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Showing posts from 2014

Ten Things I Learned about Suicide, #'s 6 and 7

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Continued from a previous post:  http://www.feelmyfaith.com/2014/12/ten-things-i-learned-about-suicide-1-5.html 6.  Parents who have lost children through suicide want you to say their child’s name and talk about their child’s life. During our interview time, Mike mentioned that his son is one of three young men who had died untimely deaths in their family.  Mike tragically lost two nephews.  One was killed in a car accident and the other was lost when a tornado hit a high school in Enterprise, Alabama in 2007.   Mike said that when he is around friends and family, people will freely share memories of the other two boys, but will seldom mention his son.  There may be various reasons, but whatever the reason it reveals a common problem, people don’t know what to say. Mike looked at our congregation on that Sunday and said, “Say their names.  Parents who have lost children through suicide want you to say their names.”  People who have lost loved ones through any manner of dea

Ten Things I Learned About Suicide (1-5)

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A few weeks ago I invited The Director for The Center for Hope , Denny Whitesel and a pastor friend of mine, Mike Jackson, Director of The Office of Leadership and Church Health for the Alabama State Board of Missions, to join me one Sunday morning for a conversation about suicide.  Denny has done extensive work in suicide prevention.  Mike lost a son 11 years ago to suicide.  Here is what I learned. 1.   Suicide is more common than we think and more people in the church are struggling with it than we care to admit.   Joe Carter of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission of the SBC shares these statistics: “In the U.S., there were 38,364 suicides in 2010—an average of 105 each day. On average, one person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes.  An average of one elderly person every hour and 41.4 minutes and an average of one young person every two hours and 2.1 minutes killed themselves. “Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death for all ages in 2010. Suicide is the t

Is God a Fun-Sucker? (An Excerpt from My Book #TheWalk)

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It is difficult for many of us to believe that God wants us to be satisfied.  My wife affectionately refers to me sometimes as a “fun-sucker.”  A “fun-sucker” is someone who can emotionally vaporize every ounce of joy in a room with a single word.  I am a master at the craft. One of our favorite things to do in the spring of the year is to attend the University of Georgia G-Day football game.  The weather is warming.  There is a real family atmosphere in the stadium.  It has been a long, dark winter and it has been a long time since we have seen some football.  Best of all, its free!  A game will cost my family a small fortune in the fall, but the spring game is perfectly priced. We get out of bed the morning of G-Day and the weather is perfect.  Our plan is to stop at a mom-and-pop breakfast joint in our town and grab biscuits on the way to the game.  Apparently, everyone else in the metropolis of Chatsworth, Georgia had the same plan.  We live in a small town with only a few t

How much do you weigh?

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In Psalm 138:3, David writes, “On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.” Life is heavy.  There is a weight in situations and circumstances that cannot be measured with a scale.  There is no physical mass to a hard day, but still you feel and weight of it.   How heavy is the soul?   Can you imagine going through the day, walking up to friends, acquaintances, and strangers and asking them a common question, “How much do you weigh today?”  Talk about getting personal!   And so, I will start the day with you, how much do you weigh today?  I can ask because I am at a safe “no slap” cyber-distance from you through the blog.  Yet, I can also ask, because I am not speaking of the weight of your body, but the weight of your soul.  How about the weight of your day?  Perhaps the weight of your situation?  The weight of the body, you and I mindlessly carry it around day by day.  I think very little of 211.  I’m so used to it, I don’t feel it.  I am wh

The Signal of Christmas

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I pulled up to a major intersection.  It is one of those intersections where there is a designated lane and signal for every turn.  In every direction, right turns, no turns, left turns.  There were two lanes of incoming traffic to my left, three lanes to my right.  In every direction, for every lane, there was a light.  The cornucopia of red lights served to each driver in the intersection a unified message - “Sit here - wait your turn!” On this particular occasion my desire was to turn left.  I have no scientific proof, but it seems like at this intersection the lefties are stranded much longer behind the light than everyone else.  When the left turn signal does finally come, the green light initiates a virtual drag race to the white stripe.  You have only a few seconds to make your move or you are doomed to repeat the cycle again and wait twice as long for your turn. There were four cars in front of me.  Familiar with the situation I reached for my addiction of choice to pass

12 Days of Christmas Bid-A-Way for Adoption

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My friends Sammy and Michelle Tice are raising money to adopt two boys from Ukraine.  I had the honor of serving the Tice's as pastor when we were in Birmingham and I can attest that their decision to adopt is only the latest testament to their ever expanding vision of the gospel.  You can read more about the Tice family and their journey in adoption on their Facebook page, Trust Without Borders .    Numerous businesses have contributed items to the Tice's fund raising effort and they are offering them for bid in a unique campaign, 12 Days of Christmas Bid-A-Way.  This is a great way to get involved with their adoption effort.  I encourage you to bid on their items, learn more about the Tice family, and get involved in bringing their boys home! Some of the things you can bid on - win - and help, include: Starbucks items - I'm for that! A Sephora Gift Card - I have no idea what that is, but it sounds expensive, and woman-ish. An Augtographed Karen Kingsbury book -

Getting the Brain to "Stay" (An Excerpt from My New Book #TheWalk)

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We get a lot of information but have lost the art of meditation.  We know what is happening, but think very little of what it means.  Those who want to go further must also go deeper.   When was the last time you read something from the Bible and thought about it the entire day?When was the last time something you read in the Bible changed the way you saw things throughout the day?  If the brain is constantly interrupted by notifications, giving proper attention to deeper truth is impossible.   Because we are at a place in time and technology in which we want to know so much, we have reached a place in which I believe we know too much.  The fast pace at which we receive notifications is causing the erosion of one of our greatest God given abilities - the ability to think.  We no longer take time to think about what we know.   Isaiah 26:3 says, “ You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. ”  With constant notifications we are not at a

The God of Details (An Excerpt from my new book #TheWalk)

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    You make a critical mistake if you believe that God is not interested in the details of your life.   You may feel that God is uninterested because you are unimportant.   You may not be one of the 40 most influential people under 40 in your city.   You may not be a leader in your company.   The only picture of you in your high school yearbook is the one they made you take in front of a cheesy background in the cafeteria.   You may not think anyone is interested in your steps, but, if you walk with God, He is interested in each one of them.   Look at Psalm 37:23 again.   If you delight in His way, He will take delight in yours.   Another mistake is to believe that God is interested only in the big things.  Whom should I marry?  Where should my kids go to school?  What should I do with my life?  Psalm 37:23 doesn’t say God is interested in your leaps.  God is interested in your steps.  If you will learn to acknowledge God on your way to taking the plunge, you will find that He wo

Pacing the Day (An Excerpt from My New Book #TheWalk)

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pages 28-29 Have you ever thought about what God teaches us in the pace of creation?  If God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light, don’t you think He could have just as easily have said, “Let there be a universe, fully furnished” and there would have been life as we know it?  Yet it took Him six days to talk it out and work it out. If it took God six days to create the world, what is it that you and I think we can accomplish by trying to outpace Him in a week? We must learn to do what God does - pace the day. God has infused a rhythmic schedule into creation.  It would benefit us greatly to walk accordingly.  There is day and night.  Some of us never quit, so God turns the lights out as a signal.  The sun has gone down.  So should you. Get off of Facebook.  Turn off the television.  Stop working.  Shut down the computer.  Relax.  Don’t work.  Talk.  Tell the story of your day - God tells us the story of His.  Go to bed. If God waited until day 2 to create the h

Life at Smartphone Speed (Excerpt from #TheWalk)

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from page 12: Guided by GPS, we can arrive at any destination and have no idea how we got there.   Long life with the Lord is not merely about arrival at a destination, it is about steps.  It is less about praying about where we want to be and more about paying attention to where we are and how what the Bible says applies to today.   Living at smartphone speed, we are deceived to believe we need all the answers.  If you want to go further, do what David did in Psalm 37:23.  Do life at a walking pace, with the Word of God in hand to light the path before your feet.  If you live like that, you don’t need all the answers, you need only one.  What’s the next step? We need to be asking more questions like "What's next?" rather than questions that begin with "When?"  Your phone may know exactly "when" you will arrive, but God is less concerned with the "when" and more concerned with the “way” you get there.   At one time the Christi

First Step Promotion #TheWalk Book

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THE WALK - FIRST STEP PROMOTION!!! HOW YOU CAN HELP Truth is - you can order a copy of  #TheWalk  RIGHT NOW at my estore: https://www.createspace.com/4961701  or on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/The-Walk-those-ready-far/dp/1502472333/ref= sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412363753&sr=8-1&keywords=brian+branam If you can hold off - HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP. On Tuesday I am going to offer the print edition of #TheWalk at $14.99 ON AMAZON ONLY instead of the retail price of $16.99. The goal is to sell 500+ copies in 48 hours. BUY YOUR BOOK ON TUESDAY ON AMAZON!!! SHARE #THEWALK Book with your friends and encourage them to buy a copy on Tuesday as well. I AM GOING TO POST AN AD YOU CAN SHARE ABOUT TUESDAY'S FIRST STEP PROMOTION WHY? One of the reasons I am excited about #TheWalk is not only is the book full of wisdom for life, but it is full of Scripture and the gospel. Sadly, many Christian books published today have a lot of great information in them, but they do not have a clear

#TheWalk Book is Here!!!

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It has been quite awhile since I have posted to FeelMyFaith.  I have a good excuse.  I have been writing! I have started many books, but I have never finished one.  I am happy to announce, however.  That is no longer the case.  On October 3, 2014 I became a published author with my first title # TheWalk . This book has been an incredible experience to write from inception to publication.  It all began with a great deal of frustration about the status of some goals in my life and a morning of praying, no - more like whining, to God.  As I prayed/whined I cam across a verse in Psalm 119:133, "Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me." Steps! You can't accomplish goals unless you are taking steps. Through an incredible study of the concept of "walk" and "steps" in Scripture I came to a life changing question that has revolutionized my prayer life.  Instead of asking God "why" I have lea

My ALS 50 for 50 Challenge, A Twist

ALS Challenge with a Twist from Brian Branam on Vimeo . I took the ALS challenge from Joel J Dison, but I want to add a twist. My friend ChrIs Jones has been trying to move his family to sLOVEnia to be missionaries for the 2.5 years that I have known him. He has sold his business and his state side stuff, his kids are enrolled in school in Slovenia, he is ready to go. They need to be there by Sept. 1. They are $2500 per month away from their goal. I issue a new challenge for every follower of Christ watching this video. Share this with your friends. I need 50 for 50! 50 people to pledge $50 per month for a year so the Jones family can get on mission in Slovenia. Let's send them!!!! Donate here:  http://www.send.org/info/jones/

The Devil of it All in Ferguson

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The story of the protests in Ferguson, MO is complex.  Why did the police officer gun down an unarmed teenager?  How will justice in the case be served?  How much of what is going on there is magnified by the angles of media coverage?  I'm sure Ferguson is a populated place.  What else is going on in the town?  There are people protesting and causing chaos in the area that are not even from Ferguson.  For that matter, many of them are not even from Missouri.  Who is sending them?  Why are they coming?  What is their agenda?  Are they being helpful or hurtful?  Who is taking advantage of the situation and who is actually working to rectify it?  Furthermore, what else has happened in the area to make the situation so volatile?  These questions need our attention, but it seems no one is interested in knowing the answers. As a discerning Christian we should be sensitive to the specifics of the complexities of the people and issues involved.  We should not be merely image driven,

Rival Racers Share Their Story

In January of this year, car owner Randall Hill of Hill Motorsports was in my home asking for prayer for a rival driver, the Bad Boy of Dalton, Craig Reece.  In mid-July Craig found new life in Christ and came walking into the church I serve.  After the service two of the great teams in dirt track racing stood together in reconciliation through the power of the gospel.  A few weeks later these men allowed me to interview them about their story.  I could not have preached a better sermon about the power of sharing your story than these men demonstrated that day.  If you are a racing fan, this is an interview you will not want to miss.  If you are a Christian, this is a powerful demonstration of the importance of sharing your story.  You may not know a lot of theology, but you know what Christ has done for you.  Share your story, people are dying to know. Rival Racers Share Their Story from Brian Branam on Vimeo .

Parent Resources for Conversations with Your Kids about Media (The Topics Series)

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The Topics Series Parent Resource Sheet Media, Movies, Apps, and Games Biblical Truths we can’t ignore: Human nature has been ruined by sin. God has given us His son to redeem us from sin. God has called the redeemed to live a holy life.  Satan has a real agenda to pervert truth and steal, kill, and destroy life. Media choices may not condemn us, but they will desensitize us to the truths of the gospel that are supposed to impact our life. Parents are given the responsibility to disciple their children and to be the guardians of the home. Kids don’t think like adults.  There is less of a discernible line in their minds between fact and fiction.  They need parental guidance. Even though there are no Bible verses that speak directly about our modern day movie rating system, video games, or apps - there are plenty of principles the Bible teaches that should govern our approach to media. Romans 12:1–2 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies