knock on wood

May 25, 2017

When was the last time you were “hewned”???

  “Hearken unto Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord; look unto the rock from which ye are hewn” (Isa. 51:1).

  If we care for His glory, we will want to serve. If we care for others, we will want to be well prepared for that service. And that care will enable us to hold still and trust Him through all that is entailed in the preparation.

When a certain breaking down of self takes place in a believer’s life, it produces a marked change in him; but afterwards he has to learn it all in detail.

  “This is a fact borne out in the case of every servant of God in history who has really come under the hand of God—that the real values of their lives for all time have been those which correspond to the wine of the grape, the thing trodden out in the winepress, the agony of heart; and you know that it is true in your case that if ever you have had anything at all which you knew to be worthwhile and which has helped someone else, it has been born out of some travail in your own experience.”

If we knew the heart of our Father we would never question any of His dealings with us, nor should we ever desire His hand lifted off us till we had learnt all He would teach us.

  “Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:19, 20).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Susan N, 2 months left to live, pancreatic cancer, knows the Lord, but is leaving behind a husband and 2 small kids

Rhonda F, 19, and in college, is going to Peru on her first missions trip, wants to be used of the Lord. (this is her first time out of the USA.

 

BUT GOD!

May 19, 2017

Isaiah 55:1-3

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Compassion of the Lord

55 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.

55:1, 2 In ch. 55 the Lord issues a general call to all who would call themselves by His name, to abandon the Babylons of this world and to find their satisfaction and their security in Him alone, and in that city of joy and peace that He will build. This passage is a call to revival for all who have wandered far from the Lord or from that grace which is the basis for our relationship with Him.

The human condition, we chase after things that won’t satisfy, that don’t bring any lasting satisfaction.

 

 

I remembering counseling a guy one time that was dealing with sexual addiction. The reason he came in was he just had fulfilled his ultimate sex fantasy, and as he was leaving the apartment where this act had taken place he understood that in 10 minutes he was wondering what he would do to top that, and all of a sudden he realized the lust was still there; it hadn’t been satisfied at all.

Sin is like that, lust of the flesh, the eyes, the mind; drugs, booze, sex, shopping; it never ends.

 

But God.

 

One of the greatest sermons in the bible; “But God.”

 

Only He can give us satisfaction, rest, peace, and end to self-destruction.

Come all that are weary, and He will give you rest.

 

The first move is up to us, come, seek, then He does His part.

 

It’s your move

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Pray for all those searching for a good church home

 

Only God can give real happiness and lasting joy, everything else is artificial.

 

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

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

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

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

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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

 

NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR. TOUGH NUGGIES.

One of the most popular ideas to emerge in Christian circles is that we all need to build and maintain proper self-esteem. Dozens of best-selling Christian books are laced with this theme. It is frequently mentioned in sermons and on Christian radio shows. It is a fundamental assumption underlying most Christian counseling. For example, one well-known Christian treatment program, endorsed by top Christian leaders, states in a promotional brochure, “Part of [this program’s] success is found in the unique ability to target and resolve problems of low self-esteem. At the core of all emotional problems and addictive disorders is low self-worth. It is never the only problem; but it is so major an issue that, if not dealt with adequately, one is kept from experiencing lasting, positive results.”

An article by a Christian psychologist on the problem of pastors who commit adultery stated that one reason pastors fall into sexual sin is low self-esteem. If they would just love themselves properly, they wouldn’t have a need to find “love” from another woman. Another article asserts that low self-esteem is a major factor behind homosexual behavior. A popular Christian author even used the story of Lee Harvey Oswald to illustrate how low self-esteem led this man to shoot President Kennedy!

The question Christians need to ask is, does the Bible teach this? Does it teach that we need to build our self-esteem? Those who say yes usually support it with the verse, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). They say that you must properly love yourself in order to love your neighbor. But that is not the meaning of the verse. It assumes that we all love ourselves just fine, thank you. If we would show the same regard for others that we do in fact show for ourselves, we would be loving them as God commands. Even those who go around dumping on themselves don’t need to focus on loving themselves. Their problem is precisely that they are too self-focused. They need to consider the needs of others ahead of themselves. The mark of biblical love is self-sacrifice, not self-esteem (see Eph. 5:25).

Even in the case of a suicidal person, the problem is not that he does not love himself. Rather, he loves himself more than he loves anyone else. He is not considering what his death will do to family or friends. He is only considering himself: he is in pain and he wants out of his pain.

