Wednesday, October 22, 2014

to lose

No one likes to lose.  But, in this life, we are all going to lose at one time or another.  The question is, when you get knocked down, what do you do? 

There was a song some years ago, the lyrics were, "I get knocked down, but I get up again."  It is a theory of life that I have been trying to teach my children from day one.  Bad things are going to happen.   It is a fact.  A person has to decide how they will respond.  Will you fold or will you get back up?

The Royals have this choice to make.  So do each of us, every single day.  Get up, go on.  Give it your best.  Never measure today by yesterday.

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

to bad mouth

One of my least favorite things in this life is when someone needs to bad mouth another person.  It is not necessary and it pollutes the air.

If you don't agree with the President, who ever it is, that is fine.  Don't say hateful things about him or her.  Don't make it personal.

If you don't like your boss, if you don't like the coach of the team, if you don't like the teacher, if you don't like the pastor [imagine that], if you don't like the author, that is all fine.  You don't have to like everything that a person says or does.  You don't have to like what they stand for. 

But it adds nothing to the day when we use our God given mouths to slam someone.  You can disagree and be civil.  It does not have to be hurtful. 

Hurtful speech hurts both those who hear it and those who deliver it.  Gracious speech on the other hand, is good for the soul.  Offer your mouth to praise.  It will lift your soul.

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

appearances

"Half of the work that is done in this world is to make things appear what they are not."
                                                                                   Elias Root Beadle


I understand that a little make up is needed or desired from time to time.  But life should be lived transparently.  No games.  No pretending. 


I have a friend that runs a contracting business.  One of their themes is "no short cuts."  They take a project down to the bones and make sure the work is done right.  No short cuts.  No covering over things that should be fixed.


What if we really let people see inside of us?  Maybe we would work harder on being kind and nice if everyone could actually see all the way in.


Jesus chastised the Pharisees for looking like a clean cup on the outside, but having hearts that were dirty and wrong.  May that never be said of us.


Some of my favorite people are what you see is what you get people.  No games.  No pretending.  Life is too short for any of that.


Be who you are.  Everyone else is already taken.


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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Go Royals!

Our City is infected with Royals fever!  It is so exciting.  It looks now as if Jesus may be a Royals fan.

No seriously, I want our church to be normal and relevant.  These banners go right to the heart of that.  I do not know whose idea this was... maybe Rachel Upp?  But it is brilliant.

A church that celebrates with the community is a great place indeed.

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

Saturday, October 18, 2014

to believe in someone

Everyone needs someone to believe in them.  Everyone needs someone to give them a chance.  Every person that hired you along the way, gave you a chance. 

Not everyone has a proven track record.  Sometimes you have to give someone a chance.  I have met so many people who were filled with potential, and were just waiting for an opportunity.  If you have the power to do so, give some people the opportunity to thrive.  The world is a better place when everyone has a chance to be all that God made them to be.

And if you are looking to become more than what you currently are, do not shrink back from the opportunities that come your way.

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

More Bugs

Every fall when the weather gets colder the box-elder bugs come to hang out at our house.  They like to crawl into all sorts of places to stay warm.  Bugs beware.  I am the box-elder bug killing expert.  I am like a god to them.  I let them live or I wipe them out.


Last night I sprayed a bunch of them with my special concoction.  4% Dawn dish detergent and 96% water.  It works like a charm.  So if you are annoyed by these little dudes, find an almost empty spray bottle and mix yourself up some box-elder bug killer.

Is it wrong to be happy when I kill bugs?

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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

the stars

I used to love to play softball but age and bad knees do take a toll.  I used to love to play softball, but I was not a very good hitter.  When I would come up to the plate, all of the outfielders would move up because I could usually only hit little dink shots. 

But three times in my life, the stars lined up and I got the bat on the ball just right and hit it over the left fielder's head.  Boy were they surprised.  So was I!  I remember their names and we joke about it to this day.

Every now and then the stars line up.  Your hard work pays off and the machine runs better than you ever thought it might.

