Sunday, October 2, 2016

WAY-fm Presenting our latest Hometown Hero

Gresham Ford was approached by WAY-fm 104.5 to help find Hometown Heros right here is Portland, Oregon.  Below is the submission of our first recipient. 

Join #GreshamFord and keep yours eyes out for your very own #HomeTownHero.   

Hometown Heros from 104.5 WAY-fm

My husband became a hometown hero. At the start of this year my spouse was involved in helping good samaritans capture a troubled soul. 
I remember the night vividly. My hubby was sitting at the kitchen table studying for his final, the kids were upstairs getting ready for bed and I took a few moments to myself talking to God in our bedroom. It’s what I do often when my physical pain becomes too much to bear. And what can I say, there is so much to pray about in our lives and this world. 
As a SUV approached at the end of our driveway honking (resembling his ex-wife’s new vehicle) there was a little confusion but no major alarm until a stranger got out and knocked on the window to grab my spouse’s attention. According to him, The look on her face screamed help me! His adrenaline kicked in. I heard the commotion in the other room and outside and the energy surrounding it was dramatic. I was told to gather the five kids upstairs and be on lockdown while my spouse called 911 and shined his flashlight in the backyard. The Tigard police and K9 came and captured the teen and within 20 minutes our lives were back to normal…
We learned Briana and Kim were out and their eyes caught something amiss with a member of our community that night. They helped save the life a retired police officer. Briana chased the attacker in her SUV while Kimberly stayed with the victim until an ambulance arrived.
After the night was over and I had time to reflect, I wondered in that moment why this happened while I was in the bedroom spending time praying with God. What message was this situation sending and what would come if it? I think about how random and rare it is for a stranger on stranger attempted murder to take place in our town and then have the attacker end up literally yards from our home with footsteps on our lawn. There was no fear at the time as we only knew there was an altercation and there is no fear now as we have come to find out the attacker had mental health issues at 17. My heart breaks for his family that was attempting to get him help. The road to getting someone the care they need for mental health can be burdensome, isolating, and virtually non existent at times. I can only pray for them all. 
This road now led us to free concert tickets to a Casting Crowns performance and my spouse and the other hometown heroes being honored during the event. This is all thanks to Paul Van Sickle and The Way radio station 104.5 and a loving Mom (Judy – Kimberly’s mom) who saw the beauty in the story and wanted to share it with the greater Portland area by entering a contest. 
God answered a prayer in more than one way for us. One, I had been seeking new spiritual music to refine me. I have not always been the biggest fan of contemporary Christian but the lyrics of a Casting Crowns song drew me in…
“Just Be Held”
Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on
And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held
If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will
And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held
Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held (stop holding on and just be held)
Just be held, just be held, just be held, just be held
The second part of the answered prayer would be that this is the gift my husband needed to lift his spirit. You see he got diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome this past June at 36 years old. Although it changes nothing for me as his wife (it actually gives me a better understanding and more love and grace for him) it gave him answers to questions of why he struggles in certain aspects of his life.  The internet unfairly can make a person with this disability feel worse about themselves, on top of the social aspects they already struggle with on a daily basis. The new diagnosis hit him hard. God knew he needed this!
I could empathize with him as I recall a time I needed my spirit uplifted. Depression hit my life at 18 as my parents were on the verge of their divorce and the night before my favorite band played, I prayed a silly teen girl prayer to meet the lead singer of the band. It wasn’t just any punk band. It was my obsession from 15 on. It turned out my teen girl crush, Mike Herrera from MxPx, thought my friend and I were nice enough to hang backstage, drink a Coke and meet Mark and Tom and from Blink 182 as well. It was a ‘random’ meeting by the hotel fountain after the show that ignited the backstage invitation, but it forever reminded me (in my own unique way) there is a caring God that listens to us in our darkest hour and is capable of anything.  It could have meant nothing to anyone else but it meant the world to me.
The last part of an answered prayer was my spouse’s and I need for a cheap date night to connect. Friday nights just happen to fall in line with our typical date night anyway. This not only encompasses the spiritual side of our marriage but our love for music that moves us. We couldn't think of a better way to spend the evening. We also get to be in the presence of the two noble and angelic ladies that helped protect our family. Not to mention a shout of praise to the victim, Jeanette, that served and protected our community in her past job risking her life daily for others. 
I feel so blessed to be a part of this whole event and experience and be surrounded by these hometown heroes. I can only hope for others that when their spirit is down God will lift them up and when the enemy strikes God will protect them. I believe a higher power is constantly at work putting the pieces of the puzzle we call life together. 
Noelle Joy 

1 comment:

  1. Heroics abound all around us every day and we might not even be aware of it. Take the case of this incident that

    happened just recently in Tigard:

    “TIGARD, Ore. -- The woman attacked by a knife-wielding teen in Tigard last weekend may owe her life to a group

    of strangers who united to help her. They also helped police catch the suspect.

    Kim Arndt and her best friend, Briana Neet were running errands Saturday night, when they reported seeing 17-

    year-old Daniel Ortiz attacking 59-year- old Jeannette Brown.

    Brown said she had been walking her dog near Walnut Street and 114th Avenue in Tigard when Ortiz came up

    behind her with a knife.

    As Ortiz fled the scene, Arndt and Neet sprung in to help.

    Arndt stayed with Brown until the ambulance came and Neet followed Ortiz in her car.

    Neet took a chance and asked neighbor, Marshall Crites for help, after seeing him through his window.

    "[Neet] came up and said, 'We need help!'" recalled Crites, who then grabbed his flashlight and scanned his back


    Within minutes, a police K-9 unit had Ortiz. Neet gave police a positive ID of him.

    "If it hadn't been for Kim and Briana, he would probably have gotten away," said Crite” (For the whole story, go to: help-woman- hurt-in- knife-attack/11680140)

    This is just one of the stories that has been submitted so far. 104.5 WAY-FM and Quick Lane at Gresham Ford are

    proud to honor those in our community that are doing heroic things. The dictionary defines a "hero" as someone

    who is recognized for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Who is the hero in your life?

    We will select a Hero each month to recognize with an award. Go to to nominate the hero in your life!

    Also, all three of these “Hometown Heroes” will be recognized with an award at the Casting Crowns concert at

    the Moda Center tonight!! Nominate your “Hero” today!