Blogs for Christian Living
Read some devotional thoughts from prior church planters & lifelong pastors. Mark & Dallas share what they learn daily in their journey walking with God.
Be inspired to live in the fullness of purity that God has set as the standard for His children. Be encouraged to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and the implications of living in relationship with God.
Feelings, feelings, feelings. We all have them. Some have got that loving feeling. Others have feelings of dread. We know when things don’t feel right and wonder how long the good feeling will last. Feelings are all around us. How much influence should our feelings have on what we do? How do our feelings affect our faith? If it feels good In America we are told, “If it feels good, do it.” Unfortunately, that can lead us down some very dangerous paths. Doing something that feels good in the moment often has negative feelings and results in the afterglow. Taking a look at a beautiful woman who is not our…Continue Reading
In March 2016, I was working in my makeshift office (what used to be our oldest daughter’s bedroom) when the Lord spoke. There wasn’t an audible voice – but it was so clear it might as well have been. “Mark, I am the provider.” “Yes, Lord, I know you are a good provider and you have taken care of us over the years.” “Mark, I am the provider.” “Yes, Lord. You are our provider.” All too similar to Jesus asking Peter if he loved him, God said a third time, “Mark, I am THE provider.” Then it hit me. He was telling me that He wasn’t just a good provider.…Continue Reading
Have you ever hidden money in a secret place? Maybe you have a stash to help save for an extravagant gift or vacation. Perhaps it’s more practical like an emergency fund. Clay Pots Last year, I had the privilege of traveling to Israel. At one of our stops we viewed the Qumran cave where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. The scrolls were not being searched out when they were discovered. They remained hidden and preserved in clay pots until shepherds looking to determine how deep a hole was where a sheep had fallen. When they dropped a rock to help determine the depth, the rock hit a clay pot…Continue Reading
Back in January we had a clear night to view the full lunar eclipse dubbed the “Super Blood Moon”. It was a marvelous, though very cold, experience. Where we live, there are very few lights at night, in fact, our county is designated a “dark sky community”, so when we have full moons, it can be almost the equivalent of a cloudy daytime light. As the moon was full and bright, we were able to watch as the shadow of the earth spread across the moon. In less than an hour, we went from full brightness to seeing a red glow outlining the earth’s shadow. This event caused me…Continue Reading
As a young child, I was an expert in throwing temper tantrums. My mom should have been sainted for having to handle me in those years. I could be incredibly difficult. Yelling, screaming, physically destructive, and emotionally hurtful to those around me. Looking back, I don’t think that I had an ability to properly express my feelings, so I just threw a tantrum. Unlike our earthly parents, God knows exactly how we feel whether we express it or not. There are times in life when things aren’t going the way we think they should. We know that God is there and working in our life. We may even be…Continue Reading
During our trip to Bangladesh, we were privileged to attend a few of the youth meetings. During one of these evenings, the participants were engaged in their Bible memory challenge. Mark and I were both very impressed as several of the students stood and recited a portion of 1 Corinthians 13. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if…Continue Reading
When we were church planters, we got used to covering a lot of bases. There just weren’t a lot of people to delegate various responsibilities to in those early days. We started with boots on the ground, no starter congregation, and no permanent building. In fact, when we planned our home basement finish out, we designed it to use as a place to hold church until we outgrew it. We planned and taught Bible studies, wrote and preached sermons, organized and executed the flow of music and the service, looked for appropriate children’s material, hosted community outreach, cared for the needs of those in the church with pastoral counseling, etc.…Continue Reading
Everyone enjoys stories. We watch them on TV and in the movies, read them in books, and see them in the theater. When families get together, it is common to tell stories of the past. Do you have some favorite family stories? Our daughters and soon-to-be son (we skip the “in-law” portion) were all home for Christmas. As we sat around the table eating great food, we got to share life. We shared stories of the past. Stories that were familiar and some new ones. With every story, the kids get to know more about their parents, and hopefully a better view of how God has worked throughout the…Continue Reading
In the summer of 2018 we felt like we were to go to Bangladesh to visit a missionary couple. Mark looked at airlines and flights but didn’t really spend much time on it. In December 2018, we sensed that the time was getting close and we should talk with them about when would be good to visit and start planning. In January 2019 it was determined that March would be the best time. So, we did what we thought God was telling us to do. We started telling people that we were going to Bangladesh in March. We blocked March 4th to 19th on our calendar to go, not having…Continue Reading
I was visiting with a friend when she shared with me that her bird went through a season of not singing. She said she wasn’t certain the cause or if there were even multiple causes, but she had concluded that he needed to spend more time in the light each day. We Need More Light When she shared her theory of “Birdie” needing more light each day, I was thinking, there’s a spiritual truth here. We need the Light. The Light gives us joy despite circumstances and a voice to dispel the darkness. The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) Sunlight helps regulate our mood and…Continue Reading