Friday, January 19, 2018

remedial speech

I had forgotten about this, but when I was in early elementary school I was put into a remedial speech class.  A couple times a week I was released from regular class to go down to the speech teacher's room where she would work with three of us.

I don't remember what my problem was exactly.  Nodes on the vocal cords from screaming too much maybe.  I just don't recall.  I do remember having to keep track of how many times I swallowed each day.  I carried around a pen and a 3 x 5 card and marked each swallow or cough.

Anyway, I evidently passed the course as you can see from my certificate here!  I am so appreciative of the teachers and other adults that exercised great patience in trying to raise me into adulthood.  I am sure that I delivered a good deal of gray hair to them.


It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com






I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018

deflated

I felt a little deflated the other day. Something popped my balloon. I felt a little set aside. Meh.

Well if you live long enough that is going to happen. Not everything goes your way or mine, does it? What to do if you are feeling “meh?”
  1. Don’t allow your mind to dwell on what happened. Think of good things. There are plenty of them. 
  2. Engage with people. Find your friends. Being around good, positive folks can lift you from the doldrums.
  3. Find something constructive to do. Make a difference in the world. I will take your mind off of your concerns.
  4. Remember that this is only temporary. This feeling, this too shall pass.
It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com





I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Orion

google image
Orion, is an equatorial constellation and so it is visible throughout the entire world.  It's brightest stars are Rigel and Betelgeuse.  When I was in Junior High I was in the astronomy club and I caught an interest in the stars.

Over the years I have watched Orion rise in the fall and set in the spring.  Last week I saw it for the first time in Florida.  The annual appearance of Orion has marked the years of my life.  From Jr. Hi. through college, seminary and every town that I have lived in along the way. 

People through out history have gazed up at the night sky and wondered about life, love and God.  The Psalmist says that "the heavens declare the glory of God."
Picture I took last week

I have posted about Orion several times over the years. In fact it appears to be a very common topic for me...
11-8-2007
4-14-2008
3-10-2009
12-31-2013
[if you view the blog at its web address www.canyouhearthebirdssing.blogspot.com, there is a search box in the upper left corner where you can type in anything you want and see if there has been any writing on that topic...]

 And now even as time marches on I consider my life, God, his creation, and the opportunities that we have every day to live, love and do good in his name.

Find a star or a constellation that speaks to you.  See the good.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com






I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

look what God did

I hear it all the time.  "God did this, God did that."  I cringe sometimes at the things that we humans blame God for.

God healed my child!  Praise God!
God did not heal my child.  I hate God.

God gave me the promotion!  Praise God!
God did not give me the promotion.  I'm not going to church anymore.

God did this.
God did that.
All is fine and good when the things that happen to you are what you want, but what happens when it does not go your way?  Where was the magic God then?

So I was watching the news.  A church in Florida was having a New Years Eve party, to keep the good Christians from going out and partying.  As per every New Years Eve, some people were out shooting guns.  A bullet from a mile away broke through a window in the fellowship hall and missed all of the people in the room.  Look what God did!

The problem with this of course is that some bullets do randomly other people by accident.  Where was God then?  Was he asleep?  How does our theology work then?

We oversimplify everything and recognize God's work by our comfort.  We need to stop defining God by his ability to fix our problems and instead lean on a God who is there for us and with us whether circumstance goes my way or not.

God did not pull the trigger.  Sometimes people do things.  Sometimes random things happen in this life.  Good things and difficult things, and God is still with us.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com






I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

A different time

I was raised in a different time.  Children were to be seen and not heard.  If your behavior was bad at home you could expect to be spanked, with the hand, a belt or hair brush.  If you were sassy you could  have your mouth washed out with comet cleanser or slapped across the face.

My parents never had any classes on mental health or relationships.  They were children of their time.  Respect was demanded and discipline was swift and merciless.

I think the thing that most of us carried into our adult lives was the constant use of shame and guilt.  It was just a common method of trying to control a person.  Here is one of my papers from second grade where the well meaning teacher wrote in the dreaded red ink pen.  "you should be ashamed of yourself."  Why?  Because I got an F?

