Friday, March 31, 2006

We have had the privilege of having many guests into our home since BJ passed. His friends, our friends, and both combined. The fellowship we have enjoyed has been very precious to us. Most of our time is spent in either the kitchen or the great room. However, we occasionally head to the back of the house, and relax in the den. The den is situated in front of BJ's room. Often our guests are drawn into that place.

When he was with us, that room was a haven for him. A place he could escape his frustrations, play his favorite music loud without bothering us, play his video games, draw, study God's Word, worship, and pray. He made good use of that room... his room... his quiet place.

Entering that room remains a significant part of our lives. When we need to feel his presence, we enter. When we need to remember, we go in. When we need to release our pent up emotions, we fall down and let go by his bed. There is no question, that we feel him near, in there.

I have noticed that when others enter that room, what they experience is significant. To some it brings closure. To others, laughter at memories they have of things that reside there or events brought back to mind. Still others quickly discover their tears where they did not expect to find them. Even more, remove their shoes, get on their faces, and share in the presence of God, and the memories of a young man so committed to Christ. Though it is very strange to write or read, it has in fact felt like, Holy ground.

Noone has left unmoved. Most have stated that it was harder than they expected... more emotional, but they were glad they entered in.

Thus is the room in our house where our son resided, where the presence of the Lord still has dominion.

I cannot tell you how hard it is going to be to leave that room behind, knowing we will never set up another room for him to inhabit. It makes me sick to my stomach, even as I think about it.

How much more then do I Praise our God, that He has created a room in it's place. He did so before my son ever even entered his room. He did so with us in mind.

It is a beautiful room, adorned with the sweet presence of Christ Jesus! Physically, the way it appears is beyond fair description. Just to know that His presence is always there, is descriptive enough. It is Holy ground, but you don't need to remove your shoes. It will cause you to fall to your knees, but not out of ritual or rite... but out of communion with the risen Christ, and the desperation that beckons Him near from within the cry of your soul.

It is a room that is different in every home, though it serves the same purpose. How we decorate it, is a direct result of the depth of our love for Him. We cannot fill it with gold or silver, or fine linens or perfumes.

We fill it from a heart broken for Christ, from the heart of a servant who does not care to better his own disposition, but only to share the love of the Master.

This room is within you and within me. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit. He resides there, and I can go there to feel His presence. I can go there to remember. I can even go there to release pent up emotion, as I pour my heart out to the only One who can truly understand.

Jesus, I love you!!!


Thursday, March 30, 2006

BJ enjoyed reading different versions of scripture. It was interesting how he would get a new translation, devour it, and then share the desire for another one. I suppose as I think back, that the times were not as close together as they seem in my mind. But for such a young man, he had several different Bibles, and they are all very different.

The last one was the one he picked up in Peru, which was Spanish and English. I know he treasured it, and I am certain he used it on the field. He came home so excited about it.

Prior to that one, my mother had given him one for his last Christmas with us, in 2004. This Bible was leather bound, and very nice. The amazing thing about it is how marked up it is. He only had it to use (he did not take it to Peru) for 6 or 7 months before he passed away. From the underlining, and notes in the margin, you would have thought he had it for much longer.

He was a student of God's Word. He had a voracious appetite, and scoured the Word for Truth, for encouragement, and for God's voice for today. He would get so enthusiastic when he read. He would encounter a new understanding, and brim with anticipation to be able to share with the first person who expressed interest in hearing. We grew to recognize the body language which accompanied the "ask me what I just read or learned, tremble."

I need to be that enthusiastic when I read His Word. I need to have the kind of desire that draws me back to it, every waking moment that I can, and even sometimes when I can't.
God's Word is relevant for my circumstances today. His truth transcends dates and times, and His Holy Spirit causes me to learn new things, if I will but spend the time.

I encounter way too many Christians who believe they do not need to read the Bible. This I do not understand. I really don't. There is no way they can know how to live, or what God wants them to know or do, if they don't get submerged in the passionate writings that are the Bible.

There is no way an individual would ignore love letters from their most significant other, when they arrived. Oh they may wait until they had a moment to really focus, but let them collect dust? Not a chance! How does one justify ignoring His Word? There is only one way, really.

They begin to believe the lies of Satan. He subtly tells them they don't have time, or it isn't written for today, or it's boring, or they can do it later.

God's Word is full of just what you need. It is overflowing with what I am desperate for.

Want to fall in love? Pick it up, blow off the dust, begin to read it anew, find your way in His!


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Today is a special day!

Six or seven years ago, I was on staff at Crosswinds Community Church. I served as Associate, and Youth Pastor. The church wanted to ordain me for gospel ministry, and we were moving forward to do so. Then as I was doing my routine study, I heard from the Lord about this. He specifically told me that I was not to go through with ordination at this time. I did not understand, but knew I needed to be obedient.

I told the pastor, and then the church. They agreed to license, but not ordain me. They did not have an issue with doing it this way. I was very thankful. They are precious people.

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why God had postponed this. I came up with no solid answers (shocking, I know). I have often wondered over the years if I had done something wrong, or otherwise gotten in the way of His plan, and was being punished. Seldom did I really feel this way, but it is the thought process I went through.

I remember when He first called me into ministry back in 1997. I was convinced my ministry would start within the year. I could not see anyway that it would take longer. Shocking, but I was wrong again. I saw full time ministry as the only solution to what He had called me to, yet He did not lead me to full time ministry until two years ago.

Now 9 years later, I am finally going to be ordained. I am very excited. This time, I went to Him with the question, is it right this time? The words he gave me were from Esther 4... "for such a time as this, you have been raised up." As I thought this over, and wanted to know if my God was really the author of this, I received confirmation from someone very close to me, who unknowingly spoke those exact words just when I was asking the question, without being aware of my conversations with the Lord.

Tonight, it is to finally happen. I Praise God, and am humbled that He would allow me to serve Him in this way. I do wish BJ could have been a part of this service, but truly, my Father knows best.

dad (brent)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I noticed as I pulled up the screen to write this morning that this is our 300th post. I have to tell you that I cannot believe it. We must thank you from the depths of our hearts for being the kind of brothers and sisters who are there continuously for those in need. I am excited to be a part of a united body that lifts others up before God's throne. You are an enormous blessing, and I Praise our Christ Jesus for each of you!

Many of you know that I work at a Christian Camp. We have a couple of ponds that we ministerially exaggerate and call Lakes. Actually, that isn't true. When the camp was purchased, the intent was to build a couple of large lakes, but red tape has slowed the process, so the ponds are what we have.

A year ago February, I was working on some outdoor education projects. One was erecting bird houses all over the property, for future study. Among those I put out was a house on a pipe at the edge of the larger (pond) lake. Well, it was winter, and the lake was frozen over with a thin sheet of ice. I had to drive the pipe into the lake bottom at the shores edge. I was using a post driver to do so.

A post driver is a heavy metal tube with one end enclosed, and ears on both sides to grip with your hands. This fits over the top of the post, and with gravity and muscle you drive the post into the ground. I was standing on a tree stump out over the water and repeatedly throwing the post driver down on the post.

To my surprise, my last stroke was in error. As I lifted the driver upward, and began the plunge down, the driver cleared the top of the post and did not connect on the way down. Instead, as I completely missed the post, the weight of the driver, and my lack of knowledge of what was happening, pitched me forward... right onto and through the ice. The water was frigid. The bank had no typical gradual grade, it was a shear drop, virtually straight down.

I was disoriented and in shock. I was working alone at this. The direction I fell was away from shore, my work boots were suddenly very heavy as were the rest of my clothes. My mind raced at a frantic pace as I tried to figure out how I was going to escape this fools errand. I did not want to die like this. Not only was it foolish, but I knew it would take a long time to find me, I had chosen this location for it's remote disposition and difficult access. Now this decision worked against me.

I scratched and clawed as more and more ice broke away. I panted heavily as the icy waters were stealing my breath. I finally got turned towards the shore, and managed to flail my way to the edge. Every thing I grabbed to try to pull myself with, came free from the shore, as if to taunt me. I could feel myself weaken, I saw my family in my mind, I saw my Savior, and I begged for release. I looked up and saw nothing but a steep unforgiving bank which would not yield to my escape. I thought it was over.

I cannot tell you how I got out. I only remember clawing at the frozen shore. The next thing I remember is walking towards my truck, dripping like a sponge, fighting the steep bramble covered incline, and fumbling with my radio. There was no way it would work... but it did. I called my co-worker and told her what had happened and that I was on my way home to shower.

The Lord had my attention! I had not been in a time of running, or turning away from Him. I was humbled beyond descriptive words that He would allow me escape from this certain peril.
I have read many stories, and they all end the same way. You don't survive... "He reached down from on high and took hold of me, he drew me out of deep waters, he rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place. He rescued me because he delighted in me." Psalm 18:16-19

I am unworthy of His delight, but I am so very grateful for His faithfulness! My life will be lived for my Savior, my King!!!

"I will lead, I will serve, I will fight. I will tell people about Christ. I will unsheathe my sword and stop playing all defense in this war. It's time to raise a revolution. God will give me the strength." (BJ Higgins)


Sunday, March 26, 2006

What an amazing weekend in Jesus!!! Our family traveled to the Danville, Kentucky area where we had the opportunity to share at two different churches, Forks of the Dix River Baptist Church, and Gethsemane Baptist Church. What precious and amazing brothers and sisters in Christ we encountered!

Saturday evening at Forks Church, we were treated to a pitch-in dinner before we shared. When you eat fried chicken in Kentucky does that automatically make it KFC? I wonder if Col. Sanders family gets royalties for all the chicken consumed inside the state line? If so, they got wealthy after, Saturday night. Good food and genuine people who have a love relationship with Christ are what we encountered.

After dinner, we moved to their sanctuary, where Whitney and Lauren each shared songs they had written either after BJ passed away, or one that has become more meaningful as a result of his death.

How blessed I was to hear them lift up their voices for our King! Like their mother, they are truly gifted and touched the hearts of many students and adults alike. When their worshipful part of the evening concluded, I shared about BJ's life, our journey, and how it is applicable to each of their lives. From conversations later, I learned some of the students had committed to going on a mission journey the church was planning, who did not previously plan to go. Praise God for this!

Sunday morning at Gethsemane was powerful. Deanna sang, followed by Lauren. Deanna shared the Casting Crowns song "Praise You in the Storm" that had ministered so deeply to us while in the hospital. Lauren shared her new song "Unshaken." The Lord definitely places His anointing on music at times, and this was one of those times. Moving, very moving!

Sharing before this church and their television audience was a significant blessing to us. Doing so on the 6 month anniversary of BJ's death was healing for us, while certainly emotional. The altar was lined with those who were seeking to restore their relationship with Christ, or praying about taking BJ's place on the mission field. We heard from many whom the Lord touched during the service.

One lady who was 50 to 60 something introduced herself as "Eula Christ, child of the King." She declared this would be her approach to meeting new people from here on out. She was doing so as a result of hearing about BJ's declaration that his name was "BJ Christ, son the King." How powerful a testimony will that be for our Savior, as she shares her faith in this way, with unsuspecting new friends!

I met a young college student whose mother passed away last May from cancer, and whose father abandoned her shortly thereafter. That is pain I cannot understand. Her strength moved me. I told her I would be praying for her, but her response was, "Please pray for my dad, he is the one who really needs it." Ashley, you have the prayer support of this blog family. We are lifting up your father, and praying for his return to his Savior, and to you! Girl, you are my hero. You bless me with your resolve to remain faithful to Jesus. You have truly embraced your significant task! We need more young women like you! I am praying you will join me on an upcoming mission journey.

How Awesome is our God!!! How blessed are we as His children to be able to fellowship and celebrate Him together. Praise God!!!

dad (brent)

Frank L., you have rightly opened my eyes, and I am most appreciative. I shared about you and your poignant words. Thank you, just thank you.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Throughout our time in Mexico, we had many encounters with their police force. By that I do not mean we spoke to them, or were in any kind of trouble. What I mean is that when they appear, you take notice, and you don't soon forget.

They drive pick-up trucks, and you always see two vehicles come by at a time. There are two men in the cab of each truck, and the back has a bar that runs from side to side at the beds front and another at the back. Then an additional bar runs down the middle of the bed, connecting the other two. The purpose of this structure is not to put prisoners in. Four to six policemen stand in the back of the truck, and they have their machine guns resting on these bars, and aimed at you as they drive by. This has a tendency to get your attention, and make your knees a bit weak.

I have told the story many times of BJ leading the four policemen in Peru to Christ. But I must confess, that each time I did, I pictured American policemen and how they conduct themselves. BJ made it clear as did his team, that the police there are nothing like the police here. They are often corrupt, and exercise power for their own gain. They are much more like Mexican police, than American.

Every time I saw this duet of trucks pass by, I was reminded of the level of courage BJ must have exercised to follow God with a heartbeat of obedience with those policemen. I confess that there have been many times in my life that the Lord put on my heart to share with a specific person, but due to my own excuses, I was disobedient. If there was ever a time for disobedience, and a corresponding excuse based on safety, this was the moment.

