Tuesday, April 24, 2018

First World Problem

A first world problem is something that Americans complain about that the rest of the world finds silly.  Some of what we consider problems would actually be desired by the rest of the world.

For example...
-my car is broken down?  Most people in the world wish that they owned a car.
-my boss is annoying.  Many people wish that they had a job.
- I spent an hour straightening my hair and now it's raining.  Many people wish that they had electricity or even hair!

So here is my first world problem. 
I have a sore on my big toe. 
I know that I should call a tow truck, but let me go on.

I noticed in the night that there was a pain in my big toe.  I thought I had a splinter, but when I looked, there was a flap of skin.
Hmmm- Sherlock Holmes at work.... seems that my constant wearing of flip flops in Florida has rubbed a blister on my big toe.  The blister popped and now there is a sore and a flap of skin.

First world problem.  I know a lot of people who would love to be wearing flip flops all the time.

I put a band aid on it.
I will survive.

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

- - - - - - - - -
I am leading some trips this year and next. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/cc18081318h17768#eotours

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#.WqHrI7puLIU

Holy Land Tour - includes my favorite spots
with optional Jerusalem extension
March 4-13, 2019
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/files/uploads/HL19_G_Explorations.pdf

Monday, April 23, 2018

I don't know what you are talking about

A few weeks ago in church it was time for the passing of the peace.  I was on a bee-line to shake someone's hand that I thought needed the connection.  Along the way to that person I realized that I had walked right past another person who I could have easily greeted.

Later, I wondered if they felt ignored or slighted.  I found them a few days ago and apologized.  I explained the situation and I apologized.

Their response was simple, "I don't know what you are talking about."
Whether the person remembered or not, I don't know, but I loved the response.

Imagine if every time we were hurt or slighted, instead of holding a grudge, we let it go.  We let it go so much that we could say with a smile to the other party, "I don't remember, or I don't know what you are talking about."

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

- - - - - - - - -
I am leading some trips this year and next. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/cc18081318h17768#eotours

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#.WqHrI7puLIU

Holy Land Tour - includes my favorite spots
with optional Jerusalem extension
March 4-13, 2019
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/files/uploads/HL19_G_Explorations.pdf

Sunday, April 22, 2018

mixed bag

Life is a mixed bag.  A tossed salad.
One day it's up, the next day there is a challenge.

One day the blog celebrates a wedding, the next it grieves the loss of a friend.
Such is life.
There is no getting around it.

Enjoy the good days.  Hang on thru the painful ones.
Things will get better.

As my friend Lynn says, "everything will be alright in the end, if things are not alright, then this is not yet the end."
It's a beautiful day in God's world be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com

- - - - - - - - -
I am leading some trips this year and next. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/cc18081318h17768#eotours

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#.WqHrI7puLIU

Holy Land Tour - includes my favorite spots
with optional Jerusalem extension
March 4-13, 2019
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/files/uploads/HL19_G_Explorations.pdf

Saturday, April 21, 2018

why me?

Someone did something nice for me.  Part of my brain thought, why me?  Years ago I did something nice for someone and they asked the same question, why me?

Hopefully I do nice things more than every few years....

Back to the story......
I think it is human nature to feel from time to time that we don't deserve it, or we are not worthy, or there are so many other more deserving folks...

Sure, some folks are full of themselves and think they are entitled to everything.  Some think that the world owes them.
But we who were raised in repressive Protestant homes know that we are probably not worthy of much at all.

Over the years I have come to believe differently.  I am worth caring about, and so are you.  I am worth going to lunch with and so are you.  We are all valuable to God.  Heck he died for us!

Why you?  Why me?  Why not?
Human life is valuable, incredible and temporary.
Do all the nice things that you can for all the people you can.
And let them do something nice for you and just force yourself to enjoy it.
It's a beautiful day in God's world be sure to see the good.
Send replies to jsbrink57@gmail.com

- - - - - - - - -
I am leading some trips this year and next. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/cc18081318h17768#eotours

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#.WqHrI7puLIU

Holy Land Tour - includes my favorite spots
with optional Jerusalem extension
March 4-13, 2019
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/files/uploads/HL19_G_Explorations.pdf


Friday, April 20, 2018

C.S. Lewis


The world is crowded with Him.  Do you see him?  In the starts at night?  In the sound of a fountain?  In the crashing waves on the beach?  Do you see him?  In the face of a friend?  In the love that you share with others?  Tyler do you see him?  The world is crowded with him.

