Breezes--Pastor Brian Martin's Blog

"The wind blows where it wishes, you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:8

The Lake and the Zoo

Travelling at break-neck speed on the Autobahn, I was deep in thought as the beautiful farmland blurred by. The lush countryside and gentle rolling farmland reminded me of Lancaster County. I felt very much at home. As we exited the highway, a deeper beauty unfolded like a painted canvas as we entered the lush farmland framed with treelined fencerows. Hidden from the Autobahn, small farming villages, with picturesque quaint Germanic homes, dotted the countryside. It was like paging through a picture book of meticulously placed, air-brushed photos which passed by my window. The beauty was stunning. Despite the beauty, I Read More »

The Enemy Within

Spring is here! With the glory of spring comes the territorial posturing of birds as romance unfolds and ambitious nesting plans follow. Recently as I went to my vehicle, dirt, grime, and bird droppings greeted me–covering the mirror and expanding across the entire window–and dutifully dripping down the entire door panel. Muddied wing marks were plastered over these areas as this bird forthrightly engaged this intruder and vehemently confronted the threat. Obviously a lot of energy, anxiety and passion was exerted by this bird against the belligerent foe it faced in the mirror. The next day, I parked in the Read More »

The Parking Lot and the Wind

I grimaced and leaned in against the cold February wind, hurriedly sprinting across the parking lot as I sought the comfort of my vehicle. The west wind was stiff and relentless. However, my dreamy ambition was solidly interrupted. I found myself invited into a parking lot conversation. I zipped up my coat and hunkered down amidst the unfolding conversation. I attempted to focus on the dialogue as the wind mercilessly bit through my clothing. I looked longingly at my vehicle, mere feet from where I stood. I began imagining its temperature controlled comfort and heated seat, all of which awaited Read More »

Perseverance as a Noun

Perseverance is one of those words often appearing in beautiful calligraphy and astutely framed on an office wall. The mere presence of this word commands respect and boldly invites its reader to absorb and ponder its significance. I often observe this word standing alone, accompanied by a mind-numbing image of what perseverance looks like, or the word perseverance is threaded into a series of words which creates a profound statement. Either way, whether an associated image or cleverly crafted slogan, the intended purpose is to generate enthusiasm or, at the very least, stir up warm fuzzies for its reader or Read More »

The Massive Doors

Last summer, my wife Shirley and I had opportunity to experience a thirty-five-day learning tour in Israel. The experiences where unending and life-changing. The group who hosted us was incredibly connected. Despite the complexities of deep division and hatred which existed among the religious communities and the disputed real estate and holy sites, our hosts ably nurtured deep relationships with the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders. As result, this trust and favor opened spaces typically inaccessible to the public. One experience stuck with me in a unique and unforgettable way. One evening, two pastors and I were invited to spend Read More »

A Dark Place

Recently, a series of bizarre events unfolded in my personal life and ministry which shook me to my core. Several events were explainable and the result of our broken humanity and fallen world. Several other events, however, were unexplainable, creepy, and downright unnerving. As the explainable and unexplainable came crashing into my life simultaneously over several days, I found myself disoriented, deeply shaken, and in a place of hopelessness and despair. This was a place where I had never been before—a very dark place. I am typically cautious to spiritualize events in my life; however, I recognize blatant spiritual attack Read More »

The Power of the Rudder

Recently I was privileged to participate in a tuna fishing trip. We were on the road at midnight as our charter guide wanted to leave the pier promptly by 4:00 AM.  Upon our arrival, our guides wasted little time throwing our few items in the small twenty-four-foot boat. A mechanical breakdown the evening before placed us in this smaller backup boat. Within minutes, the 250-horsepower engine had us skimming and bouncing across the sea to the desired fishing spot some seventy miles into the Atlantic. As we departed, I noted the small boat had no seats except for the few Read More »

Disparities…where to begin

Over the years, I have been blessed to travel to various corners of the world. Without fail, these experiences shake and form me deeply, continually reshaping my world view as a follower of Christ. Yet, I must acknowledge as a disciple of Jesus when I observe the disproportionate distribution of resources across the globe, I am presented with one of the greatest tensions in faith. I find myself attempting to reconcile the disparity of necessary daily human resources such as water, food, clothing and shelter. Why do I have access to much while others have so little? Often times the Read More »