Tuesday, September 25, 2012

When A Pastor Loses His Pastor Pt. 3

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged in general and returned to my little series on “When A Pastor Loses His Pastor.” I hope to do both today. The passing of Roscoe Adams may end up being one of the most shaping influences of my life. Five months after he went to be with the Lord, I still am not sure if I have “landed” yet, but I think it’s time to start thinking about how I’m going to live in light of this man’s exceptional life. I can think of at least three things that I will take with me until the day I cross the river and join my friend and spiritual father in glory.

A Soft Spot for the Dallas Cowboys

Roscoe was an avid Cowboys fan. As a dyed in the wool (yes- those dyes are deep purple and jet black) Ravens fan, I’ll never jump ship, but I’ll keep the Cowboys as a close second. Yes- this is kind of a fluffy point, but not entirely.  I remember asking Roscoe one time why he had such a love of “America’s team.” He unhesitatingly said, “Tom Landry.”  I remember watching him as a kid but knew little about him. Landry was the famous coach of Dallas’ powerhouse Cowboys. Roscoe was taken by Landry’s quiet manner but passionate love of Jesus. Here’s a cool quote from Landry.

"This is really the most important factor in my life, my faith in Jesus Christ. When you accept Christ, He becomes first in your life. It's this priority that gives me peace." 

Here’s a cool 1972 article from the Sports Illustrated Vault for more information. Leave to Roscoe to make me think of Jesus when I think about the Cowboys!

A Life Characterized By Prayer

For Roscoe, prayer was never a duty or a chore- it was a delight. He prayed more than any man I’ve ever known- literally hours per day (although he would never EVER come even close to bragging about this). I can’t even count the times he would say, “Greg, when I’m alone, I often just lay on my floor and talk to my father.”

“My Father…” Roscoe loved this phrase, and I think I’ve started every prayer I’ve prayed in the last five months with this address. When he was only four-years-old, Roscoe lost his father in an accident. I can’t say for certain that this is why Roscoe was so taken by the simple but profound truth that God was his father, but I’m sure it factored in some how. Check out this video where Roscoe talks openly about his prayer life. “A day without prayer is a wasted day.” If God gives me 40 more days or 40 more years, I want to pray like he prayed. Coming to “my Father” each and every day to pour out my heart to him.

An Exceptional Family Man

I do not know of a man who exemplified what it means to love his family first and foremost. I said this to Queenie at the memorial service, “No man loved his wife like Roscoe loved you.” And I will say this to her still. It was not empty sentiment or  rhetorical embellishment. He was an exceptional family man. When we prayed together he would ask me to pray that God would empower him to ALWAYS put Queenie’s needs over his own. And he would always pray for his children and grandchildren. I will never forget Roscoe’s oldest son’s Glen’s words at the memorial service. He testified to how his father had instilled in him and his brother, Michael, ALWAYS TAKE CARE OF YOUR FAMILY. Glen then looked to the sky and said, “Pop- we got this!”  When a grown man can say this about his departed father…few things in life are more precious.
Roscoe would often tell me, “Greg- don’t worry about x y and z…just take care of Lisa and the kids.” By the grace of God- I will. I’ve certainly had quite a model to emulate.


Teresa Benedetta said...

Beautiful words, Greg. What a meaningful tribute to a man whose life reflects the "joy of treasuring Christ" above all. Inspiration to live life in such a way. I was glad to know him, and glad to know him better through this blog.

Joel Nunley said...

great post. I just finished reading ,'killing Calvinism', and I loved it! the reason so is because this book was written for me, it was actually something that I wanted to write but you did it beautifully. I learned a lot from it as well. I am a calvinist but living in a very arminian community but have seen some very cold, heartless, Calvinists at times do great harm to the Gospel and the doctrines of grace, and testimony to the world by their behaviour. I am a pastor of church plant (just launched 5 months ago) City on a Hill church in Scottsburg, IN. Am applying to ACTS 29 network (but may not be 'cool' enough for Driscoll, I'm just another sinful bozo who Jesus reached down and graciously saved who loves Jesus and the teachings of the Bible). I would love to ask you about your first few years with your church, what worked and what didn't. I love my new church and want to shepherd them faithfully and lead them to the truth, gently and in love. Thanks again for your work, it greatly benefits the church at large, as I have never seen a book like it before and is valuable to the church.
Joel Nunley
Pastor-City on a Hill church
Scottsburg, IN 47170