The world is crowded with him.  All we need do to see it is to come awake.... and remain awake.  "Awake thou that sleepest and Christ shall shine on thee!"  Eph 5:14

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

- - - - - - - - -
I am leading some trips this year and next. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/cc18081318h17768#eotours

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#.WqHrI7puLIU

Holy Land Tour - includes my favorite spots
with optional Jerusalem extension
March 4-13, 2019
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/files/uploads/HL19_G_Explorations.pdf

Thursday, April 19, 2018

a song got stuck in my head

So for some reason, a song got stuck in my head.  It happens to all of us I think.  The song that got stuck was I just called to say I love you by Stevie Wonder.

Click here to listen to the song

No New Year's Day to celebrate
No chocolate covered candy hearts to give away
No first of spring
No song to sing
In fact here's just another ordinary day

No April rain
No flowers bloom
No wedding Saturday within the month of June
But what it is, is something true
Made up of these three words that I must say to you

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

No summer's high
No warm July
No harvest moon to light one tender August night
No autumn breeze
No falling leaves
Not even time for birds to fly to southern skies

No Libra sun
No Halloween
No giving thanks to all the Christmas joy you bring
But what it is, though old so new
To fill your heart like no three words could ever do

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care, I do
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

- - - - - - - - -

So we call people all the time for some reason.  What if we just called someone to tell that that we love them.  Do it today.  Do it everyday.

I love you.
For no particular reason, and for every particular reason.

I love you.

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

- - - - - - - - -
I am leading some trips this year and next. If you are interested in reading about them, or joining in, the links are below.....

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/cc18081318h17768#eotours

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#.WqHrI7puLIU

Holy Land Tour - includes my favorite spots
with optional Jerusalem extension
March 4-13, 2019
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/files/uploads/HL19_G_Explorations.pdf

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The lesson

I do not believe that God makes everything happen.  If he did our lives and choices would be meaningless.  Just as I want my children to live their lives and make good choices, I think God watches us and celebrates our choices.  He does not push the buttons.

Consequently, when bad things happen, we cannot blame God.  We can however, learn from what has happened.  We can pray, "Lord I know that you did not bring this to me, but I also know that you can help me learn.  I am open to what ever lesson is there for me in this life experience."

Every day we have to choose to focus on the painful things or to look for the lesson that helps us to see the good.

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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Wedding miscue #2

So if there is a slip up at the wedding, you hope that you are not involved in it.  And surely you do not want to be the cause of it.  Well, this was one for the record books.

Dad walks Alli down the isle.  Is he crying?  What a baby.

Dad has given her away and is returning to his seat.
Something is holding Alli back.  Her veil is caught.
The groom sees it and laughs.
What could it be?

Yes I inadvertently stepped on her veil. 
Her head jerked back.
I had no idea what was going on.
The priest said that it was a metaphor -
that I was reluctant to let her go.

All is forgiven.  We danced our Father Daughter dance.
The song was Louie Armstrong's
What a wonderful world.


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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Wedding miscue 1

So my daughter's wedding was great except there were a couple of minor miscues.

Ahh, you may kiss the bride.  But the
 bride's lipstick gets all over your face!!!

So the bride looks a bit embarrassed
and the groom stands by for clean up.

Several people get involved in the clean up.  The priest is laughing.
Probably not going to keep that lipstick around!

Everything turned out fine.  Alli, Bobby
and Alli's grandma, my mother in law, Carlotta Belcher.

It's the funny things that happen in life that keep us on our toes.  Great memories!

