Thursday, October 20, 2005

In the summer of 2004, shortly after BJ's return from Peru, he and Deanna went to a reunion of my extended family. It was held in Wisconsin (I was unable to go as I had just begun a new job). The last time BJ had seen some of these folks was when he was 1 1/2 years old...I don't think he remembered.

He and Deanna thoroughly enjoyed the time. They hiked, sat by campfires, had picnics, and got reacquainted with family. BJ spent much of his time with his much younger cousins. They bonded very quickly. He came home talking about how adorable they all were, and how much fun he'd had.

He also spent considerable time around the campfire sharing about his Peru trip with the adults. He enjoyed the opportunity to tell about what God had done in the life of the Peruvian people, his team, and in his own walk. I'm sure the number of people around the fire dwindled as he talked, poked the fire, and talked, and talked. Undaunted, he continued on with my cousin Gregg (aka Blues). Thanks Gregg.

My Aunt Millie who lives there, knew about BJ's passion for Jesus. She honored him with a very special gift...one he was enthused about. She produced a very old Bible that had belonged to BJ's great great Grandmother Octa Porter (Any expectant parents out there may want to dump the girl names you were previously considering). As I sit here looking for the print date on this Bible, I am reminded that that is not what was important to him (that page has fallen out anyway).

BJ loved reading different versions of the Bible to compare them and to try to find the marrow of each truth. He had among his other Bibles a Comparative Study Bible with four side by side versions. He used it routinely.

His favorite didn't look like a Bible anymore. It resembled a cheap coverless paperback. For this reason, when he was moved onto ECMO (required a room change), and the hospital staff were cleaning his room, it was discarded (we were not allowed to retrieve items because he had been in isolation). We know it was not done intentionally, but Oh how we wish we had that Bible.

One other Bible story...well not a Bible story, but a story about a Bible...While Beej was in Peru this year, he was very excited to find a Bible that was a parallel English and Spanish version. As he relayed the story, he said, "I was in this hotel, and they had this English/Spanish Bible in the room. You know the Gideons put those there so you can take them, so I did!"

"BJ," I said, "the Gideons don't put those there so you can take them. They put them there so that they will be available in the room for unbelievers and believers alike." "They do?" he said. Then he quickly justified the whole experience by saying, "It's okay, I gave my old Spanish Bible to someone in Peru."

It is fitting that many have opted to donate $ to the Gideons. Hopefully, a new Spanish/English Bible will find it's way into that hotel room. (A Gideon or two have since told me that BJ was closer to right than I was...he would love that, and not let me forget it)

Whether you have one Bible or a dozen, please read them. You cannot grow closer to the Lord on Sunday Sermon Sundae's, and Wednesday night Snacks, alone! You make time for everything else you consider important, let's get into the Word as well.

dad

There is and artcile on BJ at www.md-times.com It is below and to the right of the picture of a boy.

34 Comments:

At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning Higgins Family!
I am always thinking of you and always checking the site for more of you all. I tried to post a blog the other day to you, but something went wrong and it didnt post...i was so frusterated that I havent even tried re-writing it. it was a long one too! but anyway, im glad i got to read something on this blog site this morning before going off to school...you guys are always an inspiration to our lives. we love you!
-mark and amanda andrews
cant believe we missed you at church on sunday!=(

 
At 7:44 AM, Anonymous marissa balog said...

I always check the site in the morning during first period and it always gives me, i guess a boost, in the morning. I pray for your family everyday during our moment of silence before the pledge in the morning. I am hoping you have an awesome day!
-marissa

 
At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Names. We have four daughters, and not a one bears the name "Octa" (perhaps that would only have worked for an eighth daughter, anyway). Of course, we also had lovely family names such as Flossie and Wilhelmina from which to draw. . .

The Word. BJ considered that really important, didn't he? We bloggers keep wondering how and why this young kid had his act so together--why he "got it" and many of us don't. Maybe, just maybe, the priority of God's Word in his life helped him grow "further up, further in" (yes, Narnia fans) than the rest of us. Maybe.

Think about it. Or, more appropriately, check out the Word. May it become, as it was for Jeremiah (and BJ), the "joy and delight of [our]
heart[s]."

