So you thought you had a bad day.

Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”

Michael reply: “Each morning I wake up and say to myself: Mike, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I point out the positive side of life.”

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy.” I protested.

“Yes, it is.” Michael said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situation. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.”

I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the Cell Tower industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communication tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied: “If I was any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?” I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was the well being of my soon to be born daughter” Michael replied. “Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live.

“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked. Michael continued, ” The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘he is a dead man’ I knew I needed to take action”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Michael. “She asked if I was allergic to anything.”

“Yes?” I replied.

The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply.

I took a deep breath and yelled “Gravity”.

Over the laughter, I told them, “I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.

I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude IS everything.

So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

hang on or let it go

March 13, 2018

For some reason the last couple of days I’ve remembered more of the bad stuff than the good. It doesn’t cause me to doubt my salvation, just my sanity. Sometimes I’m shocked when I recall some things. But it’s important to remember your past has no hold on you, it doesn’t have to dictate the decisions you make today. Only if you are conscious of the influence thoughts have and you are more strategic then whimsical (never thought I could use that word in a sentence) in your decision making.

So I purposely, occasionally pull out this list of things I may think about and then I can put them in the right context of what I am doing today. It’s one of the reasons I’ve studied to become a master chess player and a martial artist. Train the mind, train the body.

Remember the forgiveness of God and the complete restoration He has given. Salvation and Sanity seem to go together.

What special memories do you have about your childhood?

  1. How did you get along with each of your parents? What were they like’

  1. What did you like and dislike about your parents’

  1. What were your hurts and disappointments as a child’

  1. What were your hobbies and favorite games’

  1. How did you usually get into trouble’

  1. How did you usually try to get out of trouble’

  1. What did you enjoy about school and its activities’

  1. What pets did you have? Which were your favorites and why’

  1. What did you dream about doing when you were older’

  1. Did you like yourself as a child? Why or why not’

  1. What were your talents and special abilities’

  1. What awards and special achievements did you win’

  1. Did you have a nickname’

  1. Who were your close friends? Where are they today’

  1. What would you do on a hot summer afternoon’

  1. Describe the area where you grew up—people, neighborhood, etc.

  1. What were you afraid of? Do you have any of those fears today’

  1. How did you get along with your brothers and/or sisters?

  1. If you had none, which relative were you closest to?

  1. Who did you date and for how long? Where did you go on dates?

  1. How did you feel when you liked someone and that person didn’t care for you?

  1. What was your spiritual life like as a child? As an adolescent?

  1. How has being an adult changed your life?

  1. How are you different today than you were 20 years ago? Ten years ago?

  1. What have been your greatest disappointments? How have you handled them?

  1. What have you learned from them that you would want me to learn’

  1. If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently’

  1. What do you want to be remembered for?

The Apostle Paul recounted his past and the complete forgiveness of God, all things are forgivable, the only exception is refusing the call of God, the wooing of the Holy Spirit to salvation.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Okay I don’t think I’ve told this story before, but after 2000 devotional posts it’s hard to keep them all straight. But since it’s a funny story I’ll risk repeating it.

So there is the typical little old lady, she has never been married, was a schoolteacher all of her life and she had never owned a pet before. So she is in her late 80s when she calls me and asks for a visit. She lives in a HUD apartment building and tells me on the phone that I need to be careful when coming in because of the shady characters.

I find her apartment and knock on the door, she opens the door and she says “well things have changed since you’ve last been here, I now have a parakeet named Elvis”.

So I walk into her apartment and sit down at a little dining table, it’s basically an efficiency apartment, and there on a TV tray is a small cage with a parakeet. Evelyn tells me that she loves this bird more than anything she’s ever loved in her whole life, and she knows that this bird loves her more than anything in its life because it is so loyal and so affectionate.

