Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Brent left a message for me this morning after they travelled back down out of the mountain villages in North Africa to the city. "It is truly, truly amazing being here" is how he phrased it. They have had opportunity to share the drama only a couple of times but to between 500-700 people. He says that they have been received well and that the Lord is truly working. They have had an excellent time of getting to know the people and says that their memorial service on the mountain where they spread BJ's ashes went well. There are some photographs to view at awestar.org, including one of the family together during the service.

One of the last chances I had to really visit with BJ was in the spring of '05 after I had returned from a month's "sabatical" in Stonington, Maine - or for me, as close to heaven as I have been geographically. He was looking through a compilation of photographs (I couldn't get enough) from my trip and true to form, he was much more interested in the people and the time I'd had in the village churches there than he was the scenery. It had been a wonderful trip, one in which I had expected to get lost in the scenery but found myself adopted by the people of the area and was blessed with wonderful fellowship there.

I shared one of my encounters there in which I was sharing a rocky ledge at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse with a very gracious professional photographer. We planted ourselves there to catch the lighthouse in the setting sun - I had arrived at the location first but he had set up at "the spot" to get the best shots. Fortunately he was willing to share his ledge. He carefully set up his box camera on its tripod, checked the light meter and waited for just the right moments to capture the glory unfolding in front of us. A few feet away I frantically fired off shot after shot afraid to miss even a moment. It wouldn't be much of an overstatement to say I fired a roll for each shot he took.

As I eventually drove away into the fading light I realized that what I had just experienced was representative of my life as it is and how it should be. Too often I am frantically moving about my day without really following a plan or appreciating its events. I imagine that this man not only got better photographs than I did but he also took the time to truly experience the sunset and its beauty. While I squinted through the viewfinder at what was laid out in front of me, framing and firing my shots, he calmly took in the bigger picture and left certain that he had finished his mission successfully.

I had seen the beauty and marvel of God's signature on another day, but had I really appreiciate it? had I truly experienced it?

Today try not to let the business of life get in the way of your actually experiencing the many things that fill it. We are surrounded by God's wonders but it is up to us to open our eyes and really see them.

Brad

8 Comments:

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Cousin Beth said...

Thanks so much for keeping us updated, Brad!
Friends, please pray for the following:
­Bruce Hopper, one of our fellow Wesleyan pastors here in High Point, NC, passed away early yesterday morning after finding out he had cancer just a few weeks ago. He was only 49 years old. He has a son just out of college and two young daughters still at home. Yesterday was also his wife's birthday and the start of our district Wesleyan church conference.
Please pray much for Bruce's family and church, where he had been pastor for 16 years. No one expected him to go this quickly.
Thank you for your prayers!
Beth

 
At 11:06 AM, Blogger the leaf family said...

Brad, Thank You for keeping the website updated, it is a blessing.
It is wonderful to keep updated on the trip and how things are going..
Most of all Thank you for todays message and reminder... I have a bit of a different course for the day, now... Thank You
With love and prayers from KC-Tracy

 
At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be still and listen. That is almost unheard of in our American culture! Stop. Breath. and Pray. Experience the Lord's presence in every aspect of our day. We would be a better nation, a better people and better disciples of Christ. I'm giving it a GREAT effort today, especially. And I will give an effort everyday to be still for a bit of time and reflect and enjoy and count the many blessings.

 
At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your message today!

 
At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Linda Anderson said...

Praise God that all is well with the team, that the scattering of the ashes went well, and that God is working wonders in that country through these wonderful people.

Yes, what a message today, Brad. We are always in a hurry and don't take the time to "stop and smell the roses" as they say. Rush, rush, rush....and for what? To collapse into bed to do it all over again? What a life we lead! One that God has NOT called us to. Thank you for reminding us to be calm, quiet, and peaceful...the only way we can hear God and truly enjoy life.

My prayer today is that we all slow down, Praise God in everything, and remember that we are here for a time, and that time is not be wasted on hurriedness.

God bless you all

In Christ's love

Linda Anderson

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

Brad, you touched on a subject that is close to my own heart... seeing the beauty in each day. We are surrounded by God's masterpiece, in His creation. I remember when I arrived in the US how I was taken by the colours of Fall, and how beautiful they were. It was like God had painted each leaf just so I could experience His artwork, so to speak. Many times we see the beauty, but forget to stop and listen for His still voice...

Today Hollie returns home for 2 and a half weeks vacation as the school tries to sort out the formal complaint. Please keep this situation in your prayers, we only ask that the Lord would have His way and this time with Hollie would be such a blessing to all of us as I'm sure in my heart it will be.
We appreciate so much everything that the Higgins family and our blog family is doing and has done for the increase of His kingdom and for the prayers that are lifted to the throne room of grace.
All for your glory Lord, All for you Lord.

In His Name
Linda

 
At 10:42 PM, Blogger PeteAce said...

WOW, this is a red letter day! Today, the Lord graciously provided a way for us to hear three times from our son, PJ, on the NA trip. This morning we had a voicemail from him. This afternoon we had an email. Then tonight we received another call from him. The team sounds like they are overwhelmed. The big prayer requests are thus:
The Lord would draw people to the gospel. The Lord would anoint their time and pour out His Holy SPirit. Finally, that the Lord would protect them from all harm and evil, that the Enemy would not be allowed to hinder them in any way. Those were the main ones to pray for at this time.

They now head up into the mountains for the next ten days, so getting updates will be sparse. But as I thought about hearing from PJ today, I realized that it is the same with the Lord. Isn't it? We go some days without any word or update. Then, He graciously lavishes Himself upon us. Did we deserve it? No. Were we waiting for it? Hopefully. But either way, His timing is perfect, His grace sufficient and His love is awesome.

I am encouraged today to pray, to watch and to listen.
Strength & Honor,
Pete

 
At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!

I would die for you. BJ's song has power through Christ.
I was going through the new Mercy Me album. The song ( I would die for you )Is great worship. Learning about BJ it makes the lyricks very special.

Thank you BJ, to touch my heart and spirit.
Your brother in Christ,
Bob

 

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