Connect - Mount Vernon Grace Community Church

Service and Worship Times

18350 Hopewell Road
Mount Venon, OH 43050

  • Sunday Morning Prayer
    10:00 a.m. Prayer time prior to Sundays service
  • Sunday Morning Service
    10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Nursery is available and Sunday School classes are held for children preschool age through 12 during the sermon
  • Wednesday Night 
    Bible Study 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Teen Bible Study 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 pm

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Straining at Gnats

Any time we have a ‘Christian Holiday’ the explanations for the origination of the holidays start popping up.  Whether it is Christmas, Easter, or Halloween there are plenty of articles and sermons on why we should or shouldn’t call them by their traditional names or in some cases even celebrate them. I have been guilty of writing both sermons and articles in opposition to the traditional celebration of all three.      I refused to let our family put up a Christmas tree for years. My kids never got to go trick or treating, (my daughter is still a little bitter for that one). Of course they would tell you I wouldn’t let them watch the Smurffs either. I think their memory of their child hood is a little skewed at times.) I know people who have left churches because they had an Easter egg hunt.     Don’t worry, I’m not going ‘Joel Osteen’ on you, I just wonder if sometimes we don’t “strain at a gnat and swallow a camel”. (Matthew 23:24 If you want to get a good idea where I am coming from stop here and read that chapter. Remove the word ‘Pharisee’ and replace it with ‘mainline denominationalism’.)

Testimony

Below is a testimony written by a young Thai woman named Faa. Faa has a home in Chiang Mai for orphan children. Chiang Mai is about a 1 ½ hour drive from where we will be going on the mission trip. This gives us a little perspective on the children we are supporting at the camp. Please continue to pray for those going on March 24. We will have names, stories, and hopefully pictures of our little girls soon. I can’t thank you all enough for the sacrifice you have made in gifts and prayers for this trip and for the five girls we are supporting. This is part of your testimony of ‘laying up treasures in heaven where moth and rust won’t corrupt and thieves cannot break through and steal; for where your treasure is that’s where your heart is also.’ (Matthew 6:20-21) You have laid aside part of your temporary wealth and turned it into eternal blessing! THANK YOU!Pastor Roger  

Sign of the Times?

I know I have used these passages on a number of occasions, But as I read about some of the ridiculous things that are taking place in our country I can’t help but refer back to them because they are so true about our culture.      I Timothy 4:1-2 1Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron…      II Timothy 3:1-5 1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.   

The Church, a Sanctuary

Have you ever felt alone; like nobody cares and even if they do I’m not sure I can trust them with my ‘stuff’. We have all been there a one time or another. When we were children, people (especially family members) said stuff that hurt us. “You’re stupid.” “You’ll never amount to anything.” Maybe it was a little more subtle but they were words that stung.     It happened on the play ground at school, maybe in the classroom from a teacher. With each wound we built a wall of protection, part of our personality was damaged and we created defense mechanisms to guard us from getting hurt again. Some people just shut down and never let anybody get too close. Some people use their anger as a defense; some will use humor, making a joke out of everything. Some will bury themselves in their work. Some turn to an addiction (alcohol, porn, drugs, etc.) We find ways to hide or protect what’s buried deep inside our heart.   

Don’t Have Time?

Recently I’ve become aware of a phrase commonly thrown around among most people, including myself, that is a lie. This lie destroys marriage relationships, parent – child relationships and also relationships with God. It consists of four simple words and is a very common part of our everyday conversation.  I’ve heard it used to get people “off the hook” in all kinds of situations. Wondering what it is? It’s a phrase, “I don’t have time!”

Subcategories

  • The Truth About a Negative Spirit


    The truth about a negative spirit 03/15 Do you ever struggle with an attitude? Now, we always have attitude but I’m talking about a bad attitude. A good attitude is one that looks at every situation and finds a positive outcome. (Romans 8:26-39) A positive outcome is difficult for most of us because we are wired to see the negative side of things. Take this little test. What is the 1st thing that comes to your mind when you hear these names? 1. Jimmy Swaggart… 2. King David… 3. Richard Nixon… 4. Jonah… 5. Jim Baker… 6. Samson… I realize I’m showing my age with some of those names but hopefully you get the point. Jimmy Swaggart was caught with a prostitute and pornography. Jim and Tammy Baker’s PTL Club Empire was brought down in a big sex and money scandal that, of all people, Jimmy Swaggart helped bring to light. How about Richard Nixon and the Water Gate scandal that landed most of his cabinet in prison? Then there is King David and Bathsheba, Jonah and a whale, Samson and a prostitute… My point is we are drawn to the negative. If it is news worthy, it is negative. Just turn on fox news, or CNN if you prefer. When was the last time you heard a report on how many people survived the day without incident? Have you ever heard a reporter report on how many people didn’t get murdered on a particular day or how many people didn’t get the swine flu? 2 people die from Ebola in the USA and we have a national epidemic. Somebody gets murdered 1000 miles away from me and I’m made to feel like I better lock my doors and set in my house ready with a loaded gun. A friend of mine showed me all his guns in his gun cabinet and told me how he would defend himself and his family. My 1st thought was “ok, someone breaks down your door at 2:00am and you are going to say excuse me while I open my safe.” I am all for our constitutional right to bear arms. An unarmed society is an oppressed, controlled society. That’s why our present Government hates the fact that we “cling to our guns and Bibles” (Mr. Barak Obama), another topic for another day. When Gene Davis was murdered by a coward that she caught trying to take her stuff, Melodee and I actually locked our bedroom door at night for a while. That is until we realized that’s exactly what Satan would want. He wants us to live in fear. Fear takes away our trust; our trust in people and even worse our trust in God. I believe it is fear that causes us to cling to the negative. Fear gives us a bad attitude; a bad attitude toward people, our church, life and ultimately God. We fear that we will be hurt, we fear that life won’t go ‘our way’. We fear that somebody will take something or someone that belongs to me. Fear causes me to remember the negative side of life so I can make sure I’m not disappointed when something bad happens to me, because I know it will. I have been dealing with a lot of “fear” lately. I guess that’s why I’m writing this. Friendships I once had are disappearing. I hear people talk about the atmosphere changing in ‘my’ church. I see a lot of empty seats every Sunday. I see people committing to things and then just backing out, not fulfilling their commitment. People tell me all they see wrong with the church, their life, the world… So, rather than ‘clinging to my Bible’ I cling to the fear that it is all falling apart. Fear is a lie. How can I say that? First of all as one man put it, (wish I could remember who so I could give him credit), fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. Someone gets murdered and I assume that it will likely happen to me. Someone gets caught in an indiscretion and I assume that to be his/her eternal character. Fear causes us to make assumptions about people, their character, their motives, the future, etc… We assume things we can’t possibly know. We seldom assume the best. (You know what they say about the word assume.) Second, the Bible is a pretty good gauge on truth versus a lie. The Bible speaks the words “fear not” over 100 times. Too name just a few: Gen. 15:1 Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. Gen. 26:24 fear not, for I am with thee… Deut. 1:21 fear not, neither be discouraged. Josh. 8:1 Fear not, neither be thou dismayed… Isa. 7:4 fear not, neither be fainthearted… Isa. 43:5 Fear not: for I am with thee… II Tim. 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. There is a lot of evil in the world and disappointments do happen. BUT if Romans 8:26-39 is correct the things we consider disappointments’ in our life, or negative are all part of a grander scheme that God has in store. For me, the negative, discouraging feelings I have all boil down to 1 thing. Do I really believe and trust God who said (my own paraphrase of Romans 8:26-39) “I am praying prayers for you that you can’t utter because I know you better than you know yourself. I am working everything out for your good because you love me and I have called you with a purpose: I have called you from your mothers’ womb to be conformed to the image of my son who suffered for you. Sense I have called you I have pronounced you righteous and consideryou excellent in my kingdom! If this is true, if I am for you, then no one can be against you! Christ died for you so no one has the right to charge you or condemn you. Best of all absolutely nothing can diminish my love for you.” Let’s go back to the test at the beginning: Jimmy Swaggart’s ministry spent millions of dollars building missions and schools in Haiti not to mention the thousands maybe millions that came to Jesus. Jim Baker wrote a book apologizing for his indiscretion in the PTL Club scandal. Richard Nixon made some blunders but he got us out of Viet Nam. God called King David “a man after his own heart”. Jonah went to a very wicked city that probably tortured his family and he witnessed the largest, most amazing revival in history. Samson was instrumental in bringing down thousands of Israel’s most notorious enemy, giving his own life in the process. With all the ‘negitive’ stuff that happened to Joseph; (read it for yourself in Genesis 37-50); he summed it all up in one line to his brothers who had sold him into slavery: (read Gen. 45 first) Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Here are some suggestions I am going to try to practice myself: Try going 1 full day without saying anything negative about anything or anyone. Try to see Good God might have in all circumstances. Write down 5 positive things every day. (Example: I have food; a roof over my head; I wasn’t mugged this week…) Negative responses generate negative responses just as fire generates fire. One more passage to ponder then Ill quit: Philippians 4:4-8 4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Pastor Roger p>