The Tiny Sermon

April works hard at a manufacturing facility. They build things that use extremely tiny parts, tiny screws, etc. Since I am retired, I willingly keep the house, including doing the laundry. If you wash the clothes in your household, you also know that you find things inside the washing machine from time to time.

The other day, I found a small screw. Actually, the one pictured here. At first, I was upset. This washing machine terrorist could easily get through one of the holes in the machine that the water drains through. Who knows what kind of damage that could cause? This is not the first time I have found one, either. I have asked April several times to check her pockets before putting things in the dirty clothes basket. Often, she doesn’t do this. Her favorite item to overlook is tissues. Yep, they make a mess!

So, while I was angry, thinking about how I would complain, chew her out, or make an issue out of it, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “Don’t say a word.” I think it is part of my Heaven Training Program to become a “quiet man.” (See the previous post but not right now. After you finish reading this one.) I know my high standard of perfection, and my unreachable expectations come from my parents. I know they meant well, as do I, but there is a way to point things out where people hear you but don’t feel bad. You know, like God does.

God loves us enough not to leave us the way we are.

God disciplines those He loves. (Prov. 3:12)

I want April to learn about life here in America. That simple mistakes can have expensive consequences. If I leave this world before her, I wouldn’t want her to suffer when a little carefulness can spare her hardship. I know God would help her, though, and bless her as she lives a life pleasing him and as she honors him. I think my parents had the same desire for me.

I’ve decided to keep the tiny screw and perhaps even put it in a case and display it where I can be reminded as often as needed till I learn to apply the message of that little sermon. Many people take notes while the minister is preaching, but how many reviews those notes afterward? I am thankful for the tiny sermon. I’m glad God still speaks in small ways. Now, if I could only get April to leave money in her pockets.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

The Unexpected Sermon

“It’s okay.  It’s all in the past,” said my great niece as she waved her hands back and forth down low by her side.  She had gotten caught doing something that turned out okay, but would not had been sanctioned by either of her parents.

We laughed as my mother shared the story of the incident with my wife and me, but later in the week my wife quoted my great niece after doing something I did not appreciate.  Yes it’s true, I’m a recovering control freak, and I always argue that I like things done a certain way, because to me it seems like the fastest and easiest way to accomplish that task.  I know, there are many ways to doing some things, and there are times when someone would rather do it their way.

It may seem silly, but my four year old great niece preached with conviction a sermon I needed to hear, but more than that, live out!  I have spent the last several days practicing to let things go and not to mention that my wife may have done or said something that turned out okay, but not something I would have done.  And you know what?  Our marriage is better for it!

In those times when we mess up, do things that God would rather we hadn’t, and we go to him and ask for forgiveness, he always says, “Its okay.  You’re forgiven.  It’s now in the past.”

God makes everything come out right;
    he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
    opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
    not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
    nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
    nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
    so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
    he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
    God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
    keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
    like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
    leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
    eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
    as they follow his Covenant ways
    and remember to do whatever he said. (Psalms 103:6-18 MSG)

Forgiveness is not a license to go sin more, or even again, but it lifts the burden of guilt off of us, and allows us to go on, living life in peace.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

When Your Spouse Preaches

The best preachers are the ones who receive a particular word, message for their upcoming audience.  Then, at the given time, they deliver those special words from God.  If this person shouted and screamed you might be tempted to leave, or at least tune them out.  So how words are spoken is everything.

What if that preacher is your spouse?  I know.  It’s harder to hear the words being spoken because they are coming from someone who you might also hear nagging, complaining, or gripping from.  You may be thinking, don’t lecture me!  Or, why are you on my case?  But if the words are spoken in a loving way then you should probably listen.  After all, this is your helpmate.  He or she is there to be used of God to guide you, direct you, comfort you, and yes even speak words of life into your soul.

This happened to me recently.  We were driving in the construction zone I have spoken of a few posts ago.  I was trying to merge into the line of cars, and I got cut off.  I started fussing and my wife gently, and in a loving way said, “Your problem is this; you expect others to treat, or do for you the way you treat or do for them.  And when they don’t, you get mad or hurt.”  Her words made sense, because they were true, but because they came from her I dismissed them somewhat.

Fast forward to last night:

I couldn’t fall asleep, so I got up and came into our home office and turned on the TV.  I soon sensed God directing me to watch Joel Osteen.  I tuned in.  Wouldn’t you know he started preaching similar words that my wife was speaking just a few days earlier?  Coming from him it seemed easier to hear and accept.  Then some guilt creeped in, so this morning I confessed to my wife what had happened and that I was sorry I had not heard God’s message from her first, but I vowed to begin listening to the one on earth who loves me when she begins to speak words of life into my soul.

The lesson here is to listen to the message God is trying to say to us despite the vessel he chooses to use.  God likes to work with people to do his business.  They don’t have to be on TV either or come with credentials in order to deserve your time and respect.  If the message is on target then listen with your heart wide open.  It’s God loving on you, because He cares about you so much.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.