Julian

December 1, 2018

Which calendar shapes your life?
If you’re a student (or a parent) the school calendar has a profound influence on your life. Much of your schedule will revolve around the semesters, spring and summer breaks, and other events that fill the year. Similarly, if you’re a worker your year might revolve around tax day, national holidays or fiscal-year planning.

Throughout history, people have aligned their lives around a communal schedule. For the Hebrews, the calendar centered on the appointed festivals of the Lord (see Lev 23:2), which included the Sabbath, Passover, and the Festival of Weeks, among others. (which also is calendar of all the major events of Christ’s life)

The Christian church followed a similar pattern, centering their calendar on feast days such as Epiphany and Christmas. The Gregorian calendar, the most widely used civil calendar, was even created in 1582 to make scheduling of Easter more consistent. Today, many churches follow the pattern of the Puritans, who believed following the Christian year calendar (also called the liturgical or church calendar) violated their liberty of conscience (many Puritans refused to celebrate any holidays besides the Lord’s Day).

But even if your particular tradition doesn’t follow the Christian calendar, here are two reasons you might want to observe it for your own spiritual benefit:
1. To center our focus on Jesus—Instead of having our calendar focus on national holidays or sports seasons, the Christian calendar shifts our focus to the key events in the life of Jesus.

“The Christian Year is fundamentally a way to sanctify time and define our lives according to the unfolding narrative of redemption by structuring the year around the central redemptive acts of God in the Messiah.”
2. To reorder our spiritual lives—The Christian calendar can serve as a helpful framework for our spiritual disciplines. By ordering our lives around the major seasons of the Christian year, our focus shifts from the temporal to the eternal. Spiritual formation activities, such as prayer and Bible reading, are easier to fit into a calendar that emphasizes Christ.

So there is a topic you may never thought of before in your spiritual walk.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

keep praying for Richard Perales, SR. and JR. his mom says that the changes occuring in them has been incredible.

Housekeeping note, questions, comments, prayer requests, send to our email address please.

Pray for Todd B, severe spinal degeneration.

 

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.

John-Wayne-p15

I’ve mentioned this before but want to revisit the situation. This seems to be a frequent conversation with new folks coming to church. I always ask them where their from, how did they happen to visit us. And this is the gist of the conversation.

I can walk into any bar or tavern. And say; “I’m cheating on my wife, my taxes, my boss, I’ve shot the neighbor’s cat and I just found out my mistress is HIV positive.”

And someone will come over and by me a drink. Or someone will come over and say; “I know what you’re saying.”

But have any failure in a Christian environment and well they shoot horses don’t they.

Mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, brotherhood, fraternity, grace, support, join AA because you may not get it from church.

Doesn’t seem to happen. It’s seems the membership for church is perfect people getting saved and leading perfect lives. Don’t dare tell them your past, you’ll find yourself not asked for dinner after the Sunday service.

Yet Jesus live and visited with the worst of his day, sinners. He laughed with them, broke bread with them and invited them to know Him better.

How can we expect a body of believers to grow intimate with each other when we hide our past, keep secret our current struggles and shove out anyone that fails?

So by pretending to be perfect we become false. And the brother or sister in Christ is afraid to share their struggles and failures, because on Sunday morning everyone is lying and saying, “all is well” and “I’m just fine.”

We don’t have an actual church plan in place to help the brother or sister to restoration, just condemnation and forced out of fellowship.

There must be a balance in church, yes, the mature believers acknowledging the less mature and their failures. And the saint that falls, needs support not an exodus.

Let’s pray that we as believers are gentler, more forgiving, and willing to acknowledge we are forgiven but still fall short of perfection.

There may be a time for the rod, but we are to quick to use it.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Barbara D, her battle with cancer is taking a great toll.

Pray for Gwen that is struggling financially.

Pray for Lisa M, that she realizes people are more important than numbers

Pray for Karey, a Jehovah Witness member, she seems to realize that she is not a true believer in Christ, but is open to learning more.

the weaving of a prayer

November 25, 2018

(HANG IN THERE WE ARE ALMOST DONE)

Luke 11:2-4 And He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be You name. Your kingdom come. 3 ‘Give us each day our daily bread. 4 ‘And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’”

We have observed something of the prayer life of our Lord which undoubtedly was a large part of the motivation behind the request of the unnamed disciple in verse one, “Lord, teach us to pray.” For our Lord, prayer was the most natural and necessary aspect of His existence. In answer to this request of Luke 11:1, our Lord gave what is popularly known as the Lord’s Prayer. In reality, it was the disciples’ prayer and provides us with a model or pattern for biblical and effective prayer.

This is an excellent passage in teaching new believers about prayer because it covers a number of categories which are important to prayer.

Two things this prayer is not:

(1) It is not and was never intended to be a ritual prayer to be formally and liturgically recited. It was a model designed by our Lord to show the nature of prayer and what prayer should consist of by way of content. There is nothing wrong, of course, with reading or reciting it together as we would any passage of Scripture for a certain focus or emphasis or as a reminder of truth. I am convinced, however, it was never meant to be simply recited as a prayer to God in place of personal prayer poured out to God from the heart. Compare the translation of the Living Bible: Luke 11:1b reads, “Lord, teach us a prayer to recite just as John taught one of his disciples.” In a footnote to this verse the translator has added the word, “Implied.” But is it really implied, or is this translation a product of religious tradition that does not have its roots in what this passage was intended to teach?

(2) It was certainly never intended to be used as an amulet or special words to protect someone when in danger. Perhaps you have seen films where people were in some kind of danger and they prayed the Lord’s Prayer in this fashion.

The prayer divides into two sections marked out by the pronouns, “your,” and “us.”

  • The “your” section points us to God and concerns our relationship with Him regarding His person, character, being, purposes, and activity on earth.

  • The “us” section deals with our needs as they are related to God and His activity and purposes in our lives here on earth.

This is no accident. First, we start with God and then we go to ourselves. Here is an important principle in all worship of which prayer is but one mode and means. In prayer, as in everything, our Lord teaches us to put God first. Why? Because this puts everything in the right perspective, it gives us the right viewpoint about life, one that sees beyond our own very limited scope. This is important so that we might genuinely focus our hearts and minds on the who and what of God, that we might seek first the rule and righteousness of God, and that we might walk with Him in obedience and under His enablement, direction, and protection.

As a tear magnifies sorrow and as laughter magnifies joy, so prayer (a form of worship wherein we count on the worth of God) must first magnify the Lord if our prayers are to have the proper result in our lives—confidence, faith, and direction into the will of God.

Prayer is a means of entering into the joy and confidence of God’s love, provision, direction, and presence. It is a way to focus on the Who and What of God—God’s person, plan, principles, promises, and purposes. This kind of praying glorifies the Lord and demonstrates our desire for relationship with God, along with obedience. It is comforting to our hearts because it brings God into our vision along with His purposes.

This first emphasis by our Lord exposes what is often a fatal weakness in our own prayers. We tend to begin with “us” rather than with “Your.” We rush into God’s presence pleading for “our” petitions, “our” needs, “our” problems and, as a result, we become problem oriented and frantic rather than God oriented and relaxed in His sovereignty (cf. Ps. 46:10, “Be still [cease striving] and know that I am God”).

We need to focus on the Lord first to get the perspective of Jeremiah 32:27. Concerning the fulfillment of God’s covenant promises to Israel and to keep the Prophet’s eyes on the Lord, we find this word to the Prophet: “the Word of the LORD came to Jeremiah saying, ‘Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is anything to difficult for Me?’” (Jer. 32:27).

We need the praise and focus of God in Psalm 100 before the petitions of Psalm 102.

WHEN WE PRAY: THE TIME ELEMENT (V. 2A)

When you pray say.”

It is significant, I believe, that no commands are given as to time or how often. Why? Because prayer is more than a mere religious routine we go through as it is in some religions in which worshippers recite certain words and bow in a certain direction specified times of the day. Scheduled prayer is certainly scriptural and a godly pattern to have as with Daniel (Dan. 6:10), and David (Ps. 55:16-21), but, as with both David and Daniel, it should always be the response of a heart which desires communion with God and depends on Him in the same way man naturally takes in oxygen through the process of breathing. This is seen in the cry of the psalmist, “As the deer pants (heavy breathing) for the water brooks, So my soul pants for Thee, O God” (Ps. 42.1)

Two things about this cry of the psalmist: First, his entreaty expresses our need. We need the Lord and we need to drink from His fountain of life through the Word and prayer—our means of hearing Him and responding to Him. But second, his entreaty also expresses what should be a recognized reality in each of us. As the psalmist, we should long to communicate with our God. Prayer is to be an expression of our longing for intimacy with God and to enter into His strength and will.

WHY WE PRAY: THE NATURE OF PRAYER (V. 2A)

“When you pray say.”

“Pray” is the Greek word proseucomai from pros, stressing direction, closeness, and eucomai, “to ask, request.” The basic meaning of this word (along with its uses) looks at prayer as an avenue of drawing near to God in worship and dependence because we see Him as the all-sufficient one and ourselves as insufficient. Prayer becomes one of the means by which we draw near to the Lord and His sufficiency and submit to Him.

“Say” is the Greek word, “legw.” It gives prominence to the thought processes in choosing the words spoken because of their meaning. Originally, it meant “to pick and choose” and this is precisely what we generally do in speech unless we are talking gibberish. Legw reminds us of our need to carefully choose our words as opposed to praying as mere religious rote without careful thought. It should remind us of the conversational nature of our prayer or communication with God.

“Say” is what we call in Greek grammar, a present iterative imperative. As an iterative present it describes an event which is, as a command, to occur repeatedly, over and over again. The idea is when you pray, consistently pray in the following manner or example, but not repetitiously by rote, reciting these words as a mere repeated ritual, the problem Jesus addressed earlier in Matthew 6:7.

Reasons why it does not refer to a prayer to be merely recited.

(1) Matthew 6:5-7 is a specific warning against praying in a repetitious manner and the warning there is followed by this teaching which gives us a model for prayer. To view this as a prayer to be repetitiously repeated would be in conflict with the previous command.

(2) The parallel passage of Matthew 6:9 adds the words, “in this way.” This is the Greek $outwswhich could very will be rendered, “in this manner” or “after this manner.” In other words, what follows is to be taken as a model for prayer, not as a prayer to be memorized and merely recited.

(3) In the epistles of the New Testament, this prayer is never repeated though its pattern or principles are basically followed in one way or another.

(4) This understanding fits with the warning of Isaiah 29:13 which the Lord quoted against the religious externalism of the Israelites of His day.

Prayer is the thoughtful exercise of the heart and the mind through which we seek to draw near to God in worship and dependence on Him because of who He is as our sovereign God and support.

the behavior of prayer

November 24, 2018

The secret garden part ?

(1) Prayer should demonstrate a total consciousness of our need, a sense of our complete inadequacy along with a sense of God’s complete adequacy and willingness.

2 Corinthians 2:16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,

(2) Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of God’s ever present willingness.

(3) Prayer is not for emergency use only, when we get in a pinch and need someone to bail us out.

(4) Prayer is not an “Aladdin’s Lamp” or a trip to the wishing well for our wants.

(5) By contrast, prayer is a means of intimate communion, fellowship, and dependence upon God the Father who has promised to work in and through us through His Son, just as God worked through Him.

(6) Prayer is for everyday living, moment by moment.

(7) Prayer is a means of claiming God’s promises and knowing and becoming abandoned to God’s will.

In John 14:10-14, note the relationship to prayer mentioned in verses 13-14 and the works we, as disciples, are to do in verse 12.

