Friday, June 30, 2006

As I sit here this evening wondering what Brent & Deanna, the girls and the team have experienced today in North Africa I cannot help but realize that I sit here tonight, safe in my office from nearly everything but conviction.

Generally speaking, I don't regret the life that I have lived except that I know that I could have better impacted the lives of friends that have been a part of it, as well as the strangers that I have met. I believe that I am the way that I am for a reason and I have no doubt that God can -and has - used me evan as I am. But I also know that I could have more impact if I were more courageous, more outgoing and aggressive.

What isn't clear to me is whether that would be, or would have been, better than the person that I have been. I tend to think not, but then i don't want to think that I am giving less than my best either - though I know that I am. I know that I have been able to communicate with certain people because of the person that I am - but the limitations of my personality are what bother me, and I must admit, puzzle me. I feel it has opened certain doors without providing me the courage to step through them - at least far enough to close them behind me and step forward...I feel like the self-conscious adult who enters a skating rink and cannot let go of the rail except for those few places where the skaters enter the rink and there is no rail, so I have no choice. All the while, young kids are whizzing by me with abandon and glee, wondering what is wrong with the idiot slowing up the flow.

I Corinthians 16:13 challenges us (among other scripture) to "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love." While this is a perfect picture of the man BJ was becoming - had become in many ways at 15 - it isn't a very apt description of who I am.

My nieces - Whitney and Lauren - have stepped up and are living this along with their parents, as are so many others. Their levels of faith and commitment amaze me and they are an encouragement and inspiration to me as are many of you in this blog family.

I do know that it is the Lord who can instill in me this courage and strength and I long for it but I have to get out of His way (just look at how many times I used "I" above!). And that last, short sentence - do everything in love...may this be so in my life, in your life, in the lives of all of His people.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and may He work through you in a very real way,


Lord, this morning we lift up the Grabb and Rodgers families as they mourn the loss of their beloved little ones, Corbin and Jake. Only You know why these things work out the way that they do, why we lose parts of our hearts before there is time to fully know them. But we know that you are wrapping your arms around these young ones today and that they know a freedom and joy beyond our understanding. Let each one mourning a loss this morning have a touch of your presence and comfort. Amen.

When BJ was 6 or 7 years old he, Brent and I went to the U.S. Nationals drag race just outside Indianapolis over Labor Day weekend. This was an environment that I had worked in previously and I wanted to share it with Beej. We sat in the stands and watched round after round of racing, walked through the pits collecting autographs on his John Force t-shirt and listenes as he excitedly chatted on about the highlight of the day for him - when the body of one of the "funny cars" flew off of its chasis and sailed high through the air (fortunately no one was injured) in the midst of the run.

As with other things that made an impression on BJ, he started paying attention to and asking questions about this loud, odor-intense sport. Each time I saw him for some time to come he would have questions about recent races, especially about the driver whose car he'd seen come apart, and he loved watching the drag racing videos that I owned. I enjoyed sharing this interest with him.

As time passed and the experience faded his interests gradually moved on to other things. A few years later I'm not certain he had any interest in any of the men who had signed his shirt that August day, but the important thing was that a bigger name had become the focus of his life and was inscribed deep on his heart, not on the surface of some flimsy cotton material. Beej knew Jesus Christ in a real way and his love for Him was pushing out some of the other trappings of life at an early age. He was grasping an understanding of what is really important and had already taken it to heart to the point that he was sharing Christ with neighbors and friends.

His love for the Saviour never faded, it simply continued to grow until the day he went home to live with Him in glory. The autographs are meaningless as he stands with the only "crowd" that ever really mattered.

That is another interest we have in common, but his grasp is at a much higher level than mine.

Praising Him,


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Lauren - a day late. I guess she won't know for a little while that I forgot! Lauren did get to call and visit with my Mother (her Grandma) yesterday for a short while, saying that the people in North Africa are warm and generous and that they have been spending time learning their customs.

Since I know that there are new readers out there I thought I would re-share a journal entry of BJ's that his family used on the folder handed out at the celebration of his life. It touches on some things that have been on my heart and says them in a better way than I could. Since his family is actively participating in his charge, as are many of your loved ones, I thought this appropriate.

"God Loves."

"Obedience. Faith. Glory."

"When Christ calls us to follow Him, He calls us to come and lay down our lives and obey Him and share His name with the peoples of the world, no matter what the cost. It's time that we as the Christ-followers of this country respond to this call and realize that the cross IS worth it, and forget the cost. Its time to open our eyes and see the people the Christ died for. To see that God has been robbed of His glory and that people have been robbed of God's love because of Satan's lies all around us. It's time that we show them the love that Christ has for them, and stop being lukewarm and mediocre.

"God has called each of us somewhere to be a missionary for Him, will you follow? In the US, in your hometown, some other state, or some other country...will you go? Will you answer the call, and stop wasting your life in the selfish comfort and "success" that our society teaches us to seek? Will you follow Christ, the greater purpose and satisfaction in life? Will you answer the call and get uncomfortable for Christ?

"Scared? Weak? Unable? Don't worry, God who created everything and who has authority and power over everything will give you the strength and courage. All He asks is that you TRULY turn to him and give Him everything, and He will bless you beyond your imagination.

"Will you go?"

P.S. As Beth requested let's keep the Hopper family (and church) in our prayers; and Linda - we are praying for you and Hollie and the situation at hand, thank you for sharing. Pete, thank you for sharing PJ's updates with us and for your wise words.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Brent left a message for me this morning after they travelled back down out of the mountain villages in North Africa to the city. "It is truly, truly amazing being here" is how he phrased it. They have had opportunity to share the drama only a couple of times but to between 500-700 people. He says that they have been received well and that the Lord is truly working. They have had an excellent time of getting to know the people and says that their memorial service on the mountain where they spread BJ's ashes went well. There are some photographs to view at, including one of the family together during the service.

One of the last chances I had to really visit with BJ was in the spring of '05 after I had returned from a month's "sabatical" in Stonington, Maine - or for me, as close to heaven as I have been geographically. He was looking through a compilation of photographs (I couldn't get enough) from my trip and true to form, he was much more interested in the people and the time I'd had in the village churches there than he was the scenery. It had been a wonderful trip, one in which I had expected to get lost in the scenery but found myself adopted by the people of the area and was blessed with wonderful fellowship there.

