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February 15, 2019

Choose Joy!

In my saga of lost and found bracelets and charms (see my web page for the back story!), hope has been the one that has tried to escape, go down the drain, or get lost forever. Generally joy has held on tenaciously, almost an imperceptible constant that stayed the course. The two are so alike … they can stick to us as light-hearted emotions, feelings that some how represent the happy and nice. My heart settled in hope when my mind grasped the reality that my hope is lasting, sure, and anchored not in fleeting wishes, but in the profound truth of Jesus. What about joy? Like hope, joy isn’t dependent on my changing life circumstances. ...

December 21, 2018

The Light Has Come

On this shortest day of the year, I am pouring out my laments for the heartbreaking events of the last year, and looking with eager anticipation to the promise of the dawning of the light! The One who was, is, and is to come breaks through and HOPE ABOUNDS! I pray that truth lands on you with joy for the season and for life!  Enjoy these glimpses of the ministry and relationships through Under His Wings this year!

November 15, 2018

A Thankful Heart

Have you ever been feeling a bit lost in the swirl of life, maybe just stuck in a rut, or worse, on the side of discouragement, and God breaks through with such bright light you have to stop and shade your eyes as you catch your breath? That happened this last week. I have been persevering through many medical tests in the hunt to understand some lingering symptoms and just feeling worn out. I even had to leave the ranch early one day because circumstances made it hard for me to breathe. I was discouraged.
   Then I got notification that someone with a Mongolian looking name had messaged me through Facebook. After 25 years, one of my students from my year in Hovd, Mongolia, found me!

July 28, 2018

Hope-filled Lessons from the Chicken Coop

 While many can grasp what it looks like to be a chaplain at the hospital or in the military, some have a hard time envisioning what chaplaincy looks like at the ranch. Each day is a little different! I know my job is to show up - to be present. Sometimes I have a loose idea of who might be there during the day, but truly each day gives me space and reason to wonder (in the "amazed," "intrigued," "humbled" sort of way) ... people are such a beautiful part of creation! One unique opportunity at the ranch is how the animals show us so much about life

May 21, 2018

Our Anchor of Hope

Recently I was interacting with a few young boys at the ranch. I had begun playing catch with a ball and netted rackets with one of them in a game he dubbed "whack-a-mole." I'm but somehow he was gaining points (and I wasn't!). The other two asked to join us, so I gave up my racket and took a back position to keep the balls from heading out into the arena. One of the newcomers who was there for his session couldn't remember my name, so he glanced at my name tag which reads, "Gwen Hanna, Chaplain." He then said excitedly, "That says 'champion.' Hey Champion, will you be on my team??" Why, of course! his item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

February 09, 2018

Flickerings of Light toward Hope and Joy

As I was reflecting on my time last month, the message of being a flickering light that joins with other flickering lights to illuminate dark places, I realized that this ministry feels like the most life-on-life mission work I have done in years! It is a return to living out my first calling in God's fresh and developed expression of Gwen Hanna in the world. 

December 10, 2017

Celebrations of Hope and Joy

I find myself today standing at the end of the bridge, the stepping off point from there to here. I have so enjoyed being “on the bridge” these last two and a half years of seminary study. After thirty years of hard work in ministry, leadership, family crises, single motherhood, this “bridge” was my first Sabbatical! It was a time to learn, refresh, let go of many things to focus on just one. It was a time of reflection, learning new things, and a time of redefining my identity and finding the courage to stand in it. I am celebrating all that God has done!

October 10, 2017

Journeys of Hope and Joy

Like the heavy fall snow that just hit Denver, many of us walk through today with heaviness in the stuff of life. We have been overwhelmed by the realities of hurricanes, fires, floods, and all manner of natural things that display a power we cannot control. Add to that the shock of the Las Vegas shooting and the layers of grief and pain that opens and the persistent reminders of divisions in our country and communities, and there is plenty to weigh on us. ...

July 19, 2017

Glimpses of Joy

Have you ever noticed what happens when you obey God’s direction and basically “show up” where he tells you to? I have learned to receive those instructions as holy invitations to the front-seat honor of seeing him at work. For me it is rarely as grand as a dry path through the sea, a blind man given sight, or a dead person brought to life. But it is the sweetness of seeing good in an evil world, small successes in a challenged life, or the twinkle of hope in a life-ravaged face.What's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

April 24, 2017

Healing Hope - April 2017

I looked across the table at the Gracefull Cafe at my new friend. I first met her there just a couple of months ago, and we have connected a few times since at the park, at the cafe, and at the severe weather shelter. That first time, she was nervous, excited, and curious about this Seminary student who was interested in interviewing her to write a paper. She told me me about her life as a homeless woman raising her 20-year-old son on the streets.

December 17, 2016

Christmas Hope - December 2016

My last class for my last exam of this semester was in my Doctrine class. The last segment of my notes is entitled,  "Conclusion: Christianity Is a Confidently Hopeful Religion: Hope and assurance."

November 28, 2016

Snippets of Hope - November 2016

Hope and moments of joy propel us in a world of heaviness.

A Dance of Hope September 2016

Let me introduce you to my friend, Alexi. Early in his young life an accident occurred that altered his life forever. I have had the privilege of being a part of his hippotherapy sessions for a few months now. As you can see, Alexi is not an independent rider, rather he is one of the most involved I have served. He has limited use of his arms and hands, ability to lift his head on his own for only brief spans, and communicates verbally in ways that only those closest to him understand.

Glimpses of Hope - July 2016

Sometimes special moments in life burst in to the scene when you don’t expect it. When they do, we are moved to pay attention, take note, and soak it in a bit. 

Celebrations and Life in Transition - June 2016

It is with great joy and awe that we celebrated Jori and her graduation as Valedictorian of her class last weekend! Against so many odds, from preemie birth and the threat of learning disabilities, through the struggles that our life situation created, the persevering through the rigorous academic load she pursued, she is a living standing stone of just how tenderly God has kept us under his wings! 

A Hope Journey - March 2016

Many of you know that I wear jewelry reminders to keep an eye out for both hope and joy. God has walked me through many life applications with their appearance, disappearance, reappearance, etc. Sometimes hope gets lost. Sometimes it gets found. Usually God reminds me that he is my hope. I thought I would share with you a few examples of how he's done that recently.

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