Marking Your Journey

Do you mark your journey? I don’t, not in a physical way that is. Like by keeping a journal, or something. Perhaps I should because it is good to look back. We are usually caught up in the moment thinking and praying about today’s needs and tomorrow’s.

But looking back is a good practice. I tend to end each day by saying, “Well, God, you got us through today. The bills that were due today were paid. The needs were met today. We ate today, and there was gas in the car to go where all we needed to go, today. Thank you, God!” And the truth is this; last year at this time I was praying about the day’s needs and the future back then. Yet, I made it through and have come to this point one year later.

You could say my journey is marked with “Mile Markers”, yet others are marked with “Tombstones”.

A mile marker indicates how far you have traveled. A tombstone indicates your journey ended. A living person’s tombstones could be where their job ended, their marriage, or even their relationship with God.

The Israelites used to pile up stones to mark where God did a great thing for them as part of their journey.

“Each of you heft a stone to your shoulder, a stone for each of the tribes of the People of Israel, so you’ll have something later to mark the occasion. When your children ask you, ‘What are these stones to you?’ you’ll say, ‘The flow of the Jordan was stopped in front of the Chest of the Covenant of God as it crossed the Jordan—stopped in its tracks. These stones are a permanent memorial for the People of Israel.” Joshua 4:5b-7 (MSG)

Be mindful of what God has done for you in the past, because the truth is, He is doing it today as well!

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Don’t Follow the Recipe

April made the dinner in the photo the other day. She made sweet and sour chicken that I thought was better than most Chinese restaurants’ versions, and I would know. I asked her how she did it and she replied, “I just followed a recipe.” It’s funny though how you can give 12 cooks the same recipe and the final dishes will all taste differently. Most likely due to each individual’s uniqueness.

A few years ago, while attending a church service that featured a semi-famous man of God, I witnessed individuals taking notes, as if they were there to learn the recipe of how to get God to do the same thing in their lives as He had done for them. They failed to realize the man of God was giving his testimony in hopes to boost one’s faith. Knowing that God did something for one can help you believe that God can do something big in your own life.

When one such note-taker tries to implement the same practice in the exact same way but fails to get the same result they can become disgruntled and dissatisfied with God. Attitudes Satan can use to draw an individual away from God.

Keep in mind, that God is extremely creative. He does things in unique ways. Not because He gets bored, but to exhibit just how vast his power and imagination are. He likes to do things in new ways. He may ultimately do for you, what He did for the man of God, but He will do it in a new, fresh way. In a way that is most likely due to each individual’s uniqueness.

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Isa. 43:19a (NIV)

God’s word assures us He likes to do new things.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What’s the Problem?

Life can come at you hard and fast at times.  Bills you can’t pay arrive in the mail.  A routine checkup delivers a death sentence.  Your spouse announces their love for you has run dry.  Yes, these may be the extreme cases of life, but even the everyday life can cause you to gasp for air.  You feel, “If I could only reach the surface, I could breath.”

It is in those moments having a trusted friend helps.  So does having a church to go to where God has prepared a meal for you from his word via your pastor.  There are also an abundance of messages online, or on YouTube.  Listening to someone else’s testimony can encourage your faith, but keep in mind, just because God did something in one person’s life in a particular way does not mean He will do it that way in your life.  The point of a story, or testimony is to help you believe, be convinced, God sees you, knows you, loves you and wants to be active in your life,

Keep this fact in mind; Jesus went to the cross.  He died on that cross.  His body was removed from that cross, so he is no longer suffering to the point of death.  Then, three days after his body was placed in the tomb to rot, to decay, to go away, he overcame the chains of death.  He arose from the dead.  The stone was rolled away and the light of the morning became his “exit” sign.

My point is this: if you believe in Jesus and the power he demonstrated, and you place your trust in him and you believe that he overcame and can empower you, and lead you to be an overcomer then what’s the problem?

It’s not ignoring the issue(s) of life, but placing them in the hands of the One who overcame not only life, but death!  The problem you are currently dealing with does not own you.  It does not define you.  It has no power over you, because if you give it to Jesus, then you will overcome it.  Not only will you look at it in the rearview mirror someday, but you will recount the story of it, to others, to encourage them.  To help them overcome their current situation as well.

“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”  John 16:33 (MSG)

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

For Real?

I came across a YouTube video this morning where Pastor Joel Osteen interviewed Kanye West concerning his testimony of accepting Jesus Christ as God’s Son, and asking forgiveness for his sins.

Being transparent here; I had the thought, “Is this for real, or is Kanye doing this for some other reason?”  I know.  A bad thought, right?  I corrected myself fast.  I don’t know Kanye personally, but God does, and God also knows his heart.

I imagine Saul, who became the Apostle Paul had a similar issue.  Here is this man, who made it his mission, to kill off all those who professed to believe in Jesus now finding himself to be a believer also.  Who would trust him, within an inch of their lives, when he said he’s not going to kill them, but only wanted to tell them about Jesus?  Time proved Paul was for real, and he went on to lead a lot of people to Christ, that is when he wasn’t writing two thirds of the New Testament Bible.

Time will tell us if Kanye is for real as well.  In the meantime, perhaps his large platform will allow him to share the love of God with millions.  Regardless of your own thoughts, or opinions concerning this issue, we should all be praying for Kanye West.

“Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” Ephesians 6:18 (MSG)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.