Faith

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


 

 

 

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

Standing on the Promises

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

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

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

The Struggle is in the Resting

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

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

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

(Eph 2:1-10)

 

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

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

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

(Joh 3:16-18)

 

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

The struggle is in the resting.

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

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

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

WHOM GOD CHOOSES

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

BE CHOSEN

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

What do you believe?

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the name of Jesus Christ

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 


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Faith

Whom God Chooses…Part I – More or Less


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


 

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

Hands? Anyone?

Yea, me too. Sucks, doesn’t it?

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

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

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


 

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

33 A.D. – The conversion of Saul

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

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

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

THE PROBLEM OF FOLLOWING CHRIST

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

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

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

Will you have More or Less?

Let’s be about it.

I love you

David G. perkins


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Faith, Observations

My Confession



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

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

Notice I said I worked HARD.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have a friend, Pam.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s be about it!

 

 

I love you in Jesus Christ

David Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 


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Pray Anyway!


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

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

 WHEN LIFE IS ROUGH – PRAY

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

WHEN LIFE IS GREAT – PRAY!

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

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

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

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

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

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

I pray without ceasing.

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

 

Let’s be about it!

I LOVE you in the name of Jesus

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

ROMANS 8:28

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I Have Come That You May Have Life…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KNOWING A THING IS NOT THE SAME AS DOING IT

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

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

Let’s be about it!

I love you.

 

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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What’s The Difference?


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

(Mat 7:21-23 AMP)

 

SEEING A TREND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YOU ROB HUMANITY WHEN YOU EXCLUDE THE TRUTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

KNOWING THE PATH IS NOT WALKING THE PATH

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

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

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

REVIVAL

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

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

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

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

HERE”S THE GRACE

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

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

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

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

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

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

Let’s Be About It.

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

David G. Perkins

 


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When We Fall


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

 

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

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

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

 

WE ALL FALL.

 

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

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

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

 

WHEN WE FALL

 

You are not condemned by God.

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

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

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

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

 

WHEN THE LORD LIFTS US UP

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

WHEN YOU ARE REDEEMED

 

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

 

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

 

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

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

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the love of Jesus Christ

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

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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, 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

Thou Art The Potter


“Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.” –  Samuel Johnson quotes (English Poet, Critic and Writer. 1709-1784)

“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’

In my “less than Christian” days, one of my part-time jobs was as an artist’s model.  One of my contracts was to pose as the statue of David for a sculpting class.  Dividing the Sculpture studio from the Pottery studio was a set of double doors.  I noticed that, although there weren’t any students in there, there was music playing and a few lights on.

In between Sculpting sessions, I took a 30 minute break, and went into the Pottery room and saw one of the Art Professors working with some clay.  Ken, the Master Potter, was building the most beautiful object I have seen in that studio.  There were several of them, in various stages of progress.  I saw one that had been out of the kiln for about a day, and in cooling off, had developed a sizable crack.

I asked Ken what he will do with that piece.  He pointed to a grinder, and said, that grinder will pulverize the pottery back down to a fine powder.  I can re-use that powder to make something else.  Then he pointed to a very beautiful vase he had made, and said that is how he made that vase.  It was exquisite.  He had shaped that pulverized powder to a very thin layer, and had made something more beautiful than it was before.  When I thumped the edge of the vase with my fingernail, it actually gave a sweet ring, as if it were crystal instead of reformed clay.

I know that had I made the same effort, the globular mass that would have been produced would not ring like fine china.  The difference is what the hands of a master can produce.

That clay did not mean to crack.  And the potter could have thrown the cracked clay away and dismissed it as flawed.  But it was like Ken explained, he was invested in that clay.  Part of himself went into making the original shape.  His love for beauty and patience with the creative process made it nearly impossible for him to dismiss any broken piece as being useless.

God treats us like this, too.  Sometimes we crack.  When we take our eyes off what matters, we mess up.  When we take matters into our own hands, we forget why God sent us in the first place.  The beauty of God is that He is ever forgiving, ever-loving, and will never allow anything to take you out of His hands.  That is a promise.

Another promise is, as long as we keep our eyes on Him, and follow Him, and listen to Him, HE will direct our paths.  The Grace of God comes in when we take our eyes off Him.  We crack under the pressure of doing things our way.  In His mercy, He keeps us close to His heart.  He sees your flaw as an opportunity to continue to work with you.  He will refine us over and over again and again until we resemble His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

The Father disciplines the one that He loves.

When you crack, and break, have no fear of the wrath of God.  God has already expended His wrath on Jesus, while Jesus was on the cross.  Jesus became all our sins, all our disease, all our failings, all our disappointment, all that can possibly go wrong.   When He did that, He gave all that He was before God to us.  We received the right to be called the children of God.  We belong to Him.  We do not have to fear God’s wrath because we messed up.

God doesn’t ever set you up for failure.  All His gifts are good.  If you have been sent by God, but you mess up what He told you to do, rest in Him, and be assured that, whatever it is that He will make of your curses, will, in the end, be a blessing.  Not just for you, but for anyone that sees what God did with you.  This is so that all souls can be drawn to Him.

