I really can change (part two)

Because each person is unique, God’s formative process is unique for each. And though the Spirit of God is the One who transforms souls, each individual has personal responsibility in the process. Many spiritual disciplines can contribute, yet God is primarily concerned with transforming the whole person, not just patterns of behavior. For this reason, no one method (be it a traditional spiritual discipline or another method) is the single critical component.

To understand our need for transformation, we must understand who we are currently, both as individuals and as members of the body of Christ. Who we are has undoubtedly been shaped by our past. Therefore, we explore various aspects of our identity, such as our heritage and temperament. What do these tell us about who we are and what we value? The interaction during this study bonds us and builds trust among us. Our goal is not to analyze, criticize, or control each other, but it is to grow and affirm what God is doing in and through one another.

In Identity, we ultimately want group members to see themselves in light of their identity in Christ. However, many of the values we actually live out stem from such influences as temperament, family background, and culture. Not all of those values are contrary to our new identity in Christ. For example, the value one person places on honesty, which he learned from his parents, is affirmed by his identity in Christ.

It can take a long time––more than a lifetime allows––for the Spirit of God to transform our values to line up with our new identity in Christ. We cooperate with the Spirit when we reflect on what our values are and how well they line up with our identity in Christ as described in Scripture.

One of the most significant characteristics of our identity in Christ is that we are now part of the body of Christ. The Christian life cannot be lived in isolation.

(I want to say this to all the door kickers, snake eaters, LEO’s and others, in the call of duty you may have “seen the elephant,” combat, war, taking a life. It is never an easy thing to live with. Isolation and “manning-up” doing it solo, is not the answer. Find a support group, talk it out, find other veteran’s, retired cops, talk it out). And Jesus love even you.

In order to experience intimate community in the biblical sense, we must learn to reveal ourselves to others. We need to honestly, freely, and thoughtfully tell our stories. Our modern culture makes it easy for people to live isolated and anonymous lives. Because we and others move frequently, we may feel it’s not worth the effort to be vulnerable in shortlived relationships. However, we desperately need to keep intentionally investing in significant relationships.

Real involvement in others’ lives requires more than what the term fellowship has too often come to mean. Real involvement includes holding certain values in common and practicing a lifestyle we believe is noble, while appreciating that this lifestyle doesn’t make us perfect. Rather, this lifestyle is a commitment to let God continue to spiritually form us.

Share your stories, the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t get a good reaction when you’re candid, find another group, talk to the pastor, your counselor, mentor, sober companion. But you will only find healing in the community of others who have made it through and out the other side. And it is a continuous daily struggle and renewal. One time isn’t enough, it’s not ‘one and done’ it takes being will to share.

Well that’s it for today.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

The Crown

December 27, 2017

  “The God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect (mature), establish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Pet. 5:10).

  At first, the old nature hides from us. Then, we try to hide from it. But when we begin to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, we are able to face up to the awful facts concerning the old man and his condemnation at the Cross. As the Holy Spirit reveals the old man (Col. 3:9), we count upon death; as He reveals the new man (Col. 3:10), we count upon life (Rom. 6:11).

The believer, at the opening of his new course of life, never knows his own heart; indeed, he could not bear the full knowledge of it; he would be overwhelmed thereby. He graciously leads us by a circuitous route, like Moses in the wilderness, we are on a journey of self discovery. And because of His grace we are led slowly into the understanding of how great our sin and fallen nature as corrupted, in order that our apprehension of His grace may keep pace with our growing self-knowledge.

It was not for nothing that God let Satan loose upon His dear servant, Job. God loved Job with a perfect love; a love that could take account of everything, and, looking below the surface, could see the deep moral roots in the heart of His servant—roots which Job had never seen, and, therefore, never judged. What a mercy to have to do with such a God!

To be in the hands of One who will spare no pains in order to subdue everything in us which is contrary to Himself, and to bring out in us His own blessed image!

  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” (1 Pet. 5:6, 7).

We to shall wear a crown of sorrows before we wear a crown of joy. Like Job we will all be tested, bear up under it because it is the mark of kinship with Christ.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Thank you with all my heart those that comment,, hit the like button and pray. Thank you for all the bibles donated for our bible quizzes.

We have so many people emailing to be put on our prayer list, sometimes I can’t list them all. We had one guy that drove over 900 miles to hand us his prayer request, so he could be prayed over before surgery. I wept so deeply that this guy was so disconnected from any sort of community. God not only healed him but blessed him with a new heart and he is getting “plugged in” here in our little town. He’s now the unofficial greeter at Denny’s, handing out tracts and bibles and asking people if they need prayer.

God bless you all so much.

Band Aids (adult theme)

December 24, 2017

Ok, so here is my band aid theory.

Sex, so you’re a virgin band aid, still in the wrapper. You flirt, make out, heavy petting, outer course, the wrapper may show signs of wear but it’s still on.

Now any kind of sex, oral, anal, it’s sex and the wrapper is off.

Why is this a big deal?

There’s only so much adhesive on a band aid.

Peel it apart from another band aid and there’s less stickiness. Keep using the band aid and eventually there is no adhesiveness left.

Now the two band aids with no adhesiveness get married, where’s the glue?

After almost 40 years of marriage counseling, I want to tell you, sticky band aids really have something going for them.

So keep your wrapper on, save it for marriage and really stick together.

(this message was not sponsored by any commercial Band Aid product).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Bible quiz winner, for our odd question, the winner is Richard J, from Smithers, British Columbia (Canada). As an adopted Canadian I salute you. Having lots of Royal Mounted Police in the family as well as the Royal Canadian Air Force service, God save the Queen.

Oh and the answer was Papua New Guinea (country that has killed the most missionaries by cannibalism) of note, is that Ecuador comes in at ninth. I promise next time to come up with a better question and one more bible related.

Crushed

December 15, 2017

Isaiah 53:5

But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

Chuck Swindoll brought up an interesting viewpoint today. “THE GOD WHO CRUSHES”. If He would do this to His own Son, what would he do to us?

So he quoted part of this anonymous poem, here it is for you to ponder.

When God Wants To Drill A Man

When God wants to drill a man,

And thrill a man,

And skill a man

When God wants to mold a man

To play the noblest part;

When He yearns with all His heart

To create so great and bold a man

That all the world shall be amazed,

Watch His methods, watch His ways!

How He ruthlessly perfects

Whom He royally elects!

How He hammers him and hurts him,

And with mighty blows converts him

Into trial shapes of clay which

Only God understands;

While his tortured heart is crying

And he lifts beseeching hands!

How He bends but never breaks

When his good He undertakes;

How He uses whom He chooses,

And which every purpose fuses him;

By every act induces him

To try His splendor out-

God knows what He’s about.

Hopefully this helps or changes your viewpoint about our trials and hardships.

His goal is to have us like his Son.

See where I’m going with this?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Connie, her 4th miscarriage. She is devastated, so many emotions right now, keep her in prayer.

Pray for Ron K, Ron was in the porn business back in the 70’s, he accepted Jesus as his Savior yesterday. He’s in an accountability group, keep him in prayer, he is moving to a men’s camp for three months of discipleship and to stay away from the LA crowd.

NOTE: in our Pure Life Ministries we’ve seen dozens of folks associated in the porn business come to know the Lord. Some have gone on to have great marriages, others have stayed celibate, but if we can get them move away from the industry they make great strides in their growth.

the long road

December 12, 2017

Why me? Why now? What is God doing? Suffering is a tool God uses to get our attention and to accomplish His purposes in our lives. It is designed to build our trust in the Almighty, but suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. Suffering forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources.

Suffering is not in itself virtuous, nor is it a sign of holiness. It is also not a means of gaining points with God, or of subduing the flesh (as in asceticism). When it is possible, suffering is to be avoided. Christ avoided suffering unless it meant acting in disobedience to the Father’s will.

“In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man may not discover anything that will be after him” (Eccl. 7:14)

All suffering is not, for instance, a product of our own foolishness, self-induced misery, or sin. It is true, however, that rarely does suffering not reveal areas of need, areas of weakness, and wrong attitudes that need to be removed like dross in the gold-refining process (cf. 1 Pet. 1:6-7).

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:6-7)

No matter the reason, even if it is not God’s discipline for blatant carnality, it is a purifier for none of us will ever be perfect in this life.

