Hope Notes 08/26/2020

August 26, 2020

Dear Friends of Hope ~
     I’m sure you’ve all heard of writer’s block.  Perhaps you’ve suffered from it yourself.  Maybe not in writing a book, but how about an essay for a test, or even a simple thank you note to a friend.  I don’t often find myself in the midst of writer’s block (hello Hope Notes), but I will admit I sometimes have a bad case of reader’s block!  What is THAT, you ask?  Specifically I am talking about reading the Bible.  Every so often it mocks me; sitting right there beside my favorite chair, right next to whatever current book I’m reading.  It beckons me to pick it up and take in God’s wisdom.  My hand hovers over it and then, seemingly with a mind of its own, my hand proceeds to reach instead for the book.  Has this ever happened to you?
     There is a tremendous power available to us in God’s Word.  We are foolish not to tap into it.  In an ironic twist, if we are not reading it, we won’t know all the Scriptures that instruct us TO read it and why!  There are so many; I’ll just touch on a few here:
     The Bible is inspired by God Himself! Paul writes that “All Scripture is God-breathed…” (2 Timothy 3:16) It is His Word, containing His wisdom, His goodness, His intentions, His judgements, His promises, His heart.  Wouldn’t we want to know all about that?
     The Bible is nourishment for our souls.  It gives life to us.  We need to make sure we are being spiritually fed. “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)  If we don’t eat, our bodies wither and die.  If we don’t ‘eat’ spiritually, our very souls will wither.
     The Bible provides discernment. The author of Hebrews writes, “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  (Hebrews 4:12)   It’s often hard for us to discern between what we want and what God’s perfect will would dictate. God’s Word is powerful; it is full of authority. It is a holy two-edged sword that divides between our will and God’s.
     The Bible is our instruction manual for living. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”   (2 Timothy 3:16-17)  It contains all the instructions we would ever need!
 Psalm 1:2-3 gives us this word picture “……..whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.”  I don’t know about you, but I want to be like that tree, nourished by streams of water, yielding fruit for the Kingdom, with my soul never withering away.  Prospering in whatever I do wouldn’t be so bad, either!  I think I’ve thoroughly convinced myself to be stronger the next time a case of reader’s block tries to keep me from reaching for my Bible.
Reaching for Him,
August 30 – Sharing God’s Work (Exodus 18:1-12) COMMUNION
We probably all know that sharing Jesus is a part of what Christians are supposed to do. We are on this earth as people who represent and hopefully reflect the God we serve.  Israel was God’s people in Exodus, and Moses was their leader.  He gets a chance to share the true and living God with his father-in-law.  What is the goal in sharing Jesus?  Are we looking to convince someone of a set of facts?  Are we trying to get them to adopt some behaviors? Or is there something more foundational that is the most essential outcome of pointing others to the Lord?

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.
BIBLE STUDY: Resuming Wednesday, September 9th at 7:00
Join us in the youth room as we pick-up where we left off in our study of Ephesians. If you’re not able to join us in person, we’ll be livestreaming on Facebook and YouTube! 

JOB OPPORTUNITIES: New listings for August! 
We know that the current situation Covid-19 has left many people without a job, so we want to share a resource for those of you who are in need. To view a current list of job openings in Gloucester County, click here

MARRIAGE NIGHT: Deadline to register is this Sunday! 
It’s not too late to join! We’d love to have you and your spouse come to this “date night” we’ve planned on Friday, September 18th from 7:00 – 10:00! 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. Cost to attend is $15.00 per person; make sure to register yourself and your spouse separately by August 30th here. Open to anyone who is married or engaged!  

YOUTH GROUP: Youth Group Starts back up Sunday, September 6th at 6pm!
Our goal at Hope is to provide a space where young believers and seekers can grow in their faith, and find that they have a loving and welcoming place in the family of God. Students from 6th to 12th grade are invited to join us for games, snacks, and the Word of God as we engage in fellowship and seek to grow in our relationship with our savior. There will be some changes amidst the pandemic, including bagged snacks and youth group outdoors! If you have any questions, please contact our Youth Pastor, Daniel Lein, at danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org
TUBING EVENT: Sunday, September 20th after the 10:00am service
Meet in the church parking lot after the second service (or message 856-816-2222 for address & ETA) and join us as we go tubing, have fellowship, praise, and eat lunch together! This event is FREE, just bring your swimsuit, towel, lunch and a friend if you want! 

SEPTEMBER 1ST: What I’ve Learned So Far About… Womanhood
Just like being a man, there are plenty of would-be-teachers out there telling us what it means to be a woman or what to expect a woman to be. What lessons – good, bad, or seemingly neutral – have you gleaned on what it means to be a woman? What does the Bible have to say about this?

We are excited to reopen HopeKids! Ministries at our 8:30 and 10:00 services. 
For more detailed information, please visit our Post Quarantine Protocol Sheet.

HKH is on hiatus through September. We’hoping to start meeting again in October, but will finalize a plan as we get closer to the fall. Check back for details and make sure you’re following us on Facebook for all of the latest info!