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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018

sermon audio from Sunday on doubt

for those interested in listening....

click here to listen

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Holy Land 2019

Several have asked if I will be leading a Holy Land trip in 2019.  Now the answer is here.... Yes I will lead a Holy Land trip, the Lord willing and the Creek don't rise.  Here are the details:

Dates are March 4-13, 2019

This trip will be hitting some of my favorite sites, including:

Fly to Tel Aviv

Cesarea by the Sea - Roman theatre, hippodrome and aqueduct
Mt. Carmel where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal
Nazareth
I am currently trying to trade out a visit to Megiddo for Beit She'an.  Megiddo is very historic but there is not much to see there.  Beit She'an is one of the major sites of Roman archaeology.  Read more on Beit She'an here-
more on Beit She'an



The Sea of Galilee - boat ride included
The ancient boat
Capernum
The mount of beatitudes
The church of the loaves and fishes






Cesarea Phillipi where Jesus asked his disciples, who do you say that I am?
The Golan Heights
The Jordan river baptismal site where anyone who has not been baptized can be, and the rest of us will have the opportunity to remember our baptisms.




Roman fortifications as
 seen from Massada


Jerico
Qumran - where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered
The dead sea
Massada - Historic mountain top fortress







Bethlehem
The Church of the Nativity
Yad Vashem - Israel's holocaust museum.  If you have not been to this museum, it is worth the trip all by itself.  It is worth returning to the Holy Land for.  No one walks out of there with out being deeply moved.




3500 year old olive tree
in the Garden of Gethsemane

Jerusalem - 2 days
Mount of Olives
Garden of Gethsemane
The western or wailing wall
The teaching steps






Jerusalem
The temple mount - Most of the trips that I have been on to the Holy Land did not include the temple mount.  It is definitely worth seeing!
The dome of the rock
The Via Delarosa
The Church of the Holy Seplechur
The garden tomb - where we will conclude our trip with a service of Holy Communion.


Return home to the USA


There is also a post trip addition available of an extra day in Jerusalem to shop or explore on your own.  I am actually going to tack that on as Jerusalem is a fascinating city.

We already have three signed up, I hope you will consider joining us. Thinking about the places that Jesus walked is one thing, actually seeing them and walking there is an incredible life experience.

here is the link to the brochure-
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/files/uploads/HL19_G_Explorations.pdf

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

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Anna

Her name is Anna.  She has a name.

She is the reading tutor for the Christian School that is housed at our church through May.  You might remember that the hurricane damaged their original space so Ft Pierce First took them in.

Anyway, back to the story.  Her name is Anna.  I have seen her 2x a week since October.  She is working with kids in the back of the sanctuary.  I often wander thru the sanctuary on my way to visit Arlene or Kathy.

For some reason, the other day, I decided to walk the 75' back to the back of the sanctuary and introduce myself.

It's about time.

What I found when I met her was a lovely smile, a friendly way and an open soul.  She has a name.  Her name is Anna.

How many people in this life are we just walking by and not noticing?

No one should be invisible to a Christian.  We should see people, meet people and love them.  Everyone wants to be called by name.


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




- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#.WqHrI7puLIU




Friday, April 13, 2018

I still miss you

The text Dan sent me
 earlier that night.
It was one year ago today.
It was April 13, 2017.
It was Maundy Thursday, 2017.
10:30pm or so, I'm not exactly sure...
I received a phone call....

My friend Dan Horn had a heart attack and passed away.
Dan Horn age 55.  Gone from us, gone to God.

Dan.  One of my best friends.  One of the finest men I have ever known.  He loved his wife and kids.  he loved his friends.  He loved canoeing. He was an avid Cardinals fan.  He was a good man, a GOOD man.  Funny, oh, Dan was funny.  He loved Steven Wright and he loved the blues.  He introduced me to the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

He was a low maintenance friend.  We had some wonderful talks on his back porch with our friend Jack.  We had some wonderful breakfasts, when I made them, at Neighbors or HiVee.  He was always there for me.

I loved him.  I love him.
Dan, I still miss you so much.  We all do.
Dan Horn, I honor you.  I honor your life.

Dan Horn

Gary Glenn, Tyler Stephenson, Dan Horn

Jeff Brinkman, Gary Glenn, Dan Horn








Thursday, April 12, 2018

Wedding Time!!!!

Here are some pictures from the recent wedding of my daughter Allison to Robert [Bobby] Lascon. 
The wedding and reception were wonderful. 


St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Jupiter Florida
Anne Cannon in the isle, friend and photographer

our children, Jenny, Alli the bride and Scott

New addition to our family is the groom Bobby Lascon

Alli and Bobby with my favorite Mother in Law, Carlotta Belcher

My wife Cathy and the bride at the reception.

My friend Paul McClain dancing with Carlotta.

view from our hotel room.... I decided that this picture
 was a promise of happiness and a peaceful future.



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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

change the world

I may not be able to change the entire world, but i can affect the world around me.  I can affect my world.  So can you.  We do not have to settle for being the thing that is always blown by the wind.  We can make a difference.

Do you believe in yourself?  Do you believe in the love that God has placed in your heart?  Love can change the world, but only if you let it out.

Do you believe in your organization? Your church? Belief means seeing something greater and knowing that we can get there.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#.WqHrI7puLIU




Tuesday, April 10, 2018

judged

Go easy on them please.  They did not mean to hurt you.  They did not mean to alienate you.  They were lost in their own world of self. 

Over the years I have learned that when people are angry about something at church, it is most often because they are angry about something else in their life.  We humans like to project our problems onto others.

We all have our good stories and our bad ones.  We all have had in this life our good moments and our bad ones.

May we offer grace to others.  May we not be judged by our worst moments, but by our best.  May we receive the grace as well.

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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018

Monday, April 9, 2018

animals and church

So at Mercer, MO we once had a bird in the sanctuary during a Sunday afternoon sing.  Years later at Woods Chapel we had a bird in the sanctuary on Sunday morning.  Having learned from the experience in Mercer, I made the congregation sing "His Eye is on the Sparrow."  I also once caught a garter snake inside of the church.  I think he was looking for the bird.

this is not the kind of snake that I caught.


At Cape Coral we had burrowing owls on the church property. 

Why do people think owls are wise?
This guy does not look too smart to me.

At Ft. Pierce the church is located in the PAD.  Peacock Arts District in case you were wondering.  One peacock named George [why you name a peacock is beyond me] anyway, George lives just outside my office and makes the most awful noises.

George must be a Methodist.  All are welcome right?

you have to sit up high so your dress doesn't drag the ground.

Showing off for the ladies.  My office is upper left.
Tomorrow I am going to lay awake in the middle of the night worried that a peacock will come thru the cat door.

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


- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018



Sunday, April 8, 2018

How the mind works

I know that you are expecting wedding pictures.... give me a couple of days to recover.

In the mean time... how the mind works.

Fact 1.  I am pretty normal I think. 
Fact 2.  I don't like snakes
Fact 3.  I live in Florida

This could be just around the corner from our house.

Fact 4.  We have a cat - Tyler the cat
Fact 5.  We have a door so he can go in and out at his leisure
Fact 6.  Do you see where this is going?
Tyler heading out the cat door.

Fact 7.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and move to the couch.
Fact 8.  My brain thinks up dumb things.

I have no idea why, but the other night about 3am I am plopping down on the couch and my brain adds it up.  Big snakes in Florida + 24 hour cat door = big snake crawling up onto the couch with me.

Needless to say, I did not sleep another wink that night. 🐍 🐍🐍

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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#.WqHrI7puLIU



Saturday, April 7, 2018

today

Today I will see my first child get married.  Alli and Bobby have been dating for years and today is the day that they declare their vows before God, their family and friends.

Who gives this woman?   I will walk her down the isle and say "her mother and I."

Rejoice with me.  REJOICE WITH ME!



Easter 1991 Jenny on left, Alli on right.
Alli evidently has something to say.

On vacation in San Diego ca 2002.  In the control
tower of the retired aircraft carrier USS Midway.
They have been in charge of me my whole life. 


High School Graduation 2006
Beautiful kid, so proud.


College Days at a winery with her best friend
and maid of honor, our other daughter, Jennifer.
Bobby and Alli 2017

REJOICE WITH ME!!!

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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018

Friday, April 6, 2018

no hell

Rob Bell was chastised, run out of his church and branded a heretic for suggesting that maybe there was no hell. If God gets what God wants, and God wants all people to be saved, then maybe they will be, Bell said.

Now we have this from Newsweek:
Catholic Pope Francis made a startling revelation Thursday by stating that hell did not exist, in an interview with a leading liberal Italian newspaper.

In an article entitled "It is an honor to be called a revolutionary," La Repubblica editor Eugenio Scalfari acknowledged the pontiff's previous remarks about how "good souls" who sought repentance from God would receive it and then asked: "What about the bad souls?". Seemingly going against centuries of core Christian belief, Pope Francis said the souls of sinners simply vanished after death, and were not subject to an eternity of punishment.

"They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear," Pope Francis said, as translated by Catholic blog Rorate Caeli.

"There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls," he added.


I wonder if the evangelical community is going to rise up and say that the Pope is a heretic? I hope not. Christians should not shame other people with whom they disagree. We should be able to agree to disagree on theological issues.

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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

never forget

Something that I learned a long time ago is that people are more important than ideas.  This is a principle that should not be forgotten.  I have known this for a long time, but just the other day, I hurt someone's feelings because I was upset about an idea.

We shouldn't hurt the people that we care about over some idea, no matter what it is.  For that matter, we should not hurt anyone over some idea.  Ideas come and go.  They are intangible things that end up being recorded in the history books.

People are living beings, living souls.  We have all been hurt at one time or another and we don't like it.  We should not hurt others.

People are more important than ideas.

I am very sorry for hurting you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A Christmas Tale

I was in seminary, the youth directory at First Methodist in Bixby, Oklahoma.  Since I was a paid employee, I was required to be in church on Christmas Eve for the 11pm candlelight service.  That was a bit sad, it was the first of many Christmas Eve's that I would lose my family time to church time.  Welcome to being an employee of the church.

Anyway, I would simply wake up Christmas morning and drive the 260 miles home to Kansas City.  And so that journey began on Christmas day 1981.  I got up about 7am and packed up the 1974 Ford Maverick.  I headed up to I-44 and turned north.  Somewhere near Miami, Oklahoma, the dash board temperature light came on.  Now I know enough about cars to know that you don't drive a care when it is overheated, so I pulled over on the side of the highway. 

I grabbed what I could carry and started to walk, and to hitchhike.  It started to rain so I stopped under an over pass.  It wasn't long until an 18 wheeler stopped and picked me up.  I don't remember the man's name but he took me to the truck stop on the west side of Joplin, MO.  Evidently the trucker was a regular there.  He took me inside and told the manager what was going on with me.  The manager called a local mechanic.  On Christmas day, the mechanic left his family, fired up his tow truck and hauled my car to his shop.  In ten minutes he had diagnosed the problem:  water pump.

He called the local auto parts store manager.  I don't remember this man's name either, but he left his family on Christmas day, opened his store and handed the mechanic a water pump for a 1974 Ford Maverick.  I asked him how much it was.  He told me that I could pay the mechanic.

Back then motors were easier to work on.  The mechanic had the pump in and operational in a jiffy.  I asked him how much the bill was.

He said, "no charge.  Merry Christmas."

I drove home to Kansas City, arriving around dinner time.  Back then, being young, I barely realized what had happened.  But over the years I have thought more about that story.  I have thought about how 3 guys that didn't know me from Adam went out of their way to help me.  Two of them interrupted their Christmas with their families to help me.  They didn't charge me anything.

May we all be willing to interrupt our lives to help someone in need, and as we are able, may we tell them, "no charge."

Kindness is it's own reward.

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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

relic

rel·ic

/ˈrelik/

noun
  • 1.an object surviving from an earlier time, especially one of historical or sentimental interest.synonyms:artifacthistorical objectancient objectantiquityantique
Powered by Oxford Dictionaries



Lately I have felt like a relic. And I don't mean the kind that are worshiped like the shroud of Turin or a piece of the cross.

I have felt like someone whose thoughts, ideas and dreams are yesterday's news.


You know, when I was young, I had a tool box full of ideas that I just wanted to try out on the church world. I got the chance to do that in places like Princeton, Mercer and Lee's Summit. And I learned a lot along the way. After the kids entered college I became a voracious reader, devouring just about anything that I could get my hands on. Now it seems like so long ago.


