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.

If I Could Just Touch

050820 3I love the story, in the Bible, of the woman with the issue of blood.  Not because of her sickness, but because of her faith.  In case you don’t know it, she bled for 12 years.  Broke, and tired of being considered, “unclean” she thought, “If I could just touch the hem of his garment, I would be healed.”  She did, and she was.

To share some personal reflections concerning the time we are living in: you hear some talking about we are in “end times”.  “End times”, meaning the last days on earth as we enter into the days described in a book of the Bible, “Revelation”.  It’s easy to see a path where the world will try to come together and form a “One World Order”.  Using one currency, anywhere in the world.  Buying and selling by placing a chip in one’s hand or forehead.  They would first tell us this is how we have to have our Coronavirus vaccination.  Of course some call that chip, “The Mark of the Beast”.  Crazy?  No.  The Bible talks about it and it may not look exactly like that, but it will happen.

I also think after this first round of the virus you will see a lot of people move out of the “hot spots” and into smaller cities.  Especially now, realizing they can work remotely.

What does all that have to do with those who still believe in God, and the women mentioned at the top of this post?

We will need to have the kind of faith the woman had.  To believe God, no matter what so many others may be trying to convince us of.  To ignore their passion, beliefs, and convictions so we can concentrate on what God says.  Provisions could get scarce tempting us to cave and go along with the multitudes just to survive.  Could we put the carcass of a chicken in a pot at night and believe God for a whole chicken in that pot by the next morning?  Why not?  I heard a testimony of this actually happening.  Is that any harder to believe for than thinking you would be healed just because you managed to touch only the hem of Jesus’ garment?

My point is this:  As the days get harder, and on the outside scarier, will we maintain our faith?  Will we do what it takes to go against the crowd and reach out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment?  I say this, When you reach out and touch Jesus’ garment don’t let go!  Hang on till the very end.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The Last One to Speak

Charlie 021920DAY 1  A man’s daughter was struck with a sudden severe illness that required her to be put on life support.  The man captioned this event “The Psalms 23 Experience”.  He felt his family, “walking through the valley of the shadow of death”, they feared no evil, because they knew God was with them.  He believed this in spite of all the negative reports they received, at the hospital, on day one.

We judge most things by what we hear and see.  We tend to believe these things because our flesh perceived them first, but what if there was climate change?  What if we created an environment that showed God our faith?  What would happen if we allowed our spirit to perceive God?  If we began to hear what God said about the situation we were in?

If you’re going to pray for rain, bring an umbrella.

The man, whose daughter was sick, spoke of setting up an environment that gave God an opportunity to do some of his best work.  They played Spirit Spa instrumental worship.  They spoke of healing while in the hospital room, but they first “asked” God for what they wanted him to do.

Asking God, is huge!

I know, and agree, in the moment, we often believe what we hear and see.  We too many times take the first words spoken in a situation as truth.  The only truth.  It’s okay to acknowledge truth, but appeal to the One who can make things more true.  It was true the man’s daughter was sick, but what was more true was the fact, God, was going to heal her.

DAY 17  The man’s daughter returned home with a clean bill of health.  God, had the final word.  God, was the last one, to speak.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Flight 449

Charlie 020520 (5)Every day, about 4:10 PM, I see a Southwest Airlines jet flying over my house, if I am outside at the time, and if the wind is blowing from the south.  I did some research and found the plane starts in Dallas, TX. as flight #21, flies to Houston, TX. and changes its flight number to #449.  It’s known as a “scheduled” flight.

Schedules are nice.  You can count on them, but life doesn’t follow a schedule.

There can be things you are standing at the gate waiting to arrive and they don’t arrive.  A contract, a bonus check, a meeting with someone you are hoping will lead to new ventures.  Disappointment, discouragement, and disconnection can set in.  “Now what?” you might be asking yourself, or “What am I going to do?”

Even when you are a believer in God, and you have heard all the sermons, and have seen all the Facebook post that tell you, “God’s got this”, or “All things work together for the good of those who love God”, in that moment, it doesn’t feel like it.

Faith in God is hard.  We are such tangible creatures.  We want to see, we want to hear, and we want to touch.  Doing so seems so comforting.  We even have phrases like, “I wouldn’t have believed it, if I hadn’t of seen it with my own eyes.”  It is so easy for us to have doubt, about our lives, our choices, decisions and yes, even about God.

Why is doubt easier to have than faith?

What doubt really does is rob you!  It steals from you joy.  The real issue though, is It diminishes the size of the miracle when God works it all out in your life in a way that is best for you.  Can’t you hear Thomas, the disciple, after reaching his hand inside the opening where the Roman soldier pierced Jesus on the cross, saying, “I knew it was him.  Yep, I believed Jesus when he told us he would rise again after being dead for three days.”  I don’t mean any disrespect to Thomas, but I picture him as Deputy Barney Fife from “The Andy Griffith Show”.  Charlie 020520

You see the truth is this; faith grows, becomes more real, when you have no idea how it’s going to work out, or even when, but you trust God anyway.  You place it in his hands and then force yourself not to take it back a few days later.

Just because at 4:10 PM, if I am outside and looking up, I don’t see flight 449 making its final decent into Tulsa International Airport, doesn’t mean it wasn’t scheduled to fly that day.  It simply means, the wind was blowing out of the north.

Perhaps in your life, the Spirit of God is blowing in a direction you are not aware of.  Trust anyway, because the love of God is always on schedule.

Copyright © 2020 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.

?

