We still sin, and fail, but God’s promise is eternal.  You are His child.  You will be made in to the image and likeness of His son, Jesus.

Religion worships the idea of God, and the idea of the virtues of God, but the heart of religion is all about lip service to the Creator.  We are more concerned about being right than being like Him.

The Cure for Anxiety

“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you — you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? ’ or ‘What will we drink? ’ or ‘What will we wear? ’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” – Jesus – Matthew 6:25-33

This is why I know that, in spite of any failure on my part, or any judgement of mankind against me, in the end, I will serve the Lord.  He has become my first love, and I desire Him above all else.  My burning desire is to serve Him.  He is using my failures to teach me how to succeed HIS way.  And I love even these hard lessons.  Forgiveness, Love, Grace, Mercy, Service, Giving, are more important than any idolatrous covenant that God never asked you to agree to.  All things that God desires to give you will come to you when you seek Him first.

Let’s Be About It!
I love you.
David G. Perkins

 

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Faith, Observations

The Truth WILL Set You Free! – Introduction


Leave This at the Feet of God

Leave This at the Feet of God, He cares FOR you!

Here is a lesson I have had to repeat, recently.

My prayer is that, this time, I actually learn it and walk in it.

My hope is that, in sharing this with you, you will be helped in your walk.

The goal is not to shine a light on me, but to reveal the love of God in you.

 A Lesson on Personal Behavior.

All our outcomes in this life are the result of our behavior. People always reveal themselves in the way they react to your behavior. Depending on how others react to your behavior, you have the opportunity to remain humble, the opportunity to forgive, or the opportunity to learn from it. How others react to you reveals who they are, more than anything, and is, for the most part, none of your business.

 How you behave is every bit of your business.

All behavior is an expression of your beliefs.

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” – Luke 6:45, NIV, and “ For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7 KJV
If you have noticed that your outcomes are not, say, exactly pleasing to, you, your family, the Lord, or anyone else, for that matter, it might be time to go to what it is you believe. If you want to change your outcomes, change what you believe is true about you.

 Stupid is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

STOP BEING STUPID!

I can say this because, I am learning this lesson as we speak.

I am learning that, if what I believe about myself contradicts what the Bible says about me, as a Child of God, then I am either a hypocrite, or ignorant, or just plain stupid.

The good news is, ignorance can be fixed. The bad news is, stupid is forever.

Start Here: You are the redeemed of Christ, so stop being stupid, and learn from this event.

We can start learning by asking ourselves the following questions:

1. What do you believe about you as a person?

2. What do you believe you are worthy or unworthy to experience?

3. What do you believe about love and happiness in your life?

4. What do you believe about your success and prosperity?

5. This is the crucial question: How do you believe God sees you, right now?

When you honestly answer these questions, you will see that your life is a physical manifestation of what you believe is true about you.

This series will show you what I have recently learned about these questions, and how I have learned to see through a new lens.

There is a reason Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32 NIV

Walk with me and let me share with you what I have learned about the difference between knowing a truth, and understanding THE truth.

I love you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior and Big Brother.

Let’s Be About it!
David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Thou Art The Potter


“Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.” –  Samuel Johnson quotes (English Poet, Critic and Writer. 1709-1784)

“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’

In my “less than Christian” days, one of my part-time jobs was as an artist’s model.  One of my contracts was to pose as the statue of David for a sculpting class.  Dividing the Sculpture studio from the Pottery studio was a set of double doors.  I noticed that, although there weren’t any students in there, there was music playing and a few lights on.

In between Sculpting sessions, I took a 30 minute break, and went into the Pottery room and saw one of the Art Professors working with some clay.  Ken, the Master Potter, was building the most beautiful object I have seen in that studio.  There were several of them, in various stages of progress.  I saw one that had been out of the kiln for about a day, and in cooling off, had developed a sizable crack.

I asked Ken what he will do with that piece.  He pointed to a grinder, and said, that grinder will pulverize the pottery back down to a fine powder.  I can re-use that powder to make something else.  Then he pointed to a very beautiful vase he had made, and said that is how he made that vase.  It was exquisite.  He had shaped that pulverized powder to a very thin layer, and had made something more beautiful than it was before.  When I thumped the edge of the vase with my fingernail, it actually gave a sweet ring, as if it were crystal instead of reformed clay.

I know that had I made the same effort, the globular mass that would have been produced would not ring like fine china.  The difference is what the hands of a master can produce.

That clay did not mean to crack.  And the potter could have thrown the cracked clay away and dismissed it as flawed.  But it was like Ken explained, he was invested in that clay.  Part of himself went into making the original shape.  His love for beauty and patience with the creative process made it nearly impossible for him to dismiss any broken piece as being useless.

God treats us like this, too.  Sometimes we crack.  When we take our eyes off what matters, we mess up.  When we take matters into our own hands, we forget why God sent us in the first place.  The beauty of God is that He is ever forgiving, ever-loving, and will never allow anything to take you out of His hands.  That is a promise.

Another promise is, as long as we keep our eyes on Him, and follow Him, and listen to Him, HE will direct our paths.  The Grace of God comes in when we take our eyes off Him.  We crack under the pressure of doing things our way.  In His mercy, He keeps us close to His heart.  He sees your flaw as an opportunity to continue to work with you.  He will refine us over and over again and again until we resemble His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

The Father disciplines the one that He loves.

When you crack, and break, have no fear of the wrath of God.  God has already expended His wrath on Jesus, while Jesus was on the cross.  Jesus became all our sins, all our disease, all our failings, all our disappointment, all that can possibly go wrong.   When He did that, He gave all that He was before God to us.  We received the right to be called the children of God.  We belong to Him.  We do not have to fear God’s wrath because we messed up.

God doesn’t ever set you up for failure.  All His gifts are good.  If you have been sent by God, but you mess up what He told you to do, rest in Him, and be assured that, whatever it is that He will make of your curses, will, in the end, be a blessing.  Not just for you, but for anyone that sees what God did with you.  This is so that all souls can be drawn to Him.

Let’s be about it!

I love you in the Name of Jesus.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith, Observations

Albert Einstein

“You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.”

― Albert Einstein

Adversity Happens.

What you do with adversity will greatly affect how your life will turn out.

Adversity can be brought on by ignorance, evil, selfishness, bad judgement, or simply by circumstance.  If the same adversity happens repeatedly in your life, the chances are great that you are the cause of your pain.

Psalm 119:67 ESV

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.

Chances are that the problems that plague you are because you keep repeating the same old habits, hoping for a different result.  It may be that you are repeating them without even understanding that that is what you are doing.  However it happened, here is hope:

You recognize that you are afflicted.

You know that you brought this on yourself.

You understand that something must change in order to get out of this destructive cycle.  One of the earliest mistakes I make when I really reap what I sow is, over analyzing the past.  The more you study your past, the more you will defeat yourself on the memories of all your failures.  Look at your past if you can learn from it.  But you have to come to terms with the fact that:

“You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.” – Einstein.

There is an old saying that goes something like this:  “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you have always got.”  (Apologies to my English teacher.)

So, you may be asking yourself, “How do I change this mess?”

Here you go:

1. Let go of your past.  You are a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17).   The OLD you is DEAD.  Let go of your old evil self.  That person is dead.  He or She dies the second you confessed with your mouth that Jesus Christ died of your sin and rose from the dead..  You cannot solve your problems by doing the same thing over and over again.

2. Do away with your old patterns of thinking.  Change what you believe about yourself, and understand how God views you now that you are in Christ, and you have HIS MIND. (Bible Verses About Our Identity in Christ: God’s View of Us)

3. Take Responsibility for your every thought.  God did not invent a bunch of brain dead, mind washed robots.  He gave you the ability to think for yourself.  But choose your thoughts wisely.  Whatever you believe is true about yourself WILL be the life you create for yourself.  We gained this autonomy from God Himself, BEFORE THE FALL, and His Gifts are without repentance.  It IS written, For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he… Proverbs 23:7 KJV

4. Watch your mouth.  This follows from #3 – The things you say are born in your heart.  A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. “  – Jesus – Luke 6:45 HCSB  The best way to learn to do this is by thinking about what is good, right and pleasing to the Lord.  It is written:  Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8 NASB  

