YOU WIENER

November 22, 2017

rainy-sleepy-snoopy-peanuts

ok, this is not deep theology, or even deep psychology.

We all face mountains, obstacles, setbacks, hardships, you get my point.

When that happens I have a number of bible verses memorized that help.

But there is something else that helps even more, singing.

Now I have good voice, but that doesn’t matter it’s the songs. I have a ‘set’ of songs that carry me out of the slough of despondency, the pit of despair, the blues of life, I could wax on but let’s stop.

So here’s my list,

  1. GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU

  2. JOYFUL JOYFUL WE ADORE THEE

  3. ZIPPY DO DAA

  4. AND ‘I WISH I WAS AN OSCAR MEYER WIENER’.

SERIOUSLY, SOMETIMES IT TAKES ALL OF THEM, BUT THAT’S THE USUAL ORDER.

  1. S. Bach said, “All music should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the soul’s refreshment; where this is not remembered there is no real music but only a devilish hubbub.” He headed his compositions: “J. J.” “Jesus Juva” which means “Jesus help me.” He ended them “S.D.G.” “Soli Dei gloria” which means “To God alone the glory.”

 Martin Luther said, “The devil takes flight at the sound of music, just as he does at the words of theology, and for this reason the prophets always combined theology and music, the teaching of truth and the chanting of Psalms and hymns.” “After theology, I give the highest place and greatest honor to music.”

So there you have it, pack up all your troubles, a great world war one song that everybody was singing was;

Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,

And smile, smile, smile,

Smile, boys, that’s the style.

What’s the use of worrying?

It never was worth while, so

Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,

And smile, smile, smile.

Smile, smile, smile, sing, sing, sing.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

THE RIGHT WAY

November 21, 2017

THE RIGHT WAY

Maybe one of the most misquoted verses in the bible and certainly one of the most misunderstood verses.

Matthew chapter 7:1-2; “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

And of course people don’t usually quote the next several verses.

Matthew 7:3-8 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

So let’s cover verses one and two;

7:1 This verse does not disallow the right of making moral and spiritual judgments (cf. 7:6; 1 Cor. 2:15; 5:9; 2 Cor. 11:4; Phil. 3:2; 1 John 4:1) but forbids a bitter, hostile, and unkind spirit which delights in finding fault with others. Hypocritical self-righteousness has no place in the life of a Christian. The verse is particularly applicable to the area of motives. No one of us can know the heart of another, and thus to draw conclusions as to the “why” of people’s actions, especially when those actions are indifferent or even good, is to invite God’s judgment upon one’s life.

And now verse 6; This verse does not mean that the blessings of the gospel are not to be offered to the Gentiles, but rather that spiritual mysteries should not be pressed upon those who are either unready or unwilling to accept or appreciate their value. The verse continues logically in the train of thought developed in the sayings which immediately precede it. While judging others is not the prerogative of man, there are, nonetheless, those whose uncleanness and violence prevent the sharing of the sweetest and most noble insights of the Christian faith.

So we are to judge ourselves, if we judge others we are to use the same measure applied to ourselves and finally there are people not ready to receive or perceive the Gospel message. We are not to force it on them or even share it with them as it will actually cause harm.

Therefore our witnessing has to be done in love and in God’s timing. Which if you are in harmony and sync with God (walking in the Spirit) living in the vine, you can count on being led of the Lord.

Bottom line, don’t be harsh, cruel, mocking, or a hypocrite. But be loving, kind, long suffering.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Lisa, she is getting divorced and will be a single mom with a 3 year old. She has to sell her home and is a pediatric ER nurse (stressed). Please keep her in prayer.

Pray for our nation, that revival will once again sweep our country.

 

TOUCHED

November 20, 2017

THE NEED FOR TOUCH

I’m always amazed by how unloved people in the church feel. In one church we mentioned in the bulletin that on Thursdays you could come to my office from 9am to 9pm and just be hugged. There would be two other people in the room, usually my wife and I.

I was amazed at how many people “snuck” in for a hug and a prayer. Now I’m a big hugger, you gonna know you were hugged. No sissy, barely held you, nope you’re gonna get the works. What amazed is how many people just wept when embraced.

The other comment was “thank you for hugging me like a real man.” That puzzled me at first, but I always ask, “what do you mean?”

The most common answer was from married women who said how their husbands barely touched them any more and if they did they felt like they were being hugged by their sister not their husband.

Well the church all on its own started a hugging revolution. All the services had everyone hugging, before during and after. And then it spread outside of church. How did I know that? People started coming to our church to be hugged. We actually roped off two front pews with a sign that said “need hugs.”

