As the World Turns

My mother claims she started watching the above “soap opera” when it debuted when she was only 16 years old. As my sister and I grew up, we knew not to interrupt mom’s “program”! In fact, the story goes that when I was only 4, I would hear the theme song play and start heading to my bedroom saying, “Time to go to bed!”

The program was about people and their lives, the drama they experienced. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I have never heard, or understood why they called these types of programs, “soaps”. Well the other day, I was talking to an old friend after a few years of losing contact with them. As they shared with me their family’s “drama” I started feeling dirty, if you will. When I began to figure out why I felt that way I realized it was because “God” was not involved in their lives!

Now there is no way I would say that I have lived a perfect, or spotless life, but it has all been washed by the blood of Jesus and my sins are gone. Plus, life is good these days. Yes, things still breakdown occasionally and we have some struggles and challenges with finances, but knowing that God is right here with me makes me feel better about the things of life. I feel clean. Also, I know He protects us from the evil one, who wants to kill steal, and destroy!

Many people know how they should be living, and some were even raised up in the church, but for one reason or another, they choose not to live according to God’s words. He gave us those very words, not to make our lives boring, or a drudgery, but on the contrary to give us real life.  Abundant life! When He made man and woman, He placed them in a garden.  That’s the kind of life He wants us to have, but out of freewill, many choose to live in the city dump. It breaks my heart that they are missing out now, and will miss out for eternity unless they accept Jesus and ask him to be Lord of their life. To cleanse them by washing their sins away through his death on the cross and making them white as snow.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

He Finished Well

Later today, I am going to the funeral of the man pictured here, a friend.  I have known this man for probably 54 years.  After I heard the news last Friday evening, I was latter on Facebook.  A lady from his church posted his obituary and arrangements.  Below her post, people who knew him, started remembering, and honoring him.  They commented about his smile, his kindness, his servant’s heart, and his laughter. They were good words.

I begin reflecting on this out pouring of love, and thought about what kind of life one lives that moves people to respond as they were.  It didn’t take long for the answer to appear in my heart.

First, and foremost, you love.  You love God, and then love others.  You chose to ignore what other people say about someone, and you love them anyway.

Secondly, you show kindness.  You show it at work, at church, in your community, and at home.  With customers, family and friends.

Third, you serve others, which really is “love” in action. One man posted how my friend came and got them after their car would not start.

You do all this, not to receive kind words spoken or written about you when you die, but because this is the example Christ demonstrated for us while he walked the earth.  It’s simply the kind of life God calls us to.

I have fought an excellent fight. I have finished my full course with all my might and I’ve kept my heart full of faith. There’s a crown of righteousness waiting in heaven for me, and I know that my Lord will reward me on his day of righteous judgment. And this crown is not only waiting for me, but for all who love and long for his unveiling.  2 Tim. 4:7-8 (TPT)

In the above verse, Paul compares living life on earth as a race. It’s not a competition though with others to see who finishes first, second, or third. And unlike youth community sports programs, not everyone will receive a participation trophy! It’s about reaching the finish line, with God, and in my friend’s case, he finished well.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What Flavor of Favor?

Life is hard.  I think we all know and agree on that.  So when things go your way, it helps, and feels good too.  The world calls this, “”Catching a break”, but as a child of God, I call it, “Favor”.

Monday: I started having an issue with the pilot light on the water heater staying lit, so I called a plumber.

Tuesday:  The plumber came out, and upon further inspection he recommended replacing the whole tank and not just the part that controls the pilot light.  This was due to the age of the water heater that was in place.  I agreed.

Problem:  Due to a shortage of plumbers available to hire, and to an overabundance of work that was needing to be completed I was looking at being without hot water for a week, perhaps longer.

Wednesday: It started raining.  And it rained.

Thursday:  The plumber showed up first thing in the morning and installed a new water heater.  Apparently, all that rain prevented the plumbing company from being able to work on their prior jobs, and my job got moved up.  When the scheduling guy called and told me the good news he said, “You caught a break.”  After I got off the phone, I begin thanking God for favor.

As I have started getting familiar with “favor” I have learned as a child of God I can actually ask for it.  I have also noticed that it can come in many different “flavors” or ways.  As a need comes up, or you are about to call, or go into a place of business I now pray and ask God for favor to be bestowed upon me, and it usually is. When it is, I am grateful and thank God for it, but favor is also bestowed to those who live a life that is in right standing with God.

Here is how favor is gained:

1–2 My child, if you truly want a long and satisfying life,
    never forget the things that I’ve taught you.
    Follow closely every truth that I’ve given you.
    Then you will have a full, rewarding life.
Hold on to loyal love and don’t let go,
    and be faithful to all that you’ve been taught.
    Let your life be shaped by integrity,[a]
    with truth written upon your heart.
That’s how you will find favor and understanding
    with both God and men—
    you will gain the reputation of living life well.  Prov. 3:1-4 (TPT)

“Again, God thank you for favor with men.  Living by your ways, and commands really does make life easier, bearable.”  Now, I’m going to go take a hot shower!

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

“God is Good”

Every time a friend of mine hears that statement he responds, “All the time!”  And you know what?  He’s right.  “Good” is part of God’s nature.  He can’t help himself but be good.  When I was in Africa I learned, they also respond in the same way.

Why is it important to remember this part of God’s nature?  Because we live in a world that tries to tell us who and what God is, yet they don’t even know him.  Some have never even made his acquaintance.

