Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Flight was, "The Bomb!"

Fear and Loathing in San Antonio

Last week’s mission trip to Mexico included a very rare plane trip back from Harlingen airport because I had a gig in Dallas on Saturday night. Yes, besides being a Pastor and writer, the Brewer moonlights as a rock star on the side. (Joshuarising.com)

We had taken six thousand pairs of shoes to Brownsville, done a food outreach in the trash dumps of Matamoras Mexico and a really cool, hour long, live radio interview at K.I.R.T. in Mission Texas.

The team of people with us had to drive back but I opted to take two of my kids on a short plane trip to love field. I was supposed to do a sound check at the Hilton in Grapevine at two O’clock. Sounded like a great plan but of course there would be a story to tell.

At what was supposed to be a short layover in San Antonio, we were evacuated and had the hounds released on us as FBI agents combed for a bomb that had been reported to be on our very plane. I thought for a while that I was headed to Guantonimo Bay.

The Associated Press put it this way:

SAN ANTONIO — About 100 passengers evacuated from a plane headed for Dallas today after San Antonio International Airport received a bomb threat, authorities said.

The airport received several calls this morning saying a bomb was in Terminal One, airport spokesman David Hebert said. Around 10:30 a.m., a caller referred specifically to the Dallas-bound flight.

Hebert declined to release the name of the airline, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

The passengers were evacuated and the plane was taken to a safe zone where airport police and a canine unit found nothing following a search, Hebert said.

The passengers were allowed to board again after a two-hour wait. The FBI is investigating, he said.

Snakes On A plane

I find it very interesting that there are no reports of the people they arrested even though I saw them taken off of the plane. We had just been cleared to leave San Antonio when they stopped the plane, reopened the door, and escorted one person out.

I think the airline handled the whole situation very well, however I would like to be fully reimbursed for my ruined underwear. I might be an awesome man of God but I’m a big fat chicken when it comes to airplanes. There is something about bombs and 39,000 ft that make those complimentary peanuts run right through me.

By the grace of God and a bottle of Pepto, I was not only able to make my gig but actually play a set in front of four thousand people with all parts intact. It was a great night.

Teflon Coated

There is really no telling what all God is protecting us from. I think it’s worth noting that the Lord is taking care of us in different areas that we don’t have a clue about. He is no doubt eliminating threats the way we lock cabinets and pick up sharp objects before our little ones even come into the room. I want to give God credit for all the ways He is protecting me in areas where I could never really give him credit for.

My kids are not sure what they think about their very first flight but I assured them it’ll make a great story to tell the Grandkids someday. For that matter it might make for an interesting newspaper column.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust. Psalms 91: 1&2

Contact: The Brewer welcomes your input at FFTB@OpenDoorMinistries.org or call me @ 817-297-7783. For information about our church, please visit us online at www.OpenDoorMinistries.org

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Homecoming Heroes and Appreciated Accolades

A Heroes Welcome

On any given day of the week, more than 100 soldiers come through DFW Airport on their way home for two weeks of long awaited R & R. Under that program, American soldiers receive these little vacations from stressful and risky war tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thirty-five years ago most veterans came home from the nightmare of Vietnam, only to be spit on by a Jane Fonda fan. Most passed through crowds of people that wouldn’t even look them in the eye, much less acknowledge their selfless service.

This aint the seventies and this aint the people’s republic of Berkley. The Brewer tips his glorious hat to DFW Airport for hosting a program called “Welcome Home a Hero”. It’s a thoughtful and selfless outreach where volunteers celebrate these men and women as they come through the customs door. They give them hugs, pats on the back, throw babies in the air and take lots of pictures.

They tell these jaw dropped soldiers that they are proud of them and that they appreciate them. The impact it makes is a life long one not just for the military but also for their kids and family looking on.

You don’t have to agree with the war against terrorism to agree it is incredible folks who will go out of their way to encourage someone during a perilous time in their life. Homecomings are so important.

Going home

Some of my favorite memories are from seeing my family after a long trip overseas. Last July I spent the month in India and when I finally made it back to DFW my bride, four kids and lots of friends from my church were there at midnight to tell me they loved me. I tried so hard not to bawl and squall. It was a great day to be alive.

When I think of homecomings though, I just can’t help but think about Heaven. I have had the privilege of preaching some funerals for very close friends and to me they were something like a home going. I don’t think Heaven is the place you go to after you leave home. I think heaven is the home you go to after you leave this place.

My good friend and personal secretary Paula Ledbetter went home having to leave her husband John and three boys here in Johnson County. As tragic of a loss as it was for those of us that knew Paula, there was no doubt that Paula had graduated with honors and gone home to her reward. Over 600 people crammed into a tiny place to celebrate her 37 years and at least 17 were so inspired by her life; they became Christians themselves that weekend.

When you get home from a long hard day, the bad things don’t really matter because your home after all. I think heaven is like that.

Almost There

About 100 years ago there was a missionary by the name of Samuel Morrison. Samuel spent the last 25 years of his life as a medical missionary in the darkest regions of Africa. When he came down with a terminal illness, he decided to go back to the United States to die and it just so happened he traveled on the same ocean liner that brought President Teddy Roosevelt back from his famous hunting expedition.

When that great ship pulled into New York harbor it looked like the entire population of America showed up to greet the president. Bands were playing, banners were waving, choirs were singing, balloons were flying, flashbulbs were popping, and newsreels were poised to record the return of the president. Mr. Roosevelt stepped down the gangplank to thunderous cheers and applause.

Now at the same time this was going on, frail Samuel Morrison exhausted and worn out, limped off the boat at the other end. No one was there to greet him. He slowly made his way through the mob. There were so many people there he couldn’t even find a cab.

Inside his broken heart he began to sadly complain, “Lord the president has been in Africa for 3 weeks killing animals and the whole world turns out to welcome him home. I’ve been in Africa for 25 years serving you and not one person has greeted me or even knows I’m here.” No sooner had he said those things when in the quietness of his heart, a gentle loving voice whispered, “My child, you’re not yet home.”

Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Rev 22:12-13)

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