After making sure the door to the apartment is securely closed and locked, she goes over to the cage and lets Elvis out. And she is just going on and on about how much this parakeet loves her and how much she loves him and how when she sets down the bird it is going to set on her shoulder and nuzzle her ear. And instead, the bird lands on my shoulder and starts playing with my beard. To say that Evelyn is a little bit upset or jealous would be an understatement and she accuses me of robbing her of the bird’s affection.

I am trying to get Elvis to leave my shoulder and fly over to Evelyn, so very carefully I pick up the bird and set him on the table. Where he promptly flies down to the floor and starts pulling on my shoelace. Evelyn who’s really too old to look under the table is setting there in more than mild frustration going “Elvis” “Elvis where are you, Elvis?” “Where are you?” At which point Elvis has decided to go up my pant leg, which trust me is not my idea of a good time.

So now I have both my hands around my knee trying to stop Elvis from going any farther up my pant leg than anybody needs to really go. And Evelyn is standing now quite flushed and agitated that the bird is not calling out or responding by flying to her and she is in great distress. Meanwhile, I am in great distress, because I do not know how to nonchalantly get a parakeet out of my pants, I don’t want to hurt the bird nor do I want Evelyn to know that the bird has decided to become more intimate with me than with her.

Evelyn goes into the bathroom to see if the bird has maybe flown in there. Now I’d like to say that I quickly dropped my pants but that’s really not something you can do when you wear suspenders. So as quick as I can I take off my suitcoat, undo my suspenders, down goes my zipper and drop my pants to my ankles hoping I can grab the bird without breaking its tiny little neck, put it on the table and pull up my pants, zip up, put on my suspenders, put my suitcoat back on, all in the space of about two seconds before Evelyn, a woman in her late 80s who as far as I know has never seen a pair of men’s underwear, let alone my hairy legs standing half naked in her living room.

Well thank the Lord for small favors, the bird was safely deposited on the table, I am back to being fully clothed, and just in the nick of time Evelyn comes out of the bathroom and sees Elvis sitting at the table. And thank goodness the bird flew to her shoulder and began to kiss her cheek to which Evelyn was very ecstatic and forgave the bird, but I’m not sure she forgave me.

I’d like to say that was the end of the story, but she asked for us to have a little prayer because when you pray Elvis bows his head. So I say a prayer, Elvis bows his head and when I say amen the bird says amen. At which point I’ve decided it is more than time for me to exit the building.

Evelyn assures me that the bird because it loves her so much will not leave her shoulder and that I can exit the apartment with no fear of Elvis leaving her. Well you know what happens, I open the door to leave and the bird leaves with me, quickly flies down the hallway and then comes back and perches on the top of my head. There I am in the hallway and Evelyn instead of blaming the bird says that I have wronged her and have stolen the affections of Elvis.

And I’m thinking here I am in the middle of a HUD apartment in a rather unsavory neighborhood with a parakeet sitting on my head and an old lady yelling at me that I have stolen Elvis and his affection. Again a short little prayer that I can grab the bird without it flying off and two, that I don’t break its neck when I grab the bird and three that when I hand the bird back to Evelyn she doesn’t do anything rash or drastic and calms down.

Very seldom in my ministry can I say that I actually handed somebody the bird, nor is it often that I can say that I have stolen the affection of Elvis, but that is just one more event in a day of ministry.

God bless Evelyn and Elvis and to all our lonely seniors, keep them in prayer.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

a man and a woman

March 4, 2018

Not the Lord, just me. After 40 years of being a marriage counselor, let me offer some extra advice not usually found in a pastoral manual. (and please, this is just me being non-serious, that means I think I am funny).

