You Know What?

alte6596873Big news!  I have been invited to Washington D.C. to meet with President Trump and a commission he is putting together on creativity.  I think I was selected because of this blog.  The president wants to find different ways to get young people to express themselves, to set goals, and have dreams to live for.  Okay, April’s fool.

To be honest, I have never understood this day.
It’s lying.

One year I was asked to be at a wedding.  I traveled hundreds of miles to get there and the next day, as I was on my way to where the event was to be held, it dawned on me the date was April 1st.  When I saw the young couple I said, “If this is an April fool’s joke you’re dead!”  They laughed and then assured me it wasn’t.  I guess it does make it easier to remember the wedding date.

You know what?  There are fools year round, not just in April, and people do foolish things all the time.  Believe it or not, I’ve been known to do a foolish thing here and there, but that’s another blog I don’t want to write!  The most foolish person is the one who does not believe in God.

“The fool says in his heart, there is no God.”
Psalm 14:1 (NIV)

There are people who say, “There is no God.”  I wonder what they will say when they stand in front of him?  How do they arrive to this opinion?  I’m not sure, but the Bible says God gave everyone a measure of faith.  I tend to think when these people boast about their opinion they have a measure of doubt.  I’m sure they hope they are right.

One might live like a fool, but you don’t have to die a fool.  You can believe in God, accept his Son, and then ask him to help your unbelief.  You know what?  He will.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

350, 1 Hour, Serve

Charlie 0320 8You go to a friend’s house and they serve a wonderful dinner.  You go on and on over the entree and you even ask for the recipe so you can imitate it, or duplicate it at home.  Then the day comes when you make the item, and you have great anticipation of it melting in your mouth the way it did when you first tried it, but it doesn’t.  You go over the recipe line by line and you swear to yourself you followed it 100 percent.  Disappointment sets in, perhaps even anger.

I have noticed whenever there is a guest speaker, people will flock to the church and sit there with pen and paper taking notes.  The speaker may be sharing their testimony of what God did in their life.  The people listen with intent.  Then when they go home they start doing the things in their life, just like the guest speaker, but they don’t get the same results.  Disappointment with God sets in, and perhaps even anger.

There are two reasons why:

1) You aren’t them. God worked in the guest speaker’s life in a unique way knowing the best process to minister to and through them.  Now, with that said, there certainly are some principles based on the word of God that can be applied to every believer.

2) God is creative. I think he likes doing things differently for each person.

Is it the guest speaker’s fault?

No.  There is nothing wrong with them sharing their experiences with God, because their victory can increase your faith.  Just don’t expect God to do the same thing as he did for them at least in the same way.

A better way:

Instead of trying to duplicate someone else’s success with God try getting to know him.  I mean know him so well you don’t ever second guess his commandments, or instructions.  There are no shortcuts in this process.  It takes time, lots of time hanging out with the creator of the universe.  Did you know God had a great sense of humor?  There is nothing like talking to God and then having a belly laugh moment with him!  Get to know his nature, his love, and then imitate him.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Vacancy, For Rent, or Move In?

Charlie 032420Is your heart a hotel for God?  Let’s face it, some let God check in, but then tell him when check out time is.  Worse, others may even post a “No Vacancy” sign.

Or perhaps you rent your heart to God.  You let God in for a particular term of time.  You specify the rules, and how things should be left when He moves out.  It wouldn’t surprise me if you even asked for references.

Why are so many people afraid to give their heart to God?  Because they are afraid he will make changes.  Like clean up the dirt, get rid of the clutter and even rearrange the furniture.  “No!  Not the furniture!”  So many people aren’t happy, but they don’t want to give up control.

If one wants God to do his best work they must sign over the deed to their heart.  Allow him to clean, declutter and yes, even rearrange the furniture.  I assure you, if you trust him to do what needs to be done in order for you to have a better life you will like the improvements.

Rick Renner, from his book “Sparkling Gems from the Greek” reminds us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:19)  He leads us in a prayer and a confession:

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY  Lord, I am so excited to think that You made my heart Your home. It is so overwhelming to think that You want to live inside me. Help me see myself as Your dwelling place and to honor Your Presence inside me by the kind of life I lead. I want to bless You and honor You, so please help me do the right things that bring You the greatest pleasure and joy. I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY  I gratefully acknowledge that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Holy Spirit lives inside me. My heart is not a hotel where He occasionally visits; rather, my heart has become His home. He has invested His power, His gifts, His fruit, and the life of Jesus Christ in me. Inwardly I am highly adorned with the goodness of God. My spirit is so marvelously created in Christ Jesus that God Himself is comfortable to live inside me! I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

If God…

c2gpic1If God healed me of one of my issues, there would be no reason to go to the doctor who is treating me for that issue.  The truth is though that doctor is searching for God.  Over the last two years I have developed a safe and trusted relationship with him as I listen to his thoughts, and opinions and he listens to mine.  If God healed me, who would be there to share the gospel with him?  Sure, God could send a new patient, but building that relationship takes time.  Also, would the next patient be open to share God?

If God provided all the money I would ever need, all at one time, would I continue to rely on him to meet my every need?  There was one time I was asking God for money to pay off a credit card and a small loan.  I sensed He asked me, “How much money do you need today?”  I thought about it and said, “Well, actually all the monthly bills have been paid and there is food in the kitchen and gas in the car.”  Then God said, “Then why are you asking me for money today?  I will provide as you have need.”

How you respond, when you need God to move in your life, is a benchmark of your trust in him.

If God showed you your spouse before it was time what do you think would happen?  I tend to think you would contact them and make a mess of things and not wind up together.  Why?  Because it wasn’t time.

If God told you about losing your job in advance, most would put matters in their own hands and go get a new job before it was time.  That sounds like good planning, but it robs you of the opportunity to act on your faith.  The Lord God almighty, might lead you to a better job making even more money than the job you found.

Yes, there are times when God acts on your behalf before you need it, or does tell you what is about to happen before it does, but most of the time He knows it is best to let these things happen to you and then see how you react to them.

Faith isn’t built in a time of need, but displayed.

God can do anything, at any time.  Knowing that is why we need to trust him and his timing.  God loves it when his child, who is walking through a very dark time in their life, reaches over and takes hold of his hand.  There’s no reason to say, “If God…”, but there is every reason to say, “God, I need you.”

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What’s Your Seat Number?

Charlie 020120 God’s is speaking a lot lately, through many means, but seems to be saying the same thing.  When that happens, pay attention and listen to the message, because God doesn’t want you to miss it.

God is separating the sheep from the goats now.  God doesn’t want those who only play “church”, or go to church because the calendar says it’s Sunday, but he wants those who are true worshipers and those who desire to go deeper with him.  He is taking his flock of sheep and getting them ready, trained, equipped to be a part of the most mighty out pouring of his Spirit like the earth has never seen before.  God delights in using his people to accomplish his will.  God wants you to be a part of it too.  As for what God is getting ready to do:

I just don’t want to see it,
I just don’t want to hear it,
I just don’t want to feel it,
but I want to be a part of it!

Tomorrow is Super Bowl LIV (That’s 54 for those who don’t speak Roman).  There will be thousands at the game.  There will be millions watching on TV around the world, but there will be 22 on the field.  Only twenty-two playing the game.

I don’t know what your seat number is, but I want to be on the field.  I might not know what to do, but I trust my God to lead me, and guide me in the moment.  I don’t want to be a spectator, but a player.

Training camp is in session.

I don’t want to be in the limelight, that’s not my goal, but to do everything God ask me to do to advance his kingdom, for his glory.

Get ready.  It’s about to happen.  Tune in to God, and find your place.  I pray you will join me on the field.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

CSI

Charlie 89I used to drive fast.  I mean, really fast, or perhaps I should say, “stupidly fast!”  In the early eighties, in Massachusetts, I was driving my Chevette.  Okay, you can stop laughing now.  As I was going up a hill and into a sharp turn to my left I saw a car coming fast, straight for me in my lane.  It was going to be a head on collision and I said to myself, Oh this is going to hurt!  But right before the point of impact I shut my eyes hard, and screamed, “Oh God!”

My car kept moving around the bend in the road, but my body moved back into the seat and then forward.  I remember thinking, what?  When I looked in my rear view mirror, the car was so close behind me I couldn’t see the license plate.  Did the other car go through me?

If you could go back and examine the scenes of your life.  The ones that astounded you, surprised you, or perhaps hurt you the most.  You might be compelled to look for clues to answer those nagging, lingering questions like, “How did this happen?”

If you could dust the scene for finger prints to find out who all was involved, you know like a crime scene investigator, would it surprise you if you detected God’s fingerprints?

Not that He was the one who did the damage, but that He was there.  Most likely keeping you from being killed, or injured more severely.  Perhaps it was him who got you out of there or got you help in a timely manner.  How many times have you shared your story and have actually heard people respond something like, “Wow, God was definitely with you.”

I think we will all be surprised when we learn, how involved in our lives, God was.  Either he did it because he loves those who call him Father, or he did it hoping you would feel his love and involvement and choose to love him back.  Either way, he loved!

“The Lord your God is in your midst;
he is a warrior who can deliver.
He takes great delight in you;
he renews you by his love;
he shouts for joy over you.”
Zephaniah 3:17 (NET Bible)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

LOOK!

Charlie 126Recently, a mother shared with me one of her two year old’s newest habit.  She said, “Everywhere we go, he announces to anyone, ‘Look, this is my mother!’”  I laughed as I pictured her adorable son smiling and making that bold declaration.

A bit later, after I had walked away, it hit me; what if we made that same kind of declaration of our Heavenly Father?  “Look, this is my Heavenly Father, God!”  Then after the introduction we go on to share his nature, his love, and the many blessings he has bestowed upon us.

The key to doing this is always being aware of God, his presence, everywhere we go.  Also, it helps to be happy being associated with God.

I’m no longer afraid to be seen in public with him.

There was a time I was more concerned about what others may think, if they knew I had those kind of connections, but now, I don’t care, and in fact, I want everyone to know.  The two scriptures below sum it all up for me:

It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.”  Romans 1:16-17 The Message (MSG)

“Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven.”  Matthew 10:32 The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Because He Is

Charlie 12God, I worship you, and praise your name, because you are:

Love

Patient

Kind

Merciful

Good

Long Suffering

Forgiving

Creative

You Want the Best for Me

You Endure

You Never Fail

Worthy

Deserving

God

Father God, it’s my privilege to know you, love you back, and worship your Holy name.  I can’t even begin to fathom where I would be in life without you, God.  Possibly, I would have everything the world says I should in order to claim a successful, rich, and happy life, but I know without you, I would be bankrupt!  I would have nothing.  Thank you, God, for everything that matters.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.