The Adventures of Big Sweety – Chapter 2


Beaver Creek Ranch

Chapter Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAITH TO BE RECKLESS


David G. Perkins

FAITH IS NOT BELIEF WITHOUT PROOF, BUT TRUST WITHOUT RESERVATION.” – Anon

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb 11:1 – ESV

FACTOID: “The assurance of things hoped for (elpizomenōn hupostasis). Hupostasis is a very common word from Aristotle on and comes from huphistēmi (hupo, under, histēmi, intransitive), what stands under anything (a building, a contract, a promise). ” From Robertson’s Word Pictures

In this case, it is used as a contract of deed. Faith is the TITLE-DEED of things hoped for. It is the document that states clearly that you can have confidence in God‘s promises.

 FIRST THINGS FIRST

Faith is the Title Deed That says, “Because you have believed in Jesus Christ, you have inherited eternal life.” Almost everyone knows John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave…

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The Ethics of Hell


David G. Perkins

[NOTE: I have kept a copy of this article preserved and encrypted in the event that it is somehow altered by a person or persons other than me.]

“Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. “Ecc 3:16 -17

THE SETTING:

Ray Charles can see that the Government of the United States has abandoned all that is holy, moral, legal and right. Oftentimes, I stand in stupefied wonder that “We the People” have let this happen.

The condition we are in today didn’t happen overnight, either. I remember vividly, in the 1960’s, when God was being kicked out of school. Today, there is a concerted and…

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More on The Ethics of Hell (What Makes Us Unworthy of Christ)


“For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”16:7b NASB

from http://www.blueletterbible.org/

C.S. Lewis is one of my most favorite Authors.  In his great work, “Mere Christianity“, Lewis had this to say about ethics:

All quotes are from “Mere Christianity”:

“One man may be so placed that his anger sheds the blood of thousands and another so placed that however angry he gets he will only be laughed at. But the little mark on the soul may be much the same in both. Each has done something to himself which, until he repents, will make it harder for him to keep out of the rage next time he is tempted, and will make the rage worse when he does fall into it. Each of them, if he seriously turns to God, can have that twist in the central man straightened out again; each is, in the long run, doomed if he will not. The bigness or smallness of the thing, seen from outside, is not what really matters.

“Good people know about both good and evil. Bad people do not know about either.”

“While the rule of chastity is the same for all Christians at all times, the rule of propriety changes. A girl in the Pacific Islands wearing hardly any clothes and a Victorian lady completely covered in clothes might both be equally ‘modest’; proper or decent, according to the standards of their own societies; and both, for all we could tell by their dress, might be equally chaste (or equally unchaste).

It all boils down to what is in our hearts.

It doesn’t matter what others think about what is in our hearts, although most of us crave the adoration and approval of some one.

In fact, outward appearances can be quite deceiving.  Planned Parenthood is a very good example.  They claim to offer medical services for females, that, without their help, all females would be deprived of.  The intent of the founder of Planned Parenthood was that all “undesirable races and people” be either eliminated or reduced to manageable numbers.  It was the writings of that founder that inspired Hitler.  He wrote about it in his own diseased journals.  Both Planned Parenthood and Hitler have lived up to the intent of their desires.

Now, that may be an extreme case of the ethics of Hell.  But let that serve as a good example.

As Christians, we are to be more like Christ.  As we grow in the knowledge of Jesus, and the Spirit of God works in you, to become more Christ Like, you will find that the decisions you make are more eternal than you think.

I will give you another example.  Say you, as a Christian, run across a person in genuine need.  It doesn’t matter what that need is, you fill in the blanks.  I actually heard a brother in the Lord say, “I would have helped that person, but I don’t know but that God may be putting that person through that thing in order to grow that person up.”

What that brother failed to realize, as he was doing the wrong thing for the right reason, is; Maybe God put that person in YOUR life just to see what YOU would do, and in failing to do that, whatever act of Grace, or Mercy you should have done, you yourself missed out on the growth, the blessing, the grace and the mercy for yourself.   None of us, unless God has spoken directly to you about a person, knows what is really going on with someone.   But when God places them in our path, we are to act toward them just as we would want God to act toward us.  Let us stop making excuses for our unfaithfulness.

So you will know, and we will all be accountable for our gifts of knowledge, I am going to spell out some of the “Ethics of Hell”.

