To Truly Live is to Truly GIVE! – A Challenge for 2013!

THE ESSENCE OF LOVE IS GIVING.  THE ESSENCE OF LIFE IS LOVE.”

Quote of Chandler found on front cover of his Bible.

Chandler wrote these words on the inside  cover page of his Bible.  The theme of Chandler’s life is “One word: LOVE”.  And for Chandler, living a life of love meant living a life of giving, and being righteous meant being benevolent.

Chandler’s life exemplified giving. He gave of his time, he gave of his energy, he gave of his resources, he gave of his talents, he shared his emotions and passions, he gave his heart and he gave his love.  Really, he gave himself fully.  Interestingly, one of Chandlers all-time favorite books to read as a child was The Giving Tree.  He wanted to read it over and over and later in life even shared the story with his students in China.  It is a story about giving all of yourself, even to the point of not having anything else to give.

The Giving Tree- One of Chandler's favorite books.

Chandler understood that life is too short to not take advantage of every moment.  He was characterized by investing in the lives of others,  and he always gave 110%.  Almost everyone he met and spent time with considered him to be one of, if not their best friend.  Principal Zheng, at the Dandelion School in China said that he would usually skip lunch so that he could teach additional classes and that he would always stay after school to spend his afternoons and evenings with his students. She said that of all the hundreds of volunteers that have come to her school, she has never before seen someone give so much love, time and attention to the students as Chandler did.

Chandler teaching guitar to chinese friends

He also gave himself fully to His Lord.  Chandler used his talents in writing, singing and playing music to bring honor to God and express the beauty of life.  He thrived on leading others in worship to the King! He also spent hours and hours alone in his room and out in the woods crying out in prayer and praise and reading his Bible.  He gave!

The essence of our lives should be about giving ultimately because Christ’s life was about giving. Jesus loved and gave first. (2 Corinthians 8:9) That was His mission here on earth: to give hope to mankind. As it speaks of Him in Isaiah 61, “The Lord has appointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and to comfort all who mourn.”

One of the blessings the Lord has given me through my grief is opening my eyes and heart to those hurting around me. And there are a lot hurting people out there. They hang out at cemeteries. They are at the hospitals. They are living on the streets. They stay and eat at homeless shelters. They are in prisons. They are in nursing homes and orphanages. They live in extreme poverty in third world countries. They stand in the grocery store line next to you. They work with you. They are at your school sitting beside you. DO YOU SEE THEM? All too often we get caught up in the business of  our life— activities, school, work, relationships, even church. All of these are good things, but we CAN NOT let them distract us from the pains and hurts of this world.

Found on same Bible cover page.

You see, ‘Love’ is an action word. Give. Go. Do. Loving isn’t about head knowledge, it is about acting on that knowledge. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do it for Me.” We do it for Him!

Now, as we enter 2013, may we ask our Father to open our eyes and to soften our hearts to the lost and the hurting people all around us. May this be a year of Giving!  Will we be willing to “give, but give until it hurts”? -(Mother Teresa) “Give until you have nothing left to give; then give a little more.”-  (unknown)

Thank you Chandler for GIVING to us and being an example of a true giver! May the Lord bless you richly in 2013!  -Chuck and Christian

P.S.   As our pastor, Joe Fauss, concludes almost every Sunday service:                         “Go- Find a need and meet it……Find a hurt and heal it.”

We are proud to share this short video presented to Chandler by the Dandelion School when he left China.

 

 

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The Man Who Knew Love

Today marks the one year mark of Jimmy’s passing.  This week our family is in Montana at the location where he spent his last days and hours and took his last breath.  What a special place!    I was excited to have one of Jimmy’s close friends and accountability partners, Clayton Chambers, ask to write a post about Jimmy for this special time.   I know you will enjoy and benefit from this post ‘The Man Who Knew Love’ and the included song he wrote and sang for Jimmy.  Thank you Clayton  for loving Jimmy and for sharing your heart about him during this week.  -Chuck Brazell

The Man Who Knew Love  by Clayton Chambers

The gym was packed.

