Faith, Observations

THE LURKING BEAST OF A WEIGHED-DOWN HEART – April 19


This is a one of my all time favorite blogs.  The author is incredibly descriptive.  It isn’t about me dropping my guard, but me doing something that invites the little foxes in.  How much does a person need crushing before he catches on?

THE LURKING BEAST OF A WEIGHED-DOWN HEART – April 19

 

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“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36

 

20 on explore on Sunday, July 1, 2007There is a beast that roams my small acreage.

I have never seen its shape for it comes out only after I yield to sleep. Yet, the evidence of its presence confronts me at sunrise every morning. I walk into my field and shutter at the thought of an unwanted presence having recently crossed the very path of my footsteps.

I know what it hunts. I see the numerous holes it has dug in pursuit of its prey – gophers. I do not object to that pursuit. However, I wish that it would get its own. This beast has found that it is easier to steal from me. It has discovered that at the bottom of the fluttering location flags is a gopher trap that often, by the time of darkness, contains a dead gopher. It then absconds with the gopher and my trap. I have lost two traps to this beast.

I can tolerate the presence of this beast lurking in the darkness since we have a common nemesis – gophers. However, I know there is a danger that goes beyond the thief of traps and the annoyance of hole digging (this beast does not have the common courtesy of backfilling its holes).

English: Badger hole This large hole was in th...My concern is for my chickens. I know that it is just a matter of time before this beast finds that a roosting chicken is about as easy to catch as a trapped gopher – and much more satisfying. Therefore, this beast has become my enemy before I lose something I value more than a dead gopher.

I am not sure of my success. Therefore, I must stay vigilant to the unseen dangers.

IMAG0018There is a danger to our souls that lurks in the darkness. Our danger is that the day of judgment will come upon us unaware, when we do not expect it, and when we are not prepared for it. The danger is that we are called to meet our Lord, and He is the furthest thing from our hearts and low on the list of that which we love.

We are most vulnerable to this danger when we are unconscious to its presence. That is why we are encouraged to stay awake. We are to stay vigilant against the beast of a heart that is weighted down. We are to watch ourselves from becoming satiated with an inordinate pursuit of the good things of this world and an over-indulgence of the appetites of the body.

Many of us live in an amicable truce with the cares of the world. We fall asleep and allow the beast of our cravings to roam free because we consider them a normal course of our existence. We live with competing loves because it does not appear that they are having an effect upon our spiritual lives beyond an occasional thief of joy and the annoyance of our disrupted façade.

I believe that the danger of a weighed-down heart is far greater than we realize. A weighed-down heart is evidence of misplaced love. Misplaced loves have to be killed before they can burden our hearts, steal our fruitfulness, and even cause us to give up.

From my experience, I rarely get a clean shot at my misplaced loves. They grow in the hidden crevasses of the normal course of my life. I can become so accustomed to these cares, that I fall asleep to their danger.

I have to go to their lair and smoke them out.

There is only one way to smoke out misplaced love. It is by the work of the Spirit in our lives that affections are set upon God and God alone and misplaced love is killed. We have to come to the Spirit in pray and ask the Lord to examine our hearts for anything that we love more than Him. When we feel weighed down by the cares of this world, we must yield all to the Lord and set our eyes upon the things of the Spirit.

We mustn’t fall asleep to the danger. We must not accept a beast prowling in the darkness of our hearts as normal. The danger of a weighed-down heart is nothing to ignore.

PRAYER: Father, I do not want my love to be misplaced.  I do not want to love anything more than you.  Lord, examine my heart.  Show me where I am being weighed down by the cares of this world.  Show me the good things that I pursue more than you.  Show me where my appetites are out of control.  Help me give to you those loves that I have allowed to become too elevated.  Help me keep my eyes on you.  Help me stay awake to that which I am setting my mind upon.  Keep me in your steadfast love.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

A DEVOTED LIFE

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36

20 on explore on Sunday, July 1, 2007There is a beast that roams my small acreage.

I have never seen its shape for it comes out only after I yield to sleep. Yet, the evidence of its presence confronts me at sunrise every morning. I walk into my field and shutter at the thought of an unwanted presence having recently crossed the very path of my footsteps.

I know what it hunts. I see the numerous holes it has dug in pursuit…

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Faith, Observations

Me and My Big Mouth – Part III.


Taming the Tongue

1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,a and set on fire by hell.b 7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,c these things ought not to be so. 11Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. James 3:1 – 12 ESV

Too often, I speak without thinking, I think without reason, and I reason without listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

That is when what I think I am saying turns into a thing I never intended to say.

One thing is clear; When the Spirit of God gives you utterance, it will most likely surprise you more than it surprises the listener.  The reason that is so is, the Listener was looking for the answer deep in their heart, and the Spirit of God simply reveals the heart of the hearer, and He gave you utterance to that listener, despite of what “wisdom” you think you have..

My mouth will speak what is in my heart.  My heart will believe what I choose for it to believe.  When what I chose to believe is contradictory to the will of God, I have ceased to represent God, and the finished work of Christ.  When I do this, I am reproved of God.  He is gentle and loving, and does not condemn me when he corrects me.  You can tell who the Children of God are when they correct you the same way.  If I am wise, I learn…if I am a fool, I am broken on the truth.  If I refuse to learn, then I am useless.

This is what I pray the Spirit of God will write on my heart:

Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”  Luke 21:15, ESV – Jesus

This is true of every utterance you have.  Wether in writing, or in speech, in thought or in deed.  I must labor into the rest of the finished work of Christ, and allow the Spirit of God to do His mysterious and powerful work in me.  To do anything else is rebellion against the One whom I say I have accepted in my heart.

Even Confucius understood this:  “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant, then what ought to be done remains undone.”

Paul said it best:

15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…

I pray that the Spirit of God first teach me this wonderful love, and write it on my heart.  I pray that, if I have to speak or write, under any circumstance, that I do it in the love He has poured into me. I pray that I do not rely on my own understanding, but learn to get myself out of the way before I attempt to tell anyone anything.

Let’s Be About It!

I love You,

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith, Observations

Test of Authenticity


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?

 

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

I am doing a research, right now, where I compare the writings of two different Christian Leaders.  One of these leaders manages to take everything he discusses back to the finished work of the cross.  The other one, a more influential person, acknowledges the work on the Cross, but manages to take his work back to Adlerian Psychology, Mixed with Ericksons Stages of Development.  I recognize other influences, in there, too, but, whether he calls his modality these things, or not, this is what he is doing.

One leader takes the hurt soul and shows us where we are complete in the finished work of Christ, and are given a host of gifts.  This leader tells us our identity no longer lay in the things of this earth, but, as a new creation, we are now completely loved, accepted, and are being made in the likeness of Christ our savior.  The rest of his works describe the scriptural basis of Christian Authenticity.

The other leader, despite the finished work of Christ, wants to take us through our developmental stages of life, point out where we were “wounded” and how that affects our lives, and uses several psychological gimmicks to justify and solidify this teaching.  Then he peppers it with scripture in an effort to undergird his writing.

This inauthentic approach never releases you from sin, never gives you a chance to labor into the rest of the finished work of Christ, and never releases you from a past that Christ clearly died for.

At Cates Control Solutions, we have a saying about Responsibility:  We accept the responsibilities of our position and know we are accountable to meet our obligations.

So, what is my responsibility to what I am reading.  Simple, when I read any leader of the “Christian Faith”, the test of authenticity I have learned to recognize is this:  It either takes you to the finished work of the Cross, and how that makes you a new creation, or it doesn’t.  When Christ died of our sin, he didn’t die for just a few things.  He died of everything, so you will receive everything that is His.  You do not have to regress and confront anything in your past.  Your past is dead.  When Christ rose from the dead, Your NEW SELF rose with him.  OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY.  I also know from experience, any “woundedness” I carry is because I have not rested in the finished work of the cross.  I do not have to identify myself with anything but Jesus, and seek the Kingdom of God.  There is nothing I need to go back and fix.  I labor to rest in the finished and authentic work of Christ.  I have received all gifts and benefits of the Child of God.

Tonight we observe that Christ died on the cross.  He fulfilled His responsibility, and set you free from all encumbrances.  My responsibility as a new creation, is to make sure I do not get mired down in any doctrine of man that attempts to denigrate the finished work of the cross.

After all, When Jesus said it was finished…He meant it.

I love you in Jesus Name…

…It’s Friday, but SUNDAY IS COMING!  Halleluiah!

David G. Perkins

 

 

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Faith, Observations

If I Had Been There


image

If I had been there, would I have…
…cried like his mom did?
…mocked him like the guards did?
…stand in open condemnation as the High Priest did?
…observe with the joy of blood sport as the local rabble did?
…betray him as his followers did?
…shriek in loud cheers as Satan did?

Chances are, had I been there, I would have done all of the above.
Chances are, I would have done these things out of the same pitiless ignorance that they did.

Even in all his betrayal, pain, and separation from the Father, he asked God to forgive us, since we really didn’t know what we were doing.

Jesus didn’t die for our sin, He died OF them.  He died for me.  He died for you.

I Love You
David Perkins
Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Observations

ZEAL


Romans 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

Romans 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

 

Whoever said this was a genius:

Zeal without knowledge is disappointing.

Zeal without wisdom is damaging.

Zeal without purity is dangerous.

Zeal without love is deadly.

