Ilene,

October 11, 2018

christ on cross

Well yesterday was about Juan, today I met a brave woman that is a seeker, she was born in Mexico, married the man of her dreams who turned out to be a heroin dealer/user.

The fairy tale marriage quickly turned into a nightmare, after having 3 children, he didn’t want anymore and nor, did he want her to ever bear children again. So he stomped and kick her until breaking her hips and permanently damaging her uterus.

She comes to in the hospital, where he has taken the kids and fled back to Mexico. It takes 15 years before she gets her kids back. Thanks to her new husband a lawyer in International Law. It’s not the law that gets the kids back but his connection.

Reunited with her 3 kids. A new marriage and no drugs. She has been listening to BBN radio (Bible Broadcasting Network) and has become an avid reader of everything I give her. Her spiritual hunger for God is drawing her to read the bible and everyday she has questions about God, Jesus and how to see how everything that has happened in her life brought her to this point.

This weekend she is bring her husband to their first couples bible study and I believe she is just on the cusp of accepting the Lord as Savior.

Pray for Ilene that she will accept Christ and her husband will soon follow.

What a week this has been for meeting new Christians, growing Christians and the spiritually hungry.

God bless from scumlikesuschurch@gmail.com

First to Ms. Elliot, yes you can correct my grammar and thanks for your prayers.

Pray for Virginia M. that the Lord will take her home.

Pray for Gwen, very religious but not a Christian, somedays I think she is ready, only to hit a brick wall. Pray that the right people come into her life and not the wrong ones.

WHERE IS THE LOVE

September 30, 2018

As a pastor it grieves me that someone leaves the church because they felt unforgiven or marginalized within their own home church. Yes, they did something wrong, but where is the love.

It is important to understand the difference between being judgmental and discerning truth from error. In Matt. 7:1, the Lord said, “Do not judge lest you be judged.” Then, in verses 2-5 he warns against trying to correct others without first correcting what is wrong in our own lives. If we deal honestly deal with our own hearts, etc., then we have the responsibility to help others. But there is also a warning in verse 6. He said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine” (vs. 6). How can we know that someone, in their spiritual condition, is like a dog or a pig (i.e., someone who is incapable of appreciating the truth—apathetic, cold, indifferent), unless you judge, discern their character or their spiritual condition?

This passage does not teach that judgments should never be made. In fact, Matthew 7:5 specifically speaks of removing the speck from your brother’s eye. But the Lord’s point is that no one is qualified nor able to do that if they are habitually critical or condemnatory of the specks in someone else’s eye when they themselves have a plank—a hyperbole for effect—in their own eye. Such are not truly interested in righteousness, only in playing spiritual king of the mountain.

So, as in selecting elders and deacons for office (1 Tim. 3), judgment is sometimes needed, but those making the distinctions (krino„, judge, means “to distinguish” and thus “to decide”) must first be certain of their own lives and their motives. We need to ask questions like, Am I doing this to show how much I know? Am I trying to play spiritual king of the mountain? Do I think I am better than they are because I know something they do not know? These are some of the logs that we must remove from our own eyes (hearts). We are not judging people when we discern behavior or beliefs that are clearly unbiblical. For an excellent passage on having a judgmental spirit versus a discerning spirit, read Paul’s teaching on the problem of doubtful or questionable things in Romans 14.

Furthermore when seeking to help others, we must exercise care to discern their spiritual appetites and do what would be appreciated and beneficial. We need to test the waters, so to speak. Ask a question in a non-threatening way to see if they might be open to discussion. “Would you be interested in what the Bible has to say about astrology?” We do this because one should never entrust holy things (what is sacred) to unholy people (dogs; cf. “dogs” in Phil. 3:2) or throw … pearls to pigs. Dogs and pigs were despised in those days. This is one of the reasons the Lord spoke in parables. He did so to hide truth from the indifferent and to reveal it to those who were hungry and prepared.

Finally, remember that the ultimate issue is not seeking to get people to change their behavior, but come to know and believe in Christ. This includes biblical repentance, but in a salvation context, that means recognizing their sinful condition and need and turning from their sources of trust (religion, human will power, cultism, astrology, etc.) to trust in Jesus and His death for their sin. It does not mean cleaning up their lives and then trusting in Christ. Only Christ can change lives in a way that is significant.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Sharon W, respiratory problems

HIS WAY NOT OURS

September 27, 2018

Here is a thought to chew on about who gets saved and who does not and why.

