Sunday, January 6, 2013

Not one thing has failed

10:42 p.m. Today's project was to wrap up details with an old friend for the public reception we are having at her house directly after Steve's memorial service on Saturday the 12th. Amazingly, the Lord provided some money to assist through my son Kriss' colleagues at his work, so the food will be supplied!Other sweet sisters in the Lord have come forward with offers to help set up and serve during the reception.

In all of this trial, I've seen my adult children spring into action, each using their talents for their dad's memorial, not to mention their mom's mental and emotional well-being.And the kids' spouses have been wonderful, working hard to get this house in order, creating the video to be shown during the service, going with me to drop off a picture of Steve for his memorial brochure, and then to pick up Steve's clothes from his room at Raincross Assisted Living. My oldest son and his wife are hosting a family meal at their home later after the public reception, and a "Steve's Favorites" playlist is being formed for all of us to enjoy when we gather.

But there is sadness despite our busy, uplifted days together. Phone calls and hugs from firends can bring on tears, but that's the flow of expression of loss--ours, not his. Steve's enjoying the presence of Jesus!

While comforting a dear friend in her tears for my loss of Steve, God gave me Joshua 23:14b, where the dying leader exhorts the children of Israel after they had conquerd the Promised Land. This one and the verses following, embody God's great works in Steve's life that declare and demonstrate His faithfulness.
Joshua tells the people,

And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed. 

Steve moved on his own as a single man to Riverside from Orange County to buy a three bedroom, two bath home in 1978.  He immediately joined Calvary Chapel Riverside, serving in useful ways at church and participating in events for singles. But God soon put His plan for Steve's new life role in motion in 1980, by bringing a new believer, a single divorced mother with a five-year-old son, Sean, into his life at a home Bible study. We were married the following year. Psalm 68:6:

God sets the solitary in families.

We speedily began to build our family, adding Kriss, Heidi, Heather and Steven from 1982 to 1988. Steve legally adopted Sean in 1984 as well. Jesus said, in John 10:10b,

I have come that they (My sheep) may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Steve now had a large family, a truly abundant life, and a correspondingly large need to earn an income that would support seven people, committed as we were to my caring for the children at home. God blessed Steve with an incredible ability to fix, rebuild, or create anything that would make a plastic injection molding machine worth millions of dollars for the parts they produced--work! Amazingly, Steve was so excellent in his profession that his income would double every two years. Nationally renowned, he would be consulted by machine  manufacturers' reps for repairs to their own product. Headhunters would constantly call him to lure him to other companies. Though the plastics industry had some down times in a few years, Steve was never without work. Our family was healthy, loving Jesus, and with kids brought up in "the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Steve was active with the kids, in sports, scouts, car repairs, and most importantly, with family devotions he led nightly after dinner. I can still remember the hand motions to "Awesome God," and "Deep and Wide." And all of us marching around to the Sunday School song "Father Abraham" before falling down laughing--it just doesn't get any better!

With my election to three terms on the Riverside school board, Steve and I were able to travel (with us paying his expenses of course) to conferences in several places around the country--that was his dream, to see his beloved USA. The family trips up north to Monterey every few years are some of our best memories. God granted Steve his desire to visit both Alaska and Hawaii and Washington, D.C., fulfilling His promise in Psalm 37:3-4:

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires
  of your heart.  

Knowing that his life would be foreshortened, God gave Steve and me two grandsons, Adrian and Xavier, in 1995 and 1997, through our son Sean. Steve was only 40 when the older one was born. Steve enjoyed those boys so much! His favorite trip in our RV was with them, and our two labs, to Yellowstone National Park in 2009. The grandeur of God's creation as we camped through Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming--with a stop in Cheyenne to visit the folks in our rental house--just blessed his heart. And we have a baby grandson, Clark, as well, whom Steve absolutely delighted in.

When Steve's late older brother Larry became very forgetful, we prayerfully decided to invest in long-term care insurance. The Book of Proverbs continually recommends using prudence, looking ahead and planning; thus, God's leading allowed Steve to have the best of care at home and in residential care, until he passed away into heaven. Many of his caregivers, both in-home and at Raincross, are believers, and one very dedicated young caregiver even became born again due to the godly influence of our home, which included his reading the Bible aloud to Steve daily, and then taking up the Gospel of John for himself.

Psalm 16:11 states God's will and plan for the believer:

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

God does not guarantee any of us a long life, any more than He guarantees a trouble-free or pain-free one. But for those who love Him, serve Him and others with all their heart, He promises and delivers the abundant life He promises throughout His word. Steve did not live a lengthy time by today's standards, but God packed his life with love, faith, family, fellowship, usefulness and the respect of his family, professional colleagues, and those with whom he served in ministry.

His legacy lives on in our five children and me, who, even though grieving, can speak in faith regarding their father's life of trusting God, 

Not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you.

We love and miss you, Steve!


  1. Beautiful. Praying for you. Love, Susan

  2. What a beloved husband he was and father and grandfather! This is truly a wonderful tribute, Dana.

    Yes, our length of days are determined, and because this life is not all we grieve not as those without hope.

    Your plans for the memorial service sound wonderful.

    Love and prayers,

  3. Thank you, Susan and Carol for your support!!!