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."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


MERRY CHRISTMAS! I'm so glad you've chosen to visit my blog and hope that my thoughts have brought encouragement to you this year. Get the fireplace going and listen to the sounds of Christmas. As I write these words I am praying for the warmth and love offered by the PRINCE OF PEACE to overwhelm your heart.

"But you Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." (Micah 5:2)

"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

"The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will raise up to David a righteous branch, a king who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land." (Jeremiah 23:5)

"For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

"The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,............" (Deuteronomy 18:15)

"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:7)

"The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined." (Isaiah 9:2)

Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this [will be] the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:10-14)

"But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19)

May you also ponder the wonders of the Christ!

Much love,

Friday, December 2, 2011


Why don't you hit the play button and get the fire in that fireplace going as you begin to read? I think you will be able to capture more the spirit of what I'm about to say! :)

Last Sunday for the entirety of our time in praise and worship I kept having a vision of a fire. Actually, this fire had pretty much burned down and what stood out to me most was the warm glow of burning embers as most of the flames had gone out. Usually when I have a vision it is a quick glimpse of something, but this lingered on. I felt a lot of peace and became very intrigued as I was aware that God allowing me to see into something that He was doing.

The download from the Holy Spirit came.

When we allow a fire in a fireplace or fire pit to burn down you are left with hot coals and embers which consume what is left to burn. For people who are serious and passionate about their relationship with Jesus, God knows who you are. May your heart be opened for what is about to come. Remember when Isaiah proclaimed that He had seen the Lord sitting on the throne? Isaiah became troubled as He realized that He was in the presence of holiness which caused him to cry out, "I am a man of unclean lips." At that point a seraphim came with a hot coal and touched Isaiah's lips, telling him the good news that his iniquity had been taken away and his sin had been purged. Isaiah was now ready to represent and serve the Holy God.

Now when you received Christ, your sins were already forgiven. There is no need for an angel to come and bring a hot coal to touch you so that your sin is purged. God recognizes this and honors the work of the Son. However, we all have some rough edges within our flesh which we need to be emptied of so that we can be more Christ-like. God was showing me that for those who want to represent Him and His kingdom well, He is burning these imperfections out of our lives. Those things within us that cause our flesh to clash with our desire to be more like Jesus.

The vision of burning embers consuming what is left to burn became a beautiful imagery to me. I smiled as the Lord told me that I was included in this.

There was no condemnation from the Lord as I saw Him doing this, nor are these "burning embers" intended to bring pain, but only purity. Instead I became aware of a pleased, loving Father nurturing His children. Have you ever made something with your hands that you were excited to finish so that you could show it to others? The closer you get to finishing it, the sense of excitement increases. Well, it was kind of like that. I remembered the passage in Zephaniah which speaks of the Lord rejoicing over us with gladness, quieting with His love and even rejoicing over us with singing. (chapter 3:17)

I pray that as you read this the fire of the Holy Spirit burns within your heart bringing encouragement and excitement. Yes, God LOVES YOU this much. Don't let anyone ever convince you otherwise. You are royalty in His eyes! Why don't you scroll back up to the beginning and for even a few minutes just watch the fire, listen to the worship music playing, meditate on the greatness of the Lord and feel the warmth of His presence as it comes? (You may need to hit replay or after the video ends just choose from one of the other fireplace videos that will come up.)

Let those embers burn Lord, let them burn!! All that I am is Yours!

Consumed by His love,
Mark S.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Like him or not Al Davis was a man who greatly shaped the face of football. The longtime owner of the Oakland Raiders will always be known for the phrase, "Just win, Baby" and for the better part of 4 decades the Raiders usually did just that. It's only been over the last several years that this proud franchise has fallen on harder times. Recently though and since the death of Mr. Davis, it's been one of his other quotes that has captivated me and grabbed my attention. Almost everyday I have thought about it and Saturday morning a week ago as I woke up it came immediately to my mind. Usually it's a praise or worship song that goes first through my mind in the mornings, but this time it was Al Davis and his quote. I was also somehow strangely aware that God had something to do with this, plus there was a feeling of encouragement and inspiration. God, Al Davis and inspiration. Now there's a combination that probably has never been written or even thought! I know this all sounds very strange considering the reputation of the Oakland Raiders. Maybe I better get to the point of all this.

Davis always wanted his team to be the aggressor. While a lot of football coaches have preached that when you have the ball, you take what the defense will give you; Al Davis would have nothing to do with that. His philosophy was much different. His approach was, "We don't take whatever the defense will give us, we'll take whatever we want." (I'm giving you the mild version of the quote.)

That quote passionately connects with me. Strangely, it takes me to something that Jesus said. Could it be that there is a time to be forceful and "take whatever we want?"

"AND FROM THE DAYS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST UNTIL NOW, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN SUFFERS VIOLENCE AND THE VIOLENT TAKE IT BY FORCE." (Matthew 11:12) That's from the New King James version, which is my favorite, but this is one of those instances where I believe the NIV says it best. "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."

If Al Davis would have been a pastor he would have been preaching from that verse continually.

Here's the thing. When you acknowledged Christ as your Savior you were given certain rights, especially the right to be known as a child of God. Along with that comes a certain authority from the throne of God. For too long however, this seems to have been forgotten. Too many Christians have settled for what this world will give us; so to speak. When I was born in the United States of America I became a citizen of this country. Because of that I automatically obtained the same rights that every other U.S. citizen has. As a follower of Jesus, I have also obtained citizenship in heaven which trumps everything in this world. The great Apostle Paul speaks of this in his book to the Philippians. Paul doesn't say that we will ONE DAY become citizens of heaven. No, Paul said our citizenship "is in heaven." When I became a child of God, my citizenship in heaven was instantly validated, so therefore I am a representative of it today.

I represent heaven NOW, while I am living on earth. I also then have been given access to the things that heaven stands for. I am determined that I will bring as much of that to earth as I am capable of. In a unique way, Al Davis has reminded me not to sit back and take what this world will give me. Pastor Al, (just humor me, ok?) would not have been pleased with the church as a whole, either. It sat back way too long watching the world go by hypnotized into a deep sleep. Look around and you see the results of that.

For those that I know who have reversed this trend, I see them taking heaven into places like the grocery stores, malls and ballparks. Not in a belligerent, offensive way, but in a Jesus like way. Looking for ways to touch, encourage and share the love of Christ. They look for ways to pray for the sick and oppressed and to help the poor. In doing this they are activating faith to a whole different level and in doing so the dominion of darkness and devils shrinks back. Faith is a very violent force in the spiritual realm and it brings the realization that prayers are touching the heart of God in such a way that lives are often instantly changed.

The shifting that has begun. Heaven is once again advancing forcefully and "forceful men (and women) lay hold of it." The dominion of darkness has stolen much. We are now taking those things back.

I really hope that Al Davis was at peace with the Lord when he passed from this life. I'd like to one day tell him what a good job he did at teaching a kingdom principle!

Bringing it for God,
Mark S.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I was talking to Mom on my cell phone of all things when she said to me something like, "Can you imagine if people talked to God as much as they talk on their cell phones?" At first that can seem like a simple, basic question, but in that question I believe that it brings a thought to ponder and not to just blow off. Plus, as I mentioned last time, sometimes we need to get back to some basics. Mom and I talked a little bit further about how it seems that some never put their cell phone down and yet when it comes to spending time with the Lord, that time is often rushed. We all know people who, (of course you and I could never be found guilty of this) never take the thing away from their ear or out of their hands. Cell phones and life just go hand in hand.

One of my favorite life verses is Jeremiah 33:3. "Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." That's from the New King James, but you might like it even better in the New Living Translation, "Ask Me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come." If we are honest, it's usually fun when somebody wants to tell us a secret. I've learned to guard myself a little bit better over the years as I've learned that a "secret" is often actually code for "gossip," but still there is a sense of excitement that comes with knowing something that nobody else does. Yet here is God; the God of the universe; the Creator of all things delighting in telling His secret and unsearchable things. All we have to do is call Him up, so to speak.

If many of us called up the Lord the way we make and receive calls on our cell phones, we would be aware of Him at all times. When we would be driving to work we wouldn't just see trees, we would be aware that we are looking at God's creativity. When we would go to bed at night, as we drift off will be an awareness that while we rest God is right there watching us sleep as a parent watches their sleeping child with a love that has no bounds. In that awareness we begin to have what I think the Apostle Paul was referring to when he talked about how we having the mid of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16) Don't you think that if God wants to reveal secrets to us that He also wants us to have a mind like that of Jesus?

I love the song by Kari Jobe "The More I Seek You." I will include the video after I conclude with my thoughts, but some of those lyrics include:

"The more I seek You, the more I find You.
The more I find You, the more I love You.
I want to sit at Your feet,
Drink from the cup in Your hands..............."

Want to know a secret which really isn't a secret? The more time you spend calling upon the Lord, desiring to be in His presence, spending time in prayer and reading the Bible, the more He will show you how to walk in the daily blessings that He has planned for you. The easier it will be to know how to avoid traps and pitfalls and to weather the storms of life. Storms that come against me that used to mess me up and devastate me no longer do. God is there to show the way out.

Here is a key point which will help understand the difference between religion and relationship. Spending continual time with the Lord, will not make Him love us more. That is bad, bad thinking. God could never love you anymore than He always has whether you read and study His Word or not; whether you pray a lot or not. God already looks at you as a jewel. In God's eyes you have already "succeeded to royalty." (Ezekiel 16:13) However, when you spend continual time with God you will know how to walk in.... and find.... the everyday blessings and favor that God has ALWAYS planned for you. You begin to see the things that God has always wanted you to see. A religious mind thinks that you earn special rights. A mind built on relationship understands that that it has always been there in the first place. You can't earn a gift. Gifts are given from the heart and God has a very huge gift giving heart.

As I close I leave you with this. I've talked about spending time with God more than we do our cell phones, but does God ever call us?
"Fear not, I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and the rivers, they shall not overflow you." (Isaiah 43:1-2) There are several other scriptures about God's calls, but I will leave the searching up to you.

Not only does God call you, but He calls you by name!

With much love,
Mark S.
(P.S. to my mom..............thanks for the great thoughts that day. You're the best!!

(pause the instrumental music to the right of the blog if it is playing)

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Hello! It seems like it has been such a very long time since I've greeted you. As I've become busier the last few months, my times to write don't present themselves as easily as they used to. The last few days, however, I really started to have a desire to write. We haven't talked in awhile, so let me just say that I hope this finds you well.

I was working outside yesterday and as work occasionally will do it takes me to various cemeteries to help place memorial stones on graves. When I am able to do this, I enjoy looking around at the memorials already in place to see what people either wanted engraved on their stone, or what a family chose to have written about their loved one. Yesterday, there were two in particular that just reached out and grabbed me. The first one had been engraved above a man's name: I GLORY IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST. The second was above the names of a married couple. One of them having passed from this life just a few years ago. They had married in 1952 and at the top of their stone were the words: JESUS, OUR LORD AND SAVIOR.

In an age where we often look for new revelation and vision regarding the times in which we are living, sometimes the most basic, but strongest principles of foundations of faith can tend to be forgotten. Maybe at times we need to revisit some of the faith basics that were taught and developed years ago. One example would be how many of us can recite John 3:16 so easily and quickly that we forget to take time to think about the depth and power behind that verse. I've heard Psalm 23, or parts of that psalm read or recited at times in some very monotone voices. I'm not being critical; but contemplating.

The last handful of years of my life I've really become intrigued and captivated by how close I am to the kingdom of Jesus even as I live. It's easy for me to stay focused on that because for most of my soon to be 50 years I didn't realize how I actually could be a part of kingdom of heaven things activating into the earthly realm. In other words, heaven invading earth. Yesterday though, as I read, I GLORY IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST, there was a really sweet sense of stability and power that combined to stir my spirit. Even though it was very chilly outside there was a warmth that came all over me as I thought about the power of the cross of Christ!!!! Think on that. Think about how many principalities, rulers and even countries have fallen since the time of Christ, yet that power has stood for all time. Yes, I know that it often comes under attack, but no matter how hard a person or organization may try, the power that came from the cross at Calvary still penetrates into the darkest of places today. To glory in the cross of Christ. Something that brought familiarity from my faith basics back to me in a fresh and very alive way. The one whose body had been laid in that grave probably never realized how the words on his gravestone would one day warm the insides of a man he never knew on a chilly October afternoon. It made me wish I would have known that man. I wish I could have talked to him about his faith. One day I hope to do that.

JESUS, OUR LORD AND SAVIOR. For many of us, some of the very first words we learned in starting our journey of faith. A truth that can be sometimes taken for granted, like as if we earned the right to it. May that never happen, if it has, again. For a couple to choose to have those words placed on their gravestone, a couple that had married in 1952, they certainly had to realize the strength behind having a very personal belief in Jesus. I wondered how many times they had called upon the understanding of that basic truth to pour new cement to keep their foundation solid. For me on October 28 2011, that memorial stone stood as a living legacy to the saving power and grace of Jesus.

How long have you been a Christian? If you are like me and made a commitment to Jesus many years ago, what brought you to that place of time in your life? Take some time today to think back on those things. Were there some basic principles that kind of don't get thought of like they did back then? Make today a day of reflection. A day of renewing your love to Jesus. He was your first love you know. Not because you loved Him, but because He chose you! In fact God said through one of His prophets, even years before Jesus lived as a man, "FEAR NOT, FOR I HAVE REDEEMED YOU; I HAVE CALLED YOU BY YOUR NAME; YOU ARE MINE." I have some further thoughts on that verse, but they will come in "Back To Some Basics" (part 2). Thoughts that were stirred up as a result of a conversation with my very own beloved mother! For now though, let us think about what it means to have Jesus as our savior and the beauty of the cross. The beauty of the cross; what an interesting way to describe a place that carried with it horrendous pain and death. Paul the apostle spoke of that cross in his letter to the churches of Galatia.


Oh, and if you are reading this and don't know how to begin to have a personal relationship with Jesus and have wondered about it, you can find my email address when you click on my profile. If there is a burning sensation in your heart right now that is the Lord desiring you to come close to Him. Today is YOUR day! I would love to help you find a new beginning for an exciting next chapter of your life. Also, for the one reading this and for some reason you have found yourself drifting away from what once was a sweet time with Jesus, the video below is especially for you!

Peace and love,
Mark S.

(Don't forget to shut off the music from the mix-pod on the right of this post.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Just a few days ago on Friday morning, I hurt my back. I was in an awkward position when I helped to move something fairly heavy at work. As soon as I lifted, I felt the pull and along with it a sharp pain. I was glad that I was able to continue on and to do so without anybody noticing, but I knew that I was in trouble. I chose to keep working and really wanted to make it through the day. With God's help, I was able to do it, but by the time I got home the pain was extremely intense. I was pretty uncomfortable throughout the weekend and there was nothing I could do to bring any relief.

I hate to go to the emergency room, but gave it some serious thought this time. The current season of life that I am in, however, finds no health insurance so I decided a few different times over the weekend that going really wasn't an option. I don't tell you that for sympathy. It's simply a season of life that I am in. God has sustained and I know He will continue to do so until this season passes. I am very content and at peace with where things are at in my life right now. I only say that because I can almost hear someone say, "Well, if your back was as bad as you say, why didn't you go to the doctor!!!!" (I sure hope that wasn't you! Ha ha)

Friday and Saturday nights didn't go well and any sleep was short lived. Saturday and Sunday were not fun days and even though I tried to get ready for church Sunday morning, I decided not to go. I'm sure that was a bad choice on my part. I know that my church family would have gladly laid hands on me and prayed over me for healing, but in the moment of it all I just wanted to lie back down. By Sunday night I wasn't sure how I could work on Monday (today as I write this) even though I really wanted to. Late at night however, after attempting to go to bed, I ended up doing something that I've been thinking a lot about; and have wondered why the light bulb didn't turn on in my head earlier in the weekend. I had made a few attempts to read my Bible and pray over the weekend, but found it really difficult to concentrate and could only be still to read for only a moment or two.

So here I was Sunday night wondering what I was going to do come Monday morning. It was then that I decided to get online and to listen to Elijah Streams offers some pretty sweet prophetic and worship music. I was also thinking that the weekend had come and gone and time spent with the Lord had been pretty much absent. As I pulled up the stream and began to listen, I silently prayed, "Lord, I really haven't spent time with You this weekend. I kind of feel bad about that so I am asking that even should I be able to drift off to sleep that my spirit will continue to speak with You all night." Even though I also asked the Lord to heal me, I was thinking more as to how I had missed fellowship with Him and that was what I really needed. I started listening to the worship music and began to think about our amazing God. I remember hearing Keith Green, a beautiful song that I was sure was done by Kari Jobe and another worship band and................that was it. The next thing I knew it was around 3:30, I could hear some soft worship music and I thought of how I had been in a really deep and relaxing sleep. I thought about my request to the Lord and remember smiling. I also remember thinking that I barely noticed my back aching, but then went right back to sleep. I woke up again a little before 6:00 and was aware that Kay was about to leave for work. I wanted to go back to sleep, though, because I felt so relaxed and peaceful. It had been a good night indeed.

