The Encouraging God

August 28, 2017

Perseverance seems to be an outdated concept in our day of instant everything. If it doesn’t come easy, why pursue it? If it’s hard or requires endurance, maybe it isn’t your thing.

It’s easy to start a new diet. It’s tough to stick to it when you crave that cinnamon roll. It’s easy to start a new exercise program. It’s tough to persevere when your aching muscles scream, “No more!” It’s easy to get married. It’s tough to hang in there and work through problems over a lifetime. It’s easy to begin a new ministry in the local church. It’s tough to keep on when problems arise or when the results don’t match your initial expectations.

That describes the people in Haggai’s day, just shy of a month after they had obeyed his first message and resumed work on rebuilding the temple. The foundation had been laid about 15 years before, but the project had been set on the shelf. But now, in response to Haggai’s word from the Lord, the leaders and people had begun to rebuild on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month of the second year of Darius (Sept. 21, 520 B.C.; 1:15). The seventh month in Israel began with the Feast of Trumpets on the first day, followed by the Day of Atonement on the tenth day. Then the Feast of Tabernacles went from the 15th to the 21st. On the last day of that feast (Oct. 17th), Haggai delivered his second message to the people (2:1-9). It is a message of God’s encouragement to discouraged workers. We learn that …

God encourages His discouraged servants to persevere in His work.

These verses teach us three things about persevering by turning our discouragement in serving the Lord into encouragement:

  1. God understands and cares about the discouragement we face in serving Him (Haggai 2:1-3).

The Lord did not gloss over or ignore the reality of the situation. He knew what they were thinking and feeling, and He brings it up to show them that He understood and that He cared for them. If we do not keep in mind that in all our troubles the Lord understands and cares for us, we will easily become discouraged. The text and historical context reveal several potential sources of discouragement when we get involved in serving the Lord:

  1. THE LOSS OF INITIAL EXCITEMENT CAN DISCOURAGE US.

There is always a certain sense of excitement when you begin a new ministry or project. But the glow easily rubs off in the grind. There were probably piles of rubble that needed to be removed. Perhaps some of the workers had envisioned putting the finishing touches on some gold work or other craftsmanship, but they hadn’t thought about hauling rubble. Their initial enthusiasm was already wearing thin.

The summer after I graduated from seminary, I was involved with a group of men in starting a new church that was branching off of an existing church. We received some wise counsel from the elders of the mother church. They said, “What you’re doing now is new and exciting. But the time will come when the glamour wears off and then you’ll need to know that God has called you to this work and persevere in it.” The leaders did persevere, because last year I received an email from the pastor telling me that they were celebrating their 25th anniversary.

  1. DELAYS CAN DISCOURAGE US.

Work for the Lord seldom moves as quickly as we had hoped. Perhaps working around the numerous feasts and Sabbath days in the seventh month had dampened the initial enthusiasm because the work was going so slowly. It’s easy for that to happen in anything we do for the Lord, and the delays get us down.

  1. OUTSIDE OPPOSITION AND CRITICISM CAN DISCOURAGE US.

In verse 5, the Lord says, “Do not fear!” He would not say that unless they had a reason to be afraid. Probably the same men who had threatened them and lobbied against them at the Persian court 15 years before were at it again. Any time you attempt to do God’s work, Satan will stir up opposition. We’re in a battle with the forces of darkness that are opposed to the church of Jesus Christ. Expect opposition!

  1. INSIDE PESSIMISM, COMPARISONS, AND FAULTY EXPECTATIONS CAN DISCOURAGE US.

When I began in ministry, I naively thought that most of the opposition would come from outside the church. Boy, was I wrong! Most opposition comes from within, and it takes different forms.

One common form is pessimism. “We tried that before. It won’t work!” When they had laid the foundation years before, there was great joy mixed with weeping (Ezra 3:11-13). The young people who had not known the glory of the former temple were rejoicing. But the old-timers, who had seen Solomon’s Temple, wept at this new temple, because it just didn’t measure up. Although they would be in their seventies or older by now, a few were still around when the work got started again. Maybe they were saying, “God’s blessing just isn’t on this temple!” Pessimism!

