Hope Notes 04/21/2021

April 21, 2021

Hello Hoper!
     I saw something recently on social media with regards to parenting. The thought was this: “Why say no when you can say yes?”  As parents, many times we have an almost knee jerk reaction to say no when a child asks to do something.  It usually involves some sort of effort or sacrifice on our part, or perhaps a rearranging of plans.  It’s often just easier to say no!  I know I’ve fallen prey to this type of thinking many times.  But I did have one shining moment of glory when I decided to do an about face and say yes instead of the more logical no!  Our daughter Emily was about five and we were visiting grandparents up in the hills of PA.  It was a sweltering summer day and I had just finished getting Emily all dolled up to go out to dinner.  We took a little walk to the creek while we waited for the rest of the family.  The water was clear and sparkling; so enticing to a hot and bored little girl. Of course she asked to go wading! In a rare moment of wild abandon, I decided to make a memory.  Not only did she wade, but she went fully IN.  Wet clothes and hair!  She was aghast at this unexpected jewel of permission.  For once I put aside the inconvenience and allowed myself to give her a pocket full of joy (and creek water!).  She still remembers it.  I guarantee neither of us remembers where we went for dinner or what clothes she wound up wearing.  But that freedom of spontaneously splashing in the creek?  A precious memory.
     Now, if we think about saying yes instead of no to our children, how about saying yes instead of no to our heavenly Father?  Yes to salvation.  Yes to serving.  Yes to sacrifice.  Where would we be if Jesus Himself hadn’t said yes to the greatest sacrifice of all?  That of laying down His sinless life in order to pay our sin debt once and for all?  “……walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:2)  If Jesus can make that kind of sacrifice for us, surely we can afford some sacrifice in our lives!  “And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” (Hebrews 13:16 NLT)  God continually offers us the gift of salvation; all we need do is accept it.  “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”  (Romans 10:9-10)  Serving the Lord should be a natural outflow of our grateful hearts as begin to comprehend the magnitude of His free gift (complete with His grace and mercy) to us.  “Above all, fear the LORD and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24) 
     Why say no when you can say yes? God demonstrates His yes to us over and over again.  Let us reciprocate with a resounding ‘Yes, Lord, Yes’ whenever we can!  Oh and maybe let your children do something wild, messy, and crazy every now and then!

Desiring the Wild Abandoned YES – Lois

Getting What You Want (Numbers 11:18-23, 31-35)

Let’s pretend you have some real problems in your life (I know… so unrealistic). If those trials are in your face every day and there is a significant amount of pain or loss or struggle to them, you probably live looking for a way to fix the problem.  Naturally, we don’t want the downsides, so we search for some way to escape them. As a believer, this can turn to a prayer life where we continually ask God to fix our lives. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with praying for relief.  But we can drift very easily into a mindset that thinks the answer to our lives is for God to do what we ask. Israel thought that too. They complained about their eating situation. And they did it so continuously that God eventually said ‘Yes’.  But that wasn’t good news. Let’s take a look at this story and see if we can learn how to not cross this line with the Lord.

Proverbs 27:1-2
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Let someone else praise you, and not your own lips.”

Whether it is boasting about future plans, praising yourself, or any number of other things taming the tongue is a difficult task. Take inventory of your words and ask God to illuminate where you need to make changes.

Join us Sunday mornings at 8:00 in Pastor Mark’s office to pray for that morning’s services. 
New to Hope? Our online directory gives you access to contact information of other Hopers, and is secure and private for church use only. You can also update your information and picture at anytime. Access it online or through an app! To sign-up, fill out the form here. If you’re already a member of the directory, now would be a great time to refresh your information and make sure it’s accurate!

This group meets on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month at 12:30pm. We are committed to encouraging one another to lead obedient, fulfilling lives as followers of Jesus. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements regarding a quarterly event as well! Contact Jess St. Petery (856-673-6809 or j.st.petery@gmail.com) for more information or with any questions!

SUNDAY Q&As: Now through May!
Has a Sunday message ever left you with unanswered questions? It doesn’t have to anymore! You’ll be able to submit questions electronically at either of our two services and our pastoral staff will address them following the 10:00am service.  Join us in-person or check out the recorded Q&A on our YouTube and Podcast feeds. To ask a question, visit swiftpolling.com and use the event code 24424.

Join us Saturday, April 24th at 7:00 for snacks, fellowship, and some friendly competition. It will be a great way to get to know other couples at Hope! Open to couples engaged or married for 5 years or less. Sign-up here.

If you’ve been reading along with us for this month’s bible book, meet with us on Zoom to discuss! Pastor Dave will lead in conversation. Bring your feedback and questions! April 29th at 7:00. Meeting ID: 810 7220 2635.

“When Life Gives You Lemons…”

Join us for a night of lemonade and laughs on Friday, May 7th from 7-9pm! We’ll also serve coffee and sweet treats and hear from some of our ladies about the ups and downs of life, and the goodness of God in the highs and lows! If you’re post high school and up, you’re invited to sign up in the lobby or online here. You don’t need to bring a thing, but feel free to invite a friend!

BIBLE STUDY: Ephesians
Meets every Wednesday night in the auditorium at 7:00, as well as live on Facebook and YouTube. This is a great opportunity for a mid-week spiritual boost and a chance to spend time with church family. Don’t miss! 

Thursdays, 7:00 at Church | May 6 – Jun 10

Many times, being a Christian seems like a lot of “do not’s” which turn our faith into nothing more than restrictive legalism. But what if being a Christian is all about freedom? For six weeks we are going to look at The Greatest Commandment and begin to explore the freedom and wholeness that comes from loving God and our neighbors. Jesus brilliantly boiled down what it means to follow God into a couple sentences. We think it will be refreshing to explore this command together and help one another apply it to our lives at a deeper level. Sign-up here!

Thursdays, 7:00 at Church | May 6 – Jun 10
It can seem increasingly unlikely, but the issues that threaten to divide us are not stronger than issues the Church has faced throughout her history. In the boiling pot that was 2020, a variety of different issues have bubbled up to the surface. We cannot ignore them and we shouldn’t divide over them. But what if we can’t all agree? How do we disagree without dividing the church? Over these 6 weeks, we’ll look at biblical principles, apply them to contemporary issues, and practice disagreeing with one another. Sign-up here!

6:30-9:00 | Select Dates Below

Starting out a new life together can be ironically lonely. You’re figuring out new habits and patterns of living and it can feel like every other couple has it together. We know that’s not true. We also know that the beginning years of a marriage our foundational. This group will seek to help connect couples in a similar stage of life so that you know you aren’t alone. All meetings will take place at the Balls (239 Penn Ave, Haddon Township) and will include and time to dig into God’s word and work on your marriages. Meetings will be 5/7, 5/21, 6/12, 7/9, 7/24, and 8/28.  While all meetings will be beneficial, it’s okay if you can’t make them all! Sign-up here!
1st & 3rd TUESDAYS at 7:30pm
Open to anyone graduated high school through their early 20s. Stay tuned for upcoming events!

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

We are very happy to announce the new and improved GoZone Virtual Experience! Instead of the livestream, our GoZone kids who can’t make it to church will have their VERY OWN virtual experience designed specifically to be as accessible and exciting as possible for children at home. Make sure you’re following HopeKids Ministries on Facebook so your child can watch!

Our Sunday morning program for K-5th graders meets in-person at the 8:30 & 10:00 services.