But God Looked On Able With Favor

But God Looked On Able With Favor

“By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice…by faith he was commend as a righteous man.” (Hebrews 11:4, NIV)

Joel 4

God did not offer to give us a “normal” child in exchange for Joshua. He gave us one in addition to Josh – our youngest son Joel. In comparison to Joshua, Joel’s life may not seem quite so extraordinary – at least not at first glance. But that would miss the mark by a wide margin. It has merely been a different kind of extraordinary.

However, this section of Our Family Album almost never was. Continue reading “But God Looked On Able With Favor”

Cain’t Leaves His Mark

Cain’t Leaves His Mark
“Cain said to the Lord, ‘My [affliction] is more than I can bear’.” (Genesis 4:13, NIV)

The story of our oldest son Joshua, a life that was marked by what he could not or “Cain’t” do.

Josh 1

There comes a time in everyone’s life when only pictures and memories remain. Such is the case with our oldest son Joshua, who died in 1993 when he was only nine. Some images remain clear and some have faded. But memories, and the feelings and emotions that accompany the memories, are all we have left until we are reunited. And those memories tell an amazing story of God’s power and grace. Continue reading “Cain’t Leaves His Mark”

All About Eve

All About Eve
“Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of…” (Genesis 3:20, NIV)

Eileen 1

Not long after Eileen and I started dating, my mom called me aside one evening with some information that she thought I should know. Eileen’s mom had confided to my mom that Eileen was diabetic. Eileen had not yet worked up the nerve to tell me herself, but my mom thought I should know it in case some diabetic complications were to occur while Eileen and I were out on a date.

At that time I knew of diabetes but not much about diabetes. So I decided that I needed to learn a little more. Continue reading “All About Eve”

Adam’s Life Will Be Full Of Toil

Adam’s Life Will Be Full Of Toil

“From the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken.” (Genesis 3:19, NIV)

Steve 1

In many respects, mine has been an American success story. Not to the same magnitude as a Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet mind you. And except for this paragraph you will never see my name linked to theirs, unless you throw in Kevin Bacon and a one other name to complete the six degrees of separation. But considering its modest origins, it has been successful. Continue reading “Adam’s Life Will Be Full Of Toil”

Cain’t & Able – In The Beginning

Cain’t & Able: A Tale Of Two Siblings
“The Lord looked with favor on Abel…but on Cain…He did not look with favor.” (Genesis 4:4a and 5a, NIV)

Begin 2

In many respects, the imagery created by Charles Dickens in the opening lines of his book A Tale of Two Cities is similar to the images one might expect as they consider the lives of our two sons – lives of marked contrast.

He was the best of sons, he was the worst of sons, his was an age of wisdom, his was an age of foolishness, his was an epoch of belief, his was an epoch of incredulity, his life a spring of hope, his life a winter of despair, he had everything before him, he had nothing before him. Continue reading “Cain’t & Able – In The Beginning”

Our Family Album

Our Family Album

Today, I am starting a new “mid-week” musing series, which will continue each Wednesday for a few weeks.  It will be excerpts from a book I wrote in 2012 about our family experiences.  Our story has been somewhat unique, although I guess when you think about it every family’s story is unique.  At any rate, I wanted to share some insight into the backstory of my musings.  Perhaps you will find it interesting.  If not, you can always skips Wednesdays.

Album 1

Introduction To The Brewer Family
Steven, Eileen, Joshua & Joel
Established November 22, 1975

 

Joshua 24:14-15 – “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness…But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (NIV 1984)

In many respects, Our Family Album is no different than most. Proudly displayed in its pages are pictures that celebrate Continue reading “Our Family Album”

A Dad’s Advice To His Son

A Dad’s Advice To His Son

When I was a kid we subscribed to the Chicago Daily News, a newspaper (like so many others) that no longer exists. On Sundays, my two brothers (and dad) and I could hardly wait for our turn at the Sunday comics. I’ve since grown-up (kind of) and have outlived many of those childhood comic strips. But I still enjoy a bit of “comic relief” now and then. Given that bit of nostalgia, I’ve decided that Sundays will be when I share my “amusings.” My first one relates to “A Dad’s Devotions.”

Below is an Arlo and Janis (one of my current favorites) comic that I included with “A Dad’s Devotions.” It is a stereotype of how a father’s advice is often viewed by young sons – ignoring it. In Joel’s case, unlike Gene, he has always been pretty good about seeking out and following his mom’s advice or mine. Following the strip is my introduction to the devotions.

Arlo and Janis by Jimmy Johnson
June 14, 1996

Arlo & Janis 1

Joel,
Things Joel might think or say about his Dad…
At 4 years old: My Daddy can do anything.
At 7 years old: My Dad knows a lot, a whole lot.
At 8 years old: My Father doesn’t quite know everything.
At 12 years old: Oh well, naturally Father doesn’t know it all.
At 14 years old: Father? Hopelessly old fashioned.
At 21 years old: Whoa, is that man out of date. What did you expect?
At 25 years old: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.
At 30 years old: It’s amazing how wise he got in the last few years.
At 35 years old: We need to find out what Dad thinks about it.
At 50 years old: What would Dad have thought about it?
At 60 years old: My Dad knew everything.
At 65 years old: I wish I could talk it over with Dad one more time.

Author Unknown

These devotions are for that day.
My hope: that you will not wait for that day to read these pages to learn what I think. Hope does not disappoint.
My wish: that the advice will be a reminder of things you were taught and not a new revelation. Wishes can come true.
My fear: that you will find that I am better at giving advice than I have been at following it. Forgive me. Perfect love drives out fear.
My faith: that you will accept and follow the advice that is given and that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. Faith is being sure of what we hope for.

Congratulations on your College graduation (May 12, 2007).
Love and devotion,
Dad