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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Faith

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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Faith

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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Faith

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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Faith

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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