IN HIS HANDS

March 31, 2020

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Most of us would confess freely that God is sovereign. We wouldn’t deny that. But it’s the application of his sovereignty—that he’s in control of all things—that tends to give us a little bit of trouble, in particular with the idea of contentment.

The doctrine of God’s providence says that God orders everything that comes to pass to come to pass. And everything, like the Heidelberg catechism says, comes to us as if it comes to us from his very own fatherly hand. That becomes a framework, a lens, for us to see the world around us.

So if, for example, we are afflicted with some type of sickness or a physical condition, the Christian understands that we live in a broken world, that this world is filled with sin, and one of the repercussions of sin is physical affliction—sickness. But we also understand that God is working in the midst of this broken world, for our good and for his glory. So we are able to see our physical affliction as a tool to help us to be more dependent upon God.

So we are able to see our physical affliction as a tool to help us to be more dependent upon God.

Why did the sickness come? We live in this broken world. But God is sovereign, so he’s allowed it or even ordered it for the purpose of our good. When I think about God’s sovereignty, and I think about contentment, I have to look at my life circumstances and understand that God has allowed these things to come for my own good.

Instead of grumbling and being discontent, pondering this question leads us to pray and ask God, what am I to learn from this sickness, this trial, this pain, or this shattered relationship. And while we are going through this trial, hopefully we’re able to rest in God knowing that, in his love, he has ordered it.

Instead of becoming discontent, think about God’s sovereignty; know that this is what He’s provided at this point, and you can rest in Him. Yes, you can pray, you can get to work, and you can look for opportunities. But do all those things in a way that’s not grumbling, but instead resting in God’s sovereignty. And then when the new job, the spouse, or the healing comes, we’re able to praise God that He has done it, and He’s made us more content along the way.

After the garden, one might suppose God would leave us to our own devices; after all, if this is what humanity wanted, we got precisely what we reached for. But God does not stop caring, as the stories of the imperfect people of Genesis show over and over.

That God remains an active agent in the world and is able to incorporate even the things we assume bad into a greater plan that can be good has the possibility to drastically change the way we pursue health and face sickness. Every time our health is in danger or we become ill, naturally and appropriately we will pursue the good of keeping or regaining our health. But are there times and places when other goods are possible? The idea that God is good, that God seeks communion with us, and that God has power and intention to work out good no matter the bad leaves us open to a much wider range of hopes and expectations than the singular one of health at all costs and with any technique.

But our ability to cultivate this sense of contingency and contemplate this vision of reality is constantly challenged by the prevailing worldview. We are trained in another way of seeing—that nothing of weakness, dependence, difficulty, pain, or suffering can ever have any meaning.

The world is an unpredictable place, and we can flourish only if we can depend on someone stronger and wiser than ourselves to make it safe. Not just anyone, not just an anonymous higher power, but the God of the Bible.

Do we always understand God’s way, NO, but we can understand Him and His love for us.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Caliste Burt in prayer, 4th inoperable brain tumor, pray for complete healing.

Salvation for Norma Perales and family. For Oscar and Cristina, for Lauren, Tara, Nicole, Anne.

Pray for Pam K, pneumonia.

Pray for Roger E, possible beginning of dementia.

Paul Corder complete healing for his shoulder and neck.

Struck by Awe

March 30, 2020

animal africa zoo lion

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Hope Versus Panic

It is quite clear that your view of God will inescapably shape your perspective on your circumstances. In this way your theology is like a lens through which you examine life. This means you never come at your circumstances from some happy place of neutrality. You and I are always evaluating our situation from the vantage point of vertical awe or awelessness. In some way, we, like the children of Israel, are always asking and answering five deeply theological questions, and the way that we answer them will push us toward hope or panic.

  1. Is God good?

Now you can rest assured that the goodness of God will confuse you. You see, what looks good from God’s perfect eternity-to-destiny perspective doesn’t always seem good to us at ground level. It is hard to accept that God knows better than we do. It is hard to admit that God can use difficulties for good in our lives. When it comes to what is good, it is very hard for us to stay on God’s agenda. And again the issue of awe lies at the heart of this. If I live at the center of my God-given capacity for awe—that is, if awe of self has replaced awe of God—then I will invariably conclude that God is not always good, and loads of complaints will follow.

