A friend of mine has passed away

While we were in Colorado this weekend, I received several emailed emergency prayer requests and eventually the awful news that a friend of mine had passed away Monday.

Jim McMurtry was in good health and celebrating Christmas with his family on a cruise when he became ill. He was rushed to the hospital in Houston when the ship returned. Surgery was performed, but was ultimately unsuccessful in saving his life.

Jim was a great man. I have known him for more than ten years. I have seen him perform under intense stress and I have seen him perform when everything was smooth and silky. In both kinds of situations, and in everything in between, Jim was the same. He didn’t get rattled. He prayed instead. He was a calming Godly influence in every situation.

Jim was a great man. He loved his first wife and cared for her when she became ill with a brain tumor. He selflessly devoted himself to her care and treatment till the end of her life. Linda was loved and sacrificed for as much as a man could do.

Jim was a great man. He married again and found happiness and renewal with Debbie. He made her a part of his family and they experienced happiness together in the brief time that God in his grace allowed them to have.

Jim was a great man. He was a successful and kind attorney. He was smart, careful and tenacious. His clients were cared for as people in addition to having their matters cared for with much attention to every detail. In addition, he was a successful businessman. He bought a sausage company and made it more successful than ever. He cared for his employees and expanded the business in a smart and prudent fashion.

Jim was a great man. He loved his kids, his kids’ spouses, and his grandkids. He loved them with his words. He loved them with his time. And he loved them with his actions. They loved him back. I have been friends with one of his son-in-laws for some time. I know that Jonathan loved and respected Jim as a man, christ follower, husband, father, grandfather, lawyer, boss, confidante, business partner, friend and so on and so on.

Jim was a great man. He was one of the good guys. As I write this through tears, I wish there was more I could say. Jim was great example to us who are younger than him. I admired him. I respected him. I learned from him. I will miss him. I wish God had given him more time with us.

I think often of II Corinthians 4:7 through 5:21. I know that Jim has now been “swallowed up by life”. I also know that every one of us will take the same journey and that we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Since we know what it is to fear God, we seek to persuade men.

Jim exemplified in every aspect of his life what it means to be a new creature and an ambassador for Christ. I will remember and seek to follow his example.