A Little Touch of Heaven

goffA few years ago I had the privilege of listening to and experiencing Bob Goff.  What a humble man that is used by God in such a mighty way.  Bob shared how wherever he goes he finds a way to let people experience heaven.  One story he shared was when he rode in a limo.  He asked his driver if he had ever ridden in the back.  The driver said no, so Bob got him to pull over and they switched places.  Bob said, “I even put on the guy’s hat!” The limo driver smiled as he felt real love and concern just like we will in heaven.  He felt a little touch of heaven.

Bob went on to share numerous examples of how he doesn’t know what he is doing, but simply says, “God use me.” This is the heart of a humble man who sees his world through the eyes of Jesus.  Bob doesn’t try to convert anybody to Christ.  He leaves that up to Jesus.  Bob believes if someone touches heaven and feels heaven on earth they might just want to know how to have that feeling every day and for eternity.

My favorite story Bob shared was about his neighbor.  He told how she called and gavlove doese him the news that she was dying of cancer.  That year Bob’s neighborhood changed the path of their yearly parade, so every neighbor could wave to her as she watched from her living room window.  He later asked her if there was one thing she has never done but always wanted to.  She replied, “Toilet paper someone’s yard.”  So one day at 4:30pm they did just that.   When the police showed up and informed him it was a misdemeanor he told them, “I have diplomatic immunity and she will be dead next week.”  Bob’s neighbor had heaven touch her just before she touched heaven.

Touch the people around you with heaven.  Leave them longing for more of the love of God.

Life Changing Love

Charlie 1.pngThere is this unbelievable feeling when you are in love with someone. You think about them all the time.  You can’t wait to see, talk, or be with them again.  There is nothing else that feels the same way.  This is how I feel about my wife.  Ok, I know some of you, who know us, will say, “Yeah, but you two have only been married 7 months!”  This may be true, but you see I have purposed in my heart to never fall “out” of love with her.  I have this desire to forever find another way, to make her feel loved.

Which is a nice segue into my second point.  A greater feeling than loving someone else is knowing that you are loved by them.  Again, I have to point to my wife.  She is so understanding, patient, and forgiving.  Knowing I am loved by her will cause me to smile for no particular reason.

But even greater than her love, is God’s love.  His love is perfect, and again I will smile when I sense his love come over me in waves.  Not because He just did something for me, but because I am his child.  God can’t help but love us because, after all, He is love. (1 John 4:8)

Ways to experience this kind of love:

  1. This kind of love is recognized when you spend time with God.
  2. This kind of love is known after spending time reading the Bible, and learning how He has loved others.
  3. This kind of love is solidified by loving God back. You do that by praising him, and worshipping him.  When you are confident, knowing how much God loves you, nothing that happens to you in life can threaten your relationship with God.

Be love to others:

In the current condition of our world, we, who know, have, and trust in God’s love need more now than ever to share that kind of love with others, who may be lost, confused, or scared.  God’s love through you, might just be the very thing that saves their life now and for eternity!

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Dinner is Almost Ready

Charlie 103Growing up, my father always got home at 4:30 PM.  The family would be sitting at the table, have prayed, and start eating by 4:33 PM.  My mother had this super power of having all the food ready on time.  Although, I didn’t realize what a talent that was until I got older and tried it myself.

I knew exactly when we were going to eat, but whenever company was invited over, it was a crap shoot.  “Mom, I’m hungry!  When are we going to eat?” I would ask.  “Dinner is ready, so as soon as they get here,” she would reply.

There is something about sitting down to dinner together with family, or friends.  Your day is pretty much over.  You get to partake of the multiple flavors of the food presented on the table.  The conversation, the laughing, it’s all very relaxing.  I look forward to it.

The Angel said to me, “Write this: ‘Blessed are those invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.’” Revelation 19:9 (MSG)

This scripture promises there will be a dinner in heaven, but not just any dinner, a wedding dinner!  Those are usually the best, and knowing from other scriptures in the Bible there will be more than enough food.  The reason the angel said, “blessed are those invited” is, it means those who will be there made the right choice in believing God, and Jesus as his Son, and then accepted Jesus, and lived for him.  We will be the bride of Christ.

That’s great news, but it means even more for me.  This world is getting so corrupt, so anti-Christ.  Hate is running rampant, wrong is becoming right.  It all wears me out, but I remain hopeful, knowing that God has it all.  But by the time we get to that table in heaven, it will mean, it’s over!  I look forward to it.  Now we can rest, eat, relax, share, and laugh.

You have been invited to this table, in fact, everyone has.  You can make sure you have a seat by accepting Jesus into your life, but don’t keep putting it off, because

dinner is almost ready.

Copyright © 2019 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.

