Loving God, Loving One Another, Loving the World

E-news for February 21-27, 2021

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THE HEART MATTERS

Our Lent sermon series is entitled “The HEART Matters.” Lent is a solemn time of preparation when we take inventory of our lives. It is a 40-day period from February 17 (Ash Wednesday) to April 4 (Easter Sunday). Fasting or giving something up during Lent is a common practice. The custom in some churches of using ashes to form a cross on the believer’s forehead on Ash Wednesday is a tactile reminder that our sin leads to death–spiritual and physical. It’s important to be reminded of our need for a Savior. It’s also important to remember that the process of being conformed into the image of Christ is a lifelong one. The solemn reflection of Lent is a way to refocus our minds, hearts, and lives on the fact that we need a Savior before we can experience the triumph of Christ’s resurrection!

LENT SERIES SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS

To complement Pastor Shaun’s Lent sermon series entitled “The Heart Matters,” we will have a “Matters of the Heart” Sunday School class starting tomorrow, February 21! This class will encourage us to examine our hearts, our motivations, and our loves as we walk in repentance toward Resurrection Sunday. Please join us in the Narthex beginning at 8:45 a.m.

A REMINDER

 Hi, this is Ona. Don’t forget to bring your Bibles to church tomorrow! Our reading will be from Psalm 51 and Psalm 139.

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE…

An atheist was walking through the woods. “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!” he said to himself. As he walked along the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. Turning around, he saw a seven foot grizzly bear rearing up. He began to run as fast as he could. Looking over his shoulder, he saw the bear closing in on him. He tripped and fell. When he rolled over to pick himself up, the bear was nearly on top of him. Just as the bear’s paw reached up to strike him, the atheist cried out, “Oh, my God!” Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent. Suddenly, a bright light shone from heaven, and a voice boomed: “You deny my existence for all these years, you teach others that I don’t exist, and then you dismiss creation as a cosmic accident. You seriously expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?” The atheist looked directly into the light: “It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the bear a Christian?” “Very well,” said the voice. The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. The bear brought both his paws together and bowed his head. “Lord,” the bear said, “bless this food which I am about to receive from your bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.”

DIGGING DEEPER

Fill in the blanks using the words in the box below.

Last Sunday, Pastor Shaun preached from Isaiah 6 and 61. In Isaiah 6, the Israelites had just buried King Uzziah, who had brought success and _________ to Israel during a time of peace. But then the king defiantly disobeyed God and suffered the consequences. The Israelites, whose trust had shifted from God to their king as the source of their stability, were now devastated and afraid. The powerful Assyrian army was _______ them like sharks. Because of their misplaced allegiance onto man instead of God, the Israelites were consumed with anger and misery about the state of their nation and its politics. We do the same thing! Pastor Shaun talked about how we, like the Israelites, can become disillusioned and distracted by politics, and the consequences can be __________. When we allow ourselves to fixate on things that divide, we can lose sight of what’s true and real. This passage, in fact this Lent season, is a reminder to _______ our minds and realign our hearts. We serve a Mighty God whose glory is everywhere! The prophet Isaiah, after seeing a vision of seraphs flying about and declaring God’s ________, was overwhelmed with his own sin and ___________. He cried out, “Woe is me! I am a man of unclean lips and dwell among a people of unclean lips.” Pastor Shaun reminded us that what comes out of our mouth simply attests to the true condition of our heart. When we allow God to ______ our hearts and renew our minds, we gain a fresh perspective and keen awareness of what’s real—that Christ shed His blood and died for our forgiveness! That He rose again, ascended into heaven, and will return for His church!

        holiness        unworthiness       refocus      cleanse      prosperity      circling      devastating

LOOK WHAT GOD IS DOING…

These are quotes from participants of the Wednesday Discipleship Group! “It’s great because there’s sharing and supporting one another.”  “You find out other people are going through things, too.”  “You share things you’ve prayed for that God has come through on.”  “Even for baby Christians—there’s so much support.”    “You get encouraged knowing people are praying—for you specifically.”  “You see how to put God first.”  “It means so much to have this support.” “When you meet in a small group like this and share struggles and also good things, it builds trust.” “You don’t want to stay the same and you want to share what you’re learning.”  “It’s great—like being disciples…we discuss things, go to the scriptures, and share a meal!”  “I wasn’t sure what it would be like. It’s been way more than what I expected!”  “Thank you, Pastor Shaun and MJ!”

THANK YOU TO…

  • Don Paige, Daryl Fuskerud, and our Ministerio friends—they installed ALL the toilets last week! What a blessing! What gracious servants of the Lord!

SERMON SCHEDULE

February 21: Rev. Shaun Higgins, Psalm 51:1-19; 139:23-24 – “Prescription for Repentance”

February 28: Rev. Shaun Higgins, James 1:13-25

March 7:   Rev. Shaun Higgins, 2 Chronicles 34:1-33

March 14: Rev. Shaun Higgins, James 2:1-9

CHURCH & OFFICE INFORMATION

The Church Office is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Office phone number: 206-878-4861 // Office email: office@midwaycovenant.org                     

 Sunday Morning Bible Study: 8:45 a.m. in the Narthex

 Sunday Morning Worship Service: 10:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall (or online at live.midcov.org)

 The Clothing Bank is closed.