Hope Notes 07/22/2020

July 22, 2020

Dear Friends of Hope  ~ 
     Are you familiar with the line of thinking that says if God wants to really get your attention on something, He will put it in front of you three times?  Or maybe that’s just something I made up and not really a ‘thing’ at all; either way it’s something I believe.  The other day, I came across three separate but similar points on social media.  The first one I saw was enough to convict me.  The second one made me begin to see the pattern.  And the third one left no doubt that God was speaking to me.  Want to follow along with me?  (Forewarning – this may be long; I’ll try and keep it short as possible!)
  First:  Student pastor and author Stuart Hall gave an interview to Pastor Andy Stanley regarding his recovery from Covid in which he said, “We have made an idol out of certainty”.  (And nothing has messed up our collective certainty than Covid, am I right?) That hit me right between the eyes.  And the heart.  I know I like to be sure of things.  I like routine.  It feels unsettling when I don’t have a clear plan. But I’d never thought of that personality trait as being an idol.  Uh oh!
 Second:  The bridge to the song Christ Be Magnified by Cody Carnes showed up on Instagram, which says in part “I won’t bow to idols, I’ll stand strong and worship you”.  Double uh oh.  Am I BOWING to the idol of certainty?!  Instead I’d better start standing strong.  And offering my worship only to God.
Third:  Pastor Jeremy Foster posted a sermon in which he declared how much “we don’t like uncertainty”.  Well, at least I know I’m not alone!  And by now I was CERTAIN (see what I did there?) that God not only had my attention, but for sure wanted me to take stock and make some changes.  Thinking deeper on the subject of certainty, I realized that faith has to be a part when uncertainty enters in.  So I’d better stock up on my faith building!
      Why all this fuss over the idol of certainty? Well it’s not just about certainty.  It’s about the practice of idolatry, which connotes the worship of something or someone other than God as if it were God. And Scripture clearly tells us we are not to do that.  “….do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden.”(Deuteronomy 4:23)  God Himself tells us how He feels about it. “Do not worship any other god, because I, the LORD, tolerate no rivals.” (Exodus 34:14 GNT)  That’s enough for me.  God said it, I believe it, and you know for sure that I will sit up and take notice to things that God brings to my attention. Especially if He brings it there ‘three times!
IN-PERSON SERVICES (Including HopeKids! Programs): 8:30am & 10:00am
LIVESTREAM SERVICES (Via Facebook & YouTube): GoZone at 8:30am & Church Service at 10:00am

Food for Today and Tomorrow (Exodus 16:19-36) 
We all need food.  Some of us could skip a meal or two, but the human reality is that without food for a prolonged period of time, we would die.  Many in our world today know that danger very personally as hundreds of millions of people face starvation this year. So there’s nothing unclear about our need for nutrition through eating. With that reality in view, any time there is a question about having what we need, we feel some panic.  What will we do to make sure our needs will be provided?  Or the needs of those we love?  Truthfully, we can panic for things that aren’t quite needs.  And our desperation to get what we think is essential to our lives can make us fall out of synch with our faith. So let’s look at how God used this basic need to try to teach Israel to depend on Him – for more than just food!

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.”

Available on Spotify, Google, and Apple! Just search “Hope Daily” to subscribe.
Every Monday through Friday Pastor 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!

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!OUTDOOR HANGOUT: July 24th from 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Join us at church for a fun night of outdoor games including soccer, spike ball, psychologist, water games, and more! Feel free to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on and be sure to wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet!

We are excited to reopen HopeKids! Ministries at our 8:30 and 10:00 services. 
There will be some changes in our classroom structure throughout the summer:
-Toddler & Pre-K classes will be meeting together in the Toddler classroom at both services.
-0-2 year olds will be meeting together in Nursery 1 at both services.
In order to reopen HopeKids! in a safe and secure way during the pandemic, we are putting together some important new protocols to make sure we are serving in the safest way possible.  HerE are some of the important need-to-know changes:
-Every volunteer’s and child’s temperature will be taken at the registration table before allowing them to enter a classroom. 
-Anyone who’s temperature is over 100 degrees will not be allowed in.
-We will only allow up to 10 kids per classroom
-All teachers and helpers over the age of 12 must wear a mask at all times.
-We ask that parents not enter the classrooms with your kids. A HopeKids! team member will meet you at the door to take care of your child.
For more detailed information, please visit our Post Quarantine Protocol Sheet.

FAMILY GAME NIGHT ON ZOOM: July 31st from 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Need something fun and new to do with your family on a Friday night? Parents should gather their toddlers, pre-schoolers and elementary aged kids to play along with our Disney Zoom games! We will need a minimum number of families to play so please RSVP to mattrussell@hopechristianfellowship.org by Friday, July 24th.

VBS ONLINE: August 10th – 14th
We may not be able to meet in person this year, but that won’t stop our elementary students from learning how “Jesus Power Pulls Us Through!” on the Rocky Railway!  During the week we’ll be posting a different video each day for our students to watch and learn some powerful biblical truths. We’ll also be providing VBS “Stay On Track Student Packs” to those kids that register, which go along with the videos each day. You will need to pre-register ahead of time to Pastor Matt at mattrussell@hopechristianfellowship.org by August 1st.  During that same week, our WonderZone kids will also be provided with videos and activities each day that go along with what they are learning. You’ll want to follow Facebook to find new things to watch and do with your 2-5 year olds so they, too, can have the VBS experience this summer!

Small Groups and HopeKids! Hangout are now combined Tuesday nights from 7:00-7:45 for all K-5th Graders on ZOOM!
The link to the meetings will be posted on Facebook. Contact Kara May (karajoellxo@gmail.com) or Pastor Matt (mattrussell@hopechristianfellowship.org) with any questions.
Our elders are excited to announce that we will be voting on THIS SUNDAY (either by ballot at one of the services or at the brief business meeting to follow) to place Dan Lein as our Youth Pastor. All official partners are invited to join us that morning to vote. If you are a partner and would like to attend the meeting and vote via Zoom, contact Dave Hallahan (dave@hopechristianfellowship.org) for the Zoom ID. 

MARRIAGE NIGHT: Friday, September 18th from 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Living in the age of covid has many of us spending more time with our spouses than ever, but are you struggling to feel like your marriage is any better because of it? Does date night seem like a thing of the past? Are you feeling socially distant from the one person you aren’t staying six feet away from? If you need help bridging the gap, re-igniting the spark, or just want a quality night together, sign-up for our Marriage Night! We’ll be hosting a one-night broadcast event right here at Hope designed to encourage husbands and wives with a refreshing vision for God-honoring relationships. Laugh and learn together as we hear from marriage experts and discover how to cultivate a healthy marriage on a lasting biblical foundation. Join us Friday, September 18th from 7:00-10:00 pm by registering hereCost to attend is $15.00 per person; make sure to register yourself and your spouse separately. Open to anyone who is married or engaged!  

PANTRY NEEDSWe are in need of Chicken, Ground Beef, Hamburgers, and Meatballs.  Packages that are one or two pounds are best.  Then the size works for smaller families, and we can give more packages to larger families.  All meat can be put in the Pantry Freezer. Thank you!
 Bowing Before HIM,