Dump or Garden?

CtS21ft CamH3' 35mm 0001Mankind’s first address was inside Garden Grove Estates.  God gave Adam and Eve a home there, but they wanted more.  They wanted to know what God knew, even though he told them that kind of knowledge wasn’t for them.  They disobeyed, and got evicted.

Do you live in a garden?  I don’t live in a perfect one yet, but things are growing.  And I don’t even have a green thumb either!  My neighbor one day saw me trying to plant some flowers.  She said, “You don’t know what you are doing!”  I said, “I know, but I am having a great time.”  I desire, ache to live where God intended, meaning the kind of life, but since I don’t know what I am doing I need him.  I need him to design it.  I need him to remove the weeds, remove the trash, move boulders, and dig trenches for the living waters to flow in my garden.

I look around, and I see very few people living in gardens.  Instead, they have, like Adam and Eve, believed the lies of the devil, and have paid the consequences.  They have gotten hurt, down, defeated, or have settled.  Some have given up.  They act like “hope” is a four letter word, so they accept life in a dump.  It stinks!  It’s dirty, toxic, hazardous to your health, but they accept it.  More and more broken, ugly, bent, faded, rusty things of life, gets  dumped on them day after day, and they take it.  They call it life, and just assume, it can’t get any better.

This is not the kind of life God intended for you.  It hurts him to see pile after pile of trash dumped upon you.  Guess what?  You don’t have to live there!  You can move out of the dump, and into a garden, but you will need the help of the Gardner.  The One who loves you like you can’t even imagine.  Will you accept his invitation?  Will you change your address?  Come live in the garden God wanted you to live in.  Oh, and the cost?  Free, for his Son, Jesus paid it for you.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Mark Brady    1962 – 2018

my tomb stone 2We are gathered here today to pay our respects to Mark Brady.  In this grave, six feet below us, lies his body, his flesh.  Living by his flesh caused him to hurt a lot of people.  Wife, children, friends, sibling, coworkers, and even his mother and father.  Being led by his flesh opened the door to enter into a sin, where the result cast him out of the will of God.

Mark wondered around his own Mt. Sinai for 30 years.  After getting tired of the heat, of the desert, and the sand, he said, “oh the gritty, annoying sand got everywhere”, he begin looking for the exit ramp.

The act of dying doesn’t hurt, but killing your flesh does.  It goes against everything you know.  We’re afraid, if we do, we won’t be comfortable with ourselves, or others won’t, but is that more important than having Jesus comfortable with us?  It’s completely living the way Jesus showed us how to live.  Meaning, how to respond to others in our world.  An old man once said, “Life isn’t hard.  It’s all the freakin people that make it hard.”

Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].  (Mat 16:24 AMP)

Jesus told us to take up “our” cross and follow him.  The cross being an instrument of death.  So why would one want to?  It’s hard to describe unless you begin to experience it, but there is such joy in becoming intimate with God.  Becoming a son, like Jesus is.  God loves his Son, Jesus so much!  With that said, when you begin to walk in son ship with God, there is more peace, more joy, more faith, and definitely, more love than you could ever imagine!  It’s living life more abundantly!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Call of Duty

A hurt soul needs a mender.
One rejected needs acceptance.
A depressed one needs to be encouraged.
One feeling like a waste needs to know their value.
A person struggling with an addiction needs a cheerleader.
Someone down and out needs a break.
One near the edge needs hope.
A person ill needs healing.
Someone lonely needs a friend.

peopleThe list, could go on.  The truth is, these individuals need Jesus.  Most do not think to turn to him, because they can’t see him, but they can see you.  In a time, when our world is in so much pain, those who know Jesus, and has the hope he provides, needs to answer the call of duty.

God has placed you where he needs you.  You’re the one, who can take the time, speak a word, or give a hug.  You may never know the impact of taking a risk of faith to say, go or do, but one day you will.  “Do not be afraid,” the angel of the Lord would say to you.  The more you reach out, the more you say, and the more you come along side someone, you will find it strengthens you, encourages you, and increases your faith to do more. God will lead you, as you are his servant, saving lives.

Keep one thing in mind; there was someone, just like you, who took the time to be there for you, and shared the love of Jesus with you.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Check it out:
Touching, Spirit filled, sincere, encouraging words: https://tostrengthenamothersheart.wordpress.com

Something’s Fishy

I went fishing with my father this past week.  In a few hours we caught 50 sand bass.  As we were catching them we discussed how many there must be in the lake, and how random they must be swimming in order to find our lures.  Catching them seemed too easy.

The next day I was reading from Habakkuk 2 (yes that is a real book of the Bible found in the old testament) where it talked about fish “swimming without direction, swimming, but not getting anywhere.”  It made me wonder about people and the lives they live.  Is there purpose in their lives?  Is there purpose in your life?  Direction?  I hope so.

God made each of us for a reason and a purpose.  If you don’t know yours then ask Him.  Seek his will for your life.  He has a reason for gifting you the way he did.  No one can do what you can.

Copyright 2017 Mark Brady

It Hurts!

HURTYou listen as they describe their current pain, despair, nightmare of a life.  They go on and on without the slightest glimmer of hope on their face, or in their voice.  They want relief, they want out, they want something so different then what they have.  Like a blind man looking for his glasses, their searching is in vain.

You’ve heard it before, from them and from others you care so much about.  Will this be the time they listen to you?  Have they reached the end of their rope?  Have they had enough?  Maybe, maybe this will be the time they here you share the life they could have if they would only accept the free gift of Jesus Christ.  How His death provides life.  How His taking on the whole worlds sin and sorrow deliveres eternal joy, happiness, and peace, if we just say, “Yes” to His offer.

It hurts, when we hear them say, “Thanks, but it’s not for me.”  It doesn’t make sense.  It’s hard for us to understand.  Irwin McManis put it like this, “People would rather live a bad life “they” purchased, than a great life that is free.”

Keep praying and trusting God for those you care about.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Flat and Colorless as a Shadow

Ecc 8:12  Even though a person sins and gets by with it hundreds of times throughout a long life, I’m still convinced that the good life is reserved for the person who fears God, who lives reverently in his presence,

Ecc 8:13  and that the evil person will not experience a “good” life. No matter how many days he lives, they’ll all be as flat and colorless as a shadow–because he doesn’t fear God. (MSG)shadow

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my days to be as flat and colorless as a shadow.  I want them to be in full living color and have substance to them, to have meaning.  Whether I always know and understand that meaning or not.  I do that by giving my life back to the Life Giver.  To go, do, and say as He leads.  To fear God, meaning respect Him, and His words written in His book the Bible.  (All of them.)

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

What Living is Meant to Be

dirty-shirt-500It’s December 31, 2016 as I am actually writing this.  In a few minutes, 2016 will end, die, and the “new” year will begin.  Some like new.  New opportunities, new hope, a fresh start, but there are those who hang on to the old.  It’s kind of like someone continuing to wear an old, worn out, dirty shirt, instead of putting on a new, clean shirt.  They probably are not comfortable with something they don’t know how it will fit, or feel, so they continue to wear the old worn one.  The same can go for when people accept Jesus.  They know He has replaced their old rags (life) with something new, and that they “should” let go of the old life, but they struggle in doing so.

Have you ever realized if Jesus hadn’t of died there would be no new?  Without his death, there would be no resurrection.  God’s plan of salvation would have been nothing more than a nice gesture, or a generous thought.

2Co 5:17  “Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it!” (MSG, italics mine)

It can be very difficult, but in order to truly live, our old flesh has to die.  All of it.  So as this new year begins, make a fresh commitment to let God work on you, inside and out.  Let the old things pass away, and let new things in.  May you learn to get comfortable in how God dresses you.  Who knows?  You may finally realize what living is meant to be.

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Zombie Dogs

Zombie Dog 2My friend enjoys watching scary movies, but since her husband passed she won’t now.  I can certainly understand as I too have to pull my feet up onto the couch when I get scared from a movie.  I don’t want that thing under the couch to get me!  (It’s probably just lent.)  She says her dogs will usually lye in the living room while she watches most things, but she has noticed they will not go in there if she is watching a zombie movie.  She thinks it is because there are no zombie dogs.

After hearing this I got to thinking about why there are no zombie dogs.  I wondered if it was because dogs don’t taste like chicken. (I don’t know.)  But then I realized that zombie are or were humans and when a human is doing something wrong they want others to be doing it too.  Sin loves company.

My thoughts then turned to what the wages of sin are, and that is death.  (Romans 6:23)  Zombies are dead humans who are still alive.  One reason for them wanting to bite a normal human, other than because they are hungry, is to turn them into a zombie.  To join them in their miserable state of being dead, but alive.

One thing about death is; it is final.  Whatever a person was going through at the time of their death ends immediately when they do.  In some circumstances death can be welcomed, and if the person dying has the hope of eternal life with Christ in heaven then there really isn’t anything to fear.  I find it hard to believe that the “act” of dying is more painful than the process of living can be at times.

So quit living like your dying, and start dying to live.  Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came so that we may have life more abundantly.  Jesus wants us to be fully alive now and to really live the way God intended when we are in heaven.  That kind of life starts by accepting Jesus Christ into your life to be the Lord of your life.  By asking Him to forgive you of all of the sin in your past that causes eternal death.


Okay.  A search on the internet turned up a couple of zombie dog movies.
(This blog post is dedicated to Arlene.)