If God…

c2gpic1If God healed me of one of my issues, there would be no reason to go to the doctor who is treating me for that issue.  The truth is though that doctor is searching for God.  Over the last two years I have developed a safe and trusted relationship with him as I listen to his thoughts, and opinions and he listens to mine.  If God healed me, who would be there to share the gospel with him?  Sure, God could send a new patient, but building that relationship takes time.  Also, would the next patient be open to share God?

If God provided all the money I would ever need, all at one time, would I continue to rely on him to meet my every need?  There was one time I was asking God for money to pay off a credit card and a small loan.  I sensed He asked me, “How much money do you need today?”  I thought about it and said, “Well, actually all the monthly bills have been paid and there is food in the kitchen and gas in the car.”  Then God said, “Then why are you asking me for money today?  I will provide as you have need.”

How you respond, when you need God to move in your life, is a benchmark of your trust in him.

If God showed you your spouse before it was time what do you think would happen?  I tend to think you would contact them and make a mess of things and not wind up together.  Why?  Because it wasn’t time.

If God told you about losing your job in advance, most would put matters in their own hands and go get a new job before it was time.  That sounds like good planning, but it robs you of the opportunity to act on your faith.  The Lord God almighty, might lead you to a better job making even more money than the job you found.

Yes, there are times when God acts on your behalf before you need it, or does tell you what is about to happen before it does, but most of the time He knows it is best to let these things happen to you and then see how you react to them.

Faith isn’t built in a time of need, but displayed.

God can do anything, at any time.  Knowing that is why we need to trust him and his timing.  God loves it when his child, who is walking through a very dark time in their life, reaches over and takes hold of his hand.  There’s no reason to say, “If God…”, but there is every reason to say, “God, I need you.”

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Flight 449

Charlie 020520 (5)Every day, about 4:10 PM, I see a Southwest Airlines jet flying over my house, if I am outside at the time, and if the wind is blowing from the south.  I did some research and found the plane starts in Dallas, TX. as flight #21, flies to Houston, TX. and changes its flight number to #449.  It’s known as a “scheduled” flight.

Schedules are nice.  You can count on them, but life doesn’t follow a schedule.

There can be things you are standing at the gate waiting to arrive and they don’t arrive.  A contract, a bonus check, a meeting with someone you are hoping will lead to new ventures.  Disappointment, discouragement, and disconnection can set in.  “Now what?” you might be asking yourself, or “What am I going to do?”

Even when you are a believer in God, and you have heard all the sermons, and have seen all the Facebook post that tell you, “God’s got this”, or “All things work together for the good of those who love God”, in that moment, it doesn’t feel like it.

Faith in God is hard.  We are such tangible creatures.  We want to see, we want to hear, and we want to touch.  Doing so seems so comforting.  We even have phrases like, “I wouldn’t have believed it, if I hadn’t of seen it with my own eyes.”  It is so easy for us to have doubt, about our lives, our choices, decisions and yes, even about God.

Why is doubt easier to have than faith?

What doubt really does is rob you!  It steals from you joy.  The real issue though, is It diminishes the size of the miracle when God works it all out in your life in a way that is best for you.  Can’t you hear Thomas, the disciple, after reaching his hand inside the opening where the Roman soldier pierced Jesus on the cross, saying, “I knew it was him.  Yep, I believed Jesus when he told us he would rise again after being dead for three days.”  I don’t mean any disrespect to Thomas, but I picture him as Deputy Barney Fife from “The Andy Griffith Show”.  Charlie 020520

You see the truth is this; faith grows, becomes more real, when you have no idea how it’s going to work out, or even when, but you trust God anyway.  You place it in his hands and then force yourself not to take it back a few days later.

Just because at 4:10 PM, if I am outside and looking up, I don’t see flight 449 making its final decent into Tulsa International Airport, doesn’t mean it wasn’t scheduled to fly that day.  It simply means, the wind was blowing out of the north.

Perhaps in your life, the Spirit of God is blowing in a direction you are not aware of.  Trust anyway, because the love of God is always on schedule.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Fat Christians

Charlie 012520Yes, they’re out there.  They do exist.  In fact, I’ve seen them.  They can be difficult to spot, because they live their life without revealing their secret, they’re Christians.

  • A fat Christian is someone who only “hears” the word of God, but never acts on it.

Rick Renner, in his book “Sparkling Gems from the Greek” puts it this way: “But the problem isn’t the Word!  God’s Word was meant to be acted on.  So if you sit and listen to more and more sermons, gathering more and more information but never acting on what you’ve heard, you’ll eventually become so over saturated that you won’t want to hear any more!”

Now that’s a problem.  God says it like this: “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear.”  James 1:22 (MSG)

Anyone, and everyone can say or do something that conveys the messages of God.  A message of love, acceptance, encouragement, forgiveness, help, service, and just being there.  God tells us to go out into the world and share him with others.  If you don’t think you can then ask God to help you see the need, have compassion, and then do what you can or say to meet the need.

A big part of seeing the need is trusting God with your own issues long enough to look out from yourself, to see others.

Let me encourage you to go exercise your faith.  You will find out it doesn’t hurt as bad as exercising your body.  Also, being a follower of Jesus in good shape, is a healthy way to live your life.

Note:  In the photo is Bob Hostetler.  A real man of God who, yes, gave me permission to use the photo.  I will never forget the day he said, after reading some material I had written, which was awful, “Mark, you’re a writer.”  I am so grateful for him.  He’s an author, encourager, and one of the best speakers ever!  His website is: http://www.bobhostetler.com/

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

It’s Just Life

Charlie 222I was facing several issues the other day.  To be honest, they overwhelmed me.  I cried out to God to ask why was this happening, and how am I going to pay for it all?  (My first ungodly belief (UGB) was thinking that I was going to pay for it all.  Everything my wife and I have comes from God, He pays for it all.)  I spoke to a couple of others about it, and they were encouraging, but it still consumed my thoughts.  I got mad, complained, and cried, to no avail, because I felt the same after each one of my flesh’s outburst.

THEN,

I got quiet.  I had asked God for enough money to get through this and upcoming consumers of money issues, but He whispered, “Have I not provided what you have need of today?”  “Yes, Lord.  You have,” I replied.  “Then what’s the problem?” He said.

My thoughts turned to the children of Israel, who were commanded of God to only take enough mana for what they needed that day, except on Saturday’s they collected what they would need for two days.  If they took more than they needed it would spoil.  (Exodus 16:4-26)

If God gave me more, than I needed for today,

would it spoil me?

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.”  Hebrews 11:1-2 The Message (MSG)

Faith can be difficult at times, but for a believer in God, it must remain in tack despite what our eyes see, despite the news, and despite the balance of our bank account.  After all, it’s just life.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What If, “What If,” Never Happens?

Charlie 24WHAT IF’S:  Its sad, but so many live in fear.  What makes it worse is, they don’t think they do.  They deny it.  You talk about being deceived by the devil.  They believe his lies instead of Truth.  They roll play, “Well what if…” this happens, or that happens?  You want to know the truth?  Many times, those “What if’s” never happen!  They only steal your time thinking about them, and worrying about them.  Even worse, living bound up by those fears hurts others, especially those who know the Truth, who know Jesus, who have themselves been set free.  The battle is fear vs faith. Terror vs trust.  Fear and terror may never happen, but faith and trust always does!

You can annihilate the “What if’s” with “God, if’s”

GOD, IF’S:  When something in life comes up, and you don’t know what is going to happen, or how things are going to turn out, instead of worry and fear, instead of “Well, what if?”, you can simply pray, “God, if you will take care of this for me.”  Or, “God, if you will walk with me through this.”

Living like this will calm your mind, calm your spirit man down to where you can walk, and live in peace.  How else would one walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil?  This is how you can sit, and relax enough to eat, at a table, in the presence of your enemies. (Psalms 23)

The battle is in the mind.  You must learn to rethink how you look at things and situations.

Look at things from God’s point of view!

Asking God, will break the chains of fear, and will set you free.  You will feel better, because now, you will breath like you have never drawn a breath before.  You will skip down the sidewalk, because of the joy you now feel.  Because of the Light in your life instead of darkness.  Okay, perhaps you won’t actually skip, but you will want to.

“God, I thank you personally, that we have an alternative we can choose from.  In you, and in your strength, we can flip the environment.  Just knowing we don’t have to live in bondage is liberating in itself.  I love you God, and I know you love me, and everyone, and especially those who have read this battle plan to defeat the devil.  You’re so awesome.  Thanks!”

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

?

20180618_173710BOne of the hardest things about being a child of God, is not knowing.

Not knowing what God is up to.
Not knowing his perfect will for you.
Not understanding why he hasn’t healed yet.
Not understanding why you still struggle with fear and fret.
Not believing you are on the right path.
Not believing he will provide you more cash.
Not seeing how he can help you, by keeping you in your current job.
Not seeing how you can overcome Satan at all.
Not sure you can continue with your family the way it is.
Not sure you are at the right church with all its religious biz.
Not feeling comforted and sure God is there.
Not feeling with all that is hurting you that God even cares.

With all the things you don’t know, understand, believe, see, be sure of and feel,
you must count on faith to get you through, for that is God’s deal.
We read in Heb. 11:1 that faith is confidence in what we hope for,
and assurance about what we do not see.  Know this is God’s core.
There are times we have to close our eyes, hang on to Him and believe.
Trust His ways are higher than ours, and he will get us through, even when we can’t see!
God honours those who live by faith, and He rewards obedience too.
By trusting God, and surrendering to Him, he will always do, what is best for you!

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The Bottom of the Waves

Charlie 790Keep Recognizing Jesus
By Oswald Chambers

The wind really was boisterous and the waves really were high, but Peter didn’t see them at first. He didn’t consider them at all; he simply recognized his Lord, stepped out in recognition of Him, and “walked on the water.” Then he began to take those things around him into account, and instantly, down he went.

Why couldn’t our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves, as well as on top of them?

He could have, yet neither could be done without Peter’s continuing recognition of the Lord Jesus.

We step right out with recognition of God in some things, then self-consideration enters our lives and down we go. If you are truly recognizing your Lord, you have no business being concerned about how and where He engineers your circumstances. The things surrounding you are real, but when you look at them you are immediately overwhelmed, and even unable to recognize Jesus. Then comes His rebuke, “…why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31). Let your actual circumstances be what they may, but keep recognizing Jesus, maintaining complete reliance upon Him.

If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, “Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?” Be reckless immediately— totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything— by casting your all upon Him. You do not know when His voice will come to you, but whenever the realization of God comes, even in the faintest way imaginable, be determined to recklessly abandon yourself, surrendering everything to Him. It is only through abandonment of yourself and your circumstances that you will recognize Him. You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness— being willing to risk your all.

© 2019 My Utmost For His Highest

Looking for Me?

Charlie 67How can we sum this up? All those people who didn’t seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as he straightened out their lives. And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their “God projects” that they didn’t notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into him and went sprawling. Isaiah (again!) gives us the metaphor for pulling this together:

Careful! I’ve put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion,
a stone you can’t get around.
But the stone is me! If you’re looking for me,
you’ll find me on the way, not in the way.  (Rom. 9:33-39)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

“Joseph, call Clarence.”

its timeYes, that quote is from the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  Why am I referencing it?  Well, for the last two weeks I have been working many hours a day to prepare for a major move in my life, and I have witnessed God’s mighty hand all along the way.

For instance, I rented my house in ten minutes.  My fiancé found us an apartment in one hour that met all of our requirements and came in way under budget.  I lost my wallet on a city street and after walking away one and half blocks I realized it.  I hurried back to find it on the ground, undisturbed.  As this adventure with God has begun, I have seen one miracle after another.  I would hear the Holy Spirit whisper who to talk to and when.  I made the right calls at the right time that expedited my needs being met, but my favorite testimony is this:

I was stacking my belongings in my storage unit.  I had a ladder so I could place items all the way up to the ceiling.  I climbed up the ladder with a sofa cushion and was trying to put it in a spot up high.  I couldn’t reach it, so I placed one foot over on a pile of furniture, thinking it was stable.  It wasn’t!  I fell from about six feet up and landed, on my back, on the storage unit’s concrete floor.  The fall scared me.  I laid there expecting pain, blood, a broken bone, something, but there was none of that.  I got up and kept working.  Even the next day I had no pain from the fall.

The funny thing was, when I recounted the incident, it felt as if someone had caught me and laid me on the concrete floor.  If that’s true then I think in heaven the conversation went something like this:

“Excuse me God, but it’s almost that time on earth when Mark is about to make that bone head move in the storage unit,” said Joseph

“Yes, it is isn’t it?” replied God “Whose turn is it to go down there to help one of my children?”

“Clarence sir.”

“Joseph, call Clarence”

Now I don’t know if the angel’s name was Clarence, and I doubt my blunder got him his wings.  But I do know this, living for God, and allowing him to guide, direct and be active in our lives really does make for a wonderful life.  I wouldn’t want to live life any other way.  If you have not accepted God’s gift, Jesus, his son to forgive you of your sins then do it.  Begin right now experiencing what I have learned, and lived for a long time.  And thanks to God I have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Tired of Sand in Your Underwear?

sand“But it’s what I know!  Yes, you’re right.  I don’t like living like this, but…I just don’t know how to change it,” said  the man, asking for a handout.

Because of where my church is located, I see several people who don’t live like I do.  I feel bad for them, as you see them year after year in the same dessert, making another trip around Mt. Sinai.  They remind me of the Children of Israel.  They wanted so bad out of Egypt, but after they were out, they wouldn’t let go of Egypt.  Most found their new life required them to trust God daily for their needs.  Believe it or not they wanted to go back and live and die in Egypt.

The Israelites said, “Why didn’t GOD let us die in comfort in Egypt where we had lamb stew and all the bread we could eat? You’ve brought us out into this wilderness to starve us to death, the whole company of Israel!”  (Exo 16:3 MSG)

The children of Isreal would have rather lived in slavery then in freedom in the land flowing with milk and honey that God promised was theirs.  The effort to take the land proved to be too daunting, so they lived in sand.  I see some people choosing to live the same way today!

I find sand to be irritating.  It’s gets into everything and everywhere!  When I got tired of sand in my underwear, I decided it was time to trust God and go to a new place, a new level in him to walk and live.  I have been learning how to defeat the giants in the land, and when you put your trust 100% in him you find it doesn’t require that much of you.  God simply wants to be trusted.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved