Monday, May 25, 2009

Writers Block

A lot of people think that having faith means never having fear. I politely say bo-lo-ney. Yes, I know I didn’t spell it right. I’ve heard the Oscar Meyer song, but I still call it bo-lo-ney not bologna. Maybe you would say hogwash or use a term that would get me in trouble if I wrote it, but you know what I mean.

I am full of faith, and boloney some would say, but having faith has never given me a get-out-of-jail-free card for not wanting certain things to happen. A great American leader once said we have nothing to fear but fear itself and though I like the sound of that speech, I have decided to just not be sacred of fear period.

Sometimes I get scared and I have to move forward anyway. The feeling of fear is in most cases just that, -a feeling. I don’t think courage or faith is advancement without fear near as much as I believe it’s probably more like moving forward in spite of fear.

Bump in the night

I’m not scared of spooks or the ghosts of Confederate solders but there is a recurring nightmare I have had at least a dozen times. In my dream I step up to the podium to a giant stadium full of thundering applause. When it all finally dies down, everyone waits for me to say something brilliant when suddenly I realize I can’t think of anything at all to say. It goes on for several agonizing minutes while a fumble through notes I can’t read and try and say things funny while no one is laughing. It’s terrible.

It might sound stupid to you but for a guy who is always in front of a crowd of listeners, I guess it makes sense there would be some part of me that would fear a loss of words. –Yeah, like that has ever happened in my loud mouth history.

So tonight I sit down to write this weeks confession from a highly caffeinated Christian and have come across a very rare but a little bit intimidating case of I’m-not-sure-what-to-say-itus. Right now I have that same feeling I had when I was kid and felt like something was under the bed. It’s yucky.

Scary Places

I completely understand it. I was in Mexico last week from Sunday night til late Friday night working on a new live worship album with my band. I did a huge concert, three hours of live TV on a Mexican station and spent the rest of the week in a studio. After 11 hours drive time I got back just in time for the big food outreach we do on Saturdays. We gave away over 15000 pounds of food to over 500 people here locally and even cooked hamburgers for the lot of them. It was so much fun. On Saturday night I had a meeting on leadership for a small group of church builders and went to bed after midnight. This morning we had our usual back to back services and I just got home from a baptism service where we baptized thirty seven brand new believers. This week my son graduates High School and my twins turn sixteen. It’s a marathon time for the Brewer.

So in the midst of all of my busy-ness I stop for just a moment and wonder if I am really keeping my priorities straight. Do I love God, my wife and my kids the way I’m supposed to? I think so. Yes I know I am. Am I grateful for the life I get to live even though I am often a little overwhelmed? Yes, more than ever, I believe.

In the quietness of my room the only thing I can hear is the typing of my fingers and the sound of the TV on the other side of the wall. The glow of my computer is the only light in my room and the ambiance causes me to think deep about all the faces and encounters I have had this last week. My life could be so different.

So if I didn’t have writers block I would sit down and write something worth reading. In spite of the fear of not having anything interesting or meaningful to say I would really like to type something that helps somebody love God or love their own life a little bit more.

Well who knows? Maybe I just did.

Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:19-20 (NLT)

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Friday, May 15, 2009

The Last Thing You Need To Do Is Form A Committee (052109)

Define a non-Biblical hell for Troy Brewer and it would look something like a board meeting. A board which is supposed to be a noun is actually more of a verb to me and spelt bored. Really that’s a false statement because a verb implies action and church boards are not famous for having a sense of urgency.

I hate having to go through a committee. I just can’t stand boards and having to listen to people who love to hear themselves talk about things and hammer a little piece of wood on a table. Blah, blah, blah is all I hear over the twisting noise of grass growing outside as everyone makes sure they voice their opinion under rule of governing procedure. I start praying for the rapture and hoping the boards in America will be left behind.

There are things that make sense in a board room environment that don’t make sense anywhere else. Completely sane people will suddenly feel like a responsible move is not to move at all before they do a $20,000 study on a $500 project.

Churches throughout America are ruined by elder boards and tend to be more deacon possessed than full of the Spirit. The Brewer begins to rage out at people that love process and title more than achieving victory or accomplishing vision.

Get A Move On
The word for a pack of lions is called a pride and I think this word fits a lot of church governments. Pride goes before the fall and if you want a major downgrade in effectiveness, turn it over to most church boards. There you will find a prideful group with a religious reason why you shouldn’t reach the world for Jesus.

Do you know what you call a pack of buzzards? - A committee. I am not making that up and it’s a perfect illustration of what happens to most ministries. A group of old buzzards hang over something that died along time ago when they ought to be making something else happen.

Somebody once asked me if running ministries through a church board was Biblical. I said yes. There is an excellent example in the book of Numbers chapter 13 where Moses formed a committee of twelve to spy out the Promised Land. True to form, they came back with a long list of reasons why they couldn’t do what God had told them to do. So God sent them all into a desert instead of his promises until they weeded out all of the board members. What should have taken a week, ended up taking forty years – typical church board decision and you can find it in the bible.

The I in Team Work
Instead of having boards ruled by procedure, power and title, what we need are TEAMS of people held accountable for action and results. John Maxwell says, “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” He is exactly right.

We need teams of advancing people who have initiative and won’t even let paint dry on their watch.

Never let bean counters run a ministry! That’s why so many churches are all about money and not about people because the governing board feels like their first responsibility is financial. Feeding the poor, taking care of widows, loving on old people and doing youth ministry is in fact a money pit and there is no financial reason to do such things. It’s not about the money, it’s about Kingdom Purpose.

Obviously there are some church board members and leaders who believe this but we need to confront and weed out left lane leaders. People who have been put into position to accelerate but drive so slow none of the rest of us can pass. If your leaders do not have initiative then the angry peasants in the congregation should rise up with challenging pitchforks and encouraging torches. Sometimes we need leadership to sound less like Charlton Heston and more like Larry the Cable Guy. “Get ‘er done!”

Get the Led Out
When it comes to taking initiative, there are really only four kinds of people:
1. People who do the right thing without being told.
2. People who do the right thing when they are told.
3. People who do the right thing when told more than once.
4. People who never do the right thing, no matter what.
Anyone who wants to be a world changer needs to become the first kind of person.

Believe it or not, you don’t need mass approval to live your dream. Get up and take on hell with a water pistol. Your ability to accomplish vision and to get things done whether it’s an evangelical mission or a marketplace pursuit is entirely up to your own personal character. God has given you the grace to go forward. Focus on the benefits of completing a task and trash whatever it is that is holding you back. Quit putting things off. Procrastination is the fertilizer that makes difficulties grow. Make up your mind and make a difference or get the heck out of the fast lane so the rest of us can go.

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Tassels Are Turning

A few weeks ago I told you about the amazing miracle that happened for those people we reach out to in the trash dumps of Mattamoros Mexico. If you missed it, you can read all my archives on the world-wide-waist-of-time at

This week I want to tell you about another miracle just as amazing. It’s not a blind eye seeing or a resurrection from the dead although it’s just as miraculous. My son Benjamin is graduating high school.

Now Ben, or Bean as we call him, is as sharp as a tack but he’s not famous for self motivation. That brother could sit and watch grass grow or paint dry for entertainment. Like his old man when I was his age, he seems to be content doing nothing until the very last minute. So all of us were shocked when he really manned up and started doing extra homework to get his grades where they should be. Bean, doing extra homework? Yes, there is a God and his glorious presence will be manifest next week when the bean dawns his cap and gown for his graduation ceremony.

The big deal about Ben’s graduation is that this is not just his victory, it’s our victory. This week’s confession from a highly caffeinated Christian comes brewing with proud papa accolades.

School of hard knocks

Let me detour into something God taught me about raising my boys. The place I learned this was not in an air conditioned room with a professor; it was behind the sixteen foot walls of a terrible prison. I have spent a lot of time in prisons throughout the state. Not because I committed crimes, but because I wanted to reach people who have.

In all of the prison ministry I have done, I have never seen one that wasn’t divided ethnically. There’s always a White section, a Black section and a Hispanic or Asian section. The one section I can’t ever find in a prison is the Jewish section. Although according to Wikipedia there are over six and a half million practicing Jews in the United States, there is a not a significant population in prisons. I wanted to know why there are so many high percentages of other ethnicities filling up our state prison systems but not Jews. Here’s what I found.

Practicing Jews have a culture where the fathers bless the sons. They publicly and privately value blessing and affirmation on young men as they are growing up. It’s a part of their heritage. Whether it’s through a Bar-Mitzvah or just through how they deal with their kids. Jewish sons have the verbalized approval of their dads and in most cases it keeps those boys from going crazy. Their father figure is a stable and loving, responsible man, not a running buddy, not the baby daddy. He’s a father and the sons are expected to grow into men who contribute and pass down their blessing to their own sons -so they do.

I might be a gentile Texan but I want to pass down a blessing to my own sons and in so doing, my sons will bless me.

