Thursday, April 13, 2006

Today is my last day at Highland Lakes Baptist Camp. As I look over the last two years at all that has occurred, it is difficult to believe it is coming to a close. It was a growth time for me, for BJ, for my family. Throughout this time, God was preparing each of us for this next step in ministry.

Tuesday the moving truck arrives to load up, and begin the journey to Tulsa. Sometimes when I look at it through the lens of the world, it is all very non-sensical and scary. Praise God that I do not do that often, as the peace He has given us amid all that has occurred is overwhelming.

There are so many details to work out. So much to do. It has been amazing to see God's people step up and assist us in this transition. We are very thankful. The Lord has surrounded us with each of you, and many others who are trying to encourage, support, and love us through this life-changing experience.

Packing BJ's room is nearing completion. That is something we have had to do a little at a time. The task is very emotional, yet necessary.

Deanna was awakened early this morning... unable to sleep... too many details creeping in and vying for attention. She grabbed the 800 numbers she could, and began canceling services. We are learning some expensive lessons about the length of contracts we agreed to, without a thought for what could occur (like having to leave early). We'll be more careful in Tulsa.

As we prepare to bring our time here to a close, we have a final opportunity to share our story here in Indiana. Sunday, we will be at our home church, First Baptist Mooresville at 10:00am (it's on Indiana St.). Deanna and the girls will each sing, and I will share BJ's journey... our journey. This will be with the hometown crowd. Many know his story, and we are thankful to have this final time with those who will come on Easter. Please pray for hearts to be changed, lives to be surrendered, and a renewal to occur and thrive in the last church BJ called home (on earth).

Thank you Pastor Larry for giving up the pulpit on this most crucial of Sundays. Thank you FBC Mooresville for your undying support, and love. Thank you blog family for supporting us through this most emotional period as we stand on the last platform from which our son and brother ministered. Thank you Lord Jesus for dying that I might live. Thank you for the perfect example of how to do the same!

brent (dad)

19 Comments:

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck on your new journey. God will bless you in amazing ways. I can't begin to tell you what this blog has meant to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are deeply loved and appreciated!

 
At 8:11 AM, Anonymous The Reed's said...

Brent & Deanna,

We are certainly going to miss both of you so much. At least we get Deanna for a few more weeks!
We are looking forward to hearing you speak and Deanna sing this Sunday. Camp will definitely be missing something this year (you!). We will continue lifting up the prayers for your family as you move to "Tornado Alley"! Kim is still frightened for you! She will be watching the weather channel for you! Seriously, your family has made a big impact on this church and community. BJ's story and your family will not be forgotten. We love you all so much and are so proud and in awe of how you are following what God wants you to do. Enjoy this beautiful weather and your last days at camp. See you on Sunday.

Nancy, Scott, Kris & Kim

 
At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, Deanna,

We will miss you terribly. You have meant so much to many of us, and have meant, and do mean the world to me. An Awesome Friend, A Great Role Model, An Inspiration, A Brother and Sister in Christ. I can go on. As much as I don't want you to leave, You will never be far. I will get to see and talk to you again this weekend, however, I want to wish you the best, I know God has Great Plans for you. I will continue to Pray for you and your family. I will continue to check the blog, daily, as I have for the last 6 months. With Out fail, it is the first thing I do, upon arriving to work each day. We Love each and every one of you. I also want to thankyou for being a part of the ordination service last Sunday. You will never know what that meant to me. You have an awesome family that will always be remembered. I will miss you in our Small Group, and your worshiping on Sunday Mornings.

We will miss you, Good Luck and may God Bless each of you!
Love YOUR FRIEND!
Matt

 
At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent & Deanna,

Know we pray for your family. Thank you for the lives you lived before us and the example you gave to many of us. Besides their Grandpa, our boys have never known any one who past away. This was someone that they actually knew and had a relationship with. I am sure they will never forget B.J. because they had a part in praying for him and his family.

May we all think about what we have witnessed here and vow to share Christ without fear. So in the end we to can say "we did not waste our lives".

Serving Him Together,

 
At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

Brent & Deanna,

I was moved to tears after reading your blog today realizing the courage you all have to undertake such a new, unknown future and the difficulty you must be feeling with leaving your comfort zone behind. In your hearts, I know you realize BJ is wherever you are, but as humans, we still cling to the memories of places, of smells, or sights. God is definitely with you during this difficult yet exciting transition time and so are all of us. Blessings for a glory-filled Easter and for your sharing your message on Sunday.

Tina
p.s. My 95 yr. old friend I wrote about last week died this past Tues. night. I have been asked to read a scripture at his service tomorrow. Please pray for the family and those of us who called him friend. Thanks.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

God bless you all on your new adventure. I'm sure you will continue to touch many lives as you have so far!! Just wish it wasn't so far away!! Please keep the blog going so we'll know what you're up to!

 
At 11:10 AM, Blogger Aunt Maralyn & Uncle Ray said...

