Dearest Steve and Deb, Today marks. Today hurts. Today we are pained. Today we are full of sorrow. This is a time to grieve. Tears flood my eyes and a pain of compassion for you both wells up again as fresh as if it was yesterday. This is in remembrance of the passing of your dearest, sweet son Richard. I want so much to be able to ease your suffering in some way, but know I don’t have that ability. I do know the only delivery from this is in God’s promise. I’m reading Randy Alcorn’s book titled, Heaven, and in it he states that we are told by God’s Word that our parting is not the end of our relationship, only an interruption. We have not “lost” him because we know where he is. Richard is experiencing the joy of Christ’s presence in a place so wonderful Jesus called it Paradise. And one day we are told, in a magnificent reunion, we will be reunited. You all will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:17-19) I love Randy Alcorn’s words “magnificent reunion.” It’s hard to wait and be parted. We grieve now and sadness fills every pore, but there is unspeakable joy to come. I pray for you both to hold onto those promises from an unchanging God. I pray that where there is now sadness, God will give you hope, and where there is pain, you’ll find comfort. I remind you we do not have to grieve as those who have no hope. “Those who live in the presence of Christ find great joy and live as righteous beings in rich fellowship in a sinless environment.” Steve and Deb, today and tomorrow hold tight to God’s Words. I would like to leave you with this quote from Johathan Edwards. He said, “How happy is that love, in which there is an eternal progress in all these things; wherein new beauties are continually discovered, and more and more loveliness, and in which we shall forever increase in beauty ourselves; where we shall be made capable of finding out and giving, and shall receive, more and more endearing expressions of love forever: our union will become more close, and communication more intimate.” I pray, my dear friends, that you will undeniably feel the prayers of the body of Christ today and tomorrow. Your family is surrounded by love and compassion for prayer knows no distance, and His Holy Spirit is already with you. May peace be with you! Much love to you both. We are the body

From Paula on September 1 2010