- Hair Coloring: Do not use as an ice cream topping.
- Manual for a microwave oven: "Do not use for drying pets."
- On a bottle of shampoo for dogs: "Caution: The contents of this bottle should not be fed to fish."
- On a frozen dinner: "Serving suggestion: Defrost."
- On a kids superman costume: "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly."
- On a package for an iron: "Do not iron clothes on body."
- On a portable stroller: "Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage."
- On a shipment of hammers: "May be harmful if swallowed."
- On Christmas lights: "For indoor or outdoor use only."
Silly Warning Labels:
Judgment is a gift for those who learn and change. I had a friend in high school that was caught drinking and driving. He spent one night in jail. He later said, “Best thing that ever happened to me.” Judgment is good for those who learn the lesson and change. How else can you learn? The judgment of God is the way you mature in your faith. The judgment of God is the means to become more and more like Christ. The judgment of God shapes and guides us.
Grace is our constant prayer. That makes sense….. We pray for God to overcome the bad things that happen, /undo the effects of poor decisions. We pray for God to keep away evil and heartaches to disappear. We pray for an easy life with unending joy. Grace is good. Grace is needed. We would not be alive without grace.
But the judgment of God is also GOOD! WILD IDEA: Pray for God’s judgment. God’s judgment means he has expectations/ standards. And we fall short. We sin. If we never ask for God to judge us and resist living by his standards, that means we are trying to bend God to our will, mold God into our likeness. The judgment of God is a gift for those who listen, confess, change.
We are walking through Micah this Summer….
A few years before Kay Bishop died she asked me to come visit her because she had something she wanted to talk about. What a sweet lady. Little Kay was about 95 when she died a few years ago having been in this church forever. What did she want? She wanted me to write notes for her funeral ~ favorite songs and scriptures. She had a list of Bible verses, but the top scripture: Micah 6:8 READ. Isn’t that great. The little book of Micah with precious gems. Micah 6:6-8 is a tremendous summary of of faith/Christian walk. Our character is so important, how we conduct ourselves. This message of a following God with sincerity of heart and action is as important in the days of Micah as it is for us. READ Thank you Kay…
We’ll be spending this Summer in Micah. Little Micah oftentimes gets overshadowed by his contemporaries Hosea, Amos and especially the towering Isaiah. Today an overview of Micah: highlights, what is a prophet, who is God, and what the message of Micah means for us.
On St. Patrick’s Day 1905, Teddy Roosevelt’s niece Eleanor married Franklin, a member of the other branch of the Roosevelt family. Eleanor’s father, Elliott, had earlier died …so it fell to Teddy, then in his first full term as President, to give away his niece Eleanor to marry Franklin. The wedding was held in the Manhattan home of a Roosevelt relative, and, as [Teddy’s daughter] Alice noted , when Teddy entered the room all attention shifted from the bride to the President. “My father always has to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral,” Alice later observed. After the ceremony, T.R. slapped the groom on the back — “Well, Franklin, there’s nothing like keeping the name in the family” — and made a beeline for the dining room, the guests following, leaving Eleanor and Franklin standing alone. T.R. loved attention, adulation… (told by Carol Felsenthal)
Some folks like attention, ~ the center… In today’s scripture, the second part of the story of the prodigal son that Chad preached from last Sunday, the Prodigal Son returns home and the Father throws him a party. Enter the older brother. The word angry is used in the scripture. We can’t be too far off concluding the older brother is jealous. The older brother is all about spoiling the party.
Something happened when Jesus died on the cross. The world has never been the same. Prior to the cross there was great hope, God promised he would send a messiah to redeem the world. Jesus has come, YET we wait for the fullness of eternal life with God when Jesus Christ returns. AMEN! The best description I’ve heard describing the times in which we live: ALREADY BUT NOT YET. When I was young I remember my father was fond of talking about HIS-STORY. Where am I in HIS story of the plan to redeem humankind. The center of His-story is Jesus Christ ~ cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in it. The high point of creation: humankind. He gave us free will. We chose sin. The plan of salvation was set in motion for God to bring about a way for people to be reconciled to God. The promise was given that a savior would be sent, the hope of salvation that God would one day send the Messiah, to restore God’s people to a right relationship with Him. This is His-story.
99% is not good enough for God. He wants 100%. Underneath this scripture lies an important belief that makes a world of difference: Jesus Christ died for the sins of all people ~~ not a predetermined few people, but for all. Nobody is beyond the reach of the love of Christ. AMEN! Nothing can cause the Lord Jesus Christ to give up on you. In the story of the lost sheep, the bottom line: a shepherd searches for the one lost sheep. All are loved by Jesus Christ. 99 may be present and accounted for, but when even one is lost, God searches. God does not give up on anyone, and neither should we. In my crazy way of thinking, I imagine the main reason God has not yet brought about the end the world is because there are those who are lost that still need to be found.
We think 99% is pretty good. It’s not for God! One person said it this way: “If a batter gets a hit 99 times out of 100, he is the greatest player in baseball history. If a coach wins 99 out of 100 games, he’s the greatest coach in history. If you get 99 out of 100 on every test, you’ll end up with straight A’s. For most of us, 99 out of 100 is good enough. But it’s not good enough for God. He cares about the 1 just as much as he does about the 99. That’s the kind of God he is. He doesn’t write anyone off. As far as heaven is concerned, there are no hopeless cases.” (Ray Pritchard)
Following Jesus Christ is costly. Count the cost. Think through what you will be giving up to be a Christian. Jesus Christ wants disciples to rise up, giving up the bad decisions of the past, giving up destructive patterns, giving up priorities contrary to the calling to follow Jesus, giving up the easy life….
You may be called to give up your life. /to a life of poverty. / people disagreeing with you. /Hating you. The word HATE used in this scripture is disturbing. It is supposed to make us uncomfortable. I am saddened by how many preachers water down the word HATE because it can’t possibly mean to be as harsh as Jesus uses it. When you make a commitment to Christ you may be called to put aside that which you love. / be a different person.
Jesus wants people whose commitment is long term, when the world gets messy, when the people you immerse yourself in keep on being stupid. People who don’t quit. I heard about a guy that quit his job at the helium factory. Why, asked the boss. I’m just so tired of the way you talk to me in that tone of voice….
Like last Sunday, today’s scripture is set in the middle of a feast. Chad showed us a picture of his most memorable meal. I have a picture of a memorable recent meal I didn’t even eat. Forest did. My son turned 22 and sent us a picture of his birthday Burrrr-ger. Here it is….He made it himself as a cook at Little Big Burgers in Portland… What’s the white stuff you ask? Ice cream. This is a burrrrr-ger….
We celebrate with food. Jesus tells a story with a purpose in today’s scripture. The story centers on a banquet. A party. The meal is compared to the Kingdom of God. The kingdom is like a feast/party.
The book of Luke, as all the books of the Bible, is written with purpose. Luke is not telling us the story of Jesus just so we can know facts. He writes to persuade those who hear to make a commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ ~ to be disciples. the problem. It’s what I am calling a 2nd Generation Problem. Luke is writing to people who did not see Jesus when he was in the flesh. Luke 1:1-4….
What is the most memorable meal you’ve ever had? Do you remember it? Do you remember where you were? Can you picture it in your mind? Not necessarily the best food, but the most memorable. The one you can still smell, or see, or taste in your head…
One of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had wasn’t just one meal, It is a series of meals, it is having a Polish Sausage in Chicago on Taylor street while I was in college. The place was located in a single wide trailer just off the highway on Taylor street, just blocks from the University of Illinois Chicago. You ordered at a window and then had to stand outside and eat it. The one rule we had when we would go there is that you absolutely positively couldn’t eat in your car. You see what made the sausage delicious wasn’t the sausage, although that was good, it was the grilled onions, mounds of grilled onions, piled high and deep. There were so many onions on it that if you ate it in the car the car would smell for a few days, and not only would just your car smell you yourself would smell. So there was absolutely no eating in the car. I still remember in the winter standing outside at 1 am eating a sausage in 20 degree weather, watching the steam rise off of it. My friends and I loved that place. We would go at least once or twice a week… I even got to know one of the men who worked at it by name. His name was Silvia. My roommate and I would talk to him every time we went. I remember coming back a few years after I had finished college and he remembering me. That’s how much I ate there during college. I will never forget that place… Here is a picture…
I lived a few blocks from the UW Campus in college. One day I was waiting for a bus on the Ave, the main street in the U. District. Suddenly a homeless man, a Vietnam vet, is briskly walking towards me. In seconds he was in my face yelling at to quit staring at him. I didn’t know what to say…I stuttered out a denial. He got in another scolding for good measure, and as fast as he came he turned and hurried away. I looked around. Nobody else was looking at me, I think they were all not wanting to get involved. I sat there in stunned silence. Not sure what to think… The main problem://///GUILT.//// The man was right. I had been staring at him ~~ his scruffy appearance, his story, why he was in that position, was he lazy, was he mentally ill, sizing up his appearance…I thought I could get away with it because he was walking across my path, but he caught my staring eyes…and he knew I-was-looking-down on him. Thank you Lord for sending this angel of a man to teach me a valuable lesson to do my best to treat people with dignity and respect.