If I am at the center, I will define good as what is comfortable, predictable, pleasurable, natural, and easy. The good life will be the easy life because awe of self will have replaced awe of God as the principal motivator of my life. So when difficulty comes my way, my default theological response will be to wonder why God is doing what he is doing and to question his goodness. In my early days of ministry, I was blown away by how many of the people whom I counseled were angry with God. I was amazed at how many people no longer assumed that God was good.

Now here’s what’s deadly about this. If you allow yourself to question God’s goodness, you will quit following his commands, and you will quit running to him for help because you will no longer rely on, follow, or seek the help of someone you no longer trust. But God is good. His goodness is the foundation stone of his awesome qualities. He never thinks, desires, says, or does what is evil. He is the definition of all that is good, right, and true. Everything he does is good in every way. His goodness is so bright and glorious it should leave us breathless, silent, and amazed. And if we are amazed at his goodness, we won’t panic in times of trouble, and we won’t refuse to do the hard things he calls us to do.

Does awe of God’s goodness interpret life for you? Or do the hardships of life cause you to question his goodness?

  1. Will God do what he promised?

Few questions in life are more important than this one. Since we are all small and weak, since we never really know what is going to happen next, and since God calls us to do difficult, sacrificial things, we need to know that his promises are reliable. Will he be with us always? Will he give us everything we need? Will he forgive us no matter what? Will his love last forever? Will he stay with the work of his grace until that work is done? Will he provide the guidance and protection that we need? Will he?

God’s promises are meant to move and motivate us.

God’s promises are meant to move and motivate us. They are meant to instill hope. They are meant to give us courage. They are meant to defeat feelings of loneliness, inability, and fear. They are meant to give us peace when things around us are chaotic and confusing. God’s promises are meant to blow your mind and settle your heart. They are his gifts of grace to you. In your heart of hearts, you know you could never have earned the riches that he pours down on you. His promises are meant to leave you in awe of him and in wonder at the glory of his grace. His promises are designed to be the way that you interpret and make sense of your life.

Do you stand with hope and courage on the awesome promises of God? Or do you walk through the quicksand of questioning their reliability?

  1. Is God in control?

Here is a fundamentally important place for your awe to rest. In some ways, all the other questions rest on this one. It would make no good difference in life if God didn’t rule the places that resist his goodness. God’s promises are only as trustworthy as the extent of his control. He can only guarantee that he will do something in the places where he has absolute control. What good is his almighty power if he lacks the authority to exercise it? It is of no comfort to know that God is in control if he does not rule over the circumstances where his care is essential. Yes, all the comfort of God’s awesome qualities rests on his sovereign control over every situation, location, and person.

But here’s the problem: at ground level, your world doesn’t look to be under careful and wise control. In fact, at times it seems totally out of control. This gets us right back to the same place we have been with each of these questions. Will you let your interpretation of circumstances tell you who God is, or will you allow God’s awesome revelation of himself to interpret your circumstances for you? You see, people who live in fear, who beat themselves up with way too many “what if” questions, or who have trouble turning off their minds when they go to bed don’t have a circumstances problem; they have an awe problem. You and I will only rest in situations over which we have no control if we are in awe of the One who controls them all for his glory and for our good.

People who have to be in control don’t first have a power problem; they have an awe problem, which produces power hunger. A lack of awe at the sovereignty of God causes them to try to establish personal peace and safety by means of personal control. What about you? Has your awe of God’s infinite sovereignty freed you from both fear and the need to be in control?

  1. Does God have the needed power?

How do you measure the power of God? How can poor, feeble minds grasp that which is without limit? Scripture tells us that God comes to us with the same power by which he raised Christ from the dead. Now that’s a definition of ultimate power! What in the universe would be more powerful than the ability to speak life into a dead body? What could be a better definition of almighty power than to be able to rise up and walk away from being dead? There is no place where human beings are more powerless than in death.

If you’ve experienced the death of a loved one, you know what it is like. I stood next to my mom’s bed after she had died and wished for one more conversation, wished I could hear her say “I love you” one more time, wished that she could squeeze my hand and say it would be okay. I wished with all that was in me for more, but she was gone, and I was powerless to do anything about it.

God’s power is so great that he rules life and death. Now here’s why this matters. You will only have peace in the face of your own weaknesses, failures, foibles, and inabilities when you are in awe of God’s awesome power. You will only rise up to do what you don’t have the natural ability to do when you know that God’s awesome power is with you. Awe of God’s power produces courage in the face of weakness. Awe of God’s power enables you to admit your limits and yet live with courage and hope. Timidity, fear, denial, hiding, excusing, and running away are not first weakness problems but awe problems. I step into what is bigger than me because I know the One who is with me is bigger than what I am facing. What about you? How much of what you do is done out of fear and not faith? How often are you paralyzed by your weakness? Does awe of God’s power cause you to live a forward-moving and courageous life?

  1. Does God care about me?

Perhaps this is the question we’re most conscious of. It’s the question that the bullied teenager asks. It’s the question asked by the wife who has watched her marriage go sour. It’s the question the exhausted parent asks at the end of a very hard day with children. It’s the question asked by the lonely single woman. The man who has just lost his job asks this question. It’s what’s asked by the person who with sadness has left the church that has lost its way. It’s what the person suffering the weaknesses of old age asks. It’s what the person asks who is struggling through a long illness. It’s what you wonder about as you watch the surrounding culture coarsen and worsen.

God’s care is foundational. It lets me know that all that he is, he is for me. His care means he will be good for me. His care means he will do what he promised for me. His care means he will exercise his control for me. His care means he will unleash his awesome power for me. Awe of his care allows me to embrace the hope found in all of his other qualities. The Bible never debates God’s care; it assumes and declares it. It confronts you with the lavish nature of his mercy, love, patience, forbearance, grace, tenderness, and faithfulness. He is the ultimate loving Father. He is the completely faithful Friend. He is the One who stays closer than a brother. He alone will never leave you, no matter what. He is the One who never sends you without going with you. He is your protector, guide, defender, teacher, Savior, and healer. He never mocks your weakness but gives you strength. He never uses your sin against you but affords you forgiveness. He never plays favorites, never wants to give up on you, never gets exhausted or wishes he could quit. He never plays with you. He is never disloyal. His care is so awesome and so complete that nothing in your life’s experience in any way compares. He cares!

What about you? Do you go through times of disappointment and complaining because you have allowed yourself to question his care? The size of your hope is directly related to the level of your awe of God’s care.

So every word spoken in complaint, every murmur of grumbling is deeply theological. Our problem is not that the “good life” has passed us by, that people have failed us, or that life has been hard. All these things have happened to us because we live in a broken world. And if our contentment rests on life being easy, comfortable, and pleasurable, we’ll have no contentment this side of eternity. We complain so much not because we have horizontal problems but because we have a vertical problem. Only when the awe of God rules your heart will you be able to have joy even when people disappoint you and life gets hard. Awe means your heart will be filled more with a sense of blessing than with a sense of want. You will be daily blown away by what you have been given rather than being constantly disturbed by what you think you need. Awe produces gratitude, gratitude instills joy, and the harvest of joy is contentment.

Tomorrow there is a good possibility that complaint will be on your lips, and when it is, cry out for your Savior’s help. He alone can open your eyes to his glory. His grace alone can satisfy your heart. And as you cry out, remember that he is so rich in grace that he will never turn a deaf ear to your cries.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for all those that are going through tough financial times because of the stay at home orders. Pray they realize anger doesn’t help anything and stop the hoarding, really.

the bible

You may think we cover this way to often but since it comes up in class all the time and on the board I moderate we will cover it again.

And this is subjective on my part both as a pastor and professor.

Bibles by version for serious theological study, in order;

  1. King James Version, no other bible will do for the study of doctrine and theology.

  2. 1901 American Standard Version, this is a great favorite of mine and if you find one in print hold on to it, they are as rare as hen’s teeth.

  3. 1977 New American Standard Version, pretty easy to find and better than 1995 updated version, the gold standard for comparing to Hebrew and Greek word studies.

  4. New King James Version. An all around great bible

  5. 1984 NIV, before political correctness and gender equality.

