Years ago when I was the pastor at the Nooksack church, the Church had a rummage sale to raise money for the youth. People donated a ton of treasures to be sold. Ken Roberts wandered by and I remember watching him as he poked through the tables full of assorted goods, and then I saw him as his eyes lit up. Some of you may remember all the Dahlias on the corner near the post office in Nooksack. Ken found an entire box of assorted flower vases, and they only cost a dollar. A man who loves flowers can always use another vase, and at such a cheap price. He scoops up his treasure, pays for it, and then I heard the rest of the story later. He goes home to his wife Francie and proudly shows her what he had found. Francie took one look at Ken and started laughing, “Ken, I donated those vases. They were yours.” Ken passed by the vases on a shelf for years and somehow never noticed them.
From a random shuffle facebook posting a few days ago: “Trust is a valuable thing. But once it is broken, it is very hard to get back. You can almost never trust them again!” Many people feel that way. We can all think of specific situations where it is hard to trust again. Relationships. Friendships. Men. Women. America. Presidents.
I expect a hearty “Amen” after my opening sentence… Nobody has to listen to a thing said by Carl Crouse [Amen?]. What do I mean? The only authority, the only standing, the only value I have, is whatever you place in me. It’s up to you to trust me in your timing, your way, to test me: am I worthy of being a pastor, a leader, it’s up to you.
Years ago when Sally and were living in San Francisco, a young woman with a small child lived with us – it did not take long to see that the child, Kristopher, was used as a pawn between mom and dad. The mom withheld the child from the dad if he did not do what she wanted, and he was no better. The two adults flexed their muscles, but who lost? We let too many people fall between the cracks, or a new phrase I learned this week, fall between the stools...
You May be the only Bible some people read…
You may be the only Jesus some people see…
How you carry yourself as a committed believer in Jesus Christ is as important as what you say. Francis of Assisi said, "It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching."
Back in my days of climbing Mt. Baker, I never was a technical climber. The only thing I knew was how to minimize the danger of a catastrophe happening, basics of safety and undoing problems if danger should happen. I was very good at seeing signs of a crevasse, making a judgment of an ice bridge, I knew the best clothing, how to tie basic knots, principles of cutting steps for the shortest person on the team, resting when needed, staying hydrated, how to climb a rope (in theory) if you fall in a crevasse.
The mystery and wonder of God is the open secret. Paul is saying to the young man Timothy to focus on the open secret as a primary means of remaining faithful to God and becoming the Christian and leader God intends for him to be. I am coming you soon, Paul says. This is the second time he tells Timothy he might be delayed, and thank goodness for that possible delay, for this uncertainty is the occasion God used Paul to inspire him through the Spirit to write these words of instruction so that “you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household…” (1 Tim. 3:15).
September 1991. Saturday evening. Sally and I moved to Nooksack. The next day was to be my first day as pastor of the Nooksack Church. A knock on the door. A representative from one of the local alternative religions. I introduced myself and said, Carl Crouse. He looked at me and asked, are you related to Earl Crouse. I said yes, he’s my father. I’ve never forgotten what was perhaps the greatest compliment I’ve ever heard for my father: “If I were to ever become a Christian” he said, “it would be because of your father. That man walks his talk.” Then he told me about a time a few years earlier when his daughter was sick, and my father showed up at the door and offered some financial help and asked no questions.
Quietness and Submission are good words. Do you know how much is accomplished in this world through those that are quiet and submissive. When I read the word “submissive” or “submit” I see the word “servant.” Helping others, quietly, not splashy, not flashy…Quietness/submission are necessary…
Who needs Soap Opera’s when you have real life? At times we make life so complex. How to live in peace, not drama. A woman named Lisa Rigg’s says she loves TV Soap Operas and has been watching them for over 40 years. She has compiled her list of most overused plot lines in Soap Operas:
What’s the first lesson parents teach a new baby: that they are loved. Not a profound message, yet nothing more profound. What’s the last lesson parents teach a child as she goes off to college?
The world needs to hear simple truths. What message do we want the City of Sumas and the Nooksack Valley to hear/to grasp/to feel/to sense? "God loves you" is needed, so that people truly hear it, more than a good idea, a living and transforming truth.
Some people have a need to be mentored, others need to mentor. I like the definition of mentoring that I used as a title for the sermon: Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight. The need to be mentored. You were never meant to live the Christian life alone.
I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know,
I want to be able, as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don't want to stand, with the setting sun,
And hate myself for the things I've done.
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.