Yet, his response was to do exactly what God put on his heart to do. Here's how he put it:

"...then God called me to go speak to these four policemen, I [was] kinda nervous cuz they could've easily laughed in my face, or else whip out their uzi's and order us to get off the premises, but God was teaching me obedience so I went and talked to them. As I was speaking, 2 of the 4's eyes started to well up, and you could tell they wanted Christ. [The] other 2 were also sincere... and all 4 accepted Christ."

To top off what this experience reflects, he also writes that he was having translation problems prior to the arrival of his translator. The translator arrived to help BJ pray with them to receive Christ. Whatever translation issues he thought he was having, the Holy Spirit was clearly ministering to the depths of these mens hearts. Their tears preceded the translators arrival.

Our simple obedience opens heavens access to the lost and dying. God is in control and has absolute authority and power over each and every situation. If we step out at His prompting, He moves. We must be willing to lay all else aside, and be obedient.

Three days prior, Beej wrote that "Josh's testimony inspired me... to lay my life down for God."

Six months ago this weekend, he did just that.


We are traveling to Kentucky this weekend (all four of us), where we will be sharing our journey at two different churches. Please pray for receptive hearts, and for people willing to lay all else down to follow Christ. I believe He wants to call some this weekend to serve Him on the mission field. Please pray for their obedience. Please pray for my words to be His words. I do not wish to be in His way!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

One of the biggest blessings for our team while in Mexico was our interpreter, Jose'. He lives there, and is a member of the church we stayed in, and worked with. He is the most humble and gentle man I have ever met. When children came into our midst and began to interact with him, it was like they had been plugged into an electricity source. They just lit up, got silly, and had a wonderful time because of how he interacted with them. They adored him as much as we did.

His life has not always been this way. Jose' has had a rough past. Before he invited Christ into his life, he lived in the states for a time. He was a liar, and was very good at it. People believed whatever he told them, because he has a very genuine way about him. He used to use it for personal gain. As a result, he was wanted in several states and had to move a lot. He and his wife had moved into a home with another lady and her two young girls. He became the only father they knew, and he loved them dearly.

Another man who interacted with the family became a problem. He would get drunk, get out of control and threaten them. Jose' confronted him, told him he was not afraid of him, and that he had to leave the family alone as he would protect them. This man apologized, and promised not to do this again.

Unfortunately, his ability to refrain from drinking was absent. The alcohol spoke for him when he again showed up. He was carrying a knife, and threatening the family. Jose' intervened. They wrestled to the ground, and Jose' got the knife. In those moments, he wanted to kill this man, to alleviate the source of terror. Jose' lost control, and repeatedly plunged the knife into this foe.

Jose' wept as he recounted this story to us in testimony form.

The police came, and he ultimately spent years in prison for this and other outstanding offenses. Though the man did not die from his 10 wounds, Jose's remorse is overwhelmingly evident. Not long after his incarceration, he came to know Christ, through a prison ministry. He began to grow as he submitted to Christ's authority in his life. Things were beginning to get better.

Then, the unbelievable happened. His four year old "daughter" passed away.

The uncontrollable flow of tears began as he shared his heart and the incredible pain that still resides.

Doctors said there was nothing physically wrong with her. She had died of a broken heart because she missed her "daddy."

It was no wonder that this man had such an impact on the lives of every child he encountered. He loved them in a way few do.

His heart surrendered to Jesus, yet broken over his loss, he was released and deported from the U.S. when his time was up. He now resides in Nuevo Laredo, and serves his King. Oh what a servant!

On his days off, he heads to his pastors house and mops his floor, and works in his yard. He counts it a privilege to be able to serve him. He does it with pure joy! He praises Jesus that he gets laid off each time a mission team from the U.S. is due. This allows him to minister to his people, while serving the gringos. Jose' has seen hundreds and hundreds of people give their lives to Christ. He has been instrumental in many of these decisions. He is who we give our response cards to after ministry is over, so that the new believers can be discipled, and pulled into a local church body.

This is what a man of God looks like. His past matters because it allows him to minister. He is who he is because of Christ in him. He is so humble gentle and available because he loves Jesus, and puts him first in his life.

I am proud to call him my friend. It was my privilege to serve beside him. Worship beside him. Cry with him. It is my privilege to call him my brother.

Praise God that He does not discard us when we fail! He loves us through the dirt and grime we bring into our lives! He is King!!!

Serving Him beside you,


I'm home again, Yeah!!! It so good to love on my girls, and sleep in my own bed!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

We did ministry at a market which was just opening up for the day. Shop owners were arriving, and trying to get things set up. The aisles were very narrow in the inner sections. A road surrounded the exterior, and then had additional shops outside of it. There was no space inside for us to set up and do the drama. We selected space on the roads edge.

This meant gravel for footing and/or falling. We usually cleaned up sites in preparation for doing the drama by removing glass, rocks, etc. to protect the students. This day, the gravel was the platform.

The students did an amazing job. They adapted very well. They did not change choreography, they just retooled their jumps, and falls to prevent injury.

A crowd lined the street. Shop owners and customers came out to watch. Students focused in while they portrayed the gospel, to see who the Holy Spirit might be directing them to. After completing the drama this time, they began to seek encounters that would allow them to lead people to Christ.

I had noticed that some staff of a Catholic artifact shop had come out to watch. They retreated to handle business after the conclusion. When one of the teams came walking back after ministering, the Lord moved in my heart to direct them to this shop.

Inside, they found four people. One of our younger students, Kelsey began to share. She presented the gospel to all four people. When she was finished, and asked if any of them would like to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, two of them responded that they would. Kelsey led her first two people to Christ in those moments!

I did not witness this, but I had a front row seat to the celebration that ensued. Upon leaving the shop, Kelsey headed my direction. She began leaping high into the air, and squealing with delight that she had led her first people to Christ. She gave me a heart-warming hug in all of her excitement. How beautiful are the feet (and hugs) of those who bring good news!!!

Kelsey got it! She made herself available to her Lord, and stepped out in faith, into a situation she feared. She found that through her obedience and willingness, God would draw to Himself, those He knew were ready. The Holy Spirit ministered to those ladies who gave their hearts to Him, to Kelsey, her other two team members, and to me!!!

Praise God that He reveals Himself to us! Give Him glory for consistency in our lives, even though we tend to fail Him!

Bless you Kelsey for your obedience! You have blessed me!

dad (brent)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Two vanloads of young men and women pulled up to an out of the way flea market. Rachel (from Awe Star) and I climbed out with Jose', our translator, to the appetizing aroma of a nearby taco stand. We searched the narrow streets of this bustling gathering place for a spot to do our drama. We were not making much headway as all of the spaces were very small, and we needed a large space.

As we worked our way between clothing displays and other wares, we came upon a dirt lot that had just enough frontage for us to do the drama. The problem was, it was a mechanic shop, and we would interrupt their ability to do business. We approached the dusty shop, and stepped over several empty beer bottles along the way. It was operated by a father and son. Inside the shop was a poster too often found inside similar shops anywhere.

They were quick to give us their consent. We set up our equipment and sent the team out to tell those in the market about the drama. They had learned just enough Spanish to say "we are doing a drama, it's free, please come. "

As the crowd gathered, there was a sense of anticipation among the locals. One frustrated vendor packed her items into her car and left because people were sitting on her car to watch, and blocking her income source.

Children and adults alike were fascinated at what they saw. Many of the shoppers who passed by during the drama stopped for the duration. At the conclusion, the students dispersed into ministry teams of three. The Spirit of God descended upon this market, and into many hearts, as person after person surrendered to Christ.

At the Lord's prompting (through Rachel), I grabbed Jose' and we went to talk to the shop owner. He had disappeared, but his son was still there, standing in the doorway, waiting to talk. In fact, if you go to and go to 'trip updates', and into the picture section of 'Memorial Baptist/Nowata', you can see the three of us standing in the doorway talking.

Gerardo, the son, had watched the drama completely, and stared deeply into my eyes as I shared with him. It was one of those moments that would have been uncomfortable for any other reason, but the Lord showed me he was seeking the Truth, and he wanted to know if what I was sharing was real to me. I was momentarily choked up as this realization became apparent.

The three of us discussed laying down alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc. as these would not bring the fulfillment he was seeking. The strewn empty bottles, and poster of a woman betrayed him. His thirst for the Truth won out, as he willingly gave his heart to Jesus. He was moved as he prayed for the first time.

We said goodbye, and sent the students to back to the vans. As we were walking away, Gerardo and his father called us back. Jose' and I returned, and he asked us to pray for their business as it was not doing very well. We did so. His desire to talk to God became clear, as after I would say a line of prayer, and Jose' would interpret, Gerardo would then repeat, just as he had when he asked Jesus into his life! How incredible to see a man in his 30's or 40's surrender so completely!
Upon on our leaving, we were told that this was our home anytime we wanted to return to do the drama.

A good friend of mine says "A changed life, changes lives." Praise God for His changing the lives of so many!


Sunday, March 19, 2006

The intensely hot sun beat down upon us as we stood in line in front of a daunting wall topped by armed guards and razor wire. We asked the students to remain quiet, and awaited our turn to enter the single gate.

In front of us, and behind us were many Mexican families who were waiting to take their loved ones, food and toiletries. Supplies they would not receive if the families did not bring them. The air was rife with stale scents and the trailing words of Spanish conversations.

Our turn came, and we moved into the next area, surrendered our passports, and were physically searched. Machine gun clad guards, dressed in black uniforms were everywhere. The fear of the unknown was at the forefront of each of our thoughts as our team entered our first Mexican prison.

We were guided down a dank corridor, and delivered to an open area. Immediately, you could hear the sound of many voices. Some were calling out to us, others were offerings of praise from an upcoming tiny church building. The land for the church had been donated by the prison. The blocks used in construction had been carried in one by one, by the families of the inmates as they came to visit.

When we entered the meager building, immediately benches cleared to make a place for the gringos to sit down. Thus, is the Mexican culture. Giving up what little they possess, to better another's disposition. We were introduced, and afforded the opportunity to offer up songs of praise alongside our incarcerated hermanos en Christo (brothers in Christ). I could not hear my own voice, as they sang. They do not worship with weak voices and distracted hearts, they poured out their all to el Salvador (their Savior).

After a few songs, we were directed to an open area surrounded by high, guard flanked walls. Inmates stared at us as we entered. To say it was intimidating would understate the experience enormously.

A lone man with a wooden rake was grooming an area in the dirt. We descended upon that place as this was where we were to portray the gospel account in drama form. Behind us was an open hole in the ground where raw sewage flowed. A makeshift cover of plywood carelessly tried to cover the reeking excrement.

Before us was a wall of inmates, curiously awaiting our offering. The intro was given and the story began. Others moved toward us to see what was happening. Starving eyes were affixed upon the movements of each student, as they completed their intentional choreography.

Christ was crucified, and eyes did not waiver. He arose, and battled with Satan with flailing swords. Defeat was bestowed upon this fallen angel, and Salvation was offered to the People of the Land.

As the drama concluded, and the invitation was given, a line of men moved into our midst. Their desire was to receive this free gift. One man, clad in a time worn soccer jersey fell to his knees and wept openly. Then another beside him. This was the day of their Salvation! The stench that arose behind us would no longer cling to their hearts or lives. They were free! They and many of their brothers came to know Jesus Christ in those closing moments.

Was it dangerous? Perhaps.
Was it foolish? Their is no folly in following Christ.
American teenagers with willing hearts, had the extreme privilege of being utilized to bring Salvation to a lost and dying world. They saw somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 people a day surrender their lives to Christ! Half of these young men and women had never led a soul to the Lord prior to this opportunity. Now, every one of them has done so, several times over.

It was my privilege to witness them leaping for joy with larking hearts, as their obedience to Christ, resulted in what the Great Commission calls them to do.

Yes BJ, you were right, I was supposed to go to Mexico. The Lord resides there.

Serve God? Yes I will!

Will YOU go with me?

dad (brent)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Maybe I've shared this before, but Dad's post yesterday reminded me. Before BJ got sick, he and I were in the living room at home. I think I was sitting at the piano, and I asked BJ about the N. Africa trip he was planning on. I had shown a bit of interest in the trip before, and once it came up, he was all over it. He told me that I was supposed to go, and even if I didn't know it yet, God would show me...

I wonder what Beej would say if he could see my life now. Between N. Africa and my mission trip to Swaziland in conjunction with my school, I'll be in Africa more this summer than anywhere else! With the move and all, that continent is the only place I am certain of...

Oh, BJ, there are so many things I would love to tell you. I think that's what I miss a lot right now. So many things, good things, crazy-God things, have been happening in our family, and in my own life. I just want to be able to share them with him! These are things BJ would have such good insight about, such excitement, such encouragement and willingness to support through prayer.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

I am writing to you from Mexico, one of the hottest and dustiest places I have ever spent time. I cannot imagine being anywhere else right now. The Lord is here, and has directed my heart to these people. I have been given the unbelievable privilege of leading a team of teens from a couple different youth groups. I did not know any of them, save two before we all came. Oh how God is working!

Seeing the light of sharing the Savior come on in the lives of students is a passion I will never outlive. Young men and women who come, not really knowing what to expect, lay it all down for a short term trip. They do not know what to expect, they just know they need to go. They get trained in a drama, they go with their friends, and they expect the best. They just don´t know what the best is.

They are moved to an address far south of their comfort zone, and asked to stand up and testify, then go out into a crowd of people they do not know, and share in a language they do not speak, some with interpreters and some without. The result? People are getting saved in huge numbers. These students have even led a deaf mute man to Christ just today, by using pictures, etc. God is amazing!

The students are learning to think outside the box. When that light comes on, it is hard to snuff it out. They cannot wait to go and share Christ with the ones they see. Some will even take this home, and begin to evangelize their schools and neighborhoods.

This is the life BJ embraced and set an example for. Before he got sick he was trying to tell me I needed to go to Mexico with Awe Star. I did not know it, but he had shared this with some of his `05 Peru team. I was a little embarassed when I found out. I mean I kind of felt like I was out of God´s will because I wasn´t planning to go. I didn´t make the Christmas Break trip he wanted me on.

BJ, I made this one, and you were right. I will never be happy unless I have the opportunity to be teaching students how to lead others to Christ, and/or then getting to see them do so, or am doing so myself. This is what it is all about. This is what it means when Paul says "for me, to live is Christ, to die is gain." Phil 1:21

It is very emotional when I see the drama performed. I see the role of the Knightmare or Satan that BJ played, and I am moved as I can so easily see him in this place (every Awe Star Satan mask has a pink swatch on it in memory of BJ). Going out to share Christ was his element. He could not wait! He wanted lost people to know Jesus. So do I.

I am thankful I had the opportunity to fulfill what the Lord, and BJ both knew I needed to do. I am so appreciative of the chance to work with students to share the gospel in the dark places... even if they are hot and dusty!

¡Gloria a Dios!


Whitney and Deanna I love what you have been writing... you are blessing the hearts of many!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"Pride and Prejudice" is my favorite movie. It's clean (very rare these days), romantic, clever conversation and fun: all the ingredients of a most beloved chic flick. Guys like it, they just can never admit it! I even enjoy re-reading the book! and I rarely re-read books. BJ wouldn't need to turn his head or close his eyes and ears during any part of it. It's that good, I'm telling you!

One of the most obvious prejudices in the Bible was between the Jews and the Samaritans. They did not associate with each other. At one point, two of the disciples ask if they can call fire down from heaven to destroy the Samaritans (Luke 9:54). Prejudice at the heart threatens to destroy. Sometimes we don't even realize we're being prejudice. Jesus rebuked the disciples for such a comment and later assigned them to take the gospel to these supposed "enemies". Another look in Acts 8:15-17 shows us the change of heart Peter and John displayed. They prayed for them and laid hands on them. On returning to Jerusalem, they stopped and preached in many Samaritan villages along the way - a huge transformation from a lifetime of prejudice.

Isn't it wonderful that Jesus does not give up on us and throw his hands up in dismay when we are ignorant and stubborn, full of pride and prejudice? He patiently gives us a closer, more realistic look when we're paying attention. When we're walking close and listening, we can't stay the same! A question to consider today, from Beth Moore's "Beloved Disciple" study: Are we willing to let God change our minds and adjust our sight? We're only half healed until we do.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Rejoice in the new creation that is you today! And keep listening, He probably has additional adjustments to make!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hello family! I cannot tell you how much it means to me that you all are still faithfully reading and praying for my family, especially my parents. This has been such an amazing tool for them to talk about Beej and receive support and encouragement. I could not thank each of you enough for your faithfulness in lifting my parents up both through your prayers and written words.

This past month or so, I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of changes and decisions our family is facing. I began to get frustrated a couple weeks ago because I was reading and praying yet not receiving direction. As I was reading one night in Hosea, God said very clearly to me that as I was reading, I was looking for something to speak to my specific situation rather than to simply learn more about Him and I needed to be doing the opposite. For a couple days, I was able to read differently and just seek God's heart rather than focus on the answers I was looking for. About a week later, I was having a conversation with Aunt Lynae about all the different decisions I am facing and how I felt so lost in it all. After listening for close to an hour, she shared with me that she felt she needed to tell me that I just needed to look to God. I needed to not focus on each question I had, but rather focus on the Lord, and the answers I was looking for would become apparent in His timing. I realized that though God had made that very same thing clear to me several days prior, I had already re-focused on finding my answers and in turn had once again become overwhelmed. I again walked away with such a peace for a couple days and purely sought God. After another week, I received an e-mail from the person I am considering interning for this summer. At the end of his e-mail to me explaining what I would be doing he gave me the simple reminder that it's easy to get caught up in seeking direction from God and get focused on "what to do" but instead I just need to focused on who He wants me to be. I was floored. 3 times God brought the exact same thing to my attention. Biblically, God only repeated things 3 times when they were incredibly important and major emphasis was needed. I think I finally get it... I still don't know my plans for the summer or next fall, but I know where I need to be, and that is staring in the face of my Savior Jesus Christ. There is no other place I would rather be.

Love you all


Monday, March 13, 2006

Okay, I am going to stop posting my flight information because the Lord has plans I am not aware of. I arrived at the Indy airport for my flight to Kansas City. I had been forwarned that Southwest Airlines doesn't do assigned seats. You get an "A," "B," or "C," stamped on your ticket and you line up accordingly.

If you are in the "A" line you get on first. The "B" line second, and so on. I was in the "A" line, and was first or second in line. I was going to get my choice of seats! (I like to be up front so I can get off quickly)

The time came to board, but there was no plane. The time came to leave, but no plane. Then, a voice over the loudspeaker... "if your final destination is Tulsa, please come to the desk. I had to relinquish my amazing spot in line for who knows why!

I get to the desk, and am told, "We don't know whent this plane is coming, and we are rerouting you to Chicago. You will catch the same flight there that will head to Kansas City." "What about my luggage," I ask? "We will ship it to you if it does not arrive in Tulsa. You can tell them that Patty said so." I am thinking "I don't think they will care what Patty in Indy said when I arrive in Tulsa. I tell her, "but I'll be in Mexico." A distraught desk clerk does not know what to say to me.

She is busy getting my tickets ready. She is doing so using the 'hunt and peck' method of typing. One finger at a time! She retyped my name. I was no longer Brent, now my name is Robert. If my plane goes down, my wife and daughters will not know it, because Robert Higgins died, not Brent Higgins.

She handed me my ticket. I have been bumped from an "A" to a "C." "I can't fly as an "A," I ask? "I don't have "A" cardstock, I am sorry."

Great! I am going to Chicago as Robert Higgins, and I am flying as a "C," no doubt at the back of the plane.

