Because He Does It

For the last several years, God has been nudging me to learn how to love unconditionally. What that boils down to is this; accepting someone just the way they are. That can be extremely hard to do, especially when you are around them. You might live with them, work with them, or be connected to them in another way. You might even know them through the church.

They probably don’t think like you and certainly don’t do everything the way you do or the way you think it should be done. They might even have personal habits that discuss you or you choose to get angry about. It’s hard and, at times, extremely hard! Especially when you are tired or low on patience and understanding. The problem may be with you. Like you may have high expectations. Or you might have arrogance issues thinking your way is the only way.

So how do you love the one that is so different than you? First, you have to make a willful decision to love them. To accept them as they are. They’re most likely not ever going to change, but you can. Then you have to remind yourself what real love is constantly.

Real love demonstrates patience, and genuine love is kind to the other person. Unconditional love puts up with the other person for a long time. It also forgets when they make the same mistake again and again. This kind of love means not having to have everything your way and it wants the best for the other person. That kind of love also does what it can to encourage them. If you practice this kind of love, you will not show how frustrated you are with your face or body language but will smile and assure them everything is alright.

Showing another person the kind of love above, God’s love, will make them feel loved. It might even change them, but that should not be your motive. Love them because it’s the right thing to do. It’s hard, but you can do it because He does it.

Psalms 36:7

7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Psalms 109:26

26 Help me, LORD my God; save me according to your unfailing love.

Romans 5:8

8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:7

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Romans 5:5

5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

1 John 4:8

8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:16

16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

1 John 4:18

18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:19

19 We love because he first loved us.

Jeremiah 31:3

3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Psalms 86:15

15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Psalms 136:26

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

Romans 8:37-39

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 3:17-19

17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,

18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

John 13:34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 15:12

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

1 Corinthians 13:8a

Love never ends.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

But it Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas

I was flipping through radio stations last week and came across Christmas music. Yeah, one whole week before Thanksgiving, even. Why not? Stores have had Christmas items for sale displayed since Labor Day. But it doesn’t feel like Christmas.

Does it take party invitations or Christmas cards arriving? Making lots of plans for gatherings with family to make it feel like Christmas? How about putting up the Christmas tree? Or hanging some lights on the house? Going around and looking at other homes that put up lights? Do these activities make it feel like Christmas?

What if “Christmas” wasn’t a feeling but an attitude?

at·ti·tude

[ˈadəˌt(y)o͞od]

NOUN

a settled way of thinking about someone or something

So using the definition of “attitude,” I should have a settled way of thinking about Christmas. How does one do that? It starts with a healthy view of who Jesus Christ is. Yes, the baby that was born in a manger who we celebrate at Christmas. But that same child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. And he started his public ministry that wound up killing him. That baby one day hung on the cross and died for our sins.

Having the right attitude of who Jesus is, generates the right attitude about Jesus and Christmas. That means you can get excited about Christmas all year long because that is where God’s love began: He loved us so much that He gave us his only son. And ya know, I can “feel” God’s love; therefore, it can feel like Christmas!

Let us look only to Jesus. He is the one who began our faith, and he makes our faith perfect. Jesus suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing. He did this because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne.
Heb. 12:2 (ICB)

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Ready

Painting by: Chas Anderson

My grandmother had a painting in the hallway of her house that captivated my attention on more than one occasion. I would stand there and study the details of it, thinking, “Boy! That day is going to be something.” It portrayed the rapture. The moment when Jesus came back to earth to call his bride home. The painting showed people ascending into heaven from cars, an airplane, fields, and houses. The plane crashed because the pilots were both Christians. Some of the vehicles crashed too. It was as if the earth went chaotic in a moment. (The photo displayed is similar to the one my grandmother had.)

Since Jesus ascended into heaven, men have been looking for and anticipating his return. After all, He said he would. The Bible contains at least 100 scriptures concerning his return. There have been many books written about it and even some movies made. Countless sermons have been preached, encouraging people to watch, and pray, but most of all, be ready! I remember a word given in our church when I was about eight years old. The man said that Jesus’ return was so close it was as if He was already standing up. I got excited and put my shoes back on!

Matthew 24:36 – “But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.” (MSG)

1 Corinthians 15:52 – We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. (MSG)

Matthew 25:13 – “So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.” (MSG)

Matthew 24:37-44 – “The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.

“The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up. (MSG)

I look around and definitely see individuals preoccupied with life. They are more concerned with current politics with striving to be successful or famous. Trying so hard to earn more money or where their next meal may come from. They might even be more concerned with their relationship status. Satan loves this. He wants us to forget that Jesus Christ is coming back for us. He wants anything for us other than to be ready. It takes focus on our part. It takes keeping God first in our minds, hearts, and life.

In the days of Noah, very few believed that it would rain one day. It had never rained before, so why should they? Today, there are probably very few that believe Jesus will return for believers, for He has never returned previously, but we have been told that He is going to. We have a choice to either believe it and live accordingly or not.

I pray that you choose to believe me and, more importantly, believe God’s word and live your life ready to be caught up in the air with Jesus. If you don’t, you will definitely know the truth when the rapture occurs. There will be mass destruction and confusion everywhere around you. People will disappear right before your eyes. I, for one, have no desire to be here when that happens. I mark myself as “Ready!”

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Why “MB4384?”

Our home WIFI was upgraded the other day, receiving a new gateway. “MB4384” was the name of our old network name, but for a specific reason, we could no longer use it. As I was getting all of our devices reconnected to the WIFI via the gateway’s default name and password, I told April we needed to come up with a network name and password. Of course, something easy to remember.

We discussed many options for both. We finally settled on “KUYA_MARK,” Tagalog for “Brother Mark.” We assumed no one in the neighborhood was using that for a network name. Then we came up with a password we could recall without having to look it up. Again, I reconnected all of our devices to the new network. That’s almost worst than having to turn all of your clocks backward.

“MB4384” became my company user name 17 years ago after SBC purchased AT&T. It took some time to get used to it. I had no idea how in the world they came up with that pattern of letters and numbers, but now I do. God had his hand in it!

Being extraordinarily vulnerable and transparent, getting married again after 24 some years of being single hasn’t been easy. There have been times I have wondered if I did the right thing. I know there were several events and moments of confirmation, but nothing beats what I am about to tell you.

As we were discussing possible names, April disclosed that she thought I changed my WIFI network name to “MB4384” after I met her. She didn’t know it was my AT&T user ID. I was confused, but I told her I used that name when I moved into the house five years ago. Thirteen months before I ever met April. Then I asked her, “Why did you think I changed it after meeting you?” She replied, are you ready for this? “Because that is my birthday.”

Yeah, that’s right. April was born on April 3, 1984, or 04/03/84 or 4384.

I teared up. Then I laughed as I thought about how funny God is. He knew 17 years ago (well, honestly forever) I would need another confirmation that no matter how hard getting used to being married again is for me, it is worth it because God ordained it. When you see that kind of love in action, it’s almost impossible not to trust that God knows what He is doing and that He has to have a purpose for us.

Thank you, God, for loving me.

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 © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

When is it Okay to Sin?

Wages of sin is death.

How desperate do you have to be before you make a deliberate decision to sin? Do you tell a lie to cover something you did wrong, so you don’t lose your job or your spouse? Do you take money that isn’t yours because you don’t know how you will make it financially? Are you that desperately lonely that you get into the wrong relationship?

King David had an affair with Bathsheba. Then he had her husband placed on the front line of the battlefield, knowing he would most likely be killed. Why? An attempt to hide his sin.

I know a minister who recently told his daughter it was okay to live with her fiancé before marriage. Why? I believe he is counting on them getting married so his new son-in-law would support them. He probably wants a more comfortable life.

  1. It is never okay to willfully sin. Sin as defined by God’s word. If God says no and you do it anyway, it’s a sin. A big problem today is humanity is trying to make their own definitions of what sin is.
  2. The truth always comes out! (Numbers 32:23) King David’s sins were revealed when the prophet Nathan brought them into the light of day. (2 Sam. 12)
  3. God is faithful to forgive us of sin when we ask for it. (1 John 1:9) There is nothing we can do that prevents us from being forgiven.
  4. Whenever someone sins, people get hurt. King David, though forgiven, still had to pay a price for his sin. I have had to pay big time for some of the sins I have committed. Several people have been hurt too.

The minister I mentioned earlier is already paying a price for blessing sin. Some members of his family are now not speaking to him. And what will happen when the people in his church hear of what he allowed his daughter to do? He might say, “Well. She wouldn’t have listened and have done it anyway.” Then that’s on his adult daughter to pay for her sin. Until she is married, there is no guarantee he will marry her.

God doesn’t list certain parts of life as “sins” to prevent us from enjoying life, but ironically the opposite. A life obeying God brings about an abundant life. A good life full of God’s blessings and provisions.

Do your best to live according to God’s word. Ask Him to help you because keeping our flesh in check is difficult. It is too easy to justify why circumstances call for us to sin. God loves obedient children and rewards them accordingly.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Happily Ever After?

Rooster Cogburn: Boots, I got Hayes and some youngster outside with Moon and Quincy. I want you to bury ’em for me. I’m in a hurry.

Capt. Boots Finch: They’re dead?

Rooster Cogburn: Well, I wouldn’t want you to bury ’em if they wasn’t.

The above are famous lines from the 1969 movie “True Grit.” It starred John Wayne, Glen Campbell, and Kim Darby. It was the first movie I ever saw at a theater. I was seven years old. The Bellaire Drive-In, Tulsa, OK. opened in 1953 with Gregory Peck in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” It was a single screen with a 600-car capacity. It closed in 1979 and was demolished later. A car dealership now occupies the land.

I love watching movies. I gained that appreciation from my parents. I watched one last weekend and was shocked by what I said when it ended. I said, “Wow, I wish that was my life.” That’s the problem with movies, especially those dealing with relationships. We start believing that’s how life should be and when our real life looks nothing like a movie, we can get disgruntled, and some relationships have probably ended because one’s real life was not happily ever after.

It’s important to remember that movies have directors, scripted lines, and makeup artists, and the actors keep doing several takes until they perfect the scene. There is also a team of professionals to get the lighting right and the costumes perfect, and real life doesn’t have an Oscar-winning soundtrack playing in the background!

It can be difficult to accept “real” life sometimes. I have found trusting God helps. If you are living with his guidance, then you are most likely where you are supposed to be and doing what you are supposed to be despite what you see around you or how hard some of the relationships are that you are in. One must find peace in their situation and contentment, knowing that it is all part of God’s master plan.

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. Phi. 1:6 (AMPC)

If you are living life the way God wants you to, then you will live happily ever after!

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

I’m Not God

I’m not God. That’s for sure!
For He is Holy. For He is pure.
I have moments where I imitate him,
but not consistently because of sin.

I want to be, for He is love.
His Spirit is gentle as a dove.
He accepts everyone for who they are.
I have expectations that hurt and leave scars.

I don’t like it when my attempts to be like him fail.
It makes me feel as though I want to die and deserve hell.
Is that what God meant when He said, “You eat this fruit, you will die.”?
Satan certainly didn’t want us to believe that and said, “it’s a lie.”

I’m grateful for second, third, fourth, and more chances to get it right.
It’s a daily challenge, a yearly struggle, and a lifetime fight.
There is grace for the times I fall short of the Glory of God,
It’s for everyone through Jesus. I know his grace is so odd.

We don’t deserve it, yet it is there for us to receive,
if upon Jesus Christ and his forgiveness, we believe.
I’ll keep trying with his help to be like him, for God is love.
The world needs me to obtain, conquer sin, and rise above.


Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

You Are the Same God

Photo by: SHVETS production

Yesterday at church, I was so encouraged by the lyrics to the following song, “Same God.” It was good to remember that despite what is happening in the world, in my country, or in my personal world, God is still God. He is not affected by current events or swayed by popular opinions. He is still the same God; if He did it before, then I know He can do it again for me, my country, and my world.

I’m calling on the God of Jacob
Whose love endures through generations
I know that You will keep Your covenant

I’m calling on the God of Moses
The one who opened up the ocean
I need You now to do the same thing for me
For me, for me

O God, my God, I need You
O God, my God, I need You now
How I need You now

O Rock, O Rock of ages
I’m standing on Your faithfulness
On Your faithfulness

I’m calling on the God of Mary
Whose favor rests upon the lowly
I know with You all things are possible

I’m calling on the God of David
Who made a shepherd boy courageous
I may not face Goliath
But I’ve got my own giants

You heard Your children then
You hear Your children now


You were providing then
You are providing now

You moved in power then
God, move in power now

You were a healer then
You are a healer now

You are the same God
You are the same God

You were a savior then
You are a savior now


You’re faithful God
Jesus, You’re the same
Yesterday, today, and forever

You freed the captives then
You’re freeing hearts right now

You touched the lepers then
I feel Your touch right now


Never changing
Oh, forever
We feel You now
You’re the same God

I’m calling on the Holy Spirit
Almighty River, come and fill me again
Come and fill me again

(Let that be your prayer)

Songwriters: Patrick Barrett, Christopher Joel Brown, Steven Furtick. For non-commercial use only.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

1st and Goal

Football is a game of inches. The playing field may be 100 yards long, but an inch can make the difference in a win or a loss. A couple of weeks ago, the Chicago Bears played the Washington Commanders. Time was running out. This was going to be the last play of the game. Justin Fields threw the ball to Darnell Mooney, who was stopped just inches from the goal line, and thus instead of winning the game, the Bears lost. And in the year 2000, the Tennesse Titans lost the biggest game of any professional football season, The Superbowl, by 1 yard to the then St. Louis Rams. 12 little inches.

