Sunday, June 27, 2010


The Brewer is a big fan of Lonesome dove. How could I not be? The book, something like a Texas version of Gone with the wind, is by all accounts an 843 page masterpiece. It seems to be loved by everybody, except for the guy who wrote it. More on that in a bit.

Well, believe it or not, it has been 25 years since the CBS mini series first hit the tube. This month, Texas Monthly is even doing a huge tribute to the show that made Texans proud to be Texan again. As if that was actually a problem.

I have read what the boys down in Austin had to say and I have a few thoughts of my own I would like to share.

“It aint dyin' I'm talking about, it's livin.”

About 15 years ago I was looking for a new hunting knife so I drove up to the house of Blades in Ft Worth. While wielding a scottish long sword, I looked up in time to see two guys going through expensive knives and several people clamoring to serve them. It was none other than Larry Mcmurty and his assistant. Larry, of course, is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Lonesome dove.

As the good Lord would have it, we had occasion to carry on a hospitable conversation and it really surprised me what he had to say about his book. Turns out, he is not that big of a fan of lonesome dove.

He thinks he has written much better works and didn't even show up to claim the Pulitzer when awarded to him. He said that he didn't know how so many people could get such joy out of a story so sad. I read in another place that he said something about writing the book as a criticism of the west and it's existence as a "terrible culture." Ironically, its the very culture people fell in love with.

“Heres to the sunny slopes of long ago.”

I think what people love about Lonesome Dove is much more than the memorable quotes and the outstanding characters. It’s that there is something within all of us that wants to be over comers and conquerers and dreamers. It’s not about a cattle drive, it is about people, who against all odds, shaped the world into what they wanted it to be. Its about people, who have suffered tremendously but still love life and love to accomplish vision. Fragile people who can’t be stopped. Thats what all of us want to be. Independent, free, capable and unafraid. Such is the the lore of frontier Texas.

I guess you've been settin’ up all night reading the good book.”

It thrills me to tell you, these are the kind of people God wants us to be. This is the great offer from the hand of God and the benefit of surrendering to the King who makes everything brand new. As I type this week’s sip from the Master’s cup, I think about those fictional characters and the reality of who we are through Christ.

By the grace of God we are River crossing dreamers who have a vision that can not be stopped. We confront our enemies, mourn our losses and celebrate our lives. We have a strong since of right and wrong and there are certain injustices we will not tolerate on the way to our promised land. are overcoming people of faith with a pioneer spirit ready to map out our victory for those behind us. Highly independent in a hostile environment, we go with confidence knowing God has made us to be more than conquerors. people are going to talk about for years to come because of the way we lived and things we accomplished. That’s the life Jesus handed me.

Lonesome Dove is a fictional work but the Bible is not.

What else can I say? There isn't enough time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. Their faith helped them conquer kingdoms, and because they did right, God made promises to them. They closed the jaws of lions and put out raging fires and escaped from the swords of their enemies. Although they were weak, they were given the strength and power to chase foreign armies away. Hebrews 11

Troy Pastors Open Door Ministries near Joshua. He can be reached at

Monday, June 21, 2010


If you happen to be outside at around 10:15 tonight, you can look nearly straight up and see a horseshoe shaped constellation called Corona. No, it’s not a giant bottle of Mexican beer in the heavens; Corona represents a crown.

I have spent many years of my life stretching my neck back as I gawked through the midnight sky at what shines from above. For a guy who loves to map out things, gazing at the stars is a perfect lifetime hobby. But for me, being a Jesus freak and a bible thumper, I can’t help but see the hand of God Himself as He shows off one more time and tells His amazing stories.

A crown represents dominion, reward and honor. God promises each one of us a crown; in fact, He promises us five different kinds of crowns. If you will allow me to be a teacher in this column, I want to show them to you.

There is the incorruptible crown: 1 Cor. 9:24,25. This crown is given to believers who faithfully run the race. Run whatever race that God has set out for you, and be the best you can be for God. You’ve got to know He sees you, and even though what you are going through is only temporary, your reward is not!

Then there is the crown of life: James 1:12. For those believers who endure trials, tribulations, and severe suffering, even unto death. Rev. 2:8-11. This crown is also referred to as the martyr's crown. You need to know God hates suffering and rewards people who stick with him even when it doesn't feel good to do so.

There is also the crown of righteousness: 2 Tim. 4:8. When God honors you and puts this crown on your head, He is saying there is nothing wrong between you and me. The Brewer is a big fan of this one.

There is also the crown of glory: 1 Pet. 5:1-4 and the crown of rejoicing: 1 Thess. 2:19, 20. & Dan 12:3. Both of these bad boys are connected to ministry and our willingness to advance the Kingdom and the King’s agenda.

All of heaven has an amazing culture of honor. God gives us crowns, and we get to throw them back at His feet. He makes us powerful, and we get to sing songs that say “All Power belongs to you.” It’s just really cool!

One of the ways we bring Heaven to this Earth is that we become honorable people who honor the people next to us. We should make a big deal out of other people’s sacrifices. We should bless other people and recognize how they triumphed in the midst of suffering.

There is a crown in the heavens tonight. The Texas night sky will be lit up with all kinds of God stories this evening, and one of them is the promise of a crown. I double dog dare you to go outside, take a look up and give a big smile back to the One who is smiling on you. Even the bible says to look up be watchful because your redemption gets closer every day.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Psalms 19:1-3

You can reach the brewer at or at

Friday, June 11, 2010

Highest and best use

When I was a child, I dreamed of becoming a rancher. I wasn't interested in ranch work, or really any work back then, I just loved the idea of having my own land.

“Yes, this is my river,” I would say to people as they envied my empire. “And those are my cows. Somewhere over that hill is my private lake,” I imagined myself saying as a grown up. I would look like Tom Selleck under a tall cowboy hat. That was the plan.

At 43, I look more like Danny DeVito, and am trying hard to pay off my half acre lot near Joshua.

“This is my birdbath,” I say to people who really are not interested. “And somewhere over the lawn gnome is an empty bottle of Miracle Grow.”

I don’t know much about real estate, but I do know a few years back the market crashed like the Hindenburg. I didn't loose anything because I don’t own much — it appears that feeding the poor, preaching in prisons and writing a newspaper column might not have been a good financial strategy. Who knew?

Part of the proper lingo with the sale of any property is a term called “highest and best use.” It has to do with the use of the property, and what makes it the most efficient and profitable. An example would be an agricultural piece of land being developed into a shopping center rather than an onion field. The point being, you can get a lot bigger bang out of your buck if it is used in “the best” way.

This week’s sip from the Master’s cup comes caffeinated with a word on highest and best use.

The highest and best use of your heart, your mind and all of your life is to be of the Kingdom, for the Kingdom and by the Kingdom. The Kingdom is everything under the dominion of the King. You don’t have to be churchy to expand the Kingdom anymore than you have to be an evangelist to give the good news. All you have to do is let Jesus be your King instead of being your homeboy or your copilot.

The best use for our lives is in the hands of the King himself. Who better than He can lead us into what we were made for — since He is the one who made us. It is better to be useful to the Lord than to be used up by this world. The highest and best and biggest bang we can get out of our lives is when we play a significant role in bringing Heaven to this Earth.

“All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” — 1 Corinthians 10:23

Troy pastors Open Door near Joshua and can be found at and

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This last week was my Dad’s 66th birthday. Being the magnificent answered prayer of a son that I am, I took dad off for three days of R and R and a whirlwind tour of Texas colonial battlefields. It was a hoot.

I get my love of History and all things Texas from my Dad. He totally buys into the mythical side of our glorious history. So there we were, out stomping around on places preserved and some barely marked because we are nerds and proud of it.

Our smorgasbord of Texas warfare included these items on the Menu.

The old coleman House
Elizabeth coleman looked up from her garden just in time to see 300 Comanche warriors attacking her farm in 1847. It Turned out to be a really bad day for her and her kids. We drove past the place some thirty miles East of Austin.

The battle site of Brushy creek.
In the heat of battle against the Comanches who murdered Elizabeth Coleman, Killed young Albert Coleman and kidnapped her 5 year old, A man named Burleson knew he could not win with just one man and a 14 year old boy. There at brushy creek, Burleson shouted to the pair to get back on their horses and retreat. Just as Burleson started to spur his horse into a run for safety, he saw that the teenager was having trouble getting back onto his nervous mount. Burleson jumped out of his saddle to lend a hand and caught an Indian bullet in the back of his head.

He dropped dead as the the boy climbed onto the horse and escaped with his life. His older brother, Edward Burleson, a brigadier general in the militia, soon arrived with reinforcements. There at Brushy Creek, the general rode after the Indians who had killed his brother.

Dad and I went out there just to feel the dirt and smell the air, again, because we are nerds.

We also went to the Alamo, Washington on the Brazos and even San Fillip.
All told, we covered about 500 miles on our journey of Texas Battle fields. Being somewhat of a wordsmith I entitled our trip, “The way of the warrior”

A Warrior Bride
Part of my love for battlefields doesn't just come from my six generations as a Texan. It comes from the Kingdom of God. Jesus is a king but know for a certain that He is a Warrior King.

Revelation 21:8 informs us that there are no wimps or cowards in Heaven. That makes heaven all the more glorious to me. We are called the bride of Christ which means we are totally fixated on the bride groom, but know this, we are a warrior bride. Undefeated and fully capable. Confident, positive and at full ease in an environment that is otherwise hostile.

There is more victory attached to you than you can even imagine. Here are just a few of the Brewer’s notes on the walk of Christians which is every bit the way of a warrior.

We are not Spectators, we are warriors!
One of the world famous “decisions that define us” from the same titled book by Dave Crone is “We have decided to be the ones telling the stories of God's power - not the ones hearing about them.” That is a decision all of us need to make.

There should be no separation between the pew and the pulpit or the sacred and secular. All of the church belongs to Jesus so get up, get out and get after it! An adventure in Life is waiting for you.

Comfort kills!
Jesus says in Luke 10:3 that he is sending us out as lambs among wolves ,not a potatoes among couches. We are not tourists on vacation and life is not a perpetual spa experience. Our God given ability to hang in there when things are extremely tough is essential to the way of a warrior and paramount for victory. Remember,
better is better but better will not be easier or more comfortable.

We are called to be peace makers not peace keepers. I like to think of the ill relevance of so called peace keeping forces through out the world as they stand by and watch a million massacred in places like Rwanda. I also remember the effectiveness of the Texas Rangers with a pistol called a peace maker. The way of the warrior is all about peace making not in making deals with the enemy.

We do not have to be defeated by a defeated devil! My friend, Graham Cooke says in his book series, The way of the warrior. “ We can weary him with our rest.
We can discourage him by our faith. We can demoralize him by our joy. We can depress him by our endurance. We can dispirit him by our favor...”

I agree with you Graham.

The way of the warrior is attached to the passionate heart of the King of Kings himself. I want to encourage you as you read this, to know that there is still a lot of living for you to do. Jesus is not just the strength giver but actually is your strength all together. So, now that you know you were born to be a bad motor scooter, I think it is high time you and I become who we really have been all along and just didn't know it.

Romans 8:19 (NIV)
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Earthly agreement with heavens priorities

Out of all the guys in the bible, Ezekiel takes the cake for being a radical prophet. I even feel sorry for the guy. He was minding his own business, sitting by the river Chebar when God showed up in the form of a supernatural tornado and took him for the ride of his life. After a Pecos Bill tour by the hair of his head, he found himself standing in the mother of all killing fields.

Like a bad dream, or a scene from the Terminator, the whirl wind landed him in the center of an endless valley of skeletons — he was not in Kansas anymore.

Then God spoke in the form of a question, which usually means you are in trouble.

“Can these dry bones live?” God asked Ezekiel.

