CALLOUSED KNEES

July 21, 2018

  “He shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and fit for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21).

  “Prepared unto every good work”—especially prayer.

  “It does not follow that because a thing is the will of God, He will necessarily lead you to pray for it. He may have other burdens for you. We must get our prayers from God, and pray to know them. There is no way around becoming a prayer warrior or intercessor, than calloused knees.

 Our Father is not in a hurry. He cannot do things with us until we are trained and ready for them. (or as I am fond of saying; God doesn’t do anything for us, until he does something to us) We may be certain He has further service, further burdens of faith and prayer to give us when we are ready for them.

In the true ‘prayer of faith’ the intercessor must spend time with the Father to appropriate the promises of His Word, and must permit himself to be taught by the Holy Spirit, whether the promises can be applied to this particular case. He remains in the presence of God, till He, by His Spirit, awakens the faith that in this particular matter the prayer has been heard.

In praying there are two alternatives set before us. The one, prayer as a means by which we get from heaven what we need. The other, prayer as infinite grace of God, lifting us up into His fellowship and love, and then when He has brought us to Himself, bestowing upon us the blessing we need. In the former case, the gifts that I can receive through prayer are the chief things. In the latter, God and His love, and fellowship with Him, and the surrender of the supplicant to His glory and His will is the supreme objective.

  “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Peggy G, breast cancer

Bob L, eye surgery went great

Robert P, throat surgery coming up.

Lane and Betty, 7 years of dating, (not counting the 4 years of crushing)(I hope that still means what I think it means) are getting married tomorrow.

when dogs pout

July 20, 2018

This ain’t real sophisticated, uber smart, deep theology or even original but it will help.

Prince had his hit song, “when doves cry”

I have when dogs pout.

This is our American Bulldog, not wanting to go to bed. Stubborn, pouting and not about to give in.

Sound familiar?

You don’t know what God is doing, you’re suffering, in pain or maybe it’s mental anguish; you’ve punished yourself better than anyone else. Finances are a mess, health is shot, marriage on the rocks, kids on drugs, one’s pregnant.

You’ve lost your job, done something stupid. Said something you wish you could take back.

Hey, you’re not alone we’ve all been there in one way or another. There is simply no way you can live long enough and not have some kind of suffering.

Two choices; Pout or Praise; that’s it. One makes it worse, one makes it better. The definition of insanity is doing the same wrong thing over and over and expecting different results.

You know what? Maybe no one is coming, there is no rescue, no pat on the back, no good news, pout or praise.

Believe this, you can prolong the suffering, pout, or get immediate relief, praise. The circumstances in either might not change. But your heart will, your mind will. You can get relief from pain by praising God, you can stop heartache by praising God. You can see a glimmer of hope praising God. Yes, it will probably suck again, but you can have moments of closeness with God, clarity of thought, a change of direction, just by praising God.

How come you ask or why?

Because in that moment of praising God, you stopped being the center of the universe. So stop being an asshat and stop pouting.

It might seem impossible, but just say it out loud. “God, I love you” start saying Hallelujah, just shout, “praise the Lord”. Lift up your head, wipe away the tears and believe God loves you and Jesus suffered more than you ever will. Thank God for your salvation.

Email us at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

We will pray for you, God bless.

UNDERWEAR 1, DIGNITY 0

July 18, 2018

You know your day is going to go sideways when you lose a fight to your underwear.

You are just out to the shower, dried off, and you can’t figure out if your underwear is possessed or you’re having a stroke. Is it inside out or deformed by the dryer, but you’re hopping on one leg trying to shake them out, twist and get a leg in and now you’re wondering if maybe it’s Alzheimer’s.

How can something you’ve done almost for your whole life (minus the diaper phase) is now seemingly beyond all physical manipulation.

Then to add insult to the indignity, you hear the howls of laughter coming from your wife as she compares your Olympic wrestling match with your underwear to  the chicken caught in the fence trying to get loose earlier this morning.

Now on one foot, your underwear now wrapped in a bear hug around your ankle, you lean forward to push the bathroom door closed and out goes the bathroom rug from under your feet, you’re going down.