Let’s be about it!

I love you in the Name of Jesus.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

His Refining Fire


Even in the solitude of our pain, God is there.

Even in the solitude of our pain, God is there.

And we know that God causes all things

to work together

for good

to those who love God,

to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28 NASB

The temptation to despair looms large when things around you have completely gone to hell.
The difficulty lay in seeing the hand of God even in this situation.
I have to remember that God is not mad at me.
God is not judging me.
When I reap the consequences of my behavior, it is not God that is punishing me.
When I am in a storm of my own making, I understand that it is not God that brought the storm.
It IS God that stands with me in the midst of the storm.
It is God that sustains me when I feel faint from the effort of having Hope.
Just like Nebuchadnezzar saw, “One standing like the Son of God“,
I can say with all confidence that, even though I lit this fire,
God stands with me in this pit,
and God protects me from the harshest elements of it.
The experience is still mine,
but the strength to endure and the ability to gain wisdom comes from God Himself.
Because I am crucified with Christ, my old sin nature was put to death.
Because He rose from the dead, I rose anew, a new life form.
 I know that after this trial, I will walk out refined and purified.
 I cannot make this claim unless Christ is my life.
“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
When this refining fire is over, I will be stronger in the Lord.
I will know God in intimate ways I never would have comprehended had I not been subject to the logical consequences of my behavior.
God has not punished me.
Jesus took on that punishment when He became all my sin on the cross.
Because of this great gift, I am now the adopted child of God.
God will allow consequences to come my way, natural and logical, when I step out of His will for my life.
I praise God that He has given me the freedom to think for myself.
And I praise God that He upholds me when I reap what I sow.
From this lesson, I have learned that doing things God’s way is far better than seeking the praise of men.
 God has, and is, and does work even this situation out to His glory,
to my best good,
because I am called according to His purposes.
I may not understand why, sometimes, it seems as if He is a thousand miles away.
It may be that my fear of the flames has distorted my view of Him, and He has been right here all along, holding me.
Through this fire, I have seen my unnecessary beliefs, behaviors and attitudes disappear in smoke.
All I thought was important couldn’t stand in the fire of God’s just mercy.
What remains is a grace that I never imagined could exist.
 Now I have joy, love, and peace, and I comprehend the love of God.
I am His beloved.
Now I am useful for His purposes in me.
 I thank you God that you allow me to go through these things.
 I cannot be Your new creature and cling to My old things.
They are incompatible.
As God’s adopted child, and co-heir to Heaven, my old belongings would only pollute the things and places God intends to give me.
I praise you God for a wisdom that in infinitely more than any human wisdom.
Where the world sees a failure and a loser, you see a new creation, fresh from the master’s refining fire.
I am happy to lose everything I thought was meaningful and important, knowing that what God will be giving me is worth more than anything the world has to offer.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;

the old things passed away; 

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;

behold,

new things have come.”

II Corinthians 5:17 NASB

Come to Jesus and be refined in the fire of His love.

You will not regret it for all eternity.

I love you.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

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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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THE LURKING BEAST OF A WEIGHED-DOWN HEART – April 19


This is a one of my all time favorite blogs.  The author is incredibly descriptive.  It isn’t about me dropping my guard, but me doing something that invites the little foxes in.  How much does a person need crushing before he catches on?

THE LURKING BEAST OF A WEIGHED-DOWN HEART – April 19

 

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“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36

 

20 on explore on Sunday, July 1, 2007There is a beast that roams my small acreage.

I have never seen its shape for it comes out only after I yield to sleep. Yet, the evidence of its presence confronts me at sunrise every morning. I walk into my field and shutter at the thought of an unwanted presence having recently crossed the very path of my footsteps.

I know what it hunts. I see the numerous holes it has dug in pursuit of its prey – gophers. I do not object to that pursuit. However, I wish that it would get its own. This beast has found that it is easier to steal from me. It has discovered that at the bottom of the fluttering location flags is a gopher trap that often, by the time of darkness, contains a dead gopher. It then absconds with the gopher and my trap. I have lost two traps to this beast.

I can tolerate the presence of this beast lurking in the darkness since we have a common nemesis – gophers. However, I know there is a danger that goes beyond the thief of traps and the annoyance of hole digging (this beast does not have the common courtesy of backfilling its holes).

English: Badger hole This large hole was in th...My concern is for my chickens. I know that it is just a matter of time before this beast finds that a roosting chicken is about as easy to catch as a trapped gopher – and much more satisfying. Therefore, this beast has become my enemy before I lose something I value more than a dead gopher.

I am not sure of my success. Therefore, I must stay vigilant to the unseen dangers.

IMAG0018There is a danger to our souls that lurks in the darkness. Our danger is that the day of judgment will come upon us unaware, when we do not expect it, and when we are not prepared for it. The danger is that we are called to meet our Lord, and He is the furthest thing from our hearts and low on the list of that which we love.