But zeal, in humble submission to the knowledge, wisdom, purity and love of Jesus Christ, can change nations.

Let’s Be About It!

 

 

 

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Unrelentingly Relentless


Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. I COR 9:24 ESV

Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith  Hebrews 12:1-11

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do Not Grow Weary

3Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

7It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

re·lent·less

riˈlentləs/adjective

adjective: relentless

1.

oppressively constant; incessant.

“the relentless heat of the desert”

synonyms:

persistent, continuing, constant, continual, continuous, nonstop, never-ending, unabating, interminable, incessant, unceasing, endless, unending, unremitting, unrelenting, unrelieved;

 

To Find My Path of Unrelenting Relentlessness, I first Had To Relent

Part of dying to my old self meant putting away my old self-habits.  I know that the only way to do that, and make it stick, is through the power of the Holy Spirit of God.  And THAT has to be what I call “Heart Surgery”.  For the change to keep, my Heart Beliefs HAVE to align and harmonize with the Spirit of the Living God.  From there, whatever characteristics I stored in my mind are overwritten with the Character of Christ.  When that happens, my body follows.

To relent is to soften your position on certain fast held beliefs.  To relent is similar to repent, which is to change your mind.  The difference is, I must be willing to soften my unrelentingly relentless stance on a wrong belief, it is when I am unrepentantly unrelentless that a character other than that of Christ is revealed in me.

This is why it is written:  Ezekiel 36:29 NIV – ‘“I’m going to give you a new heart, and I’m going to give you a new spirit within all of your deepest parts. I’ll remove that rock-hard heart of yours and replace it with one that’s sensitive to me.”   Before I can learn to relent, I have to submit to the Heart Surgery of the Holy Spirit, and be recreated, which is where II Corinthians 5:17 is revealed in you: Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come”

As a new creation, with a new Spirit and a heart sensitive to the voice of God, you can be remade into the image of Christ.  There are dangers in this, though.  The Spirit of God is gentle, and will never force its will on you without your consent.  You can ignore it, you can deny it, you can do whatever you want.  If you are willing to relent, then you will be changed, gently, without condemnation, and grow to be more like Christ.

WHAT AM I WILLING TO BE RELENTLESS ABOUT.

At Cates Control Solutions, Relentless is defined as follows:  “RELENTLESS: We will not back down from our pursuit of excellence in every aspect of our business.”

So I wondered where that is found in scripture.  Here is an example – Philippians 4:8Finally brotherswhatever is true, whatever is honorablewhatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovelywhatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things.”

In order to pursue excellence, I must relent on my attitude that “Good Enough is Good Enough.”  I must find where EXCELLENCE is taught in the Bible, and I must let the Spirit of God write these things on my heart.

Excellence, like any other Core Value, is as meaningful as you will allow it to be, and is only as effective as it is written on my heart.  It is my hard-earned experience that I cannot fake this value of the relentless pursuit of Excellence.

Click the word EXCELLENCE, to see what the Bible has to say about Excellence.

Frankly, left to my own devices, Good Enough is Good Enough for me.  It is not in my carnal nature to want excellence, or to pursue excellence.  This can only come from a changed heart.  It is not just for the sake of Cates Control Solutions that I chase, unrelentingly, after Excellence.  It is first, and foremost because the Spirit of the Living God is pursuing excellence in me.

“RELENTLESS” and all the other Core Values becomes real, not because it is a rule at the office.  It stops being mere words when the Spirit of God is allowed to turn my heart of stone into a heart that is sensitive to the will of God.  If I approach all of the Cates Core Values this way, then it will not matter of this is posted on our wall, or the back of my business card.  I will not have to be reminded by the “Thought Police” to pursue this, either.  It will simply manifest itself as the natural outcome of my unrelentingly relentless pursuit of the Character of Christ.

My Prayer:  Dearest God, My Father, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord, My Savior, and my Brother, that I relent in my stiff-necked will, and turn toward your voice, and become unrelentingly obsessed with all the things you say are excellent.  I know all the qualities exist in the Person and Likeness of Christ.  Lead me, Dear God, to be just like your son.  – AMEN

Now, Let’s Be About It!

I love you in the name of Jesus Christ.

David G. Perkins

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The Looking Glass


In my dreams.  Photo by E. Tom Hussey

In my dreams. Photo by E. Tom Hussey

JAMES 1:23-24 – For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

We interrupt this series on values to bring you this message.

I Corinthians 15:49 – Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

A few days ago, I was talking to a friend about how our perception of ourselves affects what we believe is true about ourselves.  For example, I have this self-image of me from when I was in peak athletic condition.

In my minds mirror, I see me as still being fit, muscular, coordinated, strong, with real strength, not bottled strength.  In my minds mirror, I still have long, curly blackish/brown hair, full of waves and curls.  In my mind’s eye, I am still wearing 32 inch waist pants.

What the mirror in my mind ells me.

What the mirror in my mind tells me.

The mind can be a tricky thing, and can lead me to many false assumptions based on what I think is true.  Often, my warped ego guides me to many fallacies and false assumptions.

The other day, I did something I honestly RARELY ever do.  I looked at myself in the mirror.  My first impression was, “Hey!  That’s my Dad!  I thought I buried HIM in 2005!”  But when I moved, so did the man in the mirror.  Then it dawned on my conscious mind, and my ego mind, that is not my dad, but ME!!

It was then I realized why I don’t look in mirrors.  I am not that guy my ego told me I am.  I am the very image of my Dad.

IN THE BEGINNING

When God created us, we were made in the image of God, meaning we looked like he looks.  We were also made in the likeness of God, meaning we used to act as He acted because we saw what he did.

AFTER THE FALL

After the fall, we lost touch with God, and lost what was His likeness.  We were not able to return to our glorified state.  No work we could expend any effort on would make us righteous in God’s eyes, even though we became self-righteous in our own eyes.  The ego can really fool a person.

THEN CAME JESUS

Yes, Jesus is the Son of God.  God said so rather loudly at Jesus’ baptism.  But it was the Son of Man that faced temptation.  It was the Son of Man that asked God to take away the cup.  It was the Son of Man that faced God’s wrath.  It was the Son of Man that rose from the dead to prove he is the Son of God, too.

The Image of Christ

We are asked to be like Christ, but we, on our own are not capable.  The best we can do is try, but we eventually fail.  But the scripture says we need to become like Christ.  Peter was the first person to prove that, if you don’t keep your eyes on Christ, you will fail in your effort to be just like Jesus.  The labor into the rest of Christ likeness was that all Peter had to do was keep his eyes, and faith, on Jesus, and he would have walked on the water, by faith, as he was already doing.

In the Garden of Eden, the wind and waves Adam and Eve faced was the lie that doing something else will make you just like God.  They then doubted they were already like God.  They took their eyes off the facts, and the truth, and considered a lie, and a false premise based on circumstances.  Forbidden Fruit.

THE EXCHANGE

If you will consider this, instead, and accept it as fact, instead of believing what you think you apparently see, you will learn that you are already like Christ, if you have accepted His death and resurrection.  When Jesus became all your sin, you received, in exchange, all that Jesus is.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

II Corinthians 3:18

It is all a matter of what we focus on.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:5-8  

Just like Jesus died of our sins, voluntarily, we are able to die to ourselves, voluntarily, as we labor into the rest of accepting that, all that Jesus was, we inherited when He arose from the dead.  When we keep our understanding on this truth, when we comprehend this exchange, and when we accept it in faith, no matter what we think we look like, you will look to God, like His Son, Jesus, and you will eventually appear to others to have the likeness of Christ, too.

After all, that is why you weren’t raptured the second you believed.  You are the only Jesus people will see.  When they see Jesus in you, they will want to know what happened to make you this way.

We are transformed in to the image of Christ

We are transformed in to the image of Christ

Let’s Be About It!

I love you in the Name of Jesus

David G. Perkins

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Integrity


Proverbs 10:9

 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,

    but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.

English Standard Version (ESV)

Vocabulary Word: Integrity

FROM THE HEBREW – תֹּם            FROM THE GREEK – καθαρός

Transliteration
tom
Pronunciation
tōm (Key)
Part of Speech
masculine noun
Root Word (Etymology)
Outline of Biblical Usage
  1. integrity, completeness

    1. completeness, fulness

    2. innocence, simplicity

    3. integrity

.
Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon
 Transliteration  Origin
katharós
of uncertain affinity
Definition  Thayer’s | Strong’s ]

Thayer’s Definition

  1. clean, pure
    1. physically
      1. purified by fire
      2. in a similitude, like a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit
    2. in a levitical sense
      1. clean, the use of which is not
Matthew 5:8 – WH – μακαριοι οι καθαροι τη καρδια οτι αυτοι τον θεον οψονται (5695)
                                                                               Matthew 5:8 – KJV – Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see (5695) God.

I hated calculus in college.  Even though Isaac Newton was one of my heroes, and Leibniz was inspired, and is a genius in his own right, calculus was not my friend. Differential equations were hard enough, see for your self:

differential equations

RIGHT?!?

Now, look at an example of an integral equation:

Integral Equations

Even worse, right???

Anyone?

 Well…it was hard for me to do these.  It wasn’t until I audited a class on Engineering Dynamics that I got to see integral equations at work. I went to the book store and bought the Schaum’s Outlines for the Calculus, Differential through Integration, including transformation equations.  I studied it, now that I had a visual idea what it means.  I finally made decent enough grades in Math to move on.  Today, I am researching Vedic Maths (Another blog, another time).

 The moving picture at the top of the screen is an illustration of integration at work.  It shows in form what integration looks like.  Everything moving together, at different rates of speed in order to be a complete, whole, and functional system.  It is pure in that it does not deviate from its’ design.  It’s purity, or innocence is maintained as long as no foreign objects, wrenches, junk, dirt, rocks, etc are introduced to the system.  Throw a wrench in the works, you have a system that is broken, and fails to meet its’ designed expectation.  The timing of the gear’s mesh is perfect for its function.

Each gear is identifiable as being separate from each other…they have their own identity.  They work as one because of their relationship to each other.  Their design is harmonized, and functional, as long as it is being used for its’ purpose.

So, Cates has this one value that goes like this:

“Integrity – We commit “to do what we say we will do.” If that commitment is in jeopardy, we will immediately work with all involved to get back on schedule.”

The first thing I asked myself, when I first saw this is, “How do I measure integrity?”  If some one has integrity, do they have ENOUGH integrity.  However, that question contradicts itself…if you lack integrity to the smallest degree, you lack integrity.

The ethics of hell teach us that we can do the wrong thing for the right reason, the right thing for the wrong reason, do nothing, or in doing something, we may cause more harm than good.  Our society, being bereft of a moral compass is fine with the ethics of hell because, “What matters is your intent, how you felt”.  That makes any outcome acceptable because you meant well.  But I can still hear Grandma Wells telling me, “Little David!  The road to hell is paved with good intentions!”

And she was right.

Because of that exercise in logic, I had to ask myself, “Who here decides what the baseline of integrity is?”  I asked this of myself because of other places I worked.  Other companies are all about the bottom line.  It was “good integrity” in their eyes if you supported the bottom line at the expense of all sense of right and wrong.  To fail to do this, would be a lack of integrity in their eyes.

Integrity, as I think I understand it, is not subject to any ones individual whim, and remains a constant without deviation.  So, who decided what integrity is, anyway???

GOD DID.

I believe the scriptures are the word of God.  I believe that, if it is in the Bible, God wanted us to learn something from it.  For a list of places where integrity is even remotely hinted at, CLICK THIS LINK.

As you can see, I looked up the definition of integrity as used in the bible, both Old Testament and New Testament.  The New Testament does not use the word directly in the Greek language, even though some translations have translated the meaning of the word as “integrity”.  It is still accurate.

 

Let me begin with the Hebrew translation:

Vocabulary Word: Integrity

FROM THE HEBREW – תֹּם

Transliteration
tom
Pronunciation
tōm (Key)
Part of Speech
masculine noun
Root Word (Etymology)
Outline of Biblical Usage
  1. integrity, completeness

    1. completeness, fulness

    2. innocence, simplicity

    3. integrity

.
Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon

Here we see what God intended for mankind.  When we were in the Garden of Eden, we were COMPLETE.  We reflected the FULLNESS of God as we are made in his image and likeness, meaning we look like him, and were supposed to act just like him (That is what likeness meant, His Character).  We were innocent of sin.  There was no corruption, nothing lacking, we had everything we needed to walk after God and fulfill his design for His purposes for us.  In our innocent state, we had no guile, no deceit, no awareness of what we might do wrong.  We were innocent.  We were pure.

That is how God designed us.
THE FALL
At the fall, because we considered Satan’s lie that God was holding out on us, and we believed that lie, we learned what sin, separation from God, illness, and corruption was all about.  We were no longer pure, innocent, complete, full of His glory, and life got really complicated.   Instead of becoming LIKE God (The state we were actually already in), we became like Satan (The State Satan was already in.)
The fall is where we died.  That is why God told mankind that eating the fruit will kill you.  Our soul perished, we were broken.  We had a wrench in the works, and we threw it there.  This is why Jesus was able to tell people this:
  John 3:18 AMPLIFIED : He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation–he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]
Because we were already dead, and if we chose to not believe in Jesus, we are ALREADY condemned because our souls were already dead.  Dead souls is not what God had in mind.

SO, HOW DO WE GET FROM THE FALL TO INTEGRITY???

I am glad you asked.

Integrity, like Attitude, is not something you can fake for very long.  It is another attribute that is often imitated, but never duplicated.  Integrity, REAL integrity lives in a redeemed heart.   Here, I’ll show you from the New Testament:

 FROM THE GREEK – καθαρός

 Transliteration  Origin
katharós of uncertain affinity
Definition  Thayer’s | Strong’s ]

Thayer’s Definition

  1. clean, pure
    1. physically
      1. purified by fire
      2. in a similitude, like a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit
    2. in a levitical sense
      1. clean, the use of which is not
Matthew 5:8 – WH – μακαριοι οι καθαροι τη καρδια οτι αυτοι τον θεον οψονται (5695)
Matthew 5:8 – KJV – Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see (5695) God.
As I mentioned in my last blog on ATTITUDE, after the fall, we lost the ability to naturally have holiness as a way of life.  In order to redeem mankind to a working relationship with God, Jesus had to come here and become all of our sin so that, in exchange for him becoming all our sin, we are given all the attributes of Christ.  If we have accepted this free gift, we are now the Children of God.

BECOMING PURE IN HEART

 Last August, when the Spirit of God filled me and got hold of me, the first thing He did was work at getting my mind right.  It is one thing to intellectually agree that I am saved and am a child of God, but it is entirely a different thing to apprehend this fact in my heart.  To be infused with the spirit, not merely possessed.  This is the first step of integration for the new believer.  You are infused, immersed, filled…down to the mitochondrial level, all the way into the DNA.  Infused with the life of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.
That is why Galatians 2:20 says :I have been nailed to the cross with Christ. I have died, but Christ lives in me. And I now live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me.”  
And why II Corinthians 5:17 says:  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
When this happens, the world begins to look different. As you permit the Spirit of God to affect change in you, you begin to see things the way God sees them..  You begin to think His thoughts.  You begin to want to do as Jesus did.  And what did Jesus say would happen if you allow Him to graft you into the vine, and if you abide there?
He said THIS:  “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”
Do you see where this heads?  It starts with The Spirit infusing you and guiding you to be like Jesus.  The more you submit to this process, the more you desire this process.  You desire it because once you walk in it, you discover a joy and pleasure you have never known.  Fear is gone, and assurance lives in you.  The laboring in to rest for this comes in where you have to remember that you are dead, Christ is alive in you.  It takes time and effort to get this fact down.  The more you understand it, the more you can walk the walk.  The pruning part of the Greek definition comes in when the Spirit cuts away every unproductive thing in your heart and mind.  That way, you have more resources available for what is left of you.  Eventually, as the graft of you into Jesus (The Vine) solidifies, you will produce good fruit, as Jesus did, and more.

OK, Dave, but can we get back to the Integrity thing???

 

Sure.
Here is what I am trying to say.  Many, many people can emulate Integrity, but in the long run, they either succumb to the fatigue generated from faking it, or they deviate from the walk, even though they think they have integrity, because the source of all things holy is not their source.
A changed heart and a changed mind must integrate with the Spirit so you can harmonize with the will of God.  God empowers you when you surrender to the gentle work of the Spirit.  It eventually feels effortless compared to how it used to feel to fake this attribute.
Like Love, Faith, Grace, Mercy, Attitude, etc, Integrity must come from the heart and infuse your thinking.  When that happens, you will walk the walk.  You cannot walk this walk without the power of the living God who, in the form of the Holy Spirit, dwells in you, and infuses every aspect of your being.   HE does this, not you.  You simply become Him the more you submit to His love and guidance.

WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD

There are plenty of times I want to deviate from God’s will for my life.  Every time old habits or my old flesh try to come back to life, I have to labor back into the rest of God.  I do this by knowing and proclaiming the scriptures, and through prayer.  My old self  lied, cheated, stole, and, basically, broke every commandment that existed.  I even made up commandments so I could rebel against them, too!
Now, I am filled with the Spirit of God, and I genuinely want and desire to be like Christ.  Fortunately, there is nothing I have to do but submit.
Integrity really is how you are when no one else is looking.  What you do with your thoughts and intentions when you are alone reveals your true character.  Unless you have allowed the will of God through the power of the Holy Spirit to change your heart, you cannot fake integrity for very long.
THe big challenge is when your public life and your private life actually harmonize with the will of God.  THIS is what having integrity really means.  In the case of CATES, having this integrity means always keeping your word, honoring your commitments, being pure in your intent, and having your work ethic match your intent.
This is how it is in God’s kingdom, too.
If you struggle with integrity, chances are there is a part of your heart you hold on to, and do not let God transform.  The lack of purity there will always, in one form or another, manifest itself in your daily life.  This is a tough one.  It is tough because, even if you are aware of this discrepancy, no matter how much effort you put into changing it yourself, the change will never take place.  Not with out you submitting to the will of God.  This is what it means to labor to rest.  Give up your will, and deny your self, and see what it is that God wants to do in your life.
I have never met a living soul who regretted walking in the life God made possible through Jesus.  But I have seen misery in many forms from people who think they have it all together but don’t know Christ.
Do you want integrity?  Do you want it to become easy to obtain?  Trust the finished work of the cross, and let the Spirit of God lead you to this…after-all, it IS why Jesus said His yolk is easy, and His burden is light.
Now, Let’s be about it.
I love you in the name of Jesus.
If you have a prayer request, please write me by filling out the form below.
Love always,
David G. Perkins

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Faith, Observations

What Were You Looking For?


what-we-see-depends-mainly-on-what-we-look-for

Philippians 4:8-9 ESV

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”   Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!

When I was a teenager, my Dad decided it was time for me to learn how to fly one of his several airplanes.  Considering my driving history, I thought he surely had a screw loose, somewhere.  By time I was 16, I had already totaled a few cars.  Still, I do love to fly, and had always wanted to fly right seat with my Dad on his adventures.

Our airport was the municipal airport in Plainview, Texas.  At over 3300 feet, altitude, the airport has a whole lot of sky to fling your airplane into.  Dad made sure the wind was relatively calm before he would let me take off.  The high plains are very windy much of the time.  There is a saying in Lubbock, Texas (45 miles south of Plainview), that if the wind ever stopped blowing, everyone would fall down.  Wind is a fact of life, there, and you adjust your walking by leaning into the wind.

Taking off into the wind made flying that much more fun, as I had to generate less lift with the engine.  Flying in the wind, however is a challenge.  This is where the word attitude comes in.  In flight, your attitude is the approach you have to take to flying in the wind, ESPECIALLY when you are landing an airplane.  Landing an airplane on a calm day was challenging enough for me, but landing in high wind was a contest between me and the wind to see who will master my aircraft.  This is when attitude becomes everything.

When nature threw strong wind at me, I had to turn the airplane into the wind on approach to the landing strip.  This is called “Crabbing”.  I am approaching a runway almost sideways, and at the last-minute, I correct my attitude so I can land moving in the right direction.  Another factor in landing attitude is that I could approach the runway only in a narrowly defined angle.  This is called the “Glide Path” .   As you approach the runway, you will see a group of lights.  If my glide path is too low, I will see three or more yellow lights.  If my glide path is too high, I will see red lights, if my glide path is correct for the landing approach, I will see green lights.

Maintaining the right attitude for landing is everything, too.  I am already crabbing in to the runway because of a wind situation, and I also must keep my approach angle right.  If I am yellow on approach, I will not land on the runway.  If I am red, I will land too far in on the runway to keep from overshooting.  I must crab in on a green light.

While I am worried about those two aspects of attitude, I also have to make sure my wings are as level as I can keep them on approach, and that my nose is not too high, or too low.  So, there are possibly 4 parts of attitude I must pay attention to when I am landing.  Overdoing or under-doing any part can mean a bad landing.  Bad landings can complicate your life in ways you don’t need.  It was all about attitude.

 

“WELL, THE METAPHOR IS OBVIOUS, ISN’T IT?”

I hope so.

At CATES (Where I work), one of the twelve principles we live by is: “ATTITUDE – We choose to be positive”.   If you want to approach a subject and land on it with successful outcomes, it helps if your attitude is positive.  Being positive makes all the difference in the world.  It is fairly clear, after over 8000 years of examination, that God has given us the ability to affect the outcomes of every aspect of our lives, simply by determining what we believe is true about it.  Our beliefs change every aspect of our life.  If you believe things will always go wrong, then you will experience that outcome.  If your approach to your fellow-man is negative, then you will reap the benefit of your view of others, and have no genuine friends.

Attitude is one of the very first things the Lord had to really work with me on.  I was a negative and pessimistic individual, whose attitude was reinforced by the outcomes of my life.  My assumption was that I was right because everything always turned out exactly as I thought they would.  God showed me that attitude is a choice.  How I choose to approach anything will directly affect the outcomes.  Attitude is a choice.  It is a habit.  It comes from the heart.  It becomes positive when you learn to look at the world differently.

 

“HOW DID YOU DO IT?”

I’m glad you asked. I didn’t.

My attitude about life, work, love, marriage, co-workers, clientele, family, or anything didn’t change until I fully understood what the finished work of the cross gave me.  When I accepted that Jesus BECAME all sin for all time, and took on the wrath of God in our place, and in exchange, God poured on us all the benefits of being His child, an heir to the throne, a member of God’s family, a love beyond measure, and total forgiveness for all my sin, I finally understood what it felt like to see the world and people the way God does.

I learned to love because God loved me enough to bury my sin with Jesus, and raise my dead soul into a new life.  I had been born in the spirit.  Where I was dead, Jesus’s resurrection gave me life in Him.  The Spirit of God cleansed me and changed my attitude. I began thinking new thoughts.,  I loved for the first time.  I saw people as my brother or sister.  While I am aware of my and others continuing failures, I felt only love for them, and chose to show grace and mercy.  It was easy to do this because this was what God showed me.

So, frankly, I didn’t change my attitude.  Experience has taught me that, I can fake a good attitude only so long, but whatever is hidden in my heart will become manifest over time.  On my own strength I do not love long, I show no mercy or grace, and my attitude is very rotten.  Since I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, I am able to be like Christ and love, show grace and mercy, and look for opportunities to give with a positive attitude.

 

GUARD YOUR THOUGHTS

 

I cannot, by my own strength, maintain this loving attitude.  Only when I guard my thoughts am I able to be filled with this powerful love.  I can break my connection to God simply by going back to my old way of thinking and behaving.  God leaves this up to me.  The way I maintain a good attitude is by staying in the word, praying continuously, and submitting to Gods love and will.  It is only by the continual renewing of my mind that I can be a blessing instead of a curse. I am confident in Christ enough that I know I am weak, but Christ in me is infinitely strong.  If I catch the old self trying to assert his attitude and beliefs, all I have to do is remember that my old self died with Christ, and my new self, the child of God, is who lives through Christ.

Attitude is a choice.  When the blowing wind of earthly things challenges my attitude, when the weight of the world wants to crush me, when my co-workers decide to be peevish and negative, when a thoughtless and selfish humanity threatens to ruin my day, I simply remember who I am in Christ, and ask the Spirit of the Living God to sustain me so I can be a witness to all the things that would otherwise drag me down.  A simple choice of attitude can turn things around, and your witness can cause others to want to know where you have this strength of character.  Then you can tell them why you are joyful in the face of adversity, and strong when temptation desires your soul.

Think on the good things of God continuously, and you will see the world in a very different lite.

It is all a choice, a labor into the rest of the finished work of Christ.

You will always get what you are looking for.

Let’s be about it

I love you all,

David G. Perkins

PS – Click HERE to see how the Bible addresses ATTITUDE.

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Faith, Observations

Have I Really Thought About It?


hands-heart

Proverbs 27:19 As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the person.” (NLT)

Proverbs 23:7a “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (KJV)

Luke 6:45 “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – Jesus (ESV)

It is time to get back into the swing of blogging.  I cannot use the excuse, “We are moving” because, well, we have moved!  Verb tense informs me I am out of excuses.  If you have followed my blogs, you have seen me go from being strongly antagonistic to Christians and Christianity, to finally realizing what the full measure of God’s grace is.  God’s grace, accomplished through Jesus’ finished work on the cross, removes my excuses for hate, and for hell.  I either must acknowledge that all things were finished when Christ said they were, or I must choose to defy the living God and call Him a liar.  In my case, I not only accept that what Jesus did on the cross was a complete work of grace and mercy, but I confess with my mouth that, when Jesus was raised from the dead, He proved He and He alone has authority over life and death, including my own. This makes Jesus my Lord as well as my Savior.

Now, when I am confronted with a problem, a trial, or a temptation, I ask myself, “Did Jesus die of this too?” , and “Did He die this death for me?”,  The answer, being “Yes!”, leads me to a trust that, because of the finished work of the cross, I can rest in the assurance that therein lay the power of the Spirit to bring me into harmony with the will of God.  That trial, temptation, or problem takes on a different meaning in that light.  This happens because, as I labor into the rest of the finished work of the cross, I am infused with the same Spirit of God that raised Jesus Christ from the dead.  I now live because Christ lives in me.  It is by the power of the Spirit of God, and the grace imparted as a free gift, that I am able to go from someone who hated God, and was openly at war with Him, to someone who is more than willing to submit to His will.  I see submission as a strong desire, not a law, or a rule.  I see it as a labor of love.  The more I am infused with His love, grace and mercy, the more I desire it.  The more He shows me these things, the more I want to give them away to people who, like me, who do not deserve it.  It is for these people Christ came to this earth.  Not for the religious, or the righteous, but the lost.  And I was lost.

Where He Leads

If you have read my earlier blogs, you know that God used my sudden unemployment to get my attention.  I had actually started praying and reading the Bible just a few months prior to my getting fired from the Military Base.  During my unemployment, God led me from being a complete monster to being one of his own children.    The first thing God restored was my walk with Him.  The second thing God restored was my marriage.  What wonders and miracles were seen during that time.  The third thing God dealt with was my willingness to go where HE sends me, not where I want to be sent.  I had sent out over 500 resume and applied for over 300 jobs all in a very defined territory.  I wanted to live in Colorado springs.  Failing that, I wanted to live in any dry, arid environment.  I hate humidity, and prefer drier climates.  The end result of all my searching was crickets.  I spent almost 10 months trying my best to get a job in that defined territory.  After months of futility, I had given up.  I was, by this time, not only jobless, but we were homeless.

After I gave up trying to find a job, Sandy and I prayed.  I remember this clearly.  This was one of the most honest prayers I had ever prayed.  I told God, “I give up, God!  I quit!”  I was tired of getting no results.  All I wanted was to go do what ever it was God wanted me to do.  Sandy is my witness.  3 minutes barely passed after I prayed,  when I got a phone call from the person who would eventually be my boss.  There was one problem…the job is in Houston.  I had no desire to live anywhere NEAR Houston.  It is low land, and very humid.  Summer there is a whole new definition of hot and sticky.  God must have been mistaken…right??  Wrong.

One of my prayers, during my job search, was that, if I had to return to the secular world, and not be a full-time minister, that God would lead me to a company where the work environment is not hostile, where people behaved in a civil manner, and it was OK to be a Christian.  I wanted a job at a company that made no bones about their values, and those values were based on strong Christian values.  When I had given up trying to get a job in the mountains, and asked God to find a job for me, and I received a call within 3 minutes of my praying that prayer, I ended up at this company that describes the exact environment I had asked God to lead me to.

From Found to Discipleship

So, here we are, caught up with each other.  And I see that, now I am no longer lost, God has no intention of letting me bask in the answered prayers I just described.   When God saves you, He has no intention of letting you remain the same.  His goal, through the power of the Spirit of God, is to transform you into the very likeness of His own Son, Jesus Christ.  And you have to start somewhere.  Where is He starting me?  Remember that I prayed to be allowed to work in a company whose values are based on Christian values?  The expectation of this company is that I will live by 12 values that they put on the back of each business card, and openly declare in everything they do.  These 12 values are what this series will be about:  

The 12 Values:

INTEGRITY

COMMITMENT

TEAMWORK

(Be) PROACTIVE

ATTITUDE

RELENTLESS

DISSENT

IMPROVEMENT

DO UNTO OTHERS

ORDER

DISCIPLINE

RESPONSIBILITY

HOW DO I THINK ABOUT IT?

Cognitive acknowledgement and understating are, at the minimum, a requirement.  If, however, I want to BE these virtues, and live them, they must be more than well-defined words for me.  Over the next few weeks, I will be taking on each virtue, and describing how God infuses a submitted heart with the ability to not only desire to do these things, but to actually do them.  This is not because I have already learned them, or live them as well as I can, but because I have been shown in clear terms that, where the heart is, therein lay the treasure.

It all becomes a choice.

Care to join me?

Let’s be about it.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23

In the Name and the Love of Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior,

David G. Perkins

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Faith, Observations

Transition States: Laboring to Rest


God Gives Rest To The Weary“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  – Jesus – Mathew 11:28 – 30 HCSB

Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell]. – Apostle Paul – Hebrews 4:11 AMP

Sometime around 1989 or 1990, I was walking around in a mall in Fort Worth, Texas.  I ran across a display of art called Stereograms.  These are the computer generated art that look like a bunch of dots or squiggles on a canvas.  In order to see the image hidden in all the dots and squiggles, you had to relax your eyes.  As you relaxed, your focus changed from what you think you see, to what is actually there, hidden in plain sight.

After you learn to do this, repeating it seems simple.  Well…I had to train myself to do it.  Relaxing my eyes was not easy for me.  It meant letting go of my visual boundaries in the middle of a mall full of strangers.  It also meant letting my mind experience something new, visually, so I can see what I normally would not perceive.

Here is an example of a stereogram.  To see the image in the stereogram, look in the center of the picture, and completely relax your eyes, or let them go “unfocused”.  The hidden image will pop out.  At the bottom of this post, I will tell you what is on the image.

Did you see it??  Spectacular, wasn’t it?  If you didn’t see it, please don’t stress out, and don’t stop trying.  Learning to relax and see what is right in front of you isn’t always easy.  Trust me on this, I have a hard time relaxing, and seeing most of the time.

Keep at it.  You WILL see it the second you relax and allow yourself to see.  This is an example of striving to rest, or laboring to rest.  Unless you relax and allow your eyes to rest on the image, you cannot see it.  You have to work at letting go, at seeing things differently than you are used to.  Once you DO see, it becomes easier to see.  Eventually, your eyes will just know how to do it.

On the surface, this picture looks more like chaos than order.    The patters you think you see are mere distractions, leading your perception away from what is hidden right in front of you.  Seeing what is really there is actually a volitional act.  The mind is conditioned to see and perceive what it accepts as real or truth.  To get the eyes to see and perceive what is not easily seen, you have to rest in the ability to see.  You have to let go and trust your eyes to do the seeing, without forcing them to filter based on a fear or an opinion.

Once you see what is on the image, you perceive a reality that underlies all the noise.  And coherence happens, and the message is understood.  But you first have to get beyond the noise to understand the signal.  You have to relax and trust.  You will see when you do this.

YOUR HEART HAS EYES, TOO.

“[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, by having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), and [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.”  Letter of Paul to the Ephesians – Eph. 1:17-21
When you hear a truth, or a lie, your heart knows.  You can be in a pitch black room, blindfolded, but when someone lies to you, your heart “gets a catch”.  And when someone tells you the truth, your heart resonates to it.  You know deep inside when you have been lied to.  The depths at which you perceive a lie or the truth is based on how much time you have invested in knowing what is true.  When you know what truth sounds like, deep inside, you can spot a lie a mile away.  You never have to study lies to recognize one.  Your heart knows.  That is having eyes in your heart.
The more time you spend learning truth, the better you are at knowing the truth and discerning what a lie is.  Perhaps this is why Politicians are so deluded.  All they do is study how to lie and deceive.  The truth would probably kill them.
The Apostle Paul prayed that the eyes of our heart will be opened so we can see.  Jesus also commented on people who have eyes to see but refuse to perceive, and ears to hear, but refuse to understand what is heard.  Even His disciples had this problem.
In Mark 8:17-18, Jesus admonished His disciples for being somewhat obtuse:
“Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning and saying it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet discern or understand? Are your hearts in [a settled state of] hardness? [Isa. 6:9, 10; Jer. 5:21.]  Having eyes, do you not see [with them], and having ears, do you not hear and perceive and understand the sense of what is said? And do you not remember?'”  Amplified Bible
What is it that we need our hearts to see and remember?   In the case of the disciples, they had already forgotten that Jesus IS the Bread of Life.  They were looking at what appeared more real to them than the very truth that stood in front of them.  With God, all things are possible.  The leaven of the Pharisees was that the Pharisees had taken the will and word of God and added to it until they had developed a life sucking, religious system that enslaved the Jews.  Jesus repeatedly told the disciples that he had come here to free mankind from the chains and heavy burdens that religion and the world had put on them.
With carnal eyes, the people heard what they wanted to hear, and ignored the real message of Jesus.  The people expected Jesus to overthrow the Romans and restore order to the temple.  But that is not the freedom that Jesus was talking about.
A change happens to us when we first become Christians.  We see, as if for the very first time, things that are in the scriptures, there were there all along, but were hidden from our understanding.  We read the scriptures, and they suddenly made sense.  The words were always there, but our ability to perceive them was not.  When we became Christians, the eyes of our heart were opened.  We SAW the truth in our heart.  We understood.  Even the world we looked at appeared different.  We were seeing and perceiving what God had placed right in front of us.  The cares of this world, the temptations of the flesh, the hardness of our hearts were what was keeping us from understanding.
So what happened? Just like what happened in Ephesus, we fall prey to our own vain imaginations, or to a religious system that leads you, ever so gently, back into that darkness from which Christ delivered you.  We become burdened with falsehoods, and are told that the hell that appears in front of us is the real reality.  That we must work hard, and strive to overcome the world.  That God helps those who help themselves.  We return to a fallen state (Not loss of salvation, but not allowing the Spirit of God to change you).  We then become legalistic and tell people who God is mad at us all, that he is going to get us if we don’t repent from (Fill in the blank, there are millions of single issues religious groups fight over).
The Christ that we first perceived fades into the distant past.  Your joy turns into struggle and anger.  The place in your heart that was full of life returns to the barren desert that you lived in before Jesus.
“The eye (Of the Heart) is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your entire body will be full of light.

