Saturday, May 30, 2009

Blog Searching

Today I have indulged myself in cyberspace. After a busy week....and an even busier week to come, Bruce boldly suggested (before he walked out the door to go to Casting Crowns without me!) that I take the day off (Nice of him considering- no, I'm not bitter). Anyway, after browsing some of my blogger friends sites, I decided to do a little blog searching for some topics that interest me. So I went to Google Blog Search and entered the following words...

Farmhouse Decorating
Shabby Chic Decorating
Country Living
Primitive Decorating
Buying Homemade
Simple Living
Vintage Decorating
Community Gardening
Children's Photography
And hours later, I came up for air! It was so much fun. The results were a smorgasboard to amazing people (women mostly) who are using their creative abilities to enhance their environments....home, yard, church, school and more. It was awesome! Sure, I could have been doing about a thousand other things, but in the midst of all the serious stuff going on, it was sure nice to escape to a different highly creative and decoratively beautiful.

I suggest you try it sometime. Just type in your favorite hobby or interest and explore the world! I've got lots of ideas to try and the creative juices are now flowing. I'm sure you'll be seeing some of the results!

Happy searching!

Friday, May 29, 2009

I've Got My Eye on You

Before anyone panics.....these pictures are staged...
We are not peeping in on our backdoor neighbors...
Tucker's expression is priceless...
I sure hope I didn't give him any ideas!

Psalm 121- Who needs a guardian angel?

1-2 I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
3-4 He won't let you stumble, your Guardian God won't fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel's Guardian will never doze or sleep.
5-6 God's your Guardian, right at your side to protect you—Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke.
7-8 God guards you from every evil, He guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This Week's Devotionals

Check out another 2 devotionals at The Christian Pulse (today) and yesterday .

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Thanks to Truth for the Journey for prompting these weekly Thankful Thursdays!

  1. I am thankful for beautiful weather. Sunshine, a little rain and a soft breeze during the last week. Such variety and know there is an ultimate Creator.
  2. First fruits of The Mission's community garden (pics previously posted)
  3. Fellowship with friends on three occasions this past week.
  4. God's guidance as we search for a new this is hard!
  5. The chance to do a few different projects at work lately. I love variety.

Thank you God for all these blessings!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bruce is blogging...

You can check out Bruce's blog at Write This Down . This blog was started after much nagging (I mean, let's just call it what it is) from me. So many people are wondering what we are up to so this will give you the information first hand.

I'll be sure he posts (again...probably nag him :)) often...and if he doesn't- I set up the I will post for him...if you see any posts about how amazing I'll know I hacked in and posted!!!

You can also catch Savannah's blog at

That's probably more information than you ever desired from my family...but oh is what it is!!!

Too Close for Comfort?

As I write I am sitting in an overstuffed chair...and I mean that in every sense of the word! Tucker is sitting as close as he can to hip bone might give way any moment. I tried to move him but he insisted that he needs to be close to me.

My kids are both very touchy-feely children. They like to be held, hugged, kissed and to hold hands. Most days I appreciate these qualities..I know they won't last forever so I want to embrace them in every way! However, there are other days when I am pursuing a deadline for work or have some household task that is breathing down my neck, when I get a little frustrated. I have my own idea about how the day should go and their clinginess or need for attention distracts me from getting what I "think" I need to do, done. I end up getting irritated by their needs, frustrated that I can't work at my own pace and a little overwhelmed. Wow...sounds like I also get a little distracted about the "main thing".

I'm learning that there's not too much more important in life than providing a secure home for these two luv bugs God has given Bruce and me. Their relationship is much like mine with God. When I am close to Him, His presence provides such peace, security and comfort. It's warm and cozy near God. It's a presence I don't want to stray from-just like my kids are when they are snuggled up next to me.

But- sometimes I think other things are more important than that personal close relationship with God. I get turned around with life...a house for sale, a new job for Bruce, homeschooling the kids, working my job (none of which are bad in and of themselves). I start doing things my own way, taking things into my own hands, thinking my agenda is more important that remaining in His presence- and then I have the audacity to wonder...where did God go? Why don't I have that secure feeling? Well- DUH- it's because I stepped away and took things into my own hands!!!