Study Bibles (i.e. having study notes or commentary)

1 Life Application Study bible in just about any flavor you want. I appreciate the fact that they will list different theological issues in a passage and tell you why.

  1. any version and then it says; Study bible, NIV or KJV, usually printed by Zondervan.

  2. CSB study bible, I’ve using this for about a year and have really begun to like it. I appreciate the fact that it comes in a real large font. (10 or better prefer 12 of better and red letter) don’t be fooled with the new term ‘comfort font’ it’s to small (9 point)

  3. these are all great, John MacArthur study bible, KJV, NKJV, NASB, and ESV.

  4. Thompson Chain Reference bible, probably my favorite, it is the bible interpreting the bible, not man.

Bibles I’m not fond off.

  1. Dake’s Annotated Bible, the worse of all bibles out there, I have 13, 1 inch binders printed front and back with all the errors.

  2. Any Spirit Filled bible, now remember I come from a Pentecostal background. Problems, kingdom principles, name it and claim it, demons behind every bush, promoting a person over truth.

  3. Nothing wrong with it just disappointed. The Chuck Swindoll Study Bible, large print is not large (comfort font 9) to skimpy on notes. To many crucial issues ignored.

One issue I have with modern versions, although I read them and like them. I have a problem when the decapitalize pronouns for deity. KJV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, He still capitalize pronouns related to DEITY, He, not he, GOD, JESUS, The HOLY SPIRIT, all “HE”, “HIS”, “HIM” not, he, him,, his.

I’m sure there are some I’ve overlooked and if you have questions about any please feel free to email me.

Questions, comments, prayer requests to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for those in chronic pain,  for healing, a good period of sleep and times without pain.

Resurrection-Doubting-Thomas

JESUS CHRIST OUR ADVOCATE

  When we are at rest concerning sin, through abiding in the risen Lord, we are established and ready to receive His answer to the problem of sins committed. There are two factors that come into play when we have sinned: Christ’s advocacy (this chapter); our confession (next chapter). His advocacy is the foundation for our confession.

  “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). An advocate is one who speaks in support of another. Our Lord Jesus has entered heaven, “now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb. 9:24). As our High Priest, He is in God’s presence on our behalf; He is there as our propitiation, our atonement.

  “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:12). He is seated because, as far as our acceptance and position before God are concerned, there is nothing more required either to do, or say. “…By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:12).

  As our Advocate, the Lord Jesus is before the Father, maintaining us in fellowship with Him. There, in our position, we are “perfected for ever” (Heb. 10:14). Here, in our condition, indwelt by the principle of sin, we are often overcome by its power. Nevertheless, by the ministry of the Spirit our condition is being perfected, or matured.

  When we sin in word, thought or deed, consciously or unconsciously, our heavenly Advocate speaks to the Father on our behalf. His faithful intercession is justly founded upon His perfect work and Person, and thereby our right of position in our Father’s presence is forever maintained. Although our sins are never imputed to us, they do defile us and hinder our fellowship with the Father.

  Even though God fully and justly accepts the atonement of His Son on our behalf, He in no way passes over or tolerates our sins. He has not only provided His Son as our Savior, but also as our Advocate. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). Further, He has given us the responsibility and privilege of confessing our sins. “…He that is washed [atonement] needeth not save to wash his feet [confession]…” (John 13:10). For, “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

  Not only do we have an Advocate in heaven before the Father, but we also have an Advocate within our spirit. The word “Comforter” in John 14:16 is rendered “advocate” in 1 John 2:1. We need, and have, a dual advocacy! When we sin, the Lord Jesus intercedes for us on the ground of His having borne the judgment of that very sin. The indwelling Spirit acts upon our conscience to produce confession. Thereby we have the assurance of the sin having been forgiven, the unrighteousness cleansed, and our fellowship with the Father completely restored.

  “So too the (Holy) Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the (Holy) Spirit—what His intent is—because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will” (Rom. 8:26, 27, Amp.). “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Ps. 23:3).

  The fact that we need constant advocacy before our Father in no way detracts from the truth of our perfect and eternal standing in the Lord Jesus. The Word makes it clear that each of us, at the moment of our new birth, is fully accepted in the Beloved. We are complete in Him, perfectly and forever forgiven, justified sanctified, and glorified—through His death, resurrection and ascension—never to come into judgment, but have passed from death to life as new creations in Christ Jesus. Before God, we are not in the flesh (the fallen, first Adam race), but in the Spirit (the new, Last Adam creation). Having died unto sin, self, Satan, the law, and the world, we are now and forever alive in our risen Lord “after the power of an endless life” (Heb. 7:16).

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

Pray for Lily B, in the last 9 months she has lost her husband of 43 years, a large portion of her retirement by a fraud, her health and has had her first stroke. But you would be hard pressed to meet a more gracious, joyful person in the world.

Pray for Veronica V, 68 years younger than Lily, lives paycheck to paycheck, bitter and angry. She’s missed one paycheck and has gone off her rocker (ever for her) with just whacked out whining and complaining. Funny thing is she worked with Lily for 20 years and has been totally unteachable. Pray for her salvation and a gracious spirit.

Senior Couple At Home

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4

We’ve probably hit this verse before, because in every marriage seminar it always comes up.

So here’s how it works. I do these 1 and half day marriage seminar/retreats away from the church, usually at some sort of resort or conference center. Friday night we have dinner and a short session and tell everyone to have a relaxing evening and no cell phone , and we choose a place that doesn’t have tv or wifi.  Then at the dinner we tell everyone to fill out a little card with any prayer requests or questions. We say prayer requests or questions so no one is afraid to be seen writing anything down.

And yes, there are conference centers with no cell reception and no wifi.

I’ve been doing these seminars for over 40 years and there has never been one time that someone hasn’t posed the question; ‘how freaky can we get in bed’.

We now do a segment called; ‘bring God back into the bedroom’.

These are supposedly Christian folks attending a Christian marriage seminar. When I first started out I was shocked by the language, questions and blatant sexual requests. Well no shock anymore.

First item, people that haven’t looked at a King James Bible in 35 years. Will quote me Hebrews 13:4, and say Dr. W, it says the marriage bed is undefiled, we can do anything we want.

Well that’s not what it says, but the vehemence it which it is spoken is amazing. And it’s always a man that says that. Go figure.

The bible is still relevant today, it is still the authentic, inerrant, infallible Word of the Living God. And it pretty much gives good guidelines to our sexual life.

No if you are easily embarrassed or offend quit reading right here.

SO NO ANAL SEX,  doesn’t matter if you like it, you can’t do it.

Second, you know all the idols in the Old Testament, God was upset about. You know where Israel had to sneak out to the woods and high places to piss of God. Yeah, phallic symbols. That means no vibrators or things to stick up or in body cavities.

No pornography, zero.

No guests, multiple partners or chickens.

And I get this one a lot, how about talking dirty, like a sailor with clap filthy. NO, really? The bible says let there be no filthy, course, dirty language in your mouth and yes that means the bedroom.

And while we are on the sex subject, having oral or anal sex while a teen is NOT preserving your virginity, seriously.

First push back I get is on the first break, someone, male or female will come up to me and say your sex life must be really boring. Now there’s a tell tale sign.

A committed couple, deeply in love, having fantastic sex, because they’ve kept their vows and each other their first priority. You never have to pretend you are with someone else when you are that in love and honor God in your bedroom.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for 12 year old Lisa B, broke her ankle today playing soccer with her little brother.

Remember Helen, still grieving hard since her husband died.

Remember Pam K, pneumonia.

Don, has he recovers from heart problems

Paul C, shoulder surgery.

Pray for Carl L, thinking about leaving the ministry, just plain burned out.

MEN OF GOD

March 26, 2020

man wearing gray and red armour standing on the streets

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One of my most frequent calls from pastors now days is; “what can I do about church discipline, if we even mention to someone they are doing something wrong they leave the church, especially the millennials.”

A big problem and one I keep hearing more and more. First recognize that for all their lives they’ve told they’re special, we are lucky to have them. Worship services cater to their need to be entertained. Sermons talk about all they can do is be a blessing just by showing up. Have you ever had a ‘work’ day at church where you expected people to show up and help with work around the church and no one shows up except the 88 year old one armed guy and two veterans in wheelchairs (absolutely true).

If we say anything to them we are being mean. Seriously, when I have a 6’5 black belt, body builder, rush out of my office in tears because I told him his immoral behavior precluded him from teaching a Sunday School. I mean I now have my lawyer on speed dial.

I yearn for the days of the Jesus Freaks and hippies, when they were smoking pot in the restroom and screwing out in the parking lot. At least when you caught them they came to church and apologized after the service.

I don’t think the marines can ever say “we are looking for a few good men” without a discrimination lawsuit. And now our government is saying let’s include women in the military draft.

Ok, I know I’m an old fart and the only women in the military when I was in were nurses.

Ah, but I ramble. I don’t have an answer, how do we toughen up our men. I have women in the church complaining how the men they are dating have more hair and face products in their bathroom then they do.

When in doubt pray.

We don’t need cavemen, knuckle dragging, women abusers. But godly men who haven’t been castrated by the feminist movement or sissy’s that have been ground into spam by our liberal ungodly school system.

Ok, I keep rambling. Like the old hymn says;

  1. Rise up, O men of God!

Have done with lesser things.

Give heart and mind and soul and strength

to serve the King of kings.

  1. Rise up, O men of God!

The kingdom tarries long.

Bring in the day of brotherhood

and end the night of wrong.

  1. Rise up, O men of God!

The church for you doth wait,

her strength unequal to her task;

rise up, and make her great!

  1. Lift high the cross of Christ!

Tread where his feet have trod.

As brothers of the Son of Man,

rise up, O men of God!

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

AND YES I KNOW GENERALIZATION AND STEREOTYPING IS NAUGHTY.

Remember Caliste Burt in prayer, 4 brain tumors in 4 years for a 40 year old Christian woman. Pray for encouragement and healing.

Ricky r, still sober.

Good news for Tommy, one more year of Parole, not 5. It’s a miracle and almost unheard of.

Remember Allen,, our Aryan pastor friend trying to reform a church from hate to at least to listening. He has suffered beatings, assaults, his pickup truck burnt down. Keep him in prayer.

Pray for Alicia, stage four cancer, 18 years old, been married 6 weeks.

YES, YOU DO!

March 25, 2020

art carving close up crown

Photo by Mike Bird on Pexels.com

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover–up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1 Peter 2:13–25

You may think this whole virus thing is a giant government hoax, or just blown way out of proportion. But as a Christian we are commanded to submit to authorities that have been placed in authority over us. They have been placed there by God, so if you rebel against them, then you are rebelling against God.

Plain and Simple, Short and Sweet, there are no excuses.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

We are hearing many testimonies of how families for the first time in years are spending time together.

We are also hearing from more parents how they don’t have a clue how to parent or do anything with their children because since birth they have farmed their kids out to someone else.

Pray for families everywhere that they would be what God intended families to be.

forget me not

March 24, 2020

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We usually try to forget our sins and our failures. But remembering our failures and faults is actually helpful.

In the opening of the book of Joshua, God recommits to giving the land he promised to the Israelites. The ensuing struggle isn’t easy, but Joshua eventually defeats all the kingdoms in the northern region: “He captured all their kings and put them to death. Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time” (Jos 11:17–18).

 Chapter 12 serves as an appendix for these battles, listing all the kings who were defeated while capturing this part of the promised land. Though the Israelites still have a long way to go, this list reminds them that they’ve made significant progress toward their goal. This epic physical struggle, which required clearing obstacles to attain God’s promise, provides a parallel to our own spiritual battles.

 For your own journey toward sanctification, consider making a list of the sins and temptations the Lord has helped you to overcome. Here are four reasons why such a list can be useful:

  1. So we can gauge our progress—From now until death, we will struggle with sin and temptation. But the Christian life should be marked by real progress and victory over sin. By tracking the sins we have overcome, we are able to see how far we’ve come.

  2. So we can be encouraged—Defeating even one persistent sin in our lives is a significant achievement. Looking back on such victories can be a source of encouragement in current struggles. We are reminded how the Holy Spirit helped us to overcome sin and temptation in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

  3. So we can be grateful—By frequently remembering how God has helped us overcome sin, we are reminded to give thanks for our release.

