How Long?

I once took a youth group to a cemetery, and as we walked around looking at the different tombstones, I asked volunteers to make up a story of the life of the one who lay before us. Of course, some lived a long time while others not so much.

We have all heard it said that what matters in life is what you do with the dash! You know,

Here lies John Doe
September 3, 1962 “–“  April 4, 2029

What does one do while living the dash?

For me, it’s always doing what I can to help someone and encourage them to grow in their relationship with God. The second part is the purpose of this blog. I want to borrow the words from Psalms 71 from “The Message.” I promise to return them after I am done:

I’ll write the book on your righteousness,
    talk up your salvation all the day long,
    never run out of good things to write or say.
I come in the power of the Lord God,
    I post signs marking his right-of-way.

You got me when I was an unformed youth,
    God, and taught me everything I know.
Now I’m telling the world your wonders;
    I’ll keep at it until I’m old and gray.
God, don’t walk off and leave me
    until I get out the news
Of your strong right arm to this world,
    news of your power to the world yet to come,
Your famous and righteous
    ways, O God.

I’ll keep at this until I am, “old and grey” and no longer have a way to love on people as God has shown me love. I guess I am trying my best to do what the wisest man on earth stated is our responsibility:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Ecc. 12:13 (KJV)

I hope and pray that you are too!

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Oh No, They Didn’t!

Photo by: Andrea Piacquadio

One of the most challenging things about life is having relationships with people! I haven’t been shy about my allergy to people. If given a choice, I avoid them, but that can be hard to do when you work, have friends, or have a love life. It doesn’t matter if that love is within a marriage or if one is dating.

I recently became aware of a person who is dating, and the relationship hit a major snag. I understand the feeling of being cheated on (I should insert here, not by my wife, April.). But when we get hurt by a relationship, what’s the appropriate reaction?

Should we curl up and die? Do we withdraw from life, turn off the lights and hide? Press the pause button?

Some might seek revenge and physically harm the other person or their property, or worse, hook up with someone else. That saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right!” is undoubtedly true.

Jesus was cheated on, betrayed, so He knows the pain you are going through or have gone through. We should look at how He reacted when his friend, Judas-Iscariot, his co-worker, hurt him. First, Peter got angry and went for revenge by cutting off the ear of one there to arrest Jesus. Jesus commanded him to stop, and then Jesus healed the man’s ear and went peacefully with them. (Matthew 26:47-56)

Judas no doubt knew that Jesus still loved him and forgave him but could not handle the guilt. And that is why I think he committed suicide. Sad! Loving and forgiving sets you free. It doesn’t tell the other person, “What you did to me was okay.” it does tell them, “I’m not going to allow your actions to stop me from living life!”

I, too, know it’s hard, and fair warning, it will take time to get over it. And you will have to make that decision many times to forgive and to go on living and loving. It’s not a “one-time” decision.

Keep in mind responding inappropriately can not only hurt you or put you in jail, but it can hurt those around you. How you decide to respond can have life-changing and long-lasting results. Forgiving and loving is best.

Prayer: Father God, if someone reading this post is currently living with this kind of pain or has and hasn’t dealt with it, then I ask you to help them. Comfort them, Father, and help them to ask you for assistance in dealing with the pain and respond in a forgiving and loving way. Help them remember your Son, Jesus, has “been there!” Assure them that life will go on, and they will be a survivor. Thank you, Amen.

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Inside Out

Photo by: Pexels

“I never wanted you to see The darkest part of me.” A line in a song by Red. I have said that many times. I don’t like it when I lose self-control, and someone gets hurt. I don’t mean it to happen, and I definitely don’t want it to happen, but it does sometimes.

The darkest part of me is big, loud, mean, and ugly. It violates the scripture of Eph. 4:29. (Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, Amp.) Whenever it happens, I am embarrassed and immediately feel guilty. The Holy Spirit quickly convicts me of my sin, and I seek out the person I offended to apologize.

I was thinking about this the other day and wondered, what if I put on God’s armor? I know in Eph. 6:11-12 we are taught that it helps protects us against external attacks by the devil. But could some armor also protect others from the darkest parts of us getting out and hurting them?