I sit down, and it hits me. "Your disappointment is God's Divine appointment." I wasn't too thrilled to remember that, at that moment. Frustrated, I look around and begin to pray for His leading.

I arrive in Chicago, scurry to my next gate, and get in the "C" line. The "A" and "B" lines extend for "infinity and beyond." I am thinking... "back of the plane." After what seemed like hours, my turn comes to get on the plane. To my utter amazement, the first row of seats has 4 vacancies!

I sit down, and my swirling brain is trying to calm down. I had a strong sense from the Lord that my front row seat was His way of showing me that He was in control, and I needed to be ready.

Seated in my row, two seats over sits a lady in her 50's or 60's. A conversation begins. We begin talking about her family. Her son is in graphic design and works for the "WatchTower."

That was my cue. I knew why I was sent to Chicago. That publication is put out by "Jehovah's Witnesses." When she finishes her story, I share mine. I share about BJ's journey. His love for Christ, and his laying down his life for His purposes.

She is a very sweet lady, and I hope to meet her again. We discussed scripture. I asked her how she was saved. She said "by works." I showed her Ephesians 2:8-9, and she read it from her Bible, as I followed along in mine. She talked of James writings that "faith without works is dead." I told her that "works are the result of a love relationship with Jesus, and not a means to salvation." I reiterated the Ephesians passage, that "We are saved by grace through faith, and not by works so that no man may boast."

In the end, she asked if I would take a book she had on the the Bible. I told her that I would, but that I didn't agree with the theology, and that I beleived Jesus was fully God and fully man. I showed her scripture on that, and she debated, and said Jesus was not God. We had a wonderful conversation. I am not sure she understood what I was saying, but thankfully, that is up to the Holy Spirit, and not me. Another seed was planted. But she would probably say the same of her conversation with me. The difference is, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able, to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day."

Glory Lord Jesus!


Friday, March 10, 2006

BJ used to lean on us. He was very affectionate and for that I've always been grateful. Since his death, I have felt guilt that I would sometimes not allow the "lean" - he was, afterall, bigger than me, yet wanted ME to hold HIM up. I'd be standing somewhere minding my own business and he would come up and start leaning... Sometimes it was to tease, sometimes just to pester and sometimes for affection. Whether I allowed it or not, it made me smile and now it reminds me of his love for me. I savor the memory. I'm thankful I had such a son who would take an interest in leaning on Mom. What joy that boy gave!

The memory of his "leaning" means a bit more to me now in light of one of the disciples (John) who leaned on Jesus. The familiarity of the lean is significant. What's also interesting is that John was probably the youngest disciple. In Jewish tradition, the youngest often sat near the father figure at the table and asked traditional questions. John leaned in to ask about the betrayer, at the prompting of Peter. Was it proper etiquette to "lean?" Did John have to lean on Jesus to ask or hear the answer? No, but he wanted to! He loved Him. His affection was not hindered by protocol. He was comfortable in leaning. Jesus was approachable and lovable. See John 13:25. From Beth Moore's "Beloved Disciple" study

Father, that we may all lean on You that way. Trust you that way. Knowing of Your love and the security we have in You. Even and especially when things are out of control. Show us how to love the way You unconditionally love us. How can we grasp the love You have for us? A love beyond knowledge, beyond reason. A love that makes us strong and fills us with Your Spirit. A love that motivates us to reach out and help others see the One and Only God, for real and for certain. Help us catch a glimpse of this love in Paul's prayer to the Ephesians:

that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:17-19

Paul definitely knew how to preach it!! I wonder if BJ's had a conversation with him yet...

Love to all,

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Today, I leave for the first leg of a 'mission journey' to Mexico. (I have a three hour layover at the Kansas City airport... Tracy, Michael, and Kristin I'm gonna be parked in your backyard for awhile). I'll end up in Tulsa tonight, and then join a team of 27, as we head south for our opportunity.

For me this is about training to lead. I wanted practical experience the Awe Star way and this will provide it. I have had the privilege of serving in leadership on other mission trips, and have led on trips here in the states, but this will be different in many ways.

I understand the team of students have worked very hard on the drama "Freedom." They completed the drama for their church body, and the Spirit of the Lord moved mightily!

This is what we are praying for as we head to Mexico. We want to see the Lord glorified and lifted up. He is "high and exalted," and it ours to bring Him glory at "such a time as this!" How incredibly blessed to be a part of this journey! Please pray for the hearts of those who hear His Word! Pray that the Lord of the harvest will deliver many souls into the Kingdom over the next 10-12 days.

We heard from our friends Elsie Jay and Sammy last night, who are also in Mexico. They have had the opportunity to lead many Bible studies in their brief time there. I understand they led one last night with a group of people who had formerly sacrificed a lady. Praise God for His intervention in dark places!!! We truly can be His hands and feet!

We tend to think such things only happened in medieval times or earlier. It still happens today! We must be ready! We must share His Word and Light in our own back yards, and in others. We must be willing to comprehend intimately Philippians 1:21 "to live is Christ, to die is gain." Pray that the Lord would open up an opportunity today for you to be faithful, and share His gospel. Only do it if you mean it, cause He is faithful, and will give you an encounter, and you don't want to drop it!

I will return home on March 22nd. Please lift up all three of my girls. Deanna could not go this time but wants to be there. Deanna, Lauren and Whitney will update you for the next few days. If given an opportunity I will write from the field.

Love in Christ to you all!

Serving the King beside you,

brent (dad)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a conference on North Africa. Specifically it was about the country we will serve in. In case I have not shared this, we cannot say the countries name, as it is closed to Christians... it is Muslim. Likewise, we cannot share the names of the missionaries we are working with so that they are protected.

It was a huge blessing to meet with others who were heading to this country between now and this summer! The enthusiasm among those in attendance, including the full time missionaries themselves, was infectious. My excitement grew significantly, as did my peace about going. Our God is amazing that way. My daughters are attempting to raise support for this trip even now (anyone who feels led of the Lord to assist in this can make checks payable to AweStar, and send them to Brent Higgins 7605 SR 39 Martinsville, In, 46151. It is tax deductible if you don't put my girls names on your check anywhere. Noone should feel coerced to give. Please, only do so if the Lord leads in that way!) The opportunity to network with other missionaries, and even plan next years conference was fulfilling. One thing is for sure, we are not in competition with each other, but are working together, and benefit from others experiences!

While at the conference, I had the added benefit of visiting my sister Lynae and her family. The conference was very near their home in Virginia Beach. It was so wonderful to spend time with my nephew and nieces Joshua, Emily, and Ariana. We had a lot of fun hiking, eating and hanging out.

Joshua showed me his favorite computer video game while I was there. They also showed me the Chinese Lanterns they had made and had hanging in the kitchen. (Lynae homeschools the children and they had been studying China.) Joshua also showed me his newly redecorated room. New paint, even a new room. When Ari grew into a "big girl bed," she and Emily moved in together, and Joshua got his own room.

There were not many things on his walls yet, except for pictures of BJ. Joshua still remembers his times with Beej, and misses him. BJ was his best friend. I asked him about his best friend now, and he gave me a couple of new names. That was a little bittersweet for me.

Whether it is standing in the gap with other missionaries, or spending time with family, one thing stands out to me. None of it is as it should be if my relationship with Jesus isn't open and intimate.

We cannot communicate or even relate appropriately with other believers if we are not doing so with Christ. We might be able to fake it for a while, but our lack shows through quickly, when we are out of fellowship with Him. Our relationship with Christ is to be about communication (both ways), intimacy, fellowship, etc.

The Bible is full of examples of scripture which show us that if we are not right with God, our relations with others will be off. If we do not communicate daily with our Savior, how do we then put Him first in all we do? How do we put others needs above our own wants? Being in a right relationship with God draws us closer to Him, and plants a desire deep within us to relate, share, groan, praise, laugh, cry, and seek Him with all that we are.

New paint, and a new room... it reminds me of a being new or being renewed in Christ.

In one corner of Joshua's room, leaning against the wall, waiting to be hung, was BJ's sword. Beside it was a picture of him. How incredible to be able to share with Joshua one of the primary (figuratively) components of BJ's relationship to his Savior. How wonderful to be able to tell him that BJ now has face to face fellowship with the risen Christ!

I've gotta go... I've got some relating to do...


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

So many times in life we say things we don't mean during times of stress, confusion or fear. Words that we wish we could retract, volcanicly erupt from our mouths, with venom and/or foolishness.

Such was the time when Peter, in Mark 9, said to Christ, "shall we build three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah?"

Every time I read that, I am reminded of times when I said something that made little sense for the situation, but felt compelled to have my mouth flowing like a river.

I will never forget the early morning hours when BJ passed. I walked the 44 steps from his room, out to where Lauren's roommates, and our other close friends had gathered, and with no feeling or compassion blurted out "he's dead."

What I said, in no way represented what I was feeling inside. My words were unfeeling, perfunctory, and certainly atypical of the way I share things... especially huge emotional matters.

I can still recall the stunned faces, as they seemed to search for some shred of peace in those words. I offered none. As they asked me to repeat, I once again conveyed that he was gone.

I pushed past them to update the website, so others would be aware of his passing. I fought to hold myself together. Inside I was shredded like the aftermath of an atomic blast. This was not the end we expected. I wrote, "it is finished."

In a sense it was, as he had left us, but little did I know what incredible things lie ahead. I could not fathom how the Lord would use his testimony to reach across the nation and world to continue to reverberate into the lives of the lost, and spiritually thirsty. I still am in awe of my God, at how he continues to use this soul scourging event to bring light and life to those in need.

The Higgins family has little to do with what God has done. Our faithful Savior has a plan. We each have the choice of following the Lord in obedience, or setting off on our own.

You know that is really no decision at all. We stand to miss so much blessing amid the pain and healing if we do not respond to His leading and teaching.

Yes, I will continue to say foolish or hurtful things at key moments (but I am working on it as Christ works in me). Not because I plan to, but because like Peter, sometimes I can be impetuous, and act without thinking. Fortunately, I serve a God who forgives, and stand beside a generation of believers who have learned to extend grace in moments of folly.

Serving the King beside you,

brent (dad)

Monday, March 06, 2006

This past Friday and Saturday were anointed by God, and began in full the missionary journeys of 16 students. This weekend at Highland Lakes, Northside Baptist church had their missions training weekend under the direction of David Post from AweStar.

Northside has never left their own campus for such a training, and David (who led BJ to Peru twice) has never had reason to visit HLBC before. Both of those things changed (and blessed me significantly).

This summer these students will travel the US by Lightrider bus (a double decker sleeper bus) sharing the same drama that BJ participated in. They will cover many states, and have the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Chtist, many for the first time. They worked extremely hard to learn their roles. They were very focused.

This group was largely made up of students who at BJ's funeral celebration answered the call to take his place on the mission field! Four of seven guys on this trip were BJ's guys (if I can call them that)! They were his age, and in his Sunday School class. He loved them and poured himself into them. They did likewise.

Please understand that this was a very stretching time for these guys. Learning this drama pushed the envelope of their comfort zones way beyond its borders. Most of these guys were faithful bloggers throughout BJ's ordeal, and beyond. The enormity of this weekend was huge (for me)!

Jonathon will play the Gentle Ruler- or God, Jack and Matt are Good Knights, and Ryan will be the Knightmare- or Satan... BJ's favorite role. I have watched these guys grow up, and am very proud of who they are, and what they are doing for their Lord!

Too many of us never proceed outside the perameters of our "posh" lives to reach out or pour into the lives of those who are lost. It's not that we are not called, it's that we are too comfortable where we are. Sharing on our "home mission field" should be a natural outpouring of who we are in Christ, but comfort and acceptance in our hometowns cause us to recoil at the thought of stepping out in faith.

Posh does not mean wealthy as it is used. It's implication is that many of us literally have no clue how much we have, and how much we take for granted. Once our eyes are opened up to the need of our world, we become Lattany's, Kristin's, Barbara Ann's, DJ's, etc. All of these are student missionaries on journeys who love their Lord more than their comfort, and reach out, and spill out all that the Lord has poured into them. The cool thing is that they get refilled to repeat the process!

I praise God for the hunger of students to be close to Jesus, to grasp his garment but for a moment, to be forever changed. I praise Him for adults who do the same. We must set the example for them. Too many of them are looking at broken families, and parents who don't get it, or if they do, they aren't living it.

The broken vessels that each one of us walk through life as, all have something God wants to use! The students are watching. Let your broken frame be restored, and let your life be an example of Christ for those around you to see. He is worth it!


Friday, March 03, 2006

I do not know if we actually get clues about our loved ones in heaven while still on earth, or if that is a fabrication from thirsting hearts left behind. Regardless, I want to share what has been rising in ours.

BJ never expressed his affection or desire to spend time with horses on any memorable scale, when he was with us. Oh we have the picture I referenced some time ago with him riding a pony, connected to one of those "live carousels, but other than an occasional reference to horses, nothing that clamored of desire.

Since he passed, we have learned more. More that leads us in a direction that can only cause us to wonder about his role in heaven.

