Hope Notes 09/09/2020

September 9, 2020

Dear Friends of Hope ~
There’s a before, and there’s an after. There’s always that seesaw moment, the split-second where everything changes.  Sometimes we long for everything that belonged to the ‘before’; sometimes we can’t be rid of it fast enough.  Sometimes we long for the ‘after’ to hurry up and arrive; sometimes we sit in agony waiting for it to pass.  Before we got married.  Before we had children.  Before we got the diagnosis.  Before we lost a loved one.  After we get the job.  After we lose weight.  After we get…….insert whatever.  A tidy little timeline of our lives.  (Except life isn’t always that tidy is it?)  And it’s really a waste of our time to live looking back at the before or waiting anxiously for the after.  Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)  We cannot be effective doing Kingdom work if we are looking longingly at the past, holding onto things whose time has come and gone. Nor can we live fruitful lives if we are steeped in fear about the future. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)  Waiting for our happiness to magically arrive before we move forward gains us nothing.  Meanwhile, we have joy and happiness available to us right now! “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 144:15) Our God wants us living in the present.  “THIS is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)  In fact,He gives us a fresh start every single day so that we can stay firmly rooted in the present moment.  The sorrows and mistakes of yesterday need not follow us into today. “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:23)  So, while we will always have befores and afters, let us resolve that we will not allow them to diminish the here and now that God has so graciously given us.
Born for Eternity,
September 13 – Better Hope (John 14:1-3; Psalm 33:16-22)
People need hope.  Without it, life is draining, bitter, disappointing, and almost always too heavy to endure. But with hope, we can do what seems impossible. When people find something they believe gives hope, they are inspired and energized to sacrifice and endure with joy and expectation.  Unfortunately, many who think they’ve found an answer for hope live to see that hope dissolve into emptiness.  What is the problem?  Why are we so often drawn to hope that disappoints?  We’re going to see that Jesus offers us hope as well.  But the hope He offers is more than a wish or some self-delusion.  What He wants for us is to save us from lesser and unfulfilling hopes; not to wipe them away, but to show that every single one of them is just a setup to the real hope we’ve been created to want all along.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
HELP NEEDED: Project for Hope Youth
We’re looking for someone who has the right tools and skills to help build a PVC-based project for our youth group. If this sounds like something you’d be able to do, contact Dan Lein at danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org

BIBLE STUDY: Wednesdays at 7:00pm
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! 

At Hope, we believe that our relationships with other believers are essential to growing in our faith. One important way we pursue these relationships is through our small groups. For a listing of our available groups, check out the information here!

YOUTH GROUP: Sundays at 6:00pm
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.orgYOUNG ADULTS
SEPTEMBER 15TH: What I’ve Learned So Far About… Sharing Jesus
Jesus has called of his believers to “go and make disciples.” What this looks like has changed over time and is dependent on cultural and personal preferences. What does it mean for you to share Jesus? What have you learned is effective? What have you tried or seen that doesn’t seem to be working? How do we get better at it?

TUBING EVENT: Sunday, September 20th
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! 

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’re 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!