Stella, This Ain’t Hollywood

20170921_092347I watched a good movie the other night.  I won’t say which one, because I am going to give away the ending, and I don’t believe in “spoiler alerts!”  The movie was about a father and a son, and their relationship.  At the end of the movie the two were out fishing, and the father finally said some words his son had waited a very long time to hear, and then the father died.  I lost it.  Tears all over the couch.  It was a real mess that even challenged “Bounty”, the quicker picker upper!

The truth is, the last few months my father was alive was difficult.  He was acting out of fear and it hurt.  I saw one of my father’s old friends last week, and he told me my father started fearing me controlling his life before I ever moved back to my home town after retirement to assist him as he wanted and needed.  So by the time I had gotten here, my father had it in his mind how life would go, but it didn’t, and he refused to accept it, because it wasn’t the reality he had built up in his mind.  I’m so glad though, four days before my father passed, we had a nice, peaceful, fun conversation.

Why am I sharing this?  To vindicate myself?  No.  I know in my heart and before God how I treated my father, but the point is, I wanted my father’s last days to be his best days.  I dreamed of my father and I out fishing.  Having a nice day.  Lots of laughs, and because he loved to fish, dad finally catching his trophy fish.  Me, snapping a picture, and dad releasing the fish back into the lake, and then passing on, similar to the movie I mentioned above.  But this ain’t Hollywood, and life doesn’t go like the well scripted, command performance acting, as in the movies.

So when life doesn’t go as scripted, what do we do?  We give it to God, and we do everything to love the other people in the scene as best as we can.  Love endures, remembers no wrong, and writes a great ending because love, always wins. (Love – 1 Cor. 13)

(The title of this post came from the Christian rock group, DeGarmo & Key, from 1980)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What If, “What If,” Never Happens?

Charlie 24WHAT IF’S:  Its sad, but so many live in fear.  What makes it worse is, they don’t think they do.  They deny it.  You talk about being deceived by the devil.  They believe his lies instead of Truth.  They roll play, “Well what if…” this happens, or that happens?  You want to know the truth?  Many times, those “What if’s” never happen!  They only steal your time thinking about them, and worrying about them.  Even worse, living bound up by those fears hurts others, especially those who know the Truth, who know Jesus, who have themselves been set free.  The battle is fear vs faith. Terror vs trust.  Fear and terror may never happen, but faith and trust always does!

You can annihilate the “What if’s” with “God, if’s”

GOD, IF’S:  When something in life comes up, and you don’t know what is going to happen, or how things are going to turn out, instead of worry and fear, instead of “Well, what if?”, you can simply pray, “God, if you will take care of this for me.”  Or, “God, if you will walk with me through this.”

Living like this will calm your mind, calm your spirit man down to where you can walk, and live in peace.  How else would one walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil?  This is how you can sit, and relax enough to eat, at a table, in the presence of your enemies. (Psalms 23)

The battle is in the mind.  You must learn to rethink how you look at things and situations.

Look at things from God’s point of view!

Asking God, will break the chains of fear, and will set you free.  You will feel better, because now, you will breath like you have never drawn a breath before.  You will skip down the sidewalk, because of the joy you now feel.  Because of the Light in your life instead of darkness.  Okay, perhaps you won’t actually skip, but you will want to.

“God, I thank you personally, that we have an alternative we can choose from.  In you, and in your strength, we can flip the environment.  Just knowing we don’t have to live in bondage is liberating in itself.  I love you God, and I know you love me, and everyone, and especially those who have read this battle plan to defeat the devil.  You’re so awesome.  Thanks!”

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

My Last Stop

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Living in the Philippines, for the last six months, has taught me a lot!  More than I could have ever imagined.  I have observed, and recorded in my mind the people, their lives, their world.  I foresee, one of these days, the residents here showing up in a story somewhere.

I have tried my best to settle in, and get comfortable, which is difficult when you are a pampered American.  I have done what I could to fit in, but looking so different than them, some wouldn’t let me.  Like today, at the time of this writing, I was cursed and the old woman made a spitting motion at my feet three times.  I’m not saying I know racism in its fullest now, like some do in America, but I have experienced a taste of it, and it doesn’t taste too good.  On the flip side, I have made friends, who call out my name whenever they see me out on the streets.  That’s a good feeling no matter where you live!

As I made this place home, there were days I was jolted when the realization hit me, Mark, this is not your home.  You’re an alien, a sojourner.  Just passing through, for a specific time and purpose.  For that matter, America is not my home either.  I’m an alien there as well, just passing through for a specific time and purpose.

So where is my residence?

“So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” Ephesians 2:19 (ASV)

After I accepted Jesus, my forwarding address was in heaven, God’s kingdom.  As a residence of that land, I have full rights to everything the kingdom of God offers.  I’m an heir to the King of Kings.  I fit in.  Everyone is accepted, no matter how weird they are on earth.  Racism doesn’t exist!  With nothing but love there, I am making heaven, my last stop.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.