Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Deadliest Catch

Most folks in the world wouldn’t know anything about Dutch Harbor, Alaska or its small town called Unalaska, Alaska. But now millions tune in every week and click the worldwide waste of time looking for anything they can find. Dutch Harbor is the home base for the fisherman documented through a hit TV show called Deadliest Catch.

The weekly series on the discovery channel follows eight to ten crab fishing boats and their crews throughout the dangerous crab fishing seasons. The King Crab they fish for, frequently called "red crab" or "red gold" only comes to the surface after 16 hour work days in what could be lethal conditions.

The fourth season just started last week and the Brewer is a big fan. My favorite boat is the Time Bandit but I also like Captain Sig Hansen’s team of the Northwestern. I don’t get to watch every episode but I catch one or two a month and love it every time.

The Perils of Fishing

Last year the producers of the show were able to document the rescue of a man that fell off his boat and was miraculously rescued by the crew on the Time Bandit. Others have not been so fortunate. A boat featured in season one, The Big Valley, sank at the start of the 2005 season; five of the six crew died. It was a terrible tragic loss.

Whatever the reason, the risk and the consequences of error or just being in the Bering Sea in January, are absolutely real. I would like to think I could “man up” and do that but I know in my heart I couldn’t. I’m too old and too fat and I get seasick way too easy. I love to fish and I love adventure but I have learned you don’t have to move to Dutch Harbor for dangerous adventures in fishing.

Sleeps with the fishes

Through the years, there have been all kinds of documented reports of how serious fishing can be. From The Perfect Storm to Moby Dick, there are some whoppers out there.

There is a famous story about a guy named Marshall Jenkins, surviving after being ingested by a huge whale in the South Seas during the fall of 1771. As the Boston Post Boy newspaper reported on October 14, 1771, a whaling vessel from the port of Edgartown, Massachusetts harpooned a whale that turned and attacked its pursuers.

First, the whale bit into one of the boats, then swallowed Jenkins and submerged. When the enormous whale finally rose again to the surface, the whale vomited Jenkins onto the floating wreckage of the broken harpoon boat, "much bruised but not seriously injured." Jonah, eat your heart out.

Fishing for Men

As dangerous as it is to fish for sea creatures, there are about 40 countries in this world where it is much more dangerous to be a Christian and fish for men.

The metaphor of fishing was used by Jesus himself and in a lot of places in the world; a Christian is still the deadliest catch. People don’t realize that while places like Saudi Arabia are funding millions to build Mosques all over Europe, they will execute anyone trying to build a church in Saudi Arabia.

Fishing, especially for Christians, is still perilous.

One of my favorite fish stories is about a guy named Wally Magdanga. He was arrested in Saudi Arabia for being the Pastor of one of the largest underground Christian Churches in the land of Mecca. The most wanted man to the Saudi Government’s secret police was a Pastor that dared to print tracts with Bible verses. He had the audacity to give people the good news of Jesus Christ in a country controlled by Muslims. Something that is never permitted in a country controlled by Muslims and this of all places the home of Mecca.

The day they tore down his front door, assaulted his wife and children and arrested all of them is a day Pastor Wally will never forget. Sitting in the back seat of a secret policeman’s car, about to be taken off and tortured, the officer in the front seat turned around smiling.

“I have finally caught the big fish” He gloated through yellow teeth

“No,” Pastor Wally replied, “You have only caught a little fisherman.”

Illegal Fishing

There are at least 40 nations in the world right now where Christians are routinely imprisoned, tortured and even executed.

The worst place for Christian persecution in the world is North Korea, according to Open Doors’ 2008 World Watch List. The annual country persecution list ranked North Korea in the No 1 spot for the sixth year in a row.

In second place behind North Korea is the kingdom of Saudi Arabia where fundamentalist Wahabbi Islam dominates society and oppresses believers. Under the Kingdom’s strict interpretation of Islamic law, apostasy (conversion to another religion) is still punishable by death.

The 2008 top ten worst offenders list for atrocities against Christians looks like this. 1. North Korea 2. Saudi Arabia 3. Iran 4. Maldives 5. Bhutan 6. Yemen 7. Afghanistan 8. Laos 9. Uzbekistan 10. China

I encourage you to get involved, write a letter and say a prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters. Visit and for more information.

You can also visit the Brewer at

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Texans and Christians Have It All

Texans, to the bane of the rest of the insignificant planet, love Texas. Texas is not just a place; it’s an attitude, a culture and an independent spirit that seeps through to the actual real estate.

The philosophical vision of maverick-minded people from all over the world has left its mark on our cities and towns. If you are able to look past the influx of non-indigenous humanity, you can still see hints and outright declarations of mythical Texas.

Way before political correctness. Back before the idea that stating a fact is an attacking posture or vocalizing your belief is somehow disrespectful to others. When what you did mattered more than how you felt, and when your character was more important than the right to do something, Texans were building where the rest of the world was scared too.

Gone to Texas

The collective idea among the founding fathers of our towns seems to have been, “Whatever you need, you can find it in Texas.”

For example, if you’re lonely, you can drive to Friendship, Texas. Feeling down? There’s always Comfort, Texas.

If your wagon is draggin,’ you don’t need an energy drink. Just drive a little northwest of Lubbock to Pep, Texas. If you’re still exhausted, you could land in Energy, Texas.

If you are hungry, you can have a run through Bacon, Oatmeal, Turkey and Sugarland, Texas. You’ll need to top it off with a refreshing sip of Sweetwater, and you still haven’t left our state.

If you’re cold, there’s Blanket, Texas, and if you’re hot, there is Winters, Texas.

You wanna see the world? Don’t leave the state, just drive over to Earth, and have it all. If Paris is your dream, you’ll find it not far from the Red River. You might as well go see London, Rome, Italy, Egypt, China Grove and Athens, Texas, while you’re at it.

Wanna get way…way out there? Take a visit to Venus, Texas, but you’ll want to stay out of the prison over there.

Strange Sightings

If you drive about 20 miles southwest of San Antonio, you can say you have actually seen Bigfoot because there is a town with that name. We also have Tarzan for savages and Kermit and Elmo, Texas, for the kids.

I love the name Gun Barrel City, but hate the name Santa Anna. To me, that’s’ like naming your city Hitler or Stalin. I think the name Muleshoe is cool, but I got a ticket there once. I stopped in the fair city named after me, Troy, and found no wooden horses or monuments to the Brewer. Dimebox is an interesting name for a Texas town, and no doubt there’s a neat story behind it. You see, the attitude of the settlers still speaks to us today.

The mind-set of our pioneers was that you need’nt go anywhere else to get what you need. This goes along with true Christian thinking.


Recently, I was asked, really rather accused, of being big-headed when it comes to my theology. I understand that it pegs the cringe meter of some people to hear a Christian say Jesus is the only way. I also know that some Christians have done really ugly things while pointing to Christ. I am sorry for that.

For me, to say that Jesus is the only way is to say, “There is no one else that makes you safe, and there is no one else that is coming back for you.” You and I need not go anywhere else because he is available to both of us right here and right now. Jesus, like Texas, has it all.

You need mercy, compassion, and grace to overcome things? Redemption, salvation? Jesus has it all and freely dishes it out to anybody willing. Need a new beginning and a fresh start? You need not look anywhere else. You want hope and the promise of a future? For Christians, we find that in no better place then in the person of Jesus himself. I love being a Christian even more than I love being a Texan.

Because of Jesus, I am actually a resident of Heaven, temporarily living in Texas.

The town I live in now is called Joshua. It is named by our founding fathers for the Biblical taker of the Promised Land. To me, Joshua is still a place of Promise and in Christ, the promise remains: the best is yet to come.

Contact me at

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pray for Help

When the 911 emergency call system was first introduced to Texas, it changed everything -even our addresses. My address changed without me even moving. My physical address changed from a 2-digit number to a little more awkward four-digit number. I like the number twenty better than 1624 so I have kept “20” on the side of my house in open rebellion for 15 years now. Because my wife is more compliant and much more sweet, she put “1624” on the other end. That pretty much sums up the Brewer house.

Just like that, I used to live in the country, now I live in the city. Again I didn’t move anywhere, everybody moved to me. I hope the last Yankee from Michigan doesn’t forget to turn off the lights.

Anyway, 911 has been a very successful funnel for all things emergency related and I appreciate the dispatchers that do their jobs well. We’ve all heard horror stories about the cases of rude and indifferent dispatchers that wouldn’t respond properly but those are few and far between. If you do a web search you can find loads of examples of how outright stupid many of us callers are and this is something that goes on every day of the week.

The following examples are supposed to be true; I have no trouble believing it one bit.
Dispatcher: 911- what is your emergency?

: I heard what sounded like gunshots coming from the brown house on the corner.

: Do you have an address? Caller: No, I have on a blouse and slacks, why?

You are very aware that the Brewer is a highly caffeinated Christian. This kind of outburst leads me to serious prayer.

“Lord, help this Lady focus when our neighbors are being shot. Help her realize the dispatcher will never ask what kind of fashion statement she is making when in a gun battle. Help all of us, Lord, to overcome our self-conscience sence of appropriate fashion when the bullets are flying. Amen”

A Dad That’s Bad Mad

Sometimes any of us can just go brain-dead, especially when we are in panic mode. Sometimes in the heat of the alarm, we lash out at the very people trying to help us. Here’s a good example:

Dispatcher: 911- what's the nature of your emergency?

Caller: My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!

Dispatcher: Is this her first child?

Caller: No, you idiot! This is her husband!

Lets all hit our knees together.....
“Lord, help my comatose friend pull himself together long enough to realize the dispatcher is not mistaking him for his other infant. Help him to realize that the dispatcher is not the idiot involved in this conversation. And help him, Lord, to not wait until his wife’s contractions are 2 minutes apart before he takes action the next time. We love ya Lord. Amen”
Just Plain Strange

Dispatcher: 911 - what is your emergency?

Caller: Someone broke into my house and took a bite out of my ham and cheese sandwich.

Dispatcher: Excuse me?

Caller: I made a ham and cheese sandwich and left it on the kitchen table and when I came back from the bathroom, someone had taken a bite out of it.

Dispatcher: Was anything else taken?

Caller: No, but this has happened to me before, and I'm sick and tired of it!

This sounds like my father in law. I am considering fasting while praying for this guy.

“Lord Protect us because he is out there among us. You know I believe in your resurrection power and I pray that you touch him from the neck up. In Jesus name Amen.”

A Senior Moment

Dispatcher: 911 - what is the nature of your emergency?

I'm trying to reach nine eleven but my phone doesn't have an eleven on it.

Dispatcher: This is nine eleven.

I thought you just said it was nine one one?

Yes, ma'am, nine one one and nine eleven are the same thing.

Honey, I may be old, but I'm not stupid.

Ok, now look. It’s not this ladies fault the world has changed a million times since her youth. Who among us can keep up with moving technology and the ever-changing language on how to articulate it? This old Lady gets nothing but a pass and prayer from me.

“Just bless her Lord. It’s frustrating when you think no one is interested in your generation and you are expected to know everything about their generation. Wherever she is at today, I pray you smile on her and bless her big. In your name we pray. Amen”

Call for Help

God’s Hot Line for immediate help is simply 333. Jeremiah 33:3 to be precise. I encourage you to look to the mountain from where you help comes from, as the Bible says. And if you know a dispatcher, give them a hug for me.

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jer 33:3 KJV

Visit the Brewer a

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Reflections of a Lemonhead

If you were a young man in your early twenties, and actually locked lips with Angelina Jolie, do you think you would know it? I know that seems like a ridiculous question, but after you scan through this story you might not think so. This week’s cup from a highly caffeinated Christian comes freshly brewed with off the wall reflections on how easily we miss really big things.

Evan Almighty

Fifteen years ago, Evan Dando headed up a band called the Lemonheads and gained wide recognition for its 1992 cover of “Mrs. Robinson.” He was the good looking son of a fashion model and fit in well with the Hollywood A-list. He moved into a house owned by Johnny Depp. People magazine listed him as on one of the top 50 dishiest people, whatever that is. His album, It’s a Shame about Ray took off, selling millions.

Dando saw his dreams come true and then, predictably, saw nothing but a blur. The fast lane of superstardom turned on him like an evil genie, and the next fifteen years were full of drugs, breakups, scandals, failures and disappointments.

Sometime around 2005, Evan emerged from his fog and started recording with the Lemonheads again. It was a bonafied comeback, and Evan’s heart began to come back to life. His new success sparked a string of live performances and interviews, and that’s when I caught his story in an American Airlines magazine.

When I got back to the house, I looked him up on the World Wide Waste of time and saw this side note in an interview. He said recently someone had asked him if Angelina Jolie was a good kisser, and he replied, “You would have to ask Brad Pitt”. The interviewer informed him that Angelina was seen kissing him in one of his music videos. He went back to watch it, and sure enough—he had spent an entire afternoon in 1992 filming kissing scenes with the now famous movie star—and didn’t even remember it.

Pucker up

The blur and the busyness of our fast-paced lives can make us miss a lot of things. Extraordinary things. I think the condition of our heart determines a lot of what we do and do not see in the lives around us. Evan was so miserable with the life he was living; he completely missed the experience of what was right in front of him. All of us have been Evan at one time or another. Many of us are doomed to forever be lemonheads.

Not me. I believe in curses and blessings, and a common curse is when somebody misses their marriage because they want to be single, or they miss single life because they want to be married. A lot of people hate getting up in the morning because they want to be retired and then hate retirement because they want to go back to work.

Deuteronomy 28 defines this internal affliction in verse 67:

In the morning you shall say, Would that it were evening! And at evening you shall say, would that it were morning! --Because of the anxiety and dread of your [minds and] hearts…

You don’t have to have a Caribbean witch shake a dead rooster at you. All you gotta do is miss the moment. This curse is about the inability to see and enjoy the right now of life. A humble heart and a right mind will cause you to see the things that really matter when you are supposed to see them.

As you get about in your busy day, I encourage you to learn to be happy with what you already have. Don’t be a lemonhead. Consider where you are with a grateful heart and you just might find you are a lot better off than you give God credit for.

Contact the Brewer @