Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I believe that most of you realize how important music in our lives. a son who played cello, bass guitar (self taught), and was learning guitar, and listened to music from Yo Yo Ma, to Haste the Day.

Two Daughters who play piano (self taught), sing, one plays french horn, the other, oboe. Deanna who teaches music, sings, plays the piano, and once upon a time, played flute. We all listen to many types of music, but out favorite is worship. We love to worship, and last night we were afforded that opportunity.

Eleven years ago, my father died on August 26. When we returned from burying him in Wisconsin, a message was awaiting us from a local Christian bookstore. Deanna had won all of Steven Curtis Chapman cd's and many others, along with a cd player, and two tickets to the Steven Curtis Chapman kick-off concert, complete with "meet and greet" passes, in early September. A blessing from our Father in heaven... one of the little things He did to help us while we grieved.

Almost three months ago, Beej moved on to the purest praise and worship, and awe-inspiring music which we can only dream about. At that time, MercyMe wrote a song inspired by his passion for Jesus. This cd will be released in April.

Last night, we were afforded the opportunity of attending Steven Curtis Chapman, and MercyMe's Christmas concert. The tickets were graciously provided for us by the band. We had amazing floor seats, right in the middle, 15 rows back.

How blessed we were to enjoy this time with so many other believers. What an inspiration these artists are. It was very meaningful to us to be able to share with them after the concert for a brief moment or two. If you haven't heard their Christmas music, I highly recommend you buy it (both groups).

MercyMe will appear on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show," tonight. It is so cool when doors open to Christian artists to appear on a national, non-christian stage. Please pray for them.

No, is the answer. They did not play "Die for You." We did not expect them to...yet.

Blog family, please be reassured of how much you have blessed, and encouraged us through this journey. The Lord has ministered to us deeply through you! Susie from Evansville, it was good to see you last night! We meet people and hear stories every week from and about those of you who God has also touched (Cindy in Lakewood, Co., keep writing, we really enjoyed your work). Thank you so very much. Thanks for your bond of love. We are lifted higher than we deserve.

dad

32 Comments:

At 8:31 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

(#1 again?--I must be getting up earlier--or Brent is sleeping in!) The first song I heard when I turned on the radio this morning was a MercyMe Christmas song. I couldn't help "only imagining" how cool it will be to hear another new song from them in a few months!

God faithfully gives me prayer reminders, and that one moved me to pray for the Higgins as they head to Kentucky and for MercyMe as (I hope) they head home to their families. Thanks, MercyMe, for blessing our mutual friends and so many others. We are grateful for your music because it reveals your hearts.

A Univ. of South Carolina friend of Kristen's told us last night that he had heard of the site (and checked it) from a friend at Clemson (USC fans--go figure). . . keep spreading BJ's story, God. You're the best agent a guy could ever have--and since his story is YOUR story, we know You want it to impact the world.

 
At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so great to share my morning coffee with you, the Higgins family. Every morning after making that first cup of comfort, I find even more comfort in logging on to share with you a journey that brings me and my family closer to our Lord. Since this blog started, I have been saved, I have started to study the Bible again, I have been more involved in my church family, I have been a better mom, sister, friend, cousin, aunt, etc. etc.

BJ made me realize that sharing the Lord and the joy and glory it brings to worship Him may not be comfortable all the time, but is very comforting. I thank you all for continuing to minister. I pray this blog is as beneficial to you as it is to all those who are your blogger family.

God bless you and keep you this Christmas and always!

 
At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Brent and girls,

Hmm, we sure would love to be with all of you in Kentucky this week...give everybody extra hugs from us, ok?

We are actually swamped with work this December (it's often a slow time), so will be staying close to home.

Today is Derek's 21st birthday--can you believe how fast time flies by?? He gets to spend it with his youth group at church. He'll lead their service tonight, then they have a fun outing planned for afterwards.

Well, nobody is sewing those robes for me, so I'd better go now.

Lots of love,
Jolene (and family)
Deer Park, TX

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Lattany said...

Good morning. =)

I so enjoyed MercyMe/SCC concert a couple of weeks ago -- what a blessing. I know they hold a special place in your hearts and I'm so glad you were able to worship with them, last evening.

