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.

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping

Charlie 57A very good friend of mine couldn’t sleep the other night.  She lives on the other side of the world, so when she video called me via Messenger I was up.  She said she had already done the usual things one does in order to fall asleep again, but to no avail.  I said, “Sorry, but this is a sign of old age!  They don’t warn you about it in the manual of life.”  She didn’t like it, because she lives in a state of denial concerning her age.

So we prayed and asked God to bring peace to her mind, and body.  Then she closed her eyes and drifted slowly to sleep as I watched.  Yeah, I know.  It felt weird too!  Like a voyeur, but then my mind turned to God, and how He watches over us day and night.  His eyes never leave us.  God does see us when we’re sleeping, and He does know when we’re awake.  It’s not because He is this great universal voyeur, but He does it because He loves us.

“He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous [those in right standing with Him];

Job 36:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

 

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

But They Go to Church

Charlie 33There it is.  Another ugly, races, hateful, hurtful word from one I know very well.  “I don’t understand,” has been cried out to God many times after one of their zingers comes out of their mouth.  “God, why do they still feel, act, and say these things?  After all, they go to church!”

Just the other day, when this happened again, I questioned heaven for understanding, I sensed the Lord spoke and said, “But church doesn’t go to them.”  It was in that moment I realized that even though they go to church every time the doors are open, the doors to their heart are closed!  They might even be locked, boarded up with a sign posted, “No Trespassing”.

Jane Rubietta writes, in her book, Come Closer,

“After all, what difference does the gospel make if it doesn’t make a difference, right?”

The word of God should change us, and make us more like Jesus.  It should soften our heart toward others.  Does that mean be tolerant of their sins?  Not at all, but give us understanding as to why they act out like they do.

So what do we do when someone we kind of have to be around says or does something that hurts?  We pray for them as we stand up for Truth, and then we surround them with love.  God’s love, perfect love, is the only key to opening the doors to their wounded hearts.  They must see love, hear love, and feel loved even after they hurt us or others.

If the message they hear at church isn’t getting through, then the love they witness from us just might.

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.

The Anointed

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Question: “What is the anointing? What does it mean to be anointed?”

Answer: The origin of anointing was from a practice of shepherds. Lice and other insects would often get into the wool of sheep, and when they got near the sheep’s head, they could burrow into the sheep’s ears and kill the sheep. So, ancient shepherds poured oil on the sheep’s head. This made the wool slippery, making it impossible for insects to get near the sheep’s ears because the insects would slide off. From this, anointing became symbolic of blessing, protection, and empowerment.

The New Testament Greek words for “anoint” are chrio, which means “to smear or rub with oil” and, by implication, “to consecrate for office or religious service”; and aleipho, which means “to anoint.” In Bible times, people were anointed with oil to signify God’s blessing or call on that person’s life (Exodus 29:7Exodus 40:92 Kings 9:6Ecclesiastes 9:8James 5:14). A person was anointed for a special purpose—to be a king, to be a prophet, to be a builder, etc.  The enemy, Satan, does not like it when people get anointed, take it seriously, and get busy accomplishing a thing for God.

In modern times, those who activate their anointing, and operate in its power and purpose, attract attention.  Recently, a friend was telling me about his day, and how four specific people reacted to the anointing God has upon his life.  The more we talked about these 4 individuals we labeled each according to their response to his anointing:

Touch the Anointed:  In the morning, while sitting in a coffee shop, a young boy came in.  After the youth looked around, he sat at the very table of my friend without an invitation to, and interacted with him.  The owner said he had seen the boy once before, but he had never sat with a stranger, and interact with them.  The young boy just wanted to sit for a while, in the presence of one, who sits in the presence of God.

Resent the Anointed:  Later in the day, while at work, my friend said he kept getting strange and somewhat evil looks from his boss.  Let’s just say, his boss has chosen a lifestyle that is not pleasing to God.  No doubt sensing the anointing, my friend walks around with, forces him to see or feel something his own spirit man cries out for, but the reality is this, he’s not willing to let go of the shortcut to love Satan has presented him with.

Distract the Anointed:  On his way home, he passed a young woman on the sidewalk, only to hear a noise as he did.  When he turned he saw she had fallen.  He took a step back to help her up.  His flesh noticed she was fairly nice looking.  When she reached up she took hold of his forearm and held onto it for a while, even after getting up.  He didn’t allow her appearance, distract his purpose, for God.

Arrest the Anointed:  That same night, he crossed the road in the middle of a block only to be stopped by a policeman.  He thought for sure he was going to get taken in to the station.  He gave the officer what ID he could, and that seemed to satisfy.  He was told he was free to go.  What God has taught him, in the last year, about giving up his rights kept his mouth shut, for he knew he had done nothing wrong, which in turn, kept him out of jail, and possibly would have stopped what God is doing through him to minister to others.

In one day, my friend’s anointing attracted attention.  Note: Not one of those four individuals were invited!  God’s touch is strong upon him.  It drew one who was curious, one who was resenting, another, who wanted to distract him, knowingly or not, and the last, wanted to stop him.  The only one successful, was the young boy, for his motive was pure.

Guard your anointing.  Value it.  God anoints your head with oil to keep those who want to harm you from succeeding.  The only way they win, is if you assist them, but that doesn’t keep them from trying.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Switching from Mood to Mode

Char;ie 123Moods are typically reactionary.

Modes are purposeful.

Moods can be because of others.

Modes are, typically for others.

Mood:

Mode:

cranky

gracious

happy

generous

sad

kind

agitated

thoughtful

disgusted

appreciative

tired

serving

Moving from a mood to a mode is difficult at times, but often necessary in order to stop hurting others.  I have found asking for God’s help with this practice is required.  Growing in love with God, and then with others is also required.

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Chaos

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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.

Spontaneous Love

By Oswald Chambers

Love suffers long and is kind… —1 Corinthians 13:4

LOVE 105Love is not premeditated– it is spontaneous; that is, it bursts forth in extraordinary ways. There is nothing of precise certainty in Paul’s description of love. We cannot predetermine our thoughts and actions by saying, “Now I will never think any evil thoughts, and I will believe everything that Jesus would have me to believe.” No, the characteristic of love is spontaneity. We don’t deliberately set the statements of Jesus before us as our standard, but when His Spirit is having His way with us, we live according to His standard without even realizing it. And when we look back, we are amazed at how unconcerned we have been over our emotions, which is the very evidence that real spontaneous love was there. The nature of everything involved in the life of God in us is only discerned when we have been through it and it is in our past.

The fountains from which love flows are in God, not in us. It is absurd to think that the love of God is naturally in our hearts, as a result of our own nature. His love is there only because it “has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit…” (Romans 5:5).

If we try to prove to God how much we love Him, it is a sure sign that we really don’t love Him. The evidence of our love for Him is the absolute spontaneity of our love, which flows naturally from His nature within us. And when we look back, we will not be able to determine why we did certain things, but we can know that we did them according to the spontaneous nature of His love in us. The life of God exhibits itself in this spontaneous way because the fountains of His love are in the Holy Spirit.

© 2019 My Utmost For His Highest