INVITE!

yiThere is something powerful about an invitation!  Receiving one can strike a number of emotions within us.  It all depends on what we are being invited to, and who is giving the invitation.

Invited to join a pyramid scheme, doesn’t invoke a good reaction.  Being asked to come over for dinner, feels good.  It says, “I, or we want to spend time with you.  You’re valued.”  A personal phone call, “I want to hear your voice and catch up.”  Invited to join a company, “I see potential in you and I want you to help us grow the business and financially meet your needs as well.”  You’re invited to our wedding!  “Come and help us celebrate an important event in our life.”

There are lots of types of invitations, but some can have eternal results.  There are three ultimate invitations:

Jesus invites us to rest. Wow!   “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. (Mat 11:28 MSG)

Jesus invites us to follow him, what an honor.
Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” (Mar 1:17 MSG)

Jesus invites us to accept him.  “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.  (Joh 15:4 MSG)

I hope, when Jesus invites you to accept him, if you haven’t, you will.  There is one more invitation that you can make and it will change your life! That is inviting Jesus to participate in your life.  To talk, comfort and spend time with you.  To lead, teach, guide and help you discern the best decisions for your life.  Invitations, can be life changing!

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

2019

I wanted to share a post from Ava. She is a fifteen year old young lady, from my church, who is an amazing follower of Jesus Christ, and a great writer. Be blessed by the words God led her to share.

a collection of sunsets

Well, my main goal in 2018 was to write one blog post every month and I am proud that I accomplished it! (December 31st, 2018 / 11:24 p.m.) I promise I posted this when it was still 2018 😉

Even if this year has been hard for you or people you love, we can still be thankful for it. We must learn to dance in the victory that we believe is coming even while tears stream down our faces. The Lord is teaching his children to dance on disappointment. Whether you experienced the greatest joy or the greatest sorrow (or a mixture of the two) God is with you, fighting your battles. understanding that we have a Father who knows us and cares about us is so important; his reckless love and power are always there to rescue you. he is fighting your battle, you need only to continue to…

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Are You an Answer to Prayer?

tripleTwice now, in my life, it has come to my attention that I have been the answer to someone’s prayers.  A very humbling experience.  The first time there was a new church in Massachusetts praying for a youth minister.  They focused on this need one particular night in September.  They had no idea how they could do this, because the church was so small they couldn’t afford to pay, but yet they had several youth in the church.  Note; despite the facts they prayed.  They believed God would hear, and God would answer.

One year later I arrived as their new youth minister who agreed to work with no salary.  I went because I knew God would bless my obedience and somehow meet my needs, and that he did.  A few months after working in the church I got into a discussion about how I came to be there.  One of the church elders told me about the prayer meeting.  I pressed to know the actual date.  When he recalled and shared the date I realized that was the very night God called me into the ministry.  During the following year God got me ready for the ministry.

The second time is more recent.  I have been divorced for 23 years or so.  A long time.  For the most part, I have been content with my situation.  I had even said I didn’t want to be married again, that I was okay.  Then in the past year, something begin to change.  I started hearing several testimonials of success from online dating.  Something I did not believe in.  Also I started meeting women who had come to America from the Philippines and were happily married.  They shared their stories, and encouraged me to try.

One Friday afternoon I found myself filling out a profile on a Filipino dating site.  I submitted it and my matches came up.  As soon as I saw April’s cute face my heart was captivated.  I read her profile and was hopeful.  Could she be real? I wondered.  I found her on Facebook and sent her a message.  I never expected to hear from her but two hours later I did.

We begin texting a lot.  Every chance we could.  Then, I called her.  She was so shy but cute.  Eventually, we took one giant step and video called.  Wow!  She’s real, and I haven’t been talking to a man in Yemen.  As the conversations continued, our hearts became knitted.  I decided it was time to go meet her and her family in person.

I traveled the 7000 plus miles.  After being there several days I learned that April and her family had been praying for years for a man to marry her.  I have come to accept that I am the answer.  The only way to be the answer to someone’s prayer is by yielding to God’s will.  To be willing to go, do, and say as he directs. I’m not special, just willing.  There may be a people group in a foreign country praying for you, or a manager praying for a dedicated worker.  Whatever the case may be, I hope you look beyond your own desires and accept God’s desires for your life.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Do You Have a Pulpit?

Wood Pulpit 25…I don’t expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit!  (Phi 1:20 MSG)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

A Casual Christian?

coldIn my last blog, I mentioned being in the Philippines. On that trip, one thing that really caught me off guard, was how hard it was to try to blend in. For instances, when in a grocery store I was looking for chili to put on hot dogs. They took me to the hot sauce isle. Then trying to speak their language was a disaster most of the time. They have a phrase there when you are trying to speak a foreign language, and doing a poor job of it, your nose bleeds. My bled a lot! The most difficult part was trying to accept how they do things there. At times, it felt like a part of me was dying. To quote Seinfeld, “If the two worlds collide, the George you know, will no longer exist!”

Going through this experience made me think of someone trying to live for God, and trying to fit in with the world. It doesn’t work, and usually, someone will get hurt. You! As it turns out God doesn’t think too much of it either. In Rev. 3:16 it says that God would rather you be hot or cold. And if you insist on being lukewarm, He will spit you out of his mouth.

So this very day make a decision. Accept God, and live for him, or don’t. That way, people who encounter you will know what to expect from you. And if you try not to make that decision today, I assure you, as the days move closer to the last one, you will be forced to.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Adventures with God

 

 

storms of lifeTraveling to new places can be exciting, exhilarating, and exuberant. It can also be daunting, especially when your phone doesn’t work. One of my mother’s friends said, before my trip to the Philippines, that he couldn’t even find the airport in his home town, much less one 7000 miles away. Trust me, there were many times when I was praying, a lot. Especially when I arrived and couldn’t find my host family. Turned out, United had started using a different terminal in Manilla 3 days before my arrival.

Trusting God, and walking with him can be very similar. That is why it is important to know God’s voice. To be able to hear it when the noises of life are deafening. The only way to get good at it is to practice    e, a lot! It doesn’t come easy because we are used to listening to ourselves or to others. The best way to know God’s voice is to know God. To know his word as well. That way when his Spirit whispers into your spirit, you will know it’s him.

When you get this practice into your life, you and God can go anywhere with ease and have many great adventures together. Rom. 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. (NIV)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Jollibee

20181220_215148On a recent trip to the Philippines, I saw a lot of life I had never seen before. I experienced several new things as food, phrases, and culture. One thing that I couldn’t help but notice was the local rival to McDonalds, Jollibee. It has what McDonalds has as well a local favorite, chicken with rice and gravy.

Something that really stood out were the people. One, there were a lot of them. Two, as in America, there were different classes of them, but the lowest class seemed to be living in a darkness like I had never seen. Their eyes were so dim, as if the light was about to go out of their lives. They certainly have nothing to “bee jollie” about.

I looked at some and managed to do or say something that brought a small smile to their faces, but soon, the reality of their world would return, and the smiles faded. In those moments, what I really wanted was the time and the ability to share in their local language, Tagalog the hope of Jesus Christ that is within me. Just knowing Jesus is there with me in this life brings joy. He gives me a reason to “bee jollie”.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Ps. 42:11 NIV)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady  All rights reserved

 

Short

loving JesusMy phone is short on battery life.  Some are short on money.  Many find themselves short on time, but there is one thing we are never ever short of, and that, is the love of God!

Copyright 2018.  Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Amazing Life

AprilIn Exodus 14:14-18 it says when the people heard they were scared. The Philistines writhed and trembled; Yes, even the head men in Edom were shaken, and the big bosses in Moab. Everybody in Canaan panicked and fell faint. Dread and terror sent them reeling.

Even today, people are watching believers of God. They are watching to see how life with God is. How it works. Does it work? Sometimes I wonder if they are watching to see the people of God fail as if hoping for a wreck at a NASCAR race. Believing in God does not guaranty a perfect life, but it does help your attitude stay calm while going through life, because you have peace knowing the one who loves you the most is in control.

In the Old Testament, the people of the land waited to see disaster come upon God’s people, but what they saw was His mighty hand. God fed them, they did not go hungry. He led them, they did not get lost. They did not get cold, nor hot. They did not thirst for He gave them water. They did not wither and die in the desert but lived. God is still providing for his people today, so his people can live.

Accept God, and begin to enjoy living, and while living your life you will experience his love. It’s amazing!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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