Thursday, February 22, 2018

No Ragrets

So I heard about a person who got a tattoo that said, "no ragrets."  Permanent tattoo.  No ragrets.  That is funny.  Just saying.

So I just got back from a trip to KC.  I met up with lots of friends, but this time I focused on those with whom I had a fracture. 

We didn't get each other.  We hurt each other.  Something like that.

I was 4 for 4.  All of the meetings went great.  For the first time in 15 years, maybe longer, maybe much longer that 15 years..... for the first time in a long time there is no one that I wish I could reconcile with.  All healed!!!

yes there are folks that don't like me.  We all have that.  I don't worry about most of that.  But there are a few people that I loved and we met a fracture.  Now it is healed.  And that makes me so happy!!!

No ragrets.

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

New Job

My daughter landed a new job.
big raise, signing bonus, company car.  Party time!!!  So exciting.

I called her up.  I gave her my dad voice.  "I'm coming over to sit at your table and we are going to have a daddy daughter conversation."  That made her nervous.  She wanted to know what it was about.  I told her that I would tell her when I got there.  That made her more nervous.

I arrived at her house.  She was standing in the doorway waiting.  We went quietly to her dining room table and my speech began.

5 points
1.  Congratulations on your new job!
2.  It is time to get out of debt.  Anyone who make this much should not carry any debt.
3.  It is time to save.  You must save some of this for retirement.  It will be here before you know it.
4.  It is time to give.  You should give some of this away.  Maybe to a church, maybe to the humane society, but give to something.  Give back.  Recognize that you have been blessed and give back.
5.  If your parents run out of money, you are our retirement plan.

We had a good laugh!

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

When cats dream



So we came home the other day and the sand cranes were in our front yard.  As you can see they are big tall birds and they don't back down from anyone or anything.

We went in the house and our normal cat greeting party was not there.  Hmm.  Maybe they had killed each other.  Finally!  No, you tend to wonder what animals are up to when they don't follow the normal greeting routine.

I looked around the house and found them looking out the front door.  I guess they were hungry.






look thru the shutters and you
can see what they are watching


#dinner time

#we can do this

#it might take both of us but we can do this

#eyes are sometimes bigger than the stomach

#cats are dumb

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

Monday, February 19, 2018

speaking of a shelf

So what do retired people do with their time?  What do people who are partly retired do with their time? 

One day I soaked all 22 of my paint brushes and got them all nice and smooth and clean.  New like when they were babies.

One day a few weeks ago, I decided to build a shelf.  I was cleaning out the attic and I found some 6" baseboard.  It occurred to me that it would make a great shelf and I had just the place for it.  There is this window outside where we stack things.  I could build a shelf and make it a little nicer.  I would get to use some of my neglected tools. 😃

Here is the project start to finish.  Making this shelf made me happy.  Every now and then we should do things that make us happy.  Not every moment in life needs to be defined by duty and obligation.    It's ok to do something just because it makes you happy. 

This window needs a shelf

close up of window sill


happy time with tools on tailgate

bringing out the big dogs
finished product

in use!  

Sometimes it is the small simple things of life that make us happy!

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, February 18, 2018

The shelf

A shelf is a place where you store things. Things that you are not using right now, but that you might use later. The older I get, the more stuff we collect, we have lots of shelves to keep and store things for later use. Sometimes we keep things because we just can't bear to throw them away. We can't imagine that we will ever use that thing, but we just can't bring ourselves to throw it away.

Every Christian should have a shelf.

When you hear something in church that you don't agree with, don't throw it away. If you read something that you are not ready for, don't burn the book. Don't shoot the preacher and don't hang the author.

Sometimes, the most awesome of thoughts are things that we are not ready to accept. Other people may be excited about the ideas, but we are not. Don't throw that stuff away.

Every Christian should have a shelf in their heart, in their brain.

Put the things on the shelf that you didn't understand. Put the things on the shelf that you didn't like. Put the things on the shelf that you are thinking about. Every now and then, get those ideas down and check them out. Yesterday's seemingly useless thought may just change your life tomorrow.

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, February 17, 2018

sometimes things just happen

I do not believe this poster.  If your life is falling apart, it is not about God's will or God's plan. 

