Monday, October 03, 2011

My California family.

This weekend, I spent quite a bit of time in a tree stand, observing and learning from deer behavior.

During this time, I had 15 deer beneath me, and at one point there were 10 at one time. I enjoyed watching them interact. Their system of caring for one another includes everything from grooming to taking turns, to standing guard to protect the others.

I was very impressed. What I observed is not something routinely seen or known. I was enthralled as I watched a group of does, followed by a bachelor group of bucks. Each group exhibited the same behaviors.

What really stood out to me was how one of the group always recognized the need to stand 'sentry' while the others fed. Then, as one feeding had had enough, he/she would go over to the other and replace him/her in the guard post, while that one then fed. It was an impressive system, all done non verbally. They seemed to instinctively know how to care for one another.

I started thinking about believers. When we are operating in a selfless fashion, we do this well. We watch out for our brothers and sisters. We pray for them, share with them, invite them over, meet their needs, etc.

When we get self focused, this tends to go out the window.

There were times when the sentry would sound the alarm, and the field would clear. This would result in the sentry not getting his needs met. He left hungry, but rested in the knowledge that he had protected the others.

This selfless act, no doubt, has spared the life of many deer.

I wonder if we act selflessly often enough. I have so many opportunities to pray for others. If I truly stood "sentry" for them, how would their lives change? What more could I do to impact their lives, that my own selfishness prevents?

When I'm hungry, I'm not usually shy about getting to food. I don't mind "hurrying" others up, so I can have my turn. The idea of missing meals to protect others is a pretty foreign concept in my circles.

Yet, if the missing of the meals is due to fasting for His intervention on their behalf, what better use of my time could their be?

I know there were those who did that for us when my son was in the hospital. I know I have done so for others in the past. But how often is that the place we go when we know others are in need? It is one of the mightiest tools in our arsenal and yet probably one of the least deployed.

I spend a lot of time with students, and have learned that most all of them have never heard a teaching on fasting; not from the pulpit, in small group, or elsewhere.

Some of the sweetest encounters I have had with my Savior have come through fasting.

I bring attention to it because we can have a deep impact on others lives if we become more selfless. I am not saying we all need to fast each time a need is revealed. I am saying there is always more we can do than eat our fill from the sidelines, while others needs overwhelm them in the arena of life.



At 11:19 AM, Blogger gilbert said...

Thanks again "dad".

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Tiffany said...

my 13 year old went to Peru with Global Expeditions. When she came back, I ran across BJ's book. She just finished it last night and was very inspired. Peru was the first of many mission trips I predict. Thank you, BJ, for the inspiration you give daily by giving your life. Many thanks and prayers to your family too.

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Josh Walker said...

You don't know me but I am a member of the VIllage church in Flower Mound, Tx. I was told part of BJ's story when Afshin Ziafat came and preached one Sunday to our congregation. Months later a friend gave me the book to read. Reading it really hit me hard. I am a proud father of a 19-month old boy and, Lord willing, we are trying to adopt a girl from Guatemala with CP, that we've known and loved for 3 years now. Your faith and strength in the Lord was very powerful for me and I thank God for you. It reveals a level of idolatry of my own children that makes me think I would not react like you have if something happened to my own. I pray that through reading BJ's story, the Lord is sanctifying me. I want to raise a son who loves Jesus like BJ, who serves him and has such compassion and love for the lost. I want to be that way too! Lots of pieces here, but I played bass for Billy and Cindy Foote for 3 years starting in 2006, so it was good to see them in the book. Blessings on your family! The father-son dynamic in the book was special to me. Thank you.


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