WHERE DO I FIT?

December 9, 2018

Chess_board_opening_staunton

Where do I belong? What am I to do? How can I change the world? God has a plan for your life. You may think you have no talent, nothing God could use, but He made us all unique and we can be used in ways that we would never imagine.

 We tend to think of these as modern questions, but people have been asking them since the beginning of time. In earlier ages, though, the answers were often limited and easier to discover. For example, the 12 tribes of Israel were arranged in a way that allowed everyone in the community to know their place and how they would faithfully follow the commands of the Lord (see Nu 2:34).

  The people of Israel were a community that had their essential meaning in relationship to God and to one another. But ever in the community was the continuing stress on the individual to know where he belonged in the larger grouping.

  We, too, find our essential meaning in relationship to God and to one another. Here are a few places we should look to help us discover how we as individuals can find our place to serve our communities:

  ➤ Look at your gifts—The first place we should look is to the specific gifts the Spirit gives us to build up the church. Every gift is important for building up the body of Christ. As Paul says, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord” (1Co 12:4–5).

 ➤ Look at your resources—What resources do you have at your disposal? The resources we have can often be a clue to how we can serve. You might have transportation—whether a single bicycle or a fleet of semi-trailer trucks—that helps you recognize the ability to deliver goods to those in need.

 ➤ Look at your context—The tribe of Simeon didn’t have to go to the tribe of Asher to find neighbors to serve. Every community has people who need our help. God might lead us to help those far away, but he often puts us in a specific place so we can help those nearby. Our closest neighbors are often the ones we are called to serve.

God bless from scumlikuschurch@gmail.com

So our prayer for today is to be open to God using you, sending you, who knows what wonderful thing could happen next.

LESSON MAKER

December 8, 2018

  “For when for a time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food” (Heb. 5:12).

  It is a great comfort, during our growing up in the Lord Jesus, to know that He is our perfect provision, and that He provides the perfect processing.

  When the queen bee lays an egg, there is deposited in the cell with it the food on which the larva is to feed during its development. Similarly, when the Father placed us ‘in Christ,’ He also made provision in Him for our whole life. Christ is made unto us wisdom to enable us to walk aright in a perplexing world, righteousness to replace our sinfulness, sanctification to impart the growth we so greatly need, and redemption of the body to consummate the whole.

As with the seed that is buried once for all, but then disintegrates through a gradual process that sets free the new life, even so does the Father deal with our old man by delivering it to death with the Lord Jesus once for all, and then bringing about its mortification in detail through the circumstances of life, until the power of the flesh has lost its hold.

Our Father is faithful and wise as well as a gracious and patient Teacher. He will not permit us to pass cursorily over our lessons. Sometimes, perhaps, we think we have mastered a lesson, and we attempt to move on to another; but our wise Teacher knows better, and He sees the need of deeper ploughing. He will not have us mere theorists, He will keep us, if need be, year after year at our scales until we learn to sing.

  “Solid food belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14).

We don’t determine if we have mastered a lesson, He does.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

As we mentioned before the change that has come over Mr. Perales and his son, since we have put them on the prayer list is remarkable. This weekend will be the first large family gathering in years. We promised the mother that we will be in prayer, but my concern is to see such a change in someone and having it not be a part of a conversion experience, frankly, has me concerned. Knowing the wickedness of the heart, I worry about the mother being more superstitious than realizing that maybe it’s God at work. Who knows. The whole family 18 in all, none have a relation with Christ. Pray that door opens as well.

Pray for Sherrie, she had a near death experience, I know she has again made promises to God, but her lifestyle never changes for long. Even though she says that she asked Jesus into her heart, I think it was a bargaining chip mixed in with the event. I pray she truly commits her life to the Lord.

Pray for Todd T, shoulder surgery coming up soon and he doesn’t have insurance.

Remember Marilyn A, in your prayers, a great friend, a fine Christian woman, has been battling not only depression, but a fear of going crazy, literally. This fear has plagued her for years.

SCRATCH

December 5, 2018

This ain’t sexy but it’s short and it’s user friendly

If you lay down with dogs, you will get fleas.

That’s it.

 

So what’s the point you ask?

 

Simple, the reason we put such an emphasis on devotions, bible study, bible reading, good wholesome books, trusted books, alone time with God.

Do the math.

 

Whoever you spend the most time with is who you will be the most like.

 

So stop doing everything that makes you less like Jesus.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Remember our prayer list from yesterday.

Only add one more name, Marilyn A, depression

changes that go down deep

December 3, 2018

  “We all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord. . . “ (2 Cor. 3:18a).

  During the first half of your Christian life you are concerned about your doing; in the second half you will be burdened about your being.

The more simply devoted you are to the Lord Jesus, who is worthy of all devotion, the more you will sense a closeness that will be in all your ways; for it will be manifested that you are not seeking yourself, not wincing because your rights are invaded, or that you are not as much cared for as you are entitled to be. Rather, there is only one governing thought of your life about everything, and that is, how you may distinguish Him who fills every need in your heart, and lights it up with unfading joy.

Nothing can be so divinely beautiful on earth as a believer so transformed by the Spirit of God, that he is in heavenly manners here on earth; so that he does not in any of his ways deny the Lord Jesus Christ; but in the most trying hour of his history upon earth the Lord can say of him, ‘thou hast a little power, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My Name.’

One of the greatest comments you can receive is when someone you knew from before Christ was Lord in your life says what a difference they see. Or when someone from your new days as a babe in Christ, sees the changes made even deeper in your life.

  In creation God planted a man in the garden in innocence; in redemption He has planted a Man in heaven, in glory. There is a glory that excelleth. The glory in redemption leaves the glory that was once in creation as nothing.

  “For every believer who actually crosses over into the Promised Land there are far too many who stand for awhile and look longingly across the river, and then turn sadly back to the comparative safety of the sandy wastes of the self-life.”

  “. . . are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord “ (2 Cor. 3:18b).

Thank God for the changes, thank God for the mercies he shows when we stumble.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray not for the ones that have fallen in their Christian lives, but for the elder brothers or sisters that don’t practice forgiveness. Pray for those that need encouragement. Pray that God places new people in their lives to help love them.

Remember Karey P, she’s a great reader and today we’ve found a great book from a former JW, that gives their testimony and great bible verses to help them.

Remember Richard Perales Jr, that grace continues to build in his heart and as he forgives his mom he finds God’s forgiveness for him.

POSITIONAL FAITH

December 2, 2018

  “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).

My sorrow as a pastor is to see true believers continue to suffer in guilt and anguish, as though there is something more they can do.

  There will be no standing against the enemy’s accusations until we are firmly assured of, and settled on, the fact that our Father is at peace with us because of our living union with His Beloved Son. And this alone will give us peace with our Father.

We thought we were being more Christian by striving more, praying more, reading our Bible more, and confessing our sins more. But all that brought no relief. The awful gnawing in our gut continues. The sense of guilt increases. We need not a Nathan the Prophet to say, ‘Thou art the man!’ A thousand voices are forever ringing in our ears giving the lie to what we long with infinite yearning might be an altogether convincing testimony of a truly Christian walk.

Now the way out is to be found in a clear-cut recognition of the fact that, as Paul says in Romans 8:1, ‘There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.’ Let appearances, voices and feelings to the contrary be what they may, still this is a fact. The reason, of course, is found not in ourselves, but in Another.

It is a wonderful thing to have the consciousness that we are in living union with the Lord Jesus in heavenly glory, knowing our position in that risen sphere, participating in all that constitutes His life in the blessed circle of love and rest where He lives unto the Father. If we apprehend this we shall not be deceived by what goes on upon the earth.

  “Stand fast, then, in the freedom which Christ has given us” (Gal. 5:1, Weymouth Translation.).

pray for the Perales family, remember Paul C, the prodigal, pray for Sara as struggles to find the path God wants her on.

pray for Karey p. lost in the Jehovah Witnesses.

 

A book every one needs to read, is Walter Martin’s “kindgom  of the Cults” the best book you will ever find in witnessing to the JW’s and Mormons.

Stay my soul on Him

November 30, 2018

Resurrection-Doubting-Thomas

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18). For the last two months, I’ve been really trying to live up to this verse, easy in theory, tougher in reality.

  Relief from pressure may seem merciful, but support in the pressure produces growth and maturity.

