It’s About Time!

clockOld Testament time:  Mankind was given “time” by God.  He created light, and separated it from dark.  He called the light “day”, and the dark “night”.  That was day one. (Gen. 1:3-5)  Pastor Robert Morris says, time gives us stability, and rhythm to life.  During eternity, there will be no need for time.  Jesus operates in a whole different realm than we do.  He is not bound by time.  He can go back in time, and forward in time, in no time.

Abraham’s wife, Sarah, had time reversed for her body and appearance.  She did not look like an old grandma when she had Isaac at the age of 90, but like a beautiful young woman.  So much so, while Abraham was camping in Gerar, he lied, and said she was his sister so he would not be killed for actually being her husband. (Gen. 20:1-18)

New Testament time:  When Jesus’ mother, Mary, asked her son to turn water into wine, while at a wedding, he answered her request.  One of the wedding guest commented the host saved the best wine for last.  Good wine takes 2 years to make.  How did Jesus do it?  I’m not sure, but I believe he could, can and did.  Mary believed as well. (John 2:1-11)

Your time:  I heard a testimony the other day where a kid closed the car door on his hand.  His mother prayed that his hand would go back to how it felt 2 minutes before the accident.  When she got done praying, he said his hand didn’t hurt any more.

Why am I sharing this?  There is a realm, we who call ourselves believers, need to move into.  The realm of possibilities that Jesus lives in.  A realm that is not bound by time.  Being “Christ like” can be for these days, and not just after we arrive in heaven.  Why now?  Because as we approach the last days our faith will need to be stronger.  We will need to know the impossible has always been possible, if we just learn to believe it, and ask for it, like Mary did.  We don’t have to know how, but that it can be done.  The Holy Spirit is sharing this with others around the world.  Jesus will help us and welcome us into this new realm of believing and living.  In fact he will probably say, “It’s about time!”

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Whew!  Sundays Over!

Church 1 (2)

Photo by Michael Wall of Wall2Wall Foto

A girl in my 11th grade English class once said, “I love being Catholic!  I can have my sins forgiven Saturday night, and then live like hell the rest of the week.”  Now, I’m just quoting her and not saying a thing about the Catholic faith, so please, no emails.  I’m not Catholic, but being honest, have had similar thoughts.  Only mine are more like, “Ok.  I got the Sunday thing done.  Now, I can indulge my flesh.”

A fight, a struggle.  I want to do the right thing.  I want to please and obey God, but I find no matter how long I have been doing this, I still struggle with thoughts of wanting to do what I want to do.  Some are just down right thoughts of being lazy.

The great apostle Paul struggled as well.

Rom 7:18  I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it.
Rom 7:19  I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. (MSG)

So how, or what are we to do then?  1) Of course ask God to help us.  We will never be able to do it on our own.  2) Bring every thought into captivity.  Be honest about the thought, and if it is a bad thought then start looking for the door that has a sign above it that reads, “EXIT”.  God promises to make a way of escape.  Sometimes that exit may be praying.  Have you ever sinned while praying?  I haven’t.  Leave the room.  See what your family is doing, or call a friend.  And if they are a trusted friend, tell them you are struggling.

My classmate, I mentioned in the beginning, was married.  Her husband shoved a shotgun in her mouth and pulled the trigger before that school year was over.  I have often wondered what God thinks when people live like she did on a regular basis.  I yield my opinions to God.  This one thing I know for sure:  I can overcome, because Jesus overcame first, and so can you.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

How Much Do You Charge for Your Love?

Cost of Love_FREEWhat do you charge for your LOVE?  Is that by the ounce, gallon, hour, or some other form of measurement?  Do people, or your family, feel you can’t be bothered?  Your friends never ask for a favor, because they know you won’t help for whatever convenient excuse you flip to in your “excuse Rolodex”?  LOVE is more than words.  It is action.  It does.  It does whatever it takes.  It does, whatever it can, for others.

Jesus, gave premium LOVE, free!  He didn’t require any form of payment, or reimbursement.  No one had to be “good” enough, or had to earn it.  They may not even have deserved it, but he LOVED anyway.  Jesus, only did what he saw his heavenly Father do.  We should do the same.  As Jesus has freely given LOVE to us, we should freely give LOVE to others.  LOVE can overcome anything when there are no limits put on it.

Real LOVE, is felt.  Authentic LOVE, saves people.  Mature LOVE, looks for opportunities to be expressed.  Premium LOVE fills you up!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

FILE PHOTO  Fred "Mister" Rogers Dead At 74

Some of us, old farts, have no problem remembering Mr. Rogers on TV.  Below, are the lyrics of the song he sung, at the beginning of each episode:

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
It’s a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.
So let’s make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we’re together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?
Won’t you please,
Won’t you please,
Please won’t you be my neighbor?

Did Fred Rogers, get it right?  Did he fully understand the 2nd greatest commandment of God?  Lev 19:18  “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Most people do love themselves, and sometimes it shows by how they act and treat others.  There are several other scriptures that warn about only loving those that are lovable, but God is commanding we love everyone as much as we love ourselves.  To love him first, and then everyone else second.  Why?  Because love never fails.

It’s hard to hate and love at the same time.  Yes, one can mistreat someone who is loved, but if the love is real the issue gets resolved rather quickly.  Can you imagine saying to your worst enemy, “I’ve always wanted a neighbor just like you”?  That is what we, who love God, are called to do.  Love, overcomes all, overlooks all, and let’s go of all wrong.  Love, is so generous, it causes you to share your resources.  Love, encourages you to get your hands dirty by helping.

Yes, Fred Rogers got it right.  Mr. Rogers wanted you to be his neighbor so he could love you, as he loved himself.  So I ask you, “Please won’t you be my neighbor?”

Copyright © 2018 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

 

Jesus is Lord!!

jesus-is-lordA young lady in my church, who hides behind a recliner to talk to her parent’s bible study group stands up with boldness in front of her class.  The 15 year old shared with them why God should be allowed back into schools.  She revealed students have a right to proclaim “Jesus is Lord”.  She stood there in the power of the Holy Spirit as He enabled her.  In her own might it would never happen, but she loves God and wants to be used by Him.

We are in full blown Christmas mode right now.  This is the easiest time of the year to share “Jesus is Lord”.  After all, Jesus is the reason for this season.  People are hungry for truth and Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light.  All, who know “Jesus is Lord”, should be watching for opportunities to share their faith.  Ready to give an answer to those searching.  The Holy Spirit has been drawing them to God.  Now we need to be asking the Holy Spirit to help us to be ready and bold, like the young lady in my church.

This holiday season give more than an earthly gift.  Give the gift God gave us.  His son Jesus.  Share with all, why Jesus is the answer to their needs.  Give a gift that hopefully no one returns.

 

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

To Know

To know unconditional love;
is to know God.
To know real forgiveness;
is to know Jesus.
To know perfect direction;
is to know the Holy Spirit.

To know pure laughter;
is to know true friends.
To know great joy;
is to know a child.
To know time;
is to know an elderly person.

To know gratitude;
is to feed the hungry.
To know security;
is to clothe the naked.
To know health;
is to visit the sick.

To know peace;
is to know contentment.
To know lasting hope;
is to know faith.
To know wisdom;
is to know the Word of God.

What’s wrong with This Picture?

DSC_5568I just spent a week in Ndola, Zambia.  If one just drives through some of the poorer communities, as we did, you are filled with guilt, compassion, and sorrow.  We in America think we know how fortunate we are, but until you see firsthand how others on the same planet live you really don’t know the depth of our fortune.

This trip wasn’t just to drive through their communities, but to get out and to walk among them.  To talk, to listen, to build relationships that encourage, and to make sure their hope continues.  We were careful not to promise them resources that would be a strain to sustain, for that would be helping that hurts.  The perfect plan to change someone else’s living conditions is to find ways to get those that live there to come up with the plans that will change their lives, change their communities.

Building those relationships started out slow, but by mid-week bonds were beginning to form.  Smiles begin showing up on faces that on day one were not there.  It was strange being in a community where you were the first mazunga, “white” person some of the kids had ever seen.  I have recently learned there are three things that crosses any boundary; love, laughter and God.

DSC_5473By the end of our week some tears were shed as we cDSC_5524elebrated God together and said our goodbyes.  A lot had been accomplished as we visited each church of the seven in Fubuku.  As we led a bible study in spiritual gifts, as we “tried” to stucco a mill house, and as we moved most of the 3000 concrete blocks into positions so those who did know what they were doing could put them in place.  As we did some home visits to those who were HIV positive, or the widow who was raising 10 orphans on her own.  This group of God believing, God fearing Zambians find ways to survive, not just
every month, but every day.

DSC_5150We feel our goal of building relationships was accomplished.  We even gave them a DSC_5309picture of a person from my church section with their name, so they could pray for them.  Then likewise we took their pictures holding up the photo of the one they selected.  The response to this was overwhelming.  They stood in a line, some for 30 minutes waiting for their turn to be photographed.

Yes, there is a lot wrong with the picture of their lives, their schools, or lack of, but today their hope is stronger than ever as they now know there are disciples of Christ who live 8252 miles away, who are praying for them, love them, and who believe in them.

If you haven’t seen it yet check out the short video of our trip:

https://www.facebook.com/206Saturdays/videos/483025878547210/

Reach Out and Touch Someone

touching-heartThey’re all around you.  They are hurting, discouraged, lost, or broken.  Life has not been fair to them either through circumstances, or even perhaps by their own doing.  Regardless, they still need a touch.  There is nothing like the touch of another human being.  A study was done some years ago and found that infants who were touched, held, cuddled had fewer health problems in the early years of their lives.

There are so many ways to touch someone.  I heard a street beggar once say, “Even if you don’t want to help me at least acknowledge that I exist by looking at me!”  Wow!  So you see, a simple glance, or smile can touch a person’s life whether you know them or not.  But for those you do know, you can do more.  Encourage them with a spoken word, an unexpected hug, a note they will find later that expresses your love and appreciation of them.

One of the biggest keys to touching lives is seeing them, and being mindful of them.  Sometimes they give you clues as to what they need from you.  Sometimes it’s a shot in the dark, but an effort that misses the mark is still a message that says, “I know something’s wrong, and I care.”

When you look at others, and try to touch them in some way you will many times find that your own heart is touched.  It’s a quick and easy investment in others, and it pays back in great dividends.  I hope you will follow the One who first touched you, by touching others.