Friday, March 19, 2010


When I was a kid, my mom married my step dad and I soon found myself spending a lot of time on his incredible farm, southwest of Alvarado. Back then, that whole area was what we indigenous folk call the boonies. I was scared Big foot or Grandma Moses or what my great grandfather called “Raw head and bloody bones” was going to snatch me out of the shadows and haul me off to the creek bed. Yes, the Brewer was a world class chicken.

At night, hundreds of coyotes would begin to sing a midnight song which I did not not enjoy it all. The dadgum Peacock sounded like a woman yelling for help and the whole place just got spooky to me.

Now Dad’s farm was a lot like the other farms around his place and often those farmers would spend a whole weekend trying to exterminate the local coyote population. In 1972, about a dozen families went to war with the vermin and shot what looked to me upwards to a hundred of these dogs in one grand hunt.

Now as a display of trophy and according to the myth that it would scare off other coyotes, all of those dead animals were nailed to the fence posts on the road. I will never forget trying to count them all as we drove into the farm and the number grew above eighty. -These rotting corpses of fur and teeth attracting a sky full of buzzards in the Texas summer heat. It was a terrible sight and it left quite an impression on me.

I am not six years old anymore and 37 years later, iv shot my own fair share of coyotes but I believe God let that one event make a verdict in me that I couldn't ignore for years to come. There was something disgusting and fascinating at the same time in such a spectacle. A symbol of hatred and triumph over them, nailed to a piece of wood and hung up for everybody to see.

Now I didn't have much between my ears in those days but The Spirit of the Lord touched a little boy’s growing mind and I remember thinking somehow, the sight of that curse being hung up there, reminded me of Jesus hanging on the cross.

I would latter read what Paul said to the Galation church as recorded in chapter three of that book. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

In other words, at the cross Jesus became the curse and it was nailed down and hung up, so that we could be blessed. There is a huge mystery as to how all that works but the picture of this is so striking to me. That what was perfect became sinful and what was blessed became cursed so that a knucklehead named Troy Brewer could stand in a place called perfect and blessed.

There is something horrible and fascinating at the same time about the cross. It truly is a wooden wonder and I say Thank you Jesus for it.

Max Lucado says it this way.
“It rests on the time line of history like a compelling diamond. It’s tragedy summons all that suffer. It’s Absurdity attracts all critics. It’s hope lures all searchers. My what a piece of wood! History has idolized it. And despised it, gold plated it and burned it, worn it and trashed it.
History has done everything to it but ignore it. That’s the one option that the cross does not offer.
No one can ignore it! You can’t ignore a piece of lumber that suspends the greatest claim in history. A crucified carpenter claiming that he is God on earth! The cross. It’ bottom line is sobering: if the account is true, it Is histories hinge. Period. If not it’s histories hoax.”

Troy Pastors Open Door Ministries near Joshua and can be found at or


Enter Joe Friday, a man after the facts and only the facts. “Just the facts ma’am,” he says as he patiently scribbles away on his little note pad. Sometimes Joe Friday wannabes will write me and say that my highly anticipated confessions from this highly caffeinated Christian should be more factual and less and about the fanciful ideas of Jesus Christ and modern day miracles.

I would hate to loose you Joe Fridays out there as readers so let’s throw in some facts like my last name were Aikman instead of Brewer.

Facts about words

"Almost" is the longest word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order. "Rhythm" is the longest English word without a vowel and “racecar” spelt backwards is still racecar.

Did you know the name Wendy was made up for the book Peter Pan and there was never a recorded Wendy before that book came out? Are you aware that there are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with: orange, purple and silver? Interesting.

Facts on Animals

Did you know polar bears are left-handed, an ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain and a butterfly tastes with its feet? Yes, I know a butterfly is not an animal but tasting with its feet reminds me of how a Giraffe can clean its ears with its own 21-inch tongue. I don’t know why — it just does. The ostrich eye thing is an interesting fact that reminds me a dolphin always sleeps with one eye open and an owl is the only bird which can see the color blue.

Joe Friday is going to love this column.

Leonardo Da Vinci invented scissors, hot water weighs more than cold water, sound travels 15 times faster through steel than through the air and Warren Beatty and Shirley McLain are brother and sister. Whew, I’m getting a kick out appeasing the more-factual and less-Jesus-loving crowd out there.

