Faith

He Will Not Despise You


repent

“My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” – Psalm 42:3

A Breaking Heart

The thing about a breaking heart is, it is the very first step toward restoration of fellowship with God.  “When shall I come and appear before God? Ps. 42:1 –  When tears have become your food.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

When you come to the altar to reconcile with God, know that no matter how eloquent you wax, what God is looking for is your broken spirit.

When I Am Finally Weak

It is when you have dropped dead of thirst in your wilderness and begin to cry out for the Hand of the Savior that you are really of any use to God.  It is through the admission of your weakness and despair that the strength of God is admitted into your heart.

WHERE IS YOUR GOD?

He is the one who is holding you to his breast while you cry; So go ahead and cry.  Cry well and thoroughly.  Just as your tears restore your sanity, so does your broken heart restore you to the Living God.

I Cried, I praised.png

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Jesus, Book of Matthew 11:28-30

LET’S BE ABOUT IT

David Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

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Faith

Are You Thirsty?


Deer
As a deer gets thirsty for streams of water;
I truly am thirsty for you, my God.
In my heart, I am thirsty for you, the living God.
When will I see your face?
Psalm 42:1 & 2 – CEV

Are You in that Wilderness?

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

If I Thirst…

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

Whoever Drinks…

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

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

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

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

Let’s be about it.

I love you in Jesus’ name.

David G. Perkins

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Faith

God’s Gift of Salvation – An Inconvenient Truth


God’s Gift of Salvation

We are all going to die someday. Where will you go when you die? The Bible teaches us how we can know for sure that when we die we will go to heaven. There are 4 things we must know to be able to go to heaven when we die.

1. We are sinners. As the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Sin is falling short of God’s perfection. Everyone has sinned many times in life. We have all lied, or stolen, or cheated, or done something wrong at some time in our lives. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).

2. We deserve Hell. Realize that there is a punishment for being a sinner, and that punishment is death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Not only a physical death, but also a spiritual death. The place of spiritual death is called Hell. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rom. 21:8). There is probably no person alive who can say that they never told a lie. We all have sinned and we all deserve the punishment of Hell for our sin.

3. Jesus died for our sins. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Jesus willingly went to the cross, shed His blood, and died for our sins. He paid the price for our sins. He suffered the punishment that we deserve. When He was on the cross, Jesus suffered Hell for us. Hell is a place of total separation from God. When Jesus was on the cross, God the Father separated Himself from God the Son. That is why Jesus cried out “with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Jesus was experiencing separation from God the Father. He was suffering the Hell that we deserve. He was paying for our sins.

4. We must receive Christ by faith. In order to become a Christian, it is not enough to know that we are sinners, that we deserve Hell, and that Christ died for our sins, but we must receive Christ by faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8,9).

Notice that we cannot earn our way to heaven. We obtain salvation through faith, not by works. Faith basically boils down to placing your trust in something or someone. If you are sitting down while reading this, you are placing your faith or trust in the chair that you are sitting upon. Faith requires more than just an intellectual belief; it involves an action of your will. For example, if there were a pond covered with ice, and there were people standing around saying that the ice could hold them up, but they were not willing to walk on the ice, then they would only be demonstrating an intellectual belief and not faith. If they stepped out onto the ice, they would be demonstrating faith.

One can place their faith in Christ by simply calling out to Him in prayer, for the Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I expressed faith in Christ by sincerely praying a prayer like this:

“Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I deserve Hell. Thank you for dying for my sins. Save me. Come into my life. Make me the kind of person that you want me to be. I thank you that you have and that you will take me to heaven when I die. Amen.”

If you sincerely pray that prayer with all your heart, then the Lord Jesus will come into your life and forgive your sins, and save you from an eternity of Hell. If you were to die tomorrow, you would go to heaven. Not because you are good enough to get there, but because you have received the payment of your sins. It is that simple.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (Jn 5:24)

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Faith, Observations

Despair is Not a Fruit of the Spirit


from “Peanuts”, by Charles Schultz

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

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

SARCASM IS NOT A SPIRITUAL GIFT

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

1 Corinthians 12:

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

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

Take Sarcasm for example.

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

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

Mom had taken me with her to the grocery store.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT FRUITS MAY BEAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS FRUIT

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

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

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

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

THIS IS WHY I AM WRITING THIS SERIES

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

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

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

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

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

BEFORE YOU DECIDE

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

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

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

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

Shall we explore?

Let’s be about it.

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

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

PS – I strongly recommend two books:

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

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

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Faith

We have Nothing To Fear…”


072814_1815_WhomGodChoo1.jpgHosea 4:6King James Version (KJV)

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Knowledge of God.

One thing that really irks me is the meme that the White House and Press are attempting to establish. That is that “we the people” are in fear or fearful. I don’t know who they are trying to kid, but we great unwashed masses are not afraid. We are angry. We are angry at a government that serves itself over the needs of her people, and who destroy the very Constitution that brought them into power. Rather than say we deserve whatever we get, I say we need to wake up and decide, today, what we will do about it.

We are not afraid. We are not fearful. We are, however, done with our own complacency. We are waking up. We are ready to solve this problem.

If anyone needs to fear, it is the fear mongers and liars that have brought this once great country to the state of disarray it has become.

There is no dishonor in stating the truth even if the cost is high. There is, however, a great dishonor to the soul to know what is right and true and do nothing about it.

We must decide if saving our right to not be offended is more important than preserving the rights of our citizens against the tyrants who have destroyed this great nation. If we give up our freedom for the sake of our comfort, we do not have the right to complain when they come to disarm you and destroy you.

We are no longer going to hide behind expediency. We are ready to solve this problem ourselves and restore a representative republic that is defined by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

We are not afraid.

Let’s be about it.

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Faith, Observations, Stuff

Let It Rain


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

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

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

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

DAYS LIKE THIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

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

LIFE LIKE THIS

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

LATELY

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

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

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

IT IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

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

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

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

The Opportunity

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

The Danger

The danger is that I will not.

Problems happen.

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

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

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

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

We are not better than our master.

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

There is a season for everything under the sun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 8:28King James Version (KJV)

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

Now,

Let’s be about it!

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

David Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Teach Me, Lord…


Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
(Php 4:4-8)

God,

When I feel like giving up, sustain me.

When people who claim to be your children act more like the children of your enemy, teach me to forgive.

When I am overwhelmed at how empty and meaningless life, sometimes, appears to be, come to me and fill me with your presence and joy.

When I feel tempted to be angry, or tempted to want revenge, remind me that, as your child, vengeance belongs to you.

Remind me that the judgment I want to use on others will be the judgment used on me. Teach me to love.

I have never felt more disconnected from others as I do now, and never felt more dismayed at those who say they belong to you. Alone, but I am not forsaken. You are with me.

By your stripes I am healed, so tend to my wounds and heal my heart.

I have less trouble over those who openly declare war on you than with those who swear they belong to you, yet act like the children of Satan.

Teach me mercy so I can show mercy.

Teach me grace so I can show grace.

Teach me your love so I can be lovely, even to those who I think deserve less than the bottom of my foot.

When Jesus took all your wrath and judgment on the cross, I was delivered from sin. I became your beloved child.

We are all your creation, but not all are your children.

Help me, therefore, Lord, to show in mighty ways what you showed me about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died for me.

Help me give this gift away.

I love you.

David P.

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Faith

Sing to Me your Song


My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any one pluck them out of my hand. – Jesus – (Joh 10:27-28)

 

My mind wanders, Lord. When it does, bring me back to you.

Like a sheep in the wilderness, my heart wants to stray.

The grass looks tasty there, but you know what I need.

Lead me and keep me on your fruitful ground. Pull from my food the weeds that poison my thinking, my moods, and my heart.

Show me your tender mercies and sing to me your song.

I crave the sound of your voice and covet your ways.

Lord, lead me, my Shepherd.

 

Love,

David

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Observations

What is Possible is Up To You


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go do it.

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

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

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

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

Let’s be about it!

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Faith, Short Stories

How It All Began


success“I’ve reviewed your work, and have to say, I am not all that impressed.” The editor of yet another studio told him.

“In fact, our investigator told us that you have failed three other businesses. Furthermore, your editor in Kansas City said you are completely devoid of any imagination whatsoever.”

“We are willing to take a risk on you simply because it is the only way we can get rid of you.”

“Sign here, and we’ll get started.”

So, I signed my name.

“Why do you persist, any way, Mr….Um, I can’t read your writing, it is too flamboyant”.

“I persist because I believe in my work; It is what is in my heart.  It’s just the thing that will lift all our spirits. And my name is Walter, Walter Disney. You can call me Walt.”

Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4New American Standard Bible (NASB)

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Short Stories

Unexpected Outcomes


I should not have pushed the lavender button.  At least not while I stood on the platform.  
The 3 probes I sent through earlier never returned any telemetry.  The only way I could determine what happened was to do a spectral analysis while the field built up.  The only way I could do that was to stand on the platform.
I set the timer for two minutes.  It would take one-and-a-half minutes to take the readings.  It never occurred to me that time dilated in the field.  That never showed up in the math.  
I remember a flash.  I woke up to an official slapping me back into consciousness. 
I was on another planet in a primitive time.  
The official asked me my name.  
I looked at him and said, “I am Houdini.”
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Faith

What Faith Feels Like


2014-09-20 11.58.28and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.  John 17:23b

The Question

A co-worker asked me how I know what faith feels like.  I got crickets…well, at first, I did.  I wasn’t sure what to tell him.  It dawned on me that having faith, and being able to explain the joy of it, are two different things.  I could wax rhapsodic about the glorious feeling I get inside when I consider what happened at the great exchange on the cross.  I could explain to him the famous verse about faith:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

But that would be using the word I am trying to define in the definition.  That kind of circular reasoning will not give a real answer.    This guy has a very high IQ, and is more often looking for an argument in which to showcase his intelligence.  I do not want to get into that kind of thing.  It would be pointless and frustrating.

I was left with the proverbial problem of trying to describe the color orange to a blind man.  Then I remembered I was once blind to faith, too.  I was blinded to the things of God, and wanted to understand them, just like this guy does.  Like him, I had God in a box, I new more than anyone else, and had very little patience with the cretins around me who had no idea about anything.  How do I explain faith to someone who is like this?

The Root of the Matter

I told my coworker I will only answer in the context of what the Bible has to say about faith, but needed time to frame an answer.    His immediate reaction was to tell me he doesn’t want to hear my religious point of view, but only wants a philosophical discussion.

I recognize an evasive maneuver when I see one.  I used to use this very argument when I was under conviction, and was afraid the answer would get too real for me to handle.  Fear drives that sort of thinking.

I needed God to show me how to get past the wall of fear this guy has constructed so I can show him what faith looks like.  I knew that the only thing to do was give this to God and wait for Him to show me how to explain faith.

I asked God to open my eyes, and the eyes of my coworker, so we could both see what God wants to show us both about faith.

IN THE MEAN TIME

The company I work for sent me to Richmond, Virginia for training.  At the end of the week would be a final exam.  The brochure made it clear that the exam period is 8 hours.  The company booked my flight to leave right in the middle of the testing time.  This was really bad timing.  I would have to walk out during the middle of the test just to make my flight.

I called the home office and explained my situation.  Their answer was that it would cost too much to reschedule my flight, and, besides, one of my peers claimed to have taken the test in one hour, so I shouldn’t have a problem doing the same thing.

I checked with the instructor about the testing times.  He explained that no one in the history of this test has ever completed it in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes.  I called the home office back and told them what the instructor said.  The answer was a very firm “no”.  It was made very clear to to me that there was no way the flight would be changed.  I would just have to work it out to be done with the test in time to leave for the airport.

The Old David (Me before the Holy Spirit) would have thrown a very loud fit and gone totally nuts.  I was tempted to be angry and frustrated.  For once in my life, though, I obeyed God and took this to Him.  I called Sandy and we prayed about it ( Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. – Jesus – Matt. 18:19)

Within two hours of our praying, I got an e-mail from the home office telling me that my flight was rescheduled from Friday to Saturday.  The solid and resounding “NO!!!” had been turned into a “But of course we can!” after Sandy and I prayed.

When I got the e-mail, I nearly cried.  God had moved the hearts of the people on my behalf.  Once again, God had come through in a situation where the world had said it was not possible.

I felt complete in Him through this.  I felt assurance of His love for me that His promise is true:  Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Even in the little things, God shows His love and care.  For the first time in my existence, I felt what it is like to know the love of a caring father.  This is why it is so easy to trust Him.  He cares.  He loves.  He demonstrates that love in the most remarkable ways.  It is when things are really frustrating that God is able to reveal something that I would have otherwise missed.  All I have to do is remember to trust him with my circumstances.

It is easy to have faith in one whose love is complete and unconditional.

THERE WAS MY ANSWER

It dawned on me that God had opened my eyes.  Again, He revealed Himself.  Perfect love casts out all fear.  It is easy to have faith in one who loves you completely and demonstrates that love so freely.  God’s perfect love casts out all my fears.  When the world says no, God says, yes.

WHAT DOES FAITH FEEL LIKE?

Faith feels like love.

This Love fills me with reckless abandon toward the things of God.

Faith feels fearless, Charles.

That is what faith feels like.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

I love you in the name of Jesus,

Now, Let’s Be About It!

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

The Learning Curve


073014_2125_WhomGodChoo1.jpgThis morning, I wrote in my journal.  While I was writing, I realized I was not writing what was genuinely and truthfully on my heart, but what I thought would be pleasing to God.  I was fishing for brownie points.

I stopped writing what I was writing and began writing what was on my heart.

I decided to share this with you because I know you are going through this, too.

Remember, every situation, no matter how difficult, is here for a reason.

I dedicate this to my friend, who is hurting right now.  I pray for you and for answers that make sense.  You know who you are.

***** From My Journal*****

19/Dec/2014 7:20

Eph 4:29  Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

I wonder how quiet the world would be if we heeded this advice?

Do I speak just to hear myself speak?  Is my speech such that others are blessed by it?…

We interrupt this diatribe so we can speak honestly about what is on our hearts.

Dear Lord God,

Why am I going around this mountain again?

What lesson is in this that I need to learn?

What part of yourself and your character are you trying to reveal and integrate into me?

Making pearls means having to deal with discomfort.  Through our discomfort, we learn to apply the character of God to the situation.  The end result is a thing of beauty.

So, I do not mind the discomfort as much as I object to my own ignorance.

Clear my mind, Lord, and prepare my heart for what it is you are working in my life.  If my discomfort leads me to lead others to your Cross, then let’s make this time count.

I trust you , Lord, that your word is true when you said:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
(Rom 8:28 NASB)

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Faith

We Shall Speak the Truth in Love…but We SHALL Speak the Truth!



In case I have never told anyone, I believe Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, who died of all my sin, and rose again on the third day to prove he is worthy to be my lord and savior. Because of this, I have inherited all that Christ has given in order to save me. This is part of the exchange on the cross. All that is unholy and sin became Jesus’, and all that is holy and righteous became mine. My righteousness has nothing to do with me, or anything I can do to please God. It all rests entirely on Jesus and what He accomplished in my place. Becoming what Jesus is, is what is known as laboring to rest in the finished work of the cross.

So, what am I? I am like you, someone who has sinned. Perhaps my sin nature was a bit more indulgent than yours. Perhaps not. Any sin separates us from God and demands a verdict of eternal damnation. In God’s eyes, all my sin is forgiven. In God’s eyes, I am His beloved child. In God’s eyes, I am no longer judged worthy of hell and damnation because I have accepted the mission of Jesus and the finished work of the cross. My fleshy character has to die, because it is dead, and will continue to die as I rest in the character of Jesus.

I am also someone who STILL sins. Just like you. I still sin, but I do not desire sin. Not any longer. I desire God and His kingdom. His grace sustains me as the Spirit of God leads me to a life that is better than the old life I lived. I am not alive anymore, but Jesus lives in me. I live this life because of the faith of Jesus that resides in me. I live this life because He lived me and gave His life for mine.

What I have described above is what GRACE is all about. Grace is unmerited favor. Grace is bestowed on me because I have accepted a free gift. That gift was paid for in blood. Jesus’ blood.

God’s grace continues to this day. That is why this planet still exists. He is showing us how patient His grace is, so that, somehow, you will have the opportunity to accept this free gift too, instead of living your eternity in hell. Hell is reserved for Satan and his minions, and all who refuse to accept this free gift.

This is grace, and it is free to anyone who will accept it.

Here is the truth, however…

No one wants God on God’s terms. If they believe in God at all, it is through a filter of righteousness (Self), that tells God why all the good stuff they have done in their life merits passage into Heaven.

We prefer to earn what we cannot possibly earn because we are too proud to accept the free gift of Grace given to us.

The truth is, some Christians have made Jesus noting more than a role model, a buddy, someone who looks at your foibles, chuckles, slaps you on the back, and says, “Keep trying, buddy, I am rooting for you.” Part of this is true, but the tools of Satan is to mix truth with error.

The error is in believing that Jesus is no more aware of a divine standard than we are, and He is simply walking through this life as befuddled as you are, but maybe a bit smarter about negotiating the mine fields of life. This inclusive theology waters down who Jesus is, and leads millions to a false sense of security. After all, we need to make our march into hell as pleasant as we can, don’t we?

The truth is, some Christians believe that their particular religious dogma has cornered the market on God, and God HAS to be pleased with our efforts. They like to invent an agenda, map out a plan, and insist that God approve of it. This is especially true if our map started in the scriptures.

Here is an example:

I recently attended a Men’s Prayer Breakfast. The theme of that breakfast was, Psa 127:1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;…”

The guest speaker rhapsodized about how it is our responsibility to build a Godly home. Which is true, but not the truth.

The speaker exposited that we have to work hard to make sure we are doing all we can to build a home that God will be proud of. The emphasis continued to be one of self-effort, self-righteousness, self, self, and self…ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

After all was said and done, I was asked what I thought. I spoke the truth. That unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build it.

I was in my home turf with this synagogue of fellows, as I was raised in this particular works righteousness religion.

I suggested, and I mean this, I was kind, polite, and friendly, charming… everything that my best friend, Mark, would have suggested I be…I suggested that we look again at this verse and underscore WHO is responsible for the building.

(I was once one of them, and I know how easily they get provoked to self-righteousness and anger, and how swiftly they run to their own ego when they are cornered.)

I suggested, ever so gently that, unless God moves us to build the house, and unless He leads the building, and unless the Holy Spirit empowers this project, nothing we do will last. I suggested that any fool can build what looks like a godly home, a godly church, a godly reputation, but, inside, can be full of empty promises, lies, deceit, and vain imaginations. If this were not so, all churches and all homes that appear to be Godly would be winning souls faster than water could be gathered for the baptism.

The stony silence I was greeted with was deafening. The party was over.

The Truth is… We do not really want the truth so much as we want reassurance that the lies we tell ourselves are the truth.

My only claim to anything is that Jesus Christ is my lord and savior. He died for my sin. I accept that I am a sinner, saved by Grace.

I would not be able to comprehend why grace is being applied to my life, if I first didn’t understand that there is sin, and a need of repentance.

Grace juxtaposes the image of what God is trying to give you against the reality of the hell you will receive if you do not choose His free gift.

Is Jesus my friend? Yes, He said so himself. It’s in the bible, look it up.

Jesus is my friend because I have believed in him, trusted him, and accepted this free gift.

When He became my savior, and the spirit of God entered me, I was driven to the inescapable conclusion that I also want to be just like Him, which made Jesus my Lord, as well.

Somewhere between the dogma of the self-righteous religions of this planet, and the idea that Jesus is your buddy, we have to come to terms with the truth of the Cross. The truth of why the cross was necessary. The truth that none of us, none of our religions, and none of our watered down lies of Jesus will ever save us from the hell we deserve.

Jesus IS the good news. Jesus is all of the Gospel. There is no separation of eternal life and the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. You cannot have one without the other. To live otherwise is to tell God you know better than He does about what is best for your eternal soul. This will not comfort you while you are in Hell.

The truth is, if Jesus can redeem someone as vile and dangerous as I was, then He can redeem anyone. The truth is, none of us, not one, can do anything at all worthy of Heaven, unless Jesus Himself does the thing through us.

When you accept that you are a sinner, and that your religion, or lack thereof, is not going to save you, and you turn to Jesus Christ, and see what He has done to grant you eternity in Heaven, you will be saved.

I was told that I must be soft and sweet when I deliver these next few messages. I was told that I must separate grace from truth, because truth is not palatable, and will scare people off.

I hold that if you are not cognizant of the truth, any effort you make at making Jesus your Friend will be wasted in regret. You will never know Grace apart from the hard truth.

The truth is, you can do nothing at all apart from Christ.

The truth is, you cannot have Heaven and bypass what Christ did on the cross.

The Truth is, your deciding whether Jesus is Lord or not does not negate the fact that He is Lord whether you acknowledge it or not.

The truth is, in the end, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is lord.

Time is running out. Churches have failed Christ. We all have to stop and tell the truth and know the truth.

Grace reveals God’s love against our overwhelming sin. Grace reveals a truth that simultaneously hurts and heals.

Truth reveals Christ.

It pleased God to send His own Son to the cross so we, you, His creation, will not have to face His wrath.  Jesus already absorbed God’s wrath.  Sin is paid for.  You are saved, if you believe what Jesus said about Himself.

Unless we first come to grips with our sin, and the overwhelming Grace God continues to show us, and until we accept this free gift of Salvation, we will never truly understand the depth of the powerful relation Jesus will be in your life. You cannot be His friend unless you first accept what he did for you. When that happens, you will see that he did not come here to build a religion, but a relationship.

Before any of my Hyper Grace friends ask me if I had thought twice about the gracelessness of this tome, and considered what Jesus would have done…I leave with this thought:

Still, it is all on His terms.

Let Him be about you.

I love you in Jesus Christ, and because of Him,

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith, Observations

It is time for us to join the battle.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You would be mistaken to fall for that lie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many are called, few are chosen.

Let’s Be About It!!!

I love you in Jesus’ name.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

FAITH TO BE RECKLESS


FAITH TO BE RECKLESS.

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 his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” That is the language of the Title-Deed.

