New Year’s Resolutions and a Trident!

New Year's Resolution and a Trident

It’s almost the New Year, and the stereotypically clichéd thing to do at the end of the year is to make New Year’s resolutions.

And – to be frank – that’s not a bad idea.

Just because 98% of people will fail to keep their resolutions into the New Year, doesn’t mean that resolutions are bad or worthless. Think about the other amazing things 98% of Americans either don’t do or regularly fail at.

And doesn’t it make sense that intentional, God-loving people would develop a plan for the new year? The key isn’t making or not making resolutions, the “key” is actually more like a trident – three points all necessary to make your resolutions part of who you are.

So, today we’re going to talk about those three things necessary to successfully implementing your resolutions, but more importantly, we’re going to discuss the types of resolutions intentional, followers of Christ should be making. So, let’s start with our New Year’s Trident . . .

The New Year's Resolution Trident 1

Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions and a Trident!”

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More Than The Manger

More Than The Manger

By all means, put up the tree, wrap the presents, and watch Home Alone. Take as many days off of work as you can and spend lots of time with your family. And, if you haven’t heard it, check out Episode 8 of Truth.Love.Parent. about making your family time work better. In short, continue celebrating Christmas the way you have, just make this one change.

Continue reading “More Than The Manger”

Valentines, Communism, and Communicating Biblically

Valentines, Communism, and Communicating Biblically

I was twenty-seven when I took ownership of my first class of impressionable sixth graders. Those twenty-three minds were a veritable blank canvas ready for my pedagogical feather to tickle their intellects and break up the ground of their mixed metaphors.

Everything progressed perfectly until Fate took a sick day during second semester. One of my fellow elementary professors broke the news to me like this:

“All of your students have to give a valentine to everyone else in their class.”

Even now I think my response was genius.

Continue reading “Valentines, Communism, and Communicating Biblically”

Who is My Mother?

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Mothers come in all states and prizes. Which kind of mother are you: biological, step, adopted? Or are you the kind of mother Jesus introduced us to in Matthew 12 and Mark 3?

This type of mother is the most unique on the planet, and there are more people in this category than you may think.

“While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, ‘Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.’  But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, ‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’” Matthew 12:46-48

Which of you mothers wouldn’t feel at least a little offended to hear your son ask this question as you struggled to get to him? After all of the diapers, baths, games, money, and let’s not even mention child-birth! How dare he be so calloused!

However, Jesus was sinless and not capable of being rude or calloused (this is an important reminder that just because we may feel offended, it doesn’t mean we should). Instead, with further study we realize that Jesus is teaching us a valuable lesson about blood, water, and spirit.

The fleshly bonds of blood relations are greatly idolized in our culture. I don’t fault anyone for this state of mind as I too feel more affectionate for my family than I do most other homo sapiens.

Still, the spiritual reality is that the spiritual is a stronger reality. Consider Christ’s explanation:

“And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, ‘Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.’” Matthew 12:49-50

Spectacular.

Stunning.

Scandalous.

It’s hard to say what Mary believed about her son at this time in His life, but we know for certain that His brothers did not yet believe in Him. Regardless of her faith in the Messiah, there is no one in this life more dear to a believer than a brother and sister in Christ. Not even blood.

What does this mean for the biological, the step, and the adopted mother? It means that the greatest gift a mother can give to her children is to be first and foremost their spiritual family. Whether this means accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior or introducing your children to Him, or both, there is no greater relationship you can have with your kids.

The sweet kiss of a mother soothes the scraped knee and makes nightmares flee. But there is nothing sweeter or stronger than a mother who is also a sister in Christ.

#TBTB #TBT – 11/27/14

ThrowBack Thursday TBT

Check out Mr. Brewster’s unique connection with Thanksgiving and join our campaign to fill Twitter with #ThankfulForMoreThanTheFood Click To Tweet

A Personal Note about Thanksgiving

 

The Lie of R.I.P.

The Lie of R.I.P.

The Lie of R.I.P.
They’re everywhere.

Plastic. Stone. Plastic that looks like stone.

All week you’ve been driving by tombstones in nearly every yard that have R.I.P.  engraved on them. Even your local costume shop is advertising R.eally I.nsane P.rices.

R.I.P.

It shows up during Halloween because it’s grounded in plenty of historical grave plots. And lest you think it’s merely a cheesy decoration that just so happens to be cut into a few age-worn headstones, please recall that just a few months ago it was all over the internet – everyone wanted their moment to wish Robin Williams, “Rest in peace.”

But is it appropriate for a Christian to use the phrase (or corresponding acronym) when not decorating their house with some hallowed-macabre?

No.

It’s really not.

“Rest in peace” is one of the most noble, well-intentioned lies we can offer (regardless of who you’re talking about). Everyone wants something nice to say at a funeral, and despite the fact that graveyard publishing has the fewest readers of any written medium, people still want their loved one’s stones to be memorable. But Christians who are serious about Christ-honoring communication must exchange such notions for more honest platitudes.

Lie #1

If you use the phrase “rest in peace” to describe a Christian, your view of the eternal state needs some revamping. That wonderful lady who just slipped into eternity after her battle with breast cancer isn’t napping or kicking back on a fluffy cloud of ease. She’s caught up in enraptured bliss in the presence of the eternal God Himself! She’s singing and praising and talking and loving and living!

And if you’re implying that the body in state should rest peacefully, why even spend a moment dwelling on it when you know your loved one is presently enjoying the glories of eternal life in worshipful bliss patiently awaiting their glorified body (which will far outshine the sin-cursed mortal coil they were finally able to shuffle off)? Let’s not give the wrong impression of what awaits the Christian who passes through the river of death. And let’s not waste time on the weary flesh; thankful to finally return to dust.

Lie #2

When referring to someone who was likely not born-again, I understand the desire to be soothing and consoling to the family and friends who are grieving. It’s very difficult. And though I do not believe the funeral is a place for anybody to flaunt the fact that the deceased is likely in hell, we shouldn’t swing to the opposite extreme and lie to make grieving feel better. Funerals are amazing places to share Christ’s Good News, but if you’re not going to talk about the Good, don’t lie to cover up the bad.

The Alternative

Let every man speak truth with his neighbor.” Ephesians 4:25

The world doesn’t need more trite – especially when it comes to God. Be solid. Provide an honest, biblical answer. If the deceased is a Christian, praise God for his home-going and seize the opportunity to remind people of what awaits us in the Father’s holy light. And if you have the weighty responsibility to eulogizing the life of someone who denied Christ as their Savior, speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). It won’t be easy. It can’t. But if you default to a Halloweenesque, syrupy-sweet sidestep by wishing them “rest in peace,” you’re lying to everyone in your hearing, for the soul without God is doing anything but.

Instead, use the tragic truth in love to point those who are alive and remain to the promise of an eternity with God.

Or just keep your mouth shut. It’s not the best option, but it’s better than lying to someone about the reality of life and death.

After I’ve breathed my final draft of earth-air, please don’t riddle social media with “R.I.P.’s.” Use the opportunity to glorify God by sharing His Truth with the world. We all need more Truth.

Weekend Update from AMBrewster: 5/23/14

Weekend Update

Friends,

Memorial Day weekend is busy for just about everyone.

But for the past six years, this weekend has been extra busy for me in a very different way.

This is the last year I will be Director at Schaumburg Christian Day Camp, and like every year before, I spend most of this weekend and all of next week scrambling to put the finishing details on the very robust and dynamic summer program we run.

With that said, I imagine that my posts here may be a little trim this coming week.

But once Day Camp is running like the summer-time-fun machine that it is, I will be back in full production here. In the meantime, please feel free to like our Evermind Ministries Facebook page and follow me on Twitter for daily encouragement, accountability, and introspection.

I would also love to hear from you about what God is doing in your life because of Taking Back the Bible or answer any questions you may have. You can email me at AMBrewster@EvermindMinistries.com.

Thank you for your loyal following, reading, and sharing as we attempt to fulfill Christ’s lofty mission to make disciples for the King!

Always,

AMBrewster

Memorial Day

Let Us Pray – Or Not?

Let Us Pray

No Doubt

I don’t question for a minute that someone will publish an article today that lists “397 Reasons No Christian Should Ever Participate in a National Day of Prayer.”

May I step out of character for a moment and respond like a 14-year-old girl?

“Whatever.”

America

Our government is not trying to hide the fact that they think people like us (who believe the Bible means what It says) are the idiots of the world village. They make no apology for supporting what we decry and razing what we adore. So, the fact that our country still practices a National Day of Prayer is encouraging.

Prayer

I guarantee that the people you enjoy talking to the most and the people you enjoying hearing talk the most are the people who care the most about. This is true in our human interactions because God created it that way. God created verbal communication in order to make Himself known to us and to give us a medium for deep relationship with Him.

In this dispensation, He talks to us through His Word and we talk back through our prayers.

And how great is it that the government has sanctioned a day perfectly fitted for carrying-on redemptive dialogue?!

Yeah, but . . . .

But all the wrong people will do it all the wrong ways!” someone is bound to whine.

How is that any different from every other day this month? Do we stop publicly participating in a vital facet of our relationship with God simply because other people will “mess it up”?

Whatever.”

Let Us Pray

I want to encourage you to place a special emphasis on prayer today.

  • Not because you don’t have to pray every other day out of the year.
  • Not because the government wants you to.
  • Not because you want to align with every group and stripe praying today.
  • Not because I told you to.

I want to encourage you to place a special emphasis on prayer today because our God is awesome, we must proclaim His truth, and today the United States government is actually giving us a very visible platform for proclaiming that truth.

And for those of you pathetic enough to ignore God today because of some ridiculous, anti-biblical reason.

Whatever.”

“To Show the Christ”

“To Show the Christ”

I’ve worn the mantle Jesus bore
Upon His frame.
I’ve shod my feet with sandals torn
From distance traveled to a score
Of unbelieving plains.
I’ve burned my skin with suns that scorch
My head. But despite the marks
They’ve left on me, my Lighted torch –
That leads men north –
Fades all their beams to dark.

I’ve spoken with the Pharisees who understand the law
So well they thought that they could trap
Within their tangled scrawls
The One Who sounded Sinai’s calls.
Their pride exposed their wisdom’s lack.
I’ve called the men who all
Left home and ship to follow Him.
I’ve washed their feet. I saw
Them preach, and fall,
And return again, lost souls to ever win.

I’ve preached the sermons, cried the prayers,
And healed the chosen nation’s
Pains. Their stares
I’ve met with His great love, and shared
Each word our Father gave to lead them to salvation.
I broke the bread and felt the glare
Of Satan in the garden.
I’ve watched as one who cared
Too much for silver dared
Betray the One Who’d pay his pardon.

I’ve even felt the tear of thorns and bite of flail
Announce that He would die.
But deeper still than piercing nail
Can drive, I’ve felt the bitter, ugly wail
That must have coursed when palm’s cried “Crucify!”
The cross is all too home to me. I fail
To justly tell its horror.
And though His death I’ve never shared
In truest form, I’ve experienced a measure.

Yet all these shared events can no more
Messiah of me make
Than simple dirt could form
The mirror of the world . . .
For I cannot pretend to save.
So, in the end, all I can hope
Is barely point back to the Light
Who stooped to earth, was born,
And lived, and died, and destroyed the thorn
Grown up from Eden. This is my goal – to show the Christ.

-AMBrewster-

Written for “Reflections on Being Jesus.”

Please feel free to share this image.

To Show the Christ

 

A Personal Note about Thanksgiving

A Personal Note about Thanksgiving

A Personal Note about Thanksgiving

As November twenty-second (2007) descends on our country the vast majority of citizens will celebrate it without even a moment sacrificed to gratefulness.

As for me, Thanksgiving is a special time and I celebrate it much the same way any God-loving Christian would: I love having a day-off to commune with my family/friends and eat turkey and play games and go to parades . . . but most importantly I’m abundantly thankful for the countless blessings God has bestowed on my little family. We are packed, shaken down, and running over. And I’m sure each of you could share the same glorious testimony. But in my household we’re thankful for something very unique . . . it was my family who started Thanksgiving.

I’m a direct descendant of Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower Pilgrims. Interestingly enough, my wife is also a descendant of William Brewster (by marriage on the girls’ side of the family). This time of year is a big deal for my family because we’re not only celebrating a Christian, National Holiday . . . we’re also celebrating a family tradition! In fact, we are so proud of our godly heritage we named out son Micah William Brewster.

But even though you may not be related to the men and women who crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower, if you’re a Christian, they are your spiritual parents. Without the firm stand the Pilgrims took our country might be religiously enslaved.

As we thank God for His innumerable blessings this year, don’t forget the one that allows us to worship God without persecution . . . freedom of religion. Never take that for granted. I told my 6th graders a few days ago that there are countries today where Christianity is illegal and men and women are imprisoned, and sometimes killed, for their faith in God.

Make sure your focus is right this Thanksgiving and take a moment to thank God for the men and women who have fought to make this country free: The pilgrims, the Christian’s of ages past, our military, and the folks continuing the good fight of faith today.

#ThankfulForMoreThanTheFood Click To Tweet