Archives For Chris Brauns Radio Spots

It will soon be time for the defending Illinois 3A State Champion Stillman Valley Cardinals to take the field.  So we’re warming up the cheers.  A favorite here is, “One-two-three-four, you know what those cleats are for, stomp-em.”  It’s not especially Christian, but it has a nice rhythm never the less.

In the mean time, here is a radio spot that recalled an old Keo cheer. 

I was thinking about high school cheers the other day. I’m from Keosauqua, Iowa and our cheerleaders kept it simple:

“They got our ball, we want it back,”

“1st and 10, do it again,”

and “we got spirit yes we do, we got spirit how ‘bout you?”

That was about as complicated as we got.

Another Keosauqua cheer was “let’s get fired up.” Granted: it’s not great poetry. But, it was a nice exhortation for Keo.

“Let’s get fired up,” is an even better idea for the Christian life. “Let’s get fired up.” The question, though, is? How do you get fired up? Just willing ourselves to be fired up is not going to make it happen any more than it would work for pastors to use pom poms. There’s a picture of your: your pastor doing a cheer with pom poms.

Here’s how we get fired up. Go to the Word. Think about these verses from Psalm 103.

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Psalm 103:2-5).”

Let’s get fired up? We are fired up by the Word of God. We serve a Savior who forgives our sins and redeems our lives. He crowns us with glory and honor and satisfies our desires with good things so that our youth is renewed. Forget not all his benefits!!

imageThis is a radio spot reposted from earlier.  But, I am planning on putting this into practice all around Western Europe, including Neuschwantstein Castle.

Of course, I’m not sure those secret prayers will count given that I’ve posted about them on my blog.

Matthew chapter 6 begins with a principle. Jesus told the disciples to avoid doing good things for the sake of human approval. He said, “Don’t do acts of righteousness before men to be seen by them.” Instead, we should do our acts of righteousness “secretly,” before God alone.

One of my favorite ways to live out this principle is through what I call “secret prayers.” For me, a secret prayer is when I pray for someone I don’t know, will likely never see again, and who has no idea that I prayed for him or her.

My prayers go something like this. “God, I don’t know why this guy having his oil changed looks so tired. I have no idea what is going on in his world. Maybe he has a lot of stress at work. But, I pray that you might bless him today.”

How about this? Instead of getting angry at an aggressive driver, why not pray for him or her. “Lord, I don’t know why this person is being such a jerk, but I pray that you will keep him safe and that you will bless him in some special way.”

God is pleased when we care for people we don’t even know. And, God answers prayer. My secret prayers are just between God and me on behalf of someone else.

I have a theory that someday when I get to Heaven I’ll be able to check out DVD’s that document how a few of my secret prayers made a difference.

What would happen if every believer in Rockford started praying 5 secret prayers a day. The results might amaze us.

How about a True or False question? See if you can get this one right.

True or False, God can do anything but fail?

One more time, True or False, God can do anything but fail?

The answer is “False.” There is a long list of things that God cannot do. Generally, the things that God cannot do all fit into one category; God cannot do anything that is untrue to himself.

Understand, no one or nothing outside of God limits God. But, God is limited by His own character. For instance, God cannot be unholy because God is Holy. God cannot lie, because God is truth and to lie. God cannot be unloving, because God is love.

And, get this. God is just. And, He cannot be unjust. This is very important to understand because the Bible tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And, because God is just, he cannot and will not overlook sin – – not even one sin.

This means that when we stand before God, he will not allow any to come into Heaven based on their own merit.

So, the most important question for human beings becomes, how can we ever hope to go to be right with God? And, the answer to that question is only through the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is found only in Him.

How about reading John 3 really carefully today?

Before it’s too late

Chris —  July 21, 2010

I think one of the most haunting concepts in the Bible is that there comes a time when it is too late. God gives us chances, but there is such a thing as decisions from which we cannot recover.

Think about these verses about Esau. The author of Hebrews says:

"See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears (Hebrews 12:16-17)."

Esau was an angry man. As far as he was concerned, life had dealt him a bad hand. His mother favored his twin brother and his twin was a con artist. In fact, he no doubt reasoned that Jacob never should have taken advantage of his hunger, and he probably shouldn’t have.

So, faced with tough circumstances, Esau made bad choices. In his pouting anger he gave up his birthright and married someone out of spite.

Later on, Scripture tells us that he tried to reverse his decision about his inheritance but it was too late.

Friends, you cannot afford to be bitter and angry one more day. You may have been treated unfairly. You may have been dealt some tough circumstances. But, do not use that as an excuse to make bad choices now. If you do, it may be too late much sooner than you think. And, then, no amount of tears will undo what you have thrown away.

If you are looking for a verse for this week, think about this one. Psalm 84:11 says,

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

Reflect on the picture that God is a “sun” and “shield.” The idea of God being the sun symbolizes power. To even look at the sun hurts our eyes. God is an atomic explosion. All power, light inaccessible hid from our eyes.

And, yet, the sun also brings the idea that God is not simply power in isolation. He shines into the lives of His people and as the verse says, offers us favor, or a better translation would be “grace,” and “honor,” or “glory.” The light of his goodness shines into every corner of His creation.

Not only is God a sun, but he is also a “shield.” So many different things can threaten our well-being. Many of you will hear this radio spot while you are in your cars. And, we know that over 40,000 people will probably die in car related accidents this year. Think about that. 40,000 people. Yet, God is a shield for those who know Him and trust in Him. As Psalm 91 says, “a thousand may fall at our side, ten thousand at our right hand, but it will not come near us,” and God commands his angels concerning those who fear Him.

Even when we do meet with tragedy or disaster, we can be sure that God is a sun and a shield for those whose walk is blameless.

No wonder the Psalmist says in the same Psalm, 10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

In Psalm 16, David praises God because God has given him a delightful inheritance. King David sings, “my boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places.”

Americans can surely sing the same song. We celebrate the birth of our nation this week and, from the warm gulf waters to the North Atlantic, to the desert of the southwest, to San Francisco harbor, to the greatest farm ground in the world here in the Midwest, our lines have fallen in pleasant places.

But, even as we celebrate the blessings we enjoy as a country, we should thank God for those who went before us. We think of the year 1776 as a wonderful beginning. But, by the end of that first year, the Continental army was ready to quit. The ground was frozen and wherever the army marched shoeless leaving a bloody trail. Enlistments were running out and, by any realistic assessment, the end was near.

But, on Christmas Day of 1776 General Washington rolled the dice and crossed the icy Delaware. It was an awful night to position troops. Two men froze to death. Powder was wet and Washington told the soldiers to use their bayonets. Washington himself led the attack on Hessian troops in Trenton. It was a gruesome battle, a horrific scene of suffering and agony. Even the commander of the Hessians was mortally wounded.

I am Pastor Chris Brauns from the Red Brick Church. . . We are Americans. Our boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places. When you feel the warm sunshine on your shoulders while grilling out, remember that a group of men, some of them only 17 years old and younger, marched across frozen ground, forded an icy river, and fought with bayonets so that we could grill hamburgers and watch fireworks in our small towns.

Where are you?

Chris —  June 23, 2010

Where are you at this very moment? Are you on bypass 20? Alpine or Perryville? Are you just getting off onto Riverside? Or, are you on 11th Street? Some of you may be on Kishwaukee headed up to Rockford? Maybe you are still in your kitchen.

Wherever, Psalm 139 tells us that God knows exactly where we are at. The Psalm says:

2 [Lord] You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.  5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.  6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.  7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?  8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

Wherever you at this moment, God knows and he is aware of your precise location. He knows the make and model of your car, how close your license plate is to expiration, and how many French fries your kids dropped in the back seat of your mini-van. He numbers the hairs on your head.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for us. Almighty God is an all knowing God. We say He is omniscient. Nothing is outside His awareness.

Why not look to Him for help? The God who knows about the guy who just cut you off (or the person you just cut off) is aware of what is going on in your world. He loves you. Pray today, in the name of our Savior the Lord Jesus, and ask for His help. He knows all things.

Here is a summer science project. Do this one at your own risk.

Choose an afternoon when the summer sun is burning down, get a magnifying glass and a pile of some dry combustible material. Dried leaves will work just fine. Gun powder will be more exciting.

Put the burning material down on the sidewalk and then use the magnifying glass to focus a beam of sunlight onto the material. You will be amazed at how quickly smoke begins to curl away. My boys and I do this and we think it great. Jamie rolls her eyes.

You know: the magnifying glass does not provide any power of its own. It serves only to direct the power of the sun. But, when it does, it brings light to a burning focus and things ignite.

That is what the local church is supposed to do. By itself, the church, God’s people, do not offer any power. But, a church is like a magnifying glass that God uses to focus and direct His power. Paul says in Ephesians 3:10 that God is pleased to make declaration of Himself both to people and the Heavenly realms by means of the church.

Maybe in your life, the presence of Christ does not seem powerful. You keep waiting for change and power to ignite in your life but it’s just not happening. If that is the case, then try another experiment this summer. Look for a church that centers on the Lord Jesus and His Word. Put yourself right underneath the magnifying glass on a warm Sunday and wait for Spirit and Truth to ignite in your heart.

Who are you? In asking that question, I do not mean, “What’s your name?” Rather, what is the nature of your heart? What values are found at the center of your being? What motivates you and moves you forward in life.

Before you answer too quickly, think about Proverbs 16:2.

“All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD (Proverbs 16:2).”

According to this Proverb, knowing yourself is not as easy as you might think. There are times when we don’t even know our own motives.

Dietrich Bonehoeffer stood up against Hitler and was eventually executed. But, even shortly before his execution he struggled to know himself. From prison he wrote,

Who am I? . . .

Am I really all that which other men tell of?

Or am I only what I know of myself,

Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.

So, how can we get to know ourselves? The Proverb gives us the answer. “Motives are weighed by the Lord.” It is only as we see ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word – – only as we are sharpened and strengthened in the community of God’s people – – -It is then that we begin to understand ourselves more truly, and it is then that we can grow and flourish and know the joy and peace of following Christ.

Get to know yourself in the mirror of God’s Word and the community of the redeemed.

Right and Best

Chris —  June 2, 2010

Most of the time when I work with people as a pastor, they do not question that the Bible is right or dispute what I am saying.

Most people believe that God is real and that there is right and wrong.

Most accept that there is a Heaven and Hell.

People know that as a matter of right and wrong, they should honor their marriage vows.

Or, that they should not look at pornography.

Most people know it is wrong to gamble.

So, why do we sometimes sin even when we know that it is wrong?

The struggle is that while people believe that following Christ is “right,” they are not sure that it is best. Somehow they become convinced in their mind that they will be happier if they choose a different path – – that serving Christ is a lesser choice.

If you struggle with that being motivated to do what you know is the right thing, think about the words to Hebrews 11:6.

6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

God’s Word is true. God rewards those who seek Him. The path of the person who follows His Word is a blessed path – – a joyous path – – rest, and salvation, joy and peace are found in loving Christ with all your heart, soul and strength.