Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Historically speaking, Payback doesn't work

If you ever had reason to drive west of Utley, Texas, it would be easy to pass up the historical marker on the south side of FM 969. But if you did have time to stop and see what it says, it would tell you very little about what actually happened there. It's a place where people lived and died 171 years ago. A place where both dreams and nightmares came true.

One of the brave families who settled the frontier lived here when it was a lot easier to die than to actually live. Texas had just won her independence from Mexico, and the Coleman family settled on land deeded to them by Austin himself.

Robert and Elizabeth Coleman fought the Mexicans, the Comanches and the harsh Texas elements while scratching the ground for food and having babies. They lived with very little comfort on the Colorado River, and Robert commanded the fort nearby. They looked forward to a day where living would be less dangerous and survival more likely, but Robert never saw that day.

In 1837, Robert drowned in the Brazos River, and Elizabeth did not have the luxury to spend a season in mourning. Now she was a single mother with a three year old boy, a twelve year old boy and several daughters whose ages are not known to us now. For the next two years, she successfully fought and lived harder than most can imagine, nearly completely isolated from the rest of the world.

By then, her oldest boy Albert was fourteen, and he was a huge help in every way. The Coleman daughters had never known anything but frontier life, and they fit well into the rhythm of the farm. Tommy was now five and spent his days chasing rabbits and catching horned toads.

On February 18, 1839, Elizabeth was working in the garden when she saw a raiding party of Comanche Indians coming full gallop towards the house. She screamed to the kids to get inside and for Albert to prepare to defend himself. Little Tommy was too far away to make it to the house in time, and as Elizabeth stood in the doorway, an Indian arrow pierced her throat. She fell where she stood in a bloody clump of writhing panic. As Albert frantically dragged her past the threshold, a Comanche picked up Tommy for parts unknown. Albert fired off a shot from his muzzleloader while his mother lay gurgling, and his sisters continued screaming from under the bed.

In the chaos and panic, I would imagine Albert found it difficult to reload the awkward rifle. He had no idea a Comanche warrior had his sights on him through a crack in the side of the house.

Several hours later, would-be rescuers arrived to find Tommy had been kidnapped and Albert, Elizabeth and one Comanche warrior dead. The girls were still under the bed and had to be pried away from their hiding place: a fairly common scene in early Texas history. An injustice barely comprehensible. The settlers vowed revenge for the horrific act of savagery, and they would have it.

If after this reading this, your blood is boiling a little, as it should, let me tell you another part of this same story. Like you, Elizabeth had no way of knowing, not that she would have cared, that the Comanches assaulting her were the surviving remnant of an Indian village who had just been massacred by settlers.

Four days earlier on February 14th, John Henry Moore had taken a Texan raiding party to find Indians and attacked a village at sunrise on the San Saba River. Besides warriors, women, children and the elderly were cut down, indiscriminately shot and left for dead. The surviving Comanches vowed revenge for the horrific act of savagery, and they would have it in the Coleman family, miles away.

Now before your blood boils at John Moore, as it should, let me tell you another part of this story. John Henry Moore was hunting Indians in retaliation of an attack on another family, and those Indians were hunting settlers in retaliation of another attack on an Indian village. The Cycle of Death goes on and on, and the stories are tragic and horrific.

Revenge does not belong to us. It belongs to God. Mama taught me a long time ago not to take what doesn't belong to me, and the Brewer is reminding you to do the same. Revenge in the hands of a Holy God is a Holy thing. Revenge in the hands of somebody like me is an ugly thing that does more damage and very little good. Revenge in God’s hand brings Justice, but in our hands brings evil, even on innocent people. Next time you and I have trouble believing that, we should think about poor Albert trying to drag his mama in the house with an arrow through her throat or the panic and terror that little Indian girl must have felt as she took her last breath on the San Saba.

Forgiveness and trusting in the Lord to make things right comes from God Himself. Revenge belongs to Him. The choice to not be a bigger part of the problem belongs to you and me.

Deuteronomy 32:35

Vengeance is Mine, and recompense...

The Brewer pastors Open Door Ministries near Joshua and can be found at www.opendoorministries.org and troybrewer.com

Friday, April 16, 2010


When James King Got up last Wednesday morning he woke up with a word and a mission. “God is going to help me find that little girl today.”

Four days earlier, a little girl named Nadia Bloom, had gone missing without a trace of evidence as to where she could be. When her bike and her helmet were found on the side of the street, everyone suspected the worst imaginable.

There were however endless miles of Florida swamp nearby and friends and family knew Nadia had mild autism and lived with Asperger’s syndrome. It was possible she had wandered off and simply gotten lost. They hoped it was possible.

She had just read a book about an adventurous little girl who went through the wilderness taking pictures of wildlife. Nadia did have her camera that day. After three days of Alligator infested swamps though, there were very few who considered it a possibility she could be found alive.

“At this point, it would be a miracle.” Authorities said.

Miracles happen.

Some time in the afternoon, 911 received a phone call from a remote location in the swamp. It was James King.
“I have found the missing girl, Nadia....” he said.
“Wait...Your in contact with her now?” asked the dispatcher.
“Yes, I have her in my arms. She’s fine.”

What CBS would call, The miracle in the swamp, was soon broadcast throughout the world. Nadia was covered from head to toe in mosquito bites and she was severely dehydrated but she really was fine. ”

“If I never believed in miracles before, I do now.” said the chief of police.

Twenty four hours later King was in New York City on every morning news show you can imagine. An awkward kind of guy who apparently does not wear socks, King sat in nice chairs, in front of huge cameras, holding a bible.

“God led me to her. He told me to recite Proverbs three and call out her name.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path. That’s what I did and I found her. “

Nadia’s dad said of his daughter's rescue: "I can't even describe it. Let's give the glory to God."

I know another King who searches for and finds lost people. This King is also a miracle worker. This king is willing to go where no one else is willing to go to rescue the hurting and save the lost. This King is actually King over all Kings and I know him personally because I happen to be part of the family. His name is Jesus.

In whatever swamp you find yourself sinking in this week, The Brewer encourages you to call out to the only one who really can rescue and save. God bless you so much as you face life believing in miracles and looking forward to the impossible.

Troy Pastors Open Door Ministries near Joshua and can be found at www.opendoorministries.org and www.troybrewer.com

Friday, April 2, 2010

Power Drain

I have had the blessing of having a really good landlord over the years. The owner of our rented church facility is actually a child hood friend of mine, Julie McMurry Thames, who has been a wonderful host to us for more than 12 years.

I recently had to tell her that we will be moving out because the good people at First Baptist in Joshua are selling their building to us and allowing us to move in sometime in early October. It’s a huge upgrade for our band of believers and actually a dream come true for all our leadership team. I’ll tell you more about that in the weeks to come, but let me first tell you about an issue with another rented property.

About ten years ago, we began to rent a building, not belonging to my friend Julie, which we would use as our youth facility. It was old and run down, but we accepted the challenge of a huge renovation and built it from the inside out. It lacked even a bathroom, and after four months of hard work, we were able to open a facility for teenagers to hang out and for young lives to be changed. We called it the Power House, and as it turned out, the name would be prophetic. Our first electric bill there was somewhere around $850.00, and other than during the construction, we were not even using the building.

We had some professional electricians come over and see what our problem was and turns out, there was no problem. Every month after that, no matter what, our electricity bill would be some where in the order of a thousand dollars. Though it was terrible and a huge financial strain on a little ministry like ours, we decided to go ahead and keep the facility because: number one, we have a huge heart for reaching teenagers; number two, we had spent more than $8,000.00 getting the building operable; and number three, we were locked into a contract with our landlord.

For ten years, we kept up the building, never missed a rental payment and loved on teenagers while watching that electricity bill get bigger and bigger. This year, it went above $1,500 several months in a row, and I finally had enough. Mind you, we use the building for one night a week. We began shutting it all down and moving out this last month while moving our youth services to Saturday night in our other facility. In the process, we turned off all the electricity and lo and behold, the meter was still spinning. We did a little investigating and discovered that the surrounding buildings don’t have a meter at all! Someone has been stealing electricity from us for more than 10 years.

The Texan in me wants to go to war over such a thing, and I am still contemplating, but it’s made me think a lot about the subject of a power drain. It’s just not an option for me to live a spiritually powerless life! I don’t want to miss out on what Paul calls “...the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe . . ."

We receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us (Acts 1:8). Living life in the Spirit, by the Spirit, is a constant work in progress for all Christians. We get to live and operate in a different spirit and attitude than the world we live in. I love that!

