In his book, Restored: Transforming the Sting of Your Past into Purpose for Today, author and pastor Chris Brown tells readers that pain is a part of life, but it can make us better not bitter.

Pastor Chris Brown shares his painful past and how we can become better not bitter from the experience.

Becoming Better Not Bitter

No one escapes pain. We all experience it at some point in our lives. And while it’s true that pain can leave us feeling broken and lost, it doesn’t have to define us.

Pastor Chris Brown shares his own story of overcoming a painful childhood to find hope and healing. Brown offers readers practical ways to deal with their own pain, including journaling, prayer, and self-care. He also encourages readers to use their pain to help others who are going through similar struggles. By sharing his own story and offering helpful advice, Brown shows readers that it is possible to find hope and healing after experiencing pain.

In This Episode

  • Our tragic pasts can be rocket fuel to be better than where we came from
  • Luke 6:31 – What would you have wanted from a stable set of parents?
  • No one intentionally says they want to live a life worse than their parents – compassion
  • Jesus has fingerprints throughout our lives lifting us up
  • Good friends can be a rock for you in hard times, “Be a Danny”
  • Ministry to help restore pastors (with accountability) who have been shunned from the church
  • Stewardship of resources and relationships in the time we have

Pastor Chris Brown

Chris Brown is a highly sought-after pastor, speaker, radio personality, and church leadership expert with more than twenty years of ministry and financial experience. He worked alongside Dave Ramsey for years and was the nationally syndicated radio host for Life, Money, and Hope, which received over ten million downloads and was a regular Top 10 Podcast. A former Ramsey Solutions national media and radio personality, he has been featured on numerous national media outlets, such as Fox & Friends and Life Today with James Robison, and on many conference stages, including Catalyst. He has served as a campus pastor at Elevation Church and executive pastor at Potential Church. In 2021, Chris and his wife, Holly, launched a church called The Well in Columbia, Tennessee. Chris and Holly traded in city life for farm life in Columbia, Tennessee, with their three children.

Resources and Links

Learn more about Pastor Chris Brown for speaking engagements, his church, and more at ChrisBrownOnAir.com.

Related Past Episodes of Beyond the Rut

Redefine Success then Seek, Go, and Create the Life You Desire – Btr 274

No Mess No Message with Dr. April D. Jones – BtR 200

Finding Joy in Life – Yvette Walker – BtR 307

Episode Credits

Host, Editing, and Production: Jerry Dugan

Transcript

Jerry Dugan  00:00

All right. Hey, Chris, thanks for joining us right now. How are you doing on this fine Saturday?

Chris Brown  00:04

I’m doing wonderful. I’m very honored to be on thank you so much.

Jerry Dugan  00:07

Awesome saying here. Glad to have you on. You know, I may have said it in the intro. Depends on when I record the intro. But if I haven’t, I mean, folks, if you’re listening to Chris for the first time, you know, he was interested me through his publicist and Nicole Balanchine. And turns out, you did some work with a guy named Dave Ramsey. A little radio show called Life money and hope, over 10 million downloads. And yeah, so he’s done some work in the arena of, you know, finance, advising, you’ve been a campus pastor at a couple of different churches. And now you’ve got this book out called restored, and you share your story. And what I loved about that story, by the way, just is that, you know, folks looking at you from the outside in are like, Oh, look at this guy. He’s put together you know, he talks about finance. He’s probably had his whole life just kind of handed to him. And then you read this book restored, you’re like, Oh, you do not judge a book by its cover. And turns out, he’s gone through some stuff. And, you know, I don’t want to say it’s an understatement to say that you’ve gone through some stuff. What would you say about life growing up?

Chris Brown  01:16

Yeah. So just to give everybody a little bit of context, you know, we all have pain. We all have things that we’ve been through, for my particular genre of pain. It was a childhood filled with just lots of instability, and tragedy. Several father figures go into jail, bouncing around from abuse, shelter, to abuse, shelter, go into 17 different schools, narcotics, lots of police that my house constantly because of altercations, homelessness, sleeping underneath bridges in peers sleeping in the backseat of a car. Just seeing a lot of really crazy stuff. And so to be on this podcast today, to share my story is definitely an honor. Yeah.

