Faith

I Have Come That You May Have Life…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KNOWING A THING IS NOT THE SAME AS DOING IT

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

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

Let’s be about it!

I love you.

 

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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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

Transition States: Leaving Missouri


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

What a difference a year makes.

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

From being employed to knowing unemployment.

From having plenty to having nothing.

From having a home to being homeless.

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

There have also been some outstanding transitions, as well.

From hating life to loving life.

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

From fear to assurance.

From hate to love.

From death to life.

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

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

From losing useless friends to gaining real and meaningful friendships.

Now, we are going from Missouri to Texas.

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

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

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

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

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

My prayer for you, for 2014 is this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless you in 2014.

Love

David Perkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

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