Let’s Elope!

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Wearing blue jeans, a hot pink T-shirt, worn out cowgirl boots and my hair pulled back in a clippy, I met Rip at the Home Depot parking lot 9 years ago today. Now, he was sporting his Kroger navy blue dress shirt and kacky pants, but the one thing we had in common … white trim paint on our hands and under our nails. It was just our look while we’d been spending months remodeling our future home during our engagement.  With dark circles under our eyes and overly fatigued muscles, we sat in his Avalanche truck in that parking lot and knew that in only 30 minutes, we would be meeting with our pastor to talk about our wedding vows for the next weekend. But … things changed instantly because I actually met him there with a pair of rings and the marriage license tucked inside a gift bag. And it was all of 5 seconds when we both knew…

“Let’s elope!”

So, at 4:30 we showed up for the meeting with our pastor, and Rip asked, “Can you marry us right now?” J.C. Christian didn’t seem too stunned and said, “Well, my wife is here practicing on the piano songs for your wedding next weekend so she could be the witness.” We called family, Rip ran to Kroger to get flowers and within the hour, I was walking down the aisle to Rip. And he took me in his arms and we held each other for most of the time we were exchanging vows.

But I have to say, I didn’t know then what I’ve come to experientially know now about God and His loving redemption, justice, forgiveness, mercy and grace. Don’t believe it when people try to tell you that His grace is no longer operative under certain circumstances for two broken and repentant people

For many years, we’ve experienced a marriage that I hope to one day write a book about because Rip and I both know that what we are allowed to experience in our marriage is because of one reason –  God’s grace. When He sees the hearts and hears the confessions of two genuinely repentant people, He forgives. He washes us and cleanses us from all our unrighteousness and His grace is operative in both our lives at that moment of our repentance.

God isn’t a snob. He is a kind, loving, compassionate and an understanding Hero. Our Hero, who rescues and delivers us through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 7:23-25but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?  Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

And when you pray to Him, He won’t keep you at arms length. He want ignore you and send your prayers to a voice messaging system. He won’t wait until you grovel and beg. No, He is so heroic that His Word tells us He always responds to prayers of repentance. One prayer that is guaranteed to be granted is the prayer of repentance. Luke 18:13-14 actually describes a repentant prayer.

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.‘ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”


Here are a few photos of us that I just want to share with you because they are some of my favorite moments with my Rip.






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lisa rippy

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