Hope Notes 2/17/2021

February 17, 2021

Hello Hoper!
     When I was little and in the Catholic Church, confession was a scary word to me.  Every Friday our class would go over to the church and line up for our turn to go into the confessional and tell our sins to the priest.  I used to stand in line worrying that I couldn’t think of any sins, and so I would make some up.  Which right there was the sin of lying, a fact which I guess didn’t occur to my eight year old brain!  I remember one time, by the time I got through the ordeal and made my way to the altar to say my prayers of confession, I realized I’d forgotten how many Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s I needed to say in order to be forgiven.  I was so upset by this that I went back and stood in line again, repeated my made up sins, and made sure I committed the number of prayers to memory before returning to the altar.  This was just MY experience as a child; not everyone had the same reaction to confession!  But it did leave a bad taste in my mouth.
     The word confession means owning up to something you know or believe, and telling it willingly to whoever should hear it. As an adult believer, I learned that there are two types of confession mentioned in Scripture. In the Bible it refers to two things, namely (1) confessing your faith in Christ to the world, and (2) confessing your sins to God. Both are necessary for salvation, and one is pointless without the other. Therefore, I now view confession in a completely different light.  First of all, I know that we serve a gracious and loving God who deals compassionately with His children’s sin.  Psalm 103: 7-12 expresses this eloquently.  Especially verses 10-12. “He has not dealt with us according to our sins or repaid us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving devotion for those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” He is willing and able to completely forgive and FORGET the sins we confess to Him.  As a little girl, I need not have feared miscounting those prayers handed out to me.  I simply needed to get down to business with God and God alone. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)
      I am also now aware of the need to confess my faith in Jesus Christ, even if there are times I might be tempted to remain silent.  People need to hear the testimony of what God can do in their lives, and what better way to plant a seed than by telling them Who you believe in, and what He’s done for you?  Sure, there are many who scoff and ridicule you for your confession of faith, but the Bible clearly tells us that one day, “….at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord..…” (Philippians 2:10-11)  I’m not about to wait until I get to heaven to confess that Jesus is Lord.
     As a child, I didn’t really understand what sin was or how it affected my relationship with God.  As a believer with a much better understanding of this, I will continue to pray and confess any sin I find within my heart, not with despair or fear, but with the confidence that comes from knowing my heavenly Father has already completely forgiven them.  And regrettably, I don’t even have to ‘invent’ any sins to confess!

Confessing My Sin and My Savior – Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE
Following Step by Step

(Numbers 9:15-23; Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 119:105)
We’re going to take a big chapter jump forward in our study of Israel’s story.  The Israelites have been at the base of Mount Sinai for most of the book of Exodus, all of Leviticus, and the first part of Numbers. Now they are getting ready to move.  And as they prepare, Moses notes how they are learning to follow God.  It is a step by step discipline.  Not running ahead and not dragging behind, but rather being attentive to God’s direction and responding. This is a lesson we need to embrace as well.  Many of the struggles and trials of our life are for this very purpose – to teach us to follow the Lord step by step. We’ll see how God taught them this lesson, and we’ll take a look at some other Scriptures that help us understand how to follow God’s leading in our lives.

THIS WEEK’S PRAYER PROMPT:
God’s good and perfect gifts are sometimes supernatural. Other times, they come from human hands. Who in your life has served as a gift from God? Take time this week and thank God for the people in your life who have pointed you back to him.

VERSE OF THE MONTH: 
James 1:16-17
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
ANNOUNCEMENTS
BOOK OF JOHN: Zoom Conversation  
This month we’ve been reading through the Gospel of John as a church family, and we’d love to have a conversation together after finishing the book! Join us Thursday, February 25th at 7:00pm on Zoom for a discussion of what inspired us, challenged us, and encouraged us. Zoom ID: 844 8552 3617

JOIN OUR PRODUCTION TEAM: Sound Techs Wanted! 
We are looking for a few men or women who might be interested in using their gifts in our Production Booth for Sunday services here at Hope. Limited (to lots) of experience would be great! But we’ll also have some training lined up in the Spring, so if you’d be willing to explore getting involved, we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to Sawyer Weber or Dana Ott for more information: swebermusic@gmail.com; danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY:  
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! 

FIGHT CLUB: 2nd & 4th Tuesdays at 7:00
This confidential group for men will be using Tim Chester’s “Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free” to look 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. For information, contact him: danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org
YOUNG ADULTS
1st & 3rd TUESDAYS at 7:30pm
Never Gonna Give You Up (3/2)
You’ve been Rick Rolled. In the coming weeks, many in the Christian tradition will be observing lent. It is customary for people to give something up for those 40 days with the intention of drawing closer to God. Have there been times in your life where you’ve felt God calling you to give something (or someone) up? What are things or habits in your life now that God may be asking you to set aside?

HOPE YOUTH
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

HOPE KIDS
CHILDREN’S PASTOR UPDATE: Welcome Ryan! 
Big News!!! This past Sunday we introduced our new interim children’s pastor (make sure to go back and watch announcements if you missed.) We know you’ll happily join us in welcoming Ryan & his wife, Becky, to the Hope family! To contact him, email: ryanmoreno@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!