Historic Reformed theology takes the biblical doctrine of divine election seriously. Because of it, Calvinists believe that God had a plan from all eternity to redeem a people for Himself. That plan encompassed only a portion of the human race; it was never God’s intention to save everybody. Remember, given our sin and His justice, God was under no obligation to save anyone. Indeed, He would have been perfectly just if He had consigned all people to eternal damnation, but in His mercy, He chose to save some. If it had been God’s intention to save everybody, then everybody would be saved, but God’s purpose in redemption was to save a remnant of the human race from the wrath they had earned for themselves and justly deserved. These people will receive God’s mercy; all others will receive His justice.

We know that not everyone is going to get saved, what’s hard for our human mind to grasp is that God from the beginning of time knows who will be saved and who will reject His Son.

You hear this all the time when witnessing to non believers, “how could a loving caring God send any body to hell, I just don’t believe in that kind of God.”

Simple answer really, they are not talking about the God of the bible, but a god of their own creation. God doesn’t send anybody to hell, they choose that for themselves. They reject the very plan we rejoice in and celebrate in the life and death of our Savior.

So next time you are talking to an unbeliever, be sure to point out they always have a choice even if it’s the wrong one. There is no universal salvation; there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. Please don’t forget that and be bold to speak out to those who believe in their own version of god. ( hey I think I smell smoke, might the best answer to those following their own god).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Praise report, Barbara D, her cancer is in remission.

Dave I, prostate cancer in remission

Karla, (awhile back) has new job and found a new church

Prayer works

ATOMIC ROOSTER

September 26, 2018

Voted the number one rock song on an album by leading Rock and Roll Experts, not based on fame, or money, but solely of the merits of what a rock song should be; Death Walks Behind You, by Atomic Rooster. I wish I still had the album.

this is a long devotion so print it out or set aside some time. I found these notes in one of my older bibles, probably when i was in Seminary. I don’t remember the source or where I found the quotes. But it is topic that no person can avoid.

The valley of the shadow of death is the longest valley in the world. It began with Adam and has continued through six thousand years of human history. Men like to postpone that dreadful moment when they must pass through the dark valley, but death underscores each life and refuses to accept the person of any man. Death does not take into account whether we have been profitable or detrimental to society. Every step that we take brings us nearer to the grave, and it is but a matter of time until we must bid farewell to every earthly tie. With all of the wisdom of the medical profession and the use of scientific discoveries, we must agree with the wise preacher of old who said; “For the living know that they shall die” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

The Bible contains much warning about death, speaking as frequently on this subject as it does about any other. In the garden of Eden where death had never entered, Adam and Eve were instructed by God to refrain from the forbidden fruit with the accompanying warning:

In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:17).

We know that they did eat; and at the very moment the judgment of God passed upon them, their bodies commenced the process of death and decay. “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died” (Genesis 5:5).

On one page of our Bible we have the genealogy from Adam to Noah and with only one exception, Enoch, the man who walked with God and was translated, the refrain is repeated– “and he died.”

The Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles did not hesitate to declare that death is certain. Noah preached righteousness and the judgment of God. He warned men that if they would not repent, the Lord would destroy them from the face of the earth (Genesis 6:7). Men only mocked at the old preacher’s sermon, and then God struck the whole earth with death and destruction. The divine record has it that the waters prevailed for forty days on the earth until every hill was covered. And then we read:

And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man (Genesis 7:21).

Abraham faced the grim reality of death when he offered Isaac as a sacrifice to the Lord. Though Isaac was spared, a ram died in his stead. Then we read: “And Sarah died” (Genesis 23:2). “And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die” (Deuteronomy 31:14).

Isaiah said to Hezekiah: “Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live” (2 Kings 20:1).

Jeremiah warned Hananiah: “This year thou shalt die” (Jeremiah 28:16).

Ezekiel preached the Word of the Lord: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). “That wicked man shall die in his iniquity” (Ezekiel 33:8).

When Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus, He said: “The beggar died . . . The rich man also died” (Luke 16:22).

When Christ was brought before the multitude, the Jews said: “We have a law, and by our law He ought to die” (John 19:7).

Of Dorcas, Luke writes: “She was sick, and died” (Acts 9:37).

How full the Bible is of the subject of death! We cannot study the life of any Bible character, save Enoch and Elijah, without being reminded that they all died. Life insurance companies become rich simply by pointing out that all men must die, and the agents have little difficulty in selling a policy by merely saying that death may come suddenly and unexpectedly. Any undertaker who conducts a respectable business is assured of a comfortable living with those values that money can buy. Even architects and builders take death into account when they plan a structure. Dr. John Rice tells that when his congregation in Dallas was preparing plans for a new church building the architect insisted on discussing the stairways, for, said he: “One rule we architects try to remember is that every stairway and every bedroom door must be large enough to admit a coffin!”

The Bible speaks of: “The law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).

The Apostle Paul says: “We had the sentence of death in ourselves” (2 Corinthians 1:9). “So then death worketh in us” (2 Corinthians 4:12).

The Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of men “Who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:15).

There is no escaping death. Try as hard as we can, the rider on the pale horse will pay his visit to each of us. He is blind to all tears and deaf to all prayers and pleadings. He must come to us, for he is sent by appointment. “It is appointed unto men once to die.” It is the judgment of the Almighty, it is by divine appointment. The death-bed, the crepe, the funeral, the grave, and the broken-hearted sighs and tears of the bereaved all tell us that “man dieth.”

The first time that the subject of death is mentioned in the Bible is given as a warning to our first parents. There man in his primitive state was enjoying blissful communion with God:

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:16-17).

Adam knew that he was alive, but he was a stranger to the subject of death until he heard this word from the Lord. Now he is on his own. He has a knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. He knows that to obey God will mean continuous and unending life and to disobey will bring the sentence of death. The power of choice and the right to decide is now left with man. However, Satan would not allow the situation to go unchallenged. Though he taunted and tempted Eve he could not force her to eat the fruit. Both she and her husband partook of it by their own choice, and in so doing they incurred the displeasure of the Lord. The warning He gave was plain: “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Being holy and righteous in all of His judgments, God could do nothing other than pass the sentence of death. Hence Adam listened to what the consequences of his own wrong-doing had brought upon himself:

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (Genesis 3:19).

God never acts in judgment nor does He allow anything to come to pass unless there is a just cause. So when He pronounced death upon the human race it was because Adam and Eve had disobeyed God and turned from the truth. Though the warning of the Lord had come in soundness and simplicity man chose to sin, knowing all the while that it meant death. Man cannot plead innocency on the ground of the sovereignty of God. He is appointed to die because he has transgressed the Law of God, and the Lord’s justice in the sentence of death is so undeniable that every mouth is stopped and all the world is guilty before Him. Man can offer no legitimate reason why the death sentence should not have been passed, for:

The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

The soul that sinneth, it shall die (Ezekiel 18:4).

Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:15).

By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin (Romans 5:12).

So then death worketh in us (2 Corinthians 4:12).

For all have sinned (Romans 3:23).

Every time that death strikes and a loved one is suddenly taken away, it is as if we hear the cachinnation of sin and Satan. Sin plays with man for a time just as a cat plays with a mouse. Sin will allow us to run here and there, to pursue happiness, worldly pleasure and power; but the game of life is brief. In the end sin has tracked down each of us, and each pays with his life. Inasmuch as “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23), we search in vain in our efforts to discover the secret of victory over death, for “What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death?” (Psalm 89:48).

Death is still in our midst holding the whole world in fear and subjection. The reason men shrink from it is because “the sting of death is sin” (1 Corinthians 15:56). Because our nature is sinful and our hearts wicked, death continues to prick us and drive us toward the grave as the goad drives an ox to slaughter. Jesus said that ours is a wicked and an adulterous age. Until Christ comes back with His Church to rule the earth, “the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26). Even to the end of the millennium death will hold within its grasp all the wicked dead. Until Satan and all unbelievers are cast into the lake of fire, death will have a vise-like grip upon sinners. But how comforting and consoling for the Christian when he looks for Him, even our blessed Lord Jesus who, when He comes the second time with His own, will subdue all things, even the power of death!

Death does not affect all men in the same way simply because it does not lead all men in the same direction. We realize that here we are assuming that death is not the consummation of all existence. Furthermore we are aware of the fact that there are a great many people in the world today who do not believe in an existing consciousness after death. Only recently I talked with a gentleman who believes that death is the cessation of man’s existence. He compared the death of a man to a leaf falling from a tree in October. Disregarding the positive proof of immortality, we will content ourselves with a brief consideration of one of two courses that death must take.

In one hospital ward two patients may die at exactly the same moment. While the root cause of these deaths may be the same in each case, the dying of one can be something altogether different from the dying of the other. We have seen how that death was the only real satisfaction for sin. It was the only punishment for sin that could satisfy the righteous demands of God. Since all men, who were at one time in the loins of Adam, possess Adam’s fallen nature, it stands that all must die the physical death of the body. However as Abraham Kuyper has said: “In the valley of the shadow of death, the great highway on which people walk divides itself, and continues on one side upward unto eternal life, and on the other with a declining path downward into eternal death.”

We can understand this only as we know something of the true purpose of the death of Jesus Christ. Since sin must be punished by death, Jesus went to the cross and died as the punishment for sin and thus at the same time offered Himself as the satisfaction for sin. Peter declares that “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 3:18). Here we are told that Christ was put to death for sins “that He might bring us to God.” Those who fall asleep in the Lord take the upward course to Heaven and to God. Having accepted Jesus Christ as their Sin-Bearer and Savior from sin they are brought to God by virtue of His sacrificial and vicarious death. Believers are able to say: “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). As Jesus hung dying upon the Cross, He was the true sin-offering for His people. We were, by nature, on the downward course, doomed to be separated from God; but Jesus, by virtue of His death, provided a new destiny. Dr. Harry Rimmer has said, “When Jesus died to change the trend of human thought, He also died to change the road of human history. Through a false philosophy, mankind was pursuing a fatal destiny. The impact of the cross bent human history out of the course in which it was flowing, and directed mankind toward God.” Whenever a true believer dies he is said to have fallen “asleep” (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:6), and immediately his soul takes the upward course to be with the Lord.

But what course does death pursue in the case of an unbeliever? We have already stated that the only other course remaining is the declining path into eternal death. Once again we must make an assumption, that of belief in a literal place of endless torment for all who reject the atoning work of Christ when He died on Calvary’s Cross.

Since the death of Christ paid for the believer the punishment of sin, and death to him is a pleasant ascension into the Father’s presence, it follows that the death of the unbeliever is an unpleasant descent away from the presence of God. When the unbeliever gives up the ghost, breathing his last breath, he passes from this world into a spiritual and eternal death and Hell. Both are conscious, but death was forced to pursue a different course for each. Both the rich man and Lazarus died in the story told by our Lord. Lazarus was carried into Abraham’s bosom while the rich man was sent to Hell (Luke 16:19-24).

Dear Reader, where are you? Yes, you are still alive in this world; but remember, death is slowly but surely overtaking you. Soon you must say farewell to every earthly tie and enter into an endless eternity. Since Christ died to bring you to God, it is self-evident that you are far from God, and unprepared and unfit for Heaven. Will you trust the Saviour now? “He that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Terri, as she is facing a momentous decision

Pray for Randy H, heart issues

Pray for Steve C, 66 years old raised in church and won’t go into one for anything. Pray for his salvation.

One of my favorites

September 16, 2018

Pinocchio and the unruly lady

Again unique to a Pentecostal church and for those of you that don’t attend a Pentecostal service you might just read this and think we are all just nuts; well maybe we are.

There was a lady who used to sit on the front pew in every service, Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday evening. Same place same spot. And she would wait for me to start preaching and as soon as I started to preach she would jump up and in the loudest voice start speaking in tongues and then give ‘her’ interpretation.

I asked her husband to please ask her to stop, because she would go on forever and I knew she had real issues with me and you just knew it wasn’t the timing of the Holy Spirit nor really a true message.

Well she wouldn’t quit, the deacons were upset, people in the church were upset and still she continued to do this.

I talked to her and she said she had no control over when the Holy Spirit wanted to move her. (which is not scriptural) I Corinthians 14:32 Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit…

Now I usually preach in series, so you can kind of guess each Sunday where I’m going to go because I give outlines ahead of time so people can study and follow along, and one of the adult bible study groups share the outlines with senior citizen homes and some use them in their home study groups or with shut ins.

So now a theme is developing in her messages in tongues where she’s trying to preach my sermons before I can start. So now the deacons have gone to her and she still won’t stop. I’m about to bring the matter to a head in the service, but I decide to wait one more week and just pray more about it.

So now it’s next Sunday and wham off she goes loud and blustery, I’m about to step down and I can see her husband actually balling up his fists, he’s going to literally fight me over this. (Pastoring is so much fun).

When over in the next section about two pews back out steps the oldest, sweetest woman in the church. You know the type, the spiritual grandmother to everyone.

She steps up front, reaches up and pinches the lady’s nose shut. Our self-declared prophet opens her eyes expecting to see me and slap me and instead sees dear sister Ellen, who stills has a hold of her nose, and with this nose hold forces said prophet to set down. Sister Ellen leans in and whispers something to our out of control prophet; and man the color that comes to her face.

Next Sunday, no interruptions, no displays of hysterics, nothing the whole congregation and I are pleasantly surprised.

That Sunday as I’m shaking hands while everyone is leaving, sister Ellen comes up last and I stopped her and said; “just what did you say to our little trouble maker?”

This dear old saint and spiritual grandmother to half the church looks me in the eye and with the straightest face said; “I told her if she didn’t start behaving and respecting you I was going to kick her boney butt out the door.”

It was I all I could do to not just burst out laughing.

Man, you just have to love your flock, all of them, pastoring what a great gig.

God bless

Special prayers for ‘k’ we are praying for your son.

Pray for Maureen Lindner, shingles on her leg, she is in misery

Send your prayer requests to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

More than a muscle part two

September 12, 2018

Since the heart is so important to what we think, say, and do, we each need to regularly do open heart surgery with the scalpel of the Word under the guiding hand of the great physician, the Lord Jesus. We accomplish this through the teaching, guiding, convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. Like a sharp two-edged sword, the Word divides the inner man asunder to reveal the true condition and needs of our hearts (Heb. 4:12).

Most people today want to be successful according to their own idea of success. However, as you listen to the success propaganda of today, again and again the focus of attention is on one of two things. First, the vast majority of thinking, writing, and talk focuses on the outer self—on how smart I can appear, what kind of impression I make, how much applause I register on the applause meter, how much I make, how much I own, how fast I climb the ladder of success in my company, and on the list goes. Very little that you read places any emphasis on the inner man, on the heart, the wellspring of our thoughts, motives, ambitions, values, and decisions. And second, when what you read or hear does place an emphasis on the heart, it generally does so in a completely self-centered way, even in a lot of Christian literature.

Against the present anthropocentric (man-centered) kind of spirituality so common today is the biblical theocentric (God-centered) spirituality which sees the glory of God and the advancement of the kingdom of God as the priority pursuit and reason for life. Scripture’s goal is not material or even spiritual gain for oneself, nor self-realization or promotion, but the realization of our calling as heralds and ambassadors of Jesus Christ. “Franz Kafka once observed: ‘The Fathers of the Church were not afraid to go out into the desert because they had a richness in their hearts. But we, with richness all around us, are afraid, because the desert is in our hearts.’”

Bloesch also writes: (you may be surprised that I quote Dr. Bloesch, he is probably the most frustrating theologian that an Evangelical could quote, but dig through his writings and right after he makes you mad, he drops a great pearl.)

In our society today, the humanist ideal of happiness or interior well-being was incorporated into Christian faith without any drastic modification so that religion was given a decidedly anthropocentric orientation. It is generally acknowledged that much popular religion (both conservative and liberal) is narcissistic (egocentric), focusing on inner feelings and on purely personal hopes and goals. God is deemed necessary to help his people attain the desires of their hearts or to find perfect happiness. Some even make the object of religion sound like capitalist consumerism—acquiring the goods of this life. But is prosperity an inevitable concomitant of true faith?

Importantly and interestingly, the Bible says very little about success, especially that kind of success, but as seen, it says a tremendous amount about the heart because the heart is the wellspring of true success. Little wonder, then, the word “heart” is found literally hundreds of times in the Bible. So, when it comes to describing man and his needs, heart is one of the most commonly used terms of the Bible and, again, most of these occurrences are used metaphorically of the inner man, either of the mind, the emotions, the will, the sinful nature, or inclusively of the total inner person.

Is it any wonder then, that Solomon challenges us:

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)

Swindoll writes: “How important is the heart? It is there that character is formed. It alone holds the secrets of true success. Its treasures are priceless—but they can be stolen.”

We must all ask ourselves this question: How well am I guarding (keeping) my heart? Is the condition of my heart my greatest concern? It should be because it is so determinative of every aspect of life. It ultimately determines our love for God and for others. It determines who we are and what we do.

Needs of the Heart

The Heart Needs Guarding

The heart needs guarding because of its natural bent as a part of our fallenness. And this is true even of those who have been regenerated by the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ. While believers possess the new nature and the capacity to know God and discern spiritual things, and while they have received the enlightening and empowering ministry of the Holy Spirit, they still possess the old nature or the wretched capacity for evil and selfish pursuits by which they can independently strive to handle life on their own apart from God.

To use biblical analogies or illustrations, we can be:

(1) People committed to building our own cisterns, but these always turn out to be broken cisterns that can hold no water (Jer. 2:13).

(2) People who are always prone to turn to the arm of the flesh rather than to the arm of God and His resources (Jer. 2:13; 17:5f).

(3) People who seek to walk by the light of our own man-made firebrands (Isa. 50:11).

To use the words of Isaiah, we can become filled with influences from the east, i.e., man’s substitutes for life for God’s plan for life (Isa. 2:5-6). Obviously, then, as Proverbs 28:26 warns us, the heart of man is not a safe haven, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.” (See also Prov. 20:9 and Jer. 17:9.)

Isaiah 55:8-11 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth, And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself; Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.

Here are seven reasons the heart needs guarding:

(1) The heart needs guarding because we do not naturally think and look at life like God does. We are inherently ignorant of His mind and His ways. We desperately need the wisdom and direction of the Lord to know His ways and to know our own heart and its wicked ways. Proverbs 19:3 warns us that our foolishness subverts or perverts our way. “Perverts” is the Hebrew word, salaph, “to twist, pervert, overturn.”

(2) The heart needs guarding because, like sheep, we are prone to wander from God in our hearts (Isa. 53:6a). We want to live independently to control and direct our own affairs. We want to be in charge of our own destinies. Oh yes, some of us want to trust God with getting us into heaven, but we would too often prefer to direct our own affairs down here on earth partly because we are so committed to our own desires. To completely follow His directions means we may be called on to give up something that we think we must have in order to be secure or happy. Thus it is much safer to be in charge ourselves, so we think. Man is inherently rebellious by nature as a result of the fall.

(3) The heart needs guarding because the heart is not just deceitful, it is more deceitful than all else (Jer. 17:9a). We can’t trust it because of its natural selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-protective ways and devices (Ps. 81:12-14; Jer. 17:9; 2:13). But to experience God’s way we must first repudiate our self-trust or reliance upon those devices we use to protect ourselves. Then, in the place of self-trust, we need to learn to rely completely on the Lord regardless of how things appear. Rather than lean on our own understanding, we trust the Lord to direct our path (Prov. 3:5; Ps. 37:5). But our heart, because of our fears and selfish concerns, deceives us through its vain rationalizations and we want to turn to our own solutions.

(4) The heart needs guarding because the heart is desperately sick, i.e., incurably wicked (Jer. 17:9b). The NIV translates this “beyond cure.” Remember that the word “heart” may be used for the mind, the emotions, the will, the whole inner man, or as here, of the sinful nature that is a part of the inner man.

The sinful nature cannot be eradicated, it cannot be improved, or changed for the better. Human reformation doesn’t work on the heart of man. So again, he who trusts his own heart is a fool! The pull of this old nature is always there to deceive us.

(5) The heart needs guarding because the heart cannot be understood by our own wisdom. Only God can reveal and lay bare our hearts to us (Jer. 17:10; 20:12, Pr. 17:3; Ps. 139:23). It is hard to know our own motives and reasons (1 Cor. 4:4). We are naturally skilled at deceiving ourselves.

(6) The heart needs guarding because the heart is the wellspring of life; the fountain of attitudes, values, beliefs, aspirations, and pursuits (Pr. 4:23; Matt. 13:34; 15:18; 6:21). Because of this, we must guard it or we develop those of the world and this will always lead us astray.

(7) The heart needs guarding because, as is the fountain, so must be the streams that flow from it—the eyes, the mouth, the feet, i.e., words and actions. The means for guarding the heart will come as we study some of the other needs of the heart. But to balance out character, we need to do more than guard our hearts.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Vickie and her fight with breast cancer

Pray for Barbara and Laurie the same.

Pray Dave Ingram and his 4th battle with prostate cancer

Pray for Sue D, 59 years old and just entered hospice.

Pray for Virginia M, a strong saint, she’s been serving God for over 60 years. She’s been blind since she was 10, and now bed ridden, she has been begging God to take her home and is having problems with suffering and pain robbing her of her joy.

Pray for those that suffer chronic daily pain and the depression it can bring.

Are you really helping?

August 28, 2018

Having worked with the “homeless” population for over 30 years as a part of various ministries we’ve reached a certifiable breakdown of that over all segment.

12% are mentally ill

8% are justifiably homeless

And 80% have chosen that lifestyle as a career choice.

This week I visited a homeless camp. They are pretty much ordered just like the gypsies. The strongest, meanest and vilest rule. The weaker are basically slaves. As long as they stay encapsulated in their designated “spots” the police leave them alone.

They have obtained permits from the city to solicit. Those without a permit don’t ask for money they just show the stereotypical sign, “God Bless”.

As long as they don’t permeate neighborhoods and stay away from schools and are in their designated spots they continue to be a scourge. When asked why they don’t get a job they say they have one, being professionally homeless.

As a ride around Chaplain with the police it always amazes me that a city no matter what size tolerates their presence.

We have asked rancher to hire them for work and they (the homeless) have 100% turned down the work. A local feed store tried to hire some and when told it was for manual labor the same results.

A nearby city of only 150 people have 25 homeless people prowling their streets and offering anything but a positive contribution.

The city profiled the homeless of who gives the money from their cars and trucks and were surprised there was actually definable categories.

  1. Catholic women in there 30’s were number one

  2. White males that were heavy drinkers

  3. Social reformers (democrats) that actually have delivered furniture to their camp and have had pizzas delivered.

And then there are the churches that don’t promote a bible based, genuine Christian experience. They have labeled them threshold people and need compassion and invite them to church and treat them like they are ok where they are in the socio-economic position they fill, but just need to know Jesus loves them, but don’t invite them into their homes.

The churches that have done this usually lose 60% of their older congregation who grew up believing you work hard and support yourself through hard work and if it takes three jobs then do it.

