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.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

We Don't Have Plans, We Have Events - Charlie Brewer

"We don't have plans, we have events." - Charlie Brewer

This has been Charlie's explanation of our family plan for awhile.   It makes sense to us.  When we try to make a plan or think of a plan, the "events" always trump the, we have gotten accustomed to event planning, vs. a plan.  

This was last year at this time in Uganda.

I got a text from Charlie, who happens to be in Uganda at the moment, so he is a half a world away and a half a day ahead and his text said,
 "Happy New Year. Looking forward to another eventful year. I U uuuuu!!!"
 (which IU is the Brewer Bunch way of saying I love you, thanks to Lashae who couldn't say "love" 22 years ago, and it stuck with us all.) 

I can't even imagine more "events" than we had in 2015, but hey, since we don't have plans to look forward to in 2016, we may as well look forward to events. 

Charlie and Kole and Ben are in Uganda and I'm excited to see what the Lord does with these guys.

This is Charlie's 7th time going to Uganda and Kole's 2nd and Ben's 1st.
I don't care if it's your first time or 27th time.....God uses it in different ways.
He is so creative.  :)
He can do the same with us here at home, but there is something about getting out of the comforts and the routine of "our lives" and laying it all down and following God's lead and being open and vulnerable to let Him use us and guide us.

They have a loose outline of what this trip will look like and the things they hope to accomplish, but they know full well, that it will probably be very different than what they anticipate.

I was thinking about how our first thoughts and questions when we hear "mission trip" is:
 what will they be "doing?"

We are so consumed with our to-do lists and our check lists.
It hit me how one of the main purposes of Paul's travels and letters in the New Testament was an encouragement to his brothers and sisters in Christ. 
 He would travel and visit and also write letters to encourage those on the front lines of ministry in  their local churches and communities.I have come to learn and understand one of the biggest parts of what mission trips are all about is to encourage and build up the body of Christ wherever we GO!

These guys will be doing some building, but I can't help but know that God could build whatever he wants with whoever he wants and sometimes, he just sends a few willing "builders" to build up the body as much as build a building.

1 Corinthians 3:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)

For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

3 Wild (I mean wise) Men Following Jesus

 I am a firm believer in missions right where we live and wherever God may lead us;
 and He is leading these 3 crazy guys to Uganda.

 His plan for His people is to live on mission everywhere all the time.
 It's pretty simple, love God and love people.
  God does all the hard stuff, we just get to follow His lead and experience Him and be a part of what He is doing here at home and wherever we may go.

Charlie had decided awhile back he was going back to Uganda around Christmas time, then Kole jumped on board and said he would go.  We haven't even had a chance to think or plan, we had only made the reservations with the airline and then put it all on the back burner and had a wedding.  :)

The other night, out of the blue, Holly (Ben's mama and my good friend) texted me and asked when the next time any Brewers might be going to Uganda, because Ben would like to know....

I texted back that Charlie and Kole were headed out right after Christmas. 
 Her reply was, "Gulp."

I giggled a little bit, because I know my friend, and I knew she was hoping for
 a real vague - long time away - kinda answer. 

As it turned out....less than 24 hours later Ben is a confirmed addition to the mission trip. 

I am excited to see what God has in store for all these guys as they are on mission together

  We have done ministry with Ben's family quite a bit before.  We used to have a  group of teens that would meet at one of our houses on Sunday nights, and we would feed them (a lot), and they would play and get crazy, and then they would hear from the Word of God.  It was a sweet and fruitful time.
  For some of the kids, that was their first introduction to Jesus, and for others it was just a growing and fellowship time.
  Many of the kids that were part of that group are continuing and growing in their relationship with Jesus as adults.  We have seen so many kids from that group go on various mission trips and get involved in ministry at their colleges and in their churches.


I texted Ben once I knew he was going to Uganda with the guys and I told him how happy I was that he was going, and he texted me right back.

From Ben:  I have been praying for God to give me a task and it was just like, BOOM, here you go buddy! Have fun!!  

I knew that God had obviously gone before and paved the way for this all to come together and happen the way that it did, with the timing the way that it was.  It reminded me that when our prayers match the heart of God, the answer is,
Oh it's such a blast when we respond in prayer to what God is stirring in our hearts and  we ask Him, and He says, "YES, and HAVE FUN!!"

John 14:13-14 (NIV)

13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

 For part of their time in Uganda they get to help finish building Redeemer House.  There has already been a lot of work going on and wonderful progress, as we have watched progress via pictures sent from Mulando Patrick.
It has taken all of Charlie's self-control to wait until now to GO. 
He is so proud of what they are doing there and so proud of Mulondo Patrick and many others at
 Redeemer House
 for their part in it, and their hard work.

 AND NOW, Charlie, Kole, and Ben get to join a team from xHope, the awesome ministry that takes care of Redeemer House, and come alongside them and help finish what is already going strong.
 They get to encourage and work and use the skills that He has given them to help our Ugandan brothers and sisters.

  Their mission to come alongside the people and what they are building, and share their gifts and talents in Jesus name.

Charlie and Kole will stay an extra week and stay with our bestest Ugandan Jesus loving friends from
 Christ Sanctuary International
  and serve them in ANY way they can.  It gets difficult to do anything for them as they are the most hospitable people on the planet, but maybe just maybe God will show Charlie and Kole something they can do to bless them.
 Charlie will definitely take a day and to go and see the progress on the farm that CSI has and brand any new cows they have added to the herd.

Of course  Simon will be a big part of every single thing they do there.  He will spend every minute with Charlie and Kole.  Simon is our Ugandan son and we love and miss that kid like crazy.

  Charlie will have 3
 21 year old guys to keep up with on this trip.
 I'm pretty sure, Charlie of all people is up for the challenge.
If I know Charlie he will kill himself trying to out work and out play these guys,
 and he will surely put the hurt on them in the process.

People from all over the world can learn and teach each other so much, and when we let God lead and let 
 be the focus and the center of
 every project,
 and relationship
wherever we live and wherever we GO
 we have a wonderful Jesus filled, God sized 

I linked the xHope web page, in case you want to learn more what their ministry.
I linked CSI web page, in case you want to learn more about their ministry.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Mik Takes the Mighty Plunge!!!

God hears our prayers!  Jesus saves!

Colossians 2:11-15The Message (MSG)

11-15 Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.

Today on his very own, to all of our thrill and surprise, Mik stepped up and got baptized. 

 He made his decision and he was ready,
 right now,
 with no delay. 

  He stepped into that water trough like a boss while Charlie and I stood there fighting the ugly cry.

Baptism is a frequent subject around our house as Charlie has the awesome privilege of helping with baptisms at our church on a regular basis. 
 Charlie loves baptism and is passionate about it.

 I have asked Mik several times in the past what he thinks of baptism...and he has been very honest.
  He felt reluctant and unsure of what he believed. 
 I was thankful for his honesty and it broke my heart at the same time.

  I began praying for him.  I began asking God to reveal Himself in a very personal way to our son.  I began asking God to save Mik and draw Mik to Himself and to reveal His love to him.  

  In the last few months  Mik would randomly come to me with really hard questions about God.
  I knew he had a lot on his heart and in his mind, but I just let the Lord do His thing and didn't pressure him (even though I REEEEEALY wanted to.)  

  Mik has not had an easy life....he has been dealt a lot of pain and  loss and injustice in his young life.  
He wasn't sure how to make sense of all his experience in this life and what he was hearing at home and at church.  

Today Mik decided on his own he would just take the plunge and make a public confession of his faith in Jesus Christ.  
Charlie was so choked up and surprised he could hardly say the words.  

Mik did not take this decision lightly, he took it very seriously and personally and we couldn't be prouder of him or happier for him.

I know all his questions are not answered, but his heart is set to follow Jesus, and as he walks and talks with Him, over time, he will grow in his faith and in his trust.  
God will show himself faithful and trustworthy because that is who HE is and what He does.

I am doubly blessed today!!!
  I have a son who has made the public decision to follow Jesus and I have been reminded that God hears my prayers and answers with the
 love of a good good Father.

1 John 3:1English Standard Version (ESV)

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Happy Anniversary To My Man! 26 Years!

To my Bofriend forever and husband for 26 years,

I love you more now than I did 26 years ago.
 I love you more than I did yesterday.

It has been watching you go thru the hard times and trials of life that have made me love you more.  The good times are good and the fun times are fun, but it's been the trials that have made me see your character come out.  
You don't ever always handle trials with calm patience, but you always work at it.  
You give life your all, and that is when I love you the most. 

Charlie Brewer, you are the hardest worker I know.  
You are the "clean up guy".  
Always the last to leave the party and the last one to leave the job.

I will say that it is when you are seeking the Lord and loving Him that I love you the most. 

You rock my world when I see you loving Jesus, and doing things that are out of your  crazy cowboy mind,
 and with your wild Jesus loving heart.

  When you are giving all that you have and all that you are to Him and loving Him and embracing the purpose that He has for your life, you are on fire!

You are a super dad to all our kids....It blesses me, the way that you parent.
And when you are loving on kids that aren't yours and you are giving and helping and teaching THEM, the ones that don't have your last heart beats extra hard. 

 I see something in you that is so beautiful, that is so over the top.

  To me, when you are loving on these kids, and I mean in a sacrificial, over-time, physical, financial, sort of way,
you are the most like
You shine the brightest in those times.
 (maybe that's why you have so much silver hair)

Thanks for being my man!  
Thanks for all you do! 
 Thanks for all you give!

Love,  Your girlfriend forever and your wife of 26 years.

PS.  I still must confess, I first noticed you for your tight wrangler butt, and it still turns my head everytime. 
 But now, I check you out from your silver lined head
 (of which according to you, I can claim giving you each and every one)
 to the butt bottom of your denim Wranglers
 (of which according to God and the state of Oregon, I can claim as well.)