20180618_173710BOne of the hardest things about being a child of God, is not knowing.

Not knowing what God is up to.
Not knowing his perfect will for you.
Not understanding why he hasn’t healed yet.
Not understanding why you still struggle with fear and fret.
Not believing you are on the right path.
Not believing he will provide you more cash.
Not seeing how he can help you, by keeping you in your current job.
Not seeing how you can overcome Satan at all.
Not sure you can continue with your family the way it is.
Not sure you are at the right church with all its religious biz.
Not feeling comforted and sure God is there.
Not feeling with all that is hurting you that God even cares.

With all the things you don’t know, understand, believe, see, be sure of and feel,
you must count on faith to get you through, for that is God’s deal.
We read in Heb. 11:1 that faith is confidence in what we hope for,
and assurance about what we do not see.  Know this is God’s core.
There are times we have to close our eyes, hang on to Him and believe.
Trust His ways are higher than ours, and he will get us through, even when we can’t see!
God honours those who live by faith, and He rewards obedience too.
By trusting God, and surrendering to Him, he will always do, what is best for you!

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Hide and Seek

toddler 1Most toddlers don’t play “hide and seek” very well.  The toddler can’t wait to be found and will often come out from where they are hiding, so you can find them, and when you see each other’s face, oh the joy, the smiles, and the laughter.  It’s a great feeling.

God doesn’t play “hide and seek” very well either.  He loves to be found, and will go to any length to find you, and when you see each other’s face…

 Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Spiritual Heart Murmurs

20180723_140043Doctor:  “Sit up straight and breathe normal.”  The doctor moved his stethoscope across my chest, and then around my back.  “Deep breaths.”  He listened.  For what?  Did he hear anything out of the ordinary?  Perhaps a murmur?  Was there reason for concern?

God:  What if God did that?  Listened to our hearts, and actually He does.  What would He hear?  A murmur?  Would there be any reason for concern?  So what would be a spiritual heart murmur?  Hatred?  Un-forgiveness?  Idolatry?  Lying?  A hurt?  Someone wronged you?

Search me, O God, and know my heart:  (Psa 139:23 KJV+)

Us:  What if we, God’s people, were walking around with spiritual stethoscopes?  Meaning; if we were talking to someone, we would take time to listen to their heart.  To actually hear if and what is causing them pain.  Then, what if we prayed with them right there, or promised to at a later time, and actually did?

Ask God to help you detect murmurs.  Your clue to stop and ask, “What’s wrong?”  Or, “How are you really doing?”  Doing this simple act might reduce the number of walking wounded around us.  Even better, would be to detect the problem early enough to prevent more serious heart damage.  Will you try?  Doing so, would show the other person you care, because God cares.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

How Much?

book 1I would go visit them, and before I knew it, they would be giving me a guided tour of their latest acquisitions.  Antiques, what nots, weird things, but things that appealed to them.  I would hear the story of where they found it, and why they liked it.  The one fact that never went unnoticed was how excited they were over their latest find, and the one thing that always struck me funny was when they would ask, “You want to know how much I paid?”

I was reminiscing the other day about those times and chuckling when I begin to envision Jesus showing me his latest acquisitions.  “This is John.  He was in a bar when he realized his life needed to change. He asked me to help.  This is Manjola from Albania.  I pursued him a long time before he finally accepted me.  Oh!  Over here is Akemi.  She’s from Japan.  She was desperate for real love, and a friend told her about me.”

Person, after person.  Jesus was enthusiastic over every one of them.  He told me their story.  How long He looked for them, as they were lost, but the one thing He never asked was, “You want to know how much I paid?”

“You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for by Christ]” (1Co 7:23 AMP)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

The Confession

20180618_161958Confession:  I have never been inside a confessional booth.  I grew up in a church where doing so was not part of our spiritual practice.  I am at a temple where there is one.  I am writing this blog post while sitting inside it.  Not intended, but in order to see I brought a small, but bright LED light.  It is casting such a white glow I think it scared a couple checking out the temple.

Here I sit, in this small, wooden structure.  It smells old, musty, perhaps from tears soaking the carpeted board beneath my feet.  There is carpet on the walls as well.  I guess to absorb the sound, but aren’t confessions meant to be heard?

I think there is also supposed to be a man in the booth next door.  A man to hear my sins?  My wrong doing?  What if he is actually a newspaper reporter?  Wait, when Jesus died on the cross, didn’t his selfless act of love cut out the middle man?  After all, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom.  The veil that once separated man from God.  Now Jesus is our High Priest.

I guess while I am in here I might as well start talking.  Heavenly Father bless me.  It has been 23 minutes since my last confession.  You remember.  Oh, you don’t?  Then maybe I should choose to forget it also.

Now, I confess all my sins.  The ones that denied you, dissatisfied you, destroyed me and demolished others.  The sins that dishonored you, discomforted you.  The ones that would disqualify me from your presence, if it were not for your Son.  The sins that diminished others, disgruntled my employers, and devalued my wife and children.  And don’t forget the one that deflowered me before I was with the proper one at the proper time.  The ones that delayed me from being obedient unto you and your plans.  I also confess the times I digested things that defiled my body, your temple.  The words I spoke that derailed others on track to finding you.  The times my actions denounced you.  The sins that I allowed that wound up discouraging me and damaging my faith.

Forgive me Father.  I ask for your mercy and grace.  Thank you for not deleting my name from your Book of Life.  Thank you for forgiveness, and for your Son, Jesus who gives life through his death.

Now what do I do Lord God?  “Go and sin no more.”

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved