Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Winners & Losers

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not flight like a man beating the air. No, I bean my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

~1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Dear Family & Friends,

As most of you know from checking our website that our life this past month has been a whirlwind to say the least! We had flown out to California for the month of July to help my parents finish a pastor retreat center. Things were going great visiting with family & friends while getting some work done when we got a phone call on the night of July 10. Joanna (Ruth’s sister with terminal cancer), had an extremely bad headache that day that Curtis, Joanna’s husband, decided to take her to the E.R. to get her checked out. 15 minutes later after the first call we got another call saying that Joanna had passed away in her sleep. As you could imagine we had joy in that Joanna was now seeing Jesus and would feel no more pain but on the other side of our feelings we were heart broken. Then with wanting to be with Ruth’s family and help with Joanna’s memorial service we flew back to New Hampshire within only 24 hrs.

5 days later when Ruth’s family had all gotten back in town we had the memorial service. As many people talked about the amazing life of Joanna there was some laughter, joy and many tears; it was beautiful. One of the things that was said I’ll never forget. Our Pastor here spoke about how Joanna is the winner and we are the losers. What he meant by that was that Joanna had run a good race and she won. She was now with Jesus and she had fought the good fight. But we, who are left behind have lost a very special person. We are the losers. As the memorial service went on it gave a real tribute to Joanna’s life, a life lived for Jesus. After the Pastor gave the gospel he asked if anyone wanted to receive the gift of what Jesus did and 8 people accepted!

In God knowing us best He didn’t want us to dwell on our loss but to keep busy in the life that He continues to give. On Wednesday, July 15 we had Joanna’s memorial, then 3 days later on that Saturday we had some good friends of ours, Chris & Brittany, got married (& I was an usher…). Two days later on Monday July 20 Micah (Ruth’s brother) & his girl friend Susan Watts got engaged. They wanted to take advantage of the Jackson family still all being together and were married 2 ½ weeks later. So everyone drove down to PA and 19 days later on August 8 they got married (and I was the MC…)! Sure got to hand it to Micah and Susan in that the wedding was beautiful and we had one of the best times! Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Just before we drove the 9 hrs down to PA Ruth started to experience pre-term labor and went to the E.R.! The doctors monitored Ruth and the baby for about 2 hrs and determined that Ruth and the baby were fine but that Ruth needed to cut back on stress and any exertion. Yah, right! Easier said then done! :) I’m still not done! 4 days later after we got home from PA for Micah and Susan’s wedding we had a memorial service for Ruth’s Uncle that had also passed away from terminal cancer.

So needless to say we’ve been pretty busy this last month! Please be praying for Ruth and her family as well as Curtis and his 3 kids (Natalie, Reuben, Kaylie) as they grieve the loss of a loved one. Also, for Ruth in that baby Adelaide is due in only 5 weeks! Be praying for our plans and preparations for visiting California in January and then heading back to Indonesia in March.

A life lived for Chris is a life truly lived,


Going Tribal for Jesus!
Ben, Ruth, Chloe, Gwen & soon to meet Addie Kane

– Matthew 28:18-20

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