Faithlife Sermons

Robert Blaine Wofford, "Cowboy" August 17, 1953 - January 6, 2023

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Welcome & Gathering
Jesus said, I am the resurrection and I am life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, yet shall they live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.
Friends, we have gathered here to praise God and to witness to our faith as we celebrate the life of Robert Blaine Wofford. We come together in grief, acknowledging our human loss. May God grant us grace, that in pain we may find comfort, in sorrow….hope, in death….resurrection.
Pray (Ruth Ann gets in place)

Special Music - Ruth Ann

Hymn of Promise

Old Testament Scripture

Isaiah 40:1–8 NIV
1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 6 A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. 7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
Isaiah 40:28–31 NIV
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Pastoral Prayer

O God, who gave us birth, you are ever more ready to hear than we are to pray. You know our needs before we ask, and our ignorance in asking. Give to us now your grace, that as we shrink before the mystery of death, we may see the light of eternity. Speak to us once more your solemn message of life and of death. Help us to live as those who are prepared to die. And when our days here are accomplished, enable us to die as those who go forth to live, so that living or dying, our life may be in you, and that nothing in life or in death will be able to separate us from your great love in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Add prayer for family:
Sharon (wife)
Shannon and Ian
Shawn and Jocelyn
Dixie (mom)
David and Rebekah (siblings)
Kiera and Mia (granddaughters)
Amen.

Celebration of Life

Robert Blaine Wofford, “Cowboy”, passed away on January 6, 2023 in Conroe, Texas. He was born on August 17, 1953 in Woodward, Oklahoma.
He attended Southwestern State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma and Amberton University in Garland, Texas.
He started his 42-year career in the Oil and Gas industry with Sun Oil Co in Laverne, Oklahoma as a roustabout in 1974. He successfully pursued many opportunities learning the business rom field work to plant operations and eventually working in marketing. During his marketing career he worked for Sun/Oryx in Dallas, Texas, ProEnergy in The Woodlands, Texas, Devon Energy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Forest Oil in Denver, Colorado. Due to his long career, he became an inspiration and mentor to many. He was always willing to help others succeed and in doing so formed many cherished friendships. After his first retirement from the corporate world, her moved to Conroe and worked at Red River Midstream in partnership with Cheniere Energy until he retired.
After his retirement, he enjoyed spending time with family, playing golf, and boating on Lake Conroe. He also wanted to help people in the community through volunteer work. He became a Stephen Minister in 2017 and also volunteered with Keep Us Fed Montgomery Co.
He is survived by his wife Sharon Wofford, daughter Shannon Rosenfeld and her husband Ian, son Shawn Wofford and his wife Jocelyn, mother Dixie Wofford, brother David Wofford and his wife Pamela, sister Rebekah Hasty and her husband Jason, granddaughters Kiera Rosenfeld and Mia Rosenfeld.

Shannon Rosenfeld

Shawn Wofford

New Testament Scripture

2 Corinthians 4:16–5:1 NIV
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
1 John 3:1–3 NIV
1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Pray.

Message of Hope

It has been an honor to get to know Blaine more speaking with the family in the last several days. Reading online the comments written about him from former coworkers or stories shared from Sharon.
Much has already been testified to about the life of Blaine from these witnesses. I am grateful for them.
Blaine was a family man. He was committed to his family. Sharon learned that from day 1, even as his kids joined then on their first dates. Blaine learned how to be a good parent from his parents, mom Dixie is probably watching right now. He was so proud of his kids and loved being your dad.
Blaine had a long successful career, even though he struggled to retire, haha, and made an impact on so many that he worked with.
In retirement years he loved to travel; taking ski trips, cruises and spending time with his wife Sharon of 27 years.
More than that Blaine loved well. He was very active here at FMC in the Tuesday morning men’s group, he became a Stephen Minister, and loved serving in the ministry called “Keep us fed.”
Blaine just could not “see someone that did not have enough and not do something about it.”
University of Tennessee Chancellor, Donde Plowman, defines leadership as “the willingness to act in order to make something better.”
That was Blaine. He loved “Keep us fed” because it wasnt just making some sack lunches for people but it was going out and getting to know the people that you were serving.
This love comes from knowing you are a child of God as the apostle John wrote and we read earlier. John writes about love 46 times in the short letter of 1 John. To know you are a child of God, to know you have been loved gives you the ability to love.
Love embraced is love extended.
Cherished friend, mentor, dad, husband, son.
That is what makes this day difficult. As a matter of fact that is what has made the last few years difficult with his journey. We know in our bones that illness, death, is not how it should be.
The apostle Paul taps into this emotion:
“Our momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
Two things can be true today: we can mourn, and we can rejoice.
I love the Isaiah passage chosen today because he tells of a hope we must all hold onto on days like this.
In this passage the people of Israel are facing exile, loss, desperation. The first 39 chapters of the book speak of the downfall of Israel. And in the midst of complete loss, a word of Hope comes to the people of God.
Isaiah 40:1–4 NIV
1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
Here we find:
Comfort
Forgiveness
Promise
Future
Comfort, comfort my people:
The very first word in the midst tragedy and loss is comfort. God says to the people of Israel, I see you. The Hebrew word for comfort is encourage or strengthen, to stiffen. This is the message in the midst of your plight.... Hold on, I see you.
Forgiveness:
When we face hardship, in so many ways our faith is revealed to be very small. God is not surprised by that, instead God understands.
Blaine wasnt perfect and neither are any of us here. God promises forgiveness.
Promise:
In the midst of the wilderness of exile, God proclaims....I am coming.
Calling my dad when I was in trouble one day.
I am coming.
Future: Finally a promise not just of comfort, presence, but also of restoration....
Isaiah 40:4 NIV
4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
We can rejoice today because we believe in Blaine’s full healing. Blaine is now in a place where there is no more pain, suffering but joyful unending presence with the one who lavished love upon all along.
And for those of us that mourn today, this is our hope. The story of Israel and the story of God’s people in Jesus is that God has and continued to reinsert Himself into our story. That is Christian hope.
Thanks be to God.
Let us pray.

Congregational Hymn

Stand and sing, On Eagles Wings

Benediction

The peace of God He which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
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