when dogs pout

July 20, 2018

This ain’t real sophisticated, uber smart, deep theology or even original but it will help.

Prince had his hit song, “when doves cry”

I have when dogs pout.

This is our American Bulldog, not wanting to go to bed. Stubborn, pouting and not about to give in.

Sound familiar?

You don’t know what God is doing, you’re suffering, in pain or maybe it’s mental anguish; you’ve punished yourself better than anyone else. Finances are a mess, health is shot, marriage on the rocks, kids on drugs, one’s pregnant.

You’ve lost your job, done something stupid. Said something you wish you could take back.

Hey, you’re not alone we’ve all been there in one way or another. There is simply no way you can live long enough and not have some kind of suffering.

Two choices; Pout or Praise; that’s it. One makes it worse, one makes it better. The definition of insanity is doing the same wrong thing over and over and expecting different results.

You know what? Maybe no one is coming, there is no rescue, no pat on the back, no good news, pout or praise.

Believe this, you can prolong the suffering, pout, or get immediate relief, praise. The circumstances in either might not change. But your heart will, your mind will. You can get relief from pain by praising God, you can stop heartache by praising God. You can see a glimmer of hope praising God. Yes, it will probably suck again, but you can have moments of closeness with God, clarity of thought, a change of direction, just by praising God.

How come you ask or why?

Because in that moment of praising God, you stopped being the center of the universe. So stop being an asshat and stop pouting.

It might seem impossible, but just say it out loud. “God, I love you” start saying Hallelujah, just shout, “praise the Lord”. Lift up your head, wipe away the tears and believe God loves you and Jesus suffered more than you ever will. Thank God for your salvation.

Email us at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

We will pray for you, God bless.

UNDERWEAR 1, DIGNITY 0

July 18, 2018

You know your day is going to go sideways when you lose a fight to your underwear.

You are just out to the shower, dried off, and you can’t figure out if your underwear is possessed or you’re having a stroke. Is it inside out or deformed by the dryer, but you’re hopping on one leg trying to shake them out, twist and get a leg in and now you’re wondering if maybe it’s Alzheimer’s.

How can something you’ve done almost for your whole life (minus the diaper phase) is now seemingly beyond all physical manipulation.

Then to add insult to the indignity, you hear the howls of laughter coming from your wife as she compares your Olympic wrestling match with your underwear to  the chicken caught in the fence trying to get loose earlier this morning.

Now on one foot, your underwear now wrapped in a bear hug around your ankle, you lean forward to push the bathroom door closed and out goes the bathroom rug from under your feet, you’re going down.

Your wife runs to the door to help you and you purposely hold the door shut. Your endurance for humiliation has just peaked. And then you hear the whisper choked sound of your wife; “Honey, are you ok?”

What possible devotional content could I pull out of this bizarre morning insult upon your sanity, your dignity and manly virtue.

Ahhhh, wait for it……….. it’s your response. Will it be godly or will it be vulgar, course, angry? The silence builds for just a moment…………. “Yes, I’m all right and you release the bathroom door and your wife steps in and you both end up howling with laughter.

All that before morning devotions. So how did your morning go?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Prayer requests, comments, and questions please send to the email address.

A NORMAL WEDDING?

July 14, 2018

After doing hundreds of weddings I have arrived at a new standard for the marriages I will perform in the future.

I’ve done biker weddings, LA gang bangers, moonshiners, rednecks, Klansmen,

Traditional Mexican weddings, an Inuit wedding, one lady that this was her 7th marriage, pregnant (NOT HER), a few virgins, no cousins and one special dispensation to do a catholic wedding.

Indoors, outdoors, in homes, hospitals, hospice, one prison wedding, small churches, huge churches, an arena, in the woods, on beaches, hotels, ranches and a racetrack.

A wedding where everyone was armed, more than a few military weddings, a Scottish wedding. Everything but skydiving.

That was then, this is now.

I will only do weddings in church, they must have 8 pre-wedding counseling sessions and they have to be Christians.

I’m tired of drunk weddings or believing this might be the only time they hear about God. I’m tired of stoners getting married. The bride puking half way through the ceremony because she was to hung over. I don’t want to have to redress the bride, pulls skirts out of pantyhose or pick up condoms in the church parking lot.

I don’t want to mace the wedding party, put out fires, smell dope or wait for the Sherriff to clear the building.

If there is such a thing as a normal, God loving, not pregnant, couple that believe they have sought God’s will and have waited to have sex after the marriage call me.

The rest of you, you’re out of luck, I’m retired from driving home shocked at the crap that went on by ungodly, stupid jerks that think maybe blind stupid and drunk is the best way to get married.

So that’s one of my few rants for devotions. Tomorrow will more uplifting. The biggest decision of your life, besides believing in Jesus, shouldn’t be performed because of hormones or a shotgun.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

bite me

June 21, 2018

RUST STAIN

After thousands of devotional posts, 99% of them with no political axe to grind I’ve come to the point where I have to act as a counter balance against my own evangelical brothers.

Jesus is not a democrat, nor is he a republican. Son of God, Lord and God almighty but not an endorser of illegal alien children.

Fact #1, the Muslims want only 3 things, a; join them, b, be taxed by them, or c; die, that’s it, join, pay or die. There is no peace only a sword.

Fact #2. All these illegal aliens, emphasis on illegal, are coming for one thing, to rob us of all that’s decent and good about America. They want to suck on the teat of the liberal, left wing democrats and rob hard working Americans of everything we have built. They are welfare rats that are going to sink the ship.

Now, I’m not against immigrants, my grandfather was a legal immigrant from Holland, my great father from Ireland. They legally came here and worked all their lives. Fought in the military. We have a family heritage of soldiers, law enforcement, coal miners, lumberjacks. Hard working, pay your taxes go to church folks.

You cannot use the bible on this issue. Illegal children grow up to be illegal adults.

Have there been exceptions, yes, there have. But even the millions of legal Hispanics are yelling build the wall. They came here for the American dream of work. Go to college, pay your own way.

And since I live in Texas build a wall that keeps Californians out as well, don’t legalize pot.

Well, my blood pressure is up so I better stop, if you’re offended by any of this “bite me”. Jesus loves you any way you moron.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

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THESE ARE USUALLY IN THE DOG BOWL IF I FORGET TO CLOSE THE SCREEN DOOR.

Everything here wants to bite me.

I thought life was supposed to get easier in old age, hah!

Not happening, I have an evening routine

Step one, it’s 10pm time for a final trip around the ranch.

Step two, put on my jeans, slip my .45 into its holster, lace up my boots, put on my hat and grab two flashlights. One is a tactical light the other a flood light.

Step three, pick up my Mossberg, 12 gauge with three loads, the first is double 00, the second a turkey load, the third is a slug, repeat, there is a light on the shotgun.

Step four, turn off the alarm on the first door.

Step five, go to the front door turn on the flood lights.

Step six, go to the garage door turn on the flood lights.

Step seven, hit the master switch and the yard and barn lights come on.

Step eight. Step out side and sweep the south yard for racoons or porcupines.

Step nine, sweep the west side, more raccoons or pole cats or bob cats.

Step ten hit the north side, watch for 300 to 400 lbs wild pigs, or skunks, or once every five years a mountain lion.

Step eleven, sweep the east side, usually a herd of 10-12 Axis deer.

Step twelve back to the south side where I radio my wife to let the dogs out.

Then repeat steps 2-11, then put the dogs back in, turn out all the lights , turn on the alarm. Put my wife to bed, and then write the devotional post for the night.

You gotta love the Texas hill country, fire ants, rattlers, black widow spiders and now that the drought has started, a house full of scorpions. I usually get bit at least 3 times a year, at least one in shower.

Two legged varmints I hardly worry about, it’s 13 miles into town. And not much in between. And they have to get past all the cattle fences, and all the other creatures I’m trying to not get bit by.

Oh yeah, a bible verse, He is my rod, my staff and my shield, but I also pick up a colt 1911 just to be on the safe side.

Whew, I’m worn out and that just the evening after dark routine, forget all the other animals, chores and equipment, pumps, wells, water tanks…

Praise God for country living.

Prayer requests, comments, questions, send to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

If I remember we will have another bible give away this week, I picked up some nice bibles this week. Already gave several away to people while going around town.

Blessings.

FREE, FREE, FREE

May 23, 2018

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Suicidal thoughts, crowding in?

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Call 1-800-try Jesus (seriously don’t call that number I have no idea who will answer).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Good intentions

May 19, 2018

Okay I’d like to tell you a story about how good deeds can backfire.

We were pastoring a small church and we had a lady named Gail who’s husband had run off and left her with four children, one of them and infant. And she had no marketable job skills and with the four kids and no income they were hard-pressed every month for groceries and rent, the church did everything it could to help them and she would bring her kids to church and clean and help with stuff and Gail felt like she had to do something to earn the money and help that we gave.

So one day I came to church and she was  in the sanctuary sobbing and crying and I asked her what was wrong and she said that by taking public transportation, (The bus) she had spent over six hours in the hot summer sun and she was sunburned. The kids are sunburned. The baby was sunburned. They’re all dehydrated and hungry and I had told her before we leave to go into the kitchen at the church and help themselves whenever they came here. Of course she felt bad about imposing in doing that, but I told her she needed to get fluids in everybody so they didn’t get sick.

So we decided that the church would buy her car, so we had several people in the congregation that were police officers and they  told us that a police auction was coming up soon and there would be a lot of cars to choose from.

So we went to the police auction and bought her a car large enough to haul four kids around and it was taken to a mechanic and proven to be reliable and we put new tires and belts and hoses on it just to make sure. well three days later it’s the weekend and I get a phone call from Gail and she is just about crazy with panic and fear, seems she came out of the grocery store and there the car was with all the doors open all the door panels tore out, the backseat tore out, the trunk open and all the carpeted panels tore out the trunk. the hood was up and several engine parts were laying on the ground and she just couldn’t believe what happened to the car.

So we went to get her and called the police. one of our men from the congregation who was a police officer was there and he said the car that we had bought at a police auction was probably a drug car and when the drug dealer saw the car back at the grocery store they thought maybe the drugs might still be in there and they had stripped the car looking for the drugs.

So Bill and I, we put the car all back together made sure it was running and we followed Gail back to her home.

Last Sunday when she came to church. She was a little bit beside yourself and I asked her what was wrong, and she felt that what happened to the car was a sign that she was not leading her life right or there was some unconfessed sin or some nonsense. I told her that was not the case and that it wasn’t her fault, it wasn’t bad stewardship or anything else and let’s get over it and move on, the chances of it happening again are slim.

 I remember when I retired from that church as pastor one of the hardest things was hoping and realizing that the pastor that was coming in behind me would care as much for the poor folk that we had in that church and would do all that could be done to help them like we had. So, it’s been 30 years later, all her kids are grown up and become missionaries or evangelists or pastors and she is gotten remarried and life has turned out much better for her. that car is long gone. but you have to wonder sometimes why things happen.

The good news is that God is sovereign, and we won’t ever understand why things happen they way they do. But like the old gospel song. ‘trust and obey for there is no better way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.’

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

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