Friday, November 18, 2005

Some of my favorite pictures of Beej are when he was worshipping Jesus. You could see on his face that he was fully in the presence of God. You could see in his body language that in those moments, nothing was between him and the Lord. He loved to worship. Though I know that people worship our Savior in many different ways, I am often saddened at how clueless many of us seem in our efforts to worship our King.

We are supposed to bring Him our best, give Him our all. If the farthest we are moved is to stuff our hands deep into our pockets, and refuse to sing or even read the words...where is our worship? Too often, we then head off to a sporting event, and let loose for our team. Whoop, holler, scream, yell, howl. We don't hold back.

I am not suggesting we do those same things in church, I am suggesting that worship is a verb...it requires action. Where is our action? Why do we save it for ballgames? Is our relationship with our Lord so dead and boring that we will not budge for Him? If we have no more to offer God in our worship than a handful of pocket lint, then what in our relationship with Christ would anyone be interested in having? Are we the reason others won't come to Christ? Do they watch us and say if that is a Christian, I want no part of it?

A relationship with Christ is dynamic, exciting, two way, brimming with enthusiasm that draws others. If ours is old and dead, are we sheep or goats? Do our lives point to the King of Kings, or declare that the walk of a believer is boring and empty?

This past Sunday we had two sisters from another church give their best for Jesus. One sang, while her older sister did ballet for our King. It was precious, and I have no doubt that it brought a smile to my Saviors face! I found myself wondering if many of our churches would feel the same way.

I know David danced for the Lord...he did so with all of his might, according to scripture. How would David be received today if he ate bread from the temple when it wasn't time for the Lord's supper or danced before the King of Kings?

I do not expect everyone to agree with me on this, but at least we need to think about what our worship looks like. Are we giving our best, our all to Jesus, or are we thinking about lunch?

When I was nearly finished writing this, I got so antsy I had to get up. I went into Beej's closet. High up in a deep corner, buried under other "stuff," I found a notebook of compositions written two years ago. As I began to peruse its contents, I found this writing. Usually, he was given a topic, on this day it was a "freewrite"... he got to choose. Here is what was on his heart.

"What is of Great Concern to You?

The inauthenticity of people in general. It really bothers me how conditional people are. If it takes a great effort to keep a friend, something is wrong. Friends are supposed to be loyal and unconditional. Also
[what concerns me] is the fakeness of many people who call themselves Christian. So many believe in a religion. That's the problem, and when others see it and how boring it is, they find themselves more confident and less guilty than the people who just do religion to reinforce or encourage themselves. No, religion is too boring, too requiring, too fake. People now say "I'm not religious, so I don't have to go to church." Two things: One, religion stinks, I don't blame you, but Two, God is more important than what you are and aren't. So why am I saying religion stinks while saying God is all important? Because God is not religion, He is reality. God did not intend for us to be religious, He intended for us to follow Him. All of these traditions, songs, and religious things are of humans and are worthless unless used in true authenticity to worship God. And what is worship beyond singing? Well, first singing isn't even worship. It is what is authentically felt and convicted of in the heart that is true worship. People think that singing loud, being in a choir, droning hymns, etc. is worship and is enough. It is not. You can worship anywhere. Anyway, back to what I was saying before, God doesn't intend for us to be just "religious" or have our attitude be of an exclusive (to other people or judgmental) one or a "Holier than thou," or a legalistic type of attitude. Instead, we should just try to get to know God, not just follow meaningless rules. We should also try to show others that God is far beyond these religious traditions, and droning sermons. We should show them and be an example to them about how truly fulfilling, satisfying, amazing and real God is when He is known and worshipped in true authenticity."

The picture in my mind of Beej praising Jesus with all of his might surely falls woefully short of the reality in heaven, but comfort flows from that mental snapshot!

dad

24 Comments:

At 7:09 AM, Anonymous derek said...

wow.....im am just blown away at the way your son wrote. It's amazing at such a young age how mature he was, and how he KNEW that! The Lord works in so many wonderful ways its hard to understand them all. I enjoy reading this site daily, definatly given me a better perspective of my walk. God Bless you and your family :)

 
At 7:27 AM, Blogger brobrad said...

