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."

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.