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Asking is important.

August 30, 2010

Psalm 40:7-8 : Then I said, “Here I am, I have come — it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

I spent years not reading the Bible.  I am not sure how it happened but I just somehow managed to lose touch.  My prayer life went as well and I had a growing sense of discontent about church (why is it soooo boring??).  For way too long I walked away from the disciplines that are essential to growing my faith: reading the Bible, prayer, fellowship and dealing with sin.  And the funny thing is that I really didn’t see it as an issue, didn’t bother me most of the time.  And I look back and realise that there was no one in my life asking me the simple yet totally key questions:  how is your Bible reading?  How’s the prayer life?  How you finding church? What sin are you struggling with right now?  I don’t know, maybe because I was a leader in the church they assumed I was sorted.  Well I wasn’t, far from it.

I think we need to ask each other those questions regularly:

How is your Bible reading?  How’s the prayer life?  How you finding church? What sin are you struggling with right now?

It opens up discussions that should happen and need to happen if we are to be real with each other as Christian brothers and sisters.  It is not about being judgemental, but encouraging each other deeper into the presence of God.  The questions need to be asked in love.

The reading above is clear when it says: ‘Here I am, I have come’: that I need to be ready and available to do God’s will.  God’s will should be absolutely central in my life, everything should be secondary to the pursuit of God’s will.  How do I discover God’s will? O my God; your law is within my heart. By absorbing and understanding the Bible, through prayer and fellowship.  And I cannot get close to God without first facing and confessing my sin. So I need to be doing the basics often.

So let me start, how am I going with the basics?

My Bible reading needs to be every day, it has slipped a bit to every second day.

I want to pray more, I am falling in love with prayer, and could pray way more if time permitted!

I have started attending Church Online by Lifechurch.tv, which is very cool.

I am struggling with sin but I know that Jesus forgives me when I come to Him humbly and seek to make changes.

So what about you?  Let me ask you:  How is your Bible reading?  How’s the prayer life?  How you finding church? What sin are you struggling with right now?

Please leave your answers below in the comments section, and if you are reading this on email, you can head to the blog by clicking here: BLOG and leave your answers.

I look forward to reading your answers and praying for you.

Bless ya,

Mark

http://www.facebook.com/MarkBrown.page
http://twitter.com/RevMarkB

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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

The Portion for next day is: 1 Chronicles 1-4

To access the complete plan for the year click here.

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302 Comments
  1. Veronica anderson permalink

    I am struggling with opening up my feelings and dealing with my pain inside of me. My sins lead me into thinking thoughts that are far from the truth. I pray that god leads me into the path he created for me, but every thought I have I think so deeply and forget the big picture. I pray that he can reach into me, and into my intuition, and help me. I pray for a deeper relationship with god, and that he can lift my spirits and help make me optimistic.

    • Donna permalink

      Yes, Veronica, it is very painful when we 1st look in the mirror and we are totally honest with ourselves about who we truly are and what motivates us to behave the way we do. God helped me to do that, and the pain was SO deep. Once He showed me that, though, well, WOW! What a huge growth spurt in my walk with God. God cares so much for us that He makes us face our sins and human flaws so that we can be what He desires us to be and have a joy filled life. He allows us to be a blessing to others, and there’s such joy in that!
      Of COURSE I still struggle with sin in my life–we all do. We must ‘pray without ceasing’ and Jesus will be by our side every step of the way! 🙂

      • Bolanle permalink

        Dearly beloved, our walk with God is one moment at a time. The grace of God makes us to function without having to struggle with sin. 1John 3:9-says when you are born of God, sin no longer has dominion over your life. As you walk by faith and not by sight, total victory becomes yours. I mean you can leave the level of being saved to being sanctified…2Timothy 7:1. All you need to do is to set yourself apart for God’s holy use just as the Levites did. Abstain from all appearances of evil. Hosea 10:12 makes it clear that as you set youself apart for God, He’ll come and rain His righteousness upon you. You’ll be completely overwhelmed by what you’ll experience. Pray fervently for this experience…it’s the Lord’s promise and it’s to you (IThess.4:7). Hallelujah. No one knows when the trumpet will sound and so to rise and fall is dangerous cos as a thief in the night, so will be the coming of the Saviour. You dont want Him to come while you are fallen. God bless you….It is well.

    • You might like to visit the online church that Mark talks about. The pastor has a series called “TOXIC” that is excellent. The first part talks about ‘Toxic Thoughts’ and reading your comment reminded me of some of the things that he said. Hope this idea might help.

      • The above comment that I left was inspired after I read Veronica’s post mentioning that her sins “lead her into thinking thoughts that are far from the truth.” That’s part of what is addressed in Part One of the sermon series “Toxic” which talks about our thoughts. God wants to help us replace the lies with His truth. Hallelujah!

    • victor permalink

      your are on the right path ms.veronica and my lord knows and cares for you very deeply my sista, my lords love is unconditional while we are going through enduring times we face, my lord has you in his heart and will never let you go, thats how my lord is and thats why my lord died for you and i to always seek him in our bible studies and prayer life, to grow fully in our spiritual journey with ourselves ms.v.

    • linda feger permalink

      Veronica I am deeply sorry for your loss.I pray God give you peace and encouragement during this time. It is sad how the devil uses people around us to bring hurt and discouragement into our lives. Sometimes people are used without even knowing the hurtful consciences of their actions. Many times in these troubles our mind and spirit are so overwhelmed we have a hard time finding God or hearing his voice. I have learned this for myself. So the only thing I can tell you for sure is to lay all of the other stuff aside and focus totally on God and your relationship with Him. Give the Holy Spirit time to begin the healing process. I don’t want to sound pushy or that I am so spiritually smart that I have the fix….but in my own hurt I have found seeking Him with my heart and trying to let go, has helped me begin to heal of what I thought to be unhealable hurts. He can change the impossible. Your sister in Christ, God bless.

  2. You are singing my song here! As one who went through eight years of struggle, exploring the occult, etc., there really were no Christians in my circle who asked me any of those questions.

    As you say, they thought I was sorted, I guess.

    It is so important for us as Christians to get beyond the “face” of Sunday and ask those important questions. Thank you for the reminder!

  3. I so needed this post. I want God’s will in my life, I pray often confess my sins but I do not spend enough time in the Word. I have struggled with this most of my christian life, I do fine if I am in a bible study but not on my own. Please pray that I will try harder and make time to study his word.

  4. Heather Wheale permalink

    to answers the questions in order:
    1. i dont even know when the last time was i read my Bible.
    2. i try to pray every night when im laying in bed falling asleep but i tend to forget
    3. ever since i moved away from college i havent made a diligent effort to find a new church.
    4. i have too many sins i struggle with to even list them.

    i have fully fallen apart and crumbled as a Christian. I call myself a Christian — i believe in God and Jesus and His rising from the cross — but i dont portray it in any way other than im extremely caring and try to help others if i can.
    I have failed myself and God and i have become so distant that i feel like God has abandoned me…even though i know its not true.

    • Heather as someone who is having a go at these disciplines I want to encourage you back into reading your Bible, prayer, finding a fellowship and facing your sin. Come and join me on my journey! God bless, Mark

      • I pray daily sometimes when i pray i feel it just reaches the ceiling. seems as thought my mind wonders when i pray . i do try to read the bible daily , & i really enjoy reading Gods word TY Jane

      • John Collins permalink

        @ Heather and Mark. I shadow this blog from time to time and this segment on keeping current on the three pillars of Christian Living has struck a resonant note with me. It is true of me too, all that has been written, and, gently prompted by this discussion, I resolve to carefully/prayerfully work my way back into an active relationship with God, His Word (Read Jesus), and His Fellowship. Thank you for this blog Mark

    • Misty permalink

      God has not left you. I have experienced this feeling. Someone told me that he was just waiting on me to give him my attention. We cannot just live life the way we want and expect God to be all that we need. He is and will but we must look to him for guidance by seeking him. A relationship consists of talking and meeting with someone. How can we talk to Christ when we haven’t took the time to meet him and all the while, he is just patiently waiting for us. God is so amazing and we must stop the sinning and look to him to help us through. Nobody can really help because God is the only one who knows all that we need. Heather, don’t give up on God because he has not given up on you! In Christ’s love I share this with you.

      • Jackie permalink

        i read my bible when im explaining certain things in it, but its not consistant which is making me feel gulity.

        i pray every night before bed, and during the day when i want to thank god for something or something is wrong, also with my children

        i dont go to church, havemt found one as i am skeptical about them

        i sin every day either with gossiping, swearing, thinking horrible thoughts, i am not perfect im far from but i try especially around my children i want them to be better christians than me,

      • Angie permalink

        Im am working on reading the bible everyday. If I dont get an opportunity to read, I read sermons, blogs and books, to in some way, saturate myself in the word. I also try to pray without ceasing daily, even if it is just to say a few words of thanks. I also feel that my mind wonders at times when I am praying and reading the bible. Im asking that you pray for me so that when I pray, I can feel his presence. I also need prayer for gossiping and swearing. I want to renew a right spirit with God. I want to be obedient because I fear that if I am not, things will fall apart. Pray for me.

    • Janice permalink

      To Heather:

      Mark brought me back with “Struggling with Life” sermon he did. We all struggle and the start of coming back is opening back up to God and reading his word. Then finding a place to meet people who will care about you and your relationship with God.

      It worked for me.

    • Hi sweetie,
      Just me, a 37 yr old, wakin up this morning. I commit to praying for you.
      I have failed God and myself as a Christian some also..PLENTY, I just
      feel guilty when I mess up again, and again, Though my prayers may be weak, I’ll give it my best effort.
      I hope just you get this but since I fear everyone will read this I’ll leave this just ah, vegue, and you can feel free to write me at the 7thecheryl address.
      Where I struggle is men, I sort of like, ah, fall for the wrong ones. God is not out of our reach. Love you sister, hang in there…each day is a new one that we can try over again, WITH GOD’s help! K…Just know a sis in Christ out there cares. Satan wants us to feel like losers, HE WON’T Win!! K…Do you work?…play?…I’m in oregon.
      cm

    • Veronika Ankudovich permalink

      Heather, you just need to find a time in the day when you can sit down and read the Bible. And your praying issue, try to stand up or be on your knees and you’ll see that you won’t fall asleep. And i had a time when i thought my sins were too much, but you gotta repent and leave them behind. When you ask God for forgiveness, he does forgive you. The problem is, you don’t forgive yourself. And where do you live? If you live near Philadelphia, you could go to Calvary Chapel on Philmont or Church Word of Life on Street Road. And God doesn’t leave you unless you leave Him. So work on your weaknesses. And find a prayer buddy who could help you let go of what your struggling with. It helped me…. So God bless you and don’t give up!!! It will all be worth it in the end.

    • I used to live in a situation where I hadn’t prayed in a long time, and I hadn’t read the Bible in probably twice as long. I know what that is like, but I had my world collapse around me. I didn’t cry out because I knew it was my own fault. But I made a promise that when I got home, I would seek the Lord.

      It took awhile for it to happen, but eventually I found a good church to restore me. That was about a year ago, and my life has been turned upside down. Today, I live in holiness and I am really greatful to be alive. God-bless!

    • Kathy permalink

      Heather, first of all, don’t wait until you are in bed and sleepy to pray. Pray earlier in the day when you’re awake. You can pray sitting down or standing up or even driving in your car. Think of Jesus as your best friend, and carry on a daily conversation with Him. Tell Him everything! As for Bible reading, use a modern translation that is easy to understand and enjoyable to read.

      There is no reason to struggle with sin. That is why Jesus died! Turn it over to Him, and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit. The Spirit will help you to live a victorious life. The devil wants you to be defeated. Tell him to get lost!

      Do find a good Spirit-filled protestant church to attend. If one doesn’t seem right, try another one. Just don’t give up and stay home. We were made to be in fellowship with each other, and you will grow in your Christian walk if you will worship with other believers, let them pray with you and be taught the Bible from the pastor’s sermons.

      God loves you so much, and He’s waiting to hear from you!

    • Betsy permalink

      I feel the same way. 😦 Lost. Confused. I used to be a very conservative Catholic.

      • Misty permalink

        Betsy, I know how you feel. I was once lost and confused and stayed that way until someone told me it was because I had not given my life to Christ. It seemed so simple and yet nobody told me that I could have a real relationship with God. My grandmother raised me up in church and I went every Sunday with her. I knew that God was real and he was awesome because he made my grandmother happy and peaceful. You don’t truly know how wonderful he is until you submit to him. You must ask God to forgive you of your sins and believe that he sent Jesus to die on the cross for your sins and everyone. After I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I was baptized and the whole experience was awesome. Baptism is the outward showing that God has saved you and you have been forgiven for your sins. When I was baptized there was a huge flow of joy that came into my heart and I couldn’t even speak because it was so strong. This may not be the same for everyone. I am just speaking of my experience. It was awesome-that is for sure! I am going to pray for you today, Betsy. I pray that you will overcome your confusion and feeling of being lost. Please, get into the Bible and start reading Romans. It has many verses to help you understand what you are feeling. Don’t give up! I love you because God loves you and you have a purpose in this life. I hope that helps. Reply back and let me know how you are doing? In Christ’s love.

      • Steve Gill permalink

        Dear Betsy and Heather….
        You have a brother in Virginia. I cannot believe how awesome YOUR God is. He wants you to turn to Him and let Him hold you in His WONDERFUL arms. I was lost in my sin: I cheated on my wife and she kicked me out. I had an addiction to chewing tobacco…. I had drifted so far from Him. I felt that help was a million miles away. Then I found that He was a rescuing God. After my wife kicked me out…. I cried for hours and hours over the issue and was on the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway. I felt the Holy Spirit say that my life would be “OK…. and God was going to teach me how to live from now on”. Then when I was on my way to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina…. a man prayed over me and healed me of my chewing tobacco addiction. Heather and Betsy… you may be LOST…. but if you ASK…. you shall find. But it WILL definitely take REPENTANCE over whatever you are doing that separates you from your Maker. Get on your knees today in a closet and Repent and Love the one that knit you in your mothers womb. He is waiting to receive your open and honest guilt. He will wash it away if you go to him. If you ever need a friend to talk to….. I am here. Steve Gill.
        I will praying for both of you by name.

    • Steve permalink

      Heather Wheale permalink

      “to answers the questions in order:
      1. i dont even know when the last time was i read my Bible.
      2. i try to pray every night when im laying in bed falling asleep but i tend to forget
      3. ever since i moved away from college i havent made a diligent effort to find a new church.
      4. i have too many sins i struggle with to even list them.

      i have fully fallen apart and crumbled as a Christian. I call myself a Christian — i believe in God and Jesus and His rising from the cross — but i dont portray it in any way other than im extremely caring and try to help others if i can.
      I have failed myself and God and i have become so distant that i feel like God has abandoned me…even though i know its not true.”

      Heather,
      The Lord loves you. He loves you still and I pray that you would know that he does. I pray that his sweet viscous presence will fall upon you right now even as I write this. I ask him to woo you back to him and into the things of God with his life changing and bondage breaking love. I pray that he will renew a steadfast spirit in you and grant you a willing spirit, to sustain you. I also ask you father to cause heather to delight in your word.. I also ask you to show her new truths when she reads it, revelations about you and what you always think of her, and truths to help here be victorious. I ask you to help her find a church that makes her excited about church and help to walk away from sin. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen. ..Oh and if she doesn’t know how to love you intimately, I ask you to show her how.

  5. felipe permalink

    well hi mark, first of all thanks for these journey deeper into God’s word helps me a lot and I learn many things. about the question you made my reading Bible is good a read every day but sometimes I dont know what to read, or just read dont understand. my prayer life is good I pray in the morning also in the night and but sometimes my mind dont focus in the prayer and also I dont know if I pray enough or i need more. my sin actually is my mind, they way I think everything. My church is good I find confort and God always talks to me so maybe things I have to change so let me know how please thanks God bless ya

  6. Tracie Freeman permalink

    I read every morning before getting ready for work. I need his word to get me through my day. I have only been doing it for a couple of months but I can tell theres a diffrence in my life because of it. I pray alot more since I have started reading the word. My husband have just recently found a home church. We have a great church family . Just tonight My pastor preached on something you talked about this week (. achieving our dreams.) Thats the second time this week I think Gods trying to tell me something. I know I have said this before thanks Mark.

  7. Jen permalink

    Hi! 🙂 I sure enjoy the ministry you’re doing, my friend. It’s really a blessing to a bunch of Christians. I think the fact that you do it on a bunch of different sites is really helpful too!

    Here’s the thing… I’d like to read my Bible more and listen to sermons more often, but every time I try to do it more often, I become obsessed, proud, and I lose the correct purpose in why I’m doing it all. I do think it’s important to keep up with God through prayer… just like communication is necessary in a relationship… so I pray here and there a lot. I don’t always sit down and just pray… but I do it once in a while. I also read my Bible a little bit once in a while… and once in a longer while, I listen to sermons. I still love the Lord and am interested in Him, more than I was before I decided to really abide in Him early this year… but I know I could do more.

    I also get embarrassed to show/tell that I’m reading His Word, praying to Him, or even mention things from God that I’ve learned. I don’t want to appear/be self-righteous. Maybe you could please pray for me, that God would help me to overcome all of that… 🙂

  8. darcella permalink

    I find myself in the same shoes as you. I don’t know if I have allowed life’s issues weaken my faith or if I have always been in consist. When I ask my fellow sisters n brothers in Christ they tell me if I was serious I wouldn’t have this problem. Whatever the case may be I know it needs to change n fast.

    • Steve permalink

      “When I ask my fellow sisters n brothers in Christ they tell me if I was serious I wouldn’t have this problem.”
      Either these people haven’t been saved very long or they’re just religious. I think if a Christian is having a hard time with consistency in their relationship with God and they really want to be consistent there is probably more going on than just personal issues like discipline. I believe that there are times when we need to place such issues in our savior’s hands, and trust him… I think he wants at least a few of us to see that we even need his help there. I don’t fully understand why, but I think it’s to show us that consistently reading the bible and praying aren’t what saves us or makes us right with Him..they’re just actions and sometimes they’re treated more like God or Jesus, than the Lord is.
      I hope I’ve expressed my clearly enough. I’m not trying to say don’t read or pray, that’s part of the communication process and we’re commanded to do them. I’m just saying ask Jesus for help, and then believe it’s on it’s way.

      I too have had my struggle with reading my bible and praying consistently. I used to read for hours, and it seemed all I got in return was vibrancy and confusion. I used to pray consistently and it all seemed for naught, I don’t remember seeing any prayers answered. Eventually, I just gave up.. maybe the desires of my heart were wrong, who knows. I changed churches a few months ago.. the pastor asked me how my bible time was, I told him that I struggle with consistency.. and I haven’t missed a beat since then. I don’t know what he prayed or if he prayed anything, but I know that once I started going there I started seeing God answer my prayers.

  9. Kyle permalink

    Thank’s for sharing thins message with me and everyone else 🙂 . Well my bible reading has been pretty good. I’ve been doing a home bible study thing with my church, it’s basicly about going throught the whole bible. it’s pretty awesome! And my prayer life hasnt been where it should be… well i pray every night but… i usaly fall asleep 😦 and i know thats not good. If you can please pray for me for that, that i can find time to talk to God. Well im in a prety good church now, i am also with a home school group thats almost like a church. We have a home church every other Friday and its awesomeness lol. I have a sin in my life that i know is bringing me down… I dont really show respect to my Mom or Dad. Mainly my Mom… If you can please pray for me and that i show respect to my Mom and Dad.
    Thanks again for sharing this.
    I love you all. God bless.

  10. Lisa permalink

    all of the above… it needs to be a lot better! i need to start reading everyday, even if its for 10 minutes a day. i need to be in His word and apply it to my life! i need to be active in my prayer life, really fully devoting time to praying to God and confessing my sins. i go to church but not regularly as of late. thank you mark for holding me accountable! this gives me a lot to think about and *act* upon. i wish i had someone asking me these questions at least once a week!

  11. ruby permalink

    Wow! I think I’ve been in the same situation with you, Brother Mark. No one has asked me those basic questions because I’m the leader in the Church and when You are a leader, You should be just like that—always strong and not struggling with the basics. Everybody expects you to be better than anyone else in dealing with those things. Some time in my life, I experienced that it’s as if God has forgotten me that I just love Him and He loves me no more. That His loving stopped at the cross. But, I really love reading. So, I still read the Bible but it’s just because I wanted the Bible to answer my questions and not to REALLY listen to God’s leading in my life. I still prayed but that’s just to cleanse my soul and to cry my heart out but not really to express my faith in the Lord. I still worked in the church but not with too much delight. I still ministered but I ministered from a dry well. I wanted to shun fellowship but could not. I looked for friends with whom I can pour my heart out but they seem to have heavier load than I had. I wanted to listen to them and I ended up comforting them. I often went to a prayer room which is called ‘soularium’ but God didn’t speak in there, either. I was totally lost. And one time, I surrendered–with two hands raised…I prayed for a change of heart. And one Saturday morning I woke up, I didn’t do anything at all to make myself OK. BUT, I WAS GLAD. Rejoicing came that morning again. The joy of my salvation has been given back to me. And, what did I miss? THE BASICS. I thought I was already too strong but I was not. And Apostle Paul is so right, when we are weak, HIS strength is revealed.