In this Bible lesson, Jesus confronts the religious leaders about not showing proper respect for an ill man. The real problem is not Sabbath keeping/customs. The reason the religious leaders are silent (twice in these short verses it is said they have nothing to say but remain silent) ~ they don’t like the man! The sick man is used as a prop.
Answered Prayer: God hears us. Do we hear Him? When we feel God is not hearing our prayers, maybe, maybe, it is us who has the hearing problem. I love this old joke:
An elderly man feared his wife was getting hard of hearing. So he called the doctor for a hearing test. The doctor said he could see her in two weeks, but meanwhile, suggested a test to give the doctor an idea of the scope of the problem: “Start 40 feet away and speak in a normal voice to see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, 20 feet, and so on until you get a response." That evening his wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner; he's in the living room, "I'm about 40 feet away, I’ll see if she hears me when I talk."
"Honey, what's for dinner?" He calls. No response.
He moves about 30 feet away. "Honey, what's for dinner?" No response.
He moves to the dining room, 20 feet away and shouts, "What's for dinner?" No response.
On to the kitchen door, only 10 feet away. "HONEY, what's for DINNER??". No response.
So he walks right up behind her and screams: "HONEY, WHAT'S FOR DINNER??!?!"
His wife turns to him a rage and screams.
"CHICKEN, CHICKEN! For the FIFTH TIME, WE'RE HAVING CHICKEN!!!"
When we feel God does not hear our prayers, maybe it’s us who has the hearing problem!
The temple without God in it is hollow. // Your life without God in it is hollow. // May the presence of Jesus Christ in your life give purpose, direction, satisfaction.
Until God is in the temple, it is but a shell.
A few years ago I had the graveside service for my great Aunt Minnie in Chilliwack. (Some of you may remember her and Lori Lobb, “old smiley”). Although I have many relatives north of the border, I don’t know many… in the funeral home were a lot of children, her great grandkids I imagine… as I stood by the casket in the funeral home and said a few words, on a whim I knocked on the casket and explained it was only a box, a very fancy box, but it was what was contained in the box that was most important. We have been looking at Chronicles and the building of the Temple ~ the Temple is a box, an elaborate box, but only a box. A box built to be filled with the presence of God. Until God is in the temple, it is nothing. My life, my body is just a box, and until God is in it, it is a shell.
Impossible! Ever have anything impossible happen? Years ago when I plunged into a crevasse on the top of Mt. Baker, I didn’t realize I was over the gaping hole because of a layer of snow. Steve VandenBos and I stepped onto the crevasse at the same time and landed 15 feet down on a snow ledge. A few feet before or after we would have fell 30 feet and pulled the third person down with us and we’d still be there. I landed on my feet, looked around and thought impossible for it to happen the way it did.
Ever see a miracle, the right timing, the right opportunity, the right provision. When you live with a God awareness, the impossible is a way of life. Somehow money works out when it should not. Sometimes it is a small grace, a timely phone call, a found object. Sometimes more dramatic, a miracle of healing, God taking you through a tough time. Impossible. One of the great delights for Christians is to believe in the God of the impossible. “Impossible” is used in today’s scripture. We’ll talk about the amazing use of the word Impossible, a twist in how we normally think of it. In another place of scripture, a favorite thought that brings comfort to millions of Christians, “Nothing is impossible with God.” I believe with my whole heart: God can do anything! There is always HOPE, always the possibility of a better tomorrow. Since nothing is impossible with God, we never have any reason to give up on anyone, no reason to fear, no reason to declare anything is impossible. No reason to give up on yourself!
Our world is confusing and depressing, but to live by the truth that God is the God of the impossible means we don’t have to understand the problems of this world! God can do anything! Amen!
Carl Crouse, Pastor
At SACC we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Every Sunday the worship service includes a message from the Bible. My words are an attempt to understand and apply the Bible to our daily living. I post weekly sermons and other biblical messages on this page. May you find meaning and hope as you read through each message and seek to hear God's voice. Leave a comment to ask questions or inspire others with your insights.