Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Preparations for Eternity

It's Saturday afternoon. Our son is watching The Chronicles of Narnia on video. My wife is in the midst of putting away groceries and preparing dinner.

This morning, my wife helped me enter comments about my students into the computer regarding their first quarter performance. It took us almost two and a half hours because I kept dozing off.

My wife urged me to take a nap while she ventured out to the grocery store to pick up a few things.

My nap was interrupted by a phone call and then a knock at the door. I was thankful for the phone call, otherwise I would not have heard the knock at the door. It was the Houghtlings, dropping by to see me and bring a freshly baked peach kugen. Kugen is German for cake.

The phone rang several times while the Houghtlings were here. First my sister, then my parents, then my wife - to tell me she was on her way home.

By the time my wife arrived home, the Houghtlings had departed and I was talking to my mom on the telephone. I told her that she and dad should plan to visit soon.

I had a good cry with my wife and she asked if I still desired to have company for dinner. I assured her that I did and that I thought that we should talk to our son. Before talking to our son, my brother from Colorado called to talk to my wife about visiting. She encouraged him to visit sooner rather than later.

As I talked to my brother I had a hard time keeping my emotions in check.

Right after I talked to my brother, my wife and I had a conversation with our younger son.

As we sat together, our son crawled up on my lap, hugged me, and kissed my bald head. We asked him to tell us what it means to him to believe in Jesus and what it means to die. We told him that Daddy is going to die soon (unless God intervenes) and go be with Jesus.

I told him that it would be sad. He said that he would not be sad. "I will be so happy because you will be with Jesus." My wife explained that those who are left will be sad because they will have to wait a long time to see me.

We really have no idea about how much he comprehended. But we will try to explain it more to him in the days to come.

All in all, it was a great day.

We are planning for a funeral and praying for a miracle. Either way, we are preparing for eternity.

Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from heaven above . . .


Bobby Lyerly said...

Jim - It is tough to read your words without being filled with emotion. The emotions run from joy to sadness, but are certainly filled with great HOPE. Robin and I are grateful for our time with you last week. You continue to make a lasting impression on us through this journey. I love you.

MyAwesomeOliveShoots said...

I am crying. I have never met you in person but you have been a precious man in my life. I have read your story, seen pictures of your family and prayed for you with my family around our kitchen table and as I have tucked my boys into bed at night. I will continue to do that but I am crying.

I lost my dad when he was only 44 years old and he didn't know Jesus. I just pray that before he left this earth, he came to know the Lord. You seem like such a sweet father and husband. You are leaving a beautiful legacy.

On so many levels, your story has touched my heart. I am blessed to consider you my brother.

Mark said...

You don't know me, but our son's go to school together at West Point. I am painfully saddened by your story and the fact that I can offer no words that would lend you any more comfort or relief or hope than you already have. However, it gives me great comfort to know that the character of my son's peers were forged in the fire of such strength and compassion and love.

I have three son's and I don't know that I would have the guts to do such a loving thing as you did for your precious child this day if I were in your shoes. I thank you for reflecting such a clear and radiant reflection of Jesus and I pray that He will give you comfort and peace in every moment.

Anonymous said...

I can't even imagine what you are going through right now but you have been such an inspiration to me. I have seen the love of Christ in you and it has been so amazing just to see how God has used you in this last year. I will be praying for you and your family May God comfort you and show his love to you in this time. You have many friends thinking about you and your family and praying for them each day!!

Susan said...

Dear Jim - I am a regular reader of your blog and couldn't go another day without acknowledging my presence to you. I leared about your blog and your illness after reading a note in our Dickinson Class Notes -both my husband and I are Class of 1984 grads. I want you to know that I continue to be inspired by your courage and honesty. I can't imagine how difficult this is for you and your family, but I hope you know that the many people like me who read your story have you in our thoughts and prayers - you are not alone. Susan

Holly Demianovich said...

I don't know if you remember me but i used to come to youth group activites with chassidy back when you were the Pastor of Conerstone baptist church. Chassidy has been keeping me up to date on how you and your family are doing. I know you've heard this alot but i just wanted to let you know that my family and I are praying for you. And my church is too. Every week we ask prayer for you and your family. They are always asking for updates.Everytime i read your blog i just want to cry. It's such a comfort to know that someday we will all be united together around the Lords Table in Heaven. Again I just wanted to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers everyday.

Courtney said...


I just want you to know that we have been praying for you and following your journey through this blog all along. This post has been hard to read in all our humanity - it seems impossible in our eyes. While we struggle with God's plan during this difficult time, we never doubt that he is faithful and that he continues to give you and your family the grace you need daily.

What an awesome gift you have given your children in chronicling your journey. It is a stirring testament of your faith in an awesome God.

We continue to pray for a miracle.

With much love and prayers
Fellow PJ Church Planter
Juan and Courtney Pena
Denver, CO

Patrick Family Blessings said...

Sorry for interrupting but do you know any expert counselor or family blessings lecturer? I think with all the troubles my family is experiencing, we badly need either of the two. Thanks.

Danny Nicolson Covenant Marriage Seminars said...

Look at all the comments here. Well if you were talking about divorce maybe I can join in your heated discussion. I’ve just been
to a series of Covenant Marriage Seminars, so I’m kinda touchy about such a topic.