December 2011

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is almost here! Of course you really didn’t need me to tell you that as just about every place you turn there are reminders that the Holiday Season is upon us. Almost every store, home, television channel and billboard seems to have some Christmas message attached to it. We find ourselves telling people Merry Christmas at the end of our sentences and listening to Christmas music during our daily commutes. Christmas is definitely in the air.

And it’s no surprise that we “feel” Christmas around us. The retailers certainly did their job to jump out sooner than usual to get the holiday spirit in us all. Every year it seems as if Christmas decorations start popping up in stores earlier and earlier than before. We’ve also experienced new shopping times for the infamous Black Friday shopping day. Instead of the typical 5 or 6am mad dash for deals, we now have options for midnight madness shopping. I have to admit that my girls and I were some of those compelled to stand out in the cold at Toys R Us late in the midnight hour to get our hands on the “deals of the century”. What can I say…I’m a GeGe for life!!

With all of the great things that Christmas brings, it’s also a sad truth that the holidays bring a lot of grief and sadness to people. Whether it’s because of loneliness or regret of past decisions that have alienated people from their families, Christmas seems to amplify feelings and emotions in people that they have managed to suppress for the other eleven months of the year. Families who are financially struggling find themselves depressed because they are unable to provide the kind of gifts that they would like to for their family. Yes…Christmas is almost here!

From a Christian’s perspective, Christmas is also supposed to be so much more than just presents, toys and “stuff”. It is, of course the day in which we remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is how we reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made to take off his divinity and wrap himself in humanity so that ultimately we could be reconciled back to God.

We give gifts to each other on Christmas as a symbol to honor the fact that when Jesus came to Earth, it was the greatest gift we could have ever received.

No matter what situation you find yourself in this Christmas I want to challenge you to keep your heart in the right place. If you are running at breakneck speed this year, buying more and more, going from function to function and party to party make sure that you take the time to slow down and reflect on what Christmas really means to you. Don’t just fill everyone’s stocking this year and forget to fill your own heart with the love of Christ. Be kind to people, be generous to people and for heaven’s sake…SMILE! There are so many hurting people walking past you every day, especially during Christmas, that need to feel the love of Christ simply through your warm touch or kind word.

If you find yourself depressed this year, I am giving you permission right now to not be. I’m sure there are areas in your life that you wish could be better but letting depression set in will never solve the problem. You have to trust in the fact that God will give you a strategy for your life and keep hope alive that by this time next year, things WILL be better.

Let’s not overcomplicate the holiday and make it more than what it is supposed to be. It’s really quite simple:

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)”

This Christmas season, make it matter by making your heart His Bethlehem. You will discover that Jesus is the gift that gives and gives and will never stop giving!

PS. I wanted to thank all of you that took the time to donate to our annual Christmas Toy Drive. As a result of your generosity we were able to help deliver hundreds of toys to various area Children’s Hospitals and other youth outreaches. I sincerely THANK YOU!

I’ve posted a couple of pictures below to show you our efforts. We can do great things for the kingdom together!

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September 2011

If you’ve been around me for any period of time, then you know that one of my favorite things to talk about are my “grandbabies”. They are such a joy to me, and my relationship with each of them is as unique as they are. As with any child, the older they get the more defined their personalities become. You quickly start to find out who is introverted, who is extraverted; who is sensitive and who is tough as nails.

My children do their best to teach my grandchildren all of the basics to equip them for life. They are learning to add, subtract, spell, read, have good manners and practice good hygiene. They are also being taught one of the most important lessons in their young life — that God is real and that they have the ability to communicate and express themselves to Him. I want to share with you how we are purposely doing that and give you a glimpse of what a typical day of the week looks like at GeGe’s house. I hope it brings a little laughter to you and more importantly inspires you to do the same with your family.

On any given day of the week, my living room is transformed into a sanctuary. My grandson Josiah is the Pastor, my granddaughter Sydney is the Praise and Worship Leader and my grandson Ryan is some sort of Deacon/Administrator hybrid. Despite them all being three years old or younger, their ministry team facilitates full-blown church services — complete with inspiring worship, Holy Ghost powered preaching and a “laying on of hands” service that is out of this world. They are so accustomed to having church there that when I asked Josiah’s older brother, Jaden, where he was, he pointed to the living room and said, “In the church!” It’s quite comical to see, and my family is in stitches every time the doors of Brady Temple are open for service.

Beyond the initial comic relief of what I’ve just described, I want you to see the bigger picture of what I believe is missing from a lot of families in today’s society. The bible says in Psalms 127:4 “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth”. Children in your hands, like arrows, will go where ever they are pointed to go. Our makeshift sanctuary has become a safe place where we are pointing my grandchildren towards God.

My fear for a lot of families is that parents are letting every other influence in the world teach their children, while only infusing God into the equation on Sundays during Children’s Church.

My challenge to you today is to ask God for creative ways to introduce Him into your child’s equation sooner rather than later. Your children need to be able to discuss spiritual matters and hear what you have to say. You will be amazed of how they process things, and you will crack up laughing at some of their views on who God is. And don’t think that just because you do not have children of your own that this doesn’t apply to you. I believe that people are watching us from a distance gaining inspiration and direction simply by how we live our lives and deal with our daily challenges There is a niece, nephew or next door neighbor that is looking up to you without you even knowing it.

Just recently Josiah was in the “sanctuary” all by himself singing (to the top of his lungs) “Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other…” As he sang that over and over, I couldn’t help think about where I could be today if I had been singing and releasing words like that into the atmosphere when I was only three years old! It was a pretty powerful moment for me as I just reflected on the importance of preparing them to face the giants of their generation! If I were the devil I’d just give up now, because they are going to be powerful in the Kingdom!

So I challenge you to Make It Matter today! Be intentional with those who you influence the most. God is not waiting until they are older to use them, but He is using them RIGHT NOW! Josiah was drawing some lines of demarcation and making some things very clear that morning. He was letting every devil in hell know…”I may only be three but if you mess with me I’ll turn this living room into sanctuary and have church all by myself!” Develop a plan of action that provides an atmosphere for your children to flourish and grow in the things of God. They are as arrows in your hand so as my husband would say “Shoot that Kid” in the right direction!

July 2011

I had barely made it into my home before I was being whisked away to my back yard. There stood my 5-year-old granddaughter McKenzie, dripping wet in her bathing suit and a pair of hot pink goggles waiting by the edge of the pool. “Watch this GeGe”, she said through the biggest “I’m missing my two front teeth smile” I have ever seen. She then took off and jumped head first into the deep end of my pool. I cringed slightly because I noticed that she had no life jacket on but my apprehension quickly vanished as I watched her perform a hybrid of swimming and doggy paddling all the way to the other side of the pool.

This was a significant moment for her as just a few weeks before she would have sunk like a rock without having a life jacket on. Her parents had invested in swimming lessons for her and evidently their investment was paying off. Now that she could swim a little, she was convinced that she was fit for the Olympic trials next summer. A discussion between her and her parents ensued about what the rules would be concerning when she could and when she could not be in the pool without her life jacket. After they explained the ground rules to her, my granddaughter (who I think might be an excellent lawyer someday) vehemently argued “But I can swim…I’m good…I promise”. After listening to her points my son-in-law Marc ended the discussion with “Kenzie I know you’re good…it’s just not time yet”.

I’ve always believed that God instituted the family as both a support system for us as well as a teaching tool to show us how much He loves and cares for us. I am so thankful that we serve a God who knows us so well that He will say to us…it’s just not time yet. When you find yourself in one of those “not now” moments, you first have to realize that God is fully aware of the plan he has for your life.

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. If the plan for your life has already been decided, then you must rest assure that for whatever reason you are in a season of “wait” that there are things that God wants you to learn in this season. It’s in these seasons that you have to Make It Matter in your life. Take the time to study, prepare yourself for where you want to go and expose your self to situations that will stretch you as a person.

Don’t wait until the door of success opens in your life…start preparing today. From my granddaughter’s perspective, having to keep the life jacket on a few more weeks may have seemed like a punishment, even though she knew she had progressed so much. Her parent’s perspective, through experience, allowed them to make decisions for her based on where they know she will eventually go. A few more weeks of training could mean the difference between just getting by and being extraordinary at what you do. I wonder what God has in mind for you to be extraordinary at if you’ll just wait on Him a little while longer.

In closing, I want to thank all of you who responded to the last Making It Matter letter that I sent out a few weeks ago. People from all over the country were writing us with stories of how they were going to Make It Matter in their lives. If this letter has connected with you in any way, please click the button below and let me know. I love hearing from you! I thank God that He is using this ministry to bless people all over the globe with the gospel. We couldn’t do it without you support. Please take the time to pray and ask God if you should plant a seed into the work of the Lord. Together we can make a difference for the Kingdom! Talk to you soon!

Making it Matter,

Pastor Sheryl Brady

June 2011

Hey everybody! I pray you are living in God’s best today. Summer is officially upon us. School is out, the kids are home and the heat…well I can tell you that in Dallas…the heat is definitely present and accounted for.

I’m writing you today to talk about some things that have been strong in my spirit lately. I believe that God is not only speaking this to my heart but to the body of Christ as a whole. I want to talk to you about “Making It Matter”.

I think all of us will agree that the pace of our lives can become so busy that we can easily forget what is really important in life. Periodically I’ve found myself having to literally stop what I’m doing and ask “Am I making it matter today?”. The “It” that I’m referring to can have a myriad of meanings so just plug it whatever your “It” is. From time that you spend with your spouse, to what you teach your children, to going after that big dream of yours, whatever “it” is for you I felt impressed to tell you that God wants you to make each and every day matter according to the purpose and destiny He has set for your life.

The truth that we all must face is that life really is short. The Bible says in James 4:14 “For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away”. So what are you doing to make the most of this vapor that we call life…what are you doing to Make it Matter? I challenge you today to start being more aware of the things that you are doing and constantly ask yourself…”am I making it matter?” Write it down as a reminder, keep it in your car, on your bathroom mirror or on your nightstand so that you never forget that Christ came not just to give you life but to give it to you to live in abundance.

Where ever you are in life start “Making it Matter” today. Identify those things that are important to you and go after it with all of your heart. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Ask God for a strategy to show you what you need to do to “Make it Matter” every day and see if He won’t open your eyes to opportunities that are right in front of you.

I am so honored that you are connected to this ministry. It is through your faithful prayers and financial support that we are able to spread the message of hope through Jesus Christ to a hurting world desperate to hear The Good News. I want to hear from you, so if this email has been a blessing to you, please take the time to click Here and email me about what you are going to do to start Making it Matter! Together we are making a difference for the Kingdom of God.

Staying Connected,

Pastor Sheryl Brady