In our local newspaper we have (published twice a week) a democrat and republican dual. The female democrats have stated they have a solution to the homeless problem. Share 50% of your wealth. It’s selfish to keep a home over 1500 sq ft and have two cars. That’s actually a quote from the head of our county democratic headquarters.

Well if you haven’t guessed by now where I’m going with this you will right now. The bible says a person that won’t work and support his family is worse than an infidel. Meaning they are equated with those going to hell. Or lets say it this way, they have chosen this lifestyle and deserve nothing from society.

Here’s a question, how do you tell the genuine 8% who are truly in an emergency situation. Having worked with the worlds largest social emergency agency in the world. You can’t.

Do I have answer to the problem? No, I do not. But I will make a suggestion. Don’t hand money to a homeless person. Give to a reputable social agency, they are more experienced and you are not putting yourself at risk.

This week a young 23-year-old mother of two decided to give 5 dollars to a guy outside of Wally World, he followed her to her car and tried to rape and kidnap her. Fortunately, a legally armed citizen stopped him and held him until the police arrived. No, he wasn’t an illegal, but he had done two felony prison stays for assault and attempted homicide. He was released the last time because or overcrowding in prison.

Contributing money to them out right only promotes crime and they ability to stay as contributing members of society.

The bible says we will always have the poor with us and we are to be merciful, not stupid.

Think about it, regards from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

WALK THE WALK

August 16, 2018

This is one of those hot buttons on which there is a great deal of disagreement and what is given here by no means touches all the bases.

Summary: The Bible nowhere specifically forbids or denounces masturbation. It does, of course, denounce all forms of sexual impurity and fantasies that would involve adulterous relationships whether actual or mental. The problem with masturbation is that it not only can become habit forming and addictive, but men and women often engage in pornography and adulterous fantasies in order to reach a climax. Further, the difference in sex drive in a couple is often not the real problem or issue. It is rather a breakdown in the relationship and in an understanding of the role of sex in marriage as that which not only gives pleasure but expresses love, unity, and commitment to each other. Masturbation expresses the opposite unless done with the other partner. The husband may experience orgasm with his wife without actual intercourse. If away from his wife and he is experiencing strong sexual desire and he can have an orgasm by thinking about his wife, etc. then that could be appropriate.

More Detail: As mentioned, the Bible does not directly address the issue of masturbation or deliberate self-stimulation of the sexual organ to the point of orgasm. It does warn against all forms of self-indulgence, adultery of the mind, and fornication. One of the problems involved is that though God created sex for enjoyment and pleasure, it is to be confined to the marriage relationship because it is also designed to express love (not just sexual love), unity, and total commitment. Masturbation is an act of self-gratification rather than a part of giving gratification and pleasure to one’s partner. Here are a few of the dangers of masturbation that some have listed:

  1. Psychic effects. Masturbation has a tendency to isolate its captives psychologically and socially. In masturbation, the person is focused on self-alone even though he or she usually is fantasizing about someone else at the same time.

  1. Emotional deprivation. It is impossible for the one who is practicing this habit to experience the full extent of sex emotions. Therefore, in short-circuiting the emotions one can easily be removed from the world of reality.

  1. Damaged sensibility. The habit of masturbation has a tendency in numbing the mechanism of the sexual organs if practiced excessively. This lessens the sensibility and thus detracts from normal sexual relations of married life.

  1. Self-gratification. The emotional background of self-gratification is not the least bit healthy and usually militates against the home, wife and family because it is focused only on self.

  1. Control of the mind. Along with the act of masturbation comes the fantasy of the mind. When practiced often, a pattern or cycle seems to become established within the individual’s mind. Thus, perversion has a tendency to control the mind and this in turn initiates the act. The real danger lies in the guilt that increases as the individual dwells in this world of fantasy.

Much more could be said, but this will give you a few things to think about. There are plenty of theologians and pastors, etc., that I am sure would disagree with my comments on this, but here are some things for consideration.

The bible verse always quoted by those strongly opposed to any form of masturbation is always “you will not spill your seed upon the ground.” (genesis 38:6-10)wildly paraphrased. But you get the idea. Of course the topic in Genesis was not masturbation.

There are some biblical principles that can be applied to the issue of masturbation. Ephesians 5:3 declares, “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity.” It is hard to see how masturbating can pass that particular test. The Bible teaches us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If you cannot give God glory for something, you should not do it. If a person is not fully convinced that an activity is pleasing to God, then it is a sin: “Everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). Further, we need to remember that our bodies have been redeemed and belong to God. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This great truth should have a real bearing on what we do with our bodies. In light of these principles, the conclusion that masturbation is a sin is biblical. Clearly, masturbation is not glorifying to God; it does not avoid the appearance of immorality, nor does it pass the test of God’s having ownership over our bodies.

I’ve heard a great many respected preachers fall on both sides of the fence on this topic. The first principle to me is the issue of control, walking in the flesh (bible code for being carnal or selfish) or walking in the spirit (self control and spiritually minded).

One word I will say, if you consider it sinful it is a forgivable sin and does not and will not damn your soul. If you do think it is sinful then ask for forgiveness and move on.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

drowning?

August 14, 2018

Have you ever saved some one from drowning? Or have you ever taken a course on being a life guard? One of the first things they teach you is that you must get the drowning person to stop struggling. Second they teach you that you might have to get a little physical so the drowning person doesn’t drown you as well.

So this devotion isn’t about drowning it’s about why we need to cease struggling with God. This isn’t the same as wrestling with God, this is about the all to frequent struggle that believers have with God.

It’s frequently expressed through the thoughts like; “does God really love me?” “Am I really saved?”

Let’s look at some scripture that if you are struggling, hopefully you will find solace in the following scripture, these are some of the verses that are what I call “foundation verses” meaning you will build a solid Christian life if these are memorized or marked in your bible as ‘emergency verses.

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” ( Eph. 1:5 , 6 ).

See it was a pleasure for God to adopt us, and we are accepted.

The problem that I see in most struggling Christians is that because they are conscious of sin, they think they must do something more to please God, and the devil traps them in a snare of repetitive getting saved, going down to altar again, some good works, praying through. The fact is we must stand on the work that Christ has done and not try to add anything to our salvation of our own initiative.

Please read Romans 5:1-11 to get a great view of what has been done for us. This is another foundation set of verses that we should ‘get to know’ in order to not be persuaded by those well-meaning but seriously wrong Christians that tell you the problem is you’re not doing enough good works, or you are not enjoying the fruits of the spirit. The best thing you can say to all these well-meaning advisors supposedly sent from God to help you is ‘NUTS.’ (or swear at them; pick one its really multiple choice)

In order for our souls to find rest and have peace we must always understand that as long as we live on earth in these very carnal bodies, we will wrestle with failure and feel like we have failed God. The Holy Spirit shows us what we really are, not to make us feel condemnation, but to remind us that every day I need a Savior, that every day I awake I must accept the fact that today is a good day to die. That is what dying to self is about.

I am washed, cleansed redeemed accepted, loved and can be totally at peace with God even though I know I still sin and have my battles and failures.

Yet we are loved, with the greatest unfailing love from God.

God bless from scumlikuschurch@gmail.com

hey, I know that voice

July 28, 2018

I get told all the time how wonderful my speaking voice is. That always cracks me up. I have a phone voice, a radio voice, a preaching voice, and my normal, I’m just being myself voice.

Funny thing is when I talk to people on the phone that haven’t met me, when I show up later and say “hi, I’m…..” they almost invariably go “really”, seems they picture me taller, or from the women, “ I thought Rock Hudson was going to show up, nope, you got Burl Ives.

The many years that I’ve done radio has always been funny because when my wife and I are out, especially in restaurants someone will always come over and say “hey, aren’t you that guy on station….”,

I’m doing a radio demo this weekend to see about doing a 3 hour talk show radio host. Just because of my voice and the radio station manager thought I was engaging.

Funnier still I was at the VA Hospital all day today and literally visiting every floor and every other floor someone would say; “hey you look familiar”.

As got off on one floor I heard the guy say; “do you know who that guy is?”

I guess I just got that kind of face or voice. Total strangers will come up to me at gas stations, in supermarkets.

One time they asked me to come set at their table and sign the menus.

I still don’t know who they think I am.

So devotional thought, do you know the voice of God, think you would recognize Jesus?

Closer to home, do you know the name of everyone in your church? We print a church directory with everybody’s name, picture and phone number and remind people every Sunday to call someone they don’t know in the directory and arrange to have lunch or dinner after the service. When we have fellowship dinners we put out place settings with names and make sure people don’t sit with their regular crowd, you wouldn’t believe the grumbling that causes sometimes. We have to keep the fellowship hall doors locked so people won’t’ go in and change their names around.

I just scratch my head sometimes. I need to tell you sometime my favorite church joke, it fits right in.

So this Sunday go up to someone you don’t know, say hello, invite them to lunch. Get out our of your regular church rut and see someone new. And if you’re feeling resistant to the idea (many of you are) ask yourself why.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

The sheep know His voice, do you know your brother or sister in the Lord.

Ps. You want a prayer ministry? Take you church directory and start praying for the people in it by name. you will be surprised what happens.