Faith, Observations

Lessons Love Taught Me


 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Seeking the kingdom of God…and all these things.

 

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

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

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

 

Grandpa Perkins, with my Big Sister, 1952

 

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Faith

Trust In The Lord


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Faith, Observations

Reckless Abandonment


 

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

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

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

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

THE WELLS FAMILY REUNIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uncle Dan caught me.

UNCLE DAN CAUGHT ME!!!!!

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

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

BACK ON THE BIKE

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

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

That is when it hit me.

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

John 14:26 – New International Version


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

and

Romans 8:15 – New Living Translation


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

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

Romans 8:1 – English Standard Version


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s be about it!

I Love you because God loved me.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Happy Father’s Day


I love you with all my heart.

I love you with all my heart.

1 Peter 1:3 ESV

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

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

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

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

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

I never found you in my religion.

Then I met your Son.

He wasn’t mad at me.

He didn’t scold me.

He loved me.

I asked him why.

He smiled at me and said:

John 14:10 ESV

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

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

Then He breathed on me, and I believed.

Now I get it, God.

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

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

To live among us.

To show us your likeness.

To die in our place for the fall.

And to rise again to show us that,

if we will simply understand,

if we will simply accept this free gift,

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

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

John 3:16 ESV

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

I do believe, now, Father.

I believe not because others tell me I must.

I believe because I met Him, for real.

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

You love all of us on Earth.

You are not mad at us.

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

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

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

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

All I have is me.

That I willingly give to you.

I love you, my Father.

I love you.

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Faith

Open your eyes and look at the fields


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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark 15:34

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lets Be About It!

I love you,

 

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith, Observations

“…but their hearts are far away”


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

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

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

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

“Come talk with me”, said the Spirit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Come talk with me”, said the Spirit. 

I am irresistibly drawn to His voice.

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

“Here I am, Lord”

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

“OK, Lord, I’ll do it.”

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

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

“OK, Lord, I’ll do it.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How was the ride?”   “Amazing”  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cure for Anxiety

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

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

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

 

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Faith, Observations

The Truth WILL Set You Free! – Introduction


Leave This at the Feet of God

Leave This at the Feet of God, He cares FOR you!

Here is a lesson I have had to repeat, recently.

My prayer is that, this time, I actually learn it and walk in it.

My hope is that, in sharing this with you, you will be helped in your walk.

The goal is not to shine a light on me, but to reveal the love of God in you.

 A Lesson on Personal Behavior.

All our outcomes in this life are the result of our behavior. People always reveal themselves in the way they react to your behavior. Depending on how others react to your behavior, you have the opportunity to remain humble, the opportunity to forgive, or the opportunity to learn from it. How others react to you reveals who they are, more than anything, and is, for the most part, none of your business.

 How you behave is every bit of your business.

All behavior is an expression of your beliefs.

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” – Luke 6:45, NIV, and “ For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7 KJV
If you have noticed that your outcomes are not, say, exactly pleasing to, you, your family, the Lord, or anyone else, for that matter, it might be time to go to what it is you believe. If you want to change your outcomes, change what you believe is true about you.

 Stupid is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

STOP BEING STUPID!

I can say this because, I am learning this lesson as we speak.

I am learning that, if what I believe about myself contradicts what the Bible says about me, as a Child of God, then I am either a hypocrite, or ignorant, or just plain stupid.

The good news is, ignorance can be fixed. The bad news is, stupid is forever.

Start Here: You are the redeemed of Christ, so stop being stupid, and learn from this event.

We can start learning by asking ourselves the following questions:

1. What do you believe about you as a person?

2. What do you believe you are worthy or unworthy to experience?

3. What do you believe about love and happiness in your life?

4. What do you believe about your success and prosperity?

5. This is the crucial question: How do you believe God sees you, right now?

When you honestly answer these questions, you will see that your life is a physical manifestation of what you believe is true about you.

This series will show you what I have recently learned about these questions, and how I have learned to see through a new lens.

There is a reason Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32 NIV

Walk with me and let me share with you what I have learned about the difference between knowing a truth, and understanding THE truth.

I love you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior and Big Brother.

Let’s Be About it!
David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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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

Romans 8:28


Jesus, the Healer of Our Souls

Jesus, the Healer of Our Souls

He was flat on his back, groaning. It wasn’t the pain that brought him back to consciousness. It was the choking dust. The pain came a few seconds later. The fear of never breathing again was overwhelming. This was the second time he had been thrown off a cliff. The wind had been knocked out of him, but, as he began to draw in that first, blessed, breath of air, the dust floating around him from the impact of his fall was choking him. The pain came when he tried to roll over and stand up. It felt like every bone in his body had been broken. He gasped for breath while he ran his hands over his body to check if his bones were not broken. Nothing broken, but it sure felt that way. It was a good drop from the edge of the cliff. It was a miracle he wasn’t broken to pieces and killed.

When his ears stopped ringing, he heard shouting from a distance above him. He staggered around in a circle until he could focus his eyes and look up. Steadying his stance, he looked up and saw the people who had thrown him off the cliff. They were shaking their fists at him, screaming curses at him, wishing death on him, and telling him he should never come back.

Less than a year ago, this had happened to him at another place. He was dismayed that it had happened again. Greater than the physical pain was the hurt that he had been rejected again.

He could just make out the towering spire of the temple, behind the screaming crowd. Leading that crowd was the Chief Priests of that community. They had contacted him and asked him to come. They had heard about him, and thought that he could bring about the changes needed in their community. Others had tried and failed, including the Chief Priests. One of the High Priests even told him that the Creator had given him a vision of how he was the person to lead that community into the future.

