Uncle Jim’s Eulogy

“Uncle Jim” was the nickname we used for my mom’s friend who was like a father to me.  Uncle Jim was family to us.  He was the closest thing my daughters had to a grandfather, as my father and father-in-law had already passed on. My girls and I loved visiting him and enjoying his property.  We played in the creek, caught fish and frogs and butterflies and bugs. One magical moment with the girls was seeing thousands of fireflies flickering in the valley at night.  An amazing sight if you have never seen it before.

I loved riding the ATV clearing the trails with the chainsaw, mowing the grass with the tractor, and helping him with whatever he needed help with.  My father taught me how to shoot many years ago, but Uncle Jim taught me how to hunt and how to clean turkey and deer and for that I am eternally grateful.

Some other stories with Uncle Jim that have lessons yet to be written…
The plough – finding hidden treasure
The truck slide – at least you tried
The tierod – plans can change
The ATV slide – don’t stop until you find a solution
Roofing the two roofs – hard work pays off
The insulation – like pins and needles
The cistern overflow – work is easier with friends
Mowing the fields – enjoying the fruits of your labor
The windmill fix – learn how things work
Minnie swimming – don’t be afraid
The clay pigeons – ready, aim, fire!
The possum – always be ready
The bird and squirrel – mistakes happen
The squirrel we ate – try new things
The catfish cakes – try a bite, you might like it
The button buck and momma deer – learning
The 9 pointer – luck

And of course, the one that got away. And the shooting star!

I especially enjoyed relaxing around the campfire with him after a long day.  I learned a great lesson from Uncle Jim about taking time to achieve your goals.  The title of that lesson three and a half years ago seems so fitting now, “Someday… you’ll be dead!”  You see, Uncle Jim and I had a special arrangement. If he died before me, he would give me a sign from Heaven, and I would do the same if I died before him.   Today was Jim’s day and he gave me his sign.  Don’t forget, I have the same arrangement with you.

I will always love him like a father and he will always love me like a son, and that Love never ends!


Easter’s meaning this year

This year Easter means to me that it is never too late to be forgiven. Even the man to Jesus’s right was saved at the end.

Creator God of Love, forgive us for judging others, we do not know other’s struggles and intents of their hearts as only you could know. Forgive us for not respecting people, lifestyles, and beliefs different from our own, we should all strive to Love one another as brothers and sisters and eliminate Hate from this world. We are all sinners and we ask for Your Forgiveness.

Even if you don’t believe that prayers work, please share a kind message of Love today with a stranger. Or simply pray that Love conquers Hate.

Namaste my brothers and sisters!


If I Should Die Before You…

… I will do my best to give you signs from Heaven that I am there looking over you.  Pray… pray very hard, pray like you’ve never prayed before.  And be looking for my signs.  They will be unmistakeable signs from me.  I don’t want you to grieve too much or too long that you miss them.  It will be sad for awhile that we are separated physically, but we can be more spiritually connected, and that is so much more special!  I’m still there to help you, guide you, comfort you, and encourage you.  Just ask, and I’ll be there in your mind and in your heart.  You will know that I will always be with you until we meet again in Heaven.

After my dad died and I saw his signs from Heaven, I talked to him just about every day.  Asking for his help, his guidance, his comfort, his encouragement.  I felt even closer to him after he died.  I had a more spiritual connection with him.  Like he could hear my thoughts, know my feelings, and guide me in whatever situation I was in.  Sometimes I would ask for help, other times he would simply just give it to me without asking.

Remember my purpose in life is to bring as many people with me to Heaven as I can, whether I’m on Earth or in Heaven.  Your purpose in life should be to get to Heaven as well and meet me there!

“Someday… you’ll be dead!”

Sitting around the campfire at Uncle Jim’s last night, I told Jim I was tired of saying, “Someday I plan to do [this]” or “Someday I want to do [that]”. I wanted to start accomplishing some of my goals, my list of things I’m going to do “someday.” And Jim being 74 years old, summed up perfectly where my thoughts were leading, “Someday you’ll be dead!”  We both cracked up laughing because it was so true!

Moral of the story: take time to live your dreams before it is too late. Make someday TODAY and EVERYDAY!


Teach a child how to fish, and he could feed the world!

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.  Teach a child how to fish, and he could feed the world.” I like this version of the famous Chinese Proverb.  I remember seeing it in a Jim Borgman cartoon.

Growing up I thought people only had one set of grandparents because that is all I ever knew.  Unfortunately my dad’s mom died when he was very young, maybe 3 and his 4 olders sisters had to take care of him.  I think he called one of his sisters “mom”.  He even spent some time with one or two sisters in an orphanage for about a year.  His dad died in 1970? before I was born.  I often heard stories about him from my dad, stories I wish I had written down, like my stories to my girls.

I’ll never forget the times we went fishing at my grandpa’s.  My parents took us boys to “the country” in Fayetteville, Ohio to go fishing.  (Some people call it God’s Country, probably because you are that much closer to heaven out there.) For my mom, it was going home to where she grew up.   My dad taught us how to handle worms and bait a hook without pricking your finger on the hook.  He showed us how to pull a fish off a hook without getting poked by one of the spines.  We would also catch frog for frog legs.

I love to take you girls fishing at “Uncle Jim’s”.  Catching minnows, salamanders, crawfish, snails in his creek with your butterfly nets.   Finding worms and letting them crawl on your hands and arms and tickle you.  I love making you girls laugh, especially the laugh you have when tickled… <sniff>

One Step Closer To Heaven…

Each and every day is one step closer to Heaven.  And my dad.  And Ron.  I can’t tell you if there is a Heaven for you.  But there is a Heaven for me, and my dad and Ron are there.  I have my proof.  I have my faith.  I’m not here to convince you of anything, or tell you what you are to believe, or who to Love.  God gave us all a free will and if you don’t want to believe in God, that is your free will.  But I think He might be disappointed when you show up at the Gates of Heaven and asks for “your ticket” if you know what I mean?!?

Here is my proof… take it or leave it…

I found this book in a neighbor’s yard one day. This day was in late Jan 2004, the same week we found out my father-in-law, Ron, had a bad form of cancer, so my wife, Melanie and I were already thinking about the worst that could happen. I took my dog Buster for a walk, which I usually do in the warmer months. In the winter, I skip a lot of days, but not this cold, damp, dreary day. Buster and I have no normal direction, this day we happened to go left out of the driveway. And when he does his business, it is in no particular yard. So he goes into one neighbor’s yard and stops. And directly in-line between me and Buster was what I thought was litter laying on the ground. Buster did a #2, so I had to go clean it up, and as I walked past, I noticed it was a book, and it was facing face up, otherwise I would have simply walked past it, but for some reason I read the first word of the title, “God”. So now intrigued I had to read the rest and it said, “God, I Want to Ask You” and the subtitle was “Seven questions when facing death“.

Reading the title really got my attention, and I thought finding this book was no coincidence considering what myself and my wife and her family were all facing with her dad’s diagnosis. And as I cleaned up after Buster, I just got this incredible feeling I was supposed to find this book, take it home, and read it… which I did. It was written by a minister who had a terminal condition, and he wrote about his dying questions to God and the answers God gave him. (It is 55 pages in large type and takes less than an hour to read.) The first time I read it, I thought to myself, I believe all this and put it aside.

