Hope Notes 1/20/21

January 20, 2021

Hello Hoper!      Well, I wasn’t planning on continuing along with the prayer theme but God had another agenda.  I was reading a regular old story when I came across something I’d never heard of.  Perhaps admitting this puts me out there for some laughter at the impossibility of not knowing anything about this but here goes……..it’s called the Five Finger Prayer method.  When I googled it, I was further dismayed to find that it’s geared towards children, which made me even more amazed that I’d never heard of it. (Although I wasn’t saved until I was an adult and thereby missed out on all those Sunday School classes; there’s my excuse!)  Anyway, I thought it was really cool and so, for those of you who also may not be familiar with it, I will lay it out for you below.  I also looked up some verses to go along with the…….ummm, finger guide:
• When you fold your hands, the thumb is nearest you. So begin by praying for those closest to you – your loved ones. “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy….” (Philippians 1:4)
• The index finger is the pointer. Pray for those who instruct us and aim to point us in the right direction such as Pastors, teachers, coaches.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  (James 1:5)
 • The middle finger is the tallest. It reminds you to pray for those in authority over you – national and local leaders, your supervisor at work.   “…..for rulers, and for everyone who has authority over us. Pray for these people so that we can have a quiet and peaceful life always lived in a godly and reverent way.” (1Timothy 2:2) 
 • The fourth finger is the weakest. It should remind us to pray for those who are sick, sad, hurting or suffering. “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.  Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:13-14)
 • Then comes your pinky finger, the smallest one of all.  It reminds us of our smallness in relation to God’s greatness. Which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. Finally, your pinky should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively. Ask Him to supply your needs.  “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:19)
      And there you have it!  Maybe I’m late to hopping aboard the Five Finger Prayer method.  Maybe you are all shaking your heads and wondering how I’ve made it this far in my Christian walk without knowing this.  But if even just one of you is going, “Wow I love this!”, then outing myself will have been worth it!  You’re welcome.

Praying With All Five Fingers! – Lois

Going Nowhere Without God (Exodus 33:1-6, 12-23)

Pretend you’ve won a fantastic trip to an exotic location… sounds like a dream come true, right? Is there someone in your life that you wouldn’t go without? This person would be someone so connected and so dear to you that the thought of being away from them for an extended period of time would make you decide to pass on the trip unless they could go with you. Maybe you don’t have anyone like that in your life. But as children of God, we should be that way about the Lord. We know He promises to go with us wherever we go. But His presence can be something we know and interact with, or something we push away and keep at a distance. Are we so desperate for God’s presence in our lives that we would forgo anything – even things that seem like a dream come true – to be with Him, wherever He is?

2 Corinthians 5:7
“For we live by faith, not by sight.”

What goals do you have for the year ahead? Take some time and submit them to God. Ask him to illuminate where he’s leading you this year. 
Small Group study sheets are now available in the lobby and on our website. We’re also launching the following short-term groups in February! To sign-up click here

Faith as the Fix – Deb McCarson: Thurs in Feb
There are not always easy explanations for the complex workings of the human soul, and at times it feels we have lost our footing, especially after disruptive events in our lives. In this workshop, we will use various meanings of the word “fix” as an outline to recall faith as a stabilizer.  This small group will meet at The McCarsons residence in Sewell.

Fight Club – Dan Lein: 2nd & 4th Tues in Feb & Mar
Pornography is an epidemic, affecting over 80% of men, twisting our ideas of sexuality and killing us in the process. But there is hope; James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” No judgement, no condemnation, only healing and support is our offer.  Using Tim Chester’s “Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free” we will be looking at the ways we can both spiritually and practically fight The Fight against pornography. Fight Club will meet at the church in Dan Lein’s office.The Enneagram & Spiritual Growth – Dave Hallahan & Emily DiLorenzo: Thurs in Feb & Mar
The Enneagram has become a popular tool for personality typing and gaining self-awareness. Regardless of how familiar you are with it, we will seek to explore how this tool can be used to shape us in Christ’s likeness by taking a look at some of the unique strengths and challenges you face and which Spiritual Disciplines may be most beneficial to you. This class will meet at the church and be available via Zoom.

GOD’S GIRLS: Resuming Feb 1st
God’s Girls is open to all ladies of Hope graduated high school and up. Meets the 1st & 3rd Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm. Come out for a time of fellowship and study. We are currently doing a series on worship songs! 

If you’re seeking employment, be sure to visit this posting on the latest jobs available in Gloucester County! For financial help, including providing groceries/toiletries/household products, contact our needs team at needs@hopechristianfellowship.org

We are thankful to be able to add Ken Shinn, a partner at Hope, to our support staff.  He is going to fill the Support Staff for IT role that we discussed at our annual business meeting.  His background is filled with expertise in this area, and we are blessed to have him take up this role at Hope. Please pray with us that the Lord will use Ken’s abilities to help us be increasingly effective in our mission for God’s Kingdom!
1st & 3rd TUESDAYS at 7:30pm
Ruth – God in the Mundane (2/2)
Throughout scripture, and perhaps even in your own life, there are big, obvious moments where God’s presence can’t be missed. You’ve also probably experienced terrible low points where you wondered if God was paying any attention. But most of life happens somewhere in between. We’ll take a look at the book of Ruth to see how we can find God in the midst of the mundane.

YOUTH GROUP: Sundays at 6:00pm
Our current series, Bible Basics, will help equip students to read God’s word. Right now we’re in Genesis! 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

GO ZONE: Our Sunday morning program for K-5th graders meets in-person at the 8:30 & 10:00 services, as well as livestreams on Facebook at the 8:30! Make sure you’re following Hope Kids Ministries on Facebook!