Isn't this a life-long lesson we are all learning? I know I need to do a better job staying in the overstuffed chair and snuggling up close to the Savior. Spending that time with Him, practicing his presence and pursuing His character is what helps all those other life-assignments go smoother- cleaning house, taking care of kids, mowing the grass, marriage and jobs all seem better when I have spent time in the secure arms of the Savior.

And gratefully, those arms don't leave me after I get busy during the day...they guide me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Storm is a comin'

This was the scene out my front door tonight...beautiful and unpredictable!

Fun in the Sun

A Trip to the Garden

These are pictures from The Mission's community garden (aka THE MISSION FIELD). Thanks to Justin Ferguson for all his work this weekend! - and thanks to the Lord for the good rain this morning! It's lookin' good!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Who Makes Me Smile

Thank you Lord for these blessings you've entrusted us with.

The Ultimate Sandwich

While on vacation last November we ate at Bennett's in Gatlinburg, TN. It's located right by the ski lift downtown. From outside you can smell the aroma of pit-smoked meat. If you weren't hungry before you got there....your stomach's growling now!

We looked over the menu and I saw The Ultimate Sandwich. I am a huge believer in eating unique food when I am out of I ordered what sounded like a delicious toasted BBQ sandwich. Boy, I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I dissected it in the restaurant so that I could try to make it at home...

...and I have and today I am making them again. I have a beef roast slow cooking in the slow-cooker (wish I had a pit to smoke it on). After 8-10 hours there I will add seasonings and BBQ sauce and shred the meat. At the same time I will be sauteing green bell pepper and onion on the stove top (in olive oil). Simultaneously I will be toasting "Texas Toast" in the oven.

The assembly goes something like this:

On the Texas toast spread an additional amount of BBQ sauce (as desired), load the meat on however high you want it, top with sauteed peppers, onions and pickles. Top with other piece of Texas Toast...and EAT!

Try it! You'll like it!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Search

Well, it's started. The search for a new church...and to be honest...this is harder than I thought it would be! Being in full-time ministry for the last 15 years has brought with it the luxury of NEVER having to look for a church...the church was always the one we were attending. In fact, for all practical purposes it's been over 13 years since Bruce and I sat together in a church service...because he's been the one preaching!!!

It was sort of cool when Bruce resigned at GBF and the church members asked if we would still attend until our house sold. That would certainly be the easy thing to do, but not necessarily the best thing for us or the church. We love that body of believers but they need to be able to move forward without the old pastor and family hanging out!

So, today we went to Church of Celebration located in Paloma Creek Elementary School. Savannah liked the cool fun money you earn in Celebration City. Tucker didn't cry when he went to his class and Bruce and I managed to make it through a service sitting next to each other!!! The pastor is in a series called PG Required- (Parental Guidance Required) and we loaded up on Biblical parenting tips.

The worship leader was Kris Allen's brother....well..not really...but he sure did look like him...and even sounded like him. We sang a song I hadn't heard before called "Who is the King". It was a little weird sitting with the congregation...but something I am sure I will get used to.

After the service, we grabbed a bite to eat with the pastor and his family (friends of Bruce's) and enjoyed some great fellowship at Villa Mexicano. Yum!

On a humorous note, on the way home today, we were asking the kids to tell us what they learned in their classes. They told us and then I told them what we had learned in our class..."We aren't spanking you enough". You should have heard the nervous laughter that rose from the back seat.....too funny!!!

We do ask for your prayers as we seek where God wants us during this time of transition. We truly desire to know the mind of Christ.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ghosts of Girlsfriends Past- Review

If you love Matthew McConaughey as much as I do...this review is going to hurt you. I have been a fan for years....not sure which movie it was that hooked me...but by the time The Wedding Planner was out...I was a fan. So this week when Keelie -aka Red Writing- suggested a Girl's Night Out, we made plans to see Matt's latest movie.

After a delicious meal at MiCocina in Plano, we headed over to Stonebriar to see Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. We arrived in plenty of time to get top row seats and chatted away until the movie started. And then it did.... before I write this review...please know that as an adult, I know what naked people look like, I have heard curse words and I am pretty familiar (unfortunately) with much of the world's "slang". I am not naive. I am not some wacked out Christian who can't handle it when the world throws a few of these things my way. I have sat through movies and live conversations that have left me wondering if I shouldn't have walked away...and tonight might have been another one of those occasions...except I did walk away this time.

The movie started with scantily clad women in less than appropriate positions and talking in less than lady-like language about less than appropriate topics. Here comes Mr. Matthew....touching and caressing his photography subjects in a way that any number of them would have been able to file a sexual harassment lawsuit if it were real life! He continues his inappropriate behavior for about 15 which Keelie and I had had enough and we exited. I am sure those who sat through the entire movie might beg to differ with me, but I was terrible disappointed to have wasted money on such a sickening movie.

My main gripes with the movie:

1. I am tired of sex being portrayed in such a careless way.
2. I am tired of women being desperate to be loved by men.
3. I am tired of the "sex sells" mentality
4. I am tired of innuendos that scream "sleep with me" even if it is a movie.
...there are more...

So, I guess you could say we gave the movie two thumbs DOWN! Sorely disappointed, we licked our wounds and used the only ointment that truly remedy's such disappointment...SHOPPING. We still had a wonderful time without the movie....and one of us walked away with some great stuff from Marshall's (not mentioning names, to protect the innocent).

I'm glad we walked out. It's not that I think less of people who sat through it. For me, it's that I had an opportunity to do what was right for me...and I obeyed the still voice and walked away.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Farm Girls

Morgan Waggoner and fresh-from-heaven Baby Samuel, came out to help weed the 'maters and water the garden Wednesday afternoon with me and my family. We couldn't resist getting our pic natural!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tribute to Kris

Mission Garden...First Fruits

Super Summer Savings

I have been looking for a few fun summer things to do with the kids during the hot Texas summer and I came across this deal from AMC theaters. Check out their $1 movies on Wednesday morning and the discounted snack pacs too!

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Good Morning! Thanks to Truth for the Journey for encouraging us all to be more thankful!

Here's my list:

1. I am thankful for God's provision. He amazes me on a regular basis by his attention to detail.

2. I am thankful for good friends and neighbors who have helped us get our house ready to sell. Lots of help doing things we don't know how to do has saved us a ton of money! Thanks friends.

3. I am thankful for the TeamKID program at GBF. Savannah has learned so much from the stories, verses, lessons and teachers. I have watched her grow spiritually and that makes me very happy...and thankful.

4. I am thankful for the Mission Community Garden. There are peppers on the pepper plants and other plants that are getting ready to produce. Exciting!

5. I am thankful for an unexpected visit from a friend the other day. Came just in the nick of time...right before I was going to throw a pity party for myself! Thank you God for seeing my need...and thank you friend for thinking of me!

So, what are you thankful for? Leave a comment below!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Devotion #3- Stillness in the Chaos

The Christian Pulse is posting daily devotions. Here is one that I wrote about a month ago and it is posted today. Timely, considering life.
Go to The Christian Pulse to read it!

TeamKID 2009

Mandy at GBF created this awesome video of TeamKID this year. Check it out!

Thanks for giving your heart, time and talents to our kids!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What do you do?

What do you do when you get down in the dumps? I'd really like to know, so leave me a comment below. Do you eat, pray(be honest), whine, yell, cry? You don't have to go into detail...just one or two words.

Monday, May 18, 2009

God's Chisel

Watch this when you have time to watch the entire video at one time. It's a must to get the entire story at one time!

It's a Beautiful Morning

Here I sit, blinds open, sippin' a diet coke, enjoying the beautiful-God-only-gets-the-credit morning in Texas. The humidity is down and there isn't any rain forcasted for today...a nice change from the last 3 weeks weather!...and did I mention...both kids are still asleep!

Here's an appropriate prayer that St. Basil prayed in the 4th century...what a good prayer to pray on this Monday morning:

"We pray in the morning to give the first stirrings of our minds to God. Before anything else, let the thought of God gladden you."

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

God Showed Up

Confessional: For three Sundays in a row I have not been in church. There, I've said it. I know. For 15 years I have been a pastor's wife, and now that I am not...I've dropped out of church....NOT!!!! Two weeks ago, I was at my moms, then last Sunday we were traveling back from TN and today I had to pick my kids up in Sulphur Springs...and because of everything else going on...had to do it this morning. I know, and I feel bad. Don't worry, I will be back in church next Sunday.

