Thursday, August 23, 2012


June and I get to spend a good deal of time in the woods, on mountain trails, and beside streams.   We are blessed with an abundance of beautiful wild places within a short drive of our home.   Each time we go out to one of these places we discover something new.  Sometimes it's a great view from high on a mountain top, other times is a quiet place beside a stream.   Occasionally, it's just a new trail that we have not hiked before that is full of new beauty to take in.

Back on July 4 we were hiking in the Smokies in an area of the park we had not been to before.   Along the way we were treated to a cool mountain stream, abundant Rosebay Rhododendrons, overlooks and quiet places.   Something we didn't expect to see was Turks Cap Lilies along the trail.  

That's a  beautiful flower with a beautiful verse from the New Testament.   We could stop there and be blessed with the beauty and encouraging words, but there is more in the verses that follow.

28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 

We're all guilty of worrying about the material world.  How am I going to get that job or raise?  Can I buy that new car?   How big of a flat screen TV can I fit in the den?  For some the worries are even more basic - Where are my children and I going to sleep tonight or when will we get to a decent meal? 

There are people in our area are more concerned with the basic needs such as food, shelter, and safety.   We don't always see them, but the homeless are with us.  There are many more homeless in the Tri-Cities than most people realize.   God is providing for their needs through a number of organizations that provide food, shelter, safety, and the opportunity to get back on their feet.  One of these is Hope Haven Ministries in Kingsport.   June and I have supported this organization for many years and right now I'm serving on the Board of Directors.   

These organizations rely on support from the community to provide services to the homeless in our region.  You can give through time and service.  You can also support Hope Haven financially by donating online.   

During September I will donate 100% of my profit from the sale of any of my prints at Star Trails Downtown Gallery to Hope Haven Ministry.  Take some time during September to visit the gallery and pick something out.  You will go home with a beautiful print and be Helping The Homeless Help Themselves.

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