Faith

When We Fall


Pro 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity. (Amplified, e-sword)

 

Peter hopped out of the boat, but let the waves scared him, causing him to forget to keep his eyes on Jesus. Peter cut off a man’s ear. Jesus rebuked Peter, and put that man’s ear back on. Peter denied Jesus 3 times. Later on, after the resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Peter, do you love me?” Peter refused to eat with the Gentiles. The Lord lovingly rebuked him, and taught him that it was OK, because He had opened the entire world up to receive the Gospel. And all things were now clean because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Paul led an army from the Temple in Jerusalem into all the land of Israel and surrounding territories to persecute, murder, torture, and commit many atrocities in the name of the God of the Pharisees. Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus. Jesus blinded and rebuked Paul. After he was healed, and the eyes of his understanding were opened, Jesus sent Paul into all of Europe and the Mediterranean to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. Throughout the Bible, we see that every man of God has fallen, and God lifted them back up.

All of these situations have something in common. When they fell the Lord rebuked them. When the Lord rebuked them, it was for their healing and understanding. Their ignorance of God’s way was stripped away and replaced with a better understanding of who and what the Lord is, and what God desires of all of us.

 

WE ALL FALL.

 

God did not bring that fall, you probably did. God will not judge you for that fall. All of God’s judgment and wrath was poured out on Jesus at the Cross. Because Jesus Christ is our Lord, we are not judged when we fall. God does not look down on you in scorn and say, “Well, you certainly deserved THAT!” Remember this scripture when you fall: Rom 8:1 THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. (Amp, e-Sword). The failure is not in the falling. The failure comes when we don’t learn the lesson God reveals to us through that fall.

I will use an example I heard Graham Cooke use at a church in Carrolton, TX. When a mother is teaching her baby to walk, and she stands the baby up, scoots back a bit, and holds out her arms, and says, “Walk to Mommy.”, and the baby takes a few halting steps, then falls and crawls the rest of the way to Mommy; Will that Mom get angry with the child and, in her scorn, tell the baby, “I told you to WALK! You fell down! I no longer love you because you don’t walk exactly as I do!” No! No mother who loves her child will do something that cruel.

God invites you to walk as His Son did. You take a few halting steps, yet you fall. Will God declare you unfit for His kingdom? Will he berate you for being a sinner, unworthy of His love? NO! God does not do that with His children. God loves us much more than any human could possibly love her child. God is Love, Joy, Peace, Forgiveness, Gentleness, Kind Hearted, Peaceable, Hope, and Redemption. To act any other way towards us, His children, would be out of His own character. God is teaching all His children to walk – toward Him.

 

WHEN WE FALL

 

You are not condemned by God.

Because we are seeking Him with all our heart; God will use this experience to take your understanding of Him to an even higher level. God is all about a relationship with you through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the ONLY way you can have a relationship with God. And Jesus, having become all sin that ever existed from eternity to eternity, understands what it is like to fall. He stands before God DAILY advocating on your behalf.

In your fall, you will experience the love, grace and kindness of God, through Jesus. You will learn that there is a difference between devotion to a person, and devotion to some principles or to a cause. Jesus didn’t come here proclaiming a cause. Any cause that replaces Jesus in your life, even if you think you are serving Jesus in it, is idolatry. Jesus came here to proclaim that your relationship with God is healed and renewed and available. The door to the Kingdom is open when we go through Jesus.

We are called out to a relationship, not a religion. We are called out to be made into the likeness of Jesus, as He is in Heaven. When we fall, we will be lifted back up by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. You are his beloved child. He loves you so much that He sacrificed His OWN beloved child so you can live.

We will fall, but when we do, God will reveal Himself in our circumstances, and show us what we need to learn from it, so we will grow stronger in a loving relationship with Him.

 

WHEN THE LORD LIFTS US UP

 

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. (Amplified, e-Sword)

God’s thoughts of you are exactly the same as He has for Jesus. You are His beloved. You are His prize. You are God’s very own child. You have inherited all that Jesus has because you have believed in Him.

God has woven plans for you from before the beginning of time, and nothing can stop Him from fulfilling it in you. God will lift you up, and set you on His path. You will know you are not condemned, and that you are greatly loved of God. Sometimes, the path God has planned for us gets tangled when we take matters in our own hands. Rest assured, this will not surprise God. You will never hear God say, “Man, I didn’t see THAT coming!” Your progress is in His timing. Your growth is His idea. You are the redeemed.

This is not a license to fall, either. The deeper your relationship with God grows, the less the things of the world will appeal to you. When you fall, and the Lord lifts you up, you will see a side of Him that offers you redemption in the area you fell. He will show you a higher level of life to live. He is all about upgrading us to a perfect relationship with Him.

Php 1:6 And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Amplified e-Sword)

You are God’s own handiwork, and He never tires of bringing you, lovingly, into the image of Christ.

 

WHEN YOU ARE REDEEMED

 

Remember what you were redeemed from. Remember who the redeemer is. When you meet someone in need, do not think that you are free to ignore that person. Don’t delude yourself by saying that, “He must be going through this because God is trying to teach him something, and he probably deserves it.” We have no right to judge what a person is going through, and we do not actually know. Only God knows. God just may have put that person in your path to see what YOU will do with the situation. Will you cross the street in order to remain clean, or will you dip your hands deep into the situation to show that person the only Godliness he may ever see? God’s redemption from any fall, from every fall, comes with gifts of love, grace, mercy, healing, and joy. When we experience these things, we are free to give them away to anyone who we run across. We are given generous measures of Grace. Grace is not ours to hoard. We give freely because we have been given freely.

 

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

 

When you fell, you weren’t abandoned by God. When the Lord showed up to heal your circumstances, He walked beside you and taught you what you need to understand, in order to overcome this situation. It is the Lord who will lift you up. This is the work of God. Left to our own devices, we would rather wallow in our failures and whine about them. As a child of the Living God, we do not have to fear being alone in our darkest hour. We can trust God that He will heal us and redeem us in our darkest times. The Lord will never abandon you or forsake you. No power in any part of the universe, or in heaven, or beneath, can tear you out of God’s hand. Be encouraged, my friend, when you have problems, or when you fall. After you pass through this dark place, you will walk out of it looking more like Christ. God will turn this darkness into daylight, and turn your curses into blessings, so that all men will see that God is good.

When we see others fall, we are to treat them in the exact same manner as God treats us when we fall.

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the love of Jesus Christ

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

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Faith

POWERFUL GRACE


10513399_10152600234320628_3221227884745986876_nTHE BURNING QUESTION

 

Have you ever prayed fervently for something, and got what you prayed for? I did, and it caused problems. The problem it caused is that I discovered I cannot serve two masters. I cannot have it my way, AND God’s way…not when my way does not harmonize with what it is God is trying to accomplish in my life. I discovered that what I had asked for was a compromise position on what it is that God wants to accomplish in the life of my family.

See, Sandy and I have been praying fervently that God grow us up, make real believers of us, and remake us to be the image of Christ.

I also asked God for something that I have been asking Him even before I came to know Him in a very real way, last August. Strangely enough, I got what I asked for. EXACTLY the way I asked for it.

At the time I did this, I didn’t know there was a big difference between what I want and what God wants for me.

It turns out that, God will place at your feet anything you ask, if you ask believing it will be done. The problem is that, you have to make sure that what you ask is what GOD wants to see happen in your life.

If what you get does not harmonize with the will of God for your life, then what you experience is going to end up being a painful experience. You will discover that you have to do things God’s way, your way, or someone else’s way.

Here is an example of what I am talking about. God called Abram of UR, out of UR to go to another land. Abram didn’t go right away. He was supposed to go when he was called. He was supposed to go alone, too. He waited, and then took his uncle, relatives and his half-sister, whom he married. He didn’t go to where God told him to go, either. Where he ended up quickly became a barren land and had a famine. God told Abram to go NORTH. Abram went SOUTH, to Egypt. THEN Abram lied to everyone and said the hot babe on his arm wasn’t his wife, but his sister. Eventually the truth would come out, and people would kick Abram out of the place, but offer him peace offerings for nearly committing adultery with his wife.

Foreigners had to tell Abram he was sinning against his own God. By this time, Abram is old, and has not seen the promise of a great multitude occupying the land. You know the rest of the story.

The point is, God called Abram, told him what needs to be done, and Abram did it his way. The Bible describes it this way: Pro 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. (e-SWORD).

Abraham did what he thought was the right thing to do based on his understanding of the circumstances. What he did, however, slowed down the progress that God had in mind. But, through it all, Abraham became a man of great faith, because he got to see what God can do INSPITE of Abraham’s interference.

Abraham got the promise, but it took a long time. None-the-less, God was directing Abraham’s steps out of the path Abraham chose, and led him back into the promise.

When we take matters in our own hands, we slow the promise of God down. Then we end up in a situation. If we are smart, we will stop and ask relevant questions of God.

“What are you trying to reveal to me, God?” “Where are you in this situation?” “What are you trying to show me now that I am listening, that you couldn’t show me because I was asking for my own way?” God could have, by his power, prevented what He allowed to happen by His wisdom. The reason is because God needs to reveal Himself in every aspect of your life.

TRUST IN THE LORD

 

When you can finally quiet your heart, you have to ask these questions, then be still and listen for His answers. He WILL answer. If you ask God to rescue you from the consequences of you having your own way, He may do that, too. However, He will see to it that the lesson is repeated until you finally catch on to what it is that God is trying to show you.

The Bible puts it this way: Pro 3:5 & 6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

I asked for what I wanted, and God let me have my way. I discovered that, having my way exposed several weaknesses in my character, and that I have a lot of growing up to do. God turned my selfishness into a blessing. Sandy and I pray constantly to be made like our Savior, Jesus Christ. If I ask for anything from God that contradicts His character, His will for us, or His vision of who we are in Heaven, then I have to be prepared to deal with the outcomes. Even then, God is not judging me. God has already fulfilled all his judgment in Christ Jesus.

God is going to use even my selfishness to teach me and upgrade me so that I can be better at understanding what it is that God wants us to do.

It is the way of the flesh to call someone out on their failings, and judge them and condemn them. It is God’s way to take your failings and call you up to a higher standard.

Through the power of God’s Grace, He will show you what it is you need to do. Through the power of His Grace, God will empower you to do that very thing.

THE OUTCOME

 

Sandy and I have not yet understood all the lessons we need to learn through our circumstances. But one thing we do know, He made a promise to us, and, one way or another, He will see to it that His promise in us is fulfilled in us.

We are called to serve God because of Jesus Christ. We feel the urgency of this call, and we have a burning fire in our hearts to obey. Now we wait quietly to see what God wants us to do next.

Your outcome is secure if you have genuinely given your life to God through Jesus Christ. God is calling all of Humanity to come home to a relationship with Him. We have had several millennia to see what life is like apart from God. Jesus Christ did for all of humanity what we are not able to do for ourselves. He became all sin, all failure, all disease, all things that formed a barrier between us and God, and, for our sakes He died of them. He became the judged. He was the sin eater. He went to hell on our behalf. And he rose again to prove he has the right to be called the Son of God.

Sandy and I want to be part of the team of messengers He will be sending out to reap the final harvest.

The outcome of even my failings is, I will grow to be just like Jesus Christ. This is God’s promise to you, too.

 

MY PRAYER FOR US ALL

 

Father God, I come to you in the name of Jesus, our Savior and Lord. I pray you give us all a vision of what needs doing, and the power of your Grace to get it done. Grow us all up to be just like Jesus Christ. Teach us to put aside all our vain imaginings, and selfish desire. Teach us daily how to be your Child. Make us into the image of Your Son, Jesus. Time is running out. The enemy is afoot, and we are too busy being religious and selfish to care what goes on around is, in front of us, and even because of us. Grant us mercy. Show us all your love and your will.

AMEN

Let’s Be About It!

I Love You

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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Faith, Observations

Lessons Love Taught Me


 

The old man sat on the swing under the large sycamore tree. It was his little slice of heaven, his place to sit and watch, to see what else nature could teach him. Ancient and strong, the sycamore’s branches stretched far and wide, shading a very large portion of his back yard. Sunlight filtered green and golden through the giant leaves that sheltered all that sat in her shadow. Years ago, he had hung that porch swing on the low, horizontal branch, itself large enough to be a tree trunk for a smaller tree. Just like that old tree, my grandfather was ancient and strong.

Grandpa Perkins had been a woodsman most of his life. Felling timbers for International Paper in Sarepta, Louisiana, he had worked hard all his life. When he had grown too old to be a woodsman, International Paper had him spend the last years of his work life cleaning out the chimney stacks at the mill. That was just as hard, and even more dangerous. There were no real “Safety” regulations back then. Safety meant getting the hell out of the way before a block of ash fell on your head because you jarred it loose cleaning the stacks. He had grown up in a hard world, and learned the ways of the woodlands, and earned his keep off that woodland. Even as an old man, he looked to me to be strong enough to snap two by fours with his hands.

Momma told me to wait until after grandpa had his coffee before I pester him. So, I stood at the back door, looking out the screen, waiting for him to put his cup down, signaling he will be receiving an audience. Grandpa had an old border collie, named “Pup”. That old dog stood guard while Grandpa drank his coffee. When he heard the cup settle down next to the old swing, he would turn and wag his tail at Grandpa, and receive a good scratching between the ears for being a good dog. Pup growled low at most people who came up, but he treated me like I was his best friend.

Momma told me not to go out there and talk Grandpa’s ears off. So, I walked out there quiet as a church mouse, and, after giving Pup a good solid hug, I crawled slowly and quietly in to that old porch swing and just sat there, as silent as a tomb. Grandpa, Pup, and I would sit like that for the longest time. No one moved. There was no talking. The only sound we heard were the sound of cicadas or a slight breeze jostling the leaves on his prize “Cane Pole Garden”, and the chickens clucking in the yard. There was hardly any reason for us to chat. Grandpa was a man of few words, but even if he were a chatterbox, it seemed like it wasn’t necessary for us to have to talk. It felt as if all our talking happened through our hearts.

Eventually, Grandpa would turn his tired blue eyes on me, squeeze my knee, and nod. It was the benediction on a long and silent communion we alone had shared. It was time to do the chores.

His property was small for that part of Louisiana, but a poor woodsman could barely feed his family, let alone have a good stretch of land. What he had, he made the most of. He had a garden, he had chickens, and he had his famous cane poles, growing along the fence line. Grandpa grew the strongest and straightest Bamboo Cane Poles in North Louisiana. People came from far and wide just to try to get one. He had over a hundred poles growing at a time, but very few of them passed his standard of what makes a really good cane pole. What other men would accept as passable, Grandpa threw in the fire for kindling. Our first chore was to cover our mouth and noses with damp cloth and cut down some of the Bamboo Canes. Cane fibers would get in your lungs if you didn’t protect your breathing. Those fibers were like tiny spears that could penetrate your lungs. We had to cover up so we wouldn’t inhale them.

After that, he would choose which ones were worthy of being a Grandpa Perkins Fishing Pole, and have me strip all the tiny branches and buds off the pole. I had no idea I was working hard, all I knew was that me and my Grandpa were doing stuff together. I didn’t care, I was happy as a pig in slop just being around Grandpa. He taught me how to keep a really good cutting blade and a really good chopping blade. You don’t just go up to Bamboo poles and start hacking away at them. There is a way to cut them down. It is an art, and done right, means less hard work, and more poles to dry and season. I was too small to cut the big poles, so Grandpa had me clear the little bamboo from between the big ones. He said they would never grow to be a good pole, so they had to go. It was my job to make them go away. I felt like a real lumber jack cutting down those poles.