After sleeping another 45 minutes, I did get up and began to get ready for work. Even though I still felt sore, I knew my back was a great deal better and was pretty sure that I would be able to work what I knew was going to be a pretty long day. Even though I had to deal with some pretty heavy stuff and had to use my back much more than I wanted, I noticed that as the day progressed, my back was getting stronger. Even though I came home with still some soreness, it was very minor and I still can't stop thinking about God, the deep sleep that He put me in and the healing that He brought. The biggest thing though, is that I want the Lord to tell me what we were talking about last night. I know that my spirit man had to be worshiping and in fellowship with Him, even as I slept. This evening I feel the Holy Spirit has reminded me of some sweet scriptures, too. In the previous post to this one, "To See and Be Seen," I share a friends vision (as told by him) of his spirit being in the Lord's presence. I shared some of my own thoughts on this and referenced scripture from Ephesians, but tonight I am reminded of scripture from Colossians. As much as I love the New King James translation, I think for now it is best suited to share it with you in the New Living Translation:

"Since you have been raised to new life in Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life IS HIDDEN WITH CHRIST IN GOD." (Colossians 3: 1-3) Make sure you also go back and read the Ephesians 2:6 passage.

Is it too much of a stretch for you to believe that there are times when the Father wants to welcome our spirit to visit with Him in the Kingdom realm? That maybe all we have to do is ask and desire such fellowship? If so, just think and pray about it. Search out the scripture. There was a time when I would have considered such a thought foolishness. Maybe even new age, but the more I study the scripture and investigate as to what Jesus really meant when He spoke of the Kingdom of God, it is not a stretch anymore. I believe that as I slept last night, my spirit found very intimate fellowship with Jesus and the Father. I know I am not the apostle Paul and I know that I haven't reached the level of faith that he operated in, but he spoke of being "caught up" into the heavens. (2 Corinthians 12: 2-4)

I think I am going to try to make even many more requests in letting the Lord know that I so desire to not only to fellowship with Him as the man He created, but also for my spirit to fellowship with Him............long after I fall asleep.

Sweet dreams, my dear friend,
Mark S.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


In my last post I embedded the song and video by Brian Johnson "Love Came Down."I talked about the compelling love of Jesus and focused on the words in the chorus of the song which talks about how Christ's love came down and rescued us. On the way to work this morning that song came on the radio and I was really drawn this time to the words from the first verse. I felt like the Lord was really pressing into my heart that there was someone who really needs to be reminded of the truth behind those lyrics. Could it be you? If it is then God wants to reach you right now. Read the words and then maybe click on the link above or the one at the end of these thoughts and listen to them.

"If my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear Your voice
I hold onto what is true,
though I cannot see.
If the storms of life they come, and the road ahead gets steep,
I will lift these hands in faith,
I will believe.
I remind myself of all that You've done,
and the life I have because of Your Son.
Love came down and rescued me.........................."

My friend, there are times when we go through the hard stuff of life and though we might pray and search the scriptures, God seems to be silent. I know. I have experienced it. But it is in those times when warriors are made. It is in those times when, if you are patient and refuse to give up, that God will keep strengthening and molding your faith. A faith that will begin to move mountains. It's hard sometimes. I know. I have experienced this.

If this is you tonight, or whenever you read this, I just want to remind you that God has not forsaken you. God has not left or abandoned you. God still loves you with that unending, eternal love. A breakthrough is being planned for you even now as we talk. This is when you walk by faith and not by what you feel or see.

Even Jesus in His humanity went into a desert and had to face satan head on. Remember, when this happened Jesus was fully human. He had flesh to deal with just like you and me. I believe that Father used this time to shape and mold Jesus into an even stronger man of faith. Though He was facing the devil, Jesus never gave up. Remember what He did whenever satan tempted Him? He quoted the Word of God. He never doubted. He never threw in the towel. In this, He held onto Father. Eventually satan left Him alone and the angels came and ministered to Him. Yes, I understand that Jesus was and is the Son of God, but Jesus was also completely human.

I could give you many other examples of when men and women of faith seemed to be walking in the valley. Besides Jesus, I think immediately of Joseph and Ruth. They both could have easily just given up. Their thoughts could have been, "Where is God?" Maybe there were even times when they may have even given in to that kind of thought. But if they did, they didn't stay there. Instead they became champions of faith. They lived to see the fruit of God's faithful plan for their lives.

But for tonight.......or is just you and God. What are you going to do? Question God as to if He loves you? Wonder if God has abandoned you and begin to give up?


I will tell you what you are going to do. You are going to allow yourself to remember how much God loves you. You are going to hold on by faith that God knows the plans He has for you. I promise you, those plans are not to harm you. Those plans are not to cast you down. They are plans to raise you up. To bring you life and wholeness. You are going to do this because even though it may seem that God has been silent, He is using this time right here and now to remind you that He is with you. I know this because God has inspired me to write about this to you.

My friend, stay strong. Stay desperate for God. Remain humble, but meek. Even though you may not feel like it, lift your hands and praise and don't stop believing. Remind yourself of all that God has done. The hope that you have because of His Son.

"Love came down and rescued me." I'll tell you what. Instead of the word "me" at the end of that sentence, insert YOUR name. You should do this because God knows you by name. Remember also, that I am always willing to pray for you. In fact, I often do. I am on your side! God is on your side! I'd like to ask you to do me a favor, though. When your breakthrough comes, tell me about it. God has wonderful desires for you. Don't you ever forget that.

"LOVE CAME DOWN" by Brian Johnson. God ahead, click on it and at this very moment receive the song and these thoughts as God's love letter to you. Of all this, He wanted me to let you know.

Praying for you always,
Mark S.

(P.S. "Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and the Lord will say: Here am I." Isaiah 58:9........and....."The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and He will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I was listening recently to the beautiful song, "Love Came Down." Have you heard it?

"Love came down and rescued me;
love came down and set me free,
I am Yours, I am forever Yours.
Mountain high, or valley low,
I sing out to remind my soul,
I am Yours, I am forever Yours."

I started to focus on Jesus and His love. As always, Jesus sets the best examples. Look with me if you will at a very familiar story from scripture, but with the emphasis on the story going in a little different direction. I'll start out by paraphrasing.

A rich, you man sees Jesus, is excited and comes running to Him. He falls to his knees and asks Jesus what must be done to inherit eternal life. Jesus responds by reminding the man that he knows the commandments and lists some of them. He reminds the man that he is not to murder, commit adultery, steal, testify falsely, or defraud people, but He is to honor his mother and father. I can almost hear the young man reply proudly............

"Teacher," he declares, "all these things I have kept since I was a boy."

Mark 10:21 "Jesus looked at him and LOVED HIM."

I love that! Time and time again Jesus knew what the pharisees or disciples were talking about or thinking before they even spoke to him, so there had to be a pretty good chance that Jesus already knew that this guy was going to walk away sadly when Jesus spoke to him about selling his processions. Yet Jesus, "looked at him and LOVED HIM." It didn't matter how this rich, young man was going to react. Jesus just loved him.

The example that Jesus sets tells me how I should react to people no matter what is going on. If someone is rude or short with me; I need to love them. Someone who hurries to get in front of me so that they can beat me to the checkout line, I need to look at them and love them. Someone cuts me off in traffic, I should look at them and love them.

Even on the cross, Jesus loved. Does that encourage you as much as it does me? If you really want to make a difference in this world, love like Jesus. That love crushes ugly strongholds.

It's easy to love people who like or love us, but to look with love on those who are indifferent to us is following in the footsteps of Jesus.

Come, close your eyes and feel the warmth as Jesus is looking at you with an incredible love right now!

"Love came down and rescued me." (Don't forget to turn off the mixpod to the right)

Loving you like Jesus,
Mark S.

Monday, August 22, 2011


I had a glimpse of something yesterday that has left me pondering the full meaning of it ever since I left church yesterday. The worship team had just began the second song during worship when suddenly I had quick vision of a treasure chest. It appeared to be made of gold and was very bright to look at. I could also see various gems and bright stones arrayed on the outside of the chest. What came to my mind next during this revelation was that this chest appeared to be embedded in a breast; the left breast of Jesus. I think there was significance that it was on His left side and around the heart area. You've maybe seen a picture of Jesus where the artist shows His heart being visible and illuminated brightly. It was something like that. This all triggered a conversation in my spirit as I thinking about what I was seeing.

Thinking I immediately knew what the Lord was showing me I said, "Oh I get it. You're reminding me that we are a treasure to You." I remember thinking how nice that was. The reply that came back to me surprised me very much, however. "No you don't quite get it. Even though you are a treasure, that is not what this is about. This treasure belongs to you."

That stopped everything.

I was kind of stunned at this and waited for the Lord to put the pieces of what He was saying in place. At the same time I knew that this was a corporate word that He was giving me. Something He wanted shared. God was showing me that as we desire to please Him that He has already prepared "treasure chests" for any that are ready to receive them. Even today I am still trying to wrap my hands around the full meaning of what God was wanting to express. I don't think we have an inkling of an idea as to the richness and beauty of what God has prepared.

Last night I spent a good amount of time pondering; wanting to grasp the full meaning of what I saw and what I also shared in church. I kept meditating and asking the Lord what was really inside that treasure chest. Some of my thoughts as I searched the scripture were:

Was that treasure chest the Kingdom of Heaven? I read the parable of the hidden treasure in Matthew 13:44. Was it showing that we have unlimited and complete access to the things of the kingdom while we are still on earth? If so, I believe we are to realize that we haven't even come close to tapping into the glories of God that are available as heaven continues to invade earth.

Was the treasure in that chest complete wisdom? As I was searching out the scriptures last night I came upon this beautiful passage penned by Paul: "My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Colossians 2:2-3) Was God expressing that truth to us yesterday? I began to think about Solomon and how he could have asked for anything in the world. How instead of asking for riches and material possession he instead asked for wisdom. God was so pleased with that request that Solomon was also given treasures and wealth that were most likely beyond even his comprehension. To ask for wisdom from God is a great treasure in itself.

So often things that happen in the natural seem to coincide with what God is doing in the super natural. Should we also take that treasure chest as containing literal treasure and provision? We often think that when it comes to God's grace and supply for our needs in our lives that it is just enough to get by with. We often expect to receive the minimal when it comes to that. Maybe God no longer wants us to think that way. Maybe God wants us to start expecting beyond our wildest dreams. If we are maturing in Christ and God knows that He can trust us, do you not think that the Father who owns it all anyway would want to bless His children? I've believed for some time now, along with many others, that God is going to take the wealth of the nations and give it back to His church, as His church which for a long now has been a sleeping giant, is being reawakened.

What do you think? Honestly, I think it's all of the above and even more. I don't believe that our human minds can fully comprehend everything that God has placed in that treasure chest. It's mind blowing.

What I do know is this. You need to hold out your hands and open them. Really, you do need to do this. God is about to give you treasure beyond compare. What I do know is that you need to be in the receiving mode, because the FATHER WANTS TO BLAST YOU WITH HIS LOVE!!!!!

Much love,
Mark S.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Somewhere along the way and many years ago I think the church forgot how to teach people as to what their position in Christ should look like or be like. Things started to somehow get watered down. Even I have lived most of my life not realizing just how involved Jesus really wanted to be in my life. I never realized the full potential I have in Christ. Actually I still haven't fully realized it, but I keep growing, stretching and experiencing more of that potential. I never want to stop, either. At one time I never understood the authority that God wants to give us when we go deep in the Word, absorb the Word and live by His Word. To realize the benefits of a deep desire to experience God. I never understood the power that is supposed to come with a life that is lived for Christ. I used to believe that God wanted to just help us Christians along in this life, finding ways to just make it through our simple lives until one day we would reach glory. Don't get upset. I'm not mocking. Jesus is there; Holy Spirit is there to help us get through this life. To make it through our trials. BUT............there is so much more than that!

Over the last several years and especially over the last 4, I've decided to take the Bible more literally. Now when I think of how Christ lives in me, I think of how Jesus could command demons to obey Him. How He was compelling to the broken and weak and how they were captivated by His love and compassion. I think of Jesus was moved with compassion when a very diseased man knelt before Him, poured out his heart to Him with hope beyond hope. "If You are willing, You can make me clean." Jesus reaction was not to stop and pray. It was not to ask the Father if it was His will to make the man clean or to leave him in his current state. No, Jesus, immediately moved with compassion answered, "I am willing; be cleansed." (Mark 1:40-42)

It is that Jesus who lives in me. And if you have determined to follow the Christ, it is that Jesus who lives in you. Understand with me also that we have the Spirit; the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead living inside of us. (Romans 8:11) That Spirit didn't bring about just some feel good with milk on corn flakes in the morning to satisfy the belly kind of a moment. When Jesus was raised from the dead there was an indescribable explosion of power. It is THAT Spirit which lives in us. When those two things add up, our lives should be much more than just making it through the day. Life passes quickly. With Christ in us we should never underestimate the power of a single day. We can't afford to. There needs to be boldness and strength that we present to the world around us. I didn't say cockiness and arrogance, but instead a controlled meekness just like Jesus carried.

Jesus also found favor with God. Do you understand what it means to find favor with God? And once you have it how God desires to maintain and wants to keep His favor upon you? How you can ask God for favor when you are about to buy a car, a house, or when you are about to go to the hospital to pray over the sick, or even just make an important decision? Maybe you begin to understand that it's okay to pray for favor when say...... you are praying with your son while on your way to a hockey game and then suddenly add to your prayer, "Lord, I really felt a desire to surprise my son in this way, but you know that we just paid rent, so it sure would be nice if when we get to the arena that there would be someone who would just happen to be there who would offer us tickets." (Yes, that did happen and yes I did add that to my prayers on the way to the game and YES, when we walked inside Quicken Loans arena in Cleveland there was a lady suddenly asking me how many were in my party. When I pointed to my son and said, "Just me and my son," YES, she looked at me and said, "Here you go," with a smile. Those seats were much better than I would have paid for, by the way.)

The favor of God when your heart is sold out to Him. I don't abuse that favor, but I know that in certain instances it is more than okay with God to ask for it and to simply expect it. A Father who wants to simply bless and do special things for His kids just because He can. I am reminded of how recently Father timed it out for me to run into special friends who live 730 miles away in North Carolina at a small gas station/convenience store. How they had just arrived in town and how the wife wanted to stop and get a coffee from a place where she would often stop when she lived here. How I had suddenly decided to stop and get gas at a place where I seldom stop. How when pumping gas, I was reminded how thirsty I was and that maybe I would go ahead and get a cold fountain drink. Something that I would never normally do at that location. Sure enough, as I was about to walk in that store there were two beeps from a horn and after the second I turned around and with wide eyes and a leaping spirit was suddenly looking at my two friends. Friends that I love with a passion and share a kindred spirit with. What a most excellent gift from God that day.

God doing things like that just because He can. "For His anger is but for a moment, His FAVOR is for life.................." (Psalm 30:5) We are reminded in Proverbs that "He who earnestly seeks good will find favor" and "a good man obtains favor from the Lord."

If you are feeling that I have some special connection to God and you don't, it may simply be that you have just not discovered or understood the potential that God is trying to develop in you. Maybe you just haven't understood how intimate God wants to be in your life. How He longs to be involved in even the smallest details of your day. Maybe you just haven't realized the favor that God wants to shower you with. God desires to dance over you when you aren't even aware of His presence. (Zephaniah 3:17)

And walk according to your position in Christ. You are His disciple, His friend and His chosen one. Under the title of my blog I have Matthew 10:8 written out as a reminder. "HEAL THE SICK, CLEANSE THE LEPERS, RAISE THE DEAD, CAST OUT DEMONS. FREELY YOU HAVE RECEIVED, FREELY GIVE."

Just do it! According to scripture we are already viewed as being made to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Should we therefore not be bringing more of heaven to earth? So, just do it!!!! Or start practicing doing it. It's like anything else. The more you practice the more you understand and the better you will get at just doing it. Remember, it's not really you, though. It's Christ in you. He gets the credit. He gets the glory.

And that part about raising the dead? Well, let's just say................I'm working on it!!!!! Care to join me?

Blessings, love and everything that goes with it,

Mark S.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


‎"Madison the warrior will unravel mysteries and become a place of safety. It will have disproportionate influence, especially in government. Lighthouses and light-keepers will emerge like fireflies in the night. They will confuse the throngs of hell and erect a cover of safety and peace."----(from a prophetic declaration given by Pastor Steve Witt, Bethel Cleveland, Sunday, June 5, 2011

Since I first wrote about the dream that I will be referencing back in September of 2010, I believe that the above declaration by Pastor Steve has added some confirmation. The first being that this was a dream about where I live, Madison, Ohio. Several months ago I was driving parallel to a field on rt. 528 just inside the Madison Village limits, when I had a pretty strong sense come over me that this was the exact location of where I was in the dream. I have since been told that there had been some pretty significant words spoken about that general area in recent years. Also, little by little I believe God has been revealing to me what some of the images represented in my dream, such as the woman who was weeping and the ministering spirits that I saw.

(If you do not live in northeast, Ohio, I encourage you to continue reading anyway. God is going to do and wants to do similar things in other areas of this country and around the world. Wilmington, North Carolina and Colorado Springs, ready! Those are just two of many.)

Earlier this week (it's amazing of the places where God will suddenly choose to show up, or speak to us) as I was in the shower God clearly reminded me of the above prophetic declaration by Pastor Steve. Then the words, "your dream" pierced through my spirit and I knew that God was letting me know that if I needed more confirmation about that dream being of Him, that I now had it and to never doubt again. As I re-read my dream, it left me almost in a trance when I saw how how Steve's words and the dream seemed to confirm each other.

There is no doubt that this dream took place in Madison, Ohio. Then today in church I learned that more recent prophetic words have been spoken again over Madison and all areas within a 107 mile radius of Madison will fall under this mighty act of God's grace.

I also find a pretty strong connection between this and the very first dream I had where Madison was specifically targeted. I will include the link to that first dream as well.


It was in late May of 2010 when I had that first dream of eagles landing in Madison, but God did not allow me to openly share it until September of last year. I encourage you to come back and click on the above link when everything is quiet and read it also. I have since had a third dream about Madison which concerns a future event, but have not felt released to share it with anyone but Kay. I am also still trying to discern the full meaning of it myself.