5. Speak new truths about yourself.  Your mind is your greatest enemy or your best asset.  Speak what you believe.  Speak it.  When you do, you will discover if you believe it or not.  If you don’t believe it, stop lying.  Gain an understanding about how God sees you, and understand that He has not destined you for failure,. but success .  When you speak it, feel it all the way into your bones, deep in your heart, see it in your mind’s eye.  Know that it is true.  Changing the pattern of what you believe about life, the world, others and yourself will dramatically change your life.  We have the power of life and death in our tongues.  Just be aware that the life you bless or curse is you own.  You will affect the rest of the world according to what you believe is true about yourself.  HERE is what the Bible says about SUCCESS.

When you change your view of yourself, by learning and believing what God says about you (Bible Verses About Our Identity in Christ: God’s View of Us), you will develop the mind of Christ, and THEN IF you do these things, you will know success.

Taking these steps takes discipline, and does not necessarily happen overnight.  A great many successful people have built their successes on their heaping pile of failures.

God made you for a purpose.  If you want to find that real, authentic you, that he purposefully created for this time, this life, this moment in history, step away from your old self, and see how God views you.

Then act on it.

“Let’s Be About It!”

I love you.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

Change Your Life

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Faith, Observations

Sandy


I love you with all my heart.

I love you with all my heart.

I know a woman named Sandy.

She buried her first husband, and raised two kids all on her own.

While that was going on, she buried her sister, her father, and one of her brothers.

The remarkable thing about Sandy is that, while this was going on, she continued as a worship leader at a few small churches. The darkness in her life never made her love of Christ falter.

One day, Sandy and I met on a blind date.

Remarkably, or sadly, depending on your point of view (I have heard them all), she made the incredible decision to marry me.

What this woman has brought to my world, the gift of love she gave me, the wonders seen through her eyes, are barely able to be described, and, frankly, I fear I will cheapen them by trying to explain them to you.

Still, I ask you to hear me out.

The first thing that drew me to you, Sandy, was your incredible smile, and impish sense of humor.

It is rare to find a woman who loves God as you do, but still be able to, without being crude, make a Senior Master Chief blush like a school girl.

You amazed me from the start.

I was afraid of you.

I have never been afraid of a woman before.

When I had my very first glimpse of you, I saw our future together. It was so different, and so blazingly overwhelming that I ran from you.

Prescience can be a terrible thing, and can lead to a lot of bad decisions. My bad decision was that I avoided you for the following 6 weeks.

But I could never put you out of my mind.

Now, after 17 years of marriage, I can truthfully with all honesty, say, given the choice, I would do this all over again.

Through the grace of God, we have grown together,  We have laughed, we have cried, we have agonized and we have celebrated, all of life’s ups and downs.

You have given me my child. And you have raised her to be a beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful and gifted woman.

The touch of your hand is evident in her. All the hours you spent reading to her, all the love and kisses you gave her, all that is beautiful in Hannah, you have placed in her through your remarkable love.

And what has your love done to me?

Amazing things! Wonderful things.  Beautiful things.

Your patient, consistent love and grace broke through my very hard heart so I can see who Christ Jesus really is.

Even when you hated me, you loved me.

Even when you wanted to quit, you persisted in giving me all you are.

God used your gentle grace to break me.

All my anger and all my religion and all my evil subsided because you never gave up.

You took my hand and patiently, sometimes dragging me kicking and screaming, took me to the throne room of God, where I was able to see who the real Jesus is, not the one I learned about in Seminary, or in religious dogma.

Your grace with me showed me that there is an even greater grace and love. You would not have been able to live with me otherwise. When the world was telling you, you had the right and duty to give up on me, you didn’t.

How can I adequately describe your beauty, your love, all that you are to me?

For once in my life, I am at a loss for words.

I love you, Sandy.

I declare my love for you in the face of the whole world.

You are a gift from God, an amazing musician, a beautiful wife, an awesome mom, and a woman of God.

You are God’s beautiful and beloved daughter, whom He loves very much.

We recently went to Missouri to retrieve the rest of our belongings from storage.

That cost a small fortune.

Then our car broke down, and will cost us another fortune.

What that means is, I cannot do the things I had wanted to do for you on this, our 17th anniversary.

But one thing I do give you, I give you the gift of my heart.

I cherish you.

I desire you.

You are my best friend in all the world, and my greatest love.

No matter what life brings our way, I am overjoyed that I get to walk through it with you.

God has shown us our purpose as individuals and as a couple.

I am excited at the thought of walking out the remainder of my life with you and God.

I look forward to what God is about to begin in us.

And I will cherish every living moment I have with you.

I love you,

I love you,

I love you.

Let’s Be About It!

David

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith, Observations

Growing Pains – Lessons From The Kindergarten of God – Part III – Well Intentioned Dragons


“the more i sing and play my music in front of people, the more advice i get. it’s well-meant, coming from people who care about me, but it’s all conflicting. b. says i should play acoustic more. r. says i should rock harder. c. says i sing too loud. k. says i sing too loud too (ok, maybe i sing too loud). but the point is, who do i listen to?”

When dealing with yourself, use your mind.  When dealing with others, use your heart.  John Maxwell

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?  I Kings 19:11-13

“Jesus asked, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”(Matthew 7:3 NIV). Christians seem to be uncontrollably motivated by some deep need to “take the dog by the ears.” (See Proverbs 26:17.) They are always meddling in other people’s stuff. This is one of the main reasons the world hates the church. We have declared ourselves to be the world’s police force. We are the self-proclaimed militant army that is here to police and judge the world, when we should be a loving family who brings hurting people into the family circle by adoption! Our concept of presenting what we mistakenly call the Gospel is to let people know they are sinners so they will realize their need for Jesus. This erroneous concept leads the Christian to think that the best way to let people know they are sinners is to point out their faults-that is, to find the speck in their eye.

Your Heart Dictates How You See

The way we view something is the product of our heart. If we have a critical eye, it is because we have a critical heart. The Bible says, He that hath a froward heart findeth no good” (Proverbs 17:20). A ‘froward heart”is a crooked heart. It is a heart that has been reshaped through the pressures of sin, legalism, religion, or life circumstances. It is a heart that sees only the bad; it cannot find the good. Some people seem to have mistaken criticism for discernment. Criticism is not a gift of the Holy Spirit; it is the product of a corrupt heart. Religion has forged the church into a critical, reactionary society not much different than that of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.”   James B. Richards. How to Stop the Pain. Kindle Edition.

WELL INTENTIONED DRAGONS

As a New Creation, I sometimes look to other, wiser, Christians for sound advice.  There are some, I have learned through experience, who see through my questions, and hear what my heart is actually asking.  This is a gift of discernment I find most mature Christians have.

There are new Christians, like me, who need to spend much more time in the Bible and Prayer, so we can develop a finely tuned sense of God’s Voice, and God’s Will.

Then there are the well-intentioned dragons.  These are the ones who genuinely love God, and are saved through the blood of Jesus Christ, and even know scripture very well, but something about them sets my teeth on edge.  Figuring out what that something is has taken me some time.  I took that time to look for patterns, and build a baseline that demonstrates the difference between what I hear them say, and the way they say it, against what and how Jesus spoke to people.

THAT IS WHEN I FOUND IT!

Jesus, being God, and unchangeable (YHWH), speaks, and when He speaks…

He doesn’t change, but loves eternally, speaks gracefully, and uses the truth to heal, not hurt.

He is Lord of Lords, meaning His word is the first one, and the last one, because His judgement is true.

He is the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, as these three are one…when He speaks, all have spoken, they are their own witness, and need no outside verification.

He is the Lord Most High, sitting eternally on the throne…and because we have accepted his free gift of life, we sit next to him, as he is our brother, and GOd is our Father.  THere is none beside him, and no one higher in authority than him.

His word and will is our provision.  He meets all our needs, to grow, to love, to show mercy, to be graceful, because when he became all sin in our place, he gave us all that he is in exchange.

His word smites sin.  No other has this authority.  All other judgement is accusation and comes from the father of lies and his children.  God’s judgement is true, and he deals mercifully with us, as he destroys sin, in us, and in the world.

He is the one and only one who sanctifies us.  His death on the cross paid for your fall, and his resurrection gave us new life…if we will accept this free gift.  He alone is what sanctifies us.

He is the one who marks us with his banner and ensign.  We are his, paid for with His blood.  Our mission in life is to become like Him so that when people see us, they see Him only.  We are his banner, and he is ours.

His blood, and his word heals us.  All he gives us in His love, grace and mercy.  He will do us no harm.  He is not mad at us.  He heals us by the stripes he bore.

He is my ever-present shepherd.  He guides me in the midst of trouble, and leads me to his peace, even in the midst of the storm.  Even His rebuke of me brings me hope and life and health.  No other has this ability, or authority.  He keeps watch over me day and night.

Well intentioned dragons will use the scriptures and their overrated opinion and religion to criticize, destroy, rob you of peace, take your joy.  THe well-intentioned dragons are the first to point out what you did wrong.  Why you should have done it better/different/ or not at all.

Well intentioned dragons have no faith in the genuine work of the cross because they are too busy being religious.  That is why, when GOd sends you to do a thing, they rail against it, they fail to see your vision, they try to improve you so that you will better resemble their opinion of the truth, and fail to comprehend what real truth actually is.

Well intentioned dragons do not feel ok until they have spoken their judgement over you, and “improved” you, and judged you inadequate.  They did this to Jesus, and they will do the same to you.

IF YOU LISTEN

If you listen to the dragons, you will end up worse than they are.

If you listen to the still small voice of the Lord, you will know joy, peace, healing, direction, purpose, strength, courage, and you will know HIM.

IT IS ALL A CHOICE OF WHOM YOU CHOOSE TO BELIEVE.

Do as he sends you to do, even if it makes no sense, and seems crazy, and no one else trusts you, believes you, understands what and how you are doing it.  You were sent by God, not by well-intentioned dragons.

His presence will calm you and empower you through even the hardest trials and storms.

This is the God I serve.  This is the God I choose to obey.  No matter what it will cost, I have no desire to give ear to the dragons.  I will wait for the still small voice.

I love you,

David Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Let’s be about it.

 

 

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Faith, Observations

Growing Pains – Lessons from the Kindergarten of God – Part 2


When dealing with yourself, use your mind.  When dealing with others, use your heart.  John Maxwell

You are what you believe you are, and you live out your beliefs.

 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Philippians 4:8 KJV

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 KJV

 

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Growing Pains – Lessons from the Kindergarten of God – Part 1


When dealing with yourself, use your mind.  When dealing with others, use your heart.  John Maxwell

“When dealing with yourself, use your mind. When dealing with others, use your heart.”  – John Maxwell

Introduction – Dedicated to my co-workers at Cates Control Solutions

I was writing about the Core Values of the company I work for. I feel I have to interrupt that series for two reasons: 1) My recent behavior betrayed that I adhere to those values only when it suits me, and 2) The lessons I am learning here are rich, meaningful, and important.

Something happened at work, the other day.  In my mind it was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.  It was time for me to take action and speak out.  That is exactly what I did.  I spoke out.  The end result was less than stellar.  My conversation had deteriorated to the point that I was not being constructive, but destructive.  The very people I wanted to reach were put off by my behavior and speech.  Nothing was gained, and any trust I had earned was in jeopardy of being lost.  I had let my mouth run before I had put my mind in gear.

All this time I had been praying about, speaking about, and writing about the finished work of the cross, and the exchange that took place between God, Jesus and Man at the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.  My behavior and speech betrayed an entirely different story, though.  And when I finally cooled off enough to listen, I heard a Loving God tell me that my conduct was less than becoming for His child.  It was a simple rebuke, and lovingly spoken, but I have not been the same since.  I am undone, and I hurt that I let my Lord down so blatantly.

Being filled with the Spirit of God doesn’t mean you are finally a fully grown child of God.  It means you have just been born again.  And being born, you are nurtured for a season in the sweet and warm light of the Spirit.  As you grow, however, the Spirit of God will begin to gently and lovingly teach you lessons on the character of Christ.  If you pay attention, and receive these lessons, you grow, and it doesn’t hurt.  But if you are a jackass, like I tend to be, the Spirit will let you have your way, and deal with you lovingly, but in a way that you can see your selfishness in the same light as God sees it.  That is where the pain is.  When I see myself behave badly, I feel the same pain as the Spirit must feel when looking at rebellion.

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” ― John C. Maxwell

“For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12

Where Are My Roots?

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:1 – Jesus

I have a choice.  I can abide in Christ, or I cannot.  I can choose to do either one.

Choosing not to abide at all has a consequence all its’ own, and I will not write about that here.

The choice to abide in Him is what this is about.

When I choose to know God and be transformed into the likeness (behavior) of Christ, I am aided by the very power of God to be conformed into Christ’s likeness.  When I chose to take matters into my own hands, I have stopped abiding in Christ.  This branch in me bore fruit, but not Godly fruit.  This branch must be pruned in order that it may bear good fruit.  The sap that runs in the branches, powered by the Holy Spirit, bears good fruit.  Good fruit is that which leads others to Jesus, that which demonstrates Love, Mercy, Grace and Forgiveness.

The Spirit of God will deal directly with you, without condemnation, and with all Love, Grace and Mercy. It is only Satan who accuses you and condemns you. The Children of God behave as Christ does, the Children of Satan, behave as Satan does. The evidence of who we follow is borne in the fruit we bear.

What is My Fruit?

“Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.” Matthew 7:16b – 18 – Jesus

Do my words and deeds bear fruit that others will enjoy and grow from?  Do the words of my mouth bring life or death?  Is my confession holy or unholy? If my words cause division, strife, scorn, hatred, and alienates my confession from my identity, then I am bearing bad fruit.   My first fruit has to be forgiveness of my own shortcomings, so I can forgive others of theirs.  I can do this when I remember that Jesus died of ALL sin.  He became all sin and bore the wrath of God.  In exchange, He gave me His holiness and His Grace and His Love and His Mercy and His standing with God.  This exchange, this fruit, has to grow in me as I abide in Him.  Apart from Him I can do nothing. There is no other way I can bear good fruit.

I am grateful to God that He chooses to forgive and prune me, rather than just throw me away at the first sign of my weakness.

Where Are My Thoughts?

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1 – Jesus

If I want to be received well by my fellow-man, I must treat my fellow-man with all the love and respect with which I want them to treat me.

It may be that, when my fellow-man judges me, that they simply do not really know what I am doing, or what my vision of my job is.  It may simply be that they are unhappy with the way I do things because it is not the way they would do it.  It may be that they cannot let go of a past whose spirit I embrace, but whose method have not grown to keep up with the amazing growth of Cates.

When I judge them, rather than accept them, I have closed any door of communication that could exist.  I have lost a friend.  If I want to have friends at work, I must first be a friend at a work.  “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.” Proverbs 17:17

I desire to understand my co-workers as well as be understood by them.  My words and behavior will determine if I can accomplish this.

What Am I Doing?

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 – Jesus

If I am forgiven, I must speak forgiveness to others.

If I have received Grace, I must speak gracefully to others.

If I have received Mercy, then I must be merciful to others.

If I am Loved of God, then I must love and be lovely to others

I Will Reap What I Sow.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure — pressed down, shaken together, and running over — will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” 

This is a universal principle. You do not have to be any religion to see this happen in your life. You will always get back what you give to others, and you will get it more abundantly than you gave it out. The difference between the Christian doing this, and others doing it is this: When a Christian does this, the end result is the Glorification of God for what He accomplished through Jesus Christ.

I have a choice of where I want to store up my treasures. Being merciful and graceful doesn’t mean everyone will be merciful and graceful back to me. Some people are just evil in their hearts and delight in the demonstration of that evil. But, for the most part, people will always give back to you what you give to them, and they will give it back with interest, and they will invite their friends to do the same.

If I am reaping something at work, it is probably because I sowed it, first.

My Prayer:

My Heavenly Father, I love you and Praise you because of the finished work of the Cross, and all the gifts you have given me because of it. I pray, in the Name of Jesus, that you bind my tongue to the truth, and teach me mercy, grace, forgiveness and love. I pray that you teach me how to encourage others to do the same. – AMEN

“Truth is that which corresponds to reality. Reality is what exists regardless of human opinion.” – Chris Putnam

Part 2 coming.

Let’s Be About It!

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