Sometimes things just happen.  You can blame God, you can blame whom ever you wish, but sometimes things just happen.  The world is in God's control, but he is not controlling.  He is completely able to do anything, but for whatever reason, he chooses to let many things happen that we do not understand.

Sure sometimes things happen because God did it.  The miracle of birth or the miracle of love would be examples of things that God does.

Sometimes things happen because people did it.  A crime for example cannot be blamed on God.

Sometimes things happen.  A car wreck.  Leukemia.  A drowning. 
Sometimes things happen.  God did not cause them.  Don't blame him.  But he does care, and he does stand by our side to comfort us when times are difficult.

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, February 16, 2018

God has a plan


We have heard it said, and we have probably said it ourselves.
God has a plan.

We believe that God has a plan because it is scriptural.
We often quote Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We also like to believe that God has a plan, because it reassures us that things are under control. If God does not have a plan then oh my what a mess we may be in.

Sure I believe that God has plans and dreams for our lives, but I do not believe that it is all choreographed. The bible teaches that we have freewill. I don't believe that our freewill is limited to doing God's will or own own. I think that there are many choices in life that we make that are simply our choice. I think that God loves to watch his children live and make good choices.  

What town will you live in?  What house will you buy?  What doctor will you see?  Probably more based on your choices than God's plan.  And the moment we blame God's plan for our purchase of an expensive house or car, then we are way out of line.

If all we do it try to fall into "God's plan" then we have not taken any responsibility for our lives. Yes God wants us to listen to him, but he also wants us to live.

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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How you think

A friend sent this in.  I hope that we don't think that we are Gods, but you get the idea of how a small turn in perspective can change one's outlook on life.

How you think about a thing makes all the difference.

A puppy thinks: “Hey, these people I live with feed me, love me, provide me with a warm, dry home, pet me and take good care of me…

… THEY MUST BE GODS!”



A kitten thinks: “Hey, these people I live with feed me, love me, provide me with a warm, dry home, pet me and take good care of me…

… I MUST BE A GOD!”
Same situation, different thinking

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, February 14, 2018

pain-t


When I was young I did not like to paint.  Over the years I have grown a taste for it.  I love cutting in straight lines.  I love cleaning up and correcting sloppy painting done by previous well meaning painters.  I love to cover up stains.  I have come to like the smell of fresh paint.  A new coat of paint in some fashion makes, "all things are new."

So I began my latest painting project with much joy.  Paint the master bedroom, small hallway by the closet and the master bath.  Let me stop and say how appreciative I am that we have a bedroom, a closet and a bath with running water.  So many people in this world would love to have a bedroom that was heated and air conditioned, a closet to hang clothes in, clothes to hang in that closet and a bathroom with clean running water.

So I cut in the bedroom.  Cutting in is the hard part, the tedious part.  Rolling is the fun part.   I was getting ready to roll the walls and the boss came in.  Oops.  Wrong color.  Seems that we bought the paint six months ago and there are two taupes.  One for the bedroom walls and one for the hallway by the closet.  I got them mixed up.

Pain.  Pain-t.  Crud.  Now I have to do it all over again.  Gloom, despair, agony on me.  Deep dark depression excessive misery.

So I have to cut the bedroom in, AGAIN. 

But here is the good news.  The new taupe, the correct taupe was just a shade darker than the first one and it covered it all in one coat.

Moral of the story.... sometimes the problems that we face, seem discouraging at the time, but they are not as bad as we think and they can be overcome.  We can recover and life can go on.  Don't make your problem any bigger than it is.

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, February 13, 2018

Welcome to Florida


Welcome to Florida.  Warm weather, sandy beaches, palm trees, and big bugs.  Really big bugs.

This guy found his way into our garage the other night.  Harmless I am sure, but big.  BIG.  And when he flew around it was like being dived bombed by a hawk.  I dropped the ink pen into the picture to give you a sense of perspective on the size of this guy.

Sometimes the fear of a thing is much worse than the actual impact it can have on you.  A bark can be worse than the bite.

Anyway, thankfully I am somewhat prepared for big bugs in my garage.  I have the $3 electrocution-er paddle from Harbor Freight Tools.  It smoked this big bug.  Literally.

