Monday, June 29, 2009

Mission Accomplished

Last week’s high adventure got a little bit higher this week. If you are a regular sipper of Fresh from the Brewer, you probably know I am in the anything-but-boring nation of India.

Oh Cowcutta! How I wish you could see some of what we are seeing over here. In fact I have posted some videos on YOU TUBE and if you do a search for Troy Brewer you should be able to find them without a problem. There are several fun little snippets of some of the site and sounds of our mission’s trip.

For the past ten days, my daughter and I have been in a whirlwind of activity and travel. It started with a 2 hour flight to Chicago and then a 15 hour non-stop flight to Deli. We flew straight north from Chicago and got back into daylight over Canada having seen the sun actually rise from the West before we flew South over Siberia. Once past mother Russia, we flew directly over Afghanistan and a few other stans. I had all I could ‘stan’ of the economy section of American Airlines flight 209 way before we hit India. I’m sure my skinny daughter was tired of me spilling over into her seat as well. Thank God she was with me or I might have gotten closer than a married man is allowed to get to somebody else.

Mission Accomplished

I have the privilege of leading and Pastoring a great group of people at Open Door Ministries. My wife heads up a ministry called SPARK which is an acronym for serving, protecting and raising kids. Between the two of us, we support or fully fund orphanages on four different continents. So a big part of this trip is to see and minister to the kids here. The house where I stay is also a home to hundreds of little boys and girls who would otherwise be victims of neglect or even worse. We have also visited another home for children way out west of Vizak. It’s just a fun thing to get to do.

But in my heart, the ultimate reason for this trip or the purpose of the actual mission was a chance at visiting the persecuted Christians in the state of Orissa.

Last year, the communist gorillas attacked a Hindu commune and killed the Hindu Priest there. The Hindu hierarchy used the occasion to do its best to get rid of Christianity in the region by announcing the murder had been perpetrated by Christians. What happened next was nothing short of an attempt at genocide. Backed by money sent in from Hindus working in the United States, they gathered thousands of radicals from all over the nation. They paid them a wage, liquored them up, handed them big sticks and transported these thugs to the villages of Orissa where for weeks the murdered, molested and brutalized anyone suspected of being a Christian. Not a person in the world would lift a finger to help these people. Even the Indian government set back for more than five days before the first response or rescue attempt.

Last night we were at a church which had actually been torn down in the uprising. More than 400 people gathered outside and sat on the ground for the service. I told them they were heroes to the rest of the church. I told them they were not alone... I told them we loved them and looked up to them. I did the very best I could do to try and relay how important, significant and precious they are to the body of Christ. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.

Remember them in your prayers. They really are worth remembering.

A Guy Worth Forgetting

Haters have always been around. The famous French writer Voltaire often spent his expensive ink and wasted life writing about his hatred for God and God’s people.

He too wanted to wipe out Christianity. Full of Communism and himself, he wrote from his library in Paris, “I will go through the forest of scriptures and circle the trees with my words so that in 100 years Christianity will be a vanishing memory.”

A few years after his death, the British Bible Society purchased that same library and filled it from top to bottom with thousands of copies of the Bible he so hated.

Christians will suffer persecution but never annihilation. Jesus himself illustrated the point through His death and resurrection…You just can’t keep a good man down.

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Monday, June 22, 2009


The last time I worked on this column, I was sitting at home where I always write. Tonight I am pounding with my incredibly agile two fingered writing style from literally the other side of the world. I am currently in Vizak India on my third mission’s trip to this amazing country; this time accompanied by my daughter Meagan.

Good googly moogly! What an amazing difference 12 times zones, 2 continents and a couple of oceans can make. Yesterday Meagan and I hired a guide to drive us out to see the world wonder known as the Taj Mahal. It was a four hour drive from Delhi to Agaba, crammed full of near head on collisions and near misses with everything from ox carts, rickshaws and pedestrians to crotch-rocket motorcycles and dump trucks.

We saw camels going down the highway and even an elephant. Not your typical Sunday drive through Johnson County. We stopped at one point to pay a toll and these guys with monkeys came running over to our car. Within a matter of seconds, there were five baboons in my window. I don’t much like monkeys and had a bad experience with a baboon in Uganda several years back so I was not happy when one of the guys opened my door. After an exchange of heated words and my needing an exchange of drawers, I got the door closed and off we went.

A few minutes later the 109 degree heat had me pull over again to get a new bottle of water. We had to walk past a guy playing with a cobra with his left hand and holding some kind of a giant boa with his right. There were all kinds of orange-clad Hindu priests inspecting worshippers at a giant cement statue of a blue sword-wielding monkey god. I just stopped and looked around for a minute trying to take it all in. With all of this said, I have not even began to describe how extremely different the sites and sounds of India are.

This week’s confessions of a highly-caffeinated Christian come perking with a little Indiana Jones music in the background.

