Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction


It’s still hard for me to get used to school starting in August. For my entire kid life up in the North … school started on the Wednesday after Labor Day. Warm days, cool nights, falling leaves, new shows on TV, and a brand new pair of Buster Brown’s for class and Pro Keds canvas sneakers for gym meant school was back in session.

Once you hit Junior High it was Lee jeans or painter pants, a gold chain around the neck, untied Nikes, three buttons on the shirt opened, and a comb with a big handle sticking out of your back pocket. The mid 70’s into the early 80″s. Nothing like it.

I had several teachers who really influenced me. In grade school it was my sixth grade teacher. She was the first teacher I ever had that cussed in class. She could praise you or embarass you with equal enthusiasm. But her love for proper English stuck with me for life. To this day, after authoring two books and writing hundreds of magazine and newsletter articles, I can still hear her voice on my shoulder … “Mr. Braemer, is that the best way to say to that?”

In Junior High it was Mrs Holtzworth. She was the first teach I had to get political in class. Yes, she was a true left winger. Our “discussions” DEBATES were famous. She allowed arguments. Most kids just sat there and absorbed what was said. Not me. I was Walt Braemer’s son. I can still remember her crying in my  7th grade history class the day after Reagan swept Carter off the electoral map. From her I learned education does not always mean intelligence. She had degrees and was published but was not smart. Just educated. I learned not to let someone’s degrees intimidate me if they lacked the intellect, truth, and character to back it up.

In the 8th grade my parents enrolled me in a Christian school. Mr. Bozung was my Science teacher. He taught me to go to soul winning at the age of 14. Miss Repetto let me sit by the girl I had a crush on. Mr Spier encouraged me to do what everyone else told me I couldn’t. Mrs Aucompaugh challenged me to think while Mr Allen taught me to submit. Pastor Geremia told me to use my big mouth for the Lord and Pastor Eldridge believed in me when everyone else gave up.

In college Dr Jack Hyles inspired me to preach without apology, stand on principles and convictions, and never be afraid to shed a tear and show emotion. Dr Jack Schaap taught me to study and have depth to back up the breath.

My two greatest teachers were instructors or professors. The first was my grandmother, Ruth Putman. She led me to Christ and taught me God was real and never be ashamed to speak of Him and for Him. Walt Braemer, my father. He taught me to argue, to challenge, to question, and look at every side of an issue because sometimes truth hides.

Then there were those others through the years who have influenced me. A deacon named Guy Fraiser who still gives me practical homespun wisdom, a Pentecostal couple who taught me faith named Randy and Carol Smith, Floyd and Nancy Dykeman who taught me to minister, Louise Purpura who was my iron sharpener, Bob Horton who showed me courage, and Leona Hazzard who demonstrated the virtue of faithfulness.

All of the people who have worked on ministry staffs for me in New York. I learned something from each one of you. I love you all.

And now that I began new relationships with a new staff … I am eager to learn what you have to offer.

Every man is a teacher. What are you learning? What are you teaching someone else? School is back in session.

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