Where is Your Hope?
By Pastor Manny
We all know the hymn My Hope is Built on Nothing Less, but I wonder if we realize what we’re singing?
Where is your hope at these days?
As you go through your day, where does your mind tend to wander?
Money? Family? Friends? Food? Hobbies? Addictions? Politics?
Our hope, as the song reminds us, should be built on nothing less than Jesus. His love for us led Him to come into this world we live in and rescue us. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see the world from the eternal perspective that Jesus does and we wonder, “When will my rescue take place?” or “When will the pain, hard times, worry, stress, and uncertainty of my life be taken away?”
Jesus’ promise isn’t necessarily about all of our trials being removed here and now. While there are areas of our life that are vastly better because we live for Jesus, there are also things that are going to get more difficult. He tells us that in this world we’ll have trouble (John 16:33). We are not immune to the results of living in a broken and sinful world, that’s not what the rescue mission is about.
Our rescue is not from our plight in this world, instead it’s from the power that sin has over us. The same sin that causes the hurts and brokenness we experience loses its power over us and slowly, day by day, we are gifted with the strength to endure the pain, to walk through the brokenness, and we experience portions of His peace that goes beyond anything we can ever understand. This peace is only a small taste of the fullness of His peace that awaits us in eternity. The peace that can be ours if we choose to put our hope in Jesus instead of the fleeting things in this world.
Jesus finishes his promise of trouble with this statement, “…but TAKE HEART I have overcome the world” (emphasis added). Jesus’ encouragement to take heart literally means to be confident and brave. When we face the trials, pains, and brokenness that come from living in this fallen world we have a reason to hope and a person to hope in, Jesus and His victory.
So, as you go through your day and the things of this world seem to be overwhelming. When you aren’t sure how to pay your bills and put food on the table, when you aren’t communicating as well as you’d like to with your spouse or children, when you are struggling to smile through the deep internal pain and suffering that may or may not have an explanation, put your hope in Jesus. His grace is sufficient for you. He may not always remove you from the situation, but He will provide you with all that you need to endure, because He has already faced every wound and valley that we will ever face … and He’s won!
“Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.”
*Young Adults Retreat*
(for ages 18-35ish)
February 6-8, 2015
A large cabin has been reserved in West Union, Iowa
Register on line
Remember in Prayer
~Friends/family/neighbors suffering from the flu, colds, or other viruses.
~Those serving overseas - Nathan &
Brianna Martin in Cambodia, Sam & Becky
Barber in Belize- & those serving close to
home - Deneen & Juan Ahumada at
Mesquakie Friends Church
~College students back on campus for the 2nd semester
~Those families adopted for Christmas &
the many who were not adopted.
~Jonathan House Orphanage in Sierra
Leone, caring for many children whose
parents have died from Ebola
~Wings of Refuge, our mission emphasis for January
Library Ledge -
Snow, Cold & Staying In
A new year is upon us and the weather has us staying inside. What a wonderful time to read. The Five Love Languages for Singles, God is Your Hope, Beyond the Valley, A Girl’s Life with God, Intimate Moments with the Savior, In This Quiet Place, and Live Long and Die Laughing by and about Mark Lowry. We also have CDs by the Gaithers. Enjoy!
"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away. And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall." — Roald Dahl
HOC Meal Report
Due to last minute illness, several members of BLFC stepped in to prepare the meal on Friday, December 26th. A generous meal of soup, salad, etc was provided for 38 guests. Thanks to all of our volunteers who were able to prepare, serve and clean up afterwards! Our next HOC meal will be on Thursday, January 29.
The House of Compassion seeks a qualified candidate for the position of Assistant to the Director. This position is responsible for assisting the director with day-to-day activities and the needs of House of Compassion clients. This will be a 24-hour per week position. A two-year degree and some Spanish language skills preferred. If interested, please email a cover letter and resume to Karen at email@example.com. Closing date for applicants is Jan. 16, 2015.
The Thank Offering given in November totaled $11,025.14. This was shared between the four suggested projects and seven other ministries and projects designated by individuals.
The White Gift Offering collected at the Christmas Eve program totaled $1,810.00 and was shared between the Mesquakie Friends Church and the Union Food Box. Thanks to all who gave so generously!
Our January mission emphasis will be Wings of Refuge in Iowa Falls. A speaker will share about the ministry during our Sunday School hour on January 25. The following is from their website. “Wings of Refuge” is a Christ-centered organization that focuses on 3 aspects of human trafficking survivors; Rescue, Restore and Rise. We network with others to rescue victims out of the darkness, restore them to full abundant life and equip them to rise into a transformed life with Jesus Christ.”
•Child/Human Trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. It
is 2nd only to drugs. There are an estimated 27,000,000 slaves in the world today
•It’s a $32,000,000,000 a year industry.
