Thursday, August 28, 2008


Her name is Isabella. I saw her for the first time several years ago. We will both be forty two this winter. Past that, there’s not much in common. Though we grew up on the same planet, during the same time, we have lived in two completely different worlds.

When I was eighteen, I drove a 1971, Ford truck named “Ned Pepper” after the bad guy from True grit. It was a shinning time for me, full of music, friends, high school graduations and hope for the future. That same year, when Isabella was eighteen, her family sold her to the trash dump in Matamoros Mexico.

Across the river

The search for a better life had brought Isabella’s family to the border. They had heard there were jobs that couldn’t be found in the mountains of Southern Mexico. They didn’t find jobs but found hardship and predators that prey on desperate people.

After spending some time without a home, they were offered a piece of property with no money down, where they could build some kind of a house from things found at the nearby dump. What seemed like a good opportunity was actually a trap. Because they didn’t understand how interest works, it wasn’t long before they couldn’t make the payment.

The terrible ultimatum demanded by these Mafioso loan sharks is that your wife and daughters can either sell their bodies as prostitutes or the whole family can work in the trash dump. Of course they are promised they will be able to pay off the debt, and of course they are never able to. Years go by, people loose hope and slavery goes on within a few hours drive of where you are reading this now.

A cross to bear

I don’t know all the details but Isabella became property of the dump the same year I was eating ice cream at the Dairy Queen in Joshua. She paid the price for her family at the age of 18 and her family went back to the village. She was 36 now but looked much older, emotionally disturbed and a little bit crazy. Isabella had spent every day of her last 18 years in untold hardship and every night in unspeakable darkness.

Her “boss” was there that first day we met her. He sat in the truck watching her and some twenty others mine through the filth for anything of value.

Through several local people, we were told her story and we approached her about the possibility of freedom. I asked if it was possible to pay her debt and set her free. She didn’t say anything she just smiled and pointed to the guy in the truck. A local Pastor hacked out a price for this human being and all of us on the team collected our money. Out of the 10 of us we were able to muster $631.00. He took the money, went and had a talk with her and drove off to parts unknown.

We set Isabella free that day. Free to find her family. Free to live wherever she wanted, however she wanted. At that moment I felt like one of the most privileged people who ever lived. It was a good day.

Crossing back over

I visit the dumps there several times a year, so four years later it wasn’t out of the ordinary for us to be there again. When we topped the hill with our truckload of food and clothes, I thought I recognized her. There in the trash she was collecting cardboard. Isabella was back. My heart sank.

It wasn’t the loan shark or another con. She was there working on her own free will. “Forgive me”, she said to our team, “I don’t know how to live out there; I only know this place.” She looked for any sign of mercy and all I could do was hug her and tell her it was ok.

Every time I go there I see her now. She runs to the truck before we can even get out and we are always happy to share a day together. In fact we put special things aside for her and her family. I got to put brand new shoes on her little boy’s feet last week and my wife paid to put all of her kids through another year of school.

- The Brewer putting new shoes on Gabriel

Yes, I’m disappointed she chose to stay in the dump, but she is still very precious to the Brewer bunch. I just don’t think Isabella could see her self outside of that terrible place. Because of her self-identity, the dump still has her. I wish she could see herself like we see her because we think she’s awesome.

I see all of us in Isabella. Christ has set us free and so many times we choose to go back to the trash. It’s hard to see yourself as clean and set free when on the inside you feel filthy and tied up. That’s why its so important to believe the truth especially when it comes to identity. When we believe a lie we empower the liar and that’s just a shame. May we all learn to see ourselves a little more like God really sees us.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

- Isabella, with my son Benjamin last week.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Respect For The Badge

You may or may not remember Zsa Zsa Gabore but she is famous for several things.

She was Miss Hungary in 1936. She’s been married nine times. Her house, which she bought from Elvis, is famous for being built by Howard Hughes. She is famous for suing her only daughter, Constance Hilton, aunt to Paris Hilton, as a fraud. You may have even caught her one episode of Gilligan’s Island or cameo on the Naked Gun.

She is famous for saying things like, "I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house." The Brewer tilts his cup and says between his stained teeth, “What a blessing”.

When Mrs. Gabore was pulled over in 1989 by a Beverly Hills police officer, she became famous again. This time it was for slapping an officer in the face.

A few days latter, the San Francisco earthquake halted the World Series and before the games resumed, her court sentence came out. The same day she was sentenced to 3 days and $13,000 in fines, Jim Baker was sentenced to 45 years and a $500,000 fine for mail fraud. It was the 80’s. It was a scandalous and disrespectful mess. A day of big shaking when you would shamelessly slap the law in the face.

…Watch ya gonna do?

My dad was a Ft. Worth police officer for a while. From the day I first saw my daddy in uniform, I have had a high respect for cops in general. In Texas, there has been a long-standing tradition of high respect for men with a badge. It is quickly fading as our unique culture heads out of a door that no one holds open for ladies anymore.

This week I got an e-mail and it perfectly illustrates what I’m talking about.

Somebody named Glen Copeland, a retired veteran, wrote he had gone downtown to run a few errands and stopped at the coffee shop. He was only there for about 5 minutes and came out to find a police officer writing a parking ticket.

Glen said to him, “Come on, man, how about giving a retired person a break?” The cop just did his duty and continued writing the ticket. Glen said he was annoyed that this cop ignored him, so he called him a Nazi. Completely unnecessary.

The policeman just smiled and wrote out another ticket for worn out tires or some crazy thing. That’s when Glen called him a doughnut-eating dinosaur.

He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then politely and patiently the police officer wrote a third ticket when Glen called him a moron in blue.

This went on for about 20 minutes. The more Glen was ugly, the more tickets were written. Finally the policeman asked, “Are you finished?” Glen said, “Yes sir, I am”

Personally, Glen confessed in his e-mail, he didn't care a bit about the tickets because he came downtown on the bus. The car that with all the tickets had one of those bumper stickers that said, “Obama in '08”.

Glen went on to say he tries to have a little fun each day now that he’s retired. The doctor tells him it's important to his health.

The Brewer says, shame on you Glen. Have a little more respect for the police please.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Thing For Trains

I’ve had a thing for trains since I was a little kid. When I was three, my parents lived in a trailer house and I loved it because I thought it was a boxcar. Long before, of course I made my first million selling horned toads to Northerners.

So it’s been a big deal to me to ride trains all over the world. The Silverton/Durango train in Colorado, a bullet train from London to Edinburgh, Scotland and even sat on top for a four-hour ride in North East India. I have even made the perilous journey through Forrest Park on the miniature train that starts at the Ft. Worth Zoo. The Brewer’s got guts.

There’s a restaurant in Pantego, Texas called Campo Verde that has a model train running up near the ceiling and through the house as you eat. Every time I go, my A.D.D. kicks in and Leanna has to order for me. There’s something romantic and adventurous about trains to me. I tend to love things that are going places.

Circus Train

A few months ago I was at Keith Neil’s backyard for a plate of his world famous bar-b-q. His place is positioned beautifully in a mature pecan orchard and his property ends at a railroad track. While we were literally and figuratively chewing the fat, a North bound train blew by destined for parts unknown. The discussion changed to trains he had seen pass by through the years.

We talked about army trains with rockets and how I had seen The Freedom Train blow through Joshua in 1976. He topped mine by describing the Ringling Brothers Circus train and from there everything goes a little fuzzy. My wheels started spinning. I had never seen the circus train. How could I live through 41 years and never see the circus train? This had to be part of my bucket list of things to do before I assume room temperature. Right then and there I decided to go home, get on the Internet and find out when the Ringling Brothers show would rumble down the tracks in my neck of the woods.

But I didn’t. The week got hard. My life got busy and in a very little while my duty to responsibility bullied away the simple dream of chasing down something out of the usual.

So when I turned the corner last Tuesday night and saw the Ringling Brothers’ Circus train right in front of me, it was like an Elvis sighting! Man I was thrilled. Leanna and the kids were not sure what the big deal was but I was yelling, “Look, look, look!”

66 cars, I counted. The same number of books in the bible and all the while I was thinking how incredible God is that He answers the simplest of prayers. Then as we headed back towards the house, it occurred to me. I had never prayed that prayer.

Now God gets my attention when He answers prayers but He really gets my attention when He answers prayers I never even prayed. Sometimes the Lord sees stuff in our heart and brings those things to pass just because He loves us. I’ve heard Garth say thank God for unanswered prayers but I want to thank God for answering un-prayed prayers.

That makes me want to be really responsible, not just in my prayer life and thought life but also in my WANT LIFE. The things we want matter to him. King David said that out of all the things he wanted in his lifetime, it really boiled down to one thing.

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalms 27:4

Like David I want to live so close with God in such a way, I see how beautiful He is every single day of my life. Even if it’s through a circus train.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

The Number Eight in August 08, 2008
Today's article is a real treat for Fresh From The Brewer fans as Pastor Troy takes a moment to discuss the significance of this day in history.

The following is an excerpt from his newest book, "Numbers That Preach."

We hope you'll enjoy this read and have a new appreciation for numbers as they apply to our day and time. Copies of this book can be ordered through our website at
numbers that preachFor more than twenty years, Troy Brewer has studied and kept notes on this incredible subject. In 2003 he began to assemble those notes into a book he calls Numbers that Preach. the out come has just been published this year and its packed full of his insight on what God was speaking through biblical numbers in modern and historical events.

The Number Eight



EIGHT. This is the number that God uses to illustrate Resurrection. It has to do with new birth, new life and new creation. When God preaches on redemption and when He makes things alive again, He likes to use the number eight in his language.

For example, THERE ARE 8 NEW THINGS promissed to us in the word of God.
A new song (Ps 96:1 Rev 5:5:9)
A new name (Isaiah 65:2 Rev 2:17)
A new Heart (Ezekiel 18:31)
A new Spirit (Ezekiel 11:19)
A new tongue (Mark 16:17 Acts 2:4)
A new commandment (John 13:34)
A new heaven and a new Earth
Rev 21:1 and Isaiah 66:22
Other examples include:
8 people in the ark when it rested on Ararat.

Circumcision was to be performed on the 8th day: Luke 2:21.

King David was the 8th son of Jesse.

Aaron and sons began their ministry on the 8th day:

The word "born" appears 8 times in Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus.

The word "water" appears 8 times in Jesus' conversation with the woman at the well.

Elijah performed 8 miracles.

Elisha performed 16 miracles (2x8).

Jesus rose up on the 8th day or the first day of the week.

The title of Jesus as "Redeemer" shows up 8 times in scripture

The 119th Psalm is divided up into 22 sections of 8 verses each.

8 women prophets in the bible
(Miriam; Exodus 15:20, Deborah; Judges 4:4, Huldah; 2 Kings 22, Anna; Luke 2:36, and the 4 virgin daughters of Philip in Acts 21:8)

8 additional apostles other than the original 12.
(Matthias, Barnabas, Paul, Andronicus, Junia. James, Silvanus and Timothy)

8 things worthy to think on in Philippians 4:8.
If you want a new beginning in your mind, these are things you have to think on.
(Things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtue and praise)

8 caves in the bible.
Caves are always used in the word of God as safe places of hiding for a season until God can work a whole new beginning in the life of the person that stays there. You see it in Lot's fleeing to the cave, David's headquarters while Saul was after him and Elijah hearing the still small voice. That's why the bible says Lazarus, the same guy that Jesus resurrected, was buried in a cave and not in a grave ( John 11:38 )

The word eight appears 80 times in scripture.
Adam lived 800 years after Seth was born. Seth, Adams 3rd son, represented new beginnings after the murder of Able and the eviction of Cain. The name Seth shows up in the bible exactly eight times.

