Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Impossible is Possible, Part 4

I’m glad to be back bringing you this week’s Moment of Truth. We have been in a series of evotionals on the topic “The Impossible is Possible” and I hope they are challenging you and bringing inspiration to your life. This week I want to deal with a subject that is intrinsically tied to Godly success: HUMILITY. Of course, the arch enemy of humility is pride. Now, it’s important we all be honest with ourselves and admit we ALL struggle with pride in some form or fashion and to admit that is the first step to addressing this debilitating issue and finding true freedom to live the life God has for us to live.

If you are ever going to do anything big in life, confidence in the ability that God has given you is of paramount importance. However, pride is the vain belief that you and only you are the reason that anything ever happens. It is a spirit of independence from God and His holy work in your life. A great man once told me a line I’ve never forgotten, he said, “even postage stamps become useless when they get stuck on themselves.” When Paul wrote so pointedly about a man “dying to himself” this is the very essence of what he meant. When one can empty himself of himself, the stage is set for the impossible to become possible.

Years ago I heard Zig Ziglar say something that affected me profoundly. He said, “You will always have everything in life that you want if you’ll help enough other people get what they want.” Incorporating this concept into my life has made an incredible difference. True leadership always begins with servanthood while selfishness always leads to destruction. Now, being a servant is one of the most unnatural things you can do simply because we are conditioned to think only about ourselves. It’s born into us. Isn’t it interesting that you never have to teach a baby to be selfish or rude or to throw a fit when they don’t get what they want. Why? Because it’s what comes natural. We have to train our children to say “thank you” and “please” and to share.

When you read the scriptures about what components are necessary for greatness you find a very different perspective than what you find from the world. Jesus made it abundantly clear that the way to the throne room was through the servants quarters (Matthew 23:11). When we learn to forget ourselves and put others first, life changes not only for us but for every one around us as well. Egotism is the only disease where the patient feels well while making everyone else around them sick. I have observed in life that people who boast about being self-made usually have a few missing parts. Now here is the kicker, the bible never tells us to pray for humility. It says “HUMBLE YOURSELF.” That means it’s an inside job, it is an attitude that we must cultivate as an act of our will.

Let me end our talk today by sharing a prayer that I do think helps our journey towards humility. “Lord, give me the wisdom to know the difference between holy confidence and unholy pride then grant me the strength and desire to then remove what is not like you from my life.” Until next week remember, when you find yourself on a high horse, DISMOUNT.

All for Christ,
J. Mark

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Impossible is Possible, Part 3

Thanks for joining me again today as we continue our series of evotionals on the thought “The impossible is possible.”

Today I want to build our thoughts around one of the most indispensable components necessary to achieve the impossible, PERSEVERANCE. One of the best definitions of success I’ve ever heard came from a man named Vernon Sanders. He said, “Success consists of simply getting up just one more time than you have fallen down.” He’s right. Failure must be framed properly in the mind so that it does not scare or debilitate you from future attempts. Failure must be seen as a bridge not a barricade, to success. I love Psalm 37:23-24, it says “When a man walks with God, though he may stumble at times, he is never down for long.”(Message) Failure is proof you are not finished, it may look like a fact but it’s really only an opinion. It’s not how far you fall but how high you bounce back that really matters and makes the difference.

Theodore Roosevelt once challenged a young man who was fearful about a risk he was about to take with this immortal quote, “If you try to do something big and fail, you are vastly better off than if you had never tried to do anything and succeeded.” I have hid these words in my heart and remind myself of them often.

Beginning in January I am launching a new sermon series here at CCA with this title “ENGAGE- RELEASING YOUR GOD-GIVEN POTENTIAL. My spirit is being prepped and my faith seems to be high as I think about the future of our church and the vision that He has called us to. I know there are plenty of difficult days and steep obstacles that stand in the way of the dream God has for us but what gives my heart an infusion of “SPIRITUAL ADRENALINE” is the fact I know it is God’s dream for us and not simply a good idea. Because of this, I am ready for the fight.