On February 28th, I posted his top 10 list of things he wanted to do before he died. I found it most curious that number eight was "Live on a big piece of land and have horses." I cannot ever remember him indicating that kind of interest.

Knowing of his love for swords, and inspiration from "Lord of the Rings," the "Left Behind" series, and others, all which included mounted horsemen and swordplay, initially only caused me to see a boys love for fantasy. We are very visual creatures, and this perception for him was motivating. It drew him to write "I will unsheathe my sword, and stop playing all defense in this war." A sentence that has enormous impact for me, and many others.

The rising desire in his heart was to serve the Lord with passion, power, and relentless abandon. His life and death inspire me today, and routinely cause me to see the flaws in my own life. I am motivated to do something about the dark recesses of my own heart. They must be released to fully serve the King!

I recently clicked on "Why BJ" to the right of our writings, and scrolled down to the testimony of Six (Charissa), a teammate and friend BJ met from his '04 Peru trip.
She writes of how moved he was by reading Revelations 9:16-17 which says:

"Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breasplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone."

Beej was moved to joyful elation as he entertained the idea of being one of those horsemen, serving his King, returning in the end times, to usher in his Lion of Judah! Fantasy? Perhaps. Much goes on in the spiritual realm we would deem fantasy if we saw it happen.

Revelations while symbolic, is part of God's Truth. Do we embrace some and not the rest because we fail to understand it's implication? I think not! Perhaps he understood more than most. That is frankly true from much of his writing. He maintained a fascination with Revelations for much of his walk. What is symbolism? What is reality? We do not know on this side of His second coming. Soon we shall see Him as He is! How thrilling is that? How motivating is that? We must be armed and stand at the ready!

This week I learned my dear Deanna had a dream/vision about our son after his death. At the time of the dream, she was unaware of Six's writing or BJ's top 10 list. She feared sharing as she thought she would be discounted as a grieving mother. She believed it to be a relief from the Lord that indicated he is well, and is being raised up. In it, he joyfully rides a horse on a "big piece of land" and she is told, he is training to lead a legion of men!

Serving his King, leading men, wielding his sword, this is my son in whom I am well pleased!

Serving the King behind you BJ,


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Do shoes end up all over your house? I've been to many homes where you remove your shoes at the door (I usually do at home). This is not a bad idea. It keeps the floors clean, and the shoes out of the way... well except for the "clogged" entryway.

I remember times I was negotiating my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and stepped on a rogue shoe and nearly fell down. Or you're watching tv, the lights are off, you get up to get a snack, and you skate to the splits, only you don't know how to do the splits.

I like shoes. I have several pair. Most of them match. I struggle to know what ones to leave behind when I go on trips. I want to be prepared for everything, so sometimes I end up with more than my wife or daughters.

Whitney is dating a guy who likes shoes. He has more than many women I know, and he's proud of them. I don't like the black and white ones.

You've heard stories of BJ's shoes (the stinky ones he brought home from Peru, only to throw them away). Well when we returned from our vacation this past summer, for some reason, BJ put all of his shoes away (out of character). Well they didn't stay put away. He did not get them back out, but somehow, they have found their way to different parts of the house. His clogs are beside me at the computer, and his flip-flops are in our bedroom. The house doesn't seem right without a bit of shoe clutter.

Deanna began wearing his clogs after the hospital stay. He wore them there. His feet were much smaller than mine, but I occasionally wear his flip-flops just to feel close. As I say that, it sounds kind of pathetic, but you do what you can to get through the days, sometimes.

His other shoes remain neatly organized in his closet. Dress blacks, cleats, wrestling shoes, sandals, the old converse knock-offs he picked up in Peru, and others.

Though he struggled at times to keep things as neat as we would have liked, he was improving, and for some reason, he straightened things up before he left us.

I remember reading about another man who did that. He put things in order too. He restored his friend Peter, had a final meal with his other close friends, and left them with a Helper. Perhaps BJ was just emulating his Savior.

Though they are small in size, I thought his shoes would be difficult to fill. I praise God that so many are continuing to serve, and some are serving for the first time. They may never wear his shoes, but they serve his Lord, and their feet are beautiful too, when they bring good news!


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Fortunately, you do not have to hear it, but when my children were babies, I used to sing to them. Rocking them to sleep (except Whit, who would NOT be rocked) while singing a lullaby, is a very fond memory for me, even though it is a bit oxymoronic in nature for them. (Maybe it wasn't the rocking Whit did not like).

There was a short list of songs that I ran through, but my favorite was "Edelweiss." Yes it is from the "Sound of Music," and yes that is a musical, but I like that song. I don't think that Christopher Plummer would have been very proud, however, as I could never seem to remember the words correctly. Of course I never let that stop me. I added and subtracted as necessary, and made rhymes at the right places. It worked. My audience was captive, and did not know of the butchery that was occurring. Perhaps that is what spurred them each to become such musical individuals... or maybe it was a backlash affect. No, music is a giftedness passed to them through their mother.

My first mission trip was to Croatia. I went there in 1998. That trip changed my life, as these trips often do. For the first time I saw how spoiled I was, even though I did not grow up wealthy. My riches were in things I found I took for granted. I had so much that was meaningless in my life until that trip. The Lord raised up in me a powerful desire to see students learn to share their faith, and lead others to Him. Seeing that AHA! moment in their lives is such an incredible thing. Seeing it become part of who they are is a joy.

We had a layover in Switzerland on our return trip. We had a day of sightseeing. I was in the mountains above Grindewald, and the intense beauty I beheld was unequaled. My God, my Creator had done an amazing work in this place. For some outlandish reason, my younger sister Lynae had challenged me to do the whole Maria (from the Sound of Music) spin if I got up into the mountains. I obliged. I spun, and sang "the hills are alive." My teammates even captured this moment on film so that I could prove I had done it (I think the hills were hoping to brandish severe punishment for this vile offense).

There have been few moments equivalent to this one. Hearing the sound of the cow bells clapping as these much heralded animals (in Switzerland) grazed the mountainside was only upstaged when I discovered Edelweiss growing all around me. I am sure I hummed a bit of it as well. Having sung this song for years I wondered what the flower actually looked like. I was rewarded by an array of further beauty as they sprawled across the mountainside. They are a very common, ordinary little flower. Not really all that special to look at. But what impact they have had in my life, in my memories.

You are God's creation as well. Common? Ordinary? Maybe you don't think you are very special to look at. Guess what? God our Creator made you, and He will do extraordinary things through you, if you avail yourself to His will and desire for your life. Don't hold back! Let Him have all of you!!! What an impact He will have in your life, in your memories.

Serving the King beside you,


Yeah Bonnie!!! I am so excited to see how the Lord uses you!