I am so glad that we live in a different world.  I have always tried to resist delivering shame to my children, but I know that some gets thru.  I apologize for that, sincerely.

I am also very glad that God does not use shame and guilt on us.  Sure some preachers are always guilting people but that is them not God.  Jesus never shamed anyone.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com






I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

sermon audio from Sunday

Here is the link to Sunday's sermon

click here to listen to the 1-14-18 sermon

Sunday, January 14, 2018

elementary class work

"Elk in the Forest"
crayola on matte
 So I was going thru the archives from my youth.  I found these pictures that I drew, early elementary I would guess.  The interesting thing about finding them is this.....

Had you asked me if I had childhood art work stored in the attic and what it was, I would not have been able to tell you.  But the moment I saw the pictures, I remembered making them.  I remember writing the barracuda report.  I remember making these pictures just like it was yesterday.

Odd how a brain works.

"Barracuda on the prowl"
crayola on matte
accompanying report
"Forest in Autumn"
water colors on matte


"Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria"
crayola on matte

Maybe I missed my calling?

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com






I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Resolutions or not?

My friend Susan sent this in...

Resolutions or not?

For the past week, I’ve been thinking about this idea of making a resolution. So many make resolutions, starting the year determined and motivated! But, after a few weeks, the resolution goes by the wayside, and it is back to the status quo. Maybe we are resolving to do something we are not passionate about. Maybe it is too big of a goal, and although we want the result, we are not committed to putting in the work.

Some people resolve NOT to make a resolution. They don’t want to go on a diet, or start working out, or organize their homes more, etc. I would suggest that the kind of resolution we should be making is not for ourselves. We should be resolving to reach out, serve, help, and love others. Examples:

1. Random acts of kindness
2. Make and pass out blessing bags to people in need
3. Take a meal to friends or neighbors who are ill or have experienced loss
4. Shovel a neighbor’s driveway or mow their yard [Yes Susan lives in KC]
5. Invite a friend who is alone over for a meal or just to hang out
6. Send a card to someone just so they know you are thinking of them.
7. Volunteer to feed the homeless

You get the idea. When you reach out and DO something to help others, YOU get SO MUCH in return.!! Your heart is full. You have renewed energy. It makes you want to do MORE. And friends, God made us for the MORE. He made us to be His hands and feet. Live life to the fullest by resolving this year to be the one God made you to be. Be MORE. Happy New Year!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Richard Rohr

Richard Rohr is a Catholic priest that teaches some very healthy ideas. He seeks to end the divisions that we humans so seem to enjoy creating. I read his daily devotionals.... Here is one from last week that I thought was very good.

Growing and Waking Up
Thursday, January 4, 2018

In the beginning, in our original unwoundedness (“innocence”), we lived in an unconscious state of full connection with the divine, like Adam and Eve walking naked in the garden with God. But it didn’t take long for us to think of ourselves as separate, and from that position outside the garden, we grabbed for an autonomous identity. This is the “false self.” Many people live most of their lives under this delusion, and confuse this concocted persona as the real deal.

How do I get back to union and innocence? Objectively I have never left the state of union, but it feels like I have. We already and always have the divine image (imago Dei) within us; but we hopefully grow into the divine likeness (similitude) as we begin to externally resemble the goodness of God. It usually takes us a long time to rediscover what has been true all along as we gradually find our unique way of embodying Love. Finding God and finding our True Self—which is letting go of our false self—are finally the same thing.

It’s not about being privately correct; it’s about being fully connected. It’s not about fulfilling requirements; it’s about a trusting relationship. It’s not so much about what we do; it’s about what God does. God and life itself eventually destabilize the boundaries of the small self so we can awaken inside of the Large Self. This usually happens through experiences of great love, suffering, or the forms of prayer that allow the private ego to collapse back into the True Self, where we gratefully shout with Jacob, “You were here all the time, and I never knew it!” (Genesis 28:16).

