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Archive for March, 2010

How much does it cost to support TIL financially?

March 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Here is what the cost is to support TIL (based upon a 40 hour work week) IF we were fully staffed (which we are not because we are not fully funded yet, so these numbers are currently LOWER than presented right here!): 
   
One Minute              0.45 cents!

One Hour            $27.00  (that’s only one session of counseling)

One Day         $648.07  (remember that we are not fully funded yet, so this number is currently lower as are the next ones listed below!)

One Week      $4,548.96

One Month      $19,712.17

I hope you can see how much your donations to our ministry help us no matter what amount is given! We are so thankful to all of you who give to and serve in TIL!

Here’s a recent praise: Jason and Genna led someone to the Lord! That’s what it’s all about! In fact, this situation is a marriage reconciliation by God’s grace, too, so it only gets better! Only God can do such great things!

We are so blessed to have a board of directors and a leadership team who are good stewards with the money God sends to us!  Our ministry operates at a very low cost because we do not spend on fundraising, advertising, and overhead (buildings, etc.). Our ministry’s entire budget would fit in some church’s youth program’s budget!

We are so thankful to you for supporting this ministry and urge you to continue to partner with us in financial support as the Lord leads because we need your help in proclaiming the Gospel all over the world! Your financial gifts are advancing the kingdom of God in a mighty way!

-Mark (depending upon the Lord daily and He never lets me down – Proverbs 10:3 The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but He thwarts the craving of the wicked and Ps. 37:25 I have been young and now am old yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or His children begging for bread!)

“Why is God blessing TIL so much?”

March 28, 2010 1 comment

I was asked the question once, “Why is God blessing Truth in Love Ministries so much?”

My answer was simple: “Because of God.” Period. That’s it.

It’s not God and _____ (fill in the blank) because it’s ONLY God. The Lord is pouring out His favor upon all of us at TIL which includes counselees and their families!

Not because of us! Not because we are so great but only because He alone is so great!

-Mark (simple answer but profound – it’s not “God and ___” – it’s only “God.”)

The Lovelady Center in East Lake

March 27, 2010 1 comment

Next week, we’ll begin training the leaders at The Lovelady Center in East Lake. We’ll be sharing with them the hope found in the biblical approach to addiction!

Please pray for this endeavor: that God would be glorified and that He would open our eyes to see Him more clearly!

Also, if you’d like to support this class, it is costing us approximately $1825.00 total, or $75.00 per person to provide the training and materials! We’d appreciate any amount donated to help offset our costs for this important opportunity.

-Mark (thankful that The Lovelady Center is seeking to glorify the Lord in their approach to biblical counseling!)

An end of an era

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

My six year old finally beat me in chess recently. He had been so close to beating me in several games, but because he is six and less experienced than I, I would figure out a way to win.

But not anymore. He beat me handily and mercilessly. It was the end of an era for me and the beginning of an era for him. I do not know if I will be able to beat him again! He set me up! He plans out his moves WAY in advance of me. I’m like a blind mouse being “toyed with” by a cat!

It was a day of great joy for him and great anguish for me.

As I age, I am learning the reality that my children will soon be passing me in everything: chess, Bible knowledge, technology, and more!

I am declining and they are climbing and I’m so glad for them, but honestly, a little sad for me!

The only thing I can look forward to is that I am one day closer to spending eternity with my King and Savior Jesus! There is much work to do until then, but I inch ever closer to eternity every day.

Biblical counseling gives us an opportunity to point people to the reality of eternity and to what really is important in this life and in the life to come! What a privilege!

So, I lost in chess to my 6 year old. My 13 year old had already beaten me years ago so I guess I am used to it. But I need to get used to the idea that I am headed toward the next life and not cling to the things in this life so tightly!

-Mark (glad my 6 year old is smarter than me in chess and praying that he will also be so in the DOING of the Bible!)

53 hours per week?

March 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Wow, I heard on the radio that kids are spending 53 hours per week using electronics. That included tv, internet, texting, emails, video games, and other electronic media.

That’s more than a full-time job!

No wonder we see more ADHD diagnoses today.

Is there any question as to why kids cannot pay attention to their teachers and parents anymore? Why they do not listen? Why they think that the world revolves around them and their entertainment pleasures?

Work ethic is out the window today with many young people today, too. It’s sad. we are raising children to be entertained rather than to be productive in society. Children learn to be catered to RATHER than to serve others.

53 hours. Wow. Where are the parents?

No wonder we have an “amusement” and “entertainment” culture today.

-Mark

Robert Woodson gets it: TRANSFORMATION!

March 22, 2010 1 comment

Here’s an excerpt from an excellent article in World Magazine about the need for TRANSFORMATION called “Beyond Therapy” featuring a Q&A quote from Robert Woodson, President of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise:

“For heart surgery I want to see Board Certification. If I want demons delivered from me, the evils of drug addictions and prostitution, I need spiritual renewal.

Q: So you’re talking about transformation . . . If I’m killing myself, I do not need to be rehabilitated. I need to be transformed. I need to be another person. Therapy does not make you another person. Rehabilitation rarely removes bad stuff. Transformation replaces bad stuff with good stuff. That is the difference.”

To read the whole article, and I recommend you do, go to: http://www.worldmag.com/articles/16497

People need spiritual renewal in the form of TRANFORMATION and not simply rehabilitation! Jesus Christ is the only solution!

-Mark (thankful that God TRANSFORMED me!)

A fatal disease? Or a responsible choice?

March 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Seems like many shows keep coming out on this “tsunami” of a problem commonly called “addiction” (the Bible calls it “enslavement” and “idolatry” which still holds the person responsible for sinful choices that feed the problem).

Dr. Drew Pinsky from the secular perspective is passionate about helping “addicts” as am I. But we have 2 different views on the heart of the problem. Therefore, we have 2 different view on the SOLUTION to the problem. I know it is Christ alone who forgives all sins and heals all diseases!

Watch this 8 minute clip from the Today Show:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/35888659#35888659

Dr. Pinsky calls it a “fatal disease” and not a “theory of disease” which is what it is: A THEORY. It used to be called the “disease concept” or “theory of disease” but NOW everyone seems to call it a “disease.” Still a theory even though everyone now calls it a fact. Just because 2 men 80 years ago call something a “theory of disease” doesn’t make something truly a disease! This is philosophy (see Col. 2:8)!

I spoke to a Spirit-filled man (I will not say his name) recently who is leading the way of battling all “addictions” in Alabama. He explained it like this: “I have to face the facts. And the facts tell me that it’s not a disease. Even if they call it a ‘disease,’ my Bible still tells me in Psalm 103:3 that God ‘heals all your diseases.’ I see too many people around this program who are set free and no longer struggle with a disease because God has transformed them by the power of His might. I have to face those facts.”

The faith-based can never mix with the secular. The ideas are in oppositon!

Then, at the end of this clip, Dr. Pinsky blames things OUTSIDE of the person as he says: “the things that trigger bad addiction in young actors is the same thing that triggers bad addiction in anyone…abuse, family dysfunction.” Well, if it is a genetic, brain disease, then WHY do things OUTSIDE of the person trigger an internal disease?

They will argue that it’s like diabetes and you have choices that lead to “addiction.” I get that argument. Sounds logical and has a hint of truth in it because of the responsibility. However, the idea that “addiction” is “incurable, progressive, and fatal” and that one must cope with it forever is not what the leader in Alabama knows to be true. He has observed the transformational power of Christ who offers real hope and not just “cope.”

“Addiction” looks like a disease and there is a powerful physical component to it but our God triumphs over all diseases. “Addiction” looks like a disease because it is idolatry which ultimately enslaves the idolater who becomes powerless to get out of the cycle of idolatry. Only the power of Christ rescues someone from idolatry, or addiction.

For more on the biblical approach to addiction, go to http://www.rpmministries.org/2010/02/the-heart-of-addiction-a-biblical-perspective/ and get that book!

Brothers and Sisters, the world’s approach ultimately offers no hope but cope because they cannot offer Christ. Some people get clean and sober but that is not JUST our goal. We want to see people saved and reconciled to Christ.

At least Kirk Cameron, a devoted, solid Christian man, was on this clip to point people to God as the answer though his understanding of addiction from a biblical perspective is limited. Maybe I’ll ask one of you to send Kirk a book called The Heart of Addiction by M. Shaw! I would say to send it to Dr. Pinsky but I don’t think he’d read it. If he would, maybe he’d come to know Christ! On second thought, that’s a great idea, too! I’d love to see that man know Christ (John 17:3).

-Mark (if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed – John 8:36 – I believe Him and take Him at His Word!)