Faith

When We Fall


Pro 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity. (Amplified, e-sword)

 

Peter hopped out of the boat, but let the waves scared him, causing him to forget to keep his eyes on Jesus. Peter cut off a man’s ear. Jesus rebuked Peter, and put that man’s ear back on. Peter denied Jesus 3 times. Later on, after the resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Peter, do you love me?” Peter refused to eat with the Gentiles. The Lord lovingly rebuked him, and taught him that it was OK, because He had opened the entire world up to receive the Gospel. And all things were now clean because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Paul led an army from the Temple in Jerusalem into all the land of Israel and surrounding territories to persecute, murder, torture, and commit many atrocities in the name of the God of the Pharisees. Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus. Jesus blinded and rebuked Paul. After he was healed, and the eyes of his understanding were opened, Jesus sent Paul into all of Europe and the Mediterranean to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. Throughout the Bible, we see that every man of God has fallen, and God lifted them back up.

All of these situations have something in common. When they fell the Lord rebuked them. When the Lord rebuked them, it was for their healing and understanding. Their ignorance of God’s way was stripped away and replaced with a better understanding of who and what the Lord is, and what God desires of all of us.

 

WE ALL FALL.

 

God did not bring that fall, you probably did. God will not judge you for that fall. All of God’s judgment and wrath was poured out on Jesus at the Cross. Because Jesus Christ is our Lord, we are not judged when we fall. God does not look down on you in scorn and say, “Well, you certainly deserved THAT!” Remember this scripture when you fall: Rom 8:1 THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. (Amp, e-Sword). The failure is not in the falling. The failure comes when we don’t learn the lesson God reveals to us through that fall.

I will use an example I heard Graham Cooke use at a church in Carrolton, TX. When a mother is teaching her baby to walk, and she stands the baby up, scoots back a bit, and holds out her arms, and says, “Walk to Mommy.”, and the baby takes a few halting steps, then falls and crawls the rest of the way to Mommy; Will that Mom get angry with the child and, in her scorn, tell the baby, “I told you to WALK! You fell down! I no longer love you because you don’t walk exactly as I do!” No! No mother who loves her child will do something that cruel.

God invites you to walk as His Son did. You take a few halting steps, yet you fall. Will God declare you unfit for His kingdom? Will he berate you for being a sinner, unworthy of His love? NO! God does not do that with His children. God loves us much more than any human could possibly love her child. God is Love, Joy, Peace, Forgiveness, Gentleness, Kind Hearted, Peaceable, Hope, and Redemption. To act any other way towards us, His children, would be out of His own character. God is teaching all His children to walk – toward Him.

 

WHEN WE FALL

 

You are not condemned by God.

Because we are seeking Him with all our heart; God will use this experience to take your understanding of Him to an even higher level. God is all about a relationship with you through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the ONLY way you can have a relationship with God. And Jesus, having become all sin that ever existed from eternity to eternity, understands what it is like to fall. He stands before God DAILY advocating on your behalf.

In your fall, you will experience the love, grace and kindness of God, through Jesus. You will learn that there is a difference between devotion to a person, and devotion to some principles or to a cause. Jesus didn’t come here proclaiming a cause. Any cause that replaces Jesus in your life, even if you think you are serving Jesus in it, is idolatry. Jesus came here to proclaim that your relationship with God is healed and renewed and available. The door to the Kingdom is open when we go through Jesus.

We are called out to a relationship, not a religion. We are called out to be made into the likeness of Jesus, as He is in Heaven. When we fall, we will be lifted back up by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. You are his beloved child. He loves you so much that He sacrificed His OWN beloved child so you can live.

We will fall, but when we do, God will reveal Himself in our circumstances, and show us what we need to learn from it, so we will grow stronger in a loving relationship with Him.

 

WHEN THE LORD LIFTS US UP

 

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. (Amplified, e-Sword)

God’s thoughts of you are exactly the same as He has for Jesus. You are His beloved. You are His prize. You are God’s very own child. You have inherited all that Jesus has because you have believed in Him.

God has woven plans for you from before the beginning of time, and nothing can stop Him from fulfilling it in you. God will lift you up, and set you on His path. You will know you are not condemned, and that you are greatly loved of God. Sometimes, the path God has planned for us gets tangled when we take matters in our own hands. Rest assured, this will not surprise God. You will never hear God say, “Man, I didn’t see THAT coming!” Your progress is in His timing. Your growth is His idea. You are the redeemed.

This is not a license to fall, either. The deeper your relationship with God grows, the less the things of the world will appeal to you. When you fall, and the Lord lifts you up, you will see a side of Him that offers you redemption in the area you fell. He will show you a higher level of life to live. He is all about upgrading us to a perfect relationship with Him.

Php 1:6 And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Amplified e-Sword)

You are God’s own handiwork, and He never tires of bringing you, lovingly, into the image of Christ.

 

WHEN YOU ARE REDEEMED

 

Remember what you were redeemed from. Remember who the redeemer is. When you meet someone in need, do not think that you are free to ignore that person. Don’t delude yourself by saying that, “He must be going through this because God is trying to teach him something, and he probably deserves it.” We have no right to judge what a person is going through, and we do not actually know. Only God knows. God just may have put that person in your path to see what YOU will do with the situation. Will you cross the street in order to remain clean, or will you dip your hands deep into the situation to show that person the only Godliness he may ever see? God’s redemption from any fall, from every fall, comes with gifts of love, grace, mercy, healing, and joy. When we experience these things, we are free to give them away to anyone who we run across. We are given generous measures of Grace. Grace is not ours to hoard. We give freely because we have been given freely.

 

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

 

When you fell, you weren’t abandoned by God. When the Lord showed up to heal your circumstances, He walked beside you and taught you what you need to understand, in order to overcome this situation. It is the Lord who will lift you up. This is the work of God. Left to our own devices, we would rather wallow in our failures and whine about them. As a child of the Living God, we do not have to fear being alone in our darkest hour. We can trust God that He will heal us and redeem us in our darkest times. The Lord will never abandon you or forsake you. No power in any part of the universe, or in heaven, or beneath, can tear you out of God’s hand. Be encouraged, my friend, when you have problems, or when you fall. After you pass through this dark place, you will walk out of it looking more like Christ. God will turn this darkness into daylight, and turn your curses into blessings, so that all men will see that God is good.

When we see others fall, we are to treat them in the exact same manner as God treats us when we fall.

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the love of Jesus Christ

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

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Faith

POWERFUL GRACE


10513399_10152600234320628_3221227884745986876_nTHE BURNING QUESTION

 

Have you ever prayed fervently for something, and got what you prayed for? I did, and it caused problems. The problem it caused is that I discovered I cannot serve two masters. I cannot have it my way, AND God’s way…not when my way does not harmonize with what it is God is trying to accomplish in my life. I discovered that what I had asked for was a compromise position on what it is that God wants to accomplish in the life of my family.