There is a greater blessing for us than relief; there is the Father’s support, for it imparts to you an acquaintance with Himself which relief does not. Relief makes one more satisfied with things here. I have known some who could tell you of a long list of mercies, most touching, truly proof of the tenderness of God.

Thank God, we all know something of His tenderness. But then there is a greater blessing, namely, that He does not remove the pressure, but raises you above it, so that, though you are not relieved, you are better off than if you were merely relieved, because you know His heart who supports you in the pressure. You have made a deep acquaintance with your Father, and your heart is more attached to Him.

 It is not getting away from our circumstances, our environment, our associations, that we need, but the need for our Lord Jesus’ likeness where we are. The Father placed us there, permitted the trials for a purpose, and He stands ready to bring us out into a life of liberty, if we will stand with Him in trust and endurance while He works it out.”

Have you asked to be made like your Lord; that it might be ‘not I, but Christ’? Have you longed for the fruit of the Spirit, and have you prayed for patience and love? Then fear not the stormy tempest that is at this moment sweeping through your life. A blessing is in the storm, and there will be a rich blessing in the ‘afterward.’

  “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:27).

Steady on, stay the course, there are plenty of slogans of that ilk, but they pale to the bible verses God lays in our heart in the darkest hour of the soul.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Richard Perales, dad and son, great changes have come into their lives, pray the see the hand of God.

Pray for Karey P, that she sees the need for salvation and that Jesus is the only way.

Pray for Xonia, recovering from a hernia surgery. She’s doing better than anyone expected.

Pray for Steve L, dealing with his mom’s downward spiral.

Pray for all the families we know that have been touched by dementia.

the good and godly marriage

November 29, 2018

What are characteristics of a godly marriage? What should we be aiming for when we are looking for a wife or a husband for those who are single? Understanding what a godly marriage looks like is very important so we can prepare for it.

It is good to remember that when God made man in his image (Gen 1:27), he made a husband and wife yoked together as one flesh (2:24). This means that the marriage relationship is a model of God and specifically the Trinity. When a marriage does not function properly, it mars the image of God and it breaks down every aspect of society.

For this reason, from the very beginning of creation, the home has been under attack. Satan attacked the home by tempting Adam and Eve in the garden. He attacks the home because it destroys the image of God, and therefore, our societies become farther and farther away from God, as the family decays and erodes. The family is the foundation of society, so when the home falls, the church falls, and when the church falls, the nation falls.

It’s not enough to have just a good marriage, it must be good, and it must be godly.

After being married for 44 years and being a pastor and marriage counselor for 40 years, let me give you a few tips.

  1. Do everything together, no separate vacations, no separate bank accounts, no secret post office boxes or secret credit cards. Trust me, this can be the straw that breaks the camels back.

  2. Your spouse is your best friend, you enjoy each other’s company, you have great conversations, learn hobbies to do together

  3. Respect the differences.

  4. Keep your sex life sacred, holy, godly. No porn, no sex toys, no acting out fantasies, no kinks. You cross a sexual boundary and your marriage will begin to crumble.

  5. To the newlyweds, or yet to be wed. your past sex life is your past sex life. You don’t lie about your virginity or lack of, but don’t share sex stories of your past. You can be honest but not vivid.

  6. Pray together, read your bibles together. Men be the godly leaders that God intended you to be. You the man, you do family devotions, you don’t skip church because you played to hard on Saturday.

  7. Don’t run you family like a democracy, kids don’t get to vote.

  8. Eat dinner at the table all together, no tv on.

  9. Set a time when all electronics are in a box.

There are hundreds of more tips but start there.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Karey, that she would find the Lord and be led out of the JW’s

Pray for Ron P, upcoming heart surgery

Pray for Glenda and Stacey, they just lost their brother.

WHAT RINGS YOUR BELL?

November 28, 2018

growth marks

What rings your bell?

I used to do church growth seminars.

The one thing I tell pastors is don’t jump on the band wagon and do what mega church next door is doing.

Don’t imitate another pastor’s style, whether it be how he preaches or what he wears (really).

And just because the person in your church that gives the most money, that doesn’t give them any rights to dictate anything.

I had a pastor that came to me because the largest giver in church didn’t like the way he would preach a sermon. So he gave him tapes of his favorite preacher and told him to preach like that guy did.

I told him to either burn the tapes or ask the guy to leave. Good news the guy repented and became a follower not a bulldozer.

I’ve mentioned this before, but the most important part of church is the sermon, not the music leader, or singing off the wall. It’s the pastor’s prayer life.

If as a pastor, you are where you need to be in praying and bible study and faithful in your pastoral duties. It is God who determines what type of church you will have. Be satisfied with that.

I’ve conducted exit interviews for various churches and I will tell you one thing..

You can’t please everyone. So be yourself.

Second most important thing I can tell you as a pastor, don’t sacrifice your family for the church.

Well that’s my rant for today, been awhile so I feel entitled.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for your pastor, before you criticize.

SPEAK TO ME

November 19, 2018

hand sign

Well I knew there would be some comments about yesterday’s devotion, “confession vs. forgiveness”.

The number one comment; “ but I’ve done some horrible things, and I can’t get them out of my mind,” or “they were so bad, I can’t believe what I’ve done.” “I can only keep begging God for forgiveness.”

I understand, but if you are a Christian and praying these prayers you have a problem with accepting God’s grace, forgiveness and the cleansing of the Holy Spirit.”

When troubling flashbacks come of something you wish you had not done; may I make a suggestion?

Just say “God, I thank you for loving me and all that is under the blood” “I praise you for your mercy and love, I praise you for my growth and the position I hold as your child.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 New International Version (NIV)

18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

When Wycliffe Bible translator Bob Russell sought a word for “forgiveness” in the language of the Amahuacas of eastern Peru, he discovered their unique way of asking one another for pardon. In that culture, if an offender wants to be reconciled with someone he’s offended, he says to him, “Speak to me.”

Russell learned that Amahuacas who are unreconciled typically refuse to speak to each other. So when the offender asks the offended to speak, it’s the equivalent of saying, “Show me we’re friends again by being on speaking terms once more.”

The many biblical terms translated in English as “forgive” reflect a beautiful array of meanings: to cancel debts; to lay aside or to cast away sins; to spare, to cleanse, to rescue, or to free the sinner. Yet the Amahuaca expression strikingly translates what is the most important biblical meaning of God’s forgiveness—above all, it is a reconciliation, the restoration of a friendship with Him that has been marred by sin.

So speak to me says God, because we are in a restored relation, we are friends again. We are not Adam and Eve hiding in the Garden because they are afraid of God.

Like the old gospel hymn says;

“And he walks with me

And He talks with me,

And He tells me I am his own;

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known.+

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Richard M, throat cancer

Pray for Richard Perales, that he seeks the Lord.

Pray for Bob L, eyesight problems

Pray for Gene L, he will be having back surgery.

LEFT OF BANG

November 5, 2018

Some will get this, some won’t.

 

Your car is not a holster (Pat Rogers)

 

Your bible is not a Weapon, the Word of God is.

 

So what do the two quotes have in common?

 

Quite a bit, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard, “I ran back to my car to get my gun.” Thus, your car is not a holster, if it’s not on you, it’s supposed to be in a safe. If it’s not on you, the 2 second rule means your dead, or someone else is.

 

Your bible is not a weapon, it’s just a book, the words ‘Holy Bible’ don’t really mean anything. The original manuscripts were inspired and inerrant. We believe in the fact the that bible is an accurate rendition of those originals (98% scientifically verified,100% by faith).

But it’s just a book. As it says itself, it is living, sharper than any two-edged sword. If it’s in you. When temptation comes, when you need to give a right answer, it’s what’s inside you. If you have to run and get it, well it’s probably to late. Just like the gun. 2 seconds, have gone by and you fell, gave in, gave up, fornicated, masturbated, lusted, looted, stolen, coveted, sinned. It’s all over but the confession. Left of Bang. (great book by the way).

 

Bible memorization, after salvation, learning to pray, it’s the next most important thing you can do in your Christian life. Bang, you failed.

 

Harsh, maybe, over exaggeration, probably not. The bible says we are to ‘eat the word’ digest it, consume it, hide it in our hearts. Because just like any other weapon if it isn’t on/in you it’s to far away.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Get up, get over it, get going. We all get another chance if we survived the first encounter.

Pray, read, memorize, repeat.