A second form of inside opposition comes from those who drop little comparisons on you. The old-timers were saying, “You should have seen Solomon’s Temple. Now that was a temple! This new one is hardly worth calling a temple compared to the old one!” Sometimes people will say, “That church on the other side of town really has their act together!” (Implication: You don’t!) Or, “Have you ever heard Chuck Swindoll preach? He’s really good! You ought to listen to him.” Thanks for the encouragement!

And then there are those who have faulty expectations. This usually operates in conjunction with comparisons. “Where is all the gold? Solomon’s Temple was lined with gold. Why isn’t this one?” I’ve had people tell me about their former pastors who must never have slept and changed into their pastor uniforms in a phone booth! These pastors would visit everyone in the church, preach superb sermons (with great illustrations), attend all the youth activities, and always have time for drop ins. Besides that, they never neglected their families! Implication: “Why aren’t you like they are?”

  1. A WRONG VIEW OF SUCCESS CAN DISCOURAGE US.

Some view success externally rather than internally (or spiritually). “This temple isn’t as big as Solomon’s Temple was. This temple doesn’t have all the gold and fancy workmanship that Solomon’s Temple did.” But God says through Haggai, “I own all the gold and silver in the world, and I could cover this temple with gold if I wanted to. But I’m going to do something better. Instead of gold, I’m going to fill this temple with glory, the glory of My Messiah” (paraphrase of 2:7-9).

God doesn’t view things as we do. Just because one church isn’t as big or outwardly slick as another church doesn’t mean anything to God. A church may have a multi-million dollar facility, but if it doesn’t honor God’s Word or promote His glory among the nations, that facility is a big pile of wood, hay, and stubble! God is looking for the glory of Christ formed in the hearts of His people, not for the outward, superficial signs of success.

Another wrong view of success is the instant view as opposed to the eternal. None of the workers on this temple lived to see its glory exceed that of Solomon’s Temple. That didn’t happen until Messiah came into this temple over 500 years later, and even then many missed it! God says, “Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land” (2:6). While there may have been a partial fulfillment of that prophecy within a few years of Haggai’s day (in the overthrow of powerful kingdoms), the ultimate fulfillment is still future in our day! God will shake all the nations at the Second Coming of Christ, and they will bring the wealth of the nations to His temple in the Millennium.

If the people in Haggai’s day were viewing success from the short range, they would have been very discouraged. With God, a thousand years is as a day. True success will be measured in the light of eternity, not in our lifetimes. We need to keep this in mind as we labor for the Lord. The harvest is at the end of the age, not at the end of the meeting. God’s timing is not our timing.

Whatever our source of discouragement, God understands and He cares. But He doesn’t coddle us or let us stay there.

  1. God’s word to us when we discouraged in serving Him is to persevere (2:4a).

Three times the Lord repeats, “Be strong!” (“Take courage!”) And He tells them to work. Keep going! Persevere! There are two aspects to this kind of perseverance: an attitude and an action.

  1. PERSEVERANCE REQUIRES THE RIGHT ATTITUDE: BE STRONG!

The people had the wrong attitude. They were weak because they had gotten their focus off the Lord and onto the slow, disappointing progress on the temple. Maybe they were thinking, “This will never get done. We’re just wasting our time!”

Have you ever noticed how much your attitude affects your ability to persevere? If you’re motivated, you can stay up all night on some project. But if you get discouraged, you procrastinate and never get around to finishing it.

We hear about many pastors burning out and quitting the ministry. While in some cases the cause of burnout is not properly managing one’s schedule, often the real cause is an attitude of discouragement because of setbacks or disappointments. I recently read that 70 percent of pastors constantly fight depression. Eighty percent of pastors and 84 percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their ministries. I think every pastor should feel unqualified (2 Cor. 2:16), but not discouraged. As Americans, we’re far too emotionally fragile. Someone offends us, so we get our feelings hurt and drop out of service. Someone doesn’t do what we had expected, so we quit. Someone criticizes what we’re doing, and we say, “I’m out of here!”

But God says, “Be strong!” We aren’t to be strong in our own strength, of course, but in God’s strength (2 Cor. 3:5). But, be strong! Have the attitude that hangs in there in spite of obstacles. The real question is not how do we see things, but how does God see things? If we have not factored God into the equation, we don’t see things in the right perspective.

Do you remember the story of the 12 spies who went into the land of Canaan? Ten of them came back focused on the giants in the land and said, “We’re like grasshoppers in their sight. We can’t conquer them!” But Joshua and Caleb came back and said, “Because God is with us and He has promised us that land, we will eat them for lunch!” (Num. 14:9, paraphrase). Be strong in attitude!

  1. PERSEVERANCE REQUIRES THE RIGHT ACTION: WORK!

The attitude provides the motivation, but motivation without work won’t get the temple built. Joshua and Caleb had the right attitude of trust in the Lord. But they still had to go into the land and fight the giants. Much of the Lord’s work is far more perspiration than inspiration! That is certainly true of my weekly sermon preparation. These messages don’t come floating down from the sky! I have to work hard to prepare them. Just because you’re gifted in whatever you do for the Lord does not mean that it just flows effortlessly. To persevere we must not only be strong; we also must work.

Thus God encourages us in our service for Him by showing that He understands what we’re feeling and He cares. His word to us is, “Be strong and work!” Finally,

  1. God assures us when we are discouraged in serving Him by His presence, His promise, and His prophecy (2:4b-9).

  1. GOD ASSURES US WHEN WE ARE DISCOURAGED IN SERVING HIM BY HIS PRESENCE (2:4B).

After telling Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the people to be strong and to work, God adds, ‘“For I am with you,’ says the Lord of hosts.” The Jews may have feared a hostile host against them, but God is the Lord of hosts, the Supreme Ruler over all the armies of heaven and earth. If the Lord of hosts is with us, who can defeat us? If we’re serving Him, then nothing can happen to us accidentally or without His express permission. The assurance of His presence should lift our discouragement and enable us to press on.

After many years of hardship and danger in the heart of Africa, David Livingstone received an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow. On that occasion, he said, “Would you like me to tell you what supported me through all the years of exile among people whose language I could not understand, and whose attitude toward me was always uncertain and often hostile? It was this: ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ On those words I staked everything, and they never failed.”

  1. GOD ASSURES US WHEN WE ARE DISCOURAGED IN SERVING HIM BY HIS PROMISE (2:5).

“Promise” (2:5) refers to the covenant God made with Israel when they came out of Egypt. He promises them now, as He had then, that His Spirit would go with them and abide in their midst. Therefore, they need not fear.

God has made a better covenant with us than He did with them, the New Covenant, enacted on better promises (Heb. 8:6). Jesus sealed that New Covenant with His own blood. He promised us the indwelling Holy Spirit to be with us forever (John 14:16). When we grow discouraged in our service for Him, we should remember His promise, that He would not leave us as orphans, but would come to us and that in the meanwhile, He has given us the Holy Spirit to enable us to serve Him.

 

Housekeeping; questions, comments and prayer requests please send to

scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

thank you especially to those that reach out and say thanks, or “like” or tell us you are part of our prayer partners, your encouragement means more than you can know.

 

Pray for those that have been hit hard by hurricane Harvey, I have some dear friends living in and about Houston and 50” of rain is not an easy thing to deal with. Please keep Joe and Randall in your prayers and countless others.

God bless and thanks

Genuine Longing

June 29, 2017

True, real longing,

 I long to know Christ and the power which is in His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10, Weymouth Translation. If you can find a printed copy of this translation do so, it will really bless you).

  The difficult thing for most hungry-hearted believers is to wait in dependence upon the Lord for everything. Truth is not to be grasped, but received—received by faith, mainly through study. How true this is concerning reckoning! Many seek to reckon before they understand the scriptural facts upon which to count, and that adds up to failure. The secret is to learn the truth of our identification with the Lord Jesus so thoroughly that reckoning and its resultant growth will come as a matter of course, just as in our justification.

