Green and Mean

October 17, 2017

In the Marines they used to say, “there is no black, there is no white there is just green. And then there is the Law, you will follow every order…”

Semper Fi, just the Corp, all green, all Marine.

Wow, pretty simple, no Black Panthers, the Weathermen, Brown Berets, KKK, Aryan Army, no Black Lives matters. (half of you probably never heard of some of these terms, which is good thing).

Just folks, you and me, me and Jesus, you and Jesus. Christianity is and was the great equalizer. It was and is radical. No historical figure ever said, “come unto to me all that are heavy burdened.”

All, the gospel of Luke, follows the story through the genealogical trail of women. The book of Ruth, no direct mention of God, just His shadow.

In the book of Genesis, the first chapter “the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.” It is a feminine noun, in Egyptian it is the hieroglyphic of a mother bird, hovering over its nest.

No Race, no color, the bible says Jesus had no appearance or figure, shape, outward shape that was distinguished or notable. He was average.

Simple, we inhabit one planet, we are the human race, one family of being. Follow the law.

You want to not get shot by a cop, follow the law, when he says drop the gun, drop the gun, when he says get out of the car get out of the car. Respect and politeness goes a long way.

It’s not about race, it’s about obedience. We can have anarchy or we can have peace.

Follow God’s law and the same thing happens, peace.

Follow God’s plan, know peace.

Do you know that in the early history of America, you couldn’t become a lawyer until you had a Divinity Degree, because our laws are based on the bible. My how times have changed.

Well I told you no more questions, follow the plan.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

A SECRET AFFAIR

October 14, 2017

Here are three ways men are called to serve their wives:

  1. Sacrifice unto death—The most important way a husband can love his wife like Christ loved the church is to sacrifice himself for her sake. Consider the (negative) example of Abraham. When he moved into the region of the Negev, he feared that some man might kill him to take his wife, so he claimed Sarah was his sister (see Ge 20:2). This was the second time Abraham tried to pull this ruse (see Ge 12:10–13), putting his own safety ahead of his wife’s. Abraham had it backward; as Sarah’s husband, he should have been willing to die for his bride—just as Jesus died for his.

  1. Be Christ to her—Because of a misunderstanding of Biblical authority, many wives cringe at the idea of having to “submit” to their husbands. But as the husband is Christ to the wife (who represents the church), submission becomes a two-way street. “Jesus himself teaches that, at least for Christians, authority must manifest itself not in the exercise of power but in service that finds its ultimate expression in sacrifice.”

  1. Lead her into holiness—God’s intention for our lives is that we be made holy. One way he does that is by having a husband model and channel the love of Christ. A husband should therefore forgive, pray for and encourage his wife to engage in disciplines that lead to her sanctification (see Eph 5:25–27).

There are many things I fail at, but the one thing I’m really good at is being married and a good husband. We have a marriage and a friendship that is stellar. I can’t tell you how many times in restaurants people have come up and asked if we just got married. My wife is always pleased that we are romantic in public. Women have followed my wife into the restroom and asked if we were having an affair (which I find deeply disturbing on so many levels).

Our marriage seminars have great alumni, that keep coming back to make sure they are still kindling a fire.

I think we are particularly fortunate in that we were high school sweethearts, we dated almost 2 and half years. We spent every weekend with each other’s parents (or in our case grandparents, we were both raised by our grandparents, which gave us a little older value system). Completely different in temperaments but the same religious values and both wanted great marriages as we both saw our birth parents fail miserably.

As a marriage counselor and pastor let me tell you two danger signals I see in a marriage, and I’m not joking, separate bank accounts and separate vacations. I would have to check my records to be sure, but after 40 years in ministry and 43 years married, I see that being a path way to disaster.

One other thing, shortly after being married (3 months) we moved 1500 hundred miles away (military) we had nothing but each other and everything we owned fit into a 1962 Chevy impala, and I mean everything we owned.

Good marriages are from attention to detail. Appreciation and expression. I make sure I hug or kiss her at least 10 times a day. (probably a lot higher). We are strange in that we don’t watch TV so we talk a lot, we share books, so I guess we are really a cult with just two people in it.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Roberta, hip surgery,

Remember Jennifer, oct 31 cataract surgery.

Pray of Bill O, he fell on a cruise and hurt himself pretty bad, one broke rib, and 3-4 ribs cracked.

 

ONE WAY IN

October 12, 2017

It’s a real pity that the Word of Faith movement, lying tv evangelists, screwed up Pentecostals, whacked out charismatics, have made talking about faith seem like leprosy. Now for those that don’t know or forgot, I’m eminently qualified to talk about this particular group, as I pastored a Pentecostal church for over 27 years before I had a complete change of mind about how important or should I say less important the “the second blessing” was.

