The Other Side of Pain

PAINP ersonal
A nguish
I ntense
N umbness

N eeds
I llustrated
A wareness
P rovided

Beautiful songs are composed out of PAIN.  Books, cards, and letters as well.  When one hears, or reads words that were birthed in PAIN, it resonates, it feels familiar, and it comforts.  It lets you know, “You’re not the only one who has felt this way.”

Respect PAIN, but don’t hang on to it too long.  Place it in the hands of the One who has felt the very same thing.  Jesus is there, waiting, loving, comforting.  Saying to you, “You’re not alone in this.”

Then, look around you.  There are people, who are a part of your world, who are hanging on to PAIN.  You can see it in their eyes.  For you saw it in yours, every time you looked in the mirror.  Get beside them.  Be Jesus in that moment to them, and say, “You’re not alone.  Let me show you how to give it to Jesus.”

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Check it out:  Inspired, rich words: believemiraclesblog.wordpress.com

Understanding vs Knowing

PowerThere are things, that go on in this world, I do not understand.  I ask questions like, “Why”, and “How?”  There are also things of God I do not understand, but I never used to question Him.  To be honest, I felt as if it showed a lack of faith.  So I have grown in my relationship with God just believing, and trusting, and knowing, “He’s got this!”  And in some ways that is good.  I relied on the following verses whenever I couldn’t understand or know what God was doing in my life, or in other’s lives around me:

Isa 55:9  “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.” (MSG)
Phi 4:7  “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (KJV+)

But now I am learning from my pastor to ask God, and it’s okay.  It’s not a lack of faith.  Especially when I sense knowledge coming from Him.  Maybe another way to put it is; if I believe the Holy Spirit is showing me something, and I do not understand what I am sensing or seeing, I ask God, “What is this?”  “What does this mean?”  “Who is this for?”

My pastors are Joel & Linda Budd.  They teach a lot about this in their book, Fill Me or Kill Me.  God wants to teach us how to reach people with power and authority.  How to set the captive free, and heal the broken-hearted.  In order to do that, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Jesus promised this power of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8.  Jesus also illistrated this kind of power in His ministry while here on earth, so it’s nothing to fear.  You won’t be weird.  In truth, you will be more like Jesus.  And isn’t that what being a Christian means, an imitator of Christ?

When the Holy Spirit hands you the keys to someone’s heart, real ministry can take place.  The receiver won’t argue religion, won’t ask unanswerable questions, but they will receive God’s love through you.  Understanding is good, but there is power in knowing!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Descending Order of Predominance

Can Label 1According to our government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food packages have to list the ingredients, but in a particular order.  Here is the rule:

INGREDIENT LISTS 1. The ingredient list on a food label is the listing of each ingredient in descending order of predominance.

Great!  So, what does that mean?  It means all of the ingredients, in that container of food, has to be listed in order of which ingredient’s total weight is the most to the least.  I would put it this way: the predominant ingredient is listed first.  I actually looked this information up.  (I know.  I need a life!)

If someone was to list the ingredients in your life what would be the predominant one?  Greed?  Lust?  Power?  I hope not, but looking at how some people, whose lives are lived out in front of us these days, I know it is true their predominant ingredient would not be good.

I strive, to live my life in such a way, so the first ingredient would be God.  It’s hard!  My flesh’s sinful nature keeps trying to reduce the amount of God in my life.  Knowing this, I purpose my life, in a way, that focuses on God as much as possible.  I talk to him throughout my day, and read his word.  (I enjoy reading “The Message” by Eugene H. Peterson.  It’s a modern English Bible translation.)  I also spend time with others who believe as I do.

If this is your desire as well, then go for it.  Don’t get weary from trying your best.  God knows your heart’s desire, and remember this, his grace is sufficient, and new every morning.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Check it out:
For a heart set on following Christ:  https://redeemedview.wordpress.com/home/

 

Call of Duty

A hurt soul needs a mender.
One rejected needs acceptance.
A depressed one needs to be encouraged.
One feeling like a waste needs to know their value.
A person struggling with an addiction needs a cheerleader.
Someone down and out needs a break.
One near the edge needs hope.
A person ill needs healing.
Someone lonely needs a friend.

peopleThe list, could go on.  The truth is, these individuals need Jesus.  Most do not think to turn to him, because they can’t see him, but they can see you.  In a time, when our world is in so much pain, those who know Jesus, and has the hope he provides, needs to answer the call of duty.

God has placed you where he needs you.  You’re the one, who can take the time, speak a word, or give a hug.  You may never know the impact of taking a risk of faith to say, go or do, but one day you will.  “Do not be afraid,” the angel of the Lord would say to you.  The more you reach out, the more you say, and the more you come along side someone, you will find it strengthens you, encourages you, and increases your faith to do more. God will lead you, as you are his servant, saving lives.

Keep one thing in mind; there was someone, just like you, who took the time to be there for you, and shared the love of Jesus with you.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Check it out:
Touching, Spirit filled, sincere, encouraging words: https://tostrengthenamothersheart.wordpress.com

The Storm Whisperer

sailing-in-a-storm-frank-botello

Sailing in a Storm by Frank Botello

“Son, let’s take the boat out for a nice afternoon of sailing.”

“Okay, Father.”

They boarded, pushed off, and stated enjoying their time together.  Then, as if out of nowhere, the skies darkened, and a violent storm was upon them. The family boat was tossed around as if it was a canoe.  The father struggled to steer in the mighty wind.

I’m a captain of large ships!  I have sailed the oceans and have faced many storms.  This one shouldn’t be a problem he thought.

Then a huge wave slammed the side of the boat knocking the father to the left where he hit his head and became unconscious.  His son watched in disbelief while coward up in the bottom.

“Father! Father!  What do I do?  I’m scared!”  He yelled, not knowing if his father could even hear him over the roar of the ferocious wind.

Many hours later the father lifted his head.  He saw the seas were calm, and the sun was about to set.  He also recognized the shore line, and realized they were close to home.

My son!  Where’s my son?  He got to his knees and then staggered to his feet.  He turned to survey the boat looking for his son.  Then he turned and found him in the last place he expected.

“Son!  I can’t believe it.  How?”

“Father, when you were knocked out, so was my hope of surviving.  Then I crawled to the wheel, and used it to pull myself up.  I gripped it tighter than I had ever hung on to anything before.  I was so scared.  You had taught me how to sail, but not how to survive a storm.  Then, I recalled the story in the Bible where Jesus calmed the storm after the disciples woke him up.  So I prayed.  Well, more like yelled for his help, and he answered.  It wasn’t immediately, and I wasn’t even sure he had heard me, but eventually Jesus got us through the storm.”

 

I assure you, 2018 will present its own set of storms.  I have started giving mine names like they do hurricanes!  The true story is found in Mark 4:35-41.  Jesus had told His disciples, “Let’s go to the other side.”  If Jesus wants to take you to the other side then guess what?  You will make it!  Have faith.  And when Jesus answers your cry for help, in the midst of a storm, he will cause the wind to run out of breath!  Don’t try to get to the other side on your own, no matter how many storms you have been through before.  You still need the Storm Whisperer.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Check it out:
Entertaining, thought provoking poetry:     https://franksolanki.wordpress.com/

 

 

Accidently on Purpose

Know God

Your coworker took time to listen to your struggles.
You found an envelope with cash and an anonymous  note, “To help you out.”
A man pulled over and changed your tire not asking for anything in return.
A woman, at the light, handed you five dollars.
They stopped and helped you pick up items that had fallen through your bag and then carried them to your destination.
A person shared their umbrella, which was made for one, but they made sure you stayed dry.
They stopped to hold the door, they gave you directions with a smile, they paid for your coffee in the drive thru.

Random acts of kindness?
Perhaps.

Or were they actually people, just like you,

who have fallen in love with God?

And so desperately wanted you to know Him,

that they went out of their way to show you what He would do in that same moment?

 

They didn’t preach.

They didn’t judge.

They didn’t condemn.

They LOVED!

 

Copyright © 2017 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

A Better Way to Live

sin

NOUN

  1. an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law:
    “a sin in the eyes of God” ·

synonyms: immoral act · wrong · wrongdoing · act of evil/wickedness · transgression · crime · offense · misdeed · misdemeanor
· trespass · wickedness · wrongdoing · wrong · evil · evildoing · sinfulness
· immorality · iniquity · vice · crime

In a time where one’s, thought to be hidden sins, are being exposed like an uncontrollable leak in a dam.  In a time where an accusation brings quick judgement and sentencing handed down before all the facts are known.  You would think realizing that everything done in darkness will be exposed, would spur one to find a better way to live.

