I have been posting articles on this blog for over a year and a half and have not really introduced myself (unless one has in the past gone to the "Who and Why" page and scrolled way to the bottom). Of the 232 followers on this blog, probably about 30 are friends and family so most of you do not know much about me.
So, allow me to finally introduce myself. My name is Jonathan Brentner and I am a writer, Bible teacher at my church, a hopeful speaker, and a blogger (as you well know).
My interest in writing started during my six years as a senior pastor when I had the opportunity to write adult Sunday school curriculum for David C. Cook. That was the summer of 1984 and I still produce Bible lessons for them.
When painful circumstances led to a change of careers after six years as a pastor, I returned to school to pursue an MBA degree with an emphasis in accounting and Finance. I graduated with the degree in 1990 and worked my way up to a position as a Senior Financial Analyst at the company where I worked.
After over twenty years in that career, I retired in June of 2016 to pursue my passion for writing on a full-time basis.
My first book, Shipwrecked! Learning from the Bible Bad Guys, is due for publication by Bold Vision Books sometime in the early spring of 2018.
Like the characters in Shipwrecked!, life often does not turn out as we hope or plan. The guys in this book all knew about God, but chose to give in to their feelings of anger, bitterness, and resentment rather than look to the Lord in their distress. As a result, life did not end well for most of them.
I learned many of these lessons the hard way. When painful circumstances overwhelmed me as a pastor, I became angry with God and desired to run far away from Him and other believers.
During this time, however, God intervened and I began to see that the Lord was not a vending machine who gives us expected results in return for our good behavior. He is rather a personable God who desires we walk with Him in faith even when our lives, at least for the moment, seem to be a disaster. I found along with John Mark, the final character in Shipwrecked!, that failure does not need to be the final chapter in our lives.
In addition to my writing and teaching, I lead a small group from our church made up of wonderful people that meet each Thursday night in our home.
I live in North Liberty, Iowa with my charming wife Ruth. Together we have five children and ten grandchildren scattered about Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Texas.