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Times Square Countdown

When most people think about a Times Square countdown, they think of a giant ball being lowered from a tall pole in the center of New York City while millions of people count down to a new year. 

 

Confetti. Music. Celebration.   

 

Well, Inheritance of Hope is about to begin a Times Square countdown of our own, and we are going to focus on lifting the burdens and lightening the loads of 21 families from all over the country who have young children facing the loss of a parent.


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Storm Chasers - October 2016

Hurricane Matthew is quickly approaching Florida’s east coast, and a bunch of hope-inspirers are leaving their comfortable homes and flying, driving, swimming their way to Orlando to serve 19 families facing storms much bigger than this hurricane.

 

These families have been counting down the days until their Legacy Retreat, and no hurricane is going to spoil this priceless experience for them.


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A New Twist on Mother's Day - May 2016

[This post was originally published on May 2.]

 

Mother's Day 2016 is only a few days away. Hallmark will claim record-breaking sales, and florists will hire extra delivery staff to make sure that the roses and daisies make their way to the doorsteps of moms old and young, new and seasoned.

 

I recently sat for hours going through my own Mother's Day cards… or as my youngest used to say, “polishing and tumbling the memory agates,” alternately smiling and weeping. Smiling over the stories and weeping over the ever dear and precious words in cards, notes, and letters over five decades. Joybox after joybox. Words of encouragement, words of gratitude, tender words of love and appreciation for being an example in hard times… for pointing them to Jesus… for loving them unconditionally.


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Experiencing God When You are Gripped by Fear - April 2016

Fear - it’s a powerful emotion. Have you ever experienced fear so intense that you couldn’t move - that you couldn’t breathe? Maybe had a panic attack? We all experience fear, but God has an antidote for it.


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Wait with Eager Longing - February 2016

One day, they told us, an enormous snake—much longer than a man—slithered its way right through their front door and into the kitchen of their simple home. Terrified, they ran outside and searched frantically for a local who might know what to do. A machete-wielding neighbor came to the rescue, calmly marching into their house and decapitating the snake with one clean chop.


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Everlasting Father - December 2015

A year ago, I reflected on the wonder of “Unto us a child is born,” which took on fresh richness as Allison and I experienced new parenthood along with Advent. Now we can hardly believe that we have been parents for a year already! Our baby girl has grown and changed so much, and so have we. As Advent scriptures and songs once again circulate, different parts of them grab my attention. In a recent reading of Isaiah 9, the phrase “Everlasting Father” struck me. I love my little girl to death, but that is tragically literal – some day death will interrupt my fatherly love. An “Everlasting Father” is worthy of reflection.


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Inspiring Hope at the IRONMAN World Championship

On October 10th, professional triathlete and Inheritance of Hope supporter Ruth Brennan Morrey, Ph.D., competed in the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.  She's 1 of only 9 American women to compete in the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run, and she finished 23rd among professional female athletes worldwide. Due to her years of training, Ruth has a unique perspective on resilience, perseverance, and faith. She also turned 40 years old on race day!

 

Ruth served as a counselor on the Inheritance of Hope (IoH) NYC Legacy Retreat® in November 2014, and she raised money for IoH as part of her desire to give back through her IRONMAN experience. Her supporters rallied around her passion for families facing the loss of a parent, raising nearly $5,000!  Her efforts will fully fund 1 family's NYC Legacy Retreat® next month -- an opportunity to make precious memories while they are still able!

 

Ruth has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a focus in health psychology, thus she brings a strong skill set to her involvement with IoH. Here, we asked Ruth a few questions prior to her race and heard her thoughts on how her experiences relate to IoH and life at large.


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Family Spotlight: Cheryl Broyles

Over the past several months, I have had the privilege of writing about members of the Inheritance of Hope family. Cheryl Broyles, like each person I have presented, defies description. In June 2000, Cheryl was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumor and told she had less than a year to live. How could I adequately describe a woman who in the past 15 years has survived six brain surgeries, climbed mountains both literal and figurative, and raised two toddlers into young men?

