Hope Notes 09/22/2021

September 22, 2021

Hello Hoper~
      I always have a veritable river of thoughts running through my mind.  Just ask my family.  Sometimes I like to pluck one out and examine it as they go swirling by. Often, amidst the stream of consciousness that is my brain, I will randomly spout off a piece of information or a question.  They will laugh and say, “Were you just having a whole conversation in your head before you said that out loud?” One of the thoughts that has been in my head rolling around in my head was sparked by this verse: “But the king (David) replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24)
     So. Is something really a sacrifice if it doesn’t cost us anything? I don’t believe it’s a genuine sacrifice if it doesn’t mean anything to us; if we can give it up freely without feeling any sense of loss.  When we feel the loss, we know we are truly giving up something important. I believe that ministry requires sacrifice.  Time, money, comfort, security.  These things often have to be put aside in order to serve our God and His people.  Even if you are not specifically serving in some sort of ministry, you will find opportunities every single day to sacrifice.  Romans 12:1 puts it this way, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” This means choosing daily to live for Him rather than ourselves.  Turning away from sinful temptations.  Harnessing our thought life.  Choosing to love others as He did. 
     Sacrifice is pleasing to God. “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).  As believers, we are often called to ‘to good’ for others even though they may not return the favor. To share what we have even when we feel like we need to hold it tightly in our closed fists.  Our Father is pleased when He sees His children doing the right things in spite of the message the world sends that we need only to live for ourselves.  Let us keep in mind that everything we do in the name of Jesus Christ is a gift to the One who paid it all on Calvary, where He gave His life as the ultimate sacrifice.

He Paid it All – Lois

A Daily Death
(Phil 2:5-7; Matt 23:11; Luke 10:23-29; Romans 13:8-10; Rom 12:1; Josh 24:14-15)

If you wanted to get better at something, do you think you’d be more likely to see improvement if you just tried it once or if you worked at it every single day? Of course, doing something on a daily basis is most likely to help us get better at any skill.  We talked last week about how death is life for believers, unleashing the overwhelming power of God in the midst of seemingly unsurmountable loss.  But what if we practiced dying? The Christian way to do that, and thus to see God’s supernatural work in our lives, is to serve others and die to self. Perhaps the people of God need this kind of daily exercise more than ever before in the history of the church.  Let’s see what the Bible has to say about serving others and then let’s trust the Lord to lead us in our callings to serve our neighbor.

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.”

Paul says that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. This, in an ultimate sense, is about reconciling people to Christ. But this includes interpersonal reconciliation as well. Are there people you need to be reconciled to? Can you mediate reconciliation between others? Ask God to show you where you can be an agent of reconciliation.

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).    ANNOUNCEMENTSTRUNK-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. For those of you who are new to Hope, this is an amazing way to reach our community and have a lot of fun doing it.  We decorate our cars, hand out candy, and have hot drinks and goodies for people to snack on while they fellowship. You do not want to miss out! Register your car using a form in the lobby or sign-up online here! Any questions, contact Pastor Ryan at ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org

Calling ALL singers! Christmas Choir is back! We are SO thrilled about the opportunity to sing the story of God’s greatest gift and we hope you’ll join us! The choir is open to anyone in the 9th grade and up and no audition is required. The performance date will be 12/26 for the both the 8:30 and 10:00 services. Choir practice will be on Wednesday nights starting October 20th at 7:00pm and will run weekly for about 8 weeks. There is a sign-up sheet in the lobby and we need you to start signing up NOW! More information will follow, but you can see or contact Dana Ott with any questions at danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org

Now more than ever, it seems that people are in need of emotional support and help through the use of counseling. As the body of Christ, we want to help each other in this area by providing resources to get connected to a therapist. If you have had a positive experience with a counselor, we would love for you to refer them to us. We are interested in their contact information, if they are Christian/have a specialty area, if they accept insurance, and if they do telemed appointments. Even if you don’t have all this, you can pass along whatever info you do have to Emily DiLorenzo at emily@hopechristianfellowship.org by Sunday, 10/17. Resources will be shared shortly thereafter, so if you’re in need of a counselor, stay tuned!

Are you listening to our podcast Hope Daily? Each weekday one of our staff members shares a short devotional thought to get your day started on the right foot. Listen on your commute to work or while you make breakfast at home! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or listen on our website.

Join us for dinner and fellowship from 6:00-7:00 and then attend a class from 7:00-8:00. Questions? Contact Pastor Dave at dave@hopechristianfellowship.org.
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. 

Join us on Sundays from 6-8:00 to hangout, have snacks, play games, and deepen our relationships with God! Open to all middle school & high school students. Any questions, contact Pastor Dan (danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org)

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

We still have a few items left on our board that need to be purchased! Help us meet the needs of our kids ministry 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. Any questions, see Kara May (karamay@hopechristianfellowship.org

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!