Over four hundred folks, with students from nearly every state sat attentively in this gym, listening to speeches given by students who were running for positions in a mock election campaign. As dozens of candidates gave shaky, short, and sometimes superficial speeches, one student caught everyone’s eye. He sauntered onto the stage with a guitar in hand and a smile on his face; his countenance was one of a kind.

No one could really imitate Jimmy Brazell.

Jimmy Brazell - TeenPact National Convention

Positioning his guitar, he played a song. What followed, however, was one of the most sincere, passionate speeches I’ve ever heard.

He talked about love. He talked about how humans obtain purpose and meaning as they learn how to love. By loving, we receive life – we are living the way we were created to live, because we are doing what we were created to do.

But what sort of love was Jimmy referring to? His idea of love was not (and is not) popular. Love meant something different to him. Paraphrasing from his speech on that day…

“…When I say “Love,” I mean “to love,” with the pure, true, selfless love of Christ!”

“To love.” With Jimmy, love was an action. Love means sacrifice. Love shows grace. It gives second chances. It keeps no record of wrongs. It forgives. It perseveres. It hopes.

It seeks the betterment of others, regardless of what it costs you. It means laying your life down for someone else.

Sacrifice.

Jimmy Brazell- Teen Pact National Convention

You see, Jimmy could talk about love because he knew how to love.

Jimmy didn’t win a position as an elected official that year at TeenPact, nor did he care. To him, life didn’t revolve around popularity, possessions, or prosperity. It revolved around an honest quest to know love.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
– C.S. Lewis

by Clayton Chambers

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30 days…

While at Jesus Camp last week I was sharing Wednesday morning at the Counselors meeting the fact that we had only 2  full days left to make a difference in these kids lives.  I was encouraging them to ‘hang in there’ and use the remaining time to its fullest as we were battling 100+ degree weather and serving 100 inner city Dallas youths.

Jimmy- Summit Ministries- July 2011

Many times during the week I thought of Chandler and reflected on him being here at camp last year.  He worked hard at last years camp having a large number of challenging kids, but he served and loved everyone of them.  I recognized and spent time with many of them  this week.  One thing that I observed about Chandler last summer and that I have thought of often these last 11 months is that he had a seriousness about him.  He had a noticeable solemness in his countenance.  He had a great week and had a lot of fun with his kids, but there was a pronounced intensity in his actions.  It was a seriousness and an intensity that was present during his short stay at home last summer.

But why the seriousness?  This has been the question I keep asking.  Was it just because he had an intense personality?  Was he changed from his time in China?   Did he perceive or sense something in his spirit possibly telling him his time was short?  Unfortunately, I don’t have a sure answer.  But in any case,  last year on this day he had just 30 days left to live on the earth!

Jesus Camp 2011

Now I don’t think Chandler knew that he had only 3o days…but in reality that is all he had.  He only had 30 days before he would take his last breath of air and slip behind the veil and meet his creator.  30 days before he would begin his eternity with God!   As time allows this month (July) I hope to share a few thoughts about this topic and about Chandler last days, but for now I would like us to ask ourselves:

What if you had just 30 days to live?  Go ahead, ask the question to yourself, “what if I had only 30 days left to live?”

What would I do differently?  Would I say anything differently?  Would you act any differently?  Would you say ‘no’ to more things?  Would you say ‘yes’ to more things? How would you change today?  What would your July 2012 be like?

For some reason we live in an illusion that we have unlimited time on earth before us.  We live under the idea that we always have tomorrow.  But yet Jesus encourages us to live one day at a time. We’re reminded that we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. And that life is a vapor, that it is here today and gone tomorrow (James 4:14).  This really could be your last 30 days.  So- redeem (make the most of) your time!  Make your days count (Ephesians 5:16). You dont know when it will be your last day!

The Clock of Life

(a poem that Chandler & I enjoyed)

The clock of life is wound but once,                                                                                           And no man has the power                                                                                                             To tell just when the hands will stop                                                                                           At late or early hour.

To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,                                                                                               To lose one’s health is more,                                                                                                         To lose one’s souls is such a loss                                                                                                That no man can restore.

The present only is our own,                                                                                                         So Live, Love, toil with a will                                                                                                   Place no faith in “Tomorrow”                                                                                                     For the clock may then be still.

-Robert H. Smith                                                                                                                                 

Although I didn’t get to spend all of Chandler’s 30 days with him, I loved every one that we had together! Chandler spent his last 30 days well!

Make today count!

Chuck Brazell

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If Tomorrow Never Comes…

I ‘ll need to confess here at the start that there are a few Garth Brook songs that I really enjoy.  Rachel and I listened to one of those on Saturday.  It was the song “If Tomorrow Never Comes”.

Today is Father’s Day and as I was reflecting on all four of my children that I love so much, I thought of Chandler.   I was remembering back a year ago, which I would never have guessed in a million years would be my last Father’s Day with my son.

I reached into the front pocket of my back pack and pulled out a folded letter that I have carried around with me for the last year.  It is a prized letter that Chandler wrote to me exactly one year ago today.

It is a letter with a simple message of appreciation for what a father gives his children in providing and raising a family.  It is a message of gratefulness and a message saying ‘thank you’ and ‘I love you’.

Letter to Dad June 17, 2011

There is much I would love to share and to point out in this letter; but the message I will share today is the mere fact that Chandler had a heart of gratitude, and that he took the time  to write out this message of thankfulness to me, his father.  And Chandler had an extremely busy week that week ; finishing a summer class in college, leaving for Jesus Camp the next day,  Summit 2 week camp next and then vacation to Montana.  I’m sure the thought never crossed his mind that this was his last opportunity to share a message with me before he would leave this earth and enter eternity!

The question I cant get out of my mind is- What if he hadn’t taken the time to write this letter and share his love and appreciation with me?  What if he had let the busyness and fatigue cause him to put off what he wanted to share?

Now, really I’m speaking to myself here, but please DONT let the busyness and demands of this life keep you from sharing your heart with those you love.  As Garth Brooks sings “tell that someone that you love, just what your thinking of…if tomorrow never comes.”  Thank you Chandler for giving and sharing your self and your heart and for giving me one of the most prized and treasured possessions I will ever have.

Chuck Brazell

PS.  Notice at the bottom of the letter he writes, “I love you..and I love God’.  There is nothing that gives me more joy than to know that my son loves me and that he loves his God.  And there is nothing that matters more NOW and into eternity than that he loves God!   I love you too, son!

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Kentucky Fried LOVE!!!

Last week Rhonda and I went to Kentucky Fried Chicken here in Tyler for dinner.  Now we’re not Kentucky fried fans, but it had been exactly a year to the day that Chandler, Rhonda and I had eaten there together while the other kids were out of town.  Something happened that night at the restaurant with Chandler that I will never forget.

The only people in the restaurant that night were us and a small family with a mentally disabled boy.  After placing his order, Chandler walked past the other family on his way to our table.  The mentally disabled child called out to him in a shockingly loud, uncontrolled voice, “HELLLLOO!”.  Chandler turned and grinned at him,  said hello back, then continued on to our table and sat down to eat.

After thanking God for our food, Rhonda and I began to eat.  But something was wrong…Chandler was just starring down at his food unable to eat, and wouldn’t participate in our conversation.  After a few minutes, he got up and went to the restroom and was gone for quite a while.  When he came back his eyes were blood shot and his face was red. Clearly Chandler was not feeling well, and we were concerned about him.  We began to question Chandler about why he wouldn’t eat and what was wrong.  What he shared with us showed us his TRUE condition.  Chandler told us that he was so grieved over the disabled child’s condition that he just didn’t have an appetite.  But even worse than that, Chandler was so grieved over his own response to the child that he had gone to the restroom to weep.  He was so disappointed in himself for not stopping to talk and listen and share with this special kid and his family.  Chandler felt like he had missed out on an opportunity God had given him to share His love with a valuable and precious child of God.

