He Did it For Me

My father came from a large family.  At an early age he learned how to catch fish, and not just go fishing.  He realized he was helping to put food on the table for his family, but he also discovered how much he enjoyed it.  He became a good fisherman.

When I got old enough to go with him he started teaching me.  One of my father’s favorite places to fish was on a creek.  You wade in the water from fishing hole to the next fishing hole.  Along the way nature is all around you, including the occasional snake.  I watched as my father remained calm and deal with them, so though I learned which ones were poisonous I also learned how to stay safe.  I respect snakes, but I do not have a fear of them.  Now, I come across a tiny spider in the house, I’m squealing like a school girl and yelling for my wife to come kill it!

One night, while we were in the creek catching our bait I said, “Dad, I’ve got a snake up against my left leg.”  “Okay, I’ll be there in a minute,” he replied as he continued picking up crawdads.  He moved in behind me and grabbed the snake by the tale and gave it a good toss.  It was not poisonous and the ones that were, he killed.  My father was my hero, my deliverer.

Several years later, we were on the creek, and dad was in some deep water when a snake came at him.  He tried like crazy to push the snake away with his fishing pole, but the snake kept coming and getting closer.  Dad started screaming while I remained safe on the bank laughing.  After he got the snake to go away from him he expressed his displeasure of my reaction to, according to him, “his close call with death”.  (The snake was not even poisonous.)

“Dad, why are you so angry?  You’re not afraid of snakes,” I said.
“Are you kidding me?  I hate those things.  I am horribly afraid of them!” he replied.
All those years I had no idea.  My father faced one of his greatest fears.  He did that for me.

God, my Heavenly Father, doesn’t fear anything at all, but He too had to do something He didn’t want to.  He allowed his only son, Jesus die on a cross to take on the sins of all of humanity.  It grieved him, and in the final hour, because God is Holy and cannot even look at sin, had to turn away from his son while he was dying a horrible death.  He did it for me, but He also did for you.  That’s how much God loves us.  Here it is, in its simplest form:

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.  John 3:16-18 (MSG)

God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are my heroes, my deliverers.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Stella, This Ain’t Hollywood

20170921_092347I watched a good movie the other night.  I won’t say which one, because I am going to give away the ending, and I don’t believe in “spoiler alerts!”  The movie was about a father and a son, and their relationship.  At the end of the movie the two were out fishing, and the father finally said some words his son had waited a very long time to hear, and then the father died.  I lost it.  Tears all over the couch.  It was a real mess that even challenged “Bounty”, the quicker picker upper!

The truth is, the last few months my father was alive was difficult.  He was acting out of fear and it hurt.  I saw one of my father’s old friends last week, and he told me my father started fearing me controlling his life before I ever moved back to my home town after retirement to assist him as he wanted and needed.  So by the time I had gotten here, my father had it in his mind how life would go, but it didn’t, and he refused to accept it, because it wasn’t the reality he had built up in his mind.  I’m so glad though, four days before my father passed, we had a nice, peaceful, fun conversation.

Why am I sharing this?  To vindicate myself?  No.  I know in my heart and before God how I treated my father, but the point is, I wanted my father’s last days to be his best days.  I dreamed of my father and I out fishing.  Having a nice day.  Lots of laughs, and because he loved to fish, dad finally catching his trophy fish.  Me, snapping a picture, and dad releasing the fish back into the lake, and then passing on, similar to the movie I mentioned above.  But this ain’t Hollywood, and life doesn’t go like the well scripted, command performance acting, as in the movies.

So when life doesn’t go as scripted, what do we do?  We give it to God, and we do everything to love the other people in the scene as best as we can.  Love endures, remembers no wrong, and writes a great ending because love, always wins. (Love – 1 Cor. 13)

(The title of this post came from the Christian rock group, DeGarmo & Key, from 1980)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Light

Charlie 27You can’t grow up with the greatest fisherman, and not learn something about the business of fishing.  One Friday night, Dad and I were in the creek catching crawdads.  I was holding the lantern.  While I was looking around the rocks for bait, I felt something touch my left leg.  It was a snake.  I froze.

Then I called out to my father, “Dad, I have a snake next to my left leg.”

“Okay, just a minute,” he said.

After he picked up a couple of more, prize brown bass winning bait, he slipped in behind me and grabbed the snake by the tail and slung it!  The next morning, I was telling my mother about the adventure when she said, “Son, did your father happen to mention, snakes are drawn to light?  That’s why he wanted you to carry the lantern.”

Another thing I have learned about light is this, it attracts flying insects.  Pest.  If you have a fly in your house, and you are having trouble getting it, turn out every light except one, and it will come to you.  That’s when you kill it.

As a devoted servant of God, we are the light of the world.  If your light is shining bright enough, you will attract snakes, vipers, and pest!  It is important to know how to respond to them:

  • Learn to identify them quick, for what they are. They might, at first, even be a friend.
  • Know they are there to disrupt you, or hinder you, from accomplishing what God has called you to do.
  • Do not be afraid of them! They are antagonist.  “Every great story has one.” (Rev. Joel Budd)
  • Speak out loud, and declare you are doing the work of God.

 

“Then I gave them my report: “Face it: we’re in a bad way here. Jerusalem is a wreck; its gates are burned up. Come—let’s build the wall of Jerusalem and not live with this disgrace any longer.” I told them how God was supporting me and how the king was backing me up.

They said, “We’re with you. Let’s get started.” They rolled up their sleeves, ready for the good work.

When Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they laughed at us, mocking, “Ha! What do you think you’re doing? Do you think you can cross the king?”

I shot back, ‘The God-of-Heaven will make sure we succeed. We’re his servants and we’re going to work, rebuilding. You can keep your nose out of it. You get no say in this—Jerusalem’s none of your business!’”  Nehemiah 2:17-20 (The Message)

You are anointed for whatever God has laid on your heart to do.  Now go do it with excellence.  Don’t you dare diminish your light, so as not to draw vipers, who only want to hurt you, or flies, who are there to annoy you.  Also, don’t forget, you can call out to your Father in heaven anytime, to help you deal with a snake.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

5 Gifts I Received From My Father

Jerry R BradyAfter my father passed away, recently, I reflected on his life, and realized there were a lot of gifts, “life lessons” he gave me, but today I want to share the 5 biggest ones.

5. My father taught me how to fish. You see, he is the greatest fisherman I have ever met.  I realize I will never be as good as him, but I learned the sport of it, the joy of being in nature, and taking on the challenge.  Go fishing, and take a young person with you.

4. My father taught me how to be a good worker. I can only count maybe 10 days my father missed work, other than weekends and vacations.  He taught me; at work, look around, there is always something to do.  Be loyal, and work hard.

3. My father showed me, you can talk to anyone. My father was funny, and even a few seconds after meeting a stranger, a friend, or a loved one they would be smiling.  Spending time with someone is a gift.  Be generous.

2. My father taught me how to plan, be organized, and resourceful. A greater gift than I ever realized when I was young. This lesson, has saved time, helped me be prepared, and in general, made life easier.  Be ready for your next event.

1. My father (and mother) took me, and my sister, faithfully to church where I fell in love with the most amazing God. I accepted his free gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus.  I grew in knowledge of God, and dedicated my life to living for him.  I have not always gotten it right, but my loving Heavenly Father has understood, has forgiven me, and has helped me to move on.  This was the greatest gift my father and mother ever gave me.  It’s the greatest gift you could ever give anyone.  Share God.

Dad was ready for his final event as well.  Dying.  I hope you will be too.  I pray if you have never made that decision to accept God’s greatest gift, you will right now.  Just say, “God, I accept your Son, Jesus.  I ask him to forgive me of my sins, my wrong doings in life, and to come into my life and show me how to truly live.”

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. (Phi 1:3 AMP)  I love you Dad!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved