Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Since moving into the country, we often have the opportunity to see wildlife up close. I have made it a habit to feed the deer and birds...of course that also means I am feeding raccoons, opossum, moles, shrew, and other small scampering animals that were not invited to dinner. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them come within 15 feet of our house to eat. We can view them through our picture windows in both the front and back of our camp provided home.

We have watched fawns grow up, bucks sprout antlers, and two doe stand on their hind legs and wail on each other with their front legs over whose turn it is at the feeder. It has been very educational and entertaining.

One of my favorite verses is from Psalm 42:1 "As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after thee..." The idea of being so thirsty for God resonates within me. We have all been at that point where we are in dire need of a cool drink of water, so it is easy to draw into view the idea of our desperation for Christ (plus, I have always enjoyed watching deer, and so was drawn to this verse).

Last winter, after watching the bucks feed on occasion, I noticed when they were antlerless. Two sores resided in their place. So, I went hunting...for shed antlers. BJ went with me. (I think he thought I had lost my mind, and was more interested in seeing if I'd find that.) I taught him how to set up a grid pattern for searching in the clearings where we knew the stags often visited. They tend to shed in clearings, often beside trees or thickets. I know what your thinking.

BJ thought it was a pointless pursuit as well. He came along just to have some "father/son time." I am so glad he did. I could tell he was not into the hunt, but it gave him a chance to share as we looked. His well for sharing ran sooo deep.
I am thankful that he had so much to say. In the quiet of the woods, where there were no other distractions, he would share his heart.

During the 6 or 7 weeks we were on vacation, and then in the hospital, the deer did not get fed (well, God fed them, but we did not). Now, they don't come around. I am faithfully trying to lure them back, but they seem uninterested. I miss them.

Today at work Jan (my co-worker) and I went to the valley to visit our waste water treatment lagoon, to assure it was working properly (one of the 'glorious' tasks of operating a camp). On the way, we saw a buck, and were both excited. We proceeded on through the 8 foot fence around the sewage pond, and were circling around when we witnessed a strange sight.

We encountered a buck and doe who were inside the high fence. Spooked by our truck, they panicked, and tried to get out. The way they tried to get out was sad and disturbing. They ran along the fence and jumped into it, only to fall clumsily back to the ground. They did this over and over until they finally found a weak spot and fell through to their escape.

First, I don't even like thinking about the fact that they may have been drinking from that water, or what it may do to them. Then the Lord showed me that we often drink from the wrong source, and pay the penalty for our poor judgment.

Next, the relentless jumping into the fence, and falling down...how pitiful...how disconcerting...how human. We run headlong into the same sin patterns over and over, even when the result is that we are humiliated. Sometimes I wonder if the Father looks down and shakes His head and thinks, "you know better, I have taught you wiser ways." Yet the dog returns to his vomit.

God did not create deer to reside inside fences, and He did not create us to see how low we could choose to go. We are created to bring glory to Him. Let us drink deeply from Emmanuels veins, for behold, the river of life is yours and will set you free.

Have a blessed day!

dad

(Yes, I have found shed antlers...No, it isn't a worthwhile venture)

26 Comments:

At 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for these words today. Your family is a blessing to me.

 
At 7:42 AM, Blogger Piechockis said...

Dear Mr. Higgins,

god is prtecting your land. god is
keeping you safe god will do it
just for good. I am so sad that
BJ is gon in hevin but. I will
pray for him and you.snicrs will have her puppys today and I bet you wll like them. and me to. they wil go to ther new Home on chrstmas I havet to go to shcool now.
your frend mitchell

 
At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Marissa Balog said...

Praying for your day and the "deer" ways of the world and of us.

 
At 8:07 AM, Blogger Barbara Ann said...

Good morning...