If I was to put on a “Helmet of Salvation,” it might remind me I am saved from death. Therefore, I am in Christ and a Christian. Called a, “Christian” means being Christ-like. If I am an authentic Christian, then I need to act like Christ. Jesus Christ would not and didn’t hurt others by any means. Yet he did face frustration and anger but stayed in control while dealing with it.

If I do this and make it a regular practice in my life over time, I think I will change. As I become more like Jesus, the love in him will be in me. That love shining inside will be light that will cast out the darkness. That’s what light does. Eventually, what’s on the inside that comes out won’t hurt people but will cause them to feel loved.

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Desiring God

Last week, I witnessed a woman get married. She had known the groom for a very long time. Fifty-six years to be exact. Their friendship had grown all those years. She admired his kindness, humor, demeanor, and his temperament. She felt warm inside when he complimented her. She was not used to being shown such consideration. She desired him all those years. She wanted him in her life, but it was not to be until this past week.

The woman was married, not to a bad man but not to the man she desired. Over the years, her affection for this man grew. After she got divorced, she got to know him even more by going on trips with the man she would have liked in her life and his wife. She honored their marriage and kept her longing quiet, but those closest to her knew because they knew her.

You could hear it in the way she talked about him. The way she used flattering words to describe him. How she hung on to every word he spoke. She yielded to his ideas, plans, and ways. “Okay. No problem. Sounds good,” would be her usual response.

This past week, she finally became intimate with the man she desired. She is 81, and he is 87. His wife passed away months earlier. He missed his wife. He missed his friend, so he reached out for her companionship, and she said, “Yes.”

What would happen if people similarly desired God? If they hung on every word He said. Suppose they got to know his true character by spending time with him. What would result from their trusting him and going along with his plans, ideas, and ways? Can you imagine what could be accomplished for the glory of God if they went on trips with him?

We should desire and long for God like the woman above did the man for all those years. Fortunately for us, we do not have to wait for anyone to die before we can enter into an intimate relationship with God because his Son, Jesus, died on the cross, forgiving us of sin so we can be in a relationship with his Father. We can enjoy a loving relationship. We can feel warm inside as God encourages us and speaks words of life to us. Having the confidence to take him at his word and follow him anywhere, He directs us to go.

If you have not accepted Jesus into your heart, asking him to forgive you of your sins, you can. You don’t need to wait until you are 81. You can enter into a love relationship with God now. And you should because I tell you this; God has desired you your whole life.

1-3By this time a lot of men and women of questionable reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.

4-7 “Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue. Luke 15:1-7 (MSG)

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

What Do You Say?

I have heard it said several times the shortest story is this; For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn. This week, I have witnessed that short story come true. It has broken my heart, yet I am not even related to the child. The sadness has consumed my thoughts. I have prayed for the parents and the family a lot.

What do you say to someone personally connected to this tragic event or any other gut-wrenching life situation? Words are so hard to come by. I asked April for help, and she replied, “You’re the writer!” I admit everything that came to my mind seemed so empty.

I read in Richard Exley’s book, “Blue Collar Christianity,” that sometimes, just being there is enough. Touching their arm, placing yours around their shoulder, or holding their hand if appropriate speaks volumes. It tells the individual walking waist-deep in grief, hurt, or pain that you are there with them and that you wish they weren’t going through this experience, but at least they are not going through it alone.

Of course, God is right there with them as well. And the Holy Spirit is the greatest comforter, but people can’t see them, and some fail to realize they are there. They can see people who care, though, so they find comfort in knowing that people care. Another reason to express your concern the best you can. Some will cook a meal, and others will send a card or flowers. Some might show up in person and give a hug. As I wound up doing, you can always ask God what to say. Regardless of whether the words were correct doesn’t matter; they know I care.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever— John 14:16 (AMPC)

Prayer: “Father God, be with the family that has suffered this traumatic loss. Holy Spirit, comfort them. Help them today and in the days to come. As they search desperately for a reason and for someone to blame, may they not blame you, God, but understand this happened because we live in a world of free will and, therefore, of sin. May they run closer to you, God, and not from you. And God, I pray this for anyone in the world who is struggling, hurting, and needing you. Amen.”

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

The Greatest Composer

Photo by: Ylanite Koppens

I can not read music, nor can I write it. I can only imagine how satisfying it must be to write a piece of music, especially a concerto. I could at one time read it but not anymore. One thing I recall, though, is that there are high notes and low notes, and when you put them all together, they make music. Hopefully, something that sounds good and is pleasing to the ear.

As we live our lives, there are high notes, and there are low notes. It seems as if we remember the low notes the most. Throughout my life, I have had several “low notes.” Some were flatter than others. (Get it?)

It amazes me how, when we surrender our lives unto God, how He can take “all” of our life, the high and low notes, and make beautiful music. One might even say, “A concerto.” It also amazes me how the almighty God, the greatest composer, can orchestrate every part of our lives while simultaneously the lives of others, and the result is of his good pleasure.

The other day, I was going to go outside and do some cleaning, but as I was about to go through the door, I got a phone call from a friend. I took the call, and we talked for about 38 minutes. Shortly after I ended the call, I went outside and started working. A man walking by started talking to me. As we spoke, he brought up God and then commented on being unsure if one could go to heaven.

I spoke and told him he could be absolutely sure and how. He didn’t seem to accept what I was saying until I told him how much God loved him. I told him God wanted to make sure that we met. I told him I would have been outside earlier if my friend hadn’t called me. I want to add that I could have ignored my friend’s call and called him back later. He would have understood. If that had happened, I wonder if the man I met outside would have missed heaven by 38 minutes. You see, it’s important to spend time with people. They matter. All of heaven is about people.

Live for God. Allow him to ordain your steps. Don’t take for granted those interruptions. They may seem like a low note to you, but God may be playing a high note. Either way, I assure you the resulting melody will be pleasing to the ear.

The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord,
Psa. 37:23a (AMP)

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Eleven Days

Photo by: Anna

By now, most of us have probably heard one minister or another tells us that the distance from the Red Sea to the Promise Land was an eleven-day walk. So the Israelites could have gone from captivity and slavery to a land flowing with milk and honey after a few days of walking. What happened? You might be asking. “Fear.” The majority of them listened to the ten spies who reported why they couldn’t take the land God was giving them instead of the two men of God full of faith. The ten assumed they were being called to battle. They failed to understand the battle is the Lord’s!

The result of listening to men who struggled with fear instead of God was walking in the desert for forty years. This is so difficult for me to understand, They had just witnessed God separating the Red Sea, and they walked to the other side on dry ground, and then, if that wasn’t enough to prove God’s mighty power, they watched as He closed the Red Sea drowning, eradicating their enemy! Faith should have been the last thing they lacked.

I know I have not walked in their sandals, but I would like to think I would have agreed with the men of faith who reported they could do it. It seems that many people will listen to men instead of God. No, they may not wander in a desert as a result, but they certainly do miss out on everything God has for them.

It seems as if some, who do not know God personally, have more respect for Him and his power than some believers do! I guarantee Israel’s enemies were scared. Imagine the testimony to all who are watching your life, whether you realize it or not, when they see God’s mighty hand at work in you. Have you ever thought about the fact that percentage-wise, there are only a handful of ministries in the world that are affecting the world for God’s glory? That is because those leaders dared to believe God instead of men!

Has God instructed you to go or do something that looks impossible for a mortal man? Remember this:

Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible.” Mat. 19:26 (NET)

If He has, go for it. Follow God every step as He leads you into the land He desires to give you. Put your foot in the exact same spot where God’s foot just left. Don’t look to the left or the right. Don’t expect your journey to take place the same way God did it for someone else either. Cover your ears if you have to so you aren’t tempted to listen to negative thoughts.

When I was accepting my first position as a youth minister at a church that said they couldn’t pay me a salary, my father told me I was crazy and forbade me to go. I was twenty-one and hadn’t lived under his roof for three years. I listened to my heavenly Father, who told me to go. I listened to the CEO of heaven instead, and without a salary from the church, my needs were met.

Are you eleven days from your promised land?

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Living the Psalms

Photo by: Brett Jordan

At the beginning of 2023, April and I stepped out in faith to meet a need. We were excited about taking this step, especially April. She could use her gifting and trained skills to bless families. At first, things were going well. Then one by one, the families chose to go in a different direction. It was as if they were turning their nose up at what April brought to the table.

As I pondered these events, I compared the families’ actions to refusing filet mignon and, instead, choosing to go dumpster diving. In other words, God wanted to bless these families with a loving, faithful servant of his, and they were turning their backs on her. Their behavior reminded me of the Israelites, which will be discussed in another blog post.

April and I’s savings account took a huge hit making this opportunity possible. And with no one seeking April’s services, covering our added expenses month to month was like watching a gas pump running in reverse regarding our savings account. It was hemorrhaging. We needed God to perform a miracle.

About the same time these events began unfolding, I started rereading Psalms but this time from The Message version. What stood out to me was how much complaining there is about God and his behavior. Take the following verses:

Get up, God! Are you going to sleep all day?
    Wake up! Don’t you care what happens to us?
Why do you bury your face in the pillow?
    Why pretend things are just fine with us?
And here we are—flat on our faces in the dirt,
    held down with a boot on our necks.
Get up and come to our rescue.
    If you love us so much, Help us! Ps. 44:23-26 (MSG)

Asking, “What is causing these people to say these things to God?” one can only point to one reason, “Fear!” I have to admit, I could now understand these individuals. Watching our savings account dwindle, I, too, was asking, “What are you doing, God? Why won’t you help and rescue us in our time of need?

I was trying to think of any possibilities that would keep us from living on the street. I checked into one course of action, but then I sensed God’s Spirit whisper, “Don’t turn to men for what you are asking God to do.” Out of fear, I almost put our house on the market, but it didn’t feel right.

I enlarged my prayer circle. A friend told me that God shared with her, “The bigger the miracle, the bigger the group praying needs to be.” I sensed divine direction and followed it. I took action, and God answered one of my prayers three days later. I had to ask God, “What is it with you and three days?” Then I laughed. He did too. I think.

The following week we got another answer to prayer for April. You won’t find our home on, and in a few months, our savings account will return to a respectable level. God doesn’t sleep, and we are always on his mind. He knows when things are not fine in our lives, but it is always okay to express what we are feeling and going through to Him. It’s never fun going through the valleys of life. I’m not a fan of having my faith tested, but with that confession, let me wrap this up with two thoughts. Both, though tuff, brought me some comfort:

The tester wants you to pass. The tempter wants you to fail.

6 This makes you very happy. But now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. 7 These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold. Gold can be proved to be pure by fire, but gold can be destroyed. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ comes again. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (ICB)

Okay. One more:

16-18 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
2 Cor. 4:17-18 (MSG)

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

The Disappearance (part 9 – A short story by Mark Brady)

Early the next day, Pastor Scott called Captain Peamont and the Mayor. He told them he had figured out the mystery of the disappearances. The Mayor called the governor and the media and said there would be a press conference in front of the First Baptist Church of Seneca at 10 AM.


Officers set up barricades on the road so the camera crews could set up safely in front of the church. There were news crews from all over America and several countries worldwide.

“Good morning. Thank you for being brave enough to come to Seneca. “I’m Mayor J.T. Bradford. This morning we will hear from Captain Peamont, who will recap what he and his team of officers have tirelessly investigated over the last several days. Then we will hear from Reverend Scott Freemon, who will read scriptures that will explain all of this. So here is Captain Peamont.”

Captain Peamont reviewed the events of the disappearances and what facts they knew. Then he turned it over to Reverend Freemon.

“Good morning. I, too, thank you for coming this morning. I started reviewing the list of names of those that have vanished here in Seneca. After praying and asking God for insight and wisdom concerning these events, I noticed that the ones on the list I knew personally were Christians. Then I turned to the following scriptures in the Bible.

From the New King James Version. 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, verses 16-18.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

This is from 1 Corinthians chapter 15, verses 51-53.
“Behold, I tell you a [a]mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

Now, from the book of Luke chapter 17, verses 34 through 36.
I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”

“These scriptures tell us that people who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will someday be caught up into the heavens when Jesus calls his church home. It has happened a little differently than the scriptures have stated, but I believe, without a doubt, this explains what has been happening in Seneca.

These scriptures explain why people have disappeared and, at times, right next to us. The scriptures talk about putting off mortality. That explains why their clothes and personal belongings stay behind. These scriptures are also why many in the Seneca Cemetary have also disappeared. We didn’t notice, but they were probably the first to disappear.

Why only Seneca? Well, I believe God is being gracious to those that have not accepted his Son, Jesus, yet, and He wants you to know that his word is true and these facts are real. I believe one day very soon, people from all around the world will disappear at the same time. This could cause many accidents in many forms.