The death of our Lord on the Cross has depths of meaning that can only be plumbed by way of discovered need, but then reveals ‘unsearchable riches.’ To the believer who still has hopes of ‘attaining’ in the Christian life, a verse such as Romans 6:11 is a rather meaningless jargon used by those who give messages on the ‘deepening of the spiritual life.

To the believer who has been taught by the Holy Spirit something of his own utter, inbred sinfulness, it comes as a message from God full of hope and encouragement. He grasps the rescue rope flung to him by the right hand of Omnipotence, and with humble thankfulness sets out to learn how he can reckon himself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Jesus Christ our Lord. When he looks at the Cross he sees there the fact that not only did the Lord Jesus die for him, but that he himself was taken down into His death, in order that the practical reality of His resurrection life might transform him into the divine likeness.

  “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

NOTE: If you live in the Boerne, Comfort, Waring area of Texas and are interested in becoming part of a new church start up email me and let me know.

And as a housekeeping note, questions, comments, and prayer requests also to the email address please, blessings.

also having a problem tonight with posting to my twitter account. sorry about that.

 

GET UP AND LIVE

February 20, 2017

 

OUR RESURRECTION

The Father looks upon every believer as if he were already in heaven, as far as his standing is concerned. This blessed truth is brought out in Ephesians 2:6, “And hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” But as far as his earthly state is concerned while he is waiting the home-call, the believer is admonished thus: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth” (Col. 3:5). So we see that the believer is said to be both in heaven and on the earth. “Standing and State” is the only explanation of this.

Much more of the Word is given to instructions for the believer’s state than to his standing. His standing is heavenly, eternal, and perfect. His state is earthly, temporary, and imperfect. The believer should be “zealous of good works,” not in order to get saved but because he is saved.

We hope maybe something about this Sundayservice will draw someone back again to next Sunday’s sermon. Come next Sunday there will be lots of disappointed pastors. But what about disappointed Christians, Christmas and Easter, maybe Mother’s Day because that’s what mom asked; ‘will you please come to church with me.’

So now here in Texas we have ‘cowboy churches’ with an emphasis on come as you are, jeans, shorts it doesn’t matter just show up. We have Sunday school classes or whatever they are called these days and we serve coffee and donuts and some churches even say come in your pajamas.

The problem is for many believers there is no zeal, believe it or not Christians are bored about God. Shocking theory but it is sadly true, there are churches that pay more to the worship leader who can do a power point praise service than the pastor. Heck the Lutheran’s will even let you raise your hands during worship, even though grandma Jones, the pillar of the church for 90 years faints when she sees such shocking behavior in her church.

What has deadened so many Christians, why has church become a habit and not a passion? Simple answer; carnality, we’ve placed God into a box and we only let him into our lives a couple of hours a week. Imagine that God on a leash, sermons only about how much He loves us, how blessed we are, how much we deserve. Wow if we got what we really deserve the churches would indeed be empty because there would be little piles of ashes everywhere (thank God for grace, heh).

And so God does what He does to the wandering Christian, he allows adversity into our lives; sadness, illness, distress, you get the point and just like the Jews of the old testament we run the wrong direction and seek remedies in other things.

How large is your prescription bill every month, how many times do you ‘sneak’ something, the food before dinner as you drive home because of stress. The pet sins, nothing to big you are still in control its only a little thing.

Lest we forget, our God is a jealous God.

One of my most frequent prayers for myself is Ezekiel 36: 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

I hope that between this Sundayand next Sunday, someone will pray this prayer.

God bless

Contact us at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

200514520-004

If you are the victim of domestic violence, get out, get away and get help. It will not get better. I don’t care what they promise, the honeymoon phase always ends and you will get hurt.

Truthfully, I kind of hate to admit this, but the only husbands’ I’ve seen reform is where I took them out and beat them myself. I have had more luck helping men with porn addiction or drugs than violence, they don’t listen, they leave the church and do it somewhere else.

Every year in the US, more than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners. One in three female homicide victims are murdered by their current or a former partner. Young women, ages 18 to 34, are at greatest risk.

And it’s not happening only outside the church. Domestic violence is rampant in our churches, yet we rarely talk about it. Many people who pass themselves off as good Christians seek to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. In doing so, the abuser betrays the trust that should be inherent in such a close relationship. And he or she has a mentality of entitlement that says, “I’m justified in using evil tactics to obtain and maintain power and control.”

According to domesticviolence.org, most victims are women (one in four will experience it in her lifetime). But men can be victims, too. And it is worth noting that children in homes where domestic violence happens are more likely to experience abuse and/or neglect, as well (30–60%). Most children in such homes know about the violence. And even if a parent never physically harms them, they suffer emotional harm and experience behavior problems from witnessing it.

The abuse is most likely to happen between 6 PM till 6 AM. And it usually happens at home, though 40% of the time, it takes place elsewhere. Sometimes, but not always, it involves alcohol. In both of the cases described above, there was no alcohol involved.

For victims who leave, the result can be homelessness. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, about 1/3 of families in shelters are there due to domestic violence. But many choose to stay in the abusive situation. And most incidents go unreported.

So how can we and our churches help?

  1. Go public. Speak out in public against domestic violence, and encourage pastors to preach on the subject. Periodically include in your church bulletin a domestic abuse hotline phone number as well as contact information for a church member trained to help in cases of abuse.

  1. Teach accurately. Verses interpreted as teaching that a good wife must always bring only honor to her husband (e.g., Prov. 31:12) can keep victims trapped in silence. And misguided teaching about males leading and wives submitting, especially when such teaching presents “lead” as the husband’s verb instead of agape “love” (Eph. 5:25) can reinforce the entitlement mentality. Some reports say abuse is actually higher in traditional churches than in the population at large.

  1. Use your words to bless. The abused person is probably beat down emotionally and mentally, and the lies he or she has heard can creep into the thinking process. Expect victims to have a lot of self-doubt and be paralyzed by fear. The abuser usually wages a mental war that leaves the victim cowering both physically and emotionally. So speak truth. Remind victims of God’s love and their value. Pray with and for them. Promise confidentiality and keep your word. When possible, lead both victim and abuser to get wise counsel.

  1. For the sake of safety, allow divorce as an option. Divorce is not ideal in a healthy relationship—Jesus pointed to the beginning as the ideal. But when hardness of heart makes living unsafe (Mark 10:5), whether emotionally or physically, we do not help victims by making divorce itself the enemy. The marriage is destroyed by the abuse, not the legal document that comes as a result of the abuse. That is not to say divorce is the first course of action; but often a no-divorce policy ends up further victimizing the victims who feel they have no choice but to file.

  1. Most instances of abuse go unreported, so suggest notifying authorities. Encourage the victim to photograph any physical evidence, and report the crime to police. But in the process, avoid giving the impression that only physical abuse counts. Emotional abuse is every bit as damaging.

  1. Believe that abusers can change. (if confronted and not allowed to escape accountability) Abusers are among the captives whom Jesus came to set free (Luke 4:18). Still, have realistic expectations. Most abusers choose not to repent.

  1. Encourage victims that they are under no obligation to stick around till change happens. Nor are they responsible for making change happen.

Proverbs 31:8–9 says to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Part of doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God (Micah 6:8) is standing up for those beat down by abuse. The church should be known as a refuge for victims, not a shield for the violent-tempered or manipulative. With God’s help, those of us with influence in the church can help make Christ’ Body a place where the helpless run for solace and find they are finally safe.

Be a safe haven for the victims, rescue them before they are killed or maimed.

Comments, questions, emails or prayer requests to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

one……

December 14, 2016

One minute after we die, our minds, our memories, will be clearer than ever before. We are reminded of Jesus’ story of the rich man who went to hades with his memory intact.

He knew his family on earth, pleading, “I have five brothers.” Death does not change what we know; our personalities will just go on with the same information we have stored in our minds today.

Did you really think that you would go to heaven and be a completely different person? When Jesus came back he bore all the marks of His crucifixion, he was recognizable, and he looked the same. I joke all the time that when I get to heaven I will be taller, not true.

You have entered heaven without a break in consciousness, there will be no gaps, no voids, and you will be the same person. You will remember everything you ever did, good and bad, God will wipe away every tear, so there is crying in heaven. I believe because finally in His presence, finally unchained from our sinful body we will remember every lost opportunity, every choice good or bad.

So today is the rest of your life, fill it with good. Good choices, spiritual choices, less carnality, like the old Gospel song, ‘more of Him’ and as I like to add; ‘less of me’.

God bless from scumlikeususchurch@gmail.com

So many prayer requests today, we can’t list them all, but rest assured that our prayer team is in constant prayer mode.

One request stands out, Donald B, didn’t get paroled today and has been placed on suicide watch. Pray for Donald, he’s a believer, but needs reassuring of God’s plan for his life.

PART TWO OF THE LIFE OF ASA

WOW, THIS IS AS GOOD AS A JOHN WAYNE MOVIE

ASA HAS 580,000 MEN, AND THE ENEMY ONE MILLION; 2 Chronicles 14:8-15

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 Now Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, bearing large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin, bearing shields and wielding bows; all of them were valiant warriors.

9 Now Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and he came to Mareshah. 10 So Asa went out [a]to meet him, and they drew up in battle formation in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah

CAN YOU IMAGINE FACING AN ARMY TWICE YOUR SIZE WITH CHARIOTS AS WELL. THE NATURAL TEMPTATION WOULD BE TO BE FILLED WITH DOUBT AND FEAR, BUT NOT ASA, HE HAS BEEN SERVING GOD AND IN A FAITHFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS HIS SERVANT.

JUST LIKE IT SAYS ON OUR MONEY IN GOD WE TRUST SO SAYS ASA;  VERSE 11

Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; let not man prevail against You

WHAT AN IMPORTANT LESSON FOR US ALL, OUR ENEMIES WHETHER THEY BE HUMAN OR SPIRITUAL, THEY ARE NOT COMING UP AGAINST US, THEY ARE COMING UP AGAINST OUR GOD.

I MET A YOUNG MAN ONCE WHO TOLD ME HE WAS DEMON POSSESED AND THE SON OF A PASTOR. I ASKED HIM WHY WOULD HE ALLOW HIMSELF TO FILLED WITH A DEMON, HIS RESPONSE; “MY PARENTS HAVE CHOSEN GOD OVER ME, I WILL DESTROY THEIR MINISTRY.” I READ THESE VERSES TO HIM AND TOLD HIM GOD WOULD ALSO CHOOSE HIS PARENTS OVER HIM IN THIS SPIRITUAL BATTLE. WAS HE PREPARED TO BATTLE GOD?

THE QUESTION REALLY CHALLENGED HIM AND HE ASKED TO BE COMMITTED TO A MENTAL HOSPITLE, WHICH I GLADYLY OBLIGED, KNOWING THAT THE HEAD DOCTOR AND MOST OF THE NURESES WERE CHRISTIANS AND DEAL WITH BOTH THE MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL PROBLEMS HE WAS HAVING.

NEXT TIME SOMEONE COMES AGAINST YOU FOR YOUR WALK WITH GOD, OR YOUR TESTIMONY, OR VALUES REMIND THEM THEY ARE TAKING ON GOD ALMIGHTY NOT YOU!

So the Lord [b]routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar; and so many Ethiopians fell that [c]they could not recover, for they were shattered before the Lord and before His army

SUBTLE WORD HIDDEN IN THAT VERSE, BECAUSE OF ASA’S COMMITMENT TO GOD AND HIS PURPOSE ASA’S ARMY “BECAME GOD’S ARMY”

WHEN WE DEVOTE OURSELVES TO GOD WE BECOME HIS VICTORY, AND HIS VICTORY IS ASSURED.

WELL STAY TUNED FOR PART THREE.

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

 

give a hoot

December 4, 2016

Image result for woodsy owl

Between Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and the Military a couple of things were permanently etched in my brain, one of them was don’t litter.

Psalm 89: 11: “The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it.”

And not just the physical world, but its inhabitants belong to God: “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine” (Exod. 19: 5). In other words, we’re all God’s possession but He chose a people (Israel) to be His “treasured possession.”

Whatever we do to the earth and with the earth, we must be aware that we are handling what belongs to God. The implication of God’s ownership creates a duty for us to honor His creation. The very first thing we read in the Bible is, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1: 1). Scripture goes on to describe the creation process. While He was creating the world, God repeatedly declared, “It is good. It is good!” Later, when He made the pinnacle of creation, which is you and me, He said, “It’s very good.”

So how do you honor God? He’s the greatest artist and the greatest architect— infinite, all-wise, all-powerful, and all-knowing. One of the great ways we can honor Him is by respecting what He has made. We study what He has made. And we give Him honor, credit, and praise for the beauty and the provision in all He has made for us.

Psalm 115: 16 says, “The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to mankind.” Note the two words “belong” and “given.” God has basically said, “I’ve created this magnificent planet and I’ve entrusted it to the human race.” What does that mean? Here’s the implication: we are the earth’s vice-regents. We are the caretakers, managers, and stewards of creation. God says, “I’ve created all this but I’m putting you in charge.” The Scripture records the “hand-off” to humans in Genesis 1: 28: “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” The two key words for our discussion are “subdue” and “rule.” The Hebrew words are very strong and are used elsewhere to describe absolute control. God says, “You are fully in charge on My behalf.”

Now I’m not a liberal, tree hugging, save the salamander guy, I hunt, fish, trap and shoot. I do one of those every day. To me littering is disrespecting God and me as a manager of earthly resources.

So, show respect to the owner please. And the next time you see someone litter realize this is a chance to read your bible (which you always have with you) about God as creator.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

“We have allowed the enemy to come into our churches.

“What happens is we think we can fight the homosexual invasion by smiling and being real nice and loving,”   “We have to understand who the enemy is and what he wants — he wants to devour our homes. He wants to devour this nation.”

“We have to be so careful who we let our kids hang out with,”  “We have to be so careful about who we let into the churches. You have immoral people that have malice and wicked intent who get into the churches and  begin to affect the others in the church and it is dangerous.”

“So, I’m going to encourage you the church to take a stand for Christ,” “To be the a church, to take a stand for righteousness.  And homosexuality is still a sin, you can’t be a practicing homosexual and claim to be a Christian–  we have allowed them into our schools – that’s why I want to get the school boards back — homosexuality is taught to be okay in our universities, and you have all these diversity classes and all these nice names that they come up with promoting and pushing homosexuality.”

“Listen, I’m not here to bash gays, I don’t want to do that – and God does love them. I have people ask me, can a gay person go to Heaven? Absolutely, sure.”

“But the gay person is going to have to repent of their sins and turn from their sins, leave their sins,”  “And they have to believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him as their Savior. They have to be willing to follow him as their Lord.”

“But you cannot stay gay and continue to call yourself a Christian,” “You can’t do it.”

“You know, it’s a whole lot broader than just the gay agenda. L-G-B-T. People are militant, intolerant and hate all Christians. When they say people have this inclination and want to fall in love and want to express this in the form of marriage and so on, they have no idea what a Godly marriage is and now want to adopt and spread their anti-god message.

 “L-G-B-T. You know what the B stands for? Bisexual.  That is lots of sex with lots of people.” The average homosexual (age 18- 50) has over 300 different sexual partners in a year. I believe there is a no unhappier person than the homosexual. We have an opportunity to show them the joy of the Lord that a changed life can bring.

Are there Christian churches and Christian people that have handled this all wrong and not been the love of God, yes, but we cannot be ignorant of the peril and accepting the idea that it is an alternate lifestyle. Read the first three chapters of Genesis, God had no plan, ever for this sinful lifestyle. I’ve said this before and it’s not a joke, there was only Adam and Eve and not two Bob’s. God’s plan has always been for a man and a woman to be wed in marriage and that is the basis for the family.

There shouldn’t be one pastor, Sunday school teacher, deacon, elder or day care worker or janitor or secretary working in a church that has not gone through a thorough background check.  We have a duty to protect our families and also not cause confusion on where the church stands.

Send your hate mail, questions, comments and prayer requests to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

And yes,, people can leave this lifestyle and be set free and lead wonderful lives either celibate for the rest of their lives or in a consecrated marriage of one man and one woman.

the bible

I am a big, big fan of the old testament , great character studies, we will start part one in the life a Asa, a man who started our great and finished out rotten.

Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God 2 chron 14:2

If you read chapter 14 you find out Asa is king of Judah and he started out completely dedicated to God; in verses 3-7 we find him doing good work.

3 He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. 4 He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. 5 He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. 6 He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest.

7 “Let us build up these towns,” he said to Judah, “and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars.

He has spiritual confidence, and a plan that will please God; he is cleaning up his half of the kingdom by cleaning out all the false idols and false god (something we need to continue to do even in this day and age)

Verse 4, as king he commands Judah to seek God; (pardon the commentary, but I don’t see our current Government leaders doing that to fix our country) and because of spiritual cleaning the country was at rest.

Now here’s an interesting verse; look at verse 6; in a time of peace he built up the kingdom for war. As a martial arts,  gun fighting practitioner  , knife fighting attack kind of guy myself this is a great life code. You can’t be prepared during the battle, you will fight the way you train, no training equals poor fighting.

So it is in spiritual warfare, if you are not prayed up, close to God, when the spiritual battle happens you will collapse like a house of cards. So get your spiritual groove on, pray often, read your bible, seek God’s guidance in all you do and the result will be… (verse 7) The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side

By doing right by God “the land is still ours” you will retain your spiritual inheritance, and you get to rest.

Imagine being at peace, and restful, not burdened with fears, doubts and worry; not plagued by carnal urges, not in slavery to substance abuse or violence.

Wow, is that great, so figure out what in your life has become and idol, (Webster defines idolatry as; “The definition of idolatry, according to Webster, is “the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing.” An idol is anything that replaces the one, true God.”)

So is anything or anyone in your life more important than God, hmmmmmmmm

Think about it and put everything and everyone in the right order in your life and you will have peace.

(stay tuned for part 2, as we continue the study of Asa. God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Randy H, kidney surgery

Paula H, in hospice, not long now, has known the Lord for 89 years

Pray for Paul K, they keep putting of the surgery now til January

Paul C, the third year after his wife’s suicide, keep him in pray when he comes back stateside in January.

Marsha, she is just now starting to come to church. She’s wondering what’s it all about. Pray she keeps coming.

Pray for a new little church just starting in the area, “The TLC Church” the loving Christ church, hoping for big things in this little church.

 

jingle, jangle

October 10, 2016

Treasure after

I don’t know how this happened but it seems a lot of churches use October as Stewardship month and usually it’s to boost the monthly offerings, but there is another way of looking at stewardship.

Sold into slavery, Joseph is put in charge of Potiphar’s household. Potiphar “entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph” (Ge 39:4–5).

The word stewardship comes from the Greek word oikonomos, which refers to someone who manages a household and is related to the root word of the English word economy. Joseph began by controlling a household and would eventually control the entire economy of Egypt. In all of history, few stewards have gained the status and power of Joseph.

Stewardship is an important concept in the Bible because we are stewards in God’s household, his economy of all things. Here are three things you should know about stewardship:

  1. God made humans stewards over creation—God has made humans “rulers over the works” of his hands (Ps 8:6). We’re entrusted with the resources of the earth not for our own exploitation but for the cultivation of its use for the good of ourselves, our neighbors and those who come after us.

  2. Stewardship is about all of life—Too often we tend to think of stewardship only in relation to finances (e.g., a church’s stewardship committee) or the environment (e.g., creation care). While both of these are important parts of God’s economy, Biblical stewardship is much broader. Stewardship is a “form of whole-life discipleship that embraces every legitimate vocation and calling to fulfill God’s mission in the world. Stewardship is not one more thing we have to do, but a way of seeing everything we already do in a very different light.”

  3. The basic form of stewardship is daily work—Work is the primary way we serve our neighbor. The Scripture provides an insight into our nature: We are all, man and woman, called into this life to find our vocation, the work that is uniquely ours and contributes to the flourishing of the wider community.

    God bless from all of us in the great state of Texas and all of our new followers on twitter, yeehaw.

    scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com