Everything I Always Wanted

26 12 2009

This Christmas season has been a tremendous blessing to me. In many ways it has been the best Christmas I have ever had. It is definitely one that will not be forgotten.

A few weeks ago our pastor made a comment that has stuck with me. He said “This is going to be the best Christmas ever.” Then he clarified his statement by adding, “Are you going to choose to be a part of it?”

The quality of the experiences in our life are tied directly to our decision to enjoy those experiences. We can choose to look for the good in everything and walk away with the good or we can settle for the unpleasant.

I woke up this morning reflecting on the last couple of days. Soaking up the wonderful memories we have had. Then I had a couple of revelations. First, this has truly been the best Christmas ever. Second, that I have everything I always wanted.

Men tend to focus on being successful, achieving great things, and being admired by others for their abilities. That’s why most people do what they do. They are climbing a corporate ladder, chasing a dream, or trying to prove to the world that they are somebody.

Well, this morning I woke up with the realization that I have all this and more and have had for some time.

I want to be successful in life. I am. I have three wonderful children who are growing up very successfully.

I want to be admired and looked up to. I am. My kids think I am the greatest and I have the t-shirt to prove it. Well, it’s really a cap that says #1 Dad on it.

I want to achieve great things. I am. I never believed I would have such a wonderful family filled with such love.

Is everything perfect? No. Do my kids fight? Everyday. But, I have learned not to expect perfection. It does not exist in this life.

I have everything I always wanted right here in my own house. It seems I have been receiving it year after year.

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If you would like to use this article on your website, blog, or in another form you may do so as long as you include the text below:

Everything I Always Wanted
By: Raymond Brady

Article Source: www.BuildYourHouseOnTheRock.org





What Are Your Default Settings?

6 05 2009

Default SettingsEvery electronic device that is made has default settings that are stored into it’s memory. Theses are usually set from the factory and can be changed by the user. If you use Microsoft Windows your system has default settings that were set by Microsoft when Windows was originally installed. There are tons of settings so I will not try and name them all here.

One of them is your desktop background. This is usually set to an image when you first turn on your new machine. Most of us change it to something that is more personal like a picture of our family, dog, or pet bird. You can change the default sounds, colors, and a host of other settings as well.

You were also created with some default settings. Our very first default settings were love, peace, happiness, and a close relationship with our creator. These default settings were changed in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve. These new settings have been passed down and installed into each person at birth ever since.

These new settings took effect immediately and God calls these new settings sin. Why didn’t He call them stink, fluff, or some other word? I do not know. We are told that these new default settings are bad for us and will harm us.

Gone is the beautiful desktop image of our creator that was in our heart from the beginning. It has now been replaced with condemnation and our new image of God is a tyrannical taskmaster who is hunting us down to destroy us. The default sounds of peace that once sounded in our ears have been reset with sounds of anger, violence, and hatred. Our hearts and minds have been re-formatted with these ‘sin settings’ which keep us away from enjoying the beautiful default settings of God.

Each day that you live these images, thoughts, and sounds control your life. Like most people you struggle with changing these settings to something better. It seems that you cannot get away from them.

However, God did make a way for you and I to have our default settings put back into place. It’s not with the click of a mouse button or by reading a hard-to-understand book of instructions. These default settings can be restored by simply allowing our creator to re-install the original set of instructions himself. We can’t do it because we lost the original set of instructions in the garden. We now look to the Cross of Christ for this new set of instructions.

The Author of Life Himself will re-write the master set of instructions into your heart and by doing this He can make you a new creation. Will you ever be perfect? Not in this life, but if you trust in our creator you will one day become perfect just as He is perfect. Just like when a computer has been restored to it’s original state, so will you operate with these new default settings.

Operating in this life with the Word of Life inside of you is a wonderful, beautiful place.





Let Me Grow – Re-Published

4 04 2009

I wrote this article in February of 2007. I was reading it again today and it brought tears to my eyes again just as it did the day I wrote it. I was not mearly writing this article from my own intellect but I know God was speaking directly to me the day I wrote this. I decided to re-publish it again in hopes that it will bless someone else.

Read the rest of this entry »





How to Plow in the Cold Weather

13 03 2009

To start this out I am going to reference Proverbs 20:4 in two different translations. Each brings it’s own unique view on this scripture.

The Message:

A farmer too lazy to plant in the spring has nothing to harvest in the fall.

King James:

The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

I grew up working on a farm during the summer and I wasn’t around the farm during the spring planting season. There was one time that I do remember helping my Grandpa plow up his garden so he could plant. I really don’t remember the exact time of year, but I do remember the lesson he taught me.

We had all the modern equipment that any farm had during the early 80’s: Tractors, combines, etc. and we used these all the time. But, there was an old antique plow that had been on the farm for ages. It had metal wheels and a seat in the very back. It was designed to be pulled by horses, mules, oxen, or whatever animal you had.

My grandpa decided to use it to plow his garden since the field plow was too large. It was a small garden and this old plow was the only one that would really do the job. So, he modified the plow and it could be pulled behind a small tractor.

The only problem was that it would take two people to operate this newly rigged piece of equipment. One driving the tractor and another operating the plow. It was my lucky day, I guess, so I got stuck running the plow.

We practiced working the plow/tractor rigging for a while before actually working on the garden. The plow was controlled by several levers, and it had to be steered by the seat. It’s quite funny to imagine me as a twelve or thirteen year old boy trying to steer this plow with my seat, and operate the controls. I learned to appreciate modern farm equipment very quickly that day.

Proverbs 20:4 speaks to us about a lazy farmer who does not want to plow his field. The King James version tells us that his reasoning was the cold weather, The Message says during spring.

As I walked out of my house today the spring temperature was a very cold 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Not exactly my idea of nice spring weather. I think I can safely say that most people would want to be indoors on a day like this.

However, there was a time in history when we could not let the cold weather keep us inside. If it was the time to be planting your crops you could not let the cold weather stop you. You would get on the old plow and get to work.

Laziness will easily take up residence in our life if we let it. When this happens we will have nothing to provide for our needs when the time comes. The bank account will eventually run dry leaving you scrambling to make ends meet.

I remember many mornings that I really did not want to wake up before dawn and go to work on the farm. I had to because I was a kid and didn’t have a choice. My grandpa on the other hand was a mature adult and knew that there were many things that needed to be done before the harvest season came.

There are days in my life when I really do not want to get up and go plow the hard cold ground in my life. I would much rather be sleeping in a nice warm bed. But reality tells me that if I don’t get up and plow I will end up empty handed in the end.

Our spiritual life requires a Solomon definition of diligence to make it through those cold times. Dedication, prayers, fasting, and study during cold seasons in our life are a requirement if we want Gods word to be planted in the good ground of our life.

Good ground isn’t a naturally occurring element as some would think. The ground was actually cursed because of Adams sin. The ground has to be made good through much labor and effort.

When we have made our ground good then Gods word can fall into place at the right season and eventually bring forth a crop. Don’t get discouraged and lazy during the cold spring mornings of your life. Get up and get to work plowing up the fields. The rains will soon come. If your fields are prepared then you can bring fourth a bumper crop.





The Seed

28 01 2009

You may have seen this already, but I thought I would post it for all those who have not. Enjoy!

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A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together. Read the rest of this entry »





Face Your Fears

10 12 2008

9alpzz3iir5u1rk2hxI heard an interesting story a while back and wanted to share it with everyone. I made several changes to the story to relate Christ but the lesson remains the same.

A man once lived in a land where it was dark, and dreary, all the time. A thick fog always covered the land because of it’s location. In the land there stood an old dark tower. People said the tower was haunted, and everyone was afraid of it. No one would even approach the tower.

This man was intrigued by the tower, and wanted to visit the tower. One day he got enough courage to face the tower, and went inside.

Inside the tower was beautiful. The steps were gold, and the staircase looked as if it had been built by a master carpenter. The tower was empty, but warm and inviting.

He began climbing up the stairs as they spiraled up for what seemed like an eternity. He continued climbing for many hours. Along the way he wanted to turn around because the journey was just too hard for him. But now, he was driven by sheer will power, and had to reach the top somehow.

He continued climbing until finally he reached the top. Although he was tired, and wanted to rest for a while, he was curious what was behind the only door he found at the top of the tower. He went through the door which led him outside to a balcony.

Once he was outside the sun was shining brightly because he was above the gloomy fog that covered the land. The view he had was beautiful. Like nothing he had ever seen before in his life.

He could see a distant city more beautiful than any he had ever seen. He saw mountains, and valleys like none before.

This story shows us that sometimes confronting our fears face to face can lead us to brighter, and more beautiful places in life.

God is a strong, and mighty, tower. Abiding in Him can lead us to greater heights, and to some beautiful places.