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

God’s Favorite Part

Torn011My favorite part, of Jesus’ death on the cross is this; the very moment he exhaled his last breath the thick, tall, heavy curtain that separated man, from the Holy of Holies was torn from top to bottom.  It’s my favorite part, because now, we have direct access to God’s presence.

Yes, I am so grateful to have my sins forgiven, but I love it when I sense God’s presence coming down, and lighting upon me.  When I sense the Holy Spirit enter me, I feel such a tremendous amount of love, peace, joy, and security.  Feeling God’s embrace is unbelievable.  I hope you know what I am talking about.  It is in those moments, I sometimes receive instruction, correction, words of knowledge, secrets, or my favorite, the keys to someone’s heart.  Jesus had the keys when he spoke to the woman at the well.  When you hold those keys, and unlock the secret chambers of one’s heart, real, authentic ministry can take place.

There are times when God just loves on me.  The other night, my Heavenly Father took me out for an ice cream cone.  While I was enjoying the ice cream, I all of a sudden had the realization that the curtain ripping into, in the temple, was God’s favorite part of the story as well.  Why?  Because now, when He enters the temple, He is entering us.  We, are the temple of God.

“Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.”  (1Co 6:19-20 AMP)

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

What Makes a Good Bridge?

Bridge 2“Look, I’m not hurting anything.  I just want to sit here and rest,” he said.  To his right my church had a sign that stated, “No Loitering”
“It’s okay,” I replied in a gentle voice.
“Are you hungry?” I asked.
“Yes.”

I went and got him a sack of food we keep for such occasions, and some water.

“Here ya go.”
“Thank you.”
“Your welcome.  You mind if I hang out with you for a while?”
“Suit yourself,” he said as the sack crinkled while he checked out the food.
“What’s your name?”
“John,” he replied.  His eyes, piercing, as if searching my soul.

The small talk started.  It became clear he was a philosopher who didn’t have a place to hang his diploma.  He also had a sense of humor.  He shared he had made a mistake with his wife and kids, and she wasn’t willing to forgive.  I felt that was my que to talk about God’s forgiveness.  I tried hard to get him to come inside and sit in on the church service.

“I stink,” he kept saying.
“I assure you John, no one inside will care.”  He was right about the odor too, but he insisted on attending the church service there on the sidewalk.

We talked for another 30 minutes or so.  Before I left I offered to pray with him.

“You can do that in private, but not in front of me,”  he said.

I didn’t understand, but respected his wishes.  I’ve  looked, but have never seen John again.  Though thought of him often, I have prayed for him even more.  I regretted not taking him to a restaurant to get something hot to eat.  I also wish I had been brave enough to invite him to my house.  He could have showered, I could have washed his clothes, and he could have slept on a soft, warm surface, even if for one night.  I have consoled myself with knowing I did something, but I know I could have done more.  Perhaps next time I will.

Since I have never seen an episode of “Bridge Hunters” on HGTV he replied, “One that has a flat surface to sleep on, and that isn’t facing into the wind.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Check it out:  God never intended heaven to be served from earth.  heartland church

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

Accidently on Purpose

Know God

Your coworker took time to listen to your struggles.
You found an envelope with cash and an anonymous  note, “To help you out.”
A man pulled over and changed your tire not asking for anything in return.
A woman, at the light, handed you five dollars.
They stopped and helped you pick up items that had fallen through your bag and then carried them to your destination.
A person shared their umbrella, which was made for one, but they made sure you stayed dry.
They stopped to hold the door, they gave you directions with a smile, they paid for your coffee in the drive thru.

Random acts of kindness?
Perhaps.

Or were they actually people, just like you,

who have fallen in love with God?

And so desperately wanted you to know Him,

that they went out of their way to show you what He would do in that same moment?

 

They didn’t preach.

They didn’t judge.

They didn’t condemn.

They LOVED!

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

You Want Me to do What?

Trust Obey.jpgWhat would you do, if one day God asked you to do something, well, crazy?  Would you say, “Let me pray about that.”?  Or would you obey, no questions asked?  I am reading from the book of Hosea, in the Old Testament.  God asked him to marry a prostitute.  Can you imagine?

Some time ago a friend asked me to take her to have an abortion.  She hadn’t even told her husband she was pregnant.  Can you imagine a “pro-life” believer in an abortion clinic?  But I felt if I said, “No.” she would try to drive home after the procedure by herself.  I told her I would take her, but then I started praying like crazy.  I asked God what to do.  I sensed His Spirit whisper, “Humanize the baby.”  After some thought, I understood, and I did.  I started asking her, “You want a boy or a girl?”  “What would you name her?”  A few days later she called.  “Mark, I heard the baby’s heart today.  I can’t kill the baby.”  I cried, and gave thanks to God.

The point here is being obedient.  You may not be asked to do something crazy, but every day God is asking you to reflect Him, His nature, His love, His grace and mercy.  Also to share His plan to forgive sin with those around you.  That’s what God is asking you to do.

Mat 28:19  Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Mat 28:20  Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (MSG)

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved