Wednesday, March 29, 2017

fix you

Today and tomorrow I am posting about songs that reach me. One of them is Fix You by Coldplay. I have listened to it many times and prayed for my friends and my children when they were in distress.

Fix You lyrics

When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse
And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face and I
Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face and I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

click here to listen to the song
Dear friend, if it were in my power to fix what ever is going on in your life, I certainly would. I offer my friendship, my listening ears and my hugs.

Bless you.

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

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

friends

Yesterday I wrote about my sisters and I said that "friends can dump you if they want to, but blood is forever."

I once had a friend dump me.  It crushed me.  I grieved for a year.  I worked hard to make new friends, and to each new friend, I made a promise and I insisted on the same in return....  "we are friends forever..... nothing can be allowed to come between us."  So my friends can not dump me and I cannot dump them.  Not anymore.

Life is too short for fracture.  Pick your friends well and stay with them.

Friends for life.... we are.

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

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sisters

So, pictured here are some of my family members.  Front row, my sister Julie and her husband Mark Hannah.  [a great brother in law.]  They live in KC.

Back row my sister Amy from Ft. Collins, Colorado, and me.

Amy was passing through town on the way to St. Louis and we met for lunch at the Applebees at the old Blue Ridge Mall.

It was so great to see them and so great to be together.  I think that you tend to appreciate your family more as you get older.  Your friends can dump you if they want to, but blood is forever.

If you have family that you have not spoken to for a while, today might be a good day to do that.

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

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring Training


Last week Cathy and I had a treat.  Friends Dan and Joni Horn came to visit from Lees Summit and took us down to Jupiter for a couple of Cardinals spring training games.  It was my first Spring Training game ever!  Oh how I miss watching baseball!

The stadium was beautiful and the company was great.  If you are a Royals fan and are concerned about me wearing Cardinals gear, There are some things that you should know.

First of all, my Mom was from Kirkwood and we spent most of the summers there growing up, so I have a fondness for St. Louis. Secondly, please remember that the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9 "I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."

Sometimes, in order to bond with people, we must leave our world and learn to enjoy theirs. It does not always have to be about us vs them. We are all in this beautiful life together.
It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

free coffee

So I was staying at a friend's carriage house.  It was wonderful, but I had not bought coffee for the coffee maker.  So each morning, I went somewhere for a cup of coffee.

One day at burger king, at 630 in the morning, I pulled around to pay, and they would not take my money.  Free coffee for me at burger king that day.

I didn't understand.  It made me weepy.  I thanked them profusely.
To be generous to a person is such a blessing.

Bless someone today.

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

Note to Eric who commented on a blog:  Yes I work on front doors.  email me at jsbrink57@gmail.com and let me know what you need.  thanks!

Friday, March 24, 2017

home of a friend

So there is this home that I have visited many times over the years.  I have sat at the kitchen table and visited with the friends who live there.  We have talked about everything in the past.  I have missed them.

Last week, after a 10 month absence, I walked up the sidewalk and pushed the doorbell.  It made me so happy to see that doorbell, and to see my friends of course!

I hope that you do something today that makes you very happy.

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

Thursday, March 23, 2017

my favorite lunch

green sauce in lower left....
For a time this was my favorite lunch.
Taco Johns....
It is only in the Midwest.... not in Florida, not yet.

I found out that one of my friends that I used to take there, hated the food. That killed me!!! Broke my heart.  I used to buy them lunch there and they secretly hated it!!!

Anyway, the other day I was able to hit Taco Johns.  Two Soft tacos, potato oles and a large tea.  Oh and don't forget the side of super hot green sauce.  The super hot green sauce will make your head sweat. 

It made me happy to eat there.
If you are reading this, hoping for some meaning today, think about your favorite comfort food and go there and eat it.

I have missed Taco Johns.  I'm gonna hit it every time that I can.

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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

you've got a friend

So this is a nerdy story about me from when I was in 7th grade.  One of the first albums that I owned was Carol King's Tapestry album.  One of the songs on the album was, You've got a friend.

I was only 13 but I loved the long.  I still love it, to this day.  So, I wanted to paste the words up in my locker at school.  We had a typewriter and I worked on the lyrics.  Listening to them over and over to get the words just right.  I wanted it to look good so I kept typing it over until I had all the verses with no mistakes or corrections.

