BEATING BURNOUT

October 5, 2021

Remember that burnout comes from being exhausted physically, mentally or emotionally. Sometimes it can come from all three areas. It can cause us to withdraw from life and others, feeling cynical, hopeless or despondent. But remember, that when you feel this way, not to isolate from others. Reach out to family and friends and let them know you are struggling. We need one another and we need the body of Christ.

We need to keep going. Sometimes, we need to hear the words, “You got this.” or “You can do this.” “Keep going!” We all know that there are days that are so much harder than others. And it feels like we take one step forward and three back. But these days will pass, and we will be so glad we didn’t give up and that we kept up the good fight. Because ultimately, when it comes right down to it if we know Christ as our Lord and Savior, then the work we are doing should be for Him. Even as I write this, it sounds trite, because when we are burned out, we are burned out. And that translates into not caring. Our feelings are blah, and our attitudes are blah. But, sometimes, if we act then our feelings will follow those actions. And we do want to hear at the end of our lives that God is well pleased with us. 2 Timothy 4:7 says, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

It is okay to take breaks to rejuvenate. Do something that gives you joy and energy. going to have lunch with a friend, taking a walk, get out on the old motorcycle and drive down your favorite ride. These things are good and needed when we feel burned out and beaten down by life. We need to do those things that make us smile and lift our spirits.

Stay in the Word and in prayer. I love the Psalms, because so many times I feel just like David. One minute he is telling God how much He desires Him and loves Him and the next he is pouring out his sorrows and disappointments. I love that we get to see how human David truly is. What encourages me so much about him is that we are told he is a man after God’s own heart. And yet, he struggled with his emotions and in life.

Remember that this too will pass. My grandfather has always told me this when I am feeling down or struggling. Some days are going to be great. Others are tiring or boring or disappointing. Don’t let them pull you under. Remember we serve an infinite, powerful, God who created us to need Him. Let Him invade every aspect of your heart and being today.

And the biggest bit of advice is do not act out or do something you will need to repent of.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

It is back to the VA hospital tomorrow for another look at my foot, still in a lot of pain.

Pray for Stanley W, he has outlived 3 wives, all his friends and bought a motortrike (motorcycle) I was supposed to take him out tomorrow for his first ride but a friend of mine is going to take the honor. Stanley is not a christian so keep him in prayer for depression, loneliness and salvation.

Keep Steve H in prayer, encouragement, and guidance. Healing for his wife Pam’s knees.

Margie says God bless and thanks for all the prayers. I think she might outlive us all.

Do you actually believe you are changing?

You have to believe in change, you have to believe that God can change you. You have to delete unbelief from your life.

Now, you believe in change, you can see it, measure it. It may be small victories at first but they are still victories.

Along the way, how are you changing? Where were you before, and where are you now? That story deserves to be told.

Why not compose a simple narrative of your before-and-after—not how Jesus saved you in the past but how Jesus is helping you in the present. Be ready to share it with anyone at any time. Your story—the more vulnerable, the better—might earn you a longer conversation at another time.

Your experience will give hope to men who are drifting. They feel stuck. They want out. But they can’t see an exit sign anywhere in their world. That’s where you come in. Tell them how you’re breaking free. Many men will join you and your brothers. It starts with small talk—which is a big deal. How about sitting down at your laptop and thinking it through? Your goal is “a good story well told.” So make your words modest, few, and from the heart. When a friend does you the honor of listening, just tell him, in a forthright, gentle way, how Jesus is surprising you. It is very loving to open a new door for someone else, whether or not he decides to walk through it.

And humor helps. Laughter can’t be pompous. And surely your story has some hilarity built into it. Capitalize on that. Who expects a Christian story to include laughing at ourselves? But it should. I speak at a lot of men’s meetings and conventions. I always dress down a little bit and make my speech a little rough or course, no swearing, just honest, guys in the garage talking. No church speak. It is amazing how many men come up and say; “if you are a pastor,, then how come our pastor never talks to us this candidly?”

Doesn’t everyone need a hope bigger than their own idiot moments? And how can the porn industry thrive in a world where more and more men are talking Jesus up—and enjoying it—rather than dragging women down?

