“Well!”

You’ve encountered them.  You might possibly even work with one.  And there is the regrettable chance you live with one.  “Who?” you ask.  The person who is ALWAYS right in their own eyes.  The self-righteous ones. The perfect among mankind.

“Self-righteousness has killed more people than smoking.” John McCarthy

Of course we, the realistic people of earth, know there is no such thing as a perfect person, but don’t you dare tell them they aren’t perfect.  They will argue that fact.  If you have encountered such a monster then you know how frustrating it can be to do life with them, or to have any kind of interaction with them at all.

If finding fault generated wealth then they would be among the richest people on earth.  “Well, if you hadn’t of …” so quickly and easily comes out of their mouths.  What shocks me is how deceived they are.  It’s like they are allergic to truth. They defend the smallest of actions.

Job, from the Bible, had this issue I believe:

“We’ve all heard Job say, ‘I’m in the right,
    but God won’t give me a fair trial.
When I defend myself, I’m called a liar to my face.
    I’ve done nothing wrong, and I get punished anyway.’
Have you ever heard anything to beat this?
    Does nothing faze this man Job?  Job 34:5-7 (MSG)

The burning question on my mind is this, “Will they dare try to defend themselves when they stand before Almighty God and give an account as to how they lived their life?”  Will they try to blame God?  Of course God is perfect, as his son Jesus is, and has done nothing wrong.  I’ve been talking to a friend lately about this, and I have told them, “It’s okay to be wrong!”  In fact, it’s admirable, and respectful when one can sincerely say, “I’m sorry.  I was wrong.”

The Bible actually says, “The truth will set you free.” (John 8:31)  Of course knowing Truth, or Jesus will set you free.  Free from your sins and free from eternal damnation.  But knowing, owning up to, and admitting the truth is living free.  If you find yourself always defending your actions then stop it!  Try being wrong once in a while.  You might like how it feels.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Graffiti

Graffiti Building – Tulsa
Gum Wall – Seattle

I was driving my wife, April around downtown Tulsa the other day.  It was her first tour of the big city.  We went under a bridge and as in most urban areas, there was graffiti painted on the sides.  There was also a couple of buildings with it as well.  One building’s graffiti has become a little famous, but it’s nothing compared to the “Gum Wall” in Seattle, Washington.

A couple of days later, while I was having a moment with God, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “What kind of graffiti have you allowed to be written on the walls of your heart?”  Ouch!

I began to think about the messages I see, hear, and the stuff that shows up on TV.  Those messages affect us more than we realize they do.  For example, we may start accepting the lifestyle as okay, or normal that some choose to live that God calls sin.  We will always love the individual, but never the sin in their life.  That’s God’s approach.  We might chose to stay quiet instead of calling it out for what it is, “destructive lifestyles”, or accepting Satan’s substitute for what God has for us.

I realize now, I need to wash the walls of my heart from time to time.  To get the, what some may call, “expressive freedom” removed and put things back to having only the words of God written there.

Proverbs 7:3, talks about writing God’s words upon the walls of your heart:

“…etch it on the chambers of your heart.”

We are also instructed to guard our hearts.  Why all this care about our hearts?  Because what is in our hearts is what we believe to be true, and that belief comes out of our mouths.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

To Tell the Truth

At current time, there is a popular game show on TV where celebrities try to figure out which of three individuals is telling the truth and is the actual person described at the beginning of each round.  The real person is the only one who has sworn to tell the truth.

The Bible says that the truth will set you free.

“For if you embrace the truth, it will release true freedom into your lives.”
John 8:32 (TPT)

Telling the truth can be difficult, at times, but as I trained my children, “speak the truth, for the truth can always be dealt with.”  Dealing with lies is even harder.  Lies, create mistrust.  But what do you do if you need to speak the truth to someone about their life?  You don’t want to hurt them, or take the risk of them getting mad and never speaking to you again, so a lot of the times we don’t say anything.  We sit back and watch them struggle or continue with a habit in their life that hurts others, while hoping all along they will see the light, and change on their own, but that doesn’t happen very often or quick enough.

One principle I have learned is to “ask” permission to speak into someone’s life.  I will say something like, “May I speak into your life concerning something I see that I feel needs to be corrected?”  Now it is up to them to grant that permission or not.  If they say, “No” then I say, “Okay” and I move on.  But if they agree then after I share the truth to them that I feel they need to hear, they cannot get angry with me, because they gave me permission to speak first. It is important though to always speak the truth with love when touching on a personal issue.

They may disagree with what I said, or they may not understand it right away, and there is a chance they will not want to correct their behavior, but that is all on them.  Using this principle is very effective.  After a person hears the truth and then chooses to accept it, they will begin to journey down the path that leads to freedom, not just for them, but for all the people in their life.  Especially for those they previously hurt with their old behavior.  This new found freedom fosters love and acceptance in their family, friends, and working relationships.  God’s word is again proven to be correct.  He gave us these words to help us have better and happier lives on earth, which was part of his original plan all along.

