Faith

The Risk Love Takes


…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Rom 5:8 ESV)

Romans 5:8 tells me that it is possible to love someone who doesn’t love you, and is , in fact, your enemy…but you prove your love by laying your life down for your enemy.

You know not everyone you love will receive this gift of love. They will still hate you and be your enemy. You also know that some of your enemies will receive this gift…and they will truly love you.

God thought it would be worth the risk.

Jesus did too.

If you don’t risk your love, your love isn’t proven to be true or steadfast.

Jesus proved it with His life.

I can’t claim to be worthy of that love…no one can. But Jesus made us worthy when He rose from the dead and gave us life.

We live because He died on our behalf, and He rose again.

We have life because He lives.

Tell someone you love about this Love of God.

Let’s be about it.

I love you in Jesus’ name.

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

A Father’s Heart


Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:3-7 NIV

Let me ask you this: Suppose you did all you could to make sure your child knew how to swim. Swimming lessons, life safety classes, even a few snorkeling classes. After all, you were once a lifeguard, and you know the ropes, so you took extra care to make sure she can swim. Then comes a day when you can take her to the lake to play with her friends. You are sure she knows what to do in the water, but you keep an eye out just in case. After all, even the best swimmers can get into the breakers, occasionally.

You start the bar-b-cue pit up, throw some doggies on the burner, some burgers, corn, a few other yummy treats. About the time you have that under control, you look up to see your worst nightmare.

She is drowning.

What do you do?

Now imagine this scenario: You tell anyone who is listening to call 911 while you strip down and get ready to rescue her. But all your friends and other people on the beach try their best to stop you. They tell you that she got herself into this, she needs to get herself out. They say all you will do is make things worse. They tell you if you go in after her, you might drown, too, or get hurt, or she may not want you to rescue her. What if even the lifeguard on duty tells you the same thing?

Will you stand on the shore and let her fend for herself? Will you stop and weigh the possible outcomes? Will you wait and consider the advice of everyone on the beach?

No! You will do all it takes, up to losing your own life to rescue her. She is your life, your heart, and your love. What kind of monster would ignore his own drowning child?

And what kinds of monsters give the advice that everyone gave you?

Now let me ask you this:

Suppose you did all you know how to do to make sure your beloved child knows Jesus Christ? You took her to church. You read the Bible to her. You prayed with her. You made sure she went to Christian schools. And when you look up, you see that she is drowning in a sea of bad choices? What if she isn’t even aware of the extreme danger she has put her soul in?

And just like the people on the beach, you get the exact same advice, even from people who serve the Lord.

Now, try to see this scenario:

When God created us, did He make sure we knew the ropes, and pitfalls to make sure we would always have eternal life with Him in Eden? Did He provide all we needed? Did He pour His love on us?

Imagine how it must have hurt when we rebelled and sinned. Imagine the heart-rending pain when He had to judge us, the earth, and the universe for all our sin?

Did He leave us to our own devices? Did He say, “They got themselves into this mess, they will have to figure it out?”  Did the angels warn Him that, if he interfered, it would only get worse?

Did he write us off?

What did God do?

He came here in the form of a Man and took on the penalty for our sin. He bore the judgment of death on His self so we would not have to. He gave up His kingdom so we can inherit it. He loved us so much that while we are at war with him, He sent Jesus Christ to die in our place, to bear the wrath and judgment of God. Jesus, the God-Man, became all our sin so we can become all his righteousness.

That is what God did.

So, now I ask you; If you see your daughter dying of the very sin Jesus already paid for, what would you do?

It is in the Father’s heart to give his own life for the life of His beloved children.

It is in my heart to give all I have and am to help rescue my child.

It is in this father’s heart to be like the Savior who died for me. I will give all I have to see that my child lives with me in eternity in the presence of the Living God.

Examine your souls, Christian. If you are not willing to lose everything so that others may live, stop saying you are His child. Selfishness is the fruit of Satan.

This father will give all he has unto death if it means his child will live in eternity with Christ. How can I cross the street to witness to a stranger if I am not ready to give up everything for my own child? What hypocrite worries about pain in the face of need? What kind of abject spiritual poverty demands you leave your child to drown in sin?

Godliness begins at home, people. And if you cannot manage that, you have no business taking your brand of Christianity anywhere. I may have failed my daughter in the past, but while I have life, I have hope, and I will spend every ounce of both doing all I can to bring the Love of God to my drowning daughter. I cannot save her, but I know who can. I cannot redeem her, but I know who will. I cannot give up my salvation so she can have it, but I know the one who has already done this.
The greatest gift I have ever received is the love and grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is the only thing I have left worth having in this life, and I will give that to her.

It is what is in this father’s heart.

Go and do the same.

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! – Romans 5:10 NIV

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Faith, Observations

To Serve Mankind


Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it. (Mat 16:24-25 WEB)

I have witnesses to what I am about to tell you.

When I was a teenager, I was also an evangelist.  I wanted to be the next Billy Graham.  When I couldn’t get anyone to stand still long enough to hear me preach, I would go out to Camp Bowie, Brownwood, where certain Cattlemen kept their cows.  I would preach to those poor cows.  I have to warn you, if a cow accepts Jesus as His or Her Lord and Savior, be careful when you baptise it.  Cows are very difficult to baptise.  Just trust me on this, OK?

I fell from grace when I was in my 20’s.

When I was in my early 30’s I repented, reaffirmed my relationship to Jesus Christ as my savior, and started evangelizing.  What I thought was a repentance was not much more than me missing being a baptist.  I even went to a baptist seminary.

I discovered the depth of my “renewed” faith when something really awful happened.  When that awful thing happened, God let me know in very clear terms that, if I stand with Him, He will guide me through this very hard thing.  The weakness in my faith revealed itself, though, and I returned to that life of rampant sin and violence I lived in my 20’s, but I did it even more and to greater depths.  When I committ, I go all the way, or no way.  I don’t really have an in between.

Four years ago, I discovered what the Cross of Christ is really about.  I learned what terrible price Jesus paid for me.  I learned He didn’t die for my sin, he died for me, OF my sin.  All sin.  Past present and future were put to death on the Cross with Christ.  Eventually, I learned, as Paul pointed out, that when He died on that cross, and because I accepted that free gift, I also died with him.  Now, I live by the grace of God through the measure of faith Christ invested in me (Galations 2:20).

Before this revelatrion of Grace, the music my soul played was awful.  I was awful.  I hated everything and everyone.  When people saw me coming, they left the room before I even got there.  (Very true story, if you want witnesses, I’ll tell you who to call).

After Grace happened, I saw everyone as someone Christ died for.  Instead of wanting to harm people and hate people, I was filled with an understanding of the Love God has for everyone.

I never knew such a spectacular love.  I never realized what Grace can do for a person.  The grace of God, His mercy, His love, His free gift of salvation is spectacularly immeasurable wonderful.  And it IS free to anyone who will accept it.  Simple, right?

Just after my real and very power conversion, another very bad thing happened in my life.  This hurt goes deep to the bone, to the heart, through the soul.  The difference this time is, I belong to the Living God through Jesus Christ…for real.  I am determined to not repeat the mistakes I made the last time I was hurt this badly.

I knew I was supposed to come to Colorado.  My belief was that I would walk right into a ministry and serve.  I want to serve so very badly.  I figured that God was orchestrating this, too.

I figured this because my getting here was a miracle in itself.  I didn’t have the means to move to Colorado, but the means came to me, unbidden, in ways that let me know God was doing this.

I got to Colorado.  Pueblo, specifically.  There is a reason God had me come here.  I wanted to live in Colorado Springs, but God orchestrated things so that I ended up here, instead.

And I still want to serve.  And I pray to serve.  But God’s answer is, and remains, “Be Still, you are not ready to serve.”

I asked God what he meant.

I’ll share His answer with you.

See…for Christmas, I got a Slow Cooker.  I am a terrible cook, but I am learning how to survive on what I make using the slow cooker.  I am alone for the first time in my life, and have no cooking skills whatsoever.  But I am learning.  Last Thursday evening, I started up the slow cooker before I went to my Pilates class.  I was praying while I was preparing.  I was asking God when all this grief will pass, and when will I be allowed off the bench and into the game.

After I got home from Pilates, the house smelled wonderful, but the meal was not ready.  While I added water and some spices, I prayed again about my wanting to serve.

God answered me with this illustration:

Thursday, right after work, and before my Pilates class, I grabbed some ingredients and placed them in the slow cooker.  I put in Salmon steak, rice, assorted vegetables, spices, and a can of Progresso Spicy Vegetable Soup.
Each ingredient alone is good, savory, tasty, and delicious.  Ingredients, however,  are better when they are cooked together in a slow cooker.
Ingredients in a slow cooker are not a meal until they have cooked at the right temperature and at the right pressure.  It is a meal when it is the right mix (You wouldn’t drink a Sesame Orange marinade right out of the bottle, but you’d love the way it flavors your meal once it has infused into the rice and fish), and have been blended in a way that make a meal, and have cooked the right length of time.  Time and temperature take care of the cooking.
Eventually, the aroma of the thing being slow cooked starts to waft through the house.  It smells good, but it is not a meal yet.
 After Pilates and my errands, when I walked into the house, my house smelled wonderful, but it still was not a meal.
I had to get a big spoon, stir, add a touch of water, maybe a spice or two.
(Some spices aren’t supposed to be added until a certain amount of cooking happens, and stirring agitates the blend of ingredients so that the flavor is evenly dispersed, and the food doesn’t burn (Thereby ruining the meal)).
All this time, heat, pressure and effort goes into so simple a thing as slow cooking.  There comes the point in the process that the aroma is so delicious that you KNOW intuitively, YOU HAVE A MEAL READY TO ENJOY.  And that first bite tells the story, and is delicious and filling and…yummy.
 Serving a meal takes time and effort.  The bitterness of some vegetables is removed during the cooking process, and they become sweet or savory vegetables when it is time to serve them.  Salmon is a great protein, but you cannot eat it frozen and shouldn’t eat it raw.  But when it has been properly prepared, it is delicious and succulent and savory.
That is what it is like to be prepared for His service.
I have all the ingredients to serve, but I have not been properly prepared, properly seasoned, properly stirred, properly simmered…yet.  But when I have been, God will say, “Now he is ready to serve.”
God has to prepare his servants.
We are to give up our individual identity and be part of something greater than us.  We are to be altered to the point where we are no longer inedible, but are savory and inviting.  Service is not a part-time hobby.  God’s true servants give up their identity and very lives for God.  When we are a pleasing aroma in His nose, then we are ready to be served up to a hungry world in need of answers.
And we will be consumed by serving, because, Like Christ, we are to be completely consumed by our call.  A hungry soul is looking for something he can sink his teeth into, and the soul that belongs to Satan wants to destroy God and all His servants, and throw us out.  Either way, we cannot be accepted or rejected until we have been properly prepared to be the meal offering that God needs us to be.
That is the lesson God showed me while I was impatiently waiting for the timer on the slow cooker to ding.
If, like me, you want to be served up, you have to wait for God to prepare you, temper you, stir you up, put you under pressure, and strip you down until you are no longer your own, but part of the Free Gift he is serving to a dying world.  It takes time and patience.
Let’s Be About It!
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Faith

Be Still



For Sandy, who gave me this idea, and whom I love with an undying love.


From Wence Cometh the Storm?

My favorite Hymn is “It is Well”, especially lately. It seems like I have needed this Hymn a lot these past few months.

What has happened? I have lost my family. I have lost my love. My identity was stolen twice. The plans I had made for the future of my family were destroyed in one fell swoop.

In the end, I was left with nothing, alone, bereft, broken. The pain of these losses is almost unbearable. Grief and confusion are powerful things. This grief is all consuming and threatens to smash the ship of my soul against the breakers. I am lost, with no mooring, with no GuideStar, with no compass. Everything I believed about love and family been betrayed by falsehoods and deception.  The hopes I had for the future have been taken away from me.

This storm and confusion has taken hold of me and relentlessly tears my sails away. I have lost my anchor. I am taking on water. Where will I find that shore? Where is my mooring? Who will rescue me from this storm?

On top of this, if you know anything about Aspergers, you know that one so afflicted usually needs a “normal” to be the touchstone to all things normal. My touchstone is the woman I love, who is no longer part of my life. This too adds waves to my storm. My ship is being battered by things that normal people deal with as if only a gentle breeze were blowing. Without the touchstone, it doesn’t matter how “High Functioning” you are, some things simply do not make sense to you.

Where Do I Hide From the Storm?

You can’t.

If you run from the deck of your ship to the belly of your ship, you are still in the middle of the storm. So, where do you turn? How do you find your way back to safety, to the shore? Where is the touchstone? Where is your Guidestone? Where are safety and peace?

Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will search for me, and when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me. I will let you find me.”  Jeremiah 29:12-14a.

One of the hardest things to realize is that even these things are for a purpose. It’s hard to remember the greater good when you are being torn to shreds by your own circumstances.  It ceases to matter why you are in this storm.  It can be a storm of your own making (Which is usually the case) or a storm brought on by the selfish desires of people you depended on.  Or this storm could be the plan of evil people who delight in your destruction for their own advancement.  It ceases to matter when your ship is taking on water, and your sails are gone.  At this juncture, all you can do is hang on to the nearest mast, lash yourself to it, and pray.

Screaming At the Storm Doesn’t Help.

I screamed.

I cried.

I tore my clothes (I only got more exposed to the storm that way).

I cursed the waves and the wind.

Then I prayed for the storm to take me. I welcomed the sweet release of death. I wanted it all to be over. The storm had won. I had lost.

Why bother…right?

I discovered that screaming at the storm only makes you hoarse. The storm doesn’t care. The storm rages on whether you love it or hate it.  Storms always do what storms do…wreak havoc.  That is what storms do.

So, what is left? Tied to my mast, getting drenched, broken in spirit, all I had left was to wait and let the storm do what the storm does.

Be Careful Where You Turn

I turned to fellow believers.

In America, fellow believers are too busy being American to let things like storms in other people’s lives divert them from their lives.  Afterall, it isn’t their storm, and God must have placed you (The Sailor) in that storm for a reason.

Best not to interfere with the storm.

What you, my fellow believers, fail to realize is, the storm exists to expose the heart of the sailor, and your heart. Indifference is not the fruit of the spirit. Berating the sailor in the storm is not a fruit of the spirit. Lecturing the sailor in the fine craft of Seamanship while the storm rages is not a fruit of the spirit.  Pulling out the Sailor’s “The Art of Sailing Manual” and lecturing on all the shoulda coulda and woulda is not a fruit of the spirit (Or have you not read Job?)

So, where does this battered sailor turn when all hope is lost?

Deep in the midst of the howling wind and blowing rain is a still small voice.  She is the voice of the Holy Spirit.  She calls you into the presence of God.  She reminds you that you are His beloved, whom He died for.

God is there, waiting for you to stop fighting the storm.  The storm is not the problem.  Storms come to everyone for any number of reasons.  But to the lives of His children, even the storm is meant to be a blessing (See Romans 8:28).  Storms sweep the deck of useless things.  Storms shake up your life in a way that forces you to take stock of what is important.

And what is it that God, my Father has said to me?

BE STILL and Know I Am God.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”

(Psa 46:10 WEB)

“God is mighty. God is infinite. God is Love. God is ever-present, even in our storms.”

That is what He said to me.

In my arrogance, I railed against God and shouted, “Lord, am I ever seeking you?”, “Do I not always pray, read your word, listen for you?”, “Where are you, Father?” ,”God, I am done with my life, please bring me home.”

He let me know that He is why my ship has not sunk to the depts of the sea. He is why the Leviathan has not attacked me.  He is what protects me from falling to my death.  He is why I am still alive.

He is not done with me.

I asked Him, “Then why has my love betrayed me, why have I lost everything dear to me?”

He tells me, “You have Me. That is sufficient.”

I cry.

I don’t feel like that is an answer.

Then something remarkable happens.

Even though the storm still rages, and my ship is being battered into toothpicks, all grows quiet.

A light penetrates the darkness.

He has arrived.

His hands are scarred from something that had pierced them.  His eyes are so full of love and compassion, I cannot stand to look at him.  I am undone.  I can’t hide from Him.

He stops right in front of me, where I am lashed to the Main Mast.  He looks at me with a love and compassion I have never, ever known before.

He tells me to stop fighting Him.

He tells me that the point in Being Still is to cease my useless striving after answers.

Be still…don’t move.

Stop speaking.

Stop trying to make it make sense.

Just…be, and know that He is God, not just of all the universes, but of my heart.

I will not tell you everything else He told me, but I will tell you this:

When you Be Still, and stop trying to put God in your little religious box, when you let Him into your storm, when you capitulate and know that your efforts are useless, when you give in and trust that He has your best interests at heart, that storm you tried to hide from becomes a ride that you relish.

You know that as Long as you be still and trust Him, no matter how things look to you, He is your Captain, and he will guide you through the breakers to a land full of His promise and purpose.

The difference is how much you try to fight the storm, or how well you stop fighting God.

My Confession

I recently told Sandy, “Really and truly, All I want is less of me and more of Him. But I must be doing this all wrong. The more I try, the farther away He seems.”

I was trying on my own might. Not only that, I was trusting others, and not God for direction.

Life is full of storms.

Your spouse will eventually let you down, maybe even betray you.

You may make and lose fortunes.

You will have friends and lose friends.

You will end up in places where you are utterly alone, in a hostile environment, with no one you can really call a brother.

I confess, I relied on all these trappings for my sense of place and belonging.

I cannot be less of me unless I first am still. God has to do the work. I have to submit.

I needed my deck cleared of all that stands between God and me.

I confess I am useless and hopeless without him. I confess I made the mistake of using others to anchor me. God has allowed this storm to clear away all the things that stand between Him and me.

Being Still

The first part of knowing that He is God is to be still…to stop striving…to stop your own efforts.

God will reveal himself to the heart that diligently seeks Him, but it first begins with being still.  Being diligent doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself, it means that you diligently submit your desires, will, and understanding to Him.

The Hebrew words for “Be Still” imply a rich tapestry of meaning: To stop moving (Of one’s own passionate volition), to stop acting out and to stop speaking. To leave off your striving, to capitulate over to the knowledge that He alone is God.

When the Lord appears to you in your storm, you have begun to be still. When His love washes over you, the storm takes on new meaning and purpose. Instead of fighting all that has happened, you finally get to the place where you trust He will guide you through this, and He has a purpose for this, too.

God does not send evil your way. Evil will still come to you. Storms happen. It no longer matters if you brought on the storm, or sailed right into it, or were minding your own business when the storm suddenly appears (they do that when you re at sea).

God will take advantage of your circumstances and show His love and His might, and He will guide you through this. No matter what brought on the Storm, if you will submit to His Lordship in your life, you will see that even this pain, this grief, this sorrow, will bring you closer to Him, and make you like Him, and He will teach you how even this bitter grief serves the Kingdom.

My storm is still there.  My sorrow is ever as deep as it ever was.  My tears still fall, and the pain is still ever present.   But I now know, He gathers all my tears in a bottle and will exchange them for His Joy.

Storms have to run their course.

However, in this storm, I have learned that all my vain striving is wasted and that I must fail, and accept that I have failed. No man can know God unless God reveals Himself to that man.

I have also learned that Heaven cannot be taken by storm, only by invitation. But I first must be still.  He makes the pain and tears and sadness and loss take on a new meaning.  We grieve for the loss of true love, but God will heal that hurt, if you just be still.

I cannot know the Lord unless I am still.

The Lord wants you to know Him, too.

Just be still….

I love you in Jesus.

PS – I love you, Sandy. No matter what. I love you, and I always will. No man can take that away from me. I pray God leads you to your new life. I will always love you.

David Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

The Solution to The Problem


Struggling with Sin

“O wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of this body of death?  Thanks be then to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!” – Paul, Romans 7:24-25  The Berean Bible www.Berean.Bible

I see where I made my mistake that day in the Physics 101 class I took at Louisiana Tech University.

The Professor was as excited to be teaching this load of non-physics majors as we were to be taking this required class.   He (the Prof) was droning on and on about Kepler and some problem Kepler had with figuring out where an invisible spot was that lay between two planets orbiting each other.  The invisible spot was supposed to be a place where the force of gravity between the two bodies is equal. It is called the “Kepler Problem.”  Oh, …not the spot, per se, but the whole mental exercise.

The Professor drew two circles on the board (We still had slate chalkboards back then). He said they were planets orbiting each other. He told us the mass of each planet, the distance between them in English miles, and how fast they orbited each other.

Herr Professor went through the class and asked each student where that “invisible spot” is.

The fun thing about being a high functioning Asperberger is that we process information very differently than the “normals” do. It isn’t a boast; it is a simple reality.  We see solutions as vividly as you see your hands.  The downside is, we have a very difficult time translating what we see in terms that are relatable to the normals.  We don’t get that we have to work the problem because that is as valuable as knowing the answer.

The trap of my own arrogance

The professor called on me next. He had just eviscerated a very lovely young woman for not even understanding the question being asked.  She was an English Major.  I was mad at him for humiliating this very pretty girl in front of everyone.

I went to the board and immediately drew a spot on the board and wrote a number down, representing the actual distance and position between the two planets, and wrote another number down describing the forces being applied on that spot by each planets’ gravity.

As I was walking back to my desk, the professor told me to come back to the board and complete the question he had asked. I went back up to the board.

Her Professor said that my answer is wrong. I told him it is not. He said that unless I can show my work, my answer is wrong. I challenged him that unless he can prove my answer is not the right one, he has no business teaching Physics.

He asked me to leave his class.

I got the ‘F’ I so richly deserved.

What has this got to do with Jesus, Sin and Salvation and Gods gift of Grace and Mercy?

Simple. Just like I needed the discipline of going through the steps to prove my assertion was right in that Physics class, I need to go through the discipline of facing the things the world throws at me.

See…I thought my peers would thank me for embarrassing the Professor. It turns out that I simply put more distance between my peers and me. I showed them that not only am I arrogant, but I cannot understand what others have to go through just to get through their day. I bypassed an essential element of growth and understanding.

Paul wrote Timothy this lesson: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. ” Ephesians 4:15-16 New International Version (NIV)

The Process of Temptation

We will grow.

Just like the cotton plant.

It only grows really strong roots and a full cotton bowl AFTER it has been placed outside the greenhouse, and into the field.  There, the plant faces lightning, hail, high winds, heat, and storms that can drown it.  That is the only way to build a healthy and strong bowl of cotton.  If it doesn’t face these things, the fruit it bears is weak and useless.

If I belong to the Living God through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, then I must grow to be like Him.

In the place of our sin and sin nature, Jesus gave us the gift of His place before God. We are now God’s beloved, we are now Heirs to the Throne of Heaven. We are complete and perfect in God’s eyes.

The whole process of temptation is not because God is powerless to stop it, but to reveal in us where our sin nature must give way to the nature of our risen Lord, who was tempted in all ways, like we are, but without sin.

Growing is a process. It cannot be bypassed if you are a Human living on this planet, in this universe, in this time.

I was unwilling in that Physics class to succumb to the discipline of doing the hard work simply because I could accurately give the answer every time. This kind of knowledge is useless if you cannot share it or explain it.  Something about having to solve the problem is part of learning.  You get to see where your weaknesses are and where the discipline of doing has increased your understanding.

It isn’t when things are going well that Christ is revealed in us.  It is when we are facing the taskmaster of sin and slavery that we discover where our strength comes from.  It is how we deal with strong temptation that we learn where we apprehend God’s grace.  It is in this crucible, suspended over the cauldron that threatens to dissolve us that we discover that, “One like the Son of God” stands in this furnace with us. We would not survive this life without His presence. We would have no hope of the next life without His presence in this one.

That’s the point, isn’t it?

AND WHEN WE HAVE OVERCOME.

We will not be exactly like Jesus until we see Him face to face. But we will grow to be like Him.  He faced terrible temptation and torture on our behalf.  His lesson here is, we must go through these things to be purified.  We face these things so we can understand why His Grace is sufficient.  These lessons in temptation are meant to refine us and make us more like Him and less like ourselves so we can share Him with others who also struggle as we struggle.

What is revealed in the act of solving the problem tends to be more valuable than if you simply assume you get it.

Let’s not be reticent to do the hard work.  Let’s learn these lessons temptation brings us.

Let’s not be like the man who puts his hand in the jar, but refuses to lift it to his mouth.  Do you see the food, but refuse to eat?

Let’s strive to understand why it is true that, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Take the time it takes to face these things that tempt you. Face the things that sweetly desire to destroy you. Don’t run from the wearying effort of submission to His will. It IS hard. It is challenging. It is draining. It can crush your soul if you are not careful or if you try to do this on your own understanding.

Here is the lesson. You don’t have anything in you but sin. He offers you His Holiness in exchange for your sinful nature. That was the deal He made with God by going to the cross and dying of all your sin.

Just because you see the answer doesn’t mean you understand the answer.

Let’s be about it

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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He Will Not Despise You


repent

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

A Breaking Heart

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

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

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

When I Am Finally Weak

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

WHERE IS YOUR GOD?

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

I Cried, I praised.png

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

LET’S BE ABOUT IT

David Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

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Faith

God’s Gift of Salvation – An Inconvenient Truth


God’s Gift of Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Faith, Observations

Despair is Not a Fruit of the Spirit


from “Peanuts”, by Charles Schultz

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

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

SARCASM IS NOT A SPIRITUAL GIFT

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

1 Corinthians 12:

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

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

Take Sarcasm for example.

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

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

Mom had taken me with her to the grocery store.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT FRUITS MAY BEAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS FRUIT

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

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

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

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

THIS IS WHY I AM WRITING THIS SERIES

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

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

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

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

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

BEFORE YOU DECIDE

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

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

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

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

Shall we explore?

Let’s be about it.

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

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

PS – I strongly recommend two books:

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

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

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Faith, Observations, Stuff

Let It Rain


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

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

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

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

DAYS LIKE THIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

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

LIFE LIKE THIS

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

LATELY

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

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

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

IT IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

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

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

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

The Opportunity

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

The Danger

The danger is that I will not.

Problems happen.

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

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

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

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

We are not better than our master.

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

There is a season for everything under the sun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 8:28King James Version (KJV)

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

Now,

Let’s be about it!

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

David Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Teach Me, Lord…


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

God,

When I feel like giving up, sustain me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teach me mercy so I can show mercy.

Teach me grace so I can show grace.

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

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

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

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

Help me give this gift away.

I love you.

David P.

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the truth, however…

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

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

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

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

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

Here is an example:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truth reveals Christ.

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

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

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

Still, it is all on His terms.

Let Him be about you.

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

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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A Long and Awkward Silence – Part II


Lost and Confused Signpost

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

DO IT, CHECK IT!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We dreaded drills, but we learned from them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LET’S BE ABOUT IT!!

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Whom God Chooses – Part 4b – The Promises


The Promises are revealed in the Names of God, and fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

 

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2Pe 1:2-4)

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:26)

When the believer understands, confesses, and relies completely on the promises revealed through Christ, God manifests the power of His grace in their lives, so that others will be drawn to Jesus, to the glory of God the Father. These are the spoken confessions of those whom God chooses.

HERE ARE THE PROMISES AS REVEALED BY HIS NAME – (Credit where credit is due: All the following information is taken from Dr. Jim Richard’s excellent book, “The Prayer Organizer”, Published by True Potential, Inc., P.O. Box 904, Travelers Rest, SC, 29690, www.truepotential.com, ISBN: 978-1-935769-56-9)

 Jehova-Tsidkenu – “Jehovah is our Righteousness” – Jer. 23:6

I thank you Father that:

You have made me righteous in Jesus.

You made Him who knew no sin to be sin for me, that I might be the righteousness of God in Him” – 2 Cor: 5:21

Therefore, I have the gift of righteousness in Jesus. Rom. 5:17

He is the end of the law of righteousness for me. Rom. 10:4

My righteousness comes by faith in the Lord Jesus. Rom. 10:10, Phil. 3:9

I do not have to work for my righteousness. Titus 3:5, Isa. 64:6

I am a servant of righteousness because You have made me a new creature. Rom. 6:18, 2 Cor. 5:17

Christ is made righteous unto me. I Cor. 1:30

 Jehova M’Kaddesh – “Jehova who Sanctifies” – Exodus 31:13

I thank you Father that:

You have sanctified me in Jesus.

I have been set apart in Him I Cor. 1:30

I am crucified with Christ Gal. 2:20

I am dead to the world, and the world is dead to me. Gal. 6:14

Sin has no dominion over me. Rom. 6:14

I am free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2

I am sanctified by Your Spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus. I Cor. 6:11

I am set apart for the Master’s use. 2 Tim. 2:21

I am a royal priest set apart to show forth your praises, O God. I Peter 2:9

I am perfected forever by Your will, O God, because You have sanctified me by your spirit. Heb. 10:10, 14, Rom. 5:16

Jehova Shalom – “Jehova is my peace” – Judges 6:24

I thank you Father that:

You give me peace in Jesus

I have peace with you because I am justified by faith. Rom. 5:1

You are the God of peace, and You are with me. Rom. 15:33

I am spiritually minded; therefore, I have Your peace. Rom. 6:8, John 14:27

You give me perfect peace for my mind is stayed on You. Isa. 26:3

The peace of God that passes all understanding keeps my heart and my mind through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:7

Your peace rules in my heart. Col. 3:15

I am at peace with all men. 2 Tim. 2:22

You make me to be a peacemaker. Matt. 5:9

You make even my enemies to be at peace with me. Proverbs 16:7

Jehova-Shammah – “Jehova is present” – Psalms 46:1

I thank you Father that:

You are present by Your Spirit.

