By Patricia Holbrook

“Don’t let seminary mess you up, Patricia.”

Those were David Miller’s words at the end of our phone conversation last November. I chuckled. Leave it to David to have such reaction when I announced my decision to start a master’s program last Fall:

“I know, my friend, I know.” I replied, laughing, “I will keep that in mind.”

He was dead serious. His advice was as honest as his heart.

And it is that genuine, fiery zeal for the Kingdom and selfless approach to Kingdom work that characterized, not only the life of David Miller, but also his work at Life Letter Cafe.

I read countless comments left by authors, pastors, bloggers and readers on LifeLettercafe.com after author Susan Shipe wrote a tribute to our friend David following his sudden passing on December 30th. Close friends, virtual friends and acquaintances left messages which give us a small glimpse into this man’s soul: David loved Jesus above all else, and his neighbors as himself. It was never about David Miller – even though he himself was an extraordinarily gifted writer. Rather, his ministry of Life Letter Cafe was focused on helping those of us who are called to magnify the Name above all names.

You will be missed, friend. And I won’t forget your last advice to me, by the way – I won’t allow seminary or anything else to ruin the purity of my faith. Let it be real and raw, just like yours.

I met David about eight years ago, shortly after launching my blog. I came across LifeLettercafe.com and was excited about the prospect of featuring my posts on a larger platform. But I honestly did not think I would be accepted. Insecurities prevented this foreigner from reaching out to David for a while.

After a couple of months, I decided to take a chance. I emailed David and heard back from him within the next couple of hours. His email was full of encouragement: He had visited my website. He loved my voice. He thought I would be a great fit for Life Letter. Wow. In less than 24 hours, I had login credentials to their website and the invitation to share my message with thousands of readers every week.

I did not know it then, but that was David’s heart. Over the years, Life Letter Café has opened its doors to over 300 writers from all over the world: From famous writers to people like me, who accept the call to ministry with trembling knees, knowing the scope of their inadequacy and yet, fully aware of the legitimacy of their calling. It’s as if David could discern the heart behind written words, as humble and faulty as they may be. Indeed, he was a reader of hearts and encourager of weary souls.

As it was so typical of David, the words he spilled on those pages reflect his boundless generosity. David did not just read my book, he carefully studied it.

When my publisher asked who would write the foreword for my first book, David quickly became the natural choice for the task. After all, he had been the first person with a larger platform to believe in my writing. When I asked David to pray about it, there was a silence on the other side of the line. I held my breath for a moment.

“Wow, Patricia, what an honor! Of course, I will do it!” noticeably excited about the prospect.

I just finished re-reading the foreword he wrote, almost three years ago. I could not finish it without tears of gratitude filling my eyes. As it was so typical of David, the words he spilled on those pages reflect his boundless generosity. David did not just read my book, he carefully studied it. He not only wrote words as a favor to a friend, he wrote them as a tribute to the One the book was written about.

May God help us carry the torch you lit, remembering the lessons you taught.

David Miller, the “Encouragement Dude”, whose love for the Gospel was raw, whose motives were pure and whose passion to proclaim Christ was as hot as the fire at Pentecost, is now in the presence of His King.

He may not have earned earthly prestige, fame or fortune. But, oh! What a welcome must he have received in Heaven, and what reward our sweet Savior shall give our brother!

You will be missed, friend. And I won’t forget your last advice to me, by the way – I won’t allow seminary or anything else to ruin the purity of my faith. Let it be real and raw, just like yours.

May God help us carry the torch you lit, remembering the lessons you taught:

“Let love for the gospel burn brighter than your need to be seen or heard. Let love for your neighbor be the fuel for your cause.”

About the Author
Patricia Holbrook is the President of Soaring with Him Ministries, author, columnist, blogger, wife and mom. Her passion is to encourage her audience to “soar above life’s circumstances” by the power of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. She writes about making beauty out of brokenness, trusting God in the dark, the blessings of obedience and her love for the Savior. Among other places, you can find her writing weekly on her blog, www.soaringwithHim.com. on her weekend column for the Atlanta Journal Constitution www.ajc.com, on iDisciple and websites such as Internet Devotions Cafe, among others. Patricia is also a national and international speaker for women’s events.

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