When I started blogging four years ago (or so, not quite sure exactly how long) there was a blog I discovered very early on which was funny, warm, thoughtful and encouraging. It was by a retired Lutheran minister called Dr John, who had a predilection for Dragons, a great sense of humour and a prodigious and expansive imagination. Every day had a link to a blog site he was enjoying, an episode of his intriguing and fantastic adventures from Pigeon Falls and a few of his reflections on the world around and life in general. Dr John's Fortress was somewhere I returned to again and again, and if I was absent for any length of time from the blogosphere it would inevitably be the place I went to first in my catchup list. Even a couple of weeks ago when I decided to try and blog a little more often my first instinct was to visit the fortress and have a smile and a pause for thought there.
Dr John always seemed to think I was a closet Lutheran, and tried to 'out' me every now and then - some of the most encouraging comments I received here and at New Kid Deep Stuff were responses to my sermons and thoughts from him. I felt very privileged that he considered me as one who shared many of his values.
So I was saddened when Quilly contacted me by email and said that Dr John had died this morning. The blog world will be poorer without him, and he will be missed. For all those sceptics who say that the Internet only creates shallow and meaningless relationships Dr John was the antithesis of this - genuine, warm, not trying to be anything but himself, many of us appreciated what he contributed and he will be genuinely missed.
Requiem in pacem, Dr John, a good man and a great pastor. Remember in prayer his wife Betty, and all of his family in their loss.