Tomorrow, June 6, is the first Sunday of the month, and we have the privilege of celebrating communion together. If you will be joining the service via live-streaming, you are encouraged to prepare in advance.
EQUIPPING THE CHURCH FOR MINISTRY
As the body of Christ, we have been called for a purpose—to see more people come to know Jesus and be a part of his church and mission in the world. Spiritual gifts equip us to minister to one another as we grow together in unity so that fellow believers, and the world around us, will see the love of Christ in us and be drawn to the Source of that love.
- Sunday, June 6 – Communion Sunday; Leadership Team Meeting!
- Sunday, June 20 – Father’s Day!
- Saturday, June 26 – Semi-annual Meeting!
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE…
An Oregon mother was breaking up the latest skirmish between her 6-year-old son Derek and 8-year-old daughter, Emma. She asked her daughter, “Have you forgotten the Golden Rule?” “No,” the daughter replied, “but Derek did it unto me first!”
Psalm 66:16 says, “Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me!” This week’s praise-giver is Robert Olson. My life is a testimony to God’s love and redemption! He has saved me and given me a second chance, and that has changed everything. Two years ago, I was homeless in my car with no place to go. I parked my car at the church sometimes. Even though sometimes Ron would tell me to leave, I kept coming back. I felt God’s care on this property, like He was close, and I was safe here. I started praying for changes in my life, and I somehow knew that God brought me here for a reason. As I spent time in my car with my Bible, I realized that I had been running from, and trying to drown out, the deep pain in my life by self-medicating with drugs and alcohol—for years. Not only did that not help, but it made my darkness and hopelessness deeper. I started taking responsibility for the bad choices I had made. I accepted the consequences of those choices, including the painful losses of friends and family members. I refused to blame the drugs and alcohol; I owned every bad choice. People often ask me, “Aren’t you lonely?” I explain that I am alone but not lonely because I have God. I have Jesus. I just open my Bible! The Bible guides me and helps me make good decisions. Proverbs 12:15 says “A wise person learns from the mistakes of others, but a foolish person has to learn from his own mistakes.” I try to apply that by looking back at my own mistakes so I don’t repeat them, and by listening to others’ mistakes so I can try to avoid those. Psalm 121 is so good: “My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let me stumble; the One who watches over me will not slumber. He stands beside me as my protective shade…He keeps me from harm and watches over my life.” Those verses give me comfort. I have a lot of doubts about a lot of things. Sometimes I am tempted to have a beer or something. But I stop myself. I weigh the pros and cons. I ask myself: “What is the purpose of being sober?” I ask the Lord for strength and to help me one step at a time. Just because I’m sober (for 15 months now) doesn’t mean I’m not weak. You know, some people try to take advantage of you when you’re in sobriety. I watch carefully who I associate with. I used to think of the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” But there’s a Proverb that says it even better: “Friendship with the wise will make you wise, but friendship with fools will make you like them.” I also know that I need to work on my faith, every day, saving my soul by all means necessary! If I don’t protect my own soul, I become gullible to the wiles of the devil who wants me to fall short of God’s glory, who wants me to get off the narrow path to heaven, and who wants me to lead others astray. I just want to do God’s will. I try to help others find the way, because a lot of people out on the streets are lost and hurting. A lot of them see me with my Bible. Some of them even call me “Preacher.” I tell them Jesus loves them! Sometimes they try to change the subject. If they’ll listen, I share how God gave me a second chance and how He is changing my life. But I know that coming to God has to be their choice. I can bring them to the altar, but I can’t make them pray. I am so grateful for the blessing of Jesus in my life. That I am even alive is a miracle! God has given me a new outlook on life. He is teaching me how to deal with things, and how to say No to what’s wrong in God’s eyes. Because of God in my life, I’ve been able to overcome obstacles and even barricades. My soul was captive to the devil; I was hopelessly lost. But God has brought me full circle—out of darkness and into the light of His love. To not accept His incredible forgiveness would be like trying to live blind. I am so blessed, and so grateful. I just want to tell people: “What Jesus did for me, He will do for you!” In addition to my faith and this church, I have resources that are helping me. Medication for my mental health has stabilized my thinking and helps me feel normal. Recent dental work gives me confidence to smile. But most important of all is God in my life. He is bringing me from darkness to light. Whether in the parking lot reading my Bible or inside the church for a service, I believe this is where I belong. It’s been a long, hard road, and I have a lot of doubts about a lot of things, but God is with me and He is healing me. I know that He has a destiny for me—and for all of us!
Fill in the blanks using the words in the box below.
Last Sunday, Pastor Shaun preached on 1 Corinthians 13. He talked about the power of love in the Body of Christ. He said we come together as a church for a _______ purpose—to experience ALL the gifts in the Body and to learn from one another. Our love and unity grow as we exercise our spiritual gifts, and the world sees that we are Christians by our love. In this passage, Paul is emphatic that the most ________ thing to cultivate is love. It is of eternal significance and will not pass away! Interestingly, this passage, with its focus on love, is commonly used by pastors in marriage ceremonies. And no wonder! It speaks to all the challenges and _________ we will face. If we’re not doing marriage (or any relationships for that matter) with this kind of love, then we are nothing, and we gain nothing (verses 2-3). What does this kind of love look like? It is patient and kind and forgiving; it is hopeful and enduring; it is not rude or irritable or _______; and it never gives up! Another thing Paul is emphatic about cultivating is faith. As followers of Christ, we trust and believe that God sent His only Son to die for our sins, and that He defeated death and rose on high and will one day return for His Church. We can’t prove this with empirical evidence; we believe it by faith in the written Word of God. This kind of faith is profound! It should empower us to do great things! Why doesn’t it? Too easily, we forget or lose sight of the _____ we have placed in Christ. If we don’t remember we have it, what good is it? The same is true about love. If we have God and His love inside of us, but we fail to demonstrate it, what good is it? What a tragedy and waste if we have the love of God within us but don’t obey God’s instruction to _____ this love to the world around us that is filled with hopelessness, hatred, and depravity. The world needs to see the love of Christ in our lives! When we stand before Christ, we will be _______ by fire. If we did not use our gifts in love, they’ll be burned to ashes. We need to remember Paul’s admonition: “It is nothing if not done in love!”
|faith tested specific jealous important show situations|
THANK YOU TO…
Dale Dowsing for your hard work and persistence with installing the replacement window in the portable!
Marie Higgins for the welcoming signs you placed outside the church!
Re’uven Higgins for being such a great office greeter! Your Hi’s and Amen’s and See You Later’s are precious!
It was the custom among the Parthians that none were to give their children any meat in the morning before they saw the sweat on their faces . . .You shall find this to be God’s usual course: not to give His children the taste of His delights until they begin to sweat in seeking after Him. –Richard Baxter, 17th century theologian
June 6: Rev. Shaun Higgins, Ephesians 4:7-16
June 13: Rev. Shaun Higgins, Malachi 1:1-5
June 20: Rev. Shaun Higgins, Malachi 1:6-14
June 27: Rev. Shaun Higgins, Malachi 2:10-16
CHURCH & OFFICE INFORMATION
- The Church Office is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Office phone number: 206-878-4861 // Office email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sunday Morning Worship Service: 10:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary (or online at live.midcov.org)
- Children’s Sunday School upstairs at 10:30 a.m.
- Women’s Discipleship Lunch Group: Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall
- Men’s Bible Study Breakfast Group: Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. at Tuscany’s in Des Moines