Sunday, August 23, 2009

Leaving a Legacy

If you are new here, my Dad stepped into heaven on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009 after having an unexpected heart attack.

When I think about my Daddy, I remember his amazing smile, sense of humor, contagious laugh and overall joy of life. He devoted his life to God and his family. He has been the best father I could have ever asked for, always there with advice and love and practical help. He then moved into the role of Papa to my children and they were close with him. We were privileged to have lived next door to my parents for the past 10 years. He would often stop by just to fill up his love tank with the hugs he would receive and freely give. I've never lost someone so close to me before, and my grief goes deep because selfishly, I wanted my Dad to be a part of my children's lives as they grew up as well as mine.

My nephew, Logan, couldn't sleep after receiving the dreaded phone call at 3am. Being young, he turned to the computer for some comfort. After Googling my Dad's name (Bob Neulen) he found an excerpt from a sermon and it revealed a legacy that goes far beyond his family - this is the kind of legacy we all need to leave behind. While it is long, I encourage you to read it. The message is clear and strong, we all need to let our lights shine because you never know who you are touching.

On August 27, 2006, a man named Allan Green was the guest speaker at Can Creek Baptist Church in NC. The message was called, "Living in God's House." Here is the excerpt that talks about my father, Bob Neulen.

There is a second way to live in God’s House: give your home, your apartment, your room, or wherever you happen to live, to God. Invite Him to take ownership! Bear in mind that when God owns your home He might decide to do something with it that you hadn’t expected, but I can promise you from personal experience that it will be exciting. Your home will become miracle territory. 1 Cor 16:19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

Chris and I owe our salvation to one such home. In 1971 I knew my co-worker Bob Neulen was a pretty straight-laced guy. He wasn’t offensive, and he had a great sense of humor, but he never engaged in profane conversation or malicious gossip. If the subject came up, he would tell you straight up that he was born again. He surprised me one day by inviting Chris and I to his birthday party, so we got a sitter for Jeni and went.

It was an interesting experience. Bob’s wife Jean was as sweet as Bob was nice, and all their other guests were friends from their church. No alcohol was served. Nobody smoked. We drank soda, swapped stories about our children, and now and then they all talked about the miracles God was doing in their families and the church. Chris and I felt like we had entered the Twilight Zone or something, – which of course, we had – and we liked it! Bob and Jean’s house was miracle territory. A few weeks later, they got to see the miracle God had planned all along when Chris and I answered an altar call and met Jesus for ourselves. The rest as they say, is history. Now our home is miracle territory – something amazing happens at least once a week, unless Chris has been really busy in prayer, in which case it may be every day.

This church is filled with homes like the Neulen’s, where God’s ministry proceeds along from day to day, week to week; where His Spirit empowers marriages and the relationships between parents and children; where God’s love flows out into the community in hospitality and generosity. I don’t say this in with any sense of pride, because it is God’s work, but the truth is, we have blessed homes! Miracles are happening in our homes because God lives there.

May you and your house become miracle territory. Thank you all for your prayers they have helped us get through this very difficult time. The viewing is on Tuesday and the funeral will be on Wed. I have already put up a T.T. post for Thursday for those of you who participate. God bless each one of you.


Jane In The Jungle said...


I am so sorry for your great loss. Your father sounds like the man God would always want him and others to be. What a testament. I know you are heartbroken but know also that you are being lifted up in prayer, you and your family.

Brook said...

What a legacy your Dad left for his family and community by faithfully serving His creator. Praying that our Heavenly Father will comfort you during this time of separation from your earthly father.

Anonymous said...

I'm truly sorry for your loss.

Heart2Heart said...


What a hidden treasure to find! God bless for sharing that with all of us. You know that God is just pleased as punch that your dad is there enjoying all the benefits of those he welcomes home with the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

We all need to be conscience to leave behind these types of legacies and I am truly blessed to have read what an amazing father you had! My heart goes out to you and your family in missing those times with you dad! Keeping you in our prayers!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

I am so sorry you lost your Dad...My Mom and Dad died 3 months to the day apart a couple of years ago. I wrote a hard post on my Dad recently. You will be in my prayers.

Breeze said...

I was thinking of my dad today who never got to grow old and then I see this post and I am so sad for you. But what a beautiful tribute for a wonderful man.

Take care


Lea said...

My deepest sympathy sweet Sonya.
My heart reaches out and weeps with you.

Thank you for sharing your Daddy with us all. Ohhh how happy he must be.


skoots1mom said...

my heart breaks for you...i lost my daddy 19 years ago. some days it feels like forever, some days it feels like yesterday.
may ALL your memories grow more golden and we are believing people who have our hope in Christ's preparation for us :)

skoots1mom said...

my heart breaks for you...i lost my daddy 19 years ago. some days it feels like forever, some days it feels like yesterday.
may ALL your memories grow more golden and we are believing people who have our hope in Christ's preparation for us :)

Kelly Combs said...

What a beautiful tribute...I'm so glad it was found and shared! But I already knew a similar story, because your parents raised YOU to be just like them, and you introduced me to Jesus in just the same way. I love you, friend, and am so grateful to have been blessed to know your daddy too.

jamiely78 said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Your sounds like a wonderful man.

My ADHD Me said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your daddy must have been wonderful.
I know he was even though I never met him. Look at his daughter! My sister is so lucky to have you as her best friend.
I just stopped and said a prayer for you and your family.
God Bless You.

B His Girl said...

Sonya, I know you will miss your dad. What an example of living for Christ he showed to others. This is a blessing to have this testimony of how he lived. May God give you peace knowing you will see him again. B

Cheryl Barker said...

Sonya, my heart goes out to you as you grieve the loss of your wonderful dad. And I know what you mean about grieving over your kids losing their grandpa--we experienced this when my husband's father died. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

Greg C said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. I am sure your Dad is in Heaven and watching and smiling down on you. I will pray for your family and his wife as well that you may find peace and comfort in the days to come.

Pinkshoelady said...

My Sweet friend,
I am so sorry for your loss. May you feel God's arms wrapped tight around you the next few days so that You are sheltered in His love.

It is wonderful to know the legacy our loved ones leave behind and it is also wonderful and exciting to know that those of us who did not get a chance to meet or be touched by such a believer here on earth will be able to sit with him at the banquet table one day in Glory.

Will keep you tightly in our prayers.

Christine said...

Dear Sonya,

I was so sorry to hear of your loss, you your family and mother will be in our continued prayers. May God give you comfort in this time of sorrow.

SusanD said...

Dear Sonya, My heart aches w/sadness for you and your family at your dad's unexpected passing. He clearly left an amazing legacy that will continue to touch lives long after we have all gone to join him. Praying for you all. Blessings, SusanD

Leslie said...

Oh Sonya, I am so sorry! I am very thankful that your precious father knew the Lord and that you got to have him for so long. It's really special that your family was able to live next door to your parents. The legacy he left is wonderful!

I will be leaving in the morning to go visit my parents over night. They are both 81, and I always remind my kids that we don't know how long we'll have them. It's such a blessing when grandparents and grandchildren have a relationship.

My prayers are with your family.

Love and Hugs, Leslie

Collette@Jesuslovesmums said...

Sonya, so sorry to hear about your loss. Your Dad sounds like he was a great Godly man. What you have written here is beautiful and I am thinking of you and your family.
Love Collette xxxxx

LisaShaw said...


I came over from precious Kelly's blog as she shared about your Father. I'm very sorry and saddened in your loss and what a beautiful legacy of love your Father has left behind...

May the peace and comfort of the LORD rest with your entire family in Jesus Holy Name.Amen.


Edie said...

Oh Sonya I am so sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful tribute to your dad. I lost my dad (who I was very close to) in 1985. I understand what you are going through. I am praying over you and your family now.

Much love to you.

Warren Baldwin said...

Waht a wonderful sermon, and for the preacher to use your dad and mom as an illustration for good character and a Christian home is special.

Sorry for your loss. I have lost one parent and know it is hard. Thankfully, we both have the knowledge that our parents are believers and we will see them again. That is the ultitmate comfort. God bless. wb