Since I wasn't in church I started my trip to Sulphur Springs with Kari Jobe. I sang along loudly and I am sure that I was a spectacle to all those who passed by. Then I called my mom, we shared some prayer requests, then picked my kids up and decided we would have our own worship service on the way home (I have always wanted to be the this was my chance!)

I told the kids that since we hadn't gone to church today we were going to have our own worship service in the car. I asked them to tell me something they were thankful for and for the next 15 minutes or so we listed scores of things we had to be thankful for. Here are a few of the most memorable:

1. Indoor potty and outdoor potty (as in port-a-potty)

2. Savannah said she was thankful for MY in-laws

3. Dad's new job

4. Adam and Eve

5. Shelter (yes this was the exact word used)

6. Music

7. Fruits and Vegetables

8. Jesus dying on the cross

9. God sending us Jesus on the first Christmas

10. Burger King

There were more, but I guess I was just mesmerized that for 15 or so minutes, without me saying too much, they went back and forth listing the things they were thankful for. Sometimes they were goofy, but most of the time they were right on track.

In that car, on the way home. God met with us. I know because He loves to hear His children's praise. That's what was going on in a mini-van from Farmersville to McKinney on Hwy 380 at 11:30ish today...God was meeting with us. -And for a morning that felt a little awkward to not be in church, it turned out to be ever so good praising and raising with my little ones.

Home Improvement

Since we put our house up for sale, we have been making some small home improvements (read the last post and you'll see how "we" have done it). This weekend we have been laying ceramic tile in our kitchen and hall bath...and even though it isn't completely finished you can tell a huge difference.

This morning as I admired the work TJ and Bruce had done, God brought to mind the spiritual applications that are involved in all these improvements.

1. Before we could lay the new tile, the old flooring had to be ripped out. Some of the flooring came out easily, while other parts clung to the foundation like a screaming child to its mother. Those tough places were greeted with a razor blade and cut out. Not a pretty picture...but exactly what happens when we have sin in our lives. The old way must go in order for the finished project to be complete. It's a lifelong process and all believers are in the process of completion.

2. After the flooring is out, you have to scrape the floor for any residual glue or other adhesives. We used rasor blade scrapers and before you knew it the house was getting a nice glaze of dust over it! It's amazing what the eyes can't see. The glue was hardly noticeable, yet, according to our expert tile layer, would cause problems if we didn't take care of it now. How like sin in our own lives. Those sins we don't think anyone notices..they are there. They are invisible to the naked eye, but in the quietness of night, or the solitude of a moment, you and the master contractor know they are there. The removal process is tedious, yet necessary. The dust may settle and there may be a mess to clean, but in the end, the project is one step closer to completion.

3. Mapping out the floor is next. I peaked in on the guys and they were busy measuring out the floor. This ensured the tile would be laid straight and evenly. God's word is the map for our lives. No matter how we try to eyeball daily living on our own...his map is the only way we will get it right.

4. Then the tile cutting began. Careful measurements were taken for each tile. The slightest error could mean a redo....and there were several redos! It took precision and patience to get it right. In our own lives we get impatient when things we are trying to do get delayed, don't turn out like we expected them to or have to be redone. However, we are human and these things happen to us all. Take the time for redos- otherwise the project will not be done correctly and in the end be a poor imitation of a job well done.

That's where we are in the process. More work continues today after church. I will let you know how it goes! Meanwhile, join me as I strive to let the master contractor do the work He needs to in my life, no matter how painful, tedious or difficult it is.

Friday, May 15, 2009

How God Blessed Me Yesterday

Late yesterday afternoon, Bruce arrived home from work. Our to-do list was longer than the world's largest ball of twine. We had things to do outside...trim hedges, sweep and clean porches, pick up toys in the get the idea. As we were cleaning, our neighbors and friends from down the street arrived at the house. Instead of just stopping by to talk, shoot the breeze, catch up- they started pitching in. They moved inside with us once we finished in the yard. Before they left they had helped us hang a huge mirror, stained our front door, hung the new pantry doors we had bought, fixed the canned lighting in the garaged and fixed a loose pipe under the kitchen sink. WOW!!! Now that's going the extra mile! I couldn't believe how much we got done all working together. What should have taken us until midnight was easily done by 9pm.

