Believing in the Impossible

Photo by Rafal Maciejski

“Welcome to Hollywood. What’s your dream?” A famous line from the movie, “Pretty Woman”. I realize I have been blessed to be born in America. I grew up hearing and believing you can do anything you put your mind to. America offered opportunities and to some point, still does.

My plans and desires have not all worked out yet or without challenges, but I have gotten to do and see some pretty exciting and beautiful things. For example, while in the 8th grade I read a book about a young man who flew gliders. I wanted to do that. I got that chance about ten years ago. It was awesome and exhilarating. I wanted to be an architect. I have worked for several years in an architectural office. I even worked for Frank Wallace the architect of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There are so many other things I could list as well, but I try to keep these posts as short as possible.

A few years ago I begin to believe that I could write a book. I have done that but it has not been easy. “Kill The Preacher Man” is a novel. https://bradymarka.com/current-projects/ Today, I am working on my next book, “Ask, Flip and Invite”. (Coming soon) I have written devotions, articles and have contributed to two books. This very blog has been read in 120 countries. That blows my mind! Only God can take something, bless it and multiply it.

My wife, April is new to living in America and is originally from the Philippines. She is beginning to realize anything is possible, especially with God. She likes to cook and she likes to share her cooking skills on the internet via her YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxCVluI_lWrk-bwaie1QF7w The number of subscribers is growing and she is encouraged to do more and be even better at her craft of being an influencer.

Believing in the impossible is nothing new. Mary had to do that when an angel announced to her she was going to give birth to the Son of God. (Luke 1:26) Countless others in the Word of God have dared to believe in the impossible and as a result, have changed the world. They could probably be counted as the first influencers on earth.

If you have a dream, give it to God. Ask Him to help you and lead you in it no matter how big it is. Place it in His hands. Ask Him to bless it and multiply it, then believe in the impossible! “Welcome to God. What’s your dream?”

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Is This Heaven?

Today has been downright frustrating! First of all, I didn’t sleep much last night. That’s never a good way to start the day. I took April to the dentist and then I went to the gym. Shortly after picking her up, I got frustrated because she couldn’t tell me why the dentist pulled one of her teeth. That was not in the treatment plan for this visit or any of the four.

Fine. Silence the rest of the way home. A little bit later while I was trying to get some sleep April texted me that she was supposed to pick up a prescription. I don’t like having to get back out after getting home when I’m tired. We talked a little bit and then decided it was best to call the pharmacy to make sure it was ready before driving over there. It hadn’t even been called in.

I called the dentist’s office and informed them. They apologized and said they would call it in, but asked us to give the process an hour. Fine.  We gave it two hours. We stopped to get a small lunch and April a shake on the way. We were told the ice cream machine was being cleaned. What? Who does that during the lunch hour? We left. Trying to exit their parking lot we almost got the front of our car taken off by a big truck where, I guess, the driver never saw us. We went to another restaurant next door but decided to go to a different place. While making that decision in the parking lot a lady pulled in next to us and when she opened her door she dinged our car. I honked, but she never looked at me or cared to apologize.

We went on to the pharmacy without eating. When we arrived we learned the prescription had not been called in yet. What? I called the dentist’s office again. More apologies and was assured this time it would be done. It was.

We made our way to another franchise hoping their ice cream machine wasn’t being cleaned. It wasn’t. We ordered our lunch and April’s shake. We wound up getting a free drink of our choice, I got water, and they accidentally made two chocolate shakes and so they gave us the second one free. I felt so guilty!

During all those prior frustrating moments I complained, a lot! I know I expect too much out of people, too often, but I would hope they would be safe and apologize when they wrong somebody. When someone is rude and cuts in front of us April will say, “Their V.I.P.” I guess in their mind they are!

We got back home and I finally now was lying down and almost asleep. Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Yep, the kid next door decided to play basketball. I hate the constant pounding of a basketball on concrete. It not only prevents me from sleeping but at times will cause a headache. So I got up to write this blog.

“Yes, there will be frustrating days, but I have come to give you peace,” Jesus said. At least in the MAB Translation. (Mark A. Brady) I had a little taste of peace and heaven while eating lunch and being blessed, but the rest of the day was anything but heaven!

