Matthew 10:7-8

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Two random thoughts in the last 15 minutes:
1) I was thinking of the lines in the song, "LOVE came like madness; poured out in blood-washed romance." How to those who know little of God, or just don't want to, those words could actually be repulsive. But for the lovers of Jesus, that is the most beautiful, cleansing thought in the world. That reminded me of 2 Corinthians 2:15-16. (You look it up.........get in the Word today!)
2) Those that desire to know the Father better we often pray that the Lord will reveal more of Himself to us, or we say something like, "God, take me a little deeper; I want to know Your heart." Then we wait and maybe something happens and maybe it doesn't seem to. Maybe God is actually waiting on us to just tell Him, "God I'm coming after You and I won't let anything get in the way. You are what I want and need and I am going to pursue You like no other. I'm not waiting. Here I come. Jesus I am yours now and forever!"
And suddenly a third thing just came to me. Humorously, it's from Rocky II, where Mickey looks at Rocky in the hospital and yells with excitement, "WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR!!!!!" And so I ask you, "What are we waiting for?" 

Let's chase God down like we've never done before!

Trying to love you like Jesus does,
Mark S.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Hello, my name is Mark and I've been a recovering hypocrite for most of my life.......................

I have listened to several conversations this year in which someone referred to the church and Christians as just a bunch of hypocrites.  Honestly this used to bother me greatly.  There have been times when I have felt much frustration, even anger, as I've listened to such things.

Those times of are over and have been for months now.  I just haven't written about it until tonight.  There was a night this year when in the quietness of the night I was alone with God and my thoughts.  I was thinking sadly about someone who had almost scornfully accused Christians of hypocrisy.  And I was so very saddened.  So much so that I could feel the hurt deep in my soul, because this came from someone who I care for and love very much  But suddenly in the quiet of that moment I heard a thought come to me (which I believe was sent by God) that said, "She is right, she is absolutely right."  That caused me to really ponder things and even look back on my own life.  Suddenly I felt like I had no defense.  And if you are one reading this right now, who would also be saying such a thing, I have no argument for you.  You are right. And that makes me sad.

I'm not going to sit here and name all of the sins of the world that are also in the church.  Each of us, if we are courageous enough, can do that on our own.  Little sins to Big Sins.  Sins hidden in the dark corners of our homes that nobody knows about.  Except God. Francis Chan is a nationally recognized pastor, teacher and author who I enjoy very much.  Recently I came across an audio message from him where he had to address his congregation on a sexual immorality issue within his church.  Yes, we can be hypocrites and it makes me sad to know that some of you reading this are owed an apology.

But also in the moment of that night I received an incredible download.  I was reminded of a tender teaching of Jesus when He said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  In other words, blessed is the one who truly recognizes spiritual bankruptcy.  Who realizes that without Jesus we can't get better.  We can't escape our sinful ways.  Without Jesus, we are left to wallow in the muck and mire of this world; but for those of us who recognize this and really want to change and follow Jesus, He says that we are blessed!  And I believe He says that with arms stretched wide and with so much love in His eyes that it burns us to the core.  And that brings me to my knees.  Tonight I listened to a song in which one of the lines is a hearts cry,  "Jesus.............Jesus, all I want is to be like You."  That, my friend has become a cry that comes from the deepest part of my soul.  I don't want to be seen as a hypocrite in even the smallest of ways.

Notice that I started using words such as, "for those who truly want to follow Jesus," instead of using the word "Christians."  There can be a huge difference between the one who really desires to be a disciple of Jesus and one who without thinking says that they are a Christian.  I believe that in the age we are now living in that God is even separating the two.

The second part of that download is this.  If there is sin in our life, whether we would view it as "little" sin or "Big sin," we need to take a knife, do surgery and cut it out.  Maybe instead of a knife we need to take up a sword.............the sword of the spirit (Ephesians 6:17)...............get that sin out and destroy it.  God doesn't like it when his people refuse to get rid of sin that allows people the excuse to mock and laugh at the idea of Christianity.  We also need to be very careful of everything from our speech and how we live to how we react in ugly situations that we are faced with.  No, I'm not saying that we have to be perfect.  We are flesh and as long as we live in these corruptible bodies we will all have moments of failure.  But we do need to have a longing and desire to keep getting better.  And when we do that the rest of the world will recognize Jesus for who He truly is.  The compelling mighty, full of love Savior who died and rose for the sins of the world.  They will also witness the life of the one who truly desires to follow Jesus, and when that is witnessed, instead of being viewed as an undesirable hypocrite we will be viewed as a compelling full of life and love man or woman of God.  And that my friend is what will change the world.

God loves you and so do I,
Mark S.