Again, I was moved to tears as I read your blog today. Knowing all of you, I can just imagine all the emotions going on. Not only with the 4 of you but the rest of the family, especially Brad. I know you will be missed greatly by your family and friends, but also know you are listening to what the Lord is telling you to do. I'm sure Tuesday will be especially hard as you leave for Tulsa and Deanna and the girls stay behind.
Be assured that your Family in Carlsbad, Ca are all praying for all of you. We love you very much and are very proud of you. I am so priviledged to be your Aunt.
Aunt Maralyn

 
At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for what you all have done. You do not know me. But as we have all said so many times, its as if we know you and knew BJ. This blog is a powerful tool, and i'm grateful for the way that you use it. I hope God blesses you with your move, and that many move lives are touched. My life was changed forever the night that BJ died. I have shed many tears and did a lot of "soul searching" He was such a role model and you need to keep telling his story and sharing. I know how difficult it must be for you all to continute talking about him and keeping his death fresh on your minds, but he had such a powerful story and witness. That's why it touches everyone the way that it has. I hope you plan to continue the blog. There are many of us that would miss it severely if it stopped. Good luck with your move again and i pray that God will keep you all safe and be with you through this time.

God Bless you!

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger NatenAmy said...

I've said this before, I am SO excited for both of you as you start your new journey and ministry... but my heart aches at the thought of you leaving!
I know that even now, He is preparing a way for you and working in the hearts of those that you will minister to this summer and those that will travel on AweStar trips. We are so blessed to serve a God that loves us SO much that he sent His own Son to die for our sins... I am so happy that more people will hear this wonderful news because of Him working in and through YOU!
We look forward to Sunday, just look to the front row, and you'll see us there. :D
Love you--LOTS!
Amy (and Nate too)

 
At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a prayer update for those of you who have read about Lattany's nephew Corbin with the congenital heart defect. I believe she is on a missions trip to Mexico, so I thought I would fill you in.

Corbin's open heart surgery is nearing completion as I write and all appears to have gone well. Praise God! He will certainly need prayers as the next 24-48 hours will be critical to see if his body accepts the new circulation and as they regulate all of his BP, heart rate and ventilation. Please pray for peace for his parents, Terri and Travis as they await seeing him and that Corbin will be stable after surgery with few complications. God is good, all the time.

 
At 3:05 PM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

Brent and Deanna,

How wonderful for you all to have had the experience of Highland Lakes.
Praise God for His wonderful peace that surpasses our own understanding. Thank you Lord that you have poured this into Brent and Deanna.

As I'm sure so many are sad to see you leave Indiana, I'm sure I can say so many will be happy to see you enter into Oklahoma.

We as a body can't stress enough what a wonderful blessing you have ALL been to all of us. You have shown us through your own pain and suffering what it is to live a life for our precious Savior, Jesus Christ, and for this I am personally so very grateful.

Lord I pray that You would soften hearts, open ears to hear, and eyes to see the message that Brent will be bring this Sunday, let those who hear, who do not know You Lord, be drawn to You and Your amazing love. May they see lives changed and transformed because of Jesus. May BJ's life example, live on in Indiana and continue to touch and transform lives for the cause of Christ. Lord wherever Brent and Deanna minister we ask as a body that the message would always hold the same powerful impact in the future as it does today. Bless them Lord in all that they do. Continue to give them that wonderful peace and comfort in times of uncertainty.
In all things we pray in the Holy name of Jesus.

Amen

In His Love
Linda

 
At 3:17 PM, Anonymous cousin becky said...

I, like others of the family, have found myself wiping the tears from my eyes as I've read your blog entries over the last few days. Packing up the boxes to start a new chapter is bittersweet. There is the anticipation of what God has ahead of us mingled with the pain of having to say goodbye to what has been.

I'm glad I was able to see all of you a few weeks ago when you came to Kentucky. It will take some adjustments for all of the Higgins family to have you move away from Indiana. I just don't pass through Oklahoma like I do Indiana!

I will be thinking of you and praying for you as you minister this Easter Sunday at your home church. May the triumph of Easter be the Word that gives ultimate meaning to BJ's story.

I guess I've been thinking about that a lot lately for several reasons. Easter will always be an anniversary, a reminder of Daddy's homegoing--but that's not a bad thing. There's something about finding yourself the day before Easter standing in a cemetery beside the casket of someone dearly loved that sharpens the understanding of the power and triumph of the Resurrection and gives meaning to the whole of life.

