I want to thank God in Christ Jesus for the honor of being Jack’s wife for almost thirty years, from September 22, 1989 to September 17, 2019, when Jack passed from this life to heaven. When we married, Ed Hiers, Jack’s business partner at Northeast Planning Associates, (http://northeastplanning.com) said the only question he had was that we both might give away the kitchen sink!
Generous describes Jack. Our garage had hooks along each side where sets of golf clubs hung to be given to anyone wanting to start golf. Hundreds of people, over the years, walked away with free sets of golf clubs. Jack taught our family members to become golfers, including me! If you ever golfed with Jack, you know that it was high intensity golfing, never taking a second swing, always looking for an open hole, and golfing so fast that those coming up behind you never had to wait.
Jack loved golf and began as a caddy. His leadership ability was easily recognized. He was chosen as head caddy which led a doctor to nominate Jack for ROTC in high school. Jack entered the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant and became a platoon leader. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a major in Business. Jack never owned a car until after he graduated from college.
Wherever Jack was, he rose to the top. With his Business degree, Jack catapulted into the insurance industry. He became a General Agent at age 28, which was too young, so his title was “Associate General Agent in Charge.”
Jack’s gift of encouraging others led to his adding advisors to his firm and coaching them to success. He saw what a person could be, not what he was. When 22-year-old Ed Hiers walked into Jack’s office, Jack saw what Ed could be. Ed and Jack came to have what I describe as a biblical David and Jonathan relationship, an ever so rare bond.
When Jack was 42, he got himself into a financial pickle, which led him to search the Bible to find out what God said about finances. A friend had told him that he would find answers if he saturated himself in the Bible and surrendered his life to Jesus Christ.
Jack was desperate, so he devoured the Bible, recording every verse he could find on finances on three by five cards. What happened, though, was above and beyond what Jack was seeking. He met the living Savior of the world, Jesus Christ!
Jack had a very active body and a very active soul (which includes the mind, the will, and the emotions), but his spirit had been dead to God because of the sin of Adam, the inborn nature of everyone, the capacity to do evil. Now Jack’s spirit was indeed born anew. Into his being came the Holy Spirit of God. The Bible, God’s book written for His family, became alive to Jack.
Jack meditated on the Bible verses on finances day and night. He found the verse, Joshua 1:8, which he quoted so often, the Amplified Bible version, of course, his favorite: This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.”
Success, according to Jack, is to have all that you need in order to complete God’s plan for your life. Jack began to do what he was learning and was able to pay everyone back. He wrote “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” 100 times on a legal pad, Philippians 4:13, his life verse.
Others, wanting to know what happened in Jack’s life, resulted in Jack’s teaching Bible studies that grew so large that a church was established, Faith Christian Center, in Bedford, New Hampshire. Jack taught Tuesday night Bible studies for many years, handing out notes each week, mimeographed with purple ink. The church grew to over 1,000 people, established a Christian school, and had extensive mission outreaches.
Jack’s notes on finances became his book, Trust God for Your Finances, which has over 150,000 copies in print and has been translated into eleven languages. I recently updated and expanded Trust God for Your Finances as part of Lamplight Ministries’ God’s Toolbox Series. (http://lamplight.net)
I met Jack through Rudy Johnson, who gave me that very book, Trust God for Your Finances. I had some questions because I wanted to go to China as a missionary. I called Bill Gibbons, who was my insurance agent (and worked for Jack’s company, Northeast Planning Associates, http://northeastplanning.com) to ask him if I should call Jack.
If you know Bill, you know his answer. After Jack and I talked, Jack made a cassette tape to me telling me that God told him that I would become his wife (after the first phone call, before we ever saw each other). Jack thought that was crazy and threw the tape into the waste basket, but, indeed, that was God’s wonderful plan for Jack and for me.
Jack and I were married in 1989. Two “givers’ now married just might give the kitchen sink away! Jack and I established Lamplight Ministries, Inc. in 1991 because we were spending so much of our own money mailing Jack’s books to the nations that we thought (and Ed agreed) that maybe others whose lives were transformed by Jesus Christ in the Word of God in our books might like to help us write, print, translate, and distribute our books to the nations of the world.
Lamplight Ministries, Inc. (http://lamplight.net) continues today, debt free since its inception in 1991, now with Directors in India, Indonesia, and Uganda, spreading the message of Jesus Christ through the Word of God in the 32 Lamplight Bible-based books. Most of the books were written with Jack and me in our offices at opposite ends of our ranch-style home in Dunedin, Florida. The exciting news is that Jack completed the first draft of four books that have not yet been published. I continue to write and publish Bible-based books and will have the joy of completing and publishing Jack’s four yet-unpublished books.
Jack was a producer and when he could no longer produce, he longed to go to heaven. Lamplight Ministries, Inc. has two books describing what heaven is like: What Will Heaven Be Like? and God’s Glorious Eternal Life in Heaven, which I updated and expanded. See our website: http://lamplight.net.
We moved to Concord, North Carolina in December of 2017 to be near 19 immediate family members, including three “greats,” all adoring Jack and visiting him often. During our final nine months together in North Carolina, Jack told me every day how grateful he was to me and how much he loved me, many times each day. He did not die of any disease. He took no medications of any kind. His body just started to get weak.
I took Jack for his daily ride to enjoy the countryside on Wednesday, September 11, 2018. He was “absent from the body and present with the Lord” the next Tuesday, September 17.
. On Monday night, September 16, Jack’s son, Mike, my daughter, Melissa, Kim, the nurse Jack treasured, and I sang worship songs around Jack’s bed. He was no longer responding, but we knew he heard us. Kim said she wanted to dedicate a song to Jack: “Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am so glad you did.” She played it and we all sang along, singing it to Jack.
We all wondered if Jack might leave us during the night. Early in the morning I sat on a stool by Jack’s hospital bed in the bedroom and put my hand on his chest while I read Psalms and Revelation out loud to Jack and just talked to him, thanking him and loving him.
Then, Mike and Melissa came into the room and gathered around Jack’s bed with me. Melissa played the song again: “Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am so glad you did.” The last verse played: “As Jesus took your hand, you stood before the Lord. He said, “My child, look around you. For great is your reward. Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am a life that was changed. I am so glad you gave.” At the very moment of the last note of the last verse of the song, Jack stopped breathing and was “absent from the body and present with the Lord.” (“We are confident, yes, well-pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” (II Corinthians 5:8)
“Father, we thank you for Jack’s life. We thank you that Jack gave to you. Father, I am a life that was changed because of Jack. Thank you, Father, for Jack Hartman. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”