Faith

Pray Anyway!


Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; have mercy and be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, Seek My face [inquire for and require My presence as your vital need].
My heart says to You, Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word].
Hide not Your face from me; turn not Your servant away in anger, You Who have been my help!
Cast me not off, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation!

Psalms 27:7-9 Amplified (e-Sword)

 WHEN LIFE IS ROUGH – PRAY

 

Jesus said you will have an abundant life. Life in Christ means a satisfying life, a fulfilling life. His promise is that God will supply all you need to live the life He has planned for you. I have to ask myself, when I pray, am I praying for selfish gain just to spend it on my fleshly desires? Worldly comforts and wealth flee at a moment’s notice.

If I have given my life completely over to Jesus Christ, and have said, “Do with me as you will, Lord!”, then I insist that I live any way I wish, and spend my life fulfilling fleshly pursuits, and then I reap the consequences of that pursuit, why am I startled when things go wrong?

Or, what if I am serving the Lord faithfully and see God work the miraculous in the lives of people around me, yet disaster strikes any way. What do I make of this circumstance?

Jesus said he sends the rain on the Just and the Unjust.

 

What we DO know is this, life happens to the sinner and the saint. There are rough patches. Paul described this situation like this: I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. Php 4:12-13 Amplified (e-Sword)

We will have life that sometimes is hard. One thing is sure, if I am in a very hard and dark place, have I learned to do all I can to keep my relationship alive between God and me? I feel tempted to take matters into my own hands because things are too hard. Have I learned to pray, instead, for revelation of where God is in this situation? It is easy for me to praise God when things are going well, but do I trust Him enough to sustain me when things are going badly? If you are in this darkness because of your disobedience, know this, you caused it, but God is there in the middle of your circumstance with you. He will never forsake you. If you are here through your disobedience, remember how God did with Israel: “Many times He would deliver them; They, however, were rebellious in their counsel, And so sank down in their iniquity. Nevertheless He looked upon their distress When He heard their cry; And He remembered His covenant for their sake, And relented according to the greatness of His loving-kindness.” Psa 106:43-45 NASB (e-Sword) God will deliver you of your rebellion, and you will see He is loving, gentle and faithful to grow you up to be just Like His Son, Jesus. From your curses, He will deliver you in a blessing. From your darkness, He will deliver you into His light. You will be changed forever, and you will have an even deeper knowledge of God, and a more meaningful relationship with Him.

If you are here in spite of your obedience, know this, God did not cause this, but He is there in the middle of your circumstances with you. Turn to God and see Him supply all your need, and courage and strength. God will sustain your soul, your heart, your mind, and carry you through this to His glory. In the face of witnesses who scorned you for being in the dark place, God’s light will shine through you to dissipate the darkness, so others will see what wonders God does for His children. Keep praying it through. Cling to His promise. If you are in this dark place for the sake of the gospel, you are covered in His grace.

Remember, there is not enough darkness in the entire universe to extinguish the light of one small candle.

WHEN LIFE IS GREAT – PRAY!

Jesus said you will have an abundant life. Life in Christ means a satisfying life, a fulfilling life. His promise is that God will supply all you need to live the life He has planned for you. When we are on the mountain top, we should relish the fresh air and magnificent view. When we are flush in the abundance God has provided, we are meant to enjoy it. Joy is bound to happiness, and happiness leads to great celebration. We are free before God to relish His gifts without shame or guilt.

I look forward to these times in life, whether they last a while or are short lived. God gives us His blessings because of His great love for us. We are not talking about crumbs falling from the master’s table, either. When God blesses you, it is good, and abundant, and overflowing.

(When things are easy, though, I am tempted to forget God, and take over from here.)

God is all about every aspect of your character in relationship to His. When you have joy, He desires that you share with Him. When you have abundance, He rejoices at your generosity. God is not a part time God who is there only when things are bad.

While abundance is God’s design for you, it is not a thing to be sought after. Jesus said it best when He said: Mat 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

When life is great, I need to stay in God’s presence just as much as when things were going badly. The temptation to place God on the back burner is greater when I have everything I need. To pray without ceasing is just as important in the bright light of God’s goodness, as it is when things are really dark. I pray because He has given me good things. I pray because I need Him worse than I need His gifts. I pray because the life He has given me in Christ is the greatest gift of all. I pray when I have time to relax because I want to know Him even more. I pray because I want to be His son just as badly as He wants to be my Father. I pray when things are good so I will know how to act when things go wrong.

I pray without ceasing.

This is so that, by time God’s abundance overflows my vats, and overcomes my chariots, and floods my home, I will know God so well, that I will understand what it truly means to appreciate that abundance.

 

Let’s be about it!

I LOVE you in the name of Jesus

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

ROMANS 8:28

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I Have Come That You May Have Life…


Dad needed to fly to Sarepta, Louisiana to take care of a family situation. He asked me to be his co-pilot. I was barely 18, and had never co-piloted, although Dad had been teaching me how to fly for about a year. Dad had a couple of airplanes at that time. One was a Bellanca Super-Viking. The Bellanca was tailored after the WWII Italian fighter plane made by the same factory. This air craft was FAST. If you needed to be somewhere right now, this aircraft was the one to take. Plainview, TX to Sarepta, LA would have been, what, a couple of hours if the wind were in your face. I was excited to be co-piloting the Super-Viking. All a tremble, I rode with Dad to the local Airport in Plainview.

We pulled up to the hangar. Dad’s other airplane, a Cherokee 6D, was on the tarmac, waiting for us to go. The Bellanca was still moored in the hangar space Dad rented. The Cherokee is a great airplane. But she is like the other sister. The Bellanca was fast, hot, sexy, and dared us to find her limits. The Cherokee, on the other hand, was pretty, like a sister is pretty. She is stable, steady, and a good and reliable performer. However, if you need to get there fast, the Cherokee 6D is not going to be able to accommodate you. What would take two hours in a Bellanca, will take about 5 or 6 hours in the Cherokee. Dad saw the disappointment on my face, and the fires leave my eyes. He told me to stow it, because he needed to get some hours on the Cherokee to stay current, and I needed my first co-piloting experience in an aircraft that will forgive the inexperienced fumbling of a newbie pilot. He was right. The Cherokee is very forgiving in flight. She is designed for comfort, not speed. Her wings are cantilevered, meaning they can absorb a lot of in-flight shock and air pressure changes.

After doing my pre-flight check, we loaded up our bags and took off. Everything about the Cherokee is smooth and easy. She is all about the flight, not the destination. I guess Dad actually knew what he was doing, since I was scared to death. I mean, I wrecked, no, I TOTALED over 5 automobiles from the time I was 16 to the time I was 17. My transportation record was not all that sterling. Flying, though…I loved it, and it loved me. I took to flying like a bird. (OK, if you disregard the fact that, on my very first lesson I nearly took out a radio tower in Lubbock, TX! Geeze, lighten UP!)

Since the flight was going to be a long one, and an easy one, Dad decided this flight will be the best time to polish my land navigation skills. FAA Maps are incredibly accurate. If that map said there is a cow chewing cud near a largish oak tree, you can count on it being true. Every detail of the land below was accurate. He told me to keep an eye on the instruments, but, for now, don’t rely on them. He pulled out his pilots slide rule and navigation tools. It was all on a nifty clipboard that attached to your leg. We practiced slow turns, navigating at varying speeds and altitude, and predicting the timing of getting from one location on the map to the other. He showed me how Sun angle matters, IF you see the sun. He showed me how to pick an object on the horizon that aligns with true north, and keep it located against my projected flight path.

