HOME BEFORE DARK

December 31, 2019

photo of person walking on deserted island

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I used to make all my students practice reading poems, (and learning how to pronounce the word poem). Learning good diction is mandatory for all preachers. And there are so many wonderful poems to help with any given topic.

This poem is by Crawford W. Loretts. Jr

This is a good poem for reflection before the New Year

It’s sundown, Lord.

The shadows of my life stretch back

into the dimness of the years long spent.

I fear not death, for that grim foe betrays himself at last,

thrusting me forever into life:

Life with You, unsoiled and free.

But I do fear.

I fear the Dark Spectre may come too soon

– or do I mean, too late?

That I should end before I finish or

finish, but not well.

That I should stain Your honor, shame Your name,

grieve Your loving heart.

Few, they tell me, finish well . . .

Lord, let me get home before dark.

The darkness of a spirit

grown mean and small,

fruit shriveled on the vine,

bitter to the taste of my companions,

burden to be borne by those brave few

who love me still.

No, Lord. Let the fruit grow lush and sweet,

A joy to all who taste;

Spirit-sign of God at work,

stronger, fuller, brighter at the end.

Lord, let me get home before dark.

The darkness of tattered gifts,

rust-locked, half-spent or ill-spent,

A life that once was used of God

now set aside.

Grief for glories gone or

Fretting for a task God never gave.

Mourning in the hollow chambers of memory,

Gazing on the faded banners of victories long gone.

Cannot I run well unto the end?

Lord, let me get home before dark.

The outer me decays –

I do not fret or ask reprieve.

The ebbing strength but weans me from mother earth

and grows me up for heaven.

I do not cling to shadows cast by immortality.

I do not patch the scaffold lent to build the real, eternal me.

I do not clutch about me my cocoon,

vainly struggling to hold hostage

a free spirit pressing to be born.

But will I reach the gate

in lingering pain, body distorted, grotesque?

Or will it be a mind

wandering untethered among light phantasies or grim terrors?

Of Your grace, Father, I humbly ask. . .

Let me get home before dark.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Happy New Year, we pray 2020 is a great blessing from God in your life.

I got saved at a New Year Watch Service. I’d never heard of that term before. It simply means spending New Years Eve at church instead of out having a party. It was/is a novel concept and certainly better than out possibly wrecking your life or someone else’s.

My last time even out of the house for New Year’s was at a friends house for a bible study for the church families. It was 1990, and as we drove home someone tossed a concrete building block off a bridge. It went through our windshield and passed safely between all four occupants before landing in the back of our station wagon.

A grain of wheat

December 30, 2019

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In John 12:24 the Lord Jesus said, “Except a corn (grain) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” This principle of life out of death was then established at Calvary’s Cross, where He, Jesus, as the Grain of Wheat, died and rose again. In His resurrection He brought forth the “much fruit” out of His death.

  Everyone who would ever place his trust in Christ as Savior, every grain of wheat, was resident in (identified with) the Grain of Wheat, the Head of the new spiritual harvest.

  Every believer is included in the “much fruit” of His death and resurrection. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Rom. 6:5).

We need to remember that He is both, Lord and Savior. As Savior He gives eternal life, as Lord, He has the right to both lead us and instruct (command) us on how to live.

When we become children of God, Christians, Born Again, whatever term you want to apply, both roles are implied, He must and will be both.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Tommy, he has a parole hearing soon and he is hoping that all goes well.

Ricky R, still sober

Pray for salvation for Robin M, Mona r, Cristina and Oscar, the Perales family, norma, rick sr, and rick jr.

Remember Olivia and baby Eli, as Tim is out to sea.

Pray for Wayne B, encouragement

Remember Paul K, encouragement and direction.

IS JESUS SEXY?

December 29, 2019

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IS JESUS SEXY?

 

Ok, I admit the title is just to hook you into reading this devotion, but we are going to go with the theme.

A good pastor friend of mine with 2 doctorates, 30 years of teaching theology, has 5 books published. Went to a top Christian publisher with a new book. They really liked it and wanted to make only one change. Either leave his picture off or use a picture of someone else.

It’s true, many publishers only want attractive authors. It seems only self published writers on Amazon get to use their own pictures.

So who gets promoted in the Church world. Tall, good looking pastors or the roly-poly’s?

Let’s keep the same topic but change the scenario.

Christian worship, sexy or holy?

Worship songs that could be about Jesus or just really gay lyrics.

Worship services that look more like burlesque shows than worship.

I can’t confirm this story as being true, but I heard it from a pastor I know.

The story goes like this, an evangelist from Africa comes to a mega church and during the worship time he asked the pastor why they are summoning demons. The confused pastor asked him what he meant, and he replied; “this is the same music used in Africa to summon demons.”

Now, yes I’m an old fogey, we still sing out of a hymnal. We do have guitars, piano and a sound system. No drums, no choreographed dancers/singers, all music solos have to be preapproved and the sermon is longer than the worship service.

Hell is still hot, we have altar calls, water baptism, everyone brings a bible to church. And our services are all full. During our street meetings, we tell everyone that anyone is welcome and we do get a variety of visitors. Every visitor is asked to stay for a church dinner.

Is our church sexy? I doubt it very much. I did compete in a bodybuilding contest while in the military, but that was 40 years ago. If I wore the same bathing suit today, I would be arrested for negligence.

But hey, you are all welcome, just please come with clothes on.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

learning curve

December 28, 2019

praying mom

As I’ve said before, bible reading is the most important thing you can do. You can’t witness or share if you don’t know the basics of the bible. Whoever led you to the Lord had to do so with some scripture. And you can’t pray right without knowing something about the bible and thus you know something about God.

Don’t yawn yet, prayer is first and foremost just talking to God. It doesn’t have to be fancy or full of ‘thees’ and ‘thou’s’. but prayer is about having expectations.

Prayer is not merely communicating with God; it’s communication of a particular type. It’s mainly, as John Piper says, about asking God for things.

  By “things” I don’t mean objects or stuff. I mean, generally, whatever your heart desires or needs. And, of course, what your heart needs most is God—to know him and trust him and love him and obey him. I know that we should come to God with more than asking. We should come confessing sins and giving thanks and praise. In a broad sense, prayer includes all that. But, speaking precisely, prayer is requesting, asking. That’s why in Colossians 4:2 it says, “Devote yourselves to prayer . . . with (or in) thanksgiving.” Thanking God should always be part of what we do in prayer. But prayer, in the strict sense, means requesting. So I define it as asking God for things.

This isn’t a new insight, of course. In the 1640s the Westminster Catechism begins its answer to the question “What is prayer?” by stating, “Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God” The Biblical basis for this claim is found in Jesus’ promise to us in Matthew 7:7–8: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” God is a generous giver and delights in answering the prayers of the upright (see Proverbs 15:8).

 Sounds amazing, right? Well, there is a catch: When we ask God for things, the desires of our heart must be, as the Westminster Catechism adds, “for things agreeable to his will.”

 If prayer is asking God for things agreeable to his will and the purpose of the disciplines is to train us to be godly (see 1Ti 4:7), then the primary purpose of prayer as a spiritual discipline is to help us conform our will to God’s. The goal of this spiritual discipline is to conform our prayer life so that whatever it is we are asking God for is rooted in the same seven words: “Not my will, but yours be done” (Lk 22:42).

Don’t believe for a second the name it and claim it group, or your faith can give you anything. The object of faith is God, not you and not what you want. Selfish prayers are never answered. Good prayers are. So we need to learn good prayers.

I know we all make New Year resolutions, and I also know we tend to break them. After a few years we just don’t make them any more because we can pretty well predict we will fail.

The number one reason we fail is we make unrealistic resolutions. If I’m not praying at all, zip, nada, nothing; then it’s pretty stupid of me to make a resolution to pray an hour a day. It would be more realistic to say a resolution like, ‘I’m going to pray in my car on the way to work and home for at least 30 seconds. And I have a large post it note on my dashboard to remind me. That’s realistic.

Same with bible reading, get an app that reads to you, or cd’s. there not cheap but a dramatic reading with sound affects and all really makes it more enjoyable. And as I’ve said before if you are having a hard time reading your bible get the kids illustrated bible stories. I still have mine, it’s held together with duct tape, scotch tape and Elmer’s glue. And you’ll know the best stories of the bible.

And if you miss a day or a week or a month, just start over, you have the rest of your life.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Corrie W, a Pennsylvania State Trooper. Protection and help passing his sergeants exam.

Pray for Angel, Sherrie, Dominic and Marina, new Christians, trying to leave the adult entertainment world. And for Carrie that left that world and is now at bible college.

Pray for Phil R, a former male prostitute, going to community college and has been coming faithfully to church for a year now.

Remember Olivia and baby Eli, as husband Tim is out to sea for 4 more months serving in our Navy.

Candid

December 27, 2019

poker chips

CANDID

Well, here we are less than a week from a new year, 2020.

I have a few prayer requests, all for myself, which as you know I never do.

1, pray for my health, I’ve been putting it off, but I need to see my doctor about a lump in my neck.

2, we have written over 2500 hundred daily devotionals, almost consecutive, I think over 6.8 years. I think over that time there were maybe 5 days where I missed a day or just posted a one sentence statement. As we enter the new year I am pondering several different ways to go; topical (but shorter than the last 2) more bible study, i.e. important Greek and Hebrew word studies, pastoral advice, or excerpts from a biography that many people have been bugging me about for several years. Or a mix, which what we more or less have been doing. So keep that in prayer.

3, I have started a commentary on the book of Romans, it has been a lifetime work. Again keep that in prayer.

4, pray about whether it’s time to retire, semi-retire or just sell everything, buy a small island and start a new country with me as supreme leader. (not a cult).

5, always ask me no matter what I say if I’m really serious. Some people have a hard time with my sense of humor.

6, I have been a pastor, psychologist, chaplain, street evangelist, author of one of the largest single volume books on Christian Psychology, author and editor of the largest multi-volume set on Christian Counseling, have written several text books on the same subject, in use at 9 different colleges. And they all need to be updated. Do it myself or hire several someone’s to do it for me.

We appreciate all the prayers and have enjoyed some great fellowship through scum like us church. We are definitely going to do more bible give aways. We are going to shoot for one every other month. We are trying to work out a deal with a near by ‘half-price’ books about them donating bibles to us.

And we are going to address in an even more aggressive manner the false teachers and false prophets plaguing America.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Depression

December 26, 2019

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I know yesterday and today are rather long devotions, but if i cut them into parts they lose their impact, so bear with me.

Sooner or later most of us experience some form of depression. It can descend slowly, like the coming of an evening rain. It can overwhelm like an avalanche of darkness. It can be the result of a real situation of failure or loss, or it can invade our minds for no discernible reason. The Bible includes stories of people who experienced depression of all kinds, and parts of Scripture were written by people experiencing feelings much like depression. The good news is that God does not regard depression as sin but rather responds to those who suffer its darkness with great tenderness, understanding, and compassion. How am I vulnerable to depression? 1 Kings 19:3-4 | Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. . . . Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.”

 You can be especially vulnerable to depression after a major victory. Elijah had just defeated four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and seen God work several mighty miracles, yet he was afraid and depressed. Between his exhaustion and his emotional swing after the high of victory, he was susceptible to depression. Psalm 42:3-5 | Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?” My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be. . . . Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? Depression often comes from looking backward at what you have lost. Romans 7:19-24 | I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. . . . I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?

Depression can occur when you realize how wide the gap is between the ideal you strive for and the reality you see within and around you. This can create a great sense of loss. Matthew 26:36-39 | Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” . . . He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Depression can come from being asked by God to do an extraordinarily hard task and realizing what you may have to suffer to do it. 1 Samuel 16:14 | Now the Spirit of the LORD had left Saul, and the LORD sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear.

 When you neglect the Lord to the point where he can no longer get your attention, then he may neglect you for a while, and depression can move easily into the vacant room in your heart. The farther you move from God, the less hope you have of receiving the joy of his blessings. Jeremiah 8:18 | My grief is beyond healing; my heart is broken. A broken heart is ripe for depression. Proverbs 13:12 | Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. A heart without hope is a heart headed for depression. Ecclesiastes 4:8 | This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing. If you spend your life pursuing meaningless things, you may become depressed when you recognize that what you are doing has little lasting value. Jeremiah 20:14, 18 | Yet I curse the day I was born! May no one celebrate the day of my birth. . . . Why was I ever born? My entire life has been filled with trouble, sorrow, and shame.

Depression likes to keep company with trouble, sorrow, and shame. The more choices you make that result in trouble, sorrow, or shame, the deeper your depression will become. Psalm 43:5 | Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again. Sometimes we don’t understand why we are depressed. During those times we must run toward the loving arms of God, not away. Does God care when I feel depressed? Psalm 34:18 | The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Matthew 5:4 | “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” God isn’t disappointed by your depression and emotional struggles; on the contrary, he feels a special closeness to you. You can actually experience even more of God’s presence in times of brokenness. Psalm 139:12 | Even in darkness I cannot hide from you. There is no depth to which we can descend where God is not present with us. When depression comes, we must remember that even though we cannot see or feel his presence, he has not abandoned us. Psalm 130:1 | From the depths of despair, O LORD, I call for your help. We can cry out to God in prayer even from the darkest night of despair. He will hear us. Isaiah 53:3 | He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We know that through Christ God understands the pain of human life. Matthew 11:28 | Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Jesus cares deeply for the weary and provides acceptance, love, and rest. Romans 8:39 | Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Not even life’s worst depression can separate us from the love of Christ. Does feeling depressed mean something is wrong with my faith? Judges 15:18 | Samson was now very thirsty, and he cried out to the LORD, “You have accomplished this great victory. . . . Must I now die of thirst?” 1 Kings 19:3-4 | Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. . . . He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. Even for the people of God, depression can often follow great achievement or spiritual victory. Psalm 40:2 | He lifted me out of the pit of despair. Matthew 14:30-31 | When he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. God is able to lift us out of the pit of depression and fear. Can any good come out of my depression? Psalm 126:5 | Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. 2 Corinthians 12:9 | “My power works best in weakness.”

When you are weak, you are more receptive to the Lord’s strength. When everything is going your way, it’s easy to overlook God’s hand in your life. As God works through your weakness, however, you learn to depend more on him and recognize and be grateful for the good work that only he can accomplish in you. How can I help someone who is depressed? 2 Corinthians 1:4 | He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. Proverbs 25:20 | Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound. Romans 12:15 | Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.

The best way to help someone who is down is to model the gentle, caring love of Christ. Those dealing with depression need comfort and understanding, not advice and lectures. You can help people who are depressed by your quiet presence, your love, and your encouragement. Telling them to “snap out of it” or minimizing their pain by false cheeriness will just make them feel worse. There are also instances where you can lovingly suggest they get professional help from a trained counselor. God often works through other people to provide the help someone needs.

PROMISES FROM GOD Psalm 40:2 | He lifted me out of the pit of despair. . . . He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

Matthew 11:28 | Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, prayer requests, drop us a line at the email above.

A THANKFUL SPIRIT

December 25, 2019

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Well Christmas is over and hopefully you said thank you to all those that blessed you.

Think about how often in a day someone does something for us, however small. Do we remember to thank them? Now think about how often God helps us in life. Think about how much God has given us. When we pause to thank God, we recognize that he has a track record of blessing us, providing for us, and protecting us. How often do we say thanks to him? Thankfulness changes the way you look at the circumstances of your life.

Complaining connects you to unhappiness; gratitude and praise connect you to the source of real joy. When you make thanksgiving a regular part of your life, you stay focused on what God has done and continues to do for you. Expressing gratitude for God’s help is a form of worship. When you give thanks to God, you honor and praise him for what he has done—in your life, in the lives of others, in the church, and in the world. Similarly, you honor others when you give thanks to them, respecting them for who they are and what they have done. This attitude of gratitude prevents you from expecting others to serve you and allows you to enjoy whatever blessings come your way.

An attitude of thankfulness not only brings blessings to your life, but it blesses others with appreciation and honor. Why should I give thanks to God? 1 Chronicles 16:34 | Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Because God is good and kind and loving. Luke 17:16 | He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. A thankful heart plays a role in the maturing of our faith. 1 Corinthians 15:57 | But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because he gives you victory over sin and death when you put your faith in Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 9:15 | Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! For God’s Son, Jesus. Colossians 4:2 | Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. For answered prayer. 1 Timothy 4:4 | Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. For the beauty of creation. 1 Chronicles 16:8 | Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Psalm 111:1-2 | Praise the LORD! I will thank the LORD with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the LORD! All who delight in him should ponder them. To let others know how wonderful God is. Ephesians 5:20 | Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:7 | Let your lives be built on him. Then . . . you will overflow with thankfulness. Because thanksgiving keeps our mind on Christ and our thoughts on others. How can I show God I am thankful? 1 Chronicles 16:7 | On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the LORD . . . Psalm 147:7 | Sing out your thanks to the LORD; sing praises to our God with a harp. Colossians 3:16 | Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. With music and singing. Psalm 100:4 | Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. By praising and honoring him. Psalm 116:17 | I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Through worship and giving. Psalm 119:7 | As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! Through obedience and service. Colossians 4:2 | Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Through prayer. When should I give thanks to the Lord? Psalm 92:2 | It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening. (See note on page 529.) Morning and evening. Luke 9:16 | Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. 1 Timothy 4:4 | Since everything God created is good, we should . . . receive it with thanks. When you are about to eat food he gives. Colossians 3:15 | Always be thankful. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 | Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Always. We should maintain a spirit of constant gratitude. What can I be thankful for? Mark 6:41 | Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. You can thank God for providing life’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, oxygen, and life itself. Psalm 13:5-6 | But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the LORD because he is good to me. You can thank God for helping you through your troubles. Psalm 44:7 | You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies. You can thank God when you have experienced success. 1 Samuel 18:3-4 | And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt. You can thank God for friendships. James 1:17 | Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. You can thank God for everything good in your world and in your life. John 3:16 | “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 | This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! You can thank God for his gift of salvation, which brings a new start to life and peace with God. James 1:2-4 | Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. You can even thank God for adversity, because it is often through the difficult times that you grow the most. How do I develop an attitude of thanksgiving in myself and my family? 1 Chronicles 29:13 | “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name!” Psalm 108:3 | I will thank you, LORD, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. Philippians 1:3 | Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Cultivate thankfulness by giving thanks regularly—to God and also to others. Set aside time every day to think about things you are thankful for. Make a mental list of God’s blessings in your life—especially the most recent ones—and thank him for them. Don’t wait to feel thankful before giving thanks. Giving thanks will lead you to feel thankful. What are the consequences of an unthankful heart? Exodus 1:8 | Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done.

