Thursday, November 30, 2006

There is ice and snow in Tulsa! Welcome to the Christmas season.

Brent and Deanna - and the city of Tulsa for that matter, are "locked down" for an incoming winter storm so everything is closed up today; as a result Brent will not have access to his computer to share as he normally does. Wind chills this morning are 11 degrees (ironically, it was 65 in Indianapolis this morning) and there is a dusting of snow but they are expecting 8-12 inches of snow today. Hopefully this won't delay the closing on the house but it won't be easy to move in all of that snow.

Deanna wants you all to know how much she appreciated the messages of encouragement and birthday wishes yesterday -- it really brightened her day and made it special.

I had a long, annual phone conversation with an acquaintance of mine last night, his name is Tam. Tam has led a very unusual life which, as we joke every year, would make for a very interesting read if it were ever published. Each year there is more drama in a very real sense of the word. Suffice it to say Tam was wondering aloud why God is keeping him alive through all of this drama - he has been near death on several occassions due to various health issues (and physical threats of the human variety). Tam is a big man with a gruff exterior that hides a big, tender heart.

This friend has led a "colorful" life, one that most of us do not - nor in many cases would we want to - share the experiences and life that he has. He does however, profess a belief in God and at least some type of personal relationship. It is obvious that there are things in his life that could be different, maybe should be different, but as so many people do he feels he is "just being who God made me." For the first time in our annual visits he admitted that if he could go back and change his past he wouldn't hesitate to do so. He doesn't have many Christian friends because "they all want me to fit their mold" and because he doesn't, they tune him out (and therefor he has no place for them). He expressed his desire for them to just listen to him at times, to hear his heart.

I challenge each of us to think about the people we know who don't fit our mold of what a believer should be and then think and pray about how we react to and interact with them. Maybe they need to change things in their lives, their hearts, but maybe they really need us to just listen to them and encourage them. If we are willing to listen to them, then they are more willing to hear us when we share out of God's love. It is up to the Holy Spirit to change hearts but listening is one way we can act to water the planted seeds.

Happy Birthday to both Deanna and Brent and Brent, I hope you get your wish to both close and begin your move tomorrow.

With love,


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Last year at this time, we were near family. Though it was most difficult to celebrate in the same way, we did celebrate. This year, we are far from our loved ones, and a full schedule seems to be the fare to keep from thinking too much about it. She has Bible study or other committment each evening, and then Friday night and Saturday we are moving.

Today is Deanna's Birthday. She looks so young it makes me jealous! We were in a furniture store last week with our family. One of the people we encountered struck up a brief conversation with us. They indicated they thought that Deanna and Whitney were sisters. For some reason, when they found out that she was in fact her mother, they would not believe she was also my mother. I just don't understand it.

Anyway, we went out and celebrated her special day last night, as the rest of the week is too busy. This birthday will be different for her. She will not have her children nearby. Truly what consumes much of her thought time is setting up our new home. We close on Friday, and begin to move that same day. She finds it difficult to set up our home without creating space for him.

We received a picture we did not have, over e-mail yesterday. In it BJ is wearing a Santa cap and is Caroling with other students at Chik-fil-a. While it is very exciting to get such gifts, it does cause the longings to work overtime. We spent time discussing it at dinner.

As we have shared, BJ had a tendency to be dramatic. As we ate our dinner, Deanna once again thought about BJ's words prior to going on that last vacation. "Mom, do you want a vacation or do you want your son?"

We had never vacationed together as just family without including spending the time with relatives. This was to be a first.

Beej knew he was not feeling well, but his symptoms did not warrant the extreme words he chose to share. In retrospect, she is wondering if he knew what was coming. She is wishing, as any mother would, that there was more we could have done.

The reality is that even if we had not gone on vacation, there was nothing that would have changed. He was already on an antibiotic, his symptoms mirrored flu/pneumonia which our children had experienced before, so the most that could have changed would have been arriving at the hospital a day or so earlier.

From our understanding, this would not have changed the ultimate outcome.

It is overwhelming to me that what is on her heart on her birthday is that she could not do more to prevent what happened. That she is setting up a home without regard for his needs. The grieving does not end because this much time has passed. It continues to come in unexpected torrents. Please lift her up today, her birthday. I love her so.

She cannot read this website at her school (which is why she never writes) and we do not have the internet at home (until we get settled in to our own home) so she cannot read this. She is too busy this week to come to my office to read, so if you are so inclined to send her birthday wishes, you can reach her at

Have a blessed day!


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Last night Deanna and I had the privilege of seeing "The Nativity Story" in an advanced screening. I believe it releases this weekend. I do not pretend to be a movie critic. I like what I like, and don't often agree with "professional critics." I don't know what they are saying about this film. I can tell you that it is worth seeing.

As was true with the "Passion of the Christ," there is something stirring about seeing an actual depiction of what it might have been like when our Savior was born.

The write-ups, I am told, share that the movie was shot on location in Italy. Well, I can tell you that there are several parts that were filmed in North Africa. While we were there, we saw their vehicles with the film name plastered on the side of them. Many of the shots of the journey to Bethlehem for both Mary and Joseph and the Three Wise Men (or three comedians as they are portrayed) were places we saw this past summer.

Why does this matter? Because, just as each of our relationships with Jesus is very personal, so are our connections to Him. This movie had a profound impact on both Deanna and me. I do not expect others to understand the reasons, entirely.

BJ was born on October 1st. One of his first acts was to portray the One he would later die for. In his first Christmas, "BJ" played "B"aby "J"esus in our church drama. He was still and quiet while Deanna sang "Oh Lord, Your Beautiful." It was a memorable depiction.

Now, years later, after the journey we have experienced, seeing real faces and knowing it could have been like this...knowing that Mary and Joseph suffered for their obedience, and yet willingly fulfilled the roles they were asked to play in bringing the King of Kings into this world, is enormously meaningful to us.

It is meaningful because they had a choice, they could have done the culturally accepted things. Joseph could have pointed the finger at Mary and proclaimed he was not the father, and saved His own "face." Mary could have been stoned for being pregnant outside of wedlock. She could have stayed with Elizabeth, and no one would have been the wiser to her 'situation.' She held firm to what she knew was true. Joseph held true to what the Lord revealed to him. The result is that He was glorified.

We saw how the shepherds (keepers) responded. We saw the wisest of men of that day, come and honor the One who was born in the most humble fashion imaginable. We saw our King of Kings glorified! We saw His parents follow in the simple obedience they were called to, and it caused us to be so incredibly thankful for a son who would do likewise.

BJ could have followed the way of most teens today, and he would still be with us. I must tell you that this film made his sacrifice so personal to us in a way that is difficult to convey. This movie is not about our son. We know that. The tools the Lord uses to minister to the hearts of His children are often unexpected. Today, we are thankful that our son followed the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, in simple obedience.

I love my Savior today, in a way that I had not experienced before. Thank you Lord Jesus for your plan. Thank you for caring about me, personally! I love You!


Monday, November 27, 2006

I will freely admit, I do not enjoy talking on the phone. Yes, I have a cell phone. Yes, I use it to communicate with family, friends, and for business. However, it is not my favorite thing to do. I would rather be face to face any day. In lieu of the opportunity, however, I have learned that I must use my phone to stay in touch.

It isn't that I do not want to share with the party on the other end. It is that I am easily diverted, and sometimes agenda driven. Talking on the phone seems a distraction. It keeps me at times from accomplishing the 'task at hand.'

Sharing this, will likely bring about an element of sarcasm from those I speak with regularly via the cellular airwaves. Hear me, I do want to talk to you, I just am not very good at doing two things at once.

If I wait until I am ready to speak with someone on the tele, they will often wait much longer than they would desire to receive that call. This is primarily because talking on the phone is pretty low on my list of priorities.

In my work, I speak on the phone routinely. It is my primary means of being able to communicate with missionaries overseas, and students I work with. It is necessary. If I don't do it, important things don't get done. Important information does not get conveyed. Things fall apart.

Deanna and I have spent over 100 hours on the phone over the last months as we have been sharing our story in preparation for the 'BJ book.' I do not regret a single one of those phone calls. They were and are very necessary both in our healing, and in conveying a story that must be told.

A story that must be told, is often the issue. Everyone has a different idea of what that means. Some must share that they just found an incredible deal at the mall. Others must talk about that incredible buck they just shot. Still others want only to hear the voice on the other end, because miles separate them, and the 'story' is unimportant, but the conversation...the connection is what matters.

I want to talk to my wife everyday, whenever I can. Sometimes, I am not receptive when she calls, because I am otherwise involved at the moment. If I can, I set this aside, and talk. Why? Because she is my wife...the love of my life. I want to hear what is on her heart. I have to put away my childish attitude toward the phone, and listen...and sometimes talk. It is important that we communicate. If I am unwilling to share with her over the phone, it often sets the tone for how we 'get along,' later that evening. Can I just say, that is not a good thing.

Much in life is learning not to be selfish. Being willing to share whether I feel like it or not. Often those closest to me, already know how I feel, they just want to know why I feel that way.

When we were in Africa and needed to communicate back to the states, my phone was my lifeline. When I did not have signal, it was most frustrating. There were parents waiting back at home, wanting the information I had. It was important to get the message out.

When I was unable to reach anyone by phone, I had to find an alternative to be able to share.

Recently, a loved one of mine went through a most difficult time because another party, could not or would not communicate. The hardship this created was unbearable at times.

Our communication with our Savior is often like this. We are too busy, or otherwise occupied with our own agenda. Stopping to communicate is not our top priority. Our thoughts run along the vein that "He already knows what we are facing, time is short, why doesn't He just intervene?"

Communication with our God is a two way street.

If we were in love with someone, it would be most presumptuous to never call them if we expected that relationship to grow. How can your love increase without the gift of your phone or face to face?

We will never grow in our knowledge or intimacy with another or our Savior, if we do not commit time to communicate. It may not be what we want to do. It may not be when we want to do it. But, It must be done.

If we are not willing to commit the time, are we really in love? Too often, my own selfishness is revealed by my lack of desire to communicate.

We must speak to the one we love...we must speak to the One we love. If we cannot be face to face, then by phone... or on my face, so that the Other/other knows I care.

Please forgive me for my selfishness.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Well they made it. They left last evening from Indiana and drove through the night. Well, the girls slept, and Brad drove. I imagine my mother kept him awake on their 10 hour journey. Thankfully, they arrived around 2:45 AM.

It is wonderful to have them here. We have been looking forward to this for some time. The holidays from Thanksgiving to Christmas are my favorite time. I love how sentimental everything is. I love the decorations everywhere. The opportunity to get together with family and friends is a blessing that is unique.

My mother decorates like nobody else for the holidays. My house is usually rather anemic looking compared to hers. It's not that we don't try, we just aren't that good. I still love seeing the adornments around the city, and in specific homes of each person we visit.

It is my fervent prayer that each of you will have precious time with your loved ones this Thanksgiving. Make an effort to make the time memorable. We are never guaranteed tomorrow, and the moments you spend today will help carry you through difficult times.

We appreciate the prayer and encouragement from those of you who frequent this place. It is such an uncommon engagement. I wish so much that we could sit down face to face and share a cup of coffee our hearts. Your input over the last year or so has been very healing, and has encouraged us more than you know.

Times like that last two days when I could not get onto the site (some of you couldn't either) made me feel a bit out of sorts. The deposits you make in this place are a reflection of our Savior. The frustration tends to mount when technology does not do what it is supposed to, for no apparent reason. So Thank You, for your continued input. You are a blessing. I pray the Lord blesses each of you this Thanksgiving.

I want to update you on the book about BJ. We have received an offer from a publishing company. If things work out, the book will be released in the spring of 2008. I know that seems a very long way away, but I competely trust the Lord and His timing for how and when this book is released.

Also, for those who have been asking why MercyMe is not playing BJ's song during their concerts, I heard from Bart last week on this. "Die for You" was planned to be the second song released. They were practicing it for this concert tour, but the high part at the end was hurting his voice. They made a change and released "Hold Fast," instead. I still hope...

Have a blessed Holiday week!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In the event you are able to read this, technical difficulties are preventing the blog from working properly. I am trying to work this out, and apologize for whatever has happened.


Monday, November 20, 2006

I've talked about them before, and suppose with a longer period of time, my memory may fade. For now, I remember.

For weeks we lived 44 steps from him. Perhaps it is strange to count the steps you are taking. I know that during our journey we took that trip hundreds of times. Many times a day, we left our small cubicle bedroom and headed to see him.

Each trip was filled with anticipation. Each trip taught us more about what it meant to truly Prayer Walk. We found ourselves seeking hope in the eyes of the medical staff. Some of them have learned this over the course of their careers, and they to don their "poker face" while at work. Some of them, as they got to know us, let down their guard a bit.

Our journey had become their journey. We walked it hand in hand, each longing for the same outcome. Their hope was tempered by knowledge we did not have, education we did not get in the field of medicine.

We looked to them for cues on how things were going. We saw many families do likewise. That is a lot of pressure. I do not believe I could do that day after day. I would not know how to "leave it at the office." I simply know I continue to be most thankful for each of them.

Cumulatively, the hours we spent making that short jaunt were filled with wonder, with desire, even desperation. I can still see the hallways, the doors, the white lab coats, the scrubs of different colors, and the paraphanalia. I never saw so much medical stuff. All of it seemed to be stored for use in room 2001.

The shower just a handful of steps from our room also replays in my mind. That room echoed, but it was the one place I could let go of all pretense and emotion. I stood in the shower and tried to allow the water to wash away this plight. I poured out my heart to my Lord in that place. I entered knowing it would be alone time for just the two of us. Some days I wanted to lay on the cold tile floor and just let go, but knowing it would reverberate out into the hall kept me from it.

At least in the shower, the water would force the anguish toward the drain.

Hope was our constant companion. 44 steps were taken day after day, week after week, each time fruitful in their delivery. He always layed there waiting. At least we could touch him. Stroke his hair, and talk sofly in his ear while simultaneously watching the monitors for signs that the conversation was heard or stimulated him, somehow.

Perhaps the steps were counted out of boredom, or monotony. Perhaps they were counted so we would always remember to be thankful that we were afforded the privilege of staying so close by for so long. Perhaps they were counted simply to remind us, that the number never matters, but our faithfulness does.

Because of His strength, we were able to number those steps each time. Not that we always counted, but we were always aware of His abiding presence with us. We learned that no matter what was in the eyes or on the faces of those who were "in the know," the only eyes that really mattered were His. For they were always on us, and they provided for our every need.

At times the pain was too great, and the journey too long, or so we thought. At times the journey too difficult so that "we despaired even of life" (2 Cor. 1:8). He never left us. We were never forsaken. He abides even today.

Our steps were numbered that we might realize it is not about the number of steps, but about what we do with the steps we are afforded! Glory to the Living God!

BJ had at least 44 less steps than we did, yet look at the Glory our Father in Heaven has received!

Praise Him, Praise Him, all ye little children, God is Love, God is Love!


Friday, November 17, 2006

We have made a couple of recent trips to the storage facility where our things are being held. I have retrieved some of the many boxes of books that I have inherited. I've been unpacking them onto the bookshelves in my office. In doing so, I have run across a couple of journals that friends were writing in when BJ was in the hospital.

It is clear from their tones that there was a unified firm belief that he was going to make it. It is a strong reminder to me of just how we felt in those moments. We were just as sure that his survival was eminent.

Recently, at our iGo Conference, I was sharing BJ's story with a table of Baylor University students. Among them was an interest in serving in Peru this next summer, and they requested that I share about his journey.

I am most thankful for the many times the Lord has opened the door for this kind of opportunity. What made this time unique, was that as I shared, three or four of BJ's Peru teammates came and sat down and listened. I confess that I was nervous that as I shared. There is in me an abiding desire to be completely truthful in sharing his testimony. As his friends sat down and seemed to get lost in the story, I wondered if I was getting the details right.

I often think that as people hear his story they will feel like I am just a proud father who is taking an ordinary young man and sharing from an overdeveloped sense of what actually happened. That in a sense, I am making him sound larger than life, or more Christ-like than he actually was.

It is from this perspective my mind was focused as I concluded his story. The table fell silent for several moments, and then the unexpected happened (to me anyway). One by one, his teammates began to add their own testimonies in regards to who BJ was.

I was utterly humbled at what they had to say. One of them even began her sharing with something like, "When you hear BJ's story there is a tendency to think that there is no way he was like he is being represented..." She went on to convey that he actually was every bit that way. Story after story spilled out. It was hard not to be was hard not to weep.

As I was reading the words from one of BJ's friends written in the journal from his hospital stay, I was reminded of how those close to him, perceived him. His friend wrote:

"BJ, Hey bro you've been on my mind so much since all this...well no actually since we talked at Jumpstart. I've told people that in talking to you it was like BJ didn't even exist anymore and literally the only thing left is the Lord in you. There are so many people praying for you. My mom and I have been praying for you continually. Just know when you wake up the Lord is going to continue his incredible work in you. You are set apart from your friends and even your family. Never ever look to your right or left. Constantly fix your eyes on Jesus. Don't even look at what the Lord is doing. Just look at him. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. I love you bro and the Lord is absolutely in control."

His words are affirming to this dad. His words speak truth of who my son was. Thank you Wesley for taking the time to share your heart on those pages. You have blessed mine.

God Bless,


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Full of life and hungry for understanding of why things happen the way they do, Cladee (pronounced clay-dee), at four years old attended the funeral celebration of her cousin BJ. She had flown from California, a world away. She was moved by the presence of the Lord and how he was presenting His calling on her own life.

A little over a month later, she celebrated her 5th birthday. It was on this day that she released her balloons and asked her parents as she saw them rise, "Will they go to Heaven for BJ?"

Cladee's grasp on what is important in life is unusual. The Lord has placed within her a longing to see the needs of others met. This desire supercedes her own "wants." Of course they are still present, but that day back in September of 2005 had a powerful impact on her life. Cladee's mommy and daddy serve in ministry in their church, and have worked to prepare in the hearts of their 3 daughters, the desire to be like Jesus.

This desire has taken hold in young Cladee's life. Throughout the year or so since her cousin went to be with Jesus, she has reflected back on that day. The Lord has used it to motivate and inspire her to serve.

As her 6th Birthday neared, Cladee expressed what was on her heart. More than anything else, for her upcoming special day, she relayed to her mother what she would like to do. These are the words she requested be on her "Birthday invitation." It read:


do you want to care for others?
then come with me to Feed my Homeless friends to help me celebrate my 6th Birthday.

We will meet at the church... next Sunday the 5th
Here are my ideas...for a fun Birthday
Make cards to pass out to the Homeless
Eat some treats...spend some time with YOU!

Don't bring gifts for me...
please bring 3 (or more) sack lunches and goodies for the homeless.
(blankets, socks, warm hats, brushes, wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, chapstick, etc...)