Y'all are welcome to visit anytime, but be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and bug repellent.

UPDATE.  I "killed" this bug... zapped it.  Then I sat down and wrote the blog.  I am still sitting at my computer and I hear a noise.  The bug has revived.  It has struggled over and crawled underneath the refrigerator.  Now every ten minutes I hear his horrible fluttering.  I should have zapped him longer... 😱😱😱

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, February 12, 2018

Sunday's audio sermon

Click here to listen to Sunday 2-11-18 sermon audio

my kid does not want go to church

A dear friend wrote in, concerned that her teen no longer wants to go to church. Here was my reply.

Dear Friend,
Most parents who raised kids in the church see them go through periods of doubt. There is a general sense of disinterest towards the church and organized religion. We who love our children worry about them and wish so much that they would go to church with us. Here are some thoughts for you.

1. You have raised him/her right. Relax. They will be ok.
2. Ask them if they believe in love. They will of course answer yes. Then just remind them that God is not an angry old man. God is love. And if in this life they have found love, in some way that is hard for us to understand, they have come in contact with God, because God is love.
3. Although they show no interest in worship, many youth are interested in missions. Try keeping them connected by helping with some hands on mission project.
4. Remember....They are becoming adults and have the right to make their choices as did we. To press too hard will only drive them away.
5. Love them and be patient.
6. Accept them for who they are, whether they go to church or not.  😊

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

Sunday, February 11, 2018

favorite

I got a note from a friend.
They were struggling with something, but they were working to come out on top of it.

I loved the picture in my mind of what they were doing.... struggling, but working to overcome.

I wrote back....
"I love you.  You are one of my favorite humans."

I'm gonna start saying that to people.  You are one of my favorite humans.

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, February 10, 2018

pick

Sometimes I think we need to pick one or the other.

American Theology is such a collection of messy ideas.  Chocolate and peanut butter go together great in a Reece's but there are some ideas about faith that seem to me to be mutually exclusive.

I think we have to decide.  I think we need to pick.

Option 1.  God is mad.  God wants to punish you.  You better be good.  Be afraid.  Live in fear.  You might go to hell.  God is out to get you.  He wants to catch you on a technicality.  It doesn't matter how good you were yesterday, if you mess up today you are in danger of hell.

Option 2.  God loves you.  God made a wonderful world for us to live in.  God has given us the gifts of love and joy and forgiveness.  In this life we should see his grace, accept it and life with hearts that are full!

Many of us were raised on option one.  Move to option 2 as soon as you can.  We were not created to live lives of fear.  We were made to live lives of joy.  Either God is not loving or he is.  You pick.  I believe that God is good and that he loves us very much.

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, February 9, 2018

why we believe, why we follow

So I am back on the new movie about Rob Bell. Someone commented, "[Rob Bell is a] Terrible teacher that denies Hell... so there is no reason to follow God because you won’t get punished."

My response to that comment is this......
Since when do we follow God to avoid punishment? What a terrible reason to be a Christian. If God gave us the punishment that we deserve, we would all be consumed. 

 We don't follow to avoid punishment. We believe and we follow because of his amazing love, grace and forgiveness. That is why they call it Good News.

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

Thursday, February 8, 2018

questions

So Rob Bell has come out with a new movie called "The Heretic."  My friend Brian Swanson tagged me on the facebook post because I like Rob.  I don't agree with everything Rob says or thinks but I love it that he is bold enough to ask questions of our faith. 

Jesus would welcome questions.  Jesus questioned the pharisees.  Jesus challenged the scriptures of his day, "you have heard it said, but I say to you...."  There is nothing wrong with asking questions or challenging the status quo.

Those who do not allow questions are to be feared.

If we were honest  with ourselves we would admit that we have more questions than answers.  My world is filled with questions.  Yours are always welcome here.

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

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

God's world

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

God's world.  God's world.
Not mine.  Definitely not the devil's. 
This is my Father's world.  God's world. 
Maybe we shouldn't make so many rules about his world. 
Maybe we shouldn't exclude people. 
Maybe in God's world, his principles should reign. 
Loving thoughts are not just for Sunday morning.
Let's give them to the rest of the world.

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

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Sermon audio from Sunday 2-4-18

I did not preach on Jan 28th.  This audio is from 2-4-18

click here to listen

boundaries

Once there was a farmer in Finland. When they were drawing up the Russian-Finnish border, the farmer had to decide whether he wanted to be in Russia or Finland. After a long time he said he wanted to be in Finland, but he didn't want to offend the Russian officials. They came to him and wanted to know why he wanted to be in Finland. The farmer replied, "It has always been my desire to live in Mother Russia, but at my age I wouldn't be able to survive another Russian winter."
    Anthony DeMello in his book Awareness

When you cross over the border from Kansas to Missouri can you tell?  If you are walking in the wilderness of North Dakota and cross over into Canada, how would you know?  If Jesus straddled our human border between Israel and Jordan would he know it?  Would he care?  We humans draw lots of lines.... Jesus erases them and takes people in.

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, February 5, 2018

fear and worry




Last year a friend invited me to go kayaking on the inter-coastal.  The inter-coastal is fed both by the Sebastian river and the ocean.  So any and every kind of creature could be, no... is in that water.  There have been shark attacks and crocodile attacks in the inter-coastal.  Rare, yes, but I was worried of course that I might be the exception.  The entire time that I was out on the kayak I was looking around, keeping my eyes peeled.  I vowed to never do it again.

Fast forward.  I am working for someone who lives on the inter-coastal.  I am removing some old fence posts that are in about one foot of water at low tide.  I am using a ratchet to remove bolts and using a saw to cut off the posts.  I am squatting down, so every time the waves come in, I must lift my derriere to keep it from getting wet.  Worse yet, I am thinking about the kayaking experience.  I am realizing that lurking just a few feet away from me may be a gator just waiting for the right moment to pounce.  I am after all wading in their home territory.  I don't know how long it took to remove those posts but it seemed like an eternity.

Newsflash- local man taken by gator while working to remove fence.
about to be lunch for a croc

The next time I was there working, I saw some guys fishing.  I thought, oh boy are they brave.  Then I thought, well, maybe I was worried about nothing.  I don't have to out swim the gator, just one of the fishermen.

Most of what we worry about is nothing to worry about.  Just wade in, do what you need to do, and get on with the rest of your day.

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, February 4, 2018

misleading

So I have seen these trash cans, oh, I mean recycle cans in the airport for years.  My assumption has been that you put the cans and bottles in the round holes and the newspapers in the slot shaped like a newspaper.  My brain thought how nice it was that we were recycling and helping the separation process from the get go.  My brain also thought, don't put any other kind of paper in there, just newspaper.

The cans are a bit misleading.  If you look closely, there is no divider inside the can.  If you put a newspaper in the round hole, it ends up in the same place as if you put it in the slot.  If you could crush a can and put it in the slot, well no harm is done.  There is no separation.... it all goes to the same bag.  How disappointing!

There should be just one hole in the middle that says "recycle here."

In what ways do advertisers mislead us?  In what ways do churches mislead us?  Do we ever intentionally mislead others?  What degree of us being misled is our own fault?  In this case, my brain did something with the trash can that the designers may not even have intended.  Our expectations about how a thing out to be can be pretty misleading sometimes.

The moral of this trashy story... Just because I think it is this way, doesn't mean that it is this way.  Just because I am disappointed because someone or something did not meet my expectations does not mean that I have any right to be disappointed.   Sometimes we just don't see things as they really are.

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, February 3, 2018

get ahold of yourself

Grasp ahold of yourself.

I have spoken and written many times about acting and reacting. On the stage of life, are we reacting to the things that happen to us? Or do we stop, take a step back, take a deep breath and act out of the best of who we are.

From time to time we may find ourselves in a place that we do not like. Maybe I am, maybe we are too angry, too lazy, too worried, or too nervous about anything and everything.

If you are feeling this way, it may be a good time to go find some solitude. Go sit in a park. Go sit on your porch. Turn off the TV, tune out the noise of life. Grasp ahold of yourself, Return to who you wish to be. It can be done. As sure as we allowed the cares of this life to rush in, we can also find the quiet and the presence of God to calm things down again.

And once I find the calm, I am ready to re-engage life. Instead of life beating me down, I am ready to take it on and pour myself into the humans that God has given me in this life.

