Sunday, July 16, 2006

It was a blessing today to be able to worship with (relatively) new friends at First Baptist Church in Mooresville - Brent & Deanna's church before their move to Oklahoma. My cousin Lyn and I visited today and were able to see and speak with a number of the "angels" and friends that the Lord sent in to the Higgins family's lives.

Today they were celebrating the return of 17 of their number, primarily youth, who had been in Toronto serving the Lord by reaching out to those in need. In watching the slides and videos that Pastor Larry shared, I couldn't help but notice the "Pray for BJ" tees a couple of the boys were wearing any more than I could ignore the fire in the hearts of those who went that took them to Canada in the first place. I'm moved every time I see one of these, especially on young people.

I know that there are many others out there who have loved ones just back or returning shortly from similar experiences - Cousin Beth and Marti Pieper among them. What a powerful impact and testimony these young Christians can have and what an example to us "oldsters". Special blessings for those who shepherd these young people on these trips should be a part of our prayers tonight.

Pastor Larry reviewed what he had learned from the teens on this trip, and one of the supporting scriptures he shared was Philipians 2:3-4 which talks about selflessness. I would like to share verses 1-4 because they speak also to the unity that was so much on BJ's heart on his ride to the hospital last August:

"If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care -- then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other , be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand." -from The Message

As we enter a new week let's pray for the Lord to call up more and more of his soldiers to share his word in loving, showing, non-violent ways to a world that is lost, often full of hurt and hate. Pray too for the safety of the Amy's parents (of "Amy andNate", faithful bloggers) who live in Beirut, Lebanon and are trapped by the fighting that has been unleashed there. I can't begin to understand the anguish and concern that are overwhelming she and her family right now. Pray for the final days of travel and sharing for the NA team, and all the others who are out there serving on the front lines.

Have a blessed evening and day tomorrow,



At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amy and Nate, I will keep you in my prayers.

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amy & Nate...adding you to our requests. May God give you peace and opportunities during this difficult time.


At 3:19 PM, Blogger natenamy said...

Thank you so much for being willing to keep my family in your prayers. Both Nate and I and my family covet your prayers at this point and are SO very thankful for a loving Father who provides for our needs all the time, even in desperation.
I was able to speak to my mom and dad yesterday after trying to get through all weekend and during our 20 minute conversation I heard three bombs fall! They are as safe as they can be at this point, and the area of Beirut that their house is in is not in the targeted zone. I will give you more information as I get it, but right now all I know is that my mom, sister, and brother will be leaving Lebanon to come and stay with Nate and I as soon as they are able to leave. My dad will have to stay behind and care for my Teta (grandma) who is unable to travel.
Nate is still in a significant amount of pain, we go back to the neurosurgeon for another consultaion on Friday.
The stressors in our lives are great right now, but the Lord is the same today as He was yesterday, and will be the same FOREVER! The blessings abound.
Brent, Deanna, Lauren, and Whit-- We are praying for you as you travel home.

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Blog Family,

Just returned from visiting my parents in northern Wisconsin for a few days, just me and my 2 boys. It was a nice visit.

Nate and Amy, know that you will be added to my prayers tonight and your family as they prepare to come here and for your dad and grandma back there. May God's protection surround them and all the innocent in the Middle East during this timultuous time.

Brad, thanks for a wonderful post and a good reminder that we do choose how we respond during difficult situations.

Blessings on you all.

At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brad, thank you SO MUCH for reminding us that our response to a situation, not the situation itself, is what matters, and that God is there to help us respond correctly. Also, thank you for "rehashing what some of us already knew" in your previous blog. We can't be reminded too often how important it is to receive people for what they can share, not according to how they might appear outwardly, especially during a time of intense grief. And your analogy to the seashells that have been washed ashore reminds me of God's unending ways of teaching us life's lessons through even His seemingly smallest creations. Thank you for allowing Him to use you to bring that analogy to us. Oh, how I needed the encouragement of your blogs today!


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