Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Moved

This blog can now be found at jmarkjohns.com

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

As I write this blog my heart is heavy as the world seems to be scope locked on Gainesville, FL for all the wrong reasons.

Alachua county is where God has called CCA to minister and lift up the name of Christ. It is a name that is intended to be synonymous with love, charity, forgiveness and mercy. Instead, because of a small handful of over zealous and completely misguided believers, His name is being drug through the mud.

Please understand that while I do feel a sense of irritation and a little anger at the words and actions of those who represent this particular ministry here in Gainesville, it is pale in comparison to the sense of tragedy I feel when I ponder the long term effects this ignorant display will produce.

For one, this type of behavior only serves to reconfirm to the millions of skeptics in the world that ALL religion is, for the most part, extreme, fanatical and for the disillusioned. Second, it is in diametric opposition to the teaching of scripture.

Romans 12:17 “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God, for the scriptures say, I will take revenge, I will pay them back says the Lord. Instead, if your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this you will heap coals of shame on their heads. DO NOT LET EVIL CONQUER YOU, BUT CONQUER EVIL BY DOING GOOD.”

I wish this brother would read that scripture and stop this madness. With all the incredible media attention his words of repentance and humility would be a beacon of hope and light instead of the dark stain it is bringing to the Kingdom.

Thirdly, and if for no other reason, their actions will fuel the growing hatred for Americans and our soldiers who are already in harms way. I pray that somehow God will take this situation and turn it into something good for His glory.

It bothers me that thousands of churches everyday are showing the true love of Christ by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, providing shelter to the homeless and bringing hope to the hopeless and many never even get a footnote on the last page of a local newspaper. But as soon as a church loses their spiritual minds and begins to breed hate it gets international headlines.

I sincerely pray for these people and for this volatile situation. I pray the world will realize that even though there are those here who do not accurately represent the life of Christ, the greater majority of the churches and believers here in Alachua county deeply love people, even those that do not believe as we believe.

As for us and our house, we will serve the Lord. And to serve the Lord means we must be willing to love, live in peace where possible and do good even to our enemies.

As for September 11, we must not use the occasion to rekindle hate or bitterness. But instead, we must allow the occasion to remind us that we live in a fallen world, a world that needs Christ now more than ever. And we must resolve to not allow evil to conquer us or permit it to reduce us down to its sinful size. But rather we must rise to the occasion.

If there was ever a time when love can prevail and must prevail… IT IS NOW.

As we fight for the faith I am reminded of the immortal words of the Apostle Paul, who knew well what it was like to be hated, despised and attacked, “So we must never get tired of doing the RIGHT THING. When the right season comes we will surely succeed if we never give up.” Galatians 6:9

All for Chirst,
J Mark

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Choice... Not Chance

His name is Roger Crawford. He makes his living as a consultant and a public speaker. He’s written two books, and travels all across the country working with fortune 500 companies, national and state associations, and school districts. Those aren’t bad credentials.

But if that doesn’t impress you, how about this: before becoming a consultant, he was a varsity tennis player for Loyola Marymount University and later became a professional tennis player. Still not impressed? Would you be if I told you Roger has no hands and only 1 foot!

Roger Crawford was born with a condition called ectrodactylism. When he emerged from his mother’s womb, the doctors saw that he had a thumb-like projection extending out of his right forearm. He had no palms. His legs and arms were shortened. And his left leg possessed a shrunken foot with only three toes.

The foot was amputated when he was five. Roger’s parents were told by various medical professionals that he would never be able to walk, probably would not be able to take care of himself and would never lead a normal life. After recovering from the shock, Roger’s parents were determined to give him the best chance possible for living a normal life.

They raised him to feel loved, to be strong and to develop independence. His father would say, “Roger, you are only as handicapped as you want to be.” They taught him to think, dream and believe that anything in his heart was possible.

Roger said, “Something my parents never did was allow me to feel sorry for myself or take advantage of people because of my disability.”

Roger tells the story of a phone call he received from a gentleman while in college who had read of his accomplishments in tennis. Roger agreed to meet with him at a nearby restaurant. When he stood to shake the man’s hand he discovered the man had hands identical to his.

Crawford admits that for a moment he got excited about the prospects of having a friend and comrade who shared his life and the challenges that were unique to them. But after talking with the stranger for only a few minutes he realized he was wrong.

Roger says: Instead what I found was someone with a bitter, pessimistic attitude who blamed all of life’s disappointments and failures on his anatomy. I soon realized our lives and attitudes couldn’t have been more different…. We kept in touch for several years until it dawned on me that even if some miracle were suddenly to give him a perfect body, his unhappiness and lack of success wouldn’t change. His belief that the world owed him because of his circumstance had created a cavern of despair that had shaped his spirit. He had allowed failure to seize him from the inside.

Let me borrow something from my Master right here for a moment… HIM THAT HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.

Chances are that the adversity in your life right now are no where near as difficult as Roger Crawford’s has been. Handicaps and disabilities control and limit us only if we let them, this is true not only of physical challenges, but of emotional and intellectual ones as well.

Real limitations are only in our minds not in our bodies or our situations. You are what you THINK, NOT what you think you are.

In the end, the Power of Christ equips us with the ultimate ability to choose. We are either the masters or the victims of our attitudes.

SELAH.

Thought it was time for another injection of a moment of truth, Peace.

All for Christ,
J.Mark

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just for Fun

Just for fun and dedicated to all my fellow office dwellers.


Top 5 excuses to use just in case your caught sleeping at your desk at work.

1.- I wasn’t sleeping, I was trying to pick up my contact lens without my hands.

2.- You know, they told me at the blood bank that this might happen.

3.- Whew!! I must have left the top off the whiteout.

4.- The mail courier flipped out and pulled a gun so I was playing dead to avoid getting capped.

5.- I was just testing our new keyboards for drool resistance.


All for Christ,
J. Mark