I think God loves for us to live a life of high adventure. The road to making a difference is sometimes lined with the unusual and can sometimes be a little overwhelming. God is not always found in the familiar, safe and comfortable. I think it’s better to be familiar with Him and His presence when we are a little overwhelmed with our environment and circumstances. Instead of inviting us into safe and comfortable places He offers to be our safety and our comfort while pointing to a barbaric way and saying, “every place the soles of your feet touch, belong to you, you own it so go get it”.

So get up and get out there and live your life while you still can. To live a life that is boring and insignificant is just as silly as living a life without God altogether. God set you free for freedoms sake the Good Book says, not to spend life on a couch.

I speak blessings on you and next week I’ll write you from some place that is a little everything except boring. I pray for you and appreciate you doing the same for me.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

The Long Haul

You may or may not know it, but American Airlines is the world's largest airline. She serves 250 cities in over 40 countries with more than 3,900 flights every single day.

The biggest plane they fly is the 777 and the longest non-stop flight they have is a 16 and ½ hour flight between Chicago and New Delhi, India. It’s nearly 7500 miles of looking at the world from seven miles up and that’s the flight I am on this week.

If you happen to be on this particular plane with me, say hi. I’ll be the guy freaking out and yelling, “There is something on the wing of this plane!” Or if I am in a better mood I’ll simply be profusely sweating and praying in the Spirit. As much as I love to travel the brewer hates to fly. Actually I have no problem with flying, its being 40,000 feet in the air I have a problem with.

For a world traveler like me to be sacred of flying is like John Wayne being scared of a horse. It’s stupid I know but it is what it is. Convinced God thinks it’s funny; I fly very long flights all throughout the world and kiss the ground when I arrive.

I have been to India several times before and had some amazing experiences there. The same man that runs the orphanage there also has his hand in a leprosy colony. So besides the conferences, preaching and food outreaches, I get to just love on hurting people. Really I think that’s what all of us want to do. We want to make a difference.

When I get on that big 777, I will be totally committed to reaching my destination and in total trust over the things I can’t control. You plan out what you are going to do, prepare yourself, buckle in and purpose to enjoy every minute. It’s really no different from every day is it?

This week’s confession from a highly caffeinated Christian comes brewing with reflections on the long haul of life. The victory Jesus Christ offers us is Biblically known as Overcoming Victory. This victory is certainly not just about the destination of heaven but more about the journey through life. The rewards we receive in Heaven are not given because we made it there. He’s the one who gets the credit for that. The rewards in this life and in the one to come are all about how we take the Journey.

The Kingdom of God is progressive and so are you and I, at least we should be. So let’s be committed to getting there, trust God for what we cannot control and do our best to enjoy every minute of the ride.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith

1 John 5:4

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Monday, June 8, 2009


1866 was really a terrible time for Texas. The horrors of the Civil War had dropped the male population to a mere 30% in most areas of the state, including Ft Worth. Now the even darker time of reconstruction would move upon the Lone Star as Northern fortune hunters who held terrible grudges against Texans began to govern positions of authority on every level. Texans were famous for being on the front lines and even if it wasn’t true, it was true that Texans had bragged about it.

In the war between the states, every one had lost loved ones –especially the carpet baggers moving down here to govern our state. They didn’t come with good attitudes or plans of mercy. Their harsh and unjust treatment caused another hundred years of hatred between the north and the south.

President Lincoln was dead. Over 200,000 Americans were dead. The slaves were set free but only to wander and beg without a place to go and without anyone to help them. Our great southern cities had been burnt down. Farms in Texas were left to be run by widows and children while Indians, roaming Confederates and bands of outlaws pillaged and preyed on the weak. It was a mess. A hard and terrible mess.

So if you were living on this side of the world in the late 1860’s you were someone well acquainted with grief, instability, hardship and turbulent times. Who in the world could prosper in a world so messed up? I’m glad you asked - lots of people.

Living In an Opposite Spirit

While the states were hell-bent on being split to pieces, there were people who had a vision for uniting. Those people prospered and did things that still affect us greatly today.

Have you ever considered that it was during these turbulent times the Suez Canal was constructed, or the finishing of the great continental railroad and the transatlantic telegraph cable? Can you imagine what a big deal it was to connect the Mediterranean with the Red Sea or the east coast with west coast? Try and wrap your head around what a big deal it was to stretch a communication cable all the way across the oceans floor to Great Britain with the technology of 1866.

Most of us suffered in darkness and depression during that time but there were a few people who decided it was the perfect time to go to places no one had ever gone before, and ended up taking all the rest of us with them. They were visionaries, leaders and builders who not only got up but did something great while in a great big mess. They answered chaos with stability and terrible disappointment with incredible vision.

Why Sit Here and Die?

In 2nd Kings, chapter 7 there is an amazing story about four guys with leprosy. They didn’t ask for this hideous disease but it was what life had handed them. Sitting out in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no hope, one of them had a moment of clarity. “Why should we sit here until we die?” Against all reason and in spite of the facts of their situation, all four of them gathered the courage to get up and face life one more time. The story that follows, details God’s supernatural response to people who answer darkness with life and despair with great courage. He’s cool like that.