Those two pews began to fill up with the threshold crowd, mentally ill, homeless, broken, and they sat there with a childlike presence waiting for someone to reach out and hug them. We actually had some parolees with warrants and one escaped mental patient call and said they would turn themselves in at the church if they could get a hug first. The police were shocked, but they cooperated, and I’ve lost count of the people that came in to be arrested if they were hugged first. And never a problem.

I try to stop by my son’s business at least once a week, we always hug and he kisses me on the cheek and we say “we love you.” Clients there will ask if we will hug them as well. And then so many ask or say about how loving every one there is. Or that they haven’t seen an adult son and father hug and kiss in forever.

When I leave my son and daughter in law will shout out again; “we love you Pop.” And the whole place goes silent waiting for my heart felt and loud, “we love you too.”

Friends, it might take you a while to get used to invading someone’s space but start hugging. And spouses start hugging.

People are surprised but filled with joy over a hug.

I have a big Aryan ex-con friend, all tatted up and everything pierced, he never wears a shirt just his biker vest. This guy is a muscled bound steroid abuser (ex) we meet every other month at a nice restaurant. He always gets there first so he can sit in their real fancy bar. And when I come in the door he rushes at me like he’s going to kill me. (a few people actually screamed a few times) but we give these huge bear killer hugs and he picks me up off the floor and always says. “I love you man.”

People need the Lord, and everybody needs touched. That was the hallmark of Jesus’s ministry he touched the unwanted. We need to touch everyone.

So spread the love.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

FOLLOW THE WAY

November 19, 2017

The will of God for our lives is that we seek God’s kingdom and righteousness . Choosing to die to self and live for Christ is the most important decision we will ever make—and a decision that has to be made daily. Of course, we’re free to make other decisions in our lives (what jobs we’ll take, whom we’ll marry, and so on) using wisdom and discernment, and following God’s guidance. But how exactly does God communicate his will and guide our paths?

 Here are four ways:

  1. God guides us through outside forces—Oftentimes God guides in a way that is not only beyond our understanding, but also beyond our awareness. He can even use people or events to guide our lives in ways that we might never know. Throughout Joseph’s life, God used other people to bring his servant into a position of power and influence. A primary example is when Joseph interpreted the dreams of Egypt’s ruler. Pharaoh recognized that Joseph’s ability was given by God and put the young Hebrew in a position of great power (see Ge 41:40).

  1. God guides us through his Son—How should we expect God to speak to us today? Hebrews 1:1–2 provides the answer: “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” The Father has uniquely revealed himself through the Son. Jesus is the primary means by which God has “spoken to us” and guides our way.

  1. God guides us through spiritual means—Throughout the Bible there are dozens of examples of God communicating to his people using a variety of forms, such as dreams, promptings, visions, a voice and a visit from a stranger. While this form of guidance is usually rare, every Christian has access to the Holy Spirit, who speaks in our hearts, teaching us and reminding us of what Jesus said and did so we can better follow him (see Jn 14:26).

  1. God guides us through Scripture—God clearly reveals his moral law in the Bible, and understanding and obeying that law can often guide us in making everyday decisions. In addition, the Holy Spirit uses Scripture to convict, teach and guide us.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Our bible winner is Leonard S, from Santiago, Chile; thank you for the very kind email we are glad to have a new Scumlikeuschurch friend. blessings

TOUGH LOVE

November 18, 2017

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Among the Greeks and Romans, when a man had no son, he was permitted to adopt one even though not related. He might, if he chose, adopt one of his slaves as a son. The adopted son took the name of the father, and was in every respect regarded and treated as a son. Among the Romans there were two parts to the act of adoption: one a private arrangement between the parties, and the other a formal public declaration of the fact. It is thought by some that the former is referred to in this verse, and the latter in verse 23, where the apostle speaks of “waiting for the adoption.” The servant has been adopted privately, but he is waiting for a formal public declaration of the fact.

‎After adoption, the son, no longer a slave, had the privilege of addressing his former master by the title of “father.” …

Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (537–538). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

Although I was never adopted, I was raised most of my life by my grandfather; he was a man of few words. He never said ‘I love you’ but I know he did; he rarely laughed unless it was watching ‘Hee Haw’; and I never saw him cry, not even when he was dying of cancer.

But he taught me several important lessons, how to hunt, how to skin game and eat it, how to trap and fish; more importantly how to work, be honest, go the second mile, and work more.

Even though I was a wild child, he never scolded, he figured I was just going through a spell. In my teens I often ran away, he never came looking but the door was always unlocked. Drugs, drinking, motorcycle gangs, problems with the law, he never paid bail, but he was always there to drive me home when I got out.

We could ride for miles and never say a word, we just shared cigarettes or pipe tobacco. His favorite picture of me was clean shaven and with short hair and in the military, before than I had hair down to my shoulders and a beard that was about 8 inches long.

The first time I got shot, all he said when I got home was; “hurt didn’t it” now he wasn’t being cruel or nasty he just didn’t say much.

But there was one time I wished he had beat me to a pulp, kicked me and cut me rather than say what he did.

I was in the military during Vietnam, and the first time I came home on leave I was full of piss and vinegar. A buddy of mine picked me up at the airport and we went out drinking and smoking dope. I didn’t get home until about 3 in the morning and there he was waiting for me on the front porch. My buddy bailed and let me tell you it was a long walk up that driveway.

As I approached my grandfather I knew that I have never seen him angrier, a cigarette dangled from his lip and his fists were balled up tight. My plan was just to step on by him and get into the house. I never saw it coming the first and only time I’ve been knocked out by one punch. Between the alcohol and the punch I was out longer than I expected because when I looked up he was using my chest as an astray.

I stood up and he said something to me that stung worse than the punch; “you are a big disappointment.” See I had a wife and she was pregnant with our first child and rather than come home on leave and be with her I went out partying, never thought about how much she missed me and needed me.

He went on to say; “she’s been up all night crying, thinking you don’t love her, I swear to God if anything happens to her or that baby I will shoot you dead.”

Probably one of the longest sentences I’ve ever heard him speak.

I went in and asked my wife to forgive me and she fell asleep in my arms crying, asking me if I still loved her, “yes I said I’m just stupid.”

Early next morning I woke up the sound of pork chops frying and eggs and toast and coffee. Everyone was up and setting at the breakfast table. I looked at my grandfather and he asked me for a smoke.

I said, “Pop, what you said last night hurt worse than the punch, it will never happen again I promise.”

He didn’t say anything he just stepped out to the porch and I followed him out. We sat down and lit up our cigarettes, I told him again it would never happen again.

His response, “some lessons are harder to learn than others, just don’t repeat this one.”

I miss him more than I can say, he was such a powerful force in my life and taught me a lot, I’ve been married 43years to the same woman and I’ve never done anything quite that stupid again.

Years after he died my grandmother told me how much Pop loved me and told me how they would lie in bed and he would tell her that I was his son, the one he never really had and he prayed that we would all get through my craziness.

So to those that have more than one dad, or mom sometimes they love you more than you know. So try not to put them through hell, they are doing the best they can and you are blessed to adopted both by them and by God.

ok, bible give away, try not to use google; the bible and the book of Isaiah have one thing in common, what is it.

send your answer to our email address

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Ok, I’m not sure I’ve ever endorsed a book before, I’ve certainly recommend some. And those on the inner circle know I have a thing about not reading living authors.

But if you are a parent you need to read this book “The Vanishing American Adult” by Senator Sasse. So here is the excerpt from Amazon about the book.

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In an era of safe spaces, trigger warnings, and an unprecedented election, the country’s youth are in crisis. Senator Ben Sasse warns the nation about the existential threat to America’s future.

Raised by well-meaning but overprotective parents and coddled by well-meaning but misbegotten government programs, America’s youth are ill-equipped to survive in our highly-competitive global economy.

Many of the coming-of-age rituals that have defined the American experience since the Founding: learning the value of working with your hands, leaving home to start a family, becoming economically self-reliant―are being delayed or skipped altogether. The statistics are daunting: 30% of college students drop out after the first year, and only 4 in 10 graduate. One in three 18-to-34 year-olds live with their parents.

From these disparate phenomena: Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse who as president of a Midwestern college observed the trials of this generation up close, sees an existential threat to the American way of life.

In The Vanishing American Adult, Sasse diagnoses the causes of a generation that can’t grow up and offers a path for raising children to become active and engaged citizens. He identifies core formative experiences that all young people should pursue: hard work to appreciate the benefits of labor, travel to understand deprivation and want, the power of reading, the importance of nurturing your body―and explains how parents can encourage them.

Our democracy depends on responsible, contributing adults to function properly―without them America falls prey to populist demagogues. A call to arms, you want to know why college age kids vote Democrat, they want the government to parent them.The Vanishing American Adult will ignite a much-needed debate about the link between the way we’re raising our children and the future of our country.

So let me give you some personal examples from my own experiences and some friends. I worked for one of the largest businesses in the world and in our particular department we only hired people over 50 years of age. No one else younger would last more than a month, some quit in a one week period.

A good friend of mine recorded his Texas Big Bend spring break trip with his math high school kids. The video is hysterical because they get off the bus in Big Bend and there is no cell phone reception. The kids just stand there with their cell phones up in the air frozen because they can’t get a signal. He has to blow a whistle to get their attention and then show them how to get their luggage and how to do everything to survive their camping trip. On one trip the park rangers had to evac a girl because she couldn’t text and had a tantrum/seizure so scary they were afraid she would hurt herself. As soon as the hit a cell zone she calmed down.

