who manages who

May 28, 2017

Firefighters know the danger of letting a fire get out of control. They are trained to respond quickly. You, too, must respond quickly to control the flames of anger before they consume your life and leave a smoldering ditch of destruction. “An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins” (PROVERBS 29:22).

 WHAT ARE THE DEGREES OF ANGER? Anger is an emotional agitation that occurs when a need or expectation is not met. Like heat, anger has many degrees, ranging from mild irritations to hot explosions. Indignation—simmering anger provoked by something unjust and often perceived as justified Wrath—burning anger accompanied by a desire to avenge Fury—fiery anger so fierce that it destroys common sense Rage—blazing anger resulting in loss of self-control, often to the extreme of violence and temporary insanity

WHAT ARE MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT ANGER? Is it a sin for a person to be angry? No, the initial feeling of anger is a God-given emotion. The way you express this emotion determines whether your anger becomes sin. Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger do not sin.” How can a person keep from feeling guilty when he is angry? Your anger is a signal that something is wrong. The purpose of the red warning light on a car dashboard is to propel you into action—to cause you to stop, evaluate, and do what is needed. For example, Jesus became angry at the hypocritical religious leaders who interpreted “resting on the Sabbath” to excess: “He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand’…and his hand was completely restored” (Mark 3:5).

WHAT ARE THE FOUR SOURCES OF ANGER?

Hurt—Your heart is wounded. Everyone has a God-given inner need for unconditional love. When you experience rejection or emotional pain of any kind, anger can become a protective wall that keeps people and pain away.

 Injustice—Your right is violated. Everyone has an inner moral code that produces a sense of right and wrong, fair and unfair, just and unjust. When you perceive that an injustice has occurred against you or others (especially those whom you love), you may feel angry. If you hold on to the offense, the unresolved anger can begin to make a home in your heart.

Fear—Your future is threatened. Everyone is created with a God-given inner need for security. When you begin to worry, feel threatened, or get angry because of a change in circumstances, you may be responding to fear. A fearful heart reveals a lack of trust in God’s perfect plan for your life.

Frustration—Your effort is unsuccessful. Everyone has a God-given need for significance. When your efforts are thwarted or do not meet your own personal expectations, your sense of significance can be threatened. Frustration over unmet expectations of yourself or of others is a major source of anger.

WHAT IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF ANGER? When we feel that our real or perceived rights have been violated, we can easily respond with anger.

 Wrong Belief: “Based on what I believe is fair, I have the right to be angry about my disappointments and to stay angry for as long as I feel like it. I have the right to express my anger in whatever way is natural for me.”

Right Belief: “Because the Lord is sovereign over me and I trust Him with my life, I have yielded my rights to Him. My human disappointments are now God’s appointments to increase my faith and develop His character in me. I choose to not be controlled by anger, but to use anger to motivate me to do whatever God wants me to do” (see 1 Peter 1:6-7).

HOW CAN PAST ANGER BE RESOLVED? Unresolved anger is a bed of hidden coals burning deep wounds into your relationships with God and with others. This powerful emotion robs your heart of peace and steals contentment from your spirit. So how is this anger resolved? Realize Your Anger — Willingly admit that you have unresolved anger. — Ask God to reveal any anger buried in your heart. — Seek to determine the primary reason(s) for your past anger. — Talk out your anger with God and with a friend or counselor. (Proverbs 21:2)

We need to remember that it is not a sin to get angry, it’s what we do while we are angry that is important. Good, godly responses are what important.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember all those on our prayer lists, especially Joe and his shoulder, a great deal of pain.

And Dave as his fights his 5th battle prostate cancer. He’s a brave guy.

 

  Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

  Beware! The world, both secular and religious, is seeking to destroy your individuality by conforming you to the mass of faceless ones. But our heritage and destiny in the Lord Jesus Christ is to be conformed to His image—not at the loss of our individual personality, but by the gain of His nature and character. “I in you”; “Christ liveth in me” (John 15:4; Gal. 2:20).

Something has got to be done in us as well as for us. We want to proceed on the line of having things done for us, heaven intervening for us, our difficulties removed for us, having a straight path made for us. Heaven may be ready to come in, the Lord may be prepared to work for us, but it is not sufficient for Him—and it would not prove good enough for us—if that were all. The very principle of spiritual growth and maturity demands that He keep the objective and the subjective balanced; that is, that something is done in us as well as for us.

  “We are apt to think that if and when the circumstances and conditions of our lives are changed and we are in another position than the one we now occupy, then something will happen, the purpose of God will begin to be fulfilled. But the Lord says, ‘No, it is not circumstances, not conditions, at all; it is you.’“

  “Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for me, my right foot is twice its normal size and as red as a beet , very painful, it has been like this since Friday, went to the emergency room Saturday and the medicine they gave me spiked my blood pressure and some other problems; hopefully I’ll get in to see my doctor tomorrow.

 

a life of pain

May 13, 2017

There’s “sad,” and then there are those times when sorrow seeps down into your soul and collects there into an aching pool of grief. You sleep. You wake up. And for a minute it’s better. Then the drip… drip of pain begins again. After thirty-two years with rheumatoid arthritis I would rather spend a day in significant physical pain than a day in significant emotional pain, although sometimes the two are inextricably linked. When we find ourselves in that kind of pain, how might we find relief? If you believe that the Universe has randomly arranged itself and there is no ultimate goal of history or relationships or our own lives, then neither is there any comfort in the ultimate sense. If life is a cosmic lottery then you have simply drawn a losing ticket and there’s nothing to be done about it. In the face of such bleakness, when sorrows come it’s understandable that so many self-medicate themselves into addiction or spend most non-working hours in some kind of escapist diversion. I wonder if this view of life could ever have gained credibility in any times but these, so rich in resources and options for entertainment and diversion.

If you believe in the Eastern view of things then you might seek relief in the conviction that all suffering, indeed all pain and everything attached to this world is illusion. What is needed is more detachment from this world and its sorrows, more enlightenment and becoming one with the impersonal life force that has created all things. Become less of your individual self and more of the One.

However, if you believe in a personal God then a very different kind of comfort is possible. When I am hurting, when the pool of grief and loss grows deeper until I feel that I am drowning, then the thing that I long for most is the loving presence of another person.

When I was sad this week I called a friend and shared my sorrow. The empathy in her voice soothed me. Her loving presence, even on the phone, cheered me. She has known deep sorrow as well and she really understands me. Her tangible love and prayers for me comfort me. And the fact that she is probably in more physical pain than any one I know. Soon you forget your pain as you begin to remember hers.

In the same way, God longs to comfort us because he longs for relationship with us. The reason we long for the presence and touch of another person when we are hurting is because it is the image of a personal God in them that is able to comfort us. Love desires personality. The wit, the courage, the honesty, the tenderness of another person that comforts and delights us points us to the personality of our Creator. The Bible says that “God is near the broken hearted.” God’s presence, especially in our pain, is real. And it is not the presence of one who is remote emotionally.

In the person of the Son God knows what it is like to suffer. And when we are suffering, that matters.

“I have come to give you life.” “I will never leave you or forsake you.” “I will work all your suffering together for your good.” Jesus does not simply offer us pretty words of comfort. He knows what it is to be abandoned and betrayed by his closest friends. For his family to misunderstand him to the extent that they plan an intervention. Jesus knows what it is like to be homeless, tired, thirsty, hungry. He knows what it’s like to stay up all night, sick at heart, sorrowful, even to the point of death. He knows what it’s like to be tortured and die a slow, excruciating death. He knows what it means to become sin—selfishness, greed, lust, murderous anger, pride, jealousy and the rest. So when he comes near the brokenhearted he can deeply, truly empathize. More than that, he can bear our griefs and carry our sorrows. “Cast all your care upon me,” he invites us, “because I care for you.”

When we are aching God can comfort us. He can heal that which is broken. He may not always change our circumstances, but he can change us. If we give up our claim to our right to ourselves, he will fill us with his life and his joy. When we can thank him for the life we live, the air we breathe and the songs we sing then there is hope beyond imagining. Because…not only can he comfort with his presence and deep empathy, he can, through the power that raised Jesus from the dead, do more than we can possibly imagine to restore us to life. We needn’t give up our individuality. We remain very much ourselves yet more fully alive. We don’t retreat from this world but find the power to live and love joyfully with hearts of thanksgiving, fully engaged with the people and happenings around us.

At least, after thirty-two years this month of rheumatoid arthritis, that has been my experience. I’ve learned a very hard lesson, that is saying to God, “Father, I love you. I thank you for all the pain and all the good you have accomplished through it, mainly, giving me yourself, I know I really never ever experience pain like my Savior, your Son ever experienced, but I know you understand and I remind myself time and time again that it is not punishment, it’s just life.”

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

And speaking of pain, remember Joe R, in your prayer for his shoulder pain from a torn ACL and a bone spur.

Remember Liz and her mother Sara as her mom goes through chemo.

Please pray for Virginia Mc. She is in terrible pain and is wondering why God hasn’t taken her home yet.

my first love

April 27, 2017

Genesis 22: why the O.T. is so great. First love

Two episodes in the life of Abraham stand out with special prominence. The first, when against all natural hopes, he “believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Rom. 4: 3). In the second he was, “justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar” (Jas. 2: 21). To this second great event we come in Genesis 22.

“After these things,” we read, God put Abraham to the test, and this is ever His way. Peter speaks of “the trial of your faith,” and declares that it is “much more, precious than of gold that perisheth” (1 Pet. 1: 7). At the outset Abraham’s faith laid hold of God as One who was able to raise the dead. Under test he was now to demonstrate that such was his faith, in a way that would be apparent to any thoughtful observer. He showed his faith by his works.

If considered typically the chapter has remarkable significance. Here we get father and son both going up together to the sacrifice. In a figure the son is sacrificed and raised from the dead. We have already seen the death of Christ typified (1) as atonement, covering the guilty sinner, in the coats of skins (Genesis 3); (2) as the basis of approach to God, in Abel’s sacrifice (Genesis 4); (3) as the ground of acceptance, in Noah’s burnt offering (Genesis 8). Now we find a fourth and fuller type in the offering up of the son, and this brings in not only death but resurrection also. Consequently we find in this story details of very striking significance.

In verse 2 Isaac is mentioned as Abraham’s “only” son, which is rendered in Hebrews as, “his only begotten son” (11: 17) . ‘This makes it abundantly clear that Isaac was a type of our Lord, and further, it sheds light on the meaning of the words “Only begotten” as applied to Him. Ishmael indeed sprang from Abraham but being after the flesh he did not count in the Divine reckoning, and Isaac was quite unique. So our Lord Jesus Christ was Son of God in a perfectly unique sense.

It was God who declared Isaac to be Abraham’s “only” son, and He also added, “whom thou lovest.” Now this is the first time that love is mentioned in the Bible, which is remarkable, seeing it prefigures the love in the Godhead of the Father for the Son. Not until we reach the New Testament and such a statement as, “Thou lovest Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17: 24), do we get that love fully revealed; but now that it is revealed, we can better understand the great statement that, “God is love.” How fitting that the first mention of love should be typical of that supreme love, which is the fountain from which flows all true love of which we have any knowledge.

The command of God was that this only son of Abraham’s love should be offered by him as a sacrifice upon a mountain, chosen of God in the land of Moriah. He was to deliver to death the son, in whom all the promises were vested. This, was indeed a tremendous test of faith, as is made so plain in Hebrews 11: 17-19. That he did not fail under it was due to the fact that he believed that God was able and prepared to raise him from the dead.

The spot chosen for the sacrifice was that whereon, centuries after, the temple was built, and where Jewish sacrifices were made at the altar of burnt offering. Though Abraham cannot have known it the circumstances were divinely arranged to complete the typical picture. What we do see in Abraham is the energy with which he responded, rising up early in the morning, and’ the preparation he made to act in obedience. He departed with son, servants and wood for sacrifice.

On the third day Abraham saw the chosen spot; this was significant, for in after days he would look back to it not so much as the place of sacrifice as the place where in figure he received him as from the dead — the place of resurrection, in fact. That the faith of Abraham embraced resurrection is borne witness to by the closing words of verse 5. The sacrifice of Isaac was contemplated as “worship,” and the lad as well as his father was to “come again.” Abraham’s confidence as to this coming again is the more striking as he carried both a knife and the fire, as the next verse records. The wood was laid on Isaac. We may see in this a foreshadowing of that which is recorded in John’s Gospel — “He, bearing His cross, went forth into a place called . . . Golgotha.”

The sacrifice commanded was to be a burnt offering, hence to the eyes of Isaac the fire and the wood were perfectly natural, and the only question raised in his mind was, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham’s answer, though he may not have known it, was prophetic of something far beyond his own days: “God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” No lamb that ever died on any altar, patriarchal or Jewish, was other than provisional, and in view of that which was to come. The question, “Where is THE lamb?” was unanswered until John the Baptist was able to declare, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Abraham, however, was fully persuaded that God would provide the lamb for this occasion, and in that faith both father and son went together.

Verses 9 and 10 relate how full was the measure of Abraham’s obedience. Nothing was lacking up to the point where the death stroke would have taken place. At the last possible moment the Angel of the Lord intervened. His obedience had been tested to the full and had stood the test. He had not withheld his only son. This not only proved beyond question that he believed in God as the God of resurrection, but also furnished a foreshadowing of the infinitely greater moment when God “spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all.”

Though not stated in the narrative, we must not fail to notice the submission of Isaac. No word of remonstrance on his part is mentioned. He typifies the One of whom the prophet testified, “As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth” (Isa. 53: 7). His experience must have typified that which our Lord passed through, in infinitely greater measure, in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The voice from heaven arrested the death stroke that was to have fallen on Isaac, and now Abraham’s eyes were directed to God’s immediate provision; not a lamb merely but a ram. If we desired to have the strongest and most vigorous specimen from among the sheep, we should have to select a ram. This one moreover was caught in the thicket by its horns, symbolic of its strength, and it was offered as a burnt offering “in the stead of his son.” Though the actual words, substitute, or substitution, do not occur in our English Bible, here we have exactly that which the words mean. A substitute is one who stands in the stead of another.

So in this incident, which presents to us the fourth type of the death of our Saviour, we have before us salvation by a substitutionary sacrifice. And further, since the ram was detained to be the sacrifice by its horns, the strongest part of its frame, we may see how our blessed Lord was held to His sacrificial work by the strength of His love. No nail that ever was forged could have detained him on the cross. What held Him there was love to the Father, and love to us. (See John 14: 31; 13: 1).

Abraham recognized the wonderful way in which God had provided the lamb for a burnt offering, and signalized it by naming the place Jehovah-Jireh, meaning, ”The Lord will provide.” And out of that sprang a saying which was still current when some four centuries later Moses wrote these things: “In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen,” or “shall be provided.” That was the language of faith, for another four centuries, or so, after Moses, there stood on Moriah the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, and years after that Solomon’s temple was built there, and so it became the place for Jewish sacrifices. That to which all these sacrifices pointed took place “without the gate,” for the Lord Jesus was the rejected One.

The first call out of heaven had acknowledged the completeness of Abraham’s obedience: the second call pronounced great blessing, confirmed by an oath. This is the occasion referred to in Hebrews 6 when God, “because He could swear by no greater,” “swear by Himself.” The extent of the blessing might well have staggered Abraham. His seed was to be multiplied (1) “as the stars of the heaven,” (2) “as the sand which is upon the sea shore;” it was (3) to “possess the gate of his enemies,” and in it (4) “shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” It is not surprising, therefore, that God reinforced His bare word by His oath, that there might be “two immutable things” on which to rest.

The ancients knew but the stars that are visible to the naked eye. Only in our day has it been discovered that they are literally as numerous as the grains of sand on the sea shore. But we think we may see in (1) his spiritual seed, whose destiny is heaven (see, Galatians 3: 7); in (2) and (3) his earthly seed who, born again and redeemed, will enjoy millennial blessing and victory; and in (4) a prediction to be fulfilled in Christ, who is the Seed — in the singular, as Galatians 3: 16 points out — in whom all nations shall be blessed. All this blessing is guaranteed by the mighty oath of God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

DIRTY TOWELS AND JESUS

April 21, 2017

DIRTY BATH TOWELS AND JESUS

WARNING ADULT THEME, MATURE DISCUSSION, PLEASE DON’T READ IF YOU ARE EASILY SEXUALLY OFFENDED.

OK, THESE ARE JUST THE FACTS, NO BITTERNESS, NO FREUDIAN SLIPS JUST SOMETHING THAT CAME TO MIND.

MY WIFE CHANGES THE BATH TOWELS TWICE A WEEK (THAT I NOTICE, IT MIGHT BE MORE). I BRING THIS UP BECAUSE FOR SOME REASON WHEN I CAME OUT OF THE SHOWER AND WAS DRYING OFF, I THOUGHT OF MY MOTHER’S WEIRD HABIT ABOUT WASHING TOWELS.

EVERY TIME YOU TOOK A BATH OR A SHOWER THE TOWELS HAD TO GO RIGHT INTO THE WASHING MACHINE AND BE IMMEDIATELY WASHED.

I ALWAYS CHALKED THIS UP TO MY MOTHER BEING A PROSTITUTE. NOT THE KIND THAT STOOD ON THE CORNER AND HAD A PIMP; BUT A RENT WHORE. SHE SLEPT WITH GUYS THAT WOULD PROVIDE THE BOOZE OR THE DRUGS OR THE RENT OR WHEN THINGS GOT BAD AND REALLY WENT TO HELL A ROOF OVER OUR HEADS.

SOME MIGHT THINK THIS WAS AN ULTIMATE SACRIFICE AS OUR FATHER HAD LEFT US HIGH AND DRY. IT JUST PISSED ME OFF. SHE PUT MY LITTLE SISTER AT RISK AND IT MADE AN ALREADY VIOLENT SON EVEN MORE VIOLENT. ESPECIALLY WHEN I WOULD TAKE AN AXE HANDLE TO SOME CLOWN TRYING TO GO INTO MY SISTER’S BEDROOM.

AND THEN I WOULD GET YELLED AT BY HER FOR RUINING THE NIGHT OR THE GUY LEAVING WITHOUT LEAVING A LITTLE CASH BEHIND.

SO HERE’S THE DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT.

MY MOTHER WAS CONSTANTLY CLEANING THE HOUSE OR HERSELF, SHE WOULD TAKE SEVERAL BATHS AFTER THE GUYS LEFT, IF SHE WASN’T PASSED OUT OR DOPED UP ON PILLS. AGAIN, I DON’T LOOK AT THIS AS THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE OF A MOTHER FOR HER CHILDREN. I WAS  14 AND ALREADY DRIVING TRACTOR TRAILERS OUT OF STATE AND MAKING GOOD MONEY. I COULDN’T GET HER TO STOP. I WOULD GET ESPECIALLY PISSED WHEN SHE SAID “THIS ONE IS GOING TO MARRY HER AND WOULD THE TWO OF US CALL HIM DAD.”

AGAIN THE DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT, COMING FROM A PENTECOSTAL BACKGROUND AND THE ARMINIAN THEOLOGY OF BACKSLIDING AND ALWAYS COMING “BACK INTO THE FOLD”. I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW LIFE CHANGING IT WAS TO REALIZE HOW GREAT THE SACRIFICE THAT GOD MADE AND THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND THE SECURITY OF A SALVATION I COULDN’T LOSE.

NO MORE 6 BATHS A DAY, NO MORE FEARING DYING IN SIN, NO MORE DIRTY TOWELS. JESUS’S BLOOD, TOTALLY CLEANING, WHOLLY, COMPLETELY SAVING.

SO, IN HEAVEN THERE’S A GIANT SUDS SAVING BATH, THAT WASHES ME WHITER THAN SNOW. IT’S QUITE AN IMAGE, THAT I HAVE TO BE COVERED IN BLOOD TO BE WHITER THAN SNOW.

JUST ONE TOWEL PLEASE

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

PLEASE NO PSYCHOANALYZING, JUST READ AND THINK.

PRAY FOR JOE R AND HIS SHOULDER

STEVE AND THE FAMILY LOSS

ROGER E. AND HIS BORDER COLLIE ANNIE PASSING

turn it up

April 18, 2017

Image result for picture of a mouth and a ear

Paul told Timothy to “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” (1Ti 4:13) That’s a passage about preaching,, “but it’s also a passage about just plain reading the Bible out loud.” Here are a number of practical reasons why reading the Bible aloud is a beneficial habit to adopt:

  ➤ Reading aloud is multisensory—Outside worship services, our engagement with Scripture tends to involve only one of our five senses—sight. When we add hearing to seeing, we stimulate different areas of our brain, providing a multisensory experience that can help us have a more meaningful experience with the Word of God.

 ➤ Reading aloud improves retention—When we read aloud, the words we speak are translated into speech, giving us two types of memories—the knowledge of producing the spoken words as well as the memory of hearing them. This makes our memory for the spoken word more distinct from the verses we read silently.

 ➤ Reading aloud slows us down—Our eyes and brains are faster than our mouths. When we read silently we see and process the words rapidly. Reading aloud forces us to read more slowly, which gives us more time to process what we’re reading and broadens our opportunity to hear God speak through Scripture.

  It is also valuable to read aloud to several individuals and groups. Here are some tips for making reading aloud part of your routine.

  ➤ You and your family—It might feel odd at first, but try reading aloud to yourself regularly during your individual Bible reading sessions. Or add reading aloud to your family night or family devotional time.

 ➤ Your church and small group—Most churches and small groups already include corporate Scripture reading into their services or meetings. If yours does not, talk to your worship or small group leader about adding regular readings to the program.

 ➤ The young and the old—Offer to read to children who might only hear about God during Sunday school class. Or perhaps volunteer to read to the elderly, who because of infirmity or advanced age might no longer be able to read the Bible for themselves. Every believer, whether young or old, benefits from being frequently engaged with Scripture.

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. The only time the bible says that “reading and hearing” the Word is a blessing. The implication is that of reading and hearing at the same time will bless.

If you can afford only one Commentary on the Bible get the one volume of Matthew Henry, here is a sample; “On all who read or hear the words of the prophecy, a blessing is pronounced. Those are well employed who search the Bible. It is not enough that we read and hear, but we must keep the things that are written, in our memories, in our minds, in our affections, and in practice, and we shall be blessed in the deed. Even the mysteries and difficulties of this book are united with discoveries of God, suited to impress the mind with awe, and to purify the soul of the reader, though he may not discern the prophetic meaning. No part of Scripture more fully states the gospel, and warns against the evil of sin.”

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

more food for thought

February 24, 2017

Image result for picture of devil's food cake

HAVE YOU EVER ASKED, “WHY AM I GOING THROUGH THIS?”

It is often only through pain that we can see all the pieces of the puzzle, that we have the big picture of what life is all about laid out so clearly in front of us, that we can finally understand. But pain does not automatically do this: our response to pain does—and even then, not immediately. Atheists and saints are both often ‘born’ in the aftermath of a tragedy.

