30 for 30: Life in the Mundane (Post 3)

30 for 30: Life in the Mundane (Post 3)

Here we have it – this is the third post following my determined effort to make the most of my 30th year. After sketching up the list of 30 things to do while I’m 30, I remember sheepishly hitting publish. I was afraid of a couple of things. I know I’m a long, long ways away from worrying about this, but I was afraid that I wouldn’t complete the list. I feared that I would get lost in my day-dreaming and that would be the all that really came of the list. I’m over that fear and am excited to just do the best I can with this list.

So what did I knock out from the list? Not much actually, but I hope I don’t think it was a failure altogether. I was successful with working out 4 times in the past week. I’ve also kept to recording the journey by way of weekly blog posts. I’ve also set aside the $1 a day once again. And I took my bride out for a date, so it was good to date my wife! So those things are coming along. I’ve also got a trip to Mackinaw Island on the map for June of 2016. So, while I didn’t scratch a ton of items off of my list over Thanksgiving weekend, I did get something planned to take care of later on!

Every week does not have to be extreme or exciting or pushing the limits of my comfortability. I don’t plan to travel the world because of this list. And I won’t be facing my biggest fears or anything crazy like that. This is more about knocking out the things that we like to sit and dream of doing some day, like short vacations with the family or setting aside that extra money. In fact, there is something about the mundane that I think scares people, isn’t there? There is something about having an uneventful life that (dare I get pointed with my thoughts) millennials just don’t like. If I wake up and my day looks like yesterday did, filing papers at work or keeping production running at a factory, I think today failed. Even more specific, if I have nothing noteworthy for social media (“Road trippin’!”, “Date Night!”, “New Car!”) then my day was just … eh.

What happened to today being enough? Why have I let myself get so bitter about putting in the work? Why do we get so distraught at the idea of our lives not being enough? And why am I so quick to compare, as if people on the other end of those social media posts do not have worries or struggles of their own?

This is just something I’m reflecting on. I don’t mean to rant. My list is not means to either escape my own life or equate to theirs, but rather to write a better story while I can. I’m tired of getting lost in the life that other people are writing and neglecting my own story. Do you find yourself embittered by the successes or stories from others? What are things that you’ve been putting off? What can you do to write a better story?

30 for 30: Post 2

30 for 30: Post 2

In this 30 for 30 post, I battled being disciplined with working out, watched Star Wars, and added something new to my bucket list! Check it out.

For this whole 30 for 30 push, I think I’ve committed to much more than I thought I did when I clicked publish on my first post! I want to stay true to my word and document as much as possible and that is why I created one of the tasks as a new blog post each week. If you don’t see an update from me, call me out on it!

So not a ton of new stuff has happened since things got underway a week ago, but strides have been made to finish this giant list. What have I done? Well …

  • I promised to work out at least four times a week. I have really slacked off on staying shape since graduating college (who hasn’t, right?). I feel like when I don’t work out I get even more stressed out because I don’t work out and that stresses me out and causes me to go into a slump where I don’t work out … you get the picture. It is cyclical and exhausting and sometimes I need to just get off my butt and workout! Well, this past week I made it a point to work out four times. And I feel 100x better than I did at the end of last week. I really need to stay active!
  • I also committed to watching all of the Star Wars movies. While I didn’t get through every movie, I did knock out the first of the Star Wars movie (Star Wars A New Hope). It was double cool because I was joined by a few other guys at work (and my dog Phil — who you need to meet if you haven’t yet). That ended up being an awesome way to end a crazy work week!
  • Beyond regular savings that we do, I have also put aside the dollar a day that I committed to saving! Looking forward to finding something great to put this toward when all is said and done. Any suggestions?
  • I’ve added another item to my list. I had two spots remaining at the bottom of my list for things yet to be determined. I filled one of those two spots with adding a visit to see a couple of the most incredible people in the world, the Reisdorfs. They’re super nice and compassionate people who have been one of the the most tangible representations of the church that I have ever seen.
  • As far as seeing a band from the 90s live, we now have tickets to see Third Eye Blind live in Canton, Ohio at The Palace Theatre! Am I excited? Umm… yes!!

Stay tuned because I’ll be getting some video updates of all this fun stuff as we go! I still have one more spot on my 30 for 30 list that needs filled, any suggestions? Comment below.

30 for 30 Has Begun: Post 1

30 for 30 Has Begun: Post 1

’30 for 30′ is 30 things to do while I’m 30. I’d encourage you to read through, offer your own advice, tell me below what I should have added (or what is ridiculous for haven added), and definitely tell me what you want to be a part of — because I’ll need some help here:

