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Archive for December, 2009

Celebrated or Tolerated?

December 31, 2009 1 comment

Someone once told me, “Mark, go where you are celebrated and not just tolerated.” While I agree that I like the sound of that, I know that I must go where the Lord leads me. His calling is of the utmost importance to me!

Do not allow man to dictate where you go. Follow the Lord. He’ll lead you. Read His Word so that all of your decisions can be rooted and grounded in Christ and His teachings. Apply biblical principles to your life in faith and obedience to Christ.

We should not make purely emotional decisions but we must make faith-filled, Bible-based decisions when we follow the Lord. Faith is always exercised through obedience to Christ and His Word.

-Mark (thankful that TIL celebrates me and Jason and Ronny and everyone else who serves the Lord with us!)

Alabama ranks higher than the national average in TEEN drug usage…

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Sadly, read this article: http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2009/12/post_321.html

In 17 different drug categories, Alabama ranked higher in drug usage than the national average. That’s from beer to tobacco to cocaine to meth and more. This is a recent survey, too.

To be fair, some numbers in Alabama improved slightly. Slightly. But it is alarming that 1 in 5 teens drank alcohol within the past month. That’s 6th through 12th grade students. What’s more alarming is that only 68.5% of these teens thought their parents DISAPPROVED of their drinking. We have a parenting epidemic on our hands!

In the next several weeks, I have a new book coming out called “Addiction-proof Parenting” that will help ALL parents in an effort to prevent their children from being addicted to anything. Look for this resource in 2010.

Today, teenagers are trying drugs more than ever before. Why is that when we have more self-help meetings available and drug rehab centers for teeens and adults than ever before? Why when more resources and money are provided today than ever before to prevention and rehab programs thanks to our federal government?

Why is there more drug use today despite many more resources available?

Because the message is WRONG. The message says it’s not a moral problem but a genetic, biological problem. It’s not a choice problem but a disease. No one is dealing with the heart of sin that CHOOSES to disobey God and parents (1st and 5th of the Ten Commandments).

The Bible deals with the heart and offers the REAL solution to idolatry and drug addiction: Christ and His power to transform the will in our hearts (Rom. 12:1-2).

If you want to see why I’m so passionate about what we do at TIL, then you need to look no further. The MESSAGE of TIL is what is important. We proclaim Christ and not ourselves. We want Him to change hearts, not our fancy methods. Only God can change the human heart and He does so through vessels like you and I.

Let’s fight this addiction problem together by teaching parents and teens alike about the truth for overcoming all types of addictions.

-Mark (thankful that God deals with The Heart of Addiction)

What if the SATANIC International Version (SIV) existed?

December 29, 2009 5 comments

This is purely a thought: What would the SATANIC International Version of the Bible (SIV) look like IF it existed?

Kinda weird to think about I know. I admit it. I’ve had one too many bratwursts today and now my thinking has gone haywire!

My answer is that it would be the exact same version of the Bible that we have EXCEPT that it would be misinterpreted and have wrong commentary notes in it!

Think about it. In Matthew 4, Satan tempted Jesus by MISUSING and misinterpreting the BIBLE to appeal to Jesus’ human nature. It was God’s own words that Satan used to tempt Christ!

How many people today twist the Bible and use it for their own purposes? Sadly, we can all take the Bible and use its meaning to be manipulative and hurtful AND justify our actions & words as the “truth hurts.”

For this reason, as biblical counselors, we must always deliver the truth in love. Not truth and love but truth IN love. There is a difference.

-Mark (glad there is NOT a Satanic version of God’s Word around today)

“I need to be delivered of this fear!” is an incorrect statement…

December 27, 2009 Leave a comment

I hear people make this statement a lot but it is incorrect. Though the Bible does talk about a “spirit of fear,” fear is primarily an emotion.

As an emotion, fear gives us more energy to protect us from dangers. If you were “delivered from all your fears,” then you would drive too fast, fall off of a cliff, get bitten by a snake, lion, or tiger, and the like. You need fear for protection.

So the prayer is not, “Lord, take away my fear.” The prayer is, “Lord, though I feel afraid, I am going to trust you through this fear and focus upon You and others.”

Fearful people can do great things when they focus upon others. Mothers who are afraid of dogs can overcome that fear when their child is in danger because their focus is upon protecting the child! Why? Because “perfect love cast out fear” according to I John 4:18.

Perfect love (agape love or unconditional love) is the only force more powerful than fear! Praise God!

-Mark (thankful for fear that produces good and not unrighteousness in me)

Merry Christ-mas!

December 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Let’s not forget “Christ” in this holiday!

It’s His birthday we are celebrating because He came to save us from our sins! Hallelujah! Peace between God and man!

-Mark (wishing you a very merry Christmas holiday!)

Categories: Posts by Mark Tags: ,

A little guy with a big message and an enormous God

December 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Jason gave me one of the greatest compliments ever and he meant it in a good way: “You are so ordinary.”

I love it because I am and Jason & Ronny are ordinary, too. We are just little guys with a big message (the Gospel must be proclaimed in counseling not the ideas of man to provide real care for hurting souls) and an enormous God. I think of David who knew his God and the power of His might to fight Goliath!

Join our TIL team of ordinary men and women who serve an Extraordinary God and watch Him transform lives right before your eyes!

-Mark (amazed at the enormity of God and that He would love us, His little children)

Funny Re-gifting Story

December 21, 2009 2 comments

It’s Christmas time again, which can only mean one thing: RE-GIFTING.

Do you know what “re-gifting” is? Re-gifting is defined (by me) as “giving a gift that you were given & did not pay for – to someone else.” In other words, you get a gift you aren’t real crazy about and then you re-wrap it to give it away to someone else. 

We got re-gifted recently! Has it ever happened to you?

Honestly, I must admit, sadly, that in the past, we have re-gifted to others – usually when we didn’t have a lot of money to spend. Gotta admit it!

But this year, we were re-gifted in a HILARIOUS way: we received the exact gift back that we gave to the exact same person in a previous year! We know it is what we gave out because it was an autographed copy! There was no mistaking it!

Isn’t that funny? We think it’s hilarious and did not tell the person but graciously accepted the gift back. We love it, actually, because we gave all of ours away! Now, we have one again!

Spiritually, we should always re-gift what God gives us because it glorifies Him. For example, when He gives you wisdom, re-gift it to others. When He gives you joy, re-gift it to others. When He gives you peace, re-gift it to others. Counselees who have been helped can become counselors who help others – that’s the ultimate spiritual re-gifting for the glory of God (II Cor. 1:3-4).

-Mark (enjoying the Lord’s sense of humor this year)