Friday, March 23, 2007

All the Right Reasons to Ask the Wrong Questions

30 years ago, my 6th grade teacher at Joshua Middle School stood me up and told me that there was no such thing as a stupid question. Instead of being encouraged as she thought I would, I was challenged to try and come up with as many obviously stupid questions I could conjure. It set me on a lifetime of loving to propose ridiculous queries just for the sake of entertainment. I would like to publicly apologize for tormenting that poor woman and actually thank her for years of mindless entertainment. Here are a few of those I am talking about.

Stupid Questions

I would like to ask people who are for the ethnical treatment of animals, is it ok for Vegetarians to eat animal crackers? My good friend Tommy Cole down at the Mountain Valley Funeral Home might be able to answer this one. If a funeral procession was at night, do you think we would drive with our headlights off?

It Gets Worse

If a turtle doesn't have a shell, would he be called homeless or naked? When sign makers go on strike, is anything written on their signs? Would you call a fly without wings a walk?

Much Worse

Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons? Why isn’t there mouse flavored cat food?
If you only have one eye can you still get double vision?

Brilliant Answers

Because of my love for stupid questions I have become a fount of otherwise useless information. Life is too short to not know that the K in K-mart comes from the company's founder, Sebastian Spering Kresge, who opened his first store in 1899.

I could not bear to wake up in the morning without knowing that C.W. Post came up with the name “Grape Nuts” because the cereal contained maltose, which he thought was "grape sugar" and because the crunch reminded him of nuts.

Why Ask Why?

This crazy world we live in produces so many curveballs and blind-sided ninja slaps that it becomes easy for us to sit ourselves in a place where we need to know answers. When it comes to life’s big questions, if we are not careful we will find our selves stuck on a question we can’t get past. Like a needle on an old record player we repeat, “Why, why, why, why, why?”

As a Christian I find myself connected to the pain and the grief of those around me and as a Texan I find myself in unwanted territory more times than I can count. In those tough places we will never find the right answers if we insist on asking the wrong questions.

We can never expect a right answer when we demand to know why from our creator. Why is the wrong question and though we may feel like we have the right to ask the whys of life, the Christian world view is that it is in fact an invalid question. Sticking with invalid questions will make us invalid or paralyzed, unable to move forward and to progress.

As God pointed out to biblical Job, we are not qualified to ask the whys of life. Until we can wrap our heads around the mysteries of this universe we simply are not capable or even eligible for the why answers. So until then it just isn’t productive to demand a question when there is no way you can swallow the answer.

The Right Questions

In Acts chapter 2 we have the true account of the supernatural power of God’s Holy Spirit descending on believers at the day of Pentecost. There within the text are at least two of the right questions we should be asking. The first one is “What does this mean?” and the 2nd is “What should I do?”

When you ask why, it is connected to your pain and your grief and your personal hurt. “What does this mean?” is a question for “Big Picture” thinkers and it is attached to God’s purpose. “What should I do?” is attached to humility and adds legs to your faith. These are valid questions for people looking for the true answers that God is willing to answer.

For this short life span, we don’t get most of the whys of life answered. That’s for later when we “know as we are known.” Until then, we are offered the person of Christ Himself as the very answer to all of life’s riddles and that’s an offer none of us should refuse.

Contact: The Brewer welcomes your input at or by phone 817-297-6911. Please visit us online at

Friday, March 9, 2007

A Word on Caddo Friendship

Four hundred years ago the valleys and tributaries of the Ouachita, Red, Sabine, and Neches Rivers in what is today known as the Ark-La-Tex region were home to an extraordinary society of people. They were farmers, warriors, potters, and traders with a unique culture, the ancestors of the people known today as the Caddo Indians.

The Brewer lives in the shadow of a hill in Johnson County known as Caddo Peak. When I was a kid you could drive up there and I found my very first arrow head on what used to be an important site to the Caddo who had been relocated here in the 1800's.

Before my town Joshua was named after the Biblical hero that took the promised land, our community was actually known as Caddo Grove and was a stone throw from my house on what would be the Chisholm Trail and much later farm and market road 1902.

