Thursday, May 25, 2006

I am proud of each of my children. They have all done very well in school. Lauren graduated from high school with honors, and is in the Honors College at her University. Whitney graduated 10th out of over 800 students in her class from high school, and she and Lauren both have received the maximum academic scholarships in college. BJ was number one in his class in high school, and had the attitude of "It's no big deal, cause I'm not really trying."

At this point is sounds like I am bragging. That is not my intent. I am proud of my children's academic accomplishments, but Deanna and I feel very blessed to have children who have so much on the ball in this way, and we have never taken it for granted.

When students reach high school, every parent (and student for that matter) will remember the onslaught of college mail they begin to receive. Advertisements from colleges and universities come in by the armload. I've heard parents brag over what universities their child is hearing from. My attitude is different.

Most of that stuff goes into the trash... some of it unopened. We've been through it with our daughters, and so kind of got used to it. Sometime after his death, it began to come for BJ. I usually sorted through it, and threw it away so noone else would see it or be upset by it. I find myself wondering, now that it is being forwarded to Oklahoma, if this is one of those things in life I just have to accept. Is there a way to stop this from happening? Would it take years and a lot of money to get them to stop?

I am ready to not have the frequent reminder that he won't be going to college. Every time one of these arrives, it is a bit like being stuck with a needle at the Doctors office. I don't like that either, by the way.

During the time we spent in the hospital with him, I remember Deanna and I discussing how foolish it would be to send him back to school anyway. Not because he had learned enough already, but because it seemed clear to us that the call on his life was ministry, specifically, missions. Education would be helpful, but in all honesty, we looked at all that the Lord had done through him already, and thought, sending him to school will be wasting his calling and his gifting, as what was truly important had become abundantly clear. That is sharing Christ with a lost and dying world, immediately.

My wife and I both have college degrees. I am not anti-education. It's just that we received a new view, a new perspective. From the depths of Beej's suffering, and our exhaustion came a clarity (at least we perceived it as such) that time was short, and he must be freed to minister, and not bound by the traditional prerequisite, of years of study. He was already studying on his own. He was teaching himself Spanish, because he knew he needed it on the field. He had begun to study Greek, again self taught. He was frequently reading Christ centered books that many adults have never taken the time to peruse. He was writing, he was impacting his world, and people were responding!

Who were we to insist that he get more education? God was using him enormously. Why should we intervene?

Then HE did, and took that decision out of our hands.

School is good. It should be pursued by students. This writing is not intended to give those who don't want to go, a crutch to bolster their position. My point is that sometimes in extreme situations, conventional wisdom needs to be set aside. We need to be close enough to our Lord to recognize when those times arise, and then sensitive enough to His leading to respond appropriately.

In some fringe way, I guess the Lord was preparing us for the fact that BJ would not go back to school.

Now if I could just get word to the colleges and universities, who keep stuffing my mail box, and pricking my emotions.

Be blessed today,

dad

To anonymous from 10:13 yesterday, there is a book underway, but you can also find some of my sons writings if you go into the archives from August, September, etc. Thank you so much for your interest!

14 Comments:

At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Kelsey Barnett said...

This blog reminded me of 1 Corithians 3:18-23:

"Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile." So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God."

I just thought I'd share that because it made me think of it...

 
At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ones,
Second coat completed.

KPO

Elsie Jay

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, it seems to me beej has been teaching many of us more about Life than could be learned at any university. In a sense, he has been promoted to the head of the class.
As the father of a son who struggled with grades for 12 years (we've been sweating a sociology grade for a week which threatens his HS graduation May 31) I can attest to the blessing you have received by your children's discipline and study. I'm not sure who dreaded the quarterly gradecard more, him or his parents! Praise God, Jesus got an 'A' to cover all my 'F's!!
Mark, Hudson,OH

 
At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes profound thoughts that happen during a crisis are more real-to-life than life itself! I would agree that BJ was on his God-given path . . . and it, too, has led many souls to a real and loving relationship with Christ. Many of us may not have had this epiphany if BJ's life on earth and with our Heavenly Father were any different. And if you didn't continue to share his life and HIS life with others. You truly are ministering through BJ and the Holy Spirit and reaching so many. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

 
At 6:49 PM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

dear dad--

maybe you can tell my parents that its time for us to set conventional wisdom aside! ha. just kidding.. i promise i didn't miss the point. lets send a letter to all the colleges everywhere that we aren't interested.. maybe then they'll listen =)

i love you immensely. thank you for continuing to share. praying always-
~kristin

 
At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh please know that we all do need learning. Education is a good thing - but God can also teach us many, many things. Don't give up the study of the word students. Don't quit!

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

Hi Brent,

We mailed your inca kola today by ground. It will tack about 10
days to get to Tulsa.


Roger

Sorry for taking so long.

 
At 10:21 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Brent, as a homeschooling mom, it's easy for me to agree that BJ would have found exactly what he needed in a less traditional school setting. However, the larger point you're making is neither for nor against traditional school or homeschool or college or any other school.

I believe that what you're saying is what I also say: as parents, we should commit our children to the Lord. After all, He's the Giver of all good gifts--and our kids certainly qualify. Every area of their lives--every area of OUR lives--is under His Lordship. We need to ask, seek, and especially listen for His direction as we make educational choices. Don't assume kids should do college just because you did. Don't assume they shouldn't, either. . . go back to God, have them go back to God, and seek His will together.

This probably sounds like oversimplification, and I don't mean to imply that any of this is easy. I have just noticed over the years that education of any kind seems to be an area that we somehow assume allows for parental decisions without much input from our Master. WRONG! He cares so much about what and how we learn, and His wisdom is WAY better than conventional.

I guess it's time for a blog about smelly shoes or hair care products--I'm getting way too philosophical here! Let's pray for students of all ages and stages that they will seek Him first and receive the wisdom that only comes from Him. As we do, let's thank Him for teachers like Deanna who truly care for their students.

with tender love,

Marti (okay, On Our Knees, anticipating your "Amen"!)

 
At 1:40 AM, Blogger mbear29 said...

Hi, I've been reading your blog for many months now. I "accidentally" came across it a while back while roaming about on the net, and I started reading.

At first I read because coming here was a release for me. I could grieve with you over your loss because I had lost someone too. A year ago today (May 25th), my cousin died in a head on collision. She was only 24 and she was 8 months pregnant with her second child; he died as well. It took me a long time to understand how I needed to grieve, but I've read how y'all have gone through this process, and it has helped me to understand that it is okay to cry and okay to hurt. I didn't know that I would be going through all this again just a few short months later.

On March 18 of this year, my 80-year-old grandfather killed himself, which utterly devastated my family. He was the strongest man I'd ever known, and I felt so lost. But I can say this with confidence: no matter how much I hated what my family had been through before, various experiences, including reading this blog, helped me in the grieving process again. It's been a long journey. Thank you for being open enough with your grief to allow God to use your transparency.

I don't want it to sound like a soap opera life, though much has happened within our family in less than the past year. My goal is more to say "thanks for letting God use" and thanks to Him for being the Healer of my heart. Psalm 147:3 has carried me through this last time, especially.

I don't want it to sound like a soap opera, though much has happened in my family in the last year. This is more to say "thanks for letting God use you" and thanks to Him for being the Healer of my heart. (Psalm 147:3 has been my anchor.)

Sorry this is so long! I created an account just to leave this message. Please - continue to seek God's wisdom as you have. It's a blessing to hear about parents like y'all who understand God's calling in your children's lives. I'm on the opposite end: I have a lot of education, but my parents made it easy for me to pursue it because they knew it was such a desire of my heart, and I earnestly believe that the Lord will use it and me.

 
At 6:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Study to show thyself approved. BJ definitely did that!! Thank you!

 
At 8:29 AM, Anonymous On Our Knees... said...

:) Amen.

 
At 8:32 AM, Anonymous On Our Knees... said...

Oh, that our study would be intense in His Word, the rest is simply salt.

 
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