David J. Brett

A pastor serving in the Villages of Florida

Engaging postmodern culture and the church.

Working in Central Florida as a pastor, chaplain, and frequently doing woodworking and Carpenter, David J. Brett embraces ministry as a call to do life together. Ministry is about constructing our lives and our theology. Occasionally constructing a holistic relational and authentic communal life together requires some deconstruction and reconstruction.

  • Thoughts on the Church

    And I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” ~ Matthew 16:18-19Last Sunday I spoke about the church. Ever since then this idea of church has been resonating in my heart and soul. The church. There are a variety of ways to describe the church. You can describe it as: The House of God, The House of Prayer, The Father’s House, and many other descriptors. The one description I find most compelling is FAMILY. The family of God. God is our Father. And Jesus is my elder brother. I appreciate the family I grew up in. I am one of nine children that was raise Catholic in North East Ohio. I have five sisters and three brothers. My older brother is Danny. At times we would fight, wrestle in the house, get upset with one another. But outside the house we would look out for one another. Danny did at times look out for me. He stood up for me on a number of occasions. One occasion stands out as I type this devotion.I was a sophomore in high school. I had earned a varsity letter in wresting, and I had just gotten my letter man’s jacket. I wore it proudly everywhere I went. One Friday night Dan and I decided to go to a high school football game. I think it was Brecksville High School playing Strongsville High School. I wore my Walsh Jesuit High School letter jacket to the game. We just enjoyed watching the game and watching the fans as well.After the game was over, we were walking out. I was a little in front of my brother Dan. Four students from Strongsville HS approached me. They wanted to see if a student from Walsh HS wearing a letter men’s jacket could fly. They were discussing the flight arrangements with me when my older brother walked up. He basically told them that the flight arrangements needed to be canceled. Canceled because he was my older brother and any flight arrangements had to go through him. Additionally, these four students needed to know that as the older brother he thoroughly enjoyed a good fight. The four students looked at him and looked at me and very wisely decided to walk away. I thanked my brother, but I told him that I thought I could take the four of them. He laughed. He told me I have so much to learn.I would note that I have learned that I have an elder brother in the family of God – Jesus. He took on sin, death, hell, satan himself and was victorious. It seems to me that Jesus enjoys a good fight as well, especially it seems when he is defending and protecting a family member. It is good having an older brother like Jesus, interceding and watching out for me and all those who follow him.The other factor I appreciate about the church is its diversity. The church has this ability to draw people from all kinds of different backgrounds, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, races, and the list could go on. It is a very cool reality. What saddens me, as I listen to people, instead of appreciating our diversity we look for reasons to divide and separate from one another. We use artificial criteria for fellowship with one another.

  • Going the Extra Mile

    Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. ~ 1 Timothy 3:1-4

  • Recovering the I-Thou Relationship

    Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.~ Philippians 2:13

  • Romans 12 Reflection

    Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”~ Romans 12:17-20

  • Some Thoughts on Life and Ministry

    I am a pastor. It is both my vocation, and it is my life’s calling. I would say that it is who I am. I would say that you don’t choose to pastor because if you do you won’t last long at it. It is not like when you were in high school and they had a Career Day so you walk in the gym and see the pastor table and think “that looks like a lot of fun.”

  • Fearless Inventory

    Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. ~ Matthew 18:21-22 & 34-35

  • Family Devotion

    These were the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. ~ 1 Chronicles 2:1-2

  • Hard Pressed but not Crushed

    We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.~ 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

  • Wednesday of Holy Week

    This is the week that we remember the last week of Jesus’ life. Wednesday. N.T Wright once wrote, “When Jesus wanted to explain to his disciples what his forthcoming death was all about, he didn’t give them a theory, he gave them a meal.”

  • Thoughts on Easter

    For me Easter is a time to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus. The profoundness of this event is inescapable and overwhelming. At Christmas we acknowledge that Jesus was God with us. Emmanuel. God becomes a man. A baby born in Bethlehem. At Easter we see Jesus, this “God-man” entering into the godforsaken situation of all of humanity.

  • A Word on Humility

    Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. ~Galatians 6:2-5

  • A Word on Worship

    While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. “Leave her alone,”* said Jesus. ”Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”~ Mark 14:3-9

  • The Most Dangerous Sin

    To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: **“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

  • Workmanship

    For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10

  • David and Goliath

    David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” ~ 1 Samuel 17:45-47

  • It is the beginning of the end

    Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.**On reaching the place, he said to them, ”Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,”Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” ~ Luke 22:39-42

  • Listening to Parables

    To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:** ”Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’~ Luke 18:9-13

  • Some thoughts for a new year

    Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”~ Mark 12:41-44

  • A Christmas Reflection

    I love Christmas. It can bring out the best in most people. Most people (notice the term “most”) are friendlier. More generous. Kinder. To me Christmas brings back incredible memories of growing up as a kid in NE Ohio. Snow on the ground. Fire in the fireplace. Mom cooking all kinds of stuff in the kitchen. The tree. And most importantly the gifts under the tree with my name. The suspense would almost be unbearable. When no one was looking I would find the gifts with my name. I would shake’em. Squeeze them. Try to figure out what was inside. It rarely worked.

  • Living Wisely

    Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit… ~ Ephesians 5:15-20

  • How Should I Pray

    This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,your kingdom come, your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven.Give us today our daily bread.And forgive us our debts,as we also have forgiven our debtors.And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.Matthew 6:9-13

  • Reflections on Being a Pastor

    I am a pastor. I didn’t ask to be a pastor. Church work did not have a table set up when we had Vocation Day in high school. Being a pastor is something God calls you to do. God called me to be a pastor. I went to school to learn the how’s of pastoring. I received an excellent education. I learned to exegete the Scriptures. Set up church systems. Classes on counseling. Pastoral care. I had a class on Church Growth. I truly appreciate the education I received. I encourage others to place themselves in such an environment. It has truly helped me.

  • Reflections on being a pastor

    I was a senior pastor once. The church I pastored had an attendance around 500 plus or minus depending on the time of year. We had several staff members. A worship pastor. A children’s pastor. Bookkeeper. And a director of hospitality. She started strong in her job. Following up with people. Planning events. Organizing ushers, greeters, and the like. Planning dinner for Wednesday nights. But over time the fire, the passion for the position began to slowly go out. We met. Established new goals. Discussed what was happening in her life and her family. The church even paid for her counseling.

  • 2 Timothy 1:7

    Over the last couple of years, I have been listening to a bunch of people speak on a variety of subjects from politics to the end times. It seems to me a number of them suffer from the disease of excessive certainty. They are convinced they are correct and everyone that disagrees with them is totally wrong. I have also noticed this tendency that their particular world view or perspective utilizes a fear factor as a main motivator in adherence and in presentation.

  • Romans 16

    I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord. Romans 16:22

  • Ezekiel 34:2-6

    I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.** On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.~ Revelation 19:11-16

  • Ezekiel 34:2-6

    Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them. ~ Ezekiel 34:2-6

  • The Name of God

    But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” ^12 ^And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” ^13 ^Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” ^14 ^God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘**I am **has sent me to you.’” ^15 ^God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. –  Exodus 3:11-16

  • Integrity

    This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. ~ 1 John 3:16-18

  • John 19:28-30

    Later; knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. ~ John 19:28-30The end is quickly approaching. Jesus is dying on the cross. A crowd has gathered to witness this gruesome moment, not realizing they are witnessing the most significant event in all of history. Jesus cries out he is thirsty. He is given a wine vinegar from a sponge. He receives the drink then he says, “It is finished.” It is done. The lamb slain from the foundation of the world has given his life. Completed the assignment given him.

  • The Good Shepherd

    “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. ~ John 10:14-16Jesus in John 10 as the good shepherd. He knows his sheep and his sheep know him. It is interesting to note the different ways that sheep are led versus the manner in which cattle are led. I have watched many westerns in my growing up years. In fact, I would consider myself an expert on old western movies and tv shows. I could list my viewing credentials, but I will not because of my time allowance. Sheep are led. The shepherd is out front leading the sheep and they are following. There are usually some sheep dogs to help some of the wondering sheep to stay in the flock. Cattle are not led from the front. They are driven from the back and the sides. In fact, the official nomenclature that is used is “cattle drive.” You have people on horses and on each side of the herd driving and guiding the cattle to where they need to go. These two different models serve as a reminder of two different ways to lead a church.

