Jan 13, 2014 from Tammy

Last night when I wrote my note I tried several times to post this song and I couldn’t get it to paste. I believe it was because this status James posted July 14, 2010 was the connecting thread:

“Guys, God’s love is incomparable to any happiness you’ll ever find! Don’t lost sight of that. Accept the gift of grace and freedom. Live the life! JESUS IS THE LIFE! I LOVE YOU GUYS! Don’t let the mud pies of the world distract you from the steak dinner God has to offer!”

I still struggle with feeling James is missing something when in fact, because of his faith in Jesus, the only thing he is missing is this broken, difficult, unfair world! The real struggle is moving forward day by day without his physical presence here with us! James knew that nothing compared to the love God had for him! I pray you know that same love because God has that for you and for me! When we take hold of that we are able to say, ‘You can have all this world. Just give me Jesus!’

Where It Began

This journey began the morning of January 15, 2011.  Our youngest son, James, came into our room that morning to  get money for shotgun shells so he could go duck hunting.  We told him we would see him at lunch.  That never happened.  Tammy received a call from Kim Newbern, the mother of the young man James was hunting with.  Her phone call changed our lives forever.  She told Tammy, “You need to come to Ocean Pond.  James is missing.”

That began a 17 day, around the clock, search for James.  A story of a community reaching out to grieving parents.  Reaching out because of a young man so many came to know over that 17 day period.  Dive and rescue teams from three states spent countless hours underwater searching for James before pararescuemen from the 23rd Wing at Moody Air Force Base recovered James the morning of January 31.  Through those 17 days we learned numerous stories about the life of an ordinary, 17 year old young man sold out to Christ, to the simple concept of loving God and loving others.  As we witnessed the two A-10’s from Moody fly over in the missing man formation over Ocean Pond that morning, we thought James’ story was over, but we so missed the impact of his life on others.  We discounted how God can work through tragedy and the life of His children to continue to make a difference for His kingdom.

We invite you to join us on this journey, as we share James’ story through words and stories from us, from his friends and from him.  We are blessed to continue to be able share his story.  From tragedy springs hope, because of a God who loves us.