Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Happy Birthday To Luke - The Cream Filling!

Happy Birthday Luke!  


Luke is the true middle of the family; the sweetest of all, the cream filling in the oreo.

 This kid is the most balanced kid in the whole family!  This kid is the same everyday.  Right now in the midst of so many changes in our family, I depend on this kid and his steady solid ways, more than ever.
  I honestly could not handle life right now without the consistency and companionship and help of this kid. 
 I appreciate everything about you Luke Franke Brewer.



 Luke is strong and funny, and smart!
 Luke is a team player and a brother and friend to many.
 Luke is not only the middle child, he is the middle of the brothers.

Luke can fit in to any situation or crowd, and he never changes, he doesn't conform. 
 He is the same everywhere he goes and to everyone he encounters. 



God knew exactly what He was doing when He put this kid together and then placed him right in the middle of this crazy family...he is like the eye of the storm, the calm and the quiet.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

6 Week Check-Up

It’s been 6 weeks today, since the big move.

I figured that’s a good time to do a little check-up, or check-in with how everyone is doing.

Whenever you give birth, have surgery, or break a bone 6 weeks seems like a big marker for a check up on how things are healing and settling into the new norm.

A couple things stand out to me; the areas that we thrived in before, we still thrive, the areas we struggled, we still struggle.
Joy filled people are happy and strugglers struggle.

Moving does not create anything; it just rearranges and brings to light what was already there.

It’s a little like cleaning behind the fridge or stove, you don’t know what it really behind there until you MOVE it.

I think any kind of change or move or pressure just brings to the surface more readily what is in a person. 
Pressure is what brings out character.
So needless to say I think we have all found some stuff that can use some clean-up in our character, and some stuff that makes us feel like we are in better shape than we realized.



We were praying for clarity while Charlie was in Uganda and the only thing that is clear is that he in not moving here super soon.  We are bummed about that, but we also are thankful that God make it clear and we trust Him, so we will just keep asking Him to show us the way and walk in it.

There are a couple of advantages to living life apart with married visitations (wink); we are super intentional with our time together as a couple and a family. You know when you only have a few days, to not waste any of it.  The funny thing is, our usual definition of not wasting time, is to go faster and fit in as much as possible.
 We have learned to slow down and savor each moment.


I have realized thru this move that I have lived a big portion of my life pretty much unconscious or at least on auto-pilot.  The things I do, and the places I go, have been pretty much the same over the years.  There would be seasonal changes and a new baby, or adoption, or marriage to celebrate but even thru all the changes, so many things remained the same for me.
 
I have had to pay closer attention these days, wake up and think thru everything.  So, while my brain and GPS feel exhausted at the end of most days, it’s been good to wake-up and learn to be more intentional with each day.

This move is full of new territory and character building opportunities.


Romans 5:3-5 New Living Translation (NLT)
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Jumping In With Everything We've Got


Matthew 14:29-31 English Standard Version (ESV)

29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
John 21:7 English Standard Version (ESV)
That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.


I have always wondered why Peter would put on his clothes to jump in the water….I know people study this and the history and the culture, but I have always thought it was a bit out of character given the impulse of Peter.  I mean jumping in the water is totally in his character, but to put his robe on first, seems like an extra step.  

I was texting a friend who went through a very hard trial many years ago and she wasn’t super proud of how she reacted at the time.  Now, as if history is repeating itself, they are facing the exact same trial again. 

I have had this happen in my life many times.  I get through something by the grace of God, and I learn a million lessons that I hope to never have to put into practice and then, sure enough, I circle back to the same thing 
AGAIN.

You begin to look at yourself….and think, ok, I’m the common denominator here….how in the world did this happen AGAIN? 
 Why do I have to be part of the same mess again, in similar situations, different people, different setting, same trial.  

I think this is what Peter was doing when He realized it was Jesus on that shore.  He wasn’t going to take any chances; he jumped in dressed and ready for anything.  He didn’t know if he was going to walk on water, or run, or fly, or swim, and he didn’t care, he wasn’t going to let the opportunity pass him by.  The first time he jumped out of the boat he panicked and sunk and got a little talking to by Jesus.  The second time, he jumped and swam and got a little breakfast with Jesus, which led to a grace-filled, private conversation with Jesus.

