What Color is Your Faith?

071020CARALYN, a popular blogger at, beautybeyondbones.com who has shared her testimony of recovering from anorexia with God’s help, also shares her day to day life while living in the big apple (New York City).

The other day she shared how she has not gone to mass in person for about four months, due to Covid-19, and how she started noticing her faith waning.  She realized how she had been relying on other places to do the work that was needed to increase her faith.  Meaning, she wasn’t creating an environment on her own that would do the job.  She admitted she was developing “Good Person Christianity”. (She explains that term in her blog post.)  I suggested, via my comment, that perhaps God was using this time to show her how strong her faith was without any props holding her up.  She went on to describe her plan to change things.

It is in times, like our current days, faith is not formed, but displayed.  These days our faith may be tested or challenged, but at the end of it all, you will know how solid your faith is.

In these times, what you believe in, or who,
begins to show, or starts to go.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
James 1:2-4 (MSG)

So, you got this.  Stand firm on what you know to be true despite what you hear and see.  The days preceding these have prepared you for this hour, and like time, this will be over before you know it, and we will move on to sharknadoes, or something else.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Healing River

What would it take for you to say, “I’ll never forgive them!”?

This past weekend I watched a great movie titled, “Healing River”.  Here is my (un)professional review:

In a world, where it is easier to hate, than to love, where it is easier to give up, than to accept, comes the movie “Healing River”.  An amazing story, of amazing grace.  “Healing River” will not only touch your heart, but tug at it as well.  Mitch Teemley, and his crew, did an awesome job of allowing the movie to flow naturally as real life does.

You will be glad you watched “Healing River”, a powerful story you will not forget as the credits are rolling, but a story which will stay with you for a long time.  It’s a movie everyone needs to see, especially in the current days we are living.  “Healing Rivers” demonstrates the strength, and guts it takes to let go of the past, accept the present, and look forward to a brighter future.  In the difficult act of forgiveness, one finds the beginning of healing.

Forgiveness doesn’t set them free, but you.  Holding onto un-forgiveness keeps you locked up in a cell of your own making.  Jesus died a painful death, to provide forgiveness, for everyone, no matter what they have done, if they only ask him to.  Yes, even those man considers the worse.  Not fair?  They deserve the same kind of forgiveness you do.  “For all have sinned and have fallen short of the Glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Go for forgiveness, for you and for others.

Living life healed is the best way to live.

Delve further into the creative, talented, funny mind of Mitch Teemley at: https://mitchteemley.com/

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Let Me Introduce You

070320 (4)If God called you on your cell phone, right this minute, would your caller ID know it was God?  Would you?  Or would it read, “Unknown”?

When the Apostle Paul visited Athens, he came across an alter which had the inscription, “To an unknown god”.  It seems as if the locals wanted to cover all of their bases. (Acts 17:23)

Paul went on to introduce them to God by saying:

24-29 “The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?

30-31 “God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:24-31 (MSG)

And now you have been introduced to God.  Know this, He loves you so very much.  More than any of us deserve, yet He does, all the time.  If you have not accepted him then know this, He will never stop pursuing you.  That’s how crazy God is about you.  Accepting God doesn’t promise you a perfect life, but He does promise to get you through it.

God can be known.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

A Great Place to Be

063020

Painting by Akiane Kramarik

I mentioned last week how I hate injustice, yet this past weekend it has happened to me again.  One, close to me, has accused me of wrong doing.  I can’t go into detail, but yes, their accusations hurt, but as the swelling was subsiding, I realized this person’s attack on me came from a heart that is in so much pain.  This person’s personal life has suffered a lot in the short amount of time I have known them.

I begin to pray for them.  I see God allowing these things to happen in their life, not to punish them, but out of a deep desire to be reconnected with them again.  Hoping they will cry out to him and lay it all down at the feet of Jesus.  God wants their relationship to change from estranged to hearts knitted together.  It’s difficult for mankind to understand God’s way of loving us, but I know he does with an incredible amount.  God is longing, that the path of life they are walking on, will lead them back to him.

Yeah, I could continue to complain about what they did to me, how unfair it was, but thankfully my focus is on Jesus and that has allowed me to see what they are doing to themselves.

Just because they throw mud,

it doesn’t have to stick!

We can count on this, we do not need to stand up and defend ourselves, but rather allow the Lord to do it for us.  I know one day the accuser will see they were wrong.  Will they apologize to me?  It doesn’t matter one way or the other if they do.

“The Lord is your mighty defender,
perfect and just in all his ways;
Your God is faithful and true;
he does what is right and fair. Deuteronomy 32:4 (GNT)

In these days we are living in, one cannot afford to take their eyes off of Jesus Christ, but must do all to concentrate on him.  One way to only see Jesus, and not be distracted by the things going on in the world, is to stand directly in front of him.  Standing in that spot is a great place to be.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Why Can’t I Achieve Mental, & Physical Health?

062620 5It happened last week, last year, or even longer ago, but the memory of the hurt and pain can still rise to the surface so fast.  A word, a name, a song, a phrase can trigger the instance to come back.  You feel those emotions…again.  You say you have forgiven the offender, you even tell yourself you have moved on, so then why does it still rise up and bite you, and at times with the same emotions you experienced when it first happened?

There are many types of hurt others can do to you, but the one thing I struggle with the most is injustice.  It seems so unfair when you are falsely accused.  Jesus had to suffer through this.  He was accused of things untrue, yet he remained silent.  Those accusations were so strong I think some who knew him well started changing what they thought of him.

As difficult as it may be to not defend yourself, but inside let the truth stand, we must follow Jesus’ example.  Hanging on to all of the hurt and pain affects us mentally and I believe also physically.  And, for those asking God to heal them of a physical ailment, hanging on to the hurts of any kind could be blocking your healing, or the renewing of your mind.  The song, “Lay it All Down”, by Will Reagan, can point us to the first step in removing the pain, for good.  Here are a few of the lyrics below:

When we’ve given up, on better days
There are memories, we can’t erase
Lay it all down … lay it all down

We’ve come to fear, what we can’t explain
There’s nothing here, that can ease the pain
Lay it all down … lay it all down
At the feet of Jesus … at the feet of Jesus

After we lay it all down at the feet of Jesus I assure you, there will be temptation to pick it back up.  Don’t!  Turn around, walk away, and never mention it again to anyone, unless the incident can be used for God’s glory in the teaching and exhortation of others.  Jesus is more than capable, and qualified to handle your hurt and pain.  Give it to him, and see how much better you begin to feel after you do.

Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.” 1 Pt. 5:7 (TPT)

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Establish the Mood

062320What happens when you walk into a room of people?  Are they glad to see you, or do they cringe?  Do they come up to you and greet you, or do they pretend to be busy, and walk away hoping to avoid you?  I had a boss that every morning when I saw her enter our department, I knew my peace was about to leave.

What kind of mood encompasses us, goes with us and enters, when we do?  Does your very presence change the environment, the atmosphere of a place?  It should.

Back when I worked in an office building, in Chicago, I took on the challenge of trying my best to put a smile on my fellow passenger’s faces while we were in the elevator.  Difficult, because some of them got off on the lower floors, giving me only seconds to come up with something to do or say that would change them.  That would leave them better when they got off the elevator than when they got on.  Pun intended, my words could lift them up, or let them down.

Once there were several people entering the elevator.  I said, “Call out the floor you need.”  They did, then I announced, “I like pushing people’s buttons.”  I wonder if that was some’s only laugh for the whole day?

As the years went by, people would get on the elevator, see me, and smile immediately.  I’m not boasting, because I knew two things:

  1. The love and joy in my life, I shared with others, only came from God.

  2. I entered the elevator on purpose, with a purpose.

For those who have accepted God, have his love, his truth, and his life inside, we can change, or flip the environment of a home, office, church, store, or wherever we go, just by walking in.  Oh, how the world needs us to enter their lives and shatter the darkness they dwell in with the light of God!  “Let there be light!”  Offer them the hope of Jesus.  When we welcome the presence of God in our lives He goes with us.  People sense it, and are either drawn to it, or openly resist it.

No matter where your feet take you, take God.

Be there on purpose, with a purpose.  Be mindful of those around you.  Roger, a good friend of mine, does this every day when he goes to work.  Share hope, peace, faith and love.  Scatter lots of joy.  Show everyone there is a better way to live.  Make them curious how you can still be smiling despite all that is going on around us.  Establish the mood!

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Who is it For?

061920Oswald Chambers wrote, “It is much easier to die than to lay down your life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling of God.”  Truth, if ever spoken.  Yet, Jesus, the Son of God did both.  He always stated he only did what he saw his Father do.  That meant, every day!  Then, at the end, he laid his life down for us as well.  He did it for you, and me.

You know, I can’t recall any other so called spiritualist that was killed, or they laid down their life voluntarily for what they believed, taught, or lived.

Surrendering your free will is hard to do, yet if done for God, it brings satisfaction, true life.  So I have to ask, “Are you laying down your life?  If so, for whom?”

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

How It All Began

061620August 1969.  I would celebrate my seventh birthday in September.  I didn’t want to go to hell for being a liar, and a convicted cookie thief, and according to the big man, wearing a black suit, speaking loud, if I died without accepting Jesus in my heart, I would have.  Pictured here, his name was H.D. Pieratt.  He was a fine example of a man, after God’s own heart.

You might say, I first confessed I was a sinner and recognized Jesus as God’s son, then asked him to forgive me of my wrong doing, because I was scared of hell.  That viewpoint stayed with me for several years, until I learned about God’s love.

What might have started out as a fire escape plan turned into a loving relationship with God as I got to know him.  Ten years after making his acquaintance, I dedicated my life to going, doing, and saying whatever He wants me to.

It’s sad, but there are individuals who have only accepted enough Jesus to keep them out of hell.  Their more afraid of eternal damnation than they love God.  You have probably encountered one of them, because they don’t reflect the love of God.  The light, the truth, the hope in them is dull, and in fact, they might have hurt you.  I’m sorry if you have encountered one, and have gotten hurt.  Also, I feel bad when I let situations get to me and I choose to extinguish the light of God in me if only long enough to let my flesh rule.  I always regret those moments and ask God to forgive me and help me not to do it again.

I feel like Paul, when he wrote in Romans 7:15:
I’m a mystery to myself, for I want to do what is right, but end up doing what my moral instincts condemn. (TPT)

Training will help me to love first in those situations, and in all others.  The only way to act, and react with love is to continue to get to know the source of love, God.  For God is love.  1 John 4:8.  It comes down to your heart’s desire, and God knows what those are, so he will help you be more like him.  The light of God, in Rev. Pieratt, shined upon my heart when I was a child, and I’m so thankful.  I was drawn to it, I was drawn to God, and that is how it all began.

Be love.  Our world needs a lot more Truth, light, and love!

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What Day is This?

061220I notice patterns.  I also see common denominators.  I can’t help it.  It’s the way I am made.  I think I could have that disorder: Denoterns.  Anyway, perhaps many others have it as well, but I have noticed several times in the Bible where it took three days to change someone, or something.

Take Jonah.  God gave him direct instructions to go to Nineveh and share whatever message God told him to.  I think Jonah took it upon himself to judge the people there, and he boarded a ship going the opposite direction.  Perhaps his heart was full of hurt he associated with the people there and he wanted God to wipe them off the map.  You can read the whole story for yourself in the book of Jonah in the Bible, but after he was thrown overboard and spending three days in the stomach of a great fish, his heart changed.

Three days!

There are many other instances whether they journeyed, stayed or not ate for three days.  Three days can seem like eternity when you are hungry, thirsty, hurting, or desperate for an answer from God.

Jesus in the tomb is probably the most famous story of a three day ordeal in the Bible, but after his third day, anyone in the world can have their wrong doing forgiven, just by accepting Jesus.

On a personal note, three days after my wife gave up on hoping, asking, and believing God to send her a husband I sent her a message.  On the fourth day, her life changed.  It seems as if it takes three days to work out the flesh.  In other words, it takes that long to realize that when your situation changes it wasn’t you, but had to be God.

I don’t like going through a three day ordeal, but I hang on, because I love the fourth day.

If you are going through something, and you have turned it over to God, realizing you can’t do anything about it otherwise, then know this; your forth day is coming!

CONFESSION:  I made up the disorder Denoterns.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Protest Hell

060920 2Throughout this whole COVID-19 ordeal, I have been sad as the numbers climbed, but the impact did not land on my front porch, until now.  Ten days ago, my friend, Chris called and informed me he caught the disease from work.  Chris is 65.  Today, I called to see how he was doing, but he did not answer the phone.  About an hour later I received a text message letting me know he was now in the ICU.

I prayed for Chris and his wife, who also has it, but I felt as if I needed more people to agree with me in prayer on his behalf.  We needed to pray and protest hell!  You see, sickness, death, hate, and disease is of the devil.   There is power when people gather, agree, and pray.  Picture hundreds, or thousands marching against the gates of hell, pushing back evil.

Again, I give you an eternal truth: If two of you agree to ask God for something in a symphony of prayer my heavenly Father will do it for you.” Matthew 18:19 The Passion Translation (TPT)

I posted in Facebook the need, and right away people started telling me they were praying.  At first, three, then 20, and at last check over 90 people have said, “I will stand with you Mark, in the gap for your friend Chris.”  I even heard from people 8000 miles away.

My heart was touched, and to be honest, my eyes started leaking at the out pouring of concern, and love.  This is the kind of action we need to take right now for our world as well.  I would say, not one of those who said they would pray, knows Chris, but they took time to pray anyway.

I didn’t know George Floyd, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, or the others who have died when they shouldn’t have.  I didn’t know the five police officers ambushed in Dallas either.

My point is this; we, who do know God, should be praying more now than ever for all people affected by the recent events and for our country.  This cannot be the story of America.  We don’t have to know them first, like those praying for Chris don’t know him, but prayed anyway, expecting results.

Thank you to all who have prayed for Chris, or will after reading this post.  People of God cannot give up hope, grow weary, get discouraged, or turn to fear, because we know God is bigger than all things, and he is more powerful than evil.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.