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

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

Full Service

Fuel gauge 2A man wondered into the church.  He was hungry.  He was given a sack lunch.  The man was also deaf, but could read.  He understood two people in the church wanted to pray for his hearing, and he let them.  Then he shared his car was almost out of gas and he wouldn’t be able to get to work the next day.  One of the two went with him and filled up his car.  He shared while pumping the gas, God spoke to him and said, “Full Service.”  He knew what God meant, but to help him remember, he washed the windshield as well.

A person who has a need, is more apt to listen to you share God, after their immediate need is met.  Doing so, shows you really care for the “whole” person (Full Service).  There were times when Jesus healed one’s body, but also healed their heart.  Forgave them of their sins (Full Service).

When sharing God with another, keep an eye on the fuel gauge.  You never want to share more than the individual can hold.  When you share too much it spills over and makes a mess.  I learned this lesson while sharing God with a fellow commuter on the train.  She avoided me for the next several weeks.

Last of all, be careful with your attitude when serving.  Jesus said it best:

Mat 6:1  “Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.” (MSG)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Check it out:
Honest words about finding her way:  https://katelynvallstruth.wordpress.com/

 

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

Do you have one?

080612 203

“When the dream is unleashed”

Do you have one so deep down inside you some people close to you don’t even realize it.  How long has it been there?  Do you know when it will be unleashed?  Does carrying it around every day hurt?

I’m talking about a dream.  A desire to do something for God.  Perhaps more people have them than we would know.  There are those who want to be in one form of ministry, or another, full time.  Not just to minister on weekends, or part time, but all the time.  Not getting that opportunity can hurt, and at times it makes getting up and going to work somewhere we don’t want to be extremely hard to do.

Yes, I have one.  I can relate to Joseph in Genesis 35:7, “Joseph had a dream.”  I desire more than anything to become a full time author, and public speaker.  I write where and when I can.  I try my best to be faithful with the time I have to minister with words.  I struggle to, but I know I need to be content where God has me now.  There are people where I am now that need to be ministered to full time.

I am learning this:  to be faithful where I am today, and that practice will prepare me to be faithful where I want to be.  If you have one, I know what you are going through.  If you would like to be on this special list of God dreamers, so that I can pray for you as well then let me hear from you at: bradymarka@gmail.com As I have shared with another just this past week, it stays with me, but you can know this; there is at least another who understands what you feel, what you want, and what you cry out to God for, that the dream will one day be more than a dream.  It will be your life.

Are You Ready For Some Football?

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  You see I like to watch football.  Last Thursday night was the kickoff of the 2014 professional football season.  I have learned how to man the remote control with such proficiency I can actually watch two games at one time on one TV.  You see it sort of works out that while one team is in a huddle on one channel on another channel they will be running a play.  When that play is over you quickly switch back to the other channel.  I usually start a regiment of exercises for my index finger in early August.  I practice this move during preseason.  I also have a backup finger just in case my starting finger gets knocked out of the game!  I love football!

I have to be careful though not to spend 10 ½ hours on Sunday’s watching football.  There are things that are way more important that need to be taken care of.  With this realization I now limit myself to only watching one game. (And a few quick peeks in on the action.)  What is more important than football?  Well, a number of things, but for me touching lives.  Today I have two letters to write to two different men who are “tenants” of their respective state.  (Inmates)  I will spend time praying for the week ahead that I will be aware of those that I encounter that may need a few more minutes of my time.  In those few minutes they may express their hurts, their fears, or what they need prayer for.  I want to be ready.  I will also plan out how I can purposely touch the lives of the ones I care about.  How I can surprise them with a word that lifts them up, put a smile on their face, lets them know they are loved, and thought of.

Touching someone’s life in a Godly manner takes time, takes practice, and takes opening your eyes to see the needs.  It means not being so self-concerned about your own needs.  You should already know your needs will be met.  In a book I am currently writing I spend a whole chapter describing ways to touch lives.  What is your favorite way to do this?

My church always considers this time of the year as the start of a new ministry season.  I tend to think that way as well.  So the question isn’t, “Am I ready for some football?” the question is, “Am I ready for some ministry?”