Friday, December 30, 2005

The family time was bittersweet this week but today we all returned home, save one. Lauren's off to Michigan to join friends. The Danzeisens will make it back tomorrow in Virginia Beach, the rest of us today in Marion, Indianapolis and Monrovia.

It still doesn't seem possible that our family is no longer 5, at least for now. When we return home, it hits again and again that our son is not with us. We're weary of being sad but it is the course of grief for one so loved and missed.

My Willow Tree collection has grown this Christmas, and that fact is bittersweet as well, inspired too by BJ.

We look forward to spending New Year's eve with dear friends, many of the same as last year. And with school on Monday, the holidays seemed to flash by in somewhat of a blur. Yes, we stayed up late playing games and talking, slept in, took it easy, but isn't it amazing how time seems so short still?

Movies are a more poignant experience when you know what it means to lose someone. Loss was represented in both movies we saw this season. Somehow we aren't prepared for the emotional impact that comes with seeing this on film.

Again, we are thankful that we have Jesus to minister in these times.


Thank you Aunt Maralyn and Lauren S. for your gifts!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I cannot understand how those who have never given their hearts to Jesus, survive the grief processs. The justifications they must use to explain what has happened, bend my mind in directions it refuses to travel. I have been at funerals of the unsaved, and seen how horrid that experience is for the surviving family.

I am so very thankful that we have been surrounded by believers who are family by blood, and family by His blood. The extension of love, support, and prayers have been a gift to us. There is no way we can ever repay you for the way you have blessed us. We are very greatful.

I continue to be surprised when I am overtaken by waves of anger, or sorrow. These times are occurring less frequently, but no less sharp in their attack. We are helpless, it seems to defend against them. I know they are necessary, and have been provided by our Lord as a way of getting past the experience.

Sometimes, I find myself just wanting Jesus to return, as I feel unable to continue to figtht and serve Him.

Yet, He continues to sustain me. Sometimes through ways I never imagine. Yesterday morning, I walked into the "men's room" in the cabin, only to hear Joshua singing the first verse of "Held" in his young boy soprano voice. I was in awe. How did he know this song that the Lord has used to carry us. How did he know when to sing it?

Earlier this week, I showed the "BJ blanket" to Joshua and his family. He ran up to it, embraced it without hesitation, and curled up in front of the fire, wrapped in it. How that picture brings me comfort.

We were hiking together (11 of us, I think) through the woods of the camp, a couple of days ago, when Joshua found an antler shed. He wasn't even looking for one, nor did he know to. Brad has worked at this camp for over 10 years, I believe, and has never even seen one.

I know some of these things have meaning for others, and some do not. They have been instruments of healing for me, and I know the author! I know He is meeting the needs of my family in similar ways, and I am most humbled by it. I am not thoughtful enough to come up with such schemes. I couldn't do it for myself, let alone have the insight to do it for someone else. Someday, I hope I do.

Today is the final day we will all be together. Tomorrow we head back to our homes, and lives. I am thankful for all of my family. This Christmas, I have been most thankful for the memories the Lord has given me of Joshua. Beej loved him, and spent so much time with him. How I have missed seeing them together. Crossing blades, hiking, playing hide and seek, or cars, or army men... it never mattered. Just so they were together.

Joshua is young, and I fear his memories of his cousin BJ will fade. I must trust the Lord to keep those alive, and pertinent for the situation, as He sees fit. As He knows they are needed, they will be refreshed. And I am so thankful for a Savior that cares enough about me, to know just what I need, and provide it, even though I don't deserve it.


Please continue to lift up the Awestar Mexcio team as they are serving, even now!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

For those who are interested in reading it, a story on BJ and Joshua has been posted on "Voice of the Martyrs" website. You can access it by going to and then clicking on "Kids of Courage." It is encouraging to see his story continue to bring glory to our Savior.

Sunday, Christmas morning, we enjoyed celebrating Jesus' birth at our home church. One of the reasons is because of the love shared with us through hugs, and kind words. To see the body lift one another up is an encouragement.

Just before services started, an elderly lady named Rosemary (Ben-jammin's grandma) came up to where we sat, gave me a hug, told me that she loved us, and shared that she continued to pray for us through this difficult time. She is on oxygen, and has to haul it with her everywhere she decides to go. It is no small chore, but one she does not let hinder her from blessing others.

I was touched at her kindness. This was not the first time she had done this. I tried to make my way to her on many occassions, so she would not have to come to us. However, she never let her age, her condition, or anything else get in the way of ministering to us. What a blessing.

I like metaphors. I know you know this. I tend to think in metaphors. Many times I thought of Rosemary, her oxygen, and life. Before Beej's journey, I would sit in church on Sunday morning and think about how her oxygen pump kept infusing fresh clean air for her to breath... to keep her going.

I compared this spiritually, to our lives, and the constant need for a touch from our Lord. How He is faithfully there infusing just what we need, if we allow Him. He meets our needs, and provides life, so we can meet others needs. As her Oxygen pump whispered encouragement to her body in a steady rhythm, so did our Savior to ours. However, if we do not stay alert, that same experience could lull us to sleep.

After Beej's passing, hearing the device had new meaning. Beej had spent too much time on the patriarch to Rosemary's pump. The one he was on was the last possible step... no other options after it. Except the Lord might intervene, might breathe new life into his tired body. This did occur, not perhaps in the way we would want, but in the way He knew best, and would be glorified most.

Christmas day, Ben-jammin' played the piano as special music in church. I know his grandmother was very proud of him. After church, she was in the car with her John. She had an episode, and went home to be with Jesus.

How bittersweet for her family. How difficult to lose her unexpectedly. How difficult that it happened at Christmas. How precious for her, that it occurred on the day she celebrated her Savior's birth.

Ben-jammin,' Rose, Chuck and family, we are praying for you! Rosemary blessed us amid the storm in our lives, and we loved her. We love you, and trust Him to hold you.

brent (dad)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Yesterday was the day we celebrated Christmas as a family, at least in terms of a gift exchange. Christmas without the exhuberance and anticipation of young children certainly has a different flavor. I am so thankful for the presence of my nieces and nephew, ages 2 to 6.

They are so precious. I love being greeted with a big hug first thing in the morning. Children seem to grow out of this if we let them. Let's don't let them!

Seeing the world through a child's eyes always seems more exciting. Opening presents, playing games, baking cookies, it doesn't matter what, they put their whole self into it, and enjoy life. Somewhere along the way, we teach them through our own actions, to water down their enthusiasm. I don't know why we do this, being more "mature" certainly doesn't mean being more fun.

I certainly enjoyed watching these little ones open their gifts. The only problem is that you usually know immediately whether or not your gift was a "hit." My two year old niece received twin babies, a boy and a girl. Parents aren't supposed to play favorites, but she hasn't "grown up" yet. She has had the baby she calls "Blue" in her tender grasp, since she opened him. Once she laid him down, forgot where, and walked through the cabin, calling "Where Blue? Where Blue? Where Blue?" Fortunately, he was found, and her smile was most rewarding.

