It’s Getting Hot in Here

As commented on previous via Twitter, our A/C started to not work last Friday. Here is a recap of the adventure!

– Last Friday at about 8 pm in the evening, our A/C began to not work correctly (the thermostat read 85)

– Because we have a new baby in the house, it dangerous to have a baby sleep in a hot house, I started calling every A/C place in the phone book to come out. Because it was Friday night at 8pm nobody was available.

– Me and the rest of the family (including the dog) piled into the car and we checked ourselves into a hotel for the night.

– I was hoping the a good night’s sleep in a air conditioned room but between the baby crying and the dog barking at every noise, I got maybe three hours of sleep.

– On Saturday morning I was able to reach a friend of my neighbor to meet me at the house and look at the A/C unit to determine what was wrong. We met up and he told me that he would be back later in the day to fix the problem.

– I returned to the hotel to pick up the family and get us settled back into the warm house for the day. With fan running on high, we proceeded to wait out the day until our new repairman could return

– At around 8pm on Saturday night, our A/C was fixed! We were able to sleep in cool comfort!

I am very thankful for my neighbor Erica and her referral of our new repair guy Keri! By calling him instead of an A/C company I saved myself quite a bit of money. I also have been reading the stories of friends and family who had their A/C go out in the last few days. It is funny how much a  rather  non important  thing like A/C becomes so important to us? What if we liked in a third-world country and did not have A/C? It is easy to take our modern comforts for granted isn’t it?

This past Sunday, James at Westridge Church Chspoke about not worrying and I would like to say that I was not worried about getting the A/C fixed but I was. Jesus taught me though this experience that he knows my needs and will meet them if I focus my attention upon him and not my comfort. Thank you Jesus for the vivid reminder of kingdom perspective!

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A Year Ago Today…

On this date last year, Melissa and I boarded a plane in Dayton OH and arrived in Atlanta GA for a weekend visit and interview with Velocity Church. It was shortly after visiting that we decided to accept the position with Velocity and move to Atlanta.

A lot has happened in a year’s time: we moved to Atlanta, bought our first house, and on Monday welcomed my daughter Savannah into the world. Through it all God has provided and been our source of encouragement and support. And while our time in Atlanta has not turned out the way that I had hoped it would, I could not be more happy and blessed to be a child of God, a husband, and father.

I can only begin to imagine where I will be a year from today and what I will be doing, but my hope and prayer is that I am in the same place in my life with God and with my family.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20. 21)

Savannah Kathleen Brunke

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Yesterday Melissa and I welcomed our daughter Savannah Kathleen into the world at 1:08 pm. I am excited and scared at the same time that I am now a dad. I know that I will cherish yesterday and the time will fly by and soon I will be watching my little girl start to date boys, and drive a car, and leave home. I promise that I will love her forever and will do my best to be a man worthy of being called her father.

The Car Seat Fisco of Yesterday

In preparation for the little one to arrive, Melissa and I headed over yesterday to Marietta to have our car seat and bases checked out for safety. Upon arriving at the place, we quickly discovered that because of the way that the seat was designed it would not fit our cars. Now understand that I drive a Nissan Pathfinder SUV which is not small and Melissa drives a Honda Accord. But that was not going to work for our car seat because of the clearance needed for the handle. The passenger seat on the Nissan was almost all the way forward and it would not even lock into place in the back seat of the Honda.

After making this discovery Melissa and I returned home to scour the house for the receipt to our car seat/stroller. After getting in touch with my family we were able to get the receipt and exchange the car seat/stroller for one that would fit in our vehicles. In the end we wound up with a nicer car seat for the same money as the other one we got from my family.

Lessons learned from this experience: make sure the car seat fits in your car before you put it on your registry!

O the things that happen when you are going to have a baby!

Gifted to Pastor

This past weekend, I spent some time reflecting on my strengths and weaknesses and how they relate to ministry. I began to wonder how in the course of preparing to be a pastor, how do we receive honest assessment from others and assess ourselves if we have the necessary makeup to be a successful pastor? Being a pastor requires a set of skills that are very different than in any other field. Now I am not saying that skills from other fields cannot be translated into success in ministry because I know of people who have been able to move into ministry from another career field. What I am asking is does a 20 year old Bible College sophomore have enough insight into himself and has enough people around them to honestly asses whether they have the right combination of skills & gifts to be a successful pastor? In some cases I believe that they are, but in some other cases that just might not be the case.

In my case, I do not believe that I was self aware enough to really determine if I was going to be successful as a pastor when I was a college sophomore. I certainly did not people in my life who loved me and where honest enough with me to point out my strengths and weaknesses. I do not remember talking about my spiritual gifts and leadership ability until I was much older and had already invested some time into preparing for ministry. Did I make the wrong career choice? Was I prepared to make that choice? It is hard to say and at this point it is water under the bridge, but I think that is worth asking the questions.

My concern now shifts to our up and coming leaders who are in college right now. What are we doing to prepare them to make informed decisions about who they are and how God has made them? Have we set up and encouraged students to form relationships with mentors and friends who can be honest about their strengths and weaknesses and be frank and honest with them about their aspirations to become pastors?

I love the local church and I can think of nothing in the world then I would rather be doing than serving in full-time ministry. Ministry is a very demanding but extremely rewarding job and it takes people with the right skill set to do it very well. I believe that not all of us are gifted to be successful pastors but I believe that we can be made into successful pastors. Some people that I know in ministry are naturals and they were made to do what they do! Other have the desire but require coaching and training to be better.

What do you think…do we need to encourage people who are naturally gifted to become pastors and leaders in the church or can we train/equip people who are not natural leaders but have the desire?