The details of that title deed are detailed in the verses that follow:

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18 – ESV

Here you can see that there is spelled out a distinction between who inherits and who doesn’t inherit. Because you have believed, your first inheritance is Eternal Life. Those words are from Christ Himself. You can rest assured of your salvation, which is the language of the second half of the verse: “the conviction of things not seen.” Heb 11:1 – ESV

The number of Humans who have been to Heaven and returned to tell about it are few and far between. Chances are that you and I are not in that group. Because we hold the title deed to an eternal life, we can hold to the conviction that it has already been granted to us. You don’t have to stop what you are doing and go see the real estate. It is already your inheritance. Nothing in the world can take your inheritance away because it was signed over to you in the blood of the one who promised it to you.

BUT WHAT ELSE?

THAT is the bazillion dollar question!

The reason we were not raptured the second we accepted Christ as our Saviour and Lord is because he has a work for us to do here. Jesus has given you the authority to do those things. Jesus said to the Disciples: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12 NASB

Anyone with one eye and half a brain can tell things are going terribly wrong on this planet. THe reason we are still here is so we can bring the gospel to anyone who will listen. We have been given the authority to do that by Jesus Himself. You do NOT need your church’s permission to obey Christ. You do not need anything but a solid understanding of the scripture and faith. And Jesus has guaranteed that you will have all the tools He had at your disposal, PLUS more.

These facts are in the Title-Deed of our inheritance. While we are still here on this planet, we have the promise of salvation, and the promise that, if we believe, and obey, we are empowered to do all that Jesus Himself did to bring others to Himself.

BUT IT IS HARD!

Yes. It is hard. And most likely, people will think you are insane. People will hate you. People will run from you. People will lie about you, try to trip you up, and basically call you nuts…and it may begin with your family.

I can attest before God, I have, on more than one occasion, seen people try to kill me for the sake of the Gospel, but God always delivers. In fact, one of the would be assassins became a Christian, and later his wife became a Christian. Today, they live in California, and have a pretty good church going out there. They reach people that most ordinary Christians would run in fear from.

These things can be done because FAITH is your Title-Deed that assures you that whatever you ask in Jesus name will be done for you, if you are praying in God’s will. This assurance is the conviction of the thing hoped for.

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “ – Mat 18:19 NASB

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” – Mat 7:7

“For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” – Mat 7:8

BE RECKLESS ABOUT IT, TOO.

My favorite devotional is written by the daughter of Oswald Chambers. Chambers was the Chaplain for the British Airmen during WWI, while they were stationed in the Saudi deserts. Chambers wrote a diary that later became the famous devotional book called “My Utmost For His Highest”.

In several of the devotionals, Chambers describes this faith, this assurance, this conviction of things hoped for, as something we have to throw ourselves into with “reckless abandon”. Have no thought for yourself image, for your safety, for anything other than being willing to take that one step off the cliff, knowing that God is there to see you through to a path of His design.

There is a child like freedom in this kind of faith. When my daughter was a toddler, she had no problem or hesitation about running as fast as she could and jumping into my arms. She knew without hesitation that I would catch her. We have to put aside our practical worldliness. We have to put aside all concerns for how we will look to others. We just have to have the Joy of our salvation, and the faith that whatever it is that God asked you to do, you can do it with out fear or concern. Jesus promised you that you have eternity as your reward, and all the power in the Kingdom of Heaven to accomplish what God has asked you to do.

Do we really want revival? Start with yourself. Be recklessly abandoned to the assurance of the things hoped for, and stand on the conviction of the things not seen.

We need revival in this land. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do that thing that God has asked us to do. We can do this because we have our salvation. We have our salvation because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. The fields are ripe for harvest. Let’s be about it.

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Faith

A Long and Awkward Silence – Part II


Lost and Confused Signpost

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

DO IT, CHECK IT!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We dreaded drills, but we learned from them.

GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US, EVEN WHEN HE ISN’T

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

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

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

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

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

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

IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A LONG AND AWKWARD SILENCE FROM GOD, CHANCES ARE, YOU ARE IN A TEST!

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

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

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

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

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

LET’S BE ABOUT IT!!

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

A Long and Awkward Silence


Psalms 4:4

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

– King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition

102414_1514_ALongandAwk1.jpg

Life Affirming Events

WHEN:  The 1980’s

WHERE:  Nun Ya Biznez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HAIETUS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you, gentle reader, for your patience.

What ever happens, dear friend, take this advice:

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

Matthew 6:33King James Version (KJV)

I love you,

Let’s be about it!

Yours in Jesus Christ,

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Spiritual Appraisal – What God Will Not Fix


I HAD BEEN PRAYING FOR WEEKS THAT SOMETHING WOULD PULL ME OUT OF MY WRITER’S BLOCK.  THAT SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED.  I APOLOGIZE THAT THIS POST IS TERSE AND STRONG, AND MAY OFFEND EVERYONE I KNOW.  ASK YOURSELF THIS, THOUGH.  WHY DID IT OFFEND YOU?