You are always with me. Matt. 28:20

You did not leave me as an orphan, but You have come to me by Your Spirit. John 14:18

You will never leave me or forsake me. Heb. 13:5

You are in me, and I am in you by Jesus. John 17:21-23

When we gather in the name of Jesus, You are there with us. Matt. 18:20

I abide under Your shadow. Psalms 91:1

I am his in the secret of Your presence. Psalms 31:20

Your presence gives me rest. Exodus 33:14

Jehova-Rophe – “Jehova Heals” – Exodus 15:26

I thank you Father that:

You are my health and healing in Jesus.

You are the Lord God who heals me. Exodus 15:26

You put no sickness on me. Exodus 15:26

You keep me from every disease. Deut. 7:15

Jesus carried all my sickness, pains, and infirmities; therefore, I don’t have to carry them. Matt. 8:17

By His stripes I have been healed. I Peter 2:24

I am free from the curse of sickness. Gal. 3:13

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets me free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2

The Spirit gives life to my physical body. Rom. 8:11

No plague can come near me or my dwelling. Psalms 91:10

I have the Son; therefore I have the life (ZOE) of God. I John 5:12, II Cor. 5:17, Gal. 2:20

Therefore, I forbid any sickness or disease to live in my body. I command every organ to function properly. I thank You that the life in me, by Your Spirit, overcomes death and disease. Mark 11:23, Rom. 8:2

Jehova-Jireh “Jehova’s provision shall be seen” – Genesis 22:14

I thank you Father that:

You are my provider in Jesus. I am free from the curse of poverty. Gal. 3:13

You have qualified me to receive the inheritance of the Kingdom of Light. Col. 1:12

All your blessings come on me and overtake me. Deut. 18:2

I am blessed, and I am a blessing wherever I go. Deut. 28:3

You give me the increase. Deut. 28:4

You make me plenteous in goods. Deut. 28:11

You bless the work of my hands. Deut. 28:12

You have delivered me from borrowing. Deut. 28:12

The wealth of the wicked is laid up for me. Prov. 13:22

Jesus has given me the abundant life. John 10:10

All your promises are mine. 2 Cor. 1:20

You supply all my needs (not according to my education, ability, or earning potential), according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19

Jesus took my poverty that I might take His riches. 2 Cor. 8:9

You make all grace abound unto me so that I ALWAYS have ALL sufficiency in ALL things so that I may abound unto every good work. 2 Cor.9:8

I give freely; therefore, I increase. Prov.11:24

Because I give, it is given unto me a good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over do men give unto me. Luke 6:38

Jehova-Rohi “Jehova my Shepherd” – Psalms 23:1

I thank you Father that:

You are my shepherd in Jesus by Your Spirit.

I trust in You with all my heart; I lean not to my own understanding. In all my ways, I acknowledge you, and you direct my paths. Prov. 3:5-6

You make me toile down in green pastures (abundance). Psalms 23:2

You lead me beside still waters (Peace). Psalms 23:2

You restore my soul (emotions). Psalms 23:3

You lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Psalms 23:3

Your rod and staff comfort me (in times of trouble). Psalms 23L4

You have given me the Spirit of Truth who leads me into all truth, (John16:13), who shows me the deep things of God, )1 Cor. 2:10), who leads me into perfect prayer, (Rom. 8:27), who gives me the mind of Christ. 1 Cor. 2:16

Because I am Your son, You lead me by Your Spirit, (Romans 8:14), who gives me the knowledge of Your will. Colossians 1:9

You renew my mind by Your Word and Spirit; therefore, I am able to know Your good and acceptable and perfect will, O God. Rom. 12:2

His Work

We know to confess these things because we have experienced the work of the Spirit of God who worked these things into us. This is not something we worked into ourselves. This is entirely the work of a loving Father, who, seeing we have submitted to His call, has made these truths manifest in our lives. It is because of this that we are chosen by Him to serve.

This is available to all who chose to accept the free gift of God’s love. John 3:16-18.

This is available to you, if you chose it. You will know that you need to do this because you will feel the call of God whisper in your heart. While you are still dead through sin, youwill feel God call you. If you will answer, and receive this free gift of salvation, p[rovided through the death of Jesus on the cross, then all the above truth will be written on your heart.

This is so others will see the Hand of God manifest in your life, so that they will have the opportunity to be drawn to Christ, just as you were.

Let’s be about it.

I love you because Christ has loved me.

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

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Whom God Chooses – Part 4a – Standing on the Promises


 

 

 

By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. (1Jn 4:17)

Standing on the Promises

The hallmark of the believer is that he believes. In the face of the storm, he believes. In the face of prosperity, he believes. He believes when he cannot see the hand of God and he believes because he knows the hand of God is in all things. The faith of the believer is what delivers the promise of God. This faith is not something the believer ginned up as an exercise in “wish fulfillment”. This faith is a seed that God himself planted in the believer, then watered. As it set root, it grew. The roots of this faith, this gift from God, are set deep in the promises of God through Jesus Christ. By Jesus Christ. For Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ.

We stand on the promises, not because they have manifest themselves in our lives. They have manifest themselves in our lives because we stood on the promises. We heard the promises, we spoke the promises, and we know that, now or in the future, all His promises will be manifest so that all may see and believe, or see and regret their unbelief. God does not repent of His promises, but patiently waits to manifest them in all of us, as we rest in the finished work of the cross.

NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
(Heb 11:1) Amplified Bible (e-Sword)

The Struggle is in the Resting

All believers started out as dead in God’s eyes. Even so, while we were dead, and at war with Him, He sent us Jesus Christ, who paid the price for our separation from Him (That is what death is, being cut completely off from Him.)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. NASB (Rom 5:8)

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.

(Eph 2:1-10)

 

It starts with understanding we had nothing to do with it, except accept the free gift of God’s grace. When we believed in our hearts and confessed with our mouths that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sin, and rose from the dead then we began to rest in the completed work of the cross.

This is the first promise, and it was spoken by Jesus:

“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.

(Joh 3:16-18)

 

When we rest in this promise God’s Holy Spirit fills us and begins teaching us, guiding us, and revealing all the promises God has made throughout all the scriptures. As we learn to rest in these promises, we grow to be like Christ.

The struggle is in the resting.

We have to remember to get out of the way, to rest. We cannot walk like Jesus unless we first learn to rest in the completed work of Christ.

The second we attempt to make manifest any of the promises of God through our own efforts, we stop being obedient, and stop resting. This is rebellion, and God cannot honor your rebellion.

This is when God allows the consequences of our actions to bring the circumstances we face. This is when class is in session. Until we learn to rest in the promises, we cannot walk them out in our lives.

WHOM GOD CHOOSES

God works through those who rest in the promises. God reveals Christ through those whose faith is in the finished work of the cross.

BE CHOSEN

You are chosen when you rest in the promises of God because of the completed work of the Cross.

What do you believe?

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the name of Jesus Christ

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 


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Whom God Chooses – Part 3a – “Through”


But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene–walk!”
(Act 3:1-8)

In Part One, we looked at how the heroes of faith got out of the way of God. God helped them get out of the way, so He could work through them.

In Part Two, we saw that the heroes of faith acted out of absolute assurance that they were in God’s plan.

In this part, Part Three, we will see that the Heroes of faith are absolutely willing to be a channel through whom God blesses others.

“… while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” (Act 4:30)

The operative word here is “through”. The point made about getting out of the way of God and be willing to let go of your agenda and be confident that you are in His will is so that God can work HIS will through you. God does the work. He chooses to do His work through us. We do not bring our agenda to Him and hope he blesses it. One of the best summaries of this thought is given by the Chinese Evangelist, Watchman Nee. Nee was giving a series of messages at a special conference held in Shanghai from June 11 through June 18, 1940. In that series of messages, Nee talked about the question, “What is God’s Work?”

He said:

“In Philippians Paul says: “That I may lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.” The Lord Jesus has a special, specific purpose in laying hold on us – and that specific purpose is the thing we want to lay hold of. He has a purpose, and this purpose is that we might be co-workers with Him. Nonetheless it is still true that we cannot do God’s work, since it is absolutely and wholly His. But on the other hand, we ARE His coworkers. So that on the one hand we must recognize and acknowledge that we cannot touch with even one little finger the work of God, yet on the other hand we are called to be co-workers with Him! And this is that for which He has laid hold on us. The Lord has a definite purpose in salvation – and a clear and specific purpose in saving us – which is, that he might have us as His co-workers.”

“Now just who is a co-worker of God? Well, it is NOT one who wants to work for God, one who sees a need and wants to meet it; it is not even one who gets people saved; rather is it the one who does what God has appointed him to do in His eternal purpose, and ONLY that does he do. If we truly see that for which we have been laid hold on by Christ Jesus, all our labors, all our former works for Him will be smashed to pieces”

“The aim and object of God in everything is to reveal His Son, to manifest His Son, to “show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward is us in Christ Jesus.” This is His eternal purpose. Is this YOUR object in the work you are doing now? If it is any lower than this, then you are not a co-worker with God.” – (“God’s Work” by Watchman Nee, Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.)

Am I saying that you shouldn’t do good works? No, what I am saying is that our good works are led by God. God is doing them through us because we have gotten out of the way. Our works will reflect the will of God. We are the conduit through which God’s will is excised.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
(John 5:19)

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
(John 5:30)

If the King of Heaven was subject to the will of God on earth, why do we think we can develop our own agenda and bring it to God and expect Him to bless it? We are called to be just like the Master.

The Apostle Paul reminded us to:

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Php 2:5-7)

 

Even this is not a work we humans can strive to accomplish. It is already accomplished in Christ Jesus. If we rest in the finished work of the cross, we are filled with the spirit of God. We are able and empowered to act and be what God has designed us to be.

God does all this in us, so that, when it is time, He can work through us. The aim and object of everything God does is to reveal His Son, to “show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

At our very best, we can imitate some of the works of God, but they, being driven by the flesh, are ineffective. There will be no works in Heaven that are not of Christ, and for Christ. All other efforts will be destroyed in the end.

 

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Mat 7:22-23)

The difference is not what they did, but whom they obeyed when they did it. Any and all works, even if they were done in the name of Jesus, if they were not first conceived by God and flowing from Christ through you, then they are of no account.

When we bless others, it is because we see Christ doing this through us. When we do anything at all, it is because we are in the vine, who is Christ Jesus. We hear the voice of Jesus and know the will of the Him who sent us, and we obey.

God worked through Jesus. We are to let Jesus work through us. The work He will do through us will be to demonstrate what the message of the Cross is so that as many as will accept this free gift will be saved.

“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

(John 14:11-13)

When we get out of the way, and understand we are part of the plan of God, and let God work the life of Jesus into us and through us, we will become a channel through whom God blesses others.

This is what it means to be chosen.

Stay tuned for part 3b.

Let’s be about it.

I love you,

David G. perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Whom God Chooses…Part I – More or Less


One thing’s for sure, if you don’t really want to serve God, don’t tell Him you do, and don’t answer Him when He calls. Another thing is for sure; If He plans on using you for His purposes, He will make sure it happens. One way or another, God will prepare you for that call. The question you have to answer is: Will you allow God to prepare you?


 

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. (Heb 11:24-27)

Moses is an example of someone who took matters into his own hands…frequently. Humble in birth, but raised as a Prince of Egypt, Moses was at home with power and privilege. When Moses first set foot in the Hebrew Camp, to join his fellow Hebrews, it was obvious he had an agenda, and planned on exercising that agenda. He killed an Egyptian Slave Driver for beating a fellow Hebrew. He felt he had done the right thing, but was later rebuked by his own people for trying to break up a fight between two other Hebrews. His newly found family feared Moses was going to kill them too. Wanted for murder, and no longer feeling safe among his people, Moses fled for the wilderness.

From Prince to pauper, Moses ended up shepherding sheep near Mount Horeb. Moses had to learn to serve instead of being served. Moses had to learn the patience it takes to be a shepherd of sheep. 40 years after leaving Egypt, the Living God called Moses out of that land to return to Egypt to lead the Hebrews out to the Promised Land.

It took God 40 years to get Moses out of Moses’ way so he can serve the Living God. Moses was brash, fiery and temperamental. God needed 40 years to get the agenda out of Moses and work into him a patient humility that would later lead him to free the Hebrews from bondage.

How long will it take me to reach the end of me before I am of any use to God?


 

Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; … And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
(Jon 2:1-2 & 10)

God told Jonah to run over to Nineveh and preach the message of repentance. Jonah high tailed it out of town and went straight toward Tarsus. That is the other way from Nineveh. Jonah had such a low opinion of the Ninevites that he figured God had gotten it all wrong. Besides, the Ninevites scared him.

Jonah booked passage from home to Tarsus on the first fast boat he could find. God brought a storm. The sailors were scared. Jonah admitted he had disobeyed God and recommended the sailors throw him overboard. (He was not being brave, he knew he stood a better chance overboard than in the hands of the angry sailors). A whale swallowed Jonah.

Jonah had a few days inside the whale to think things over. Life inside a whale is not exactly a luau and grass skirts. He was miserable, scared, and alone. He found himself caught between certain digestive problems, and God.

God called Jonah for a reason. The evidence of that is what was recorded in Nineveh when Jonah preached there. Jonah was so consumed by his fears, his opinion of others, and his lack of respect for what God intended, that he decided that his agenda was more important than Gods, and his opinion meant more than God’s.

Is my agenda and opinion standing in the way of my being able to walk in the authority of God? Am I in the belly of the whale because I value my view more than Gods? Have I brought this disaster on myself, when all I had to do is obey God? I need to recognize that my understanding of things is not the same as God’s. And if I want to be used by Him, I need to see things His way.


 

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard when a servant girl came up to him and said, “You, too, were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it in front of them all, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” As he went out to the gateway, another woman saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus from Nazareth.” Again he denied it and swore with an oath, “I don’t know the man!” After a little while the people who were standing there came up and said to Peter, “Obviously you’re also one of them, because your accent gives you away.” Then he began to invoke a divine curse and to swear with an oath, “I don’t know the man!” Just then a rooster crowed. Peter remembered the words of Jesus when he said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Then he went outside and cried bitterly. (Mat 26:69-75)

Before any of us beat Peter up, how many times have we been in a situation where we had the opportunity to stand for our faith, just to act as if we never heard of Jesus?

Hands? Anyone?

Yea, me too. Sucks, doesn’t it?

Before Peter could be of any use to Jesus, Peter had to understand that the only way any of us can represent Christ is to stop trying to do things out of fear. I cannot please man and please God at the same time.

When push comes to shove, we cannot fake a relationship with Jesus. We either have one or we don’t. Circumstances and pressure will show what is really in our hearts.

Perfect love casts out all fear. Does the love of God reside in me so strongly that I fear nothing man can do? When we love someone…really and truly love them, it shows in the little things we do. In order for me to be guilty of being like Jesus, my love for Him must be strong enough that my actions do not betray Him. Anyone can talk the talk, but it takes real stones to walk the walk.


 

…Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. (Act 7:58)

33 A.D. – The conversion of Saul

44 to 46 A.D. – Apostle Paul’s First Missionary Journey begins

From the time Saul was converted on the road to Damascus, to the time He was able to serve Christ as an apostle, Paul needed 11 years to learn what the completed work of the Cross meant to all mankind. Three of those 11 years were spent being taught directly by Jesus Himself. Imagine all that seminary learning and religion he had to unlearn. In order for Paul to be useful as a servant of Christ, he had to see that all his higher education and religious upbringing amounted to nothing but a heaping pile of “dung”.

Am I so full of my religious notions and education that I am useless to the call of Christ? Has my religious conviction and intellectual pursuits become a weapon I use to beat genuine believers to death with? Am I so busy being righteous that I am scaring the lost further into the depths of darkness? How long will it take Jesus to empty my cup of all the nonsense I think I know about God, so I can actually be used of God? Let my claim, Lord, be, only Christ and the Cross, and Him risen.

THE PROBLEM OF FOLLOWING CHRIST

The problem of following Christ means I have to be emptied of my agenda, I have to be willing to obey when he calls, I have to see things the way He sees things, I have to understand His love and the power of His grace so that I can give that away freely. I cannot let the arrogance of what I think I know get in the way of what God wants me to really know. I have to know that I cannot change unless He changes me. I cannot grow unless He grows me. I cannot become less of me unless He takes that part of me away that does not belong to Him.

If it is my heart’s desire to answer the call of the Lord, I have to become More of Him, and Less of Me. It is not until I come to the end of me that I can see the beginning of Christ in me.

Let God empty you of you. Let Him fill you with Him.

Will you have More or Less?

Let’s be about it.

I love you

David G. perkins


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Whom God Chooses…Introduction


424586_472625946153436_1301156474_nStorms happen in life. Just when things are looking good, life takes a left turn. Our response to these storms reveal a great deal about where we are in the process of being refined into the image of Christ. This Series is inspired from an e-mail conversation I had with my brother in the Lord, Mark Fox. (See His blog page here.) We were discussing a storm we (Perkins House) are going through. In the conversation, Mark made the comment, “God must have something amazingly special for you… to put you through this much “fire.” We know that the testing of our faith produces Godly character… but it must be amazingly difficult to see that truth in the midst of such a raging storm.” 

I also thank Chuck and Jan Harrington whose love and prayer encourage us through this process.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30 NASB)

One thing’s for sure, if you don’t really want to serve God, don’t tell Him you do, and don’t answer Him when He calls. Another thing is for sure; If He plans on using you for His purposes, He will make sure it happens. One way or another, God will prepare you for that call. The question you have to answer is: Will you allow God to prepare you?

Why I Write

If you have been reading this blog, you know the whole reason I started writing is in answer to a call to write. You know that this call to write is not some narcissistic desire to focus on me, but an attempt to be a “live” testimony to the power of the Grace of God. The testimony is that, in spite of my incredible predilection to let God down repeatedly, the power of God’s grace and the strength of His love means that He never tires of shaping me into the image of His Son, Jesus. The idea is that if God is tirelessly transforming someone whom all others would give up on, then there is hope for others out there who know they are called, but dropped the ball on that call, and have no idea how to get back to that call from where they are.

The Chosen

This series is my attempt to highlight five things God develops in the people He chooses.

Jesus made it clear that many are called, but few are chosen. Getting from the call to the choice is hard. It is hard because we have to learn to rest in the completed work of the cross. It is hard because we tend to get in the way of God. It is hard because we have a tendency to think we can be chosen and still live as if we are not.

We are not chosen because we are learned men or women, or because we are something special, or because we have something God needs. God uses the cast-offs and the rejected, the scorned and the unlikely to accomplish some of the most incredible wonders in His Kingdom. God has chosen you because you have acknowledged His call, and have decided that, one way or another, no life but the life of the chosen will do for you.

The Fire

Nothing reveals our walk with God like our circumstances. Circumstances are a refining fire, revealing both the purity of the object, and the flaws in the object. Sometimes the fire is brought on by our own foolishness. Sometimes the fire is brought on by others. Sometimes, it is some combination of both. Some circumstances are simply life being life.

The beauty of our bad circumstances is that God will turn even this into a blessing. In order to take you out of your own way, and change you into the like ness of Christ, God, in His wisdom, will allow things to come along in your life He could have easily prevented in His power.

All circumstances exist so that one thing is revealed in the life of the called and chosen; the depth of Christ-likeness that exists in our life. This does not happen in a vacuum, or in a classroom, or off in a corner where no one else gets to see it, either. Circumstances happen right in front of the saint and sinner, and reveal what character may exist in each of them.

This fire exists to help the called decide if they really want to continue into the call. This fire exists to purify the chosen. This fire exists to reveal the truth of our testimonies before all mankind.

In the end it becomes less important as to why you are in the circumstances you are in, and more important that you learn to see where God is in the midst of the fire. When you can see that God is standing with you in your circumstances, and learn to see the circumstances the way He does, you will grow in refinement to be made into the image of His Son, Jesus.

Becoming Refined

It is easy to see the finished product and admire it, unless you are the finished product. The vessel is beautiful now, but you didn’t see it get pulverized and ground up, and smashed, and mixed up, and forced into a mold, and baked and broken and glazed and painted and finished.

You just see the vase.

The wine is delicious, but were you there when the grape was torn from the vine, pulverized, poured out, and bled to death? You just taste the wine.

It is also easy, looking from the outside in, to see someone get mangled, crushed, and reshaped, and wonder what in the world that person did wrong. It is easy to not recognize that God is doing a work on another believer. It is not our place, then, to judge, or evade, but to encourage, and support that vessel. That is also, part of the refining process.

As Children of God, we all want to be like Jesus, or at least we say we do. But are we willing to go through the hard work of the refining fire? Are we willing to have the dross burned out, and be sifted? Are we ready to have our character exposed to the world? Are we ready to become chosen, or will we walk away at the first sign of the refining fire?

The secret to becoming refined is understanding that YOU do not do the refining. God does. Just as with every aspect of the redeemed life, you have nothing to do with the process. It is God who created us. It is God who redeemed us. It is God who called us. It is God who chooses us, and it is God who refines us.

Our only part in this is that we have to be willing to go through the refining fire. We have to be willing to yield, and then we have to submit. There is a reason it is called “laboring to rest”.

The Result

The result of God’s refining fire is a vessel that can be used on earth to fulfill that which has already been accomplished in Heaven. The following five things will be true of you:

  1. In emptying your cup of you, He will fill you with Him.
  2. You will become absolutely aware and assured you are in the plan of God.
  3. You will be absolutely willing to be a channel through whom God blesses others.
  4. In feeding daily on the promises of God, you will deliver the bread of life to the hungry.
  5. You will acquire a reckless abandonment toward the will of God so that you will dare to act on what God says regardless of how you feel or regardless of your circumstances.

A vessel in the Kingdom of God is not a museum piece, to be set on a shelf and admired. It is a tool designed to get right in the deep end of life and get dirty, and dig the fallen out of the mire of the world they have chosen to wallow in.

This is what Jesus referred to when He talked of Fruit. Many are called, few are chosen. If you want to bear fruit, you have to get pruned and refined. You can chose to hang out in the garden, fruitlessly living your life, or you can allow God to prune away all that is not His, and bear beautiful fruit.

I hope you enjoy this series.

Let’s be about it.

I love you,

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

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Faith, Observations

My Confession



Picture 732Dedication: This is for Pam, who constantly reminded me to guard my confession, and speak what God has said is true.
Now I get it, Pam…now I get it.

I am a former member of the Kaju Kiado Kwai Kwoon Do, a specific club of Martial Artists. When I was in the Kwoon, I worked very hard at advancing my skills and rank.

Notice I said I worked HARD.

It took me forever to learn that working hard is not always working smart. I could have worked smart with as much persistence and diligence, and earned my belts faster and easier than if I had merely worked hard.

This was especially true with throwing stars and knives. When people saw me eyeing these weapons, they suddenly had other places to be. I hit everything except the target. Captain Klutz was in the house!

In order for my stars and knives to hit the target with meaningful outcomes, I had to clear my mind, and focus only on what was true about the target; it is the only thing in the room. In order to do that, I had to forget my fears and ego (My opinion), and not allow anything else to distract me from my path. I did not focus on not hitting the walls, or other people or anything else (My Fear). There became only me and the center of the target. My hoped for outcome became the only thing in the room. When I could finally understand and do that, my knives and stars hit whatever I aimed at.

I finally passed my Black Belts not because my technique was near perfect, but because I brought a faith and understanding that defied mere physical observation. I believed and saw what was not readily apparent. I had already prepared myself because I saw and confessed in my heart what the outcome would be. The difference, then, between winning a fight and losing it, lay not so much in my skill, but in what I believed about my outcomes over what my opponent believed about his. The first thing I had to do was forget I was Captain Klutz. He died when I joined the Kwoon.

I spent more time developing what I believed was true in my heart about my skill, and less time sweating out the techniques. I went from a mechanic, someone who knows all the right moves, to being an artist, one whose moves are manifestly the true art.

Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that of which I am afraid befalls me.

When I have declared that Jesus Christ is my savior, I have put off the Old Self, through the resurrection of Christ, and put on a New Self (See II Cor 5:17 & Galatians 2:20). If I want my Old Self to stay dead, I have to know how God sees me now, and confess it WITH MY MOUTH. I have to renew my mind daily. I cannot allow external distractions to sway me away from the faith Christ has planted in me. When fear tempts me, or circumstances try to persuade me that things are not the way God has declared them, I have to relax in the finished work of Jesus, where an incredible power resides. Just like in the martial arts, my outcomes will be what I genuinely believe they will be.

I have a friend, Pam.

She has an incredible faith in Jesus. Pam could see that, when I was under stress, or impatient, or tired, my confession strayed from what I know is true, to what I fear is true. THEN I would give voice to that fear. My fear, being fed, grew very strong, and invited his other fearful friends. Pam saw this, and reminded me to watch my confession. I agreed with her, intellectually, but lacked the spiritual discipline to do so. Instead, I took matters into my own hands and tried to fight these fears on my own. The end result was that, the thing I feared overtook me. Life became very difficult because I had taken my faith off the finished work of the cross, and made my confession to be opposite what I said I believe.

Even though I had been raised in a very strong Baptist background and attended Seminary, I am still a baby Christian. I am new to the work of the Holy Spirit, the finished work of the cross, and all the implications of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I understood these things for real just last August. I have a lot of Old Self habits that do not know they are dead. My confession reflected that fact.

I am writing this to you so you can see what I am learning from this experience.

Pro 4:23 Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance, above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. – Solomon

Ephesians 4:22-24 NASB…in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

The battle field is in our heart. If we are in Jesus Christ, GOD is in our heart, His Kingdom is in our heart, the Holy Spirit is in our Heart. All believers, whether they are “new” or “mature” must DAILY labor to rest in the finished work of the cross. This happens not only by reading the scriptures daily, and praying daily, but developing, DAILY, a firm understanding of what being a Child of God really means.  When you do this, in your heart, your mind changes from a perceived reality, to what is really real in God.

My Old Self will work very hard at trying to get me to confess negative things, hateful things, shameful things, and untrue things. My Old Self does not want to be dead, and will exert all its efforts to try to get me to believe I have not really changed. Whatever you believe is true about yourself, IS what will manifest in your life. Most of my life, I believed only negative things about me. The discipline of laboring in to the rest of the truth of my salvation means, I must know and confess with my mouth what God has said is true about me.

We guard our hearts, not by focusing on what we want to avoid doing, but by confessing what God has done in us, and how He sees us now that we are His children. My knives and stars didn’t hit the target because I focused on NOT hitting the walls and my teachers and fellow students. I hit the target by becoming the object of my aim, and believing that that object was the only truth. When you do this, you have NO OPTION but to hit it. It is the only thing in the room. In order for my confession to manifest itself, it has to become the only thing in the room of my heart and mind. All other distractions have to lose relevance, and my awareness.

I know that what Romans 8:1 says is true, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  So my failure to trust and rest in the completed work of the Cross is not going to draw the wrath of God on me. God is not going to hold this against me. God will use this apparent defeat, and turn it for His good in me. The Holy Spirit will instruct me so I can learn from this.

 Heb 10:23 So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess (with our mouth) and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.

Today, I know that, if I want to live the victory of being a child of God, I have to approach everything from the viewpoint of Victory. I do not work from defeat INTO victory. I start at Victory and walk out what God has said is true about me. When adversity and trials approach me, I will have victory when my confession is what God says is true about me. This gives me the subtle awareness of the ways the Old Self tries to attack and, from the vantage point of Victory, I defeat the Old Self simply by adhering to the truth, with my confession, and my heart, full of belief and understanding of What God has done in me.Copy of Picture 708

I am learning, and am sharing with anyone who also is struggling with this.

Your faith is developed in your heart through your confession. When you confess anything, you see it, you feel it, you believe it, and you experience it in your heart. Whether the confession is true or false, positive or negative, real or fake, whatever you KNOW is true in your heart IS what will be true in your life. If you want to grow to be like Jesus, you have to confess that which is true about you in Jesus and Jesus in you. Because you are saved, and raised again with Christ, all that is true about Jesus is true about you. Visualize this fact in your mind, and feel the excitement of this in your heart, and confess it with your mouth, so your soul will understand, and it will manifest in your life.

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

Ok, so, like me, you blew it. Romans 8:28 tells us what God will do, even when we blow it. Now, confess this truth. Say it out loud. Believe it when you say it. See it happening in your mind’s eye. Feel what it is like for this to be true. Feel the relief that God turns even our stupidity and curses into His light and blessings. When you are in the dark, do what Jesus did when He was in Hell on our behalf. CONFESS WHAT YOU KNOW TO BE TRUE EVEN IF GOD SEEMS A BAZILLION MILES AWAY.

Picture 571What you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart will come to manifest in your life. The only way to put off the old self is to stop confessing whatever the old self confessed.

See and understand how God sees you, now that you are His.

You are a new creation, so you get to make a new confession.

Let’s be about it!

 

 

I love you in Jesus Christ

David Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 


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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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Faith

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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