God, My Enemy?

Have you ever heard someone blame God for their troubles?  Or insurance companies label calamities as an “Act of God”?  I have.  Job, from the Bible, he certainly did.  In fact, he went so far as to accuse God as his enemy.  (Job 16:9)  I have also heard people say this, “When I get out of the hospital I am going to start living for God.”  Yeah, as you might have guessed, months later they are still living life in the same manner before they went into the hospital.

I was cleaning a stain from the ottoman we recently picked up with a chair for our new “Conference Room” where we go to meet with God.  I looked at the can of “stain remover” and couldn’t help thinking about God removing stains from our own lives.  The foam that comes oozing out of the can is white, and because Jesus died for our stains, our sins, he makes us white as snow.

Though your sins have stained you like the color red,
you can become white like snow;
though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet,
you can become white like wool. Isaiah 1:18

Did you notice who makes the stain remover?  “Woolite”.  Did you also see the brush on the end of the can?  Even after our sins are forgiven when we accept Jesus and ask for that forgiveness there can be consequences of wrong doing in our life.  And sometimes it takes a lot of work, or “scrubbing” for those results to be removed.  It can take time and commitment to clean up the mess we have previously made with our lives.  Max Lucado once wrote,

“My mess, is His message.”

I also liked on the can where it said, “Triple Action”.  As you know the Trinity is made of God the Father, Jesus, God’s son, and the Holy Spirit.  All three work together to bring us to the saving grace of God.  I am so thankful to know that when I make mistakes I can be forgiven.  Being clean, free from sin, is a good feeling. God is not our enemy, but our friend and loving father.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The April Effect

As most of my regular readers know, my wife April is now here with me in America as her immigration visa finally arrived.  In the past three weeks, she has been here, not only have I introduced her to life in America, and our foods, but also our conveniences.  It has been an enjoyable experience for me.

One such highlight was when we went through an automatic car wash.  You have thought we were at Disneyland and it was a ride.  Like “Mr. Toad’s Moving Lilly Pad”, or something.  She smiled, she laughed, and squealed through each phase of the process.  Evidently they don’t have them in the Philippines, or she had never seen one before.

But an even greater experience, for me at least, has been watching how my friends, and family members have reacted to her.  I have taken notice how easily they open up, and start sharing with her.  They warm up to her quickly and seem to feel comfortable around her, as if she was their “comfy” clothes they wear when at home.  One friend even said to her, “I feel as if I have known you all my life!”  Of course I smile with adoration when I witness this phenomenon.

Yesterday though I started thinking more about why this was the case.  It didn’t take long for me to figure out.  Okay, to be honest, I probably got a download from the Holy Spirit whispered into my mind.  God, is love. (1 John 4:8)  And my wife, April is a child of God.  She loves him very much and has taken on his character of loving people.  So whether people realize it or not they are responding, or reacting to the love of God in my wife’s heart.

I believe with strong passion that from the time a baby is born, the spirit man inside that child starts on a journey to be reunited with God.  So when a person enters their world, the spirit inside of them recognizes the Spirit of God inside the person who just entered, and they connect with the person easily.

This “effect” begs the question, shouldn’t all, who have a good relationship with God, seek and desire more of him and his love?  So when we are out and about in the world people will open up to us sooner, and easier and begin to have serious conversations that can eventually lead to God and potentially lead them to God?  Of course, the answer is, “Yes”.  What hinders this to happen is us.  We get in the way of God with our “rights” and our own “understanding” and “values”.  Ones that should be disregarded perhaps, or lined up to confirm to God’s “values”, and truths.

“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you,but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” Rom. 12:2 (TPT)

So, in conclusion, “The April Effect” isn’t really her, but what is happening when people encounter her is “The God Effect”.  May we all grow, in our hearts, an enormous amount of the love of God that it effects people.  It moves them closer to him then where they were before we entered their world.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

He Did it For Me

My father came from a large family.  At an early age he learned how to catch fish, and not just go fishing.  He realized he was helping to put food on the table for his family, but he also discovered how much he enjoyed it.  He became a good fisherman.

When I got old enough to go with him he started teaching me.  One of my father’s favorite places to fish was on a creek.  You wade in the water from fishing hole to the next fishing hole.  Along the way nature is all around you, including the occasional snake.  I watched as my father remained calm and deal with them, so though I learned which ones were poisonous I also learned how to stay safe.  I respect snakes, but I do not have a fear of them.  Now, I come across a tiny spider in the house, I’m squealing like a school girl and yelling for my wife to come kill it!

