Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a conference on North Africa. Specifically it was about the country we will serve in. In case I have not shared this, we cannot say the countries name, as it is closed to Christians... it is Muslim. Likewise, we cannot share the names of the missionaries we are working with so that they are protected.

It was a huge blessing to meet with others who were heading to this country between now and this summer! The enthusiasm among those in attendance, including the full time missionaries themselves, was infectious. My excitement grew significantly, as did my peace about going. Our God is amazing that way. My daughters are attempting to raise support for this trip even now (anyone who feels led of the Lord to assist in this can make checks payable to AweStar, and send them to Brent Higgins 7605 SR 39 Martinsville, In, 46151. It is tax deductible if you don't put my girls names on your check anywhere. Noone should feel coerced to give. Please, only do so if the Lord leads in that way!) The opportunity to network with other missionaries, and even plan next years conference was fulfilling. One thing is for sure, we are not in competition with each other, but are working together, and benefit from others experiences!

While at the conference, I had the added benefit of visiting my sister Lynae and her family. The conference was very near their home in Virginia Beach. It was so wonderful to spend time with my nephew and nieces Joshua, Emily, and Ariana. We had a lot of fun hiking, eating and hanging out.

Joshua showed me his favorite computer video game while I was there. They also showed me the Chinese Lanterns they had made and had hanging in the kitchen. (Lynae homeschools the children and they had been studying China.) Joshua also showed me his newly redecorated room. New paint, even a new room. When Ari grew into a "big girl bed," she and Emily moved in together, and Joshua got his own room.

There were not many things on his walls yet, except for pictures of BJ. Joshua still remembers his times with Beej, and misses him. BJ was his best friend. I asked him about his best friend now, and he gave me a couple of new names. That was a little bittersweet for me.

Whether it is standing in the gap with other missionaries, or spending time with family, one thing stands out to me. None of it is as it should be if my relationship with Jesus isn't open and intimate.

We cannot communicate or even relate appropriately with other believers if we are not doing so with Christ. We might be able to fake it for a while, but our lack shows through quickly, when we are out of fellowship with Him. Our relationship with Christ is to be about communication (both ways), intimacy, fellowship, etc.

The Bible is full of examples of scripture which show us that if we are not right with God, our relations with others will be off. If we do not communicate daily with our Savior, how do we then put Him first in all we do? How do we put others needs above our own wants? Being in a right relationship with God draws us closer to Him, and plants a desire deep within us to relate, share, groan, praise, laugh, cry, and seek Him with all that we are.

New paint, and a new room... it reminds me of a being new or being renewed in Christ.

In one corner of Joshua's room, leaning against the wall, waiting to be hung, was BJ's sword. Beside it was a picture of him. How incredible to be able to share with Joshua one of the primary (figuratively) components of BJ's relationship to his Savior. How wonderful to be able to tell him that BJ now has face to face fellowship with the risen Christ!

I've gotta go... I've got some relating to do...

dad

9 Comments:

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Lattany said...

Your talk of your upcoming trip brings back so many memories. I am too familiar with not being able to tell people your location, except "a close country in Southeast Asia" or even what you would be doing there, for if anyone of influence there were ever to find that you associated with missionaries (I cringe to hear that often dangerous word -- we call them M's) it would mean trouble for them and potentially you, as well.

Yet I find comfort in looking through the Bible at the examples of Paul and of Jesus and of so many others... Men who knew they were dispised by men, and yet the hope of the Gospel was greater than their fear of men, so they pushed forward with confidence and endurance. They didn't sit back and take the offensive approach, they willingly "unsheated their swords" and charged forward for Christ, knowing that the one thing that really mattered was secure.

Thanks for writing about Joshua, again -- I can't wait to see that little one grow up. He is a mighty warrior in the Kingdom.

Lattany
Fairfax, VA, USA

 
At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Brittany Di Salvo said...

That is such a good reminder.. lately that's been the biggest thing for me to grab ahold of: Before I can have close relationships with others, I need to learn to be alone with God and have the kind of relationship with Him that I seek in other people. (James 4:1-10.. Lauren and I talked about this at Wendy's this past summer.. oh how i miss that!)
It's so refreshing to come here every day and read your posts. As I sit here in my first period class, I am praying for you, and I ask that you'd pray for the people here as well. There are so many hearts changing right before my eyes, and it's incredible to watch. Praise God for the work He's doing.

I praise God for you, mom and dad. Love you both with the most of Christ's love that He can give me,

Brit

 
At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, myself, am on a spiritual journey where life changing and spiritually challenging decisions need to be made. But there is "competition" and not unity in the beliefs and doctrines of the christian people that I am dealing with. Then decisions must be made that take me away from one or the other. Christ-centered is what I am looking for, Christ-centered and biblically sound. I am taking time to study before I make a decision, if one even needs to be made. I look to the Lord to show me his will and lead me to where I belong in this journey, at least for now. Disserning has been difficult as I am being fed by both denominations of Christian churches. Yet, they both have a common benefit, serving Christ. Please pray for me that I hear the calling of the Lord and serve where he needs me and where I will benefit others.

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

Doesn't that rock! The emotions and feelings that are attached to a place God is calling you to. He gives us a love for a place and a people and it is all you can do to not get on the plane in the middle of the night and just go.

I got an email yesterday from an old seminary buddy who pastors in Florida. Because I am an expert (anyone who has survived one term and returns for more gets their "expert" badge), he wanted to find out about how you know you are being called to a place. The awesome thing is that in reality, God is calling us to Himself. He may give us an affinity for one group of people or a subgroup, but He is calling us to be on mission with Him.

Hey, that is good stuff! Somebody ought to publish it and call it "Experiencing God."

Frank in Quito

 
At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless you Brent

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger the leaf family said...

Brent, Thank You for your words today. I am so excited for Michael yet I have so many fears.
I am praying for you all.
With love and prayers from KC-Tracy

 
At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the analogy of new paint and renewal by Christ. The thought of His hand on the brush and being so close is comforting. God bless, dad.
Mark
Hudson, OH

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger Lattany said...

Doesn't that rock! The emotions and feelings that are attached to a place God is calling you to. He gives us a love for a place and a people and it is all you can do to not get on the plane in the middle of the night and just go.

How very true.

 
At 10:09 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

We rejoice as He refines the calling in your lives and in the lives of so many touched by this site--so many who will take BJ's place. Love and obedience certainly guided his decisions to minister with Awe Star in Peru. BJ's example once again inspires me to check my own motivations for service: today, tomorrow, around the corner, around the world. . . and one day, Frank and Julie. . . where you serve!

love and prayers in pink,

Marti

 

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