I am so grateful that the Lord continues to minister through you -and through BJ. Praise Jesus that Beej liked to journal and that the meat in his life was his Saviour.

I have had way too much pocket lint in my life, whether in my worshipping or my walk - so I'm turning out my pockets and praising Him (you guys wouldn't want to see me dance though)!

 
At 7:50 AM, Blogger the leaf family said...

At Summer Camp we had a wonderful Speaker.. He left quit the imperssion on our youth.. Ken Freeman.. one of his challenges was for our youth to get excited and whoop and scream every time someone asked us to open the word of God.. So our first Sunday back in service all 3 services we had students and adults standing and cheering when our pastor said "open your Bible To".. The great thing is they are still doing it.. It didn't get old.. Well, we only do this in Sunday School and at all youth activities.. When we have new speakers though it's great to see the reaction... I do love to see Our kids "LOVING" thier "Jesus"..
With all our Love and Prayers From KC-Tracy

 
At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Marissa Balog said...

Wow that is amazing and true. Praying for your morning and day!

 
At 8:32 AM, Blogger Barbara Ann said...

Worship is so huge. I am reminded of this summer when Meagann prayed for joy in our team before a drama site, and just then we all got up and started dancing before the Lord. What joy that probably brought to our Saviors face! I look back on that day and just remember the worship that took place. I can see Beej there dancing for the Lord. It brought our team to a place of not caring about what other people thought. We let loose for the Lord! We danced like David danced in the street..oh how he loved the Lord so much! A quote from A.W. Tozer really gives a picture of how we are to be worshippers, not just workers...

"We're here to be worshippers first and workers only second....The work done by a worshipper will have eternity in it."

Full time worshippers, part time workers...

Thanks for those words today! I pray your day is blessed!

love,

Barbara Ann

 
At 9:16 AM, Blogger Nic and Jen said...

Hi Higgins Family,
I am blown away and convicted!! I know and agree with everything you said in your post. I have had alot of pocket lint in my life. I also had times when I wanted to dance around and shout for joy at church, but then stop because I see some others doing the "pocket lint" thing and don't want them to think I am crazy!! An amazing thing is... last weekend I went to a Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman concert. I brought my 10 year old son. Guess what he was doing.... he was lifting up his hands in Holy Praise.... and he is only 10. I almost fell to my knees! I felt like I could be myself surrounded by people worshipping in all sorts of different ways. Some dancing, some just sitting and praying, some lifting hands and looking up with closed eyes, some even crying. I think if us as Christians, lead by example in our worship (the part of worship where we sing at Church), then others will look and think that "wow, that is what it is like to be a Christian." I can see your point exactly. If all we have to offer our King is hands stuffed in pockets... that is nothing. You have really shown me something new to think about today!! And reading BJ's journal entry.... wow. What an amazing kid! He knew the true essence of worship. Worship is not just singing, it is in everything we do. It is in getting to know Jesus and having a personal relationship with him. Praise God that you guys continue to post and bless those around you. Even in the most difficult of times, you are ministering to those in need. Praise God! You are giving Him the fullest of Glory!
Jennifer WA

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger Marcia said...

Your post today reminds me of something Graham Kendrick, the British worship leader, wrote. A friend of his was asked why he (the friend) danced in worship. The friend's answer was, "Because I can't fly!"

Just think, now BJ can fly in worship if he wants!!!

Still praying....

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

Last evening I went to the Jeremy Camp concert -- AWESOME!! You could tell those that were worshiping from those that were at a concert. I truly danced and worshipped along with my daughter. How I long for others to open their hearts and eyes to see His Glory -- through the music and the words of these songs!!! BJ seemed to feel the same way, on a much deeper level. I wanted everyone in that facility last evening to raise their arms and just feel the presence of our Lord. So often I get frustrated at sporting events for the very reason that you stated in your blog today. How can a bunch of guys that have to be absorbed in themselves to get to where they are, be worthy of more praise than our God? I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. Don't get me wrong, I love football -- watch it all the time. But it is not where my HEART and SOUL are. I'll scream and dance and sing today and always for the GLORY of our GOD!

 
At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow it is amazing that at such a young age someone can be that into God and have that big of an understanding. I can't say that I am to that point in my faith. I mean I know all of that but I have a hard time putting it all into practice.

 
At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Brittany Di Salvo said...

My goodness, that was amazing. Reading your posts every day challenge and encourage me in an amazing way. Thank you so much for continuing to update.. I love you guys!

 
At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom and Dad, I wanted to ask you to pray for something. I recieved this just a few days ago.
Dear Brittany,

I am asking you today to pray for an extremely critical situation.

More than 60 new believers in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh are being threatened with death if they do not convert back to Hinduism! It is not enough that they escaped the spiritual bondage that has oppressed their people for centuries, but now radical Hindus have threatened to burn alive any Christians who do not return to their former slavery.

Here is what happened:

On November 4, a pastor was attacked and severely beaten by a group of militants who threatened his life. Now the same group says they will conduct a puja (ritual) on November 20 to forcefully convert the Christians in his church to Hinduism--and burn alive any who do not renounce their new faith.

The pastor has filed a complaint with local police, but the area is dominated by a large temple to the Hindu god Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims come to the temple, so Hinduism is important to the local economy. It is not clear if the police will take any action to protect the Christians.

What is most important now is that we pray for this situation. I urge you to pray for the protection of the men, women and children in that place who have committed their lives to Christ. Pray that God will surround them with His angels and turn back any violence. Please also pray for their attackers, that their hearts will be softened and that God will work a miracle in their lives. Imagine what a powerful force for good they could become if they surrendered their lives to the Living God instead of gods that do not hear them!

Please share this request with your church and your friends. This is a spiritual battle, and only through prayer and fasting will the enemy be defeated in this stronghold.

I thank you for being a part of what God is doing in Asia. Thank you, most of all, for standing with us and with our brothers and sisters in Himachal Pradesh during this challenging time.

Yours for the lost of Asia,

K.P. Yohannan
Founder & President
Gospel for Asia
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Please be in prayer,
and consider the time change between here and India, the 20th could be our 19th.
LOVE
Brittany Allen

 
At 2:10 PM, Anonymous April said...

I am once again reminded that worship is more than a song. Worship is a lifestyle, it's something that we have to live every moment of every day. Obviously BJ understood this and I am so thankful that I have been taught this as well.
Thank you for continuing this blog and for all that you have shared with us.
Still praying!!!

April C.

 
At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smiling today! Thank you!!

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Dear Brent and Deanna,

Kristen signed "Held" for you in Tulsa.

Someday you will have to see Katherine do interpretive movement and/or ballet, or hear Tom play his trumpet. . .

Me? I'm worshiping with my words and trusting that the Lord really means that part about a "joyful noise!"

Thanks, BJ, for being an example in worship as in so many other ways.

Praising in Pink!

 
At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Jonathan Haag said...

Dear Higgins Family,

Oh how I miss having deep conversations with Brent about things like worshiping and other topics in the Church and the Bible. He had so much to say about it all.

I remeber 6th grade UYC me and him were walking around the camp talking about Baptism. He got baptized that year; I didn't. I don't know if he told you guys but I was baptized this July!

I am praying for all you.

IN HIM
Jonathan Haag

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

When reflecting upon this entry, I think about how every action must glorify Jesus. I also feel it is more than a song. But in the sense of singing, how wonderful is it to hear a person singing to the Lord with their heart. One of the most beautiful sounds to me is a person just giving it all up to Jesus, even if they do not have the musical ability to match pitch. It is so heart warming and genuine to cry out those words to the Lord, and when it's full of every ounce of their being, it's the most wonderful sound in the world.