This week’s confession from a highly caffeinated Christians comes freshly brewed with a triple shot of encouragement. While you might have many good reasons for not living life to the fullest, I double-dog-dare-you to find at least one good reason why you should try again. The grace of God gives all of us an opportunity to live life in a totally opposite spirit than how things seem to be going. Listen to your leprosy friend and ask yourself, why should I sit here until I die? Better yet, listen to the Lord, speak to your heart and whisper more life than you can possibly comprehend.

Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward. “But as for me, I would seek God,

And to God I would commit my cause who does great things, and unsearchable,

Marvelous things without number.” JOB 5:7-9

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Monday, June 1, 2009

The Spice of Life

It’s cool to be me. I’m determined that this is a true statement. Everyday I get up I set out to love life in general and to love my life specifically. Notice I didn’t say it’s easy to be me or it’s convenient to be me or it’s always fun to be me. I am convinced however it’s cool to be me. I want to live a life that provokes other people to jealousy. As Kinky Freedman once said, ‘Why the heck not?’

One of the greatest attributes of getting to be a Christian is getting to love my life. The true secret to life is learning how to love being alive. I tell you I hate that it is such a big secret. Let me let you in on it. It’s cool to be you too.

There are several core values you have to have in order to love life and all of them come from getting close in relationship with God. I know this sounds like nonsense to many of you pre-Christians out there but don’t feel lonely; most of the chosen frozen in the church are just as clueless about loving life. Lucy, let me splain’.

We Christians have done more to take away peoples dreams than Red Bull and Starbucks combined. I am truly sorry for all the judgment and hatred that has made its way through our pulpits. With that said, I am also sorry for the limp wristed pansies that won’t clearly define where life comes from and live life more abundantly. Many people from the pulpit have embraced all kinds of junk that clearly is not Jesus and clearly not life. Just because the boat is loaded with knuckleheads doesn’t mean I want to jump out.

So lets jump in. Here are some of those values I treasure and have noticed in other passionate peoples lives around me.

  • Nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37).

  • I will not live my life being cynical, critical and pessimistic. (John 16:33, Romans 8:28)

  • I can’t change anybody, so I shouldn’t want to control anybody. I can however add to many peoples life and help them with their next upgrade.(1 peter 5:3)

  • I will not be defeated by a defeated devil (Acts7:49, Ephesians 1:21)

  • I will not live a powerless life. (2 Tim 1:7)

  • I will value relationship over punishment (2 peter 3:9)

  • Forgiveness is a choice I make which has nothing to do with the actions of the person I am forgiving. (Matthew 6:14)

  • Since I give my life away there’s no way I can be ripped off. ( Matthew 6:20)

  • My destiny is greater than my history. ( 1 Cor 2:9)

  • I am ready to go to the next level and by the way there is always a better level for me. (Luke 1:33)

  • God thinks I am funny and if people don’t, it’s probably because they are stupid. (Numbers 6:25)

  • The great commandment is greater than great commission. ( Mark 12:30-31)

  • Since I don’t get the whys of life answered, I refuse to ask why anymore. Instead I will ask “What should I do and what does this mean?” (Acts 2)

  • I will make big celebrations out of small victories even if it’s not yet finished. (Gen 1:10, 1:12, 1:18, 1:25)

  • I will let my heart be broken over the hurts in the world and I refuse to protect myself emotionally from what other people are going through. (Matthew 9:18-19)

Growing In Slack-Jawed Wonder

I could go on and on but the bottom line is that we have to be determined to love life.

We have to be vigilant to live life passionately. Graham Cooke in His book “Living in Dependency and Wonder” gives a list of things we should do to increase our sense of wonder in life.

(1) Spend a day with a child. See things through their eyes. Take them to a playground or to a toy store; buy them candy. Watch how they love new things and have a good time.

(2) Connect with nature. Find a park or beach and let the rhythm of God’s creation wash all over you. Ask God to walk the trails with you.

(3) Commit your life to being thankful and learn the art of thanksgiving

(4) Enjoy the company of good friends

(5) Throw a feast. Celebrate a rite of passage in your life by inviting people and host a party. Treat them with the same joy with which God treats you.

(6) Find an old castle or cathedral or really neat place and sit in it for a while. Enjoy the architecture and history.

(7) Do what you love. Go golfing, paint or write something. Just Do It!

(8) Meditate on the greatness of God.

(9) Secretly bless someone. Pay attention to the needs and desires of those close to you. Become a kind of secret admirer, filling that want and enjoy their reaction to your gift without them knowing you were the one who did it.

(10) Visit your church. Sit on the edge of the stage and look around the empty room. Breathe it in. Thank God for the blessings He has poured out to you there. Envision your friends in there and pray blessings over their lives.

I say be determined that today is a good day and your life is one worth living to the fullest. Life is way too short not to have fun. Christ came to give us life and life more abundantly. So get up and get after it!

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