When God Was Still by My Side

“Oh, how I long for the good old days,
    when God took such very good care of me.
He always held a lamp before me
    and I walked through the dark by its light.
Oh, how I miss those golden years
    when God’s friendship graced my home,
When the Mighty One was still by my side
    and my children were all around me,
When everything was going my way,
    and nothing seemed too difficult.”

Do you find yourself saying something similar in the days of late?  Are you longing for the days when life seemed easier?  I have.  Reality, though, is this; those days had their own problems, but with that said, there is more “hate” these days and “perverted lifestyles” right in front of our faces.

Another reality is this; God hasn’t changed.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  It may seem harder to detect his presence, see the path He wants us to walk, but He is still there.  He still graces our homes.

Maybe things in life aren’t going “your” way, but they very well could be going “God’s” way.

Though the days may be different, God is the same, so we need to trust in him the way we did back in the “good old days”.  We need to remember not to look, or focus on the lives of those around us, or the hate being spewed by hurt people, but to keep our gaze on him, who is, and will forever be in control of all things, and know this; God is still by your side!

The above quote was spoken by Job in Job 29:1-6 (MSG)

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Let There Be

I love it that God spoke the world into existence, and it started with him saying, “Let there be light.”  Before he said those words the earth was there, and it was dark and shapeless, but the Holy Spirit was hovering above.

I think a lot of people are going through a very difficult time right now.  One might say, dark and shapeless, but know this, the Spirit of God is hovering above.  Keeping an eye on you, so you are not alone in the darkness although it may feel like it.

What if, in your darkness, someone said,
“Let there be light”?

Your healing could be separated from the darkness.  Your employment situation could be brighter.  Your long awaited spouse steps out of the shadows into full sight.  Whatever it is, in the time it takes for God to say, “Let there be light”, your whole situation can change.  So what is God waiting on?  When the moment is right.  When you are right, or when the other person is ready, or the employment connection is made.

In the meantime, we wait, as patiently as we can, knowing that while life is dark the Holy Spirit is hovering overhead.  Remember, light dispels darkness immediately, in an instant.  Light over powers darkness.  It cast it aside.

After God spoke light into existence he looked at it said, “It is good.”  When God speaks into your life, your situation, your darkness afterwards he will say, “It is good.”  And it will be.  Your darkness will be over.  It will be gone, and you see your new day dawning.  You will breathe in and out like you never have before for the weight of the darkness will have lifted.  If you place your hope and trust in God I promise you will see the end of the doom and gloom.

So lift your head and say, “Let there be light.”

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Hunt for Red October

“Give me one ping, and one ping only please.”  A line from the movie, “Hunt for Red October”, I like to say in my best, which isn’t that good, Sean Connery voice.  I have always been intrigued by submarines, and Red October is a large, Russian, ballistic missile loaded one.  It fascinates me how they knew where they were before the use of a computerized guidance systems.

Some followers of Jesus Christ could be called, “Submarine Christians”.  By that, I mean they stay undetected as they move about when it comes to their faith in God.  They might raise their periscope, every once in a while and take a look around to see if it is safe to surface.  They have their personal reasons for not being detected, most likely out of some degree of fear.  In the movie, “Red October”, the enemy on paper turned out to be their ally, and helped them achieve their goal.

God, through his word, encourages us not to hide our faith.  In fact, there are several verses that direct us to shine bright. Here is one of them:

“Your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance, for how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop? 15 And who would light a lamp and then hide it in an obscure place? Instead, it’s placed where everyone in the house can benefit from its light.” Mat. 5:14-15 (TPT)

People who are far from God need to see him, they need to hear him.  They need to find him, in us.  You never know where hurting, or lost people are unless you look them in the face and listen to the words they say.  People who need God do give clues, if you are paying attention, if you are hunting.

Instead of computers guiding us, we can be guided by the Holy Spirit.  Led of God to where the sick need healing, the oppressed need to be set free.  God’s word equips us with spiritual weapons to take out the enemy, the devil.

The ping, Sean Connery asked for, verified his distance from his ally.  By coming to the surface, finding those who are with us, we can work together to complete God’s mission to save the whole world.

“That the whole world might be saved…”
John 3:17

Whether people realize it, or not, they are hunting for God.  The spirit man inside each of them is striving to be reunited with God’s spirit.  Let’s be out there helping them connect their heart to the heart of God.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

How It All Began

061620August 1969.  I would celebrate my seventh birthday in September.  I didn’t want to go to hell for being a liar, and a convicted cookie thief, and according to the big man, wearing a black suit, speaking loud, if I died without accepting Jesus in my heart, I would have.  Pictured here, his name was H.D. Pieratt.  He was a fine example of a man, after God’s own heart.

You might say, I first confessed I was a sinner and recognized Jesus as God’s son, then asked him to forgive me of my wrong doing, because I was scared of hell.  That viewpoint stayed with me for several years, until I learned about God’s love.

What might have started out as a fire escape plan turned into a loving relationship with God as I got to know him.  Ten years after making his acquaintance, I dedicated my life to going, doing, and saying whatever He wants me to.

It’s sad, but there are individuals who have only accepted enough Jesus to keep them out of hell.  Their more afraid of eternal damnation than they love God.  You have probably encountered one of them, because they don’t reflect the love of God.  The light, the truth, the hope in them is dull, and in fact, they might have hurt you.  I’m sorry if you have encountered one, and have gotten hurt.  Also, I feel bad when I let situations get to me and I choose to extinguish the light of God in me if only long enough to let my flesh rule.  I always regret those moments and ask God to forgive me and help me not to do it again.

I feel like Paul, when he wrote in Romans 7:15:
I’m a mystery to myself, for I want to do what is right, but end up doing what my moral instincts condemn. (TPT)

Training will help me to love first in those situations, and in all others.  The only way to act, and react with love is to continue to get to know the source of love, God.  For God is love.  1 John 4:8.  It comes down to your heart’s desire, and God knows what those are, so he will help you be more like him.  The light of God, in Rev. Pieratt, shined upon my heart when I was a child, and I’m so thankful.  I was drawn to it, I was drawn to God, and that is how it all began.

Be love.  Our world needs a lot more Truth, light, and love!

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Light

Charlie 27You can’t grow up with the greatest fisherman, and not learn something about the business of fishing.  One Friday night, Dad and I were in the creek catching crawdads.  I was holding the lantern.  While I was looking around the rocks for bait, I felt something touch my left leg.  It was a snake.  I froze.

Then I called out to my father, “Dad, I have a snake next to my left leg.”

“Okay, just a minute,” he said.

After he picked up a couple of more, prize brown bass winning bait, he slipped in behind me and grabbed the snake by the tail and slung it!  The next morning, I was telling my mother about the adventure when she said, “Son, did your father happen to mention, snakes are drawn to light?  That’s why he wanted you to carry the lantern.”

Another thing I have learned about light is this, it attracts flying insects.  Pest.  If you have a fly in your house, and you are having trouble getting it, turn out every light except one, and it will come to you.  That’s when you kill it.

As a devoted servant of God, we are the light of the world.  If your light is shining bright enough, you will attract snakes, vipers, and pest!  It is important to know how to respond to them:

  • Learn to identify them quick, for what they are. They might, at first, even be a friend.
  • Know they are there to disrupt you, or hinder you, from accomplishing what God has called you to do.
  • Do not be afraid of them! They are antagonist.  “Every great story has one.” (Rev. Joel Budd)
  • Speak out loud, and declare you are doing the work of God.

 

“Then I gave them my report: “Face it: we’re in a bad way here. Jerusalem is a wreck; its gates are burned up. Come—let’s build the wall of Jerusalem and not live with this disgrace any longer.” I told them how God was supporting me and how the king was backing me up.

They said, “We’re with you. Let’s get started.” They rolled up their sleeves, ready for the good work.

When Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they laughed at us, mocking, “Ha! What do you think you’re doing? Do you think you can cross the king?”

I shot back, ‘The God-of-Heaven will make sure we succeed. We’re his servants and we’re going to work, rebuilding. You can keep your nose out of it. You get no say in this—Jerusalem’s none of your business!’”  Nehemiah 2:17-20 (The Message)

You are anointed for whatever God has laid on your heart to do.  Now go do it with excellence.  Don’t you dare diminish your light, so as not to draw vipers, who only want to hurt you, or flies, who are there to annoy you.  Also, don’t forget, you can call out to your Father in heaven anytime, to help you deal with a snake.

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

Three Days of Darkness

dispelThere is nothing like the fear that comes from physical, or emotional darkness.  When you can’t see your way, and you have no clue on when and where light will come.  Your heart can pound like a concert bass drum.

Exo 10:21-23 MSG   GOD said to Moses: “Stretch your hand to the skies. Let darkness descend on the land of Egypt–a darkness so dark you can touch it.”  Moses stretched out his hand to the skies. Thick darkness descended on the land of Egypt for three days.  Nobody could see anybody. For three days no one could so much as move. Except for the Israelites: they had light where they were living.

Another time, when there was darkness on the earth, for three days, was when the Son of God, Jesus died.  You talk about your only ray of light going out and sickness settling in, to the very depths of your being.  Jesus had once said, “I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.” (Joh 12:46 MSG)  Three days of darkness, until Jesus was resurrected from the dead, then Light once again walked on the earth.

Are you stumbling around in life desperately running your hand along the wall, panicking as you look for the switch?  Has your darkness lasted much longer than three days?  Don’t get angry, as Pharaoh did.  Don’t let your heart be hardened, as his did, and definitely don’t shake your fist at God.  He may be allowing the darkness, to move you toward Him, who is Light.  Accept Light.  Accept God.  Try living in a way, where you can see your way, by believing in God’s way.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

The Closet Door

ClosetLike most kids, I was afraid of the dark.  I would turn off my bedroom light and run and jump in bed from about three feet away so the monsters under it couldn’t grab my ankles and pull me under.  I was especially afraid of the darkness that dwelled inside my closet.  Embarrassed to admit it, but I was 40 years old before I could leave the closet door open on purpose at bedtime.  Too many horror movies I guess.

There is another closet where darkness hangs I am still afraid.  It is the one in my heart.  I fear the part of me that does come out occasionally that can lead to monstrous results.  I desire someday I can leave its door open, on purpose, and not be afraid.  The only way that will ever happen is if I allow God to go there and clean out the closet, remove the darkness.

Darkness cannot remain when there is light, and God is: Light.

1Jo 1:5  This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him. (MSG)

That God is light – Light, in the Scriptures, is the emblem of purity, truth, knowledge, prosperity, and happiness – as darkness is of the opposite. John here says that “God is light” – not the light, or a light, but light itself; that is, he is himself all light, and is the source and fountain of light in all worlds. He is perfectly pure, without any admixture of sin. He has all knowledge, with no admixture of ignorance on any subject. He is infinitely happy, with nothing to make him miserable. He is infinitely true, never stating or countenancing error; he is blessed in all his ways, never knowing the darkness of disappointment and adversity.  (Barnes Notes – Bible Commentary)