Now don’t get me wrong I still believe in the gifts of the spirit and have seen to many miracles to throw out the baby with the bath water. But I’ve also seen the toxic faith, cult like control and hyper faith movement gone off the track and wreck lives and derail the faith of many folks.

The key word is balance.

The most important thing in the believing Christian’s life isn’t’ speaking in tongues, it’s a biblically centered, sound theological understanding of faith.

The measure of your life’s accomplishment and your victory is your faith. The Bible clearly, concisely, convincingly, and compellingly tells us that, “According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29). Now, let me tell you something, the identifying mark of a Christian is his faith. As a matter of fact, Christians were called believers before they were called Christians. Faith is the identifying mark of a Christian. But, not only is it his identifying mark it is his chief duty. You have no greater duty than to just simply believe God. John 6:29: “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe.” Isn’t that something? This is the work of God that ye believe.

Glorifying God, by our faith in Him. That’s your chief and main duty. That’s it, that’s the cake, everything else is just frosting.

Now, if faith is the chief duty, then unbelief is the greatest evil. There is no greater sin than the sin of unbelief. As a matter of fact, that’s the sin that will consign you to Hell for eternity. The Bible says in John 3:18: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Not because he steals, not because he murders or lies, not because of his lust of pride, but because he believes not. Unbelief is the mother sin, the father sin, the parent sin, and the sin out of which all other sins grow.

What determines your eternal home is either faith in Christ, go to heaven or unbelief in Christ, you condemn yourself to hell. It’s that simple.

You can stand on the highest platform and yell to the top of your lungs that there is no God. You can get a PhD in philosophy and sound smart. You can say your prayers were never answered, the list goes on. The fact is unbelief is a sin and the mark of a fool.

The Bible makes one statement four times. In Habakkuk 2:4, in Hebrews 10:38, in Galatians 3:11, and in Romans 1:17 there is one verse that is repeated four times. Do you want me to tell you what it is? “The just shall live by faith.” Do you have it? The just shall live by faith. Four times God says that the just shall live by faith. The just shall live by faith, the just shall live by faith, the just shall live by faith. Do you get the idea God is trying to tell us something? Yes, He is and I’ll tell you what it is. The just shall live by faith. My dear friend, the way that you live the Christian life is by faith.

If you are in the heavenly choir shout amen, if there is a large hole in your heart and you are the most miserable of all people, pray to God that Jesus is real and you’d like to have it, believe it. bend your stubborn neck and look at the mess you’ve made of your life and ask Jesus, the Son of God, THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN. Into your heart.

Friend I hope you make that decision, if you have questions or need to talk, email me at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Just so you know I check my emails late at night so don’t be discouraged if it takes me a day to get back to you.

God bless and have faith.

rabble?

October 10, 2017

Numbers 11:4-35

One would expect that God’s response to Israel’s grumbling (fire from heaven) in verses 1-3 would have silenced any future protest, but this was hardly the case. The “mixed multitude” (some translations say “rabble”) who accompanied the Israelites when they left Egypt (Exodus 12:38) began to complain. Was it due to some very unpleasant or dangerous circumstance? Hardly. These folks complained that their food wasn’t as good as the food they had eaten in Egypt:

4 Now the mixed multitude who were among them craved more desirable foods, and so the Israelites wept again, and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we used to eat freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 6 But now we are dried up, and there is nothing at all before us except the manna.” 7 Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color like the color of bdellium. 8 And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it with mills, or pounded it in mortars; they baked it in pans, and made cakes of it. Its taste was like the taste of fresh olive oil. 9 And when the dew came down on the camp in the night, the manna fell with it (Numbers 11:4-9).

Isn’t it amazing that the mixed multitude grumbled because they could not eat the very things that the doctor tells some folks to avoid – things that make you burp! I must confess that I’m a bit of an expert on grumbling about food. When I was a student in college, one of the items the cafeteria served for breakfast was “oatmeal.” As I recall, that “oatmeal” tasted about like I think manna did. Well, anyway, one day as I was waiting in line, I wrote in a “g” in front of the “oatmeal” sign: = “goatmeal.” When I was teaching in a medium security prison, we ate in the prison cafeteria, and it was better (more expensive) food that my wife and I ate at home. I can still remember going to class after lunch and hearing one of the inmates complain about how his steak was cooked. We’re all grumblers when it comes to food.

It must have been the mixed multitude who grumbled because I find it difficult to imagine that the Israelite slaves ate as the grumblers claimed to have eaten in Egypt. Nevertheless, the complaining that began with the mixed multitude spread to the rest (11:10-14). If this is not bad enough, the grumbling of the Israelites prompted Moses to grumble as well:

10 And Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent; and when the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly, Moses was also displeased. 11 And Moses said to the Lord, “Why have you afflicted your servant? Why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? 12 Did I conceive all this people? Did I produce them, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a foster father bears a nursing child,’ to the land which you swore to their fathers? 13 From where shall I get meat to give to all this people, for they cry to me, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat!’ 14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me! 15 But if you are going to deal with me like this, then kill me immediately. If I have found favor in your sight then do not let me see my trouble” (11:10-15).

If you read this text in NASB (New American Standard Bible) it distinctly says the grumblers were the ‘mixed multitude’ and not the Israelites (not at first).

Who were these rabble as the NASB says? They were foreigners, who decided to follow Israel into the desert, why, because they saw the wealth given them in Egypt and wanted to exploit it. Two, they didn’t want a ruler (or rules) like Pharaoh, and three they were curious about this “new” God. Neither had they loyalty, nor faith and only personal motives as they followed Israel into the desert.

It reminds me of our nation today, the divisiveness we see in our country today. You have the Christian and the Patriot, who our media says we are to hate. Then the men and women that work every day and earn a living. Then the Front Line people, Police, Firemen, Soldiers. The left is saying the NRA is racist. The hate for our President is unprecedented in all of American history.

And then you have the rabble, bickering, snapping and churlish, rude, ungrateful.

So I said this is question week, draw your own conclusions, this is not a political rant, I’m just saying look at the parallel to the this part of the Bible and how in just 3 days of not having their own way ‘the rabble’ stop the forward progression of Israel.

Something to think about.

We have to stop the hate.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

grow some faith

October 9, 2017

Been a while since we did a list so here we go;

Abraham is considered the “father” of the faithful (see Ro 4:16) and a hero of faith (see Heb 11:8–19). So what made him special? He believed God and acted on that belief.

God said go, and so Abraham went (see Ge 12:1–4). He became our model for faithfulness not because he was a moral exemplar but because he trusted God enough to obey. Like Abraham, our trustful response to God’s self-revelation is a sign of faithfulness. Biblical faith is therefore a kind of limited personal knowledge of God. As we grow in our knowledge about God, we trust him even more, thereby increasing our faith. This increased faith leads us, like Abraham, to be increasingly faithful.

Here are five things to know about faithfulness:

  1. Faith and faithfulness are connected—In both the Old and New Testaments, faith also suggests the concept of faithfulness. Faith is not merely a mental assent that we trust in God; it is the willingness to act on this trust.

  2. Faithfulness is the externalization of faith—Faith describes our internal state of trust in God; faithfulness, the external actions that result from that trust. We do not possess true faith if we are not faithful (see Jas 2:26).

  3. Faithfulness is a lifelong process—Abraham exemplified faithfulness when he left his country for the land promised to him by God. But that was just the beginning. God repeatedly called on him to act on his faith. Like Abraham, we, too, are called to continuously act on our faith. Adherence to God’s truth requires that we obey him.

  4. Faithfulness is tested for our sanctification—As we see in the life of Abraham, God allows the testing of our faith to sanctify us (see Jas 1:2–8; 2:14–26). We can expect to endure such tests as a necessary part of our spiritual growth.

  5. Our model of faithfulness is Jesus—Abraham might be the father of the faithful, but Jesus is our perfect model. Jesus was faithful to his Father (see Heb 3:2), and we learn to obey God by following his example.

Hebrews 11:6 King James Version (KJV)

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Ann, her marriage, her life, her salvation, learning to be under authority.

Pray for McKee, she needs to find the Lord and get help with her rage.

 

hhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmm,

October 5, 2017

PROMPTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, ARE YOU SURE?

 

OPPORTUNITIES COME TO THOSE WHO ARE ALREADY SERVING, NOT TO THOSE WHO ARE DOING NOTHING.

Sometimes people don’t serve the Lord because they’ve never experienced a dramatic “call” to ministry. You can turn the steering wheel of your car all day long, but if the car isn’t moving, you won’t get anywhere. You can sit around and pray for God’s direction for service, but you won’t get it if you’re not already serving Him. Start doing something to serve Jesus Christ, and He will redirect you if He needs to.

GOD SOMETIMES LEADS US TO THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITIES BY HINDERING US FROM THE WRONG ONES.

We read (Acts 16:6) that these men were “forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia” (a province in western Turkey). Next, they tried to go north into Bithynia (near the Black Sea), but “the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them” (Acts 16:7). What’s going on here? Didn’t the Lord want those in Asia or Bithynia to hear the gospel? Yes, later He did (Acts 18:19-21, 24-19:41; 1 Pet. 1:1), but not now. All we know is that the Holy Spirit is sovereign over His work, and that He stopped these faithful men from going into these two regions and redirected them into Europe at this time. He did not do it because of anything that He saw in the Europeans that was more worthy than what He saw in the Asians or Bithynians. The gospel does not come to people based on their merit, but rather based on God’s sovereign, unmerited grace.

