A Call To Arms

October 31, 2015

boxing

The Vatican II documents as well as the new Catechism of the Catholic Church reinvoke the theological position of the Council of Trent, condemning the gospel of justification by an imputed righteousness.

 

Evangelicalism is redefining itself doctrinally. From its views of the self (77% of Evangelicals say that man is basically good by nature) to its views of salvation (87% insist that, in salvation, God helps those who help themselves).

 

The gospel defines the church, not vice versa. sola Scriptura, (only the scriptures)and the material principle of sola fide. (only faith).

 

Luther called justification by faith alone “the article upon which the church stands or falls” (articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae). This strong assertion of the central importance of justification was linked to Luther’s identification of justification by faith alone (sola fide) with the gospel. The “good news” of the New Testament includes not only an announcement of the person of Christ and his work in our behalf, but a declaration of how the benefits of Christ’s work are appropriated by, in, and for the believer.

 

The issue of how justification and salvation are received became the paramount point of debate. Luther’s insistence on sola fide was based on the conviction that the “how” of justification is integral and essential to the gospel itself. He viewed justification by faith alone as necessary and essential to the gospel and to salvation. Since the gospel stands at the heart of Christian faith, Luther and other Reformers regarded the debate concerning justification as one involving an essential truth of Christianity, a doctrine no less essential than the Trinity or the dual natures of Christ. Without the gospel the church falls. Without the gospel the church is no longer the church.

 

Justification by faith alone is essential to the gospel. The gospel is essential to Christianity and to salvation. The gospel is essential to a church’s being a true church.

 

To reject justification by faith alone is to reject the gospel and to fall as a church. The Reformers concluded that when Rome rejected and condemned sola fide, it condemned itself, in effect, and ceased to be a true church.

 

Men are justified by faith alone,” wrote an old Puritan divine, “but the faith that justifies is never alone.” This is a succinct statement of the truth articulated by Paul, under the inspiration of the Spirit, in Ephesians 2:8–10: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” Men are saved by God’s grace alone apart from any meritorious work. Salvation is “not of works.” Yet, at the same time, men are saved with a view to a transformed life. Salvation is “unto good works.” A true, saving experience of Jesus Christ carries within it the germ of a transformed life … and the transformed life is the chief evidence of the genuineness of a man’s profession

 

It is upon this premise that we must once again have not a revival but another reformation in the basic tenets of Christianity. It is no longer acceptable if we are going to see the Evangelical church survive, to be tolerant and sit at the table of the ecumenical and placate everyone by saying all roads lead to heaven, when Jesus said he was the only way and the only truth.

 

If someone presents themselves as Christians and confess anything other than by faith alone then they are not Christians, plain and simple.

 

The problem today is the message, everyone is to play nice and there is to be no conflict, no disagreements. As we see the landscape of religion change in America, along with everything else, it is fear that makes us drop what makes us different and unique and we seek a larger tribe with similar values just to makes us feel like the world hasn’t changed that much.

 

We are asked to give up our theological tenets and make social needs greater than gospel needs; let’s homogenize the Christian Church and blend it with everything and everyone else yet still call it Christian. And there’s the rub; it cannot be done.

 

Dr. Walter Martin, author of “The Kingdom of the Cults” writes early in his book that the principle means of success in determining who is like us in our theology and justified by faith, we must agree that our words all mean the same thing. And that’s the trick, people are using the same phrases but it doesn’t mean the same thing, and we can only be sure if we know the difference if we know our own faith and doctrine.

 

Hopefully this sounds like a call to arms, it is, the Christian faith needs new hero’s.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friends (the short version)

October 30, 2015

balance

FRIENDSHIPS

Here’s my short list on the topic of friendship

  1. Bad company corrupts good morals.

1 Cor. 15:33. Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

  1. Friends affect us better or for worse.

Prov. 13:20. He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

  1. A true friend favors us by a kind rebuke when it is needed.

Prov. 28:23. He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.

  1. Stay away from a foolish man.

Prov. 14:7. Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.

  1. Don’t make friends with a hot-tempered man.

Prov. 22:24. Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered. . .

