Monthly Archives: October 2013

Hope Story: Eric + Takiesha Goode

IMG_3380_smallEric’s world was one filled with grief, depression and confusion.

He came from a family of nonbelievers… his parents battled a terrible divorce… his best friend committed suicide…

Eric struggled with depression for many years.

My world was filled with pain, anger, guilt and sexual immorality.

I grew up in a world surrounded by drugs and alcohol. A place where I never heard the word “God” unless it was used in vain. Where I spent half of my childhood visiting one parent in prison, and the other half living in unusual places I tried to call “home.”

At the age of 14, I decided I’d had enough and went to the authorities regarding my mother and her addictions. I was taken away from her and placed in a shelter that very same day – but, the pain didn’t stop there.

IMG_3394_smallI became addicted to cutting and my thoughts of suicide worsened. Eventually, however, through the darkness I began to see a little light, when two people, from very broken worlds, came together…

Eric and I met in our high school driver’s education class. Our relationship was rocky and painful through our high school years. It was right after high school that we decided it was time to make a change.

We were invited to Lutheran Church of Hope in 2009 by Eric’s former boss, and soon after, decided to take Alpha because neither one of us knew anything about God.

It was then that transformation happened. A transformation that is unexplainable.

IMG_3376_smallGod opened our eyes and hearts to the wonders of what he has to offer. We began to process our horrible pasts and put them into God’s perspective. We realized God never intended for all of that “bad stuff” to happen to us.

We both turned into two very different people than we were before. Nasty to nice; inconsiderate to considerate; hateful to loving… Repeat: Hateful to loving.

Alpha turned our dark life into a beautiful rose. Our relationship began to blossom into a Godly relationship.

We began to model our relationship after Jesus and it completely changed both of our worlds. Before, our relationship consisted of Eric and I – that’s it. We were selfish, condescending and critical. That’s how relationships were modeled around us, so that’s what we did with our relationship. Once we got to Hope, our relationship became three: Eric, myself and God. We finally had someone awesome to model our relationship after!

We were so amazed by our transformation that we wanted to share it with the world. We became Alpha hosts right after our first session and haven’t stopped since!

IMG_3398_smallEric and I were wed in 2012 and continue to serve together any chance we get.

Currently, we are experiencing God’s spirit through CORE and are now group leaders. Nothing (and I mean NOTHING), is impossible for God to transform. Our story is a true testament to that!

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Stay tuned to NavigateHOPE for future opportunities with Alpha and CORE at Hope!

Impromptu Dinner

It’s like a slow dripping faucet, slowly over time you take notice. I don’t know about you, but at first you don’t usually react to a slow drip. It just drips.

You walk by and see it – but you are too busy to stop and do something about it. Then you forget it. Until the next time it drips. Notice me…I may lead to something greater than you can understand right now.

Sometimes the journey and path of marriage is a tough road – be assured it’s that way for everyone. Life takes off and away we go together. But, the Bible tells us we are not meant to be alone – that the burdens we carry and celebrations of life are not meant to be experienced alone. That He created us to be in communion with others. Drip. Communion with others takes intentional action though – it doesn’t just happen.

Acts 2:42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

Garage doors open and close. Schedules are crazy. The reality is, we are missing it!

Our marriages and families can be taken deeper and wider by just looking out to the community God has placed right outside our front doors. You don’t have to go to work to find it; you don’t have to seek it out at the bar on the way home from the office. Intentional community can be available right outside your door – if you just look and invite.

A few months ago, but really years in the making, started the slow drip in our life. It would show up randomly – we would take notice – and then go about our merry way.  New neighbors moved into the culdesac. Drip.

We would sit outside and play with our kids, connecting and being family and they would wave and say, “Hi.” Drip.

Our kids became immediate friends and we knew their kids well. Drip.

We started leaving the garage doors open when we were home. Drip.

We moved lawn chairs to our front yards. Drip.

Waves from our cars started to turn into a walk down the sidewalk at the end of the work day to connect. Drip.

Extra food led to invitations to come and share dinner. Drip.

Watching each others’ kids in a pinch. Drip.

Connecting and planning the day after worship. Drip.

Helping each other out when spouses were traveling with snow removal and broken cables in the yard. Drip.

Taking a turn catching balls for the aspiring pitcher in the culdesac so her mom could run in and make dinner. Drip.

Making enough food at a meal to share weeknight dinners together once in a while so we don’t have two kitchens to clean. Drip.

Spontaneous driveway bonfires. Drip.

Listening to the joys and heartbreaks in our families . Drip.  

A quick text message turned into Friday night Pizza dinner. Drip.

Praying for each other – the kids and the marriages. DRIP!

1 Peter 4:9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

John 13:34-35 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

Romans 12:9-10 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

Your marriage and family need community. God’s designed us for this. He’s called us to love each other, to SHOW LOVE for each other. In this way we can show the world that we are followers of Jesus – by our love.

So get those garage doors open Hope. Move your chairs to the front yard. Take a walk to the next driveway instead of waving the next time you see each other. Make another casserole the next time you are cooking! The Lord will delight in your actions and you too can delight in the blessing of community for your marriage, home and neighborhood.

Pastor Pat & Missy Quaid

Hope Story: The Adams

When my wife, Elise, and I were first married, I believed there were just two ways to wealth:

  1. A hefty inheritance
  2. A large income

I didn’t think it was possible to make a big purchase without debt…

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I had never applied the proverbs that discourage debt…

I didn’t trust God to provide blessings in my life for properly handling his money and resources the way he desires…

And, I didn’t yet realize that the money that flows through my hands isn’t mine – it’s God’s!

Shortly after I graduated from college in December 2010, Elise and I bought a home in West Des Moines and began attending Hope.

We participated in a marriage class, followed by the Alpha course. Through these two classes, we experienced a deepening in our relationship with one another, our church and our community.

In spring 2012, we decided to sign up for Financial Peace University, a biblical approach at managing personal finances. This class made such an impact on our lives that we decided to jump in and begin facilitating (we are currently coordinating our fourth class!).

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With each class and session, we continue to be amazed at how much people grow – and not just from a financial standpoint, but also in their communication as a couple, too. It is such a joy to witness the impact these principles have on everyone’s lives.

Through Financial Peace University, and shifting how we think about money, we were given the ambition to eliminate our debt so we can do more to help build God’s kingdom.

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Using the principles from FPU, we scrimped, scratched and sold our way out of all our debt (with the exception of our mortgage – we are currently working on that!).

No doubt, there were sacrifices along the way – like when we sold our Acura and Lexus and replaced them with two, 15-year-old Camry’s.

But, every sacrifice was worth it:

We were able to pay off $91,383 of debt in just 20 months!

We hope our story encourages others in their journeys to financial freedom, and can’t wait to see what the future has in store!

- Casey and Elise Adams

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Stay tuned to navigatehope.org for information on future Financial Peace University courses and opportunities!

Wordless Wednesday

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Scripture tells us our bodies “are the temple of the Holy Spirit.” It is our responsibility to nurture them and equip others to do the same.

We are showing our support of the Healthiest State Initiative by walking our Prayer Path and pledging to walk 1-kilometer. You can click here to join the Healthiest State Walk! And, feel free to come on out and walk our Prayer Path – just start at the Express Your Faith Worship Wall and follow the orange line!