Hope Notes 07/01/2020

July 1, 2020

Dear Friends of Hope  ~ 
     Our God is omniscient.  That means He is all-knowing in the sense that He is aware of the past, present, and future. Nothing takes him by surprise.  He knows the beginning and the end.  We see only where we are at the moment.  We are called to live right there, in the middle. In between what was and what will be.  The dictionary defines the middle as ‘the position of being in the midst of something’.   Now, if that something is good, we don’t mind.  But how about the difficult circumstances, the hurtful situations, the heartbreaking relationships?   Then the middle is a painful place, albeit one that builds our dependence and trust in God.  When we find ourselves stuck in the middle, we can take comfort in knowing that God always meets us where we are.  He is with us there; He does not stay hidden high in the heavens, out of reach.  Instead, He reaches down to touch us, to comfort us, to bestow His promises on us.  I think about Jacob’s Ladder (you can read the whole story in Genesis 28:10-19).  Jacob has a dream in which he sees a stairway reaching from heaven to earth, with the angels going up and down, and the Lord standing at the top giving Jacob a promise.  He met Jacob right where he was, asleep on a rock!  We can be certain He will meet us right where WE are as well.
     Being in the middle means we cannot see the end.  James 4:14 reminds us that we “do not even know what will happen tomorrow”.  But we don’t have to be able to see the end because “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)  This means that we can trust Him with our endings. 
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) If we trust Him, we can have hope. In the Greek, the meaning of hope is expectation of what is sure. This means that our God is the God of what we can be sure of. He is not peddling false hope and shallow words of encouragement. Whereas life, people, and outcomes are all unpredictable, God can be trusted. He offers words of life when we are in despair.
     We need not fear the middle.  We have a God who meets us where we are.  Who knows the beginning and the end.  Who works all things for our good.  Who gives us hope in the middle of the middle.  Like Jacob’s Ladder extending from heaven to earth, we serve a God who is more relentless than our worst circumstances and Who will reach down from heaven to give us His hope, His promise, and our endings.  Can you see his face at the top of that ladder?  It’s the face of a God who sees you where you are. And meets you there. Even in the middle.

In case you missed it, we are meeting in person again! For all the details, including service times and Covid-19 safety guidelines, click link below:

Crossing Worship Music (Exodus 15:1-21)
Music is a huge part of our lives. We engage with music differently than almost anything else we do. We move our bodies, we sing along to lyrics, and we take the mood of the music into our souls. God gave us music as a gift, and designed us to be moved by it. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying music about love or life.  But there is a special place in the life of a Christian for the truest and best use of music: to worship our God. After Israel’s deliverance, the nation sings together to the Lord. This is much like what we do today in worship music as we gather. Let’s look at the elements of this song and see how to take the gift of music and use it for God’ glory.

JULY CHALLENGE VERSE – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4,7
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified; that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.”

Now available on Spotify, Goodle Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts! Just search “Hope Daily” and subscribe today!
Every Monday through Friday Pastor Mark & Dave will be publishing short devotional thoughts, answering your questions, and recommending resources to you. If you have a question you’d like answered you can email hopedaily@hopechristianfellowship.org and then listen for your question!

Bible Study is on hiatus through summer.

SMALL GROUPS – ‘Becoming a Peacemaker’ Wednesday @ 7:00 in July & August  
Also Offering Online Class Sunday Nights 8:30-9:30 

We’ll be going through” Love Over Fear: Facing Monsters, Befriending Enemies, and Healing Our Polarized World” by Dan White Jr.  Books are free, but if you are interested please sign up so we make sure we have enough for everyone. The link to sign up is below and if you have any further questions you can contact Dave at dave@hopechristianfellowship.org
Sign up: https://forms.gle/28FfZKCJLkqV7yrR8 
For those choosing to participate in the online class Sunday evenings, here is the  Zoom Meeting ID: 810 2821 1352
YOUNG ADULTS – July 7th @ 7:30 pm
We’re back at the church for the first time in a long time! Join us as we process together the emotional, spiritual, and overall toll that Covid-19 has taken on us. How do we move forward? How can we be peacemakers in this time?

We are on hiatus until after the 4th of July weekend.
Be sure to follow @hcf_hopeyouth on Instagram and/or facebook.com/hcfhopeyouth to participate in Bible reading programs and catch all announcements for future events!

If you haven’t already, make sure to ‘Like’ our HopeKids Ministries on Facebook and request to join the group(s) below in order to follow all of our curriculum postings:
HopeKids! WonderZone (0-5yr) Facebook Group
HopeKids! GoZone (K-5th) Facebook Group

GoZone: Tuesday nights / The K-5th girls will be meeting from 6:55-7:25 and the K-5th guys will be meeting from 7:30-8:00.  
HopeKids! Hangout:  Friday nights from 7:00 – 7:45 for all K-5th Graders
The link to the meetings will be posted on Facebook. 
Contact Kara May (karajoellxo@gmail.com) or Matt Russell (mattrussell@hopechristianfellowship.org) with any questions.ANNOUNCEMENTS
With all the new guidelines in place to make Hope a cleaner environment, we are making sure to be sanitizing the things that get touched often – bathroom fixtures, door handles, etc.  If anyone is willing to take a turn in between services, please contact Jodi Jacoby at  jjacoby804@comcast.net
 Seeking Him in the Middle,