1. Doing the wrong thing.   example: Orphaned children in Puerto Rico are being rounded up daily, and used as sex slaves.  After they are used up in that trade, they are taken out to the edges of town and used as target practice for criminals, gangs, and some police officers, and their police dogs.   God forgive me and all the rest of us who know this and do nothing about it.  God make us able to do something about it.

2. Doing the wrong thing for the right reason.  example:  I see someone in need, but I do not have the resources to meet that need.  Instead of asking for God’s provision for that person, or consulting someone who is in a better position to help, you steal something and give it to them, believing God will look the other way.  That is the Robin Hood stuff that our current Government is made of.   If you do harm to one person in order to do good for another, you have still been part of the harm.  

3. Doing the right thing for the wrong reason. example: You know of a family in need. You meet that need, but not in the way that your right hand does not know what your left hand is doing.  You meet that need simply so others will recognize how “spiritual and Christian” you are.  Publicity is probably not your only motive, either.  You probably are slowly positioning yourself so that enough people will think highly enough of you so you can impose your personal agenda on others.  God has His own agenda, and doesn’t need yours.  

4. Doing Nothing at all.  example – Take any of the examples above, and do nothing at all about it.  Don’t pray about it, don’t help, don’t get involved.  don’t feel compassion for others.  Don’t feel mercy or grace.  I guarantee, if you do this, you will get from God exactly what you have put into it.

You don’t need anyone’s permission to obey God, and do the right thing.  You WILL be laughed at, despised, called names, and people will actually try to stop you, some will even be “Christians” and other well-intentioned dragons.

Do it any way.  Cross that street.  Give to that person in need.  Stand between evil and the ones who will commit that evil.  The reason you weren’t raptured the day you got saved is that God is not done with your NEW LIFE.  It will be better for you to do this and lose everything than to commit the ethics of hell and save your own skin.

The simple fact of my writing this means I will be put to the test.  If you have actually read this far, then you are also accountable.  Just be careful of your intentions.  Whatever you do, what ever you don’t do, say, or think (As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he) know that God is seeing your INTENTION.  Whatever it is you intend, it will also be done to you, in the same measure.  This is why we are not to worry about what others will think of us.

We are free, by the Blood of Jesus Christ to be called the sons and daughters of God.  We have been given the authority of Jesus to do what Jesus has commanded all of us to do.

Let’s be about it.

Do You Love Me? (The Concentric Circles of Love)


So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” John 21:15

This is for all of us who are looking for home.  This is for all of us who have been rejected and condemned by the church.  This is for you who, in one form or another, walked in service to Christ, but did something stupid, and have fallen out of relationship to Him.  This is for those of us who have, for a season, felt the loss when God let you have your way, cut the moorings from his shore, and your ship drifted, alone, lost at sea.

You miss the joy of your salvation.  You miss the sweet fellowship you had in your Bible studies, worship, and prayers.  You miss the embrace and fellowship of other, like-minded, servants of Christ.

You have been shunned by friends, family, and strangers. You think, “But they don’t know what is in my heart!”  No, they don’t, and chances are, they never will.  You have to accept some realities, and it is not easy.

Is the joy of your salvation an echo of things past?  Is the sweet embrace of the Holy Spirit now just an ache of longing?

Is the weight of your sin so unbearable that sometimes, you wonder if people are right about you, that you cannot be redeemed, that you are better off dead, that you would do more people a favor if you just went away?

I have good news for you. You are wrong.  People are wrong.  And God is waiting with His arms outstretched, waiting with all his heart for you to come home.

I can tell you this because I have just gone through this.

There was a time in Peter’s life that he swore to Jesus “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.” (Mat 26:33) Jesus told Peter,  “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” (Matt 26:34)

Peter was a strong and courageous, if not a bit hot headed, man.  The thought of denying Jesus never occurred to him. He rested in his own strength to stand with Christ when things really hit the fan.

But when they did, Peter denied Christ three times before the rooster crowed.

“And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”  And he went out and wept bitterly.” Matt 26:75

Now, you weren’t at the arrest and trial of Christ, AND you are not Peter.  But, you were saved, and you were serving.  And you did something that separated you from God’s loving fellowship.  You suddenly understood what the first part of the verse in Isa 54:7 meant:  “For a small moment have I forsaken thee;”  and now you want to have the rest of that verse apply to you as well: “but with great mercies will I gather thee.”