I do not believe it is coincidence that since these dreams occurred and other words were spoken, Madison now has it's own brand new emergency room. I believe that this is something physical and in the natural that is symbolic of the healing, safety and other spiritual moves that will be seen. There have also been a new business come to Madison within the last several months and I would not be surprised if there will be more. Churches in the area need to have "all hands on deck" as the Spirit begins to draw more people to this area. Church leaders need to be ready to adapt to what God's spirit wants to do. For those not willing to adapt........

I've decided not to re-post the entire dream here. I will instead just give you the link. I want you to be able to read through it slowly and ask the Holy Spirit for discernment. When you are finished reading it, go back and read that prophetic declaration by Steve Witt. The movie is about to be released. The previews have already been shown. Here you go:


Monday, July 4, 2011



I realize that many of you who read this blog on a regular basis do not live in the United States. I praise the Lord for you and bless you as I write tonight. I speak spiritual and physical healing over you when you may need it most. May the Lord prosper you and keep you all the days of your life. May He grant you His peace and may you experience the freedom that comes in knowing the Lord.

Tonight, however, I wish to say how blessed I also feel to live in the United States of America. I am moving up on 50 years of age and the older I get the more sentimental I become when I find myself in the presence of a United States veteran. Often when I gaze at an American flag I love the chills that sometimes come over me. I often am moved to tears as I have watched my boys, one who is now a young man and one who is well on his way, automatically place their hand over their heart during the national anthem. I have tried to teach them to love and respect this country. I now have a son in law who is currently serving this country overseas. I am free to live as I choose, to worship as I choose and to speak as I choose because of the men and women like him who have served this nation well. Over the past several years I have been able to take part in many funerals where military honors have saluted the life of one who served this nation. I never take watching and listening to those being so honored for granted.

I am proud to be an American.

My heart longs for this nation to once again become a Christian nation. I believe that at one time we once were, but we are not now. Many will take offense at that and say that we are when they don't even really know what it means to be a Christian. That word has become so watered down that I rarely will tell someone that I am a Christian when I am asked about my faith or what I believe. I choose instead to say I am a follower of Jesus. If the United States is a Christian nation why have we tried to push God out of our schools and out of our government? "In God we trust" and "One nation under God" has been challenged one too many times. I run into people all the time who would say they are Christian, but yet don't believe in praying in public lest they offend someone. If I offend be it.

During church this morning it was God who was reminding me that when people living in America celebrate their freedoms and mix that with the freedom that is granted by Christ, only then is there a power that can never be defeated. It is a power that brings light into even the darkest of places. This power which lives inside of us is explosive enough to turn impossible situations into probable ones because they are seen through heavens eyes. This power is never to be flaunted, though, or paraded around arrogantly. This power is best served when it is expressed through love and compassion. This then becomes a power that can even transform a life. This power can bring freedom even into places where freedom is not recognized.

I am so encouraged that there are people awakening everywhere to an understanding that if this nation is to continue to be blessed by God that there needs to be an abrupt and about face to return to the principles of God. Then and only then will the course that has been taking place in this country be reversed and I don't need to go into a long discourse to get you to understand what I am talking about. We are all aware of the economy and disasters that many are facing on a daily basis. One of my favorite passages of scripture is found in Jeremiah 18.

"The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down and destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it."

Maybe from our president all the way down to our local government leaders a reminder of Psalm 33:12 is needed: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance."

Maybe then we could fully realize the beauty of another passage in Psalm 144. Read these words and adapt them to this modern era:

"That our sons may be as plants gown up in their youth;
That our daughters may be as pillars sculpted in palace style;
That our barns may be full, supplying all kinds of produce;
That our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields;
That our oxen may be well laden;
That there be no breaking in or going out;
That there be no outcry in our streets.
Happy are the people who are in such a state;
Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!"

And for those reading this who don't live in the United States? The good news is that these scriptures of truth can be applied to your life and your family, too. After all, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom and the Spirit of the Lord is resting on you!

Your Brother,
Mark S.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


It was a pleasant and perfect day. It was like one of those days when spring has settled in for good with just the right amount of warmth along with a gentle breeze. One of those days when you wish it would never end. The grass had that delightful spring green look to it and had already grown enough that I was aware that it should have been mowed a few weeks before. TK and I were walking and I had just taken a couple more steps when I heard him say, "Oh, look, you just stepped over a snake. Usually those words would have sent a jolt of fear into my heart and I still felt a twinge of apprehension as I turned around and saw the longest snake I had ever seen in my life. It was fairly thick, but blended in perfectly with the color of the grass. I was really surprised that I didn't notice it and strangely, instead of wanting to step back quickly, I found myself just looking at it. It wasn't moving, but was just stretched straight out in the grass. What we did next was very much out of character for both TK and myself when it comes to snakes, because we decided to try to figure out just how long it was. Now I would like to be able to tell you that I was the one who picked it up at the head, but I can't lie. I picked it up by the tail. It was TK who put his hands around the snake just below it's head. Even though that thing tried to spin it's mouth around and bite, Todd was easily able to control his hold and it's fangs never touched him.

Now comes the difficult to explain part and you'll have to really stay with me on this. While this snake acted like it was old and maybe ready to die, somehow I knew that it wasn't. Somehow I knew this snake still had a lot of strength and danger to it even though it didn't act that way. I just knew it, don't ask me how. Also, and I know this is really strange, but about a foot before it's head this snake was crooked. Picture a straight line that suddenly angles to the left and then becomes straight again. That's kind of how this serpent was shaped. I found it a bit humorous when I looked at it's face, too. Have you ever seen one of those cartoons that has a dog in it with just a silly and sad looking face? I'm also a big fan of the Andy Griffith Show and there is an episode where Barney tries to train this curly haired mutt that was too lazy to hurt anyone or to do anything to become this trained dog that he and Andy could use to track down the bad guys. I think he called him "Blue." Anyway, and I hope you are staying with me because there is a reason I'm telling you about this, somehow when I looked at the snakes head, I saw that dog.

The snake was heavy and huge, but somehow we managed to stretch it out along the side of a house. Don't ask me how, because I don't know, but I had the tail end of the snake attached about 2 feet high at the front of the house and TK had attached it's head all the way at the other end of the house, also about two feet up the siding.

And that was it....................
...............because then I woke up.

There was a time in my life where I would have laughed and discarded that dream as weird and stupid. That changed a few years ago when I realized how often God wants to speak to us through our dreams. Instead of discarding it I thought, "Okay God, what was that all about?" I thought about it at different times during the morning, but sometime during the day it had left my mind. Then as I was driving somewhere that afternoon, the Holy Spirit spoke with great clarity.


Why do I tell you about this dream? It is not to be arrogant, boastful or prideful. I am nothing (and I mean that) but for the grace and saving power of Jesus. I tell you of this dream to encourage you and to build you up, because God wants satan to lose his power in your life, too. Hopefully he already has. satan is certainly not one to be toyed with or taken lightly. He still can strike and he is still looking to bite, so we must always remain on guard and to never become over confident in ourselves, but instead must always build ourselves up in Christ Jesus. We are not perfect, but we are children of God. Bathe yourself in the Bible as much as possible. Turn off the t.v. and outside distractions more often than not. Soak in the Holy Spirit as much as you possibly can and try to put on the mind of Christ. Resist temptation when it faces off against you. Become like flint that won't bend to the right or left unless God is the one doing the bending. The more you do these things the more satan will lose power and influence over your life. AND HE WILL KNOW IT! Yes he is always out there looking for opportunities, but when you have your armor on and shield raised, the fiery darts become like a sparkler lit on the 4th of July that quickly fizzles out.


When the demons encountered Jesus they recoiled and shrieked in fear. They were terrified as to what Jesus would do to them. We are in an age where God is wanting to use us to bring heaven to earth like this generation has not seen.


After all, we've now become experts in SNAKE HANDLING : 101!

Faithfully Yours,
Mark S.

Monday, June 6, 2011


In church today I was praying for Israel. I was trying to imagine what it looked like around her borders when suddenly I was reminded of when the king of Syria was making war with Israel. He had sent a great army to capture Elisha. I thought about how Elisha's servant was full of fear when he knew they were surrounded. Do you remember what Elisha did? He prayed to the Lord, "Open his eyes that he may see." Suddenly his servant saw horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

As I thought about those things, I became aware that the Lord already has His warriors of glory in place. There were many of them around Israel, but I also became aware of some of them moving out in different directions and being strategically placed in different parts of the world. Some of them were right outside of the building where we worship and have church. Unseen, but yet very real. The Lord also seemed to be telling me that it is time to SEE. That it is time for us to pray that our eyes would also be open. I believe that God was showing that we too now have the ability to see that those who are for us are greater than those who are against us!

Why would God choose do this now? I believe in part to keep us from losing heart in difficult times. He wants us to be encouraged and to continue on in peace and joy for even now it is peace and joy that He wants to give. To fully live.

A few months ago I caught a quick, a very quick glimpse of an angel in our home. I have had a strong awareness of it's presence on two other occasions.

Keep your eyes wide open for when the invisible can be seen.

As always, I encourage you to treat what I write with much prayer and seek discernment.

Desiring God's glory only,
Mark S.

Monday, May 30, 2011



I love to experience the Holy Spirit's moving. I love the emotions that come when in the presence of God. There is nothing like sensing that you are getting a glimpse of the Throne Room while in intense worship; when Heaven seems to open up so you can have a shadowy peek. I believe though that we can become so infatuated with experience/emotion that it becomes the most important thing in our walk with Jesus. Again, don't get me wrong, I crave and long for more of it, but it concerns me when people put so much emphasis on this, but seldom spend time studying and reading the Word. I think this is an error in judgment.

When Jesus was facing confrontation with the devil, He quoted the Word. He didn't mess around doing anything else. He immediately spoke the Word which is our sword according to Ephesians 6:17. In fact if you read that passage you will see that out of every piece of the armor that we are to put on, the sword of the spirit , which is the Word of God, is the ONLY offensive piece. We are told that the Word of God is "living and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow and is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) Shouldn't there be incredible emphasis put on reading and living according to the Bible? We can have all the emotion we want, but without a strong understanding of the Word, our lives won't change much if any at all.

I love the freedom to be expressive in worship. It's hard for me to go into a church service where expressive worship isn't practiced. It's hard for me to not at least stretch out my hands to the Lord. The only reason I sometimes resist doing this is because where it isn't practiced people tend to start looking at and watching the one doing it instead of staying focused on God. I don't think we should ever allow focus to be brought to ourselves in a worship setting. As much as I struggle with not being able to worship in that way, I struggle even more with people who constantly weep at the alter, dance in the spirit, speak in tongues, or laugh in the spirit (all things that I love) and yet live their daily life in defeat and sometimes like anything but a child of God. That should not be and often it shows a lack of drinking from the Word and sometimes a lack of prayer life. I'm not judging. I've counselled with enough people, though, to see a pattern.

To me, other than accepting Christ, the most important thing in the life of a Christian should be a knowledge of God's Word. We are too easily defeated without it. I've always loved the Word and before I took any class on the prophetic, or how to speak prophetic words into peoples lives I started to understand and see those types of things by personal study of the Word. That's one example. (It helps to understand, also that the gifts of the Spirit and miracles didn't go out with the Apostles. I know a lot of people who don't believe that certain gifts are still available today, so naturally they never operate in them and yet can quote scripture better than most.) Again, don't get me wrong. I think additional training is good and will only help us learn how to better minister to people, but never underestimate what an understanding of the Word will teach you.

Recently I heard a sermon from my parents pastor in Pennsylvania which has helped me to explain the importance of reading the Bible. What Pastor Brian basically said (with apologies to Brian because I know that he explained it much better than I will) was that reading the Bible more won't cause God to love you more. It doesn't mean that He will even bless you more. What it will do for you, however is keep you alerted to God's daily plans for you. You will be able to see them. You will better have the ability to understand where God is wanting to take you. You will find it easier to step into the favor that God desires for each one of us. God's provisions and blessings are always there. We are the ones who often miss them and the Word helps us to NOT miss them. This is why the Pharisees that encountered Jesus were so blinded. He was the LIVING WORD and they refused to listen to Him. Because of that they never were able to understand or experience and appreciate the miraculous things of God, nor were they able to please God. That and the fact that when they did study the law and scriptures they usually distorted what they read for personal gain, taking scriptures out of context, so they could puff themselves up while walking around basking in self righteousness.

Surely that doesn't happen today...............................

One day last week I came home very tired and filthy after a long day of work. I was irritable and grouchy. Oh, my poor wife! The first thing I did though, after taking a shower, was to read a couple of chapters in the Bible, specifically from the book of Acts. Before I knew it, my thoughts were taken off of myself and back onto the things of God. I remember feeling a surge of excitement for life and to be alive during a time where God wants to reawaken the church.


Read the Bible. It's good medicine for the soul!

Be good and be God's,
Mark S.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I've been working a lot this week, which is a good thing. I've also been wanting to write to you again, but it seems that every evening I'm just too tired to really put a lot of thought into what I want to say. Then again, maybe that is a good thing. Maybe there would be to much of "me" in the thoughts and not enough of God's thoughts. Even though I've been out working, I've also tried to keep my ears open to hear God talking. That's what I like to write about most. What God is saying and what God is doing.

If there is anything that I've heard clearly from the Lord the last few days it would be summed up in this. The world is changed forever. It is not going back to the way it was. And I believe that God is wanting that to be very clear. We may have flashes of a week, maybe even a few here or there where it will seem like things have returned to "normal," but in the back of our minds many of us will always know that the life we knew is different and that we must always be on our toes for what may come next. Paul the great apostle instructed us to be ready in all seasons and at all times. (2 Timothy 4:2) It's a weird thing to quote yourself, but that is what I am going to do. I'm going to share part of a post that I wrote back on July 3rd of last summer in a post titled, "AND AN ATHEIST SHALL LEAD THEM?" I'll bet that title just made you blink! Here is part of what I wrote that day:

"About 3 months ago(around April 2010) the Lord said to me, "Everything as you know it is about to change." I can't even grasp what that all means. God said that to me; for the journey that my family is now on, but at the same time I believe that God would say that to all of us. We are in a new time, a new day and a new generation of believers are rising up."

When I read those words my mind pretty much stops. Quite simply it has no choice, because I am amazed at how truly prophetic those words were for me and for the world around me. Even as I write this I am sensing the Holy Spirit tell me that I am on the threshold of an even more dramatic move of God in my life. All I can say is, "let it be as You wish Lord. I am Yours. I am Your servant."

I have been reading a lot lately of words that were spoken by prophetic type people about what is ahead for us. May I say to you also that many of these things were spoken and recorded either last year or the year before. The earthquakes, the tornadoes and the devastation that we have experienced did not come as a surprise. When they happened I was very saddened and felt much grief, but not surprised. There had even been a prophetic word spoken about a "Black Swan" event (click on that for a Wikipedia explanation of what a black swan event is) about 10 days or so before the Japan earthquake. At the time it was said that a second one was yet to come. There have been words spoken about nations in uprise and confusion. Sound familiar?

I don't tell you this to scare you. There is no reason to fear and there is no faith in fear. I tell you this that you might call out to the Lord with all your heart. Be alert. Renew your strength in Him. He will not fail those who love Him. Dear friend, I also believe that what God wants to say to you tonight, or whenever you read this, is.......and I say this with a spirit of weeping and with many tears, as my love for you is deep..........

............."Precious one, I love you. But the world has tried to forget Me for way too long. As the earth is groaning, so I am groaning for many, and especially My bride the church to return to what should have been it's First Love. I have tried in so many ways to get Your attention. Not just you, but oh so many. And many have not heard nor turned. Many have even turned a deaf ear. There is so much evil. So I am calling and I am saying, 'A new day has come and a new chance for my bride to return.' There are days of difficulty yet to come, but I want my bride to shine, to glisten, and to show the world of my glory. I want my bride to become a refuge and a shelter for those who are already desperate for answers. There are many that are hurting who need to find and call on Me for the very first time. Will you be there for them? I love you and I mean you no harm. I so desire your love. I am a Trusted Friend. You will find shelter in me. I AM your Trusted Friend. Feel me as I wrap you in my arms tonight. Yes this very night..... as you close your eyes, let me hold you. My peace will be in your dreams. You have my heart. Do I have yours?"

Very honestly and with fear of the Lord.........I believe with all my heart that God wanted to use me to say those words to you right now, no matter what time it is when you are reading this.

Will you also now read Psalm 14?

Faithfully yours,
Mark S.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I am going to try to be very sensitive as I write today. I know that what I am writing can be very controversial and stir up a lot of emotion. This will be my interpretation of scripture on this particular subject, but I am always sensitive to the views of others. This is one of those topics that I think is good if it gets us to dig into the scripture and have good discussion, but one that should never divide us. I also want you to know that as I write about what we might view as premature death that I have had people that I love who have died at a young age, some tragically. I am not even sure why I want to talk about this particular thing right now. To be honest, in a way I don't. However, for two reasons I shall. One is that for two days now the Lord has put this on my mind to write about and secondly because I hope this helps someone, many actually, with their view of God. To understand that He is a loving Father and One who does not enjoy seeing His children go through pain. (Be careful on how you interpret what I just said.)

I've read and heard a lot of sarcastic comments lately about God when it comes to recent catastrophic events, tragedy and death. I saw someone make a comment a couple of days ago of, "yea, thanks God for sending so much death," in reference to the recent deaths from the tornadoes and flooding. I also had a friend tell me not long ago that she had always viewed God as mean because of how He took loved ones away in death, especially at an earlier age. When I realized that I had a friend who had that view of God it broke my heart. So let's take a look. Where is God when it comes to a death due to sickness, accidents, shootings and really just tragedy in general? Are those things of God, and are they of His design? What caused death in the first place and was God connected to it? I would rather look to the Bible for this answer than anywhere or to anyone else.