Maybe I should brag about the neighbors to help sell the house?!? It's just another way God is taking care of us. It is a bit overwhelming as I sit and watch God orchestrate this series of events in our lives. He is the Great Provider of all things...even great neighbors!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

It's that time of the week friends. Time to look into your life and remember what you are thankful for. Check out Truth 4 the Journey while you are at it.

1. I am thankful for God's Word and how it touches my heart, encourages my soul and convicts me of things I need to work on.

2. I am thankful for an inpromptu stop in Tennessee on our way home from Georgia last week. We were able to see friends, visit and soak up the beauty of that area of the country.

3. I am thankful for new baseboards in the bonus room....why didn't we do that sooner???

4. I am thankful for the salvation of several of my college friend's children recently.

5. I am thankful for missionaries who serve God far from their family and the comforts of home.

So, put your thinking caps on...and let me know what you are thankful for today!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Need a Clone!

I knew it was coming. I figured it would be weeks away, when I had much time to prepare and ready myself, and my house. But last week the call came. While I was in Atlanta. Someone wants to see the house.

So, now I have been home a few days and am looking around at all that needs to be done and have decided I need a clone. This is the list of things the clone would be in charge of:

1. Cleaning out fridge and freezer

2. Wiping down baseboards

3. Cleaning bathrooms

4. Cleaning the bird poo off the back porch (have I told you how mad I am at birds?)

5. Pulling a few weeds in the flowerbed...and if the yard guy doesn't get here..she will need to mow too.

I will take care of other chores...I would never just sit and watch her. Here's what I will take care of:

1. Browsing through old magazines to see which ones I want to ditch.

2. Put finishing touches on the staging that has begun

3. Baking appeal to the senses of course

4. Set the DVR to record all the shows I like, but will miss due to all this cleaning

5. Vacuum (I have wood floors- 3 rugs)

I say all this in jest...but boy wouldn't it be nice to have a clone to call in for weeks like this one!

Truly I am thankful someone is coming to our house to see if it's a fit. Please say a prayer that if this is the place for them, they will know it.

See ya....I've got cleaning to do ya'll!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Devotional #2 at Christian Pulse

Here's the link to The Christian Pulse where you can find my devotional for this week.

A Few of My Favorite Things

1. Slow walks with someone I love.

2. Little Debbie Zebra Cakes


4. Good books

5. Freshly vacuummed carpets

6. Footstools

7. Flip flops

8. Fire in the fireplace

9. Bruce's eyes

10. PJ Days with my kids

Leave me a comment and let me know one of your favorite things!

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Would Die for You

If there was ever a book that I would recommend to parents and teenagers and youth workers and missionaries...and...everyone I would be I Would Die for You.

About the Book:

(Tulsa, OK) - "It's an honor just to be nominated": familiar words for Emmy and Grammy nominees. Still, Brent and Deanna Higgins never believed the phrase would pertain to their family. Outreach magazine has recently honored the Higgins' book, I Would Die for You, with a nomination as Outreach Resource of the Year.

That nomination, however, came with a great cost. I Would Die for You chronicles the life and death of their young son, BJ Higgins; along with his faith; his passion for missions and his love for God. Compelling excerpts from personal notes, blog entries school assignments and journals reveal his clear calling and enthusiasm for sharing the gospel of Christ. BJ's challenging words and example combine to inspire readers of all ages.

After returning from his second short-term international mission trip at the age of 15, BJ became seriously ill. Six days before his sixteenth birthday, he died. His story lives on throughout the pages of his parents' book.

In spite of the inevitable grief , Brent and Deanna share their son's message of selfless sacrifice through both I Would Die for You and Awe Star Ministries, the nonprofit ministry that coordinated his mission trips. Their prayer? That countless others will embrace BJ's vision and give their all for the cause of Christ.

What Teenagers are Saying:

BJ was just a year younger than me, and in his short life he had such a full life and could die with no regrets. He had a sense of urgency in telling the story of the gospel and its transforming power to others. He didn't worry about what they thought or if he would be rejected.

