Bliss

November 10, 2017

“The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time.”

It takes some maturity to realize that the Lord delights in breaking into your life and totaling upsetting the apple cart, or if you’re younger, lets say, “really seem to turn your life upside down.”

Christian Growth comes through trials, temptation and trying times. God wants to see how you react, how far off the reservation, how totally nuts you go in your plan to fix things before you surrender to asking for his help.

Older Christians usually get this because they’ve been through the fire enough to have learned this lesson, it’s to our younger brothers and sisters in the Lord who have yet to have learned this.

It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials. Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in using the cloud is to simplify our beliefs until our relationship with Him is exactly like that of a child— a relationship simply between God and our own souls, and where other people are but shadows. Until other people become shadows to us, clouds and darkness will be ours every once in a while. Is our relationship with God becoming more simple than it has ever been?

There is a connection between the strange providential circumstances allowed by God and what we know of Him, and we have to learn to interpret the mysteries of life in the light of our knowledge of God. Until we can come face to face with the deepest, darkest fact of life without damaging our view of God’s character, we do not yet know Him.

The bible says, “to everything there is a season” times of bounty and then some lean times. Bliss and serenity and then sheer panic and maybe even some doubt and despair.

There is part of a poem I memorized years ago that has served me well.

Sometimes I say, on days like these

I get a sudden gleam of bliss.

Not on some sunny day of ease

He’ll come…but on a day like this.

Panic attacks, quiet desperation, loneliness, depression, debt, trials, failures, faults, sin, asking forgiveness and them 5 minutes later doing the same stupid thing, cutting, risk taking, dark clouds, gloom, incarceration, our Lord God knows how we struggle and the greatest blessing, the most calm you will ever feel is right after you stop struggling and say “God help me” he arrives.

A bible verse I never remember preaching from but that has blessed me today from Nahum 1:3b, …. ‘and the Clouds are the dust of his feet’, weird right, but the thought that God is so big, so great that I can look up and see a cloud (rainbows are rare) and it is God walking by me, always watching, always seeing me.

Psalm 97:2

Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

Thank you Lord.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Come quickly Lord Jesus

November 9, 2017

Content and Complete

Our culture simply does not like to wait. Yet we wait less today than men have ever waited. We travel at high speed waiting less to arrive at a distant place. Communications which formerly took months now are completed in seconds. Meals which used to take hours to cook are now done in minutes in microwave ovens. People used to have to wait until they had cash to purchase a new car or home. Now these things are bought on credit. We do not have to wait. Fewer and fewer people are willing to wait until marriage to enjoy the pleasures of sex. We Americans are not accustomed to waiting.

Men do not enjoy waiting for anything, or anyone, including God. But the trust is men have been waiting on God all through history. Noah waited a good 100 years or so for the flood to come upon the earth (compare Genesis 5:32; 6:10; 7:6). Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for the birth of the son God had promised them (compare Genesis 12:4; 21:5). Abraham did not even possess the promised land in his lifetime, and it was more than 400 years until his descendants took possession of it (compare Genesis 12:1-3; 15:12-16). Asaph felt for a time that he had waited too long for God’s promised blessings (Psalm 73).

From their constant questions about the coming of our Lord’s kingdom, it was evident the disciples were not excited about waiting either. When Jesus tarried three days before going to the place Lazarus had fallen sick and died, both Martha and Mary cautiously chided Jesus for coming too late (see John 11:21, 32).

God’s promises never come too late; in truth, they are never “late” at all. When the Scriptures indicate a time for God’s actions, the fulfillment is always precisely on time (see Exodus 12:40-41). When Jeremiah prophesied that Judah would be expelled from the land and held captive in Babylon for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11-12), the fulfillment of this prophecy would take place precisely at the end of 70 years. Knowing this, Daniel prayed accordingly (Daniel 9:1-3ff.). Likewise, the birth of the Lord Jesus came about exactly on schedule (see Daniel 9:24-27; Romans 5:6; Galatians 4:4-5; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).

God is never “late;” He is always “on time.” But there are mockers who seek to convince themselves and others that the promise of our Lord’s second coming is false based upon the passage of much time and compounded by no visible evidences that He will come at all. In the college classroom, students allow an instructor five minutes to arrive for class, and then they leave. A full professor, being more important, is given up to ten minutes to arrive after the bell has rung. Mockers believe they have given God plenty of time to fulfill His promise to return and thus have now concluded that His time is up. “If He hasn’t come by now,” they say, “He simply isn’t coming.”

It should come as no surprise that men would arise who deny the second coming of our Lord. One of the most common falsehoods referred to in the New Testament (see 1 Corinthians 15:32; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2), this false teaching had an adverse affect on some of the saints (2 Timothy 2:18). To deny the second coming is not only to deny the Christian’s future hope but also to deny the judgment of sinners at the return of Christ. No wonder these “mockers” denied the second coming. These were those who were “following after their own lusts” (2 Peter chapter 3 verse 3). How much more comfortable it was to practice sin with the false assurance that they would not give account to God.

Proverbs speaks of those who are simple, naive, and easily led astray due to their youth, thus a lack of knowledge and experience. Some are fools, who are more willfully ignorant and morally stupid. But the scoffer (mocker) is a hard-core fool, a fool who vehemently opposes truth and wisdom.

And that is what we are seeing today, in these the last days, hard core fools.

It’s the last days because the authority of the Bible says so. If you believe the bible to be inerrant, infallible, inspired by God, and now I add one more to that list, still relevant. Than we believe that these are the last days and things are going to get worse, our country is going to fall away from God.

This is just my personal opinion, but it is my answer to a common question; “why isn’t America mentioned in the bible as part of the last days.” I personally believe it is because we will become a nation of hard core fools outnumbering the Godly in our country. We will fall away just as England has fallen. Welcome to the Christian minority. Good news, Jesus IS coming again.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

FEVER DREAMS

November 8, 2017

Dreams, fever and visions

Joseph dreamed about grain and stars, and yet his brothers assumed it was about them. What prompted them to make such an unusual connection? The answer is imagination. The imaginations of Joseph and his brothers changed the outcome of history—and our own imaginations allow us to understand and interpret their story.

 So what’s important to know about imagination and the concept of sanctified imagination? Well, it’s helpful to understand the two ways the term imagination is used. In the first sense it is our ability to form new images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. For instance, even though we’ve never seen one in nature, if asked to picture a two-headed giraffe wearing a fur coat, we could easily create such an image. Our imaginations take the familiar (giraffes, fur coats) and combine them into something new.

 Just as our imaginations can create mental images of coat-wearing creatures, they can also help us understand Scripture. After all, we use our imaginations to understand the variety of similes and metaphors found throughout the Bible. For example, none of us has seen God the Father. But we can imagine what it means for God to be our Father because we are familiar with earthly, human fathers.

 The second way we use the term is in reference to how we ascribe meaning and value to some wider pattern or order. This is what is meant when you hear about a “moral imagination” or the “Christian imagination.” The reason Christians make sense of the world differently than non-believers is because our imaginations have been “sanctified” (i.e., set apart). Our unique way of seeing the world is why the imagination—particularly the sanctified imagination—is so important to Christian faith.

I am constantly bombarded by people asking me to read certain books or watch certain you tube videos about people having visions or prophecies, how can I delicately say bull crap.

Prophecies and visions in the bible were glorifying to God and for the majority of them a testimony of the Messiah. So color me skeptical about visions of who’s going to be president, or miracle diets, of dying and going to heaven and coming back with some whacked out non biblical story, bull crap.

If you are a Christian and keep following this stuff and filling your head with it than you are an immature believer and cannot handle the meat of the Word.

The bible talks about those with “itching ears” always wanting something special and beyond the normal scope of the bible. These are the people that will always buy a book if it says it is a secret. They are always counting promises in the bible that can’t possibly apply to them.

Which reminds me of a song I heard a little 5-year-old singing, “Jesus needs me this I know cause the bible tells me so.” Lots of enthusiasm from that kid just totally off the mark biblically.

Want some good advice listen to Dr. J. Vernon McGee for 5 years and nobody else, if that doesn’t cure you I will buy you a plane ticket to my house and try to knock some sense into you.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Bond Servant

November 7, 2017

shackles

  THE BOND SERVANT

  “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Tim. 2:4).

