Jollibee

20181220_215148On a recent trip to the Philippines, I saw a lot of life I had never seen before. I experienced several new things as food, phrases, and culture. One thing that I couldn’t help but notice was the local rival to McDonalds, Jollibee. It has what McDonalds has as well a local favorite, chicken with rice and gravy.

Something that really stood out were the people. One, there were a lot of them. Two, as in America, there were different classes of them, but the lowest class seemed to be living in a darkness like I had never seen. Their eyes were so dim, as if the light was about to go out of their lives. They certainly have nothing to “bee jollie” about.

I looked at some and managed to do or say something that brought a small smile to their faces, but soon, the reality of their world would return, and the smiles faded. In those moments, what I really wanted was the time and the ability to share in their local language, Tagalog the hope of Jesus Christ that is within me. Just knowing Jesus is there with me in this life brings joy. He gives me a reason to “bee jollie”.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Ps. 42:11 NIV)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady  All rights reserved

 

Three Days

Charlie 1A young woman had been praying for a man of God for years.  She had cried out, “God do you not care?”  Not seeing any positive movement via the dating site she had joined, she decided to close her account.  Three days later she received a message from an interested man.  Love blossomed.

A man was asked by God to go to a certain village to evangelize.  The man didn’t do it.  Instead, he went the other way, and boarded a ship.  After setting sail, the ship encountered some very bad weather.  Before going down, the superstitious men on board decided their trouble was due to one man.  They threw him overboard where a great fish swallowed him up.  Three days later, the fish vomited the man out.  He then decided to be obedient and go where God had commanded in the first place.

After Jesus drew his last breathe on the cross, his followers thought it was over.  They recalled his acts of love, and his stories that inspired, but he was gone.  For three days, all hope was lost, until Jesus was resurrected.  He overcame the darkness and once again, Light filled the earth!

What is it, about three days of darkness?  Is it a test to see if your faith will hang on?  Does it take at least that long for your will to line up with God’s?  How many days has it been for you?  What have you been calling out to God for?  Is your hope lost?  Are you thinking, “What’s the use” or perhaps you are thinking, “Well, it was nice while it lasted.”

As long as you are alive, hope exist!  Why does God allow certain things to happen in ways we might call cruel and unusual, I don’t know.  But I do know this, God is still and will forever be on the throne controlling things especially for those who submit their lives to him.

Remember this:  I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out–plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Jer 29:11 MSG)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

EVOL

LOVE 105Would you recognize LOVE if you saw it?  Are you sure?

Joh 3:20  Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure.
Joh 3:19  “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God.
Joh 3:18  Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
Joh 3:17  God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.
Joh 3:16  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. (MSG)

If you could only see God’s LOVE for you.  His LOVE for you, cannot be measured, for there is no unit of measurement adequate.  His LOVE is so vast one cannot see from one side of it to the other.  His LOVE for you is so powerful.  His LOVE can conquer all!  His LOVE never fails.

Also, God uses His people, all around the world, to show you His LOVE for you the best they can.  Know God’s LOVE, for it is perfect.  Seek it out as if it’s the greatest treasure on earth…for it is!  Ask God to help you recognize it.  Start now, for tis the season.  For God’s LOVE, Jesus, came to you in Bethlehem.  Born in a manger.

Look for God’s LOVE as if your life depends on it, for it does.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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Caralyn says, “We are all recovering from something.”  https://beautybeyondbones.com/

Is This It?

20171122_144820

The church, where I first learned about a better life.

Have you ever asked yourself is this it?  What’s next?  Is there more?

As I was giving thanks to God this week for His many blessings upon my life, a thought hit me.  One I don’t recall having before.  For those who have never accepted Jesus as their savior, and had their sins, wrongs forgiven, then this is it!  This life is the best they will ever have.  For them, there is no hope for an even better life.

This life, with its hardships, struggles, and pain.  This life with its sickness and diseases.  With its final blow, death!

But we don’t have to settle for just this life.  We can choose to have the hope of a better life.  A life with no hurt, sickness, and no death.  Think of it this way; if those who believe and have accepted God are wrong then we have only gotten the same as you.  This life.  But, if we are right, if our faith delivers the hope God’s word says is waiting for us then we have so much more.  So much more than just this life.  And on the way to that better life, is God.