All she wanted to do for her birthday was "Feed the Homeless." The words were her own.

She has visited downtown San Diego several times with her parents as they take teens to serve. Cladee developed a friendship with a 79 year old man who is in a wheel chair. She could not wait to see him again. He agreed to having a picture taken with her. She was elated.

Cladee's birthday saw 5 vanloads of people gather to minister to the Homeless. Children, teens and adults set aside a day when celebration would normally include cake, ice cream and many presents to fulfill the dream of a six year old who gets it.

Cladee at six, has grasped what it means to take care of the "least of these." She has learned to deny herself and take up her cross, and follow Him.

That day a little over a year ago, the Spirit of the Lord moved in a powerful way over those who attended Beej's last celebration.

Present, right down front, Cladee was one of the first to leap to her feet. She was the youngest to surrender to God's call on her life that day. She too, made a declaration to take BJ's place. She too understands what that committment means.

She is not waiting until she is old enough to "Go." She has already "Gone."

"and a child shall lead them..."


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

From the time he passed, family and friends have had dreams about BJ, and shared them with me. It is very personal when that occurs. I know we seldom have a clue about all of the details held in each dream, but the fact that they were experienced is very real to each person.

I know for Deanna and my girls, when they dreamed, they were very excited and anxious to share them. It was one of the few connections that we have, and it stirs us to share them with each other.

For months I have longed for my turn. I often wondered when it was going to come. What would it be like? Would it be upsetting, or endearing? Would it leave me wanting more, or would it satisfy the appetite I hold for wanting to see him?

Last night it happened.

I woke up as a result, and was awake most of the night replaying it in my mind, desperately wanting to remember each detail.

We were at a missions conference similar to iGo from a couple weekends ago. We were having a time of fellowship with our students when I looked over toward the stage, and I saw him! Everyone else was in full color, but he was in sepia tones...a bit surreal.

His presence was known by those in attendance, but his voice was indistinguishable. It could not be heard.

I mouthed the words "I love you," to him. He responded in kind.

As is often the case in such dreams, I tried to get to him. I moved hurriedly, but it was as if each part of my body was being restrained by molasses. Slow motion was the best I could accomplish. He saw me coming, and was aware of my attempt to reach him.

He stayed put as others milled about. They knew he was there, they were all talking about it, but all seemed to realize that this moment was not for them.

Finally I reached him, he stepped down from the platform, and I embraced him. My fear on the way to him was that I would not be able to feel him in my grasp. A victim of too many Hollywood productions in kind, I was convinced I would hug thin air.

I was wrong. I could feel the thickness of his presence as I hugged him hard. He did the same. I wanted it to last forever. I had no desire to let go. There were to be no words in our communication, only the lost embrace of a father and son who have been separated for far too long. Oh how I have missed him.

In the course of those moments I noticed something. When last he was among us, he was 5'4''. I am about 5'8''. In the time since his passing, he had grown. He was no longer my "little man." He had grown to be just a bit taller than me. I remarked as I looked at him, and then I awoke.

Over and over, I rewound the pictures in my head, and relived that hug. Oh how healing it was!

The Lord inspires in each of us the expectation of continued growth from time in His presence. This should never be a surprise, but often we are lulled into lethargy, and don't realize we have stopped growing. I am thankful for my dream this morning, but I am also appreciative of my Savior who allows me to dwell in His presence for the duration. For now, it is from afar, but one day, it will be face to face...and I will feel the thickness of His presence!


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

When you whisper, typically, you position your head perpendicular to the head of your listener. While this is less important than the words that you say, or the secret you hold, the message can be lost if you don't get the mechanics right.

When BJ was learning to do this, he understood everything except where to point your head. He would utter a soft string of words in the lowest of volumes, but they could not be discerned because his aim was askew. Perhaps I have shared this before, I really don't recall, but when he had something exciting or private he wanted to share, the whisper etiquette would kick in to motion.

He'd come up to you, look up into your face and motion you down with his index finger. Once you stooped to his height, or scouped him into your arms, he'd begin to share. The problem was he thought his ear needed to touch your ear to convey the precious truth. He would contort his little head so that his face was pointing the same direction yours was, touch his ear to yours and begin to speak. It was so comical that it was difficult not to laugh as you tried to correct his aim.

When a whisper has truth in it, it can be heard above the din of life if the listener has his attention focused properly.

The words spoken in a whisper are full of anticipation and expectation. Otherwise, one would not be compelled to share them. If you are with a group of friends and you see two people lean in and share softly... immediately, you wonder what they are sharing. The approval addicts in the room will all think they are being talked about. Others will make a play toward the whisperer to try and be drawn into their confidence in hopes that the secret will be shared with them.

When my children were younger, well actually, I don't think it has changed, but when Deanna and I had something we did not want the kids to hear, we would lower our voices to a whisper. Do you know that inevitably, the whisper would be heard by the children when two minutes ago they could not hear my voice as I hollered instructions to them?

What is said in a whisper will be heard more clearly than what is shouted from the rooftops.

Someone I care a great deal about recently heard the final whispers of a friend they had been ministering to. You see, that friend decided to take their own life. They had been struggling with what was truth. Their understanding of truth was tainted by a "believer" who chose to molest them.

This and other difficulties in life caused them to turn away from what they had been taught was truth. Why? Because the whispered, intimate actions spoke louder than the words void of truth from one who claimed to be a Christian.

This fleeting life whispered to my friend as they drew their final breaths. As he was being held, he declared that my friend had been right. The Truth my friend had been sharing was indeed Truth. In life this young man heard the whisper of liars. In his final moments, he saw Truth. Truth revealed by one who is faithful.

I do not intend to shine a positive light on the poor decision of one who was lost. Just to refocus our attention to those "lost" in the world around us.

His voice is still and small.

Do we have a voice? What is it saying? To whom is it directed? Are we touching ears, or changing lives?


Monday, November 13, 2006

We have come to terms on the price of a home, and we close on December 1st. As we look forward to this, it brings about many feelings.

One that continuously arises, is the lack of issue to take BJ's needs into account. I do not possess the ability to convey how difficult that is for us. Obviously, he will always be a part of who we are, and his memory will always abide with us, but there is a coldness to moving on, that is still crippling at times.

