Brock’s Passing

The Problem

Consider it all joy, cialis sales doctor my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 and let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

It is hard to grasp according to this Scripture that trials can bring us joy; you would think the opposite. But according to this James passage and many others like it, this is true. This does not mean trials are joyful to go through, they are not. In fact, they often bring with them great heartache, many tears, and even lasting disappointment. Yet in their midst or when they are finally over, the faith we end up with, and the walk we have with Him is so much deeper and fuller than ever before. The trials God also lets us go through impact others and are always a part of His greater purpose for all involved.

There is a song titled Through It All that I used to lead my youth group in when I was a youth Pastor many years ago. We sang it often, because many in our group suffered various trials, even losing parents and friends along the way. It goes like this:

Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Through all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

I’ve had many tears and sorrows; I’ve had questions for tomorrow. There’ve been times I didn’t know right from wrong. But in every situation God gave blessed consolation that my trials come to only make me strong.

Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Through all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

I’ve been to lots of places, and I’ve seen a lot of faces. There’ve been times I felt so all alone. But in my lonely hours, yes, those precious lonely hours, Jesus let me know that I was His own.

Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Through all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

I thank God for the mountains, and I thank Him for the valleys. I thank Him for the storms He brought me through. For if I’d never had a problem, I wouldn’t know if He could solve them, I’d never know what faith in God can do.

Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Through all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

I share this first school message with you on trials because one of our school families is going through one right now. In respect to them, and in respect to what God wants to teach our entire school, I want to begin this year with an emphasis on prayer and seeking God’s understanding in all that He does, even when trials are allowed to befall us. I am sure that most of you know by know that Brock Bellue a long time student at Heritage was tragically killed a few weeks ago in an automobile accident. As you can imagine his entire family (Roland, Bellue, Kirschenmann) is greatly hurt by this traumatic trial. Brock was a great young man, who would have completed his eighth grade this year at Heritage. He was a true picture of what we hope for in all Heritage students. He was friendly, giving, and always loving to others no matter who they were. Brock also displayed exemplary skills in academics and athletics, but most of all he demonstrated a genuine faith in God (Romans 10:9-11 and John 11: 25-26). He is with the Lord now, which is not just a hope, or comforting thing to say, it is a promise stated by God in His written Word, the Bible. Here’s what He says through the words of Paul:

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who have died so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who died in Jesus. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words (I Thessalonians. 4:13-14, 17-18).

The last phrase in this Thessalonians passage tells us to comfort one another with these words. This is what we should do with this hurting family as well as with each other when we encounter various trials and tribulations. Of course we need to know what these words should be. Some of you know already, because you have gone through similar trials and you know what helped you and what did not. If you haven’t or are not sure, the Scripture is a great starting point, and ultimately should be the foundation behind all that you say to encourage others going through trials. So I encourage you to read the Bible as you never have before this year; read it from cover to cover before the school year ends. Also, seek good advice from others who know how to minister to those going through trials, especially one like this. I did myself, this week, even though I have been through several similar school tragedies. I sought the advice of Norm Wright, one of the most renowned grief counselors in California. He has written over 75 various books and lectures all over this nation on the subject of grief. He is a good friend of mine, lives here in Bakersfield, and has made himself available to our school. Let me know if you would like one of his books, I have some in my office. All the input you can gather in how to help others when they go through trials is important, not only for them, but for yourself, who may be at the center of a difficult trial some day.

Finally, as we approach this coming fall, I believe this year at Heritage School could be one the most significant in regard to its spiritual growth. I pray so! Sometimes God has to take the best from us in order to get the rest of us going spiritually; perhaps this is one of His purposes for Heritage this next year.

Teachable Moment

The bond between shepherd and his sheep is more fitting and analogous in understanding God’s relationship with each of us than perhaps any other in the Bible. In reference to why God sometimes takes the best of us to reach the rest of us, let me share with you how a shepherd moves his sheep from one pasture to another. After a shepherd has grazed his sheep in a lush pasture, where cool waters lie, he begins plans to move them. He must because if they stayed too long in a pasture, they would eat up all the grass and ruin the field forever. Without being moved the sheep would eventually die with nothing to eat. So the shepherd moves them which is not easy, because they are content and want to stay where they are. Aside from their propensity to stay where they are, sheep by nature are very afraid of water; even a ripple made by the wind can cause them to panic. So in order for the shepherd to get them to move, to cross the stream on a path to other grassier fields, he takes the youngest of the sheep, the most innocent and puts him on his shoulders. He crosses the stream with this young sheep, and does it so that all can see. After he has made it to the other side of the stream he puts the young sheep down for he is where he should be, where the rest need to be. And great joy comes when the flock crosses to the other side, for they are all together again.

Sometimes God has to take the most innocent of us to get the rest of us to move. Perhaps these were the Lord’s thoughts with Brock.

 Word of God

Romans 10: 9-11  9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

John 11:25-26  25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,   26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”