Thorns and Thistles

080512 169Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is life so hard?”  You strive to do good, get ahead, but at times it seems the more you press forward the further behind you get.  In your finances, at work, or in relationships.  The truth is, it’s not your fault.  When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden part of the punishment was life would be harder.  They received their sentence before they were evicted from the home God wanted for them.  See the scripture below:

Gen 3:18   The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you’ll get your food the hard way, Planting and tilling and harvesting, (MSG)

All the more reason we need God to lift us out of the weeds and thorns of life that desire to choke, and overcome us.  If you’re tired of weed whacking then stop, and ask God for help.  He will, and He can.  Consider the fact His way was for us to live in a garden.  My neighbor once saw me planting flowers several years ago.  She said, “You don’t know what you are doing!”  My reply, “I know, but I’m having a great time.”  God, the master gardener, knows what He is doing.  Turn your life over to Him then trust and obey.  That’s the only way to live life in the garden.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Good Words

Max LucadoI recently read this devotion by Max Lucado, and was moved by the truth and power of the words.  I decided the best thing to do was to share it with others.

Quarry the Deep Qualities of God

Don’t equate the presence of God with a good mood or a pleasant temperament. God is near whether you’re happy or not. But do quarry from your Bible a list of the deep qualities of God, and press them to your heart. My list reads like this:

  • ·  He is still sovereign.
  • ·  He still knows my name.
  • ·  Angels still respond to His call.
  • ·  God is still faithful.
  • ·  He is not caught off guard.
  • ·  He uses everything for His glory and my ultimate good.

Lay hold of the unchanging character of God. Pray your pain out. Pound the table. Even Jesus offered up prayers with what Hebrews 5:7 describes as “loud cries and tears.” Your family may be gone. Your supporters may have left. But God has not budged! His promise still stands, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.”

To read more from Max, or to sign up for his devotions click on the link below:

Max Lucado

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Choose to Live

20161119_112851A young man hid in the bushes.  When he judged the train was too close to stop in time he ran out and dove onto the tracks.

I was riding that train on my way to work this past week.  I have been commuting in and out of Chicago for 23 years, but this was the first time I have actually been on the train that struck a pedestrian.  They ruled it a suicide immediately.

While the investigation was proceeding I thought about this person and wondered, how bad was his life that he decided he had no more hope?  What was going on?  Satan won a victory that morning.  John 10:10 tells us, “Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy.”  Anything God has created, or made, including mankind, Satan wants to get rid of it.

Pastor Robert Morris, of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas once said, “As long as you are alive, you have hope.”  If you are hurting, if the pain is more than you think you can bare, then please talk to someone.  Please, I beg you.  There are numerous organizations that are set up to help in all kinds of ways, but you must contact them.  Depression, and mental illness is not something that shows up on the outside.  Most people may not ever know, until you speak up.  And if someone speaks up to you, I pray you will love and care about them enough to listen intently, and help them.  Life, can be a beautiful thing.  Choose it.

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Wisdom from God’s Word

Work is tough.  Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and He told them that work would be hard, it has been just that.  I grew up believing in the American dream.  That a person could find employment doing something they enjoyed.  At first I did, but over the years things have changed.  Now, work is hard and it isn’t enjoyable at all.  There are good moments, but mainly those moments are on a personal level.

In these current times we, who try our best to be Godly, are often thrown under the bus, lied about, ridiculed, and mistreated even though some of the treatment goes against the business code of conduct.rev-1

If I had things my way I would be living in an RV, traveling across America, writing.  I want this kind of life.  I desire this life with everything in my heart.  Then I read Proverbs 16:9:

We plan the way we want to live, but only GOD makes us able to live it.

My faith in God requires that I believe this from God’s word.  More importantly, I live it.  The worst thing I could do is try to make the life I so desperately want happen.  I yield to the truth that if God wants it to happen, then it will, but in His timing, and in His way.  Hopefully doing so will help me to be wise.

Surviving Life

Life preserverWhat does it take to survive today?  Life can be harsh, unforgiving, and even down right cruel.  Unfortunately, so can people.  What do you try to do to survive?  Does it work?  Has life disappointed you?  Have people?  Is any of this let down caused by you, and your actions?  Would you admit it, or are you one of those where it is always someone else’s fault?

Being raised in church I have heard the right things said many times, but you know what, they are true words even to this day.  That a life lived with Jesus Christ is so much more than a life lived without Him.  Yes it takes faith, hope and love.  Faith that there is hope that there is one who truly loves.  Jesus is that one who truly loves you and me.  He is our hope that there is a better life coming, and to get us started in believing this He provides each of us a measure of faith.  This is how you survive life.