--T. Buse

The New Normal: Facing Life after a Child's Death

by Marti Pieper

"Dad, I know you're scared. I believe the Lord will deliver me through this. But if he doesn't, I'm going home to be with him, and that's okay with me."--BJ Higgins, August 5, 2005

Brent and Deanna Higgins clung to these valiant words throughout their son's six-week hospitalization. BJ became ill with a mysterious infection after he returned from his second mission trip to Peru. His death on September 26, 2005, days before his sixteenth birthday, ushered their family (Brent, Deanna, and two college-aged daughters) into what they called the new normal: life without their beloved son and brother. The new normal also meant life without one who served as a role model for many, including his own family members. BJ's story and message of passionate obedience to Christ are chronicled in his parents' best-selling book, I Would Die for You: One Student's Story of Passion, Service, and Faith (Revell, 2008).

How do Brent and Deanna survive the new normal? The Higgins point to their relationship with God as the key. "The level of intimacy one truly has in a relationship with Christ is often reflected through the time of pain, suffering, and loss," says Brent, now vice president for international operations for their son's sending agency, Awe Star Ministries. He and Deanna recommend that others who face the loss of a child draw near to God. "When you do, He promises to draw near to you," Brent explains.

Drawing near to other people is important, too, Deanna says. "It helped to talk to other people about him, to remember who he was. Initially, just holding onto the people around us helped a lot."

Today, the Higgins lead teams of young missionaries like their son to take the Gospel of Christ to people around the world. More recently, God has opened the doors for ministry to others who have lost a child. "No two losses are exactly alike regardless of similar circumstances," says Brent. "I encourage parents to seek the Lord because He always listens."

"Everyone goes through it differently," says Deanna. "We each grieve in our own way, but God can handle our anger. He can handle anything." She urges other hurting parents to recognize the hope beyond their pain. "If you look, you'll find ways He's showing you He cares. He's showing you He's with you through it."

God's presence doesn't eliminate loneliness, however. The Higgins both admit that their work with students often brings back bittersweet memories of their son. "Certain students remind me of BJ in their passion for Christ, their hunger to know more," Brent says. At times, both Brent and Deanna find comfort in their son's journals (excerpted in the book) as well as videos and pictures of him. Music, an integral part of their family life, also serves as a source of strength.

Connecting with God and with others, especially young people like their son, helps them cope. Deanna says the loss of her son has left her more open to see the potential of these young men and women. Brent adds, "Before BJ passed, the things I taught were less experiential and more intellectual. The things the Lord has allowed me to walk through since that time have increased my own intensity and passion for seeing students truly understand what God calls them to do."

As part of a passionate declaration in one of his journals, BJ wrote, "It's time to raise a revolution. God will give me the strength." For his parents, the new normal means a commitment to extend his legacy--even when it hurts.

Blog Tour Questions:

1. Describe how BJ became involved in short-term mission trips. How did these trips impact BJ’s faith?

BJ watched other members of our family participate in church mission trips. He couldn’t wait for his turn! When Brent led a team to Kentucky to serve in a school, BJ went along. At age fourteen, he learned of an opportunity to minister in Peru. He served there with Awe Star Ministries two consecutive summers and his heart broke over the world’s lostness. His mission service ignited a passion to see the Gospel reach the nations.

2. Even as a young boy BJ’s passion for God shone through in his life. How did you see that passion then and as he grew?

In his childhood, his passion sometimes came across as judgmental. When he learned to share out of love, his witness became much more effective. He was bold and unafraid to share the Gospel in any way possible. After his mission trips, his heightened passion led him to spend more time in the Word, in prayer, in fellowship, and worship. BJ could turn almost any conversation to the things of God because he genuinely loved others.

3. Share the story of BJ’s illness and the time when God called him home.

Three weeks after his 2005 Peru trip, BJ became critically ill. On the way to the hospital, he told Brent, “Dad, I know you’re scared. I believe the Lord will deliver me through this. But if he doesn’t, I’m going home to be with him, and that’s okay with me.” Friends began a blog we still maintain, It received thousands of hits as people across the world prayed for our son. After a six-week battle with a mysterious infection, BJ went to heaven days before his sixteenth birthday.

4. How did BJ’s faith journey become the inspiration for the song, “I Would Die For You” written by MercyMe’s lead singer, Bart Millard?

Within a week of BJ’s hospitalization Bart (a friend from the band’s early years) called Brent. Our oldest daughter had posted some of BJ’s journal entries on our blog and Bart was amazed at his spiritual depth. He emailed fans encouraging them to pray. MercyMe grieved deeply when BJ died. Our son’s life and writings inspired Bart to put words to a tune he already had, now the final song on the “Coming Up to Breathe” CD.

5. BJ’s life and death have touched many people. Which of his qualities and/or experiences seems to impact others the most?

People didn’t realize it was possible to live a life as sold out to Christ as BJ’s. They’re amazed at the boldness he showed when God told him to witness to four Peruvian policemen carrying uzis. As he wrote, he was “mucho scardios,” but all four accepted Christ. His passionate declaration, “I will not be satisfied. I will not let my passion be hid in a bottle” still touches people in deep ways.

6. As you both continue to partner with Awe Star Ministries, what are your hopes and dreams for this ministry? For this book?

We hope to impact students’ lives, discipling and partnering with them in missions. We long for them to realize that surrender to Christ can occur without crossing borders. God calls us to live a missionary lifestyle within our own culture. Our hope for the book is not that our son be glorified but that God multiply his message. We pray that God draws those who read it to embrace their Savior and live for Him as never before.

7. Where can readers learn more about BJ and I Would Die For You? Where can they learn more about Awe Star Ministries? contains devotionals, complete archives, pictures, and BJ’s own words. Recently, we posted a video of his life at You’ll find I Would Die for You anywhere Christian books are sold. contains a link for a free companion Bible study. Friend us on Facebook: Brent A. Higgins; Deanna Tucker Higgins.

Visit to learn more about international missions opportunities. May God use you to extend BJ’s passion to reach the nations and “raise a revolution” in Him.

Parenting Tips from the Higgins

▪ Stay in the Word and in prayer if you expect your children to do so. Too many times, parents expect that the youth pastor is going to grow their children. You can’t expect your kids to live a lifestyle you’re not.

▪ Be sure you have a firm answer from God before you respond to your child about a request. For example, when BJ first wanted to serve overseas, our initial answer was “no,” but that was a knee-jerk reaction. Parents must be careful to hear from the Holy Spirit and not respond out of pure protectiveness or emotion.

▪ If at all possible, have a regular devotional time with your family. This should include prayer, not just rote prayer but significant time with God. This teaches kids how to pray and encourages them in their walk with the Lord

▪ Arrange to have dinner together as a family as often as you can. This gives you an opportunity to share as a family and also allows you to listen to your children. Kids won’t spill unless parents are willing to listen.

▪ Don’t be afraid to let your children fail. Sometimes kids need to try things and learn that failure is a part of life. They need all kinds of experiences as they move into adulthood.

▪ Encourage your children to be bold in their faith. Do activities as a family—mission trips and other projects—that require boldness. Encourage them to be involved in opportunities to share their faith.

▪ Listen, listen, and listen to your children. We say this humbly because we learned from our mistakes. Often your kids are telling you things by what they don’t tell you. (See the note about having dinner together above).

▪ When discouraging things happen, don’t remove your child’s opportunities to obey God. Your child’s relationship with God should never be used as a weapon. Opportunities for fellowship(youth group, etc.) shouldn’t be contingent on “good” behavior.

▪ If you make a commitment, follow through. If your child makes a commitment, help him or her follow through on it, too. The lesson here: your faithfulness sets an example for others.

▪ Practice what you preach to your children. Demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit through your love, kindness, etc. Although we weren’t (and aren’t) perfect parents, we tried to follow through in our lives with the things we taught our kids.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Who Can Find a Virtuous Woman?

I Can!!! (Picture me with my hand up, flapping it in the wind...begging for the teacher to call on me!)

It's no secret that I have the best mom in the world (I know some of you want to argue....but...this is my blog and what I say is gospel!)

There are many beautiful words that describe her but I thought I would list some of my favorite things about her here:

1. She loves Jesus. It pours from her. She may not come right out and tell you she loves Him...she doesn't have to...she lives it. You don't have to be around her five minutes to know.