WARNING: This blog may contain language that some people will find objectionable and offensive.

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Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity and sow wickedness, reap the same.

He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

 

DEFINITIONS

INIQUITY (n) – immorality, heinousness, evil, injustice, crime, wickedness, sin, vice. (The Antonym of iniquity is: GOODNESS (n) – Virtuous, decency, kindness, honesty, integrity, righteousness.)
From Biblical Research

trouble, wickedness, sorrow, idolatry

STUPID (adj) – foolish, unwise, senseless, ill-advised, imprudent, thoughtless, injudicious, rash, irresponsible, reckless, heedless, fatuous, silly, inane, nonsensical, ludicrous, futile, ridiculous, senseless, absurd, asinine, daft…etc. (The Antonym of Stupid is: WISE (adj) – astute, intelligent, prudent, sensible, judicious, shrewd, learned, informed, artful, cunning, crafty.)
IMMUTABLE (adj) – Unchangeable, absolute, unassailable, Incontrovertible, Final, Unalterable, Permanent, Fixed, Binding, Cannot be forfeited. GOD

THE CIRCUMSTANCE

Someone I love dearly denounced God…Again. I wanted to shout, cry, do something…I don’t know…throttling her would not have represented the Love of Jesus. I have been sitting silently. Watching her. Wondering how she cannot see the trap she has sprung on herself.

For the past several years, life has been rough for her. I cannot give you any details, but believe me, her life has been a roller coaster ride of extremes. She has experienced outcomes she never dreamed were possible, and none of them have been good at all. For all practical purposes, her life has been a living hell.

She will tell anyone who will listen that God is mad at her, is punishing her, and she is done with Him, as He clearly does not care what has been going on in her world. That is her reasoning, such as it is.

Where her smile used to light up a room, her countenance is clearly darkened, and angry. Sadness and bitterness is etched on her face. She cries a lot, and keeps asking “Why, WHY?!?”

The sad things is, no one can tell her why unless they want to have their head torn off. She is very uncomfortable with the truth, no matter how gently and sweetly it is delivered. I know this because every time she has disowned me, it is because I answered her question, “Why?”

HERE’S WHY – And let this be a lesson we all take to heart.

I can answer this question because, for over 20 years, I walked in her very shoes. When a very painful experience happened in the early ’90’s, I blamed God for it. God had even warned me in advance that that pain was on its way, and if I stood faithful to Him, I would come out on the other side purified. The pain was intended to draw me near. Because I was far too religious I didn’t see things the way God did. The God I had fabricated in my mind was supposed to make things better according to what I think is best. He was supposed to wink at my rebellion, all my willful sin, and do things the way I thought they should be done. When things didn’t work out that way, I got mad at God…the real God, not the false idol I had created in my heart. I got mad because the real God did not bow down to the image of the god I had fabricated.

If you read the definitions above, you will see I highlighted the word “idolatry” in bold. That was under the definition of iniquity. Iniquitous acts are what separates us from God. Iniquity stems from the fact that in our self-centered world view, we try to bend God to our will. We create a god in our hearts that lives to serve our whims. That false god is supposed to wink at our willful acts of rebellion and disobedience, and make things right.

When that fails to happen, we blame the real God. When we make god in our image, we have created a flawed and false being; we have made an idol of our opinion of God and worshipped it. Our opinion of things become more important than God’s view of them. When God doesn’t make subservient obeisance to our idol, we get mad at Him. We blame God for our stupidity. We insist that God is judging us, when all that is happening is that we are reaping what we sow.

KARMA IS A BITCH ONLY IF YOU ARE TOO!

Hosea said it best when he said: “They have planted the wind and will harvest the whirlwind.” (Hosea 8:7a – NLT).

Jesus alluded to this principle when he said:

Matthew 13:18-23

Hear then the parable of the sower. “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

– See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Sowing-And-Reaping#sthash.hbciNPo4.dpuf

We sow what we have first planted in our heart. This is the distinction between someone who is religious, or an idolater, or a non-believer and one who is a genuine believer. What we allow God to sow in our heart are the immutable truths about Jesus Christ and His character. We are to be made into His likeness. What we sow to the world is the result of what we have allowed God to sow in our hearts, or what we have sown in place of what God wanted to give you. If we have ignored God, or fought God, or made an idol of our opinion of God, we cannot let the Holy Spirit break any fertile ground in us. What is sown by God either dies, is stolen, or is destroyed, unless we are tenderhearted toward the things of God. It is only the submitted heart that accepts the seed that the Holy Spirit wants to plant. All other hearts are not able to produce fruit that reveals Christ.

