First Church of Walmart

A few weeks ago, we were in a small town, in Oklahoma, on a Sunday morning, and there weren’t many people stirring around.  There were a couple of gas stations open and one donut shop.

A few days later we were warned not to go to the Walmart in that town on a Sunday morning, because all of the crazies are there at that time, instead of being in church.  Now there are a few crazies at church too, I’ve met them, but I’m talking about the ones that make the front page of Facebook as to how they dress when they go to Walmart.  Oh come on, you know what I’m talking about, and you have laughed probably harder than I have!

We went to church this past Sunday.  Yes, in person, where previously we had attended online.  My first time since January of 2020.  I said I wouldn’t go back until my toilet paper hoarding pile was used up. (kidding) I got to say, It felt good, to be with others worshiping God.  I definitely sensed the presence of God among us, but I must add there were plenty of times I sensed his presence here at home as well.

You see, “going to church” doesn’t save you.  Just “going” won’t get you into heaven. You have to accept God’s son, Jesus as the Lord of your life and the one who paid the price for you sins, wrong doing. To my knowledge, God doesn’t take attendance.  You go to church to be with others who believe like you do.  To be encouraged, and to encourage others.  To develop friendships that help each other through life.  You know, the ups, as well as the downs. God’s word mentions how he will tell some, who even did great things in his name, “Depart from me. I never knew you.” You can go to church every time the doors are open, but unless it changes your heart and fills you with the love of God, then you are probably taking a seat that could be used by one who is serious, devoted about living for God, a true believer and follower. By someone who will let “love” rule in their life.

One can feel God where ever they are, if they know him, and have a relationship with him.  In a way, God got rid of the formal church when his son, Jesus died on the cross.  For in that moment, God ripped the veil from top to bottom ever inviting mankind into an intimate relationship with him, for the purification process was taken on by his son.

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. Hebrews 10:22-25 (MSG)

The photo was taken inside a “Life Church”.  I love their attitude, position, and inventiveness.  In the meantime, go to church as much as you go to Walmart, and don’t forget “the bread”.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

God’s Glory

I mentioned in my last post about people who are never wrong and how frustrating I get when I encounter such an individual.  Well, my week continued to be frustrating, until today.  A conversation with a friend brought up music by Brandon Lake. (I’ve mentioned him before in a previous post.)  My friend sent me a link to a video on YouTube he has been enjoying.  The video started playing and at first, honestly, nothing, but then, the video kept going, and things started to change.

Brandon begin singing a new song, and the more I listened to it the more it ministered to me.  It drew me in, and the next thing I knew I was worshiping God.  Whenever you worship God in spirit and in truth, you get caught up into his presence and your spirit gets energized.

“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” John 4:23-24 (MSG)

Brandon Lake introduced that new song, “Show Me Your Glory” by sharing something Bill Johnson said,

“When the glory of God comes into the room, nothing else is needed.”

A true and powerful statement.

The song broke through my frustration, refocused my thoughts on what is most important, God.  Everything else going on grew strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.  So I challenge you right now to put on some worship music, or click on the YouTube link below, and turn off those electronic interrupters and just soak in the presence of God.  You too will discover peace, comfort, love, and the proper perspective on whatever is going on in your life.

Blessings

The link on YouTube my friend shared with me:

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Two Things that Make Me Cry

Yes, I still own a “Man Card”!  Stopping and asking for directions doesn’t make me any less of a man.  In fact, it demonstrates I don’t have an issue with pride.  So there!  LOL  Admitting I cry doesn’t make me any less of a man either.  So what are the two things that will almost guarantee I will reach for a tissue?

  1. When I begin thinking about God’s goodness, and blessings to me and my wife I get misty eyed.  Like the other day we received three unexpected checks in the mail.  They really helped us out, and before you ask me for a loan they went to pay off some debt.  They were nice checks.  When I opened the envelopes and saw them I sat down and cried.

    A few weeks ago I wrote about sowing into someone else’s financial needs.  I helped a friend work on his condo.  He offered to pay me and I wanted to accept the money, but God whispered, “No.  Sow into their need.”  They didn’t need to spend any more on the condo.

    God has established certain universal laws, and one of them is “sowing and reaping”.  If you sow, give time or money it doesn’t always come back to you in the same form you gave it, but it does come back.  But you have to be willing to give without expecting it to come back, which has to do with the attitude of your heart.

  2. The other thing that gets my eyes to leaking is sensing the presence of God.  When his Spirit comes over me and hovers, and I know I am in the company of God it over whelms me.  To think, the God of the universe wants to spend time with me.  I can’t see him, but I know He is there.  I can’t see the wind, but I know when it blows.  Lately, when this happens, I have been saying, “Come a little closer, stay a little longer.  I can’t get enough of you.”

Okay, in full disclosure those are the words to a new worship song I just discovered the other day.  “Just Like Heaven” by Brandon Lake.  When I hear this song on the radio it ushers me into an attitude of worship.  Expressing my love and admiration to God for who He is, for his holiness.  Worship, does a lot for us, even though we are giving it to God.

So yes, there are times I cry, but they are good tears not bad ones that flow out because of hurt, or pain.  Tears are a release of emotion, and God gave us that capability, and I am so grateful He did.  I can’t imagine what would happen if I didn’t cry.  I’m no expert in biology, but I have feeling my emotion would come out somewhere, somehow, in some form.  I choose tears.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

It’s All About Obedience

simple truthI have been reading from the Bible book of Exodus.  Today, I read a portion of chapter 12.  The true story of Pharaoh and the children of Israel has always intrigued me.  In meditating, upon this portion of God’s word, I realized one thing, being with God, being in his presence, is all about obedience.

You see, it was disobedience, by Adam and Eve that caused mankind to be separated from God in the first place, when they ate fruit from the tree, God told them not to.  Then, God gave us his son, Jesus, and it takes obedience of accepting him to be back in God’s presence.

Growing up in an Assembly of God church, we sang the song, Trust and Obey.  Some words in that song say, “there’s no other way.”  Simple truth, but truth none-the-less that will save your soul from eternal damnation.  God knows that when you obey him, and come into his presence, you enter into the greatest love story ever written.  It’s an amazing feeling to wake up loved, to lay down at night and close your eyes wrapped up in love, and living in between with God’s love abounding in your life.  God welcomes you, invites you, to partake of his love.  All you have to do is obey him, and stop eating the fruit the devil keeps putting in front of you.  A simple verse, but a true, loving verse none-the-less:

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.  (Joh 3:16 AMP)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved