Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis - honest missives

I find C.S. Lewis' ugly, vulnerable, raw realness refreshing in his classic, "A Grief Observed." He wrote four notebooks as a means of understanding in the grief torturing his mind after his wife died of cancer. His words weren't even meant to shared or published, and so he unleashed all the bitterness within, along with his demons because he had nothing else to lose. He was honest, which is rare to find nowadays. I almost wish I hadn't gotten a glimpse of this real human because he is longer the man I created in my mind of him to be. How can he be flawed? He's C.S. Lewis. He truly experienced the depth of the beauty and the gut-wrenching gifts that come from grief. I could relate to so much of what he felt when my dad died.

His confessions, written in great agony, reveal all my short-comings as a human because in many ways I haven't allowed myself to be human, to have flaws, at least to the outside world. Although I'm starting to get better at it. Nor have I allowed my recent writing to breathe, to weep, to get caught up in the chaos contained in the darkest caverns of my mind. I've weighted the organic thoughts down because I'm afraid if they surface, then I'll have no longer have them to leverage the pain, punishment and torture I need to keep in my hand or cards for the next time I need an excuse to forge my own path and separate myself from God. It's so ridiculous, as if by holding onto this gives me any power over my destiny or heaven forbid - God.

It's like Lewis speaks about his faith being like a "house of cards," and never realizing it until something real and extremely difficult happens like losing his wife. He journey examines what faith is only to discover what it is not.

We all must face the fragilness of our man-made realities, when the ugliness of our souls get exposed. Only a few will actually ever realize just how insignificant our dreams and plans are in comparison to to God's infinite wisdowm of this temporal states verses eternity.

Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is being sure and what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." I heard once that if I'm feeling distant from God, it's because of sin in my life. I'm the one who has moved; not God.

I truly admire this prolific writer who holds nothing back. The first two journals from this book had me in a whirlwind of pain and worry that this man had gone to such a dark place that he might not ever recover. Keeping in mind that Lewis was an atheist before he came to know Christ.

"When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But, a rather special sort of 'no answer'. It is not the locked door. It is more like the silent, certainly not uncompassionate gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, 'Peace child; you don't understand.'

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswered. How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask - half our great theological and metaphysical problems are like that."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Did something as beautiful as roses start out growing in poop.


The "Poop" in our Lives

Don’t resent trials that happen but welcome them as friends. James 1:2. Thankfully Jesus doesn’t say you need to get your act together before you come asking me for things. He says, “come as you are.” He’s an amazing Savior.

Did you know that beautiful roses started off growing in poop? Present your junk to God, and He can fertilize your poop and turn something ugly into a beautiful gift. The result is a fragrant aroma, pleasing to God and the world around you.

I have three puppies and one morning God demonstrated his love for me by watching them play around after they had just pooped in the house. It was hard to be mad at them. I remember thinking how precious they were and it made me think about how our loving Father must glean joy from watching us “play.” He thinks I’m precious just like I think my puppies are. Now that’s a Father I want to know and be close to.

Profounding thought provoking review

Another wonderfully blessed review of the book God led me to compile. I've been honored and happy to hand out about 400 copies to people who God puts in my path. I've been amazed at how well it's been received. It inspires and encourages me. I'm not sure if I'll ever know what God's plan was for this book...and if 400 copies is all that will distributed or if His plan includes 400,000. Who knows. I'm just very thankful for the people who have taken the time to get back to me with reviews. Praise God! He is awesome. Following is another insightful amazon review.
"To me, Cancer Chronicles represents a true-life story of a struggle many people experience, but few are comfortable sharing. Not battling cancer, but our inherent and often overwhelming struggle with faith. As someone who continues to struggle with my faith, it provided me with an inspiration that I don't always get from reading the Bible or listening to sermons at Church.
I love the story of Jesus Christ as told through the Gospels and I do accept him as my Lord, God's only son. Yet, through the intimidation of greed, power and control that we all know mankind deals with, I find myself questioning the translations of the true knowledge this world was blessed with more than 2,000 years and 5,000 generations ago. Where does the spiritualism end and man's corruption begin?
The letters and correspondence shared in this book show the beautiful realization that comes with faith and commitment to the Lord. Reading Mr. Williams' own stories of his unsuccessful battle with cancer were emotional and heart-wrenching. However, reading of his success in being ground in Lord and growing with his faith was a pure, and very real, lesson of how God's love conquers all doubts and weaknesses.
His ability and desire to turn to the scripture and decipher the appropriate lesson at the appropriate time was nothing short of God's work. "Whether I triumph or succumb to this illness rests with the Lord." May we all have the strength to remain content with his election as you did, Mr. Williams."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Thank you readers of "Cancer Chronicles"

Another beautiful review of "Cancer Chronicles"

“Cancer Chronicles is a true life journey with a man of God, Bill Willlams, as he walks in the wilderness called cancer. However, unlike the Israelites, Bill is able to be grateful for his daily bread and not grumble in his life surroundings. He journals his lessons that he is learning and the Scriptures that God uses to lighten his load, helping him to give praise to God. The end of each chapter has "Points to Ponder", which contain questions and scriptures that further expand and clarify the lessons Bill learned through his daily walk.

You do not have to be struggling with cancer to appreciate this book. Any trial in life potentially can strengthen our faith or cause us to choose bitterness. That is the message Bill paints: choose life, choose Christ in the midst of hard times and He is faithful to share His salvation, His very life with you, to deliver you from all your fears. This is a precious, heart-felt ministry of Bill's family--to use Bill's suffering to touch and encourage others for His glory. I would recommend this to anyone walking this journey called life.”
Martha Helton

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Poem from my Husband

My Beautiful Flower
By Robert Daniel Brown, Jr.
March 5, 2013

My beautiful flower (Melli)
You provide me power
To make it through
Yes this is true

I pray you know
Even though I don’t show
How much I love you
Yes this is true

I miss you all day long
I wish you were a song
So I could hear you all day long

My gift from the Lord
Makes me want to afford
All the riches
So I can see the corner of your mouth twitch

I pray that I am the husband God intends me to be
I pray that I help you be free

With my Love,
Your Brownie

Friday, March 1, 2013

A profound exercise experience in 10 minutes


Are you too young to feel this old?
Does the idea of healthy living overwhelm you? Me too!

I started using the Sonic Whole Body Vibration Exercise machine, and my energy, weight, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, and more symptoms greatly improved.

The thing I love most about it is that TEN MINUTES of standing with sonic vibrations can burn 240 calories and treats a variety of symptoms specifically. It’s incredible!

Call Melissa Brown at 817-776-7630
or email me at:

Well Wishes for "Cancer Chronicles" From Best-Selling Christian Authors

Below are a few letters for best-selling Christian authors, Jerry Jenkins, Max Lucado and Rick Warren. Their best-selling books are too numerous to mention. I wanted to share a copy of “Cancer Chronicles” with them, and following are the responses I received with well wishes.

Sorry to be so long in responding to your letter. We had just left for two weeks when it arrived, and I’ve been digging out ever since we got back...finishing my latest, which will release in August but which has already been on the cover of Publishers Weekly (no pressure there), and launching a new company.

Anyway, congrats on your book! Proud of you.  I appreciated getting the book, and a scan showed me how much you put into it. Impressive. Unfortunately, my endorsement policy requires that I read a book in its entirety, and I’m afraid I just can’t commit to that this year. I have so many stacked up ahead of that I will not likely get to either, I don’t want to promise something I can’t fulfill.

But I do wish you all the best with it. It sounds like it’s already have a ministry.

Great to hear from you. Will we see you at this year’s conference? It’s going to be a good one. J

Jerry B. Jenkins                 Owner |  CHRISTIAN WRITERS GUILD


Thank you for your letter and book to Max Lucado.  It was kind of you to think of him.  He is currently traveling and writing.  Regretfully, he is unavailable to send you a quote for your blog.  May God continue to bless your pen.

Janie Padilla
Ministry Assistant to
Karen Hill/Max Lucado

Dear Melissa,

Thank you for writing Pastor Rick, your kind words, and the copy about your dad, Cancer Chronicles. Pastor Rick is always encouraged whenever we receive message letting him know how 40 Days in the Word has been a blessing. He appreciates you thinking of him.

Pastor Rick wishes you great success as you take a step of faith to fulfill what God has called you to do. He hopes your book touches many lives. We praise our Lord for your caring heart!

God Bless,
David Chrzan
Chief of Staff