A New Chapter

America.  She changed today.  Maybe the reality is, she changed a long time ago from the innocent days I once knew, but this truth is obvious today.  I grew up in Oklahoma, in a middle class family that somehow, always seem to have enough and then some.  I watched as my parents made good decisions and choices who worked hard for what they wanted.  “The American Dream”.  I believed in this dream and I too sought it out.  I wanted to own my own house, well after paying 30 years of payments.  I desired a good job, a loving wife, 2.5 kids, one of each sex, and to be a happy family.

The truth is, it took me 35 years to buy the house that will be mine in 26 and 1/2 years.  I have two kids, one of each sex, who don’t talk to me, and, their mother divorced me after she made a huge mistake, but convinced everyone our marriage failed solely due to me.  As a result, my biological family doesn’t want to have anything to do with me, so you could say I don’t have the happy family I desired.  Many Christmas days have been spent filling the empty stocking with tears.

After years of checking the “Divorced” box on forms I met and then married a Filipino woman.  I thought perhaps now I would get the happy family I desired.  You know what?  There are cynical, greedy, lying family members in all cultures, but the woman I married is the exception to a few members of her own family.  I have written about it a few times; my wife lives out God’s definition of love.

After our wedding, I was with her for seven months in the Philippines, until I needed a medical procedure, so I left her there thinking immigration wouldn’t take that long and she would come to America on my heels.  There was some delay in the process, but as we were reaching the finish line Covid hit.  Another year without her, another moist Christmas day.  A lot of crying out to God, and asking, “Why?”  The big three set in: Discouragement, Disappointment and yes, even Depression.  As I crawled through those dark days way down, deep inside me, was a mustard seed of faith that was whispering, “God knows what He is doing.”  In full disclosure, my mind was asking, “Are you sure?”

January 7th, we received an email stating my wife has her long awaited interview with the U.S. embassy in Manila.  LIGHT pierced our darkness.  I wanted to wait to share this until she was actually here, but someone needs to read these words now.  We are hoping we will be together by Valentine’s Day.  What a time to reunite our love for each other and for our God who loves us beyond belief.

When my wife is in our home in Oklahoma a new chapter of our lives together will begin.  Unfortunately, she will never know the “America” I grew up in.  Today, those with money want more, and those who “think” they have power want total control.  I sense days may be coming that perhaps will not be comfortable.  Standing up for what is true, for what is right could prove to be difficult.  There will most likely be a separation of those who have a solid relationship with God from those who were pretending, because in the America I grew up in, it was popular to say you were a “Christian”, but not anymore.

Yes a new chapter will be starting soon in my life, but also a new chapter in the life of America.  Our country’s slogan, printed on our currency, may no longer be, “In God We Trust”. Sometimes I wonder who is really holding the pen, writing each chapter.  As for my life, I want God to, because whether I understand his ways or not, He does know what He is doing!

Isaiah 55:8-11(MSG)

8-11 “I don’t think the way you think.
    The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
        God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
    so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
    and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
    and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
    producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
    not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
    they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

It’s a Spirit

A lot is changing in the world, and fast too.  I don’t like what I am seeing either.  I know there has always been evil in the world, but it seems like it is taking a predominate place in our society.  Some other people see it too, and have shared their observations via social media.  We are entering, if not there already, in the end times.

It amazes me how people can believe a lie and go to their grave proclaiming it.  It astonishes me how a group of people can have a hold of the media, and only their words are heard over the airwaves.  It bewilders me how individuals can hear or read something and blindly believe it, just because it was on TV, radio, or social media.

Think for yourselves people!

Is ignoring a lie easier than standing up for truth?

I understand the pressure of being the minority in a group that has a difference of opinion from the others.  Jesus understood this kind of pressure as well.  His life example and teaching went against the power figures of his day.  Yes, it is true, they killed him, but the truth he gave lived on, and empowered by the Holy Spirit was spread by a very small band of believers.  What is also true, is they stayed on point and eventually changed a large portion of the world.

Although we hear words coming from people, most of the time we are battling a spirit, an evil spirit.  Here is what God says on this subject:

10 Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you.

11 Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser! 12 Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage. 13 Because of this, you must wear all the armor that God provides so you’re protected as you confront the slanderer, for you are destined for all things and will rise victorious.

14 Put on truth as a belt to strengthen you to stand in triumph. Put on holiness as the protective armor that covers your heart. 15 Stand on your feet alert, then you’ll always be ready to share the blessings of peace.

16 In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the Evil One! 17–18 Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken Word of God. Eph. 6:10-18 (TPT)

So take heart, and stand for what is true no matter what.  Your solid stance for what is true may convince others to listen to the life giving words coming from your mouth.  They might believe in Jesus and find salvation that will put them on the right side of the battle, and even if they die on earth they will live forever in heaven.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Peace of Mind

One doesn’t have to look around very far, or watch the news very long to see there is a lack of peace in our world.  And social media, these days, should come with a pain scale.

When I try to watch the news I find myself yelling at the so called “leaders” of our country.  You know, just because they control the media doesn’t mean they are speaking truth.  I don’t like how I feel when that happens, or when I witness unrest.

I don’t think I am alone when I say, what I desire most, right now, is peace.  Last year, 2020, kept us on edge.  “What’s going to happen?”  “What do I need to do?”  “How can I stay safe?”  “Where can I find toilet paper?” “How do I keep those I love healthy?”

When Jesus found himself in a storm, he simply said, “Peace be still.”  Is that all it takes?  Well, sort of.  It’s a start.  It’s declaring, I’m not going to get caught up in all of the unrest.  I don’t have to state my position or opinions on social media.  I can turn on the TV in time to get my weather update and then turn it off again, and make an effort to stay away from world news.

Jesus offered us peace by trusting in him.

“I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!” John 14:27 (TPT)

Instead, I can commit to fill my mind, my time, my world with things I enjoy.  With things that build up, instead of teardown.  With activities, words, relationships that inspire, or bring peace.  It’s my world after all.  I do have a say so, and so do you.  Take control of your own life, when and where you can.  You will find more peace that way, and feel better too.

Peace out!

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Hemmed In

Your back is up against the wall.  You have found yourself in a corner, or down an ally with no apparent way out.  Your mind is limited on how to resolve your situation.  You cannot see any reasonable way out.  Your resources are gone.  Your bank account, savings, or 401 has been depleted.

Now what?

Such was the story of a woman in the Bible.  She is one of my favorite heroes, for she was a woman of great faith who despite what she saw with her natural eyes she believed, “My situation doesn’t have to be this way.”  She knew when to tie a knot and hang on.  She was hemmed in, her back was up against the wall.

Yes, I’m talking about the woman with the issue of blood.  She suffered from a physical aliment that lasted for 12 whole years.  She spent every dime she had visiting multiple doctors trying to find a cure.  What’s even worse, those who knew her, called her, “Unclean”.  I’m sure they assumed God was punishing her for some sin in her life.  You think the thought, “I want to die!” never entered her mine?  Or, how many times did she question God, “Why?  Why God is this happening to me?”

People, who haven’t earned the right to put on a robe,
judge anyway.

What are you facing?  What challenges are you dealing with?  Can you identify with this woman?  I too am facing a situation today as I write these words that I honestly cannot see how the situation is going to end.  My emotions got on a roller coaster today, and I did not enjoy the ride at all.  Then I saw one of my friends, Jeff Lossau, posted a new blog. (https://jefflossau.com/)  As I read God’s words, from Psalms 34, I cried.

Listen to my testimony: I cried to God in my distress
and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears!
Gaze upon him, join your life with his, and joy will come.
Your faces will glisten with glory.
You’ll never wear that shame-face again.
When I had nothing, desperate and defeated,
I cried out to the Lord and he heard me,
bringing his miracle-deliverance when I needed it most.
The angel of the Lord stooped down to listen as I prayed,
encircling me, empowering me, and showing me how to escape.
He will do this for everyone who fears God.
Drink deeply of the pleasures of this God.
Experience for yourself the joyous mercies he gives
to all who turn to hide themselves in him.
Worship in awe and wonder, all you who’ve been made holy!
For all who fear him will feast with plenty.
10 Even the strong and the wealthy grow weak and hungry,
but those who passionately pursue the Lord
will never lack any good thing.
11 Come, children of God, and listen to me.
I’ll share the lesson I’ve learned of fearing the Lord.
12–13 Do you want to live a long, good life,
enjoying the beauty that fills each day?
Then never speak a lie or allow wicked words
to come from your mouth.
14 Keep turning your back on every sin,
and make “peace” your life motto.
Practice being at peace with everyone.
15 The Lord sees all we do;
he watches over his friends day and night.
His godly ones receive the answers they seek
whenever they cry out to him.
16 But the Lord has made up his mind to oppose evildoers
and to wipe out even the memory of them
from the face of the earth.
17 Yet when holy lovers of God cry out
to him with all their hearts,
the Lord will hear them and come to rescue them
from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain,
and he is always ready to restore the repentant one.
19 Even when bad things happen to the good and godly ones,
the Lord will save them and not let them be defeated
by what they face.
20 God will be your bodyguard to protect you
when trouble is near.
Not one bone will be broken.
21 But the wicked commit slow suicide.
For they hate and persecute the lovers of God.
Make no mistake about it,
God will hold them guilty and punish them;
they will pay the penalty!
22 But the Lord has paid for the freedom of his servants,
and he will freely pardon those who love him.
He will declare them free and innocent
when they turn to hide themselves in him. (from, The Passion Translation)

The woman with the issue of blood risked everything, and went into a crowd. She pushed her way through it until she was where Jesus would pass by.  She even violated her society’s rules, because she knew with what little faith she had left, if she could just touch the hem of his garment she would be healed.  She no doubt had heard the testimonies of his healing power.  She did, He passed by, and she bowed to touch the hem of his garment, and she was healed instantly.  In a single moment, that she never could have foreseen, her issue went away, and so can yours! (Mark 5:25-34)

THEN, you can proclaim the first part of Psalms 34:

Lord! I’m bursting with joy over what you’ve done for me!
My lips are full of perpetual praise.
I’m boasting of you and all your works,
so let all who are discouraged take heart.
Join me, everyone! Let’s praise the Lord together.
Let’s make him famous!
Let’s make his name glorious to all.

The woman made God famous, and I’m willing to endure what my wife and I are going through, for someone else, so I can make God famous.

How about you?

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Let There Be

I love it that God spoke the world into existence, and it started with him saying, “Let there be light.”  Before he said those words the earth was there, and it was dark and shapeless, but the Holy Spirit was hovering above.

I think a lot of people are going through a very difficult time right now.  One might say, dark and shapeless, but know this, the Spirit of God is hovering above.  Keeping an eye on you, so you are not alone in the darkness although it may feel like it.

What if, in your darkness, someone said,
“Let there be light”?

Your healing could be separated from the darkness.  Your employment situation could be brighter.  Your long awaited spouse steps out of the shadows into full sight.  Whatever it is, in the time it takes for God to say, “Let there be light”, your whole situation can change.  So what is God waiting on?  When the moment is right.  When you are right, or when the other person is ready, or the employment connection is made.

In the meantime, we wait, as patiently as we can, knowing that while life is dark the Holy Spirit is hovering overhead.  Remember, light dispels darkness immediately, in an instant.  Light over powers darkness.  It cast it aside.

After God spoke light into existence he looked at it said, “It is good.”  When God speaks into your life, your situation, your darkness afterwards he will say, “It is good.”  And it will be.  Your darkness will be over.  It will be gone, and you see your new day dawning.  You will breathe in and out like you never have before for the weight of the darkness will have lifted.  If you place your hope and trust in God I promise you will see the end of the doom and gloom.

So lift your head and say, “Let there be light.”

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Seeing the Invisible

Let’s face it, faith is difficult.  It’s not hard to find it as we all start with a measure of it, according to the word of God. (Rom. 12:3b)  But growing your faith is something else.  One of the best ways is to listen to testimonies.  If God can do it for them, then it’s possible for him to do it for us.  That’s one of the reasons we have the Bible.  Reading the stories of God doing the impossible when a solution looked improbable.  Also, faith grows by hearing the word of God, according to Romans 10:17.

We can use our invisible faith
to believe in the invisible God!

If we learned anything from 2020 we should have learned that no one knows what a year will bring us.  Some had good years while others have bad years before Covid, and I have even heard of a few thankful people for 2020.  What?  Yeah, some have given thanks that the pandemic forced them to slow down, take a survey of what was really important in life, while others are grateful for the time they got to spend with their immediate families.

Businesses found out people can work from home, which reduced commuting, which reduced pollution, which has allowed nature to return to some areas where it has not been seen for a long time.  There are other things to be seen that we often loose site of when things are going well.  Like how precious life itself is, and how valuable time is.  By taking walks, some saw the beauty of nature again.

You know, perhaps 2020 did open our eyes after all, if you were looking.  So the point to this blog has to be, “open your eyes, and keep them open”.  Always be looking for the invisible in life.  Always be looking for God, because he speaks, he ministers and he teaches us despite any circumstances going on around us.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

How Much Water is in Your Glass?

At this time, a year ago, I recall how excited most seemed to be about the New Year, 2020.  Then, how we all watched with gaping mouths when we realized what was happening throughout the earth.  How far the disease spread, and how fast our world changed.

So today, do we show our optimism, or hold our breath knowing things could always be worse?  It goes with the old question, “Is the glass half full or half empty?”

I have always thought of myself as a positive person, and on most days I am.  I think it comes from believing in hope.  Hope is a powerful word.  Reverend Robert Morris teaches, “As long as you are alive, you have hope.”  He’s right too.  What makes “hope” even more powerful is where you place it.  I place mine in Jesus Christ.  The reason why is he overcame death.  Anyone who can do that is worthy of my hope.  Also, he goes through life with me, all parts of it, and not just through the easy parts.

Hopeful people are more enjoyable to be around too.  Have you ever talked to someone who points out how everything could go wrong, and as far they are concerned it will, or already has?  You can’t wait to get away from them.  You look around for someone to call your name.

When you place your hope in God, you get encouraging words like 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. 29:11b (MSG)

“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isa. 40:31 (NIV)

1 When you sit enthroned[a] under the shadow of Shaddai,
you are hidden[c] in the strength of God Most High.
He’s the hope that holds me and the Stronghold to shelter me,
the only God for me, and my great confidence.
He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy,
and he will protect you from false accusation
and any deadly curse.
His massive arms[f] are wrapped around you, protecting you.
You can run under his covering of majesty and hide.
His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.
You will never worry about an attack of demonic forces at night
nor have to fear a spirit of darkness coming against you.
Don’t fear a thing!
Whether by night or by day, demonic danger will not trouble you,
nor will the powers of evil launched against you.
Even in a time of disaster, with thousands and thousands being killed,
you will remain unscathed and unharmed.
you will be a spectator as the wicked perish in judgment,
for they will be paid back for what they have done!
9–10 when we live our lives within the shadow of God Most High,
our secret hiding place, we will always be shielded from harm.
How then could evil prevail against us or disease infect us?
11 God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go,
defending you from all harm.
12 If you walk into a trap, they’ll be there for you
and keep you from stumbling.
13 You’ll even walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness,
trampling every one of them beneath your feet!
14 For here is what the Lord has spoken to me:
“Because you have delighted in me as my great lover,
I will greatly protect you.
I will set you in a high place, safe and secure before my face.
15 I will answer your cry for help every time you pray,
and you will find and feel my presence
even in your time of pressure and trouble.
I will be your glorious hero and give you a feast.
16 You will be satisfied with a full life and with all that I do for you.
For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!” Psa. 91 (TPT)

So you see why we should place our hope in the Lord God Almighty?  What else can you put your hope in and have the confidence that it will sustain you?  Money?  It can be wiped away overnight.  Power? You can be replaced in the blink of an eye. Fame? A better version is just around the corner. Therefore, no matter what 2021 brings, I know my God will save me, and protect me, as long as I do my part and stay put in the refuge He has already provided.

With that proclaimed, I say to all:

Happy New Year!

It’s going to be exciting to see how God does some of his best work in my life this year.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The End is Here

If you are reading this, in a few days you will be able to say, “I survived 2020.”  You might even be able to say that you beat Covid.  My friend in Chicago did.  I give the glory to God for that one, because he got close to the edge, but God escorted him back to give him another opportunity to accept him and his love.  I also know of a few people who didn’t.  Others have lost jobs, while some have lost their freedom to visit family, or attend a church service in person.

Yes, it’s been an especially tough year, but as I opened the mail today, and read what a friend went through in the two previous years. It was in that moment, I was reminded;

any year can be a difficult year!

That truth is a result of sin, brought into the world by the original sinners, Adam and Eve.  So even today, mankind is born into sin.  Therefore, God sent us a Savior to rescue us from ourselves.  If our greatest need had been education He would have given us a teacher.  If our greatest need would have been money then God would have given us a financial wizard.  But God, who loves us so much, and wants nothing more than to commune with us daily, gave us his son, his only son.

I have noticed the Holy Spirit has led me all year to write about God’s love, God’s son, and the free gift of salvation.  That tells me that He, God, wants to be reunited with everyone, before the end of the earth comes as we know it.

The Bible is true, and as the last book in it, Revelation, tells us in detail what is about to happen.  We are on the very threshold of the days, and events mentioned in the book of Revelation, coming true.  Please don’t dismiss God calling you home.  Don’t let another year go by without acting on his call to come into the family of God.  Life may get even harder than it was in 2020, and I tell you this, the only way I survived this current year was by doing life with God.  Drawing even closer to him like a child afraid of people they just met.

Please, I beseech you, accept Jesus into your life.  You will not die regretting it, but live forever rejoicing you did.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Why We Have Christmas

The Virgin Mary, accepted God’s plan, by opening up her heart,
her fiancé Joseph opened up his mind, to do his part.
Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth bore John the Baptist, though she was old,
He lived God’s call to roll out the red carpet for Salvation; freely given, not sold.

The shepherds worshiped baby Jesus, and offered him gifts, as he laid in the hay,
but their gifts wouldn’t compare to the one He would be give us some day.
The wise men searched for him, and even consulted the king,
but being warned of his plan, they went home a different way, after doing their thing.

Satan tried to use King Herod to take out Jesus, before he could live his life,
all the children in the area, under two were killed, probably with the use of a knife.
Mary and Joseph escaped to Egypt, as God is always one step ahead of Satan.
Not knowing if he was successful the devil must have been haten!

Jesus grew in stature, and knowledge of his heavenly Father’s plan,
to show the world real love, to offer freedom from sin and death to every man.
He succeeded, but had to die a horrific death on a cross with big nails,
but three days later, Jesus arose from the grave, God’s plan did not fail.

So that’s why we have Christmas day.
The beginning of God’s perfect way.
It rescued mankind from himself, as you now know.
If you accept this free gift, and do your best to be love, heaven you will go.

Merry Christmas one and all!

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Looking For Jesus (Part 7)

You.  If you have read the previous parts of this series, you have seen, most of those who played a part in the birth and early days of Jesus, were people God found to have good morals.  They were set apart from the majority of those around them in the world at that time.

Perhaps as you read those post, you thought, “I’m not righteous.  I’m not in right standing with God.”  Maybe you even had the thought, “God would never choose me, or even want me.”  Guess what?  That thought was a lie from hell, yes the devil.  He wants you to believe you have no value, no worth, to God, or even to others.  NOT TRUE! See yourself, as God sees you. Everyone, yes even you, has something to give, to offer to another person.  It’s no accident you are reading this post, or that you have read the previous 6.  Christmas will be here in a few days.

I heard a commercial on TV this morning say, “We need to rescue Christmas, for others.”  The truth of the matter is this:

We needed Christmas to rescue us!

You see Jesus IS the reason for the season.  It’s more than a cliché, and so much more than a Christmas card.  It is truth.  Without the birth of Jesus, we would be born, sin, and be destined to eternal damnation, for God is Holy, and cannot have sin in his presence.  That’s why God gave us the greatest gift, his only son.  And so we have Christmas, to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

It’s sad, how so many have lost focus of why we have Christmas, and they rush around trying to buy some happiness for those on their “nice” list, or family.  A friend of mine, who has believed the lies of the devil, and has walked away from any relationship with God in order to do his own thing, which he calls, “party” texted me the other day, “You can’t say, ‘Merry Christmas anymore’.”  I texted back, “I can, and will never stop.”  I mean come on, without Jesus there’s no “merry”, no hope, no joy, and certainly no real, agape, unselfish love, as Jesus demonstrated through his life and death on the cross.

Merry Christmas!

Okay, so now you know you have value.  Surly there is something you can do for someone else.  Even if it’s sit and listen to an elderly person retell their favorite stories, because that is the only thing they can still do, talk.  God loves you so much.  He wants you to have the kind of life He designed for you.  Living in a garden and not in a dump!

This Christmas, look for Jesus.  He has already found you, and is waiting for you to open your arms to welcome him into your life.  He opened his on the cross to welcome you into eternal life, if you only believe.  Don’t be concerned about how your life may change if you stop listening to the devil who hates you, and wants to destroy you to get back at God.  Get to know God through his word, and talk to him, just like you would talk to me.

Know I just prayed for you.  This current year, 2020 has truly opened up people’s eyes to the fight between good and evil, and to how precious life is.  A new year is coming soon, and it could be the greatest year of your life.  Look for Jesus to save you, and to deliver you out from your current struggles that weigh you down.

This Christmas, open God’s gift first.  His son Jesus, and throw away the box others try so hard to put, or keep him in.

Thank you so much for reading this blog.  I was just a kid from Oklahoma who accepted God’s gift, Jesus into his heart at an early age, and then has tried his best to live according to the word of God, the Bible.  Then to say, “Here I am Lord, use me.”  I trust He has, by speaking words of life into your heart.

Blessings,
Mark

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.