Scars

Scars

scars
A reminder of healing

 By Matthew Brewer

Scars….we all have them. Whether the scars result from something physical or emotional, we have all experienced a scar of some kind in our lives. Are physical scars painful? That is debatable. Some have suggested that they still rack of pain months and even years after some painful scar. I have had a few scars in my life. None of the physical scars cause me any pain. When I look at the scar, I do remember what happened, but it does not continue to physically hurt me.

Emotional scarring is so different. The heart is tender, and when it is broken, sometimes the damage seems irreparable. As Christians, we know that God can repair all of our brokenness, but let’s face it….we are still humans, and in our frailty as a human, oftentimes we still hurt. That doesn’t make us less of a Christian. That doesn’t make us less of a Child of God. What that makes us is a real-live human being with human frailty who is not perfect.

As Christians we know that all of the physical and emotional scars of our lives were placed on Jesus as he hung dying for our sins. Every bad thing that could and will ever happen to us, he endured the pain at Calvary. He bore the scars of my life and of your life.

Now looking at a scar, I try not to remember what caused the scar, but rather, I try to remember that healing has taken place. Scars sometimes remind me of times I should have listened but didn’t. Ultimately though, scars are a reminder of the healing that has happened in our mind, body, and soul. Scars will always be with us, and so will the ONE who healed us!

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
II Corinthians 4: 8-10

Matthew Brewer
Guest Blogger
Matthew Brewer has been in the Memphis area since 2003, and in that time, he has been no stranger to the wonderful southern cuisine found here in the Mid-South.  He graduated from West Liberty State College, received his masters from University of Louisiana at Monroe, and his D.Min from Andersonville Theological Seminary.  He is employed by Shelby County Schools as a PLC Coach, pastors Grace Gathering Church, and in his spare time, does marketing for his Wife, Jennifer’s custom Jewelry Company, Jentegrity Jewelry, located in Cordova.  He enjoys spending time with his wife, quiet evenings at home, dinners with friends, and lots of family time.

See All Articles by Matthew

 

 

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We All Need A Little More Grace – Social Justice

We All Need A Little More Grace – Social Justice

We all need a little more grace

Social justice

By Matthew Brewer – Guest Blogger

This article is brought to you by Krewe of DeJavu Check out their menu!

SOCIAL JUSTICE is a topic that God’s Church can not be silent about.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of sitting down with a local Lutheran Pastor and we spoke about the divisions in Memphis over race and the divisions in the church over various issues. After I left, I really began thinking about these topics. I was raised in a Conservative family, and I have conservative values. However, I was taught to LOVE and RESPECT all of God’s creation! I know there are many divisions within our country, our city, and our churches. So many of these divisions have not risen from salvation issues but personal opinions and convictions. I too have personal opinions and convictions, but I see that it is important to be in dialogue with people who I don’t agree with. This is how I have learned to work together with others to advance God’s Kingdom.

I have had the privilege of being in Memphis 15 years, and in that time I have made friends of all races, religions, and sexual preferences. As an adult in Memphis, I have been able to see from a distance the discriminatory practices of people – not just one race of people, but bigotry and discrimination among the races. I have also seen LOVE between the races. I have seen SACRIFICE between the races. I have seen at times a UNITED FRONT among the races.

The Church has a mission to reach the lost, but it also has a duty to serve the poor, the hurting, and the rejected. We must uphold the Word of God, and we must LOVE. Don’t try to tell someone you love them if you discriminate against them. Don’t tell someone you care about them if they are hungry for food, yet you don’t give them any. Don’t use the phrase “Hate the sin, but love the sinner”- it’s been over used. The ones we are called to reach out to need love and a place to belong. They need to hear about the forgiveness and unconditional love of our Savior. We are not the judge of others. We are all sinners in need of God’s mercy. Grace is a gift. God showed us grace when we were still in our sins. The Church, the people who call themselves Christians must offer this same grace to a hurting world. Let us truly become the hands and feet of Christ, holding true to our doctrine and our beliefs that are grounded in the Word of God, and let us see each other as a neighbor and a child of God! It is my prayer that we will see more and more Christians coming together and offering love and grace! It is my prayer that the spirit of multi-cultural worship will permeate and rain down in the churches in which we serve. It is my prayer that through our differences and differing opinions and beliefs, that we can find a place of grace for one another. Red, yellow, black, white, gay, straight, rich, poor, young, and old- WE ALL NEED A LITTLE MORE GRACE!

