Family News from Hawaii

Brace yourself for a personal and somewhat mushy story.

My wife and I are just home from Hawaii and bursting with thanks to the Lord for the good things he’s doing in our family.

It all centers on a psalm, “God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell; He leads the prisoners out to prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a parched land” (Psalm 68:6 AMP).

We’re proud of our Lord. We’re proud of our son. We’re proud of our new daughter-in-law, Kristin. And, we’re proud of our grandchildren—all five of them but especially the three that we see quite often (the other two are grown and living in different cities).

We got to spend a wonderful week with these guys in their home in Oahu’s North Shore. Aside from Ruby damaging a knee in a nasty fall on an escalator, we’re bubbling with enthusiasm and excitement.

A little background is in order. Our son experienced a pretty rough final eight years of his two-decade marriage. Then his wife divorced him. All this while pastoring a large church. He did well in ministry but grew hollow on the inside during that time. He then spent a year living alone and feeling more isolated. Five months after the divorce, he connected with a radiant young woman in the church. After dating for just over a year, they married

It’s amazing how God puts people in families where they belong. Psalm 68 says God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home. We watched our son progress from a period of relative desolation and loneliness to leading an incredible family. They enjoy the blessing of the Lord in every way.

The story is better if you understand the background.

Kristin grew up in Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach after we moved to Hawaii—they never met. She first visited Hawaii on a Cru ministry team. Deciding to remain in the state, took her to Hope Chapel Hawaii Kai. She fell in love and married, following her husband to two other Hope Chapels as jobs took them across Oahu. They struggled through a difficult marriage, and she suffered a painful divorce. After that trauma, she began attending Anchor Church (formerly Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay), not realizing it was a Hope Chapel now sporting a different name. Our son was the lead pastor.

They met and connected—not knowing that they grew up in the same town and church. Not knowing that they were both into diving and surfing. She didn’t know that he was into ocean art as she is. Indeed not knowing that he dove for shells at the beach nearest her home. God pulled these two people together in fantastic ways. And I’m not even telling you half of the “coincidences” that led to their courtship and marriage. These are stories of God’s blessing and grace in their lives.

The second part of that scripture says that he leads the prisoners to prosperity.

When you experience the pain of divorce or any significant pain in your life, you’re a prisoner. But then the prosperity factor enters your picture, as it did for this family.

They own their home. And, if you should visit, you cross the road, then cross the golf course, and you’re at the beach. It’s the beach where both collected shells for ocean art before they knew each other. They utilize shells and sea glass in her growing business.

Carl brought our youngest granddaughter into the marriage. Kristin brought her two children. Grandparents on both sides bonded immediately with the children (and they all love us in return).

It all makes Ruby and me proud to be part of their lives and where God’s taking them.

They’re currently running the business full-time, and it’s doing quite well. Carl and Kristin live as free agents in God’s kingdom. The nice thing is that they are so blessed and secure as they await the next steps.

I have no idea what their future holds or my own (none of us does). But I know that I’m so thankful to God for keeping his word in this beautiful way to our family. And it’s just been such a super blessing getting to be with all these guys. And I just wanted to share the joy with you.

I hope this wasn’t too personal. I know it’s not all about church planting or making disciples. However, my son was my number one disciple, and my new daughter-in-law first got to Hawaii because she is a disciple-maker. I’m proud of both of them.