  • Costly Grace

    And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~ Ephesians 2:6-10Reflections on Grace – Cheap Grace vs Costly Grace

  • July 23, 2023 devotion on 1 Peter 3:8-9

    Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. ~ 1 Peter 3:8-9Simon Peter is writing to the first century church. He is giving them some rules to live by. Rules not in the legalistic sense but more like – if you truly love Jesus this is how it looks. He tells his readers to be like-minded, sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Notice verse 9, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.” It is so easy to want to repay evil for evil. Deep in our souls is the quest, even the need for justice, especially justice regarding wrongs committed against a loved one or most of all ourselves. We say, “That is not right.” We feel justified in correcting the wrong because in our perspective we know everything we need to know. It’s wrong. I am right. I have been unnecessarily hurt and I need to make it right. Herein is the problem. Our perspective is limited. It is narrow. In reality we don’t have all the facts. And in fact, we tend to see things the way we want to see things. It is called confirmation bias. And we all have it. It is actually more evident and prominent in people who believe that they don’t have it. You tend to see what you want to see and find what you are looking for.

  • May 18 2023 devotion on 1 Kings 3:3

    Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. ~ 1 Kings 3:3King David has died. The kingdom has passed to Solomon. He is consolidating the kingdom. Taking out some of his enemies. He is walking in the instructions of the Lord but notice – this one word – except. There was one area that he was holding on to. He offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.

  • May 4, 2023 devotion on Luke 15:1-7

    Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: ”Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. ~ Luke 15:1-7

  • March 23 2023 devotion on 1 Corinthians 8:1-2

    We know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes. ~ 1 Corinthians 8:1-2Paul is answering questions sent to him about issues in the church at Corinth. In chapter 8 he addresses the issue of meat offered to idols. As he opens chapter 8 the first three verses stand out to me. (Read verses) Knowledge makes us feel important. Knowledge highlights what I know. It is a very heady thing. It is a very prideful thing. Pride is the sin that follows knowledge around. But notice that Paul says, “…it is love that strengthens the church.”

  • The Space Between Postmodern Culture and The Church Today

    One of the prevailing trends in culture today is an ever growing schism between the church and culture. Increasingly people are not going to church or if they are going to church they participate in the intimate anonymity of going to church on Sunday mornings but not necessarily engaging in other parts of the life of the church.

  • Preaching style

    David J. Brett throughly enjoys any opportunity to teach, especially in churches, colleges, and in chaplaincy settings. He thrives on connecting with people and encouraging them to think through the lives that they are constructing for themselves.He loves speaking and preaching in a dynamic setting as Village View Community Church. He speaks on rotation on Sunday Mornings and Wednesday evenings. Sunday mornings focus on biblical teaching in casual lecture style, whereas Wednesday evenings is a much more dynamic “flipped classroom” approach to Bible Study and theological training and teaching. Here are few of the “greatest hits” of David speaking on Sunday.

  • Pastor

    David Brett believes that ministry needs to be transformative, relevant, and relational in order to be effective in making an impact upon culture. To him ministry must be about allowing the grace of Christ to take hold in our lives.

  • Chaplain

    Having worked in hospitals, hospice, and in recovery programs David Brett has learned that the miracle of faith is that Christ meets people where they are, especially when we are hurting. Listening to those who are struggling has instilled in him that people of faith have a responsibility to be present, to listen, and to serve.

  • Carpenter

    Having worked in hospitals, hospice, and in recovery programs David Brett has learned that the miracle of faith is that Christ meets people where they are, especially when we are hurting. Listening to those who are struggling has instilled in him that people of faith have a responsibility to be present, to listen, and to serve.Drafting instruments on top of table a photo by Fleur on Unsplash.