  1. Run Manitou Incline in Colorado. Yes, this will involve a trip to Colorado. I’ve already got flight deal alerts set up. Let’s do this.
  2. Fall Hiking Spree (Sept – Nov 2016). Northeast Ohio has beautiful trails and the hiking spree covers a number of those trails!
  3. No Smartphone for 30 Days. I am enamored with my smartphone. I will keep it shut off for 30 days. Seriously. You think you could do it?
  4. Make an entire outfit myself. From the shoes to the hat, I have to fashion every part of the outfit myself. Maybe I’ll go the extra step of having to wear it to work one day!
  5. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway. I’ve always wanted to do the Ales on Rails and this time I’m going to make it happen. Looks like this’ll have to be Fall 2016.
  6. Hike over 20 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Hiking and camping along the trail would will be amazing!
  7. Visit Mackinaw Island. Michigan is gorgeous and I’ve traveled throughout the state a number of times, but I’ve never got to experience this unique motor-free island.
  8. Bros with Roger fire night. Having a brother in Brooklyn, in Phoenix, and another in Ohio, us four brothers don’t get together enough. My Dad owns a campground and I want to get all four of us together for one night around a fire.
  9. Go to a Cavs game. I want to see Lebron James, not much more to say beyond that.
  10. Finish another triathlon. A shorter sprint triathlon qualifies for this one, but maybe I’ll step up my game and do a longer event. Who’s coming with me?
  11. Help build a house. I want to do something that will change someone else’s life and I have Habitat for Humanity in mind here.
  12. Go hunting. I’ve never shot anything but a target before and I’ve heard that hunting is a complete adrenaline rush (if you actually see something, haha).
  13. Sleep under the stars. I haven’t gone camping for a while! Take a trip to a campground and relax under the open sky.
  14. Walk across the Purple People Bridge. If not just because it’s the coolest name ever, but I’m also terrified of heights so I want to walk across the upper level of this Cincinnati landmark.
  15. Be part of a Flash Mob. I don’t think this needs any explanation. If you have wind of a flashmob nearby, you NEED to let me know.
  16. Pretend to work a shift somewhere. Dress up in similar garb as the employees of the store and help shoppers find what they’re looking for.
  17. New Testament. I’ve built a habit of substituting consistent Scripture reading for conversations and reading books. I’ll read through the New Testament.
  18. Date my wife. Things get busy and sometimes marriage feels more like roommate (if you’re married, you likely know what I’m saying). Plan a creative date night once a month for Kortney and me.
  19. A month of not eating meat. Easily the hardest thing on the list so far … but this is for my vegetarian friends out there.
  20. Save $1 a day. This is to build a habit of setting small amounts of money aside, but I’m hoping to make an impact in someone’s life with it when all is said and done.
  21. A new blog post written every week (at jasonbrueckner.com). This will summarize what has been done from my list or will act as a public-facing journal (marketing, faith, travels, family, friends, etc.)
  22. Star Wars. I confessed this later in the list because I didn’t want everyone to hate me at the beginning … I’ve never seen Star Wars and I think it’s time to watch them all.
  23. Review a Brew. I want to visit, try and review an Ohio-local brewery or coffee house every month. You tell me, what places do I need to stop at?
  24. Barre Boy. Kortney is an instructor at a local barre studio and she has challenged me to go to one of her classes (and not make fun of it while I’m there … and I can bring one guy with me).
  25. Lower loans. Loans are a pain in the butt and our culture needs a handle on them. Not only that, but everyone is afraid to talk about there money. I have a couple of school loans and I want to knock out at least one of my loans.
  26. Work that body. We are so quick to throw taking care of ourselves to the back burner (I am, at least). I am going to commit to working out 4x a week.
  27. 90’s Concert. There are zero bands better than those from the 90’s. Zero. I will attend a concert of a band from the 90’s.
  28. Museum Musings. Visit 5 museums!
  29. Visit the Reisdorfs. I don’t expect the majority of readers to know who the Reisdorfs are, but if you do know who they are than you know exactly why this is added to my list of things to do — they’re awesome.
  30. ??? — What should I add — ???
OS X Yosemite Beta

OS X Yosemite Beta

You could say that I am just a wee bit excited about this invitation. Have you had any experience with Mac OS X Yosemite? What have you seen? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them before I dig in!

“As promised, Apple has started rolling out a public beta version of its forthcoming OS X Yosemite operating system for Mac computers and laptops. The beta build, listed by Apple as 14A299l, is a tick higher in enumeration than the fourth developer preview released on Monday, though it’s not clear whether there’s a meaningful difference between the versions or simply a designative one.” –Time Magazine


Did Jesus Have to be Born of a Virgin?

Why did Jesus have to be born to a virgin? I am sure that you have heard the story time and time again…

Wise men come from afar, following a star.

Gathered in a manger then evading homeland danger.

They met baby Jesus, of virgin birth,

who came to save all on earth.


Have you ever paused to think about this amazing situation? Mary, Jesus’ mother, was to be wed to a man named Joseph. Could you imagine what went through Joseph’s mind as he heard that the woman he was to exchange vows with was pregnant? Put yourself in his sandals for a moment. How would you feel if your fiancé told you that she was pregnant? It is no wonder that the LORD sent an angel to assure Joseph that this was all part of God’s plan (Mt. 1:20-23). Why was Jesus born of a virgin – did Jesus’ birth have to happen this way?

The Christian doctrine outlined in each of the Gospels, in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, says “by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary conceives and bears Jesus apart from sexual intercourse with her husband Joseph.”[1] To be honest and straightforward from the onset, in the sixty-six books that make up the Bible there is not much in Scripture that speaks of Jesus being born of a virgin. There is nothing that outright proclaims that our Savior must be born of a virgin. The key verses that speak to Jesus’ birth narrative are the following: Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:16, 18-25, 13:55; Mark 6:3; Luke 1:26-38; and John 1:14. The Gospels tell the story of Jesus’ birth and the passage from Isaiah is prophetic, in that it looks forward to this amazing birth.

Let’s journey from old to new, what does the ancient prophet Isaiah say about the virgin birth? The prophet, most likely speaking between 740 – 680 B.C., proclaims

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Why will there be a sign and what will the sign be? God, through Isaiah, tells Ahaz that there will be a sign. In case you don’t know who Ahaz is, he was heir to David’s throne. Instead of putting his faith in the LORD who brought God’s people out of Egypt, Ahaz pledged his allegiance to kingly powers of this world. In an effort to win Ahaz’s favor, and in an act that is not typical of God, God offers a sign to show His great power. Ahaz refuses but God insists – one will be born called Immanuel, which translates as “God with us.” We see in Matthew 1 that God follows through with his promise. Mary is the young woman who gives birth to a child.

Now seeing what and why the sign was, we can fast-forward to the birth narrative found in in the Gospels and visit the purpose of this article, did Jesus have to be born of a virgin and, if so, why?

To point out the elephant in the room, Immanuel did have to be born of the flesh[2] because, through the prophet Isaiah, God said that it would happen that way. This reminds us that we can take God at His Word, His true and perfect Word. But before the prophetic words of Isaiah, is there support from Scripture that Jesus was to be born of a virgin? There is not evidence anywhere else, but there is theological evidence.[3]

Theologically, Jesus was to be born of a virgin for a number of reasons:

  • If Jesus were born of two human beings, what evidence would we have from Christ’s birth narrative that he is divine? That fact that Jesus was born of a virgin gives evidence from his conception that the hand of God is over the event.
  • We can rest assured that God’s hand was over the incarnation because it reminds us that salvation comes from God alone. There is nothing that we, in our fallen state, can do to free ourselves from the bondage of sin and the virgin birth is the miraculous story that reminds us salvation belongs to and comes from our God.
  • Human and God are fully one in the virgin birth of Christ. The Holy Spirit and Mary bore Christ making Christ both divine and human (Gal. 4:4).
  • The ongoing line of “inherited sin” was interrupted. Each and every one of us have inherited sin from “The Fall,” the occurrences that you can read about in Genesis 3, but because Jesus’ father is not a man[4] the ongoing cycle of sinful humanity was interrupted!

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament mention the birth of our Messiah, Jesus Christ who is Immanuel. Though Scripture does not make definitive argument for Jesus having to be born of a virgin, in looking at the text from a theological point of view we recognize that Jesus could not have been born of two human beings. In doing so, Jesus would have been continuing the same cycle that we saw throughout history up until the birth of Christ. On the contrary, Jesus was born fully human and fully divine. Jesus is God in the flesh, God with us.

When we see the virgin birth as more than just a bizarre story or an ancient tale and we are reminded that God’s Word is good and true than we are led to worship our Creator and Sustainer, God the Father. When we realize that the introduction to Christ Jesus is actually the start of a new chapter in the grand story of redemption that God has been writing since creation than we humble ourselves and, kneeling before the King of Kings, admit that we are not in charge but that God is. The birth of Jesus Christ, Immanuel, depicts “renewed creation, and the inauguration of the messianic age.”[5] Jesus Christ had to be born of a virgin not just because Scripture says so but also because, like Jesus’ death on the cross, there was no other way for the Mission of God to be accomplished.


Dig Deeper, Read Broader, Worship More Intimately


Wayne A. Grudem. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 2004. “Virgin Birth” pp. 529-533.

Dormann, T.M., “Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ” Vol. 4, 990-993.Bromiley, Geoffrey W., ed. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised. Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988.

Carrigan, Henry L., Jr. “Virgin Birth.” Edited by David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, and Astrid B. Beck. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000.






[1] Henry L. Carrigan Jr., “Virgin Birth,” ed. David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, and Astrid B. Beck, Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 1359.

[2] It’s important to note, and this is a widely accepted point across Christian and Jewish circles, the word that is used in Isaiah 7:14 that is commonly translated virgin is more popularly understood as young woman. The word is almah (see different translations of Gen. 24:43; Ex. 2:8; Ps. 68:25; Prov. 30:19, all verses that use the word almah). In any case, Mary was a young woman but she is also the virgin who gave birth to a son called Immanuel.

[3] A piece of Scripture that may be worth considering here is found in Genesis 3:15, which reads I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring.” There is hardly any other lineage in Scripture highlighting a female, as it was tradition to mention genealogies according to male descendants. Not only that, but a female herself does not have a seed!

[4] Interesting side note, the Hebrew word for “man” is adam.

[5] Dormann, T.M., “Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ” Vol. 4, 990-993.Bromiley, Geoffrey W., ed. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised. Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988.

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