Friday, November 11, 2005

Recently, Deanna, Brad (my brother) and I were at a Christian bookstore. It was one of Beej's favorite places to frequent. He enjoyed pouring over their books, cd's, Bible translations, etc. I remember taking him to that same store before he left for his Peru trip this summer. He was asking for 2 cd's. I compromised with him, and got him one, and told him upon his return we'd get the other one.

While in Peru, someone took all of his cd's...yes, including the new one. His attitude about it was encouraging. He was unconcerned, though disappointed. He knew why they were there, and wasn't going to be distracted by something as petty as losing material possessions. He knew he could begin to rebuild his collection when he returned home.

He did just that. He had begun to pull together, through various means, his favorites. He had grown very fond of Billy and Cindy Foote's "Not a god." He listened to it a great deal while he worshipped in the quiet of his room. Interestingly, while we were in the hospital, and once again his cd's were taken, this one had been left home in his stereo.

We have been ministered to so deeply by them, through their cd's and their leading worship at his "Celebration of Life." It is so amazing how God is in the small, seemingly insignificant details of life. Lord, I praise You for caring about the "little things."

While wandering somewhat purposefully through the aisles of the Christian bookstore, I tried to remember what the second cd was that Beej wanted...but I couldn't recall. Frustrated, I returned to where Deanna and Brad were. Looking at "Willow Tree" figurines.

Our friend Carol collects them. While in the hospital, people started giving them to Deanna as a gift. She was enthused about it since she had seen them at Carol's. Deanna's favorite is called "Heart of Gold," which was given to us in BJ's memory. You see, it is a young lad (who resembles Beej) holding a gold heart up to his chin, in both hands. It was very moving when she received it (Thank you Michelle K).

While standing there taking in all of the different figurines, I was moved by the emotional tug of each one (not a bad marketing strategy). Then my eyes found one high on an upper shelf. I strained to see (yes I am short) what it was called. When I saw the title, I cannot explain what happened other than to say I had a physiological reaction to one of those "little things." It was titled "Mother and Son."

Oh, how much we miss him!



At 7:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also collect a few of the Willow Tree Firugines! I love them and I also have "Heart of Gold" which reminds me of my 13 year old son. I is amazing that they can tug at your heart they way they do, when you see them.

Thank you for sharing as you do!
Still praying in Kentucky!

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

Hey Dad, Mum (that's how we spell it), and sisters.

I really love to read your posts and join with you daily in the sharing of brother Beej's life.

Thanks for today's entry and for reminding us not just 'that' the Lord cares but 'how much' he cares for the little things in our lives, the things which only he knows we need a touch from.

I don't post often but I'm still here reading and praying every day. I love you guys so much.

martin [sydney au]

ps - I don't know what you all look like. Do you reckon we could have a family photo added somewhere so we can put some faces to the names? (hope that's ok to ask)

At 7:55 AM, Blogger brobrad said...

I have really been blessed by Billy and Cindy's music since being introduced to it through you all. Without a doubt it is an inspired ministry and in speaking with Billy after the memorial service, I was impressed with his humble spirit and attitude, his desire only to serve and worship his Lord, not to receive any glory for it himself. I am very thankful that they made the trip and participated in leading us in worship.

I'm sorry about Jilly (Brent & Deanna's cat was hit by a car yesterday)because I know that more loss, even a pet, is not what you need right now - and I know that she brought you comfort at times. Continue to lean on Him as you do each day, He is the great know that.

Looking at the Willow Creek figures with you and Deanna I could see why this particular one is so meaningful to you. I can't help but think how much like BJ this figure is. The simplified features of the figurines leave only what really matters to get the point it is trying to make across to the recipient.

BJ wasn't simple by any means, but his faith was not bound down by other details of life - it was his life - and his heart was there for all to see.

Yes, he had his games, his stereo and tv, yet through your regulated use of those influences he had learned to use them to enhance his faith, not squeeze it out like so many of us do. Worship music was what he listened to, spiritually uplifting and faith-building books are what he wanted and read.

His identity was not lost in the frills of life, it was out front, he was who he was and you met him the first time, not somewhere down the road; and like our Jesus does, he tended to meet you where you were and accept you there.

Missing him with you, and thanking the Lord that you raised such Christ-centered "kids." They all challenge me with their faith and commitment.