Our things have rested in storage for 7 months now. In that period, we have realized how little impact "things" have on our lives. Though we have 'want' for our possessions, we have no 'need' for them. 'Need' is what is required to live. 'Want' is what we pine away for during much of our lives, that seldom connects directly to survival.

We have a couple of jokes now, that refer to the 'stuff' we have in storage. We recently visited our facility and retrieved our warm clothes, and some long desired movies. The warm clothes were needs, as it has turned cooler. The movies were wants, that we have looked forward to re-viewing.

Yesterday, Deanna spoke of something we have in storage that suprised me. I had no idea we had kept such things stowed away.

We had friends from Indy here for the weekend. We had a great time of much wanted fellowship with them. You know, I'm gonna restate that. We had a great time of much needed fellowship with them. Much of who we are resides in Indiana, and the friends and family we left behind.

I have not seen Deanna laugh so hard and smile so much in months. The Lord knew what she needed, and He provided it! Thanks LCJ and Sammie.

While they were here, one of them (I think) requested 'honey,' for their tea (or something). Deanna offered, "we have some in storage," and then began to laugh in her signature way.
Honey in storage? Really? Why?

Then I remembered.

I cannot say that she kept it for this reason, but I am quite sure it crossed her mind.

BJ loved honey. Those who know him, know how slow and meticulously he decorated his pb&j sandwiches. He did the same with honey. On more than one occassion, he used up our honey as he liked to add it to his diet. As I write, I can see him catching the drips of it with his mouth.

She probably kept the honey, because of her own memories of how he used it...that and the fact that she really likes it in her tea.

Honey in storage.

Soon we will be retrieving it. We will retrieve many things that are ours. We will fill a new (to us) home with old possessions. I hope that is not like adding new wine to an old wineskin. We will certainly transfer material things that carry significant meaning and memory for us. They will fill a house, that we will make a home.

The second and third bedrooms of this house have pink carpet. Ooh ick! No way BJ would want this in his room...what guy would? The interesting thing is that Deanna is the one who cannot wait to get rid of it.

I didn't think of it before, but maybe Beej is part of the reason she wants it evacuated. As we try to make our house a home, we know it will never be permanent. Actually, buying a home has been a bittersweet process, because it implies permanency. The thought that all that has happened has been a dream, will evaporate when we once again have a mortgage that ties us here. There will be no "running home," whatever that means.

You know, if we could run Home we would. That just cannot happen. We don't run Home. We run the race set out for us. We do it to the best of our ability, and then one day we'll enter our eternal reward...that place where in an awkward sense, we have our "honey in storage."


Friday, November 10, 2006

I have fond memories of observing BJ during worship.

When he entered the sanctuary, for him it was like Martha's sister Mary, who constantly abided at Jesus' feet. An intense longing to draw closer, to learn more, to have greater understanding, and to offer up praise from a heart that was overflowing, or perhaps broken. You did not have to observe him for long to realize he was connecting with Christ!

I grew up in a church where there was no outward demonstration of what was happening inside. I am not declaring this to be wrong or misguided in any way, for I know we all worship in different ways. Unfortunately this has become a divisive issue in churches across our land. You have traditional services and contemporary ones. There is often a chasm in age and attitude toward the differing styles.

What is the solution? Jesus.

Each side tries to defend their position and pride wells up in both attitudes. One side says "we've always done it this way," while the other says, "your Hymns did not exist in Jesus day, so why are we stuck on them now?"

Neither attitude is right, because neither reflects the uncompromising love of our Savior. What they reflect is opinion, and personal preference.

I grew up with Hymns, and learned to worship with them. For me what was lacking was the presence of worshipful attitudes from some of the congregation. Honestly, what I remember, is men with their hands in their pockets, staring straight ahead, unmoved. Yawning was common. Women gave more of themselves in singing.

I guess that stands to reason, because women are emotional beings, and men are...not! Well, at least many men are not.

I was moved in church at a young age by the song "Jacob's Ladder." God drew me into His presence, and I yielded to His authority in my life through that experience. I confess though, that I did not truly learn to worship my King until I went to my first youth camp as an adult sponsor, in 1997.

I did not know that worship could be like this. Gathering a group of students away from the world, and allowing them to pour out their hearts, unfettered by adult rules and expectations of what it should look like, changed me. These young people were giving their all in worship. I had never seen or been involved in anything like this before.

I was freed to give all to Jesus through that time. I returned, no longer caring what other adults thought worship was supposed to be. I had learned how to give to Him through worship. This began a change in me that revolutionized my whole walk with Him.

BJ was eight at that time. I know he learned that it was okay to express himself in worship. This did not find him running the aisles, and cavorting over pews. It did find him offering all of himself to his Savior, his King.

When you enter into the presence of royalty, the appropriate attitude is closer to bowing, being humble, or even extending a hand to testify to the power and presence and desire to be faithful as a loyal subject. I don't think kings find respect from those who stand by yawning and in general are disinterested at experiencing their presence.

If this is inappropriate behavior in the presence of kings, why would it be appropriate in the presence of the King of kings?

We are to give our all to Him. Approaching the Throne of Grace with this attitude will humble and move the most stoic of men.

"David... danced before the Lord with all of his might." (2 Samuel 6:14). His attitude in worship was to give his all. He gave the best of what he had for his King.

I am not suggesting we all "dance." I am suggesting we give our all. This requires laying down our rights to ourselves, our thoughts, our dreams, our goals, and our futures. We do so because He is worthy. He has a better plan for our lives than we do.

We must be more like Mary. Submit to Him in worship and humility, for then we find who He wants us to be. After all, when we get to heaven, the songs will be new, and the worship more intense than we can imagine.

I believe BJ is right at home!


Thursday, November 09, 2006

I finished a book recently on a martyr from four or five years ago who died at the hands of unbelievers attempting to make a statement. Her story, like most, was remarkable. It moved me and once again caused me to look at my life to see if the kind of obedience the Lord calls us to, is found present there.

Yesterday, I was reading the newsletter from Voice of the Martyrs, and saw a 14 year old young man who loved Jesus was beheaded, while the radical Muslims who took his life screamed "Allah Akbar!" (God is Great).

The faith of these who have given their lives is marked by suffering. Their reward is sure. Their lives cry out for obedience from the balance of the body of believers. Are we currently lulled to sleep by the soft whir of busy lives, or are we in fact learning to live as they lived.

