HOPE Church of Raleigh
4911 Green Road
Raleigh NC 27616

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"Directions From Our Father"
PSALM 127:
Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

A co-worker who was expecting his first child once asked me for pointers on how to be a good parent and father. The only thing I could think of at the time was to tell him to constantly show affection and have plenty of patience!

As a father, I love and would do anything for Caroline and Charlotte. My two beautiful girls are truly a blessing from the Lord. My days are filled with the laughter of little girls playing, the pride at church recitals and taekwondo testing, and family vacations.

While there is certainly a lot of joy involved in parenthood, sometimes I am overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety, confusion, and frustration. All parents feel the weight of parenthood at some time or another. From a very young age, our kids have tested Erin and me to see what they could get away with. They constantly refuse to listen or clean up their toys and complain about having to go to bed too early. Dinner time often consists of negotiating on the portion size that they have to eat in order to get dessert. Then, there are school problems with misbehavior notes from teachers and conferences to decide how to handle the behavior. Relentless financial stress also comes into play because, as a parent, I want to make sure the girls get the very best education that also reinforces an authentic Christian faith.

It is during these trying times of parenting that you begin to wonder what Solomon was referring to in Psalm 127:3 when he wrote, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward." There are definitely days when children feel like a punishment instead of a reward. However, what we have to understand is that our children are really not ours but God's. He entrusts us to bring them up in His ways. As parents, we should take comfort in the knowledge that God is in control and that He has entrusted us in the care of His children. Children are a heritage from the Lord, and it is in God's will and testimony that we have those children. That is why, next to our salvation, they are the most important things to which the Lord can entrust us.

Psalm 127:1-2 depicts God as the One that does the heavy lifting and takes majority of the responsibility in parenting. Solomon says it is useless to raise children in our own strength. Though we work diligently to provide as much for our children as possible if God is not at the center of our home, we have labored in vain.

If God is not at the center of the family, the family is not secure. Every decision needs to be made by seeking God's will first. When God is at the center of a family, He grows, blesses, guides, and protects that family. Psalm 91 says that he who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

In light of Psalm 127, I would have a somewhat different or maybe more detailed answer to my co-worker's question. I would advise him to model our Heavenly Father in His dealings with us as children. Genesis 28:15, our Father says I am with you and that builds confidence. In Isaiah 51:12, God says I will be with you and that gives us assurance. In Deuteronomy 20:4, our Father says I will give you victory and that gives us security. Psalm 149:4, says I am pleased with you and that gives us peace and acceptance. 1 John 3:1, He says I love you and that gives us joy unspeakable. In Jeremiah 31:34, our Father says I will forgive you and that gives us power and strength in times of difficulty. Psalm 34:15 tells us that God will listen to us.

It is very apparent to me, in studying this Psalm and in my study of Scripture in general, that God has given us everything we need to be good stewards of His children. May we honor Him in our own families, our church family, and the world at large.

Blessings my friends,
Ryan Hutchins, Elder, HOPE Church Worship, Grow, Serve
Monday June 27th
Tuesday June 28th
Wednesday June 22nd
Thursday June 23rd
Saturday June 25th
Sunday June 26th
8:15am - Worship Team Practice
9:30am - Worship Service
10:50am - Fellowship
11:10am - Sunday School

7:00pm - Worship Team Practice
7:00pm - Prayer Meeting
9:00am - Business Incubator

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Now Hiring
Worship Team Leader - Part Time Position
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Friday June 24th
Devotional Readings
Readings for 6/26-7/2
June 26 1 Samuel 10
June 27 1 Samuel 11
June 28 1 Samuel 12
June 29 1 Samuel 13
June 30 1 Samuel 14
July 1 1 Samuel 15
July 2 1 Samuel 16
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Beginning, Sunday, June 12th
EPC General Assembly -
Ward EPC - Northville, MI
New text box
Sunday, July 10th
The Lord's Army VBS -

Parents of our Recruits
Training will continue on
Sunday, July 10th
11:10 a.m.
Tuesday - June 21st -
Saturday - June 25th
New Adult Sunday School Study
Begins - June 12th
Joy Forrest will be leading our Adult Sunday School sessions beginning June 12th. Joy states, "Many Christians live in defeat, because they fail to recognize basic truths about God and about themselves. This series of lessons will focus on keys to overcoming several common spiritual pitfalls to victorious living."
Please plan to join us for this study!