The death of a dream never happens because of a failure, dreams die because of indifference and apathy. I heard Ed Cole once say, “You don’t drown because you fall in the water, you drown by staying there.” The best way to go on after a failure is to simply learn the lesson and forget the details. There are a thousand things I wish I could go back and do differently but I can’t and truthfully those negative experiences have served a tremendous purpose in my life. I have missed it before and feel quite confident that I’ll miss it again but I have resolved to never stop pulling the trigger. I don’t have a problem reaching for more bullets.

How about you? Where are you? What is it God has called you to do? What dream does God have for you? Don’t allow indifference, apathy or fear victimize your destiny. The only way to comeback is to go on. A wise old business man once told me something I’ve never forgotten so let me pass it on to you. He said, “ Remember your life is like a tea bag, it’s not worth very much until it’s been through some hot water.” I’m finding that to be true. I pray for you the power to persevere and release your God-given potential so until next week, remember if God is for you who can be against you?

God bless and Merry Christmas.

All for Christ, J.Mark

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Impossible is Possible, Part 2

Grab something and hold on, here comes this week’s moment of truth.

Remember we are in a series of e-votionals entitled the “THE IMPOSSIBLE IS POSSIBLE.” I want to title this particular installment “SAFETY LAST.” For many years “safety first” has been the motto of the human race but I promise you this, it has never been the motto of great leaders. Leaders know that in order for dreams to be realized, dangers must be faced. If you want to succeed in something you must either have a chance or take one. Herbert casson once noted, “You can’t get your head above water if you never stick your neck out.” He’s right. In fact, I believe a dream that does not include risk is not really worthy of being called a dream at all.

If you never risk anything you’ll get it every time. I love the quote I read not long ago by a man named John Newman; he said, “Calculation is good but only in moderation, in the end calculation never made a hero.” If you endeavor to release your full potential and desire to fulfill your God-given dreams you will have to venture into waters over your head. Trust me when I tell you, no one gets a free ride. The truth is, if you never risk anything you risk even more. John Stemmons once quipped, “When your chances are slim and none, go with slim.”

We all love to talk about and celebrate people who have done and are doing incredible things but the problem is too many people are content to celebrate from the stands instead of participate in the race. Listen, please, THE RACE IS NOT ONLY FOR A FEW IT IS ALSO FOR YOU. Every person we admire and appreciate for their accomplishments somewhere along the road had to not play it safe and at some point had to make some courageous decisions. WHY NOT YOU. Refuse to join the cautious crowd that plays simply not to lose… if you’re going to play, you might as well play to win.

I believe a huge key is simply to not focus on the risk as much as the results. Develop an attraction to the destination and the difficulties that you encounter along the journey may, at times, delay you but they will never be able to deny you. God is no respecter of persons but he is a respecter of principles and the Bible makes it clear the principle that moves Him the most is FAITH. Faith by its very nature is risk-oriented. If you have no risk, you don’t need faith. So my simple message to you is, JUMP, LEAP. RUN, GET OUT OF THE BOAT, however you want to say it, success never favors the safe or timid, success always favors the bold.

Until next week remember ,SAFETY LAST!

All for Christ, J.Mark

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Impossible is Possible, Part 1

Today I want to start a series of E-votionals that I pray will challenge and propel you to new places in God as well as new levels of effectiveness in life. For the next several weeks I want you to embrace this truth, “THE IMPOSSIBLE IS POSSIBLE.” Think about it, almost everything we enjoy today was impossible yesterday. Deep inside you lives an impossible thought, a dream longing to come true, a mission placed there by your heavenly Father. But why? Because He specializes in the impossible. It is where He is at His very best. Life can be a perpetual barrage of “things” coming at us.

Fear, faith, friends, mistakes, anger, indecision and a list to numerous to name engage our time and demand our attention and these things can at times leave us with the impression that things are impossible or at least incredibly difficult. The Bible says God can do more than we can ever imagine. One of His most defining characteristics is His ability to transform impossible situations and make them possible. My heart for these next weeks has simply been stirred by Matthew 19:26, “with men this is impossible but with God all things are possible.”

Let me give you three words to get us started and season your spirit for miracles.

1. BEGIN- Begin to prepare by praying for God to open your heart and mind to a new way of thinking. The word says that transformation happens when our minds are renewed (Romans 12). Let me say it this way, the road to miracles is paved with a new mind. If you read the story in scripture about the dialogue Jesus has with a man by the pool of Bethesda you will find his greatest hindrance was not his paralysis, it was the fact he was convinced there was only one way to be healed. Jesus revealed that miracles come in multiple ways and to believe that there is only one way for God to move greatly limits our ability to receive what we need. When we paint God in a corner, the corner becomes the circumference of our world. Ask God to open your eyes to the whole court, miracles begin here.

2. BECOME- Become aware of what your feeding your spirit and your mind. Too often we allow other people’s opinions to become our reality. There is enough opposition to our dreams as it is without giving time and place to people with negative and pessimistic attitudes. Now I’m not saying be rude or mean to those who may be this way, I’m simply saying identify and be aware of faithless talk and spirits and refuse to allow them to infiltrate your life. Surround yourself with people and environments that are full of faith and where God is viewed in His proper context. The Hebrews called Him ELOHIM, the God of ALL POWER.

3. BELIEVE- Faith is a choice not an emotion. It is not a feeling, it is a decision. Make up your mind today that you know God loves you and wants the best for you and that those dreams that are in your heart are there for a reason. I know the road to purpose has many potholes and obstructions along the way but I have to say I am completely convinced that my life and my mission are undeniably blessed and I choose to believe that all the dreams God has placed inside my heart are becoming and will become reality.

So until next week remember the words of Christ, “All things are possible to them that believe”

All for Christ, J.Mark

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thank You

On Thursday of this week tables will be filled with all manner of food and good fellowship. People who haven’t prayed all year long will bow their heads and pray like they do it every day. Homes that normally do not observe anything religious will find reasons for moments of silence and words of warmth and thanks to God, after all its Thanksgiving.

But to somehow make thanksgiving a holiday or to hallow it as a special day of the year is a bit like telling your wife you love her only on your anniversary. While your anniversary is a noteworthy day and one worthy of recognition I think I can speak for most women when I say she would rather have a little love everyday than a lot of love only one day of the year. A little love everyday simply says, “you are always on my mind.” This is the same principle of Thanksgiving, a little thankfulness everyday sends a message to God that we do not take Him for granted and that we are aware of His daily presence in our lives. As I reflect on my life here are my top three things that I am thankful for…..

1. MY FAITH- Obviously my relationship with Christ is of paramount importance. But my thankfulness rests in the fact that I remember the pathetic and horrid reality of my lost condition and how far I was from him. Because He never gave up on me and loved me in my wretched condition I cannot help but feel the deepest and most sincere gratitude for this place in Him that I did not nor do not deserve. LORD I THANK YOU FOR MY FAITH.

2. MY FAMILY- My wife and children, my parents and my brothers as well as my aunts, uncles, grandmothers and cousins, all of my family has enriched my life and are truly the things that make life full and complete. It is so important that we not allow what we don’t have in life to blind us from the things that we do have because the things we do have are really the most important anyway. LORD I THANK YOU FOR MY FAMILY.

3. MY FUTURE- Now I know that no one is promised tomorrow but if the Lord allows me to live and continue to work for Him I have to say that my heart is filled with great anticipation at the prospects of where the church and I are going. The scriptures in Jeremiah say that the thoughts that God thinks towards us are full of blessing and not cursing so that a bright and blessed future might be established not just for the kingdom but for us as well. It has been the honor of my life to serve the Lord as a minister of the gospel and truly believe the best is yet to come. LORD I THANK YOU FOR MY FUTURE.

I pray you and your family have the best Thanksgiving ever, until next week remember what the Psalmist said, “IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD.”

All for Christ, J.Mark

Monday, November 17, 2008


We are rapidly approaching one of the most spiritual and momentous celebrations of the year, THANKSGIVING. I’m going to be sharing two weeks of evotionals on the subject of thanksgiving because I believe it truly deserves it. The first official Thanksgiving occurred in 1621 when Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Rock proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to celebrate the survival of the pilgrims in their second year of the new world. Of course you don’t have to read very long anywhere in the Bible to discover that the idea of relegating Thanksgiving to a day on the calendar year is not what God intended at all.

