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Happy Birthday, Shirley!

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Quick thank you and happy birthday to the Lord’s faithful servant, Shirley, who is our Vice President and a wonderful teacher, biblical counselor, and leader!

Wish her a happy birthday today and remind her how much the Lord loves her!

We thank the Lord for you, Shirley, and appreciate your prayers, thoughtfulness, and “stick-to-it-ness” to fulfill the calling the Lord has given you!

-Mark (praising the Lord for Shirley and her parents who raised her right!)

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Comment I heard recently…

September 4, 2011 1 comment

“Anything I place in front of my recovery I will lose anyway.”

Really?

How about this statement instead: “Anything I place in front of Christ I will lose anyway.”

Recovery or Christ? Is recovery the god of the person who made the first statement above? Maybe. Recovery is certainly the most important “thing” in the person’s life! Our goal must not ONLY be to stay clean and sober (recovery) but our goal must be to glorify God with our lives and to live for Him alone!

You may be thinking I am splitting hairs over this but it’s important and an important distinction. The biblical word is transformation anyway – not recovery! God wants more than just recovery; He wants a transformation for the person struggling with an addiction. Praise God!

-Mark (wanting more than just sobriety; wanting to know Christ more deeply and wanting to glorify His Name!)

September is National “Recovery” Month – How about Nat’l Transformation Month instead!?!

September 1, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s September which means one thing: it’s National Recovery Month!

While I like the word “recovery,” I love the biblical word, “transformation”, so much better because God wants more for the person struggling with an addiction!

II Cor. 3:18 and Romans 12:2 remind us that God wants to transform our minds by making us more Christ-like! His plan is fantastic and is more than just staying clean and sober! So let’s rename this month from what the world calls it and call it what God calls it: National Transformation Month.

Really, every month of the entire year is national transformation month because God is still in the business of transforming lives for His own glory!

-Mark (glad God is transforming me daily)

A new book on marriage?

March 7, 2011 Leave a comment

A dear friend of mine encouraged me to write a book on marriage and I may do it one day, but there are many great books out there on marriage.

One such book is the Bible. Ephesians 5 is one helpful passage in God’s Word and there are many others. Search the Word and look for principles on loving your spouse. You can apply any principle on loving others to marriage! What a novel idea – apply principles on love to my spouse!

A simple book and easy to read is by Eggerichs called Love and Respect. Wayne Mack has written an excellent book on marriage called Strengthening Your Marriage and it will challenge, encourage, and strengthen your understanding of marriage.

I have written a booklet on marriage that has received “critical acclaim” and is being used in many biblical counseling ministries around the country. It is called “Hope and Help for Marriage” and the view is that one must love a spouse REGARDLESS of how they have been treated/loved based upon the love of Christ. It is encouraging because we call ALL do that – love others regardless of how they treat us since it depends only upon our actions, not theirs, to love them. Hope that makes sense!

Marriage is hard because two sinners living together do not always get along and often want their own way. But God puts in a new spirit within us as Christians and we are enabled to love as He loves – and we can love anyone, even our enemies…and our spouses!

-Mark (learning to love my neighbor, near one, as much as I already love myself)

P.S. My booklet is available through www.focuspublishing.com

Christians in America are raising Americans, not Christians

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

There is a difference in being an American and a Christian. The two are NOT the same. Which one are you raising: an American or a Christian?

Christians should be raising their children to be Christians first. Muslims are raising their children to be Muslims so why aren’t Christians raising their children to be Christians?

Most Christians do not know the Word of God. Compare that to Muslims who study and memorize the Koran at an early age. How many American Christians require their children to memorize large chunks of Scripture? Not many. Maybe a Bible verse here and there but not whole passages!

Are you raising a Christian or just another American? The church is dying largely because the faith of the fathers and grandfathers in Christ is NOT being passed on. They are teaching their children to know and embrace the very Word of God!

Instill those values into your children today! Teach them to be real followers of Christ, or Christians. In other words, disciple them to be disciples of Christ!

-Mark (thankful for God’s Word that guides us, indwells us, and enables us to obey and glorify Him)

Addiction-Proof Parenting: Biblical Prevention Strategies – what’s the book all about?

February 12, 2011 1 comment

In my latest book, I wrote on the topic of parenting. I think the best summation of what the book is about comes from Dr. Tedd Tripp’s endorsement of it. Dr. Tripp, author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart, said this about the book:

I think this is a great book. It is properly aligned, and because of extensive counseling experience, Mark Shaw is able to work back from how addicts think to biblical ways of thinking about oneself and life that counter “addictive” thought patterns. This book is for serious parents who will invest time in training their children. What could possibly be more important in this dangerous world? I hope you will read this book – even better – do this book!

Dr. Tripp gets it. I start from how addicts think of themselves and work backwards to help parents PREVENT instilling this mindset in their children. I think it’s a practical tool to help all parents! I trust you will be challenged and encouraged as you read this book and put it into practice in your family!

-Mark (having fun helping parents)

“I’m not going to die until I say I’m going to die.”

February 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Just heard a celebrity who was a childhood star say this sentence on tv: “I’m not going to die until I say I’m going to die.”

The lies people tell themselves! They want to believe this statement is true but they do not know Who gives them breath and Who holds their destiny in His Hands.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 reminds us of this: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:time to be born, and a time to die…” (ESV from Biblegateway.com)

Whether we want to die or not does not matter because we cannot make ourselves live. Only God gives us life and every day is a blessing. Teach your children that their lives belong to the Lord and that they are to use this life to live for His glory alone! Don’t let them believe lies like this one! Let them know that they are fragile in this life ever depending upon the Lord for strength, hope, and life everlasting!

I pray you will be thankful to Him for the days you’ve lived and that you will not believe that you hold your destiny in your own hands like this celebrity whose riches deceived and whose own lies deceived this person from knowing and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ!

-Mark (learning to live and die with grace)