Everyone Has a Mountain to Climb

Charlie 60

Golgotha

Life can be tough, especially when there are people in it.  We are all challenged to face life, deal with life in the midst of people.  Life can come with mountains.  It seems as if everyone has one to climb.  While trying our best to scale the mountain in front of us we, many times, will stumble over someone else.  That’s when someone usually gets hurt.

Keep in mind, this wasn’t God’s idea, plan or intent, and it still isn’t.  He made man and placed him in a garden.  Typically, a garden is a mountain free zone.  This doesn’t mean God is allergic to mountains.  He has used mountains, or hills to do some of his best work.  From Mt. Sinai, He gave us The Ten Commandments, which if followed, helps us live a better life.  Jesus taught about his Heavenly Father, life, and many other important issues to help us from many hills, or mounts around Jerusalem.  Of course it was the hill of Golgotha, where Jesus died for our sins, that gives us life eternal.

So what do we do with mountains?  We should name them for what they are.  Face them with boldness, but the most important thing to do is to ask Jesus to guide you through it, around it or over it.  Even Jesus had a mountain (Golgotha) to face, but didn’t want to.  He asked his Father to remove it from him, but then he went on to say, “Not my will, but your will be done.”  When mountains are conquered, you can stick a flag in it that waves in the wind declaring to all that someone made it.  It might just encourage them to keep climbing, to keep hanging on, and take another step where the Master has stepped before us.

“This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.” (1 Pt. 2:21 MSG)

 

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

House Rules

Charlie 58It can be challenging, trying to blend two cultures, but it can also be fun.  For instance, I grew up in America where my mother and father had a lot of people over to play card games, eat, and laugh.  I thought it was pretty cool.  Something I have tried to emulate as an adult.

In the last week, I have been teaching my Filipino wife, American games and card games.  Today, I taught her a new card game and while going over the rules, I mentioned they can change depending on whose house you are playing at.  It’s called, “House Rules”.  Meaning, if you are at one friend’s house, then you play the game according to how they play it there.  Sometimes you may not agree with how they play the game, but you are at their house, so it is their rules, that rules the game.

That got me thinking about how we are in God’s house.  Not in church, but on his earth.  “for the world is mine, and all that is in it.”  (Psalms 50:12 NIV)  He has made things simple.  You can live on his earth, according to your rules, if you want to, but if you want to live forever in his heaven you must acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and accept him into your life.  To do so otherwise means you spend eternity, dying forever, in hell.  It’s his rule, which, should, rule your life.

If you haven’t, consider accepting God’s rule of your life.  Doing so helps you get through it, hopefully, with lots of love, friends, family and laughter.

 

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Being Noticed

Charlie 57I now know what an animal in a zoo exhibit feels like!  The other day I thought I heard a little boy ask his mother if he could feed the American.  I have mentioned a few times, that I am now living in the Philippines.  Now that I have been here for a while, I forget when I go out, and am near my home, that I am not in America, so when someone stares at me, I start thinking Is my zipper down on my pants?  Did I forget to shower and my hair is a mess?

The point is; I stand out!  I’m noticed!  It’s impossible for me to blend in.  It happened again tonight, as I was walking down the street, to the convenient store.  I smiled and sometimes I wave or say, “Hi.”  I am conscious of the fact I am representing America.  Some have actually told me that I am the first American they have ever seen in person.

This got me thinking, shouldn’t I have the same awareness about being a follower of Jesus Christ?  Shouldn’t I be thinking What if I am the first Christian they have ever met in person?  Or, I am representing God, and the Kingdom of Heaven.  The truth is, it should be my nature and not a thought I have to keep in mind.  And my response?  Smile, wave, say “Hello”, be love.  I know I mention this theme of being love often, but the first two commandments mention love, so it must be important to God.

  1. Love God, and put him first in our lives.
  2. Love others as we love ourselves. (And some of you really do love yourselves a lot, as do I sometimes!)

When you walk around being love, you’re being like God.   “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 JN. 4:8 NIV)  Please stop trying to blend in, and rather, desire to be noticed!
Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Knowing You Are Loved

Charlie 58I had a friend that once stated she doesn’t want to hear her spouse say, “I love you” every day.  Somehow, she feels it cheapens the words.  I asked her, “Well, how do you want to know you are loved then?”  She replied, “Just knowing someone is thinking about me makes me feel loved.”  Yes, the next question I had to ask was, “How do you know you are being thought of if that person doesn’t express it in some form?”

I like hearing I am loved.  I like better knowing that I am.  My new spouse left me the note that is pictured here.  A wave of love flowed over me when I found it hanging on my desk.  Expressing our love to others doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but goes a long way in building strong bonds in a relationship, family, friends or otherwise.  Another aspect to expressing your love is there are so many ways to do it, and one can get very creative.

God was extremely creative when He expressed his love to us.  Who else, but God would have thought of giving us his only son and that son coming to us in a small package of a baby.  As that baby grew, so did his love for mankind.  In fact, it’s Jesus’ love for us that caused him to say, “Not my will Father, but yours be done.”

Today, I can read God’s love notes to me all through his word.  The Bible is full of them.  Like Romans 8:37-39 describes how nothing can separate us from God’s love.  He won’t allow it.  Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.  To sum it up:

God is love. He didn’t need us. But he wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing.  ~ Rick Warren

KNOW THAT, YOU ARE LOVED!

 
Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

No One Ever Treated Me That Way

Charlie55

tricycle

I am a middle aged man, and have been driving a tricycle in Baliuag, Philippines for many years, but today, today I experienced something for the first time.  I’m not sure what to call it, but it felt good.  You see, this couple, I picked up for fare, while on their way to their destination wanted to stop at 7 Eleven and get something to drink.  Just before the man entered the store he stopped, turned to me, and asked, “Would you like something to drink?”

I didn’t know how to respond, and before I could think about it, I responded with a, “Yes.  Whatever you are getting.”  When he returned he handed me a large bottle of a soft drink.  In fact, my drink was larger than his.  I was shocked, stunned, and didn’t know what to think or say.  “Thank you,” I finally said.

As I dropped them off at their final destination, the man asked me, “How much?”  I wanted to say, “No charge,” but the truth is I really needed the money for my family.  He said, “I’ll decide how much.”, and he handed me a lot more than the fare should have been.  I watched with stunned feelings as the nice couple walked away.  His last words still echoing in my head, “Sir, I bless you today, because God blesses me.  He loves me, and he loves you too!”  Perhaps I should get to know such a loving God.

 

We never know who we will encounter each day.  It is important to be lead by the Holy Spirit to know what to say, or do, when He prompts us to, and then to be obedient.  James 3:10 refers to curses and blessing coming out of the same mouth and how this shouldn’t be, but also be aware that the same hands can hurt, or give blessings.  Let’s bless others with our mouths, and with our hands.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Meeting God

Charlie 54I was praying for my neighbors the other day, for I have just moved into their neighborhood.

Me:  “God, I pray my neighbors meet you.”

God:  “They already have.”

Me:  “What do you mean?”

God:  “They have met you.”

Jesus said to him, “… Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father…” (John 14:9 AMP)

So, since we are to be like Christ, and we too are the children of God, then we can say the same thing as well.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

IR

Charlie 7I got remarried yesterday evening, after being divorced for twenty-three years.  I no longer have to check that dreaded little box, “Divorced”.  I married a wonderful woman of God who is a Filipino.  The only problem is, I’m an American, and she is not allowed to enter the United States without a Visa, which could take a year or longer to arrive.  When she said, “I do,” she became an “IR”.  Instant Relative.  This status gives her priority over everyone else trying to enter America by any other means.  Work Visa, Student Visa, Fiancé Visa, etc.  It also gives her access to a “Green Card” and two weeks after she arrives in America she will get her Social Security card.  Being an “IR” has instant privileges.

When one accepts God’s free gift of salvation, through his Son Jesus, they instantly become an “IR”.  They become a son or daughter to the God of the universe.  You will walk around, with a smile on your face, knowing whose you are, that you belong to God, and He is your Abba Father.  (Daddy God)  That status brings instant privileges as well.  Like having access to the throne of God.  Being able to walk with him and talk about anything.  God will guide you, Jesus will be with you, and the Holy Spirit will comfort you.  You have a free Attorney, Jesus, to defend you against Satan’s accusations.  Also, there will be free of charge, to you, accommodations in heaven that have no check out date or time, and who could argue with the blessing of eternal life?  Yes, being a child of God is good!

“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better? (Mat. 7:11 MSG)

There are so many reasons to accept Jesus, mainly, because He first loved us.  If you are not currently, my prayer is that you will become an “IR” with God.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.