Faith

What Faith Feels Like


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

The Question

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

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

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

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

The Root of the Matter

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

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

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

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

IN THE MEAN TIME

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THERE WAS MY ANSWER

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

WHAT DOES FAITH FEEL LIKE?

Faith feels like love.

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

Faith feels fearless, Charles.

That is what faith feels like.

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

I love you in the name of Jesus,

Now, Let’s Be About It!

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

7 Things That Make Someone Special


(I posted this on my original WordPress blog. It was around 5,000 words. This edition is shorter. I didn’t come up with this, either. A Rabi, friend, taught me this. I heard it again on the Dr. Laura Show.)

 


The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savor of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee. I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

…Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

… I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots. Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold. We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver. While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof. A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts. My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphor in the vineyards of En–gedi.

…Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes. Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.
(YES, THAT’S IN THE BIBLE!)

 

WHEN YOU’RE HOT, YOU’RE HOT!

Apparently, Solomon and Sheba were a red hot item in Israel. Sheba came from Ethiopia to see if King Solomon was really all that. She had heard he was very wise and VERY wealthy, and maybe not all that hard to look at. After all, he IS King David’s son, and the ladies really liked King David. So, she pulled her chariot up in his driveway, dusted off, and strode to the front door of the palace. She was all prepared to challenge his wisdom, to look him in the eyes and dare him to be brilliant. She also wanted a peek at his bank account, just to make sure he was really worth the drive from Ethiopia. Sure, the palace was a wonder, but anyone can rent a palace, now days, without good credit.

Before she could knock on the door, she heard the bolts of the entry way unlocking. She set her posture in her bravest and strongest, “Ï am woman, hear me roar!” stance, fixed her gaze at about the height she figured a Jewish King would stand. And prepared herself to be the toughest gal Solomon EVER ran across.

Solomon opened the door.

She adjusted her gaze about a foot higher. Her eyes dilated, her breathing grew a bit faster, and she started sweating. “Holy COW, he IS hot!!””, Sheba thought. She did her best to maintain the strong woman posture, in spite of the fact that her knees suddenly conspired to melt like butter.

King Solomon was worse off than her. He heard someone drive up. He looked out the curtains and saw a hot pink chariot parked where HE parks HIS chariot. He thought, “Great, just what I need…another gold digging babe to interrupt my thoughts!” When he opened the door, he forgot how to speak proper Hebrew and got that stupid look on his face all guys get when they meet the most incredible woman they have ever met, and…Well, the rest is history.

They were a very special item. Solomon and Sheba were special enough that their story has been told all over the world, throughout history. You can read about it in “The Song of Solomon” in the Bible.

 

Great relationships are God’s idea.

 

It was God’s idea that Male and Female, Man and Woman, be the epitome of what a great Human relationship looks like. It was probably easier in the Garden of Eden than it is today, but you know how that went, too. God invented relationships long before the fall of man. Great fellowship, companionship, love, sex, laughter, all that that makes up a relationship is God’s invention. What we see today, is the result of a flawed and fallen view of what God invented.

Today, relationships can be tougher, because no one has any idea what one is supposed to look like, or what to look for in a potential life mate. Today, because we are not taught what to look for in a mate, we overemphasize one aspect over others. When all the fun wears out of that aspect, then what is left? Either it works out, or it doesn’t. Statistics say the odds are against it working out.

Before my daughter decides that someone is really special, I want her to know what special looks like. I am also sharing this with you, too.

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE S.P.E.C.I.A.L.?

(Dedicated to my friend, Messianic Rabi, Dani Moyal)

Following these guidelines will more likely lead you to the best relationship you have ever imagined.

  1. S = SPIRITUAL – Make sure you both see eye to eye on what matters to you spiritually. This may not seem like such a big deal while the fire is hot, but when it cools, this becomes a hidden, but important thing. If your mates and your spirituality is not shared harmoniously, the difference will eventually add up to be hidden stress cracks in your relationship. Agreement in your spirituality is paramount. Agree to be Christians, or whatever spiritual belief you hold dear (I am a Christian, so you can bet where I lay my hopes). The hidden fractures of not being spiritually aligned create more serious problems than anyone even knows. Your Meta-view of the universe affects everything else you think, believe, say or do.

     

  2. P = PHYSICAL – Yes, PHYSICAL. If you plan on being together the rest of your life, make sure you don’t need a bag to cover his or her face before you will have sex with him or her. A long lasting relationship has healthy and consistent sex. It has been proven that committed couples have more satisfying sex than anyone else. God meant for it to be fun and satisfying. Even after YEARS of practice. So, make sure you can stand to look at that person naked, with the lights ON. Remember, too. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What appeals to me might not appeal to you, and vice-versa.

     

  3. E = EDUCATIONAL – CAVEAT: If you both have mastered your ego, then this will not be that big of a deal. Most people, however, are still struggling with EGO. If you have been to a college or a university, and have a great education, and wonderful memories, and your significant other doesn’t, this can be problematic as it may be intimidating to your significant other. You may eventually let the pride of life lead you to get a sense of superiority over your mate, and your mate may develop a resentment that you lord your education over him or her. You will have different sorts of friends and you will have different ideas of what it means to know something. While a good education is important, you both have to understand that, graduating college doesn’t mean you have a good education. In other words, if there is a disparity between your educational levels, you have to just get over yourselves. Otherwise, find someone who has more in common with you, educationally. It will be less stressful if you don’t have to fight that fight.

     

  4. C = COMMUNITY – What does your social environment look like? Who are your friends? What is your idea of a great neighborhood? Are the people you like to hang out with the same as the people your potential mate likes to hang out with? Will your friends blend in well with your mate’s friends? This doesn’t mean you cannot have one or two exclusive friends, as long as that is not a secret. Downplaying this element of a relationship can be the death of your relationship. In the end, you both will have to choose between loyalty to your mate, or loyalty to your friends. This problem is vastly reduced if your friends are likely to get along with his or her friends. Do you agree on where you should live and how you will live. Do you have the same environment in mind? If not, your community choices can lead to disastrous outcomes. God designed couples so that they are their first and best friend, and the community you chose to live in is a shared vision.

     

  5. I = INTELLECTUAL – Do NOT confuse education with intelligence. Some of the most educated people have actually been president, and they were still stupid. I have a pretty decent IQ, and a strong education, but my wife is vastly more intelligent than I am. It can get frustrating to have to wait for the light to dawn on your mate. Again, this can become an ego situation. Do you both love the same intellectual pursuits? While you are plummeting the depths of “The Iliad” in the language it was written in, does your mate think watching truck pulling competition to be the best mental stimulation in the world? What starts out as cute or adorable in the beginning of the relationship, can become the very thing that makes you want to run barking-mad up the street. Shared intellectual interests will build a very strong bond.

     

  6. A = ACTIVITES – Remember that person that loves to go to Truck Pulling Contests? Do you, too? Or, do you go to the ballet, or a good opera, while he has a few beers at the local truck pulling arena? If you are going to survive as a couple, harmonizing in as many activities as possible strengthens the bond between you. It doesn’t mean you HAVE to do and like every single thing he or she does, but the more you harmonize here, the more resonant the bond is between you. Share your life with each other. Find things you like to do together and make sure you have a steady diet of doing it. This is where most of the really good memories come from. “Hey, honey, remember when we…?” THAT is the good stuff.

     

  7. L = LOVE – Yes, LOVE. And yes it is at the bottom of the list. It is not the least, though. A very strong love goes way beyond what Solomon and Sheba had. Sheba eventually left Israel and returned to Ethiopia. They had separate lives, separate interests, separate communities, differing intellectual pursuits, and differing spiritual beliefs. Their sex life was a thing of legend. It was phenomenal. But as the Friar told Juliet, in Romeo and Juliette, “Even the sweetest honey is loathsome in its own deliciousness.” Trust me, knocking boots is great fun, but if that is all you have, you will eventually not even have that. In the end, Solomon and Sheba stopped being an item and became a legend instead. A strong love is built out of all the things listed above. Love is the foundation, but the ingredients for that foundation are what make a relationship special.

I want to be clear on what love means.

Love is made of 4 components.

Agape = Unconditional Love. The, “Ï love you no matter what.” That is the love God has for us.  It is unconditional.  Never varies.  Is not affected by circumstances.  It is bold and unflinchingly eternal.  NOTHING can change it.

Phileo = Brotherly Love. It is not strictly a male thing, either. It is the love that says, “Even when you are a complete and total jerk, I have your back, because we are brothers/sisters.” My big brother and I were close like this. We differed in many ways, and we had our share of fights. But let anyone else come in between us, and you dealt with both of us. I have a friend who is close to me, like a brother. If he ever needs my help, no matter where I am on this planet, I will stop and help. Brothers can be counted on. Not all friends are brothers.

Eros = Erotic Love. This is an invention of God. He meant for us to enjoy this, just as much as any other type of love. What the world has turned this into is not love at all.