That’s more than Google, Nike, & Starbucks combined
•12 years is the average age of entry into prostitution. Only 1-2% are being rescued
•The average cost of a slave today is $90
•From January – June of 2013, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 14,898 calls. They received 54 calls from Iowa. There were calls from all over Iowa, including small communities. Please be generous as your give to this ministry on January 25th.
-BLFC Missions Committee
Our Monthly Potluck meal will be held on Sunday, January 11th after Worship with Joe Feltz’s Sunday school class hosting.
Guys, Gals & Children, you are all invited to stay for a baby shower for Finley Rose Nichols, daughter of Terami Kerwin and Heath Nichols following the monthly potluck on Sunday, January 11th. Social Committee #3 is hosting the shower for Finley. Let’s all welcome Finley to our church family!
Bangor USFW ladies will gather at the Embers shortly before noon on January 20th where Barbara Jo Morgan will be our hostess for lunch prior to our business and lesson. Please let Barbara Jo know by January 13th if you are planning to attend and/or bring a friend. Shirley Landt will provide the program.
Liberty USFW does not have a meeting scheduled in January. The next meeting
will be a work night at the church at 6:30 pm on February 19. Each lady attending is asked to bring a salad for the salad supper.
Food Box Support
We usually collect food items the last Sunday 10 months of the year, which are given to the food pantry located at the Community Church in Union. For the last Sunday of January we will continue to collect the following items for the food pantry: toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, hand soap, laundry detergent and similar items. They usually have a good supply of canned and boxed food items but have need for the items listed above. Thanks to all who brought donations in December.
Mark Your Calendars!
Bangor Liberty Friends are tentatively going to participate in Friends United Meeting’s Chain of Prayer for 2015 on Friday, February 6 for 24 hours, which will lead us into our next Prayer Vigil on Saturday, February 7th. Watch for more details on signing up for the Chain of Prayer and for the focus of our Prayer Vigil.
Blizzard Blast -
Iowa Yearly Meeting
Middle School Lock-In
(for 5th-8th grades)
February 20, 2015!
RSVP online at
Drop Off: February 20th, 6:00 pm @
Marshalltown 1st Friends Church
Pick Up: Feb. 21st, 6:00 am,
What to Bring…Gym clothes, swim
suit, towel and a friend!
Fourteen BLFC families or individuals provided gifts, funds and food for our shared families. When we delivered they were overwhelmed with all that was given and expressed their thanks. Photos will be on the bulletin board soon.
Nine family units or groups adopted individuals or families on their own or with friends for a total of 27 individuals adopted. Those plus the 7 individuals in the shared families means BFLC helped 34 people have a happier Christmas. Thanks for living out the love of Christ!
In total at the House of Compassion, 311 families signed up, 208 were adopted representing 765 adults & children. A similar number to 2013. The supply closet team would appreciate your prayers as they consider changes to this program for next year.
Dealing with Life
What a Christmas and New Year’s break for Emma Chase, Olivia Macy and myself! We had an awesome time at Summit! Thank you for supporting us not only financially, but more importantly, with your prayers.
We drove a long ways, almost 4000 miles round trip and 8 different states in three days! Because we did so much driving, we got to spend a lot of time in a van and a lot of time looking at the beauty of God’s creation. It was amazing to me to see the flat lands, the rolling hills and the mountains. It was also awesome to see the desert and green grasses, and of course palm trees!
We experienced many types of lands and many different types of weather. We experienced sunshine, cloud cover, warmer weather, colder weather, rain, and snow. This got me to thinking how our lives are like the different types of weather patterns. We aren’t always in sunshine. Around Albuquerque, New Mexico, we hit some snow in the mountains. It wasn’t very long, but as I was driving through it, I was just thinking, “The sun’s gotta come out soon.” The snow really made me appreciate the times of sunshine and smooth driving. Sometimes that’s what God does in our lives. He may put a snowstorm in our life so when the sun does come out, we can appreciate and thank God.
At Summit, there was a very tragic storm that came. A car hit a man from our conference as he was going back to his hotel room one night. Throughout the conference, we were given updates about his condition. The last update that we got at the conference was that he was in critical but stable condition. This is the message we received Monday from the Mid-America Yearly Meeting Superintendent. “Thank you for your prayers and support. Brett [Marko] was called home to Jesus around midnight last night. Please continue to pray for his family and friends. We all need it.”
That is a very tragic storm in the lives of his family and friends. All we can do is pray for the family at this point. One of my close friends, burned over 75% of his body manufacturing methamphetamines, now born again and a motivational speaker, was quoted as saying this, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you deal with it.” I think that might speak some truth into a lot of our lives. How will we react to those things that happen? Who do we put our trust in? God has our best interest in His hands. He has a plan and purpose for each of our lives.