Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ron Brewer Ministry Newsletter

Well, hello! Are you hot or are you hot? That really seems like a dumb question to ask right now! It really just depends on where you are at in this big, vast, United States. I have spoken with people in Florida who are really enjoying mild, pleasant weather. Even people on the West Coast who say, it is really nice and comfortable here. While most of us here, anywhere within the Eastern half of the United States is begging for cooler weather.
The old saying is, you can't please some of us all the time and you can't please any of us most of the time. God really has to have a sense of humor. We complain if it's too hot and if it is too cold. 

But, it has been seriously hot and so many places have been without rain. We really do need to pray for rain. I know we went through those straight line winds that brought so much destruction on most all of Ohio, WV, KY and other parts. It was really bad. Ohio is still suffering from severe heat and drought.

Well, this has been a long time coming newsletter. We have really been moving. Since the second week of May, we have been on tour through VA, West Virginia, New York, PA, back to WV, OH and now getting ready for a three week tour into Texas.

God has been so wonderful, as we have seen so many lives changed during this time. I know during this tour we have seen 6 saved and numerous people who were down hearted, discouraged, and various other issues, lives changed. Praise the lord.
Our son Joseph has really matured. He has come along way on the drums. He has been playing with many of the church bands at different churches and God has truly blessed him with a talent. He actually played with me a week ago and made daddy very proud.

I have just began working on my newest project and I am so very excited about this project. Ann Downing is one of the writers on this project, along with some other great song writers. This is an awesome project and as always, I am so proud of my producer, Shane Roark and my record label, Chapel Valley/Mercy Road Records.

I just want to give glory and honor to Jesus Christ for all things. I did make the top five in two different nominations this year. I was in the top 5 for Christian Country Soloist of the Year for the SGM Fan Fair and also Top 5 for Soloist of the Year at the SESGMC. God is awesome.

I am also thrilled at my latest release "My Foot Is On The Rock," which is written by my producer, Shane Roark. It is currently on the charts and still climbng. If you live in or near the Boonville, MS area, you can listen in to my live interview with Glenn Tackett of WBIP Radio on June 22 at 2:00 p.m., if you do not, you can listen by streaming, just click here: I know Glenn would appreciate if you called and let him know you were listening in.

Also, don't forget about Christmas In The Smokies, Pigeon Forge, TN. It is fastly approaching. It is honestly the best time you could spend. Great fun, great gospel music, great christian entertainment and it is all wrapped up in one price, one location, with your room included, meals and you will have a time of your life.
Mark these dates Nov. 26, 27, 28th or Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1st or Dec. 3, 4 or 5th. Choose which of the three days you wish to attend......Make your deposit of $100.00 to hold your room and you have until November 1, 2012 to pay the balance. Now, for everyone that signs up through me, I will give you a $75.00 discount. That is $75.00 off the total cost of $598.00. You must call 865-278-3681 and tell them Ron Brewer Host Group and let me know you have signed up, or simply give them this promo code 55454.

We will also be sailing on Feb. 4, 2013 for 7 days to the Western Caribbean. We will depart from Port Canaveral. Gospel Music at it's best - Sun, fun, beaches, Belize, Mahogany Bay, Cozumel, just to name a few. Food, Chapel Services, Christian Entertainment, Gospel Music at it's best. You don't want to miss this cruise. Make your $150.00 deposit to hold your cabin, pay in full by Jan. 1, 2013. Come on and join us. Call 865-278-3681 use promo code 33221 get $125.00 off the total cost. Prices start at $799.00 per person.

We need you and want you to be part of us. Come and join us and let's enjoy these great Christian events together.

Until next time, I hope we have the chance to see each other In Concert together soon. Remember to pray for one another, our nation, our troops and all the sick!

May God Bless,
Ron, Trish and Joseph

Ron Brewer
Mercy Road Records
Chapel Valley Studio

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chandler Holiness Camp 2012

Our camp evangelist for this year is Dr. John Eldon Neihof, Jr. Rev'd Dr. Neihof is  an ordained elder in the Kentucky Mountain Holiness Association, and has been a member of the KMHA since 1991. John began evangelistic work upon the encouragemen
t of his father, Dr. Eldon Neihof. His first few camp meetings were as a song evangelist in camps where his dad was preaching.
Today, John serves as an evangelist, song evangelist, conference speaker, Bible College professor and administrator. John's evangelistic ministry has taken him to fourteen states, eleven denominations, and ten interdenominational fellowships. John thrills to preach and sing of the message of full salvation.

John and his wife, Beth, are members of the Lafayette Church of the Nazarene, Lexington, KY. John completed the AAR from Kentucky Mountain Bible College, a BA from Asbury College, and an MA and PhD from the University of Kentucky. John served for 12 years as the Vice President for Student Life at KMBC.

Our Missions Speaker is Lisette Lewis from World Gospel Missions, who currently serves in Kenya. Lisette is an American schoolteacher (who has and will be) living and working in Kenya. She teaches missionary kids at Tenwek Hospital, but says she really learns more than the kids do.This year's Campmeeting will kick-off at 6:00PM with our annual joint prayer service on Sunday August 5th, 2012. As always, if outdoor temperatures are uncomfortable, we will meet at Chandler Church of the Nazarene on North 4th Street near Chandler Town Hall in Chandler Indiana.

Camp 2012 Schedule
  • Monday August 6th, 2012-Lisette Lewis from World Gospel Missions- 7:00PM 
  • Tuesday 7th-Saturday 11th-7:00PM Nightly- Rev'd Dr. John Neihof
  • Sunday Closing Service- 6:00PM
  •  Rev'd Dr. John Neihof

Monday, July 2, 2012

Biblical BluBlockers?

Biblical BluBlockers...A Misuse of Scripture?
Guest Sermon by Rev. Robert D. Shofner, Jr.
St. John's UCC- Boonville Indiana

            Not long ago, I was sitting in the waiting room of a clinic while Debbie was undergoing one of her annual Coumadin tests.  A trio of persons was sitting nearby, and they started talking about a new Bible study that one of them was attending.  The conversation went more or less like this.
            “Oh, I’m so excited!  Our teacher is leading us through a study on Revelations.”
            (I always cringe when I hear ‘Revelations’.  There’s no “s” in Revelation, people!)
            “Wow,” was one response.
            “Yes!  And we learned all about the meaning of the phrase, ‘the abomination that causes desolation.’  The study leader explained that the Lord had shown him what it meant.”  (Of course, it’s always much more interesting when God Himself weighs in on an interpretation!  So I perked up!)
            “He said, “I’ve discovered that it is helpful if you break words apart when you study Scripture.  If you break down ‘abomination,’ you get a-bom-in-nation.  This verse is a prediction that a number of nations would one day get the atomic bomb.  And it’s happening!”
            The listening couple nodded in agreement.  “Praise Jesus!  We’re in the last days!”
            I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair!  The fact that this story even happened makes me wonder if the Bible should come with a warning label on its cover: If you are already kind of nuts, this book will only make things worse
            On one hand, I’m glad the Scriptures are accessible to so many, yet on the other hand it bothers me that people treat it like a purely existential document which they feel free to interpret through their peculiar, and, frankly, uneducated view.
            I love the Bible.  It’s full of narrative history, genealogies, laws, poetry, proverbs, prophetic oracles, riddles, drama, biological sketches, parables, letters, sermons, and apocalypses.  It is a mystical book that fills the believing heart with life, wonder, grace, power and comfort.  All Christian believers treasure the Bible.  It has been the best-selling book in the world since printing began.  When Guttenberg invented the printing press, the first words he reproduced were the words of the Bible.
            But, giving people the impression that the Bible is easy to understand and easy to apply is really misleading.  That’s like saying marriage is easy.  Of course marriage can be wonderful, but it is not easy.  It’s not easy to keep your “I” on your spouse and off yourself.  It’s not easy for men to understand women (do I hear an ‘Amen’?) … or women to understand men (do I hear a ‘Right on, preacher!’?) 
            Nor is it easy to understand the Bible.  Truth be told, it’s often quite difficult.  Some texts seem impossible to figure out.  That’s why, throughout history, so many have used the Bible for their own, sometimes evil, purposes.
            Sacred scriptures, which have brought unspeakable comfort and blessing to countless millions, have also been used to bring pain, horror, and death to many.  The Bible has been used to validate the torture of so-called heretics, to justify slavery, to justify war, to oppress women, and to perpetuate other injustices.
            On a less disturbing, but equally ridiculous note, believers throughout history have used the Bible to “prove” specifically when Jesus would return.  (I guess He never got any of their memos.)
            How can this be?  How can there be such divergent conviction about the “truth”?
            Some would argue that the Bible doesn’t need interpretation; it just needs to be obeyed.  In some cases that’s true.  Paul commands, “Do everything without complaining or arguing”  (Philippians 2:14).  That doesn’t need interpretation; it just needs to be obeyed, plain and simple.
            But not all passages are that simple.  And if we are not careful, we can think our understanding of what we read is the meaning that the Holy Spirit intended.  But that is a huge presumption which ignores that our experience, the culture we live in, our prior understanding of words and ideas, and so on, always inject themselves into what we read.  We are just kidding ourselves if we think our biases cannot lead us astray and cause us to read unintended ideas into a text.
            Case in point:  Let’s say we grew up believing it is stupid (maybe even sinful) for people to get tattoos and have their bodies pierced.  Maybe we heard our mom and dad say it was wrong.  Or perhaps we believe that because, when we were growing up, tattoos and body piercings were only fashionable for mean-looking Harley riders and their biker mommas, and those on the low end of the socioeconomic scale.  Is that an unfair prejudice?  Sorry, but yeah.  But if that was our experience, it impacts how we think.
            Whatever the reason, inbred opinions cause us to read Bible texts with a predetermined selectivity.  We come across a verse such as, “Do not cut your bodies . . . or put tattoo marks on yourselves.  I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:28).  Wow!  That just leaps off the page!  It’s like the voice of God – a spiritual epiphany.  No wonder tattoos and piercings bother me so much.  God feels the same way!  Never mind that in the previous verse men are told never to “cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard” (Leviticus 19:27).  We all ignore that verse.  But, logically, if we choose to harp on the command that forbids tattoos or piercings, reason demands that we should obey the hair rule.  That means churches should be full of men with mullets and scraggly beards!
            So, why aren’t Christians fair and reasonable when it comes to interpreting Bible texts like these?  Because something in each of us longs to emphasize the things that resonate with our own opinions and biases, while ignoring the ones that don’t.  However, it’s one thing to interpret Bible texts in a biased, squirrely way … it’s quite another to slap God’s endorsement on our interpretation.  But people do it every day.  It’s no wonder that what we do saddens Jesus’s heart … the same Jesus who said, “I give you a new command.  Love one another as I have loved you.”  And that is to be obeyed, not interpreted.   
Listen, it’s simple.   If we don’t like something, we just need to be honest about it.  Example.  I personally don’t like tattoos and piercings.  And when the boys were growing up, I told them tattoos and piercings were not allowed in my house.  I said, with a smile on my face, “It isn’t that God is against it.  In fact, God has tattoos.  He has us tattooed on His hand (Isaiah 49:16).  Apparently, He’s into tattoos.  It’s just that I am against it.  I don’t want you permanently altering your body until you are an adult and decide to do so.  I’m just weird.  Get used to it.”
            Hey … it’s okay for a parent to be uptight about some stuff.  We just can’t project our preferences on God and “swear . . . by heaven” (James 5:12) that God feels the same way.
            It’s not that we can’t have seemingly unreasonable opinions about things – we just need to own up to the reality that all of us have BluBlocker vision that affects how we see things.
            Remember them?  Back in the 1980s BluBlockers were all the rage … boasting of providing UV and blue-light protection for the eyes.  Since I have to wear glasses all the time, I couldn’t wear BluBlockers.  But the boys could, and did.
            One day we were heading out of town, and we stopped to fill up with gas and grab some treats for the road.  Debbie asked Michael to get some of her favorite gum … Wrigley’s in the blue pack.  He brought it back to the car and tossed it to his mom.  She looked at it, and asked, “Michael, how come you didn’t get me my regular kind?”
            “I did,” he answered.
            “No, you didn’t,” she said as she held up the pack for him to see.
            He looked at it, and said rather sarcastically, “Mom, the pack is blue.  That’s the kind you like!”
            She paused for a second and said, “Take off the BluBlockers, Michael.”
            He pulled off the glasses and instantly realized he had bought the green gum, thinking it was the blue.  Something in the BluBlockers made the green pack look blue.
            That’s what happens to us when our lives get colored by our experience.  We interpret our surroundings through that color.  That means what looks true sometimes isn’t, and what looks untrue is sometimes true.  Our ideas, presuppositions, and even prejudices color our reasoning and interpretive skills.  We don’t see clearly.
            People have been wearing BluBlockers all through history.  For example, in the premodern world a violent natural event like an earthquake or erupting volcano was thought of as some kind of vengeance from the gods.  Their Blublocker was that they believed gods did that sort of thing.  When there was a natural disaster, people assumed someone had killed a sacred animal or had committed some nasty crime that angered the gods and the cataclysmic event was retribution for that immoral act.
            In the modern world, we know that natural disasters brew because of a number of natural conditions.  This is our BluBlocker.  What premoderns saw as acts of the gods, moderns see as the logical results of nature’s adjustments.  No vengeance there.
            Different BluBlockers lead to different interpretations.
            Another example.  My mother-in-law believed there was no way the United States ever got those men on the moon – not really.  When asked about the live television broadcast that captured the event, she would say, “It was all Hollywood.  They staged the whole thing.  It was fake, and a lot of people made a lot of money from our tax dollars.”  Her BluBlocker conspiracy “glasses” made the whole thing look like a hoax. (On the other hand, she swore up and down that “X-Files” was actually true!)  
People who view the world as conspiratorial or interpret biblical prophecy by breaking words apart (especially since Scripture was originally written in Hebrew and Greek – not English) are wearing bad BluBlockers.  When we use faulty methods or tools to interpret something, the world ends up looking distorted and weird.
The BluBlockers we wear provide a framework for processing data, just like prescription eyeglasses from what we (who need them) see.  I remember getting my first pair of eyeglasses as a kid and being amazed at how it helped me see the world in a whole new way – clearly!  I had become used to the blur.
Sadly, there are many disorienting “prescription” BlueBlockers out there.  Instead of clearing things up, they actually distort and give us an inaccurate view of the world.  There is no place where this is truer than in the context of religion.  When it comes to what we believe about God (theology), how He wants us to live (doctrines), and what we can or cannot do (commandments and injunctions), Christians have so many different sets of glasses, we make Elton John’s eyewear collection seem paltry.
All kinds of things influence the way we see things: our experiences, our parents, the History Channel, an Oprah show we once saw, friends, the churches we’ve attended, our prejudices, expectations, hopes, failures, God, the devil, being an American – these all color the way we interpret our world and our faith.
The bottom line, when we want to avoid misusing and misinterpreting God’s Word, we first want to do an honest evaluation of how we look at the world, and what kind of BluBlockers we are wearing.
Next time we’ll look at some various examples of BluBlockers.  In the meantime, do your homework!

Let’s pray. 
Heavenly Father, we thank you for Your Word in all its variety, style, and truth.  Please accept our confession that we all wear BluBlockers that color our perception of our world and Your Word.  With our confession, open our eyes to clearly see.  Grant us honest and humble hearts that we may love one another as You have loved us.
And the people said, “Amen.”