This past weekend, one of my "daughters," walked up to me as she often does, and said, "Daddy, teach me something." I have grown to expect this from her. She did it all summer long, and continues to do so electronically. However, am I in the Word enough to be ready for her?

The Lord has been showing me much about suffering. That word that none of us like, but all experience in one way or another. We are prone to comparing our sufferings with others. I am not sure why...perhaps because of the competitive society we live in. Regardless, if we are obedient to our Savior, we will suffer.

1Peter 2:19 & 21 says, "For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God...To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps."

We tend to ignore passages like this because of what it implies. In Jesus day, he suffered the most inhumane and humiliating death available at that time. We like to believe we are more "civilized" now, and won't need to experience such things. If that is our posture, we are "asleep in the Light."

The two stories above reflect the climate of our world. Christians are dying everyday for the cause of Christ. They have learned that obedience to Him is more important than the comforts found in the world. Radical obedience will bring about suffering, but you know what? So will lives not lived for Him.

In this world we will suffer. It is fact. Are you trying to coordinate your life in such a way that you minimize this, or are you seeking Him at all costs, and disregarding what follows?

If we are disobedient to Him, we will suffer by our own hands. Our suffering at that point reflects no glory to our Savior. It just reveals the foolishness in our lives. On the other hand, if we suffer for the cause of Christ, if in our day to day lives we are seeking Him and putting Him first, then the suffering that comes will reflect glory back to God because of His presence in our lives. Because He will be with us, in our suffering.

What others see will be Jesus, not us. If I attempt to point that out during my suffering, I am glorifying self. Jesus does not need my help to shine glory on Him. He needs my obedience. When I am obedient, I suffer. When I suffer, I bring glory to God. When I bring glory to God, He takes pleasure in my life. If I set out to suffer, I miss the point.

Those who follow Christ in radical obedience, are willing to "seek God's glory at the expense of their own pain, their own death." (Lauren Higgins)

"I wanna die like that." (LH)

I don't set out to die physical death. I set out to die to self, that I might become less, that He might become more. As this occurs, when I suffer, I will, by His strength, and by His presence "follow in His steps."


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Going to worship each Sunday should be similar to what we experienced this past weekend. It had nothing to do with the building, and everything to do with the people who gathered together, and the intended purpose of our meeting time.

Too many times, Sunday becomes a routine. There is nothing routine about worshipping our Savior.

We came together with students from all over the nation, for the intended purpose of teaching, worship, and fellowship. This translates to the motivation of believers to go out and reproduce through discipleship.

The results are students (and adults) who cannot wait to share what they have with other people. Too often, our expectations for our gatherings on Sundays include a negative attitude about what we are likely to experience. Guess who is the author of this negativity?

Even knowing this, we are duped into believing that the same old thing will happen, we will walk mundanely through it, and then go out to lunch with someone...which is what we are really looking forward to, if the truth be told.

Yes, we get used to our pastors and their delivery style, and it becomes easy to tune them out. But they are God's anointed servants, whom He sent to us to bring the Word. We must embrace and encourage these who spend so much time trying to race through ridiculous schedules that leave them little to no time with their own families. Something we are not very likely to tolerate in our own homes, yet we expect it of our pastors.

Somehow, we continue to believe that they don't really "do" anything but preach on Sunday and Wednesday. That their jobs are "easy," and we could do what they do in a heartbeat. Guess who is the author of those thoughts?

If we are to truly make our houses of worship a place that is inviting, exciting, and an centered around our Savior, then we must check our attitudes at the front doors. If we don't expect much, then that is exactly what we will get. If we expect great things, it will be evident in the way we carry ourselves, and how we relate to one another. There will be joy in our body language.

It's time we replace the sad experiences that too many are having on Sunday morning with hearts bursting with gladness. This can only happen if we are truly yielded to him. If we do not allow the enemy to dominate our thoughts with negativity. If we embrace our brothers and sisters with expectation and encouragement.

As long as we remain in our own little world when we attend church, our churches will never resemble what Christ prayed for in John 17. He is looking for Unity, and we are pursuing our own agenda's. He is looking for us to bring Him glory, and we are seeking our own.

Perhaps if we established "attitude check stations" at church entrances, like the coat check areas you see in some places, things would change.

What if we actually prayed and prepared our hearts before going into the presence our King?

Most of us do that before we go into important meetings, or before we encounter anything that we view as important. When did worshipping our Savior fall off of that list?

"Come as you are," but please...prepare your hearts.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Years ago, when he was born we knew he was special. He was the firstborn son, and he has an anointing on his life.

At the time, my brother and I were visiting my sister in Colorado. He had been born a short time before we arrived. When we got to their home and saw him, we were thrilled. My sister's first child, a son.

The problem was he seemed to breathing abnormally fast, and his pulse was racing. He seemed to be struggling. It was not long before he was in the hospital...fighting for his young life. I wish I could remember the right terminology, but I do not. What I do remember is that there was a problem with his heart, and the blood was not pumping properly.

To say were all a bit scared is an understatement.

The Lord gave me a verse to share with Lynae and Rich (his parents). It comes from Hebrews 4:7-8. "Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day."

Yes, his name is Joshua. He was fighting an incredible battle for survival. The Lord wanted them to know that He was in control, that He was with them, that there was an anointing on Joshua's life. That the Lord would speak into Joshua's life, that on "another day." This would not be the end.

It was evident that God was speaking through this circumstance. My sister and her husband were ministering to the other families in the newborn i.c.u. I know they were very unsettled that their first child was in the hospital, and that his fate seemed uncertain. That did not stop them from giving of themselves to the other parents whose situation was more dire than their own.

I was amazed at their strength, and their ability to face surgery on their own son's heart with such peace! I know this also blessed the other parents as well.

God did a remarkable work on Joshua's heart through the skilled hands of the surgeon. Very soon, he was functioning as a normal baby.

He still bears the scar on the left side of his chest, under his arm. Yet he has no memory of that day, nor how traumatic his situation. God was setting him aside for "another day."

I have shared before how much Joshua and BJ loved each other. The age difference between them was 9 to 10 years, yet there was no gap in their hearts for one another.

They never lived near one another. The trip to see each other was always long for whoever was driving. The reward that awaited far exceeded the anticipation of time spent traveling.

You recall that when BJ passed away, Joshua sobbed and grieved hard. He still has to talk about it from time to time.

It was Joshua who jumped up first to "take BJ's place" at his funeral celebration. His arm extended in the air like he had the only answer to the question, indicated the urgency he felt in doing so.

Joshua, "keeper of the sword," was living for "another day."

The Lord knew the plans He had for these young men. There was a reason sword play was such a bonding point between them.

BJ wielded his sword, the living Word of God, in the way he was called to. Joshua, "living for another day" was taking up that sword, to later unsheathe it, and use it to declare Truth.

Farther down that same passage in Hebrews 4, it says "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow..."

Last week, Joshua pulled out his sword. A month or so after his seventh birthday, a little over a year after he stood to declare his intent to serve the Lord his God by taking BJ's place, a year after receiving the sword which helps declare the mantle of authority in his life, he humbly and quietly used his weapon.

He delivered Truth to a neighbor boy who comes from an unbelieving family. That Truth was received, and that young man gave his heart to Jesus...the One who also bears a scar under his left arm.

Joshua would want no credit, he is just doing what he was born to do. To "live for another day."

Praise God, he has taken up his cross...he has unsheathed his sword!

I love that little man!

uncle brent

Monday, November 06, 2006

She lives in Chicago, and attends a University there. She did not grow up as a believer, but surrendered her heart to the Lord a few years back. In this picture, she is seated beside the still waters, high in the Andes Mountains, in her t-shirt.

I saw the picture back in August as I debriefed her team. They were filled with enthusiasm over how God had moved among their teams and in the hearts of the Quechua Indians they ministered to. Relationships had been forged. The Gospel had been declared. They had a longing in their hearts to return, yet they had just arrived home. I assumed she had picked up her shirt at training...eight weeks earlier.

I saw her again this weekend at our annual iGo conference. There were over 130 people in attendance. The majority of them were Awe Star alumni or friends. She headed towards me, a bit shy, but her steps laden with purpose. In her hand she was clasping a photo, in her heart was a story she had planned to share during the summer, however, God's timing is always perfect.

Her sister had lived for a time in Indianapolis. As she was out one day, she encountered several students who were clad in pink t-shirts that read "" She found this curious, so when she arrived home, she went to the website.

She began to read, and the Lord began to move in her heart. As she viewed the screen through blurry eyes, she began to think about her sister Michelle. She had seen a change take place in her life over the last couple of years. She had been drawn close to the heart of her Savior.

A though occurred to her sister. Michelle would love to be able to share in this kind of journey. She made a decision. She ordered two t-shirts.

Christmas arrived as they gathered together as family. Michelle received a present from her sister. She opened it and did not know what to say. Neatly tucked into the box was a pink t-shirt with a web address that was meaningless to Michelle. It is easy to imagine the awkward pause.

Quickly, the story of BJ's life, ministry and subsequent death was relayed. The background gave her a better understanding of the gift.

A short time later, Michelle traveled from her University to another one in the area to visit a Bible study she had been attending. The leaders name was Drew. On this night, Drew would share with his group about the previous summer he had spent doing missions in Peru. He handed out a brochure for the upcoming summer, and sought to sow into their hearts a desire to accompany him on a return trip...a longer extreme trip.

This would be the same Drew who back in September had called me on the phone, introduced himself, and requested permission to come Indpls to visit us in the hospital. He knew BJ from Awe Star training the previous year.

Drew caught a taxi to the bus station. Took a bus from Chicago to Indianapolis. Took another bus from downtown Indy to our hospital. Spent three hours listening to me pour out my heart. He encouraged me tremendously! I found him a vacant visiting room where he slept on the floor for three hours, then caught a taxi to the bus station, took a bus back to Chicago, and caught a taxi back to his University (He spent more time traveling than he did visiting).

This young man was a freshman in college and he was negotiating cities and transportation systems he had never utilized. His training came from his years of doing short term missions.

Drew shared BJ's story with his Bible study group. Michelle interrupted him. "Wait, who,"she asked?

"BJ Higgins," Drew responded, "Why do you know him?"

"Well, kinda," she offered.

She shared her story with the group, and sat back amazed at what she saw the Lord orchestrating in her own life.

She began to pray over this opportunity to serve the Lord for eight weeks of her summer, in Peru. He stirred her heart for the lost people of the Andes mountain regions. She returned to
Her Bible study and reported to Drew, "I am going with you this summer!"

She went, and the Lord broke her heart for lost people. She grew a great deal over the summer, as she saw the Hand of God provide, and equip her for ministry.

She came to our iGo conference with a passion to return to serve. She is seeking Him on where He would have her go.

Please pray for her. The country on her heart will be a very difficult one.

Thank you Michelle for your obedience to our Savior! Thank you Drew for your faithfulness in using the giftedness the Lord has bestowed upon you to teach and to lead. It was good to see you both this past weekend!


Friday, November 03, 2006

They lost their house. Their stuff is in storage. We can relate, at least with the storage issue, but she didn't know this. She went on... They're living 30 minutes away from school but she is driving her children until they can get settled. Their daughter is dealing with anger issues. I don't think the father is present for the family. Was I the only one she had to talk to? Brent suggested this thought later. Her younger children were pulling on her as she spoke with me. The fall program was over. I was packing up instruments, it was getting late.

I enjoy it when parents come talk with me after programs, I really do. I certainly don't want them to feel they can't, but I don't stand around being social. Maybe I should. My prayer for today is that I will be available and ready to listen. I'm sorry to say I was a little annoyed with this parent last night. No one else was "waiting in line" to talk with me. I had time for her. I just didn't want to hear it. Father, forgive me for being selfish once again and not remembering that our inconvenience is often the most prime time for ministry. "Our disappointment is God's divine appointment." Help me better see how to respond with a "heartbeat of obedience" to those in need. (The quotes are Walker Moore's coined quotes of profound truth) Turn my annoyances into opportunities for Your kingdom work to be done.

The students sang well. I was not surprised but I was very pleased. They really did the best ever: they were focused, they sang in tune, they seemed to enjoy it, it was good. Several of my new teacher friends came to support me. My principal too. And Brent was there. The evening was a blessed relief. Thank you for your prayers.

This morning I made pancakes. I don't do this near often enough, but I took today off and couldn't sleep, so why not? I though of BJ as I often do and missed getting to serve him too. I cried all through serving Brent and thinking of our precious meal times as a family. How we miss him! Thank you Lord for the wonderful memories and the hope we have in You.

