Thursday, November 29, 2007

Our Team, on the beach at Pacasmayo, Peru. I received word yesterday from the administrators of the the "BJ School" of a baptismal service that will take place while Brad and I are there (in Piura), next week (we leave Tuesday the 4th and return Thursday the 13th). We are excited and anxious to participate in this! I want to thank those of you who have sent financial support for the school. We will be taking this to them and know it will be invested in the children of this school.


This morning as I rose early to prepare for Deanna's Birthday, I was reminded of all the times that we had the privilege of doing the same with BJ. He would set his alarm and be the first one up. He would rise and make breakfast. If others weren't up in timely fashion, he would "assist them," assuring they made it for the onset of the celebration.

He had such a joy in doing this. Giving to others brought joy to the receiver and to him. I can remember when he began to want to pick out gifts for his family. They were thought out and special. Deanna still wears a ring and a necklace that were selected and given by BJ. I do not like to think about the possibilities of them one day breaking or getting lost.

His care and concern for the women in his family was deep. His desire to see them be honored and made to feel special was precious. His protectiveness of their honor and and physical presence was unique for a small young man with a huge heart. He gave to others as well.

He gave to his friends. He gave to those he encountered on the internet. He gave to those who were in need. He was focused on the things that were important. He did not often get sidetracked with the folly of worldly things. He assisted others in raising the direction of their vision from this, to Christ.

It sickens me when I hear others say that living life like he did is not possible. Unfortunately, this has come from both parents and children. I live as witness to the fact that it is possible and should be aspired to. We are far too willing to give up on seeking God and being a witness for Him.

We all struggle in places of darkness, whether they be physical locations or recesses within us. So did he. We cannot afford to let the enemy have victory over us after our failures. He does not have dominion. We may succumb to his divisive games from time to time, but that does not make him lord of our lives. That place is reserved for Christ alone!

He has provided forgiveness once for all, if we but confess and receive Him as Lord. The sinful struggles are not who we are. They are simply part of the journey of being human. The old nature does not die easily. The enemy sometimes fools us into thinking we have nothing to offer and should give up trying. I see this play out in the lives of students all the time. I see this play out in my own life, regularly! None of us are proud of such failures.

Christ is victory over the failures. He is forgiveness when we fail. When we submit to Him daily, moment by moment, we begin to live the life He has in store. We begin to impact others in small ways, and our lives begin to make a difference.

Part of the problem is we look too much to ourselves to see how we are doing. We look for evidence of impact on our world and are quickly defeated. BJ knew he would fail. He knew I would fail him. He knew to look beyond self, to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. There and only there is fullness. When we die to self and surrender each heartbeat to Him, we begin to see the world as He does.

When we look within, we see failure. What will it take for us to keep our eyes off of of self, and on the Saving One? Yahweh is the reason that each of us can live with such passion and devour difficulties by and in the strength of Jesus!

When we look to Him to live our lives, we shed failures and stave the flow of guilt. The enemy is the author of this disparaging ugliness. We must learn to leave it at the foot of the cross and rise to walk in His power.

BJ learned to do that at a young age. Through Christ, you and I can do likewise.

Be encouraged! Seek Him! Live for Him! Die to self. Walk in His power!



At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Post today dad! I was actually having a conversation the other day about how many people find it "impossible" to live and to truly follow Christ. Where have we ventured as the church if we deem it impossible to follow Christ?


At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great word of encouragement today, Brent. Happy Birthday, Deanna!
Mark \O/

At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Deanna! May this year bring much joy to you!

Brent, I know it takes dying to self to allow Christ to fully live through us . . . and yet I struggle with allowing my daughter to "die" to herself because she is only young once. I want her to enjoy her friends and time with family, yet she feels called to go and "get her feet dirty". I know that I am not the only one that struggles with this. If you could just give me some scripture to meditate over I would greatly appreciate it. I want to do God's will in this and be fully at peace with my decisions for her. Please pray that her father and I will allow the Spirit to be our guide, and not our own understanding!!


At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope it was a good one (considering it is 7:00 there...)

Good words and wisdom today. I feel touched. Thank you. This is one of the places I can get away and try to find myself lost within God' wonderful love (along with my two devotional books and my Bible).
It was such a blessing to find this place, and it continues to be one. I believe God led me to that CD and waited for the opportune time to show me really what I could gain from something so...simple. Thank you, Jesus Christ!

Sometimes I know when I sin, and I regret it the second after. I hate it, but sometimes I fall. I know God is there to pick me back up and help me. I ask for strength, and he gives it. Amazing, surely.
I sometimes forget so many things, and I feel like I'm not worthy (which we are not, but Jesus still came to this earth and died on the cross for every single one of us. Quite amazing and I am humbled at everything God is, Jesus is, and was, and forever will be), but then I remember that there is so much I can do, and I just need to get resources, and God's help, and he'll show me what I can do.

Thank you, Brent, for your words today. Amazing, truly amazing. Praise God. Amen.

At 10:50 PM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

Ah, brother Brent, the critics are right. In one sense at least. Living that kind of life IS completely and totally impossible. Isn't that the point? We can't do it at all. By His glorious grace, He does it THROUGH us instead.

Seems to me that BJ said more than a few things along those lines. We'll get to read more of them very soon!

This (dying to self) has been His continual lesson to me over the past (at least) two years+. Vicky, I'm sure Brent will have more wisdom, but some key passages the Lord has used in my life on this topic have been 2 Cor. 12:8-10 (His power perfected in my weakness) and John 12:24-26 (unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and DIES, it remains only a single seed. . .). Galatians 2:20 (I am crucified with Christ) was one of the first verses I memorized as a new Christian many years ago--but only recently has it come to life in very new ways.

And (since it's even later by now) HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of the sweetest and most selfless people I have come to know and love. Deanna, there's a reason God has honored you as "mom" of so many. You are beautiful and incredibly precious to Him and to

(praying in pink, with tender love!)

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Deanna!

I hope you enjoyed a sweet celebration. You remain in my prayers and thoughts as you walk in His ways.


At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Amen. The remnant MUST be willing to stand on the Word and LIVE it.

There are cracks in the wall.

Our culture has shifted and the enemy has attacked all the pillars of country (church, parenting, family, government, & education as a start). Believers MUST be IN the Word, doing what it says, and LOOKING different.

The PROBLEM IS that the CHURCH doesn't LOOK different, does ACT holy & set apart.

I Chron. 7:14

Have we repented of our personal sins? Are we just crying out, but without repentance? Oh, Lord we want to be humble, repent of our sins, and see you heal our land. Let it begin in US. Let it not just be in our WORDS, but our actions and life styles.

Come build our walls!

I am beyond excited to see how God is going to use "I'll Die for You".

Our prayers continue as the date comes closer...there is NO doubt that the enemy's fervor will increase.

We LOVE you all!


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