Here is to the World Series bound 2014 Kansas City Royals!  They have worked hard, and the stars have lined up for them!  How exciting!

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The town that wouldn't sleep

Do you remember when you were a kid and you could not sleep the night before your birthday?  Maybe it was Christmas eve and you were so excited that you could not sleep?

Kansas City is the town that cannot sleep.  At least I cannot sleep for watching and thinking about the Royals!

We are game away from the world series!  The last time this happened, I was serving a church in Oklahoma and was one year out of seminary.  There have been so many exciting plays!  It has been amazing.

I have gone to the games for years.  I generally try to hit all of the afternoon games.  There are usually 4 of them during a year.  We would joke that it's pretty nice - there is only about 5,000 people there.  You can park up close, buy a ticket for $10 and sit where ever you want.

All that is different now, and it may be different in the future.  General admission may go up to $20 per ticket.

I don't care.  I am excited for the Royals, for baseball, for all of my friends who love baseball and I am excited for our home town.  Right now, we are the town that cannot sleep.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to

see the good.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Second Chance Iris

It's a miracle.  It's a late bloomer.  It's a double bloomer.  It's a promise of grace.  It's a reminder that God is in control of the seasons.  It is a sign of hope.

This little group of Iris is blooming in October!  How exciting!  It's rainy and cold in Kansas City.  It feels like late fall, early winter, and these guys don't care.  Bloom baby, bloom!

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

spending

"Life begets life.  Energy creates energy.  It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich." 
                                                                                 Sarah Bernhardt

I hope that you are finding the joy of the generous life.  Anytime we try to hold onto something too tightly, it falls through our fingers.  It is in giving that we receive.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see, and be sure to give the goodness to others.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

life

I keep running into people who think that life should be problem free.  I have to cut them some slack because I used to think that way as well.

Here is the truth.  If you live long enough, you will have to deal with being a teenager.  Dating, acne and all of that.  If you live long enough, you will have to deal with being an adult.  Yikes.  Somewhere along the line, you will upset your parents.  Then you will have kids.  Maybe.  If you do, they won't be perfect.  You will vacillate between joy and feeling like a failure. 

Then they will graduate and go to college - or not.  Then they will move out.  Then they will want to move back in.  You will look back on your life and wonder if it is possible for you to go home and be a child again. 

Here is the good news..... along the way, through the ups and downs, God is with us.  We are not alone.  Remember to love others and keep trying to do the right things -  and God is with us.  That brings a smile to my face.  He is the heartbeat of a life, he is the foundation of the house, he is the core of the philosophy.  When everything else seems fleeting, we can depend on our Father.  You can lean on him.

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

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I can't watch

These extra inning games and these close games make me so nervous.  I can't sit and watch.  I have to get up and wander around.  Back and forth I go, hoping, but unable to sit still through it all.  We pray for our team to win, they pray for their team to win.

The winners are giddy, the losers are glum.  Does God even care who wins baseball games?  Johnny Damon is a Royal and we love him.  Then we trade him to the Yankees and he is no longer loved. 

Sports are entertaining, but we have to remember, they are not the main thing.  If your team doesn't win, you don't have to quit your job.

No matter how these games come out, life is good and God is with us.  Baseball is after all, a game.

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

Friday, October 10, 2014

ha ha

This is kind of gross, but its also kind of funny.  I hate tomato worms.  They are disgusting, and they do nothing but harm to our tomatoes. 

I had heard about this malady that befalls the tomato worms, but I actually saw it the other day.  The white things on the back of the hornworm are the larvae of a particular species of wasp.  They lay their eggs into the back of the worm and then the eggs hatch and eat the worm from the inside out.  Poetic justice.

Why am I sharing this with you?  I am taking a little joy in the downfall of this garden pest, and I am also again marveling at the complex and amazing nature of our Father's world.

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

help

Do you need help?  What if you needed help and no one ever came?  Some years ago I was out of town on Christmas Eve, trying to get home and the water pump went out in my car.  A trucker picked me up, drove me to the nearest town.  An auto parts store man opened his store on Christmas eve for me.  A mechanic put in the new pump and only charged me for the parts.

Every now and then, we need help and it is so nice to receive that help.  Did you help someone yesterday?  Will you help someone today?

There is a joy that comes in life when we help another.  So if the opportunity presents itself, be sure to lend a helping hand.  Go the second mile.  You will be glad that you did, and so will the person that you assisted.

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

wrong

There is nothing worse than insisting that you are right about a thing, and then finding out that you were wrong.  That was me yesterday.

So today, I have someone that I need to find and make an apology to.  A big apology.  For being wrong, for being insistent, for making them feel badly - at least all of that.

The only good to come from this is that I know the person will accept my apology.  Maybe I won't be so insistent in the future.

To err is human, to forgive is divine.  To admit you are wrong and apologize if pretty good too.

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

my son

My son Scott is coming home for a visit!  He has been working on the road for several months, mostly in Arizona and California.  We have all missed him so much.  This is a picture of him when he was roofing the Unity Village tower.  Yikes!

Even when they get big and all grown up, it is amazing how much we miss them.  Love is a wonderful thing.

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

Monday, October 6, 2014

to disagree

To agree to disagree is a wonderful thing.  To be able to say to a person, we don't agree, but I still love you and it won't come between us, that is a delightful gift.

In some churches, everyone is expected to agree.  Everyone must see it the same way, if you don't, then you are guilted and run out on a rail.  At Woods Chapel, you don't have to agree with the Pastor, or anyone else for that matter, to be a part of our fellowship.

John Wesley said, "on the essentials, let us agree, but on everything else, let us think and let think."  The kingdom of God is a big place with lots of different kinds of people in it.  Not all of them agree on everything, but they all love God and are glad to be in his family. 

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

Sunday, October 5, 2014

confidence

Here's to confidence.  Where would we be without it?  I don't mean arrogance.  May we all flee from arrogance.  But in this life, a person needs a sense of "we can do this."

I was listening to the announcers of the Royals game on Thursday night.  They were so pro-Angels!  It was like they thought that these little wild card Royals will never win against the team with the best record in baseball.  What would have happened if they Royals thought the same way?

They were scrappy.  They were tough.  They stayed in the game.  They found a way to win.  Now we are 2-0 against those Angels.  I am praying that we keep doing well.

Someone one said, "work like everything depends on you and pray like everything depends on God."  We all need a dose of confidence in this life.  Otherwise, nothing would ever get done.  Rise to the challenges of this day and put your game face on.  Get in there and give life all that you have.

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

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Gross

These bugs are gross.  They are technically known as Phasmids.  When I was a kid we learned to call them walking sticks, because they look like sticks.

We have several that live in our back yard and crawl on our deck.  I almost put my hand on this one that was on the hand rail.  It totally freaked me out.

I am sure they fulfill some role in God's plan.  I wonder if they are afraid of me.  I hope so.

It's God's world, not mine, and he can put in it, whatever he chooses.  And it is a beautiful, but scary day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, October 3, 2014

plastic wrap

One of the smartest tricks that I ever learned was to wrap a paint brush in plastic wrap.  If done carefully, a person can paint one day, wrap up the brush and go back several days later and unwrap the brush and continue painting.  It does not work with oil paint, but it saves a ton of time on washing out brushes.  You can also stick a paint roller inside a couple of plastic grocery bags and roll them up tight.   It will keep the roller soft and ready to use.

I used to hate to paint.  Now I love to paint.  And the change in feelings hinges on a few tricks learned along the way.  Sometimes learning a few convenient angles can make a huge difference in how we feel about a thing.

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

Thursday, October 2, 2014

are we moving?

There is a rumor out there that the Brinkmans are moving.  Here is the scoop.

My wife travelled for 7 years.  On the road every week.  Leave Monday morning, return Thursday or Friday.  We had a weekend marriage for 7 years.

