Understanding Others

Photo by: Kaique Rocha

I got a phone call last night that bewildered me. In full disclosure, I struggled to accept the situation. I don’t think I can even begin to understand how the events expressed by my caller would put one in a hospital.

After the call, I sat and pondered what was told to me. I eventually had to ask God to help me understand. He didn’t. But He did help me remember that all of us are individuals, and we all have our weaknesses. We all have areas where we are strong and weak. What doesn’t take me out can devastate another. It’s all because of sin in the world. It’s like attracting a disease in a way. One illness that can harm another may not affect me at all.

One thing that immunizes me against being affected is my relationship with God. I spend time with him. I talk to him during the day, and I read his word. I call out to him for help when I struggle with an issue and ask him to take the weight off of me when I stumble.

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble. Ps. 46:1 (NIV)

So understanding the truth about people and how or why some are affected by events in life more than others leads to one conclusion. And this is what God did reveal to me. It’s not about understanding others but accepting others.

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

How Long?

I once took a youth group to a cemetery, and as we walked around looking at the different tombstones, I asked volunteers to make up a story of the life of the one who lay before us. Of course, some lived a long time while others not so much.

We have all heard it said that what matters in life is what you do with the dash! You know,

Here lies John Doe
September 3, 1962 “–“  April 4, 2029

What does one do while living the dash?

For me, it’s always doing what I can to help someone and encourage them to grow in their relationship with God. The second part is the purpose of this blog. I want to borrow the words from Psalms 71 from “The Message.” I promise to return them after I am done:

I’ll write the book on your righteousness,
    talk up your salvation all the day long,
    never run out of good things to write or say.
I come in the power of the Lord God,
    I post signs marking his right-of-way.

You got me when I was an unformed youth,
    God, and taught me everything I know.
Now I’m telling the world your wonders;
    I’ll keep at it until I’m old and gray.
God, don’t walk off and leave me
    until I get out the news
Of your strong right arm to this world,
    news of your power to the world yet to come,
Your famous and righteous
    ways, O God.

I’ll keep at this until I am, “old and grey” and no longer have a way to love on people as God has shown me love. I guess I am trying my best to do what the wisest man on earth stated is our responsibility:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Ecc. 12:13 (KJV)

I hope and pray that you are too!

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Out of Order

Sermons can come in different forms and formats. Today’s came from the First Church of Hollywood. Yep, a movie. It was about a man who followed the rules and insisted others do. He would get upset when they took a “flippant” attitude toward them and dismissed him when he pointed out their misconduct.

Some got annoyed at him. For them, the rules didn’t seem to take on the same importance. The man often got frustrated. I can identify with the man who followed the rules and expected others to do so as well. The man found peace when things were in order and went as ordered. Like for me, it creates a sense of peace. I want to think I get that from my heavenly Father!

For He [Who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order. 1 Cor. 14:33 (AMPC)

The man also suffered from the medical condition “Cardiomegaly.” I didn’t know either, but it means an enlarged heart. At one point, when one of his neighbors heard he had a big heart, she laughed. She and her family had been one of his violators.

As the movie played, the man realized that “order” was still good but that people were more important than “order.” He quit judging others as to why they didn’t have order in their lives or struggled to follow the rules. He stopped the condemnation, listened, and sought ways to help them. Perhaps he had a big heart after all.

No spoiler alerts here. I only give away the endings when begged to. I will tell you, though, that the Holy Spirit brought conviction upon me. I want “order” in my life, but instead of giving “orders” as to how others should live, I, too, need to focus on the person. I need to listen and find a way to bring peace into their life.

Prayer: God, help me to identify the needs of others and to have the compassion needed for the situation. Help me take the time to listen and find ways to bring “order” and “peace” into the lives of others. Thank you, Father. Amen

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Another Blog Post?

When I started writing blogs, I posted them on Blogspot. I probably wrote over a hundred or so. The site was free to use. Then I heard about the features of WordPress. I knew I had to make a switch. Then to keep ads out of my post, I decided to pay. The other day, I noticed I have now posted over 700 blogs on that site, so all together, over 800 blog posts.

I don’t struggle coming up with content because I ask God for help, and He is faithful to do so. He will quietly speak a word in my spirit, or He will point something out.

I generally take it from there. I love writing because I love creating. I enjoy turning a blank page into something that can encourage, help, or highlight the love of God. Being creative is my favorite thing about being made in the image of God. Blogging would be easier if I could speak them into existence, but I’m okay with the writing process. I get more out of the post by doing the work.

I have shared this before, but these humble blogs are fulfilling the great commission. Taking the gospel to the world. There are roughly 167 countries around the world. Give or take, depending on whose list you use. Some countries don’t recognize others as countries. (Like Hong Kong or Taiwan.) These blogs have been read by at least one person in 128 countries. Only God could have made that happen. I remain humbled and in awe of what He can do.

What’s my point of all of this? That’s easy to answer. Take what is in your hand and give it to God. If it is a pen or a staff like Moses, allow Him to use you and the gifts He put in you as He knows best. What we hold on to may be simple and plain, but when placed in God’s hands, it can be blessed and multiplied, even if it is only five loaves and two fish. (Mat. 14:17)

Our job is to become as good as we can using our gifts. To be faithful and obedient.

Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Ps. 9:10 (NIV)

Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied. Exo. 4:2 (NIV)

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Drive-Thru God

Photo by: Jonathan Borba

Have you ever sat at a fast food establishment and watched how people interact with the staff? I have. In fact, I am doing it now. I’m writing some blogs here while eating breakfast and waiting for April’s women’s Bible study to finish up. The first thing I have noticed is who comes in. It’s the young and the old among us. The young are enticed by the toys that come with their meals. The seniors come in for convenience. Another meal they do not have to cook and no dishes to clean afterward.

In this place, the music is loud, and the air is cold, but that is probably how the workers like it. The average customer doesn’t seem to mind because they did not come here for the atmosphere! They want to place their order and get what they ordered fast! Very fast!

When I was in the Philippines, We went t what they consider “fast food.” There was nothing fast about the place! On one such visit, it took them twenty-five minutes to make and serve me my breakfast sandwich. The lines were typically long, and the service needed improvement. As I began to observe their process intently, I saw the flaws. This was certainly not a place of “best practices!” As I learned a popular phrase while living there, “What can I do about it?” If they had known me, they would remember that I hate waiting.

This order now and receive in 22.495 seconds attitude has transferred into our relationship with God. Fast food places added drive-trus to speed up service and convenience. This doesn’t help us either. I think most believers of God would love it if He added a drive-thru. He tells us in his word to make our request known. Most of us would love to pray from a menu board too.

“God, I’ll take a number 5 to go. Oh, and I want fries with that!

Wouldn’t it be fast and convenient? God knows me and knows I don’t like waiting but answering prayers quickly or quicker might improve his service rating, but He is not concerned about that. He doesn’t care about any reviews believers might post on Yelp, either! God will do what is best for his children when it is best. Nothing changes that. Complaining doesn’t work, or asking to speak to the manager either. Nor does threatening to go somewhere else.

If you are going to be in a relationship with God, and you should, you have to accept the way He chooses to do things. Like in the Philippines, “What can I do about it?” Know that He does care, and He wants us to trust him. We have to acknowledge that his ways are “best practices.”

God isn’t going to install a drive-thru anytime soon or a menu board. We must learn to trust and wait in a loving relationship with him. Your prayer request will be served up prepared his way and in his time, so please, don’t go anywhere else. You may think you are getting what you want, fast, but I assure you it will leave a bad taste in your mouth for a long time. Perhaps even for eternity.

The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
2 Pt. 3:9 (NET)

Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 (NET)

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Desiring God

Last week, I witnessed a woman get married. She had known the groom for a very long time. Fifty-six years to be exact. Their friendship had grown all those years. She admired his kindness, humor, demeanor, and his temperament. She felt warm inside when he complimented her. She was not used to being shown such consideration. She desired him all those years. She wanted him in her life, but it was not to be until this past week.

The woman was married, not to a bad man but not to the man she desired. Over the years, her affection for this man grew. After she got divorced, she got to know him even more by going on trips with the man she would have liked in her life and his wife. She honored their marriage and kept her longing quiet, but those closest to her knew because they knew her.

You could hear it in the way she talked about him. The way she used flattering words to describe him. How she hung on to every word he spoke. She yielded to his ideas, plans, and ways. “Okay. No problem. Sounds good,” would be her usual response.

This past week, she finally became intimate with the man she desired. She is 81, and he is 87. His wife passed away months earlier. He missed his wife. He missed his friend, so he reached out for her companionship, and she said, “Yes.”

What would happen if people similarly desired God? If they hung on every word He said. Suppose they got to know his true character by spending time with him. What would result from their trusting him and going along with his plans, ideas, and ways? Can you imagine what could be accomplished for the glory of God if they went on trips with him?

We should desire and long for God like the woman above did the man for all those years. Fortunately for us, we do not have to wait for anyone to die before we can enter into an intimate relationship with God because his Son, Jesus, died on the cross, forgiving us of sin so we can be in a relationship with his Father. We can enjoy a loving relationship. We can feel warm inside as God encourages us and speaks words of life to us. Having the confidence to take him at his word and follow him anywhere, He directs us to go.

If you have not accepted Jesus into your heart, asking him to forgive you of your sins, you can. You don’t need to wait until you are 81. You can enter into a love relationship with God now. And you should because I tell you this; God has desired you your whole life.

1-3By this time a lot of men and women of questionable reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.

4-7 “Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue. Luke 15:1-7 (MSG)

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

What’s in a Name?

I have a family member that I usually label with a less-than-loving name when I think of them. Of course, when that happens, I feel convicted. The other day it hit me, I need to stop that practice and replace it with a more positive one.

