your choice

May 31, 2016

Resurrection-Doubting-Thomas

Folks I admire; I admire and frankly sometimes am a little bit jealous of people that grew up with good parents and or Christian parents. Never did drugs, or jail or satanic rituals or sexually abused or etc.

 

Sometimes when talking to some friends I make statements of assumption and it is countered by “I never did that” or “that never happened to me.”

 

I was reading the biography of one of the members of The Statler Brothers and he made the comment “I grew up saved” and never had to experience all the depravity and drugs and destructive life styles.

While I on the other hand lived the whole 3D life, drugs, depravity, and destruction, both to myself and to my loved ones.

 

Yet I know that I would never become the well-known, authored and respected scholar I am today because the road God put me on created what I am. If I were to pick a hallmark of my ministry it would be compassion. So when people come in for counseling I’m never shocked (hardly ever) plus I can look them in the eye and with all sincerity and honesty say “God can deliver from exactly this situation.”

 

I’m not always thrilled that the path was to often the wrong way and still have to deal with the “issues” of the past. There is no undoing what was done, but there is liberty and grace and forgiveness.

 

There’s also justice and often you still have to pay the price and yes it can be steep, but the same God is still there, taking you through the hard way.

 

Gratitude is to be planted, watered, dressed, and harvested. Gratitude gets at the very essence of what it means to be created, finite, fallen, redeemed, and sustained by the God of all grace.

 

If you are bitter or angry or even jealous, then you are not walking in gratitude. Don’t let these negative feelings and emotions take root. Start counting your blessings not your problems. If you tell me you don’t have any blessings to count then you are not a child of God, you need to refocus, remember and recount what God has done both to you and for you.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

What Jesus?

May 30, 2016

crown of thorns

I want to know the Jesus who radicalized Matthew, who transformed Peter, who turned Saul of Tarsus upside down on the Damascus Road. If these firsthand witnesses can’t get me to the “real” Jesus, who can? If not through friends and loved ones, how can anyone be known?

 

If the apostles can’t lead me to Jesus, my only options are to scale the fortress of heaven by sheer mystical subjectivism, embracing the oldest of all heresies, Gnosticism, or to pitch my tent with the camp of skeptics who dismiss Jesus from the realm of significant truth altogether. Give me the biblical Christ or give me nothing. Do it quickly, please, as the options give me nothing save the frustration of fruitless laborious research.

 

Jesus said: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?” (Mark 8:36–37). Jesus put an enormous price tag on the human soul. For that, I am grateful. I like to think my soul has worth, and I would hate to squander it on an empty Christ, a Christ of subjective speculation. However, this is what we are doing when we embrace anything less than a real Christ. We are playing with human souls—the very souls Christ poured out His life to redeem.

 

So what Jesus do you know?

 

 

(After literally months of rain, flooding, hail and dark skies, we finally had a day with sunshine and no rain. Everybody is in a better mood.)

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Prayer requests, comments and questions to our email.

Blessings on our prayer warriors.

As a veteran let me say thank you to my fellow veterans, it still catches me by surprise when someone says “thanks”, even more so when I’m at the veterans’ hospital. God bless.

 

nuggets

May 29, 2016

last_nail

Ok, I’m not sure how this devotion is going to work out today.

 

Number one, never buy a cheap flashlight. I live out in the middle of nowhere, there are no street lights, no ambient light, no neighbor’s house it’s pitch black. If I get a flashlight and it doesn’t work, just once I throw it out.

 

Number two, always buy the best you can afford. Example bibles, real leather bibles especially goat and kangaroo will last forever. Yes, it costs more but if you really use it a lot it will be an heirloom and passed down to others. I have one bible that has seen four generations of families; and I love all the notes written and tucked into this bible. It shows love of God and the patient work of God in several people’s lives.

 

Three, never buy a cheap gun, it will always fail just like the flashlight, instead of saving your life it could cost you your life. Same with knives, don’t buy cheap.

 

Ok maybe we are heading somewhere after all. The sharper the knife the better it cuts and the safer it is. More people are accidentally cut with dull knifes. I have some knives that are so sharp they scare me when I pick them up, if you’re not carefully there goes a finger.

 

Which leads us to the word of God is sharper than any two edged sword.

 

Hebrews 4:12New International Version (NIV)

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

 

Ok, this is better, do you know why the devil makes your life so busy? So you don’t have time to pray or worship or read the word, because all of them will change your life and make you closer to God.

