Friday, April 30, 2010

I know of a man

I know of a man who gave away his watch the other day. He was coming out of a McDonalds and a young worker on break asked for the time. The man looked at his watch and told the employee the time. As he got into his car, he had a distinct impression to give the young man his watch.

He struggled with the thought. No, he did not want to. But it was only a $30 watch. What if the feeling was from God? He drove around the McDonalds a couple of times trying to figure out what to do. Finally he pulled up next to the young man. He offered the watch. An enormous smile appeared on the face of the McDonalds employee. He accepted the watch as if it were the greatest gift he had ever received.

The person who told me this story, told me that the greatest gift that day was not the receipt of a watch, but the receipt of the joy that he felt when he gave it.

Reader, you probably know this, but we go to church with some pretty cool people.

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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

thou shall not kill

If all dogs go to heaven, why don't they keep the 10 commandments?

Once again, Lou the dog has committed murder. Rabbit murder. No, more like bunny murder. I was coming down the hill about 5pm, headed for the backyard to mow. I opened the gate just as he found a nest of bunnies in the flower garden. I am telling you, you never saw six little bunnies move so fast in all of your life.

Lou was faster. He had one in his mouth, munching it, flipping it, tossing it like a highschool cheerleader. He dropped that one and headed after another. I hollered at him. LOU!!

Being an obedient dog, he immediately broke off the chase and came to me. Now I am thinking, I paid $300 for this dog, why is he a murderer? I took him inside and went back to the yard work.

One of the joys of being a father is cleaning up the half dead animals that your pets deliver to your life. So I have a baby rabbit with three legs and an open belly. I do what Dad's have to do. I finished him off and disposed of his body. Sorry, but he was only suffering a slow nasty death.

I think I will buy a really big dog to chase Lou around and bite him and throw him into the air.

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

you never know

If you ever start feeling smug and spiritual, watch out. Yesterday I woke up with a church hymn running through my head. What a good feeling.

Today I woke up with a Queen song in my head.

Let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.

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

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

spray product

Several asked about the spray product that I bought to kill the grass growing within my flowers. the name of the product is "over the top" by fertilome. I bought it at Bens on 40 highway. Good guy that Ben. Always glad to lift up someone who treats people well. Tell him I sent you.

your life

Why do I wake up at 5:30 in the morning thinking about this song?

We give thee but thine own.
What ere the gift may be.
All that we have is thine alone,
A trust O Lord from thee.

I am thinking about the gift of your life. It really is not yours. Odd thought. Not your life. Not my life. God's life. God's life given to us. God's life that will one day return to him. What am I doing with it? What am I doing with it?

O Lord, show me someone that I can touch today for you. Amen.

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

Monday, April 26, 2010


I am not talking about the heavenly kind, I am talking about those human beings who become angels to us. I ran into a couple of them a few weeks ago and thanked them for being so kind to me. They were a bit surprised to know that I felt this way about them.

Another angel has come out of the woodwork. This person has just become a great encourager to me. They always seem to know when I need a good word. It is like they can read me.

What a blessing. I hope you have people in your life that encourage you. Just as important, I hope that you are an encourager to others. It just takes a minute to offer a kind word, and a good word at the right time, Oh, what a blessing to the soul.

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

Sunday, April 25, 2010

april showers

Winter lasted for so long this year, I almost forgot what spring looked like. Well, it is here. The trees are leafed out, the tulips have come and gone. The sedem is spreading and so is the creeping Jenny. April showers have brought May flowers.

The flox is in full bloom! Awesome! The English ivy that came from a friend is going to town. The entire back yard is declaring the glory of God.

I even got a special spray from Ben at Ben's lawn and garden on 40 highway. You spray it into the flowers and sedem and it kills the grass growing up within, but does not harm the flowers. Cool.

The Holy Spirit does that too. When we are willing to listen, he eliminates the weeds and unwanted grass growing up within our lives so that the flower of the beauty of our life can be seen.

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

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Someone asked that I write about accountability. Probably since I write too much about grace, welcome and acceptance. They are right. Balance is important. Most of life's issues are not either/or but both/and.

Accountability. It is the voice of God that calls you to himself. It is listening in prayer instead of doing what you want. It is giving up your preference or personal comfort for the sake of the mission. It is doing the right when you don't want to. It is getting up and going to work day after day. It is following the home owners association rules. it is keeping in mind the 10 commandments. It is learning to share God's love.

Usually a person cannot do all of this by themselves, so it is important to have those who help hold you accountable. A spouse, a friend, a small group. Someone that you can be totally honest with. Someone that helps you take that fearless moral inventory. Someone that instills in you the desire to be more than you are.

I have a wife that is brutally honest with me. I have a counselor, and a ministry coach. I have 3 layers of bosses. I am in a covenant group with other ministers. I have a few minister friends that I meet regularly with. I have a mentor. Through all of this, God loves us and graciously calls us toward himself.

Accountability is the pursuit of God, and the resistance to our desires so that we can follow him. It is the not my will, but thine be done.

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

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fear and faith

Fear is paralyzing. Faith is freeing.
Fear seeks the status quo. Faith dreams.
Fear shrinks back. Faith steps out.
Fear is man's. Faith is God's.

Yes, everything that we do, we must do carefully and frugally, but we cannot fall back from God's purpose and expect to experience his blessing. When we choose faith, we join God in the great journey of life.

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

Thursday, April 22, 2010

heroes of the old testament

This summer we will have a sermon series on heroes of the old testament, or great stories of the old testament. As I have been reading about, and thinking about some of these folks, it is always surprising to be reminded of some of the really despicable things that they did.

Even though they did some very bad things, God loved them and they became the saints of old. This is not to say that we should run around and do whatever we want and God will still love us. But it should make it pretty clear that God does not throw us away when we do bad things. He still loves us and works with us. We are always a part of his family.

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

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

think carefully

Think carefully before you do that. Don't be in a hurry. Don't go off in a huff. Don't react or overreact to whatever has come your way.

Our best decisions are not made on impulse, but after careful, prayerful thought. I am the most proud of my life when I step back, take a deep breath, remember who I am, and then make a decision or take an action.

I hate going to bed when I know that I missed it. I love going to bed at night when my decisions reflect who I really want to be.

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

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

from a discussion last night among friends....

I want a church that will accept me the way that I am, warts and all. I want a church that will see my frailty, my orneriness and still love me. I want a God that understands me through and through, and I am all ok with Him.

I don't want to play any pretend games with my faith. If God is real, he has to be real enough to accept me for who I am. Even when I surprise myself with foolishness, God has to love me. That is the only way this is ever going to work in my world.

Hey, I want that kind of God too. that is awesome. Doesn't everyone want that kind of God?

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

Monday, April 19, 2010

a party

Imagine that you got to have 100 of your favorite people together for one night. They don't all know each other, but you know them all. You have enjoyed them as individuals and you have enjoyed them a few at a time, but now they are all together.

What joy! What excitement. You would realize how rich you are in friends. Sometimes I forget, until you see them all together.

The good things and the good people in our lives sometimes get spread out. So spread out that we forget about them. But if all of the good things and people in our lives showed up in one day, wow, we would realize how blessed that we are.

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

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Its a matter of physics. It is one of Newton's laws. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest until it is acted upon by some force.

Is your church moving or at rest? Momentum is so important in the life of a church. If your church is moving, help keep it moving. If your church is at rest, help get her going, or atrophy and decline will soon set in.

In your personal life- are you open, learning, changing, moving or are you static, smug and set in your ways? One of the great joys in life is learning something new. The concept of the word "life" implies movement and change. What we miss when we think we know it all. What we miss when we see ourselves as a finished product. Oh, what we gain when we learn the perspective of another. What we gain when we join with others to make the world a better place.

An object in motion tends to stay in motion.

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

Saturday, April 17, 2010

cell phones

Do you have a kid with a cell phone? They always seem to be on it. Talking, texting. You take your kid out to dinner and all they do is text their friends. You tell them to stop and they get mad.

Then your kids grow up and you are still subsidizing the cell phone. Yet, when I call them, they don't answer. You know what is happening. They are out with their friends, they see the call coming in, see that it is DAD, and push the reject button.

So I am subsidizing a cell phone that the kid won't answer when I call.


Insanity is hereditary. Parents get it from their children.

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

Friday, April 16, 2010

a baby

Well, doesn't that beat it all. Last night I dreamed that the Brinkman's were going to have a baby. Ha ha. I don't know how long dreams last but that was a pretty worrisome few minutes of a dream that seemed to go on and on for ever. I would have been 70 when that baby graduated from high school!

I woke up.

I was very glad to wake up. Ahh, relief. It was only a dream.

There are lots of things in life that capture our worry for a time. They take over our lives and eat our lunch. Most of them, I wake up from too. They don't last for ever and life goes on. I shouldn't let the momentary worries take over my life. Soon they will be gone, and while I allow them the lead role in my life, I tend to miss seeing the truly beautiful.

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

Thursday, April 15, 2010

your self esteem

Everyone is worried about their self-esteem. How we feel about ourselves is very important. It is important that we learn that we are ok, that we are loved.

It is sad when a person allows their self esteem to be crushed by the actions or words of another person. We have to learn to remember that other people do not define us. If someone thinks or says that we are bad, that does not mean that we are bad.

God is the one who speaks life to our self-esteem. He is the one who created us and said that we were good. He placed within us His image. His fingerprint. The spark of the divine. He is the one that "so loved the world." He is the one that deemed you "worth it" when Jesus died on the cross. Now, to add to that, He woke you up today and gave you the breath of life. You are very valuable.

Do not allow anyone to rob you of the truth. You can love yourself because God says that you are loveable.

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

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It was probably 1973. My Dad and I were driving in the Sierra Nevada Mtns in the eastern part of California. I don't remember where we were going, probably just some day trip. I do remember that I was the navigator.

I encouraged him to take a road on the map that would cut time off of our trip. He agreed, we found the road and off we went. A turn here and a turn there, I was not sure anymore where we were on the map. About 20 miles from where ever we were, we finally met a wall of snow. The pass was not clear, we had to turn around, and I no longer knew where we were.

It was a bit embarrassing, and I was a bit scared. As if we might never find our way back. Dad assured me that we were somewhere, and that sooner or later we would figure it out and be back on the blacktop. He was right. We found our way home.

There are may times in life when we are not sure where we are at or how we got here. What to do? Where to go.

Remember. You may not know what is going on, but God does. You are not as far from home as you think. Everything is ok. We will find the road. With God's help, we always have.

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

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

random visit?

I was driving thru a parking lot yesterday off of 40 highway and saw the "Tree of Life" store. I had a feeling that I should stop and go in.

Inside I found a good price on Rob Bell books and I bought a bunch. I also met the owners Michael and Julie. They were awesome. We had a wonderful talk. They gave me three books. Now, what kind of a place is that where you go to look at books and they give you three.

I am reading one of them, in the first chapter the author talks about two aspects of faithfulness. Active and passive. Active spirituality or faithfulness is you simply making the right choices to do what you think God's will is. Passive spirituality or faithfulness is the learning to receive whatever comes to you as a part of life that God either willed or allowed.

Not that you shouldn't try to improve your lot in life, more that some people just fight everything, and there are some things that are just there, or here for us and there is nothing that we can do about them.

Today I actively choose to be as faithful as I can in each decision. I also passively choose to receive with patience those things that I find less than pleasant. We can't control it all, but we can trust God no matter what.

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

Monday, April 12, 2010


In August of 2007, it was my joy to stand up in front of the congregation and tell you that Clay Withers was joining our staff. Yesterday, with mixed emotions, [happy for Clay, sad for us] I had the responsibility of letting you know that Clay is leaving Woods Chapel.

Clay has accepted a position on staff at First Baptist Church in Raytown. That is where he began his work in the ministry of Christ, right out of college. His last Sunday with us will be April 25th. There will be a reception for him that morning.

We love Clay and we will miss Clay. If you know anyone who wants to be an associate pastor who sings like a bird, has a never ending smile and a thick head of hair, give me a call.

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

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Yesterday I went to a wedding at a house on Ward Parkway. We drove down 63rd street on the way in and down Gregory on the way out. Almost all the way across town. I saw so many things that I had not seen for years.

The turn by the Burns and McDonald building that goes back into the neighborhood by the little blue, where I used to work in my first job out of college. The turn to the zoo. The gym by Swope Park UMC where I used to play basketball. The medical building where we used to take my grandma for her appointments. Brookside. St. John's UMC where I worked many years ago. Meyer Circle. The pond at 62nd and Ward Parkway where I used to ice skate as a kid.

I remember going to the Landings shopping center with my mom. There were life size fiberglass zoo animals that I loved to see and climb on. The Landings seemed huge when I was a kid.

Where does the time go? I am not 9 years old anymore.

So you get home. You thank God for a nice wedding and spending time with friends. You thank God for a safe home and a wonderful family. 52 isn't really bad, it is just different. Life is a mystery and we have so much to be thankful for.

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

Saturday, April 10, 2010

it is too easy to complain

It is too easy to complain. Today I get to finish preparing for a very unique wedding. I get to finish the sermon. And to add insult to injury, the front of the house is all taken apart due to a water leak. A pretty full Saturday. It all has to get done. Oh, and a friend is leaving. Never a dull moment.

So, it is pretty easy to complain. But then I stop and think.......

I woke up today. I am not sick, I am well. No one in my family is sick. My wife is home. God did not go anywhere. It will all get done, and it will all be ok.

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

Friday, April 9, 2010

In His presence

I got up this morning knowing I had to post today. Sometimes this is a good thing other times not. Sometimes I feel I have something to contribute and other days....well.......I suppose it is called writers block. The answer, the only answer is prayer. My days get so full so fast that I often fail to take the time to pray. Or if I pray I find myself in a routine and with a list or stuff. And at times, even though I know God is with me I feel the conversation I am having is with myself because I haven't acknowledged Him...I haven't entered into His presence. I fail to pay my respect to honor sit in awe......and know I cannot comprehend His being. I fail at times to tell Him how thankful I am for Him and what he has done for me...not my family.....what He has done by creating me and forgiving me for all my shortcomings including the times I fail to give Him the honor and respect He is due.

Thank you Lord for prayer.

Lion's Den Man

Thursday, April 8, 2010

the bird

Well, the bird that visited us for about four days, March 24-26th [see blog posts] has met her demise. I found her in the back yard yesterday near the window that she kept crashing into.

It is hard to figure, what was going thru that Robin's mind. Obviously she marched to a different drummer. It was odd to watch a part of God's creation acting in such a strange way. Maybe she was never going to make it on this earth.

Anyway, she is singing in bird heaven now. And I firmly believe that God understands and celebrates all of His creation, even those that are beyond our earthly comprehension.

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

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

two sisters

Two sisters grew up in the same house. Five years apart. Near as I could tell, they never did anything together. None of us did. So we grew up, grew older, and went on with life. You could not say that we grew apart, we three kids, because we never grew together.

One of the major themes of our adult lives has been trying to figure out our upbringing and make some sort of connection between the three of us. Over the years, we have finally started getting better at it.

I found out something awesome last night. My sisters are going on a cruise together. Two people that barely knew each other, growing up in the same house, are going to spend a week together on a cruise ship.

Healing is cool.

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

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

to celebrate everyone

Well, I think that we ought to celebrate everyone. Every person and every church. There are no Methodist Churches that are bad, I want all of them to succeed. May they all grow bigger than ours. There are plenty of people in Lees Summit, Blue Springs and Independence for all of our churches to do well.

Somewhere along the line, it is easy to forget that we are brothers and sisters. We are all in this for the same reason. We are all on a mission for Christ. Wish the best for your sister churches, even those who are not sure that they are your sisters.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good, and see it for everybody, not just you and yours.

Monday, April 5, 2010


The choir was wonderful. The gospel choir was wonderful. There were some awesome songs on the table. The orchestra was wonderful. The band as well. it was all great. The best.

I met some first time visitors and they seemed very glad to have been there. From what i saw, all of you made it a wonderful Easter Sunday.

I guess my favorite thing about yesterday is that I received notes from three teenagers saying that they really appreciated the sermon. Now, when our kids are listening, it doesn't get any more rewarding than that.

Thank you all for being who you are.

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

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is risen!

Friday gives way to Saturday, which gives way to Sunday. The suffering and horror of Friday are followed by the black eerie quiet of Saturday. Both set the stage for what will follow.

At first light on Sunday morning, the energizing power of the Holy Spirit entered the tomb and flooded the body of our Lord. He blinked his eyes and stood up. Angels rolled back the stone. The glow of resurrection spewed out of the tomb into a waiting world.

The balance of creation was restored. Yes there would still be hurricanes and earthquakes, but on Easter Sunday, after a very quiet Saturday, the birds are singing again and all creation is back on track. For the first time in several thousand years, for the first time since the garden, man's relationship with God is made whole.

We did not do it. We could not do it. God did it because of His love. He did it because He is love. Grace. Grace made the way.

Every Christan should wake this day with a joy, a JOY! God has restored the relationship. Jesus is alive. Spread the word.

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

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Black Saturday

If the name Good Friday seems like two words that don't go together very well, Black Saturday seems like a perfect fit.

We don't know anything from Scripture about Black Saturday, except that Jesus was in the grave.

I wonder what that day was like. In my pondering, this is what I imagine: The sun may be shining, but that is about all. There is not a stitch of wind. The world is eerily quiet. Not a bird utters a peep. They don't even fly, they just sit on their nests and wonder what is happening in the world. No insects buzzing. All of creation has stopped. There is something in the equilibrium of the world that has been disturbed.

Humans that venture out, notice that there is something very different about this day. They remember that the sky turned black for three hours yesterday afternoon and they wonder if there is a connection. Those that witnessed the crucifixion may be wondering if they didn't participate in a huge mistake. What has happened to the world?

No fish will bite. The ocean currents have stopped. There are no tides, no waves, the sea is perfectly calm. It looks like you could almost just walk right off of the beach and out onto the water. If there are clouds in the sky, since there is no wind, they do not move. The sky is the same all day, as if painted there.

The world is broken. Something is wrong. All creation has been put on pause. Jesus is in the grave.

Black Saturday.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Good Friday. Good because why? Jesus suffers and dies. Suffering and death doesn't sound very good.

Good Friday. It's good for us. Because in the death of Jesus, a relationship is made right. Our sins are forgiven and our relationship with God is restored, healed.

Pause sometime today and say "thank you." To say thank you to God is the beginning of living the Christian life.

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

Thursday, April 1, 2010

serenity prayer

One of the best prayers of all time, and a nice reminder.

"Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

I guess the prayer for peace and serenity is something that I need to do more of. Hey some things are just beyond my control. Lord give me peace. And He does.

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