Lattany
Fairfax, VA, USA

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger Steph said...

I'm sorry I have wrote in along time. I had no computer. I'm still praying for you .I love ya and have a merry christmas. You continue to encrouge me so.


With love and hugs,
Stephanie Tankersley /MONROVIA

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger Nic and Jen said...

Dear Higgins Family,
It sounds like you had a great time last night. I attended the MercyMe and Steven Curtis Chapman concert on Dec 7th here in WA. It was truly beautiful. I am so glad you enjoyed it. It is so wonderful to worship our Savior!! I log in and read your posts daily. I don't always write.... sometimes I am speechless. I just want to say that you are blessing so many people through your blog, sharing your lives, sharing your pain, sharing your love of Christ. You are sharing the Good News daily. I love what you are doing. Please know that you are being prayed for.
Jennifer WA

 
At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Matt L. said...

Brent,
We were afforded the opportunity to attend last nights concert as well. I do have to say it was one of the best....if not THE best concert I have ever been to. Rebecca and I really enjoyed ourselves and were able to worship in a Christmas "spirit". Interestingly enough the suite we were able to sit in was next to the Northside group. I realized this when I saw "BIG JOHN" though John does not know me, It is hard to not know him.
It was a blessing to sit next to the Northside group as they praised and worshipped along in the concert....Thank You Northside!
The concert was very powerful, but with God in anything..how can it not be?
I pray for a safe trip as you and Deanna travel to Kentucky.
Merry Christmas!
Your Friend.
Matt

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger the leaf family said...

I haven't been able to read this week. So I am just catching up and of course I am moved to tears. I once again am reminded about very special people.
I know that God put everyone from Northside in my life to protect, teach and love me. He had special people placed in the right place all through out my teen years. But fromthe time I walked through the doors at Northside he had Big John and Jeannie standing there waiting for me. Waiting to teach me about family, life, boys, and the Love of Christ.. The things that otherwise I would have learned differently about.. I feel so blessed to have been so loved by Big John and all the other families at Northside.. Big John has not only touched my life but the life of so many others.. And without that Love and support my children may not know the Love of Christ.. And he has meant as much to my children as he does to me and my husband.. Thank You Northside and Big John for loving me and serving our Lord.. For teaching me how to Love and serve our Lord!!

Our family celebrated Christmas together last night and we lite our candles and prayed for each family.. What a beautiful new tradition... Again Thank you for sharing so many blessings..

 
At 1:58 PM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

How wonderful your time of worship must have been. I saw MercyMe for the first time in 2003, in Indiana, when I came to the US for the first time. At that point their cd's had only just started to become popular and spoken about in Australia. I have been so blessed and ministered to through their music and their dedication to our Lord.
I received my Christmas gift from God today, Hollie has been accepted into Cookson Hills Christian School and will join them the second week of January. Thank you Lord that you have heard every single prayer concerning Hollie, thank you that You have been in charge right from the begining, thank You that You are faithful even when we are not. Thank You for Your peace which is pouring over me as I sit here and type.
May every blog family have a wonderful Christmas and may You all experience the wonderful and never ending love, comfort and peace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In His Love
Linda Ronne
Shawnee, OK

Thank you to all who have faithfully prayed with and for us concerning Hollie. May God bless you abundantly for your faithfulness.

 
At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you probably have much to think about this Christmas season and I know others have posted prayer requests--and why wouldn't they b/c your love for Christ is so apparent and as a result you have been so strong during your time of loss--but, if you think about it, could you please pray for my mom and family. She has been in the hospital for a month or so (they have released her twice, only to have her return again, even worse). She has a hiatal hernia (sp?) that has caused much else to go wrong.
Thank you
Sarah--Norman, OK

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

Sarah in Norman, I'm praying for your mom. This family both blog and Higgins are a true blessing to all who come to sit and soak in what the Lord has for us each day. May you find peace and comfort in His wonderful presence.

In His Love
Linda
Shawnee, Ok

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger Lynn Andrews said...

God's speed and safe trip precious Higgins family. Know that you are loved and thought of so often.

Linda R. - I am thrilled beyond words by the Christmas present you and your sweet family received from our Lord. I pray His love surrounds you and that this is just the beginning of a wonderful journey for your precious daughter! God bless you and yours!

Merry Christmas to this whole amazing family He has made me part of - you all inspire me!

Lynn
Macon, GA

 
At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higgins Family:

A group of us were also afforded the opportunity to go to the concert last night.

As I sit here at work and listen to MercyMe's "The Christmas Sessions" CD I am moved to tears each time I hear a certain part in "Drummer Boy".

Although I never knew BJ, I feel through this site I have known him a lifetime.

I picture BJ when MercyMe sings,

". . .Shall I play for you,
Shall I play for you,
Mary looked at me and nodded,
The ox and lamb kept time,
I played my drum for Him,
I played my best for Christ,
I played my best for Christ,
Then He smiled at me . . ."

BJ played his best for Christ and has inspired us all to strive to play our best for Him also. BJ gave his all for Christ.

Thank you for your inspiring words every day. You are always in my prayers.

Your sister in Christ,
Noblesville, IN

 
At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mercyme is one of my all time favorite bands and I just saw their Chrismtas Concert in Lexington on Sunday and thought it was great! (I hated seeing Bart coughing...he must be fighting a cold!) They are how I found out about BJ and have come to love visiting this site every day!
I do look forward to hearing thier new song you have mentioned! (The Christmas album is great and listen to it all the time!!!)

Music is huge in our family as well, my husband is in a Swingband and plays the Tuba, trombone and the bass Guitar. My daughter is in the school band and plays the flute, but switching to the Clairinet next quarter. I have no music talent, but I can sing with Bart Millard like nobody's business...when I am alone that is!! (I think the family of mine likes it that way! hahaha). My son and little one have not yet discovered a music talent, but it may come in time.

Can't wait to dance to the band in heaven!!!!!

Debbie Schmidt
Florence, KY

 
At 4:03 PM, Anonymous heather schaper said...

Mexico draws nearer by the second! Pray for the trip! I love you and miss you family!

Heath

 
At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has been awhile since I've visited this site. Somehow it came to mind today. I hope you all have been doing well, as well as can be expected, since BJ went home. I know holidays can be hard. Today marks 3 years since my mom went home. It was a Sunday morning and I remember it well. It was what she wanted for Christmas that year. Today my children and I will visit her at the cemetary as we do evey year. She loved the song Silent Night, so I take a tape and play it for her. It does help me to think of who she spends Christmas with. Of course Jesus tops the list, then there's her first grandchild who was stillborn 20-some years ago, my grandparents and on and on. This year she has BJ too. Even though I never had the chance to meet him, she has. As I'm becoming emotional, I need to go. Blessings to you all at Christmas and into the new year. Terri Hetfield, Owosso, MI

 
At 8:34 AM, Blogger Cousin Beth said...

Your love for music has always been a blessing. And yes, Brent, you too can sing. Why else would I have had you and Deanna sing at my wedding?? I love to hear all four of you worship in singing. You are awesome. Most of all your love for God shines through.
Marti Pieper, if you read this, I just want to say that you have been a real blessing to all of us. Thank you especially for what you have done for Brent and Deanna. I was hoping you'd get to come to NC so we could all meet you, but we understand the busyness and the distance. May God bless you and all the other bloggers and readers who encourage and pray!
Love,
Beth

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Linda R. . .I am so excited by your news! God has a plan for Hollie, one for good and not for evil, to give her a future and a hope. We will begin praying for her soon-to-be teachers and others at her school. Who knows which one(s) He will use to touch and change her life?

Merry Christmas! Re-reading your post today, Brent, has reminded me to stop and "hear the music," and to celebrate the Lord of the traditions rather than worshiping the traditions themselves. Thanks--I'm praying.

Last night, I had the opportunity to share the story of BJ with a dear friend. How LONG it took to tell all that God has done--and I know I shared no more than a small fraction of His work. I am especially grateful for those who continue to share the ways God has used BJ's story and this blog to change their lives. Do you realize what incredible gifts you are giving to Brent, Deanna, Lauren, Whitney, and even to the blog family?

Father, thank YOU for watching over even disjointed posts like this one and helping them make sense. Help those out there who are hurting today, for whatever reason, Lord. Show them that YOU are the One who can put things together--on web sites and in lives.
We love you, Jesus. Help us as we get ready for your big party--on Sunday and in eternity!

Marti for all the Piepers
Charleston, SC

P.S. Cousin Beth--I was previewing my post when my name flashed by in yours. Thanks for your thoughtful words during this holy season. Once again, I'm-- speechless.

 
At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing on Sunday at NBC!! What a blessing you have been to us, the blog family! I pray for this Christmas season and for peace to reign on your hearts!
Indianapolis

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Lattany said...

Higgins family - as I miss your post, this morning, I'm aware you all are traveling. Praying travel mercies and that your travel time is blessed as a time of togetherness.

Linda R. - I'm so excited for you and Hollie. Praise God! I will not stop praying, as you make this transition.

Sarah in Norman - I will be praying for your mom, and also for you. I am all too familiar with the struggle of having a family member in the hospital, and will be praying strength for you, healing for your mom, and peace for all of you.

Heather S. - I'm praying for your trip. What are the exact dates, again?

Terri H. - praying peace for you, this Christmas. One day we, too, will rejoice with those in heaven, and what a glorious time that will be!

 
At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

My in-laws are getting here in a few hours for 6 days from North Carolina. I was sick last week and so not where I should be in terms of being ready: food bought, house cleaned etc. and yet I found I had to take the time to not only read your entry, which I check every day, but also all the other bloggers notes b/c they are so encouraging and I knew I needed it today to stay focused on what is truly important right now...celebrating the birth of our wonderful Saviour and Lord! Even if it means moving around the dust bunnies!!

I am picking up the Christmas MercyMe cd today and wrapping it for myself from my husband. I love the other cd of theirs I have.

Wishing all of you and all fellow bloggers a VERY, MERRY CHRISTMAS. This site has been such a blessing to me and to so many others.

Blessings, peace and love be with you today.

Tina

 
At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you God for giving us SO many outlets for us to live our lives through you, the ultimate life-giver. You give us means to worship--whether it be through song, through prayer, through service, or through reflection upon a blog! You are too great, too amazing, and too genius for words. Your plans are magnificent in every way, and the fact that you have given your life so that we can spend eternity with you, is reason enough not only for the season, but reason enough for us to give our lives back to you! You are the bread of life today, tomorrow, and forever more.

When our feelings of any sadness, despair, or doubt, do not coincide with the truth of your Word, let us be reminded of the gift of faith that you have given us to use at our will, and our ability to excercise our will as a testament of obedience and worship to you as well. I just lift up anyone out ther who needs to feel your encouraging spirit, and also those who must testify to faith when your spirit is not as near as it once was. We know you draw us near Father, but we also know you test us as well. Keep our faith secure in the knowledge of your Truth. I continue to lift up the Higgins family and take so much joy in the fact that they continue to give so much glory to you. Keep them close to your arms, and may the peace that passes all understanding invade the most hidden crevaces of their being.

Thank you God for bringing my path across the Higgins family, and thank you God for your continued work through them and all the people they seem connected to!

Thank you most of all for yourself and your gift of life!!!!!!

 
At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Carol said...

Higgins Family,
I hope your trip is a memorable one, sprinkled with joy and laughter. Appreciate your continued prayers for my Mom, Esther, as she continues her chemo for breast cancer. We hope she feels up to having Christmas, as she just didn't have enough energy to even lie on the couch and watch at Thanksgiving...so it was cancelled. My baby is now sick, and so we may not be able to see her anyway, which will be heartbreaking for all of us. We just can't risk illness with her immune system so fragile. So, I guess I am asking for prayers for her and for my baby's health. Thank you for continuing to share through your blogs...they are so inspiring to all of us. Hugs! Still praying in Arlington, TX

