Hello, I’m Brett.
As of this writing, I’m in my mid-thirties. I’m a son, brother, husband, father, provider, and friend–among other things. Overall, I’m pretty much your average guy in the typical sense.
During the time I’m not at work or asleep, there are many things I enjoy: spending time with my family (wife, kids, extended), just about anything having to do with music in any way, playing with gadgets or working with technology, reading, and writing.
After a long day, I also enjoy vintage video games and a cold draft beer (or several) to wind down.
And I am currently in the early stages of the candidacy process to become a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
It’s that last sentence that usually gets the raised eyebrows.
If you know me personally and have known me for long, you may find this expected–or completely unbelievable.
But if you see it the way I do, you’d say its a little of both. And I think that’s perfectly logical.
After all, looking back at the years of my life, I’m guilty of almost all the Ten Commandments as written (and if by Jesus’ standard in Matthew 5, all of them). Even by conventional secular standards, I’m far from what the average person would associate with the position of “pastor.” I have a temper. I swear like a sailor. I love beer (more than I should). I’ve had more than my share of laughs at the expense of others. I’ve stolen. I’ve gossiped and spread falsehoods (knowingly and unknowingly). Really, the list goes on and on (and on and on).
Yet similarly, from both Jesus’ and the world’s standards, my life has not been only mistakes and misdeeds. I love the Lord my God and do my best to follow His ways. I love, protect, and provide for my family. I give my money and time to causes that help those who are less fortunate (admittedly I could do more), and my wife and I instill the importance of this in our children. I apologize when I’m wrong and work to make it right. I try to show love to others in how I treat them–both with people I know and with people who I do not know. I assist with the confirmation classes at my church, play piano for the youth choir there, and regularly attend services among other things.
Of course, what I’ve come to understand is that my wrongs do no more to disqualify me from being a pastor than my good deeds do to qualify me–just as my misdeeds do no more to “un-earn” the love and salvation of Jesus Christ than do my good deeds to earn it.
No, I’m just like everyone else. Like everyone you or I have ever met.
I’m just a human. Imperfect, fallible, and in need of God’s saving love and grace.
I’m a saint and I’m a sinner at the same time.
And yet, I am loved by God and I am called to share that love with the world.
As I journey through the next several years of preparation for ministry, I plan to chronicle my insights, questions, doubts, frustrations, and joys here. Some of these entries may end up being contradictory, I don’t know. But they will reflect my thoughts and feelings from when they were written. I hope to see over time that my thinking becomes more enlightened, that my heart becomes larger and more open to the will of God and to the circumstances of those around me.
Because ultimately, I’m only a layman. Just an average, normal person–nothing more–just like all the rest of us.