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Experiencing God in Times of Crisis - September 2015

Crises are a part of life.  Some are global -- tsunamis, earthquakes, or terrorism.  Other are local -- cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, or the death of a loved one.  But here's the question: "Is it possible to experience God in the midst of that kind of catastrophe?" 

 

We are pleased to share resources with you from Chip Ingram's Living on the Edge ministry.  In this message, Chip explores how you can experience God through your darkest times.

 

LISTEN NOW          NOTES


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Peace, By Any Other Name - August 2015

Peace… a short, one-syllable word. It even sounds soft as it rolls off the tongue. Yet to my mind, its meaning is elusive. At least it was before writing this piece.

 

As a writer, I always have my Merriam-Webster dictionary close at hand, and, over the years, I have accepted and oft-quoted its definitions as unquestionable truth. Until now.


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Family Spotlight: Shannon Fogarty

The Gran Fondo New York is a grueling 98.54-mile bike ride with maximum grades of 18% and elevations reaching up to 1,279 feet. Racers must be extremely fit and endure months of arduous training in preparation for the event. Shannon Fogarty is ready, both physically and mentally. On May 17th, he will take on the challenge of the Gran Fondo in support of Inheritance of Hope.

 

He wasn’t always a biker, but in the past few years Shannon has lost 100 pounds and changed his lifestyle to become healthier. A bike that once just sat in the garage now logs up to 90 miles each weekend and a few more during the course of each week. It shares space and road time with a professional Cannondale racing bike. Arguably, Shannon, like the other racers, is in the best shape of his life. He also has an inoperable brain tumor. He is riding not just in spite of it, but because of it.


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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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More Life

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Kristen Milligan passed away  one year ago tomorrow. She was a truly amazing person and my very best friend. One of her favorite verses is found in James 1:2-4 and she referenced it often in her speaking engagements, books, and daily life. This is what it says in the modern day Message translation of the bible:

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way."


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Christ's Tenacious Love - April 2013

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   – Romans 8:35, 37-39

What good news! Nothing in this life


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Happy New Year!

Now is the time of year when we consider all that the past year held for us, and ponder what the year ahead will bring.  This can stir up a vast array of emotions . . . hope, worry, excitement, fear, gratitude, fatigue, doubt, peace, longing, joy . . . sometimes several at once.


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An Instrument of Peace

St. Francis of Assisi largerEarlier this week, my family and I were walking on the grounds of a chapel in St. Augustine, FL.  While strolling through this beautifully manicured piece of our nation's history, I came across a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, who is highly revered in the Catholic church.  Next to the statue was a prayer that is often associated with St.Francis.  As I read the prayer, my heart was immediately grabbed by how closely this prayer parallels the heartfelt service offered by Inheritance of Hope volunteers.


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Peace

dont-wait-for-the-storm-to-passPeace. It does not mean being in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

How do you do that? When there are true storms pounding down on us and looming in the distance how do we remain calm in our hearts? How do we "dance in the rain"?


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One Body, Many Parts


Charis, Amy, & Adam Patwa

Charis, Amy, & Adam Patwa

A few weeks ago we returned from the May 2012 retreat in Orlando, Florida. This was a special retreat for me because it was the first time I was able to invite a family I knew personally to come on a retreat & see them be cared for & enjoy a few days together outside of their normal routine fighting cancer. Amy & Adam Patwa, & their adorable daughter Charis, attended this retreat and blessed me & so many others with their transparency & hope in the midst of a life-threatening illness. Something really amazing happens on these retreats. Staff & volunteers love families. Families love each other. Everyone ends up serving each other in some way, shape, or form... maybe without even realizing their impact.


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How Hope Helps

My grandma reading "Consider It Pure Joy" by, Kristen Milligan

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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Joy and Peace Through Suffering - March 2012


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For God So Loved the World - December 2011

I feel extraordinarily thankful to be here this Christmas with my husband and my children.  There was a moment a few months ago when I wasn't sure ... so much so that my Christmas shopping was complete in early September.


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The Grass is Rarely Greener

grass

A few years ago I read a great book series by Beverly LaHaye and Terri Blackstock. The Seasons Series follows the lives of four women who live on the same cul-de-sac of a neighborhood suburb.

One of the books begins as a mom is cleaning and putting away the decorations following her youngest child's wedding reception in her home the night before.  She is reflecting on the fun events of the weekend but also mourning the emptiness of her home and the fact that all of her "babies" are now grown and gone creating families of their own.

She looks out the window to see her neighbor.  Her neighbor is frantically


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A Part to Play - January 2011

This month's devotional is written by Inheritance of Hope staff member Aaron Hedges.

John 11:38-44 tells a fascinating story.  Much significance is packed into the short account, and we too easily 


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