People’s Peephole Perspective

Charlie 485Peepholes are kind of cool.  Instead of seeing what is directly in front of the door you get to see all around the door and porch area.  It may be called a “fish eye’s” view?  Some cameras have a similar, attachable lens.  The point is though, the peephole provides a secured view of who is at the door, but the truth is, it’s a distorted view.

People sometimes will look at their world, and other people, in a distorted way as well.  Things that have happened to them in the past, their upbringing, and other people’s opinions affect the view.  This can cause some to have trouble trusting, or believing people.  Sad, but this distorted view can also be applied when Jesus shows up.

Jesus says in Rev. 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (NKJV)

You notice Jesus doesn’t barge in or break the door down?  He’s a gentleman.  He comes to you, where you are, because he knows you, sees you, and even knows what is happening in your life.  Yet, he waits for you to invite him into your life.  He knows how much you need him, but he still gives you a choice, free will.  Unless you are willing to let go of your peephole perspective, and give Jesus a chance, you will never know perfect love.  A love that can help you overcome, anything!

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The movie, “A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD” comes out tomorrow, starring, Tom Hanks.  I wrote a post about Mr. Rogers in April 2018.  In honor of the movie, which I heard was good, I am re-posting it.

FILE PHOTO  Fred "Mister" Rogers Dead At 74

Some of us, old farts, have no problem remembering Mr. Rogers on TV.  Below, are the lyrics of the song he sung, at the beginning of each episode:

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
It’s a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.
So let’s make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we’re together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?
Won’t you please,
Won’t you please,
Please won’t you be my neighbor?

Did Fred Rogers, get it right?  Did he fully understand the 2nd greatest commandment of God?  Lev 19:18  “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Most people do love themselves, and sometimes it shows by how they act and treat others.  There are several other scriptures that warn about only loving those that are lovable, but God is commanding we love everyone as much as we love ourselves.  To love him first, and then everyone else second.  Why?  Because love never fails.

It’s hard to hate and love at the same time.  Yes, one can mistreat someone who is loved, but if the love is real the issue gets resolved rather quickly.  Can you imagine saying to your worst enemy, “I’ve always wanted a neighbor just like you”?  That is what we, who love God, are called to do.  Love, overcomes all, overlooks all, and let’s go of all wrong.  Love, is so generous, it causes you to share your resources.  Love, encourages you to get your hands dirty by helping.

Yes, Fred Rogers got it right.  Mr. Rogers wanted you to be his neighbor so he could love you, as he loved himself.  So I ask you, “Please won’t you be my neighbor?”

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

I Do My Best

Charlie 777bIf Adam had stopped Eve from exercising her free will, and disobeying God.  If Eve had not listened to the devil in the form of a serpent.  Somebody, somewhere, in the ages of time still would have sinned requiring a perfect sacrifice to reunite us with God.  Jesus would still have found himself hanging on a cross.

Even if no one had disobeyed God, by the time I was born, I’m sure I would have been the one to mess things up.  Like the apostle Paul once said, “… My own behaviour baffles me. For I find myself not doing what I really want to do but doing what I really loathe. Yet surely if I do things that I really don’t want to do, I am admitting that I really agree with the Law.

… I often find that I have the will to do good, but not the power. That is, I don’t accomplish the good I set out to do, and the evil I don’t really want to do I find I am always doing. Yet if I do things that I don’t really want to do then it is not, I repeat, “I” who do them, but the sin which has made its home within me.” Romans 7:15-20 J.B. Phillips New Testament

Even if I was the only sinner on earth, God still would have sent his son, Jesus to die for me.  That’s how much he loves me, and ya know what? He loves you that much too.  2 Peter 3:9 (NET)  because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

You know the bottom line is this:  God simply wants us to choose to be in a loving relationship with him.  I do my best, for that’s my heart’s desire as well.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Inside the Lines

Charlie 62I bet they flunked out of Kindergarten for not coloring inside the lines!  Are they important?  Do they love their car that much?  I bet they live life outside the lines too.  I mean, they can’t even park their car inside the straight lines provided free of charge.

There seems to be a lot of people these days who only care about themselves.  In fact, I think there is a whole generation of people called, “Me llennials.”  Just kidding, sort of.  These people do what they want, when they want, with little thought of anyone else, as if they are entitled or something.

The only problem with this lifestyle choice is they will have to give account of how they lived.  Yes, it’s true, we have free will, but when we all stand before God, will we say, “But God, I…”  Some may try, but I have this funny feeling when we see him in all his Glory, we will fall to our knees, and weep, for the words we chose to say, and the things we decided it was okay to do.

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.  Romans 14:12 (AMP)

I have a funny feeling, in that moment, before God, we will have all truth, and it will be in that moment, we will know.  I can imagine, for the ones who rejected God, and didn’t choose to live within the lines He provided, free of charge, He will not say a word, but point to a door that will be an exit out of heaven and an entrance into hell.  But for the ones who did their best to live a pleasing life to him, accepting his Son, Jesus, He will offer his hand to help us up, and say the most loving words we will ever here.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Perfect

Charlie 234Perfection, is a difficult thing to achieve, for those who even try, but somehow, Jesus managed to pull it off.  His accomplishment has always intrigued me.  Many times I have wondered, If Jesus can do it, then why can’t I?  I now have my answer.

As I have studied the life and ministry of Christ, there are some consistent points he focused on:

  • Jesus was in constant communication with his Father, who just so happened to be God.
  • Jesus kept the will of his Father in the front of his mind.
  • Jesus only did what he had seen his Father do.

This kind of focused life got Jesus killed.

Ouch!  But God knew that would happen and was used by God to have a perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.  The very goal of sending your only Son to earth.

So if I achieved perfection, even for an hour, or a day, would it kill me?  No, but would it kill me to try?  If I prayed more I would know every day the will of God, and hopefully do what I knew my heavenly Father would do in all situations and in all conversations.  Dying to myself won’t forgive anyone of sin, but perhaps, it might lead others to Jesus, who can.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

LOOK!

Charlie 126Recently, a mother shared with me one of her two year old’s newest habit.  She said, “Everywhere we go, he announces to anyone, ‘Look, this is my mother!’”  I laughed as I pictured her adorable son smiling and making that bold declaration.

A bit later, after I had walked away, it hit me; what if we made that same kind of declaration of our Heavenly Father?  “Look, this is my Heavenly Father, God!”  Then after the introduction we go on to share his nature, his love, and the many blessings he has bestowed upon us.

The key to doing this is always being aware of God, his presence, everywhere we go.  Also, it helps to be happy being associated with God.

I’m no longer afraid to be seen in public with him.

There was a time I was more concerned about what others may think, if they knew I had those kind of connections, but now, I don’t care, and in fact, I want everyone to know.  The two scriptures below sum it all up for me:

It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.”  Romans 1:16-17 The Message (MSG)

“Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven.”  Matthew 10:32 The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Because He Is

Charlie 12God, I worship you, and praise your name, because you are:

Love

Patient

Kind

Merciful

Good

Long Suffering

Forgiving

Creative

You Want the Best for Me

You Endure

You Never Fail

Worthy

Deserving

God

Father God, it’s my privilege to know you, love you back, and worship your Holy name.  I can’t even begin to fathom where I would be in life without you, God.  Possibly, I would have everything the world says I should in order to claim a successful, rich, and happy life, but I know without you, I would be bankrupt!  I would have nothing.  Thank you, God, for everything that matters.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

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.