John 14:10-14 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. “And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

There is no activity in the life of a believer which does not require a prayerful attitude—a prayerful dependence on and an expectation that God is at work and will work according to His purposes and leading. In ourselves we can do nothing. Christianity is living by faith in the Creator God who dwells in us, and prayer is God’s means for us to draw upon Christ’s miraculous life. Christianity is as Paul expressed it in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me.” Faith for a committed believer is expressed in intimate, prayerful living.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Raylene M, shoulder surgery today.

Pray for Macy G, she is a world traveler and has contracted something and the doctors don’t know how to treat it.

Pray Gwen, finances

Pray for Hector R, retired police officer and both him and his wife are about to go crazy.

AH HAH!

November 9, 2018

 shout

“He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit (with Him)” (1 Cor. 6:17).

1 Corinthians 6:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

  We are one spirit with the Lord Jesus by the one and only Holy Spirit.

  “I can always know when the Holy Spirit is leading me, because He ever occupies me with the Lord Jesus. True, He may have to call attention to my own condition, but if He does, He turns me to the Lord Jesus, not merely to convict me, but to relieve me.

Spiritual growth is the Holy Spirit engraving the Lord Jesus on a man’s heart, putting Him into his thoughts, his words, and his ways, just as the Law was engraved upon stones. It is not that there is no failure. A man who is seeking to make money does not always succeed; but everybody knows what his object is. Just so, the Lord Jesus Christ is the object of the believer’s life.

 The believer is not to clamor for the solution of perplexities or for intellectual mastery of divine mysteries. What knowledge he has in this realm is his because the Holy Spirit has declared it to him; and for the Spirit’s declaration he must wait.

 None of us is ever beyond the work of the Spirit in us. What amazes me the most is that after 42 years of pastoring and counseling, each day I’m blessed by some new nugget, a kernel, a different facet to the Word of God. It truly is new every day.

And all those “ah hah” moments, brought to you by The Holy Spirit.

  “He (the Holy Spirit) shall glorify Me” (John 16:14).

Remember Richard Perales, that he comes to saving knowledge, hopefully before the bottom falls out.

Pray for Barbara D, for strength and encouragement during her very long battle with cancer.

Pray for Danny F, it’s time to come home.

Pray for all the prodigals’ and give hope to the parents.

  “Everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness” (Heb. 5:13).

  The Reformation, for all of its rise from Rome, to this day has never really gotten off the ground.

 Almost all the theology of the various ‘creeds of Christendom’ dates back to the Reformation, which went triumphantly to the end of Romans Five, and, so far as theological development or presentation of the truth was concerned, stopped there.

 The contrast between denominations is painful in the extreme between the uniform language of the New Testament about Christians as thus called to worship in liberty and joy and nearness to the Father, and all those stuffy churches whose formality of liturgies both ancient and modern; and this because the results of redemption soon became merged and hidden in Jewish forms, and the law was recalled to the place of the Holy Spirit, and man in the flesh intruded wholesale into realms which belong only to those solemnly accredited as God’s Church, the Body of Christ.

 The liturgies of ritualism merely fall back upon the feelings of man, with a slight tincture of Gospel and a large infusion of law. There may be sublime language and glowing ideas, chiefly borrowed from the Old Testament; but in substance they are utterly beneath spiritual or even intelligent Christian use.

The more formal the worship is, the more ceremony and pomp, the more costumes and mumbling of creeds, the more gilded the cross, the robes and rings. The more you can be sure Jesus has left the building.

I’d like to insert a joke here, “do you know why Episcopalians aren’t allowed to belong to a chess club?????? because they can’t tell the difference between a king and a queen.”

If the Word of God is not held as relevant, inspired, inerrant, and infallible, then that church really serves no place in God’s divine scheme. (I’ve poked enough fun at Pentecostals that I feel it only fair to acknowledge the clown show or the pomp and circumstance club that pays homage to humanity only. Their creed now reads, diversity, inclusion and universalism. Please stop by and purchase a pew and a brick with your name on it for the church roll and you will be given the keys to heaven. (really?)

I find it very interesting that the formal mainline denominations have added a contemporary service that imitates a Pentecostal/Charismatic flavor, yet salvation is still just a membership. They’ve learned all the vocabulary, so now you have to talk to them just like you were talking to any cult member.

