Sunday, May 31, 2015

Humor Extraordinaire

I met an ordinary person with an extraordinary sense of humor a few years back at a writing conference.  At an impromptu post-conference time, Mark shared his writings and had a group of writers chuckling over his madcap paraphrasing of Eve’s experience in the Garden of Eden. I truly hope he publishes it someday. A divorced dad, former youth pastor and current writer and tech dude, Mark Brady is someone whose twinkling eyes can take in the ordinary and give back so much more.

Welcome Mark, fellow Word Weaver! 

Q) So I have to ask, upfront, about your sense of humor. How did it develop - when you were growing up, as a teen, perhaps as an adult?
A) My sense of humor comes from my family, mainly on my dad's side.  I quickly learned that being funny helped in a lot of situations.  I do enjoy trying to make someone laugh or at least smile, because this is a very dark world we live in and a little laughter can go a long way to make it brighter. 

Q) I’ve always wondered if humor has a hereditary as well as environmental component in people. Who in your family is the most like you in this way?
A) My mother says I am just like my father, so I would have to say I got most of it from him.

Q) Speaking of family, you had the privilege of giving one your children in marriage this year. I wondered if your sense of humor eased the wedding stress that sometimes happens?
A) My daughter is having a traditional "church" wedding next January.  To save money on the medical and dental needs of my new son-in-law, the kids decided to get married at a Justice of the Peace, so my daughter could put him on her insurance plan at work now.  They got married on April 1st.  When I arrived in town, I sternly warned her that this had better not be an April fool's joke.  Everyone laughed so, yes, I guess that set the tone for the event.

Q) If you could only share one piece of parenting advice, what would you choose to say?
A) Accept your children no matter who they choose to be or where they are in their walk with God, and make sure they know you accept them.

Q) How did the transition from youth pastor to technology businessman happen?
A) Sin.  Isn’t it always sin that causes one to have to leave the garden God has for them?  It was not a pretty scene, but a lot has come out of that time for good. 
Only God can take what the devil intends for harm and make something good out of it.  So after having to leave the ministry I started drafting in an architectural office.  It wasn’t long before I learned AutoCad and that lead to me liking the computer side of things more than the architectural world.  I left drafting and of all things went to work as a computer main frame operator at a publishing company.  It was there I saw and gained an understanding of the publishing industry.  That job leads me to where I am currently working which is AT&T.  My desire now is go back into full time ministry as a writer and motivational speaker.  It’s funny how God can take a damaged person and straighten them up, dust them off, and put them on a new path for His purposes.  I now can freely write about deception, the perils of power, and a leader falling, because I have been there.

Q) So how did you end up becoming a writer?
A) I have always thought one of the greatest things God gave us by making us in His image is the power to create.  I love the realization that I am taking words and putting them on paper in a particular order that “creates” something that can entertain, help, teach, or heal another person.  I first had to overcome the big question, “Am I a writer?”  Bob Hostetler, our nightly speaker at my first writer’s conference, answered that question for me after spending some time with me and reading one of my chapters I had taken to the conference.  He looked directly at me and said, “Mark, you’re a writer.”  I cried, for in that moment I realized God’s word spoken over me after I left the ministry had come true.  The word was God would rebuild me, and now I knew He had.  In the 27 years I wondered in my desert (the time I left the ministry to the writer’s conference) I was healed, I was taught, and I was rebuilt as a new man.

Q) Your blog is read all over the world and so I have to ask you how you think that happened?
A) At last years’ conference I took a couple of classes on “social media”, wanting to build my platform, and I received some really good tips on how to use social media.  After I got home from the conference, I wanted to put what I had just learned into practice.  So I switched my blog to Word Press, and I learned to use it.  One of the things I have done is include “tags” in each blog.  I believe what happens is when someone does an internet search on a particular topic that I have tagged, it leads them to my blog.  I am truly humbled that my simple blog is used by God in places I will, most likely, never set foot.

Q) What was your most extraordinary yet ordinary experience to date?
A) One lady, who I got to know through work, now reads my blog every week.  Perhaps it was, at first, my willingness to go over to her house and help her with a lot of labor intensive jobs after her husband passed away that earned me credibility.  Even in the midst of those tasks, I openly talked about my relationship with God without any condemnation.  I usually will say, “This is how I believe”. 
She wrote me a few weeks ago and told me that due to reading my blog, she has changed her life around and has now rededicated her life to God. And she has returned to the church of her youth. Again, only God!

Q) Lastly, and best of all, what is something about you that is surprising?
I think most people are surprised at my ability to be resourceful, almost a MacGyver kind of gift.  Give me a problem and I will have it resolved in 30 minutes or less, or the next one's free.

What surprises me the most is how much the God of the universe delights in using us to work with Him in building His kingdom.  Doing so is truly my pleasure, and all the glory goes to Him.

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