One night, while we were in the creek catching our bait I said, “Dad, I’ve got a snake up against my left leg.”  “Okay, I’ll be there in a minute,” he replied as he continued picking up crawdads.  He moved in behind me and grabbed the snake by the tale and gave it a good toss.  It was not poisonous and the ones that were, he killed.  My father was my hero, my deliverer.

Several years later, we were on the creek, and dad was in some deep water when a snake came at him.  He tried like crazy to push the snake away with his fishing pole, but the snake kept coming and getting closer.  Dad started screaming while I remained safe on the bank laughing.  After he got the snake to go away from him he expressed his displeasure of my reaction to, according to him, “his close call with death”.  (The snake was not even poisonous.)

“Dad, why are you so angry?  You’re not afraid of snakes,” I said.
“Are you kidding me?  I hate those things.  I am horribly afraid of them!” he replied.
All those years I had no idea.  My father faced one of his greatest fears.  He did that for me.

God, my Heavenly Father, doesn’t fear anything at all, but He too had to do something He didn’t want to.  He allowed his only son, Jesus die on a cross to take on the sins of all of humanity.  It grieved him, and in the final hour, because God is Holy and cannot even look at sin, had to turn away from his son while he was dying a horrible death.  He did it for me, but He also did for you.  That’s how much God loves us.  Here it is, in its simplest form:

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.  John 3:16-18 (MSG)

God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are my heroes, my deliverers.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The Yolk, The White, The Shell

A lot of people recognize God.  Some will acknowledge Jesus as God’s son.  Few though, it seems, mention the third member of the trinity, the Holy Spirit.  I am so thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.  For it was He who drew me to God in the first place.  It was He who convicted me of sin.  Though I was only 7 years old, I knew right from wrong, and my pastor preached with God’s authority, that being wrong was sin, and that sin lead to eternal death in hell.

I am thankful, for now I will not be lost forever in the pitch darkness of eternal damnation, alone, and with the feeling of falling forever.  For the pit of hell is bottomless.  Mankind needs two things to feel human, time, and gravity.  Time provides a schedule, a rhythm to life, and gravity helps us feel grounded.  In hell neither exist.

Many years ago, I spent a few hours in jail.  Shocked? Yeah, well, whatever. It happened. Anyway, I noticed there were no clocks, and I didn’t like not knowing what time it was.  The only way to know was by what food items they served us.  Pancakes; must be morning.  Bologna sandwich and chips; has to be afternoon.  Chicken; it’s got to be evening now.

The Holy Spirit also provides great comfort in the times when I don’t understand what is going on with life, or when my heart is breaking for one reason or another. He may not calm the storm, but He calms me down, and helps me know I will get through it.

More than leading me to Jesus, which accepting his work on the cross grants me access to the throne room of God, the Holy Spirit gives me power.  Like Jesus promised us in Acts 1:8. The power I need to speak, and minister to someone in need.  Honestly, many times I wouldn’t have a clue what to say, but I rely on the Holy Spirit.  I open my heart to be willing, and then I open my mouth and God’s words come out.  I know it is God, through the Holy Spirit, because I am usually just as amazed as the one I am speaking to at the wisdom, or love of the words spoken.

But I promise you this—the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with power. And you will be my messengers to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces—even to the remotest places on earth!”  Acts 1:8 (TPT)

Every person who believes in God should ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  It is a separate event from salvation and water baptism.  For the scriptures say that when Jesus came up out of the water, meaning after his baptism, then the Holy Spirit lit upon him.  It was the work of the Holy Spirit that empowered Jesus to endure the cross.  In his own human strength it was more than He could bear.

Just like there are three parts to an egg, the yolk, the white, and the shell, it is still only one egg.  So there is Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God, but there is still only one God.  The three are one, and I will be forever grateful for all three, and the work they have done in my one life. If you choose not to believe in the trinity of God, you may find yourself someday with egg on your face.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

To Know

Charlie 219To know unconditional love;
is to know God.
To know real forgiveness;
is to know Jesus.
To know perfect direction;
is to know the Holy Spirit.

To know pure laughter;
is to know true friends.
To know great joy;
is to know a child.
To know time;
is to know an elderly person.

To know gratitude;
is to feed the hungry.
To know security;
is to clothe the naked.
To know health;
is to visit the sick.

To know peace;
is to know contentment.
To know lasting hope;
is to know faith.
To know wisdom;
is to know the Word of God.

If Jesus Put Out a Flyer

Jesus’ Return

Heaven

When

 

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Mat. 24:14 (NIV)

 

Where

 

The whole wide world

All Ages

Event

Advance Decision Required

Entrance fee paid for by Jesus Christ if you accepted him, and asked for forgiveness of your wrong doing.