All this was fun, and I was eating it up. After all, my Dad is a very experienced pilot, and I know that if I mess up, He will hop in and correct it, and teach me what I need to do to avoid another error like that. These times were golden for me. These were some of the few times my Dad and I had any real bonding moments. It was rich and satisfying. While I was doing all that “Leave it to Beaver “thinking, the airplane suddenly got very quiet. See, in a single engine craft, noise is normal. You are practically sitting on top of the engine. You have to wear headsets with microphones to even hope to hear each other talk. Quiet is not a good thing in this aircraft. I looked up from my navigation charts to see that the propeller was not spinning. I am no ACE pilot, or anything, but I believe a spinning propeller means a happy flight. We were about to have an unhappy flight, by my reckoning.

I looked at my Dad. He was all calm and cool, as if he regularly flies an airplane without using the actual engine. He asked me if I checked the fuel before take-off. He knew I did, because he saw me do it. The fuel was clean. The gauges showed both tanks should be full. Dad asked me why one tank should not be full. (These aircraft have two tanks, one in each wing). I looked at the gauges again. He was right; we had been flying for almost two hours. One gauge should definitely be showing fuel usage. I told him as much. He said that we cannot always trust our instruments, even when we think we did a good job in pre-flight checks. Dad switched to the other tank and tried to start the airplane. It didn’t start. He stayed calm but looked at me in that look that said, “We WILL discuss this later!” He called a May-Day to the DFW Airport (It was brand new, back then). DFW advised that we should land at the little Airport in Olney, TX. They also advised that that Airport was abandoned and not FAA commissioned. Good luck, they advised.

Dad calmly told me to find Olney on the map, and calculate a flight path to it, with the best glide slope, in the least time for landing. The beauty of this ever so wonderful and adorable Cherokee 6D is, IT GLIDES. It glides a long way when the engine fails. I LOVED THAT AIRPLANE MORE THAN ANYTHING AT THAT MOMENT!!

I did the math, and told Dad that we are 10 miles off the end of the runway. Looking at our air speed, altitude, and no engine, I calculated we will land short of the runway. What I didn’t say was that I hope we don’t land upside down. Dad nodded at me, and made ready for our approach. I was thinking, “ARE YOU INSANE, MAN? HAVE YOU SEEN MY MATH GRADES??? ARE YOU TAKING MY WORD FOR IT???” I knew we were doomed.

Dad flew on as if everything were OK. He updated DFW on a periodic basis. I saw the end of the runway. Sure enough, it looked like it was too far away. Dad was not even showing signs of stress. We were about 100 feet up, and approaching the grass off the end of the runway. We had not lowered our gear yet because we didn’t need the drag. Just as Dad said to lower the gear, three crop duster aircraft flew right beneath us. Dad did a trick with the airplane that made the plane seem to leap up another 20 or so feet. He adjusted for glide and landed right on the numbers at the end of the runway. We notified DFW of our landing, and rolled to a stop just off the runway.

What I thought was going to be a disaster because of my errors, Dad turned into a real live adventure. In the hands of an experienced pilot, this was no big deal. His training and experience brought him through this adventure. One of the crop duster pilots had tools in his aircraft. They helped us take apart the fuel floats (No electronics in the fuel tanks back then), to see what the problem was. The bane of fuel floats is they get stuck. So what looks to be a full tank actually isn’t. I should not have trusted the ground crew when they said they had topped off the tanks. I should have used the fuel stick and measured the amount of fuel in the tank.

Had all this happened in the Bellanca, I would not have been able to write this story. I could have chosen to stay home, that day, too. After all, there were still lots of girls on the Wayland Baptist College campus who had not had the rare privilege of knowing me. But I would not have learned as many things as that experience taught me. Everything from flight mechanics to “Is there really a God?” were covered during that flight.

KNOWING A THING IS NOT THE SAME AS DOING IT

Jesus said to GO. Teach. Bring home God’s lost sheep. He didn’t say it will happen from the comfort of our home. He didn’t say it would be easy. He didn’t say it will be smooth sailing. He said GO, and wherever we go, He will be right there with us. I want to serve the Living God as an evangelist and teacher of the Gospel. This is my calling. This means I cannot do it from my barka-lounger. I cannot do it during commercial breaks. I have to be willing to leave all the things I think are comforting and safe, and be willing to take the flight God has planned for me. I can read all about the great saints, all the martyrs, and read all the sermons by all the best preachers. Unless I am willing to take this journey with Jesus, and learn of Him, and trust that he knows what is going on, unless I am willing to take the chance at the unknown and uncomfortable, I will not get to live that life that God wants me to live.

It is time for believers to get up out of our comfort zones and take the risk that being just like Jesus is worth it. We can watch the world go to hell from our TV sets, or we can set out on a journey that God has chosen for us and watch God redeem mankind from the front-line of the action. You were not promised all the comforts of home when you decided to believe in and serve Jesus. But you were promised an abundant life, full of living and joy. God is a great pilot, if you will choose to fly with him.

Let’s be about it!

I love you.

 

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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What’s The Difference?


Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].

(Mat 7:21-23 AMP)

 

SEEING A TREND

I correspond with Christians all around the world.  While revival is happening all around the world, something else is happening here. Many of my American friends are telling me they are leaving their churches. In the last two weeks, I have had no less than 5 individuals tell me this. Many of these people are leaders in the Faith. Some of these people young Christians like me look up to. Last week, I was talking to my neighbors; A husband and wife, about my age. Known for their long relationship with their church, I have pictured them as being steady and steadfast rocks. Their love for Christ and devotion to His call is strong in them. This couple told me they are leaving their church, after being faithful to their church for decades.

Two people I look up to as Spiritual elders in my life told me the same thing.

The reasons others are giving me for leaving their churches are starting out to sound like the reasons Sandy and I don’t really want to join a church. We are not alone. Not by any stretch of the imagination. The trend is this: People who are genuinely interested in a relationship with Jesus Christ are starting to be excluded by churches who are more interested in marketing their church, and sacrificing their relationship with the living God for the idea of what God stands for.

WAIT A MINUTE, DAVE! WHAT ARE YOU SAYING???

I am saying this, and I am not the only one saying this. The new social experiment in American Christianity is to be so inclusive that we exclude why we are even calling ourselves Christians. We have traded our relationship with Jesus Christ for a cheap backdrop with a picture of Jesus hanging on it. American Churches are more interested in marketing their churches than in living the life of Christ. We have a business plan; we have a committee for entertainment, and publicity. We have become so relevant to everyone that we are becoming irrelevant to those who follow Jesus and to those who genuinely seek the Lord our God.

I have met many imitators. I once was one. I know what I am seeing when I see it. We, as individuals, and as a congregation, have become more concerned with being liked, and with being popular. We mistakenly believe that the more people that come to our building every Sunday is an indicator of our doing the right thing. Being popular is not our call. Behaving in a way that makes us popular, just to pack the pews will make us irrelevant to Christ.

I have met Church leaders all over America who have no knowledge of the scripture, but they know how to make you feel good and comfortable with your own ignorance. I have seen for myself that the minute you start asking the hard questions of the Bible, that you suddenly become less welcome in that church. After all, we are here to have fun, and fellowship, not to learn the deeper things of Christ.

We have all become salesmen of the Gospel. We have turned Jesus into a marketable commodity.

THAT WASN’T VERY NICE, DAVE. WHERE’S THE GRACE IN THAT?

This isn’t nice or comfortable either: The genuine Children of God are not a club that includes everyone BUT genuine believers. We do not have something to sell. We have a relationship with Christ. We are being made into the image of Christ. We are not salesmen of the idea of Christ, just so you can be comfortable knowing about Him without the conviction it takes to follow him.

Paul was the Apostle of God’s Grace. PAUL SAID IT BEST: 2Co 2:17 For we are not, like so many, [like hucksters making a trade of] peddling God’s Word [shortchanging and adulterating the divine message]; but like [men] of sincerity and the purest motive, as [commissioned and sent] by God, we speak [His message] in Christ (the Messiah), in the [very] sight and presence of God.

