Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"After giving them a thorough whipping, they warned them not to speak in Jesus' name and sent them off. The Apostles went out of the High Council overjoyed because they had been given the honor of being dishonored on account of the Name." Acts 4:40-41

Imagine that, taking joy in being dishonored for your passionate belief in Jesus and teaching his salvation. Can you do that? Can you face your school principal, your boss, a judge and jury and defend your belief in and sharing of Jesus Christ? Be humiliated and punished, then leave overjoyed because you have suffered for the Lord?

Do you share this type of passion for your Saviour?

Too many days I fear I am ill-prepared to defend my belief in Christ, let alone take joy in ridicule and punishment for that belief. This is a challenge I am working on and seek prayer for. This level of faith, this passion for the Lord is what drove BJ onward and so many others onward for the cause of Christ. This is why Brent and Deanna have moved to Tulsa to work with Awe Star Ministries and their incredible staff of missionaries, long before some see it as appropriate to make such a decision after losing their son.

The older we get the less risk we usually like to take. For someone like me who has always been pretty allergic to risk it can take an explosion to move me forward. When we are young we are often less resistant to risk and more willing to step out of our comfort zones - or less prone to letting life responsibilities to get in the way (we usually have fewer for one thing). Parents, this is one reason that you must be willing to let your young ones step up and go when the opportunity presents itself to serve the Father and they feel led to do so, whether it is across the street or around the world.

Whose care can you trust them to more than that of our Heavenly Father? When He gave his life for ours, what sacrifice can be too great to serve and share the Living God? Oh that we could have the passion of a radical Muslim, not to take another's life because they don't believe the way we do but to be willing to give up our own to let them see that He is the most important thing in our lives and the only hope for theirs. Am I there yet? I want to say yes but can I put feet to it? I don't know.

If you or your young person has the opportunity to serve Christ through short-term missions prayerfully consider it and realize that the more we hold them back now the more dangerous our world becomes to those who do or will know and serve Him.

Standing challenged,

Brad

P.S. Please join in praying for the family of a long-time friend of our family, Maurice Andrea who passed away from cancer this past Saturday. May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with them and may they feel His loving arms holding them through difficult times.

9 Comments:

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous cousin becky said...

Brad,

I'm sorry to hear about Maurice. I certainly will be praying for his family.

I also continue to pray for your full recovery and for Brent and Deanna and the girls in their training.

Thanks for sharing a much-needed challenge of being willing to take risks for Christ.

Love,

Becky

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Brad, you said it well. I have heard Brent and Deanna say very emphatically that we do not have their permission to use BJ as an excuse to avoid sending our children overseas. Where He guides, He provides--not just financially but in many other ways.

We will be praying for the family in the loss of Maurice and of course for the Awe Star teams--on their way tomorrow and telling as they are going.

Jim Elliot said it well: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

BJ did, too, in words (quoted on the blog before) that have now become Awe Star's Global Passage Creed: “I will not be satisfied.
I will not let my passion be held in a bottle.
I will not let my light be hidden.

I will stand up.
I will let my voice be heard.
I will lead, I will serve, I will fight.
I will tell people about Christ.
I will unsheathe my sword.

It’s time to raise a revolution.
God will give me the strength.”
--BJ Higgins, 1989-2005

in Him,

Marti and all the Piepers

 
At 11:07 AM, Blogger NatenAmy said...

Brad, Brent, Deanna, Lauren, and Whit--
Just wanted to chime in again and remind you all that we are praying for all of you.
Brad, thanks for the challenge... to go when we are called and to be willing and available to be risk-takers for Him!
Brent, Deanna, Lauren, and Whit we are praying that He will use this time to give you the training and the rest that you need to accomplish the awesome task ahead of you! While the risks you are and will be taking are a lot more extreme than the ones we will take these next few months; as God leads you, we pray for strength and endurance so that you can play an offensive game for Him and win MANY to His kingdom!
We love you all...
Amy (and Nate too)

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

Brad, so well said today....As I read this I think on a current situation and thank you for the reminder that no matter how many or who may persecute us we will continue on with what the Lord has charged us to do.

Praying for your friend and all family concerned.

For those who would like to view the interview with Brent and Deanna on Fox, there is a link below this that will take you to the page, then just click on the BJ interview.

http://tinyurl.com/qoqpc


In His Love
Linda

 
At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Linda Anderson said...

Awesome message today, Brad! Thank you. It is so awesome to hear and watch this precious family walk in the Word of God only, and not follow their own hearts or desires, or twist the Word to make it say what they think it should say! They are following God only. Praise God for that, and that they have hearts and ears to truly listen and hear and obey. God bless all of you.

In Christ's love~

Linda Anderson

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

Brad,

It is so nice of you to continue giving to this blog family while Brent and Deanna are getting ready for their big trip. I hope your recovery is continuing to go well.

I have been thinking about the mission team and all they are doing to prepare and pray that God will direct them accordingly.

I also have a prayer request for a 35 yr. old friend who was in a horrible hit and run motor cycle accident in Seattle, then run over (unintentionally) by 2 cars. His wife his 7 1/2 months pregnant with their first child. He is on a respirator, bones all over his body are broken, swelling on his brain etc. He is in really rough shape and survival is questionable. All prayers for his recovery, his wife, Theresa and all the emotions that she is dealing with, the drivers of the 2 cars that ran over him who are in shock and the driver of the car who took off who the police are still looking for. Thanks for all the prayers.

Tina

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger PeteAce said...

Brad,
Good word. Ms.Pink, love Jim's words, they are words to live by. Risk big, today. Why? Cause we have a big God and for Him, it is no risk.

So today is an exciting day for ASU, Brent and the North African team as they begin their departure from Dallas. Their first stop is London before arriving in Africa. We need to pray for them and the other teams. Pray for their unity, adaptation to the new culture and that they would be protected from the enemy.

Heavenly Father, we ask your anointing on the AweStar teams as they venture forth on their great adventures. We pray that each member will be a Willing Witness today and have a Divine appointment. That as they go out into all the world, they go with your anointing and protection.

Strength & Honor
Pete

 
At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks again, Brad, for updating. I am definitely praying for Brent, Deanna, Lauren and Whitney. How amazing God is, to impress upon their hearts to replace BJ on this trip. Four people in place of one - just think how many people the four of them will have the opportunity to reach for Christ!!

God is good.....

 
At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brad you are wonderful as a blog writer. Maybe Writeing is in your blood. Or speaking straight to the heart. Ineeded that, Tank-you.
Corinne

 

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