Hope Notes 11/04/2020

November 4, 2020

Dear Friends of Hope ~
Michael W. Smith sings, “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, I want to see you…”  What on earth are the eyes of our hearts?  What exactly does it mean to have them opened and why do we need to?  In Ephesians 1:18, Paul prays this same thing for the believers in Ephesus. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened (opened) in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…..”  We are all born with physical eyes to see the world around us.  God also formed us with spiritual ‘eyes’ to understand the deeper things of God. These believers already knew the facts of salvation and the believer’s future hope with God. However, Paul wants them to better understand the importance of these blessings. To have the eyes of our hearts opened means that we are given wisdom and perception pertaining to spiritual matters. I believe Job experienced this during his long conversations with God.  “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5)  Not that he was seeing God face to face, but rather through the eyes of faith and a spiritual understanding he did not have before.  Having more of a mental and spiritual awareness.  Sometimes we need to have the eyes of our hearts opened because we simply forget that the things of this world are fleeting and don’t really matter much in the light of eternity.  Sometimes our spiritual eyes are blinded to the needs of others; we cannot see past our own needs in order to extend help to those around us.  At other times we ignore the scope of God’s power.  If someone were to ask us, we would be quick to acknowledge intellectually that He is all powerful.  But we choke it out in our own lives because we don’t think or believe that He will actually do something.  We’re not seeing with our spiritual eyes. Another excellent reason to have our spiritual eyes open is found in Psalm 119:18. “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”  This is certainly not referring to our physical eyes being shut, but to those all-important eyes of our hearts. We need for them to be open in order to discern what Scripture is saying to us.  In closing, as we pray for God’s guidance in our everyday lives, let’s not forget to ask Him to keep our spiritual eyes open—the eyes of our hearts towards Him.
Once was Blind, but Now I See…..
Where We Kneel (Exodus 20:1-11)
The Ten Commandments – Part 1
Over the past few years, there has been quite a bit of discussion about kneeling. Some see it as a symbol of honor mixed with a cry for forward progress on important issues in our country.  Others see it as a way of worshipping what doesn’t deserve to be worshipped.  And still others have adopted it as a way to take a posture of humility and reconciliation.  So we don’t actually agree on what it means in our country.  But in the Scriptures, kneeling is generally used as sign of worship. As God gives Moses what is arguably the most famous list of all time, He begins by giving instructions on where to kneel.  It is no mistake that this is at the very beginning of the moral code that has endured for over 3500 years and has been used as the foundation of many human societies. Could these instructions still have vivid meaning for our lives in this day? We’ll begin our study of the Ten Commandments by looking at the first four.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.”
For the month of October we averaged $8104 per week bringing our annual weekly giving average significantly down to $9268 per week. Our target for this year is $9400 per week, so we’re praying that we’ll be able to finish the year at or above this number with the final two months worth of giving in 2020.  Thank you to each person who sacrifices and gives so faithfully.  And if Hope is your church home, please seek the Lord on what you should be regularly giving to support our mission!

MEN’S BREAKFAST: This Saturday, 8:00-9:30
Men graduated high school and up are invited to our monthly Men’s Breakfast. We feature prayer, special speakers, study and projects—all enjoyed with a great breakfast and terrific fellowship. If you’d like to help out with cooking, arrive at 7:00. 

CANDLE MAKING NIGHT: Friday, 12/4 at 6:30
Our Young Adults would love to host you for what’s sure to be a great way to kick of the holiday season! Josh Peterson will be leading this class and helping you to make your own candles! Cost is $30 and will cover three candles, pizza, and drinks for the evening. To sign-up, fill out this form and make sure to pay in advance to secure your spot, as there is limited places available. To see the type of candle creation you’ll be making, check-out Josh’s instagram @oakharborcandles

OCC looks a little different this year because of Covid, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t participate! There will be a table in the rear of the church to pick-up a box, or you may design a virtual box online at the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child website. Take a flat shoebox and take ONE pamphlet for EACH box you plan to make. Shop and pack for your age and gender child. (Make sure to read about things to NOT pack.) Affix label on top of box. Place $9 cash/check inside EACH box OR pay online using the scan tracking label. PLEASE – Do NOT seal the box. You may use rubber bands. Drop back at Hope no later than 11/15/20. Visit the OCC website for detailed FAQ information. 

ANNUAL CHURCH VOTING: Ballots due Nov 15th
Calling all Hope partners! We need you to participate in this year’s election for deacon and elder teams. Ballots are available in the church lobby at the sign-up table, along with a list of current partners, deacons, and elders. Completed ballots are due back to Pastor Mark by November 15th. 

YOUTH GROUP: Sundays at 6:00pm
 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. If you have any questions, please contact our Youth Pastor, Daniel Lein, at danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org
NOVEMBER 17th: Join us as we continue our discussion about the Parables of Jesus.

Mark your calendars because we are having our annual Kids Christmas Programs! Elementary aged kids will be performing on 12/13, and our Preschoolers will be on 12/20. Practices will begin this Sunday! If you have any questions about participation, email: kids@hopechristianfellowship.org

We are looking for volunteers in all of our areas across kids ministry, but particularly at our registration table. If you are interested in welcoming families and checking-in their kids for Sunday morning classes, this would be a great opportunity to serve! To get involved, email: kids@hopechristianfellowship.org