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

Believing Builds Believing

“I just don’t believe there could be one, all-powerful being,” David said.

“So you would like proof, first, before you would choose to believe in God,” I replied.

“Yes!”

“God asks us to believe in him by faith,” I said.

“I need proof.”

“Okay.  Let’s say God will, because of how much he loves you, let you have proof first.  What would it take?  What would you need to see, or witness, in order to believe in God?” I asked.

As David sat in his office chair, he was visibly considering my question.  After ten minutes, he turned, looked at me, and said, “I don’t know.  I don’t know what would be enough.”

God_you thereA somber event took place in front of me.  The reality is this; for a man, using his own reasoning, which is limited, nothing could satisfy him.  No proof would be enough.  Everything God might do, or has done, to prove his own existence, some men would reason it away, and have.  It’s as if they try to make God conform to their rules of existence, and that’s just not going to happen.

Another reality is this; God does exist.  I have met him.  I have talked to him, and he has answered me.  I have seen his work, in creation, in the most intricate details of nature, and in the life of a man.  Only God, can take the vilest of men, and change him forever.  One example is Saul.  He saw Jesus.  Saul had a life changing encounter with Jesus, and he went from wanting to kill those who believed in God, to preaching to those that didn’t.

All this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master’s disciples, out for the kill. He went to the Chief Priest and got arrest warrants to take to the meeting places in Damascus so that if he found anyone there belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem. He set off. When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice: “Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?” He said, “Who are you, Master?” “I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down. (Act 9:1-5 MSG)

If you want to see God the Father, then study the life of Christ.  For Jesus himself said, “To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?” (Joh 14:9 MSG)

(Note: The person’s name, in this real story, was changed.)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

It’s About Time!

clockOld Testament time:  Mankind was given “time” by God.  He created light, and separated it from dark.  He called the light “day”, and the dark “night”.  That was day one. (Gen. 1:3-5)  Pastor Robert Morris says, time gives us stability, and rhythm to life.  During eternity, there will be no need for time.  Jesus operates in a whole different realm than we do.  He is not bound by time.  He can go back in time, and forward in time, in no time.

Abraham’s wife, Sarah, had time reversed for her body and appearance.  She did not look like an old grandma when she had Isaac at the age of 90, but like a beautiful young woman.  So much so, while Abraham was camping in Gerar, he lied, and said she was his sister so he would not be killed for actually being her husband. (Gen. 20:1-18)

New Testament time:  When Jesus’ mother, Mary, asked her son to turn water into wine, while at a wedding, he answered her request.  One of the wedding guest commented the host saved the best wine for last.  Good wine takes 2 years to make.  How did Jesus do it?  I’m not sure, but I believe he could, can and did.  Mary believed as well. (John 2:1-11)

Your time:  I heard a testimony the other day where a kid closed the car door on his hand.  His mother prayed that his hand would go back to how it felt 2 minutes before the accident.  When she got done praying, he said his hand didn’t hurt any more.

Why am I sharing this?  There is a realm, we who call ourselves believers, need to move into.  The realm of possibilities that Jesus lives in.  A realm that is not bound by time.  Being “Christ like” can be for these days, and not just after we arrive in heaven.  Why now?  Because as we approach the last days our faith will need to be stronger.  We will need to know the impossible has always been possible, if we just learn to believe it, and ask for it, like Mary did.  We don’t have to know how, but that it can be done.  The Holy Spirit is sharing this with others around the world.  Jesus will help us and welcome us into this new realm of believing and living.  In fact he will probably say, “It’s about time!”

Copyright © 2018 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

Whew!  Sundays Over!

Church 1 (2)

Photo by Michael Wall of Wall2Wall Foto

A girl in my 11th grade English class once said, “I love being Catholic!  I can have my sins forgiven Saturday night, and then live like hell the rest of the week.”  Now, I’m just quoting her and not saying a thing about the Catholic faith, so please, no emails.  I’m not Catholic, but being honest, have had similar thoughts.  Only mine are more like, “Ok.  I got the Sunday thing done.  Now, I can indulge my flesh.”

A fight, a struggle.  I want to do the right thing.  I want to please and obey God, but I find no matter how long I have been doing this, I still struggle with thoughts of wanting to do what I want to do.  Some are just down right thoughts of being lazy.

The great apostle Paul struggled as well.

Rom 7:18  I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it.
Rom 7:19  I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. (MSG)

So how, or what are we to do then?  1) Of course ask God to help us.  We will never be able to do it on our own.  2) Bring every thought into captivity.  Be honest about the thought, and if it is a bad thought then start looking for the door that has a sign above it that reads, “EXIT”.  God promises to make a way of escape.  Sometimes that exit may be praying.  Have you ever sinned while praying?  I haven’t.  Leave the room.  See what your family is doing, or call a friend.  And if they are a trusted friend, tell them you are struggling.

My classmate, I mentioned in the beginning, was married.  Her husband shoved a shotgun in her mouth and pulled the trigger before that school year was over.  I have often wondered what God thinks when people live like she did on a regular basis.  I yield my opinions to God.  This one thing I know for sure:  I can overcome, because Jesus overcame first, and so can you.

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

Stumble or Build?

stone 1There it is.  Right there in front of you.  It is unwelcomed, and even now, is unwanted, but there it is.  A situation has developed in your presence.  One that activates emotions.  They seem to come out of nowhere, and they arrive so fast.

Immediately, you are forced to answer the question; “Am I going to stumble, or am I going to build?”  You’re interacting with someone when all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of a misunderstanding, or someone acting ugly.  What do you do?  Do you match their level of intensity?  Lobby similar words?

One way of reacting will most likely cause you to “stumble”.  Your relationship could break down, or fall apart.  Over what?  A situation?  But what if you took a moment, breathed, and responded in a way that would “build” your relationship?  That would cause you to grow closer to the individual, or grow and mature inwardly.

AND [Jesus] said to His disciples, Temptations (snares, traps set to entice to sin) are sure to come, but woe to him by or through whom they come! (Luk 17:1 AMP)

Satan casts the first stone.  He definitely wants you to stumble.  Hoping you will fall, and get hurt.  Jesus hands you a hammer in hopes you break up the stone and build a stronger relationship.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved