Green Hearts

“This book is rare. It never suggests Christians can sidestep life’s toughest issues. But there’s warmth, hope, insight, and reassurance of God’s love and support through the darkest times. Every chapter moved me and helped me. Green Hearts is a book for those who face struggles, which is all of us.”

Dr. Alistair Brown, Oxford, England
Retired President of Northern Seminary | Lisle, IL

“For forty plus years I have practiced medicine/surgery. During that time I have seen hundreds and thousands of people experience tragedy, grief, and sorrow. True healing, whether physical or spiritual, is a continual process. There will always be a scar. Green Hearts reminds me that Jesus indeed calmed the Sea of Galilee, and there is no storm in our hearts that He cannot calm or heal.”

Randy W. Cooper, MD, Chief of Surgery
University Hospital | Augusta, GA


Life is not skipping from mountain peak to mountain peak. Everyone experiences pain. It is the common ground on which all humanity stands. This book presents some of the most tragic and painful situations of life and answers the hard question of “why” from a Christian perspective. The inspiration for this book comes from the sudden death of one of the co-author’s ten-year-old daughter, Ella, who loved “Green Hearts.” In addition to real-life stories of God’s goodness in the worst of times, topics include:

  • Understanding and dealing with grief
  • Questioning God during difficult times
  • Helping someone who is grieving
  • Surprising things God does during tragedy
  • Answering the problem of pain, evil, and suffering
  • Forgiving a person who has hurt you


“I was president at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary when several of our students were killed in the Wedgwood Baptist Church shootings. During the community-wide service honoring the lives of the students, one of the clergy prayed a simple prayer: ‘Father, thank You that You waste nothing. Amen.’ With honesty and transparency, Jeff Bumgardner and Stephen Cutchins share personal stories of grief and give comfort by reminding us that ‘God never wastes a hurt.’ He is still good in the worst of times. Green Hearts is help for those who are hurting.”

Dr. Ken Hemphill, Special Assistant to the President
North Greenville University | Tigerville, SC

“A mentor told me years ago to never speak beyond my own experiences. I have not known the depths of this kind of pain and grief in my own life but have watched others walk through it. Jeff and Stephen write from a perspective of walking through their personal losses and struggles. Green Hearts is the kind of book I want to share with those around me who are walking their own difficult journeys.”

Denise Jones, Christian Music Artist
Point of Grace | Brentwood, TN

“In writing Green Hearts, Jeff Bumgardner and Dr. Stephen Cutchins have rendered a great service to the body of Christ. In my more than half-century of ministry, one of the most persistent questions I have been asked is, “Why do terrible things happen to Christians, and what do you do when it happens to you?” Green Hearts answers these questions in inspiring, yet easy to understand ways. Putting a human face on the problem of grief by using the testimonies of real people who have experi- enced terrible tragedy gives Green Hearts even greater impact. I am ordering a steady supply of Green Hearts to share with people who are dealing with grief.”

Dr. Richard Land, president
Southern Evangelical Seminary | Charlotte, NC

“Dr. Cutchins and Jeff Bumgardner have provided a book that contains some of the best of truths about some of the worst of times. Those who do not read it will miss experiencing the utmost about His highest in their lowest moments of life.”

Dr. Norman Geisler, Distinguished Senior Professor of Theology and Apologetics
Southern Evangelical Seminary | Charlotte, NC

“Green Hearts” on the shelf at Barnes and Noble

“I am honored to commend and encourage this book to all who read it. The authors are men of God whose faith and character have been hammered out upon the anvil of heartbreak and hardship. They write not as theorists, but practitioners. They do not provide philosophies of suffering, but the reality of it. Suffering and death exert life-altering impact on all of us—our faith, our relationships, our future. You may not want to read this book, but you cannot avoid the need for its message and ministry to help provide a hope and a future beyond your present suffering. I recommend you read it.”

Dr. David H. McKinley, Pastor-Teacher
Warren Baptist Church | Augusta, GA

“Green Hearts describes grief and loss with stunning clarity. If you have experienced grief, you will see yourself in the thoughts and actions, fears and pain, and feel to the depths of your soul the reality of loss on this messy planet. But you will also experience the hope of these who have walked in the darkest of days and can still say, ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him’ (Job 13:15). That is the hope we have in Christ—’God did this so that . . . we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure’ (Hebrews 6:18-19b NIV).”

Dr. Norma Hedin, Provost
Dallas Baptist University | Dallas, TX

“What do you do when you are in the presence of God and wor- ship will not come? As you read this compelling book, you will discover the stories of many who have been in that exact spot. There is tremendous help in the pages that are in front of you. As you consider the reality you face, you will also encounter a God who is big enough to redeem any situation!”

Dr. David B. Horton, President
Fruitland Baptist Bible College | Hendersonville, NC

“Have you ever noticed how a broken arm is easier to heal than a broken heart, a shattered dream, or a splintered life? In Green Hearts, Dr. Stephen Cutchins and Jeff Bumgardner offer help and hope for those whose emotional pain and grief is real and raw. They share from the depths of their own experiences of personal, painful loss, and they give a voice to others who share their own stories of hurt and recovery as well. The spot-on scriptural insights, combined with the testimonies, remind us that God is always incredibly good, even if life is sometimes terribly bad. There’s healing here. I recommend this book.”

Dr. J. Kie Bowman, Senior Pastor
Hyde Park Baptist/The Quarries Church | Austin, TX

“The longer I serve in ministry, the more I’m convinced that most of us don’t know how to deal with pain. Stephen Cutchins and Jeff Bumgardner reminded me of my own times of heartbreak; but they also reminded me that God is infinitely good, even in the darkest moments of life. The stories in this book will break your heart, but they will also point to the comfort that broken hearts long for.”

Ryan Rush, Senior Pastor
Kingsland Baptist Church | Katy, TX

“Whether asking why or how questions in the darkness of grief, Green Hearts shares light and hope. The reader will experience authentic empathy and help from fellow strugglers who have experienced the goodness of God in their darkest hours.”

Dr. Steve Cloud, President
Vision Ventures | Columbia, SC

“Bumgardner and Cutchins share with every reader how to get help from God and His people to handle the emotional journey we all take sooner or later—the journey through grief. I was moved, blessed, and helped practically, and you will be too.”

Dr. Dick Lincoln, Retired Pastor
Shandon Baptist Church | Columbia, SC

“Everyone has experienced, or will experience, grief and pain as we go through life. This collection of testimonies, words of explanation and counsel, and appropriate Bible passages should help every reader. Hearts that are ‘green’ with bitterness and disappointment can become ‘green’ with new vitality by reading this book.”

Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Senior Professor Emeritus of Bible Exposition
Dallas Theological Seminary | Dallas, TX

“Grief is both universal and unique. We all face it, but the circumstances surrounding each loss and the relationships involved make it something hard to pin down when trying to comfort those in need of comforting. What I love about this book is that it doesn’t try to give one definitive answer for the grieving, but it shows that loss and grief do not have to define you and that there will be a tomorrow when the sun will actually shine again. For those of us who have walked through these dark valleys, Green Hearts is a comforting recollection of where we’ve been. And for those who have yet to journey to that unfortunate place, it is a refreshing map to show the way across and through.”

Joel Lindsey, Christian Music Songwriter and Publisher | Santa Barbara, CA


Recent Posts

Wanting More Than You Need

What do you need most today?
How would it feel to have it? 
How would you feel if you had everything that you needed in life?
I want to suggest as Christians; we already know how that feels. According to the scriptures, we have all that we need through our Lord Jesus Christ! You know, there is a difference between wanting and needing
Are you wanting more than you need? 
The thing you want may not be the thing you need. Let’s take a journey through Psalm 23 and see how God’s provides what we need so we don’t need to want for anything. 
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. 
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
He Shepherds Us
“The Lord is my shepherd.”
As a shepherd, David’s words paint a beautiful picture of God as he expresses what God does for each of us. David knew how much work it takes to care for sheep, tending to them and protecting them. What David was to his sheep, God had been to him and is to us now.
He Provides For Us
“I shall not want.” 
When all we want is the Lord, we find contentment and lack nothing. I often hear people talk about God’s provision, and they make it sound as if God is a genie in a bottle waiting to fulfill their every desire. In reality, we can decide not to want by acknowledging that our Shepherd provides everything we need.
He Give Us Rest
“He makes me lie down in green pastures.”
Rest is essential, but spiritual rest and nourishment through the Word of God should be our highest priority. We can’t pour from an empty cup, and our Lord waits for an opportunity to meet with us so He can fill us up.
He leads us
“He leads me beside still waters.”
Like any good shepherd, He leads us to waters of rest where He gives us a place of stillness and peace.
He Restores Us
“He restores my soul.”
Our souls are often battle-weary and depleted. If we allow Him, He will restore us through worship, His Word, and time in the secret place with Him.
He Guides Us
“He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
God is the one who reveals righteousness, guiding us the whole way when we choose to listen. The path He sets before us takes us on a good and safe journey because God directs us.
He Is With Us
“I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”
“I will fear no evil for You are with me.”
There is nothing to fear, no matter what we are walking through, all the valleys, all the darkness, God is bigger, and He lights the path for us. He is our constant in a dangerous world, and above all, He is faithful.
He Comforts Us
“Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
Our Shepherd carries this instrument to defend us from attack, but it’s also protection from ourselves; to correct us when necessary.
He Protects Us
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
This promise is pretty incredible; God is honoring us before our very enemies, the ones who want us to fail. As you walk humbly, God will elevate you as He sees fit, and there is not one person who can stand in the way of that.
He Anoints Us
“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
As God hosts us before our enemies, He lavishes us with a refreshing of peace and protection through His oil, His overflowing goodness. He doesn’t just provide; He provides abundantly.
He Is Faithful To Us
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”
He will relentlessly pursue us with His goodness and mercy as we allow Him.
He Gives Us A Place On Earth And In Heaven
“And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Intimacy with our Father will always be available. What does this mean for us? He is allowing full access, full fellowship. We have the pleasure of dwelling with Him while we are on Earth and in the heavenly places when it’s time to meet our Father.

Which promise of Psalm 23 do you have a hard time believing?

According to David, we have all that we need through our Lord Jesus Christ! 

But remember, there is a difference between wanting and needing

Are you wanting more than you need? 
The thing you want may not be the thing you need. 

Let me encourage you to talk to your Shepherd this week and ask Him to reveal His promises for you in a specific way.

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