We’ve tried to tell employees no cell phones while working the showroom. We tell them we have video cameras and they will lose their jobs if they are on their phone. You guessed it “fired”.

You know the best part, then the parents come in screaming and yelling because you traumatized their little snowflake.

Here’s one for you, good friend of mine has coached little league for over 30 years, not any more, when he called a kid out, the kid’s father came up from behind and hit him in the neck with a baseball bat. 50k dollars later and 10 months lost in labor. He finally won the court case and damages because the parents later changed their statement and made it a race suit. Funny thing is my pal is American Indian and was told he couldn’t bring that up in court to defend himself.

Or how about the high school kids that were supposed to change the letters on their High School sign and didn’t do it because it was to hot. You know how many kids showed up for school that didn’t have to.

Oh, wait, one more, there tore down a school, rebuilt is 4 miles away and the parents still dropped their kids off at an empty lot, drove off and left their little tykes there.

So you get my point, I’m not being negative, I’m trying to sound an alarm. We can’t let teens raise teens, peers raising peers. We can’t let kids raise kids.

So here’s step one, no kid gets a cell phone until he/she is 16 and driving and working the summers.

Hey don’t stone me, both my kids are millionaires. You know why? They were raised and birthed into adulthood.

Ok, I’ve got to quit, my blood pressure is zooming.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Candy, she is 37 and just got a promotion that means she has to move. She’s a brave woman, and she’s going to leave her home town of 37 years. But she really wants our prayers

Pray for Randall, he is having knee surgery.

Pray for the Tomasini family, their 7 year old has Leukemia, Jason is one tough, brave booger, (that’s his family pet name, long story).

Pray for Raysene, she is having back surgery on next Monday.

Housekeeping, prayers and comments, questions and such to the email address. And If I remember, Saturday will be our bible quiz and our bible give away. I’ve lost track of how many bibles we’ve given. This will be the NIV Study Bible.

 

A THANKFUL HEART

November 16, 2017

shout

A THANKFUL HEART

I want to talk about one of the most commonly tolerated sins among those professing to know God. It is a most serious sin, and yet I encounter it often and I find that it’s often excused or shrugged off as no big deal. In fact, many Christians aren’t even aware that it’s sin! I struggle with it myself. It rears its head in different forms: self-pity, grumbling, complaining, depression, anger, defiance. Often at the root of all these symptoms is the sin of ingratitude toward our gracious, sovereign God.

Ingratitude is a characteristic of those in rebellion against God. It was because of grumbling and ingratitude toward God that Israel was laid low in the wilderness (1 Cor. 10:10; Ps. 95:8-11). In Paul’s treatment of human depravity, ingratitude is one of the sins which plunged the race further into sin: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; … Therefore God gave them over …” (Rom. 1:21, 24).

On the other hand, believers are commanded to give thanks in everything (1 Thess. 5:18). As those delivered from Satan’s domain of darkness, we are to be “joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12). A spirit of joyous, continual thankfulness ought to characterize us as Christians.

It’s not surprising to discover that the man whom God called “a man after My own heart” was a thankful man. I want to examine “the roots and fruit of a thankful heart” from David’s experience in 2 Samuel 7: How to sink down roots that will produce thankfulness in us at all times; and the fruit which thankfulness produces.

  1. The roots: A thankful heart stems from focusing on the sovereign grace of God.

David’s focus was upon God, His purpose, and His sovereign grace. A study of these verses reveals three characteristic roots of a thankful heart:

  1. A THANKFUL HEART IS FOCUSED ON GOD, NOT ON SELF.

Think of where David was at: He was king of Israel after years of hardship. He had defeated many enemy nations. He was established comfortably in his capital city in a nice palace. He was a famous, powerful man, with many serving him. He easily could have become self-focused. He could have got caught up with enjoying the good life and had no concern for the things of God. But he didn’t.

Instead, his thoughts turned toward the Lord and His purpose. He had a burden for God to be central in the nation, for God to be worshiped by His people. He wanted to build a temple which elevated the Lord to His proper place. David could not rest content while God’s house was not a reality. David’s heart was focused on God, not on himself. So even when God said no to David’s dream, David was overwhelmed with gratitude for God’s sovereign grace toward him.

One of the main reasons we wrestle with ungratefulness is that we’re self-focused. We tend to pursue our own fulfillment, comfort, and happiness. The dominant theology in American Christianity puts man and his happiness at the center instead of God and His glory. It teaches that God exists to meet our needs. We’re even being told that Christ died for us because we’re worthy! So we have people who by nature are self-centered coming to Christ to get an “abundant life” which they think is their right, which they assume will fulfill all their needs. But they’ve never repented of their self-centeredness. Then they become disappointed when God doesn’t do what they think He promised to do.

