Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Caution: Toys You Play With May Alter Your Life Forever....

So I was having lunch yesterday with a friend who was showing me the plans for the new house he and his wife are building.  It is going to be a very cool story ranch with full finished basement.  The property is awesome and the house is going to be sweet!

But he was relating how difficult it has been at times for his wife to visualize how things will look.  As we talked, it dawned upon me a notion that I had latently thought about but never fully expressed: that men tend to think better spatially because of the toys they play with as children.

Seriously...I played for countless hours in our "dad-made" sandbox with my matchbox cars and Tonka toys.  I developed some serious transportation systems in that sand and in the piles of dirt around our home addition in the early '70's.  I built untold numbers of homes from Lincoln Logs and the set of "Bricks" we had...a precursor to Legos.  And I believe those years of looking down on my imaginary world, literally looking down, taught me to think about things from a bird's perspective.  I believe it allows me to visualize things and imagine things from an aerial perspective better than children who played with dolls (read: GIRLS!).

For what it's worth, that is the unveiling of my long-held view.  Now bring on those sexist retorts!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


So let me just tell you how much I love working with the kids God has put in my life at The Pittsburgh Project.  My main responsibility is 3rd and 4th graders and we do all kinds of, Bible studies, prayer and worship, tutoring, ecology, performing arts, field trips, and the like.  Good times are to be had by all!!!

But what really trips me up every time is their humor and their love for life.  The other day I was "in the face" of one of my third grade boys trying to reel him into control and scare him into some respect.  While I'm in his face with my voice slightly raised and my face working hard to look serious and stuff, he says "Mr. Brett, did you shave today?  You need to shave...your whiskers are getting long." 

So I'm like trying to keep from laughing and maintain my tough guy stance, but to no avail.  I busted out laughing, and he did too.  Thank you Jesus for the joy you show us in the lives of kids.  Thanks for reminding us that we must become like them to truly experience the kingdom of God...

Friday, May 14, 2010


So on Wednesdays at The Pittsburgh Project, we always have staff meetings.  They start at noon with a brown bag lunch, then some sharing time, then a Bible study and prayer.  I love Wednesdays because I love our times together.

However this week was a real treat.  Our Executive Director (and/or our chaplain-type-person) provided lunch, then brought the ice cream man to our alley and we all got free ice cream!!!  (Lib called it a "sessy," which she says means gift.  None of us never heard the term!)  I got a Heath Ice Cream Bar...yummy indeed.  It was fun as all 50 or so of us lined up like little kids...and it was a blast to see the smiles of childlike joy from each person as they walked back with their favorite frozen treat.  Then we played games in the pong, air hockey, four-square, fusbol.  It was a great afternoon.

That is one of the many things I am enjoying about the ministry of TPP...that there is a true sense of teamwork and an unforced balance of hard work and playing together.   One feels appreciated there because one IS appreciated there.  My hats off to our TPP leadership, and I continue to serve with joy, with or without the ice cream!!!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Requiem for a Friend

A friend died of cancer this week .  She loved the things that God created for us to and plants, animals, and the people in her life.  She loved to laugh and she loved to make others laugh too.  She was a giving soul, and I was blessed to know her, albeit not as well as I would have liked....

Her passing has me down...she was too young and it seems to unfair and so hard for her husband and daughters.  The thought of not being able to be there at her daughters' wedding or being able to move to Florida to fulfill a longtime dream is such a bummer.

In her last days, her husband said to me that some things just don't seem that important in the light of what was happening.  How fleeting life can be and how we seem to focus on the truly unimportant and often ignore the things that mean the most.

So today, in MB's honor, I am going to try all the more to focus on the things that mean the most to me:  My God, my wife, my family, my friends, and my ministry to a lost and hurting world.  Love and obedience...the things that God desires the most...are the things I seek to give today.