The numerical value of the name of Jesus as it is written in Greek is 888. While the number of the Antichrist or the beast might be 666 the number of Jesus is 888 (111x 8)

Iesous= 888
I (10) + e (8) + s (200) + o (70) + u (400) + s (200)

It's 8 three times or new beginnings completed .

The most watched movie in History, "The Jesus film" has been translated into 888 languages and Campus Crusades for Christ distributed the 20 millionth copy in march of 2005.

Today's Toll free number is America is 888. I hope that this reminds somebody that Jesus is the free gift of God given to man. It is by Him that the Price has been paid for all of us.

Isaiah 55:1
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
So the next time you see the symbol for infinity (number 8 on its side) or you find yourself dialing a toll free number in the USA ( the USA was formed in 1776 which is 888 x 2), remember that God has a new beginning for you in the person of Jesus Christ

God preaches through the number eight and what a powerful message it is!



You can order Troy's book on this subject now by contacting us at

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Shack

When my wife and I first got married, we moved into a house that had been literally used to store hay from the early nineteen seventies. It was a shack. I couldn’t afford much and this man from Springtown told me he would let me live in the old house if I would take care of his cows and his 400 acres. So that’s what I did.

While it looked terrible on the outside, my father in law and I spent three months redoing the walls, the ceiling and the floors. By the week of my marriage, we had converted a rundown cabin into the Brewer’s hillbilly palace. It was awesome.

We spent our first three years of marriage in young loves bliss until a tornado threw the coupling of a train into it; but that’s a whole other story.

Twenty years later, I look back and think wonderful things about that old house. It was a special time and means a lot to me. So when I saw a book called The Shack on the Christian best-seller list, it caught my eye. I knew I had to read it.

My wife and I went through the book like a June bug through a duck because we couldn’t put it down. When finished, we talked about it so much we read though it again. In the past six weeks, Leanna and I have given away at least twenty copies to family and leaders on our ministry team.

It’s a keeper. Now I am a big reader and enjoy a lot of books. Because I’m a history nut, I read a lot of biographies. I highly recommend Billy Graham’s Just As I Am. It’s a fantastic read. I have got to tell you, the biography that has made the biggest impact on my life so far is Save Me From Myself by Brain “Head” Welch. What an incredible story of how God changes and redeems our lives.

Because I’m a nerd, I read a lot of Astronomy stuff. Because I’m a traveler, I read a lot of history on specific places. I have a subscription to Texas Monthly, Astronomy and Success magazines. I tend to pick up copies of Outreach and Biblical Archeology. I canceled my subscription to Savage Sword of Conan years ago but still miss it.

Some books fall into a category of everybody-ought-to-have-to-read sometime in their life. A few no-brainers for me would be To Kill A Mockingbird and A River Runs Through It.

Different reads have meant different things to me through the years. I judge a book by the way it changes or upgrades my life. Some of the top keepers on my shelf that made the biggest impact would be The Body by Chuck Colson. Foxes Book of Martyrs, The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus. A Divine Confrontation by Graham Cook,
The Diary of Ann Frank, Fresh Fire by Mario Murillo and others that have rocked my world from time to time. The God Chasers and The Prayer of Jabez were best sellers that I got a lot out of and I don’t usually get best sellers.

So of course I was suspicious when I picked up The Shack. I highly underestimated the effect this book would have on me. It challenged me in so many ways to review my relationship with God and where I think God is when life really stinks.

This week’s sip from the Carpenter’s cup comes perking with encouragement to stay teachable. Keep moving forward. Remain progressive and live life full of transition.
Graham Cooke says the greatest threat to a new move of God in your life is the last move of God. I don’t want what I’ve learned to keep me from learning anything else and I don’t want my last experience with God to keep me from finding him again and again. I’m determined to be teachable because I don’t want miss what new things the good Lord has for me.

Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

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