Author: Greg Dutcher

When A Pastor Loses His Pastor Pt. 2

The weeks after Roscoe died were a blur. When I started to find something resembling normalcy the summer was upon us. Lisa and I have a tradition with our oldest two kids- to watch a classic movie series from our own childhood together. Having knocked out The Karate Kid and Star Wars we took on the Rocky franchise this time around (not Rocky V of course, since even Stallone has pretended it never happened).  I did not expect to find myself forcefully brought face to face with my grief in a movie starring “Mr. T.” Funny how providence works… Mickey was more than Rocky’s trainer. He was a friend, partner and father-figure. Rocky just came from the worst beating of his career. Knocked out in the second round. Certainly he would have wanted Mickey’s wisdom and counsel (maybe something deeper than “you’re going to eat lightning and crap thunder”), but he simply expected to walk into that locker room and start brainstorming for the next battle. I think the most moving line in this little clip is Rocky’s tearfully choked, “We got more to do. We got more to do.” That’s exactly how I felt in the days after Roscoe died. God simply could NOT have taken him because we had so much more to do. And I think that was the first time it dawned on me with mid-day clarity: I am now a pastor...

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When A Pastor Loses His Pastor Pt. 1

April 22, 2012 has now become one of the most important dates of my life. My mentor, pastor and spiritual father, Roscoe Adams, went home suddenly to be with the Lord. How a black man who grew up in the segregated Deep South (old enough to be my father) would be come the most significant spiritual influence in my life is something only the gospel could bring about. Ironically, the day he died was a Sunday. I saw him that morning in church just before the service started. As was his custom, he gently laid his hand on my shoulder and said, “How you doing this morning?”  With Roscoe there was never a cliché tone to that question. He genuinely meant it and genuinely wanted to know the answer. That service was providential for at least two reasons: 1) Our mutual friend, Dave Shive, preached a fine sermon (Roscoe always loved Dave’s teaching) and 2) The last song we sang (and more importantly, the last song Roscoe ever sang) was “Give Me Jesus.”  As I look back on that service, now more than ever I see the sweetness of God’s providence. Roscoe got to hear his dear friend preach, and the last line he ever got to sing was “And when I come to die, just give me Jesus.” Just a few hours later, he laid down for a short nap...

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Being Honest With Our Kids About Death

I wanted to wait at least a week to write about my own response to last week’s tragic shooting in Aurora. Partly because I can’t even begin to imagine the horror, shock and (just now, I’m sure) onsetting grief of the families who lost loved ones. Like many of you, I have spent the last week tearfully watching the accounts of horror and heroism that have emerged from that Colorado movie theater. But there is another reason I have waited. Almost two thousands miles away, my 13-year-old daughter and I were at the midnight premier of the Batman movie. I needed some time to process that too. It was a wonderful evening. Samantha and I met my brother and sister-in-law at the theater at 11:15- it was already packed. We purchased absurd amounts of popcorn and treats and spent 45 minutes in the crowded theater analyzing the previous two installments of the film franchise. Could Bane come anywhere close to rivaling Ledger’s performance as the Joker? Would Batman die at the end of this one? Is Christopher Nolan REALLY done with the series? It was trivial, random and completely fun! We thought the movie was terrific, and Samantha and I drove home at 3:30 wondering if we were going to be able to settle into some semblance of sleep. Needless to say seeing the reports of carnage and chaos the next...

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