  God has a unique plan concerning each one of us. The secret of realizing our personal calling is not to look at others, but simply to walk in close fellowship with the Father. “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him” (Ps. 62:5).

  “No one Christian has a right to stop on his way for another; he must go forward himself in individual faithfulness. The effort to drag others along with us is in reality but a device of Satan to keep ourselves back. Note Jehovah’s word to Jeremiah, ‘Let them return unto thee; but return not thou to them’ (Jer. 15:19). Are any desirous of going forward, let them not stop to carry along with them ‘the men of Ephraim.’ Far better is it to go on with but a few to follow, than to get numbers with us who are only halfhearted.”

  “You may say, ‘Show me a pattern man.’ We all like to copy; but there is no gain in copying. You have to learn the Lord for yourself. All you learn for yourself will remain, and nothing else. Every one has his own history.”

It is plain enough that every believer is called of God to something definite. The real difficulty is to ascertain the specialty, and this I do not think can be discovered but in nearness to the Lord, and when you are interested in His interests. We first learn that He is interested in us, and then we gradually become interested in His interests. It is then you apprehend your mission in life.

  “And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully” (2 Tim. 2:5).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

BIBLE WAR

November 6, 2017

the bible

YOU MAY NOT CARE, BUT YOU SHOULD AT LEAST GET TO UNDERSTAND THE HIDDEN AGENDA OF BIBLE PUBLISHERS.

SO I’M GOING TO SOUND LIKE ALEX JONES OR SOME OTHER CONSPIRACY PERSONA, YET IT ALL TRUE. (ISN’T THAT WHAT THEY ALL SAY)

You need to check the dates on your bible, since 2011 most of the new translations have undergone a subtle change and they didn’t tell you about it.

The NIV went through a major revision and became gender neutral. All the ‘versions’ EXCEPT, KJV, NKJV, NASB, HAVE GONE THROUGH THE GENDER magnifying lens.

Zondervan, has had no problems with making this change. So far Moody has resisted.

Not only that, but words that have been translated as “sinful” have now been changed to read “fleshly” or anything related to authority has been neutralized.

Now you know if you read this devotion site with any regularity I have always said. King James for theology, New American Standard for language study (Greek and Hebrew) and New King James as a ‘modern’ version or the ESV.

Now so you don’t think I’m homophobic, the point I’m making is the translation/version should be faithful to traditional ancient manuscripts, not what is politically correct.

 Definitely stay away from the CBT, NSRV, NWT (CULT) TNIV, and the more I read the NET the more I’m moving away from it.

I know Chuck Swindoll is pushing the NLT and I often read that version but one published before 2009.

And if you go to used book stores you can’t find a 1984 (best edition) of the NIV out there, they have been removed.

So you would think you could go to a bible book store and get good info and by a bible that is trustworthy. Not going to happen, seems the folks at most bible book stores (which a business not a ministry) either don’t have a clue or are really ok with misleading you.

So that’s my rant, haven’t really done one in a while.

Pray for the folks in Floresville Texas, today in their morning worship a lone gunman entered the church and killed 20 people, that church is only 90 miles from my own.

Pastors, keep a gun in your pulpit and have armed deacons that will actually stand guard. It’s a sad day when you have to make that kind of statement.

Back in the early 80’s I used to preach occasionally in a church in Detroit and Toledo that paid off duty cops to come to church armed to protect them from being robbed, looted, or shot at. That was a long time ago and seems like we might have to adopt that as normal church policy.

I can’t remember ever having a commercial in one of my devotions and this is really just an endorsement, if you want a real leather (goat skin) large print, high quality KJV for under 100 dollars go to Church Publishing and see this churches ministry to make fine, beautiful bibles. a great pulpit bible or if you need large print.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

SHAKE IT OFF

November 5, 2017

Image result for picture of dog shaking off water

I was recently asked in an interview if I had any regrets, I’m sure they expected me to say yes, but maybe because of my age and hopefully maturity I said no. the bible says, “iron sharpens iron” I wouldn’t be who I am today without all the screwups, mistakes, misjudgments, downright criminal behavior (sins of my youth). I don’t feel guilty or ashamed, no it’s not a singed conscious. It’s really knowing that God is always in control, we have free will and being sinful we will screw up.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Hopefully we all get smart enough to not repeat our mistakes.

