Friday, November 13, 2009

A day to Celebrate

I found myself at the courthouse steps last Monday but this time it wasn't because I was in trouble. Judge Harmon and the four Johnson County Commissioners wanted to honor me and the group of crazy Christians I have the privilege of pastoring. They banged a gavel and made an official proclamation upon our behalf saying from here on, November 18th will be known in Johnson County as Open Door Ministries day. A day of “celebration in honor of those that help the poor.”

Judge Harmon and Commissioner Bailey said some really nice things about us giving away more than a million pounds of food every year here locally. They handed us an official proclamation and the people in the court room clapped for us. Flashbulbs popped, confetti fell, and I imagine somebody threw their baby in the air.

I have always wanted a street named after me, but I never imagined my own day on the calendar. I remember when I was a kid I went to Dallas for Texas-OU weekend. As we were driving around downtown waving orange flags I saw a street named Troy. Being 15 years old and wild as a March hare, I wanted that sign to hang proudly on my bedroom wall and I decided to pirate it. My friends and I jumped out, through a rope around it, tied it to the ball of my truck and I punched the accelerator. Nearly thirty years later, I couldn't tell you where that sign is but I bet my bumper is still in downtown Dallas to this day.

So to have a day named Open Door Ministries day is a really big honor to me. As we were walking down the court house steps, Andy Dally asked me like only Andy can, “Now Troy, help me out here because your memory is better than mine. Isn't November the 18th the day that Paula died?”

Paula Ledbetter was my long time friend and church secretary. Her Husband, John, was a child hood friend of mine and still remains like a brother to me. Four years ago, on November the 18th, Paula suddenly and quietly passed away in her sleep. That day was by far the most devastating day we have yet endured as a church. It is amazing to me that out of 365 days in a year, the one single day that was chosen as Open Door Ministries day is the hardest day for us. I see Jesus in this and it is no coincidence.

God has a way of turning our worst places into places of celebration. The heart of Jesus is to turn darkness into light and water into wine. There is nobody like Jesus for turning a scar into a trophy like he does with the holes in His amazing hands. He overcomes evil with good and tragedy with Triumph. So not only we will be celebrating on the 18th, The Lord has called others to celebrate with us.

Esther 9:22 (NIV) as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Going Up!

I didn’t know how really country we were when I was little –but we were. My great grandfather lived nearby, who we lovingly called “Pa”, and who would lovingly thrash us with his cane if we got out of hand. A maternal grandparent, pa was not a native of Texas. He was an old moonshine whiskey runner from the hills of Tennessee and ornery as they come. Pa was already in his eighties in the late 1970’s and well set in his ideas about, well just about everything.

For example, he didn’t believe man had gone to the moon and my Uncle Ronny tried to show him NASA’s live TV broadcast. “Why hell son,” he cursed while smoking his pipe, “Them fellers are out in arizoney somewhere.” and then he laughed as if my uncle, a scientist himself, was stupid. I loved Pa.

Pa is long since gone and I hate to argue with my elders but I think it’s safe to assume people have really gone that far in vertical travel.

A long way from down

If that’s not high enough for you try this. Scientists from the National Research Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M. according to an Associated Press story that I am not making up, are proposing to build an elevator that would be 62,000 miles high from something called nano-tube technology. That's right: 62,000 MILES! These brothers who apparently smoke crack on their off time, want to use the elevator to launch stuff into space. One of them is quoted as saying: ''The first country that owns the space elevator will own space.''

Oh sure we laugh now but someday your great grandkids may be hitting all the buttons between the 31st millionth and 32nd millionth floors.

Get your upgrade

I think the whole idea of going up is a God idea. In the Kingdom, we learn to live life from upgrade to upgrade, moving in constant transition into better and better. Ascension and upward mobility is a basic theme of living life more abundantly. It’s all about hope and dreaming and tapping into destiny way before you assume room temperature.

Believe it or not people are going up these days and not just faking it for the cameras as my Great grandfather feared. I am bound and determined to be one of them. I am not going back into the things God has brought me out of and I will not settle and rest on any success I have already achieved. While most Christians would agree its bad to fall backwards, most also would fail to realize its just as bad to not go forward.

God is counting on you to launch off into the next great place. You might not have the approval of some but you surely have the Lord’s. So what are you waiting for?

.. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” Isaiah 28:10

Troy Brewer can be reached at or

Troy Brewer

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