2017 Go Light Your World – National Speech and Debate Tournament

2017 Go Light Your World

2017 Go Light Your World

This month we were blessed to again be part of the 6th annual ‘Go Light Your World’ STOAA National Speech and Debate Tournament held in Tyler, Texas.

The GLYW tournament provides an arena for students to learn, develop and practice their skills in speech and debate.  The mission is to encourage them to speak Truth and Love with Christ-like character in their communities and beyond.  By honoring the life and testimony of Jimmy Brazell, the students are taught to find their own voice and be equipped to go light their world!

Throughout the event during a daily worship time, I am honored to be able to share a message, challenging the audience of students and families to use their skills and talents to make a difference and to change their world for Christ.  This year’s message centered on the importance of ‘Setting Your Mind on Things Above’,  and by “by recognizing that we have died to ourselves we allow God, Who is Love, to love and reconcile the world through us.”

We would like to extend a huge thank you to Wendy Baker and Rebeka Hall who directed this amazing event and also to the multitude of volunteers and judges who made it all possible.  The Jimmy Brazell Foundation was blessed and is very grateful for a very generous donation provided from the proceeds of the GLYW tournament.

 

 

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It Was A Good Death

Today, July 31, 2015 is the fourth anniversary of Chandler’s (Jimmy’s) early earthly death and the beginning of his life in heaven.

Christian and Chuck at the Falls

Christian and Chuck at the Falls

Typically, our family would be in Montana at the waterfall off of the Dearborn River where Chandler took his last breath, or beside his grave on this date. “Why in the world would you want to be there?” You’re probably thinking…”what a sad place to be!” This year, my family is scattered in different places, and we (Chuck and Rhonda) are in Colorado. We want to spend this day hiking around Quandary Peak and near the Snake River because it is crystal clear and bluish and reminds us of the Dearborn River. We want to spend this day reflecting and thinking about our son.  We will go back through the memories of his life- his birth, his childhood and teenage years and even his death.  We are proud of all parts of Chandler’s life and, even as strange as it may sound, we are proud even of his death. You see, Chandler died a good death (as every man desires), and as painful as it is to us we are proud of him for it.

Jimmy leading worship overlooking Steamboat mountain- His Last night and time to lead

Jimmy leading worship overlooking Steamboat mountain- His Last night and time to lead

Chandler was at a youth leadership camp at the time of his death, serving as a worship leader and a counselor. Before that camp, he was enjoying the mountains with his family, and before that he was attending Summit, an intensive Bible and worldview camp. Before Summit, he was serving as a youth counselor at “Jesus Camp” (a free camp for underprivileged kids and refugees in Dallas). And before that, he had just spent 6 months in China serving and teaching migrant Chinese kids. Now, we’ve been accused of “putting Chandler on a pedestal”, but truly our boast is in what the Lord did in Chandler’s heart and life and for Chandler’s faithfulness. Let me assure you, as his father and mother, we are very aware of his weaknesses and imperfections. But his weaknesses are for another post. This is about his death…his legacy.

Chandler loved the mountains, he loved the water and he loved the outdoor beauty. He loved worship, he loved God with all his heart and he was passionate about helping people. All of these things led up to and surrounded his death. It is a big part of what he is known for and will be known for. It is Chandler’s story, and according to the Bible, it is his story that will ring throughout eternity. After four years, Chandler’s ministry and influence continue to impact lives around the world.

Jimmy on Steamboat Mountain- within hours of death

Jimmy on Steamboat Mountain- within hours of death

That last hour they say he fought hard. For more than three minutes he fought that current, before he went under. And for over an hour he maintained a heartbeat. Our son is a fighter. But when the fight was over, we can only imagine the amazing scene of the angels carrying him out of that beautiful canyon and the joy on his face as he entered his peace and met his Savior whom he loves.

This is why we can say…  It was a good death.

Chuck and Rhonda

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“Make A Difference today. It will last for Eternity!”

IMG-Go Mad

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It Takes A Lot of Love to Live

Quote-Lot of Love to Live

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY GOD!

Today, Valentine’s Day, is the perfect opportunity to express our love for our family and for that special person in our life. Tons of Facebook messages express that exact thing, and I enjoy reading them. I especially like the posts that acknowledge God’s love for us.

IMG-Love God too much

I’m not sure exactly when or what was going on in Jimmy’s life when he sketched this saying on the bed slat above him. But we can conclude that, that night, as he lay in bed he was thinking and expressing his love towards his Lord. Maybe he was imagining telling God he loved Him, face to face.

TODAY, BE SURE TO TAKE A FEW MINUTES AND TELL GOD YOU LOVE HIM! For who He is, for what He did for you and for His never ending, unconditional love for you. Maybe write Him a love note. Maybe a song. Purpose to Love Him with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, and with ALL your mind and with ALL your strength!

Happy V-Day!

Chuck

“It takes a lot of Love to live!” -Jimmy

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GO LIGHT YOUR WORLD – 2014

GLYW Tournament-2014

We are excited and honored to be part the Third Annual “GO LIGHT YOUR WORLD 2014″ – STOA National Speech and Debate Tournament in honor of Chandler ‘Jimmy’ Brazell!

The date is February 26-28, 2014 and takes place in Tyler, Texas. Rachel Brazell will be sharing about her teaching position in China this past year!

Volunteer Judges are needed! If you are in the area, please consider judging one or more debates. No experience is necessary and training is provided. By serving in this way you will be a tremendous help and we promise you will be blessed and encouraged. Sign up or get more details at:

www.golightyourworld2014.homeschooldebate.net

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Jimmy Won! – 2 Years

2 years ago today, the earth lost an amazing young man, many of you lost a good if not one of you best friends and I lost one of my best friends and my son- Chandler “Jimmy” James Brazell.  I love you Chandler..I miss you..and can barely wait to see you again!  Soon!  Chuck

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Happy Birthday to Chandler from a Mother’s Heart!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful son, Chandler “Jimmy”! Although Chandler is forever 19, today he would have been 21 years old.

 Some people may find it hard to believe that after nearly two years without my Chandler, it is still hard to live without him. I would do just about anything to give him a big hug this morning and video him in front of his cake as we sing happy birthday. This day brings a wave of grief and sorrow that literally knocks me off my feet. I’m not ashamed of that. I own my sorrow because it comes from the unstoppable love of a mother for her child. Although Chandler is no longer here, my love and longing for him beats on with every beat of my heart. This love is the purest of love, and is placed in my heart by God. If I didn’t love him so much, I wouldn’t miss him so much.

But my grief is not without incredible HOPE. And this day is not only filled with sorrow and longing but with thankfulness, praise and even joy. I am so THANKFUL for 19 wonderful years with Chandler! Every day of being his mother was not always wonderful. In fact, some days were incredibly difficult, frustrating and even heart breaking. But every day was a blessing, and I’m so THANKFUL for the short time we had. I’m so THANKFUL for the legacy Chandler left behind.  A legacy of love and service for God and people, and for the impact he continues to have throughout the world. I’m even THANKFUL for the sacred and beautiful process of my grief, for I see much more clearly through tear-filled eyes. It is through my brokenness and weakness that God has given me a clear understanding of my calling in this world to reach out to the poor, the lowly, the lost and the hurting. It is through suffering that God blesses us with hearts of compassion. God has shown me my complete dependence on Him, my desperate condition and my need to rely on His power and grace in my life.

My lips are filled with PRAISE to my awesome God for making Chandler the person he was. I PRAISE God not only for all that He did through Chandler’s life, but also for what He is doing through Chandler’s death. I am utterly amazed at how God can take something that seems so tragic and devastating and turn it into something so beautiful that it changes lives all around the world! Only God can use death to bring forth so much life! Only God can redeem brokenness and turn into strength, beauty and service! I PRAISE God because He is good and He is faithful in all situations. GLORY to God forever!

Even JOY has slowly crept it’s way back into my life. I can’t say that I feel it all the time, and I don’t believe I should. “There is a season for everything under the sun”. But today, at this moment, there is JOY. I have JOY because I know my darling son is safe in heaven with God! I have JOY because I know he is at peace and is happy and complete! I have JOY because I know Chandler wouldn’t come back even if given the choice. I have JOY because of God’s unfathomable plan of salvation through Jesus, my son will live forever in perfect joy. I have Joy…BECAUSE ONE DAY I WILL EMBRACE MY CHILD AGAIN, and I will live forever with Christ and know the perfect joy that Chandler knows now.