Lessons Learned

As I reflect back on this evening there are several lessons worth considering and learning from.

1)  First, Chandler’s response reveals the sensitivity and the tenderness of his heart toward others, especially those less fortunate.  He had returned from China only  two weeks before and we already knew that there was something different about Chandler.  How does a heart become so soft?

2)  This story is also a reminder that Chandler wasn’t perfect.  He would be the first to tell you that. And he often shared his failings with his closest friends and family.  Chandler was a normal young man that struggled with the same things we all struggle with. But somehow, amidst his own pain and own struggles God was able to soften and shape his heart into a heart of love.

3) How did Chandler respond to his failures?   Well, this night at KFC when he failed to respond with the love he felt he should have, he immediately got alone with his Father, confessed his wrong heart and purposed to love more like Christ the next time God brings someone in his path.

Well, the chicken wasn’t very good that night, but the lesson we learned from our son about how to value and love every person God places in your life was wonderful food for our souls.  We will always remember the teary eyes and tender heart of a young man, and the love he had for a handicapped boy at Kentucky Fried Chicken.  I pray we will also remember to take the time to stop, listen and share God’s love with each person He brings in our path and to value every special human life.

As Chandler often said….“it takes a lot of love to live!”

Love,  Chuck & Rhonda

Beloved, let us love one anther,  for LOVE is of God; and everyone who LOVES is born of  God and knows G0d.  The one who does not LOVE does not know God, for God is LOVE. I John 4:7-8

   

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The Pure In Heart – A Portrait of Jimmy

Jimmy Brazell made an impact on a lot of people.  And you didn’t have to know him very long to appreciate his simplicity, his transparency and his sincere concern for you and for others.  It seems that most people he met considered him one of their good, if not one of their best friends.

It has been a joy to  hear from some of these friends as they share their thoughts on how Jimmy made a difference in their lives.

One very special way that Jimmy has been honored and our family has been blessed is by the presentation of several drawings (sketches) of Jimmy by talented friends of Jimmy or of our family.  I look forward to over time displaying the drawings on this site.

Drawing of Jimmy-Skyler Holmes

Jimmy Brazell by Skyler Holmes - (click to enlarge)

This time it is my privilege to present a portrait  of Jimmy drawn by a friend, Skyler Holmes.  Skyler lives in  Georgia and staffed the Survival Camp in Montana with Chandler last July.  Skyler was in the group hiking with Jimmy on the day of the accident.

Our family was additionally honored and deeply touched when Skyler and his family drove to Tyler, Texas from Georgia to present this drawing in person.  What a privilege to meet and spend time with the Holmes family.  What a blessing!  I have enjoyed getting to know Skyler and have a sincere appreciation and respect for this young man.

This drawing is taken from a photo of Jimmy that you have possibly seen before.  The photo was taken right before he left on his first trip to China while sitting with Rhonda and I on our back porch.  The necklace that he is wearing in Skyler’s drawing is a special pendant given to him from a student he taught in China.  At the top of the drawing is the verse “Blessed are the pure in Heart, for they shall see God.”  This verse found in Matthew 5:8 was one of Jimmy’s life verses and, of course, you can find it written on his desk in his room.

At the end of this post I have included two paragraphs from a  paper that Skyler wrote for a school assignment where he shares about Jimmy.

Skyler, thank you for the beautiful drawing , the wonderful gift, and the heartfelt gesture.  The drawing continues to reside in our living room by the fireplace!  You’re invited to come see it!

Whether you realize it or not, you’re making an impact on lives too.  Make it an eternal impact!

Chuck Brazell

Excert from ‘Count It All Joy’ – Skyler Holmes

‘…This experience  (speaking of Jimmy’s car wreck and rehabilitation at age 10) left Jimmy with an appreciation for life that was unlike anything I have ever seen.  The joy and love that flowed out of him was so obvious, I instantly recognized it the moment that we met.  He was a blessing that God put in my life.