HE had accomplished much of what he knew the Creator had sent him to accomplish. The people had caught the vision he laid out. The changes came, not because of him, but because he shared the vision with the people. All He had to do was deliver the message the Creator had told him to deliver, and to do specific things the creator had told him to do. As long as he did this, things went very well.

There were a certain group of people he had to work the hardest with and for. They fought him every inch of the way. Still, change happened, and things slowly improved. One of the people in this particular group had the ability to hide his falsehoods in a web of half-truths, and cause people to believe his words. This was a slowly dripping poison that had the potential to destroy all he had accomplished. Still, he pressed on.

There was a monument in the center of the village that enumerated all the creeds of their forefathers. It was the forefathers that had founded this town, and the creeds that had held it together through good and bad times. These creeds stirred his heart every time he read them. He knew he was new to the walk, but he was determined to embody these creeds, and lead by example, just as the forefathers had done. He could tell that very few people in the village took the creeds seriously, and acted on them only when the High Priest happened to be looking. This frustrated him a great deal that such duplicity could live in the hearts of the villagers. Did they not understand that it was by the Godly leadership of the forefathers that this village even existed. Yet, here they were, willing to use them as a superficial tool. They spoke bravely of these creeds, but were too afraid to walk in them.

Eventually, he grew weary of the Chief Priests and the people swearing their dying loyalty to the creeds that they boasted of, and he grew weary of fighting the prophet of falsehoods. Instead of responding in the manner that the Creator had told him to do, he took matters in his own hands. He grew angry and impatient with the utter hypocrisy that seems to surround all religious people. He betrayed the trust of those who had asked him to come there. All his good efforts were undone in that single moment. It seemed that, once again, the Enemy of our souls had won another round.

He faced his accusers, and was charged, and was thrown over the cliff, and told never to return. All the work he had accomplished was in jeopardy of being destroyed because of him.

His heart was broken. He wept. He didn’t feel self-pity, just a deep disappointment. God had sent him here, and had worked a few miracles to bring him here. He had not done as the Father had told him to do.

As he wondered why God had arranged him to be here, the crowd suddenly grew silent. They covered their mouths and pointed at something behind him. The cliff formed a U-shaped wall around a valley. He was standing in the very back of the cliff walls, where he had been thrown off.

He turned around to see what all the silence was about.

Standing about 50 feet in front of him, in a semi-circle, blocking his escape, were the most hideous beings he had ever seen. These wraith leered at him and slathered their delight at his downfall. He heard the High Priest shouting to the people to turn away and go home. That he was getting the punishment he deserved, and they need to run away if they don’t want th wraith to chase them. Such was the beliefs of the village.

He recognized who these wraith were. He dared not speak their names, or listen to their taunting curses and laughter. But he knew them well. Their names were Fear, Doubt, Curses, Blame, Anger, Despair, and Destruction. He knew them very well, as they used to be the only friends he ever had before Jesus, the Son of God, had touched him, and healed his heart, about 8 months ago.

He knew that if he listened to them, he would consider their accusations and succumb to the temptations they offered. Their presence was strong, and their words very enticing. He shook with the effort of trying to ignore them. As they inched closer, he began to panic. He wondered if this was why God had sent him here. To be destroyed by his own demons, that he thought he had been delivered of.

He remembered what Jesus had told him at his healing: “God is not judging you. While life has natural consequences, you are forgiven, because I bore all your sin and disease and failings on the Cross, and have given you all that I am and have in exchange for your sin. Never let doubt and fear distract you. There is nothing in all of Heaven or in Earth that can ever separate you from His love, ever again. You are his child, now. Call on Me when you are in need, and I will answer.”

Despite his misgivings, in spite of his fear and doubt, he raised his hands and said:

“My Father, I come before you in the name of Jesus. I thank you that I am acceptable to you, because I am in Christ, and He is in me. I come before you with all confidence and boldness because of the sacrifice of Jesus. (Eph. 1:6, Heb. 4:16)”

“You are my Father, and I am your Child.”

“I thank you that nothing can ever take me out of your hand again.”

“Because of the Lord Jesus I am adopted into the Family of God.”, “Because I am in Jesus, I am an heir to the everlasting Kingdom, that, because of His sacrifice, he exchanged all He has and Is for all my sin; He had given me all He has.”

“God, my Father, I am seeking, first, YOUR Kingdom and Your righteousness, and you meet ALL my needs” (Matt.6:33)

“Because You are my Father, you reveal your perfect will for my life.” (Matt. 11:25)
“Because I love and trust You, I seek to do Your will.” (Matt. 12:50)
“Because You are my Father, I love Jesus, who You sent to be my Savior.” (John 8:82)
“Because I am in the Lord Jesus, and He is in You, I am in you, too. I will always abide in your presence.” (John 10:10, 17:21)
“Father God, I abide in Your glory, which was given to Jesus, who, because I am now in Him, He has given to me. You crown me with dignity and worth. I am the redeemed of Christ. I am all You say I am. Father, I glorify You in the Earth.” (John 17:22)

As he was saying these things, joy flooded his broken heart. He felt the presence of the Spirit of GOd arrive and fill his every fiber. He danced and sang praises to God, because of Jesus Christ.

While he was praising, a presence appeared right in front of him. He stopped moving. He didn’t make a sound. He just stood staring in awe at who was standing right there in front of him.