Thanks, BJ--and BJ's dad. We love you and continue
praying in pink,

Pieper Family
Charleston, SC

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger the leaf family said...

Thank You for the daily reminder..
A dusty Bible, a new Bible without writing, markings or a misplaced Bible is so often an unused Bible.. Yes, I drive my children nuts as often as I can to remind them to take up their cross daily.. And they are very good about reminding me in the same..

I want to say Thank You to those of you that prayed for Chad yesterday.. turns out that the e-mail I recieved was an old one.. He was shot 1 year ago this November and he has recovered.. However, I know that it was not a mistake he must need some prayer in his life because things don't just happen by chance.. And the update on the e-mail is that this young man is now about to leave for college.. so please lift him and his family up..

Brent,Deanna, and Walker,
I want to share about how excitied Sarah was to recieve the AWE STAR letter. Sarah, was so excitied she took it to church last night to share with our youth pastor and anyone else that wanted to read it. She is going to hang it in her locker at school today as a daily reminder that she is already on a mission field, and what she has already committed to God this summer. I love seeing my children that excitied for our God.
On our first visit to Pleasent Valley (our new church home)One of the adults said to me.."our students are next door loving their Jesus" and sure enough we went next door and we walked into a room of about 350 students praising and worshiping their Jesus!!
We were immediatly taken in and praising with them.. we knew then that we had found the church God had waiting for us..
so, I say, I love to see my kids "loving their Jesus" and that was the excitment that just one letter reminded our daughter to do yesterday..Thank you...
Michael will get his today and I pray for just as much excitment from him..
praying for you oneday at a time;everyday.
KC-Tracy

 
At 8:29 AM, Blogger Marcia said...

Good morning Higginses!

This song keeps showing up and it always reminds me of BJ stories, so I wanted to share it.


Disappear
written by Chad Cates and Jess Cates
recorded by Bebo Norman

On a day like this I want to crawl beneath a rock
A million miles from the world, the noise, the commotion
That never seems to stop

And on a day like this I want to run from the routine
Run away from the daily grind that can suck the life
Right out of me

I only know of one place I can run to…

I want to hide in you
The way, the life, the truth
So I can disappear
And love is all there is to see
Coming out of me
And you become clear
As I disappear

I don’t want to care about earthly things
Be caught up in all the lies that trick my eyes
They say it’s all about me

I’m so tired of it being about me…

I would rather be cast away
Separated from the human race
If I don’t bring you glory
If I don’t bring you glory
If I don’t bring you glory

-----------------

Still praying....

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Barbara Ann said...

Dad and mom,

That is so funny that you talk about the spanish/English bible. Because I was going to tell you about that time. I remember when he showed me that bible. I said "BJ, you cant take that bible. Its for people who dont have one." He loved that bible, because he could understand what the preacher was saying at the time by reading it in spanish. It was a great witnessing tool for him with the peruvians.
I hope that your day is going great, filled with thoughts of our Saviour! Im praying for you still...

Love,
Barbara Ann

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

Good morning Family,
Well I don't plan on having any more babies so unfortunately I can't take you up on your wonderful suggestion of a name...:)))

It sounds like BJ had the same passion for different versions of the Word that I do. I have approx 6 packed in storage in Australia waiting to be shipped here along with all my other possessions.
I remember 5 years ago when I was saved I already had a bible that I found not so easy to understand, so I went to the local Christian bookstore looking for another version. The owner of the store asked how long I had been saved, I told him 24 hours, and he was extremely ammused after I told him my version was the NIV.. I walked out with a living Word. It didn't take long before I picked up the NIV to read and understand what was written, at the time I just wanted something I could read, understand and sink my teeth into. My favorite at the moment is the Amplified version. I look forward to having my things sent from Australia, in the boxes is a wonderful study Bible that my daughter Jenna gave me the first Christmas after my salvation.
I couldn't agree with you more Brent, a Bible unopened isn't going to speak to us, change our lives,be the cause of conversations... I'm sure I drive my husband nutty at times with all my questions concerning the Word and wanting to know the deepth of the meaning. But he is patient with me and explains it. I don't want just the milk of the Word, I want the meat of the Word. My bible is my Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, God gives us in it, everything we need to know to live a life for Him and Him alone.

