A Tribute


Over the past few years, I have lost several friends who have, in some way or another, been an influence in my life. Each one touched a part of my life that made me a better person or at least had me thinking about things more deeply. My mind will play the reruns of our lives together whenever their name is mentioned or comes to my mind. Men with whom I served as elders taught me lessons on compassion and love for one another. The lives of women who taught me how to relate to young children and how to be a selfless servant reveal themselves as vividly as if it were yesterday. There’s the picture of a coach who taught me to give all I could to help the team. If you are like me, almost everyone you cherish as a friend will somehow be a part of who you become.

Recently I lost a dear friend. We had seen each other only sparingly over the past years but shared so much in the past. For years we would meet at Camp Red Oak Springs with groups of kids for a week of Bible study and fun. We worked briefly together when I was in college, spent time on VBS trips, and even played a little golf. Fifteen years my elder, he positively influenced how I approached church work and people through the years of my ministry. His name was Bill Luttrell. As I went through my Bible illustrations, I came across something he wrote years ago. 

I Had

I had a dog once. I often sat down beside my dog and petted it, trained it to chase a stick, and even took it with me hunting and fishing. I loved that old dog.

I had a car once. It was a good old car. I took care of it, always making sure it had the proper fuel, oil, and other necessities. It took me a lot of places. I Ioved that old car.

I had a set of golf clubs once. We spent many happy hours together. I always took care of them, cleaning and scrubbing them after every round. I loved those old clubs.

I had a child once. Very seldom did I sit down t talk and play with the child. I didn’t take him fishing or hunting with me. I was too busy. I didn’t see that he was fed the correct spiritual food either. After his daily rounds, I seldom asked him how his day went, as I was too busy griping about my day. Did I love my child???

My dog died! My care wore out! My golf clubs broke! These did not bother me, for they were replaceable. But my child, I LOST HIM TOO!! This is something that can never be replaced by anything. Parents, our children are children but once, be sure they go the right way!

Bill Luttrell

Bill has gone home and follows many that I loved and have always meant so much to me. However, they are only gone in the physical appearance that walked this earth, leaving a legacy in different ways. Their lives have influenced so many people and will continue as long as we let their stories live in how we live.

What will you leave behind for others when your life on this planet ends? I’m not talking of worldly possessions, but these things you cannot see. Will you leave stories of love, compassion, and caring or hate and discontentment? Will the words you leave behind build up or tear down?

Bill left behind a story of the importance of family. He was a great example of what it means to be a good father and grandfather. What he leaves behind in the story is a lesson that will live on even though he has gone to be with the Lord.

I’m thankful Bill was my friend and for the reruns of our times together, which I hold dearly. I only hope and pray that what I leave behind will be reruns worth watching. 

Danny Minton is a former Elder and minister at Southern Hills Church of Christ

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