Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Miracle on the Hudson

On Thursday afternoon, January 15th I had a chance to meet with my daughter Maegan for a short get-together. We try and do that a couple of times a week. It’s like a dad date. Maegan is a stunningly beautiful, blond-headed, twenty two year old, nursing student who works at Plaza Medical. Among her many talents and qualities, her greatest flair is her God given ability to wrap her Daddy around her little finger.

She asked me what I thought about the day’s news and said, “Isn’t it wonderful?”Now usually the words news and wonderful don’t belong in the same sentence. That was the first I heard about flight 1549 and the crash landing everyone is calling Miracle on the Hudson.

If you are a regular reader of my column, you know by now I am a self-proclaimed Jesus Freak. You probably have also picked up that while I prefer the term cutting edge most would aptly call me off the wall. This week’s confession of a highly caffeinated Christian blatantly states I am in all probability even worse than you thought.

I’m the kind of Christian the devil warned you about. I believe in miracles. I believe God isn’t a symbol but an actual person and He speaks to all of us. I believe that while we live in a ruined world full of innumerable mess-ups, This God I’m talking about is prevailing His goodness while being blamed for the bad. He’s a really nice guy and I just love to hope in Him and look to Him.

I saw Him again last week. I think anybody with an eye to see, meaning people who wanted to see, saw God’s goodness and heard a powerful message through our nations headlines on January 15th.

The themes being preached through this incredible event came power-packed with a word for you and yours. Lets take a look at some of them.

(1) This story is not about what went wrong but what went right. Let me tell you I think this sentence belongs to you in 2009. Your story this year is not going to be about all the things going wrong but rather about the amazing things going right. It’s like Isaiah 58:10 where is says your darkness will be like noonday. It’s not about the darkness but about the brightness that’s in it.

(2) What hasn’t worked before worked perfectly this time. We have all seen what happens when a jumbo jet tries to land in the water and typically it’s a terrible disaster. I think what has hasn’t worked before works for God’s people this year. I am going after things again this year where I have failed before and believing this time it all works perfectly.

(3) Quick response is needed and cooler heads prevail.

Pilot "Sully" Sullenberger made quick and radical decisions that saved the lives of 155 people. This also should be our story this year. We should refuse to panic and make quicker decisions than ever before. Rapid response and appropriate actions will qualify us to get upgraded from a nobody to a hero in so many people’s eyes.

(4) Sometimes you have to ditch the plane

It’s not about everything going perfectly, it’s about a perfect outcome. There are certain victories you have to have this year and sometimes we get rid of things precious to us in order to achieve those amazing outcomes.

(5) Playbooks are being rewritten.

When they re-write the textbooks and the training manuals on what to do in that same scenario, they will follow the way pilot Sullenberger did it. I think there are new ways of doing things that are better than how we have done things before. Don’t be surprised if God has you blazing a few trails for others this year.

(6) Pay attention to the preflight safety announcements.

The instructions on how to safely exit a downed plane are being paid much more attention to after January 15th. The directions are not courtesy but specific instructions we had better take seriously if we want to be safe. (See Psalm 119:117,Proverbs 18:10, and Proverbs 29:25)

(7) The pilot and crew refuse attention and credit.

I think when God does miraculous things through us (we could all learn something from the pilot and crew of flight 1539) it’s important for us to get out of the way, remain humble and not make it all about us. The idea is not to make Ministries famous but the good Lord all of us serve.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009


When I was kid I was fascinated with twins. I had several close friends who were twins and an uncle who had an identical twin brother. It might interest you to know that my uncle’s identical twin was not my uncle. Can you figure that one out?

My life-long curiosity with sibling doubles greatly multiplied sixteen years ago when my wife called from her doctor’s office. Yes she was pregnant, no it wasn’t a pony and yes it was twins. That same year we had taken in two teenage girls as our own and that’s how we went from 2 kids to six kids in 1993. That’s also the year this preacher struggled with drinking –just kidding.

Now Leanna and I were in our mid-twenties when we took in those amazing teenage girls. They greatly helped us with the newborn twins -and our three year old -and our six year old. This should explain how I got to be a Grandfather when I was only 30. Don’t worry; I’ll still explain how my uncle’s identical twin wasn’t also my uncle. The point is, twins get my attention.

Double the trouble
Did you hear about the twins that were born in Rochester Michigan a few weeks ago? Tariq Griffin entered the world at 12:17 a.m. on New Year's Day and his twin brother, Tarrance, was born 26 minutes earlier. This means the boys have the unique distinction of being identical twins born on different days, months and years. That’s cool in the Brewer’s book.

Their dad, Tarrance Sr., is also a twin but oddly enough actually has the same birthday as his twin brother. Go figure.

Two steps forward
What about the twins of different races born in London last week? Dean Durrant's newborn daughter Miya has dark skin and brown eyes like him. Her twin sister Leah has fair skin like her blue-eyed, red-haired mother. Their older siblings Lauren and Hayleigh, born in 2001, also have strikingly different skin tones and eye colors. I love it!

The phenomenon is so uncommon that there are no statistics to illustrate its probability but its somewhere in the gazillion jillions*, I imagine. Yes, I know it’s not a number. No need to write.

A Tale of two kingdoms
In Genesis 25, the Bible records a story of twins. Rebecca was pregnant and after sometime she began to suspect something was wrong. Every first time pregnancy comes packed with anxieties but this was past hormonal imbalance and drastic body change.

Rebecca can’t go to her mama for reassurance or explanation. Her mama lives in Syria and she is in what will be called Israel. She can’t go to Isaac’s mama, because Sarah had died four years ago at the age of 127. Remember, this is not last week. This is four thousand years ago in the ancient Middle East.

So Rebecca goes to the greatest specialist of all. Verse 22 says, “And the children struggled together within her; and she said, if it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people…”

The struggle within
All of us deal with internal struggle and at some point wonder, “Why am I like that?”

When you love your kids and plan on a peaceful evening then because of some little thing, or for no apparent reason at all, you loose your cool. You may have wondered afterward “WHY AM I THUS?”

If you’ve ever ruined your marriage, failed a business, hurt somebody you loved or did what you promised you would never do, you might have asked that 4000-year-old question, “Why is there this struggle within me? Why is it so hard for me to be the person I want to be?”

I think God would say to both you and me the same thing he said to our friend Rebecca. There are two separate nations within you. There are two different kinds of people and make no mistake about it, they are at war. Then I think He would give you the cure.
We are at war and the worst enemy you and I actually have is in-a-me.

Christianity has so much life to offer but on the top ten lists for me, is an answer to the struggle within. Being saved is from the inside out. Since I now have Christ living in me I paraphrase the saying, Greater is he within me than (me) within the world. Just one more reason the Brewer highly recommends you check out this Jesus so many of us are crazy about.

By the way, my uncle isn’t blood kin. He married my aunt Sandy. That’s why his twin brother isn’t related to me, silly.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kingdom Mechanics

I love new beginnings. I’m all about progression, advancement and better and better. There’s just such hope in it. Welcome to 2009 everybody.

This week’s confession from a highly caffeinated Christian comes perking with a shameless plug for my conference this January called Kingdom Mechanics. It’s all about how to make 2009 your best year ever. I know most of you wont be able to attend so I have included some highlights of what I think can get you where you need to be faster and better than ever this year. Let’s get to it.

(1) God wants you to advance in every way in 2009
"Blessed are those...who have set their hearts on pilgrimage" (Psalm 84:5). In other words, blessed are those who have settled in their hearts that they will keep going in their journey with God. Blessed are those that, while enjoying and appreciating what He is showing them and doing in their lives, know that He is drawing them into "much more."

(2) Permission granted to have a vision and dream big.
You never feel more alive than when you are accomplishing vision. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12. Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. We have been taught too long to only dream within the confines of church. Don’t you dare do it this year? God wants in on every part of your life so dream big and go for the bleachers.

(3) Recover what was stolen from you in 2008
God has recovery for you this year but we have to partner with him to make it happen. The strategy David used in 1st Samuel 30 is fail proof. First you see what's missing then you strengthen yourself in the Lord. That’s all about understanding His nature and attitude about your situation, which is always better than ours. After that, seek a word from God and look for clear definition. The last four steps look like this rise up, pursue the enemy, overtake it and recover all. Go get it! It still belongs to you.

(4) Ask the right questions this year and get the right answers
God loves seekers and seekers ask questions, but there’s a right way and wrong way to seek. A very illegitimate mindset and question we ask is WHY? We don’t get to know the whys of life. Why is attached to pain and loss. Why is never attached to destiny but always attached to history. Holding onto the wrong questions will always keep us into the wrong places. The right answers come from asking the right questions. Those right questions are defined in the book of Acts, chapter 2 as “What does it mean?” and “What’s should I do?” These are questions God loves to answer.

Let’s determine right now to stop asking why. 2009 will not be full of whys but it will be about getting the big picture and knowing how to go to the next better place. That puts us on the offensive and not on the defensive.

(5) Destroy the enemy of self-pity
The biggest enemy I face tends to be in-a-me. I have found that self-pity must be surrendered if I am going to get better and better in life. One of the most effective ways to destroy the habit of feeling sorry for myself is to first focus on God’s goodness towards me. It’s hard to be really miserable over what’s wrong when I am incredibly thankful for what is right in my life.

(6) Refuse to fear change
Constant change is here to stay. Transition is now a staple for all of us. We live in a different day than any generation before us. Stability is no longer defined as continuance without change but as remaining rock solid in constantly changing environments and methods. Be willing to embrace transition in 2009 and accept closure as a part of victorious Kingdom Living.

(7) Rage against the machine

There are actually twelve strategies I will be going over in the conference but I want to finish this column by saying there is more for you than there is against you. Everything against you is big and like a machine. It’s blind, mechanical, and impartial. Just like the Terminator it is relentless in coming after you. It can't be bargained or reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. It absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

The machine says if you’re poor you can’t live life like other people. The machine says if you’re a minority you can’t have opportunity. The machine says if you have been incarcerated you will always be a convict. The machine says if your father was an alcoholic then you will be. It says if you were molested then you will become a pedophile and if you are above the age of 40 nobody will hire you. It says all kinds of terrible things while reducing people’s lives to misery before it finally kills them.

Rage against the machine this year. Rise up against everything that says you cant and arm yourself with this wisdom. Relationship with God always trumps the machine.

For more information or to register for this year’s Kingdom Mechanics Conference go to

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