I love these stories...and yes at first I was thinking, 'what, looking for deer antlers? Hmm..the things that guys do!' I want so see one of those when we come up there...
Last night we had the opportunity to worship something fierce (yes, I know...FIERCE!) And God just sang so loud. I really do love it when the creator of the world brings me to my face. I was reminded of the time that while we were still in country we danced for joy before the Lord. He just took over! He restored our spirit and brought a crowd at the same time. It was that time when the Lord told me not to be concerned about what other people think, but truely let loose before Him.
It was so intimate...just like when David was dancing before the Lord.

So dance today...let loose...

Dancing with you,
Barbara Ann

 
At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My children woke earlier than usual today, & I didn't get my quiet time alone with God. I snuck away for just a brief moment to check the blog site....Your thoughts were my minute devotional for the morning. Thank you for reminding me that God longs for us to long for Him...To come to Him to quench our thirst & fulfill every need we have. He is truly an awesome God who has created all the things you described for us to enjoy.
I pray He will point some of those deer in your direction so that you may once again be reminded of His greatness! May God bless you! Have a wonderful day!

 
At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Matt Littell said...

Brent,

As you might have guessed, this passage touched me deeply. Especially, as I have been able to spend time with my daughter in the woods this year.
Shed hunting is a great pastime among many, and depending on which view you may take, can be very worthwhile. It obviously was able to provide that father / son time, or in my case provides father / daughter time, which as parents we know is very important. The time spent in the woods is a perfect time to learn, meditate and become close with our "father." I have found many times that I have become a little closer, a little more understanding and was actually able to "listen" to what our saviour had been trying to tell me.
Another view of shed hunting may be this. Antlers are an amazing part of a deer. Each year as a buck ages, he grows another pair of antlers. Like people, they are an extension of their personality. Are they large, are they small, are they disformed, are the a perfect match? Just as we rid our body of old ways, and we grow, not just physically, but spiritually, mentally, etc. so does the buck with his antlers. As the buck grows, so do his antlers. Antlers have a life cycle. They are also used in many ways. They are used to establish who they are. Their territory, their appearance. They are used to mark their home, to communicate and to defend. Antlers are very much like our growth while we walk with God. We shed the old, only to grow the new, but when we shed the old, sometimes, it is uncomfortable, it is sore, and....it leaves sores or scars, however, God replaces the old with new and we continue to grow and live and worship and love.
I am so glad that you and B.J. were able to share this time with each other. Shed hunting is an awesome way to spend time with your father or son, or daughter, which ever the case may be. It teaches us quite a bit. I pray that God continues to bless you each day. You are truely and inspirtation, and I appreciate your daily writings, they have become my daily devotional, as I prepare for each day, to "grow with the new, shedding the old."
May God Bless you and your family.
Your Friend!
Matt Littell
P.S. I don't think Holly has missed a weekend yet.

 
At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Gail Cassel said...

What a great analogy. Thank you for sharing that.

...and I actually have looked for deer antlers myself (I like it better when they're still on the deer)

 
At 9:21 AM, Blogger Tara Case said...

Mom and Dad,
woo its 8:14 and i feel like Im up early. Yes i can be lazy at times and want to lay and bed(I know, hard to believe! haha). Whats weird is that i remember waking up praying at 4:30 this morning...what i prayed, i dont remember. Anyways, i feel like i say the same things over and over on here sometimes. Is that normal? I dont know. Personally I could just write you my life story on this thing! hehe. What I do find so interesting is how i yearn for Gods word after this weekend...why? Well i guess in all really im better when surrendered than 'dedicated'-Im a BAD dedicater! I find myself want to climb to the highest place I can find and just sit and twirl around and 'dance' before Him. Last night during worship, I found myself having be alone just with God and relizing that I needed to allow him to love me. Im real good at that wall thing too-I have never really been around parents that love like you both do -or give good side hugs (two brownie points to dad!..points dad, not actual brownies!) lol! I am also seeing God move in the lives of those people that were not on the PEru team this summer yet God is taking that connected spirit and running it through each of us...Well off to have some jesus time and then wash my hair (at the rate im going, i could be definately pull off North Africa of Uganda...eww, i wont go any further!) Love you both!
Tara

 
At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How amazing is that. We can ourselves to the little things of God's animals

 
At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I needed so much to read your blog today. I found a writing that my son had hidden is his folder. He has been caged in his own way, bucking at the fences, but not able to get out. He just keeps falling. I will share your story with him today and hope that he grasps the analogy and finally realizes that God can truly lead him out of the fences and into a grace so beautiful and free. There are times I wish there was someone that would be able to reach him, Lord knows I try! He is such a great kid, but battles with his own mind. I struggle with whether to take him to a counselor or a youth minister -- or both. Anyway, thank you for your message of today.

Lord, I thank you for once again shedding light in a moment of darkness through the words of Brent Higgins. I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to see that there is so much hope in times of need. I pray for my son, that he may look to you for guidance and see your light -- brighter each day. The fences can't hold him when you are.

 
At 10:07 AM, Anonymous reed's said...

Brent,

I love reading your stories. You certainly have the gift of story telling. You really need to write a book, you would be very good at it. I am thankful that BJ was able to exerience the beauty of the place you live at now. It will forever hold dear memories for both of you. We continue to pray for all of you. We pray for you and Deanna as you continue with your work routine. I know it must be so difficult at times, but pray it is getting easier by each day. Hope to see you Sunday, miss you both a lot. Tell Deanna that there is several scrapping activities coming up!! Love you both.

Love, Nancy

 
At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

Thank you, Brent for your sharing. Don't give up on those deer yet. What you wrote reminded me of how sometimes we don't see the immediate results of our actions and yet eventually rewards are reaped. You mention about our faith and our doing the "wrong" things over and over. God doesn't give up on us though. Be faithful in feeding the deer and eventually they will return...as we do to our Father in times when we stray.

Blessings on you both this day.

Tina

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger Aunt Maralyn & Uncle Ray said...

Brent, you are still amazing me with your writings. We are getting to experience a side of you we have not seen before. You have such a special way with words. I agree that you could write a book. Just putting in book form the writings you have put on the web site would be great.
I love deer also and was priviledged to see them in your yard. My love for them goes back to when I was a little girl. When we would go back to Baraboo to visit, Wendal would take me out for a ride in the evening to look for deer. We did that every time we went for as long as he lived. Those are great memories.
Love,
Aunt Maralyn

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Sheila said...

I love hearing from you guys. I still check everyday. I find hope, grace and encouragement. Thanks for thinking of us.
God Bless,
Sheila
Troy, IL

 
At 1:31 PM, Anonymous heather schaper said...

When I was in Indy visiting Beej when we were watching movies in your living room we saw some fawns and doe in your front yard. It was incredible. They were so close! Just thought I'd say that.

Keep me in your prayers. I feel like the Lord is calling me to go somewhere during Christmas break. But I'm not sure where. I don't know if he is calling me to Mexico with Awe Star or Las Vegas with HLG. Pray that the Lord would reveal it to me.

Heath

 
At 2:34 PM, Blogger LisaTeegarden said...

BROTHER BRENT: This was one of my favorites of your writings yet. Of course it's because of my love for deer too. GOD is sure using you and Deanna. I am so thankful and honored to have you as part of my family. Praying daily for you's and the girls. Still waiting for Lauren to let us know when we can take to eat somewhere. Love YOU"S..YOUR SIS..Lisa
P.S. Heather Schaper..if you read this could you please email me at
lisa.teegarden@indwes.edu...I have a request for you. Thanks.

 
At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, thank you for your continued letters. They are always a blessing and inspiration.

Last night as I got home I decided to put my comfies on, sweats and t-shirt. Then I decided to go rent a movie and go pick up sushi to go for dinner. I had my "prayforbj" t-shirt on. As I went to rent a movie the guy at the counter read my shirt out loud and in passing I kind of told him that there was this 15 year boy we had been praying for. Later after I left, it hit me...I realized what an incredible opportunity I had to share and totally missed the chance. Then I went for sushi to get a to-go-order and as I'm waiting I decided to update my cell phone with phone numbers. As I'm sitting there 2 men pass by then literally backtrack in their steps to read my shirt and kind of laughed. They said nice shirt and then kept going. I almost felt like they were being sarcastic. I thought to myself they have no clue. Then I thought, another missed opportunity. Twice I had an opportunity to use this as a witnessing tool and yet failed to do it. Failed to take advantage of it. As I drove home last night, all I could do was pray for those men. I pray for their salvation and pray that the Holy Spirit may prompt them to get on the website and somehow will be moved and drawn to salvation. Missed opportunities! Amazing how opportunities get thrown right in front of us and we get so focused on what we're doing that we miss them. For those who read this if you wouldn't mind saying a prayer for these 3 men. Thanks.

-Tulsa

 
At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who mentioned your son who seems unable to get out of the fences that are holding him in: We will be praying for you, for your son, and for God to put someone in your son's path that can relate well to his situation, his personality, and his relationship with God. It must certainly be ever so painful to watch this happening to someone you love--we'll continue lifting you up. Try not to grow weary, try to keep a hopeful attitude, and watch, for we know God can and will begin to work soon! (Or maybe He's already working in your son's life....) God bless you!

In Christ's love, Jolene

 
At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Brent and Deanna,

Thanks again for sharing--shed hunting (is that what it's called???) is a new idea for some of us. But I loved the analogies, and I am one of those who worship best when in the middle of God's creation.

Dan and I did some flying this past week, also--to San Diego for a national convention. It was awesome. It's just that there weren't the beaches that I expected to see (you know, alongside Main Street, etc.)...

The view from the airplane that enthralled me was the landscape of the sandy mountains, probably of Arizona. From so far up, they looked like the pictures you see of the moon or of Mars, and at times there were absolutely no signs of human life in view. A little eerie, but beautiful. I was reminded that God can build and do absolutely gorgeous stuff without a bit of our help!! I think we often tend to come in and mess things up, huh?

But, as you have often stated, the part that God has orchestrated for us to do is to spread His kingdom--in that part He has chosen to use us extensively! Thanks for the reminders to keep ourselves ready, willing, and on the lookout for opportunities that He sets up for us.

We're glad to hear that you had a great weekend in Oklahoma. Let us know when you plan to come on down to Texas!!

Love you lots,

Jolene (and Dan, too)

 
At 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jolene,
Next time you are in San Diego, there are amazing beaches - drive up to La Jolla! You will want to move there!

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

I am so glad you continue to write. Both of you..Deann and Brent. I am glad I continue to come to your blog, as there is much to gain from your writings. I do hope you make a book from your writings. God continue to bless you with His grace, mercy, love, and with growing understanding of His purpose.
Cyndi in Lakewood, CO

 
At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for today's words! Thank you also for your continued sharing.

 
At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. . .when we lived in the mountains of New Mexico, many of our friends would go into the forests and hunt for deer and elk antlers. They could actually sell them sometimes (don't ask, because I have no idea).

I'm thankful God gave you those special moments with your son. I need to remember to take similar (although antler-less) "insignificant" moments with my children and allow God to turn them into precious memories. Thanks for the reminder.

Thinking of/praying for you as we went to church tonight, reminded that your "normal" probably isn't very normal yet at all. We are continually remembering you with love and

prayers in pink,

Marti for all the Piepers
(2 of whom you blessed greatly in Tulsa!)
Charleston, SC

 
At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Carol said...

Love today's story...these lessons taught are not soon forgotten. Thanks again for taking the time again to share and remember, though I am certain that the memories must bring pain. You continue to minister to us. Continuing to pray for all of you in Arlington, Texas.

 
At 11:54 PM, Anonymous On Our Knees... said...

Yes, Higgins just want you to know we continue to pray. Your words and God's reminders through you are so very special & meaningful. Thank you for being willing to be used!

Tammy for the McMahans

 
At 1:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

love ya dad
you all and bj's story continue to inspire me and my friends to greater things with God.
-Brittany Allen

 

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