A short life is indeed a sharp knife, and the wounds left behind are not easily mended.  I will never forget Jimmy, or the way that he lived.  He was an angel that God placed in my life for only a week, but that one week turned out to be the most inspiring week that I have lived.  So I thank God for it, and pray everyday that He would use me in the same way that He used Chandler Jimmy Brazell.’

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‘Go Light Your World’ 2012 National STOA Speech and Debate Tournament

 

March 7-10th, 2012 was the first annual ‘Go Light Your World’ National Speech and Debate Tournament in Tyler, Texas.  Chandler “Jimmy” Brazell was remembered and honored by the theme ‘Go Light Your World’, the Tournament put on in his honor, and by all the volunteers who served in honor of Jimmy.

There were almost 200 students and over 500 total including students, parents, judges and volunteers who assembled to compete and serve.  Students came from over 6 states and from as far away as California and Missouri.

Students competed in Speech categories such as Interpretation, Persuasive, Impromptu and Apologetics.   Debate categories included Parliamentary, Lincoln-Douglas Value Debate and Team Policy Debate.

Hannah Campbell and David Nix received the "Light Bearer" award! These students were not debaters but gave 4 days of their time as Judge Liasions.

I was so impressed with the maturity, the skill and the knowledge base of the sudents competing and was very encouraged by the thought that these young adults represent the future leaders in government, business, church , home, etc.   I repeatedly heard similar remarks from judges and other volunteers.

Jimmy and our family were additionally honored and blessed by the tournament winners who, instead of receiving trophies, donated the value in money to the Jimmy Brazell Foundation to be used to continue the work Jimmy pioneered at the Dandelion School in Beijing, China.  Thank you to all of the winners!

Jennifer Woolsey and Wendy Baker were the organizers of the event.

Our family is very humbled and grateful to Jennifer Woolsey and to Wendy Baker who are the founders and organizers of the ‘Go LIght Your World” Speech and Debate Tournament.  They both invested months and countless hours of their time to host this event.   Our family would also like to thank all of the many volunteers who sacrificially gave of their time before and during the tournament.  Many of them donated their time in honor of Jimmy.  Thank you!  It was a beautiful event that was extremely successful.  I believe that in all aspects of the event, our Lord was glorified and that all involved were given the opportunity to increase their speech and debate skills but also were challenged to live their lives more intentional and to ‘Go Light their World.”

‘GO LIGHT YOUR WORLD!’,

Chuck Brazell

Debaters were able to share how they were going to Light Their World on 3x5 cards. A group of debaters from Dallas arranged them into 'Jimmy's ' name.

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What is Love? Part 1- “One Word: Love”

 ONE WORD: LOVE

One Word: Love

Those who know Chandler are well aware that he often spoke of Love.  Studying all his sayings, songs and journal entries have revealed to me his deep and mature understanding of love.    He truly loved his Heavenly Father and transferred that love to those around him.   Through this series of posts I would like to share Chandler’s understanding of Love.   Below is a speech he gave in 2010 as he was running for office at TeenPact Leadership Schools.

 ”My slogan is          One Word: Love.

I believe that all purpose begins and is carried out in love! Everything good, everything beautiful is rooted in love! All light is rooted in love! All of the other themes and slogans that others are using are(or should be) rooted in this one word: love!

Love is what Christianity is all about! Love is what life is all about!!!!

When I say “Love” I do not mean to be “in love”. For being “in love” is nothing more than a petty, fleeting feeling. Instead, when I say “Love” I mean “to love” with the pure, true, selfless love of Christ! To shine this love on everyone around you! To shine it upon the other Christian brothers and sisters in TeenPact! To shine it upon the world outside of TeenPact(this is what it is all about!!!!)!!!!
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”(Matt.5:8). “…God is love…”(I John.4:7-21). To see God! To see Love!

I believe that if we were to see this pure, true Love, we would naturally shake on the inside with overflowing joy and excitement, desiring to share it with others! Desiring to shine and express that same radiant, living love to all!!