 

Jeremiah 23:29King James Version (KJV)

29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

 

It is like a fire it can burn sin out of your life, it is like a hammer and will break bad habits.

 

If you take the context of this text in Jeremiah there were a great many pretenders, and God intended to root them out and expose them. Just like today, there’s a strong reason that I mention by name those that frequently use the bible like an atm, and they may prosper in their lifetime but God will always expose those that twist His word and preach for their own benefit. That’s why I always say don’t read the book of living authors, sin is to easily hid. Wait 25 years and all will be exposed. (I really am pretty serious about this, it’s why I study the puritan writers so carefully, much time and many great thinkers have sifted through all their writings.)

 

So we’re back to the beginning, although through a tortuous route, a strong light, a sharp sword and a good bible and you will be armed, equipped to root out evil, expose lies and hammer like a miner digging for gold the eternal truths of God’s word.

 

Not brilliant work today but honest, and like a nugget, rather rough and shoddy but wait till it’s polished, then it will shine.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

sunshine up the wazoo

May 28, 2016

marshmallow

Number three on the list of asked questions; what do I do with anger.

 

We’ve had more emails today about anger than any other topic.

 

Sometimes anger is fear, fear of losing control, fear of change, fear of being different.

 

You can be addicted to being angry, like any other addiction it is a hard cycle to break. But it can be broken.

 

!!big one!! If you’ve had a recent change in any prescription or “herbal” remedy, and suddenly you have more anger see your doctor, ASAP

 

 

Ephesians 4:26 (KJV)
26  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

 

There are times when a believer may be righteously angry, for instance, when the character of God is impugned. In such cases anger is commanded: Be angry. Anger against evil can be righteous. But there are other times when anger is sinful. When it is an emotion of malice, jealousy, resentment, vindictiveness, or hatred because of personal wrongs, it is forbidden. Aristotle said, “Anybody can become angry—that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way—that is not easy.”

 

If a believer gives way to unrighteous wrath, he should confess and forsake it quickly. Confession should be made both to God and to the victim of his anger. There should be no nursing of grudges, no harboring of resentments, no carrying over of irritations. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath. Anything that mars fellowship with God or with our brethren should immediately be made right.

 

 

We don’t live in a perfect world, and though our devotions have dealt more with love than any other emotion; anger is a part of our lives. The bible shows that it’s ok to be angry as long as we don’t let our anger turn into a sin. We are to be angry but still have good behavior.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

the sky is the limit

Housekeeping, ok, so my “lighthearted, sarcastic devotion yesterday netted me some trouble. So in order;

  1. Yes, I am Christian
  2. Yes, I was kidding
  3. No to the pharmaceutical company of the free offer of the trial sample of antidepressants
  4. To those of you that attended an AA meeting and thought you would get more sympathy, you may want to read the “big blue book” (the story AA and how it works).
  5. And yes my wife loves me and yes she is not an enabler.

 

 

“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

 

Can intellectuals believe in God? Absolutely! Many intellectuals believe in God. As a matter of fact, your intellect has very little to do with your belief in God.

 

Out of all of the secular professional groups, do you know what professional group has the highest number of believers in God?  The astronomers do. Over 90% of the world’s great astronomers believe in God. Why? Because they have studied the heavens.

 

It’s not a sign of intelligence not to believe in God. If you’re intelligent, you have to say, “Somebody create d all of this.”

 

I’ve mentioned this before but in Seminary, the newest old guys were new Christians that were heart surgeons, in the middle of surgery and in boasting of their own prowess, God showed them He was the true creator of the heart.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

And thank you for the prayers and well wishes. GW

 

FAKE IT

May 26, 2016

son-of-the-mask

Fake it;

 

Except for my annual Christmas story, I don’t share very much about myself on these devotions, today will be an exception. I had a client today tell me how much they look forward to my visits, that I’m always funny, have great stories and always leave them with a great prayer.

 

I’m faking it; the last two weeks I’ve been in the worse mood ever, and it’s all catching up with me, the constant chronic pain, the heavy medication, S.A.D. plus ptsd, plus tbi, the 60% loss of feeling in my left leg due to an injury in the military, now I’m losing feeling in my right hand, and I’m just in a plain old grumpy, kind of mean mood.

 

Which drives my wife nuts and she is not one for sympathy. Suck it up you weenie is more apt to be her advice than anything else.

 

So I try to fake it, I play my favorite songs, listen to my favorite bands, mess around at my hobbies, cut back on the meds. I’m to the point where a mood swing would be a blessing.

 

So I count my blessings, then I remember I lost my roof two weeks ago, thousands of dollars in damages to the cars and the sheds and the trees I have to cut down and then I think of those worse off in so many ways and I actually say to myself “screw them;” hardly the act of charity and grace.

 

What really interests me the most though is I never use these feelings as an excuse for acting out or self-indulgence (other than self-pity). I don’t feel hopeless, I’m not going to eat my gun, I’m just not real pleasant to be around. So even though I tell you I’m faking it, I’m not.

 

Probably the worst thing I do is not tell others I’m hurting, that’s the chronic problem with pastors, it’s why they burn out and get bitter and resentful. They fake it.

 

So screw everyone, blah blah, blah I’m not faking it, I’m telling you go suck an egg. . hmmmm, I might actually feel better, maybe telling someone how you feel really works, nah, I’m just being sarcastic. Seriously it’s not that bad, I just want you to realize don’t internalize the pain, tell someone you’re not happy, the best place to do that is at an AA meeting, (I went to two) even if you’re not an addict, seriously that will fix you, talk about no enabling.

 

God bless, seriously I mean that.

 

Comments, questions, prayer requests send to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

And don’t worry it’s cliché but it’s true; “this to will pass.”

 

still the same

May 25, 2016

the bible

We are calling on the body of Christ to reject the proliferating superstitions in Christendom. These beliefs are the products of human thoughts and experiences, but they cannot be verified from the Bible. Possibly the fact that so many people have recently been converted out of the occult explains why spiritual warfare in many circles increasingly resembles a “tit-for-tat” battle between two sorcerers. But the Bible says that our minds are to be renewed by God’s Word itself, not by the Word of God as interpreted from a non-Christian framework, especially a framework that has much in common with the occult.

 

I’m always disturbed that people will trust dreams and visions and “words of knowledge” before they trust and turn to the word of God. They will attend self help seminars that are rooted in new age or atheistic thinking, psycho babble and Christian guru’s that will cure you for $19.99; yet when their pastor tells them to do something they tell him it’s their “private life” and none of the churche’s business.

God has one business and one business only; being the all in all in your life. We are quick to forget that God is a jealous God, that’s not some forgotten Old Testament part of God not applicable to today. His nature doesn’t change. Stop blaming the devil or demons or curses, maybe the trial and rough patch you’re going through is directly from God.

Repent is still a present day principle.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

and heaven came down

May 24, 2016

not ashamed

It seems to me that it has always been a frightful incongruity that men who do not pray and do not worship are nevertheless actually running many of the churches and ultimately determining the direction they will take.

It hits very close to our own situations, perhaps, but we should confess that in many “good” churches, we let the women do the praying and let the men do the voting.

That is where we are, even in the evangelical churches, and I don’t mind telling you that most of the people we say we are trying to reach will never come to a church to see a lot of amateur actors putting on a home-talent show.

I tell you, outside of politics there is not another field of activity that has more words and fewer deeds, more wind and less rain.

What are we going to do about this awesome, beautiful worship that God calls for? I would rather worship God than do any other thing I know of in all this wide world.

Yet I feel like most, maybe, that I get so caught up in the things of the world. But I am always amazed at the times I worship God privately with passion and loud voice and I’m still humbled how heaven comes down and visits my soul.

But if you want that kind of worship you have to pay the price and be a student of His Word because that is how He will talk to you, making what you’ve read jump off the pages and into your heart and mind.

Learn to read, learn to pray, learn to worship and heaven will open up and the blessings of fellowship will truly bless you and make you content.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for bob, had a motorcycle accident Saturday and they will do brain surgery on Wednesday. Bob himself is a surgeon and the prospects are 50/50

unequal

May 23, 2016

balance

Well what direction does a two headed calf walk, or a two headed chicken or which way does a frog jump with two heads. Egads, methinks the good pastor has gone bonkers. Not really. I’m not sure where it’s at on my list of top problems but it’s at the top, unequally yoked.

First the standard answer;

2 Corinthians 6:14King James Version (KJV)

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

 

The New American Standard Version says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”

A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen to each other and to the burden they pull. An “unequally yoked” team has one stronger ox and one weaker, or one taller and one shorter. The weaker or shorter ox would walk more slowly than the taller, stronger one, causing the load to go around in circles. When oxen are unequally yoked, they cannot perform the task set before them. Instead of working together, they are at odds with one another.

Paul’s admonition in 2 Corinthians 6:14 is part of a larger discourse to the church at Corinth on the Christian life. He discouraged them from being in an unequal partnership with unbelievers because believers and unbelievers are opposites, just as light and darkness are opposites. They simply have nothing in common, just as Christ has nothing in common with “Belial,” a Hebrew word meaning “worthlessness” (verse 15). Here Paul uses it to refer to Satan. The idea is that the pagan, wicked, unbelieving world is governed by the principles of Satan and that Christians should be separate from that wicked world, just as Christ was separate from all the methods, purposes, and plans of Satan. He had no participation in them; He formed no union with them, and so it should be with the followers of the one in relation to the followers of the other. Attempting to live a Christian life with a non-Christian for our close friend and ally will only cause us go around in circles.

The “unequal yoke” is often applied to business relationships. For a Christian to enter into a partnership with an unbeliever is to court disaster. Unbelievers have opposite worldviews and morals, and business decisions made daily will reflect the worldview of one partner or the other. For the relationship to work, one or the other must abandon his moral center and move toward that of the other. More often than not, it is the believer who finds himself pressured to leave his Christian principles behind for the sake of profit and the growth of the business.

Of course, the closest alliance one person can have with another is found in marriage, and this is how the passage is usually interpreted. God’s plan is for a man and a woman to become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24), a relationship so intimate that one literally and figuratively becomes part of the other. Uniting a believer with an unbeliever is essentially uniting opposites, which makes for a very difficult marriage relationship.

And now the second viewpoint;

In 40 years of marriage and family counseling, along with a host of other specialties, people could have made their lives much easier if they had just been partnered in a common belief system; and secondly two heads are not better than one when it comes to leadership. Someone has to be in charge.

Unequally yoked has broader ramifications than we think, and before you ask, no it’s not ground for divorce.

Let me give you one illustration; a young woman is raised in the church; her whole life is spent in preparing for being a missionary. She is the epitome of a church kid. Along comes a young buck (man) and he starts attending church, it seems more to meet girls than to meet Jesus. He meets opposition from the pastor and the parents when things get serious (to late); and is told he has to be a Christian before he can date (or court) a young girl. Well what do you know, suddenly he gets saved (usually not in that church but at some “special event” like a Christian concert).

So a young woman of 21 Christian years, dates and marries a Christian man of only 1 Christian year. That is unequally yoked. I’ve seen this situation hundreds of times in counseling, and wonder where the parents and more so why the pastor ever let this happen. 3-2=1? What I mean by that the average is always less. You put red paint in a white bucket, no matter how much white it is never white again.

It’s called missionary dating, the young girl always thinks that her love and devotion will lift this man up to her spiritual level and they will live happily ever after. It seldom happens.

So pastors, parents, please teach your children well, about the perils of being unequally yoked.

And not this is not just old fashion thinking it’s bible thinking.

499 pages later we could keep writing but will stop here at this one example.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

not here, not now

May 22, 2016

last_nail

it was my third active duty military assignment, I got off the bus in this sleepy little town and there was a sign, “no servicemen, no dogs, and no N_________.

while I was standing there a typical southern cop came up to me and said I could be arrested for spitting, staring or ,cause. Dumb me said “cause what?” it earned me a whack up side the head.

well there’s a better sign now, it’s the one that says; “Believer.”

 

So here’s the good news;

 

The Bible contains absolutely no indication that a believer can be bound by occult curses. many people today interpret events in their lives as the products of a curse. Yet, if this were possible, the New Testament would have provided us clear warnings and instructions on how to deal with such curses. Interestingly, curses are common fears of those who traffic within the occult world.

The superstition that a Christian can be cursed and must have the curse discovered and broken before he can have spiritual victory is now being taught in many Christian circles, but the Bible clearly teaches that because we are in Christ He protects us. Believers should be concerned about the influence of the teachings and beliefs from the occult but not about their spells.

 

I don’t care what story you’ve heard, what famous evangelist told you, or a bestselling book (it’s only good for toilet paper). there is no scriptural evidence of a curse being placed on Christians, bloodline curses, hexes or spells.

 

Does that mean you should mess with occult items with impunity, heck no. what fellowship does light have with darkness? (Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?)None!

 

Which brings me to a completely different topic, which we will cover tomorrow; being unequally yoked.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Comments, questions, prayer requests send to the above email address.

We have a great prayer team to pray over your requests.

 

Pray for Jimmie and he re-addiction to morphine

 

Ellie and her grief,

 

Frank and his unsolved, unhealthy grieving.

 

Barbie B. doctor appointment Monday for the Big “C” as she calls it.