When we ask, “How could God let this happen?”, we are on to something. What we do and feel next is of utmost importance. Some people decide that it is blasphemous even to raise such a question in the first place, that to ask ‘Why?’ is itself sinful. I do not share that sentiment, for this reason: it is neither human nor biblical. The books of Job and the Psalms ask this question at least sixty times—almost regardless of which translation one reads—and a very large portion of these questions are on the lips of godly men as they wonder about God’s ways. It is no sin to ask why. Indeed, I think it may well be wrong not to ask that question! When your suffering, be sure that some friends will try to console you with this kind of  “how can you ask God why “attitude”. They comfort by quoting precious verses—especially Romans 8:28(“All things work together for good for those who love God…”)—and then they walked away. Scripture became for them a way to deny the grief, to deny the pain. They loved us at an arm’s distance.

To be sure, in the midst of suffering the human soul cries out for answers. But it cries out for more than that. It cries out for comfort, for love, for someone to share the burden of grief.

All of this is not to say there are no answers. But the answer that we seek is too often elusive; we never really know in this life— we cannot possibly know in this life—the details of the answer to our question. Now, to be sure, we sometimes do get a partial answer to the ‘Why?’

“How could God let this happen?” two things are presupposed about God: he is good and he is sovereign. And therein lies the crux of the problem. If we think about it a little while, we might even articulate it this way, “If God is good, isn’t he also powerful enough not to have let this happen?” Or, put another way, “If God is in control, isn’t he good enough not to have let this happen?” Either way, the goodness of God or the sovereignty of God seems to be on trial.

Perhaps you can see why atheists are born at a time like this: their image of God is shattered at the paradox of the situation. “God wasn’t there for me” becomes the mantra that leads to atheism or, in the least, to a marginalization of God in one’s thinking. The scary thing is that we are all atheists at heart when we sanitize and shrink-wrap the majesty and grandeur of God into manageable proportions.

So two questions; 1. How big is your God and 2. How much do you trust Him when everything is going wrong?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

SUNDAY MORING 02_19 LIAR LIAR

February 19, 2017

Four things that Satan did to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Look, if you will, in 3:1: “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field [the word subtle means crafty and sly], more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

Spiritual flaw number one is to despise God’s goodness and to think negatively about God, to think negatively about God. That’s what the devil wants you to do. He wants you to think negatively about God. Satan came crawling his slimy, corroding path into the pages of history, and he said, “Did God say that you shall not eat of the fruit of every tree of the garden?” Now, what was that? It was an attempt to get Eve to doubt God’s goodness, God’s love, God’s amazing grace, He wanted Eve to think negatively about God. What it was was a slander of the character of God. It was Satan’s way of saying God is not good. God is some sort of a cosmic killjoy. God doesn’t want you to have all of this good fruit. Now, of course, that was a lie. God had not said that she could not eat of that fruit. As a matter of fact, just put in your margin Genesis 2:16: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden  thou mayest freely eat.”

“It’s there! It’s for you! Adam, Eve, I made it for you! Help yourself!” But what did Satan say? “O, hath God said ye shall not eat of the fruit of every tree of the garden?” The truth of the matter is there was only one tree that they were forbidden to take of. But what Satan was trying to do was to get Eve to think negatively about God. God is so straight-laced. God is so cruel that anytime He sees anyone having any pleasure, He just sort of moves in to break up the party. Everything good and pleasurable is a no-no. The truth of the matter is that God has said a resounding yes to your pleasure. God loves you. Don’t get the idea that being a Christian is some sort of a penalty that you pay in order to get to heaven. I would be a Christian is there were no heaven. There is. I would be a Christian if there were no hell, just to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.

Can you imagine what all God made for Adam and Eve? Can you imagine the glories, the splendor of Eden and what it must have been like? The most beautiful place you’ve ever seen would not even begin to compare with Eden. And God made it for Adam and Eve, and God said, “Help yourself.”

They tell a little story of Cain and Abel after Adam and Eve had been put out of the garden because of their sin. Cain and Abel came to a wall, climbed up that wall and looked over and saw Eden. Went back to Adam and said, “Daddy, we have just seen the most beautiful place in the world. Hey, hey, dad, you think we could ever live in a place like that?” Adam said, “We did once, boys, before your mother ate us out of house and home”. Well, it was a beautiful and a glorious place, and God made it, and God said to Adam and God said to Eve, “Help yourself.”

Do you know what the devil will do to many of you? He will put negative thoughts in your hearts concerning the goodness of our God. Listen to Psalm 37:4.

The Bible says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desire of your heart.” Listen to Psalm 84:11: “The Lord thy God is a sun and a shield: the Lord will give grace and glory [now, listen to this]: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Isn’t that great? “… no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Listen to 1 Timothy 6:17. The Bible says, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches [but now, listen to this], but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” “… the living God, who has given to us richly all things to enjoy.” The dirty devil wants you to think negatively about God. Now, listen to me. God is good all of the time (amen). And anything that causes pain and suffering and moan and moan and groan and woe and heartache and tears is the fruit of sin. It is not because of God. God made a beautiful, wonderful paradise and He put man and woman in that paradise. And so, Satan’s spiritual flaw, number one, is to get you to doubt the goodness of God and to think negatively about God. And, friend, it’s a foolish thing if you think negatively about our great God, who has given us richly all things to enjoy. When I invite you to Jesus Christ, I’m not inviting you to a funeral; I’m inviting you to a feast (amen) to know the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Spiritual flaw number two is to deny God’s truthfulness and to think skeptically about God. Now, notice verses 2, 3: “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden [Eve knew better than that]: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” You know how I think he said it? I wasn’t there, but I, you know how I think he said it? (noise) “… Ye shall not surely die.” I mean, what he is doing here is denying God’s truthfulness. “How do you know that you’re going to surely die?” And what he did was to make a skeptic, to make a doubter about God’s truthfulness. You see, what he did, first of all, was to question God’s goodness, and now he is questioning God’s truthfulness. Now, I want to say this: anybody who causes a question mark concerning the Word of God, or anybody who denies the veracity and the truth of the Word of God is doing the work of the devil. I don’t care what university he teaches in, or what seminary he may teach in. I don’t, I care not how many degrees he has after his name. If he inculcates in the hearts and minds of anybody a doubt or a denial of the Word of God, that man is an emissary of Satan (amen). It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. “Yea, hath God said ye shall not eat? Oh, come on! You will not surely die. Oh, no. Why, your eyes will be open.”

You see, modern man today will do anything except believe the truth. We have so many substitutes for the truth. We have today, relativism. Hagel, the philosopher, began relativism, and relativism in our society, and so everything is relative. And our kids are going to school today being taught there are not absolutes. All truth is relative truth, and if that doesn’t go, then others.

And especially in some churches today, have been given to subjectivism. Not relativism, but subjectivism. They say, “Well, this is what I feel is truth. This is what I think. This is what it means to me. Well, what is true for me may not be true for you, but isn’t it wonderful that we all have our own truth.” And that’s, that’s subjectivism. Truth is what we experience.

And, and for others, the answer is not necessarily relativism or subjectivism, but rationalism. They somehow have the idea that all that is truth is what we call empirical truth, what they can put into the laboratory. If they can put God in a test tube, then they might believe in God. Puny man thinks that he can prove God through rationalism, and so he substitutes “Thus saith the mind of man,” for “Thus saith the Word of God.”

And another substitute for God’s truth is pragmatism, and this is the one that’s working in America today. In America today we don’t ask, “Is it true?” We want to know, “Does it work?” Does it work! And so, we’re not all that interested in pragmatism.

But, you know, the most damning assault on truth today is a word you may not have heard much, but if you’ve read or been in theology, you’ll hear this word, and it’s post-modernism. What on earth is post-modernism? You say, “Pastor, I’ve been longing all morning to hear something about post-modernism”. Post-modernism. These folks, they don’t believe there is a truth. They won’t argue about truth to you because it’s not even an issue with them. It’s just, there is no real truth, and so it’s a hodgepodge of all of these other things that I have talked about—rationalism and relativism and emotionalism and all of these things. But when they finally finish, they just simply say, “Nobody knows truth. There never has been truth. Never will be truth. We make up truth as we go along.” Now, that kind of thinking, which is one of Satan’s spiritual flaws, leads people with no rationale basis as to say what is right and what is wrong.

And that’s, we’re, we’re still thinking about the kids in the high schools these days. What has happened in America? Well, one thing: there’s a famine for the Word of God. There’s a famine for the Word of God. If you listened to

P-A-V-L-O-V, the Russian who worked with animals in what we call “conditioned response.” That is, he could, he would ring a bell and feed the dogs and the dogs would salivate after a while just at the ringing of a bell because they associated the ringing of a bell with food. But another thing Pavlov did was this, and I’d not heard this before. He would put a dog down and over here and put in front of the dog a perfect circle. And when the dog would see the perfect circle, he taught the dog to jump to the right. And if the dog would see the circle and jump to the right, the dog would be rewarded. And so the dog learned—circle = jump = food.

And then, after he got the dog trained this way, he put in front of the dog an oval. Not a circle, but an oval. And then, at the sign of the oval, he taught the dog to jump to the left. Jump to the left = oval = food. Circle—jump to the right = reward. And the dog was trained this way. And the dog had it down perfectly.

And then Pavlov began to do something. He began to take the circle and morph it just a little bit so it began to look like an oval. He took the oval and began to change it a little bit so it looked like a circle. And the dog was getting confused and still trying, as best he could, to get the reward and to do what was right. And, finally, Pavlov had a figure on the ground that the dog would not tell whether it was a circle or an oval, and the dog went mad.

Now, folks, that’s where our kids are today! They don’t know whether it’s a circle or an oval. They do not know that there is a fixed standard because that dirty devil has gotten people to think skeptically about God and cannot believe the fixed Word of God. Parents are having difficulty today raising children. Well, let me tell you how to raise them. “Child, it’s wrong to steal because God says so. It’s wrong to commit adultery because God says so. You’re to obey your parents because God says so. We’re to worship one because God says so.” But if the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do.

Now, here’s the third spiritual flaw. First of all, Satan wanted Eve to think negatively about God, to doubt the goodness of God. Secondly, he wanted Eve to think skeptically about God, and to doubt the truthfulness of God. Thirdly, third spiritual flaw was to defy God’s righteousness and to think carelessly about God. To think carelessly about God. Look in verse 4 again. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” That is, “Eve, you don’t have to worry about judgment. I mean, you can be cavalier about this thing. You don’t need to fear God. God is not all that righteous. Now, don’t worry about God’s laws.” Well, friend, God is righteous and God is holy. Not only is God good, but God is righteous. God will punish sin. God had forbidden them to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And God said, “In the day that you eat thereof, you will die.” That was God’s holy law. And law without penalty is only advice. And God wasn’t giving advice. You see, it’s, it’s the devil’s gospel, the devil’s gospel that God will not punish sin, but God sent me here to tell you that God is a holy God—God is a righteous God—and God will punish sin. And whatever happened to hell? If you disobey God and refuse the gospel of Jesus Christ, you’re going to die and go to hell. You’re going to die and go to hell. There is a hell. You say, “Well, Pastor, today people don’t believe in hell anymore.” Well, that doesn’t change it at all. Jesus Christ had more to say about hell than any preacher in the Word of God. Jesus Christ, the loving Jesus, had more to say about hell than any other preacher in the Word of God.

Abraham Lincoln, who was wise in old fashion kinda homey ways, said to a little boy one time, said, “Son, I want to ask you a question. If a dog has four legs and you call his tail a leg, then how many legs would he have?” The little boy said, “He’s have 5.” And Abe said, “No, he’ll only have four. No matter what you call his call, it’s still a tail. You can call his tail a leg if you want to, but he only has four legs.” And no matter what people say about hell, they do not take away God’s truth concerning the punishment of sin.

Now, Satan knows that man fears death. Satan knows that. And so he says to Eve, “You will not surely die.” And, by the way, I said, you know, this is not new or old. It’s, it’s up to date. It’s all New Age religion. Everything that I have given you, everything, is all New Age religion.

How do the New Agers deal with this idea, “You shall not, you will not surely die?” Well, it’s re-incarnation. What is re-incarnation? Well, you just, you just keep going around and around. You get recycled. You get as many chances at perfection as you need. And in re-incarnation there’s no judgment. There’s no personal God. And you know who the high priestess of this New Age religion is? Do you remember Shirley MacLaine, an actress of sorts. She said, listen to this, and I quote her, “We can eliminate all fear of death.” And she said she had discovered that once she was a princess in Atlantis, and then she was an Inca in Peru, and then one time she was a child raised by elephants. That’s in her past lives that she’s had. And, you know, Shirley MacLaine said, “It’s like show business. You keep doing it until you get it right.” And so there are a lot of kids today who, while they cannot be taught biblical truth, eastern mysticism and New Ageism has come in like gangbusters into the church and they believe that. The idea is that we have something called karma. And if your karma is good, next time you go through, you keep on going up and you get higher and higher and higher. But if your karma is bad, you’re degraded in the next life.  And so, it just all depends. So, you just keep going through and through. And that’s the reason many of them are vegetarians, because they believe that animals and humans are all interrelated, and so when you go to McDonalds, you might be eating your grandmother. And so, they believe this—that that cow has been re-incarnated from something else, re-incownated , and so this is what they believe. I believe re-incarnation is putting the milk back in the can, but you won’t get that till after the service.

Satan, Satan does not want people to believe that there is a death, and a holy and a righteous God, and a judgment to face, and so they, you come up with these silly ideas, like re-incarnation. People don’t like the idea of judgment, and they’re glad to listen to this third spiritual flaw that you can deny the righteousness of God and think carelessly about God.

Do you know one of the worst things people say about preachers today? He’s a hell-fire preacher, hell, fire, and damnation preacher, like you don’t want to go there to hear him. I want to say again—you would not have wanted to hear Jesus. I have an idea, I have a suspicion, it’s almost a conviction, if the Supreme Court of the United States of America could vote on it, they would outlaw hell and cruel and unusual punishment. They would say, “Well, that’s certainly an un-American thing. You cannot have eternal punishment.”

You see, this is a lie out of hell. The devil wants you to think negatively about God. The devil wants you to think skeptically about God. The devil wants you to think casually and lightly about God.

Fourth spiritual flaw is this: that Satan debases God’s greatest and he wants you to think suspiciously about God. He wants you to think suspiciously about God. Now, notice how clever he was. Look in verse 5: “For God doth know that in the day that ye eat thereof, ha, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Now, you know what he’s saying here? “Look, you can’t trust God. Ha, Eve, you’re a babe in the woods. Your eyes are not even open. You don’t know what’s right. You don’t know what’s wrong. You don’t know what’s good. You don’t know what’s bad. All you have is His word for it. That’s all you have, is His word for it. You’ve never experienced it. How do you know it’s bad? How do you know? After all, Eve, experience is the best teacher.” Have you ever heard that? Experience is the best teacher. So we get the idea today that in order to find out whether something is good or bad, we have to experience with it. That’s the reason why so many young people have their lives that are wrecked and ruined and are sucked down in the swirling sewers of sin because of experimentation. They say, “Well, I want to experiment a little bit with drugs. I want to experiment a little with eastern meditation. I want to experience, experiment a little bit with pre-marital sex. I want to experiment a little bit with sexual perversion.” “I mean, just try it, Eve. You might like it. Hey, Eve, if it’s good, then you can do it some more. If it’s bad, you don’t have to do it anymore. But, Eve, your eyes are not even open. Why, listen, if you’ll do it, then your eyes will be open. You’ll be like He is. You will know the difference between good and bad. You see, He’s got a monopoly on being God. Ha, He’s trying to head you off at the pass. He doesn’t want you to have fulfillment. He doesn’t want you to be liberated. He wants to keep you under His thumb. Eve, experience is the best teacher, not somebody’s word.” Let me tell you something, folks, when it comes to sin, experience is a very poor teacher. And those who know the least about sin are those who are the deepest into it, did you know that?

The Bible speaks of the deceitfulness of sin, the deceitfulness of sin. And those who know the very least about sin are those who have been blinded and they’re into sin, and they come to the place where they get a reprobate mind. They cannot tell up from down, good for bad. They put bitter for sweet, sweet for bitter, light for darkness, darkness for light, good for evil, and evil for good because they try to make themselves the sum, the substance, the total decider of what is good and bad. And, folks, I’m going to tell you, the world is full of that today. These kids who are ruining their lives through experimentation.

WHAT LIES HAVE YOU BELIEVED? ONLY THE WORD OF GOD CAN CHASE THOSE LIES OUT OF YOUR LIFE

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

 

two legs to stand on

February 18, 2017

TWIN PILLARS

 

But now that you have been set free from the tyranny of Sin, and have become the bondservants of God, you have your reward in being made holy” (Rom. 6:22, Weymouth Translation.).

When the believer truly sees Calvary he says, “There, through the work of the Cross, I died with the Lord Jesus unto sin.” When the believer truly sees Pentecost he says, “There, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, I was baptized into the risen Lord Jesus.” Here are the two mighty pillars of our freedom from the power and domination of sin.

The believer is to rejoice in the double blessing of Calvary and Pentecost. He is freed from condemnation because of the Blood shed, and he is set free from the law of sin and death by the indwelling Spirit that he received when he came to the Lord Jesus. It is not only that there is no condemnation, but there is liberty.

The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death’ (Rom. 8:2). ‘…hath made me free….’ Let me walk in it; let me enjoy it, and I am free. I am not struggling to get free; I have been set free in the Spirit, and I am bidden to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made me free (Gal. 5:1). I am not struggling for victory; I am standing in victory. I have not to struggle to get out of the horrible pit. He lifted me out; set my feet on the Rock and established my goings; and He bids me, ‘Stand fast in the victory that I have gained for you.’ Believe and rejoice in it, and you will know what it is to be free.

“Walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4)

PRAY FOR MARCUS MARTINEZ, 64, FELL AND STRUCK HIS HEAD AND THEY FOUND BLOOD CLOTS IN HIS NECK, CHICKEN OR THE EGG, THEY DON’T WHICH HAPPENED FIRST.

PRAY FOR DEBBIE LIGHTFOOT’S DAUGHTER HER LIVER IS POISONING HER BABY, THEY HAVE TO DO AN EMERGENCY “C” SECTION THE BABY WILL BE DELIVERD 3 MONTHS EARLY

 

bite the bullet

December 29, 2016

I felt that it was important to post this devotion about suicide again, I wrote it for counselors, yet it is for any one that struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. Tonight I write again for myself, the holidays are always murder on me and I thought this year I had slipped through them, but late today and into the evening I am being hounded with these very thoughts. Part of the reason is I have been struggling with long some term illness and chronic pain, part of it is I tried to go through the day without all my medication and that was a big mistake. I know tomorrow the sun will shine and I’ll probably feel better. There are to many people that love me to keep me from the actuality, but the effort it takes is monumental. God bless and lift up someone today, call that person you’ve been meaning to call.

The desire or decision to kill oneself is in most cases the result is in most cases the result of a state of acute depression. It may be brought on by health problems, pain, or the inability to handle frustration. Irresponsible behavior may produce the strong desire to destroy oneself or to leave the world. Demon influences may be involved, as may cultic teaching that results in brainwashed behavior.

Our hopes in God and our strength is in him (Ps. 42:11). There are times when God seems far away and our prayers go unanswered, but the Bible teaches that God brings deliverance, healing, and eternal hope. Despair seems to be inevitable in every human life, but it need not persist, for we are assured that God loves us and gives our life meaning and purpose.

A suicidal person feels he has exhausted all his options. Life has no meaning, no purpose, no future, so why continue to endure its extreme unhappiness, anguish, hopelessness and despair? The obsession that nothing will ever change for the better leaves him feeling helpless, with the conviction that death is the only way out.

Such a person is a victim of depression, tortured with feelings of unworthiness, sin and failure, deep guilt, and the need to be punished. Many things condition this person for the depressed state that can lead to suicide or its attempt: anger, envy, jealousy, fear, guilt, self-pity, sexual deviation, drugs, alcohol, etc. It should be obvious to the counselor, then, that root causes leading to such a crisis are likely to be deep and possibly of long duration. Many of these do, in fact, reflect back to childhood and therefore point to the need for prolonged professional counseling with a Christian psychologist or psychiatrist.

In this situation we feel that although not all the problems involved are spiritual, the ultimate problem in life is separation from God, solved only through a personal relationship to Jesus Christ. Without this relationship to Christ, there can be no real solutions or healing. As a person experiences all that is involved in the “new life in Christ” (cf., 2 Corinthians 5:17) – forgiveness, freedom from guilt and fear, a sense of fulfillment and well-being, new orientations and motivations to live, etc. – forces for radical change are set in motion. This is where the counselor can be of real service: guiding the inquirer into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Some persons threaten suicide in order to get attention and sympathy. They want someone to listen to their hurts and frustrations. Others are beyond this point and seriously have self-destruction in mind.

It is only natural if you feel inadequate when confronted with this kind of challenge; however, you should attempt to help, remembering that our resources come from the Lord. He will be reaching out in love and power through you. Be motivated by the promises of Scripture that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, KJV), and “if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God. . .and it will be given to him” (James 1:5, NIV).

Christians are not immune to suicidal thoughts or attempts. Unresolved or unconfessed sin, or a crisis situation such as a deep disappointment, the death of a loved one, a divorce, loss of employment, loss of health, a nervous breakdown, etc., can precipitate depression severe enough to lead to such and attempt.

  1. Remind the Christian that God always loves and cares.”. . .for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5, KJV).

  2. Remind him also that we are God’s children. (Quote John 1:12.)

  3. Tell him that God still forgives. Share “Restoration.” Emphasize Proverbs 28:13 and 1 John 1:9. Confession results in forgiveness and restoration fellowship.

  4. Suggest that he look only to the Lord and not at the problems and circumstances around him. (See Matthew 14:27-32 and Proverbs 3:5, 6.)

  5. Suggest that it is important to get into God’s Word: hear, read and study, meditate, and memorize.

  6. Suggest that prayer is a valuable resource and forms and essential part of a Christian’s life. (See 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Philippians 4:6,7.)

  7. Remind him that identity with a Bible-teaching church is an important factor in recovering emotional stability. Such identity permits fellowship with caring people who worship and work together.

  8. Pray with the person that God will come to him with new meaning, filling him with hope and renewed trust.

Remember the sun does come up tomorrow, you don’t have to be alone, walk into an all night diner, police station, fire station, but reach out. If you have planned you suicide get rid of the object that is going to be used, the gun, the knife, the poison, the car.

It’s important during the holidays to not be alone.

Remember if you have been talking to someone that has been depressed and suicidal and suddenly they are euphoric, that is the most critical moment to intervene.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com