What Will Your Legacy Be?

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Two weeks ago on Friday, Abundant Life lost a great man.  Robert (Bob) Stanton Sr. went to be with the Lord.  We had his memorial service this past Saturday with a full sanctuary of family and friends in attendance.  Gerald Calaway, one of our members and a retired minister, remarked to me prior to the service that  we had, “lost one of the happy people.”  Gerald was certainly right.

When asked to officiate at his funeral and to finalize the day at the graveside, I started thinking about what section of scripture I would use and came to… 

1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 where we read…

“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”

As I got to know Bob and from numerous conversations with many people about him, I have come to the conclusion that he fulfilled every aspect of the above section of scripture.  Just a month prior to Bob’s death his beloved wife Ricky had passed away.  She had suffered with Parkinson’s disease for several years and Bob had suffered a stroke about a year ago.  Because of their health conditions they were forced to live in separate care facilities.  With all of that on him, I never heard him nor can I find anyone who ever heard him complainHe was always encouraging and loving those around him. 

It seemed as if he lived in a constant sense of praise to the Lord.

Considering all of this, let me pose a question for you and me.  What will people’s testimony about us be at our funerals?  Will our faith and consistency of love and witness for God’s kingdom be the most noted aspects of our lives?

Bob, you set the bar pretty high.  Thanks for giving us all a Godly example to aspire to follow.


6 thoughts on “What Will Your Legacy Be?

    Sonya Sunderland said:
    September 1, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Thank you Pastor for this message. Bob & Ricky will be so missed.

    Joni responded:
    September 1, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I was able to share this with Robin today and she was so blessed by your kind words.

    Aaron said:
    September 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Thank you pastor for this post. I pray that Abundant Life will rally around your vision for the church. I know if my Grandparents were still here they would be really excited about the direction you guys are headed.

    Greg Bock said:
    September 1, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Having been a member of ALCC my entire life until recently moving, I have had the awesome privelage of knowing these two saints of God personally. Ricky was always very encouraging to talk with and always wanted to know how everything was going in your life. I was able to attend her funeral visitation as it was a few weeks prior to my wife and I moving out of state. I quickly found Bob and went over to talk to him. It had been a long while since I last saw and conversed with him, and during that time I had gotten married and my son Josiah was born with a minor health setback at birth. My ALCC family was made aware of Josiah’s health issues nearly 2.5 years earlier and were praying for him. The first thing this Saint of God said to me, after shaking my hand and acknowledging he remembered who I was, was “Hey, how’s your baby boy? We were praying for him!” I was blown away by the fact that after 2.5 years later, a stroke and mourning his wife’s death, he would still be concerned for me and my baby boy! This goes to show you what kind of man Bob Stanton was! This was HIS time of mourning and he took the time to remember me and an issue I had dealt with nearly 3 years prior – and tell me he was praying for my son then and still was. Touched my life that day! Bob and Ricky Stanton just made heaven that much sweeter!

    Tracie said:
    September 2, 2011 at 1:10 am

    After losing Aunt Rick and Uncle Bob, I told Robin how honored I felt to have had them in my life. I know that my son would not be alive today without their prayers. Their witness is inspiring. It did make me stop to think about what people would say about me when I pass. Thank you so much for acknowledging this wonderful couple. God did raise up a standard for us all to aspire to. They didn’t just talk the talk-they truly walked the walk. Bless you. I’m hearing wonderful things about your ministry.
    Tracie Boehland-Castle Rock, Washington

    Jim and Patty Stanton said:
    September 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Uncle Bob and Aunt Rick were more like parents to us than aunt and uncle. They covered us with their love and their prayers. We are grateful for their example of a Godly life that we strive to follow in. We long for the day when we will see them again in Heaven.

    Thank you Abundant Life family for the lovely memorial services for both of them.

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