I’m going to raise a couple of questions that I cannot answer, but you can chew on them with me. First, how did the Holy Spirit forbid these men from going into these areas? It could have been through an audible voice. It may have been through circumstances that blocked the way. It may have been a lack of inner peace. It may have been physical illness on Paul’s part, which was why he linked up with Luke at this point. The bottom line is, we don’t know how the Spirit communicated these prohibitions, since the text does not say. But He uses many different ways of hindering us from heading in the wrong direction. We’re not talking here about doing something that is against God’s Word, but rather about doing good things that simply are not His will for us at this time.

GOD’S LEADING US TO THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITIES IS USUALLY A PROGRESSIVE MATTER, NOT AN INSTANT REVELATION OF THE BIG PICTURE.

Paul was feeling his way along at this point. After these two hindrances, if you had asked him what his plans were, he probably would have said, “I honestly don’t have a clue!”

Usually, knowing God’s will is like driving in the fog. God just gives us enough light to see the next few feet. As we follow, He gives us the light we need to keep moving ahead.

The second question is, how did these men know that the hindrances were from the Holy Spirit and thus to be obeyed; and not from some other source and thus to be overcome? In 1 Thessalonians 2:18, Paul says that Satan had hindered him from visiting the Thessalonians. But here, it was the Spirit of God who hindered them. How did he know the difference? Sometimes God wants us by faith to keep knocking until closed doors are opened. At other times, the closed doors are His way of saying no. All I can say is, we need His wisdom and discernment to know the difference. I don’t have any formulas for figuring it out!

WHEN GOD REVEALS HIS WILL TO US, WE MUST MAKE SURE THAT IT IS FROM THE LORD, AND THEN BE QUICK TO OBEY.

The word “concluding” (16:10) indicates that the missionary team discussed the meaning of Paul’s vision before taking action. The word means to join or knit together, or unite. As they talked, it all came together. As soon as they were sure of what God was saying, immediately they sought to go into Macedonia. They didn’t form a committee and deliberate for months. They figured out what God wanted and went down to the harbor to buy tickets.

Does God direct us through visions in our day? The answer is, He can, but be careful! There are all sorts of crazy visions that people have that are not from the Lord. Benny Hinn (a total nut job) told an audience on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (10/19/99) that the Lord had revealed to him that thousands of people from all over the world would be raised from the dead when people put their caskets in front of their TV sets tuned to that station. I don’t know of any funeral homes that have been lacking for business yet!

On the other hand, Bill Bright tells of how late one night as he was studying with a friend for a Greek exam in seminary, he suddenly sensed God’s presence in a way that he had never known before. He had the overwhelming impression that the Lord had unfolded a scroll of instructions of what he was to do with his life. Specifically, he knew that he was to devote his life to help fulfill the Great Commission by winning and discipling the students of the world for Christ. When he shared it with his Bible professor, Dr. Wilbur Smith, he paced back and forth in his office, saying, “This is of God. This is of God. I want to help you. Let me think and pray about it.” The next day, Dr. Smith handed Bill a piece of paper on which he had scribbled, “CCC.” He explained that God had provided the name for Bill’s vision, Campus Crusade for Christ

The balance we need is on the one hand not to quench the Spirit, but on the other hand to examine everything carefully and hold fast to that which is good (1 Thess. 5:19-21). An obstinate apostle Paul could have plowed ahead into Asia or Bithynia against God’s promptings not to do so. But the obedient apostle obeyed God’s promptings and waited until the Spirit showed him where to go. Then he went immediately. The world has never been the same.

OFTEN, WHEN WE OBEY, THE REALITY DOES NOT MATCH THE VISION.

Paul saw a man of Macedonia calling for help. He got there and found a small group of women gathered by the river, and one of these became the first convert. The second convert was a demon-possessed slave girl. Her conversion landed Paul and Silas in prison with their backs shredded by whips. It wasn’t a glorious beginning, to say the least! But it’s how the gospel began to take root in Europe, and we now know that the history of Europe has been forever different. Often when we obey God’s leading and launch out into His work, the reality doesn’t match the vision. But we must continue to obey what we know He called us to do.

6) THE GREATEST HELP THAT WE CAN GIVE TO PEOPLE IS TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL TO THEM.

“Come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:10). Paul went and gave them the best help in the world: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved” (16:31). That is the most helpful message that we can give to anyone. It is the most helpful thing that we can do for anyone.

If you were walking down the street and heard someone cry, “Help me! Help me!” you would be stirred to action. If you could not provide help yourself, you would at least make sure that the proper help got to this needy person. Ask God to burden your heart with the cry of the lost: “Come over and help me!” If you cannot go yourself, at least you will give and pray for missionaries to go. That’s the best help we can give to a desperately lost world.

Do you have a burden for lost souls, if not you need to do some real soul searching (pardon the pun). The Gospel is good news only if we share it.

 

THE GOSPEL OF MARKED

September 28, 2017

THE GOSPEL OF MARKED

That’s not a misprint, I’m just curious, what does your bible look like?

Is it covered in dust? Has it been broken in, taken for spin, is your name in it?

Have you marked any passages?

My great grandmother a very godly woman, her bible had some newspaper clippings, obits, and wedding announcements, the presentation page had her name on it only because her mother filled it out. But there was not a mark in that bible other than being extremely worn from her daily bible reading.

Some people have their bible color coded, symbols, underlines, 50 bookmarks.

Being a preacher I have so many different bibles, some look untouched, some are collectible, rare, previously owned and filled with notes. Bibles and hymnals, bookshelves full. My preaching bible since 1987 is gray and held together with duct tape, I’ve thought of having it rebound by Leonard’s Book Binding, but the bible has a certain feel.

One time I was visiting a church while on vacation and the pastor didn’t show up, no one knew where he was. A deacon yelled out “where’s that guy with the duct taped bible, you need to get up here and preach.”

I joke that if I lost my bible I’d lose my salvation; all my notes are there and a sermon or two. It represents years of ministry and counseling, failures and victories.

My regular study bible looks like it’s pregnant, I’ve glued so many extra pages throughout it to hold all my Greek or Hebrew notes, word studies, illustrations, it’s 4 times thicker that its original shape.

My pocket bible or hospital bible has paper clips and post it notes that I’ve cut up in into quarter inch strips with just an 1/8th of an inch sticking up or out to find special verses for funerals, counseling, weddings, baptisms, just to name a few.

We had people ask if it’s ok to mark up a bible because it says ‘Holy Bible’ on it. something that’s not as common on the spine of the bible like it used to be.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

1 Peter 2:9–12

What are distinguishing marks of the people of God which separate them from the world?

Do you realize that like your bible you are supposed to be marked?

Christians should be drastically different from the world. Christ taught the same thing in Matthew 5:13, he said you are the salt of the earth. You preserve the world from decay. You have tremendous value. He said you are the light of the world (v. 14). Among the people of the earth, there are a people who are radically different.

I think Christians are to be marked by their speech, we should sound different than anyone else.

The believer’s job as a priest is to learn the Bible, to never let it depart from their mouths, to talk about it at dinner, to talk about it at work. One of the reasons you have been chosen to be a priests is to be a teacher of the Word of God. Most of the world will never read the Bible, but they should see and hear the Bible coming out of your mouth all the time. God told Joshua, “Never let it depart from your mouth” (1:8). God told Israel the same thing.

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:6–9

In spite of the electronic age we live in, I still think the number one thing you can do to show people your different, marked, is to still carry a bible with you, to work, to school, especially to lunch. Will you get teased, mocked, made fun of, talked about behind your back, YES. That’s the whole point to show the world that our walk with God is not private, not just for home and church and in private.

You are a people on the earth whom God enjoys. You are his possession… If you truly understood this, if the eyes of your heart could really grasp this, it would deliver you from all your insecurities and fears. The world says you’re too short, too tall, not smart enough, not a great enough leader, not a great enough speaker, you don’t have enough money. No, you are perfect. You are perfect because you were created by God (cf. Psalm 139:13-14) and he can use even your weaknesses for his glory (cf. 2 Cor 12:9-10).

So, make your mark on your life, your world, your business, go ahead let someone call you a Jesus freak, what a compliment.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

THE PRODIGAL CHILD

September 26, 2017

THE PRODIGAL CHILD

Kids are born naked and no instructional manual. I’m sure as parents we’ve all made mistakes and some of the stuff we’ve done as parents is borderline crazy.

Being a preacher and having you kids labeled PK’s (preacher’s kids) I was always amazed at the stories congregations would tell us about previous pastors and the behavior of their kids.

I had two kids, or I should say my wife had two kids, one was an angel and one was a demon. I kept telling my wife it was ok if she would admit the bad kid wasn’t mine, I’d actually feel better. This kid broke our hearts, I can’t tell you how many times my wife and I would go to bed and just weep over the things our one kid did.

As she got older the behavior got worse, as a pastor and marriage and family counselor I was extremely frustrated. What advice I gave to other parents that seemed to work had no effect on her.

Finally in a fit of desperation we arranged our clothes on the floor, my wife’s in the kitchen and mine in my study as though we’ve been “raptured” up and away. And then went and walked down to some neighbors.

We saw our daughter drive home from school and watched as we saw her pull in and go into the house. We waited 20 minutes and then walked in the house.

Well, like Paul Harvey, there is a rest of the story.

We walked in and she was on the phone, we thought she might be calling church folks to see who else might have got “caught up”. Nope, not our kid, she figured the rapture did happen and was calling her friends to come over for a party.

Tough nut to crack, hard row to hoe, whatever the phrase. In long talks to our daughter as an adult I’ve told her I would not have changed one single thing we did as parents. Now that she has had 3 kids and now has grandchildren the shoe is on the other foot. Grandkids are a great payback.

Let me end with this, you can be a good parent and still have a child wander off the reservation. We will trust the Lord until the day we die that she will invite the Lord into her heart and have a good relation with him, whether that includes us or not isn’t as important as that.

I sleep fine at night knowing that God is more concerned, caring and compassionate than I can be and He can do more to influence her life than I can.

So today I have one prayer request, pray for parents that have adult children that are not living a biblical lifestyle, that God will bring people into their lives that can reach out to them and guide them and trust that the Holy Spirit is very active in their lives.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

go ahead laugh

September 22, 2017

4 R UMAX     PL-II            V1.4 [5]MOUNTAIN LIONS, COYOTES AND SCORPIONS, OH MY!

THE BIBLE SAYS A MERRY HEART DOES ONE GOOD, SO HERE WE GO.

So I live in South Texas, in the middle of nowhere. We have an occasional mountain lion go through, scorpions everywhere, bobcats, coyotes (4 legged), one pit viper (now dead) thanks to my Bond Derringer with 7.5 shot. Javelinas, Russian Boar hogs, you get my point.

So our garage is attached to the house and during the summer we leave all the doors open so the dogs can come and go and get out of the heat.

So it’s not unusual to see the dogs starring at their food bowls and not eating, usually it means a tarantula is in the bowl. Not a big deal. We will be sitting in the house and see a tarantula going across the picture window or sitting on the picnic table. Go out at night with dogs and the spotlight will show the holes in the ground and you guessed what pops out, tarantula.

So I’m at the carwash driving through, kinda of day dreaming and I look up at the rearview mirror and there just behind my head on the rear driver’s side window a big ol’ tarantula.

Not thinking tactically, I jump out of the car and run right into a giant red vertical, twirling brush, soap everywhere, water everywhere and for some dumb reason instead of moving out of the way I tackle that brush just like in football practice and bang, everything stops, sirens start blowing, I’m drenched, out runs the gas station attendant. And of course he wants to know what in the world am I doing.

So explain about the tarantula, I drive my car out of the carwash and open the rear driver side door to find the tarantula, there ain’t one, just the giant brown embroidered flower on my wife’s sweater on the hanger. Ok, you had to be there in the dark, with sunglasses on and limo tinted windows to get the affect. Still not my greatest moment of poise under fire.

Oh, I did get a free car wash.

And thank the Lord for bug out bags, changed my clothes and went on my more humble way.

Roger, out. .

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

steppin out

September 20, 2017

This is a really long devotion, you may want to print it out and read it in parts.

Let me give you seven reasons why faith is so important, and all of this is just by way of introduction, but just to put this in your heart. Listen, folks, faith is the distinguishing mark of the Christian. Did you know that the Christians were called believers before they were ever called Christians? Believers—that is the distinguishing mark of a Christian is that he’s a believer.

Number two, to exercise faith is our chief duty. Who said so? Jesus. Put in your margin John 6:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” This is the work of God that you believe. It’s the, chief duty. Therefore, unbelief is the supreme evil. There is no greater evil than unbelief. To aim the gun of unbelief at Almighty God and to pull the trigger.

You see, how did man get into sin to begin with? Eve did not believe God. She fell into sin because of unbelief and, men don’t go to hell today because they steal or because they lie or because they commit adultery, for those sins have been paid for with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says to the contrary in John 3:18, “He that believeth on him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed.” Think about it. The reason that men go to hell today and women is they have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.

And, once you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, how you gonna live the Christian life? By trying? No. By trusting. The Christian life is lived by faith. Four times in the Bible, the Bible says “the just shall live by faith.” You find that in Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38. All of these say the just shall live by faith. One, two, three, four times God says it. Do you think he’s trying to tell us something? I’m telling you, the way to live the Christian life is by faith.

Number five, your success in the Christian life is going to be measured by your faith. Matthew 9:29, “According to your faith be it unto you.” Not according to your feeling, your fame, your fortune, your friends, your fate, but according to your faith be it unto you.

Number six, faith above all things pleases God and if you please God, it doesn’t matter whom you displease, and if you displease God it doesn’t matter whom you please, amen? And, how you gonna please God? Well, the Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him.” Doesn’t say hardly possible, but impossible to please him, “for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Number seven, the only way that you’re gonna overcome this world is by faith. John 5:4, “And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” When we greet one another here in church, rather than saying, How you feeling? We ought to say, How you faithing? Amen? I, we live by faith.

Now there are several things I want you to learn from Abraham in the school of faith, and the very first thing I want us to learn is what I’m going to call the root of biblical faith. Genesis 12:1. Look at it. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred and from thy father’s house into a land that I will show thee.” Now this is the preamble to his faith. This is the basis to his faith. God had spoken to him. The root of biblical faith is divine revelation—it is to hear from God. Notice how this says, “And the Lord hath said”—just underscore that.

