living on a prayer and a coin. By TOBY REYNOLDS Photography by BENJAMIN POWELL
e live in a fast paced world. We are surrounded by conflict, frustration, tragedy, war, wickedness and doubt. Indeed these things are more prevalent than ever before in the history of the earth. It is a world where, for one who is searching, relief may be difficult to find. This is the story of two men who have found peace through faith and prayer. Ron Nilson wasn’t always, what he’d call a man of faith. He recalls being taught as a child about God, but admits he’d never really felt God’s influence on his life. That began to change when Ron was 55 years old. Ron’s friend, Tom—a man Ron truly looked up to--asked him one day, “Ron, what are you doing with your power and influence?” Ron didn’t understand what he meant, and so simply replied, “I don’t know.” Tom explained that he’d been meeting with a group of men who were studying self-improvement books in an effort to become better husbands, fathers, and leaders, and invited Ron to join them. This was not a Bible study, but after about a
year of attending these meeting, Ron started a personal quest to build a relationship with God. About this time, Tom’s young son died in a tragic accident. Ron recalls, “I remember standing on the lawn outside [Tom’s] house, crying. I wanted to help lighten his load, but realized at that moment, there was really nothing I could do.” Tom stepped over to Ron, hugged him, and said, “Ron, because of what you and I know, I didn’t have to say goodbye to my son today. Instead, I just got to say, ‘I’ll see you later, buddy.’” Tom has since gone to be with his son, but Ron will never forget the influence Tom had on him. Ron has a portrait of his friend as a reminder of
Tom’s faith. He also carries a coin in his pocket, a prayer coin, to remind him not only to pray, but to live his faith. And he expects his employees to hold him accountable. “If I’m not living what I preach,” Ron says. “I expect my guys to let me know.” Ron Nilson is CEO of Ground Force. He received the Businessman of the Year award in 2013. Says Ron, “I’m an ordinary guy who’s in way over his head.” For Sean Henry of Rock & Water in Hayden, Idaho, prayer and faith in God have been a major source of direction and peace. When Ron Nilson handed Sean a prayer coin, Sean says, “I took it as a friendship from another brother that’s like having him call and encourage me that day.” It was a meaningful gift
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5/14/14 9:33 PM
Published on May 25, 2014
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