Philippians 3:12-14 12 Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The question we must each face is not, ‘if’ we are going to have trials in life, but how will we respond to them?

1 Thessalonians 3:3 so that no man may be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this.

1 Peter 4:19 Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Suffering itself is not the thing that produces faith or maturity. It is only a tool that God uses to bring us to Himself so we will respond to Him and His Word. It forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources. It causes us to put first things first. Ultimately, it is the Word and the Spirit of God that produces faith and mature Christlike character (Ps. 119:67, 71).

talk to God, talk to a friend, get counseling, change doctors, don’t give up, express your self, be honest with your self, cry, there is a place a time when you will find yourself closer to God.

and most of all find a reason to laugh.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

HIJACKED

December 4, 2017

HI-JACKED

Susan Smith drowned her two toddlers by strapping them in their car seats and aiming her driver-less car into a lake. Political cartoonist John Deering drew a cartoon showing her car being hauled out of the lake, complete with a South Carolina license plate, a Baby-on-Board sign in the back window, and a Pro-Choice sticker on the rear bumper. There was no caption; there didn’t need to be. His point was clear: If it is wrong for a mother to choose to kill her toddlers, why is it not wrong to kill them a few months before?

A Planned Parenthood newsletter earlier this year ran an article titled, “Help Stop the Violence and Defend the Right to Choose.” The violence referred to was not killing babies, but killing abortion doctors. I’m against killing abortion doctors, but I’m also against Planned Parenthood which kills babies! Pro-choice means the choice to kill children who just aren’t as old as other children. The right to choose to kill your children should not be legal because it is not moral. Let’s drop the rhetoric.

The latest Planned Parenthood brochure says they are a good choice when it’s not convenient for you. Don’t wreck your plans your life call us when it’s inconvenient.

I want to recommend that you listen to Pastor Steven Davies, at Wisdom for the Heart ministries. And today’s sermon. 12/03/2017

He reads a speech by the president of Planned Parenthood, declaring that the services they provide are holy, sacred, and divine. That they are providing a sacred gift.

Ok, right now your blood pressure should have shot up, your fists curled and maybe a little cussing. Really, we can’t talk about our faith at work if you are a Christian, but an abortion clinic is holy, sacred and divine.

Dr. Walter Martin, the excellent author of the book “kingdom of the Cults.” Writes a great thesis in the beginning of his book, “we must agree what words mean.”

It started with Bill Clinton defining what sex meant, and now the language of God, of the Judeo-Christian world is being hijacked by abortionists. Do you want to know why? It because they are defying God, they are reprobates, their minds are darkened and they blaspheme God. It’s not politics it’s about the tower of Babel. What men think in their mind and imagination they will carry out against the wishes of their Creator.

Friends we need to pray for our country like never before and stop these ungodly people and their agenda.

if you have had an abortion, God loves you and forgives you.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

If you think about it, you will have to agree that sex is a subject frequently addressed in the Scriptures, both Old Testament and New. Though the Bible handles this subject matter much differently than the secular world, it does have much to say on the subject. I can only think of one reason for matters pertaining to sex to be so frequently discussed in the Bible—sexuality must be very closely related to spirituality.

The beliefs and practices of the Corinthian saints seem to vary greatly when it comes to matters of sexual values and conduct. We have already been introduced to the liberal extreme in chapters 5 and 6. In chapter 5, Paul rebukes the church at Corinth for failing to exercise church discipline on a man living in an incestuous relationship with his father’s wife. In the second half of chapter 6 (verses 12-20), Paul confronts those who feel that having sex with a prostitute is not contrary or detrimental to one’s spiritual life. There are those in Corinth whose sexual values are shocking, even to the pagan Corinthians (see 5:1).

What is so sad today is the idea that you can screw your brains out before marriage and then get married and have a great marriage and a normal sex life and a long healthy, happy marriage.

Well here’s the kicker, you can’t. having been a sex addictions counselor and marriage counselor for longer than I like to think. You can screw up your sex life so bad before marriage that you will never be normal. Why lie about it or try to convince yourself it’s all going to work out. It seldom does.