THANK YOU God for June 4, 1992. Thank you for blessing us with Chandler James Brazell. And happy birthday, my beloved son! “I love you forever… I like you for always…as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be!”

~Rhonda Brazell, Proud and Loving Mom

 

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Double, Double Cheese Burger and Entertaining Angels

In January’s post ‘ To Truly Live is to Truly GIVE’,  a challenge was  presented:  a challenge to make 2013 a year of Giving.  This is a challenge to give of ourselves , and we highlighted a few examples of Chandler and how he was a giver and how he gave of himself.  In this post I would like to share a short and interesting story that I believe you will enjoy hearing.

This story is shared by Tara Pattengale, a fellow Teenpact staffer who spent time with Chandler while he was staffing in the Washington State Class in spring of 2010.   After his accident Tara wrote a letter to Chandler in a beautiful blog post that I hope to share sometime.  She writes about Chandler:

“…also, there was that time when you randomly bought an extra McChicken sandwich (after the Mars Hill church service) because the Lord told you to. The next thing I know you were gone from across the table.  After looking around the restaurant I saw you over at a booth with a homeless guy. I heard you say, “Hello Sir! My name is Jimmy. What’s yours? Would you like my sandwich? I bought an extra one for some reason and I don’t want both. J  Sir, could I ask you a question?…” you paused and then continued, “If you could ask God one thing what would it be and why? I always think it’s so fascinating to hear people’s thoughts on that.”  After a few moments of talk with “Michael the Archangel” you asked him if you could pray for him. Despite his negative reply you put your hand on his and prayed.  I was amazed at your utter joy when he jumped up and left. You were beaming.  “At least I gave him a sandwich, he was really hungry,” was your only reply.”

Since hearing this story I have learned of  several similar instances where Chandler would order extra food and share it with someone while sparking a conversation with that individual.  Sam walker, one of Chandler’s best friends in Tyler shares a time when they were at an Arby’s and Chandler bought an extra  sand which and went looking  for a needful person.  They found someone in need and both he and Sam sat down and gave and shared with this man.

Anyway, regarding this story there are at least 2 key points for us to consider:

1) Chandler was a GIVER!  He gave of himself and gave of his money, time and possessions.  Those who spent time with him would agree and could share how he invested in their lives.  In this case, he shared a McDonalds sandwich.  But he didn’t just give a sandwich.  Notice how he also brought God into the conversation.

2)  Chandler was a DO’er.  When he felt the Lord leading him to do something, he was obedient.  He didn’t wait for a better time.  He didnt put it off. He didn’t forget about it. He acted!   In the May 2012 post I shared a post “Kentucky Fried Love” where we see his remorse at a time when he didn’t act.

James 1:22 -But be Doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Hebrews 13:2 -Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unknowingly entertained angels.

What is God asking you to do?  Who is He asking you to share with today?  or, to talk to today?  Don’t ignore the Holy Spirit. Don’t put it off.  Obey! As we are obedient and faithful, you will be excited to see more opportunities that He will give you.  Be a Giver!  Be a Doer!

Lets Go MAD!,  Chuck

PS.  If you are looking for a good conversation opener…try buying an extra cheeseburger! :)

PSS.  If looking for a good line to take a conversation to the spiritual, try Chandlers great line he used in this story:  ”if you could ask God one question, what would it be?”

 

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18 Months

 

Chandler leading Worship- Beijing, China

Every once in a while, a person comes along who is so filled with love and grace that it spills over on to everyone he meets. He is so unashamed of Jesus that many may call him a fool. He is so convinced of his faith that it dictates everything he does. He is so surrendered to God, that he will follow His voice anywhere. He is so passionate in worship and life, that he’s like a blazing flame, spreading fire wherever he goes. He is so “hungry and thirsty for righteousness” that he is satisfied by God. He is so “poor in spirit” that he cries aloud on behalf of himself and the people. He is so transparent and real, that he draws people in. Every once in a while, we are blessed to know a unique person like this; and are touched and impacted by his love. All glory to God for the short and beautiful life of Chandler “Jimmy” Brazell, for it is through His power and grace that Chandler lived and loved.
Happy 1 1/2 years in heaven, Chandler! “It won’t be long” till we’re all together again. But until that time…there is much work to be done here on earth, and much love to share. We love you, and remember you with every breath!
Mom and Dad                                                                                                                          January 31, 2013

 

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