Friday, June 30, 2006

As I sit here this evening wondering what Brent & Deanna, the girls and the team have experienced today in North Africa I cannot help but realize that I sit here tonight, safe in my office from nearly everything but conviction.

Generally speaking, I don't regret the life that I have lived except that I know that I could have better impacted the lives of friends that have been a part of it, as well as the strangers that I have met. I believe that I am the way that I am for a reason and I have no doubt that God can -and has - used me evan as I am. But I also know that I could have more impact if I were more courageous, more outgoing and aggressive.

What isn't clear to me is whether that would be, or would have been, better than the person that I have been. I tend to think not, but then i don't want to think that I am giving less than my best either - though I know that I am. I know that I have been able to communicate with certain people because of the person that I am - but the limitations of my personality are what bother me, and I must admit, puzzle me. I feel it has opened certain doors without providing me the courage to step through them - at least far enough to close them behind me and step forward...I feel like the self-conscious adult who enters a skating rink and cannot let go of the rail except for those few places where the skaters enter the rink and there is no rail, so I have no choice. All the while, young kids are whizzing by me with abandon and glee, wondering what is wrong with the idiot slowing up the flow.

I Corinthians 16:13 challenges us (among other scripture) to "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love." While this is a perfect picture of the man BJ was becoming - had become in many ways at 15 - it isn't a very apt description of who I am.

My nieces - Whitney and Lauren - have stepped up and are living this along with their parents, as are so many others. Their levels of faith and commitment amaze me and they are an encouragement and inspiration to me as are many of you in this blog family.

I do know that it is the Lord who can instill in me this courage and strength and I long for it but I have to get out of His way (just look at how many times I used "I" above!). And that last, short sentence - do everything in love...may this be so in my life, in your life, in the lives of all of His people.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and may He work through you in a very real way,

brad

15 Comments:

At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Linda Anderson said...

Brad, I totally agree and feel exactly the way you do. But He is using you in ways you could not imagine through this blog...it is easier for me to write than talk face to face too.

God bless you Brad, and have a wonderful holiday weekend. We praise God for you daily!

Linda Anderson

 
At 1:30 AM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

Brad you are so right, God can, has, and will continue to use you, just as you are. As you said all we need to do is to remember to step to one side so that the Lord can have room to move.

If we are honest with ourselves and ask the question, Have I given my best today for Jesus, to Jesus, more than likely we'll come up short of the mark. The important thing to remember is have we done our best to do all that we can to live a life for Jesus, pointing others to Him. If we can answer this with a yes then we are on the right path.

Some people He gives courage, others boldness, others wisdom, kindness, love, the list goes on and on, we need to remember not to waste the gifts, talents and abilities He has given to us.

He has made you the way you are for a reason and a purpose, more times than not we cannot see the abilities that we have been so freely given, but rest assured others see.

So be assure Brad that we see some of your abilities that the Lord had blessed you with, your love for the Lord, your love for you family, your concern for the lost and hurting and your commitment to all.


In His Love
Linda

 
At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning Brad,

Thanks for being so transparent and honest in your communications. BUT...I've spent enough time with you to know that you RADIATE concern, interest, and empathy for others! Please continue using these awesome gifts, and yes, God will open doors for you to do, give, and experience more.

And I can 100% empathize with your feelings/thoughts on acting in courage. Change, excitement, and courage don't come naturally to me. Actually I think yours and my courage to live with our beliefs and convictions is very strong, but the courage to step out into the unknown is a bit further beneath the surface....

Lately I've been convicted about the area in which you spoke about doing everything in love. MOST Christians need to do more of that (of course, myself included). Often love is not my TRUE motive, and also, I wonder if "the people out there" can SEE love in the way I live my life...

You remember the old saying: "Please be patient--God isn't finished with me yet"? Well, we can certainly use the gifts He has given us while reaching forward to love and do more.

I know that your love for others is evident and sincere. Thanks for allowing God to use you so effectively in that area!

In Christ,

Jolene Tucker.

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

AMEN to all my friends' comments. Some of us are slower than others to learn boldness, Brad. . . but then, some of us have been given the gifts of tears, prayers, and encouragment. Remember Brent's resume (a la Rusty) built by Jesus Christ? Each one of us who knows Jesus has been given EVERYTHING he (she) needs for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)! Not some things, not most things, but . . . EVERYTHING!

Rest in that and blessings this Sunday--all!

Marti

 
At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Too am shy and cautious,but God is patient. Shy people are usually very empathetic and observant of others. We can intercede and do the less attention getting jobs in the church but all are necessary for the body to function as a whole. God created everyone for a purpose. We are not all the same.
Sometimes when I need to push myself out of my comfort zone I have to remember that at the end of the day it's going to be just Me and God. Nobody holding my hand, nobody to be embarassed in front of. Keep growing but don't be so hard on yourself, God knows your heart. God Bless.

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger Lattany said...

I want to let you all know that the memorial service for Corbin is being held on Monday, July 2nd here in Northern Virginia. Please email me (lattany@cox.net) for further details.

You have my deep thanks for the way you've sought to care for our family through this child -- God's grace abound and you are one of the manifestations of this grace. Thank you.

Lattany
Fairfax, VA, USA

 
At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your family Lattany!!

 
At 8:02 AM, Anonymous On Our Knees... said...

Brad!

Thank you so much for your updates...such a blessing.

I love how God uses us all in unique & different ways...we can't all be arms or legs.

Been studying how we need to be "Present-active-participle believers"

"God wants us to bear much fruit in each of our lives. He wants to infuse our prayer lives with inconceivable power. He wants to stun us with affirmative answers. He wants to completely alter our family lines, and if He tarries, raise up one godly warrior after another in the wake of, our faithful lives. God longs to do all of these things in any life who will let Him, but He will not tolerate any of our attempts. His Word tells us that we can either humble ourselves (IPet 5:5-6) or He can humble us (Dan 4:37)...we need to buckle your knees before God buckles them for you." Amazing isn't it? Constantly God reminds me of BJ's warrior references!

This particular study is such a good summary of what I have witnessed & been a part of over the last 12 months in my prayer life. I am convinced more & more that "believing God" is so much more than we will ever understand, but that it is very different than just believing in Him for certain. He so desires a heart that is fully His. Oh, how He calls us to fall flat on our faces...truly prostrate before Him. We are each uniquely called to His race. I think it is amazing that while all the glory is His, we get to grow deeply close to Him...the creator of the heavens & earth, the Sovereign God of the universe...PERSONALLY!

Whew!

Romans 15:30.

"I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me."

Then I studied the Greek words used above. "Join" is the transliteration word sunagonizomai which is a verb meaning "to strive together with one, to help one in striving".

Is this not what we do when we pray for one another!!! I love it. The English word tucked in the middle of the Greek transliteration is AGONIZE. Further study reveals...when we enter into deep intercession for someone, we literally agonize with the person in prayer.

This is what this blog has been all about!

ALL OF YOU must know - we are not alone. Our God has brought a remnant together to pray. REVOLUTIONISTS!

Love ones in Him - our striving is glorifying God in the trials He sets before us - to make us complete & perfect through endurance. (James 1)

From here to eternity, we are present-active-participle believing God. Stay a verb. Live out loud. Wake up a few nouns.

Beth Moore then writes, "The Commission to Faith"...

Lord, today I accept my calling
not to perfection or performance.
My calling is to faith.
I have been chosen for this generation.
I have a place in the heritage of faith.
I am going to stop wishing and whining
and start believing and receiving.
what Your Word says is mine.
I won't let others steal my hope.
I won't argue with a Pharisee.
I will believe and therefore speak,
for You, my God, are huge.
Nothing is too hard for You.
Our world needs your wonders.
Rise up, oh Lord!
Please renew Your works in our day.
I confess the unbelief of my generation
and ask You to begin Your revival of faith
in my own heart.
For you are who You say You are.
You can do what You say You can do.
I am who You say I am.
I can do all things through Christ.
Your Word is alive and active in me.
Satan, hear me clearly:
My Father is Maker of heaven and earth.
Your are under my feet,
because today and the rest of my days,

I am believing God!

I am ON MY KNEES! What a complete JOY to be there with many of you. What a blessing that you have all been for the last 11 months!

Sorry to be sooo wordy & disorganized in my thoughts as they tumbled out...I have been unable to check-in and just read the last 8 days of posts & comments. Amazing. Praise the Lord for His work & for the opportunity to join Him in it!

Tammy
Romans 15:30

 
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