Friday, July 28, 2006

Growing up, he was always the younger brother. At times living in the shadows cast by his older siblings. Yet he was always set apart, unique in good ways. Though he would not think so, he is the outgoing one in our family. He relates better with others than most of the rest of us.

In situations with new people or reaqauinting with old distant family he is the one who has much to say, and puts them at ease. He endears others to himself, though he would say he is awkward around them.

For as long as I can remember, he has been the writer. Since he usually had a camera in his hands as well, he combined these gifts, and has made his own cards for special occassions. Though his printing is too small for my naked eyes to read, his message is one that tugs at the heartstrings, and pierces the lonely moments with gladness.

He always remembers what is important. He draws the giftedness out of others. He is an encourager. He loves with his whole being, and genuinely knows how to express this to those close to him.

He is willing to take on tasks that seem far too large to handle, and completes them with grace and integrity. Perhaps he doubts himself too much, but he is humbly available to be used by the Lord, and then gives Him credit for tasks accomplished.

He is an amazing uncle to his family. They love to be in his presence. He gets to their level and plays whatever game is appropriate, a constant reminder of his father, who did likewise. He is the one most turn to when in need, because he had learned how to meet them and love you in the process.

He reflects his Father's passion in all he does. He learns a little more each day, that he is a reflection of Him. He reveals this, not through overt, in your face ways, but through serving and loving in spite of his own needs and desires.

He was always at our side through the darkest days in the journey of recent past. He loved unselfishly, and met the needs of those who were hurting all around us. His Father uniquely equipped him to do so. He is making his Father and his father proud. He is making his mother proud. He has made his sisters proud.

He is one who sticks by you closer than a brother, but he is also my brother. I love you Brad, and I cannot thank you enough for tending this soil. You raised this site to a new level, and I am very proud of you! You are gifted.

Thank you for always being present to help me move, to move my heart, to embrace my pain, to encourage my soul. You are your Father's (father's) son.

brent

16 Comments:

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to Brad--and every bit deserved!

I'm touched that you have verbalized this important message to your brother. Too often people fail to let loved ones know how they really feel, or fail to give praise and encouragement when it could be life changing for the recipient.

Thank you again for being an expample of true Christianity, and thanks, too, Brad, for allowing God to flow through you also!

In Christ's love,
Jolene

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Brent, I agree whole-heartedly with everything you wrote.

Brad, all that we know of you shows that you are a Keeper!

I'll let Brent explain that to you, but I know he'll agree that it's true. One of the things he'll tell you is that the Keepers are not always the ones who get noticed--but they are the ones who have a special window to the glory of God.

Thanks for blessing us, both brothers!

with tender love,

Marti

 
At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Mary Leestma said...

That was so sweet! I think that we all don't voice our feelings for other people enough at all. You've definately inspired me to care more openly for my family. I don't tell them enough what they mean to me.
I can't believe that in less than a week I'll be standing in Tulsa! I cried when I found out that you won't be there, Brent, but I'm so excited about seeing you Deanna!! I just want to hug your neck and see your beautiful face!!
Know that I love you guys incredibly much and am praying for you!! It's hard to transition back into American life again, but I know that you won't stay comfortable... =)
Love love love!
Mary

 
At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, that was AMAZING! I am in tears! Thank you for lifting up your brother and OUR brother in Christ that way! You are an exhorter!

I sometimes wish I could be a fly on the wall in my families lives just to know if they really love me or not! We have a pretty broken family and I am reminded constantly that I am the black sheep ... even more now that I am a Christian! I can only pray that I am obedient to the Lord's call and can continue to LOVE on them so that they'd feel God's love ...

I love you all and THANK YOU!

In Jesus' name,

Laurel, in San Diego

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

What beautiful words you wrote this morning. As soon as I got to the second line I thought, surely this must be written about Brad. Most of us don't know his family life, other than what has been shared here, but we do know that the hand of our Father rests upon him. I have to agree 100% with Marti, he's definately a keeper. What an amazing wealth of talent this family has, God has surely blessed each and every one of you.

In His Love
Linda

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger LisaTeegarden said...