I shared one of my encounters there in which I was sharing a rocky ledge at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse with a very gracious professional photographer. We planted ourselves there to catch the lighthouse in the setting sun - I had arrived at the location first but he had set up at "the spot" to get the best shots. Fortunately he was willing to share his ledge. He carefully set up his box camera on its tripod, checked the light meter and waited for just the right moments to capture the glory unfolding in front of us. A few feet away I frantically fired off shot after shot afraid to miss even a moment. It wouldn't be much of an overstatement to say I fired a roll for each shot he took.

As I eventually drove away into the fading light I realized that what I had just experienced was representative of my life as it is and how it should be. Too often I am frantically moving about my day without really following a plan or appreciating its events. I imagine that this man not only got better photographs than I did but he also took the time to truly experience the sunset and its beauty. While I squinted through the viewfinder at what was laid out in front of me, framing and firing my shots, he calmly took in the bigger picture and left certain that he had finished his mission successfully.

I had seen the beauty and marvel of God's signature on another day, but had I really appreiciate it? had I truly experienced it?

Today try not to let the business of life get in the way of your actually experiencing the many things that fill it. We are surrounded by God's wonders but it is up to us to open our eyes and really see them.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

One of the photographs in my "BJ collection" was taken a number of years ago at Mom's 70th birthday party. In that photo Deanna is playing the piano, Lauren is standing with face raised, eyes closed singing praise and Whitney is standing behind Beej also singing. BJ is sitting playing his old cello, the same one that Brent and our sister Lisa had learned to play on many years ago. I think it is one of two pictures I have of BJ with the cello.

Fast forward to this past October, returning from the forementioned trip to Lousiana for hurricane relief work. During our return trip one of the men in the van (Rusty) , a friend of Mercy Me lead singer Bart Millard received a text message about a song the Lord was laying on his heart because of BJ. They messaged back and forth and I was able to read what was to become the chorus to "I would Die for You." Rusty mentioned to him that to accurately portray BJ the song had to directly point others toward Christ. Bart's response was "don't worry."

For about 2 months I carried this secret from Brent and Deanna, one I longed to share with them because I knew it would give them an emotional lift during the difficult first weeks after BJ's death, a time when I rarely felt I had anything to offer them. So many times it was on the tip of my tongue but this wasn't my gift to give.

Finally, one evening after a visit with Rusty's family Brent and Deanna stopped by with a preliminary copy of "Die for You." I could only weep as I listened. Bart and Mercy Me had represented BJ beautifully and the song is all about finding our purpose only in serving Christ.

After several more months past and Brent received a finished copy of the song with orchestration added in London, we received a further blessing that I know Brent has mentioned. That beautiful musical tag at the end of the vocal, stirring and haunting in a way, fades out to conclude this wonderful gift of a song that means so much to our family - and hopefully will to thousands of others - all the while pointing them toward Christ. That tag consists of the violin and cello - BJ's instrument of choice. Did they have any idea he played the cello? No. It's just a "God thing" that to us is just as representative of our son, grandson, nephew, and friend as the inspired words that precede it.

As followers of Christ we have a story to share that should burn in our hearts and on our tongues, longing to be shared; the love of our risen Lord who brings light to a dark, fallen world. More than anything we should want to share this incredible truth that is too big to keep secret. The Creator of the universe loves us so much that He sent his Son to die specifically and individually for each one of us, so that we can have hope and assurance of eternity with Him in a place far more beautiful, far less painful than the world we know.

Lord thank you for your sacrifice on our behalf. Thank you too for the men and women who have given so much of themselves, even their lives, in wars in places and times far worse than anything we can comprehend in our secure lives. Just as real but sometimes harder to comprehend are the spiritual battles that must be fought for the hearts and souls of people all over the world - thank you for those who are willing to step up and sacrifice themselves in these battles as well, facing very real threats that at times can cost them their lives as well. In Jesus name, Amen.

In Him,


Friday, June 23, 2006

Brent and I spoke as their last train rumbled over the tracks about an hour from their destination. They are in country, tired but excited to begin. The students have been awesome and had to contend with a lot of hurry up and wait. The trip has, as is often the case with trips like this, been a series of challenges and God moments.

It is comforting to know that even when arrangements that are made from halfway around the world fall through, the Lord is working in the details. Buses that didn't show up and train timetables are but small details in the complexity of the "big picture". When vans weren't where they were expected a train is late to accomodate a rushing group of foreign visitors set on serving their Saviour. Customs argued a bit over some x-ray images of luggage but it ultimately went through. God IS in the details and has provided some helpful and accomodating people.

Lord, thank you for your constant provision and wisdom and thank you for watching over our loved ones. Continue to be with them and strengthen and guide them through the details of each day. We praise you for the hedge of protection you place around them and ask that you prepare their hearts for another day.

As a young man's ashes are thrown to the wind may there be sweet release of lingering pain and praise for who you are. Fortify the hearts of your servants and open the hearts of the listeners. Let the celebration, and the spiritual revolution begin.

Thank you Jesus,


Thursday, June 22, 2006

I had the opportunity to talk with Brent yesterday as the team sat in the Dallas airport waiting to fly to London where they were to have landed at 7:28 a.m. this morning. They must charter a bus from one airport to the other then fly out at 3:40 this afternoon, arriving in-country at 6:00 p.m. Let's continue to pray for their safety and well being.

Brent was reflecting on the team makeup and said that they were a very mature group who is doing a great job with the drama which they learned very quickly. They get along very well together and he is impressed with the various talents that each member of the team bring to it.
The group is very excited about their mission and their trip, he and Deanna are finding the team to be a tremendous encouragement.

We want to thank the Lord for Lowell's recovery - when I spoke with him last night he was home, feeling good but tired and was thankful that they found nothing wrong with his heart. It is always disconcerting when we experience things like this and don't know the cause.

Linda, we are remembering your requests as well and know that our Lord remains in control.

This morning on my way to camp from a meeting downtown I was passing through a depressed area of Indianapolis. Along the road, between the sidewalk and the street curb was an elderly gentleman hunched over in a wheelchair. He had only one leg and was pulling himself forward with that leg, reaching down in front of the chair picking up trash and weeding a small flower bed.

I couldn't tell how much of his posture was a result of his "disability" and how much of it was a result of his activity, but it struck me that this man, who obviously didn't have much in the eyes of the world, who was "imperfect" physically, was making an impact in his yard and therefore in his neighborhood in a way that was obvious humbling.

