Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lightnin’ Bug

When I was a kid there seemed to be a lot more of everything around. The distance from Ft Worth to my home town Joshua, was much greater back then. Somehow the expanse has disappeared and I wonder about that.

Under an increasing amount of grey hairs my head tries to wrap itself around the recollection of very long summers. Is it just me or does it seem like time has some how accelerated? The 2nd season has jumped from a school zone to the autobahn and I wonder where the summers have gone to. Maybe that’s just me but other things have disappeared which can not be denied.

A very young Texan might argue that I don’t know a thing about Halo 3, Skype or iphone applications but sadly I could point out they don’t know about red ant mounds, horny toads, tarantulas and Jackrabbits. Those things were everywhere when I was a kid.

They left town sometime in the eighties just about the time fire ants and AMDRO came to the neighborhood. One thing which has nearly disappeared that I thought would never go away, was until recently a summertime staple of every north Texan’s summer. City kids and northerners called them fire flies but we called them Lightnin’ Bugs.

When I was little, my cousins and I would catch hundreds at my Grand Parents house and put them all in a single Mason jar. As the night got darker our jar would get brighter. The summertime fields of my childhood were somehow filled with the bio-luminescent glow of something a lot of kids around here have never seen at all. Too many lights outside mean Lightnin’ bug males fail to attract females and they just can’t reproduce. Before long the population dwindles and people think you are crazy when you try to explain what other wise used to be commonly known.

We as Christians are a lot like Lightnin’ bugs I think. When we fail to let our lights shine people can’t relate to what we are talking about and numbers begin to decline. I actually wish there was a lot less talking and lot more shining going on among us believers. The active demonstration of what we believe is so important as our culture declines and our nation moves into a very real post-Christian era. People don’t just need to hear it; they need to personally experience the profound life changing love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is our responsibility as Christians to let that light shine. By the grace of Almighty God may we learn to look a lot more like the Mason jar at my Nana and Papa’s house. As times get darker may we get brighter and brighter.

….But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: Romans 5:20

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Get Your Head in the Game

A phone call would wake us up last Friday to let us know things had changed in a drastic way. A young man who I know very well was found dead in his back yard from yet to be determined causes.

He came from a good family and was a very sweet kid. I know him because he was my son Ben’s best friend and he was big part of our church youth group. Unfortunately, we will leave the funeral and drive directly to Tyler to drop Ben off at his first year of college. This is a week of drastic change for us.

From the phone call last Friday to the road trip this week I feel a big responsibility to have a right mind and both hands on my mental steering wheel. I just won’t let my self go to certain places of thought the same way I won’t go to certain parts of town. Knowing at I can get into bad trouble if I go to those places.

When your heart is changing lanes and moving all over the road it’s important to get things strait between your ears. It’s up to us to stay in good mental places and refuse to think bad things during challenging times.

I can’t control my feelings anymore than you can but I can manage my thoughts and my thoughts control my feelings. There is hope in understanding this biblical principal. There is also a sobering responsibility.

Serving God in our thought life is where the rubber meets the road for me. According to Joshua one verse eight you either celebrate success or suffer defeat based on your thought life. Your actions, feelings and identity are connected to your thought life. Getting God from your heart to your head can mean the difference between winning or loosing in this lifetime. Sometimes you have to be determined to have a right mind.


The Bible says we should stand when you have done all you know how to do. When the only thing we know to do is the wrong thing, it is best to not do anything. We need to just stand sometimes. Just like that, if I don’t really know what to think about something, I have to intentionally not go into wrong thinking. I’m responsible for it.

Intentional and focused thinking is a skill which must be practiced. You have to understand the value of right thinking and the danger of wrong thinking to set your heart on what is right. In Philippians 4, Paul lists eight things worth thinking about and says we should intentionally “think on these things”. Focused thinking brings clarity to a defined target and is connected with a determination of our heart.

So I choose to celebrate the life of young Jonathan Walden and the accomplishments of Benjamin Brewer going off to college. I look at a picture of the two of them together at their last football game a few months back. I see two young men worth rejoicing over and it makes me want to keep my head in the game. As hard as the battle is, it is a privilege and an honor and a blessing to others to have a right mind. Thanks Lord, for the opportunity. I’ll take it.

Benjamin & Jonathan

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bailed Out

Barry Shell of Brampton, Ontario could call it his lucky day - or his unlucky day when he won $4.4 million dollars in the Canadian Lotto drawing July 18th. Monday, he went to pick up his winnings at the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation, and was photographed with the check. Barry then strolled out of the building and into the waiting hands of the Peel Regional Police officers.

It turns out he was wanted on a six-year-old warrant for failing to appear, theft under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime.

According to a spokesman for the OLG, every lottery winner undergoes a security check, and if anything is turned up during the course of the investigation, the matter is turned over to the Ontario Provincial Police. Believe it or not the brother made bail.

In the midst of our government’s bailout policy, which the Brewer thinks is nothing but trouble for all of us; it is easy to dismiss the whole idea of bail –And I don’t want to.

Sometimes in life we just get overwhelmed and need our sinking ship bailed out.

A long time ago, God had a real bailout plan He instituted in ancient Israel called the Year of Jubilee. For most people this incredible celebration occurred only once in their life time. For many not even that, as it occurred only once every 50 years but it was something everybody looked forward to.

At the year of jubilee a horn would blow and all Israelites who had sold themselves into slavery because of debt, were set free and all land that had been sold, reverted to its original owner. This meant that no Israelite could ever be in permanent slavery; nor could any Israelite permanently lose his inheritance. It meant all debt and all bondage was absolutely temporary.

There goes my Papa again. Making sure people have hope even in the most desperate of circumstances.

The promise which is found in Jesus Christ is that no matter how tight things get, you can count on a clock to tick in your favor. God hates bondage and debt with a holy passion. He also loves freedom, reward and restoration with just as much fervor.

For those of us crazy enough to count on him, we believe our best days are not behind us and all trails are only temporary. You’re going to make it through your trouble my friend. Plus, some day soon the trumpet will blow and all debt will be cancelled for the last time. It’s the ultimate bailout and for those of us who look to the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ; we’ve got a serious Jubilee coming. See you at the Party.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. Psalms 121:1

You can contact the Brewer at