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."

Sunday, December 22, 2013


MERRY CHRISTMAS!  I am so thankful for you taking time to read my blog and I am just thankful for you!  I pray that the Lord would cover you with much peace at this time of the year.  The gift of Jesus is all yours.  Let Him be your trusted friend.

The older I get the more I fall in love with the story surrounding the birth of Christ.  I used to look for new meanings, new angles and new revelations when it came to what we know as the Christmas story of Jesus, but no more.  No matter how often I may have read them, Luke chapter 2 and the second half of Matthew chapter 1 will do me just fine thank you.  Find some quiet time and read them again and then just be still and allow God to romance your heart.  I think about the beauty of the Christmas hymn "Silent Night" and I want to fall in love with Jesus all over again.

Jesus has so much He wants to bring you this season.  You are unique, special and one who carries great qualities within, whether you realize it yet or not.  Maybe take some time out and for the next few days and just rest in Him.  For some of us there have been some pretty trying times this year.  It's good to rest.  Be still and know that He is your Savior and allow Him to bring new energy and new life.  For others, things are well and good.  I still encourage you to take some time and just rest; meditate on the Lord and build yourself up in Him.  New things are on the way.  Allow the Lord to prepare you for them.

I am hearing 3 specific things as 2014 approaches and I'm hearing them pretty clear and loud.  I'd like to just kind of touch on them and allow you to seek the Lord and pray.  See if He will confirm these things to your spirit also.  Of the three, there are two which I am hearing in a way that I've never heard before.  There is a mystery behind them; a great unknown with a depth to them which God will soon reveal.

The first thing that I have heard and heard again over the last couple of weeks is a plea from God to know Him, to seek Him.  I was in an office reading my Bible not long ago when I came across Hosea 6:3.  As I read this a source of energy ran through me in such a way that I knew the Lord was speaking, wanting to prepare me (us) for something that is soon to come.

"Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.  His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth."

Just a couple of days later I was lead to this scripture;

"Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."  (Jeremiah 29:32-33)

In these scriptures, here is what the Lord is saying.  In these days many of us are looking for answers and solutions to issues, problems and just life in general.  There's a lot of weird stuff going on in both the natural and the spiritual.  We often spend a lot of time trying to figure out a way to solve a problem.  Depending on what's going on, we even lay awake in bed at night losing sleep, trying to figure out how we can make something happen, or wondering how in the world something will work out.  God is saying to stop!  Stop looking for the solution that you can't find and seek Him instead.   He already knows the plan, He already knows the thoughts.  He already has the answer.  Seek Him and in doing so He will reveal the way.  To the world this is foolishness.  But God's ways are different, better than the world's ways.

So the first thing I'm hearing from God for 2014, is to know Him better.  To know Him in deeper ways than we have before.  To seek Him and find Him while He may be found.  There is a reason for this.  I am going to tell you of the second and third things that I've heard regarding the immediate year and you will understand the importance of knowing, seeking and running after God.

A little over a week ago while at church, during worship we were singing a song which contains these lyrics:


As I sang those lyrics I heard these words come back to me in such a way that I was silenced before God.  The Lord said with much clarity to me:


Those words were instantly burned on my heart.

I forget which song we did next, but I began to worship with every ounce of energy that I could burst forth and I'll never forget what I heard next................


I was stunned.  I wasn't expecting that.  To hear from the Lord in that way just messes with you............but in a good way.

Now tonight, I sense the Lord wanting me to pass those three things on to you.  Go back and read, especially the last two, again.  I believe these three things are of the prophetic nature that won't take much time to come to pass.  In the coming year we are going to witness a surge of God's power that will begin to dwarf any power or principality that is currently in place.

That's it.

I'm not going to expound any more as to what I believe this all means.  What I am going to do is ask you to put these words and thoughts to prayer.  YOU seek the Lord on this and see if He doesn't begin to confirm these things to you in the immediate, coming days.  I am confident that He will and when He does it will stir you, just as it has stirred and shaken me.

And by the way, make sure you click on the song that I was referring to.  May God speak to you today or tonight also.  In fact my prayer is that the Lord will suddenly just surprise you.

Much love and many blessings,
Mark S.

Saturday, November 23, 2013



A couple of nights ago I had a dream.  While it was short, it was intense and a right to the point dream.  It was one of those dreams where when I woke I remember thinking and knowing that there was no doubt that the Lord had sent it.  While this dream had a direct meaning for me and the people of our church, I also know when God wants something shared.  He wants this dream to be shared.  There is something to be revealed here that will impact your walk with Him, especially if you are sold out and committed to following God with reckless abandon and want to change the world.  I hope that's you!!!

Sometimes you have a dream that is a little foggy when you recall it.  You might tell someone of your dream with words like, "it seemed as if I was," or "it was like I was in" and then you continue on.  Hopefully you know what I mean.  You can kind of recall the main focus of your dream, but the exact details aren't real clear.  This dream wasn't like that.  I knew exactly where I was which was in the community center where we currently hold our church services.  The dream follows:

It was nearing the end of service and there was a prompting for everyone to go forward and pray together.  A circle was made around the podium where pastor Tony preaches and along the stage.  As we were standing there nobody seemed to be quite sure as to why it seemed that the Lord was instructing us to do this, but suddenly the Lord began to give me some words for this moment and I began to speak.  "Just stand quietly in His presence and meditate on Him.  The Lord wants to do something, give something to us that we need.  Don't be anxious, just rest and wait on the Lord to do this."  Quickly it came.  We could feel a heavy presence.  I remember speaking, "Ah, here it comes."  We all could feel something coming over us and the Lord began giving me the words to speak out......................

And then I was awake and did not feel that I could immediately speak.  Nor did I want to!

I have to be honest with you.  Until that dream I thought that boldness was something that just comes as you try to become more like Christ.  Something that comes the more you read and understand the Bible. Something that you desire to have.  That dream showed me that while those things certainly help, it is only by God that such boldness can be given.  Today I decided to study the word "boldness" as it relates to God.   I understand it better as a divine gift.  A key to the Kingdom.  That is why the apostles prayed for it.  Look at Acts chapter 4.  The apostles had been warned not to speak or preach in the name of Jesus, but look at part of their prayer:
                                          "Now Lord, look on their threats, and grant to your servants that with all boldness they may speak your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus." (verses 29-30)

Here also is part of a commentary that I found today.  I quote from the "Spirit Filled Life Bible" pertaining to how the word boldness, or "parrhesia" (strongs concordance #3954) is used in Acts chapter 4. "Here it denotes a divine enablement that comes to ordinary and unprofessional people exhibiting spiritual power and authority.  It also refers to a clear presentation of the gospel without being ambiguous or unintelligible.  Parrhesia is not a human quality but a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit."

Wow!  Read it will do you good to read that again.

While I believe that God wanted to give this word to the people of our church, it is not exclusive for for us.  There are many churches and many followers of Christ who have awakened and are ready to take on the ungodly things of this world, advancing the kingdom of God.

Tonight as you sleep, I pray that the Lord will visit you with a gift and a deeper level of boldness.  As you wake tomorrow, may you feel empowered to do His work with complete clarity and determination as never before.  May we also be mindful to pray for those who are in prisons around the world for already bodly proclaiming the gospel of Christ.  They already understand the concept of fearing no man.

Let's do this!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


One year ago yesterday our grand daughter Audrey was born.  That night as I was playing praise and worship videos there was one in particular that the Lord spoke to me about.  The Holy Spirit spoke to my spirit and in a way that only He could, downloaded to me as to how the message within "The Anthem" spoke prophetic words over our new little baby.  I often wonder what in the world God has planned for Audrey that will impact many lives one day.  I can't fully explain how I know this, but yesterday as she turned one the number 26 kept coming to me.  I believe that somehow that number is associated with an event or time in Audrey's life.  Nothing it clear about this, but it sure has me pondering and wondering.  It's been pretty sweet for me, because over the last year I have sensed the Lord telling me that He actually has some pretty unique plans for our two grandson's also, which makes me really wonder if during the adult years of our grandchildren if that will be the time where the ground is going to be made completely ready for the immediate return of Jesus.  Remember, these are just my ponderings.  I'm not trying to say, "Thus sayeth the Lord," but I do think about it and realize how quickly 20 (or maybe 26) years will be here.  Not a lot of time.

Think about this.  What if God has chosen us to be the ones to train up the generation which will be the generation that see's the second coming of the Lord?  That would be some destiny for us AND them.  Just thinking out loud.

At the same time that God gave me this promise for Audrey though, I knew that He wanted me to push the message of that song out to many.  God wanting to begin to alert that we were on the threshhold of a new season as He would freshly pour out His spirit on many unsuspecting people.  Being ready to minister to them and to be able to handle spiritual warfare is something that we need to be prepared for.  There is a nation, a world, that needs shaking.  So close to a year ago, I posted the video on this blog and encouraged everyone to really listen to the message.

Yesterday morning as I began my day at work, I started to think about it being Audrey's birthday and that's when God reminded me of this song once again.  Once again God is wanting me to remind you of this message as well.  However this time, I believe God is saying that things in the spiritual realm have been accelerated at what would seem like an alarming pace for us to grasp.  The song starts out, "I can hear the footsteps of my King, I can hear His heartbeat beckoning."  There's a difference to when you first start to hear footsteps in the distance and when they suddenly are right behind you.  The footsteps are much louder now.  Those footsteps are immediately upon us.    Brother...........Sister; it's time to move.  It's time to be aligned with God and do everything we can to keep up with the "footsteps" of Jesus.  Revival will come quickly.

A year ago God was speaking to our little Audrey telling her to "wake up child, it's your turn to shine.................."  At the same time God is telling a sleeping giant, the church and body of Christ, to wake up for we also were born for such a time as this.

World events.  Watch them unfold with eyes wide open.  Special things were spoken to the prophets of old.  Many of these things are being brought to light for us today, but unlike the prophets, we have the knowledge of Jesus and salvation that He brought to earth.  Even the prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah longed to see such days.

As always, pray into what I have spoken this day.  This is what I believe I am hearing from the Lord.  I try to be sensitive before I speak and want to represent Him well, but it's your job to seek Him for confirmation and substance of these things.  I will never be so arrogant to believe that I am the only one who hears in an accurate way from the Lord.  What is He saying to you in this song?

