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.

Devoted to Devotions?

Charlie 70How many times have you beat yourself up for not doing your devotions?  Me?  I used to constantly be black and blue!  I didn’t like it.  Am I not serious about serving God?  I used to ask myself.  I wanted to make God happy with me, so why did I constantly feel as though I was disappointing him?

It took a while, okay years, but one day I realized being devoted to devotions was not the same as being devoted to God.  I begin to walk in freedom, because now I was devoted to God, and I knew I could talk to him anytime I wanted to.  I could worship, read his word, and praise him throughout the entire day, and not just at a particular time of day.  There may be those that like having a set time each day, but that didn’t work for me.  Some people, I’m afraid, do their devotions, but then forget what they read or said to God as soon as they are done.  They experienced time gone by, but fail to experience God.

Just like I can’t make you mad, I can’t make God have an emotional response to me as well.  We choose our reactions to others and God chooses his reactions to us.  I’m sure it’s an easy choice for him though when we talk to him and are mindful of him all day long.  God, no doubt, wants to hang out with his children and listen to them, and have them listen to him.  God has a lot to say.

Therefore, your hearts are to be wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as [you are doing] today.”  (1 Kings 8:61 AMP)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The Only One

Charlie 1The only one, you need to ask, is the One who already knows what you have need of.  “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”  (Mat. 6:8 NIV)

Copyright ©2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.