This year as wrapping paper was shredded in the wake of diligent anticipation, the gifts that meant the most (to me) as others unwrapped them, were framed pictures of Beej. Several family members gave and received them. Each told a story. Words were never necessary.

As Joshua sat awaiting his turn, his "momma" was opening a present. When the paper was cleared, and the box set aside, one such framed picture was revealed. Amid the exclamations of others, Josh, sitting nearby, said in a quiet and humble voice, "I wish I had a picture of BJ, of my own."

What a special relationship they shared. One of the pictures opened this year (at least twice) was of Beej and Joshua holding and admiring our two week old kittens. That picture alone takes you on a journey that is warm and friendly as Beej and his room served as "father and hospital" to this litter.

Earlier in the day, Josh had been standing in front of my (work) laptop. He was admiring the backgroud. It was a picture of Beej, who is backed up into a hollow tree, feet first, shoes spilled in front of him, with only his shoulders, arms and head exposed. The impish grin on his face, beckons.

In that moment, the screen changed to red, and yellow words began to scroll across. "Will you answer the call, and get uncomfortable for Christ? - BJ Higgins"

What happened next I was not prepared for. Joshua exclaimed to his "momma," "BJ is sending us a message!" In that moment, he was so excited for what he thought was happening. Her telling him the truth was an ugly reality... at least for me.

He walked away, perhaps a little more "grown up," certainly disappointed, but he left me a most wonderful gift!

In the truest sense of the occurrence, he was right. The message sent is clear. Will I? Will you? Joshua already has.


(turns out, my cousin Lyn took the picture in the last update)

Monday, December 26, 2005

I trust the joy of our Savior has embraced you this season. The season of light. What a blessing to be together with family, the comfort of those familiar, those who celebrated many Christmases with Beej. The memories of his sweet presence among us, and all the things he did that were never discussed until they became memories of that which will not reoccur.

My brother (the photographer among us) has gifted us with framed pictures of Beej. Many, never seen before, as he has rolls of film stored in his home that he has not yet developed. How thankful we are for that (new treasures, yet to come). He has had prints made of pictures which have more meaning now than they would have.

One such example is from July 4, 1997 (Beej was 7). He has a sparkler in his hand. The picture is taken after dark, and is time lapsed. Though his face is blurry, his activity is clear. Brad chose a caption from Beej's writings... "I will not let my light be hidden." Appropriately, the movement of the sparkler has formed a "J." Signifying the very light that resided within his heart, the light with whom he now dwells. How precious is that? Another 'old memory' made new, with the precision and timing of a loving Lord, through a compassionate brother/uncle.

Another was taken summer before last. This one is 16"x20." I think my cousin Becky actually took the picture. BJ stands in front of the childhood home of my father, in Wisconsin. The rusty roof, weathered windows, and trim, thirsty for paint is the backdrop for a young man who strained to remember a man who played a huge role in his early life... one who no doubt, greeted him first when he was called home!

These are precious to us, all of us. For now they adorn the walls of this cabin, where 13 members of his family remember, and rejoice. For while we are sad that he is no longer with us, the Holy Spirit, the promised Comforter is ministering to our hearts, collectively, and individually. Thank you Lord Jesus, Light of the world.

Blog family, thank you so much for spending yourselves for us. Your constant prayers, e-mails, notes of encouragement, Christmas cards and gifts (Thank you Marti-how yummy! Thank you Laurel, how beautiful!) have been a great source of strength in a most difficult time. We love and appreciate you more than we'll ever be able to express!


Saturday, December 24, 2005

My Precious Beej,

Merry Christmas!

How I miss you.

This season, as we celebrate the birth of our King, you have opportunity to behold Him in glorious light. How incredible your view must be. How I long to see what you see.

Your absence is not easy for me. How I long to share and lift up praises side by side with you. The platform at church seems ever empty to me without you occupying that spot just in front of the baptistry. Your bass still stands (at home) where it always has, as if it is waiting for you.

The house is so quiet. Not that you made a lot of noise, but your presence was always known. Our memories with you are so precious and sweet.

I miss your stoking the fire, endlessly, as we both gazed into it. It seemed to transport us both to different places, yet we were together. Now, I hold you in my heart, seeing you as I stare alone.

There is so much I want you to know. So much I want to say to you. Christ in you has made a difference in so many lives. You would be embarassed, as songs have been written about you, mission funds named after you, people are quoting your writings, and your silly little sayings keep popping up. You have inspired so many people to pursue their relationships with Christ at new depths. Christ through you, has unified the least for a time. Thousands prayed for you, mourned your loss, cried for a man of God they never knew.

Joshua holds your sword. He has committed to taking your place on the field. So have scores of others, some you know, many you do not. How such a small "little man" could leave such a vast wake, is something only the One you now behold can explain.

I miss your perpetual voice. I confess there were times I wanted you to be quiet. I never meant for this long. It has been nearly three months since you left, and well over four since I heard you speak. Somehow though, your voice reverberates across the nations. Beej, man of God, you left a legacy. One that inspires, motivates, encourages, and at times, even haunts.

Because of your love for Jesus, your understanding beyond your years, the way you lived your life, and the journals you left us, many are coming to Him. You have done well, son. I am proud of who you were. I am proud of who you are. I am forever changed because of you.

We will celebrate the birth of our King without you this year, knowing you are celebrating with Him. The sword shall always be the symbol of your life. It will occupy our photographs of this Christmas, while your memory will live on in our hearts, and in the lives of many who know Jesus, because of your faithfulness.

I look forward to seeing you again.

I miss you, and I love you.


Friday, December 23, 2005

My cousins' three year old daughter, Tadee, had occasion to visit a live nativity recently with her mother, Marla (a schmaltz life.) As they made their way through the crowd, and the stations before the nativity, Tadee announced, "I want to go see baby Jesus." She was told they were headed that direction, and would get to see Him, soon. They continued to make their way.

An impatient and newly turned three year old, did not understand or appreciate the delay. She averred, "I want to see baby Jesus!" Once again, Marla told her that they would see Him soon. "What could be more important that seeing Him?" she must have thought. Impatience grew even stronger within her until she could contain it no longer. "I want to go see baby Jesus before He goes back!!"

Suddenly, Marla clued in to what young Tadee was thinking. The baby Jesus she had heard so much about had come to this church... finally. Certainly touched, but with an element of concern, Mom responded, "Tadee, the manger holds a baby doll which is pretending to be baby Jesus, He's not really in there." Yound Tadee's countenance fell. Disappointment was written all over her face and cascading body expressions.

She had come to see Jesus. She was enthused and impatient. The day of days had come. She was to behold this Jesus she had heard so much about. It must have been a cruel joke to place a doll in this bed of the real baby! How could she have expected such a miracle?

How could we? Do we dream that big? Do we cling to our Jesus that hard, and with that kind of innocence? Do we expect to see Him show up in our daily circumstances? Do we allow Him to move in our lives? Is He really the embrace of Christmas in our home?

"For unto us is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign unto you, you will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger." Luke 2

He is alive! He is real! Praise Jesus, He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!!!

Let us celebrate His birth like never before! Hallelujah, He is there! Thank you Tadee for showing us the attitude to come before Him with!


we arrived home safely this afternoon, and will head to a cabin to be with family. We do have computer access this time. Love to you all, you inspire us.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I believe that most of you realize how important music in our lives. a son who played cello, bass guitar (self taught), and was learning guitar, and listened to music from Yo Yo Ma, to Haste the Day.

Two Daughters who play piano (self taught), sing, one plays french horn, the other, oboe. Deanna who teaches music, sings, plays the piano, and once upon a time, played flute. We all listen to many types of music, but out favorite is worship. We love to worship, and last night we were afforded that opportunity.

Eleven years ago, my father died on August 26. When we returned from burying him in Wisconsin, a message was awaiting us from a local Christian bookstore. Deanna had won all of Steven Curtis Chapman cd's and many others, along with a cd player, and two tickets to the Steven Curtis Chapman kick-off concert, complete with "meet and greet" passes, in early September. A blessing from our Father in heaven... one of the little things He did to help us while we grieved.

Almost three months ago, Beej moved on to the purest praise and worship, and awe-inspiring music which we can only dream about. At that time, MercyMe wrote a song inspired by his passion for Jesus. This cd will be released in April.

Last night, we were afforded the opportunity of attending Steven Curtis Chapman, and MercyMe's Christmas concert. The tickets were graciously provided for us by the band. We had amazing floor seats, right in the middle, 15 rows back.

How blessed we were to enjoy this time with so many other believers. What an inspiration these artists are. It was very meaningful to us to be able to share with them after the concert for a brief moment or two. If you haven't heard their Christmas music, I highly recommend you buy it (both groups).

MercyMe will appear on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show," tonight. It is so cool when doors open to Christian artists to appear on a national, non-christian stage. Please pray for them.

No, is the answer. They did not play "Die for You." We did not expect them to...yet.

Blog family, please be reassured of how much you have blessed, and encouraged us through this journey. The Lord has ministered to us deeply through you! Susie from Evansville, it was good to see you last night! We meet people and hear stories every week from and about those of you who God has also touched (Cindy in Lakewood, Co., keep writing, we really enjoyed your work). Thank you so very much. Thanks for your bond of love. We are lifted higher than we deserve.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

We are just 5 short days from celebrating Christ's birth. I know we all strive to make celebrating His presence a lifestyle. I know I often fail. Falling short, seems at times to come so very easily. What a priviledge and blessing to know and be known by a Savior who disregards our foolishness, as we strive to lay down our lives for Him.

Beej was no different. When I read his writings, I am often struck at how few times he writes of failure...though when he did, it was clear that he was pierced by it's presence... and how many times his writings were hope-filled, and nourishing. Both to him, and to me. As a father, I am so very greatful that he left such distinct pathways into his relationship with Christ. Especially now, I can enjoy how the Lord worked in his short life. Even though I knew he was unusual in life, I am moved each day at his depth, and embrace for the Savior.

I want to share Beej's call to ministry with you... in his own words. He was 12 when he wrote this. At home, I have an antique painting in a most unusual frame, which depicts Christ at the same age. How He actually looked is unknown to me, but his reflection comes through in Beej's testimony:


"All my life I've felt the possibility of being called into ministry. Although I took it lightly, lately, I've had a burden to inform as many Christians and non-Christians about Christ and being like Him.

On Monday morning after I finished my "sealed orders" (devotionals) I let my mind wander to find out what God wanted to tell me. Almost immediately, my thoughts were on the ministry. So, responding, I prayed that God would affirm this inkling. Sometime during the week, a speaker said that God wanted to tell each individual at camp something. I immediately thought about the ministry. "Is God trying to call me into the ministry?" I thought, "Lord please show me if this is what you want to tell me this week.

On Thursday, the "Meat" side of "sealed orders" was titled "What's next?" It talked about what God wanted for us next: after we got home from camp. I concluded my "Sealed Orders" by asking myself what God wants for me next.

Once again my mind landed on the ministry. It was then that I realized that God was calling me into the ministry; but I didn't want to make the wrong choice, so once again I prayed for affirmation. That night, Big John talked about being called into the ministry. I finally realized that God was affirming me.

As that night wore on, I felt more and more sure about being called into the ministry. Then I prayed for courage, Christlikeness, and humility as I faced the profession that God is leading me to."

I cannot help but wonder if the painting of Jesus at 12, was to portray the time He was away from his parents, and in His Father's house. Much like Beej's time at camp was designed to be (okay, so Deanna and I were actually at camp too, but our interaction was virtually design).

Our children are often capable of more than we give them credit for. I Praise the Lord for men like Big John, who have helped shape my sons life. For those of you at the calling, he was the bearded man who directed, and at times interrupted (for our sakes) the flow of people there to share with us. For those who were not there, he has been in ministry for a lifetime. Serving behind the scenes, always making sure sound, lights, stages and people are ready at appropriate times. He brought us breakfast most everyday for the 6 weeks we were in the hospital. He stood by us closer than most could, because he knows how to play the "supporting role" better than any. He has been on virtually every youth mission trip ever taken at Northside Baptist. If credits ran at the end of the trip, his name would be found near the "key grip's" as he never seeks the limelight, but always meets needs. Things get done when Big John is around. He makes you want to serve, by his ministry approach.

He has shaped many young lives similarly. Too few are willing to serve in this way, or even understand how to. Every ministry needs a Big John. Every student needs a Big John. Praise God that He has Big John, and molds lives through him.

He and Beej, called each other "BJ". He invested much in my son. He financially contributed a lion's share, so that Beej could go to Peru, two years in a row. He has blessed our lives, and that of our children. Whitney lived with he and his family for her senior year of high school, so she could finish where she started, when God called us elsewhere. He has left his four-wheelers at our home for recreational use on many occassions, only to receive them back, wrecked. Never a cross word spoken to us as a result.

He knows what is important in life, and he helped make sure my son did too. Thank you Big John, you have blessed us, and we are most greatful!

brent (dad)

Tomorrow we head to Kentucky to be with family. We will be there until Friday. We are uncertain of computer access, but will try to share as we can. Tonight we intend to see MercyMe in their last Christmas concert. Please pray for them, as I am sure they are weary.

Monday, December 19, 2005

This season as we continue to reflect on the ultimate gift given to us, I want to share a gift Deanna and I received for our birthdays. My sister Lisa, stumbled across a company in North Carolina that makes unique gifts.

We went out for our special days, to a restaurant in Indianapolis. My mother, brother, sister (Lisa) and her husband, and Whitney were each in attendance with us. They came bearing gifts. It was a precious evening (not because of the gifts, alone).

