Thursday, January 12, 2006

I don't know how many equestrians are reading, but let me say right at the outset, I am not one. One of the last times I was on a horse (I was 14), she decided to 'round up' a loose pig. She took off after it, and was not interested in doing what I wanted to do. I hung on for dear life, but did not know the rules of riding when amid such a gallop.

We were heading to a corner of the property at a high rate of speed. A heavily wooded corner. A heavily wooded corner with locust trees... you know, the ones with enormous thorns? My horse forgot to measure how tall "we" were. She was only thinking about herself. She easily passed under the biggest one on the property. I did not.

Instead of leaning forward and getting low by her neck, I laid back. I was violently removed from my saddle. My landing was anything but graceful. The first thing to hit the ground was my left hand. At that speed, my wrist took the brunt of the punishment.

When I came to, I was covered in dirty sweat. I looked at my aching left arm, only to see that everything was normal... except that my hand was at a right angle to my arm... bent in a way it shouldn't. My friend came to my rescue. He tried to walk me back to the barn. I passed out twice on the way.

Ultimately, I got a cast, and quite a story. I never forgot locust trees. I even went to school and studied them.

Several years ago, I was at my brother's camp, during a time the Lord directed me to fast, and seek His face. While there, I was hiking in the woods... a different woods. Yet, I came upon a locust tree. It had even lower branches than the last one I'd met. I paused, looked at that tree, and remembered the pain of my previous encounter.

I fashioned a crown of thorns as I reflected on my Savior's pain. My broken body paled in comparison to His. Why did He give so much for me? I did not deserve what He gave. Neither did my son.

Yet my son learned to give in a way I haven't. I have an old picture of him, riding a pony attached to a bar, inside a corral... safe, nowhere near harms way. He was having a great time. Yet, safety would not be his choice.

Not long after that, he learned what a crown of thorns was, and what it represented. Not long after that, he met the wearer of those thorns. Not long after that, he knelt before the bearer of his sin and pain, and beheld Him for the first time, face to face.

We all have stories. We all have scars. I want to see His.



At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a vivid picture you paint! Wow! I too long to see our Savior face to face. Thank you for your post today! Praying for your family always!

In His love,
Your sister in Christ
Noblesville, IN

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, God has deffinatly used your family to minister to me. I thank you for your willingness to be obediant to Christ. I'm learning all about that. Last night at my youth group, my youth pastor, who is being dicipled by Walker Moore, played the video of your son's funeral. I was so neat to see that it wasn't just a mourning time, but that it was a celebration of his life and of his willingness to serve God. I sensed God's call on my life to long term missions long ago on my first mission trip to Peru. I know that because of your son's testimony I have become a stronger person for the Kingdom. Thank you for being willing to share his story with us. I know that you guys are going through a hard time, and I will be praying for you! Thanks again for obeying Christ and doing something that BJ would love!

Little Rock, Ar

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Lattany said...

I often find myself with a renewed longing for heaven after reading your posts... I simply can't wait.

"For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed."
Isaiah 53:2-5

At 12:06 PM, Blogger savedbyGRACE said...

Dear Family,
I continue to lift you up in my prayers. It's amazing to know that no matter the pain, no matter how deep, our Savior bore it all for us & feels it with us. Someone once told me that when we cry our Lord cries with us. I'm humbled to realize that at the saddest moments in life the Lord is wiping His own tears, as well as ours. I love you all.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Brent, you continue to amaze me with your thoughts and words. Your heartfelt emotions touch my soul and move me in ways I never thought possible. My heart aches for the pain that I can only imagine you and Deanna (and the girls) are feeling. Please know that you remain in my thoughts and prayers daily.

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome!! What a great picture I get in my mind and heart. Thank you so much for all that you do on a daily basis. Continuing to pray for God to ease your pain. I know that the waves of it seem to crash on you. And it seems like you can't breathe or will never return to the 'surface'. You will!!! You are!!! God is good!

Blogger family- I have a prayer request for a dear friend's father (and the whole family. His name is Bob, the doctor's found a small piece of "scar tissue" on his lung a couple of months ago. Did not want to do steroids so was going to wait till Feb. and check him again. Long story short, got out of breath sitting in chair, took to hospital, declined very quickly, now on full life support (willingly, but not wanting long term, just enough to get him stable if possible), over the charts steroids, major insulin, ventilator, etc. They are going to start weaning today of steroids. They found that they scar tissue in the last 2 months turned into full blown "lung disease". Can't find out exactly what kind right now, can't do surgery obviously.

We believe he is saved (doesn't communicate feelings) so comfort in that. Please pray for him and his family the perfect prayer....Your Will Be Done!!! Thanks family!

Always praying in PINK!!!

Linda Anderson
Willows, California

At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was simply amazing. Tears explain how that makes me feel. Thank you so much, everyday. Our God is wonderful.

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 1:53 PM, Blogger Lynn Dailey said...

Thank you, Brent, for the wonderful picture of God's love and grace. Though I seldom write, I continue to be blessed by each entry and continue to lift you all up before the throne of grace. God bless, keep and continue to comfort you as He alone can.
My love,

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Amber said...

Wow! I could paint a picture in my mind from that story. I know I cant wait to see Jesus face some day! Your in my prayers every day!

With Love
Westfield, IN

At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

u dont know me or anything. but im going on a mission trip with awe star ministries and bj story really inspired me to go. i mean i dont even know him but i feel like i really do. i just wanted to let you guys know that i think you guys r so great.i dont even know what to say... its just its awesome how you can have such a relationship with god! im looking forward to ministries. your family is always in my prayers!
God bless

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Talk about vivid pictures. . .my dad has locusts on his property in Ohio.

I hadn't thought about these trees for some time, but your word picture reminded me of a visit where Dad showed me that the thorns are not merely external. . . they pierce all the way to the inside of the tree--I guess maybe they originate there (I DIDN'T study them in school!). I am almost sure that the section of tree my dad showed me contained as much thorn INSIDE the tree as OUTSIDE.

Yes, we all have scars. Sometimes even invisible ones--or ones much deeper than even we (or the doctors, Linda!) know. Lord, give us renewed sensitivity to others' scars as we identify more and more with the wounds You suffered on our behalf.

wounded but worshipful,



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