You Have to do Something!

God sent ONE angel to defeat the entire Assyrian army.

Whenever we are in a rough spot, and our backs are up against the wall, there is something innate within that forces us to want to find our own way out.  We will do just about anything, and it seems the more desperate the situation the more radicle our action will be.  Most people seem to have a fight mentality when we are in a corner.

In 2 Chronicles chapter 32, we read that Jerusalem was threatened by the Assyrian army, a horrible group of men, who had no respect for mankind, and they had no fear of God.  This army would first send tablets into a town they were set on over taking.  These tablets showed detail pictures of how they were planning on torturing their captives in savage ways, which struck ultimate fear in their hearts.  The people of Jerusalem knew for sure life was all over.  There was only one thing they could do,

pray.

King Hezekiah, joined by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz, responded by praying, calling up to heaven. God answered by sending an angel who wiped out everyone in the Assyrian camp, both warriors and officers. Sennacherib was forced to return home in disgrace, tail between his legs. When he went into the temple of his god, his own sons killed him. 2 Chr. 32:20-21 (MSG)

You pray.  You commit the situation to God and then you wait.  That’s right.  There are times when you have to trust God, like in Psalms 46:10a

“Be still, and know that I am God…”

It’s hard not to do anything.  My wife has been stuck in the Philippines for several months now.  She is done with the immigration process and only needs her interview at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.  It’s difficult to be separated for so long. It hurts!.  I have tried everything I could think of, but nothing has happened.  I surrendered it to God, I’m being still.  Another version of this verse says, “Stop striving…”  That is what I have had to do.

In 2 Chr. 32 above, it says they prayed, and God answered, and sent one angel who wiped out the entire army.  God may need to send more than one angel to deal with the U.S. government, (kidding) but I do know the answer to my prayer is on the way.

Whatever situation you may be facing, painful, dreadful, frightening, or whatever, pray.  Give it to God and then be still and watch him answer as He sees fit to do so.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

You May Not Like It

“I’ve been crying out to God, for an answer to my current marriage situation,” said the lady I had just met earlier that day.  I have never understood, exactly why, but people feel comfortable opening up to me, even after moments of talking.  Sometimes I wonder if I am wearing a sign that says, “Will listen to you for food.”  I’ve been told I have the heart of a shepherd, a pastor.  If that’s the case, my congregation doesn’t meet under one roof, but where ever I happen to be in this world.

She went on to share that after 16 years of being married her husband had a moment of indiscretion.  Perhaps the stress of 2020 has caused a lot of people to do things they wouldn’t dare do before.  I encouraged her to speak out loud and demand the demonic forces, that are trying to tear her home apart, to get out, in the name of Jesus.  Then flip the environment and invite God’s presence into the home.  I instructed her to speak the fruit of the spirit over her family.  Love, joy, peace, etc.  I told her it was her home, her family, her life and not to give up hope.  She smiled through teary eyes and agreed to take action.

I went back to my task which brought us together in the first place.  It’s a task I don’t like, but it is an answer to one of my prayers.  I was reflecting upon the encounter, and praying for her, and the family.  It was in that moment I sensed God speak to me and say,

“I brought you here as a result of your prayers, but I also brought you here as a result of her prayers.”

You see, God delights in using his servants to do his business.  God is in the people business because He loves us so much.  We, believers in God, are co-laborers with Jesus.

“He [Jesus] came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,

God’s Spirit is on me;
    he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
    recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
    to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”

He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, “You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place.”  Luke 4:16-21 (MSG)

We are all called of God to do the same as Jesus did.  To be in the business of people.  To be there to see them, listen to them, and then to speak life giving words that can set them free, or say a prayer that can heal them.  Sometimes, a home needs to be healed, or a marriage.

You may not like it, where God has you at the moment, but look around, He has you there for a purpose, his!

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

I Had To

This week I choose to do something I didn’t want to do.  My heart was restless as the date approached.  I discussed the situation with a friend, and also with my wife.  Then two days before the event my wife, my helpmate, said one word.  As soon as I heard it, I knew.  I knew what I had to do.  I was thankful for her hearing God where I struggled.

You see, there are times when someone hurts you, and the pain goes deep into your heart.  You tell them what they did, but they don’t care at all, and their pride keeps them from admitting wrong and apologizing.  When this happens, you find yourself wanting to avoid them to protect your heart from future pain.  As well, you don’t want to do anything for them, as you feel they do not deserve it.  I had forgiven them, but I didn’t want to see them.  I don’t mean to be so secret about the details, but I don’t want to give any clues that might identify the perp.

God’s word tells how to handle hurt:

Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love. Ephesians 4:31-32 TPT

Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. Luke 6:28 NLT

I did do the right thing, but I had to pray, a lot, and ask God for help.  I also asked him to protect me, and help me not bring up the past while I was there.  They did do one thing that bothered me while I was in their presence, but I left before the pain erupted.  God is good at helping us in our time of need. His specialty is loving those who don’t deserve it.

If you are facing a similar situation, pray, and ask God to help you do the right thing that will glorify Him.  You never know, but your loving kindness might just be the catalyst to change things around.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved. 

Home Cooked Meals

HotpotIn the last blog post I mentioned a friend living overseas who had not found a church yet where he is getting a steady diet of spiritual nutrition.  Not that he hasn’t tried.

We are very fortunate here in America to have many churches where the pastor feeds the people the word of God, and we can turn on the TV at any time of the day and find religious programming.  Now hold on, I agree there are some that are much better than others.  In fact there is a very small list of who I will give my time to.  There is also opportunity to see some speakers of God’s messages on YouTube as well.

My approach in preparing to speak publicly is this, I pray and ask God what He wants to say.  I call this process getting the meal plan.  Then I want to get God’s recipe for the items He wants to serve.  In other words, I don’t want to say the same thing the way I would, but I want to say those things the way God would if He was standing in front of the people himself.  This step is my studying.  Then, when I speak I serve God’s meal, his words, to the people.

Your pastor feeds you every week.  When a guest speaker talks, it’s like eating out!

After more discussion with my friend, he got revelation that he needed to stop relying so much on others to feed him, and start preparing home cooked meals.  We aren’t talking about TV dinners that you heat up in 4 minutes either.  He is going to get back into God’s word.  He is going to study.  He’s going to pray.  He is going to cook his own meals as God directs.  He may have to eat alone, but then he can eat as much as he wants, and after he is full he can then go out and feed others.

Dietitians have been telling us for years that eating healthy foods, prepared at home is good for us.  There is nothing wrong with eating out.  There is nothing wrong with going to church and eating with others.  There is nothing wrong with ministers on TV or via social media, as long as they are preaching the word of God, but remember to have a balanced diet.

“He poured great draughts of water down parched throats;
the starved and hungry got plenty to eat.” Psalms 107:9 (MSG)

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The Last One to Speak

Charlie 021920DAY 1  A man’s daughter was struck with a sudden severe illness that required her to be put on life support.  The man captioned this event “The Psalms 23 Experience”.  He felt his family, “walking through the valley of the shadow of death”, they feared no evil, because they knew God was with them.  He believed this in spite of all the negative reports they received, at the hospital, on day one.

We judge most things by what we hear and see.  We tend to believe these things because our flesh perceived them first, but what if there was climate change?  What if we created an environment that showed God our faith?  What would happen if we allowed our spirit to perceive God?  If we began to hear what God said about the situation we were in?

If you’re going to pray for rain, bring an umbrella.

The man, whose daughter was sick, spoke of setting up an environment that gave God an opportunity to do some of his best work.  They played Spirit Spa instrumental worship.  They spoke of healing while in the hospital room, but they first “asked” God for what they wanted him to do.

Asking God, is huge!

I know, and agree, in the moment, we often believe what we hear and see.  We too many times take the first words spoken in a situation as truth.  The only truth.  It’s okay to acknowledge truth, but appeal to the One who can make things more true.  It was true the man’s daughter was sick, but what was more true was the fact, God, was going to heal her.

DAY 17  The man’s daughter returned home with a clean bill of health.  God, had the final word.  God, was the last one, to speak.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

It Was Bigger Than Me!

Charlie 021520Big companies have a big pool of customers, and a bigger database of files.  Welcome to the computer age where you can automate systems to handle this big work load.  Sounds good, but what if one of the employees pushes the wrong button?

From my own experience I’ll tell you what happens.  A mess!  A big mess.

I discovered this today as I called a big company who sent me an email saying my bill was past due.  “What?”  “How can that be?”  “I pay my bills!”  According to the first person I spoke to I owed several hundred dollars.  Not something you want to hear.

The first guy passed me off to another department and after being on hold for a while the second guy came back with an answer and a resolution.  Evidence pointed to an employee, a year earlier, pushing a button that shouldn’t have ever been pushed.  The company informed me I did not owe the money.

I asked the second guy, “How did you figure this all out?”  He said, “When I first started looking at it, I realized this was bigger than me!  I asked for help.”

His phrase got my attention, and I thought, some people, including me, don’t recognize quick enough how big a situation in our life is.  Before you know it, things can get out of control and start causing a lot of pain.  The point is this; we should take “everything” to God in prayer from the very first indication of life being out of order.

“Oh what needless pain we bare, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”

Ask for help from God at the beginning, you know, the first moment you sense something is wrong.  You don’t always have to be the hero.  It’s okay to say, “This is bigger than me.”

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Now What?

Charlie 011520 1You finally drop off to sleep, and when you wake up the next morning you have a few seconds of peace before the pain of your current life situation comes crashing back into your mind like a tsunami.  You lay there and say to yourself, “Oh yeah”.  You force yourself to get out of bed, but if it wasn’t for having to go to the bathroom you would more likely pull the covers over your head and try to go back to sleep.

If this is you, what do you do?  You may feel your only options are; runaway, become a hermit, seek revenge on those that have hurt you, drown your sorrow in alcohol, over eat, pop pills, or even worse bring physical harm to yourself.  For those who have a relationship with God, the only thing you can do is lean into him even more.  Anything else is of the flesh, and it will not ease the pain like God can.  It may take all you have left inside you to even ask him to help you trust him more, but He will.  If you don’t have a relationship with God, now is the perfect time to ask for him to forgive you and come into your life.

The words of old hymns can be comforting, reminders of God’s reality, which is more true than our own.  Read the words of the song below.  Let the melodic words soak into your soul.  Be encouraged with the truth of knowing that this too will pass.  May God bless you, and comfort you.  Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  He will never leave you, nor forsake you.

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Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Christmas is Coming

Charlie 25Children:  “I haven’t sent my wish list yet to Santa!”  (They think they are late because they have seen Christmas items in stores since July 4th!)

Adults:  “Who’s hosting?  What are we eating?  What are we going to buy your dad this year?  Can I bring a date to the office party?  Oh, are we sending out Christmas cards?  Who’s going to sit down and write the family brag letter that no one probably reads?  I mean, they see all year how perfect our family is on Facebook.”

This happens every year.  To be honest, I saw Christmas cards here at home the other day and my heart skipped a beat thinking I was late in sending them out.  With the commercializing of Jesus’ birth it’s hard not to get caught up in it all.  I guess I’m guilty too.  I mean, here I am writing about Christmas before Thanksgiving!  And I’m writing this post while wearing white pants after Labor Day!  Who makes up these silly rules anyway?

If I want to start preparing my heart and attitude to celebrate the birthday of all birthdays, then why not?  Life wouldn’t be worth living, if it wasn’t for the love of God, and his generous, outlandish, extravagant gift of his Son, Jesus.  So, in the spirit of preparing for Christmas, below is my Christmas prayer list to God:

  1. That America would focus on our real needs instead of spending a lot of money and time on trying to get someone fired. (Okay, that has been my only political opinion expressed this whole year.)
  2. That families would work harder at loving then hurting.
  3. That my wife’s Visa to America would arrive yesterday.
  4. To be debt free.
  5. To have several books I’ve written published, and a major movie deal in the works based on my novel, Kill the Preacher Man, which would produce an Oscar Award, so my wife could meet Keanu Reeves at the awards ceremony.

Having all those prayers answered would be great, but what I want the most, and I mean this, is for everyone to give God a chance.  To realize how much He loves us, and how he never intended anything bad to happen to us, but know that when we use our free will, we allow Satan to hurt us.  Then after they give God time, and get acquainted with him, they would accept him and love him back.  Ya know, if that happened then items 1 and 2 would be taken care of.

Faith says, these prayers could be answered.  Hope says, even if they don’t, it will be okay.  Love says, regardless, I am a child of the most, high God, and love, never fails.

Do your best this year to not forget why we have Christmas.  Take time out to consider Jesus.  Know this; Christmas is coming, and Christ is coming soon to gather those who believe in him, and have accepted him.

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.

God, I Promise I will …, If You Will …

PowerAfter living here four months, it finally happened!  I got very sick this past week from being an American and being careless with the water here in the Philippines.  While I was lying in my hospital bed, there was a series of thoughts like, “Is God punishing me?  Am I not praying enough?  What lesson is God wanting me to learn?  Should I be praying more?”  Then there are those who try to bargain with God like, “God, I will go to church, if you get me out of this.”

Then, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “No.”

The truth is, we live in a world of sin, pain, grief, hurt, and disease.  But we are so superstitious, or think we control God by what “we” do.  Bad things happen to good people.  Why does God allow it?  Only He knows.  “I don’t think the way you think.  The way you work isn’t the way I work.”  God’s Decree.” (Isaiah 55:8 MSG)

I like what Mitch Teemley (https://mitchteemley.com) posted this week in his blog: “Faith doesn’t do miracles, God does.”

Did I still pray for healing?  Yes, and I did get better and got to come home.  Accepting God, and believing in him means trusting him, 100%.  Accepting his will is best.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.