Don’t Follow the Recipe

April made the dinner in the photo the other day. She made sweet and sour chicken that I thought was better than most Chinese restaurants’ versions, and I would know. I asked her how she did it and she replied, “I just followed a recipe.” It’s funny though how you can give 12 cooks the same recipe and the final dishes will all taste differently. Most likely due to each individual’s uniqueness.

A few years ago, while attending a church service that featured a semi-famous man of God, I witnessed individuals taking notes, as if they were there to learn the recipe of how to get God to do the same thing in their lives as He had done for them. They failed to realize the man of God was giving his testimony in hopes to boost one’s faith. Knowing that God did something for one can help you believe that God can do something big in your own life.

When one such note-taker tries to implement the same practice in the exact same way but fails to get the same result they can become disgruntled and dissatisfied with God. Attitudes Satan can use to draw an individual away from God.

Keep in mind, that God is extremely creative. He does things in unique ways. Not because He gets bored, but to exhibit just how vast his power and imagination are. He likes to do things in new ways. He may ultimately do for you, what He did for the man of God, but He will do it in a new, fresh way. In a way that is most likely due to each individual’s uniqueness.

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Isa. 43:19a (NIV)

God’s word assures us He likes to do new things.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

God Did It

A mother wanted to take her children to a special event where they would learn, grow, be inspired, and empowered. She knew in her spirit it was the right thing to do, but her bank statement was telling her otherwise! She finally told them, “I’m sorry kids. Your father and I have done everything we can think of in order to get you all there, but we just can’t. But, if God really wants you there as well, then He will make a way.”

This is what God says,
    the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
    who carves a path through pounding waves, Isa. 43:16 (MSG)

Thirty minutes later the mother received an email inviting her and the children to the very event they wanted to attend…free of charge.

Yes, there will be times when God’s involvement in our lives is obvious, but there are other times when it is not. In the aftermath, of something good happening, if we were to sit and look back on how it happened, if we were to investigate it, like a crime scene, we just might see the hand of God. There could be a faint trace of his hand, his presence in our lives.

Recognizing that God made a way, when there seemed to be none, when He led us to employment that will meet our needs, or lead us to the right doctor who He can partner with to heal us. They say, “Seeing is believing”, and there is truth in those words, but when we believe “before” we see, it does something within us. It builds our faith, encourages, and helps us know we are loved by God. He will make a way, even when there seems to be none.

Look around your life. You might just see traces of God.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Recovery

I have a friend who got severely injured at the end of last year. Satan most likely tried to take her out! Why? Because he attacks those who do what they see their heavenly Father do. Like he took out Jesus, who always said, “I only do as I see my Father in heaven do.” (John 5:19) Satan doesn’t need to bother, or attack those who are content just “going to church”!

I was praying for my friend’s recovery the other day, and the thought came to me, “Perhaps there are other types of recovery?”

  • The recovery of lost items.
  • The recovery of forgotten things.
  • The recovery of time to do the things that got laid aside in the past.
  • The recovery of an old friendship.

I’m sure there could be many more. Healing is a funny thing. I know, and believe God can heal instantly, but there are times He chooses not to. God always knows what He is doing, and what He wants to accomplish in our lives. That’s why trusting him is so important! Maybe He wants us to slow down, or perhaps know what it is to ultimately trust him on a minute by minute basis? To taste and see that He is God, and blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. (Psalms 34:8)

It would be a good practice to ask God what is his desire for us while we are “recovering”? You may just see a side of your loving, heavenly Father that you have never been able to before. You most likely still won’t like what has happened to you, but you will know when you get to the other side of it, you will be better off.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

“Now Serving Number 5”

You hear the announcement, and yes, you look down at the number on the tag you pulled out of the dispenser when you walked in, even though you already know it wasn’t your number they called. You might as well be holding number “2275”.

 Sad, but at least in America we are so impatient. We are spoiled. We are used to getting things now. Unfortunately, there are times when we take that attitude toward waiting for things from God. We make our needs known to God, and then we have to wait for the answer. Depending on the situation it can be extremely difficult. We wonder, “Did He even hear me?”

 When we don’t see the answer we expect, and by the time we feel we need it, we can develop an attitude, toward others and even toward God. The truth is how do you know God isn’t working on it? What do you think He is doing? Here is what Oswald Chambers says:

 “We look for visions from heaven and for earth-shaking events to see God’s power. Even the fact that we are dejected is proof that we do this. Yet we never realize that all the time God is at work in our everyday events and in the people around us. If we will only obey, and do the task that He has placed closest to us, we will see Him. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes to us when we learn that it is in the everyday things of life that we realize the magnificent deity of Jesus Christ.”

I like how Chambers worded this issue. When we “ask” God, then our next step is to “trust” God. Know, be confident that He has heard you and that He “is” working things out in the way that is “best” for you. Keep in mind, God isn’t working on one request at a time, but on every request of everyone around the world who ask, all at the same time. He doesn’t take care of one request and then call the next number of whoever is line. Yes God is that omnipotent and powerful, but also so loving that He puts on every job a personal touch designed just for you.  And that my friend is called, “Love”!

Until a Person Finds God

My eye doctor informed me that my eyes will never get better, or go back to the way they were before the disease set in them.  He said, “All we can do is maintain them so you can continue to see.” I said, “So the only chance I have then is if God heals me.”  He didn’t say anything.  I continued, “I know God can do it, and I ask him to and thank him for the healing often.”  Still nothing from him.  Then I had the bright idea to ask, “What would you do if God did heal me and I came in with perfect vision?”  He thought, for an awkward amount of time and then stammered.  I said, “You would be speechless like you are now.”  Then he said something I will never forget.  He said, “Well, I know one thing, I would not contribute the reverse in your condition to God healing you!”  After he stepped out of the exam room I said, “Okay God, the stage has been set!”

I do realize it can be difficult for highly educated individuals, doctors, scientist, etc. to get out of their “natural mind”, and think on a “spiritual” level.  The issue is compounded if they struggle to believe in a God they can’t see. They would rather make something up, even if its not true then believe in God. For example; scientist have done that with the subject of evolution. God explains the issue like this:

Someone living on an entirely human level rejects the revelations of God’s Spirit, for they make no sense to him. He can’t understand the revelations of the Spirit because they are only discovered by the illumination of the Spirit. 1 Cor. 2:14 (TPT)

The ironic thing is this; when my eyes are healed the eye doctor will see God’s work done by his hand, which could be thought of as “seeing God”.

A co-worker of mine, many years ago, was trying to see if God was real.  He went on a trip to the Grand Canyon, saw his handiwork and immediately accepted him into his life. Regardless if people know it, or ever admit it, they are seeking God their whole life until they find Him. One’s spirit man desires and seeks to be reunited with the Spirit of God once they have sinned and separation sets in.

Please take my word for it, accept God is real, and that He loves you so much. For He is always there waiting for you to look up and see him and take his hand.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Flakes of God

As this past Christmas was April’s first in America, she was just as excited when she heard we could have snow. Growing up in the Philippines it would be her first time to see it, feel it, and see its beauty as it covers the ground. As I witnessed her enthusiasm I thought of people who have heard about God, but have never seen him, or felt his presence.

I have known some people that seem to stay on the fringes of God. They might even hear that God is at a certain location doing marvelous signs and wonders, but despite their own need for him, they won’t go.  They might need a healing, a place to live, or a job, but it’s as if they would rather continue to struggle and hurt on their own then accept Him, and truly know what real living is all about.  They settle for only “flakes of God”. They have never sensed his presence or have experienced the peace of his Spirit, and they have no idea how beautiful it is when their sins have been covered as white as snow.

Come now and let’s deliberate over the next steps to take together.
Yahweh promises you over and over:
“Though your sins stain you like scarlet,
I will whiten them like bright, new-fallen snow!
Even though they are deep red like crimson,
they will be made white like wool!” Isaiah 1:18 (TPT)

I heard this morning there is a chance of snow later this week. Hopefully this next front coming through will generate some accumulation instead of only flakes, or flurries, and perhaps provide enough snow so April can learn how to make a snowman, or a snow angel. I’m forecasting there is a move of God coming soon. I sense He wants to make himself known.  He wants to heal, He wants to rule and reign in the life of those who love him. I pray for those who have not ever experienced God in a personal way will seek him, and know for themselves what it is like to have their sins forgiven, and be white as snow.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

From Hope, to Reality

As you faithful readers of this blog know, I have been waiting for my wife’s immigration to America for two years.  Those were very difficult, trying, and long years, but the one thing that kept us going was hope!

Hope is recognizing there is very little you can do, while wanting a certain result.

Well, if all went as planned, I met my wife yesterday at an airport in America.  Waiting for her just outside the doors to the immigration section.  This process has been such a challenge that I have said, “I won’t believe it until I see her.”  But yesterday, my hope turned into reality.  God is so good.  He kept us close to his heart especially on the days when our hearts were breaking, aching, and we struggled to see us crossing the finish line.

I know we are not alone.  Many of you are facing your own struggles where all you can do is hope.  Don’t give up.  Don’t let go of God’s hand.  I know He will never let go of yours.  I recently posted a blog where I wrote about the women with the issue of blood, from the Bible.  Her reality took 12 years to arrive.  Her sickness bankrupted her, but she never gave up hope.  Then the day came where Jesus appeared on the scene.  She was healed by simply touching the hem of his garment as he walked by.  It was her faith in Jesus that healed her and not the robe he was wearing.

“So because our hope is set on what is yet to be seen, we patiently keep on waiting for its fulfillment.”
Rom. 8:25 (TPT)

So whatever it is you are hoping for, a job, a healing, a spouse, or salvation for a loved one don’t stop hoping.  You never know the day when Jesus may show up on the scene.  It would be a tragedy to give up the day before he passes by. For Jesus passing by in the life of me and my wife I am so grateful.  Praising and worshipping his mighty name all the way across the finish line.  Thank you God.  Thank you Jesus, and thank you Holy Spirit.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Hemmed In

Your back is up against the wall.  You have found yourself in a corner, or down an ally with no apparent way out.  Your mind is limited on how to resolve your situation.  You cannot see any reasonable way out.  Your resources are gone.  Your bank account, savings, or 401 has been depleted.

Now what?

Such was the story of a woman in the Bible.  She is one of my favorite heroes, for she was a woman of great faith who despite what she saw with her natural eyes she believed, “My situation doesn’t have to be this way.”  She knew when to tie a knot and hang on.  She was hemmed in, her back was up against the wall.

Yes, I’m talking about the woman with the issue of blood.  She suffered from a physical aliment that lasted for 12 whole years.  She spent every dime she had visiting multiple doctors trying to find a cure.  What’s even worse, those who knew her, called her, “Unclean”.  I’m sure they assumed God was punishing her for some sin in her life.  You think the thought, “I want to die!” never entered her mine?  Or, how many times did she question God, “Why?  Why God is this happening to me?”

People, who haven’t earned the right to put on a robe,
judge anyway.

What are you facing?  What challenges are you dealing with?  Can you identify with this woman?  I too am facing a situation today as I write these words that I honestly cannot see how the situation is going to end.  My emotions got on a roller coaster today, and I did not enjoy the ride at all.  Then I saw one of my friends, Jeff Lossau, posted a new blog. (https://jefflossau.com/)  As I read God’s words, from Psalms 34, I cried.

Listen to my testimony: I cried to God in my distress
and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears!
Gaze upon him, join your life with his, and joy will come.
Your faces will glisten with glory.
You’ll never wear that shame-face again.
When I had nothing, desperate and defeated,
I cried out to the Lord and he heard me,
bringing his miracle-deliverance when I needed it most.
The angel of the Lord stooped down to listen as I prayed,
encircling me, empowering me, and showing me how to escape.
He will do this for everyone who fears God.
Drink deeply of the pleasures of this God.
Experience for yourself the joyous mercies he gives
to all who turn to hide themselves in him.
Worship in awe and wonder, all you who’ve been made holy!
For all who fear him will feast with plenty.
10 Even the strong and the wealthy grow weak and hungry,
but those who passionately pursue the Lord
will never lack any good thing.
11 Come, children of God, and listen to me.
I’ll share the lesson I’ve learned of fearing the Lord.
12–13 Do you want to live a long, good life,
enjoying the beauty that fills each day?
Then never speak a lie or allow wicked words
to come from your mouth.
14 Keep turning your back on every sin,
and make “peace” your life motto.
Practice being at peace with everyone.
15 The Lord sees all we do;
he watches over his friends day and night.
His godly ones receive the answers they seek
whenever they cry out to him.
16 But the Lord has made up his mind to oppose evildoers
and to wipe out even the memory of them
from the face of the earth.
17 Yet when holy lovers of God cry out
to him with all their hearts,
the Lord will hear them and come to rescue them
from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain,
and he is always ready to restore the repentant one.
19 Even when bad things happen to the good and godly ones,
the Lord will save them and not let them be defeated
by what they face.
20 God will be your bodyguard to protect you
when trouble is near.
Not one bone will be broken.
21 But the wicked commit slow suicide.
For they hate and persecute the lovers of God.
Make no mistake about it,
God will hold them guilty and punish them;
they will pay the penalty!
22 But the Lord has paid for the freedom of his servants,
and he will freely pardon those who love him.
He will declare them free and innocent
when they turn to hide themselves in him. (from, The Passion Translation)

The woman with the issue of blood risked everything, and went into a crowd. She pushed her way through it until she was where Jesus would pass by.  She even violated her society’s rules, because she knew with what little faith she had left, if she could just touch the hem of his garment she would be healed.  She no doubt had heard the testimonies of his healing power.  She did, He passed by, and she bowed to touch the hem of his garment, and she was healed instantly.  In a single moment, that she never could have foreseen, her issue went away, and so can yours! (Mark 5:25-34)

THEN, you can proclaim the first part of Psalms 34:

Lord! I’m bursting with joy over what you’ve done for me!
My lips are full of perpetual praise.
I’m boasting of you and all your works,
so let all who are discouraged take heart.
Join me, everyone! Let’s praise the Lord together.
Let’s make him famous!
Let’s make his name glorious to all.

The woman made God famous, and I’m willing to endure what my wife and I are going through, for someone else, so I can make God famous.

How about you?

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Let There Be

I love it that God spoke the world into existence, and it started with him saying, “Let there be light.”  Before he said those words the earth was there, and it was dark and shapeless, but the Holy Spirit was hovering above.

I think a lot of people are going through a very difficult time right now.  One might say, dark and shapeless, but know this, the Spirit of God is hovering above.  Keeping an eye on you, so you are not alone in the darkness although it may feel like it.

What if, in your darkness, someone said,
“Let there be light”?

Your healing could be separated from the darkness.  Your employment situation could be brighter.  Your long awaited spouse steps out of the shadows into full sight.  Whatever it is, in the time it takes for God to say, “Let there be light”, your whole situation can change.  So what is God waiting on?  When the moment is right.  When you are right, or when the other person is ready, or the employment connection is made.

In the meantime, we wait, as patiently as we can, knowing that while life is dark the Holy Spirit is hovering overhead.  Remember, light dispels darkness immediately, in an instant.  Light over powers darkness.  It cast it aside.

After God spoke light into existence he looked at it said, “It is good.”  When God speaks into your life, your situation, your darkness afterwards he will say, “It is good.”  And it will be.  Your darkness will be over.  It will be gone, and you see your new day dawning.  You will breathe in and out like you never have before for the weight of the darkness will have lifted.  If you place your hope and trust in God I promise you will see the end of the doom and gloom.

So lift your head and say, “Let there be light.”

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

A Great Place to Be

063020

Painting by Akiane Kramarik

I mentioned last week how I hate injustice, yet this past weekend it has happened to me again.  One, close to me, has accused me of wrong doing.  I can’t go into detail, but yes, their accusations hurt, but as the swelling was subsiding, I realized this person’s attack on me came from a heart that is in so much pain.  This person’s personal life has suffered a lot in the short amount of time I have known them.

I begin to pray for them.  I see God allowing these things to happen in their life, not to punish them, but out of a deep desire to be reconnected with them again.  Hoping they will cry out to him and lay it all down at the feet of Jesus.  God wants their relationship to change from estranged to hearts knitted together.  It’s difficult for mankind to understand God’s way of loving us, but I know he does with an incredible amount.  God is longing, that the path of life they are walking on, will lead them back to him.

Yeah, I could continue to complain about what they did to me, how unfair it was, but thankfully my focus is on Jesus and that has allowed me to see what they are doing to themselves.

Just because they throw mud,

it doesn’t have to stick!

We can count on this, we do not need to stand up and defend ourselves, but rather allow the Lord to do it for us.  I know one day the accuser will see they were wrong.  Will they apologize to me?  It doesn’t matter one way or the other if they do.

“The Lord is your mighty defender,
perfect and just in all his ways;
Your God is faithful and true;
he does what is right and fair. Deuteronomy 32:4 (GNT)

In these days we are living in, one cannot afford to take their eyes off of Jesus Christ, but must do all to concentrate on him.  One way to only see Jesus, and not be distracted by the things going on in the world, is to stand directly in front of him.  Standing in that spot is a great place to be.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.