Matthew 10:7-8

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

Saturday, 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.