What Would Roy Say Now?

Roy is gone.  I miss him already. There have been many others who have gone from us after a lifetime of service in the Kingdom… but Roy was special.  I’ve known many elders in my life, but none who treated me like a son as Roy did.  Being treated like a son isn’t always fun, of course.  But Roy never let a negative situation linger.  He was always aware of people’s need for kindness and attention and he gave it freely to all. 

As I prepared for his memorial service, a question popped into my head. “What would Roy say now?” He said a lot of things while on this earth, some good and some less-than-good, but it’s worth considering if his thought process might have changed when he entered into the eternal state. There is a story in Luke 9 that might shed some light on this question.

 About eight days later, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.) While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 

What would Roy say now?  LISTEN TO JESUS!!  Stop letting the world have such a great influence on us.  Turn off the TV, the smart phone, the game board, the 24-hour news cycle, and any other thing that is sucking up our time and dragging our attention away from the Kingdom.  Read the word, especially the gospels.  LISTEN TO JESUS!!  Gather your family, and friends too, around a table.  While sharing the bounty of God’s goodness, talk about what you’re learning in your bible study time.  Pray together like never before.  And LISTEN TO JESUS as He speaks to you through His Spirit.  Treat every moment of every day as a gift from God.  But not as a gift for your own personal pleasure… rather, as a gift from the One who is making all things new through     Jesus Christ.  LISTEN TO HIM!!  He’s calling us into that world redeeming work!  If we listen, we may hear our own calling.  And that calling may well enable us to do what the world says can’t be done.  

Yes… Listen to Jesus.  That’s what Roy would say to us today.  Thank God for our time with Roy.  And thank God for our future together when Jesus calls us home as well.  

A Special Tribute

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Last week Northside celebrated its 40th anniversary. It was a great day of celebration and reminiscing. I’ve only been around for 13 years of its history and have been eternally blessed in that time. Many of you have been a part of Northside for much longer, and some of you have been at Northside since the very beginning. We all sand on the shoulders of you two have been around longer than us working as faithful servants of the Kingdom. Thank You.

When I was hired at Northside 13 years ago, Roy Hooper was one of the elders who hired me. Roy was always a constant encourager and supporter of me and has been in my corner every day since those men hired me. When our boys were sick and in the hospital for months I went to the Elders concerned about how much work I had been missing. As I began to plead my case for why I hadn’t been doing the job I felt I should be, Roy spoke up and before I could even finish said, “You take care of your family, your wife and boys are your number one priority, that’s the most important thing to us right now.” If you knew Roy, these words don’t surprise you in the least. I didn’t know these men well enough initially to know if they really meant what they said, or if they just knew it was the right thing to say.

The Elders never once questioned my work during this time. They just asked about how Bekah and the boys were doing. I can’t express the weight those words took off my shoulders. There were many other times in our relationship that Roy offered great wisdom and understanding that I desperately needed as a young minister. This one probably stands out the most because it was Roy and those other men whose words kept me from making a big mistake that far too many men make. His words and actions spoke to show me, a young man with a new family, what was most important in life.

Thank God for Roy and people like Roy who have meant so much to so many. If you knew Roy, you were blessed. We love you Hoopers and we will certainly miss Roy, but we are confident of the glory he is now experiencing with Jesus.