Many great writers have made parallelisms between life and the game of football. Today is my turn. (Not that I consider myself one of those great writers.) You may be at this moment in the game of your life. You are fighting to win, be victorious, to be an overcomer. You might be considered the underdog, and if you read my blog post a couple of weeks ago, you know how I feel about underdogs. People may even be betting against you while telling you you’re going to make it. What God has called you to do may look like it will never happen. You may be thinking the game is over.

You might find yourself with time about to run out, but in your heart, you know there is still just enough time to reach the goal. Your enemy may be taunting. Telling you, “Stay down! It’s over!” And in the flesh, it may look true, but the truth is this; the game isn’t over, and you have a secret weapon. You have on your team the power of almighty God. Remember, you are not in the game of life alone. Jesus is right there and knows exactly what you are going through because he was in the game and won. He overcame even death, death on a cross.

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Heb. 13:5b (NIV)

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Phi. 2:8 (NIV)

So stay on the field. Stay in the game. You don’t have a backup player to come into the game and do what God has called you to do! You are anointed for the task at hand. You got this! You can do it. Look at where you are on the field. It’s 1st and goal.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Experience Writing

I was at a book signing event the other day. As people came by my table and checked out my novel, “Kill The Preacher Man,” without fail, a discussion would begin. I found it intriguing how many of those conversations turned to writing. Some of those who stopped by would say, “I should write a book.” Or “I feel as if God wants me to write a book.”

No matter how they revealed what the Holy Spirit was stirring in their hearts, I encouraged them to pursue it and rise to the challenge. There can be several hurdles to overcome when considering going on the journey of being a writer. For me, it was the fear of criticism. I used to wonder, “What will others think of my writing skills? What if it’s not good enough? Who am I that anyone should want to read what I write?” There were probably several other hurdles, but those were the main ones.

A hurdle is nothing more than “fear.”  Fear; a four-letter word that is so small, yet it can stop people from trusting God to join him in doing the impossible. What if David had told God his aim was not perfected yet, and there was no way he could defeat Goliath? Moses tried to convince God that he was not an elegant speaker, so God gave him a spokesperson but still expected him to confront Pharoh and lead the children of Isreal out of bondage. Why? Because Moses had the faith needed to believe the impossible could be done. So did David and countless others in the Bible.

Hope and faith are the only things greater than fear. They can even help a kid from Oklahoma, whom no one has ever heard of, to write a novel and a weekly blog that has now been read by someone in 122 different countries worldwide. Have I done it in my own strength and power? No way! Only by using a measure of faith and having hope have I written what I have felt the Holy Spirit lead me to write.

So if God is leading you to write a story, perhaps your story then go for it with hope and faith and without fear. Only be concerned about what God thinks of your writing. Simply do your best. Focus on God and then write what is on his heart. That is how to overcome any hurdle and be a successful writer. I assure you, someone who needs to read what you write is out there. I am convinced that my first book was for only one reader, my son. If that turns out to be the case, all that work was worth it.

He said to them, “There are a great many people to harvest. But there are only a few workers to harvest them. God owns the harvest. Pray to God that he will send more workers to help gather his harvest. Luk. 10:2 (ICB)

The above scripture could be written as:

He said to them, “There are a great many readers to reach. But there are only a few faithful writers, who will listen to me lead them as to what to write. God owns the readers. Pray to God that he will lay it on people’s hearts to write to help reach the readers. Luke 10:2 (The Writer’s Bible)

I asked God one time, “Why do you ask me to write when you already have the Bible?” God spoke to my spirit, “I love my people so much. They won’t pick up and read my word, but they might pick up your book and if it has my word in it then they will still learn of my love for them.”


If you need help getting started, you can reach out to Experience Writing. A company dedicated to helping new or frustrated writers. Email them at: admin@expwriting.com. Or go to their website, expwriting.com.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.