But if your eye is unsound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the very light in you [your conscience] is darkened, how dense is that darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23 Amplified
What makes our eye darkened?  Remember what Jesus asked the disciples?  “And do you not remember?”
We are in control of what our heart looks at.  We are in charge of what we choose to remember, to believe, to hold as being truth.  God did not create us to be robots or automatons.  We are free to chose our lives, our destinies, our way of being.  What we believe is true in our hearts manifests itself  in the material world.
When we first believed, our eyes were opened to a beauty, to a love, to a joy we never knew was possible.  All that disappeared when we took our “eyes” off Jesus.  We can choose to forget whet Christ has accomplished for us, and in us.  We can do this simply by choosing to forget how to see what He has accomplished.  We return to the way the world tells us to believe.  We buy in to a religion that teaches us that WE must work in order to prove ourselves righteous before God.  That our efforts, the sweat of our brow is where God will judge us.
WE FORGET WHAT CHRIST ACCOMPLISHED
Jesus Christ did not come here to start a religion.  Jesus came here to fulfill all the requirements of the Law and the Prophets.  Because all the law did was show mankind that we are not able, on our own ability, to please God, and the Prophets foretold of the Messiah who will come and be slain, Jesus mission on earth was to satisfy the requirement of the law, and manifest what the prophets spoke of.  Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Jesus did not come here to judge you.  Because He fulfilled the law, you are free from all condemnation.  You were set free.
Remember that freedom you felt when you were first saved?  You felt it because your heart saw that you were genuinely free, and that all the ability of God was given to you.
Religion is a man-made structure that uses guilt, fear, and condemnation to drive you to do what it wants done.  Religion, just as in Jesus’ day, robs us of our joy, our hope and our freedom in Christ.  Religion exists only to serve itself, but blames its falsehoods on Jesus and the Bible.
Jesus came to restore a loving relationship between God and Man.  When Jesus was nailed to the cross, he didn’t just die FOR our sins, although that is what happened, Jesus BECAME all sin, for all time.  He WAS sin.  And God, in fulfilment of the requirements of the Law, poured all His wrath on Jesus.   Jesus fulfilled the law.  Jesus alone did this.  God abandoned Jesus on the cross for this to happen.  Fellowship between God and Christ was broken.  This is why we hear Jesus shout, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  This was prophesied by Isaiah, and is the fulfillment of the prophesy that the lamb of God will be slain for the redemption of mankind.  When Jesus became sin, he and he alone took on, absorbed, and suffered the entire and full wrath of God.  When that was accomplished, Jesus said, “It is finished”.
WHAT WAS FINISHED?
Your death was finished.  When you accepted this free gift of Jesus’s death on the cross, you accepted life, forgiveness, and eternity.  You accepted that Jesus, and He alone took on your judgement so you can receive His blessing, eternal life.  When Jesus rose from the dead, He proved he and he alone has power over death, too.  When you believed that Jesus was your sacrifice, in your place, and you believed he rose again, you rose with him.  You rose in new life with him because you were dead and buried with him on the cross.  All sin leads to death.  Jesus died.  All sin is dead now.
Jesus did what no other human could do.  Because he was without sin, and the law required a sacrifice of a completely sinless being for the remission of death, he became all of humanities sin for all time.
LABORING TO REST
In order for me to be free from my hyper-Calvinistic mind-set, and be free from religion, and have a real relationship with the Living God because of Jesus, I had to completely understand what happened on the cross and at the resurrection.
The picture was right in front of me the whole time.  I just had forgotten to see it.  I became first religious, then returned to a fallen state, as if I were never a Christian.  When I tried to return to that Joy, I did it my own way based on the religious constructs I learned at the teachings of the denomination I was raised in.  It was all works
Praying was an effort, a labor not built on love.  It was, frankly, a drudgery.
The Bible had become foreign to me, but I read it anyway.  It was a lot like eating dust.
Forget witnessing.  I was all fire and damnation and fear and manipulation.   You cannot give a love that is not in your heart to give.
I had forgotten Christ’s complete work.  I was trying to recreate the love of God by my own efforts.  I was trying by the will of my flesh to be pleasing to God.  It was as if I were telling God that the sacrifice and Resurrection of Christ was not good enough, or complete enough, that I had to do something myself, on my own volition, by my power, to assure my salvation.  It was all work, and no play.
Laboring in to the rest of Christ sounds like a contradiction.  It isn’t.  If you want to walk in Christ, like Christ, after Christ, you first have to learn to rest in His completed work.  There is no other way to do it.  None.  Believe me, I tried.
What does this mean,  “Labor to rest”?  Remember the stereogram above?  The first time you try to see the hidden images, you have to work at relaxing your eyes so you can see.  You have to rest your eyes.  You have to relax.  You have to allow the image to form without your physically forcing your eyes to work.  This is the opposite of observing.  We observe for information, but we see in order to know.  In order to see the image, we first have to rest.
When I put forth my very best effort at Christ likeness, the effort at maintaining it is exhausting. When I try to be “sinless” I sin.  When I try to love on my own power, I either pervert it, or turn it into hate.  There really is a very fine line between Human love and Human hate.  When I give to others by my own will, I always, eventually, want recognition for it, or expect something in return.  In other words, my efforts lead only to my own glorification and limited ability.
THE LABOR IS TO REMEMBER, AND REMEMBERING LEADS TO COMMUNION AND HARMONY WITH GOD.
My labor to rest is to get my ego out of the way.  My labor is to allow the complete work of Jesus to exist in my heart.  My labor is to recall constantly what Jesus accomplished for me, and to rest in it, so that the Spirit of God will make Christ manifest in my life.  This resting is so others will be led to life, salvation, back to God, through Jesus Christ.
Not My Will, But Thine
Getting my ego, my self, my flesh, my will, my desires out of my way is my labor.  This is a volitional act.  My ego does not want to die, either.  It has been running my life for over 50 years.  Death to self is the last thing my mind and ego want.  But I have to die to self in order to rest in the completed work of Christ.  This means, as a volitional act, I choose to die.  I do this when I accept the truth of what Christ did at His death Burial and resurrection.
It is His will that I accept this free gift, unadulterated by the cares of this world, or by a religious system made by mankind.  There is nothing I can do to add to or take away from His gift.  I can alter how I see and rest in it, but I cannot change it, or how it applies to my life.  In order for me to do this accepting, I have to struggle with my ego and lead it to its death.  Fortunately, the Holy Spirit works in me to do this, too.  All I have to do is surrender to it.
Death to self is frightening at first, but painless, and brings such joy as I have never believed was possible.
In dying to self, and relaxing, or resting in the complete work of Christ, I am able to see clearly what is in front of me.  I see with new eyes.  God was hidden in plain sight the whole time.  As my old self dies, more of God is revealed in my heart.  That is when I know that:
I am saved
I am a Son of God
I am full of the Holy Spirit
I am free from sin (The deisres of sin have become meaningless compared to the love and joy of Christ)
I am not a slave to sin, but to righteousness.
I am a new creation
I am more than a conqueror
I am the righteousness of God in Christ
I am crucified with Christ
I am justified before God by faith in Christ
I am God’s workmanship
I am hid in Christ
I am saved by Grace
I am an Heir of God
I am a joint Heir with Jesus
I am accepted in the Beloved
I am at peace with God.
The world teaches fear, slavery, and doubt.  You are in the chains of the world if you chose.  Religion only wants what it wants, and will use any means necessary to accomplish its means, even use the name of Jesus to justify its’ selfish lusts.
The freedom you have is standing right in front of you if you will simply labor to rest in the completed work of Christ Jesus.   All the promises of God are already yours.   You cannot earn them, you cannot make yourself righteous, you cannot be a slave to the world or a religion and still be free to rest in the Lord.
All you have to do is understand what transpired on the Cross and at the resurrection, and rest in that. Then the hidden things of God will appear to you as bright as the sun on a spring morning.  You will have new eyes to see and new ears to hear the mysteries of the Living God, who is heaping His love and goods on you.  All you have to do is relax in the finished work of Christ.
The image above has Christ on the cross, the two who were hanging on the crosses next to Him, and a Roman soldier getting ready to pierce Jesus’ side.
Let’s be about it.
I love you
David G. Perkins
sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith, Observations

Transition States: Saving Grace is Sustaining Grace – Revisited


Grace is Sufficient

 

This blog was originally posted on October 31, 2013.  I mention that I was homeless in this blog.  That has changed.  I and my family are no longer homeless.  I am now employed.  The job I have is probably the very best job I have had in over 25 years.  (Truthfully, nothing compares to full time ministry, IF you are actually serving the Lord, and not your own desires).

Since writing this blog, and getting employed, I am met with new challenges as a baby believer.  It is easy to take one’s eyes off Jesus when the cares of work and living confront you.  As I re-read this blog, I was reminded how strong my faith was when I wrote it.  Life was much harder then.  The difference between then and now is, then I was keeping my eyes continually focused on Christ and His finished work.  Re-reading this blog has reminded me that I need to remember, “The main thing is to always keep the main thing, the main thing.”

I hope this blog reminds you, my fellow struggling traveler, that there are much more important issues than what you think you are facing.  Keeping your eyes on Jesus will sustain you.  

You have all my love and prayer, whoever you are.  DGP  Romans 8:28 


The other day, I decided to turn off the auto-delete feature in my email program.  Suddenly, my inbox was stuffed to exploding with e-mails suggesting that if I ingest a little blue pill, my wife would suddenly be a happy person, or that my auto insurance was inadequate for me, AND that my house needs new siding.  I found that one delightful, as it is very difficult to side a homeless man’s house.

Buried in the midst of that deluge of magnificent offers was a question sent from one of the roughly 20 million alert readers of my blog.  She asked this question:  “Is Saving Grace the same as Sustaining Grace?”.

That is a very good question.

The short answer is:  YES!

If you are busy, or need to run, go ahead, I just answered that question, but if you need me to fill that answer out a bit, read at your own risk, the best answer I could come up with.  CAVEAT LECTOR:  Have your own Bible available, and never take my word, or anyone else’s word for anything.  Read the Bible and see if what I am saying is true, or not.  If it is not, please let me know BEFORE you unsubscribe to this incredibly stimulating and popular blog.  And that would leave just me and my mom as subscribers.

The long answer is:

I have to make certain assumptions of the person who asked me this question.  Here is the list of assumptions I am making.

YOU BELIEVE:

There IS a God.

That God is the SAME God mentioned throughout the Bible (Christian).

God sent His Son into a sinful world.

His Son, Jesus, did for us Humans what we could not do for ourselves.  Jesus made the broken bridge of communion with God whole again so we can have fellowship with God, and live in eternity with God in Heaven.