    Thank you for reminding me to check the BASICS and to check other’s BASICS. That really is a great help! To God be the glory. ^^

  12. Connie permalink

    I too have had ebbs and flows with the regularity of reading my Bible and praying. I do great for a long while, then life interrupts. The reality is I let it interrupt, busy-ness, job, family, friends, whatever.

    Yet, as with others that have posted, when the Bible ready and prayer are not an everyday part of me, life feels disconnected, empty, the day JUST ISN’T RIGHT.

    Finding someone who is willing to ask those hard questions and listen un-judgementally, who is also willing to take the time out of their one lives can be a challenge. Not impossible, but it may take some time before God brings someone in your life. In the book of Timothy the older Christians are to instruct and lead the younger. But are we doing this in our churches today? This would be God’s instruction for Mentoring s younger Christian.

  13. Thanks Mark that you never gave up for your online church dream.
    Lookk how many thousands it has blessed. I love to go on FB & look for your most recent sermon. I love your trailer and your accent. Most of all your teaching. 🙂 Karen

  14. Thank you Mark for seeing it necessary to ask and for asking as well.I’ve been going through the motions with my bible reading,sometimes I study what i;m reading then at other times I just read.Also I used to wake up very early to prayer….4:30am -5:00am now I find great difficulty in getting up and even if I do staying awake is another problem.I love going to church and I love worshipping but I don’t really have church friends.I’m cordial to everyone but backs off when people try to get close to me.Right now am struggling with issues witnin the family.

  15. Sandra permalink

    I have so felt all that you just expressed. Sounds like the path I am, was walking. Been trying to find a church where I can go that works w/my job, life, etc. Yesterday when you asked what we dream about. My dreams are all self centered and selfish. I have been trying to put God first in my life most of my life and I still see just me. Pray, I am not even sure how to do that. I talk to God alot but I also use words that are not Godly I thought that would go away if I were Christ centered. I do thank God for you and fb closest thing I read to the Bible daily I get a daily devotional online but you always seem to be talking right to me. Thanks Mark

  16. Ben permalink

    Today’s reflection is almost a mirror of what I’m going through. I don’t know… just very frustrated… and angry at God. Why, why.. is it that everything I’ve put my hand to, it fails? It always fails! I’ve brought myself to Jesus’s feet many times but I’m … losing interest? I don’t know.. I can’t .. get angry at Him so I remain apathetic. I know it’s wrong but living in a “drought” of answered prayer (there’s never an answer) and loneliness. He seems to be nowhere but the Bible says He’s everywhere. Where was He when I was going through my trying times? Where was He during my deployment to Iraq? Where was He when I tried to be a good steward and I ended up flat on my face and the ridicule of my team? WHERE WAS HE???? …

    • Warren permalink

      Ben, he’s with you as we speak. Thru all your trials he carried you, otherwise how could you be asking these questions now. We couldn’t get thru those valleys on our own power. I’ve gone through drug addiction, homelessness, the murder of my only son and our Lord got me thru all that. Ben he loves you and wants what’s best for you, but sometimes we want what may not be what’s best for ourselves. He is the creator of all, and he knows not only what has happened in our lives but also whats going to happen. Often the prayers we seek to be answered are answered, with a NO! He is the creator of all so he should call the shots, we don’t question Parker Brothers over the instructions of Monopoly, we play buy the rules, like em or not. We need to lives life as God designed it. God bless you Ben, I’ll be praying for you.

    • Ricki permalink

      He was right there with you, the same way He was with me when my 17 year old son was murdered on his way home from work in 1995. It really is true that sometimes God is closest to us when we ‘feel’ he’s the farthest away. Keep seeking him and the time will come when He reveals to you exactly where He was during those hardest times in your life. Just remember, His timing is not our timing. He doesn’t just show up and reveal himself because we want Him to. I have a little sign that has a picture of Christ on it and it reads “He never said it would be easy, He just said it would be worth it.” And it’s true. Hang in there and like I said, keep seeking Him!!

    • Suzanne permalink

      You know, I wonder if Jesus was wondering the same thing when HE was on the Cross….we need to all think about that when we’re wondering where God is in our trials…but our God is on HIS throne, he’s never left it, never will & HE loves you & cares about you in every little detail of your life; Satan wants you to think the opposite & he’s really good @ screaming lies in our ears & making us believe them; he knows our weaknesses; that’s one more reason to stay in the Word & constant communion w/GOD so we have the ammunition to fight against the evil one & his fiery darts. Ephesians 4:10-18; I pray that the Holy Spirit leads you into all God’s truth,peace & love…God bless you & keep you in HIS wonderful hands:)

    • lyn permalink

      In response to Ben’s plea “WHERE WAS HE?”, I guess I find it hard to believe that He is right there beside you. He walks with us, He talks with us, He carries us when we are down. I want to believe that that is exactly where God is, but most of the time, especially when I am down, I find it hard to live like that!! Most of us do. That’s why there are so few saints. I found that reading Mother Teresa was one of the most beneficial ways to draw myself back to the fact that God promised us that He would walk beside us and carry us when times are rough. I don’t pick up the Bible and read it every day, but I read a lot of postings on facebook, and Mark Brown’s is one of them. It gives one food for thought, and you know, just about every time that I take the time to read one quotation, or blog, or writing, it is just what I needed. Blessings to all who are reading this, you are in my prayers.

  17. Lakmini permalink

    We all struggling with sin as we are humans… we all have weaknesses but best thing is .. it is always good to have a weakness , trials , temptation .. but not to fall in to it but to over come it and win it through Christ. 2 Corinthians 12:10 says “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” There could be many ways for sin can enters but I believe always keep the personnel relationship with Lord Jesus… do not let any thing , anyone to come between it… When it comes to a sin… an unbeliever will take the risk of it and because he has no faith he has no help… but for people like you and me can ASK and it will give it to us but it depends on how strong our personnel relationship with Jesus through Prayers. And we do not need to struggle with sin anymore… we have forgiven in Christ.

  18. Lakmini permalink

    And Thank you Mark….. for words… God Bless you

  19. Marti permalink

    I just got done reading Genesis in my study bible, and finished Matthew some time ago. Like other people here I have strayed away from the faith and I struggle with wanting to know everything the bible says right now. It’s like being thirsty and trying to drink an entire gallon of water in one sitting.

    One of the things that I have done to help me in my own study of the bible is subscribe to Bible Study Magazine. The current issue features an interview with Pastor Chuck Swindoll who commented that studying the bible is nutrition for the soul, “How many times do you eat every day? How much time do you spend watching TV or reading the news?” Swindoll makes the argument that studying the bible ought to be given the same amount of time.

    http://www.biblestudymagazine.com/

    The link above is to the bible study magazine for anyone who is interested in subscribing to it. While I do appreciate the online resources that are available on Facebook and through this blog, I also believe that I need to be able to connect with Christians locally. I’m fortunate that I live in a community that has several churches, and I found one that some local friends of mine attend and that I’m comfortable with. After I went to church today I gave one of the pastors my information so I can hopefully do volunteer work and help them with the video and sound systems that are used during their services. This is a skill that was gifted to me by God and I want to use it to enhance his word.

    Marti

  20. Sabine RYON permalink

    Thank you Mark…
    My Bible reading is sporadic, somehow when we have taught it we don’t read it the same way…
    My prayer life is a crisis prayer life, I feel that I do more begging than thanksgiving and praise, it is not a fine place
    My Church going is another issue; I am isolated right now and as you so rightfully said, it all falls together… so flashplayer is not working on my PC and church hopping has left room for not going much.
    My sin… Oh Lord, He knows that I am coming out of a grey area. At least I am OUT of it… He is good and forgiving… like children we probably take advantage of it without even knowing. I wish my heart would go back to the early days of Salvation when I was bold in sharing abd humbled and in Awe that God loves me soooooooo much… He would… and would…. and would…
    Probably time the zele comes back and I would… I would… I would…
    Thank you for your prayers and for sharing humbly what is in YOUR heart, it helps us all Mark
    Love in His name, for the Journey!
    Sabine

  21. Dutch Hofstetter permalink

    Amen. Praise the only King Jesus Christ. Amen. I’m struggling with adultery. I’m struggling with fornication. I’m struggling with pride. I need the Lord’s forgiveness. Please pray for all of my families salvation, the Lord knows who they are. God bless you. Praise the only King Jesus Christ. Amen.

  22. Lee permalink

    The struggles in my life has made me realise that I cannot go on without God in my life. I believe the reason that I have this baggage, wich is getting to heavy to carry, is because I do not have God’s word to help me cope. My relationship with my partner, my home life, work etc, it is all so much, and mentaly and emmotionaly I am tired, I feel like giving up.
    I have started changing my frame of mind, I have excepted that all things are possible through God whome strengthens me. I will overcome this burden!
    I will walk in His light, and seek Him in everything I do.
    I know that He will answer me, when it is time! Patiently I will wait for Him.

  23. lLYNN permalink

    my bible readying is almost non existent as some meds my doctor put me on cause the words to blur on me.but i’ve been told it should stop once my body adjusts to the meds. i don’t have a prayer life where i pray for a certain amount of time,but when i’m told of a need i stop what i’m doing to pray for that need. i also at times spend hours just talking to God and listening for that small still voice. i haven’t been to church for a while cause of the halucinations i was having and the voices i was hearing. i didn’t want to be disrupting church. things have settled down quite a bit and i will be attending services again. i’ve missed church so very much and can’t wait for sunday to get here. the sin i am struggling with right now is smoking cigarettes again. tomorrow i am calling the tobacco help line which will get you the patches, or gum, or whatever you’ll need to help you quit. i also have a very hard time remembering things i have read or learned so i ask for prayer in that area. i want to do a bible study on the promises of God as i minister to a lot of abuse survivors who have a hard time trusting,so i want them to learn of Gods goodness, love, and mercy, and grace, and that they can trust Him,for He is faithful and true.