(Romans 8:1)“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” What a relief. God never labels me a Loser. He never dismisses me. Writes me off. Withdraws from relationship. But it is one of the Holy Spirit’s jobs to convict us all of sin. And we’ve all felt his sharp elbows in our guilty little ribs. So what is the difference here? How can we live the difference between conviction that brings a proper response to the grave reality of our sin without getting sucked out to sea in an undertow of self-condemnation and regret?

  1. Understand the difference between condemnation and conviction.

What is condemnation? To condemn is to pass sentence, to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil. (John 3:18 Whoever believes in [Jesus] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.)

What is conviction? To convict is the act of convincing a person of error or wrongdoing or compelling the admission of a truth.

It is Nathan, David’s prophet, telling him a story about a rich man who takes his neighbor’s beloved lamb. “You are the man.” It is the Holy Spirit using the story to penetrate the hardness of David’s rationalization of his adultery with Bathsheba. “I am the man.”

It is Jesus asking Peter three times “Do you love me?” And Peter, who had betrayed Jesus three times, reaffirming his love for Jesus, cut to the quick.

It is Jesus assuring Peter, “You are not disqualified. Now take care of my sheep.”

Condemnation brings a sentence. You are guilty. You are damned. It is a sea of regret. Endless replays of failure and disappointment in ourselves. It is worldly grief.

Conviction brings repentance. A fresh start. New life. Joy in the morning. Restored intimacy.

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

So in June of this year I adopted a new motto from a soldier that left part of himself behind in Afghanistan, he came back state side with his head mostly screwed on straight and this motto, “get up, get over it and get on with it”.

That’s pretty good advice. Don’t wallow in self pity, don’t blame someone else, shake it off.

When I was studying  SAMBO (martial arts) my good friend and instructor Prof. Petrodonivich always taught you to smile after being hit. If you didn’t he would hit you harder, the other thing he taught was literally shaking off the blow and breathing deeply to speed recovery.

Literally, shake it off.

The past is the past, shake it off.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Ronda H, deep depression

Pray of Raylon, he is just getting out of prison after 9 years. Thanks to the church his wife and kids are waiting for him. We’ve already found him a job. He just needs to stay clean.

Pray of Betty M. stage four cancer, 4 kids, 12 grandkids, and 22 great grandchildren, talk about a support group.

And Tim my nephew, he’s a State Police Officer in Pennsylvania, is being recruited to an ABC group and is praying he makes the right move.

 

RINNNNNG! RRRRIINNNNNGGGGG!

November 4, 2017

Okay first thing to remember is that this is not a crash course on demonology or even theology it’s just a story; although it’s a true story and even though my theology has changed (matured), none of that is relevant.

So it’s one of those oh my God I’ve answered the phone again, and a little old lady says, “pastor would you come over to my house I think it’s possessed.”

So what the heck, yes ma’am, I will come over. So this is a lady that does not go to my church, I’ve never heard of her before, oh yeah and she says she talked to the pastor next door and he says; I’m just some crazy old lady”.

So that’s all the information that I had, so I’m  going to visit a possible crazy woman who thinks her home is possessed. So first of all it is a nice neighborhood, and she does have a lovely home And Everything Is well kept.

I knock on the door, and this woman answers the door and she looks perfectly sane and in her right mind. And she is all “you must be the pastor, please come in” (cue creepy music). So I go in the house it is very well kept, very clean, no weird smells everything appears to be normal.

So she says, “well pastor let me tell you there is some kind of ghost living in my basement and at night when I’m asleep he comes up bothers me, then my bottom dresser draw slides open and all these little naked people come out and dance all around me. Would you go down in the basement and do whatever it is you do and get it out of here?”

So I go to the door that leads down to the basement and I flicked the light switch, and just like every good horror movie, the light does not does not come on. I look at her and she says oh he always does that he unscrews the light bulb. You will have to go down the steps and open the door reach out screw in the light bulb and pull on the cord”.

Okay is it just me or is my heart hammering like a 12 air hammer?

I asked her do you have a flashlight, you already know what the answer is, “no the batteries are dead.”

So, here I am walking down the stairs and I am praying, “sweet Jesus do not let there be anybody down here, demonic or otherwise.” (you also have to remember tactical flashlights have not been invented, just the giant cop mag light that I don’t have.)

I push open the door, it is pitch black, I cannot see a thing. I look over my shoulder and see that the lady is standing there at the top of the stairs wringing her hands. And you know what I’m thinking of right now, you just know something is going to happen.

So I’m trying to keep the door open with my right foot, and reach out with my left hand and try to find this light bulb that’s hanging from the ceiling so I can screw it in and pull on the cord and oh sweet Jesus let there really be light down here and nothing else not even a mouse.

Well what I did not know is that it was a swinging door because right then when I found the light bulb the door swings shut. At least I thought it was swinging shut, actually it was swinging towards me, and as I rushed back toward it, it was at the apex of its swing and bam I get slammed in the head like a sledge hammer as whacked me. I thought I was attacked by whatever was down in the basement; and man I am freaking out.

Forget about spiritual warfare, calling the name of Jesus, I’m in fight mode, out comes the Emerson combat knife and I looking for something to cut. I hear the lady at the top of stairs calling out; “are you okay, you have to watch out for the door it swings both ways.”

Foolishly I realize what has happened and I calm down and realize how glad I am she didn’t see the very unspiritual, totally freaked out Holy Roller going all Rambo.

I turn on the light and you guessed it, nothing down there. I’m praying to calm down, relax, take a deep breath and somebody taps me on the shoulder, I can instantly tell you it’s not the lady, its someone taller and bigger than her and I’m thinking you already freaked out once is it time to do it again?

The problem in most fights if you are not the attacker you are behind the power curve and catching up will usually get you cut, shot, or worse. But I think that moment I just felt calm and settled just long enough to not just lash out. Good thing it was the pastor from next door, he was worried because I’d been in the house a long time and remember he thinks his neighbor is crazy.

He sees the goose egg on my forehead and is asking if I’m alright and did she throw me down the stairs, is there somebody really down here. I tell him what happens and we both have a good laugh.

So we go back upstairs and I tell this lady there is nothing down there. Her response “maybe you should go there at night because that’s when they come out.” Guess what I said, “sure thing.” (Maybe I do need to have my head examined.)

Well no suspense, went back at her bedtime, sat in the basement with all the lights on and two flashlights and nothing.

So is she crazy who knows, is her house possessed, not that night. I never heard from her again. Hopefully she’s alright.

Do I still answer the phone and get sucked into crazy situations, yes I do. Moral of the story I don’t go into strange houses by myself. And I always have a flashlight.

Some time I’ll have to you about the time I was asked to do a cult abduction from a vampire cult. See I still answer the phone.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

SIGN POST

November 3, 2017

Godly parents, who to the best of their ability seek to raise their children in the faith, can still have children who turn away. This will be the exception, not the rule. But it can and does happen. We have wrongly interpreted Proverbs 22:6, ”Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it,” to mean that if you train them properly, then it is guaranteed that they will follow the Lord. Thus if the child goes astray, the parent must be to blame. But the Proverbs are not ironclad promises. Rather, they state general maxims about life. It is generally true that if you train up children properly, they will follow the Lord as adults. But it is not a guaranteed promise, and therefore it is not necessarily a sign of parental failure when a child rebels. If there has been obvious parental failure, then we, as the church, should help a hurting parent to deal biblically with the area of failure. But it is wrong for us to be judgmental.

Ok, this may be way to much info but to be thorough here we go

This verse is a key to the whole responsibility of training children, but there is a particular focus in this verse that shows us a parent’s training must be based on knowing his or her child. This emphasis is not apparent in the English as it is in the Hebrew text. As seen previously, the word “train,” the Hebrew chanak, has as it primary meaning, “train, instruct, initiate,” and it can also mean, “to dedicate, throttle or discipline.” In this verb we see the primary responsibility. Parents are to train and so teach their children that it brings God’s control into the child’s life. And certainly, since their children are trusts from God, they need to dedicate these little ones to God and be dedicated themselves to the training process.

But what is the standard for the process? God’s Word is the standard, of course, but there is something else that must guide the process and this is seen in the words, “in the way he should go.” The Hebrew text is actually much stronger than this and literally reads, “according the measure of his way.” “According to,” the Hebrew ‘al pi, is literally according to the mouth of. This carries the ideas of “according to the command of, the evidence or sentence of, or according to the measure of.” The preposition ‘al denotes the norm, standard, or rule by which something is to be done. The noun pi is from pe, “mouth, opening, orifice.” Since mouths or apertures vary in size, it developed the concept of “measure” or “portion.” With this in mind, pe was often used with prepositions to mean “in proportion to.” A small child normally has a much smaller mouth than an adult and can’t begin to take in as large a portion as a man. The principle here should be obvious. Training should be done according to the measure, the capacity, or ability of something. But what is that? It is spelled out for us with the words “his way.”

Again, maybe a little to much info, but if you want to go from A to Z on the topic here we go;

The Hebrew text has the personal pronoun attached to the noun “way.” It reads, “his way” and not simply “in the way he should go.” “Way” is the Hebrew derek, “way, road, journey, manner.” It was used of (1) a way, path, journey, course of action, (2) mode, habit, manner as a customary experience or condition, and (3) of duty and moral action and character both good and bad. From the knowledge of Scripture and from an observation of our children, we know certain things about their way. First, we know that God, in His sovereignty, has a plan, a course He wants each child to follow—an orbit for him or her. Second, we know that every child has a specific make up as an individual with certain abilities, talents, and tendencies—a particular bent. Derek is from the verb darak, “to tread, march,” but it was often used metaphorically of launching something as in the bending of a bow in order to launch an arrow, or an assault, or bitter speech, or judgments in a certain direction (cf. Ps. 7:13; La. 2:4; 3:12; Ps. 57:7; 64:3; 1 Chron. 5:18; 8:40; Isa. 21:15). While darak does not have this specific meaning, the use of the verb form provides us with an interesting illustration considering the nature of children according to inheritance factors and as God has designed them.

With this in mind, let’s consider a few key ideas in training a child according to his way:

(1) Parents need to know their children as the unique individuals they are. To do this, they must prayerfully observe, study, and recognize the individual characteristics (or bent) of each of their children and train them accordingly.

(2) Parents should never think that seeing that a child gets plenty of Bible training or gets to church will be enough. Bible teaching, church, and growing up in a Bible-teaching home are all vital and a necessary part of the process, but each child needs to be dealt with as a unique individual and nothing should be taken for granted. Parents need to take special note of what is happening in each child’s life—responses, weaknesses, habits, attitudes, etc. The same environment does not mean that each child will respond in the same way. A blanket approach may not work. Some biblical illustrations of the different ways children will respond to the same environment and teaching within the same home are Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, and Absolom and Solomon.

(3) Parents should never try to force their children into the way they want their children to go. By this I mean parents often try to pour a child into some preconceived mold they’ve dreamed of for their child. This is often nothing more than a parent’s attempt, through the accomplishments of their child, to attain the applause or praise or whatever it was they wanted for themselves, but never received. For instance, a parent may have a dream of seeing their child become a great athlete or artist and do everything they can to manipulate and push their child in that direction when that may not at all be in keeping with the child’s aptitude, talents, abilities, or desire—let alone what God wants for that child.

(4) A bow is made by its designer to bend in one direction, according to its bent. We saw that the verb form of “way” was used of bending a bow to launch something. If the person using the bow does not recognize the way the bow is bent and tries to bend it differently, he will not only face a difficult task, but he may break the bow. In like manner, parents need to recognize the way their child is bent, both by the way God has designed them and by the way sin has affected them. If a parent fails to recognize this, they may also fail to help their child get launched into God’s orbit or plan for their life. This would suggest that children are not like a pliable piece of clay that may be molded anyway the parent chooses. Rather, they are unique individuals with a way already established that needs to be recognized, acknowledged, and reckoned with by means of the truth of Scripture and a parent’s careful observation.

So training a child in the way he should go really means helping them discover their temperament and uniqueness of character and going in a way that compliments their gifts and abilities, the verse should be interpreted “according to his (the child’s way)” that they should live a life that complements their strengths and talents and not be forced into a mold. So if you have two kids you may have to raise each one differently according to their temperaments.

I hope this helps those parents that have used this verse to beat themselves up because their child was “wayward” in the faith and they feel they have failed. That’s not what this verse has ever meant, not in its literal sense.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

BREATHE

November 2, 2017

BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE WE’VE DONE A ROCK TUNE TO START OUT A DEVOTION SO;

FREAK OUT

All that pressure got you down

Has your head spinning all around

Feel the rhythm, check the rhyme

Come on along and have a real good time

Like the days of stopping at the Savoy

Now we freak, oh what a joy

Just come on down, to fifty four

Find a spot out on the floor

PANIC ATTACKS, ANXIETY ATTACKS, JUST BREATHE.

First thing my boxing coach told me, breathe, breathe while your punching, breathe when you get hit. Just breathe. One time while rock climbing I took quite a fall, I remember the EMT saying; ‘come on guy breathe’.

The curious thing to consider is how much waiting seems to be a part of what God asks of his children – both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Biblical waiting has to do with hope, expectation, patience, rest and deep trust and dependence on God and His sovereign path. Waiting as a paradigm is actually designed to help us and give us an alternative way to handle difficulties. Instead of all out panic, God wants us to trust Him, to rest in Him and to wait for Him. He does not disappoint.

WAIT, BREATHE

Seems like the only thing you can do, in the military they teach about breathing and shooting, martial arts, breathing. Snorkeling, breathing. About the only thing you can control. So breathe in, breathe out, don’t freak out.

Lamaze class, birthing class, I can remember to this day the breathing exercises they gave us for natural child birth. I also remember my wife screaming “what the hell were we thinking” in the middle of her delivery. Oh well to late for an epidermal.

BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT.

Calmly wait on God, the trial you’re going through, it’s about His timing not yours.

It is active, not passive and is part of the calling of a believer to wait for God’s timing and for His instructions. He asks His beloved children to trust Him enough to be willing to quietly wait. And then, for example, in the exact right time –in the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4-5), God delivers what He has Promised. God became man and invaded the very creation He created.

Read in a bible commentary what that phrase means; ‘in the fulness of time’ you will be amazed.

There is a natural waiting period. You cannot rush God. This biblical metaphor of farming illustrates that waiting is necessary in God’s economy to produce what He has designed – the farmer has to be patient for the seed to germinate. Abraham and Sarah had to wait for what God promised, and when it was announced, they still had to wait nine months for the baby inside of Sarah to grow.

There is something important about “waiting on the Lord.”

    Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

    Psalm 62:1 “For God alone I patiently wait; He is the one who delivers me.”

    Psalm 62:5 “Patiently wait for God alone, my soul! For he is the one who gives me confidence.”

    Proverbs 8:34 “Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching at my doors day by day, waiting at  the posts of my doorway.”

    Lamentations 3:26 “It is good to wait patiently for deliverance to come from the Lord.”

The Holy Spirit is the breath of God, breathe in, relax, God really does have it under control. There are very few things you actually have control over. Even your thoughts, think about how erratic they are sometimes, want a good example, pray and watch all the crazy thoughts that come into your mind.

Just breathe, trust God, breathe out, it may be the only thing you’ve done today that was under control.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

SOVEREIGN

November 1, 2017

On July the sixteenth in the year seventy-nine, a madman named Nero burned the city of Rome. He only meant to burn the slums because he wanted to rebuild the slums and he was an ego-manic who wanted to build things for his glory and honor. And, in order to get rid of the slums he set fire to them. The people reacted in ways that he didn’t expect them to react and they turned on Nero the Emperor.

Nero was looking for a scapegoat and so he was looking around for someone to blame and they said, “Why don’t you blame the Christians, after all the Christians are a strange sect. They meet underground. They have a ceremony that they call the Lord’s Supper where they think they’re drinking blood. And, they also are talking about a judgment of fire. It would be easy to say that these people are cannibals who set the city of Rome on fire.” And, so they blamed the burning of Rome on the Christians.

Therefore, it was open season on the Christians and Christians in this day were nailed to crosses. Many of them were set on fire as human candles to light the gardens of Nero and for his wild parties and banquets. Many of them were dressed in animal skins and set loose in the forest to be hunted like wild beasts.

Now here we are over 2000 years later, and I want to ask you a question, could this happen again? Impossible you say, we are more civilized, more advanced, you really think so?

Hebrews 13:3, which instructs us to “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

 Persecution has always made the church stronger. It burns impurity out of the church. It drives away the nominal, worldly attenders, and separates the church from the world. It drives the church to prayer. It unites the church in brotherly love. It often causes the church to expand numerically, as seen in China under Communism.

I’m not ready to pray for persecution, because I’m not fond of suffering! I’ll leave it to the sovereignty of God, who knows what we need. But we do need to be ready for persecution in case it comes. Our religious freedom in America is on thin ice. It is not inconceivable that we could face imprisonment or have our children taken from us for insisting on the moral teachings the Bible. So we need to know in advance how to respond to persecution.

(Acts 4:23-35)

I’m speaking here about something that most of us have not experienced firsthand. Sure, I’ve faced opposition as a pastor; but I’ve never been imprisoned or beaten or had my property taken away because I am a Christian. But these principles also apply to the subject of how to respond to trials in general. I’ve encountered many American Christians who do not have an adequate theology of suffering. When trials hit, they rage at God, rather than submit to Him. They think that they have a right to prosperity and good health. So they grow bitter when trials hit.

Our text reveals the response of the early church to persecution. Peter and John had been arrested, put in jail, and then threatened by the Jewish leaders because they had healed a lame man and had preached the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the crowd. This snapshot shows them responding by drawing near to God in prayer. It also shows the care that the church had for its members and their continuing witness to the world. It teaches us to …

Persecution will either drive you away from God and cause you to become bitter, or it will drive you closer to God and cause you to become better. We see four ways that these early Christians affirmed their commitment to God:

The Bible clearly affirms the absolute sovereignty of God. Nothing happens apart from God’s ordaining it to happen. The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 (rewritten in modern English as A Faith to Confess [Carey Publications], p. 20) puts it this way:

From all eternity God decreed all that should happen in time, and this He did freely and unalterably, consulting only His own wise and holy will. Yet in so doing He does not become in any sense the author of sin, nor does He share responsibility for sin with sinners. Neither, by reason of His decree, is the will of any creature whom He has made violated; nor is the free working of second causes put aside; rather is it established. In all these matters the divine wisdom appears, as also does God’s power and faithfulness in effecting that which He has purposed.

“He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them” (Ps. 2:4). It is utterly futile and foolish to fight against the Sovereign Lord! God’s enemies thought that they won when they killed Jesus. But God triumphed by raising Him from the dead. He is coming again to judge the living and the dead and to reign as God’s anointed on David’s throne.

The best prayers always are based on Scripture, applying it directly to our present situation and needs. But we won’t be able to apply God’s Word in a time of crisis unless we are saturating our minds with it on a daily basis. In Proverbs 1:24-33, God’s wisdom warns fools and scoffers that because they had neglected wisdom when she cried out to them, later in a time of crisis when they cry out to her, she will be silent. In other words, the time to seek God’s wisdom through His Word is before the crisis hits. If we know God’s Word through a daily time with Him, we will be able to apply it when we face persecution or trials.

Thus we reaffirm our commitment to God in a time of persecution through corporate prayer, by having a high view of His sovereignty over all, and by knowing and applying His Word.

So what’s my point? First God is sovereign, second fear is not of the Lord.

I once pastored a church where a small percentage of folks got involved in the survival/militia movement, this was in the mid 80’s. they spread fear through that congregation like wild fire. I had to take strong issue with several members and spent many an evening in their homes trying to get them to balance their lives between common sense and practicality. Most of them put themselves into debt buying coins and guns, jeeps and one guy even bought a half track.

By revealing their ever-growing fear and self-dependence they were denying the Sovereignty of God and faith in His ability to provide and protect.

Now don’t get me wrong I have a bug out bag, and all the other high speed, low drag stuff, extra water, but I deal in reality, long droughts, storms, ice storms have kept me locked up for a week. But I’m not getting ready for zombies, and SHTF world ending scenarios or a plague altering the human race. Balance, faith, trust in God is more than a motto.

Special thanks to all those that got up and prayed for Jennifer at 5 this morning and all morning, her surgery went great.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com