Jesus accomplished this feat by being nailed to the cross.  When He did that, he nailed the Law on the cross with him.  The Law led to the awareness of sin.  Jesus, who committed no sin, became all sin.  When Jesus became all sin, he was cut off from the Father: “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is (Aramaic), “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

When Jesus died, He descended into Hell and received the full wrath of God.  Jesus paid the full price for every type of sin that ever existed, does exist, and will exist.  He purchased your freedom when He gave up His life.  But God did not intend for Jesus to stay there.  While Jesus was in Hell, He remembered the promises of God, and spoke them, that God will not leave Him in Hell, nor forsake Him, and that He will commune with God again, and will sit on the throne of the Heavens.  Jesus confessed all this while he was in sin and receiving the full wrath of God.  And God sent the Spirit, His own Holy Spirit and brought Jesus back to life.

Jesus rose from the dead to prove that He has the authority to be called the Son of God, and that He has full authority over life and death.

Jesus became every sin imaginable and conquered it in Hell.  He rose again and gave gifts to all who will accept them.  Here is a list of the things Jesus gave us through His resurrection:

  • Rom. 6:4-8 We were crucified with him, died with him, buried with him and united with him in his death.
  • Rom. 6:58 We will (Do live) live with him, united with him in his resurrection.
  • Rom. 8:17 We are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.
  • Rom. 8:17 If we share in his sufferings, we will also share in his glory.
  • Gal. 2:20 We have been crucified with Christ, and he lives in us.
  • Eph. 2:5-6 God made us alive with Christ, God raised us up with Christ, and seated us with him in the heavenly realms.
  • Col. 2:12 We have been buried with him in baptism.
  • Col. 2:12-13 God raised us and made us alive with Christ, through faith.
  • Col. 2:20 We died with Christ to the basic principles of this world.
  • Col. 3:1 We have been raised with Christ.
  • Col. 3:3 Our life is now hidden with Christ in God.
  • Col. 3:4 When Christ appears, we will appear with him in glory.
  • 1 Thess. 5:10 He died for us so that we may live together with him.
  • 2 Tim. 2:11 If we died with him, we will also live with him.
  • 2 Tim. 2:12 If we endure, we will also reign with him.

When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you were born again.  When you were baptized, you were crucified with Him.  When you came up out of the water, you were raised again with Christ.  You are now a resurrected being.  We were dead in our sin, but because Christ became all our sin and died for them on our behalf, and we accepted this free gift, we are now new creations (II Corinthians 5:17).

Look at the list above again.  Look them up in your Bibles.  These are not theoretical constructs.  These statements are the absolute truth.

The same Grace that gave you a new life IS the same grace that sustains that new life.

THEN WHY DOES MY LIFE BLOW CHUNKS?

This happens to almost every believer who is not exposed to the truth.  You were not exposed to this truth because most people don’t know enough to tell you this truth.  Religion and religious tradition do not share this truth for fear of losing control over you.

You were saved, and life seemed sparkly and good.  God answered every prayer you prayed.  His presence was felt everywhere you went, and the meanings of the words in scripture were finally making sense to you.  But then, life happened, and your joy dimmed to a cold ember, and you no longer felt God’s wonderful presence.

When this happened, you were probably told that that is all part of growing up.  That God coddled you while you were a baby Christian, but it is now time to grow up and handle things yourself.

You were never informed that the same Grace that saved you will sustain you forever to the day you arrive in Heaven and meet Jesus face to face.

It is all about how you look at things.

If you go back to worldly thinking to solve your problems, you will get the same results that you got before you were saved.  You now have the Mind of Christ.  You have His Holy Spirit in you.  You are God’s righteousness already.  You are complete in every way possible in the spirit.  The difficulty comes in when you forget this fact, and return to your old way of thinking and handling problems.  If it didn’t work the first thousand times you did it, why do you think it will suddenly change?

If you want to live the walk of Christ, you have to make Him your Lord of life, too.  When you commit to do that, you must teach your heart what the scriptures declare about you (See the list above).  The Spirit of God will help you write these truths on your heart.  As you read the scriptures, and pray, you will get revelation on how to change your heart to what Jesus has said is true of you.  To walk after Christ is to rest in His completed work.  You are a co-heir to the very throne of Heaven.  You are God’s beloved child. You are no longer guilty of any sin.  And the Spirit of God will change your mind about sin so that whatever sin you struggle with will become less important than your desire to walk after Christ.

If you are saved by the grace of God, you will also live in it, if you chose to.  It really is that simple.  It is all in what you chose to believe is true as regards what Jesus accomplished on the cross and his resurrection.

This is not a license to sin, either.  Grace is God’s ability to make you righteous in Christ.  Jesus’s righteousness in now YOUR righteousness.  You are righteous and holy before God.  Your desire for God will grow and your desire for sin will diminish.

It is also not about giving up anything, but learning how to enjoy the things God invented without perverting it as the world has done.

Change your heart, and your life will change.  It all depends on what you focus on.  Remember that it is written: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Matt. 6:33

I became a Christian on October 27, 1986.  And for a while, life in Christ was amazing.  Then the world got in the way and I went back to my old way of thinking about it.  I did this because I was told that that is how it is when you become a Christian.

I was never taught that God’s saving grace IS God’s sustaining Grace.  Grace is from God, and is permanent once you have accepted Jesus as your lord and savior.

If all you wanted was the fire insurance and not the walk, fine.  But your life will be as miserable as it was before you were saved, and probably more so, as you are now a child of God refusing to learn from Him.

To be sustained in Grace (God’s ability), you have to learn to see the world and all things as God sees them.  You have to believe that what Christ accomplished at his death and resurrection is permanent, not just a one time deal.

I am new at this whole grace experience.  It took me 26 years to finally see that being a Christian didn’t work out for me simply because of what I believed was true about God.

God is not mad at you, he is not out to get you or punish you.  You are His beloved Child whom he loves.  Jesus already took on God’s wrath in Hell.  You no longer have to fear God.  He is now your real father.  And He loves you.

 When you slide back into your worldly view of things, you reject the gift Christ gave His life to give you.  (See the list above).  You are telling Christ that His grace is not good enough for you and that you need to take the wheel from here.

But if you really want to experience the sustaining grace, you need to make Jesus your Lord, too, and trust that what He has done for you is real, is now, and is permanent.  The Spirit of God will honor that faith and teach you how to manifest all the gifts of God in the material world.  THIS is, after all, why you were not raptured when you first believed.  We are to exist as Christ existed, and lead all men to salvation.

Like I said before, the difference between a victorious life in Christ and going back to your old life is all in what you believe to be true about the Grace of God.  It is always in you.  It is always with you.  Even when you sin, God’s love for you never departs from you, and your salvation is not taken away.  The ones who fall from grace are the ones who think works righteousness will please God and make him love you.  You are already loved by God and He finds absolutely no fault in you.  This is all because you have accepted what Jesus did for you.

I may be new to this whole Grace thing.  I was raised in a very legalistic tradition by the Southern Baptists.  I went to a Southern Baptist Seminary.  But like Paul, I count all that as so much “dung” (Insert your own preferred aphorism here).  Compared to the amazing Grace of God and the truth that it reveals to my heart, nothing else matters.  The changes this has made in my life has been so powerful that many people have commented on what a completely different human I am.  That is also true.  My old self died when Jesus died.  My new self rose, righteous before God, when Jesus arose from the dead.  I simply needed to understand what all that meant.

So, yes, the sustaining Grace of God is the exact same thing as the grace that saved you.  One happened in a single point of time, and the other is just the same grace walking through time sustaining you, if you will accept the truth of the Scriptures.

Change your mind and change your life.  God’s grace is really all you need to walk in the likeness of Christ.  If you received Him as your savior and want to experience His sustaining Grace, then change what you believe about being saved.

Let’s be about it.

I love you,

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Observations

“You’re a stay-at-home mom? What do you DO all day?”


 

@MattWalshRadio  THIS is a very excellent article.  My wife was a stay at home mom, and still is.  I worked in a very high pressure environment.  At least I thought it was high pressure.  Once, I had to be Mr. Mom for a while.  YOU try dealing with screaming, poopy, hungry kids while attempting to do the laundry, dishes, clean the house, shop for groceries and SLEEP.  This is a 24 hour a day JOB.  It is a work of love, which is more than what most career women enjoy, but it is hard, unrewarded, difficult, insane and trying and exhausting.  

I think spending 3 weeks as a stay ht home mom should be part of Navy S.E.A.L. training.  THEN you will know who has the stones to deal with real difficulty.

It was a socialist system that encouraged the idea that if you are home raising children, instead of chasing a career, that took the family unit apart.

Anyone want to know why stay at home moms are more capable than any other human on earth just has to spend a year doing it.

That iis my graceless rant.  For a more graceful discussion, please read the linked article below.

“You’re a stay-at-home mom? What do you DO all day?”.

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Faith, Observations, Uncategorized

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?


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

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

…God was talking to ME.

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?

     I was lying there in the garden, almost asleep.  A man came up the pathway, stopped and leaned his hands on the gate.  He looked around and asked if the garden was mine.  I told him it was not mine, butI was keeping it for my Master.  He asked if I knew much about gardening.

“Well, of course I do!”, I replied.

I told him that I had been to the best schools of gardening, and would probably forget  more about gardening in one day, than he would learn in a year.  Inundated him with a deluge of information from my knowledge of gardening.  I felt that would surely quiet my unwelcome guest.

There was a moment of silence.  Perhaps I had been too hard on him.  I felt justified, though, he did disturb my rest.

He looked at me and said:

Have you been a gardener so long, yet without fruit?

Do you know all about the soils, yet have not tilled one foot of furrow?

Are all the seeds familiar with you, but you have not put one in to the ground?

See, the weeds outnumber the leaves on the trees, the thistles are more abundant than the flowers.

What kind of Husbandman would let his masters’ garden fall to such disarray?

You boast of being a gardener but have no fruit for all your knowledge.

How sad for you when the Master comes to judge the fruit of your labor.

I sat there in stunned silence, at a complete loss for words.  I noticed, as he vanished before my very eyes, that the gate on which he had been resting was bloody from wounds that had pierced his hands.

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Observations

How To Be A Modern Journalist


Of the roughly millions of imaginary readers of my blogs, I receive about 3000 imaginary e-mails a day, asking me for advice on a wide variety of subjects.

I recently received just such an e-mail from a High School Senior at Colon High School, Colon, Mich. Millicent Nederhose asked me not to use her real name, so out of respect for her privacy, let’s just call her “Slagathor”.

Slagathor’s e-mail reads as follows:
“Dear Mr. Poindexter (I decided not to use my real name either),

I read, like, nearly everything you post, and, like, I was wondering, like, if you can tell me how to, like, be a T.V. Journalist?

Like, your devoted fan,
‘Slagathor’ (Not her real name)”

Here is my response to this forward thinking young woman:

Dear ‘Slagathor’,

Let me be the first to congratulate you on your career choice! Journalism School can be tough. Not all Journalism Majors make it to the big leagues.

I appreciate you asked me in stead of someone who actually is a Journalist, or teaches Journalism, or even has a college degree, or has at least driven through the parking lot of a Junior College on his way to Wal-Mart.

Having none of those qualifications, I will be happy to guide you through a preliminary hurdle that should show you if Journalism is the right choice for you.

I want you to know that I have already done a great deal of research (a term you might hear in Journalism school) on this topic. This week, I have been watching endless hours of in-depth T.V. Journalism. From this research, I have developed a short quiz that, I believe, will help you know of you can make the cut to the “Breaking News” world of T.V. Journalism.

Just relax, take a deep breath, and do your level best. There are 3 multiple choice questions, with the answer following each question. Please choose YOUR best answer to the question before reading the answer derived from my in-depth research.

Q1) Define ETHICS

A) Doing the Right Thing, for the Right Reason, at the Right Time.

B) ETHICS? Isn’t that, like, a racist question?

C) A sauce you sprinkle on your salad that helps you lose those extra 5 pounds.

ANSWER: B. If you answered ‘C’, you need to know that fake sprinkles are marketed everyday that make you believe anything, like, if you use this stuff, you will no longer need Viagra. If you answered ‘A’, you have no business being in Journalism.

Q2) You are the first “On The Spot” reporter to to the scene of a terrible accident. You see that 98 year old Griselda Haskins has been run over by a 1965 Buick. You notice that after the Buick had run over poor Mrs. Haskins, the car careened over the curb and smashed into the front window of a Starbucks. Tired of being an “On The Spot” reporter, and realizing that, what you do next will determine whether you finally get to be an “Anchor” (Another Journalism Term), you do one of the following things:

A) Render First Aid until the ambulance arrives, securing your position as the first “On The Spot” reporter who gets to interview Poor Old Mrs. Haskins and the Police.

B) You step over the prone body of the widow, Mrs. Haskins, to ask the driver how he feels knowing he ruined a perfectly good Starbucks.

C) You order a Latte with extra foam and pretend to do A & B.

ANSWER: ‘C’. If you answered ‘A’ you clearly have no grasp of the priorities of the Journalistic profession. Drop your pencil and leave now. If you answered ‘B’, you are destined to remain an “On The Spot” reporter.

Q3) You have finally made Anchor. Seconds before you go “live” (That is TV talk for being on the air), your editor/producer hands you some “Breaking News” that you KNOW is factually inaccurate. Your future as an Anchor is on the line. You do one of the following:

A) Report the truth. Your Journalistic Integrity and High Ethical Standards will let you do nothing less than tell the truth. The viewers deserve nothing less from you.

B) You don’t care because you get paid the same no matter what you report.

C) You finish your latte and read whatever pops up on the Teleprompter.

ANSWER: ‘C’. If you answered ‘B’, you return to your former job of “On The Spot Reporter”. If you answered ‘A’ you clearly have no future in any form of Journalism.

I hope, Slagathor, this little quiz has been helpful. You can see, now, that Journalism adheres to a standard that not even New Orleans Prostitutes can lower themselves to. Very few people have what it takes to be a T.V. Journalist.

One last thing, Slag. If you don’t look like a super-model, you don’t stand a chance of ever being in front of a camera. Looks matter more than anything in Television Journalism. You don’t even have to pay close attention to what you are doing if you are attractive and can read a teleprompter. The same holds true for Politicians.

Yours,

Peter Poindexter (Not My Real Name).

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Observations

How To Be A Modern Journalist


Of the roughly millions of imaginary readers of my blogs, I receive about 3000 imaginary e-mails a day, asking me for advice on a wide variety of subjects.

I recently received just such an e-mail from a High School Senior at Colon High School, Colon, Mich. Millicent Nederhose asked me not to use her real name, so out of respect for her privacy, let’s just call her “Slagathor”.

Slagathor’s e-mail reads as follows:
“Dear Mr. Poindexter (I decided not to use my real name either),

I read, like, nearly everything you post, and, like, I was wondering, like, if you can tell me how to, like, be a T.V. Journalist?

Like, your devoted fan,
‘Slagathor’ (Not her real name)”

Here is my response to this forward thinking young woman:

Dear ‘Slagathor’,

Let me be the first to congratulate you on your career choice! Journalism School can be tough. Not all Journalism Majors make it to the big leagues.

I appreciate you asked me in stead of someone who actually is a Journalist, or teaches Journalism, or even has a college degree, or has at least driven through the parking lot of a Junior College on his way to Wal-Mart.

Having none of those qualifications, I will be happy to guide you through a preliminary hurdle that should show you if Journalism is the right choice for you.

I want you to know that I have already done a great deal of research (a term you might hear in Journalism school) on this topic. This week, I have been watching endless hours of in-depth T.V. Journalism. From this research, I have developed a short quiz that, I believe, will help you know of you can make the cut to the “Breaking News” world of T.V. Journalism.

Just relax, take a deep breath, and do your level best. There are 3 multiple choice questions, with the answer following each question. Please choose YOUR best answer to the question before reading the answer derived from my in-depth research.

Q1) Define ETHICS

A) Doing the Right Thing, for the Right Reason, at the Right Time.

B) ETHICS? Isn’t that, like, a racist question?

C) A sauce you sprinkle on your salad that helps you lose those extra 5 pounds.

ANSWER: B. If you answered ‘C’, you need to know that fake sprinkles are marketed everyday that make you believe anything, like, if you use this stuff, you will no longer need Viagra. If you answered ‘A’, you have no business being in Journalism.

Q2) You are the first “On The Spot” reporter to to the scene of a terrible accident. You see that 98 year old Griselda Haskins has been run over by a 1965 Buick. You notice that after the Buick had run over poor Mrs. Haskins, the car careened over the curb and smashed into the front window of a Starbucks. Tired of being an “On The Spot” reporter, and realizing that, what you do next will determine whether you finally get to be an “Anchor” (Another Journalism Term), you do one of the following things:

A) Render First Aid until the ambulance arrives, securing your position as the first “On The Spot” reporter who gets to interview Poor Old Mrs. Haskins and the Police.

B) You step over the prone body of the widow, Mrs. Haskins, to ask the driver how he feels knowing he ruined a perfectly good Starbucks.

C) You order a Latte with extra foam and pretend to do A & B.

ANSWER: ‘C’. If you answered ‘A’ you clearly have no grasp of the priorities of the Journalistic profession. Drop your pencil and leave now. If you answered ‘B’, you are destined to remain an “On The Spot” reporter.

Q3) You have finally made Anchor. Seconds before you go “live” (That is TV talk for being on the air), your editor/producer hands you some “Breaking News” that you KNOW is factually inaccurate. Your future as an Anchor is on the line. You do one of the following:

A) Report the truth. Your Journalistic Integrity and High Ethical Standards will let you do nothing less than tell the truth. The viewers deserve nothing less from you.

B) You don’t care because you get paid the same no matter what you report.

C) You finish your latte and read whatever pops up on the Teleprompter.

ANSWER: ‘C’. If you answered ‘B’, you return to your former job of “On The Spot Reporter”. If you answered ‘A’ you clearly have no future in any form of Journalism.

I hope, Slagathor, this little quiz has been helpful. You can see, now, that Journalism adheres to a standard that not even New Orleans Prostitutes can lower themselves to. Very few people have what it takes to be a T.V. Journalist.

One last thing, Slag. If you don’t look like a super-model, you don’t stand a chance of ever being in front of a camera. Looks matter more than anything in Television Journalism. You don’t even have to pay close attention to what you are doing if you are attractive and can read a teleprompter. The same holds true for Politicians.

Yours,

Peter Poindexter (Not My Real Name).

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