Monthly Archives: April 2012

Jesus Has an iPod and Rocks to the Electric Light Orchestra

Don’t you hate off-the-wall titles for articles which serve only to titillate our minds into clicking onto the blog just to increase its readership? How vain! How pompous! Yet, it sometimes works…and you’re proof that it sometimes does.

But hang around, because there is some truth in the above title.

A few years ago, my wife suffered through some tough times. Her health and sales career took some direct hits by a couple of life’s torpedoes. She kept on marching straight ahead, like a good soldier, until that particular morning.

“I’m tired of my life because it’s never going to get better. So, I want to quit and give up,” she said with sad puppy dog eyes, ready to weep.

Usually, I can encourage my wife with a few scriptures or some of the prophetic promises for our lives. Yet on that particular day, whatever I said to her was like kindling wood and just increased her fire.

What did I do?

I prayed and asked the Lord to help me. He quietly answered and whispered to my heart, “ELO.”

Without thinking, I searched Youtube for the following:

I asked Carol to look and listen to the video. She resisted at first, but then she caved in to my pleas. And in the middle of the video, her attitude changed and she became once again, a mighty woman of God filled with faith.

Who knew, huh? That Jesus rocks to Electric Light Orchestra and uses it for His purposes.

And the iPod? That’s probably a wait and see for us mortals until we see Him face to face in His glory.

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Something Different And Offbeat…Well, For Me Anyway.

I looked down at my watch. 11:52 AM. Only eight minutes until the service ended, and people began flooding out of the sanctuary, heading for their cars. Then, off to dinners with family and friends celebrating the Easter holiday. Only eight minutes. And my tongue danced around inside my cheeks, speaking in tongues. A run-away babbling, gibbering, jabbering, muttering, ranting, yakkety-yakking Christian filled with varieties of tongues from heaven.

Oh, God, why don’t You just throw me under a Greyhound Bus and put me out of misery before I have a collision with someone? I thought.

“Darling – darling.”

Usually, whenever I heard Dusty say, “Darling,” I lit up inside with joy, but not that day. She was the oncoming blond-haired pedestrian this out-of-control tongue talker hoped to avoid.

Standing up, I bit down on my run-away tongue with my teeth, causing my lower lip to jut out in an odd manner. I did not care because keeping the prattling tongue under control at all costs had to be my number one preoccupation in Dusty’s presence. Somehow, some way, I had to survive this run-in with a non-tongue-talking Christian.

The compassion in her green eyes spoke volumes to me.

“Honey what’s wrong with you? I became worried when you didn’t return.”

She did what every mother does with a sick child. She reached out a hand to touch my forehead, in search of a fever.

I bobbed and weaved my head out of her reach, much like a prize fighter in the boxing ring. I put my hands up in a fighting position and shuffled my feet around her. She pivoted, keeping me in her sights. I breathed loudly as my lungs cried out for oxygen and my heart rate soared.

“Chuck, what’s your problem?” she asked as a red glow spread across her face.

I gave her the okay sign with my fingers as I continued backpedalling out of her reach.

“Sweetheart, tell me what’s wrong,” she said through clenched teeth.

Like most wives, Dusty was a smart detective who saw through her husband’s smoke screens. When she recognized them for what they were, she turned into a relentless, braying bloodhound with her nose down to the trail, searching for the truth.

“Honey, can’t you talk?” she finally asked.

In exasperation, she faked a slap to my face with her left hand. I moved my hands up to ward off the blow. The defensive maneuver opened up my stomach for a frontal attack. She counter-punched with an index finger to my gut. I gasped. At the same time, a few syllables tumbled over my lips.

“Dee, dee, bah, bah, hooka mah hundae…”

She wrinkled her nose in shock.

“Dee, dee, bah, bah, hooka mah hundae.  What is that gibberish, Swahili?” she said.

What started out badly for me, had now deteriorated and spun out of control, heading for a total melt down. Grasping at straws, I grabbed her and kissed her. She wiggled in frustration, attempting to get loose of my clutches. Then, I held her at arm’s length and looked into her eyes. Her inner temperature gauge shot past the boiling point into the meltdown area. She was red-hot furious.

I released her, turned around, and headed toward our black Toyota Land Cruiser. After a few steps, I looked over my shoulder and motioned for her to follow. Next, I ran toward the SUV. My only hope was that Dusty’s curiosity would override her common sense, causing her to follow me without calling out, and thereby, creating an even bigger embarrassment for the two of us.

Jumping into the gray leather driver’s seat, I reached over to open the passenger door. A yellow blur with blond hair swept into the passenger’s seat. I put a forefinger to my lips, pleading for quiet and reached for a yellow legal pad in the pocket behind her seat.

I scrawled furiously on the pad:

 I have had an experience with God and can only speak in tongues.

Dusty leaned over, read the words and snickered.

“Charles Haddon Brewster, Jr., that’s hilarious. Where do you come up with these things? From watching those silly charismatics on television?”

She covered her mouth with her hand to veil her mirth. As she did, the sun mirrored off her charm bracelet, the one I bought her on eBay for Valentine’s Day. She loved jewelry.

I pointed toward the pad, nodded my head and wrote another message:

It’s true! And I had a visit from an angel who talked with me about some really important things. 

This time, she slid over against the passenger door, as far away as possible from me, like I had leprosy or something. She shook her head in disbelief.

“No. You can’t be, you can’t be. We don’t even believe in stuff like that. It’s not scriptural.” Then, she paused for a moment before adding, “You’re still joking, aren’t you? Well, it’s time to get serious, okay? We have to head over to my parents’ home.”

She smoothed her dress with her hand.

I shrugged my shoulders and wrote:

It doesn’t matter what we think.  Honey, it’s real. I speak in tongues.

Her lips moved as she read the note. She then threw the pad into the back seat.

“Take me home and do it now. Why are you acting like such a jerk?” she said through quivering lips.

Diamond-like droplets formed in the corners of her eyes. She groped for her purse sitting on the dash, but her effort proved clumsy. The purse fell onto the carpet, spilling the contents out. Her inner dam broke because of this added mishap. Tears cascaded down her face. She reached under her legs to shove everything back into the purse. As she did, cries mixed with sniffles filled the vehicle.

I looked at her. My heart ached. Nothing melted my harsh attitudes quicker than seeing her crying over something which I had done. I hated it. So, I leaned toward her.

“Dee, dee, bah, bah –” I whispered without thinking about what I was saying.

She pushed me away with outstretched hands. Her tears dried up as soon as her inner anger shot past the evaporation stage.

“Don’t you try to ‘dee, dee, bah, bah’ me! Take me home now.”

She pointed an index finger toward the exit of the church’s parking lot and gave me a look which announced no more messing around with Dusty Brewster. She had had enough.

(This is a scene from my soon to be published novel, Deceived Dead And Delivered.)

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Will Roe v. Wade Ever Be Overturned? (Part 1)

It’s that time once again when political machines are cranked up and we will hear the 24/7 mantra, “This is the most important presidential election ever!”

And like past elections, we can expect to see social issues served up as hors d’oeuvres to us hungry voters in the early stages of the campaigns, with abortion being one of the special dishes.

On the one team, the presidential nominee will swear allegiance to Roe v. Wade and the supposed right of a woman to choose whether a baby should continue living in her womb or not. Then, of course, the nominee will utter the required asides to those in his audiences who might disagree with his pro-choice views, “I myself am against abortion, but I believe the decision should be made by pregnant women and not by us politicians.”

The other team’s presidential  nominee will throw out well-chewed bones to his pro-life audiences. He will mention God, numerous Bible scriptures, the Bill of Rights’ claims for babies in wombs, and countless other ear tickling pro-life statements. Yet, he, too, will wink his eye and toss out asides to his audiences, by adding, “Although I’m against abortion, I will follow the laws of the land and serve all the people.”

Yada. Yada. Yada. Yada. Yada. Yada. Yada.

This social issue campaign cycle will eventually pass as the so-called main courses arrive at our tables. These entree selections will include: the economy, unemployment, imigration, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, national debt, energy independence, Wall Street, and so forth.

So, will Roe v. Wade ever be overturned?

America had its chance on November 4, 2008, to elect two pro-life candidates (McCain and Palin) to the White House, but instead, our nation elected two pro-abortion candidates (Obama and Biden).

Now, I understand there were other campaign issues besides abortion in 2008 and that John McCain and Sarah Palin were imperfect candidates, but then again, Samuel’s two sons were imperfect candidates to replace the prophet as the Judge of Israel in 1050 BC. Thus, the people clamored for change.

What did God do?

“Do everything they say to you,” the LORD replied, “for it is Me they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want Me to be their king any longer. (1 Samuel 8: 7 NLT)

God gave the Israeli people exactly what they wanted – a king.  And soon enough, the Israelis regretted their decision, but Israel never again returned to a system where God was the only king over the nation. The people did live under the reigns of a few good kings, but mostly, they suffered under bad kings, whose sins caused Israel  immense grief, of which many of these same problems still remain today.

Therefore, if Israel is a living testimony we can watch and learn from, then I believe Roe v. Wade will never be overturned. McCain and Palin had the right heart attitudes on abortion, but were judged by the voters to be imperfect on other issues. Thus, they were not elected.

Since the election, two new justices have been selected for the Supreme Court. Both endorse Roe v. Wade and owe their allegiances to liberal politicians. They will most likely never vote to overturn current abortion laws.

Sadly, we Americans print “In God We Trust” on our money but do not trust Him enough to work through imperfect candidates so that the guilt of murdering 50 million babies could be removed from our land. We may soon regret our 2008 voting decisions, but like Israel, it will be too late.

Yet, I believe the sting in Roe v. Wade will soon be lessened.

(Continued in Part 2)

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Are We Pawns or Knights?

As I wrote in my book, New Wind Blowing, many of America’s problems today stem from our many mistakes made during the Vietnam War era. Those mistakes continue to fester underneath America’s skin and must be lanced so the poison can be drained off. That surgery must occur before we can expect new life (spiritual or otherwise) to come forth in America.

Of course, most activists, professors, and liberals look back at that era through rose colored glasses and think fondly of students speaking truth to the powers which governed at the time. And to be honest, some of that was needed. Yet, do we know who funded  much of the anti-Vietnam War movement?

Stanislav Lunev, the highest ranking Russian GRU Intelligence officer to ever defect, wrote about how Russia spent more than a billion dollars to fund almost every anti-war group here and abroad. Lunev stated: “…it was a hugely successful campaign and well worth the cost.”

Mixed in with the Vietnam War’s happenings were the Civil Rights campaigns of the 1960’s. Those undertakings were also tainted by the Russian GRU and KGB. Both communist groups spent millions of dollars stirring up racial tensions in our nation. Bogus letters were sent from the Ku Klux Klan to black groups. Conspiracy theories were planted in the black media about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination being planned by the US government. And countless other successful efforts were carried out.

Deep Throat’s advice in All the President’s Men seems apropos for us today: “Just… follow the money.”

Now, let’s think about the racial tensions which have recently exploded over the slaying of young Trayvon Martin. Are we so naive to believe that civil rights activists, various groups, the media, politicians, and all the other trappings just sprang up out of nothing without any financial funding? And where did the funding come from?

And who benefits from racial tensions boiling over into conflict in our nation? Certainly, not our long suffering black American brothers and sisters who are struggling to survive in today’s economy nor do any other Americans.  So, if not blacks or other Americans, then who would benefit from racial turmoil in our nation?

America’s enemies, that’s who.

Maybe it’s Al Qaeda or Iranians or Chinese or Russians or a combination, I can’t exactly pinpoint which of our enemies are lighting the racial fires in our nation right now.

But I can tell you this: I have enough spiritual discernment to know something is fishy about all the racial tensions coming to the surface over the last few weeks.

And I pray the American church’s discernment system soon kicks in on the radar screen so eyes will be opened and more deaths will be prevented.

Otherwise, we will continue to be lowly pawns on Satan’s chess board, easily removed from the battle.

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Remember The Prisoners (Part 6)

I was now directly in front of the wall, and close enough to touch the packages if I wanted to. I didn’t; I couldn’t.

I was looking at a wall made up of dead babies, beautifully and lovingly wrapped in ceremonial fabrics. Given how many bundles there were, I had to be looking at hundreds and hundreds of bodies. My senses were frozen. Even my sense of smell, morbidly alert for any odor, detected nothing. This entire wall was frozen in time. And the wall was not yet fully formed. There would be more bundles, and new layers of grief. Grief for each new pair of parents who would bring their baby to the monks to be set aside [executed], grief for the priests who would carry out the devastating task, and the grief of the universe for having lost one of its children.

…We did have a brief conversation about Buddhism and reincarnation, but I was too emotionally spent to appreciate the finer points of their discourse. I felt far less respect for Buddhists than I previously had… (The Pink Pagoda: One Man’s Quest to End Gendercide in China by Jim Garrow, WND Books, 2012)

Since 1979, China has mandated a one-child policy for all married couples. Those couples who have more than one child face severe fines based on their incomes. Therefore, it is not economically feasible for couples to have a second child unless  they receive an exception from the government.