When my first wife and I were planning our family, I had a vivid dream. In it, God said, “Your firstborn child will be a boy, and you are to name him ‘Joshua David, and he is to become a mighty spiritual warrior.’” That became the first time I realized the importance God puts on names.

We know He changed Abram’s name to Abraham because he was to be the father of many nations. (Genesis 17)

Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter because he was to be a rock that Jesus would build his church on. (Mat. 16:18)

With this awareness and knowledge, I have decided to start calling the family member I mentioned in the opening by what they should be in Christ. Praying for them that they become the person God wants them to be. I am also going to be careful what I call other people. Even those that cut me off on the road!

With God’s help, may we all become whom He intended.

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.


You don’t have to watch the news for very long before you will see someone got caught. It doesn’t matter for what, either. Stealing, murder, inappropriate behavior, etc. It seems that, for the most part, no matter what someone has done or how long ago, the truth comes out.

People don’t just have to be on TV to be guilty of doing wrong. The world is full of individuals that choose to do evil. It’s not always murder or stealing but something that hurts someone else. It’s difficult to watch these less-than-perfect ones seemingly get by with inflicting pain on another.

Guess what? They don’t, and they won’t!

For there is nothing hidden that shall not be disclosed, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come out into the open. Luk. 8:17 (AMPC)

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. Luk. 12:2-3 (NIV)

I am just as guilty. I have said and done things I am not proud of either. I have hurt people that never asked to be inflicted. By recognizing Jesus Christ is the Son of God and by accepting Jesus into my life and asking him to forgive me of all of those wrongdoings, they are forgiven.

I will admit, though we may have to wait a long time to see it, knowing that those who have hurt us will be dealt with is reassuring that they won’t get away with it after all. Everyone someday will know the truth. The lies will no longer be believed. On that day, the only judgment that will matter is God’s!

Truth, can not be hidden! Ever!

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

What Do You Say?

I have heard it said several times the shortest story is this; For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn. This week, I have witnessed that short story come true. It has broken my heart, yet I am not even related to the child. The sadness has consumed my thoughts. I have prayed for the parents and the family a lot.

What do you say to someone personally connected to this tragic event or any other gut-wrenching life situation? Words are so hard to come by. I asked April for help, and she replied, “You’re the writer!” I admit everything that came to my mind seemed so empty.

I read in Richard Exley’s book, “Blue Collar Christianity,” that sometimes, just being there is enough. Touching their arm, placing yours around their shoulder, or holding their hand if appropriate speaks volumes. It tells the individual walking waist-deep in grief, hurt, or pain that you are there with them and that you wish they weren’t going through this experience, but at least they are not going through it alone.

Of course, God is right there with them as well. And the Holy Spirit is the greatest comforter, but people can’t see them, and some fail to realize they are there. They can see people who care, though, so they find comfort in knowing that people care. Another reason to express your concern the best you can. Some will cook a meal, and others will send a card or flowers. Some might show up in person and give a hug. As I wound up doing, you can always ask God what to say. Regardless of whether the words were correct doesn’t matter; they know I care.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever— John 14:16 (AMPC)

Prayer: “Father God, be with the family that has suffered this traumatic loss. Holy Spirit, comfort them. Help them today and in the days to come. As they search desperately for a reason and for someone to blame, may they not blame you, God, but understand this happened because we live in a world of free will and, therefore, of sin. May they run closer to you, God, and not from you. And God, I pray this for anyone in the world who is struggling, hurting, and needing you. Amen.”

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Are You God’s Supervisor?

Photo by: August de Richelieu

I’ve been reading from the Book of Psalms. I have noticed, mainly David’s, some Psalms were written where David tells God what to do. As if he is God’s supervisor or God needs to be told how to be God. Take the one below for instance:

Psalms 59

4-5 Wake up and see for yourself! You’re God,
    God-of-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God!
Get on the job and take care of these pagans,
    don’t be soft on these hard cases.

11-13 Don’t make quick work of them, God,
    lest my people forget.
Bring them down in slow motion,
    take them apart piece by piece.
Let all their mean-mouthed arrogance
    catch up with them,
Catch them out and bring them down
    —every muttered curse
    —every barefaced lie.
Finish them off in fine style!
    Finish them off for good!

I think you get the idea. But I must ask, are we sometimes doing the same thing? Are there times in our prayers and conversations with God we try to tell Him how to answer our requests? I know I’m guilty of doing this, especially after an individual hurts me.

Okay, first of all, God doesn’t need a supervisor! He knows how to deal with every kind of person very well because He knows their heart and motives. He knows things about them we could never know. Also, He hopes that his way of dealing with an individual would ultimately bring them into a relationship with him. From scripture, we know that God has his way of doing things and why.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isa. 55:8-9 (NIV)

So we have to trust God. There is nothing wrong with asking Him to take care of a situation or a particular person, but we have no business trying to tell Him how. God doesn’t have someone over Him. You cannot speak to his boss, and you don’t need to.

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.