Monday, September 26, 2011

This is the poster that Northside Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana created and named their annual mission fund after.

This is the day we will always remember. The day BJ went home to be with the Lord. It's been 6 years.

It was also the day he was due to be born, but he would come 5 days late.

It is also within a day of the anniversary of Deanna and my first date.

There is no way we could have anticipated how the Lord would use his laid down life. We are blessed and overwhelmed at how many the Lord has ministered to through his surrender.

We have been privileged to share his testimony, our journey, from coast to coast in the US, and in other countries, abroad. We have seen his writings impact people of many nations. We have been blessed to hear the testimonies of many around the world whose lives were changed by learning about his.

The Lord uses those who are fully surrendered to inspire those who wish to be. Their lives help serve as a sort of compass of how to make decisions and live.

We miss him desperately. We celebrate his life, daily.

To many, its just another day.

For us, this is the day our joy mixes with the pain of searing loss.

Some have moved on and forgotten. Some still remember...fewer each year. It's normal I suppose.

We are thankful for each new opportunity to remember him.

He was not perfect.

He was surrendered.

One day, we will join him. I look forward to that day.

For now, we'll eat ribs in his honor... they were his favorite.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, for all that is within me cries out to Him.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Over the last 6 years, I have watched many young men and women serve. Some have been inspirational.

However, my heart has grown increasingly heavy as I have watched many who have "tasted and seen that the Lord is good," return home from and serve self.

It is not my intent to judge or to cast dispersions. I am simply broken over what I see happening.

My son grew up with many who sought the Lord. He, like they, struggled from time to time. What I see too many doing now, has much to do with doubting truth and embracing worldly comforts (deceptions).

More and more seem to abandon faith. In this respect, I am thankful for his early departure, yet grieved because I know he spoke truth into others when he saw them struggle.

Who is speaking truth to them now?

The enemy seems to have their ear.

I recently counseled with a student who revealed a significant missions calling on their life. I asked many hard questions to be sure this individual was seeking and glorifying Him and not just misunderstanding potential conviction from the Holy Spirit.

They assured me they were making godly decisions and doing what was right.

A brief visit to their page on a social networking site, revealed something quite to the contrary. My heart fell. I have seen this over and over.

Why do we think we can hide our sinfulness from Him when we don't even try to shield it from each other? Or is it that we just have accepted as normal this Sodomic approach, with Gomorrahic attitudes to living, that we feel no measure of evil is really wrong as long as we are enjoying the choices?

I have learned much about grace and am so very thankful for it. In my own life, I am in constant need of it. So are others.

When I see these things happen, I recognize how undeserving we are to receive it.

I am weary of failure in my own life and in others. I cannot imagine the deeply discouraging aroma that emanates from those of us who say we believe, but aren't surrendered.

Lord God, I am so sorry for this! I am sorry for failing you! I am sorry for the lack of leadership and teaching, and for not setting the example you desire.

Forgive me Lord. Forgive us as believers for being more interested in our level of comfort than the measure of obedience you call us to. We are vile. We need surrender. We need revival.

When our systems fail, we seek name changes rather than corporate heart surgeries. We seek to blame others for personal shortcomings. Many don't even care as long as their bellies are full. Ever increasing appetites are never sated, because of our hunger for the wrong things.

I am not speaking of those who don't know Him. I am talking about believers. I am talking about me.

Lord you have shown us how to live, yet we seem to prefer dark rooms and death. We seem to believe that because we cannot see you, that you cannot possibly see our hearts, our motivations, our examples.

Adam and Eve hid behind fig leaves. We hide by covering our eyes and closing our ears to your Word.

Lord, you are worthy. Please forgive our complacency, our contentment, and our consumption of most things material.

I am broken.


Thursday, September 08, 2011

Nana and Tucker

We just returned from Houston, Texas, where I had the privilege of addressing faculty and students at Houston Baptist University.

What an amazing time! God revealed Himself in power, and many responded! We were humbled to take part.

A couple of months ago, I got a call from the Spiritual Life Director at HBU. He had read our book, and knew Deanna was an alum. He asked us to come and speak at a convocation September 7th. We agreed but did not know what to expect.

The University has added a great deal to their campus since Deanna's days. The Theater building I spoke in found me on a Broadway sized stage. I looked out at a beautiful main floor, with two mezzanines, box seating and a balcony. It was quite a venue.

There were over a thousand people in attendance. The signs at entry doors begged those who entered not to text or talk during the convocation. Privately, I was told that this has become a routine problem.

There were no empty seats on the main floor and mezzanine. I was told the students received two credit points for their attendance.

The cross section of students blessed me. People from all over the world and many faiths were represented. There were many Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Jews among the many believers present. Having the privilege of speaking on behalf of my King to this many people groups was an unexpected blessing!

Proclaiming the Name of Jesus to those who do not yet believe, regardless of where they are born is amazing. But, being able to do so with so many nations represented was indicative of the Lord bringing the nations to us.

Many of these have stated they are treated better on this Christian campus than they are on secular campuses, and that is why they have chosen to attend this University.

Deanna and I were able to observe the interaction and love from believers to those who have not yet accepted the Truth. How incredible!

Speaking to them was a pinnacle experience for me. This audience was highly attentive. They hung on every word. We could have heard a pin drop at most any moment that I paused. God was at work.

I have never had an audience anticipate my next words the way this group did. On a couple of occasions, they even finished my sentence for me. The interaction was anointed.

As I concluded my time, I challenged believers to place their lives on the altar of sacrifice and allow the Lord to have complete control, to direct their paths.

I was deeply humbled at how the Lord had penetrated hearts as hundreds of them stood to their feet to make proclamation of their surrender.

Next, I addressed those the Lord was drawing to Himself for Salvation. I encouraged them to seek out one of these standing believers to begin a dialogue about how to be in relationship with THE ONE TRUE GOD.

The Lord had compelled me to do so, and the staff were thrilled and stood in agreement at this opportunity being placed before the many student believers.

I understand, that at least one Muslim surrendered his life to Christ immediately!

I have shared this message many times, but have seldom seen a move of God on this scale. I am completely in awe that my Lord would allow Deanna and me to take part in an event where He so completely revealed Himself, and did so on the campus she spent years on.

Her joy was overflowing. She had prayed hard for the Lord to do so.

He heard. He answered. He moved! She is so thankful!

When we completely surrender before this Holy God, He uses us to accomplish things beyond our ability to imagine.

Praise His Holy Name! Just Praise Him!

I am in Awe.