But They Go to Church

Charlie 33There it is.  Another ugly, races, hateful, hurtful word from one I know very well.  “I don’t understand,” has been cried out to God many times after one of their zingers comes out of their mouth.  “God, why do they still feel, act, and say these things?  After all, they go to church!”

Just the other day, when this happened again, I questioned heaven for understanding, I sensed the Lord spoke and said, “But church doesn’t go to them.”  It was in that moment I realized that even though they go to church every time the doors are open, the doors to their heart are closed!  They might even be locked, boarded up with a sign posted, “No Trespassing”.

Jane Rubietta writes, in her book, Come Closer,

“After all, what difference does the gospel make if it doesn’t make a difference, right?”

The word of God should change us, and make us more like Jesus.  It should soften our heart toward others.  Does that mean be tolerant of their sins?  Not at all, but give us understanding as to why they act out like they do.

So what do we do when someone we kind of have to be around says or does something that hurts?  We pray for them as we stand up for Truth, and then we surround them with love.  God’s love, perfect love, is the only key to opening the doors to their wounded hearts.  They must see love, hear love, and feel loved even after they hurt us or others.

If the message they hear at church isn’t getting through, then the love they witness from us just might.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

It’s Just Life

Charlie 222I was facing several issues the other day.  To be honest, they overwhelmed me.  I cried out to God to ask why was this happening, and how am I going to pay for it all?  (My first ungodly belief (UGB) was thinking that I was going to pay for it all.  Everything my wife and I have comes from God, He pays for it all.)  I spoke to a couple of others about it, and they were encouraging, but it still consumed my thoughts.  I got mad, complained, and cried, to no avail, because I felt the same after each one of my flesh’s outburst.

THEN,

I got quiet.  I had asked God for enough money to get through this and upcoming consumers of money issues, but He whispered, “Have I not provided what you have need of today?”  “Yes, Lord.  You have,” I replied.  “Then what’s the problem?” He said.

My thoughts turned to the children of Israel, who were commanded of God to only take enough mana for what they needed that day, except on Saturday’s they collected what they would need for two days.  If they took more than they needed it would spoil.  (Exodus 16:4-26)

If God gave me more, than I needed for today,

would it spoil me?

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.”  Hebrews 11:1-2 The Message (MSG)

Faith can be difficult at times, but for a believer in God, it must remain in tack despite what our eyes see, despite the news, and despite the balance of our bank account.  After all, it’s just life.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Do You Have It?

The symptoms:

You have to be home before it gets dark.  You double or triple check the locks on your doors.  It causes you to miss out on opportunities.  It can frustrate, and even hurt others who don’t have it and who struggle to understand why you still do.  It can grip your heart, and hinder, or paralyses you at times.  You have to have someone else with you or you won’t leave the house.

Do you have it?  Do you have fear?

Charlie 27Those who believe in God should be void of fear.  I know a woman who trust God while it is light outside, but she doesn’t trust him at night.  It’s not totally her fault, she was raised to be afraid of everything.  She hasn’t learned to overcome the lies, but I know she will!  Joyce Meyer says fear is:

F alse
E vidence
A ppearing
R eal

John 14:27 Amplified Bible (AMP)  Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]

When you really trust God, there is nothing to fear.

Why be afraid of something that may never happen?  Another scripture, Job 3:25 says, “What I fear the most has come upon me.”  I know this can really happen.  I have a friend that shared her greatest fear with me and about 3 years later it happened almost exactly how she feared it would.

Fear, says to God, “I don’t think you can handle this Lord.”  You are limiting God!  God has the authority over everything, He always has, and He always will.  Would you like someone to not trust you, especially knowing with you, nothing is impossible?  God probably does hard things for breakfast!

So if you believe in God, act like it!

It’s okay to ask God for help to believe in his power and might.  In Mark 9:24 a man cries out, ““Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”  If you do, soon you will be living in freedom, and those around you will be amazed and your confidence in God will be a witness to others.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Because it Just Feels Right

I had just finished heating up water for my wife’s instant coffee when I sensed the presence of God about me.  The sun was shining bright through the kitchen window, and my focus was drawn to the rising steam .  I still can’t tell you why, but I grabbed my phone and took the following picture.

When I looked at the photo on my PC, it was then I saw what looked like a dove descending.  One of my favorite things in life, is knowing I am in the presence of God.  Why?  Because it just feels right!

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John 1:32 New International Version (NIV)

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Problem or Opportunity?

Charlie 777I ordered an item from Kohl’s.  I was looking forward to its arrival as it was going to be a gift for someone I love, a lot!  (My wife!  Who were you thinking of?  By the way, don’t tell her because she doesn’t know.)  Can you feel my disappointment when it didn’t arrive on the promised date(s)?  I tracked it, and learned it couldn’t be delivered for some reason, not disclosed to me.  So the item was sent back.

Was I mad?  No, but not happy about the situation either.  I like things to go smooth, and I am allergic to “problems”.  I looked on Kohl’s website to see what could be done when the bill arrives, but the package doesn’t.  I found an 800 number.  I called and John answered. (Name changed to protect the loved.)  John listened and then looked to see what he needed to do to resolve the “problem”.  While he was working, I mentioned living in the Philippines.  John said, “That’s where I am right now.”  Yes, Kohl’s has a call center in Manila.

When John informed me of his whereabouts, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me.  I said, “John, can I put you on my prayer list?”  He agreed that was okay, but asked why..  I answered by saying, “John, I sense you have an issue going on in your life right now that bothers you, or is hurting you.”  “I do,” John said.  I continued, “God knows it, and He wants you to know how much He loves you.  He loves you so much John, that He allowed me to have a “problem”, so you would have an “opportunity”, to know He sees you and how much He loves you.  My missing package was no accident!”  John was receptive.

If we, who believe in God, will stop complaining about “problems”, and look for “opportunities” for God to show his mighty hand, it would change our attitude, and a result of a changed attitude is it could change the life of someone else and change the world.  Isn’t that what Jesus called us to do?

NOTE:  Did you happen to notice Kohl’s very own tag line?  “Expect great things”.  What a statement of faith!

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

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.