Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Remembering DJ, Our Brother and Our Friend

Be sure that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.
                                                                            - Philippians 1:6

 I write this blog entry with a heavy heart, with an ache in my stomach and my mind whirling. Our brother DJ went to heaven yesterday. God took him home unexpectedly to us here, but certainly in His perfect time. DJ had been feeling off for a few days, but nothing unusually different than from what he had experienced in the past.  But what was going on inside his body was not recognizable externally. I am sure though, that he was ready, when God was ready!
   I looked and saw my last blog entry was many, many, months ago on the anniversary  night of my brother Dan's home going. What I wrote there, seems to be what I want to say here... "we are reminded to be thankful for our family, each member precious, each unique, and perhaps, appreciating our family becomes easier in the wake of a parting, a loss." We have once again have experienced a loss, but knowing DJ has climbed into Jesus's lap helps us rejoice and together we work through our earthly loss and grief. I wrote then that I have been blessed to have the experience many times of that moment after one has parted, when it is just those gathered who feel the love and appreciation for those who are close and also the pain of the loss. That experience once again yesterday was a blessing, yet it hurt, it caused me to doubt myself, it humbled me, it made me focus on heaven, it pushed me to worship God, it helped me love Karol, Jen, Marceaux and Tim who where there, in a new way, in God's way, It made me rejoice in the testimony of God and DJ's story, It made me lead in a new way, It created  a renewed sadness, joy, fear and dependence in me. 
   So now we forge ahead, working the good work, that God began in DJ and continues in us. I will remember DJ as our little brother who became the man and God's minister God created him to be. I am eternally grateful for how he trained us in grace and forgiveness because he was the most graceful man I have ever known. I am thankful because of how he showed us how to be truly dependent, on others and God. I will not forget his how he prayed for all of us each evening for an hour as he got ready for bed. I am am thankful for the years he was my sons best friend and playmate, building robots and musical instruments. I will remember how he was so thankful to God for the opportunity to be a homeowner and created a legacy by putting his fathers name on the home that would be for him and so many others. So the work ahead will be to carry on that work of providing a home and family to others in DJ's house, guided by the the love that what so evident in a grace filled life. I cry as write this because our family has lost a precious, unique member in our daily lives. But in my tears I am so thankful for the growth we all experienced together.
   I have faith in God's plan for our lives, I have faith that Gods plan was fulfilled in DJs life. I can say today that DJs legacy will be that we all will continue to walk together doing the good work in faith and not by the things we see. 
   I invite you to come on Friday evening to The Able Church in Green Bay at 6:30 PM to celebrate   DJ and how God used him in our lives. I also want to offer the opportunity to continue the legacy of DJs life by not ordering flowers, but rather donate to the DJ fund to continue the work that His father and DJ saw as important at Camp Daniel.


  1. Thanks, Tony, for sharing this. I wasn't here to experience all that you and others did at DJ's memorial service but what you and Aubrey wrote was wonderful. DJ's happy and we rejoice with him while still feeling the sadness of separation -- but only for awhile. The best is yet to come!