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

Is This It?

20171122_144820

The church, where I first learned about a better life.

Have you ever asked yourself is this it?  What’s next?  Is there more?

As I was giving thanks to God this week for His many blessings upon my life, a thought hit me.  One I don’t recall having before.  For those who have never accepted Jesus as their savior, and had their sins, wrongs forgiven, then this is it!  This life is the best they will ever have.  For them, there is no hope for an even better life.

This life, with its hardships, struggles, and pain.  This life with its sickness and diseases.  With its final blow, death!

But we don’t have to settle for just this life.  We can choose to have the hope of a better life.  A life with no hurt, sickness, and no death.  Think of it this way; if those who believe and have accepted God are wrong then we have only gotten the same as you.  This life.  But, if we are right, if our faith delivers the hope God’s word says is waiting for us then we have so much more.  So much more than just this life.  And on the way to that better life, is God.

Act 2:26-28   I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope. I know you’ll never dump me in Hades (Hell); I’ll never even smell the stench of death. You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around. (MSG)

 Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

The Best Day of My Life

070315_26I used to think the best day of my life was the day I retired.  I no longer have to work.
Then I thought the best day of my life was the day my granddaughter was born.  I experienced such joy.
The day my daughter was born was a great day too.  She smiled, my heart melted.
The day my son was born, wow, I beamed as he held my finger when I took his hand.
My wedding day was awesome.  This beautiful woman accepted me, and said, “I do.”
Graduating college was a good day.  A little more meaningful than finishing high school.

Those were good days of my life, but the best day, was the day I accepted God’s free gift of salvation through his son, Jesus.  For it was God who got me to those great days, and through them, and all of the ones that weren’t so great.

In reality though, the best day of my life will be my last one.  The day I die.  (Don’t worry, I’m not rushing it.)  You see, on that day, because I gave my life to God, and have done my best to live according to his word, and have asked for forgiveness for the times I didn’t, when I die, I will enter into heaven.  No more pain.  No more hurts, disappointments, or tears.  That, will be the best day of my life!

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Thorns and Thistles

080512 169Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is life so hard?”  You strive to do good, get ahead, but at times it seems the more you press forward the further behind you get.  In your finances, at work, or in relationships.  The truth is, it’s not your fault.  When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden part of the punishment was life would be harder.  They received their sentence before they were evicted from the home God wanted for them.  See the scripture below:

Gen 3:18   The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you’ll get your food the hard way, Planting and tilling and harvesting, (MSG)

All the more reason we need God to lift us out of the weeds and thorns of life that desire to choke, and overcome us.  If you’re tired of weed whacking then stop, and ask God for help.  He will, and He can.  Consider the fact His way was for us to live in a garden.  My neighbor once saw me planting flowers several years ago.  She said, “You don’t know what you are doing!”  My reply, “I know, but I’m having a great time.”  God, the master gardener, knows what He is doing.  Turn your life over to Him then trust and obey.  That’s the only way to live life in the garden.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Close Gifts

red-crossMary held him close enough to hear him breath.  To feel his chest move in and out.  To see every radiant color of his eyes.  Her heart melted when he smiled.  Just think what an honor it must have been to be that close to God.  To hold God in your hands.

Jesus said, “For the Father and I are one.” (John 10:30)  Mary held God.  Today, God can hold you.

When it hurts, when you’re scared, when you’re confused, run into God’s arms.  Because God gave us His son, His son gave us God.

 

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

To Know

To know unconditional love;
is to know God.
To know real forgiveness;
is to know Jesus.
To know perfect direction;
is to know the Holy Spirit.

To know pure laughter;
is to know true friends.
To know great joy;
is to know a child.
To know time;
is to know an elderly person.

To know gratitude;
is to feed the hungry.
To know security;
is to clothe the naked.
To know health;
is to visit the sick.

To know peace;
is to know contentment.
To know lasting hope;
is to know faith.
To know wisdom;
is to know the Word of God.

Joy = Love + Laughter

by  guest blogger Lydia Floren

laughterEveryone loves to laugh.  Why is that?

  • Laughter is infectious.  If you are around someone who is bent over laughing (and also maybe about to pee their pants if they are a certain age), you immediately smile.  And if they keep on laughing, even if they don’t say a word, you start to laugh with them, and try to get their attention to find out what is so funny, so you can share the joke.
  • Laughter, like a good cry, is soul cleansing –but unlike tears, laughter doesn’t usually leave you exhausted or melancholy.  On the contrary, it is invigorating.
  • Laughter is bright. Not in an ethereal-luminous-sort of way, but in a blinding-flash-of-light kind of way.  In fact, you could say

Laughter is audible sunshine. 

Laughter is refreshing, especially when someone is laughing at themselves.  It reminds you not to take yourself too seriously.

  • Laughter is a game changer.When your sense of humor is tickled, and you start to laugh, whatever foul mood, or pity party, you might be experiencing tends to evaporate.
  • Laughter is a gift from God.  Think about it: God invented laughter, just as He did everything else we know and experience.  He programmed us each with our funny-o-meter. And here’s an interesting concept: God laughs.

God laughs?  Of course He does. In fact, I bet He laughs a lot.  No one could create some of the amazing quirky creatures in our world without a lively sense of humor.   He surely chuckles, as any loving parent would, at the many funny things we say and do.  And He must certainly laugh – in that deep satisfied way – when his children step into joy.

You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

                Psalm 16:11  NASB

Joy is the hallmark of a person who lives in God’s presence.  Such a person loves. And smiles. And laughs.    

 You might say

Joy = Love + Laughter.

 

Copyright © 2016 belovedlove, All rights reserved.

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