Category Archives: Marriage

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!

Back to School

School_iStock_000018656792MediumWith the start of the school year among us and our family, probably like yours, bracing for a new norm as our two boys start school, I began to think about the past six years as a parent…

I have read in parenting books that some parents choose to take an inventory of their parenting with each child on the child’s birthday. Each year parents determine what needs to be a focus for them as a parent and what they see each child needing to grow in for the coming year.

So, in this new transition for our family, I began to ask some questions:

  • Am I modeling the right qualities to my child?
  • When I make mistakes do they see me asking for forgiveness?
  • Am I sharing with them what special traits I see emerging in them?
  • Do they know who they are?

As you and I reflect on those questions, I realized that for over six years, I have had countless hours together with my boys, seven-days a week. Those hours will now be squeezed into four hours each day, Monday through Friday. This began to challenge me as a parent, “How am I going to influence and make the impact on my kids in the future years?”

As I thought about the daunting years ahead, I recalled reading some years ago about Bell Rock Lighthouse. Bell Rock Lighthouse is 11 miles off the coast of Scotland, and endures high seas in the North Sea (not to digress, but think of the high seas and crashing waves many of us like to watch the brave men from the show Deadliest Catch endure in order to taste those delicious crabs). Bell Rock Lighthouse was built in 1811 and stands 115 feet above the one-acre island of solid rock. The island is covered by seawater for 20 hours each day. The builders of the lighthouse, Robert Stevenson and 65 workers, had only four hours each day to carve out, build and retreat from the island each day as the high waters climbed over the rocks.

In a similar way, we have a short period of time to build within each of our kids their ‘toolkit’, which will allow them to endure life and the storms found in it.

As a parent, I know I have to take advantage of every moment and make it count. Two words come to mind; consistency and faithfulness. I won’t always get it right, but I am going to give it my best!

So a word of encouragement (and challenge!) to parents, is to take some time and think about your kids and the role you have in their lives:

“Like turning water into wine, God turns our best efforts, which too often fall short, into something better than we could have offered on our  own. God makes his strength perfect in our weakness. Without God, in other words, we could never be the parents we want to be.” Parrott & Parrot, The Parent You Want to Be: Who You Are Matters More Than What You Do.

Amen to that.

Pastor Pat

Hope Story: Sammy Smith

RPB_7884God called my family to Hope.

I originally resisted the “big church” because my grandparents founded, and I grew up in, a little church in Davenport, IA. That’s what was comfortable to me.

However, with our family, marriage and faith on the rocks, we knew we needed a change, so we decided to give Hope a try.

From the minute we entered Hope that is exactly what we felt…. Hope. Our spirit and faith in love became renewed.

The sermons – every sermon – made us cry. It seemed like the pastors were speaking directly to us and our struggles (I now know this was the Holy Spirit speaking through them to me).

Our story may not be unique, but it speaks to me, and I’ve since felt compelled to share with others. So, let me start from the beginning…

After seven years of marriage, my wife asked for a divorce. We approached this avenue last year and I told her that if she were to ask again, I would not fight her because I wanted her to be happy more than I wanted to be with her. (It is just the way we are with one another.)

I was devastated and broken. Not only from the brokenness of our relationship, but from the brokenness of not being able to care for my family. I had lost my job a couple of months prior and felt like I was letting everyone down. I was not being the man I wanted to be, a man taking care of those he loved.

RPB_7879For a multitude of reasons, my wife decided she had enough. And, I didn’t blame her at all.

Two days after my wife asked for a divorce, I had a dream.

In the dream, we were divorced and eating dinner together, regretting our decision of divorce because we just gave up. Gave up on God. Gave up on our family. Gave up on love.

When I awoke, I stood up. And, for the first time in my life, I decided I was not going to let someone else dictate my life for me.

I was going to fight. My marriage was like my life breath and it was not going to be stripped from me without a fight. I told her about this and told her it was a mistake.

We fought (yelled, screamed, cried and yelled some more). I was finally able to convince her to talk to a pastor at Hope. And we did. We talked to one of the pastors about what was going on – our fears and anger about the current situation.

It opened my eyes.

My wife and I talked and I was given 90 days to show her that I understood what was needed to change within myself, and to build the trust and love within us.

It was a tall order… a miracle was needed.

I prayed that night for strength from God. I needed guidance… and fast.

I signed up for the 33 Series that the pastor we met with suggested I try.

RPB_7751I also felt called by God to purchase a book – Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge. I had heard of this book from Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey recommends it).

I went and purchased the book and read it in five days. I read it like a textbook – underlining passages, crying over subject matter that spoke to my heart.

This book was the beginning of my road map to becoming a man… a Man of God.

My marriage was saved thanks to the love of Jesus Christ.

In less than three months, my wife and I went from looking for separate places to live, me sleeping on the couch, and trying to figure out how to tell our children about the divorce, to working together on paying off debt so we can buy a house as a family.

RPB_7819I was accepted into a program with the VA (I am a disabled vet) and they will pay for my schooling to obtain my Masters in Mental Health Counseling, so I can work as a counselor in the mental health profession. I believe this is why I lost my job. My heart was not in my previous career. I needed to be able to reach out my hand and help those in need.

Through putting my faith and trust in God, a broken man of 44 years, along with a marriage (and family) on the verge of destruction, were saved.

I am so blessed by my faith, family and our new found life.

 

All In

It seems like just yesterday that Pastor Mike and I were huddled together, ramping up to fight what we believe is one of the greatest battles this church has ever faced…

The world’s attack on the family unit. 

wedding rings-iStock_000007796386MediumEmail after email was coming in of families reaching out – in crisis.

People stopping by “to chat” after worship…

My counseling calendar filling with marriages in crisis…

Mike asked me to jump in and build a vision for YOUR FAMILIES.  I was all in. 

The time is now. More now than any other time in our history because our families are under attack.

Marriages are hurting, people are walking away and families are in crisis. Not one of our families is ‘out of the woods’ – it takes one road bump to set us down a path we never thought we’d find ourselves.

It’s in this space that HOPE and LOVE can take shape to be in place today and for generations ahead of us – radically transforming families and marriages as we know them today. Not just in the walls here at Hope – but it’s our prayer that it will be in the hearts of each of you as well! From there – we will go out and help to bring HOPE and LOVE to hurting families wherever God takes us. If you can’t tell – we are fired up and so excited for this.

Here’s what I can tell you: my wife, Missy, and I, along with Mike, Sally, and the rest of the staff here at Hope, are ALL IN. Boxing gloves are on – and we are standing in your corner.

Our commitment to you and your families is that we will celebrate marriages and parents  – equipped to be rooted, growing, and persevering – modeled in Christ Jesus.

Celebrate – Bringing couples and renewing families through worship, spiritual intimacy and recommitment.

“Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.”  Malachi 3:15

Rooted – Married couples have a biblical foundation for marriage and parenting, and are supported in Christian community.

“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power;   together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and deep is the love of Christ.”   Ephesians 3:17-18

Growing – Training married couples and families how to develop relationships based on the experience of a living, intimate relationship with God.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest command. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”    Matthew 22: 37-38

Persevering – Equipping couples and families with love and endurance to endure the struggles and tough times by receiving God’s power, responding with God’s truth and grace, and serving each other selflessly.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”  2 Corinthians 4:7-8

Stay tuned to this blog to be challenged and fed as this ministry takes shape. We can’t wait to meet each of you and be your champions for what’s possible when we put God back into the family and build it his way!  Watch for more information soon!

Pastor Pat

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