Friday, July 30, 2010

The High Way of His Way

The Influence that West Texas rocker Buddy Holly had on the world, really cant be measured. It wasn't just American kids singing “That’ll be the day”. Across the pond, kids in England were becoming mesmerized by the beats and rhythms and the personality of a skinny kid with big black glasses. British rock and roll culture was being lived out, really before anybody had an amplifier.

In Beckenham, England. A young boy named Peter Frampton was a big fan of Buddy Holly. He had recently discovered his grandmother's ukulele in the attic and taught himself to play. He went from there to teaching himself to play guitar and later piano. At age eight he started taking classical music lessons.

By the age of ten, Frampton played in a band called The Little Ravens. Both he and and a guy named David Bowie were pupils at Bromley Technical School where Frampton's father, Owen Frampton, was an art teacher and head of the Art department.

Peter and David would spend time together at lunch breaks, playing Buddy Holly songs.

At the age of 11, Peter was playing with a band called The Trubeats followed by a band called The Preachers, produced and managed by none other than Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones.

He became a successful child singer, and in 1966, he became a member of a band called The Herd. He was the lead guitarist and singer, scoring a handful of British teenybopper hits. Frampton was named "The Face of 1968" by teen magazine and thats how Peter Frampton made it to the big time.

Ten years later he was looking for a way to really break out into the American music scene. He had to find a way to sell albums in the United States. What could the way be?

Peter was so fascinated with the theme of “the way” it began to surface in the songs he would write. He recorded Baby I love your way and Show me the way on his live album which was released in 1976. It became an anthem for American teenagers and sold over 16 million records. That’s a lot of plastic and a lot of money.

Throughout the summer of 76 and 77, stadiums in America were cram-packed with young people singing the words from Frampton’s heart.

Who can I believe in,
I'm kneeling on the floor.
There has to be a force; who do I phone.
The stars are out and shining, but all I really want to know.
Oh won't you... show me the way.
I want you me the way.

Thirty four years later, there is still a cry for people to be shown the way. If there is anything in the world, we as the church should respond to, I would think the cry to be shown the way would be something to get us off of our blessed assurance.

Jesus Christ is the way, the early church movement was called the way and the word way or ways is found in the bible 867 times. God wants us to know the way!

Two areas that every Christian becomes fluent in throughout his walk with God, is getting to know God and getting to know His ways.

The reason for the cry from Frampton’s heart was the same as the reason for the cry from people today. Our ways don’t work.
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” In other words, our way will always kill us.

But the good news in Jesus Christ is that His ways always work.

This week’s confession from a highly caffeinated Christian comes brewing with encouragement to take a sip of God’s way.
His ways for you are Life. It doesn't matter where you are at or what you are doing, what does matter is that you stop what you are doing long enough to consider the way your life is moving.

In the words of Peter Frampton, ask Jesus to show you His way.
Just ask Him and be ready to change from yours to His. That is the place where Winter ends and Spring moves into town. His way is not just a verb it is in fact a noun, a person. To know Jesus Christ is to find yourself in a way that is blessed in every way a person can be.

Psalm 103:7;
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.

Troy Pastors Open Door Ministries near Joshua.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Air Up There

I have been doing a lot of traveling lately. My wife and I set off on a high adventure for the nation of Guatemala last week. I spoke at a conference, did a small TV show and also preached a couple of church services. While all of that is awesome, you have to be be willing to cram your great big hiney into a little bitty seat on a metal tube being thrown 31,000 feet high into the air at 500 miles an hour. In other words, you have to fly.

I always ask for a window seat, partly because my fatness spills over into the isle but mostly because I genuinely gawk outside through the entire flight. The clouds, the citys, the flying saucers, -well thats typically from the Prozac I take before the flight. The rivers and oceans and islands, those are real. I love the view from thirty one to forty thousand feet.

I have flown over the Sahara Desert several times and it is a lot more comfortable being over it than on it. The beautiful colors blend into the horizon and because of the heat, you can’t tell where the sky ends and the ground starts.

On my way back from India once, I flew directly over the north pole and even though it was summer, there was nothing but ice as far as I could see. The top of the world is as white as you imagine. In contrast, last week I flew over the oil spill in the gulf between Miami and DFW. What a mess. Yes, it is as bad as you think it is. and it didn't look all black, it mostly looked red. The gulf is bleeding.

I have seen lots of things from the air, that I have never seen on the ground. The swiss Alps, the French Alps, the Statue of Liberty, Kabul Afghanistan and Baghdad Iraq. How does it go? I seen a peanut stand, heard a rubber band and seen a needle that winked it's eye. But I done seen ‘bout everything when I see a elephant fly.
Short View Vs. The Long View Psalm 37 is a wisdom psalm that tells the importance of maintaining the right perspective during our brief visit of this planet. We have got to have a different perspective.

The wisdom of this psalm is to adopt a long-run rather than a short-run perspective on life by embracing God's purposes for every part of our life. Trust in the Lord,
delight yourself in the Lord, commit your way to the Lord and rest in the Lord, it says.

