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Archive for July, 2010

I want a church that requires FAITH

July 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Faith.

Did you realize that churches can exist, have programs, preaching, and the like without having FAITH or being led by the Holy Spirit? It’s true. Some churches operate today without any faith.

I think the key is being a GIVING church. Churches will NEVER out give God. So why not keep giving to real ministry and trust God to provide what is needed to sustain ministry? Why not give more outside the church than inside the church?

I love the philosophy of the founder of Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Frank Barker, to give 50% outside the local church. Dr. Barker not only led the church he pastored to live this way, but he lived out in his personal life, too. 

Sometimes, I think it should be more than 50%! Why don’t we do more for others than for ourselves and our own church programs? Are we having to sustain lots of activities and events to entertain the members and keep them coming in attendance?

What about those who are starving in Africa? Are we helping them or are we more concerned about our senior adult trip to Callaway Gardens or our youth trip to Six Flags?

Just asking some tough questions to make us all think about how we steward HIS money that He gives us. Are you being obedient? Are you a giver? Are you living by faith? Is your church?

Hebrews 11:6a: “And without faith it is impossible to please him…”

-Mark (so thankful for the many churches who are living by faith today and that includes both big and small churches alike!)

Excerpted from the English Standard Version of the Bible – go to http://www.esvstudybible.org to get one today!

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Christian student expelled for beliefs

July 29, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s becoming a sad day in America when a student like this is expelled for her Christian beliefs.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/07/28/court-university-expel-student-opposes-homosexuality/?test=latestnews

-Mark (pray for this woman, her family, and everyone involved to come to Christ)

Worship: Self or Sacrifice?

July 28, 2010 1 comment

When we worship the Lord, are we doing so for ourselves? The very word “worship” indicates living in a sacrificial way for His glory. It is an immoderate way to live in reckless abandon for Him.

Unfortunately, some people today have a selfish view of worship as though worshipping God is all about them not Him.

Do I enjoy worship? Yes. Should you and I enjoy worshipping Him? Yes. But that is a by-product of our worship not our first goal.

I just see a self-centered Christianity in so many today who attend churches and evaluate churches based upon selfish criteria rather than asking the question: Is God pleased? Is God pleased with how we are worshipping Him? If He is not pleased, then He is not being worshipped. True worshippers worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

Sometimes, I sing songs at church and realize the subject I’m singing about is ME and not God at all. I’m singing about what He does for me and how I feel about Him but I’m not singing about Who He is and about Him alone. I want to know Him and I want more of Him – not more of me!

-Mark (wanting more of Christ in me both in spirit and in truth!)

Teen Challenge

July 26, 2010 1 comment

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Teen Challenge’s women’s program. I came away VERY impressed at their approach. They are tough but very loving to those ladies. They speak the truth in love while serving both men and women at two separate locations (which I highly recommend programs that separate men from women).

Addiction is a very difficult topic to address biblically but Teen Challenge is dealing with it as a sin issue and as a spiritual problem. I gave them a few of my books on the topic and follow-up with them indicated they are very receptive to the biblical approach to addiction which is dealing with the sin issue of idolatry in one’s heart! As you know, this is a problem that is very close to my heart – no pun intended (The Heart of Addiction, Cross Talking, Divine Intervention, etc. available through www.focuspublishing.com).

Teen Challenge is a program for ADULTS. They used to serve teens but changed the population without changing the name!

Go to http://teenchallengeusa.com/ for more information.

-Mark (glad to know that programs are turning to the Word of God more and more these days because God’s Word is all we need to listen to!)

Wow…what a great time!

July 26, 2010 1 comment

I REALLY enjoyed this past weekend’s teaching AND the fellowship with other like-minded believers. We really had a great time together studying God’s Word and receiving understanding of it by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you all for attending and making this NANC certification training weekend 1 a success in Christ!

-Mark (grateful for the godly men who donated their time to help put this conference on!)

Calling Evil Good

July 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Isaiah 5:20 says this:

Woe to those who call evil good
          and good evil,
     who put darkness for light
          and light for darkness,
     who put bitter for sweet
          and sweet for bitter!

Sadly, our culture continues to call evil things “good” by renaming sinful choices as diseases or excuses that make one look less responsible than they really are before God. That’s why we do what we do – speak the truth in love by calling sin “sin” and leading a person to the Cross for forgiveness and the power of the Holy Spirit to be transformed.

Examples of calling evil good is calling “idolatry” as “addiction” – “drunkenness” as “alcoholism” – “abortion” as “pro-choice” – “murder” as “euthanasia” – and “adultery” as an “affair.”

These examples may not seem like much but a change in terminology makes all the difference in the world as it either points people to Christ for the forgiveness of sin or minimizes sin by making it more acceptable and excusable.

As believers in Christ, we must not laugh at sin or minimize it in any way. Jesus died for our sins. To minimize sin is to minimize His great sacrifice for us! And He loves us that’s why He is the lamb who takes away the sins of the world for those who surrender to Him and ask for His divine forgiveness and power to change.

-Mark (recognizing that one word change can affect an entire society by leading them away from Christ)

Excerpted from the English Standard Version of the Bible – go to http://www.esvstudybible.org to get one today!

DO OVER: When the Goal is NOT just Clean and Sober – pts. 2 & 3

July 23, 2010 Leave a comment

When I was a child playing sports and someone would make a mistake or break a rule on accident, someone would simply yell “DO OVER” and we’d replay the point. Kinda like a mulligan in golf!

Well, at the last Webinar, Dr. Rick Thomas had a power outage for several hours and we could NOT get part 2 of the “Not Just Clean and Sober” webinar going until very late. Rick called me later that night and apologized but it certainly was not his fault.

So, he and I yelled, “DO OVER!”

This Sunday night, July 25th at 8 pm, we are going to do BOTH parts 2 and 3 to wrap up this presentation. It will be longer than 1 hour as I anticipate 90 minutes so plan to be with us this week.

Here is what Dr. Thomas sent to me through email to sign up for this FREE class:

I apologize for the inconvenience created Sunday, July 11th. We had a power outage and was unable to connect Mark to the webinar. Mark will combine his instruction and the webinar will run 90 minutes or so.

Please remove text above this line.

When The Goal Is Not Just Clean and Sober – Parts 2 & 3

Join us for a Webinar on July 25

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/713882882

THIS WILL BE A SPECIAL EXTENDED WEBINAR DUE TO A POWER OUTAGE JULY 11.

Dr. Mark Shaw, President of Truth in Love Ministries, will present crucial instruction on the goal and motivation for working with someone who has a life dominating sin. The biblical counselor’s goal is not to become satisfied that the counselee is free from a substance and living a life of sobriety.

Dr. Shaw will convincingly demonstrate clean and sober are only possible when the counselor motivates the counselee to a high level – namely the glory of God.

Mark your calendars for parts two and three combined. Enlightening, eye-opening, and encouraging!

Title: When The Goal Is Not Just Clean and Sober – Parts 2 & 3

Date:Sunday, July 25, 2010

Time:8:00 PM – 9:00 PM CDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP, 2003 Server or 2000

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

-Mark (hope to talk to you soon!)