Now this is just the Brewer talking, but if I had been standing there, I would be thinking that all of those skeletons were the bodies of prophets who failed to answer correctly. This was something you wanted to get right.

So, unwilling to take a chance on the wrong answer, Ezekiel throws the ball back into God’s court and said — as King James put it, “Thou knowest.” In other words, “I’ll just let you tell me the answer and I will agree to whatever you say.”

Turns out, that is exactly what God wanted Ezekiel to say because it was just what He needed to invade that scene of death with His goodness. God wanted Ezekiel to know His heart and begin to proclaim the impossible.

What looked like the biggest train wreck in the world to everybody else, looked like a mighty army to God. He wanted there to be life over death, and power over hopelessness. The rest of the story is that as Ezekiel cooperated and agreed with what God said, God supernaturally turned those defeated people into mighty warriors.

One of the greatest honors of life is that we get to partner with God. Can you imagine having the ability to partner with a person who does not need any help from anybody? How can your life fall into agreement with the kindest and most wonderful person in the universe?

I don’t think we need to pray for God to open a window in Heaven, I suspect we need to position ourselves under what is already open. Earthly agreement with heaven’s priorities can make the difference between history and destiny.

”Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” — Matthew 6:10

Troy Brewer pastors Open Door near Joshua and can be reached at

People worth remembering

The childhood years of Seth Ricketts was filled with G.I. Joes and Army men. He wanted to be a soldier as a little bitty guy and purposely never grew out of it. When he was only nine, Seth looked through the Yellow Pages to find a recruiter and made a phone call all by his big self.

“He wanted to be in the military since he was nine years old and had been talking to a recruiter,” said his father, Bill Ricketts.

Seth grew up and then in 2001, all of America scrambled to find a TV set. We watched in horror as thousands of our country men were forced to jump to their deaths and even more climbed the narrow stair way to theirs. Muslim terrorists attacked the United States on 9-11 and Seth joined the Army on september 12th. Destiny called and true to form, Seth stepped up and stepped in. It was no surprise to Bill.

“He said he was going to protect his country and to keep that kind of stuff from happening to his family. He would rather take the fight to their soil.” Bill proudly stated about his son.

But then there was Rosie. The love of his life was also proud of her soldier man and for the next nine years she would faithfully stand by him and for him as he completed three tours of duty in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. They had two kids together, 3-year-old Aiden and 10-month-old Cullen. Rosie is pregnant now with their third child, due this summer and his fifth tour of duty almost complete. So Seth agreed it was finally time to come home. He had been there for the births of his first two children, but deployed soon afterward. This time, he was looking forward to being home during the first part of his child’s life.

So last week, there was the usual presentation of medals and accolades you would expect for such a warrior. They include the Army Commendation Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Iraqi Campaign Medal.

His platoon leader gave testimony to his values, dedication, and love like no other for his family and country. The home town newspaper ran a front page story on Seth and even his old school teachers chimed in on how proud they all are of him. But the newspaper headlines didn't say Seth had come home, -it said he would not. He was killed Saturday in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan while fighting with the 82nd airborne.

“He was an exemplary soldier and the men that were under him praised his work and his leadership,” the soldier’s father said. “He put his men before his own life. That’s just who he was.”

For as long as there has been anything worth keeping, protecting and achieving there have been wars. And as long as there have been wars there have been wives and parents and children who have received medals instead of the person they were hoping would come home.

Memorial Day

This weeks sip from the Master’s cup comes brewed with a grateful tear. I am so appreciative of the selflessness and commitment of our Armed forces. I am also heart broken for the parents and the families of those who are truly grieving over the death of a warrior who fell in battle.

I think we Christians, should make a prayerful proclamation on behalf of every family hurting over this issue. I also think we should be ready to extend a hand or a give a hug to those who need it. If you are hurting over the death of a soldier, please know that I said a prayer for you today. On behalf of all readers and on behalf of the Troy Brewer family and my friends at Open Door, Thank you, we love you. May you know the peace that passes understanding and the greatest Peace maker of all, Jesus.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Troy pastors Open Door Ministries near Joshua and can be reached at