Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Beej wore a pair of shoes to Peru that were in good shape when he left. Somewhere on his journey in South America, they crossed the border from good to, well... disgusting! It got so bad that he had to buy new black tennis shoes. These old ones of like color, were fine as long as he kept them on his feet, but when they came off, so did any chance he might have hoped for to keep the conversation spiritual.

One night his teammate DJ was awakened four times because of the pungent odor. He begged for mercy. Somehow they worked it out. Deej can tell you more about that.

Beej began wearing his new Peruvian purchased retro Converse All-Star knock-offs. All was well...until he arrived home. He had a habit of not unpacking promptly. Somehow the saga of the shoes had preceeded his return home...it could have been the smell, I don't really remember. What I do remember is poor Deanna's reaction to "helping" Beej unpack later, and being overcome by the vile, foul odor emanating from his backpack as she opened it. It threatened to turn her stomach.

What was in his mind? Why would he bring something this filthy home with him? Did he fear hearing us ask, "What happened to your black tennis shoes? When you leave for missions, one thing you are usually short on is space. Beej was no different. Fortunately, the articles of clothing that resided near his shoes in the cramped pack were washed clean after a time or two through the laundry. The shoes? With pinched nose, and body contortions reflecting a cat trying not to get wet, the shoes were carried to the garbage. I guess there are no garbage cans in Peru, because I'm quite sure Beej would have thought to throw them away otherwise!

Non-believers can deny many things that they choose not to investigate or believe, but they cannot deny the sweet aroma of Christ that permeates a life surrendered to Him. One can deny He exists, but not what He has done in my life, Beej's, or that of my family.

The foul, vulgar odor that clung to me before accepting Christ, was washed clean by His blood...shed on the cross. I am free and forgiven. I do not have to cling to what others can or cannot prove, because I have Jesus Christ, and He has changed my life.

Read the book of John in the New Testament. I dare each doubter to research for yourself and see if He is Truth! Praise God that He forgives the vilest of my failures, and will yours as well.

Beej may have brought home the smell of disgust on his feet, but his heart was pure because of Christ, and noone could remove that from him!

dad

We will be joining my cousin Beth at her church... Christ Wesleyan Church, 2390 Union Cross Rd., in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for their Christmas event on Dec 2 and 3 at 6:30pm each evening. Tickets for their banquet and program are (I believe) $5.00. We will also be sharing in their Sunday morning services on the 4th. Whether or not you can attend, please pray for the Lord to move in these services. You can reserve tickets or get additional information at cwcoffice@triadbiz.rr.com or ChristWesleyan.org or call (336)788-8813

32 Comments:

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Cousin Beth said...

Awesome devotional once again!!
As Brent said, the cost for the Dinner Theater at our church (Christ Wesleyan in Winston-Salem, NC) is $5.00, which is only half the actual cost. We made the cost low so that people can afford to bring unsaved friends with them. It is a very nice dinner and play with Brent and Deanna having a part in sharing at the end.
Sunday morning services are at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. Besides contacting the church, you can feel free to contact me at drenfroe@northstate.net.
Love you all,
Beth

 
At 7:44 AM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

THE SHOES!! how vividly i remember that smell. it was completely horrific!! thanks for reminding me of it!!

Something we talked alot about in our MOM group, was that we are the aroma of Christ. (the reference has escaped me). I love that. Even tho BJ's shoes WREAKED>> i definitely still "smelled" Jesus on him.

Still praying for you all..

~kristin

 
At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great analogy, and what a great message! I do pray for those who continue to be drawn to this site that they will "get it" like BJ did or at least be drawn to search the truth for themselves. God is so amazing how he pulls all of us together in each of our daily lives and daily struggles and can use one message to speak in so many ways and inspire us to thirst for more of his love. Have a blessed day!
Kayla
Okc, OK

 
At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent and Deanna,

Beautiful are the fee of those who bring Good News, no matter how bad their tennis shoes smell:) I'm so glad BJ led the way for so many of us on what it means to joyously take the risk to share Jesus!

I'll be thinking of you and praying for you in North Carolina. I'd love to be able to travel and hear you share one day. Keep posting your schedules and maybe I'll make it.

Praying you through the pain,

Lynne in Gray,Ga.

 
At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant "feet" of course :)

Lynne in Gray

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

My feet have always smelled. I couldn't figure out why my friends shoes did not have such a foul odor. I realized that they had more shoes, that were able to "air out" more often than mine. I never paid any attention to that then. It didn't bother me. I just took them off outside, even in the rain. BJ obviously didn't care that he only had two pairs of shoes in Peru. He was on a mission. Boy, sometimes I wish I could walk in his shoes -- smell and all -- with the depth of understanding and love for sharing our Lord. I can only learn of his experiences and put to work what BJ started for us all -- sharing unconditionally and selflessly.
Vicky Ward

 
At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What analogy can you come up with as to why my son duct-tapes his old shoes to hold them together and refuses to wear his brand new ones waiting for him in his closet? Oh how I laughed reading your message this morning. I sure do wish I had the chance to meet your son! What a beautiful young man...even if he did have stinky feet! hahaha

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger Nic and Jen said...

We will be praying for those services. Wow, you sure have a way or sharing, it moves me every single time I read this blog. I can relate to the shoe/fppt odor as I have a son who seems to not really care what happens to his shoes. We have a good day if he decides to even tie them! Hee hee. Oh how I think of your family every single day, even if I do not post on the blog. I pray that unbelievers might read this blog, especially todays blog, and take up the challenge of reading John. Christ is everywhere. All He asks is for us to seek him with our whole heart.

Oh how envious I am that you get to listen to the new Mercy Me song!! Just kidding. Not envious... but well... I really want to hear it too! I am seeing Mercy Me and Steven Curtis Chapman in Everett WA on December 7th. Perhaps you can drop Bart an email and ask him PLEASE sing your song about BJ becasue a girl named Jennifer really wants to hear it!! :) :)
I am still praying for you family. Oh how I can see the Lord working in your lives each time I read this blog. And to know that at NINE years old, BJ was writing about dying for Christ, shows me all the more that he lived the lift Christ intended him to live. He is rejoicing with our Lord and Savior as we speak.
Love, Jennifer WA

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger Nic and Jen said...

ok ok, I cannot type today. I meant FOOT, not FPPT in my post. :)

 
At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, Deanna, Whitney & Lauren,

I am continually encouraged by this website. I love your expressions of faith and the sweetness of your witness. I haven't written in a while, but I want you to know that although we haven't been in constant touch, you have constantly been in our prayers. Every night Ciera prays for the life that God gave B.J. It's so sweet to see that she understands the impact that he has made on many hearts. Know that the impact that you are making now is just as inspiring. Whitney and Lauren thank you for helping at the Fall Festival, it was wonderful to see you both. And Lauren, I'm sorry that my children didn't make it to Disciple Now, I'm sure you made a great leader and your witness would have been a wonderful thing for my daughter to see up close and personal. We love you all, and of course we will continue to pray God's comfort to surround you as well as his power manifested in you as you have these ministry opportunities.

Your sister in Christ,
Dawn D.

 
At 9:32 AM, Blogger *kim said...

Abby and I read yesterday's post together and were absolutely amazed at BJ's insight and clarity at nine year's old. How amazing each of his journal entries and letters are - what incredible ways God was working in BJ - and how pliant and willing he was! And how pliant and willing you are, taking BJ's story out to people, taking your faith out to people, traveling and sharing, living each day as a witness to Christ. Much love *Kim

 
At 10:32 AM, Anonymous On Our Knees... said...

Brent!

God is speaking so very clearly through you to many. Oh, how I loved this morning's post.

Through yours & Deanna's horrible loss is the incredible love for the lost. Your obedience through your pain is absolutely only possible through a deep and personal relationship with God. It is the kind of relationship that begs all who witness it to seek Him...whether a doubter, seeker, or a fellow follower.

How could this be?
How do I get that?
I want more of that!

What a trying, wonderful, exciting, difficult, joy-filled and God-dependent life race you have been given & blessed with to walk/run (and probably at times crawl or be carried). Keep up the great race! Know we are along the way ~ cheering, supporting, gritting our teeth, crying, and praying with you. We certainly aren't on the same route nor know the same pain...but we have the same race goals (His glory, more racers, etc) and finish line ~ His kingdom & likeness!

We continue to pray faithfully for your strength, obedience, and even more depth & closeness with the Lord. New every day...

We love you!
Tammy

I just thought - how unexplainable that such a tragedy in human eyes could draw an even closer, more loving, serving desire for the Lord. This is our God. He alone can open the ears, the eyes, and the hearts...oh, that many would hear, see, and believe! Thank you Lord!

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger brobrad said...

I know that Brent and family wish they could share the song with everyone now, but all things in His time. Know that when you hear it, if you knew BJ at all, you will hear what a beautiful, dead-on representation of BJ's heart it is...and of the clarity this experience (and his life) have given so many of us. Thank you Bart and Mercy Me for sharing your gifts, and for this incredible, inspired song.

Brent and Deanna, thank you for your deep and unshakable faith. You have always been such wonderful examples to me - now more than ever. God is using you both and I know that His life and love are pouring through you as you bear this incredible hurt with grace. The Lord is truly blessing your words as you share...thank you for your faithfulness.

I love you, brad

 
At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

Isn't it amazing how God can use even something disgusting like VERY SMELLY shoes that all can relate to to bring a funny memory to mind, maybe a bit of laughter, maybe even a bit of disgust...however, through it all Brent, God uses you to share a wonderful message of God's cleansing of our hearts. I was so touched by your story about the Mother/Son statue b/c I know how that would have struck me had I been there. Also, I loved your message, Deanna, about not being sorry for tears but sharing in the tears because that is so important and goes to the heart of what all of us feel/share when you see a fellow human being suffer such loss. Bless you both this day.
Tina

 
At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't blogged in a while, but I read every day. What a blessing and inspiration your words have been.
I'm so excited that we are going to meet you here in NC!
Still praying for your family.

Karen in NC

 
At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Brittany Di Salvo said...

You guys are amazing.. I love all of you so much.
Oh, and thanks Dad for talking to me at dnow.. I know it wasn't that much or that long even, but I appreciate it nonetheless. :)

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger Lynn Andrews said...

Thank you for a wonderful message today! After reading some of the posts yesterday, I really wanted to respond to the unbelievers who posted, but never came up with exactly what and how I wanted to say it. You nailed it today! I'm so glad everything doesn't have to be "seen" to be real! If that were true, no one would experience love, hope, or faith!

Blessings to all of you today!

Lynn
Macon, GA

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Aunt Maralyn & Uncle Ray said...

Brent your writings keep getting better and better. God has certainly let His love shine through you. Your writings are such a blessing to all of us. Again I count it a priviledge to be your Aunt.
I too, wish I could be in High Point with you and could see the drama Dennis has written. We will be praying for you and for Dennis, Beth and Angela as they have major roles in the drama.
Love,
Aunt Maralyn

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

amen and god bless...
Greenfield, Indiana

 
At 5:25 PM, Anonymous heather schaper said...

Man did Beej's shoes reak! His shoe laces started to break on one of them too! I remember him trying to lace his shoes up with the measly shoelace he had left. It was sad. But they don't sell shoe laces in Peru either. ;) So he was a good sport and made due. I remember when he bought those knock off Peruvian chucks. I was like..."Beej are you trying to be like me?" He was like, "No! These are Peru shoes." He wouldn't admit that they were knock of chucks. Oh how I loved Beej to death...in all of his stubbornness.

Heath

 
At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how I remember those shoes. They seem to be in every memory. Like his costume, everything got worn thoroughly as he went full force for the Lord! I can remember how we would make fun of his smelly feet and he would grin and come back with an innocent "I couldn't help it." Thanks for reminding me of the little things that made him unforgettable!

Praying for you~

Erin

PS: Winston-Salem is only 45 minutes from where I live, so I am going to try to get there with my parents who you have truly ministered to!!

 
At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Higgins family,
I just want to let you know how much you and BJ have influenced my life. I heard about BJ from my friend that was with him in Peru. (Rachel Burkholder) I have been reading this blog for a long time, and I am always touched by what is shared. BJ's life has been an inspiration to me. God has been doing some mighty things in my life concerning the mission field. God has used your sharing BJ's thoughts and journals about missions and our relationship with God, to teach me many things. I have now surrendered to go on a mission trip to Romania in January. It will be my first time out of the country and I am sure that it won't be my last. I just wanted to let you know how God has used your family to draw me closer to Him, and also to help me to surrender to His calling me to missions. Thank you so very much.

In Christ,

Christa
Ewing, MO (HLG Student)

 
At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blessings on you all! THANK YOU for following God's lead and writing such a riveting devotional today - I am praying that it will bring the skeptical to their knees.
Love You!
Sydney

 
At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all the people in the south . . . the Christ Wesleyan Church is at 2390 Union Cross Rd. Winston-Salem, NC 336-788-8813.

 
At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Michael Elmore said...

Oh how could I ever forget that smell! It really makes me laugh when I think about it. It was the object of a lot of joking among the guys on the trip. We all voted one time to force him to take a shower! It was so funny. He laughed and reluctantly did. It was one of many good memories of serving on the mission field with BJ. Still praying for you all!

Mike
Peru 05

 
At 7:31 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Somehow, I don't think feet and shoes are the only things that smell on Awe Star trips. I seem to remember more than one story of clothes (especially those lovely, air-conditioned costumes) worn day after day after drama site after drama site with no time, place, or situation for laundry. . .but Awe Star students continue to carry the sweet aroma of Christ that (thankfully) overpowers even the vilest of tennis shoes!

Moms and dads whose children have an interest in missions, please pray about sending them overseas! Experiences like these--the smelly shoes, he unusual food, the draining bus rides, the constant chatter in a language you don't yet "get"--end up being the very things God uses to take students out of their often self-centered worlds and into dependence on Him. Even more significantly, the combination of the students' obedience and His glorious truth proves an irresistable scent, one that draws many souls to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Remember Him? He's the one who ministered to the despised, the outcast, the ones whose feet undoubtedly reeked. How much more valuable is THAT than a summer spent babysitting, working at the local McDonald's, or talking on the phone?

If BJ's parents can say, "Go," who are we to stop our kids from obeying God's call? Thank you, Brent and Deanna, for setting the example. We continue to lift your decision for summer 2006 up before Him. And, as you pray and plan, you might just want to watch for a sale on tennis shoes. . .

Marti for the Pieper Family

 
At 9:26 PM, Blogger Walker Moore said...

If you think BJ feet smells bad you ought to unpack one of their "costume" boxs that the student returns back to the USA with. We have seen many customs agents open the box to inspect it only too quickly slam it shut due to the "odor" that came crawling out.
Our warehouse has that smell but to us it is the smell of obedience. Students like BJ who was obedient to go and sweat and serve. I believe that smell is one of the sweet aromas that pleases God.
Walker Moore
ps
What is repulsive to the world is pleasing to God.

 
At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You continue to bless us. Thank you, DeAnn & Jerry

 
At 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how this post brings back memories. As an AweStyar missionary this past summer I can totally relate to the "smelly" issues. In Thailand we had 100% humidity on some days so you can imagine the smell of sweat on us when we wore those wonderful costumes!! I love what Walker said about it being the smell of obedience. HA, we had to be pretty obedient to wake up every day and put on those smelly things AGAIN!! I also read what some of the other AweStar missionaries wrote and it reminds me of so much that God showed me this summer. I also learned about being the aroma of Christ wherever I go. Thanks so much for continuing to share your heart with so many people. I praise God daily for the life of BJ and the way that he has impacted SO many people. I continue to learn so much from him about life and where God wants me to be. I rejoice in the changes that I see in so many because BJ allowed himself to be used by the King!!
Sarah- Lafayette, LA
AweStar missionary 2005 (Thailand)

 
At 11:46 AM, Blogger a schmaltzee life said...

Hi Family.

Love the story about the shoes and the analogy! I love that your inspriation is from Jesus....your words give testimony to this!

i too wish we could be at the program in NC...are they gonna video it? i would love to get a copy... beth...how much would it cost to produce them?

Cladee has been told that she looks like BJ... now i am finding out she also has more in common with him... her tootsies...well have an odor that is hard to describe..... landee just cringes when cladee removes her shoes...especially in the car!!!

now i will think of her stinky pigs and shoes in a different way...thanks for the message!

hugs to you all.
marla

 
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