"Don't back down. In future generations, your story will be the one that encourages someone else to follow hard after God."--Priscilla Shirer, Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted
Last week I began a new study on the book of Jonah. So far, I've really enjoyed it, and last night as I was doing my studying/homework for today's early-morning discussion, I tweeted several quotes (at least one from each day's homework) that really spoke to me or inspired me. But this particular quote by Priscilla Shirer is one that I've not been able to get out of my head all day.
Perhaps because it reminds me of the impact my "blogfather", dear brother Keith Brenton, has had for me. For starters, I'm sitting here at nearly midnight, writing on a blog. I didn't really know what a blog was until I stumbled upon Keith's, about seven years ago. There I've seen where he's written and read, questioned and answered, wondered and responded, and participated in dialogue with friends online, based mostly on his faith. (I say "mostly" because there may be a small handful of his posts that are not particularly spiritual/religious in nature.) While I'm sure there are plenty of his life experiences not documented there, a lot of his story is, quite literally, an open book there. So for the past seven years, his story--with examples of his faith, his circumstances that have brought him to his beliefs, and his reasoning for those beliefs--has been one that has encouraged me to follow hard after God. That's why he's my dear brother. That's why I call him my "blogfather."
Also, though, perhaps this quote makes me think of him because he and his family have been on my heart for awhile now. I began praying for Keith and his family occasionally, at his request a few weeks ago, though I was unsure why. Sunday evening, he sent me a message similar to the one he's posted here. Since then I have been, per the instructions of the Apostle Paul in I Thessalonians, praying continually for Keith's & his family.
I know that scripture teaches that "the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Well...I am not a man. :) And the only righteousness I can claim is that of Christ Jesus. But I know that His grace is sufficient. So I approach His throne of grace with confidence, praying that God will help in this time of need. And I ask you to join me in that effort, on behalf of my beloved blogfather and his family.