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?

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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

 

Do You Know My Father?

Sen_MOI was visiting the small town, in Missouri, my father was born and reared in.  A woman walked out of the convenient store, looked over at me and came to an abrupt halt.  “You’re a Brady!” She exclaimed.  “I don’t know who your father is, but you, you are definitely a Brady.”

I would rather people, who see me, say, “You’re a child of God!”  This is certainly one of my goals here on earth.  The way to see that happen is to imitate Christ.  In other words, “LOVE!”

1Jo 3:2-3  But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him–and in seeing him, become like him.  All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own. (MSG)

Love, and accept, not judge, and reject.
Love, and help out, not turn away and doubt.
Love, and my gifts share, not hoard, or not care.

So, if you see me and don’t know who my Father is, I would be more than happy to introduce you.  Oh, but don’t get embarrassed when He already knows your name.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

One Man’s Sin

DSC_6186As we saw this past week, in a very visual way, one man’s sin, hurts another human being.  It doesn’t have to be a mass killing either.  It can be a lie, but when found out another is hurt for they got deceived.  A cheating spouse, a wayward leader.  Someone else will get hurt.

Unfortunately, as long as there is sin in this world, there will be hurt.  There is sin in the world because of evil spirits that rule over this world.  When Adam and Eve sinned (disobeyed God) it opened up the door for evil to come over us.

Eph 6:12   For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

But there is hope!  For those who have accepted God’s free gift of having their sin’s forgiven, by accepting that Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins.  There will come a day when God’s Spirit rules over a new earth, and that will cause peace, and no more pain, and no more tears.

My heart ache’s for those that were affected this week by one’s man sin, but I do not get discouraged, or want to give up, because I know, without a doubt, God’s word is true, and one day there will be peace.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

The Key to Your Life

KeysCurrently, I only use two keys.  It feels good.  It means I am not responsible for much.  I do not unlock a church anymore or even a desk.  So, in a way, the keys on your key ring tell others about you, about your life.

Most will have a house key, but you could also have a key to a cabin.  A car key, or two.  A key to your company’s building, company’s vehicle, your office door, or just your desk.  You could have a boat key.  One for your gym locker, gun locker, school locker, or even a foot locker.  But what if your key ring had one to your lover’s apartment, or to a lock box that no one else knew about?  Are there secrets to your life that require a hidden key?

Jesus knows about every key you poses.  Hidden or otherwise.  Jesus has keys too.  Rev 1:18   “I’m Alive. I died, but I came to life, and my life is now forever. See these keys in my hand? They open and lock Death’s doors, they open and lock Hell’s gates.” (MSG)  The only key that really matters in this life is the one that unlocks your heart.  Who, or what, have you given that key to?  I hope you have given it to Jesus.  Doing so, says you trust him with everything that is important to you.  Everything you value, even your very life.

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Life’s Speed Bumps

speedbumpMy daughter once said, “Squirrels are God’s little speed bumps.”  I’m not saying I agree.  I realized something this past week as I talked to some people.  They were telling me of the trouble they are currently having in their lives.  I felt bad for them.  Then I thought it seems as if there is always so much drama in their lives that they don’t have time to focus on the important things in their life.  Maybe another way to say it is this; they are so busy putting out fires, they never spend time preventing them.

I once told a friend concerning my failed marriage, “I was so busy repairing I never got time to build.”  A good marriage is something important in life.  Teaching your children how to live life right is important as well.  But of course the most important thing in life is deciding where you want to spend eternity.  Yes, it is your decision.

So where does all this trouble come from?  Circumstances; sure.  Most likely as a result of poor decisions.  But consider another source; the devil.  In John 10:10 Jesus said, “Satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy.  That means steal your time, destroy relationships, and includes killing your soul.  Then Jesus said, “But I have come so that you may have life.  Abundant life.”  He doesn’t want you to live life on earth suffering.  Jesus wants to help you with living life.  He can and will once you accept him as God’s son and invite him to be the Lord of your life.  Once you do that read about him, study him in the Bible.  He will help you get over life’s speed bumps more smoothly.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Something’s Fishy

I went fishing with my father this past week.  In a few hours we caught 50 sand bass.  As we were catching them we discussed how many there must be in the lake, and how random they must be swimming in order to find our lures.  Catching them seemed too easy.

The next day I was reading from Habakkuk 2 (yes that is a real book of the Bible found in the old testament) where it talked about fish “swimming without direction, swimming, but not getting anywhere.”  It made me wonder about people and the lives they live.  Is there purpose in their lives?  Is there purpose in your life?  Direction?  I hope so.

God made each of us for a reason and a purpose.  If you don’t know yours then ask Him.  Seek his will for your life.  He has a reason for gifting you the way he did.  No one can do what you can.

Copyright 2017 Mark Brady