Friday, October 31, 2014


In a sermon a few weeks back Jeff talked about the values we use to base our decisions on. This got me thinking about how that relates to me and my life, my job, my relationships, my use of resources and free time and most importantly my spiritual journey. So I have been taking time to look at what decisions I have made and why I have made them. I have made some good choices and I have some regrets. I can learn from the past and I still have the ability to choose. (What an underappreciated thing choice is)

Change is inevitable. Time is limited. There is no time like the present.

By design what I am looking for is right here. It is not hard to find. It just takes an alignment of values and choices…


Lion’s Den Man

Thursday, October 30, 2014


What an awesome season and postseason run for the Royals. It was great to see how many people (non-Royal included) joined in to root for this team in the postseason. This team brought baseball back to this baseball town. As Ken Rosenthal of Fox sports said, “This has been a revival for Kansas City baseball”

  • a period in which something becomes popular again after a long period of time
  • the growth of something or an increase in the activity of something after a long period of no growth or activity
  • renewed attention to or interest in something 
It was a great series. One of the best in a long time. Good ball clubs, well managed. A high level of sportsmanship. Two teams doing their best at what they are good at and conducting themselves in a manner that we all can admire. It’s what we like to see. It makes the game worth a little more….


Lion’s Den Man

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I give thanks for Richard Rohr and some other things I have been reading and listening too lately. I have been a little “flat” and searching for interesting and inspirational things to share. Yesterday morning a little fuel for my tank was provided by a talk given at the Men’s Gathering. One of the many good points for discussion brought up was a poll that listed Latin America having the happiest people as a whole. Hmmm. Go figure. With all we have here in the USA we aren’t the happiest! This stuck with me because the night before I was searching for something of interest. I was browsing through a favorite book of mine “How Big is Your God” by Paul Coutinho. I ran across this underlined piece of the book. Cool how stuff like this works…..

Coutinho writes, “Our addiction to possessions does not allow for any quality time with ourselves, our families, our friends, or the Divine. Lost in the mire of this material world, we lose sight of anything spiritual. We become so engrossed in our material possessions that we lose our identity as spiritual beings and our freedom to fullness of life.”

I guess less equals more. Speaking for myself only…I couldn’t agree more.


Lion’s Den Man

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

docta ignorantia

Ok I realized this is an easy out for me to copy and paste these posts but this is good stuff worth sharing.

“When you don’t balance knowing with not knowing, you get into the kind of religion and politics we have today which is very arrogant, falsely self-assured, can never admit when it’s wrong, and can never apologize because “I know!” According to the great spiritual teachers, ignorance does not result from what we don’t know; ignorance results from what we think we do know! Anybody who knows, knows that they don’t know, especially when they’re talking about God! Medieval Catholic theology called this docta ignorantia or learned ignorance.” - Richard Rohr
Personally, I struggle with people who know. I don’t want a confrontation and I believe some of this “knowing” will pass as they grow in their faith so I let it ride. Another problem I have is being open about what I struggle with or maybe don’t know when around this type of person. I find the situation suffocating at times. It’s tough. Love, I believe, is my best response.

Lion’s Den Man

Monday, October 27, 2014


From Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation

“Most of us were not raised to understand that we are participating in something that is already happening. Rather, we were given tasks to accomplish individually and completely. This placed the entire burden on the single isolated person. That’s not participation. That’s perfectionism—thinking I have to do it all or that I can do it all (the American myth). I’m convinced that’s why we have so much of what we call negative self-image in the West—because of this impossible spiritual burden put on the separate individual. The Good News is that it’s not about being correct. It’s about being connected. When the Spirit within you connects with God’s Spirit given from without, you are finally home. Now you know that your deepest you is God, and Christ is living his life in you and through you and with you.” - Richard Rohr

Lion’s Den Man

Sunday, October 26, 2014

positive words

I had a good exchange with a friend yesterday. It was his birthday, he was traveling so I sent a greeting to him via e-mail. He has had a positive impact in my life and so I shared a little of what that meant to me. In return he responded with a similar message. I admit it felt good to hear his thoughts.

It made me wonder how many opportunities I have missed where I could have taken the time to let someone know how much they have meant to me or others.
Everyone needs to hear a little of that from time to time and there is no time like the present.

Lion’s Den Man

Saturday, October 25, 2014

do you see it

I had to head home a little late last night and I stopped by the grocery store on the way. It was 7:30. The game had started. The place was virtualy empty. Everyone, it seemed, was watching the game. I heard several people comment about how busy the roads, the restaurants and the stores were on Thursday night. It was a travel day, no game so many were out…together. There is a buzz in the air. Cool stuff is happening as a bi-product of this baseball postseason. Time is being shared that hasn’t been share between friends in a while. Conversations are happening between strangers. Smiles are being exchanged between many. Common courtesies are on the rise. Pretty cool what happens when the good that is in life is seen and shared. Seeing the good, seeing the joys and participating in life is so important. The good is here every day, even after the post season. Look for it!

Lion’s Den Man

Friday, October 24, 2014


I don’t know about you but I have doubts about things regarding what I should believe and not believe. Well perhaps not doubts, but more so questions. So I seek answers. I have found some answers, but honestly most answers really just take me to a place where I ask more questions and so on and so on. I think if I didn’t have this need to ask questions, if I were so certain, my faith would not be alive and thriving. I believe my faith gains strength the more I dive into the unknown. I have to believe that God not only welcomes this pursuit, but desires it for all of us. What I am certain of is that I will never have all the answers, at least not in this life.

Lion’s Den Man

Thursday, October 23, 2014

how do you use it

I have been reading a few different books and devotionals lately. I wrote this one down to share.

“The gospel can’t be protected; neither can it be destroyed or confiscated.”
I liked it. I think it speaks volumes. Through time how often have we read about or witnessed man trying to control God’s message and use it in ways it was never intended to be used.  It happened before Christ came and it happens today. This writer went on to say, “Beware of those who take the flesh and want to turn it back into words.” Christ came to set us free. He came to provide clarity to what we could not understand. I think it is hard to put all of that back into words. I think seeing the words in action is a powerful thing and shows God we get it….

Lion’s Den Man

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

to lose

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

to bad mouth

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 20, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

Be who you are.  Everyone else is already taken.

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Go Royals!

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 18, 2014

to believe in someone

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

More Bugs

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

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

Is it wrong to be happy when I kill bugs?

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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

the stars

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The town that wouldn't sleep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

see the good.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Second Chance Iris

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

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

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

Monday, October 13, 2014


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

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

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

Sunday, October 12, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I can't watch

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 10, 2014

ha ha

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014


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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

my son

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

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

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

Monday, October 6, 2014

to disagree

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 5, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 4, 2014


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

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

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

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

Friday, October 3, 2014

plastic wrap

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

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

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

Thursday, October 2, 2014

are we moving?

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

stories of Woods Chapel

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

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

What are your favorite Woods Chapel stories?

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