 Thankfulness fades with time. Apparently the new king had never been told about Joseph and the way Joseph had saved Egypt from starvation. For us, fading memory—neatly forgetting what we owe to God and others—can become a convenient way to avoid repaying our debt. Don’t let time rob God of the thanksgiving he deserves from you. 2 Chronicles 32:25 | Hezekiah did not respond appropriately to the kindness shown him, and he became proud. So the LORD’s anger came against him. When our pride becomes a barrier, keeping us from thanksgiving and praise, it acts also as a wall to keep us from God. 2 Timothy 3:2-5 | For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. A consistently ungrateful attitude will eventually turn you into a bitter and mean-spirited person.

1 Chronicles 16:34 | Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Colossians 2:7 | Let your lives be built on him. Then . . . you will overflow with thankfulness.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

The Atheist Christian

December 24, 2019

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The Bible has quite a lot to say about worry, and the message is clear and consistent: We need to stop worrying.

 Fear, anxiety and worry are closely connected (see “Understanding Anxiety, Fear and Worry”). Fear is an emotional response to a real or perceived immediate threat while anxiety is an emotional response to a real or perceived future threat. Worry is a repetitive pattern of thinking that causes us to inordinately focus on our anxiety and fear.

 In their limited roles as mechanisms for signaling pain, evil or danger, fear and anxiety can be signals that God intends for us to take action. Worry, however, should not be part of our lives at all because it causes us to focus on our concerns rather than on God.

 To break this pattern of behavior we need to do two things:

  ➤ Recognize that worrying is a sin—First, the bad news: worrying is a sin because it expresses our failure to trust God and believe that he will do what he says. Now, the good news: God will forgive and help us overcome this sin. If worry is just a part of your personality or part of being a mom (or a student or a businessman or whatever), God may not do anything to help you,But if worry is a sin, then God can forgive you for it and help you overcome it. Ask God to forgive you for worrying and help you trust him more.

 ➤ Recognize that God is in control—Is God in control or isn’t he? And He’s either in control of everything or nothing at all. When we worry, we’re saying God is not in control. Worry is practical atheism and an affront to God. In Luke 12 we find assurance that we don’t need to worry. Jesus tells us not to worry about what we’ll eat, drink or wear. He even tells us not to worry about our lives! Instead, he reminds us that God knows what we need—and he’s got it under control. Our task is to focus on laying up treasure in his kingdom and to let the Lord take care of the rest.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Merry Christmas 2019; we are starting a new tradition this Christmas. We are having a birthday cake for Jesus. Before dinner we are each going to talk about how we got saved.

Our Source

December 23, 2019

All spiritual life and growth are based upon the principle of position. It can be summed up in one word: source.

Through physical birth we entered our human family position, from which source we derive certain characteristics. We are the product of our position. Just so in our spiritual birth. When we are born again, the risen Lord Jesus is the source of our Christian life; in Him we are positioned before our Father, in whom “we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28), “for we are His workmanship created [born anew] in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:10). Our Father, in redeeming and recreating us, “raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6, ASV).

  Our position, the source of our Christian life, is perfect. It is eternally established in the Father’s presence. When we received the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior, the Holy Spirit caused us to be born into Him. He created us in the position that was established through His work at Calvary. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]” (2 Cor. 5:17). This is the eternal position in which every believer has been placed, whether he is aware of it or not. The Christian who comes to see his position in the Lord Jesus begins to experience the benefit of all that he is in Him. His daily state is developed from the source of his eternal standing.

