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Lowell Brueckner

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November 2 - 8 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


November 2

Psalms 114

1.  When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;
2.  Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.
3.  The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.
4.  The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.
5.  What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?
6.  Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs?
7.  Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;
8.  Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.

     It is no wonder that Moses determined not to go anywhere, unless the Lord would go with them. It was His presence that distinguished the people of God from all the nations on the earth. God’s preoccupation is with His people. All of creation cooperates with God’s leadings and dealings with them. Rivers, seas, and mountains become tools, through which He manifests His presence. For them, rocks turned to liquid and the earth trembled. The Egyptian Red Sea and the Canaanite Jordan responded in like fashion. Wherever He leads and accompanies us, however far from home it may be, mountains will shake, the seas will be stilled, rocks will break, bread will be multiplied, fish will pay taxes, and the fowls of the air will feed.

What Our Hands Have Handled, chapter nine


Just married, Margaret and I went to live in Cacahuatepec, Oaxaca, in October of 1966. Right away, we began to go house-to-house, explaining our reason for coming to the town and also shared the gospel with the inhabitants. Then, we began to visit the next town, called Amuzgos, to the north. The letter on the right is one of three that we received from people in Amuzgos in November, 47 years ago, threatening us not to return. It states: "Amuzgos, Putla, Oaxaca, November 22, 1966. Señor Pastor, Very esteemed sir. We ask, in the most attentive manner, that you not return to this place to disturb our people, because we will not be responsable for what happens to you. With nothing else to say..." I kept going, anyway, because there were individuals, who asked for prayer. One day, a group was waiting in front of my pick-up with buckets of water, with which they soaked me. Oh well, it was a hot day!

What Our Hands Have Handled, chapter eight


Success in Christian service is not measured by large churches or stadiums filled with people. The only true confirmation to a godly calling, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, is by that which will someday walk on streets of gold.



“Lord, if you don’t give me much fruit, give me fruit that remains.” There are prayers that express our highest aspirations. They are not one-time requests, but are carried in the heart and uttered frequently over the years. One of Erwin Brueckner’s perennial petitions, quoted above, was for lasting fruit.

It seemed apparent that God’s plan for his life did not include pastoring large congregations. The attendance at Quinney Chapel for Sunday morning worship seldom exceeded fifty people. On Sunday evenings, the meetings in small Indian homes in Oneida, Wisconsin, were significantly larger, with upwards of eighty people crowding into a single room. At the close of each meeting, someone would offer his house for the following service. In this way, the gospel spread to various neighborhoods in the area. We also must mention home Bible studies in the city of Fond du lac and in the village of Potter, which Erwin conducted on weeknights. Different people attended in each place, but the total number sitting under my dad’s ministry, at any point in his life, was anything but impressive.

Ruth, shortly before she went to
heaven, and  Marshall, who has
celebrated his 90th birthday.
What are more significant are the people, who were challenged through Dad to become fully involved in God’s business. Marshall Averbeck, son of the Quinney Sunday school superintendent, attended St. Paul Bible Institute (now Crown College near Minneapolis) and spent the rest of his life as a pastor. He also married Ruth, my oldest sister, and they are now retired after forty years of ministry. Craig Hendrickson, who grew up in one of their churches and found the Lord under their guidance, made his way to the Philippines as a missionary.

Several years ago, Eddie Burg, who was in the teenage boys’ Sunday school class at Quinney, spent a night in our home in Germany, along with his wife. They now have three sons. Two are pastors and the other son and his family were traveling with them. They had been receiving missionary training in France and today serve in Africa. The son of a butcher in the Quinney congregation, Ken Huber, became a missionary to South America.

October 26 - November 1 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


October 26

Psalms 108:6-9

6.  That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me.
7.  God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.
8.  Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
9.  Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over
Philistia will I triumph.
10.  Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
11.  Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts?
12.  Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
13.  Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

     David turns to petition, interjected after a season of exaltation. He is beloved by this mighty God with a love that surpasses the earth and heavens. David wants to pray down a manifestation of the right hand of God upon the earth. He knows that the Lord does not begrudge fulfilling his word, but rejoices in it. However, His word never compromises His holiness. David has received a “clean” promise, which will benefit God’s kingdom, give back to God what belongs to Him and defeat His enemies. David is part and parcel of that kingdom and his victories are God’s.
     Let the same be said of us. The God, who casts off men because of ungodliness, has spoken in His holiness that He will accompany our armies. When the help of man is cast aside and a God-consciousness prevails, with that comes a sense of victory.

Father of Mercies, God of All Comfort


I preach on the wrath of God, the horribleness of sin and its consequences, because it is part of the whole counsel of God and we dare not omit it. I emphasize it, because of the extreme imbalance and lack of preaching on these subjects in our day. Christian leaders are not aware of the disservice that they do to their listeners and the purposes of God by avoiding them. To not warn people sleeping in a burning house of their danger is a cruelty beyond what can be described, but that is exactly what pastors do, who have decided not to disturb the consciences of the spiritually asleep in their congregation. There may be those who think I am a cranky old man… or worse yet, a cranky preacher… so allow me to say that the message that follows is an example of the sublime teachings of the Bible, which I much rather enjoy proclaiming.      
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.”                                                                         2 Corinthians 1:3

The primary motivation for reading the Scriptures is to see in the Bible the revelation of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. When my friend, the Navajo Herman Williams, was converted, he cried because he had a Bible, but didn’t know how to read. He wanted so much to know more of the One, who had come into his life and given him peace. Our text tells us that it is God’s nature to be merciful and to comfort.

The Superb Language of the Cross, part 2


On the eighth of this month, I made some comments concerning a message on the wrath of God, preached by Phil Johnson. It is not a common subject in these days and that lack is causing a great imbalance in the evangelical church. We are embarrassed to present a God of wrath. Francis Chan said that we need to stop apologizing for our God and ask His forgiveness for not preaching all that the Bible says about Him.

Because we are not greatly concerned about the wrath of God, we cannot fully appreciate propitiation. Our son spoke on that theme in a church with several hundred members and many came to him afterwards, confessing that they had never been taught on that subject. One of them was a 70-year-old veteran who had been active in church service all his life.

Well, on this blogspot, I hope that we can be faithful to Christ and His flock by presenting the whole counsel of God. May God give us the grace to do so! Commentaries by Albert Barnes, Adam Clarke, John Wesley and Warren Wiersbe will help us. What follows is the second part of “The Superb Language of the Cross”, taken from the book, We Have an Altar, and the three words that we will try to define are reconciliation, propitiation, and justification…

October 19 - 25 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


October 19

Psalms 105:25-45*

25.  He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.
26.  He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen.
27.  They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.
28.  He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word.
36.  He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength.
37.  He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.
38.  Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them.
39.  He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night.
42.  For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
43.  And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:
44.  And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people;
45. That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the
 (* See note under October 18)

    When it was time for the plan of God to take its next step, He stirred up enmity against His people. Through mighty deeds, He vindicated and freed them. Do not be surprised today, if He follows a similar pattern. He may send darkness our way, but blessed is the person, who does not rebel, when He does.
     The Lord was behind every circumstance that had to do with Israel and revival was in the making. His people were empowered and filled with the Holy Spirit, so there was not one feeble person among them. Fear fell among the heathen. He led the Israelites through the wilderness by a cloud and fire. He was their only provision in a world of nothingness. Joy and gladness are the inheritance for those, who by faith take the land of the heathen for the Lord. He remembers His covenant. Let us remember it today and walk in it, so that His word to a thousand generations may come alive among us.

What Our Hands Have Handled, chapter seven


Yesterday evening, Margaret and I were listening to Joni talk from her wheelchair of her 40+ years of suffering. Since she made that tragic decision, as a teenager, to dive into the water, until now, she has known much pain. First, she went through depression and, while she sang last night, she spoke of shortness of breath.

As a child, I watched my 18-year-old sister suffer and die from leukemia. As a teenager, I saw my dad grip his heart, run for bed, groaning, at least once a week. “Christians don’t need to suffer,” some say. I think they need to do a little more careful study of the Bible and get some revelation, as to what the Christian life is all about.



Our home in the Chippewa National Forest, where Jean died in 1957.
(When this photo was taken a few years ago, it was abandoned.)
It takes a whole lifetime to make saintly Christians and in our day, all too few of them are being made. Modern Christianity, at least in the western world, does not allow for it. It requires discomfort, inconvenience, suffering, much faith and a keen sensitivity to the Holy Spirit working in the life to produce that indescribable something, which cannot be learned in seminars, nor produced in assembly-line church activities.

There is no beauty on earth like that, which is worked deep into the recesses of the human personality by the Holy Spirit. I have already written in other chapters of an outward ministry, the thrill of God working through a life to touch others. It does not tell the whole story. How can it be told? Who can outline those mysterious inner dealings that break the heart, yet cause the face to glow and instill a magnet in the soul that draws others to that person?

The Superb Language of the Cross, part 1


One time we read in the news about a flock of a thousand sheep that fell from a high cliff, following a sheep in front that jumped or fell. Four hundred died. Too many times, we observe how the people of the world are led as blindly as sheep by a leader or an ideology. The individual does not take time to think or meditate for himself, but only repeats what he has heard or read. Although the Bible uses sheep to illustrate some characteristics of the people of God, that of being blind followers does not enter into the illustration.

In paganism, the devil takes advantage of people because of their ignorance. Paul wrote to the Corinthians with the intention of informing and teaching them about the Christian life, “I do not want you to be unaware…” (1 Co.12:1), contrasting with the life and religion that they had previously known: “When you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you…” (v.2,3). My father’s first pastor, Paul Rader, helped new believers to get a firm foundation for their faith. He said, “Christians must know what they are talking about.” Simply, that’s true. For that reason, I offer two chapter in the book, We Have an Altar, that teach concerning five biblical words relating to the cross: Remission, redemption, reconciliation, propitiation and justification. Do you know what these words mean? Well, in chapter five, I write about the first two.

What Our Hands Have Handled, chapter six


I have been challenged a couple times recently concerning living a life of complete trust in the Lord. My siblings and I wouldn’t trade the heritage that God has given us for any number of theories or arguments to the contrary. If I have any regrets, it is that I haven’t been more faithful, because God has never failed us.
“I’m so glad I’ve learned to trust Thee
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me
Wilt be with me to the end.
Jesus, Jesus, How I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus,
Oh, for grace to trust Him more.”



The Erwin Brueckner family with son-in-law, Marshall Averbeck
When a door opened for my dad, Erwin Brueckner, among the Native Americans, he took his wife and three children to move 80 miles north of Milwaukee near the shores of Lake Winnebago. The 1930’s were not easy times and money was scarce. Fellow Christians in Milwaukee were thrilled to hear the stories of how God guided Erwin and his fellow workers to the little town of Quinney. They were happy that Indian people had opened their hearts to the Lord and amazed to see that a building was provided on the spot for meetings. They promised that they would help in any way possible, as Erwin left his home and relatives to take this giant leap of faith.

God was so real! Erwin and his wife, Alice, were baby Christians, who had only known the Lord for a year, but they had seen him do wonders in that short time. I suppose, they were a bit naïve. In those days, there was no medicine in the medicine cabinet. When one of the children became ill, they would go to the Great Physician. When my sister came down with pneumonia, my grandmother, though a believer, was indignant. Erwin and Alice would not allow her to apply her home remedy to the child. She became desperately ill one night and Grandma shouted exasperatedly, “You’re going to kill the child!” Erwin continued praying through the night, the fever broke and the next morning my sister was well.

October 12 - 18 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


October 12

Psalms 102:13-28

A prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord.
13.  Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.
14.  For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.
15.  So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
16.  When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.
17.  He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.
18.  This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.
19.  For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;
20.  To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;
21.  To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;
22.  When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
23.  He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days.
24.  I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.
25.  Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
26.  They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
27.  But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
28.  The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.

Comments Concerning a Message by Phil Johnson


"A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; the Lord is avenging and wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies."                                                                                                                                                                                   Nahum 1:2
Margaret and I listened to a message last Sunday by Phil Johnson. He had preached previously on the subject “Love that is Poured Out Like Water”, from the book of Jonah, centered on the mercy of God towards the people of Nineveh. This time his subject was “Wrath that is Poured Out Like Fire” from the prophet Nahum, in which he depicted the doom and destruction, which was to fall upon the same city many years later. Johnson dealt with the subject in a biblical and sane manner, from the beginning making a statement about those, who might enjoy speaking on such a theme. He denounced those people as having something seriously amiss in their character. He made it clear that this message would not be one that is easy to hear and certainly would not be easy to deliver. However, to evade the theme is to be unfaithful to the revelation of God and His truth. This message will be available to hear “on demand” in less than a week.

There are many in these times, who refuse to address the subject of the wrath of God. Joel Osteen leads a great host in “positive” preaching that avoids talk about sin, hell or judgment. However, even the general trend in evangelical circles is in a direction leading away from the consequences of sin and a rejection of Christ. Then, there seems to be a growing number, who oppose the very doctrine of eternal damnation. Rob Bell, a universalist, who believes that no one will be eternally damned, and who was a pastor of a large evangelical church, wrote a book called “Love Wins”. Phil Johnson read a portion from that book at least twice during the message, pointing to the misinterpretation that this man holds, concerning the character of God and the consequences of sin. Many ignore the fact that William Paul Young, author of “The Shack”, which sold 10 million copies, is also a universalist. Think of the influence this book had upon human souls, who were seduced by its subtle and clever lie.

Judge Dave Woodmancy


Dave Woodmancy
This happened a few months ago...
Steve’s friend, Dave Woodmancy, an older man and an ex-judge, lived in Aniak, Alaska, but because his cancer had reappeared, he left for Anchorage to have it checked. He was an atheist, but Steve, Thad and Thane, all Christians, were his best friends and he had a lot of respect for them. They did the tests and saw that it was no use to operate, because the cancer was too advanced.

He had little time left to live. He went to Colorado to be with his brother, but kept in contact with Steve by telephone. When he told Steve about his condition, they both went to pieces emotionally. 

He really liked kids. Thad’s 14-year-old son gave him a Bible. Steve told him that Troy also had been praying constantly for him. Then we got this e-message from Steve: “Dave gave his life to Jesus yesterday. He got Thad and me on a conference call and Thane and Chastity were with him at the time. He thanked us for the part we played in his life to make this decision. It was quite an experience!”

October 5 - 11 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


October 5

Psalms 99:1-5

1.  The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.
2.  The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.
3.  Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.
4.  The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.
5.  Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.

     In Psalm 97, revelation concerning the Lord’s reign was inspiration for rejoicing. In chapter 98, it brings fear and trembling. (For those, who want to take time to study godly fear, here are some NT verses - Mt. 10:28; 28:8; Lk. 1:65; 5;26; 7:16; 8:37, Ac. 2:43; 5:5, 11; 19:17; Ph. 2:12.)
      Rejoicing and fear are not contradictory reactions, but in fact, are compatible. In the New Testament, people rejoiced and trembled at once, when they saw awesome majesty displayed through the miracles of Christ. They rejoiced at the works of mercy, but wondered at the glory of the Person walking among them.
     Do we understand today the implications of revival? It is, first and foremost, a consciousness of the absolute sovereignty of almighty God. It is an inner conviction of a need to bow in surrender to an unbending Lord and Master. The prayer on the lips of all participants is, “Hallowed be Thy name” and the adjectives of praise are those used by the Psalmist. He is exalted, great, high and terrible. The Spirit-inspired writer declares Him thrice holy in verses three, five and nine. In revival, there is no place for lightness or jesting. There is an awestruck hush, when finally a meeting breaks up, people file out and make their way to their homes. There is a fear, lest an unwise word or action will pollute the holy atmosphere and grieve the pure Spirit. Men are conscious of being at His feet, not by His side or His head. True worship kisses Jesus’ feet, tears flow to bathe them, and all the actions of service are done there (remember, Judas kissed His face). It is holiness that rends the heart and I am afraid we know too little of its beauty. It is the atmosphere of heaven - the breath of God. It is surrounded by glory, scented with purity, bathed in reverence, and permeated with righteousness.

What Our Hands Have Handled, chapter five



Uncle Lester and Aunt Edna
Aunt Edna and Uncle Lester had been married for eight years and did not have children. It was not because they did not want them. Lester was oldest in a family of eight and he and Edna both loved children. Edna had a physical problem and sought all the remedies offered in the 1930s. She hemorrhaged constantly and the doctor had advised her that the only way it would stop was to remove her ovaries.

Lester was my mother’s brother and when both he and my mother married, the couples maintained close contact. More than relatives, they were best of friends and did everything together. It was quite a shock when one couple had a strange religious experience and would no longer participate in some of the fun they had enjoyed in the past. They had always treated each other as equals, but now one of the couples thought they were better than the other was – at least it seemed so.