Monday, August 27, 2007

The Big Head

Don’t you love being a fan of somebody? I’m a big fan of a lot of people, in lots of different fields, some of them living but most of them gone. Davey Crocket, Sam Houston, Tom Petty, Spurgeon, William Tyndale.

I recently had the chance to listen to a guy who I instantly became a fan of. He was somebody that told stories about himself, and one really stood out.

When Rick Green was elected for the Texas State Senate he was only 26 years old. Yes he was a Christian and he knew better, but pride soon became a problem. By his own account he admits that he got the Big Head so bad that very quickly he looked more like the Jack in the box clown than the man his wife had married.

He didn’t want people to know how young and naive he was so he asked his doctor friends to give him all of their scientific American magazines and medical books. He perfectly situated text books and law documents so that when you stepped into his office you had to notice those titles. He hoped that folks would think he was a really smart guy.

On one of his first days in his new district office, a man walked in and up to his desk. Rick immediately picked up the phone and started acting like he was having a conversation. “No, I’m sorry I’m all booked up!” he said as he winked at the guy standing in front of him. “I would love to meet with you but I’ve got appointments every day of the week. How about a week from next Thursday...yeah that’s fine….ok Ill see you then, thank you.”

Rick green hung up the phone, took a deep breath, like he was exhausted, and addressed his visitor. “Can I help you, sir?”

The man looked disgusted and said. “No, I’m just here to hook up that there telephone.”

Eating Korn
Rick told this story about himself and added, “God sure knows how to humble a guy.”

God deals with Rick Green the way he deals with me. I can’t get away with nothing.

This last week my wife and I read a book called “Save Me From Myself”. It was written by Brian “Head” Welch, who is the former guitarist for the screaming band Korn. I am not a big fan of Korn at all but this book rocked my world. It’s the story of total transformation that comes when somebody gives their life to Jesus Christ. It’s a story about what happens when somebody really humbles himself.

Brian’s whole life went from “what was in it for him’ to “what was in him for everybody else”. He left the destructive world of self indulgence for service and the love of God. His orphanage in India and his personal testimony are making a difference that is worth drinking a cup of coffee to.

Brother Head doesn’t have the big head any more. Brian would agree with Rick. God sure knows how to humble a guy.

Humility heals. Humility helps. Humility is compatible with an awesome God that wants to heal and help. So when you are in need of healing, help or a touch from God himself, the Brewer recommends a healthy dose of humble pie. Preferably before it gets crammed down our throats.

Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.”

Let me know your thoughts on this weeks “Brew” at

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Baseball and Bullet Proof Bibles

Americana. It’s a word related to our history and culture. When I think of Americana I tend to think of baseball, hotdogs and cowboy hats. So there I was, next to one of my teenagers, Luke, eating a hotdog and watching the Texas Rangers beat up on Kansas City.

We were sitting in the lower balcony on what is called “the homerun porch” and for a brief while I actually believed I could catch a ball that was sent my way. I said a small prayer thinking how cool it would be if we actually got our hands on a real major league ball.

At the lead of the fourth inning, Michael Young hit a homerun exactly to my seat. If you saw it on TV, I was the fat guy pushing people over trying to protect myself. There, on national Television and with my son watching, I screamed like a little girl and jumped a full two seats to left to try and get away from it.

The really awesome dad on the row in front of me held his glove up above my face and after catching it, handed the ball over to his slack jawed 9 year old. Luke looked at me, I looked at Luke and we both busted out laughing. Lesson one on baseball night; be careful what you pray for, you might just get it. Lesson two; sometimes you just look stupid when you get what you pray for.


One of the guys that I crawled all over was a sitting next to my son. He was a 19 year old solider on leave from Iraq. We had already thanked him for his service and told him we would be praying for his safety. He said he was headed back to “the sandbox” on Monday.

I told him to keep his Bible with him and asked him he had heard about Private First Class Brendan Schweigart. He said no, so I told him the story I’m telling you now.

Brendan is a 22 year old from Andover, New York. He had his bible tucked in a pocket beneath his bulletproof shield when he was shot with a high-powered rifle while on a mission in Iraq. It saved his life by shielding the bullet from his heart.

According to reports, Schweigart told his mother, Kim Scott, that he always carried a Bible into battle. The Bible he was carrying was one he got at boot camp and there inside the actual book is the bullet that was meant to kill him. He still carries it with him today.

The sniper put bullets through his arm and another through his body but the one that was ment for his heart stopped somewhere past the book of psalms. Schweigart, who received a Purple Heart, has since been released from the hospital and is back on light duty. I think it’s a great idea to keep your heart protected with God’s word.

There is a bible with a bullet in it on display in the Alamo. It has a similar story with a different time and setting. I’ve looked at it through the glass in the long barracks on more than one occasion. This week’s sip from the master’s cup comes with a little advice about protecting your heart. I have been really trying to wrap my head around what that might mean, lately. When that solider hid his bible under his vest he didn’t know that it would cause him to dodge a bullet.

I think keeping Gods word hidden in our heart causes us to dodge something much more lethal.

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Psalms 119:11

PVT 1st class Brendan Schweigart

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It's Good to Get a Little Hacked Off!

There’s a stigma among cultural Christianity that the Brewer thinks is false. I call it the doctrine of “Niceism.” It’s the belief that being righteous means being nice all the time. This morning’s sip from the Master’s cup comes a little more caffeinated than usual.

I was reading this week about the Christian hostages that the Taliban has been torturing and murdering over the past few weeks. These 23 Christians from South Korea were on a mission’s trip to encourage the church and help in any way possible, when they were kidnapped on July 19th.

Reports from the area show 18 of the 23 are women, and several of them are sick to the point of death. The kidnapping of these Christians, simply because they are Christians, is the largest abduction of foreigners in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.

The World Yawns

Nearly a dozen Taliban deadlines demanding the release of terrorist prisoners have passed since the Christians were abducted. Two male hostages have been killed so far with the latest death occurring last Monday. The first murder was of Pastor Bae Hyung-kyu, the 42-year-old leader of the kidnapped Koreans. He was found dead from gunshot wounds on July 25. His family said they will not hold a funeral before the remaining hostages return safely home. Can you imagine the grief these sweet people are going through?

The second murder was of 29-year-old Shim Sung-min. His bloodied corpse was found in the southern province of Ghazni, south of Kabul. The body was dumped in a field just off a main road, with his hands tied and bullet wounds to his head. From website reports he was an outstanding young man that wanted to make a difference in this messed up world. Nobody knows the terror that brother went through for being of a different race and a different religion; alone, in a foreign country surrounded by Muslim terrorists with no one there to help him or have mercy on him.

Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf said Wednesday the remaining 21 hostages are still alive, but that they will kill more if their demands are not met. The reports are the hostages are not being fed and there is not much telling what they have to endure.

What about Paris Hilton?

An official with the Institute on Religion and Democracy wonders where the outrage is over these murders and abductions of Christians. A lady named Faith McDonnell, the IRD's director, says the persecution of Christians does not to seem matter to national media. McDonnell is disturbed by the lack of information being broadcast, while Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan receive wall-to-wall coverage.

Additionally, she says, this situation shows the true face of radical Islam and the news is mostly reported as “foreigners” or “Koreans” are being murdered by “Terrorists” and not as “Christians” being murdered by “Islamic extremists” or “radical Muslims”.

Because of the doctrine of niceism, Christians tend to fall in step with this crazy politically correct bunch of bologna. I know a lot of nice people that wouldn’t lift a finger to help anybody. The world is very worried about not hurting the imagined feelings of one person while not giving a rip about real people that are really being tortured and really being shot in the head by very real bullets.

I wish that Christians and decent people of other religions and even non religions would get their priorities straight in what they get upset about. Anyone with any form of humanity in them, much less the love of God, should be outraged, sickened and grieved over what these Christians are going through. At the very least they should be interested.

Christians… I want to tell you something that you might not hear in traditional church services. God hasn’t commanded you to be nice; he has commanded you to be full of life and full of the love of God. We are called salt and light to the world. Sometimes salt stings and sometimes light gives us a headache, but we are still supposed to preserve and overcome darkness for those around us. That might trouble some but it’s ok.

Matthew 10:34
“Don't think that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came to bring trouble, not peace.”
(Contemporary English Version)

Don’t forget, the best way to reach The Brewer is at

Friday, August 10, 2007

Texans and Tall Taxi Tales

It was a little after 5 in the afternoon when our plane touched down at DFW. The squelch of the tires on the tarmac was one of the most beautiful sounds I’ve heard in a very long time. It had been a month and over 22,000 miles since I last saw Texas and as we taxied to the gate I could hardly wait to kiss my bride and eat an enchilada…in that order.

After a month in India, I have never enjoyed a traffic jam like I did from the airport. Not a single rickshaw or holy cow blocking the highway. It was awesome. All of the Brewer clan went directly, on the right side of the road, to my favorite Tex-Mex joint. It was a lot like what I imagine heaven to be. Family, fellowship and guacamole.

This trip to India was my most successful mission to that part of the word yet. We actually stayed at the orphanage we support and spent a lot of time with my 300 kids. We visited our leper colony and hosted more than 50 pastors at an encouragement conference. I was able to hire an Indian band to back me and one Monday night we did a praise and worship concert for as many people as could stand a song in English. What a hoot!

It was powerful and life changing but it was not without incident. When you travel throughout the world, really anything can happen. Third world countries can be dangerous places and you have to really believe God for protection on so many levels.

Taxis in one form or another have been around for as long as there have been people that needed them. By the end of the 19th century, cars began to appear on NYC streets and it wasn’t long before a number of these cars were hiring themselves out in competition with horse-drawn carriages. Although these electric-powered cabs were slightly impractical with batteries weighing upwards of eight hundred pounds, by 1899 there were nearly one hundred of them on the streets.

Progress has always had its price, and on September 13th of that year, a sixty-eight year-old man named Henry H. Bliss was helping a friend from a streetcar when a taxi swerved and hit him. This gave Bliss the dubious distinction of being the first American to die in a car wreck, and giving cabbies a first glimpse at a reputation they would soon solidify.

I have been in taxicabs all over the world. I think that London has the Best taxicabs and San Francisco has the craziest cab drivers, or at least the funnest. I don’t mind hoping in a cab from time to time so it didn’t bother me to take one from the domestic airport to the international airport in Bombay.

I thought a cab ride through the rugged streets of Bombay might be fun. You never know when you might come across a rope trick or maybe even a cobra charmer. It just so happens though that the cab that my son and I climbed into Bombay was not actually a cab but part a small crew of thieves that looks for gullible fat white guys to rob.

The bottom line is that we were not taken to the airport but the bad part of town where our driver picked up a cohort and commenced to rob us. There is a whole lot to this story but let me tell you this. By the time it was over, we were safely at the airport, with our passports and luggage intact. It really was a miracle.

These confessions of a highly caffeinated Christian only go so far but let me give God glory for giving me and my 16 year old son the ability to overcome those robbers. They got away with a few dollars from Bens front pocket but with a lot less pride and a few less teeth after it was all over with.

My suggestion to the robbers is to not tangle with two men of God from Texas. Especially ones nearly crazy from a lack of enchiladas. If you know my grandmother Francis Millican, please don’t tell her this part of the story. I’m in enough trouble for going there anyway.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield."

Psalms 91:1-4