2. She loves her family. She has three pretty strong-willed kids and we have put her through a fair amount of ups and downs, but at the end of the day, none of us doubt where we stand in the love department with her.

3. She knows how to make a home look good on a budget. Growing up I remember her jaunts to flea markets and clearance sales. She furnished our home so beautifully on a budget. Her example of decorating, care and details has been passed down...I love making my home look nice. (If only my kids valued this...they will one day!)

4. She kissed my dad at the front door everyday when he left for work...and I am not talking about a little peck on the cheek. I'm talking about the "embarrass the kids" kind of kiss. This meant very little to me as a child (at least I thought)...but the older I get I realize that I never doubted whether or not my parents loved each other...and it was largely due to "that" kiss.

5. She is generous. There are very few people who have had the kind of life my mom has had. I wish I had permission to share all the things that she has endured so you could maybe better understand what an amazing virtuous woman she is. But even after all that...she is one of the most generous people I know. She has housed troubled teens, recovering drug addicts, single women. She has bought food for the hungry, paid bills that were not hers and given away things that others might think are priceless. She has given when she herself was in need.

So on this Mother's Day, having just returned from a week long stay with my mom, I find myself reflecting on the extreme rarity of virtuous women in the world today. I find myself not only thankful, but blessed that God chose Nancy Anderson as my mother.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Head over to Truth for the Journey to read more about Thankful Thursdays.

Here are a few things I am thankful for:

1. Today- National Day of Prayer...that I live in a country where I am afforded the freedom to pray without fear of torture, abuse or legal repercussions. May I never take this for granted!

2. For a wonderful get-a-way to Georgia this week. Seeing family, resting, catching up and bonding. It's been great!

3. An unexpected blessing that was way above anything I could ever dream or imagine.

4. A nibble on our house that is for sale. First showing May 16Th.

5. For a God who never matter how good or bad I act...he remains the same.

I'd love to hear what you are thankful for. Leave a comment below!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Midnight Prayer

Tuesday night I went to bed with an unsettled heart. I was anxious, worried and ended up tossing and turning for a little bit. Finally, I told myself...."Quit your worrying and PRAY". I gave myself a little sermon about how foolish it was to worry and be anxious and reminded myself of some truths found in God's Word. Then I prayed...simply..."Lord, please calm my heart and show me you're in this". I then fell asleep...quickly!

It's amazing how those times when we acknowledge our sin..He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin...and then He blesses us so undeservingly.

Thank you Father for the grace you pour down on me...for being trustworthy and dependable...and than none of that is dependent on my is who you are regardless of how I act. Praise you!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fabulous Fam

My family is spending time in Atlanta with my mom, brother, sister in law and sister and her new boyfriend. It's been a year since I've been in Georgia...and boy have I missed being together with everyone. You don't realize what you are missing when miles seperate you, but when we are together it doesn't take long for me to be wishing we lived closer.

Each member brings something unique to the family table. My mom us certaily the matriarch of our family. What she says goes. We all, in our own way, look after her...and in her very motherly way, she looks after her adult children. Always with wise counsel on her lips, her words have saved all of us from making some pretty crazy decisions.

Andy, my younger brother by 2 years, took on the fatherly role when my dad passed away 18 years ago. He knows just about everything about everything. He is a real genuis...and I'm not joking. He is the smartest person I have ever met in my life. He is kind, loving and didn't do too shabby in the wife department either. Jan arrived on the scene four years ago and married Andy. She's organized, a great cook, a perfectionist and a great aunt to my kids. I can't wait to recipricate one day!

Amy is 5 years younger than me. She is the baby of my parents trio of children. She would have you to believe that she was mistreated as a child, she thinks she was punished for every mischievious action Andy and I did...and she might be right. Somehow we did find ways to pass the buck. Amy's strong personality and opinions bring lively discussions to the table- but by the time desserts are served...she has usually piped down and we are all talking about something less stressful! She's brought Christian onto the scene. He's a great guy and we look forward to getting to know him better.

I'm enjoying spending this time with my family. It's so obvious the love, support and encouragement that oozes within these walls. All for one and one for all!