March 16, 2018
Let’s face it, gift giving can be tough stuff! The gift you want or need to get is often not the gift someone else wants or needs to get. While my wife Mary loves gifts like decorative pillows, I regard them as a nuisance and just another obstacle to throw off the couch and onto the floor when it’s time to watch the NCAA basketball tournament*! So, is there a gift out there that everyone really wants and desperately needs? The good news is there is and it’s called “the gift of hope”.
Hope is the perfect gift for those with less than perfect lives. It is the gift that assures you that you’ll get through the dark days and experience a fantastic future and that beats a decorative pillow any day of the week! But how does hope happen? Is there a difference between real hope and false hope? How can I be both a “hope feeler” and a “hope dealer”? Join us this Sunday at North a Ridge as we answer these and other important questions about the ultimate gift from God. As we wrap up our great study of Psalm 23 called “The Farm”, we will look at four things the Good Shepherd says we need to know to be a high hope sheep (and a high hope peep)! To conclude our series, we are going to do a special one-time project through WorldHelp to donate at least 2 cows, 2 sheep, 2 goats, 2 pigs and 24 chickens in the name of Christ to an impoverished village in the third world so come help us “buy the farm”! What a wonderful way to feel and deal the hope of Jesus our Good Shepherd.
On a final note, I’d ask you to pray for our upcoming Easter season services and events as it’s a wonderful time to invite your friends and neighbors. Holy Week begins with our Palm Sunday Musical (March 25th), followed by our Good Friday experience (March 30th) and then four Easter services (April 1st). I sure do love doing life with you and your crew and love extending God’s greatest gift (hope) to all through Christ alone. Have a wonderful weekend and see ya on Sunday.
In His Love,
PS * I am bummed out about my Arizona Wildcats! I had them winning the whole NCAA basketball tournament and they got blown out in the first game! Well as we’ll see on Sunday, there’s always hope!
Some Of This Coming Week’s Scripture Passages: (Your One-A-Day Vitamin)
Psalm 23:1-6 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Psalm 33:16-18 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.
Numbers 13:30-32 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Numbers 14:5-8 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us
Psalm 25:1-3a In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame,
Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.