  1. A true friends is one who may hurt you at time for your good.

Prov. 27:6. The kisses of any enemy may be profuse, but faithful are the wounds of a friend.

  1. A godly friend can be of great help.

Prov. 27:9. Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs form the earnest counsel.

  1. Jonathan and David had an ideal friendship.

1 Sam. 20.

1 Sam. 20:17. Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.

1 Sam. 23:16. Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.

  1. Friendship with the world is hatred toward God.

James 4:4. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes and enemy of God.

1 John 2:15-17. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Unity

October 29, 2015

balance

Have you ever walked through a cemetery? You may have been putting flowers on the tombstone of a relative on Memorial Day, or leaving after the committal service of a friend. Perhaps you were out for a walk or a jog, and you stumbled across a very old, private graveyard from years gone by. It’s difficult to walk past without glancing at some of the epitaphs.

You will see a little bit of everything. Maybe you’ve heard some of the more unusual ones …

There’s one in Uniontown, Pennsylvania that reads: “Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake, he stepped on the gas instead of the brake.”

Or the one in Boothill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona: “Here lies Lester Moore, who took 4 slugs from a 44. No Les, no more!”

There’s one in Thurmont, Maryland that reads: “Here lies an atheist, all dressed up and no place to go.”

Contrast that with a tombstone in Alabama. It says: “Solomon Peas: Peas is not here, only the pod, peas shelled out and went home to God.”

My favorite is the tombstone of a hypochondriac that reads: “I told you I was sick.”

Our curiosity is piqued when we walk past a tombstone because we want to catch a glimpse of who is buried there. The epitaph gives you a snapshot of the individual. Sometimes you can even learn something about their priorities and what was important to them.

What do you want others to say when you are gone? “Her home was always nicely landscaped” or “He never was late for work?” Those things are fine, but in the big scheme of things, wouldn’t you prefer the words on your tombstone to say something that will last beyond the grave?

Perhaps: “Here lies a godly man who always kept his word.”

One of my relatives simply has her name and then “In Christ alone, I place my trust.”

What do you think your loved ones will put on your tombstone? Now keep in mind, the engravers charge by the word—so don’t expect a novel!

Maybe you heard about the widow who was turning in her husband’s obituary to the local newspaper. She wrote a glowing, lengthy description, even though they had had quite a rocky relationship.

After handing it to the editor, he explained to the widow that the first three words were free, but after that she had to pay “by the word.” So she took the paper back, and quickly shortened the obituary to read simply: “Boat for Sale.”

Obituaries, funeral services and graveyards have a way of reminding us of our humanity and our need to live this life with the next one in mind. We want to wrap up this series by looking at the legacy you’ll leave.

Understand that you will leave a legacy. Everyone will. The only question is whether or not it will be a positive or negative one. Let me suggest three ways you can assure that your legacy is a positive one. First, strive to leave a …

  1. Legacy of Love

Your life can outlive it’s duration on this earth. Your family tree can become a testimony to your life and the influence of Christ.

John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

What are you passing along to your family and friends? Is love a part of the branches of your family tree, or are unreal expectations and demands the norm?

1 Corinthians 13:7-8a: “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

A love that always protects—like a mesh fence or chicken wire around a garden protects the fruit from predators—that’s what a true love does.

Did you see that word “always?” It’s throughout the list. You see, love is no respecter of persons. It doesn’t see what can be gained by our love, it has no strings attached. The weeds have been removed, and whether the love is deserved or not shouldn’t be a factor.

You say, “But Paul never met my high maintenance parents or my draining boss. Surely, I don’t need to love them. There’s got to be some exceptions.”

There are no exceptions. The word for protect here is the word “stego”—it’s like a roof that keeps off something that threatens it; like shelter, literally love covers.

The apostle Peter echoed Paul’s message and said:

1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

First Corinthians 13 speaks of a persevering love, one that keeps going when the “knock off” version of love throws in the towel. There were two great plagues that swept the Roman Empire in the early years of Christianity. One came in AD 165, and the other came in AD 251. Both times those plagues killed a third of the population of the Roman Empire.

The pagans tried to avoid contact with people who had the plague. In fact, there are stories about pagans taking sick people out and literally throwing them in the gutter to die so they didn’t have to be near them and risk getting the disease themselves.

Christians, on the other hand, nursed the sick, even though some of them died doing so. Christians were very visible during this time.

There’s a second legacy I hope you’ll leave:

  1. A Legacy of Faith

I can walk into a funeral home for a visitation and I can tell if the family has hope that they will see the dearly departed again in heaven. You can’t fake that. It shows in their faces.

If God has blessed you with children, faith is the greatest thing you can pass on to them.

Proverbs 22:6: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

That is a general rule Solomon is saying. It’s not a promise, it’s a principle.

Psalm 127:1 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”

Maybe God wants you to break a cycle of dysfunction in your family line. One of the greatest blessings of remaining faithful to God in his purposes is that you are rewarded with a powerful legacy. Those who have been faithful during movements of God have seen him accomplish the impossible—through them! They realized that their lives could outlive their days on Earth.  Someone once said, “Only one life will soon be past—only what’s done for Christ will last.

John summed up the way a Christian should view passing the baton of faith to future generations:

3 John 1:4:  “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

What do you pray that people will whisper as they file past your casket? “You made it! I’ll catch up with you in heaven.” …or… “Thanks for the example.”

Personally, I hope to hear someone say, “Look! He’s moving.”

That’s pretty unlikely! But if you don’t hear that, then perhaps you’ll hear a phrase like: “We’re going to miss your integrity at the office.” …or… “Because of your witness, I know the Lord.”

Solomon said in Proverbs 22:1:“A good name is better than riches, to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” How true. You will never regret approaching life with that in mind.

Let me share one more characteristic of the legacy you need to leave, and that’s …

  1. A Legacy of Unity

“One hope. One truth. One way.” Where division and separation exist, Jesus is the answer.

I think the secret to the church standing together and the unity that Jesus prays for in John 17 is found in one word that occurs ten times in Acts and once in Romans. I think this word is the key to understanding how the early church had unity in the midst of diversity, and how we can, too. We can be united in Christ despite ethnicity, nationality, ideology and even differences of opinion. The term in Greek is homothadon. It means “of one accord” or “of one mind and purpose.”

Kyle Idleman, author of Not a Fan wrote, “If you read through Luke’s description of the early church, you see the word appear again and again. He speaks of the disciples and family of Jesus gathered in the Upper Room “with one accord” (Acts 1:14). In Acts 2, he speaks of the growing Christian community continuing “with one accord.” After the arrest and then release of Peter and John by the Sanhedrin, Acts 4 says the believers glorified God “with one accord.” In chapter five and again in chapter eight after the death of Stephen, John speaks of the church gathering and listening to the gospel “with one accord.” Luke repeatedly uses the word homothadon to describe the harmony of the early Christian community. They were able to have unity without conformity. They were able to walk arm in arm without seeing eye to eye.”

Christ united them and bound them together. Simply put, their unity and our unity must stem solely from the fact that we are sinners forgiven by the undeserved grace of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the common denominator that allows a small group, a large Bible study or a church to be united. He unites us.

John 17:20-21a: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one …”

Maybe God is counting on you to cross some lines and have some conversations with people who are different from you in some way.

The church should be a place of unity. Christians should be leading in setting an example, making a difference and crossing man-made boundaries. I’m not speaking about placating others and “acting” like things are fine on the surface when they really aren’t.

Harvey Bream, the former president of Cincinnati Christian University, used to say in sermons, “There’s a difference between union and unity. I can tie two cats together by the tail and have a union, but I certainly won’t have unity.” That’s a unique observation and it’s true, as well!

Psalm 133:1: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (KJV)

It’s impossible to back your way into leaving a legacy of unity. You will have to be willing to take some risks and be intentional. Our world would be a better place if Christ became our uniting focus and force.

So be a uniter not a divider; be intentional not complacent and leave a legacy of unity. That becomes possible if Jesus Christ is the Lord of your life.

There is more to life than can be squeezed between two dates on a tombstone—there is eternity. As pastor Jack Graham pointed out: The length of your life is up to God; the legacy of your life is up to you. Live this life for Jesus, and your legacy will be rich because it can last forever.

A PIMPLE IS NOT SO SIMPLE

October 27, 2015

thinking over feeling

DEALING WITH A PIMPLE IS NOT SO SIMPLE

OUR 1000TH POST.

THIS IS FOR ALL THE TEENS AND ADULTS THAT SUFFER FROM ACNE, ROSCEA, ETC. IT’S BEEN WELL OVER 40 YEARS SINCE I WAS A TEENAGER BUT I REMEMBER MY FIRST ZIT, IT SHOWED UP JUST IN TIME FOR CLASS PICTURES. I THOUGHT IT WAS THE END OF THE WORLD.

What is the church doing to help teens navigate through puberty and young adulthood, I mean really helping, is it addressing all the topics important to teens, do they have a safe environment at church, will we listen and not rat them out?

One of my greatest success stories as a youth pastor was Carla, a wild child, drugs, sex, rebellion. Her parents attended the church for years. Her sister taught Sunday school. Her Brother taught Royal Rangers (Christian Boy Scouts).

Every Saturday I would go to the roller rink or the bowling alley and do something for the kids hanging out there. My wife always went with me and sometimes we would just hang around and listen, I always wore a clerical collar and took my guitar. Sometimes we just drove kids home that were to stoned or drunk to drive.

One day Carla called me and asked if I could take her to the doctors, she had gotten a venereal disease and crabs. We took her to the doctor and then drove her home, I didn’t see her for about a month and one day she showed up at my office. Her first question was why didn’t I turn her in to her parents. I told her I couldn’t re-virginize her and the pharmacy cured the rest, and if that was the worst thing that she ever did, I’d seen worse.

She went on to become the most dedicated Christian youth I’ve ever met, and then a missionary.

All because there was acceptance and trust.

Her parents eventually found out the whole story and called me to their house, I thought I was in for a butt chewing. But they cried and said thank you for rescuing their daughter.

Would I do it that way again, I’m not sure but looking back it meant one more person coming to know the Lord, so I guess I would.

AND NOW THE TWIST

The subject of our self-concept or self-image creates a kind of paradox. The Bible-believing Christian knows that he is a sinner, that in himself dwells no good thing, and that in himself he has no merit with God; yet, like a paradox, at the same time, he also knows, as a creation of God, created in God’s image and redeemed by His grace, he has value and purpose in life.

 

So how do we hit a proper balance? How do we avoid the self-centered approach and focus of the world and at the same time have a biblical concept of self, a proper viewpoint of our own value and purpose that sets us free to serve the living God, that sets us free from those thoughts and feelings that tie us in knots and ruin our personalities, create false agendas and motives that so people are incapacitated for ministry?

 

That we think properly about ourselves is important and is even commanded in Scripture. In Romans 12:3, the apostle wrote, “For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith.”

 

The basic word for “think” in this passage is proneo, which means “think, form or hold an opinion, judge.” “Sober discernment,” is sophroneo, “be of sound mind.” It means “to be in one’s right mind, be reasonable, keep one’s head.” But first, the apostle warns us against thinking more highly of ourselves than we should.” The Greek word here is huperphroneo, “to think too highly of oneself, to be haughty.” Ironically, quite contrary to our society today, the apostle does not warn against thinking too little of ourselves. Regardless, the sound thinking Paul is calling for is grounded in biblical revelation and faith in the work of God for us in Christ. Paul is calling for thinking and personal evaluation based on the authority of God’s revelation and on the facts of God and His grace. It means we are to look at ourselves through the lenses of Scripture. (the inward defines the outward, not the other way around).

 

To Timothy, whom some expositors have nick named “Timid Tim” because he seems to have been having problems with his self-confidence (or confidence in God’s gifts and ministry for his life), Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a Spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (or sound-mind thinking). The Greek word for “discipline” here is related to the word used for thinking in Romans 12:3. It is sophronismos from sophron, “sensible, prudent.” It comes from sos, “safe, sound, and phren, “the heart, the mind, or the inner man.” Sophronismos refers to “control, self-discipline, prudence” that stems from right thinking. A controlled life, one that demonstrates self-discipline stems from soundness of mind, from knowing and acting on the truth of Scripture in the light of God’s grace in Christ. In both passages, Romans 12:3 and 2 Timothy 1:7, the context deals with God’s gifts to us and the bold expression of those gifts in loving ministry for the sake of the body of Christ.

 

Thinking properly about ourselves stems from right thinking about God, but then that extends to right thinking about others so that it results in a freedom to serve according to the grace of God.

So as we stared out this devotion, a pimple is not so simple.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

God bless all our prayer warriors and all you that have kept up the comments, good, bad, different.

Peace Out, Learn it, Live it, Love it.

 

 

BIRD POOP

October 26, 2015

sugar coating

False prophets and false teachers arise from within the church. They always put on a false front and often mix truth with error.  They are, therefore, often difficult to detect.  This requires watchfulness.

 

Whether it’s The Shepherd of the Hills,- Rob Bell- Todd Bentley – Kim Clement – Kenneth/Gloria Copeland – John Crowder – Creflo/Taffy Dollar – Jesse Duplantis – Kenneth Hagin – Benny Hinn – T.D. Jakes- Eddie Long- Marjoe – Joyce Meyer – Joel Osteen- Peter Popoff – Robert Schuller – Robert Tilton – Rick Warren – Paula White- Oprah Winfrey – and I’m going to add John Hagee to the list.

 

God help the poor honest hard working pastor and God protect His flock from the deceivers.

  1. False prophets promise peace when there is no peace. They tell you that you can live in sin and God will not punish you.

Jer. 14:11-16.

Jer. 14:13-14. I said, “Ah, sovereign Lord, the prophets keep telling them ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.'” The Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.”

  1. God reveals the terrible damage false prophets do in the church and warns against them.

Jer. 23:1-40.

  1. God warns against the false shepherds who destroy and scatter the flock.

Jer. 23:1-4.  “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declare the Lord. Therefore this is what he Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.

  1. God warns his people not to listen to the false prophets who say that he will not punish unrepentant sinners.

Jer. 23:16-24.

Jer. 23:16-20. This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? See, the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly.”

Ezek. 13:1-16.

Ezek. 13:10-12. Because they lead my people astray, saying “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?”

  1. Jesus warns against false prophets who are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Matt. 7:15, Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

  1. Paul warns that savage wolves will come, even f rom within the church, and will not spare the flock.

Acts 29:29-31. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

  1. Peter warns that false teachers will arise within the church and secretly introduces destructive heresies.

2 Peter 2:1-3. There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them – bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

  1. False teachers masquerade also as angels of light.

2 Cor. 11:1-15.

2 Cor. 11:13-15. Such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerades as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

  1. Don’t be like the Galatians Christians who were easily led away from the purity of the gospel by false teachers, the Juadaizers.

Gal. 3:1-9.

Gal. 3:1. You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.

  1. Test the spirits (by the word of God) to see whether or not they are from God.

1 John 4:1-3.

1 John 4:1. Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

  1. Be liked the Berean Christians.

Acts 17:11. Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

  1. Jesus commends the church that test what it hears, and will not tolerate false teachers.

Rev. 2:2-3 (To the church in Ephesus) I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. i know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.  You have persevered and have endured friendships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Ok, there are some in the list that get it half right, but do you want half the truth?

And that list is just the famous ones, God knows how many half-baked, half wrong, new age wackos, silly just make stuff up, teaching about dreams or promoting the special miracle cure, or God wants you rich.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

And if you have a question about anybody on my list email me, I can give you the short answer or the long answer.

If your self-motivated, get the book Christianity in Crisis, by Hank Hanegraf.

THAT’S DOPE

October 25, 2015

churtch

A drug is any substance which produces physical, mental or psychological changes in the user.  Since earliest times, man has experimented with drugs in an effort to escape reality.  Today, hundreds of millions of persons are involved in drugs which range all the way from mildly addictive caffeine to illegal, deeply addictive drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

Anyone can become physically and psychologically addicted to any drug if exposed to high dosages for a sufficiently long period of time.

Drug users come from all walks of life.  Many of the roots of dependency are to be found in insecurity, fear, guilt, disappointments, immorality and deviate sexual behavior, frustration, stress, peer pressures, and intense competition as exemplified in professional sports, etc.  Add to these the great spiritual vacuum which has resulted in a breakdown of moral standards, the disintegration of the home, four major wars in 50 years, and the staggering availability of drugs of every kind to every age group, including grade school children.

Drug dependency is a problem of the whole person – spiritual, physical, emotional and social. Once addicted, the dependent lives in an illusory world characterized by paralyzed feelings and emotional responses, mental denials and delusions, social isolation, and spiritual limbo.  For many it is a helpless state of life of no return.

Withdrawal for those seeking deliverance can be very painful, both physically and psychologically.

Unmonitored withdrawal can be dangerous! Getting free from dependency and the subsequent rehabilitation is usually a long-term process. A strong support system involving the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical is needed.

In order to be helped spiritually, the drug dependent must desire to be helped and must take some initial step to seek such help.  This is where the Christian counselor comes in. We should seek his/her commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  This initial step of faith should lead to a new perspective and motivation for the drug user which will lead, hopefully to rehabilitation and a life of wholeness.

Even after commitment to Christ, however, there is often a need to work on the personal issues that led to the addiction such as, a poor self-image, insecurity, incest, immorality, fear, guilt, etc.

Habitual use of narcotic, stimulant, or mind influencing drugs for nonmedical purposes. May involve physical and/or psychological addiction. Has its roots as a sin problem, causing spiritual enslavement and depravity.

Jesus Christ came to release those who are captive and to help people gain self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23).

Lock you medicine cabinet, I have several friends that their kids got on drugs because the parents didn’t keep them locked up (prescription drugs) one of my close friends lost his son to an overdose because the child thought they were candy.

Prayer before prescriptions, might be a good preaching series.

As someone that suffers from chronic pain and has to take a lot of prescription drugs to manage that pain level, I am surprised by those that tell me I just need to pray through. No I’m not contradicting myself from the previous paragraph, but really try everything you can before having your life controlled by drugs, even for the right reasons.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Got a praise report from Olivia she is doing great

Randy H is doing well

Rolfe’s funeral will be on Thursday, his entire extended family is unsaved pray for the funeral service, for some it will be the first time they have ever heard the gospel.

big head vs little head

October 24, 2015

Yield_Sign_in_New_Hampshire

WARNING ADULT THEMED DEVOTIONS, ADULT CONTENT (YES AGAIN)

In Ephesians 5, makes the connection between rebellion, sexual sin, and idolatry. He was writing to Christians in another sex-saturated city. The temple of Diana was there, with a full complement of prostitutes and other debauchery. These people had come to Christ in a decadent, sexual world. “But among you,” he says, “there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed” (Eph. 5: 3). That last word refers to sexual greed, lustfulness. Paul goes on to offer his reason: “because these are improper for God’s holy people.” Then he shifts from their behavior to their speech. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure [notice how serious this gets]: No immoral, impure or greedy person— such a person is an idolater— has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. (Eph. 5: 4– 7)

The church pretty much wants to avoid the sex topic because everybody is doing it, literally. Nine-year-old girls are pregnant, 6-year-old boys are watching porn and raping the 4-year-old neighbor girl. Meanwhile your pastor has been caught with another woman or a man or hooker, or a transgender, crossdressing pastor got caught in the town park by an undercover cop.

Seems like everyone has HBO, hiv, herpes and genital warts yet we remain silent.

You need to understand you are worshiping you rather than Him. Whether it’s using people or viewing things, you are the center, and you are dominated by a distorted lust for something you cannot achieve on your own.

And if this is true and you’re reading this right now you know how miserable you are.

I had a friend that was a sex addict, he finally saved enough money to hire two hookers at the same time and live out his fantasy. As he walked out of the hotel he said it was the loneliest, most unsatisfying moment of his life. One hour later he was knocking on our parsonage door, two hours later he accepted Christ.

All week long I’ve been singing Dylan’s “you gotta serve somebody” well pick, what or who is your god.

You have to wonder about how a man’s brain is wired, when he has a name for his penis.

Who you gonna serve??

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

suffering

October 23, 2015

churtch

Why? Why me? Why my family? What is the meaning of this suffering?

These are familiar questions which are asked by Christians and non-Christians alike. No one is immune to suffering and adversity. “Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7, KJV). There are the pressures of want, need, sorrow, persecution, unpopularity, and loneliness. Some suffer for what they have done; others suffer because of what people do to them. Many suffer because they are victims of circumstances which they cannot control.

Pain is distressing. There can be nights of agony when God seems so unfair and it seems that there is no possible help or answer. Temporary relief may seem adequate, but the real solution to suffering ins not to isolate it in an attempt to do away with it, nor even to grit our teeth and endure it. The solution, rather, is to condition our attitudes so that we learn to triumph in and through suffering. When the Apostle Paul sought relief from his “thorn in the flesh,” God did not take it away, but reassured him with: “My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9, KJV). IN another encouragement to the Corinthians, he wrote, “And God is able to make all grace abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8, KJV).

Except for physical pain, handling suffering seems to be a question of attitude: “What am I going to do in the face of suffering in order to learn from it and use it for my advantage as far as God’s eternal purposes are concerned?”

Some of the most pathetic people in the world are those who, in the midst of adversity, indulge themselves by wallowing in self-pity and bitterness, all the while taking a sort of delight in blaming God for their problems.

Job’s attitude is an inspiration: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).

The sufferer will be blessed if, in the midst of great agony and despair, he can look into the face of his Heavenly Father and, because of His eternal love and presence, be grateful. Again, our response to suffering should lead us to look beyond it in the attempt to determine what God’s higher purpose are and what He is trying to teach us.

What are Some of the Reasons for Human Suffering?

  1. Sometimes we bring suffering upon ourselves.

Dissipation and lack of discipline bring unhappy consequences. Longterm abuse of our bodies may bring on sickness. Wrong choices come back to haunt us.

The counselor may ask the caller: “Do you think this is happening to you because of your own bad judgment or intemperate action? Can you take any steps which may alleviate your suffering?”

  1. Sometimes God is taking corrective action because of sin and disobedience. God will correct and discipline His own. Through chastening He proves that He loves us and that we are truly His own (Hebrews 12:5-11).

  2. Sometimes God permits us to suffer so that we may learn to respond to problems and to Him in a biblical way. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus “learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8, NIV).

Our goal should be not merely relief from suffering but rather learning to please God by being responsive and obedient to Him and to His Word (see Romans 12:1,2).

  1. Sometimes God permits us to suffer so that we can understand that pain is a part of life. Nowhere does the Bible teach that the Christian will be immune to suffering and adversity! Paul points out in Philippians 1:29, KJV, that it is “given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” Adversity can be a gift from God. Why should it be so difficult to think of it in this light?

Christ did not evade the Cross in order to escape suffering. Hebrews 12:2 says he “endured the cross, despising the shame.” Why? “For the joy that was set before him.” He knew that the final word was not crucifixion (suffering); it was resurrection (victory).

We may suffer briefly, or all our lives. The end never seems to come for some sufferers. But let us not give up hope or engage in self-pity or bitterness. It is the end-result to which all look forward. Being with the Lord in heaven will put all things into perspective!

  1. Sometimes God permits suffering because He purposes our well-being through it. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV). We must accept this by faith and pray that God’s highest good for our lives will come as a result of our suffering. It is only through adversity that some of the deeper lessons of life are learned. Trust God to work out His own will and purpose in us so that we might be more Christlike (see Romans 8:29).

There is no redemptive merit in our suffering as there was in that of Jesus, but if we are faithful under adversity we may be able to share in “the fellowship of his sufferings” (Philippians 3:10, KJV).

  1. Sometimes God permits suffering so that He may speak through our life and testimony to bring comfort to others. Jesus said that the sufferings of the blind man in John 9 were so “that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (NIV).

God might be working in your life through suffering so that others might be inspired by your example in adversity. Those who have endured adversity can sympathize and identify more effectively with others in their sufferings. We learn to comfort others in the way we are comforted. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4, NIV).

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

            Romans 8:28, 29, NIV

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

            Romans 8:35,37, KJV

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trail, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”        James 1:2, 3 and 12, NIV

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

            John 14:1, KJV

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

            1 Peter 4:12,13, KJV

“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on his behalf. Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:16, 19, KJV

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

            Revelation 21:4, KJV

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Freddi, she is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease

Pray for Steve M, suffering from Ms

Roger C, severe arthritis

Those that were praying for Rolfe, he died today, without ever accepting the Lord into his heart.

It’s not semantics

October 22, 2015

thinking over feeling

 

Doctrine serves as the foundation for the Christian life and the motivation for Christian activity. On the doctrine of our co-crucifixion with Christ rests the call for total dedication of our lives (Rom. 6:1–13). Knowing that God does not show partiality, neither should we in respect to how we relate to rich and poor who come into the church (James 2:1–4).

The hope of our Lord’s return ought to purify our lives (1 John 3:3). Because of the love of Christ (his love for me and my love for him), we let our lives be controlled by him (2 Cor. 5:14). Knowing the doctrine of our future judgment, we are motivated to persuade people to receive the Lord (2 Cor. 5:10).

All of these important Christian responsibilities are based on doctrinal truths.

 

 

Only by knowing the truth can we know and counter false teaching and errant living. The thirteen plus lifestyles and actions listed in 1 Timothy 1:8–10 (e.g., rebelliousness, ungodliness, lying, homosexuality) are “contrary to sound teaching.”

 

Sound doctrine is, literally, healthy doctrine; therefore, to learn, teach, and preach doctrine brings spiritual wellness and wholeness to believers. The same word used in 3 John 2 for physical health is used in the pastoral letters for spiritually healthy doctrine (1 Tim. 4:13, 16; 5:17; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:3; Titus 1:9, 13; 2:1, 7). In light of these verses, who can dare to suggest that doctrine is not practical? Notice also that some of these verses are addressed particularly to Timothy and therefore apply especially to ministers and leaders (1 Tim. 4:13, 16; Titus 2:1, 7).

 

 

Some significant and practical ramifications stem from the importance of doctrine. First, realize that everyone has a doctrinal system, even though the individual may not realize or acknowledge this to be true. It may be systematic or unorganized, even sloppy, but we all operate on the basis of some doctrinal scheme.

Obviously the “free thinking” atheist and agnostic do, as well as the more structured Calvinist (once saved always saved) and Arminian (you can lose your salvation).

Therefore, the preacher and teacher, professional and layman, need to read theology regardless of his type or place or level of service.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Remember our prayer list

And yes, I was serious about yesterday’s devotion

 

DAD’S LISTEN UP

October 21, 2015

Exploding head

1 Timothy 2:8-10New International Version (NIV)

 

8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 9 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

 

Ok, this is going to be a weird post, well not for me, but read with caution because it does involve some graphic conversation about sex, which again if you follow this site that’s really nothing new.

This is for all the dad’s out there that have daughters, don’t let your daughters wear blue jeans with the knees ripped out or torn or ragged.

Do you know what those jeans are called?

They’re called “boyfriend” jeans, the assumption is that the girl wore out the knees of her jeans by being on her knees (a lot) having oral sex.

I asked a young girl (21) working at a farm and tractor store, she was wearing a cross around her neck and “boyfriend” jeans. I told her that’s what those jeans meant, to her credit she called the manager and said she had to go home and change.

So if your daughter is wearing those jeans, how many guys are looking at her and assuming that’s what she does.  It’s statement she may not know she is making.

Jesus does care about what we wear; think about your clothes do they bring honor to God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Justin and his job situation

Kim and her fear of the cancer coming back

Ray for counseling about his lifestyle