Saturday, January 14, 2006

This is a day that will always mean a great deal to Deanna, the girls, and me. Students arrived from the mid-west, and west to just hang out with us. Students who went on Beej's last missionary journey. Students who knew him very well. Students who continue to serve the Lord with glad hearts!

We had a time of worship last night, and it was precious to me. We look forward to having our hearts further bound to theirs the rest of this weekend.

Another reason this is so special to Deanna and me is that today marks the 23rd anniversary of our wedding. Yes, 23 years ago, a shy, beautiful and unassuming young lady walked into a singles Sunday School room and caused my jaw to spontaneously free fall to it's fullest open position. I immediately bowed my head, and said, "Father, if there is any way, this is the girl I want to marry!"

Our first date followed closely, on September 25th, 1982. Our wedding, soon after that, on January 14, 1983. However, it was not as easy as I have made it sound.

Deanna had an attractive roommate. Deanna was convinced that my uncontrollable "stares" in her direction were being offered to the young lady sitting beside her. I could not make eye contact. I was frustrated. After class she quickly disappeared, and I could not find her. Sadly I retreated into the sanctuary for the service.

Much to my surprise, a tiny, 5'1" young lady stepped to the pulpit. I could barely see her head over the top of it. Music began to play, not the 'harps of heaven' indicating my obvious infatuation, but the music to which she would sing a song (solo) entitled, "Words and Music." The power, breadth, and depth of her voice, undid me. I struggled to see where she stored the necessary componentry to put forth such an offering.

There was no backing out. I was never known to pursue those I wanted to get to know with the passion or fervor that now overtook me. To my utter amazement, the Lord saw fit to unite our hearts, bodies, and souls for a lifetime. What a treasure she is and has been.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MY BAY!!!!

There is no other with your innocence, joy, passion, and love for the Lord, or for me. I have been blessed as deeply as is possible, to have stood side by side with the woman of my dreams, and raised two beautiful daughters, and one knightly son.

God is unbelievably good!

The weekend will entail opportunities to further hear from the hearts of those to whom we are ever increasingly bound. Thank you, Father.


Oh, who was the surprise? A young man who asked his parents for a trip to Indiana for his 18th Birthday (January 12). A young man we had never met or spoken to. A young man we had only seen in pictures. A young man who shared Jesus with the Muslim woman across the aisle of the plane, on his way here. A young man whose conversation was full of "salt and light" with that same lady, as she was off to be engaged in an arranged marriage. A young man who traveled from Utah. A young man who had crossed swords with BJ on many occassions. Who had in-depth conversations with him about being called to martydom. A young man who portrayed Christ both in the drama, and as best he can in life. Logan. Thank you for giving up so much to be with us this weekend! We are blessed. Thank you to each of the Awestar students who are here with us! Those who aren't, we miss you.

dad

24 Comments:

At 9:45 AM, Blogger *kim said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!

Praying for your time all together this weekend. So happy that you can all be with one another. Love *kim

 
At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary! I pray that your love continues to grow together.

 
At 10:51 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Brent and Deanna--What a special anniversary blessing He has given you today. I know it is already a wonderful celebration.

Logan, thank you for your example of a heartbeat of obedience. I know the decisions of when NOT to come and when TO come were made because you live your life for an audience of One.

gratefully and prayerfully--
Marti

 
At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary! May your hearts be filled this weekend enough to spill over for weeks to come!

Logan, what a wonderful and gracious gift. You truly are beautiful in the Spirit.

May all have safe travels!

 
At 12:00 PM, Blogger Lynn Andrews said...

Happy Anniversary!!!!! What a beautiful thing it is when God shows us our "soulmate" so vividly! I hope your weekend with the young "warriors" will bless you and them beyond measure!

Even though I haven't posted in the past couple of weeks, I've been keeping watch. My daughter, Melissa, gave birth to our first grandson (Brent, the sonogram was right!) on December 28. God is good - all the time!

Love to all,
Lynn
Macon, GA

 
At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Linda Anderson said...

Happy Anniversary!!!

What an awesome surprise, what an awesome gift of your company, what an awesome anniversary weekend. May you continue to baske in the love of Jesus with your wonderful friends. God bless you today, and always!

Praying in Pink
Linda Anderson
Willows, California

 
At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

Blessings for a wonderful wedding anniversary celebration, for a time together with those that love and care about your family and worship and praise our sovereign Lord!

Tina

 
At 2:38 PM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

LOGAN! aww.. how fun for you guys! enjoy him! i like him alot!!!

still praying for an amazing weekend.. i love you guys!

happy anniversary!

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger savedbyGRACE said...

Brent & Deanna,
I am wishing you the happiest of anniversaries. Your love for one another is truly one to be cherished & admired. Thank you so much for showing others how a GOD-centered marriage ought to be. Have a very blessed day!!
Love,
Layla

 
At 8:34 PM, Blogger Ashley Darnold said...

Hey Brent & Deanna!

I wish I could have been there to visit you guys! I am continuously praying for you guys everyday! I love you and Happy Anniversary!

 
At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!!!
Thank you for sharing so much with all of us. What a Blessed Weekend!!!
Your Sister in Christ
Lisa
Indpls., IN

 
At 10:09 PM, Blogger Ashley Reagan said...

How I wish I were there right now. Maybe after school is out I'll be able to come. I pray that you will enjoy the time you have this week with those who were able to be there! :)

Happy anniversary!
I love you family!

Ashley Dawn

 
At 11:25 PM, Anonymous toodie schaper said...

Dear Brent and Deanna,

Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful and wonderful love story. I am praying for all of you this weekend. I know it means as much to the kids who were able to be there with you as it means to you to have them there. May you all be blessed beyond measure and encouraged in the Lord. What a delightful surprise to have Logan come too.

Love and prayers,
Toodie

 
At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Linda Tollison Shaw said...

What an uplifting and beautiful ending to my very long day! I came to your website, looking for a shred of encouragment-and found just that. How happy I am for the two of you, and how thankful I am to have found my own wonderful partner in life. It is amazing to love someone so much, and have them love you back the same way.
I have thought of your precious BJ and family all week, and especially today; as I have prayed all day for my own son, who is not feeling well. The stress/worry I feel for him is indescribable, and nearly unbearable. I hope and pray he is well soon. He is two years old, and his name is Kaden. He has been sick for a few weeks, now, with what I assumed was a simple flu virus and cold. But since this past Tuesday, he has not eaten much of anything, and a trip to the doctor this morning showed that he has lost quite a lot of weight. He is on medication, and had two doses today. I pray fervently that tomorrow he shows even the smallest sign of improvement. I figure if anyone can sympathize with this feeling of helplessness as a parent-you would surely be ones to understand and pray with me!

 
At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Marla Maddox said...

Hello,
I am a student at Indiana Wesleyan. I had heard about this situation with your son back in September, before his passing. All of my classes were praying for him. I never knew much about it, but I must admit that it hurt my heart. As I heard stories about BJ from people that knew his sister, your daughter, I realized that this boy was not like any other boy. It was apparent through what people were saying that he infact was a man after God's OWN heart. I think that is so neat. Also, it really made on impact on me how much his sister, your daughter, loved him. I've been going through some hard times with my own sister. She has completely cut herself off from our family . She is far from the Lord, or so it seems. i hate to judge, but by your fruits you are known, right? Well, anyways, I came upon this website, not knowing at all what it was. I clicked the link that I saw on facebook.com and I've been reading your blogs for about an hour now. I am so touched from this. It is makingme realize that something like this can happen to anyone. It hurts me so bad to think that it could happen to me, or my sister before I ever made it right. So, thank you so much for your words of encouragement. It's amazing how Bj's life can and is affecting people that do not even know him. Thank you so much.

 
At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Clinton said...

Happy Anniversary,
Hello, my name is Clinton White. I am a senior in high school living in Pauls Valley Oklahoma. I have served twice with Awestar, both times in Mexico. I feel that God is leading me to go to Chile with Awestar this summer. I have many friends that served with Bj the last two summers. I never knew your son, but I have been touched deeply by his testimony. His life and death are a testament to the awesome power of our God. I have spent many hours reading the posts on this website and have prayed for your son and your family.
First off, I want to thank you for raising such an awesome man of God. At the age of 14 and 15 he had an understanding of life and of God that many people will never have.
Secondly I want to thank you for creating this website and getting others involved. It has united the body of Christ tremendously.
Well, again thank you and you are continually in my prayers. Please pray that my parents allow me to go to Chile this summer, as I feel that is where God wants me. This past summer I fealt that God wanted me on the Peru trip, but I put people and activities before God. Please feel free to email me if you wish. spec_ops_77@hotmail.com
your brother in Christ, Clinton

 
At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Clinton said...

sorry, it posted twice. Internet troubles

 
At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN BROTHER
I ditto what you say.
Bless you Clinton for coming forward and sharing.
lkg

 
At 9:01 PM, Blogger a schmaltzee life said...

happy anniversary...

i remember the first time i met deanna...and we went to Jim Dandy in marion...i think....we sat in the back room and i kept watching you guys...i knew you hadn't known each other very long...but you seemed connected...and i thought deanna was sooooo nice and sweet....well i was right...she is soooo nice and sweet...but even more...her kind heart...sensitive spirit...welcoming attitude... contagious laughter...and yes the voice... i was so blessed when you both sang at our wedding...you have set a great example of love sticking it out thru the tough spots...growing closer with the years instead of turning the other way...walking thru pain together instead of closing off...
thanks for your example of love....and for letting God use you both to Display His Splendor..

with much love...marla

 
At 9:29 PM, Anonymous heather schaper said...

Hey! How come my first name is not on the site yet?! Hmmm?! I am offended! I still love you though family! This weekend was great! I loved seeing y'all again! I am home safetly! Thank you for all your hospitality! Can't wait to visit again!

Mach

 
At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Christina said...

First let me say, Happy Anniversary. Such a precious thing to celebrate! :-) My name is Christina and I am a college student in Tennessee.

I'm aspiring to be a missionary. It's something God has called me to do, and lately I've been so discouraged.

Then I found your blog. Quite by accident, as I didn't even know what it was when I clicked. I tapped the button by accident.

And I wanted to let you know, so much encouragement has been given to me just by reading your posts and of the story of your son.

I am praying with for your family, and I also am inspired by your faith. Thank you so much. I can't tell you how much, just, thank you.

Love in Christ,

Christina

 
At 6:36 AM, Blogger Christina said...

Hello, Friends. Happy Anniversary! I enjoyed reading the story about your meeting. We have very similair stories. Landon and I met at church--Singles Retreat--our first date was Sept 24 and we were married January 18! We will be celebrating our 14th anniversary on Wednesday.

God has a sense of humor and that is apparent in our marriage. We hardly knew one another, married and within eight months left the country. We have spent nearly all of our marriage outside the US. We promised to follow His lead and go where He needed us to go!

Thank you for continuing to share your lives with us!

In His love,

Christina

 
At 10:44 PM, Blogger Lattany said...

Your love for Deanna is continually evident in all your posts -- you are an example to me.

Praying many are blessed through your time with the AweStar youth, this weekend.

Lattany
Fairfax, VA, USA

 
At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary
Love ya'
John & Jeannie

 

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