Children of God, Children of Light, and Children of Love, please join me on this journey!!!”

-Jimmy Brazell


 

 

 

 

 

Next post:  What is Love Part 2:   “I Love God Too Much!”

In this post we will look at what Chandler was referring to when he links Matthew 5: 8 with I John 4:7-21.  QUESTION:  How do YOU link together “the pure in heart shall see God” with “God is love?”  Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

Happy Valentines Day!

In His Love,

Chuck Brazell

 

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This is my son….

This is my son……

I had lunch with Chandler today.  I ordered some Chinese food to go and headed to the cemetery.  I was there to spend time with my son.  I was there to talk to him, to think about his life and reflect on some of our times together.  I was basically there to love my son!  You see, tomorrow January 31st is the 6-month mark of his death and therefore makes 6 months that I have been without Chandler.  Tonight I went back to the cemetery with my wife Rhonda, and we spent the late afternoon and early evening together with Chandler.

 

We brought the blower and rake to clear the grave and the surrounding area from leaves
and fallen branches from the last rain.  Earlier in the fall we had spread winter rye grass seed and it’s now a beautiful soft green all around this peaceful area where we now spend so much of our time. The batteries to the ever-glowing candle needed to be changed and the fresh flowers needed to be watered.  Rhonda and I talked of Chandler as we hugged and cried together.  I love my son and want everyone I meet to know him and know that I love him.

So, if I may indulge on this 6 month anniversary, let me SHOUT to all…

I love my son Chandler and I am so proud of him; who he is and the man he was becoming.  I am proud of his travels and teaching in China and I am proud of his worship leading and song writing.  I am proud of this parent honoring and obedient son.  I am button popping proud and honored and thankful to God to be Chandler’s earthly father!  I could keep going…..


Most of all, however, I am proud that Chandler loved Jesus and was a sold-out disciple, sharing the love of Christ where ever he went.  “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth”.  III John 4.  I am very blessed to have the assurance that right now, Chandler is in heaven fellowshipping with his Heavenly Father and with the other saints                                                                                    who have gone home.

God loved His Son too!

Please don’t think I’m weird….  God did the same thing in Luke 3 where He says, “ This is my Son.  In Whom I am pleased!”  Later He says it again, while Jesus was on the mountain at the transfiguration saying, “This is my Son, whom I love.  Listen to Him.”   God made it very clear how He felt about His Son and that He planned on glorifying Him for all eternity.

I have learned from God’s example in this manner.  I find it amazing, but I learn so much about my relationship with my children and their relationship with me through my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  Have you ever noticed that?  Anyway, as the Father wanted ALL to know that He loved his Son, I find myself wanting ALL to know that I love my son!  Now to be clear, I am obviously not comparing my son to Jesus.  I’m simply proclaiming a father’s love for his son.

Yes, I love my son!  I am so proud of him, I miss him terribly and I can not wait to see him and embrace him again!

 Lord come quickly!

Chuck Brazell

 

Your thoughts/comments? 

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Awesome Meadows and Unconquered Spaces!

  “Go ye into ALL the world and preach the Good News to ALL creation.”  Mark 16:15

Last summer on our vacation in Montana we drove through some of the most beautiful scenery that you can imagine.  Upon coming down from the mountains in Glacier National Park a voice from the backseat rang out, “ooh, look at that meadow!  I want to lie down in it.”  Anyone who spent much time with Chandler knew of his love for meadows.  He was particularly fond of open and green meadows, especially when they were outlined by forests or mountains.  Whenever he spotted an “awesome meadow” he always pointed it out and talked about how he wanted to go run through it.  And many times he did!

from Jimmy's Journal

When I see a meadow, I typically imagine myself lying down in the cool grass, dozing in and out of sleep while the warm sun beams down on my face.  But what about Chandler?  What did he think of when he saw meadows?  Well, one of his journal entries we found this month explains his thoughts.

“Whenever I’m in the middle of a big open meadow, I have an urge to walk.  To walk across the unconquered space.  This is how I see the world and my calling to go and make a difference.  I’ve got to be a burning fire. Ready to ignite, to go and be a missionary to the lost throughout the whole world.  I am urged by the Spirit, compelled by the (love of Christ) and called by the (Father).  I must go.  Lead me, oh Lord.”  

Chandler was 15 years old when he made this journal entry.  What did Chandler think of when he saw a beautiful meadow?  He thought of unconquered spaces.  Spaces so vast and unexplored that they seem to call for someone, to go and search them.  To conquer them.  He wanted to walk across those fields.  But further, these meadows symbolized the WORLD and of all the unconquered space or peoples of the world that need Jesus Christ!  He heard the meadows calling him.  He felt a responsibility to GO.  But to go where?  Into the world.  Chandler linked the physical “world” in meadows to the spiritual “world”, a world that is lost, wild, and in need of Salvation.  Just like he wanted to reach the far end of a meadow, he wanted to reach into the lost world.   To Chandler, to GO was  1) to literally GO and be a messenger of the Gospel to the lost throughout the world.  To him the world included his home in Texas as well as the other side of the world.   And 2) that you don’t just go, you have to make a difference.  In our family we challenge each other with the saying “Go Mad”, which is an acronym for “ Make A Difference.” He recognized that it doesn’t matter if you go into the world if you don’t leave something behind that wasn’t there before.  Regardless of his location and who he was around, his desire was to lead others closer to his Savior.  Thinking of all this must have excited him and his heart!  He said, “I’ve got to be a burning fire – Ready to ignite!”  He said, ” I MUST GO!”.  And then he didn’t plan to just go wherever or do the first thing he could think of.  He ended the entry with “Lead me on Lord!”.  He looked to and listened to and trusted the Lord to lead him.  

So, what about you?  Where are your “unconquered spaces”?  What I mean is what is the Spirit asking you to do and where is the love of Christ compelling you to go?  For you, the Lord may be placing it on your heart to more intentionally be a witness at work or on your high school or college campus, to be a light and share with those you work with or with your fellow students or professors.  Or, you may be asked to step out and go on a mission trip either here in the US or abroad to serve and bring the love of Christ to the lost and needy.  To Make A Difference you don’t necessarily have to go off to China, although it may be a call for some.  In fact, I believe the United States needs as many missionaries itself as other countries do.  You can Go and make a difference right in your own neighborhood.

The main thing is to GO!  To Do Something!  Take action!  It’s obvious based on Jimmy’s journal entry that he had the thoughts of “going”.  But he wasn’t content just with a thought.  And he couldn’t just journal about it.  He acted!   He couldn’t sit still too long in the meadow.  He had to conquer it.  “I must go”, he said.  Jesus said in Mark 16:15 to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News”.   And James 1:22 says to “be doers of the Word and not just hearers only”.  So what is burning in your heart?  Start there, and ask the Holy Spirit to fan that flame into a raging fire.  Let Him lead you.  If you don’t have a starting point ask the Lord to put a burden on you heart.  And listen for His leading.  In either case, as Chandler ended his prayer, pray “ Lead me, Oh Lord.”  May the next time you come across a big open meadow, think of the open and unconquered places that God is calling you to.  And then, go MAD!  Walk across it and Make A Difference!

Our Father in heaven, we thank You for beautiful meadows and I also thank You for your servant Chandler and for what he saw in the meadows.  Thank You for shaping his heart and for the light, Your light, that his life displayed.  We are thankful for the message of the meadow and that it was written down and recorded for us to observe and learn from.  Please bless all who read this post.  Father, lead us to our own meadow and give us the desire and power to conquer it for You!  Ignite our hearts!  Empower us to GO!  Lead us oh Lord!  In the name of Jesus, Amen!   Even so, Come Lord Jesus!

Go find your meadow!  

Chuck Brazell with Christian Brazell

Jesus Commands Us to Go! by Keith Green

(please share your thoughts)

 

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