Sunday, October 22, 2017

God can use you

So many people wish that they could be used by God, but they just cannot believe that God would use someone as broken as they are.

If this is your thought process, who do you think that God uses? Does he look for perfect people to use? Where would he find them?

Think about it... if you are looking for comfort and advice in the midst of marital troubles, would you rather talk with someone who had no problems or someone who had lived through marital hell? If you were struggling with an illness would you rather talk with someone who had perfect health or someone who had lived through some rough illnesses?

Our hurts can be a blessing to others.

"Nobody escapes being wounded. We are all wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not, 'How can we hide our wounds?' so we don't have to be embarrassed, but 'How can we put our woundedness into the service of others?' When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers."                                                              Henri Nouwen

Don't rob others of the gift that you are. Get over the fact that you are broken and reach out to others with compassion. God will use your brokenness to bring encouragement and hope. I promise.

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




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours


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

Saturday, October 21, 2017

hurting

Maybe as you read this, you are hurting.

I hurt sometimes too.  I wish that I had the magic pill to take away your pain, but I don't.  Every life seems to have it's problems, it's issues.  It almost seems to me that the longer I live, the more problems I collect.  And I thought when I got old enough, my problems would go away.  Ha ha.

Anyway, let me say this.... I have learned along the way that feelings are fickle.  I can have a problem and it will be eating my lunch.  And then the next minute or the next day, I can find happiness even though the problem is still there.

We have no choice but to live with and within our problems.  It won't hurt forever.  Stay with the program, stay with life, keep seeking the good.  Your feelings will turn, even if the problem does not.

I am so sorry that you hurt.  I wish I could hug you and make it all go away.  Keep your chin up.  Life is still good.

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



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours


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, October 20, 2017

creation miracle

I tend to notice things in creation... I think that is good.  Odd things, beautiful things, things.  I can't explain how or why but my brain just looks for and sees things that speak to me.

Here is a Banyon tree.  Banyon trees have a very odd characteristic.  Off of their branches, they drop "feelers" that make their way to the ground and become roots.  It is so strange... like one of your whiskers growing down and becoming another leg....  One of God's interesting oddities of life.


Now here is a Banyon tree in Jaycee Park in Vero Beach that has a palm tree growing right out of the middle of it.  I guess a bird dropped a palm seed right in the right crevace of the tree.  Every time I see this tree in a tree I smile.

God's world is amazing.
What do you see when you wake to a new day?  There are miracles all around us.

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




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours


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, October 19, 2017

losing

Working hard at seeing the good is so very important.... 

"If you lose your possessions, you may have lost a lot.  If you lose your health, you have lost a great deal.  But if you lose your peace of mind, you have lost everything."

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





Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours


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, October 18, 2017

One of my favorite stories

A mother could not get her little son to come home from his games before dark. So she frightened him: she told him that the path leading to their house was haunted by ghosts who came out as soon as the sun went down.

After that, She had no more trouble making him come home before dark each evening. But when the boy grew up he was so afraid of the dark and of the ghosts that he refused to go out of the house at night.

Occasionally she would need something from the store and would want him to go get it. So she gave him a medal to wear and convinced him that as he wore his medal the ghosts would have no power to harm him. So now he ventures forth into the dark clutching his medal.

The moral of the story.....
Bad religion gives us fear and powerless medals. Good religion helps us to see that there are no ghosts.

A nineteenth-century Shaker by the name of Thomas Brown questioned the infallibility of the Shaker leader "Mother Ann" and the ministry that followed her. He complained to the elders that "Your gospel seems like a tunnel: the farther I travel in, the narrower it grows." A true community of faith provides the light at the end of the tunnel.

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



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours


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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Free

Happiness has nothing to do with the outside. Money, power, respectability promise to bring happiness. But they don’t. People without these things can be happy.

There once was a prisoner held by the Nazis. The poor man was tortured every day. One day they changed his cell. In the new cell there was a skylight. He wrote home to his family about the joy of the fresh air and the sunlight.

What difficulty are you facing?  Do you allow it to keep you in prison, or are you still free?

"One cannot make a slave of a free person, for a free person is free even in prison"
                                                                                             Plato

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



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours


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

Monday, October 16, 2017

Audio from Sunday's Sermon October 15, 2017 The Greatest Commandment

Here is the link to the audio from Sunday's Sermon.

Link to 10-15-17

https://clyp.it/jachm0h4

help my church grow

Sometimes people still ask me for ideas to help their church grow.  Here is something simple that I thought of the other day.

You want your church to grow?  Remove all undesirables.  Remove all obstacles to growth.

By undesirables I don't mean people, but there might be some that you need to manage and get under control.

Barriers to growth, undesirables might be-

  • not enough parking
  • a shabby exterior appearance
  • sad colors
  • trash outside
  • trees that need  to be trimmed
  • no greeter
  • an overly forceful greeter
  • bathrooms that are not clean
  • bathrooms that need to be remodeled
  • rusty water
  • bad singers
  • too long of worship service
  • themes of guilt and shame
  • no nursery, dirty nursery
  • on and on it goes


In short, anything that would cause someone to take your church off of their list, fix it right away.   Any agenda, even if it is your favorite, if it is off mission, let it go.  You may even want to have some fresh eyes come in and look around because we humans get used to "good enough" and that won't win new folks.

Removing barriers won't guarantee growth, but keeping the undesirable things will certainly create barriers and keep new people away.

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

criticism

There is always someone that will criticize you.  Let it roll off of your back.

A monkey was up in a palm tree.  He saw a Methodist Preacher walking below.  The monkey pulled a coconut loose and threw it down, striking the Preacher on the head.

The preacher picked up the coconut, drank the milk, ate the coconut flesh and made a bowl from the shell.

May we all have that response the next time we are given grief.

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



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours


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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

I wasn't going to

 So I saw this sign.  I wasn't sure what to think.

I had never thought of doing that.  
I wasn't going to do that.  
Who would ever try that?  
Maybe there is a giant around the truck lot?

No great life lesson here, I just thought the sign was funny.
And Lord knows that we all need to laugh from time to time.

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



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours


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, October 13, 2017

sermon audio from Sunday

Several have asked about if the sermons at Ft. Pierce UMC will be recorded.  This is an audio file that I recorded of last Sunday's Sermon 10-8-17.

I thank my friend Brittney for helping me with the technical part of it.
Here is the link if you wish to listen

Sermon 10-8 The Jesus that I know

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

Handyman success

There are some jobs that handymen wish they had not taken on.  From time to time I get into things that I just cannot fix.  But when my daughter asked me to fix her ice maker, I felt pretty confident that I could handle the problem.  It was probably a big chunk of frozen ice that was blocking the ice chute.  At worst, we could just order a new motor for it.

So I take it out of the fridge and empty out the ice.  Hmm.  Look what I found in the icemaker... a spoon!!!








Seems that young ladies, when their eyes get puffy, put ice cold spoons on their eyes.  Next time, let's just put the spoons in the freezer, not the ice bin.  I wish that every problem in life was this easy to fix.

Handyman 1
Spoon 0

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








Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours


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, October 12, 2017

advice for a pastor

So I started a new appointment at Ft. Pierce First UMC last week.  I was talking to a friend who told me this... They said, "Jeff I want to remind you of the advice for success that you always gave to me and every other pastor."

I said, what advice???
They said, "preach good sermons and love the people."

Good advice indeed.
Thanks friend for the reminder.
It's like the idea that if you get the basic things right in life, most everything else will work out.  On this hangs all the law and the prophets.

Preach good sermons and love the people.

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



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours


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, October 11, 2017

Why blog post response

I posted the other day about why I was born in America instead of some third world country.  My friend Susan replied with this comment....

I have wondered this same thing many times. How am I so fortunate? It comes down to God's plan for me and finding my purpose. To love others, to be His hands and feet. I have been handing out blessing bags to the homeless on the street corners, visiting friends who are in need, reaching out. I keep feeling like it's not enough, which spurs me to continue.

To whom much is given, much is expected. 


 Surely one appropriate response to our abundance is to do all that we can to help the less fortunate.

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



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours


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 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

why do bad things happen???

Sometimes we humans ask, "why do bad things happen to us?"  Some people get mad at God and hate him forever because of things that happen to them in this life.

Well this is a big topic and a complicated topic, but I would like to add a thought to the discussion.  I am sure that this is not a new thought...

So, here we go...  Imagine that your life is only good.  Only perfect, just as you wish.  What is your favorite food?  You get to eat it every day.  What is your favorite vacation?  You are on it every day.  Do you get where this is going?  Soon I would loathe Coconut cream pie and Yellowstone park.  I would take it all for granted.

Imagine a person who has never seen the ocean.  They go on a trip one day and see it, and they are amazed, they are mesmerized by the waves.  They love it.  They vow to sell all and move to the beach, which is exactly what they do.  They buy a fishing boat and live in view of the beach every day.  But after a while, they become accustomed to their surroundings.  What once was amazing is now familiar and soon becomes unappreciated.  The person comes to a point where they no longer see the amazing beauty of where they are living.

On trips to Nicaragua, we would treat the Rainbow Network staff to dinner in town at the Monkey Restaurant.  What is an amazing once a year gift of a special meal to the indigenous Nicaraguans, is barely appreciated by we Americans.

The cold of winter makes us appreciate spring.  The sorrow of heartache makes us appreciate joy.  Being away from loved ones causes us to miss them.  Going a year without a hug makes one appreciate it more when it arrives.  Hard times not only help us appreciate good times, they define the good times.  Without the hard times, we wouldn't even know what the good times were.

Without difficulty, life would be bland.  Hard times are necessary in this world if we are to understand the joy and amazing beauty of this life.

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

World War 2




I love the city of San Francisco.  I love to visit there.  On my last trip I took this picture of two World War two vessels that are moored in SF bay.  One is the Pampanito, a 311 foot submarine that sunk 4 ships in the pacific.  The other is the Jeremiah O'brien, a cargo ship known as a liberty ship that carried supplies across the Atlantic.  It is 441 ft long and travels at a maximum speed of 13 mph with a crew of 44.  2710 liberty ships were built, 200 were sunk.  2 fully functioning survive today.



When I see these ships I think of the men and women who served on them.  I think about the terrible time in the 1940’s when our world was at war with the Nazi regime.  It seems to me to be one of the few wars that people are still glad that we fought.  I am thankful for every veteran, I am thankful for every sacrifice that every person made for the war effort.  During WW2 there was rationing… almost everything was collected for the war effort so many common items were not available to the average person.  Gasoline, bacon, butter, sugar, meat, tea, jam, biscuits, cheese, eggs, lard, milk and canned and dried fruit were all rationed.  Factories that produced new cars ceased civilian auto production and turned their vehicles over to the military or shifted to manufacturing aircraft.

It was a somber time for our country and the world.



May we never have to engage in such conflict again.



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

Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com









Travel with Pastor Jeff



Italy's Historic and Religious Sites

November 7-16, 2017

http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours



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, October 8, 2017

why???


Why???


I have a friend who was born in Austria and was a refugee after WW2.

I have a friend who was born in rural Nicaragua.  She has never seen a flush toilet.  She has never worn makeup.  She has never been able to buy the things that we have Costco deliver to us.  She has no healthcare.  She sleeps on the floor of a mud and stick house.

I was born in Kansas City.  In a hospital.  I have always had healthcare.  I have always had clean running water.  I have always had 3 meals a day.  My parents paid for me to go to college.  Why???



Why is one born in Austria and spends years running from war and death?  Why is another born in impoverished circumstances?  Why was I born here?



I asked this question in church one time and someone said, well you were born in Missouri because that is where your parents lived.  Ha ha.  That is not what I mean.



Why does one soul enter a body in Russia, one is North Korea and another in the US?  There is no good answer.  Just please understand that if you were born here or now live in the US, you are blessed.  We are so blessed. 



We used to sing the song, God bless America.  Like we wanted more blessings.  It is time for us to stop asking for blessings and begin to bless others.  Just saying.



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

Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com



Travel with Pastor Jeff





Italy's Historic and Religious Sites

November 7-16, 2017

http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours



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




Saturday, October 7, 2017

Food



We all have our pet peeves.  Things that bother us.  I don’t like to be around drivers who speed.  I am not a fan of pretentiousness.  But one of my big ones is this- I don’t like to waste food.  Maybe this is because my parents grew up in the depression and we never wasted anything.  If we had leftovers, we ate them until they were gone.  When I was a kid we ate bread by itself, cheese sandwiches and baloney.  Lots of baloney.  Nothing was wasted, ever.  I bet that our garbage disposal [if we even had one] was never used once by my mother.



It is also possible that I don’t like wasting food because I have seen truly hungry people.  I have met people who wish that they could eat ¼ of what we eat in a day.  I have seen children cry because they were hungry.  We used to tell our kids that there are starving children in Africa.  They would say, then send the food to them.



I saw this billboard in San Francisco.  It is so true.  We Americans waste so much food.  When a person has so much, they begin to take what they have for granted.  Please don’t waste food.  I used to know a guy who owned a restaurant and at the end of the day he would take extra food down to the homeless folks.  I loved that.



Think about it.  Keep less food around.  Eat everything that you take.  You will save money that you can use to help others.



It’s a beautiful day in God’s world, be sure to see the food.

Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com



Travel with Pastor Jeff



Italy's Historic and Religious Sites

November 7-16, 2017

http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours



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, October 6, 2017

New Assignment


Sunday I begin a new job, a new assignment.  I am pleased to let you know that I will be filling in as an interim Pastor at the Ft. Pierce First United Methodist Church.  The pastor there is a Navy Chaplain and is being deployed for a year.  It is a part time assignment so I will still be able to enjoy the retired life.



My wife and I have been attending church there for months.  We really like the people and I am looking forward to reengaging with the work of Jesus’ ministry.  I thought of Mel Gibson in the movie signs… He was a pastor, but quit the church after his wife died.  At the end of the show he has regained his faith and is putting on his preaching clothes.  I know it felt good for him to reengage.  It feels good to me.



Please keep me and Ft. Pierce First UMC in your prayers.   And if you are ever that way, service starts at 9:30am.  Everyone is welcome.



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

Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com








Travel with Pastor Jeff



Italy's Historic and Religious Sites

November 7-16, 2017

http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours



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, October 5, 2017

fairweather fans

free tickets left along the sidewalk
by the right field gate.  Free for the taking.
I went to Kansas City last week to catch the last few Royals games of the season.  In the old days, before they made the world series, you could always find free tickets.  You could park up close and sit where ever you wanted.  Royals gear was cheap.  I bought my Royals hats at Walmart for $5.

After they made the world series, everything changed... for a bit.  Suddenly everyone in town is jumping on the Royals band wagon.  The stadium was full.  Tickets were expensive and hard to come by.  You had to park in the sticks.  The worst of it was that you actually had to sit where ever your seat actually was.

I missed the old days when they were bad.  Things were simpler.  You just got to go and enjoy the game.

Well last week it was like the old days.  The Royals are out of the playoffs.  We parked in row 4.  We sat where ever we wanted.  Tickets were cheap or free.  Usually people stand in line at the park to buy tickets.  Last week, there was a line of people with extra tickets, just giving them away.  No scalpers at the stadium last week.  The crowd was sparse, the bathrooms were empty, and there were no lines to buy a hot dog.

I hope the Royals do well, but I just love baseball.  Let's learn to enjoy the game, whether our team does well or not.

Things won't always go the way that we want them to in this life.  Let's learn to enjoy life, even when things don't go the way that we want them to go.  There will be losing seasons.  Life is still good.  Stay in the game.


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

Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com






Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

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, October 4, 2017

Happy moment

left to right- Bobby, Alli, Scott and Jenny
I can remember how painful it was watching our kids tear into each other when they were young.  Sibling rivalry can be very difficult.  We worked so hard to teach our kids to love each other.  They were taught that they were each other's wingman, and you never leave your wingman.  Still they had their moments when they were just mean to each other.

So Saturday was Alli's birthday party.  No friends, just family.  They ate, they drank ice tea, and they swam.  Late in the day, they all crashed on the porch to watch a tv show.  Here they are, all together, laughing and enjoying one another.

Life is too short to spend time fighting.  May God grant them, and us, more days of enjoying each other.

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







Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

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




Tuesday, October 3, 2017

an open letter to pastors

Dear Pastors,

I beg you to hear me out.  Would you ever intentionally do anything to alienate 50% of your congregation?  I hope your answer is no.  I hope that you want to win every person.  I hope that we would follow the example of Paul who became all things to all people so that he could win them.

Our nation is split down the middle.  Look how close the last elections have been.  Now you are entitled to your opinion on politics, but sharing it publically via the pulpit or on facebook is not why we entered the ministry.  We are here to share the love and grace of Jesus.  Every moment that we spend talking about something else is a moment lost forever to share God's love and grace.  Anytime a person rants about this or that political thing, they run the risk of alienating 50% of the congregation.  We pastors can end up hurting the very people that we are supposed to be reaching and then we wonder why the appointment is not going well.

Note that neither Paul nor Jesus talked about how good or bad the Roman emperor was.  Note that neither Paul nor Jesus rant about Rome's treatment of people.  They stuck to their message, teaching people to live lives of love.  They focused on Kingdom work.

Sure there are times to take a stand on certain things, but please be careful.  We can invite our hearers to be gracious and kind without tearing down others.  I encourage you to read and stick to the words of Jesus.  He welcomed and won all people: Roman centurions, prostitutes, Pharisees, tax collectors, zealots and Samaritans.  May our work in the ministry of Jesus do the same, reaching all within the sound of our voice with the message of grace.

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



Monday, October 2, 2017

suicide

Every now and then I feel that I should say something about suicide.

I am compelled to write about it, because I think it is so sad that someone would end their own life, in effect saying, there is no more good left here for me on this earth.

I can write about this, because during two different periods of my life, I thought about it.  Thankfully I never acted on those feelings, but we all must admit, sometimes it is hard to see the good.  Sometimes life just feels overwhelming.

Here is what I want to say.  Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  No matter how bad things are, circumstances will change.  You can heal.  You can recover.  Sure, life isn't perfect, but there is so much good.  I would hate to miss any of it.  I am glad that I have learned to live through the down moments and believe that there is still good.

If you are wondering if your life is worth living, I say to you, YES IT IS!!!  You matter to God and to us.  Don't take action based on a low point in life.  Better moments are around the corner.  Life is still beautiful and the sun will rise for you and bring you a new day.   Believe for a better day.  It is coming.

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





Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

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, October 1, 2017

an age old message

I started focusing on seeing the good in life in my late 40's.  What a shame!  What was I doing the first 48 years of my life?  I don't know, maybe I was not ready to focus on the message of seeing the good in life.  Now although I still have days when I don't see the good, I am trying hard to be a champion for that message.

Six weeks ago I was in San Francisco.  I stayed at the San Remo Hotel in the Fisherman's wharf area.  It was a cheap stay for that part of town, $110 per night, but it was an old fashioned hotel.  Shared bathrooms, no exterior window for that price, and almost a hostel feel.  The hotel was built in 1906 right after the earthquake.  It has many items in the hotel that have decorated the walls for over 100 years.  I took a picture of this picture.

"It's easy enough to be pleasant when life goes by like a song, but the man worth while is the man with a smile when everything goes dead wrong."

Way back before my parents were born, someone was thinking about seeing the good in life.  Right after an earthquake, someone was reminding people of the joy that is found when we see the good in life.

I don't know what is going on in your world.  But if you are facing some sort of challenge, See, look, peer into life.  See what is really there.  There is so much good.  It's not a new message, but it is never to late to take it up.

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

Saturday, September 30, 2017

you can't take it with you


A rich man died and went to heaven.
How much of his money did he leave behind?
All of it.

Sad but true, we will one day all die.  No one leaves this life vertically.  We are all going to die.  What are you doing with the money that God has allowed you to use in this life?

Remember, we are not owners of homes, cars or bank accounts.  We are stewards of these gifts that God has given to us.  And I believe that he gives us such things not simply for our consumption, but so that we can help others.

Somewhere there is someone that you can bless by being generous.  And we might as well be generous.  Have you ever seen a hearse pulling a u-haul?  You can't take it with you.

What would happen if every one of us, this day, made a commitment to give a gift or do an act of kindness for another person?  Oh, there is so much joy in living the generous life.

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




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

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, September 29, 2017

from my friend Gary

When I was in seminary, they told us, never trust a shepherd who isn't someone else's sheep.  Gary's words reminded me of that old saying.


Never trust a man who doesn’t have a “limp”. Many are visible and many more are not. We all have them. Some choose to hide them or are embarrassed to show them and are giving the illusion that all is well. Recently a friend of mine sent me a CD of when I gave my Testimony in Church 11 or 12 Years ago. I listened to the whole thing as I was driving to see one of my customers. It made me well up with tears and cry. Baring the soul is hard to do. But that was my limp and made me who I was at that time. I made many mistakes and some bad choices. But don't we all. Sharing your story with others lets them see that we all are human and have rough times.

Many things have changed since then. As I listened to myself give that Testimony, Jeff's blog post came to mind - Good Luck, Bad Luck, Who Knows?  [August 9th] The events of my life were unfolding, with what seemed as misfortune or bad choices led to good things and better understanding. Some would call that hindsight by looking back into the past, but wouldn’t that also be called gaining Wisdom…….

g2

Thursday, September 28, 2017

tsunami warning

Ahh, driving on US 1 in California is so beautiful.  There are so many amazing sights to see!
Pt. Arena Lighthouse

So I am driving on US 1 on my redwood trip and I saw several of these signs.  When the road dipped down closer to sea level, I guess there is a risk of being washed away by a tsunami.
entering tsunami hazard zone!

I am thinking, what is the point of this sign?  Should I speed up?  Gosh there are so many opportunites for trouble on California's US 1.  You could easily drive off the cliff.



  Or the hill could turn into a giant landslide.  So I am supposed to worry about a possible tsunami?




Sometimes I think I want to know what trouble is coming so that I can prepare.  But if I am at the bottom of a hill on US 1 and a tsunami is coming, please let me stay ignorant.  I won't be able to get out of the way, so please just let me enjoy the drive.  Isn't that why we drive on US 1 anyway?

I cut down the tsunami sign and threw it into the ocean.  Ignorance is bliss.

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




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

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, September 27, 2017

"free" books

I will be starting a new job next week, the Lord willing and the creek don't rise.  By the way, do you know where that saying came from?  I always thought that it meant that I would do this and such as long as we could get the wagon past the water in the creek.  But it actually refers to a time when the Creek Indians would be on the warpath.... I will do this and such, the Lord willing and the Creek Indians don't rise up.

Anyway I have some free books.  Over the years I have collected multiple copies of books that have made a difference in my life.  Now, in retirement, some of them need to find new homes.  I will mail you any of these you would like if you send me your address and $4 for shipping.

Here is what I have available:
The Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell [one of the most striking books on the nature of spirituality.]
Song of the Bird by Anthony deMello - a great book of stories for sermon illustrations.  A must have for any preacher.
Taking Flight by Anthony deMello - another great book of stories.  A must for those who preach every week.
Walking on water by Anthony deMello.  My favorite book of all time.  A must for those who wish to see the good.
The Shack - if you saw the movie, now you can get the book.
Illusions by Richard Bach.  A great book for anyone who needs to begin to believe in themselves.

I probably have more available but this is a start.
Email me at Jsbrink57@gmail.com if interested.

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




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

heel

I am a heel.  A complete loser.  A buffoon.

I was supposed to preach for a friend last Sunday.  Somehow in my brain I thought it was this coming Sunday.  We set it all up via facebook messages and I am just not on facebook very much.

So anyway, on Sunday, their congregation is waiting for me to show up... and I didn't.  I was a no call, no show.  I feel like a complete jerk.

She finally got ahold of me by facebooking my wife, who called me.  I called my pastor friend and apologized profusely.  l was graciously forgiven, and she even asked to go ahead and preach for her this Sunday.

Grace is getting a gift that you don't deserve.  It is receiving welcome when you don't deserve it.  We have all let someone down at one time or another.  All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Yet we are loved and forgiven by God.  Grace is a beautiful thing indeed.  It is beautiful to receive it, and it is amazing to give it.  Maybe being on the loser end of life and receiving grace, can make us more willing to give it to others.  Who are you offering grace to today?

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

Monday, September 25, 2017

homeless

I run into people all the time that think we should not help the homeless.  What would Jesus do?  Don't make excuses, just answer the question, what would Jesus do?

On the next to the last day of my redwood trip I was walking in San Francisco on Fisherman's wharf.  I saw a homeless guy sitting outside of McDonald's.  As I approached, an 8 year old boy came out with a sandwich and handed it to the man.  I was close and  I saw the look on their faces in the moment of the exchange.  The boy was smiling and filled with joy to help another human.  The homeless man was surprised, but then launched a big smile and said, "thank you."  It was a beautiful moment.

Yes there are people that will take advantage of you.  They will waste your money.  Wait... don't we waste our money too?  I believe it is better to be taken advantage of every now and then, then to turn a blind eye toward another person who is truly in need.

Jesus fed the 5,000.  Were they all worthy?

Jesus healed 10 lepers.  9 took advantage of him.  Only one returned to say thanks, but he helped them all.

A small act on your part just might make someone's day today.
It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

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, September 24, 2017

softball


My friend Bruce came to visit last week.  He brought his glove and we played catch.  I still have my old glove, and even a ball from the day.  For the better part of 15 years, from 1995-2010 Bruce and I played on the same softball team.  The original church team was the Woodchucks.  As the church grew, that team split to add others.  At the peak of the softball experience, the church hosted 11 teams.  It was a great time to be a young person and a great event for families to get together on Sunday night.

I miss those days.  We used to say that we would play forever, but time does take its toll and the bad knees and bad shoulders finally won out.

Today I would like to give a shout out to the guys that played on our team, the Armadillos.  [What is a pirate's favorite animal?  An arrrrrrmadillo.]  Anyway, here's to my softball buddies - I apologize if I miss anyone..... Here's to Kent, Matt, Bruce, Gary, Jon, Joe, Stu, Robin, Darren, Jason, Jay, and Doug.  I know I have missed a couple.... I am sorry.

Oh, those where great times!  Those were fun nights.  We would sit in the parking lot after the game, listen to Queen and drink ice tea.

Savor the days my friends, they go by so fast.  If you are involved with something that is bringing you joy, stop and smell the roses.  They don't bloom forever.

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




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

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


Saturday, September 23, 2017

one God

I believe that there is only one God.  He is divided up into part by various groups, but there is only one God.  The thought that there is only one God has some interesting implications.  For example, I believe that if people are trying to worship God, that counts for something, even if part of what they are doing is wrong.  It may not be your group, it may not be your denomination, it may be folks that have little in common with you but if they are reaching out to the one God, that ought to count for something.

We tend to want to reject anyone who does not see it the way that we do.  We tend to want to throw away those who have a different understanding than we do.  Why?  Are we so sure that we are the ones that have it just right?

1.2 billion Catholic Christians believe that Mary is sinless.  Are we right and them wrong?
400 million Orthodox Christians do not believe in the trinity.
There are 800 million of us protestants and we don't agree on many things.

If there is only one God, who are the Jehovah's Witnesses [for example] worshiping?  Who are the RLDS worshiping?  Who are the Greek orthodox worshiping?  Well, I was taught that they were all wrong.  But if they are trying to worship God [and there is only one God right?] then who am I to say that they are going to hell?  Do Methodists have the corner on correct ideas about God?

My point is this.... all people that worship God get it partly right and partly wrong.  And God, the one God, welcomes all of their worship.  Who am I to say that this group or that group, this person or that person is going to hell?

There is only one God and everyone that wakes in his world sees the same gift of creation.  It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

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