It’s Just Life

Charlie 222I was facing several issues the other day.  To be honest, they overwhelmed me.  I cried out to God to ask why was this happening, and how am I going to pay for it all?  (My first ungodly belief (UGB) was thinking that I was going to pay for it all.  Everything my wife and I have comes from God, He pays for it all.)  I spoke to a couple of others about it, and they were encouraging, but it still consumed my thoughts.  I got mad, complained, and cried, to no avail, because I felt the same after each one of my flesh’s outburst.

THEN,

I got quiet.  I had asked God for enough money to get through this and upcoming consumers of money issues, but He whispered, “Have I not provided what you have need of today?”  “Yes, Lord.  You have,” I replied.  “Then what’s the problem?” He said.

My thoughts turned to the children of Israel, who were commanded of God to only take enough mana for what they needed that day, except on Saturday’s they collected what they would need for two days.  If they took more than they needed it would spoil.  (Exodus 16:4-26)

If God gave me more, than I needed for today,

would it spoil me?

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.”  Hebrews 11:1-2 The Message (MSG)

Faith can be difficult at times, but for a believer in God, it must remain in tack despite what our eyes see, despite the news, and despite the balance of our bank account.  After all, it’s just life.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Problem or Opportunity?

Charlie 777I ordered an item from Kohl’s.  I was looking forward to its arrival as it was going to be a gift for someone I love, a lot!  (My wife!  Who were you thinking of?  By the way, don’t tell her because she doesn’t know.)  Can you feel my disappointment when it didn’t arrive on the promised date(s)?  I tracked it, and learned it couldn’t be delivered for some reason, not disclosed to me.  So the item was sent back.

Was I mad?  No, but not happy about the situation either.  I like things to go smooth, and I am allergic to “problems”.  I looked on Kohl’s website to see what could be done when the bill arrives, but the package doesn’t.  I found an 800 number.  I called and John answered. (Name changed to protect the loved.)  John listened and then looked to see what he needed to do to resolve the “problem”.  While he was working, I mentioned living in the Philippines.  John said, “That’s where I am right now.”  Yes, Kohl’s has a call center in Manila.

When John informed me of his whereabouts, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me.  I said, “John, can I put you on my prayer list?”  He agreed that was okay, but asked why..  I answered by saying, “John, I sense you have an issue going on in your life right now that bothers you, or is hurting you.”  “I do,” John said.  I continued, “God knows it, and He wants you to know how much He loves you.  He loves you so much John, that He allowed me to have a “problem”, so you would have an “opportunity”, to know He sees you and how much He loves you.  My missing package was no accident!”  John was receptive.

If we, who believe in God, will stop complaining about “problems”, and look for “opportunities” for God to show his mighty hand, it would change our attitude, and a result of a changed attitude is it could change the life of someone else and change the world.  Isn’t that what Jesus called us to do?

NOTE:  Did you happen to notice Kohl’s very own tag line?  “Expect great things”.  What a statement of faith!

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Stella, This Ain’t Hollywood

20170921_092347I watched a good movie the other night.  I won’t say which one, because I am going to give away the ending, and I don’t believe in “spoiler alerts!”  The movie was about a father and a son, and their relationship.  At the end of the movie the two were out fishing, and the father finally said some words his son had waited a very long time to hear, and then the father died.  I lost it.  Tears all over the couch.  It was a real mess that even challenged “Bounty”, the quicker picker upper!

The truth is, the last few months my father was alive was difficult.  He was acting out of fear and it hurt.  I saw one of my father’s old friends last week, and he told me my father started fearing me controlling his life before I ever moved back to my home town after retirement to assist him as he wanted and needed.  So by the time I had gotten here, my father had it in his mind how life would go, but it didn’t, and he refused to accept it, because it wasn’t the reality he had built up in his mind.  I’m so glad though, four days before my father passed, we had a nice, peaceful, fun conversation.

Why am I sharing this?  To vindicate myself?  No.  I know in my heart and before God how I treated my father, but the point is, I wanted my father’s last days to be his best days.  I dreamed of my father and I out fishing.  Having a nice day.  Lots of laughs, and because he loved to fish, dad finally catching his trophy fish.  Me, snapping a picture, and dad releasing the fish back into the lake, and then passing on, similar to the movie I mentioned above.  But this ain’t Hollywood, and life doesn’t go like the well scripted, command performance acting, as in the movies.

So when life doesn’t go as scripted, what do we do?  We give it to God, and we do everything to love the other people in the scene as best as we can.  Love endures, remembers no wrong, and writes a great ending because love, always wins. (Love – 1 Cor. 13)

(The title of this post came from the Christian rock group, DeGarmo & Key, from 1980)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

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.