My name is Gary Brown. I have been a pastor for over 42 years. My wife, Cindy, and I were born and raised in Georgia. In 2009 we loaded up the truck and moved to beautiful Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. My two adult children, Nathan and Mindy, moved with us. We now have three wonderful grandchildren (and counting!) Ellie, Olivia, and Owen. The Inland Northwest is our home.
January 2018 marked the beginning of a significant time in our lives. Along with our good friends, Jeremy, and Jennifer Scott, we went on what turned out to be an 18-month sabbatical. God has since added several other fellow travelers.
Through this season of letting go, I learned so much about myself, Christ and the church.
This website is the result of my journey. If you are seeking to know Jesus, or to understand how God works through us, welcome to the journey -- or I should say the saunter.
Keep reading to learn more about sauntering and about how to get the best use of this site.
Developing a Heart for God: Sauntering with the Father
Perhaps the best word for discipleship is “saunter”. The correct pronunciation is “saan-tr”. According to dictionary.com, to saunter is to “walk in a slow, relaxed manner, without hurry or effort" or “a leisurely stroll”.
I believe saunter is a beautiful word.
John Muir, the famous environmentalist, said most people are what he called hikers. They rush through the forest to reach their destination, covering the greatest number of miles in the least amount of time possible.
Muir stated that the origin of the word, saunter, dates to the Middle Ages when people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land. When people in the villages asked the pilgrims where they were going, the travelers would reply, “A la sainted Terre", to the Holy Land. So, these pilgrims became known as “Sainte-Terre-ers” or “saunter-ers”.
Muir encouraged people not to hike through the woods but to treat the woods as a holy place. He would say, “We should saunter through them, walking in a slow, relaxed manner, without hurry or effort.”
I can relate to John Muir. I am a former hiker, turned saunter-er. It is not unusual for me to go on 100 saunters a year. I am closest to my Heavenly Father when I am on a saunter.
I live in an area referred to as “the Inland Northwest”, a section of America that encompasses eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, north Idaho, and western Montana. Coeur d’ Alene is right in the center of this beautiful area.
There are more mountains and trails in which I can saunter than I can do in my lifetime and the beauty is stunning. I can drive 15 minutes from my house and be in the middle of nowhere. I absolutely love it.
What if our lives were more of a saunter with God than a hurried, stress-filled, rat race. I believe we rush through life. We are so busy. Our lives are so cluttered with all things American.
Ready for a change?
(Next: What is this site? How can I get the best use of it? )
This website was built to assist people in their walks with Christ.
Contained in these pages are tools to equip, and words to encourage those who are seeking the heart of God. It is designed for anyone to use - the seeker, the new believer or the experienced disciple.
Ultimately, my goal is that this site will serve as a platform where Christians can discover other serious saunter-ers and journey together with them online and face-to-face.
There are two main pages - "Sauntering" and "The Blog".
The Sauntering Page
This page is a suggested, step-by-step, process for those who are seeking spiritual renewal. The participants will interact with the next podcast, video, or post.
Sauntering is always better with a friend. I highly suggest you invite another person to take this journey with you. Most people finish this prescribed journey in twelve weeks.
A good plan to follow for a saunter of two.
Individually, listen to the next podcast, watch the next video, or read the next post. Weekly, meet to discuss it. This can also be done in a small group of three or four. I do not recommend this process for groups larger than four. Two is optimal.
When you are ready to begin your saunter, just click on the "Begin Your Saunter" button on the menu at the bottom of the page.
The Blog is filled with general posts, podcasts and videos on various subjects, authored by different people, The Blog offers further encouragement, instruction, and guidance to those in the community.
Coaching is available
Obviously, I can't walk with everyone, but I can be of assistance to ministry leaders.
Do you have any questions? Contact me and I will get with you as soon as I can. God bless you and have a great day!