If My Life Was a Movie

I would like the role of me to be played by Keanu Reeves.  That way, I am guaranteed my wife will watch it.  The movie would definitely be a drama, a romantic comedy, oh wait, and in parts, a thriller, but isn’t that life?  There would be scenes depicting tremendous joy, moral failure, and of mediocre accomplishments.  Would it win an Oscar?  “The envelope please.  And the Oscar goes to…” not my life.

I suppose to mankind, since I have not made any great scientific discoveries, found a cure for cancer, written the next great American novel, or become the world’s richest man, my life doesn’t stand out.  Does that matter?  Not to me.

The movie could contain dramatic scenes of my life, but the most important ones are when I accepted Jesus into my life at age 7, which guided me into the person I have become, and the Sunday morning, at age 17, I dedicated my life to living for God.  Since then, I have done my best to go where He has asked me to, have spoken the words He has placed in my mouth, and do as He has directed.

The majority of my life I have tried to do what is right.  I have shared my faith with many, and in many ways.  When I have fallen, I have taken hold of God’s hand and have asked him to help me get back up.  In moments I felt the deepest pain I hid in his palm, so He could touch my heart.  During my victories I have given the glory to God.

So, at the end of it all, the only thing that matters is what God thinks of how I have chosen to live my life.  I may not win an award created by man, but hopefully I will hear from God, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.”  Then perhaps He will give me a crown, at which point I will bow, and place it at the feet of Jesus, for none of the good in my life would have been possible if it wasn’t for the good He did in his life.

The last and final word is this:
Fear God.
Do what he tells you. Ecc. 12:13 (MSG)

Director: God
Producer: Jesus Christ
Set Designer: God
Lighting: God
Sound: God
Special Effects: The Holy Spirit
Support: Jesus Christ
Casting: God
Screenplay: God (with the exceptions when Mark edited it.)

Cast:
Mark: Keanu Reeves
Mark’s Wife: Kim So-eun
Mark’s Father: Jimmy Houston
Mark’s Mother: Meryl Streep

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Help Wanted

Believe it or not, there was a time when jobs were posted in a newspaper.  A newspaper is a set of thin papers with black ink printed on them, which came off on to your hands, and the paper contained news, ads, and was the social media of the day.  One would pour over the listings and usually circled the jobs with red ink which looked promising.

These days, jobs are posted online by individual companies or via websites that advertise opportunities to work.  Even with the new ease of finding whose hiring, it can still take a lot of effort and energy getting noticed, in the crowd, and getting your foot in the door.

I have worked 46 years of my life, and I have never had any trouble finding a job.  The longest I have been unemployed is four months.  One time, after moving to a new city, I found a job in two hours.  So am I just lucky?  Maybe, but I contribute my success to one simple thing:

Tithing

My first tithe was 10 cents.  I was eleven, and had earned a dollar.  My parents and my church taught, lived, and preached about tithing.  In case you don’t know what tithing is, it is this:

Returning to God the first 10% of your paycheck.  It is important to pay the tithe first, and then live on the rest.  Yes, it can be difficult to do, especially if times are extremely tough, but I assure you it is worth it.  You are returning to God what is his anyway.  Tithing tells God, “I trust you.” and a loving father likes to be trusted.

“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings [you have withheld]. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, this whole nation! 10 Bring all the tithes (the tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you [so great] a blessing until there is no more room to receive it. 11 Then I will rebuke the devourer (insects, plague) for your sake…  Mal.3:8-11 (AMP)

You cannot out give God!

Tithing, and being happy to do it, thrills God, because He loves a cheerful giver.  You give the tithe to your local church, or to the ministry where you are getting fed spiritually.  Then, if you want to give above your tithes it is called an “offering”.

It all starts by going through the “Help Wanted” section of a newspaper, or website.  By asking God for a job isn’t that what you are saying to him?  “God, your help is wanted.”  Then, when He answers, what better way to thank him every time you hold that paycheck in your hand, but to return back 10%.  Come to think of how times have changed, I guess we no longer hold paychecks in our hands either.  I miss holding that document that expressed the fruits of my labor.  “Thank you God, for your love and faithfulness to provide for me all these years.”

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved. 

Sowing Into Their Need

I have walked with God for a very long time.  So when I begin to get a new download of revelation, wisdom, and understanding it surprised me a little.  Not that I know everything about God, not even close.  I know, it sounds silly to be so caught off guard, but this latest knowledge is so beautiful, hard to comprehend, and so Jesus.

I am beginning to learn about, and walk out the principal of sowing into someone else’s need(s) even though you have big needs of your own.  I had been praying about earning some extra money.  Currently paying the cost of two households in two different countries was never part of my retirement plan.  I budgeted enough to last 7 years, from my retirement, to when I could start drawing Social Security, and it was working, but God had other plans He didn’t let me in on.  With that said, since me getting married again was his idea, I am confident He will provide for his plans to be carried out.  But there is something about being human, we want to figure it out ourselves, and at times, do it ourselves.

So when my friend offered to pay me to help him with a construction project I was excited.  I thought, Oh cool.  This is the answer to my prayer of earning some extra money.  At least until God said, “No.”  He instructed me to sow into my friend’s needs.  Financial, social, and emotional.  So that is what I decided to do.  It’s exciting to witness God minister to someone and it’s humbling that He would do that through me.

I didn’t realize how bad off my friend was, but after spending several hours with him, working, laughing, but also talking I heard the voice of a man who was about to break.  Coming along side of someone and walking with them through a need in their life is powerful.  Just simply being there with them speaks volumes. My friend is doing better.

I was busy writing this post when my wife called.  We speak every day via Messenger, so I wasn’t surprised.  She was upset, and upon further discussion we recognized she would have the opportunity to sow into someone’s need there in the Philippines.  It’s a bigger need, which means it’s a bigger challenge, but not one that God can’t handle.

How do you sow into someone else’s need?

  1. Submit your own needs to God, and trust him.
  2. See the need of someone else.
  3. Decide to get your hands dirty by getting involved.
  4. Spend the amount of time needed, or be willing to provide the resources required to meet their need.
  5. Give all the glory to God

Do all this despite your own needs, but then watch what God begins to do in your own life.  I was talking to a friend this morning, sharing my past week when I realized all of the miracles God did in my life.  Thank you God for teaching my wife and I this valuable principle and then giving us the opportunity to walk it out.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved. 

I Had To

This week I choose to do something I didn’t want to do.  My heart was restless as the date approached.  I discussed the situation with a friend, and also with my wife.  Then two days before the event my wife, my helpmate, said one word.  As soon as I heard it, I knew.  I knew what I had to do.  I was thankful for her hearing God where I struggled.

You see, there are times when someone hurts you, and the pain goes deep into your heart.  You tell them what they did, but they don’t care at all, and their pride keeps them from admitting wrong and apologizing.  When this happens, you find yourself wanting to avoid them to protect your heart from future pain.  As well, you don’t want to do anything for them, as you feel they do not deserve it.  I had forgiven them, but I didn’t want to see them.  I don’t mean to be so secret about the details, but I don’t want to give any clues that might identify the perp.

God’s word tells how to handle hurt:

Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love. Ephesians 4:31-32 TPT

Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. Luke 6:28 NLT

I did do the right thing, but I had to pray, a lot, and ask God for help.  I also asked him to protect me, and help me not bring up the past while I was there.  They did do one thing that bothered me while I was in their presence, but I left before the pain erupted.  God is good at helping us in our time of need. His specialty is loving those who don’t deserve it.

If you are facing a similar situation, pray, and ask God to help you do the right thing that will glorify Him.  You never know, but your loving kindness might just be the catalyst to change things around.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved. 

It Was Bigger Than Me!

Charlie 021520Big companies have a big pool of customers, and a bigger database of files.  Welcome to the computer age where you can automate systems to handle this big work load.  Sounds good, but what if one of the employees pushes the wrong button?

From my own experience I’ll tell you what happens.  A mess!  A big mess.

I discovered this today as I called a big company who sent me an email saying my bill was past due.  “What?”  “How can that be?”  “I pay my bills!”  According to the first person I spoke to I owed several hundred dollars.  Not something you want to hear.

The first guy passed me off to another department and after being on hold for a while the second guy came back with an answer and a resolution.  Evidence pointed to an employee, a year earlier, pushing a button that shouldn’t have ever been pushed.  The company informed me I did not owe the money.

I asked the second guy, “How did you figure this all out?”  He said, “When I first started looking at it, I realized this was bigger than me!  I asked for help.”

His phrase got my attention, and I thought, some people, including me, don’t recognize quick enough how big a situation in our life is.  Before you know it, things can get out of control and start causing a lot of pain.  The point is this; we should take “everything” to God in prayer from the very first indication of life being out of order.

“Oh what needless pain we bare, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”

Ask for help from God at the beginning, you know, the first moment you sense something is wrong.  You don’t always have to be the hero.  It’s okay to say, “This is bigger than me.”

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

God, Help!

Charlie 8978Should it turn left or right?  Come to think of it, I have never turned the water off at the street.  The valve was hard to turn as well.  I got frustrated, and while looking down into the dirty, yucky, spider enticing hole in the ground I said, “God, I need help.”  I literally looked up, from the hole, and down the street, about three houses away, was a city water department truck.  I tell you the truth, the truck was not there when I started the task.  I walked to the truck and the employee drove down to my house and helped me.

Then, with the water turned off, I was ready to remove a leaking valve in the bathroom.  I could not get the valve to come off.  Again frustrated, “God, I need help again.”  I called a place, I trusted, to get a number for a plumber they trusted.  No one could come out that day unless it was after hours which would have cost a lot!  Then, the woman on the phone transferred my call to what I pictured was a grey haired pipe wrench turner wearing blue denim overalls.  I explained my situation and he told me what type of plumbing I had and how to fix it.  It worked.  No charge, even though I called back and offered to pay for their knowledge.

God does know you, and He sees where you are, and what you going through, but more than that, He cares.

He wants to help you, and He wants to bless you.  What loving father doesn’t want to do good things for their children?  If you have accepted him, then there should nothing holding you back from asking for help in your time of need, even for every day stuff.  Here is a scripture of God’s promise to us:

“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
“I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of salvation!” Psalm 91:14-16 The Message (MSG)

“Hey God, Thanks!”

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Strength Helping Weakness

Charlie 80The words break free of my mouth, before I can think them through,
before I remember, the words of God, that tells, of the damage they will do.
As the last word, in the long ranting, damaging train does its part,
the sorrow, the remorse is already being felt inside my heart.

I don’t want to hurt, and I certainly don’t want to be mean as well,
so why then do I do this over and over again?  Can you tell?
If only there was some way to stop, and think, before I spoke,
then perhaps, the other person, wouldn’t feel as if they’re being choked.

I pray, and ask God to forgive, and then to help me not to do,
I feel better as if it will never happen again, and I will never again hurt you.

I know the great apostle Paul struggled as well.  In 2 Cor. 12:7-10,
He told us that Satan did his best to get him down again.
He begged God to remove this thorn in his flesh,
but God only replied “My grace is enough.” In other words, rest.

Then, “My strength comes into its own in your weakness” so let it be,
so Paul accepted it, realizing that when he is weak, “God works in me!”

So the truth is, on my own, I will never overcome,
but when I am weak, God and I, can become one.
Then, in that moment, before I speak, God’s power will take over,
my response will be of love and peace, and His grace will bring closure.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

People Live Their Belief!

my lifeLast week I wrote about helping a young man.  The focus should not be on the things I bought to help him for a few days, but on the words I shared with him, that if accepted, and acted upon will last him for eternity.

I had a captive audience.  He wasn’t about to jump out of a moving car, at least without the bags of food in the back seat.  I told him this: “I don’t like helping people I don’t know, but because of the love that God has shown me, I can’t help but share that love with others.  I am only helping you because of God’s love.  God loves you Justice.  He orchestrated us connecting to show you how much He loves you.”  I shared with him where the church I go to is, and there he can learn more about this love of God.

Then I went on to say, “Aren’t you tired of this life you are living?  Is the way you are living really working out for you?  Aren’t you tired of asking people for help?  You need a job in order to properly provide for those children, and your household.  You need God, and his help, his power in your life, his guidance to direct you to that job you need.”

He said he read the Bible, and to that I said, “Then act like it!”  I know.  A little direct and ruff, but the word of God does instruct us to “compel” them to come in.  The Message translation says to “drag them in. (Luke 14:23)”  The devil is doing a great job of keeping people’s lives so filled with drama they can’t see Truth, Jesus, standing right in front them, and inviting them to accept him, and a better way to live.  God’s word says this:

His huge outstretched arms protect you– under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing–not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon. Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you. You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses. Yes, because GOD’s your refuge, the High God your very own home, Evil can’t get close to you, harm can’t get through the door. He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go. If you stumble, they’ll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling. You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes, and kick young lions and serpents from the path. “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says GOD, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!”  (Psa 91:4-16 MSG)

If you believe God, and accept him, and his word then live like it!  Ask God to deliver you from the drama in your life.  Speak into the issues in your life, in Jesus’ name, and say, “Peace be still.”  We have the same authority Jesus was given by his heavenly father, God.  Declare, Psalms 91 over your life.  You will be amazed, what the positive words out of your mouth will produce.  Believe it, and live it.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Help

HPWhat has to happen, or be said, to get you to help?  Especially, to someone you don’t know.  For Jesus, he just had to see.  See the need.

Four times in the gospels, Jesus “saw” the multitude, and was moved with compassion, which in the Greek language means; “guts”.  So Jesus “felt” the need.

Today, I saw a need of someone I didn’t know.  I’ll confess my trepidation when I invited him into my car.  I thought I was off the hook when I delivered them to their desired destination for panhandling.  I went on to Lowes.  Completed my business, and then sat in my car and thought about his business, God’s.  I went back to where I had last seen him.  Not there.  I headed to my next stop.  There he was.  Justice, that’s his name.  A young man, trying his best to feed three little kids, and keep the lights on.  I took him to Target and bought enough to take care of one of his immediate needs.

I’m reading, Rees Howells, Intercessor.  I was given the book by Paul Brady, (no relations) the pastor of Millennial Tulsa.  I read when interceding for an individual, you must “identify” with the need to the point their suffering becomes your own, and their need, your responsibility.  Today, after dropping Justice off where he lives, I started crying.  It was then, I realized what I read, had moved from head knowledge, to heart knowledge.  I didn’t just read it, but was living it.  Now, I can intercede for Justice and his needs, because I have seen, and have “felt” his desperation.  Now, I can truly help.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Your Toughest Challenge

challengesMy toughest challenge is being single.  It’s not what I wanted, and certainly not what I thought would happen growing up.  The apostle Paul, from the Bible, says being single is better because then you are available to God whenever he calls upon you, but Paul also said it is better to marry than to burn.  Perhaps, Paul was shipwrecked one too many times!

Have you ever wondered why Jesus put Judas, who later betrayed him for $600, in charge of the group’s money?  Bill, one of my past youth members once said, “The tester, wants you to pass.  The tempter, wants you to fail.”  Jesus wanted Judas to overcome his toughest challenge.  Jesus wants you to overcome your toughest challenge too.  That is why he is willing to help you.

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.  (1Co 10:13 MSG)

When facing your toughest challenges, ask Jesus to help you.  Cry out to him if you need to.  Also, it is helpful to go do something else, go somewhere else, and start thinking about something else.  Don’t flirt with temptation.  One thing that helps is praying.  It’s hard to sin when you are praying!  You and Jesus got this, just as I have learned, he helps me be single, every day!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved