The Confession

20180618_161958Confession:  I have never been inside a confessional booth.  I grew up in a church where doing so was not part of our spiritual practice.  I am at a temple where there is one.  I am writing this blog post while sitting inside it.  Not intended, but in order to see I brought a small, but bright LED light.  It is casting such a white glow I think it scared a couple checking out the temple.

Here I sit, in this small, wooden structure.  It smells old, musty, perhaps from tears soaking the carpeted board beneath my feet.  There is carpet on the walls as well.  I guess to absorb the sound, but aren’t confessions meant to be heard?

I think there is also supposed to be a man in the booth next door.  A man to hear my sins?  My wrong doing?  What if he is actually a newspaper reporter?  Wait, when Jesus died on the cross, didn’t his selfless act of love cut out the middle man?  After all, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom.  The veil that once separated man from God.  Now Jesus is our High Priest.

I guess while I am in here I might as well start talking.  Heavenly Father bless me.  It has been 23 minutes since my last confession.  You remember.  Oh, you don’t?  Then maybe I should choose to forget it also.

Now, I confess all my sins.  The ones that denied you, dissatisfied you, destroyed me and demolished others.  The sins that dishonored you, discomforted you.  The ones that would disqualify me from your presence, if it were not for your Son.  The sins that diminished others, disgruntled my employers, and devalued my wife and children.  And don’t forget the one that deflowered me before I was with the proper one at the proper time.  The ones that delayed me from being obedient unto you and your plans.  I also confess the times I digested things that defiled my body, your temple.  The words I spoke that derailed others on track to finding you.  The times my actions denounced you.  The sins that I allowed that wound up discouraging me and damaging my faith.

Forgive me Father.  I ask for your mercy and grace.  Thank you for not deleting my name from your Book of Life.  Thank you for forgiveness, and for your Son, Jesus who gives life through his death.

Now what do I do Lord God?  “Go and sin no more.”

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Have You Considered?

dome 1

Covering of protection

Have you ever considered what your breaking point would be in life?  How much you could take?  What could you handle, but what is too much?  Severe sickness of you, or of the ones you love the most?  Losing your entire net worth?  Being abandoned by the very ones you thought cared the most about you?

“And the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job?”  Satan replied, “Have You not put a hedge (a covering) about him and his house and all that he has, on every side?” (Job 1:8 & 10 AMP)

God, because of Job’s relationship with him, had put a covering over him, or had his hand over him, so the results of a fallen, sinful, world could not affect Job, his family, or his possessions.  Once I got really angry at one of my neighbors.  I was so mad, I wanted to harm her, but I didn’t.  Instead I prayed and asked God to take revenge on her for hurting me,  After all, “Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” (Rom. 12:19 MSG)  One day I asked God what happens when he gets vengeance on someone.  He whispered back, “I slowly remove my hand from their life.”

I shuttered!  As time went on, I witnessed my neighbor losing her job, experiencing vandalism, and worst yet, the death of her oldest daughter.  I prayed for her.  I know God was hoping she would stop resisting him, and in turn, run to him.  She finally did.

Job resisted the temptation to blame God for his troubles and die, but eventually repented of his prideful way of thinking.  Then God restored everything back to him and doubled what he had lost.  Could you have handled such loss?  Or perhaps the better question is this, would God ever say to Satan, “Have you considered my servant: __________?“ (fill in blank with your name)

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

God’s Top Ten List

The Ten

  1. No other Gods before me.
    I’m to be your first priority.
  2. Nothing should be your idol.
    Keep your life pure.
  3. Don’t use my name when cussing.
    Understanding this can bring humility.
  4. Keep Sundays Holy.
    Resting one day a week is a wonderful thing.
  5. Honor your father and mother.
    Doing so will bless your life.
  6. Killing is not good.
    Love is a much better way.
  7. Committing adultery tears people apart.
    Learning intimacy will bring people together.
  8. Don’t take what isn’t yours.
    If you do, you’ll never learn to trust.
  9. Lying is a bad idea.
    Honesty is always the way to go.
  10. You shouldn’t want what isn’t yours.
    Contentment brings peace to your life.

God didn’t come up with these 10 commandments to make your life miserable.  He didn’t do it so we would become “religious”, and start a bunch of denominations with a list of “rules” to live by.  He gave us these principles, to live by, so we could relate to him better, and with each other.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Heaven Won’t be the Same Without You, But Hell Will

healingAt the age of seven, I knew I was a convicted cookie thief!  I went to a church, where the anointed man of God, my pastor, scared the hell out of me!  He preached straight up sermons concerning what would happen if we died and had not accepted Jesus to forgive us of our sins.  As a result, out of fear of going to hell, I choose God, and heaven.

Today, I realize, some don’t chose God, because they don’t have firsthand knowledge of the Holy.  They don’t know God.  They don’t know what makes him smile, laugh, or hurt.  They don’t know He gets jealous when someone worships anything, or anyone other than him, and they obviously don’t know He is serious about only two places to spend eternity.  They haven’t felt his great love.  People then, believe more in themselves than they do him.

God created heaven for his followers.  He created hell for Satan, and the fallen angels that followed him.  When men started rejecting God, he had to expand hell to accommodate them.

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).  “Therefore Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it” (Isaiah 5:14).

Now, at my current age, I have experienced the love of God in such a way, there is no other place I would rather be, than in heaven with him.  Therefore I feel commissioned, everywhere I go, to make myself available as God leads to share his great love with those who don’t know.  I spoke the title of this blog to a very dear friend of mine, because it is absolutely true.  If my friend chooses God, heaven will be better, but hell won’t change at all without him.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Check it out:  See helpful life keys. Beth Olsen

Can You Stand Naked before God?

Garden 21

Photo by Michael Wall of Wall2WallFoto

Feeling uncomfortable right now?  I know I did, at first, when I asked myself that question.  Ironically, I was about to step into the shower when the thought came to me, but then my thoughts soon turned to my current reading in the book of Genesis.

God walked through the garden.  He was looking for Adam and Eve.  He called out for them.  They hid after doing their best to cover up their nakedness.  It wasn’t their bodies they were ashamed of.  It was their sin.  Adam and Eve had disobeyed God.  You see, when the presence of God shows up the Holy Spirit convicts.  What matters is how we react to the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

People still sin today.  They still disobey God.  They still try to cover up their sinfulness. They try to hide.  But I tell you the truth, God searches diligently for you.  He calls out your name.  To point His finger at you and condemn you?  No!  To love you.  To forgive you.  To cleanse you, if you will let Him.  You see, for Adam and Eve, God spilled the blood of an innocent animal to cover their nakedness.  For you, He allowed His innocent Son’s blood to be spilled to cover you.

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.  (Rom 5:8 AMP)

When you accept God’s forgiveness, there is no problem standing before Him naked, for you no longer have anything to hide.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Check it out:  Exercise, and care for seniors:     strongwell.org

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/

 

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

 

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