When I left Kansas City for Florida, I received a couple of nice compliments. One of them was, "thanks for not being the guy who stayed 5 years too long." I guess that is good, but sometimes I sure miss those days.


It was exciting and fun to be the young, emerging guy with young children and a brain full of ideas. It was delightful to start on the journey of ministry, play softball, and dream great dreams.
Now I am on the other side of life. My children will tell you that they still need me, but it is certainly not like before. My softball days are limited to playing catch with Bruce Letner when he comes to visit. My muscle mass is in steep decline. My left eye is noticeably drooping. My ideas are a part of yesterday's news. What was touted and held up on yesterday's front page, no longer makes the paper.


And so it goes. Yesterday always gives way to today and today will at some point give way to tomorrow.


Years ago when I was young, I worked for a pastor that was near retirement. One time he said to me, "you young guys think you know everything about running a big church." At the time I thought, "yes, more than you evidently do." That thought was a bit arrogant, but I think we showed the world that we could make a difference.


It is odd to feel like I no longer make a difference. I am marking time, sitting in God's waiting room.


A relic. A memory of a day gone by. I think that is why many people like to go on trips with me. It reminds us of the good old days.


A relic. And that is ok. Our 20's give way to our 30's and our 30's to our 40's and so on. I would much rather have had this journey than to not have had it. Many of my friends did not live into their 60's. It has been a privilege, a joy, and quite a ride. Even when I get down, I have to remind myself that I would not have missed this for the world.


And so I need to work harder on seeing the good of being on this side of it all. And there is plenty of good. I have time. Time to pray, time to think, time to remember and time to love. I clean the garage, trim the palms and wash off the pool deck. I make friends with every server and have learned the name of the man who runs the local dump. I love the folks at Ft. Pierce FUMC and it is nice to not have all the worries that I had when I was young.


Sometimes getting older and moving on hurts, but there are a lot of good things about it as well. May God give us the ability to appreciate the good parts of this end of the journey.

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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/wesley-in-ireland-2018-with-rev-jeff-brinkman#.WqHrI7puLIU





Monday, April 2, 2018

joke day

Yesterday was April fool's day and I had to miss it because of Easter.  Not a bad reason to miss April Fools.

Anyway, conveniently, in the Greek Orthodox Church, the day after Easter is joke day. They tell jokes because on Easter, Jesus pulled the wool over Satan's eyes. He got the best of the devil. [now you know that I don't believe that the devil is the opposite of God, but I am just going to let them keep their metaphor.] In fact, I am going to join in. Today is joke day. Let's enjoy.
Here are a smattering of my favorite jokes

What did the fish say when he swam into the concrete wall?
dam.
What do you call a cow with no legs?
ground beef.
A cow with two legs shorter than the others?
lean beef.
Why did the turtle cross the road?
to get to the shell station.
Did you know that Col. George Armstrong Custer was a fancy dresser?
he wore arrow shirts.
Why did he lose the battle of the Little Bighorn?
his horses had engine trouble.
What do you do when you stub your toe?
call a toe truck.

Well we could go on and on, but if you catch one little smile today from a joke that you know, give thanks to God because Jesus is the Victor and we can all rest easy today. He is risen!

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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018

Easter sermon audio


Sorry but the audio also got the doxology, prayer and closing song...
Have a great day!

Click here to listen to the sermon

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter

It is Easter! Jesus is risen!
We have new life!!!

Easter means that God is greater. Easter means that the battle is won. No more fear, no more worry. Easter means that Christ followers can live with confidence and hope. Evil is vanquished. Our life can now focus on the hope that we have in Christ.

I used to love Jesus because I was ensured a spot in heaven. Believing in him saved me from the fear of hell and death, as long as I was good. So there was always some level of doubt, because I could never be good enough.

Today, in my old age, I am loving Jesus because of the amazing grace that he offers freely to every human. I am accepted. I am loved. I don't even have to do anything. He has done it all.

Life is beautiful. The message of grace has been delivered. We are free!

Happy Easter. Receive the grace.

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



- - - - - - - - -

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

4 Night cruise from Port Canaveral to Key West and Havana, Cuba.
August 13-17, 2018

Wesley's Ireland with optional London Extension
October 8-17, 2018