I challenge each of you, myself included, to be sure and tend our spiritual gardens today and make a difference, if only in our own yards.

Serving the Saviour,


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

For those of you who would like to view the interview aired this past weekend on Fox 59 you can do so at:,0,7202615.wmvfile?coll=wxin-morning-news-2

During the weeks that BJ was in the hospital and Brent and Deanna were staying there with him our family was blessed to meet scores of their friends and to get to know several of them on a deeper level. What incredible support was shown from the three churches they had been part of as a family. The level of support given and love shown was beyond anything I had experienced.

Their friends took the rest of our families under their wings offering whatever of themselves they could to try and make a difficult situation better for each of us, because of their love for the Lord and the way it permeated their lives.

As a frequent recipient I found myself wondering who in my own life I had ever shown this type of love and compassion to? Who would I be willing to go to such lengths for? This weighed on my heart and has been convicting.

On two occassions last fall I was able to go with groups of these same wonderful people to do hurricane relief work, what wonderful hearts and pure motives I saw in those around me. What a blessing to be ministered to as we met the needs of others. These experiences allowed me the opportunity to see that this is the way these folks lead their lives daily, not just occassionally.

Who around you is hurting today physically, emotionally or spiritually? What are you doing to lighten their load - if only a little bit? You might be suprised at how much a "little" can do when the Lord is in the mix! Reach out and make a positive difference in at least one life today, I'm guessing you won't even have to go very far out of your way to do so.

Lord, we lift up Tina's friend and his family this morning and pray that you would bring healing to all parts of the body and soul. You are able to intervene in so many ways, we pray that above all, your will is done through this tragic accident. Be with those involved Lord and bring them the peace, comfort or conviction they need to deal with the aftermath of such a tragic experience.

We also thank you for your presence with the team today and in the coming weeks, smooth out the road before them, give them confidence and strength and soften the hearts of those they will be in contact with. As the family scatters BJ's ashes and praises are lifted up to you for his brief life and ministry, comfort them and make your face known to them in a very real way.

Thank you Lord for your provision in all things. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"After giving them a thorough whipping, they warned them not to speak in Jesus' name and sent them off. The Apostles went out of the High Council overjoyed because they had been given the honor of being dishonored on account of the Name." Acts 4:40-41

Imagine that, taking joy in being dishonored for your passionate belief in Jesus and teaching his salvation. Can you do that? Can you face your school principal, your boss, a judge and jury and defend your belief in and sharing of Jesus Christ? Be humiliated and punished, then leave overjoyed because you have suffered for the Lord?

Do you share this type of passion for your Saviour?

Too many days I fear I am ill-prepared to defend my belief in Christ, let alone take joy in ridicule and punishment for that belief. This is a challenge I am working on and seek prayer for. This level of faith, this passion for the Lord is what drove BJ onward and so many others onward for the cause of Christ. This is why Brent and Deanna have moved to Tulsa to work with Awe Star Ministries and their incredible staff of missionaries, long before some see it as appropriate to make such a decision after losing their son.

The older we get the less risk we usually like to take. For someone like me who has always been pretty allergic to risk it can take an explosion to move me forward. When we are young we are often less resistant to risk and more willing to step out of our comfort zones - or less prone to letting life responsibilities to get in the way (we usually have fewer for one thing). Parents, this is one reason that you must be willing to let your young ones step up and go when the opportunity presents itself to serve the Father and they feel led to do so, whether it is across the street or around the world.

Whose care can you trust them to more than that of our Heavenly Father? When He gave his life for ours, what sacrifice can be too great to serve and share the Living God? Oh that we could have the passion of a radical Muslim, not to take another's life because they don't believe the way we do but to be willing to give up our own to let them see that He is the most important thing in our lives and the only hope for theirs. Am I there yet? I want to say yes but can I put feet to it? I don't know.

If you or your young person has the opportunity to serve Christ through short-term missions prayerfully consider it and realize that the more we hold them back now the more dangerous our world becomes to those who do or will know and serve Him.

Standing challenged,


P.S. Please join in praying for the family of a long-time friend of our family, Maurice Andrea who passed away from cancer this past Saturday. May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with them and may they feel His loving arms holding them through difficult times.

Monday, June 19, 2006

As Brent, Deanna, Lauren and Whitney prepare for another day of intense preparation in Dallas I can't help but think about the changes occurring in their lives and the events that have led up to them. A year ago none of us would have forseen what was to transpire.

Last year we were gathered at Brent and Deanna's home at Highland Lakes Camp and my sister Lynae was there with her young children. One of the favorite pastimes was of course hiking and we would set off with as many of us as wanted to go - which of course included all of the children - and enjoy the beauty and adventure of the area. This always set the stage for watching BJ interact with the "little ones". As has been noted before, BJ didn't let age get in the way of who he would spend time with and he loved spending time with his young cousins - and they with him.

Together they would play in the puddles, check out the insects, frogs or anything else living -or dead- that came across our path. The world was full of wonder for each of them and BJ treated them as best friends, there was no sense of his feeling obligated to spend time with them because that wasn't how he saw it, it was opportunity to just "be" with family of any age. I remember many times looking back (since I was too busy in my adulthood to see all of the wonder that they did) and watching them interact, animation in their faces and limbs as they made new discoveries or just enjoyed the wonders of water, stones and mud. They found joy in the simplest of things and it was shared as if it was great treasure.

Thank you Father for these smile inducing memories, for family, for children. Thank you for loving us beyond ourselves, whatever the difference in our ages or levels of maturity. Thank you for bringing people into our lives who give us earthly examples of your heavenly nature. Thank you for sustaining us through trials and changes; thank you for caring for us even when we can't care much for ourselves. Help us to reach beyond ourselves to be light to a dark world. We love you Father and give you praise. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Saturday, June 17, 2006

One of the common interests I shared with BJ as I grew up was toy cars, they consumed much of my time as I played with them by the hour, day and week. I can't say if he would have developed that interest on his own or notbut the fact that I bought him scores of little cars didn't allow him the option of at least thinking about them as the collection took up more and more space.

