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Barbara Livesay, serves in the Lake Union Conference as the director of ministerial spouses and women’s ministries and is the associate education superintendent and the associate director of human resources and Risk Management. She lives in Berrien Springs, Michigan with her husband, Don, and they are blessed with two married daughters and four grandchildren. Watch Barbara introduce the article, written by her husband, Don, and give testimony to God’s faithfulness: 
                       
The Other Side of Stewardship—Delayed Blessings (pdf)
by Don Livesay, article from the Lake Union Herald, Dec/12 p.3 
(Used by permission)


My wife Barbara’s parents, Dolores and Ted Cook, were a personal blessing in my life. They were generous, caring and patient with their son-in-law, splendid grandparents and people who honored God. Their spiritual journey was fascinating and linear.


When Barbara was very young, a neighbor sent the Signs of the Times monthly magazine to her parents. Dolores read the periodical and continued the subscription. Occasionally, she read articles to Ted, who affirmed the correctness of the truth he heard.


They were very moral Christian people who worked seven days a week. Although not regular church attenders, each Sunday they faithfully dropped off nine-year-old Barbara and her younger brother at a little Bible church. The Sunday school teacher often taught from our familiar book series, The Bible Story.


As the years passed, Ted and Dolores began to honor the Sabbath and return a faithful tithe. This, however, was the beginning of a financial decline. They went from a big home to a small home, from abundance to sacrifice.

Their Adventist journey included a positive medical procedure for Barbara’s brother at Loma Linda Medical Center in California. Later, the family began to drive 30 miles to attend the La Sierra Church in California while Barbara also attended church on Sunday with her friends. She wanted to attend a Christian college and applied to the University of Redlands and to La Sierra College.

An acceptance from La Sierra swayed Barbara to enroll there. After taking a class on Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, Barbara was baptized midway through her sophomore year. One year later, her parents and brother were also baptized.

During the immediate years before and after joining the church, Ted tried several businesses and jobs but
nothing approached his previous income or success. Finances were very tight, yet he and Dolores continued to be faithful. In time, Ted became a salesman for Loma Linda Foods and, soon, the company’s sales manager. The salary and benefits were a blessing, but he was then older than 55 years of age and, at that time, ineligible for the retirement plan. We wondered how they would get along in retirement. After Ted retired, he was called back to work (at least three times) for Loma Linda Foods and later for Cedar Lake Foods.


Here’s the point: Ted and Dolores made hard, God-honoring decisions, and these cost them financially. They gave up many material blessings that were never fully replaced. Barbara’s mother died in 2000, after an extended illness, and, in 2002, Ted died suddenly from a heart attack. They ended life full of joy in a humble yet comfortable home, in a location they and we loved.
 
Most stewardship stories claim Malachi 3:10: Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it (KJV). And we usually equate blessings with money.

God poured out His blessings, in abundance, on Ted and Dolores. They were happy and content, and their needs were more than supplied. They loved being a part of the Seventh-day Adventist family. They could surely sing the chorus, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one...” How about you?
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Don Livesay, president of the Lake Union Conference and husband of Barbara Livesay, wrote this article which was published in the December, 2012 (page 3) issue of the Lake Union Herald. Used by permission. www.LakeUnionHerald.org 
 
Barbara Livesay, serves in the Lake Union Conference as the director of ministerial spouses and women’s ministries and is the associate education superintendent and the associate director of human resources and Risk Management. She lives in Berrien Springs, Michigan with her husband, Don, and they are blessed with two married daughters and four grandchildren. https://vimeo.com/140950726