Friday, March 20, 2009

A Winner

I just received news that my friend, mentor, brother in Christ, and much loved member of our church went to be with the Lord very early this morning. While the news didn't come as a shock because he was elderly with many physical problems, it was very sad for me to hear. I have known Bob O'Connor since I was just a young boy and he and his dear wife, Bea, were big in my life.

I spent time in their home while a teenager in the church, and have had a close relationship with them ever since. In many ways, there were like second parents to me. They were always an encouragement to me throughout my life and were some of my greatest supporters and prayer warriors when I became their pastor. They always let me know how proud they were of me. When it came to their "Jerry", they were incredibly unselfish and totally loving. As I was leaving the house this morning, I thought of an incident that has given me a title for Bob's funeral message.

Bob taught me how to play racquetball many years ago. He was an excellent player, one of the best in the area in his prime. He would spot me 18 points in a game to 21 and almost always beat me anyway. He was very competitive. After he beat me one game and I didn't seem too sad about it, he said to me, "Bruette, do you know what they call a good loser?" I said, "no, what?" He said, "A loser". He said that to get me mad and fired up to do my best and it worked.

Bob was a winner in every sense of the word. The Apostle Paul said in his letter to the Phillippians that everything the world had to offer he considered loss in order to "win" in his relationship with Jesus Christ. When Bob gave his life to the Lord, he became a winner. He was a winner in prayer. He was a winner in his devotion to the Word. He was a winner in giving. He was a winner in praise and worship. He loved to play his tambourine during our fast praise time at church. He was a winner in his witness for Christ. Like Paul, Bob fought a good fight; he finished the race; and he has won the prize of the crown of righteousness. Everything he lived his life for, he has now realized.

So, Up North Wisdom says, Are you ready to meet Jesus Christ? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? If not, give your life to Christ right now by asking Him to forgive your sins and to come into your heart. If you do, the Bible says you will receive the gift of eternal life. You will leave the best legacy possible when you leave the legacy of a life lived out for Jesus.

Bob left a great legacy to those who knew him. I will miss him greatly but we haven't lost him. No one is ever lost when you know where they are. And we certainly know where Bob is.

"Enjoy your reward, Bob. We'll see you soon!"


  1. Hey Pastor Jerry, This is a nice tribute to Bob. Blessings to you! Angela :)