Saturday, February 20, 2016

John's Memorial Page

Hello Friends - Below is a link to John's memorial page that includes details on when the calling hours and celebration of life will take place.  Thanks for your continued prayers for the family and all who love John!

With Much Love,

The Gooney Gurneys

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Mile Marker #14 - John Has Finished the Race

Hello Friends -  We wanted to get the word out that we have now reached Mile Marker #14, which is an extremely bittersweet one to share.  John went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, February 17th around 10pm.  The scripture we thought was so fitting for the end of John's earthly race is 2 Timothy 4:7.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Earlier in the week John had been admitted into the Hospice of North Central Ohio in Ashland.  They did a fantastic job of keeping him comfortable and taking care of all of his medical needs!  Additionally, the care they provided for the family also was incredible!  A very special lady there by the name of Carrie was such a sweet gift from the Lord.  She stayed with Jill and Janie and explained to them every step John was going through as he was crossing over.  Jill and Janie were able to be with John as he left this world and enter into heaven.  Jill prayed with John and reminded him that one day in heaven is better than the best day here on earth and that God loves us more than John even could.  Then they began to encourage John that it was ok to go.  They shared that it was such an incredible experience to witness John smile and open his one eye and know he was seeing Jesus at that time and entering into heaven, forever healed and forever at home with the Lord in paradise.  His peaceful passing was truly a gift from God to not experience the typical symptoms that most do. 

One parting gift we know John would want to share with you all is the story about his decision to become a believer and follower of Jesus.  This video is such an awesome gift that we will be forever grateful to have and revisit often.  We pray you will take the time to watch and let this bless you as well!

We certainly appreciate and have continued to feel your prayers!  Your calls, texts, emails and other messages have meant so much to us.  We apologize in advance that we won't be able to respond to them all, but know that we will be reading them and appreciate them.  THANK YOU!!!!  

Additional details regarding the funeral arrangements will be sent out once they have been finalized. We are tentatively looking at March 4 & 5, but we will confirm back once the dates are firmly set.  

If you could please continue to pray for:
1.  Comfort, rest, endurance and peace for Jill and the family.
2.  Those who love John to feel God's presence and comfort during their time of grieving.  Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."
3.  Safe travels for anyone coming to town for John's celebration of life.
4.  For God to use the family for his Glory as we celebrate John's life together.

Thanks again for your outpouring of love and support to John and the family!

In His Love,

The Gooney Gurneys

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mile Marker #13

Hello Friends -

We wanted to get the word out that we have now reached Mile Marker #13, which has been quite an emotional one to face.  The scripture we have chosen for this marker is Proverbs 3:5-6.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Let us start off by saying that since the last blog post in October, John has been able to experience quite a few big events, which were such gifts from the Lord! He attended the basketball fundraiser game held in his honor, which was so generous and appreciated by the entire family.  It was there he was able to participate in his final tip off to get the game started.  Before the game, John was able to share his testimony, which is a memory we will always be grateful for having on tape!  What a sweet, sweet gift!  That same week he was able to participate in his favorite holiday - Thanksgiving.  Anyone that knows John knows that The Annual Community Turkey Trot is one of the biggest highlights of his year. And then celebrating Thanksgiving with extended family is one that he always looks forward to as well.  He also was able to celebrate Christmas and enjoy family in town for the holiday with no major complications.  Again, an incredible Gift from the Lord!  Most recently he attended a basketball game where he was honored with the Charlie Williams 6th Man Award.  To top it all off, John continued working his job as much as he possibly could manage.

Just recently John has turned a sharp corner and is being told that the end is very near.  His extreme tiredness/weakness is intensifying.  Hospice is now visiting 5 days a week and they have transitioned him to a hospital bed in the house.  This is a very hard stage for him to be in mentally and physically.  He desires to be productive, which really isn't possible anymore.  So, now it is time for him to rest and try to be as comfortable as possible. 

John has verbalized to the family that he is ready for the Lord to take him home, to be with Jesus in heaven and be forever healed.  It's such a bittersweet thought for those who love John to think about not having him here on earth with us anymore.  However, we know we will be rejoicing when he will no longer be suffering and gets to be with Jesus.  We are talking to him about the things he can look forward to in heaven and asking him who he is looking forward to seeing upon arrival in heaven.  Anything to help him stay focused on being heaven bound and how AMAZING it will be for him there.  

As painful of a time that this is for our family, we are all so extremely thankful for the example he set for us on how to be a follower of Jesus and that we can rest assured that we know exactly where he will be going soon and who he gets to be with!  

Kindly we ask for understanding that John will no longer be accepting visitors.  Please know it's nothing personal.  John is uncomfortable even hearing other people's voices at this point and our goal is to help keep him as comfortable as possible while he and Jill manage through this last stage together.  If you would like to send a message, please email or text Jill directly and discontinue reaching out to John on his phone.  This can be a very overwhelming stage to manage through, so please know that Jill will read your messages when she is able to, yet there will be many that she won't be able to respond back to.  

We certainly appreciate and have continued to feel your prayers!  THANK YOU!!!!  We will continue to rest in God's promise that His plan is always the best, regardless of how difficult the race may be.  

If you could please continue to pray for:
1.  John to remain as comfortable as possible and be shielded from the pain.
2.  The Lord to take John home quickly and be forever healed.  (He is wanting this and is ready)
3.  Rest, endurance and peace for Jill and the family.
4.  God to use the family for his Glory through this final phase of life John is going through.  

Thanks again for your outpouring of love and support to John and the family!

In His Love,

The Gooney Gurneys