Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bob

"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' "

--Matthew 25:19-21


Dedicated. Bob was a dedicated man. He didn’t do anything in half measures. When he restored a car, it was done, it was restored. Pristine. It purred. He raised (with Jenny of course) his children, making it clear that they were the most important task he would do in his life. As a husband he made certain that when he was with her, he was with her. When they were standing side by side it wasn’t Bob and Jenny. It was BobandJenny. And when he talked about the christian life it was based on solid scripture, not vague references, but exact passages.

His work was all about the Lord. He traveled all over the nation, all over our world, and I believe every task he put his hand to was about how it may glorify God.

One lenten season he got us together to walk the surrounding neighborhoods of our church just to leave a little gift and tell folks they were loved.

Another time he stepped before our congregation and told us we needed to show the people of our community love; that the first step in that direction was to make sure no one
in our town is hungry. So we started a food pantry in our church. And though the fire shut it down for several months, it recently started up again. That ministry did not fall away. In a way, every sack of groceries carried out to a car from our church is an echo of those challenging words from Bob.

He taught classes, he spoke with neighbors, and friends, and strangers about the Lord constantly. I was at his house once, shortly after he began his first round of chemo (he looked so different without hair!); he was out in his garage working on a car. There was a rather tall, rather rough looking fellow helping Bob with something. After a while the guy left and Bob told me about this man. This
embittered widower told Bob he had learned new things about christianity, just by working on cars. Bob had shown him love and companionship. Bob lived the christian life.

Bob was dedicated.

Bob knew the Bible. I’m a rather strange sort of guy. My ideas don’t always fall within the box. (A friend once introduced me as a guy who has trouble finding the box.) So it is no surprise that a few times Bob told me he thought I had gotten off track scripturally. I never felt attacked. I felt that he had good reasons to talk to me, and almost every time I changed my point of view because he was so grounded in the Word.

Once he invited me onto his radio talk show. We did a show on the intersection of faith and science (I am a real science buff). I felt like an honored guest. And during that chat I was impressed at how quickly he saw the implications of things I said. He had a sharp mind.

During that show he told the listeners he had a sore throat and that is why his voice was a little raspy. He'd had the sore throat for over a week and maybe he would go to the doctor in the next day or so and get it checked. That was the first indication of the cancer.

Bob’s cancer did not deter him from doing everything he could in working for our Lord. He kept up all of his projects. My favorite "Bob project" was the Classic Car Show at our annual General Canby Days. He and his wife opened their craftsman style house to the public and the street in front (and around each corner) was filled with the coolest cars. BobandJenny showed the love of Christ by being good neighbors. One year he even let me take his '55 Chevy pick up out of the line up so I could use it in the parade.

On “Fat Tuesday” 2003, as New Orleans was hitting its frenzied peak of Mardi Gras, Bob and his family were a few seats away from me while we watched The Passion of the Christ. I remember their reactions clearly. There wasn’t any conversation in the theater afterwards, but I think we all walked out into the cool Portland evening with the sense that we had shared a significant experience.

Those are just a few of the things that come to mind when I think about Bob. I wish I could tell you everything about him. About his dogs (bassetts and later a daschund) and the cat he befriended despite his allergies and his love of God-centered worship and the church camping trips and his love of John Wayne movies and his Bible classes and his sermons...

I prayed a lot that last week of Bob’s life. And to be honest I felt frustration when he died. Didn’t my prayers count? I know, I know, that isn’t how it works. God is not at my beck and call. But it seems that if I pray earnestly, if I am living as a Christ follower, then He should bend the rules now and then if I really, really, really ask. I know this reveals a little immaturity.

I’m reminded of Job 37 (Job is whining to God and then for the next four chapters the Lord sets him straight). I wanted Bob to be around for a while. I told my Lord (respectfully) that I thought that Bob could still do a lot of good if he were given a few more years. I was trying to make some sort of bargain with what I thought Bob could yet do for God.

Isn’t that like us? I don’t think God is offended by such requests. Probably more amused. When Abraham is pleading for the cities of Sodom and Gomorra in Genesis 18 there is a sense of playfulness in God’s replies. And that same amusement is echoed when the Lord tells Jonah to lighten up.

