seeing is belief

March 31, 2016

binoculars

  Christian progress is not a question of attaining to some abstract standard, or of pressing through to some far-off goal. It is wholly a question of seeing God’s standard in God’s Word. You advance spiritually by finding out what you really are (in Christ), not by trying to become what you hope to be. That goal you will never reach, however earnestly you may strive.

 

  “It is when you see you are dead unto sin that you die to it (daily); it is when you see you are risen that you arise; it is when you see you are a ‘new creation’ in Him that you (progressively) grow. Seeing the accomplished fact in the Word determines the pathway to the realizing of that fact. The end is reached by seeing, not by desiring or working. The only possibility of spiritual progress lies in our discovering the truth as God sees it; the truth concerning Christ, the truth concerning ourselves in Christ.”

 

It’s not rocket science, it is literally; “seeing is believing and believing is seeing God at work in you.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

strange love

March 30, 2016

last_nail

How to challenge your pastor, the unorthodox method.

 

First; Don’t assume that if the church is large the pastor is living an excellent spiritual life.

 

Second; don’t assume that if the church is small the pastor is making mistakes.

 

One; pay your tithes or give generously

 

Two, attend all the services you can

 

Three show up for every work day

 

Four, volunteer as much as possible

 

Five; talk to your pastor after every service.

 

Now the challenge, take your pastor out to lunch or dinner at least every 6 weeks

 

Once you think you trust him and he knows all about you, confess to him your secret sin, your bad habits, the things that trip you up, your short comings, then see if his behavior changes for the better or the worse.

If for the worse, then stop 1-5; if for the better and he positively works to help you overcome those hurtles then take him out and ask him what his failures are.

If he refuses to share, challenge him, big pastors often have little minds, some pastors are not running a church they’re running a cult.

Good leaders lead by example.

 

Realize most pastors at some time have been betrayed, broken and bowed by the weight of horrible parishioners, your pastor may need healing, help that process. If you help your pastor grow, you will grow and so will your church.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmal.com

 

Feel free to agree or disagree with this process. But don’t go to church and do nothing, don’t be a bottle fed Christian. you don’t get results from church by just showing up.

 

Having been a pastor for over 40 years this advice may upset some folks, more often than not it helps grow a pastor.

Jesus wasn’t a vampire

March 29, 2016

jackolanterns-6-500x375

Are ghosts real? How should we think about ghost hunting and anecdotes of people seeing disembodied spirits? My grandmother reported that she had seen her late husband walking through the living room years after he died; what do we do with stories like that?

 

It really doesn’t matter how we feel or what we think—the only thing that matters is what God has revealed to us about the spirit world. And there is no room in a biblical worldview for the spirits of dead people wandering around, stirring up mischief or playing with flashlights.

 

The Bible says that “It is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). That means heaven or hell. The apostle Paul wrote that for the believer in Christ, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). In chilling language, Deuteronomy 18 forbids any kind of dabbling with the occult, which the pagans already living in the Promised Land indulged in, and which God absolutely prohibited:

 

“When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you.” (vv. 9-12)

 

Ghost-hunting is seeking occult encounters, which is the domain of evil spirits, and God warns us to stay far away from all of it.

 

But people, lots of people, have reported seeing something. How should we interpret seeing those who have died, and inanimate objects moving of their own accord? I would suggest that this is all the work of demons, evil angels who have rebelled against God. God’s word tells us they masquerade as something other than what they are; Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, and his servants disguise themselves as servants of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Devils lie and deceive. It makes sense that they would deceive people by appearing as ghosts and impersonating dead people. Whether they terrorize the living through fear or just distract us from what is true and good, it’s all the work of God’s enemy.

 

We not only live in a fallen world, we live in a war zone where we walk around as targets of the enemy, whether we recognize it or not. Paul wrote that we struggle against the powers of this dark work and against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). Part of that spiritual war is the strategy of terrorism or distracting us by things like counterfeit ghosts and the movement of physical objects by unseen but real spirit beings who can manipulate the physical world.

 

When I think about all the people who offer their “knowledge” about ghosts, I find myself thinking about the critical-thinking “Killer Questions” that we ought always be using as a filter for what we read, see and hear. Especially “Where do you get your information?” and “How do you know that’s true?” Someone who sleeps in a cemetery to gain information about the spirit world may well be receiving information from “the other side,” but we know it’s not the side of God.

 

I am grateful for the trustworthiness and reliability of God’s word that tells me how to think about ghost-hunting and ghost-busters. It’s about messing with demons pretending to be something other than what they are.

So, Ouija boards, horoscopes, fortune telling, talking to the other side, horror movies, séances, tarot cards, palm reading, runes, TM, guided meditation, hypnotism, vampires, zombies, werewolves, all in the realm of risk taking and dangerous and part of the occult.

Don’t risk your sanity or peace of mind stay away from all that.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

the big three

March 28, 2016

lightbulb

  “That I may know Him” (Phil. 3:10).

  Immaturity is selfish; maturity is selfless. “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). “The question for the tried and tempted, the harassed and oppressed, is this: ‘Which would you rather have, the power of Christ’s hand in deliverance from trial, or the sympathy of His heart in the midst of trial?’ The carnal mind, the unsubdued heart, the restless spirit, will, no doubt, at once exclaim, ‘Oh! let Him only put forth His power and deliver me from this insupportable trial, this intolerable burden, this crushing difficulty. I sigh for deliverance. I only want deliverance.

 

But the spiritual mind, the subdued heart, the lowly spirit, will say, and that without a single particle of reserve, ‘Let me only enjoy the sweet company of the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ in my trial, and I ask no more. I do not want even the power of His hand to deprive me of one drop of consolation supplied by the tender love and profound sympathy of His heart. I know He can deliver me, but if He does not see fit to do so, if it does not fall in with His unsearchable counsels, and harmonize with His wise and faithful purpose concerning me so to do, I know it is only to lead me into a deeper and richer realization of His most precious sympathy.

Growth, Spiritual Maturity and Steadfastness; these are the three things you should pray for yourself. Things, anything of this world will not satisfy the spirit of God within you, only your carnal self. Ask yourself “how happy could I be without….?”

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Gerrie, that she is strengthened in faith.

Pray for Bree O, she would come to know the Lord,

Steve W, salvation

Pray for those that suffer with chronic pain, that they don’t despair.

 

butterfly

March 27, 2016

crown of thorns

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain…. ye are yet in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15: 14, 17

 

 

It’s an unthinkable question: what if there had been no Easter? Suppose Jesus had not risen from the dead? Our faith would be futile, death would have dominion, sin would be sovereign and the future would be fearful. His death without His resurrection cannot save anybody. Our faith is worthless if He is still in the grave.

 

How do we know that Jesus Christ was not just a religious fanatic, someone with a martyr complex who happened to get crucified? How do we know He is the Son of God, God incarnate? Romans 1:4 says He is “shown to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.”

 

How do we know that God accepted the sacrifice of Calvary? By the resurrection. The Bible says He was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification. No resurrection, no Savior. No Savior, no forgiveness. But Jesus went into the tomb and three days later walked out like a butterfly bursting from a cocoon. He is a risen Savior.

The Lamb

March 26, 2016

good_shepherdblacksheep

“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-6

 

 

Jesus Christ did not die as a martyr. He was not a helpless victim. He said, “I lay down my life, No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.” (John 10:17-18) The cross was not an accident or an afterthought; it was in the heart and mind of God before the world was framed. Jesus was born in the shadow of the cross.

 

John the Baptist announced, “Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.” The Lamb of God died on the same day as the Passover lambs were being slain on Mount Moriah, the very limestone ridge where long ago God had told Abraham, “God will provide Himself a lamb.” Jesus said, “Abraham saw My day, and was glad.” (John 8:56)

 

To the priests on Mount Moriah, Jesus Christ could say, “Your work is over. Put away your knives. We need no more lambs, no more sacrifices. The Lamb has died and has paid in full.”

As we said before, it’s not about the bunny it’s about the lamb

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Tommyie, she had a miscarriage this morning and is devasted

Bob c. Monday he is having cataract surgery

Hhoung Lee, Monday, he takes his citizenship test

Randi, trying to leave the strip club life

We wish everyone a happy Easter, Blessings 

the secret garden

March 25, 2016

light vs darkness

The secret Garden

I was watching a program the other day and the woman in the program said that all men have secrets. Well I think that everybody has secrets, question is are they healthy secrets or are they damaging secrets.

 

I’ve always said that the power of a secret is broken the minute it is shared. The same idea goes with guilt, the power of guilt will vanish if you confess what is making you guilty. I had a person coming to me for counseling that was being blackmailed over some sexual indiscretions, he had a top secret clearance as a scientist with a very powerful firm. When they were getting ready to renew his top-secret security clearance he confessed to me that he could lose his job as retirement and his reputation it was discovered what he had been doing.

So my first suggestion to him was that he tell his wife even though she might divorce him if he wanted to break the power of this secret and not be blackmailed and suffer the consequences he would need to tell his wife and some significant other people in his life.

 

I thought that he would do it as each individual instead he decided to rent a room and have a small dinner at a local restaurant. The room was quite secluded and soundproof and everybody thought he was going to announce his early retirement instead he had me stand up and come over and he put his arm around my shoulder and he said “this is my pastor and my counselor and I want him standing here beside me as I tell you about my secret sin.” One of the persons in that room was the person that had threatened to blackmail him and since I knew who that person was I watched their face as he began to tell a tale of depravity and addiction to sex and things that I will not repeat.

 

The outcome was surprising his wife forgave him, the other people although shocked came up and encouraged him and the blackmailer fled.

 

Two weeks later the Secret Service and the FBI showed up at my office and wanted to know if this person was in danger of being blackmailed because of his top-secret security work, was there any threats that could be induced against him. I told the agents about the dinner and what had happened and told them that since there were no secrets there was no power that could be held over him and therefore even though he had some inappropriate behavior and was battling against it no one could use it for blackmail. Surprising he kept his job and his top secret security clearance actually got boosted higher to another level because they realized that there were no tools in which someone could blackmail him.

 

I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten a phone call from a newly widowed woman and she is in shock as she has gone through her husband’s toolshed or workbench or some room that was his like a Den or a hobby room only to find pornography, drugs, something that made her realize her husband had a secret life that he had kept from her and how it had tarnished her memories of her husband.

 

So here’s my challenge to all you men that may be reading this with no warning or time for preparation ask your wife to go through your desk or your toolbox or your truck or your toolshed, your briefcase or give her the password for your computer. How many of you could do that right now and suffer no consequences?

Hopefully more of you would pass that test than fail; I’ve actually gone to people’s houses and from being a pastor and a psychologist and a good reader of human nature and been led by the Lord to know that there was some problem and I’ve actually stated to the couple that they search each other’s drawers of their dresser. You should see the shock and dismay, the surprise and sometimes the anger which is always a telltale clue of something being held in secret.

 

What always amazes me is that people think they can hide things from God that is the most foolish act a person can do; so my question to you is how big a fool are you that you think you have a secret.

Do you fear death and judgment? God promises eternal life to those who put their trust in His Son. Do you struggle with guilt? God promises forgiveness of all our sins in Christ. Are you anxious about some situation? He invites us to cast all our anxieties on Him because He cares for us. Are you fearful? He promises His protection. You can count on these promises and more and have great peace and joy, knowing that what God promises, He does!

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

pain

March 24, 2016

christ on cross

We’ve all faced the disappointment of unfulfilled expectations. It’s a main reason people drift from the Lord. They came to Christ because they heard that He could solve their problems, but their problems have only grown worse. They heard that the Christian life would give them peace; but they have inner conflicts that they never knew before.

 

Isn’t the Christian life supposed to be one of great joy? Yes, it is! There is no joy greater than that of knowing Jesus Christ, of being assured that your sins are forgiven and that you’re going to heaven. There is great joy when God answers prayer, or uses you to lead a person to Christ or to help him with his problems. But while the Christian life results in great joy, the path to that joy often leads us through great pain. We need to be realistic in our expectations of what the life of faith entails.

 

A life of faith in God yields ultimate joy, but involves great pain.

 

The pain comes as God prunes from our lives the things that do not honor Him. We all bring into the Christian life the baggage of the old life, what the Bible calls the flesh. The flesh is what I can do in my own power, apart from dependence on God. It includes sins, such as pride, immorality, anger, and selfishness. But the flesh also produces things that are outwardly good–deeds of service, giving money, helping the needy, etc. But if those good deeds stem from my flesh, they are offensive to God because they feed my pride and often are an attempt to balance out my sin and guilt, which can only be dealt with at the cross. So God has to tear away those deeds of the flesh, both good and bad, so that I learn to depend totally on Him for all that I do. It’s a painful process.

 

In Genesis 21 Abraham experiences the joy and the pain of the life of faith. Isaac is finally born in fulfillment of the promise, and Abraham and Sarah laugh for joy. But the birth of Isaac threatens Ishmael, Abraham’s son by Hagar. For 13 years, he has been the sole heir, the focus of his father’s attention, the hope of his father’s dreams. But now he is set aside in favor of this newcomer. So the tension in Abraham’s family begins to grow. It climaxes at the feast held for the weaning of Isaac, probably when he was about two or three years old. Ishmael mocks Isaac and Sarah lays down an ultimatum: “Drive out this maid and her son [Sarah won’t even use their names], for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac” (21:10). Abraham is plunged from the heights of joy to the depths of grief because of his love for his son.

 

After all, Abraham loved Ishmael. He was every bit as much Abraham’s son as Isaac was. He would now be 15 or 16, on the edge of manhood. Abraham had spent years teaching him the skills of life. They had spent many happy hours together, watching over the flocks, talking about life’s questions. And Abraham had a fond spot in his heart for Hagar, the boy’s mother. Even if they had only had relations that once, still they had produced a son together. Hagar had been in the family for years. But now Sarah was insisting that Hagar and Ishmael had to go. Abraham was torn as these competing loves fought on the battleground of his heart.

 

He faced the most difficult decision of his life. Should he make Sarah face reality and learn to live with Hagar and Ishmael? Or should he consent to her request, which clearly was based on jealousy, and send Hagar and Ishmael away? At this point the Lord intervened and told Abraham to do what Sarah had said (21:12). Frankly, this is a bit startling. From Hagar’s and Ishmael’s perspective, it seemed unfair. Hagar had not had a choice in the matter of conceiving Ishmael with Abraham. Ishmael hadn’t asked to be born into that situation. His jealousy toward Isaac is understandable for a teenage boy. While Sarah’s attitude was also understandable, it was not commendable. So why did God take Sarah’s side?

 

God’s reason is stated: “for through Isaac your descendants shall be named” (21:12). God wasn’t endorsing Sarah’s jealousy, but in His sovereign purpose, God had chosen Isaac to be the one through whom His blessing would flow to all nations. Since He is God, He has the right to make such sovereign choices without giving us His reasons (see Romans 9). But in this case, I think we can discern the reason behind God’s choice.

 

Isaac represents that which only God can do. Sarah had always been barren. Now, due to age, Abraham and Sarah were physically unable to produce a child. So Isaac was the result of God’s power, apart from human ability. But Ishmael represents what man can do without God. Abraham and Hagar produced Ishmael by natural means. In Galatians 4:21-31, Paul says that this story has a spiritual lesson behind it. Ishmael was born according to the flesh, but Isaac was born according to the Spirit (Gal. 4:23, 29). Abraham and Sarah could not boast in Isaac, but could only glorify God for him. But Abraham could boast in Ishmael, because he produced him.

 

God chose Isaac so that we would know that the life of faith requires total dependence on God, so that all the fruit comes from Him. That which stems from our flesh, which we can do apart from God, can never please Him. It exalts human pride and robs God of His glory. That which the Spirit produces in and through us brings God the glory due His name. So even though it seems unfair that Hagar and Ishmael be expelled, it was necessary for God’s purpose and glory.

 

This story teaches us that the joy of the life of faith comes from obtaining what only God can do; the pain comes from separating from what I can do in my own power.

God Bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

train 1

  The fact of our position, (saved believers, trusting God with the gift/sacrifice of His son where we believe in the substitution, He died for our sins) which we can see in the Word, may take years to realize in life. Many believers feel that their appropriation of a truth must result in same-day experience of that doctrine. It is true that we are often given a foretaste, a brief experience of its reality, but we must then settle down to the daily processing of the Spirit, whereby He slowly and thoroughly translates the apprehended truth into character and walk. Paul testified, “I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12). He pressed toward the mark.

  “As a gift of grace, sanctification is conferred on each believer as soon as he believes. But it is a gift yet held on deposit, ‘hid with Christ in God,’ to be appropriated through daily communion and gradual apprehension. So, while the believer’s realized sanctification appears painfully meagre, at most a thin line of light, like the crescent of the new moon, yet he sees it ever complemented by the clear outlines of that rounded wholeness which is his in the Lord Jesus, and into which he is to be daily waxing till he grows to ‘the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’ (Eph. 4:13)”

  “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23).

It’s like driving a Ferrari with only first gear, the equipment is there but we will be in low gear in the “hill” of our life, slowly growing. There are no secrets, no shortcuts, just trust and belief the God is working in us.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Cruis’n

March 22, 2016

thinking over feeling

 

God gives Satan access to His presence (heaven Job 1:6). Much of Satan’s time is spent cruising the earth looking for Christians who do not know how to resist Him by submitting to divine authority.

When God asked Satan, “From where do you come?” Satan replied, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it” (1:7). The Hebrew word translated “roaming” is used to describe the way a lion roams an area looking for his prey. When the lion locates a potential victim, he stalks his prey and, at just the right time, moves in for the kill. This is the same description used to explain Satan’s activities when the Lord asked him about a certain individual, Job. “Have you considered My Servant Job?” the Lord challenged. Apparently Satan had, because he shot back, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Today we might say something like, “He’s only in it for the money.” But to demonstrate that Job served God because he loved God for who He is and not just for the benefits that Sugar Daddy provides, God allowed Satan to attack Job to such a severe degree that the very name Job has become synonymous with undeserved suffering.

 

So question; why do you serve God?

What would you do if tested like Job?

The day you got “saved” how and why did it happen, was it just for the benefits, the ‘fire insurance’.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com