Thirty minutes of quiet alone time may just change your world today.  

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

Friday, February 2, 2018

saving face

I am reading a book called The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel. It is the true story of Museum curators who were put in service during WW2 to help identify and recover the art, sculptures and cultural items that had been stolen by the Nazis.

There is always plunder in war, but Hitler and the Nazis made a machine out of stealing the great works of art.

I learned a lot from this book about art. But I also learned some other interesting historical facts. In the last month of his life, with the war being lost, Hitler ordered the complete destruction of his own country. All bridges, canals, railroads and infrastructure were to be completely destroyed so to delay the advance of the Allied forces.

Destroy your own country? Why? It seems that he had some misguided sense of saving face or military defiance. It is the ultimate exercise in “I am not going to say I’m sorry.” Some people, even in the face of their own foolishness, can not admit that they were wrong.  Some are willing to destroy their own countries, their own families, their own lives rather than say "I'm sorry."

Fact is, we are wrong, we humans, more often than one might think. The path to a healthy life is not insisting that I am always right, but by making my way carefully, kindly and humbly along the daily journey, doing the best that I can and making course corrections along the way. What course corrections lie in wait for me today? Will I see them? Will I recognize them for what they are? Will I take them? I hope so. Will you?

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
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, February 1, 2018

yesterday is gone, let it go

My friend Sharon shared this quote...

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
      Ralph Waldo Emerson

May we all release ourselves from the foolishness of yesterday and the ongoing mistakes of today.  May we continually strive to love and to be made perfect in love in this life.

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 31, 2018

project

Someone told me recently that a particular person was their "project."  What they were referring to was the idea that they had decided that it was their job to convert that person.  Lots of Christians think like this.... it is my job to convert so and so.  That person is my "evangelism project."

Here is the problem with that kind of thinking.... It is not my job or your job to convert people.  That is God's job.  It is our job to love them. 

I have come to believe that in this life we must earn the right to speak into someone's spiritual life.  We must be invited in by them.  Then, carefully we might be able to reach them.  But if you are not invited in, if you force your way in, all they will do is resist.

1 Peter 3 reminds us to be ready to give answer of the hope that lies within us.  By loving people, we open the door to a talk about our hope.  By pushing people around we close the door.  Well meaning Christians drive away the very people that they are trying to win.  Don't be one of those.

I had a dream many years ago in which my mother appeared to me from beyond the grave.... She said to me, "Love them Jeff, just love them, that is all that matters."  I would add this, that really, that is all that we can do, all that we are supposed to do.  We love them, God reaches 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


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

healthy principles

I was in a meeting the other day and one of the folks articulated some of my favorite thoughts about leadership choices and our behavior.  They said that we should make things simple and clear.

WOW.  And it ought to be pretty easy to make things simple and clear.  But, churches and other organizations have made things difficult and obscure over the years.  Churches use language that other humans do not understand.  We dress things up with robes and odd decorations.  Some Christians put on an air of superiority.  It is no wonder that the person on the street, the very people that we say we are trying to win, does not get who we are and what we are trying to do.

The outcome of long, confusing, obscure, and complicated things is predictable.

Consider what you write.  Consider what you say.  Consider your programs and ideas.  Consider your goals  Consider your mission statement.

Is it simple, as simple as possible?  Is it clear?  Is it relevant?  Is it normal?  Will the average person on the street see what we are talking about and understand it?   Will they find it helpful?  Meaningful?

If they do not, then we may sound religious, but we will not be winning anyone.  

People like things that make sense to them.  It is simple.  Is it clear.  Is it normal?  Is it relevant.
Jesus was, and that is why people flocked to him.

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 29, 2018

busted

Our house has 2 1/2 bathrooms.  Knowing that, I have nothing to complain about.  Ever.  Life is good.

I keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in two of them so I can brush my teeth whenever, wherever.

So I walked into bathroom #2 the other day and saw this sitting on the counter.  It is my tube of toothpaste.  Looks like someone squeezed it in the middle.  Hmmm.  Who would have done that???

When I was younger there was a discussion about if you should squeeze from the bottom or from the middle.  I was always insistent that you should only squeeze from the bottom.  It makes no sense to squeeze from the middle of the tube.  If we want to get it all out, you must, one must squeeze from the bottom.  It was the only sensible option.  Who would squeeze from the middle of the tube?

