Hope Notes 09/15/2021

September 15, 2021

Hello Hoper~
   This past weekend was filled with remembrances of 9/11 and tributes to those who lost their lives during this horrific event.  I read a lot of statements that included the word ‘if’. Many times it was used as a sad little word; people lamenting the way things could have been different, ‘if only’. This is a rather senseless application. Of course no one could have foreseen what would happen that morning or they would all have stayed safely at home.  As believers, we know that only God can know the future.  In Isaiah 46:10, God says, “Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.”Proverbs 27:1 reminds us, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what the day may bring.”
     ‘If’ is one of the most common and ordinary words around; most of us probably use it without giving it much thought.  According to the Gospel Library app, it appears in Scripture 4,711 times!  When if is not followed by the word only, it becomes a more positive little conjunction, as in ‘if I hadn’t stopped for coffee (missed the bus, been sick at home, etc.) I would have been in the tower’. You will find the same utilization in Scripture.  “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)  How about this verse in Romans 14:8 – “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”  An encouraging and hopeful use of the word.
     There was much chaos and turmoil surrounding the events of 9/11.  Sadly, today our world is again facing chaos and turmoil, albeit for different reasons.  I’d like to leave you with a Scripture that is quite definite in its message.  There is not an ‘if’ to be seen, praise God.  May it bring you comfort and peace, no matter the circumstances of the world, or your own personal situation.      “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging…He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:1-3; 10)   If Not for Him – Lois

Dying to Live | Communion
(Matt 16:25; Gal. 2:20; Matt 12:15-21; Luke 19:10; 1 Cor 1:27-28; 2 Cor 12:9-10; James 1:2; Romans 8:34; 1 Thess 4:16; Isaiah 61:1, 3, 7, 10-11)
How many arguments between God’s people and the lost can you think of right now? We debate over public policy, moral choices, values, and seemingly almost everything else. But perhaps we miss one big reality: as believers, we really believe things that seem crazy to unbelievers.  One of the reasons that the life we are given does not flourish in our lives is that we forget about the power that God demonstrates in the places of loss, pain, suffering, and brokenness.  We call it resurrection power, and every believer has experienced it. But when life gets hard or dark, we tend to forget it, and lose our connection to living alive.

2 Corinthians 5:20

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.”

Who is God making his appeal to through you? Ask God to show you specific people in your life to whom you can make an appeal to.

Join us Sunday mornings at 8:00 in Pastor Mark’s office to pray for that morning’s services. Contact Bob Baumiester for more information (rbaumiester@gmail.com).    ANNOUNCEMENTSBAPTISM: 
Congratulations to the following Hopers who were baptized the past Wednesday! Your testimonies were powerful and encouraging. 
-Tara Shinn
-Victoria Shinn
-Danielle Hellick
-Lauren Wagner
-Davine Myers
-Jessica Pompper
-Bobby Ortiz
-Payton Carroll

CAFE: Tonight at 7:00!
Bring the whole family to come and support our talented Hopers! Enjoy food, fellowship, and entertainment! 

For the month of August, we averaged $8949 per week, bringing our annual average to $8884.  This remains below our target of $9325 per week and about 5% below last year’s giving.  As we head into the final third of the year, we’re praying that the Lord will move every Hoper to faithfully give as He directs.  We know that with sacrifice and generosity, we can meet our budget and move forward in sharing Hope with as many as possible!

TRUNK-OR-TREAT: Register Now!
We’ll be having Trunk or Treat on Saturday, October 30th from 4-6pm with a rain date of October 31st. Register your car using a form in the lobby or sign-up online here! Any questions, contact Pastor Ryan at ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org

HOPE FAMILY NIGHTS: One week away!
Join us for dinner and fellowship from 6:00-7:00 and then attend a class from 7:00-8:00. Make sure to register for your class using the sign-up forms in the lobby. Questions? Contact Pastor Dave at dave@hopechristianfellowship.org

  • The Comparison TrapLadies Only (Led by Dana Ott) The temptation to compare is as near as your next chat with a friend, trip to the store, or scroll down your favorite social media platform. And whether you come out on top or come up lacking, there is simply no winning in comparison. It’s actually a trap. This 4-week study includes a devotional book which has pages to complete each day as well as questions we’ll answer each Wednesday night. Hope you can join us!
  • Yard Sign ManifestoAdults All Ages (Led by Pastor Dave) You’ve seen the yard signs…In this house we believe: Science is Real, Black Lives Matter, Gay Rights are the New Civil Rights…or something to that extent. These statements compose what Rebecca McLaughlin calls, The Secular Creed. Living by this creed is supposed to ensure the good life for both ourselves and others. We’ll dissect four of those statements and see what we can affirm, what we cannot endorse, and see how ultimately it is faithfulness to Christianity that looks like Christ that is the surest way to diversity, equality and transforming-love.
  • You and Me ForeverCouples Married 10 Years or Less When you promised your spouse “until death do us part” you promised faithfulness for your entire life. But as followers of Christ, you will live an eternal life. Married couples cannot allow lesser things to distract from their marriage, but they also must not allow marriage to distract from eternal things. In this study, you’ll be challenged to view your marriage in light of eternity.
  • Crazy LoveHope’s Single Adults (Led by Jess St. Petery & Rick Mounce) It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do’s and don’ts—it’s falling in love with God.

Next Tuesday we’ll continue our series and have a conversation about “Black Lives Matter.” Join us on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 7:00pm for study & fellowship. Open to anyone graduated high school through their twenties. 

We’ll be returning from the OC retreat, but you can still join us this Sunday from 6-8:00 to hangout, have pizza, and play games! Open to all middle school & high school students. 

Join us Wednesday nights at 7:00 as we study the book of Judges. 

It’s not too late to help our HopeKids! Ministry prepare for the fall! On the bulletin board outside of the GoZone, you will find our Donation Board filled with snacks and supplies we need. Choose an item to donate, grab a slip off the board, and be sure to drop your donation off in the kitchen!

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

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!