School’s out

Next week, my son Benjamin Allen Brewer with thousands of other sons and daughters here locally will have accomplished what he set out to do twelve years ago. He’s a good boy and fine young man and I yes, I am so proud of him. Just two months later he will be leaving for a two year internship at Teen Mania’s Honor Academy ( in East Texas and the iWwar School of Worship ( in Vacaville, California. I can’t imagine what life is going to be like without my Bean around here, but off he goes to seek out his own destiny. He’s free to do it because he’s blessed and what a big difference that makes.

Thank you Ben for being you. You’re Mama and I both love you more than you can imagine. You were an amazing kid and I know you will be an amazing man. You are a blessing to all who know you Bean. I am so happy to publicly say it’s great to be your dad.

…Then as Jesus prayed, the sky opened up, and the Holy Spirit came down upon him in the form of a dove. A voice from heaven said, "You are my own dear Son, and I am pleased with you.

Luke 3:21,22 (CEV)

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Friday, May 1, 2009


Are you old enough to remember Edith Bunker? She was the 1970’s sitcom mom on "All in the Family" played by Jean Stapleton. Faithful wife of Archie Bunker, mother of Gloria Bunker-Stivic, mother-in-law of Michael "Meathead" Stivic, and grandmother of baby Joey.

One of the things Edith brought to the table of national culture was the taboo subject of menopause. It seems silly now in this day of never ending erectile dysfunction commercials, but it was not very long ago that the subject of menopause would peg everybody’s cringe meter. So on national television they didn’t call it menopause, I don’t even think they said the “M” word.

They called it the change of life.

After a visit to the doctor, Gloria explained to Archie he needed to be sensitive to the fact that Edith was going through her ordeal. Later on in the episode, a frustrated Archie yells at Edith, "When I had the hernia I didn't make you wear the truss. Now if you're gonna have a change of life, you gotta do it right now. I'm gonna give you 30 seconds!"

The change of life

There’s a lot of change going on these days. In fact it’s a completely different day then just ten years ago. Most folks getting married are meeting on line and divorcing through legal websites. There are more honor students in India than there are kids in America. The Top Ten in demand jobs in 2010 did not even exist in 2004. There are more than 540,000 words in the English language which is 5 times more than Shakespeare had in his day and China is about to be the largest English speaking country in the world .

So if you are somebody who is really afraid of change, you had better get over it or get you some heavy doses of Zanex. As much as I hate to see so many good things go, I have decided that since there is nothing I can do to stop it, change for me means transition and upgrade.

I am a sixth-generation Texan having been raised in rural Johnson County. My grandfather is my hero and I used to ride bulls. I think our world war two generation is Americans greatest generation and there are lots of things about today I don’t understand. With that said, if I want to be successful, and relevant I have to be willing to change. I can’t set around and pout because Andy Griffith isn’t on TV anymore.

Our capacity to embrace life and have dominion doesn’t come from things remaining the same but through our understanding and participation in transition. I think we have to partner with God through transition and learn how to enjoy changing. Our journey though life is supposed to be progressive and God blesses pursuit.

Some people are so resistant to change and locked in on the past, they use days gone by as a filter for everything. I fight this and sometimes win but I figure since I’m not a historian, paleontologist, archaeologist or psycho-analyst I had better deal with my fascination of the past. The paleontologist in me knows that what you learn from dinosaurs is if you can’t change, you become extinct.

The art of adaptation

Several thousand years ago there was a Chinese warrior who wrote a book called The Art of War. His name was Sun Tzu. It has widely been respected for thousands of years as strategies transferable to the marketplace and other areas.

On page 19, he basically says we should watch our generals carefully and make sure they understand the principles of adaptation. If they try and fight in the mountains the same way they fought in the plains, get rid of them of them because they will kill your army. I say that is a valuable principle for today.

Change is here to stay so we need to get well versed in the art of adaptation. If we try and do things today the way we did 50 years ago, we won’t make it.

To have an edge, you need to do more than just be open to change. You need to pursue change – and you need to do it a little bit more than other people around you. Partner with God through Transition and watch Him make you victorious in this new landscape. Anticipate change, adapt quickly, enjoy change and notice the little changes so you are better prepared for the big change that might be coming. Don’t be pessimistic about anything. Be ready to change quickly, again and again and learn to love your life through the power of the Holy Spirit. Have hope and have confidence.

God is not afraid of this day so you shouldn’t be either. We are more than conquerors in all these things.

When its cold outside you wear a coat, you have adapted to the cold. You just learned the art of adaptation. Just as the weather changes, so do things in our life; change is a must, and God is in the changing business if we are willing.

Revelation 21:5
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

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