Native Texan

At one time the Caddo were a powerful and heavily populated people, who formed a society that early Spanish explorers highly regarded as civilized and friendly in comparison to other neighbors. Sadly, this initial respect did not spare the Caddo from the common fate of so many of the native folk who came into contact with European diseases, guns, and agendas. In less than two hundred years, the mighty Caddo were reduced to a few hundred refugees who were uprooted again from Johnson county and assigned tiny parcels of land in the Oklahoma Indian Territories before being up rooted yet again in the Oklahoma land grab.

Like the ancient Jews before them, against all odds the Caddo survived the 1800s and today, according to the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, number more than 4000. An interesting thing about the Caddo is that they don't live on a reservation and most of them don't even live in Oklahoma. They live in houses and apartments all throughout America working as police officers, nurses, lawyers, electricians, artists and the whole gamut. It seems that the Caddo have always been the friend of America even though America has not always been the friend of the Caddo.

Tejas is the Spanish spelling of a Caddo word taysha, which means "friend" or "ally." In the 17th century the Spanish knew the western most Caddo people s as "the great kingdom of Tejas" and the name lived on to become the name of the 28th state of the United States and the coolest place on the planet -Texas. The tradition continued all the way through and became the official motto of the state of Texas -Friendship.

How ironic that the name Texas comes from the word meaning friendship from a people that Texas would not be the friend of. Sometimes you are the friend of somebody that isn't really your friend at all.

Indian Giver

Not only am I the key pounding coffee drinker that churns up newspaper columns, but I am also the Senior Pastor of Open Door Ministries in Joshua, TX. One of the things I have a hard time convincing people is that Jesus Christ is your friend; He's the kind of friend to us that the Caddo Indians have been to Texas.

What I mean to say - is that Jesus has been feared because He's different than us, blamed for things he didn't do, hated because his presence doesn't go along with our life styles and ultimately kicked out of our lives, yet He is famous for friendship.

He didn't just die for you. He died and went to hell for you, slapping death in the face because you and I couldn't. He has proven Himself to be the kind of friend that only He can be. Let's not do to him what we as Texan have done to our friends the Caddo Indians. Let's keep Jesus close and not throw him out of our lives.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

(John 15:13).

Contact: The Brewer welcomes your input at or by phone at 817-297-6911. Please visit us online at

Monday, March 5, 2007

The Critic Gets Critisized

This weeks’ cup of Jehovah java comes with the idea of what it takes to get a fight started and it doesn’t take much. These days it’s either war or rumors of war, just as Jesus said it would be, so sit back and let this highly caffeinated Christian say a word about the intent of the confessions in these columns.

My Dad’s Bigger Than Yours

When William Wallace was headed out onto the battlefield field, his friend asked him where he was going? “Im going to pick a fight,” he replied. He didn’t come there to look at the enemy, he came there to actually engage and accomplish something. He was the real deal and so should we be.

I am not here to pick a fight but I am here to be the real deal. Since my “ideal” doesn’t go along with that of others, sometimes I can peg a person’s “cringe meter.” That’s not what I want to do, but just like coffee, a strong dose has its side effects.

My column is read by a lot of people in a bunch of different cities, these days including the hometown flagship here in Joshua, Texas. Because I am out there giving my opinions and views, I run the risk of ruffling the feathers of good and bad people alike.

All God’s Fault

Its by design that I stir up trouble and rave on coffee…God’s design. My name really is Brewer and brother Webster defines a “brewer” as one that brews or a troublemaker.

I don’t like confrontation and friction but I have found that you are going to get a lot of it when you go against the grain and dare to be different; in other words authentic, genuine and real.

Post Cards from Hell

For about a year now, I have begun to acquire a steady pouring of written response to what I write. Some of it, encouragement and appreciation but a lot of it is what I fondly call “hate mail.” There is not a week that goes by that I don’t get something from one camp or the other and I really enjoy reading both.

Some of my hate mail comes from sources you would imagine, such as people that have an absolute agenda against anything Christian. I have had two actual death threats in the past 4 years that are related to the “Fresh from the Brewer” and amazingly, both of them were from women. My Christian response is, no weapon formed against me shall prosper.” My Texan response is that there are some tough females at Open Door Ministries, and they will beat you down like a red headed stepchild.

