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.

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34 thoughts on “Family News from Hawaii”

  1. Way to dote on your kids! Not too mushy at all.

    No worries if this sounds totally crazy, but I’m a disciple-maker, micro guy out in Kansas City connected with the KC Underground.

    I’m in some real estate circles/Air BnB circles as a form of my tent making…I’d be interested in connecting with you, and then if I’m trust worthy, your son and daughter-in-law about exploring some business enterprise together.

  2. Ralph & Ruby,
    This is such a great testimony to being strong in faith and practical temporal ways as well. It is so nice to read about these latest chapters in your family’s lives. You sharing a piece of your life (as you have always done), is really a blessing to many.

    Those of us that have known you two for decades are especially blessed to know many of the twists and turns that have led you to this place in time. I do not mean to be sappy here, but bear with me for a second. While not perfect, your lives have been (and still are) an object lesson…we get to see how faith in God’s plans, while mysterious at times, will ultimately lead us closer to Him. You have shared life in real terms with all of us and continue to be a conduit of knowledge and wisdom that comes from Jesus!

    Thanks for sharing,
    Rich

    1. Wow Rich,
      Your words are such an encouragement to me and Ruby. I still remember the day I met Cherie and her family. Watched them come through the pain of divorce in such a godly way. Saw you come into their lives in a similar fashion. You continue to bless us!
      Ralph

  3. Steve and Beverly Von Hoff

    It is amazing when we follow His ways, how God works through the tough and excruciating circumstances of life to restore, rebuild, and abundantly bless our lives. Thank you for sharing your story. It shows the gracious designs of our loving Father and stands as a testimony of God’s favor with His children.

  4. Not too mushy or personal at all! It’s a blessing to hear about how Gpd is moving in your family. Indeed, it just confirms that He gives beauty for ashes and restores what the locusts have eaten. I would love to hear about all the other “coincidences” that showed God’s hand in this too. What an incredible love story for Carl and Kristin and their families.

    1. Thanks Dar,
      Your words about beauty for ashes are so appropriate. We’ll get to the other coincidences at another time. I think the unusual overflow of grace on Carl and Kristin is a stamp of God’s approval–a “well done good and faithful servants.”

  5. We rejoice. with you! God is faithful and we. know His timing is perfect. God bless you and. your family!
    what a beautiful testimony and awesome praise report.
    we are. blessed. to hear it.
    Thank you for sharing.
    In His love and ours,
    Zac and Julie

    1. Julie and Zac,
      Thanks for your love, support and faithfulness. Your love is a blessing. Your faithfulness as a team in ministry is a super example. Watching you deal with cancer while leading Hope Hermosa blesses me more than you can know. Grace and peace to you and yours!
      Ralph

  6. Living thru divorce myself and now married just over 20 yrs to an awesome woman who loves the Lord your story was good to read.
    Thank you for sharing.

  7. Thank you for sharing the full and wonderful story of God at work. It is all that we had hoped for as we prayed over the years. God is so good. And as a Grammie, I know how blessed you are by more young ones!! We miss you all.

    1. Thanks JoDee (and Ernie), your impact on our family continues to bless us. So happy to share the Lord’s blessing and endorsement that is so strong on Carl and Kristin. I think Carl is happier today than anytime after his childhood. So good to see him always smiling. And we are blessed with the joy of our extended family, especially Kristin, her parents and our grandchildren.

  8. It is super-great to hear family news, Ralph. As ministers most of the time
    our families pay a big price they shouldn’t have to pay for what we do.

    And…Im a certified diver as well. My second job is Hyperbaric Atmosphere Dives for health. Good for Carl! It looks like a great road-trip in life is coming for him.

    1. Thanks Joe, so right about the price our families pay in ministry. Gets worse when other people’s pride comes into the picture. So happy for Carl and Kristin. The fantastic ways God is blessing nullify the pain and difficulties they went through. The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.

  9. Thank you Ralph for sharing such a personal and moving story. I’m so happy for Carl and Kristin, and for you and Ruby. Finding life and love on the other side of a painful divorce is such a gift of grace. The Lord’s blessing on all of you!! Much love, Joe

    1. Thanks Joe,
      You continue to be an encouragement to me. I keep hearing stories of fruitfulness coming from Spokane and your church. I’ll be sure Carl and Kristin see your message of love and grace.
      Ralph

  10. What a wonderful testimony, one in which I can relate. I was handed a divorce I did not want and I stayed single for fourteen years serving the Lord with my whole heart. I swore I would never remarry and I certainly wasn’t going to have any more children. I now have a wonderful wife of almost 32 years and two wonderful children. My oldest child from my first marriage lives here in Austin also with my two grandchildren. There is life after a divorce. Carl, My scripture for you is Joel 2:25; it is my testimony also. “God is able to restore the years the locusts have taken away.” God bless you and your new family.

    1. Thanks Al,
      Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord and to our friendship. I love watching the way God has blessed you and your family. Those blessings have spilled over into Ruby and me in many ways.
      I’ll be sure Carl sees your words of encouragement to him.

  11. Wow! That is so God orchestrated! Things the stuff that the enemy meant for bad was to God’s advantage of promises turning it all for the good. Thank you I’m totally stoked yet not surprise how God turns it all around for those who love Him (you guys) and are called for His purposes. Much mahalos pastor Ralph, Ruby and family. Glad you had a wonderful time with your family. God bless and take care

    1. Thanks Rac,
      Psalm 37 is my favorite chapter in the Bible. I think these words are appropriate in the story of our family, ” Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.”

  12. Thank you Ralph for sharing this. God surely works in mysterious ways, but it all works for our good! It seems like just yesterday that Carl was playing on the floor in the house in Granada Hills……

    1. Thanks Paul,
      I so appreciate your comments. Time seems to slip by too fast. Those days in Granada Hills are precious to me. I fondly remember you coming to Christ, our car wreck and your help starting the first Hope Chapel in Manhattan. Thank you!

  13. To God be the glory; Ralph, that’s what makes you so awesome to emulate; you keep it real…blessings to your son and daughter-in-law and the HOPE CHAPEL FAMILY..

  14. WOWEE, all the people in this thread: JoDee & Ernie, Rac, Al Martin (also Snider

    Vick), Mike. Rex II now is a bible study mentor w/his 4 kids @ Mike/Lisa’s side of

    the isle. in Mililani; Kasi got her MBA & mentors a small ladies group @ her bank.

    Folks on the street often call them “coincidences” but we take notice of the many

    unseen of God………….thanks, REX

  15. My family and I attended Hope Chapel Kaneohe while stationed there 2007-2009. I had gotten a copy of your book “Let go of the ring” at that time, but never read it until starting it a few days ago. I needed hope and encouragement. I have also gone through a divorce in the last few years and am now raising my five kids alone. It continues to be a rough journey, but I really appreciate this post.

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