I was saddened to hear that D. James Kennedy passed away yesterday. I first heard of him in my late teens when I took his Evangelism Explosion class offered at the Presbyterian church which I attended at the time. I still remember that class, for we learned not only how to share our faith but those of us who took it had an opportunity to grow deeper in our own walk with Christ.
He was a man who definitely lived what he taught. The older I become, the more I appreciate that in a religious leader. His ministry also produced some of the best specials about Christians in American history that I have ever watched.
When the letter arrived from Renewal Ministries, I had a feeling what news it contained. For Ray Ortlund had been quite ill for sometime. Indeed, on a July day he went to be with the Lord that he loved and served for a lifetime.
Although I only read Anne's books, Ray was very much a part of her writings and I felt I had come to know him over the years. Another man who lived what he preached.
The third person who passed away this summer was my all time favorite First Lady, Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson. She was the First Lady of the country in my earliest memory. I can vaguely remember Jackie Kennedy from watching the funeral procession of her husband with my mother and father (my own father would pass away within that next year). However, it is Lady Bird that I remember most and who has always brought a smile to my face.
How can she not, this woman who made it her life's work to bring beauty to the world around her. I once wrote a rather incensed rebuttal to a commentator who tried to say she represented First Ladies before they did anything "important". Hmmm...I'd say the man has no idea of what true importance is all about. She was first and foremost a wife and mother and then a great promoter of making our roads and parks beautiful with native wildflowers.
I wanted to write about her soon after her passing but it happened during my "crazy busy" period of time. I hope this little post in a small blog gives her honor she deserves. I will think of her this next spring when I plant a few native flowers in my own backyard.