That’s the title of the first post I read via Bloglines this morning, and when I read the title, I thought someone was having a little blogosphere fun with my blog buddy, Chad Canipe. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…Chad had passed away over the weekend. Chad was 34 years old, he leaves behind his wife Renee, and their two cool kids, Colin and Aidan.

I’m still stunned and in shock. The last thing Chad posted on his blog was about a nagging medical condition. Well, he just never got over it, and it turned out to be a lot more serious than imagined.

I never met Chad in real life, but he was truly a long-distance encourager for me. He had a heart for God, a passion for his city, and he seemed to be one of the most creative guys I’ve encountered.

It was Chad who encouraged me to blog way back in the Straddling the Gap days.

It was Chad who helped me set up my comments and my RSS feeds when I didn’t have a clue about all that stuff.

It was Chad who turned me on to How to Think Like Leonardo daVinci, a book that literally changed my perspective on life.

It was Chad who helped me begin to see some things that God was/is doing in our culture.

It was Chad who graciously shared a very cool picture of his son Aidan, in a shot that perfectly captured the spirit of Advent for me.

It was Chad who encouraged “The Boy” about design and Web stuff.

The Kingdom of God is not diminished today, but the citizens of that Kingdom are certainly lacking one of their finest brothers. Chad’s untimely passing reminds me of that great quote from Erwin McManus’s The Barbarian Way

Martyrs didn’t survive, but they died facing the right direction.

Please keep Renee, Colin, Aidan, and the rest of Chad’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers in these days. And if you’re so inclined, you can donate to a memorial fund by clicking the button at the top of this post. you can also stop by an online memorial forum to leave your thoughts.

Life is but a vapor…