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)


Care Package FROM the Front

I received a package from my buddy Chris, stationed in Afghanistan – surprise surprise, a tshirt and ballcap. Love it. Thanks, Chris – for the gifts second, for you loyalty and devotion to Family, Friends and Country first. Godspeed, my friend.

McChrystal Out. Patraeus In. So Goes the War in AFG… (via In the World–Not of It!)

On the ground in AFG, our friend gives a level view of what’s going on overseas. This is a quality even-handed take on recent developments in the War in Afghanistan. Godspeed home, Chris.

I’m sure you’ve heard the news about President Obama relieving U.S. Forces Afghanistan Commander Stanley McChrystal of his duties yesterday.  I believe the President did the right thing.  But the whole affair is so unfortunate.  How could such an intelligent Commander allow he and his staff to get so “loose” with a reporter — a reporter with Rolling Stone?  Rule number one in public affairs is everything is “on the record.”  There is no such thi … Read More

via In the World–Not of It!

That’s a picture of a Mini Cooper behind my Mini Cooper on I-20 one morning. Raised the question for me to ponder: when going down the road, do I see myself moving ahead of enemies & competitors? Or do I see friends on the road together? Which one, for me, best defines “success”?

[either way, notice I was still in front, right?]


I saw this in my Twitter stream this afternoon:

I love introducing good people to other good people.
Tue May 11 3:05pm via web

I couldn’t say it better myself, so I wanted to post and give credit for its simplicity and meaningfulness. One of the things I appreciate about people like Sarah, and something I want to cultivate more in myself, is the desire to connect the right people to the right people to get the right things done, to get the right questions asked, to get the right solutions working the right way.

Are you a connector? Someone who likes to introduce good people to other good people? Or better maybe, do people come to you expecting you to know to whom they can connect to meet a need, to help a cause, to scratch an itch?

[ht: other “connectors” connected through this connection – @RadioAlexander, @LindsayAnvik, @calliemiller, @LisaJohnson]

the year past

“In 2009, I’m going to stop trying to earn points with God, who’s not really even keeping score. And I’ll stop keeping score, so you’re off the hook, too.”

That’s what I put on my facebook profile at the beginning of the year, and of course blogged on it as well (forgive the broken photo link – there have been changes around here since then). Hindsight being what it is, I understood for the beginning of the year what such a mantra would mean. But as it’s played out over the course of twelve months, maybe it has a different feel, a different meaning now.

I can honestly say the biggest lifechange for us in quite a few years happened in 2009. After nineteen-plus years, I started my second real big kid job. A career move is one of the biggest stressors in life, right up there with marriage and having kids and getting a job in the first place. But making a move from one great place to work to another new I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-but-let’s-do-this-anyway job is probably nuts. We did that in August, and it’s been good. The backstory is that I had been wanting to make a change, that I had looked at the twentieth anniversary through the eyes of my midlife crisis, and that through it all I had settled mentally on staying with it. I couldn’t complain with today’s economy and so many without employment, and I couldn’t find a way to do what I would have wanted in the writing arena, the social media arena, maybe consulting on whatever I might find.

Enter a career opportunity to work with social media, to write and be creative in using these tools in a corporate setting. Enter a huge decision for me and my family to move from what’s been fairly comfortable in the long-run into a field that’s nowhere near defined. Enter a plan that takes me from where I’d been feeling overstressed with the same-old-same-old to a new place where stress is still stress but it’s a new evolving thing.

So there’s that, and that was huge.

Back to the quote, back to the thought of “keeping score”. I don’t think I’m one who keeps score, but making the comparison to “others” might mean I’m wrong in my bias. Other friends have gone through changes, too.  James is back in the Midlands from Seattle to make a go of it in the local economy. Alan and Chris are both back home, too – their own career changes in hand and Chris’ upcoming deployment still to come. George has moved his family, getting ready for a new adventure geographically (and is wrapped up in my own story above). And Todd and Steve have had their own ginormous opportunities and challenges along the way in 2009.

We’re adults. We’ve grown up, or at least are in the process. And mostly, we’re doing it without a net, without the printed English/Spanish/Japanese directions. And we’re coming along okay.

So here’s an early-ish goodbye to 2009 – it’s been a good year, it’s been a strange year, and it’s been a year to scare the bejeebers out of us in more ways than one. And here’s an early hello to 2010 – which I will be calling Twenty-Ten, thankyouverymuch – and to the opportunities and challenges just around the bend.