See, Sandy and I have been praying fervently that God grow us up, make real believers of us, and remake us to be the image of Christ.

I also asked God for something that I have been asking Him even before I came to know Him in a very real way, last August. Strangely enough, I got what I asked for. EXACTLY the way I asked for it.

At the time I did this, I didn’t know there was a big difference between what I want and what God wants for me.

It turns out that, God will place at your feet anything you ask, if you ask believing it will be done. The problem is that, you have to make sure that what you ask is what GOD wants to see happen in your life.

If what you get does not harmonize with the will of God for your life, then what you experience is going to end up being a painful experience. You will discover that you have to do things God’s way, your way, or someone else’s way.

Here is an example of what I am talking about. God called Abram of UR, out of UR to go to another land. Abram didn’t go right away. He was supposed to go when he was called. He was supposed to go alone, too. He waited, and then took his uncle, relatives and his half-sister, whom he married. He didn’t go to where God told him to go, either. Where he ended up quickly became a barren land and had a famine. God told Abram to go NORTH. Abram went SOUTH, to Egypt. THEN Abram lied to everyone and said the hot babe on his arm wasn’t his wife, but his sister. Eventually the truth would come out, and people would kick Abram out of the place, but offer him peace offerings for nearly committing adultery with his wife.

Foreigners had to tell Abram he was sinning against his own God. By this time, Abram is old, and has not seen the promise of a great multitude occupying the land. You know the rest of the story.

The point is, God called Abram, told him what needs to be done, and Abram did it his way. The Bible describes it this way: Pro 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. (e-SWORD).

Abraham did what he thought was the right thing to do based on his understanding of the circumstances. What he did, however, slowed down the progress that God had in mind. But, through it all, Abraham became a man of great faith, because he got to see what God can do INSPITE of Abraham’s interference.

Abraham got the promise, but it took a long time. None-the-less, God was directing Abraham’s steps out of the path Abraham chose, and led him back into the promise.

When we take matters in our own hands, we slow the promise of God down. Then we end up in a situation. If we are smart, we will stop and ask relevant questions of God.

“What are you trying to reveal to me, God?” “Where are you in this situation?” “What are you trying to show me now that I am listening, that you couldn’t show me because I was asking for my own way?” God could have, by his power, prevented what He allowed to happen by His wisdom. The reason is because God needs to reveal Himself in every aspect of your life.

TRUST IN THE LORD

 

When you can finally quiet your heart, you have to ask these questions, then be still and listen for His answers. He WILL answer. If you ask God to rescue you from the consequences of you having your own way, He may do that, too. However, He will see to it that the lesson is repeated until you finally catch on to what it is that God is trying to show you.

The Bible puts it this way: Pro 3:5 & 6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

I asked for what I wanted, and God let me have my way. I discovered that, having my way exposed several weaknesses in my character, and that I have a lot of growing up to do. God turned my selfishness into a blessing. Sandy and I pray constantly to be made like our Savior, Jesus Christ. If I ask for anything from God that contradicts His character, His will for us, or His vision of who we are in Heaven, then I have to be prepared to deal with the outcomes. Even then, God is not judging me. God has already fulfilled all his judgment in Christ Jesus.

God is going to use even my selfishness to teach me and upgrade me so that I can be better at understanding what it is that God wants us to do.

It is the way of the flesh to call someone out on their failings, and judge them and condemn them. It is God’s way to take your failings and call you up to a higher standard.

Through the power of God’s Grace, He will show you what it is you need to do. Through the power of His Grace, God will empower you to do that very thing.

THE OUTCOME

 

Sandy and I have not yet understood all the lessons we need to learn through our circumstances. But one thing we do know, He made a promise to us, and, one way or another, He will see to it that His promise in us is fulfilled in us.

We are called to serve God because of Jesus Christ. We feel the urgency of this call, and we have a burning fire in our hearts to obey. Now we wait quietly to see what God wants us to do next.

Your outcome is secure if you have genuinely given your life to God through Jesus Christ. God is calling all of Humanity to come home to a relationship with Him. We have had several millennia to see what life is like apart from God. Jesus Christ did for all of humanity what we are not able to do for ourselves. He became all sin, all failure, all disease, all things that formed a barrier between us and God, and, for our sakes He died of them. He became the judged. He was the sin eater. He went to hell on our behalf. And he rose again to prove he has the right to be called the Son of God.

Sandy and I want to be part of the team of messengers He will be sending out to reap the final harvest.

The outcome of even my failings is, I will grow to be just like Jesus Christ. This is God’s promise to you, too.

 

MY PRAYER FOR US ALL

 

Father God, I come to you in the name of Jesus, our Savior and Lord. I pray you give us all a vision of what needs doing, and the power of your Grace to get it done. Grow us all up to be just like Jesus Christ. Teach us to put aside all our vain imaginings, and selfish desire. Teach us daily how to be your Child. Make us into the image of Your Son, Jesus. Time is running out. The enemy is afoot, and we are too busy being religious and selfish to care what goes on around is, in front of us, and even because of us. Grant us mercy. Show us all your love and your will.

AMEN

Let’s Be About It!

I Love You

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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Faith, Observations

Lessons Love Taught Me


 

The old man sat on the swing under the large sycamore tree. It was his little slice of heaven, his place to sit and watch, to see what else nature could teach him. Ancient and strong, the sycamore’s branches stretched far and wide, shading a very large portion of his back yard. Sunlight filtered green and golden through the giant leaves that sheltered all that sat in her shadow. Years ago, he had hung that porch swing on the low, horizontal branch, itself large enough to be a tree trunk for a smaller tree. Just like that old tree, my grandfather was ancient and strong.

Grandpa Perkins had been a woodsman most of his life. Felling timbers for International Paper in Sarepta, Louisiana, he had worked hard all his life. When he had grown too old to be a woodsman, International Paper had him spend the last years of his work life cleaning out the chimney stacks at the mill. That was just as hard, and even more dangerous. There were no real “Safety” regulations back then. Safety meant getting the hell out of the way before a block of ash fell on your head because you jarred it loose cleaning the stacks. He had grown up in a hard world, and learned the ways of the woodlands, and earned his keep off that woodland. Even as an old man, he looked to me to be strong enough to snap two by fours with his hands.