Now it has been years since the arguments over which way toilet paper should roll or how to get toothpaste out of the tube.  Honestly I had forgotten the arguments.  But oh boy, was I right about the correct and only way to do it at the time.

Squeeze from the bottom only!

Now I found myself staring at a tube which had been squeezed from the middle, and I had done it.  Oh my.  What has become of order, knowledge and doing the right thing?

Maybe our insistence that this is the only way to do a thing, is misguided.  Maybe we have no right to demand that everyone live life the way that we do.  Maybe the tube will end up empty regardless of the method.  Maybe that person's life will be a joyful and good thing whether they do it in the manner that I think that they should or not.

Let's get off the backs of those who are bottom squeezers.  It's all going to come out in the end.

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 28, 2018

an open apology to my children

So I have been thinking about writing an open letter to my children, apologizing for what I perceive as my shortcomings as a parent.

Here are some of the ways in which I feel like I have let them down....

I was too hard on my oldest child.  She was the first and we did not know much about parenting.  The end result was we were much more strict with her.  Not good.

I was gone too much when they were young.  What was good for the church I was serving was usually not good for my children.  I never coached them in soccer, baseball or football.  There were way too many night meetings.

I didn't, we didn't stick to our guns.  There were times when we made a decision about what was required of them, but later caved.  I'm not sure that was good.

There were a few times that I gave them ultimatums.  Looking back I would like to have a few of those moments back.

I apologize for every time I spanked you guys.  Not very many for sure, but I wish I could take every one of them back.

Although my kids grew up in the same town, the same schools and the same church, being a pastor's kid is not easy.  As much as I love and loved the church, growing up under the shadow of the steeple leaves it's mark on a young person.  You spend the rest of your life trying to figure out who I am, away from the church.

Dad is a pastor.  Pastors are supposed to have it all together.  My kids know more than anyone that this dad, this pastor did not.

I am not sure why, but lately I have been thinking about all of the ways that I let them down.  I pray that they forgive me, and that they find their way in life in spite of my shortcomings.

And so, life is good.  With all of the issues in our home, they were raised far better than I was.  I know that my Dad would be proud.  He would say, "son, you did it, you did better for them than we did for you." and that is true for sure.

I feel it is better to air these things out and say I'm sorry than to act like I was a perfect Father, which I was not.

And in spite of our brokenness, it is still a beautiful day in God's world.





Saturday, January 27, 2018

A visitor




I am a garage person. That is where my tools are, that is where my music is, I hang out in the garage a bunch. I probably spend more time in the garage piddling than in all of the other rooms of the house combined. [not counting sleeping time that is.]






So a few weeks ago I went out into the garage and this little dove walked right in. I started talking to him. How odd and how unsafe for this little dove to just wander in. He acted like he knew me. Like we were old friends. He walked right up to me. I stepped back, he hopped forward. I felt uncomfortable and a bit fearful for him. This sort of behavior in the wrong garage could be very dangerous.




I went out into the driveway. He popped up on top of the truck. After a while he departed. It was almost like a friend was visiting me from beyond. My father? My mother? Who knows. But it was pretty cool.


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 26, 2018

Dirty jobs

There are many dirty little jobs in life that we would all love to forget.

The Fram oil filter man used to say, “pay me now or pay me later.” It might cost a little more, but it is better, was their message. I changed out our furnace filters last week. I do it every month. Look how dirty!!! Imagine what they are like when we forget about them for months.

I once moved into a home where one filter was missing and the other two had not been changed in who knows how long. Eventually such behavior will ruin your air conditioner.

Filters serve a purpose and they need to be changed.

Many things in life are like this.  Filters, cat boxes, broken relationships, on and on we go with difficult things. They come at an inopportune time. They are an annoyance. We have to get out the ladder. We get a little dirty in the process. But such things in life need to be done. If you are facing a project that needs to be done, whether it is about people or the air conditioner, get after it and get it over with or find someone to help you with it.

Leaving such things undone is never good in the long haul. Step out of your comfort zone. Do what needs to be done. Exert the effort now, you will be happy that you did.

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