I was not sure what to expect when David Brumbelow sent me a copy of his book The Wit and Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow. What I discovered was a special little volume that has been a real encouragement to me.
The book is about a son sharing his late father’s life with the world.
It contains “favorite illustrations, personal stories, humor, history, folklore, and lessons learned from over 50 years in the ministry.” You will even find some family recipes in the appendix. The whole project is marked with warmth and character.
Within its 12 chapters and 240 pages, I found a small piece of the Baptist tradition that does not usually make it into the history books. While reading, I could imagine sharing dinnertime memories with this Texas preacher’s family.
I felt a strong personal connection with these stories from page one. I am still new in the ministry. However, Pastor Joe, a very different man from a very different place, had so many experiences that relate to my own. It helps me to learn of our common struggles and joys in ministry.
I am still new as a father. However, this book has encouraged me to live the kind of life (and ministry) that would be worthy of a similar tribute from my own son.
The book is definitely full of wit. One of my favorites was this story from page 137, as told to Pastor Joe by a funeral director:
The funeral director conducted a funeral for a veteran. At the conclusion of the graveside service they gave a 21-gun salute. When the guns sounded, an older woman at the front was so overwhelmed with grief, she fainted and fell to the ground. A little boy in his coat and tie cried out, “Good God, they shot Grandma!”
I am glad I found time to read this book. In a world with too many preacher superstars, these stories about an ordinary Texas preacher strike me as wholesome and real. They give me hope that God might still be calling regular guys (like me) to preach the Gospel.