Saturday, September 23, 2017

one God

I believe that there is only one God.  He is divided up into part by various groups, but there is only one God.  The thought that there is only one God has some interesting implications.  For example, I believe that if people are trying to worship God, that counts for something, even if part of what they are doing is wrong.  It may not be your group, it may not be your denomination, it may be folks that have little in common with you but if they are reaching out to the one God, that ought to count for something.

We tend to want to reject anyone who does not see it the way that we do.  We tend to want to throw away those who have a different understanding than we do.  Why?  Are we so sure that we are the ones that have it just right?

1.2 billion Catholic Christians believe that Mary is sinless.  Are we right and them wrong?
400 million Orthodox Christians do not believe in the trinity.
There are 800 million of us protestants and we don't agree on many things.

If there is only one God, who are the Jehovah's Witnesses [for example] worshiping?  Who are the RLDS worshiping?  Who are the Greek orthodox worshiping?  Well, I was taught that they were all wrong.  But if they are trying to worship God [and there is only one God right?] then who am I to say that they are going to hell?  Do Methodists have the corner on correct ideas about God?

My point is this.... all people that worship God get it partly right and partly wrong.  And God, the one God, welcomes all of their worship.  Who am I to say that this group or that group, this person or that person is going to hell?

There is only one God and everyone that wakes in his world sees the same gift of creation.  It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Friday, September 22, 2017

I'm sorry

I'm sorry.  I missed it.
Talk like a pirate day is held on September 19th every year, and this year, I missed it.

I guess I have my excuses.... we were cleaning up from after the hurricane.  I have been working on final arrangements for a new job.  I bought a used pickup truck.  My cousin got married.  I broke my arm.  I fell into quicksand.  I came down with the plague.  It wasn't my fault!

RRR... I apologize for missing talk like a pirate day.  Please please next year will someone remind me a few days prior?  As silly as it sounds, I have always loved talk like a pirate day.  I may just have to do a little pirate talk today to make up.

It's a beautiful day in God's worrrrrrrld, be surrrrre to see the good.



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

sunrise

I took these pictures while visiting a friend in Kansas City in July.  I thought I had posted them, but I don't think I did.  If you like the pictures, you should have been there to witness the real thing.

Sunrise at Lake Tapawingo





How marvelous is creation.  How marvelous is the work of the Lord.

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



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Movie




I went to see the movie Dunkirk. A great movie especially if you like war movies. I was at the 10:30 am showing. There were four old guys there. I was the youngest. The movie closed with Winston Churchill's speech:

"we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender...."
Several of the men were crying after the movie. On the way out one of them said to me, my father died at Dunkirk.

May we never forget the struggle of good against evil, right against wrong, freedom over oppression. Please appreciate those who serve.

That's one of the reasons why we have a beautiful day in God's world



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

what is your name?


It is a simple, but powerful question to ask. What is your name? People want their names to be remembered. José at Costalano's in San Francisco. I see him once a year and I call him by name. He loves it. I try to learn people's names. Adrian, Keith, Pete, Christy, Mike, Roy, Beth, Jackie, and on we go.

If you want to make your experience at a restaurant or a store come alive, learn the names of the people that work there. Look for them when you go back. If they aren't there, then learn a new name! People love to be known.

If someone remembers your name you become real- you become alive. Learn peoples names. Call them by name. Hello Scott Conners. Hello Brian flower. Hello Terri Monarchio. Hello Brian Young.

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

Monday, September 18, 2017

when you grow up

My dear friend Gary [G2] sent this post in......

There's an age old question that all of us have heard and have asked ourselves. "What do you want to be when you grow up"? When we were little kids our thoughts usually turned to what we were exposed to or what our interests were. Some of us may have wanted to be a doctor, an athlete, or to drive a train. Maybe it was to build houses to be a woodworker, or an astronaut. Or even a ballerina, or to paint pictures, write poems or make beautiful music. What did I want to be when I "grew up"? I wanted to be a heavy machine operator. Really! As a little kid I was fascinated by it. Not for sure why. It could have been the way the earthmovers, with all that power and those big motors, changed the world in which I lived in. One scoop at a time. To this day I still stop and watch as those trucks and machines go about their jobs.

Through the years that question is still being asked. In my late teens I wanted to work in restaurants. During my 20's and 30's I wanted to be a woodworker. As I got older I started working in the Natural Gas Industry. It became more about making money than "What I wanted to be". What has happened to the joy or fascinating that we had experienced early on in life? Have we grown weary and exhausted by the grind of our everyday life.

As I have reached the middle 50's my thoughts of what I want to be when I grow up (which I refuse to do) has shifted to what do I want to do. It is not so much about the job and the money anymore, although it is still a driving factor. It is about how do or how can I make a difference. How do I make an impact in the small sphere of influence that I have; to those I come in contact with on a daily basis. Do I smile at the clerk taking my money and ask them their name? Have I talked to my neighbor across the street lately? Do I hold doors for people all the while not expecting a thank you. Do I stop long enough to make a connection with the soul or the spirit in each person? I have learned through the years that it is the little things, when done every day, that make an impact on our world. One kind word or deed can change a person's day.

In this go - go - go world we are in, we have to ask ourselves this question. Am I in too much of a hurry to be kind, or to notice or help those around me. We all simply want to be noticed and acknowledged that we are more than just a passing shadow. Make someone's day by telling them that they are appreciated, they are special and loved. It goes a long way to making an impact: if not to just that one person but maybe to the those watching us and to world we live in.

What do I want to be when I grow up? Now days I would say " I want to be an acknowledger and an encourager!" I want to be the one that when our paths cross we leave each other a little better than we were before.

Grace and Peace,
g2

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I have a bike with pegs


During the hurricane, several of you sent notes and said that you had room for us at your place.  Thank you.

I read one of these kind notes of invitation and it reminded me of something that we did in church probably 10 years ago.  The sermon was about seeing others and really caring for them.  I picked a "volunteer" out of the crowd.  I had them stand up with me at the front as I described a hypothetical situation where they had broken down on the side of the road.  Then I encouraged the crowd to see people and care for them.  I asked them, if they were really willing to help others, to come up during the closing song and give their phone number to the person standing next to me.  That way he or she would have someone to call if they really did break down on the side of the road.

I was astonished at the response.  It was overwhelming.  In every service, I'll bet 75% of the people came up and gave the person their phone number.  There were more pieces of paper than the person could hold.

One of the people standing next to me in one of the services was my dear friend Dan Horn.  I love him and I miss him.  Dan called me later that day to tell me how many phone numbers he had.  It was in the hundreds.  He said one note stood out to him- it was from a 12 year old boy named Brandon who wrote, "I am not old enough to drive, but I have a bike with pegs."

I love it.  I was so proud of the young man and the spirit of Christian charity that lives so strongly in so many.

Who would you give your phone number to in case they needed help?  Do you have a bike with pegs?

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

Saturday, September 16, 2017

How am I really?

One of my readers lives in California.  She is a very special person to me.  Although we don't talk often, I think of her often and I am grateful for the impact that she has made on my life.

She wrote in the other day and said, "Each day I read your post and wonder how you really are....For sure what I read is from your heart and it generally gives me the feeling of your vulnerability. You are so "open" and I wonder how helpful that is to you and why you venture out there so far."

I appreciate her comments and thoughts. I wanted to write a bit about this topic.
Henry David Thorough wrote, "The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation."  I think we all know the angst that life can bring: something ended too soon.  Something didn't turn out the way we had hoped.  Some folks go from one job to the next, one person to the next, expecting that happiness is just around the corner.

I want you to know that in this life I have had much joy.  I have been a father, I have been a friend, I have been involved in helping others.  I have been a part of organizations that have made the world a better place.  I have loved and been loved.  All of these things bring me joy.

But for me, part of what I do, and how I choose to live, grows out of some very difficult questions that I keep asking myself.  Why am I here?  How much longer do I have?  Why is this situation the way it is?  How can I make something better?  Who can I care about for you today?

I guess what I am saying is that somehow, angst and meaning go together.  From the depths of a time of struggle, a new sunrise can emerge.  From the hard questions of life, emerge moments of clarity and joy.

I wish I could save myself and all of you from the introspection and the hard questions, but in my experience they are the path to meaning, purpose and joy.

How am I really doing?  Good.
I have my questions, and I have my wishes, but it is all good.  It is all very good.

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

what do you see?

 What do you see?
I see a palm tree.
Look again.
What do you see?
Ahh, it's a spindle palm.
Look harder.
What do you see?

What do you see in a given moment?  What are  you looking at?  What are you looking for?  Sometimes we miss beautiful and amazing things because we were preoccupied with ourselves and fail to notice a miracle right by us.

Maybe there is a great person near you that you cannot see.  Maybe there is a great chance to do kindness that we miss because we weren't asking the right questions of ourselves.  Maybe there is an amazing slice of nature that we do not see because we have lost the wonder of childhood.

Maybe we are not looking in the right place.

What do you see?
Look at the very tip top of the palm.



Ahh.  there is something there.  What is it?
During the hurricane aftermath we were sitting in the driveway drinking coffee in the morning.  I did not notice this dragonfly, Chris did.  But once our attention was placed upon him, he because quite the topic of discussion.  What is his view from up there?  Do the 30 mph winds bother him?  We were quite intrigued by his presence.  He must have been tired, because he sat up there for about 30 minutes.

When you look at life what do you see?
Is there something that you might be missing?

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

Thursday, September 14, 2017

mixed messages

Sometimes I get frustrated with the way that Christians act.  We wonder why people aren't interested in church.  It's not just young people that aren't interested either.  People of all ages are sick and tired of the guilt and mixed messages delivered by well meaning Christians.

About 1/2 mile down the road from us is a little church.  I have shared pictures of their sign before.  It is a two sided sign with a message on both sides.  If you head East, this is the message that you get.








Jesus loves you!  How wonderful.  How positive.  How grace filled.  But if you look at the same sign heading west, this is the message.





Real Christians obey Jesus' teaching.  REALLY?  Who gets to decide who the real Christians are?  And who gets to pick which teachings people will ignore and which ones to follow?  Jesus said to tie a millstone around the neck of anyone who harms a child.  Is this what real Christians should do?

I have seen billboards along the highway with this same message.  Real Christians obey Jesus teaching.  Anyone who thinks that this is going to win people to Jesus is sadly mistaken.  All it does is deliver another message that you better be good.  You better straighten up.  You better do it our way.

In this life there are two roads.  The road of Grace and the road of judgment.  We must pick each day which road we will choose.  Choose carefully my friend.  Those who choose the road of grace have no regrets.

Jesus loves you.

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

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

First World Problems

Where did the phrase first world come from?  During the cold war, America and it's allies were referred to as the first world.  Russia and her allies were the second world.  The third world was all of those countries that were not in the first or second group.  Since most of these were very poor countries, the phrase third world has become synonymous with impoverished countries.

The hurricane is over.  Power is back on at the Brinkman house.  Most of what we worried about were first world problems.

Waaahhh.  Our power was out.  First world problem. [FWP]
We have no ice.  FWP
Gas stations are out of gas.  FWP
Stores that are open have very long lines.  FWP
Bottled Water was scarce.  FWP
The house was sticky when we were trying to sleep.  FWP
The swimming pool got dirty.  FWP

On and on it goes.  We all have so much.  We worry about things that many people in the world will never have.  We are so entitled.

May God bless us.  Not with more stuff, not with better stuff.  But may God bless us with a sense of gratitude for what we have and mostly a generous spirit to share with others.

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

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

aftermath

It is Tuesday September 12.  We are still without electricity.  From what I am hearing, we may have to get used to sticky sleeping at night.  It is supposed to be 89 degrees here today.

Not much to report.  I toured the neighborhood yesterday and saw what is for the most part "minor damage."

beheaded mailbox

our yard

neighbors queen palm - sad

notice the debris flood line in the yard

tree no more

lots of this in our neighborhood

beach side restaurant


Of course it is much worse on the west coast.
thank you so much for your love and prayers.

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

Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday morning


path of Irma
 Good Morning.

Here is the latest update on Hurricane Irma from the Brinkman Meteorological Team.

As you know, the storm slid to the west yesterday.  This meant that we experienced only 70 mph winds.  Although the sun is not up, and I have not been able to look around, I don't expect any damage.  We did have a small roof leak last night which we will have to investigate and address.

boat blew off of trailer on highway
Power went out about 9pm last night and is still off.  I am posting using my phone as a hotspot and computer backup battery.  We have a backup generator that I will get fired up at 7am when the sun comes up and I can see.

I appreciate so much the concern that all of you showed for our family.  All is well here.  Alli and Bobby got a hotel room in Orlando with their three cats.  Jenny, her dog George, Scott, Cathy and I were joined by Garrett Cudmore [Ft. Lauderdale], Chris Henning [KC] and Kent and Beth Miller from Cape Coral.  Everyone worked together and got along well.

Ducks swimming
Today we will put the doors back on the screened in porch, put the furniture and plants back out, clean up the yard, and assess the property.  As I added the pictures to this post, I was struck by how worried we humans are about our "stuff."  The ducks were not really worried about anything.  We got about 12 inches of rain, and right in the middle of the storm they decided to take a swim in our driveway.  Consider the lilies of the field....  Consider the birds of the air.....

We worry too much.

Please pray for those in Cuba, Marco Island, Naples, Ft. Myers and Cape Coral as they were hit the hardest by Irma.

Love to you all.

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

Sunday, September 10, 2017

selfishness

We are so selfish.  It is all about us isn't it?

A hurricane hits Houston and we feel badly.  Maybe we go there on a mission trip, but life for us goes on.  A hurricane comes to our town and everyone freaks out.  Our family is scared.  Our friends cry.

I guess we can't really cry all the time, but I bet that God's heart breaks for everyone in trouble.

This reminds me of a story that I used to tell in church.
"During the war we were scared, so we prayed to God to protect us.... and Praise God!  He did!  All the bombs fell on the other side of the town."

I guess it is human nature to be concerned for one's self.  May we all also have compassion for others as well.

We should be in the middle of the storm right now.  I don't know if we will have internet for me to post tomorrow but I will try to keep you updated.

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

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Irma part 2

Hurricane prep is very interesting.  Fear makes people do crazy things.  It is also interesting to watch how people behave when they wait until the very last minute to try to do things that should have been done a week, a month, or a year ago.

Here are some scenes from the last few days.


CVS in Miami was out of water until this guy showed up.

the water sold for $24 a case and was gone in minutes

the line for plywood was an hour long. 
soon the supply was exhausted




this woman has plywood tied to the top of her car with the nylon
string that they give you at home depot to tie things on with.  I gave her some rope and helped her out.
Home Depot screw isle.  every size and shape is sold out.

our gas cans.  I wish we had more.  this will only run the generator for about a day.

installing hurricane shutters

signs like this all over town


Current projections show the storm running right up the middle of the state.  So there is no place to hide.  If we end up on the right hand side of the eye, this is not good because that is where the strongest winds are.  The news is suggesting that it may be down to a Cat 2 by the time it hits Vero Beach.

Keep us in your prayers.

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

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hurricane Irma Pt 1

So we have had so many inquiries about how we are doing.  Will we stay in Vero Beach or will we go somewhere to miss the storm?

So, point #1 there is no place in Florida to miss the storm.

We talked at length about staying or going.  We have had very generous offers from families for us to stay with them.  Kent and Beth Miller in Cape Coral have opened their house to us.  So have Jerry and Shelly Caesar.  In KC we have offers from Paul and Billie McClain and Tyler and Kenna Stephenson.

We are so thankful for the offers and we may jump on one of them.  But it is more complicated then that.  We have 2 cats, 1 dog, and 6 humans at the house.  Who can accommodate that line up???

Cathy and I have argued about what we should do.
Here is the information that turned a corner for me.  My neighbor, 75 year old widower Mike is staying.  My new neighbors Roy and Jackie are staying my neighbor Greg, his wife and two boys are staying.  Chad, Steve, Jeff and Roxy from Bobby's restaurant are all staying.

I can't leave my neighbors.  I won't leave my neighbors.  Donna Eaton if I lived next to you I would never leave you.  Kim Berwald, Aaron Israelite,
Brittney Jacobs, Amy Bartlett, Brian Dunn, and 75 others of you, if you were my neighbor, I would not, not ever leave you.

I can't imagine a scenario where they wake up after weathering the storm and I pull back into town having dodged the storm.

As far as it stands right now, we are staying.
I hope you understand that.
If I was your neighbor would you leave me?
of course not.

We are staying.

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


Thursday, September 7, 2017

comfort the afflicted


When I was in seminary [back in the horse and buggy days] they used to drill into our brains this statement: "to be a pastor is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."  Unfortunately much of American Christianity is centered around comforting the comfortable.

I recently ran across a different version of that statement.
"You can't comfort the afflicted without afflicting the comfortable."   Princess Diana

There is so much that we can do in this world to help others, but we must leave our comfort zone to do so.  Go out of your way to help someone else today.  You will be glad that you did.

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




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Ouch


wind chime on left end
My friend Dave fell off of a ladder some years ago and broke his shoulder.  I fell off a ladder and broke a plant.

So I was going to hang up this wind chime on the bottom of the gutter on the front porch.  I do things like this because I can’t sit still.  I must always be doing something.  When I die, I think the world will stop and rest for a bit…. I just can’t.

So the ground in Florida is sand.  Florida is a giant sand bar.  I set up the ladder and was up on the top hooking up the wind chime when the ladder fell into a sink hole.  Down I went.  I grabbed onto the gutter to break my fall, and then I fell to the ground.  When I hit, I landed on this plant, and broke it in half.  The right half of the plant just sheared off.  I felt terrible.  I apologized to my wife.  
right side was broken off

Then I thought, "Hey this is Florida, anything grows here."  So I dug a hole and stuck the broken
piece in the ground.  Maybe it will come back.  If you are not from Florida, the thought of breaking off a branch, sticking it into the ground and expecting it to grow has to sound pretty ridiculous.
Right side has a new life!

The first few weeks were pretty tenuous.  It died from the bottom up, one leaf at a time.  Then I moved one of the sprinkler drips over by it. 
The plant has made an amazing recovery.  It is going to live.  Sheared off from it’s trunk, it is going to live.

What is the moral of this story? 
You may have something very painful happen to you.  You may think that you cannot survive. 
But you can.  And you will.

Grab onto the gutter and anything else that you can.  Drink deep of the water of life.  You can still live.  In God's economy nothing is broken beyond repair.

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



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

the questions we ask

One of my favorite stories is Jesus' story of the Good Samaritan.  It must have infuriated the Pharisees that the hero of the story was a Samaritan, someone that they considered inferior.  Jesus had a way of messing with the minds of those religious folks who thought that they had it all together.

Anyway, in the story, the Priest and the Levite see the broken man and pass by.  They must have asked themselves the question, "if I stop to help, what might happen to me?"  The Samaritan surely asked the question, "if I don't stop, what will happen to him?"

If you read the Bible looking for judgment, you can find that.  If you read the Bible looking for grace you can find that too.  If you read looking for an excuse to live an easy life, it is there.  If you read looking to be challenged to live outside of yourself, then you can find that too.

The questions that you ask in life will say everything about the answers that you come up with.

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





Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Monday, September 4, 2017

enough

What would be the outcome in the life of a person who finally came to understand the word "enough."

I have enough tools.
I have enough shoes.
I have enough cars.
I have enough of whatever I collect.
I don't need a better house, I have enough.
I have enough jackets.
I have enough hats.
I have enough money.

Oh, when we arrive at the day that we know that we have enough, the rat race is over.  I will no longer spend my time collecting more.  I will simply enjoy living and see the good.  I will have more to give to others, because I am not spending it recklessly on myself.

I have enough.  And I just became a beautiful day in God's world.




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Awake

I recently read a book entitled Awake by Noel Brewer Yeatts.  It is a wonderful book about mission.  Ironically I bought it off the $1 rack at Mardels.

One of the things that stopped me in my tracks was this statement about a personal revelation that she had about her faith.  She said, "I uncovered something unsettling about myself.  I don't really want a relationship with God.  [relationships are two way streets] Here's what I want.  I want to share with God all I feel, all I need, all that grieves me, all that makes me happy, the puzzling things, the hard things, but I would prefer that God keeps his stuff to himself.  I don't want to hear about his pain and grief."

Wow!  Busted.  This reminds me of a Richard Stearn's quote from the book, The Hole in our Gospel.  "May our hearts be broken by the things that break God's heart."

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the need out there.  Be sure to offer yourself to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  If we do that, we will surely see the good.




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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


Saturday, September 2, 2017

I need a dream

So I have been a bit listless.  My trip to the redwoods was very helpful.  On the last night, I stayed at the Mercy Center in Burlingame.  It's an old convent that has been turned into a retreat center.

While there, I met with a spiritual director.  A spiritual director is someone who is trained in spiritual direction.  They don't offer advice as much as they try to help you discover the answer that is right on the tip of your tongue.  They try to get you to articulate your journey and help you discover the next step.

I told this person everything about my life.  She asked a few questions.  At one point she asked me, "what are your dreams?"  I said, "Well, I used to have dreams, and we fulfilled them all.  I used to have a dream and in short order they came to pass.  Now?  I guess I don't have a dream."  AHA!  Maybe that is it.  Maybe I need a dream today.

Lately I was thinking that maybe dreams were for the young, and maybe when you are older, you figure something else out.  But as I look at my life, I love working around the house, I love painting and laying tile.  I love hanging by the pool.  But I think I need a dream.

A dream is like the heartbeat of your life.  I will be asking God about this.  Please take a moment and say a prayer for me that I might find a dream.  God is not done with me yet, or with you.

What are your dreams?

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





Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Friday, September 1, 2017

purpose

I have to admit that since I have been out of the active ministry, I sometimes feel a lack of purpose.  I have to keep reminding myself of this... every day we come into contact with human beings who  need our love.  This is a chance for ministry that I do not want to miss.

"I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate.  It is, after all, to matter:  to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all."     Leo C. Rosten

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





Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Thursday, August 31, 2017

3 kinds of people

A commercial before today's post.  The company that hosts this blog has changed some of it rules.  If you receive this blog by email, you can no longer just hit reply.  The blog comes as a no-reply email.  This is to avoid spam.  So if you would like to reply to a blog email, type in my email address- jsbrink57@gmail.com.  I will love to hear from you, but you can no longer just hit the reply button.  Send me an email!

On to today's post............

This is a generalization.
Read it, hear it:  This is a generalization.  That means it holds some truth, but not all truth.  I find it an interesting thought, but I also sense it's limitations.
It's a generalization.  Ok, disclaimer over, here goes...

There are three kinds of people in this world. Those who carry the banner of judgment, those who carry the banner of grace and those who aren't sure what they're carrying.

To those that choose to carry judgment, everyone is an enemy, everything is something to be for or against. For those who carry the banner of Grace everyone is a friend.  Those that carry grace do not need to have enemies.  They do not need to pick apart every issue or take sides.  They do not see bad or good people.  People that carry grace just see people.

We all have a choice of what banner we will carry in this life.
You only go around once.  Choose well.

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



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I wish



I wish.  I wish I could save you from every hurt.  I wish I could save you from the pain that your parents delivered to you.  I wish I could save you from the results of some of your choices.  I wish I could save you from illness.  I wish I could save you from rejection.  I wish I could help you not worry about your children.  I wish I could wipe away the pain.

I wish it was that easy.  But it isn't.

We are going to hurt.  We are going to be hurt.
So since I can't fix it for you, let me wish for you what I wish for myself.
Take a little time, as little as possible to be mad.  Then move on and start to process what happened.  Make it your goal to move through the situation rather than being stuck.
Keep working on it.

I wish I could fix it for you but since I can't let me encourage you to keep going.  Keep your chin up.  Keep plugging along.  Life has it's hurts.  We just need to decide how we will respond to them.  Don't let them eat your lunch.  Life is still good.

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





Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

stages of grief

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book entitled, On Death and Dying, introduced her five stages of grief.  I would like to add a sixth.

Here are her five stages:
  1. Denial – The first reaction is denial. In this stage individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.
  2. Anger – When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, they become frustrated, especially at proximate individuals. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; "Who is to blame?"; "Why would this happen?".
  3. Bargaining – The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromise. For instance: "I'd give anything to have him back." Or: "If only he'd come back to life, I'd promise to be a better person!"
  4. Depression – "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "I'm going to die soon, so what's the point?"; "I miss my loved one, why go on?"
    During the fourth stage, the individual despairs at the recognition of their mortality. In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time mournful and sullen.
  5. Acceptance – "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it; I may as well prepare for it."
    In this last stage, individuals embrace mortality or inevitable future, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event. People dying may precede the survivors in this state, which typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable condition of emotions
I would like to add a stage six:  Savoring.  Yes that terrible thing happened.  Yes I am sick.  Yes so and so really did me wrong.  But as I move thru the stages and come to accept my current reality, I choose not merely to survive, but to savor the gift of my life.

I grieved the death of my father for years, but after a time, the grief turned to a savoring- a joyful gratitude for his life.  I hope not to simply be remembered when I am gone, I hope to be savored. 

May we learn to do more than tolerate life's difficulty.  May we learn to savor life along the way.  Oh what a joy it is!!!

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




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Monday, August 28, 2017

blessed are those


Sometimes we think that we have been done wrong when we really just need to look at a situation more objectively.  But sometimes we are certainly done wrong.

I have a friend who was recently done wrong by a home owners association.

I was recently done wrong by a car dealer.  I had a signed contract for a vehicle and the dealer sold it to someone else.  Bad news?  Good news?  Who knows?  [see Wednesday Aug 9 posting]

The point that I want to make today is this.... yes we are done wrong sometimes.  We can be angry, and we can stew over the situation.  We can even become bitter and hold a grudge.

Blessed are those who forgive the sins of others.
Do you wish to be released from your feelings about the situation?
Blessed are those who forgive the sins of others.

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




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Sunday, August 27, 2017

lose control

My Pastor told a story about a baseball game where the pitcher was waiting for a sign from the catcher.  One after the other, the pitcher shook off every sign the catcher gave.  Finally the catcher went out to the mound and said, "look, I have given the sign for every pitch that you can throw.  What is up?"  The pitcher said, "I just can't do it, I'm afraid that I might lose control."

We all like to be in control.  We like to make sure that life goes just how we want it to go.  We hold tightly to the reigns.  We want nothing to mess up the rhythm of our life.

Yet we are not in control.  We make plans and God laughs.  In Luke 12 Jesus tells the story of a man who had a great harvest and decided to build bigger barns to hold it all.  But that very night, he passed on into eternity.  What became of his plans?

We may think that we are in control, but it is a complete illusion.

We are not in control.  We can make the best decisions that we can, but there are some factors, some aspects of life where we just have to trust God.  Do all you can, and then trust in God.

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




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Saturday, August 26, 2017

ready

On Sunday Pastor Tim said, "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

It reminded me of a story about a young man who did not apply himself in college.  Years later a professor was asked if the young man had been his student.  The professor replied, "he attended several of my classes, but he was never my student."

Sometimes we are not ready to learn.  Sometimes we think that we know it all.  I used to say to my kids, "you can learn these lessons from me, or just let life teach you."  Be well assured- life is a very good teacher, and it has a way of painfully opening our minds.

Sometimes we pour ourselves into people trying to help them get it, but they have to learn it on their own, they have to do it their own way.  And who knows, maybe their way will work out just fine.

We can never learn from anyone else until the receptive student part of our heart is open.

Do I know it all?  NO.
Who am I learning from?  Who are you learning from?

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



Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Friday, August 25, 2017

Redwoods


For 12 years I have taken an annual trip, a pilgrimage to the Redwood forest.  I have actually missed the trip the last two years with all of the moving going on.  But this year, I have again made it to the Redwoods.  In the past I have always gone south, to Loma Mar, Pescadero, and Felton, California.  This year I decided to go north.  I am staying in Ft. Bragg California in Mendocino County.


On Wednesday I got up at 4am.  My flight left Melbourne Florida at 6am.  I arrived in San Francisco at noon, which is 3pm Florida time.  I rented a car and drove 4 hours to Ft. Bragg.  Long day of travel.


Yesterday was my first day of doing what I do in the redwood forest.  Hike in.  Find a place to sit.  To sit, to reflect, and read.

In the first picture you see an old redwood stump that was cut after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.  It is surrounded by 5 or 6- 100 year old trees that sprung from it's roots.  I'm sure that there is an interesting lesson there.  We are all cut down at some point.... what will spring from our roots?

The last picture is my typical setting.  A picnic table in the shade of the redwoods.  A little reading, a little reflecting, a little talking with God.

Times like this should be required for every human.  It is so refreshing to renew your soul in the quiet.

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





Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

be the good

My good friend Margaret Lightfoot posted this video on her facebook page.  It is well worth the watch.

https://www.facebook.com/powerofpositivity/videos/10154725279452371/

This is the essence of Christianity, acting out our faith.  Being in mission, every day, every moment.  Seeing every person as a person of worth.

We do not do these things because we are trying to earn God's love.  We can't earn God's love.  We do these things, we act this way, we live this way, because this is the sweet spot of life.  For this type of living we were created.

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




Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

so many great thoughts here

There are so many great thoughts in this quote.

The world has not devoted itself to making you happy?  Then apply yourself to making the world a better place.  Spend every ounce of lifeforce that you have to love others.  You may just find the happiness in giving yourself away.

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






Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

dreams







I love this quote, and I am happy for the dreams that I have had in this life.  And I am very thankful for every person who helped make dreams become a reality.


As a retired person, someone who is definitely closer to the end than the beginning, I don't know that I have any more big dreams for life.  But I do want to do this.... I want to encourage every person who does have dreams and visions for life to pursue them with all their might.


Nothing meaningful was ever accomplished without a lot of hard work.  Let my voice join 1,000 others to cheer you on as you pursue the dreams of your heart.


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


Travel with Pastor Jeff

Italy's Historic and Religious Sites
November 7-16, 2017
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/it17-brinkman-17768#eotours

Holy Land via Jordan
March 5-14 2018
http://www.eo.travelwithus.com/tours/hl18-brinkman-030518j-17768#eotours

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