I've been thinking about all this in part because of some sermons I've had to read for a class I'm in this semester. Fleming Rutledge recounts the story of a tornado that hit an Alabama church on Palm Sunday, claiming the life of the pastor's 4-year-old daughter. One woman the following Easter Sunday asked the age-old question of "Why?" The pastor replied, "We do not know why. I don't think 'why' is the question right now. We just have to help each other through it." Rutledge's sermon goes on to say, "Surely it is of the utmost importance that the sign demanded by Thomas was to touch the marks of Jesus' wounds. It was not the sign of his glory that gave proof, but the sign of his sufferings. Again and again this brings us back to the place where faith must stand--not in the place of clarity and certainty, but in the place of ambiguity and pain. Thomas's choice of signs is surely related to Jesus' amazing consent to his demand. Jesus says to Thomas, 'Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing' (Jn. 20:27). Interpreters tend to agree that Thomas never actually touches Jesus; the appearance of the Master, the sight of his wounds, and his word is enough. In the final analysis it is the Word of Jesus that creates faith."

In another sermon by J. Ellsworth Kalas, he relates the reality of how death invades all of our lives, leaving us with a void mingled with the blessed hope of eternity. He writes:

"Such feelings well up in the soul insistently because of Easter. That's why I look forward so much to every Easter Sunday. I believe in 'the life everlasting' all through the year, but my soul wants a special day when I can throw my hands into the air and shout it. 'He is risen!' my heart cries. . . . But important as that is, it's only a small part of what I've learned. Because as I perceive it, Easter applies not only to that moment when, at the junction of death, we bid farewell to someone we love, nor at that other moment when we ourselves cross over to the world to come. I see Easter as a continuing fact of life right here, right now, every day. . . .

"Let me hasten to confess that death is a strong and clamorous voice. It constantly asserts itself, as if seeking to convince us that it is the ultimate fact of our universe. Death comes not only at that legendary last breath. It makes its claims every hour of every day, either in assaults on our own bodies or in its attacks on those we love. Death announces itself with every transient pain, every instance of poverty, every stabbing fear, every skipped beat of the heart. Death is persistent in its pursuit. It will take command of our minds unless there is some prior, stronger truth in control.

"But Easter tells us that life is here, in Jesus Christ, and that it is far stronger than death. If death is insistent in its daily and hourly announcements, life is far more insistent. . . .

"Day by day, therefore, I expect to claim the resurrection. In every circumstance of life, every frustration and commonplace, every picayunish detail, I expect resurrection. That's part of what Easter means to me--right here, right now. That's part of what I have learned about life, because of Easter. . . .

"The best way to fall in love with life is to find the new life that is in Jesus Christ. It is not a way of life that guarantees exemption from troubles, disappointment, sickness, and such. But it is a life that is so strong, so full of resurrection power, that it turns all the stuff of life, good and bad, into victory" (Kalas).

Well, I didn't intend to rewrite the sermons! I just got carried away! I've been studying them the last few days and grounding my own faith in the reality of resurrection power that Easter proclaims.

I love you all! Have a blessed Easter and a safe move to Tulsa.

Love,

Becky

 
At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, Deanna, & girls. I have found that God puts people in our lives for along time or for just a season.I am thankful that my family had the opportunity to know you even if it was for a season. You don't know the many blessings you have been to us. They are many! We have been so blessed by knowing Whitney very well. We will miss her when she goes to Dallas. Our prayers for you all. You will always be in our hearts. rc

 
At 4:41 PM, Blogger Jacktopher Meils said...

It is my goal to be there this Sunday. What time does it start? Also, is there any update on the bass? And the things you offered to photocopy for me? Sorry so many questions, just want to see you guys before you leave and make some songs out of his words.

Love,
jack

 
At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless you guys as you move. i pray that others will be touched by your message the same way I was!

Kevin

 
At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Urgent Prayer Request for Corbin

prayer warriors,
Corbin [Lattany's 2 y.o. nephew] is having serious complications following his open heart surgery today. All appeared to be going well but they have not been able to stabilize him post-op. Please lift up this precious little boy, his medical team as they problem-solve and trouble-shoot, and his parents who are in the waiting room unable to see him, and awaiting word on efforts to stabilize Corbin. Please pray specifically that his internal bleeding would cease and his blood pressure would return to normal. Pray also for Lattany and two other family members as they try to focus on their missions work in Mexico with Corbin on her mind.

 
At 7:25 PM, Blogger Christ Renews 11 - Sisters in Christ said...

Brent, Deanna and Whitney and Lauren,
I sit here, tearful like most who read today's message. I also understand that all things keep moving forward in this life on earth; it is the only way we can grow in Christ Jesus.

I feel this intimacy with your family, like you should be over tonight for dinner before you leave. I've shared so many emotions with you, yet you don't know me. Just know that you have impacted my life BEYOND measure - which transended into my family and friends -- and even complete strangers. I've never been so excited about sharing my love of Jesus Christ! Thanks doesn't seem to grasp the emotion -- I want to hug you both (and your girls) and just cry for a little bit, because I truly love you! Thank you for this blog and for sharing your raw and human emotions -- in HIS GLORY!!

Happy and Blessed Easter!
He Is Risen!!

 
At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you as you make this move. I can only imagine how difficult it must be.

Laura O.

 
At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am looking foward to the singing, the praising and the message on sunday! We will all miss you at FBC.

 

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