At the Door

You will have to pay with your life!

 

Sponsors

God
Jesus Christ
The Holy Spirit

 

Benefiting

For all have sinned and have fall short of the Glory of God.  Romans 3:23

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Because it Just Feels Right

I had just finished heating up water for my wife’s instant coffee when I sensed the presence of God about me.  The sun was shining bright through the kitchen window, and my focus was drawn to the rising steam .  I still can’t tell you why, but I grabbed my phone and took the following picture.

When I looked at the photo on my PC, it was then I saw what looked like a dove descending.  One of my favorite things in life, is knowing I am in the presence of God.  Why?  Because it just feels right!

66352123_2288802141155791_8350093430528933888_n

 

John 1:32 New International Version (NIV)

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The Valley, the Bridge, and the Other Side

Charlie 126A long, long time ago, there was a beautiful place where a man, and woman lived in peace.  It was like they lived in a garden.  They tended to its needs, but it wasn’t work.  One of their task was to name things, since they were the first residents of this wonderful place.  They enjoyed it and looked forward to Mondays, their first day back to work, after a day of rest.  They would walk and talk to each other, and at certain times of the day they had the privilege of getting to spend time with the Creator of their home.  They loved those moments, and sought out to be in the Creator’s presence.  Life was good.

Then one day, the woman was walking around by herself when an uninvited guest showed up.  He was tall, and had a slender build.  His approach to the woman was stealth like.  His appearance was like a morning star.  She was intrigued from the first moment she laid eyes on him.  Then, when he opened his mouth and spoke, she was captivated by his apparent wisdom.

His words were convincing.  “The Creator doesn’t mean you will actually die if you make a choice to do what you want to do.  I mean, after all, it’s your life.  Don’t you have the right to do what you want?  I do what I want, and I haven’t died.”

The woman thought about it, and even though it felt wrong, to disobey the Creator, she took what she lusted for.  She stole, what wasn’t hers, and ate it.  In that moment the earth quaked, but appeared to be okay.  Now the uninvited guest had seduced her into working for him.  “Why don’t you take one to your husband?  I’m sure he will want to taste the sweetness of knowing good and evil.”

She did as she was told.  At first, he was shocked to learn of her actions.  “Woman!  What have you done?”  He turned away, and wouldn’t look at her.  She, now having knowledge of her nakedness, used her body, to entice him in thinking about joining her, and to take a bite from the delicious looking fruit.

She said, “Having knowledge is good, I feel powerful.”

He was interested and soon opened up his eyes, that moments before had been shut tight.  He took a bite and while he was saying, “You’re right.  This is good, and wow, you look good also,” their homeland shook very hard and they fell.  They got scared and hid.  They didn’t know then the consequences of their selfish actions.  The uninvited guest wasn’t too far away, laughing.

#

It didn’t take them long to learn why the earth shook so violently the previous day.  As they were walking around the next morning, they came to the edge of a deep, and wide valley.  They knew it was not there the day before.

“So this is why the earth was trembling yesterday,” said the man.

They could not see the bottom of the valley, and rising out of it was hot, sulfur smelling air.

It was difficult, but they could see the other side of the valley.  As they were checking it out, they both spotted who they believed to be the Creator, but wasn’t positive.  They could hear a sound that might have been a voice calling out to them, but was unable know for sure.  They looked to their left, and to their right, hoping to see a bridge.  None.  They saw no way to cross the valley.  It was too deep for them to climb down, and besides the heat rising was almost unbearable.  It was then, the realization of the situation hit them; they were separated from the Creator.  Grief set in.

They walked around for days, trying to figure out how this happened.  They missed the Creator.  They missed his presence.  They missed his love, his encouragement, and his humor too.  The man and the woman started retracing the events that led up to the earth rumbling, shaking, and to the days before the valley appeared.

The woman, with sadness on her face, looked at the man, and said, “Everything was fine until the day I disobeyed the Creator, and ate the fruit, of the tree of good and evil.”

“You’re right!  Ah!  How could we not have realized that?”  Asked the man.  Then sadness set in for they now knew what their actions had done.

Over the next few years, they tried to build their own bridge to get to the other side.  To once again be reunited, with the Creator, but all of their efforts failed.  Even their attempt to be good and never eat of that tree again was not enough to make the valley go away.  They concentrated on their efforts to reach the Creator so much, their garden, turned into a jungle.  It became chaos and a mess, so they left with only their memories of what once was.  Their relationship too became over grown with hurts, accusations, and resentment.

“How could have disobeyed the Creator?” Asked the man.

“Where were you?  How come you weren’t there to protect me?” Asked the woman.

The man and the woman accepted this was their new life.  The uninvited guest was so happy.

#

As time went on, the population grew, many tried their own way to build a bridge to reach the other side.  Some found it impossible to believe that there ever was a Creator.  They had never seen him, so they thought the story of him was made up.  A story made up to control their behavior.  All they cared about was living how they wanted.  Many, so called, “experts”, thought their way to believe was best.  Each one found people to join their group, and follow them.  Soon, there were many different groups one could join.  Most decided on a group because it lined up with how they wanted to live.

On the other side, the Creator could see, and he could hear the pain the people were in.  He never wanted this for them.  He gave them a beautiful place to live.  He too, in the beginning, enjoyed walking and talking to the people he made.  Oh, how he wished they had not disobeyed him in the first place.  When he made them he gave them free will, so it would be their choice to join his group and follow him.  After all, he only gave them two commandments, and they violated one of them, causing the great valley between them.  He had seen enough.

“Son, I know you are aware of what is taking place on the other side.  The people are living their lives as they want.  They are hurting each other.  There is so much pain, and so many tears.  They need hope,” said the Creator.

“Yes, Father.  I have seen, and I have heard their cries.”

“You know what has to be done don’t you?”  Asked the Creator.

“Yes, I do.  I was wondering when you were going to bring up the subject,” said the Son.  “I will do it.  I’ll be obedient to you, I’ll be the sacrifice for them, and I’ll be the one to defeat sin, and death.”

“You are willing to lay down your life, to be a bridge, so that we can once again be together?”  Asked the Creator.

“Yes, for there is no other way,” said the Son.

“Okay.  I’ll make all the necessary arrangements.”

#

The Creator did, he sent his Son to the other side, but in a form, those who believed, never imagined, as a baby.  His Son was looked after and taken care of, and when it was time, he revealed who he was, and why he came to the other side.  Many found it hard to believe, because they had not heard from the Creator in so many years.  The Son said he was going to build a bridge in three days that would span the valley.  Most did not believe his truth either.  Their natural minds could not accept the plan, because they compared it to their reality.  No one had even come close to reaching the other side.

Three years the Son walked around sharing the plan.  He also did many signs and wonders and that convinced some, because it reminded them of the stories they had been told of the Creator.  Others, from the powerful groups, who had the most to lose, if he was right, hated him, and wanted his message to go away, but the only way they could figure out how to do that was to make him go away.  They plotted, and came up with lies about him, and got the people to hear their words, and believe them.  They had their support, so they took the Son to court, and the courts knew it was not right, but was afraid of the people, and gave them what they wanted.

They killed the Son, but on the third day, after he had died, they got up and found a bridge that spanned the valley.  Yes, the Son had kept his word.  He built a bridge with wood and nails, and with the power of the Creator’s Spirit,.  Now anyone, who accepts the Son, is from the Creator, can walk across the bridge over the valley, and once again, be united with God, the Creator of it all.

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.

As It Is In Heaven

Charlie 232

(representation of an evil spirit only)

This one was bad.  You don’t want the little ones, but you definitely don’t want one of these.  It probably registered an 8.7 on the wrecking scale.  What God had spent 25 years in the making was about to end in 25 minutes.

Loud, explosive words of hurt and hate spewing from the mouths of Mr. Proud, and Mrs. Stubborn!  Satan, no doubt, was in the shadows of darkness cheering with every foul, and fateful word spewed.  He probably was ringing his hands, anticipating, the final blow that would end it all.  He must have been pleased with his demolition plans, for he loves to kill, steal, and destroy.

Fast forward to today.  The couple is still together, and in fact, their love is stronger than ever.  How did they do it?  They didn’t, Love did.  God, knowing their darkest hour had arrived, hearing their invitation for his help, must have dispatched an army of angels to defeat his enemy, and theirs.  The couple didn’t know how to stop the eruption of anger and fear, but they knew how to pray, or in this case, scream, out of desperation.  What they may not have known, is they were fighting forces unseen.

“In conclusion be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armour so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organizations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil.” (Eph. 6:10-12 PHILLIPS)

Everywhere people live, there are ruling spirits doing the work of the devil.  One such spirit, here in the Philippines, is the spirit of control.  It seems to be more prevalent in women, but it is certainly seen in men as well.  The way to defeat this spirit is with God’s help, but also by repenting of this spirit in your own life.  I have to on a regular basis.  One should stop fighting people, especially those they love, and ask God what evil, ruling, spirits are over their land?  Once you know, claim your authority, you have in Jesus, and speak to the ruling spirits and tell them, in the name of Jesus Christ, to flee.  Then watch how the people around you will change, and live in peace.  “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.