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,



At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't beat yourself up because you perceive that you could or should have been more directly involved with BJ. I'm sure the family is very grateful for all of the pictures you have taken.
There are very few people who ever say "gosh, I look back and did everything the exact way I wanted to. I have no regrets." It just doesn't happen.
I'm confident that BJ thoroughly enjoyed his relationship with you and from reading the blogs from Day One, I know that Brent & Dianna are very grateful that you were behind the camera catching the essence of BJ.

At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you for your gut level honesty. It has made me really think about relationships I have with my nieces and nephews. You have touched my heart.

Toodie Schaper

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the trip? What reports are you hearing??

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great challenge, Brad! I appreciate reading from your perspective.

Anne B./Marion

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

(for Anonymous and anyone else who wonders): the Higgins'/Awe Star trips have not started yet. They are in Tulsa for training with the team of leaders who will take Awe Star teams to the nations beginning next Wednesday. "Awe Star University," the discipleship and training time for all the student missionaries, begins this weekend.

Sometime around the 22nd or later, you will be able to check this summer's trip updates at as Brent explained in his most recent blog. (As an Awe Star mom, I'll SO be there!) If you'd like to read about the Guadalajara trip a recent blogger mentioned, go to the site, click "Trip Updates" and then "Warren Baptist Guadalajara." Over 400 people came to know Jesus through this week of missions ministry, and the updates share some amazing reports.

Brad: I never had an uncle that I knew. If I had, I would have been ever so grateful had he been even half as sensitive and caring and Christ-loving as the two "BJ uncles" I have met . . you and Dan!

We ALL need to ask Jesus to help us wake up in our relationships--to refocus--to stay alert and watch for divine encounters. Let's continue praying for one another in that regard, even as we pray for Brad's brother and family, heading to Dallas and more training tomorrow!

gratefully in Him,


At 10:47 AM, Blogger LisaTeegarden said...

Brad, This is an issue that I have felt deeply. I have many regrets. I could really get down over this. But I just Pray that I don't take family for granted. I know we all have times of this. GOD is SO GOOD. Praying for the TRAINING TIMES this and next week. LOVE Lisa

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh - I'm so glad to know about the Fox59 special! Thanks for letting us know!
Deanna, I miss you!

At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks brad--

Its so true isn't it? thank you for that reminder.

~kristin (In Kansas City, in case you didn't know =))

At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you - I knew that they were still in training but just wanted to know if we were going to get any updates regarding that. Perhaps since there is nothing to share now....

At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz . . . itsn't it amazing that God loves us from a . . . z!!! Just think of all the things that lie in between those tiny letters . . . every one of your children's names, everything about us!! And HE cares!!
He cares about the "Uncles", He cares about the "Awestar University", He listens to our "Prayers" - even the "Pink" ones. He truly cares!! Thank Him For That Today!!!
Blessings from Down Under!!
Kay and Jack (Brisbane)


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