Friend, there are a lot of people who misunderstand faith and the source of faith. Faith is not rooted in human will. Faith is not rooted in human will. Let me show you something interesting. Go back to a Genesis 11. Now you’re in 12, just turn left. Go one page. Look in Genesis 11. You see there the building of the tower of Babel, this colossal high-rise to hell. And notice how, it says, it describes what happened. “And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech and it came to pass as they journeyed from the east that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and they dwelt there,” now watch this and count with me, “and they said one to another, Go to let us,” underscore the word us, that’s one, “make brick and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone and slime had they for mortar and they said, Go to let us,” underscore the word us again, “build us,” underscore the word again, “a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven and let us make us a name.” Us, us, us, us. This is man’s will. This is man’s attempt to establish his own kingdom through his own will. As a matter of fact, in that one verse, verse 4, you have four us’s right there. You have four let us, let us, let us.

Now, go back over to where we were in Genesis 12, and notice the difference. Look in these verses here. In 12:1, God says unto Abraham, “unto a land that I will show thee,” underscore I will. Look in verse 2, “And I will make of thee a great nation and I will bless thee and make thy name great and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee.” Man says, I will, I will, I will. God says I will, I will, I will. Man says, Let us, God says, I will. Now faith is not rooted in man’s I will’s but in God’s I will’s. Not in man’s let us, but in God’s sovereign will.

Now why, what were people in Babel trying to do? Well, they were trying to make themselves a name. Look if you will in verse 4, “Let us make us a name.” They’re trying to make themselves a name. They failed miserably. Tell me, anybody here can tell me the name of any of those people who built that tower? We know the name of one whose name was Nimrod who’s a type of the Antichrist—the name is despised. They wanted to make a name—they failed miserably. God said to Abram, I will give you a name, and the name Abraham is revered throughout the entire world.

Now, what I’m trying to say is this—that faith is not rooted in human will. Say human will. That’s very important that you understand this because, we have so many people today who have sort of a tower of Babel mentality, trying to make for themselves a name and they call it name it and claim it. You don’t do that. You have to hear from God. Faith is not rooted in human will.

Secondly, faith is not rooted in human worth, in human worth. Look again if you will in verse 1. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country.” Now we’re going to learn something right there. He was living, he was a pagan, living in pagan idolatry, in an idolatrous land and, go back to Genesis 11 and look if you will in verse 31 again, in this same chapter. “And Tara took Abram, his son, and Lot, the son of Haran, his son’s daughter and Sarai, his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees to go into the land of Canaan.” Now, they’re coming, they’re coming out of Ur, which was the center of idolatry.

Now, on top of all of that, listen to me now, this pagan was seventy-five years old. When Abram first heard God, he was seventy-five years old. What does that tell us? Nobody’s too bad, nobody’s too old, amen? God chooses a man who is a raw pagan and he became a believer. Faith is not rooted in human will—it is not rooted in human worth. Say human worth. It’s not rooted in your worth.

Now thirdly, it’s not rooted in human wisdom. Look again in 12:1. “And the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred and from thy father’s house unto a land that I will show thee.” There wasn’t something that Abram figured out. He went under sealed orders. What is faith? Faith is not positive thinking, it’s not following a hunch, it’s not hoping for the best, it’s not figuring out and then trying to make it work, it’s not a feeling of optimism, it’s not believing what you know isn’t so. Abraham, when he went out, did not know why and he did not know where, he only knew whom.

Faith is not rooted in human worth. Faith is not rooted in human will, faith is not rooted in human wisdom. True faith comes from the Word of God. Abraham had a word from God, that’s very important because the Bible tells us clearly and plainly that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Faith therefore does not rest on a road map or any road map, but in a relationship with Almighty God. You think of Abraham now. He’s seventy-five years of age, he’s well established, he’s rich, he has a beautiful wife, he’s living in comfort and God says, Get up, let’s go. And he did not know where he was going, he did not know why he was going at this time. All he knew was that God had spoken. Now that must’ve been very exciting. If your life is dull and insipid, perhaps you ought to do what Abraham does, did, and live by faith and that’ll turn the monotonous to the momentous.

Faith is obeying God’s Word in spite of circumstances or consequences. Now that’s worth saying again and, it’ll be on the test, so listen to it now. All right, faith is not believing in spite of evidence—that is superstition. Faith is obeying God’s Word in spite of circumstances or consequences. We do not live by explanations—we live by promises.

Now what is the root of faith? God said. Abram heard from God. Are you hearing from God? Do you have a quiet time? Are you connected to God? Is God speaking to you? If God is not speaking to you, you’re not living by faith—it’s impossible. You’re going here and there, doing whatever you think you ought to do. Faith is hearing the Word of God and acting on it.

Number two, we talk about the root of faith, let’s talk a little bit about the requirement of faith. Look again in Genesis 12:1. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred and from thy father’s house into a land that I will show thee.” Now what he said, in shorthand, is get thee out unto. Come out of where you are and go to where you need to be. As I told you this morning, real faith not only brings us out, real faith brings us in.

Now, you cannot really have faith as you continue to live in the land of idolatry. You have to forsake. I’m talking about spiritually, a spiritual application now. You cannot live in your old way of life and think at the same time you can live by faith. It cannot be done. Remember the scripture that I gave you this morning from Deuteronomy 6:23? “And he brought us out from thence that he might bring us in, to give us the land.” God said to Abraham similarly, Come out of Ur that I might bring you in.

Now do you want to have a life of faith? Have you forsaken idolatry? Well, you say, I’m not an idolater. Maybe. You say, You mean I have idols in my life? I don’t know, I hope you don’t, but you may. Anything you love more, serve more, fear more, trust more than God is an idol. And some love money more than God. Some, fear man, more than God. Some trust ability more than God. You see, you can’t have faith unless you are willing to come out. And you have to turn from that idolatry which is sin. Do you know the reason that many people don’t have faith? They’re not willing to leave Ur of the Chaldees. They try to have faith right where they are in their same old lifestyle and they wonder why it doesn’t work. There’s nothing more damning, more stultifying to faith than sin in the heart.

Let me give you some scriptures. I pray God that he will rivet these upon your soul. Hebrews 3:12, “Beware, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.” Unbelief never comes out of the head—it comes out of the heart. “Beware, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.” You say, I have intellectual problems. No you don’t, you have dirty, rotten sin. Beware, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.

Notice Hebrews 12:1, 2, “Wherefore seeing we also compassed about by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” How do you look to Jesus? By laying aside every weight and the sin that doth so easily beset us. There’s no way that you can pray with unconfessed, unrepented of sin in your heart and pray in faith.

the requirement of faith, the root of faith is the Word of God. But the requirement of faith is that you come out of that land of idolatry, you leave it. God brought us out that he might bring us in. I mean, many people say, Well I just doubt my salvation, I’m not sure I’m saved, I have doubt about my salvation, I have doubt, I have doubt and you talk to them about their theology and so forth and they’ll nod their head, but they still have their doubts. If you stay there long enough, you’ll find out that that person has that doubt has sin in his or her life. Idols that they’ve not forsaken, things that they’re doing. What right would you have to have absolute assurance if you’re living with sin in your heart and in your life. And if you’re having trouble with faith, try repentance. If you know, if you’re having trouble with faith.

You ever notice how God puts certain things in order in the Bible? For example, he says, grace and peace be multiplied unto you. He doesn’t say peace and grace, but grace and peace. Why? Grace comes before peace. He says believe and be baptized. He never says be baptized and then believe. That’s never the order. Real baptism follows real belief. I was so grateful tonight, to see a young lady who came for believer’s baptism because she’d gotten it settled and she’d given her heart to the Lord Jesus Christ and she wanted believer’s baptism. To be baptized before you believe would be like having your funeral before you die.

Now, just, listen, just as grace comes before peace, just as belief comes before baptism, repentance comes before faith. The Bible speaks of repentance and faith, not faith and repentance—repentance and faith. Are you listening? Say yes. If you’re having trouble with faith, try repentance. The requirement of faith, when God says, Get thee out, I’m gonna bring you into the land of Canaan, you have to leave that idolatrous relationship and come to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you’re having doubts, it just may be unconfessed sin in your heart and in your life.

Third thing I want you to see, not only the root and the requirement of faith, I want you to see the reward of faith. Look now beginning in verses 2, 3, we’re still in Genesis 12, God says, “And I will make of thee a great nation.” Now watch this. “And I will bless thee and make thy name great and thou shalt be a blessing.” I love it. I’ll bless you, you’ll be a blessing. “And I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curseth thee and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Now, by faith Abraham received a blessing. God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. Remember the verse I gave you in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” You see, by faith man gives God pleasure and by faith God give man treasure. We please God when we believe God. And God said, Abraham, I’m going to bless you, I’m going to give you a land, and God gave him the land. God said, I’m gonna make your name great, his name is great.

God’s promises are a sure bet, the school of faith is sometimes hard, and we need to remember if we fail one test, God will make sure you have another test. The length of our faith journey is marked by mile markers. Some are the scene of victories and others are the mark of accidents, crashes and blowouts. But the road is already mapped out for us. The ‘speed’ in which we travel is based on how thorough we are in cleaning ‘idols’ out of our life.

Think long and hard about what is still in your life that is not pleasing to God. We have a choice, tear down the idols ourselves or we have a “wreck” in our life that will need to be cleared up before we go on.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com