Thursday, August 23, 2018

Freshly Bru'd

For the time being, I will be taking a break from Freshly Bru'd. I am planning to keep this on hold until further notice. As we enter a new ministry season at First Free, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to reassess this ministry. As I rethink the focus and work through the impact of Freshly Bru'd to our church community, l wish to thank you for your years of readership and feedback. 
Pastor Mark "The Bru" Brunott

Thursday, August 16, 2018

I've Got Rhythm

It started this last Monday for over 40,000 Lincoln Public School students and will begin shortly for homeschoolers, private schools, and university students. School – class – education. With the start of a school year comes a new routine, and it usually takes a few days to get into a rhythm.

I think it’s easy to forget that God created the world with a rhythm by which we work for six days, followed by a day of rest. All human beings, especially our students, need a rhythm of rest every single day.

We all need to take breaks. Yes – even study breaks, enjoy meals, and get sleep at night so that our bodies may be replenished. Rhythm allows each of us to opportunity to: engage, then disengage; be involved, then withdraw; work, study, contribute, then rest and recover.

When you stop and think about it, God created everything to rest.
  • Nature rests under winter’s blanket of snow (at least in Nebraska).
  • Fields rest when the growing season is over.
  • Bears hibernate.
  • Snakes shed their skins. (Like Indiana Jones, ‘I hate snakes.’)
  • Animals mate according to a natural rhythm.
Unfortunately, the human soul sometimes defies the rhythm that God intended. Carl Honore wrote a book entitled, In the Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed. Written over a decade ago, when things were even slower than they are today, he said, “We mock the seasons by eating imported strawberries in the middle of winter, and hot cross buns, once an Easter treat, all year round. With cell phones, computers, everyone and everything is now permanently available.”

To recognize and live according to God’s rhythms fosters and nourishes life. To ignore and defy, it says, ‘I know best. I know what I need to do and want to do.’ Everything gets twisted when that rhythm is ignored. When we do life our way, the soul dries up.
Solomon had some wise words to say about rhythm. I am sharing Eugene Peterson’s Message with you as he understood Solomon’s wisdom.

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

-Ecclesiastes 3:18

What rhythm allows us to ask is this: What time is it for my soul right now? What does my soul need at this very moment?

Do you have the courage to ask yourself those questions? If you repeatedly ask these questions, you will create a culture of life over drivenness, recovery over burnout, and serenity over anxiety.

Developing a substantial rhythm for your soul is hard work. It demands honest, ongoing conversation with yourself regularly. Every week you and your family ought to ask, ‘Has the pace in which we lived this week been good for us? How can next week be better and more life-giving?’

Try this and the speed of your life might be more in your grasp than you ever realized.

Pastor Mark "The Bru" Brunott
P.S. Did you know God has given you a divine enablement to serve others? Do you consider yourself a person who serves others? Are you generous? These are just some of the questions we are going to answer as we conclude the series "Rooted in Christ" and find greater fulfillment in life. Come join us this Sunday morning, Aug. 19, at 9 or 10:30 am.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

I'm Baaaack!

I am looking forward to returning this Sunday to gather with our church body! I have had a wonderful time of rest with my family during my vacation, and I cannot wait to share some stories with you this weekend. 
In our current series "Rooted in Christ", we have been looking at eight essential characteristics of being a fully devoted follower of Christ. This week we will delve into the importance of sharing our story with others. In conjunction with last week's message, it is powerful considering how we are called as the church - not as individuals but as a team. Sharing who we are and how Christ has impacted our lives is one way we build this team and pursue loving relationships with others in our spheres of influence. Come join us this Sunday morning, Aug. 12, at 9 or 10:30 am.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Vacation (2)

I am savoring the last moments of vacation with my family. As summer winds down, the beginning of school is upon us shortly.  I encourage you to be praying over our leaders and teachers during this time of preparation, as well as for our students' education and well-being as they return to school. 

In our current series "Rooted in Christ", we are examining eight essential characteristics of a fully devoted follower of Christ. This Sunday we will cover the importance of being a part of a gospel-centered community and living a life worthy of the gospel.  Come gather with the church family this Sunday morning, Aug. 5 at 9 or 10:30 am.
Pastor Mark