The Art of War

Other such mail is from church folk that get their religious drawers in a wad because there is not a stained glass attached to my column. Others are from ministerial armchair quarterbacks that have no relevant ministry of their own, nor the guts to actually apply action to their faith so they make a ministry out of trying to tear down others. They call themselves “Watchers on the Wall.” I call them Humpty Dumpy wannabe's.

Playing It Safe

I believe that the way of Jesus Christ is as Erwin McManus puts it, a barbaric and dangerous way. I think when God calls us he calls us to go out on a limb into risky, hazardous and vulnerable places. When we play it safe, we give up relevance and I am authentically afraid of spinning my wheels. I am not the lobster in the tank that just wants to blend. The passion within me wants to color outside of the lines to make a significant difference. I don’t want to bury my coin as Jesus illustrated, I want to use it for all it is worth and to me that means not trying to be like everybody else.

So in trying to be funny and interesting to read for Christians and non-Christians alike, I run the risk of being called “an uneducated idiot not fit for print.” In encouraging people to give their lives and hearts to Jesus Christ, I risk being called, “a typical right wing evangelical that preys on the stupid with the fairy tale notion of everlasting life.” In not being churchy and using pop culture, I risk being called, “another pathetic example of worldliness in modern Christianity.”

I have been called all of those things and much worse, but for me, it’s proof that I am following the Lord into “all the world.” Its barbaric, it’s powerful, it’s authentic and real but it is not safe, easy or religious foo-foo. We just have to be thick skinned enough to boldly be who God has called us to be long enough for God to get good mileage out of His investment in us.

So in the words of John the Revelator, I end this column like he summed up the bible, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen.” I really mean that for those that love me, and those that don’t. To my critics and writers of hate mail, the words of the prophet Flo from Mel’s dinner come to mind when I say, “Kiss my grits.” Ha! And that to me is funny.

Contact: The Brewer welcomes your input at or by phone at 817-297-6911. Please visit us online at

The Right Place at the Right Time

Parked in the Right Spot

December first 1955 could have been a typical day but because the right person with the right character was in the right place at the right time, it was a day that changed the nation.

When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man that demanded it, she was physically tired from a long day of work but she was spiritually and emotionally full of enough strength to push America out of the stone age of racism we had so long lived in.

The rest of Rosa’s story is history...her arrest and trial, a 381-day Montgomery Alabama bus boycott and the Supreme Court's ruling in November 1956 that segregation on transportation is unconstitutional. Sometimes heroes come in small packages and her fight was not just for her race but also for everyone that is in love with what is right and hates what’s wrong.

I thank God that Rosa didn’t miss that bus. As sorry as I am for what she went through, I am so grateful that it was she on that bus in 1955. Everything changed because the right person was at the right place at the right time.

Willing and Able Because She Was Stable

She was able to do what God had destined her to do because she was willing to be who God had called her to be. Her character and strength put her into that world changing bus seat.

Parks' belief in God and her religious convictions are at the core of everything she did. It was the overriding theme of her book and the message she wanted to impart.

"I'd like for people to know that I had a very spiritual background and that I believe in church and my faith and that has helped to give me the strength and courage to live as I did."

The Brewer salutes you Rosa, and thanks God for you.

People of all races are amazing; they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church. They want to push others out of the way to jockey themselves into positions of greatness but truth be told, your obedience to God will put you in amazing places that you couldn’t set up on your own with a million dollars.

Tea and Crumpets
On my 2nd mission trip to Uganda east Africa, my wife and I had a typical 16-hour layover in London England. We took a train into downtown and ran around gawking at all things British.

Standing on the side of a busy London street and trying to make myself look right instead of left, I saw a police escort coming down the road towards me. There was a pretty good traffic jam that caused the entourage to stop right where Leanna and I were standing. Distracted by the obnoxious English siren, I finally looked into the back seat of the limousine closest to me. And there, not five feet away sat the flip’in queen of England.

I couldn’t believe it. She made eye contact with me and nearly putting my mouth on the window glass I yelled, “Hey Queen Elizabeth, Jesus loves you! As guards began to pour out of cars to beat up the foreigner that was yelling at their monarch, the traffic began to move and off she went.

Watching them drive away, I held my wife’s hand and muttered, “That was the Queen, Leanna. I just got to preach to the Queen.”

A short sermon yes, but it was the best I could come up with for the time I had to put it together. You see, my obedience in going to the orphanage in Uganda placed me on the street corner in England. and I thought about it all the way from London to Entebbe.

Something to Sip On
This week’s sip from the Master’s cup perks something like this; You will only do the great things God has called you to do if you are willing to be the person He has called you to be. Your character and your destiny go hand in hand. Your submission to the Lord in everyday life lands you in the right place at the right time for the right miracle to happen. God’s word to us truly is directing us to much greater things.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalms 119:105

Thursday, March 1, 2007


That’s 70’s show

7th grade at Joshua middle school was a great year for me. Back in 79 it was principled by the very man its named after now. Mr Loflin ran the school, Coach Nichols ruled the roost but a man named Dub Crocker tought the Texas history class.

It was a very political class for seventh graders because Mr Crocker, was all fired up about the mess America was in at the time. Before I finished 7th grade I understood what an interest rate was and I knew that it was at 24% for house mortgages and that I should be outraged over that. That same year, I learned where Panama was and I knew that president Carter had given it away and that I should have been upset. “Teddy rosevelt was rolling in his grave,” I learned. Though I had never heard of Iran before the 7th grade I knew that we had hostages there and our American embassy was taken over because everybody knew we were a bunch of “Pushovers” that wouldn’t do anything.

What did that have to with Texas History? Well, Mr Crocker saw the world in terms of how it effected Texas. He was a Texan and that’s the way most of us see things.

Gone to Texas

Out of all the things I learned in that incredible year, there is one thing that he introduced me to that started a life long fascination and passion that continues today. I had heard about the Alamo before 7th grade but not like he taught it. We actually studied the 13 day siege and the three warriors that some would revere as the trinity itself. Travis, Bowie and the coon- skined cap wearing “Lion of the West” Davey Crocket.

You don’t have to be black to revere Martin Luther King Jr as an amazingly great man and you don’t have to be Catholic to love Mother Theresa as an awesome woman. Just like that, you don’t have to be Texan to love Travis and the guys at the Alamo.

Freedom Fighter

I have read more than a dozen books on the subject and actually visited the shrine of Texas at least thirty times. In my mind Crocket is still on those adobe walls firing against all odds and Houston is still on his white horse in full gallop towards Santa Anna’s tent. Call me a sap but I love the romantic notion of freedom fighting.

On March 3, 1836 William Barret Travis frantically scribbled a few lines wile under cannon siege.

“Take care of my little boy. If the country should be saved, I may make for him a splendid fortune; but if the country be lost and I should perish, he will have nothing but the proud recollection that he is the son of a man who died for his country.”

Travis loved freedom and the letter to David Ayers is the last known letter written by Travis before the fall of the Alamo on the morning of March 6. Travis died at his post in hand to hand combat on the cannon platform at the northeast corner of the fortress. He was 26 years old.

Houston, Travis, Austin, Crocket, Sequin, Bowie and Bonham set a standard for all of Texas that followed them. A tradition and heritage of Freedom, guts and rugged individualism.

God and Texas

It is the nature of people to conform to the image of what makes them tick. It is a biblical principle and a matter of fact that God made us to take on the characteristics of the things we love. Whether its Heavy metal, the military or Nascar, if you look at something long enough-you start to look like it.

Because of this principle, I have noticed that while not all revolutionaries are Godly people, all Godly people are revolutionaries in one way or another. A true characteristic of the love of God is to hate bondage and oppression.

Nearly 2000 years before Travis fell at the Alamo, Jesus Christ was lifted on the cross.

He hated the oppression and bondage of sin so much that he was willing to die to overcome it. He loved humanity and wanted us to be set free so bad that he was willing to give his own life on our behalf. He didn’t die for nothing, he died and rose again so that you and I could have a real shot at true freedom.

God Almighty is not your warden, He is your deliverer and as the bible says, he whom the Son sets free is free in deed. In Galatians 5:1 Paul declares “It is for Freedom Christ has set us free. God loves to scrap for your freedom friend, so take advantage of it. It is the Brewer’s humble opinion that only though Christ will you find the freedom to forgive, to have joy, to have peace, to love God and to pursue a life of passion that really makes a difference. Freedom isn’t for wimps but it’s offered to everybody.