    • Kathy permalink

      Lynn, I recommend that you get the Bible on CDs. I have the NIV Dramatized Bible, and I love it, but you can get audio Bibles in many versions.

      I have never smoked, but I’ve known smokers who quit cold turkey because they knelt at an altar and totally gave it to the Lord. I will pray for you, friend!

      Kathy

  24. Bukola permalink

    Learnin 2 pray more , tryin 2 read ma bible a whole lot more although @ times it seems borin struggling wit sin and ma faith. N not even knowin how 2 tlk 2 pple abt christ.

  25. Kate Schellack permalink

    This is so encouraging, and challenging! Thanks for being God’s messenger today.

    My Bible reading: It could be better. I try to read for 15-30 minutes in the morning, but I find it difficult, because I’m antsy to get up and start my day, and I sometimes can’t focus. My Bible reading at night isn’t as long, usually 5-10 minutes, if that. I usually start to fall asleep. I’m not really sure what ‘good’ is when it comes to Bible reading. I try to get into it, but I usually fail, although I do have really good days where I feel at peace reading it, or inspired/encouraged. But I do read it every day. I can’t go a day without it; that’s not me boasting, I’m just being serious, I would go nuts! lol

    Prayer life: Could be waaaaay better. I find praying to be the most difficult for me. I’m not sure when or how to pray. I like to recite certain prayers (I’m Catholic, so I often use the Jesus Prayer or the prayer of St. Francis) to help me out, or say the Lord’s prayer. I find my OCD tends to get in the way of my prayer life a lot. My OCD targets my faith, which makes things…difficult, to say the least.

    Church: I love my church. I really do. I often feel inspired, rejuvenated, challenged, disciplined, and peaceful there. Really good stuff, and kind people, too. Although I don’t agree with all Catholic teachings and traditions, I just love the sense of peace and tranquility Catholicism brings me, and God often speaks to me through the messages at my church.

    Sin: struggling with a lot of sins, most prominent being: taking advantage of Jesus’ sacrifice for me, disobeying God’s gentle Spirit, going my way and not God’s way, lying for certain things, loving the world more than Jesus and obeying Him, refusal to obey and give all of my life to be under His control, lack of trust and reluctance to give God full reign of my life…mostly stuff to do with trust issues. But, He’s working on me. Already He’s improved my personality when it comes to serving others. I’m more willing to obey in that area than before. Praise the Lord!

    God bless you in Christ!

  26. Tamara permalink

    God bless,
    I`m reading my Bible- one sister in church gave me BIBLE READING CALENDAR, The Gideons International and I force myself to read every day, but sometimes I miss one day so I attend to read everything I need.
    My prayer life is, I think ok, but few days ago I found that, because of by sins, my heart stooped to overflow with the Holy Spirit, i`m not broken, so I pray that He brokes me.
    Every sunday I go to church, I have friend from church, the sin I was struggling was viciousness, bad thoughts.
    I`ve lost my job, my internship as an educator in kindergarten, they told me that this job is not for me `cause I have some health problems after car accident like decreased ability to keep an eye on 26 children ( I had brain injuries, I was in coma). So I need pray that God gives me some better job according to my capabilities, I`ve finished faculty for child educator in kindergarten, I need to do my internship and pass state exam to be an educator. I don`t know what to do, to go abroad to be a babysitter? Please pray
    God bless you all

    • James Seymour permalink

      Hi Tamara,

      I’m sorry to hear about your car accident. That must have been very frightening. My sister went through a similar experience – car accident, traumatic brain injury, and loss of job because she couldn’t handle the demands of her job anymore. She has recovered and now has a job that she excels at. I’m saying a prayer for you that the Lord will help guide you through this challenging time. God bless you, Tamara!

  27. Elsabe permalink

    I used to read my bible daily. Battled to put it down and read till the early hours of the morning. I’ve always battled to pray. There was a time when it started getting better, but I’m back to battling. I don’t know what to say to God. I’ve come to realize that it is probably my sin keeping me from praying. I’m battling to find a church that I could call home. So at the moment I am falling around and am not sure what it is that I’m seeking. I am hungry for God, that’s all I know.

    • Jenna permalink

      Elsabe: I’ve experienced something like that many times… and I think this is the key issue right here –> our sin. When we sin, we are somewhat separated from God… just like if you offend your sibling or friend or whatever… you don’t wanna go hug them at that moment. It’s similar with God… you can’t enjoy His goodness because of this sin you’ve committed before Him. What we need to do is so simple yet SO important… confess our sin to Jesus and ask Him to please forgive us. That’s it! Soon afterward… almost immediately… there’s a happy, joyful sense of peace and gladness!! Then thank Him for forgiving you, with a heart that means it… not just a ritualistic “thank you” as I tend to do, if I don’t watch myself. Hope this comment helps!! 🙂

      • Elsabe permalink

        Jenna: Thanks for that! I agree about the whole sin factor. Like Mark’s new post today (31/08/10), we have to treat it like rubbish once we have repented. But it always seems to creep back into ones thinking. God forgave us, so why is it so difficult to forgive ourselves. God bless you sister!

  28. Julie permalink

    Thanks Mark, yes, we all need someone to ask those questions…..my bible study could be better, I really want to study, not just the devos I do most mornings, I want to know the Word better. Have read a couple chapters of a book by Gary Smalley “Change your Heart, Change your Attitude” – it is about changing the negative thoughts that we have and guarding our hearts by memorising the Word.

    I am striving to do this, learn verses, but I find it hard to remember at times, because of all the stress in my life. Family stuff, not with immediate family (husband and children) but mum and siblings. Since coming to live in the city 4 yrs back, it has been full on. So I pray that God will help me to remember the Word so I can change the negative thoughts that come…..from the past…

    I do pray, I pray for others mostly. I talk on facebook to others, and whenever I see someone has ill-health or a problem, I stop and pray for them right there….I feel funny about saying this like another person said, ‘you might think me self-righteous’ but I know I can’t help these people – only God can! I pray for my family most days, especially my son who is not a Christian as yet. I would value prayer for him for anyone who reads this. He is 27 yrs old, and it breaks my heart that he has rejected Jesus…..but he is looking into other faiths now, so maybe this is the start of his journey to God. I pray that it is so.

    I do not go to church as much as I should. But when I do, I realise how much I miss the worship, in particular. And God does speak to me through the sermons. I just feel most of the time I am a mis-fit at the services. I don’t fit in anywhere. I have tried to make friends but am afraid to get too close as I have been hurt by a few friends over the past, I know it is my fault as I had high expectations of people…..I have been learning how not to do that but it is still scary to put yourself out there and hope to find a friend.

    And yes, I sin, and I ask God’s forgiveness when I do, when He shows me in my quiet times with Him. I long to be closer to God so I would value your prayer, Mark. Thank you and God bless as you serve Him.
    Julie

  29. Mavela permalink

    Deeply encouraged for the readings you´ve been sharing so far. This particular message details all I am going through now and feel like I´ve no solution to turn back my wrongdoings. Please everyone who can to pray for me, so that I can be able to renew my life with happiness. God is great.

  30. EAC permalink

    I have followed your posts for quite a while now and the Lord is using everything you devote to him to help people in a very special way, I’m sure that you have blessings sown that your harvest will be beyond your imagination. It’s interesting that you say you are watching online church via lifechurch, there is a church site here where I live and my husband and I have considered going but we are not clear of the belief, to explain further, we believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence in speaking in tongues and I currently attend a non denominational church which believes concurrently but is quite a distance drive to worship so we are looking for somewhere closer. The lifechurch is much closer but I looked up their belief and it doesn’t seem to be clearly written aside from being under a denomination I’ve never heard of before (not that there’s probably not pleanty I’ve never heard of) I’m leery of denominations falling too far under legalisms of religion in one direction but I’m also leery of them being too liberal in a sense the other direction, I love the church I’m attending because the bible is taught, not a religion, not even just a relationship with the Lord, but a daily fellowship with His Word is taught and that’s completely important for us to do. Your opinion of lifechurch compared to my view here??

  31. Lina permalink

    My bible readings have not been good at all, it could be much much better I havn’t opened the bible in quite a long time actually. I used to read it everyday, but then i don’t know what happend. I guess I got so busy i wouldn’t have time to sit down properly and read the bible, and sometimes I would read passages i didnt understand. Prayer life is good, i pray everyday. But I find myself praying about the same things each night, or if something has come up in the future I pray about that or any plans, or any illnesses i add them to my prayer. I find church, okay. I go to church evert sunday, I love the people there, but i find myself never really listening to the preacher. I do enjoy attending church but i wish it was more exciting.Sin, i know tht we all sin everyday, so in my prayers I ask God to forgive me each day and that he will help us overcome any difficulties that we are facing. I am thirsty to learn more about God. Thank you Mark, your emails are really really good and i am always learning something new from you, GOD BLESS

    • Jenna permalink

      Well, I understand ya… I’ve been there. I think when this happens, when old habbits become ritualistic routines, we need to stop and maybe say to ourselves, “STOP!” Change the way you do those things. Don’t just pray generally every night… that’s like telling your spouse every night, “Love you. Sweet Dreams. See ya in the morning.” It may become a nice routine, but it loses it’s meaning… UNLESS you say it with a full heart every night. Same with God… only say something to Him if you mean it… but don’t let that hinder us from saying anything at all.

      Also, I think we need to be more specific in our prayers. We shouldn’t just pray every night (and I have done this in the past), “Forgive me of my sins for today. Thanks for forgiving me. Help me to change. Protect us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” That’s not really coming from our hearts, if we say that. Just think, you are standing before Almighty God when you pray… your Heavenly Father, Who loves you… just talk to Him from your heart. If you don’t feel like saying something, don’t… because you really don’t mean it. Try to think about things before you say them, and try to mean it when you tell the Lord in prayer.

      I hope this comment helps! I’ve learned these things from experience… God bless! 🙂

  32. Anna permalink

    Bible reading once or twice per day 😦
    Prayer life once or twice per day 😦
    Sin, omg, my mind & my heart is filthy. There is no love there & I’m so ashamed.
    It’s a constant battle in my mind to think pure thoughts toward others, well one person in particular, my Pastor. She gossips so much and tells so many lies. She is caniving & it bothers me.
    What bothers me the most is that she doesn’t know that I see her ways & my husband told me not to confront her. It’s making me not wanting to go to church, but I look pass her because I go to hear God’s word.
    So because I see her everyday and witness her ‘ways’, it’s causing me not to love her & think bad thoughts :-(.
    Please pray for me & her too, thanks Mark.

