Thursday, January 19, 2006

Taking pictures of your children or loved ones, is often part of being a family and getting together. I have written about many pictures, and the impact they have had. You are probably sick of that. There is no doubt, that in the absence of physical presence, pictures will stand... obviously a poor substitute, but better than nothing.

My brother Brad, has taken many, many pictures of our times together. We have framed photograghs all over our house of his work. Some of family, many of nature. He has blessed us with homemade cards which always include points of interest, captured on film. Others are enlargements made just for the right time.

One Deanna has been searching for relentlessly, is of Beej playing his cello... the one we had rebuilt, as it had been my sister Lisa's, then mine. It lay dormant for many years while we grew up, then for some reason, Beej wanted to learn to play. Deanna wanted proof he did.

Years ago, just after the Columbine shootings, the Lord began to lay a tug on my heart to visit Littleton, Co. and the school. I cannot explain it to you, I only knew I had to go. I shared it with Deanna, and she did not know what to say.

I shared it with Brad, and he asked, "Why?" I could not answer. I only knew I had to go, and it carried a nervous expectation.

In October of that same year, six months to the day of the tragedy, Brad and I were visiting my sister Lynae in Colorado Springs, as her son Joshua had just been born.
We were there to support she and Rich, and to see our new nephew.

We made plans to visit Columbine H.S. Lynae and Rich had asked the same question of "why?" I still did not have an answer.

We went to the school, it was in session. As we neared, Rich put his signal on to turn in. "No! No!" I sputtered, "don't turn in, go past it."

Understandably, a bit annoyed, Rich asked where to go. I saw a turn in just past the school and directed him there. It was a park. We pulled in, drove to the back, and got out to walk to the tall hills behind the school. We saw the memorial which had been recently erected. I walked, I prayed, I sought the Lord on why I was there.

I didn't understand why I had gone, even after we were there. It was a time of tremendous spiritual battle, but I knew I had been obedient.

Upon return to Indy, I was sharing a message with the youth I was pastoring at the time. A message the Lord had laid heavily upon my heart as a result of all that had occurred (Joshua had almost died, and had to have emergency surgery... it saved his life, a life set apart for the Lord's work).

After the service, one of the students (Brennan of Haste the Day) came up to me and said, "God told me we are supposed to write a song together." My reply went something like, "then He'll have to tell me, 'cause I don't write songs."

That week, the Lord poured through me, words. Words inspired by being at Columbine, and the corresponding reading from Isaiah 13 He gave me.

I took them to Brennan. He set them to music, and recorded a rough copy. It has a haunting melody. Deanna took that song, wrote harmonies, and a cello line. For me, the cello made the song.

Deanna, Lauren, Whitney, and BJ ministered with that song at church... later, they even won a contest.

Now that Beej is home, Deanna has hunted through piles of pictures (as she scrapbooks) for just one of Beej playing the cello. No luck. The longing within her intensified. I believe she even had Brad hunting through mountains of pictures he has taken through the years... nothing.

Yesterday, we received a card from my mother, when I opened it, two pictures of BJ playing the cello, with his sisters and mother singing that very song, fell onto the floor. I immediately began to weep for this long sought after gift which we had given up on finding.

Thank you Brad for taking them! Thank you mom for giving them! Thank you Lord Jesus for meeting one more seemingly insignificant desire in our hearts!


Lord willing, the girls will record that song this summer... I believe BJ's cousin David even recorded Beej playing it, so our hope is he and his cello will be on it as well.

Thank You Mount Holly, N.J. for the book! Thank you Cindi in Lakewood for the incredbile writing!!


At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning, family.

Brent, I am SO impressed with your hearing and responding to God's voice and promptings. How often do we miss a message from God because we are too busy, cranky, overwhelmed, self-sufficient, or apathetic to hear Him?? May we all keep our "God ears" turned on...

I have a situation that I ask this blog family to pray about. A man in our church, who often helped with the youth, has been arrested and charged with indecency with a child and with sexual assault. Unfortunately, the victims are teenage boys who are a part of our youth group...needless to say, some of the families are in extreme turmoil right now. As a church and staff memebers, wisdom is greatly needed to know how to minister and respond. Let's pray, ok?

Thanks so much!

You're an inspiration to so many--thanks for that!

Love, Jolene

At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a wonderful thing when your "next heartbeat is a heartbeat of obedience." You obedience to follow God is our blessing today.

Jolene, the Awe Star Family will be lifing you and your church up.

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you God for using this site for spiritual nurishment. It has been a real blessing to pray for others and know that God is in control of all situations. Please pray for an unspoken prayer but God knows what it is in Greenville, TX. Jolene- I will be praying for your church family.

At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for continuing to share. I usually try to read during my lunch break at work but usually have trouble eating because of the lump that forms in my throat as I read these touching posts. Please know that you are all in my prayers.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Lattany said...

What a marvelous story. Your obedience, even when you don't understand, has struck a chord with me today.

"Who will take his place?"

I leave on Saturday at 3AM for Thailand and will be helping to lead a team of seventeen other teens and seven adults. My mind and heart are heavy -- burdened for the people we will serve, but also for all that must get done before I can leave. Administrative details for the trip, school work, etc.

And yet this morning, we received a phone call saying that my sixteen month old nephew (born with half a heart, had four open-heart surgeries, ECMO, etc.) is doing poorly. They had suspected double ear infection and croup at the doctor's, yesterday, but now fear it's something heart-related. So back to the doctor's they go, and I find myself watching my other three (ages 6, 5, and 3) nephews.

"Come on, God. I'm already behind. I have so much school, there are five people coming to stay at our house tomorrow that, as of now, have no place to sleep, I haven't even THOUGHT about packing. And now I have to watch the kids, while my mind is distracted with concern for Corbin (my nephew). Please."

And still, that "still, small voice" says, "Have I ever failed you? When has my faithfulness ceased and allowed you to fall? When has my grace not been sufficient? ... So trust me."

I suppose that's the true meaning of faith. As Jeremy Camp sings, "even when I cannot see, I still believe."

Many implications, but especially for me this morning while I'm well-aware of my insufficiency.

Thank you for your sacrificial obedience and for then sharing it. You've spoken to my heart, this morning.

I'd greatly appreciate your prayers for me and our team as we travel to Thailand, this weekend. I will try to keep you updated.

Fairfax, VA, USA

At 12:28 PM, Blogger lovesgodandnascar said...

I love reading your blogs! Your faithfullness to God amazes me! I have also lost 2 family members this last year in fact BJ and my Grandma entered heaven the same day. Your blog is a source of healing for me.
Jolene I have been through the same experience with a youth minister I will be praying for you. If you need any advice I would be glad to help you.But more than ever I will pray for you.

At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God and His perfect timing! He is So Awesome!!!

It is so nice to hear that no matter when we think it is crazy, or don't understand, we still GO when God calls us. That is the point. We are not supposed to know ALL, just to go and He will show later. Imagine if you hadn't gone, no song, no music, no leading of the other person, no Bj playing cello. He is soooo good!!!!

God bless you Brent, for going.....

Linda Anderson
Willows, California

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So often I hear the call and decide not to go. Twice this has happened. After reading your blog today, I will no longer decide not to go. I will go, Father, please guide me.

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pray for you "Lattnay" and for your nephew. God will provide. I pray for your safe travels and for inner peace!

At 5:08 PM, Blogger the leaf family said...

Always praying and thinking of you guys with all my love and prayers from KC-Tracy

At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all~
Thank you for praying for my friend's dad-Bob. He went home to be with Jesus yesterday. Fills me with such joy to know that he is in the arms of Jesus, and also to know that he will get to know BJ also. Praise God for His will and perfect timing!!

Praying in Pink

Linda Anderson
Willows, California

At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read the blogs....will be praying in Pink!

As a mother, I know the pain and heartache of what Jolene talks of, though didn't happen with a church member. But since it happened...the fear overtakes me and it is so hard to let them go, even in church. We always are there with them, my husband stays during Awana's and the jr. high bible teachings. He doesn't leave the building. I don't trust anyone. So I know what the parents are going through, the anger, the resentment, and the hard process of forgiveness (still working on that one!).

If any of the families need to talk, feel free to give them my email

I would be glad to answer any questions or walk them through and pray them through the long judicial journey they are facing.

God bless them all~~

Linda Anderson
Willows California

At 11:24 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Brent, I think you "got" the vertical flexion thing a long time ago. . . even in Columbine. I am glad you have this blog to document so many of the superabundant gifts He's sent you over the past weeks and months. What reminders to you and Deanna, Lauren and Whitney of how much your Father loves you!

Oh, Jolene, what a grievous situation. We will pray for your church, for the staff, for the young men and their families (so sad for your pain, Linda) and for the accused. How Satan loves to take situations like this and turn us in on ourselves--Lord, help the church to respond like the healthy body You designed her to be. Bring Your cleansing, resolution and restoration as only You can. Guide the pastors and staff in Your ways, and let those in pain over this know how securely You hold them. In Jesus' mighty, powerful, and pure name we pray,


At 11:29 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Lord Jesus, We lift up Lattany's precious nephew to you as well. Help her family minister to one another during this difficult time. Touch his small body and show your power through his life. Protect his parents from discouragement and let them know Your peace. Show Lattany the priorities you have for her during these final hours of preparation, and speak to her of the plans you have ahead for her time overseas. Guard her health, Lord, and protect her in every way from the schemes of the Evil One. Thank you so much for our friend Lattany and her commitment to take Your truth to the nations!
We love You and pray again in Your powerful Name--


At 1:20 AM, Blogger a schmaltzee life said...

HI Marti..

i am Brents cousin and i live near Oceanside...i will definately pray for your friend Sheryl.

are they plugged into a church? my husband and i minister to teens...and would love to be available in any way needed.

if they are surrounded by support...then we will just add to the prayer support...but if there is anything else we could walk thru this with them...please let me know.

either way our prayer are with you all.
marla schmaltz


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