WHAT WONDERFUL BROTHERS GOD HAS BLESSED ME (us) WITH. As an older sister, I could NOT be more THANKFUL to the LORD and Mom and Dad for BLESSING ME (us)with such God-fearing special men. I KNOW BEYOND THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT HOW PROUD DADDY WOULD BE TO SEE YOU'S TODAY. Perhaps the Lord allows that. And I know that Mom is so very PROUD of her SONS. LOVE YOU BOTH LOTS. Brent, what a perfect picture you have given us of Brad. You BOTH write so very well from your hearts, and the Lord's guidance. Your humbled older sister, Lisa.

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger LisaTeegarden said...

P.S. THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WHO PRAYED and ARE PRAYING FOR JACK. Things went well yesterday, and the doctor seems to feel fairly sure things are ok...we find out for sure Tues. GOD BLESS YOU ALL, Lisa

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger Aunt Maralyn & Uncle Ray said...

Here I sit again with eyes so bleary I can hardly see. Brent you certainly have captured Brad(although I'm sure he would not agree}.
I am so blest to have TWO wonderful nephews that I love soooo much. In fact we all do. In fact the whole Higgins family has a very special relationship and I am so honored to be the Aunt. I also agree with what Lisa wrote.
Every day I look forward to coming to this site. It helps to keep us all in touch.
Love, Aunt Maralyn

 
At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just an outsider, checking in on this blog daily since last June. The Lord moving in so many unexpected ways in your lives, in mine, in the world. Brent, a wonderful and well deserved tribute to Brad. Brad thank you for your spiritual insights and leading.

Pictures on the Awestar sight are great. What a beautiful people and land. Incredible to think of the eternal home the Lord has made; where BJ now dwells and we look forward to experiencing.

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger brobrad said...

I am humbled by your words, thank you, I've had good examples. All I can say is that He is everything that is good in me....

brad

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!

 
At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a blessing to have such a special relationship among your family members. Thank you for sharing the well-deserved blessing to your brother with the rest of us. The insights that BOTH of you have shared through this blog are truly amazing.

 
At 12:18 PM, Anonymous cousin becky said...

Brent,

You have so powerfully expressed Brad's caring spirit and heart. Certainly all of us in the Higgins family have some of those treasured homemade cards that are your brother's trademark. They are treasured not only for the beautiful photos but for the heartfelt words so carefully penned inside.

Brad has certainly helped me out time and time again over the past number of years in so many ways it would take a while to enumerate them. If I identify him as my "cousin" to others, their connotations of the word don't adequately describe the relationship. Brad has been a friend and brother in so many ways.

As he has helped you move, so he has done the same for me. But one occasion stands out above all the others.

In the wee hours of the morning of April 18, 2000 (Russia time), I got the middle-of-the night call that everyone dreads. Beth was calling to tell me that Daddy had suffered an apparent heart attack while at her house and had gone to be with the Lord. There I was thousands of miles away from family, needing to get home for Daddy's celebration service. I quickly worked with Russian friends to make travel arrangements, and 24 hours from the time of that phone call, I was on my way to the airport in Moscow for an early morning flight.

Since Mom and Beth's family were traveling from North Carolina to Kentucky, we had to figure out the best airport for me to fly in and out of. We chose Cincinnati since it was the closest to Mom and Dad's home.

After a long, lonely flight back to the States, it was Brad's face that I saw after I came through customs, and his were the first arms of family that embraced me in my time of grief. He was the perfect one to pick me up at the airport and drive me home--into the Kentucky mountains that were beginning to break forth with their display of spring finery. That trip was one of reminiscing, sharing my memories of Daddy with someone I knew genuinely cared and wanted to hear whatever I needed to say.

Thank you, Brad, for being there!

Later, when I was sorting through cards and letters that Daddy had collected in his desk drawers, I ran across one of those that Brad had made. The photo was taken in the mountains of Colorado when we were there for Marla's wedding. Daddy stood with his head bowed in the foreground with the mountains as a backdrop. It was a beautiful, peaceful photo that conjured up the peace and trust in God that were characteristic of my dad's life. I copied the photo and enlarged it with the verse from Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee" (KJV--because that was the version Daddy was most familiar with). I have that photo framed and on display in my apartment (as do Beth, Mom, and Aunt Maralyn).

Thanks again, Brad, for capturing a meaningful image of my father. Thank you even more for being the compassionate, caring person who reflects the image of our heavenly Father.

With love,

Becky

 
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