Last week we shared the news that Bob Buford had died and now is safe in the arms of Jesus. That content and the accompanying blog article were written by Dr. Warren Bird, our highly competent research director.
In case you missed it, or haven’t seen some of the updates, please see the post on our blog here:
Allow me to share my own heart on Bob and his impact:
Bob believed in investing in Leaders.
Bob was a believer in Jesus, trusting him as a child, without hesitation for salvation. But Bob’s heart was a big belief in the power of leaders to activate others. His heart for leaders included his investment in pastors, business leaders in the Halftime transition, and other social sector leaders. He just felt leaders matter. They help shape culture, organizations and RESULTS that come from the work of their hands and mind. As such Bob invested himself, his time, his energy and his financial resources into gathering and helping leaders.
I think his favorite saying was: “My fruit grows on other people’s trees.”
Bob was proud of your work.
Bob enjoyed great satisfaction in past years in going to experiences we hosted with pastors and churches. He loved to hear their stories and what was going on back “on the ground” in communities. When we shifted our model in the early part of the century, Bob made it a point to get out of the office and go see what was happening in our programs and on the ground in churches. When I could not go with him, he would call and give me a report on what he saw in the churches that was working.
In his later years, when he refrained from traveling too much, he would come to those experiences held near our offices. He wanted to hear the report times when churches were reporting on their work. Many times, he would pull up a chair and patiently listen to each report.
Often our director or facilitator would ask him: “Bob is there anything you want to say?”
Bob’s universal answer would be short: “Yay God!”
Walking out the door he would say to me: “Isn’t it great what those folks are doing?”
It sure was. It still is.
Bob was proud of the work God is doing through you.
The Book of Days.
Psalm 90:12 says “Teach us to number our days so we may get a heart to wisdom.”
Bob kept a series of notebooks he called his “Book of Days.” He was a lifelong learner and spent much time writing down things he was learning.
When he got a meaningful note, letter or even email from a participant in one of our programs, in a Halftime program, or some other involvement, he would have it cut, sized and placed into those books.
In recent days, even as letters kept coming to him, he would still peruse those books to stay encouraged.
Based on my email since the announcement, many readers sent me their own stories of Bob’s impact in their life.
If you have a story of that impact, would you do me the great favor of sending a copy to:
Book of Days
c/o Leadership Network
12700 Park Central Dr, STE 500
Dallas, TX 75251
We will share all these with Linda Buford, his wife and partner in this work for so long.
Last week, B.J. Engle, Bob’s assistant, sent me this:
Bob Buford’s Six Priorities
In 1978, at age 34, Bob wrote these words to Linda and Ross. All these years it has stayed unopened in a file labeled “What If.” This week, Linda opened the files, and this is part of what she read:
“In overall life satisfaction, I consider myself in the very upper tier. I am ready to go on living and looking forward to many exciting things, but I also feel that I have had a more than adequate life if it were to end today. Remember that I have just gone on to the next phase–like graduating from college. It has been fun, but what is ahead will be even better.
“If I die, my wish for you is to mourn, grieve, experience the loss fully—not repressing it—so you can be done with it. Recall the absolute confidence I have that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And think how happy I will be, face to face with Christ, and to know everything not through glasses darkly.
“Remember that I have succeeded in my six life goals:
- My relationship with God
- My relationship with you, Linda
- My role as a father with you, Ross—as a son and as a fine person
- My role as president of a company, its success and the money
- The things I have done, which have given me much more actualization, achievement and pleasure
- My cultural and intellectual progress.”
Bob finished his race. May we all press on in ours.
Bob Buford was buried in a graveside service in Tyler, Texas. A public service will be held June 13 at 2 pm Central at Northwest Bible Church, 8505 Douglas Avenue, Dallas, TX 75225.
If you plan to be present with us on that day, please do us the kindness of letting us know by completing the RSVP form to help us with planning.