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Saturday, May 31, 2008


Well I'm sad to say this world has lost another mighty man of God. A true man of faith. A tower of strength, Skip Ficthner.

Skip is the father of my dear friend Lori Jo. It was her family that first came to Andrea's and my rescue after we learned Andrea's cancer returned. I have written about this amazing family before but tonight I want to pay tribute to Skip.

It was July 2007 when Andrea started back into chemo and it was a difficult time as you can imagine. Cancer not only tries to consume your body, but it can consume your mind and your thoughts to the point where you can't think about anything else but odds of survival, and what to eat, drink or do to beat this disease. And that is a real battle you have to fight. It is a struggle to just live, to be normal, to not allow cancer to control your living as it dictates your death.

It was Lori Jo and her family that reached out to Andrea and allowed us to be normal. Like I said in my previous blog, "A Day At The Beach" on May 11 07, it was the Duvalls that gave Andrea and I an escape from cancer. But is was Skip that stood in and prayed over Andrea, laid hands on her and anointed her with oil. I still remember the strength I felt whenever I was blessed to hear Skip pray for Andrea. He spoke with the confidence of a man of faith. A man who had seen difficulty in his life yet still still grew in his faith. He gave me strength to be the husband Andrea needed me to be. He was an example of faith to me. He gave me a calmness, because I knew his words were spoken not from a book he read but from the life he lived. He spoke of his mistakes in life, he spoke of his faith in God and Andrea and I were the beneficiaries of Skip's faithfulness. I count myself lucky to have known Skip, Norma, Lee, and the Duvalls. They are a family that lives out the faith they profess, and I believe that is due mostly to Skip, a Godly father and husband.

I will miss Skip. I will miss his laugh when he played with the girls. I will miss his wisdom he passed to Brack. I will miss his example to me of how to live for the Lord. I should be so blessed to be a man like Skip Fichtner. In a very short span I have seen two people of great faith leave this world. It is sad for those of us left to live without them in our lives. But it is also a little intimidating to know we must step up and fill those big shoes they left behind. I feel inadequate at times but I can hear Andrea and Skip telling us, "You can do it, just believe what you know to be true."

But today I had to smile a little bit today knowing He saw Andrea again. I can only begin to imagine the reunion they had. I just see them with big smiles on their faces because they both had great smiles that expressed the joy they had in their hearts. Skip's was a life lived out for what truly matters, God and family.

Have a nice day with Jesus you two.

See you in a little bit.

1 comment:

  1. Jim,
    I found your blog through looking up information on Troy Gilbert, I had the honor of meeting Ginger today at the shoot, although this blog has added to her story, you are lucky to have a great Christian woman in you life.
    Jim and Ginger,
    I am moved by your blog, it is a great testimoy to Christ the healer and redeemer, thank you for your writings. I am not a savy blogger but my wife is, her blog is www.jodyferlaak.blogspot.com
    Ginger knows a little of my story, but my wife Jody tells it much better.
    It was great to meet you at the shoot today. I could tell you were a Christian Woman right away because of you outward strength. Based on my experience, I know that all of my strength through the tough times was because of Him. Keep in touch and hopefully you, Jim and the kids can make it up to Grand Haven someday. If you do, you kids can hang out with ours, although if we took them anywhere we would need a school bust to get everyone around.
    Keep up your faith and this blog.
    Chip Ferlaak
    P.S. Also know that when I mentioned Troy's name, my wife recalled being on his memorial site before, how she went there she couldn't remember, small world this internet.