Our life is a dance between the loneliness and desperation of the false self and the fullness of the True Self, which is re-discovered and experienced anew as an ultimate homecoming. The spiritual journey is a path of deeper realization and transformation; it is never a straight line, but a back and forth journey that ever deepens the conscious choice and assent to God’s work in us. It is growing up, yes, but even more it is waking up.


You can subscribe to his devotionals by clicking here.
Click here for Richard's daily devotionals

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com







I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Thursday, January 11, 2018

prayer

This is the prayer that we Methodists refer to as the John Wesley Covenant Prayer. Or in the hymnal it is #607 Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition.....

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.


If we but live by this prayer, our Methodist churches would be much healthier.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com






I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

heart work

Kingdom work is heart work.  Not hard work, heart work.  The kingdom that Jesus introduced boils down to this:  Loving God and Loving Others.  You can have a more expansive mission or vision statement like....

You matter to God and Us
or
Connecting People to Jesus Christ
or
Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

But all such statements boil down to loving God and loving others.

Our mission is not adopting schools.  Our mission is not feeding the homeless.  Our mission is not in Cuba, Russia or Nicaragua.  Our mission is not toys for kids at Christmas.

Our mission is loving God and loving others.

We adopt schools, feed people and buy toys because we love God and love others.  Loving God and others is the cause, programs are the effect.

Many churches feed people and collect toys, but have not love.  Remember what Paul said about that in 1 Cor 13.  The mission is a heart thing first.  It is heart work. 

The nice thing about that idea as far as I am concerned is this.... if my mission is to give toys to kids, or care for orphans in Russia, then I live my life and do my thing as I see fit, interrupting my life to be in mission with toys and orphans.  But if my mission is loving God and loving others, it is all the time... 24 hours a day.  I am, we are, never off mission.  We no longer interrupt our lives to be in mission, our lives truly become a mission for God.

Kingdom work = heart work.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com







I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Allen Z

"Some times the greater plan, is kinda hard to understand, right now it don't make sense"
                                                                  Luke Bryan

My friend Allen Zugelter passed away last Thursday night.  He was a delightful man, a wonderful father, husband and pastor.  He moved to the Liberty United Methodist Church from Texas in 2013.  We had a few years together before I moved to Florida.

We would meet at First Watch for breakfast.  He was easy to love and quickly made his way into your heart.  Allen was humble, gracious and kind.  The ministry was never about him.  He was always eager to learn and he loved his congregation and family very much.

I have to tell you that it hurts to lose someone so young.  He was a bright light in United Methodism and I know that God used his brief time here to enlighten the hearts of those who came to know him.

Dear Allen, I am glad to have had the chance to know you.  You were and you are loved.  You will be missed.  You will be grieved.

Monday, January 8, 2018

yesterday's sermon audio

Here is the link from yesterday's sermon audio....  It was a very difficult sermon for me to deliver....  we also had some audio problems.... anyway, here it is.

click here to listen to sermon from 1-7-17

Quote


“What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men and women whom the Holy Spirit can use…for the Holy Spirit does not flow through methods but through men. He does not come upon machinery but upon men and women. He does not anoint plans but men and women.

Natural ability and educational advantages do not figure as factors in this matter,but the capacity for faith, the ability to pray, the power of thorough consecration, the ability of self-littleness, and the absolute losing of one’s self in God’s glory and an ever-present and insatiable yearning and seeking after all the fullness of God.

Men and women who can set the church ablaze for God; not in a noisy showy way, but with an intense and quiet heat that melts and moves everything for God. God can work wonders if He can get suitable men and women.”


E.M. Bounds
Methodist Preacher 1835-1913

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com






I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Blog Issues

Over the past month, several have reached out to say that they are no longer getting the blog automatically emailed to them by the web site.

I have tried to re-enter the email addresses but they show as already on the distribution list and it wont allow me to add them twice.

I have suggested that people check their spam folders..... anything that goes out in a mass email is subject to ending up in the spam.

The next thing that I am doing is creating an email list in my gmail account for those of you who are experiencing such problems.  I will simply fwd what comes to my daily account to each of you that are having trouble getting the blog emails.

Now here is the catch.... if you are having trouble getting the blog emails, you may not receive this one!

If you find the blog in your spam, add the sending address to your contacts list.

You can also go daily to the web page
www.canyouhearthebirdssing.blogspot.com

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com







I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Saturday, January 6, 2018

masterpiece or mess?

My friend Susan sent this in....

If you are anything like me, you have times where you feel pretty worthless. I am a people pleaser, and if I don't get affirmations, but instead get criticized by someone, I take that to heart. I recently heard on the radio that you can feel like a mess when you look in the mirror, or you can see that you are a masterpiece. You see, God didn't make a mess of you...He made a beautiful masterpiece! Another wise person told me that our self worth isn't determined by the thoughts and actions of others. It comes from deep inside where God, goodness, and the desire to make a difference resides. So, in a world that wants to hold us to an impossible standard of perfection, let's find something better: Grace.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com







I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Friday, January 5, 2018

wrong

Ryobi cordless blower - a cool tool.
Wrong, again.  I was.  Wrong, again.

The other day I climbed up on a ladder and cleaned out my neighbors gutters.  They didn't ask me to do it, but I could tell that it needed to be done.  So I did it.

Here is the method of cleaning gutters.

  1. set ladder up near starting point.  
  2. blow leaves and stuff out of gutter with fancy new blower that you are proud of.
  3. move ladder down along the gutter as needed and repeat.
  4. set fancy blower down in the yard.
  5. drag out hose and wash leaves off of roof.
  6. wash all debris into and through the down spouts.
  7. pick up tools.
  8. feel good about a job well done.

Now fast forward.  I went to bed at 10pm.  At 330am I woke up and I was hot.  So I got a drink and moved to the couch.  Around 6am I am waking up, deciding whether I will try to sleep some more or get up and get going.  Then I realize a tragic thing has happened.  I left my new blower out in my neighbors yard.

Time to get up.  I pop to my feet.  I find some clothes.  I grab a flashlight and I go out looking.  Now it is still dark outside and I am walking around in someone else's yard with a flashlight.  Good way to get shot, I thought.

Damn.  The blower is gone.  Maybe my neighbor took it inside for me.  Probably the neighborhood kids stole it.  Dog on it!

So I head toward the garage.
Ahhh!!!  There behind the bush is my blower, right where I had stashed it yesterday.
So I did not leave it out in the grass, the neighborhood kids did not steal it.
I was wrong, again.

Why do I sometimes assume the worst?
Well this is a new year.  I am going to make a couple of resolutions.
1.   think the best of people whenever possible.
2.  Put tools away when done using them.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com








I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018



Thursday, January 4, 2018

more puns

Some of my favorite posts come from ewe the readers. I have had a number of responses to the recent puns posting and will bee sharing them from thyme to time. This is from my friend Bunny.

My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned. Couldn't concentrate.
Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the ax.
After that I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it. Mainly because it was a so-so job.
Next I tried working in a muffler factory but that was exhausting.
I wanted to be a barber, but I just couldn't cut it.
Then I tried to be a chef. I figured it would add a little spice to my life but I just didn't have the thyme.
I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn't have any patients.
I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.
I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too draining.
So then I got a job in a gymnasium, but they said I wasn't fit for the job.
Next, I found being an electrician interesting, but the work was shocking.
After many years of trying to find steady work I finally got a job as a historian until I realized there was no future in it.
My last job was working at Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.


It's a beautiful day inn God's world, bee sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com







I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

literal

From time to time I run into people that like to use the Bible as a hammer.  I am sure that you have too.

When I was younger I used to insist that we take the Bible literally. I said those words without really thinking about what they meant. There are many passages that cannot be taken literally.
  • Mark 9:47 If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out.
  • John 6:54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life
  • Deuteronomy 21:18-21 A rebellious son is to be put to death.
  • 1 Peter 2:18 Slaves obey your masters...
  • Ex 21:24 an eye for an eye...
  • Deut 28:53 We are to eat our children during a siege... [look it up if you don't believe me]
Even Jesus challenges Scripture and some of it's directives... Mt 5:38-39  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’  But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

People that insist that the Bible be taken literally would not take any of the above passages literally. And there are more that I could list that they would not take literally if I wanted to take the time to look them up.

What most folks are saying when they insist that we take the Bible literally is that we should respect the Bible and not challenge their interpretation of it.

I am all for respecting the Bible. We should read it for it's insights, its wisdom, its inspiration, and its direction. But the Bible is not God. There are only three parts to the trinity, Father, Son and Spirit.  The Bible does not point us toward itself. It is not the goal of our faith. God is the end and the goal. The Bible is one of the means to that end.

The Bible should not be used to separate people from each other, but to draw us all  together.  May we fight about the Bible less, lean on it more as we are able, and keep pressing our way towards the God of grace and love.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies and death threats to jsbrink57@gmail.com











I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

sermon audio from Sunday

This was the last sermon of 2017.  Sunday Dec 31.
Title:  The gifts of Christmas.

Click here to listen

Ireland Trip

Here are a couple of updates on the Ireland Trip. 
There are a series of early registration discount deadlines, one of them is coming up on January 8th.

I have also asked the tour company to design a post trip in London.  It would most likely be without a guide or meals so we would be on our own to explore the city for three days.

Here is the link to the trip brochure if you are interested.
Link to Ireland Trip Brochure

Currently we have 9 registered, but I am expecting others for sure.  I hope that you can join us.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com











I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018




Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of my friends and readers.  Happy New Year to people I don't know.  Happy New Year to people who know me and don't like me.  Happy New Year to all.

Should old acquaintance be forgot? I am reminded of Billy Chrystal's line from When Harry Met Sally.... "What does this song mean? My whole life, I don't know what this song means. I mean, 'Should old acquaintance be forgot?' Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances. Or does it mean that if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot them?"

So from time to time I think about people that I know and love.  From time to time I get a new reader.  In the past few weeks I found out that Di from St. Louis is a reader.  I got a nice note from my friend Michelle who evidently has been reading for some time.  I think of so many of you that I have had the privlege of meeting and loving in this life.  We are all so fortunate to have people to love.

May this year bring us good.  No more shootings.  No sickness.  No untimely deaths.  May this new year bring us lots of smiles, lots of hugs and lots of laughter.  May all of our churches do well this year.  May God's love ooze out through us, may it rush out through us.  May we be conduits of joy to many in this coming year.

Hello to my friends one and all.  To Joe and Judy, Ginger, Joanne, Nancy, Aaron, Michelle, Paul, Billie, Gina, Dave, Amy, Michael, Sherri, Bruce, Laura, Pat, Carol, Chris, and to 1,000 others whose names I have not mentioned but you are dearly loved!

Happy New Year one and all!

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
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I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Sunday, December 31, 2017

As a man thinketh

James Allen 1864-1912 is the author of the book, As a Man Thinketh.  The title of the book is taken from Proverbs 23 "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

When I was grousing a few weeks ago about growing old, my sixth grade teacher, Betty Jackson suggested that I read the book.  Think about that for a minute.... I am still learning from my sixth grade teacher!!!  How many people in this world can say that?

I have read a number of books on positive thinking over the years.  I am not a fan of the "faith movement" which tells us to "name it and claim it."  They teach that you can demand things from God by faith.  I do not believe that God is a celestial Santa Claus.

This book is different than that.

Allen was 39 when he wrote the book and lived only 48 years on this earth.  Yet he saw the great impact that a person can have on their own life situation.  Seeing the good, or not, aspiring for greatness or not.

I have always been a believer in self-fulfilling prophecies, that if you string it along long enough you can bring either good or bad to yourself.  You can also rise above difficulty with determination and prolonged intent.

I have also been a believer in the Dr Phil adage, "so how is that working for you?"  The results of some behavior is predictable.

While not taking away from the power and abilities of God, Allen points to the responsibilities that we have in the life and the power of our freewill to shape our lives for better or for worse.

Allen says that, "Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy...by right choice and true application of thought, man ascends to the Divine Perfection, by the abuse and wrong application of thought, he descends below the level of the beast.  Between these two extremes are all the grades of character, and man is their maker and master."

What do you aspire to this day?  What are you pursuing with your life's energy?

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
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I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018



"


Saturday, December 30, 2017

puns

My friend Arlene and I have been trading puns. She gave me an article to read about annual pun contests. There are several-

The Bay Area Pun-off
Pundamonium in Seattle
Punderdome 3000 in NYC

Here is a great pun from the article....
Where do cantaloupes spend their summer? At John Cougar's Melon Camp.

Which spurred me on to say...
Cantaloupe tonight, Dad's got the car.
and
Two blood cell" fell in love, ah but is was all in vein.
and
Doctor, there's a patient on line 1 that says he's invisible" "Well, tell him I can't see him right now."

Hungry?  It's a beautiful day for God's cheese, be sure to see the gouda.
Send puns and replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com











I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018


Friday, December 29, 2017

no feet

There is an old saying, "I complained that I had no shoes, until I met a man that had no feet."

Over the years this saying has been celebrated and maligned.  Celebrated because of the perspective that it can give a person who is unhappy, and maligned because some see it as devaluing the suffering of those who have no shoes.

In other words, should the fact that my problems are not as bad as other people's problems be a reason for me to not be concerned about or complain about my problems?

My personal response to this is that it is our responsibility regardless of the size and scope of our problems, to see the good.  We have all known people who had small problems, like worn shoes, and complained all the time.  We have also known people who had no legs but were filled with joy and a zeal for life.  Which kind of person do you want to hang around with?  Which kind of person do you wish to be?

Our outlook has to say something about our existence here on this planet.  I will add that times of suffering in the past have made me really appreciate the days that held no suffering.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com











I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Best Christmas

I want to tell you that I just had the best Christmas.  Not that the other years were bad, but this one was outstanding.

The service at church was delightful.  I loved the atmosphere and the music.
For the first time in 7 years, my entire family was in church together.
People were friendly and kind.
The pressure of the old days is gone.... I loved Woods Chapel, but Christmas Eve was a real heavy chore with 6 services.

After our 7 pm service at Fort Pierce, I got to do something that I have never been able to do on Christmas Eve - ever.  I went to dinner with my family!  In the past, I did not get home until 12:30am and everyone was usually in bed.

I think of my friends, new and old, near and far, and I am blessed.  Oh how I love you all.  I am looking forward to seeing many of you in the coming year.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com









I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#eotours

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

memories

So I got down an old Rubbermaid tub.  It is filled with old letters and such from when I was in college.  Much of it I had to throw away as I did not want my children or my grandchildren to see what I was like in those days.  I did save some of the letters. 

I also found a bunch of assignments from grade school and will be posting about them in upcoming days or weeks.

I also found in the letters some jokes that I used to know, but have forgotten.  So since they were like brand new again to me, I am sure than none of you have ever heard them.  Here are three that I found in letters from college...  I hope you like them...

A karate expert joined the Army.  On his first salute, he killed himself.

I used to be a photographer but I had to quit.... too many shuddering experiences.

Why do Beethoven fans hate chicken?
All the chickens ever talk about is bach, bach, bach.

It appears that I had a sense of humor even back in college.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com











I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018






Tuesday, December 26, 2017

When Christians Get it Wrong

Down the street from our house is this little church with this sign message board.  I have written about their messages before.

Now let me take a commercial break to say that I have no right to criticize the religion of another.  However, in my opinion, one of the main reasons that Christianity has fallen on hard times in America is because it has turned inward.  It has become about me, mine and ours and has forgotten about the least of these.

So here is a sign that says "Hallelujah is the highest praise."  Hallelujah means "praise God" or "Praise the Lord."  There is surely nothing wrong with praising God however, I believe that too many Christians praise the Lord and forget the rest of the world.

I still love my Amy Barlett quote, "we show our love for God by loving others." 

In the story of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan was not celebrated for praising God, in fact, the Priest and Levite, walked by the broken man to head to church so that they could praise God.

Maybe God wants us to praise him by loving others.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com











I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Eve Audio Sermons

Merry Christmas!!!
I love you guys!!!