Other scriptures tell us that no one knows when this will happen except God, the Father. Another scripture instructs us to BE READY!”

After he finished his talk, Pastor Scott Freeman disappeared in front of everyone with the cameras rolling.

Though this has been a fictional story based on scripture, the rapture is real and will take place. I, the author, have taken an artistic license to share not just a story but the Word of God about His plans. Another scripture tells us that the rapture will take place when things on earth are like they were in the days of Noah. Meaning people are doing what is right for them and ignoring God and morality. I certainly see these things happening. I strongly urge you to accept Jesus as your Savior. Ask him to forgive you for your sins. This is the only way to BE READY.

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

The Disappearance (part 8 – A short story by Mark Brady)

“She’s gone! She was sitting right here, and then… then she just disappeared!” cried out a lady.

People were doing everything they could to see, although there was nothing but a pile of women’s clothing to see and a woman’s purse left in the pew. Some people started scooting away while a few others got up to leave.

“Hey! Todd Buchman just now disappeared!” People’s attention was turned to where the cry came out.

“Sue Roberts has now disappeared too!”

“Captain Peamont, what is going on? Are we safe? Where are they going? Do you think it’s aliens?” cried one of the attendees.

“Yeah! Are we safe?” asked another.

Captain Peamont raised his hand. “Calm down, everyone. Please, do not panic. There has to be some logical explanation, although we haven’t figured it out or discovered it at this point.”

“We all should leave Seneca! No one has disappeared from any other town around us. Only in Seneca!” yelled out one. “I’m leaving now!” The man scooted out of the pew and left the church.

“Me, too!” another added.

About a  hundred people also left.

Captain Peamont turned to the Mayor while covering up the mic and said, “Maybe to protect everyone, we should all leave town.”

“Abandon Seneca?” exclaimed the Mayor.

“Only until we find these people and figure out what is going on is all I am saying.”

“You really want to find the ones that came out of their graves?” asked the Mayor.

“They are missing.”

The Mayor was then approached by a TV crew covering the town meeting. They set up a small TV monitor and played back what they had recorded. Pastor Scott and Captain Peamont stood where they, too, could watch.

“Watch this, Mayor,” said the reporter. “You can see everyone in this shot, and then where the first one to disappear, I believe the lady, you will see a quick flash of light. You will also see the same phenomenon when the other two individuals disappear.” The Mayor gasped each time the flash appeared. Pastor Scott remained silent but asked for the footage to be replayed slower.

“What do you see, Pastor?” the Mayor asked.

“Not sure, but….”

Another scream sounded, “They just took my husband!” Now everyone started leaving the church as if it was on fire.


Pastor Scott went back home, where he spoke with his family and asked them if they wanted to leave Seneca. His phone rang.

“Hello, Darcy.”

“Are you all leaving?”

“We haven’t made a final decision yet. Partly because we want to be here if Tamera shows up again.”

“I understand, but something is wrong here in Seneca, and I’m leaving too.”

“But you love this little town,” he said with a smirk. He enjoyed teasing his cousin.

“And I still do, but not when it is acting out! Okay, you all stay safe. I’m out of here.”

“Be careful, Darcy. You take care, too.”


 Meanwhile, there was a traffic jam in Seneca for the first time in the town’s 154-year history. One officer was standing in the intersection of the town’s only flashing red light directing traffic while the other officers were working minor fender benders.

Word of the mysterious disappearances in Seneca had caused people to stop doing business there. No one was coming into town for any reason, not even to visit friends and loved ones. Fear had set in, not just in Seneca, not just in the surrounding area, but worldwide.


Pastor Scott went to his study to pray.

“God, people are scared here in Seneca. Bring peace to this town among the people. If they are leaving, help em to be calm and careful. Give me understanding, Lord. Please show me what is going on. Why are people disappearing? Why did my daughter disappear? Where is she? Where did she go? Where have the other people gone? What do we do, Lord God? What do I do? I need you, Father.”

He saw the list of people who had vanished before the town hall meeting sitting on his desk. He picked it up and started reading the names. He recognized some of them.

Hey, this guy went to the church. I preached at his funeral. And here, Sister Elona. She was in charge of our children’s department.

He now looked at the list in a different light.

I think I know what this is!

…To be continued…

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.