  “The only thing that God ever acknowledged in religion and ritualism was Jewish. It all had to do with the flesh. That is repudiated in the Cross; all is crucified: your life is now ‘hid with Christ in God’ (Col. 3:3).”

  “But solid food belongeth to them that are of full age” (Heb. 5:14).

We have a special prayer request, pray for Richard Perales, unsaved, bitter, a half a day from going to jail, rebellious, angry, unforgiving. He is breaking his mother’s heart.

FROM THE BEGINNING

November 6, 2018

faith-origin“God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13).

  To be Christ-centered, we must be Spirit-dependent.

It is basically the belief of the truth; it is not belief of the fruits. The Holy Spirit cannot present to me the fruit He has produced in me, as the object of my faith. He speaks to me of my faults, of my sins, but not of the good works that may be in me. He produces them in me, but He hides them from me; for if we think of them, it is but a more subtle self-righteousness. It is like the manna which, being kept, produced worms. All is spoilt—it is no more faith in action. The Holy Spirit must always present to me the Lord Jesus Christ, that I may grow and have peace.

  “An understanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is basic to Christian growth. Spirituality is Christ-likeness, and Christ-likeness is the fruit of the Spirit. Spiritual power is not the miraculous or the spectacular, but rather the consistent manifestation of the characteristics of the Lord Jesus in the believer’s life. All this is the work of the Spirit, of whom the Lord Jesus said, ‘He shall glorify Me’ (John 16:14).

  “What are the ingredients of spirituality? First, a spirit of dependence, whatever may be the state of faith and the blessings we may have realized. Secondly, an entire confidence in the goodness of the Father; for He is love. Thirdly, the Lord Jesus as the constant object of the affections of the heart, for the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart is to fill it with contemplation of and fellowship with the Lord Jesus in glory.”

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Connie’s daughter, she’s 17 and in a bike accident broke her hands, her wrists and her arms. It will be 3 months before they know if she will get back the use of her hands.

Pray for Don K, Vietnam Vet, he’s in hospice, has maybe a week left, pray that sometime in this week he will be lucid enough to say goodbye to his wife and kids.

Remember Steve H, and his family in prayer

  “Study to show thyself approved unto God” (2 Tim. 2:15a).

  There is as much error produced in failing to divide the Word at all, as there is in wrongly dividing it.

 Covenant Theology, at the utmost, is forgiveness of sins and divine favor enjoyed; and all that concerns their position in the Lord Jesus is ignored, or alas! guarded against as dangerous. Men are placed under the New Covenant which does not go beyond remission of sins and the law written in the heart. But being in Christ, and knowing it by the Holy Spirit, and what it involves now has dropped out of their creed altogether.

We are come ‘to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant’ (Heb. 12:24). We are not come to the new covenant, but to Jesus the Mediator of it. I am associated with Him who is the Mediator; that is a much higher position than if we merely come to the covenant. He will make this new covenant with Israel on the millennial earth.

  “Non-dispensational teachers have endeavored to bring over the many promises of the physical and material aspects of kingdom salvation into the present dispensation, giving hope of material prosperity and physical health, as well as political peace. Failure to realize these promised goals has caused many to lose faith and to become bitter toward God Himself. The failure, of course, is not of God, but of teachers who have refused to rightly divide the Word of Truth.”

  “Calvin attempted by discipline of Church and State to make everyone live like a Christian—as did the Puritans as a result. This effort resulted in the need to use the Old Testament rather than the New as an ethical guide.”

  “A workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15b)

Ask God for wisdom and read His word and you will work out a lot on your own. If you have questions about something being taught, ask others and study for yourself. As I have recommended before, “The Application Study Bible” is one of the best study bibles to start with.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments or prayer requests please feel free to use our email address.

And one common question about prayer requests; “is it ok to ask us to pray for someone and not give a name”, yes of course.

So for all those “unspoken” requests and private prayer requests, they are being prayed for but please tell us the good news when the prayers are answered.