So where did death come from and who was involved? You don't have to go very far in the Bible to get the answer. God had created a perfect environment for man to enjoy. He had given him the most fabulous place to live and the most beautiful garden that could be planted. There are are also two trees that come into play in this story. The tree of life which is the tree associated with experiencing the life and God, including immortality and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God basically told Adam that everything was good and everything was his to enjoy, except for one thing. "...but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." It was not God's heart from the beginning for man to experience death. Yet we know what happened. You can read the story in Genesis 3, but for the sake of space and time I will just say that when the transaction that allowed death to enter into the world was made..........GOD WAS NOT THERE. HE WAS NOT PART OF THAT TRANSACTION. I see satan in the form of a serpent and I see a couple of human beings. I do not see God.

Suddenly, everything has changed. Not only is there now a fallen people, but everything about the environment where people live also is changed. Most will agree that this is when death became of a part of life, but very seldom do we make note of how ALL of creation, including the earth and atmosphere underwent a violent flip. Not only was man messed up, but now there were laws of nature that were messed up, too. Creation seems to take on a personality when the Bible tells us that it became subjected to frustration and futility. I'll pick up in Romans 8:20 with the New Living Translation which reads, "But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."

Please show me if I am overlooking something, but I cannot find anywhere in the new testament that leads me to believe that God desires for someone to die prematurely or tragically. Instead I see Jesus raising people from the dead. I do see some things happening in the old testament and BEFORE Jesus lived as a man, like where God caused the ground to open up and swallow people alive, or where He destroyed the earth with a flood. But those times were BEFORE Christ and always as a result of man's wickedness. When I've gone to a funeral of a loved one who died as a result of a "premature" death I've never said that God chose to take him or her. I just can't believe that. Where is the scripture to back up that kind of thinking? Show me examples from the Bible? Instead we live in what is sometimes a very cruel, but fallen world where horrible things can happen. However that doesn't mean it's God causing them to happen. Remember the transaction.

I don't see God causing these things, but instead I see God wanting to rescue us, even rescue us from the sting of death by way of the cross. I also know that God, because He is rich in mercy and grace will do His best to take a bad situation that has happened and try to make something good to come out of it. That's why we often hear about people coming to Jesus in the middle of tragedy.

You know what is weird about this for me? I woke up yesterday with this topic in my head. I didn't understand it. I didn't even mention it to my wife. But within a couple of hours as we were heading home to Pennsylvania for Mother's Day, my sister called to tell me that one of my cousin's lost his best friend due to an ATV accident. This man had a 10 year old daughter and I think he had a younger child also. I sure hope that nobody tells these children that God chose to take their dad, as I often hear well meaning people say.   So often we feel we need to be able to explain why, or even come up with reasons to explain God.

I want to say to this man's family, my cousin and all who have lost loved ones in tragic situations. God did not cause the loss of your loved one. It is the result of an imbalanced world and a groaning creation. God is extending His hand of love to you right now. Try with everything you have to hold onto Psalm 94:18.... "If I say, 'My foot slips,' Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul." I believe that God's heart broke over His perfect creation becoming imperfect. I believe that the heart of the Father hurts when we hurt, just like a good dad feels grief when he watches his children struggle or are in pain. That's why the Psalmist wrote in his time of trouble, "Put my tears into Your bottle, are they not in Your book?" (Psalm 56:8) David understood that God cares and wants people to run towards Him, not run from Him because He is a mean God who takes loved ones a way. People will often say, wanting to be well meaning, that maybe God wanted or needed someone in His presence more than we needed them. Why? Psalm 90:4 says, "For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night." So in God's eyes we will all be with Him in a blink anyway.

God operates in so many more realms than we could ever imagine. Just because God has the ability to see the number of our days and was able to allow the prophets and the writers of the scripture to foretell of earthquakes and famines; just because God has the ability to know of even coming disasters as the earth continues to shake, doesn't mean that he wanted them in the first place. Remember who was present during that ridiculous transaction that took place in the garden. God might have been watching, but He sure wasn't wanting for it to happen.

Today is not the day, but for those of you who visit here regularly you must know I so want to talk about how God wants us to realize the authority that He gives us in regards to some of the bad stuff in this life. To be bold and courageous, just like he commanded Joshua to be. The same Joshua who commanded the sun to stand still. I strongly hinted at that authority in "Not on my Watch."

For now, keep trusting Abba. He is a trusted friend!

Much love,
Mark S.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I'm just kind of writing from my heart today. No real topic or agenda. Just my heartbeat, the pulse behind this blog. Sometimes I go back and read some of the things that I've written and like anything else in life there are times when I think, "I didn't do a very good job with that." A few times I have thought, "That was a dud," but yet there are many other times when I think, "God, you helped me nail that one. That one was right on the mark." (Pun intended with a smile.) Please know this about me though. I don't write just to write. I don't write just to get blog hits. Of course it's nice to see how God is using this blog and of course it's nice to see it being read in so many places, even dark places around the world, but if that ever becomes my focus.......I better close it down right then and there.

Close to a year and a half ago I had someone send me some words of encouragement. It was way before this blog started and way before we really knew each other. Since then we have become friends, and I am most glad for that. I was on the verge of making some very tough decisions that I knew could have a major impact on us as a family in various ways, but especially financially. At the same time I knew that I had to run after God no matter the cost. Willing even to lose home, car and the stability of my life. If you think those are only nice sounding words to impress you, please reconsider your thoughts. I've experienced the cost, but now I am also reaping the rewards of obedience.

In February 2010 I had gone by myself to North Carolina. Even though I stayed with friends, I needed to spend as much time alone with God as I could. While there, on the morning of February 28th, this is what was sent to me:

"I saw you standing in a clearing with your arms raised to the sky, it was sunny and warm as you smiled upwards. The sun shone so brightly....then I saw you turn and wave them forward....lets go!!!! Lets Go!!! I heard you say....then I saw heads turning amongst a large crowd and the way they were traveling was stopped and they turned your direction. They still seemed dazed and confused but they turned.....they turned!! He needs us to reach the mutlitudes...that is what I heard said....reach the multitudes.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! Joel 3:14"

Even though I did not know her real well at the time, I knew in my heart that Dawn was someone I could trust. You just know when you share a kindred spirit with someone and when their deepest desire is to find more of God and to please Him. Those words helped me to know I was on the right path, no matter what anybody else would think about me. I know that I haven't fully stepped into the destiny of those words. I do know I am very close. I also firmly believe that God gave me the idea for this blog as a tool, as kind of a prelude to that destiny. You see, I love God. I love His Word and I love everything about Him. I even love it when He tenderly corrects and convicts me when I say or do something wrong. It will only make me a better person and a more complete disciple of Jesus. And then I share my heart with you, because I love people and I love you. It doesn't matter if we have ever met or not. My dreams, my visions, my experience. I do this because I believe that God has entrusted me to help others to dream bigger, to live more passionately and to abandon all for God. That is when we will truly make a difference. That is when we will experience God and His mysteries in ways that we only dreamed of before.

I believe what I write; what I share. But I also believe that you should treat everything I write with prayer and discernment. I strive to have the mind of Christ, but I am also very aware that I function as a man, still covered with flesh. But I do firmly believe the things that I say and that they are Holy Spirit inspired, so it is with that conviction that I want to say to you:

IT IS TIME TO PUSH............HARDER; WITH MORE INTENSITY PURSUING GOD. Play time is over. Being a worldly Christian is no longer an option. God has grown weary of too many people living like that. The world is out of time. I want to be aware of God's presence and direction every hour of every day. I encourage you to desire that also. The reward for those who will do this is simply amazing. In doing this we will get to know the heart of God so well that we will just act on things in the same manner that the great apostles did. When Peter and John were asked by the lame man for alms, Peter didn't have to stop and pray and ask God what to do. He had captured the heart of God. He shared the heart of Jesus. He REACTED immediately. He KNEW what to do. He began with, "Look at us." If you don't know the rest of the story you can read it yourself in Acts chapter 3. The world is in need right now of people who will act and react without thinking. Doing only what the Father would do. Being just like Jesus.

Move in this direction......become like this and I promise you......
The greatest chapters of your life story will have only begun to unfold, no matter how
young or how old you are.

If you are already there.....keep going more determined than ever...
There is much more yet to come, because the time has come.

See you soon then,
Mark S.

Sunday, April 24, 2011




I have to tell you what I sensed from the Lord this morning in church. It's something that I learned a good while ago, but He wanted to remind me so I could pass it along to you! As we were in worship and celebrating His resurrection I was asking the Lord what He wanted to say to us today. This is what I heard:

"Today needs to be a complete day of celebration. A COMPLETE day of remembering victories."

And then the download hit.

What God was saying to me was that there were people struggling with things they had recently done which resulted in sin. Now while we need to repent of sin in our lives, we also tend to beat ourselves up for falling short. I used to do this, too. I'd do something really stupid that I knew didn't please the Lord and then carry it around all day even after I had asked for forgiveness. There were many times when I would even say in my spirit, "God, I don't know why You say you'll forgive me when I don't even want to forgive myself." Praise God He rescued me from that thinking and along with that rescue I've allowed God to continually refine me. The point this morning was that God was showing me that on the day we were celebrating Jesus rising from the grave there were people that couldn't fully celebrate because they were hanging onto the guilt of something they had done. The Lord also said to me, "I'm tired of that" (carrying around the burden of mistakes). "It needs to stop."

God then showed me the joy of the opposite. How when we CHOOSE to not do wrong. When we CHOOSE to follow Him and when we CHOOSE to resist temptation and refuse to give in to the devil, yet we don't remember the victory all day. We will carry around defeat, but not celebrate in the victories. God wants me to tell you to start carrying around your victories throughout the day. Remember the times that you have looked temptation in the face and walked away from it. Remind yourself of that kind of thing throughout the day. Don't blow it off like we often do. GOD DOESN'T BLOW IT OFF! It is a sweet smelling aroma to Him. He doesn't forget it.

So many of us grew up learning that we are just a bunch of sinners who will continue to fall short of the glory of God for as long as we walk in these human bodies. God does not look at us that way. He looks at us as sons and daughters, a "royal priesthood" and gives us the keys to His kingdom. When my children mess up I want them to get over it and move on. Learn the lesson, but let it go and move on. Our heavenly Papa wants that very same thing for His chosen kids.

Yes, sin makes God sad, so keep allowing yourself to be refined, or fine-tuned and if you need to ask for forgiveness, receive it and then move on. In other words don't be ridiculous by carrying an unnecessary burden. Just get over it!!!!!!

Allow your days this Easter season to be full of happiness! That's what God meant when I heard Him say, "TODAY NEEDS TO BE A COMPLETE DAY OF CELEBRATION. A COMPLETE DAY OF REMEMBERING VICTORIES." Now take some time to remember and celebrate YOUR personal victories!!!!

Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy your visits. I just had to tell you! There are many who needed to hear this today! Oh yea........ and just a minute ago the Lord whispered for me to tell you that He IS YOUR BIGGEST FAN!

"Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings....." (Psalm 17:8

Much love and many blessings,
Mark S

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Greetings, greetings and more greetings. Seize the day, my friend.

So the other night I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. I've learned that instead of fighting sleep it's so much more beneficial if I get up and spend time in God's Word. Almost every time I do I end up finding this nugget of truth that will just stay with me for days. A couple of nights ago....actually it was about 4 in the morning......along comes the nugget.

"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." (1 John 5:4-5) Hey, that's me! I believe that Jesus is the Son of God! That must have been written for me! What about you?

Cross reference that with John 16:33. "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." These are the very words of Jesus.

As I began to ponder these verses I began to wonder. Why do so many Christians just give in to adversity when it comes? I have heard so many during my lifetime say that we can never escape trouble; that it's part of life and they are quick to point out that even Jesus said so. Well, I agree, but only to a certain point. Trouble and trials do come and yes Jesus did say they would, but why do so many want to stop and leave it at that when the Word of God says that we have the ability to overcome such things? The Greek word for tribulation in verse 33 is thlipsis(sounds just like it is spelled....thlip-sis). and it really means the worst of the worst. Affliction, distress, intense pressure and crushing. Picture a garbage disposal crushing and compacting everything that is thrown into it and you have thlipsis. Sounds pretty devastating doesn't it? But then we have Jesus, our Leader, who took these things on, whipped them real good and then He gave us the ability to do the same thing. Should we not be staring adversity in the face and push it right back? Don't live in defeat or fear of anything! To do so means that Christ didn't do enough on the cross.

"I'm always sick."
"It happened to my grandfather and my dad, so it will happen to me. I just have to accept it."
"I'll always struggle financially. I'll never get ahead."
"Bad stuff always happens to me."
"My marriage stinks and always will."

Those are just a few examples of things that I've heard from people during my time in ministry. Defeating things that are just accepted as part of life. Maybe there isn't anything quite that extreme in your life, but I'll bet that there is something that you allow to defeat you time and time again. If so it's time to pull the plug on that kind of thinking. Then again if you've discovered that you don't have to wait until you get to Heaven to live in the Kingdom, maybe you've already known this for awhile.

Let's be very honest. Everyday there are people who want to talk and talk about how bad life bad things are. Sadly, Christians can often lead the way with such talk. Isn't it time to counter that kind of talk with how God is full of hope, promise and overcomes? I want to be reminded more often of how "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."(Jeremiah 29:11)

"Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3) Those aren't the words of some misery giving god. Those are the words of the good, righteous, loving and living God who even destroys generational curses.

It's about finding victory in the face of defeat, it's about overcoming the bad stuff and it's about living with complete peace. Jesus promised it. He doesn't lie. That's good enough for me.

So until next time...................................

...............Peace out!!!!
Mark S.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


This two minute video really summarizes my prayer for each person that follows this blog. Two minutes that say more than many Sunday morning sermons.

Be different!
Be a fanatic!

You are blessed and you are loved,
Mark S.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011




We were already having another sweet time of worship at church on Sunday when the praise team broke into the song that I have embedded above. This particular version by the Jesus Culture is the one we were doing on Sunday. Two things happened to me almost at the same time. I had been sensing God’s Spirit already moving around the room, but then I began to sense Him inside of me, to the point that I didn’t know if my very being could handle any more of the glory if was feeling. The thought has since occurred to me that we should be sensing God’s glory like that a whole lot more than what we do. I mean think about it. We have become dwelling places where the Holy Spirit chooses to abide. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is inside of us. How can we walk around (and I include myself) so matter of fact all the time when we have this kind of power inside of us? There have been several times this year, usually in a time of worship, where I have seriously said to the Lord, “God, I don’t think my body can contain any more of Your glory without exploding." It’s pretty intense, but yet I want to keep seeing how much I can handle. Friend, I believe that if we remember on a daily basis what kind of power we are walking around with not only will we continue to be changed, but people around us will be affected, too.

The apostle Peter had to be aware of this great power as he walked around everyday. Is it any wonder why people were wanting so badly for even Peter’s shadow to fall on them? Peter understood the kind of power that was living inside of him, but yet Peter understood how to allow that power to leak out onto others. What a glorious mystery of the living God. The Holy Spirit wants to live inside of us, but yet He wants us to let Him out. Figure that one out!!!! Only God can do such a thing. So here we have people being healed just by being in the presence of Peter. Amazing! Acts 15-16 “….so they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.” The power that came from Peter was not of Peter, it was the power of the almighty God living inside of Peter!

Simple question. When we encounter people in the store and on the street, why are we not expecting them to have an encounter with the living God? I refuse to NOT expect the miraculous to happen when I come in contact with people. Not because of me, but because of God in me.

Suddenly, I am finding myself with some pretty bold thoughts that want to trickle through these finger tips tapping this keyboard and I am now desperately asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom and temperance. My heart is pounding at the thoughts in my head and I'm asking God what to do.....should I with hold or not?

....but yet here goes....anything that is not of God may it fall off...........

.............Is it any wonder why so many churches in America and in the United Kingdom are dying, and yet churches in third world countries are thriving and growing with people who are desperate for this Jesus that they are hearing about? This Jesus that saves, heals and who went about doing good and healing all who are oppressed of the devil!! Meanwhile so many of our churches are more into playing church politics and "we don't do that" self righteous attitudes rather than wanting or allowing people to see the glory and power of a miraculous, living and kingdom building God. So many of us continuing to live defeated lives everyday and then we wonder why people aren't excited about the possibility of becoming a Christian. May God forgive us and may we begin again.

Now........let me try to get back to Sunday. As that worship song transitioned into "Let it Rain," the second thing that happened was a vision of a drain. It was a drain on a filthy street. I had a sense that it was a street that still had on it all the dried salt and sludge after a long winter. The road was being washed by a steady, but gentle shower and I saw the filth being washed down that drain. God was showing me that while our church family was lost in worship, that He was washing the filth of the week off of us. Some of that filth was a result of some playing around in places where a child of God should not play. Some of the filth was sickness, disease and things that were causing bodies to experience pain or weakness. God was washing us. Showering us. Cleaning us up so that we were ready to face the days of the week ahead. He was sheltering us and restoring us so that we could better face the things of a troubled world.

If you haven't already, listen to that song.

God was doing that for us, just as He is doing that for you right now. You have fallen into the hands of the living God. It is fearful and yet glorious at the same time. It is life changing.

Now go change your world!

"......then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, and for a shelter from storm and rain." Isaiah 4:5-6

A friend who is your brother,
Mark S.