The “Who’s” In Your Life

“So no one told you life was going to be this way.
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, you’re love life’s DOA.
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear,
Well, it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.”

Do you recognize those words?  The famous opening lyrics to the hit TV show, “Friends”.  There are a lot of different people in your life.  Some you choose and, well, others you didn’t, but we’ll ignore them for now.  The ones you chose are your friends.  You picked them and got to know them because you were like minded, for the most part, and yet even if their lifestyle and choices are different than yours, you enjoy being around them.  They make you laugh, they make you feel important, and perhaps, even loved.

As I write this post I am recounting the past few days.  I have had the privilege of getting to spend time with 10 different friends in different ways.

My friend Steve:  He called me and we caught up.  We laughed, we remembered, and we encouraged each other.  He and I used to spend Saturday nights, after church, at McWillows talking, laughing, and wondering what to do with our love lives, or the lack of.  It felt so good to hear his voice again.  Steve is the man God used to get me writing.  He simply asked, “What’s keeping you from writing?”  Three days later I found the answer, and decided to take the risk.

My friend Roger:  I worked with him on his current home remolding project.  Blood, sweat and the prevention of tears.  My friend needed help, and encouragement and I got to be there for him.  There is nothing as satisfying as finishing a day’s work, stepping back and saying, “It is good.”  I think God coined that phrase.

My friend John:  It had been a while since I had spoken to John, who I used to work with, so I called him.  His company is closing his department and I was concerned about his future, but he informed me he will be okay as he is transferring to a new department that supports the State Farm Insurance Company and my friend will now be known as “Jake, from State Farm”.  I asked him what he was wearing.  If you are aware of the TV commercial then you are laughing.

My friends Andrew and Debra:  I met Andrew on the commuter train that ran in and out of Chicago.  After very little communication, I saw his wrist band, and asked about it.  Since that day the communication hasn’t ended.  God used Andrew to help me learn about opportunities where my skills in writing could grow.  I later met his wife Debra.  This past week they came to visit me where we applied Covid safety.  We had a great time catching up as I had not seen them in four years.

My friend Michael:  The next day Michael made a stop with his friend as they are exploring Route 66.  Michael was a summer intern at AT&T some years ago, and we became friends.  Again, it was good to catch up and spend time together while respecting Covid.

My friend Chris:  We are staying in touch, especially after he fought a hard bout with Covid and with God’s help, won!  Chris is a good man who cares about others.

My friends Russ and Ginger:  I received a letter (a piece of paper written on and then folded and placed in an envelope, addressed, and stamped, then placed in the mail) from them that caught me up and touched my heart.

My favorite friend:  Every night, I get to see and talk to my wife via Messenger.  Lately, we have gotten excited about our future and we have been dreaming concerning how it will work out.  So many things are coming together that were once a mystery.

A man who has good friends is rich beyond measure.

The friends mentioned above have been so helpful, encouraging, and uplifting over the years, each in their own way.  Jesus is also our friend and He will stay with you closer than a brother.  That is if you have invited him to be one of the Who’s in your life.  Having good friends requires you be a good friend.  Some friends may come and go in and out of your life, but the good ones stay and are there for your day, your week, your month, or even your year.  And this year has proven to be one that requires good friends.

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. 

Two Can do More Than One

051220Considering the challenges, it’s understandable why my wife and I had a difficult time in the beginning adjusting to each other.  An American who didn’t understand Filipino culture, and a Filipino who wasn’t used to a man making decisions.  My wife’s father left the family when she was young.

We had several, heated discussions to say the least.  Many times, either of us wanted to say, “Forget it!”  But one thing kept us trying to figure it out.  We both had to admit there was no doubt God wanted us to be together.  There were too many strong confirmations this marriage was being formed in heaven.

The one line that always got us to stop fighting and take a breath was this,

“We can’t let Satan win!”

It seems as if we were battled by fierce forces unseen, and the truth was, we were!  Satan wanted to put asunder what God had joined together.  “Asunder”, means interfere.

Today, we are doing great.  My wife has only messed up once in the last three months.  Did I say, “My wife”?  I meant me.  The other night we were talking, and I said something about helping others, more than we currently are.  It was then, my wife opened up and shared her dream of helping lives in tangible ways ever since she was a little girl.  I had no idea.  We then dreamed about what that would look like.

The next day I had the opportunity to help a young father, who had relocated to Tulsa from the Covid hot spot of Boston.  They arrived in an old vehicle with only the things they could pack in it.  After he pulled away I was moved to tears as I thought about the shoes he walks in, and I was thankful I was not wearing them.  I don’t have a lot of “extra” right now, as our own budget is tight, but the things he really needed, I had.  It was while thinking on what had just transpired, I said to myself, “Two can do more than one.”  Walking out my wife’s dream had just begun.

I am thankful to God for his many blessings, and I look forward to seeing what and how God will do more through us together as his Spirit leads.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.