We have churches filled with people who are there to get God to solve their problems and make them happy. Do they want their problems solved so that they can more effectively glorify and serve God? No, they want their problems solved so that they can enjoy a happy life. Unlike David, they have no burden for God and His purpose. Instead of being focused on God, they’re focused on trying to get God to meet their own needs for their own gratification. They’re focused on self.

Let me shoot real straight, since Jesus did. He didn’t say, “If anyone wants to follow Me, I’ll meet his every need so that he can live a happy, comfortable life.” He said, “If anyone wishes to follow Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s shall save it” (Mark 8:34-35). If you want to be a thankful person, get your focus off yourself and your happiness and put your focus on God and His great purpose in the gospel. If we focus on God and His purpose, He graciously meets our needs. If we focus on self, we come up empty.

  1. A THANKFUL HEART IS SUBMISSIVE TO GOD’S SOVEREIGN PURPOSE.

David wanted to build the temple; God said, “No.” That answer would have been especially difficult to accept because David’s desire was right. He didn’t want something for himself. He didn’t want a new addition on the palace or a higher salary. He wanted to build a house for God. His motives were pure. But God said no. True, God wrapped His denial in some other wonderful promises. But nevertheless, it was a denial.

What did David do in response? First, let’s think about what he could have done but did not do. He could have allowed his disappointment to grow into depression. He could have sulked and felt sorry for himself. He could have angrily thought, “See if I ever try to do anything again for the Lord!” He could have turned to self-indulgence to soothe his hurt feelings.

Instead, he worshiped God. He was overwhelmed with gratitude for all that God had done. He submitted to God’s sovereign purpose, and was willing to be used however God wanted to use him.

The key to David’s response is seen in the way David viewed God and how he viewed himself in God’s sight. Eight times (27:18, 19 [twice], 20, 22, 25, 28, 29) in this short prayer David calls God, “O Lord God” (NIV = “Sovereign Lord”; Hebrew = Adonai Yahweh). In addition, David repeatedly extols God’s greatness (27:22, 26, 27) and His sovereign choice of Israel as His people (27:23, 24). And ten times David refers to himself, not as “the King,” but as “Your servant” (27:19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27 [twice], 28, & 29 [twice]). Because he saw God as the Sovereign of the universe and himself simply as God’s servant, he could submit and be thankful when God’s plans were contrary to David’s plans.

How about you? What do you do when God’s plans run counter to your plans? The test of thankfulness is not when God does what you want Him to do. That’s easy! The test of being thankful is when God says no to your plans, even when they are plans to further His purpose. To be thankful then you’ve got to see God as the Sovereign and yourself as His servant so that you submit to Him.

Thus, a thankful heart is focused on God, not self. A thankful heart submits to God’s sovereign purpose.

  1. A THANKFUL HEART IS OVERWHELMED BY GOD’S SOVEREIGN GRACE.

When Nathan outlines God’s covenant promises to David, David is overwhelmed. In today’s slang, he is “blown away.” He goes into the tabernacle and sits before the Lord (27:18). As far as I know, it’s the only time in the Bible when a person sits down to pray. I think he was stunned, like when a lawyer calls you and says, “You had better sit down. A rich uncle has left you a million dollars.” David had wanted to build a house for God; but God says, “No, I want to build a house for David” (27:11). David’s response was, “Who am I?”

Grace means God’s unmerited favor. Don’t let anybody tell you anything else! Grace has two sides:

First, Grace is unmerited, which means, I do not deserve it. “Who am I …?” (27:18). I am totally unworthy to receive it. If I get it because I’m worthy, it’s not grace. If I can do anything to earn it or deserve it, it’s not grace. Grace is a sovereign act of God, totally apart from human effort or human will. Grace is hard for us to grasp, because it is not the custom or manner of man (27:19). In life, we are conditioned to a system of work and wage, of effort and reward. But grace is not a wage or reward. It stems from the nature of God, not at all from the efforts of man.

You cannot understand or appreciate God’s grace until you are overwhelmed with a sense of your own unworthiness to approach God in any way. Your good works cannot commend you to God. If God dealt with you according to your merit, He would justly send you to hell. Grace is totally unmerited. When that thought grips you, it fills you with thankfulness toward God!

Second, Grace is favor. That is, grace reflects God’s abundant goodness. God, who is infinitely wealthy, has opened the treasures of heaven and poured out heaps of blessings upon us. Like Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money pile, so believers are awash in God’s blessing. David here considers:

* God’s favor in the past (27:8-9, 18). Brothers and sisters, stop for a moment and consider God’s grace toward you in the past. For some of you, it may be the very recent past; for others of us, that past goes back a number of years. But for all of us, whether we were raised in Sunday School or in a tavern, as we look at the past we must say, “God has been gracious. He rescued me from a miry pit.” We were dead in trespasses and sins, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),… (Eph. 2:4-5).

* God’s favor in the present (27:8b). David was now the ruler over God’s people Israel. Think of God’s present grace toward you. Perhaps you’re thinking, “King! I’m not even the boss! I’m low man on the totem pole.” But as Paul continues in Ephesians 2:6, “[God] raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, …” That is our present! We are called to exercise the authority of our risen Head here on earth over the spiritual forces of darkness!

* God’s favor in the future (27:10-16, 19). God makes the astounding promise to establish David’s kingdom forever. This promise was only partially fulfilled in Solomon and the other kings of David’s lineage. It was and will be yet completely fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ, born of the lineage of David, who will rule on the throne of David in His millennial kingdom.

And what of our future? Paul continues Eph. 2:7, “in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” We cannot even fathom the good things that God has stored up for us in the future!

It’s all of grace! We’re surrounded by it: Grace rescued us from a sinful past; grace sustains us in an exalted calling in the present; and grace will preserve us for a glorious future!

God’s grace ought to knock us over at times. Do you ever spend time sitting before the Lord, overwhelmed by His tremendous grace? There ought to be frequent times (the Lord’s Supper [“Eucharist,” giving of thanks] ought to be one such time) when we sit before the Lord and turn over and over in our minds every facet of God’s unmerited favor as if we were examining a rare cut jewel. A thankful heart is overwhelmed by God’s sovereign grace.

Thus a thankful heart is rooted in focusing on the sovereign grace of God. The thankful heart focuses on God, submits to His sovereign purpose, and revels in His sovereign grace.

 

Thank you for tolerating a long post, every time I say they are going to get shorter, bam, here we are. Blessings for you all is our prayer

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

HE LISTENS

November 15, 2017

I have not heard this song before, mainly because I only listen to old classic Christian hymns, but the lyrics will get our devotion off to a good start.

“Can Anybody Hear Me”

I’m staring at these empty walls

Wondering when You’ll visit me again

When will You come?

If there is anything at all

Coming in between our love

Please show me, ’cause I am barely hanging on

Can anybody hear me?

The silence is deafening

Why do You feel so far away?

When I know You’re here with me

But I just need the faith to see

Nothing can separate me from Your love

From Your love

Believing what I can’t see

Has never come naturally to me

And I’ve got questions

But I am certain of a love

Strong enough to hold me when I’m doubting

You’ll never let go of my hand

Can anybody hear me?

The silence is deafening

Why do You feel so far away?

When I know You’re here with me

But I just need the faith to see

Nothing can separate me from Your love

From Your love

I will trust in You

Even in the moments I can’t find you

And I will hold onto your promises of love

You’ve never failed before

I know You can hear me

When the silence is deafening

Even though You seem far away

And I know You’re here with me

But I just need the faith to see

Nothing can separate me from Your love

Can anybody hear me?

The silence is deafening

Why do You feel so far away?

When I know You’re here with me

But I just need the faith to see

Nothing can separate me from Your love

From Your love

(by Meredith Andrews 2010)

God listens to his people all the time. “He hears their cry for help,” David tells us (Ps. 34:15b), he hears their petitions, and he understands their needs before they ask. References to the ears of God and the ears of people—those who believe and those who do not believe—recur throughout the Bible, telling us about God’s power and love on the one hand and his judgment on the other. Believers are “the sheep of his pasture” (Ps. 100:3), and they listen to the good shepherd’s voice, for “he calls his own sheep by name” (Jn. 10:3). The image of God’s ear indicates his attention to everything, good and evil alike.

“My Cry For Help Came Before Him (lit., His Face), Into His Ears” (Ps. 18:6).

Paul reminds us, “faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17), emphasizing the hearing of the word in salvation. Again, Paul emphasizes the need for the preaching of the word if people are to hear and respond in faith to the gospel (Rom. 10:14). David underscores the significant difference between the general revelation of God in nature and his special revelation in the Scriptures (Ps. 19) and dedicates himself to use words that would please the Lord. He concludes his psalm with the prayer, “May my words and my thoughts be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my sheltering rock and my redeemer” (Ps. 19:14).

God takes the initiative in approaching man and speaking to him. God is of course the one who created the ear. He has a right to ask us to hear him when he speaks. The psalmist writes, “Does the one who makes the human ear not hear? Does the one who forms the human eye not see?” (Ps. 94:9). God made the ear of man to hear his word, and it is as if God has an ear to hear man’s prayers to him in turn. From the beginning God calls man to hear him. It is God’s call that inaugurates salvation history, for he takes the initiative in calling Adam (Gen. 3:8),

God speaks; man listens.

Hopefully we listen.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

the fortress of solitude

November 14, 2017

I was going through a stack of old bibles that I’ve collected over the years and I’m always interested in the old sermons I find in them or notes scribbled on church bulletins, sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t. The same with sermons, I’ll read an old sermon of mine and think “oh my poor congregation” they sat there so feigning interest. This time the bible is one I bought from a collection and this sermon was in it. after reading it several times I thought I would share this gem that I found today.

“Beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability. Instead, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 3:17-18)

Is there a path of steady growth in the presence and power of God for the one who has placed their confidence in Jesus? Should we assume that it is God’s intention our lives would be increasingly pervaded by the action of his hand, until “all we do in word or deed” would be done “in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”? (Col. 3:11) Is this something we can arrange for, so that the command to grow in grace makes sense?

We are told repeatedly by Paul to put off the old person and to put on the new. How does one do that?

The answer is actually rather simple. One must intend to do it, and then one must sensibly implement the means. Putting on the new person, growing in grace, is something we must do. Appropriate action is the key. True, as Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) But it is also true that if we do nothing it will be without him.

The path of spiritual growth in the riches of Christ is not a passive one. Grace is not opposed to effort. It is opposed to earning. Effort is action. Earning is attitude. You have never seen people more active than those who have been set on fire by the grace of God. Paul, who perhaps understood grace better than any other mere human being, looked back at what had happened to him and said: “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” (I Cor. 15:10)

As to “means of grace” placed in our hands, well-directed action is the key. The disciplines of the spiritual life are simply practices that prove to be effectual in enabling us to increase the grace of God in our lives.

That grace is, of course, “unmerited favor.” But the form it takes is the action of God in our lives and with our actions. If we wish to know more of this and see the deliverance it works in and around us, we must do the things that will bring it to pass. These things are spiritual disciplines or the disciplines for the spiritual life.

A discipline in any area is something in my power that I do to enable me to do what I cannot do by direct effort. This is the general nature of discipline, and there is simply no area of human attainment–from playing a musical instrument, to sports, to speaking a language or being friendly–that does not require discipline.

The need for discipline does not change when we come to all that is involved in walking in the holiness and power of Christ. Would we do the things that Jesus himself did and taught? Then there is a way. It is the way of disciplined grace: discipline under grace and grace in the midst of discipline.

What are some of these disciplines? A primary one is solitude, which must go hand in hand with silence to be complete. In solitude I arrange to be alone, out of human contact, for lengthy periods of time. This allows my inner compass to stop whirling in response to the demands of others. The elasticity and wholeness of my soul is restored as I grow “still and know that God is God.” (Ps. 46:10)

Only solitude and silence, extensively practiced at wisely allotted intervals, can take the world off my back and forever release me from both hurry and loneliness. They open the door to productive engagement with other disciplines. I begin to find myself increasingly before God in such a way that he can safely fill me with himself.

Study and worship, fasting and sacrifice (of time, energy, money), journaling and prayer, confession and service are also among the disciplines. Some disciplines may be freely chosen. But often our circumstances will impose activities on us which, if taken as such, can be marvelous disciplines enabling us to receive extraordinary grace. “Tribulation works patience” is only one illustration of this principle.

But there is no such thing as a complete list of spiritual disciplines, chosen or imposed. Many different activities might be entered into with the aim of finding the manifest grace of God which enables us to do what we cannot do–and be what we cannot be–by direct effort. But the ones that emerge as most beneficial in Christian history should all be considered very seriously.

And of course “what we cannot do by direct effort” covers all that Jesus taught us. We cannot keep his teachings on our own. He never intended it. But by whole life training in the well-known disciplines of the spiritual life we can become inwardly the kinds of persons who naturally (supernaturally of course) do what he said and did. That is how the gift of a holy and powerful life comes to us.

Now disciplines are not law, they are wisdom. We have to learn how to do them, and we always fail at the outset. But to fail here is not to sin. The sin would be in not adopting and following up on a wise program of disciplines under grace. For then we are not really intending to do what Jesus said. We are planning to fail.

Also, disciplines are for disciples–apprentices–of Jesus, not for dabblers or mere consumers of religious services. They are for people who intend to learn from Jesus how to live their whole lives in the kingdom of God as he would live their lives if he were they. Such people are serious about this and will not be denied.

Thus they are prepared to experiment and learn from their failures until, under their constant teacher, they find that disciplines truly are full of grace and strength.

Fasting becomes feasting on God, meditation on scripture becomes celebration. Religion is no longer an additional burden to be carried in an already overburdened life, but is replaced by a joyous confidence that God is present and prevailing in every situation of life and death.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Jennifer she has her second eye surgery at 7am Tuesday morning.

THE WATCHMAN CRIES OUT

November 13, 2017

“First, it should be said that precisely in these days nothing is so important as this, that we stand fast in the faith. The storm has not yet reached us; we have received only a small wind from its periphery. The really difficult times may still lie before us; they will be difficult even if we ourselves remain exempt from conflict;

We must lay up reserves of faith. That means we will have to do everything in these days to strengthen ourselves out of God’s Word and in prayer for the coming difficulties, to create, to collect heavenly treasures, so that we can hold out and do not fail in the days of greatest scarcity. As a soldier receives provisions before combat and checks whether he has everything that belongs to his equipment, so we also want to examine and obtain the equipment of our faith so that we have it when the need comes. We should, indeed, always do that; it is true of all days and even of so-called normal times that we do not live by bread alone but by every word from the mouth of God. But now we understand better than before how urgently necessary that is, how much faith is a question of existence, no, is in the last final the question of existence. This struggle is, indeed, really a war of faith. It is concerned not only with power and economic goods; rather, it is concerned with whether the proclamation of God’s Word shall remain free, or whether Christendom and the Christian congregation must again crawl into the catacombs because the powers on earth are enemies of Christendom and all faith in God. There can also come again for the church times of hunger when one may preach, read the Bible, and pray together only in hiding places.

 Therefore, work while it is still day!”

These were the words of Emil Brunner in 1959 from Zurich, Germany.

In 1985 Dr. J. Vernon McGee, believed that the church had already compromised to much and that the end of America was close at hand.

I bring this up today because I was approached by a man running for a congressional seat in Texas and he wanted to know if I would endorse him.

He stood there patiently has I read his party platform documents. When I finished reading them, I put a big smile on my face and shook his hand, he was convinced that I was in his corner. As a photographer came up, I leaned over and whispered, “you can go to hell, and I will use all of my ability to see that this “New America” you dream of will not come to exist.”

Friends we are war, a day after Veteran’s Day I want to do all I can to ask you to recommit all of your resources to fighting this shameful day when our liberties are at stake. America as we’ve known it could be gone in just a few more years or even months. You will be banned as bigot, a hater, just by being labeled a Christian.

Socialism is at our door and its allies hate all we believe in. You must pray, read your bible, share your faith. Every Sunday school class should be teaching evangelism and Christian Theology and Christian Philosophy. You MUST be able to give an answer to why you believe. Challenge you pastor to step up his game, he must preach like never before.

There is no more being bashful about your faith. We have failed at being salt and light.

You have to vote every chance you get, even in the smallest election.

And sacrifice, sell your overpriced home and car and then home school your kids. I don’t believe our children’s Christian core values can survive public school. Learning tolerance to point it’s being pushed today will rob us of our children believing as we do.

Sounds extreme, believe I know. Evangelism is happening in countries that have never let missionaries in. two countries that were totally unreached, Mongolia and Albania are now experiencing revivals with tens of thousands (literally) coming to Christ.

The enemy is not at the gate, he’s in your home, every tv show has the goal of breaking at least two commandments, that’s in every show. And the filth you watch has robbed you of any sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

Christians are watching porn, reading porn, and there’s no shame. It’s hard to get a Christian to even blush now days.

Repent before it’s to late or all will be lost. Mom and pop businesses will be a thing of the past. And we will be taxed so heavily that Christian Social Agencies will disappear.

If a person isn’t filled with the Holy Spirit they can only be filled with the spirit of this age, which is unholy, self-centered, fulfilling all the lusts of the flesh, carnal, self-destructive and enjoying the destruction of the righteous.

It will be the coliseum of Rome all over again.

I never felt like this would-be message ever seen by me, but wake up, shake off the numbness, rouse yourself and renew what God has done for you, to you.

The Watchmen on the walls are shouting; “awake O Sleeper, awake.”

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

HOUSEKEEPING;  sorry I get so busy to pray requests I forget another item and then don’t always properly post them. A lot of the source for each day’s posts come from what’s happening in the ministry. But also a lot comes from questions. PLEASE REMEMBER,  post all prayer requests and QUESTIONS TO THE EMAIL ADDRESS, YOU CAN PUT YOUR NAME AND COUNTRY IF YOU WISH.

We haven’t done a bible giveaway in a while so keep your eyes peeled for that and the bibles are always free including shipping anywhere in the world.

Thank you to those that ‘like’ and those that comment, your encouragement is a blessing

Kindest regards

gw