Hope Notes 1/27/2021

January 27, 2021

Hello Hoper!
     Back when I was in my early twenties (I don’t even want to do the math to acknowledge how long ago that was!) I lived on my own.  One night I was awakened around midnight by the sound of someone walking around on the front porch.  I tried to convince myself I was imagining things.  And imagining the sound of the doorknob rattling.  And the ever more ominous sound of footsteps stomping in the night.  My heart was beating wildly; I began making my plan of exit.  I would run through the kitchen and out the back door to safety. Suddenly I heard a loud crash as the glass in the front door shattered and a thud as something hit the floor.  What did I do?  Run out the back door?  NO.  I ran directly down the hall to the front door, barefoot over the broken glass, and confronted the intruder.  WHY??? I had such a carefully constructed plan, yet abandoned it all in the adrenaline rush of fear.  Has this ever happened to you?  I don’t mean having a cinderblock thrown through your front door in the middle of the night; I mean abandoning something you had all intents and purposes in carrying out.      Sometimes we determine that the trust we put in God to provide for our needs must be abandoned in favor of taking matters into our own hands.  We are afraid that He will not come through on His promise to care for us. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)  Instead of trusting, believing, and “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (I Peter 5:7), we begin to worry, doubt and stress over things.  Not everything that we abandon is because of fear.  Sometimes it’s simply laziness or misplaced priorities.  We purpose to read our Bibles and spend time in prayer every day.  And yet somehow the day, the week, or even the entire month gets away from us and we have not fulfilled our plan. 
     Doesn’t this make you empathize with Paul when he says, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15)  Now, Paul is talking about sin, and how he has the desire to do good, but not the will to always carry it out. 
Our abandoned plans may not always be sin, but the overarching theme is the same.  I wish I had an answer or a foolproof method to avoid this; I don’t.  One thing I can leave you with is this – we need wisdom in order to make good choices, follow a plan, stay the course.  And God is our source.  Furthermore, He is more than happy to give it to us when we ask. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
Post Script: Oh……..and my intruder?  Turns out he was roaring drunk, shouting the name of his ex-wife and demanding I produce her. Except she didn’t live with me.  She lived NEXT DOOR.

Clinging to Him – Lois
Restart (Exodus 34:1-14)

Have you ever wished that your life was like a white board?  On a white board, when you make a mistake, you can wipe it clean, and it looks like nothing was ever there in the first place. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to wipe parts of our life clean and completely eliminate them from our history? There is a reason our hearts cry out for that, and the Lord has the solution.  He offers us a real chance to restart. The New Testament is full of references to being ‘washed’ and ‘forgiven’ and ‘made clean’. But the point is always in reference to a restart. We are not made clean to go back and just get dirty again. Instead, we are to take the opportunity that Jesus gives us to start again and do it better this time. God offers that opportunity to Israel as well.  And in doing so, He patiently takes them back to the beginning, reminding them of who He is, of His grace, and of His basic instructions for their good.

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

What area(s) of your life are you struggling to see God at work? Submit that area of your life to him and express any frustrations. Then, ask for him to give you faith to move forward anyway.
We’re continuing our study in Ephesians weekly at 7:00pm. Bible study will remain online for the month of February. Join us on Facebook or YouTube! 

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 visitthis postingon the latest jobs available in Gloucester County! For financial help, including providing groceries/toiletries/household products, contact our needs team at needs@hopechristianfellowship.org

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

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!
God made me, God loves me, Jesus wants to be my friend forever!  Our HopeKids! WonderZone Facebook group is the perfect tool to help you reinforce these truths with your Preschooler! You’ll find our Ollie the Owl videos posted every Sunday, along with a weekly activity to reinforce the Bible lesson! This group is also a place for all announcements pertaining to our Nursery, Toddlers, and Preschoolers.  Join today to stay in the loop on all things WonderZone!