Act 2:26-28   I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope. I know you’ll never dump me in Hades (Hell); I’ll never even smell the stench of death. You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around. (MSG)

 Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

One Man’s Sin

DSC_6186As we saw this past week, in a very visual way, one man’s sin, hurts another human being.  It doesn’t have to be a mass killing either.  It can be a lie, but when found out another is hurt for they got deceived.  A cheating spouse, a wayward leader.  Someone else will get hurt.

Unfortunately, as long as there is sin in this world, there will be hurt.  There is sin in the world because of evil spirits that rule over this world.  When Adam and Eve sinned (disobeyed God) it opened up the door for evil to come over us.

Eph 6:12   For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

But there is hope!  For those who have accepted God’s free gift of having their sin’s forgiven, by accepting that Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins.  There will come a day when God’s Spirit rules over a new earth, and that will cause peace, and no more pain, and no more tears.

My heart ache’s for those that were affected this week by one’s man sin, but I do not get discouraged, or want to give up, because I know, without a doubt, God’s word is true, and one day there will be peace.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

It Hurts!

HURTYou listen as they describe their current pain, despair, nightmare of a life.  They go on and on without the slightest glimmer of hope on their face, or in their voice.  They want relief, they want out, they want something so different then what they have.  Like a blind man looking for his glasses, their searching is in vain.

You’ve heard it before, from them and from others you care so much about.  Will this be the time they listen to you?  Have they reached the end of their rope?  Have they had enough?  Maybe, maybe this will be the time they here you share the life they could have if they would only accept the free gift of Jesus Christ.  How His death provides life.  How His taking on the whole worlds sin and sorrow deliveres eternal joy, happiness, and peace, if we just say, “Yes” to His offer.

It hurts, when we hear them say, “Thanks, but it’s not for me.”  It doesn’t make sense.  It’s hard for us to understand.  Irwin McManis put it like this, “People would rather live a bad life “they” purchased, than a great life that is free.”

Keep praying and trusting God for those you care about.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Choose to Live

20161119_112851A young man hid in the bushes.  When he judged the train was too close to stop in time he ran out and dove onto the tracks.

I was riding that train on my way to work this past week.  I have been commuting in and out of Chicago for 23 years, but this was the first time I have actually been on the train that struck a pedestrian.  They ruled it a suicide immediately.

While the investigation was proceeding I thought about this person and wondered, how bad was his life that he decided he had no more hope?  What was going on?  Satan won a victory that morning.  John 10:10 tells us, “Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy.”  Anything God has created, or made, including mankind, Satan wants to get rid of it.

Pastor Robert Morris, of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas once said, “As long as you are alive, you have hope.”  If you are hurting, if the pain is more than you think you can bare, then please talk to someone.  Please, I beg you.  There are numerous organizations that are set up to help in all kinds of ways, but you must contact them.  Depression, and mental illness is not something that shows up on the outside.  Most people may not ever know, until you speak up.  And if someone speaks up to you, I pray you will love and care about them enough to listen intently, and help them.  Life, can be a beautiful thing.  Choose it.

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Hope

seedlingI just watched the movie, “The Martian”. Well written movies usually inspire me to write, so here I go. I am on my way to Zambia. Right now I am somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. 41,000 feet up in the air. The outside temperature is -85.0F. At least that is what flight status is telling me. Just watching the movie makes me aware there is a lot that could go wrong, but I have hope that we will arrive at our final destination.

Back home, the people in my church will be packing seeds next weekend into small envelopes. Some of those small envelopes will make this same trip over the ocean and one of the places they will arrive is where I am going. Those seeds provide more than just needed food and income, those seeds provide hope. So those same people are packing hope.

God knew after he made man that he would soon sin. He knew his hand made being would be in need of hope. So God too packed a seed… but he placed his seed into a virgin. The seed sprouted and slowly grew. The seed became strong, and grew in wisdom and knowledge of the One he was fashioned after.

After many years of growing it was time for the seed to produce good fruit, and so it did. After three years of producing the local farmers decided they had enough of its fruit, so they killed it.   They thought that was the end of it. Three days later the seed came back to life, and shared with its seedlings. The seed had become the vine. Those seedlings learned if they wanted to grow they would have to stay connected to the vine.

The moral of the story is this; the Seed was Hope, and Hope was Jesus. Hope can never die again. If you believe in Jesus then no matter what, you have hope… and Hope will get you there to ‘’your’’ final destination.