Your wife runs to the door to help you and you purposely hold the door shut. Your endurance for humiliation has just peaked. And then you hear the whisper choked sound of your wife; “Honey, are you ok?”

What possible devotional content could I pull out of this bizarre morning insult upon your sanity, your dignity and manly virtue.

Ahhhh, wait for it……….. it’s your response. Will it be godly or will it be vulgar, course, angry? The silence builds for just a moment…………. “Yes, I’m all right and you release the bathroom door and your wife steps in and you both end up howling with laughter.

All that before morning devotions. So how did your morning go?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Prayer requests, comments, and questions please send to the email address.

THE PATH

July 11, 2018

  “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to test you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (1 Peter 4:12).

  The joy of sowing is exceeded only by the joy of harvesting; and yet both sowing and reaping are a matter of death.

  “If we follow and note the history and ways of any true servant of the Lord, we shall see, that on the one side they, like Moses on the Mount, or Paul in Arabia, are entranced with the brightness and most marvelous display of divine glory; yet on man’s side, those who know most of the divine ways, suffer most because of the indifference of those who have professed to be the Lord’s people.

  “It is nowhere admitted in Scripture that a servant can be merely the herald of the light of God’s grace; that is, that he should only have the joyful side of service. For every real servant, be he evangelist, teacher, or anything else, there must be the side of suffering, burden, and humiliation.”

  “We must bear in mind that, while it is the Father’s purpose, in His dealings with Job, to vindicate His own estimate of His servant; it is, at the same time, shown us how He educates or disciplines that servant so as to render him worthy of that estimate.”

  “In every trial, however gloomy, there are gleams of light and relief; but full deliverance is often delayed by our anxiety to obtain it. God Himself, and not the deliverance, is to be the satisfaction of His servant; consequently the deliverance is often postponed until we are without prospect or expectation of it; and then it may be accorded in a manner so transcendently beyond our conception, that we must see and understand the love and interest which surrounded us during the whole period of our trial.”

  “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:3)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

the object

July 10, 2018

  “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:11).

  It goes without saying that Christianity is a vertical relationship with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually” (Heb. 13:15).

Somebody the other day asked me about my motivation for this devotional sight. My answer I think is simple; 1. To show that we can have a continuing hunger for the things of God, and 2. To always seek to grow. It is this cycle that keeps us in a perpetual pattern of desire for a daily connection to the Holy Spirit. That our days no matter how busy here on earth, we will carve out time for God. That fruitful prayer leads to daily prayers and always having our motivations constantly checked by the Holy Spirit.

 Grace is the Father’s favor to man according to His own heart, and for His own glory. If the need of man were the sole measure of His grace, then man only would be thought of, the work of the Lord Jesus would be simply for man, and the power of God expended merely in rescuing man and securing his relief. Man would be the object and end of it all, and not God.

When I have rest in the Lord Jesus, then I begin to find all my joy and strength in Him, and I occupy myself with Him. This is the foundation of true devotedness.

When the advantages of grace do not call forth praise to the Father, when He is not prominently before the soul, as the source of everything possessed, then the gifts take the place of the Giver in the heart, and must soon lose their vigor and value like flowers cut away from their roots.

  “The great question is, not whether I see a certain thing, and how it stands in relation to me, but do I see it as my Father sees it, and as it stands in relation to Him?”

  “Unto him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph. 3:21).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

WEIRD

July 7, 2018

So, it’s summer, (1986) I’m an evangelist, we are doing the home school thing and we are on the road preaching across America. Some churches are churches we’ve been to before or pastored, others are new to us and also cross denominational. Assembly of God, Nazarene, Church of God, Church of Christ, Lutheran and Four Square and a bunch of some crazy churches called Charismatic something or other.

Dinner on the ground, tent preaching, brush arbors, white churches, black churches, inner city or out in a hay field. A great time and a real blessing.

Last church on the list and then back home. Small west Texas town, very small church. We’ve been told the pastor is on vacation and we can stay in the parsonage (preacher’s home, owned by the church). We are supposed to preach a short revival series; Sunday morning, Sunday night, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

So we preach a real barn burner on Sunday morning, lunch in the fellowship hall and a short prayer time. We are given the key to the parsonage and told to make ourselves at home.

We unlock the door and step inside……

No furniture, no appliances, nothing but an empty house. The preacher isn’t on vacation, he’s skipped town.

Now this was before most people had cell phones. I have to walk down to the corner drugstore and use the payphone to call a deacon. Twenty minutes later all five of them are there with their wives. Some are angry, some of the wives are crying. They call the bank president and he comes over. Monday, he’s going to check the church accounts.

It’s 5pm and Sunday night service is at 6:30pm, they’re all standing there in shock. Do we preach or pack it in. I say preach. I ask one favor, tell the congregation after the sermon not before.

Whoops, the deacons decide to open the service by telling everyone what’s happened.

Well I tried to preach heaven down and hell out. I should have just ordered pizza. Service ends with a whimper. Deacons come up and ask if we can fill in until they find another preacher. I didn’t even have to think about it. “I’m sorry but I have other obligations.”

As we are driving home, my wife says “thank you” for not staying. We figure whatever is going on, wrong or right, either the church was really screwed up or the pastor was or both.

That was 32 years ago, and today totally by accident I had lunch with that preacher. One side of the story, he says it wasn’t him, that the church should have had “Ichabod” written over the door. God was gone. Out of curiosity I called a friend of mine in that little town. The church is indeed gone, a daycare and a pizza hut is now on that spot.

Churches with no spirit in them, it’s probably more common than I want to admit.

Pizza any one?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Ryan, throat cancer

Joe r, shoulder surgery

Don H, hip surgery on next Friday.

Susie K, praying for the adoption agency to work things out.

Katie R, first stages of dementia

And Ross, a brand new believer in Jesus, gave his heart to the Lord while listening to some old preacher on a cassette tape he got in a garage sale.

only one way

June 23, 2018

  “If [since] ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1).

  The Christian cannot thrive but in his environment, “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).

  “Let us rightly divide the Word of truth. To go back to the Psalms for proper Christian experience is to lose the savor of grace and to breathe legalism; it is to climb down from heaven to earth. If the Psalms are really understood, they yield a harvest of blessing to the soul; but they point to the blessed hope of the Savior.

  “If we confound the Jewish spirit of the Psalms with the Epistles, and take it as the expression of our feelings, we falsify Christianity. No doubt I shall find lovely confidence in the Lord in respect of His government of this world, the comfort of forgiveness, the happy confidence of integrity of heart, and remarkable prophecies of Christ; but where shall I find heavenly hopes, or my union with the glorified Lord Jesus, or even the out-flowings of divine grace, as manifested in His person on earth, or the blessed affection which flows from hearts acquainted with these?

  “Where is the blessed Spirit of adoption? Every saint knows the touching expression of piety which the Psalms furnish to us; but no intelligent believer can turn from the writings of John and Paul to the Psalms without finding himself in an altogether different atmosphere.”

  “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2).

Looking to the author and finisher of our faith.

Pray for my wife Sharon, she was found passed out at work this morning by her co workers. Spent the day in the ER with no definitive answers.

OUR FATHER’S MERCY

June 18, 2018

Our Father’s Mercy

  “I endure all things for the elect’s sake” (2 Tim. 2:10).

  Our Father’s mercy is all-encompassing. It includes our salvation—” . . . according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5); and our service—” . . . by the mercies of God, present your bodies a living sacrifice. . . which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1).

  Reasonable service is based upon sacrifice: “I, Paul. . . rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the church” (Col. 1:23, 24).

 To truly minister to others is always to accept new happiness and new distress, both of them forever deepening and entering into closer and more inseparable union with each other, the more profound and spiritual the ministry becomes. The one who gives himself to others can never be a wholly sad person; but no more can he be one of unclouded gladness.

  The fuller the service, the greater the surrender and sacrifice. It is not giving what one can spare without feeling it, for I will not offer the Lord ‘that which doth cost me nothing’ (2 Sam. 24:24).

  “The service declares its virtue and aim by the suffering which is endured in rendering it, for what can be done at one’s ease is generally done without much concern for the one to whom it is rendered, and thus the true quality is lost.”

  “I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved” (2 Cor. 12:15).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, or prayer requests please send to the email.

 

KILLING ME SOFTLY

June 7, 2018

  “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom. 10:2).

  It takes more to break inertia than to ease momentum. Misdirected zeal is more easily corrected than inert spiritual sleep.

  It is possible, and very humiliating, to be awakened to the fact, though we have had a measure of zeal for the Lord, that we have barely known the things we should have known, nor the behavior that is becoming to us in this wonderful day of grace.

  But it is the love of the Lord Jesus that would lead us on, through the judgment of ourselves and ways, into deeper communion with Himself to be better representatives of Him here in whose likeness we shall soon appear.

  The snare with zealous and often legalistic, but unprepared and unbroken hearts, is to do the right thing in the wrong way. It is not enough to know the right thing, but I must know the right way of doing it. Not by power, nor by might, but by His Holy Spirit. Which reminds me one of the best books you can read on the Holy Spirit, indeed the only book you will ever have to buy on the subject is by Dr. John Walvoord.

  Denial of the old man is where he is most felt, not where he is least felt; and all the light of Scripture cannot promote growth without self-denial. Here is where most fail, and in this day there is a great deal more zeal to acquire knowledge and intelligence in the wonders of revelation, than to deny the man that has no sympathy with it, nor part in it, but condemnation.

  “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Tim. 3:6).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Ronnie Smith, at 63 years of age all the life of nothing but having a party has caught up, the doctor gives him days.

Pray for Sherry M, 30 years ago she was in the choir, taught a children’s bible study and now is absent from the church and living in deep moral depravity. The good news is she still gets convicted enough to see if I’ve given up on her. We go to lunch, we pray she cries, she straightens out for a short time and then she wanders off. I told her today the time between us meeting is growing farther apart, enough that I wonder if there will be another time.

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THESE ARE USUALLY IN THE DOG BOWL IF I FORGET TO CLOSE THE SCREEN DOOR.

Everything here wants to bite me.

I thought life was supposed to get easier in old age, hah!

Not happening, I have an evening routine

Step one, it’s 10pm time for a final trip around the ranch.

Step two, put on my jeans, slip my .45 into its holster, lace up my boots, put on my hat and grab two flashlights. One is a tactical light the other a flood light.

Step three, pick up my Mossberg, 12 gauge with three loads, the first is double 00, the second a turkey load, the third is a slug, repeat, there is a light on the shotgun.

Step four, turn off the alarm on the first door.

Step five, go to the front door turn on the flood lights.

Step six, go to the garage door turn on the flood lights.

Step seven, hit the master switch and the yard and barn lights come on.

Step eight. Step out side and sweep the south yard for racoons or porcupines.

Step nine, sweep the west side, more raccoons or pole cats or bob cats.

Step ten hit the north side, watch for 300 to 400 lbs wild pigs, or skunks, or once every five years a mountain lion.

Step eleven, sweep the east side, usually a herd of 10-12 Axis deer.

Step twelve back to the south side where I radio my wife to let the dogs out.

Then repeat steps 2-11, then put the dogs back in, turn out all the lights , turn on the alarm. Put my wife to bed, and then write the devotional post for the night.

You gotta love the Texas hill country, fire ants, rattlers, black widow spiders and now that the drought has started, a house full of scorpions. I usually get bit at least 3 times a year, at least one in shower.

Two legged varmints I hardly worry about, it’s 13 miles into town. And not much in between. And they have to get past all the cattle fences, and all the other creatures I’m trying to not get bit by.

Oh yeah, a bible verse, He is my rod, my staff and my shield, but I also pick up a colt 1911 just to be on the safe side.

Whew, I’m worn out and that just the evening after dark routine, forget all the other animals, chores and equipment, pumps, wells, water tanks…

Praise God for country living.

Prayer requests, comments, questions, send to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

If I remember we will have another bible give away this week, I picked up some nice bibles this week. Already gave several away to people while going around town.

Blessings.