  4. So we can be hopeful—The completion of our sanctification process ends in glorification at the resurrection (1Co 15:42–44). Tracking our defeated sins reminds us that we are one step closer to the fulfillment of our greatest hope: to live eternally with the Savior who has conquered all sin and death.

As the old saying goes; “those that forget history are doomed to repeat it”.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Ricky r, still sober

Tommy, has new parole hearing in 3 months, he might get off parole early.

Tammy M, long story, she has been lying to her husband about pretty much everything. Well today it all comes tumbling down. Looks like she might be homeless, childless and without any funds at all. He’s no saint but he is extremely connected, actual royalty. Still a jerk of a guy.

Olivia and Eli, without husband and father for at least 6 months, Navy is keeping ships out to sea that long at least.

Remember Cristina and Oscar, salvation. Norma and her husband Rick and Rick Jr.

Salvation for Lauren, Tara, Anne and Nicole. Seems like the pattern holds true, the more you pray for an unsaved person and really mean it. The more their life goes upside down. Well it really has.

not ashamed

OUR 2600 CONSECUTIVE DEVOTIONAL POST.

HOW DO WE BECOME BETTER PASTORS

Pastors, we will never get anywhere in life without discipline, and this is doubly so in spiritual matters. None of us is inherently righteous, so Paul’s instructions regarding spiritual discipline in 1 Timothy 4:7–8 take on personal urgency: “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” That word “train” comes from the Greek word from which we derive gymnasium. So, I invite you into God’s Gym—to some pain and great gain!

Discipline of Purity

Sensuality is the biggest obstacle to godliness among Christian leaders. The fall of King David should not only instruct us but also scare the sensuality right out of us! Fill yourself with God’s Word—memorize passages like 1 Thessalonians 4:3–8; Job 31:1; Proverbs 6:27; Ephesians 5:3–7; and 2 Timothy 2:22. Find someone who will help you keep your soul faithful to God. Develop the divine awareness that sustained Joseph: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:9).

Discipline of Relationships

To be all God wants you to be, put some holy sweat into your relationships! If you are married, you need to live out Ephesians 5:25–31. For those who are fathers, God provides a workout in one pungent sentence: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Relationships are not optional (Heb. 10:25); they enable us both to develop into what God wants us to be and to most effectively learn and live God’s truth.

Discipline of Mind

The potential of possessing the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) introduces the scandal of today’s church—pastors who do not think Christianly, leaving their minds undisciplined. The apostle Paul understood this well: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8). You can never have a Christian mind without reading the Scriptures regularly, for you cannot be influenced by that which you do not know.

Discipline of Devotion

Reading God’s Word is essential, but meditation internalizes the Word and responds, “I delight to do your will, O my God” (Ps. 40:8). Beyond obedience to instructions such as those found in Ephesians 6:18–20, there are two additional great reasons to pray. First, the more we expose our lives to the white-hot sun of Christ’s righteous life, the more his image will be burned into our character. Second, prayer bends our wills to God’s will. Many pastors never have an effective devotional life because they never plan for it; they never expose their lives to his pure light.

Discipline of Integrity

We can hardly overstate the importance of integrity to a generation of Christian leaders so much like the world in ethical conduct. Integrity’s benefits—character, a clear conscience, deep intimacy with God—argue its importance. We must let God’s Word dictate our conduct. Our speech and actions must be intentionally true (Prov. 12:22; Eph. 4:15), backed by the courage to keep our word and stand up for our convictions (Ps. 15:4).

Discipline of Tongue

The true test of a preacher’s spirituality is not his ability to speak but rather his ability to bridle his tongue (James 1:26). Offered to God on the altar, the tongue has awesome power for good. There must be an ongoing prayerfulness and resolve to discipline our tongues.

Discipline of Work

We meet God, the Creator, as a worker in Genesis 1:1–2:2. Since “God created man in his own image” (1:27), the way we work will reveal how much we allow the image of God to develop in us. There is no secular/sacred distinction; all honest work ought to be done to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). We must recover the biblical truth that our pastoral vocation is a divine calling and thus be liberated to do it for the glory of God.

Discipline of Perseverance

Hebrews 12:1–3 presents a picture of perseverance in four commands.

Divest! “Lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely” (v. 1a).

Run! “. . . with endurance the race that is set before us” (v. 1b).

Focus! “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (v. 2).

Consider! Our life is to be spent considering how Jesus lived (v. 3).

Discipline of Church

You do not have to go to church to be a Christian; you do not have to go home to be married. But in both cases, if you do not, you will have a very poor relationship! As pastors we need to remind our flock that they will never attain spiritual maturity without commitment to the local church. We need to encourage Christians to join the church and participate wholeheartedly, giving their time, talent, and treasure to God.

Discipline of Giving

We escape the power of materialism by giving from a heart overflowing with God’s grace, like the believers in Macedonia who “gave themselves first to the Lord” (2 Cor. 8:5). Pastor, make sure you are giving to your local church, to missions, and to those in need! Giving disarms the power of money and reaps the spiritual blessings of God. As Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

As we sweat out the disciplines of a godly pastor, remember, with Paul, what energizes us to live them out: “not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Cor. 15:10).

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

Please remember Caliste Burt in prayer, the diagnosis for the 4th brain tumor looks like it might follow the 3rd and be inoperable. This is a young Christian wife and mother and she really needs our prayers.

HOWDY!

March 22, 2020

silhouette and grayscale photography of man standing under the rain

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

HOWDY!

We have a lot of new readers, so I want to give you a brief background about myself and our devotional site, scumlikeuschurch at wordpress.

My first reason is so you trust the material you read and know that it is scriptural and trustworthy.

Once in a blue moon I write something off the cuff and not related to anything and it might just be to get your blood pressure up.

In the 6 years we’ve been doing this page I think there has been only one or two political comments and they were probably geared toward voting.

So here goes, I’ve been in the ministry since 1976, so that’s 44 years of preaching and teaching.

Been married to the same woman for 46 years.

God wonderfully saved me out of a biker/prison gang, drug addiction and very prone to violence.

I’m a Veteran with PTSD and CBI and spinal injuries that have left me dealing with chronic pain, depression and other disabilities.

I’m a Christian Psychologist, although I will tell you that 99% of the people that use that moniker are frauds, liars or misinformed.

Did I mention, not bashful, not shy and not afraid of confrontations.

I’ve been a chaplain in a mental hospital, the prison system and county jail system.

I started out as a Lutheran, then became Pentecostal, than Church of Christ and now for 9 years I would say independent evangelical.

I went to a Pentecostal bible college, then a Brethren Seminary, and then a somewhat Baptist graduate school that went independent, and there acquired my doctorate.

For 20 years I’ve edited text books (psychology and theology) ghost authored several Christian best sellers, was the editor of the largest Christian theological encyclopedia on counseling.

I was a licensed sex therapist for 9 years. Started the first 800 crisis phone number Christian hotline in America. Offered the first LGBT grief counseling for the loss of a loved one due to aids along with Christian counseling for those that thought God might have a different plan for their lives in the 10th largest city in the U.S.

I now pastor a small home church that would be considered what we call in Texas a Cowboy Church. Strongly evangelical, mildly still Pentecostal. We try to cover the waterfront when it comes to topics. Although our chief topic and aim is spiritual growth, recovery from toxic Christianity and helping develop a strong personal theology and resource against the modern scourge of talking TV cult religious leaders from the likes of Joel Osteen to Benny Hinn and every crackpot in between.

We take questions, comments and prayer requests. Comments are answered privately and prayer requests can be public or private, your choice.

I’ve probably left something out but all right. The one thing I can tell you for sure is that anybody who says they know everything is full of horse manure.

Well God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please feel free to write us or just drop a note. We really enjoy the pictures along with prayer requests and you telling us where you live and what you do. As far as I know we have readers in at least 13 different countries, and I don’t keep track that well of everybody that follows. But we’ve never forgotten anyone that has communicated with us and we enjoy the fellowship.

I believe the only unpardonable sin is dying without Jesus. No matter how bad you’ve screwed things up or done, God loves you.

Blessings