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

Your First Thought

20180412_200110It happened again.  The explosive temper from one I am supposed to love, and I do, but the pain.  I left their presence, but I was a “walking wounded”.  I kept rewinding the scene and playing it over and over in my mind.  Why?  This didn’t need to happen.  I begin seeking comfort.

I went to one of my favorite pizza places and ordered a pizza.  Sad, I know, but I tend to turn to favorite foods for comforting.  Later in the evening God whispered, “Why didn’t you turn to me for comfort?”  I searched for the truth and then had the realization, so my reply was, “It wasn’t my first thought.  God… (tears) I’m so sorry!  Help me loving Father to make you my first thought.”

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement) 2Co 1:3-6 (AMP)

But I turned to pizza instead of God.  The very pizza pictured in the photo.  It was extremely windy, and as I was taking my second step out of the restaurant a gust of wind blew the box right out of my hand.  I went back in, ordered another one, and then cleaned up the parking lot.  To be honest I looked both ways to see if anyone was watching.  You know, that five second rule.  I decided it didn’t apply to asphalt!  My turning to food first, instead of God, made for a very expensive medium pizza.  Lesson learned, I hope!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Dump or Garden?

CtS21ft CamH3' 35mm 0001Mankind’s first address was inside Garden Grove Estates.  God gave Adam and Eve a home there, but they wanted more.  They wanted to know what God knew, even though he told them that kind of knowledge wasn’t for them.  They disobeyed, and got evicted.

Do you live in a garden?  I don’t live in a perfect one yet, but things are growing.  And I don’t even have a green thumb either!  My neighbor one day saw me trying to plant some flowers.  She said, “You don’t know what you are doing!”  I said, “I know, but I am having a great time.”  I desire, ache to live where God intended, meaning the kind of life, but since I don’t know what I am doing I need him.  I need him to design it.  I need him to remove the weeds, remove the trash, move boulders, and dig trenches for the living waters to flow in my garden.

I look around, and I see very few people living in gardens.  Instead, they have, like Adam and Eve, believed the lies of the devil, and have paid the consequences.  They have gotten hurt, down, defeated, or have settled.  Some have given up.  They act like “hope” is a four letter word, so they accept life in a dump.  It stinks!  It’s dirty, toxic, hazardous to your health, but they accept it.  More and more broken, ugly, bent, faded, rusty things of life, gets  dumped on them day after day, and they take it.  They call it life, and just assume, it can’t get any better.

This is not the kind of life God intended for you.  It hurts him to see pile after pile of trash dumped upon you.  Guess what?  You don’t have to live there!  You can move out of the dump, and into a garden, but you will need the help of the Gardner.  The One who loves you like you can’t even imagine.  Will you accept his invitation?  Will you change your address?  Come live in the garden God wanted you to live in.  Oh, and the cost?  Free, for his Son, Jesus paid it for you.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

The Storm Whisperer

sailing-in-a-storm-frank-botello

Sailing in a Storm by Frank Botello

“Son, let’s take the boat out for a nice afternoon of sailing.”

“Okay, Father.”

They boarded, pushed off, and stated enjoying their time together.  Then, as if out of nowhere, the skies darkened, and a violent storm was upon them. The family boat was tossed around as if it was a canoe.  The father struggled to steer in the mighty wind.

I’m a captain of large ships!  I have sailed the oceans and have faced many storms.  This one shouldn’t be a problem he thought.

Then a huge wave slammed the side of the boat knocking the father to the left where he hit his head and became unconscious.  His son watched in disbelief while coward up in the bottom.

“Father! Father!  What do I do?  I’m scared!”  He yelled, not knowing if his father could even hear him over the roar of the ferocious wind.

Many hours later the father lifted his head.  He saw the seas were calm, and the sun was about to set.  He also recognized the shore line, and realized they were close to home.

My son!  Where’s my son?  He got to his knees and then staggered to his feet.  He turned to survey the boat looking for his son.  Then he turned and found him in the last place he expected.

“Son!  I can’t believe it.  How?”

“Father, when you were knocked out, so was my hope of surviving.  Then I crawled to the wheel, and used it to pull myself up.  I gripped it tighter than I had ever hung on to anything before.  I was so scared.  You had taught me how to sail, but not how to survive a storm.  Then, I recalled the story in the Bible where Jesus calmed the storm after the disciples woke him up.  So I prayed.  Well, more like yelled for his help, and he answered.  It wasn’t immediately, and I wasn’t even sure he had heard me, but eventually Jesus got us through the storm.”

 

I assure you, 2018 will present its own set of storms.  I have started giving mine names like they do hurricanes!  The true story is found in Mark 4:35-41.  Jesus had told His disciples, “Let’s go to the other side.”  If Jesus wants to take you to the other side then guess what?  You will make it!  Have faith.  And when Jesus answers your cry for help, in the midst of a storm, he will cause the wind to run out of breath!  Don’t try to get to the other side on your own, no matter how many storms you have been through before.  You still need the Storm Whisperer.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Check it out:
Entertaining, thought provoking poetry:     https://franksolanki.wordpress.com/

 

 

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.