Saturday, October 11, 2008

Two Hundreth Blog Entry

200th blog entry! Ta da! Get out the durders.

Our older son used to walk around with the cardboard cylinders from paper towels calling them durders. He used them to make a trumpet sound: “Dur – dur –durr!”

So what can we do with this 200th blog entry?

I could rank my 200 entries, in favorite order. Nah.

I could tell you all about 200 of my favorite things to do. Hmm.

200 of the stupidest things I’ve ever done. Not enough time to narrow the list.

200 of my favorite people. I might forget someone. I think that there are way more than 200 anyway.

200 things I’d like to do before I die. No time. Or maybe too much time. Actually, I am doing everything that I want to do!

200 things you always wanted to know about me. Boring. If you want to know, just ask.

200 of my favorite tunes from the Seventies.

200 of my favorite words and phrases. Arms akimbo is near the top.

What to do?

I could do much about nothing. Like I’m doing. At which I am proficient doing. But what would that do? What would be accomplished?

Except that my 200th blog would be posted.


In the last two weeks, if you have been reading this blog, you know that I/we have been visited by many family members and friends from out of town. I have had phone calls and e-mails from both high school and college friends.

Folks, this is a better way to do a funeral. I have been able to have conversations with the people that I love and miss – some that I did not even know I missed until I saw their name appear in a letter, an e-mail, or on a Facebook page.

Of course, this type of funeral also requires some advanced planning and a bit of assumed risk.

First, you need to get people to come to see you before you die. Sometimes, you have to pull the c-a-n-c-e-r card. Actually, I do not think that this takes much coaxing. I think that I am a bit more personable in this present state than I will be when I am laid out in a box.

This type of funeral also involves some risk. But sometimes risks are necessary. You have to make the assumption, based on the limited ability of health professionals to predict the time of demise, that you will actually die within a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise, the celebration is essentially moot. It’s just a party. Parties are good too!

Some may decide to come again later for the traditional funeral. That’s up to the individual. It really has nothing to do with you. But it is nice for the family.

This one is essentially for me. The traditional funeral is for the rest of you. But I would like to suggest that both be considered celebrations of life, not times for mourning over my passing. Do not waste your time. It’s OK to be sad because you miss me. But do not feel sorry for me. I am with Jesus. Where I belong.

The miracle that we are praying for has happened and will happen. It is a miracle that God loved me and cared for me, one who rebelled against Him as my Father and Creator, and continued to rebel against Him as I rejected His offer of redemption and reconciliation in Jesus Christ. When He held out His hand and offered me a pardon for my sin against Him, I spit in His hand. Yet He died for me and continued to pursue me until my will was submitted to His, until I accepted His gracious offer for freedom from sin and life in Him.

It is a miracle that whether I remain here for a few more years or move on to be present with the Lord, I have life. Abundant life in Him.

Do not the miss the miracle that has already occurred and the one that will continue to unfold as God works our His perfect plan through these circumstances of life.


Yesterday we met with the funeral director – picked out a casket, and talked about some of the details. We still have to pick out a grave marker, finish the obituary notice, and finalize plans for memorial contributions. We have the burial plots. Essentially, we are good to go.


Papa Luigi and Grammy Jo drove up to Highland Falls, NY with our daughter to pick up our older son Friday afternoon. It is good to have him home again for the weekend. It is also nice to have Michael and Jo here.

I am blessed to have two mothers-in-law and two fathers-in-law. I really mean that (or I would not have said it). I love and appreciate both for who they are. They all love us and care for us in very special ways. I appreciate each member of the families that God has given us and will enjoy our time with each one.

God has given me and my wife wonderful families who love us and care for us. We are truly blessed.


We are expecting a visit from our niece (Ann’s daughter) from Philadelphia later today. There will be food, and conversation, and much laughter. There will be recollections of days gone by. And there will probably be Wii.


This day has the promise of being another great day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.


MyAwesomeOliveShoots said...

My son Aaron's arms were just around me as he saw me crying. (I had just read your post. By now, everyone in our family knows about you all and since I am prone to tears anyway, they fall easily when I read your posts.) We are decorating for fall and I find myself again deeply moved by your post. I'm really glad you have a 200th post. Maybe one day I will do the same. You are having a life few will ever experience because of the way you are choosing to live it. For Jesus! For His Glory! You have a precious family and I pray you have a wonderful weekend of memories. Wii will be thinking of you ;)

The W-H's

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim, Merrily and family,
I have been reading your blog for the past week or two and just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I appreciate your updates. Jim, I have fond memories of our days in youth group and am ashamed that I did not make more of an effort to connect with you both when you returned to the area. I know that you have a strong support system in place, but please know that Dave and I are available should you need anything at all.

Patty (Quigley) Hopkins

Nate the Great said...

Amen brother! I am a plebe a at West Point along with your son. I am so encouraged with your witness. I hope that I can find strength like yours in times of trouble. I've been praying for you and your family. Keep fighting the good fight and stay strong in Christ.

MyAwesomeOliveShoots said...

Btw, the plebe who wrote on your blog is my son! I have encouraged him to connect with your son and I pray that will happen soon.

edward said...

With so much Family Blessings you could not ask for more to come to your life. You are very blessed

enrico said...

Congrats, its your 200th post. Today is also my 200th day in my Covenant Marriage life. And we very happy with my wife.

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