EGO = Self Love. God designed us to love ourselves. A strong sense of individual identity lives in all of us humans. We are all unique, just like everyone else. A warped EGO is what the world has taught us. Instead of being at peace with who we are, we are taught to place ourselves far above all other considerations, because we may end up lacking something that others will get first. Today, the idea of being so self-actualized that you are free to be selfless with others, is a foreign concept. Even amongst the Brethren of the Lord, Jesus. We are never to act in a way that supports our sense of self above others. We are to be so well identified and comfortable in our own skin that interacting with others becomes a positive thing for that person. We have gotten this one very backward. Warped EGO tells us we need to take from others so we will win and be better. Godly EGO is not like that at all. Jesus said we are to love others AS MUCH as we love ourselves. A weak and selfish EGO will keep you from reaching out to others. A healthy and strong sense of self is a healthy EGO.

A good, strong, lasting love is built of all these things.

These lessons are lessons I have had to learn by getting it wrong repeatedly. I destroyed my first marriage because I didn’t understand this at all. I have been intimate with far too many women without even taking in consideration these things. Today, I have a relationship with Sandy that goes beyond anything I ever thought could be possible. What makes it so special is that, now I am a believer in Jesus Christ. That has changed me so dramatically that all the above has become true in our relationship.

What sandy and I have is, indeed, very SPECIAL.

Let’s be about it!

I Love you,

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

www.sammysnardfarkle.com

 

 

 


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Faith

COME HOME: Do You Like Apples?


  • ἀφίημιaphie¯mi

    af-ee’-ay-mee

    an intensive form of εἶμι eimi (to go)); to send forth, in various applications: – cry, forgive, forsake, lay aside, leave, let (alone, be, go, have), omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, yield up.

Remember when you knew you were saved?  Jesus Christ had genuinely and truly become your savior.  You believed in your heart that John 3:16 – 17 is absolutely true:  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” – KJV

What a great feeling that was.  You were clean.  You knew you had been forgiven.  You understood that, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, you are forgiven and have eternal life.   You actually felt the burden of your sin lift from your shoulders.  And that is exactly what happened to you.  But something happened between THEN and NOW.

Chapters that need unpublished

After a while, you had quit praying, going to church, and reading the word.  All the joy you had was gone.  Since then, your life has not been what you would say was a shining example of salvation at work.    The things that you have done since have been nothing short of a betrayal of Jesus.  If you were to mention Jesus at all, it would be to say it as an expletive.

I want to tell you something.  I can tell you about this because I have been in this place, just like you are, right now.  I know things look dark.  All your former Christian associates have stopped having anything to do with you.  If you were to tell anyone that you are a Christian, there would be no compelling evidence to prove it.

Here is what I want to tell you, from the very mouth of Jesus:  All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. John 6:36-39

You may have forgotten about Jesus, but HE has never forgotten about you.  This is WHY you still feel the loss of His fellowship.  No matter how dark things look now, you have NEVER been removed from Jesus, because God has given YOU to Jesus as a GIFT.  And God’s gifts are without repentance :

God has not repented that He has given you to Jesus.  You could never have come to the understanding of the saving Grace of God through Jesus, unless, by the power of the Holy Spirit, God had drawn you to this understanding.

Later, in the same book of John, Jesus said this about you:   “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”  John 6:64-65 KJV   And when you understood, you believed in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, who died for the remission of ALL sin, and you confessed with your mouth that Jesus rose from the dead.  This understanding is why you have eternal life.

So why, after all this time, do you burn in your heart this much?  Why, now, after all this time, do you suddenly find all you want to do is come home?  It is because the Spirit of God is luring you home.  You have a call on your life, and you are chosen to answer that call.  This is the influence of Jesus Christ as Lord.  He wants you to serve Him.  From here, all you have to do is return.  You will have some repentance to do.  You will have to try to mend a few fences.  But the most remarkable thing is, when you come home, your life will begin to change.  You can still sin as much as you did before you came home, but, the truth is, you aren’t going to want to.  The more of yourself you give to Jesus, the more you become remade in His image.  After that, all you will want to do is serve Him.

From God’s point of view, HE chose you.  He drew you to His Son, Jesus.  You are His gift to His Son.  Nothing you have done since your salvation can remove you from His hand.  You are eternally His.

The reason you hear His call now is, He loves you, and wants you to know that you have done nothing that can take away your salvation.

Come Home

You are saved.

HOW DO YOU LIKE THOSE APPLES???

Forgiven

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

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

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