Monday, November 28, 2005

Isn't it funny how when you think you are going to "serve" you end up feeling like you've been "served" instead? Three hot meals a day, toiletries provided and lots of smiles and expressions of appreciation. I liken it with this website: We know it's been therapeutic and encouraging to us, that's a given, yet you tell us of how you are blessed as well. I am assured again of how mysterious and wondrous are God's ways.

Going to Louisiana did not in the least feel like a sacrifice, quite the contrary, it was a great time of fellowship and community with believers and an opportune time to reach out to non-believers. The sense of accomplishment we felt as we helped clear out yards (the work seemed unending but we made a difference to individuals) was satisfying, yet we know it was a small part of the effort.

Continue to pray for those who are still there especially and for those who are lost: Maria and a teenage boy several in our group had conversations with. His grandmother is a believer but the young man did not join his father and the group in prayer before our workers left.

I am thankful that we were healthy enough to participate (the work was very physical) and no one got hurt - we were using chain saws and clearing tree debris. It was a very productive way to spend Thanksgiving with the added bonus that I didn't have to cook - ha ha... The lesson for me was that in any kind of loss, God is with us and you can find something to be thankful for. It seems there is often the temptation to fall into self pity and despair, which is understandable in tragedy, but our Father assures us of His care and love and gives hope, providing a way out of despair.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9 "We have this treasure [Jesus' light in us - previous verse] in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

Love,
Mom

17 Comments:

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

The prophet Isaiah had it exactly right--the child born of a virgin will be called IMMANUEL, "God with us."

Lord, I ask that this year especially, you would continue revealing Yourself as Immanuel to the Higgins family and to each one of us. . . .that the world may see and know GOD WITH US whether we're wearing our pink T-shirts, finishing the last few weeks of school, participating in church Christmas programs, or otherwise going about daily affairs (even in a "new normal").

Father, I ask that You would graciously and supernaturally strengthen Brent and Deanna this week as they prepare for their trip to North Carolina. Prepare the hearts of all those involved and all those who will attend the dinner theater and services--that they may experience You as IMMANUEL in fresh ways. We praise You for Your presence, Your power, Your mighty works! Thank you for Cousin Becky and her family and give them a peaceful, GOD WITH US week of preparation as well.

in the PRESENT name of Your Son Jesus, IMMANUEl--AMEN.

 
At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Marissa Balog said...

I'm glad you had a great Thanksgiving, I certainly did too. Though, it was kind of hard with everything being so busy all around. It was nice to have a break and it seems like though you worked you had a break as well. Have an AMAZING day!I'm still praying for you.

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger *kim said...

Lauren was in bed when I got back in the room last night... and she wasn't up yet when I left this morning. I am so anxious to see her and hear about your trip! It was good to catch up on your posts and see a little bit of how your time in LA went - I couldn't check the website this weekend while I was home. It sounds like your trip was amazing, fulfilling, tiring, and a way for you to minister and be ministered to. I am praying still for God to heal you in His time, in His way. Love *Kim

 
At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

I thought of all of you yesterday during our pastor's sermon...and Deanna you just spoke to it today. He preached on thankfulness and being thankful even when things seem really bad because it can help change your mindset, your view on what is happening in your life. I thought of how all of you are getting through this very difficult time by focusing on all the things you are thankful for that has come as a result of your loss. Of course, it doesn't mean you don't grieve and feel the tremendous pain of not having BJ with you anymore but somehow focusing on all the things you can be thankful for helps you through such a difficult time.

I need to do that more. I have had a few rough years with physical issues (cervical fusion, nerve damage etc.) and it has really limited the things I can do. I have always been a pretty active person and hands-on with my boys. I love going sledding, playing catch, lots of physical activity yet I have been so limited and have often got caught in focusing on all the things I can't do anymore instead of what I can do. I am encouraged through all of you and through what my pastor spoke too, to being focusing on the positives instead and I know that I will be praising God for it all!

Blessings on you all this day.
Tina

 
At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Carol said...

Precious family, bless you for helping others during your Thanksgiving season. We had to cancel our Thanksgiving festivities this year because of my Mom's chemotherapy. She is having a hard time with it...appreciate your prayer support for her mental health as well as physical. Still praying for you in Arlington, TX.

 
At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Chrissy Stevens said...

Praise God that you had a great Thanksgiving as a family of believers! Prayer will continue for Katrina victims.

I understand it when you say you feel like you were served when you were on a mission to serve. It seems to happen that way a lot. I have been endlessly humbled in experiences like that, especially in North Africa. Hospitality doesn't describe it. Speaking of which, I filled out the application to go this summer while I watched the DVD of BJ's memorial service. What a blessing!

Praise the Lord for your peace. I continue to pray for you guys. I am encouraged to know that you are safe and well. The hand of our Father is peaceful. And we know it so well.

Have a blessed day.

I love you.

chrissy

 
At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless you Deanna
love, prayers and huggs to you
and your family.
Lisa
Indpls., IN

 
At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are so glad that you are home safely and that the Lord ministered to you as you served others in need. How thereputatic. I continue to remember you as you prepare for the holidays. May you be comforted to know that BJ is in the very best place he could be this Christmas season. Worshipping with our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Our hearts go out to you with love.
Love,
Jean in Santa Claus

 
At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Toodie Schaper said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your words this morning. They were straight from the Lord to my heart. It amazes me how quickly and easily I can fall to the temptation to self-pity and despair. Your words helped me put the brakes on and get right back on track with the Lord.

I have a praise and prayer request for all of you. Heather's cousin, David, was on his way back to OBU yesterday when he encountered a really bad brush fire that caused such dense smoke he had to pull off the highway. His car was hit from behind by a semi truck carrying ashpalt. He jumped out of his car right away and the woman driving the truck did as well. David's car burst into flames and there was nothing anyone could do. Thank the Lord David was not hurt but has lost everything he was taking back to school including his computer, wallet, cell phone, all of his clothes and more. Things can all be replaced and we are so grateful no one was hurt. My prayer request is that David and his parents can get all details worked out with the insurance companies involved, and that this won't interfer with David's finals. Please also pray for his parents to have peace when David has to drive that stretch of highway again. Their names are Debbie and Mikel.

Thank you prayer wariors, and Higgins family for this place to come and ask for prayers. I am humbled and grateful to all of you.

Much love,
Toodie

 
At 2:03 PM, Blogger Lynn Andrews said...

As happens so many times, I have "goose bumps" sitting here reading your words, Deanna, and the comments from this beautiful Body of Christ.

I am so thankful you are all home safely and that you were blessed as well as being blessings to others! Isn't our God awesome!!!!As we all prepare for the holidays, I hope that we take time to remember why and who we are celebrating. I got an e-mail today - it was a "letter from Jesus" regarding His birthday and how we should invite Him to the party. It talks about the party he has planned for us - if we will only let Him in our hearts!

Thank you, precious Higgins family and blog family, for giving me a place to come for inspiration each and every day!

Toodie, I am so thankful David wasn't hurt in that terrible accident. I will pray for him and his family.

May God's blessings be abundant to each of you!

Lynn
Macon, GA

 
At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your posts have been inspiring to me however I regret I have not been on for the past few weeks. We have been having some things going on in our home and have taken in a young person, trying to help her the best we can to not only find Jesus but to reunite with her family. I guess being successful and getting her back with her family has been very depressing for me for more than one reason that I don't know if I can share in this post. Right now I am questioning if I did the right thing taking her from an abusive situation because it seems I only made things worse for her.Something happened today, I guess you could say, and I was attacked by her mom once again(this time through a letter).

Seeing what she is going through has made me thankful for my immediate family, and I praise God for each and everyone of them. At the same time it has made me think of my extended family (mom, dad and brothers). I haven't been allowed to spend the holidays with them for the past 3 years, they have disowned me for reasons I don't feel I should share at this time. It is hard on my 3 teenagers, has been for years, feeling that their own grandmother doesn't love them like she does her other grandkids.

Having a family is a gift from God, and I must admit your family for as long as I can remember and since I remember all of you before BJ came into your life I guess you could say that is a long time, has been an inspiration to me. Your children have had a major impact in my youngest daughter's life, whether that was through a team leader for D-Now, youth camp, Sunday School or wherever they were praising the Lord. I am so thankful for everything all of you have done to set an example for the world that Jesus is the reason we celebrate life. The teen that was staying with us is searching for answers to her questions. We have talked many hours about the Love I have for her and how that comes from Christ Himself. She did say the other day that she believes she is going to Hell because of all the bad things she has done. I explained to her how Jesus is waiting there for her and all she has to do is reach out and receive the gift of eternal life and she will never be afraid of going to Hell ever again. She is close to making that lifelong commitment with Jesus Christ, so please keep her in your prayers. She only met BJ once but she visits this website often to see what else you have to say about him. She has made the last Christmas Pageant we did her favorite video, she watches the whole entire thing and just takes it all in as if she were watching it for the first time in her life.

This door has opened to witness to her but her parents are doing their best to close it. I gave her a book, Falling in Love with Jesus and her mom got rid of it. She now has a Bible that Scott Long gave me to give to her the weekend of D-Now and she leaves that here, said her mom would burn it if she took it home.

I guess I have a lot more to be thankful for than I thought, even though this time of year is hard for me without my mom, dad and brothers. I do have a church family and I praise God for that.

Thanks for your words of encouragement, you have no idea how I needed to read them today. Remember that Jesus loves you all and so do I.

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger Jeff's Mom said...

Hey, Higgins Family.

We wanted to be on the LA trip with you, but we had visitors from Phoenix for the holiday. While they were here, we were looking through photos on the computer and ran across one of Jeff and BJ at UYC 2002. I can email it to you if you contact me at barbaracross@comcast.net.

Love you all. Can't wait to hear the new MercyMe song at Northside.

-Barbara

 
At 3:22 PM, Blogger Tara Case said...

Hey Mom, Dad and sister!
My computer has been down and so here i am finally at my grandmothers house. I have a lot that God has revealed. Lots of ups and downs and confusion but all in all its good. The Lord revealed to me something i have been praying form for a year and half now. I understand what venezuela is now! i will explain later--i might get random and decide to call! Just wanted to tell you I love you guys and Lauren, tell me when girl and the roadtrip is so on!
Hugs (times 238974928) hehe love ya
Tara Case

 
At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Brittany Di Salvo said...

You have beautiful feet.
Romans 10:15

 
At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Brian said...

I love that we are jars of clay; God wouldn't have had it any other way! How much stronger is he because we are so weak?! But, I have to understand how much of me is earthen treasure, and how this relates to the weakness I allow God to prove his strength through. But, I have to display ALL that is clay about me--my faults, fears, past experiences, and failures. Once I am willing to admit my faults, God is able to show himself that much stronger.

I am encouraged to see your example, and to hear the Truth you share through God's Word and your experiences. Through you working through your pain, loss, fear, and the like, God has just made himself that much more powerful through you. It encourages me as I continue on my road of recovery...From past sexual abuse, to the recent uncovering of years of my spouse's infidelity, I am able to share my weaknessnes to the extreme, see my partner reveal her weaknesses, and to then experience God's power and healing to an even more extreme power than ever before! I am such a jar of clay, it's not even funny!! But it's true, the light's just that much more apparent when we recognize and admit our clayness! Thank you Higgins family for being real, genuine, and earthen---it's the only way to be.

Life's a process, and I'm so glad I have you strangers to go through it with! Thank you thank you thank you, again for bringing online your experiences of God to encourage me!

 
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