So here’s my advice, 1; protect your virginity. 2; absolutely no pornography. 3; no “other” kinds of sex, like thinking because it’s oral or anal “I’m saving myself.” 4; if you are not married and sexually active STOP. Also stop role playing, it starts our harmless and quickly leads to trouble.

Sex within the confines of marriage, without any kinky weird crap can be beautiful, satisfying and a blessing you will never regret.

No sex toys, no videos that are supposed to ‘help’ your sex life, no Karma Sutra, really you want sex advice from a country steeped in demonism.

Get real counseling from a godly pastor, ignore 99% of those billing themselves as Christian counselors, (they’re not).

And believe this; a person devoted to God can have a great marriage, with lots of help and accountability.

Well this isn’t what I planned but, hey must be for someone.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

cuts like a knife

September 7, 2017

I was asked to do some counseling at a major college today, and do a group therapy session and then presentation to an auditorium full of young girls. The reason, cutting and self mutilation has become epidemic on the campus.

For the most part, she’s like any other teenage kid. Sometimes brash, sometimes sweet; sometimes mature, sometimes childlike; sometimes carefree, sometimes melancholy. It’s those melancholy times that set her apart. She carves her pain into her arms with a razor blade, or burns it into her flesh with a lighter.

She’s not alone.  As its publicity grows through movies, TV shows, books and music, so do the number of teens (and preteens) who try it.  CNN now reports that 1 in 5 teens have intentionally harmed themselves at least once. Many try it initially because it’s trendy (especially in goth and emo subcultures), but move on.

A portion continue the behavior as stress management or punishment or because of the addictive high they get.

Most of the habitual self-injurers are girls. Many of them are high achievers, have eating disorders, and/or have been abused. Most feel high levels of pressure, stress or expectations. The most prevalent self-mutilation is cutting, but behaviors like burning, choking, and throwing oneself down stairs aren’t uncommon. Though violent, self-injury is not a suicide attempt.

Unfortunately, because awareness of the behavior is so new, medical and mental health professionals often don’t know what to do with these patients. Parents bring their kids to a professional for hope, but end up even more discouraged when that expert tells them she or he can’t help their child. Think of it as the early days of AIDS. Most doctors were as confused as anyone else. It’s the same here. Most organizations specializing in cutting, self-injury and self-mutilation are created by laypeople directly affected by the problem. The medical community has pockets of advancement, but they’re slow in coming.

Behavior to watch for includes trouble dealing with stress, has an eating disorder, covers their arms or legs in all weather (wearing long-sleeved shirts, wide bracelets or sweatbands on their wrists, avoids swimming, etc) and explains away injuries.

If someone you know is a self-injurer, getting specialized help quickly is key. Find experts who deal specifically with this problem. They may need to be removed from people and media that encourage the behavior. They will also need your prayer support, unconditional love and a shame-free safe environment. For most habitual self-injurers, the problem won’t go away on it’s own. Our kids are under attack, and they need people to stand up and rescue them.

you need to check your kids social networks on a regular basis. Put a software program on your computer that will track and also keep them from web sites that can promote this behavior.

Don’t be shocked, Girls as young as nine years old are being pressured to have sex. I’m just going to be blunt here, let your young girl dress like a slut at age 7 and up and you are putting them at risk. Seriously,  get rid of your TV. no computer in the bedroom, have a community computer in the kitchen or dining room. Put locks on your kids bedroom windows to keep them from sneaking out. Put tracking programs on their cellphones.

It’s 1984 and your Big Brother. don’t be naive, talk to your kids everyday, about every topic in the world so they will talk to you about anything and everything.

Don’t put your head in the sand. My daughter was raped at church camp, cutting became her way of dealing with it. It’s taken 30 years for her to deal with it and be a healthy young woman physically, mentally and spiritually.

if you feel your in over your head get help.

God Bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

what the hell

July 6, 2017

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

WE INTERRUPT THIS REGULAR SCHEDULE BROADCAST FOR THIS EMERGENCY BROADCAST.

REMEMBER THAT SOUND ON THE RADIO, ANNOYING ISN’T IT, WELL THIS IS AN EMERGENCY DEVOTIONAL.

I RECEIVED AN EMAIL ON SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM THAT WAS SUCH AN IMPORTANT TOPIC THAT I FELT IT MUST BE COVERED HERE RIGHT NOW.

FIRST LET ME SAY THIS, REMEMBER A FEW DEVOTIONALS BACK WHEN I MENTIONED THE SHORT LIST VERSUS THE LONG LIST AND THAT ONE WAS WORTH FIGHTING OVER, WELL I JUST ADDED ONE MORE ITEM TO THE SHORT LIST AND SERIOUSLY I WILL FIGHT OVER THIS ONE.

NOW YOU NEED TO KNOW A LITTLE EXTRA ABOUT ME SO I CAN PUT THE FEAR OF GOD INTO YOU, I’VE BEEN SHOT ONCE, STABBED TWICE AND LITERALLY SCALPED WITH A CROWBAR. I’VE BEEN IN 3 CONFRONTATIONS THAT COULD HAVE ENDED IN MY DEATH BESIDES THE ONES MENTIONED ABOVE.

SO MY POINT, I THINK VIOLENCE HAS A VALID POINT TO CONVINCING SOMEONE I’M SERIOUS. I KNOW ALL YOU SUGAR CONE CHRISTIANS ARE FROTHING AT THE MOUTH AND TALKING ABOUT LOVE AND HARMONY BUT LET ME TELL YOU WHAT HAS ME ALL WORKED UP.

BACK TO THE EMAIL, SO BASICALLY IT GOES LIKE THIS, “PASTOR, I WAS JUST AT A BIBLE STUDY AND WAS TOLD THAT I WAS POSSESSED BY AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT AND THAT IT NEEDED TO BE DEALT WITH AND THEY PRAYED IT OUT OF ME.”

RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGEEEE, (RAGE, IF YOU HAVE DYSLEXIA)

THIS IS A CHRISTIAN PERSON BEING TOLD BY A CHRISTIAN LEADER THAT CHRISTIANS CAN BE POSSESSED.

FIRST LET ME START WITH THIS BIBLE VERSE AND ITS ONE YOU LIKELY WON’T BE THINKING OF STARTING WITH. THE APOSTLE PAUL SAYS; “WE ARE TO MARK THOSE WHO DISTORT THE TRUTHS OF THE BIBLE.” THE WORD “MARK” IN GREEK LITERALLY MEANS TO PUNCH OR STRIKE SOMEONE IN THE FACE SO THAT THEY ARE BRUISED AND PEOPLE CAN SEE IT AND KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED.

WAY TO GO APOSTLE PAUL, YOUR SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE, IF I RAN INTO A CHRISTIAN LEADER, PASTOR, ETC AND HEARD THIS KIND OF THING COMING OUT OF THEIR MOUTH, I WOULD WARN THEM TO STOP VERY STRONGLY WARN THEM TO STOP.

I ONCE HAD A HUSBAND WHO WAS BEATING HIS BLIND WIFE, I WENT TO HIS HOUSE AND WHEN HE OPENED THE DOOR I PUNCHED HIM IN THE FACE, AND THEN SAID TO HIM, “YOU DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING, DID YOU, WELL NEITHER DOES SHE.” THEY HAVE NOW BEEN MARRIED 55 YEARS AND THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANOTHER ACT OF VIOLENCE, AND HE COMES TO CHURCH ON A REGULAR BASIS. SO MAYBE A PUNCH IN THE NOSE REALLY WORKS.

WELL LETS PRETEND I’M REALLY SPIRITUAL AND REAL MATURE AND HANDLE IT LIKE A REGULAR, NORMAL PASTOR (YOU CAN’T HEAR THIS BUT I’M LAUGHING MY A$$ OFF RIGHT NOW, ME NORMAL, STOP IT YOUR KILLING ME.)

SO BIBLE VERSES TO HELP

 2 Corinthians 1:22-23

New English Translation (NET)

22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment

 

Ephesians 1:13

New English Translation (NET)

13 And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit,

 

Ephesians 4:30

New English Translation (NET)

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A CHRISTIAN TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, SEALED FOR CHRIST, MARKED FOR CHRIST, AND TO BE POSSESSED BY ANY OTHER EVIL OR DEMONIC SPIRIT.

WE ARE ONLY CAPABLE AS A VESSEL DEDICATED TO GOD TO BE ENTERED INTO BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, NONE OTHER SPIRIT THAT IS EVIL CAN ENTER INTO US. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THIS NUT JOBS SAY, THEY WILL TYPICALLY USE THE FOLLOWING TWISTED LOGIC; “WELL YOU MUST HAVE USED A OUIJAS BOARD BEFORE YOU GOT SAVED AND THAT’S’ HOW IT GOT IN, OR YOU READ HOROSCOPES, OR SAW A MEDIUM OR MESSED WITH BLACK MAGIC; AND WHEN YOU GOT SAVED THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS BEEN STRUGGLING WITH THIS OTHER SPIRIT AND THAT’S WHY YOU ARE HAVING THESE PROBLEMS.”

REALLY, ANOTHER CONFESSION, (OH DEAR) I WAS IN A BLACK SATANIC CULT, DRANK URINE, HAD HOLY WAFERS OF COMMUNION SPREAD WITH MENSTRUAL BLOOD, DID ALL THE WEIRD SEX, MAGIC BULLSH!T. AND I CAN TELL YOU WHEN I GOT SAVED, BORN AGAIN, BLOOD WASHED, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT THERE WAS NO PROBLEM WITH BEING 100% FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. THERE IS NOTHING ELSE LIVING IN ME BESIDES THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND THE STUPID PART OF ME THAT TRIPS ME UP MORE THAN I LIKE.

SO WATCH OUT,, SPEAK SUCH LIES IN FRONT OF ME AND I MAY NOT BE VERY PASTORAL. 

SORRY IF YOUR OFFENDED BY MY CARNAL ANGER AND TALK OF VIOLENCE, BUT REALLY IF YOU ARE ONE OF THESE LYING, DEGRADING, CHURCH LEADERS I WILL CALL YOU OUT TO FACE THE MUSIC.

better yet

June 25, 2017

19 ways to say I will

Since his death in 1758, Jonathan Edwards has become recognized as one of America’s greatest pastors, theologians and thinkers. But there was a time, says church historian Sean Lucas, when Jonathan Edwards wasn’t the Jonathan Edwards we know.

 At 19, Edwards began writing a list of 70 resolutions. His goal in making and keeping resolutions wasn’t self-fulfillment but the glory of God. Edwards would later write, “I felt in me a burning desire to be in everything a complete Christian.”

 In a list similar to the one created by Edwards, Scottish theologian Sinclair Ferguson compiled 19 suggested resolutions from the book of James that can help shape our own lives:

  1. Ask God for wisdom to speak and with a single mind (see 1:5)

  2. Boast only in exaltation in Christ (see 1:9–10)

  3. Set a watch over your mouth (see 1:13)

  4. Be constantly quick to hear, slow to speak (see 1:19)

  5. Learn the gospel way of speaking to the poor and the rich (see 2:1–4)

  6. Speak always in the consciousness of the final judgment (see 2:12)

  7. Never claim as reality something you do not experience (see 3:14)

  8. Resist quarrelsome words (see 4:1)

  9. Never speak evil of another (see 4:11)

  10. Never boast in what you will accomplish (see 4:13)

  11. Always speak as one subject to the providences of God (see 4:15)

  12. Never grumble (see 5:9)

  13. Never allow anything but total integrity in your speech (see 5:12)

  14. Speak to God in prayer whenever you suffer (see 5:13)

  15. Sing praises to God whenever you are cheerful (see 5:13)

  16. Ask for the prayers of others when you are sick (see 5:14)

  17. Confess it freely whenever you have failed (see 5:15)

  18. Pray with and for one another when you are together with others (see 5:15)

  19. Speak words of restoration when you see another wander (see 5:19)

  Want a tip for how to apply these resolutions to your own life? Over the next five to six weeks, highlight three or four of these resolutions and add them to your daily routine. Continue the process until you’ve added all 19. Mark off a date 90 days from today on your calendar or journal to reflect and pray about how these resolutions have changed your heart and character.

I’m not sure where this fits on the list of questions I get asked, but it has to be near the top 10, “how can I be a better Christian?”

This would be a good start, blessing y’all

From scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com