“Pinpointing precisely how many religions there are in the world today is next to impossible, although some estimate the number exceeds four thousand. The vast majority of those faiths are contained within a handful of major religious groups.” (By Mary Fairchild, updated 03/22/21)

It’s this kind of “I know how to get to God” that has caused mankind to create over four thousand “religions”.  What is a religion?  In a nut shell, its man’s way to God, but technically;

“Religion can briefly be defined as a specific belief system about God or gods expressed through a code of conduct, ethics, forms of worship, and rituals. Religion includes social, ethical, and ceremonial elements combined with the belief in an unseen world and often a deity.”

Mary Fairchild

This is why it is important to know and accept “God’s way to man”, which is through “relationship”.  It is through his son, Jesus.  By accepting that He is God’s son and asking him to forgive you of your sins, wrong doing, and then inviting him to live and dwell in your heart.  All that means is live like Jesus did.

To love on people like Jesus did.  To value, and spend time with people like Jesus did.  To walk with them in life and show them there is a better way to live.  That, it is possible to have life, now on earth and to have it abundantly!

God is good, and in recent days He has shown himself extra good to my wife and me.  He has lead us to a ministry that we are excited about, and we are getting in on the ground floor.  But even in the valleys, and the days seem so dark, and so long, God is still good.  It’s in those days we have to lean in a little closer to him, and ask him for help.  To get to your destination you have to travel.  Some journeys take you through some pretty rough neighborhoods, over rough terrain, or stormy seas, but none of that diminishes God’s goodness.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Have You Considered?

dome 1

Covering of protection

Have you ever considered what your breaking point would be in life?  How much you could take?  What could you handle, but what is too much?  Severe sickness of you, or of the ones you love the most?  Losing your entire net worth?  Being abandoned by the very ones you thought cared the most about you?

“And the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job?”  Satan replied, “Have You not put a hedge (a covering) about him and his house and all that he has, on every side?” (Job 1:8 & 10 AMP)

God, because of Job’s relationship with him, had put a covering over him, or had his hand over him, so the results of a fallen, sinful, world could not affect Job, his family, or his possessions.  Once I got really angry at one of my neighbors.  I was so mad, I wanted to harm her, but I didn’t.  Instead I prayed and asked God to take revenge on her for hurting me,  After all, “Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” (Rom. 12:19 MSG)  One day I asked God what happens when he gets vengeance on someone.  He whispered back, “I slowly remove my hand from their life.”

I shuttered!  As time went on, I witnessed my neighbor losing her job, experiencing vandalism, and worst yet, the death of her oldest daughter.  I prayed for her.  I know God was hoping she would stop resisting him, and in turn, run to him.  She finally did.

Job resisted the temptation to blame God for his troubles and die, but eventually repented of his prideful way of thinking.  Then God restored everything back to him and doubled what he had lost.  Could you have handled such loss?  Or perhaps the better question is this, would God ever say to Satan, “Have you considered my servant: __________?“ (fill in blank with your name)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

5 Gifts I Received From My Father

Jerry R BradyAfter my father passed away, recently, I reflected on his life, and realized there were a lot of gifts, “life lessons” he gave me, but today I want to share the 5 biggest ones.

5. My father taught me how to fish. You see, he is the greatest fisherman I have ever met.  I realize I will never be as good as him, but I learned the sport of it, the joy of being in nature, and taking on the challenge.  Go fishing, and take a young person with you.

4. My father taught me how to be a good worker. I can only count maybe 10 days my father missed work, other than weekends and vacations.  He taught me; at work, look around, there is always something to do.  Be loyal, and work hard.

3. My father showed me, you can talk to anyone. My father was funny, and even a few seconds after meeting a stranger, a friend, or a loved one they would be smiling.  Spending time with someone is a gift.  Be generous.

2. My father taught me how to plan, be organized, and resourceful. A greater gift than I ever realized when I was young. This lesson, has saved time, helped me be prepared, and in general, made life easier.  Be ready for your next event.

1. My father (and mother) took me, and my sister, faithfully to church where I fell in love with the most amazing God. I accepted his free gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus.  I grew in knowledge of God, and dedicated my life to living for him.  I have not always gotten it right, but my loving Heavenly Father has understood, has forgiven me, and has helped me to move on.  This was the greatest gift my father and mother ever gave me.  It’s the greatest gift you could ever give anyone.  Share God.

Dad was ready for his final event as well.  Dying.  I hope you will be too.  I pray if you have never made that decision to accept God’s greatest gift, you will right now.  Just say, “God, I accept your Son, Jesus.  I ask him to forgive me of my sins, my wrong doings in life, and to come into my life and show me how to truly live.”

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. (Phi 1:3 AMP)  I love you Dad!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

God’s Top Ten List

The Ten

  1. No other Gods before me.
    I’m to be your first priority.
  2. Nothing should be your idol.
    Keep your life pure.
  3. Don’t use my name when cussing.
    Understanding this can bring humility.
  4. Keep Sundays Holy.
    Resting one day a week is a wonderful thing.
  5. Honor your father and mother.
    Doing so will bless your life.
  6. Killing is not good.
    Love is a much better way.
  7. Committing adultery tears people apart.
    Learning intimacy will bring people together.
  8. Don’t take what isn’t yours.
    If you do, you’ll never learn to trust.
  9. Lying is a bad idea.
    Honesty is always the way to go.
  10. You shouldn’t want what isn’t yours.
    Contentment brings peace to your life.

God didn’t come up with these 10 commandments to make your life miserable.  He didn’t do it so we would become “religious”, and start a bunch of denominations with a list of “rules” to live by.  He gave us these principles, to live by, so we could relate to him better, and with each other.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved