Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

THE VALUE OF A LIFE

 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saintsPsalm 116:15

When I moved my family from the only home and roots they had ever known to Florida it was difficult transition. We didn’t know anyone except the Pastor of the church. He introduced me to a man named Ron Lakin. Ron was the grandson of the late Dr. B.R. Lakin, one time pastor of the Caddle Tabernacle in Indianapolis and reknown evangelist  and nationally syndicated radio evangelist on the Voice of the Appalachian.

Ron’s father had died while he was still very young so BR became more than a grandpa … he was a second father. His grandmother, known effectionately as Mommie Bob, was a stablizing figure in Ron’s life and taught him the principle of balance. Sitting in a diner one afternoon, one of Ron’s favorite activities, he told me how as a boy his grandparents would drive him to Orlando. While his grandfather got a haircut, his grandmother would take him to see a movie. This was a BIG deal back in the day. Baptists -especially conservative fundamental Baptist preachers- didn’t darken the doorstep of a “movie house.” But Mommie Bob would take him. Ron got his love for the Lord and His Word from his grandfather. He got his love for life and having fun and making those around him always feel comfortable from his Mommie Bob.

Ron had a unique blend of country wisdom and a quit whit. If Ron liked you … he nicknamed you. If Ron didn’t like you … he really nicknamed you. He called me Curly. I’m bald.

When we met we had an immediate bond. First, because I knew of his grandfather and was able to share some sermon thoughts I had gleaned from him … Ronnie boy liked that. Second, he handled the paperwork for the two different homes I have lived in here (Ron was a realestate man).  Third, we shared a life experience that changes your outlook and perspective on the concept of grace in the Christian life.

When I stood before my new church with my wife one agonizing Sunday night in October of 2009 to share the reasons that led us there for repentance, rest, and restoration … Ron came up to me that night at the altar and prayed for me and then said, “Curls, let’s do lunch.” A day or two later there we were in a place called Heavenly Barbecue. I listened for two hours as he shared his prodical past and the results in brought. Tears streamed down his cheeks as he told about telling Mommie Bob and Grandpa of his mistakes. We both cried. We shared something … a past. But we also shared a bond in Christ that brings freedom and redemption through His unfailing matchless grace.

Ron was my favorite adult Sunday School teacher. I was disappointed when I became a teacher and had to leave his class. We filled in for each other. We shared a love for red hot firey preaching that produced results. He encouraged me every step of the way as I made my way back into full time ministry. When I went on the radio … he would send me texts with messages during my program like “Nail ’em Curly!” Now, he really liked it when I featured one of his grandad’s sermons on the show. He knew everyone. Because of his grandfather he knew men like Adrian Rogers and Jerry Falwell. He had stories about everyone. And anyplace you could ride to on a Harley and eat … been there – did that – bought the t-shirt.

Death never makes an appointment with friends and family to see when it’s convenient with everyone’s schedule. It comes like a theif. Today, my friend Ron Lakin graduated to heaven at the age of 65. Just yesterday we made plans to go eat this week at a place called Lloyd’s Have Mercy. Last night we exchanged messages about Tebow not having yet thrown a TD pass for the Jets. His response …. “Jesus doesn’t do preseason.” Classic Ron.

He was close with several students at our school. When I shared the news of his death they wept – male and female students alike.

He was loved by so many. Beyond his smile, his jokes, and his laughter … all those things that made an impact on everyone who knew him or met him … he was man used by God to add value to the lives of everyone he touched. Now, admittedly, I did not know him as long as so many who are hurt and grieving today. But what a testimonial of that special man of God that anyone who knew him -even if only briefly- felt as though they had known him for a lifetime. He made everyone in his world important. He is loved and will be missed.

Take care old friend …

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