Baseball purists often delight in keeping detailed scorecards. So do many Christians — often unknowingly. Do you give yourself “credit” for your years in the faith? for the number of services or studies you attend? for the good deeds you perform? for the Bible verses and creeds you know by heart?
In Philippians 3:4-6, Paul recites his impressive scorecard, yet despite those credentials, he couldn’t earn God’s favor. Neither can we. Our tallies are all “loss” (v. 7) when compared to the righteousness that comes through faith in Christ (v. 9).
Attending church, serving and memorizing Scripture are good things. But we do them not to get right with God but because we are right with God — through Jesus.
The Challenge of the Scriptures
GQ magazine recently included the Bible on a list of 21 books not worth reading, calling the text “repetitive” and “foolish” (among other things). Pushback came from both secular and religious folks. Writing in USA Today, Tim Swarens argued that even if you don’t believe in God, the Bible helps you understand Western culture, history, current events and your neighbors.
For Christians, the Bible — God’s inspired Word — reveals God’s love and will. It isn’t always easy to read or process, but no other book contains such good news.
As Danielle Shroyer writes in Original Blessing, “Scripture is a sacred book meant to provoke us in ways that will move us toward God. And often, that is the very last thing we are looking for. We would rather have an answer, a simple plan, even a nicely tidy moral story. But Scripture gives us none of these things, because the holy is anything but domestic. We go looking to find a plan and instead are sent on a treasure hunt.”
Have you ever realized that you can give things to God that are of value to him? Or are you just sitting around daydreaming about the greatness of his redemption, while neglecting all the things you could be doing for him? This is not referring to works which could be regarded as divine and miraculous, but ordinary, simple human things — things which would be evidence to God that you are totally surrendered to him.
Calendar of Events
Tuesday, August 21, Men’s Breakfast, 7:30 am.
Wednesday, August 29, Gal’s Night Out 6:00 pm.
Monday, September 3, Labor Day observed. Office closed. Sunday, September 9, Sunday Class begins at 9:30 am.
September 16-December 14: Coleman Sabbatical, office closed. Call an Elder for assistance. September 16, General Board meets following worship Tuesday, September 18, Men’s Breakfast at 7:30 am. Shari’s Sunday, September 23, Elder’s Meet following worship
Wednesday, September 26, Gal’s Night Out at 6:00 pm.
Friday, September 28, Friendship House Meal prepared and served. Sunday, September 30, Crop Walk—sign up today.
Sunday, September 30, Family Promise Week—sign up today & Skagit Crop Walk begins at 2:00 pm. Join our team today!
• Labor Day, September 3, 2018
• National Grandparents Day, September 9, 2018
• Patriot Day, September 11, 2018
• Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, 2018
• First day of autumn, September 22, 2018
NEWS FROM THE PEWS
We have enjoyed some wonderful weather this summer, and look forward to many more weeks of sun and vacation opportunities. During the month of August we are once again collecting backpacks and school supplies for Lincoln School students. Bring your donations to church on Sunday. We are also completing the list of items needed for Samaritan's Purse Shoebox project. Look for a list of items this Sunday. We are preparing for Steve and Lela's 3-month Sabbatical beginning September 16. Rev's Liz and Jack Miller will fill the pulpit while the Coleman's take a much deserved rest. We look forward to hearing about all their adventures while away from office. The Skagit Crop Walk is coming! Join our team and walk with us on September 30 beginning at 2:00 pm. See Wilma, our team captain, for more information. We had another beautiful day July 29 on Camano Island as we gathered for the annual church picnic at Don and Joyce Leak's water-front home. We thank them for generously opening their home to us every summer.
Steve & Lela Coleman will be away from the congregation from September 14-December 15. Please call an Elder if you have an emergency or other matter you might need help with. We will be available any time you need someone.
Jill Allen – 360-855-2216 or 360-333-8006
Marcie Labo – 360-424-8503 or 360-708-4828
Don & Joyce Leak – 360-629-0524 or 425-424-3949
Beverly Madlung – 360-708-3352
Art Neumarkel – 360-293-3079 or 206-713-7746
Jim Paget – 360-630-5565 or 360-420-3321
June Steen – 360-293-0472 or 360-420-2881
Rev. Jack Miller – 360-318-6068
Rev. Liz Miller – 360-510-9081
"A Caring, Welcoming Community of Faith"
The Mount Vernon First Christian Church gathers together as a community of faith, declaring Jesus our Christ, the one who reconciles us with God and with each other. We provide a place of traditional worship in a forthright, supportive, and open atmosphere. We are a congregation committed to serving local and global outreach ministries.
Will Heaven Be Boring?
As a youngster, I imagined heaven as a big, dim room with thick carpet and worried that filling an eternity of days would be boring. I never dreamed anyone shared that concern until I read Sam Storms’ words: “Heaven is not one grand, momentary flash of excitement followed by an eternity of boredom” (One Thing).
So, what is heaven like? Scripture offers only a few intriguing glimpses: Ezekiel’s vision of four fiery creatures and the hem of God’s garment gleaming in rainbow light; Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus, depicting heaven within shouting distance of Hades; Jesus’ mention of many rooms in his Father’s house; Stephen seeing Jesus at God’s right hand; John of Patmos’ view of the new Jerusalem, descending from God.
We can’t know exactly what heaven looks like — or how we’ll fill all our “free time”! (Doubtless, worship around God’s throne will be a big and joyous part.) But we know there will be no hunger, thirst, tears, death or pain (see Revelation 7, 21 and 22). All peoples and languages will be included, with healing for all nations. “There will be a new episode of divine grace every day!” Storms writes. Most importantly, Jesus will be there — the Lamb of God, our Shepherd, sheltering us with his presence. For now, that’s all we need to know.
Check the bulletin board for updated information about our congregation and the Disciples of Christ organization.