puff two

September 30, 2013

Matthew 16:17

New English Translation (NET)

17 And Jesus answered him, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven!

All spiritual growth entails a lifelong process. We have an infinite Lord as our life, to whose image we are being conformed by the Eternal Spirit.

The bible, the word of God is just words (don’t stone me) people have read it for years and have had no change in their lives. You can study it in literature class and get an ‘A’ plus and it won’t change your life. Until the Holy Spirit makes it alive to you and takes you into it spiritually it is just words.

“The Comforter, even the Holy Spirit … he shall teach you all things … He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you” (John 14:26; 16:14, ASV).

It wasn’t until Peter (Simon) had illumination from the Father (Matt 16:17) that he even knew who Jesus was. All the miracles, all the parables and the dopes kept asking ‘what does that mean?’ Of course hindsight is sharper than foresight and as we read our bibles today I often wonder how Jesus put up with these guys.

As we grow spiritually we must become progressively cross-centered Christians.

(1)  We count upon having died unto sin, and are “always delivered unto death” as the outworking of that position of death; (2) we count upon being alive unto God in Christ, and the Spirit causes “the life also of Jesus to be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:11).

Those are just words on a page, until the Holy Spirit makes it real to us we are just religious, not spiritual, not saved, not alive to Christ, just dead in our trespasses.

Ephesians 5:14

Amplified Bible (AMP)

14 Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light.

Spiritual light, Spiritual life, Spiritual sight.

God bless

Prayer requests at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

puff

September 29, 2013

We are not to decide about spiritual matters by observation of other believers. It is the Holy Spirit who must teach us by means of the Word.

1 Corinthians 2:13

English Standard Version (ESV)

13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

Christianity is an odd duck, we are to have head knowledge, learning, studying, and being disciples. But we can have all the knowledge and still be idiots.

Romans 10:2

English Standard Version (ESV)

For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

Puffed up, stodgy, full of themselves yet worthless. Divorced from the Spirit of God we have zeal, without maturity or without a foundation we are loose cannons.

We would have to write a tome to explain what knowledge of Christ we should have for our foundation, and because of theological differences it would probably escalate into a debate. So you will have to decide what to incorporate into your foundation.

 The deeper truth, the spiritual key to all growth and maturity, is the fact that we are not only founded in Him, but that we are complete in Him. “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him” (Col. 2:9, 10).

That is the spiritual truth we have to build on.

More on that tomorrow.

God bless.

I want to thank Virginia, widowed woman of 80 who is internet savvy and has asked to be given all the prayer requests so she can spend a large part of her day praying for you all. God bless Virginia.

lost leaders

September 28, 2013

When Christian leaders tend to locate the source of their power in themselves or in this world rather than God. These misguided leaders may achieve a temporary victory, but their work will eventually bring suffering to themselves and those in their care.

When leaders latch onto power, considering it their right, it’s destructive. God holds leaders to a higher standard because their words and actions cause others to rise or fall. When leaders of corporations, churches, or other organizations take their authority for grantedand are unchecked and not accountable to anyone, then everyone suffers.

Wrong focus, wrong purpose, wrong results are what transpires. Then the common man, you and me, find ourselves relying on our own strengths, designs and resources and can find ourselves cut off from God’s resources because we are not being shown Godly leadership and we suffer frustration and anger at the choices our leaders show.

Good news, bad news, God goes after poor leaders, that’s the good news, bad news, everyone suffers until the leaders repent or are removed. Our only avenue of escape is not mounting a rebellion and trust God to work his will in the lives of the leaders.

Like the coinage says; “in God we trust,” easy to say, sometimes it’s tough to do.

Great exercise, Google all the hymns that are about trusting in God, singing does help.

God bless

So many prayers requests this week, please be in prayer.

Prayer requests at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

grandmothers

September 27, 2013

Psalm 91:11-12

New King James Version (NKJV)

11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

This will be the most non-theological thing I ever post so don’t miss it.

Angels, way to much hype about them. And this isn’t even about angels it’s about my grandmother and her prayer life and the fact that she was my guardian angel. (for the purists, prudes and puds I don’t mean it literally or theologically)

I’m in the alley behind a biker bar, and I’m bleeding out, I’ve been stabbed and tossed into the alley. A cab shows up and out steps my grandmother. The cabbie and her pick me up and take me to a doctor’s house, someone my grandmother knows, he sews me up and I pass out.

I wake up in her house. Over the next couple of weeks I’m in and out of fever, sick, the doctor shows, pills, rest and lots of red meat, and broth.

When I finally get better I ask her the question I’ve asked her 4 times now; “how did you know?” she always smiled and said; “your guardian angel sent me you dumb bastard.”

She’s 94 and that’s all she’ll ever tell me, four times that woman has saved my life. The only thing she physically ever gave me (besides a home) was the most raggedy bible you’ve ever seen, even worse than my own.

Speaking of bibles, Chris was nice enough to donate some paperback size Gideon bibles, New Testament and Psalms. So we need to come up with some bible quizzes.

God bless.

Pray for Sharon as she goes to see a doctor about pain in her arm and gets an Mri.

Pray for Rhonda having a hard time

Pray for Timothy as he starts chemo

Prayer requests at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

the crimson letter

September 26, 2013

I was in third grade, my teacher gave me a “D” on a test paper. I was living in upstate N.Y. near Buffalo the snow belt of the USA. I lived in a dairy farming town, on a dead end road that led deep into the woods.

When I got off the school bus I buried that test in a deep snow drift.

Imagine my shock when I got up to shovel the snow in the drive way and looked down at the shovel full of snow and there was my test, made worse because the wet snow had made the “D” larger and stained like blood.

And then my mother’s voice “what have you got there?” before I could hide the test she was there scooping it off the shovel.

My mother and I have always had a strained relationship, even at that age, she was half crazy and mad as a hatter with a streak of rage that could curl the lashes of a sailor. (I’m not sure what that really means, I just heard that saying a lot growing up). But I never lied to her. (Which is not really noble, I enjoyed telling her everything I did which was usually bad just to curl her hair).

“It’s my test, I was trying to hide it from you.” Bam, a whack on the side of the head, then a bible quote, which was a shock, there was no bible in our house and going to church was rare.

“You have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out.”

I went over to my neighbor and asked if they had a bible, nope, so I walked down the road to an old guy that I knew went to church. I asked him about that verse, he showed me in the bible where it was at and the context. His next comment was one I never forgot. “If that’s the worst thing you do in your life, you are to be commended.”

Needless to say it wasn’t.

Without the whack on the head, it’s still true, you sins will find you out, always

God bless.

Prayer requests to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

donuts and lust

September 25, 2013

 “The lust of the eyes.” This has to do with desire for things that we see, things which catch our eye. The emphasis is on external attractiveness without examining the underlying values. “The lust of the eyes” is associated with greed, envy, and covetousness. This type of greed is one of the major controlling principles in the world system.

It’s not just turning your head at a pretty girl, it’s thinking an object can make your life better. I probably have more socket wrenches than a Nascar pit crew, I’m always looking for a better, shiny, socket wrench. The Snap On guy sends me Valentine Cards.

Screw drivers come next, then mallets, doesn’t matter what the object is, it can’t make our life better.

It’s going to someone’s house and thinking your kitchen needs to look like their kitchen. See that’s how subtle it can be. We are not talking body snatching, drugs, human trafficking, call girls and donuts (well maybe donuts).

Joshua 24:15

King James Version (KJV)

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

In land where you dwell, it has all the temptations and we have to choose what we look at and what we covet, desire, long for or think will make our life better. 

Choose.

God bless

 

flesh

September 24, 2013

1 John 2:16, the apostle John describes the totality of the world system, “all that is in the world,” as composed of three parts: (1) “the lust of the flesh”; (2) “the lust of the eyes”; and (3) “the boastful pride of life.”

The first component is “the lust of the flesh.” which refers to our evil desire to satisfy the impulses that stem from our fallen nature called “the flesh.” “If it feels good, do it,” a popular slogan generated by the world a number of years ago, accurately captures the idea behind the lust of the flesh. The idea often used in commercial advertising that we deserve all of the fine things in life is a worldly idea that appeals to the lust of the flesh.

In our fight against the world we must conqueror the flesh and its appetites. One way to do this is to count the cost. If I give in I risk addiction, failure, shame, destroying my relations to loved ones and most of all my intimacy with God.

Maybe because I’m older and the hormone battle isn’t quite so strong. Maybe it’s actually maturity. But now the cost enters my mind with each temptation. I’m not willing to pay the cost. And the longer I go without acting out, when tempted it’s not so alluring.

Hmmm, maybe getting older does have one advantage.

God bless.

Pray for Paul who is being tempted to abandon his responsibilities as a husband.

Pray for Sonia who has been clean and sober for her 2nd year today.

For lily who left a life of prostitution and serious coke addiction 11 years ago and for a moment today almost chucked all her progress away.  

 

no its not

September 23, 2013

Spiritual warfare in the Bible is presented as a threefold operation against the world, the flesh, and the Devil.

Because so many people are influenced by poorly written books on spiritual warfare, movies and hype; they concentrate on the Devil and demons that miss the fact that the other two, percentage wise cause more problems.

Quoting Dr. Dobson again, he made a comment that I hope I am remembering right; if he counseled 10,000 people only one would be truly demonic.

I remember seeing the movie the Exorcist, I wasn’t a Christian at the time and when my friend and I left the movie my 1962 Chevy Belair  was acting crazy, the dash lights kept flashing and the radio kept coming on and off. When I stopped at a red light my friend jumped out and said he would hitch hike home as my car was possessed. No, my car was old and assembled by me from a junk yard.

It’s more sensational to talk about demons, and the devil. I remember a lady in my church that every Wednesday night she would testify how the Devil was after her all week long. No matter how many times I talked to her and told her the devil wasn’t her husband, the children or her dog, she would never change, it was the devil.

Think about it, blame it on the devil and you don’t have to accept responsibility for anything. Marriage breaks up, it’s the devil, children act up, and it’s the devil. We can spiritually blame him for everything and I’m perfectly innocent. Let’s give the devil a break.

God bless.

Prayer requests at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

wicked children

September 22, 2013

Proverbs 17:21-23

New International Version (NIV)

21 To have a fool for a child brings grief;
there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool.

Rough men, strange women, it only makes sense to run the gamut and have wicked children.

Dr. James Dobson once told a woman who had lost total control of her child to name the moment she remembered she lost control of her child. The child was now 9 and she said, “I remember it vividly she was 2 years old and I told her ‘no’ to something and she spit in my face.” From that moment on I lost control. 

Dr. Dobson went on to say that almost every parent he’d ever counseled had a similar story.

I guess that some children are born fools, others are created, some are monsters and others parents just lose control. I know there are good kids, I have one.

Parents teach so much to their kids, some good some bad. We as parents are not here to be there best friend. We are to give them boundaries, rules and love and punishment for wrong doing or we raise spoiled little psycho-paths.

You may not like the word ‘punishment’ you might be the ‘time out’ kind of parent. Time outs don’t work, reasoning with a child doesn’t work, sometimes it’s just ‘no’, end of story.

I hear parents in stores never answering their children, you hear a kid say mom 100 times and the parent just keeps going on. Try to convince that child later that God always hears them.

Punishment for wrong doing relieves a child of guilt. They know they did wrong, they feel guilty, without punishment guilt builds and they will do more wrongs, bigger wrongs, guilt mounts and finally they do something crazy wrong. Fires, hurting other children, stealing, and the list goes on. They are actually craving not attention but somehow to understand the guilt that they feel. The spanking, the explanation, the cost of understanding what they did wrong and the consequences makes better children and helps them understand basic citizenship, the village.  

Hardly a popular theory in this day and age of their precious self-esteem and fragile egos.

Go to a grocery store and you can see every child in there that knows no boundaries, never gets punished and makes their parents life a living hell.

Wicked children, the rod or the staff, fools are to be stoned. Not things we like to hear. Illegal in some states and countries. I pity the fools.

God bless.

Pray for Marty as she has to make a difficult decision and for Stewart as he prays about a new job. And for Jay, life has gotten difficult and his faith is being tested.

 

strange women

September 21, 2013

Ok. Don’t hate me for this devotion, it might be disturbing but true.

Kooky girls, strange women, oddballs, high strung, hyper-spiritual, and maybe a little slow (don’t shoot me, keep reading)

We all know women in church that fit this bill. People talk about them behind their backs, rude comments are made about how we hope they don’t breed because the children might be like them. After church on Sunday you tell the kids not to look them in the eye because you don’t want them coming over and inviting themselves to your home or out to eat because they are uncomfortable to be with.

Admit it you either know someone like this or you’ve heard church people talk like that (shame on them).

Well as a pastor of many years let me tell you about these special people whether they are men or women. They volunteer for everything you ask, they will tithe and give when it stretches them really tight. They stay at the altar praying longer than anyone else. They are more empathetic and have more sympathy than any one you’ll ever meet.

For better or worse they take in stray dogs, cats and people. Huge hearts, they get conned, lied to and taken advantage of.

Jesus said we will face severe consequences for screwing around with kids; and these adult children are special in the eyes of God and should be loved, admired and respected in the church. Shame on us for rating them in the hierarchy of the family of God. No wonder people get hurt by the church (the fake church not the real church).

If you’ve ever done that please repent, it’s a sermon that’s never preached.

God bless

Send your prayer requests to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Kim who is facing surgery this week and Steve L. for his upcoming heart surgery.

Thanks to Chris for donating more bibles for our bible giveaway. For the first time we have one in Spanish to share with someone.