What If, “What If,” Never Happens?

Charlie 24WHAT IF’S:  Its sad, but so many live in fear.  What makes it worse is, they don’t think they do.  They deny it.  You talk about being deceived by the devil.  They believe his lies instead of Truth.  They roll play, “Well what if…” this happens, or that happens?  You want to know the truth?  Many times, those “What if’s” never happen!  They only steal your time thinking about them, and worrying about them.  Even worse, living bound up by those fears hurts others, especially those who know the Truth, who know Jesus, who have themselves been set free.  The battle is fear vs faith. Terror vs trust.  Fear and terror may never happen, but faith and trust always does!

You can annihilate the “What if’s” with “God, if’s”

GOD, IF’S:  When something in life comes up, and you don’t know what is going to happen, or how things are going to turn out, instead of worry and fear, instead of “Well, what if?”, you can simply pray, “God, if you will take care of this for me.”  Or, “God, if you will walk with me through this.”

Living like this will calm your mind, calm your spirit man down to where you can walk, and live in peace.  How else would one walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil?  This is how you can sit, and relax enough to eat, at a table, in the presence of your enemies. (Psalms 23)

The battle is in the mind.  You must learn to rethink how you look at things and situations.

Look at things from God’s point of view!

Asking God, will break the chains of fear, and will set you free.  You will feel better, because now, you will breath like you have never drawn a breath before.  You will skip down the sidewalk, because of the joy you now feel.  Because of the Light in your life instead of darkness.  Okay, perhaps you won’t actually skip, but you will want to.

“God, I thank you personally, that we have an alternative we can choose from.  In you, and in your strength, we can flip the environment.  Just knowing we don’t have to live in bondage is liberating in itself.  I love you God, and I know you love me, and everyone, and especially those who have read this battle plan to defeat the devil.  You’re so awesome.  Thanks!”

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

My Last Stop

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Living in the Philippines, for the last six months, has taught me a lot!  More than I could have ever imagined.  I have observed, and recorded in my mind the people, their lives, their world.  I foresee, one of these days, the residents here showing up in a story somewhere.

I have tried my best to settle in, and get comfortable, which is difficult when you are a pampered American.  I have done what I could to fit in, but looking so different than them, some wouldn’t let me.  Like today, at the time of this writing, I was cursed and the old woman made a spitting motion at my feet three times.  I’m not saying I know racism in its fullest now, like some do in America, but I have experienced a taste of it, and it doesn’t taste too good.  On the flip side, I have made friends, who call out my name whenever they see me out on the streets.  That’s a good feeling no matter where you live!

As I made this place home, there were days I was jolted when the realization hit me, Mark, this is not your home.  You’re an alien, a sojourner.  Just passing through, for a specific time and purpose.  For that matter, America is not my home either.  I’m an alien there as well, just passing through for a specific time and purpose.

So where is my residence?

“So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” Ephesians 2:19 (ASV)

After I accepted Jesus, my forwarding address was in heaven, God’s kingdom.  As a residence of that land, I have full rights to everything the kingdom of God offers.  I’m an heir to the King of Kings.  I fit in.  Everyone is accepted, no matter how weird they are on earth.  Racism doesn’t exist!  With nothing but love there, I am making heaven, my last stop.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Are You a Part Time Atheist?

c2gpic1If someone asked you that question, most of you would say something like, “Of course not!  How dare you!”  Or, “I go to church, and I give money too”, but whenever you stand at the bottom of a “life mountain”, and you stretch your neck to see the top of it, you start thinking, “this is impossible!”  It’s almost as if you are saying, “This is too big for God!”

Doubting God’s power is like doubting God even exist!  If you are going to choose, to believe in him, then you must also believe in his character of being all powerful, all knowing, having a mighty hand, and a heart full of love toward his children.  Otherwise, you are a part time atheist.

A full time believer knows God loves the word “impossible”!  Just because you don’t see a way doesn’t mean God doesn’t.  He never looks at us, shrugs his shoulders and say, “Boy. You got me on this one.”  Or, “Good luck.  Let me know how it turns out for ya.”  No.  He looks at us, smiles, and says, “Thanks for trusting me enough to let me handle this for you.  I’ve got this.”  Full belief, delivers rest.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.  Philippians 4:6-7 The Message (MSG)

So believe fully, and walk with your God in confidence, but know, it’s okay to hold his hand.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The Valley, the Bridge, and the Other Side

Charlie 126A long, long time ago, there was a beautiful place where a man, and woman lived in peace.  It was like they lived in a garden.  They tended to its needs, but it wasn’t work.  One of their task was to name things, since they were the first residents of this wonderful place.  They enjoyed it and looked forward to Mondays, their first day back to work, after a day of rest.  They would walk and talk to each other, and at certain times of the day they had the privilege of getting to spend time with the Creator of their home.  They loved those moments, and sought out to be in the Creator’s presence.  Life was good.

Then one day, the woman was walking around by herself when an uninvited guest showed up.  He was tall, and had a slender build.  His approach to the woman was stealth like.  His appearance was like a morning star.  She was intrigued from the first moment she laid eyes on him.  Then, when he opened his mouth and spoke, she was captivated by his apparent wisdom.

His words were convincing.  “The Creator doesn’t mean you will actually die if you make a choice to do what you want to do.  I mean, after all, it’s your life.  Don’t you have the right to do what you want?  I do what I want, and I haven’t died.”

The woman thought about it, and even though it felt wrong, to disobey the Creator, she took what she lusted for.  She stole, what wasn’t hers, and ate it.  In that moment the earth quaked, but appeared to be okay.  Now the uninvited guest had seduced her into working for him.  “Why don’t you take one to your husband?  I’m sure he will want to taste the sweetness of knowing good and evil.”

She did as she was told.  At first, he was shocked to learn of her actions.  “Woman!  What have you done?”  He turned away, and wouldn’t look at her.  She, now having knowledge of her nakedness, used her body, to entice him in thinking about joining her, and to take a bite from the delicious looking fruit.

She said, “Having knowledge is good, I feel powerful.”

He was interested and soon opened up his eyes, that moments before had been shut tight.  He took a bite and while he was saying, “You’re right.  This is good, and wow, you look good also,” their homeland shook very hard and they fell.  They got scared and hid.  They didn’t know then the consequences of their selfish actions.  The uninvited guest wasn’t too far away, laughing.

#

It didn’t take them long to learn why the earth shook so violently the previous day.  As they were walking around the next morning, they came to the edge of a deep, and wide valley.  They knew it was not there the day before.

“So this is why the earth was trembling yesterday,” said the man.

They could not see the bottom of the valley, and rising out of it was hot, sulfur smelling air.

It was difficult, but they could see the other side of the valley.  As they were checking it out, they both spotted who they believed to be the Creator, but wasn’t positive.  They could hear a sound that might have been a voice calling out to them, but was unable know for sure.  They looked to their left, and to their right, hoping to see a bridge.  None.  They saw no way to cross the valley.  It was too deep for them to climb down, and besides the heat rising was almost unbearable.  It was then, the realization of the situation hit them; they were separated from the Creator.  Grief set in.

They walked around for days, trying to figure out how this happened.  They missed the Creator.  They missed his presence.  They missed his love, his encouragement, and his humor too.  The man and the woman started retracing the events that led up to the earth rumbling, shaking, and to the days before the valley appeared.

The woman, with sadness on her face, looked at the man, and said, “Everything was fine until the day I disobeyed the Creator, and ate the fruit, of the tree of good and evil.”

“You’re right!  Ah!  How could we not have realized that?”  Asked the man.  Then sadness set in for they now knew what their actions had done.

Over the next few years, they tried to build their own bridge to get to the other side.  To once again be reunited, with the Creator, but all of their efforts failed.  Even their attempt to be good and never eat of that tree again was not enough to make the valley go away.  They concentrated on their efforts to reach the Creator so much, their garden, turned into a jungle.  It became chaos and a mess, so they left with only their memories of what once was.  Their relationship too became over grown with hurts, accusations, and resentment.

“How could have disobeyed the Creator?” Asked the man.

“Where were you?  How come you weren’t there to protect me?” Asked the woman.

The man and the woman accepted this was their new life.  The uninvited guest was so happy.

#

As time went on, the population grew, many tried their own way to build a bridge to reach the other side.  Some found it impossible to believe that there ever was a Creator.  They had never seen him, so they thought the story of him was made up.  A story made up to control their behavior.  All they cared about was living how they wanted.  Many, so called, “experts”, thought their way to believe was best.  Each one found people to join their group, and follow them.  Soon, there were many different groups one could join.  Most decided on a group because it lined up with how they wanted to live.

On the other side, the Creator could see, and he could hear the pain the people were in.  He never wanted this for them.  He gave them a beautiful place to live.  He too, in the beginning, enjoyed walking and talking to the people he made.  Oh, how he wished they had not disobeyed him in the first place.  When he made them he gave them free will, so it would be their choice to join his group and follow him.  After all, he only gave them two commandments, and they violated one of them, causing the great valley between them.  He had seen enough.

“Son, I know you are aware of what is taking place on the other side.  The people are living their lives as they want.  They are hurting each other.  There is so much pain, and so many tears.  They need hope,” said the Creator.

“Yes, Father.  I have seen, and I have heard their cries.”

“You know what has to be done don’t you?”  Asked the Creator.

“Yes, I do.  I was wondering when you were going to bring up the subject,” said the Son.  “I will do it.  I’ll be obedient to you, I’ll be the sacrifice for them, and I’ll be the one to defeat sin, and death.”

“You are willing to lay down your life, to be a bridge, so that we can once again be together?”  Asked the Creator.

“Yes, for there is no other way,” said the Son.

“Okay.  I’ll make all the necessary arrangements.”

#

The Creator did, he sent his Son to the other side, but in a form, those who believed, never imagined, as a baby.  His Son was looked after and taken care of, and when it was time, he revealed who he was, and why he came to the other side.  Many found it hard to believe, because they had not heard from the Creator in so many years.  The Son said he was going to build a bridge in three days that would span the valley.  Most did not believe his truth either.  Their natural minds could not accept the plan, because they compared it to their reality.  No one had even come close to reaching the other side.

Three years the Son walked around sharing the plan.  He also did many signs and wonders and that convinced some, because it reminded them of the stories they had been told of the Creator.  Others, from the powerful groups, who had the most to lose, if he was right, hated him, and wanted his message to go away, but the only way they could figure out how to do that was to make him go away.  They plotted, and came up with lies about him, and got the people to hear their words, and believe them.  They had their support, so they took the Son to court, and the courts knew it was not right, but was afraid of the people, and gave them what they wanted.

They killed the Son, but on the third day, after he had died, they got up and found a bridge that spanned the valley.  Yes, the Son had kept his word.  He built a bridge with wood and nails, and with the power of the Creator’s Spirit,.  Now anyone, who accepts the Son, is from the Creator, can walk across the bridge over the valley, and once again, be united with God, the Creator of it all.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

 

The Bottom of the Waves

Charlie 790Keep Recognizing Jesus
By Oswald Chambers

The wind really was boisterous and the waves really were high, but Peter didn’t see them at first. He didn’t consider them at all; he simply recognized his Lord, stepped out in recognition of Him, and “walked on the water.” Then he began to take those things around him into account, and instantly, down he went.

Why couldn’t our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves, as well as on top of them?

He could have, yet neither could be done without Peter’s continuing recognition of the Lord Jesus.

We step right out with recognition of God in some things, then self-consideration enters our lives and down we go. If you are truly recognizing your Lord, you have no business being concerned about how and where He engineers your circumstances. The things surrounding you are real, but when you look at them you are immediately overwhelmed, and even unable to recognize Jesus. Then comes His rebuke, “…why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31). Let your actual circumstances be what they may, but keep recognizing Jesus, maintaining complete reliance upon Him.

If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, “Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?” Be reckless immediately— totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything— by casting your all upon Him. You do not know when His voice will come to you, but whenever the realization of God comes, even in the faintest way imaginable, be determined to recklessly abandon yourself, surrendering everything to Him. It is only through abandonment of yourself and your circumstances that you will recognize Him. You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness— being willing to risk your all.

© 2019 My Utmost For His Highest

Chaos

nikko-macaspac-263785-unsplash

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

The rains pour down, the grass grows tall,
the sun comes out, and the lawnmower won’t start at all.
I need to get to work, but the car is making a funny sound,
I take it in to the shop and he said, “No issue can be found.”

The kid gets sick, so to the doctor we must go,
I tried to pick up the prescription, but the store says, “No.”
No money on my card, but I just got paid,
I call the bank, they research, “Oh, sorry, a mistake was made.”

I wake up to find water on the kitchen floor,
Great!  The refrigerator gone out, and the frozen foods leaked out the door.
The neighbor’s kid was outside playing baseball,
a home run hit, ball through my window, it’s now in my hall.

The alarm doesn’t ring, I guess the power went out,
I’m late for work, and my boss yells and shouts.
My spouse fell and tore their work clothes too,
how are we going to replace with all these bills due?

Why is my life such a chaotic mess?
I’m so tired of all this distress!
Is this life?  For better or for worse?
I can’t take it any longer, so put me in a hearse!

Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy, so he’s behind it all,
Jesus came to give abundant life.  To restore things after “The Fall”.
Adam and Eve, thought they could do life on their own,
they disobeyed God, life became hard, and so they moan.

Accepting Jesus isn’t a magic pill, to make the chaos all go away,
but you can devote yourself to Him, and with you He will stay.
All the chaos is just one big distraction, keeping you from God,
Speak to it, in the name of Jesus, “Peace be still”, even if it feels odd.

God tells us to take dominion over the earth, to rule with him in this life.
We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, so you won’t even need a knife.
Use the power He gives you, in His name.  Drive out evil spirits that disrupt,
Call forth peace, joy, and love to come into your life.  These things are not corrupt!

You can live life now, the way God first intended, rich and full,
you don’t have to put up with the chaos, which is nothing, but Satan’s bull!
It’s up to you.  A life of peace, or a life of crises,
Give your life to Jesus, and you can overcome, Satan’s devices.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Let There Be Light

MikeMike Breaux, shared a powerful message the other day.  Here is only a small portion of it:

 

This world is dark, and getting darker!  Our world needs light.  Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” (Mat. 5:14)  Even if you only have a little light, it may be a lot more than the person next to you.  Share the Light of the world.  Share Jesus!

(Video property of Willow Creek Community Church)
Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved

Jesus on Facebook

Charlie 333I read something this past week, and well, it bothered me.

It is becoming increasingly clear that one is being forced to stand up for the One they believe in, or for what they believe in.  Moral issues are being thrown in our faces.  There is open talk about what some call right, and what others call wrong.  Used to, you could stay quiet and say, “What they do behind closed doors is their business.”  Today, the doors are being ripped off their hinges and the whole world can now see what individuals believe.

What bothered me was some people’s response to this “In your face” attitude, and so I pondered, what would Jesus’ response to this be?  You don’t have to look very long in the word of God to find the answer:

Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?”  Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.” Mat. 9:10-13 (MSG)

The truth is; God gives man freewill, so who are we not to?  Are we greater than God?  If you see something on TV or on Facebook, you don’t agree with or like, and can’t find something “graceful” to say then just scroll on.  I do that whenever I see post about dogs and cats.  “Change the channel” if you will.

Is Jesus on Facebook?  No, but we who claim to be His followers are.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.