Identity Thief

WIYTGIG 1I have a theory that human spirits are in heaven, with God, and then, the moment a child is conceived a human spirit is installed.  It’s just a thought, okay?  One reason I believe this is I was in a grocery store and I saw a small child in their mother’s arms.  When the child saw me I smiled, and without hesitation the child tried to leap out of the arms of their mother into mine.  The child’s spirit wanted to be reunited with God’s Spirit, which dwells in me.

the child saw God

I didn’t encourage the child at all.  I simply smiled.  I have thought about that moment and I came to realize the child sensed God’s Spirit within me.  That led to the question, “how did the child know God?”

I have been reading “Translating God” by Shawn Bolz.  He talks about seeing people as the original version of them God intended.  This will help you relate to them better when you begin to see them as God does.

So what happens then?  How do we get so off course from being the image of God he designed?  Life, temptation, sin, and free will.  Those are the things that steal our true identity.  I know a man, who had a dream about his son before he was ever born.  In the dream he got his name and his destiny from God.  Sure enough a son was born, but today that son is not living a life anything close to what God intended.  The man continues to love his son anyway, and continues to pray for him, and believe that one day the real version will emerge, and his son will be a mighty, spiritual warrior.

It’s like when we are born, our life is perfect, and wrinkled free.  Then, as life happens we get wrinkled, but the moment we accept Jesus we go to the cleaners and there, the Holy Spirit, as steam, gets all of the wrinkles out.  He restores us to our original design, and purpose.  Yes, it takes discipleship, healing of the heart, and spending a lot of time with God getting to know him fully and his nature, but it can be done.

Jeremiah 1:5 (The Message)

 “Before I shaped you in the womb,
I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
I had holy plans for you:
A prophet to the nations—
that’s what I had in mind for you.”

I encourage you to be hungry to be the person God intended you to be.  Ask God to show you his plan, design, and purpose for your life.  Then, I encourage you to live it.  If you choose to do this you will never be happier!

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

You Know What?

alte6596873Big news!  I have been invited to Washington D.C. to meet with President Trump and a commission he is putting together on creativity.  I think I was selected because of this blog.  The president wants to find different ways to get young people to express themselves, to set goals, and have dreams to live for.  Okay, April’s fool.

To be honest, I have never understood this day.
It’s lying.

One year I was asked to be at a wedding.  I traveled hundreds of miles to get there and the next day, as I was on my way to where the event was to be held, it dawned on me the date was April 1st.  When I saw the young couple I said, “If this is an April fool’s joke you’re dead!”  They laughed and then assured me it wasn’t.  I guess it does make it easier to remember the wedding date.

You know what?  There are fools year round, not just in April, and people do foolish things all the time.  Believe it or not, I’ve been known to do a foolish thing here and there, but that’s another blog I don’t want to write!  The most foolish person is the one who does not believe in God.

“The fool says in his heart, there is no God.”
Psalm 14:1 (NIV)

There are people who say, “There is no God.”  I wonder what they will say when they stand in front of him?  How do they arrive to this opinion?  I’m not sure, but the Bible says God gave everyone a measure of faith.  I tend to think when these people boast about their opinion they have a measure of doubt.  I’m sure they hope they are right.

One might live like a fool, but you don’t have to die a fool.  You can believe in God, accept his Son, and then ask him to help your unbelief.  You know what?  He will.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Truth or Dare?

Charlie 030720“YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”  A famous line from the movie A Few Good Men, yelled at Tom Cruise by the one and only Jack Nicholson.  Jack’s character thought his actions, which wound up killing a man, were right, because of the location of where they were serving in the military.  He thought his truth was real.

In my early elementary days, a school bully forced me to do something that was wrong, very wrong.  I didn’t tell anyone because I was bound by fear of getting beat up if I did.  I think the bully lived in fear of being exposed.  I found it odd when that same bully came up to me at our 10 year high school reunion and apologized.  I think his admission of guilt, once and for all, set him free.  All those years he may have justified his actions in a number of ways thinking it was truth, but it wasn’t.

I have witnessed firsthand, the damage that can be caused when someone’s truth is their reality, when in reality their truth isn’t the truth at all.  Some may be afraid to face, or own up to the truth.  Those individuals may be afraid of what the truth coming out will do to them, or to their reputation.  I can’t help but think of big time movie producer who recently was found guilty of wrong doing.  Now that people have learned the truth his life will never be the same.  Fear can bind you up, but the truth can set you free. John 8:32

Will you accept the truth, or forever dare to believe a lie?

There have been so many times people around me have chosen to believe lies told about me.  Those situations always seem to hurt the worse.  What really hurts is when those same individuals haven’t even asked me for my side of the story.  The only comfort I can grab a hold of is this; the truth always comes out.  If not here, while on earth, then one day, as we all stand before God, the truth will finally be told.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

One Mile till Empty

Charlie 0320Just before a car’s engine runs out of gas it shakes violently, sputters, and knocks hard.  It is then, the driver’s stomach does the same thing.  Unless you are driving a very old clunker there is a light on the dash that does its best to tell you when you are running out of and in need of filling up again.

A friend of mine is living overseas.  No friends, or family went with him.  He has been there long enough to make new friends, get new co-workers, but he hasn’t found a church quite like what he had in America.  In fact, not even close.  We were talking the other day, and I said to him, “You are getting low on God.”  How did I know?  By the way he talked about life there, and I could tell he was forgetting a lot of the wisdom and understanding from the Word of God he had learned.  He agreed.

It is critical, to the life of one who is a serious follower of Jesus Christ,

to keep an eye on the God gauge.

To know the signs of when you are drifting away from true north.  When your half of the relationship with Jesus isn’t what it once was.

Some of the things that cause this to happen are; busyness in life, missing church, you know, the forsaking the assembling of the brethren, slacking off on your devotion to God, and over all lacking in spending time with Him.  It happens slowly, and before you know it.

As we are entering into troubling times it is more important than ever to stay close to God.  In fact, it wouldn’t hurt anything to draw near to God even more!  Take you fears and concerns to him.  Walk in confidence of knowing God, and knowing he knew long before the news channels what today would reveal.  God loves you so much, and he cares about the things you are concerned with.  Spending time with Him fuels you to overcome the things in life that can trip you up.  When your tank stays full of God you wind up getting more MPG (Miles per God) in life.  You never want to find yourself on the road of life and realize you are one mile till empty.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What the Corona is Going On?

Charlie 0320 105There is so much going on in our world right now.  I’ve thought about taking pain pills before sitting down and watching the evening news.  There is so much devastation, sickness, hate, and crime.  It’s no wonder people live in fear.  People fear the most what they don’t know.  Mainly, they don’t know what is going to happen in the future.

What’s going to happen to my 401?  Funny in a way, most people in the world don’t even know what one is much less have one.  They’re more concerned about catching the Coronavirus.  If they don’t contract the virus will it affect their job?  The world has for certain become a smaller planet. We are more connected to people in China, South Africa, India, and Europe than ever before.

Then there are problems here at home like politicians not getting along and acting like they are in kindergarten all over again.  Wildfires out of control, severe storms that cause flooding, mudslides, and total devastation from wind damage.

You might be saying, “Thanks Captain Obvious!  We know!”

What this world needs is climate change!  You might be thinking, “We have that too!”

Just a thought: how do we know what the temperature was before the floods of Noah’s days?  I’m saying, what if the earth’s temperature is just now getting back to what it was before all that water covered the earth?  A lot of the water froze because the ground was covered.  Anyway, back to our regular scheduled program already in progress.

The kind of climate change I am writing about is in our in countries, our states or provinces, in our cities, on our street, in our home, in us.  You see, a lot of people want things to change.  The very people who live in fear, but they either don’t know how, or what to do.

Believing in God is not just a cliché,

but the start of laying a solid foundation upon which to build your life.  Accepting Jesus, as God’s son, and asking for the forgiveness of all your wrong doing gets you access to all that God offers his children.  Protection, guidance, direction as well as a host of other things, the walls, we need as mankind.  Then asking for the Holy Spirit to dwell within us is the roof.  Our structure is complete.  The Holy Spirit not only brings peace, but power to stand firm anytime, and power to do things for God.

Real life, built and lived out on Godly principles, changes everything.  For one, there is perfect peace in God, and perfect peace cast out fear.  it changes not just us, but our street, our cities, our states, our countries, our world.  Things in our world aren’t going to change for the positive until we, those who know God and act like it, do.  Then, as God, through his Holy Spirit leads us, we can change the climate of our world.  I’m in!  Are you?

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Prison Didn’t Change Him

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was saddened the other night, as I watched a news report, of a man whose prison sentence had been commuted.  Not so much because he was out early, but when he spoke to the reporters it seemed as if he had not changed at all.  He still came across arrogant, and defiant, as if he did nothing wrong.  He felt he was unjustly charged, but was found guilty and put behind bars.  Prison didn’t change him.

From the Bible, when Joseph the Dreamer, came out of prison he was a changed man.  I believe a wiser version of himself, but one who, though had been humbled, still believed the dream God had given him many years earlier.  Prison changed him.

When the Apostle Paul was in prison, in Acts chapter 16, he didn’t let prison change him either.  At the midnight hour, he and Silas began singing, yes worshipping while their beaten bodies hung on a cold, damp dungeon wall, when so many others would have complained.  “God, look at what I got for obeying you.  Do you see the pain I am in?”  Dan Betzer tells this story better than anyone I have ever heard.  Dan believes when the voices of those two men rose to heaven and God heard their praises He turned to his Son, and said, “What this song needs is a lot of percussion.”

It was then, in their darkest hour, an earthquake took place, and the men found themselves freed from the chains that held them tight, and the door to their cell flung open.  The guard knew if the prisoners escaped it would mean the end to his life, so he drew his own sword to take it, but Paul stopped him, by saying, “We are all still here.”  The guard was so moved he invited Paul and Silas to his house for dinner where his whole family accepted Jesus.  Paul was not changed by prison, but Paul changed prison!

What prison are you in at the current time?  Is there something holding you back?  A person or situation that is keeping you from being the person God sees you being?  You don’t have to let your circumstances change you, but with God’s power, you can change your circumstances.  You can be freed from your situation.  Your sentence can be commuted.  Ask God for what you need to move out of prison, and to move on with your life, your dream.  He loves you, sees you, and cares for you so much.  Live life free.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

If I Fail

Charlie 022920“If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.”  Something a few people forget before they get taken financially.  In other words, there aren’t many good deals or 100% guarantees in life.  So when I saw the picture with this blog post, which is a sticker that was on the side of a product, I laughed.

As I was laughing, my thoughts turned to God.  What if God came with this sticker?

I heard a testimony tonight where a prophet shared God’s love with a dictator.  The prophet told the dictator the code name of a top secret mission, and he also told him something that happened on his daughter’s birthday the dictator felt very bad about.  The dictator replied, “Those things are guarded secrets.  How did you know?”  The prophet said, “God told me.”  The dictator was so moved he accepted God and tried to give the prophet a bag of money.  The prophet laughed, but said, “The only cost to God’s love was paid for by his Son, Jesus when he died on a cross for our sins.”

So if there is no cost to accepting God then there would be no money back if you one was not satisfied.  Could that be why some don’t accept him, his love, his Son?  They want a written guarantee before they believe?  If they read the Bible they will get their written guarantee.

God will never fail.  1 Corinthians 13:8 tells us that love never fails, and 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love.  If one gets to know God, his true nature, they would walk with him 100% satisfied.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What Makes Me Hard to Love?

Charlie 012220Well this isn’t going to be fun, but I feel the need to write out a self-evaluation.  While reflecting on some recent events I was reminded of the following flaws in my personality:

  1. I expect others to do the right thing. When they don’t, I want to be the one to tell them they screwed up.  (In love of course!)
  2. I have no trouble pointing out the truth of situations, but I forget few want to hear it.
  3. I seek perfection in others, and though I try so hard, I overlook that I too come up short.
  4. I do to others what I am want them to do to me, but I have learned not everyone knows that rule.
  5. If I’m willing to listen to you, I expect you to listen to me.
  6. I tend to “nick pick”, because I think people should do everything the way I do it.

I could go on I’m sure, but this hurts.  Looking into a mirror, that sees deeper than the exterior, is hard to face.  When you see who you really are, you wonder, how can anyone love me?  Then, you might ask, how can God love me?

When God first made man, he was perfect.  But God refused to have robots obey commands to choose him, so he gave man “free will”.  It was the only way to see who would love him, because they wanted to.  God first loved us, even though that “free will” opens the door to imperfection, and makes us hard to love, he loves us anyway.  There is no means to measure, or weigh how much God loves us.  Love, is God’s core nature.

But just how does God do it?  Love us even though we are hard to love?

He looks at us through rose colored glasses.  The ones that were stained, by the blood of his son, Jesus’ when he died on a cross to forgive us of our sins.  I would be more lovable if I saw others as God does.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Now What?

Charlie 011520 1You finally drop off to sleep, and when you wake up the next morning you have a few seconds of peace before the pain of your current life situation comes crashing back into your mind like a tsunami.  You lay there and say to yourself, “Oh yeah”.  You force yourself to get out of bed, but if it wasn’t for having to go to the bathroom you would more likely pull the covers over your head and try to go back to sleep.

If this is you, what do you do?  You may feel your only options are; runaway, become a hermit, seek revenge on those that have hurt you, drown your sorrow in alcohol, over eat, pop pills, or even worse bring physical harm to yourself.  For those who have a relationship with God, the only thing you can do is lean into him even more.  Anything else is of the flesh, and it will not ease the pain like God can.  It may take all you have left inside you to even ask him to help you trust him more, but He will.  If you don’t have a relationship with God, now is the perfect time to ask for him to forgive you and come into your life.

The words of old hymns can be comforting, reminders of God’s reality, which is more true than our own.  Read the words of the song below.  Let the melodic words soak into your soul.  Be encouraged with the truth of knowing that this too will pass.  May God bless you, and comfort you.  Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  He will never leave you, nor forsake you.

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Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

It’s Over?

Charlie 26Christmas is over, at least the actual day.
Don’t throw out the Spirit of Christmas in anyway.
But let the Spirit of Christmas last into the new year,
and live your life with joy, and without any fear.

Continue to smile as through your day you go,
give cheerfully to those in need, even if their names you don’t know.
Be nice to your family, and show that you really do care,
you don’t want to spread hate, especially there.

Jesus gave it all up to be born unto you,
He came for more than just one day, in fact with us to spend eternity through.
Continue to believe in him, accept him despite what you hear and see,
cling to him when times are hard and you just don’t know what will be.

Jesus is your Savior, your Comforter, your Prince of Peace,
Your Counselor, your mighty God, so much more than a Christmas wreath!
So as you clean up from the actual Christmas day,
I beg you not to throw away the Spirit of Christmas, in any way.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.