ARE YOU LEAVING?
Bob and Yvonne Turnbull
Periodically we all get reminders of how mortal we all are
how temporary life on this planet is - and what is really important for
the few years we live here before eternity.
We were recently reminded of this when informed of
the death of a dear friend of ours who was a husband - a father - and a
pastor. Tom Rietveld was riding his Harley motorcycle in Bishop,
California, at the posted 55 mph when a woman driving her car at
90-plus mph came roaring up behind him and smashed into him. She
sped off but fortunately was later caught and arrested. Seconds
after being hit Tom was in the presence of the Lord. He leaves
behind his wife, Diane, plus his daughter (Jori), other family members,
friends, and the parishioners of Calvary Baptist Church. Why he
was taken to heaven at this time and in this manner, only the Lord
knows. As the years pass by possibly many will understand those
answers as God chooses to reveal it, but upon hearing of Tom's
‘graduation' we got to thinking in two areas.
Take Each Other For Granted
The statement "tomorrow may never come" is true.
None of us know if we'll be alive tomorrow so each today we
focus on those little things with each other, like - I love you -
please forgive me - speaking in a kind and loving voice to each other -
and praying not only for each other but with each
other. We are also cognizant of how we say good-bye to each
other. We never leave angry even if it means running down the
driveway to stop the car pulling out of the garage to make sure all
anger is gone prior to the exiting (Yvonne has done this before).
We always do three things when we say good-bye - We kiss each other -
exchange I love you's - and extend a spiritual comment such as "God
bless you" or "May the Lord be with you." Should something
occur where we wouldn't ever again see the other on this earth, we can
live the rest of our lives knowing those were the last three exchanges
we shared. That's why we no longer take each other for
granted. Sadly in the early years of our marriage we did.
What Legacy Are
Our second thought was a question we've asked ourselves
and would ask anyone. "What kind of legacy are you wanting to
Tom's legacy? It is vast. Here is a small
sample -- as a minister he never compromised God's Word. It
wasn't watered-down. Anyone who heard him preach will remember
him speaking truthfully, lovingly and with great encouragement.
Yvonne especially appreciated his biblical knowledge, and his patience
with her when she would ask him theological questions. His legacy
includes the wisdom he imparted to those he counseled with. He
leaves a wife he loved and a daughter he and Diane guided into being a
beautiful Godly woman, who herself is now a wife. Bob will never
forget when Tom rode his motorcycle over 100 miles to surprise both of
us at Bob's mother's memorial service last year. He just 'wanted
to be there' to give his support and prayers for this occasion.
It's THAT kind of love and thoughtfulness that is a small part of Tom's
legacy. Those are just some of the ways he will be remembered.
One of the astronauts who perished onboard the
Columbia on February 1st was Rick Husband. This past
February 1st Rick's wife said on a TV interview, "My husband's legacy
is that he was a man of faith." A man of faith! What a
superb legacy to leave behind. He proved it on many occasions,
but none so striking as when we all found out that prior to going up
into space he videotaped daily devotions for his two children, so that
each day, since he wasn't in the house, they would still have dad
leading devotions. May that information inspire every father
What about you? Are you living a positive
legacy filled life now? None of us can work on it when we're
gone. Only now while we're living. God has placed you at
this particular time in history within a particular country and within
a particular family for a reason. How are you impacting them for
Christ our Lord? What you are doing now will be your legacy!
This would be an appropriate time to inform you of an
excellent publication titled - The Next 48 Hours. It has
been recently authored by one of Bob's former staff members when he
headed up the Waikiki Beach Chaplaincy ministry in Honolulu he founded
several years ago. This publication helps in the preparation of a
family members impending death as well as someone who dies suddenly and
unexpectedly. It was of immense assistance to us when Bob knew
his mother's death was approaching due to her illness. It is very
thorough and greatly guided us in proper preparation for that
inevitable day. We won't go into details here as the website will
be informative, and that website is - www.mylifeinabox.com.
(A secondary one is www.aglpub.com.
We recently received an E-mail poem that was titled - "If
I Knew." The first paragraph says - "If I knew it would be
the last time that I'd see you fall asleep, I would tuck you in more
tightly and pray the Lord your soul to keep." The poem is too lengthy
to print here but if you would like it E-mailed to you just send an
email to the address below, in the subject line type -" Please
E-mail me the IF I KNEW poem."
In closing, once again we encourage you to pray and
ask the Lord to give you wisdom that if you were to die tomorrow, if
the legacy you'd be leaving is honoring to Him. Thank you.