Consider the adulterous pastor. He was esteeming himself above everyone else. He certainly was not esteeming God or he would not have dragged His name through the mud by committing adultery. Nor was he loving and esteeming his wife, his children, or the woman he defiled. He was esteeming his “needs” above all else.

The Bible teaches that love of self is at the root of all our sins. It warns that “in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self” (2 Tim. 3:1, 2). This is followed by a list of terrible sins. You can’t find a single command in the Bible that even hints that we need to esteem and love ourselves more than we do. To the contrary, Jesus explicitly said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34). Many Bible verses tell us to humble ourselves and not to think too highly of ourselves (see James 4:6-10; 1 Pet. 5:5-6; Rom. 12:3), but none tell us to focus on how wonderful or worthy we are. In fact, God operates on the principle of grace, and grace is for the unworthy, not for the worthy.

In his devotional classic, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, William Law writes of the “monstrous and shameful nature of sin” and then asks rhetorically, “Shall we presume to take delight in our worth, we who are not worthy so much as to ask pardon for our sins without the mediation and intercession of the Son of God?” (Westminster Press, pp. 106-107).

My analysis is that most American church-goers need to grow in a sense of their unworthiness, not their supposed worthiness. They need to see what the old Puritan writers called “the exceeding sinfulness of sin.” Then perhaps we would see how much we need the Savior. Being forgiven much, we would love much.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Image result for picture of stevie wonder

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?

KNOCK ON WOOD, DON’T STEP ON CRACK, WEARING LUCKY JEWELRY. .

Very superstitious, writings on the wall,

Very superstitious, ladders bout’ to fall,

Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin’ glass,

Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,

Then you suffer,

Superstition ain’t the way

Very superstitious, wash your face and hands,

Rid me of the problems, do all that you can,

Keep me in a daydream, keep me goin’ strong,

You don’t want to save me, sad is my song

When you believe in things you don’t understand,

Then you suffer,

Superstition ain’t the way, yeh, yeh (Stevie Wonder)

I am puzzled by something. As I was visiting with a friend recently, I noticed on her kitchen counter a card with a prayer to some guy named St. Anthony on it. We started chatting about this prayer. My friend had been looking for a missing wallet full of cash for about 2 weeks. As a Christian, she asked Jesus to help her find it. After a few days when nothing happened, a Christian neighbor suggested to her that she pray this special prayer to a “Saint” because he was “good at finding lost things.” So, my friend did. Immediately, she looked in front of her and found the wallet. She told me, “I have never done anything like this before, but it worked.” Or, seemed to work. Maybe coincidence?

That reminded me of a news article I read several years ago describing how burying a statue of someone named Joseph upside down near your “for sale” sign gives you an edge when trying to sell your house. So, people—even professing Christians—began buying “St. Joe” kits and trusting this method to get their houses sold quickly. It seems to work. But, work to do what?

I understand traditions like that. Sometimes we do things without even thinking about why or what impact they have on our faith. But, placing our faith in some ordinary man named Joseph who died hundreds of years ago, believing there is magic associated with his statue or Anthony’s “prayer” has got to lead to trouble somewhere.

I read the Bible and see that all the power in the universe is directly available to each of us through our relationship with Jesus Christ. And, Jesus is more powerful than ANYTHING we can substitute for Him. We are fused together with Him by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:5) who comes to live inside us (Romans 8:11). We cannot get any closer to God. We have a direct pipeline to our Lord’s ear (Romans 8:26). Nothing and no one (alive or dead) is closer to Him than we are as His child. Why would we go elsewhere?

So, I have been puzzled by this—why some Christians choose to settle for a substitute power source to meet their needs rather than relying on the real thing—Jesus Christ. Could the reason be that some Christians are losing patience or confidence in the one true God to get what they want so they rely instead on the aid of other “powers?” I know my own weaknesses and realize it is not that hard to get caught up in superstitious behavior without realizing it when we try something someone recommends for “quicker action from God.” And, it “seems to work.”

That’s what bugs me—it seems to work. It dawned on that this “seems to work” outcome could be a deception from our enemy. My friend kept that card on her counter after she found the wallet. I bet she’ll use it again because it “seemed to work” to get what she wanted. I know if she had waited on Jesus, she would have found that wallet anyway. Does she believe that now? The one who buried the statue and sold her house quickly will likely use that approach again to get what she wants “from God.” My friend’s Christian neighbor certainly has used her “pray to the saint method”—and recommends it to others!

It dawned on me that Satan, the enemy, could be using our tendency to superstition (and impatience!) to get believers away from a life of dependence on Christ. Could that be why prayers to saints/burying statues “seem to work”? Paul said that Satan can masquerade as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Could reliance on “prayers to saints” be one way he does this? It certainly makes those Christians depend less on Jesus Christ’s power on their behalf and replace Him with a power substitute.

I am confident that the treasure we have in Jesus Christ is more powerful and valuable than anything I could substitute for Him. He hears my prayers instantly—no intermediary needed. I must choose to trust in His goodness in whatever He chooses to do. That means trust His timing, too. I choose to wait on my God’s timing than be drawn away from Him by any saintly superstition that “seems to work.”

SO BURY THE LUCK PENNY, SHOOT THE BLACK CAT (KIDDING) GO AHEAD SMASH THE MIRROR.

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

 

BE PREPARED

April 20, 2017

Image result for boy scout emblem

  Let the same disposition be in you which was in Christ Jesus.” “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh is at rest from sin” (Phil. 2:5, Weymouth Translation; 1 Pet. 4:1m).

  Too late! Too late! If we seek to deal with sin by reckoning at the moment it becomes an issue. Our stand and attitude from the beginning of each day is to be a settled matter as we rest in our risen Lord Jesus: the death of the Cross separates me from the enslavement of sin and self, and I continually abide in my new life, Christ Jesus. My life is “hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).

  “The reckoning believer is to meet every proposal of self-gratification armed with the mind to suffer in the flesh. Sin is the gratification of self, but ‘he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from the domination of sin.’

If you allow yourself to entertain a suggestion of self-gratification—if you consider it, and give it a place in your mind—you are defeated. You have laid aside your armor, and will fall an easy prey to the foe. But there will be no response to the suggestion or temptation if you stand armed with the mind to suffer in the flesh. That which is proposed to you is exactly opposite to what you are set for. It is suggested that you should be pleased and gratified in the very thing in which you are fully minded to suffer. You are now in conflict with sin—not going along with it; you suffer in the flesh, and have ceased from the practice of sin.

  “So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires but [he lives] for what God wills” (1 Pet. 4:2, Amp.).

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

 

 

head case

April 19, 2017

Image result for picture of a skull

 

 

Ephesians 6:17 The helmet God provides is salvation (Isa. 59:17). No matter how hot the battle, the Christian is not daunted, since he knows that ultimate victory is sure. Assurance of eventual deliverance preserves him from retreat or surrender. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

I am always amazed at the Holy Scripture and its application and accuracy.

Salvation is all in our head, you have to know that you are a sinner, realize that there is a real hell, acknowledge you’re helpless, admit you need God and consent to the fact you need a Savior.

No emotions are needed, in fact feelings get in the way. Just as you factually accept the truth, knowledge and truth (the reckoning) is what helps you in your walk, not how you feel.

It is so very hard to counsel someone that bases their salvation on how they feel, what a rollercoaster of experiences and always feeling the need to get ‘saved’ over and over.

It’s all in your head, just make sure you keep it there and everything will be ok.

Quinton came through his surgery  just fine and appreciates the prayers

Pray for Becky and her upcoming brain surgery next Monday

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

turn it up

April 18, 2017

Image result for picture of a mouth and a ear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

you move me

April 17, 2017

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THREE STYLES OF RELATING

We must understand the principle that every man is moving (towards God or away from God). Movement defines a man’s existence. If we are not moving in a good direction, then we will move in a bad direction. Good movement, means moving through personal unhappiness toward God. Bad movement is movement aimed at nothing higher than relieving personal unhappiness. The things we just talked about, dulling the pain, being a tyrant, getting on with life, and recipe theology are all examples of bad movement – of an attempt to relieve the pain.

Because men are fundamentally relational beings, all movement will be seen most clearly in the way a man relates.

THE NEEDY MAN

The needy man knows that he needs relationships to be happy, but his is a distorted view of relationships. What he wants is for others to come through for him and meet his needs, without them requiring good movement from him. He is actually looking for happiness in people and not from God. He is expecting people to provide those pleasures we talked about earlier.

This is the man who comes home every evening and lets out a heavy sigh when he walks in the door so that the family will know how hard he has been working all day for them (That’s a lie. He is working for himself.). He wants them to take care of him but he is sending out his signal hoping that they will not expect anything from him.

This is the man who feels like a martyr because he’s married to a woman who has no interest in sex. The reality is that she doesn’t respond to him, because he is not moving toward her and so there is nothing to respond to. When she doesn’t meet his needs, he feels like a martyr and feels justified in lusting after other women or having an affair, because it is his right to have his sexual needs fulfilled and his wife isn’t meeting them.

What this man needs to do is see his bad movement—see his evil—and repent. But the needy man doesn’t see it.

King Saul is a good example. He had a need for respect. When he failed to kill all the Amalekites and their animals as God had commanded (he left the king and the cattle and sheep alive) and was caught by Samuel, he starts scrambling and says that they saved them for sacrificing to God. When Samuel says it is better to obey than to sacrifice, Saul says, I have sinned, but then immediately asks Samuel to return with him to the capitol city and stand beside him in public worship. When Samuel turns to leave, Saul grabs Samuel’s robe and it tears. Then Samuel says, that the tearing of his robe is an illustration that God is going to tear the kingdom away from Saul. Saul again says, “I have sinned,” but quickly adds, “but please honor me now before the elders and the people of Israel …” He was more concerned with appearances and keeping the respect of the people than with his sin. 1Sam 15:13-30.

THE TOUGH MAN

Shallow but stable describes this man. He has the “get on with life” attitude we discussed earlier. This is the “strong silent type” we talked about last week. He rarely talks about personal struggles and tends to quickly “resolve” whatever relational tensions he can’t avoid or dismiss. He focuses his energy on things he is good at and is unwilling, even for a moment, to entertain involving himself in something he is not good at—i.e. relationships. He wants to stay where he is comfortable. He wants to dispel the mystery.

Being tough doesn’t necessarily mean being mean or cruel. He doesn’t have to be abusive. He can be cordial all the time – and usually is. He is nice, above reproach, just emotionally uninvolved. He has lots of acquaintances, but no close friends.

He just doesn’t let himself feel anything. The needy man feels the pain, and is preoccupied with it. The tough man ignores it.

THE GODLY MAN

The godly man is sensitive, but it does not lead to self-preoccupation or complaint. He is hurt by broken relationships, but instead of demanding others to come through for him or running away, he uses the hurt to more sharply define and energize his call to move toward relationship. He is willing to sacrifice his pleasure (legitimate or illegitimate) so that he can help others. He releases other from his control and encourages them so that they are free to struggle with their loneliness and selfishness and pain. He’s been there through the struggles and has made it through to the other side—to God. He wants to help them find God too.

So, there are three styles of relating – You can be a needy man, always pulling on others to meet your needs. Or you can be the tough man and ignore your feelings and the feelings of others and focus your energy on things you are good at. Or you can be a godly man and feel your pain and the pain of others, but use it to grow personally, and then use your growth to help others grow.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Coping

April 16, 2017

lightbulb

The Male Coping Mechanism (the myth) (it’s a pun)

There are many things in life which bring pleasure, such as power, influence, money, status, connections, achievement, success, possessions, food, sex, recreation, etc. All these things are good in their place, but we have a tendency to think that they are the source of happiness. They make us feel good, but they don’t bring true happiness. They do not bring contentment.

? If you are looking for happiness in money, you can never get enough. I know you’ve heard the illustration about when John D. Rockefeller was asked how much money is enough, and he answered, “Just a little more.” We can’t believe that if we were millionaires, we would want more, but if that is what we are looking to for happiness, or security then we would.

? If sex is where you are trying to find happiness, your spouse will never satisfy you.

? If power is where you are seeking to find happiness, then you can never get enough.

? If possessions are where you try to find happiness, then your house is never big enough and your car is never new enough.

? If this is where you are looking for happiness, when these things are taken away, you will be devastated.

God wants us to enjoy these things, but enjoying these things is not the reason God put us here. God has created us with a purpose. The whole Bible is summed up with two commands – Love God and Love your neighbor. And Paul sums up the whole Law with the statement – Love your Neighbor, so God’s purpose for us is to love others – to build relationships, to move into other people’s lives and help them move towards God. We will find the most joy in life when we are doing that. But relationships are messy. We talked a lot about chaos last week. Messy = chaos. Relationships = chaos. Relationships involve mystery.

We hate chaos and mystery. What we really want is certainty in life.

? It’s true in relation to our religion. We want certainty in our religion. We want everything black and white. We want to think there are knowable right answers and so we argue about points of doctrine and split churches so we can hang out with those that believe the way we do and who will reinforce our opinions making us feel certain. It is too hard for many people to recognize that God is infinite and we are finite and there are just some things we can’t understand. There are some things in the Bible that just aren’t clear.

? It’s true in the decision making process. We want to know if the decision we are about to make is the right one. We want God to show us exactly what we should do. But decisions are full of mystery. There is mystery involved in deciding who to marry, which job to take, whether to remodel our home, which car to buy, which stock to invest in, etc. Many of us are paralyzed by the process of making decisions and making a mistake. We can’t decide what to do, so we do nothing.

? It’s true in our relationships. There is no certainty in relationships. There is only mystery and chaos in relationships. People disappoint. They let us down, they hurt us… How will the person react if I do this or that? Will my wife still love me when she finds out I’m afraid of …? Why is my wife depressed? Why is my son a bully at school?

So what we try to do is find a way to eliminate the mystery. How do we eliminate or dispel mystery?

THE SEARCH FOR CERTAINTY

RECIPE THEOLOGY

Many people have a recipe theology. Recipe theology holds out the false promise of certainty. By recipe theology I mean the belief that if we can just find the right set of steps or principles, and then follow them perfectly, then they will make life work. We really like steps to follow. That’s one reason why self-help books, the promise keepers conventions and family life conferences are so popular. We usually walk away from them with a list of things to do. Some people read the books, go to the conferences and come away convicted of their sin and a new resolve to trust God more as they move through life. But others just come away from the conferences with a new set of steps to follow. Recipe theology says, “If I pick up my socks, clean the kitchen for my wife and give up Monday night football, then my marriage will be great.” When that doesn’t work, then our conclusion is that those were the wrong steps and so we go in search of another list. We never realize that what we really need to do is learn how to relate to our wives.

I think one of the best passages and most misused passages on this is Eph 5:25. It says that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. I’ve heard people teach on this passage and what they get from this is that we need to sacrifice ourselves for our wives. Then they give their list of things we can do to sacrifice ourselves. But, the whole concept behind this passage is that Christ came to earth to build relationships with men. We rejected Him and killed Him. What this means to a husband is that he needs to move towards his wife to build a relationship with her. In the process, she is going to reject him, argue with him, disappoint him, not respond to him, hurt him, etc. That is where the sacrifice comes in—in being willing to be hurt in the process of moving toward his wife. The sacrifice comes in being willing to enter the chaos and mystery of relationship.

GETTING ON WITH LIFE

Another way we can try to dispel mystery is by trying to ignore the need for relationships and concluding that we might as well “get on with life.” So we run away from people and devote our energy towards manageable things, things we are good at. Often abilities surface like athletic talent, academic gift, or mechanical knack that give us a feeling of power, competence, appreciation, etc. When relationships are too confusing, too disappointing, we turn to the things that bring us those fleeting pleasures we talked about earlier. But they are fleeting, so we spend more and more time at work or buried in our hobbies, or in the garage fixing things, trying to satisfy the longing in our souls.

For example, if you are a computer programmer, I think it would be accurate to say that your job is never done, and if things are bad at home, it would be easy to always work late. You could honestly tell your wife that you are behind, because in that job, you are always behind. And to make it even more attractive, computer programming is a safe place to hide from people. A computer is just a dumb box that does exactly what you tell it. So you are in control. And when you are programming or designing a graphic or whatever, you are being creative. It appeals to and fulfills in a false way what God intended man to be.

Or maybe your solution is to go play golf or go fishing. Those activities are fun, challenging and most important, don’t require much in the way of relationships.

BE A TYRANT

Another way to try to dispel mystery is to be a tyrant. If your are overbearing and dogmatic, you can often beat others into submission where they won’t question you or you can at least keep them at a safe distance so that you don’t have to deal with the issues.

DULL THE PAIN

Others try to dispel mystery by trying to dull the pain through alcohol, pornography, etc. Of these four ways, this one is the least socially acceptable, but the other methods are just as evil and sinful.

So we find ourselves often coping by not coping. If I had a dollar for every time in counseling I heard a woman say; “if only my husband would……

God bless and have a blessed Easter, from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com