Knowing the Way

040420When I was four years old I was able to show people how to get from our house to JCPenny.  I didn’t know the street names, but I knew when to get off the highway, and when to turn and which way.  This may be more important; I knew how to get back home.

Funny story; when I was five, we had been to JCPenny and other stores at the outdoor mall, it was the mid-sixties okay, and I had seen at least four different “Santa Clauses”.  Something just didn’t add up.  Then it hit me, and while we were on our way home, I blurted out the truth of how the whole thing worked.  My mother almost wrecked the 1963 Chevy Impala trying to reach over the back of the front seat and slap my legs, or whatever she should make contact with and screaming at me, “Shut up!”  My older sister started crying and whimpering, “It’s not true!  It can’t be true!”

A couple of years ago, I was working security at my church, when a middle age couple approached me and asked for money.  They said they had been in town to visit his sister who was in the hospital.  They shared they had intended to drive into town, visit, and drive back home.  Instead, they said they got lost and turned around several times.  So much so, their gas tank was almost empty.

I felt bad for them, and I didn’t give them cash, so I walked across the street and filled up their car.  While the man she was living with, it was an impression, went in to the store to do something, I had the opportunity to speak to the woman sitting in the car.

After meeting them I kept getting a feeling, or was hearing from God, that she used to go to church, but because of some bad choices in life had gotten away from the faith of her youth.  I squatted down so I could look at her in the face through the driver’s window and said, “I feel like God wants me to give you a message.  He wants you to know he misses you.”  She started crying.  I said, “I feel like you used to go to church when you were a little girl.”  She, now wiping tears, mentioned, “My grandma used to take us kids every Sunday.”  I encouraged her to, no matter what, with or without him, to go back to church again.  I told her I was sure God wouldn’t hold it against her that she had been MIA for so long, because he just wanted to see her come home.  Hang out, talk, and get caught up.

Before writing this blog tonight, I got the impression there is one, or perhaps many people who need to go home again.  Not just to a “church building”, but to a place where you can learn the true nature of God.  How much he loves you.  I think the message God had for her is similar to the message he wants you to hear.  If you don’t know how to find your way home, ask Him to help you.  He will.  He knows the way.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What the Corona is Going On?

Charlie 0320 105There is so much going on in our world right now.  I’ve thought about taking pain pills before sitting down and watching the evening news.  There is so much devastation, sickness, hate, and crime.  It’s no wonder people live in fear.  People fear the most what they don’t know.  Mainly, they don’t know what is going to happen in the future.

What’s going to happen to my 401?  Funny in a way, most people in the world don’t even know what one is much less have one.  They’re more concerned about catching the Coronavirus.  If they don’t contract the virus will it affect their job?  The world has for certain become a smaller planet. We are more connected to people in China, South Africa, India, and Europe than ever before.

Then there are problems here at home like politicians not getting along and acting like they are in kindergarten all over again.  Wildfires out of control, severe storms that cause flooding, mudslides, and total devastation from wind damage.

You might be saying, “Thanks Captain Obvious!  We know!”

What this world needs is climate change!  You might be thinking, “We have that too!”

Just a thought: how do we know what the temperature was before the floods of Noah’s days?  I’m saying, what if the earth’s temperature is just now getting back to what it was before all that water covered the earth?  A lot of the water froze because the ground was covered.  Anyway, back to our regular scheduled program already in progress.

The kind of climate change I am writing about is in our in countries, our states or provinces, in our cities, on our street, in our home, in us.  You see, a lot of people want things to change.  The very people who live in fear, but they either don’t know how, or what to do.

Believing in God is not just a cliché,

but the start of laying a solid foundation upon which to build your life.  Accepting Jesus, as God’s son, and asking for the forgiveness of all your wrong doing gets you access to all that God offers his children.  Protection, guidance, direction as well as a host of other things, the walls, we need as mankind.  Then asking for the Holy Spirit to dwell within us is the roof.  Our structure is complete.  The Holy Spirit not only brings peace, but power to stand firm anytime, and power to do things for God.

Real life, built and lived out on Godly principles, changes everything.  For one, there is perfect peace in God, and perfect peace cast out fear.  it changes not just us, but our street, our cities, our states, our countries, our world.  Things in our world aren’t going to change for the positive until we, those who know God and act like it, do.  Then, as God, through his Holy Spirit leads us, we can change the climate of our world.  I’m in!  Are you?

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Prison Didn’t Change Him

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was saddened the other night, as I watched a news report, of a man whose prison sentence had been commuted.  Not so much because he was out early, but when he spoke to the reporters it seemed as if he had not changed at all.  He still came across arrogant, and defiant, as if he did nothing wrong.  He felt he was unjustly charged, but was found guilty and put behind bars.  Prison didn’t change him.

From the Bible, when Joseph the Dreamer, came out of prison he was a changed man.  I believe a wiser version of himself, but one who, though had been humbled, still believed the dream God had given him many years earlier.  Prison changed him.

When the Apostle Paul was in prison, in Acts chapter 16, he didn’t let prison change him either.  At the midnight hour, he and Silas began singing, yes worshipping while their beaten bodies hung on a cold, damp dungeon wall, when so many others would have complained.  “God, look at what I got for obeying you.  Do you see the pain I am in?”  Dan Betzer tells this story better than anyone I have ever heard.  Dan believes when the voices of those two men rose to heaven and God heard their praises He turned to his Son, and said, “What this song needs is a lot of percussion.”

It was then, in their darkest hour, an earthquake took place, and the men found themselves freed from the chains that held them tight, and the door to their cell flung open.  The guard knew if the prisoners escaped it would mean the end to his life, so he drew his own sword to take it, but Paul stopped him, by saying, “We are all still here.”  The guard was so moved he invited Paul and Silas to his house for dinner where his whole family accepted Jesus.  Paul was not changed by prison, but Paul changed prison!

What prison are you in at the current time?  Is there something holding you back?  A person or situation that is keeping you from being the person God sees you being?  You don’t have to let your circumstances change you, but with God’s power, you can change your circumstances.  You can be freed from your situation.  Your sentence can be commuted.  Ask God for what you need to move out of prison, and to move on with your life, your dream.  He loves you, sees you, and cares for you so much.  Live life free.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

If I Fail

Charlie 022920“If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.”  Something a few people forget before they get taken financially.  In other words, there aren’t many good deals or 100% guarantees in life.  So when I saw the picture with this blog post, which is a sticker that was on the side of a product, I laughed.

As I was laughing, my thoughts turned to God.  What if God came with this sticker?

I heard a testimony tonight where a prophet shared God’s love with a dictator.  The prophet told the dictator the code name of a top secret mission, and he also told him something that happened on his daughter’s birthday the dictator felt very bad about.  The dictator replied, “Those things are guarded secrets.  How did you know?”  The prophet said, “God told me.”  The dictator was so moved he accepted God and tried to give the prophet a bag of money.  The prophet laughed, but said, “The only cost to God’s love was paid for by his Son, Jesus when he died on a cross for our sins.”

So if there is no cost to accepting God then there would be no money back if you one was not satisfied.  Could that be why some don’t accept him, his love, his Son?  They want a written guarantee before they believe?  If they read the Bible they will get their written guarantee.

God will never fail.  1 Corinthians 13:8 tells us that love never fails, and 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love.  If one gets to know God, his true nature, they would walk with him 100% satisfied.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Don’t Sweat It

Charlie 020820I went shopping earlier in the week and one of the items on my list, I really needed, was deodorant.  The store I buy it from, most often, was out of it, and that store was my last stop for the day.  After I got home I had to start a new list with this item at the top.

Today, I had to go to CVS (inside a Target store) to pick up a medication.  The young lady who works there is always lecturing me about not letting the $5 off coupons expire.  She’s kind of fanatic about it, but I do see her point, it’s free money, and to be honest, the budget is tight these days and any savings helps.

So, before I left the store I thought about my next shopping list and the only thing I could remember, that was on it, was deodorant.  I found my brand and noticed it was marked “Clearance”.  I bought four of them.  The normal price for four would have been $11.96, but since they were a clearance item and I had the $5.00 off coupon, I only paid $3.32.

When I save money like that, I always walk out smiling, because I feel as though I shopped like a woman.  That’s meant as a compliment.  Now I know, this may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me I was thanking God.  I thanked him for the other store being out of it, and helping me not to complain about it, too much.  I thanked him for helping our budget.  This may be a little thing, but it shows the God of the universe cares about us, our lives, and even the little things.  Either that, or he didn’t want me walking around stinking!

But seriously, think about it, if God cares about the little things in our lives, then how much more does he care about the big things in our lives that need his attention.  There is a common phrase, “Don’t sweat the small things.”, but with God, we don’t have to sweat the big things either!  Here is what his word promises us:

Matthew 6:31-34 (MSG)  “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.  Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Now What?

Charlie 011520 1You finally drop off to sleep, and when you wake up the next morning you have a few seconds of peace before the pain of your current life situation comes crashing back into your mind like a tsunami.  You lay there and say to yourself, “Oh yeah”.  You force yourself to get out of bed, but if it wasn’t for having to go to the bathroom you would more likely pull the covers over your head and try to go back to sleep.

If this is you, what do you do?  You may feel your only options are; runaway, become a hermit, seek revenge on those that have hurt you, drown your sorrow in alcohol, over eat, pop pills, or even worse bring physical harm to yourself.  For those who have a relationship with God, the only thing you can do is lean into him even more.  Anything else is of the flesh, and it will not ease the pain like God can.  It may take all you have left inside you to even ask him to help you trust him more, but He will.  If you don’t have a relationship with God, now is the perfect time to ask for him to forgive you and come into your life.

The words of old hymns can be comforting, reminders of God’s reality, which is more true than our own.  Read the words of the song below.  Let the melodic words soak into your soul.  Be encouraged with the truth of knowing that this too will pass.  May God bless you, and comfort you.  Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  He will never leave you, nor forsake you.

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Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Place Your Life Before God

Charlie 011120Why are you reading this blog when you could be reading God’s words for yourself?  I’m glad you read this blog, as humbling as it is, but this portion of scripture, Romans chapter 12 verses 1-2, from The Message Bible, was just too good not to share.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 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.”

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

I Do My Best

Charlie 777bIf Adam had stopped Eve from exercising her free will, and disobeying God.  If Eve had not listened to the devil in the form of a serpent.  Somebody, somewhere, in the ages of time still would have sinned requiring a perfect sacrifice to reunite us with God.  Jesus would still have found himself hanging on a cross.

Even if no one had disobeyed God, by the time I was born, I’m sure I would have been the one to mess things up.  Like the apostle Paul once said, “… My own behaviour baffles me. For I find myself not doing what I really want to do but doing what I really loathe. Yet surely if I do things that I really don’t want to do, I am admitting that I really agree with the Law.

… I often find that I have the will to do good, but not the power. That is, I don’t accomplish the good I set out to do, and the evil I don’t really want to do I find I am always doing. Yet if I do things that I don’t really want to do then it is not, I repeat, “I” who do them, but the sin which has made its home within me.” Romans 7:15-20 J.B. Phillips New Testament

Even if I was the only sinner on earth, God still would have sent his son, Jesus to die for me.  That’s how much he loves me, and ya know what? He loves you that much too.  2 Peter 3:9 (NET)  because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

You know the bottom line is this:  God simply wants us to choose to be in a loving relationship with him.  I do my best, for that’s my heart’s desire as well.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Inside the Lines

Charlie 62I bet they flunked out of Kindergarten for not coloring inside the lines!  Are they important?  Do they love their car that much?  I bet they live life outside the lines too.  I mean, they can’t even park their car inside the straight lines provided free of charge.

There seems to be a lot of people these days who only care about themselves.  In fact, I think there is a whole generation of people called, “Me llennials.”  Just kidding, sort of.  These people do what they want, when they want, with little thought of anyone else, as if they are entitled or something.

The only problem with this lifestyle choice is they will have to give account of how they lived.  Yes, it’s true, we have free will, but when we all stand before God, will we say, “But God, I…”  Some may try, but I have this funny feeling when we see him in all his Glory, we will fall to our knees, and weep, for the words we chose to say, and the things we decided it was okay to do.

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.  Romans 14:12 (AMP)

I have a funny feeling, in that moment, before God, we will have all truth, and it will be in that moment, we will know.  I can imagine, for the ones who rejected God, and didn’t choose to live within the lines He provided, free of charge, He will not say a word, but point to a door that will be an exit out of heaven and an entrance into hell.  But for the ones who did their best to live a pleasing life to him, accepting his Son, Jesus, He will offer his hand to help us up, and say the most loving words we will ever here.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What If, “What If,” Never Happens?

Charlie 24WHAT IF’S:  Its sad, but so many live in fear.  What makes it worse is, they don’t think they do.  They deny it.  You talk about being deceived by the devil.  They believe his lies instead of Truth.  They roll play, “Well what if…” this happens, or that happens?  You want to know the truth?  Many times, those “What if’s” never happen!  They only steal your time thinking about them, and worrying about them.  Even worse, living bound up by those fears hurts others, especially those who know the Truth, who know Jesus, who have themselves been set free.  The battle is fear vs faith. Terror vs trust.  Fear and terror may never happen, but faith and trust always does!

You can annihilate the “What if’s” with “God, if’s”

GOD, IF’S:  When something in life comes up, and you don’t know what is going to happen, or how things are going to turn out, instead of worry and fear, instead of “Well, what if?”, you can simply pray, “God, if you will take care of this for me.”  Or, “God, if you will walk with me through this.”

Living like this will calm your mind, calm your spirit man down to where you can walk, and live in peace.  How else would one walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil?  This is how you can sit, and relax enough to eat, at a table, in the presence of your enemies. (Psalms 23)

The battle is in the mind.  You must learn to rethink how you look at things and situations.

Look at things from God’s point of view!

Asking God, will break the chains of fear, and will set you free.  You will feel better, because now, you will breath like you have never drawn a breath before.  You will skip down the sidewalk, because of the joy you now feel.  Because of the Light in your life instead of darkness.  Okay, perhaps you won’t actually skip, but you will want to.

“God, I thank you personally, that we have an alternative we can choose from.  In you, and in your strength, we can flip the environment.  Just knowing we don’t have to live in bondage is liberating in itself.  I love you God, and I know you love me, and everyone, and especially those who have read this battle plan to defeat the devil.  You’re so awesome.  Thanks!”

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.