May we let the Lord use every trial and especially the ones we get to revisit over and over, to fill us with more grace and draw us closer to Him, no matter how we get there.

May He use our experiences, through failures and successes for His glory.


LORD, HELP US TO JUMP IN WITH EVERYTHING WE HAVE,  AND EVERYTHING WE HAVE BEEN THRU  TO GET CLOSER TO YOU, BECAUSE WE ARE WILD ABOUT YOU.


Friday, July 6, 2018

God's Perfect Timing

A question that has sparked a lot of prayer and conversation over the years has been
*If you didn’t have to worry about money or time what would you do?*

The truth is that God our Father is in charge of time and money, so technically we don’t have to worry about it.

Most of us can’t even get past the money factor to even consider the time part of the conversation.

God has worked on me and worked on me with the “money” portion of this topic.  I don’t claim to have it conquered but I have experienced His faithfulness and provision in small things and huge ways that I can’t deny.
  One example that happened years ago, when God was really getting in my heart over His daily bread, His constant and faithful provision, that may seem so small to some, but I will never forget it.  We were broke and it was going to be a few more days before payday….I was at a sports event with the kids and the whole time I was there I was thinking about how I had no dinner plan and I didn’t have the money to stop in town and feed everyone. 
 I literally said out loud as we were walking back to the car….Lord, we are going to need you to make dinner tonight.  
I kid you not, I walked in the door of our house and there lay on the counter a whole bag full of fresh and warm and gorgeous tamales.  They had been delivered by a friend, for no particular reason and no warning.  Only God and I knew of our earlier conversation!
 
So now God seems to be hot on my trail to teach me some truths and give me some very personal experiences about His perfect timing. 
  
I have been in awe of His faithfulness in the timing of our move and all the details that go with such a big change.


Charlie is on his way home from Uganda and one of our biggest prayers during this trip is that God would give us some clarity on some decisions we have in the works.  The biggest part of the decisions seems to be about “timing”. 



 When I pray I often go over in my mind how God has timed some things so perfectly and personally I can’t help but to be encouraged and reminded again that He has us all in His plan and His time. 

Then the Lord did a fun thing the other day, just to show me AGAIN of His faithfulness.
I went on a run, and at the last minute decided to take a new route and swing on by Lashae’s house and surprise the Grands and get a drink of water.
When I walked up the steps to their house, I could see Lashae sitting at the kitchen table on her phone.
I knocked on the door and she started cracking up when she saw me.
I was confused as to what she was laughing about and she said she was sitting there texting me and pushed “send” on the text and she heard the knock.
Her text was to me, and it said….Becklee has spilled a glass of water; now what am I supposed to do?
  She was being funny and serious at the same time.  She wasn't super excited about getting her twin pregnant body down on the floor to clean a spill. 
It was a fun reminder that God’s timing is always perfect in the small details and the big things and He has a really fun sense of humor. 

I guess if He cares enough to have me on Lashae’s doorstep over a spilled glass of water,  and He can time the sun to rise and set at the perfect time everyday….He can have us where we need to be right on time, every time!

It may feel like complete chaos at times, but it's Him teaching us to look at Him, and trust Him not what we see, and not our own wisdom.


Psalm 27:13-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

13 
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living!
14 
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

His plan and His ways are always better and always worth the waiting.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Leave and Receive





Mark 10:28-30 English Standard Version (ESV)
28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.

This is what this scripture means.  This is family.  These are brothers, and sisters and sons and daughters.
 
 It is a sacrifice, to go and leave your family, spend your money, spend your time to GO and support and love on others for the sake of the gospel.  Yes, these guys make it look like a vacation because it is exactly like this Scripture says…they have left, even for a few days this time, and they have received a hundredfold already! 

Tucker may be in his own country in this picture, but he has left his house,  his room, his bed (literally), his time and his family for the sake of the gospel and to receive these brothers.  The guesthouse is full, and his house is full of people, brothers and sisters and sons, and daughters that have left their families and houses to come and serve, and Tucker is showing them amazing hospitiality. Charlie has no idea where Tucker and Irene are even sleeping tonight.


Charlie may be missing some time he could be spending with his kids here and seeing Lashae in the last days of her twin pregnancy, but he also gets to GO and see  his Ugandan cousin Gertrude and congratulate her in person, on her coming twins. 
 (we think Gertrude is the Ugandan version of his cousin Kari ).
It's probably not the "cultural" thing to do, to rub a baby belly but it's Charlie we are talking about, and that is why I love him so much!  He had instructions to rub those twin babies for me and he happily did just that!

This is the hundredfold in this age that this scripture is talking about.  So now Charlie gets to see and celebrate the things God is doing in Uganda with his family there and come home and celebrate the things God is doing here. 



The part in this scripture that we all cringe at and shy away from is the part that says
“with persecutions,”  we want to believe if we follow Jesus he gives us health and wealth and a golden brick road to heaven.  Ask any of these people in these photos or anyone who has ever left anything,  for 5 minutes or 5 years, for the sake of the gospel, if they have ever experienced persecution.  
The answer would be a loud and resounding YES!  It may not be a physical beating or public confrontation like I often picture in the word persecution, but there has been persecution with each and every step to leave and GO and do anything for the sake of the gospel for everyone who has done it. 

per·se·cu·tion

1 hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs. 

The thing about it, is God has made it so beautiful and has given a hundredfold, the houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and land over saying YES to Him that it often times doesn’t even look like a sacrifice, and isn’t that the irony in following Jesus….when you say yes to Jesus you give up our life and our agenda for His; He is the biggest most beautiful treasure we could ever imagine and He has great plans and places and people for our lives. We are missing out if we think being a Christian is to just put our heads down and say a prayer and go to church and hang on until Jesus comes back.  He is here and He is now on earth as it is in heaven, and we get to experience so much of what He has for us here and now as well as in heaven someday.

I have given up some serious potential date nights with my man lately because we live apart and he is currently in Uganda instead of here, dating me, and God has given me date after date after date with my kids and it has been the best and most dating I have ever done. 






I am not for a minute suggesting that everyone leave their family and go live in Uganda, and God will give them cool friends and big houses.  I’m suggesting we give up our lives, open our hands and hearts and say yes to following Jesus and see how good He is and worth it He is.







 I’m not promoting people or ministries, I’m bragging on God and the truth of His word. 

 I’m a mom that has no real training in reading and interpreting scripture, but I have some years and miles in following Jesus, and when I wake up some mornings (like today) feeling a bit confused about why am I here and what are we doing again, and I wake up and see these pictures on my phone  and read this Scripture, I get it again, and I’m thankful,
 and I pray we leave more, say yes louder, and move faster!
 
Send us to serve and send us to celebrate,  just send us in Lord!


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Immigration Heart Challenge

This post is for Christians only.  If you are not a follower of Jesus, carry on, you have every right to your opinion, your life, and your stuff.

As Christians we have been called to something different.
Before we are so arrogant to think we have more rights than other people because we were born into a country of great privilege we need to take a good hard look at the example of our Savior.  He gave up His seat in heaven at the right hand of the Father to come and take our place here on earth. 

Unless we are willing to follow Jesus, and do what He did then at the very least we should treat  people not born into this country of privilege, with love, compassion, and respect.  I don’t know the solution to the immigration laws, but I do know that when Jesus asked the rich young ruler to do what He did, and give up all he had and give it to the poor, he went away sad.

Maybe we ought to examine our hearts and realize how unwilling we are to do what Jesus did, or even what he told the rich young ruler to do. 
Before we judge “illegal people” so harshly, maybe we should look at our own hearts (myself included) and realize that we are unwilling to trade places with them. We somehow feel entitled to what we were born into, instead of grateful.  What if that were the answer, what if God asked us to do that (I’m not saying He is) I’m just throwing it out there; He asked His son to trade places with us… and we like that trade agreement, what if He asked every Christian in America to give up their home, their life, their stuff and give it to an immigrant for 3 years or 3 days. We would most likely walk away sad.  I watch Christians, (myself included) not even willing to give up a bedroom in their home to a child in need, and yet I watch our good friends that are “illegal” foster more children in this country than anybody I have ever known.  Maybe that’s the answer…get to know an illegal immigrant and their family.  Listen to their story.  It changes how you see the problem; you begin to see people instead of problems.

When I think of the people coming here on these terms, I lay down my pride and arrogance and entitlement and begin to pray and ask the Lord to help us all to love people the way Jesus did. 

When I see Christians talking about how “illegal” it is for these people to be coming here in the first place, I thank my God that Jesus was willing to do the “illegal” thing of the day and heal people and help people even though it was against the “law” many times.

I’m not endorsing illegal acts; I’m just simply challenging us all to examine our own hearts and see how close we are following our leader, our King. Jesus is all about loving people and helping people and getting to the heart of the issues, not just the law.  We seem to keep trusting in government walls to solve problems, and that is never meant to be the ultimate answer for Christians.    

I don’t know the answers for our government, but I do have the answers for our hearts.
Jesus is the answer.  He is the one that showed us and told us what is important and I know every person that has a new heart and the power of the Holy Spirit in them can change the world faster and more effectively than all the new laws and new walls than we can ever come up with.

One last thought:  Joseph took Jesus and Mary, his family, and fled his country in the night.
I’m so glad he did what he had to do, to protect his family, even if the government of the day did not agree with it.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


For Father’s Day I asked all the kids to give me 3 words that describe Charlie.
Here are their answers:

Cellie Joy: provider, protector, comforter
*she didn't give me words...the picture says it all* 

Maezie: helpful, strong, nice

Reece: loving, high achiever, discipliner

Mik:  good looking, fun, a little angry sometimes

Luke:  wise, strong, hard-worker

Esther:  hard working, loving with no questions, forgiving

Charsie:  hard working, funny, God-seeking

Kole: My best man.
 (Kole didn't give me words, but he had his dad give his best man speech at his wedding...so I filled in the blanks.)


Lashae:  dedicated, loyal, prayerful

Claiborne:  wise, strong, caring

Andule Simon:  hard-working, caring, God fearing
Patrick:  mentor, provider, overseer


I also asked each of the kids to tell me 3 of their favorite things about their dad.

Here are their answers:

Lashae:  He is such an encourager to all.
And I love the way he loves whoever God puts in front of him.  He can make the loneliest of people feel seen and heard and cared for.


Charsie:  The way he is a friend to all and his willingness to let anyone in his home. 
His excitement about people, and different cultures.
The way he chases Jesus with all His might.

Claiborne:  I always loved listening to Chuck’s stories.  I always saw him as a man amongst men.  And when he’s talking, you can bet that everyone is listening.  He has a remarkable presence.  I always saw Chuck as a wise person.  Whether it was through his craft, him speaking on his life experiences, or preaching the gospel I could always tell that he had a lot to say and that it’s something you don’t want to miss.  Chuck was always loving.  I remember one day, we were working on the church and we had to call it early.  So we had to pack everything before the storm came.  Well, I guess I wasn’t moving fast enough because Chuck got upset.  But then he pulled me to the side and had a conversation with me about how to give everything my best effort.  It was something I’ll never forget.  I could tell that he cared about me when he shared with me something that he takes to heart.  It was great!


Esther:  His energy, His arms, His unconditional love for us.
Luke:  He leads by example, hard worker, he puts his faith first.
Mik:  He sees the best in everything no matter how hard it is.  He knows something about everything.  He can joke around and have fun.


Reece:  Took me to work, coached my baseball team, he is my super hero.


Andule Simon:  He is devoted, courageeous, and encouraging.
Patrick Brewer:  My first like is that he's a Christ centered father, I like the brave man in my father, his humble service and his self denial father who looks at the needs of others before his.

Patrick - I couldn't have summed it up any better!!! This man just sent his family ahead of him and he stayed back  to finish up and clean up and provide and sacrifice for his family!  That's my man!!!!