When I do group therapy for violent sex offenders in prison, I record the conversations. They all know it will not be used in court; I give them a contract which I sign declaring my confidentiality. Then I play it back and make one comment, “when you were seven, would you ever describe your mom like this?” It is like hitting a guy upside the head with a hammer, they realize they have devalued women.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Betty C. her son who is mentally ill, was shot and killed by the police today because he did not understand their commands to put the gun down.

Remember J.C. Hickman in prayer, fellow biker, battling cancer.

Pray for Lauren, salvation and the most self destructive person I have ever met. She is on the edge and does not realize it.

Keep Steve H in prayer, vim and vigor, guidance at a new phase in his life or we should say assurance and encouragement. Pam his wife needs healing of her knees.

Linda, salvation, and very simple, if she does not stop drinking she will die and soon.

OH, LORDY I’M SO TIRED

September 15, 2021

I’m So Tired, I want To Get Home

by E.M. Bartlett

1922, Stamps Baxter music

  1. 34 in Favorite Songs and Hymns

1 I am on my way to the land of day, I am going there I know,

I have journeyed long in this pilgrim way, I have suffered here below,

Now my time has come to enter in, Soon on earth no more I’ll roam,

I have come so far on this gospel road, I’m so tired, I want to get home.

chorus

I’m so tired, I want to get home, To that land of rest and peace,

Where I’ll live with loved ones forever more, ‘Mid the joys that never cease;

I have come so far on this gospel road That I long for Heaven’s dome,

I have borne these years, such a heavy load, I’m so tired I want to get home.

 

2 Long has been my stay and my work for God, He has blest me in the way,

He has kept me straight in the narrow road, Has been with me ev’ry day;

Now my voice to me is sweet indeed As He calls for me to come,

I am ready, waiting to leave this world, I’m so tired, I want to get home.

 

3 I have fought the fight, I have kept the faith, And my course is finished now,

This tired soul of mine longs for rest, sweet rest, To His will I can but bow;

Jesus calls for me and I must go, Soon I’ll land in Heaven’s dome,

These tired feet of mine will find sweet relief, I’m so tired, I want to get home.

Weariness, it is the curse of those in the ministry, first responders, nurses and doctors. Who refreshes us?

We hear a lot today about stress and burnout, especially in ministry. It’s a complex problem that includes many factors that I cannot delve into in this message. Sometimes burnout stems from faulty time management or from being over-committed. Sometimes it results from trying to do it all yourself and not delegating properly. Our text does not deal with these aspects of the problem, nor will I. But it does give us two principles that offer significant help in preventing spiritual burnout:

The work that God gives us is to be His lampstand, both corporately and individually. The only way that we can fulfill that task is by depending on the continual supply of the oil of God’s Spirit. In that way, we will burn for God without burning out.

Zechariah’s fourth vision (chapter 3) encouraged Joshua the high priest with the message: “God will cleanse His chosen people through Messiah and use them to serve Him.” His fifth vision (chapter 4) encouraged Zerubbabel, the civic leader, with the message: “The temple that you have begun will be completed and My people will become a light unto the nations under Messiah. This will not be accomplished by human effort, but by My Spirit.” In the fourth vision we saw the cleansing that is necessary before anyone can serve God. In the fifth vision we see the testimony that results from a cleansed and Spirit-filled life. While our text will ultimately be fulfilled with Israel in the Millennium, it also applied to God’s people in Zechariah’s day and it applies to us as we seek to be God’s light to the nations.

Zechariah saw a lampstand of gold with seven lamps and a bowl at the top, which served as a reservoir for the oil. Two olive trees, each with a branch, stood beside the lampstand. A golden pipe extended from each branch to the bowl so that the golden olive oil poured from the tree. Out of the reservoir or bowl (according to most commentators) came 49 spouts or pipes, seven to each of seven lamps on the lampstand. This lampstand was similar to the one that stood in the holy place of the tabernacle, with three exceptions: (1) the bowl on top of it; (2) the seven pipes to each lamp; and, (3) the two olive trees. These additions point to the abundant, continual supply of oil to the lamps. In the temple, the priests had to keep the lamps full of oil, but in this vision, the supply of oil flowed constantly without help from any man.

The lampstand signifies the important task that God gives to His people to be a light to the nations, to reveal God and His truth to those who walk in darkness. The oil that flows in continual abundant supply so that the lamps can go on burning symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The two olive trees represent the priestly and kingly offices in Israel, with the two branches being Joshua and Zerubbabel. Together these two anointed ones were a type of the Lord Jesus Christ in His offices of Priest and King. Jesus is God’s Anointed One (that’s what “Messiah” or “Christ” means), who provides the Holy Spirit in abundant supply to His people.

The Lord encourages Zerubbabel (4:7-9) by assuring him that in spite of the mountain of problems in rebuilding the temple, he would finish the task. This would confirm to all of God’s people that He had sent His Messiah-Servant (“me” in 4:9b), in the person of the angel of the Lord, to His people. The old timers, who were disparaging this temple in comparison to the former one, should not despise the day of small things (4:10). Under God’s perfect providence (the seven eyes of the Lord, which range over the earth to watch over His people), the project will be completed.

We tend to burn out when we lose motivation, and we lose motivation when we lose perspective on the importance of the work to which God has called His people. That work involves being God’s lampstand to the world (see Rev. 1:12-20). It involves building God’s temple where His light shines forth. The world ought to see Christ, the light of the world, both in Christians individually and in the church corporately.

We burn out when we run out.

The oil of God, the anointing work of the Holy Spirit, being filled with the Spirit.

  1. Vernon McGee said it best, “sin will keep you from your bible and the bible will keep you from sin.”

I have a weird collection of antique yard sticks (rulers). Every hardware store in the nation had a yard stick with advertisements on them. Portable billboards.

Keeping a constant awareness of how full we are keeps us from burnout. An honest assessment, do we do devotions, do we do bible study, do we go to church, do we give generously to God, do we witness. Each one of those statements could have been a question. They are all increments of our spiritual life.

To me witnessing is the touchstone of all measurements. If you are full of the Holy Spirit, your mind filled with bible verses, an active and vibrant relationship with your Savior, then you will be overflowing with encouragement, and you cannot help but be witness to Christ.

One task of being a minister that I sincerely disliked was doing funerals for strangers. I did not do them often but occasionally it would happen. I had a family I did not know, who said they attended my church years before I came there, said their grandfather died and here was $200 to preach him into heaven.

You know you are in trouble when you have the mourners passing by saying things like; “did you know he was a Christian?”

So is your cup running over or is it half full or completely dried up?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for salvation for Anne, Drew, Oscar, Cristina, Tara, Lauren, Cheyenne, Nicole, Tavon, Philip, Lubbock, James, Hunter, Garrett.

Pray for Caliste Burt, 4 brain tumors, 2 removed, 2 inoperable, for the first time in 5 years she is not smiling and unwillingly to talk about what is happening. Think about how well you would be doing with a time bomb in your brain.

VICTORY OVER DISGRACE

September 14, 2021

One of the most infamous incidents of sexual assault in the Bible is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah found in Genesis 18—19. The men of these cities were so wicked that they attempted to rape the two angels who, in human form, were visiting Lot. The men of Sodom were ready to beat Lot’s door down in order to assault his guests. Lot and his family only escaped because the angels blinded the mob and whisked Lot’s family to safety. Because of the sexual perversion of Sodom and the surrounding cities, God utterly destroyed them.

Sexual assault and all forms of sexual perversion are indicators of the wickedness of the human heart (see Jeremiah 17:9). God created sexuality to be a beautiful expression of love and unity between a husband and his wife (Matthew 19:6). But, in our depravity, we pervert everything God created as good. In our sinful world, God’s gift of sexuality is often used to dominate, victimize, and control, resulting in the crimes of rape, sodomy, molestation, and other forms of sexual assault.

God’s law He gave to the Israelites dealt with sexual assault. If a man raped a woman, that man had to take responsibility for her for the rest of his life (Deuteronomy 22:28–29). This ensured that, within God’s people, there were no throwaway daughters. None of His precious girls could be violated and then left defenseless. In a culture where virginity was a requirement for marriage, girls who had been violated had no recourse. They faced life without a husband or children or a way to provide for themselves. So, under God’s law, if a man took a woman’s purity, he would spend the rest of his life making it up to her.

One thing these graphic stories in the Old Testament tell us is that a world without God’s law is animalistic. This is why it is crucial we understand the Old Testament world, and why God gave the command to each leader of Israel, “wipe out nations that have no law and do not fear God as they are evil down to their very bone.” With no fear of God in our hearts, we view other people as less worthy than we or as a means to our own satisfaction. We use people and then discard them, as Amnon did with his half-sister Tamar after he raped her (2 Samuel 13). The Bible never downplays the actions of the people it features but uses their actions to teach us important lessons. From them we learn that sin has consequences, including sexual sin. We also learn that God cares about those who have been violated by sexual assault.

Psalm 34:18 says that the Lord “is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” The “brokenhearted” and the “crushed in spirit” can be those who have been victims of sexual assault. Victims are not invisible to God, and He cares about their future. When Sarai’s maid, Hagar, became pregnant with Abraham’s child, Sarai’s jealousy drove Hagar into the desert alone. Hagar felt abandoned by everyone, pregnant and without a husband. But God found her there and cared for her. She called Him “the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). He is still “the God who sees” every sexual assault, and He wants victims to know they are not alone.

Surviving sexual assault is doable, not easy, but it can become a victory and not a point of disgrace. One, treat it as a crime and you are a victim, nothing you wore or did or said made it ok to be violated. Two, treatment for the physical and was as the mental is vital. Three, persecute to the fullest extent of law the perpetrator no matter who they are, whether they were a stranger or your spouse. Four, tell your story until you are believed, never remain silent. Five, do not be surprised when friends and family turn against you rather than help you. Six, God is on your side, He very much wants you to be healed, whole, and happy. Seven, get qualified counseling.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Keep Steve H in pray and his wife Pam. Blessings and encouragement, Healing for Pam’s chronic knee pain. Blessings and encouragement on Steve as he studies for ministry.

Keep Happy Zion Church in prayer as they wait on God for a new pastor.

Pray for Paul K as he deals with chronic arthritis in his shoulders and knees.

Pray for Cheyenne a new employee and her salvation.

UNTIL THE DAY THAT I DIE

August 24, 2021

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If we are to grow spiritually, we must be able to discern how we avoid God. One o pattern of avoidance is the “just a minute” syndrome. When I sit down to read Scripture, my eye will catch a magazine article that I want to read. I put down my Bible, telling myself I’ll get back to the Scriptures in just a couple of minutes. But somehow I never do. Another pattern is the “I’m too busy” syndrome. Initially, my excuse is that there is too much to do today, and I’ll get to it tomorrow. But “tomorrow” turns out to be a couple of weeks.

A.W. Tozer observed that “contemporary Christians have been caught in the spurious logic that those who have found him need no longer seek him.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. The paradox of the Christian faith is that those who know him are those who seek him. Tozer writes, “Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, they prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out, and when they found Him, the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking.

You must have a plan, read any book on warfare, the art of war, chess strategy, Clausewitz on War, all great battles have a plan. Yes, you can adopt someone else’s plan, but it really helps if you come up with one of your own.

I will make one promise to you, and this is bullet proof, the deeper you go into the Word of God, the more of a spiritual hunger and thirst you will develop. Some people complain they don’t have the drive, or the ‘want to’ this is one area where only by developing the discipline will you get the reward.

It is a lot like the “katas” of martial arts, the only way you can prove to your sensei that you have progressed is to do the exact ‘steps’ of each move to show proficiency. If we must do that to show physical progress, how do we show spiritual progress?

Bible memorization is one, knowing your way around a bible, all the books of the bible, basic content of each book. If I can know a person is proficient just by how they handle a gun or a knife, I can know by the way you handle your bible. It’s ok to start your bible walk with giant gold tabs for each book or an indexed tab bible in order to learn your way around the bible.

If during a sermon I say “let’s all turn to 2 Hezekiah chapter 3” you know I am joking or testing you.

How many churches no longer have prayer meetings? Again, lack of proficiency, if people have not learned to pray then do not expect them to show up for a prayer meeting. And if they have not learned to pray then shame on the pastor.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Ethan who feels like he has lost his way.

Pray for Carrie Ann, battling prescription addiction.

Pray for Anne and Drew, salvation, but also pray for them as parents of a normal 5 year old boy that does normal 5 year old boy stuff in school but the school frowns on that kind of behavior and the punishment is harsh.

Remember the others on our salvation list; Cristina and Oscar, Hunter and Tara, Lauren, Nicole, Olivia. Norma Perales and husband Rick and adult son Rick Jr.

I sometimes get asked how long do you pray for their salvation, until either you die or they do or they get saved.

markedup-bible

My conviction is, the more the Bible is studied, the more there is found in it to be studied. Fresh light, assurance, power, joy, help, grace, and blessing, break out from it. It is like the dawn, ever new in its light; like the air, ever fresh in its vitality; like the food, ever nourishing in its feed; like the flowers, ever beautiful in their variety; like the body, ever unifying in its organism; like the blood, ever pulsating in its energy; and like the electric current, ever powerful in its movement.

This is why Satan does all that he can to keep us from even a cursory reading, let alone a constant deep perusing and study of scripture. As I have often opined, how amazed I am that after 45 years of daily bible study, bible college, seminary, doctrinal work, pastor, being a student of the bible, every day I am surprised at what new light is discovered.

I look at my preaching bible that I have had from the beginning, the tabs, the highlighting, the underlining, pages glued in, post it notes taped in, and yet I will read one of these heavily marked passages and something new jumps out.

The bible is alive, powerful, a discerner of spirits and two edged sword it is life it is vitality. The highest compliment ever given to me was by a pastor from South Africa who introduced me once at a bible conference as a man who if pricked with a needle would bleed bible.

“I adore the plenitude of the Scriptures, in which every letter is a word, and every word is a verse, and every verse is a chapter, and every chapter is a book, and every book is a Bible; in which every twig is a branch, and every branch is a tree, and every tree a forest, in which every drop is a rivulet, and every rivulet is a river, and every river a bay, and every bay an ocean, and every ocean all waters.” Tertulien.

We believe in the plenary inspiration of Scripture. The word “inspiration” is equivalent to “inbreathed” There is a quality there which is found to the same extent and in the same manner nowhere else, and it is self-evident.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable” (2 Tim. 3:16).

The heart of Scripture is “the Word of God.” As our Lord became incarnate in human flesh, with the weakness and needs of human nature, though not its sins, so He is—so to speak—incarnate in Scripture. There is a sense, therefore, in which we may say that in the Holy Scripture, the Word has become flesh and tabernacles among us.

The late Hudson Taylor (read any and all biographies on him and you will be both challenged and blessed) used to kindle his little lamp, and spend two hours at night reading his Bible, while the Chinese who shared the inn with him lay around asleep. He said that it was only by the written Word that he could feed on Him who is the Spirit and Life of Scripture. “The connection between the written Word and the Incarnate Word is so close and intimate that you can no more separate them than you can separate body and soul, or soul and spirit.”

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember August 8th, 2021 a day of fasting and prayer for Revival in America.

I would ask that you pray for me, I live daily in worsening, crippling chronic pain. I will be at the VA hospital all day tomorrow getting more xrays, tests, prodding and poking as they try to figure out a new regimen of medicines, acupuncture, massage therapy, water therapy. Anything and everything. This is one reason I ask my friends to send me as many jokes as possible. Besides being lost in the spirit, laughing is really the best medicine.

Pillsbury Mentality

July 7, 2021

pillsbury dough boy

Bread is so vital a commodity that it should leave its mark on language and in symbolism. From earliest times the word ‘bread’ was used for food in general (Gn. 3:19 and Pr. 6:8, where Heb. has ‘bread’). Since it was the staple article of diet, it was called ‘staff’ of bread (Lv. 26:26), which is probably the origin of our phrase ‘staff of life’. Those who were responsible for bread were important officials, as in Egypt (Gn. 40:1), and in Assyria a chief baker is honored with a special name that being “the baker” as an honorarium.  Bread was early used in sacred meals (Gn. 14:18), and loaves were included in certain offerings (Lv. 21:6, etc.). Above all, it had a special place in the sanctuary as the ‘bread of the Presence’. The manna was later referred to as ‘heavenly bread’ (see Ps. 105:40). Our Lord referred to himself as the ‘bread of God’ and as the ‘bread of life’ (Jn. 6:33, 35), and he chose the bread of the Passover to be the symbolic memorial of his broken body.

Type in the word ‘manna’ or bread into Google and you could spend the rest of your life just reading about bread or ministries who have the term “manna” in their title.

We don’t make money we make ‘bread’, don’t even get me started on dough. It just keeps going on. One of the greatest ‘soft rock’ bands with more top Billboard hits, you got it; “Bread”, with one of the best albums named ‘Manna’.

I have to stop there or I’ll just start doing bread puns.

The bread of Life, one of the oldest devotionals, “Our Daily Bread”.

Break bread with someone you love in the community of God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Caliste Burt in prayer, brain surgery in September.

Remember Steve H, strength, vitality, endurance, encouragement, guidance for him and the church as they look for a new pastor. Pray for his wife Pam, chronic knee pain.

Pray for J. C. Hickman, going through chemo

Pray for those who struggle with thoughts of suicide, be there for them. It can feel overwhelming and can come upon a person suddenly. Also be alert for the person that has expressed these feelings and suddenly they become happy, it often means they have a plan and a time to do it.

CAN’T BUY ME LOVE

June 18, 2021

mickeys deadA person who I have counseled off and on for over 10 years was shocked when his wife had divorce paperwork served at his place of work. He called me almost in hysterics, “how can this be”, “why now” “I thought” everything was working out”.

Let’s call him ‘Mikey’.

“Mikey, do you not remember when I told you that once the kids were out of the house and through college and she goes back to work or finds a new vocation, you were going to be toast?”

Well, that is exactly what happened. He is a prominent, semi famous professional. We have taught at some of the same colleges, spoken together on the speaking tours. Wrote the forwards for each other’s books.

And in all that time, I have always told him, “Dude, one day your wife is going to drop a bomb on you.” I always thought she would just shoot him, seriously.

He is like a great English Sheepdog, looks like a college dropout, kind of sloppy. Lives on energy drinks, fidgets a lot. Always volunteers at church, every body likes him.

She is always jazzed up, talks a mile a minute, good hearted, would do anything for you.

Until you put them both in the same room. Can you say holocaust.

It is like putting a rabid cat and deaf, dumb dog in a room without windows or doors, a box or a cell. When people see them coming, they literally run out of the room. And that is not an exaggeration.

They live in a million-dollar home, she drives a Land Rover, he drives a Bentley, their 5 kids all went to private schools, Ivy League colleges. When I took a sabbatical to finish up a couple of books and do some lecturing, he flew me in a private jet twice just so I would have a relaxing time. When I went on a tour of the great cathedrals of Europe, he invited himself along, paid for almost everything and would not take a dime. I tried to be gracious and accepting but he told me I deserved it as I did so much for the community.

Here’s the rub, he never did anything gracious with his wife unless she begged him. He would send the kids any where in the world for the heck of it. But if she wanted anything she had to emotionally blackmail him.

She would key his car, let the air out of the tires. Sugar in the gas tank. I suspect that once she actually poisoned him.

In all the years I knew them I never heard them say I love you, never saw them kiss, they never had sex after the kids were born. She told him it was ok if he had an affair because she did not want him near her.

And like a beaten puppy, he just hung his head and took it.

We all went out to dinner one time, his family and mine, we got kicked out of the restaurant because of the bickering and fighting between them and their kids.

I had a pastor that called me one night because he felt bad that he told them they could not attend his church because of all the drama they brought with them. Plus, members of the church told him if they came then they were leaving. (nice loving church, right).

In counseling sessions they said the most horrible things about each other, I would not ever dare to list some of the things they said.

Yet he was surprised she asked for a divorce. And yet it happened just like I said it would, last kid out of college and she started a new career.

The one thing I remember saying to them at the end of each session was, “try to be nice to each other”. It never happened.

I deplore divorce, as a Christian Psychologist and Pastor I try to do everything I can to keep a marriage together, unless they are harming one or another. But after each session with them I would always schedule them last in the day because after they left there was not a shred of hope left in me.

So after all that what is the moral of the story. Be kind to one another, get married for the right reasons, have similar goals, dreams, expectations that are reasonable and discussed. And when the pastor says in the first pre-marital counseling session, “do not get married to each other”. It is not a joke.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

32ec6-raisins

Words are tremendously powerful. In fact, Proverbs 18:21 says, “The power of life and death is in the tongue.”

Words spoken over a person’s life has the ability to direct him—drawing him into a good and wise direction or an evil direction. It can build a person up or destroy him. If one sits under godly parents who faithfully teach God’s Word and attend a good church that teaches the Truth, the “power of the tongue” will help direct him into what is good. But if one sits under ungodly teaching and ungodly conversations, it will affect his life negatively. This is especially true when it comes to sexual immorality.

Adrian Rogers had a quote that fits right in, he was quoting a famous football legend that is a great Christian who does a lot of prison ministry. The quote was made while in a prison speaking to about 100 men. “How many of you did your father say you would probably end up in jail.” The majority of the men raised their hands.

No doubt, one of Satan’s greatest tactics is to influence people sexually through the music industry. Much of today’s songs are full of sexual overtones and graphic language. Some of it is essentially lyrical pornography—meant to control and guide people away from God and into sexual strongholds.

Sadly, many Christians fall prey to this tactic of the devil. They listen to ungodly, sexually charged music all day, then wonder why they can’t control their lust and don’t desire to read the Bible. The tongue is directing their lives—leading them away from God into lusts.

Psalm 1:1 says this: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers” (ESV). Some have called this the pathway of depravity. A person starts off listening to the “counsel” of the wicked, then he is standing in the way of sinners—practicing the same thing sinners do, and then they are in the seat of scoffers. Biblically, “scoffer” or “fool” is used of those who mock holy things. Psalm 14:1 says the fool says in his heart that there is no God. First, these people were just listening. Maybe like some Christians who listen to ungodly music, they say, “I only like it because of the beat; I don’t even listen to the lyrics.” The next thing you know, they are practicing sin, and one day they are mocking God and the practice of holiness. Satan led these poor souls astray by simply getting a hold of their ears.

In the same way, many raised in Christian homes with godly morals, such as waiting to have sex until marriage, are now sexually promiscuous just like the world. And it all started with the wrong counsel—sexually charged musical lyrics, sexual dialogue from movies, and sexually flirtatious conversations. Now, instead of following God, they mock what is holy and practice the sexual ethics of the world.

Who is speaking into your ears, and what are they saying? Are your conversations with friends full of sexual jokes and innuendo? Are your TV shows and movies promoting casual sex? If so, you won’t be able to remain pure.

Paul said this in Ephesians 5:3: “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”

He said that there should not even be a “hint” of sexual immorality in our lives. Many desire to be pure but their mouths and the mouths of those they listen to are full of sexual hints that eventually bear fruit in their lives.

Are you guarding your ears? Satan keeps many Christians in bondage to lust by flooding their ears with sexual garbage.

Lord, help us to take out the garbage so we can be clean.

Reflection

In what ways does the enemy flood sexual temptation into our ears?

How have you seen or experienced the power of words, especially sexual words, in guiding one’s life?

How is God calling you to better guard your ears?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember our prayer list.

Caliste Burt, brain surgery in September

Continue please to keep my wife in prayer, her spinal surgery is this Friday and she is in great pain. Surgery time has been moved up to 10am.

Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression

Steve H, encouragement, strength, vitality, guidance in finding a new church pastor. Keep his wife Pam in prayer, chronic knee pain.

All-Gave-Some

vietnam pathc

All Gave Some, Some Gave All, this Memorial Day isn’t about a 3 day week end, or just a long week end. It is a time to remember and give thanks to all those that serve on the front line. Soldiers, Policemen, EMT’s, Firemen and many more.

We are remembering those people who gave their lives or limbs so that we can be a free country.

As a disabled veteran I thank God I came home, I thank God for the VA hospital that takes care of me. I thank God for friends and family that suffered with me through PTSD, Agent Orange, alcoholism, night terrors. I thank God for godly friends, fellow soldiers that I can call on anytime, anyplace and they will drop what they are doing and come and get me.

I thank God that I was saved in the military, came to Jesus because of a First Sergeant that was a godly man and he saw through all my B.S. and led me to the Lord.

America is in a bad way right now, but do not believe the lies of the devil, there are more patriotic, godly men and women doing the right thing, the hard thing than there are evil doers. We must pray for revival to sweep our land and for leaders that will do the right thing, the hard thing and fight against socialism and lead our nation back to God.

God Bless America

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com