The perspective from above is that, all of the mess we are going through is absolutely temporary. The view from above looks a lot better and takes a whole lot more into consideration. Sometimes we need to just stop what we are doing, take a deep breath and ask God to give us an eye to see things His way. Above the muck and the mire and the mess It’s a lot easier to breath. Get up there as quick as you can and as often as you can get there.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand
Psalms 37:23 and 24

Troy Pastors Open Door Church near Joshua and can be reached at


It is important for us to be aware our surroundings. It is also fun to know about the things going on around us. There are those among us who are such nerds, we actually accumulate knowledge and facts on subjects and people we probably should know nothing about.

As a highly caffeinated Christian, I tend to ponder and pick up things in a life of dedicated contemplation. This week’s sip from the Master’s cup comes blended with a different view of things we see everyday. Enjoy!

Kid’s stuff
Did you know that Walt Disney was afraid of mice? Turns out he had a phobia of mice and invented Mickey as a friendly and funny version of what terrorized him as a kid. I think that’s cool.

Donald Duck, another Disney invention, was at first banned from Finland because Donald doesn't wear pants.

The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life.”

The name Wendy was made up for the book Peter Pan. There was never a recorded Wendy before.

In comic strips, the person on the left always speaks first.

Mel Blanc, who played the voice of Bugs Bunny, was allergic to carrots and “That’s all folks” on cartoons and puppets I can think of. But speaking of bugs...

Bugs and Critters
Did you know you are three times more likely to be killed by a flying champagne cork than you are to be killed by the bite of a venomous spider, so you probably should not waste time worrying about it. On the same note, donkeys kill more people every year than plane crashes do. This bit of information, however, has not kept me from making a jackass out of myself on international flights. I hate airplanes.

A shrimp's heart is in its head. A bird chews with his stomach and some turtles can breathe through their butts. Eels have two hearts, elephants can’t jump, and bats always fly left when exiting a cave. By the way, did you know you can melt pearls and kill scorpions with vinegar? Oh yes, there's more.

People and Places
Did you know Marilyn Monroe had six toes on one of her feet? If she reminds you of a Barbie doll, I wonder if you know what Barbie’s full name is? Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.

Albert Einstein's parents were worried he was mentally slow, because it took him a long time to learn how to speak. Shakespeare invented the words "assassination" and "bump.” You share your birthday with at least 9 million other people in the world, and India has never invaded another country in the past 6,000 years of her history.

Paying Attention
While we might not need to know a lot of these things, we do need to know what’s going on around us. The Good Book says that as we move forward through life, we should see the timing and events of things so that we can cash in on the value of our day.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:15-17

A lot of us don’t know the will of God simply because we don’t see what is going on around us. We foolishly miss how God uses the things going on around us as the billboards through which He is speaking to us because we are so focused on selfish agendas.

The Brewer reminds you this week to stop and smell the coffee. Take a look around you and ask God to show you what He wants you to see. If you get real with Him on this issue, get ready for sensory overload.

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


I am world famous for having a lead foot. It has always been hard for me to drive slow. Driving in a single lane behind someone who only wants to do 40 miles an hour has always felt something like having a tooth pulled. Worse yet is when someone drives slow in the passing lane. A sense of injustice overwhelms me as if an innocent person has been executed or land has been taken away by the government. Get out of the passing lane; It aint right!

I remember when the democrats moved the speed limit down to 55 on all national highways . Those were dark and terrible times for me. Then came the glorious day the republicans moved it back to 70. I had a party in the same way I think alcoholics did back when the prohibition ended.

A Need For Speed
Speed is dangerous, exhilarating, intoxicating and illegal beyond clearly set limits on every highway in the world. Every highway except one that is--The Autobahn.

Imagine a super highway designed for speed with thousands of miles of roadway where drivers can stand on their Porsches as fast as they want to. You might think this is Germany’s way of population control, but believe it or not it’s safe, even safer than the more conservative approach we have with our highway system. It seems to turn the premise that speed kills on it’s head. According to the World Wide Waste of time, The Autobahn has scored consistently lower in death rates than the US highway system for almost 20 years in a row now.

Sometimes, cars drive literally 200 miles an hour where traffic allows. In most places, typical cruising speeds for average drivers are between 80-90 miles an hour. That’s burning up the road on this side of the world but just heading to the store for some milk and eggs in Deutschland.

Drive Right
A big factor in its safety is a hardcore law that prohibits anyone driving in the passing lane unless they are actually passing somebody. The highways are patrolled and monitored not for speed but for improper use of the lanes.

While Germans are free to drive whatever speed they can, they are not free to drive in whichever lane they want to drive in. That is interesting to me. See you can drive fifty or one hundred and fifty on the Autobahn, but you can’t let your freedom cause someone else to have a wreck. You can’t drive fast in the slow lane causing people who want to drive slow to crash. You also can’t drive slow in the fast lane causing people who want to drive fast to crash. This is a responsible use of freedom, and I see Kingdom principles in this.

When it comes to the Autobahn or when it comes to life, you've got freedom. Jesus Christ offers us freedom, but you don’t use your freedom in a way that causes other people to get messed up. Yes, grace is real and so is the responsibility that goes with it.

Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 8: 9 “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”

Rock on Paul, and thanks for giving us the word.

Another issue in Germany, that every driver deals with, is the responsibility of knowing the difference between life and death. You see, when it comes to the speed limit, it is all legal. So in Germany, instead of asking if it is legal, which is never the question, you should be asking, “Is this going to kill me?” which is always the question.

So it is in the Kingdom. Cigarettes for example will not send you to Hell, it will just make you smell like it. Eating too much and eating whatever you want is perfectly legal in Christianity, but that freedom is supposed to bless us, not kill us. So the issue for us as Christians is not is it legal, because we are not under the law. The issue for us is, is this smart?, is this kingdom advancing?, or is this reckless and stupid?

Are we using our freedom in a way that trips up other people? Are we using our freedom as an excuse to go back into some kind of bondage? Is it freedom, or is it bondage? Is it living life, or is it choosing death? Those are real issues even though the legality of the matter is not an issue.

No person or nation can remain free very long without such practices becoming widely accepted by its citizens. The same warning applies to the abuse of our spiritual freedom in Christ. As the Apostle Paul said and repeated:
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient” I Corinthians 6:12.

It’s all legal, but it is not all in our best interest. If our heart is after the King’s heart, we will make a choice that not only keeps us living but doesn't kill everybody else around us.

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

Friday, July 2, 2010

Famous trees

Believe it or not there is a list of famous trees in Texas that some people, nerds like me, are willing to travel and to see firsthand. These trees mark incredible events that took place under or around them. Things that shaped our history, good and bad.

This highly caffeinated Christian would like to take you on a small tour of famous Texas Trees this week.

Philip Nolan’s Tree

On the south side of Hwy 174, about five miles south of Rio Vista, you will find a marker that heralds the death place of Phillip Nolan. A three hundred year old Post Oak marks the spot where Philip Nolan and a band of frontiersmen fought and lost a battle with 120 Spanish soldiers way back in 1801. Nolan’s death became the early seeds of rebellion against Spain, and later what would be Mexico, for western expansion.

Sam Houston’s Oak

A giant Live Oak tree just east of Peach Creek and 8.5 miles from Gonzales marks the spot where Sam Houston was on March 14th, 1836. Alamo survivor Susanna Dickinson found Houston there and personally reported her account of the horrific slaughter and that Santa Anna was hot on her heels.

The Dueling Oak

It was under this tree in Jackson County where two Generals in the the Nation of Texas’ army, decided to handle a dispute by blasting each other to pieces in a civilized manner. They both squared off, drew from the hip and shot three rounds apiece before one of them fell. The looser miraculously survived and later would become a confederate hero.

The Cowboy Tree

From January to March of 1871, more than 43,000 head of Longhorns moved through the town of Pleasanton, Texas. Can you Imagine? In just three months, herds bigger than anyone had every seen moved slowly through this tiny town and cowboys wanted to get wild and “see the elephant”. A local business man wanted to separate the rowdy behavior at his saloon from all of his other buildings so he built a new saloon as a tree house. This high rise casino served well until a drunken cowboy fell out and broke his neck. The tree is still there.

The Goose Island Oak

Texas' largest tree is found on the Lamar Peninsula within the Goose Island State Park just off highway 35 before you reach the Copano Causeway. It is known to be the world’s largest live oak with a trunk that is 43 feet around! The cannibalistic Karankawa indians used to eat their enemies under the shade of that tree and it is believed to be over 1000 years old.

Hanging Trees

Texas has more Hanging trees than I have ink to write about. You can find them and a plaque that tells its story in places like Evergreen, Bandera, Clarksville, Coldspring, Hallettsville, Kyle, Orange, Sequine and on countless private properties throughout the state. A lot of these trees are located just outside the courthouse because execution would usually take place within an hour of the verdict. Vigilante justice and injustice was carried out when cooler heads failed to prevail.

The most Famous Tree of All

Joyce Kilmer is famous for her flowery poetic ode first published in 1919.
“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.” she wrote. It ends like this, “Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.”

God made an amazing tree several thousand years ago and the Romans cut it down and made a cross out of it. Now we don’t know what kind of tree it was. Some say it was dogwood. There is an old legend with the dogwood that says Jesus himself changed the tree from the size of a mighty oak to what it looks like today. The old yarn says Jesus said. “...never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used for a cross. Henceforth, it shall be slender, bent, and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross–two long and two short petals.”

In the center of the outer edge of each petal looks like the print of nails. In the center of the flower it looks like a crown of thorns stained with blood. Pretty neat stuff, I think.

I don’t know if the old tale is true but I do know the cross is. The Cross of Christ is that place where God replaced my History with my Destiny. He became a curse for me so I could be blessed. Changing everything for my benefit, Jesus saved me in every way a man can be saved. Now thats a tree all of us should visit.

1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV)
Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

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