Monday, May 30, 2011

God's Got This

This is my reminder that the world's redemption does not rely on me! That good wins and that God has got this. I need to remind myself that not only does God win the battle but that He is the ultimate victor that people rely on including me.

God's Got this.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

It's a Battle

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God... take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6

We can so easily forget that we are in a spiritual battle and struggle. This is my weekly reminder that life is a battle which means i should expect wounds and attacks. God is on my side so the victory is certain, but it is good to acknowledge the reality we face.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

it's a battle.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

20 Power Minutes

When i was in New Zealand i had a reminder pop up on my computer every day that said:


It was my everyday reminder to enjoy and be thankful for where God had placed me.
Once a week in Lansing, i have a reminder that pops up with Phrases God has laid on my heart that i constantly want to remind myself of:
  1. It's a battle
  2. God's Got This
  3. Bedazzle
  4. How Can I serve?
  5. No Negative
  6. GOD'S Spirit is in me
  7. Prayer for my Family
  8. 1 Letter of Encouragement
And Yes... now i have a 4pm reminder that says


Thursday, May 26, 2011

DAWG (Day Alone With God)

I'm not sure if you have ever had a day where you practiced the idea of solitude and went off for yourself for hours at time to spend time with God, but it is well worth it and a suggestion i would make for everyone, especially those who are in ministry. Its often called a Day Alone With God.

I have heard it said that it is good to get into rhythms of
Daily: Prayer/Reading
Weekly: Sabbaths
Monthly: Days Alone with God
Yearly: few day/week retreat
(I am actually trying to implement this more into my schedule now)

I was able to have a Day Alone with God at the Beginning of the month and here were a few things that stood out from my time with the Lord:
  • We Need to Focus More on What We're Made to be instead of What we Could Be
  • Our Gifts are given to us by God to edify the church
  • If you want a Definitive answer, Pray for God's promises more than your wants because God always follows through on his Promises.
I was reading Unforgotten God by Francis and it asked me to list out my fears of giving myself fully to the Holy Spirit. Here were some of my hold ups I listed:

  • Becoming Weird/unrelatable/overbearing if speak in tongues
  • What family and church will think (small concern)
  • Becoming unstable emotionally & rationally
  • No system for proactiveness
  • Fear of not being productive: always talking or being drawn to conversation instead of work as a relational person. Mislabeling or attributing natural wants as the Holy Spirit prompting.
I appreciated the book challenging, that although we may all have our holds ups as to what it may look like, that as Christians, all fears aside, we should all desire more of the Holy Spirit. We may differ on what that looks like, but our fears should not make us quit pursuing to see more of the Holy Spirit and God in our lives either way.

Seriously, think about how you can take a day or a half a day alone with God in June.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Mom is Awesome!

She has always been a one of my biggest supporters and prayer warriors.
Just Recently she got a droid phone and has been sending me random pictures over the past few weeks that i was supposed to piece together.
One or two through me off because i wasn't sure how they related to me..... and there were way more pictures than these four but what it was...
was my mom saying that she was praying for me continually. Her exact words over text were, "U cannot escape our prayers 4 u! In bed throughout the nite, in the car to & from work, special spots: greenchair, ur room, taco bell, sitting in church, under NZ cloudy skies, on a walk, reading ur blog... always praying 4 u with more love and pride than you will ever know!!! O:-) "

You want to know how I live the way I do? Its because of godly loving parents like this that God has placed in my life that i could never replace.

I love you mom

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Does Faith Church Realize How Lucky They Are To Have Brandon Bruce?

Seriously Though,
Does Faith Church Realize How Lucky They Are To Have Brandon Bruce?
No, this is not me trying to suck up.
No, this is not Brandon hacking into my account.
No, this is not because there is a problem in the church.
Just something that Needs to be said.
Too often we can forget to appreciate what we have.
Too often senior pastors can't make everyone happy and people can forget to focus on the 100 great things instead of the 1 bad thing.

Faith Church is growing
Brandon is a man of God with character.
Brandon has a heart for the lost and the church.
Brandon has continued to build excitement which has led to more and more people coming through the church doors.
Brandon is stretching people to take risks for the Lord and stay on the frontline of reaching this next generation.
Brandon tries to care for those under Him as a part of His team.
It also helps that he has such an awesome, godly, and supportive wife!
Thank you God for being in control and leading and sending Brandon here to Lansing, MI.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Unanswered Questions #8: How involved is God in our lives

I have seen people go to both ends of how involved God is in our daily decisions
One Extreme:
I had one Sunday school teacher who said: God cares about everything in our daily lives
She prayed for front spots to the grocery store and God gave them to her
Another Bible Study Leader said that God laughs with him and i thought to myself as a teenager "God never really laughs with me..."
Another Bible Class teacher said that biting my fingernails and what candy bar i ate were spiritual issues and i kind of smirked as a teenager thinking, Really?!?
I had another very analytical boss who said he never didn't analyze things! This thought alone exhausted me as a college Student

Other Extreme:
God doesn't care about anything in your daily life.
Basic idea of Deism: God is up there but not involved in our lives.
Doesn't care about sports and the outcome
Doesn't tell you what food to eat or not eat
Doesn't answer small requests because he has bigger issues at hand

What I have learned: I respect those who do live in a constant conversation and relationship with God; that truly is the goal of our lives. The Danger is I have seen people get borderline extreme, crazy, and to the point where they can't seem to understand other people & where other people can't understand them. I'm not sure if they go spirit led, or just socially awkward at times.

When is walking with God Spirit led vs being overly analytical because sometimes the thought of God caring about every detail of my life kinda exhausts me.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Unanswered Question #7: The Balanced Life

Where is the balanced life?
rich or poor?
active or laid back?
love or justice?

I think balance it the answer to a lot of life, but finding the the right level of tension can be so hard at times.
  • Generosity is more important than rich or poor and that can look different...
  • Obeying God is more important than how much or little you do...
  • and the list goes on.
This is probably one of my most frustrating issues in my life since i like concretes. It is good yet stretching to have to try and live in the balance.

In regards to be overly self-righteous or overly foolish the Bible makes this clear statement:

"Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes." Ecclesiastes 7

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Power & Might=Endurance & Patience

This is not the equation I would've naturally put into my head but it seems to be what the Bible teaches:
"being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience" Colossians 1:11

Usually i think of getting power to make things happen NOW in the way you envision.... I usually think of endurance and patience being things you need LATER when things aren't happening the way you envisioned....

He gives us power for the long run, not simply for our whimsical wants.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Here is how the conversation with my dentist went a few weeks back.

Dentist: “How has your day been?”

Me: “Havin fun and working away”

Dentist: “I don’t really want either of those”

Me: “Haha. Then what would you want?”

Dentist: “Peace.”

Me: (silenced and put in my place)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Unanswered Question #6: Swearing

One of my questions that even bugged me as a kid were swear/cuss words.

There were certain words you just didn't say. They were just seen as bad.

And one day in Awanas when i was still in elementary school I read
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:16 King James Version

It really confused me to know that the Bible could say something that i was told was "wrong" to ever say.

Since then I have heard a pastor go so far as to say that Paul's emphasis in Phil 3:7 would seem to denote that "loss" would have more of the same emphasis of the "S" word to be correctly translated.

and as an amused kid, i found 1 Samuel 25:22 especially hysterical!
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall. King James Version

Please here me out. I do not want to throw the baby out with the bath water. I don't think that the words we call swear or cuss words rarely if ever stack up as appropriate in consideration of Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

There is a respect problem today. A lot of priests back in the day would not even say or write God's full name out and today we throw around and misuse things and people worthy of respect in a way that is sinful at times in my opinion.

The is also a legalism problem today. As a kid it was probably good i didn't go around slinging any word i wanted but it still does crack me up that i would have trouble saying a word out loud and also wonder what some other Christians might think around me, that i would freely be able to read in the Bible!

There will always be a little bit of this issue being subjective based on where you live and what is seen as inappropriate to say, but as a person who wants to represent Christ in what i believe he would say and do, i would always err on the side of keeping my language pure and Godfilled.

No one should seek their own good. but GOD and the good of others (my own addition)
If we chose our words in light of this idea in v 24, I think we would filter a lot of our words out of unselfishness.

23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 1 Cor 10

There is a lot more here, but i just didn't want to dig into this issue to deeply. Just acknowledge another ongoing inner dilemma at times.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Church work is not for cowards. That's for Sure!

Quote from Michelle Fischer in the staff devotions this morning:

Church work is not for cowards. That's for Sure!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life to the Full

I have never thought about "Life to the full" in food terms:

Jesus says
" I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10
Chris Conrad two Sundays ago was using a food analogy and compared food that fill vs food that leaves you more hungry. He was saying how they can resemble the activities/things in our life that are temporary and leave us always wanting more vs. eternal things that fulfill and it really helped me make this connection in my head:

You can have life to the full when your doing things that leave you filled instead of activities that's always leaving you needing more.

For Instance: Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. Ecclesiastes 5:10

Sometimes it feels like the ministry I am doing can be heavy,
but I take for granted that it is satisfying versus the other things that i could be doing that look good, but in the end i will have to go back for more because it will never fill the God hole and the God giftings i have been created with and for.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:10

Sometimes I pray to God for more strength and motivation, but the truth is that I very rarely to NEVER question whether what i do is wasteful or unfulfilling, because in my opinion, there is nothing better than being a part of God working in people. This is always working towards heaven which, in my opinion, is the epitome of full.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some New Experiences

These were just some new experiences from the past few months

I have been to chicago...
but i have never been to
Wrigley Field where the Chicago Cubs play before

MSU's Glee Club
I had never seen a live glee club perform until to seeing MSU's recently
Athletes In Action Friends and Banquet
I have been involved with sports my whole life but never so familiar with sports ministry on a campus as i have had the chance to with Athletes in Action. I was able to attend their end of the year banquet and it was fun to see how many faces I already new and have connected with.

Friday, May 13, 2011

My epitaph

A long time ago I was asked, what would you want to people to say about you after you were gone? how would you want them to remember you?

Hopefully it would go something like this:


Brent lived life to the full. …But it wasn’t just for himself. His life centered around others and God, that’s what made it full.

Words that described him were: sacrificial, inspiring, encouraging, passionate, strong, and generous

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Unanswered Question #5: Who is truly saved?

This question is hard. This is one of the reasons why Rob Bell's Love Wins has been such a conversation starter.

The debate of Inclusivists vs. exclusivists and how many go to heaven has gone on for years.
What exactly is salvation and when are we sure it has happened in a person?
Are Catholics in or out? what about Jews?
It does seem clear in the Bible but is can also vary a little from person to person it seems. We have a pretty good idea that the only way guaranteed by God in the Bible is through faith in the person of Jesus who not only died to take care of our sins but has the power to raise himself and others from the dead.

At the same time, the Bible is clear that God is the only one who can truly read all the hearts of men. So we can do our best to point people to Christ and warn them from the danger we can see on the outside, but always being aware that we cannot see a all of a person and everything about them the way God does.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Unanswered Questions #4: How did Brent get so good looking?

i don't know either, this one is just unfathomable to me! :)

One to also be debated for centuries to come...

(This is a comic relief blog... please don't take it even slightly seriously!!! :)

Monday, May 09, 2011

Unanswered Question #3: Jesus and Politics

Should Jesus/Christianity be in Politics?

I never would've even posted something like this until after I went to New Zealand.
The idea of "separation of church and state" took on new meaning.
Where our Presidents have always claimed to be Christian on some level, New Zealand's last two prime ministers would more likely be characterized as agnostic(believing that you can't fully know if God is real).
All that to say, Due to our difference in leadership where Americans seemed more comfortable with the crossover of Christian ideas in the government, some of my New Zealand friends seemed to believe that Christianity in the political system could potentially create more blurred the lines.

This came to a head in the last Obama election. One of the big debates was "Is Obama leading us down a road that is contrary to what America has always stood for?" and intertwined in that idea was the fear that by beginning to resemble other world governments more, we were not only moving away from a different way of government, but also moving away from some of the intended Christian values in our system.
Were we making more friends because we were legitimately making progress based on the rest of the world or were we making more friends because less people would hate us for standing up for a potentially different way of doing government where Christian values were attempted to be more intertwined in the workings of the system?
(Given: I have friends who would even argue whether the American government actually acts more or less Christian than others)
So another question that will still seem to always remain in my head with at least some abiguity is how much Christianity should be in the government. I want to believe that if the leaders of the government were all committed Christians, that it would just naturally do better, but i know some of my friends who would say being a Christian does not make you the best leader for a nation.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Unanswered Question #2: To be Bold or not to be?

No one wants to be the Christian who thinks they know everything. The one that does more harm than good in their prideful overbearing attempts to stand for truth.
But no one wants to be the Christian who does not take the gospel seriously and urgent enough to ever respond and find the opportunity to share the truth of the gospel.
Whether the moment requires bold answers for truth to be heard or not is a second question that I think we will have to wrestle with our entire lives.

Friday, May 06, 2011

What Happens if i Don't check facebook or my Email for a day?

What Happens if i Don't check facebook or my Email for a day?
There is this draw or fear that i have to check it for some odd reason and i'm not sure it is legit.

So That is my test for the day from May 5-May 6th.

I failed.
(This was my "Look mom at what i wore for easter!" text)

I checked my fb/email by around 5pm that day...

I was was more focused and productive at work because i began right

I did have:
emails: +21
fb notifications: +12
fb messages: +8
over the 24 hour period (a lot for some/childs play for others! haha)

But i was able to reclear those down to "0" again by Friday morning in about an hour.

In the future, I will most likely try to not check emails on work days until later in the day for better focusing.

Unanswered Question #1: When to Do and When to Wait

There are some great debates or questions that are still somewhat unanswered in my head. I am going to reflect on a few of those over this month.

The picture below is not one of those for me. It should always be over from my opinion.
When to Do and When to Wait
Talk to them about Christ this moment or not?
Take the job or wait for something else?
Get involved with more responsibility or not?

There's that moment where you hit a wall or a moment of uncertainty and i wonder, "Is God telling me to take more action and push forward to succeed or is he telling me i'm trying too hard and i need to pull back and wait?"

As my second mom in New Zealand said, "This is a question i think we will have to wrestle with the rest of our lives."

I am welcome to any comments with insight from the scriptures or your opinion. My best answer although still subjective at times is prayerfully being Spirit led in situations.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

God Watching Over Me.

I really like what these three pictures taken in the last 8 months symbolize:

My mom pointed out in this first picture that it looks like "God's eye" in this tree from my front yard and said it symbolized to her that God was looking out for me.
I love the posture of this second picture taken in the Grand Canyon. The Sun is so Bright and the rays just look like God to me. I feel like my posture on the rock is how i have been coming to the Lord since being here. Humbly at his service and waiting to hear from Him.
and the last picture was from a youth event this last weekend which has a lot of core people from the student ministries and really symbolizes a year of God's fruitfulness and blessing in this ministry and friendships.

Thanks God, for watching over me.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

How can I serve you?

In college I wanted to start a ministry called "How can i serve you?" where i would simply go around and be available to be a helping hand whenever someone needed. To ask the question "How could i be a help to you today?" without nothing better to do than be by their side as a helping hand.
Jesus, consistently says that the servant is truly the greatest:
Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.

and that serving is a part of God's long term plan or us and Him.
It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.

We need to practice becoming joyful servants for eternity. Last week I was asking myself repeatedly, How can i serve the people and other leaders I am leading at church at this moment? This chorus came to me as I was reflecting on Jesus washing Peter's feet just before his crucifixion:

As we come together
Lord, please wash my feet
As we come together
show me what this means

I want Christ to serve me and wash my feet not because i want to demand anything from Him or seem higher but because i want Jesus to truly be my Teacher- even on how to serve.

and I really want to ponder and ask the question: What does it mean for me to minimize the "I wants" and to put to the forefront the God wants and other people's needs?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

I think i will read all of 1 Corinthians 15 every Easter in the future. I just found it this last week as a reminder of the importance of the resurrection and have loved dwelling on its magnitude!

17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins...

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.