One Sunday afternoon over twenty years ago, I was asked to give a scruffy, junior-high boy named Keith Goodson a ride home from worship service. Honestly, if you’d told me that day that he would one day be called to be a minister of the Gospel, I might not have believed you. However, over the years, I must say that I’m not surprised that we are here today. Through worship services and mission trips; Bible study fellowships and street ministries; road trips and weekend retreats; it has been my great joy to witness Keith grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I'm sure many today will talk of Keith's willing and teachable spirit. Although folks might have assumed that I was mentoring Keith, it’s more truthful to say that God was teaching me through him. Even as a young man, I have seen his passion for God’s Word and for Truth. Apparently never knowing a stranger, Keith seems to be able to freely communicate the Gospel even with people he’s just met. Even though I have been away in Japan for over a decade, I’ve been grateful to pray for Keith and hear testimony of God’s goodness even when he served our country overseas; proclaiming and teaching the Gospel to his fellow airmen during his off-duty hours.
To Keith, my friend and (in all meanings of the word) my dear brother: I pray that God will continuously empower you by His Spirit to love and worship Him through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. May the passion for God and His Word always to burn bright in your heart. May you continually love Casey just as Christ loved the church and be a wise and compassionate father to your children just as God has been to us. As you serve and teach, may Christ be always central and highly lifted up; not only in your words but by your example as well. As we rely on Him to continue to do a good work in you, I wait in hopeful expectation to seeing how God will answer these prayers in Jesus’ name.
With much love in Christ,