I love you all, Brad

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another speechless day. His love is SO DEEP. May you drink from it fully, experiencing the refreshment of His grace and always-tender mercy.

ever in pink,

Marti for the Pieper Family
Charleston, SC

At 8:25 AM, Blogger . said...

Just wanted to let you know that I'm still remembering and still praying....

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Brent & Deanna...

Simply don't have words. Just know that we continue to cry out (while crying) for you often in these days.

I love how a foreign (Gentile), slave girl named our God "The God who sees", El Roi, and He cared for her. He is so very good to us all the time. We know this and yet we (I) are continually surprised by His goodness.

I have prayed so many times that He would show you in many, many small ways ~ ones that you would find intimate & personal ~ His care & love for you.

I was so touched by your post & then, I don't know why, but the note about Jilly hit me in my stomach. You know that Satan is really creative & yet I know our God is in control and that He allowed that and can still bring glory through even this!!

I think Satan trys to get at us with the smaller, intimate things too. He also loves to attack after a spiritual your past weekend.

We are aware. We have donned our armor. We will continue to lift you up. OUR God IS the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the awesome Creator, and He does reign. He is the all powerful One, the great I AM. He will be glorified. Every knee will bow. We want Him to be magnified. The battle has already been won! May He continue to show Himself in MIGHTY ways to you.

We are praying in the name of Jesus Christ and in His love,


At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Brent, Deanna, Lauren and Whitney,

Your post today touched me so deeply. It is the "small" things that can really touch our hearts. Please know that I am continually praying for your strength and comfort each and every day. Your pain has become all of our pain and we pray so hard for each and every one of you. I am so sorry to hear about losing your cat, Jilly. God bless today and always.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Tara Case said...

Dad-Me too. Thanks for saying it it first...You all have been such a huge comfort and encouragement to me in all this. You have shares so much of Beej's heart with us and like i said, still allowing him to be part of the team. Its one of those things were I am beginning to notice that he isnt around. When i call someone else from the team that i havent talked to-I dont call beej..beej's number at times; yes. Is it busy with BA yes. LoL I giggled when i called you guys and then BA and they were both busy. I got to share with my 9 year old cousin last night about Beej. Colton is his name and he was in the back of the car and he was talking about becoming a christian. I asked him when figuring that since he grew up in church it was like 'when i was 3' but he corrected me to say, "This summer"....I asked him if he was righteous. He sais yes but he didnt know why. So I gave him a few verses and he comes back telling me, "well my favorite verse is this..." and rattles off about 2 or 3 verses. Not common ones but ones that clearly spoke to him. I told him last time that in 3 years (he will soon be 10) that he can go on the mission field. I asked him again in the car, "Colton where are you going in 3 years?"..."THE MISSION FIELD! I am so excitied I cant wait! I get to help and share with people about Jesus!"---I was pretty blown away. So i shared with him about beej. I believer you all said Beej was 8 or 9 when he accepted the Lord and started walking with him, i shared that with colton. I also shared that Beej was a true man of God at a young age. Colton is very smart, just like you tell us Beej was. He plays the violen, is in acting, talks about college classes that I have never heard of! I left him copies of the papers from the celebration service as well as the "Self.." letter. He loves to read so I nkow he will take it and eat it up. He talked about also at camp, where he accepted Christ, this friend of his said he was always a christian but colton told us he didnt act like it. He then followed with, "Well I was sitting down talking to him and telling him the things he did were not right and that he needed to know jesus."---My grandmother has prayer for all of us for so long and just not the Lord is beginning to really move in our family. Pray for Colton's mom, Kori, her husband is leaving her and they went to court yesterday and he has them for a week and then her...bad arrangement. I pray that God continues to strengthen you all in this time, that you will be surrounded with those you need to be around and also have time alone when you need it. Love you
Tara Case
Yukon, Oklahoma

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post has again touched my heart. Thank you. May God continue to comfort you.

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent and Deanna,
I just wanted you to know that we (TCS) are still praying for you and your family. Brent, I emailed you recently, but I am not sure you received it. It was concerning speaking in chapel at TCS. I will email again later.
still praying,
Brenda May and students

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Family,

We are still praying here is West Texas. I come to the site knowing I will be blessed and that God will speak to me. Thank you so much for being faithful and for the ministry that you are doing.

