Monday, January 02, 2006

The Happiest of New Year's to each of you!

Today, our girls leave for Tennessee, for the "Passion" conference. How incredible it will be to lift up praises beside thousands of others, who love Jesus. They leave with a college group from church, and will be staying in a church in Tn. I am trusting the Lord will speak and minister to each of them in a very powerful way. I believe He is raising them up through this journey. I know He will direct their paths.

Deanna and I were discussing this past weekend, the direction of our lives at this point. I know at the beginning of each New Year, people tend to take stock of where they have been and look forward to where they are going. We are contemplating the same.

We are not looking at setting "resolutions," but are hoping that through His transformation, that we are found useful in His sight, and for His glory.

As I look back over my life, I can see ways that the Lord has been trying to develop me to lead. I say that with no element of pride. I do not like to lead. I like to follow, and play a supporting role. There are a skillion books out there on how to lead. I am not interested in them. I have already read many.

I am interested in being who Christ wants me to be. I believe that as I learn to follow Him, and attempt to walk in His footsteps, He will use me. Since the years just before I was called into ministry, the men who played vital roles in my life have been called home, or incapacitated. I have even warned a couple of my close friends that they need to pray that I am getting whatever the Lord is teaching, cause it is dangerous to be close to me. While I share that largely in jest, it is important to realize that when our Father is trying to show us something, it is important that we pay close attention, and learn.

I have been guilty of practicing the same old thing, in spite of what I have been taught. There is comfort in routine, for me. Consequently, I become a poor follower, and an even poorer leader. I become a distraction that interrupts the task at hand. Watching Beej's life has taught me much about being a radical follower of Jesus.

Setting aside self, and putting Him first changes my view of things. I no longer want what I thought I wanted. I find my desires in ministry changing. I hunger desperately to serve Him in such a way that it is making a difference for lost and hurting people.

I don't want to see them drawn into churches, and lost there. They need to be transformed into who Christ wants them to be, not some mold that we force them into, because it is our view of what a Christian is supposed to look like.

Beej didn't look like most Christians. He talked openly about His Lord with anyone willing to listen. When they stopped listening, he kept talking, and would draw new people into the conversation. Why? Because it does not matter what you want or what I want. It matters that we glorify Christ, and edify His body in the process.

Most of us Christians fall into our comfort zones, and never get involved in daily life-changing, transforming conversations. That would take too much energy, or cause others to look at us funny, or stop looking at us entirely, and we need to be seen! We even want to be heard. But the "stuff" of our conversation is often about how we look, or what we're wearing, or how our team did, or the next big event in our lives.

Beej embraced Christ as his life. He did not follow a pattern layed down by other believers, traditions begun and followed for generations. He followed Jesus, talked about Jesus, modeled Jesus. He pointed others in the right direction, and was not afraid to tell them when they were headed poorly.

I want to make much of Christ, and Him alone. It is time to stop pretending, for me. Exalting Him with my broken, imperfect life is the desire He has placed in me. I will seek to do this with all that I am.



At 8:13 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

AMEN, my brother! Remember He is good, but not safe.

Let the revolution begin--in each of us, every day. . .

praying in love and power,


At 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure this is the most appropriate place but I had to share these thoughts that have been in my heart.

Being a resident of Indianapolis and a huge sports fan it is hard to ignore the tradedgy of the Dungy Family over the past week. Being the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts certaintly put his family and grief into the spotlight. Now, I realize the circumstances surrounding James's death are nothing like BJ's death but what I did see in the Dungy's reminded me so much of the Higgin's. Their total faith in The Lord and his strength to get them through this. It was a testment to watch Mr. Dungy return to the team saying "I am a Christian and must walk the walk" I believe each of us learn's something from everyone and no matter how different we are we share in the same experiences.

At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God likes to use broken pieces.

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing Brent. We continue to pray for you and your sweet family. God is doing amazing things in other people's lives because of your testimony. Thank you for loving Jesus so deeply.

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Barbara Ann said...

Good grief, do I hear you! Beej, was just an ordinary guy, who lived his life like we are all suppose to live our lives. SO why is it so hard sometimes to share with others? Are we scared? Well, sure. But when we start to realize who we are in Christ and then maybe even realize that we are NOT alone in this walk, oh and even stop being afraid of the fear of rejection and embrace who we are in Christ, then will we stop being scared and start pressing on towards the goal of winning the prize- heaven!! Because even Jesus was rejected...and do I count it a priviledge to be rejected just like He was, and still is being rejected today by people.

Because let me tell you, this has been the hardest at times for me to grasp! And if I could just live one ounce like Jesus, how much more fuller will life be. And I think, after seeing all that God has done, see Him work, seeing his grace in place...through all that has happened, why do I still get scared? Its that fear of not knowing what will this is where trust comes in! Thanks Lord that I can trust that you know the will!

Thanks for sharing your heart. I'm praying for you!

passionately serving our king with you,

Barbara Ann

At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement to everyone who reads this everyday. Your words are Spirit-filled and humble, and challenge me to wrestle with my faith and my current circumstances, re-evaluating where I stand and what I'm really doing for the kingdom of God. May God continue to lead you in the direction He wants, and may your willingness to go that way only grow stronger with each step taken.

Again, thank you...


At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen.. amen.

At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question. How does a parent raise a child to have BJ's level of commitment to the Lord? I recognize that you would want to give God the glory for BJ's spiritual maturity, but you as parents must have done something different from most Christian parents. Is it possible to verbalize that?


At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU can make a difference in this world. You may never become President of the United States, but you can make a difference
in whatever career or occupation you are in. The key is to wake up each morning, do the very best you can, and as God opens doors in your life, be
bold enough to walk through them.

Of course, never forget that no matter where God may have you working during each season of your life, He has placed you there as His ambassador. You
are not there by accident, but God has placed you where you are at in life, to share with others you meet along your journey, the hope and love of Jesus
Christ, and the truth of His Word. That will be your real legacy when this brief journey is over...those lives you impact for Christ.

The reality of this life is that one day, sooner than any of us expect, it will be over. At that moment, we will be instantly in the presence of God
our Creator (2 Cor. 5:8). At that moment, God is not going to be interested in the name of the church you attended, what your job was in this life, even
if you were the President of the Untied States, how much money you have, or how many buildings have your name on them. No my friend, the only thing God
is going to be interested in, is do you have a personal relationship with His Son Jesus Christ??? For those who do, God will say, "enter into my rest."

My word to you today is this. Go out and make an impact in this world in whatever God has called you to do with your life. Make your life matter!

Along the way, never forget that you have been called to serve and glorify Him with your life, and your lasting legacy will be those lives you touch for
Christ along your journey!


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