Grandpa was a woodsman, and being a lumberjack was mostly what he did. He taught me how to pick the right axe for the job, how to sharpen the axe, and keep it sharp. Out there, in rural Louisiana, there was no going to Home Depot to get a new axe or axe handle. I still have one of his axes. The one with the home made handle. That handle is better built than any I have used from a factory. Trust me; I have broken many axe handles, except that one. Grandpa taught me several lessons on that. If you want it right, do it yourself. Otherwise, you can’t say a word about it. Protect your tools, and they will feed you.

He showed me the different ways of cutting wood, and what type of strike did the most good for the type of tree you are felling and cutting up. He said that a man has to keep good care of his axes and saws because they took care of him. Besides, dull and badly kept blades made for twice as much work for half the pay. I had no idea what that meant at the time; I was just overjoyed to be around him, and him letting me inside his world.

Grandpa was known for being an outstanding fisherman. Louisiana is “Fisherman’s Paradise”, and Grandpa was famous for knowing all the hidey holes where all the good fish were. It was his secret, shared with no one else but me and my big sister, Carol. We would go out while it was still dark. I was little, so Grandpa already had the boat hooked up to his old Ford truck, and warmed up. He sat me in the passenger’s side and I fell back to sleep. The next thing I know, we are at Bodcau Bayou, near Minden, Louisiana. After swearing me to secrecy, we would launch our john-boat out to those hidey holes. Grandpa taught me how to hold a pole and how to “hear” the fish through the line. He showed me how to set bait, how to cut bait, and what to do when I catch a fish. Catching the fish was the fun part. Cleaning it was another. But Grandpa taught me that God gave us fish so we can catch them, eat and enjoy them, and be happy. Grandpa was very happy about fish.

I didn’t set out to learn how to make fishing poles, or cut timber, or catch fish, or sharpen axes and blades. All I wanted to do was hang out with Grandpa because I loved him so much. Learning how he does things was a byproduct of that relationship. He loved me very much, and gave me good things; simply because I thought he was more important than all the fish in Louisiana.

 

Seeking the kingdom of God…and all these things.

 

God brought all this to my remembrance yesterday. I cried happy tears at all those sweet memories. To this day, I still do those thing he did because I loved being with him, and he was a good and gentle teacher. That is the message God is trying to get through our sheepish skulls. Do you love God for all the stuff he will give you, or do you just love God, and want to be with Him? Sandy and I are facing some challenges in our life, right now, and we have been praying our hearts out over them. That is when the lessons my Grandfather taught came to my mind. I never asked Grandpa for anything, I just wanted to be near him and love him.

Am I to the point where that is why I want to be with God, or do I want to be with God because I want stuff from Him? Either way you go, God will be there with you. The difference is, if you hang out with Him simply because you love Him, all the rest of the things you seek will simply happen as a consequence of His love for you. In the meantime, He will help you grow up to be just like His beloved Son, Jesus. After all, it was Jesus who introduced you to God.

Love God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength. Seek Him and His kingdom (Which happens to dwell in you already), and ALL these things will be added to you. You will be just like Jesus then. You might be the only Jesus people meet before they die.

 

Grandpa Perkins, with my Big Sister, 1952

 

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Faith

Trust In The Lord


"He trusted in God; let him deliver him now; if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God."—Matthew 27:43.

“He trusted in God; let him deliver him now; if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.”—Matthew 27:43.

Proverbs 3:5-6
King James Version (KJV)
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Do I trust in the Lord when the larder is full?
What about when there is no food?
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

Do I trust in the Lord while my friends laugh with me and pat my back?
Will I trust in the Lord when I am alone, and no help is in sight?
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

Do I trust in the Lord while the lights burn bright?
Will I trust in the Lord when the lights go out?
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

Do I trust in the Lord when my bed is right here?
Will I trust in the Lord when there is no place to sleep tonight?
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

Jesus had no place to lay His head,
no place to call His home, but He said;
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart.
I will wait patiently for Him.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. – Psalm 28:7

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Faith, Observations

Reckless Abandonment


 

These are the free gifts of God, through Jesus Christ.

These are the free gifts of God, through Jesus Christ.

I rode 12 miles on my bike today. I know, that doesn’t sound like much, especially considering just a decade ago, 30 to 50 miles was my norm. Today, though, 12 miles was perfect for me. One thing bike riding does for me is burn out the extra energy I seem to collect. I am a physical/tactile learner, but I can be easily distracted if I don’t take time to get physical. I hung up my Superman Cape about a decade ago, so bike riding, I feel is the perfect way for me to blow steam. While I am busy working my rotund body, my mind is able to float free, get creative, imagine, explore, think, and sing. (My mind sings loud, when it sings…it comes with its own orchestra, too!) So, while the singing and orchestra was playing gently in the background (I love to take the Old Hymns and arrange them for a Solo singer, with vocal back ground, accompanied by a Knabe Baby Grand Piano, and the London Philharmonic. I KNOW! That’s a lot to put on one bicycle!)

Where was I… OH, singing quietly in the background… riding my bike. OK, so there was my mind, singing, flying high, praising God. My mind started looking at how far I have come since I first set out to ride around Pearland. Baby steps. I reflected on how much has changed in a year, in a decade, in my life. In my younger days, I was an adrenalin junkie. Suddenly, I realized when it began.

THE WELLS FAMILY REUNIONS

(Please wait while the Orchestra changes to nostalgic background music)

When I was little, the Wells Family Reunions were my favorite part of summer. Going to them meant seeing all my cousins, Uncles, Aunts, and my Grandmother Wells (A woman of God if ever there was one.) I haven’t thought about them in decades. Flashes of memory came to me…swimming like a tadpole in the big pool at the Carthage, Texas park. Next to the swimming pool is a large pavilion that can seat a couple of hundred people. We had picnic tables lined up everywhere, and food everywhere. After “Uncle Lindsey” gave his traditional (ONE HOUR LONG) blessing on our gathering, we dove into the food in supreme Southern Baptist Style. Herschel H. Hobbs would have been proud of this “fellowship”. After victuals, the Wells family participated in their favorite sport – GOSSIP. They way this worked is, all the hens sat at one group of tables, and all the men went outside to smoke and tell their balderdash about their triumphs and failures. After a few minutes or so, you had to rotate through the crowds, so you can catch up on any gossip you may have missed, and “share” the gossip you just heard. After a few minutes of this, we kids would decide that there had to be better adventures for us outside. If we dawdled, our momma would swat us on the hiney and tell us to “git!”. And we got.

When I was little, my big brother was the daredevil. So were my cousins, Jackie, Gary and Jeff. I was the observer. I really wanted to participate in their fun, but I was “the Brat”. During one of these reunions, I watched my brother and cousins and sister swinging on the swing set. From my perspective, they were flying high in the air. After flying so high, they jumpped out of their swings. The goal was to see who can fly the farthest. I wanted to do that, too. I would wait my turn, but my brother would say, “Scram, Brat!!”. And he would take the swing out of my hands. That was OK, it’s how brothers are. Things got better when we got older. But back then, I was just a Brat.

My Uncle Dan was my all time favorite Uncle. I loved him with a fierce love. I thought he was the funniest, most interesting person in the world. He was a sailor in WWII, and boy did HE have some stories! He could also tap dance like a fiend. He was able to make me laugh so hard my belly would hurt.

Uncle Dan must have seen me trying to break into the line at the swings. He came out and gave the big kids some money to go get a coke (In the South, in Texas, EVERY carbonated drink on earth is a coke, OK?). When they left, he asked me, “Wanna Swing?” I nodded my head yes. He picked me up and put me in the swing. He pushed me hard and I went higher than I had ever gone before. I laughed and screamed at the thrill of flying so high. He shouted, “Wanna fly like them (My cousins)?” I laughed “YES!”, and boy, did he push me really high. It scared hell out of me. I dug my feet into the ground on the down swing and hopped off. He asked me if I was scared? I told him I had never been that high before and it scared me. He told me, “Well, if you really want to fly, you have to try, and I promise to be there if you fall, OK, sport?” I said, “OK!”, and shook his hand. In those days, in the South, when a man shook your hand over a promise you made, it means that he believes you will keep that promise, and it means you absolutely keep that promise. A hand shake meant more to a man back then than it does today.

I got on my swing and screwed up all the nerve I could muster. Uncle Dan told me that, when he was on a boat in “The War, in the Pacific”, the air planes were shot right off the deck of the ship with a giant sling shot full of steam. Then he said, “Pretend you are flying that airplane, and I am the sling shot.” “Ready…Set…GO!”, And he pushed really hard, and made the sound of steam blowing out. He pushed me harder than I have ever been pushed before. And I was FLYING!

The exhilaration was magnificent. I couldn’t get enough. Uncle Dan must have pushed me forever, but he never grew tired. Eventually, I grew quiet. He asked me if I am still having fun. Uncle Dan was always about having as much fun as a person could have. He stopped the swing, and came around front. He asked me what I wanted to do now. I told him I want to jump from the swing, too, like the big kids. He looked me in the eye and said, “Well, a boy has got to earn his paratroopers badge.” He told me how to time my swing and jump, and how to fly my arms while I am air born, and how to land with my knees partially bent, and how to roll when I land. We pretended a few jumps, after which, he said, “Boy, I think you are ready to earn your wings.”

I was excited and scared, all at the same time. He reminded me, “Now lookie here; If you fall, I will catch you. OK?!?” I nodded my head. He counted down and pushed and made the steam blowing noise, and I was flying again. He said, “When I say GO, you bail out, cause the Japs have shot your plane full of holes! (I had no idea who the Japs were, but I trusted Uncle Dan.) He pushed me harder and harder, each time. I had NEVER been this high EVER, and I was beyond scared. Uncle Dan shouted, “GO!, GO!, GO!” and…

I ejected from my plane, flack filling the air as the Zeros buzzed past, firing their 30mm machine guns at me.

Then the reality hit me. I wasn’t over the Pacific, I was flailing upside down in mid-air in Carthage, Texas. I closed my eyes, put my arms over my head, and hoped for the best. I felt sick to my stomach as I fell, knowing I was going to hit the ground really hard. I was really scared, now. I had not yet, at this point in my young life, broken any bones, and I was imagining what all my broken bones will look like to my Mom, who would surely spank me for being so careless.

Uncle Dan caught me.

UNCLE DAN CAUGHT ME!!!!!

I laughed really hard at the relief of not splattering on the hard Carthage playground soil, and at the joy of knowing Uncle Dan was as good as his handshake said he was. He tickled me hard, and we laughed. Then he said, “You ready to go again??” I yelled, “YES!!!”. He said, “OK, but this time, I believe you can land on your feet. Wanna try?” I was not afraid anymore. I knew that if Uncle Dan saw I was in danger, he would catch me, like he did last time. That was the first time I ever knew that it was OK to make a mistake. Uncle Dan was going to be there to catch me. I became fearless. I wanted to show Uncle Dan I was fearless, that I was a big boy, and was ready to jump out of any old airplane. And I did, over and OVER until I think Uncle Dan was exhausted.

He stopped the swing and said, “I think you earned your wings, young man! Lets go celebrate in the pool with a coke.” And we did. I learned that, sometimes, you just have to have a joyful sense of reckless abandon in order to Accomplish your goals.

BACK ON THE BIKE

(As Josh Groban steps up to the mike, the orchestra plays the opening to “You Lift Me Up”)

By this time, I had ridden eight miles. I was on the return leg from Hwy 288, and I needed to stop at the 3rd Pond from home, and rest. The sun didn’t feel THIS hot when I left the house. Things started to go black, so I got off the bike and sat down. When I came too, and I could see again, I grabbed my water bottle and drank it dry. As I sat, feeling the cool breeze blowing off the pond, I thought about that family reunion and my Uncle Dan. That must have been, I dunno, 50 years ago? I couldn’t remember. But I remembered how brave I felt because Uncle Dan helped me learn to jump out of the swing. I sat and thought about all the daring things I have done since those days. I learned from Uncle Dan that I can do it if I believe I can do it. I don’t have to be afraid.

That is when it hit me.

I am a very young Christian. I know that because of the exchange that took place on the cross, Jesus took away all my sin and failure, and anything that separates me from God , and became all those things, and died of them. Jesus promised me that, now that I am a Child of God, I have all His inheritance, and that as long as I seek God and His kingdom, that:

John 14:26 – New International Version


the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” – Jesus

and

Romans 8:15 – New Living Translation


So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”” – Apostle Paul

I know now that, no power of hell, or fear of man can pluck me from my Father’s Hand. I now know, HE will be there to catch me when I fall.  I can grow in all ways to be like Christ. This doesn’t mean I will never fall, but it DOES mean the Holy Spirit of God will be there when I do.

Romans 8:1 – English Standard Version


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Apostle Paul

God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit will not condemn you, call you a failure, or judge you when you fall.  God has already poured all his wrath out on Jesus at the Cross.  In God’s eyes, you are His innocent Child, covered by the blood of Christ, filled with the Faith of Christ (Galatians 2:20), and filled with the Holy Spirit of God.  He will teach you how to fly, and how to land on your feet.  He will grow you up in all ways to be like Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior, and our Brother.  God the Father is not like an earthly parent who will condemn and criticize you when you fail, but He will demonstrate His love toward you and raise you up to be just like Jesus, His only begotten Son.

We are heirs and adopted children of God, and nothing in Heaven, on Earth, or anywhere else,  can take us away from Him.   No religion on earth can do for you what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Your religion says there always be one more thing, one more level, one more way to tell you that you still have to prove your worthiness to the Living God. Religion will give you an opinion of God.  Religion will give you the rules you must follow to please God.  This is all any religion can do for you.  God is our Father. When Jesus said, on the Cross, “It Is Finished”, all judgment on you stopped.  All that is left is the Grace and Mercy and Love of God toward you.  God loves you and accepts you right now, just as you are. You do not have to change one thing to come to God. All you have to do is believe:

 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  –  John 3:16 – 17 – Words of Jesus, the Savior of Mankind.

There is no other message for mankind on this earth. This is THE truth.

I am free to trust God in all things. I am free from the judgment of Man. I am free from the wages of Sin and Death. I am all that God says I am. I am an Heir with Jesus. I am righteous because of Jesus. I live in abundance through the faith Jesus has placed in me. I plant my tiny seed of faith in the garden of Jesus’ faith, and grow a mighty tree. I do not have a theological opinion of God, I have a relationship with the Living God, my Father, through Jesus Christ.  Jesus came here to destroy all barriers between you and God. He came to re-establish the relationship we lost in the Garden of Eden.

If you will accept him, You will be a new creation. (II Corinthians 5:17). You can trust with reckless abandonment that God is your Father, that you are His child, and the Holy Spirit will be there to catch you, and will teach you to be just like Jesus. IF you will accept this one and only truth.

Let’s be about it!

I Love you because God loved me.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Happy Father’s Day


I love you with all my heart.

I love you with all my heart.

1 Peter 1:3 ESV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”

I knew from childhood that you were there, but everyone told me to be afraid of you.

I was scared that you would “Get me for that”.

I wanted to please you so I became as religious as I could.

I never found you in my religion.

Then I met your Son.

He wasn’t mad at me.

He didn’t scold me.

He loved me.

I asked him why.

He smiled at me and said:

John 14:10 ESV

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

Then He breathed on me, and I believed.

Now I get it, God.

Just as you are Jesus’ Father, you are now my father, too.

In order to show us how much you love us, you had to send your own Son here:

To live among us.

To show us your likeness.

To die in our place for the fall.

And to rise again to show us that,

if we will simply understand,

if we will simply accept this free gift,

we are already saved, redeemed, and healed, and loved of God.

If we will simply understand that this is free, because you love us, and you did this for us.

John 3:16 ESV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

I do believe, now, Father.

I believe not because others tell me I must.

I believe because I met Him, for real.

What He is showing me about you takes my breath away.

You love all of us on Earth.

You are not mad at us.

Jesus paid the price for anything and everything that stands between us and you.

All we have to do is accept this gift, this free gift.

Where religion hid your love from me, Your Son revealed it.

What gift can I give to You, Father, that would show and demonstrate what an amazing love I have for YOU?

All I have is me.

That I willingly give to you.

I love you, my Father.

I love you.

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Faith

Open your eyes and look at the fields


Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.  John 4:35

Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest. John 4:35

Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.  The reaper is already receiving pay and gathering fruit for eternal life, so the sower and reaper can rejoice together.  For in this case the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’  I sent you to reap what you didn’t labor for; others have labored, and you have benefited from their labor.”

 

We will spend a lot of our lives asking “Who Am I?”.  We will spend another significant amount of time asking ourselves “Why Am I?

About 11 months ago, I was exposed to an answer to those questions.

My life has not been the same since.   I have been many things in this life: A theatre lighting specialist, an actor, a musician, a model, a student Architect and drafts-man, an electrician, a programmer, a project manager, a seminary student, an evangelist.  I have been many other things that do not bear discussion or revelation here.  I was, through it all, at best, very religious, or at worst, very evil.  Through none of it, did I have a clue who I am in Christ, or why that matters.  My acknowledgement of Christ was cultural.  I grew up in the Bible Belt, and being a Southern Baptist was what we did.  What I learned that Seminary had more to do with promoting the “Baptist Faith and Message” than learning how to be a servant of the Lord.  Even if I was taught anything about the relational aspects of Jesus, I was not in a place where that made sense.  I was there because my religious ambitions out weighed my need to understand the work of the Cross.  I tell you this to let you know, I am not writing as anything other than what happened to me 11 months ago.  I am writing as a new believer, who has finally understood what the whole meaning and purpose of the Cross is, and have finally understood and accepted where I am in God’s eyes.  I am writing because, I have literally been there and done that, and survived to tell you what a glorious and loving God we serve.  I write to tell you who you are and can be in Jesus. 

I am also writing to remind myself that, if my new life does not serve to lead the lost to the Lord, and help and uplift my fellow believers, then I am in serious need of an “Upgrade From God”

 

And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remoulded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him (JESUS) Who created it.” – Apostle Paul – Ephesians 2:8 ESV

“I am just a Mom.”, “I am the Sales Manager”, “I am a bicycle mechanic”, “I am a gardener”.

Yes, you are these things.  This is true.  There are many things that are true about you.  But I want to share with you THE TRUTH about who you are in Christ Jesus.

The first thing I am going to ask you to do is watch this video, it will be worth your time.

Wasn’t that good?  Your truest identity is as a Child of the Living God, because of Jesus Christ.  You are still a Mom, or a Sales Manager, or whatever it is you do, but now you are in Christ who is in you.  Your identity is now Jesus’ identity.  And it is the Holy Spirit’s job to grow you up to be Just like Jesus.

When Jesus Christ was placed on the Cross, He was placed there on our behalf.  While He was on that Cross, He became ALL sin, ALL failure, ALL things that are wrong with the fallen world and not part of God, and BECAME those things.  When he became all sin, past present and future, God then poured out ALL his anger, ALL His wrath, ALL Judgement onto Jesus.  Jesus was separated from God for the first time in His life,  which is why he shouted out:

Mark 15:34

English Standard Version (ESV)

“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

When all the wrath of God was expended on Jesus, Jesus died.  God’s judgement was satisfied.  The price for the fall of mankind was satisfied.  When Jesus said “It is finished”, he was telling you and me that all sin and debt to God is paid for, and that HE just paid it.  This was the covenant God made with Jesus Christ.  In return for this, we were given all that Jesus is; His inheritance, His favour before God, ALL that Jesus is, we inherited and share with Him,  making us the perfect gift of God to become the Children of God.  We are saved by GOD’S grace, and not that of our own flesh, but by Jesus faith in the covenant of God.

When you accepted this as true, in your heart, in your very soul, you were crucified with Christ (See Galatians 2:20).  And the life you now live in the flesh is by the faith OF the Son of God, who lives in you. It is Christ’s faith that is at work in you.  Your tiny faith, your mustard seed faith, has to be planted in the rich soil of Jesus’ faith that dwells in you.

Christ proved he has authority over life and death when he raised himself from the dead.   Before that, He marched into hell, took the keys from Satan, and preached Salvation to the captives in hell, and set them all free from the wages of sin and death.  When you confess with your mouth, speaking it out-loud, as your true confession, you are risen with him.

You are no longer dead.  You are now that New Creation that rose in the newness and likeness of Christ Himself.  (See II Corinthians 5:17).

It is time to put down all the old clothes and baggage that belonged to your old self.  That stuff belongs to Jesus, now.  He died for it, and it no longer is your property.

We are called to put on the new creation that we are.   How do we do this?  Simple, WE CAN’T!

It is the Spirit of God, who is sent to fill you that does this.  You just have to drop all that old stuff and let the Spirit teach you what it means to be like Jesus.  As you see the difference between your old self and the new self, you will grow to despise, at first, your old self.  The more you become like Jesus, you will learn to forgive your old self, just as the Father has forgiven you all your sin.  And the more you become like Jesus, you will eventually forget who you were before Jesus.  When that happens, the Holy Spirit will grow you to be exactly like Jesus Christ.  Our identity in Christ is supposed to become so strong that, eventually, and this is our mission, when people look at you, all they will see is Jesus at work in you.

You are unique, and different from everyone on earth.  We are all unique, just like everyone else!   (Insert laugh here.) God made you as you are so that you will be able to prove God did not want a bunch of robots serving Him.  The Jesus that will shine out of you will be displayed through all the things that make you unique.  Are you a Mom?  Then you are a Mom in the image of Jesus.  Are you a Sales Manager?  Then you are a Sales Manager who is in the image of Jesus.  This way, the millions and millions of unique Christians around the world will all have one thing in common.  We are all in the Likeness (Character) of Christ, Himself.  THIS is why we are still on the earth after we are saved.  We have something important to do in our little corner of Earth.

As this happens, you can share with other people who are struggling with the same stuff your old self struggled with, and show them how to be set free of all that baggage.  The Love and Grace and Mercy of God keeps growing in you, and the more this happens, the more like Jesus you will become, until there comes a time where your presence in a crowd will make a difference in someone’s life.

We were not made into the Children of God just to start a religion, or to form an exclusive club.  Our churches, however, come across that way to the lost, and to the saved who do not know just how free they are.  They are already free if they will accept it.  They are already forgiven if they will just accept what Christ did for them on the cross.  They are going to be made in to the image of Christ, just as you are, if they can be taught how to rest in the finished work of the cross.  THAT is why we fellowship, that is why we support each other in prayer and with our material possessions, and THAT is WHY you were not raptured the second you became a Child of God.

LOOK UP!  Crawl out of your comfort zone.  Forget political correctness. Stop trying to be a people pleaser.  Stop trying to be the most important thing in your heart. (Matthew 22:36-40 NIV)

The more like Jesus the Holy Spirit makes you, the more you will want others to know about this amazing, powerful and free gift.  We have to look up from our little world to see the larger world around us.

This is the lesson I am learning today.  I have to allow the Spirit of God to cause me to love others as much as Jesus loved me.  I have to learn to care about others just as God cares about me.  I have to be willing to step out of my comfort zone and be brave enough to declare to anyone that Jesus Christ is Lord of Life and Death, and that you are forgiven, and that you are free from the wages of sin and death, if you will accept it.  I am called to serve Christ.

We don’t need to tell sinners that they are sinners.  They already know this because they are never satisfied with who they are or with what they have.  And they covet what others have.  The lost may not have any idea that sin exists, but they know intuitively that something is just not right.

We do not win them to Jesus by pointing out that they are sinful.  We lead them to Jesus by living and sharing the very same Grace that Jesus shared with us.  We give them the Love of God, that lives in us.  We meet them where they are, not where our religion says they have to be.  When they see Jesus they will automatically understand they are sinners.  Then the rest is up to them. They will either want to know how to change, or they will reject your message.  All you have to do is tell them, unflinchingly, THE TRUTH..

We are citizens of a Kingdom that is not of this world.  In a very short time, we will all be going there, one way or another.  Who do you know that you would love to see there with you?  And what about the people who hate you?  Love them.  Hate cannot exist long in the presence of Love.  Hate always loses.

Jesus said that “If I be high and lifted up, I will draw all nations to me”.  Jesus lives in you.

So here’s the big question I have been asking myself for a couple of weeks.  Who am I in Heaven?  Why am I still here?  What does God want me to do?  And how will I support my family while I am doing it?

The answer is very simple to hear, but may be difficult to labour into the rest of.  Seek first the Kingdom of God, and HIS righteousness, then all these things will be added unto you.  ALL things includes ALL things.  The good news is, if you are a Christian, the righteousness of Christ is already in you.  If it doesn’t shine and flow out of you as living waters, then the Holy Spirit has work to do to unblock the channels that will flow.  Submit to that urge you feel, and follow Christ.  You will be amazed how beautiful and marvelous the world is when you look at all the fields you get to help harvest.

Lets Be About It!

I love you,

 

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith, Observations

“…but their hearts are far away”


Luke 6:46  ESV :  “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Luke 6:46 ESV : “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

The pressure to produce, lately, is overwhelming.  I have obligations, and the means to meet them are getting harder to come by.  As I fell into my “Charles In Charge” mode, and prepared to execute an action plan I had devised, I heard the Lord.

I recognize the voice of the Spirit, now that I have ears to hear.

“Come talk with me”, said the Spirit.

I am not used to this gentle Spirit of Love talking to me.

Keeping in mind the Business Model I have learned throughout life, I reminded the Spirit that I have things to accomplish, and I have broken them down into three categories:

1. MUST:   Do the things you MUST do first. KNOW THE MISSION, DO THE MISSION!   I have to accomplish a lot in a very little time if I am going to meet my obligations.  Earn your living, pay your bills, meet your deadlines.  If you have obligations, you MUST meet them, no matter what else is going on.  That is life, and how it is.  As I am running against real deadlines, and everything depends on me to accomplish them, I have to hit the bricks and perform my duties.

2. NEED:  Next, do the things you NEED to do. THESE ITEMS WILL ALWAYS BE HERE IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER.    I need to get the car tuned up, and have the timing belt replaced (It is a Toyota, and has greater than 200,000 miles).  I need to replace the weather-stripping on the back door.  I am not fond of trying to air condition all of Texas.  I need to get braces for Hannah, get my wife knee surgery, glasses, and take her out on a few dates…

3.  WANT:   Finally, do the things you WANT to do.  I want to spend all my time praying and serving God, because of Jesus.  I want to be the best writer that ever walked the face of the earth.  I want to take my family on vacation…I want to show them the places I have been on this planet, so they can see the incredible beauty I have witnessed.  There are a thousand more things I want to do.  And, while stopping to spend time with the Lord would be fabulous, I have obligations that take precedence.

The agony of my obligations have been gnawing at me relentlessly.

I MUST meet certain obligations…MUST, and do it NOW!!”, I practically shouted that at the Lord.

Did you know that you can actually hear the Lord sigh, and hear (see) Him grin?  It is true…you just have to know how to hear, and know how to see.

“Come talk with me”, said the Spirit. 

I am irresistibly drawn to His voice.

I lay my agenda on my desk…I cannot say “no” to His invitation.  

“Here I am, Lord”

“Hop on your bike and meet me at the third pond.”, He said.  (REALLY, Lord??  It is freaking HOT out here in Pearland.  HOT, and the Sun will melt me before I get out of the driveway!) 

“OK, Lord, I’ll do it.”

A few weeks ago, I decided I need to get back on my bike.  My car was in the shop, and I had obligations.  My bike was my back-up plan.  My first time out was a dismal failure.  I had a flat, and on the return leg, I had a mild heat stroke.  If it weren’t for the concern of two people whom I love very much, mild would have turned in to severe, and I probably would have ended up in the hospital.  After that, and after recovering, I decided I will get back on the bike, and relearn how to ride.  It really is an art, if riding a bike is one of your passions.     I am up to 12 miles, every other day.  I ride outbound 6 miles, to Highway 288, and ride back the same 6 miles.  The body doesn’t forget, and I had adapted to riding in real heat and humidity in decent time.  Perhaps I can lose that next 50 pounds this way.

I looked back at my agenda.  It lay on my desk, accusing me of being a slacker.  I HAVE OBLIGATIONS!!!  

“OK, Lord, I’ll do it.”

The rays of the Sun bore down like fine needles, piercing every part of me.

The 12 mile route includes passing by three water overflow reservoir, or ponds.  When it rains here, (AND IT RAINS HERE), these overflow reservoir collect all the run-off from all the neighborhoods in the area.  Reservoir abound through-out South Texas. Pearland is, after-all, in hurricane alley.    I pass by three reservoir when I ride.

I love to ride fast.  If found, however, that, if I maintain a 9 mile per hour pace, I get enough air flow so I can breathe (The air was just hanging around, not moving.).  I also discovered that, if I go faster than 9 miles per hour, the sapping energy loss of the heat and sun shine would deplete my reserves before I go a mile.  So, I kept the pace at a very leisurely 9 miles per hour.

I discovered that riding this slow gave me the chance to see where I am riding, to absorb the beauty that is Pearland, Texas, to actually look people in the face as I pass them by.  My blood pressure started falling.  The knots in my stomach were coming undone.  I felt a song stirring in my heart, “This IS my Fathers world…” . I hummed the song as I rode my bike. 

Recent heavy rains meant the reservoir were still laden with enough water to support wild life.  I watched the cranes and heron and gulls sitting in shallow water, their wings open, so they could get some natural air conditioning.  “This is my Father’s world,  the birds their carols raise,  the morning light, the lily-white,  declare their maker’s praise.”  The oppressive heat turned into a warm embrace…I caught myself singing out loud.  When did I start doing THAT?

After just a few minutes, I arrived at the third pond.  I walked my bike around the pond until I found some shade trees to rest under.  I drank some water and let the breeze off the pond cool me.  Those birds really knew what they were doing.  I listened to the frogs, and dragonflies, and heard turtles making their way to the water.  I saw snakes hiding in the rush under some trees that had their roots in the pond.  What a good thing it is to sit and watch God at work.  Nature is God’s work.

“How was the ride?”   “Amazing”  

He grinned again.  “I’m glad you came here.”  “Me too, Lord, me too…”  

“What has you so fearful?  “My life just went out of control, Lord.  I don’t know what to do.”  