 
At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear higgins

this is micheal leaf im sry that i havent posted in a while everything has just been so hectic here o well.
i went to the david crowder band concert last night that was here and let me tell you something that was the greatest concert ever... they had pink lights and it made me think of the first time i have ever been in a mosh pit with bj i think it was at the church with him and ryan Gilland and brent wouldnt let beej go to the mosh pit for a long time but bj finally convinced him to let him go and let me tell you something i am thankful that you let him go brent cause that is one of the many things i well never forget i dont know if i could ever go into another mosh pit agian without thanking of beej. so yes thanks for letting him go brent you haved truely blessed me. so yeah just wanted to thank you and the family brent you guys have truely blessed me. beej was such an amazing guy and i just wish we could of gone to one more concert together well i got to go finish packing were moving into a house finally so thanks agian and i love you guys so much.

always praying for you guys,
michael leaf

 
At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd share this - especially since Brent is working at Highland Lakes. Several years ago, I attended a women's retreat there and remember we were to go somewhere around the camp to be alone and "get in touch" with God. Most of the other women went off into quite rooms, but it was early morning and I just walked outside and into some wooded area. The trees were so tall and had such big branches, I remember looking up and noticing that they formed a canopy over where I was walking. I read some scripture and then begin praying, not with closed eyes, but with my eyes raised to the heavens. I don't remember what I was praying about, but wanted some reassurance that God was listening. Everything was absolutely still (not even a bird was singing) and at just that moment in my prayer, the leaves overhead began to rustle as if someone was shaking the branches, and as I walked along, the rustling leaves would follow me - never beind me or ahead of me, always just over my head. I always thought it was the hand of God, showing me He was there and heard my prayer. He and I were "in touch" that day! What an experience!
Thanks for keeping this going,
DeAnn in Indy

 
At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Jackie said...

wow.....over well snece jb was first put in the hospital my youth leader kevin has tould us every detale about bj and i have been parying for him. I have read a ton on here about him and all i have to say is that i can not wait to meet him in heaven. when i read tha the had died tears ran down my face. But not tears of sarow rather tears of joy. to no that he was out of his pain and in heaven where oneday i will meet him and tell him all he has done for my life! God bless u and ur family!

 
At 1:17 AM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

My gosh Brent, how your words touched me today. When I gave my heart to Jesus 5 years ago it was through the worship music that He drew me. I couldn't remember a word of the message that was spoken that morning or for many Sunday's to follow, the worship took me to the feet of Jesus, where I stayed for the entire service.
Worship is my hearts desire, my passion....
So many times we get the action of praise and the action of worship confused. The Word tells us to lift our hands in praise and when we worship to lay ourselves out on the floor before the Lord. I personally am not physically capable to lay on the floor, but I lay my heart and soul down before the Lord and surrender my all to Him. For me, worship is when I can no longer say how awesome and wonderful my Lord is, because there are no words to describe Him adequately, it is a time of quietness before Him, at His feet.
So many times I see in praise and worship that the Lord is drawing many into His presence, but they stop at the doorway, either not understanding or not rembering that the veil has been torn and that entry in, is there for all who are willing....
Now I'm rambling again.... Thank you for sharing with all something that I am so very passionate about.

In His Love
Linda
OK

 
At 1:38 AM, Anonymous heather schaper said...

WOW! And Beej was like 14 when he wrote that! That is truly amazing! His extraordinary grasp on God knocks me off of my feet every day! Oh how I miss talking about the things of God with him! My life will never be the same because of him.

Heath

 
At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Each time I read the things BJ wrote I am amazed. For him to be so young, yet so passionate is incredible. Truly he had a call on his life. And his life still impacts people.
What you wrote about worship is something I wholeheartedly agree with.

 
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