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Glazed and Fired

Glazed and Fired

Glazed and fired

a spiritual journey of pain to beauty

By Matthew Brewer – Guest Blogger

This article is brought to you by The Wendy Thompson Lending Team. More Than A Mortgage!

Have you every looked closely at a beautiful ceramic vase, at the color, the detail, the fine craftsmanship that this vase displays?  Have you ever considered what this vase went through to look the way it does?

Maybe you have seen someone in a magazine or a T.V. commercial with a chiseled body or a figure that you would kill for?  Have you every considered what that body had to go through to look like that?  What pain was endured in order to have that body?  What sacrifices were made?  What was added to this person’s life in order for them to look like this?

Oftentimes in life, we look at the finished product of something, see its beauty and admire it, and never once stop to think about what happened to it to get it there.

I have been guilty of this many times.  I see someone at the gym and I think I want to look like them.  I want to have that type body.  However, the true painful reality for me is that I am not willing to do what it takes to get that body.  I may do a few things to be healthier and I may change a few habits, but I am not willing to take the steps to make such a dramatic transformation.   I am not willing to endure the pain to have a refined, toned body.  When you talk to these fit and trim people, more likely than not, they all have a story of dramatic and systematic changes that they had to endure to create and maintain their physique.

The vase is just clay and rude paint until it has been glazed and presented to the flames of the fire.  The body is just flesh, bones, and skin until it has been toned and manicured.  Our lives are just empty vessels until they have been glazed by the fruits of the Spirit and presented to the flames of the Holy Spirit.

Our lives are just empty vessels until they have been glazed by the fruits of the Spirit..

We begin our journey as clay, waiting to be created into something beautiful by our Creator.  He takes our lives and pours Himself into us, with attention to detail and with a strong purpose to make us into His image.  We have to go through something in the forming.  Life is not perfect.  Life is not always easy and life is certainly not the proverbial bed or roses that some think it should be.  It is through our pain, our struggles, our sorrow that we can be glazed and fired by the flames of the Holy Spirit.

When I think about the glaze on my own life of clay, I think of 4 ways in which I am glazed and then fired.

1. Bible Study
2. Daily Prayer
3.  Community and Fellowship with Other Believers
4.  Corporate Worship in a Community of Faith

Bible Study helps me to understand God and His purpose for my life.  It helps me to know how to surrender and allow God to lead me on my journey.  Daily prayer is my conversation with God.  My wife has often said she doesn’t say Amen after a prayer because it is a conversation that never ends.  Fellowship and Community with other believers help cheer me on my way.  We laugh together, we cry together.  We experience life together.  We were not meant to be alone.  Community and Fellowship is a wonderful way to glaze ourselves in the Holy Spirit.   Corporate Worship – the church coming together to Worship the One who is worthy of all our praise helps to keep me on the same page and moving toward a common goal of celebrating the goodness of our Great God.

Are you ready to be glazed and fired?

Glazing is essential to bring out the inner beauty.  Even after a piece of pottery is painted, the colors don’t shine and sparkle as they should till it has been glazed and fired.  When it comes out of the fire, then we see what it is truly made of, and the image that it conveys.
Our lives are like that.  When we go through the fire, we become stronger, and when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives through his refining power, we see what we are made of, who we were meant to be, and the image that we convey.

Are you ready to be glazed and fired?  The flames of His Spirit are waiting today!

Prayer

Great God our Father, thank you for the blessings of this life, and Lord, please help me to see the refining that you are doing in my life as a blessing, as a way to draw closer to you and understanding who I am to you and the purpose you have for my life.  I will cover my life with studying your word, having daily conversations with you, fellowshipping and worshipping with other believers.  Guide me today and always.  Amen!

