A Walk with Mark ...

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Know Your Enemy - Satan!

Every good soldier knows the enemy! Satan is a real, he is liar, and he will tie you up in your possessions. 

Some things the bible reveals about the enemy:

The truth of our enemy …
·      Satan was created as a holy angel. Isaiah 14:12.
·      Satan’s pre-fall name was Lucifer. Ezekiel 28:12-14
·      He became arrogant in his beauty and status and decided he wanted to sit on a throne above that of God (Isaiah 14:13-14; Ezekiel 28:15; 1 Timothy 3:6).
·      Satan’s pride led to his fall. Notice the many “I will” statements in Isaiah 14:12-15.
·      Satan became the ruler & prince of the power of the air (John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2).
·      He is an accuser (Revelation 12:10).
·      He is a tempter (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5).
·      He is a deceiver (Genesis 3; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:3). His very name means “adversary” or “one who opposes.” Another of his titles, the devil, means “slanderer.”
·      Even though he was cast out of heaven, he still seeks to elevate his throne above God. He counterfeits all that God does. He encourages opposition to God's kingdom. Satan is the ultimate source behind every false cult and world religion. Satan will do anything and everything in his power to oppose God and those who follow God.

However, Satan’s destiny is sealed—an eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).

Praying for you and your strength against the enemy. You know I love ya, Don

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Learning to see with big boy eyes!

Mark 6:5-6 – “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.”

We shouldn't be too hard on Jesus' home town. They are a great deal like us.  Joseph was dead and Jesus, being the eldest male child, was expected to take on the role of the head of the household and breadwinner for the family. These people, relatives some, maybe felt that Jesus had shirked his family duties by leaving the family to fend for themselves. He had stepped away from his “role”, what he was expected to do according to the customs of society. And his “extended family” wasn’t too happy to see him striding back into town as a “Rabbi”. That’s not his “role”.

How you perceive it… defines it. How do you perceive Jesus?

Can you imagine it? God in the flesh. Standing right there in front of them. And they’re going, “Ahh! It’s just that carpenter. Mary’s kid. He’s no prophet!” Rejected! “And he was amazed at their unbelief.” Jesus knew who he was. Why couldn’t they see it? We need to remember the image of Jesus that people had in their minds. He had left Nazareth alone, the carpenter, and returned with 12 guys, a prophet. 

I live in Howard, PA. A small community in the middle of the mountains, surrounded by a beautiful lake. Now Nazareth is a town probably not a whole lot bigger than Howard. Probably, like Howard, many of the people were related. And possibly upset because Jesus left his family when they needed him.

We’re the same today as those people were back then. We watch the children of our church and town grow up and we’re amazed at what they become and we are skeptical when they change. We sometimes refuse to believe how they turn out. And, in doing so, refuse to allow them to minister to us.

Again, How do you receive Jesus? All too often we receive Jesus as the impression and perception someone else forced on us. I want to receive Jesus as an adult the thrives in the abundance of His grace, mercy, and healing. You see, when we realize that our impression, our perception, and our reception of Jesus defines our relationship with Jesus, we learned that the only way to receive Jesus is through faith in His ability to be the Son of God in our lives.

You know I love ya, Don 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Great illustration on perspective!

Impression (Your filter) leads to Perception (How you define it) which lead to reception (how you act on it)... What is your action these days?

To Scale: The Solar System from Wylie Overstreet on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

You possess more than you can even imagine!

Jesus continues to tell the messengers to tell John, “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”

The best weapon against the dark times is knowing that it will not last.

During World War II, the Germans forced many twelve-and thirteen-year-old boys into the Junior Gestapo. These boys were treated very harshly and given inhumane jobs to perform. When the war ended, most had lost track of their families and wandered without food or shelter.

As part of an aid program to post-war Germany, many of these youths were placed in tent cities. Where doctors and psychologists worked with the boys in an attempt to restore their mental and physical health. They found that many of the boys would awaken in the middle of the night, screaming in terror. One doctor had an idea for handling that fear. After feeding the boys a large meal, he put them to bed with a piece of bread in their hands, which they were told to save until morning. The boys then slept soundly because, after so many years of hunger, they finally had the assurance of food for the next day.

Do you have Jesus as your Savior? If you do…

You hold the Bread of Life in your hands and therefore have the assurance that you will not go out of this life in terror and fear.

You have the power to look at the dark times and know there is hope and there is a future greater than we can comprehend.

You have the ability to shine light in the darkness and illuminate the stage of your life.

You have the presence of God. Don't miss it. You know I love ya, Don

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Jesus brings us hope to our Dark Time!

In Luke 7, John the Baptist is tired and weary while stuck in jail so he seeks Jesus' presence. In verse 22 Jesus says, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard.”

Jesus is our hope. When all seems lost, when the situation could not be worse–Jesus is our hope. The presence of God brings light to the dark times. Consider the perspective of the caterpillar. He has lived a lowly life–just crawling along, trying to make it from one point to the next. Suddenly he feels anxious. If something does not change soon, he will burst! So, he begins to work frantically, not really understanding what he is doing.

Before he knows what has happened, he finds himself closed in–imprisoned. He struggles frantically, wanting nothing but to be free. He pushes against the walls, begging God to let him out. Then, when all seems lost, he breaks free and finds he has wings, and can now fly. Note that should the caterpillar be freed from his cocoon too soon–before he has worked out the fluids of metamorphosis–then he will forever be a bloated butterfly, unable to fly.

Sometimes the dark times that seem to plague us are those that God is using to form us into men and women of greatness, well equipped to serve and honor the kingdom of God. This is not a call to complacency, however. While we are always content in Jesus, we are called to struggle against our flesh, and against the evil that surrounds us and would devour us. We continue in the battle, knowing our hope lies in Jesus!

Jesus brings light to our dark times by giving us hope! Dark times come to all of us. His presence carries us through it. You know I love ya, Don

Sunday, August 30, 2015

What do you turn into when the heat is on?

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her – her husband had cheated on her and she was devastated. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out into a mug. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, ‘Tell me what you see.’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

Her grandmother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The grandmother then asked the granddaughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the grandmother asked the granddaughter to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened, became weak and compromised. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened and tough. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had not changed, but changed the water.

When we are in God’s presence… God changes the circumstances. “Which are you?”  “When troubles and hard times knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Ask yourself: Which am I?  

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

For the follower of Jesus, His presence is in our lives. We are like the bean, when things are at there worst, Jesus gets better and changes the situation. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, we go to His presence and He is with us, He is along for the ride, and He brings purpose to the struggle.

You know I love ya, Don

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A principle for survival - integrity!!!

            “A storeowner interviewed a young man for a job. He asked, "If I hire you to work in my store, will you be honest and truthful?" The young man answered, "I will be honest and truthful whether you hire me or not."

Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Daniel...was a man of integrity. Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. Daniel was not just known as a man of integrity, he lived his life on unshakable ground because he was a man of integrity. He was honest and demonstrated strong moral principles...he lived those principles and he made them his habit… he walked with integrity.

Is integrity a habit in your daily life?
 You know I love ya, Don