And now as I posted this almost one year ago today, it's time for Jake Hamilton's "The Anthem."

I love you guys,
Mark S.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Well it's that time of the year for many of us.  The semi-annual time change.  I'm not sure when you will be reading this, but as I write these thoughts it is Saturday, November 2 and tonight's the night.  But is the literal changing of our clocks all that is needing to be changed?  As I began to read the scriptures today wouldn't you know that I "stumble" across the following passage causing me to be reminded that God does have a sense of humor, or that His timing is perfect as always.  It seems that God knows that it's time to change the clocks, too:

"And do this, knowing the TIME, that now it is HIGH TIME to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed." (Romans 13: 11)

Now that is taken directly from The New King James version, which is by far my favorite.  Sometimes, though, I love the simplicity and the easy to understand directness of The New Living translation of the Bible, so I will continue with Romans 13: 12-14 using the NLT.

"The night is almost gone, the day of salvation will soon be here.  So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. (13)  Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see.  Don't participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy.(14) Instead clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.  And don't let yourselves think about ways to indulge your evil desires."

Now for most reading this I hope you don't have issues with the darkness of the deeds described in these verses, but I do believe we all have issues that need to be cleaned up. It is extremely important to do it now.  This week the Lord has been speaking to me.  I feel Him challenging me and then for me to challenge others that if we really do belong to Him then we need to become so much more like Christ.  People need to see something in us that is better, but different.  I have been talking lately on here, at church and even with people that I randomly encounter that we are at that pivotal time when God is saying to many that don't know Him that it's now or never.  Time is eventually going to run out.  Just a couple of days ago at church the Lord was talking to me and telling me that yes, He does want to use us in more incredible ways and that we are even wanting this.  Who doesn't want to be used by God to bring forth; to birth incredible miracles?  We want this from God.  But God wants something from us.  He wants to know that Jesus truly is at the center of our lives.  He wants to know that we are serious about getting rid of any trace of undesirable garbage in our lives.  Jesus did only what the Father would do.  He would say only what the Father would say.  In Jesus' time when a teacher took on a disciple, that disciple would take on the exact same characteristics of their teacher.  It maybe took awhile, but eventually it happened.

How are you doing with that?  Some people have been saying they have been a Christian for many years, but the lifestyle just doesn't always show it.  I remember one time a friend and church leader told me how she was invited to a party.  I can't remember if it was a graduation, birthday or some other kind of event, but she spoke of how people in our church were there and how some of them, even ones in ministry, were drinking and smoking just as much as non-Christians.  How even much of their talk was the same.  They weren't in a church setting, so I guess it was okay, or so they thought.   She was not judging and neither am I, but I'll never forget her asking me the question, "What are we really doing if people walked in and can't tell the difference between who says they follow Jesus and who doesn't?"  Being one of the pastors at that time, I remember how that pierced my soul and how sober minded I suddenly felt.

Today I'm telling you.  Time is up.  It's put up or shut up time.  It's do or don't, but it's time to choose.  Carnality needs to go.  The Kingdom of God is calling.  It's time to show the world that there are a lot of great and beneficial reasons to follow the Jesus that we talk about.  Do I sound harsh?


Now that is harsh.  But it is also the truth and needed to be said.  It wasn't me who said it though, it was this guy that people in the church look up to.  His name is Paul.

I'm not turning legalistic on you.  I am talking about living a life just like our Teacher did.  Jesus went to parties, but the people around Him could always tell He was different.  He loved them, accepted their short-comings, dealt with their sin when it was needed, but always encouraged them to become more like Him, often just by the way He talked and lived.

It's not all work and sacrifice.  Become more like Christ.  And then watch the blessings, watch the provisions and watch the sudden mighty works that He gives you the ability to do through Him.

Things in the spiritual worlds are colliding.   Quickly and at an increased pace.  This time is really the best time.  God, let more of Your kingdom come!

This is going to be good!!!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


"Through the fog there is hope in the distance
From cathedrals to third world missions
Love will fall to the earth like a crashing wave.

Tonights the night,
 for the sinners and the saints
Two worlds collide,
 in a beautiful display
It's all love tonight, when you step across the line
We can sail across the sea, to a city with one King
A city on our knees."

About a week and a half ago I woke up with those lines from the song "City on our Knees" playing in my head.  I couldn't shake free from them, but then again I didn't want to.  Simultaneously, the Lord was speaking to my heart.  As I was hearing "for the sinners and the saints, two worlds collide.....; I was also hearing, "Today I put you in that place."  It  took on a very personal meaning as I knew that God was about to place me in a situation to reach into the lives of people who had not given Him any serious thoughts in quite awhile.

He did, it happened, and I have assurance that a door has been opened for me to have continuing influence into some special lives.

It didn't stop after that day.  That song and those thoughts keep pounding away in my head and in my heart some 10 days later.   I have heard other followers of Jesus talking about getting the same type of message.  Confirmation is happening between us.   And I have a message for the saints who have decided to follow the Lord God fearlessly and without compromise:

Do not delay.  Be prayed up.  Be steadfast.  Man your "stations" that God has given you.  We are in the latter days.  God hates sin, but yet He desires that not even one should perish.  So, as He has promised throughout the scriptures, His spirit is going out.  The God of mercy, forgiveness, love and life is doing mighty works in an attempt to turn hearts back toward Him.  The lost, the broken, the hopeless will be and already are coming.  There will suddenly be many, even in the church, who once thought that they were ok in their faith, but in reality are lukewarm at best and cold at worst, who will be coming.  God is bringing them to us, expecting us to be salt and light.  God's spirit, flowing like oil, rich in mercy and full of grace, trusting us to show others, to lead others and to testify to them of the hope that can be found in Jesus Christ.

Two worlds colliding.

It was by no accident that a few days after those lyrics began ringing in my head that suddenly I felt that I was supposed to read the book of Hosea.  I really didn't want to and I remember thinking, "Hosea, really?"  The account of the prophet who was told to take a prostitute and make her his wife just didn't sound appealing to me, but obedience led to enlightenment.  God didn't ask Hosea to do anything that He isn't willing to do and in fact has already done and is doing now.  It is in the beauty of this book that we learn of the FAITHFUL FOREVER GOD!

I need to keep this short, easy to read, and letting it be Holy Spirit stirring your thoughts.  So I will simply encourage you to read especially the first 3 chapters of Hosea and do your own study on them.  I think you will see a parallel of where Israel was at that time and where the church is today.

As much as I like to talk about the grace and forgiveness that God brings, I want to remind you that this is for a season of time.  The days of dabbling in sin, compromising God's word and morals need to be over.  NOW! While I believe we are in a period of God extending His grace in order to save many, this season will one day end.

As two worlds collide, waste not the time.
("So be careful how you live.  Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.")  Ephesians 5: 15-16

For the sake of the call,
Mark S.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Hey, it been awhile, Jack!!  :)  I hope this writing finds you well and at peace in your walk with God.  There is no better place to be than in the palm of His hands.  If your not there, get there!

Recently I've been reading Phil Robertson's book "HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY" and I've been enjoying it very much.  I have not quite finished it yet, but out of everything I have read there was a paragraph in the prologue that will always remain with me when Phil says,

"Where do I go from here?  The time is near when the dust will return to the earth and the spirit to God who gave it.  I'm ready for that, but not quite yet.  I have a lot of speeches to give, a lot of blinds to build, a lot of Duck Dynasty episodes to make, and who knows how many more duck seasons to hunt.  Maybe the greatest thing is that I've been able to live life the way I wanted.  Following Jesus is a blast.  The Lord has blessed me mightily.  It is what makes me happy, happy, happy."

Last weekend my son, Andrew was married to a beautiful woman who captured his heart.  The setting for the wedding was unlike any that I've seen before.  It was on the farm where Sarah grew up.  It's a beautiful place in the country and during rehearsal and then the day of the wedding I kept finding God's peace.  Before the wedding I just sat down on the porch and began to ponder the passing of time in my life.  We were blessed as our other three children were there for the wedding. As I watched and thought about each one of them, and pondered the many memories of Andrew growing up, I remember thinking, "How did I ever get to this place of time in my life?"  And I remembered that part that I just shared from Phil Roberton's book and smiled.

What a great season of life to be in.  To be so content with your life that you are ok should you cross into eternity today, but yet at the same time you are eager to acccomplish much more on this earth.  I find myself right at that point.  Somedays I think about what it will be like to be in the presence of the Almighty, and I am ready for that, but yet there is more work to be done and until that day happens I need to be about my Father's business.


Several years ago I decided to get really serious about my walk with Jesus.  Instead of like a walk in the park, it became to me the walk for daily living.  Somedays I walk much better than others, but during that time I became a much better man, a much better husband and a much better dad.  I say this with humility for I know that without Jesus that wouldn't be possible.  I often tell people when I get a compliment about something that anything good from me is a result of God and He gets the credit.  Anything bad is on me.

I love watching my youngest son become a man and I would love to see my grandchildren graduate.  I want to keep doing my part in bringing a lot more of heaven to this place called (as Phil Robertson would say) planet earth.  In other words I am a place of complete peace with whatever happens this day.

Have you found this peace, this place in life yet?  If your answer is yes, then good for you!  Stay in love with Jesus and your time will keep getting even more sweet.  If your answer is no let me tell you that it begins today; right now, as long as one condition is met.  That you have surrendered your life to Jesus Christ.  If you aren't ready to do that, then at least start thinking about it!  I find myself praying for you right now. God makes it clear:  Follow Him and you will be blessed.  Now the devil is a liar and may try to trip you up along the way.  For some that has caused you to lose your way and become confused.  Please undertstand where that confusion, even desperation is coming from and know that our life giving God has unique and special plans in mind just for you.

I keep wanting to close this writing, but God won't let me.  I keep hearing that there is a spirit of suicide on someone reading and it needs to be broken.  HE WANTS TO BREAK IT.  God is reaching for you now, or you wouldn't be reading this.  I am going to go now into a time of prayer for you.  If you need, I am here for you.  All you have to do is let me know and together through prayer we will touch God's heart and get this thing all turned around. 

This peace, this season in time is destined for you!

With a whole lot of love,
Mark S.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


On the eve of our anniversary I keep thinking back to the day I married the love of my life.  As we grow older I truly believe that we only grow closer together.  I remember when we were younger there were days when Kay and I would have an argument and we could stay mad at each other, sometimes for long periods of time.   That season has passed (at least for me).  Now when I even try to stay irritated with her (those times usually end up being my fault anyway)  I will attempt to give her "that look" and we end up breaking out in laughter.  It is futile for me to even try.  God has truly knitted us together.   Even though one day it will happen for one of us, I can't imagine ever living without my Blue Eyes.

Do you believe that God will talk with you in the simplest of conversations?  If you have never felt that you've heard the Lord speak to you, someday I will blog again about how to hear God's voice and give some ideas that may help you, but for right now I will tell you about one such day in which the Lord whispered to me.  I was leaving work and my heart was heavy for a man that I had just met.  He had just experienced the loss of his wife and I could feel his grief.  As I prayed for him I couldn't stop thinking about the wonderful wife that God had given me.  I began to think about our lives and I even pondered the question, "I wonder how much time we have left?"  That was in January 2012 and I'll never forget the words that I immediately heard.  I can even remember the exact place where I was in the parking lot.  "YOU HAVE 25 MORE YEARS."  It was so clear to me that it may has well have been audible.  I don't believe it was, but sometimes when I think about that day I do wonder.  Regardless, I do know when I hear from God and without a doubt I heard from Him that day.  I was days away from turning 50 and we were within 6 months of 25 years.  We have now reached 26 and if I really did hear correctly (which I know I did) we are past the halfway point.  I'm not even sure how to explain exactly what I am feeling, but tonight as Kay has already gone off to bed I am filled with so much peace.  Somehow I know that God will only continue to bring us even closer.  For us, the two truly are one.

God has blessed me beyond what I ever could have imagined. As we celebrate 26 years, I have had two main thoughts that keep running through my head.  I know that the beauty of my marriage is only possible because of the love that Jesus has for me.  Besides being thankful for my wife, I also can't stop thinking of  how Jesus loved me enough to suffer the pain of the cross so that I could gain eternal life.  The greatest gift of love that could ever be given.  I look forward to one day attending His marriage supper.  The marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19).  And, of course, I can't stop thinking about my wife.  We have reached 26 years of marriage.  I wonder tonight as to how that time has been so fleeting.  The seasons of life come and go so quickly.  Four beautiful children and three precious grandchildren later, and Kay is still without a doubt the story of my life.

I have posted this song in honor of Kay before, but tonight I have to do it again.  I heard this song when Dr. James Dobson featured it on "Focus on the Family" back in the late 80's. I was working in Christian radio at the time and I can remember hearing it like it was yesterday for the very first time.   The lump in my throat and the tears in my eyes came quickly as I listened to the lyrics and thought of my wife.  We had only been married either 1 or 2 years at the time.  I think it was the next day I went out and bought the song, (back in the days of the cassette tape) played it for Kay and told her that the lyrics would always be in my heart for her.

All these years later.............they still are.


...............................THE STORY OF MY LIFE!!!...................................

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Recently I've been going through first and second Chronicles.  While I find some chapters a bit harder to get through, I have enjoyed finding examples that bring us lessons in life.  Lessons that will empower us to live as faithful sons and daughters of God.  Yesterday, I read 2 Chronicles 25. It was as though the chapter became highlighted to me, seemingly jumping out of my Bible and capturing my thoughts.  In that chapter there is compromise by one of the kings of Judah which leads to disaster.  I'll get more into that in a minute, but when I really got the Holy Spirit goose bumps was when one of the pastors from our church brought a great message last night regarding "The Compromising Church," which she took from Revelation chapter 2.  When that happened I knew instantly the Lord was bringing something of importance that we need to understand.  Something that He wants us to "get."  I also knew that God was wanting me to share this on the blog, so I hope you'll stick and listen for what the Holy Spirit may want to say to you as you read on.

I need to highlight some of the main points from 2 Chronicles 25, but I encourage you to read the entire chapter yourself.  The chapter begins by introducing us to Amaziah, the 12th king of Judah.  Right away my attention was drawn by verse 2 which tells us this about Amaziah; "And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart."  The last six words of that verse just may have grabbed your attention, too.  Maybe you follow the Lord; maybe have given your life to the Him, but you still find yourself dabbling, or just flat out compromising with some things not pleasing to God in your life.  In fact some reading this have been convicted already and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.  The Holy Spirit convicts us, because He wants us to become more like Jesus and represent Him better in fullness of character.  And that is a good thing.

Things start out pretty good for our friend Amaziah.  He is following the law of Moses and listens to a prophet, or as the New King James words it, "a man of God."  Because of this God gives Judah great victory when they go to war against Edom.  But then something happens.  Flesh desires get in the way and Amaziah begins to mess with the system that God had designed for His people.

"Now it was so, after Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up to be his gods, and bowed down before them and burned incense to them."  (verse 14)

Why, after such a great victory would the king do that?  How could he compromise like that and expect God to fully bless him, or even bless him at all.   Sounds really stupid.   Amaziah had also experienced a great victory.  Things were going so good that I think he may have decided he didn't need to rely on God as much.  Sound familiar?   And then again why do so many Christians try the patience of the Lord by dabbling in things that we shouldn't, when we know that they are not God's best, or His desire for us?  Oh I know there are easy things to point out and stuff that jumps out easily.  Maybe we think that just glancing at a little porn won't hurt.  Surely just a little buzz from alcohol or pot won't hurt anything.  And hey, gambling away money that God has blessed us with is, well, just a little fun after all................right?   Dabbling in a little magic, witchcraft, fortune telling or astrology is really just entertainment after all.   I suppose it's getting a little too picky to discuss the possibility of spending more time on Facebook and the computer than we do in devotion to the Lord.   Heaven forbid I even discuss the sports addict, because then I might be stepping on my own toes just a bit.  I'm sure you can add to this list of things.

You get it right?  Ahaziah set up some foreign gods, but any compromise, anything that we allow to be more important to us than Jesus (when we know better) is playing right into the hands of the devil.  Even if he can just keep our minds distracted and steal our time from doing things that will bring honor to God will keep him happy.  Last night Pastor Faythe spoke on how compromise can hinder our prayers from beings answered or from experiencing the fullness of God in our lives.  I hope you read Revelation 2: 12-17 and see how God tells the compromising church to repent, or else He would come quickly and begin to deal with those areas of compromise and some false teachings.

Churches need to start dealing with sin within the church instead of turning a blind eye in order to keep members happy and feeling good.  It is a dangerous and false sense of security to think that God will let us get away with even just a little bit of sin.  There is this thing called accountability that needs to happen in our churches and in our homes.  The Lord will not tarry forever.  He is still planning to return.

 Okay, so what happened to our buddy Amaziah?  The scripture tells us that Gods anger was aroused against the king.  The prophet returned and told him that God had determined to see him destroyed.  All because of compromise and trying to add something that was contrary to the system that God had put in place.  At the beginning of the chapter, Amaziah and Judah experienced great blessing and victory by the hand of the Lord.  Towards the end of the chapter we read of bitter defeat of Judah and a conspiracy to kill the king was put in place.  A conspiracy that brought about the ending of the king's life.

I understand that we are living under the grace of Christ which was something that Amaziah didn't have.  God most likely won't deal with us the same way that he did with the king, but make no mistake, God still hates sin and when we compromise or dabble, those things do carry consequences with them.  We are even warned of such things by the Apostle Paul.  (See Romans 6)

You really should read 2 Chronicles 25 and the passage in Revelation 2 regarding the compromising church.  There is so much more in those scriptures than what I touched on here and the Holy Spirit may reveal to you even more in those passages than he did me.

Lessons for life!

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."

For The Kingdom,
Mark S.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Where do I even start in trying to tell you of the electricity that is flowing in my body at this moment?

Where do I start?????

I, like just about everyone else who lives in northeast Ohio have been captivated by the 3 young women who have been rescued in Cleveland.  Jubilation!!  We can actually watch the news coverage for long periods of time and really feel good about the end results.  The thrill of seeing 2 of the 3 women going home yesterday with Amanda Berry being the first, was something I wanted to watch over and over.

Amanda, Gina and Michelle we love you and rejoice you are safe!

Along with this abundant joy there is also something else that has my spirit soaring.  I hope you've noticed, too.  The news channels have been talking openly about how prayer vigils are just popping up in the communities.  I've watched footage of circles of people holding hands and praying, some with their hands lifted towards the heavens.  I've heard many people thanking God openly.  And I've pondered things in my spirit.  I remember thinking as I watched this unfold yesterday, that God is now clearing the way for His name to be remembered again.  Even among those who have rejected Him before.  And this is only the BEGINNING.    There have been many of us saying things like, "A great awakening is coming........................."  I don't know how many times I've proclaimed this over the past couple of years.  Over the past few months, though, I've started to say, "The time is here.  No more waiting!"

Today I just wrote to a friend though and admitted to him that there are days when I do wonder if I'm hearing from Holy Spirit correctly.

And then I started to read something this afternoon that you MUST read.  Especially if you have been following these events in Cleveland..........  DON'T MISS THIS .  Please, please don't miss this.

I'm going to copy and paste a prophetic (I know I just scared a few of you with that word, but read on).......a prophetic word that was given on April 27, 2013 by Kim Clement.  I'm only going to give you about 3 paragraphs and at the end I will give you the link for the entire prophecy from him.  These 3 paragraphs have pierced into my soul.  I became so excited that without realizing it I was gulping my ice tea and began to choke!!!!  I had to settle myself down.

With what has just happened in Cleveland PAY EXTRA ATTENTION to the THIRD paragraph which begins, "OUT OF THE BITTER SHALL COME SWEET.............."  Also, keep these two things in mind:  1)  This is still spring.  Summer is YET to come!  2)  There have been a lot of prophecies about how this amazing new wave of awakenings to God will begin in northeast, Ohio........yes, even Cleveland itself!"  (At some point come back and click on this link:  UNITY IN NORTHEAST, OHIO

Now remember, this was spoken on April 27, 2013.

God's Spirit says, "Listen; hear Me now. I have set aside a season during the summer which shall be called the season of great harvest – which shall be called the season of the one hundred fold. It shall be called the season where people went out and they picked of the fruit of their labor.
"This is a season, a time, where there will be a great harvest," says the Lord, "where summer camps will be invaded by My Spirit, where summer schools will be invaded by My Spirit. I have set a time aside to invade schools and homes of children. I will raise them up, wipe their tears away, take away spirits of heaviness, and replace it with garments of praise, give them oil of joy for sadness, and to give them healing. This is a season during summer where I will bring a hundred fold upon My people who receive it and who declare it and who live it. I shall do it during the summer," says the Lord.
"Out of the bitter shall come sweet; out of the bitter shall come sweet. Out of the wrong shall come right. Out of the evil shall come good. There is no loss in the Kingdom. That which has been taken from you, I will give back during summer. Listen to Me. I will give it back to you, but I shall not hand back what was stolen two times, three, five, or ten...but 100 times. If you can receive it, then do. If you cannot, then you will not receive it, for that which was stolen from you, I wish to restore 100-fold."

Now of course I don't believe that events like these are going to be exclusive to Cleveland.  I believe they will become national and worldwide and in many different cities, but I do believe that we are seeing the beginning of them in Cleveland.  And wouldn't it be just like God to choose a city like Cleveland, a city which has been the target of even national jokes for so very many years.

In the darkest part of the night, the light begins to break through.  The Light has already pierced the darkness.

All I will say to those who have read this and still may be scoffing, or even rejecting the notion of an amazing God who delights in getting involved in the lives of His children is that you better get ready.  You are about to realize just how wrong you are, for you shall see.........


Here's the link to Kim Clement's entire prophecy.

Let Your glory fall, Lord
Mark S.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


This past Sunday Kay and I had a fantastic opportunity to worship with wonderful friends while in Wilmington, North Carolina.  There was a sweet time in the worship when I began to hear the Lord say something over and over to me.  "LET THE POTTER BE THE POTTER AND THE CLAY BE THE CLAY."  That may not seem like an earth shaking revelation to you, but it came to me over and over.

Jeremiah wrote this account:

"Then I went down to the potter's house and there he was, making something at the wheel.  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter, so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.  Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?' says the Lord.  'Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!'"  (Jeremiah 18: 3-6)

I would encourage you to get your Bible and read to read further into this passage.  I think it's pretty significant for the times that we now live in, but here are my initial thoughts on what I believe the Lord was trying to say not only to me, but what He also wants me to now say to you.................

We HAVE to stop worrying about things that we cannot control.  That is up to God and He is more than big enough to handle some of the major issues that we face in our day to day living.  Jesus tells us often to follow His teachings and commands.  We are instructed to meditate on the Word, even day and night.  We are told to pray for our enemies and to love our neighbors.  To love God with everything inside of us.  We are to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.  (Love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.)  Then there are the beatitudes.  Micah tells us to "do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."

Those are some things that just come to me off the top of my head that we can control when it comes to our relationship with God, that will then help us keep our minds right when it comes to our outlook on life.  I've only scratched the surface with these types of things, but take a minute now to just go back over the things I've mentioned and honestly evaluate how you are doing in those areas.   When we take care of the things that we are instructed to do, I promise you God will take care of the rest.

Take it from the man typing that the more you do the things that Jesus and God instructs you to do the stress level will go down, worry will begin to cease,  peace will abound and fear will be driven out.  I do the whole Facebook thing too, and without judging I can tell who is trying to do it their way and not His way.   God is trying to tell us that we need to stop that kind of nonsense.  Time is too short and if we want to keep our sanity during these crazy times, we have to let our Father be the Potter.

About 5 years ago there was a situation at our church that really angered me.   I had myself convinced that I needed to get involved in a situation and to let someone know exactly how it was going to be.  I was even so upset that I had to go outside and walk around just trying to get my emotions to calm down so I wouldn't cross the line (too much).  Looking back now I know that my heart was in a sinful place at that time with my attitude.  However, while I was outside walking I very clearly heard the words, ".............And so you think that I'm not big enough to handle this?"  I heard those words so clearly that I really knew that God wasn't going to mess around with my attitude and so I surrendered and turned it over to Him.  You know what happened?

GOD TOOK CARE OF IT.  I let the Potter be the Potter.

Had I not there would have been some kind of mess.  Over the next few years there were other times when the Lord would have to remind me that He indeed was big enough for the big problems.  I finally got it.  Ever since I did, God has been shaping me and molding me into the kind of guy that I should be.  Not that I am perfect, but I have become a much better man in being a representative of Jesus.  Without boasting I am finding that the things I do in life are prosperous and blessed and all for HIS glory.

First, do those things that will allow you to become usable "clay" that can be more easily shaped and molded.  In other words:  Let the Potter be the Potter and the clay be the clay.  That may sound simplistic, but if we really work on becoming better at this we will really start seeing more and more of the amazing things that God has planned.  You then have every right to be excited about verses like the one I love from Jeremiah 33: 3.................."CALL TO ME AND I WILL ANSWER YOU, AND SHOW YOU GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS , WHICH YOU DO NOT KNOW."

I haven't blogged in quite sometime and now tonight I sensed the Lord wanting me to write this.  There must be a reason.  So I need to ask you this:  What is going on in your life to where you need to allow the Potter to be the Potter?

For those with ears to hear............let us hear!

Mark S.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


I hope things are well, my friend.  I trust that you have been faithful to the Lord and listening for His voice.  In these days and times we need to keep our minds pure and on the Lord for even if a troubled time comes He will be faithful to lead us through it.  I truly believe we are in a time when God wants to speak clearly to us, even in such a way that we can hear His voice.  For each person it might be in a different way, but make no mistake that God desires a deeper interaction with His people.

Last Sunday morning my spirit was restless.  I wasn't sure why, so after some wasted minutes of pacing and thinking I realized that I needed to just go to a quiet place and pray.  Not long after I began to seek the Lord some scriptures from John 14 came to my mind very clearly.  As I thought about them, it was as if the Lord said to me, "The next time you preach, this is what I want you to talk about."  There have been a handful of times in my life where I heard the Lord so clearly that it seemed like it was almost audible.  This time it was more like the Holy Spirit was just allowing His thoughts to become my thoughts and to soak into my spirit.  God has many ways of speaking to us, but make no mistake that if you have a heart after His, He will indeed speak to you and you will know when it is Him speaking.

The scripture that  the Lord brought to me were words of Jesus.  Chances are you have heard them before.  "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.  If you love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper."  (John 14: 13-15)

I'm not going to go into the message that the Lord downloaded to me regarding these scriptures and others that followed soon after.  Instead, I think this will become almost like a two part post and I will look into that in my next writing.  For now, I want to tell you what happened within the next 45 minutes after initially hearing the Lord's voice.  I do this in hopes that I may encourage you that God loves us so much that we should EXPECT to hear him connect with us in this way.  It's not some "special" connection that I have, but it is a special connection that the Lord wants His faithful.  (It you've been hot and cold in your walk with God, it's time to get hot and stay hot.  It's time for faithfulness.)

Upon hearing, "The next time you preach this is what I want you to talk about,"  I kind of chuckled.  It reminds me now of how Sarah laughed upon hearing that she would have a child in her old age.  You see, other then officiating some funeral services it has been a while since I've really had a chance to preach, or teach.  I remember saying to the Lord, "Well, I don't know when that will be, but okay."  I continued to pray and meditate for awhile longer and began to feel much more peace.  

Now this is when it got really fun for me.  After praying I walked into the kitchen and saw my cell phone.  I picked it up and saw that I had a text message which had been sent at 11:10, approximately 45 minutes after I began to pray.  I began to get what I call Holy Spirit goose bumps as soon as I began to check the message.  "Mark, would you consider teaching this Tuesday.......," were the first words that I read.  Different emotions hit me all at once.  Excitement, laughter and my insides started shaking, too.  Shaking because I realized that I had just heard clearly from the Creator of the universe.

My wife Kay, Matt (our youngest son) and me have been attending for a little over 4 months a Tuesday night Bible study which is growing into a church called The City.  Suddenly, on this particular Sunday morning I was hearing from God and being asked by Pastor Tony to speak at The City all within a 45 minute time span.  Even as I write this there is a song that is running through my head where some of the words are, "Lord, I'm amazed by You."  (A good version is by Phillips, Craig and Dean and it is called "Amazed.)

I believe that God desires to speak to us in this way often.  The more we meditate on Him, spend time with Him and live like Jesus lived, the more we will understand God's desires for us and understand His ways.  The only problem I keep seeing is that too many Christians view God as this far away God who sometimes will surprise us by intervening in our lives in some divine way.  I hate to say this, but I believe that most churches have allowed this type of thinking to occur because many of our leaders either don't know how to teach on it, or have never experienced this kind of interaction with God for themselves.  I also see our Christian culture as one who is more excited about the next episode of their favorite reality show then they are about spending time with God.  Then we wonder why we struggle to understand God's will for our lives.

Take the scriptures to heart in a more literal way.  We read verses and they sound so nice, but we don't really take time to draw out the richness from them.  I think of James instructing us to "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."  In doing this he tells us to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts.  The Greek word for the phrase "draw near" is eggizo (pronounced en-gee-zo), meaning to bring near, or to join one thing with another.  That's what God wants.  For us to be joined with Him through Christ where His thoughts become our thoughts.  His ways become our ways.  In doing so we how can we not EXPECT to hear His voice?  It should become natural and a desirable thing to hear the voice of God instead of something that just happens every now and then.  We need to get back to the discipline of Psalm 1:2.  "But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night."

Jesus said it this way in John 14.  "If you love Me, keep my commandments," (verse 15) and "If anyone loves me , he will keep My word."  (verse 23)  This is then followed by this awesome promise, "And my Father will love him and We will come to him and make Our home with him."  

If someone is living in my home, then I am surely able to hear him when he speaks.  How much more then should we hear God when He speaks!

Thanking God for the heart that He is giving you!
Mark S.