For anyone that is interested, here are the audio files from yesterday.

Sunday Morning Sermon 9:30am click this link:

Sunday Morning 12-24 audio

Sunday evening candlight service 7pm... begins w O Holy Night, includes a ten minute message and Silent Night.  Click this link:

Candlelight Service 7pm

Have a very blessed day!

Thoughts on Christmas

Thoughts on Christmas...

Christmas is about Jesus, and it is about me and Jesus.
Jesus is born.
Somewhere along the line we chose him.
Somewhere along the way we came to know him.
We evaluate our lives by his teachings.

Christmas is also about family.
I remember the Christmases of my childhood.
The year I was scolded for breaking an ornament.
The year I was given switches and coal.
The times we went caroling.
The programs at church.
The many presents that I received in my later elementary days.
I remember Christmas in college.  Trying to get home.
I remember the year my water pump went out in Joplin and I was fortunate to find someone to fix it on Christmas day.
Christmases with young children.  Oh those were great!
Every Christmas since... how delightful.

Let me take a moment this day to celebrate you, my many friends.  I thank God for the gift of knowing you.  Whether you live in California, Missouri, Kansas or Florida or wherever, I love you and I am so happy that we have become friends.

Have a very very Merry Christmas!!!

t's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com









I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#eotours

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve.  Fort Pierce First UMC is holding two services.

At the 9:30 am service the sermon will focus on the shepherds being the Charlie Browns of the Christmas Story.  Our world sets certain people aside, but God draws everyone in.

At 7pm we will have our candlelight service.  Dick Lystra our Choir Director has but together a wonderful presentation of the Scriptural Christmas story woven into some wonderful music.  The pastor's message tonight will be on the light that shines in the darkness.

Today will certainly be a wonderful day in God's house.  If you are anywhere near Ft. Pierce, Florida, you are cordially invited to attend.  9:30 am and 7:00 pm.

It's a beautiful day in God's world.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

no standards

Anytime I talk about not judging others, there is some well meaning Christian who spouts, "so there are no standards???"

Let me ask a question.  Would you like to be judged?  What would we find?  Something I am sure.  I know we would find something because there was only one sinless person.  Oddly enough, he is the one who said, "do not judge."

If we stop judging does that mean that we have no standards?  Yes.  No more standards, only a standard, one standard, and that is to love.  Love is the mark of the Christian, it is the only standard that matters.

Read 1 Cor 13.  If I can do all of these spiritual things, but have not love.... If I have the gift of discerning who is good and bad, what is right and wrong, but have not love....

There is a standard.  It is God's gold standard.... love.  Love one another.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com









I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#eotours

Friday, December 22, 2017

making amends

A friend sent this in..... and let me compliment this friend... one of the most stable normal people I have ever met, from one of the most stable normal families.... good folks for sure... here is what they sent in....

I have a couple of people I have tried to make amends with multiple times and I have finally just come to the conclusion that I have done what I can and the ball is in their court. I still miss their friendship, though, I know that God will help mend relationships in the end or we will get to heaven and all the things we got so upset about on Earth won't matter anymore. There will only be love.


Good stuff.  Sometimes we have to let the broken things be broken and just move on.  Sometimes we have done all that we can.

It's still a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com










I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#eotours

Thursday, December 21, 2017

play dough

So I have been digging through old boxes.  Old boxes from my old office, old boxes from the storage area of the old house, old boxes.

And I have come across some treasures.  One of them is this can of play dough that was given to me by my friend Jennifer Dancy, a fantastic person for sure.

Over the years I have had opportunity to talk with the staff about playing well with others.  But sometimes I had to tell them that they needed to be firm.  To stick to the mission.  To stand up for what is right.  I would tell them that some folks are like play dough, they are the shape of the last person that squeezed them.

While it is great to be flexible and accommodating, when it comes to the mission, we must retain our shape regardless of who is squeezing.

I remember when she gave me the play dough.  It made me happy then, and it made me happy to find it the other day.  I am temped to open it and see if it is still good. 😂😂😂

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com









I am leading some trips in 2018. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

Wesley's Ireland
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#eotours