As a child, I received one of the greatest gifts parents can ever give: I was raised in a home with parents who took their Christian faith seriously. This has had a lasting impact on my life and played a great part in my role for the past several years as founder of WesternJournal.com, helping renew the blessings of liberty for the current generation.
My grandfather was a man of great faith. In May of 1936, he set sail for Indonesia as a missionary and spent four years on the mission field. My father, the oldest of his five children, was raised in church.
He met my mom at Sunday school, they were married in 1959, and I was born in 1961. I accepted Christ as my Savior in 1968 at the age of 7 in my grandfather’s dining room. On my knees, I prayed the sinner’s prayer.
It is a blessing to come from a family that serves Christ over generations. My parents serve Jesus, I serve Jesus, my three children serve Jesus, and now my grandchildren are being blessed by growing up in a Christian home.
As I look back, I’m grateful that for the first 18 years of my life, whenever the church doors opened, my entire family was there. This has accumulated and accrued in me as a tremendous blessing.
But life isn’t a fairytale; life is a journey. It is only when I look back that I see with clarity that God has directed my paths and given me unbelievable opportunities to fulfill His purpose for me.
In an amazing act of providence, I was able to meet Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1976, when I was 15 years old. As a result, I became intensely involved in conservative politics.
Politics Without Fulfillment
Throughout high school, I volunteered on many campaigns. During college, I was able to secure my first paid job in politics, becoming the youth coordinator for the 1980 Reagan campaign in Oregon. During that campaign, I met many people who became lifelong friends and mentors. I have counted among them such amazing people as Attorney General Ed Meese, Judge Bill Clark, Office of Personnel Management Director Don Devine and other key Reaganites. As a result, I had a string of jobs in the ’80s and ’90s that anyone in politics would envy.
In 1983, I moved to Washington, D.C., and was appointed executive director of the United States International Youth Year Commission. I traveled the globe representing the youth of America for the Reagan administration. In 1987, I was made Midwest political director of the Bob Dole for President campaign. The next year, I was appointed political director of Americans for Bush, a major independent expenditure campaign. I served as leader of the team that created what is called the “Willie Horton ad,” which Time magazine called one of the top 10 political ads of all time.
Immediately after Bush was elected, I founded a political organization that is today a household name and, to the far Left, a curse word: Citizens United. In 1992, I wrote the bestselling book, Slick Willie: Why America Cannot Trust Bill Clinton. My work investigating the Clintons earned me their eternal enmity. They ordered the wiretapping of my phone, and the tapes were played during the CBS Evening News.
By 1996, I was back with Bob Dole and ended up helping write the 1996 Republican platform. That same year, I accepted a job back in the Pacific Northwest with Hot Talk 570 KVI, the No. 1-rated radio station in Seattle, and I worked as a talk show host for five years. In 2001, I moved to Santa Barbara, California, and took over the historic preservation of the Reagan Ranch.
During this 20-year period, I had some amazing jobs, but spiritually, I was in a desert. Great and exciting jobs didn’t satisfy my heart. I was always planning and striving for my next big position. The fulfillment that can only come with an on-fire, sold-out relationship with Jesus Christ was, to say it nicely, put on hold.
I attended church, I was a Christian, but I was living for myself. I was selfish, I was self-centered, and God was going to give me some real hardships so I could learn to depend on Him—hardships I now see I needed.
Through adversity, I learned that if I slow down and listen, God speaks today, just as He has always spoken to His followers. He is the same today as He was yesterday. He never changes.
Trials With a Purpose
My wife, Mary Beth, and I will have been married 40 years this year. But several years ago, within a span of two years, trials and tribulations dramatically changed our lives. In January 2005, she was rear-ended in what at the time seemed to be a simple fender bender but caused her to have a nerve transplant surgery and unresolved pain to this day.
In April 2005, our son Patrick also experienced an auto accident. His was more serious, forcing him to homeschool for his last two years of high school and delay going to college for a year. He became addicted to the opioids prescribed to help with the tremendous pain.
These family issues pushed me to make a career change, and I took a new job consulting with several clients. This allowed me to work remotely, and in early 2007, we left Santa Barbara to move closer to family in the Pacific Northwest.
As I watched my child debilitated by pain, I cried out to God for Patrick’s healing. Jesus answered, and this is when our miracles began. The trials didn’t stop, but the miracles started.
Patrick was able to secure a surgery and a spinal fusion at cervical 2/3. This stopped spinal fluid from leaking on his brainstem. As his doctors predicted, he saw his pain resolve six months later. We were able to get him off the pain meds that were stealing his life, and he headed to college in fall 2007.
Also, about this time, the 2008 financial crisis hit. I lost a large consulting contract, and I was forced to restructure my business. Money became an issue. Again, I cried out to God and in my crisis, He provided a miracle.
I had graduated from college in 1983 with a degree in economics and been an investor most of my adult life. Providentially, I was asked to write a newsletter to help investors deal with the pain of the 2008 crisis. I then toured the country speaking at investment seminars and helping people rebuild their portfolios.
During this time, I also began doing what was at that time an innovation: I started my own blog. Obama had been recently elected, and I had plenty to write about during his term in office.
Every summer during his break from school, Patrick would rework my website, WesternJournal.com. He also suggested that I post my thoughts on a new platform called Facebook. Its traffic grew rapidly from 2009-2014, and my blog grew with it, transforming from a hobby to a business.
Then came 2012. I had been prone to back issues ever since I played high school basketball in the 1970s. In September 2012, I went with my wife to Costco and mishandled a heavy box. Almost immediately, in great pain, I became confined to bed, unable to walk. I visited my orthopedic doctor, and he recommended surgery, gave me pain medication and sent me home until I could get on the surgery schedule.
Two mornings later, I started coughing up blood and ended up in the ICU with a pulmonary embolism, caused by lying still in bed, waiting for surgery. I learned that two out of three PE cases end in death. But this was my next miracle: I lived, praise God. He spared me for a reason. Treatment for the PE meant I couldn’t have surgery. Instead, I spent the next year in intensive physical therapy.
With each trial, my relationship with God was changing, growing, deepening. God was preparing me. He was walking with me. He was remaking me. Each time I cried out to God, He was answering and providing. My dependence on Him was growing. He was building my faith with every answer.
Movement With a Message
By 2016, Western Journalism had 40 million followers on Facebook. This led to content from our company appearing 11 billion times in the Facebook news feed that year. Our website had more than 1 billion views in 2016. That year, we became the fourth largest publisher on the Facebook platform.
Then Donald Trump was elected. Silicon Valley reacted with tech suppression of conservatives. New problems like shadow banning and social media censorship appeared. Despite our being at the point of the spear under tech suppression, God was faithful. With each Big Tech attack, Western Journalism built workarounds and found alternate news distribution outlets.
In 2017, we renamed the blog WesternJournal.com to recognize its growth from a blog to a full-blown news organization. By this time, we had opened a new headquarters outside Phoenix and employed 100 staff. Because of our success in fighting against tech suppression, we began helping others overcome the same problem.
But the miracles were not over. Two of our greatest challenges lay straight ahead.
In the spring of 2019, I took Mary Beth into the Mayo Clinic for a routine ultrasound, a procedure that was supposed to last half an hour. Three hours later, I was still waiting for her in the lobby. Doctors had found a tumor on her adrenal gland. A series of tests and surgery to remove the tumor soon followed. We held our breath. Would it be cancer?
Then we received the devastating news: Mary Beth had a rare cancer, difficult to treat, called adrenocortical cancer. The typical prognosis is five years until death, and the treatments are almost as horrible as the cancer. We traveled to Texas and MD Anderson Cancer Center for a second opinion on treatment options.
Instead, God had another miracle in mind. Soon after surgery, our pastor, Randy Vanesian, who didn’t know about her illness, stopped in the middle of the Sunday service and came and sat next to Mary Beth. He had the entire church pray for her in a giant intercessory prayer. God had told him to pray for her, and as he prayed, Mary Beth says she felt an electrical charge through her body. Against all odds, to this day, she is cancer-free.
I wish the story had stopped with cancer, but during the height of COVID, Mary Beth and I were on a walk near our home, and she collapsed unexpectedly. Her heart had gone into an abnormal rhythm. I took her to the emergency room; I was not allowed in because of all the COVID rules. The medical team shocked her heart back into rhythm; it had a problem at the aorta that required another surgery to repair. Fortunately, the Mayo Clinic brought a specialist from Rochester, Minnesota, down to Phoenix to operate. And praise God, once again, my wife was healed.
Joy in the Deep End
All these trials have changed me. Today, I have peace. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know my loving Savior, Jesus, will be with me through it all.
Today, I hear His voice more than ever when I read His Word and when I pray. When He gives me an assignment, I try to act on it immediately. I have learned that the more I say yes to Him, the more peace and contentment I have. I live every day for Him, and my prayer for you is to hear Him too. Just listen. He still speaks today through His Holy Spirit, just as He has throughout history.
He fills me up. He makes me happy. He is always there. My only regret is not releasing my life completely to Him earlier. If you haven’t released to Him unconditionally, let me say this: The deep end of the pool is awesome.
I close with a verse from the first chapter of James: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3, NKJV). I can testify that this verse is true.
My latest assignment from God is to write a unique book that pulls together all I have learned in over 40 years of working around media and politics full time. Its title is Counterpunch: An Unlikely Alliance of Americans Fighting Back for Faith and Freedom.
Issue by issue, with the complicity of both parties, the fundamental ideas of our nation, including our faith and freedom, are being crushed for the benefit of powerful elites. Using everything from Big Tech to Big Government, these power brokers are silencing the voices of dissent, canceling those who refuse to fall in line.
Sadly, they are targeting the gospel of Jesus Christ, the message that, through the power of Jesus’ blood, has transformed and renewed my own life. I have been called to fight back, and I want you to lock arms with me and fight back too as you discover how an unlikely group of Americans are doing just that in Jesus’ name. I pray that you will join our movement to renew the blessings of liberty for the current generation. We purpose to extend America’s golden years so we can reach more people than ever with the saving knowledge that only comes from following Jesus Christ.
We are binding together to seek renewal through peaceful pushback against the powerful forces seeking to undermine America. Will you join us?
Floyd Brown is an American author, speaker and media commentator. He is the former CEO of USA Radio Network. Brown founded the conservative website The Western Journal in 2008. In his early career, Brown was a political consultant conducting opposition research for political campaigns.