What To Do

A whole lot is going on these days in our world, in America, and most likely in your private lives. It would be easy for one to look at others and focus on what they are saying or doing. One may be invading a country another maybe ignoring that a lot of Americans are financially struggling, and a lot of people are more concerned about their own selfish rights than the life of a child who can’t yet protest their opinion of wanting to live.

I can just see the devil having a hay day laughing while so many people are running around screaming trying to get their view heard. He is behind these evil things, unjust actions, and selfish rights.

Instead of joining those trying to be heard I implore you to keep your eyes on Jesus! To keep a good, strong, and tight connection to the vine. Continue to bear, produce much fruit, the fresh fruit of God.

Psalm 1   The Message

How well God must like you—
    you don’t walk in the ruts of those blind-as-bats,
    you don’t stand with the good-for-nothings,
    you don’t take your seat among the know-it-alls.

2-3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
    you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
    bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
    always in blossom.

4-5 You’re not at all like the wicked,
    who are mere windblown dust—
Without defense in court,
    unfit company for innocent people.

God charts the road you take.
The road they take leads to nowhere.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

There’s No Other Way!

It happened before I knew it. Facing a trying time, where facts were present regardless of having an understanding as to why, was very difficult for me. When you have to do another withdraw from your savings when in your mind you keep saying, “But, God, I know for sure we heard you!” I don’t understand why this venture has cost us financially, when it should have grown our finances.

By Saturday, while sitting in front of a warm fire, I realized I had not read from my current devotional, “Jesus Calling” all week. I went to get it. Ironically? No, but smacking me in the face was the overall theme for the week was, regardless of the circumstances, keep trusting me, and obeying also.

I needed to read that message every single day of this past week, but I wasn’t. Funny how quickly we take ownership of our situations in our minds. Then what’s odd is we seem to allow those situations to take ownership of us.

There are SO many good stanzas in this old hymn. Words that need to be taken to heart, and lived by.

“Father, I repent for taking my eyes off of you this past week. Please forgive me. I know and believe, that you are sovereign and you do know what you are doing in my life. I gave it to you. Help me not to take it back again. Thank you, God. Amen.”

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Recovery

I have a friend who got severely injured at the end of last year. Satan most likely tried to take her out! Why? Because he attacks those who do what they see their heavenly Father do. Like he took out Jesus, who always said, “I only do as I see my Father in heaven do.” (John 5:19) Satan doesn’t need to bother, or attack those who are content just “going to church”!

I was praying for my friend’s recovery the other day, and the thought came to me, “Perhaps there are other types of recovery?”

  • The recovery of lost items.
  • The recovery of forgotten things.
  • The recovery of time to do the things that got laid aside in the past.
  • The recovery of an old friendship.

I’m sure there could be many more. Healing is a funny thing. I know, and believe God can heal instantly, but there are times He chooses not to. God always knows what He is doing, and what He wants to accomplish in our lives. That’s why trusting him is so important! Maybe He wants us to slow down, or perhaps know what it is to ultimately trust him on a minute by minute basis? To taste and see that He is God, and blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. (Psalms 34:8)

It would be a good practice to ask God what is his desire for us while we are “recovering”? You may just see a side of your loving, heavenly Father that you have never been able to before. You most likely still won’t like what has happened to you, but you will know when you get to the other side of it, you will be better off.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Know Him

If you find yourself deciding to trust God, then you must also trust in all of his nature.  Going all classic Amplified Bible on ya; knowing, being confident, non-wavering, on the very issue that God runs the universe and nothing happens that He doesn’t make or at the very least, allow!

Who could confront me and get by with it?
    I’m in charge of all this—I run this universe!

Job 41:11 (MSG)

One who is trust worthy demonstrates certain qualities. They are:

Integrity, Sincerity, Reliability, Consistency, Commitment, Competent

The list above are not qualities of God, but part of his very nature! This is just simply who He is! When you get to know him, by talking to him in prayer, and reading his word, the Holy Bible, his nature is revealed to you. Just as important is knowing that God doesn’t ever change who He is due to what is happening around us, but forever the same.

For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself.

Heb. 13:8 (MSG)

Keep in mind, Jesus repeated often, in the gospels, that he does what He sees his heavenly Father do, therefore we can know that God doesn’t change either! Spending time with someone is the best way to get to KNOW THEM. So I challenge to do just that.  Spend time with God, and perhaps his nature will rub off on you. Umm, not such a bad idea.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Until a Person Finds God

My eye doctor informed me that my eyes will never get better, or go back to the way they were before the disease set in them.  He said, “All we can do is maintain them so you can continue to see.” I said, “So the only chance I have then is if God heals me.”  He didn’t say anything.  I continued, “I know God can do it, and I ask him to and thank him for the healing often.”  Still nothing from him.  Then I had the bright idea to ask, “What would you do if God did heal me and I came in with perfect vision?”  He thought, for an awkward amount of time and then stammered.  I said, “You would be speechless like you are now.”  Then he said something I will never forget.  He said, “Well, I know one thing, I would not contribute the reverse in your condition to God healing you!”  After he stepped out of the exam room I said, “Okay God, the stage has been set!”

