March 1, 2018

Hey Hope people!
 
I had a weird experience a couple of weeks ago. I’d been taking supplement pills designed to protect joints for several years (at a respected doctor’s recommendation). Recently Leslie did some research and discovered that these pills had since been proven to be no more than a placebo.  I was shocked and distressed because I was used to the routine, had spent money and even recommended the product to others.  How could I suddenly stop?! It would mean I had foolishly misplaced my trust and wasted time and money! It reminded me of how radical it is for people who have been raised in a certain religious tradition or philosophy of life to come to the conclusion that they, their parents and all their friends have gotten it wrong. It was that way with me when I came to the conclusion that life was not about getting all you can for your own happiness….it was about Jesus who said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:23-25) After a mental and emotional adjustment I finally embraced what needed to be done and did it……no more of those joint pills.
 
EXCELLENT JOB!
Our building was full of guests this past Saturday for the Frank Turek seminar that took place. Not only was the auditorium full but the lobby and lounge area by the welcome table were full also. I believe the reason for this was because you took seriously the opportunity to invite friends personally. Great job faithful folks who recognized a golden opportunity!
 
BOOKS
For those who bought books this past weekend, they will be available to pick up this Sunday.
 
NEWCOMERS LUNCH – Sunday

If you’re curious about Hope Fellowship or simply curious about how to join, come to our Newcomers Lunch (even if you’re not new) this Sunday at 12:30. The meeting will take place at the end of the children’s wing with lunch and childcare provided. Jeff and I will both be there. Let us know you’ll be there by emailing Jeff at jeffsmith@hope-fellowship.net
 
WOMEN’S DAY RETREAT – March 10th    
Ladies, the day retreat will be a wonderful time to relax with some other women here at Hope. Please invite a friend! The cost is $40 and includes catered breakfast, lunch, and a special gift. The retreat starts at 8:30 am on March 10th.
MEN! I always insisted on giving my wife times like this to be refreshed and I was more than delighted to spend extended time with my kids so she could have a break – tell her you want her to go.
 
EASTER EVENTS
Can you believe Easter is nearly upon us!? What a great opportunity to reach out with the love of God to friends and neighbors again.
   PRAYER & PRAISE – Friday, March 30th at 6:30. Come join me for an hour of prayer
           and praise together.  I would like to encourage you to fast that day as we pray for spiritual
           openness on the part of people in our communities.
   EGGSTRAVAGANZA -  On Saturday of Easter weekend we’ll have some fun stuff
           prepared for our neighbors and friends to join. An Egg Hunt for all ages will kick it all off
           at 11:00 am. Afterward we’ll have a huge blow up slide and bouncy house for the kids.
           Hot dogs and other questionable food items will be available. And last but not least, the
           candy cannon will be shooting joy for all to run, grab and hoard.
   EASTER SERVICES ON SUNDAY – We’ll be celebrating the central events we’ve
           put our hope in for eternal life; the death and resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This
           will be one of the most likely times this year that a friend will respond to an invitation to
           visit a church service.
 
COMMUNITY MAILER
A community mailer will be sent to homes all over our area to make it easier for you to invite someone to our Easter Saturday events and Sunday service. Again, it’s one of the most likely times someone will visit a service if they’re invited.
 
SUMMER ADVENTURE CAMP FOR KIDS    

Keep the week of July 16-20th open for our summer outreach for families.
       BRING EMPTY BOTTLES
What? Lisa is preparing some special things for the camp so if you have any empty 16 oz. plastic water bottles bring them up to the building. There will be a bin at the children’s entrance to toss them in.
 
See you soon!
Ben