Jesus stood looking him in the eye.

The prophet fainted.

Jesus said, “Please, get up.” And he held out His hand to pick up this soiled little prophet.

Jesus dusted him off, and smiled at him, and gave him water from the jug He had been carrying.

The prophet was utterly speechless. Jesus grinned and gave him a friendly smack on the shoulder, and said, “Well, for once, you are speechless!”. Then Jesus laughed at his own joke. This made the prophet relax, and eventually, he was laughing along with Jesus.

Christ walked the prophet over to an outcropping of rock, under a shade tree. He asked the prophet, “Where are your little wraith?”, That is when the prophet looked around, as if he was finally taking in his surroundings. “Gone, Lord. GONE!!”, said the prophet. And he grinned. Jesus chuckled and said, “Of course, nothing can stand in the praise of the Father, and no attack from them can befall one who has faith in the promises.”

The prophet said, “But Lord, I know you sent me to that village. I have ample evidence it was you that sent me there. But I have been kicked out. I have failed you again, and now I don’t know why I am here. I just know you sent me.”

“So, what will you do now?”, asked Jesus.

“I don’t know, just wait for you to tell me what to do, I guess.”, said the prophet.

Jesus said, “You guessed right. Wait for my instructions. I have sent you to be where you are. Never doubt that.”

“But I really blew it, Lord!”, pled the Prophet, “How can I possibly carry on after such a colossal failure?” “What will I do?” “My behavior turned my confession in to a lie!”

Jesus answered, “Friend, you will learn from me, and of me. You will be made in to my image. One way or another, when this is done, you will resemble Me.”, “For now, know you are loved of the Father, and by Me.”, “I promised I will send the Spirit of God to you, and I have. Listen to the leading of the Spirit. Get used to hearing and obeying when the Spirit speaks. Stay your ground, and do not look to the left or right. Have faith.”

The prophet asked, “What about the Village?”

“You have no idea,” replied Jesus, “what your influence has done there. Let me worry about the Village, and let the Village decide how it will believe. I will turn your curses into blessings, and I will see that the seed you planted, where it was planted, will be watered and will grow at the hands of another. What you may see as a failure, I will turn into a blessing in the end. You just have to decide what you believe is true about me.”

The prophet knelt before Jesus and said, “My Lord, Jesus, I thank you for dying on the cross for me. You paid for my sins. You made it possible for me to come before the Father. You carried the punishment for my sin, so I would not have to carry it. You rose from the dead, so I could have a new life. You shed your blood for me and removed all my sins. Jesus, I worship you and call you my Lord. (I Cor. 15:3-4, Gal. 3:13. 2 Cor. 5:17, Heb. 10:19, Rom. 5:9)

“I thank you, Jesus, for bringing me in to the family of God. You are my Elder Brother, and God is my Father, and I worship you this day. You have made me to be an heir of Your Kingdom.” (Heb. 2:11-13, Rom. 8:17, Col, 1:12, Rev. 5:10)

Then the prophet stood kissed Jesus on both cheeks.

Jesus stood up and said, “My little brother, rest assured this is not the end of your walk with me. Remember when I told you that things would get really dark?”

“Yes, I do, Lord.” said the Prophet.

“What did I say to you when I told you this was coming?”, asked Jesus.

“You told me that, no matter what happened, I am to cling to you, and have faith that you will turn this darkness into bright daylight, and this curse into a blessing. That, in the end, I will serve you successfully.” The prophet answered.

“Then do not fear. Know I am with you. It is like your elder brother, Paul said, ‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purposes.’ (Rom. 8:28). So know this, my brother, I have called you. I have prepared a way for you. Even when you fail, I love you and forgive, before you even ask. I will turn all your curses into blessings. Just stand your ground and keep believing.”

Then Jesus vanished.

The prophet stood there mouth gaping. He didn’t know what to do first, laugh, or cry. He was too blown away to begin walking again, so he sat on the rocks he and Jesus had sat on earlier. While he was thinking of all that had happened, he had a feeling that someone else was watching him. He looked up the cliff to see who it could be. Sure enough, there was a lone figure leaning against the rail at the edge of the cliff.

It was the High Priest.

 

 

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Faith, Observations

Albert Einstein

“You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.”

― Albert Einstein

Adversity Happens.

What you do with adversity will greatly affect how your life will turn out.

Adversity can be brought on by ignorance, evil, selfishness, bad judgement, or simply by circumstance.  If the same adversity happens repeatedly in your life, the chances are great that you are the cause of your pain.

Psalm 119:67 ESV

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.

Chances are that the problems that plague you are because you keep repeating the same old habits, hoping for a different result.  It may be that you are repeating them without even understanding that that is what you are doing.  However it happened, here is hope:

You recognize that you are afflicted.

You know that you brought this on yourself.

You understand that something must change in order to get out of this destructive cycle.  One of the earliest mistakes I make when I really reap what I sow is, over analyzing the past.  The more you study your past, the more you will defeat yourself on the memories of all your failures.  Look at your past if you can learn from it.  But you have to come to terms with the fact that:

“You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.” – Einstein.

There is an old saying that goes something like this:  “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you have always got.”  (Apologies to my English teacher.)

So, you may be asking yourself, “How do I change this mess?”

Here you go:

1. Let go of your past.  You are a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17).   The OLD you is DEAD.  Let go of your old evil self.  That person is dead.  He or She dies the second you confessed with your mouth that Jesus Christ died of your sin and rose from the dead..  You cannot solve your problems by doing the same thing over and over again.