“What did you learn from your last mission?“, He asked, gentleness soothing my soul.   “I need to keep my eyes on you, Lord.  I got caught up in their religion, and made their 12 commandments more important than the author and creator of those virtues.  I looked to man for approval, not to you.  When I got too caught up in trying to observe the “Law” of the commands, I forgot about the Grace of the Lord.”  “I learned that religious people can hide some pretty intense hate and fear behind their “Positive Attitude”.  I learned that, whether we are in the desert crossing to the promised land, or in Texas, “Living the Dream”, if we turn your virtues into a law, and make the law more important than the Creator, then we have lost sight of what is really important. In the end, we make hypocrites of ourselves.  And we advertise that we follow these virtues when it is apparent to everyone that we don’t.”  “I also learned that when I am keeping my eyes on you, things go really well.  But when I look to myself or others, I fail miserably.”

“That’s was a mouth full!  And I think I hear some judgement encroaching your lessons, too.”  “David, I don’t judge you.  All judgement of all sin and failure was poured out on Jesus at the Cross.  I am here to teach you.  What you said is true, but you didn’t mention THE truth.”

“Lord, please tell me THE truth, then.  What am I to you?  What am I going to do now?  How does this apply to the fact that You sent me here?”

“David, I have called you and Sandy to serve me, and me alone.  I sent you here, and soon, you will know why.  I need you to learn these lessons, as painful as they are.  Keep your eyes on ME, and trust that I know what I am doing.  Stop trying to please man AND serve me at the same time.  That is not possible.  Remember at all times the Love and Grace I have given you.  You are to give generously to all who you meet.  Never take matters into your own hands.  I am your Lord, I care for you, I love you, and there is no condemnation on you because you are in Me.  Seek me first, in all things, in all ways, and all the rest of the things on your list will be taken care of.”   What you experienced at that place was, in fact, exactly what you asked me for.

“What?”  “It’s TRUE.”  “WHEN?” “Remember you prayed to work at a place where My virtues are pointed out, where people are Christians, where ‘Doing the Right Thing’ actually means something?”  “Yes, I do.” “You got what you asked for.  You have no more business judging them for their shortcomings than they do judging you for yours.  I sent you to where you asked to be sent.  But, even so, I always send you where I need you, where you will do the most good, and grow to be like Me.”  “You simply forgot why I sent you, that’s all.  Now that you have learned this lesson, I will send you where you can do some good.  Just remember to keep an eye on Me.  I will meet all your needs.  My promise is not conditional, nor is it based on whether you behave yourself or not.  I always keep my promise.  You will serve me.  The more like me you become, the less you will have to worry about in this world.”

American Christians are not yet at the point where it will cost them their lives for their faith.  We have become complacent, and have turned what God has intended for good into a religion that drives mankind far away from God.  We have fellowships that are more like clubs.  We do not readily accept the unwashed, the sinner, the outsider.  If I don’t think like you, then I am wrong.  The hard truth is, neither of us think like God, nor do we have the mind of Christ.  That is not an accusation, that is a hard-earned observation.  In my anti-religious stance, I have built a new religion.  In your Americanized Christianity, you have built a religion.  Jesus did not come here to build a religion, but a relationship.  Any time we forget that seeking the Kingdom of God, and HIS righteousness is more important than anything else we will do, then we are in error.  We are still saved.  But we are not following God, through Jesus Christ.

Jesus died of all our sin, all our failure, all our fear, all our poverty, all our lack, and anything else that built a wall between us and His kingdom.  In return for this, He gave us eternal life, eternal fellowship with God, and everything that HE inherited as Lord.  We abound in God’s goodness, if only we can remember how to hear and see what God has done for us.  When what we do as Christians drives people away from God, then we are being religious.  When what we do does not bring the lost to the Kingdom of God, and the Saved to be more like Him, then we are practicing a religion.  If we are running a business that touts the virtues of God, but does not actually serve God, then stop saying what you are, and just be what you intend to be.  By seeking God, your business WILL have those virtues, and God will make sure everyone knows it.  Bragging on HIS children is one of the things God LOVES to do.

We still sin, and fail, but God’s promise is eternal.  You are His child.  You will be made in to the image and likeness of His son, Jesus.

Religion worships the idea of God, and the idea of the virtues of God, but the heart of religion is all about lip service to the Creator.  We are more concerned about being right than being like Him.

The Cure for Anxiety

“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you — you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? ’ or ‘What will we drink? ’ or ‘What will we wear? ’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” – Jesus – Matthew 6:25-33

This is why I know that, in spite of any failure on my part, or any judgement of mankind against me, in the end, I will serve the Lord.  He has become my first love, and I desire Him above all else.  My burning desire is to serve Him.  He is using my failures to teach me how to succeed HIS way.  And I love even these hard lessons.  Forgiveness, Love, Grace, Mercy, Service, Giving, are more important than any idolatrous covenant that God never asked you to agree to.  All things that God desires to give you will come to you when you seek Him first.

Let’s Be About It!
I love you.
David G. Perkins

 

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Faith, Observations

Growing Pains – Lessons from the Kindergarten of God – Part 1


When dealing with yourself, use your mind.  When dealing with others, use your heart.  John Maxwell

“When dealing with yourself, use your mind. When dealing with others, use your heart.”  – John Maxwell

Introduction – Dedicated to my co-workers at Cates Control Solutions

I was writing about the Core Values of the company I work for. I feel I have to interrupt that series for two reasons: 1) My recent behavior betrayed that I adhere to those values only when it suits me, and 2) The lessons I am learning here are rich, meaningful, and important.

Something happened at work, the other day.  In my mind it was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.  It was time for me to take action and speak out.  That is exactly what I did.  I spoke out.  The end result was less than stellar.  My conversation had deteriorated to the point that I was not being constructive, but destructive.  The very people I wanted to reach were put off by my behavior and speech.  Nothing was gained, and any trust I had earned was in jeopardy of being lost.  I had let my mouth run before I had put my mind in gear.

All this time I had been praying about, speaking about, and writing about the finished work of the cross, and the exchange that took place between God, Jesus and Man at the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.  My behavior and speech betrayed an entirely different story, though.  And when I finally cooled off enough to listen, I heard a Loving God tell me that my conduct was less than becoming for His child.  It was a simple rebuke, and lovingly spoken, but I have not been the same since.  I am undone, and I hurt that I let my Lord down so blatantly.

Being filled with the Spirit of God doesn’t mean you are finally a fully grown child of God.  It means you have just been born again.  And being born, you are nurtured for a season in the sweet and warm light of the Spirit.  As you grow, however, the Spirit of God will begin to gently and lovingly teach you lessons on the character of Christ.  If you pay attention, and receive these lessons, you grow, and it doesn’t hurt.  But if you are a jackass, like I tend to be, the Spirit will let you have your way, and deal with you lovingly, but in a way that you can see your selfishness in the same light as God sees it.  That is where the pain is.  When I see myself behave badly, I feel the same pain as the Spirit must feel when looking at rebellion.

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” ― John C. Maxwell

“For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12

Where Are My Roots?

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:1 – Jesus

I have a choice.  I can abide in Christ, or I cannot.  I can choose to do either one.

Choosing not to abide at all has a consequence all its’ own, and I will not write about that here.

The choice to abide in Him is what this is about.

When I choose to know God and be transformed into the likeness (behavior) of Christ, I am aided by the very power of God to be conformed into Christ’s likeness.  When I chose to take matters into my own hands, I have stopped abiding in Christ.  This branch in me bore fruit, but not Godly fruit.  This branch must be pruned in order that it may bear good fruit.  The sap that runs in the branches, powered by the Holy Spirit, bears good fruit.  Good fruit is that which leads others to Jesus, that which demonstrates Love, Mercy, Grace and Forgiveness.

The Spirit of God will deal directly with you, without condemnation, and with all Love, Grace and Mercy. It is only Satan who accuses you and condemns you. The Children of God behave as Christ does, the Children of Satan, behave as Satan does. The evidence of who we follow is borne in the fruit we bear.

What is My Fruit?

“Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.” Matthew 7:16b – 18 – Jesus

Do my words and deeds bear fruit that others will enjoy and grow from?  Do the words of my mouth bring life or death?  Is my confession holy or unholy? If my words cause division, strife, scorn, hatred, and alienates my confession from my identity, then I am bearing bad fruit.   My first fruit has to be forgiveness of my own shortcomings, so I can forgive others of theirs.  I can do this when I remember that Jesus died of ALL sin.  He became all sin and bore the wrath of God.  In exchange, He gave me His holiness and His Grace and His Love and His Mercy and His standing with God.  This exchange, this fruit, has to grow in me as I abide in Him.  Apart from Him I can do nothing. There is no other way I can bear good fruit.

I am grateful to God that He chooses to forgive and prune me, rather than just throw me away at the first sign of my weakness.

Where Are My Thoughts?

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1 – Jesus

If I want to be received well by my fellow-man, I must treat my fellow-man with all the love and respect with which I want them to treat me.

It may be that, when my fellow-man judges me, that they simply do not really know what I am doing, or what my vision of my job is.  It may simply be that they are unhappy with the way I do things because it is not the way they would do it.  It may be that they cannot let go of a past whose spirit I embrace, but whose method have not grown to keep up with the amazing growth of Cates.

When I judge them, rather than accept them, I have closed any door of communication that could exist.  I have lost a friend.  If I want to have friends at work, I must first be a friend at a work.  “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.” Proverbs 17:17

I desire to understand my co-workers as well as be understood by them.  My words and behavior will determine if I can accomplish this.

What Am I Doing?

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 – Jesus

If I am forgiven, I must speak forgiveness to others.

If I have received Grace, I must speak gracefully to others.

If I have received Mercy, then I must be merciful to others.

If I am Loved of God, then I must love and be lovely to others

I Will Reap What I Sow.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure — pressed down, shaken together, and running over — will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” 

This is a universal principle. You do not have to be any religion to see this happen in your life. You will always get back what you give to others, and you will get it more abundantly than you gave it out. The difference between the Christian doing this, and others doing it is this: When a Christian does this, the end result is the Glorification of God for what He accomplished through Jesus Christ.

I have a choice of where I want to store up my treasures. Being merciful and graceful doesn’t mean everyone will be merciful and graceful back to me. Some people are just evil in their hearts and delight in the demonstration of that evil. But, for the most part, people will always give back to you what you give to them, and they will give it back with interest, and they will invite their friends to do the same.

If I am reaping something at work, it is probably because I sowed it, first.

My Prayer:

My Heavenly Father, I love you and Praise you because of the finished work of the Cross, and all the gifts you have given me because of it. I pray, in the Name of Jesus, that you bind my tongue to the truth, and teach me mercy, grace, forgiveness and love. I pray that you teach me how to encourage others to do the same. – AMEN

“Truth is that which corresponds to reality. Reality is what exists regardless of human opinion.” – Chris Putnam

Part 2 coming.

Let’s Be About It!

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Faith, Observations

What Were You Looking For?


what-we-see-depends-mainly-on-what-we-look-for

Philippians 4:8-9 ESV

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”   Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!

When I was a teenager, my Dad decided it was time for me to learn how to fly one of his several airplanes.  Considering my driving history, I thought he surely had a screw loose, somewhere.  By time I was 16, I had already totaled a few cars.  Still, I do love to fly, and had always wanted to fly right seat with my Dad on his adventures.

Our airport was the municipal airport in Plainview, Texas.  At over 3300 feet, altitude, the airport has a whole lot of sky to fling your airplane into.  Dad made sure the wind was relatively calm before he would let me take off.  The high plains are very windy much of the time.  There is a saying in Lubbock, Texas (45 miles south of Plainview), that if the wind ever stopped blowing, everyone would fall down.  Wind is a fact of life, there, and you adjust your walking by leaning into the wind.

Taking off into the wind made flying that much more fun, as I had to generate less lift with the engine.  Flying in the wind, however is a challenge.  This is where the word attitude comes in.  In flight, your attitude is the approach you have to take to flying in the wind, ESPECIALLY when you are landing an airplane.  Landing an airplane on a calm day was challenging enough for me, but landing in high wind was a contest between me and the wind to see who will master my aircraft.  This is when attitude becomes everything.

When nature threw strong wind at me, I had to turn the airplane into the wind on approach to the landing strip.  This is called “Crabbing”.  I am approaching a runway almost sideways, and at the last-minute, I correct my attitude so I can land moving in the right direction.  Another factor in landing attitude is that I could approach the runway only in a narrowly defined angle.  This is called the “Glide Path” .   As you approach the runway, you will see a group of lights.  If my glide path is too low, I will see three or more yellow lights.  If my glide path is too high, I will see red lights, if my glide path is correct for the landing approach, I will see green lights.

Maintaining the right attitude for landing is everything, too.  I am already crabbing in to the runway because of a wind situation, and I also must keep my approach angle right.  If I am yellow on approach, I will not land on the runway.  If I am red, I will land too far in on the runway to keep from overshooting.  I must crab in on a green light.

While I am worried about those two aspects of attitude, I also have to make sure my wings are as level as I can keep them on approach, and that my nose is not too high, or too low.  So, there are possibly 4 parts of attitude I must pay attention to when I am landing.  Overdoing or under-doing any part can mean a bad landing.  Bad landings can complicate your life in ways you don’t need.  It was all about attitude.

 

“WELL, THE METAPHOR IS OBVIOUS, ISN’T IT?”

I hope so.

At CATES (Where I work), one of the twelve principles we live by is: “ATTITUDE – We choose to be positive”.   If you want to approach a subject and land on it with successful outcomes, it helps if your attitude is positive.  Being positive makes all the difference in the world.  It is fairly clear, after over 8000 years of examination, that God has given us the ability to affect the outcomes of every aspect of our lives, simply by determining what we believe is true about it.  Our beliefs change every aspect of our life.  If you believe things will always go wrong, then you will experience that outcome.  If your approach to your fellow-man is negative, then you will reap the benefit of your view of others, and have no genuine friends.

Attitude is one of the very first things the Lord had to really work with me on.  I was a negative and pessimistic individual, whose attitude was reinforced by the outcomes of my life.  My assumption was that I was right because everything always turned out exactly as I thought they would.  God showed me that attitude is a choice.  How I choose to approach anything will directly affect the outcomes.  Attitude is a choice.  It is a habit.  It comes from the heart.  It becomes positive when you learn to look at the world differently.

 

“HOW DID YOU DO IT?”

I’m glad you asked. I didn’t.

My attitude about life, work, love, marriage, co-workers, clientele, family, or anything didn’t change until I fully understood what the finished work of the cross gave me.  When I accepted that Jesus BECAME all sin for all time, and took on the wrath of God in our place, and in exchange, God poured on us all the benefits of being His child, an heir to the throne, a member of God’s family, a love beyond measure, and total forgiveness for all my sin, I finally understood what it felt like to see the world and people the way God does.

I learned to love because God loved me enough to bury my sin with Jesus, and raise my dead soul into a new life.  I had been born in the spirit.  Where I was dead, Jesus’s resurrection gave me life in Him.  The Spirit of God cleansed me and changed my attitude. I began thinking new thoughts.,  I loved for the first time.  I saw people as my brother or sister.  While I am aware of my and others continuing failures, I felt only love for them, and chose to show grace and mercy.  It was easy to do this because this was what God showed me.

So, frankly, I didn’t change my attitude.  Experience has taught me that, I can fake a good attitude only so long, but whatever is hidden in my heart will become manifest over time.  On my own strength I do not love long, I show no mercy or grace, and my attitude is very rotten.  Since I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, I am able to be like Christ and love, show grace and mercy, and look for opportunities to give with a positive attitude.

 

GUARD YOUR THOUGHTS

 

I cannot, by my own strength, maintain this loving attitude.  Only when I guard my thoughts am I able to be filled with this powerful love.  I can break my connection to God simply by going back to my old way of thinking and behaving.  God leaves this up to me.  The way I maintain a good attitude is by staying in the word, praying continuously, and submitting to Gods love and will.  It is only by the continual renewing of my mind that I can be a blessing instead of a curse. I am confident in Christ enough that I know I am weak, but Christ in me is infinitely strong.  If I catch the old self trying to assert his attitude and beliefs, all I have to do is remember that my old self died with Christ, and my new self, the child of God, is who lives through Christ.

Attitude is a choice.  When the blowing wind of earthly things challenges my attitude, when the weight of the world wants to crush me, when my co-workers decide to be peevish and negative, when a thoughtless and selfish humanity threatens to ruin my day, I simply remember who I am in Christ, and ask the Spirit of the Living God to sustain me so I can be a witness to all the things that would otherwise drag me down.  A simple choice of attitude can turn things around, and your witness can cause others to want to know where you have this strength of character.  Then you can tell them why you are joyful in the face of adversity, and strong when temptation desires your soul.

Think on the good things of God continuously, and you will see the world in a very different lite.

It is all a choice, a labor into the rest of the finished work of Christ.

You will always get what you are looking for.

Let’s be about it

I love you all,

David G. Perkins

PS – Click HERE to see how the Bible addresses ATTITUDE.

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Faith

Transition States: Leaving Missouri


hands-heart“I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.” – Philippians 4:12 HCSB

What a difference a year makes.

This year represents several transition events.  Going from:to in many areas of my life, has been the way of 2013.

From being employed to knowing unemployment.

From having plenty to having nothing.

From having a home to being homeless.

From having plenty to eat, to wondering how to feed my family.

There have also been some outstanding transitions, as well.

From hating life to loving life.

From being alienated from God to understanding that God loves me.

From fear to assurance.

From hate to love.

From death to life.

From being unemployed in 2013, to starting my new job in 2014.

From the death of the old self, to the birth of the new self.

From losing useless friends to gaining real and meaningful friendships.

Now, we are going from Missouri to Texas.

These last 11 years in Missouri are a mixed bag of great memories and some sot so great ones.  Mostly, being here has given me the opportunity to be refined in a way I doubt I would have known had I been living where I wanted to live.

During my spate of unemployment, I sent out over 500 resume, and applied for several hundred jobs.  It wasn’t until I gave up trying and asked God to take over this process that I got a job.  I asked God to do this, and within 3 minutes of my praying that, I had my first phone interview with a company I had not applied to.  The company is located in the opposite direction from where I wanted to move my family.

Sandy witnessed all this.  She saw her husband go from being a monster, to becoming a child of God. These last 9 months of unemployment have been the most productive months I have ever lived through.

I am now a child of God.  I am the redeemed through the finished work of the cross.  I have faith, hope and love, literally for the first time in my life.  Anger is a vague and distant memory for me.  Love is the theme in my heart.

The work Christ did on the cross satisfied all the Law and Prophets of the Old Testament.  There is nothing that can be added to it, and nothing that can be taken away from it.  It is finished.

My prayer for you, for 2014 is this:

I pray that you learn what I learned.  That God is not mad at you.  That you are loved by the being that created the entire universe.  That, on your behalf, Jesus Christ became every sin that ever existed and will exist, and absorbed all the wrath of God in judgement for becoming all of sin.  Jesus died of all our sin so we can live.  An exchange took place on the cross.  Jesus took all that had become our inheritance: sin, death, disease, and hell, and in exchange for that, He gave us His inheritance:  Life, Love, Healing, wholeness, His Kingdom and His Father, our God.

I pray for you to discover that when Jesus rose from the dead, He gave you the power to rise, a new creation, with Him.  I pray that you understand that all you have to do to be saved is understand in your heart what Jesus did, and accept it, and confess it with your mouth.

I pray for the same transition I had, from death to life, from hopelessness to hope, from despair, to joy, from being lost to knowing you belong to God, and nothing can take it away from you.

The Kingdom of Heaven is in you, and God dwells in you, and the Spirit of the Living God empowers you when you make this transition.  No religion ever brought you this.  It is not a religion, but a relationship.

I look forward to this new life we will live in Texas.  Sandy and I are going to get certified and ordained in the Ministry.  I am going to work for my new employer as if I were working for God Himself.

I am going to give and give and give all that God has given me.

I pray that you prosper and grow in the Lord in 2014.

I am glad I have experienced 2013 in all its various shades of joy and despair.  I would not have learned that, no matter what state I live, whatever my condition, God is my father, and He provides.  I will cherish 2013 for the rest of my life, and remember Missouri with fondness.

My next blog will be written in Texas.  I look forward to sharing the adventures God will be taking Sandy and I on.

God bless you in 2014.

Love

David Perkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith

Thank You God


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:2 HCSB

1:2 χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

GRACE – χάρις – Transliteration: charis  Pronunciation: khä’-rēs   Part of Speech: feminine noun

Outline of Biblical Usage
GRACE:  a free gift.  God’s ability.  grace is that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech good will, loving-kindness, favour of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues, what is due to grace, the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace, the token or proof of grace, benefit, a gift, bounty,thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward
PEACE – εἰρήνη – Transliteration: eirēnē   Pronunciation: ā-rā’-nā   Part of Speech: feminine noun

Outline of Biblical Usage
a state of national tranquillity, exemption from the rage and havoc of war
peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord, security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous), of the Messiah’s peace, the way that leads to peace (salvation)
of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is, the blessed state of devout and upright men after death
from – ἀπό Transliteration: apo   Pronunciation: ä-po’   Part of Speech: preposition

Outline of Biblical Usage (In the context of this sentence):
of origin
of the place whence anything is, comes, befalls, is taken
of origin of a cause

Dear God,

How do I tell others what a magnificent thing you have done in me?

Where a cauldron of angry fire once lived deep in me, now exists a calm peace, a tranquility that can come only from you. God, you have seen me struggle for decades with my overwhelmingly sinful nature, yet, in a day, in a single hour, your gift of love was poured into my heart, and I now know peace, love, joy, harmony, the stillness of soul only you can bring.

The first thing your word taught me is that you are not angry at me, but that you love me infinitely.  You proved this when You sent Jesus.

This changed me.

Where I was unable to change, your gift of love to me made me able to receive. In receiving, I became a new creation. There was no self to repair once I understood that, because Jesus died, my self died with Him. The “Me” that used to be no longer exists. The echo of memories are only a dim note, drowned out by your beauty, grace and love.

When I understood that, when Christ rose from the dead, so did I; This new man was born the day I understood that I have a new life in the risen Christ.

What words or actions can you lead me to that will help others know that you can change them, just as you have changed me?

There are those who knew me before this change, and they know me now that I have changed. Let your love so shine in my soul that they will understand that this is real, and it is all because of You, Lord God. Because of Jesus’s sacrifice, the sinless one who became all sin and shame, I, a terribly sinful one, full of darkness and corruption, became holy and acceptable to you. I accepted this free gift of your grace. Not that I can brag or draw attention to me, but that, because of the wonderful thing you have done in me will lead others to the cross of Christ.

I know people will only believe what they only want to believe, there is nothing I can do about them. But, Lord, even with them, let the light of your love and grace be so full and alive in me that even they will see, and have to choose whom they will believe.

What joy and wonder you have written on my heart, Dear God. Thank you for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Thank you for the great exchange that makes me wholly acceptable to you, dear God. I have all the promise living in me, and all sin is forgiven and destroyed. Your mighty work defeated all the darkness in the universe.

All we have to do is accept this free gift.

Dearest God,

Make me an instrument of the Gospel of Peace. Let my life be the grace and love that was Jesus’ life. No matter where I go, no matter what I do, let me always remember what you have done for me.

I love you, Dear God, because of the life of Jesus that is now abiding in me. I am complete, and lack nothing. You prove to me daily that you are all my provision. Where I was homeless, I now have a home. Where I was unemployed, I now have a job. Where I was penniless, you have provided all I need.

The greatest thing, though, you have given me, Lord, is eternal life. So, I ask, Dear Lord, that you take my life and make it your instrument of the Gospel of Peace.

I thank you and praise you, God, because of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

ROMANS 12:1 – Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. HCSB

Let’s be about it.

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Faith

Exchanging Gifts


Isaiah 40:31 – But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 can also be translated, “They whose hope is in the Lord will exchange their strength (with Him … by inference).

Throughout the Bible, God shows us that He is trading our small, weak things for His great and mighty things.  He has taken us from slavery to freedom, from the wilderness, to a promised land, from famine to feast, from weakness to glory.

Jesus traded His kingdom for our Hell.  On the cross, Christ became all our sin, sickness, death, and curse so we can have His holiness, health, life and blessing.  He became all sin so we can have no sin.  The simple act of accepting this gift, in our heart, and confessing Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, who died for you and rose on the third day, makes you alive again.

The exchange is simple and irrevocable to any who will accept it.  His life for your death.  All he was, He gave to you.  In exchange, you gave Him all you were; your sin, your disease, your death, your curse.  Now, if you will simply accept this gift from Him, you are a son of God   You are the righteousness of Christ, you are whole, you are clean, you are acceptable in the eyes of God.  You are loved.  You were loved long before you even understood that God loves you.  God reached across all time and eternity and gave the life of His only begotten son in exchange for your life.

You now have eternal life, if you will accept this exchange.  It is free.  There is nothing you have to do to earn this gift.  Christ already did that.

This is God’s gift to us:  Jesus Christ.

When Jesus became Sin, you became Holy.  When He died, your old sin self died too.  When He rose from the dead, you rose with Him, and are now eternally His.  You are blessed.

 
God gives good gifts.  
 
 
I love you
sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com
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Faith, Observations

Transition States: Saving Grace is Sustaining Grace – Revisited


Grace is Sufficient

 

This blog was originally posted on October 31, 2013.  I mention that I was homeless in this blog.  That has changed.  I and my family are no longer homeless.  I am now employed.  The job I have is probably the very best job I have had in over 25 years.  (Truthfully, nothing compares to full time ministry, IF you are actually serving the Lord, and not your own desires).

Since writing this blog, and getting employed, I am met with new challenges as a baby believer.  It is easy to take one’s eyes off Jesus when the cares of work and living confront you.  As I re-read this blog, I was reminded how strong my faith was when I wrote it.  Life was much harder then.  The difference between then and now is, then I was keeping my eyes continually focused on Christ and His finished work.  Re-reading this blog has reminded me that I need to remember, “The main thing is to always keep the main thing, the main thing.”

I hope this blog reminds you, my fellow struggling traveler, that there are much more important issues than what you think you are facing.  Keeping your eyes on Jesus will sustain you.  

You have all my love and prayer, whoever you are.  DGP  Romans 8:28 


The other day, I decided to turn off the auto-delete feature in my email program.  Suddenly, my inbox was stuffed to exploding with e-mails suggesting that if I ingest a little blue pill, my wife would suddenly be a happy person, or that my auto insurance was inadequate for me, AND that my house needs new siding.  I found that one delightful, as it is very difficult to side a homeless man’s house.

Buried in the midst of that deluge of magnificent offers was a question sent from one of the roughly 20 million alert readers of my blog.  She asked this question:  “Is Saving Grace the same as Sustaining Grace?”.

That is a very good question.

The short answer is:  YES!

If you are busy, or need to run, go ahead, I just answered that question, but if you need me to fill that answer out a bit, read at your own risk, the best answer I could come up with.  CAVEAT LECTOR:  Have your own Bible available, and never take my word, or anyone else’s word for anything.  Read the Bible and see if what I am saying is true, or not.  If it is not, please let me know BEFORE you unsubscribe to this incredibly stimulating and popular blog.  And that would leave just me and my mom as subscribers.

The long answer is:

I have to make certain assumptions of the person who asked me this question.  Here is the list of assumptions I am making.

YOU BELIEVE:

There IS a God.

That God is the SAME God mentioned throughout the Bible (Christian).

God sent His Son into a sinful world.

His Son, Jesus, did for us Humans what we could not do for ourselves.  Jesus made the broken bridge of communion with God whole again so we can have fellowship with God, and live in eternity with God in Heaven.

Jesus accomplished this feat by being nailed to the cross.  When He did that, he nailed the Law on the cross with him.  The Law led to the awareness of sin.  Jesus, who committed no sin, became all sin.  When Jesus became all sin, he was cut off from the Father: “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is (Aramaic), “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

When Jesus died, He descended into Hell and received the full wrath of God.  Jesus paid the full price for every type of sin that ever existed, does exist, and will exist.  He purchased your freedom when He gave up His life.  But God did not intend for Jesus to stay there.  While Jesus was in Hell, He remembered the promises of God, and spoke them, that God will not leave Him in Hell, nor forsake Him, and that He will commune with God again, and will sit on the throne of the Heavens.  Jesus confessed all this while he was in sin and receiving the full wrath of God.  And God sent the Spirit, His own Holy Spirit and brought Jesus back to life.

Jesus rose from the dead to prove that He has the authority to be called the Son of God, and that He has full authority over life and death.

Jesus became every sin imaginable and conquered it in Hell.  He rose again and gave gifts to all who will accept them.  Here is a list of the things Jesus gave us through His resurrection:

  • Rom. 6:4-8 We were crucified with him, died with him, buried with him and united with him in his death.
  • Rom. 6:58 We will (Do live) live with him, united with him in his resurrection.
  • Rom. 8:17 We are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.
  • Rom. 8:17 If we share in his sufferings, we will also share in his glory.
  • Gal. 2:20 We have been crucified with Christ, and he lives in us.
  • Eph. 2:5-6 God made us alive with Christ, God raised us up with Christ, and seated us with him in the heavenly realms.
  • Col. 2:12 We have been buried with him in baptism.
  • Col. 2:12-13 God raised us and made us alive with Christ, through faith.
  • Col. 2:20 We died with Christ to the basic principles of this world.
  • Col. 3:1 We have been raised with Christ.
  • Col. 3:3 Our life is now hidden with Christ in God.
  • Col. 3:4 When Christ appears, we will appear with him in glory.
  • 1 Thess. 5:10 He died for us so that we may live together with him.
  • 2 Tim. 2:11 If we died with him, we will also live with him.
  • 2 Tim. 2:12 If we endure, we will also reign with him.

When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you were born again.  When you were baptized, you were crucified with Him.  When you came up out of the water, you were raised again with Christ.  You are now a resurrected being.  We were dead in our sin, but because Christ became all our sin and died for them on our behalf, and we accepted this free gift, we are now new creations (II Corinthians 5:17).

Look at the list above again.  Look them up in your Bibles.  These are not theoretical constructs.  These statements are the absolute truth.

The same Grace that gave you a new life IS the same grace that sustains that new life.

THEN WHY DOES MY LIFE BLOW CHUNKS?

This happens to almost every believer who is not exposed to the truth.  You were not exposed to this truth because most people don’t know enough to tell you this truth.  Religion and religious tradition do not share this truth for fear of losing control over you.

You were saved, and life seemed sparkly and good.  God answered every prayer you prayed.  His presence was felt everywhere you went, and the meanings of the words in scripture were finally making sense to you.  But then, life happened, and your joy dimmed to a cold ember, and you no longer felt God’s wonderful presence.

When this happened, you were probably told that that is all part of growing up.  That God coddled you while you were a baby Christian, but it is now time to grow up and handle things yourself.

You were never informed that the same Grace that saved you will sustain you forever to the day you arrive in Heaven and meet Jesus face to face.

It is all about how you look at things.

If you go back to worldly thinking to solve your problems, you will get the same results that you got before you were saved.  You now have the Mind of Christ.  You have His Holy Spirit in you.  You are God’s righteousness already.  You are complete in every way possible in the spirit.  The difficulty comes in when you forget this fact, and return to your old way of thinking and handling problems.  If it didn’t work the first thousand times you did it, why do you think it will suddenly change?

If you want to live the walk of Christ, you have to make Him your Lord of life, too.  When you commit to do that, you must teach your heart what the scriptures declare about you (See the list above).  The Spirit of God will help you write these truths on your heart.  As you read the scriptures, and pray, you will get revelation on how to change your heart to what Jesus has said is true of you.  To walk after Christ is to rest in His completed work.  You are a co-heir to the very throne of Heaven.  You are God’s beloved child. You are no longer guilty of any sin.  And the Spirit of God will change your mind about sin so that whatever sin you struggle with will become less important than your desire to walk after Christ.

If you are saved by the grace of God, you will also live in it, if you chose to.  It really is that simple.  It is all in what you chose to believe is true as regards what Jesus accomplished on the cross and his resurrection.

This is not a license to sin, either.  Grace is God’s ability to make you righteous in Christ.  Jesus’s righteousness in now YOUR righteousness.  You are righteous and holy before God.  Your desire for God will grow and your desire for sin will diminish.

It is also not about giving up anything, but learning how to enjoy the things God invented without perverting it as the world has done.

Change your heart, and your life will change.  It all depends on what you focus on.  Remember that it is written: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Matt. 6:33

I became a Christian on October 27, 1986.  And for a while, life in Christ was amazing.  Then the world got in the way and I went back to my old way of thinking about it.  I did this because I was told that that is how it is when you become a Christian.

I was never taught that God’s saving grace IS God’s sustaining Grace.  Grace is from God, and is permanent once you have accepted Jesus as your lord and savior.

If all you wanted was the fire insurance and not the walk, fine.  But your life will be as miserable as it was before you were saved, and probably more so, as you are now a child of God refusing to learn from Him.

To be sustained in Grace (God’s ability), you have to learn to see the world and all things as God sees them.  You have to believe that what Christ accomplished at his death and resurrection is permanent, not just a one time deal.

I am new at this whole grace experience.  It took me 26 years to finally see that being a Christian didn’t work out for me simply because of what I believed was true about God.

God is not mad at you, he is not out to get you or punish you.  You are His beloved Child whom he loves.  Jesus already took on God’s wrath in Hell.  You no longer have to fear God.  He is now your real father.  And He loves you.

 When you slide back into your worldly view of things, you reject the gift Christ gave His life to give you.  (See the list above).  You are telling Christ that His grace is not good enough for you and that you need to take the wheel from here.

But if you really want to experience the sustaining grace, you need to make Jesus your Lord, too, and trust that what He has done for you is real, is now, and is permanent.  The Spirit of God will honor that faith and teach you how to manifest all the gifts of God in the material world.  THIS is, after all, why you were not raptured when you first believed.  We are to exist as Christ existed, and lead all men to salvation.

Like I said before, the difference between a victorious life in Christ and going back to your old life is all in what you believe to be true about the Grace of God.  It is always in you.  It is always with you.  Even when you sin, God’s love for you never departs from you, and your salvation is not taken away.  The ones who fall from grace are the ones who think works righteousness will please God and make him love you.  You are already loved by God and He finds absolutely no fault in you.  This is all because you have accepted what Jesus did for you.

I may be new to this whole Grace thing.  I was raised in a very legalistic tradition by the Southern Baptists.  I went to a Southern Baptist Seminary.  But like Paul, I count all that as so much “dung” (Insert your own preferred aphorism here).  Compared to the amazing Grace of God and the truth that it reveals to my heart, nothing else matters.  The changes this has made in my life has been so powerful that many people have commented on what a completely different human I am.  That is also true.  My old self died when Jesus died.  My new self rose, righteous before God, when Jesus arose from the dead.  I simply needed to understand what all that meant.

So, yes, the sustaining Grace of God is the exact same thing as the grace that saved you.  One happened in a single point of time, and the other is just the same grace walking through time sustaining you, if you will accept the truth of the Scriptures.

Change your mind and change your life.  God’s grace is really all you need to walk in the likeness of Christ.  If you received Him as your savior and want to experience His sustaining Grace, then change what you believe about being saved.

Let’s be about it.

I love you,

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Transition States: Lay Your Burden Down


Leave This at the Feet of God

Leave This at the Feet of God

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

What freedom have we been granted?  When we accepted Christ as our Savior, what transaction took place?  What were we set free from?

We read in Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  

We also read in Romans 8:2 – “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”

To really appreciate this, we need to understand that Jesus didn’t simply die FOR our sin.  Jesus BECAME sin itself.  Jesus became every reward sin brings, too, including guilt, condemnation, doubt, fear, anxiety and death.  Jesus became all of this.  By becoming all of sin and all of the side effects of sin, God poured His wrath on Jesus.   Jesus died in sin.   He went to Hell in sin.  But God brought Him back to life while He was in hell to show that Jesus has authority over life and death…over the consequences of freedom and the consequences of slavery, over the consequences of love and hate.  Sin was defeated, and death along with it.

It is written:  “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” II Corinthians 5:21 ESV

It is also written: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.”  I Peter 5:6-7

The humbling comes in when we have recognized what Jesus did on our behalf.  Jesus did a thing that we cannot do for ourselves.  When we see that this is what happened, we experience what the evangelists call “repentance”.

What is repentance?  It literally means “Think Again!”, or “Change Your Mind.”

What, in our thinking changes?

If we have accepted this free gift of salvation, a work done by Christ, and have accepted it in our heart (Literally, all our mind and all our being), then we literally become a new creation.

It is written:  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.  Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us”  II Corinthians 5:17 – 19

One thing becomes apparent.  WE did not do the dying, Jesus did.  We did not do away with our past, God did.  We did not bring the “new things”, God did.  Everything is a free gift from God.  Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves, and because we have accepted this free gift, we are completely and totally free from our past, our sin, our sin nature, our guilt, our shame, our fear, and any other thing that will cause us to be anxious where the provision of God is concerned.

And what did Jesus say was this provision of God?  It is written:  “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”

So why do I still feel overwhelmed, and anxious and lack this abundance Jesus said I would have?

THAT, my friend is the million dollar question….that I just happen to know the answer to.

One thing slavery brings you , over time, is complacency.  You become so familiar and comfoprtable with your chains that you hardly notice they exist.  You buy into the idea that “this is just how things are”.  You develop coping mechanisms that help you deal with the fact that, somewhere, deep inside, you know things are out of whack, but you are being told being enslaved to the world is “normal”.  Psychology and religion teach you that if you can just think like this, or take this pill, or adjust your feelings, you will learn to cope with how difficult life is as a slave to sin.  It all depends on you, and your willingness to continue wearing the chains that are enslaving you.  In principle, we are being taught how to be happy in our chains.

Operant Conditioning and other Behavioral Modification tools are used by governments, the Press, religions, and psychology to persuade you to change your thinking from one mode to another.    A powerful tool used, as a subset of Behavioral Modification is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).   The presuppositions of NLP might even sound good or true or even altruistic.  Keep in mind, however, that these are the tools of Politicians and Advertising agencies and many writers.  The meanings of words are changed, subtly, until the real meaning of a thing can actually be confused for its opposite.  (Read Orwell’s, “Animal Farm” for a very stark treatment of this fact).  The underlying premises of these things is that you will always want to move away from pain towards pleasure, from fear to comfort, from difficulty to ease.  The world will appear to have these things, ready and waiting for you if you will just leave the chains alone.

I took a course in “copyediting” for the Marketing Industry.  The introduction to the course taught me that all advertisement, all political manipulation, all people who want you to buy whatever it is they are selling, use the following (and a host of other) tactics to get you to buy into it:

1. Fear – Fear of lack, fear of pain, fear of loss, fear of the unknown and unknowable.

2. Envy – Create a desire in you to covet what others actually have or might acquire before you do – a play on fear of loss.

3. Pride – Create in you a belief that if you have whatever they are selling, you will be above others, better than others, more popular than others (A play on the fear of loss), happier than others, and if you can get it before your peers get it, you will be in a superior position to be admired and praised, as you clearly had the “wisdom” to acquire what you didn’t really need before others felt the urge to envy your acquisition.

These are just 3 of the hundreds of tools applied in the arts of manipulation, Fear, Envy and Pride, but all the rest have their root in these three items.  All these are tools of slavery that teach you that self-esteem is more important than anything else on earth.  All I have to do is distract you long enough to make you believe what I am selling will make you happy and solve your problems.

Persuasion, real persuasion, is based on facts, manipulation is based a high degree of fact and a small margin of unsupportable speculation and supposition.  That small margin only has to be spoken in a way that it entices an emotion in you to cause you to react to it (That is where NLP techniques are used).  The more you hear it, the more you believe it. The more you belive it, the more you want it.  It doesn’t take much for you to believe any lie if you hear it repeated often and in earnest, with the voice of authority.  Think of what Jesus had to say to the Scribes and Pharisees and their religion.

These are things I became familiar with, and used, until I came to understand what walking after Christ actually means.    I learned through the sincere, but misguided teachings of my religion how to be a salesman, not a disciple.  I learned how to lead, but not how to serve.

It is written:  “Jesus called them over and said to them, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and their men of high positions exercise power over them.  But it must not be like that among you.On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life — a ransom for many.” Mark 10:35-45

Remember that in my earlier blogs I made this claim for myself:  “I am just one beggar telling another where I found food, shelter and water.”   I have discovered I am wrong.  It was a “catch phrase” I was taught in Seminary so that I could manipulate someone into feeling like I was one of them, on their level, and sympathetic to their plight, even if I clearly was not.  I was in error using this phrase.

And in illustrating my error, I hope to shed some light on the million dollar question.

Here is the error of that phrase.  Simply put, it places the listener in a position to have to look at me, not Christ, as proof of God’s love.  It is a misdirection, not a revelation.  My state of being in Christ is revealed without having to say anything.  If I am a child of the Living God, through Jesus Christ, it will show, above anything and everything else, to the degree I have accepted the freedom Christ has brought me.

So, even though I had come to understand that I was free, I still called myself a beggar.  That is not only an error in my thinking, it is also arrogant of me to say something like that.  The arrogance comes from the presumption that I know better than God what God has done in me.  The error is that I am no longer a beggar.  I was, in effect, misdirecting my listener and telling him that, although I am saved, I am STILL beggarly in my life.  I have openly denied the freedom and gifts Christ has bought for me on the cross.  I just told my listener that, you may be saved, but your life will still probably suck.  And I am learning that that is just not the case.

It is written:  “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father! ”The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ — seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”  Romans 8:15-17

The suffering Paul mentioned was the fact that He and other Christians were being persecuted by both the Church of the Pharisees and by the Romans.

The reason I am not a beggar is because my accepting Christ as my savior also means I am literally adopted by the LIVING GOD, creator of the Heavens and Earth, and all that exists therein.  I am HIS son.  I can call him daddy, and not be considered silly for doing this (At least not by God, the rest of you are up for grabs).

Just as, and because of, Jesus put to death all sin and the side effects of my sin, I am no longer bound by my failures, my sin, my weaknesses.  I am a new creation.  A new life form.  For fear of losing you, I will not go into what this has proven to mean at the DNA level.  It is a very complicated subject.  But you are now a new creation.  OLD THINGS ARE DEAD AND GONE.  They died when Christ died.  You are risen because Christ rose.

It is Written:  “Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life.  For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims.”  Romans 6:4-7

When you accepted the completed work of Christ, you accepted that you were once dead in your sin, and now are a new creation, alive in Christ.  Sin and death no longer have power over you.

It is Written:  “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, 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 coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing;  it is the gift of God, not 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, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2: 1 – 10

Just like I am no longer a beggar, but an Heir to the Throne of Heaven, I can tell you that, if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, so are you, an Heir to the Throne.

All that has to change is your thinking (beliefs, mind, heart).  The world’s rules and thinking no longer apply to you.  In fact, as a Child of God, the more you try to walk after the world, the more difficult it will be to understand what God wants for you in this life.  Your misery will multiply.

In order to defeat fear, lust and pride you need to understand that you are no longer guilty of your past, and you are no longer the same you that used to exist.  All the old stuff died with Christ, and your freedom was paid for.  It was paid for by Jesus.  You are no longer a slave to fear, Jesus killed it when He died on the cross in your place.  You no longer need to worry since God has nothing but good intended for your life.

BUT WAIT A MINUTE!  THINGS STILL SUCK IN MY LIFE!!

OK, I’ll buy that.  but…It is written:  ” For as he (you, me, anyone else) thinketh in his heart, so is he…”

You become your thoughts (your beliefs, desires, will, etc).  Christ died for all your failures.  you are not destined to fail if your heart is to follow Christ.  It is all how you believe you are.

While it is true that there are universal principles at work, and you can actually get what you ask for, you will also reap what you sow.  God is not a vending machine, or an ATM.  But if serving Him means you need certain things to be true in your life, ASK.  He will be faithful to supply your need.

It is written:  “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

CAVEAT LECTOR:  Be careful what you ask for…you may get it.  Jesus said, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son”.  Is what you are asking for going to glorify God in the Son?

Earlier I quoted Mark 10:35-45.  How does this compare with what I have been saying about not being a beggar?  My mind is changed, and is changing.  The worlds values no longer seem as important to me as serving Christ does.  My heart is in the trans-formative state of becoming Christ like.  My old beliefs and habits are falling away to the degree that I am willing to let God work in me through the Holy Spirit.  I surrender to God, and am being made into the likeness of Christ.

One thing I am learning is, even though I may have tremendous need, and am experiencing hardship, I can still serve God by serving my fellow man.  I no longer want to pray for a Cadillac and a huge house because that only serves my self.  We have enough self-serving Christians as it is.  What I find myself truly wanting to do is to walk in whatever way God leads my heart to walk.

I am no longer bound by my sins.  And they were many and very grievous ones, at that.  I am forgiven and am free to have the mind of Christ.

Why is your life still so overwhelming?

Simple.  Lay down your life to Christ.  Learn of Him.  Learn to see your situation as He sees it.  What was once unbearable becomes bearable.  What was once overwhelming becomes very manageable.  Fear no longer rules your heart.  Fear has no place in you.  The love of God overwhelms fear so that it cannot live in you.  Without the distraction of fear and anxiety, you are more able to see solutions that never occurred to you before.  Lust becomes a memory, not a plague.  Pride falls before the feet of Christ.  You have absolutely nothing he wants or needs, except you.  He loves you.

CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE

It is written:  “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesuswho, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.

Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.  And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross.

For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow — of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth — and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2:5-11
As a Child of God, you can ask anything you want in Jesus’ name.  But the things the Spirit of God will lead you to ask for will be shaped by the type of call God will place on your heart.
One thing is certain, all calls of God will be so that “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
In the mean time, as regards the chaos that defines your life, or my life, or anyone elses, it is clear and evident proof that you will always attract the things you believe are true for you.  You will reap what you sow.
If you want your life to really change do this:  “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.”
The desires of God for you will become YOUR hearts desires.  Everything else will fall away into the useless flotsam and jetsam of a fallen world.  The troubles that may visit you as you walk after him are difficult only in the respect that you have trusted, or failed to trust God through Jesus Christ
This is not for cowards or doubters.  It is only for those who genuinely believe and want their life to make a real difference in this world.  Sometimes God may tear someone completely down and empty them of everything that they thought meant something just to begin this new work.  Walking after Christ means to rest in His completed work.  I promise, things will change if you will first seek Him.
IF YOU CAN ACCEPT THAT YOUR SIN NATURE WAS TRANSFORMED BY CHRIST’S RESURRECTION, THEN PLEASE ACCEPT THAT YOUR MIND IS ALSO TRANSFORMED FOR THE SAME REASON.
It is written:  “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”  Romans 12:2
Let’s be about it.
I love you
David G. Perkins
sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com
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Our Position in Christ: When Trouble Comes Knocking


Forgiven“One of the great inhibitors to our boldness is the responses that people in our lives give.

Although God is merciful and ready to forgive, people are not.

We cannot let the responses of people affect our honesty before and our trust in the Lord.

Though people may reject us, God does not.”

Richards, James (2001-12-01). Grace: The Power To Change (Kindle Locations 542-544). Whitaker House. Kindle Edition.

THE WORLD

When the world says I am a loser, I am too old to be part of what they are doing, or too fat, or overqualified, or under-qualified, or whatever excuse the world offers because I am not in my 20’s or 30’s and that is all they are looking for, it is easy for me to get discouraged.

When old friends or family know that I am a new creation in Christ, and say they have forgiven my past, but still treat me as if I am still that same old self, or they are so in love with their opinions and assumptions of me that the facts and evidence do not count for anything, it is easy for me to get discouraged.

MY MIND

Discouragement temps my mind to resort to old beliefs, to old habits, to old methods of acknowledging to opinions of the World and Family.  I find it refreshing that because I am a new creation, I have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16 – For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.  KJV

Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. KJV

When I rest in the Lord, I find what His mind desires for me.  When I find that He desires the fruit of the spirit of God, then I am able to rest in Him and walk after Him.  Then I am not discouraged, or angry, or disappointed.  My temptation to be my old self literally vanishes.  I find that instead of discouragement and anger, I have joy and peace.  I see the Grace and Mercy He purchased on my behalf, and receive it, and am filled with it, and understand how Godless and Religious people have missed it.  It is impossible for me to resort to my old self when I pray for these circumstances.  I have tested the claims of the scriptures, and find that they are true.  They are true because I have placed my faith in the Grace of God and His mercy.

Because of the Hope He has given me, my mind calms down, and I can wait on Him to see what he has already set in motion for me.  His ability to keep me focused on His will makes it possible for me to Wait on Him:

“O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him, and He shall give thee thy heart’s desires.  Commit thy way unto Him, and trust in Him; and fret not they self because of evil doers.”

If I try by my own strength to follow the will of God, I become a law unto myself, and forgo the Grace (Ability) of God.  Then I have to try to do everything right, even though all my effort will never be enough to please God or get me saved, or change me into the likeness of Christ.  If I fail in any single thing by my own effort, then I have failed completely.

There was only One who lived a sinless life, and who walked in the will of God.  Jesus’s promise to us is that, when we accept Jesus Christ as Savior, WE will have the same ability as God poured into Christ.

ABIDING IN HIM (The Mind of Christ)

There is a verse in the Bible that talks about ABIDING.: 1 John 2:6 – “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

The Greek definition of the word walk could more accurately be translated into this phrase: rest in the Lord so HE will cause you to walk.  If I try to walk on my own strength, the best I can do is produce what is NOT the will of God for my life.  I know this because I just spent the last 20 years doing that very thing.

It is because Jesus rested in the will of God that He was able to know and do the things He did: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him (God the Father) who sent Me.” John 6:38 NASB  Parenthesis added by me.

Our position is one of rest in Christ, who set the example by resting in God and His will.  When we do that, life becomes clearer and simpler.  By resting in Him, a very intimate relationship in the Greek language, we get to know Him and His thoughts and His will.  This intimacy causes our love and dependence on Him to grow geometrically.  After doing His will in your life, sin and temptation become apparent for what they are:  Death and Destruction.

God has placed a new desire in my heart.  It is become apparent that I cannot, nor do I want to, return to the world I left behind.  All having my way has gained me is loss and destruction.  Now I am beginning to see glimmers of what God wants for me, and I can wait on Him because Christ did the same.  Christ makes me able to rest in Him.  Christ makes me able to walk after Him because HE is my motivation and ability and power.

WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND?

I tell you all this because I know you are human, and go through the same temptations.  Believe me when I tell you that the gift of God’s grace (ability, will, mind, power) comes as you surrender yourself to it.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

In Christ there is rest.  In my own will there is the sweat of my brow that leads to failure.  I know that my present circumstances is not the judgement of God on me, but simply the logical and natural consequences of living by my own will instead of trusting God.

God is with you if you are going through this, too, if you believe in His Son.  His Mercy has forgiven you and His grace sustains you.  Rest in Him, give whatever it is you are going through to Him.  He will show you a better way than any way you can come up for yourself.  I know this, too, is a fact.

You are His beloved.  You are an heir to the Kingdom of Heaven.  He is longing to help you if you will rest in Him.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NASB

PRAYER:  I thank you Lord for this opportunity to share this topic with my brothers and sisters who are going through the storm of doubt, frustration, disappointment and anger.  Because you have delivered me from these things, I desire to share this with anyone who will listen, and I pray you pour your Holy Spirit on those who read this message and take it to heart.  I love you God, that you have sent Jesus Christ who died for our sin, and in our resting in Him, we are led to the green pastures and clear water that is your will for us.  Reveal to each of us your will for our lives.  I pray this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. AMEN

Let’s be about it!

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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It Doesn’t Matter


Grace is SufficientII CORINTHIANS 5:17 HCSB   “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.”

What’s New?

if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;”    

Jesus made it clear that, if we have rejected Him, we are already dead, “Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.” John 3:18 HCSB

We are dead before we accepted Christ.  We are cut off from God.  We have no home in Heaven, no hope of eternal life.   We are still born entities who have not been given the gift of eternal life via the Holy Spirit.  We are already dead.

There is a familiar saying that, “Jesus did not come here to make bad people good, but to make dead people live.”  I have no idea who said this, so I cannot give attribution.

Jesus came here to die so that I can live.  When Jesus was nailed to the cross, all the law of sin was nailed to the cross.  The law existed to demonstrate that it is impossible for me to obey God on my own power.   Jesus put “finished” to the law when He was nailed to the cross, “having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. “ Col 2:14

All the reasons that people can think of, all the accusation that Satan accuses you with, any right anyone had to find fault with you was put to death the moment you accepted Him.  Furthermore, sin itself no longer has command over you.  When you accepted Christ, the Spirit of God immediately came to you, moved in to your body, your mind, your life, and brought YOU to life in Christ.

Jesus became sin, and died of it, took it to Hell with him and paid the full penalty for it.  All sin was put to death and no longer has any authority over you.  The only power sin has, now, is whatever you give it.  The good news here is, now that the Spirit of God lives in you, you have all the resources of Heaven to help you overcome sin.

BUT WHAT ABOUT MY PAST?

old things have passed away

When you accepted Jesus Christ’s free gift, your past died with Christ.  Your new life was created when He rose from the dead.  Your acceptance of this completed work put to death your old self.  “…having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions” Col 2: 12-13 NASB

When you accepted Jesus’s sacrifice for you, you were buried with him in death, and the new creation that arose from the dead is the new creation that now lives in you.

Your past is just that, the past.

I know, I know, everyone else still treats me as if I am the old me.  That is OK.  People will eventually see that you are no longer that person.  This takes time and patience.  The new life you will live will be a product of Christ living in you.

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  Galatians 2:20 NASB

You died.  Christ lives in you, now.  Your old self is dead.

Yes, you still have memories of the past, but they no longer have power over you.   The Spirit of God lives in you, now.  Allow the Spirit of God to work in you to change you into the likeness of Christ.  You have to forgive your past.  God already did.

The past has just as much hold over you as you let it.  Forgive your past.  People change very slowly, but they will change.  As evidence of your new life dawns on others, you will be treated differently.  Let time and patience do their jobs.

GOD LIVES IN YOU

The greatest thing that you will learn is, now that you are born into the Kingdom of Heaven, you are now an adopted child of God.  “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”  Romans 8:15 NASB

Fear of punishment for your past can go away now.  You are no longer a slave to your past, so you can stop acting as if it has any influence over you.  It died when you died.  You died when you accepted the free gift of salvation.  It is now Christ that lives in you.  You are His brother.  God is now your father.

I John 4:15 says that God abides in you, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”

QUALITY OF LIFE

This new life, this “Zoe” as it is said in the scriptures, is not just living, it defines a new quality of life.  Your life changes because you are a new born creature.  Where you didn’t exist, you now exist in Heaven.  Zoe is not just a life form, but a new life form that has a new quality of life.  This quality of life manifests itself in you as you grow in Christ.

We are possessed of this quality the second we are born.  All that God is, has, and gives, lives in you.  It is your inheritance.  The fullness of the Kingdom of God is yours, now, today, because you were born into the kingdom of Heaven.

YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

Sin used to be your master.  This is no longer true of you.  Where you were once dead in your sin, sin now only has the power over you that you allow it to have.  But, even then, the Grace of God covers our sin.  We do not abuse this grace, but have access to it so that we can be continually made into the righteousness of Christ.  Christ’s righteousness lives in us.  It becomes manifest in us when we realize we are free from the curse of sin.

Being free from sin is not comprised of a list of “Don’ts”.  The influence of the Spirit of God will show you a view of sin that you never had before.  Sin does not become a list of don’ts, but a fact of “Don’t want to”.  Sin no longer will have the power over you that it used to have.

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”  Romans 6:1-8

Before we were born again, we had no righteousness.  Now, we are alive in Christ, and HIS righteousness lives in us.  He did this for us, so we cannot brag about it.

IT NO LONGER MATTERS WHAT EVERYONE ELSE THINKS

In God’s eyes, you are His child.  In His eyes, you are complete.  You are loved and lovely.  You are whole and pure.  When you accepted this free gift of Jesus’ death and resurrection, you were born into the Kingdom of Heaven complete in every way.

The world may not recognize what God has done in you.  But as you submit to Him, by the power of His spirit, God will make manifest in your life all the riches of His Kingdom.  He will do this in you as you humble yourself before the Lord: “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”  James 4:10

Don’t let people convince you that you are not His.  Don’t talk yourself into going back to your old life.  Let the power of the Living God work in you.  It is written that a broken and contrite heart, God will not despise.  It takes you emptying you of yourself and allowing the completed work of God, that is in you, to be made manifest in your life.

No one can take this away from you.

Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

No one can rob you of your God-given gift of life and abundant living unless you allow it.   Abide in the word, abide in the love of God.  Let the power of the Spirit of God rule in your life.

I promise, you will see life and live life differently than you ever knew was possible.  The problems you think you have today, will be manageable because you will see them in the light of the Love of God, and His wisdom.  Many of the problems you have today will stop being problems because God will change your heart.

Where the law of sin said “You can’t”, Jesus and the power of His resurrection says, “I DID!”.

Where guilt and the world and Satan says, “You are a failure”, Jesus says, “My success is YOUR success, recieve it and walk in it.”

Where the Accuser says, “You are guilty!”, Jesus said, “You are innocent.”

The love and power of God abides in you.  Fear and sin no longer rules your life.  What God has placed in you cannot be removed.  God wants to make His power and life manifest in you.  As you seek Him, and pray, and search His word, and believe, the life God has placed inside you will be known to the rest of the world.

Chose you this day whom you will serve…

Let’s be about it.

I Love You

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Growing In Christ – Dealing With Your Past


English: Broken Heart symbol

English: Broken Heart symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This tome is written to men and women who, like me, strayed from the Love of God and the Joy of Salvation, and lived a life that you’d rather forget ever happened.  I am writing this to you.  I am writing this from a lesson I am going through as we speak.

I want to try to prepare you that this is coming.  I knew in my heart of hearts that, eventually, the Lord will deal with this issue in my life, but was still blindsided by the intensity of it.  Not every act of obedience will bring immediate joy, but it will eventually lead you to a joy that you will never understand until you grow in Christ.

God’s discipline is a good thing, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.  Remember, God disciplines the ones He loves. When He disciplines you, it is in love, not wrath.  Jesus already took on the wrath of your sin.  What God is doing is a gift of the Holy Spirit, so that you will grow to be like Christ in all things.

The hard work of the walk is, after redemption, you still have to deal with the mess you made in the wake of your fallen state.  You will have to deal with the forgiveness and contempt you hold for yourself.  You will have to deal with the anger and unforgiveness of others.  You will get to learn what grace feels like when others forgive you, and mean it from their hearts.

God wants to take you from where you are positionally in Him, forgiven and complete, to where His view of you in Christ is materially obvious to others, so that, when you live, you will live in the image of Jesus Christ.  There are still lost souls out there who need to know that it is possible to get from where they are to where God is.

First, I need to define some very real truths:

1.  Accusation is from Satan.  When the enemy (Satan, the World, etc) decides to point out your flaws, you will feel condemned, unworthy of the love of God, and basically, despair.  The accusations of Satan are like tormenting fires.  His accusations are arrows that hit you and burn you.  The goal of Satan is to get your eyes off the work the Spirit of God is doing in your heart.  The goal of Satan is to get you to take your eyes off Jesus.  The goal of Satan is that you forget the joy of your salvation.

2.  God is Love.  God, in His love of you, disciplines you.  He does not condemn.  Your condemnation was taken care of on the Cross of Christ.  If you have accepted the Salvation of Jesus Christ, then your sin is forgiven.  The Bible makes it clear that there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ.  You are not going to Hell.  You are saved.  Nothing can take that away from you.

3. We have to grow up, sometime.  God insists you grow up in all ways to be like His Son, Jesus Christ.  You were not raptured the second you believed because God intends to use you in His service.  He wants to make you into something beautiful so that others will be drawn to the saving glory of Jesus Christ.  He will not allow you to be comfortable in your old habits.  However, this, too is optional.  You will grow into Christ likeness only as you are willing to grow, and eager to surrender your old ways to His new ways.

THE SUBJECT AT HAND

The groundwork is laid, and I hope you got it.  I am deeply sorry if I have done an inadequate job of not making the above clear.  But if this is you, you will know it.  If this is not for you, please pray for the person that is going through this.

A: The Unforgiveness and contempt you hold for yourself.

