Since the service was cancelled on Dec. 31 due to heavy ice in the parking lot, the message was delivered via a live feed on the Church FB Page. Enjoy!
End of Year Personal thoughts ~ Thanks to everyone for being a wonderful church family. Without downplaying the significance of each family’s loss/tragedy/changes in 2017, there has been a lot of death in our community, a lot of grieving, many changes… I am thrilled to be a pastor in such a time as this, but honestly, I get tired. 17 funerals in 2017, a dozen or more of them involved significant time, plus another 6-7 people where I did not officiate the funeral but I was there in the dying process. In addition, a couple weddings. Also more counseling than ever in specific situations. When I started as pastor the church asked me to keep track of visits and hospital visits. I haven’t added up, but I am guessing I saw 40+ people in the hospital this year. Wow! Then there is counseling. I used to not think of myself as a counselor, but now that I am old, people seem to think I have a bit of wisdom, words of encouragement ~ dozens of sit downs with people this year to listen to their situation. I am very grateful to Chad for being here to preach a dozen times or so this year. On a personal note, I have an amazing wife that continues to work, and has two parents with dementia that take a lot of her energy, in addition to other personal responsibilities. Sally and I were blessed with a grandchild. How awesome over Christmas to be with our whole family. In the week we were with Rowan, even though we aren’t there often, we got to see him develop from barely crawling, to a curiosity to go certain places, to scooting all over, to falling in love with the dishwasher…
There is time. The Lord is NOT giving up on you/ our community/ our world! As long as there is breath, there is time. Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call on Him while he is near. The Lord was near in the days of Isaiah and he is still near. This is the great invitation of the Lord Jesus Christ: Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call on Him while he is near. May this Christmas season be far more than a fun time, far more than the exchanging of the wonderful presents/blessings from those that love one another. There is still time.
I love the inspiring testimonies of people who do not give up on others, parents with children who fall away, friends. Those who refuse to give up. On Thursday I stopped to see a young couple I’ve known for years… they had all three of their children with them for a supervised visitation. They’ve made some hard choices over the years, but they have never quit loving their children ~ they are going through the system. One more level of progress has now been made to be reunited with their children. I am so proud of them and I told them so….I know other parents who have all but given up. They love their children but are not willing to do the hard work of changing their life and getting the children back out of the system How about your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. There is still time. He has not given up on you, don’t give up on yourself! Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call on Him while he is near. It’s a great invitation… it’s time to go home! It is time for the wandering child to go home. God loves you beyond measure. His arms are wide open. It’s not really a matter of giving up on God, the truth is that there is a natural longing for God. It’s really a matter of giving up on yourself and your ability to change and do the hard work and be a different person that accepts God in your life. Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call on Him while he is near.
Ever truly been thirsty? Many years ago I climbed Mt. Rainier. Above 10,000 feet I could no longer eat or drink. I foolishly kept going, hours in the sun, not eating or drinking. When I got back to a lower elevation, I drank the most amazing amount! Three huge size cups…. Have you ever truly been spiritually thirsty?
This month we are walking through Isaiah 55. The prophet is speaking to people that are in exile, broken: “Time to go home.” He is speaking to the thirsty… those yearning for their deepest needs to be quenched… It has been 70 years since the people of Israel have been taken into captivity by the Babylonians. Most of the people have been born captives, knowing nothing else. Only a small percentage of the very oldest among them have childhood memories… Isaiah is sent by God to tell the people it is time to go home ….
The best example I could think of to show the sweetness of returning home is the a soldiers surprise for his/her family. Hundreds to choose from on Youtube, here is a two minute video of [Youtube Video of One soldiers incredible homecoming]….
Welcome ~ Faith in Jesus Christ makes all the difference…you are here to honor, remember, and say good by to Myrna Wood. A quiet woman who wanted peace in her world, she loved her children, she spoke well of all, a simple and good woman. She was a woman of faith who quietly found a measure of assurance and confidence in God. That does not mean she never doubted or wished for a different path… several times in the last year she just did not understand why cancer visited her too many times and she did not always enjoy being tethered to the dialysis machine, but she returned to God time and time again… she cared about people… (Click the READ MORE for slideshow and text of the message)
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.