2. Do away with your old patterns of thinking.  Change what you believe about yourself, and understand how God views you now that you are in Christ, and you have HIS MIND. (Bible Verses About Our Identity in Christ: God’s View of Us)

3. Take Responsibility for your every thought.  God did not invent a bunch of brain dead, mind washed robots.  He gave you the ability to think for yourself.  But choose your thoughts wisely.  Whatever you believe is true about yourself WILL be the life you create for yourself.  We gained this autonomy from God Himself, BEFORE THE FALL, and His Gifts are without repentance.  It IS written, For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he… Proverbs 23:7 KJV

4. Watch your mouth.  This follows from #3 – The things you say are born in your heart.  A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. “  – Jesus – Luke 6:45 HCSB  The best way to learn to do this is by thinking about what is good, right and pleasing to the Lord.  It is written:  Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8 NASB  

5. Speak new truths about yourself.  Your mind is your greatest enemy or your best asset.  Speak what you believe.  Speak it.  When you do, you will discover if you believe it or not.  If you don’t believe it, stop lying.  Gain an understanding about how God sees you, and understand that He has not destined you for failure,. but success .  When you speak it, feel it all the way into your bones, deep in your heart, see it in your mind’s eye.  Know that it is true.  Changing the pattern of what you believe about life, the world, others and yourself will dramatically change your life.  We have the power of life and death in our tongues.  Just be aware that the life you bless or curse is you own.  You will affect the rest of the world according to what you believe is true about yourself.  HERE is what the Bible says about SUCCESS.

When you change your view of yourself, by learning and believing what God says about you (Bible Verses About Our Identity in Christ: God’s View of Us), you will develop the mind of Christ, and THEN IF you do these things, you will know success.

Taking these steps takes discipline, and does not necessarily happen overnight.  A great many successful people have built their successes on their heaping pile of failures.

God made you for a purpose.  If you want to find that real, authentic you, that he purposefully created for this time, this life, this moment in history, step away from your old self, and see how God views you.

Then act on it.

“Let’s Be About It!”

I love you.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

Change Your Life

Aside
Faith, Observations

Growing Pains – Lessons From The Kindergarten of God – Part III – Well Intentioned Dragons


“the more i sing and play my music in front of people, the more advice i get. it’s well-meant, coming from people who care about me, but it’s all conflicting. b. says i should play acoustic more. r. says i should rock harder. c. says i sing too loud. k. says i sing too loud too (ok, maybe i sing too loud). but the point is, who do i listen to?”

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

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?  I Kings 19:11-13

“Jesus asked, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”(Matthew 7:3 NIV). Christians seem to be uncontrollably motivated by some deep need to “take the dog by the ears.” (See Proverbs 26:17.) They are always meddling in other people’s stuff. This is one of the main reasons the world hates the church. We have declared ourselves to be the world’s police force. We are the self-proclaimed militant army that is here to police and judge the world, when we should be a loving family who brings hurting people into the family circle by adoption! Our concept of presenting what we mistakenly call the Gospel is to let people know they are sinners so they will realize their need for Jesus. This erroneous concept leads the Christian to think that the best way to let people know they are sinners is to point out their faults-that is, to find the speck in their eye.

Your Heart Dictates How You See

The way we view something is the product of our heart. If we have a critical eye, it is because we have a critical heart. The Bible says, He that hath a froward heart findeth no good” (Proverbs 17:20). A ‘froward heart”is a crooked heart. It is a heart that has been reshaped through the pressures of sin, legalism, religion, or life circumstances. It is a heart that sees only the bad; it cannot find the good. Some people seem to have mistaken criticism for discernment. Criticism is not a gift of the Holy Spirit; it is the product of a corrupt heart. Religion has forged the church into a critical, reactionary society not much different than that of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.”   James B. Richards. How to Stop the Pain. Kindle Edition.

WELL INTENTIONED DRAGONS

As a New Creation, I sometimes look to other, wiser, Christians for sound advice.  There are some, I have learned through experience, who see through my questions, and hear what my heart is actually asking.  This is a gift of discernment I find most mature Christians have.

There are new Christians, like me, who need to spend much more time in the Bible and Prayer, so we can develop a finely tuned sense of God’s Voice, and God’s Will.

Then there are the well-intentioned dragons.  These are the ones who genuinely love God, and are saved through the blood of Jesus Christ, and even know scripture very well, but something about them sets my teeth on edge.  Figuring out what that something is has taken me some time.  I took that time to look for patterns, and build a baseline that demonstrates the difference between what I hear them say, and the way they say it, against what and how Jesus spoke to people.

THAT IS WHEN I FOUND IT!

Jesus, being God, and unchangeable (YHWH), speaks, and when He speaks…

He doesn’t change, but loves eternally, speaks gracefully, and uses the truth to heal, not hurt.

He is Lord of Lords, meaning His word is the first one, and the last one, because His judgement is true.

He is the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, as these three are one…when He speaks, all have spoken, they are their own witness, and need no outside verification.

He is the Lord Most High, sitting eternally on the throne…and because we have accepted his free gift of life, we sit next to him, as he is our brother, and GOd is our Father.  THere is none beside him, and no one higher in authority than him.

His word and will is our provision.  He meets all our needs, to grow, to love, to show mercy, to be graceful, because when he became all sin in our place, he gave us all that he is in exchange.

His word smites sin.  No other has this authority.  All other judgement is accusation and comes from the father of lies and his children.  God’s judgement is true, and he deals mercifully with us, as he destroys sin, in us, and in the world.