Once I was happy with my typed out lyrics, I took it to scool and taped itup in my locker.  It made me happy to see those words every day.

Yesterday I sent a note to a friend.  It is important to remember that we have a friend.  Always.  Friends for life.

Here are the lyrics.....................

When you're down and troubled,
And you need some love and care,
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me,
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night.

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
You've got a friend

If the sky above you grows dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind begins to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud
Soon you'll hear me knocking at your door

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running, running, yeah, yeah, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
And I'll be there, yes I will.

Now, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend
When people can be so cold?
They'll hurt you, yes, and desert you
And take your soul if you let them,
Oh, but don't you let them

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running, running, yeah, yeah, yeah, to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there, yes I will.
You've got a friend

You've got a friend
Ain't it good to know, you've got a friend?
Ain't it good to know?
Ain't it good to know?
Ain't it good to know, you've got a friend?


If you are unfamiliar with this song, here is a link to it on youtube:

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

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

for you

So I was talking to a friend the other night.
That is an interesting thought.... I have a friend.....
This friend told me to write to them.... so here we go....

I have talked about this before, but I love this story.....

In the movie The Replacements Keanu Reaves plays a quarterback that had choked in the Sugar Bowl. Because of his failure, he lost the chance to play professional football and his confidence was broken. In this movie, he gets a second chance. When faced with a similar situation as the one he failed at in the Sugar Bowl, Reaves chickens out again. In response to this, his coach, Gene Hackman gets in his face and makes the statement, "Winners always want the ball when the game is on the line."

The first time I heard these words, I stopped in my tracks. I paused the movie. I thought of the many times that I was fearful or hurt and wanted to pull back. I thought of the times in softball when my team needed me to get a hit and I was nervous. I thought of all the challenges in church and how easy it is sometimes to curl up into a ball and go and hide.

For years I have been saying to myself. Winners always want the ball when the game is on the line.  It really does not matter what other people do.  What matters is what you do.  You can only control what you do.  Sometimes in the midst of pain and struggle, you have to get up and get after a thing. You can always quit another time, but not today. The world is changed by those who step up, get in the game and give life their very best.

The game may be on the line. Missions may be on the line.  Winners want the ball, they want a chance. Step up. Get in the game. You will be glad that you did.

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





Monday, March 20, 2017

ok

I was in Kansas City helping a friend with his rental property.  Painting, cleaning, laying tile, installing doors and such.  One day I was fortunate to have lunch with one of my dear friends, Hubert Neth.  While we were eating, we were reminiscing and a thought came to my mind.  It was a thought about why I like him so much.

When I am with him, everything is ok.  When I am with him, everything is right.  He makes me - ok.  He has such a calm, gracious, compassionate demeanor.  When I am with him, everything is ok.  I am going to keep visiting KC just to see him.

I hope that you have people in your life that make the crazy world be ok.

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

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Shower Pt. 2

tub ripped out


So if you remember the post with the tub ripped out of the wall, here is the almost final product.

It took me much longer than I anticipated, and I had to work like a dog to get it done before I left town, but none the less, it is now operational.











in the process of grouting
The bathroom floor will be like the gray wood-tone threshold

new floor


We used to sing a song in church.  It was based on a quote from Ecclesiates 3.  The words of the song went "in his time, in his time, he makes all things beautiful, in his time."

You may be experiencing a difficult time in life.  You may feel like your tub has been ripped out.  But God.... but God is the master craftsman.  He is still with you and working with you.  Trust him.  It may take longer than you think, but he still makes all things beautiful.

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

Saturday, March 18, 2017

U sure r being strong here

On Monday I posted about "leaving the self behind."  Someone commented, "U sure r being strong here."

So I am sitting here today thinking about how I did not mean for that post to sound harsh.  I do not believe in guilt.  It is a horrible motivator.  Jesus never guilted anyone.

So we I speak of self renunciation, please do not feel any sense of "I am a bad person" or "you are a bad person."  I was simply trying to remind myself and all of us, that we are our own worst enemies.  We too often get in the way of grace.

The joy of the Christian life is not found in having it our way, but it loving others.  That is all I was trying to say.  I don't ever want this blog or my words to hurt a person.

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Patrick's Day

Well what do you know.  It is St. Patrick's day.  Today is the day that I always think of that famous Irishman who invented outdoor tables and chairs.  Do you remember his name??



The famous Irishman who invented outdoor tables and chairs, his name was.....

wait for it................

Paddy O'Furniture

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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

My counselor's last words

I have seen counselors off and on over the years.  I don’t think that is a sign of weakness, I think that brave people let others into their brains to challenge their thinking.

Anyway, I saw a counselor monthly when I was in Cape Coral.  Nice lady.   She actually helped me a lot.  When I told her that I was leaving and that this was our last session, we had a nice talk about that.

I paid her and said thank you and good bye.
She said something that I thought was a bit profound.
Her last words to me were this:
“Enjoy your life.”

I stopped.  I looked at her.  I smiled.
Enjoy your life.

Enjoy your life my friends.


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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

No.

No.

No.  No is a complete sentence.   One of my friends was telling me that.  Sometimes it is ok to say no.  Just say no.  No need to feel guilty.  No need to explain.  The answer is just no.  Sorry.

Being a person who always tried to make everyone else happy, I loved the thought.
No.  It is a complete sentence.


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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

my car

I have a dear friend who has been praying, "Lord, may I bless others with my car."  He is not thinking about driving people to doctors appointments.  He is thinking about how he is perceived on the road.

Do I speed?  Am I angry?  Do I cut others off?  Do I weave in and out of traffic?  Is my car perceived as rude or as a blessing?

If Christianity is supposed to affect all areas of our lives, how about we join him in his prayer, "Lord, may I bless others with my car."  Instead of sticking a little fish on the back of our car, how about we drive as if we are the fish people.

It's a beautiful day on God's roads, be sure to see the good.

Monday, March 13, 2017

leaving the self behind


Jesus said, "If any man would come after me he must renounce himself and follow me."
There is no Christianity without self-denial.

How do we renounce ourselves?
By living sacrificially.
We are not living the Christian life when we are taking to ourselves.

I need more, I want more – this is the American mantra.
I must protect what is mine – it is our way.

But the Christian life is different, it is a life of sacrificial living.
What can you do - what can I do to help another?
That is what it’s all about.  Any other definition of Christianity is self serving. 
Self renunciation is well ---- self renunciation.

Christianity is not about what we collect, or what we learn, it is about what we give away.

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

Sunday, March 12, 2017

85%

I believe that when we die and cross over to the other side, 85% of what we believe will fall away.

We are so full of ourselves.  We think we know it all.  We have ideas about politics and religion and judgments about people.

I believe that we are not as smart as we think we are.  I think that when we finally enter the presence of God, we will be much less sure of ourselves.  All that will matter in that moment is if we loved God and if we loved others.  Everything else is parsley on the plate of life.

Let's not get so caught up in our 85%.

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

Saturday, March 11, 2017

what we worship, part 2

Someone offered a comment, or a question after my post on March 3rd.

Here is the post:
Ask yourself what you worship.  I hope the answer is God.   But if you look at how people act and how people talk, we all know that people worship other things than God.  Even good Christians worship things besides God.

Some Christians put their church before God.  Your church is good, but it is not God.
Some Christians put the bible before God.  The bible is great, but it is not God.
Some Christians put their doctrine before God.
On and on we can go.

It is easier for us to worship things like this because we can hold them and manage them.  They are finite and fit into our box.  God is not managed by us, nor does he fit into our box.

A good church points us to God.  The bible points us to God, but it is not God.  Doctrine should connect us with God.  All three are the means to the end, not the end.

They are not the moon, they are the finger that points at the moon.

Here was their comment:
How then DO we worship God if it's not by the ways that that point us to him? Did I miss the point?

So let me try again.  Churches, the bible, and doctrine are helpful in worship of course.  They point us to God, but they are not God.  Some people treat their church, the bible or doctrine as if they were God themselves.  In heaven I believe that there are three thrones.  One for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  There is no 4th throne for the church, the bible or our doctrines.  In fact, much of what we think about those things will be proven wrong when we die.

Do you carry pictures of your family?  I carry a picture of my wife in my wallet, but the picture is not my wife.  It is a reminder of my wife.  The picture points me to my wife.  If I settle with loving the picture, I have missed the point.

The church, the bible and doctrine are a picture of God.  They point us towards him.  But if we begin to think that these are the end, or the goal of our faith, then we have missed the point.

Use the church, the bible and doctrine to worship God, but worship God.  Think on him.  Be lost in him.  He is the goal of our faith.  Everything else just points us towards him.

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

Friday, March 10, 2017

pressure

This is a candid post about the pressure that pastors feel to be perfect.  It probably applies to others who are not pastors too because many Christians feel the pressure to be perfect.

For some reason, people want to put pastors on a pedestal.  It puts you in a position where you have a choice.  Either pretend to be perfect and hide your faults, or be yourself and accept the consequences.  The consequences of being yourself, your broken imperfect self are many.  Some may stop attending your church.  Some may be hateful to you.  Some will accuse you of being unchristian.  If you let people see your warts, some will reject you.

It is an odd thing to feel pressured to be perfect, when no one is.  Pastors put their pants on one leg at a time.  They don't always think about Jesus.  They are just like us.  Normal people.  Please allow your pastor to be a normal person.  They will relish the acceptance that you bring.

I for one, will never be able to accept the pressure to be perfect.  I grew up on it with my mother and I can't live up to perfection.  I think it was W.C, Fields who said, "be yourself, everyone else is already taken."

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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

you made me

You made me.  You did it.  You made me a better person.

Yes.  That is right.  Knowing you has made me a better me.  I could name 100 people here.  If you are reading this, you are probably on the list.

How you say?  Maybe it was your support and kindness to me.  Maybe it was the grief that I saw in you when I was leaving.  Maybe it was your sense of humor, your advice, your wit, but you did something that left a mark on me for good.

Thank you.  Thank you for the gift of who you are to me.
You have made me a better person.

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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

deconstruct

I am remodeling our bathroom.  The tub and shower combo was old and dirty.  It was one of those set ups that you just can't keep clean.  So my wife said, "it's time for the tub to go."  So the tub is coming out and a walk in shower is going in.

It has been 4 years since I took on a project of this size.  It is a lot of work.  Good thing I don't have a job or I wouldn't have time to do this.

Here is something that I noticed.  It took me 4 hours to remove the sliding glass doors, the tub surround and the tub.  Deconstruction was easy.  Putting the bathroom back together is taking much longer.

And so here is a lesson for life.  It is much easier to tear a thing down then to build a thing up.  It is easier to pick a person apart then to build them up.  Deconstruction is easy.  Making something beautiful takes patience and care.

Resist the human urge to tear down that group, that idea or that person.  On the contrary, look for ways to build them up.  It is more difficult to build up, but it feels much cleaner.

I will show you some pictures of the walk in shower when it is done, but it is taking a while.

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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

second half truths


Many of the truths my parents experienced in their second half of life I am now experiencing too. Aches and pains from reasons known and unknown.  New things appearing on my skin.  The joy of seeing my kids become adults. Understanding it is important to listen to my Doctor’s advice. That it is a blessing to have a wife to grow older with…

And here is another truth I have discovered.

“In the second half of life, people have less power to infatuate you. But they also have much less power to control you or hurt you.” – Rohr

I read this just the other day but I have been thinking something similar for some time now. I need to value time and value the good people in my life more. I need to not waste time on those who want to rob me or others of what is precious.

Peace,
Lion’s Den Man

Monday, March 6, 2017

boundaries


Last week in the men’s group at WCC a talk was given  using the John Lennon song "Imagine" as a lead in. I think it struck each person in the room in a positive way. To me it is a song about removing the lines we draw in the sand.

Imagine

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

No heaven-No hell. No countries-No religion-No possessions. Views on these things and others can and have divided us. It is an ancient tribal way of thinking. Us and Them. Sadly, we can develop an appetite for it and we lose focus on God’s love and the work he has for us.

Peace,

Lion’s Den

Sunday, March 5, 2017

growing


“Life is a matter of becoming fully and consciously who we already are, but it is a self that we largely do not know…” Richard Rohr

When I was young and growing I was taught things about God from my parents. A practical God that fit nicely into our lives.  I grew into my teens and I stopped pursuing God. In college I was introduced to a new way to see God. The God of guilt. I had much to feel guilty about so this seemed like a good way to straighten me up. It was very short lived. Although the people I met were nice and “good” it didn’t feel right and so I left it behind. As a young parent I headed back to church. I was uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure what was expected of me. I didn’t know what God would show up. My parents God or my college friend’s God.  I found the God of my parents with a twist and I became connected. Giving outwardly was encouraged. Transparency was encouraged. My flaws, I discovered, were not there to hold me down. I found the God of Grace and Love.

In retrospect I see that I had to let go of the things I had experienced and learned earlier in life. Now I am constantly in the process of growth and change. It feels good. I am glad for the people in my life that I get to grow with. Conversations are full of life and questions. Growth is good. Discovery is great. God is awesome.

Peace,

Lion’s Den Man

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Yes my friends, today is the day

Today is the day of the big parade. I hope you did not forget. All of the bands are going to line up downtown and march forth. March 4th.......

My mother told me that joke with the comment that it was the only joke that she learned from her mother.

My mother's mother. My grandmother. Louise Heising was born around 1896 and died in 1989. She was German. She spoke German. Children were to be seen and not heard. She raised six of them. Four boys and two girls. My mom was the youngest. Grandma was a good cook, but since they were poor she did not have much to work with. They caught, cleaned, and ate rabbits. My mom used to talk about digging dandelion greens in the front yard for the vegetable to go with dinner. Grandma made maple syrup from scratch and baked a lamb cake every Easter. They attended church every Sunday at Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, MO.

My Grandma tried to kill herself when I was a boy. My parents never told us very much about that. She was depressed I guess and got tired of it all. I don't think that she ever worked outside the home or drove a car. She liked to bowl. That is all I know about my grandma. That's not very much.

But, she left a joke. Today is March 4th. That makes me happy. I tell her joke every year. Friends, today is the day. Don't miss the parade.

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

Friday, March 3, 2017

what we worship

Ask yourself what you worship.  I hope the answer is God.   But if you look at how people act and how people talk, we all know that people worship other things than God.  Even good Christians worship things besides God.

Some Christians put their church before God.  Your church is good, but it is not God.
Some Christians put the bible before God.  The bible is great, but it is not God.
Some Christians put their doctrine before God.
On and on we can go.

It is easier for us to worship things like this because we can hold them and manage them.  They are finite and fit into our box.  God is not managed by us, nor does he fit into our box.

A good church points us to God.  The bible points us to God, but it is not God.  Doctrine should connect us with God.  All three are the means to the end, not the end.

They are not the moon, they are the finger that points at the moon.

May we always keep God in his rightful place.  What do you worship?

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

Thursday, March 2, 2017

phone call

I called a friend that I had not spoken to for a long time.  Usually when a phone call begins, they say “Hello” and then the caller responds with “Hi this is so and so.”  Or “Hi, how are you?”  This phone call began differently.

When my call was answered, the voice on the other end said, “Hello, I love you.”  I love you was added to the greeting.  It stopped me in my tracks.  I started to cry.  I caught my breath, and then I said, “I love you too.”

Those three words are so powerful.  We should use them more. 

Hello.  I love  you.


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

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March 1

Today is March 1st.  Three days until the big parade.

But that is not why I am writing.  There is an old saying about March.  I can't remember which way it goes... "in like a lion, out like a lamb" or is it "in like a lamb, out like a lion."  Maybe it is both.

Anyway, I used to say that March first breaks the back of winter.  Once March 1 gets here, winter is over.  And I am in charge of the weather you know.

It may get bitterly cold where you live, but after March 1, it won't last long.  The back of winter is broken.

Now since I live in Florida, I am going to have to find something else to say about March 1, because there is no winter here.  So If you are tired of being cold, there are a couple of houses for sale on our street.

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It never pays to hurt back

Someone hurt you, yes they did.
You are hurting, you may even be seething with anger over what happened.

The worst thing that a person can do in such a situation is to try and get even by hurting the other person back.  All that does is hurt you.
 There are many things that we can do to avoid the natural inclination to hurt back.  Here are some ideas.


  1. Go for a walk or exercise.
  2. Watch a movie, get your mind off of what happened.
  3. Talk to a friend that can listen and help you process it.
  4. Go somewhere by yourself.  Kick a tree and scream.
  5. Pray - even pray for them.  We can't hate someone and legitimately pray for them at the same time.

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