Posts Tagged ‘truth’

His-story of TIL (quick)

December 19, 2010 1 comment

TIL was started three years ago. It was inspired by an opportunity I had to teach on addictions at a pastor’s conference. After that conference, I saw the great need to train pastors and all saints for the work of ministry. Therefore, TIL was birthed as an equipping ministry TO the body of Christ.

Six months after our miraculous non-profit status was obtained (that’s a great testimony to God’s faithfulness), we began counseling. We met with 2 families with 3 counselors. Today, we have so much going that I cannot even keep up with it. We are doing over 70 sessions a week with nearly 50 counselors some weeks! God has increased our ministry exponentially.

Even better, we began to see God save people and to reconcile relationships. Marriages were saved (not all!) but many. Most importantly, God was and continues to be glorified.

When TIL was birthed, my desire was to develop a “peace-making” side to the ministry to resolve conflicts biblically rather than going to court! Now, by God’s grace, we have the right person to lead this side of the ministry. Praise God!

Now, we minister at The Lovelady Center, Christ Health Center, Philadelphia Baptist Church, Bethel Baptist Church, and The Church at Brook Hills. Wow!

God is faithful to His message. He is still in the transforming “hearts” business!

-Mark (glad to be a small part of this ministry)


Grace…to sin?

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Real grace is always truthful.

Real truth is always gracious and loving.

Extreme grace without any trace of the truth is not gracious.

Extreme truth without any trace of grace is not truth.

My head is spinning. Is yours?

In other words, sometimes people think they are being gracious by simply being truthful alone. AND others think they are being gracious by omitting the truth but they are really harming the other person, especially in biblical counseling.

Only truth in love and truth and grace together are acceptable in biblical counseling. The counselee must be loved with the truth. John 8:32 reminds us that the truth sets one free from sin.

-Mark (balancing truth and grace by speaking the truth in love to others)

Rom. 12:2 – in the church!

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I find myself teaching biblical truths to Christians who mistakenly think it’s heresy because they are so conformed to the pattern of this church world. In other words, sometimes the Gospel seems like heresy to people who are not used to hearing it and watch more TV than they read their Bibles! Just a commentary on how distracted we all can be in our society since we have sports, hobbies, and other activities to pre-occupy our time and take us away from spending time with the Lord alone.

So, when you tell people that mankind is sinful and in desperate need of a Savior, and then that the Holy Spirit indwells a new believer to enable them to be transformed into the image of Christ, sometimes people are hearing this message for the first time. They did not realize that they did not have to stay stuck in bondage to sin.

Therefore, sometimes I must apply Romans 12:2 to Christians: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”**

Some Christians are conformed to this world and must be transformed in their thinking to find that perfect will of God. This is the primary message of compassionate, biblical counseling. People are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit working in partnership with God’s Word of truth.

-Mark (so grateful that God has transformed me, is transforming me, and will transform me – all for His glory alone)
**The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ro 12:2). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Philosophy not Psychology! Even CSI recognizes it!

October 22, 2010 Leave a comment

I was told that on CSI last night, someone referred to Carl Jung (the psychologist) as that “great philosopher.” That is PRECISELY what Carl Jung is – a philosopher! I’m glad the show was honest enough to admit it.

Most people view psychology as a “science” but is it really? Where is the objective data that is done in the medical field? Most of psychology’s data is subjective and based on human self-report not on objective data. The DSM-IV diagnoses are often given based upon self-report or observation, not on bloodwork and the like.

So, it is ACCURATE to call psychology a philosophy because that is what it is 95% of the time! And it is accurate to call Carl Jung a philosopher because that is what he really is!

One more note: what does God say in His Word about philosophies of mankind? Colossians 2:8 tells us: See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

So beware of philosophy and psychology WHEN they oppose GOD and His divinely inspired Word of truth!

-Mark (grateful to God for His rock solid truth and that I don’t have to rely on fallible ideas of mankind, especially in the area of counseling and biblical soul care)

Parents…can they speak the truth in love?

October 22, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s amazing to me that we live in a day and age when parents expect others to teach and discipline their own children. Some parents expect their church to teach their children about God. Some parents expect their children to learn good manners by working at Chic-Fil-a. Some parents believe that the military will give their children the structure and discipline they need to thrive in today’s world.

It’s sad.

So who is responsible for instructing children in all things? How about the parents.

Parents don’t own their children. Parents are stewards of their children because God owns their children. Parents are to instruct and discipline the children God gave them and to do so in the way that HE alone instructs. Those children belong to God and He wants them raised to know Him and His word in an intimate way. They need the truth in love.

-Mark (grateful for my 4 and knowing I can do better as a parent)

Does Lindsay Lohan have a disease of addiction?

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

We need to pray for Ms. Lohan to find Christ. What does she need more: “recovery” from drugs in this life OR eternal life through Christ in the next life? For Christians, the answer is obvious because we believe in the afterlife of living in new bodies with our souls either in heaven or in hell.

I heard that Lindsay Lohan is using language now that she has a “disease” of a drug addiction. The reporters on tv applauded her recognition of the problem because she is no longer denying it. But she just failed another drug test so admitting the problem is not enough. She needs the power of Christ.

There is no such thing as willpower or “self-help.” We all need the power of Christ and His forgiveness for our sins. I am much in need of both…as is Ms. Lohan. So, while I am glad she went to a 28 day program, I wish she had heard the truth: that “addiction” is really a sin called “idolatry” for which we can be forgiven and transformed by the power of Christ when we surrender our lives to Him.

-Mark (praying for addicts everywhere to hear the truth about addictions)

“Sports Addiction”?

September 20, 2010 Leave a comment

I just heard someone on the news use the term “sports addiction” in all seriousness! They were talking about someone who roots too hard for his/her team and lives in a reckless way to support their team. Last time, I checked, the word “fan” was short for “fanatic” and that type of behavior was encouraged not discouraged by the world (not by God the Father!).

Wow, if we could just call it what God calls it: idolatry – then we’d have it right. Idolatry occurs when a person gets so wrapped up in any idolatrous pleasure that they fail to meet their God-given responsibilities to be fully devoted to God and to serve others – which is unloving and sinful. It’s a violation of the First Commandment at the very least.

But when the world takes God out of everything, then “idolatry” doesn’t make sense and “addiction” does since it implies something physical not moral (or spiritual).

The term “idolatry” points people to the Righteous Judge called the Lord God Almighty! That’s the truth that points us to our need for a righteous Savior and His power to transform us!

-Mark (lamenting the diseasing of sin)