Momma told me to wait until after grandpa had his coffee before I pester him. So, I stood at the back door, looking out the screen, waiting for him to put his cup down, signaling he will be receiving an audience. Grandpa had an old border collie, named “Pup”. That old dog stood guard while Grandpa drank his coffee. When he heard the cup settle down next to the old swing, he would turn and wag his tail at Grandpa, and receive a good scratching between the ears for being a good dog. Pup growled low at most people who came up, but he treated me like I was his best friend.

Momma told me not to go out there and talk Grandpa’s ears off. So, I walked out there quiet as a church mouse, and, after giving Pup a good solid hug, I crawled slowly and quietly in to that old porch swing and just sat there, as silent as a tomb. Grandpa, Pup, and I would sit like that for the longest time. No one moved. There was no talking. The only sound we heard were the sound of cicadas or a slight breeze jostling the leaves on his prize “Cane Pole Garden”, and the chickens clucking in the yard. There was hardly any reason for us to chat. Grandpa was a man of few words, but even if he were a chatterbox, it seemed like it wasn’t necessary for us to have to talk. It felt as if all our talking happened through our hearts.

Eventually, Grandpa would turn his tired blue eyes on me, squeeze my knee, and nod. It was the benediction on a long and silent communion we alone had shared. It was time to do the chores.

His property was small for that part of Louisiana, but a poor woodsman could barely feed his family, let alone have a good stretch of land. What he had, he made the most of. He had a garden, he had chickens, and he had his famous cane poles, growing along the fence line. Grandpa grew the strongest and straightest Bamboo Cane Poles in North Louisiana. People came from far and wide just to try to get one. He had over a hundred poles growing at a time, but very few of them passed his standard of what makes a really good cane pole. What other men would accept as passable, Grandpa threw in the fire for kindling. Our first chore was to cover our mouth and noses with damp cloth and cut down some of the Bamboo Canes. Cane fibers would get in your lungs if you didn’t protect your breathing. Those fibers were like tiny spears that could penetrate your lungs. We had to cover up so we wouldn’t inhale them.

After that, he would choose which ones were worthy of being a Grandpa Perkins Fishing Pole, and have me strip all the tiny branches and buds off the pole. I had no idea I was working hard, all I knew was that me and my Grandpa were doing stuff together. I didn’t care, I was happy as a pig in slop just being around Grandpa. He taught me how to keep a really good cutting blade and a really good chopping blade. You don’t just go up to Bamboo poles and start hacking away at them. There is a way to cut them down. It is an art, and done right, means less hard work, and more poles to dry and season. I was too small to cut the big poles, so Grandpa had me clear the little bamboo from between the big ones. He said they would never grow to be a good pole, so they had to go. It was my job to make them go away. I felt like a real lumber jack cutting down those poles.

Grandpa was a woodsman, and being a lumberjack was mostly what he did. He taught me how to pick the right axe for the job, how to sharpen the axe, and keep it sharp. Out there, in rural Louisiana, there was no going to Home Depot to get a new axe or axe handle. I still have one of his axes. The one with the home made handle. That handle is better built than any I have used from a factory. Trust me; I have broken many axe handles, except that one. Grandpa taught me several lessons on that. If you want it right, do it yourself. Otherwise, you can’t say a word about it. Protect your tools, and they will feed you.

He showed me the different ways of cutting wood, and what type of strike did the most good for the type of tree you are felling and cutting up. He said that a man has to keep good care of his axes and saws because they took care of him. Besides, dull and badly kept blades made for twice as much work for half the pay. I had no idea what that meant at the time; I was just overjoyed to be around him, and him letting me inside his world.

Grandpa was known for being an outstanding fisherman. Louisiana is “Fisherman’s Paradise”, and Grandpa was famous for knowing all the hidey holes where all the good fish were. It was his secret, shared with no one else but me and my big sister, Carol. We would go out while it was still dark. I was little, so Grandpa already had the boat hooked up to his old Ford truck, and warmed up. He sat me in the passenger’s side and I fell back to sleep. The next thing I know, we are at Bodcau Bayou, near Minden, Louisiana. After swearing me to secrecy, we would launch our john-boat out to those hidey holes. Grandpa taught me how to hold a pole and how to “hear” the fish through the line. He showed me how to set bait, how to cut bait, and what to do when I catch a fish. Catching the fish was the fun part. Cleaning it was another. But Grandpa taught me that God gave us fish so we can catch them, eat and enjoy them, and be happy. Grandpa was very happy about fish.

I didn’t set out to learn how to make fishing poles, or cut timber, or catch fish, or sharpen axes and blades. All I wanted to do was hang out with Grandpa because I loved him so much. Learning how he does things was a byproduct of that relationship. He loved me very much, and gave me good things; simply because I thought he was more important than all the fish in Louisiana.

 

Seeking the kingdom of God…and all these things.

 

God brought all this to my remembrance yesterday. I cried happy tears at all those sweet memories. To this day, I still do those thing he did because I loved being with him, and he was a good and gentle teacher. That is the message God is trying to get through our sheepish skulls. Do you love God for all the stuff he will give you, or do you just love God, and want to be with Him? Sandy and I are facing some challenges in our life, right now, and we have been praying our hearts out over them. That is when the lessons my Grandfather taught came to my mind. I never asked Grandpa for anything, I just wanted to be near him and love him.

Am I to the point where that is why I want to be with God, or do I want to be with God because I want stuff from Him? Either way you go, God will be there with you. The difference is, if you hang out with Him simply because you love Him, all the rest of the things you seek will simply happen as a consequence of His love for you. In the meantime, He will help you grow up to be just like His beloved Son, Jesus. After all, it was Jesus who introduced you to God.

Love God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength. Seek Him and His kingdom (Which happens to dwell in you already), and ALL these things will be added to you. You will be just like Jesus then. You might be the only Jesus people meet before they die.

 

Grandpa Perkins, with my Big Sister, 1952

 

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Faith

Trust In The Lord


"He trusted in God; let him deliver him now; if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God."—Matthew 27:43.

“He trusted in God; let him deliver him now; if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.”—Matthew 27:43.

Proverbs 3:5-6
King James Version (KJV)
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Do I trust in the Lord when the larder is full?
What about when there is no food?
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

Do I trust in the Lord while my friends laugh with me and pat my back?
Will I trust in the Lord when I am alone, and no help is in sight?
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

Do I trust in the Lord while the lights burn bright?
Will I trust in the Lord when the lights go out?
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

Do I trust in the Lord when my bed is right here?
Will I trust in the Lord when there is no place to sleep tonight?
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

Jesus had no place to lay His head,
no place to call His home, but He said;
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. – Psalm 28:7

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Faith, Observations

Reckless Abandonment


 

These are the free gifts of God, through Jesus Christ.

These are the free gifts of God, through Jesus Christ.

I rode 12 miles on my bike today. I know, that doesn’t sound like much, especially considering just a decade ago, 30 to 50 miles was my norm. Today, though, 12 miles was perfect for me. One thing bike riding does for me is burn out the extra energy I seem to collect. I am a physical/tactile learner, but I can be easily distracted if I don’t take time to get physical. I hung up my Superman Cape about a decade ago, so bike riding, I feel is the perfect way for me to blow steam. While I am busy working my rotund body, my mind is able to float free, get creative, imagine, explore, think, and sing. (My mind sings loud, when it sings…it comes with its own orchestra, too!) So, while the singing and orchestra was playing gently in the background (I love to take the Old Hymns and arrange them for a Solo singer, with vocal back ground, accompanied by a Knabe Baby Grand Piano, and the London Philharmonic. I KNOW! That’s a lot to put on one bicycle!)

Where was I… OH, singing quietly in the background… riding my bike. OK, so there was my mind, singing, flying high, praising God. My mind started looking at how far I have come since I first set out to ride around Pearland. Baby steps. I reflected on how much has changed in a year, in a decade, in my life. In my younger days, I was an adrenalin junkie. Suddenly, I realized when it began.

THE WELLS FAMILY REUNIONS

(Please wait while the Orchestra changes to nostalgic background music)

When I was little, the Wells Family Reunions were my favorite part of summer. Going to them meant seeing all my cousins, Uncles, Aunts, and my Grandmother Wells (A woman of God if ever there was one.) I haven’t thought about them in decades. Flashes of memory came to me…swimming like a tadpole in the big pool at the Carthage, Texas park. Next to the swimming pool is a large pavilion that can seat a couple of hundred people. We had picnic tables lined up everywhere, and food everywhere. After “Uncle Lindsey” gave his traditional (ONE HOUR LONG) blessing on our gathering, we dove into the food in supreme Southern Baptist Style. Herschel H. Hobbs would have been proud of this “fellowship”. After victuals, the Wells family participated in their favorite sport – GOSSIP. They way this worked is, all the hens sat at one group of tables, and all the men went outside to smoke and tell their balderdash about their triumphs and failures. After a few minutes or so, you had to rotate through the crowds, so you can catch up on any gossip you may have missed, and “share” the gossip you just heard. After a few minutes of this, we kids would decide that there had to be better adventures for us outside. If we dawdled, our momma would swat us on the hiney and tell us to “git!”. And we got.

When I was little, my big brother was the daredevil. So were my cousins, Jackie, Gary and Jeff. I was the observer. I really wanted to participate in their fun, but I was “the Brat”. During one of these reunions, I watched my brother and cousins and sister swinging on the swing set. From my perspective, they were flying high in the air. After flying so high, they jumpped out of their swings. The goal was to see who can fly the farthest. I wanted to do that, too. I would wait my turn, but my brother would say, “Scram, Brat!!”. And he would take the swing out of my hands. That was OK, it’s how brothers are. Things got better when we got older. But back then, I was just a Brat.

My Uncle Dan was my all time favorite Uncle. I loved him with a fierce love. I thought he was the funniest, most interesting person in the world. He was a sailor in WWII, and boy did HE have some stories! He could also tap dance like a fiend. He was able to make me laugh so hard my belly would hurt.

Uncle Dan must have seen me trying to break into the line at the swings. He came out and gave the big kids some money to go get a coke (In the South, in Texas, EVERY carbonated drink on earth is a coke, OK?). When they left, he asked me, “Wanna Swing?” I nodded my head yes. He picked me up and put me in the swing. He pushed me hard and I went higher than I had ever gone before. I laughed and screamed at the thrill of flying so high. He shouted, “Wanna fly like them (My cousins)?” I laughed “YES!”, and boy, did he push me really high. It scared hell out of me. I dug my feet into the ground on the down swing and hopped off. He asked me if I was scared? I told him I had never been that high before and it scared me. He told me, “Well, if you really want to fly, you have to try, and I promise to be there if you fall, OK, sport?” I said, “OK!”, and shook his hand. In those days, in the South, when a man shook your hand over a promise you made, it means that he believes you will keep that promise, and it means you absolutely keep that promise. A hand shake meant more to a man back then than it does today.

I got on my swing and screwed up all the nerve I could muster. Uncle Dan told me that, when he was on a boat in “The War, in the Pacific”, the air planes were shot right off the deck of the ship with a giant sling shot full of steam. Then he said, “Pretend you are flying that airplane, and I am the sling shot.” “Ready…Set…GO!”, And he pushed really hard, and made the sound of steam blowing out. He pushed me harder than I have ever been pushed before. And I was FLYING!

The exhilaration was magnificent. I couldn’t get enough. Uncle Dan must have pushed me forever, but he never grew tired. Eventually, I grew quiet. He asked me if I am still having fun. Uncle Dan was always about having as much fun as a person could have. He stopped the swing, and came around front. He asked me what I wanted to do now. I told him I want to jump from the swing, too, like the big kids. He looked me in the eye and said, “Well, a boy has got to earn his paratroopers badge.” He told me how to time my swing and jump, and how to fly my arms while I am air born, and how to land with my knees partially bent, and how to roll when I land. We pretended a few jumps, after which, he said, “Boy, I think you are ready to earn your wings.”

I was excited and scared, all at the same time. He reminded me, “Now lookie here; If you fall, I will catch you. OK?!?” I nodded my head. He counted down and pushed and made the steam blowing noise, and I was flying again. He said, “When I say GO, you bail out, cause the Japs have shot your plane full of holes! (I had no idea who the Japs were, but I trusted Uncle Dan.) He pushed me harder and harder, each time. I had NEVER been this high EVER, and I was beyond scared. Uncle Dan shouted, “GO!, GO!, GO!” and…

I ejected from my plane, flack filling the air as the Zeros buzzed past, firing their 30mm machine guns at me.

Then the reality hit me. I wasn’t over the Pacific, I was flailing upside down in mid-air in Carthage, Texas. I closed my eyes, put my arms over my head, and hoped for the best. I felt sick to my stomach as I fell, knowing I was going to hit the ground really hard. I was really scared, now. I had not yet, at this point in my young life, broken any bones, and I was imagining what all my broken bones will look like to my Mom, who would surely spank me for being so careless.

Uncle Dan caught me.

UNCLE DAN CAUGHT ME!!!!!

I laughed really hard at the relief of not splattering on the hard Carthage playground soil, and at the joy of knowing Uncle Dan was as good as his handshake said he was. He tickled me hard, and we laughed. Then he said, “You ready to go again??” I yelled, “YES!!!”. He said, “OK, but this time, I believe you can land on your feet. Wanna try?” I was not afraid anymore. I knew that if Uncle Dan saw I was in danger, he would catch me, like he did last time. That was the first time I ever knew that it was OK to make a mistake. Uncle Dan was going to be there to catch me. I became fearless. I wanted to show Uncle Dan I was fearless, that I was a big boy, and was ready to jump out of any old airplane. And I did, over and OVER until I think Uncle Dan was exhausted.

He stopped the swing and said, “I think you earned your wings, young man! Lets go celebrate in the pool with a coke.” And we did. I learned that, sometimes, you just have to have a joyful sense of reckless abandon in order to Accomplish your goals.

BACK ON THE BIKE

(As Josh Groban steps up to the mike, the orchestra plays the opening to “You Lift Me Up”)

By this time, I had ridden eight miles. I was on the return leg from Hwy 288, and I needed to stop at the 3rd Pond from home, and rest. The sun didn’t feel THIS hot when I left the house. Things started to go black, so I got off the bike and sat down. When I came too, and I could see again, I grabbed my water bottle and drank it dry. As I sat, feeling the cool breeze blowing off the pond, I thought about that family reunion and my Uncle Dan. That must have been, I dunno, 50 years ago? I couldn’t remember. But I remembered how brave I felt because Uncle Dan helped me learn to jump out of the swing. I sat and thought about all the daring things I have done since those days. I learned from Uncle Dan that I can do it if I believe I can do it. I don’t have to be afraid.

That is when it hit me.

I am a very young Christian. I know that because of the exchange that took place on the cross, Jesus took away all my sin and failure, and anything that separates me from God , and became all those things, and died of them. Jesus promised me that, now that I am a Child of God, I have all His inheritance, and that as long as I seek God and His kingdom, that:

John 14:26 – New International Version


the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” – Jesus

and

Romans 8:15 – New Living Translation


So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”” – Apostle Paul

I know now that, no power of hell, or fear of man can pluck me from my Father’s Hand. I now know, HE will be there to catch me when I fall.  I can grow in all ways to be like Christ. This doesn’t mean I will never fall, but it DOES mean the Holy Spirit of God will be there when I do.

Romans 8:1 – English Standard Version


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Apostle Paul

God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit will not condemn you, call you a failure, or judge you when you fall.  God has already poured all his wrath out on Jesus at the Cross.  In God’s eyes, you are His innocent Child, covered by the blood of Christ, filled with the Faith of Christ (Galatians 2:20), and filled with the Holy Spirit of God.  He will teach you how to fly, and how to land on your feet.  He will grow you up in all ways to be like Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior, and our Brother.  God the Father is not like an earthly parent who will condemn and criticize you when you fail, but He will demonstrate His love toward you and raise you up to be just like Jesus, His only begotten Son.

We are heirs and adopted children of God, and nothing in Heaven, on Earth, or anywhere else,  can take us away from Him.   No religion on earth can do for you what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Your religion says there always be one more thing, one more level, one more way to tell you that you still have to prove your worthiness to the Living God. Religion will give you an opinion of God.  Religion will give you the rules you must follow to please God.  This is all any religion can do for you.  God is our Father. When Jesus said, on the Cross, “It Is Finished”, all judgment on you stopped.  All that is left is the Grace and Mercy and Love of God toward you.  God loves you and accepts you right now, just as you are. You do not have to change one thing to come to God. All you have to do is believe:

 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  –  John 3:16 – 17 – Words of Jesus, the Savior of Mankind.

There is no other message for mankind on this earth. This is THE truth.

I am free to trust God in all things. I am free from the judgment of Man. I am free from the wages of Sin and Death. I am all that God says I am. I am an Heir with Jesus. I am righteous because of Jesus. I live in abundance through the faith Jesus has placed in me. I plant my tiny seed of faith in the garden of Jesus’ faith, and grow a mighty tree. I do not have a theological opinion of God, I have a relationship with the Living God, my Father, through Jesus Christ.  Jesus came here to destroy all barriers between you and God. He came to re-establish the relationship we lost in the Garden of Eden.

If you will accept him, You will be a new creation. (II Corinthians 5:17). You can trust with reckless abandonment that God is your Father, that you are His child, and the Holy Spirit will be there to catch you, and will teach you to be just like Jesus. IF you will accept this one and only truth.

Let’s be about it!

I Love you because God loved me.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Happy Father’s Day


I love you with all my heart.

I love you with all my heart.

1 Peter 1:3 ESV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”

I knew from childhood that you were there, but everyone told me to be afraid of you.

I was scared that you would “Get me for that”.

I wanted to please you so I became as religious as I could.

I never found you in my religion.

Then I met your Son.

He wasn’t mad at me.

He didn’t scold me.

He loved me.

I asked him why.

He smiled at me and said:

John 14:10 ESV

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

Then He breathed on me, and I believed.

Now I get it, God.

Just as you are Jesus’ Father, you are now my father, too.

In order to show us how much you love us, you had to send your own Son here:

To live among us.

To show us your likeness.

To die in our place for the fall.

And to rise again to show us that,

if we will simply understand,

if we will simply accept this free gift,

we are already saved, redeemed, and healed, and loved of God.

If we will simply understand that this is free, because you love us, and you did this for us.

John 3:16 ESV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

I do believe, now, Father.

I believe not because others tell me I must.

I believe because I met Him, for real.

What He is showing me about you takes my breath away.

You love all of us on Earth.

You are not mad at us.

Jesus paid the price for anything and everything that stands between us and you.

All we have to do is accept this gift, this free gift.

Where religion hid your love from me, Your Son revealed it.

What gift can I give to You, Father, that would show and demonstrate what an amazing love I have for YOU?

All I have is me.

That I willingly give to you.

I love you, my Father.

I love you.

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Faith

Open your eyes and look at the fields


Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.  John 4:35

Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest. John 4:35

Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.  The reaper is already receiving pay and gathering fruit for eternal life, so the sower and reaper can rejoice together.  For in this case the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’  I sent you to reap what you didn’t labor for; others have labored, and you have benefited from their labor.”

 

We will spend a lot of our lives asking “Who Am I?”.  We will spend another significant amount of time asking ourselves “Why Am I?

About 11 months ago, I was exposed to an answer to those questions.

My life has not been the same since.   I have been many things in this life: A theatre lighting specialist, an actor, a musician, a model, a student Architect and drafts-man, an electrician, a programmer, a project manager, a seminary student, an evangelist.  I have been many other things that do not bear discussion or revelation here.  I was, through it all, at best, very religious, or at worst, very evil.  Through none of it, did I have a clue who I am in Christ, or why that matters.  My acknowledgement of Christ was cultural.  I grew up in the Bible Belt, and being a Southern Baptist was what we did.  What I learned that Seminary had more to do with promoting the “Baptist Faith and Message” than learning how to be a servant of the Lord.  Even if I was taught anything about the relational aspects of Jesus, I was not in a place where that made sense.  I was there because my religious ambitions out weighed my need to understand the work of the Cross.  I tell you this to let you know, I am not writing as anything other than what happened to me 11 months ago.  I am writing as a new believer, who has finally understood what the whole meaning and purpose of the Cross is, and have finally understood and accepted where I am in God’s eyes.  I am writing because, I have literally been there and done that, and survived to tell you what a glorious and loving God we serve.  I write to tell you who you are and can be in Jesus. 

I am also writing to remind myself that, if my new life does not serve to lead the lost to the Lord, and help and uplift my fellow believers, then I am in serious need of an “Upgrade From God”

 

And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remoulded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him (JESUS) Who created it.” – Apostle Paul – Ephesians 2:8 ESV

“I am just a Mom.”, “I am the Sales Manager”, “I am a bicycle mechanic”, “I am a gardener”.

Yes, you are these things.  This is true.  There are many things that are true about you.  But I want to share with you THE TRUTH about who you are in Christ Jesus.

The first thing I am going to ask you to do is watch this video, it will be worth your time.

Wasn’t that good?  Your truest identity is as a Child of the Living God, because of Jesus Christ.  You are still a Mom, or a Sales Manager, or whatever it is you do, but now you are in Christ who is in you.  Your identity is now Jesus’ identity.  And it is the Holy Spirit’s job to grow you up to be Just like Jesus.

When Jesus Christ was placed on the Cross, He was placed there on our behalf.  While He was on that Cross, He became ALL sin, ALL failure, ALL things that are wrong with the fallen world and not part of God, and BECAME those things.  When he became all sin, past present and future, God then poured out ALL his anger, ALL His wrath, ALL Judgement onto Jesus.  Jesus was separated from God for the first time in His life,  which is why he shouted out:

Mark 15:34

English Standard Version (ESV)

“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

When all the wrath of God was expended on Jesus, Jesus died.  God’s judgement was satisfied.  The price for the fall of mankind was satisfied.  When Jesus said “It is finished”, he was telling you and me that all sin and debt to God is paid for, and that HE just paid it.  This was the covenant God made with Jesus Christ.  In return for this, we were given all that Jesus is; His inheritance, His favour before God, ALL that Jesus is, we inherited and share with Him,  making us the perfect gift of God to become the Children of God.  We are saved by GOD’S grace, and not that of our own flesh, but by Jesus faith in the covenant of God.

When you accepted this as true, in your heart, in your very soul, you were crucified with Christ (See Galatians 2:20).  And the life you now live in the flesh is by the faith OF the Son of God, who lives in you. It is Christ’s faith that is at work in you.  Your tiny faith, your mustard seed faith, has to be planted in the rich soil of Jesus’ faith that dwells in you.

Christ proved he has authority over life and death when he raised himself from the dead.   Before that, He marched into hell, took the keys from Satan, and preached Salvation to the captives in hell, and set them all free from the wages of sin and death.  When you confess with your mouth, speaking it out-loud, as your true confession, you are risen with him.

You are no longer dead.  You are now that New Creation that rose in the newness and likeness of Christ Himself.  (See II Corinthians 5:17).

It is time to put down all the old clothes and baggage that belonged to your old self.  That stuff belongs to Jesus, now.  He died for it, and it no longer is your property.

We are called to put on the new creation that we are.   How do we do this?  Simple, WE CAN’T!

It is the Spirit of God, who is sent to fill you that does this.  You just have to drop all that old stuff and let the Spirit teach you what it means to be like Jesus.  As you see the difference between your old self and the new self, you will grow to despise, at first, your old self.  The more you become like Jesus, you will learn to forgive your old self, just as the Father has forgiven you all your sin.  And the more you become like Jesus, you will eventually forget who you were before Jesus.  When that happens, the Holy Spirit will grow you to be exactly like Jesus Christ.  Our identity in Christ is supposed to become so strong that, eventually, and this is our mission, when people look at you, all they will see is Jesus at work in you.

You are unique, and different from everyone on earth.  We are all unique, just like everyone else!   (Insert laugh here.) God made you as you are so that you will be able to prove God did not want a bunch of robots serving Him.  The Jesus that will shine out of you will be displayed through all the things that make you unique.  Are you a Mom?  Then you are a Mom in the image of Jesus.  Are you a Sales Manager?  Then you are a Sales Manager who is in the image of Jesus.  This way, the millions and millions of unique Christians around the world will all have one thing in common.  We are all in the Likeness (Character) of Christ, Himself.  THIS is why we are still on the earth after we are saved.  We have something important to do in our little corner of Earth.

As this happens, you can share with other people who are struggling with the same stuff your old self struggled with, and show them how to be set free of all that baggage.  The Love and Grace and Mercy of God keeps growing in you, and the more this happens, the more like Jesus you will become, until there comes a time where your presence in a crowd will make a difference in someone’s life.

We were not made into the Children of God just to start a religion, or to form an exclusive club.  Our churches, however, come across that way to the lost, and to the saved who do not know just how free they are.  They are already free if they will accept it.  They are already forgiven if they will just accept what Christ did for them on the cross.  They are going to be made in to the image of Christ, just as you are, if they can be taught how to rest in the finished work of the cross.  THAT is why we fellowship, that is why we support each other in prayer and with our material possessions, and THAT is WHY you were not raptured the second you became a Child of God.

LOOK UP!  Crawl out of your comfort zone.  Forget political correctness. Stop trying to be a people pleaser.  Stop trying to be the most important thing in your heart. (Matthew 22:36-40 NIV)

The more like Jesus the Holy Spirit makes you, the more you will want others to know about this amazing, powerful and free gift.  We have to look up from our little world to see the larger world around us.

This is the lesson I am learning today.  I have to allow the Spirit of God to cause me to love others as much as Jesus loved me.  I have to learn to care about others just as God cares about me.  I have to be willing to step out of my comfort zone and be brave enough to declare to anyone that Jesus Christ is Lord of Life and Death, and that you are forgiven, and that you are free from the wages of sin and death, if you will accept it.  I am called to serve Christ.

We don’t need to tell sinners that they are sinners.  They already know this because they are never satisfied with who they are or with what they have.  And they covet what others have.  The lost may not have any idea that sin exists, but they know intuitively that something is just not right.

We do not win them to Jesus by pointing out that they are sinful.  We lead them to Jesus by living and sharing the very same Grace that Jesus shared with us.  We give them the Love of God, that lives in us.  We meet them where they are, not where our religion says they have to be.  When they see Jesus they will automatically understand they are sinners.  Then the rest is up to them. They will either want to know how to change, or they will reject your message.  All you have to do is tell them, unflinchingly, THE TRUTH..

We are citizens of a Kingdom that is not of this world.  In a very short time, we will all be going there, one way or another.  Who do you know that you would love to see there with you?  And what about the people who hate you?  Love them.  Hate cannot exist long in the presence of Love.  Hate always loses.

Jesus said that “If I be high and lifted up, I will draw all nations to me”.  Jesus lives in you.

So here’s the big question I have been asking myself for a couple of weeks.  Who am I in Heaven?  Why am I still here?  What does God want me to do?  And how will I support my family while I am doing it?

The answer is very simple to hear, but may be difficult to labour into the rest of.  Seek first the Kingdom of God, and HIS righteousness, then all these things will be added unto you.  ALL things includes ALL things.  The good news is, if you are a Christian, the righteousness of Christ is already in you.  If it doesn’t shine and flow out of you as living waters, then the Holy Spirit has work to do to unblock the channels that will flow.  Submit to that urge you feel, and follow Christ.  You will be amazed how beautiful and marvelous the world is when you look at all the fields you get to help harvest.

Lets Be About It!

I love you,

 

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith, Observations

“…but their hearts are far away”


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

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

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

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

“Come talk with me”, said the Spirit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Come talk with me”, said the Spirit. 

I am irresistibly drawn to His voice.

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

“Here I am, Lord”

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

“OK, Lord, I’ll do it.”

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

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

“OK, Lord, I’ll do it.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How was the ride?”   “Amazing”  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cure for Anxiety

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

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

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

 

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Faith, Observations

The Truth WILL Set You Free! – Introduction


Leave This at the Feet of God

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

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

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

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

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

 A Lesson on Personal Behavior.

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

 How you behave is every bit of your business.

All behavior is an expression of your beliefs.

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

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

STOP BEING STUPID!

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

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

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

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

We can start learning by asking ourselves the following questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s Be About it!
David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith, Observations

Albert Einstein

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

― Albert Einstein

Adversity Happens.

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

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

Psalm 119:67 ESV

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

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

You recognize that you are afflicted.

You know that you brought this on yourself.

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

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

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

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

Here you go:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then act on it.

“Let’s Be About It!”

I love you.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

Change Your Life

Aside
Faith, Observations

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Heart Dictates How You See

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

WELL INTENTIONED DRAGONS

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

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

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

THAT IS WHEN I FOUND IT!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IF YOU LISTEN

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you,

David Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Let’s be about it.

 

 

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Faith, Observations

Test of Authenticity


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

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

 

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you in Jesus Name…

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

David G. Perkins

 

 

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Faith, Observations

Unrelentingly Relentless


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

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

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

Do Not Grow Weary

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

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

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

re·lent·less

riˈlentləs/adjective

adjective: relentless

1.

oppressively constant; incessant.

“the relentless heat of the desert”

synonyms:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT AM I WILLING TO BE RELENTLESS ABOUT.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, Let’s Be About It!

I love you in the name of Jesus Christ.

David G. Perkins

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Faith, Observations

The Looking Glass


In my dreams.  Photo by E. Tom Hussey

In my dreams. Photo by E. Tom Hussey

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

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

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

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

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

What the mirror in my mind ells me.

What the mirror in my mind tells me.

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

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

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

IN THE BEGINNING

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

AFTER THE FALL

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

THEN CAME JESUS

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

The Image of Christ

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

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

THE EXCHANGE

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

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

II Corinthians 3:18

It is all a matter of what we focus on.

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

Philippians 2:5-8  

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

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

We are transformed in to the image of Christ

We are transformed in to the image of Christ

Let’s Be About It!

I love you in the Name of Jesus

David G. Perkins

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Faith, Observations

What Were You Looking For?


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

Philippians 4:8-9 ESV

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

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

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

I hope so.

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

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

 

“HOW DID YOU DO IT?”

I’m glad you asked. I didn’t.

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

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

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

 

GUARD YOUR THOUGHTS

 

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

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

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

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

You will always get what you are looking for.

Let’s be about it

I love you all,

David G. Perkins

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

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Faith

Transition States: Leaving Missouri


hands-heart“I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.” – Philippians 4:12 HCSB

What a difference a year makes.

This year represents several transition events.  Going from:to in many areas of my life, has been the way of 2013.

From being employed to knowing unemployment.

From having plenty to having nothing.

From having a home to being homeless.

From having plenty to eat, to wondering how to feed my family.

There have also been some outstanding transitions, as well.

From hating life to loving life.

From being alienated from God to understanding that God loves me.

From fear to assurance.

From hate to love.

From death to life.

From being unemployed in 2013, to starting my new job in 2014.

From the death of the old self, to the birth of the new self.

From losing useless friends to gaining real and meaningful friendships.

Now, we are going from Missouri to Texas.

These last 11 years in Missouri are a mixed bag of great memories and some sot so great ones.  Mostly, being here has given me the opportunity to be refined in a way I doubt I would have known had I been living where I wanted to live.

During my spate of unemployment, I sent out over 500 resume, and applied for several hundred jobs.  It wasn’t until I gave up trying and asked God to take over this process that I got a job.  I asked God to do this, and within 3 minutes of my praying that, I had my first phone interview with a company I had not applied to.  The company is located in the opposite direction from where I wanted to move my family.

Sandy witnessed all this.  She saw her husband go from being a monster, to becoming a child of God. These last 9 months of unemployment have been the most productive months I have ever lived through.

I am now a child of God.  I am the redeemed through the finished work of the cross.  I have faith, hope and love, literally for the first time in my life.  Anger is a vague and distant memory for me.  Love is the theme in my heart.

The work Christ did on the cross satisfied all the Law and Prophets of the Old Testament.  There is nothing that can be added to it, and nothing that can be taken away from it.  It is finished.

My prayer for you, for 2014 is this:

I pray that you learn what I learned.  That God is not mad at you.  That you are loved by the being that created the entire universe.  That, on your behalf, Jesus Christ became every sin that ever existed and will exist, and absorbed all the wrath of God in judgement for becoming all of sin.  Jesus died of all our sin so we can live.  An exchange took place on the cross.  Jesus took all that had become our inheritance: sin, death, disease, and hell, and in exchange for that, He gave us His inheritance:  Life, Love, Healing, wholeness, His Kingdom and His Father, our God.

I pray for you to discover that when Jesus rose from the dead, He gave you the power to rise, a new creation, with Him.  I pray that you understand that all you have to do to be saved is understand in your heart what Jesus did, and accept it, and confess it with your mouth.