Here is the Grace: In His patience with all of us, God desires that we KNOW Him and His ways. Being this full of Love for us all, God applies His mercy toward us, and by the power of His grace, delays the final day of reckoning so that all peoples will come to know Him through Jesus Christ.

YOU ROB HUMANITY WHEN YOU EXCLUDE THE TRUTH

Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. [Deut. 30:19; Jer. 21:8.] Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves. [Ezek. 22:27.] You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit. A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration]. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits.  (Mat 7:13-20 AMP)

Just because it looks like a Church, just because there is a fabulous floor show before the preacher comes out, just because the preacher woos you with his glib wit, and humility, does not mean you have gone to a building whose interests are that you know Jesus personally.

There are MANY Mega-Churches in the land. Not all are hucksters of the Gospel. But the ones who are all about marketing and being appealing to everyone, for all the wrong reasons are driving sincere believers away.

Jesus said that if He is high and lifted up, he will draw all humanity to himself. If what you are lifting up is the idea of Jesus, not the knowledge of Jesus, if what you propound is a sack full of sweets and goodies, you have taken people off the path of genuine knowledge of Christ.

Here is the hard truth. There is one God. He created us. We decided to break off our relationship with Him. In order to heal that relationship with Him, he sent Jesus, His only son, to take all of our sin, and all the consequences of sin, and become those things. That way, the judgment of God could be satisfied. God poured all his wrath on Jesus, and sent Him to Hell in our place. When we believe this with all our hearts, and confess with our mouths that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we become His adopted children.

From that point on, it is all about learning how to build a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. THAT is the truth.

KNOWING THE PATH IS NOT WALKING THE PATH

There will be millions of people headed to hell who know a LOT about Jesus, but never knew, or cared to know, that they could have had a real relationship with Jesus. Jesus became all our sin so we can become all of God’s children. God is calling us to a path that leads us to a sincere and real knowledge of Him. He is not interested in your marketing plan, or budget, or entertainment quotient. God is interested in YOU. God loves you. He is not in love with the idea of you, he loves YOU. He proved this when He sent Jesus to die in our places.

God is calling us to know Him through Jesus Christ. We are called to walk after Him. The more we identify with Jesus, and become just like Him, the more Holy Fruit we will produce. When we do that, more humans will be drawn to Jesus, and their salvation will be assured. You cannot do this with just a nodding glance a Christ.  If your church is standing in the way of the real knowledge of Jesus Christ, then leave that place, it is not of God.

The worlds stated goal is to change the way everyone thinks so we can all be just alike. The world has openly stated that Christianity is one of the religions that they cannot include because it is “intolerant”. By intolerant, they mean we have the raw nerve to say that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ. This calls for a real relationship to Christ, not the idea of a relationship with Christ.

REVIVAL

Churches all over the world are having real revival. They are having this revival in the very teeth of deadly opposition. The reason they are reviving from their slumber is because the uncompromising word of truth is being preached, taught and LIVED out in the individual lives of the revived.

It is better to not go along to get along if it means you have to give up a genuine relationship with Christ to get along. People the world over are being put to death for their faith. In the meantime, American Churches are no longer being a congregation of genuine believers.

It is time to put the toys away and start seeking the Lord, here in America. Don’t shut out real believers just because they do not fit into your marketing plan. If your plan is so important that you have to shut out genuine believers, then your plan is not of God.  If the conversation of genuine believers makes you, O Church, UNCOMFORTABLE, chances are, you have not known Jesus Christ.

Seek the Lord while He may be found. But do NOT make the mistake many people have, and think that just because you go to a place that calls itself a church, that you are among believers. You do not become a believer OR saved just because you attend a church. That would be like saying you became a Cheese Burrito because you went to Taco Bell.