I do realize it can be difficult for highly educated individuals, doctors, scientist, etc. to get out of their “natural mind”, and think on a “spiritual” level.  The issue is compounded if they struggle to believe in a God they can’t see. They would rather make something up, even if its not true then believe in God. For example; scientist have done that with the subject of evolution. God explains the issue like this:

Someone living on an entirely human level rejects the revelations of God’s Spirit, for they make no sense to him. He can’t understand the revelations of the Spirit because they are only discovered by the illumination of the Spirit. 1 Cor. 2:14 (TPT)

The ironic thing is this; when my eyes are healed the eye doctor will see God’s work done by his hand, which could be thought of as “seeing God”.

A co-worker of mine, many years ago, was trying to see if God was real.  He went on a trip to the Grand Canyon, saw his handiwork and immediately accepted him into his life. Regardless if people know it, or ever admit it, they are seeking God their whole life until they find Him. One’s spirit man desires and seeks to be reunited with the Spirit of God once they have sinned and separation sets in.

Please take my word for it, accept God is real, and that He loves you so much. For He is always there waiting for you to look up and see him and take his hand.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Were You There?

“There has to be aliens, or other beings on the other planets!  Why else would they be there?”  I thought for a second, and fortunately the Holy Spirit whispered in my soul, “How do you know that the other planets aren’t just weights and balances that keep earth in its place? Like a machine that fills the universe?” My co-worker pondered what I was told to say.  Then she yielded, “I don’t know.” The debate ended.

In that exchange I was mindful of when God questioned Job.  He said to him,

“Where were you when I created the earth?
    Tell me, since you know so much!
Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that!
    Who came up with the blueprints and measurements?
How was its foundation poured,
    and who set the cornerstone,
While the morning stars sang in chorus
    and all the angels shouted praise?

“And have you ever ordered Morning, ‘Get up!’
    told Dawn, ‘Get to work!’
So you could seize Earth like a blanket
    and shake out the wicked like cockroaches?
As the sun brings everything to light,
    brings out all the colors and shapes,
The cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked—
    they’re caught in the very act! Job 38:4-7, 12-15(MSG)

You see man, who can’t fathom an all-powerful being has to make up his own explanation as to how things came about.  Some have said there was a big bang!  I simply ask, “If that is so, and it isn’t, then who lit the fuse?”  I don’t have a “big bang” theory, I have knowledge of a big God! No man was there when God created the heavens and earth.  No one but God decided how big, or how little things should be.  He, and He alone put all things in order.  He has told us so in his word, the Bible. I believe in God, and therefore what He says! Even Charles Darwin doubted his own theory!  Read chapters 6 and 9 in his book, “The Origins of Species”.

So as the New Year approaches, I challenge you to start thinking new.  Your old way probably, if you would admit it, isn’t working for you.  When you are alone, and lying in bed trying to go to sleep, your mind questions your own theories.  You spot holes in what you hope is truth.  Read God’s word.  There, you will learn everything about life that you absolutely need to know for now.  Everything else will be revealed when we die, so don’t waste your time now writing your own theories.  Believe in God. And trust in him.  He’s got this!

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Big Chicken Day!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, or as April calls it, “Big Chicken Day!”  Being thankful should come easy, but this year I had to think a moment.  Yes, I have survived any sickness from Covid, and those around me that got it have come through okay.  April and I were finally reunited earlier this year, that was awesome!  And I got medical attention before having serious issues.  So yes, I did have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  I forgot, God consistently provides for our financial needs and helps us bless others as well.

It bothers me that it took a bit of time to remember.  Those were big moments worthy of a big chicken to celebrate God’s faithfulness to me, his child, and his servant.  Why is it easier for me to only focus on the current irritants of life?  I don’t like it!

Recalling what God has done for us in the past helps our faith grow, which can help us with what we are currently going through.  The verse below is very popular, but here is a fresh spin on it.  It should help us remember how great God is; all the time:

The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always.
He provides me rest in rich, green fields
    beside streams of refreshing water.
    He soothes my fears;
He makes me whole again,
    steering me off worn, hard paths
    to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.

Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,
    I am not overcome by fear.
Because You are with me in those dark moments,
    near with Your protection and guidance,
    I am comforted.

You spread out a table before me,
    provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies;
You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil,
    filling my cup again and again with Your grace.
Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me
    where I go, always, everywhere.
I will always be with the Eternal,
    in Your house forever.

Psalms 23 (The Voice)

So thank you God, for all, and for everything, on this day, but especially on Big Chicken day!

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

When Contentment Rules

His eyes take it all in.  He sees and hears things that he does not know what they are, but he is okay.  Why is he okay, even though he doesn’t understand?  Because he looks at his mother and father and observes how they are reacting to those things.  He remains calm, because they remain calm. He is content.

This child is one year old.  He is adorable.  He can be in the company of adults and yet his personality does not distract from what the adults are doing.  Of course he has needs, like hunger, but somehow he doesn’t have to tell his parents he is hungry, they know and they feed him.  He knows his every need will be met. He trusts them, so he doesn’t have to cry out to make his needs known.

As I witnessed this child, and the above thoughts went through my head, I started comparing my own contentment to this child’s.  It wasn’t long before I realized what the child was doing that made him an expert in contentment.

The child focused on his mother and father.

When we are in situations we do not know what is happening or why, we need to keep our focus on our heavenly Father.  We need to watch and see how He is reacting to the news, the weather, our boss, and our family members, to anything that personally affects us.  Is God running around like a chicken with its head cut off screaming, “Now what?” or is God remaining calm therefore we can remain calm?

The child didn’t have to cry out in order to get his “needs” met.

God knows what we have need of.  “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Mat.6:8 (NIV)   It’s about knowing God and trusting him.

True contentment brings peace.  This kind of contentment allows you to sleep, and experience true rest. A calmness that, at times, can’t be explained.  Others will be in amazed when they see it.  That is what it is like when contentment rules.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

You Have a Friend in Me

friend

  1. a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

So what’s your definition of a friend?  A true friend is difficult to find.  And when you think you have found one, it can take more time to know if you can completely trust them.  Do you have such a friend?

The Bible talks about, “Confess your sins one to another.” (James 5:16)  After becoming aware of this scripture I first thought, “No way!”  And for many years I didn’t.  How in the world could you trust someone with the darkest side of you?  Here is a good test to see if you can trust a friend with something you did wrong.  You tell them something, that if it got out would be embarrassing, but not career ending.  Then, you can feel safe confessing your sins.

I have such a friend.  It took a few years of getting to know him before I knew I could trust him with anything.  I have told him things I have not spoken of to any other living person.  He has shared likewise.  I value my friendship with him very much.  We talk to each other every week.  As well, we pray, intercede, and there are times when one of us has to correct the other’s attitude toward another person or situation.  I thank God for him, for he is a sure gift from God.

The great philosopher Woody, from the movie “Toy Story” put it like this:

You’ve got troubles, and I’ve got ’em, too
There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you
We stick together and we see it through
‘Cause you’ve got a friend in me

I hope you have such a friend.  If not I pray you would find one, and if you don’t, you should ask God to help you find one.  You will be glad you did.  I should also add, if someone opens up their heart, and confesses a sin in their life to you, please do not speak of it to anyone else.  The damage you could cause may take years to heal in them, if they ever do.

Like my trusted friend once said, after revealing a sin in his life, “Wow, I feel so much better, and lighter after sharing that with you.”  That is something you can’t put a price tag on.  It’s priceless!

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Being Pursued

I asked my wife, April the other day if she felt guilty for living in America now, knowing the rest of her family and friends were still in the Philippines.  I think I would, at least a little.  But her immediate reply was profound, and full of wisdom.  She said, “No.  Not at all.  For God has bestowed upon me “favor” for all of my sacrifices.”  Her response surprised me, and after more pondering I realized it was true, and balanced.

Is this the realization of the verse in Psalms 23, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”?

My friend and I were discussing this issue, and he mentioned hearing a message where the minister talked about “favor” pursuing you.  Hunting you down, if you will.  I take that as meaning this; blessings coming your way and upon your life before you even ask God for help or even perhaps before you are aware you have a need.

So how does one enter a life of being pursued?  By fully, completely placing all of your trust and faith in God.  Walking and communicating with God on a daily basis.  Doing your best to live according to his commands.  By the way, those commands don’t exist to “harsh your mellow”, but to actually give you a good life free from hurt, pain, and harm.

In the last month my wife and I have had some blessings come our way and they were unexpected.  We weren’t looking for them, but they found us.  We appreciate it a lot and are thankful we have favor with God.  He loves his children and wants to do good things for He is a loving father.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.