I read a friend’s Facebook post where she talked about surviving a big home remodeling project and the only way she said she got through it was to die to herself. Hum. Perhaps I need to remember to do that on days like this. Help me Jesus to do so while submitting every day to you.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Irreconcilable Differences

Being in a relationship can be challenging at times for a variety of reasons. When married couples find that changing, or compromising is harder than they think it is worth it they many times end up in divorce court claiming, “Irreconcilable Differences”.

I had to look up what those two words mean.

Definition of Irreconcilable Differences

Noun

  1. Differences of opinion or will that cannot be brought into harmony, or cannot be brought into an agreement through compromise.
  2. A relationship that has become relentlessly hostile.

One could make the case that God and Satan declared, “Irreconcilable Differences”! That God and Satan have a relationship that has become relentlessly hostile! Although there is one definite distinction; God had the final say-so when it came to the final judgment of their case. When Satan insisted on being a “god”, in his own eyes, and having the angels worship him God said, “No way! There is only one true God and it is me, and He was not about to compromise.

To this day Satan is working day and night trying hard to appeal God’s final judgment. He is even trying to use people to win his case. He tells them lies, half-truths that convince them of things like there is no God, there is no punishment for sin, or that there is no eternity. In other words, as he told Eve in the Garden of Eden, “You will not surely die.” (Genesis 3:4) People believe him when he tells them, “There is more to life than what you currently have now, and you deserve more. You’ve earned it.”

It’s sad when they buy into his deception. If they are not set free with the Truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ then they will stand before God when they die and He will declare with them as well, “Irreconcilable Differences” and they will be forever divorced, separated from the presence of God, and that is called, “hell”!

Please, accept Jesus Christ into your life before it is too late. Ask for forgiveness of your sins, and wrongdoing. Read God’s word, “The Bible”. Learn about the love of God and come into harmony with Him. When all truth is revealed, and it will be, you will be glad you did.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The 99

I heard of a teacher who was nervous about her first year. As the school year went on she became aware of one child who did not like her. As a result, the child’s mother did not like her and in her slight way, made it known.

As you might have guessed this upset the new teacher to no end. She focused on trying to win the one over and became very frustrated as her efforts fell on the green speckled tile floor. She talked about it and complained about it a lot!

At the end of the school year, the new teacher received an outpouring of cards, flowers, gifts, and gift cards. The written words spoke of love and appreciation because they witnessed how hard this new teacher taught their children, of how she showed her concern for them. Even the other teachers tangibly showed their appreciation, but there was that one child, that one mother.

It is just like Satan to try to get us to place our focus on the wrong person or in the wrong direction. He wants that discontentment to fester and grow in our hearts until it chokes out any remaining love of God that was once in us. We must not allow this to happen!

The teacher’s husband spoke gentle words that turned her head to see the 99. To take note of the mighty outpouring of love and appreciation for a job well done. He challenged her to never think of the “one” ever again.

Yes, there are times to not go after the “one”, but to leave them lost and behind. Truth is, no amount of words will change their mind anyway. Trying to get them to see what the others see so easily is a waste of time and energy. In Matthew 18, Jesus talked about leaving the 99 and searching for the one that was lost, but in the new teacher’s case, the one that was lost purposed in their heart to sow hate and discord of their own free will. A lost soul has not heard about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. There is a distinct difference between the two.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What To Do

A whole lot is going on these days in our world, in America, and most likely in your private lives. It would be easy for one to look at others and focus on what they are saying or doing. One may be invading a country another maybe ignoring that a lot of Americans are financially struggling, and a lot of people are more concerned about their own selfish rights than the life of a child who can’t yet protest their opinion of wanting to live.

I can just see the devil having a hay day laughing while so many people are running around screaming trying to get their view heard. He is behind these evil things, unjust actions, and selfish rights.

Instead of joining those trying to be heard I implore you to keep your eyes on Jesus! To keep a good, strong, and tight connection to the vine. Continue to bear, produce much fruit, the fresh fruit of God.

Psalm 1   The Message

How well God must like you—
    you don’t walk in the ruts of those blind-as-bats,
    you don’t stand with the good-for-nothings,
    you don’t take your seat among the know-it-alls.

2-3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
    you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
    bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
    always in blossom.

4-5 You’re not at all like the wicked,
    who are mere windblown dust—
Without defense in court,
    unfit company for innocent people.

God charts the road you take.
The road they take leads to nowhere.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Craig

I met Craig at a church called Redeeming Grace
Like he understood my “I don’t want to be here” face
I felt out of place and I smelled like beer
But he just shook my hand, said “I’m glad you’re here”
He said “we’ll all be judged”
But he was never judgemental
And even though my songs don’t belong in no hymnal,
He’d quote me my lyrics, slap me on the back,
Said “Man you’ve got a gift! How you write like that?”

I know, he sounds cool right?
Not your typical kid from Sunday School, right?
I still ain’t figured out church yet
But Craig, I get
Nah he can’t walk on water, turn the Napa Valley red
But he just might be tight with a man that did

Yeah he’s not the light of the world,
But I wish that mine was bright as his
Yeah he just might be tight with a man that is

You lose a record deal, all the perks fade fast
Dealership said, “We’re going to need to get that mini-van back”
So we were down on one car
And broke as I felt,
My wife and six kids with only five seat belts
I needed help but couldn’t admit, I was strong
Said, “Craig, it’s all good”
But he knew it all wasn’t
A “Hey man I’m praying for you” would’ve been sufficient but nah
He took roadside assistance to a
Whole other level, to sacrificial heights

Showed up at the ballpark after my son’s game one night
In two cars, with his wife Barb watching from the other
Said “What in the world are y’all doing here, brother?”
He just laughed inside that old Chrysler Town and Country van
With the keys, and a title, and a pen in his hand
Said “Man, all you got to do is sign and it’s yours”
I said “No, no way”
But he wouldn’t take “No” for an answer
Said “Please do,
Somebody did this for me once, just let me do this for you”
We argued about it for a little while
Then I teared up, and Craig smiled

I know, he sounds cool right?
Not your typical kid from Sunday School, right?
Nah he can’t walk on water, turn the Napa Valley red
But he just might be tight with a man that did
Yeah he’s not the light of the world,
But I wish that mine was bright as his
Yeah he just might be tight with a man that is

My pride was way too ashamed to be adequately grateful at the moment
But I signed the dotted line, and I drove the kids home
And when the cop pulled up beside us
At the light, they didn’t have to duck
Because thanks to Craig
They were all buckled up

“Craig” by songwriter: Walker Hayes.

Marking Your Journey

Do you mark your journey? I don’t, not in a physical way that is. Like by keeping a journal, or something. Perhaps I should because it is good to look back. We are usually caught up in the moment thinking and praying about today’s needs and tomorrow’s.

But looking back is a good practice. I tend to end each day by saying, “Well, God, you got us through today. The bills that were due today were paid. The needs were met today. We ate today, and there was gas in the car to go where all we needed to go, today. Thank you, God!” And the truth is this; last year at this time I was praying about the day’s needs and the future back then. Yet, I made it through and have come to this point one year later.

You could say my journey is marked with “Mile Markers”, yet others are marked with “Tombstones”.

A mile marker indicates how far you have traveled. A tombstone indicates your journey ended. A living person’s tombstones could be where their job ended, their marriage, or even their relationship with God.

The Israelites used to pile up stones to mark where God did a great thing for them as part of their journey.

“Each of you heft a stone to your shoulder, a stone for each of the tribes of the People of Israel, so you’ll have something later to mark the occasion. When your children ask you, ‘What are these stones to you?’ you’ll say, ‘The flow of the Jordan was stopped in front of the Chest of the Covenant of God as it crossed the Jordan—stopped in its tracks. These stones are a permanent memorial for the People of Israel.” Joshua 4:5b-7 (MSG)

Be mindful of what God has done for you in the past, because the truth is, He is doing it today as well!

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What Happened?

Have you ever wondered, where did it all go wrong? Or, how did they end up like this? I have. You look at someone’s life and you can’t quite figure out how they got where they are today.

I heard it said the other day, “I made a wrong turn on the way to church!” That kind of says it all. Somehow the individual took their eyes off of Jesus and looked instead at what was around them. Kind of like Peter when he was walking on the water. He let his circumstances disrupt his fixed gaze on the Master, on Jesus.

“Church” doesn’t save you, or even just “going to church” doesn’t either! I know a couple of women who “go to church” every time the doors are open, but there is no love of God in their hearts! As a result, people get hurt.

Back to the people who have strayed from the truth; they started looking at what Satan was offering them “now” that would fulfill that longing desire in their heart instead of waiting on God to provide something or someone pure, holy, and a part of Him.

The wonderful truth is this; it’s never too late to backtrack and take the right street to the church. In other words, it’s never too late to return to God. Most likely there is someone who is praying you would and God is sitting on the front porch staring down the road as far as He can hoping to see you come over the horizon toward him! He is waiting with open arms.

Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living
    and reorder our lives under God. Lam. 3:40 (MSG)

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Despite What May Be

One of the hardest things on this journey we call, “life” is overcoming. It seems as if it will never happen. Either the hole of debt we have dug is too deep, or the struggle with the one we once loved hurts too much. Perhaps the sickness seems as if it will never get better. You know, all too well, what I am talking about, and so do I.

When Jesus taught the multitudes he would often direct their attention to nature to emphasize the point he was trying to make. He didn’t have a “whiteboard” or a “PowerPoint” presentation. He used what he had, and it worked!

To borrow this method from the great Teacher, let me show you some illustrations from nature about overcoming.   Notice this Ferris wheel will someday be totally overcome by this growth in nature. It has probably taken a few years to get this to this point, but what one might of once thought was impossible, has become possible.

Consider this pile of rubble. One may make the comparison that this mess is similar to their own life. I know I once did, after making, what I thought, was a mistake that would end my service to God forever. Turns out, I was wrong on that point. In the midst of my personal, broken pile of a mess life, He slowly began to rebuild me and make me useable to him and others once again.

Then there is this tree. It found life close to disaster. It lives on the edge. Some may consider that exciting, while others would find it nerve-racking realizing that at any moment, a strong storm could come and it would lose its grip. The tree seems confident trusting the hold it has on the unmovable rock.

One can learn from this tree that finds itself so close to falling, so close to going over the edge, from becoming firewood.  Burnt up and consumed, yet today, it stands tall. If we trust our “Rock and salvation” we too could stand tall no matter what storms may come.

Admire this flower. It bloomed and grew despite not being in a beautiful garden. It has no dedicated gardener to provide daily watering, plant food, or bend down and remove any weeds that may try to enter its territory. Yet it survives and fragrances the environment around it with a sweet smell.

Maybe you’re not currently living in a garden, and maybe you struggle to have your basic needs met. Take a lesson from this flower; bloom, grow and be a pleasant odor in your world.

With God’s help, you can grow and survive despite your past, or present situation. Regardless if you have a lot or a little. Make it part of your mind to be an overcomer. Set it in your heart and mind despite what may be today.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
James 1:2-4 (MSG)

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Don’t Follow the Recipe

April made the dinner in the photo the other day. She made sweet and sour chicken that I thought was better than most Chinese restaurants’ versions, and I would know. I asked her how she did it and she replied, “I just followed a recipe.” It’s funny though how you can give 12 cooks the same recipe and the final dishes will all taste differently. Most likely due to each individual’s uniqueness.

A few years ago, while attending a church service that featured a semi-famous man of God, I witnessed individuals taking notes, as if they were there to learn the recipe of how to get God to do the same thing in their lives as He had done for them. They failed to realize the man of God was giving his testimony in hopes to boost one’s faith. Knowing that God did something for one can help you believe that God can do something big in your own life.

When one such note-taker tries to implement the same practice in the exact same way but fails to get the same result they can become disgruntled and dissatisfied with God. Attitudes Satan can use to draw an individual away from God.

Keep in mind, that God is extremely creative. He does things in unique ways. Not because He gets bored, but to exhibit just how vast his power and imagination are. He likes to do things in new ways. He may ultimately do for you, what He did for the man of God, but He will do it in a new, fresh way. In a way that is most likely due to each individual’s uniqueness.

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Isa. 43:19a (NIV)

God’s word assures us He likes to do new things.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.