Its all paid!

March 31, 2014

Debt is a huge reality not only for our countries but so many individuals. I am so grateful for a father who taught us “there are two half’s to the world, one half own the other half”! He would then ask “which half do you want to live in?”. It is reported L’Wren Scott took her own life after being $6m in debt. Debt shackles, it removes freedom and places a huge burden of worry on individuals. In reality, we become a slave. There are many reasons why people get into debt and not all of them are due to ego wanting more. Some people find themselves unexpectedly in awful circumstances where borrowing money seems to be the only answer.

The scriptures inform us that we were “born into sin” due to the behavior of Adam and Eve.  Psalm 51:5 ” I have been evil from the day I was born; from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful.” The scriptures go onto to say that the penalty for out sin is death, eternal separation from God.

Now here is the amazing news, Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served; he came to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.” The word “redeem” or “ransom” means “to buy back” or “pay a price”. Jesus came to the world to pay a sin-debt he did not owe!

There continues to be “two half’s of the world”, those who except the free gift of Jesus paying our debt and say thank-you and those who for some reason do not!




Where is Jesus?

March 29, 2014

These past couple of weeks I have to be honest and say that God has confused me!

I’m not sure of your view of prophetic words from God via His children today. Personally I believe He does still speak today RedCarpet-page-001through His children but due to sin of man, there is possibility of distortion in the message. How can we be confident in what we read in the Bible we have understood what the author intended when He/he wrote it?

18 months ago some very good friends who are in church leadership had a prophetic word for Kathy and I that God was going to use us in the UK in the Christian film business! I have to be honest and say I thought that was one of the most stupid prophecies I had heard and that the person had got it wrong. We are not in any way associated with the film business. Yes we know some people in it; Stephen Baldwin & Norman Stone (check out this great interview).

6 months ago I had two unexpected and independent phone calls. Ray Horowitz, the director of Vida Entertainment and Stephen Baldwin, looking to partner with Kathy and I in building on our Mysterious? event in 2012.

Wow, is God leading us yet again into a wild adventure? We have been working with Vue Cinema to bring a Red Carpet Event to Carlisle with the movie “Loving the Bad Man” that Stephen features in. Everything was moving forward with pace and then the Vue for no good reason said the venue was not available. This did not make sense from many angles. So we prayed and had others praying. When we phoned on the Monday we were told that the person we had been dealing with was no longer in the company! Ok so back to negotiation table. Yes we could have the venue but would have to change from the Wednesday to the Tuesday. We were moving along again. Waiting for a call as to whether we would be charged a charitable rate or free. No call. When we finally got through, we were told that we were no longer being offered the venue!

We believe we have heard from God that this is His doing, He wants us to host this event here in Carlisle. If we believe this, then what is going on! It’s good to push on doors to open them but I am not convinced at barging them down. On a human level, we should be flat out right now with the publicity of the event, its 6 weeks away!

What is spiritual warfare and what is human? We know that God has the bigger picture and at times it is only when we look back that we have some measure of understanding. On a human level today, our Red Carpet Event is off, on a spiritual level……watch this space!

Headline News Just In……Death Penalty has been reprieved

March 24, 2014

British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford, was caught trying to bring $2.4 million worth of cocaine  into Bali, only for the judge to impose a death sentence. Sandiford, 57, was sentenced to death in January and has  lost two appeals against the decision. The prosecutor was asking for a 15 year prison sentence.

I heard this morning that the death penalty to all humanity, the consequences of our wrong doing has been reprieved by the judge if we take up His offer! He also said that He knew and understood that this was not based on a change of our behaviour, that like Sandiford, we would continue to “smuggle drugs” but it was based on His Son taking our place. He asked that we simply receive this free gift. Romans 6 “Sin pays its servants: the wage is death. But God gives to those who serve him: his free gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

This is such awesome news. What is mind blowing is that He has not pushed for a 15 year life sentence but to be free to enjoy the wide open spaces of His Grace.

Narrow or Broad?

March 20, 2014

For those of us a little older, we see that our society has changed in so many ways since we were younger. That change can be expressed in several ways; conservative to liberal,  narrow to broad, intolerance to tolerance, not permissible to permissible, one way to many ways.

The Christian message, or let me put it another way, the teaching of Jesus, has not changed. How it has been presented, the packaging around it has, but not the core message. In this day and age, it does not fit. It is too narrow, it is intolerant, to some it is arrogance.

Jesus said in Mark

15Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

That is a “never, no never” statement. No room for manoeuvre. Jesus was basically saying, “unless you believe that I am the way, the truth and the life, no one came come to the Father but via me”.

Well that’s not a popular approach in society today that wants to embrace room for individualistic expression and belief. Then we open up a whole other topic of what is truth, absolute truth.

I have experienced the mercy, grace and love of the Father through Jesus, That’s my story. I cannot deny that or change the reality of that. Whether that is narrow or broad, is irrelevant, its my story and because of the awesome results I want to tell others that they too can experience and know God in this way.

I seem to remember another part of the scriptures that says “the way is narrow………..”

What is my custom?

March 18, 2014

We understand the phrase “the customs of that land”, or “its their custom”. I started to ponder on what is my individual custom, that of Kathy and I, that of our family. When I look at some nations that have very strong customs built into their everyday life, I see passion, purpose and primary focus. How strong are my beliefs that it could be said “oh that’s Mark’s custom”?

I was reading in Mark 10 where it says “Jesus started to teach as was according to his custom”. That got me thinking.  We can also hide behind custom when it comes to moral behaviour and say “well that’s their custom”.

I like this little story.

When Charles Napier, who was the commander-in-chief of the British forces in Imperial India in the mid-19th century, stopped the practice of widow-burning and met with resistance from the locals, he famously said:

Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs

Good for me to think about “my customs” and what is important and what is not.

Am I salt that is usable or worthless?

March 13, 2014

Salt that is mixed with impurity is worthless and is thrown aside.

  • Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among  the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. 1 peter 2:11

As a follower of Jesus, as someone who wants to walk with Father God every day in lifestyle obedience but who every day seems to in one way or another, indulge my ego. Jesus talked about followers being like salt in Mathew 5.

  • V13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
  •  V 13 Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

How do I keep from being mixed with impurity? Jesus says, “we are salt”, so the question is whether I am salt that can be used or not used.

What would I do every day if it was not for verses like 1 John 1 v 9

  • If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness
  •  If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.

Father God, keep me from indulging my ego and allowing impurities into my life that cause my life to loose the effectiveness, become ineffective and be discarded.

What a ride!

March 7, 2014

Laura is over in the USA with her boyfriend and his entire family at Disneyland. I see on her FB that they went on a crazy Runaway Train. Some times you get on those rides and wonder “what am I doing? Why am I putting myself in this position” and then at the end go “that was awesome”!

Today, I am in London meeting with Ray from the UK Christian Film Festival to work on more details of our “Red Carpet” evening with Stephen Baldwin here in Carlisle, May 14th at the Vue cinema.  I know at the end I will say “what a ride, that was awesome” but right now its more like “what are we doing, why are we doing this again”!

But here is the point and I know this can sound very arrogant; we believe that Father God through His Holy Spirit has opened our spiritual eyes and ears to see what He is doing and this event, like Mysterious? in 2012 it is His doing not ours! We are simply running behind Him and trying to understand what He already has planned. Wow, that sounds so bold on the one hand but I have to confess, so much of our spiritual journey is so hard to understand on the human level.

I have discovered in these past 4 1/2 years, the practice of listening to God, not just telling Him in prayer and asking Him to bless my plans!

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