Now don’t get me wrong I know the intent of the holiday and deeply appreciate the significance of the season, however, as humans it is vitally important that we be constantly reminded that giving thanks is an attitude one embraces and a decision one makes not a date on the calendar that alters our behavior for only a couple of hours on a Thursday. I believe there are two main culprits that rob us of an attitude of gratitude. One is PRIDE. Pride makes us believe that it has been our own hard work and diligence that is responsible for our blessings and with this attitude we feel that we have no one to thank but ourselves. Just read Psalm 100:3. The second is a critical spirit that begins to blind us to the blessings that we DO have by blazing our focus on what we DON’T have. The Bible tells us that God not only appreciates our thanksgiving but it also endears Him to us in a greater way. Let me give you 3 simple ways you can express how thankful you are to God.

1.-SPEND TIME WITH HIM- Everyone is busier than perhaps they have ever been and the mantra “ I don’t have time” is a favorite tune of our time. I’m going to say only this one thing here and I hope you meditate on it for a moment. WE ALL MAKE TIME FOR THE THINGS WE TRULY CARE ABOUT. You know it’s true. So there is no better way to say “thank you” then to invest time with God. To God quantity time is quality time. My time with God is becoming more dear to me the busier and older I get.

2.-FORGIVE OTHERS- Forgiving others truly expresses to God how grateful you really are for his grace and forgiveness to us. Forgiveness is not always easy, somehow I don’t really think it’s supposed to be but that’s why when we walk in forgiveness it stands as such a testimony to the reality of God working in our lives. One of the great indicators of a thankful heart is generosity. We are never more like our Father than when we forgive someone who’s hurt us and done us wrong.

3.-GIVE HIM YOUR VERY BEST- It’s easy to justify giving God our leftovers. Leftover money, leftover time and leftover heart but there is nothing that says “I appreciate you” more than giving someone your best. Let’s say for Christmas you go to great lengths to find out what a special person in your life really desired. It took you great effort, time, and expense to find that special gift, acquire it, but you were determined that no matter what, they were worth it. Then on the day you present your extravagant gift they hand you a blank envelope with five bucks in it and say Merry Christmas. How would you feel? We do it to God all the time. His Son was the most treasured possession He and heaven had. Yet He gave Him for us and to us with joy and then we act like it’s a chore to just sometimes get up on a rainy day and honor His house. I know it stings a little but it’s true. GOD PLEASE HELP ME BE A THANKFUL MAN.

I pray that this Thanksgiving would be the best ever for you and your family and that we would all resolve to express our thankfulness to God every day of the year in these three ways.

God bless and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

All for Christ, J.Mark

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Effective Witness

As a Pastor, I am constantly reading and researching and doing my best to broaden my knowledge and arm myself with relevant information. I am not just talking about having a deeper understanding of the scripture and spiritual principles but also of what is happening presently in our world and the Body of Christ. In the last decade or so much has been made over forming and building churches that are “seeker sensitive”, that is, churches that are focused on creating an environment where the lost that may have dismissed the church as not being authentic or meaningful can be reintroduced to Christ in a fresh and relevant way.

While I firmly believe in building and forming our churches with the lost in mind I also believe there is a bigger issue that must be addressed. It does little good to spend all of our time and energy to create “SEEKER SENSITIVE CHURCHES” if we never effectively build “SEEKER SENSITIVE CHRISTIANS.” It is something I address almost every Sunday on some level here at CCA. It has been well said that a person wrapped up only in themselves makes a mighty small package so here is this weeks moment of truth, you are probably within eyeshot right now of someone who needs Christ….. Do you even care? In Luke 10 one of the most famous and well known stories ever told by Christ is found, the story of the Good Samaritan. Inside the story are three simple principles that every Christian can do to be an effective witness.

1. OPEN YOUR EYES- Jesus once said “Open your eyes and look around you, the time for harvest is now.” The story of the Samaritan reveals that he wasn’t the first one to arrive at the scene of the crime but he was the only one who cared to see the need. Listen closely to this statement, what we see through our eyes is colored by the condition of our hearts. The others saw the same scene but they did not see it the same way. Compassion colored the Samaritans eyes while indifference seasoned the priests sight. Do we really see as Jesus sees?