I pray for the same transition I had, from death to life, from hopelessness to hope, from despair, to joy, from being lost to knowing you belong to God, and nothing can take it away from you.

The Kingdom of Heaven is in you, and God dwells in you, and the Spirit of the Living God empowers you when you make this transition.  No religion ever brought you this.  It is not a religion, but a relationship.

I look forward to this new life we will live in Texas.  Sandy and I are going to get certified and ordained in the Ministry.  I am going to work for my new employer as if I were working for God Himself.

I am going to give and give and give all that God has given me.

I pray that you prosper and grow in the Lord in 2014.

I am glad I have experienced 2013 in all its various shades of joy and despair.  I would not have learned that, no matter what state I live, whatever my condition, God is my father, and He provides.  I will cherish 2013 for the rest of my life, and remember Missouri with fondness.

My next blog will be written in Texas.  I look forward to sharing the adventures God will be taking Sandy and I on.

God bless you in 2014.

Love

David Perkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith

Thank You God


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:2 HCSB

1:2 χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

GRACE – χάρις – Transliteration: charis  Pronunciation: khä’-rēs   Part of Speech: feminine noun

Outline of Biblical Usage
GRACE:  a free gift.  God’s ability.  grace is that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech good will, loving-kindness, favour of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues, what is due to grace, the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace, the token or proof of grace, benefit, a gift, bounty,thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward
PEACE – εἰρήνη – Transliteration: eirēnē   Pronunciation: ā-rā’-nā   Part of Speech: feminine noun

Outline of Biblical Usage
a state of national tranquillity, exemption from the rage and havoc of war
peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord, security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous), of the Messiah’s peace, the way that leads to peace (salvation)
of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is, the blessed state of devout and upright men after death
from – ἀπό Transliteration: apo   Pronunciation: ä-po’   Part of Speech: preposition

Outline of Biblical Usage (In the context of this sentence):
of origin
of the place whence anything is, comes, befalls, is taken
of origin of a cause

Dear God,

How do I tell others what a magnificent thing you have done in me?

Where a cauldron of angry fire once lived deep in me, now exists a calm peace, a tranquility that can come only from you. God, you have seen me struggle for decades with my overwhelmingly sinful nature, yet, in a day, in a single hour, your gift of love was poured into my heart, and I now know peace, love, joy, harmony, the stillness of soul only you can bring.

The first thing your word taught me is that you are not angry at me, but that you love me infinitely.  You proved this when You sent Jesus.

This changed me.

Where I was unable to change, your gift of love to me made me able to receive. In receiving, I became a new creation. There was no self to repair once I understood that, because Jesus died, my self died with Him. The “Me” that used to be no longer exists. The echo of memories are only a dim note, drowned out by your beauty, grace and love.

When I understood that, when Christ rose from the dead, so did I; This new man was born the day I understood that I have a new life in the risen Christ.

What words or actions can you lead me to that will help others know that you can change them, just as you have changed me?

There are those who knew me before this change, and they know me now that I have changed. Let your love so shine in my soul that they will understand that this is real, and it is all because of You, Lord God. Because of Jesus’s sacrifice, the sinless one who became all sin and shame, I, a terribly sinful one, full of darkness and corruption, became holy and acceptable to you. I accepted this free gift of your grace. Not that I can brag or draw attention to me, but that, because of the wonderful thing you have done in me will lead others to the cross of Christ.

I know people will only believe what they only want to believe, there is nothing I can do about them. But, Lord, even with them, let the light of your love and grace be so full and alive in me that even they will see, and have to choose whom they will believe.

What joy and wonder you have written on my heart, Dear God. Thank you for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Thank you for the great exchange that makes me wholly acceptable to you, dear God. I have all the promise living in me, and all sin is forgiven and destroyed. Your mighty work defeated all the darkness in the universe.

All we have to do is accept this free gift.

Dearest God,

Make me an instrument of the Gospel of Peace. Let my life be the grace and love that was Jesus’ life. No matter where I go, no matter what I do, let me always remember what you have done for me.

I love you, Dear God, because of the life of Jesus that is now abiding in me. I am complete, and lack nothing. You prove to me daily that you are all my provision. Where I was homeless, I now have a home. Where I was unemployed, I now have a job. Where I was penniless, you have provided all I need.

The greatest thing, though, you have given me, Lord, is eternal life. So, I ask, Dear Lord, that you take my life and make it your instrument of the Gospel of Peace.

I thank you and praise you, God, because of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

ROMANS 12:1 – Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. HCSB

Let’s be about it.

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Faith

Exchanging Gifts


Isaiah 40:31 – But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 can also be translated, “They whose hope is in the Lord will exchange their strength (with Him … by inference).

Throughout the Bible, God shows us that He is trading our small, weak things for His great and mighty things.  He has taken us from slavery to freedom, from the wilderness, to a promised land, from famine to feast, from weakness to glory.

Jesus traded His kingdom for our Hell.  On the cross, Christ became all our sin, sickness, death, and curse so we can have His holiness, health, life and blessing.  He became all sin so we can have no sin.  The simple act of accepting this gift, in our heart, and confessing Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, who died for you and rose on the third day, makes you alive again.

The exchange is simple and irrevocable to any who will accept it.  His life for your death.  All he was, He gave to you.  In exchange, you gave Him all you were; your sin, your disease, your death, your curse.  Now, if you will simply accept this gift from Him, you are a son of God   You are the righteousness of Christ, you are whole, you are clean, you are acceptable in the eyes of God.  You are loved.  You were loved long before you even understood that God loves you.  God reached across all time and eternity and gave the life of His only begotten son in exchange for your life.

You now have eternal life, if you will accept this exchange.  It is free.  There is nothing you have to do to earn this gift.  Christ already did that.

This is God’s gift to us:  Jesus Christ.

When Jesus became Sin, you became Holy.  When He died, your old sin self died too.  When He rose from the dead, you rose with Him, and are now eternally His.  You are blessed.

 
God gives good gifts.  
 
 
I love you
sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com
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Faith, Observations

Transition States: Laboring to Rest


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YOUR HEART HAS EYES, TOO.

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

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

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Faith, Observations

Transition States: Saving Grace is Sustaining Grace – Revisited


Grace is Sufficient

 

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

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

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

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


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

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

That is a very good question.

The short answer is:  YES!

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

The long answer is:

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

YOU BELIEVE:

There IS a God.

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

God sent His Son into a sinful world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THEN WHY DOES MY LIFE BLOW CHUNKS?

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

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

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

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

It is all about how you look at things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s be about it.

I love you,

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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