• ReadMonday Sunday Sermon Reminder
    Weekly news from the Living Hope Community Church, January 30, 2023


    Happy Monday Living Hopers,


    Just to recap yesterday's message in our Matthew series, "Bankrupt and Blessed" from Matthew 5:3.


    Remember most of all that being "poor in spirit" is not, God forbid, Poverty of Holy Spirit.


    "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8)


    We are praying for all the Living Hope family to experience God's amazing power today in their words and work.


    Praying for the sick and weary in our community.


    Praying for John and Leena as they return from India and report to us about God's work.


    Praying for Phill as he travels to Dominican Republic to build a house for a dear widow that has been the hands and feet of Jesus for many years.


    Praying for the Wed night Reboot Recovery for our church to learn and God to call suffering vets to His peace.


    Praying for this coming Sunday to be another gathering for the Glory of Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirt.


    "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Mt 11:28–30).


    Abba Father


    Jonathan

    1. ReadAll Nations Sunday
      Weekly news from the Living Hope Community Church, January 18, 2023

      Reboot Recovery Launch & Prayer - 6pm

      Join us tonight at 6pm as we launch our Reboot Recovery program with Nick Robsion.

      1. ReadWelcoming New Members
        Living Hope is a Welcoming hope

        Good morning Living Hopers,


        I just want to say thank you for welcoming Don and Karen Walker this Sunday as our newest members of Living Hope. Your love for each other is exemplar.


        This morning in my devotions I read Jesus' admonition to his new disciples to be careful to accept other Christians they will encounter on their journey in the same way the Father and Son accept each other.


        “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.””

        Matthew 10:40-42 


        So often we struggle with this in the church.


        When someone new comes into church we are quick to judge and very slow to embrace. Conflict adds insult to injury and soon enough we are at odds with our brothers and sisters.


        Peter, years after pentecost still had this problem with accepting others and God had to send him a very clear vision. In the end he confesses:


        “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” Acts 10:34-35 


        We loved hearing a little of Don and Karen's testimony of salvation but if you were out of the service Don wrote a 3 part testimony and said I could share it. I included some photos of Don and Karen.


        Love to All,


        Pr. Jonathan & Patty

        1. ReadHappy Monday Living Hope
          Compassion flows from His mercy and grace



          Happy Monday Living Hopers!


          As you go to work this morning or go out in your community remember the grace and mercy you have received so richly in Christ. Let that allow you to have compassion on others you encounter today.


          Pray today for God to raise up and send out more laborers. There are many cities and villages in New England and our world that need churches. The harvest is plenteous but the laborers are so few.


          In the coming month we will be talking about how we can help and even plant another church in the future as a church family.


          Pray for Living Hope and our Penacook community. May God raise up more committed gospel workers who will do the daily work of one-on-one discipleship in our church.


          Let's continue to pray for John and Leena as they travel oversees in the coming week.


          Please continue to pray for Matt Stonis and healing from his fall, Karl (Kathy's brother) who is sick in the hospital, and Joe who continues to struggle with his weakening condition.


          Praying for you,


          Pr. Jonathan & Patty

          1. ReadOutreach Sunday: Be the church. Plant a church.
            Weekly news from the Living Hope Community Church, January 8, 2023

            This Sunday at Living Hope

            Call to Worship - Matt Stonis


            Song:  All Creatures of our God and King


            Welcome: Pr Jonathan


            New Member Presentation: Pr Jonathan


            Scripture Reading and Prayer: Matthew 5:13-16 - Pr Jonathan


            Song:  Man of Sorrows


            Song: Show us Christ (Song of the Month)


            Sermon: Church Plant Mission Trip 2023 - John & Leena


            Communion: Pr Jonathan


            Song: Living Hope


            Closing Prayer and Benediction: Matt Stonis


            Church Communion Meal

            1. ReadChurch Membership 2023
              New Constitution, Covenant and Membership Application

              Dear Living Hopers,


              Today at Living Hope we distributed fresh copies of our new constitution, covenant, and church membership application.


              Let us know if you are interested in church membership at Living Hope.


              Mark Dever wrote,


              "If the church is a building, then we must be bricks in it; if the church is a body, then we are its members; if the church is a household of faith, then we are part of that household. Sheep are in a flock, and branches on a vine. Biblically, if we are Christians we must be members of a church. This membership is not simply the record of a statement we once made or of affection toward a familiar place. It must be the reflection of a living commitment or it is worthless."


              To help us understand more about church membership here are just a few reasons why church membership matters I found helpful from author Keven Deyoung:


              1. In joining a church you make visible your commitment to Christ and his people. 


              Membership is one way to raise the flag of faith. You state before God and others that you are part of this local body of believers. It’s easy to talk in glowing terms about the invisible church-the body of all believers near and far, living and dead-but it’s in the visible church that God expects you to live out your faith.


              Sometimes I think that we wouldn’t all be clamoring for community if we had actually experienced it. Real fellowship is hard work, because most people are a lot like us-selfish, petty, and proud. But that’s the body God calls us to.


              How many of Paul’s letters were written to individuals? Only a handful, and these were mostly to pastors. The majority of his letters were written to a local body of believers. We see the same thing in Revelation. Jesus spoke to individual congregations in places like Smyrna, Sardis, and Laodicea. The New Testament knows no Christians floating around in “just me and Jesus” land. Believers belong to churches.


              2. Making a commitment makes a powerful statement in a low-commitment culture. 


              Many bowling leagues require more of their members than our churches. Where this is true, the church is a sad reflection of its culture. Ours is a consumer culture were everything is tailored to meet our needs and satisfy our preferences. When those needs aren’t met, we can always move on to the next product, or job, or spouse.


              Joining a church in such an environment makes a counter-cultural statement. It says “I am committed to this group of people and they are committed to me. I am here to give, more than get.”


              Even if you will only be in town for a few years, it’s still not a bad idea to join a church. It lets your home church (if you are a student) know that you are being cared for, and it lets your present know that you want to be cared for here.


              But it’s not just about being cared for, it’s about making a decision and sticking with it-something my generation, with our oppressive number of choices, finds difficult. We prefer to date the church-have her around for special events, take her out when life feels lonely, and keep her around for a rainy day. Membership is one way to stop dating churches, and marrying one.


              3. We can be overly independent. 


              In the West, it’s one of the best and worst thing about us. We are free spirits and critical thinkers. We get an idea and run with it. But whose running with us? And are any of us running in the same direction? Membership states in a formal way, “I am part of something bigger than myself. I am not just one of three hundred individuals. I am part of a body.”


              4. Church membership keeps us accountable. 


              When we join a church we are offering ourselves to one another to be encouraged, rebuked, corrected, and served. We are placing ourselves under leaders and submitting to their authority (Heb. 13:7). We are saying, “I am here to stay. I want to help you grow in godliness. Will you help me to do the same?”


              Mark Dever, in his book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, writes,


              Church membership is our opportunity to grasp hold of each other in responsibility and love. By identifying ourselves with a particular church, we let the pastors and other members of that local church know that we intend to be committed in attendance, giving, prayer, and service. We allow fellow believers to have great expectations of us in these areas, and we make it known that we are the responsibility of this local church. We assure the church of our commitment to Christ in serving with them, and we call for their commitment to serve and encourage as well.


              5. Joining the church will help your pastor and elders be more faithful shepherds.


               Hebrews 13:7 says “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.” That’s your part as “laypeople”. Here’s our part as leaders: “They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.” As a pastor I take very seriously my responsibility before God to watch care for souls. At almost every elders’ meeting the RCA Book of Church Order instructed us “seek to determine whether any members of the congregation are in need of special care regarding their spiritual condition and/or not making faithful use of the means of grace.” This is hard enough to do in a church like ours where there is constant turnover, but it’s even harder when we don’t know who is really a part of this flock.


              To give just one example, we try to be diligent in following up with people who haven’t been at our church for a while. This is a challenge. But if you never become a member, we can’t tell if you are really gone, because we might not be sure if you were ever here! It’s nearly impossible for the elders to shepherd the flock when they don’t know who really considers them their shepherds.


              6. Joining the church gives you an opportunity to make promises. 


              When someone become a member at University Reformed Church, he makes promises to pray, give, serve, attend worship, accept the spiritual guidance of the church, obey its teachings, and seek the things that make for unity, purity, and peace. We ought not to make these promises lightly. They are solemn vows. And we must hold each other to them. If you don’t join the church, you miss an opportunity to publicly make these promises, inviting the elders and the rest of the body to hold you to these promises-which would be missing out on great spiritual benefit, for you, your leaders, and the whole church.


              Membership matters more than most people think. If you really want to be a counter-cultural revolutionary, sign up for the membership class, meet with your elders, and join your local church.



              Love to all,


              Pr J