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...)


At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Brent and Deanna,

I am not sure where the best place is to blog this, so I guess it will go here.

I shared with you what my daughter said to me when we told her of BJ's passing. "Maybe God is going to use BJ to call people to be missionaries like he did Uncle Bert's brother (Jim Elliot)." For those who do not know, January 6 will be the 50th anniversary of 5 missionaries who went into the jungle of Ecuador to make contact with the most savage tribe that anthropologists have ever identified. They were attacked and killed and the quote from Jim Elliot's journal "He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose" passed into our list of timeless thoughts.

A few years ago, a poll was done among active evangelical missionaries asking how did God call you to missions. Something like 75-80% (including your's truly) pointed to the story of the 5 as how God really got their attention.

B and D, it will speak to you more deeply than 99.9% of us, but "The End of the Spear" is coming out Jan 20 that documents the lives of these men and their families and how God continues to use them. I have been crying since the opening credits and am currently having trouble seeing the monitor, must see it. I got a sneak preview last night and it will be in theaters.

BJ's ministry is not over, just as Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youdarian, Pete Flemming and Ed McCully have only begun to touch lives for the kingdom.

Love you Guys,

Frank Lamca
Quito, Ecuador

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent & Deanna,

Once again, thank you for the touching story this morning. Last night I went to see a Christmas play that FBC put on. It was by far the best I have ever seen. There was a part near the end where there was a group of people worshiping Jesus and I suddenly got tears in my eyes and became so jealous of BJ and the others that I know who have gone home. What an amazing thing, to be done with your significant task at such a young age and be able to stand before the Father and hear Him say "well done, welcome home".
Thank you so much for all that you and your family continue to do.
With much love and admiration,

April C.

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God morning, my family!

Thank you, Frank, for your entry!!! That is WAY SUPER EXCITING, as I am blessed to know of men who valiantly served the Lord and gave it all for HIS glory! I'm even more blessed at how Elizabeth kept that last name in Jim's honor and also how her husbands since have honored that - What a Legacy of FAITHFULNESS & COURAGE!!! That is what you have to remember Higgins family - a man of Valor & Courage in dear BJ!

May the Lord bless you today as you seek Him in all of your times of need and may you PRAISE Him in ALL things, because at times - that is ALL we have left to give! When all is stripped away, we shall PRAISE JESUS!!!

Love you all~

Laurel Lynn
San Diego, CA

At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Brent and Deanna, I couldn't wait to read your blog today. I have thought about you guys many times over the last few days. I still look forward to it everyday. It makes me think about many of us who have lost loved ones. Johns children lost their mother on Christmas morning, so it is always a tough time for them, but we all celebrate Jesus birth and not death, and as I said to you on your Christmas Card, you have the peace of knowing BJ is looking at Christmas (Jesus)while you try to celebrate here. I too have felt the balmy embrace of our heavenly father... the comfort he gives is undescribable. I pray he will continue to hold you close for a long time. I thank you so much for what you share with us. I can't tell you how often you lift me up to. Love and Merry Christmas to You all!

At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, how incredible it is that BJ left a written journal of feelings, emotions and passions that enable you to draw from during your time of needing to hear him. It still amazes me that he had such a deep and clear understanding of all that our Lord offers to each of us, if we just embrace it. BJ's faith journey is such a blessing to all of us who are needing a better understanding. As you share his entries, know that it is a precious gift not taken for granted -- you gift of sharing his journals is a legacy BJ has left behind to continue His glory!! Thank you for the gift of sharing! Have a very blessed Christmas!

At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your posting today. As someone who stuggles with all the issues that a "bad daddy" can give, it's so refreshing to be reminded of how amazingly good and awesome our heavenly daddy is! Thank you for encouraging me and reminding me to trust the never-failing, always-faithful father of them all. God bless you, and the father you continue to be; it inspires me as I embark onto the road of fatherhood in 5 short months!

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a precious gift the afghan must be to you. I would love to see a picture.

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you once again Higgins family for being such a source of encouragement. What tremendous role models you have been of what Christians' lives should look like. I have two small children and I pray that they will grow to love and serve the Lord the way BJ did. I just love your family and wish with all my heart that I could take away your pain.
I pray for you often.
Thank you for the personal words of encouragement.
Thank you also Marti and Lattany for your kind words!
In Him,
Lisa in Chicago

I would also love to know what company makes those afghans. That sounds like a wonderful gift!

At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though ! don't post each day I still read your post and it teaches me something new each day. It is so amazing, still, to me how something like this could touch so many people. I am praying for you all and Merry Christmas!!

At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an incredible gift!!

still praying!! ~kristin

At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Dear Higgins Family,
My family had the chance to meet Big John at the hospital and at BJS calling he is a very nice man. My mom showed me a brochure for those blankets you are talking about . I would love to have one with Jayden on it. I believe she picked it up at a bible book store.
I will have to check with her. She showed it to me about a week or two after our Jayden passed. I have a poem i would like to mail to you guys. It is called "My First Christmas In Heaven" It is beautiful. I will close for now. Love all you guys so much!
All my love, Tammy Bullington

At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice blog. An interesting read. Thanks.


Charlie Cowan
charlie cowan

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