HERE”S THE GRACE

The sin is not that you are lost. The sin is not accepting the free gift of salvation. If you do that, you are still dead. The sin is not in going to church. The sin of the church is believing that it is the answer when Jesus alone is the real answer.  The real church’s job is to uphold every believer, and lead others to Jesus.

Salvation is free. God loves you unconditionally. Jesus did not come here to establish a religion. Jesus came here to destroy all religion in exchange for a relationship with the Living and only God. Every religion on earth knows this, and despises Jesus for it.

God created you and loves you dearly. He is calling you back to His love. The way to get there is through Jesus Christ. There is no other way under heaven to know God.

Grace is why God has not already destroyed this planet. He is waiting for you to know Him through Jesus Christ. Stop being fooled by the joke “church” has become, and start knowing who Jesus Christ is. He is waiting to embrace you. Church is where real believers meet and share the love of the Lord. It is not about entertainment. It is about sharing the joy of the Grace of God through Jesus Christ. Church is about meeting the lost where they are, not where we say they have to be. You are the church, if you are a believer in Jesus.  When two believers meet and share the joy of the Lord, there is church.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

If what you have is what church really is, then you can expect genuine revival in the land, and serious opposition to your meetings. This is being proven true all over this planet…except America.

Let’s Be About It.

I love you in the Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

David G. Perkins

 


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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, 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, 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard
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

 

Standard
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, 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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Faith

Transition States – Leaving My ‘Old time Religion’ and Learning to Walk in Grace.


New Creation

Transition States

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”  Ezekiel 36:26 NASB

DEFINITIONS:

Masoretic Text of Ezekiel 36:26

וְנָתַתִּ֤י לָכֶם֙ לֵ֣ב חָדָ֔שׁ וְר֥וּחַ חֲדָשָׁ֖ה אֶתֵּ֣ן בְּקִרְבְּכֶ֑ם וַהֲסִ֨רֹתִ֜י אֶת־לֵ֤ב הָאֶ֨בֶן֙ מִבְּשַׂרְכֶ֔ם וְנָתַתִּ֥י לָכֶ֖ם לֵ֥ב בָּשָֽׂר׃

Reverse Interlinear

“Moreover, I will give” – nathan – gift (A form of the word GRACE.)  – to give, bestow, grant, permit, ascribe, employ, devote, consecrate, dedicate, pay wages, sell, exchange, lend, commit, entrust, give over, deliver up, yield produce, occasion, produce, requite to, report, mention, utter, stretch out, extend

“You a new” – chadash – new, new thing, fresh

“heart” – leb – Outline of Biblical Usage

  1. inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding

    1. inner part, midst
      1. midst (of things)
      2. heart (of man)
      3. soul, heart (of man)
      4. mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
      5. inclination, resolution, determination (of will)

      6. conscience
      7. heart (of moral character)
      8. as seat of appetites

      9. as seat of emotions and passions

      10. as seat of courage

“spirit” – ruwach – 

  1. wind, breath, mind, spirit

    1. Spirit of God, the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son
      1. as inspiring ecstatic state of prophecy
      2. as impelling prophet to utter instruction or warning
      3. imparting warlike energy and executive and administrative power
      4. as endowing men with various gifts
      5. as energy of life
      6. as manifest in the Shekinah glory

      7. never referred to as a depersonalised force

“within” quereb – midst, among, inner part, middle

  1. inward part

    1. physical sense

    2. as seat of thought and emotion

    3. as faculty of thought and emotion

“and I will remove” – cuwr – (Pronounced ‘suwr’) –

  1. to turn aside, depart

    1. (Qal)

      1. to turn aside, turn in unto
      2. to depart, depart from way, avoid

      3. to be removed

      4. to come to an end

    2. (Polel) to turn aside

    3. (Hiphil)
      1. to cause to turn aside, cause to depart, remove, take away, put away, depose
      2. to put aside, leave undone, retract, reject, abolish
    4. (Hophal) to be taken away, be removed

 

“stone” – ‘eben – perverse, hard heart

“flesh” – basar –

  1. flesh

    1. of the body
      1. of humans
      2. of animals
    2. the body itself

    3. male organ of generation (euphemism)
    4. kindred, blood-relations
    5. flesh as frail or erring (man against God)

    6. all living things

    7. animals
    8. mankind

English (NASB)   [?] Strong’s Root Form (Hebrew)

“Moreover, I will give

h5414 נָתַן nathan

you a new

h2319 חָדָשׁ chadash
heart h3820 לֵב leb
and put h5414 נָתַן nathan
a new h2319 חָדָשׁ chadash
spirit h7307 רוּחַ ruwach

within

h7130 קֶרֶב qereb
you; and I will remove h5493 סוּר cuwr
the heart h3820 לֵב leb

of stone

h68 אֶבֶן ‘eben
from your flesh h1320 בָּשָׂר basar

and give

h5414 נָתַן nathan

you a heart

h3820 לֵב leb
of flesh. h1320 בָּשָׂר basar

36:26  καὶ δώσω ὑμῖν καρδίαν καινὴν καὶ πνεῦμα καινὸν δώσω ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ ἀφελῶ τὴν καρδίαν τὴν λιθίνην ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς ὑμῶν καὶ δώσω ὑμῖν καρδίαν σαρκίνην

Thank you for dredging through all those definitions.  It may be a stretch to prove a point, but I wanted to make sure the point was understood based on what the bible is actually saying.  BASICALLY this verse is saying that GOD will take away my mind, will, heart, understanding, and place inside me HIS mind, will, heart, understanding, and remove my dead spirit and replace it with HIS living and holy spirit.

I have been going through radical changes in my thinking (To change your thinking,  means to repent, and to repent is to change your thinking).

Here is what happened: I prayed.

I prayed that God remove from me every thing that stands between me and Him.  I confessed I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, and that Christ died on the cross for my sin (He BECAME all sin, and God judged HIM for being sin, and He died).  Then He, being sin, was cast into hell.  But while He was there, He was brought back to life in the transfigured form that the apostles saw on the streets three days later.  He did all this so that I would not have to die.  He did this so all law and prophecy will be fulfilled.  He did this so that, instead of we humans souls having to suffer the complete wrath of God, we inherited eternal life instead.  I prayed that God remove anything and everything that stands between me and Him.

If you have been reading my poor blog, you know what happened.  If not, the reader’s digest version is that God answered my prayer.  Everything that could be removed from me was removed from me.  What I have left is a loving wife, a beautiful family, and the presence of God.  Oh, and we were able to keep our clothes and our car and our cats.

I digress, though.  I prayed.  My hearts desire is to know Christ and be like Him.  In the above verse, we learn many things.  We learn that it is NOT our selves that does the work.  It is God that does all the work.  My efforts not only get in the way, but prohibit God from working in me.  I know this is true because I have tried all my life to understand what it means to be like Christ.

This is where, recently, I found the difference between “Theology” and “Religious Dogma”.  Theology is simply “The knowledge of God”.  “Religious Dogma” is self explanatory, but I will expound on it as we go.

Albert Einstein once said, “I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are details.”  That is where I stand.  That is basically where I have always stood.  I was raised in a very traditional, large, protestant religion.  Where this religion’s dogma aligned with the doctrines of God, we were taught the doctrines of God.  Where they differed, we were taught a very skewed religious bias, a dogma that placed more importance on our religion and our religious movement than on the will of the Living God through Christ Jesus.  We were basically renting the parts of scripture that suited us, and changed the understanding of the rest.   This kind of dogma replaces a genuine understanding of the Living God, via the work of the Holy Spirit, and replaces it with man’s interpretation of God and His role in the Universe, Life, and our selves.

But the promise of God is that HE will do this work, and HE will replace my corrupted thoughts with HIS thoughts, His will, HIS understanding of things, His Spirit will be my new life as I was dead in my spirit.

“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB

God took out all my dead junk and replaced it with HIS life.  Literally.  His name is Jesus.