Jerry Dugan  02:01

And you know, that that’s the thing that blew my mind. It was just because I mean, we see the the marketing content now like, okay, very polished. He’s on the stage. Yeah, he’s a pastor. And then you read the story. And then it’s just everything you just described, truncated down to just a matter of seconds. And, and I definitely, at that point, I was like, Okay, I’m glad I said, Yes. Because this is going to be great. I mean, just how many people do we come across on a daily basis? I mean, you’ve pastored, at some churches, you’ve probably seen that come through those doors. And they probably reached out to you that, you know, they’re struggling to have their marriage work. But they don’t know who to model it after, or they feel like, because their parents had a bad marriage, they’re somehow doomed to repeat that. Do you ever come across that? Or have you come across that?

Chris Brown  02:49

Yeah, we all have a choice on whether we’re going to continue with the dysfunction from what’s been brought, you know, brought, you know, what we were brought up in, or to rebel against it and choose the alternative. I know for me, when it comes to parenting, for instance, I always I go through three filters one, in this parenting situation, what is the Bible? Tell them it is a Bible give me any, any advice, or an indirection on one of my core values is that Scripture is my guide. Scripture is not my hope. Scripture is my guide, Jesus is my hope. Scripture is my guidance. I’m always asking how can scripture guide me in this decision, but my second one is, my second filter is, what did I see growing up, and I want to do the exact opposite. Now there’s a second filter. And the third filter is Luke 631. And it’s really just treat others like you’d want to be treated. And so for me, I look back to my childhood and say, if I were in this situation, and I probably was in a situation, what would I have wanted from my, you know, wishful stable mom, and stable dad? How would I, how would I have wished they would have reacted? And that’s really helped me have a lot more empathy for my kids and what they’re going through a lot more compassion, a lot more patience. I’m not a perfect parent at all. But for me, the fact that I have this tragic past has actually been I’ve used it as rocket fuel. Yeah, for me to be a better parent, not a worse parent. Yeah.

Jerry Dugan  04:17

And it’s so good to hear you say that, you know, it’s a lot of folks, it, they kind of fall in that trap of, you know, if you aren’t aware of your history, you’re doomed to repeat it. And I think that’s where some folks do tend to struggle, but I mean, yeah, when you proactively take a look back at where you come from, and ask yourself that question, do I want to repeat that? And I don’t think anybody in the right mind would say, oh, yeah, let’s go. But it takes that bravery, that courage to kind of step up, turn around, look back and say, Oh, that’s what I’ve gone through. That’s the impact it’s had on me. This is the impact that would have on others as well. I don’t want that for me. I don’t want that for the future. And that is that is a key moment. I think in anybody’s lives. I had gone through some been similar, if not exact, I mean, from birth to about age 10 or 11, things were good. You know, I had a tiger mom kind of raising us. My dad was, you know, married to my mom. But one day my mom left. And that’s when things fell apart. You know, my dad got suicidal. You know, it seemed like all the other uncles were also getting divorced. So their kids were kind of becoming bullies. And so it’s just like, the people you should turn to, or they’ll turn against you. And for a toxic all around and just kind of left with? Is this all there is? Is this what we have to look forward to? And what it took kind of looking up at 14 to say, Wait, life is different from my friend over here. Life is different from my friend over here. Okay, so these are the things that don’t match up, I want to be more like this. And so having that example to turn to me, it was many years later for me before I received Christ. And, and I know in your story, it was a little bit later as well. So I think that’s the hope I want folks to have is there is that turnaround point for you there, you know, maybe you’re in your 30s if you’re in your 40s, and you’re still kind of living in that trap. But there’s that turnaround point. And and for us, it was at some point, Jesus, just turning things around. And so in what ways would you say that, you know, Jesus had a hand in your life and restored you in a sense?

Chris Brown  06:16

Well, I have a chapter in a book called fingerprints. And it’s really because I can see his activity in my life. Looking back now I’m 44, looking back at my entire childhood, and I can see his activity. I didn’t feel at the moment, of course, you’re blinded by circumstance and blinded by tragedy. But now I look back. And it’s so obvious to me. Of course, I had some incredible gaps in my life when it came to fatherhood and had some gaps in my life and motherhood as well as my mom worked three jobs as a single mom trying to make ends meet. But I look back now and there were some coaches, and there were supervisors. And there were neighbors and bosses and teachers and principals, and you name it, these people that came alongside of me, and each season came out of nowhere, I swear, just literally every day, just angels, that taught me things. They taught me things like discipline, and taught me responsibility and taught me initiative and taught me just some kind of moral compass. I didn’t know anything about Jesus in a relationship with Jesus, but I kind of had a moral compass that kept me from making some really big mistakes. And so, yeah, God was very active in my life. I was far from God didn’t know anything about Jesus. And I got a baseball scholarship to go to a Christian school. That’s like, No, I, I had no idea what Christian meant. I didn’t know who Jesus was. But they said they were gonna give me $50,000 To play baseball and to love Jesus. And I still love Jesus all day long. So I was all in I didn’t even know what it meant, but sign on that dotted line and went to went to church or went to school there at this Christian College and two weeks into college. We had chapel every day, and I was sitting at Chapel. And this particular evangelist exposed me to Psalm 68 that says, I am the father to the fatherless. And of course, that gripped my heart. And I accepted Jesus that day, into my heart. And, and really, I’ve always been a rule follower. I’ve always been somebody who goes all in 100 mile an hour. So as soon as I found out about this grace of Jesus, and this love and the structure that I starved for structure, because my whole upbringing had zero structure at all, I had no idea if I was going to be living in a home each night when I came home from school, or if I was going to be living underneath the bridge, every night was different. And so I had structure I had grace, I now had love. I had fatherhood, I was all in. And so since day one, I ran on after him 100 mile an hour went straight into ministry. And so God has played a big role in my life. And from now my ministry is just filled with gratitude. Yeah, that he pulled me out of that kind of a childhood. Yeah.

Jerry Dugan  09:03

And I love that you acknowledge that, you know, when you look back those fingerprints that God had had throughout your life before you even knew him before even made that choice, that that was there. And, you know, whether it was Yeah, and all of it through other people. You know, it’s like you said, coaches, teachers, friends. You know, if I remember correctly, like your baseball coach even had it like he was motivated not just to have you on the team as a baseball player, helping us win games like it almost seemed like your coach could not care less whether or not you guys won games, like it was your soul he was after it was like your salvation, your growth. And while you’re at it, let’s win some games. Like that was the impression I got of your coach when you talk to him. You had some folks in college who were classmates who also poured into you and kind of took you along their side and you know, just you can’t manufacture that, you know, just it just happens. And me Of course when you know, it’s like, okay, that’s where God, you know, crossed our paths and the other person made a choice, I want to reach out to this guy. I don’t know why it’s not somebody I would normally hang out with, but I’m gonna hang out with that guy and just be there and be a friend. And, you know, like you said in your book, be a Danny in a sense and tell a little bit more about, you know, some of the friends that have like, really stood out and like, just been a rock for you. Like when you look back and realize, oh, yeah, that was that was huge.

Chris Brown  10:31

Yeah, you know, everything you were just talking about reminds me of, you know, my story reminds me of Matthew nine, I believe it’s Matthew nine, where Jesus approaches Matthew, this tax collector. And he approaches him I don’t because remember the story or not, but he, he approaches them actually in the tax collector booth. So like, he’s in the middle of his sin. He’s not like at a church, he, he’s right in the middle of his sin. And Jesus came to him in his Senate. And just to give everyone some context, a tax collector in the day, that was very sinful, it was thought of as like the worst kind of betrayal. And it was, they were just thought of as these really shady people. And so Matthew’s in the middle of all this, and Jesus comes to him in the middle of his mess. That’s how I feel like Jesus did with me, he came to me, right baseball was my god, baseball was my escape mechanism to stay away from home. And so however, I could stay away from home to be integrated into any kind of sport. And they use sports sports is kind of like my tax collector, both as my it was my idol that I was serving, I was going 100 mile an hour after baseball, and he met me through a baseball coach, and met me through a scholarship that had was tied to baseball. And so I just love that part. But in Regarding your question about friends, you know, I’ve had some really, really good friends. And you know, you move that many times, you really don’t get close to many people. But in a short amount of time, tragedy will actually intensify a short term friendship, because you’re in the middle of the battle together. And so, and each one of these really bad neighborhoods that I would live in, there would be one or two friends that we stuck together. This one particular one sticks out to me, and his name was Danny, we were in a neighborhood where him and I were the only people that look like us, in our neighborhood. And so we were the target for a lot of bullying. And whenever I would get bullied and I would get beat up pretty bad. He was always the guy that was there that would walk with me clean up my cuts, and carry my book bag process with me just be there to say, Hey, man, it’s gonna be okay, even though it really wasn’t gonna be okay. It was just great to hear him say that. And he says, a good friend of me. Because I’m so grateful for that. What I want to do, and the whole reason for the book is this whole idea of we all have pain, but we need to transform the sting of that pain into purpose for today. And so the way that I think through all those painful moments of getting bullying, the fruit that I could pull out of that the nutrients that I can suck out of that story, is the fact that I did have this Danny in my life in those seasons of tragedy. And so as an adult, I have a choice. Do I have a victim mentality of oh, man, I got bullied as a kid. Or man, I was blessed with some amazing friends. There’s ones of victims mentality, ones of Victor’s mentality, and it’s a choice of what you decide to zone in on and what you what you choose to focus in on it. So for me as an adult, I have made a commitment that I will be a Danny, I will be the person that’s going to be there for you not only in the stadium, but I’m going to be there for you in the courtroom. I have right now one of my secret ministries that I do, which is not so secret, now that I’m telling you, but is to restore pastors who have fallen. It’s a passion of mine. Pastors, give their lives to encourage and equip and empower and love on other people. And then when them as humans, they make a mistake, it is so sad, how the Christian world turns their back on them, and bashes them publicly and treats them are like, like they’re not human. I want to be that one guy, who’s a daddy, I want to be that one that walks alongside of them privately and publicly. Like I’m going to walk alongside publicly and say, Hey, I’m standing with this person. I’m not standing with the sin. But I’m going to stand with the senator because I’m a Senator. And I want to show and extend the grace that I’ve been extended. And so my challenge to all of us listening in is that we’d all be dancing, that we would all have that empathy. And we’d all remember of that great friendship that somebody gave us, or that great friendship that we wished somebody would have gave us. And we would really love well, like a real true biblical friend, not only in the stadium, but also in the courtroom.

Jerry Dugan  14:50

Yeah. And that is huge. I mean, you hit the nail on the head. I know some pastors who have had that fall and of those that have fallen I’ve only seen In one really get back up and be restored. But to do that the person had to leave his current church go to another church where nobody knew who he was and and that was when he was able to finally start again I thought wow, that’s horrible that and he also how to like replace almost his entire family like friend circle and I thought that just broke my heart all but like a small handful of friends. But yeah, they judged him turn their backs on him said he was a fake phony and just that walls up, we’re never letting this guy back in. And, and even his senior pastor it said, Yeah, we’re gonna restore this guy, but you didn’t see much of that he had to go seek another senior pastor to to build him back up and hold him accountable. And, you know, so it is sad to see that, but the majority of them you just see them fade away, and they never come back into ministry and, and lead others and, you know, we forget they’re human, you know, we’re all human, we’re all susceptible to the same issues that are out there. And and, you know, if we truly want to live like Christ, I think, you know, understanding that grace is the probably the biggest part of his ministry. It’s just yeah, that struck a nice chord with me.

Chris Brown  16:19

There’s that there’s that I mean, there’s a reality that you know, if they’ve done some things or show some unhealthy lifestyle, things that they need to be off the platform and away from pastoring for a while, and probably need to be pastored. Until Until they’re at a point where they’re healthy enough to pastor the Bible’s very clear about that. pastors and teachers need to be above reproach and live at a higher level. And so I understand the whole idea of taking them off the platform and take away from influence for a season. But to completely turn your back or like fire them or take them away from a church, I would think that that would need to be because of maybe months and months and months of prideful like not not entertaining the restoration process or really bucking luck in the restoration process or just have a spirit about them that’s not restorable in that season, maybe. But when when they’re really sorry. And it was a one time mistake. And it’s like, man, we’ve just got to be we, the thing is, is that we as humans, we typically judge others based on reality. While we judge ourselves based on our intentions. There’s two different bars there. Because we, we, we judge people like Oh, I’m this great Christian, I do my my, I go to the gym every day, and I do my devotions every morning. And I’m like, Whoa, that might be your intentions. If you were to look at the last 14 days, how many times did you actually go to the gym? How many times did you actually sit down and do your devotions? Or is that just your intention? So we said to be really careful that we’re not judging other people on reality, and only judging ourselves on our intentions. If you’re going to judge them reality, judge on reality for you to Yeah,

Jerry Dugan  17:56

or like, I read through my Bible today, check, check, check that you live out what you read. Exactly. Oh, that wasn’t on the checklist. That ought to be.

Chris Brown  18:07

This is convicting just talking about it. Yeah, it’s

Jerry Dugan  18:10

me. And that’s huge for us to realize that. I mean, we follow a God who’s about second chances about restoration, reconnecting back to him and loving us so much that He sent His Son to die and be that ransom for us. You know, to me, that doesn’t sound like you. If you’re a follower of this God, and this Jesus, then the calling for you is to turn your back on people to judge them to say, Ah, you’re a stripper. So I don’t know a stripper that’s coming up today. A lot. If you listen to the show, you were like, there was like a theme here. We mentioned stripper for two or three episodes. That’s not the point. The point is, like, I’ve seen folks that will be more than happy to go out with somebody who does stripping his profession, but then turn around and judge that person and call them all kinds of derogatory name that’s like, while you’re okay, when you get into benefit, but then you’re going to turn around and judge them when it comes to being publicly facing. And it’s like, what if you just reflected that person in the first place, you know, regardless of the profession, and I’m not condoning going and, you know, receiving their services, that’s not the point, either. It’s just, it’s about treating people with dignity, you know, respecting their dignity, I think because we’re all created with dignity. And, you know, it’s especially for those of us who have hit rock bottom or, you know, we’ve not had the, the advantages others have had, you know, but have compassion for each other. I’ve turned remember who had said this whole quote about, you know, have compassion for those who are like older than you, you know, respect those who are you know, in a weakened state, you know, who are aging, who are too young because some time in your life, you’re going to be all these things. And, you know, ties back into that golden rule and treat others lead want to be treated, because at some point, you’re going to be in another person’s shoes. it in some way, shape or form. And I think when we think in terms of like the love of Christ, the way he lifts people up the way he serves others, when we think about at some point in our lives, we’re gonna hit our low point. And Jesus is about restoration. It’s, to me, it’s very hopeful that one I can be restored, and to my misery can become my ministry. And I mean, with the show, a lot of that has come out. It’s like, why do I do the show? Why do I have it focused on men in the 30s and 40s? Were married with children who want to have a meaningful life? Because that’s been on my heart since I was 14 years old. So yeah, yeah, I’m a firm believer in that. And, you know, for those of you listening, I mean, your misery you’ve gone through could in fact, be your ministry. Especially if you align it with Jesus, you know, that’s my opinion. And if you’re a believer in Christ, it’s probably your opinion, too. And so, I mean, we’ve talked about, you know, just because you had a rough start doesn’t mean that’s what you’re destined to, we’ve talked about, you know, you can be restored. And part of the reason why is, it could be, how you help others become restored, as well. So, I mean, we got this book, he talks about transforming that sting the pain of your life into something that, you know, helps others who, who is this book ideal for?

Chris Brown  21:27

Well, anybody with a story. So my passion for the book is comes from a word called stewardship. Those of you that you hear that word, you may think of two things, you may think of a capital campaign at your church, and as not what I mean. And you may think about money. And that’s not what I mean, as well. Matthew 2514, through 30, talks about the parable of the talents, so the parable of the bags of gold, and it talks about a Master who takes their wealth, and gives it to three servants. Well, that is a parallel to what God’s done with us, God as the owner, he owns everything. And he allows us to manage or to steward for him. Now, it’s not just about money, he allows us to steward our his not ours, that pronoun there, his relationships, his kids, for those of you that have kids, his spouse, those of you that are married, his time, his energy, all those things through us, He allows us to manage really, it’s all his, the Bible says in Psalm 24. One, the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, meaning he is the owner. So we’re not so what are we we are the managers. And we see that how he’s given us dominion in Genesis. First Corinthians four two says those who have been called to manage must prove faithful. So what does faithful look like? Well, one of the things that he wants us to manage is not just time energy, relationships, money, also, this may not be on your radar, your story, you were to manage that story, your experiences for him. So some of you were listening in and you’re 20, some are listening in, you’re 30. Some are 55. Some are 60. Regardless, you’ve got life experiences, you have a story, what are you going to do with it? It’s not your worse, it’s his. And you are called to manage that for him? Well, the thing is, you can’t go back in time. So you can’t go back and change things. So you got to focus on what you can control, what can you can control, you can control right now how much you transform the sting of your past into purpose for today, whatever it is, you’ve gone through, you have a unique opportunity, and a unique empathy that you can extend to somebody going through the same thing. You also have a unique opportunity to be grateful for God pulling you out of that something that maybe you’ve gone through something I haven’t gone through. And so you’ve got a unique opportunity to be grateful for that. And to minister out of that, and I don’t have, but do you have that opportunity? And when we don’t maximize that it’s a tragedy? Because God allowed you to go through that trial? for many different reasons. I don’t want to be arrogant enough to tell you exactly what God’s thinking because he is an infinite God, and I have a finite mind. But I do know that that was for a reason. It wasn’t just to put take you through a trial just be a mean God. And so what is it about that pain that you can transform into purpose for today, regardless of where you come from? I will say this too, just because of your, your, your demographic that listens to this show Darius? I just went through what’s called midlife crisis a few years ago. And I sat on my front porch for this is like 2017 or 2019. So almost three years really, and just sat there and reflected and kind of took a really long sabbatical. I put myself in a good financial position so I didn’t have to run to work. I really could just sit there and kind of self reflect What I realized was the more that I was internally worried about self care, and self reflection, and all these things that all these psychology books tell you, I actually got more discouraged than I got more depressed. Because the Bible says in Proverbs 1125, those who refresh others themselves are refreshed. And so maybe you’re listening in today, and you’re midlife and you wish at this point, you would have accomplished more than you’ve accomplished. What have I done with my life? Well, what if the question isn’t actually what you’ve done with your life? And the question really should be, who are you becoming less on the what this whole world teaches us from the first grade? What do you want to be when you grow up? Where are you going to school for what profession, it’s all about the what all about the what all about the what, but if I were to give everybody on the show, right now, I would just go into your living room, go into your car, right there on the treadmill. and I were to give you a matchbook with 20 matches in an hour to ask you, the average life expectancy today is 80 years. So if I were to take you tell you to take out a match out of the match book, one match for every four years that you’ve lived, and you were to have eight matches left, or 12 matches left, instead of asking yourself, What have I done? And what am I going to do with the rest of my matches? What if the question shifted a little bit? What if the question was really who have I become, who have I become? Who am I becoming? And who will I become, and more emphasis on who I’m going to become? And that will take care of the what if you become what you’re supposed to become? God will bless it would if it was less about what am I going to do with my remaining matches? And more about how bright will these matches shine? How on fire? Will I be with my remaining years? So Jerry to answer your question, that’s how I process all this. That’s how I, I want to navigate these next few years of my life, I’m at the halfway point, statistically, I’m at 44. I live a pretty low risk life. So let’s just say that my life could go to 88. For me, I want to shift from a life that’s all about achievements, and accolades, and shift it from here, this 40 to 44. I’m in the middle of the shift. And all I care about now is significance. I’m going from achievement, to significance. And so whatever I do when I wake up in the morning, so that time I go to bed, I got to ask myself, Who am I becoming? How bright are my matches shining? And did I make a significant impact?

Jerry Dugan  27:34

That is huge. And I think a key thing to add to that is like when you’re thinking about who am I becoming? You know, what you’re saying isn’t about what is my profession going to be like? The A lot of us tend to grow up thinking, and you touched on it earlier that, you know, who are you going to be when you grow up? I want to be a police officer, I’m going to be a soldier. And it’s like, I don’t think that’s what you’re saying either. It’s see, can you can you unpack that a little bit more like when you’re saying Who am I becoming? What kind of things are you describing to describe who you’re becoming and even who you are right now?

Chris Brown  28:08

Yeah, I mean, I think you look at the burning bush moment. Okay, and you’ve got this burning bush moment, Moses is shepherding, and not even his own flock. He’s so obscure and so humble. He’s shepherding someone else’s blog for 40 years in video. And out of nowhere, he has this burning bush moment of like, I’m calling you, I’m choosing you to go to Pharaoh, right? Burning Bush moment, man of God, would you please give me that burning bush moment, I used to work for a pastor that says, hey, I remember when I was 16 years old, on page 23, of fresh wind, fresh fire by Jim Cymbala. I was reading this book. And I read this one line that said, I despair at the thought that my life may pass a by without God moving greatly on my behalf. And I knew at that moment, God told me I’m going to start a church in North Carolina. We all don’t have that moment. The bottom line is very few of us are going to have that moment. The bottom line is there’s only one burning bush story in the Bible. There’s only one Damascus Road story in the Bible. Most of the stories in the Bible slowly unfolded, slowly unfolded with one good, correct decision after another. One more, one more. One more, one more. And Jerry, to go back to your original question. How do I unpack this idea? Here’s the deal. We are more concerned with God’s concealed will then we are obeying His revealed will. And the bottom line is is our vision and our destiny has actually become our God. We are so going after this destiny. So going after this vision and even those of you that are in a ministry, and your ministry is actually tied to God. It gets confusing, but a lot of the ministry guys that I know if I were to just grab by the shoulders and shake them, man if I look at the fruit of their life, I think about the what they talk about out and the way they talk about it, their vision has become their God, their destination has become their guy, not actually, God. It’s very similar with all the things that we own. Some of you guys listening in right now you own a car and you own a house, and you’ve got some, maybe a four wheeler and a jetski. And you’ve got some tangible things. And you’re saying, and you will think that you’re being super spiritual by thanking God for them. And you are, it’s cool. It’s better than not thanking you. But how many times if we were to be honest, are we more thankful for the blessings than the bless, or we actually, sometimes were worshiping the provision, rather than worshiping the provider. We love the blessing so much that we actually end up worshipping the blessings and not worshiping the blesser. Now, don’t get offended. No, I’m not yelling at you. I’m not yelling at you, I don’t know who’s who you’re in your car. I know, a man, this guy’s being really mean, I don’t know, it’s you. I just know the human condition. And I’m also a middle aged man. So I get it. And I’ve wrestled with this. And so don’t get offended. But it’s, if we’re honest, we are our vision has become our God, rather than just every day faithfulness,

Jerry Dugan  31:07

you’ve ever lose, like powerful moments in a conversation, the best thing is just leave that silence in there. Let it soak in to those who are listening. And so I’m hoping when I go to edit this, that I leave that space in there that I just did. Because that was powerful that on top of the things we’ve just been talking about, about being restored, and, you know, why do we get restored? And I mean, it’s clear to me now, it’s really ultimately about, you know, who are you becoming? And then from there, I mean, the things that you do for others is really an outpouring of who you are, who you’re becoming. So, you know, I love that of just seeking God seeking that will it isn’t yet revealed to you. And yeah, don’t become that stick in the mud that says, This is what I’m about. This is what I’m going after. This guy will be like, Oh, that’s cute plan. I needed to go that way now. You know, and are you going to be receptive to that? Or are you going to be like, No, this is what I do. Man. Oh, man. Okay, we’re about a time but. So for all of you listening in, you gotta get a copy of Chris Brown’s book restored. I know, it’s gonna be on Amazon. Baker House Publishers if you want to get a good deal and have it shipped for free that I think is the way to go. I saw that on your website. I’m like, oh, yeah, I know. That’s like, Jeff Brown had published his book through there. Jeff Brown. Yeah.

Chris Brown  32:30

Are you guys related? No, no, there’s quite a few of us. Okay,

Jerry Dugan  32:33

there’s more than one brown out there. Okay.

Chris Brown  32:37

By the way, I’m not the rapper. I promise. Not the rapper. Yeah, I

Jerry Dugan  32:42

had to go through a few pages of Google. I’m getting to Kulgam your webpage and went straight there. But any I mean, I mean, you get you gave us like a really good knowledge drop. Definitely go get a copy of his book restored. It’s out there now. Right. It’s, it’s available now.

Chris Brown  33:01

Yeah, launched on March 25. Okay, so we’re a couple of months or a few months in? Yeah, yeah. Nicole

Jerry Dugan  33:06

reached out to me, I think just before it published. So I was like, I got I know I got an advance copy. So I’m like, Hey, cool. How else can people reach out to you if they want you to be a speaker at their, their events, or they want? Yeah, any of the services you provide? You know, what else can folks do to reach out to you? And yeah, that kind of thing.

Chris Brown  33:27

Yeah, so my handle is pretty easy on all, all social media handles. It’s Chris Brown on air. And my website is Chris Brown, on air.com. And, yeah, so I’ve currently pastor a church in Columbia, Tennessee. So Sunday’s are usually taken up, but midweek speaking opportunities would be great, but I’d love to add value to your organization.

Jerry Dugan  33:50

Nice, Chris. I already knew that this was gonna be a great conversation, especially for me. Hopefully, for all of you listening in. It was a great conversation for you. Yeah, it was great having you on here.

Chris Brown  34:00

Yeah, definitely an honor. Thank you.

Restored Becoming Better Not Bitter with Pastor Chris Brown – BtR 320
Beyond the Rut