Friday, September 14, 2007

One of the last pictures taken of Deanna and Beej. This is from a mission trip they took together with our church, just before BJ's last Peru trip.

"We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God," the book of Romans says. Flaws exist in each of our lives. Some that people see, and some that we keep hidden. I am no different. My son was no different.

We both need His shed blood to cover our sin. Without it, we would not be saved. Without calling upon Him and asking Him to be our Savior and Lord, we would remain lost.

It has been brought to my attention on a number of occasions that when I present my son, I make him seem perfect. He was not.

He was argumentative when he shouldn't have been. He could be disrespectful in his decisions and actions. He got carried away in pursuing the things he enjoyed and allowed them to take first place in his life. He struggled with obedience as most children do. He would act on impulse (like Peter) and later pay a price for not thinking things through.

He was very normal in these things. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but as I contemplate what I hear some people say from time to time, in reaction to the life he lived, he is seen as one who lived in a way that is not possible for us to live. This is just not true.

He was an ordinary young man who served an extraordinary God. He allowed the Lord to have access to his life in ways many of us shield Him from. BJ was a sinner. He made mistakes. He also sought hard after the God who sought hard after him.

When I read the Word and look at the lives of many of the people who we revere from the Bible, they had similar stories. They were sinful people. Many committed heinous acts, yet were considered to be men and women who had God's favor.

Today, in the context of our culture, it would be hard to imagine having a king like David do the things he did, and still consider him to be saved, let alone a man after God's heart. We have become extremely judgmental. Somehow, we have distanced ourselves from being real. We hold ideals that are unfair, let alone attainable. When our Christian brothers and sisters who are in the limelight, fall, we are quick to condemn. This is not a biblical response.

Each of us that have yielded to the Lordship, of Jesus Christ, are sinners saved by Grace.

What we do with our lives after that point, is our opportunity to bless the heart of God. BJ blessed the heart of God, but he also continued to make mistakes. David pursued the heart of God, but he also made mistakes, (big ones, at times).

It is unfair to hold those we esteem up as if they were perfect, and their lives impossible to live. If I have done this with BJ, then I have failed to communicate well. I know I am routinely blown away by the faithfulness I saw in his life. Is being sold out for Jesus such a foreign concept in our world today, that we consider ones who lives that way to be among a "chosen few?"

All we who are believers serve the same God. We all can be Jesus Freaks if we are willing to remain surrendered. Too many of us allow fear to keep us from being radically changed. We want acceptance from community more than we want faithfulness to Jesus. We fear if we share, or are seen as sold out for Jesus, we will be rejected by those we want to embrace us.

The reason BJ seems different is that he did not let fear stand in his way of being who he was in Christ. We all have access to that same life. The difference is, we choose to allow other things to be the main focus of our attention and simultaneously let the fear of losing the attention of others supersede who Christ has called us to be.

We revere those we know are not perfect (who are believers) because of the lives they lead during times when that is hard to do. We cannot afford to then act as if they are the only ones who can live that way. We must do so, and we must teach our children to do so.

Christ taught us to do so, and He lived a life of example for each of us.



At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless you,
Greenfield, Indiana

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this word. I know these are hard times for you and the fam. But I also know that in those hard times that God grows us the most. I love you and your messages always bring a conviction on my life to be that better man of God and I sincerely thank you for that.

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dad, thank you for sharing your pictures this week. You are blessed with a beautiful family and surely overachieved with Deanna! lol (Sorry, we can have a laugh here once in a while, can't we?) Seriously, as an internet only 'friend', it's nice to have a visual to go with the names.
You make a great point about sin. David surely couldn't run for President today with his failures but yet he was a man after God's own heart. And we really are the same way. We deserve nothing but death and destruction yet by His grace we receive abundant and eternal life. Because we really can't conceive either concept fully, sometimes I think it's hard to grasp the enormity of the gift of grace. Much easier to look at what immediately disgusts us and walk away, hoping someone else digs into the mess. I think you're right about remaining surrendered and being honest with other about whom we belong to. Thanks for the insights and have a great weekend family. God Bless,
Mark \o/

At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some day... we'll be in heaven and you won't have to convince people that your son sinned. Pretty crazy thought. Jesus will just say, "Hey, I took care of all that once and for all. Why are you still discussing it?"

One more thought... what is the worst sin BJ committed or yourself? Do you walk around with that label on him/you? If I am going to label someone that Jesus has already dealt with their sin... I don't think I would hang that identity on them. Sin is something we did and do but not who we are at this point.

I'd keep telling stories of all the great things God did through BJ. Forget about the sins he did. God has even done that.

That is the Good News!

At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus Loves you!

At 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of us who knew BJ, we know what you mean through your stories. He was a great kid. That's all there is to it. He was normal and had something very special about him. A deep passion for the Lord. Yes, it is sad that his passion made him unique. It should be the ones without a passion for Christ that are few, but that is not the world we live in.
Keep telling the stories. Bj set a standard for Danielle that we hold most dear. It will take a very special young man to measure up.
He was an unbelievable role model. One both young an old need to look up to.
We love you and miss you and will keep praying for you all during this difficult season.

The Piechockis

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know BJ and I don't care what other people say. He was extraordinary.

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello, "Dad". remember me? you probiably don't, but that's ok. i was at the SACS retreat.

anyway, you came to our retreat, and you told us the amazing story of BJ. here, even now, days later, i still tear up when i think of the sacrifice that he gave. and i didn't even know him.

i would have love to have met him, here, on this earth, and i look forward to meeting him in heaven.

i want you to know that through his story, i and many others have been called to the mission field, and others have accepted Christ for the first time.

i am going to go to india in two years (because it's too late to sign up for this year, i think), and am trying to go to russia or somewhere like that this summer.

now i have a driven purpose, and Bj inspited that.

to God be the Glory, forever and ever. Amen.

--- Becca


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