He is the one and only one who sanctifies us.  His death on the cross paid for your fall, and his resurrection gave us new life…if we will accept this free gift.  He alone is what sanctifies us.

He is the one who marks us with his banner and ensign.  We are his, paid for with His blood.  Our mission in life is to become like Him so that when people see us, they see Him only.  We are his banner, and he is ours.

His blood, and his word heals us.  All he gives us in His love, grace and mercy.  He will do us no harm.  He is not mad at us.  He heals us by the stripes he bore.

He is my ever-present shepherd.  He guides me in the midst of trouble, and leads me to his peace, even in the midst of the storm.  Even His rebuke of me brings me hope and life and health.  No other has this ability, or authority.  He keeps watch over me day and night.

Well intentioned dragons will use the scriptures and their overrated opinion and religion to criticize, destroy, rob you of peace, take your joy.  THe well-intentioned dragons are the first to point out what you did wrong.  Why you should have done it better/different/ or not at all.

Well intentioned dragons have no faith in the genuine work of the cross because they are too busy being religious.  That is why, when GOd sends you to do a thing, they rail against it, they fail to see your vision, they try to improve you so that you will better resemble their opinion of the truth, and fail to comprehend what real truth actually is.

Well intentioned dragons do not feel ok until they have spoken their judgement over you, and “improved” you, and judged you inadequate.  They did this to Jesus, and they will do the same to you.

IF YOU LISTEN

If you listen to the dragons, you will end up worse than they are.

If you listen to the still small voice of the Lord, you will know joy, peace, healing, direction, purpose, strength, courage, and you will know HIM.

IT IS ALL A CHOICE OF WHOM YOU CHOOSE TO BELIEVE.

Do as he sends you to do, even if it makes no sense, and seems crazy, and no one else trusts you, believes you, understands what and how you are doing it.  You were sent by God, not by well-intentioned dragons.

His presence will calm you and empower you through even the hardest trials and storms.

This is the God I serve.  This is the God I choose to obey.  No matter what it will cost, I have no desire to give ear to the dragons.  I will wait for the still small voice.

I love you,

David Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Let’s be about it.

 

 

Standard
Faith, Observations

Test of Authenticity


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?

 

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

I am doing a research, right now, where I compare the writings of two different Christian Leaders.  One of these leaders manages to take everything he discusses back to the finished work of the cross.  The other one, a more influential person, acknowledges the work on the Cross, but manages to take his work back to Adlerian Psychology, Mixed with Ericksons Stages of Development.  I recognize other influences, in there, too, but, whether he calls his modality these things, or not, this is what he is doing.

One leader takes the hurt soul and shows us where we are complete in the finished work of Christ, and are given a host of gifts.  This leader tells us our identity no longer lay in the things of this earth, but, as a new creation, we are now completely loved, accepted, and are being made in the likeness of Christ our savior.  The rest of his works describe the scriptural basis of Christian Authenticity.

The other leader, despite the finished work of Christ, wants to take us through our developmental stages of life, point out where we were “wounded” and how that affects our lives, and uses several psychological gimmicks to justify and solidify this teaching.  Then he peppers it with scripture in an effort to undergird his writing.

This inauthentic approach never releases you from sin, never gives you a chance to labor into the rest of the finished work of Christ, and never releases you from a past that Christ clearly died for.

At Cates Control Solutions, we have a saying about Responsibility:  We accept the responsibilities of our position and know we are accountable to meet our obligations.

So, what is my responsibility to what I am reading.  Simple, when I read any leader of the “Christian Faith”, the test of authenticity I have learned to recognize is this:  It either takes you to the finished work of the Cross, and how that makes you a new creation, or it doesn’t.  When Christ died of our sin, he didn’t die for just a few things.  He died of everything, so you will receive everything that is His.  You do not have to regress and confront anything in your past.  Your past is dead.  When Christ rose from the dead, Your NEW SELF rose with him.  OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY.  I also know from experience, any “woundedness” I carry is because I have not rested in the finished work of the cross.  I do not have to identify myself with anything but Jesus, and seek the Kingdom of God.  There is nothing I need to go back and fix.  I labor to rest in the finished and authentic work of Christ.  I have received all gifts and benefits of the Child of God.

Tonight we observe that Christ died on the cross.  He fulfilled His responsibility, and set you free from all encumbrances.  My responsibility as a new creation, is to make sure I do not get mired down in any doctrine of man that attempts to denigrate the finished work of the cross.

After all, When Jesus said it was finished…He meant it.

I love you in Jesus Name…

…It’s Friday, but SUNDAY IS COMING!  Halleluiah!

David G. Perkins

 

 

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Faith, Observations

The Looking Glass


In my dreams.  Photo by E. Tom Hussey

In my dreams. Photo by E. Tom Hussey

JAMES 1:23-24 – For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

We interrupt this series on values to bring you this message.

I Corinthians 15:49 – Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

A few days ago, I was talking to a friend about how our perception of ourselves affects what we believe is true about ourselves.  For example, I have this self-image of me from when I was in peak athletic condition.

In my minds mirror, I see me as still being fit, muscular, coordinated, strong, with real strength, not bottled strength.  In my minds mirror, I still have long, curly blackish/brown hair, full of waves and curls.  In my mind’s eye, I am still wearing 32 inch waist pants.

What the mirror in my mind ells me.

What the mirror in my mind tells me.

The mind can be a tricky thing, and can lead me to many false assumptions based on what I think is true.  Often, my warped ego guides me to many fallacies and false assumptions.

The other day, I did something I honestly RARELY ever do.  I looked at myself in the mirror.  My first impression was, “Hey!  That’s my Dad!  I thought I buried HIM in 2005!”  But when I moved, so did the man in the mirror.  Then it dawned on my conscious mind, and my ego mind, that is not my dad, but ME!!

It was then I realized why I don’t look in mirrors.  I am not that guy my ego told me I am.  I am the very image of my Dad.

IN THE BEGINNING

When God created us, we were made in the image of God, meaning we looked like he looks.  We were also made in the likeness of God, meaning we used to act as He acted because we saw what he did.

AFTER THE FALL

After the fall, we lost touch with God, and lost what was His likeness.  We were not able to return to our glorified state.  No work we could expend any effort on would make us righteous in God’s eyes, even though we became self-righteous in our own eyes.  The ego can really fool a person.

THEN CAME JESUS

Yes, Jesus is the Son of God.  God said so rather loudly at Jesus’ baptism.  But it was the Son of Man that faced temptation.  It was the Son of Man that asked God to take away the cup.  It was the Son of Man that faced God’s wrath.  It was the Son of Man that rose from the dead to prove he is the Son of God, too.

The Image of Christ

We are asked to be like Christ, but we, on our own are not capable.  The best we can do is try, but we eventually fail.  But the scripture says we need to become like Christ.  Peter was the first person to prove that, if you don’t keep your eyes on Christ, you will fail in your effort to be just like Jesus.  The labor into the rest of Christ likeness was that all Peter had to do was keep his eyes, and faith, on Jesus, and he would have walked on the water, by faith, as he was already doing.

In the Garden of Eden, the wind and waves Adam and Eve faced was the lie that doing something else will make you just like God.  They then doubted they were already like God.  They took their eyes off the facts, and the truth, and considered a lie, and a false premise based on circumstances.  Forbidden Fruit.

THE EXCHANGE

If you will consider this, instead, and accept it as fact, instead of believing what you think you apparently see, you will learn that you are already like Christ, if you have accepted His death and resurrection.  When Jesus became all your sin, you received, in exchange, all that Jesus is.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

II Corinthians 3:18

It is all a matter of what we focus on.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:5-8  

Just like Jesus died of our sins, voluntarily, we are able to die to ourselves, voluntarily, as we labor into the rest of accepting that, all that Jesus was, we inherited when He arose from the dead.  When we keep our understanding on this truth, when we comprehend this exchange, and when we accept it in faith, no matter what we think we look like, you will look to God, like His Son, Jesus, and you will eventually appear to others to have the likeness of Christ, too.

After all, that is why you weren’t raptured the second you believed.  You are the only Jesus people will see.  When they see Jesus in you, they will want to know what happened to make you this way.

We are transformed in to the image of Christ

We are transformed in to the image of Christ

Let’s Be About It!

I love you in the Name of Jesus

David G. Perkins

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Faith, Observations

What Were You Looking For?


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

Philippians 4:8-9 ESV

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

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

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

I hope so.

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

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

 

“HOW DID YOU DO IT?”

I’m glad you asked. I didn’t.

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

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

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

 

GUARD YOUR THOUGHTS

 

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

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

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

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

You will always get what you are looking for.

Let’s be about it

I love you all,

David G. Perkins

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

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Faith

Transition States: Lay Your Burden Down


Leave This at the Feet of God

Leave This at the Feet of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What, in our thinking changes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is Written:  “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing;  it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2: 1 – 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why is your life still so overwhelming?

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

CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE

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

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

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

Transition States: Serving Man Is To Serve Christ


"I AM the bread of life" - Jesus

“I AM the bread of life” – Jesus

For I have come down from heaven,not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. – John 6:38 HCSB

Do I understand that, for Jesus to make that statement, He had to be completely emptied of His Heavenly place of honor, leave His throne, and become one of us?  He humbled Himself and served God’s will by serving man.  Jesus left His own personal will behind, was filled with the Spirit of God at His baptism, and served God’s Will.  Not out of law, compulsion, or as a slave, but out of Love for His Father.  Jesus served God by serving man.  And He did it by the power of the Holy Spirit that had filled Him.

I grew up believing that if I sang in the church choir, went to all the youth rallies, worked in the annual church “revival”, attended the Summer Camps, and basically behaved myself, I would be a good christian.

When I became an adult (Not to be confused with growing up), I attended church because I wanted to please God.  I confused the scripture that says, “Hebrews 10:25 – KJV – Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”  Again, I saw a lot of “activity” and heard a great deal about God and Jesus, but it came across as a knowledge gained through consensus, a creating God out of parts of scripture that appealed to the idea of what I want God to be, rather than learn what the Bible actually says about God, His will, and Jesus, the Lord.

Let me be clear, and I will probably be pilloried over this, but you can research this yourselves.  The “Church” is the ekklesia…the body that consists of those who genuinely believe.  The “Church” is NOT the building you go to and socialize in.  These edifices are full of people who have no real belief or understanding of the scriptures.  They gather to serve themselves.  The “Church” was never called to serve itself, glorify itself, or do its own will, expecting God to approve its’ own agenda.  When we are filled with our own purposes, we have immediately forsaken the will of God.    Today’s churches have become irrelevant for this very reason.  It is a fortress that expects the sinner to come to it for help, and offering only trite messages, based on the popular psychology of the day, and “supported” by whatever scripture they can find to support that view-point.  They are the “Hucksters of the Gospel” you read about in the New Testament.   Having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof.

Christ’s church, His ekklesia, consists of those who have believed in  their hearts that Jesus died for and became their sin.  That Jesus became every sin that ever was and ever will be, and died and went to hell, a sinner, for our sake.  Christs church understands that, while Jesus was dead in Hell, cut off from God, but receiving the complete and full wrath of God, God reached into Hell and brought Jesus back to life.  Jesus, having been restored, preached freedom to the captives in Hell and took the captives and freed them.  Then Jesus rose from the dead to prove that He has the right to be called “Christ the Lord”.  Jesus did for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  He put all sin and death away for our sakes.  If you accept this simple truth in your heart, and declare with your mouth that Jesus did all this and rose from the dead, YOU HAVE SALVATION.  THAT is all there is to it.

Those are the people who are the ekklesia, the church.  And believing these things, are sold out, in faith, and grace, and have determined to follow their Lord.  These are the people who need to stick together.  These are the people who need to support each other.  Wherever two believers are gathered, Jesus is in their midst.  It is there they can support, exhort, teach and worship together.  You will not find that in the established church.  If this were not true, the established church would have no idea what religious dogma is, nor would they be trying to force their own agenda down the throat of the Living God.

Results matter, and what has become the modern church is proof that they have abandoned their first love, and taken upon themselves the idea that they know God’s will better than God does.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 ESV

I cannot do what Christ wants me to do.  Not if I intend to do it on my own power.  The only way I can “walk after the lord” is to rest in what HE accomplished on my behalf.  The minute I abandon the power and will and faith of Christ, and attempt to do His will on my own, I have abandoned the very thing Christ has asked us to do…ABIDE IN HIM.  Abiding means to rest, pitch your tent, make Him your home.  Know Him through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  It is what every New Believer experiences.  Unfortunately, because discipleship is a lost art, that new Christian becomes a blown out candle.  Then when he asks his pastor, or some other respected elder why has the joy left, that respected adviser usually tells them, “Well, this is all part of maturing . ”  God worked in you because you were a baby christian, but we all have to grow up, and do for ourselves.  We have to obey God through our effort”.  I actually was told that at Seminary.  We were taught that we must abide, but we were taught that it is an effort to do so, and we just have to work hard to get ourselves to abide.  I actually believed that, and the result was, I became as bad a sinner as I was before I was saved.  I didn’t understand what abide really meant.

Abide is a very intimate term.  Get to know Him through spending time with Him.  This starts with reading the word and prayer.  The Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead is the same spirit that now lives in you.  As long as you abide, you grow, and produce fruit.  But is done by resting in Him.  Believe as simply as you did when you were first saved.  Trust that He will guide you, teach you, uphold you, love you, and instruct you.  Give up your ideas of God’s will, and learn what His will actually is.  Rest in Him.  You cannot do this by your own strength.  You are already forgiven.  You are already His child.  You are already adopted into the Kingdom of God.  When you learn to relax and trust this truth, you will abide in Him.  When you do this, you will be shown how things look from God’s point of view.  You will, out of love for Christ, WANT to please him.  This is not something you can ever do on the power of your flesh.  It is only when you abide in the rest of the Lord that HE will guide you and teach you.  Your desire will be to do as Christ leads you.  He will make sure you have all you need to do His will.

John … said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.”  But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.” – Luke 9:49-50 NASB

You do not need “The Church’s” permission to serve Christ.  You already are a co-heir to the throne of Christ.  You have within you all the same power that God used, through Jesus, to create the heavens and earth.  The kingdom of God dwells in you.  You are now His child.  God is not sitting “way up there, in the distant by and by, sitting on a throne, unapproachable”.  He dwells in you.  His kingdom is in you.  You have all the power and authority and grace and love of God.  You are Saved and belong to Him as if you were Jesus Himself.  When He sees you, He sees his beloved child.

That “someone” who was casting out demons in Jesus’ name, was obeying the will of God because it became his heart to do so.  He did not need the permission of the disciples because he already had the kingdom of God in his heart.  He had a change of heart.  He learned a new thought.  Repent simply means to think again.  The disciples were already jockeying for position of authority, and desired to rule over others since they were the “First Disciples”.  This may be why Jesus chose Paul to do what others refused to do.

It is as simple as understanding that the price Jesus paid on the cross, in hell, and through His resurrection, Jesus gave you, the believer this free gift, that you are also the adopted son of God.  You have God’s permission to rest in Him and watch him use you as he moves you in your heart.  No church, ever, was able to do this for you.  It is simply and ONLY the completed work of Jesus Christ.  It is a free gift.  It goes beyond eternal life.  It goes beyond your resources, your thinking, your will, and your ability.

Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.  And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;  Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.  And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.   And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. – Acts 3:1-7 KJV

All of what I have written is because I am going through a transition state of understanding what Jesus actually gave himself for.  It was not a religion.  It is so that we can be restored to the place we were before the fall of man.

Peter and John were on their way to the church (Synagogue) to pray.  They were obeying the edict of the assembly.  But on their way, Christ showed them an opportunity to do the will of God.  This is because the Holy Spirit had taught them the Mind of Christ (Read the first few chapters of Acts).

Interestingly enough, it was the established church of their day that had a huge problem with this behavior.  They, however, had the joy of the Lord in them, even under persecution, because they had obeyed their Lord.

They didn’t have permission from the local church to obey Christ.  They simply were moved in their hearts and minds because it is what moves Christ.  Serving man is more important than serving your church.  Giving freely of all you were given by Christ is true obedience.

SILVER AND GOLD HAVE I NONE

The transition state I am going through is a real object lesson.  All I ever had, believed or possessed has been taken away from me.  I own nothing, I have nothing but my clothes, a wife who loves me unconditionally, and a wonderful family.  We live in a basement.  But we are discovering a joy that we would never have understood had this not happened.  We are learning that, out of our need, we give, we serve, and we obey.  We do this, not because we are trying to please God.  We please God because, when He moves us to be like His son, and we follow that lead, we get to see Christ at work.  We are finding that you do not have to have a lot of resources to give.  You do not need things to serve.  You start with what you do have, and let God guide you.  You do this because you are abiding in Christ.  You learn to hear his voice.  Our joy has multiplied because of this transition.  We are being remade into the image of Christ through resting in Him and knowing His word.

Where others have disassociated from us, where finances have fled from us, where all we ever thought important has been lost, we find that we have been given a new heart, a new mind, and a living Holy Spirit.

I do not need things to serve man.  I just need the same Love in my heart that drove Jesus to do for me.  I did not have to follow any rituals, or attend a church to get this knowledge or understanding.  My heart didn’t change from some church activity or program.  My thinking was renewed into the will of God by trusting that what Christ said he did, He did.  And trusting that what Christ said he will do through His Spirit in me, HE will do.  I can do nothing of my self.  I can only be useful to God if I let Christ make me into something completely new and different from all that I was.

I have learned that it is better to abandon my religion and pursue Christ.  I am inviting you to do the same thing.

Let’s be about it.

I Love You

David G. Perkins

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Faith

Our Position in Christ: When Trouble Comes Knocking


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

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

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

Though people may reject us, God does not.”

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

THE WORLD

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

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

MY MIND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABIDING IN HIM (The Mind of Christ)

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s be about it!

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Let this Mind be in You….


Mustard SeedTherefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Jesus, Matthew 6:25

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. – King David, Psalm 35:25

Sandy and I have been looking at our lives very carefully over these past several months. We have both realized that, what we are doing defies all common sense. Outward appearances declare that what we are doing is irresponsible. What my flesh is telling me to do, and what we both know that God has told both of us, has nothing to do with the rationalizations of common sense.

WHAT IS THE MIND OF CHRIST?

Where faith is concerned, Jesus sums up my common sense carefulness as infidelity. If Sandy and I have the presence of the Holy Spirit living in us, He will take our circumstances and say, “Now where does God come in in this situation?” He will ask that of everything we do. “Where does God (His will, His Spirit, His Grace, His Mercy, the Likeness of Christ) come in in this thing I am doing?”

The Spirit of God will always press this point on us until we learn to make Him our first consideration. Before April, I would have been a “Charles In Charge” person, and relied on my own wits, and sing “I did it my way!”.

Now that Sandy and I have given over our entire lives to Christ, we are being tested to see where the areas are that we insist are left to our own Common Sense.

Every time we put other things first, there is confusion. We cannot serve two masters. Either my selfish idolatry will rule in my soul, or the Living God will lead me to be like Christ. Sandy and I are learning that we cannot have it both ways. God is not the author of confusion. And as we learn this, we become more at peace, knowing that God is in control of all our circumstances.

HERE IS THE HARD PART

Sandy and I have recently been shown, both individually, and as a couple (We discovered we had BOTH been shown the exact same thing that we are to do.), a “vision” of what we are supposed to do, and where we are supposed to be doing it. Being the “Charles In Charge” person I am, I immediately started doing a situational analysis of what we were shown. I looked at the logistics and tactics needed to accomplish this mission.

When the Spirit of God saw what I was doing, He gently corrected me and said I need to give this to God, as it is His assignment for us.

He reminded me that I am to “Take no thought…”. The pressure of my forethought was not my job. He gently and lovingly has shown Sandy and I that it is not only wrong to worry, but it is a form of infidelity, because our worry was saying, in effect, “I don’t think God can look after the practical details of our lives.” And it is the practical details that worry every human on this planet.

We began to notice what Jesus said would choke the word He puts in us. It wasn’t the Devil. No, it was the cares of the world. The little worries are the weeds that choke out the word in us. We get overwhelmed by the weeds, and forget His promise.

Infidelity to the promise of God is when we say, “I will not trust where I cannot see.” The cure for infidelity is obedience to the Spirit. This, too, is not something we can do on our own power. It is a work of God in a submitted heart.

Jesus told us to pick up our crosses daily, and follow Him. It is a call to commit acts of reckless abandon. He will lead the way, and prepare the way, and set a table before us, even in the presence of our enemies.

My Prayer:  My Heavenly Father, I confess that I am tempted to rush ahead and take matters in my own hand. I confess that, many times I do not have the faith that You will provide, and I attempt to make what You promised my own work. Please forgive me this infidelity. I am a child. I need you to teach me that, in all things, I can trust you, that You will perform and fulfill all that You have promised to do in my life. I love you, God. I adore you for the sacrifice of Jesus on my behalf. I ask that you keep Sandy and I, always steadfast in our Love for You, and keep our faith in You. There is no other way to be pleasing to you, except that we allow You to make us into the very image of Jesus. – AMEN

My brothers and sisters, lets hear the word of the Lord, and write it on our hearts, and trust that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it until the Day of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.

I LOVE YOU!

Let’s be about it!

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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