Cleaning up Life

20181130_231402I was going through my father’s papers the other day.  I had to keep some of them, but most of them were old records about his life that were no longer of value, so I shredded them.  While going through that process I thought about a man’s life, and the summation of it all.  Is the end result a bag of shredded documents?  I hope not.

Our lives, our legacies should live on after we are said and done.  The love we showed others should still be echoing off the walls of their hearts.  The kind deeds we expressed should still be bringing smiles to the ones who received them.  Love, is the only thing that will endure to the end.  Knowing this, it becomes paramount that we learn how to love unconditionally.  The only way to do that is to fall in love with the One who is love, and that is God.

“The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love–so you can’t know him if you don’t love.”  (1Jo 4:8 MSG)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Fashionably Late

red-crossI have always said, “I would rather be one mile behind God than one inch in front of him!”  But recently, I feel as though I am trying to catch my breath doing my best to keep up with him.  It’s as if I am running late to the party, God has been inviting me to all year.  I just didn’t see it.  He was orchestrating a new season in my life, and I didn’t even notice him hanging the decorations.

God wants to bless his children.  He desires to give them good gifts.  Our responsibility is to be in a place in life to receive them.  In step with God, desiring God, and no matter what happens around us continuing to focus on God.  Not getting caught up in the everyday sludge that tries to pull us down and overcome us.

“Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven.”  (Jam 1:17 MSG)

Watch your door step.  It’s the season of gift giving.  God could be trying to give you a gift.  Don’t allow it to be taken by the devil’s porch piracy program!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Words Unsaid

20181129_173114I was looking for my leftover Christmas cards when I came across a Father’s Day card that never got sent this year, because he passed the previous month.  It caused me to pause and think about words unsaid.

“People matter,” you’ve heard it said, but do you act like it?  Do you take the time for the ones who mean the most to you?  Do you tell them how much you love and or appreciate them?  I know, it’s hard when life seems to move at Mach 2, but it’s important.  And the thing is, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or cost anything at all.

“Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God.” (Phi 1:3 MSG)

In the season of giving, give words!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Drawn by Love

Jesus 1I once had a neighbor, who on the way to the hardware mega store asked, “Why are you so different?”  I had helped them with several needs after they had moved into their new home.  He asked, I told him.  The truth appealed to him and his wife, and they accepted Jesus.

Do people in your world know you believe in God?  Can they tell you have accepted Jesus Christ and you live your life for him?  Do they think you are a Jesus freak, or a normal person who happens to love God, a lot?

Jesus hung out with people, who the Pharisees judged as “sinners”.  Jesus called them people who needed his love.  This means that even though Jesus spoke about his Father in heaven, and believing in him, the people still wanted to be around him.  They were drawn to him, because he showed love.  Jesus met them where they were.  He didn’t change his actions or message when in the presence of people of the world, but turned up the love!

Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways. I’m not asking that you take them out of the world But that you guard them from the Evil One. They are no more defined by the world Than I am defined by the world. (Joh 17:15-16 MSG)

We would be wise to follow Jesus’ example.  People will be drawn to us because of our love, and then they will be interested in hearing our message of Jesus.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Are You?

20181123_232007I was playing cards the other night with some friends.  One lady kept getting great hands.  I said, “You are blessed, and highly favored!”  We all laughed, but then the very next round she got another great hand.  I said it again.  After realizing that she was doing great, I quit saying it about her and begin professing it for myself.  I started getting good hands.

Yes, I know, it was a card game, but I sensed truth was again revealed to me.  We have power in the words we say.  Blessings and curses can come from the same source, our mouths.  Being blessed and highly favored is more than mere words.  It’s a way of life.  It’s being with the Lord and the Lord being with you.  It’s desiring him more and his will for your life above all other things.  That’s how Mary, the mother of Jesus lived.

“And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” (Luk 1:28 KJV+)

Are you blessed, and highly favored?  I hope so.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Can A Turkey Have a Happy Thanksgiving?

sadA friend once invited me to Thanksgiving.  When I accepted her invitation she replied, “Great!  At least now we’ll have a turkey!”

Feeling like a turkey?  Getting basted by your boss?  Carved by one you thought cared about you?  Devoured by life?

Emotions are a choice.  No one, or any circumstance can “make” you feel anything.  You choose to feel a certain way.  The only way, in life, I have learned to be happy, despite my circumstances, is to focus on the One, whose under His wings I find refuge.

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Ps. 91:4  NIV)  Now that’s a reason to choose happiness!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Three Days

Charlie 1A young woman had been praying for a man of God for years.  She had cried out, “God do you not care?”  Not seeing any positive movement via the dating site she had joined, she decided to close her account.  Three days later she received a message from an interested man.  Love blossomed.

A man was asked by God to go to a certain village to evangelize.  The man didn’t do it.  Instead, he went the other way, and boarded a ship.  After setting sail, the ship encountered some very bad weather.  Before going down, the superstitious men on board decided their trouble was due to one man.  They threw him overboard where a great fish swallowed him up.  Three days later, the fish vomited the man out.  He then decided to be obedient and go where God had commanded in the first place.

After Jesus drew his last breathe on the cross, his followers thought it was over.  They recalled his acts of love, and his stories that inspired, but he was gone.  For three days, all hope was lost, until Jesus was resurrected.  He overcame the darkness and once again, Light filled the earth!

What is it, about three days of darkness?  Is it a test to see if your faith will hang on?  Does it take at least that long for your will to line up with God’s?  How many days has it been for you?  What have you been calling out to God for?  Is your hope lost?  Are you thinking, “What’s the use” or perhaps you are thinking, “Well, it was nice while it lasted.”

As long as you are alive, hope exist!  Why does God allow certain things to happen in ways we might call cruel and unusual, I don’t know.  But I do know this, God is still and will forever be on the throne controlling things especially for those who submit their lives to him.

Remember this:  I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out–plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Jer 29:11 MSG)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Walking with God

080212 327“God, I want to walk with you.”
“Then let me set the pace.”
“But I can’t wait to reach my promise land.”
“”Then you will miss the lessons along the way.”
“Do I really need them?”
“You will when you reach my destination for your life.”
“But I thought you gave me the desires of MY heart?”
“I do, after they line up with MY will.”

“God, we have been walking for a long time.  Aren’t there any shortcuts?”
“There is a lot in you that I have needed to adjust.”
“It’s not my fault!”
“It’s not mine either.”
“Are we there yet?”
“Just a little bit longer.”
“Ya know God, I think I like walking with you.”
“This is what I intended for man all along.”

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Risky Business

DSC_7833One of the hardest decisions to make, after having your heart ran through a shredder, is to try again.  You have said, “No way!” “I could never trust again.” “I can’t take the chance, or I never want to feel that kind of pain again!”

Me?  What did I used to say?  “God, it’s too hard.”

I once quoted, to a lady,  a line from a song, “All my ex’s live in Texas.”  After she got done laughing, she asked, “My God, how many do you have?”  “One,” I replied, “But that’s all of them!”  Through the many years since my divorce I have learned what real love is, by becoming intimate with my Heavenly Father, and also when man fell out with God, he fell out with women as well.  I have the vertical connection, with God, in place, and now I am open and willing, to take a risk, to try again, with the horizontal connection with a woman.

Notice the cross?  Yes, that one.  The one Jesus died on because he took the ultimate risk of love coming here to die for our sins.  I’m sure his heart aches when people reject him.  If a relationship is based on loving Jesus, then together you will have the vertical and the horizontal connections in place that will support a healthy, loving relationship.

Love is a “risky business”, but when done the way God intended, I’m trusting it will be one more thing God will look at and say, “It is good.”

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved