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.

“I Got You Babe”

“Oh I am so excited about today!” the man’s wife said as she arose from the bed.  He immediately begun scratching his head trying to remember if today was a special day in her life, or their life.

Her happiness continued as she prepared their breakfast and sent him off to work. As he drove he questioned, “Is it our anniversary? Her birthday? I don’t think so, but she was so excited I don’t want to screw up.” So after getting settled in to his office he ordered her some flowers to be delivered. At lunch he ordered a balloon boutique. On the way home he stopped and picked her up a box of chocolates.

When he walked through the door she greeted him with a smile and said, “Wow!  I can’t believe all that you have done for me.  This has been the greatest “Groundhog Day ever!”

That really is a true story, and tomorrow is “Groundhog Day.” I have no idea if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow or not. I believe we will have six more weeks of winter whether he does or doesn’t. If you have seen the movie, by the same name, then you know Bill Murray relieves the same day over and over. Every morning his alarm goes off at the same time to the same song playing, “I Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher.

There are times when real life feels that way. As if you are in a rut and can’t get out. The days creep by one after the other. To what avail? But there is more to life than sitting around waiting to die. There is life with God. You surrender your will to accept his and then follow his leading to living the most exciting life one could ever imagine.

 I said, “Not my will, but yours Lord” a long time ago. I haven’t always gotten it right every step of the way, but it has been an exciting life. One I would certainly do again in a heartbeat. I love witnessing firsthand how powerful God can be, and how gently he can show his soft love. Realizing he has been working out intricate details of your life without you even asking him to. When provisions show up unannounced, or he leads you to be a blessing to someone else. Acting like my heavenly Father is a privilege.  Seeing the face of someone when they become aware they have been in the presence of almighty God, even if via one of his servants, there is nothing like it.

 It certainly isn’t the life depicted by the movie, “Groundhog Day” at all. A life “with” God and “for” God is the best kind of life one can have.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

I’m Not a Gardener

Charlie 021220 1You might not be a gardener if you purchase annuals thinking it will save you money by not having to buy more flowers next year.  Yes, that really happened.  As I was planting them, my neighbor watched for a moment and then she said, “You don’t know what you’re doing!”  “I know,” I replied, “but I’m having a great time!”

A few months ago I heard, “Every relationship has a gardener and a flower.”  In some of my relationships I know I’m the gardener.  Just like planting those flowers, I don’t always know what I am doing.  I do know one thing though, flowers are fragile and when around them, one must be very careful.  As the gardener, you should show love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  The fruit of the Spirit of God. (Gal. 5:22-23)

The most common way to water a relationship is with words, but the ones chosen should be selected with wisdom.  Do not speak to someone about issues in their life with a heart half listening.  You like them, don’t you?  Listen with intent.  Pay attention.  Be focused on them and please, I repeat, please do not look at your phone.

Realizing time is a valuable gift, giving it to someone can cost you so much.  We, ourselves have so much to do and to get done.  It seems as if there just isn’t enough time.

Don’t let them see the price tag attached to your time, and be extravagant!

Whenever I don’t know how to do something, or what to say to someone, I turn to God and ask him to give me words, or instructions.  God loves us so much and is always available to talk to us.  He gives you all the time you want, and he knows what to say.

God waters you enough to allow you to grow at the right speed.

He also knows how much to shine upon you.  God, is a good, good gardener.  Oh, and as for the price, his son, Jesus paid it for you.

Trust the master gardener to show you how to feed, and nourish someone else.  I have come to recognize I enjoy gardening, in the spiritual sense.  So I guess I would have to change the title now to, “I’m a Gardener”.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.