Pray for the "I Go" Conference Awestar is helping lead with the Church at Battle Creek this weekend. Pray for the potential student and adult leadership that are coming and for their traveling mercies. Pray they hear and respond the way God would have them. Pray for God to orchestrate the details with speakers, conversations, connections made. Most of all we pray for hearts to be fully and unconditionally given to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. May we devote our lives to bringing others to Him, for His glory, wherever He calls us to go.

Much love,

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Meeting her was a joy. Hearing her heart, was convicting. Listening to her penetrating testimony, was overwhelming.

We sat down to dinner, and I asked her to tell me what the Lord had been doing in her life and in her ministry. The story she would share with me was one inspired by the King of Kings.

Throughout the evening, we talked of Beej, or references were made to who he was to her, to them. Deanna was at a Bible study, so Laura, Barbara Ann and I spent the evening sharing.

BJ had promised to be their protector, their brother. He had insisted on meeting their "men" prior to allowing them to marry. He had displayed for them this protector/defender characteristic while on the field. He had loved them.

He would be so proud of who Laura is in Christ, and what she is allowing the Lord to do through her. Her friends question her relationship with God because of her ministry. Understandably, they fear for her safety, but they do not know what God is doing through her obedience.

She spends her time on the streets, ministering to the lost and broken. She extends the love of Christ to them through her actions. She frequents a place called "the cage." It has many faces. It is a place where "members" or their friends can get a free meal. It is a place where those same people can get a "fix." It is a place where attendance at the right hour of the day, literally finds it to be Satan's church. He is worshipped, and it is declared that the only way to reign in power with him in the hereafter, is to worship him now.

A young 16 year old and his girlfriend are there again. At the conclusion of the service, he notices there are some leftover drugs, laying in the back. He collects them for later use.

That same night he prepares them. He serves his girlfriend first. Then he allows himself the same indulgence. A short time later, he realizes that something is wrong. Somehow these drugs are bad...they have been tainted.

He calls 911, and requests an ambulance. He realizes unless his stomach is pumped he may not make it. Then he turns his attention to his girlfriend. His intent is to help her. He finds he has already had too much influence over her...she is dead.

He calls the police and tells them that he has killed his girlfriend through a drug overdose.

Somehow, he also contacts Laura, via her cell. She arrives at the hospital to find it a flurry of police activity. This quiet, almost shy, 22 year old seminary student, is his only hope. He knew her and had her number from the time she invested getting to know him, and others on the streets.

In his time of need, he called her. Surprisingly, the police told him that if he entererd rehab, they would not press charges for the death of his girlfriend. He was released to Laura, to take him to enter a program.

On the way, she felt the Lord impressing her to once again share her faith with him. Oh, she had tried in the past, but mid-testimony, he would respond by "shooting up," or getting drunk.

Upon arrival, he looked at her and said, "I want you to tell me about your God, right now!" In her gentle yet relevant way, she tells him about God's love for him. He is shocked. How could he be loved, he was a murderer?

She pressed on and shared that God had a deep abiding love for pediphiles, and worse. His will was to see them surrender their own ways for His way. He listened intently, and was moved by the Holy Spirit.

He gave his heart to Jesus...just hours after the worst experience of his life.

Her Christian brothers doubt her faith. They doubt her relationship with the Lord. Why? Because she walks the way Jesus walked. She goes to places the Holy Spirit leads her and she gets "dirty."

"He went through the blood, the least we can do is go through the mud." BJ Higgins

Laura, you inspire me! Thank you for your obedience to our Savior! Thank you for not being afraid to go where He leads. Thank you for caring "for the least of these."

I believe your decision not to pursue a Navy Chaplaincy so that you can minister to the "people of the streets," is God breathed. You bless me!


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The weekend in Panama City, Florida was excellent. I met wonderful people, and was treated well. The church was responsive to the move of the Lord, and recognized His presence there with us. One man surrendered to missions, and many others sought the Lords Will and direction. I met some students who I hope will accompany me to foreign lands one day soon!

Of all the wonderful people I have met, there are a handful who had an impact in BJ's life that I still wait to get to know. Tonight, I will have the opportunity to meet one of those people.

Awe Star is co-hosting our annual leadership conference (called "iGo"), this weekend. In attendance will be student missionaries from around the United States. There will be well over a hundred of them in attendance, and I am very excited to be able to spend time with them.

When God's people come together to learn, to grow and to share in fellowship, it is sweet! Many of those who will be here are missionary alumni. The opportunity to hear from their hearts, renew our friendships and reminisce a bit is one that we have been anticipating with great excitement.

One of the attendees is one of BJ's former teammates. She and BJ served together in '04 and '05 in Peru. She is a seminary student. She has dedicated her life to service to our Lord. He is using her in amazing ways. What she has been doing, most of us would not. Where she goes, we would fear, and move in the other direction. Yet, her obedience has been used of Him to make a significant impact.

She frequents the meetings of Satanist's that she might be able share Christ with some. They have accepted her into their midst, but recognize her peculiarity. Light penetrates darkness, and darkness rebels. Her stories would make your hair stand on end. Her extreme obedience is inspiring. The Lord has provided protection for her.

Recently, she led one of these devil worshippers to Christ!!! She's literally been camped out at the gates of hell, that some might come to know Him. The Lord led her to invest in those the rest of "Christian" society would throw away. Oh, not that we would do so intentionally. No, it would be our comfort and inactivity that would indicate our lack of true interest.

Not Laura. Laura is a follower of Jesus. She gets "dirty" actually serving Him. She goes where the need is incredible, denies herself, takes up her cross and follows Him. She does so at great peril to herself. She does so to walk as Jesus walked. She does so with a heartbeat of obedience.

She is one of my heroes!

So why am I nervous to meet her? Where is the angst from?

She is one of BJ's teammates that I have not met. The last of three from '05. She lives on the northwest coast and was unable to attend his funeral celebration. However, her heart and continued prayer support have been with us. I am anxious to embrace her. I trust all pretense will fall away, and that we will have time to be real.

I want to know this warrior. Oh, I have talked to her on-line, received many encouraging email notes and letters from her. I even spoke on the phone with her once. But now, I get to meet her.
There is a reverent fear in my heart as I prepare for this. One that exists because of who she is in Christ, and who she was to BJ.

Oh, that I would love and encourage others as much as she has.

In some small way, I hope this time with her will be a fragment of what it will be like to meet Beej's last teammate...face to face. For now, he will fellowship with Him, and I will get to know Miss Laura!