God’s Opus

OpusWho’s standing at the podium of your life waving the wand?  Who’s directing you?  Who is orchestrating every step you take?  Who’s responsible for the sound coming from your life?  God, you, or someone, or something else?  If you believe in God and you see in your life things just seem to work out, look up, and smile at the conductor.  God is doing everything you will allow him to, in guiding your life.

I do see some, who say they believe in God, or even who have accepted him, whose lives are a constant struggle.  Yes, I know, it rains on the just and the unjust, and bad things happening does not always point to a life that is less than full devotion to God!

Then there are those who have not accepted God’s free gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus.  Some of those people seem to have very happy and successful lives.  I would dare say something else is directing their life, the devil, perhaps to keep them from thinking they need God at all.

I didn’t even know what an “opus” was until I saw the movie, “Mr. Holland’s Opus”.  I like the following definition:  any artistic work, especially one on a large scale.  I would say that is what God has, is and will be doing until his master piece is complete.  I believe we are in the last days here on earth.  Can you feel the crescendo coming?  I hope you are allowing God to direct your life.  You’re an instrument in the hands of the Almighty who knows how to take what you give him and make a beautiful sound with it.  Even if it’s not the life you wanted, it’s great, because God is in it.  Oh!  I got to go.  My solo part is coming up.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

ENOUGH!

Hate

Hate, is like cancer, it kills!

The other day, I heard another story of hate.  What got me was, this hate took place in a church.  Has hate, in our country, spread that far?  I’m beginning to decrease watching the world news every evening because of the hate.  The hate they call, “news”!

Growing up, the rule was, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.”  Yes, I’m old, but it wasn’t a bad rule.  These days, people not only speak their hate, but share it on social media, and then start a movement to spread it.  Hate is a cancer, and some people can’t bear the weight of it, so they take their own life instead of trying to face another day.  Bullying, is hate, and even adults are sometimes bullied.

Since all this hate hurts me, I realized this week, it must really hurt Jesus.  He died for the one hated, but he also died for the hater.  When he came to earth, one of the things he did was show us how to live, walk, and speak in love.  I met a lady last weekend, traveling across America, trying to spread love and motivate others to pass it on.  I pray she is successful, and she makes America great again!  Can we join her?  Instead of hating, can we try to love?  It is a better way.  If you do choose to spread love, I know it will cause Jesus to smile, for you will never hear anyone say, “Stop!  That’s enough love.”

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

In the Last Year

DSC_7954Yesterday, I celebrated being retired for one year.  I also had a birthday this past week.  In reflecting back upon both, it didn’t take long to see God’s goodness.  His mighty hand, his gentle kindness, his correction, his presence, but in all of it, his love!

I know his love has been there my whole life, but now, I am more sensitive to recognizing it, in my life, and in the life of others.  So I had to ask myself, “Why is that?  Why do I see it clearer now, and not as much before?”  I don’t want to come across as “spiritual”, or “more special” than anyone else, but in the last year I have desireed and strived, in all times and situations,  to be just like Jesus, who is, Love.

It’s like recognizing an Armani suit, which I wouldn’t know if it bit me.  You’re so familiar with the original, it stands out.  Oh, trust me.  It’s much easier to be me, but I have seen enough of what I can be with and around people.  Yuk!  Who wants more of that?  I don’t, and I’m so sure no one else does either.

So, what’s the plan for this next year?  Going deeper into the things of God.  Having the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and the spirit of counsel and might in my life.  I want to journey closer to the source of “Living waters”.  I want to constantly be in the presence of God, which is why I choose a picture of the arc of the covenant.  Until the moment Jesus died, on the cross, the arc is where God’s presence resided.  Now, I want His presence to reside in me.

And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; (Isa 11:2 KJV+)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Your Toughest Challenge

challengesMy toughest challenge is being single.  It’s not what I wanted, and certainly not what I thought would happen growing up.  The apostle Paul, from the Bible, says being single is better because then you are available to God whenever he calls upon you, but Paul also said it is better to marry than to burn.  Perhaps, Paul was shipwrecked one too many times!

Have you ever wondered why Jesus put Judas, who later betrayed him for $600, in charge of the group’s money?  Bill, one of my past youth members once said, “The tester, wants you to pass.  The tempter, wants you to fail.”  Jesus wanted Judas to overcome his toughest challenge.  Jesus wants you to overcome your toughest challenge too.  That is why he is willing to help you.

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.  (1Co 10:13 MSG)

When facing your toughest challenges, ask Jesus to help you.  Cry out to him if you need to.  Also, it is helpful to go do something else, go somewhere else, and start thinking about something else.  Don’t flirt with temptation.  One thing that helps is praying.  It’s hard to sin when you are praying!  You and Jesus got this, just as I have learned, he helps me be single, every day!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved