Update: February 15, 2010
So it’s Feb 15, 2010 and Lauren and I have been amazed with school. We’re amazed by the fact that we have less homework then any of the other semesters, yet are busier than ever. We’re also so excited to see how, no matter how bad our situation seems, God is always in total control. God showed us His hand in our court hearing (which you can read more about on the blog). God not only provided for us in allowing us to have the ticket completely dismissed, but He also just helped me to remember that He knows everything and is in complete control over every situation in our lives. God used this earthly ticket to remind me of a couple of things that have been very encouraging and convicting so I thought I’d share them with you all. First, It reminded me of the sin debt that I once had and how God has took that and wiped it clean. (VERSE) Just like that judge took all the money that I owed the state and replaced it with a “0”, God has taken all my sin and place a big “Christ” in front of it. How great is our God? Also, It made me think of how terrifying It was to go up before that human judge, and how fervently I was preparing to face that judge. But then I was reminded of all the lost souls who are going to one day stand before the ultimate Judge and have no excuse. Man! was that ever convicting. We’ve really been focusing a lot on Paul’s illustrations of the Christian life being like a soldier or a athlete, and how I’ve just been struggling to keep a steady focus on Christ and HIS will. We HAVE to stay focused! All people are going to stand before Christ one day, either at the Bema Seat or at the Great White Throne, and every day more and more people are presented to God with a debt that has not been covered with Christ’s blood. How hard are we striving to see their accounts wiped clean with Christ’s blood? That has been the thought of my heart for the past few weeks and I’ve been more intentional to evaluate my thoughts and keep my motives in check.
We’ve been having a great time with classes. We are currently in Philippians, Daniel/Revelation, and Pastoral Epistles and every one of them have been providing their own unique forms of encouragement, conviction, and exhortation. Reading about the end times in Revelation has been so challenging to my heart and helped me to focus on the future. Hearing Paul’s exhortation to the believers in the church in the pastoral epistles, and his teachings about joy and having a Christ-centered life in Philippians have been growing Lauren and I so much. There’s so much more that I could write about, but I’ll leave that to the blog. Until next time, God bless you all!
To all who have been supporting us, both financially and with prayer, we thank you a thousand times over. It’s definately been a tough semester for Lauren and I, and yet, we’re so encouraged to know that we have loving friends who are behind us in this life of ministry. I was also thoroughly amused to see that Rich Bruce (who teaches Pastoral Epistles) had a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee on his desk today.
We look forward to seeing you all, hopefully very soon, and I wanted to leave you all with a encouraging verse in Philippians 4:6,7, “Do not be anxious about anything,but in everything by prayer and supplicationwith thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Andthe peace of God,which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Lauren and I love you all and are praying for you all. We love hearing from you and again, we can’t wait to see you all.
In Christ Jesus, our Father, brother, and King. God bless.
Mark & Lauren
New Tribes Bible Institute