Cleaning up Life

20181130_231402I was going through my father’s papers the other day.  I had to keep some of them, but most of them were old records about his life that were no longer of value, so I shredded them.  While going through that process I thought about a man’s life, and the summation of it all.  Is the end result a bag of shredded documents?  I hope not.

Our lives, our legacies should live on after we are said and done.  The love we showed others should still be echoing off the walls of their hearts.  The kind deeds we expressed should still be bringing smiles to the ones who received them.  Love, is the only thing that will endure to the end.  Knowing this, it becomes paramount that we learn how to love unconditionally.  The only way to do that is to fall in love with the One who is love, and that is God.

“The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love–so you can’t know him if you don’t love.”  (1Jo 4:8 MSG)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Can A Turkey Have a Happy Thanksgiving?

sadA friend once invited me to Thanksgiving.  When I accepted her invitation she replied, “Great!  At least now we’ll have a turkey!”

Feeling like a turkey?  Getting basted by your boss?  Carved by one you thought cared about you?  Devoured by life?

Emotions are a choice.  No one, or any circumstance can “make” you feel anything.  You choose to feel a certain way.  The only way, in life, I have learned to be happy, despite my circumstances, is to focus on the One, whose under His wings I find refuge.

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Ps. 91:4  NIV)  Now that’s a reason to choose happiness!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Me 2.0

renewWhat does it take to change?  To stop being whom everyone knows, and become who God knows?  The only way I know to change, is the way God spoke of in Romans 12:2:

“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”  (AMP)

Renewing your mind, changes how you think. It begins to change how you see, talk to, treat, and hear people.  It changes where you go, and what you do.  When your mind has been transformed, people will know it, see it, hear it, and feel it.  You will begin living as God originally intended.  Others will be drawn to you.  They may not know why, but they will be attracted to God through you.  Their spirit will recognize the Spirit of God in you.

Here is the same verse from The Message

“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”  (MSG)

I couldn’t have said it better.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

God’s Opus

OpusWho’s standing at the podium of your life waving the wand?  Who’s directing you?  Who is orchestrating every step you take?  Who’s responsible for the sound coming from your life?  God, you, or someone, or something else?  If you believe in God and you see in your life things just seem to work out, look up, and smile at the conductor.  God is doing everything you will allow him to, in guiding your life.

I do see some, who say they believe in God, or even who have accepted him, whose lives are a constant struggle.  Yes, I know, it rains on the just and the unjust, and bad things happening does not always point to a life that is less than full devotion to God!

Then there are those who have not accepted God’s free gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus.  Some of those people seem to have very happy and successful lives.  I would dare say something else is directing their life, the devil, perhaps to keep them from thinking they need God at all.

I didn’t even know what an “opus” was until I saw the movie, “Mr. Holland’s Opus”.  I like the following definition:  any artistic work, especially one on a large scale.  I would say that is what God has, is and will be doing until his master piece is complete.  I believe we are in the last days here on earth.  Can you feel the crescendo coming?  I hope you are allowing God to direct your life.  You’re an instrument in the hands of the Almighty who knows how to take what you give him and make a beautiful sound with it.  Even if it’s not the life you wanted, it’s great, because God is in it.  Oh!  I got to go.  My solo part is coming up.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

God’s Plan

052012_44.12JB

Photo by Josh Brady

God, most of the time, doesn’t reveal where He is taking us.  If He did, many of us, would look for a short cut!  Taking the short cut would prevent growth, learning opportunities, chances to see God’s mighty hand, know and share his amazing love.  Learn to be content with the journey.  When you reach your destination, you’ll be glad you did, and you will be better for it.

I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race [journey], I have kept (firmly held) the faith. (2Ti 4:7 AMP)  (I added the word “journey”.)

Copyright © 2018 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

Be Quiet

what 1Be quiet mind,
for it’s not your time.
Body, sit still,
so you can feel.
Soul, open up, so you may receive,
what the Lord, in you, wants to conceive.

A new direction,
a better way of life.
One at peace,
where there is no strife.

Be quiet today,
sit still for a while.
Listen to the world around you,
hear the sounds of nature and smile.

Reflect on life, as it once was,
and learn from its mistakes.
Repeat them never more,
preventing future heart aches.

Be quiet and listen to others,
for enough noise you have made.
Let God speak, and heal you,
so your hurts can all fade.

It’s okay to be quiet,
for there is nothing to fear.
There’s a lot to take in,
God’s majesty to hear.

(Dedicated to Jo Anna)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved