Big Chicken Day!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, or as April calls it, “Big Chicken Day!”  Being thankful should come easy, but this year I had to think a moment.  Yes, I have survived any sickness from Covid, and those around me that got it have come through okay.  April and I were finally reunited earlier this year, that was awesome!  And I got medical attention before having serious issues.  So yes, I did have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  I forgot, God consistently provides for our financial needs and helps us bless others as well.

It bothers me that it took a bit of time to remember.  Those were big moments worthy of a big chicken to celebrate God’s faithfulness to me, his child, and his servant.  Why is it easier for me to only focus on the current irritants of life?  I don’t like it!

Recalling what God has done for us in the past helps our faith grow, which can help us with what we are currently going through.  The verse below is very popular, but here is a fresh spin on it.  It should help us remember how great God is; all the time:

The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always.
He provides me rest in rich, green fields
    beside streams of refreshing water.
    He soothes my fears;
He makes me whole again,
    steering me off worn, hard paths
    to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.

Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,
    I am not overcome by fear.
Because You are with me in those dark moments,
    near with Your protection and guidance,
    I am comforted.

You spread out a table before me,
    provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies;
You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil,
    filling my cup again and again with Your grace.
Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me
    where I go, always, everywhere.
I will always be with the Eternal,
    in Your house forever.

Psalms 23 (The Voice)

So thank you God, for all, and for everything, on this day, but especially on Big Chicken day!

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Don’t Forsake the Children

Her family just emigrated from India.  Mother, father, little brother, and Anara.  Anara is only three years old, and when she arrived in America, just a few short months ago she couldn’t speak any English.  Anara’s parents thought it would be best to enroll her in preschool, so they did.

Anara is smart, and soon she started learning the language, but she also started learning the Bible stories the preschool taught.  It wasn’t long before she begin sharing her excitement, of those stories, with her family.  They witnessed Anara’s happiness, and joy as she grew in her love for the one true God.

Intrigued, her father inquired of the school, and asked if they could get an advance copy of those stories.  From the mouth of a three year old, the gospel of Jesus Christ is going forth.

Jesus: Let the little children come to Me; do not get in their way. For the kingdom of heaven belongs to children like these.  Mat. 19:14 (The Voice)

Children accept Truth easier than adults.  The older one is, the more their mind gets in the way of faith.  Simple faith, like that of a child is just believing.  Not questioning, and not reasoning, because a lot of the things of God don’t make sense to mankind.  And that is because God’s ways are much higher than ours.

Be like a child, be like Anara, and simply believe.  Then, as time goes by, and you begin to experience the love of God for yourself and see his hand in your life, only then will you understand.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

We Get in Our Own Way

If there is even a trace of individual self-satisfaction left in us, it always says, “I can’t surrender,” or “I can’t be free.” But the spiritual part of our being never says “I can’t”; it simply soaks up everything around it. Our spirit hungers for more and more. It is the way we are built. We are designed with a great capacity for God, but sin, our own individuality, and wrong thinking keep us from getting to Him. God delivers us from sin— we have to deliver ourselves from our individuality. This means offering our natural life to God and sacrificing it to Him, so He may transform it into spiritual life through our obedience.

God pays no attention to our natural individuality in the development of our spiritual life. His plan runs right through our natural life. We must see to it that we aid and assist God, and not stand against Him by saying, “I can’t do that.” God will not discipline us; we must discipline ourselves. God will not bring our “arguments…and every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)— we have to do it. Don’t say, “Oh, Lord, I suffer from wandering thoughts.” Don’t suffer from wandering thoughts. Stop listening to the tyranny of your individual natural life and win freedom into the spiritual life.

“If the Son makes you free….” Do not substitute Savior for Son in this passage. The Savior has set us free from sin, but this is the freedom that comes from being set free from myself by the Son. It is what Paul meant in Galatians 2:20 when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ….” His individuality had been broken and his spirit had been united with his Lord; not just merged into Him, but made one with Him. “…you shall be free indeed”— free to the very core of your being; free from the inside to the outside. We tend to rely on our own energy, instead of being energized by the power that comes from identification with Jesus.

By Oswald Chambers

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Stop the Presses!

You don’t have to watch the news very long to see there are a lot of problems, issues, and concerns in the world.  It can be over whelming at times.  Then, you take a look at your own life, and you may have similar concerns.

Doing life with God certainly helps.  It doesn’t prevent problems, those are around us due to sin in the world, but being in a loving relationship with God helps us cope with the problems.

While working on this post I listened to a message by, Craig Groeschel, lead pastor of Life Church.  His message was titled, “Write Your Own Headlines”.  It was message on how to change your perspective of the events currently happening locally and around the world.  In a nut shell, he encouraged people to take a headline, and learn to rewrite it with a positive, Godly spin on it. You can do this for headlines in your own life as well.  Pastor Craig did such a great job conveying what I started out attempting to say I thought I would simply provide you with a link to his message.

Enjoy the message, but more importantly, apply the principles within it. You’ll feel better.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

On Fire

It was April’s first experience of having a “Garage Sale”.  We got up really early last Saturday morning.  Got ready, grabbed some breakfast to go, and set out our signs.  Then the hard work of turning our garage and driveway into a pop up market place that would rival any modern store.  Except in our store we had many items we no longer had need of.

April was amazed at what people would buy here in America.  She was astounded when one lady snatched up one new toilet seat, and one used toilet seat.  “Really?” she asked, “What in the world is she going to do with them?”  I replied, “April, I find it better not to ask.”

Shoppers were slow in arriving, so when the neighbor’s great grandson came over and bought a magnifying glass it became a highlight.  But better yet was when he started trying to light a leaf on fire.  I realized his technique was never going to grant him the desired effects he was hoping for.  So, since there were no current customers I went over and sat down beside him and drew upon my past expertize.  Before he knew it smoke was rising from the leaf.  He was elated with amazement and excitement.

During our fun, I started thinking about how we can be “on fire” for God.  Us being the magnifying glass, we have to get into the correct alignment with the Son in order to be effective.  Otherwise, there is a lot of effort with little results for the Kingdom of God.

The issue now is the neighbor’s great grandson ringing our doorbell asking, “Can Mark come out to play?”

Do not slack in your faithfulness and hard work. Let your spirit be on fire, bubbling up and boiling over, as you serve the Lord. Rom. 12:11 (The Voice)

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

“Well!”

You’ve encountered them.  You might possibly even work with one.  And there is the regrettable chance you live with one.  “Who?” you ask.  The person who is ALWAYS right in their own eyes.  The self-righteous ones. The perfect among mankind.

“Self-righteousness has killed more people than smoking.” John McCarthy

Of course we, the realistic people of earth, know there is no such thing as a perfect person, but don’t you dare tell them they aren’t perfect.  They will argue that fact.  If you have encountered such a monster then you know how frustrating it can be to do life with them, or to have any kind of interaction with them at all.

If finding fault generated wealth then they would be among the richest people on earth.  “Well, if you hadn’t of …” so quickly and easily comes out of their mouths.  What shocks me is how deceived they are.  It’s like they are allergic to truth. They defend the smallest of actions.

Job, from the Bible, had this issue I believe:

“We’ve all heard Job say, ‘I’m in the right,
    but God won’t give me a fair trial.
When I defend myself, I’m called a liar to my face.
    I’ve done nothing wrong, and I get punished anyway.’
Have you ever heard anything to beat this?
    Does nothing faze this man Job?  Job 34:5-7 (MSG)

The burning question on my mind is this, “Will they dare try to defend themselves when they stand before Almighty God and give an account as to how they lived their life?”  Will they try to blame God?  Of course God is perfect, as his son Jesus is, and has done nothing wrong.  I’ve been talking to a friend lately about this, and I have told them, “It’s okay to be wrong!”  In fact, it’s admirable, and respectful when one can sincerely say, “I’m sorry.  I was wrong.”

The Bible actually says, “The truth will set you free.” (John 8:31)  Of course knowing Truth, or Jesus will set you free.  Free from your sins and free from eternal damnation.  But knowing, owning up to, and admitting the truth is living free.  If you find yourself always defending your actions then stop it!  Try being wrong once in a while.  You might like how it feels.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

“Roger That”

Friends and family members of, Thomas Edward hear back from him within minutes of reaching out via a text message, or a phone call.  That is, when he is not performing his duties.  Thomas values people, and he values relationships as well.  Acknowledging someone, within a reasonable amount of time, is a special quality of a person with integrity.  Even if that response is something along the line of, “I’ll get back to you later.”

People want to know they have been heard.  They like to know their need, their bad news, or good news has been received, and the best way to affirm them is by acknowledging their voice.

The same seems to go when we pray to God, and when we don’t see some action we begin to question if He even heard us.  I assure you, He did.

16 But as for me, I will call upon the Lord to save me, and I know he will!
17 Every evening I will explain my need to him.
    Every morning I will move my soul toward him.
    Every waking hour I will worship only him,
    and he will hear and respond to my cry.  Psalms 55:16-17 (TPT)

There was one true story where Jesus’ friend Lazarus was very ill.  People came to Jesus and asked him to come heal him.  Jesus didn’t go immediately, but instead waited four more days.  When Jesus arrived his family told him it was too late, Lazarus was dead.  They knew and believed Jesus could do something while he was still alive, but now?

As difficult as it may have been on Jesus, he waited till Lazarus had died to show that the son of God had power even over death.  He did this so when He himself would come back from the dead it would be easier to believe.

So we may not know why, or understand why God doesn’t do what we need instantly, but rest assured, He does.

Oh!  Thomas Edward is no other than Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr.  Also known as, Tom Brady.  The seven time winning, Super Bowl quarterback, in the NFL.  Now if he has time to acknowledge others then what is your excuse?

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.