Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Last fall, BJ was looking for an outlet to express his 'manhood,' and work off some frustration. He asked me if he could chop down some trees with an axe. When I was his age, I wanted to do the same thing, but had no outlet, no place to do this. I was quick to put an axe in his hands, and point him towards a grouping of trees at camp that all had to come down.

He was uniquely motivated. There is something within a man that needs to express itself when you reach a certain age. I believe part of it is the desire to no longer be a teenager, but to truly make a difference. Simultaneously, his pent up frustration was going to be spilled out with each blow of his axe.

What developed was not surprising, but nonetheless interesting. He started on a big tree. He quickly found that he did not have the stamina or skill to bring down that giant. He asked for permission to move to a smaller tree without finishing the first. I granted his request. I continued about my day, and would check on him from time to time. Pretty soon, there were trees that bore the scars of his visit, but all still stood. Each was seemingly an advertisement for his failure.

I'll never forget when a co-worker later asked me what happened to that stand of trees. I told him, "BJ happened to them."

Eventually, BJ asked me if there wasn't a small tree somewhere that he could cut down. I took him to a different area, and he quickly had success. His posture stiffened to a most erect pose as he had finally filled that need within. That was the last time he carried an axe.

I'm afraid I am often that way in my spiritual life. Carrying a genuine desire to make a difference, but lacking the patience to hone my skill, and leaving scars as I go. Finally, I defeat a small foe, then drop my weapon. Having tasted victory, I am finished, just when I am finally ready to begin.

Oh body of Christ, how we need to develop our skill, and let our Jesus use it. So much can be accomplished from the way He has gifted us, if we will but let Him teach us.

Fortunately, Beej did not use a spiritual axe in his encounters. The precision he developed was God-breathed, and fruitful. Let us go and do likewise.

dad

25 Comments:

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Piechockis said...

Brent and family,

I haven't blogged in a while, but I wanted to let you know that I still check the site daily and am still praying for all of you. Your messages encourage me in my own walk in many ways. I hope you have a great trip this weekend. I'm sure that many will be blessed with your presence.
On a selfish note, we will be out at the camp this weekend helping with the wood floor project and will miss you!
Still praying!

In Christ,

Colleen

 
At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story is encouraging, thank you.

 
At 7:42 AM, Blogger the leaf family said...

Brent, I wan to say thank You again for yesterdays words. I copied that letter and carried it with me, I added some verse to the bottom and everywhere I was yesterday there were the words the Lord so kindly said to me. Satan was really working on my heart and mind yesterday. Again I say Thank You.

A few summers ago while camping we let Michael use an axe for some frustration. He split every log we had and more. At one point there was a chopping contest amongest the guys, Michael out lasted the older guys. Later that after noon we said to Michael, you need to take a break your getting tired. No, I'm fine I am enjoying this.. he slipped and chopped his ankle.. frustration gone.. stiches required.. new frustration, crutches and school hallways..
Thank You for reminding us everyday to give Glory to our King and to serve him..
With all my love and prayers from KC-Tracy

 
At 8:08 AM, Anonymous marissa BAlog said...

Im back and i have been reading the post but have not been able to respond. Brent your message last night at the Upwards Awards Dinner was amazing and once again touched many who listened to it. I am still praying for you and Whitney and Lauren I hope you are doing well and having fun at school and at work. Have a GREAT day!
Marissa

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger Danzeisen5 said...

Good morning!
Again, you have touched my heart with the writings the past couple of days. Thank you for your faithfulness!
I hope that it is as crisp and sunny and fall-like there as it is here. There is something about days like this that let you know change is coming and a new season is approaching. I pray that you will, in someway, look toward the new season with some sense of anticipation for what God is going to do in you and through you. I will pray for that esp. this weekend. I am confident that you will know what is on the Lord's heart to share and that it will go well. Deanna I know the Lord will speak to hearts through your beautiful voice! I miss hearing it.
We love you all and miss you
Lynae

 
At 8:20 AM, Blogger *kim said...

Thanks for the excellent thought to start my morning. Be safe on your trip. I'll be praying. Love *Kim

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, your illustration and words are powerful!!! Praying for your family daily and that you will be blessed with your time in OK.

Nathan and Amy Moore

 
At 10:14 AM, Blogger Lattany said...

What an excellent illustration.

Thank you, again, for sharing.

...Lattany
Fairfax, VA

 
At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

Dear Brent & Deanna,

I will be at our church's annual "all church retreat" which is really a misnomer b/c not everyone goes but a good group, about 160 or so, go for a weekend filled with scripture, teaching, fellowship, small group time and teaching and crafts for the kids. It is a nice getaway in a beautiful area (Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, WI). Anyway, wanted you to know I will be lifting you both up in prayer and asking others to do so as well as you travel to share and sing the Lord's praises. Lord, please give Brent & Deanna the strength they will need, guide them in their words and their decisions, may they continue to be a blessing to others but most importantly to You and to bring others to You through their sharing.

Thank you for all you have done to bless my life. I see your daily blogs as the highlight to my day.

Hugs,Tina

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Hannah Phillips said...

I don't think there is a day when I don't wear my prayforBj shirt. I tend to get frustrated with certain outfits, so I change my clothing sometimes. I tend to look for that way to express myself as a "young woman", and a godly one at that.

I have been talking to my friend, Judy, about BJ. I have showed her the blogs, testimonies, and words he has spoke. She has began to ask so many questions. She has started coming to church with me, which she said she'd never do.

I challenge her the way you seem to challenge us, through BJ's story's and life situations.
I feel like BJ did when the only think left on the first set of trees, was scars, but also failure.
With, Judy, I feel Beej's loving, godly spirit over me when I talk to her. So, cliche', but BJ has challenged me. He challenged me in the way of living my life 100% for him, which BJ did. I have been wanting to ask about his testimony? Like how old he was when he accepted Christ, so forth and so on. His teqniques for studing the Bible. Day in and Day out I periodically will go to past blogs and read inspiring words from you(dad) and lauren,whit, and mom.

Thank you so much, forever will you be blessed. You have blessed me and my family/friends and people all over the world with BJ and your seemingly unfailing faith to Christ.

 
At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank each of you. Your words are so encouraging everyday. I pray that God is keeping you strong in His arms. God Bless!

 
At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am always left feeling convicted about my own walk with the Father after I read the posts every day.
Thank you so much for continuing to minister to me.

 
At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Will Hill in Denton, TX said...

Father in Heaven,
Thank you for Brent, Deanna, Lauren, and Whitney and for how they have continued to share with us stories and letters about BJ and his walk with You. What an encouragement they have been. I pray that You will comfort them, strengthen them, provide for them, and guide them just like You always do. I pray Lord that somehow you would use me to be a blessing in their lives. I pray that BJ's testimony would continue to be used by You to encourage and motivate BJ's peers to live an abundant and fruitful life to the Glory of Your Name and for the advancement of Your Kingdom on Earth. Lord, thank You for the Higgins family, they have been a tremendous blessing to me. All praise be unto You, our Lord Jesus.
Amen.

 
At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is genuinely a story we could all relate to and to write it out as you did gave a picture of how it is so simple a thing that we too do. Thank you so much for being so real and Thank you for reminding us of our own tasks God has in store for us. We must all persevere in God's will and take and use the power of his presence to see us thru. God is so good. Thank you to for continuing to speak, I to click on daily....
May God continue to Bless you richly
Focusing on the Narrow Path
OK Runner

 
At 5:23 PM, Anonymous reed's said...

Hi Brent & Deanna,

Finally got our internet back up!
I have missed reading this every day. I always take something away from what you write that I can apply to my life and walk. We continue to pray for all of you every day. We will pray for a safe trip this weekend and will miss you at church. Please let me know if you need anything. Take care.

Love, Nancy

 
At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much each and every day that you come on here and write words of encouragement. I need words of encouragement. I need to hear words of encouragement so my walk with the Lord is strong. I have strayed in many ways, and I am in need of some help. I pray that God will save me and for Satan to quit dragging me into bad things. Pleae please pray for me.

Lori

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

Like many others who have written, I am always blessed and challenged by what you write and share. Though I have not written very often I continue to check here most every day and pray for you often. Whenever I hear Held or one of the other songs written for those "grieving with hope" as one says, I pray for you to be strengthened by our Father. Keep up the good fight! A sister in Christ

 
At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't end the blogging. It helps so many of us. Please don't do that for we need to hear what you have to say.

 
At 7:59 PM, Blogger Cousin Beth said...

Brent and Deanna,
As I read this, I pray that God will help me to somehow make a difference in the lives of those around me. You continue to move and bless us, and many times I feel at a loss for words. We praise God for speaking through all of you in such a tremendous way. Every day I'm excited to see what new words God has given you to share. We will be praying much for you as you go to Oklahoma this weekend. Sure wish I could be there to hear you both. Maybe you'll just have to come to North Carolina sometime. Tom Kinnan is coming here to speak for a few days beginning this weekend. You may remember that he married us.
We are deep in preparations for a Christmas Dinner Theater at our church for December 2nd and 3rd. I want you to know that after this whole situation with BJ, Dennis felt led to make some major changes, so please help us pray.
You're never far from my thoughts. May God continue to give you comfort, strength, and peace.
Love you much,
Beth

 
At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord, I want to lift up Brent and Deanna as they travel tomorrow. Please keep them very safe and close to you throughout the entire weekend. Father, we know that several times are planned for them to tell their story/BJ's story. I pray that they would share and sing in exactly the ways You have planned, but that they would also be sensitive to any "unplanned," unexpected times to tell this story. Bless each encounter they have with the Awe Star family, and allow them to be ministered to as well as to minister. I ask especially for the church services where they share, that Your name would be lifted up and that people would not even see Brent and Deanna but would look only unto You.

Thank You for loving and caring for them so very much more than we, the blog family who are all

praying in pink in Jesus' name,

AMEN

Pieper Family
Charleston, SC

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

I enjoy reading your posts, they are such an encouragement to my walk with Christ. I am praying for your family and love reading all of the interesting stories. Your Christ centered family is an example for me to follow in the future as I pray for my future husband, marriage relationship, and family as my parents are christians but lacking growth. It is truly a blessing being able to read about how the Lord is working in other believers lives. Thanks so much!

Sarah from Kansas City

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

make sure you take some time to chop a few trees in your moments of grief! seems like it might be very therapeutic on some rough days! one thing i have loved to "learn" about bj through all of your stories is how he just seems to know what he wants and how to find outlets for emotions and changes he faced. due to good parenting, it seems like most of the outlets he chose were positive... it is just amazing how well you nurtured him and brought him up to identify with what he was feeling and take care of it. god has truly blessed you and i am so grateful that that blessing continues on to all that read this blog. i will be praying that you will have a weekend filled with jesus' peace and fulfillment as you minister and visit, laugh and cry. god bless.

 
At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey family--
just thought i would share this song with you. it has ministered to me in so many different ways and seasons. i woke up singing it today and thought of you. we're still praying!

Stay Empty

Aaron Niequist

My life is cracked in ways
That I don't understand
And there are holes inside
I never planned
But this roller-caster
Is how you pull me closer
And I trust that
You are who You made me for

And I will stay empty
I will keep waiting
I will stay empty
Until You fill me up and I
I will stay empty
I will keep waiting
Until You fill me up with You

Send Your floods to help me
Clean out my heart's space
Please come quickly
It's so hard to wait
This world is temporary
I cry for sanctuary
And throw myself
Into the strongest arms of Hope

It may come soon
And maybe it won't
I want to run
But I know You don't
I give You my heart
And trust You in faith
And cling to the blessings
I anticipate

I will stay empty
I will keep waiting
I will stay empty
Until You fill me up with You

 
At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Marilyn Kelley said...

Brent and Deanna,
Thank you for sharing BJ's story this morning at our church, Parkview Baptist - Tulsa.
I will pray for God's incredible peace to wash your family and you will feel the prayers of your brothers and sisters in Christ.
George and Marilyn Kelley

 
At 4:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a 2005 caulfield cupvendor site called Holden Tees. We're a small company and we sell shirts and stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time

-Holden Tees

 

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