Thursday, June 11, 2009


sunglasses are worthless for his view of a Holy God!


We shared dinner. I know what I had... Shrimp Trio. I don't remember the taste. I don't remember eating the food that disappeared from my plate. I remember having my heart knitted securely to the hearts of my companions.

Deanna and I sat down for this long awaited celebration that our Lord designed.

Across the table, were an Iranian man (a US citizen) and an American woman, who wed just 7 months ago.

He was raised Muslim. She was raised Christian. He surrendered his heart to Christ many years back, and has become one of today's most sought after speakers. She is a labor delivery nurse, finishing her seminary degree.

Tonight was about unity. It was about the celebration of what God does in the hearts and lives of His people. He set the stage for a meeting that will forever impact our lives.

The last time I ate and forgot the details was my first date with the woman I would eventually marry. I got lost in her essence. I would have a lifetime to discover her.

Few times in life are we afforded the privilege of meeting those God has forever bound to us. Together, we covered lifetimes.

Questions. Answers. More questions. More answers. Humility. Passion. Fervency of calling. Truth.

That he was preaching to 2,000 or more students tonight was in the back of our minds... until he did so.

The eloquence with which he articulated the passage from 1 Thessalonians was amazing. His points laid out, poured through him by the Spirit of God, into our lives and those of the students. The crescendo was building to a seeming dynamic call to serve Christ.

Then he began to weave into his message the life of a young man who surrendered his all. He lived in such a way that he compelled others to give their best for Him. The Lord filled the speakers mind with every story we had shared. The finely crafted threads of the writings of this young man into his sermon, were divinely inspired.

He spoke of a boy who prayed at 6 years old to receive Christ, but realized at 8 that he didn't really understand. He said, "then he heard a young, awkward preacher give his first message and the Spirit of the Lord revealed Truth to the boy, and he completely surrendered."

After many stories offered as evidence of what this kind of life looked like, He spoke of the father of the boy and a trip to Kenya, where he would give his favored Bible away to a Sudanese refugee, whom God called to preach.

As he concluded, he would share, "now imagine that young awkward preacher finding out many years later at a time of struggle in his own life, that he had been instrumental in this boys salvation experience. Imagine finding out, that it was me," he spoke with all humility.

He referenced the book that had been crafted about this young man's life, repeatedly. Then just when you thought the altar would be opened for surrender, he carefully shared, "tonight, we are honored to have the parents of this young man among us. Not only that, but my wife and I got to have dinner with them!" He introduced Deanna and me and our live frames immediately appeared on the big screen.

We were overwhelmed with what happened next.

We were not overwhelmed at the idea of honoring the aforementioned parents. We would honor anyone described with such grace and detail. We were overwhelmed at how it occurred.

It would be impossible to choreograph an audience of this size to stand as one. Only the Lord could move in the hearts of men and women to respond in such unity. They seemed to instinctively know these parents sat in the balcony. They arose as one with thunderous applause and turned to face the parents.

To be sure, ALL of the glory goes to our Father in Heaven.

Importantly, the altar did become filled with students surrendering selfishness in view of a call to serve. The aroma of worship was precious.


Later, we would be rapt by a throng of students who would buy every book available and offer some of the most precious words ever spoken to us. This was a camp for young Christian leaders, and it was evident in their words and deeds. Some came speechless, some with tears, some with sobs, many with affirmation.

When all this was over, we were afforded a final few moments with our hosts and new friends. Midnight pictures in front of a glowing steeple were captured. We can't wait to see them. We are busy planning our next time together.

We are most thankful for the hand of our Father in Heaven and how He blesses our lives... we just had to share this night with you.


brent

14 Comments:

At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How beautiful is this! Words fail me to respond but Praise the LOrd for this wonderful experience for you and Deanna. It brought tears to this Aunt's eyes. The picture for today had already stared the tears.
We love you,
Aunt Maralyn

 
At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent,

I'm so glad you and Deanna had this opportunity! Connecting the dots in the story and seeing the picture as it is revealed more clearly was definitely a blessing. God bless your travels and ministry this summer!

Love,

Cousin Becky

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger Marti said...

Wow.

How did I miss this yesterday.

Just wow. And thank you, Jesus for answered prayers!


always in pink
with tender love,

Marti

 
At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Denice said...

My son is at Super Summer this week and we came to that service Wednesday night. It was just as you have said. I felt the Spirit only a few minutes into the service. I was moved by the worship songs that Chris White sang and this speaker that I had heard about from last year had such a gift of identifying with his audience. I hung on his words wondering where they were going. When he started speaking of your son I thought of mine who went forward at the age of 6 and then later felt God's call. He hasn't been baptized again and I wondered, will this move him to make that decision? Then as he continued on about BJ I was so moved not only by his passion to share Christ but by you, his parents, that would trust God so fully as to let him go at that young age. Look how many lives you have changed by allowing him to pursue his passion to wherever it took him. As I listened I was overwelmed by emotion and then as he introduced you I saw your hand go up just a few rows in front of me. I was not prepared for that. To hear the audience rise to their feet at once meant that everyone in that auditorium was as one listening. It was amazing.....a God thing. BJ is still moving people. In fact, the next day I told 2 different people about that night and while I was talking they both said "ooh, I just got a chill down my spine." Yes, BJ is still sharing Christ and I have been challanged. Thank you. I wanted to shake your hand and hug your neck but didn't get the opportunity. Consider this your hug.
A sister in Christ,
Denice

 
At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was one of the students at Super Summer. Wednesday night was amazing. As my youth pastor said, "God shows up every year at Super Summer, but what happened that night was precious." I have been inspired and challenged by B.J.'s story and the moving of the Holy Spirit. I didn't get to talk to you guys that night, but I want to honor you and affirm for you thar lives where forever changed.

 
At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, i was there at super summer this night...i dont think there was a dry eye in the house...i didn't get a chance to talk to you but i just wanted to let you know that you raised an amazing young man and i wish he were alive so i could meet him and maybe just maybe catch that spark that he had....I hope that i can hve that fire someday and when Afshin said you were in the balcony i wasnt sure what to think other than i was in awe of an awesome God!!!! thank you for being there...it really taught me a lot!
God Bless.

 
At 12:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also a student at Super Summer this past week.
& I definitely cried like a baby from the very beginning of the night!
BJ's story has made such an impact on my life. & I just want to thank you for telling his story so that others may be inspired by such an amazing Christian.
Thank you again for allowing all of us to be apart of something so great & powerful as your family's story.
May God bless you.
I'm praying for you, we all are!

 
At 1:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also a Super Summer student.
Your sons story changed my whole outlook on my life as a christian. To have gone through as much as he did, but still sharing the love of his Lord is outstanding. It slapped me in the face (which needed to be done). How can I as a christian not show his love to everyone I come in contact with. What do i have to be ashamed of. I have a Lord with the greatest love, I shall have nothing to be ashamed of!
I know I will be sharing your sons story because of the impact it had on my life.I thank you for letting his story be told.

May God continue to bless your lives.

 
At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there at super sumer that night and it was a truly amazing expierence to see all those students before the altar praying all do to the impact of BJ. listening to Afshin tell the story of a young man devoted to christ was absolutely amazing. i hope the best for you guys, my prayers always with you.

c. jackson

 
At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was there as well. that was the most moving thing i've ever seen. literally. thank you for coming & allowing us to show our gratitude to you & the one true god. I cannot wait to tell BJ's story to everyone that will let me.

 
At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also a student at Super Summer last week. I was in blue school, but it was my first year at Super Summer. Afshin was a great speaker, and things he said helped me a lot. But nothing helped me nearly as much as the story of BJ. If BJ could help change lives at such a young age, what's stopping me from doing the same? I'll be 15 in about two months and hearing BJ's story has challenged me. It woke me up from the world I was living in where I thought that once I was saved and could call myself a Christian, I was done. I always thought, that was it. It was all I needed to do. But I was wrong, and it was about time something made me snap out of that world. I didn't get the chance to meet you or Deanna that night, as my Super Summer family & I went outside and all cried our eyes out. But I wanted to tell you, you raised a great son. His story has touched lives for years and will touch lives forever. I wish I would have got the pleasure of meeting BJ, but his story has been enough to inspire me with my walk with Christ. God was surely there that night. It was a night I'll remember for the rest of my life. And I believe a lot of other people will, too.

Thank you for such an amazing story,
Krista.

 
At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's amazing! I was there that week at super summer. It was amazing what your son did. It really spoke to me. That night really spoke to me. I have recently decided to go on a mission trip to the UK. My mom is terrified of the idea of me going overseas. But I feel very confident about doing this. Although I've been praying like crazy about making sure this is what God wants me to do. but anyways I just wanted to tell you thank you.

 
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