To truth and freedom.  May both spread without hesitations and roadblocks.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

“You Can’t Handle the Truth!”

The title of this post comes from the famous line delivered by Jack Nicholson in the movie, “A Few Good Men”.  He was right.  There is truth out there we don’t want to know.  We can’t handle.  For instance, we are just learning, in main stream media, about cults, or groups that enslave women, children for the sexual pleasure of others.  That truth is so heavy it is difficult to comprehend.

Not all truth is so burdensome.  Like when two individuals have a disagreement. A “He said this, he said that” scenario.  Others who hear one side of the argument have only heard half of the truth if any.  A wise person will seek out the other person and listen to them, hear their version of the truth before making judgement.  Honestly though, seldom do people seek out the whole truth.  They listen to the side of the person they like the most, as if truth had something to do with popularity.

Truth is so important our judicial system will ask each witness, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”  Why?  Because judges know that proper judgements can be made when the truth is known.

Here is something else that is true that needs to be said; individuals, who are getting killed by the police, as some have alleged, “without cause”, should comply with the officer’s orders.  In other words, simply put, when the police arrive on a scene they don’t know who is right, or who is the threat.  They try to calm everyone down, make sure the scene is safe, so they can investigate, and then decide what action to take.  If those getting “unjustly” killed by the police would listen and follow their orders they would live.  If they are as innocent as their mother says they are the police will find that out during their investigation.

So what does God say about truth?  Jesus said that knowing the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)  Yes, He was specifically talking about knowing him will set you free from the bondage of religion, but knowing truth is freedom.

I used to beg my children to always tell me the truth.  I did my best to instill the idea in them that the truth can always be dealt with.  Right now in my personal life there is some hard truth to face, but admitting it is there has helped me determine the best approach to handling the situation.

Sad truth:

Some individuals, after meeting God, and hearing how much He loves them still turn their back and reject him.  They believe the lies of the devil that they know more than God what is best for their life.

Even sadder truth:

When those who reject God die they will be judged and receive eternal death of their own freewill.

Good truth:

For those who accepted God will have an advocate, named Jesus Christ who will say to his heavenly father, “Their debt, sin has been paid by me.”  Then that individual will be ushered into heaven for eternity.  That’s the truth, nothing but the truth so says God.

Now, how are you going to handle the truth?

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

How Did it Come to This?

073120I haven’t said much concerning the attitudes of the people protesting everything these days.  To be honest, I have a hard time relating to them, or even beginning to understand them.  While watching the news this last week, I think I had some revelation to where they are coming from, but first, we have to look back.

In 1983 I visited a reproduction of the “Mayflower” ship in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where I saw a sign that stated, “In pursuit of religious freedom.”  So America was founded in having a deep belief, and relationship with God, and our society was established on His principles of living.

Back then, most people went to church.  If a husband passed away, the church community would support the widow, and if children lost their parents, the orphans would be looked after until they were adopted into another family.  There were other benefits as well, for if one had a sickness, or other life event their immediate needs would be taken care of.  Doing life together with people you knew is what Jesus taught and the disciples lived out in the early church.  This meant there was no need for social security, welfare, or other government involvement.

But at one point, some Americans begin to determine what was good and evil for themselves.  Others formed another brand of religion because they didn’t agree with the one they were in.  Before they knew it, there were at least 150 different kinds of churches and most lost sight of the importance of having a relationship with God and put an emphasis on rules, made up by them, trying to be good enough (works) to make it into heaven.

More and more got tired of failing on the “rules” and became disillusioned with God and turned away seeking happiness in making money, and spending it.  Those individuals had children who never had the opportunity to know God the way He intended, and they grew up not seeing a need for Him.

Several years later, like June 25, 1962 they even got prayer removed from school.  And on January 22, 1973 made it legal to kill babies still in the womb.  Their religion was, “Do whatever feels right to you.”  These days, it’s also “I have rights!”  There were a lot of other issues where people departed from God’s word.  As the years went on people who were not part of a church family still needed help and the government stepped in.  Now, government is too big with people who do not have a relationship with God, or don’t even know God and churches are too small and being too quiet, most likely too afraid of offending someone.

So you see, the people protesting and like wanting to defund the police, aren’t stupid or ignorant, but totally deceived by Satan.  Now people are a god to themselves, and don’t want to hear about the one true God and the wages of sin, because to them, there is no sin.  Everything they do is right in their own eyes.  None of this is a surprise to God, for it is in his word, the Bible:

But you need to be aware that in the final days the culture of society will become extremely fierce and difficult for the people of GodPeople will be self-centered lovers of themselves and obsessed with money. They will boast of great things as they strut around in their arrogant pride and mock all that is right. They will ignore their own families. They will be ungrateful and ungodly.

