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

The Temple

20180618_103427I was sitting in a church admiring the grandeur, the architecture.  Then, I opened my Bible to a random spot.

As he walked away from the Temple, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at that stonework! Those buildings!” Jesus said, “You’re impressed by this grandiose architecture? There’s not a stone in the whole works that is not going to end up in a heap of rubble.” (Mar 13:1-2 MSG)

Then I heard God whisper, “They try so hard to please me.  To follow rules.  To get every step of pomp and circumstance in order without missing a beat.  But I, the Lord God simply want to rule their heart.  I will put my rhythm in their steps.  I will take their chaos and create order.  Even the windows to their hearts are stained.  There are many doors, but where do they lead?  Do they lead to me?

Their prayers are simply memorized.  Just hit play!  Where is the freshness that drips from their lips?  Their place of worship is hard and cold.  I desire 20180618_103903they worship me from their soft, warm, living hearts.  They feel their good deeds achieve tally marks on a chalk board by my chair.  I would rather the receivers of those deeds feel me.  They step into a dark, small closet to confess their sins.  I say confess them loudly from your roof tops, so you are less likely to repeat them.

The water by the doors is not holy.  Only I, the Lord God Almighty is Holy.  Dip your fingers in me.  Sprinkle me upon your body.  And while you’re at it, take a shower in me.”

God can be in any building, in fact He can be anywhere like your home, office, or car, but only if you take him there, or invite him in.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

My Chair

20180605_123227HER CHAIR:  “Hi.  How are you?”  I stood, holding open the door to the bank.

“Oh, I’m okay I suppose.  I just came from seeing my foot doctor, and well, I just can’t wait to get home to my chair,” the elderly lady said doing her best to conceal her pain.

A CHAIR:  As I reached the car, the words “my chair” were still echoing in my ears.  I was reminded of a pastor I once listened to, who used to encourage us to have a chair, where we would sit and have time with God.

THE CHAIR:  Then I thought of James Rubart’s book, “The Chair”.  A good read about an antiques dealer who is given, what appears to be a simple chair, but he is told it was made by Jesus when he was working in his dad’s carpenter shop.  He struggled to believe this, but when things happened to those who sat in it, his acceptance, begin to grow.

Your CHAIR:  Do you have one?  Do you have a special place where you like to go and sit and spend time with God?  Either in his word, or talking with him through prayer, or a place where you just go and absorb God.  I hope so.

MY CHAIR:  I have a chair, and I value the time I take to sit in God’s presence.  Yes, I know, life gets busy, and it takes discipline, or a strong desire to be with God, to take a moment and step off of the hamster wheel.  You know the wheel just goes round and round.  No matter how hard you try, you get nowhere.  Perhaps getting off, and resting with God will get you further down the road of life than you ever could imagine.  Sit, invite God into your room, into your life, and see what begins to happen in you.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved