Dead or Alive

August 31, 2018

  “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them” (Gal. 3:10).

  None can be born again by the law, and none can live anew under the law—neither its precepts, nor its principle. “The life I now live by faith—by adherence to and reliance on and (complete) trust—in the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20, Amp.).

Every believer is regarded by God as alive from the dead, to bring forth fruit (not works) unto God. The law only deals with a man as long as he lives, never after he is dead. ‘Ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ’ (Rom. 7:4).

And that is not at all what is said of us, after a ‘second blessing,’ or any other step of imaginary perfection. We begin with. . . ‘alive in Christ.’ I am identified with the Lord Jesus dead and risen. It is no longer the law dealing with me to try if it can get any good out of me. I have relinquished all by receiving Christ, and I take my stand in Him dead and risen again, as one alive from the dead, to yield myself as a ‘new creation’ to God and walk in ‘newness of life.’

The teachings of grace are perfect and sufficient in themselves. They provide for the instruction of the believer in every situation which may arise. There is no need that they be supplemented, or augmented, by the addition of precepts from either the Law of Moses or the teachings of the kingdom.

What an indignity religion puts on every Person of the Godhead alike, on the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ, when it drags souls back to the dread distance of Judaism or legalism or the “second blessing” crowd.

  “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21).

So in order to be alive in Christ, I have to die with Christ, buried with Him, but resurrected in Him. Alive to the Spirit and dead to the law, bringing forth good fruit by The Spirit and not works by my flesh.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember all those this month that have been on our prayer list. So many names, so many needs. Thank God we serve an awesome, powerful  and loving Lord.

Witness 101

August 30, 2018

The thought of sharing the good news of the Bible with others makes many Christians apprehensive. So what’s the deal? Must all Christians evangelize? Yes. Acts 1:8 makes it clear the command to witness is given to all followers of Christ. But does it have to be stressful and scary? Absolutely not! Here are six tips to help take the anxiety out of the call to impart God’s Word:

  1. Be yourself—Are you introverted? Then you aren’t likely to walk up to strangers on the street and strike up a conversation about Jesus. But God has gifted you with other ways to reach people. Share the gospel in a way that best fits your personality as well as the personality of the person you are trying to reach.

  2. Be active—Don’t wait for people to come to you asking how they can find salvation. Look for opportunities in your day-to-day life when you can share the good news with someone who needs to hear it.

  3. Be open—The relational aspect of life with Christ is important, so be open to telling people your own story about how Christ has changed your life. Don’t be afraid to admit how you were trapped by sin and selfishness. You don’t need to divulge private or embarrassing details about your life before Jesus. Just share your story in a way that lets others know you can understand and relate to their lives.

  4. Be honest—Be honest about what becoming a Christian entails: ( and you may not want to use the word Christian, like the term “Born Again” it has become over used. You could say; “I’m a bible believing follower of the Son of God, or what many call Christian) and then say, complete obedience to Christ. Don’t water down God’s Word to make it more palatable for unbelievers. Above all, emphasize the necessary role repentance and giving up sin play in giving their lives to Christ.

  5. Be prepared—Thinking about what to say to an unbeliever ahead of time is a valuable way to build your confidence. You can prepare. You can plan ahead of time by having answers to common questions and objections to the Christian faith. Memorizing key Bible verses related to spreading the gospel and knowing how to explain them in your own words can be helpful.

  6. Be patient and persistent—Sharing God’s Word with someone is rarely a one-step process. Don’t expect that after one short conversation about the gospel someone will be ready to dedicate his or her life to Christ. When that happens, give thanks to God. But approach the experience with the expectation that it could be a long process that requires you to be proactive, loving and persistent.

I have found just saying “God bless” to people often stops them in their tracks, and then the next time we cross each other path they will start the conversation.

So, God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Genieve; she just became a U.S. Citizen today and is very proud.

Pray for Tom S, just became a Texas State Trooper, pray for his protection

Pray for Larry K, just moved from State Trooper to an ABC agency career. Great guy and very funny. Pray for his safety.

And with that let’s pray for all the men and women that serve, they are lucky to have the President we have now. Empowering and supporting, not undermining and demeaning.

sometimes the rod

August 29, 2018

Well here’s a very unpopular topic and one not found in to many pulpits. But the truth of this is freeing and not a burden.

  “My son, do not think lightly of the Lord’s discipline, and do not faint when he corrects you” (Heb. 12:6, Wey.).

  Most of us sought to avoid our natural father’s discipline, when he sought to administer it. And most of us seek to avoid our heavenly Father’s discipline, until we finally learn that “He does it for our certain good, in order that we may become sharers in His own holy character” (Heb. 12:10, Wey.).

  “There is an idea that often troubles people, namely, that God always wants to bring us down when He chastens us. When He corrects a man it is not that He may bring him down, but that He may lift him up. He says, ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time’ (1 Peter 5:6). I discipline my child in order that I may exalt him morally.”

  “Our Father purges us on the principle of ‘we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake.’ In service you are sure to find some kind of pressure on you.

  “We come to feel our need, and often attempt independently to supply it by our own means; the Lord must confound us in the attempt; but having done so, He leads in dependence to find and acquire an inconceivably greater answer to our wishes than even that which we prescribed for ourselves. The prodigal only sought ‘sustenance’ from the citizen in the ‘far country,’ but back in his father’s house he found not bread merely, but abounding welcome and a fatted calf.”

  “For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines: and he scourges every son whom he acknowledges” (Heb. 12:6, Weymouth Translation.).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Barbara D and her cancer battle

Andrea and Todd, employment for Todd and a church home for both of them

Pray for Tony Ann, pray the she would have a complete victory in her life.

Pray for those suffering constantly with pain, crippling, depressing pain.

Are you really helping?

August 28, 2018

Having worked with the “homeless” population for over 30 years as a part of various ministries we’ve reached a certifiable breakdown of that over all segment.

12% are mentally ill

8% are justifiably homeless

And 80% have chosen that lifestyle as a career choice.

This week I visited a homeless camp. They are pretty much ordered just like the gypsies. The strongest, meanest and vilest rule. The weaker are basically slaves. As long as they stay encapsulated in their designated “spots” the police leave them alone.

They have obtained permits from the city to solicit. Those without a permit don’t ask for money they just show the stereotypical sign, “God Bless”.

As long as they don’t permeate neighborhoods and stay away from schools and are in their designated spots they continue to be a scourge. When asked why they don’t get a job they say they have one, being professionally homeless.

As a ride around Chaplain with the police it always amazes me that a city no matter what size tolerates their presence.

We have asked rancher to hire them for work and they (the homeless) have 100% turned down the work. A local feed store tried to hire some and when told it was for manual labor the same results.

A nearby city of only 150 people have 25 homeless people prowling their streets and offering anything but a positive contribution.

The city profiled the homeless of who gives the money from their cars and trucks and were surprised there was actually definable categories.

  1. Catholic women in there 30’s were number one

  2. White males that were heavy drinkers

  3. Social reformers (democrats) that actually have delivered furniture to their camp and have had pizzas delivered.

And then there are the churches that don’t promote a bible based, genuine Christian experience. They have labeled them threshold people and need compassion and invite them to church and treat them like they are ok where they are in the socio-economic position they fill, but just need to know Jesus loves them, but don’t invite them into their homes.

The churches that have done this usually lose 60% of their older congregation who grew up believing you work hard and support yourself through hard work and if it takes three jobs then do it.

In our local newspaper we have (published twice a week) a democrat and republican dual. The female democrats have stated they have a solution to the homeless problem. Share 50% of your wealth. It’s selfish to keep a home over 1500 sq ft and have two cars. That’s actually a quote from the head of our county democratic headquarters.

Well if you haven’t guessed by now where I’m going with this you will right now. The bible says a person that won’t work and support his family is worse than an infidel. Meaning they are equated with those going to hell. Or lets say it this way, they have chosen this lifestyle and deserve nothing from society.

Here’s a question, how do you tell the genuine 8% who are truly in an emergency situation. Having worked with the worlds largest social emergency agency in the world. You can’t.

Do I have answer to the problem? No, I do not. But I will make a suggestion. Don’t hand money to a homeless person. Give to a reputable social agency, they are more experienced and you are not putting yourself at risk.

This week a young 23-year-old mother of two decided to give 5 dollars to a guy outside of Wally World, he followed her to her car and tried to rape and kidnap her. Fortunately, a legally armed citizen stopped him and held him until the police arrived. No, he wasn’t an illegal, but he had done two felony prison stays for assault and attempted homicide. He was released the last time because or overcrowding in prison.

Contributing money to them out right only promotes crime and they ability to stay as contributing members of society.

The bible says we will always have the poor with us and we are to be merciful, not stupid.

Think about it, regards from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

TESTIFY

August 27, 2018

USEFUL

 

That’s the first word that pops into my head each day when I sit down and write a devotional. Can it be applied, does it make sense, is it useful. Grammar, spelling and punctuation be damned. (which you already know Mrs. K.)

I’ve been a Christian for 44 years, a pastor for over 40 years, a psychologist for 30, military service, marriage, family, prison chaplain, sex therapist, knife collector, gun collector, hunter, bow hunting, black powder hunting, pistol, rifle. I’ve been a gun instructor, combat instructor, urban warfare, jungle warfare training and trainee, martial arts and a huge Constitutionalist, politically active, street preacher. But always Christ first.

What draws to keep at this though is the aching heart of every person, believer or non-believer. That and watching my country U.S.A. change before my very eyes. And seeing Christianity being watered down, degraded, attacked, ridiculed and its believers fighting battles as great as any crusade.

Martyrdom,

A list generated by Open Doors USA, a nonprofit organization focused on serving persecuted Christians, shows the Middle East accounts for a majority of countries ranked in the top 10 for extreme persecution of Christians. In order, the countries are as follows:

  1. North Korea

  1. Somalia

  1. Afghanistan

  1. Pakistan

  1. Sudan

  1. Syria

  1. Iraq

  1. Iran

  1. Yemen

  1. Eritrea

Egypt ranks No. 21. According to the Christian advocacy group, one in 12 Christians today experiences high, very high or extreme persecution for their faith. Nearly 215 million Christians face high persecution, with 100 million of those living in Asia.

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity, an academic research center that monitors worldwide demographic trends in Christianity, estimates that between the years 2005 and 2015, 900,000 Christians were martyred — an average of 90,000 Christians each year.

It’s harder to be a Christian in public even in America.

What amazes me is Christians when push comes to shove will deny Jesus or water down their religion, faith or experience in order to save embarrassment. I guess they forget the bible says, “if you deny me I will deny you “

Matthew 10:33 English Standard Version (ESV)

33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

So the one thing I want you to do as a Christian is perfect your elevator pitch. Your testimony, in 30 seconds be able to tell how you came into a relationship with Christ and how it changed your life.

The next time someone asks what you do for a living give them your testimony and then say “oh, as hobby, I work at ……………” or in other words, Christ is first in my life and I work to live, not live to work, but I do live for Christ.

Email me and let me know how that goes.

When is the last time you said, “thank you Jesus” in public, you may be surprised what happens.

Practice being a happy Christian, your life will change and so will everyone around you

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

the reward

August 26, 2018

balance

Who deserves it, or does it even matter

I was talking to a seminary professor the other day and he told me that over the Christmas break he had taken a walking tour of Scotland to enjoy hiking and especially to visit some very old churches that have stood for hundreds of years.

At one of these churches it was Sunday and it was the last Sunday for this pastor who was retiring at 94 years of age and had spent 50 years as the pastor of this tiny church, hidden in rugged terrain that people had to walked to.

He said the pastor’s sermon was a homiletic master piece, it was deep, moving and a gem. He wondered how the Lord could keep such a master of preaching hidden like a rare gem from the world and how blessed this congregation was to have been guided by such a great shepherd.

He said that as he flew back to America a question began to form in his mind over who would be the most blessed, the pastor of a small struggling flock, that rarely had money, never knew fame, no books no tv shows, but a faithful pastor; or the mega pastor that touched millions and was there a difference in the eyes of God. Would the reward be different?

I asked him if had reached a conclusion and he said he had (with the foreknowledge that he was not God and this was just his humble opinion). He said that had; he believed that the faithful pastor to a small flock, faithful to the word and the work would receive a larger, better reward, because of the struggle and fight just to keep the doors open and no open earthly reward now.

Ok, it’s just one man’s opinion but I agree with him.

And the reason I’m bringing it up is I have a very good friend who is in that same exact position. 35 years at the same church, highly educated, gifted as a speaker, and faithful to the word and the craft of preaching good honest sermons with no baloney or filler at all.

And this month he will receive no salary because the church can’t afford to pay him for an entire month. He doesn’t know that I know this and what I want from all of you is to pray for him because I’ve never seen him so discouraged before.

So please keep this servant of God in prayer that like the children of God in the wilderness that he and his family will be divinely kept, that rust, and moth and corruption will not find root in any part of his life, that the car won’t break down, and no one will get sick and things will just work out; and if just one new face could show up on Sunday.

Because he has been faithful to God, and to the word.

This ain’t a chain letter so if you don’t pray nothing bad will happen to you (ha)

God bless and peace out.

Pray for Paul K, this faithful pastor. Storms have hit his family and the struggle he’s in right now if perhaps one of the toughest places he’s ever been in.

Pray for Paul C, this is the lost lamb, pray he wonders back into the fold, because this particular shepherd can’t find him.

Pray for David P, alcoholism, which he thought was a thing of the past has got him again.

Pray for Don L, close friend, pray for strength, guidance and the knowledge he is never forgotten.

a life for a life

August 25, 2018

  That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:11, ASV.).

  The love motive is not adequate to carry the believer through to fruitful walk and service. Few seem to be able to face up to this fact, possibly because they see no higher alternative. But there is one: the life motive. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).

  “By the body of Christ on the Cross, believers were made dead to the law (Rom. 7:4), in order righteously to be joined to Another. The reason why we had to die to the law was, not at all because the law was bad (it, on the contrary, is ‘holy, just and good’), but because we were bad. (my apologies to Joel Osteen, yes we were bad, very bad)(that’s sarcasm by the way).

  “Our flesh was so powerless to do good and so ready to do evil, that the application to us of God’s holy law only gave sin an occasion to involve our enslaved members in open rebellion against the law.

So that even if a man loves God’s law, as Paul did, he has no power to keep it; but sin only makes the law a constant means of working death to him, and the more a man tries to keep the law the more he comes under the power of sin. Hence there is only this left for us—to die to the law, and be joined to the risen Lord Jesus in a resurrection life absolutely beyond the sphere of the law.

The law is for the man who departed from God—that man has been removed from God’s sight in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I rejoice that now by the ‘law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’ I am ‘free from the law of sin and death’ (Rom. 8:2).”

  “Not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life” (Heb. 7:16).

By death, He gives us Life, now and eternally. Praise God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Wow, our prayer is way long, top three,

April, after 20 years getting a divorce, she should have done it 19 years ago.

Makala, 15, April’s daughter, pray she comes for counseling.

And LaHoma, our lady from yesterday. God’s will be done in her life. I’m praying God takes her home. I believe she is still a child in God’s eyes.

Oh,

August 24, 2018

good_shepherdblacksheep

JUST FOR A MOMENT

Today I had a moment, just a second, where I didn’t know what to pray, or say, I didn’t freeze. It was just to much information all at once. Let me start at the beginning.

One of my duties is to be a Chaplain at a Nursing home, they call, I go.

So a new resident was brought to the home and I have to meet the family if there is one and lead everyone of the directors and all in prayer.

There lying on the bed is a 77 year old female, born blind and deaf, born with hands and feet crippled. She has never uttered a word, has had a feeding tube since 8months old. Her two older sisters devoted their whole lives to taking care of her.

Frankly, it was a horrible sight. My first thought was how selfish of these two sisters to keep this woman alive. She has been on some sort of life support miraculously for almost all her 77 years. How she has managed to stay alive I don’t know.

And that’s when I froze, what do you pray in that type of situation. I did what 99% of all pastors do when they don’t know what to do; I read the 23 Psalm.

I’d like to tell you that after reading that I was filled with divine inspiration, nope.

The seconds began to stretch, and then a pray filled my mind and heart.

Afterward I was complemented on my moment of silence, acknowledging the Creator, a divine pause in an awkward situation. I was so surprised by the complement, I just dumbly nodded and smiled.

I don’t know how long it will take to get that image of the woman out of my head. And the ambivalence I feel towards the sisters. Was it noble of them to keep this helpless woman alive, not knowing if she’s in pain or thirsty or anything. How this woman survived all these years, I don’t know if it’s tale of courage, divinity or an act of cowardness  (yes I know that’s not a word) on the parts of the sisters.

They never taught her braille or any sort of communication, other than them cleaning her and touching her.

I know that I will be praying for this woman everyday that God’s will be done.

I wish I could tell you some great spiritual revelation, nope.

Some days this job sucks.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

SLOW TRAIN COMING

August 23, 2018

train 1

A very simple and short devotion, God loves you and forgives you. No matter who you are or what you’ve done.  Everybody has screwed up, there’s nobody perfect.

So the bible is the Word of God, God sent his Son, Jesus, to forgive us. Jesus is the only way to heaven.

It’s like a train, God owns it, you have to get a ticket, the tickets are free, paid for by Jesus, the urge, want, need, feeling to get on the train is the Holy Spirit. And the train goes to heaven. No ticket, no ride, no heaven.

The virgin Mary can’t get you in, Mormonism can’t, Muslimism cant’, (hey that word actually passed spell check.) Jehovah Witness, nope, Hindu, nope. None of the “isms” will work. Just faith in the gift that God the Father gave us in His Son.

Cant’ earn it, deserve it, work for it, buy it, nothing gets you on that train bound for glory.

What do you say?

Do you want to go to Heaven?

Than get on board.

Simple.

As Bob Dylan sings “There’s a slow train coming” great song, one of my favorites.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

REMAIN

August 22, 2018

Emotion isn’t a learned skill or an acquired capacity, but a primal component of human nature. Throughout the Gospels we find examples of Jesus showing his humanity through emotion. We recognize his display of anger in his interaction with the money-changers (see Jn 2:13–17) and his grief when he wept over the death of Lazarus (see Jn 11:35). But we often miss the emotion Jesus displayed through his use of language.

 Jesus was an exemplary practitioner of pathos, a rhetorical term for an appeal to the heart through emotion. Even where his audiences were uneducated or lacked the sophisticated Biblical knowledge to fully absorb the power of his religious reasoning, Jesus was able to reach the hearts of his hearers through emotive language. One of the ways he generated pathos was by the use of repetition.

 Notice how Jesus used the phrase “remain in” 11 times in six verses (Jn 15:4–10). This is a signal to his hearers—and to us—that he’s passionate about this subject and that we should pay close attention.

 So what does Jesus mean by his use of “remain in”?

 Jesus stated the command to remain in him, then gave three reasons to remain in him and only at the end provided an explanation for what it means to remain in him.

 The command is straightforward—we are to remain in Jesus and he in us. The reasons he gives are that (1) it is impossible to be fruitful unless we remain in him, (2) remaining in him results in fruitfulness and (3) failing to remain in him results in eternal damnation.

 Only after giving his command and reasons—which heighten the rhetorical and emotional tension—did he explain what it means to “remain in” him and for him to “remain in” believers: Jesus abides in believers when his words abide in believers, and we believers abide in Jesus when we obey his words.

 Jesus was making a passionate appeal that has profound implications for spiritual formation: “Obey my words, and let my words remain in you.”

Seems simple, if only, like all things you want to be good at you have to practice, practice, practice.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Barbara D, in your prayers as she battles cancer again.

Pray for Dave I, the same

Pray for Daniel Roberts, born today, a miracle that she was born healthy and the mom (Tina) survived.

Praise from Tony, he’s off parole, he’s been faithful to church, a model of “under authority”  and a miracle that thru it all his family remained intact.

Pray for Andrea and Todd, they are going through a rough patch.