HOPE Church of Raleigh
4911 Green Road
Raleigh NC 27616

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"All Our Hope is Found in Him!"
I have always loved the 23rd Psalm, but there is one verse in this Psalm that runs through my mind constantly in the world in which we live today. That verse is verse 4:

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."

You only have to read the Headlines each morning to realize the world we live in. Here are only just a few:

"Women accused of stabbing boyfriend who drank her blood."

"The Great Smokies Burn: 100's removed from their home as fires threaten Gatlinburg and Dollywood Resort."

At least 75 dead after Brazilian soccer team's plane crashes in Colombia."

"Mom charged for overdosing while shopping with 2-year-old daughter."

"Nick Cannon says Planned Parenthood engaging in 'modern day eugenics."

"War on ISIS: Seized documents reveal thousands of planned ISIS attacks around world."

Those of you reading this know that just in today's headlines, these are only the tip of the iceberg. We are constantly bombarded with horrific things happening here in the US and around the world. When there are good things happening those headlines are either buried on the back pages or at the very end of the newscast. It's kind of like, Oh, one more thing. Here is a feel good story.

Let me ask you, did any of you see this headline on Tuesday, November 29th? Some of you may have, but my guess is most did not and would never know.

"Underground Church movement grows in Iran despite regime's efforts. Despite the Iranian regime's best efforts to stop the spread of Christianity, a large underground church movement is growing."
You see, the positives in the midst of the negatives don't seem to sell the news in any given cycle.

I read these headlines and verse 4 of the 23rd Psalm rang through my head. The church of Jesus Christ is flourishing in Iran and also in China by the way, even though they are suppressed, persecuted, even killed for their faith in Jesus. Yes, they can claim the verse: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." Folks, they live it everyday and their hope is ONLY found in the LORD!

We certainly live in perilous times. The value of human life is at an all time low. Though we have the greatest modern medicine in history, diseases are taking their toll on people. Bodies still wear out. Horrific accidents happen everyday. Not a single one of us knows what today will bring. Oh, I just gave a lot of negative headlines. Sorry, just facts. BUT here is the good news. No matter how bad the bad news is, the good news is God is always with us, even to the end of the age (and that is even our age) Matthew 28:20

As we begin this celebration of the birth of Christ, let us not forget that Immanuel means "God with us." This baby born in Bethlehem, the Son of the Living God, Messiah, Savior of the World, came that we might have life in Him. He came to give us HOPE, to give us PEACE, to COMFORT us, and give us LIFE, that though we die, we live because of Him.

The Savior, Jesus the Christ, has done just that. You can take it to the bank. So even in this lost, demonic, Satan filled world, you are Safe, you are Kept, you are His and Nothing in all of creation can change that. All our Hope is found in Him!

Hopefully verse 4 will stick in your head from now on too!

Blessings this Advent Season,
Pastor Marty

Worship, Grow, & Serve

Monday December 5th
Tuesday December 6th
Wednesday November 30th
Thursday December 1st
Saturday December 3rd
Sunday December 4th
8:00 am - Worship Team Practice
9:30 am - Worship Service
10:50 am - Fellowship
11:10 am - Sunday School
Worship Team Practice @ 7 PM

Prayer Meeting @ 7 PM
Carillon Bible Study @ 2:30 PM
Noteworthy Dates
Now Hiring
Worship Team Leader - Part Time Position
Click HERE for more details.
Friday December 2nd
Devotional Readings
Readings for 12/4 - 12/10
Dec 4 -- Ezra 4
Dec 5 -- Ezra 5
Dec 6 -- Ezra 6
Dec 7 -- Ezra 7
Dec 8 -- Ezra 8
Dec 9 -- Ezra 9
Dec 10 -- Ezra 10
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Sunday December 4th
Shoeboxes for Project Worth are due back
Friday December 9th
6 pm HOPE Youth/Children Christmas Worship Service
Saturday December 24th
Sunday December 25th
5 pm Candlelight Christmas Eve Communion Service
9:30 am Christmas Day Worship
Sunday December 11th
12 pm Monthly Session Meeting