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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Thou Art The Potter


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Father disciplines the one that He loves.

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

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

Let’s be about it!

I love you in the Name of Jesus.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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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

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

Me and My Big Mouth


If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless . James 1:26

This is a tough topic.  I want to tell you a story.  Before I do, though, I want to say something from my heart.  

The subject of controlling the tongue is difficult for me.  My passions run very deep.  When I experience a thing, I tend to experience it all the way down to my toes, and deep in my soul.  I am only just now learning the discipline of the tongue.  I am not like Christ in this regard.  I am swift to speak, and slow to listen.  So, my writing about this topic is from fresh experience.  I am guilty of the very thing that I despise about religious people. Religious people lack self-control. They do not allow  God guide their tongue in love and wisdom, instead of in haste, which leads to harm.  I cannot throw stones when I am as guilty as those who do not belong to God.  If I am to grow to be like Christ, I must submit my passions and my tongue to His lordship.  It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that a person can overcome the evil the tongue can generate.  If we are to be like Christ, and want to tell others we are the Children of God, then we must be willing to submit even our favorite sin to God.  This i snot something we can do for ourselves.

For all those whose bodies lay on the ground in my quest for self righteousness, please forgive me for being a fool.  God is not interested in my self-righteousness.  He is interested in me having His righteousness.

“A tale bearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” Proverbs 11:13

I know a man who used to live one county away from where I live.  He had a walk with the Lord, but life got in the way, and he didn’t submit to the will of God, and he did things his own way.  The end result is, he sinned against his own family.  He knew after the fact that he had sinned.  He called it sin.  He confessed this sin.  He grieved for his sin.

The people who he knew, who were sincere in their faith, who went to church, who prayed, who tithed, who spoke often of the love of God, and His grace, who were worship leaders and preachers and deacons, these people shunned him, and hated him because they genuinely loved his family, and hated what he had done.  He wanted to talk to someone, anyone, about this, and how to return to God, to seek forgiveness, to know the joy of fellowship.  He couldn’t find any one in his town who would help him, and counsel him, and lead him back to the grace of God.  He became the target of their hate, instead.  This didn’t need to happen.  But it happened because one of the fellowship could not wait to spread this juicy bit of gossip to the other believers, who also loved this man’s family.

In their fervor to be supportive of this man’s family, the spoke curses on this man, they openly held him in contempt.  They advised his wife to abandon him.  The pronounced he was not worthy of their fellowship.

Eventually, because of the loose tongues of two of his wife’s relatives, the entire community had heard about it.  The story was repeated with all the vileness of the sin glorified, and with all the righteousness as if they were God.

This man felt alone and hopeless, by this time.  No one would befriend him.  He found a couple of Christian men he thought he could befriend, but eventually, the wagging tongues of the “faithful” reached these men’s ears, and they decided it would be best to not be friends after all.

By this time, he felt that, if so many Christians were condemning him, then so must God be condemning him.   he wondered how he will ever return to God, if he is being so rejected by people who represent Him.

His hopes were raised, one day, when he found someone who would actually pray with him.  He finally had made a friend.  But before two days had passed, this new friend had his ears bent by one of the Christians who hated him.  That new friend told him that he was no longer welcome to come see him.

Rejected again by Christians, he believed he was beyond redemption.  He took up drinking with a commitment.  He knew this, too, was wrong, but he felt that he was too far gone from God to be redeemed.  After all, most of the Christians he knew were telling him that.

He gave up.  He withdrew his heart completely.  People would not hire him anymore, so he kept having to go from job to job.  He would be at a job for a while, but, eventually, his employer heard about what a terrible man he was, and found a way to let him go.  By this time, the sin he had committed had been embellished.  Over time, it took on the landscape of more than what had actually happened.  He heard many terrible things that were being said about him.  The hate the Christians showed him merely amplified with every retelling of this sin, that, by this time, had happened Severn years ago.  It grew like a cancer.

Every now and then, he would try to talk to these believers about what to do to return.  Their contempt had grown to the point that they told him he would be better off dead.  these people kept trying to break up the marriage.  They kept telling him he needs to get out-of-town, and never return. They were speaking death into his life, and into his marriage.  It got so that, they damage they were doing was far worse than the damage he had done in the first place.  These people wouldn’t leave his wife alone about it, and continuously discouraged her attempts to heal her home.  They almost caved in to the wagging tongues of these people, but somehow, they continued to work through all the noise and despair these people were encouraging in his wife.

Today, they are healed, and healing.  But it was not because of any effort of the believers who kept wagging their tongues, keeping the pain stirred up.  The were actually not happy that she had the strength and courage to work at this relationship with him.  All they wanted was vengeance.  All they wanted was their sense of justice.  And they wouldn’t let up on her, even though healing had begun in her home.

I got to watch all this, and I had several long talks with this man.  He was in a very dark place.  His wife was torn between taking the advice of this fellowship of Christians, or standing her ground and continue to fight for a promise she believed in .  The spoke death to her, but her faith in God spoke life.  She persevered through all the darkness and difficulty, and saw God do a wondrous work in this man’s life.  Yes they still spoke death.  He drew near to the Lord, and let the Lord deal with him and his sin.  Yet they spoke death.  They preached about a grace they did not practice.  they spoke about a love they refused to show.  They spoke about forgiveness, but didn’t forgive what they had already condemned.

Today, this man is becoming a powerful Christian.  he has given his heart, Mind, Soul, Strength to the Living God.  he often asks me what it will take before these other believers will stop gossiping about him, and start rejoicing that he is genuinely saved, and that God is working a wonder in his life.

I told him I had no idea.  It is hard to tell with people who love to hate, and love to spread death with their mouths.  I told him that, all he could do was keep obeying God, and stop worrying about all these well-intentioned dragons.  This is hard.  I even wanted to hate these people, but I don’t.  I love them.  I could see that this man loved them too, with a deep abiding love.  Only God could do this to a man like him.

I felt a searing pain in my own heart.  How many times has my tongue led me to cause harm?  How often have I been so self-righteous that all I could speak is distension and hate?  I cannot throw stones at those Christians who continuously showed such a lack of understanding of the will of God.  How often had I been so in love with my opinion that I didn’t take the time to see what God and His word had to say about it?  When did I forget that, for the grace of God, there go I.  I get religious just like everyone else, on occasion.  It is only when I am sensitive to the will and voice of God, that I remember that He showed me love and mercy and grace when I least deserved it.  I could easily plead that “That is just how I am!”.  But that is no excuse to the Living God.  We are born with a personality and a character.  Our character reflects who we live for.  Our character is expressed through our personality.  When the Holy Spirit comes in to you, He will replace your Character with God’s, as you submit to Him.  We are created in His image (We look like him) and in His likeness (We were supposed to act like him).  When sin became our inheritance, we lost God’s character and traded it for a cheap imitation.  When we believed in Jesus Christ as both Savior and Lord, then the Spirit of God moved in to make us in the likeness of Jesus, as we allow him to.  You will receive the Character of God, expressed in your unique personality.  And your personality becomes under control by the discipline of the Spirit of God.

The tongue has the power to heal, and the power to destroy.  The way it is used reveals who our master really is.  Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy.  But Christ gives us life. love, mercy and joy.  Those who have been touched by this love do not see the importance of gossip.  They only desire to be like their Lord, Jesus Christ.

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”  Proverbs 12:18  KJV

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Faith

FamilyLife Today® Radio : The Downward Spiral


This is good stuff.
The Downward Spiral

Tue, 18 Jun, 2013Every person has a story to tell. For some, like Joy McClain, living with an alcoholic husband had become a nightmare. Joy describes how, lifted up by the prayers and encouragement of the church body, she found herself being coaxed out of despair, even as her marriage continued to spiral downward.

Listen to today’s program:   http://web.familylifetoday.com/fl2013-06-18.mp3
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Uncategorized

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


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

from http://www.blueletterbible.org/

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

All quotes are from “Mere Christianity”:

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

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

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

It all boils down to what is in our hearts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s be about it.

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Faith, Observations, Uncategorized

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?


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

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

…God was talking to ME.

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?

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

“Well, of course I do!”, I replied.

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

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

He looked at me and said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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