A Great Place to Be

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Painting by Akiane Kramarik

I mentioned last week how I hate injustice, yet this past weekend it has happened to me again.  One, close to me, has accused me of wrong doing.  I can’t go into detail, but yes, their accusations hurt, but as the swelling was subsiding, I realized this person’s attack on me came from a heart that is in so much pain.  This person’s personal life has suffered a lot in the short amount of time I have known them.

I begin to pray for them.  I see God allowing these things to happen in their life, not to punish them, but out of a deep desire to be reconnected with them again.  Hoping they will cry out to him and lay it all down at the feet of Jesus.  God wants their relationship to change from estranged to hearts knitted together.  It’s difficult for mankind to understand God’s way of loving us, but I know he does with an incredible amount.  God is longing, that the path of life they are walking on, will lead them back to him.

Yeah, I could continue to complain about what they did to me, how unfair it was, but thankfully my focus is on Jesus and that has allowed me to see what they are doing to themselves.

Just because they throw mud,

it doesn’t have to stick!

We can count on this, we do not need to stand up and defend ourselves, but rather allow the Lord to do it for us.  I know one day the accuser will see they were wrong.  Will they apologize to me?  It doesn’t matter one way or the other if they do.

“The Lord is your mighty defender,
perfect and just in all his ways;
Your God is faithful and true;
he does what is right and fair. Deuteronomy 32:4 (GNT)

In these days we are living in, one cannot afford to take their eyes off of Jesus Christ, but must do all to concentrate on him.  One way to only see Jesus, and not be distracted by the things going on in the world, is to stand directly in front of him.  Standing in that spot is a great place to be.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What Day is This?

061220I notice patterns.  I also see common denominators.  I can’t help it.  It’s the way I am made.  I think I could have that disorder: Denoterns.  Anyway, perhaps many others have it as well, but I have noticed several times in the Bible where it took three days to change someone, or something.

Take Jonah.  God gave him direct instructions to go to Nineveh and share whatever message God told him to.  I think Jonah took it upon himself to judge the people there, and he boarded a ship going the opposite direction.  Perhaps his heart was full of hurt he associated with the people there and he wanted God to wipe them off the map.  You can read the whole story for yourself in the book of Jonah in the Bible, but after he was thrown overboard and spending three days in the stomach of a great fish, his heart changed.

Three days!

There are many other instances whether they journeyed, stayed or not ate for three days.  Three days can seem like eternity when you are hungry, thirsty, hurting, or desperate for an answer from God.

Jesus in the tomb is probably the most famous story of a three day ordeal in the Bible, but after his third day, anyone in the world can have their wrong doing forgiven, just by accepting Jesus.

On a personal note, three days after my wife gave up on hoping, asking, and believing God to send her a husband I sent her a message.  On the fourth day, her life changed.  It seems as if it takes three days to work out the flesh.  In other words, it takes that long to realize that when your situation changes it wasn’t you, but had to be God.

I don’t like going through a three day ordeal, but I hang on, because I love the fourth day.

If you are going through something, and you have turned it over to God, realizing you can’t do anything about it otherwise, then know this; your forth day is coming!

CONFESSION:  I made up the disorder Denoterns.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Protest Hell

060920 2Throughout this whole COVID-19 ordeal, I have been sad as the numbers climbed, but the impact did not land on my front porch, until now.  Ten days ago, my friend, Chris called and informed me he caught the disease from work.  Chris is 65.  Today, I called to see how he was doing, but he did not answer the phone.  About an hour later I received a text message letting me know he was now in the ICU.

I prayed for Chris and his wife, who also has it, but I felt as if I needed more people to agree with me in prayer on his behalf.  We needed to pray and protest hell!  You see, sickness, death, hate, and disease is of the devil.   There is power when people gather, agree, and pray.  Picture hundreds, or thousands marching against the gates of hell, pushing back evil.

Again, I give you an eternal truth: If two of you agree to ask God for something in a symphony of prayer my heavenly Father will do it for you.” Matthew 18:19 The Passion Translation (TPT)

I posted in Facebook the need, and right away people started telling me they were praying.  At first, three, then 20, and at last check over 90 people have said, “I will stand with you Mark, in the gap for your friend Chris.”  I even heard from people 8000 miles away.

My heart was touched, and to be honest, my eyes started leaking at the out pouring of concern, and love.  This is the kind of action we need to take right now for our world as well.  I would say, not one of those who said they would pray, knows Chris, but they took time to pray anyway.

I didn’t know George Floyd, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, or the others who have died when they shouldn’t have.  I didn’t know the five police officers ambushed in Dallas either.

My point is this; we, who do know God, should be praying more now than ever for all people affected by the recent events and for our country.  This cannot be the story of America.  We don’t have to know them first, like those praying for Chris don’t know him, but prayed anyway, expecting results.

Thank you to all who have prayed for Chris, or will after reading this post.  People of God cannot give up hope, grow weary, get discouraged, or turn to fear, because we know God is bigger than all things, and he is more powerful than evil.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

2019

I wanted to share a post from Ava. She is a fifteen year old young lady, from my church, who is an amazing follower of Jesus Christ, and a great writer. Be blessed by the words God led her to share.

a collection of sunsets

Well, my main goal in 2018 was to write one blog post every month and I am proud that I accomplished it! (December 31st, 2018 / 11:24 p.m.) I promise I posted this when it was still 2018 😉

Even if this year has been hard for you or people you love, we can still be thankful for it. We must learn to dance in the victory that we believe is coming even while tears stream down our faces. The Lord is teaching his children to dance on disappointment. Whether you experienced the greatest joy or the greatest sorrow (or a mixture of the two) God is with you, fighting your battles. understanding that we have a Father who knows us and cares about us is so important; his reckless love and power are always there to rescue you. he is fighting your battle, you need only to continue to…

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Short

loving JesusMy phone is short on battery life.  Some are short on money.  Many find themselves short on time, but there is one thing we are never ever short of, and that, is the love of God!

Copyright 2018.  Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Have You Considered?

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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

Amazing Love

c2gpic2I would turn all the lights green when I drive.  I would make people act right when I am in their presence.  I would make them drive according to the rules of the road too.  Nothing would ever go wrong in my life.  This is what I would do if I had the powers of God.

Funny thing really.  God has the power to do what I would and more.  But God doesn’t use His power for selfish reasons.  He never has, never does, and never will.  He uses His power to bless us.  To provide a perfectly balanced in the solar system place to live called, “Earth”.  He provides food, and water.  The things we need, and occasionally He spoils us, and blesses us with something we want.

Why does God do this?  Because He loves us.  He loves you.  If you could see how much He loves you, how much He cares.  God’s love cannot be measured, weighed, or exhausted.  So what’s keeping you from believing it?  Or a better question, what’s keeping you from accepting it?  God’s love is available despite you.  You can’t out do it, hide from it, or stop it.  Really, there is no other word for God’s love except, “Amazing”!

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

What is Hell?

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Art work by Duncan Long

I asked that question at work this past week.  One lady replied, “Sitting in Chicago traffic and having to go to the bathroom really bad!”  But what is hell to you?  Or, what do you think hell will be?

Several don’t believe in hell.  Others think it will be one big party.  Here are some facts about hell:  (to me, the last point about hell is enough to be called, “hell”!)

IN HELL – DARKNESS

1 Sam 2:9 “He will protect his godly ones, but the wicked will perish in darkness. No one will succeed by strength alone.”

IN HELL – FIRE & BURNING

Matt 25:41 “Then He (Jesus) will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (demons).”

Mark 9:48 “… and the fire never goes out.”

IN HELL – NO HOPE

Prov 11:7 “When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, and the hope of the unjust perishes.”

IN HELL – NO MERCY

Psalms 103:4 “Who redeems your life from the Pit, Who crowns you with loving kindness and compassion (tender mercies).”

IN HELL – NO PEACE

Isa 57:21 “There is no peace for the wicked, says my God.”

IN HELL – NO PURPOSE

Psalms 6:5 “For there is no mention of You in death; In Sheol who will give You thanks?”

Eccl 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity (work)or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol (Hades/Hell) where you are going.”

IN HELL – NO REST

Rev 14:11 “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

IN HELL – NO WATER

Luke 16:24 “The Rich Man shouted, `Father Abraham, have some Pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish in these flames.”

HELL IS A PLACE OF ETERNAL SEPARATION FROM GOD

2 Thess 1:7-10 “And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing Judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from His glorious power, when He comes to receive glory and praise from His Holy people. And you will be among those praising him on that day, for you believed what we testified about him.”

You, who are reading this, are alive.  You still have hope!  Recognize Jesus Christ is God’s Son, and ask Jesus to forgive you of your wrong doing, your sins.  Then ask Him to live in you, to guide you.  You do this, and mean it, you will escape hell.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Just Imagine

Dust 01 (2)When I got married I thought I had found the perfect woman.  She hated to mop and I hated to dust, so I would do all of the mopping and she did the dusting.  Most of us think of dust as a nuisance.  Something that none of us want to collect, yet we all do.

God looks at dust a little differently.  He actually loves dust.  How do I know that?  Because He formed, or made, man from dust, and God loves us.

Gen 3:19   “…for dust you are and to dust you shall return.”

Yep, that’s right, you came from dust, and you are loved by God.

While I was attending this year’s writer’s conference, held at Wheaton College, in Wheaton, Illinois I was getting away for a moment and went to the 5th floor.  I started noticing some really cool art.  Then my eyes became fixated upon the image posted at the top of this blog.  It was so beautiful.  Then I read the little white sign to the right of the art.  The title of this piece of art is, “Corpus” by David JP Hooker.  The art piece is the contents of vacuum bags collected from all over the campus of Wheaton College.

If a man can make a master piece like this from dust imagine what God can do with dust.  Just imagine what God can do with you.