  Our condition is what we are in our Christian walk, in which we develop from infancy to maturity. Although our position remains immutable, our condition is variable. Through the exercise of faith, our eternal position (source) affects our daily condition, but in no way does our condition affect that heavenly position. “If [since] ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1). “Be strong in the Lord—be empowered through your union with Him; draw your strength from Him” (Eph. 6:10, Amp.).

  When we concentrate upon our condition, we are not living by faith but by feelings and appearances. The inevitable result is that we become increasingly self-conscious and self-centered. Our prime responsibility is to pay attention to the Lord Jesus, to rest (abided) in Him as our position. There will then be growth, and He will be more and more manifested in our condition. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18).

  If the believer does not know of his position in the Lord Jesus. and how to abide in Him as his very life, there will be but one result. He will struggle in his un-Christlike condition rather than rest in his Christ-centered position.

  In most cases, a believer is more aware of his condition than of his position. This is the reason for so much failure and stagnation. If we are to grow and become fruitful, our faith must be anchored in the finished work of our position—in Christ. There is no basis for faith in our changeable, unfinished condition. “…Your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:5).

  Scriptural, fact-centered faith in the Lord Jesus as our position before the Father is the one means of experiencing that finished work in the growth of our daily condition. Spiritual birth placed us in our accepted position, from which our spiritual condition is being completed, by faith. “…Created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).

  Every Christian has been positioned forever in the risen Lord by spiritual birth. But only the believer who knows, grows. It is faith in the facts of our position that gives us the daily benefits of growth in our condition. If the believer is not clearly aware of the specific truths of the Word, he cannot exercise the necessary faith for growth and service. He can only seek his resources in the realm of self. Some of the wonderful positional truths are set forth for our faith in the scriptural illustrations of the grain of wheat, and the vine and the branch.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Mary A, her husband is suffering from the beginnings of dementia and the rest of the family is in denial.

Remember Olivia and baby Eli, as Tim is out to sea for the Navy.

Ricky r, still sober

Tommy M, doing well on probation and getting along with his new probation officer.

Pray for Sherrie M, we lose her to partying this time of year and about mid January she will return and hopefully all the bridges are not burned.

Pray or Elena, verbally abused by her adult daughter.

Pray for Tim E, his wife and sober partner just passed. He is tight with his sponsor and others. We are all keeping a close eye on him.

Pray for Andy O, a long haul trucker. At home he’s Mr. Church, on the road he’s anything but. His wife, Melinda, has always been there and took him back. She just tested positive for HIV. And he didn’t even care or say anything. Pray for them both.

Pray for Paul K, encouragement

THINK THIS THROUGH

December 22, 2019

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PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU READ THIS ALL THE WAY THROUGH BEFORE YOU EMAIL ME. IN FACT, READ IT 2 OR 3 TIMES. THERE IS ONLY ONE TOPIC BEING ADDRESSED HERE. WHAT IS GOD’S STANDARD FOR SEXUAL RELATIONS.

You wouldn’t think this needed to be said, but it does. This is a Christian devotion. It’s for people that believe in the Bible. And that the bible is the Holy Word of God, inerrant, inspired and infallible, relevant and the standard for how we are to live.

Being a Christian means that you are ‘saved’, ‘born again’ a believer. You believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that God the Father sacrificed His Son on the Cross for our sins. That Jesus was crucified, died, was buried, resurrected 3 days later, seen by over 500 witnesses, ascended into heaven and there as our high priest makes intercession for all believers.

So if you agree with that, then you will believe the Bible is God’s instruction manual to mankind on how to be in fellowship with Him, with other believers and how we are to live. You would also agree that culture does not define the bible.

So, with that being said, let’s say this;

“Holiness is our standard and we all are called to be holy whether we have heterosexual or homosexual feelings. Holiness with reference to our sexuality means one of two things. If you are married, complete faithfulness to your spouse of the opposite sex. Or if you are single, complete faithfulness through abstinence. Regardless of sexual orientation.”

SEX, is only allowed between a married man and his female bride/wife.

If you are not married than there is no possible sexual relation you can have that is not a sin.

If you are married, than you can only have sex with your spouse, a man and a woman in a legally recognized marriage.

I can’t make it any more clear than that.

Any other act of sex is a sin and against the Holiness of God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, hate mail, please you the email address and please read this devotion carefully before you jump to any conclusions. fa