guess who

July 31, 2013

We should remind ourselves that the written Word was designed specifically by God to bring us to know the Living Word. Never for a moment is the written revelation to be by-passed, or slighted in any way. We are to study, meditate, and count upon it through the ministry of the Spirit of Truth, in order that we may know the Lord Jesus. He is our all, by means of the Word. “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” “By him all things consist. And he is the head of the body.” “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (2 Pet. 1:3, 4; Col. 1:17, 18; 2:9).

Sounds so simple doesn’t, read the Word, study the Word, live it, apply it, let it live in us, that we can be more than conquerors, victorious; and yet it is one of the chief things Satan keeps us from.

Lie number 2 from the devil’s handbook, “there is always tomorrow”.

Lie number 3, you really don’t understand what you are reading, you’re not smart enough, trained, quick witted, whatever, the Word promises us that the Spirit of God will lead us, but we have to study.

Lie number 4, “hey that’s why you go to church, it’s why your pastor gets the big bucks (that one always cracks me up).

Lie number 5, you will just embarrass yourself when someone smarter and ‘more spiritual’ will prove you are wrong.

Hey start out small if you are not reading regularly, one verse a day, then next week two, get a version of the bible you like. Buy a bible with no study notes, just read the Word not all the notes. For those of you with really high perfectionist characters do the opposite and buy one with the study notes.

Tomorrow will be our bible give away quiz.

God bless

Pray for Steve L. still having heart problems, needs a lift in spirit and mind as well.

shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

July 30, 2013

The quiet man, probably my favorite John Wayne movie, there is something to be said about being quiet. Even the book of proverbs says a silent man can be a fool, but who would know as long as they keep their mouth shut.

Matthew 6:5-8

New International Version (NIV)

Prayer

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

The term hypocrite originally referred to Greek actors who wore masks that portrayed in an exaggerated way the roles they were dramatizing. Thus hypocrites are pretenders—persons who are playing a role. The only thing you truly know about them is the false image that disguises their real beliefs and feelings.

“… their full reward,” imagine that, all their spiritual boasting, showing off, being the first to pray, the loudest, the quickest, in a group there seems to always be that one; and they have gotten their full reward, there is nothing more for them, just the praise of men, and we all know how false that is.

Pride, we’ve stated this before, it is the root of all our sin, it started in the Garden and is still the downfall of Man. We are taught to pray, we read about prayer, we are encouraged to pray, but it will always be ‘why’ we do anything for the kingdom that matters, motivation.

A humble man, the quiet man, the last to speak, true humility, the funny thing is you can never tell someone that you are humble, because the quiet man would never say such a thing, they can’t say anything, humility forbids them.

So keep an eye on the quiet ones, forget that old maxim; “it’s always the quiet ones,” and then bang they go off their rocker. Totally different in the Kingdom of God.

Shhhhhhhhhhhh,

God Bless

Prayer requests at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

August is almost here and our next bible giveaway, get your thinking caps on.

 

bruises

July 29, 2013

Have you ever sung a song for years and then somehow find out later you never had the right lyrics?

Despite fundamental churches hating this group, being a pot smoking hippie and psychedelic fan ( way back then not now) I have always liked the group; Black Oak Arkansas. The song I’m referring to is ‘Deep Purple Blues’; I always thought the song was titled, ‘deep purple bruise’; which I could relate to. Not all hippies were peace, love and anti-Vietnam. I was violent, somewhat anti-social, and served in the military during Vietnam. A contradiction of identity I know; and since I thought the lyrics were singing about deep purple bruises, I related to the song because I was often battered and bruised; by life and by fighting all the time.

The other day I got kicked by a cow, man how my life has changed. I’ve got a bruise on my hip that is now dark purple and can barely walk. After an x-ray confirmed nothing was broken,  I hooked up the old iPod and found my song or at least thought I did, when I looked at the title and saw after all these years I’ve been singing the wrong lyrics I wondered how many other ‘facts’ I thought I had right or wrong as the case may be.

I know during some sermons I’ve gotten tongue tied and quoted the wrong verse with the wrong reference or would often ask the congregation to turn to 2 Hezekiah chapter 11, (there is no such book in the bible) just to see their faces. Probably my worst pulpit faux pas was talking about really knowing your bible and then misquoting John 3:16, hard to believe a preacher could do that but I did and I knew the minute it happened I said something wrong but didn’t know what I had said other than to see my wife bowing her head to cover her laughing.

Lavaliere microphones had just came into vogue way back when (lapel mikes) and I wore mine turned on went I went to the rest room and the whole congregation heard me whistling while I peed. (and my sound man recorded it so I couldn’t deny it happened).

Life takes its toll of both good and bad, funny and sad, something’s leave us scarred on the outside, some on the inside.

I’ve said all that to lead us up to these verses;

 

Hebrews 4:14-16

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus the Great High Priest

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[a] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Nothing I need to add to that other than He understands all we’ve ever gone through and His word is faithful and true whether we remember it correctly or not. (Thank goodness there are bibles apps on our smart phones so people can prove us wrong instantly).

God bless

 

 

frog hair

July 28, 2013

Lots of comments yesterday about the devotion on“anointing;” are there different types was the main question, technically yes, there is the literal external ‘anointing’ like being anointed with oil. Then there is the internal ‘anointing’ like in 1 John 2:27.

1 John 2:27

New International Version (NIV)

27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

The anointing is the Holy Spirit, and here we learn that the Holy Spirit abides in you. This is a positive statement that once the Holy Spirit is received, He will never be taken away. Because we have received the Holy Spirit, we do not need any one to teach us. This does not mean that we do not need Christian teachers in the church. God has made specific provision for such teachers in Ephesians 4:11. It means that the Christian does not need any teaching apart from what is found in the Word of God.

When I was an Evangelist in the Mid-Atlantic States I was invited to a church that had a reputation for crucifying pastors, wrecking their lives and spitting them out. I met with the pastor, a very caring and older man that was weathering the storm of abuse, venom and tribulation. I asked him why he stayed, he just smiled and said “you’ll see tomorrow.”

That Sunday morning when I stepped into the pulpit to preach there was a sense of the Holiness of God, an anointing like I had never felt before, but only as you stood in the pulpit. Step away from the pulpit and you felt an oppression and heaviness that almost bowed you down. It was one of the most memorable sermons I ever preached.

The pastor and I went out to lunch and all he said was; “well.” I told him it was incredible I have never experienced anything like it. He said that was why he stayed, that powerful anointing and blessing while preaching was like none he had ever experienced. He then went on to say that in the last 6 months over half the deacons had died, all tragically and ‘before’ there time. I asked him to explain. He said it was a though the people in that church were against God and He was working with the most rebellious congregation ever.

I stayed a week, preaching every night, it was incredible. During the day I was threatened, bullied, the air let out of my tires, they even stole my bible. But every night there was a sense of God, an anointing like none I’ve ever experienced. The next Sunday as I visited the pastor, I found his bags packed and him ready to leave. He said he had never heard greater preaching, saw more miracles in one week and still the people were ugly, mean and unchanged. He said he wasn’t going to preach that morning, just leave, the final sermon would be mine.

That morning I stepped into the pulpit and felt nothing, no direction, no anointing no protection, just a sea of hostile faces. I asked them to all bow their heads in prayer. When they bowed their heads I walked down the aisle and headed for my car. A deacon ran out and grabbed me by the arm and raised his fist to strike me.

I uttered one word; Ichabod.

(1 Samuel 4:21–22 (ESV)

21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”)

He lowered his fist and I drove away, a week later I heard the church was closed, and up for sale.

I have no great theological argument for what happened there, just that it happened. Like Joshua I would say; ‘choose you this day, whom you will serve’.

Yes, Virginia there is an anointing, it’s not always something easily explained, it’s just God doing His thing through willing vessels. do frogs have hair, i don’t know, does God anoint, he does, can it always be understood as to when and where and why, only that’s it available to the faithful worker who is dependent on Him to direct and lead.

God bless

 

 

for a few not the many

July 27, 2013

In the bible books of Timothy and Titus, the Apostle Paul is trying to encourage and instruct two young preachers.

Today I’m offering some free advice from some past experience, it may or not benefit anyone else.

There are two kinds of Scripture study; Preparation for a message to others and Personal Scripture Study. It’s important to learn the difference. One is a message for others and one is a message for yourself.

If you don’t learn the difference than something God lays on your heart just for you will never preach or teach well. God gives you nuggets, treasure just for you and you alone, because it reaches your heart and mind, if you try to share it because it blessed you, you will often wonder why people were not touched the way you were when you were in the Throne Room of God.

It’s private, personal, like when Mary learned she carried the Blessed Child, scripture says; “she pondered it in her heart.”

Then there is the time you purposely spend in study for a message for others, God will lead you in a different path. This message is meant to stir a congregation, Sunday School, a bible study. Learn to recognize the difference and you will find yourself rightfully expecting two different results; private and public. The Anointing will be different, learning to discern what God is laying on your heart and for whom can carry a great blessing and reward.

The desert path, or the public square, listen and learn grasshopper. (Some of you might be to young to remember that TV reference).

God bless

Give us a shout at scumlikeuschurch.com

 

 

you want me to do what?

July 26, 2013

1 Timothy 2:1-4

New International Version (NIV)

Instructions on Worship

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Verse 1; Four of the seven Greek words for prayer occur in this verse. “Supplications” contains the idea of asking for definite needs. “Prayers” is the most general word. “Intercessions” indicates freedom of access to God, by which one may boldly make requests for others. “Giving of thanks” is the expression of gratitude for God’s abundant grace and is treated as an integral part of prayer (cf. 1 Thess. 5:17, 18).

Verse 2; Special mention is made here of kings and all who are in authority. These must occupy a special place in our prayers. Elsewhere, Paul has reminded us that the authorities that exist are ordained of God (Rom. 13:1) and that they are ministers of God to us for good (Rom. 13:4).

I think I have the hardest time with verse 2; we need to remember that Paul wrote this during the reign of Nero, the worst perhaps of all Roman Emperors. Yet Paul says to pray for the very man who is trying to kill Christianity.

It’s tough to pray for those in authority over you, your boss, leaders, politicians, the president, whoever is in leadership when you disagree with them; yet here is a commandment to do the very thing we rebel against. How so like God to request of us behavior that is contrary to our very nature. “Pray FOR those that despitefully use you” (Luke 6:28) not against, you can’t curse them, trap them, set them up, gossip, poison; (you can tell I’ve thought long and hard about this).

Praying in general is tough, now I have to do it for someone I don’t like, whoever said being a Christian was easy, was an idiot.

Ironically prayer request here scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

my precioussssss,

July 25, 2013

The serenity prayer of AA

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

 

The real serenity pray by Reinhold Niebuhr; written in 1944 for Army Chaplains

God, give me grace to accept with serenity

the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things

which should be changed,

and the Wisdom to distinguish

the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it,

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

The theme of course is how when you leave Jesus out of anything, it becomes empty, shallow, vain and powerless. 

Some have complained that Christianity is a bloody religion, it is.

Billy Graham as commented on how there would be no salvation without the Blood of Christ, J. Vernon McGee told a woman that had written in, “madam it most certainly is a bloody religion. Dr. John MacArthur was almost burned at the stake (figuratively) when he wrote that the blood was just symbolism for the death of Christ and we can just stop using that phrase altogether. After the fires storm died down I don’t think he’s brought it up again.

The blood, the death, the sacrifice of the Son of God has been replaced with feelings, emotions. Martin Luther (the reformation) wrote that the worst possible thing to happen to Christian religion was the introduction of feelings into the church (wow that was a long time ago). Jonathan Edwards most well-known book is ‘Religious Affections’ and he wrote quite at length that the emotions of man can actually keep him from knowing God.

When our church services are a barometer of feeling, “oh what a blessing I felt today.” Everyone is looking for feel good churches, and like the serenity prayer Christ is being edited from everything. What you have left is a higher power with no power at all.

Sermons and songs are so vague that it could be about anyone or everyone, mega churches are filling stadiums based on songs, and dancing and clapping and at lunch after the service no one can remember what was said only what was felt.

What’s my point? Bring back the blood, the death, the fact that man is a sinner, lost without hope and only Jesus Christ the Son of God can get you to heaven. There are NO alternate paths, other gods, Buddha’s in a tomb, Mother Teresa is dead, new age, new way is no way. We are not gods’, you can’t meditate to Nirvana, no reincarnation, the one plan one way one God, deal with it.

Scumlikeuschurch, there’s a reason we chose that name. We need a Savior.

 

Witchy Woman

July 24, 2013

1 Peter 5:10

New International Version (NIV)

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

 

Okay, I’m not sure this qualifies as suffering; it may count more as punishment.

So my wife and I are walking into this bank to meet someone. While we are walking down the sidewalk towards the bank; this very attractive woman comes walking towards us. This woman is dressed, I’m not sure how to say this, let’s just say she obviously spent some time and money on her ward robe to put her figure in the best view. (I’m trying not to bury myself here.)

So she is about 2 feet away on this wide side walk she just lights up with this brilliant smile and winks at me; the next thing I know my wife (who has a black belt both in judo and karate) punches me in the arm. I turn to look at her and asked her what she is doing.

With a very stern look on her face she retorts; “I can’t believe you are holding my hand, and see another woman and say ‘wow’’.

Now I have about several degrees, a very high IQ, I’m a veteran, I’ve been around the block so to speak and have had my tires kicked and have kicked a few tires myself; but no one has ever accused me of being stupid. There is no way on God’s green earth I would pull a stunt like that and risk the wrath of a female Khan. 

I turn towards her and basically repeat that little line above and she insists that I was dazzled and said ‘wow.’ Now It gets worse, the woman actually comes back and walks up to us and asks if everything is alright. My response, “other than being physically abused by my wife in public everything is fine.” Whereas said really attractive woman lays her hand on my arm and says; ‘you poor dear’ and walks away and I’m stupid enough to watch her go. Then lands punch number two.

“What” I exclaim; my wife says; “that’s for watching her go.”

That might not be the meaning of our bible verse for today but heck, that’s what I’m claiming.

God bless

Pray for my arm and shoulder I think I’m going to be sore tomorrow.

 

“Witchy Woman”

 

Raven hair and ruby lips
sparks fly from her finger tips
Echoed voices in the night
she’s a restless spirit on an endless flight
wooo hooo witchy woman, see how
high she flies 

Sorry couldn’t resist.

 

stinky prayers

July 23, 2013

A long prayer is not necessarily insincere, it does lend itself to dangerous tendencies like pretense, repetition, and rote. All too often confusing verbosity with meaning and length with sincerity.

I remember being in Bible College when Pastor Cho’s Korean church became famous, especially amongst Pentecostals. It was the late 70’s and Koreans were flocking to America because they heard we were lost and failing (imagine that, this was the 70’s and already people were recognizing the death toll of America).

Just like the church and buses (also during the 70’s) everybody thought you had to have a school bus to grow your church because that was what the church growth experts were saying. Everyone was saying let’s copy the Koreans and we will have growth just like them. The problem was that in their culture whether Christian or not getting up super early was a cultural norm, praying for hours were a cultural norm. We just had to take their template and make it ours, and viola, spiritual success.

Mark 12:40

New International Version (NIV)

40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

Long prayers can be offensive to God, not because they are long, but because of the motives behind them.

There was a young man in Bible College that didn’t take baths because he tried to pray for hours on end, he was flunking his classes and he literally stunk. One of the older professors talked to some of the seniors and told them a trick to get this boy to change his ways.  The seniors got by the furnace vent and during his prayer time ‘spoke in voice of god’ and told him to bathe and pray shorter and excel at his grades to honor God and be a good steward of time. It worked and everyone was happier, especially those that had to set next to him in chapel every day.

 Imagine that prayer can stink

God bless.

 

1 Tim 1:5

From the Lexham version of the bible; But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a faith without hypocrisy,”

Other version’s say a sincere heart. If you read yesterday’s devotion about false prophets, Satan’s worker’s; then you know it’s is my desire to teach truth and expose the liars and workers of evil.

If you read verse 9 and 10 you will see an interesting list of those that want to distort the Gospel. (chapter 1:9-10)

1 timothy 4:1-2; “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, by the hypocrisy of liars, who are seared in their own conscience,”

Those that teach a different message than the Apostle Paul, are doing the work of demons. Kind of puts people in a different light. These people are not just misleading, or weak minded, or good intentions and just spiritually stupid; they are evil and wreaking havoc in the lives of Believers.

1 timothy 6:3-6

If anyone teaches other doctrine and does not devote himself to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, he is conceited, understanding nothing, but having a morbid interest concerning controversies and disputes about words, from which come envy, strife, slanders, evil suspicions, constant wrangling by people of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who consider godliness to be a means of gain.

“Gain”, some teach lies to attract a bigger crowd; others to sell their latest book or dvd, some (most) to appear more spiritual and wiser than others.

1 timothy ends with the instruction to ‘guard’ what was entrusted to you;’

So please be on guard, check everything you read or are taught, to God’s Holy Scriptures. Be wary of those that would want to control your thinking or keep you from the Word of God; especially those that claim they have ‘special knowledge’.

Problem is since they speak like the devil they can lie like the devil and easily cause deception.

Tomorrow we move on to a new topic, I promise, my prayer is that you be on guard and suspect everyone, just because I’m paranoid, statistically I have 50% chance of being right, someone is lying to you.

Lyrics from an old rock tune (Rockwell)

Who’s watching?Tell me who’s watching.Who’s watching me?I’m just an average man, with an average life.I work from nine to five; hey hell, I pay the price.All I want is to be left alone in my average home;But why do I always feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone, and I always feel like somebody’s watching me.And I have no privacy.Woh, I always feel like somebody’s watching me.Tell me is it just a dream?When I come home at night.I bolt the door real tight.People call me on the phone I’m trying to avoid.Well, can the people on T.V. see me.Or am I just paranoid?When I’m in the shower.I’m afraid to wash my hair.’Cause I might open my eyesAnd find someone standing there.People say I’m crazy.Just a little touched.But maybe showers remind me of”Psycho” too much.That’s why. . .I always feel like somebody’s watching me.

 

 

 

 


 [gw1]