When we opened Lisa's, we were stunned to silence and yes, tears (I know you are shocked). When the giftwrap was torn off, and the box pulled apart, our eyes beheld a throw blanket, or afghan. It was roughly, 4'x6'. On it was a much larger than life representation of Beej playing the guitar. A picture you can still click to see on this website. We were amazed. Never had we seen anything like this.

The threads weaved into this piece of our hearts were colored very similarly to the actual. You can even see the nametag that hangs around his neck. The farther you are from the throw, the clearer the picture. It is simply uncanny.

Obviously, we were tremeandously blessed. For now, it adorns the foot of our bed, so that every time we walk into our room. He is the first thing we see...and he is bigger than he has ever been. Thank you Lisa!

During a season where the love of others brings much needed warmth to our hearts and bodies, I was reminded of a writing in Beej's personal journal. This one is very special to me... for obvious reasons. I believe you will understand.

"July 9th, 2004

I was sick tonight. I can't imagine what I would do if it happened at any other time than now, because for the first time in my life, I was able to focus on and turn to God as scripture came to my mind and comforted me, like Revelations 21:4, and Philippians 1: 21-24.

Also, I most missed my dad tonight, as I was miserable and hurling my guts out. I wanted him to be there to hold me in his arms and feel his warmth. But then, a comforting thought came to my mind, and I almost cried: My Daddy was there with me and wanted to gather me up in His arms and hold me, that is, God. He got me through it."

I continue to be so moved by this account. When I first read it, after he passed, I came apart. Read the passages of scripture. What the Lord brought to his mind in a time of desperation was a warmth, a balm I could not give. His reliance on the Savior is vivid. His cry for his daddy on earth was quickly replaced by his need and provision from the Father in Heaven.

I was jealous for a fleeting moment, and then I felt the warmth and comfort of my Father as well. He has been "gathered up in His arms," and I praise the Lord for his presence with Christ!

For now, we will wrap up in the "picture of Beej." We have been doing so mentally, and emotionally, and now we can do so physically. We are blessed!


(Lisa [not my sister] thank you for your faithfulness to our Lord, and your encouraging blog! We are praying...)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Perhaps Charlie Brown began the tradition of picking really bad trees, I don't know for sure. When Deanna and I went to cut a tree down for our home this year, we were looking for a tall tree with character. Well, we found one.

Any of you that have seen the "Grinch" movies will remember how when you saw a view of his home from the valley, it was on a mountain top. The view up showed a wide mountain base, leading to an ever narrowing top that was crooked. That is very descriptive of our tree this year.

All four of us have enjoyed teasing about it, and today, decorating it, together. It is a bit awkward, but then, so many times are we.

Being together to decorate was a blessing! We had fun doing it! That has not always been the case. We always looked forward to it, but often, the hurriedness of the season would catch up with us, and reflect the Sunday morning rush to get everyone ready, and pushed out the door.

Beej was usually the peacemaker through this. His young heart beat with such passion for all the season brought. His enthusiasm in decorating the tree was infectious. He would try to soothe the rushed attitudes and corresponding hurt feelings with the love in his heart.

His decorating prowess improved through the years. When he was young, his decorating style was limited by his height. The finished tree would have all of his favorite ornaments at the bottom...where he could reach. After he went to bed, Deanna would come to the rescue and even things out a bit. He never seemed to notice that.

We had a great time togehter this morning as we hung the Yuletide glitter. Our tree is ecclectic and traditional. We hang ornaments collected through the years, that reflect momentary hobbies. These are what make the Higgins tree special to us. We vow every year to throw certain ornaments away, but each year, they end up back on the tree. We laugh at them when we pull them out. There are many broken ornaments on that tree, but they have such sentimental value to us.

The joy we had this year in making the tree festive was not without memories of years past, and Beej's presence. Those thoughts danced through our minds, as we worked in harmony to adorn the crooked tree. One ornament evoked tears for me. It was an inexpensive gold plated train with a picture of a young Beej in the engineers seat. His smile is so precious.

Overall, we truly celebrated the opportunity to be back together as a family. How blessed we are by our Lord to allow us this day. I pray the same for each of you. This season without Beej will be melancholy at times, but each time I start to feel that way, the Lord brings that picture back to my mind of Beej looking into the eyes of Christ, and bringing him uninhibited, and unspoiled worship. How I long to occupy the space beside him.

Until then, I'll keep

Serving the King beside you,


Friday, December 16, 2005

I was awakened in the middle of the night with this story on my heart. I am always uncertain whether to share certain things, and therefore hold back at times.

When our family returned from our vacation in August, as you know Beej was sick. That in mind, the two of us visited his work. We did so to pick up his check (he had worked one week) and to check his work schedule for the next week. I also wanted to let his manager know that he was ill, and we were uncertain about his ability to come to work, but said that we would keep him informed.

You know the rest of the story... Beej went to the hospital, fought a valiant battle, and we watched the Lord unite the body of Christ across the world. The Father in heaven called him home. He never got to cash or spend his $74.00 check, but his heavenly reward surely exceeds his expectation. We his family, have been left to serve our fairest Lord Jesus, and He has allowed us to share Beej's legacy, and see lost people come to Christ. If there had only been one who came, Beej would have counted it gain... even if only seeds had been planted... gain! The Lord has blessed this, and many many have given their hearts to Jesus. Praise His Holy Name!

What you don't know is that a week before we were to head to Tulsa (to share for the first time), I went to Beej's work. He had worked at a clothing store, locally owned, by a precious Christian family. I went there because I did not own a suit that fit me. Being involved in youth ministry for many years, I no longer dressed in suits to attend my Fathers house. I figured that I may need to purchase a couple in order to be appropriately dressed to come before congregations.

I told the staff what I wanted. John helped me find a suit, an extra pair of pants to mix and match, two dress shirts, two ties, two pair of sox, and a new pair of shoes. You see, I was wearing my father's shoes, who had passed 11 years ago. I had had them resoled once, and they were in "need" again. They were good shoes, and I saw no point of replacing them, until now.

John measured the length for hemming my pants, he took meticulous care of me that day. When I was set, I went to the counter with him to pay for my purchases. I waited for him to ring up my finds. He looked at me and said, "Dad and I have talked about this, and we know what you are doing, and we want to support you, so there won't be any charge for these items."

I could not speak. I was overwhelmed. I had easily amassed a bill exceeding $500.00. This only son of his father, had hired my only son, and in an effort to serve the Father, and His only Son, were granting me this mercy, this gift, at a time that they saw that my need was great.

How like our Father and His Son, to reach out to one in need in such a precious and tender way. John, my friend Elsie Jay (who was there to help), and I cried together for a moment.

John, his father Jack, and his mother Joanie had already given so much to our family in Beej's loss. Though we had never met, his parents came to pay their respects at the calling, they had already contributed to one of the "BJ" funds. There was no more need for them to reach out. But they did.

That is the message we need to carry this Christmas. There is always more we can do. Not because anyone else deserves it, but because our Father in heaven does. Surprise someone this season of His birth. Extend a hand of caring, a gift of time or somehow, meet a need. Bring glory to our Father, and His One and only Son, born that we might live!


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Family... I'M HOME!!!

How truly wonderful it is to be able to breathe again! No more tests, no more studying, no more finals, no more eight-hour marathons in the library! Just time! Time to spend with my family, making cards, trying to cook... :) I am SO excited!

As terrible as this semester did seem at times, it was absolutely amazing to see the ways God worked through the hardest part of my life to bring me more comfort, blessings, and JOY than I would have ever thought possible! He challenged me and changed me and showed me so much more of Himself. I am learning about so many things: God's sovereignty, His holiness, even pieces of His plan for my life...

It's crazy to think back to last spring, when I was in a frenzy over campus housing. Now I can look back and see how God was working, preparing myself and others (namely, my three INCREDIBLE roommates: Megan, Kim, and Abby) for a time when we would all need each other. We have had such amazing growth opportunities together! One of my favorite things is to see how God works through the relationships of His people, and I have seen this in abundance with these girls. They have been there for me every step of the way. They all drove me back to the hospital the night BJ died. They were at the memorial service, and the funeral. They gave me distance in the two weeks I was home, but still left me fun messages letting me know they missed me. And coming back to school, they rallied to support me in full force. They have been there when I need to cry, when I need to laugh, and when I need to laugh so hard I fall down on the floor and cry! (Which actually tends to happen a lot in Suite 308!) I wish there were words to express the beauty I see in these three women. They are my deepest blessings.

I had such wonderful opportunities to meet all kinds of new people this semester, people who hardly knew me, yet were consistent in letting me know of their prayers for my family, for me specifically. I cannot quite explain the way God used all of these figures to impact me in such a significant way. But in a season of my life that I have had to travel alone, simply because that is it's design, these people have been my cheerleaders. They have been God's tangible presence to me.

To all of you: Baddy, Abby, Goody Sue, Becky, EricK, Kevin, Micah, Crazy Megan, Russ, Professor Bernius, Dr. Lennox, and SO many others... I love you. I thank you for letting God use you to encourage me and others as you grow more in Him.

Let's keep growing!


Last night, after more Christmas shopping, Deanna and I collapsed into a couple of comfy chairs at Starbucks. As I drifted off in thought Deanna asked me where I was. I told her I was thinking about Beej. Little things... how he always ordered root beer with no ice, wore socks to bed, huddled on the floor to do his quiet time, etc.

Then I told her how in hindsight that it appeared the Lord had begun to prepare us for our "empty nest." A couple of years ago, while on a mission trip to Alaska, Lauren was asked to stay, when the rest of our group returned home. She was needed to counsel youth at a wilderness camp - Echo Ranch- as a replacement for another who had been injured. Leaving her behind, knowing I could not talk to her, knowing she had no flight booked, knowing all the normal parental securities were absent, was the most difficult thing I had done to that point. As I prepared to board a return flight, we wept together, and made quite a scene.

Leaving her at college (as a freshman) a few months later, was suddenly a very easy task.

Next, the Lord moved us to Highland Lakes Baptist Camp to take on a ministry position. We left Whitney in the watchcare of some dear friends back in Indy, so that she could finish her senior year of high school at Carmel. That became very traumatic for us, as we did not expect the kind of separation that ensued. We lost her a year earlier than we expected, and it was not easy.

In the meantime, sending Beej to the mission field seemed like a much easier decision. We knew he was ready, we knew the Lord was leading him there. We would not say "no," not even now. (Lauren is to go to Africa in the spring, and more mission trips are on the horizon for our family, Lord willing).

We did not expect the ultimate outcome. When Beej passed, and we returned home, we had our girls with us... we all slept in the same bed that first night...but eventually they left to return to their lives, their callings, and our home emptied, and it echoes. There don't seem to be enough bodies to deaden the sound. We lost him, not a couple months early, not a year early, but a lifetime early.

Oh how we anticipate Lauren and Whitney's arrival home for Christmas break. Lauren returns tonight, and Whit later.

Our nest is empty, but our hearts are full. Full of the love of Christ. How He has sustained us, and held us. Because we are His, He will continue. His promises are true, and He is faithful. When God our Father allowed His one and only Son to be condemned and crucified, His pain must have been so much greater than ours. He was born to die...for He bore the weight of the world, and His Father knew this, and still he allowed Him to come.

Love your children as God loves you, but when He calls them, His plan, His security, His timing is what matters in their lives. Do not be a hindrance to the call on the lives of your offspring. The Creator of all is on the throne, He will carry you through the difficult days if your eyes are on Him. Oh how He loves you and me!


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I am in awe of our God and how He works and moves in our lives. Truly He is high and exalted. Even now, after writing the first two lines, our state executive director came to me and began to pray for my family. How incredible to begin the day with others who love Christ with all of their hearts.

Then, another from our state office came and handed me a book on coping and "Experiencing Grief." Our Lord moves in the hearts of His people to bring comfort and direction, just as He has through each of you readers, and pray-ers. How beautiful are you in the sight of the Lord.

I want to share with you a writing of Beej's from a couple of years ago. One he did for school. The topic was often provided, this one he produced, then it was for him to write...and he did:

"Don't look down on anyone, only God sits that high."

"Today arrogance is almost considered virtuous, with pride and utter confidence in oneself. People are encouraged to think so highly of themselves that most of conversation is arguing over who is better. Of course, I am not exempt from this, but the difference between myself and many others is that I see my pride and conceit as what it is: a character flaw.

One of my teachers once said to a boy in my class that she wished that she was as confident as he, and she applauded him, but it was not just confidence that he was showing that she displayed as virtuous, it was unconditional arrogance of "I can do anything and everything better than anyone and everyone."

Only God sits that high.

Certainly, confidence is often a positive and necessary thing, but too much confidence in oneself is pride and arrogance. The ultimate goal and purpose of human beings is to worship God. Pride is not just arrogance, it is any extra attention paid or drawn to oneself, and so away from God. Not only is this a sin against God, it is only hurting yourself. For we humans, who seek by nature, fulfillment and purpose, are most fulfilled and whole when living out our purpose- when worshipping God. Not only this, but also being naturally evil and imperfect, constantly failing, would only be deceiving ourselves to bring attention to ourselves to exalt outrselves or think ourselves greater than another. For however high we put ourselves, we will fall that much farther whenever we fail."

He often struggled with pride issues, and fought hard to deny himself and bring glory to God. He was not perfect. He had many failures. However, his life points to Christ even now, and for that, I glorify my God for raising His own Spirit in him.

Praise Jesus!


Monday, December 12, 2005

We revisited St. Vincent's Hospital yesterday. A special service was held for all parents and families who have lost children at St. V's. I confess, I did not look forward to this service. I knew it would not be an easy one. However, it was a necessary one.

