Monday, November 16, 2009

In Praise of My Teacher...

He's a pediatrician by training.

But he will always be my teacher. He has discipled many through the years. And has taught many of us. If God had not called me to teach my own Sunday School class, I'd still be in his. I miss his teaching & think of it most Sunday mornings as I walk to teach my own class. I was just thinking of how amazing the following is to me: in 20 years of Temple Baptist membership, I've only been in his class a little less than 2 years. And yet, as I say, he will always be my teacher. But not just my teacher...

One of my life's great privileges is that he calls me a friend. We have laughed together--do so quite often. We have dreamed together...dreams for our children...for ourselves...for our church. We have prayed together. Often. But not often enough for my standards. And we have shed tears together. I have shared things with him that not one other person save Lisa knows. And I'm quite confident that he has kept my secrets in confidence.

His wise counsel has impacted lives all through the Pine Belt. Mine too. Marriages have been improved by his words and example. Mine included. Walks with the Lord have been challenged and substantially enhanced. Mine as well. Many have nervously raised their...our...hands in response to his regular question: "What's God done in your life or in the life of someone around you?" Parents have been encouraged and trained. Including me. Pastors & other ministers have been loved, encouraged, prayed for, and held accountable.

He is very humble, and would say that I might be overstating his import to the Body of Christ and to our community.

Only eternity will show the gigantic impact this one man has had. And the next time he's egotistical will be the first I've seen.

He laughs easily. Even at himself. (again, humility)

He's a proud grad of MS State University. As are all three of his beloved children. To all of his fellow MSU Bulldog alums out there, he represents y'all very, very well.

He has been used mightily in the life of my church since before we were members (20 years + a couple of months for us).

I wish...oh, how I wish!...that I were half the awesome father that he is. I shudder to think what I'd be like as a Dad had I not come under his influence not long after James Madaris arrived...I *love* his regular comment to his children when they were younger: "just remember, you're a Kent wherever you go..." And let me tell you--being "a Kent" means something around here

Tonight was his final session as chairman of our Deacon body at church. What a remarkable year it's been.

You might know him. If you don't, you wish you did. His name is Dr. Ronald S. Kent. But he'll always be Ronnie. My teacher, mentor, and friend. My brother. My example and counselor.

Thanks, Ronnie. I may not show it much, but your building into my life has most assuredly not been in vain. At least, I hope so. Thanks again, for everything, bro. This is very long overdue. I love you.


Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Psalm 37:3

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17


Anonymous said...

Great tribute and a we agree he is truly a great man of God.

Stephanie said...

Amen and Amen! We love him, too!