The Fullfilment of Hope

July 14th, 2016 Posted by 1 comment


Another inspirational story to keep you going when you feel that God isn’t doing anything. It’s my older daughter’s story of her four year journey:


On January 11, 2015 I wrote to God in my journal asking Him to reveal a banner word for me for the year. A week later on a Sunday morning I felt God answering my request through the worship list which was filled with songs about redemption. So I wrote on the 18th that I believed God whispered to my spirit that my banner word for 2015 was the word Redeem.


  • To recover ownership of by paying a specified sum
  • to pay off, to turn in, to convert
  • to fulfill
  • to set free, to save, to restore, to exchange
  • to atone for
  • to serve as compensation for
  • to reinstate, vindicate, absolve
  • to reclaim, ransom, set free, emancipate
  • to meet, keep, carry out, satisfy, make good

When I received this banner world it had been three years since I found out I was pregnant with our son Jaxson who we would eventually lose prematurely in May 2012. It had been a year since I miscarried my second baby. My heart was tired of grieving… tired of waiting… tired of being heartsick. I craved renewal. I longed for an end to my mourning. I remember asking God to just take away my desire for children if that longing was never to be fulfilled. I wanted to move on. I looked over the landscape of my last three years and craved for God to restore my joy. Whatever His plans, I was more than ready for something to break and set a new course.

The summer of 2015 was particularly trying. Completing my fifth and sixth rounds of fertility treatments had taken a toll on my emotions, compiled with the stress of a grueling work environment had me at my wits end. By the end of August we knew the treatments had not worked and it was the end of the road for pursuing this help in conceiving a baby. I decided to take a big break…from pretty much every area of my life and I went home to Boise for three weeks.

The past January and the prayers I had written in my journal about God’s banner word for me felt very far away. I hadn’t thought about that word for months and if you had asked me about it, I would have likely laughed bitterly at the thought that 2015 was supposed to be a year of redemption. Oh ye of little faith. My redemption was just around the corner.

  • September 2015 I discovered I was pregnant.
  • November 2015 brought answers for why I’d lost Jaxson so early and therefore plans were set to make sure it wouldn’t happen with this baby.
  • December 2015 we were delighted to find out we were expecting a little girl.

We now have a nine-week-old baby girl named Olivia Hope. We call her Liv. She is the embodiment of “Living with Hope” through the darkest seasons of our lives. She is my redemption story of petitioning God for a family and the six rears it took to fulfill. As I hold her in my arms for late night feedings and pace the hallways of my home soothing her cries, I have time to meditate on my banner word which carried over from 2015 to 2016.

God is so good and also sovereign. Sarah did not understand why God waited until she was 90 before giving her Issac but he plays a pivotal role in foreshadowing God’s redemption plan through his almost-sacrifice by his father, Abraham. Hannah grieved her barrenness so openly that her priest thought she was drunk! But just as she promised, when God finally answered her prayer for a son, she gave him to the temple to be raised by the priests when he was just a young child. He would grow up to teach God’s redemption in the story of King David and Bathsheeba and their second son, King Solomon.

I will never understand why Mother’s Day weekend of 2012 was a weekend of loss for both myself and my friend Michelle as we both gave up babies from our arms that year…but this Mother’s Day I held Liv in my arms and Michelle walked hand in hand into her church with a nine-year-old miracle whose adoption story was also years in the making. Just as with Issac and Samuel, Liv, Macy, Gavin, and countless other children so long desired have a lifetime to showcase God’s ultimate redemption plans. Our Creator weaves his goodness and glory into our lives in mysterious and spectacular ways.

There is a Redeemer, Jesus, God’s own Son. Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One.

~Melody Green CCLI#11483

Therefore the Redeemed of Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion and everlasting joy shall be upon their head.

~Isaiah 51:11, Ruth Lake CCLI#26313


All hail Redeemer, hail! For He has died for me. His praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.

~Chris Tomlin CCLI#6463818


My rock, my shelter. My very own. Blessed Redeemer who reigns upon the throne.

~Dennis Jernigan CCLI#208492


Take a risk of faith

March 22nd, 2016 Posted by No comments

faithscrabbleIn Mark 5:34 is says: Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed…”

This is the story of the woman with the issue of blood and in her pursuit of healing she knew that if she touched Jesus He would heal her.

And so she persevered, did not give up, until she was able to touched Him. And He healed her.

Believing something — a substance of something hoped for, the evidence of something not seen (Hebrews 11:1) means taking a risk. But it is worth
plunging forward towards the goal.

Whatever you’re believing God for today, take a risk and believe it will be.

Go with God.



Why your church is small …and you’ll be surprised to know that it’s probably not your fault

January 3rd, 2016 Posted by No comments



Your church is small because….



  1. It’s small. People who visit a small church usually quickly move on. In a small church they cannot hide in the pew and enjoy basking in God’s presence. It would become quickly apparent that they only go to church for what they can get out of it, not what they’re willing to give. So they move on.
  2. Your budget isn’t big enough. You probably struggle to support your pastor. And after lights, heat, and curriculum bills are paid, the coffers are empty. Therefore, those wonderful video-casts and singing groups and latest speakers are outside of your budget. You’re not trending.
  3. The crazies show up. I was at a pastors’ workshop with former Pastoral Ministry director, H.B. London, for Focus on the Family when he was asked what he felt was the biggest reason between large and small churches. And he said “the crazies show up in small churches.” In other words, churches attract fringe people — people who live outside the margins of normalcy. And they also attract ego-driven people looking for places to extend their influence. He felt the percentage was the same for any size church, however, one crazy among sixty shows up more easily than ten in six hundred.
  4. The music may be substandard. Now not always. We have usually pastored small churches and at times we had worship leaders who were way above the norm, other times we had me to play the piano. Nuff said.
  5. No youth group – or children’s program or single’s group. Of all the complaints, this one is actually the most understandable. Christian parents must decide what their family needs in a church. They may feel that extra programs are an important part of raising committed Christians. While I would hope they would catch the vision that they could be the one spearheading the program they are looking for, I am not a cock-eyed optimist. So you have to accept that a small church without all the bells and whistles will not meet everyone’s needs and you’ll have to bid them adieux.

So much angst is wasted on worry that our church isn’t growing numerically. This year, stop it. Don’t let the accuser nip at your heels, making you second-guess your work. So much useless energy is wasted on church-growth campaigns. Accept that God has you in a small vineyard for this time.

Maybe your town will have a growth-explosion in the future, and maybe the mega-church in the next town won’t feel led to start up a satellite church but allow you to reap the benefits of more people.

Maybe, just maybe, some of those visitors will be like the family I will forever love who attended our service one Sunday morning with their three children. They had just moved to our town from California, and I knew we were sunk, because everyone knows California churches are huge and we weren’t. But lo and behold, they came back and stayed. The family had discussed the church over lunch and their son had suggested, “Maybe we should choose this one, it looks like they could use more people and our help.” So they did and we were mightily blessed by their support and involvement.

God bless your hands as you labor in His vineyard in 2016.