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Jon CampbellOver the past several weeks I've been doing a fair amount of "pondering" ... in large measure precipitated by a personal move.  In a rapid chain of events that's kept me in a head-spinning mode for three months, I sold my home of 23 years, the place where Jon moved from earth to heaven, and landed in a new (to me) nest.  It's been an extraordinary thing -- houses just don't sell in SoCal right now, especially when it isn't even listed.  The best part of the whole saga is that my beloved abode now holds a wonderful Christian family who plan to carry on the legacy -- and they have two young children to nurture in faith inside those very walls where once we gathered to sing hymns in anticipation of Jon's graduation.

In the midst of all this upheaval, the calendar turns and the mindfulness of Jon's absence intensifies.  Always a "numbers guy," I know he would be amused at a birthday on 1-11-11.  I think he would be having a lot of fun with this one -- and we would have it with him!  He'd probably start the day with a call to Max Lucado, who shares the date, and then do something for all of us, illustrative of that unceasing servant's heart we loved so dearly.

I wish he was here for tomorrow.

Jonathan GarciaHis birthday also underscores a constant theme of the past five years -- the idea of legacy.  Being involved at Azusa Pacific University puts a "fresh face" on what it means to watch the next generation march into Kingdom service.  At Chapel there this morning, in fact, the speaker showed a slide of his new grandson and reminded students that they will be the ones who lead children like Ben in the decades ahead.  It was a tremendous visual reminder of why these years have to be spent establishing our best spiritual practices.

And, I was glad that I have my own visual reminder of legacy -- a young APU senior, Jonathan Garcia, who also shares Jon's birthday.  It's a perfect day for me to tell a young adult ... hey, you have a baton you're receiving -- carry it well.  And I am confident that this Jon is going to live up to my Jon's heritage.  He is a difference-maker for the Kingdom and it gives me hope on a day that might otherwise be filled with too much sadness.

So ... from deep in my soul ... Happy Birthday, Jon  -- both of you!  I am glad for 1-11-11.

Peggy S. Campbell

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Thank you Peggy for these words. Our journey through life is often filled with bumps and bruises, twists and turns. It's good to know He is our Father and He is in control even when it's had for us to accept.

Peggy, thank you for being such an encourager and investing in the next generation. God is so faithful. Ps. 18:25

And Jon is having the absolute best cheese bread and laughing "and scratching" (as Bob used to say), with one of his best friends, Bob Ball!
I can only imagine their conversations!

God's abundant grace, strength, comfort, joy, joy, joy and peace to you to you.


I'm thinking about you and praying for you today. As the years pass, it gets easier; but never easy.

Your friend,


The Lord brings to mind on this day of celebrating his birthday so many fond memories of Jon who "served with the strength that God provides, so that in all things God might be praised"(1 Peter 4:11).

And may the Lord "strengthen you out of His glorious riches with power through His Spirit in your inner being" (Eph 3:16).


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