We learn of the power of God through "great and precious promises" (II Peter 1:3-4). We unwrap and discover our destiny as we continually discover who the Lord is to us. That power goes to "all things that pertain to life and godliness." It’s learning to pray and learning to throw a curve ball. It’s wrapping our heads around theology and understanding the housing market. It’s raising our kids and leaving a legacy. God’s Power is for everything we are involved in.

We see the power of God in our lives when our character reflects "all patience and long suffering with joyfulness" (Colossians 1:11). Now we’re talking supernatural power to not throw a constant fit. To live in conflict without living in strife. Come on Jesus!

I know right now, there are lots of things out there with the purpose of stealing my power. Let me serve the devil notice: you cosmic punk, you can’t have it! There are too many people depending on me, and the person reading this, to continue to allow you to steal from us anymore. We choose to partner with God and put an end to the drainage as of right now. It is my responsibility to be full of the Spirit and to live life in such a way that is more about Easter morning than Good Friday.

So, Elvis has left the building but with a right mind and a right heart. Since I couldn't turn off the electricity, I thought it wise to go ahead and shut off the water at my meter. It turns out I couldn't do that either. As soon as I did, the neighbors came out and said I had shut all the water off to their building.

Troy Pastors Open Door Ministries near Joshua and can be found at www.opendoorministries.org and www.troybrewer.com

Thursday, April 1, 2010


This week’s confession of a highly caffeinated Christian comes boldly perked with a seasonal blend. Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Morning. It’s not just a great time of year to sell little rabbits at the feed store, Its an amazing season to contemplate History’s greatest hinge.

When I think about how Jesus lived, suffered, died and then slapped death in the face for me, I think about some things only a weirdo like me would think about. One of those things is Time Travel. Yes-time travel.

I would love to go back through time and actually witness Jesus in the flesh. Being a Christian I believe He was God made flesh, not just God pretending to be a man, so I tend to think other weird things too. Would I be able to talk to him since I don’t speak Hebrew? Nobody actually spoke English 2000 years ago, much less Texan.

Maybe I would have to be a fly on a wall somehow and just observe. So on my time travel list of Jesus things to see would have to be, the feeding of the five thousand. Oh I would so want to see Jesus walking on the water and defending the woman caught in the act. What were you writing on the ground there, Jesus? So many things but more than all of that, even more than actually being in the house with the disciples when Jesus showed up after the resurrection, I would want to somehow be there the day he carried the cross.

Years ago I used to think about being in Jerusalem on that day and how I would love to be there just to encourage him some how. I would love to give him a drink when he was so thirsty. I would love to clothe him when they tore his robe off of him. Anything to ease His pain or lighten his burden of what He was going through for my sake. If there was no way to do any of that, If I could just be one face in the hateful crowd that yelled back, “Thank you, Jesus!” You can do it Lord! Its not always going to be like this!”
This one day changes everything, Lord. Thank you sir, I love you sir!”. Anything, so He wasn't so alone as He made that march for all of us.

So one night in prayer about ten years ago, I was praying and complaining to God about my lack of a time machine to do such a thing. “Yes, Lord I do plan to stop by the Alamo and make sure Davie Crocket knows you in his heart, but I want to come and love on you when you were hurting so bad.”

In an instant, in a way like only God can, and in a way like is a little different for each of us, I felt God speak a word into my heart. “You already do and you have many times.”is what God said to me. a split second later, I was thinking about Matthew 25 and How Jesus said if we would give somebody who was a thirsty, a drink of water He would count it as if we did it to him. If we would visit folks in prison and clothe the naked and help hurting people he would count it as if we fed and clothed and helped Him when he needed it.

Come to find out I have done a lot of time traveling over the years. This last saturday, me and my friends were able to give food and clothes away to over 700 people, and in that, I was able to encourage somebody who was hurt and feed somebody who was hungry. I never left the county or the current year but in the eyes of Jesus I was there with HIm when he was hurting the most

I can’t go back through time like I would like to, but I get to live for Jesus right now in a way I shouldn't be able to. Happy resurrection day guys and God bless you in living out a life that proves he is risen.

“I see the face of Jesus in every hurting person I take care of.” Mother Theresa

Troy Pastors Open Door Ministries near Joshua and can be found through www.opendoorministries.org and www.troybrewer.com