On one gift-giving occasion BJ finally said to me "Uncle Brad, you sure enjoy giving me cars don't you?" It stopped me in my tracks mentally and made me stop and think each time thereafter when I was looking at the Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars hanging on the store rack. Was I looking for him or for myself? Was I buying him something that he wanted or something I wanted him to desire because I wanted that commonality with him?

In much the same way I have struggled at times with knowing or seperating the Lord's will from my own. Do I want to do something because it is what He wants of orfor me or because I want it to be His will for me? How much am I projecting my own desires (or fears) into what I "feel" he wants of me?

These aren't always easy questions to answer. It is important though that we do the best we can with the gifts we have been given, no matter how we serve Him. Our focus should be on the serving, not the accomplishment because it is He who does the work through us of we will only let Him.

Our family must thank Angela Ganote and Fox 59 for conducting and running the follow-up interview with Brent and Deanna and the sensitive way in which it was done. In this time when "good" news seems hard to find we all must be grateful for journalists who are willing to do stories that many do not see as politically correct - without editing out references to our Lord Jesus Christ. What a perfect example of using the gifts God has given.

Please be praying for Whitney as she has not been feeling well the past couple of weeks. In fact we need to be praying for the health and well-being of the entire team as they prepare for the trip to North Africa.

In Christ,


P.S. I will try to update you with information on the trip as I receive it. During this time of training the Brent and the team have very long, intense days in preparation and little opportunity to call. I can tell you that they are all tired but very excited about this opportunity and are looking forward to arriving in N. Africa.

Thank you Marti for giving the web information.

Friday, June 16, 2006

It is a bit overwhelming to be here at Awe Star University. The training week was incredible spiritually, but very taxing physically and emotionally. We are meeting more and more of his friends, and can see why he was so in love with them as family! We have only met the leadership, so far, and are significantly blessed!

Being here at ASU where several of the photos which have been on the website were taken, stirs some pretty deep feelings. We are excited to be here, but are a bit melancholy as we hear stories, and have the opportunity to interact with his friends. They are people who love Jesus in an incredible way. You almost have to be here with them to really understand their depth in Christ. I know BJ was "at home" here.

There are already times when I think I can hear his laugh, and it takes my breath away. I find myself looking for where the pictures were snapped. Stories are being volunteered by his former teammates about how God anointed there team here, and about his antics.

I praise God for his provision in allowing my family to take his place. Whitney will join us tomorrow, and we will be together as a family again... minus one. There is already so much to share, but the students are arriving so I must go love on them, and hopefully pour into them the love of our Savior.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

For those who can tune into FOX 59 in central Indiana, Friday night at 10PM, and again Monday morning, an interview with Deanna and I will air (unless pre-empted by breaking news). After the Monday morning airing, it will be posted on for others to view.

In a way, I sometimes fear I never really knew my nephew. I knew his interests, a few of his friends and shared time with him at family functions and occassionsaly one-on-one. I was able to see him pretty regularly and took scores of pictures at family times, birthdays and Christmas.

Rarely though did I just sit and talk with him about what was going on in his life, at least beyond perfunctory questions about school, orchestra or church. At times I was too busy taking those pictures of life happening around me to participate in it. Rarely did I go out of my way to watch him play soccer or baseball and I never saw him play with his band. I was too busy cruising through my own life issues and worries and in so doing failed to know the true depth of this young man I was blessed to have in my life.

When I did make time to let him into my life I saw and heard the depth that was there in snippets and paragraphs (usually paragraphs :) . I saw an open heart, honest and full of the love for his Lord, his family and his friends. I saw glimpses of a level of understanding beyond his years that maybe scared me a little - was he seeing beyond the mask or was I being convicted by my own guilt or doubts?

Those one-on-one times were often too much about me and not enough about him. We talked about his life but was I really listening and grasping what he shared? Too often I was hearing the words but part of my brain was focused on my own worries that in truth, were nowhere near as important as those wonderful moments with him.

There is never enough time to do or be everything we want. Neither does Christ want us to be wrapped in the guilt over what we didn't do in the past. But I challenge you today to never put anything but Christ before your relationships with the children that bless your life in whatever capacity - whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend.

Not only is there much for us to teach them, there is much for us to glean from those who carry the simplest of faith, the kind that our Saviour calls us to. Once we throw a pebble in the pool of their life we can't see their depth unless we sit still and watch it settle to the bottom. Remember to look beyond the entry ripples on the surface to find the clarity and wonder of what lies below.

In Christ,


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

There were times as BJ grew up that I would look at him and draw parallels to my own life. I can't explain why exactly except to add that as a single adult with no children of my own I often have found myself living vicariously through the lives of my nephews and nieces, much as I assume many parents do. My brother and sister's kids are all such special people and I would love to have any one of them as my own.

I couldn't help but compare my own childhood to BJ as he grew. As a boy, there was a special relationship with him - for one reason, he took a lot of pressure off of me to continue the family name when he came into this world! Anyway, I would identify with Beej as he grew, much of that identity no doubt based on his small stature through most of his years and my own to this day.

How alike I thought we were at times, at least my observation of him and perception of my own youth. We were both relatively shy and quiet (maybe less so at home), the third child in our family, etc. However, it soon became apparent to me that he was going to be much more socially inclined like his father Brent; less introverted than I had been. One of the things that drew BJ out of his shy nature was his love for the Lord and his burning desire at a very young age to share His love with others. He couldn't and wouldn't let anything get in his way with something so important.

That is the big difference between the me of my youth and my nephew, his faith became his reason for being and eventually transcended any of his shyness. He never lost the "faith of a child" even as he matured as a Christian to a point at 15 years old well beyond my own at 44.

While I hadn't lost my faith I had lost my passion, for sharing and even at times, knowing Christ. I had sunk back into the lethargy of complacency -- letting it ride until and unless some opportunity to share just fell into my lap but almost never seeking those opportunities out. Sometimes I might get riled up enough to defend my faith if I heard something absurd enough at a moment of motivation.

I played defense (occasionally) and rarely had an active offense. BJ relied less on the shield and more on the sword, but in a way that slashed sin but left the individual intact. He didn't white-wash the truth but shared it with love and an obvious desire to truly love others into the kingdom, and that kind of passion is hard to resist.

I'm struggling still with taking the offensive more often, even more so to not be offensive in the process of sharing truth. The whole experience of BJ's illness, his journals, hearing from friends and strangers, shook me out of that complacency in a shocking way. Managing not to slide back into it is a daily struggle. I'm so thankful that our Heavenly Father understands these struggles and helps us to overcome them if we truly seek his help, no matter how shy and introverted we might be.

May His strength sustain you today,


P.S. I don't have regular internet access right now so the timing of my posts may vary for a while - sorry!

Monday, June 12, 2006

It was late, Sunday evening hours stretching into Monday morning. Brent, Deanna and Whitney are exhausted with the strain of hope - hope building, waning and building again. Lauren has finally, though reluctantly, headed back to Indiana Wesleyan University to start the school year. (She came back a few hours later.)

I had only been back at the hospital an hour or so after Brent's call that BJ's vitals were wavering, so I decided to stay in with BJ while the others sought much needed rest. Whenever it was coming it was only fleeting as wavering numbers had been too much a part of the six weeks at the hospital.

Standing by his bedside, leaning into it and holding onto his hand, arm, or brushing back his hair; looking into his face and talking to him, praying for him, hoping for him. Believing in my heart that the Lord was with him no matter what - he would come through this, after all, it seemed such an awesome ministry had been laid out for him to persue. A young man who was fully committed to serving him and truly open to his call - wherever it would take him. He was bold in his faith but humble of spirit (well, most of the time - he was a teenager).

Looking into his face I tried to recall our times together, our conversations, hikes and wrestling matches. I still found it hard to see this physically changed body as my nephew, still swollen and bruised from his battle with sickness. I walked around the bed and did the same thing from the other side, trying to stay clear so that the nurses could go about their work as they did so efficiently and lovingly. I closed my eyes.

I opened them again with just enough of a start to realize that I hadn't just blinked as I thought I had. The doctor was standing opposite me looking concerned and resigned. He was asking the nurse if the parents were here or if they had been called. NO! This can't be happening now - this weekend had brought trials but renewed hope through dire circumstances that he was going to live. But it had come down to "a matter of time".

As Brent, Deanna, Lauren, and Whitney slip in and go to his side I slip out and make three quick, hard phone calls on my cell phone - "we are losing him - now." During the last of these calls I hear weeping beyond my own and I feel the weight of it, I know.

Times like these bring such conviction, sorrow, even guilt, questions that can't be formed into words. Even as we see how the Lord uses this precious life - loss - there are still unresolved questions, feelings and pain. Through it all there is hope in the Lord, our King of Kings; knowing and trusting that His will is perfect, even when beyond our understanding, this is the only hope some days that can keep us going.

Thank you Lord Jesus for the hope that you give us, the grace you extend and for the promise of life eternal. Thank you for the knowledge that BJ and your other faithful servants who have gone home, are beyond suffering. Thank you for the knowledge that his story is part of yours.


P.S. Thank you to the blog family that has been praying for me through my surgery and went very well and I am getting stronger.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Activity here in the office is bustling. Staff and volunteers are bumping about making preparations.

Every sense the Lord blessed me with is standing on a razor's edge. The slightest brush from most any stimuli brings about a potential overreaction.

I cannot wait to get there in one moment, and the next I wonder, "How did it come to this?"

This began decades ago when my father landed on the same shores we will walk. The leading continued through God's unusual call to my son. A call he could not wait to answer. He was so excited that it was all he could talk about. Most of the things I have felt that way about in life have had no eternal implications whatsoever!

I still remember his words to me as he tried to encourage me not to let the safety issues be the prevalent thoughts in my head. He was ready to face whatever was ahead of him... even death.
He considered it gain to be able to serve in such a way.

I do not expect nor fear this kind of end. God's plan for our team is unique. I would love to pontificate about our future forays, but I have no such knowledge. God apportions to us what we need as we come into the circumstances that will require such information, through the power of His Holy Spirit.

That does not mean we sit around doing nothing. It just means that our plan is to be fluid, to flow in each direction He leads, and turn when the doors are closed, just as the Apostle Paul did.

We are going because God called us there. He will provide the wisdom I need to lead this team. I know I do not have within me what is required to do this on my own. His grace and strength are sufficient for all our needs.

There are 19 total on our team to North Africa, 11 women and 8 men. Two of our team were on BJ's last Peru team. Several others knew him. Upon arrival, the first or second day in country we will hike up a mountain overlooking a city, and have a time of Praise and Worship, and remember him. We will share him with this place, and a part of him will abide within the country, Lord willing.

Here is a schedule for our team:

June 12 to 15 Leadership Training in Tulsa
June 16 head to Dallas, more leadership training
June 17 Awe Star missionaries arrive
June 18-20 Training (Awe Star University or ASU)
June 21 Depart for North Africa
June 22 Arrive in North Africa
June 23 - July17 ministry
July 18 Leave North Africa
July 19 Arrive in Dallas
July 19-20 debrief
July 21 Students return home/Panama 10 Day students arrive for training
July 22 training
July 23 Panama 10 day team departs country
July 23 Higgins return to Tulsa

I beg you to pray as never before for this trip. Your intercession is what will enable us to minister in this "closed country." Pray for "thirsty" minds of the people, that they will ask many many questions! Pray for clarity in seeing ministry opportunities. Pray for safety in travel, in border crossings, that certain eyes will only see what the Lord wants them to see. Pray for Unity on the team, and in the body of Christ! Pray that we are able to focus on Christ and help our students do the same... that we will remember BJ and honor him, but not let the trip be about him. Pray for the teams to Chile, Peru, Panama and Hungary.

Body of Christ, we have so appreciated you as our own family. You have lifted us through our journey past. We are humbled at your promises to pray for our journey ahead. And as I try to remind myself daily, remember to pray for us to remain in each moment that the Lord gives us, and to be present in that place, that He might minister through us.

May God richly bless each of you!


My brother Brad is going to update the site in our absence (and perhaps other family).

To keep up with our trips directly, go to and click on "trip updates" on the left side of the screen. From here you can click on "photos" or "view trip updates" and then click on the trip you want to view.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

What's in a name? What does it represent? Is it okay to use a name that you don't like, because it reflects an accurate image of who someone is? What causes us to choose the names we choose?

When each of our children were born, we had male and female names at the ready. We had pored through the "Name" books just to be sure we did not leave anything out of consideration. My wife will tell you that I named each of the children. We danced together over name issues, each vetoing names of old boyfriends/girlfriends or other names we did not like because they implicated bad memories for one or the other of us. I seem to have had the lion's share of "bad memories."

