Monday, March 01, 2010

Lauren in Indiana

I attended another funeral last week. I don't want to go to any more. This is the second funeral in the last month. This one was for a 22 year old young man. He should not have died. Sometimes the things we turn to for escape in the world, can cause us to depart early.

This was a young man who loved Jesus. He had been on the platform the Sunday before, playing bass on the worship team. He loved music. It was one of his passions. He loved people. They were another.

He invested in people. He loved them without judgment. He encouraged others not to be judgmental. He challenged routines and rules for the sake of making sure that things in life made sense.

He also had a restless spirit. One that caused him to be unsettled with some important things in life.

His life ultimately ended early, due to a decision made to obtain instant gratification.

He had a positive influence in the lives of many, yet a decision made in weakness would make him an example to some, of what happens when we seek to fill our flesh over what is edifying to Christ.

That certainly doesn't erase the blessing he was to many. Whether or not good deeds outweigh bad ones is not the point. Sometimes we get caught in our moment of weakness and must pay a heavy price. We force others to do so without intent.

The price he paid would change the course of life for many.

The family strives to find the good in his life. Same for his friends. Suddenly, they are mid-terror on an amusement park "karma" ride that they did not pay admission for.

I know I struggle to do the right thing every day. It is always easier to do what makes me feel good and brings immediate, momentary pleasure, than to deny myself in order to glorify Him.

None of us are perfect. Failing to strive to bless the heart of our Savior, because of what we cannot be apart from Him, is never reason to quit doing that which brings Him glory.

But, we do.

I did not know this young man, but his family is precious to me. I hurt for them.

My first encounter with them was at an impromptu meeting at a Starbuck's while I was in their city for a wedding. An alumnus of Awe Star had called together friends (and some of their parents) to hear about upcoming missions opportunities.

I was surrounded by the eager ears of students and the cautious hearts of parents.

This mom in particular (not knowing our story) brought it down to this simple question, "Has anyone ever died, going with you?"

I feared telling her our story, but prompted by the Lord to do so, I was honest. How the Lord would use this still amazes me.

At the conclusion of sharing, this previously concerned mom looked at me and said, "My son is going with you! And, I will speak to other Mom's to see that theirs can go, too!"

Only God could bring such peace to a parents heart in the face of an opposite reality.

In the ensuing years, she would send two of her sons with us. They were each a huge blessing to their teams and the cultures they served in. Her oldest, the one who passed, I never got to meet... yet.

I greive for one I have not met... his passion spoke for him.

His brother said of him, "He was philosophy and theology living among the dirt and the dirty."

What affirmation of real living! I would love to have that spoken of my own flawed existence.

We must seek to be found instantly, and continuously obedient to our Savior.

He is worth the price!



At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


God Bless!

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Bmellison said...

Amazing Brent! Love you and we know he is in a better place. This story is inspiring and motivational. Knowing the younger brother and being an accountablity partner with him has and always will be one of the greatest journeys of my life.

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent & Deanna:
I live in Camden, TN and have read your "book of BJ" in our reading group @ Camden FBC. How inspiring your young man is! Thank you for sharing his AMAZING story with the world, and for your families' testimony concerning BJ and his journey. I will remember this piece of literature all my God be the Glory!
May he continue to bless your beautiful family....C. Lambert- Camden,TN :First Baptist Church

At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless,
Greenfield, Indiana

At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Cathryn McMillan said...

I just want to encourage you all,In 2007 I was touched by the Father heart of God and felt a call on my life to share, 2009 God kept knocking and I responded by preparing to share. On Saturday just gone I went to see "The blind side" (movie), and sharing with a friend afterwards I was impacted if we dont show God's love to people who dont know, who will? On Sunday I bought "I would die for you" I kept reading, though the ending is not what I would have chosen, I am not the one writing the book, God is. It resonated with me,all the way through I kept making notes, adding things that God is revealing to my own notes. I am going to be sharing soon on the Father Heart of God and BJ certainly lived it. Now I only ask God to continue to reveal how we can do more in our communities and in our countries as well as in missions. Thank you for sharing your story. Your Sister in Christ Cathryn, Casino, Northern New South Wales, Australia


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