And then just as quickly the crowd moved on to the next floor.
I knew a man that was visiting one of the Smithsonian buildings on the mall in Washington D.C. He was on a large landing between floors when suddenly a large contingent of secret service members and dignitaries came sweeping up the steps to the landing where he was innocently looking at a painting on the wall. As the crowd reached the landing, they stopped, and the sea of people parted, and there was President Clinton accompanied by (I think) Saddat. President Clinton stepped forward, and extended his hand. What do you say when confronted face to face with the President of the United States. The man's response: “God Bless You Mr. President.”
And then just as quickly the crowd moved on to the next floor.
(Note: This message was accompanied by a 20 minutes slide show of images from Mount Baker) God quizzes Job with a series of questions of God’s amazing work. For example, READ Job 38:24-30. I have chosen images from the slopes of Mt. Baker, a few from the devastation of Mt. St. Helens, the crevasses, the clouds, the glaciers, some standing on the edge of the crater looking down upon the steam vents of Mt. Baker, simply as a backdrop of God’s amazing works of nature. All these slides were taken by my father and myself…
Just for Easter, begin with a couple traditional symbols of Easter, then add a new one.
The rabbit… (which is not part of the sermon, but I liked the picture)
(Picture of a carrot) (which are eaten by rabbits)
(Picture of Easter Eggs)
And the new Easter symbel…the coffee bean… (hand one to everyone)
Two important questions to consider in today’s message:
What do you think of yourself?
The more important question: What does God think of you?
In our human nature, we make the first question the most important question, the only question, what do I think of myself. But in truth, what matters most is what God thinks of me. We have to wade through the first question, because confronting our own nature is part of letting go and letting God…but we need to get to the second.
What do you think of yourself… listen to a A video of a wonderful song by Peter, Paul and Mary Song, “Right Field.” The reason this song is so fun is because so many of us can identify…. (Video)
My friend, growing up in Sumas, had a glass eye. “When I get to heaven,” he used to tell his mother, “I’ll have two eyes.” When you have a bruised heart, when you are hurting, in pain, for transformation to take place, for renewal to take place, you need to have a glimmer of hope. Often we pray Lord change my circumstances, but seldom do we pray, change me. The answer for Job’s suffering is not just to change his circumstances at the end of the book, he is transformed. When you are in a crisis, when you are in pain, ask the Lord to change you. May a vision of what the Lord will create in you make a powerful difference.
Anyone set out to live a superficial life? A life without depth, without meaning? You make the call from this person, an introduction from her personal blog: “I´m not a superficial girl...hi, my name's Fernanda. i am 22 years old girl from Chile. i am in college. writing is my passion. i like novels. i am obsessed with vampires and zombies. i make drawings about everything that i see. i'm a little crazy. i love fashion. music lives in me. im a complicated person. i am blue sometimes. my family is so disfuncional. im never without my phone.” I like this quote from Paris Hilton: “I’m not that superficial.”
Many years ago three soldiers, hungry and weary of battle, came upon a small village. The villagers, suffering a meager harvest and the many years of war, quickly hid what little they had to eat and met the three at the village square, wringing their hands and bemoaning the lack of anything to eat.
The soldiers spoke quietly among themselves and the first soldier then turned to the village elders. "Your tired fields have left you nothing to share, so we will share what little we have: the secret of how to make soup from stones."
In 1835 a man visited a doctor in Italy. He was filled with anxiety and exhausted from lack of sleep. He couldn't eat, and he avoided his friends. The doctor examined him and found he was in prime physical condition. Concluding his patient needed to have a good time, the physician told him about a circus in town and its star performer, a clown named Grimaldi. Night after night he had the people rolling in the aisles. "You must go and see him," the doctor advised. "Grimaldi is the world's funniest clown. He'll make you laugh and cure your sadness." "No," replied the despairing man, "he can't help me. you see, I am Grimaldi!"
Three things Satan can never take away from you, no four: Satan cannot take away your spirit, Satan cannot remove your joy, Satan cannot undermine your integrity, Satan has no power to divide your heart, Satan cannot undermine your salvation. Job is a class act. He rises above Satan’s attempt to destroy his dignity and divide his heart.
I hear stories all the time from people with out of control lives, when they want to believe in God and make life decisions based on the values of Jesus Christ, one extremely helpful practice is to hang around people of faith: Christian men and women that have found the peace of Christ. That’s one of the things we desire in this church – to be available. Hang out together. In a large measure that is what we are doing on Thursday evenings at Seeds of Hope. This is no secret: Hanging out. A place to be. Friendships. Time. Helping each other to be accountable.
A bruised heart. The unseen wounds. When I was in school one of the most valuable experiences I had was an internship at USC Medical Center in Los Angeles. The chaplain had a wonderful philosophy. Chaplain Manley told us, go visit people with all their wounds, hurts, spiritual pains, hidden wounds, physical ailments, all these people you have never met, so that someday, when you are out in the local communities, you will meet people with the same ailments, the same wounds, the same bruised hearts, and be able to look past the hurts and see the person. Whatever your issue, your pain, your hurt, you are a person that is valuable, loved by God, a delight to the Lord.
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.