 
At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I'm so far behind in reading this website. I said in an earlier comment that I'm just now reading all the comments and that I'm only up to October. Of course I'm re-reading all the posts as well and something really struck me about October 11 post (I think that's the right one). You're describing how BJ spent his day and when he would read the Bible and how sometimes he would study first thing at school. You then went on to say he would shrug off negative comments as he expected that to happen and he would move on. I am so in awe of his committment to the Lord. As a 32-year-old, I don't think I would be that comfortable to read the Bible around peers, and here is a young teenager unafraid of what others may think doing that very thing! That's me being honest and thoroughly ashamed at myself for feeling that way. Who wants to be thought of as a "religious nut"? I know I don't, and yet as Christians we know we'll be persecuted for our faith if we're living right. I now see persecution as sort of a sign that I'm on the right track. When friends call me a Jesus freak, I'm not embarrassed, I'm grateful that I'm no longer hiding my light but letting it shine.
I just pray that God would strip all forms of pride from me so that I won't care what anyone thinks but only what He thinks.
BJ sure is teaching me a lot!
Merry Christmas!
Lisa in Chicago....a Jesus freak

 
At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Mary said...

Last night my sister and I were talking and catching up (she just got back from a 3 month mission trip to New Zealand) and she asked me a few questions just thinking back over the last year. One question was what was something I would do differently. My answer: that i had kept in better contact with Beej right after the trip. The next question was what was one thing God blessed you with. And the thing that totally stuck out in my head was y'all. Getting to meet you and get to know you through these blogs has been such a blessing for me and has definately grown my relationship in the Lord.
So i just wanted to let you know that I'm extremely grateful for you. You have blessed my life beyond words. I love you guys!
Mary
Houston, TX

 
At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I wanted to share a little something about how PERFECT God's timing is...

I was having a pretty hard day yesterday, starting with a morning full of tears as I listened to MercyMe sing "to the Cross I ruuuun, holding HIGH my chains UNDONE!" and feeling my loss of freedom these past few months because I don't take advantage of it in Christ! Family, I miss my Gramma SO MUCH and I seem to have watched my family just fall apart since she died (they are not believers). Well, during my cry and listening to that song, one of my GOOD friends - Sam - texted me the verse James 4:8 and reminded me that Jesus loves me! What timing God has! To take His perfection that much further - I was sitting here at work and just had A LOT on my mind, when a co-worker of mine brought me a piece of paper and said "This made me think of you - I thought you would like it". This is what is said:

He Is The Light

In times of trouble,
Sorrow and Care,
Be still and listen,
Know that He's there,

To comfort and give you,
The strength that you need,
Whatever the problem,
Your prayers, He will heed,

Protecting and guiding,
Each soul in its plight,
In the dark hours,
HE IS THE LIGHT!

... Needless to say, I started bawling right here at my desk and had to run outside to just BE STILL! It is SO EASY for most people to speak of JOY at this time because of the TRUE reason why we celebrate, but more often I am overwhelmed by grief of losing my Gramma and watching the people I love the most fall apart. Since my Gramma died, I feel as though I've forgotten how to REALLY LOVE people, because it hurts too much! Well, I want to encourage anyone reading this that LOVE is what we are called to, because HE FIRST LOVED US! I am praying that you will have a Heart filled with the unconditional LOVE of our Savior who endured the pain of the Cross so that we might know PEACE! I pray you will have the JOY-JOY-JOY of the Lord waaaaay down in your hearts!

I know that sometimes it is a struggle, but just remember that HE IS THERE, He would NEVER forsake or leave you and that HE IS THE LIGHT of this world - there will ALWAYS be that beacon to lead you home!

I love you and bless you this CHRISTMAS and ALWAYS!

Thank you all!

~Laurel Lynn <><
San Diego, CA

 
At 11:21 AM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

Higgins..

I am SO excited about the trek we will be making to Indiana!! i cant wait to see you guys! to see your home and share your lives w/you! (that made our trip sound super intrusive, i promise we wont get in the way)

anyway. i'm praying for you guys. i bet that this week will be bittersweet! i pray that the joy of the Lord will overflow your hearts!!!

Love you.. kristin

 
At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your postings. Merry Christmas to all of you.

Lori Biberdorf Roark
Zionsville, IN

 
At 2:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

love you mom and dad higgins. I just don't know what else to say right now. :)
-Brittany A.

 
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