I'm preparing to leave today to visit the country of Tchad. It seems I need to do a million thngs but right now I want to stop and leave just a short note here. We have just come through the International Council meeting of three days, followed immediately by two days with my Area Field Director's Council. One day early this week I reached home about 6:00pm thoroughly wrung out. You know? Tired. Exhausted. Spent emotionally and physically. I had made some small offerings in these meetings with the hopes of it being a blessing but it did not seem well-received. "This is too ambiguous." "This needs to be refined." "Let's send this back to the World Missions Board for some work." And "Do we really need to be meeting here and talking about such items as this?" So as you can imagine, my brow was furrowed and my spirit was low. I needed a "picker upper". Ahhh, I thought. I need a coke. But alas, when I opened the fridge door there was no sign of soda water.
So Off to the grocery store I went. Just inside the entrance to the store a young lady with two small chidren approached me..."Is your name Brannen?" she asked. "Yes, it is!" "Well," she responded, "I want to tell you something your Daddy used to say to me. When I was a young girl I was very timid and always walked with my head down. I remember going into the church hall where my Dad was pastor and your Dad was on the staff. As I walked into the building with my head down, your Dad saw me coming from the other end of the hall. He arose from his chair and met me in the middle of the hallway. He would bow his head and walk towards me till our heads almost touched and when I stopped he would say, "Melissa, hold up your head! You have nothing to hang your head about!!!" (This was the daughter of John and Gloria Colbaugh who I would not have known at all if she had not told me.)
When I got back home I told Frances, "I've just had a message from my Daddy and from my Heavenly Father!
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- Fred Alton
- Cleveland, TN, United States
- I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.