We are most vulnerable to this danger when we are unconscious to its presence. That is why we are encouraged to stay awake. We are to stay vigilant against the beast of a heart that is weighted down. We are to watch ourselves from becoming satiated with an inordinate pursuit of the good things of this world and an over-indulgence of the appetites of the body.

Many of us live in an amicable truce with the cares of the world. We fall asleep and allow the beast of our cravings to roam free because we consider them a normal course of our existence. We live with competing loves because it does not appear that they are having an effect upon our spiritual lives beyond an occasional thief of joy and the annoyance of our disrupted façade.

I believe that the danger of a weighed-down heart is far greater than we realize. A weighed-down heart is evidence of misplaced love. Misplaced loves have to be killed before they can burden our hearts, steal our fruitfulness, and even cause us to give up.

From my experience, I rarely get a clean shot at my misplaced loves. They grow in the hidden crevasses of the normal course of my life. I can become so accustomed to these cares, that I fall asleep to their danger.

I have to go to their lair and smoke them out.

There is only one way to smoke out misplaced love. It is by the work of the Spirit in our lives that affections are set upon God and God alone and misplaced love is killed. We have to come to the Spirit in pray and ask the Lord to examine our hearts for anything that we love more than Him. When we feel weighed down by the cares of this world, we must yield all to the Lord and set our eyes upon the things of the Spirit.

We mustn’t fall asleep to the danger. We must not accept a beast prowling in the darkness of our hearts as normal. The danger of a weighed-down heart is nothing to ignore.

PRAYER: Father, I do not want my love to be misplaced.  I do not want to love anything more than you.  Lord, examine my heart.  Show me where I am being weighed down by the cares of this world.  Show me the good things that I pursue more than you.  Show me where my appetites are out of control.  Help me give to you those loves that I have allowed to become too elevated.  Help me keep my eyes on you.  Help me stay awake to that which I am setting my mind upon.  Keep me in your steadfast love.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

A DEVOTED LIFE

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36

20 on explore on Sunday, July 1, 2007There is a beast that roams my small acreage.

I have never seen its shape for it comes out only after I yield to sleep. Yet, the evidence of its presence confronts me at sunrise every morning. I walk into my field and shutter at the thought of an unwanted presence having recently crossed the very path of my footsteps.

I know what it hunts. I see the numerous holes it has dug in pursuit…

View original post 737 more words

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Me and My Big Mouth – Part III.


Taming the Tongue

1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,a and set on fire by hell.b 7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,c these things ought not to be so. 11Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. James 3:1 – 12 ESV

Too often, I speak without thinking, I think without reason, and I reason without listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

That is when what I think I am saying turns into a thing I never intended to say.

One thing is clear; When the Spirit of God gives you utterance, it will most likely surprise you more than it surprises the listener.  The reason that is so is, the Listener was looking for the answer deep in their heart, and the Spirit of God simply reveals the heart of the hearer, and He gave you utterance to that listener, despite of what “wisdom” you think you have..

My mouth will speak what is in my heart.  My heart will believe what I choose for it to believe.  When what I chose to believe is contradictory to the will of God, I have ceased to represent God, and the finished work of Christ.  When I do this, I am reproved of God.  He is gentle and loving, and does not condemn me when he corrects me.  You can tell who the Children of God are when they correct you the same way.  If I am wise, I learn…if I am a fool, I am broken on the truth.  If I refuse to learn, then I am useless.

This is what I pray the Spirit of God will write on my heart:

Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”  Luke 21:15, ESV – Jesus

This is true of every utterance you have.  Wether in writing, or in speech, in thought or in deed.  I must labor into the rest of the finished work of Christ, and allow the Spirit of God to do His mysterious and powerful work in me.  To do anything else is rebellion against the One whom I say I have accepted in my heart.

Even Confucius understood this:  “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant, then what ought to be done remains undone.”

Paul said it best:

15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…

I pray that the Spirit of God first teach me this wonderful love, and write it on my heart.  I pray that, if I have to speak or write, under any circumstance, that I do it in the love He has poured into me. I pray that I do not rely on my own understanding, but learn to get myself out of the way before I attempt to tell anyone anything.

Let’s Be About It!

I love You,

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Easter


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

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


 

Jesus didn’t hide eggs.

He didn’t hand out candy.

What He hid was our sin.

What he gave out was his life.

This is his gift to you …

…If you will have it.


I love you in the name of Jesus,

Let’s Be About It.

David G. Perkins

 

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If I Had Been There


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If I had been there, would I have…
…cried like his mom did?
…mocked him like the guards did?
…stand in open condemnation as the High Priest did?
…observe with the joy of blood sport as the local rabble did?
…betray him as his followers did?
…shriek in loud cheers as Satan did?

Chances are, had I been there, I would have done all of the above.
Chances are, I would have done these things out of the same pitiless ignorance that they did.

Even in all his betrayal, pain, and separation from the Father, he asked God to forgive us, since we really didn’t know what we were doing.

Jesus didn’t die for our sin, He died OF them.  He died for me.  He died for you.

I Love You
David Perkins
Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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