“Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27).

  One hears much today about “body life,” or the “social gospel” with its emphasis upon New Testament gathering, rather than Christ-centered growth. The Body is meant to manifest the Head, and that necessitates spiritual members. Many of our new day pastors’ are using bible wordage and not bible meaning.

Where there is no Cross there is no life, and no ministry of life. The object of suffering is that there may be a full and abundant ministry. . . . We are not to invite trouble, nor by austerity to ill-treat our bodies. The Holy Spirit Himself takes responsibility for our experience, leading us in paths where we encounter, in body, heart, or spirit, that measure of ‘the dying of Jesus’ that will mean enrichment of our ministry.

  “There are many today who seem to think that it is all or largely a matter of the order, technique, and form, and if we are to return to the ‘New Testament’ form or order of churches all would be well. The fact is that, while certain things characterize the N.T. churches, the Word does not give us a complete pattern according to which churches are to be formed!

There is no blueprint for churches in the N.T., and to try to form such churches is only to create another system which may be as legal, sectarian and dead as others. Churches, like the Church, are organisms which spring out of life, which life itself springs out of the Cross of Christ wrought into the very being of believers. Unless believers are crucified people, there can be no true expression of the Church.

  “God forbid that I should glory, except in the Cross” (Gal. 6:14).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Tiger, Tiger

April 29, 2018

Thomas Edison invented the microphone, the phonograph, the incandescent light, the storage battery, talking movies, and more than 1000 other things. December 1914 he had worked for 10 years on a storage battery. This had greatly strained his finances. This particular evening spontaneous combustion had broken out in the film room. Within minutes all the packing compounds, celluloid for records and film, and other flammable goods were in flames. Fire companies from eight surrounding towns arrived, but the heat was so intense and the water pressure so low that the attempt to douse the flames was futile. Everything was destroyed. Edison was 67. With all his assets going up in a whoosh (although the damage exceeded two million dollars, the buildings were only insured for $238,000 because they were made of concrete and thought to be fireproof), would his spirit be broken?

The inventor’s 24-year old son, Charles, searched frantically for his father. He finally found him, calmly watching the fire, his face glowing in the reflection, his white hair blowing in the wind. “My heart ached for him,” said Charles. “He was 67—no longer a young man—and everything was going up in flames. When he saw me, he shouted, ‘Charles, where’s your mother?’ When I told him I didn’t know, he said, ‘Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this as long as she lives.’

The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.” Three weeks after the fire, Edison managed to deliver the first phonograph.

And when we clear these mortal constraints and heaven becomes our home, all our mistakes will have burned away, and we will be like gold tried in the furnace.

We must yearn for two things, the imminent return of Christ, and our eternity with Him in heaven. Check your pulse. In between the beats do hear heaven calling and are you looking, watching?

And how brightly do we burn for Christ?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Anne, because of her medicine she has been unable to drink, and her behavior has improved dramatically, hopefully she sees the connection.

Pray for Cristina, very religious, but hasn’t made a commitment to Christ as Savior. This Saturday was spent in a drunken frenzy and bad behavior. We are praying she comes to church Sunday, maybe to hear the gospel for the first time.

Pray for Norma, she needs to go to a doctor and have her back examined, she is to scared to do so.

 

WARNING ADULT CONTENT=FRANK DISCUSSION ON SEX

MEDICALLY INDUCED SEXUALITY

SHORT VERSION, I’M AGAINST IT.

THE UNINGREDIBLE MR. LIMPET

So, in my many pastoral roles as psychologist, sex therapist, sex addiction counselor, marriage and family counselor, violent sex offender counselor and victim therapist, prison chaplain, plus my varied checkered past. I have heard, seen, and witnessed every good and deviant sex act.

So first an assumption. You are married, your wife has gone through menopause, you’re over 55 years old, and you have been married to each other a long time.

Long is a relative term. You’ve had a good marriage, you are friends, pals, partners and you have figured out the yin and yang of the marriage. You have not defiled your marriage, no affairs, no porn, no sex toys and you are Christians.

If you don’t fall into these categories, go read the comics or file it away for a rainy day.

If you need medicine in order to have sex or have the drive, then I would advise it is time to put the horse in the barn and leave it there.

Concentrate on all the other areas of marriage enrichment. Non sexual intimacy, cuddling, conversation, communication, sharing and enjoying the discovery of your God given mate.

After 44 years of marriage, my wife still surprises me, like a diamond, there always seems to be a new facet to her personality. We are still learning who we are.

I bring this topic up because if you don’t prepare for this stage of marriage. And if your marriage was based on sex. Then good luck on having a pleasant time. And especially you men. You were only a sex god in your own mind. The emotional needs of your wife have grown more not less.

so here’s to reality, and don’t believe all the ‘studies’ of those over 60 that say it’s the best sex of their life. Mr. Limpet it’s not possible. Notice there are no bible verses in this devotion. It’s only an opinion, everybody has one.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Heavenly thinking

April 27, 2018

In the past two years, as I’ve watched people I love die, I’ve thought a lot about that mysterious, distant place called heaven. Within the blessed fellowship of my spiritual community, we’ve buried parents, siblings, friends. We’ve walked through the grass of cemeteries, sat in quiet funeral rooms and breathed the scent of flowers and the smell only a funeral home can produce wafting off the wood-grained lids of coffins. We have stood tearful on this side of heaven, while those we love have stepped onto the other side into glory we can only try to imagine.

Sorrow and pain have pointed our hearts toward heaven.

For us post-modernists, it usually takes such an experience with intense sadness and death to make us think about life beyond the here and now. For most of us, only great losses turn our thoughts away from our obsession with making for ourselves a heaven here on earth; only deep piercing grief causes us to contemplate the end of our days.

It hasn’t always been so.

In early Christian thinking, meditating on the hereafter was a common practice. It was considered a valuable, worthwhile exercise to not only examine life but also to contemplate death.

Richard Foster wrote, “The notion of reflecting on our own demise is actually an ancient spiritual discipline.”

You don’t have to look very far into classic Christian writings to discover how true that is.

Blaise Pascal was a brilliant seventeenth-century mathematician. He often was ridiculed by his intellectual peers for shifting his genius from mathematics to theology and apologetics. But nothing mattered more to Pascal than pursuing God, getting to know Him, and experiencing an ever-deepening intimacy with Christ.

His life was short—he lived only thirty-eight years, but he was a man consumed with love for God. Listen in as he prays, “…Grant then that I may so anticipate my death that I may find mercy hereafter in your sight.”

Teresa of Avila lived a century before Pascal, and her writings still vibrate with her longing for heaven. “O my delight, Lord of all created things and my God! How long must I wait to see you?”

Madame Guyon, writing to a dying friend, said, “I feel my loss, but I am very happy for you. I could envy you. Death helps to draw away the veil that hides infinite wonders.”

John Donne wrote that it is our job to make a home in this world while remembering that home is not here.

This is a challenge to us modern Christians, isn’t it? We aren’t in the habit of “anticipating” our death. We believe in heaven; we just don’t give it much thought.

How much time during the day do you actually contemplate heaven, your salvation, your Lord and Savior, your walk with Christ. Unless you’re a seminary student or pastor or have learned the discipline of daily devotions; it is to long a pause in between times.

You’ve heard the quote; “18 inches between your heart and brain, the longest journey ever.”

How far is it then to heavenly thoughts?

Make the journey more often.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

YAWN

April 26, 2018

The Father looks upon every believer as if he were already in heaven, as far as his standing is concerned. This blessed truth is brought out in Ephesians 2:6, “And hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” But as far as his earthly state is concerned while he is waiting the home-call, the believer is admonished thus: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth” (Col. 3:5). So we see that the believer is said to be both in heaven and on the earth. “Standing and State” is the only explanation of this.

Much more of the Word is given to instructions for the believer’s state than to his standing. His standing is heavenly, eternal, and perfect. His state is earthly, temporary, and imperfect. The believer should be “zealous of good works,” not in order to get saved but because he is saved.

Easter is over, the church is empty, and all those people you see only once or twice a year are gone. Most pastors were excited to see such a big crowd in their not often filled churches. We hope maybe something about the service will draw someone back again to next Sunday’s sermon. Come next Sunday there will be lots of disappointed pastors. But what about disappointed Christians, Christmas and Easter, maybe mother’s day because that’s what mom asked; ‘will you please come to church with me.’

So now here in Texas we have ‘cowboy churches’ with an emphasis on come as you are, jeans, shorts it doesn’t matter just show up. We have Sunday school classes or whatever they are called these days and we serve coffee and donuts and some churches even say come in your pajamas.

The problem is for many believers there is no zeal, believe it or not Christians are bored about God. Shocking theory but it is sadly true, there are churches that pay more to the worship leader who can do a power point praise service than the pastor. Heck the Lutheran’s will even let you raise your hands during worship, even though grandma Jones, the pillar of the church for 90 years faints when she sees such shocking behavior in her church.

What has deadened so many Christians, why has church become a habit and not a passion? Simple answer; carnality, we’ve placed God into a box and we only let him into our lives a couple of hours a week. Imagine that, God on a leash, sermons only about how much He loves us, how blessed we are, how much we deserve. Wow if we got what we really deserve the churches would indeed be empty because there would be little piles of ashes everywhere ( thank God for grace, heh).

And so God does what He does to the wandering Christian, he allows adversity into our lives; sadness, illness, distress, you get the point and just like the Jews of the old testament we run the wrong direction and seek remedies in other things.

How large is your prescription bill every month, how many times do you ‘sneak’ something, the food before dinner as you drive home because of stress. The pet sins, nothing to big, you claim that you are still in control it’s only a little thing.

Lest we forget, our God is a jealous God.

One of my most frequent prayers for myself is Ezekiel 36: 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

I hope that someone will pray that prayer.

God bless

Contact us at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Prayer requests,, comments and questions to the email address please.

Pray for many, many people that are struggling with cancer, pray especially for Kim, a young mom and wife who is fighting the battle.

Pray for Barbara, who has fought and survived several battles with cancer and is now ok but exhausted.

Pray for Thomas P, 109 days without acting out sexually. This is his longest stretch. Pray he continues to be vigilant.

WHAT TREE?

April 25, 2018

  “Not I, but Christ” (Gal. 2:20).

  It is not a matter of what fruit, but of which tree!

  What salvation has done is not merely forgiving me my sins; forgiveness, cleansing, justifying, applies to my responsibility and guilty condition in the first Adam; but salvation applies to my standing in the Last Adam. It is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).

  What would you do if you wanted to make something of a crab tree? Not nurture, and prune, and dig about it. If you know anything about it, you will cut it down and graft it. Until you find out that the old man is utterly bad, and that there is no mending it, you will not give it up. If you cultivate the old crab tree you will have fair blossoms but only bigger and more sour crab apples.

  Before we were saved, worldly objects and affairs usurped the place of Christ; but after being saved, spiritual objects and affairs now tend to occupy His place. Earlier God took from us the things of this world; presently He is taking away our spiritual thing or things. He removes our personal patience, love, power, gentleness, humility. Then He replaces with the true fruit of the Spirit.

We’ve all met nice people, kind people, loving people, but from what tree? What fruit?

  “Indeed, He removes all, that we may not live by these good things but live by a Person instead. We are patient not because we have received a power to be so, but because we have received a patient Person, the Holy Spirit. So it is with humility and the rest: not a power but a Person.” The fruit of the Spirit is the life of Christ.

  “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:27).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Angie, 23, and miscarried (again). Pray for her husband Tim.

Pray for Steve K, knee surgery on Friday

NOT FATAL

April 24, 2018

it’s easy to yield to disappointment if God has not answered as we thought He should have, and our disappointment quickly leads us into doubt. The biblical balance is not to waver in unbelief if God doesn’t do something the way we thought He should have. We allow God to be sovereign, but we believe that if He said He would do something, He will do it, even if it takes a different form than we had expected.

Remember, Luke addressed his gospel to a man who was probably a young believer who needed assurance in his faith. The opposite of doubt is not a leap in the dark. The Christian faith is founded on solid historical evidence. Luke wrote to convince Theophilus and his other readers that God was in fact at work in this amazing history of Jesus’ birth and life. He structured these early narratives with this purpose in mind. There are two strands that come together to dispel our doubts by showing that God does what He says He will do.

Although our doubts do not keep God from graciously blessing us according to His promise, He does lovingly discipline us in our doubts, that we may share His holiness.

A very foreign concept in today’s God’s my sugar daddy kind of god.

We can even in His system of grace be chastised or disciplined when our earthly nature is being predominant.

Thankfully, doubt need never be fatal. We can recover if we will submit to God’s gracious discipline.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Anne and her shoulder surgery.

Pray for Paul C, that he would make a path correction.

battle fatigue

April 23, 2018

Our sinful hearts make us all prone to limit God by human potential. The disciples fell into this error when they were faced with the crowd of 5,000 hungry men, plus women and children. Jesus asked Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?” John explains that Jesus asked this to test Philip, since He knew what He was about to do. Philip did a quick calculation and concluded, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little” (John 6:5-7). Philip may have thought that he was giving a faith-stretching answer, because the disciples clearly did not have 200 denarii to buy bread. But he was limiting God to work through normal human means. But God had a completely different solution, namely, miraculously multiplying the few loaves and fishes they had on hand.

So even if we’ve walked with God for years, when we are faced with a seemingly impossible situation, we need to look to our hearts, which are prone to limit the Almighty by human possibilities. God has given us abundant evidence in Scripture that He is the God of the impossible. Nothing is too difficult for Him. The source of our doubts is not a lack of evidence. It is rather our, sinful hearts.

That should be a sigh of relief right now. Whew, I don’t have to get more faith, I don’t have to feel a tingle or get Holy Ghost goose bumps. The object of faith is God. I only have to reckon, acknowledge, believe what I’ve already believed. Christ is my Savior, He died on the cross and so did I, I believe, position myself there. That’s all I have to do and the Holy Spirit draws me to God.

That’s why it’s so important to have a firm bible reading habit, God will pour all that you’ve read for years into you heart and remind us of whom we serve.

The battle is Lord’s.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

phone home

April 22, 2018

John the Baptist, had a time of doubt. He was languishing in prison and he began to wonder, “If Jesus is truly the Messiah, why am I, His messenger, here in prison?” So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Then He gently rebuked John’s doubt by adding, “And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me” (Luke 7:22, 23). Jesus went on to tell the crowd that among those born of women, there is no one greater than John. He was a godly man, but he had his time of doubt.

Maybe you never have doubts about the deity of Jesus. Maybe it’s more a feeling of unworthiness. Hey, you look in the mirror, you know your sins,, your short comings. The sermon always seems to be aimed at you, you read your bible and feel like nothing is sinking in. you hear others at bible study or Sunday school and they are talking about answered prayers and miracles and you’re trying to figure out how to stop jock itch and that weird rash you picked up at the gym.

Like John the Baptist, first reach out to Jesus, take 2 minutes more to read your bible. Set an egg timer to pray a little longer. Any feeling of lack of intimacy with God is your own fault. Nobody likes to hear that. Joel Osteen isn’t going to tell you that, neither will any of the “I have the secret to victory” books at the bible book store.

Stud up, man up, step up, grow up, it’s easier to talk to God than you think. Feeling guilty, that’s what your prayer is going to start with; “God, I feel guilty”. Feel worse than the dog poop you can’t get off your best shoes, yep, that’s your prayer. Angry, yell at God he can take it. I once was so frustrated with the trial I was going through that I was picking up rocks and throwing them at God. I didn’t get struck with lightning, the rocks did come flying back at me. The trial didn’t end. But my prayer life changed.

Make a list of what you are doing wrong, put it in your bible and pray about fixing one thing. Stop waiting for a miracle or thinking that it will suddenly get better because you put more money in the offering plate. It doesn’t work like that.

Read the story of the prodigal son in the NASB, (new American standard bible). It says ‘when he came to his senses’ then he saw the mess he was in and surrendered, swallowed his pride and went home.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

God isn’t Walt Disney and you’re not Pinocchio, although you may be a block head.

Seriously, you need to talk to God more.

  That ye may be blameless and harmless, children of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).

  There should be neither undergrowth, nor overgrowth, but balanced growth. Spiritual equilibrium alone will bring forth much fruit both in us and in others.

A popular notion that the first obligation of the Church is to spread the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth is false. The first obligation is to be spiritually worthy to spread it. . . to spread a weak or worn out and degenerate brand of Christianity to pagan lands is not to fulfil the Great Commission.

 We were created for more than our own spiritual development; reproduction, not mere development, is the goal to mature being—reproduction in other lives. There is a tendency in some characters, running parallel to the high cultivation that spends its whole energy on the production of bloom at the expense of seed.

 The flowers (Christians) that are bent on perfecting themselves, by becoming double, (carbon copies, like a cult) end in barrenness, and a like barrenness comes to the soul whose interests are all concentrated upon its own spiritual well-being, heedless of the needs around. The true, ideal flower, (saint) is the one that uses its gifts as means to an end; their experiences are not for their own glory; but a godly, spiritual attractiveness, that draws others to the Lord, like a bee to a flower. That holy flame burning inside, lit by the Holy Spirit, draws strength from the Lord and produces a holy, sweet aroma, a life pleasing to God.

  “Holding forth the word of life, that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain” (Phil. 2:16).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Ann and her battle with abusing prescriptions.

Pray for Sharon as she fight vertigo, pray for a swift healing.