 

I can’t. Cheryl inspires hope in a tremendous way, and there are no words beautiful enough to paint the picture of what that looks like.


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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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Board Spotlight: Richard Birney

Click here to see how!Richard Birney has served on the Inheritance of Hope (IoH) Board of Directors for over five years.  He has been an integral part of the organization for even longer.
 
Richard and his wife Peggy first met IoH founders Deric and Kristen Milligan in the pews of Fishkill Baptist Church.  Richard remembers, “They sat on the row in front of us.  I could tell they were both nice and we invited them to lunch.  That started the whole thing.  And it’s still all about relationships.”

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A Letter to be Read at My Memorial Service

October 26th, 2016, marks the fourth 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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Our Inheritance of Hope (part 2) – July 2014

III.  THE INHERITANCE OF HOPE

Consider the Christian believer’s hope. Think about three things.  First…


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Our Inheritance of Hope (part 1) – June 2014

“What do you hope your obituary will say?”  I am not asking you.  I am telling you the first question interviewers often ask Ray Kurzweil.  He is an inventor who has given us the flatbed scanner, optical character recognition technology, a reader for the blind, and an iconic line of music synthesizers.

Interviewer Holman Jenkins explains why the usual lead question is a trick question.


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Cries of Pain, Cries of Hope – May 2014

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the parents on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. — Exodus 20:5-6

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? — Matthew 27:13

What else is there to say after that?  “My God! My God…”  This text appears little more than a poor picture of parenting.  Why is God absent?  Why has God forsaken his only son?  Why?  With the commandment still echoing in our minds, we wonder how this jealous God deserts a faithful son.  You and I expect


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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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Ordinary Hope - December 2013

I love the Christmas season.  For several weeks, everything takes on a special quality.  Special foods and drinks appear.  Special music fills the air.  Parties and family gatherings celebrate special relationships.  Special traditions remind us of special memories.  Decorations and lights transform ordinary trees and buildings.  Perhaps you


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Great is Thy Faithfulness - June 2013

We often think of grief as a response to death, but grief comes from other losses too.  Families facing a young parent’s illness grieve the loss of health, loss of finances, loss of productivity, loss of relationships, loss of opportunities, loss of future plans, even the loss of hope.  Their grief and their illness make them feel isolated.  Renowned preacher Thomas Long describes such grief as “living in a land where nobody speaks your language.”

What is the language of grief?


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Gaining a New Perspective on Life



One day someone asked me if I was interested in sponsoring a candle for the upcoming Relay for Life event in honor or memory of someone with cancer. Afraid to answer, I simply agreed and took the paperwork home. I asked myself, “Do I know anyone with cancer?” Nobody in my family had cancer, none of my friends had cancer, none of my friends’ family members had cancer. I didn’t know anyone with cancer. But they made it seem like I should?


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The Improbability of Faith

- Blog post written by Daniel Carillo



In the first chapter of his Gospel, John gives an account of how Jesus selects the apostles.  Interesting approach – John doesn’t give an account of each apostle’s first encounter with Jesus.  Instead, he focuses on four – Andrew (Peter), Simon, Philip, and Nathanael.

Ah, Nathanael.

Nathanael first hears about Jesus from Philip, who tells him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”  Nathanael’s response is shocking – “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

Doubt. Nathanael was saying, “I doubt it!”  He was questioning.  He could not believe.  This was impossible.

Doubt.  What is it, and how is it able to, so easily, grab hold of us?  Twist our thoughts?  Fill us with dread and anxiety?


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Wouldn't Change A Thing

My dad was diagnosed with very rare stage 4 lymphoma in his eyes when I was 15. It was a pretty tough time for my family.  Doctors didn’t think he was going to make it, but thank God he did.

My family had gone through a lot of tough things in the past, but I always knew everything would be okay. But this... This was the first time in my life where I just didn’t know.


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