Here’s a fact: It’s my column and I’ll talk about Jesus as much as I want to. If you feel threatened by that, I say pull up your big-boy pants and write something better. As an ambassador for Christ I will actively engage the arenas of the world for the Kingdom and there are always going to be people out there who can’t stand Christians or the mention of the “J” word. In case you’re not sure about the “J” word, I’m talking Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus!

Oh I know I just made somebody mad, and it cracks me up a little. The name Brewer doesn’t just mean coffee or beer maker, it also means troublemaker, as in storms brewing. I love my name.

The problem with Facts

It’s not good to live according to facts. Facts change from perspective to perspective and moment to moment. For those of us who have chosen the way of Jesus Christ, we live according to truth. Truth supersedes facts. Facts are temporary and truth is eternal. Facts can make you miserable and truth sets you free.

So Joe, I would encourage you to not settle for the facts when you can actually have the truth.

Here’s another fact for you. The tomb in Jerusalem is empty. The truth is Jesus Christ is risen from the dead having slapped death in the face for all of us.

Troy Brewer is the pastor of Open Door ministries near Joshua and Crowley and can be reached through his Web site at

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Rip Off

When I was a kid I was a comic book freak. I loved Spiderman because of his good attitude and Conan the Barbarian because of his terrible attitude. I wanted to live life like Spiderman and conquer the world like Conan. It seemed reasonable to me.

I loved Marvel comics mostly because of the artists. I also loved Marvel because even if the character plot went stupid, a boy could count on the magic of the full-page ads. Those ads were as fantastic as the comics themselves and the items in them could be mailed directly to your mailbox.
There were Sea Monkeys — yes Sea Monkeys — hovercrafts and little machines you could buy that would help you counterfeit dollar bills. I loved it! Charles Atlas was willing to help me no longer be skinny and beat up mean people on the beach. I never bought his 15-minute trainer because I was never skinny and didn't live on the beach. However, I did take his advise and punched a bully in the face for making a remark about me. That bully promptly mopped the floor with my head in front of the entire seventh grade.

Cattle killers

There was also a really cool ant farm for sale. This was before fire ants invaded us and our Amdro killed all of the harvester ants, horny toads, tarantulas and jack rabbits. A big shout out to our state and federal government for handing out billions of pounds of Amdro to farmers in the early 80s. Feel the love.

I thought very seriously about buying the Venus flytrap plants and I always liked the zombie mask. But, there was one mail order item from the comic books that really stands out in my memory — the X-ray glasses. These glasses were advertised to help a young man full of testosterone actually see past the heavily clad ladies of our youth. I wondered why every kid didn't already have a pair and quickly came to the conclusion that it was because I was a visionary genius.

Snail mail

So in 1979, I saved up a $1.99 for my X-ray goggles, saved up another $5 for “shipping and handling” and carefully filled out the envelope so my messy writing would send my money to the right New Jersey address. I also dedicated my life to checking the mail every day for the next six weeks because if my mom found out I was trying to look through walls or cheerleader outfits, I would be dead.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I got a very small package in the mail and a very lame pair of cardboard glasses. It was a scam. Who knew? I felt so cheated and stupid.

“You gotta be kidding me,” I exclaimed while looking through the ridiculous rip off. The Brewer had his first taste of a world full of dishonest schemes. I mean you would think you could trust people helping little boys peer into Bank vault combinations.

Money back guarantee

Thirty-one years later, I am painfully aware of rip offs and con artists and just plain lies. They compete for our attention and devotion at an unprecedented level these days. The one place I run to where I know I will not be ripped off or disappointed is hope in Jesus Christ. So I run to Jesus.

The proof of authenticity is not just in the book, but in the lives of all of us who love the Lord. We see miracles, live beyond what is reasonable and shoot for limitless possibilities. We love beyond our capacity and live beyond our means. We choose to be battleships instead of cruise ships and warrior poets full of life, love and joy.

It is just plain impossible for us to be the people we are without the reality of Jesus Christ in our lives. Besides all of that, I have been to Israel and stuck my head in the tomb — it really is empty. Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and the life he gives to us is no rip off.

“They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.” — Psalm 22:5

The Brewer pastors Open Door Ministries near Joshua and Crowley and can be found at