As the World Turns

My mother claims she started watching the above “soap opera” when it debuted when she was only 16 years old. As my sister and I grew up, we knew not to interrupt mom’s “program”! In fact, the story goes that when I was only 4, I would hear the theme song play and start heading to my bedroom saying, “Time to go to bed!”

The program was about people and their lives, the drama they experienced. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I have never heard, or understood why they called these types of programs, “soaps”. Well the other day, I was talking to an old friend after a few years of losing contact with them. As they shared with me their family’s “drama” I started feeling dirty, if you will. When I began to figure out why I felt that way I realized it was because “God” was not involved in their lives!

Now there is no way I would say that I have lived a perfect, or spotless life, but it has all been washed by the blood of Jesus and my sins are gone. Plus, life is good these days. Yes, things still breakdown occasionally and we have some struggles and challenges with finances, but knowing that God is right here with me makes me feel better about the things of life. I feel clean. Also, I know He protects us from the evil one, who wants to kill steal, and destroy!

Many people know how they should be living, and some were even raised up in the church, but for one reason or another, they choose not to live according to God’s words. He gave us those very words, not to make our lives boring, or a drudgery, but on the contrary to give us real life.  Abundant life! When He made man and woman, He placed them in a garden.  That’s the kind of life He wants us to have, but out of freewill, many choose to live in the city dump. It breaks my heart that they are missing out now, and will miss out for eternity unless they accept Jesus and ask him to be Lord of their life. To cleanse them by washing their sins away through his death on the cross and making them white as snow.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

He Finished Well

Later today, I am going to the funeral of the man pictured here, a friend.  I have known this man for probably 54 years.  After I heard the news last Friday evening, I was latter on Facebook.  A lady from his church posted his obituary and arrangements.  Below her post, people who knew him, started remembering, and honoring him.  They commented about his smile, his kindness, his servant’s heart, and his laughter. They were good words.

I begin reflecting on this out pouring of love, and thought about what kind of life one lives that moves people to respond as they were.  It didn’t take long for the answer to appear in my heart.

First, and foremost, you love.  You love God, and then love others.  You chose to ignore what other people say about someone, and you love them anyway.

Secondly, you show kindness.  You show it at work, at church, in your community, and at home.  With customers, family and friends.

Third, you serve others, which really is “love” in action. One man posted how my friend came and got them after their car would not start.

You do all this, not to receive kind words spoken or written about you when you die, but because this is the example Christ demonstrated for us while he walked the earth.  It’s simply the kind of life God calls us to.

I have fought an excellent fight. I have finished my full course with all my might and I’ve kept my heart full of faith. There’s a crown of righteousness waiting in heaven for me, and I know that my Lord will reward me on his day of righteous judgment. And this crown is not only waiting for me, but for all who love and long for his unveiling.  2 Tim. 4:7-8 (TPT)

In the above verse, Paul compares living life on earth as a race. It’s not a competition though with others to see who finishes first, second, or third. And unlike youth community sports programs, not everyone will receive a participation trophy! It’s about reaching the finish line, with God, and in my friend’s case, he finished well.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What Flavor of Favor?

Life is hard.  I think we all know and agree on that.  So when things go your way, it helps, and feels good too.  The world calls this, “”Catching a break”, but as a child of God, I call it, “Favor”.

Monday: I started having an issue with the pilot light on the water heater staying lit, so I called a plumber.

Tuesday:  The plumber came out, and upon further inspection he recommended replacing the whole tank and not just the part that controls the pilot light.  This was due to the age of the water heater that was in place.  I agreed.

Problem:  Due to a shortage of plumbers available to hire, and to an overabundance of work that was needing to be completed I was looking at being without hot water for a week, perhaps longer.

Wednesday: It started raining.  And it rained.

Thursday:  The plumber showed up first thing in the morning and installed a new water heater.  Apparently, all that rain prevented the plumbing company from being able to work on their prior jobs, and my job got moved up.  When the scheduling guy called and told me the good news he said, “You caught a break.”  After I got off the phone, I begin thanking God for favor.

As I have started getting familiar with “favor” I have learned as a child of God I can actually ask for it.  I have also noticed that it can come in many different “flavors” or ways.  As a need comes up, or you are about to call, or go into a place of business I now pray and ask God for favor to be bestowed upon me, and it usually is. When it is, I am grateful and thank God for it, but favor is also bestowed to those who live a life that is in right standing with God.

Here is how favor is gained:

1–2 My child, if you truly want a long and satisfying life,
    never forget the things that I’ve taught you.
    Follow closely every truth that I’ve given you.
    Then you will have a full, rewarding life.
Hold on to loyal love and don’t let go,
    and be faithful to all that you’ve been taught.
    Let your life be shaped by integrity,[a]
    with truth written upon your heart.
That’s how you will find favor and understanding
    with both God and men—
    you will gain the reputation of living life well.  Prov. 3:1-4 (TPT)

“Again, God thank you for favor with men.  Living by your ways, and commands really does make life easier, bearable.”  Now, I’m going to go take a hot shower!

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.