I was saddened today to learn of the death of Preston Newby, a college classmate of mine. We had a special bond in that we were the only two students in fourth year Greek together, and we had nearly all of our classes together my senior year. Preston was a great friend, and he always had a way of encouraging others. Here is an email he sent to me among others in February of 2006:
Hello! I have failed all of you in that I have not kept in touch with the people that God has placed in my life as much as I should have. Whether you are part of my family or my friends from various times in my life, or part of my life even now… I just want to say that I love you guys and I do not want to take all of your friendships for granted, or forget about them. God has blessed us in this life with a remarkable reality: the body of Christ. I am learning how to get my focus off of myself and shift it towards God ultimately, but also to my neighbors…my friends… my family… even strangers. My prayer is that we would all do the same. In this country, it is completely natural to live for ourselves and to forget about the relationships that we have had with incredible people… Let us not forget the body of Christ! Let us continually lift each other up in prayer! Eph 1:16 “I do not cease to give thanks for you when I remember you in my prayers.” Paul was our role model….Jesus also prayed in John 17 on behalf of those who were “given to Him”. I want to remember all of you in my prayers. Thank you for your friendships and relationships… They have had a vital role in shaping who I have become and who I am becoming. May God bless you all in your families, your work, your ministry…. I love you guys! In Christ, Preston
Preston has left the land of the dying.
That it may please you to give him joy and gladness in your kingdom, with your saints in light,
We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.