I cannot let this week pass without reflecting on the home going of my cousin Mike Stephens who received his transfer papers from the Lord on last Saturday and is in the presence of Jesus today. On Thursday I traveled to Suffolk to help conduct his funeral and what a gathering it was. Along with his four children, Amanda, Chris, Brooks and Hunter, his relatives and friends the house was packed with standing room only.
During the service many stood to give testimony of their sweet relationship with Him. He was loved by many because he was a servant to many. The music was well thought out and reflected Mike’s heart and love.
Most of his 60 years of life was spent in and around the Isle of Wight County area (Western Tidewater) of Virginia. He was a graduate of Isle of Wight Academy and was a sports enthusiast. He loved baseball and coached multiple teams over the years. He took his sports training into life as he was an avid team player. Another strength of his life is that he was a creator of things that brought people together. He loved and participated in many county and regional fairs that created family fun and enjoyment.
Eight years ago, Mike received a heart transplant and in recent years this heart struggled to maintain the balance needed to give Mike a normal quality of life. He and I talked on the telephone quite a bit and we kept praying that the problems would be solved, but they were not. He called me about a week ago and indicated to me that he thought the end would be soon. He went to the hospital the last time last Friday night and on Saturday morning he talked to his family, loved on them, told them good bye and within two hours his heart stopped, and he was immediately in the presence of Jesus. Mike had very much anticipated this time of home going and was not afraid of the future because he had placed his life on the one who holds all the future.
There were a lot of wonderful things said about Mike during the funeral. It was a very emotional event. But of all the important things that was said about Him, his most glorious event in life was when he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior and became a Christ follower.
As I was driving back to Lynchburg thinking about Mike I could not help but to be reminded of the lyrics to the recent worship/praise song written and sung by Charles Billingsley, Michael O’Brian, Guy Penrod and Travis Cottrell. The name is Jesus, Only Jesus. The link to the song is also below…
Who has the power to raise the dead? Who can save us from our sin? He is our hope, our righteousness Jesus, only Jesus: Who can make the blind to see? Who holds the keys that set us free? He paid it all to bring us peace Jesus, only Jesus: Who can command the highest praise? Who has the name above all names? You stand alone, I stand amazed Jesus, only Jesus