After my fall from God, I went out and wept bitterly.  I could feel His absence as loudly as a clap of thunder.  I know it is not conventional theology to say that for a season God will separate Himself from you, but He will, and does as He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

I used to tell my wife that I want to return to His fellowship,  but I have no way of knowing how to get back to Him.  The good news, as you will eventually discover, is that you have not even left the palm of His hand.  He has simply left you to your own devices for a season.

Eventually, and my wife will attest to this, eventually, if returning is your hearts true yearning and intent, then you will have the support of the entire Kingdom of Heaven.

CIRCLE 1:  Draw a circle around yourself (Not really, but in your mind).  Include in that circle everything that is currently you.  You have to be totally honest, here.  Include all that you perceive is good and from God, and in a separate pile, include all you have said, or done, that is not of God.  You will know what those things are by the way they reveal your relationship to God.  Everything you do either accepts Christ as your Lord, or it rejects Christ as Lord.  Even though the hurt you have caused was to others, as well, in the end, it is a behavior that ultimately denies Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

God may do you like He did me, and have me pick up every little behavior that denied Him, and address each one on an individual basis.  But I am, and you can ask my wife, a Jack Ass.  It takes me longer to do things because I am stubborn.

Eventually, God will show you that, because you have confessed your sin, He has dealt with them.  He promises us all that He has thrown them as far away as the East is from the West.  That he has trampled them underfoot, and remembers them no more.  That He has cast them into the sea of forgetfulness.  Jesus died for ALL of our sin, past, present and future.  That is not a license to sin, it is the permission to forgive yourself if you have repented.

Accept this forgiveness, and forgive yourself.  Your judgment is not greater than God’s.  If He has forgiven you, then you are forgiven, PERIOD.  This may take time, or it might be instant.  In the end, you will know the joy of your salvation.  There is no sin you can commit that is so bad that God will not forgive you, if it is in your heart to repent.  All sin is a denial of Christs work on the cross.  Be forgiven.  You will be free.

CIRCLE 2:  Now, draw a larger circle around that first circle.  The first circle represents God dealing with you, and you doing business with God.

Circle 2 contains all the people your sin has directly affected.

You are forgiven, but not forgotten.  You have hurt people you love.  You must lay your offering at the alter and seek forgiveness for all the hurt you have done.  This is an ongoing process, and may not be able to be accomplished overnight.  But it is necessary.  And it is good, albeit a hard thing to do.  You have to overcome your fear of rejection, your fear of not being taken seriously, and possible the reality that you may not be forgiven.  There really is nothing you can do about that, but you must, with all Godly intention, seek forgiveness for the harm you have done.  Whatever happens from your effort, God will show you how it is a blessing.  Some loss happens, but if you stand in your faith, God will see it through.  Many times, healing happens.  And it will be good, and fruitful for both of you.

CIRCLE 3: These are the people that you did not sin against, but are really angry because you have hurt someone thy love when you sinned.  Listen closely.  You still have to do business with them.  You have to obey God in this.  Forgive their hatred and the terrible, and hurtful things they have said to you and about you.  And seek their forgiveness.  It would help a lot if the person or persons in the second circle would go with you, and help smooth things over, so that they can see that a genuine change has happened in your heart.

They will either accept that you are redeemed, or not.  They will either forgive you or not.  You do not know the hearts of men (or women), but God does.  He knows where they are in their walk, you don’t.  He knows where they need work, you don’t, and unless God uses you to affect their changes, you have no business interfering with the work God is doing in their lives.  BUT, you do get to love them. You do get to pray with them and for them.

Take care of this business.  Don’t worry about the outcomes.  Your walk doesn’t depend on how people in the second and third circle treat you, what they say about you, or if they believe you.  Your walk depends ONLY on your obedience to God.  He has called you to return to His embrace.  He has cleansed you of your sin.  He has demonstrated His overwhelming love for you.

Peter denied Christ three times.  In order to restore Peter, Jesus asked Peter, three times, if Peter loved him.  This sealed Peter in his love for Christ.  Peter eventually did die for the sake of the Gospel.

This leads to

CIRCLE 4:  Now you have done all you can to be redeemed to God, your beloved friends and loved ones, and the people who were affected by your behavior.

YOU ARE  FREE!

Be free to serve.  Be recklessly abandoned to Christ and His service for you.  This is the 4th circle.  Jesus said:

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matt 28:20

Now you feel his call.  You do not need anyone’s permission to obey.  Lay your hindrances at God’s feet, and He will clear the way for you to serve Christ.  It IS your call, and God’s gift is without repentance.

Go, be about it.