Now, this becomes a major problem for Chinese parents as they age. Their retirement depends on their children taking care of them, and sadly males are able to earn much more money than females. As you would expect, males are much more desired than females by almost every couple. Thus, a problem arises:

What does a married couple do when an unwanted female baby is born to them?

Although China has laws against infanticide, they are not enforced. So, many parents of newborn baby girls drown them in rivers, abandon them in forests, take them to Buddhist monks who execute them, or countless other cruel measures.

It is estimated that 32 million newborn babies have been set aside, or executed, just because they are females since 1979.

Jim Garrow, the author of the Pink Pagoda, has saved 40,000 baby girls and has spent over $30 million of his own money to undertake this project. He understands that he can’t save them all, but he believes he must at least do his part.

So, what can we do for these female baby prisoners who are locked in wombs and awaiting their executions? We can fast and pray.

“Daddy, we cry out to You, the Father of all mankind, that You would grant mercy and grace to married couples in China and that their hearts would be opened up to the love of the truth. And that Your truth would set these couples free from worry and fear for their futures. Daddy, we don’t know what else to do but tug on You and not let go until You move on their behalves.”

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If You Build It, He Will Come

In the movie, Field of Dreams, a young Iowa farmer named Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) walked through a cornfield and heard voices saying, “If you build it, he will come.” Then, he had a vision of a baseball diamond.

Ray quickly told his wife, Annie (Amy Madigan), about his experience and that he wanted to plow up part of the cornfield and build a baseball diamond. She, of course, was skeptical, but agreed to his off-the-wall dream.

As Ray progressed with his expensive dream, he faced financial ruin. He and Annie talked about replanting the cornfield and giving up on the dream, but his daughter then saw a baseball player on the diamond. It turned out to be Shoeless Joe  Jackson, a dead baseball player idolized by Ray’s father.

From that point on, his wife and daughter were believers in his dream.

Because of hearing other messages from the voices, Ray traveled to Boston and Minnesota to invite two men to be a part of the baseball games. Both ended up coming to the baseball diamond.

Eventually, enough old time ball players, like Shoeless Joe Jackson, showed up at the diamond to play a game. When the game broke up, the players left the diamond and retreated into the cornfield.

Before leaving the ball field, Shoeless Joe Jackson invited the man Ray brought from Boston to go along with him. He accepted the invitation, but Ray also wanted to go. Shoeless Joe, restated the words, “If you build it, he will come.” Then, he pointed toward the catcher, still standing at home plate. It was Ray’s dad.

Ray then played catch with his dad on the diamond, something he had never done when he was a youngster and something he regretted not ever doing. In the background, headlights from thousands of cars could be seen heading toward the ball diamond.

Ray’s faith was vindicated.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Field of Dreams is not necessarily a Christian movie nor do we ever know where the voices are coming from. Yet, the movie perfectly demonstrates how a believer should walk by faith and not by sight.

Ray Kinsella heard the voices, saw the vision, and believed in them. He did not know who the “he” was or how he could possibly afford to carry out the dream, but like a little child, he trusted and acted in the wisdom of the voices.

For me, as a new Christian, almost twenty-six years ago, I believed that the Lord told me I would own a publishing company and would be an author. At the time, I was the president of a small farm publishing company in Iowa.

Now, twenty-six years may sound like a long time until you realize it took eighteen years just to erase all of my marketing ideas, all of my writing ideas, and all of my publishing ideas. These skills took a long while for the Lord to crush and beat to death with my many failures and mistakes.

You see, He has a special plan, one which He reveals just a little bit at a time. Does His plan make sense to me? No, not at all. Yet, I have learned He is the Boss and can be trusted.

A recent conversation with my wife reveals how much I have changed over the years.

“How are your three books selling?” asked my wife.

“Sales are slow,” I said.

“Well, what’s your marketing plan?” she said.

I shrugged my shoulders. “I haven’t got a marketing plan.”

“Don’t you think you should come up with one?”

“I’m not the Boss,” I replied. “So far, the Lord has told me to write and I’m going to continue doing that. If He wants me to do some marketing, He’ll let me know.”

“You know, you sure are a funny guy,” she said.

“Maybe,” I replied, “but I’ve a learned an important lesson over the years and that’s to wait on Him.”

I guess I’m a lot like Ray Kinsella because I believe that if I write, He will come.

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