November 25, 2018

People of Hope!
 
Happy Thanksgiving!
The holidays bring puzzling memories.  We used to spread puzzles out on the dining room table so they could be worked on little by little over a period of time. We thought it would provide opportunities for family conversation…..HA!...Ha Ha!...Ho Ho Ho!...No No No! I began to hear the puzzle calling me in my sleep. Each time I passed by the table it would beckon and draw me trance-like to the puzzle table until one day after we finished the last one we said, “NO MORE!” and began attending PA meetings (That’s “puzzlers anonymous” in case you aren’t hip with the lingo). Have you ever noticed how easy it is to become fascinated with something?  We can feed the fascination by investing more time, money and energy into it until we wake up one day as from a drunken stupor and say to ourselves, “What have I been doing!?” Paul wrote, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”(Ephesians 5:15-16)  Is it wrong to have a little fun with interests you have? Of course not! Is it wrong to become so consumed with something that you sacrifice priorities God wants you to have as you seem to worship something else? Of course! …….and that puzzles me….
 
SUNDAY
As I continue the message series called SELECTED STORIES FROM THE MASTER TEACHER, Sunday will be “The Religious Knucklehead and the Dude at the End of His Rope”
 
SPECIAL CHILDREN’S PROGRAM THIS SUNDAY
The Taiwan team will regale the children with enchanting stories of their adventure in lands far away in the Kidz wing this Sunday during the morning services.
 
PRAYER AND PRAISE – November 30
Please join me on Friday, November 30th at 6:30 pm here at the building for a time to call on God do His work in and through the people of Hope Fellowship. We’ll sing, we’ll pray and share a time of communion together. If you are able to fast please join me as we tell God He is more valuable to us than anything else and ask Him to display His power in a special way with a focus on the Christmas Eve services. I will be fasting until we take communion at 6:30.
 
CHRISTMAS PLAY – December 15th
Come out on December 15th for one of the showings of our Christmas play this year…..Candy Cane Lane. There will be two shows; one at 2:00 pm and one at 7:00 pm. This will be a great time to encourage the cast and experience in a special way the impact of what God has done for the world through Jesus.
 
CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICES
We will have two services on Christmas Eve with real “light ‘em on fire” candles; one at 4:00 and one at 6:00 pm. There will be care for every child, nursery through 6th grade. A special children’s program in the kids wing will take place during the services that I believe will provide a lasting memory especially for those kids who have never or rarely been in church. These services are not only encouraging to believers but I would highly encourage you to take the opportunity to invite someone who hasn’t started following Jesus yet, it’s one of two times each year that an unbeliever will most likely respond to an invitation from you.
 
HAITI
Please be in prayer for a team of 6 from our church who will travel to Haiti January 9-17th . The team is going to explore the possibilities of future involvement there. The team will be myself, Brian Manaois, Steve Alberts, Dan Frazier, Greg Janes and Connie Barthel. Would you consider contributing toward the remainder of the cost for this trip? The remaining total need is $3000.
 
APLOGETICS SEMINAR AT HOPE – March 9&10

Renowned author and speaker J. Warner Wallace was a devout atheist when he worked as a homicide detective until he applied the same principles he used to solve cold case murders to the events of Jesus life, death and resurrection. He wrote a book called Cold Case Christianity to help people understand how reasonable it is to trust the Jesus. Don’t miss the opportunity to start praying for who you may invite. He’ll be here for a Saturday evening seminar (including Q&A) on March 9th and will give the message on the following Sunday morning.
 
See you soon!
Ben