Mr. Ron’s Message, Easter Saturday 2012-04-07

We are here this afternoon to celebrate and remember Ron Vernon. He’s been a friend for many years, family in the best sense of the word. We share grief in his passing even as we share in the joy of having him in our lives together.

In John 11:
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” (John 11:25-26 NLT)

It’s no coincidence that this is also Easter weekend. It’s the Saturday between Friday’s death on the cross and Sunday’s triumphant resurrection. Where most gatherings like this would focus on the cycle of life to death, would bring focus to the examples of our own mortality – today we have the unique perspective of seeing death head towards life. The cycle is turned on its head. Jesus lived life here with His disciples, here with us. And in dying and then overcoming death and all its power, He lives with us still. He offers life abundant here and to come.

The reality of our memories and the warmth of Ron’s life with us brings hope in the midst of broken hearts, brings comfort to our hurt. Today, we smile through tears and heavy hearts. We remember Ron, and we feel the life well-lived and well-shared all over again.

Father, Lord God – we thank you today for Ron and for his life shared here with us. We thank you for giving life to all of us, for enhancing that life by giving us time together. Even now, we thank you for Jesus, lovingly giving Himself that we may share in life fully and beautifully with each other. Forgive us where we’ve chosen less that that shared fullness of life. Embrace us as we move forward together from here with memories of our wonderful friend. Heal the broken places and fill the voids as You have shown you can. Comfort and encourage us on toward adventure and our own life lived together. And thank you for Ron Vernon – may we continue to live out the joy and friendship that’s been shared with us. In Jesus’ name – Amen.


Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21 NLT)


Music Fans and Grief

A friend of mine passed away a few years ago. I never met RN in real life, but the interaction through years of email and the beginnings of Facebook were pretty solid. Twitter wasn’t necessarily his favorite. Not sure, but I think once he could’ve warmed up to Google+ he might have enjoyed that. Anyway, he was older than me, pastoring churches in TX over the time we knew each other, playing guitar in services and in jam bands. He was instrumental in helping me to dig through “my faith”, to read some instrumental and controversial books, and to figure out things for myself, still providing a foundation for me to stand on confidently today.

One Thursday, I sent him an invite to a new book-reading/sharing site online. He joined that night, added a couple of books. On Friday, he died. Just like that. Too young, not done, unfinished – but after making a deep impact on my life and, I’m sure, the lives of many others.

One of the things that comes back from time to time is his appreciation for the band O.A.R. I had never heard of them, had completely off my radar. But that Friday, based on some Facebook interaction we’d had shortly before, I bought my first O.A.R. album on iTunes. I liked it. And I’ve been at least a distant fan since.

Their new album, KING (deluxe, only way to go – not an affiliate link), is the best of theirs that I’ve yet discovered, and it floods me with “wow, this is really really good” and “wonder what R would’ve thought about this” – and that mix of emotion and musical growth has me reminiscing and sentimentalizing this morning…

Thanks for that, R. Hope you’re able to find the chord charts.