This is a tough one.  The more tender-hearted you become, the more you realize what a large swath of pain and confusion and anger you have left in your wake.  This is, perhaps, the strongest shock to your system you will face.  This is where you have to learn some important lessons.

LESSON 1:  You are Forgiven

Where did your salvation come from?  It came from the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross.  The perfect human took on all our imperfections and our sin and was nailed to the Cross and died for them.  In His dying, Jesus absorbed and accepted all the complete wrath of God.  “For the wages of sin is death.”  And Jesus paid that wage for you.  When you realized that you were in sin, and you were led to the Cross of Christ, and confessed your sin, you immediately felt the forgiveness of God, and His cleansing Breath (Ruach Ha’Kodesh – The Holy Spirit) enter you and cleanse you of the stain of your sin.  You are forgiven.

LESSON 2:  Forgive Yourself.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

It is hard to look at the destruction our pre-Christian lives left behind.  And if you took the time and diligence, as I did, to make a thorough mess, there will be more to face and deal with.  Sometimes you just have to take things one at a time.  Sometimes, you will have to face it over and over.

Sometimes Satan, the World, and others, will not let you forget what you have done.  This feeds the fire of your unforgiveness of yourself   Here you have to cling to the truth that God has forgiven you.  He has cast your sin as far away from Himself as the East is from the West.  God has chosen to forget your sin.  When God sees you, He sees His beloved Child, covered in the blood of Christ, who died for that very sin you are beating yourself up over.  When others want to rehearse your sin, when YOU want to rehearse that sin, you have to return to what you know.

You know that you are forgiven.

WHAT ABOUT THE PAIN?

The grief you feel is the grief God felt when you did all that destruction.  It is actually healthy.  Before you were saved, you may have felt a bit guilty, or not.  You probably went along justifying your actions, like I did.  Eventually, you built up a wall around yourself so that other’s couldn’t bother your conscience.   The thing about walls, while they effectively keep others out, they also keep you imprisoned in your own world.  You become unapproachable, unteachable, unassailable, and unwelcome.

There will be some measure of pain when this wall is torn down.  The reason you feel this pain is because you finally have a conscience.  Embrace the pain, and take it to God.  Don’t deny the pain you feel.  It is normal.  It is what remorse is supposed to feel like.  You feel remorse because God intends to grow you up, and teach you how to deal with your messes.  Learn from this remorse, and see what God wants you to do with it.

The Evangelism of today teaches something quite different.  It teaches you that you can just walk away from all your past without a second thought of the harm you have done to others.  This is an ungodly teaching.  Modern Evangelism teaches that there is no need to repent of sin, or regret your sin, that that is an unhealthy emotion that is bad for your self-esteem.

The Good news of being a Child of God is, you are no longer the sinful you.  It stops being about you.  It starts being about being remade into the image of Christ.  In that rebuilding process, you will find freedom and joy.   To assume there is nothing to go back and make right is one of the most self-indulgent things you can ever believe.

The pain of seeing, finally, what you have done to others is healthy.  It is so that you will be able to see outside of your own self-interest and see what others had to endure because of your sin.  This pain is actually the road to your freedom, as it drives you to obey God and make things as right as you possibly can.  How rich and joyful is the Grace of God, and His mercy.  What a sense of freedom you will know when you obey God, and do His will.

Part of the pain is that the old self just doesn’t want to die, and the new self doesn’t need all that baggage your old self left at the door.  The New Self, the new creation, has to deal with this.  The new self can deal with it because Christ makes you able.  In Him is your strength.  You can do all things through Christ.

You will have to deal with the anger and/OR unforgiveness of others.

This is where you get to have YOUR grace and mercy tested.  WHere it is at all possible, find the people you caused harm to, find the people you lied to, the people you used, the people you led into sin.  Confess what you have done.  Seek their forgiveness.

What you will discover:

1.  Some people have already forgotten it.

2. Some people remember it, but don’t care.

3. Some people remember it and forgive you anyway.

4. Some people remember and will not forgive you.

5. Some people remember it, will not forgive you, and want you to suffer for it.

6. Some will say they forgive, but the anger that shows in their eyes tell you other wise.

I can go on and on, here.  I know about this because in my efforts to make restitution, I have faced everything from happy tears to death threats.  And I am not making that up.  I have tried my best to exclude exaggeration in my discourse, unless I am trying to emphasize a very obvious point.

SO WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THESE PEOPLE?

To those who have genuinely forgiven you, and have shared the fellowship of Joy in the Lord, you have gained a brother.

To those who forgot, you still seek forgiveness, but don’t rehearse the issue.  Let it go.

To those who say they have forgiven you, but the look in their eyes tells you otherwise, all you can do is ask their forgiveness.  You probably have given them a good reason to write you off, but you cannot beat yourself up over it anymore.  You can pray for them.  Their anger is their poison.  Your prayers are the antidote.  Leave it at God’s feet.

This is especially hard when you encounter this attitude with people you genuinely love, and want to have fellowship with.  Some hurts never heal.  Some people will never like you, or accept you.  That is the hard part.  But you need to take it to God.  And you need to leave it with God.

HERE’S THE GOOD STUFF:  You will get to learn what grace feels like when others forgive you, and mean it from their hearts.

This is definitely the good stuff.  How sweet it feels when a brother genuinely forgives you and shows it.  It is a wonderful thing to gain a brother.  It is good that you have a new friend in Christ.

Being shown Grace is powerful.  It is the genuine reflection of Christ in others.  It teaches you that Grace is obtainable.  It teaches you that you can do the same thing.  Grace is a gift, and when you receive it, and you give it, it multiplies.

How sweet are the tears that forgiveness brings.  How deep is the laughter and joy when you are clean of this sin.

This is what really makes it worth it, from a human stand point.

Being shown grace does wonders for you.  It gives you hope, and teaches you that YOU TOO can be Christ like.  A living example of a brother showing the character of Christ is good medicine.

It is true that some people are just plain weary of dealing with you.  But it is a genuine joy when you encounter real grace.

SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET:

Now that you have reconciled with Christ, all the skeletons get to come out of the closet.  As scary as this sounds, this is a good thing.  God will take your past and turn it into a blessing.  If you have told God you want Him to make you into the image of Christ, and into His Character, then all the closets, both obvious and secret, will eventually have to be dealt with.

Don’t be afraid of the skeletons.  They are dead.  If you are in Christ Jesus, you are a new creation.  Let love have her perfect work.

Let’s Be About It.

I Love You

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Have a Heart


Dr. Martin Luther King at a press conference.

Dr. Martin Luther King at a press conference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 Samuel 16:7

English Standard Version (ESV)

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King marched on Washington D.C., and gave one of the most stirring speeches I have ever heard in my life.  I still get chills when I hear recordings of his landmark speech, and want to shout AMEN!

My formative years were in the South.  I have very clear and vivid memories of the race riots.  I recall that restrooms and buses and most public discourse was very divided along racial lines.   Later on in life, our family moved to Texas.  I was in 6th grade by that time.

I had family members in Mississippi who were in the Klan, and I never understood why they were so angry at everyone else.  What I did know from the Klan was, it was founded by the Democrats.  You couldn’t hold down a job in Louisiana if you weren’t a democrat, back then.  My Uncle was some kind of grand poobah in the Klan.

It wasn’t until I moved to Brownwood, Texas that I encountered different races.  I loved it.  I embraced it.  I did this because, regardless of the color of their skin, they wanted love just as bad as I did.  And I didn’t know I was supposed to not like anyone that was not white.

I heard just as much racism in Brownwood as I heard in Louisiana. This time it was divided along MANY lines; Black against White, Black against Hispanic, Hispanic against Black, Hispanic against White.  White against Black, White against Hispanic.

I still didn’t get it.  Why were the same people I was going to Church with, the ones who say Jesus is their Lord, behaving this way?  Why were Christians of other races doing this, too?

Maybe I didn’t know I was supposed to be a racist.  No one in my family ever said I needed to hate anyone.  So I didn’t.  Three of my closest friends were not white.  One was black, and gay, one was Hispanic, and one was American Indian.  It never occurred to me that their skin color should matter.  I was taught all my life that God is love, and that we are to love one another.

When I got to High School, I was the only white guy in the first ever Black History class at Brownwood High School.  I wrote my Term Paper on John Washington Carver.  That really opened my eyes.  I memorized Dr. King’s speech.  I analysed it to the nth degree.

The one thing that Dr. King asked everyone to understand was that we all live for the day when we are not judged on the basis of our skin color, but on the content of our character.

I am not saying this so “Whitey” can play up to the brother.  That is not at all my motive.  You will like me or hate me for reasons that are your own.  I cannot control that.

This is why I am writing this blog, tonight.

The prophet, Samuel, went to find the future King of Israel among the brothers of David.  God rejected all of them, then told Samuel to anoint David as the future King of Israel.   Samuel was flabbergasted.  The Oldest brother was first in line.  He was the eldest.  He was tall and handsome.  But God told Samuel that Samuel was looking only at exterior appearances, but God was looking at the intent of David’s Heart.

What is it that makes any of us worthy of anything?  What is it that makes even our enemies respect us?  It is a matter of the intent of our heart.

Do I want to hold a grudge against anyone, regardless of skin color?  What gives me that right?  If I take my judgement over the will of God for a person, I am rebelling against God.

Do I want to hold on to a bias, a racism, a hatred that is generations old?  Why?  The problem is not skin color.  It isn’t because I am white, or you are black, or Hispanic, or from the Middle East, or China or Japan, or Mars, even.  Your racism has more to do with the love you have of your desire to sin than anything another person’s skin color ever deserves.

Does it matter if that person really hates you?  NO.  Jesus said to turn the other cheek.  He said to love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.   If racism is a problem for you, look into your own heart.  The hate is in there.  The ugly creature that loves his skin color above the will of God is the one who is the problem.

God is spirit, and is to be worshiped in Spirit and in Truth.   Jesus sent the disciples into all the world to tell of the good news of the coming of Christ.  Jesus did NOT say, only if you are a certain skin color.  He sent this message out into all the world.

Point all you want at the flagrant racism of people of other color, but first, look into your own heart.  Are you not also a racist?  Then start there.  You cannot serve the Living God and be a racist.  It ends in your world when you give your heart to Jesus Christ.

The problem is not skin color.  Not really.  The problem is the unresolved evil that lives in our own hearts.  It is easy to cure, too.  Recognize you are in sin when you are being a racist.  Confess this sin and ask Jesus into your heart.  The Spirit of God will lead you into an understanding of the ways of the Kingdom of Heaven.

The evil that lives in your soul is what makes you hate anyone else.  It is not their fault, or their problem.  Even if that other person is being a hate filled vile person who wants to kill you simply because your skin is not the same as their skin.  If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, the Spirit of God will teach you a love for them too.

No laws, no legislation, no regulation, no force on earth can change your mind about anything.  Not even God, not if you don’t want to change.  If you love swimming in the sewage of your own evil thoughts, then disregard this blog.

If you want to end racism, let the Spirit of God change you.  You can end it in your heart.  Starting with YOU is the first step to healing.  Only the Living God can change a man or woman.  But not even the Living God can change you if you do not want to change.  The only way to get this change is to realize that this sin separates you from God.  The wages of sin are death.  Jesus Christ came to this planet, as the SOn of God, and died for this sin, along with all other sin.  He rose from the dead to prove he is Lord over Life and Death.

Man has tried long enough to force a change that only God can affect in our hearts.  All mankind has done is make it worse, by emphasizing it.  God makes this a non issue by filling you with His love.

When God looks into your heart, what does He see?

Let’s Be About It!

I love you  in the name of Jesus Christ.

David G. Perkins

PS – If you are wondering if I am a white guy, I had a DNA test done. Here is my pedigree:    My line begins in Israel.  It went from there to Mesopotamia.  From Mesopotamia to Greece, where it stayed a very long while.  While it was in Greece, it had an affair with some Basque people.  After a few Centuries in the Med, we moved to Scotland.  From Scotland, to the New World.

I am a mongrel.

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Faith

King of the Hill


Crown of ThornsThere is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.  But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  Ephesians 4:1-7 NASB

Have I ever known the truth of the gospels?  Have I brought to the word of God my “informed opinions” about religion, Christ, God , Salvation and Lordship only to see that they are broken on the Rock of our Salvation, Jesus Christ?  His word is true.  My opinion of His word is formed out of my seeing Him through a Glass Darkly.  But the Spirit of God, who dwells in me, gives me sight to see, and ears to Hear.  I am able to discern between Heavenly truth, and a false doctrine.

Have I been so caught up in all the false doctrines that have become modern evangelism, that I have lost sight of what is true, what is genuinely Holy, what is eternal?  Have I become so “Purpose Driven”, so “Seeker Sensitive”, so caught up in “Church Growth Evangelism” that I have forgotten the very words of Christ?  Have I gotten so caught up in the “Word of Faith” Movement that I have turned the King of Glory into a vending machine of my earthly desires?  Does my “Emergent Church” become so muddled that the sacrifice of Christ has been turned from a conviction of sin to “Christ is my buddy”, and you can believe what you want about him as long as we all get along?

Christ was speaking plainly when He said of Himself:  “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” – Matt. 10:34 NASB

If I take my agenda, and use the scriptures to support that agenda, I make either myself a liar, or God.  The math is easy.  God is not a liar, as there is no hint of darkness in Him.  Jesus pointed out that Satan is the father of lies, and those who lie are his offspring.  Satan is not God.

Am I worried that I will offend people with my “dogmatic” view?  Not any more.  I had to come crashing against the hard truths of the Scriptures to learn that the Gospel according to Jesus will offend almost everyone who hears it.  My agenda has no place in His kingdom.  My purposes are no longer mine, not if Jesus Christ is truly my Lord.  If Jesus is my claim to salvation, I have to learn that, while I am positionally complete in God’s eyes, I am complete because the blood of Christ covers me, and the Holy Spirit is in me.

But in order that the unsaved, the dead in the world, can come to life, I have to let that completeness be made manifest in my earthly life.  I cannot do that and hang on to my pet theology.  As long as I insist that God has to agree with me, I am as big a liar and heretic as Satan is.

American Evangelism is doing all it can to lead people away from the real truths of the Gospel.  It eliminates the need for repentance, it makes Jesus your material slave to the benefit of your earthly delights.  It makes Jesus equal to all the other ways and theologies of the earth, as if “All Roads Lead To Heaven”.

Ours is an exclusive faith.  And it is a hard truth.  It is not a popularity contest.  It is not a truth derived by a consensus of the people.  It is not an excuse to live any way you want just because you have acknowledged that Jesus is real.

Jesus is the King.  He is the only way to heaven.  He rules and reigns throughout all the Heavens, and is returning to rule on this earth.

 He is the King of the Hill by virtue of the Hill He chose to Die on.  He said to anyone who will call Him Lord:    “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  – Matt: 16: 24-26 NASB

That is not a warm fuzzy, people, but that IS what the Lordship of Christ insists on.  He is the King of Glory, and the Lord of Hosts.  This is a hard lesson for me, but it is what my Lord insists on.

   Lift up your heads, O gates,

            And be lifted up, O ancient doors,

That the King of glory may come in!

        Who is the King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle.

      Lift up your heads, O gates,
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in!

      Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

Psalm 24: 7-10 NASB

Lets be about it!

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

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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