Recently I had the privilege of interviewing Lee Strobel for an episode of my Life, Money and Hope podcast. The topic was “Miracles Still Happen,” and we got the chance to talk about his latest book, The Case for Miracles. After our talk—and while I was literally still recording the episode—I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly shocked by the miracle God has done in my life. The miracle isn’t that I’m the host of the show. It’s the fact that I’m even alive to do it and even now the God I talk about each and every day.
Let me explain why by sharing a few things about my story you may not know. I share these simple facts with a heart that longs to strengthen every person’s passion for the privilege of stewardship, which is managing God’s blessings, God’s ways, for God’s glory.
So, here are five things you may not know about Chris Brown:
- I’m introverted. See what I mean about miracles? My entire ministry role at Ramsey Solutions—and in the last 20 years working with churches—has focused on stuff usually reserved for extroverts: speaking, media, radio, and podcasting. Everything I do stands in direct contrast to my desire to be all alone working on my farm. To enjoy hosting a radio show and speaking as a Ramsey Personality is truly a miracle.
- I grew up in the middle of violence, addiction, poverty, and even homelessness. This is not something I regret; it’s something I celebrate. Back then, I didn’t know any different, so it was never a big deal. But looking back, I’m overwhelmed with insane amounts of gratitude that fuels all I do. In fact, gratitude is the very thing that keeps me fired up as a champion for stewardship.
Of course, I don’t always get it right, but my burning passion is to express gratitude for what God saved me from by demonstrating how He is the owner of all I have—and by intentionally managing it for His glory. Truthfully, the deep wounds from my childhood serve as my main source of inspiration. And I pray that folks like you can see how God miraculously uses trials to craft us into exactly who He wants us to be. How awesome is that!
- I’m extremely competitive. This one may not seem as significant, but it shows up in a lot of ways . . . maybe you can relate. What’s funny, though, is that I rarely show my competitive side, so my competitors never see it coming! This creates some great moments in the gym, at the park, or with my wife and kids.
I love pressure situations and still dream of being up to bat with two outs in the ninth inning. And I use that competitive spirit to my advantage when the devil tells me I can’t do something. You see, I know God’s already won the battle, and I love watching Him prove the enemy wrong again and again. No matter how uncomfortable I am with the size of a stage or a media outlet, I always say yes and let that competitiveness go to work, along with my passion for stewardship and my desire for God’s glory. Every time I do, God’s always been faithful.
- I love being outside. I connect with God the most when I’m outdoors. It’s where I find my creativity. Listening to worship music and doing hard labor outside reenergizes me. The time of reflection gives me a fresh perspective and refills my gratitude tank—and often gives me a pretty incredible farmer’s tan.
- I’m a risk-taker. This one may surprise you the most. Honestly, I’m relatively conservative in my investment strategy, always keeping Proverbs 13:22 and Matthew 25:14-30 in mind. But I’m also pretty adventurous and love to try new things. In recent years, I’ve launched into the unknown by moving my family across the country several times, trying new careers, and even jumping into areas where I’ve had little to no training.
I think my willingness to take risks can be traced back to two things: First, I know in many respects my fear mechanism is broken—probably because of the adversity I faced in my younger years. But second, I recognize where my identity lies. I know it’s not on a platform or because of some level of influence. I get that it’s not in what I do or who I know. It’s all about who I belong to. Being a child of God makes all the difference!
So, there you have it . . . a few things most folks don’t know about me and how those things affect my view on stewardship. Now here’s my challenge for you: Take some time to explore why you view stewardship the way you do. Then, in order to glorify God, try to maximize how He has wired and shaped you.