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Abundant Life - February 2017

“Every man dies, not every man really lives.”  -Braveheart

 

The death rate in the world has been steady for all time.  It has been hovering right at 100%.  Everyone will die.  Even if you are healthy, active, in shape, body-conscious, one day your body will stop working.

 

Wake up, eat three meals and a few snacks, go to work, clean yourself and your home and car, watch a show, read a book, go to bed, do it again.

 

Is that living or just surviving?

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Not Safe But Good - July 2015

We began our group discussion with the normal “ice-breaker” small talk stuff.  How long was your trip, how did you get connected with Inheritance of Hope, etc.?  It was nice; it was cordial.  One man stated that he wasn’t really into talking about these kinds of things.  He quickly “passed” the conversational ball to his wife, the one with cancer.  

 

Pretty soon, the honesty came forth... it was hard, refreshing, human.  One woman, who had been battling cancer for some time, said, “Our whole life has been changed... they put me on a table, telling me to hold my breast, and moved me around like an animal…”

 

No words of mine could make that kind of experience make sense.

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Facing Death with Hope: Living for What Lasts - November 2014

Is a life-threatening illness, a major life change, or just plain old age forcing you to face your own mortality? Is your eventual death looming like a dark cloud over your life? Are you sure of what will happen when you die? How are you dealing with your questions about death? Fear? Dread? Denial? Keeping busy?
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A Letter to be Read at My Memorial Service

October 26th, 2017, marks the fifth anniversary of Kristen's death. She revised the letter below in February 2012.
 
Dear loved ones,
 
Click to watch nowAs I write this I admit feeling a little sad. Sad because my greatest earthly desire was to grow old with Deric … 17 years of marriage was not nearly long enough. Sad because it is a mother’s job to be there to comfort her child when that child experiences her first broken heart, or when he sits on the bench during a much-anticipated game. Sad because my heart hurts to think I will not be there to share in my children’s joys and inevitable accomplishments, their weddings, or for the births of their own children. Sad to leave my mom and my sister with yet another loss after the premature death of my dad. Despite the sadness this illness has brought, when I consider my life I quickly realize that God has blessed me abundantly … how can I feel anything except overwhelming thankfulness?
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A Son-in-Law's Grief - January 2014

At approximately 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, my mother-in-law called me on my mobile phone as I was driving out of the parking garage at work in Midtown Atlanta. “Lanny has been in an accident” were the words that began a journey for our family that culminated in another phone call, at about 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

“He’s gone, he’s gone, Daddy’s gone,” my wife heartbreakingly wept into the phone.

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Grieving in Downton: What we can Learn

Sometimes there are television shows that teach us something meaningful about life & offer nuggets of truth that we can tuck away. Downton Abbey is one of those for me. [Spoiler Alert for anyone who has not watched the Season 4 Premier as there will be scenes I talk about specifically.]

One of the primary characters named Mary (pictured left above) is six months widowed. On the day she gave birth to her first born son, her husband Matthew died in a car accident. About a year ago, Branson (pictured right above) lost his wife Sybil, Mary's sister,  during the birth of their daughter. Grief & loss is a common theme in this first 2 hour episode of Downton & the paradox of joy in the midst of suffering

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"Lazarus, Come Out" - December 2012

Inheritance of Hope co-founder Kristen Milligan died on October 26. The following is part of a Bible study series she wrote. If your church, Bible study, team, or group has interest in experiencing together this study from Kristen's unique perspective as a nine-year cancer survivor, simply contact aaron@InheritanceOfHope.org.

It is said that if Jesus had not used Lazarus’ name when he called him from the grave,

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How Hope Helps

My grandma reading

My grandma reading "Consider It Pure Joy" by, Kristen Milligan just before her first biopsy for lung cancer in April

Today it is rainy outside. Here in North Carolina the pollen has finally subsided and the trees are full of green leaves. We are in the midst of spring. I was just sitting at my kitchen table with my young boys watching them eat their breakfast. They are ravenous as soon as they wake! My 3 year old asked me why it was raining. (He is in the "why" everything stage!) Over the past six months I have been reading a book that I cannot seem to put down. Clearly it is teaching me old truths with new perspective that are enticing. So trying to put together some logical answer for why indeed it was raining outside, while still trying to wake up at this early hour, all I could come up with was this: "honey, God lets it rain so that things around us can be more beautiful". You know what followed that... "but why mommy?"  I smiled.

Why does it rain in our lives? Sometimes it just sprinkles. We find out news that could lead to worse news. Sometimes it pours. We feel like the whole world is beginning to fall apart around us. Sometimes it floods. We feel like we may drown in it all.

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