Not long after "BJ" was born, he had the starring role in our Christmas program at church. He played "B"aby "J"esus. We thought that was true affirmation of the name we had selected.

Throughout scripture we see names given to newborns to reflect the circumstances at birth. We also see names changed to more accurately reflect who the individual had become... Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter, and on and on.

I wish we carried this tradition today. So did BJ.

In many of his writings, when he was particularly passionate or moved, he would sign the script with a name he adopted as the Lord produced changes in him through his faithfulness. The name did not change every time, but there were times he would add a new name to the ones he had adopted.

He did not do this because he disliked his own name. Oh he went through that period when he was young. I think we've shared that. He went from "BJ" to "Brent" and back to "BJ." He was quite firm with his declarations in those moments.

He did this because the Lord had significantly shaped his heart, and he knew a changed name through a life changing experience was Biblical.

Last night Deanna, Lauren and I went to a Pastor's dinner at the church we've been attending. He shared his testimony with the group. It was very compelling, and God is using him in powerful ways. In sharing his story, he relayed the impact his youth pastor had had in his life.
His youth pastor's name was BJ.

Our thoughts routinely run toward the memories of our son. How we wish we could see him mature, graduate, marry, and lead. These are all things we know will never come to pass. But as Deanna has begun to say, "Sometimes I am just going to say it out loud... I miss BJ!"

It is only natural for us to think of him often. It is only natural for us to ache, and to yearn for what we cannot have. The very mention of his name will always evoke such an explosion of thoughts in our minds. Some will be funny, some hard, and some emotional. All will be treasured.

At the end of the pastor's dinner, we were to write down our childrens names on a document to be used by the church. I felt a little like I had been punched in the gut. I wrote Lauren's name and birthdate and where she is in school. I did the same thing for Whitney. Then I stopped, and put my pen down. I did not know what to do. Should I write his name or not?

I suddenly felt as if I had been transferred back to junior high. I wasn't sure what the right answer was. Should I look at my neighbor's (Deanna's) paper or not? I decided. I glanced over... she had added his name. She had written "deceased" in the blank for his grade. That was the right thing to do! I copied her paper (I don't think I'll get in trouble for cheating).

He is our son. His name is BJ. He did not graduate. He did not get to marry. But he is a leader, and I praise Jesus for him!


I believe a family member (who has blogged frequently) may continue to write for us while we are unavailable. Please check back, they have many stories to share.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Working for the mission organization that BJ spent the last two summers with has been such a blessing over the last 6 weeks. I am learning a great deal, and have had the opportunity to meet some pretty incredible people.

Deanna and Lauren have spent the last two days with me at the office helping to prepare for the summer mission trips we will be leaving on very shortly. What a joy it is to have them this close, and to be in a position where their help is valued, and the staff embrace them as assets. The staff at Awe Star have become part of our family.

That actually started back in August of last year. The unbelievable ways the Lord bound us together during BJ's journey have only strengthened since that time. Thank you Lord Jesus for your incredible provision. We are moved at how you have gone to work in our lives.

It began with a phone call to alert Awe Star that BJ was being hospitalized for an unknown illness. We were concerned, and wanted to find out whether or not any of his teammates had come down with anything similar. Fortunately, that was not the case, all of his team were healthy.

However, this began a cascade of contact. Not overwhelming, but out of concern. We began to hear from those in the office at Awe Star, and from his Peru team. Walker Moore began to contact me each morning prior to prayer meetings that were already scheduled to inform others how to pray. It was such a comfort to us in those weeks to hear from not only Walker, but David, BJ's leader for the past two years, and board members of this organization just to pray with us.

We soon became overwhelmed at our circumstances, yet the support we were receiving from friends and family in our city and across the US, and the world brought such comfort. Our Savior knew what we needed, and he knew what implements to use to accomplish His purposes. We began to hear from Awe Star missionaries and families on a regular basis. We looked forward to their contacts as BJ had asked me to be sure they knew what was happening so they could be praying.

They did pray, and they are praying. We have been so moved at the outpouring of God's love we have received through this family as well as the blog family. Often, they are one and the same. Just as Christ had been praying for the unity of believers in John 17 (the last passage BJ spent crucial time in) we began to see a Unity that we knew was coming from brothers and sisters in Him.

We were blessed with missionaries who traveled from Peru, Ecuador, many states in the US and other places, to be present at BJ's funeral celebration. This would not happen under normal circumstances. This was a time breathed by the Holy Spirit. His children were responding to His voice. They were moving in obedience to where He was leading. We found ourselves the beneficiaries of an unbelievable outpouring of His love. We Praise His Name for this.

Now, months later, His design was for us to unite with the very organization that Beej so loved, and learned from. Now it is our turn. We also love, and are learning a great deal. We are anxious to get to our destination, and confident of His calling to that place. Our time here is very short. We begin leadership training next week. It is intensive and long and we will not likely be updating much beyond this Friday, until after our trip to Africa is complete.

We have a team in Guadalajara, Mexico right now. When we leave for Africa, we also have teams departing for Chile, Peru, Panama, and Hungary. I know many of you will be in prayer, and we are very thankful for this. Just know that as you lift us up, we are asking the Father to give you opportunities in your area of influence, to share Jesus!

Be encouraged, and blessed today, for our King is on the Throne!!!


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

In the mountains on the border of Swaziland and South Africa sits a little village full of lemon trees, guava trees, avocado trees, berry bushes, and brightly colored houses. This once-abandoned village is now home to nearly 30 orphaned children. The stories of where most of these children came from are graphic and terrible. Evil. A group of five year olds gang-raped a three year old in one of the squatter camps where some of the children are from. They are babies born from rapes, children born of prostitutes as young as 11-12. They are from abusive homes. They have been beaten, abandoned, and tortured. The places these children spent their first days, their first years, showed them the desperate evil in our world.

But to see their faces now! Their smiles and their joy! These are not the faces of children bound by the terrible, oppressive chains of sinister evil running rampant in their everyday lives. These are faces of children loved by the LORD. Children in whom He has worked profoundly and miraculously to save from the depths of despair and bring to a true place of LIGHT!!! They are healthy. They are learning. They are polite and respectful and full of the enjoyment of life. Jesus's power of healing and restoration is evident in a mighty way in the lives of these children.

Layla is 10. Her Swazi name is "Tuppsile," but she told me she likes "Layla" better. She is shorter than her 8 year old sisters. Covering her skin are what look like lots of small bubbles. I don't know what they were or how they were cause, but Layla simply described them as "hurts." Layla and I bonded.

After having the privilege of hearing Robyn, the incredible woman who began Abandoned Babies for Christ, or ABC Ministries, speak to us about how God gave her this vision and then helped her to accomplish it and make a tremendous difference in over 300 children's lives, my team went outside to explore and play with the 26 children now living in the two neighboring ABC houses. As soon as I saw Layla and said hi to her, she gave me a huge smile and grabbed my hand, immediately inviting me to hang out with her. Many of the children and my team were headed to see the horses, but Layla insisted that we go ask her mom for permission. Robyn said it was okay as long as we didn't walk too fast. See, Layla has a heart condition. She stated this to me very matter-of-factly several times.

On our journey to see the horses, we were distracted. First, by a pretty flower that Layla saw. She picked it for me, then held it for me when she saw that I couldn't hold her hand, her sister Kitsile's, and carry the flower at the same time. We had scarcely passed the flower when we discovered fallen avocados which we had to examine. Together we determined that we would leave the avos to gather on our way back home. Our next distraction came when Layla saw a guava tree. She very excitedly hurried to find a yellow one, which she ate. She promised to pick me one on the way back.

Once at the stable, Layla discovered a berry bush that was much more interesting to her than the horses. I think she only went to the stable to humor me. At the point we got there, some of her brothers and sisters were already heading up the mountain to the waterfall, so we soon joined them. On our way up, Layla got tired, so my teammate Matt carried her on his back. Then she wanted down. Then she decided she wanted to ride on his shoulders. No, his back. Shoulders. Back. Shoulders. Yeah, shoulders. She got on and promptly wanted off. Eventually we made it up the mountain to the incredible view of the Swazi and South African mountains. Layla played with her friends, her siblings. She came to hug and hang on me for a little bit, then went back to play with her friends.

On our way back home, Layla told me all about their guava, lemon, and avo trees. She explained making guava jam, and the best way to eat an avo: "It may be soft on the outside, then it is ripe. You open it, put it on bread, add salt, and it is nice."

I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She didn't know. I asked her what she wanted to do. "I want to cook for a lot of people that doesn't have food. I want to help them."

Oh yes, the redemptive power of Christ is at work in this young, smart, amazing little girl.

She totally charmed me with her simple understanding of life's joys and hardships. When we left, she and her friends had set off to pick more guavas. I wish I could have accepted her invitation to join them...


Monday, June 05, 2006

I must confess that as I have prayed and contemplated Laura and Whitney's plight from Taylor University and that of their families, and the others who were in the van with them, my heart is broken. Clearly, they are the topic of conversations around world.

Many are discussing the details of their tragedy. Many are moved in inexpressible ways trying to comprehend how this occurred, and all the ramifications that each family are having to endure. Everything from insurance nightmares, to mourning losses, to the incredible joy in the realization (Whitney's family) that a child thought lost and buried was in fact, alive and fighting for survival.

Laura's family who have been so faithful in pointing others to Christ amid their unique circumstance have continued to do so, though they now find their situation has changed in an excrutiating way. They have ministered to so many around the world who do not know them, but see Christ as the Comforter in their storm! Their relationship with Him is alive, and vibrant! He is their peace, their balm, the mender of their rended hearts!!!

The time we would spend discussing their unbelievable journey will be better served praying for their families, Whitney's recovery, and the millions who are hearing about the love of Jesus because of the faithfulness of these same families!

I am guilty of overthinking their story, and discussing how I might have responded. Every parent rues the thought of this horrific situation, and we openly contemplate our own reactions, and how we might have known our own child, were it ours in their place.

None of us are truly prepared for tragedy when it overwhelms. None of us can imagine how we would truly handle the phone calls these families surely received in the moments after the accident.

Each of us needs take time with our families to notice details we may have missed before. Each of us needs to focus our attention and energy on our relationship with Christ, that if we were found suddenly in the highlight real of unsolicited attention, we would be found faithful (as they have been) and not bitter.

Bitterness comes easily. Faithfulness is a full time job. It requires daily dying to self. One does not handle extreme publicity in the face of tragedy with the panache and grace these families have unless they have first learned to deny themselves in the mundane experiences of life.

These were brothers and sisters in Christ, who were not expecting to see Jesus on the day they finally saw Him in all of His glory, yet they are home, celebrating that same Presence. They would not return to us for anything. The sum of life is not found in how long you live, the "toys" you amass, or what goals you have set and attained, but in glorifying Christ and Him alone!

"Well done thou good and faithful servant(s)!"

Praise God for the spared voice of Whitney. We have much to hear and learn from her! Let's unite in lifting her up in prayer!

brent (dad)

(This story is close to my heart as the father of two girls of similar age... Lauren and Whitney.)

Deanna and Lauren arrived safely on Saturday, and we are enjoying a blessed reunion!

Thanks again Roger and family, once again the Inca Kola arrived late last week! WooHoo!

Friday, June 02, 2006

The hospital was the hardest place to go. We went to the children's ward to a government hospital located in Mbabane, the capital of Swaziland. I knew it would be nothing like the hospital where BJ spent the end of his life, but I was still nervous. It was my second time in a hospital since he died, and my first in the children's ward.

The first thought that struck me as we walked the dirty hallways weaving in and out of doors, and then through the children's wing, was that BJ had everything in the medical world -- up-to-date technology, current knowledge, cutting-edge procedures -- and still he died. In this filthy African hospital, where children came to be healed, it seemed much more likely to me that they would meet death instead.

The battle for life and death in this place was almost tangible.

There were four rooms in the ward. In the first, filled with nearly a dozen premie babies wrapped in layers of blankets since they didn't have incubators, I just sobbed. As I watched through the glass into a separate section of the room, I saw a cockroach crawling around on one of the sheets. Mothers sat with their bundled babies. I went to pray with one mother and child, touching the incredibly soft head of hair poking out of the blankets, and simply had no words. I prayed silently while I cried, until I could muster up some feeble English words aloud. The mother looked at me with a gratefulness I did not deserve. Her baby was 7 months old. I do not know if he had AIDS. I do not know if he was expected to live.

The second and third rooms also held almost a dozen children each. Many were gaunt. One little girl was so expressionless, I rubbed her back for about 10 minutes. I could feel her spinal cord, and her ribs through her shirt. Even the sticker I gave her hardly phased her. The stickers, however, did seem to be our ticket in with many of the other children. In spite of their conditions, or where they were, they rewarded us with huge smiles upon seeing sparkly stars and brightly colored animals placed on their hands, foreheads, and noses. One of the guys on our team played a game with one of the boys throughout our time there. This boy kept following us around, and eventually, his shoes were covered with stickers. The stickers became an outward symbol for us of the Holy Spirit. We couldn't stay for more than a few hours with these chilren. But we prayed His Presence over them, knowing He would linger much longer than time allowed us.

The fourth room was filled with both babies and small children. Some were sleeping in cribs, others were eating at a long table in the center of the room, others were walking around. This room was really no bigger than the others, but was even more populated. This was the room for children with disabilities. One young child had seizures in his sleep, which we witnessed. He also had some kind of tumor on his head. Three babies slept side-by-side in a crib. One kid moved around in a wheelchair. A little girl at the table remained a bit cranky and aloof throughout us being there, but did seem to enjoy playing with her three stickers. Another sweetheart walked around, happy to acquire stickers, go hide them somewhere, and then come back for more. There were not nearly as many parents or attendants in this room. A few of the medical staff were clustered in the corner, seemingly on break, but these kids did not have the adult support with them that those in the other rooms had.

All we could do was pray. For as long as we were at this hospital, we prayed. Over children, their mothers, their health, the filthy conditions of the hospital. But most of the time, when I looked up and around, I saw more than half of my teammates bent over a bed, heads bowed. It was all we had to offer.

Undombi had more. She was the woman who took us through the wing, the pastor of a local, thriving church. She spoke their language, and she shared with them in powerful ways. In each room we entered, she told the children and their parents a Bible story, preached, and prayed over them. She does it every week. Some of these children are dying. Some of them will live. But every week, Undombi visits the children and brings them a message of hope. The LORD has moved her to fight for LIFE in this place where Satan would spread death, and she is fighting in the LORD's strength.

Oh, that we would be moved to really see the peril and tragedy in our world! Sick and dying children in Africa -- they need so much prayer. But even in our own country... Satan's tools are different, but his object is the same. He is using materialism and apathy to kill us slowly. To steal our joy, to destroy our spirits. When will we open our eyes and fight for life for our brothers with a passion like Undombi for these children? Oh, that we would even be moved to pray...

The enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy. But I have come that you may have LIFE... John 10:10


Thursday, June 01, 2006

There is a situation that occurred while BJ was in the hospital that I have not shared, as I did not want to denigrate my siblings in Christ. I feared reflecting an attitude that was contrary to my Savior's. However, I find this story keeps surfacing, so I am going to share it. Please hear my heart, though. I am sharing it now to open our eyes that we might not repeat any such folly.

We had been at the hospital for a few weeks, when some friends who are in a gospel quartet were going to participate in a national event, and requested permission to share BJ's story. They encountered a man who had a national television show for their style of music. They were carrying flyers about BJ's plight and asked him for any assistance he could give in soliciting others to pray for Beej.

The connection with this man seemed to take off. Plans were made for him to interview me along with one of the pastor's from our old church (who knew BJ well).

Deanna and I were living at the hospital. Home was an hour away, and there was nothing there for us at that time. We had a few items of clothing, and we wore them repetitively. The temperature fluctuates little in the hospital, we did not go anywhere, so what we had to wear was it.

The pastor arrived to escort me to the station for the interview. We were dressed similarly. Shorts, polo/casual shirt, and sandals. We went to the reception area to check in. Our party was contacted and came to greet us.

Upon his arrival, he seemed confused and concerned. He was at a loss for words, and seemed to stammer. I could not figure out what was wrong. He escorted us into the studio where we were to be interviewed. His confusion level seemed to grow. So did his frustration.

Finally, he said, "I just can't go on like this."

Now I was bewildered. Then I caught a glance of him looking me up and down, followed by "my audience just won't understand." Next he said, "I thought a pastor from your church was coming."

My friend replied, "I am one of the pastors."

He said, "I just can't go on like this, maybe you could write out your story, and we can get it on the air."

I confess, it took me several moments to process what had just happened. As I sat down to write out BJ's story, it finally sunk in that we were being rejected because we did not have on a coat and tie. We did not look good enough to go on the air!

Now I was fighting for composure. I tried to focus my energy into putting his story onto paper. I struggled to do so. I could not believe what had just happened.

In those moments I became very selfish minded. My son lay dying in the hospital because he had been faithful to God's call. He was literally suffering for the cause of Christ, and I had not left his side in a long time as my place was with him. I had made a decision to leave and do this interview thinking it would point to Christ, and increase the prayer cover Beej would receive.

Upon arrival, I was rejected because I was not dressed up enough... it wasn't even Sunday! I said to my pastor friend, "Now I know what Jesus meant when He spoke to the Pharisees' about their skewed desire to appear in flowing robes and be seated in places of honor!"

He was embarrassed and apologetic though it had not been his fault. He was livid over the situation.

I returned to the hospital to find that I had missed what would turn out to be Beej's last "awake" moment. He had opened his eyes, and communicated with Deanna. He would never do this again.

By God's grace and strength, I was able to keep my emotions and frustrations in check. I knew what impact this might have on Deanna's fragile state, so I did not tell her what happened until months later.

Even then, the disbelief boiled over into anger, and we processed it together.

When what we look like in desperate times is more of an issue than the issue itself, something is grossly wrong with our priorities.

I am not a television personality, and I do not have an audience therin, to try and please... save Christ Himself. I do not have to worry about ratings for my livelihood, so perhaps my view is from the cheap seats.

Regardless, having the attitude of Christ in this situation, it seems to me, would have dictated dispensing with formality, and embracing the broken.

Perhaps this is why I walked this path. Maybe I needed to learn to minister from this place, and not the other.

At any rate, I am not bitter, I just want to be mindful that I never impose this kind of incongruity onto another. When that person who has little, comes into my church, or even into my path, I need to reach out, not look down. They do not need me to condescend, they need me to embrace.


Brad is recovering well. He is not without pain, but is healing. Thank you for praying.

Thank you Allen family for the Inca Kola!!! It arrived yesterday, in great shape!!!