Gathering in a crowded chapel with parents who have walked our road, was not a festive occassion. The pain of loss was evident in the reverence throughout the room. Tear stained faces were worn by many as memories of each child were displayed in the recesses of each mind.

Each family was given the opportunity to share about their child. Each was asked to share the one symbol which would forever etch in their memories, what their child was about. No parent seemed to struggle to come up with a symbol, but to openly talk about it was another story.

As each childs name was called, the family would stand, and one member would stop by a candle box, and select a white candle, proceed to the front, light their candle, and place a star with the childs name written on it, before the candle. That was the easy part. Turning to face this fraternity for which you never pledged was most difficult.

The candle box was nearing empty, and our turn had not come. Finally, chaplain and friend Julie, who was conducting the service (most beautifully), looked to us and said most familiarly, "and BJ." Every other childs first and last name were given, but as Julie was clearly remembering the six week journey, and how well we got to know one another, all pretense was shed.

I selected his candle (at Deanna's request) and headed to the front. As I arrived, Julie whispered to me, "and the last shall be first." Any hope of composure I had was now lost. I struggled to gain a breath. She stepped over, and put her arm around me.

Staring at the floor, and searching for my voice, I waited. The deafening sound of sniffles were heard throughout the room. Every parent knew what I was feeling. For the first time since it happened, I knew I was surrounded by others who knew the loss of a child, and the memories of each were relevant.

I began, "BJ passed away 2 months ago. He returned from Peru, where he spent the last two summers serving as a missionary, with an infectious disease, which claimed his life. The symbol with which we will always remember BJ, is his sword, which was his Bible. He used it to share the love of Christ with anyone who would listen."

The service was precious but painful. Julie did a remarkable job of reflecting the love and compassion of Christ throughout the service. I know there were lost people present, and I pray that the Lord will touch them, and draw them near, this season.

Thank you Julie, and thank you Jennifer (our social worker who is still "at the plate batting for us"). We were very blessed to be able to share with you both afterwards.

Before we left, we made a trip to the "Angel Tree." A very tall Christmas tree in the lobby of the Childrens hospital. The tree was adorned with angels. Each bore the name of a child who had left his parents and family behind. After searching for what seemed like forever, I grew impatient, climbed the white picket fence which surrounded the tree...intended to keep people out... and began touching and turning every angel until at last, there at eye level, right beside a lifesize toy soldier, which stood in front, guarding the tree, hung his angel. "BJ Higgins," a true soldier for Christ. He stood guard for his Lord and Savior, went on the offensive with his sword drawn, defeated the enemy at many turns, and saw countless, untold numbers come to Jesus, because he was faithful... "I will stop playing all defense in this war. I will unsheathe my sword. It's time to raise a revolution!" (BJ Higgins)


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Deanna and I went Christmas shopping yesterday. It started out fine, and then as you can imagine, got very busy. We had been in a department store, and thought we had finished. Upon leaving, remembered a gift we hadn't picked out. We returned.

In that short a period of time, the lines had gone from 'walk up to the register,' to 'wait in line in the maze of chains and poles' until it is your turn to check out. I love long lines. And when I am done, I like to go get teeth drilled and MRI exams. I did discover however, that waiting can be fun if you make it fun.

Deanna and I decided to make it fun. We laughed, and joked about bits of nothing, but it brought enjoyment to a frustrating experience. Deanna's body language changed when I told her I was okay with waiting, and was not in my usual hurry. She relaxed and became light-hearted. What was excruciating, became a time to remember.

Thank you Lord for allowing me to see joy in an experience I would usually find much annoyment in.

The guy behind us in line saw it a little differently. He was about to find out that he was waiting in the wrong line, and had been for quite awhile. He simply wanted to make an exchange. He decided he was going to show them. He was just going to buy the item he wanted to exchange for, and return later to finish. He used some wrather flowery language to describe his intent. Those around him enjoyed it as it made them laugh.

Then it happened. An older lady with a very bad wig, tripped and fell, right near the registers. I was appauled at the lack of store staff response. Apparently, they did not want to evoke the wrath of customers who were waiting in line. I hopped out of line and went to help her up. Asked if she was okay, she responded she thought she had hurt her foot. I went to a clerk and asked if I could have their stool for her to sit on. They complied.

Eventually a manager came and filled out an accident report with her.

I know I risk some believing I share this story in a self-promoting way, but my intent is to point out that at a time when we are gearing up to celebrate the birth of our Lord, there are things we can do to make a stressful time, less so.

Don't be in a hurry (AM I LISTENING TO ME?)! Look for ways to reach out to those who are in need. Speak kindly to those who are may be the only Christ they see this Christmas. Enjoy those you are with, for the moments may last for a lifetime.

By all means, reach out. Not only will you bless, but you will be blessed.


Friday, December 09, 2005

A heavy blanket of snow has stalled life as usual. Schools are out, businesses closed, and gleeful children rise earlier than normal at the excitement of not having to rise at all. This is a picture of winter in Indiana, a picture Beej loved.

How he pined for the days when school was called due to weather. It was always his goal to sleep in on those days, but excitement caused him to roll over, and then out of his bed. Homework was the farthest thing from his mind. Sledding, hiking, and even snowboarding were the 'entrees du jour' (sp? Beej was the french expert, not me).

We have a sledding hill here at Highland Lakes Camp, that when covered sufficiently with snow, is incredible. Steep, long, and of course a very short stopping distance, unless you correctly negotiate a narrow lane. It must be covered though, as it is a gravel drive. A few passes, and it begins ripping at frozen flesh if errors in sledding prowess occur.

Beej loved sledding there, even though he only got to do it a couple of times. We also have fond memories of slipping precariously down slopes at my brother's camp. How precious these memories of Christmases past, as we went sledding together as an extended family.

Cold tootsies inevitably gave way to runs back inside for hot chocolate by the roaring fire. We continue to look forward to more memories like these. Cousin Beth's son Matthew responded to the question "what do you want for Christmas?" with "Snow!"
I hope he gets it this year. Snow makes the holiday so much more enjoyable.

Rocketing down steep slopes on sleds, ski's, or boards, Beej loved this time of year. When he got cold, that crooked smile was amplified by frozen facial muscles. It was uniquely Beej. I will forever remember that grin. How blessed were we to know it, and enjoy it.

As you enjoy your day, watch carefully for the slippery slopes of sin. Yes, we consciously decide to enter into it, but the snowball effect of those bad decisions can be crippling. Enjoy the snow for what it is, but don't slide into the rash and raw scars of poor decision making.

What He has created is truly beautiful, and is here for us to enjoy. Remember to Praise Him, so the rocks do not cry out in your place!

Be blessed,


Thursday, December 08, 2005

The wrapped Christmas present brings so much enthusiasm. Each year, as they're placed beneath the tree, they evoke so much anticipation and excitement. Even at my age, when I see them, I cannot help but wonder what is inside!

I stop short of actually wanting to know until the time is right. I have friends who go to great lengths to find out in advance what is in each box. They cannot handle not knowing. I guess we each respond differently to presents.

Beej was a major snoop. He counted gifts, searched for gift tags, shook boxes, and got this impish crooked grin on his face, with clasped hands drawn up under his chin when confronted about it. It was all part of the season to him.

We decided early to make it difficult for him. Some years we put no names on...but then we would forget whose was whose. Other years we used initials written into the pattern of the wrap, so it was near undetectable. Still others, we would write one name on it, knowing that that name meant another name...yes we had to write down our code somewhere...which we would usually misplace.

It was not easy to fool him. By the time we were ready to open presents, he usually had it figured out. However, it only added to the anticipation of the inevitable. In later years, his giving became much more important to him. He even folded into the same posture as one of his gifts was opened. Such anticipation. Such joy. The payoff for him became about the expression of joy on the others face at the newly discovered treasure.

"I guess we each respond differently to the Presence." I know this year, he will celebrate without hesitation. Anticipation gone, but uniquely replaced by a joy and awe that we cannot fathom. A knowledge we hunger for, a view that quickens our pulse.
A Savior born so long ago in humble beginnings. A few chosen ones gathered at the compelling of the angels. Heralded into infamy by a perfect life, and equally humble death. Ours for eternity, the perfect, unblemished gift, unwrapped at the resurrection.

How will we respond? Is He YOUR Savior? Is He the reason YOU celebrate? Or is He just another story, which allows you to get gifts, and makes you feel good for a day or two.

"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Make Him yours today. Ask Him to come into your heart, and be Lord of your life.

Have a blessed season in Jesus,


To the anonymous blogger who asked about "getting past anger", please e-mail me at

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A dark and lonely corner of his closet holds the remnant of a summer past. A new hobby. A bow and arrow set, stands quietly in the same position left there by hands that can no longer manipulate their tension and strength.

For some reason, early this past summer, Beej decided he wanted to learn archery. With borrowed equipment from camp, he practiced for hours. Repeatedly he drew back on the arrows and flung them towards their mark. It began when we welcomed our Summer Missionaries to Highland Lakes Baptist Camp.

For fun we spent part of a day contesting each other to see who could get the closest by lofting arrows high into the air towards hula hoop targets. None of us were very good. We hit buildings, pierced a trailor roof, and in general hiked all over the clearing to retrieve our mishaps.

Beej decided to continue on with this foray. After all it was a biblical pursuit. Jonathon and David (I Samuel 20) used them, Jehoash and Elisha (II Kings 13) found their spiritual significance, why not my son? Only, I don't think we ever discussed anything biblical in regards to this weaponry. Rather, he simply honed his skill. Surprisingly or not, he got pretty good. He would run in and tell me to come check out his amazing latest shots. He would recount every detail of the position of each arrow, and how it found it's current destination.

Honestly, I remember enduring those stories...yet he was so excited to share them. I remember secretly taking those same arms and attempting to ward off raccoons, and oppossum. Mind you...I did not practice. I was not a good shot. I even studied my son a time or two and tried to learn his technique. It helped. It always helps to study the technique of someone more accomplished than you.

I realize my endeavors into study need to be a little more "on target." I promise you, I am trying. I have stopped some of the old habits. I am trying to read more in the Word, study more of its meaning, and supplement with more reading of books that point to Christ. It is truly amazing how much time you have when you stop old, bad habits.

I suppose I should pull that arsenal out of the closet, and return it to camp. There is just something about not moving things he placed, that embraces me. Perhaps the time is here when I need to take the 'placed things' in my heart, and move them to the surface where they will be useful to my Savior...or at least available for His purposes.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

As I approach the Season of seasons, and reflect on our Savior, I am thankful for my family, and the provision of my God. He provides all that I need, and is always just in time. Seldom does He meet my time table, as I am always in a bigger hurry than He.
Today, I am in awe of how He has brought three such beautiful women into my life.

Each one very different from the other, but all precious, loving, and giving. The Lord has gifted them similarly. Each can sing in ways I can only dream about. Each worships my Savior in very distinct ways. Each loves me in spite of myself. My incessant teasing gets annoying, my tirless quirky humor brings about a rolling of the eyes (I wish God had not made our eyes to roll...think about how many converstations would not degenerate into painful discussions).

I understand grace better because of my loving ladies...Deanna, Lauren and Whitney.
I also, was given grace by my son... because of The Son.

One of his journal entries paints an accurate and painful picture of and encounter between the two of us. In all honesty, I expected to find far more of such entries, but this is the only one. That is grace. As a parent, so many times you make mistakes. they come far too naturally. Fortunately, so does His grace. I guess he/He realized I was trying to do the best I could...and he/He loved me.

I want to share from his 2004 Peru journal today. He writes from 1 Chronicles 28:20-21:

"Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God is with you. He will not forsake you."

"Even though many times we are weak and scared, and it seems we have nothing left in us to carry on, and God feels a 1,000,000 miles away, the question is not "Do I feel good enough to do this?" or "Am I good enough?" or even "Can I do this?" because the answer to these questons are often, "No." But God is still with us, and no matter how we feel, the question is "Will I obey?" As I learned even when you're down and don't want to get back up and can't get back up, God has called us to do a work, and therefore, we should obey, no matter what the cost. For Christ was never too tired and weak to carry a tree down a long road after being nearly beaten to death, He was never too down, even after being in so much sorrow, He cried blood, even after He was betrayed 3x by one of His best friends, to be nailed to a cross and die for us.

All work is assigned by God and is (or should be) for God, not just pastoring a church or missions, or other "church" stuff, All things should and can be done for God."

Somtimes my attitude needs adjusted by His. I am thankful He is always willing to help.

serving the King beside you,


Monday, December 05, 2005

We arrived home safely last evening. We so securely felt your prayer cover over the weekend. Oh how our God moved. Saturday nights Dinner Theater was visited by a heavy oppression from the enemy. Praise God He prevailed, as we confronted this attack head on, and saw 9 lives committed to Christ. One entire family of 5 or 6 people came to know Jesus, and will be celebrating Christmas this year as new believers.

The Lord touched many lives in both services Sunday morning. I cannot tell you how healing it is for our family to be involved in such services. They are still very emotional for us, but I find myself often repeating, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." It is only by His strength and grace that we continue. So many hurting people, who have lost loved ones, have approached us as they have an understanding of the pain of loss. I know many of you in the blog family do as well.

Please lift up the new believers in your prayer time. They have a significant challenge ahead of them, as they seek to put Christ first in their lives. We as believers must continue to deny ourselves daily, take up our cross, and follow Him. This is much easier to talk about for most of us, than it is to actually do.

It was an encouragement once again to meet so many of you who have been praying for Beej. A special blessing arrived Sunday morning at the late service, as Beej's team director from Peru 2005- Erin, and her parents came to the service, and then had lunch with the pastoral staff of Christ Wesleyan Church, and our family. It was wonderful to have my sister Lynae, and her family there as well.

Her son Joshua, who holds Beej's sword, was in attendance. On Saturday evening, while the drama was progressing, I felt a pair of eyes on me. I turned to the seat next to mine to find Joshua looking intently at me. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed at the time (as the drama was about Beej's life), and what happened next was a gift from the Lord.

Six year old Joshua got up from his chair, came to mine, and hugged me. Not a quick, "hello" hug, but a long, "I know your hurting hug." That hug reached deep into my soul, as if it were from Beej himself. I do not know what prompted him to do this, but I am sooo thankful. It came just when I needed it. Thank you Joshua! You have once again blessed my heart!

Oh that we would approach our love for our Lord with the faith of a child. Six years old, fifteen years old, it doesn't matter. What matters is that we love, and that we do so not when we feel like it, but when it is necessary.

Praise God for his provision and strength. Have a blessed day!


Please be patient while we figure out a new schedule for posting, as it will take some time to get our hard drive repaired (at home).

Saturday, December 03, 2005

God is sooo good! We had safe flights with no problems. However, the enemy has been attacking the circumstances of CousinBeth's family and ours. The Lord prevails and we praise Him!

Last night was amazing! What a blessed event for the Lord! The music, and drama were Spirit-filled, and healing. We shared much emotion, but the Lord gave us strength to be able to serve. Oh how I wish you could hear Deanna and Whitney sing! It was as if they were singing directly to their Savior! Oh wait...they were!! Their voices moved and stirred so many as they gave their all for Him. They were not the only ones to share in music. You would be blessed by each person and group that shared!

Meeting many of our blog family from NC has been a huge comfort and inspiration. Too many to name, and I do not want to leave anyone out, but know that there were many who have blessed us in attendance.

At the conclusion of the evening we saw a 60 something year old gentleman, and single mother of two give their hearts to the Lord. The heavens are rejoicing, and I am in awe of my God. Statistics show that once past the teenage years, there is a very low likelihood of one surrendering their hearts to Jesus. Not on this night. Praise God for new believers.

I am so thankful to have been able to share the gospel and about it's impact on Beej's life with this celebration. Oh how God is working! Please keep praying, as we have another "Dinner Theater" tonight, and two services tomorrow to sing and share with.

The evening was videotaped, and will be made available through Christ Wesleyan Church. More detail later.

CousinBeth, her husband Dennis, and children Angela, David, and Matthew portrayed a drama based on Beej's life. The Holy Spirit moved in Dennis' heart to write this, and I am so thankful that he was obedient. What an amazing blessing, and oh how the Spirit moved in the audience!

Thank you so much for lifting this event up to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Serving the King beside you,


Erin, I hope you and your parents are coming tomorrow.

Lattany, we have been lifting you before the throne, and are so thankful you are healing. Please give us more details about your trip, and how the Lord moved, and your illness.

Friday, December 02, 2005

When Beej used to hike with me, he'd bring back hiking sticks, and stand them against the garage for next time. Now granted, I usually had one in hand, but I always used the same one. He brought back big ones, small ones, skinny ones, and even one that looks like the grim reapers scythe. When family came and hiked with us, they would grab a stick and off we'd go.

These pieces of wood now rest against the garage, waiting to be put back into active service. There must be at least a dozen of them. I was sharing with a friend today that I just cannot seem to "want" to hike. I'm not sure why, and it really doesn't matter. I know when family gathers at Christmas, we will hit the trails.

Last week while working in Slidell, Louisiana, there were a few of us who used chain saws, and many who carried tree limbs to the curb. We were on our way home, and sharing our thoughts about the trip (about 30 of us). One of the girls...Megan... shared about how she had to swallow her pride, because carrying two pieces of wood seemed demeaning. She is a very hard worker, and even gained a new nickname...Chainsaw Chick... as she is quite good at using one. As other people shared, I was struck by her words. As a matter of fact, I was moved by the word picture that it brought to mind.

What immediately flooded my thoughts was the scene of my Lord and Savior, as he carried two pieces of wood for me!

"He went through the blood, the least we can do is go through the mud" BJ Higgins

We head to North Carolina today. Please pray for the lost who are attending the services. Also the believers who need a fresh touch from our Savior. May His Name be glorified in all we do!


Our computer crashed last night. I came to camp to post, today. The enemy is on the prowl. Please cover this trip with prayer.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Today is Brent's birthday! We're the same age. Technically, I am 2 days older and he usually gives me grief (interesting cliche) for it but this time, thoughtfully, did not. I DO enjoy the way he teases me - it often makes me laugh or smile but I always appreciate his attention. It helps us not take ourselves too seriously, which we have a tendency to do. BJ learned a long time ago about teasing - he was a natural, just like his dad.

Brent and I were a case of what you might call "love at first sight." We met and married within 6 months; now going on 23 years. Our only defense with our children has been that we were both college graduates at the time.

I am so thankful for a strong husband that shows emotion, laughs a lot and loves me even when I do not act very lovable. I'm grateful he loves Jesus with all his heart, knows scripture and teaches it well, with words and with his life. He's been instrumental in bringing many young people to Christ and continued to be a mentor to others, some of which are now 20 something... or 30 something? Is it possible? As you have seen with his writings, he is poetic, profound and passionate. I love him more every day.

No couple wants to dare think of going through the loss of a child together, and we have been warned that it tends to tear families apart. We can see how with the different ways we grieve. So far the plan is to talk it out and pray to be there for each other, including the girls.

BJ didn't really care what they did together, as long as Dad was there: skiing, can't wait; camping, sure; hiking, OK; tree sliding, now you're talking! You see, BJ really got his "dare devil" streak from his Dad! The no fear, I'm invincible policy all the way. He also had his tendency to pick other people's noses... Or break them (Tracy, we all know it was an accident!) BJ even giggled when he was in trouble like Brent used to do when he was a boy (a nervous reaction, or so they claim.) Yes, the apple doesn't fall far...

Brent has anxiety over rushing BJ. Brent likes to be punctual; it is respectful and thoughtful to be on time. It's a parental responsibility to teach their children these things. And those who know BJ know he was on his own time table, and perhaps was a reaction to his dad in taking his time about doing everything. We're ready to walk out the door and all he has to do is put his shoes on... you can imagine, Brent and I are waiting in the car wondering why BJ is taking so long? Didn't he just have to put his shoes on? Oh how we wish we could wait on him now. The Awestar students let us in on him "decorating" his PB & J "squeezer" sandwiches with maticulous care while everyone else is finished with lunch. In Peru, BJ even continued to share with people until the very last minute and leaders are calling for him to come on before the bus pulls away without him. We are a time conscious society, aren't we? Will we learn to slow down from BJ too?

Honey, I'm rambling now and probably not making this any easier for you other than to say, you are BJ's hero and inspiration. We have written evidence in his journals. He listened to you and valued, even savored what you had to say. He learned how to share Jesus from watching you! He became a missionary because of the fervor for Christ he saw in you. You set the standard, you were BJ's human example. Have a wonderful birthday,
Your bay