Matthew Brewer

Guest Blogger

Matthew Brewer has been in the Memphis area since 2003, and in that time, he has been no stranger to the wonderful southern cuisine found here in the Mid-South.  He graduated from West Liberty State College, received his masters from University of Louisiana at Monroe, and his D.Min from Andersonville Theological Seminary.  He is employed by Shelby County Schools as a PLC Coach, pastors Grace Gathering Church, and in his spare time, does marketing for his Wife, Jennifer’s custom Jewelry Company, Jentegrity Jewelry, located in Cordova.  He enjoys spending time with his wife, quiet evenings at home, dinners with friends, and lots of family time.

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The Treasure Chest and The Treasure // JustMyMemphis

The Treasure Chest and The Treasure // JustMyMemphis

The treasure chest

and the treasure

By Matthew Brewer // Guest Blogger

This article is sponsored by The Wendy Thompson Lending Team Click to find low mortgage rates!

I remember vividly the first time I watched the movie “The Titanic”. I saw it December 19, 1997 at the Keith Albee Theater in Huntington, West Virginia. The historic theater was packed for every show that evening including the midnight show that I attended. The music, the visuals, and the acting, all presented themselves in a way that drew the audience to the place where the Titanic saw the last light of day.

I knew the story, I knew the ending, and yet I still wanted to see it. I wanted to experience all that it had to offer. The outcome would be no different than what I knew. Many people would lose their lives right in front of me on that big screen. It was 3 1/2 hours of great adventure, intrigue, suspense, and sorrow. As I watched real footage of the Titanic I could see how the years had decayed the old ship. It had lost its luster and shine as it had lain submerged in the deep waters for nearly 85 years.

For years, explorers had searched for the Titanic and had spent millions of dollars trying to locate it and retrieve it’s treasure. They did not care that it had been beaten by the cruel forces of nature. They did not care that it was dirty, decaying, and barely recognizable. They were concerned with what was on the inside. They knew the contents of the inside was where the value would be found. The ship itself was just a decaying shell….but on the inside, that’s where the treasure would be found. When the explorers found jewelry boxes and other trunks that had been in the harsh conditions all those years, they didn’t care about the condition of the outside of those boxes, they wanted what was on the inside.

As human beings we all have different casings, and we have all have different shells. Sometimes the painful reality of life has broken us to our very core, however we still remain. Sometimes the storms of life have beaten us down so badly that we can’t see a way out, yet we still remain. You see, it is not the outside…it is not the bruises, the scars, the tattered bodies that define who we are. We are defined by what is on the inside. Everything else is just casing to protect the treasure that lies within each of us. Our hearts, although sometimes broken, define who we really are. Sometimes we can be badly broken, but we still have a heart no matter how many pieces it may be in. The condition of the treasure does not take away from its worth. I could take $100 bill and place it on the street and let cars roll over it all day long. By the end of the day it is hard to say what condition that bill would be in. However, even ripped and torn, I can still spend that $100 bill at any bank or store.

Come. Just as you are. That is the call that Love extends to each of us. Come with your brokenness. Don’t try to fix yourself as you come. Let TRUE LOVE fix you. What a beautiful thought that the the Creator Of All will take us with all our broken parts and smudges because He sees the value of our hearts.

Today, it is my prayer that no matter what the circumstances of life, we can share our hearts and our love with someone everyday. We are all broken in some way, that’s just a fact of life. However, we can grow together each and every day in grace, hope, and love. give Jesus our hearts each and every day. Remember, don’t ever count someone out just because of their casing! We are all beautiful!

Matthew Brewer

Guest Blogger

Matthew Brewer has been in the Memphis area since 2003, and in that time, he has been no stranger to the wonderful southern cuisine found here in the Mid-South.  He graduated from West Liberty State College, received his masters from University of Louisiana at Monroe, and his D.Min from Andersonville Theological Seminary.  He is employed by Shelby County Schools as a PLC Coach, pastors Grace Gathering Church, and in his spare time, does marketing for his Wife, Jennifer’s custom Jewelry Company, Jentegrity Jewelry, located in Cordova.  He enjoys spending time with his wife, quiet evenings at home, dinners with friends, and lots of family time.

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We believe there is an amazing story just waiting to be told inside everyone.  Stories that inspire change, ideas, and action.  Some stories are painful, some are fun, and others are life changing.  BeAmazing and share your story today on JustMy!

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A Look Into Portales Mexican Restaurant

A Look Into Portales Mexican Restaurant

A Look into
portales mexican restaurant
By Matthew Brewer // Guest Blogger

This article is sponsored by The Wendy Thompson Lending Team Click to find low mortgage rates!

It was a Thursday evening and I had a craving for wings. We decided on a Wing place that was very close to our home. When we arrived, it was very busy and we decided to go somewhere else. As we were walking back to the car, we saw it. Portales Mexican Restaurant. It was in the same shopping center so we thought, why not.

The moment we walked in, we knew we had made a great choice. The atmosphere was fun and upbeat, the ambiance and decor was lively and inviting. The host sat us in a very cool booth that was painted in bright colors and each booth offered its own unique privacy.

As most Mexican restaurants do, we were quickly presented with salsa and chips. The salsa was very flavorful and a tad on the hot side, but nothing too drastic. It was the perfect consistency with just the right amount of thickness that allowed it to sit nicely on the very fresh tortilla chip. I also ordered the made fresh guacamole. I love guacamole and I was pleased with the Portales advocado wonder. It had the right amount of garlic, lime, and cilantro. It was nice and thick the way I prefer it. At this point our time at Portales is going great.

Our server, Greg was friendly and very attentive. He was able to answer any questions we had concerning the menu. Greg is the brother of the owner. Jose and Mayra Sevilla opened Portales about a year ago, and they have been blessed by great business and many return guests. Jose is from Jalisco, Mexico and he makes sure each dish has that authentic flair.

I decided on the Seafood Buritto and my wife had a Grilled Chicken Salad. We both made great choices. When the food arrived, we both commented on the generous portions. My burrito was huge. It was served with beans and rice. When I cut into the buritto, it was filled with talapia and shrimp. It was covered in a rich and creamy cheese sauce. It was delicious. It had the right amount of everything, the peppers, the onions, the cheese, all just the right amount so to let the seafood take its rightful place on my tastebuds. My wife was over the moon with her Grilled Chicken Salad. The chicken was cooked perfectly and she loved the seasoning and spices with the hint of citrus. She is a little on the picky side so she was equally pleased that they fixed the salad exactly leaving off the ingredients she did not want.

Portales was a great experience and I highly recommend it if you are in the mood for some great authentic Mexican food. The service was excellent and we liked it so much we went back the very next night. Portales is a hit on Germantown Parkway. A hit that you don’t want to miss.

Until next time, buenos Dias.

Portales Business Hours
  • Mon-Thurs          11am-9pm
  • Fri-Sat                  11am-10pm
  • Sun                       11am – 6pm
More Info
Matthew Brewer
Guest Blogger
Matthew Brewer has been in the Memphis area since 2003, and in that time, he has been no stranger to the wonderful southern cuisine found here in the Mid-South.  He graduated from West Liberty State College, received his masters from University of Louisiana at Monroe, and his D.Min from Andersonville Theological Seminary.  He is employed by Shelby County Schools as a PLC Coach, pastors Grace Gathering Church, and in his spare time, does marketing for his Wife, Jennifer’s custom Jewelry Company, Jentegrity Jewelry, located in Cordova.  He enjoys spending time with his wife, quiet evenings at home, dinners with friends, and lots of family time.

See All Articles by Matthew

 

 

Interested In Joining Our Guest Blogger Program?

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We believe there is an amazing story just waiting to be told inside everyone.  Stories that inspire change, ideas, and action.  Some stories are painful, some are fun, and others are life changing.  BeAmazing and share your story today on JustMy!
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