In His Grip,

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting today, I always know I will be blessed when I read it.
Brittany Allen

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

I know the little things can cause a tidal wave of emotions. I completely understand. My mom died when I was 18 of breast cancer, and the "little things" were what hurt the most. Smelling her perfume when no one was around...weird! Just continue to remember that time heals and God heals, and those little things will eventually bring more joy than tears! I love you all!

I am so happy to read that the animals are returning to your safe haven!! How awesome! I know how precious that is. We go camping at a Thousand Trails place called Lake of the Springs here in CA, and the deer will come right up to your trailer and lay down right in front of the door. It is an amazing gift!! And it fills your heart with joy!

I am continually praying for you all. May God bless you today...and always.

Praying in pink..forever....

Linda Anderson
Willows, California

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other CD that Beej wanted was Thousand Foot Krutch's 2nd CD Phenomenon. Just thought I'd help ya out there.


At 3:19 PM, Blogger phil4yahshua said...

"If tomorrow starts without me, And I'm not there to see.
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry the way you did today.
While thinking of the many things, we didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me, as much as I love you.
And each time that you think of me, I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me, please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name, And took me by the hand.
And said my place was ready, In heaven far above.
And that I'd have to leave behind all those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away, A tear fell from my eye.
For all my life, I'd always thought, I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for, So much left yet to do.
It seemed almost impossible, That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays, The good ones and the bad.
I thought of all that we shared, And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, Just even for a while.
I'd say good-bye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized, That this could never be.
For emptiness and memories, would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things, I might miss come tomorrow.
I thought of you, and when I did, My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven's gates, I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me, From His great golden throne.
He said, "This is eternity, And all I've promised you."
Today your life on earth is past, but here life starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow, But today will always last, and since each days
the same way, There's no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful, So trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things, You knew you shouldn't do. But you have been forgiven, and now at last you're free.
So won't you come and take my hand, and share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me, don't think we're far apart.
For every time you think of me, I'm right here, in your heart "

Somehow this seemed appropriate!



At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have peaked my curiousity. I now need to find out what Willow Tree Figurines are!

As always, I continue to enjoy reading your posts. They are my daily devotions.

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your cat, Jilly.

Praying for you and your family.

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Barbara Ann said...

hey family...

As today was veterns day, we had an assembly in honor of them at the school I work at. They played all the songs from all the different branches of military. I found myself being so teary eyed. I was thinking to myself, dont let anyone see you cry at this! Im so emotional at times...

Anyways, I dont even know why I shared that, but hey!

So, my S5 group went great on Wednesday night. We found ourselves one short now. One girl really felt that God was leading her in another direction, and it wasnt the S5 group. So there is a reason for the group just being 4...what that is, I dont know. So we talked about our identity in Christ. It was a great time of fellowship in the word, praise and worship, teaching, and prayer.
I love you guys!!!

passionately serving our King with you,

Barbara Ann

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Kalliopi Psalm said...

I think there is just something about those figurines that tug at something deep in your soul. This past christmas Trevor bought me one of the Willow Tree ornaments of a woman holding a child. It was a few months after Kalli was born and I still think it is the best gift he could have chosen. In fact it has never made it's way into the ornament box in storage, I kept it sitting on my dresser all this time.

I don't think I fully understood how much the "little" things really mean until I was blessed with Kalli. I have come to treasure more than most anything her slobbery kisses and sticky fingered hugs. I see God in her daily. I see His love for me and His love for our world.

Thank you for sharing your lives with us. Your thoughts continue to be a blessing to my heart. Much Love..Amy

At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Higgins Family,
I cannot express my love for God's notice of the "little things." I hope that He can lead you through some of the "little things" that come up and bring tears to your eyes whether happy or sad. It is such a good feeling that I get after reading one of your blogs and I thank you again for the continance of this blogsite. I am also a Willow Tree collector and would love to send you one because they are so heart-warming. Unfortunatly, I don't know where to send it. If you would like to send me an email, I would love it. This is really the least I can do for all you have provided me with. You are a part of my family now and this is just a way of honoring it. I'm praying for you.
Lauren Szabo

my email:


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