But as we learned more about Ron’s condition, I read the book again. And each time it gave me more hope and encouragement. Ron had many tests and minor procedures done and on March 3, 2004 he had his gall bladder, bile duct, and half his liver removed. Leading up to this surgery, and after a good friend’s dad died, I thought quite a bit, I mean A LOT! It made me think about God, life and death, my dad in Heaven, the beginning of the universe, the end of time, the forces of Good and Evil, and the book that I had found. Have you ever really asked yourself, what I think is the most important question of all (question 6 in the book), “Where am I going to go after I die?” The next few days I read the book again and it meant a whole lot more and I had a revelation, an epiphany. And on March 6, 2004, I signed and dated my book (at end of Chapter 6).  I signed this prayer in front of my atheist friend who I was reading the book to and told him that this was a significant date, March 6, 2004.  I didn’t know what that meant until later in the night.   My dog rang the bell on the door to go outside and I let him out and let him back it.  He then rang the bell again.  So this time I went out with him, and it was a clear night with what looked like a full moon.  I came back in to tell my friend that I bet my life that it was a full moon that day.  I checked the calendar and sure enough, it was a full moon that night!

I want you to know how much this book has changed my life. This book was encouraging and comforting to my wife and I and her father during his last months, and it helped me deal with my father’s death 2 years earlier in 2002. And it continues to help us today. The whole experience has really opened my eyes to the world, to the power of the human mind over the body and emotions, and to the real power of positive thinking.

I grew up Catholic, and was a “recovering Catholic” so to speak. I always believe in God and Jesus, but after finding this book I see now that back then my beliefs were more on “paper” than in my heart. I truly believe now, and the phrases “spiritually born” and “born again” have new meanings to me. Looking back I discovered there were 40 days from the day we found out about my father-in-law’s cancer to the day I signed this book. And I also discovered I was on another 40 day journey in my life… it was also 40 days from the time we found out my dad was going to Hospice until the day he died! Coincidence? For those of you that don’t know, 40 days is a spiritually significant time period in the Bible. As written in the intro to The Purpose Driven Life, “Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purpose, he took 40 days…”

Since I signed this book, I’ve ordered and given out over 200 of these books to friends and family in the hope that it will encourage and comfort them as well. Some just because I want them to read it, others because the Holy Spirit is telling me to. There have been some eerie circumstances where I’ve had this incredible urge to give the book to someone, only to find out later how they felt it wasn’t a coincidence that I gave the book to them when they needed it. I learned some of my friends have terminal conditions or their loved one is dying and the book has comforted and encouraged them. I believe that sharing this book and my story is my way of spreading the Word. It is simply one of the things I feel I am supposed to do.

One day in the summer of 2007, I decided to call Dr. Ralph Richardson of Bible Alive Ministries and told him my story of finding this book and asked his permission to publish it on the web to share with others. And now we have…


Feel free to share Dr. Adams’s book on this website with your loved ones. Dr. Adams died in 2009 and I continue to pray to him and thank him for writing this book.

Remember, we all have a terminal condition called LIFE. And God will always take care of us no matter what happens, all we have to do is BELIEVE!

[Below are stories about the signs my wife and I have received from our dads in Heaven.]

All this thinking I did after finding this book triggered memories of my father I hadn’t thought of in years. I could always relate to my father, playing games with him when I was young, being frugal and fixing everything, but now I can relate to my father even more by understanding why he liked to read Stephen Hawking and Edgar Cayce, and why throughout his life he said he wanted to suffer like Jesus. I remembered talking to him about life and death the last few weeks he was alive.  He wasn’t taking his pain medication like my mom wanted him too.  I think he didn’t like that it dulled the pain and made him sleep.  I asked my dad, “why don’t you take your pain pills” and I will remember what he said when it is my time to die… “I want to suffer like Jesus did?


WOW!  I still pause for a few seconds every time I think about it.  I never “get used” to hearing him say it.  I pray that when I an dying that I can suffer like Jesus did as well.  {Would you?}

In our last conversation, I asked my dad if he would give me a sign after he died – a shooting star, a gleam in my child’s eye – anything he could do to let me know he was looking over me, still encouraging me, guiding me, comforting me, helping me. I was fully expecting a “yes” answer. Instead he said, “I don’t know if I will be allowed.” It felt like a punch in the gut.  But I felt determined to get affirmation and I told him, “Break the rules if you have to.” He said he would.

I was out of town when he died, and I started playing Chinese solitaire on the flight home. You probably know the game, with marbles in every hole except in the center…

    o o o
    o o o
o o o o o o o
o o o   o o o
o o o o o o o
    o o o
    o o o

After removing about half the marbles, I stopped because my mind was worthless and didn’t think I could solve it. I closed my eyes and prayed as hard as I’ve ever prayed and I asked my dad for his help, because by God I knew I needed it. I felt like my dad was there with me.   I opened my eyes and not only did I finish the game with just one marble, but it was in the center hole!

To me, that was evidence enough that my dad’s spirit helped me. It was only years later, when my father-in-law was dying, that I realized something else (this might sound like a stretch to some)… a game of solitaire is exactly that, a game you play by yourself. It is not a team game. One could say there is an unwritten rule in any solitaire game to not receive any help.   When I told him to break the rules, I thought it was related to some rules Angels have in Heaven about what they aren’t able to do in giving signs to people on Earth. Turns out it was the rules of Solitaire. My dad helped me and broke the rules, just like he said he would! Even then and still now, I know there was no way I could have solved that puzzle on my own, with my mind in the condition that it was. And that was my sign.

As for my wife’s dad, he had several rounds of chemo and handled it quite well, but there was a small cancerous mass that developed near his liver and the doctors went in to take it out. They ended up taking out five of them, and saw many more smaller ones. There wasn’t much more they could do.

Our daughter at the time was 20 months and started saying 2 word sentences, the one phrase she said the most perhaps was “Poppy sleepy”. “Poppy” was her name for her remaining grandfather. After a nearly 2 year battle with gallbladder cancer, he started losing the fight and “slept” a lot. Knowing the end was near, Melanie and I spent a lot of time the last week talking to him about God and Heaven. I would read to him everyday, parts from the book I found shortly after we learned of his cancer, “God, I Want To Ask You: Seven Questions When Facing Death.” He remembered that he didn’t sign the book, so he ended up signing it. I was also reading parts of the Bible and “The Purpose Driven Life” to him, and it seemed to comfort him. I know it comforted me, and Melanie as well. I asked him for a sign after he died to show us that he was still there, looking over us. He said he would. The following Saturday he died, he was 56 years old.

The next morning Maddie woke up very early (which she rarely did).  We didn’t say a word to her, and she crawled into our bed to go back to sleep.  My wife and I were staring at her between us and Maddie was staring at the ceiling and out of the blue just says “Poppy”. She didn’t say “Poppy sleepy” like she usually did.She didn’t say “Poppy sleepy” like she usually did. It was apparent to us that she sensed her grandfather’s spirit and said his name, letting us know that he is still looking over us, and Maddie felt his spirit in the room and say his name.  Melanie’s brother and sisters also received signs from Ron. And I saw more signs from my dad during the difficult time that followed. And I continue to see signs from him today.

My prayer for my father at his funeral was “that he continue to teach us.” And that he has done! I was very close to my dad, but I’m even closer with him now than when he was alive. Dying doesn’t have to be so sad. For those of you who have lost loved ones, pray and don’t stop thinking about them. They are looking after you!

I’ve learned that I want Maddie growing up knowing my dad and myself (in case anything were to happen to me), so I started writing a book for her with stories of my dad and myself through the years and lessons I wanted to teach her. I’ve been carrying a piece of paper and pen with me all the time and writing down notes for my book whenever they come to me. I think it is a great exercise for any parent, and I think as children grow up they would appreciate having these stories, just as I appreciated my dad’s stories.

This was the beginning of Lessons For My Girls. {Maybe you should write a book too, for your loved ones? One way to get started is to talk to your loved ones about God, Life, and Death, and write it down.}

I’m hoping to teach others how to talk to their loved ones about dying, and asking for signs from Heaven.  My next project, in addition to these Lessons For My Girls… http://OneStepCloserToHeaven.com