But religious dogma taught me a knowledge ABOUT God, based on evaluations derived from external observation…a what you see is the sum of the knowledge of God.  It emphasized imitating Christ by MY strength, and not resting in the Lord.

Theology, real theology, describes, instead, an intimate knowledge of God.  It is based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  The intimacy is more profound than the intimacy between lovers.    It is attained only when you have accepted the free gift of Salvation brought by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The religious dogma I was taught was simply a mental knowledge of the scriptures.  It was a cerebral understanding of what Christ accomplished through His life, Death and Resurrection.  To reinforce all this knowledge, we studied, in depth, the writings of the Church Leaders (By that I mean, mostly the leaders of our religion, and, where they applied, the writings of all the commentaries and letters of all the historical Church Leaders.)  If there was a commentary that did not quite line up with our dogma, it was either ignored or explained away.  It is called “rationalizing”.

God never said we are to rationalize our faith.  He asked us to come and reason with Him.  HE will make us clean.  He will do all the work.  He and He alone can accomplish in us all the works that He promised.

All the self-inflicted rules and dogma of my former religion were emphasized in the light of the idea that WE must do all WE can to be like Christ.  We were taught many amazing things that remained in our heads, but never reached our hearts.  This Head Knowledge is a walk that relies on self-enforced rules.  This affliction is the religious dogma that has turned every person on earth away from Christ.  It has proven over time that all it does is  condemn you, and try to force you to behave in a way that is not in your nature.  It disregards the fact that our flesh (Heart, Mind, Soul, Will) is at war with God.  It is a self reliance that works only for a little while until we fatigue of doing something that is not in us to do in the first place.

In the opening verse, we see that these changes can only be done by God, according to His will, through His spirit.  This is done when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” II Corinthians 5:17 NASB

When we rest in the completed work of Christ, we are no longer guilty.  We are no longer in sin.  We are no longer in rebellion against God.  We are NEW creatures.  And the changes that are made start from the inside, not the outside.  They are a vine that, as we grow in Christ Likeness, produce the fruit of the spirit.

Where religious dogma emphasizes a memorized set of rules that force you to rely on yourself to fulfill, the Knowledge of God, through a changed mind, heart, and spirit in Christ, emphasizes the work of God in you through the Holy Spirit.  You receive as a gift the Mind of Christ.  You receive as a gift the will of God.  You receive as a gift the total forgiveness of all your sin.  This fruit of the Spirit will eventually manifest itself outwardly as you make the transition inwardly.

I am writing about this now because I am in that transition state.  I am leaving a dead life of works based faith behind, and am transitioning into a life of faith based walk in Christ.  The biggest difference, besides the change of heart, the change of attitude, the change in the way you view the world, is, you no longer walk in sin and rebellion, and it becomes effortless as you begin to rest in the completed work of Christ.  You can still sin, but the more of the Mind of Christ you allow the Spirit of God to reveal to you, the less you will want to sin.

I no longer have to try, by my own strength, to be like Christ.  Christ is transitioning me from where I was to where He wants me to be.

This does not make God’s Grace a license to sin, but the freedom from the sin nature.  All I have to do is accept, in my heart, what the Word of God says about the accomplished work of Christ.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So, I hope this tome will encourage you to change your mind about the knowledge of God.  Your religious dogma will not get you very far.  It only makes sin more exciting than knowing God.  Even Atheists have a religious dogma and a religious fervor.

I will write more on the details of Grace that brought about this transition.  It is difficult, only in the respect that I have to overcome a lot of my old thinking and believing patterns, and accept the thoughts of Christ.  Faith becomes reality.  No matter what you think about, that is what you become and receive,  It is a universal principle.  Faith in Christ will bring you a new life far beyond anything you ever imagined.  I know this because this is what is happening to me.

I am in the transition state that exists between my religious dogma, and my new walk in Christ.

Care to join me?

Let’s be about it.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

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