Hope Community

Raise your hand if you want tomorrow to be better than today.

Raise your other hand if you would rather God give you prosperity than calamity.

Good.  I’ve got you where I want you.  Now give me all your money.

You and I were hard-wired for hope. Something in our DNA makes us want to believe that tomorrow can and will be better than today.  When times are easy, we tend to presume on that.  When times are tough, we go looking for it.

Maybe that’s why Jeremiah 29:11 has become such a popular verse in recent years. Go into any Christian book store or gift shop and you’ll see it on coffee mugs or on some idyllic painting or poster:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Doesn’t that do something for you?  It certainly does for me.  It tells me something about the heart of my God for me as an individual, and for the people I care about.

Trouble is, we take it completely out of context. [click to continue…]


Papa Jonah 2

Next time you make an appointment with me, I’ll just expect you to show up early! Boy, was that a quick surprise! But I’ll take that kind of surprise any day.

We welcomed you into the world on Wednesday, September 18, just two days after your Great Grandpaw turned 76 years old. “We” is a relative term, however, and this relative didn’t get to make it until Friday.  But that surprise one-of-a-kind voice you heard while you were still in the hospital?  Yep. That was Grammy.

That’s about all I know to say about that.

You were born into a family that absolutely adores children. You were wanted. Anticipated. Prayed for. And delighted in… long before you were ever born.

You big brother Jackson is already crazy about you. He loves to watch you sleep, hold you (with a little help), and pat you while you’re sleeping.  He’s both tenderhearted and brilliant – I can’t think of a better big brother for you.

Your parents are pretty amazing people themselves. [click to continue…]


Lost in This Moment

by Andy Wood on September 20, 2013

in 100 Words

In the most God-breathed of moments, time stands still.

Jonah 2

The most ordinary of times, like breathing or sleeping become objects of watchfulness and joy.

Jonah 4

[click to continue…]

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Father of the Bride

by Andy Wood on August 1, 2013

in 100 Words, Photos

This is what everybody else sees.

Bride 1

This is what he sees.

Bride 10

It’s not just a difference of perspective… [click to continue…]


Celebration DessertWant to increase your expectations?  Increase your options.

Robin and I celebrated our 30th anniversary yesterday. To be honest, it started with little-to-no expectations. She had been feeling really bad pain-wise, then got a cold on top of that. The day was a work day for both her and me, and we both had a lot to do.  So we said all the right things and assumed we’d plan some other celebration later.

The one thing we planned, sort of, was dinner.

But there was one option we didn’t consider – the option that she would actually feel very good at the end of the day.

The cold was much better, she had less pain and more energy, and we had a really nice evening together. Fortunately in this case, when the new realities presented themselves, we were able to act on them.

The evening was made all the more special by Ralph, our server at the Longhorn Steak House.  Ralph saw his job as being more than taking orders and serving food.  He increased his options by becoming a celebration facilitator.  I actually heard him ask the table next to us, “Are you guys celebrating anything special tonight?”

Ralph saw to it that since we were there to celebrate, we would have a celebration.  [click to continue…]


LK 1So… we took an extended weekend road trip for my niece’s wedding, and let me just say, it was an adventure in flying (yes, it was our plane that turned around and kicked an unruly passenger off), driving (we arrived in Mobile at 4:30 am after a late-late arrival in New Orleans), a wonderful wedding, and an equally-bleary-eyed trip home.

Along the way, our lives were enriched by the profound wisdom of the flower girl – none other than The Sasster, Laura Kate Wiley. She was good enough to share some of her deep insights, proverbial-level wisdom, and of course, contagious joy with us. Well, and with whoever else happened to be around.  Enjoy…

LK 9

How to Make an Impact

SWA Gate Agent:  You’re Mister Wood?

Me: I am. [Thanks for holding the plane for us.]

SWA Gate Agent:  I believe you have a granddaughter on this flight?

Me:  Believe I do!

SWA Gate Agent:  Cute little blonde?

Me:  Yep, that’s her.

SWA Gate Agent:  Well, she’s pretty excited that her Grammy and Papa are going to be on the plane.

Me, to Grammy and Aunt Sassy:  He’s met Laura Kate! [click to continue…]


Sword and Scripture

(If you never read another thing I write, before going any further, please read this short piece my daughter wrote to her children, ages 5, 2, and ten months. Click here, if you dare, and brace for impact.)

Okay.  Back?  Let’s get to it.

You don’t have the luxury of praying for people you love – especially your children or grandchildren – like a sissy.

The time is too short…

The enemy is too cruel…

The church is too powerless…

The Lord is too near His return…

…for you and me to sit on an arsenal mightier than a nuclear weapon and ask God to make their lives more comfortable…



Safer to whom, for God’s sake? The devil? The world? The ACLU? The media?

Stop asking God to make your little angels little angels. Or mild-mannered weenies.  In the name of all that is holy, I dare you to ask God to make them dangerous. Call on Him, in the heavenly realm, to put a sword in their teeth and courage in their hearts to blast a hole in the kingdom of darkness. [click to continue…]


Fischer 6 months

(Sort-of-random thoughts at the end of a very long day in a very crazy week… and I DO mean crazy)

Even though I know all the reasons it’s supposed to be a bad idea, a bowl of cereal at 11:30 at night is probably the closest thing we have today to manna.

It’s been so long since I’ve heard my mother or grandmothers’ voices, yet lately for some reason I’ve found myself hearing them in my heart at random times.  In fact, so random and fleeting it hardly ever becomes a point a conversation.  But is it odd to wonder if their love for me is still somehow living, even though they aren’t?

You never know how you may hear that still, small voice of God.  But if an idea or a person keeps coming and going in your thoughts, pay attention.  That may be a whisper from heaven for you to stand strong in prayer on their behalf, or maybe to sit still and listen to them.

I remember one of the things that swore I’d never do is be a teacher.  Or go back to school after I finished my master’s.  In the words of the GPS system in your car… “Recalculating!”  Be careful what you vow you’ll never do.  That’s why lately I’ve tended to swear off vowing.  Well, except for that one thing… I vow I’ll never make a whole buncha money!  Never, never I say!

We used to play this game with the kids at restaurants, especially at a cafeteria or buffet.  [click to continue…]



Economics doesn’t have to be difficult.  Just ask my three-year-old grandson…

Understanding Liberalism (True Story)

Cohen:  Papa can I have a treat?

Papa:  What do you want? [click to continue…]

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Jackson and CohenAs you probably could tell from the last post, we got to spend a week with three of our grandsons last week here at our house.  You may or may not know that I also spend 95% of my working time at home.

Do you see a potential conflict there?

The week was predictably (and wonderfully) less-than-productive.

Routinely as I would try to “escape” to the bedroom or office to get some work done, one of them would find me.  The sweetheart crawler, the scary-smart walker, and the funny, nonstop talker.  One wanted me to hold him, one wanted me to see and notice him, and one wanted me to engage in conversation – endless, looped conversation. [click to continue…]