Two years ago she came off the road.  For a number of reasons that I am not going to go into here, she is talking about going back on the road and being based in Florida.  This means that we would sell the house here, she would get an apartment in Florida and I would get an apartment here.  When she found a town, a neighborhood and a house in Florida, we would buy it as our retirement home.

I would not join her until I retired, which is several years off.
I hope that clears up some of the discussion.

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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

stories of Woods Chapel

I hear stories about Woods Chapel all the time.  Then I forget them.  I would love to start collecting them in writing so that we can remember our story.

I hear stories about softball teams, barbeque cook offs, the first Grace Place, old Camino stories, selling the old building, dreaming to add a gym to our building, installing the playground, planting the pine trees on the south property line, a child who collected presents for Spofford in lieu of birthday presents.  Someone was touched by a song.  Someone's life was changed on a mission trip.

What are your favorite Woods Chapel stories?

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Go Royals!

Well this is a bonus post for today.  I usually only post once, but I have to add this one.

Go Royals!  I love baseball and I love going to the games.  Win or lose, it is fun to go and watch them play. 

But tonight is going to be very special.  We have not been in the playoffs since I was 28 years old.  If we have to wait that long for the next time, I will be 85 the next time they are in.

I thank my friend for inviting me to the game tonight.  It is very exciting!

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

things that I like reading about

World War 2.  Christian Saints.  Monks.  St. Francis.  The siege of Stalingrad.  Ancient battles.  The Arab-Israeli conflict.  How the mind works.  Books of short stories.  Tolstoy.  G.K. Chesterton.  Rob Bell.  Auto repair manuals.  Collections of sermon illustrations.  Early explorers.  The Mayan civilization.  Christian self-help.  Go-Dog-Go.

What do you like to read?

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

questions

This coming Sunday night we are having an evening service at 5pm in the worship center.  It is the last of a series of three.  The first week we talked about the mission, vision and values of Woods Chapel.  Last night we talked about Revelation, the second coming, and baptism.  Next Sunday night I am planning a question and answer time.

What would you like to know about the church?  What would you like to know about the Bible?  What are you interested in that you might like me to comment on?  Please email me with your questions or just post them on the blog.

The session will be livestreamed so you can watch it online, or I will post the responses to your questions on the blog if you indicate that is your preference.

Thanks for your help.

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

Sunday, September 28, 2014

choosing

Life is full of choices.  Sometimes we make choices that hurt the people that we love.  Over time, distance can grow between people that were once deeply in love.

Years ago, when I was in my 20's I asked my mom about her relationship to Dad.  She did not have much good to say.  I asked her if she could try to make it better.  She said that she had tried and tried for many years and that she was just not going to try anymore.

How sad!

Friends, we don't have to settle for pain and distance.  We can keep working on relationships.  Every Sunday in church we can go to our Father and ask for help.  In fact, we can ask him for help, anytime, anywhere, any day.

Please don't ever give up on an important relationship.  They can usually get better if we stay after it.

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

Saturday, September 27, 2014

the devil

I have to bring this up from time to time.  Some people talk like the devil [little d devil] is the opposite of God.

What ever we think about the devil, he is not the opposite of God.  He is a created being.  He has a beginning.  He is not eternal.  He was an archangel just like Michael and Gabriel. 

What do we think about Gabriel?  Do we think Gabriel knows everything?  Do we think he is everywhere all at the same time?  No we don't.  We think he is an angel.  So is the devil, he is a fallen angel.  He can't be at everyone's house, tempting all of us at the same time.  We are usually tempted by our own lusts and we need to take responsibility for that and stop blaming a big D Devil.  Some people just like to have someone else to blame.

We have to decide whether we live in a world dominated by an evil spirit or whether we live in a world that still belongs to God.  Let's stop talking about angels, good or evil, and focus on God.  As for me, this is my Father's world!!  The fight with the devil was won on the cross.  We have the right and the opportunity now to live our lives focused on God and his love.

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

Friday, September 26, 2014

change

Ahh, the angst of change.  Someone moved my cheese.  I am uncomfortable.  I don't like it.  I want to go back to Egypt.

We all feel this way from time to time.  Our world is changing so fast.  Dial phones that only came in black, push button phones, phones with long cords, cordless phones, big expensive cell phones, smaller phones, iphones, androids, texting, the internet, the cloud....... what is next?

Gosh, this world goes by in such a blaze of change.  War in Europe, in Israel, in Korea, in Vietnam, in Panama, in Grenada, in Bosnia, in Israel, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Ukraine.  It is enough to make a person's head spin.

My family is changing, my church is changing, my job is changing.  Everything that I knew and loved about yesterday is piled in a heap somewhere.  What can we do?

old cell phones
Well, we can't stop things from changing.  Nothing stays the same anymore.  Organizations that don't adapt to changing times cease to exist.  Family members that don't adjust to kids growing up and moving out just make themselves miserable. 

In the World, in the nation, in the church, and in the  family, good leaders help people be comfortable in the midst of change.  Everything is ok.  Everything is ok.  We don't have to go back to Egypt.  God is with us.  He is unchangeable.  Let's take a deep breath and put our trust in him.

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

economic collapse

Speaking of worry, I have heard voices my entire life that are warning of economic collapse.  Occasionally over the years, that voice has been mine.  I just don't understand how we can continue on as a nation, spending more than we take in.  It seems like something will have to give.

Well, I am 57 years old and I will bet that I have thought of this weekly for 37 years.  And to date, no economic collapse.  Changes?  Yes of course.  But no collapse.  And so I wonder what I might have been able to accomplish with all of the time that I have wasted worrying.

And what if there is a collapse?  There have been many around the world through history.   People continue to live, to eat, to have families, and even go to church.  My Dad tells me the story of when he asked his father the question, "Dad, what will we do if bread goes to 5 cents a loaf?"  The answer from my grandfather to my father to the question of what will we do if bread is 5 cents per loaf was "son, we will find a way to buy bread."

In short, we will figure it out.  It will all be ok.  We survived the depression.  We survived WW2.  Nations have survived invasion by the Romans, the Greeks, and a host of others.  Putin will come and go.  So will Tiger Woods, Justin Bieber and all the rest of us.  The trick is not to lose sight of what is important along the way.

Life is good.  We are surrounded with many great people.  Let's worry less and live more.

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I was worried

I was worried about something the other day.  I knew that I shouldn't worry about it, but I just couldn't help myself. 

I watched the thing that I was worried about.  I looked at it from different angles.  I considered it.  I wasted time on it.

A couple of days later, it was gone.  The issue had resolved itself.  I was worried for nothing.  How many things in this life that we are worried sick about will take care of themselves in time?

Life is too short to be worrying all the time.  Life is too good to be worrying all the time.

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

we need each other

I have a dear friend who I meet with every month.  We talk about life and ministry, he is a mentor to me.  It is an honor to know him and be his friend.  He writes a column for the Lees Summit Journal.  You may have read some of them.  He has a very unique way of writing.  His name is Hubert Neth and he is one of the greatest men that I know.

He gave me to share this recent column that he wrote.

the supermarket
stays open
all night
there are
nurses in
emergency
rooms
hear
the garbage
trucks early
morning stops
somebody is
working
raising
the food
repairing
the motor
cleaning
the restroom
submitting
the lesson plan
spreading
the asphalt
meeting
the deadline
programming
the computer
making
the decision
closing
the sale
baking
the potato
changing
the diaper
we know
what it means
to work
have no
work
not be able
to work
or stop
working
do you realize
what a bag
of groceries
costs
did you ever
worry about
monthly payments
experience
long illness
after insurance
expires
buy gas
to commute
outfit children
for school
try to satisfy
customers
gamble on
the weather
spend hours at
a tiny screen
realize
you may never
have enough
to retire
feel so weary
you cant stay
awake
we are
laborers
and nobody
makes it
through
a single day
of life
without
the efforts
of others
                   h.


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