So perhaps I’m a little stubborn. But, in my defense, Bob was a powerful servant of our Lord. And I love his family. I taught his youngest for a year in my language arts class (she just graduated last year). I didn’t want them hurt.

Well, I'll be honest, I didn't want to hurt. I don’t want to put off any conversations with Bob until the afterlife.

Perhaps I’m just plain selfish. I loved listening to Bob teach. He had such a great voice, one of those “radio” voices. And he had a way of interacting with people that made them feel close to him.

The Lord gave him four people, his wife and three children. And he gave the Lord thousands. I know folks usually need many encounters before accepting the Lord, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bob helped place thousands of names into the Book of Life.

So, in terms of the parable of talents excerpted at the top of this post, Bob gave back far more than the four (his family) he was given.

I have no doubt that among the first words Bob heard when he opened his eyes to glory on Tuesday are “well done good and faithful servant.”




See you later, Bob.




42 comments:

pt said...

well written curious servant. you are one of thousands whose life was touched by bob in his 54 short years. thanks for your observant sensitivity.

Kitty Cheng said...

awwww CS, your post really touched me. It gave me goose bumps. Even though I never met Bob, I felt like I've known him for a while since I had prayed for him and read your description of him. You know what? Both YOU and BOB have blessed me, through reading your posts. Good on you, and thank you!

Seeker said...

A believer's homegoing is bittersweet. Thank you for sharing this eulogy, even as you grieve. Bob's dedication to his Lord has left deep marks on your heart, it's plain to see.
God is, and will always be, glorified.

Vicki said...

C.S., I'm so sorry to hear of Bob's going to be with the Lord. I came here, hoping, you know--that maybe there would be different news. And yet God has embraced him already. I will certainly continue to pray for his family and friends. Your tribute to Bob and his powerful ministry has endeared him to my heart, also, I look forward to rejoicing with him in heaven one day. Death is never easy for those of us left behind...we miss the ones so dear to our heart.

God bless you, my friend. {{{Hugs}}}}

Coco said...

I am truly sorry about Bob's passing... I was not blessed with actually meeting him and his family, but thanks to you I feel that I know him- and I too shall miss him.
Even during the most darkest times, God is always there with us.

Blessings,
Coco

BHGA said...

CS
Praise God for the loving and faithful life Bob spent here on earth serving the kingdom. As I read your tribute, tears began to flow as I saw the sheer beauty of
one's eyes opening to glory. Bless you, my dear friend.

MMM said...

Here in the Desert of the Real, I raise my eyes to Bob's new address, and I pray.

God, I don't need to name Your servant again. He is there, welcomed home by You, and I am grateful for Your welcome of him.

My prayers this day are for the watchman who had us all watch and pray for him before he came to You.

This watchman is polishing his trumpet before it goes back into its case, ready for the next alarm, and somehow he wonders if he did well, because the warning he gave did not save the life that is now hid with You.

Let him know that he served You as he should, and that those who care for him, and through him, for the one gone from us, are with him, guarding his broken heart until You heal him.

Look down into the Desert, God, and see MMMe praying before You.

How great You are, to listen to MMMe.

AMMMen.

Corry said...

From what you wrote I can only say Bob was a wonderful man. It is a comfort to know he is enjoying the treasures he laid up in Heaven. May God strengthen and comfort his family and friends. We will remember y'all in our prayers.

God's Grace.

Kc said...

Bob was very blessed to have such a wonderful friend. May God fill the void for you all and strengthen you all in the days to come. Many blessings CS.

Pia said...

i know that bob is with the Lord now, free from pain and is very happy. i will continue to pray for his family and everybody close to him.

see-through faith said...

Thank you CS for this

Yesterday when I wrote I could hear God saying Well done good and faithful servant - today you showed us why God could say that to Bob with no reservations at all

It's an example to us, and for that I'm truly grateful :)

He was a good man. He was faithful to God. He helped you along the way.

Yes you will miss him
Yes you wanted more conversations with him now
Yes he could have done more for the kingdom of God

and YES it's ok to tell God all theset things and more

You see the love He has for Bob, he has for you too. He sees you :) and smiles! As you say sometimes He laughs too - not AT you but WITH you and that's precious too.

be blessed and continue to love your family faithfully and with joy, even in the pain you must be feeling right now.

your friend in Christ, Lorna

eija said...

My local church lost one of these "great men of God" just a while ago - for cancer. He was God's hero only locally, but very important to our church. He also started the food ministry, which is now on hold without him.

He was prayed for - a lot - all around the world. For two or three years. So God did hear the prayers: He extended his days and also gave him a merciful end, without the horrible pains that kind of cancer usually brings with it.

But we still miss him. A lot. As well as his wife and two kids. But God used his illness and his death - even his funeral - to bring other people towards God. That seed needed to die to bring fruit, and God knew that.

He always knows better.

God bless you in your grief. God bless Bob's family in their grief. After all, this life is just a short while, and then you'll have the whole eternity to spend with Bob.

And yet, words just fail.

-e-

deni said...

That was a beautiful post, a beautiful tribute to one of God's faithful servants.

Others will carry Bob's work on, it seems as if you have started that process right here.

jollybeggar said...

i was at a randy stonehill (gospel musician from the 70's and beyond) concert just days after his best friend, mark heard, died of a heart attack at age 40. stonehill said something that i'll never forget...

'i know when i move on and look across that sea of faces, i will be scanning the crowd for mark, but right now there's that short in between time called "the rest of my life" and i'm having a tough time with that...'

blessings man- shalom.

PS: as we pay tribute to a man of God, we pay tribute to the God of the man... knowattamean?

bjk said...

Bob sounds ...well he sounds like someone I hope to meet in heaven someday.....not sure what that says about my theology but he sounds very meetable.....thanks for introducing us to him so lovingly.....

Paula said...

What an incredible tribute to Bob. I was moved to tears. Bob left behind an incredible legacy.

God bless you!

curious servant said...

P.S.

Upon further reflection I have some additional thoughts of Bob I am going to add here.

It seemed so right where Bob was headed. The doors for staying in Canby were closing.

They had loved our town greatly. And they loved that craftsman house. When it burned down (just after they moved out & before the buyers moved in) it seemed that it was a closing of a door.

The move to the pastoral job at the Arcade church in California seemed unusual for Bob as he was a man with ministries everywhere and that seemed so steady, so sedentary.

(Though I know almost nothing about that church, the little I have learned from their web site and emails that Jenny have shared, it seems a church that is extraordinary. I can see why Bob had loved them so quickly and so much.)

But it seems to me that he had gotten things going there. But because of his illness he had to stay up here in the Portland area. The new direction that he had created in that church down there had to be started by others, and now it seems clear that it is they who will have to do that work.

It is almost as if Bob's final tasks were about setting that church on a new path, but not actually going there with them. It isn't the first time that the Lorrd has had someone leqad His people sokmewhere but not actual enter himself.

Also, as hard as it is for his family, the youngest is now a young woman (though it seems strange to me as in a way I still see her much younger). But those children were raised. They had reached adulthood.

I don't know folks, I am just trying to make sense out of things without all of the data.

I just know this. I love Bob and his family. They love the Lord.

All that I know in addition to those simple facts tends to confuse me more than help me.

(Heavenly Father, bless Bob's family.Spirit to guide them in this difficult time. Please do the same for the Arcade Church. Thank you Lord for the blessing of knowing Bob, and for Your steadfast care. Amen.)

David said...

First you were indeed lucky to have known and worked with Bob. And I can understand your frustration with the answers to prayers not being the one you wanted. But you are one smart man and you know that God did what HE felt was right and that was calling him home.

We know that we are all appointed to die because of that first sin and our continual battle with sin. But we also know that GOD awaits us on that final day and we will see HIM in all his glory. Bob has experienced that now - be happy for him.

Bruce said...

CS. I can't add anything more to the comments that have already been made. Just: "Well said."

God be with you.

B~

Fred said...

Bob was an extraordinary man. Well done, indeed.

JeffGeorgia said...

CS, you have opened my eyes to a new way at looking at the book of Job. Thank you so much for your thoughts. Thank you for loving, supporting, and blessing us all with your daily thoughts.

Bethany said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I wish I could say something that would help, but just know I am praying for you. I know your friend Bob is doing well now. He's happy, he's healed...so now I lift you up in prayer.

BTW, do you live in New Orleans? That's fairly close to me.

4evergapeach said...

Beautifully written post. Bob sounds like he was in the truest sense - a faithful servant. May we all strive to serve others the way Christ taught us. Bob learned this lesson and seems to have been an inspiration for many. Even his story by you has touched me. Thank you. I will keep him and his family in my prayers.

music.angel said...

How awesome to hear of a man like Bob who lived with such passion and fire. I'm sure his heart for Christ will live ever on and continue to touch many, even as your words on him touched so many in this post. His life can continue to shine and bring people to Christ even after he has gone to be with his Maker. My prayers are with both of your families as you learn to accept God's will in taking Bob home.

A sister in the Lord said...

Bob was our pastor (I'm from Arcade Church), and I wish we could have gotten to know him as well as you did, but I know God's ways are perfect, and I'm so happy Bob is with the Savior he loved and served so faithfully...

By the way, to eliminate spam comments like the one above, go to your controls and check the "Word Verification" option. Each person who leaves a comment will have to type a sequence of letters shown on the screen first. That way "spam robots" can't leave their comments...

curious servant said...

I am so glad that he weas able to make that connection with your church. I know that he loved you very much.

Thank you for the kind words.

I know about the word verification. I avoid it because I think it is an obstacle for some people and I don't mind taking care of the spam messages.

I know sometimes I have to retype certain letters a few times to get it to work.

Maripat said...

I'm so sorry about your friend. It makes no sense as to why some of our friends and loved ones are called home and we are left behind.

May you find peace in your heart. I will think of you and his family.

Take care.

Judas Hate said...

My Friend,

I am sorry I have not visited you for a while.

I almost feel neglectful that I didn't know about Bob in time to offer my prayers.

On the other hand, after reading your words of him, I feel maybe he was called for the same reason many of my friends have been.

Simply for how wonderful he was.

Maybe he had done so much good while here on earth and shined so brightly that the Lord knew he could best serve now by his side.

I am deeply saddened for your loss, but warmed by the thought that your friend has been relieved from his pain and empowered to let his light shine down on all of us.

Be well.

Judas Hate said...

Thanks.

Judas Hate said...

I thought about what I said to you in my last comment.

Then I thought of one of my closest friends who has passed.

I feel I have spoken to you in a familiar way that I should not have.

In thinking of my most recent loss, I remember feeling numb when I heard the news. Then I remember the anger and wanting to scream.

Then I remember saying "fuck you" in my head to everyone who didn't know him who thought they had something to say.

For that I am sorry.

Fox's Mom said...

I've learned so much from your blog; reading your thoughts about this wonderful shepherd friend of yours has reinforced another lesson-we NEED fellowship. Episcopalians (I am one) call it 'corporate worship' and we encourage our children to partake of it daily. And so your friend leaves a legacy of peace and teaching through you.

An Anglican vicar once likened death to a water journey-we who are being left behind stand on the shore weeping to lose the companionship of such a good friend, an especially loved one, although we know our loved one will be welcomed on the other side. Our hearts are heavy because it will be so long until we meet again. But, wrote the vicar, our loved one turns his or her face toward the oncoming other shore, and sees faces alight with joy at the approach.

"We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when..."

Peace be with you.

curious servant said...

Thank you. all of you, for your thoughts and prayers.

It feels good to know that the internet can be used for lifting each other up, for spreading prayers, and comfort. What a sharp change from a few years ago!

Now it seems that the internet is more than a place to gather information, to do online bill-paying, and a source for porn. It is also a place where community can happen.

There are so many wondeful people out there. Many of them link to this page (and I help that community grow by reciprocating) and they all have the most interesting stories.

So while the schools and the malls and the courts and the city parks avoid the words CHRISTmas, and God, and LORD, here is a place where we can speak and share and pray and love.

Thank you, all of you, for your prayers this past week for Bob and his family. Thank you for being a part of the body of the church and tending to these friends of mine.

Blessings to all of you, happy HOLY DAYS, and merry CHRIST MASS!

--CS

Judas Hate said...

Thank you brother. The feelings are mutual.

You are a good man and it has been a pleasure conversing with you.

I like to think your perception of me is accurate.

I am rough around the edges, but try to be a good person, do what's right and help others when I can.

In the mean time, I continue to ask and strive for patience, wisdom and strength:-)

During this holy celebration, may you and yours be warmed with love!

see-through faith said...

How are YOU doing?

Anonymous said...

I will miss Bob Cryder. I also am remembering him via a record album I have by a group he participated with over 30 years ago called "Sonshine". He wrote a song base on Matthew chapter 6, verses 19-21, which says: " Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corupt (consume), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt (consume), and where thieves break through nor steal; For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

We will greatly miss you, Bob, but we know that you are with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, waiting for us to come home!

Sincerely, DJSK, Portland area, OR

FTS said...

The love and respect you felt for your friend is evident in this post. It's so hard for us a humans to understand why some must leave earlier than others, but know there is a plan. We just aren't privvy to it yet. ;)

Russ said...

I was in Bob and Jenny's high school youth group with both of them over 30 years ago in Yucaipa (long before they were even dating!). I could see God's hand on Bob even then as Bob would preach in small churches as an 18 year old on our high school choir tours. I lost touch with both of them after college, but was always blessed when hearing of Bob's ministry. I too, have a copy of a "Sonshine" album; mine is even signed by Bob. I will cherish it even more now knowing that this man, gifted in so many ways, with his voice to sing, preach, and play the guitar, is praising our

David said...

I check in every day waiting for another kick in the rear from you. Those are good for my soul.

Anonymous said...

I too knew Bob and Jenny over 30 years ago, before they were a couple. I had the privilege of playing guitar with Bob, and admiring his Martin, and Guild 12 string, which he so graciously let a few of us play. I have fond memories of driving up from Yucaipa to Santa Barbara with a few friends, to visit Bob when he was attending Westmont College. As life can often be, I moved around a lot and lost contact with all my old friends. It was only this last week that I learned of Bobs passing. I picked up my guitar and played a few songs from way back when, and remembered a time when we were all just kids in our teens and early twenties.

Tim

Mary, Bob's sister said...

It has been well over a year now since my brother left us and I know that he is with our Lord, but I still like to reread comments and memories of him. He was an awesome little brother and there is a big hole in my heart. I look forward to being rejoined with him in heaven! He and I were kept together as a 3 & 5 year old foster kids and Bob & I always thanked God for that. I thank God that he was given the gift of salvation, the gift of a family of his own and the gift of evangelism which he used to it's greatest extent to his ability. He was also given the gift of Arcade Church and I so enjoyed witnesing the love and honor that they showered on him as he was leaving this planet. If anyone has any personal pictures of my brother and would care to share them with me..I would be gratefull. I am adding to the picture album that I have started of him since the age of two. Thanks , Maty

Mary, Bob's sister said...

It has been well over a year now since my brother left us and I know that he is with our Lord, but I still like to reread comments and memories of him. He was an awesome little brother and there is a big hole in my heart. I look forward to being rejoined with him in heaven! He and I were kept together as a 3 & 5 year old foster kids and Bob & I always thanked God for that. I thank God that he was given the gift of salvation, the gift of a family of his own and the gift of evangelism which he used to it's greatest extent to his ability. He was also given the gift of Arcade Church and I so enjoyed witnesing the love and honor that they showered on him as he was leaving this planet. If anyone has any personal pictures of my brother and would care to share them with me..I would be gratefull. I am adding to the picture album that I have started of him since the age of two. Thanks , Mary

Mary, Bob's sister said...

It has been well over a year now since my brother left us and I know that he is with our Lord, but I still like to reread comments and memories of him. He was an awesome little brother and there is a big hole in my heart. I look forward to being rejoined with him in heaven! He and I were kept together as a 3 & 5 year old foster kids and Bob & I always thanked God for that. I thank God that he was given the gift of salvation, the gift of a family of his own and the gift of evangelism which he used to it's greatest extent to his ability. He was also given the gift of Arcade Church and I so enjoyed witnesing the love and honor that they showered on him as he was leaving this planet. If anyone has any personal pictures of my brother and would care to share them with me..I would be gratefull. I am adding to the picture album that I have started of him since the age of two. Thanks , Mary