wax on, wax off

February 26, 2014

What is a Spiritual Discipline?

It’s easier than you think, and all I’m asking is for you start at 7 minutes.

Silence is the discipline of getting quiet so you can listen for the Lord.

Solitude is the discipline of setting aside some place where you and the Lord can be alone together.

Bible study is the discipline that helps you grasp the meaning of the biblical text.

Meditation is the discipline that helps you penetrate and embrace the Scriptures.

Prayer is the discipline of asking God for help for yourself and others.

Worship and Confession.

I’ve talked to so many people that feel like they are failing at all of the above. It’s a start stop process for so many. We hear a good sermon, read a great book, we read something in the Bible and actually understand it.

And then we stop.

Trust me, it’s natural, it’s like the old 80/20 rule, 80% of body, mind and spirit are focused on just living and breathing; and only 20% is focused on the spiritual. No wonder we fall behind.

But this is just an encouragement to start again, it’s better to try then just give up.

You can choose to do just one of the above each day, or squeeze in a couple each day.

I hate to conjure up visions of Richard Simmons (again I’m old and some of our younger readers have no idea who that is).

But get up and try it again.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

What is the reality of sin for the Christian? The simple fact is that while in His death Jesus dealt fully with sin, the sin nature within us is not eradicated. The ingrained responses still tug. We still experience pride, lust, anger, hatred, and fear. The capacity to sin remains ours and will be an ever-present burden until we find our full release in resurrection.

But the capacity to sin, and even the temptation to sin, are not really the issue in the Christian life. What is at issue are our choices. While we can feel the old passions stirring, we also have a new appreciation for godliness. We want to be like Jesus! Now two sets of desires war within us, and we have been given the freedom to choose. We can walk in the light and live in the radiance shed by the Living Word. Or we can turn our backs and chase off into the darkness after the illusive pleasures of sin. The choices we make, not the temptations we experience, are what move us into darkness or into light.

It always comes down to the choices we make.

Choose wisely and blessings follow.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

Halloween in February

February 24, 2014

Two kinds of Christians in church;

1; Transformed

2; Masquerading

Which are you?

How’s that for a short devotion?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Seriously, that’s it.

 

 

nothing deep

February 23, 2014

Ok, here’s a question for you.

Why is there a stairway to heaven and a highway to hell?

Matthew 7:13-14

English Standard Version (ESV)

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

If you noticed a start of a trend here you’re right.

Popular misconceptions, pop sayings that are lies, deceptions that promote easy believism. The idea that all roads lead to heaven.

We (not me literally) just celebrated 50 years for the Beatles. Personally never liked them. Never have, never will. The Beatles not only brought in a style of music that turned the world upside down (for better or worse that’s your call) but because of them guru’s, meditation and drugs flourished and became popular.

One man, Jesus came into the world to save it, everybody else just seems to want to destroy it.

Choose life, choose to walk in the way, follow the Lord and know peace.

Here’s a good saying; “no Jesus, no peace, know Jesus know peace.”

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

no magic here

February 22, 2014

Matthew 18:35

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother fromyour heart.”

The application is clear. God is the King. All His servants had contracted a great debt of sin which they were unable to pay. In wonderful grace and compassion, the Lord paid the debt and granted full and free forgiveness. Now suppose some Christian wrongs another. When rebuked, he apologizes and asks forgiveness. But the offended believer refuses. He himself has been forgiven millions of dollars, but won’t forgive a few hundred. Will the King allow such behavior to go unpunished? Certainly not! The culprit will be chastened in this life and will suffer loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The least preached sermon, Christians, going to heaven and experiencing loss.

This isn’t the only bible verse to carry that message.

A judgment for believers, not of our sins, but our motives.

Be careful little brothers and sisters, what you think and say, no idle word goes unrecorded in the hall of records in Heaven.

Father forgive me as I have sinned. It’s not magic, it’s a blessing to a Divine Father to hear His children recognize their sins and confess.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

P.s. survived my surgery, blessing on all that were praying, please pray for a speedy recovery.

 

 

 

there’s always a twist

February 21, 2014

None of us who have been through military boot camp will ever forget the experience. First, the drill instructor gives us a talk about how he is in charge and how we are under his absolute authority. Then he spends the rest of the day (from a very early start!) showing us that he has authority over us by constantly yelling at us, calling us all kinds of unrepeatable names, and making us do push-ups every time we do not do exactly what he commands us to do. He exerts this kind of control over us for the duration of boot camp, until finally, an hour before graduation, he manages a smile and makes a speech of appreciation for our accomplishments. One thing that we all knew about our drill sergeant was that he was in total control.

The apostle Paul labels the age in which the world currently operates as “this present evil age” (Gal. 1:4). It is evil because Satan is in charge of setting the agenda. Satan is said to be “the god of this world [age]” (2 Cor. 4:4), as well as “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Jesus Christ did not question Satan’s right to give Him the “kingdoms of the world” if He would worship him (Luke 4:5–7). In fact, during the future Tribulation, Satan will confer authority over this world to the man of sin (Rev. 13:1–8), thus fulfilling the offer which he made to the Lord.

“Father Filtered”

In spite of the power the devil has, we constantly need to remember that nothing touches us that has not been approved by God. 

He promised that nothing to hard, or crushing would come to us. In spite of hardships, sickness, trials and temptations, we are stronger than we usually give ourselves credit for.

And there’s the rub, (ah haven’t used that phrase in a while). God’s ultimate plan is to show Himself as mighty and us as dependent upon Him. It is only as we discover our weaknesses that we can see Christ as mighty.

He must increase, we must decrease.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

I’m very close

February 20, 2014

When trouble is near, God is near. He is never far to seek. All his commandments are truth. And God’s promises will be performed. All that ever trusted in God have found him faithful.

Psalms 119:145

I cried with all my heart; answer me, O Lord!
I will observe Your statutes
.

This is probably the oldest sermon illustration I know.

Fred and Ethel have been married 55 years, they are driving down the road in their old car. Ethel is leaning against the passenger side armrest, gazing out the window. A wistful look on her face when she exclaims; “look how far apart we are on this car seat, how did that ever happen?”

Fred’s explanation; “I don’t know I didn’t move.”

And so it is with God if we are far from Him, it’s not because He has moved, but we, ever prone to wander, can move far from Him. Yet He is always near and always ready to hear our hearts cry.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

I especially want to thank Chris, Don, and Joe for their prayers and support during this trying time. God bless you my dear friends

 

 

“Psalm 51 is about how God meets us in our moments of deepest failure and transforms us by his grace. It is about how broken sinners can be brutally honest with God and yet stand before him without fear.”

Wouldn’t all of us look back and have regrets about things we have chosen, said, and done? None of us is able to commend ourselves to God on the basis of our performance. We are all completely dependent on the forgiveness of a God of grace, in order to have any hope for eternity.”

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
in burnt offerings offered whole;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

The bible winner is Paige M. from Nova Scotia, way to go Paige.

 

roadrunners are from hell

February 18, 2014

Well it’s another dog story, I love big dogs, so one of my dogs is 140lbs of muscle, a Neapolitan Mastiff; and she hate roadrunners, (the birds) so I’m in the garage with the storm door shut and locked when I hear one large bark and see her charging the door. I think to myself ‘oh no’ and she hits the door running and blows it completely off the hinges.

Outside about 10 feet from the door is the roadrunner, I think even he was shocked. Yes he got away but barely. So it’s off to Home depot for a new door.

Spiritual paradigm shift.

 You who love the LORD, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked. Psalms 97: 10

You know the phrase; “hate the sin, love the sinner” look all you want that quote is not in the bible.

But this scripture is not about hate, it’s about the Glory of God and that He keeps His children safe from the power of the wicked. If you believe in eternal security this is one of the verses used for that doctrine.

But this verse also says we should hate evil, not people but the evil acts that they do. Yes the bible is about justice, and our legal system is based on the bible. Used to be you couldn’t be a lawyer in this country without having a degree in theology.  Those days are past.

So hate the bird not the dog.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remind me to tell you about the chicken that wouldn’t die

 

there’s a trout in my milk

February 17, 2014

I’ve never heard that saying before, few have. Henry David Thoreau is accredited with that saying. It’s a legal term. Meaning if you find a trout in your milk, someone put it in there on purpose. It comes from farmers watering down there milk so they sell a great quantity not quality of milk. Some farmer got so carried away they literally missed the fish from the streams that they pumped into their milk.

In cop talk it meant the evidence is planted not real, not genuine.

In the spiritual sense it is the idea of watering down the Gospel to make it appealing to everyone.

You know, like everyone is going to heaven, there is really no hell. And there are no standards. Hey the bible might condemn some behavior and call it sin. But hey that’s the bible, we here at the trout in your milk church think God is just a big love buddy and like a Disney film all dogs go to heaven. (I hope you know I’m being sarcastic).

Here’s some watered down milk for you, God never uses affliction, or suffering to make you a better Christian. If that was true we have to get rid of the Psalms. Especially Psalms 119: 65-62.

Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word … It is good for me that I have been afflicted: that I might learn thy statutes. David had well recognized that the humility of affliction, the stones of adversity, were God’s gift to him to draw him closer to God.

I can hear some trout screaming right now, “that’s the Old Testament, the New Testament God doesn’t work like that”.

Well my dear trout, what about Malachi 3:6; “I the Lord God never change…”

Well for those who are still screaming O.T, here’s a N.T. one for you.

James 1:17

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

So to all the naysayers and trout, the Word of God is like milk to the thirsty soul and it is not watered down and there are standards and there are sinners and there is a hell.

Our job is to be fishers of men and rescue every trout.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

And for our bible give away there was actually an old cop show that had an episode of one show was called; ‘there’s a trout in the milk’ name that show and you get a leather, pocket size evangelism new testament.