The truth though is we are sold a big fat lie by the devil.  That lie is: You won’t be the one that will get caught.  Guess what?  The devil is probably the one that will tell on you.  Why?  Because he wants to hurt you beyond belief.  I write about it often:  John 10:10 – Satan comes to kill steal and destroy!  Satan HATES you!  He can’t stand you, because YOU are made in the image of God, and he hates God.

A better way to live?  Sure.  Don’t sin.  It’s that simple.  Okay, it’s not, but you can actually learn, or train yourself to sin less.

  1. Capture every thought and bring it into captivity.  In other words, if a thought is about doing something wrong (sin) then realize it, and choose not to.  Love instead.  Do the right thing.  Say the right thing.
  2. Put on God’s bullet proof vest. (Ephesians 6:11-18)  Imagine a policeman these days not wearing his bullet proof vest.

Eph 6:11  So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.
Eph 6:12  This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Eph 6:13  Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.
Eph 6:14  Truth, righteousness,
Eph 6:15  peace,
Eph 6:16  faith,
Eph 6:17  and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.
Eph 6:18  In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. (MSG)

These are just a couple of purposeful things to do to live a better life.  Here are a few more:  Turn away wrath with love.  When one speaks out against you, smile and love them anyway.  When someone proclaims they are living a life you know is not pleasing to God, please don’t judge and sentence them, but accept them, and love them.  That is not the same as accepting their wrong doing.  Calling out sin on Facebook isn’t going to show anyone there is a better way to live either.  The world needs to see Love.  Jesus is Love.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

The Ironic Paradox

PhotographHow do you convince, “believe in someone you can’t see”?  How is it understood?  Why is it easier for some and yet others find ‘having faith in God’ is like believing they could fly around the room.  God knew it would prove difficult, so He gave everyone, yes even you, a “measure of faith” to start life with.

God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Rom. 12:3 KJV+)

A pastor once preached a faith message series titled, “Walking off the Edge of the Map”.  You wouldn’t dare take another step once you got to the edge if you didn’t know where you would land.  But what if someone else knew?  Would you trust them?

You look at a photograph, but your eyes have to stop at the borders of the photo.  But there is one who can see beyond the borders of a photograph.  We are limited by what we see and know, but God is not.  He can see beyond the edge of a map, and past the limits of a photograph, and even the boundaries of your eyes. He sees, He knows, and the truth is, He cares.

God wants us to have faith in Him, because of all of the above.  God is not limited; by anything!  It doesn’t make sense, but by believing in God, whom you can’t see you are able to see beyond your own understanding.  And it’s nice knowing in your heart that because He sees what’s coming He’s already preparing you to handle it, go through it, or go over it.  Faith in God is knowing, “He’s got this!”

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Evicting Spiders

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWarm sunny morning.  As I opened the curtains I see the shadow of a large spider projected onto my roller shade.  I slowly raised the shade to revel an ugly spider.  I hate spiders, so when it comes to sharing earth with them I have one rule: “I get the inside of the house and they can have the entire outside”.  I think it’s a fair deal.

I had never seen a spider like this one before, so as creeped out as I was I wanted to get a closer look.  I leaned in toward the window, extending my index finger and wondered what he would do if I tapped on the glass.  As my finger was about to reach the glass I had the horrifying realization He’s on the inside!  Now I wish I had grabbed my phone and taken a picture, but I went for the kill.  I didn’t want him packing up and leaving Dodge alive.

Sin is like spiders; creepy, stealth like, and can be very harmful.  As is with spiders, some sin seems harmless, while other sins can lead to death, but sin, like spiders on the inside of the house, must be evicted.  There is no place for sin.  Mankind rates sin, but God doesn’t.  He knows that sin is sin, and all of it is harmful and can even kill you.  Rom 6:23  Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. (MSG)  Evict sin.  Don’t allow any wrong doing in your life.  Always do the right thing at any cost.  Doing so might just save your life.

Note:  I was working on a project titled “What was God Thinking…” and one chapter was “When He Created Spiders?”  In my research I learned spiders are necessary.  They control the population of other insects.  So we need them, but God, really, did you have to make them so creepy?  Oh, and one last thing, only one was spider was actually harmed in the making of this post!

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved