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

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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

How Much?

book 1I would go visit them, and before I knew it, they would be giving me a guided tour of their latest acquisitions.  Antiques, what nots, weird things, but things that appealed to them.  I would hear the story of where they found it, and why they liked it.  The one fact that never went unnoticed was how excited they were over their latest find, and the one thing that always struck me funny was when they would ask, “You want to know how much I paid?”

I was reminiscing the other day about those times and chuckling when I begin to envision Jesus showing me his latest acquisitions.  “This is John.  He was in a bar when he realized his life needed to change. He asked me to help.  This is Manjola from Albania.  I pursued him a long time before he finally accepted me.  Oh!  Over here is Akemi.  She’s from Japan.  She was desperate for real love, and a friend told her about me.”

Person, after person.  Jesus was enthusiastic over every one of them.  He told me their story.  How long He looked for them, as they were lost, but the one thing He never asked was, “You want to know how much I paid?”

“You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for by Christ]” (1Co 7:23 AMP)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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