Women, never date a man who has the following;

  1. More shoes than you

  2. More skin products than you

  3. More clothes than you

  4. Owns a cat

  5. Talks with “air quotes”

  6. Talks in the 3rd person

  7. Smells like mold

  8. Smokes pot

  9. Lives with his mother

  • Drives a jacked-up jeep or pickup truck and lives in the city

  • Can’t get a letter of reference from his pastor

  1. Doesn’t pass a criminal check

  2. Can’t pass a credit check

  3. Doesn’t carry a pocket knife

  4. Wants sex on the first date or expected after an expensive meal.

Men, never date a woman that;

  1. Owns cat, especially more than one

  2. Has paths forged through her house between all the unwashed laundry.

  3. Has rechargeable batteries by the case load in her bedroom.

  4. Doesn’t own a flashlight.

  5. Smells

  6. Can’t cook

  7. Constantly compares you to her father

  8. Offers sex on the first date

  9. Has a restraining order against her last 5 boyfriends

  10. Suffers from migraines more than 3 days and her personality seems to change each time.

  11. Tells you about her little friend visiting, toe fungus or the statement “it’s only a rash.

  12. Has any condoms in her purse or in the glove box of her car or taped to the underside of her coffee table

  13. Doesn’t carry a pocket knife.

  14. The freezer is stocked with tv dinners

  • Talks in the third person about her feminine parts

  1. When she talks about shots, she doesn’t mean Jim Beam

So, a complete list no, but just something to get you thinking.

A marriage is still supposed to be forever, not just for a while.

Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Ephesians 5:25-33: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Seriously, take into consideration what makes a good marriage partner, and most of all pray for God to put the right person in your life.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

funny face

January 14, 2018

I have a good friend who because of a couple strokes he can’t smile. He’s a preacher. Now if you are wondering what one has to do with the other, here we go.

Because he looks so serious his congregation has developed into a serious crowd as well and a little legalistic. All this from not smiling. (possible?)

Then there’s Jerry, another preacher that is always laughing, playing practical jokes and his congregation is pretty much like him.

The non-funny thing is the serious preacher has a more mature congregation both in age and in the Lord. Jerry’s congregation is younger (he’s 75) and less mature in the Lord.

What ‘s my point, the goal of every preacher is to give a congregation a conscious in tune with the Love of God. They should have godly thinking that leads to a right heart. Can you be serious, sure, can you be funny sure. But in either case you must be thorough, all the Word of God, all the principles.

What come first, heart or mind. I’m going to say the best balance is the mind, then the heart will follow. A mind set on God makes a heart following God.

So a preacher that concentrates on emotions and feelings will have a congregation without maturity and principles. Their Christian walk will be a whirlwind of emotions, a roller coaster walk.

The sound biblical expositor will have a mature congregation and more sure of everything. The church will gravitate towards sound thinking and there will be less church problems. If the pastor is firm.

Aye, and there’s the rub, (been a while since I said that). To many Christian’s today want a socially acceptable church that doesn’t invade their privacy.

I’m going to stop right there and let you ponder that for a while.

God bless and peace in your life. From scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

WHOOPS

December 23, 2017

WHOOPS!

I’ve lost track of how many mistakes I’ve made in the ministry. Saying the wrong names during a wedding ceremony (you should see the looks, especially if the name you said was an ex boy/girl friend). Or because nobody smokes in church no way to light a unity candle. Or the bride sticks the candle under her veil to blow it out and poof, there goes the veil and about a pound of hairspray, and now we have a bride with no eyebrows, veil and singed hair.

How about saying your so glad to be in this church (as a guest speaker and get the wrong name). showing up at the wrong church to preach.

Or leaving your label mike on when you go to the bathroom.

Your  zipper’s down and you have a plexiglass pulpit.

But the one that really sticks out in my mind is a river baptism (my first) I’m baptizing Wendel Blanton. 6’8 and 324lbs. he’s a new believer, shy, timid always afraid of hurting someone because of his size. And down he goes for baptism, under the water and somehow, I lost my grip and away he goes.

The look on my face, everyone knew something was wrong. And no sign of Wendel. I mean zip.

It seemed like eternity when up he pops about 30 yards downstream, with this huge smile on his face. And he just booms; “Pastor, that was so wonderful, I truly felt the presence of the Lord.”

Everyone starts clapping and shouting, he takes a step forward and totally disappears. He’s stepped in a huge hole. Up he pops again. I think by then every single person rushed out to get him, they couldn’t take the stress.

While ol’ Wendel is grabbing everyone and hugging them and dropping them in the water and now every one is rushing back as this has turned out (in their minds to be highly undignified). Everyone s back on shore and Wendel goes “Pastor, can I get baptized again next year?”

You know I said yes. Whoops.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

SUDS SAVER

December 8, 2017

washingmachine1

SNOW DAY

Well we had almost 2 inches of heavy wet snow. Which for south Texas, that’s pretty rare.

My wife got home, changed into her ranch clothes and ran out side with our American Bulldog and she starts making Snow Angels and the dog is going nuts running through her first snowfall.

Ups jumps my wife and it’s a snowball fight.

We reminiscence about the snow we had growing up south of Buffalo New York or the heavy snows we had in Ohio. We were one time snowed in for 9 days.

The bible says we will be washed whiter than snow.(Isaiah)

A favorite evangelist friend of mine used to say that there was a giant Suds Saver washing machine in heaven and the blood of the Lamb was poured in and we would come out clothed in white with no more sin and that we would never get stained nor would that power ever fail to keep us white.

Not the most theologically correct statement but almost. But it always led up to a great altar call.

Question? Have you asked Jesus to save you and wash away your sins?

Well there’s this giant Suds Saver…….

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

was that Plato or Play-dough

November 30, 2017

The gospel of Mark is considered the first of the written Gospel’s by many scholars. Jesus first words were “repent” not learn philosophy. I am rather alarmed by so called Christian philosophers that have raised the hue and cry that theology must give way to philosophy or that therefore no intelligent, scholarly discussion can take place. And because of this the new purveyors have deemed themselves the new heralds of the gospel.

Yet their theology has been compromised so that it is more palatable to the so called intelligent atheist.

Well baloney, they have forgotten all the scriptures that convey the truth about man’s intelligence and wisdom being dung, foolishness; and the power of the Word of God to convict and persuade and provide the only true concept of God.

It amazes me that these “wise men” usually pick theology books that also water down the truth of God’s word and plan. Or that they won’t call themselves Christians but ‘Theists’. So how does a Theist become more Christ like it they have a problem with an inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God that is the answer to all of life’s questions and is not reduced to a bunch of egg heads creating a mathematical formula for truth. God is the epitome of truth, not philosophy.

So don’t stone me if you’re a philosophy major, you still need Jesus, the only way to understand God. The only way in to heaven (no mother Mary isn’t going to do it either).

And stop with the stupid questions about where evil comes from, it’s been answered, just like the chicken or the egg question, yes the bible has already answered this question, in the beginning God created the chicken not the egg. Duh.

Invest your self in the study of God’s word if you want to truly be wise, and stop watching you tube, your rotting your brain.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

BUTT RUBBERS

November 29, 2017

audrey

BUTT RUBBERS

WAIT, IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK!

So K9’s have been a big part of my life. Dogs, I like them more than people. Dogs outnumber the people in my house.

So back when I did dog placement of pups for the military I always told people please lavish all the attention you want on a dog, BUT DO NOT RUB THEIR BUTTS.

But people do it because their so needy for affection and attention so they start rubbing the dog’s butt and because dogs like that and act all goofy and happy, it almost ruins a dog for training.

Almost.

Butt rubbing increases a dog’s carnal nature, when I want a dog that will save a life I need it facing me, not backing up and sticking its butt on my leg wanting a butt rub.

The dog has to be deprogramed to a different reward system, that doesn’t include butt rubbing.

Well there, I said butt rubbing as much a possible. Here’s the flip side for us humans.

According to the Greek dictionary, it means to have the nature and characteristics of the flesh (or more simply, it means “fleshly”). What, then , is the flesh? Sometimes it refers to the whole material part of man (1 Corinthians 15:39; Hebrews 5:7), and based on this meaning, carnal sometimes relates to material things like money (Romans 15:27) or to the opposite of our weapons of spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4). But the word flesh also has a metaphorical sense when it refers to our disposition to sin and to oppose or omit God in our lives. The flesh is characterized by works that include lusts and passions (Galatians 5:19-24; I John 2:16); it can enslave (Romans 7:25); and in it is nothing good (Romans 7:18). Based on this meaning of the word flesh, to be carnal means to be characterized by things that belong to the unsaved life (Ephesians 2:3).

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Col. 3:1–4).

You want to be a super Christian? That’s it, tame carnality, stop the fleshly part, the carnal, craving, lusting, fallen, screwed up part of your life. For men it means stop letting your little head rule your big head.

So that’s the secret to a victorious Christian life, no butt rubbing.

Hopefully you see the serious part of this and haven’t fallen out of your chair laughing and hurt yourself.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 And if your offended by this post have someone rub your butt.

I’M WITH STUPID

November 23, 2017

Image result for A PICTURE OF A BIRDHOUSE

A “do it yourself” catalog firm received the following letter from one of its customers: “I built a birdhouse according to your stupid plans, and not only is it much too big, it keeps blowing out of the tree. Signed, Unhappy.”

The firm replied: “Dear Unhappy, We’re sorry about the mix-up. We accidentally sent you a sailboat blueprint. But if you think you are unhappy, you should read the letter from the guy who came in last in the yacht club regatta.”

Once a spider built a beautiful web in an old house. He kept it clean and shiny so that flies would patronize it. The minute he got a “customer” he would clean up on him so the other flies would not get suspicious. Then one day this fairly intelligent fly came buzzing by the clean spider web. Old man spider called out, “Come in and sit.” But the fairly intelligent fly said, “No, sir. I don’t see other flies in your house, and I am not going in alone!” But presently he saw on the floor below a large crowd of flies dancing around on a piece of brown paper. He was delighted! He was not afraid if lots of flies were doing it. So he came in for a landing. Just before he landed, a bee zoomed by, saying, “Don’t land there, stupid! That’s flypaper!” But the fairly intelligent fly shouted back, “Don’t be silly. Those flies are dancing. There’s a big crowd there. Everybody’s doing it. That many flies can’t be wrong!” Well, you know what happened. He died on the spot. Some of us want to be with the crowd to badly that we end up in a mess. What does it profit a fly (or a person) if he escapes the web only to end up in the glue?

Charles Swindoll

The one good thing about growing older is you make less stupid mistakes (hopefully).

I have a parishioner that doesn’t have dementia, but she loves saying outlandish things, making funny faces and sometimes being rather childish, if anybody says anything she just says; “dementia.” When I asked her why she said she had a very strict childhood and a dominating husband and this was her chance to break the mold.

Or the guy I met that passes anyone he meets with a card that has some weird made up medical term and an explanation that he will probably offend you, it’s a kind of Tourette’s syndrome, and at the bottom of the card it says ‘turnover’ and the other sides says; “I’m really just an a$$hole.

We all know people like this and yes you can train yourself to be stupid.

Self-destructive behavior is stupidity run amok, and as the comedian says; “you can’t fix stupid.”

And the bible agrees, the fool, the unteachable, the rebellious, the reprobate, all possibly bound for hell because they won’t stop being what they are.

So look at the things you do in your life and are any of them stupid. Then ask your self why you are doing such things. And just like AA, stop, get help.

Now I have to say there’s one caveat to this little rant, know the difference between stupid and careless. The latter can be fixed, and it really is a poor excuse that only makes you look…..(you got it) stupid.

So clean up your act, stop making excuses, stop saying it’s an addiction, just stop, you can, you’ve done it before. Is it hard, yes being obedient is always harder to do than being careless.

But ask yourself, right at this moment did God lead you to read this giant stop sign. It might be your last chance, you may want to think about.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com