Lord thank You for Your Word,thank You that we can see and hear You through Your Word. Your Word brings life into our homes, our marriages, our families, our work situations. Lord I ask that You would give us a hunger and a passion for Your Word, to go deep into it Lord, not to be satisfied with just the milk but to hunger after the meat of Your Word.
Lord God I lift Brent, Deanna, Lauren and Whitney to You and ask that You would continue to hold each of them, giving them comfort, peace, strength and joy as they go about their business today. In Jesus name.. Amen and Amen

In His Love
Linda
OK

 
At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Brian said...

Good morning...

I just want to thank you for your encouragement, your direction, and the stories you continue to share about BJ. I love hearing more and more about him. I read every morning before I go to work, and your stories do help me put things in perspective right away. BJ was one incredible young man, but lived his life so humbly.

I am still praying for you all.

-Brian
Denver

 
At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Jenny said...

Thank you so much for continuing to share BJ with us. I have a 6 year old son. Reading your stories about BJ causes me to pray that Bradley will grow into a mighty man of God like BJ was. God bless you and your family as you continue down this path.

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger Aunt Maralyn & Uncle Ray said...

Today's entry sure brought back vivid memories of our reunion. I am so glad I was a part of most of it, all except those late night talks around the fire pit. We are all so thankful for that special time as family. Because of the reunion it did just what you said, it let everyone know BJ and BJ them.
I have thought different times about BJ being the only one to carry on the "Higgins" name. Because of BJ more people have heard and know about our family than ever would have otherwise. I know the important thing to my parents would be the "Legacy" that is carried on rather than the name. We are so blessed to have that Legacy carried on by many family members. I am so thankful for my Heritage and the sacrifice my parents made so their children could have a Christian College education. I am also very thankful for BJ and the tremendous witness and Legacy he has left.
Again we are a very blessed family indeed.
Deanna, thank you for the beautiful card. You have a special gift with your scrapbooking and cards. I am so glad your Ist day back to school went well. There was a lot of praying during that day for you.
Brent, you are doing such an awesome job with your updates. I agree with Marla, you have much to offer to other people who are hurting.
I love you all.
Aunt Maralyn

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you

 
At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higgins Family,
I will start off with saying I am never sure what to say on here but in my daily life I can talk someone’s ear off (doesn’t make sense I know). I don’t know if I am just supposed to listen, to your family and everyone else that posts daily on the blog. Although I believe that Jesus is telling me that I need to slow down my daily life, and maybe that means listen more than talk. I have been really praying over this daily and continue to. I pray about your family several times each day and look forward to hearing your updates and learn more about BJ and how he was such a godly young man. Even though I don’t post something everyday after I read know that I continue to pray for your family and fellow bloggers that post with their prayer requests. This site has really helped me grow in my faith! Thank you for continuing to post!
Amber
Dayton, OH

 
At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Higgins Family --
Each day I pray for you all. It is amazing how much you have influenced my life and His Spirit in me. I pray that gives some comfort in your time of grieving.

I'll keep praying for time to heal, anger to subside and peace to come to each of you...

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger Emily Jo said...

Hi dad, your post today made me smile. I love to learn about BJ....who he was and what he did and said. I just want to let you and your family know today that I love you guys, though we have yet to actually meet. I offer you my prayers....that's all I have to give. And as I feel that I can't say it enough, thank you for letting me and everyone else be a part of your lives.
It means more to me than you will ever know.
Emily Jo
Monrovia, CA

 
At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higgins Family,
I just read today's blog and then was able to quickly glance over the article in the newspaper. I just want to say "Thank You" for starting and continuing to write. Mrs. Higgins, I can understand why you were hesitant to start writing due to privacy, but I thank you for allowing the blog to be started. I read the site several times a day and even though I rarely write, each day I am touched, inspired, uplifted, encouraged, motivated, etc. Higgins Family,please know that not only has God and is God using BJ, he is using you all as well. All of this could have happened to BJ and only a select few would've have known if you hadn't began to spread the word. So please BE ENCOURAGED in knowing that even in our grief and our hard times, God is still able and can use us,if we are obedient. Thank you for being so willingly obedient.

I'm still praying and thinking of you all often.

Danielle
Lauren's friend
Ohio Wesleyan University

 
At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How right you are. In Peru I learned that the Bible is immensely important to our growth as Christians. I came away from the trip absolutely thirsting for the Word. One of the bigest reasons is because of BJ. It seems that every time I'd look at him, barring times he was doing the drama, he was reading that "cheap, coverless paperback." (I'm sorry it got lost) He would stuff it into his ministry pack, making his the largest and heaviest ministry pack of the whole team! His avidity in reading his "food and drink" encouraged me to read my bible more often, and by the end of the trip I was putting it into my ministry pack, making it the 2nd heaviest. ;-) Oh, good times! Just wanted to share 'em with you guys. Hope it brought a smile to your face.

Love you lots,
Kayla (Peru 2005)

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger Ashley Reagan said...

Thought I would let you know that I will be getting a copy of the Peru video for you this Sunday! I'm so excited and know that you all are too! I love you family and can't wait to see you in two weeks! Praying for you! :)

Ashley Dawn

 
At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

Hi Higgins Family.

I remember hearing so much from Vickie about the reunion and how wonderful it was. It's amazing how precious moments like those can turn out to be such important memories later that no one knew how special it would be.

My boys have several Bibles, yet my 7 year old (who is just starting to really read) insisted on a Bible "without pictures, Mom, a REAL Bible like yours!" So, of course even though they each have 2 or 3 different ones, I went a got them each their own. They have been so excited, they want to highlight verses and it struck me the other day because you said BJ's favorite book was 1 Peter. Well, my 7 year old's name is Peter and of course that was the book he wanted to start with!

Continuing to pray for you all daily. I wore my shirt the other day and was asked by a few women what it was about and so I got to share BJ's story and more importantly his love for Jesus and His love for us. They whole heartedly agreed!

Praise you all.
Tina

 
At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Higgins: Although I haven't posted much lately, know that I relish the opportunity to read your stories and the blogs, all surely inspired by the Holy Spirit. May the grace and love of our Heavenly Father bless you today, tomorrow, and always. You are still in my prayers.

Love to you All,
Ed, Carmel

 
At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Linda Anderson said...

I may not have written in a while, but the prayers have not ceased!! Thank you again, Brent, for your prayers for Kaitlyn when she went to the ER. It has been hectic around here, as two of my other kids got the cold too. But we are better now, but I never stopped praying and reading your blogs. Just no time to write....sorry!

BJ's words are just so amazing...no words can explain. Thank you for continuing to share them with us. And thank you for sharing your joys, pains, ups and downs with us. How are things going with the medical bills?

May God bring you even more peace than ever, and may your lives be even more richly blessed....daily!! We love you!

Praying in pink--

Linda Anderson
Willows, California

P.S. I thought it was funny how you said that his Bible was marked in Pink. That is a color that will always bring a smile to your face, and to mine...since mine is in Pink too!! :)

 
At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Rebecca said...

Brent and Deanna,
I just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our time of fellowship Tuesday. It was really good to hear the two of you laugh. I don't know how hard that would be. I can only BEGIN to imagine. What is so wonderful about it is that you continue to shine of love for Jesus and very willing to share it! Thanks for being Godly parents for us who are raising young ones to look up too!

Rebecca

 
At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is it ok to mourn, even though you didn't ever know BJ except through the blogs? I mean I have felt empty ever since that sad morning. I am a christian, I did commit to taking beej's place. I am only "family" through Christ Jesus. I cannot tell you how much Beej has touched me both living and going to be with Christ. It might be nerdy, but I have a good friend that knew beej. We were talking and she just kept telling me stories about him. I guess it was her way of coping, maybe that's why I feel this way. It's cliche' I know. I don't want to be selfish, I don't want to be sad nor mad anymore, but it's like I am confused. It's because of beej that I am who I am now in my walk with christ. It's beej's love for christ that I persude God to allow me to go into the mission field. Maybe it's satan putting this anger in me. Maybe there is no reason to be mad. Maybe its because I am scared stiff to go into the ministry. Your family has been through sooooo much more and here I am not knowing beej in person and I miss him so incredibly much. I don't know if to be mad at God or satan. I am at a lost.

Yours truely
Jaden

 
At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You always make me smile. You guys are awesome and I have been truly blessed to see your sincere reliance on the Lord.
Keep going. We'll keep praying and going beside you.
"...Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against powers, principalities, and rulers of the dark world..."(that may not be word for word)

 
At 9:42 PM, Anonymous rachel said...

I am thinking of your family, in my prayers,

Aways arkansas girl

 
At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Cousin Lyn said...

Dear Brent and Deanna,
As Aunt Maralyn commented, today's posting does bring back fond memories of last year's family reunion, "Camp Higgins." It was especially meaningful for me to spend a solid week with the kids (the next generation) and get to know each of them. How wonderful it was to hear BJ talk excitedly about his recent trip to Peru. It was very cool when Aunt Millie gave the old family Bible to BJ. We could see immediately that she had made a wise decision.

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to Christian radio while driving in the car. An author was being interviewed, and he mentioned that there are 4 types of Christians:
1) survivors,
2) those living by Christian principles,
3) those directed by the Holy Spirit, and
4) transformers (those so in tune with the Holy Spirit that God can use them to transform the workplace, the school, the community, the people around them).

I was saddened to tears when, upon honest assessment, I realized that, for the most part, I exist in category 2. I use my head to live by Christian principles. The same can be said of many nonbelievers. I do not often enough seek the direction of the Holy Spirit. Too distracted by the busyness of everyday life.

Does anyone doubt which type of Christian BJ was? A transformer! We have seen the evidence through countless stories about BJ's life. How can I -- how can any of us -- become a Christian directed by the Holy Spirit? Through prayer, Bible study, and obedience (today, tomorrow and the next day). That's how God can truly use us, perhaps even to transform our piece of the world.

The Lord's mercies are new each morning. Each day is a new opportunity. With the Lord's help, I will pray, I will study the Word, I will obey.

Love, Cousin Lyn

 
At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Toodie Schaper said...

Just wanted to let you know I am still reading the blog multiple times every day and praying for all of you throughout every day. Heather is so looking forward to the Awe Star reunion and especially looking forward to seeing you all again. I wish I were going too!

A quick note to Jaden,
I understand the confusion, sadness, and anger. I didn't know BJ either but my daughter did and through the website and Heather's stories it is like I did know him. It is OK to grieve, but don't be angry with God. We may not ever fully understand why BJ died but we can trust that God allowed it for a very good reason. God is always good and always loving. He also understands when we are hurting and wants to comfort us. You will be in my prayers.

Toodie

 
At 11:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higgins family,
I dont know your son only heard about him through a very good friend of mine who knew your son and was his great friend. Well I have been praying for you. I believe in god my self and love living my life for God. I am very happy that we have more and more people in the world today like B.J spreading the word about jesus christ our savior. Your family, as well as your son are in my thoughts and prayers!!

 
At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Carol said...

You continue to bless us with your fond recollections and stories about BJ. Prayers continue in Arlington, Texas!

 
At 2:23 AM, Blogger Dana Whitt said...

Hello Higgins Family:
You don't know me, and I can't say that I even know you. But, I've been encouraged by what a friend of mine has said about your son and your family. I go to college at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Hannibal, Missouri. My friend, Michelle Baumgarner, was on the AweStar team with your son this past summer. She shared stories with us in Sunday School about your son and it hit me yesterday that I had never sent you a message. I saw someone on campus wearing one of those "Pray for BJ" shirts, which reminded me to pray, which reminded me to get one of those shirts. So, I just wanted to say thank you. I've read these blogs on the site, and the passion for the Lord and the love for your family just seeps from the words that you have written. Thank you for sharing these things, even to encourage people you have never met. May the Lord continue to show you even more of who He is.

In Him,
Dana Whitt

 
At 6:18 AM, Blogger Danzeisen5 said...

Good Morning Brent Deanna Lauren and Whit!
We just want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers today as we start our day. I pray that during this season of change in the weather, as things prepare for winter and rest, God will put in your heart a hope that there is a "spring season" coming in your lives and spirits after the winter is over. I pray now for the time of renewing and rebirth that will be coming and that your hearts will feel the peace and warmth of the Son today.
We love you so much and miss you
Love Lynae

 
At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks...
still praying
-Brittany A.

 
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