2. OPEN YOUR HEART- We live in an age where people have more walls around there heart than ever before. The greatest tragedy of the Titanic was not that over one thousand people lost their lives but that the 16 life boats that were in the frigid water were only partially filled. Many more lives could have been saved but the people that were in the lifeboats had grown so comfortable in their salvation that they forgot about the fact there were still people dying in the water. We must not allow our hearts to grow hardened to those dying within arms reach of us everyday.

3. OPEN YOUR HANDS- The world’s theme song is “its none of my business.” I’m glad God did not look at my fallen and pathetic state and say “It’s a shame, but its none of my business.” My point is simply this true compassion is not measured by passionate sermons or flowery speeches, it is measured by ACTION. Please don’t think I’m trying to throw some guilt trip on you or say we are bad people if we haven’t shared our faith with someone today. All I’m saying is how will others ever know the incredible and life changing love of God without someone who cares enough to get a little uncomfortable and share it?

In World War II a statue of Christ had been blown apart by enemy fire in a small polish town. The soldiers who were cleaning around the small church were collecting the various pieces and putting it back together however no one could locate the hands so finally a soldier took a piece of mangled metal, placed it at the base and wrote these words “WE ARE HIS HANDS.”

Until next week, be his hands.

All for Christ, J.Mark

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Cost

Every now and again I go back to my library and pull out some books I have had for a long time and flip through them again reading various passages that I have highlighted in the past. For some reason I have always been drawn to the writings of authors and preachers of long ago that followed Christ with a unique and conspicuous passion. Men like C.S.Lewis, A.W. Tozer and Vance Havner. There is a discernable pattern in all of their writings that stirs something in my spirit. They possessed a deep conviction and belief that following Christ was not something one did in a cavalier or haphazard fashion. They were convinced that in order for His complete purposes to be accomplished in one’s life it meant complete and total sell-out to God.

Truthfully, it’s a far cry from what is sometimes promoted today. I don’t know a Pastor that hasn’t been guilty of, at times, just being thankful people are at least showing up. But what does God expect? What does He desire for us and from us? In Luke 14:27-29 Jesus made it clear following Him required two things, carrying a cross and counting the cost. Now you won’t hear a lot of this kind of preaching on TV because we have gotten a little scared at telling the whole truth about following Christ for fear the message will be received as negative and rejected. But my thinking is, how can we build a whole Kingdom on only half the truth? HERE’S YOUR WEEKLY MOMENT OF TRUTH… there is a cost in following Christ and here are three things it will cost you.

1.- YOUR OWN WILL AND AGENDA- This one scares people because they have this idea that if they surrender all they will end up on some mountain living in a cave rubbing two sticks together living as a missionary to the pygmies of New Guinea. The enemy uses this to keep people’s hearts closed to God and the truth is if He put it in your heart to do that there is no other place on earth you would rather be. But the truth is surrendering our will simply means we realize that we were not created only for ourselves but to serve and please God. In so doing we discover life has tremendous and awesome purpose. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “whoever gives up his life for me is the one who finds out what life is truly all about.”

2.- A TEMPORARY SURRENDER OF SECURITY- Following Christ will require a total trust in God even when doing so is the scariest thing you have ever done. In my last membership class a young couple joining our church expressed their fear as we talked about the covenant of tithing and what it means to God and the church. I shared with them that tithing is not about money, it’s all about the heart and it’s about trusting God as our complete and ultimate source and that when we honor him in that way we invoke his favor and provision over our lives. They trusted God and three weeks later received a reimbursement check from too much escrow they had paid. The timing of it was all God and they saw His word come to life right in front of them. God is like that. Leaps of faith are always required to release loads of favor. God said, “Prove Me.” Translation- test me and see if I won’t show up.

3. THE EASE AND COMFORT OF MEDIOCRITY- To truly follow Christ means the end of half-hearted efforts and serving Him only when its easy and convenient. It means approaching our life in Him with the same tenacity Christ approached the cross for us. His love for us compelled him to do whatever it took to redeem us from our curse. The people in this world who live by this attitude are the ones who shape the world for everyone else. OH GOD, MAKE ME ONE OF THESE.

