Where we hang our hats and welcome our friends:

Where we Hang our hats and Welcome our friends:
8011 Plaxco Drive
Chattanooga, TN 37421

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Why I'm Hopeful...and optimistic, and courageous


  I was reading the TIME magazine during a slow time at work yesterday.
Usually there is not much in the magazine that appeals to me but the drift of the February 18 copy is all about Optimism. Or, as I see it - HOPE.

optimist op-ed guillermo del toro  There is a section of thoughts on Optimism titled "The Optimists" and the first thoughts are by Guillermo Del Toro - didn't know who this was until I researched him - but I really enjoyed his thoughts and wanted to build on them.

You can read the whole article here Why I'm Hopeful (*caution - language alert)

  As I was reading his article I wondered if he had ever figured God and Jesus into his thoughts. I wondered about his God-Shaped hole and whether he acknowledges that God is in his life shaping his optimism.

  I especially like his opening sentence - Optimism is Radical. It reminds me that Jesus is radical, that believing in Heaven is radical, that I am radical as His follower.

 Optimism is not uncool; it is rebellious and daring and vital.

  I am an Optimist - I am a glass-half-full person - I may not be daring in the eyes of the world in the choices that I make, but I know that following Jesus is daring. And following Jesus is Hopeful and Optimistic.

  Mr. Del Toro ends his article with the following thought "Look around you now and decide between the two. Inhale or die."  I would build on his words - look around you and decide whether to be courageous, optimistic and hopeful.

  Joshua 1:9 " Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go."

I leave you with a song - from my favorites - the Group VBS  people:  Wherever You Go

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Confidence that leads to Hope

So give me faith like Daniel in the lion’s den
Give me hope like Moses in the wilderness
Give me a heart like David, Lord be my defense
So I can face my giants with confidence

I’m not a warrior
I’m too afraid to lose
I feel unqualified for what you’re calling me to
But Lord with your strength
I’ve got no excuse
'Cause broken people are exactly who you use

  I love listening to Moody radio on my way to work each day - we wake up to it on the alarm and in addition to the morning music we get the weather, traffic, and news. 
  This morning Jason was sharing that his family is dealing with some "giants" that they need to rely on the Lord for - and because of that their family has adopted the above song for their motto. 
  As I listened to the song I was encouraged to think about where my HOPE and CONFIDENCE lies. 

Image result for Hope and Confidence image

  I did some research on the Hope of Moses as he led the Israelites through the wilderness. I found a blog by Jennifer Maggio which had some words of Hope for me today:

   "The Israelites were rescued from slavery through the leadership of Moses. He led a national revolt, because God spoke to him to do so. He gathered the people and they literally ran for their lives as the Egyptians came chasing them. They had been beaten, abused, malnourished, and mistreated. And they get to the other side of the Red Sea --- God showed up and gave them a miracle. And they get to other side of the Red Sea and the real testing began. They waited for their deliverance to the Promised Land for 400 years.  Testing comes.

    Exodus 13:17-18  says that God did not lead the Israelites along the easiest route, even though it was the shortest way. He said that if it got too tough and they were faced with a battle, they might just change their minds and give up! They might just turn around and go home!

  Think about that for a minute. 
       Have you been asking God why? 
            Why am I here? 
                   Why am I wandering? 
                          Could it be that you’re being led in a roundabout way, because God is teaching you? 

    Don’t ask why – just drive!

   When you come out of the wilderness, out of the season of testing – there’s rest. There’s peace. There’s hope. So replenish during this time. Take the time to assess what you’ve learned during that time in the wilderness. Take the time to rest in Christ’s eternal peace. 

   One of the fruits of the spirit is hope. 
   Hope was given when you accepted Christ as your Savior.

Image result for Fruit of the spirit Hope

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Hope - in the News???

I posted this on my Facebook page yesterday after I was so discouraged by the "News" I read online and in my local paper:

Good news wins
Good News Wins

     "Too much of what passes for U.S. news coverage these days is actually news about news, full of angles instead of straight storytelling on what’s actually happening in the world. 
 But the upside-down rejoicing the apostles discovered is the deeper resilient joy that comes from cultivating first a realistic awareness of the world, then an appreciation for God at work in it."
I have spent a lot of time since reading that great article thinking about the Hope I have because God is at work in the world around me no matter what I may read, or what is really happening.  
I can look at the world around me with realistic eyes and Hope because God is in control. I am brought back to one of my favorite verses where God is speaking: Isaiah 46:10 (NIV)
"I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
 and I will do all that I please.’"
Hope that God knows what is going on - Big, Big picture - and He has a purpose and I am good with that because I am resting on His Firm Foundation!
Image result for fernando ortega at piano

So if you want some good news - start with reading your Bible, then check out World Magazine online or Ann Voskamp for some encouraging news.

Friday, January 4, 2019

One Word - Hope!

  A new year - 2019 - wow, I am getting old. Who would have thought - but I think it is even more interesting to think that next year will be 2020 - sounds very futuristic!
  Enough of that now.

  At our church here in Chattanooga, Covenant Presbyterian Church, there are a group of ladies who have been invited to join a Facebook group called One Word 2019. I have been invited this year and have joined the group.

 The idea is to study just One Word from God's Word, the Bible, for a whole year. I am excited to study my word - HOPE. If you need a "get-in-the-word" challenge - join me! Comment on this post with your word and we will spend 52 weeks finding our word in The Word to us from God - The Bible

  Each week I will give you my verse that talks about Hope that I have meditated on that week, along with photos of coloring pages I used and songs I listened too.

Week 1 - Romans 15:13 -  
New International Version (NIV)

    "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Key words: God, Hope, Joy, Peace, Trust, Overflow, Power, Holy Spirit

Favorite Commentary on Passage: Ligonier Commentary

Thoughts: This is a prayer asking God to fill me with Hope - God is my Hope and will provide me with Hope. How often do I forget to ask God for anything. Because I am full of sin I forget or loose my Hope on a regular basis, it is good to know I can ask for it, and God will even provide Hope that leads to joy and peace when I don't ask. Thinking about Hope regularly will lead to joy and peace and increase my Trust and then it will overflow into the rest of my life and those I connect with - Cool!!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Creative Juices are flowing again

    I can't believe it has been a whole year since I have posted on our blog. It has been a year of changes in so many ways.

    We finished our mission term in Canada this past June and have been re-acclimating to the U.S. and our home in Chattanooga.

    Instead of giving you all the gory details, I would like to move our blog in a new direction.

    I want to share words, photos, verses, jokes, and maybe even a poem of Encouragement with you as I find them throughout the day, week, month and year.

    So enjoy the last weeks of 2017 with me as we count Down to the celebration of Jesus coming to earth and then count Up to the New Year.

    Ups and Downs - that's what life is made of - we need to Encourage each other as we travel through life.

   Thanks for following along.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The 12 Words of Christmas

 The 12 words the angels proclaimed as they first announced it—“A Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord”—thereby ending the apparent silence of God for the prior 400-plus years. With the birth of Jesus, each and every person could now know and have a real relationship with God.

    As he is relating the account, Pastor Louie Giglio maintains that the first Christmas was chaotic and came at the busiest time of year—on tax day. With that, the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth were also less than perfect. He states that the only perfect things on the night that Jesus was born were the baby, and the message the angels gave announcing His birth.
(The Twelve Words of Christmas part 1, Louie Giglio)
(The Twelve Words of Christmas, part 2)
(The Twelve Words of Christmas, part 3)

  Mr. Giglio emphasizes his point well, that Jesus, the Savior of the World, had come for exactly that very reason—to land right in the middle of chaotic humanity and be the very presence of God. Giglio takes that particular thrust of the story and brings it to the forefront of people’s lives everywhere today. 

  Christmas is not necessarily a perfect time of life, but the perfect One Himself has come, and He is available and reaching out to each person in every kind of circumstance. 

  As some friends of ours reminded us:

       In the Christmas story in Matthew 1 and Luke 1-2 the angel that appears to the main characters of the story addresses all of them by saying, "Don't be afraid". 
      Today fear is gripping our world like a strong man grips a small boy's hand to hurt him. 
     We all feel it everyday. 
     BUT, the message of the Christmas story when personally believed releases us from fear and gives us a lasting inner peace forever! 
     The message is simple - The God of the Bible truly wants to "walk among us and be our God" , Leviticus 26:12.

Merry Christmas to all of you today!
(With a little scenery thrown in for those of our family
who live in the south!)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Longings and Disappointment

So it's coming down to a matter of hours now - 3 days = 72 hours.

 And if you aren't super busy and chaotic it can creep in - the Longings of times past and "the way it used to be".

This little book brings up some thoughts to muse on...

"Even in laughter the heart may ache." Proverbs 14:13
"Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, ...

is one who sings songs to a heavy heart." Proverbs 25:20

Think back on your Christmas past - 
when you were a kid and didn't know what a Credit Card was...

When you were a teenager and were invincible...

When your kid's faces lit up with the gifts you bought them...

And now...

the chair now empty

the family member who is only in a photo

the words you wish you could take back

"Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can share its joy."  Proverbs 14:10

Or maybe it's the elusive goal of Christmas Contentment...and the Disappointments that come instead.

Read the book of Ecclesiastes - that other book that Solomon had a hand in writing. The author who had everything still wonders what it's all about and why he even bothered.

So, this Christmas - don't, don't, DON'T forget that we have someone much better than Solomon and all his riches and wisdom to CELEBRATE!

   Looking forward to that 
Happy Birthday Jesus Party!!!