I Need Help! I Need Hope!

We have seen complete devastation this week from the Hurricane along the Gulf Coast.  Not only did it make land fall and destroy a whole city with it’s fury once, but it actually went back out to sea and made a second land fall!  After watching over 50 inches of rain fall in some areas, people were rescued and there has been an incredible loss of life, property, and hope.  It’s too much pain and suffering to even fathom.  In the midst of this, it’s hard to believe anything good could emerge. But it has…

Victims of the flood in a Houston shelter belted out – “We want to see your kingdom here.”

Jesus brings hope in the midst of well, ANYTHING.  I don’t understand always why, but “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  No easy answers, just truth.  There is a great story in the book of Daniel that amplifies this truth.  It is the story of three young men who refuse to bow in worship to a golden statue and they end up in a literal fire.  Then God brings them through.  We don’t here much about the rest of their life,  but we do know of their faithfulness.  Here’s one thing to remember – God’s timing is not our timing.

Three Things God Wants to do For You

1 – Protection – When will God deliver us from the pain?  I don’t have the timing, but I do know God wants to deliver you.  When you look closely at any situation that seems hopeless, you can see Jesus walking with you, protecting you.  Even if it seems like He isn’t, He is protecting you.  Where you find the presence of God, this is where you’ll find power.

“But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt”  Daniel 3:25

2 – Perfection – Really, perfection? C’mon!  Yes God has us all in process.  Watch closely and you’ll see out of this tragedy, the situation will be redeemed.  The world is a very hard place to live in, but God promises not to keep us in this temporary place forever.  He is using everything for his good purpose, even your situation.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

3 – Promotion –  I love how the story ends.  The king declares that God’s name shall not be spoken of negatively, and anyone who does will be torn limb from limb.  He also Promotes these three young men.  To what?  I am not sure, but when you come out on the other side of the fire, promotion just seems natural with the wisdom and experience you have gained.

“Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.”  Daniel 3:30


My prayer for you today is you will hope again in the dream God has for your life.  How is God protecting, perfecting and promoting you?  I would love to hear below…



Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information, or watch a weekend message here On Sunday September 17th 2017 we will have our Fall Launch celebration service.


217church is affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and we are helping in the Hurricane devastated area. Here is a link on how you can VOLUNTEER or GIVE FINANCIALLY to support Hurricane victims.

Expectation – You Need Some

10 Things that Accelerate Vision:  Principle #2 – Expectation

I love the moment right before take off – It’s a total rush!  Over the next 10 weeks I will be sharing one attribute every week that is proven to accelerate vision.  This week is #2 Expectation.  These are essential if we are to take our vision further faster.  These lessons don’t just apply to our church, but to every area of our lives. What will it take to #accelerate the vision of our lives and our church?

Principle #2 We must believe with EXPECTATION


“Without fatih it is impossible to please God.”  Hebrews 11:6

Expectation inspires commitment.  I’ll never forget leaving for Marine Corps boot camp on a plane as an 18 year old boy.  I say boy because boot camp was part of my essential journey of becoming a man.  Everything in me wanted to be a United States Marine.  My father was a Marine and there was something about the experience that for some reason was alluring.  I wanted to serve my country.  I wanted to challenge myself.  Everything from the motto, “The few the proud the Marines,” to the sharpness of the uniform and challenge of serving my country.  I never went in doubting I could be a Marine.  After all my dad did it, My Grandfather did it, My uncles did it.  And I was EXPECTED TO DO IT.  I was committed to the process without wavering and without compromise

Why Expectation is Important

#1 Increasing Faith – No doubt there will be things we are called to do as a church and in our lives that will challenge us.  We can’t do it, but God will do it for us.  Our faith will increase.

#2 Community – The group of people I graduated boot camp with were incredible young men.  We will always have that shared experience.  To this day, whenever I meet a Marine, any Marine, there is a brotherhood that can’t be broken.

#3 Hope –  You need hope.  No matter what you are hoping for:  Paying off your debt, graduating from college or high school, a different place to live, a wife or husband, a son or daughter to forgive you; No matter what it is, you must hold out hope!

Expect it and you will accelerate the vision!


Join us at 217church and our SERIES #Accelerate – Let’s celebrate what God has done through 217church this Sunday!


October 16 – Courageous Sacrifice – Sharon School in Robbinsville 10:30 am Combined service

For more on our NEW SEASON and Why we are moving out of the Theater Click HERE 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

Urgency for Hope – a Call to Courage

A guest blog by Pastor Dan Gay


This week:

  • On Monday I visited a mom who was about to bury her 35-year-old son. I visited a woman trying to figure out how to tell her four kids their father died. I saw a man that couldn’t get past the hold of addiction and after two years clean, overdosed on heroin, was on life support, just a shell of himself.
  • On Tuesday I watched the riots in Baltimore, as some were looking to destroy anything in their path, leaving others left to clean up the mess the anarchy did to their city.

In all of these situations, what I saw was a tragic loss of Hope. 


Hope  – verb \ˈhōp\   — To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.

Hope is the foundation of the Church. It carried the Israelites through 40 years of wandering, Noah through 40 days of flooding, Jerusalem through 70 years of exile as they awaited the coming of the Messiah. Hope in what will be, what can be, what should be is what keeps us moving forward. When Hope is removed, the people get worn down and it becomes hard to fight for what is right. When I look at Baltimore, I see people hurting who feel they have little hope of justice or having their voices heard. Hopelessness is what the world looks like without Jesus.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10.  

You can see the contrast.  Satan seeks to take away Hope but Jesus IS Hope! As the Church we have THE ANSWER.  Hope in Jesus that should drive us to reach out, to serve and to love those that are hurting.

Bill Hybels said “the local church is the hope of the world”. It’s God’s plan to redeem the world by communicating the hope that transforms lives.

 …. God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” – Romans 5: 8-9

As the Church we have the Hope but we also have a responsibility to carry it, proclaim it and send it out to a world that is in a Hope Drought.

In order for us to accomplish that we need to do three things:

1. WAKE UP – If you have put your hope in Jesus, your life in not your own. You have been bought with a precious price, you have been adopted.

Josh and Summer are in Uganda working through the paperwork so they can bring three brothers back to New Jersey as their own! When they’re home, there will be a lot of celebrating and those boys will go into a family where they are accepted. They will not have to earn their parents love on a daily basis… it will have been given and once given it can never be taken away.

How much more does Jesus love you? That question should drive you to…

2. GET UP – As a response to what Jesus has done for you, He calls you to action! You find your calling in a season by aligning your heart with Gods and listening for what His Spirit is saying to you. What breaks your heart, what do you have a passion for? It begins with a willing heart and setting your priorities to say “Not my way but yours” and it will stretch you.

God doesn’t need perfect people to do His mission; He needs willing hearts who He will then make ready to…

3. STEP UP – To make a difference requires us to be unified under ONE mission, GODS. In Baltimore the tide turned when the people joined the pastors to restore sanity. They were driven by a purpose, to protect and love the people.

For our churches to become effective we need to move forward together using our gifts and our passion under His plan. Maybe it’s teaching little ones that Jesus loves them or helping teens find their way in a crucial time. Maybe its starting a small group where people can learn, love and serve together or being part of a team that helps make every Sunday a worshipful event. Maybe its starting something new to reach the city or sharing your hope with a neighbor who has more questions than answers.

The point is it takes us ALL and we have to die to our plans to allow HIS PLANS to happen and His plan is to bring Hope to the world.

…We will be a church that risks it all, gives it all and stretches to help people understand what life in Christ is. Our people will be passionate about Jesus, His word, His church and those who have not heard the Word. – 217church Blueprint

Its time to take the Hope given to us and with urgency bring it to the world because nothing else will make a lasting impact.

The question is will you? Are you Watching, are you still Waiting or are you Willing to go all in? I’m praying you will find the courage to join us in this mission.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.- Romans 15:13

– Dan


Join us for an upcoming service in Hamilton or Robbinsville:

May 3 – Go Do Right – The Wise and the Foolish Builders

May 10 – Mother’s Day Celebration – Defining Moments


Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here.