If what you are experiencing is unremitting pain due to the fact that the god you invented is not meeting your needs, perhaps you need to rethink your god. Or, to put it the way it was explained to me some time ago: “Stupid is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.”

If your life isn’t working out, stop blaming the real God, and start blaming the self-centered little god you invented. God does not exist to worship you, you exist to worship God.

There is a reason we are to stop sowing the seeds of sin. When we sow the fruit of bitterness in our hearts, the fruit produced is clamor, wrath, anger, malice and slander. We reveal the fruit of our hearts by the words we speak.  We are snared on the vines of our bitterness, or the fruit of the Spirit.  Everyone who reads your facebook account can tell what fruit has been planted in your heart.

You will always reap what you sow, or as Jesus said it best:

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:48 NLT

When you sow the seeds of bitterness, you reap it back in heaps. It multiplies itself. People will always return to you what you give. The universe itself is wired this way. It is the immutability of life. This fact is so obvious that it is the central themes of many religions.

 

GOD’S IMMUTABLE CHARACTER

Gos is perfect in every way. If he had to change, he would cease to be perfect.

His character never changes.

God is always…

Love

Hope

Grace

Mercy

Forgiving

Our Supply

Our Redeemer

Our judge

Our Father

Our provider

Wise

Good

Generous

And His plans never change.

God set things up to run a certain way. It is not God that changed things, it was us. We decided we didn’t need God. We changed as a result of this decision. We brought sin into the world. To sin and expect God to wink at your sin is an act of ego driven stupidity.

If God decided to do that, He would immediately be a liar to His own character. He would cease to be God.

God is unchanging in all His promises. The promise that the wages of sin is death has not changed. The promise of everlasting life to those who believe in Jesus will never change. These facts were determined long before this universe was ever created.

God is forever Holy and righteous. His judgments are eternal as well as is His grace and love and mercy.

God knew that Mankind is ever changing and ever unrighteous. So He made a covenant with Jesus that Jesus will die of the sin of all mankind, and be raised from the dead. That whoever on earth believes and accepts this free gift, and confesses it, will have eternal life. This covenant cannot be broken because Man was not involved in it. It was a promise made between God and Jesus. If you have truly accepted Jesus as your lord and savior, then you are eternally secure in your salvation.

One earmark that sets aside all the Children of God from all the religious people is this, God’s children are ever in pursuit of God. They seek God at every turn. They acknowledge that God is right, and that we need to do things His way. They acknowledge that they are helpless.

 

TIRED OF THE BITTER FRUIT?

 

• Galatians 6:8 (KJV)

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

God is spirit. The Spirit of God is Holy, always, immutably so. If you want the fruit of goodness and holiness and peace, begin to think on the things of God. Persue Him with all your heart.

Start with the confession that you have built an idol you expected Him to bow down to.

Jesus said it best when He said:

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:48 NLT

What then shall we give? First, give your life to the Christ who exchanged all your sin for all His glory on the cross. Understand that, on the cross, everything evil, every sin, every heart ache, every act of selfishness, every wayward deed and thought, every act of stupidity, was poured into Him while the wrath of God was poured out on Him.

When you have done this business with God, allow the Spirit of God to dwell in you. The Holy Spirit will lead you to understand the ways of God and His will for you, starting with the fact that it is His will that no one should die. But He is also a God of eternal righteousness, and His judgment stands for eternity. You are already dead if you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior.

Evidence that this is not just some religious thing will present itself in the incredible change the Spirit of God has made in your heart. You will have no desire other than the desire to know God in all His entirety. You know this is true because you have personally seen the difference the Spirit of God has made in my own horrible life. I was a monster, and now I am His, and one who loves life, and one who loves humanity, one who gives, and one who blesses others. I could never have done thins myself. You know personally that I was a Pharisee, knowing the scriptures thoroughly, but living as if I were a child of Satan.

Learn the lesson my life can teach you, dear child. You want your life to change, but you do not want to know God the way he really is. You have made an idol of your own imaginations, and worshipped it as God. When your religious imagination did not fulfill all your whims, you blamed the real and eternal living God. That was stupid.

You can produce fruit of the Spirit only when Jesus has really and genuinely become your savior and Lord. You will pursue him, not out of religious obligation, but because God has completely changed you.

Dear heart, stop living the life you are living and getting mad at God because you are reaping what you sow. God will not wink at your sin, if He did, He would cease to be God.

Your life will produce good fruit if you will just stop what you are doing and believe.

I love you. I pray for you. But even God will not change the heart of one who refuses to listen. God cannot honor your rebellion.

Let’s be about it.

I Love You

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

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