Chris and James

Today we said goodbye to a very special young man as he went home with his parents today. It was unexpected, quick, and very, very sad. I really am not quite sure how we are going to function as a family without you. We pray that you will always remember how much we love you and how much God loves you. You were the sweetest thing taking care of Noah, and I am so sad that you are not here now for him to look up to. Daniel said it best, so he gets the blog tonight.

The loss of a loved one is never easy!

I ponder the feeling of what it must be like to lose a dear loved one to war. On this Memorial Day weekend I know there are thousands of families across America that are morning losses. My family and I went to visit the cemetery today. I think back on my grandfather who for years and years actively served in the American Legion. My memory of him is much honor and respect that he had for the nation whom he had defended. Year after year we would always attend the special services held at the grave side to honor the soldiers. Some Soldiers who had fallen during battle and to honor all the MIA / POW, and all the people who still alive today as a testament to the battle well fought and victories that have been won for the freedoms we have today. In my family I have many men and women who have proudly fought for our country.

Today I also felt a loss, one of a slightly different pain, the loss of a child. God has blessed my wife and I. God has given us several children to train. “Train up a child in the ways that he should go…” Raising a child involves so much more than just a couple hours a day. For anyone who has a child knows that children need love and nurturing as well as discipline and structure. I find it impossible to raise children without a heart felt love for them. This is the love that hurts when you are separated. Sometimes we know how long a child will be given to us to care for and train, (usually about 20 years right?) but sometimes other circumstances get in the way of that time frame.

As a person called to full time ministry I know that God has always meant for me to minister to people – serving others more than myself. For most of the last 17 years I have given my life for youth as well as adults. We have ministered in camps, puppet’s, music, drama, television, one on one discipleship, and much more.

God has allowed us to pour our heart and lives into hundreds/ thousands of children’s lives in a variety of different levels. One of the most personal ways God has provided for us is by serving as a parent, not only to our own natural born, but thru adoption and house parenting. There are many biblical examples where believers’ are called to train / raise up spiritual sons and daughters – in the faith.
Some children come and stay for a short while and some for longer, but no matter the length of time you still give from your heart. I know some people may say its silly to get emotional, but I believe Jesus gave us the example to be emotionally connected to the people he was ministering to. Jesus was very connected to the twelve closest to him. And Jesus was just as emotional when he was ministering to a beggar on the street. Jesus gave us the example to passionately share to good news, with emotion and true love for one another.

Today we said goodbye to two young men that we have loved for the last six years. Because of broken promises, contracts broken, our time together has been cut short. We have seen the good and the bad, (the up and the down) with these boys. God truly has an awesome plan for their lives, but the enemy wants to do everything possible to derail that plan.

We will continue to pray for them. We will continue to love them. We will miss them.

We have experienced loss thru death, and we have experienced loss from circumstances, loss is never easy. Saying Goodbye is never easy. I pray that it will not be the last time we see each other. I pray that the seeds of faith planted in good soil will take deep root and get plenty of water and “son light” to grow in such a way they it will stand the test of time and last for all eternity.

Pressing on to the goal – to win the prize – to finish the race – and receive the crown of life – to be together with all the saints for all eternity – to hear him say “ well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into my peace and rest”.

Daniel has described our life in the best way tonight. No, we aren’t the parents, but we are the “spiritual parents” that he talks about. That is why we keep doing what we are doing, even when it really, really hurts.

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