Remembering Roy and Leaving a Legacy!

Remembering Roy and Leaving a Legacy!

This afternoon I’m at my home office computer watching the live stream Memorial service for one of the men who encouraged me in ministry.  His name is Roy Wheeler and he served in Amarillo, Texas for over 40 years as the Senior Minister for Hillside Christian Church. (Known as Paramount Terrace Christian Church when I was growing up) My first two suits came from Roy and those are a necessity, at least back then, for being a preacher. Roy came up to Joplin, Missouri in April of 1994 to hear my senior sermon and participate in my ordination service for full-time Christian ministry.  Later on that day Roy said he was so impressed with my sermon that he wanted me to come back to Paramount Terrace and preach it for all three Sunday morning services before Debi and I left for Moscow, Russia as missionaries.

I wanted to make the memorial service today but with all the Hurricane relief that our Houston area church is engaged in, I just couldn’t make it happen.  I’m sure that among all the people who were in attendance, there will be a number of men, like me, who owe part of their journey in Christian ministry to Roy. While it was Jesus who truly called me to this task, it was Roy and men like him who confirmed it.  For that I am ever grateful.

This afternoon is indeed one of those times in the race of our lives when we do stop and think about those who have been a positive influence on us. For me, I’d say that the “A Team” list of older mentors in my life, who have encouraged me in ministry, would be Eric Wolfram, Max Goins, Mark Scott, Fred Masteller, Dennis Platt, Bob Gerhardt, and Steve Sigler in addition to Roy.  Maybe for you, today can also be a time to remember, thank Jesus for, and possibly reach out to those who have encouraged you.

Likewise, as we live in such a negative culture today, the positive power of the tongue is such a rarity.  I often ask myself whom I might encourage like these men have done to me.  What about you?  The reality is that all of us will be at center stage of a funeral or memorial service someday.  At that time, who will be stopping and thanking Jesus for allowing you to be a positive influence in their lives?

Granddad Stephens and Leaving a Legacy.

My last surviving grandparent crossed over the river into the other side of eternity yesterday afternoon.   Granddad Stephens was 97.  When I think of the legacy that my grandfather left, I almost always think of the song, “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg.  Granddad Stephens had a natural talent for music and he pursued that as his career in life retiring as a High School band director not far from where I grew up.  Maybe more importantly though, along with my grandmother, he brought music into the lives of his children and even down into my own soul today.  Granddad, I know that like King David of old, is now playing and dancing in HIS presence.  For the rest of our family who are left behind, we are thanking God and remembering the good things that have been built into our lives by granddad hands.  He left a legacy.

The reality in this situation is that we all have an opportunity to leave a legacy. Whether we like it or not, unless we move to the desert by ourselves, we’re going to leave some kind of imprint, good or bad, on those around us.  The question is what kind of legacy will we leave.  (more…)