When God Kills You

Charlie 2I once wrote, the act of dying doesn’t hurt.  I am learning it does, when you die, while you are still living.  What in the world am I saying?  I thought I had fully surrendered everything to God, and then I moved to the Philippines following his direction.  Now, he is requiring more of me.  To give up my self-reliant attitude.  Living in a foreign country, where they speak some English, but not fluently, and I only know about 12 Tagalog words.

Now I am reliant on others to help me know what is being said, where to go to purchase basic needs, etc.  I am not used to this, nor do I like it very much.  I have grown accustomed to doing what I want, how I want which I think is very productive and effective.  I’m dying.  I believe God is asking me to give up, give in, and give way to his Holy Spirit.  To be humble, ask for help, and when things don’t go as I think they should, to smile graciously and be thankful that someone cares enough to try to help me.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 NIV)

Do I have to die?  No.  I can go on living as I am and probably hurt more people along the way.  God is most likely removing this from me, so when the next chapter in my life starts, I will be ready.  In that case Lord, kill me.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

“Joseph, call Clarence.”

its timeYes, that quote is from the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  Why am I referencing it?  Well, for the last two weeks I have been working many hours a day to prepare for a major move in my life, and I have witnessed God’s mighty hand all along the way.

For instance, I rented my house in ten minutes.  My fiancé found us an apartment in one hour that met all of our requirements and came in way under budget.  I lost my wallet on a city street and after walking away one and half blocks I realized it.  I hurried back to find it on the ground, undisturbed.  As this adventure with God has begun, I have seen one miracle after another.  I would hear the Holy Spirit whisper who to talk to and when.  I made the right calls at the right time that expedited my needs being met, but my favorite testimony is this:

I was stacking my belongings in my storage unit.  I had a ladder so I could place items all the way up to the ceiling.  I climbed up the ladder with a sofa cushion and was trying to put it in a spot up high.  I couldn’t reach it, so I placed one foot over on a pile of furniture, thinking it was stable.  It wasn’t!  I fell from about six feet up and landed, on my back, on the storage unit’s concrete floor.  The fall scared me.  I laid there expecting pain, blood, a broken bone, something, but there was none of that.  I got up and kept working.  Even the next day I had no pain from the fall.

The funny thing was, when I recounted the incident, it felt as if someone had caught me and laid me on the concrete floor.  If that’s true then I think in heaven the conversation went something like this:

“Excuse me God, but it’s almost that time on earth when Mark is about to make that bone head move in the storage unit,” said Joseph

“Yes, it is isn’t it?” replied God “Whose turn is it to go down there to help one of my children?”

“Clarence sir.”

“Joseph, call Clarence”

Now I don’t know if the angel’s name was Clarence, and I doubt my blunder got him his wings.  But I do know this, living for God, and allowing him to guide, direct and be active in our lives really does make for a wonderful life.  I wouldn’t want to live life any other way.  If you have not accepted God’s gift, Jesus, his son to forgive you of your sins then do it.  Begin right now experiencing what I have learned, and lived for a long time.  And thanks to God I have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Why Were You Made?

2beYou weren’t made to stare at your phone.
You weren’t made to be all alone.
You weren’t made to sit and worry,
or hate others on social media in a flurry.

You weren’t made to hoard lots of stuff.
You weren’t made to barely have enough.
You weren’t made to work your life away,
or made to all day only play.

You were made to be with God and walk.
You were made to be with God and talk.
You were made to worship him freely,
and seek him out for guidance completely.

In his image you were made.
He intended your love for him to never fade.
You were made to first seek him,
And to live eternally in his presence and win.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

A Casual Christian?

coldIn my last blog, I mentioned being in the Philippines. On that trip, one thing that really caught me off guard, was how hard it was to try to blend in. For instances, when in a grocery store I was looking for chili to put on hot dogs. They took me to the hot sauce isle. Then trying to speak their language was a disaster most of the time. They have a phrase there when you are trying to speak a foreign language, and doing a poor job of it, your nose bleeds. My bled a lot! The most difficult part was trying to accept how they do things there. At times, it felt like a part of me was dying. To quote Seinfeld, “If the two worlds collide, the George you know, will no longer exist!”

Going through this experience made me think of someone trying to live for God, and trying to fit in with the world. It doesn’t work, and usually, someone will get hurt. You! As it turns out God doesn’t think too much of it either. In Rev. 3:16 it says that God would rather you be hot or cold. And if you insist on being lukewarm, He will spit you out of his mouth.

So this very day make a decision. Accept God, and live for him, or don’t. That way, people who encounter you will know what to expect from you. And if you try not to make that decision today, I assure you, as the days move closer to the last one, you will be forced to.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Adventures with God

 

 

storms of lifeTraveling to new places can be exciting, exhilarating, and exuberant. It can also be daunting, especially when your phone doesn’t work. One of my mother’s friends said, before my trip to the Philippines, that he couldn’t even find the airport in his home town, much less one 7000 miles away. Trust me, there were many times when I was praying, a lot. Especially when I arrived and couldn’t find my host family. Turned out, United had started using a different terminal in Manilla 3 days before my arrival.

Trusting God, and walking with him can be very similar. That is why it is important to know God’s voice. To be able to hear it when the noises of life are deafening. The only way to get good at it is to practice    e, a lot! It doesn’t come easy because we are used to listening to ourselves or to others. The best way to know God’s voice is to know God. To know his word as well. That way when his Spirit whispers into your spirit, you will know it’s him.

When you get this practice into your life, you and God can go anywhere with ease and have many great adventures together. Rom. 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. (NIV)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Amazing Life

AprilIn Exodus 14:14-18 it says when the people heard they were scared. The Philistines writhed and trembled; Yes, even the head men in Edom were shaken, and the big bosses in Moab. Everybody in Canaan panicked and fell faint. Dread and terror sent them reeling.

Even today, people are watching believers of God. They are watching to see how life with God is. How it works. Does it work? Sometimes I wonder if they are watching to see the people of God fail as if hoping for a wreck at a NASCAR race. Believing in God does not guaranty a perfect life, but it does help your attitude stay calm while going through life, because you have peace knowing the one who loves you the most is in control.

In the Old Testament, the people of the land waited to see disaster come upon God’s people, but what they saw was His mighty hand. God fed them, they did not go hungry. He led them, they did not get lost. They did not get cold, nor hot. They did not thirst for He gave them water. They did not wither and die in the desert but lived. God is still providing for his people today, so his people can live.

Accept God, and begin to enjoy living, and while living your life you will experience his love. It’s amazing!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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