Until next week, SELAH (think on these things)

All for Christ, J.Mark

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Uncommon Commitment

Are you ready for a moment of truth? I thought you might be so here’s one for you.

There are people who have big dreams and people who do big things. I know which one we all want to be but the real question is which one are you? I have observed three kinds of people in this world, those who watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those who wonder what just happened. The people who make up that second category are in that category for one very important reason. They all possess UNCOMMON COMMITMENT.

You see, uncommon commitment produces uncommon results. They seem to have acquired an incredible passion for completing their mission and that passion propels them through all sorts of obstacles.

Let me break this uncommon commitment down in three simple ways. People who do big things possess these characteristics:

1.-COMPELLING PURPOSE- They have developed a deep attraction to their destination. They are compelled by the cause. In the Bible there is this picture of a young freckled face boy who went to go bring supplies to his brothers who are on the frontlines of a military engagement. They are being challenged by a literal monster of a man named Goliath. As he rants and raves insults against Israel and the God they serve. The picture is of this young man running up and down the lines of reluctant and fearful soldiers screaming to the top of his lungs, “IS THERE NOT A CAUSE!?” David was driven by something bigger than his own safety and security. He knew and understood that some things in life are worth the risk and that while staying in camp was safe for him it certainly wasn’t safe for the cause. My question is do you have a cause that compels you? Is there something that makes you get out of the boat and take a risk? The paradox is this, whenever you find something worth dying for you have found something worth living for.

2.-CLEAR PERSPECTIVE- People who make things happen don’t let fear cloud their view of the future. They just know anything worth doing will be latent with obstacles and obstructions and difficulty so when it comes they are never shocked or surprised. They have learned to take it all in stride and simply keep pressing. Perception is everything, if you think you can’t… your right. But if you think you can… you are right again. The key is keeping a clear perspective.

3.-COURAGEOUS PERSISTENCE- Never give up. Remember, you are never a failure until you quit. I love the message version of Galatians 6:9 it says, “Don’t ever get fatigued in doing what is good, when the time is right we will harvest a full crop if we never give up or quit.” B.C. Forbes once commented on the way people looked on and admired others who do great things as though somehow they are simply more favored than other people. I think he summed it up well when he said, “ Big shots are just little shots who simply kept shooting.”

Until next week, dig deep and keep shooting.

All for Christ,

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Vote

In just twenty-one days America will have elected a new leader to embrace our dreams and accept the challenge of our struggling times. It is indeed an incredibly pivotal moment. In spite of what is wrong in the systems and structure of our nation there is no doubt that in all of the world she is still the greatest. The democratic process is a testament to this truth and while the floundering economy seems to have all of our attention and the headlines of nearly every paper, we must be careful not to be distracted and sidetracked but remain focused on ALL of the issues that our new leader will be responsible for. The responsibilities are incredibly vast and complex and while one aspect of our nation is at the forefront it won’t be forever and then it will be something else. The only reason I bring it up is because I have had multiple conversations with people who expressed that the sole motivating factor for their vote was the economy. While it’s importance is obvious, there is a lot more to be considered when making a decision as important as selecting our next President. Many a man has fallen in love with a dimple and then married the whole girl. Now in no way am I trying to influence your vote one way or the other but what I do hope to do is simply give you three ways to approach the upcoming election…..

1.- PRAY FOR WISDOM- If there was ever a moment to be led by his spirit, this is it. Wisdom is simply the ability to see a situation from God’s divine perspective. He understands clearly things we sometimes struggle to comprehend and the Bible says that if we ask him for wisdom He will gladly give it to us. Many people don’t really see the act of casting a vote as a spiritual move but when you stop to really think through the consequences of what a Presidential election means it is an incredibly spiritual moment. So whatever you do pray first.

2.- PREPARE YOUR MIND- Please listen closely, a person’s judgment is no better than their information. We must arm ourselves with information about the character, voting records and values of every candidate. The internet is a free flowing, nonstop highway of info that is full of valuable insight into the past performance and present positions of those running for office. Find out the facts and know why you believe the way you do. Make up your own mind based on the stats that you have seen for yourself not just what others speculate about each one.

3.-PERFORM YOUR DUTY- Go to the polls and do it. I had a conversation with the supervisor of elections in Lake City about 3 weeks ago who just happens to be my neighbor and was absolutely blown away by the statistics of those who actually go to the polls and vote or should I say don’t vote. Sons, daughters, mothers and fathers have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect and insure that you and I could get up on November 4 and have a voice in who and how we are governed. Don’t ever think voting is merely an accessory to your citizenship like alloy wheels on a car, it is our duty, indeed our obligation. Some think their vote won’t matter, if that’s you consider this, in 1776 one vote gave America the English language instead of German, in 1845 one vote brought the state of Texas into our union, and in 1876 one vote gave Rutherford D.Hayes the Presidency of the United States and it could just happen again……with one vote…..maybe YOUR VOTE. I thank God I was born in America and I am thankful and honored by the opportunity to cast a voice for me and my children on November 4.

I sincerely pray you will join me.

All for Christ, J.Mark

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not Perfect

Let me share a true story with you about a man and his family and see what you think. He is a wealthy and highly influential individual who loses his emotional stability and in the process, his integrity. He ends up having an affair with another man’s wife who is away on important business and this encounter leads to an unfortunate and unwanted pregnancy. His stepson rapes his half sister and because of his inaction and indifference to address the situation, the real brother of the raped girl ends up murdering the stepson in an act of vengeance for his sister. The father, in order to cover up his own adulterous affair tries a host of tactics to divert the truth from being known but when all plans fail and all other options have been exhausted, he feels left with no other choice but to have him murdered. The murder is carried out and when the illegitimate child is born it also dies just days later.

I know that’s some heavy stuff and almost to horrific and twisted to believe, but it happened. A family and a man like this would be a prime candidate for a 20/20 exclusive or at least the Springer show but instead of being the headline of a national newspaper or the subject of a primetime investigative show, you find him in a different place, A VERY DIFFERENT PLACE. THE BIBLE. This true story is an excerpt from the life of a man named David, King David. I know normally when we hear stories about David they involve names like Goliath or the Philistines and they often involve lions and bears and great feats of courage and heroism. But ladies and gentleman, that’s only part of his story.

The reason I felt led to share all of this with you is to illustrate one of the most powerful and noteworthy points the Bible goes out of its way to make, THAT GOD DOESN’T USE PERFECT PEOPLE. He just uses people. People with problems and hang ups and flaws, people with issues and histories and people with scars. Let me share a few reasons God doesn’t use perfect people…..

1. THERE ARE NONE TO CHOOSE FROM- From the Dali-Lama to the Pope to whoever your favorite preacher may be, I promise you they fight their own battles and deal with their own demons. We are all broken but he is putting us back together again. I am reminded of a story about a Pastor who was preaching and in the middle of his sermon asked the rhetorical question “has anyone ever met a perfect man?” The Pastor was shocked when a small somewhat elderly man sheepishly stood up in the back. “Sir”, he said, “you mean you have met a perfect man?” “No sir, I never met him but I do know of one.” “Well who was he?” the preacher asked. “He was my wife’s first husband, apparently he was a perfect man!”

2. GOD GETS ALL THE CREDIT- The Bible says that God doesn’t choose many that are mighty or strong but instead chooses the weak and the overlooked to do his work. Don’t miss the key word, CHOOSES. Why wouldn’t God choose the best of the best after all isn’t that how we select our teams? God is not impressed by talent or skill or great ability, He has always looked for the broken, the castaway and the bruised and here’s why, God has the ability to take ordinary people and do extraordinary things through their lives so that He alone can receive the honor. God has never selected superstars he simply searches for servants and no matter the limitations they may possess his grace is sufficient.

3. IT IS AN INSPIRATION TO OTHER BROKEN PEOPLE- I’m so glad when God recorded the lives of men and women in the Bible He didn’t just paint a picture of the pretty parts but what He shows is the true image, warts and all. It gives me hope that no matter what my struggles God is still working in and through my life. One of the greatest lies the enemy has ever told humanity is that they were too flawed and broken for God to use. The truth is the more broken you are the more God can and will use your life but you don’t have to take my word for it, JUST ASK KING DAVID.

See you next week.

All for Christ, J.Mark

Thursday, February 14, 2008


This is a test. This is only a test.