They will become addicted to hateful and malicious slander. Slaves to their desires, they will be ferocious, belligerent haters of what is good and right. With brutal treachery, they will act without restraint, bigoted and wrapped in clouds of their conceit. They will find their delight in the pleasures of this world more than the pleasures of the loving God. 2 Tim. 3:1-4 (TPT)

These days, true believers are being separated from pretend ones.  The current times are making one reveal what, and who they believe in.  It is important if your life is based on God, and his words, then continue to focus on him, and talk to him more now than ever. Doing so, you will be found a good and faithful servant and endure till the end.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Truth or Dare?

Charlie 030720“YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”  A famous line from the movie A Few Good Men, yelled at Tom Cruise by the one and only Jack Nicholson.  Jack’s character thought his actions, which wound up killing a man, were right, because of the location of where they were serving in the military.  He thought his truth was real.

In my early elementary days, a school bully forced me to do something that was wrong, very wrong.  I didn’t tell anyone because I was bound by fear of getting beat up if I did.  I think the bully lived in fear of being exposed.  I found it odd when that same bully came up to me at our 10 year high school reunion and apologized.  I think his admission of guilt, once and for all, set him free.  All those years he may have justified his actions in a number of ways thinking it was truth, but it wasn’t.

I have witnessed firsthand, the damage that can be caused when someone’s truth is their reality, when in reality their truth isn’t the truth at all.  Some may be afraid to face, or own up to the truth.  Those individuals may be afraid of what the truth coming out will do to them, or to their reputation.  I can’t help but think of big time movie producer who recently was found guilty of wrong doing.  Now that people have learned the truth his life will never be the same.  Fear can bind you up, but the truth can set you free. John 8:32

Will you accept the truth, or forever dare to believe a lie?

There have been so many times people around me have chosen to believe lies told about me.  Those situations always seem to hurt the worse.  What really hurts is when those same individuals haven’t even asked me for my side of the story.  The only comfort I can grab a hold of is this; the truth always comes out.  If not here, while on earth, then one day, as we all stand before God, the truth will finally be told.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Prison Didn’t Change Him

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was saddened the other night, as I watched a news report, of a man whose prison sentence had been commuted.  Not so much because he was out early, but when he spoke to the reporters it seemed as if he had not changed at all.  He still came across arrogant, and defiant, as if he did nothing wrong.  He felt he was unjustly charged, but was found guilty and put behind bars.  Prison didn’t change him.

From the Bible, when Joseph the Dreamer, came out of prison he was a changed man.  I believe a wiser version of himself, but one who, though had been humbled, still believed the dream God had given him many years earlier.  Prison changed him.

When the Apostle Paul was in prison, in Acts chapter 16, he didn’t let prison change him either.  At the midnight hour, he and Silas began singing, yes worshipping while their beaten bodies hung on a cold, damp dungeon wall, when so many others would have complained.  “God, look at what I got for obeying you.  Do you see the pain I am in?”  Dan Betzer tells this story better than anyone I have ever heard.  Dan believes when the voices of those two men rose to heaven and God heard their praises He turned to his Son, and said, “What this song needs is a lot of percussion.”

It was then, in their darkest hour, an earthquake took place, and the men found themselves freed from the chains that held them tight, and the door to their cell flung open.  The guard knew if the prisoners escaped it would mean the end to his life, so he drew his own sword to take it, but Paul stopped him, by saying, “We are all still here.”  The guard was so moved he invited Paul and Silas to his house for dinner where his whole family accepted Jesus.  Paul was not changed by prison, but Paul changed prison!

What prison are you in at the current time?  Is there something holding you back?  A person or situation that is keeping you from being the person God sees you being?  You don’t have to let your circumstances change you, but with God’s power, you can change your circumstances.  You can be freed from your situation.  Your sentence can be commuted.  Ask God for what you need to move out of prison, and to move on with your life, your dream.  He loves you, sees you, and cares for you so much.  Live life free.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Devoted to Devotions?

Charlie 70How many times have you beat yourself up for not doing your devotions?  Me?  I used to constantly be black and blue!  I didn’t like it.  Am I not serious about serving God?  I used to ask myself.  I wanted to make God happy with me, so why did I constantly feel as though I was disappointing him?

It took a while, okay years, but one day I realized being devoted to devotions was not the same as being devoted to God.  I begin to walk in freedom, because now I was devoted to God, and I knew I could talk to him anytime I wanted to.  I could worship, read his word, and praise him throughout the entire day, and not just at a particular time of day.  There may be those that like having a set time each day, but that didn’t work for me.  Some people, I’m afraid, do their devotions, but then forget what they read or said to God as soon as they are done.  They experienced time gone by, but fail to experience God.

Just like I can’t make you mad, I can’t make God have an emotional response to me as well.  We choose our reactions to others and God chooses his reactions to us.  I’m sure it’s an easy choice for him though when we talk to him and are mindful of him all day long.  God, no doubt, wants to hang out with his children and listen to them, and have them listen to him.  God has a lot to say.

Therefore, your hearts are to be wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as [you are doing] today.”  (1 Kings 8:61 AMP)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.