    • Suzanne permalink

      1st of all, I believe that women should NOT be pastors. The scripture that i think backs this up is in 1st Cointhians 14:33-35.(check it out) Women can be teachers, leaders in the church but I really don’t think it’s a good idea for her to call herself a pastor-your situation-case in point.It doesn’t sound like much fruit is being produced in her…check out galatians 5:22-26(fruits of the Spirit). How can she supposedly “preach” God’s Word & then act like the devil all the other times…not a very good example being set, huh? i think you might want to ask her to read these scriptures too, & the rest of the Bible, too:)

    • Jenna permalink

      Hi Anna… 🙂 If your pastor is not acting like a pastor should, I think you should call a meeting with a few other people who agree with you and talk to this person about it. If this person has an open heart and listens to the Holy Spirit speaking, they might change, and wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

      It’s true… it’s not nice to trash someone behind their back or think really bad things about them. When these thoughts to do so enter your mind, just tell those thoughts, “NO! I’m not going to do that.” Saying that in such a firm and simple way will tell your heart and soul, and maybe even the Devil, that you are serious about not doing those things right now. If they were really bad thoughts or words and you feel guilty, go to Jesus and ask for fogiveness with all your heart and a willingness to change, and ask Him to help you change and not be tempted to do that so easily… and He will forgive you and help you! 🙂

      Hope this helps! ♥

    • Kathy permalink

      If I had a pastor like that, and the church didn’t want to get rid of him/her, I would probably leave that church and go to another one. If the pastor has sin issues, then you are not being spiritually fed. You need to be where you are fed and can grow.

  33. Lilanie permalink

    I want to be in Gods will for my life. But i can just not get into the Bible. I have started reading John but did not get further that chapter 5 and i do not know what to do to really get into the word in the way it is expected from us. Prayer i talk to my Lord every day during the day no matter what time but does that qualify as really prayer?

    • Jenna permalink

      Sure it does! I understand, and I do that too. Prayer isn’t a set list of things to say and things to ask for… it’s a time to talk with the Lord, as if you and Him met in a garden. It can be a quick time just to ask for forgiveness (but with all your heart), or just a quick request for something to change or stop, or a long time to talk to Him about what’s weighing on your mind. 🙂 Just keep it respectful and genuine, and you’ll always feel refreshed afterwards! I know from experience! 🙂

  34. Michael permalink

    Although I find that reading and praising daily has such a wonderful impact on my day, I stii find myself bypassing it with the idea that I have too busy a day. I struggle with sin often trying to put off changing it. I must commit to a new change and daily practice. I love the Lord and showing him gratitude should be my most important task of the day.

    • Jenna permalink

      Michael… I understand how you feel… kinda like a failure, right? I’ve been there… it’s not very happy. But when we do feel like a failure, it’s just showing us how sinful and lowly we are… it’s very humbling. But just know this –> Jesus loves you no matter what… like the woman who only tithed a little itsy bit, He had mercy on her, because at least she had the hear to tithe. 🙂 Just abide in the Lord’s amazing love for each individual… this will make us happy and inspire us to do things in our life for Him!

  35. Danna Blackburn permalink

    Whoa….Yep! You are speaking to me via this passage. I’ve put all that is vital on the back burner. Why? No clue. Open the BIble maybe a couple times a week, slept in and didnt go to church, no real good conversation with God lately. I believe I desire to follow HIM wholly in my heart, but man! Sin is awful! The Devil is strong, but not nearly as strong as God! Today is a new day and I thank you so much for this passage. Prayers for me, Prayers for you. Love.

  36. I am struggling with anger and bitterness in a difficult situation. ‘Bible reading means many different things to me. Sometimes I read a lot but I’m on auto pilot. Being led by Him is the key. Maybe He only wants me to read one verse today…. and believe it! I’m struggling to pray because the feeling of His Presence is hard to find and I ‘feel’ that He has forgotten me. I would really appreciate your prayers Mark. God knows my needs. Thank you.

    Thanks for the link Mark, it looks cool!

    • Believe permalink

      Try putting this scripture into action..Phillipians 4: 8-9
      Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. And the God of peace will be with you.

      Let go of anger and resentment. It only eats you up. Let it go it is not worth it. No matter what is forgive and forgive yourself.
      What if Christ had been bItter about being crucified OF WHICH WAS something He was not deserving? He was innocent. If He had been we would not stand a chance of reserving God’s grace and mercy. What if God held it against manking for killing His Son? His perfect Son?

      Yeah, I know easy for me to say and Them to do because with God all things are possible.Right? That is exactly right with God all things are possible. He can deliver you from these feelings you must allow Him to though.
      He did me and let me tell you that was not easy. Because I was angry and guilt ridden… oh my I cannot tell you the depth of these feelings.
      Long story short a boy high on methadone got behind the wheel of his car and crashed into me and my children at a high rate of speed.
      My oldest child was given 24-48hrs to live. To this day his dr.’s say it is a miracle he alive, _ that is another story.
      My son did have part of his brain removed, he is different now. The future I had planned and hoped for was gone. I had a child I did NOT know any longer, in many ways. I had to be strong for him while we were going through the surgeries – and to this day we have more.The rehab for traumatic brain injuries and the physical therapy.
      My youngest son has the scars up and down his face – both my boys do, honestly. But the youngest in some ways is more evident. He is only 5 now. He was 2 when it happened.
      Both my kids are lucky to be alive, I am lucky to be alive. I should have been hit head on but the boy swerved over and got the rear where my children were. I was physically basically unhurt but my beautiful children were almost killed.
      I knew I was lucky my boys were still alive.
      I ended up losing most everything materialistically. This after the previous years of hardships being beat in own home. I didn’t think I could take anymore.
      But I had my big brother,my wonderful big brother reminding me of God’s promises and to keep the faith. I had to keep the faith. This coming from my brother the man who was paralyzed and had been at death’s door more times than I can remember.
      Like I said I didn’t think I could take anymore. But then one day a few months after my wreck, my big brother died. I had not been gone from his side but maybe 15 minutes when he died.
      That brought it all to boiling head, more guilt and hurt. I felt I had left my brother and he died alone. I had already what if’ed and but if only’ed the wreck to death.
      I kept praying and didn’t understand why it had all happened. Didn’t understand why God wasn’t answering me.
      Then at church there was a sermon on forgiveness- the barrior that keeps our prayers from being answered and it was on guilt.
      I realized I had to forgive that boy as well as myself. You know what it was easier to forgive that boy than it was myself.
      Believe it or not I went to that boy and forgave him. He cried,I cried. But like I said it was harder to forgive myself than him. I did finally forgive myself after saying it out loud to myself many times in Jesus name. I finally got my peace in the situation.
      As for my brother, looking back I came to realize he came home to die.Everything he had told me would happen before he died, had happened. These were hings that it took a divine intervention on God’s part to occur. My brother had told me that these things would occur. I can remember asking him how? How are they going to happen. Because believe me there was no way I could see it happening.. My brother looked me straight in the eye and said without blinking ,’ Sis it’s called faith….. You’ll see.’
      He kept telling me he was tired and wasn’t afraid he knew where he was going. But at the time I didn’t think much about becuase we always talked about God, Christ and Faith.
      And so it was everything he had said he wanted to happen before he died, did. They all happened in a quick succession and my brother was gone. Just like that. It took me awhile to realize it but everything he wanted and was trusting God for had happened. He was right, I did see. He just wasn’t there for me to talk to him about it.
      Faith is a powerful thing, God acts according to our Faith. Faith is indeed an action word.
      Forgive yourself and others. Let go of the anger and resentment, its not worth it in the end. Because in the end we all die and stand before God for judgment, we’re only passing thru this world. Then it IS ON TO ETERNITY. Trsut me when we get into eternity it is not going to be worth having spent time being angry, bitter, resentful and hurt. If what you are feeling these emotions is so bad and terrible. Is it worth sacrificing your soul and where you spend eternity at? That is whats on the line. I don’t think it is going to be worth it. Because only and you and you alone will stand before God on the final judgment and will be held accountable for your actions and feelings.
      Let it go while you have the time and start healing you can. I gave you a scripture to help you along the way. Hard to be feeling that way when you are putting that scripture into action.

  37. Kuda permalink

    thank you for this message,its so encouraging.i know i havent been reading my bible the way i used to,seems i fallen back a bit.and from now on i really shld ask God to help me in that department and star studying my bible.as for my prayer life i dont even know how to express it,God is doing wonderful thengs.How i love you Lord.

  38. helow to GOD BE THE GLORY for the inspiring words you share….pls send me on articles regarding parenting so that i can share this to our Bible Study group..GODBLESS…keep doing great for God’s vineyard…

  39. Franziska permalink

    Thank you so much for asking how is your Bible reading? How is your struggling? That is the point i was few days ago untill i understood myself how far i went from my GOD, Father. I didn`T read Bible dayly anymore had a lot excuse for not doing it. What is sin in the eys of GOD, as i realised i am in the wrong way, i prayed to GOD to forgive me for my sin to be far away from HIM. I am happy to know i have some good christian Friends in internet whom i can share and talk about it. Here i don`t have anyone.

  40. Natalie permalink

    Hi Wow I am failing in all these areas. Reading, Praying and sinning. In myself I am not in a happy place right now. And I think it is because I am failing in all these areas. I guess I needed to see this piece to see where my problem is……wow

  41. Julie permalink

    I’d like to ask for prayer, but I do not want it ‘posted’ on the FaceBook site. Where else can I go to ‘submit a request’?

  42. Kevin Leonard permalink

    It sounds suprising but I usually read my bible when im at work 2-4 times a week. Im so busy at home it seems I cant never find time. I pray when I can and go to church when I am off work.

  43. I do read everyday. I read this and beliefnet. If I’m running late I can still catch it on my ipod. I don’t do well with the praying part for myself, I pray for other people all the time. I got to where I tell myself, if I don’t ask then I won’t be looking for anything. Also, I just don’t know how to pray anymore. For other people I can pray, for myself not so easy. Just a simple Lord help me to pass this test or Lord let this be a good day. I would love to be better in this department. I do go to church. I am over the youth in our church but I would like to get more into it again. I’m just not feeling it right now. With my son getting married in 19 days isn’t helping that and aloooottttt of stuff happening with that!!! I hate drama!!! Sin would be not loving my husband like I need to. Just not there either. And my temper at work gets off at time, but I am trying to control it. I have to keep saying Lord help me make it through this. But not being able to pray for myself is the biggest thing in my life because if the Lord knows the desires of my heart when I don’t really, really know the desires of my heart? I just don’t know. I would love to hear Him just come right out and say this is what I want you to do or what you need to do. I am at a confused part of my life right now so I’m just waiting for the Lord to show me some direction. I would like to say thank you for doing this online. It does help me because if I ever need to I just pull it back up during the day on ipod and read it again.

  44. Mark, this is a very helpful article. The one thing I am not sure about is the online church. I do see the value of this if you are isolated, maybe through being in a rural area where you have to drive a long way to a service or if you are physically unable to get out of the house. But for me the reason I go to a meeting is precisely that; to meet with other people. No online church can give you that.

  45. Fear paralyzes me. I can feel my body, mind and heart lock down. I know God is wide and vast and know he is calling me forward to HIS loving embrace. Why I rest into it and jump back out is beyond me….

  46. Alicia permalink

    How is your Bible reading? It could be so much better! I read a few verses most days with devotionals I do, but I’m not really studying as much as I want to, and not feeling it’s lead by God all the time.
    How’s the prayer life? My talks with God lately have been quick, and not as in depth as I would like them to be. I REALLY need to find some time alone with HIm each day right now.
    How you finding church? I’m struggling with this. When the congregation sings “He Lives” as if He’s really dead, I am so ready to pull my hair out!!! Our church has many good things about it but lately I feel it’s lost it’s “fire” and it leaves me wanting. I do feel very blessed by some of the people there, and do get some encouraged by them when I go.

    Thank you so much for these questions!!! I agree with you that we should ask ourselves and each other these questions on a regular basis! God Bless You!!!
    What sin are you struggling with right now?

    • Alicia permalink

      Oops, I forgot to answer the one about sin! Okay, here I go….I am struggling with my thought life. I am having trouble with a certain person in my life, and I tend to imagine ways to be mean to them, or annoy them. I know this sounds horrible, but when you feel you are under constant attack, this is the human response. I’m fighting it, but it’s been difficult. I also tend to “vent” about this same person, and when I do this, it ends up a gripe session that I’m sure does nobody any good at all. I really need help with this. I don’t want to be this kind of a person. I also tend to fight thoughts that my ways are better than another person’s ways about some things.I KNOW I’m not supposed to be this way. I need Jesus to help me with these things!!!!!

  47. Michele permalink

    I work in teen ministry & find these 4 questions crucial in leading them. I have them be accountable to one another (and me) in prayer & Bible reading, but have not had them assess their church life & sins like this. I will!
    I have one student, a 15 yr. old boy, that has a very troubled life. Our family “adopted” him, giving him a room where he lived nearly every weekend for the past 9 months. His natural family claims Christ, but there is no visible fruit & much contention. His mom told me she believes God can take away your salvation if you sin enough. Now this young man has become bitter & angry with God because he has the belief that God can condemn his family to hell at any whim. His feelings towards God have been transferred to me b/c I have been the primary advocate for God in his life. He has extreme anger issues & delights now in finding cruel things to do & say to me, which his family supports & encourages him to do. If you would consider praying for him to turn from his bitterness & anger & to embrace the truth of salvation as blessed assurance, I would be most grateful!!!

  48. Thomas permalink

    I am struggling with trust and communication I still read and pray daily along with sunday services, I have been fortunate though to surround myself with strong believers and now I am sharing with those that are weaker than I in faith.

  49. Lizelle Enslin permalink

    First, I want to say thank you for your e-mails I receive. It is because my Bible reading slipped, that I subscribed to your BLog. At the moment I battle with anger. Can’t tell you why I am angry, but it is there and it affects my time with Jesus

  50. Jessica Keyes permalink

    I Have been Struggling alot lately, My Bible Reading is a Minimum, I try to pray most days, My mind is a battlefield of Sinful thoughts lately and I am finding no joy in Church. I know this is me and I know God is working this out for his Greater good but it is a struggle that breaks my heart to go through…God Keep me.

  51. Sierra permalink

    Like this. I too had dropped off in all areas. I’ve just downloaded a bible to my phone and will use it daily. Prayed this morning and will embrace this more. My church life is abyssmal. I was active in church and decided that that ministry was not for me! I am now searching for a new church home. Online church will help. Sin is a bug struggle. Dating and celibacy is rough in this world. But I’m maintaining but sometimes feel alone. I struggle with this most; I want to be married but can barely get a series of dates based upon my celibacy walk. If I’d add anything to this list it would be how’s your praise and worship? How often are you worshipping God and giving him glory?

  52. Suzy permalink

    I haven’t read the Bible on a regular basis in many years. It’s been a year since church. I am struggling with myself. I wonder, if I say I’m a Christian, and I don’t do these things. am I really a Christian? I used to pray daily. That too, has slipped away. Thank you for asking those questions.

  53. George permalink

    Mark, thanks for the post. I’m thankful to have a couple of guys in my life that I meet with each week to ask me the hard questions. I don’t know where I would be without them. I’m pretty regular in my Bible reading, sporadic in my prayers, blessed by a wonderful family of faith at church, and struggle with sin on a regular basis. I gain a lot of encouragement from the Internet (blogs like this one), but for fellowship, I need to see and hear flesh and blood people.There’s no substitute for the pat on the back, the hug around the neck, and the smile that lights up my day. I get that each week at church, and I am so thankful. Blessings.

  54. Abigail permalink

    Hi Everyone!

    I think its funny that I stumbled upon your blog this very night because I was just telling my husband about 4 or so hours ago that I NEED to have more Christian friends to ask me those VERY questions!! I am living in South Korea right now and I am finding myself wanting to know God more and more the way I used to feel when I was younger. I have slipped from going to church since 2004. I felt betrayed by my church…well really the people who went there and long story short I stopped going to church, then my prayer life stopped, and I for the most part stopped hanging out with Christian friends. So thanks for the blog, it makes my prayers seem more clear about finding a church and some true Christian friends.

  55. Marsha Mcdonald permalink

    I am a new christian but suffer bondages from a recent split with my daughters father. I have been faithfully going to church, reading my bible and praying for the whole armour of god and renewing my mind daily but as soon as I wake up every morning the thoughts of this terrible breakup torments my mind I have tried to stop this but everyday it reoccurs. I have been cheated on, lied to, and abused so now he is living with this girl that he cheated on me with and she knew we were together for a long time but chose to open her legs for someone that was already taken. Heres the bad news; she claims to be a christian too but where I come from christians dont do that to people. How can I break these barriers in my life and start a new bridge when satan reminds me daily of how I was deceived?

  56. Dorothy permalink

    I also am looking to build my ralationship with Jesus, the problem I have is also reading the bible.. I find it boring and always puts me to sleep.. Its not that I don’t want to read it because I know its the number one way I am going to reach GOD , also I have not attended church, I also find them boring.. I think sometimes they just repeat themselves on the same issue’s not makeing the effort to change there ways but to keep GOD way… Also I am new to prayer, I am learning still growing , wanting to do my part and more,, Its been slow with me but I do want to do all what is ask of me by my Father, Asking for prayers that I may do his will and to be the best at what ever it is He wants me to be… Dotty

    • Dorothy,
      I used to feel the same way you do about reading the Bible. I thought it was boring, too. I didn’t understand how it was relevant to me & my struggles. About a year & a half ago, I bought a Women’s Devotional Bible (NIV). I read a devotional every day (along with the corresponding scripture), and I was hooked from there! After I finished the devotional Bible, I bought the Life Application Study Bible (also NIV). This Bible really showed me how to apply what I was reading to my life & gave me a better understanding of how God can speak to me through His word. You can find either of those Bibles on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. I HIGHLY recommend them!

      As far as prayer is concerned, don’t feel as if you have to be so deep or spiritual w/ what you pray about. This may sound a little strange, but just talk to God as if you are talking to friend! He wants us to bring EVERYTHING to Him in prayer (Philippians 4:6)! Your prayers don’t have to be long & drawn out, either. Even if you’re at work, & something is on your mind, talk to God about it! Even if it’s only for a minute or 2. 🙂

      Continue to press on & move forward in Christ (Philippians 3:12-14), my sister. I pray that God will lead you & that you will follow Him in the path that He has made for you. Be blessed! 🙂

  57. suyapa de carroll permalink

    My struggling, I would say struggling but is not and strugling, is my prayer,,, I do pray but all I can say is thankyou, sometimes I would like to come boldy to the trone, but thats is not me, it has been like that since I meet my Savior, it has been case’s when I have pray asking, not asking stuff about me, but praying for the church, the needs of the church, my family, friends illness ect ect, but I only ask once, then I happylly wait that it will be done in the name of Jesus, and that it will be his will not mine, that he will supply our needs acording how we can managed, and if things not get done is because the Lord has better thing is mind,,, one of the verse’s I love is the one when they are fishing and problems arise and then,,, they wake the Lord,,, and there here is me,,, I dont want to bother my Father to much, as I know that He knows our heart, He knows our needs and know thay if we are good childrens he will give us according with his reachies in heaven.

    I myself I have lots of problems, but then again that is part of this life in this world, my three brother addicts to drugs and alcohol, just now my son been in jail for 3 months, he is going to get deported soon, in the outside is a baby boy 8months and his gilrfriend waiting for him, but I know that the Lord will take care of him and his family.
    In the meantime I pray to say thankyou Father because maybe this thigs need to happen to shape my soon into a good ornament for his glory, as I am his daugther and he will take care of me and my childrens and granchildrens.

  58. lori baumgartner permalink

    well,thats a BIG LIST!!!i was a solider in my youth and i STILL have alot of”bad habits”like cussing,which i really don’t like to do,i gave up drinking a long time ago because it destroyed my marrage.i still smoke and it’s very hard to give up!!!!i went “astray” somehow and i’m trying to get back in track,i pray everyday that my roomate can stop her drinking before satan destroys her as well.i promised the lord that i would bring her to him,i’m not a very good wittness,but i can plant ‘seeds’!!!!

  59. Darnell Maloney permalink

    My bible reading has slipped a lot lately but I will be back on track befor the end of the day today. I pray daily and nightly and often! I go to one church when I’m visiting my sister which is very exciting, lots of music to wake everyone up and then some preaching. The church closer to go that I will probably go to more often is a alot quieter. The songs are not as energetic but the band sounds good. The pastor likes to tell a joke or two before he starts to read from the bible which is always nice to. Overall, both churches I go to have a different vibe but I enjoy them both and wish that I went more often. As far as sins I am dealing with, I would have to say lust is a big issue in my life right now. At 20 years old, there are tons and tons of temptations thrown at me everyday and the hormones dont help either. I have been working on getting things under control and the lord has blessed me with a much greater strength than I once had but recently I back slid. I would be very greatful if my brothers and sisters would help me through this with the power of prayer. God bless you all and keep you from harm, amen.

  60. I’m starting to read my Bible more.I pray every day but I can pray more.
    I go to church every Sunday and I love it.struggling with some sin but I ask God to help me realize and change it and he always does.

  61. Judy Sears permalink

    I am struggling with coveting……………….

  62. Thank you for this reading! This is something I believe we all as Christians Go through?
    My son and I were just baptized yesterday 8/29/10! Along with 11 others!
    Praise God! The importance of reading, praying, understanding is all A BIG part of it!
    Thank you Mark!! God Bless! Power in Prayer!!

  63. Wendy Rowan permalink

    I am struggling with getting to church every time the doors open and reading my bible every day. I’m very stressed in my work world and am trying to put it all in God’s hands,and in the past week I feel like I have, but I need prayer to put all my worries in my little box and hand it over into His hands.

  64. Chance permalink

    How is your Bible reading?
    My Bible reading has been non-exisitent, of late.

    How’s the prayer life?
    Like the reading, my prayer life and meditation time has suffered. I use to pray and meditate on the Word everyday when I wake up. Now that I am self-employed, I find myself jumping up going straight to work. However, I make time throughout the day to pray for others. Unconsciously, I feel guilty asking God for anything due to my lack of commitment and growing in him.

    How you finding church?
    I have a church home which I love and is very active in. However, my growth spiritually has become stagnant. I do not know if it is me or if my season with this ministry is up.

    What sin are you struggling with right now?
    I am mainly struggling with anger and obedience (i.e. fornication). I have never vocalized this to anyone and started today by addressing my anger issues (which I feel are directly correlated to my disobedience).

    I am too fearful to discuss this with anyone that I know due to the fact that they see me as a leader or I fear judgment and punishment. Please pray for me and I will pray for all of you as God leads me back to Peace within Him.

  65. So, what physical church are you a member of? I’m started to read this morning and I enjoyed your info. Thanks

  66. Kathleen permalink

    I was sitting here reading Asking is Important and you asked four questions? On any given day anyone asking me anything I would have an immediate response. Four questions is all that you asked,,,,,, Well for starters Since I have relocated I have been attending Church online every Sunday and Wednesday, I struggle with my prayer life it is not as strong as it should be maybe because I feel like i pray and pray and pray and it seems like nothing is happening for me at least I can’t see with my physical eye. well all of the times I don’t kneel before bed to pray I say a small prayer in bed. Reading the bible is a daily routine for me. for a minute I did slack off from my readings cause school started and I was working out in the morning but through out the day I read.And last but not least my sin issues…….Ugggghhh I sin daily whether its a thought or a look, something i speak or do on a daily basis I struggle everyday but I ask God to forgive me I plead with him to forgive me and I try to do what is right. I want to live right and do right for God. Thanks Mark for asking four questions to make me think before I speak.

  67. Carissa permalink

    I am struggling with sexual sin and I’m not quite sure how to overcome it. One minute I will be doing something at work, or whatnot, and then next I have these thoughts in my head. My boyfriend and I are abstaining, which is rediculously hard; especially since I haven’t in the past.
    All of the girls at my church act as if their lives are perfect and I don’t really feel as if I can go to them with this..
    I’ve found that praying and asking God to guard my mind helps, asking Him to take away my desires helps but I feel like I’m around it all the time. The people at my work, the people at my school, and then my boyfriend..

  68. Anonymous permalink

    When I first was saved 3 years ago I would read my bible all the time now I pick it up when I’m going to church, my prayer life is not so great i rarely pray unless my youth pastor calls me & we pray on the phone. Church is great sometimes, I go three times a week but sometimes I’m just there because if i don’t go my mom won’t let me hear the end of it.
    There are a lot of sins I am struggling with, I need a lot of prayer. First and most importantly I am struggling with fornication, me and my boyfriend both go to church and I really try hard to do Gods will but I feel like he loves God but doesn’t take this walk very seriously. I also struggle with anger, and although i’ve heard anger isn’t a sin a lot I feel it is, because its come to a point where I feel I hate my mother because she’s such a hypocrite, so goes to church and jumps up and down prays everyday & reads the bible she speaks in tounges and when she’s on the phone I feel she acts holy like she’s all about faking it because if some one was really filled with the spirit like she claims to be she would not be beating on me or cursing at me or calling me retarded or stupid or telling me I’m not going to make it in life and she tells me I’m not even half as good as my younger sister’s poop (to keep it clean) & that’s just some of the things, I also struggle with lying since I don’t find it easy to always tell my mother the truth & my sister is like her little pet. I feel like the only person who cares for me and loves me is my boyfriend, I’ve thought so much of asking him for a break & maybe we can get back together when our walk with God is a lot stronger but then I’m so scared of being alone when he’s around my mother doesn’t beat me or call me names that are as bad as when he’s not around … I don’t know what to do I need help, but I can’t tell any one from my church .. i really can’t

    • Carissa permalink

      You absolutely have to tell someone from your church.. maybe your youth pastor, but you need to.
      Also, if you can go to the library or books a million, I don’t know go somewhere and check out or get the book “Jesus Freak; Martyrs”. I hope that helps, and I’m going to keep you in my prayers.

  69. ebrown permalink

    I just recently began praying and reading my bible on a daily basis.I can honestly say that I have noticed a difference in my life. I can say that my faith has grown and I have a different outlook of myself as well as my life.

  70. Dawne P permalink

    Thanks for your faithfullness to us Mark. You are appreciated and sometimes you are the best connection I have to a daily devotional. My bible reading is at an all time low right now. I take it to church on Sunday and maybe open it once a week after that. I attend “Bible” studies each week, but rarely are we required in the study to open our Bibles. I find that strange. All of the study books that are out there, and the video’s etc, seem to be taking over. We are studying others words rather than the Fathers. I am not satisfied with my church life or the time I spend in the word.
    I am between church’s right now. I am looking for a new church because I could not find enough fellowship at my home church. I 50+ year old woman, single. I finally have found some faithful christian friends many at the church I am visiting…but like I said, I am dissapppointed in the ‘Bible’ study there. My prayer life is what is sustaining me right now. I feel like I am in almost constant contact with God through prayer.
    As for sin, I am struggling with putting God first above ALL things. That is why I am not getting my Bible opened as often as I should.
    Thank you Mark for this venue to confess our sins and fellowship with each other.

  71. Kai permalink

    I am not sure when I lost touch. Maybe when I started back to college after many years and with all the reading that is required, is why I no longer consistently read my Bible. Sometimes I feel the promises of God is for everybody else. I do not enjoy church anymore because mainly everything is about marriage and children. I do not mean to sound like a jerk, I am genuinely happy for them, but I feel like I am on the outside looking in, especially since I have never been married. I will never forget that an elder was thanking God for his (3rd) wife because some people never get that. That comment stabbed me in the heart. Last week we prayed for an engaged couple 3 times in an 45 minute service as well as someone else’s expectant grandchild numerous times. This past Sunday I did not even go to church because I needed a “marriage and babies” break. Even my single christian friends are having worldly relationships (resulting in unplanned blessings) while have I been completely celebate for many years with no end in sight. I am invisible to christain men and the Bible warns me about getting involved with worldly men(unevenly yoked). The people who say do not focus on your circumstances do not face the my circumstances. I do not know what to do to reconnect with my Lord.

    • Wow— my pastor is preaching a sermon series about being trapped in a situation that you don’t like & don’t see changing anytime soon! (Jeremiah 29). The Israelites were in captivity for 70 yrs. (and it looked like it would never end), but God promised them that he would bring them back to their homeland (Jeremiah 29:10-11). Just as He made & fulfilled His promises to the Israelites (and countless others in the Bible), He will fulfill his promises to you! As my pastor said in his sermon yesterday, God loves you and is thinking about you all the time! You are never an afterthought with God. So don’t you ever believe that God’s promises are for everybody else (the devil is a liar!).

      You’re not alone! I know how it feels when you go to church & it seems that everything is about marriage & children. But, please realize that Satan knows that your singleness is a sore spot for you and he’s using it to make you turn away from God and church! (1 Peter 5:8-9) Don’t fall for the enemy’s lies & don’t let him win! Don’t let your situation dictate what you know is true about God. God is good, He is faithful, He knows what’s best for you, He has a purpose for you, and He will NEVER leave you or forsake you!

      I’m single, too, and I know it gets lonely at times. But you’ve got to make that best out of your single season. Get back into the Word (Jeremiah 29:11 & Romans 8:28 is a good place to start!), use your gifts to serve God, & bring all of your feelings about your single season (and everything else) to God in prayer! Cast your cares on Him because He care for you! (1 Peter 5:7) Wait on the Lord (Psalm 27:14) to bring that God-sent spouse into your life. It may not be today, tomorrow, or next year, but God will reward you for your faithfulness! I dare you to TRUST Him! Be encouraged! 🙂

  72. vicki permalink

    I have spent this summer considering myself and my practice in faith. While I have not read the Bible in far too long, I have been reading other Christian literature that is challenging and affirming my belief. I am getting a better understanding of what “Church” is and should be. I am trying to organize my days to include regular, (daily) reading of the Bible. I do not necessarily sit by myself and pray. I pray with my children each night, but I kinda speak to God through out the day, greatful for the sun, appreciate assistance with something I am working on, encouragment for someone I know is struggling, strength for the tired mom at the grocery store, peace for those dealing with war,comfort for the homeless man and mentally ill women at DD. Of course there are times when I cry out for help and days that I just thank Him and list all that He has given me.
    I am looking forward to this change in season as I move forward from my time of refelction and thought and begin again to practice and dive into the word.

  73. Mary permalink

    Struggling with people who belittle my appearance and the way I dress. I struggle with anger and having thoughts of how to be mean to others when they have offended me.

  74. Becky McKeon permalink

    How is your Bible reading? I don’t read my Bible enough and I even know that when I am in the Word, I feel more at peace.

    How’s the prayer life? My prayer life right now is constant, but I feel as if it is for selfish reasons. Your comments today remind me that I need to keep others in prayer.
    How you finding church? I enjoy and get a lot going to church, I haven’t been able to go for a couple of weeks and it is bothering me right now.

    What sin are you struggling with right now? Anger! My husband wants to seperate, yet not divorce me. I’m confused, angry and hurt.

  75. Melanie Annazone permalink

    I was glad to see this today. Bible reading, prayer time, those things are vital in our Christian walk… keeping that personal relation ship with God. It keeps me grounded, and focused more on him… It is all about him and his will for us!!! This was such a great reminder for me. I have been struggling with taking that personal time and just getting into God’s word.

  76. Deedy permalink

    I think this is something that everyone who has been a Christian for any length of time struggles to overcome! We all slip, slide, and fall away from time to time. It’s because we have “life happening” around us and circumstances that cause us to focus more on the here-and-now rather than the even-more-important future.
    Aren’t we blessed to have a God that is faithful to take us back every single time? He is so good to us and we just forget to talk to Him, read from Him, lean on Him…but He’s there waiting whether we are aware of it or not. Praise God that we can “re-find” Him and be strengthened by the return. God can use Satan’s deviousness for our good when we come running back– and we are often stronger after having left and returned.
    Thank you so much for your questions…right now my Bible reading is up and prayer is down. It’s usually the other way around! I really appreciate the heads-up and am glad I found your blog! Blessings…

  77. Merline permalink

    I need to read my bible every day of the week. I need to pray more than just once a day. I go to church online Pastor Joel and attend a church. The sin that I’m having a hard time with is sex, now I know that should not be in my mind until I get married but its hard. Please pray for me.

  78. I am in need of prayer to light up my prayer life. I read scripture 5 days a week (tough to read on weekends with my schedule with church and family), I feel less full and in awe than I normally am, and I am afraid of losing passion and desire and slipping back into my old ways. I want to keep burning like a torch in the darkness, I fear flickering out. Please, if you feel led, pray for my prayer life, that it would be fruitful to my spirit. And pray for my scripture reading, that I would be taught by the spirit as I read the word.

  79. Michael Merritt permalink

    My prayer life? I have been struggling with my spirituality for a while now. My prayer life is a conviction that I am working and doing more praying, I still need to commit to my father and speak with more and more everyday.

    My bible reading is not good at all I have fallen away from reading the word. My intention is to get back to the word and start my workbooks again which help me to read and focus on what the Lord is wanting me to know.

    How am I finding church? Very difficult, I have tried to attend my local church from conviction and when I started going to my local church, it was in the middle of a split. It is almost like this area I live in is so self centered that the church is not being led by the Master, it is being manipulated by the members and such. This is tough situation for me.

    I believe the biggest sin I am fighting with is my submission to my Lord in Jesus Christ and giving him my entire heart. This has caused me alot of problems as I will seek him only when I get knocked down. This needs to stop. I need my Lord to give me the wisdom to the right things for myself and people around me.

  80. Angela Brydon permalink

    no one asks me these question although if they did
    Bible reading – ok almost every day
    Prayer pretty much everyday but not as much time as I would like
    Church – I’m finding frustrated and have tried to put this across to people in my church only to be shot down
    Sin – not getting along with people in my church!

  81. Joanna permalink

    My bible reading consists of your daily devotions with scripture and another pastor’s scriptures and daily devotions. I read these everyday before I get started with my work and it really has help me get through my days. My prayer life is continual with God. I find that lifting up anything and everything to him just keeps me so focused on his will for me. My church life has been all of my life in church and for years I have served him by working with the nurser y and preschool ages. Lately though I have felt a void with church life because I do not see my church following Christ-like ways and feel that they are only self centered ways. I find it very hard to submit to authority when the authority seems to not be a Godly authority. I am almost to a point of just watching online church or church on TV just to not have to see how badly flesh takes over in everything. It hurts me to see my church this way and I can just imagine how hurt God must be looking down on it. There have been ones that have stood up and made statements to the facts that have been taken place and in return they have been told that they can not come back because they are causing discention in the church. It crushes me to see my fellow Christians that will be in heaven with me torn from the body of Christ, the church. I pray everyday that he will take back his church and let there be no more judgement from one another but only love as Christ came and showed us. Thank you soo much for your loving service to God by sharing your daily devotions and scripture with us. May God truly bless you.

    Joanna

  82. Sherlyn permalink

    Thank you for asking these questions. I am doing my best to read the Bible every day to get closer to God and know more about Him. I love reading the Bible as it can encourage and strengthen my faith. As for the prayer life, I pray every time and every moment although sometimes I get tired of it easily. Other than that, attending my church have been really great for me as I get to sing and praise my God and hear the God’s Words of Wisdom and it also brings much peace to my heart. I am not sure about what sin I am struggling. But what I don’t like is I can’t really concentrate in the rosary prayer or what you would say – meditation. And sometimes I do feel scared to reach out to my God because He’s too holy. I love my God but I do feel unworthy for Him to love me so much.

    Any advice for me? Your advices are greatly appreciated. Thank you. May God bless you and keep you always in His loving, tender care.

    In the love of our Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour,
    Sherlyn

  83. ted preston permalink

    These questions are good ones, I struggle constantly with a hatred so strong it eats me. At age 5 on xmas eve 1962 a catholic priest molested & tried to kill me to cover up his crime. Going to church is almost impossible for me as the distrust of false profits is so strong in me. jim baker, jerry falwell, jimmy swaggert,the vaticans cover-ups & excuses drives me crazy daily! I believe in god as I had an afterlife experience during this attack. what can I do with this deepseede distrust of socalledpriest

  84. Jason permalink

    My Bible reading is every other day to every few days. It slipped from multiple times a day to this. My prayer life has failed to be strong. I used to make a concious effort to pray without ceasing, but now struggle to do so a few times a day. I used to be at my home church with out fail day in and day out sometimes, but now I watch Intougch with Charles Stanley. It is an awesome church time but lacks the accountability and fellowship. As far as sins, well that is a stuggle everyday ofcourse. Specifically anger, and talking bad about other. All these things started when I joined the military and was around the wrong kind of people more than the right kind of people for spiritual growing. Ofcourse the lost are our assignment, but the atmospher and attitudes surrounding them, take their toll if you dont have a body of believers to be with. I have slowly but surly started to get back on track.

  85. Heather permalink

    I am struggling a lot on my prayers and bible reading. I read the bible in a year last year and I was going to do it again this year. I was of to a good start than all of a sudden I jest quit. I don’t know why. I am having trouble getting back in it.
    My prayers on not as bad as they use to be. I had times this year when i couldn’t pray at all. I had stuff I wonted to say. When I was ready to pray they words froze in me. I had the holy spirit praying for me.
    My prayers are getting better I thank. I prayed good last night the words didn’t froze in me this time, thats good.
    I thank I am struggling more now on getting back on my bible than me prayers now.

  86. Lakisha permalink

    I have not been to church in over three months. I dont like to read so I dont really read my bible and devotionals to often, plus I dont really pray… I do talk to GOD but not humnbling down on my knees in silence. I do need help with that and do plan on finding another church to attend!

    • Shelley permalink

      Lakisha-

      Think about finding you a bible that’s enjoyable to ready….there are many, many versions of the bible today. It is important to fnd a church home to fellowship at and get the love God instills in you and others.

      Shelley

  87. Joan permalink

    Im really not reading my bible daily and when i do what i read does not stick, at least not as before. when i pray i feel guilty to ask for any special favours i don’t readily pray about the healing of a friend or just pray, praise and worship as i use to before. i feel grateful to GOD for keeping me each day, but the gratitude stays in my head (most of the times) i dont confess it out loud in prayer. i don’t make any special effort to go to church at least i believe i can’t because of finincial constraint and i am just totally deadbeat. i konw what is right and what is wrong it is in my head but does it reach my heart not as forceful as before. im struggling to get over the past ( my son is 13 and i still cant get over the fact that i went outside of wedlock) i do consider myself to be a christian

  88. leon phillips permalink

    Hi, first i wanna say thanks for posting this. Well first off, my bible reading is where i am the most successful, i love reading God’s word. My prayer life has improved over the past few months.We go to church every Sunday, and i really enjoy our bible study class. As far as my sin I’m struggling with is porn, The desire isn’t as strong as it once was, but i do get the urge sometimes to visit porn sites and stuff, so if you could pray for me on that.Once again thanks alot for posting this, i almost passed it up without commented, but thats what i always do, Leon

  89. Edward Wilson permalink

    Thank you, Mark, for yet again touching upon something with which I have been like-minded as of late. I only recently, as in the last couple of days, have returned to the Bible after having spent first a year absolutely on fire for the Word, then the last few months only mildly lukewarm. I found myself substituting modern Christian fiction and nonfiction, as in the Purpose Driven Life (self help), Rolling Thunder (novel), the Shack (novel), Prisoners of Hope (biography), Silence (novel), Assaulted by Joy (memoir), etc, for true focus and time in God’s Word. This proved harmful and actually led me away from God. Don’t get me wrong, I believe books like these are inspirational, entertaining, insightful, and helpful, but must be read in addition to, not instead of, the Bible.

    I also felt my prayer life begin to suffer in the last few months. I took to heart Paul’s directive to be constant in prayer, and, although it is certainly not unhealthy, began a constant dialogue with God in my heart and mind everywhere I went everyday. This was a tremendous way to act out what Paul had suggested, but what deteriorated was my private, vocal, sorrowful, loving prayer life. Because of this constant dialogue with God, I could not seem to draw myself into a secluded place to spend any time at all focusing and meditating on the God which has redeemed me and loved me so much. It wasn’t until these past few days when I started to realize my ways were too easy. I wasn’t being challenged by the things I read and was not feeling accountability in prayer.

    My fellowship life has never been very strong. I recently joined a house church, and I have gotten involved in rather intimate relationships with my church leaders, which helps. My problem has always been that I am too submissive to those with whom I fellowship, meaning I buy into ideas of hierarchy. Maybe its because I have always been one of the younger people in the group, but I often feel led and never like a leader myself. I do not feel there has ever been a mutual involvement between myself and my peers in fellowship. This has to change and I am working on it.

    Finally, as for the sin with which I am struggling. I am just about the worst of the worst. I am an idolater. This idolatry has led to covetousness. This covetousness has led to being judgemental, and all this is just the tip of the iceberg. Above all things though, I am horribly, deathly, digustingly lustful. My sexual desires are about the most powerful sinful temptations in my life right now. Luckily I have a God who is bigger than all these things and I give them to Him. Thanks again, Mark.

    • Joseph permalink

      Edward, are an amazing work of God and i just wanted to let you know that i’m praying for you. I’m young and i’ve been dealing with sexual immorality since i was 13+. You seem like a very educated person (i say this because when i read some posts they lack tremendous amounts of grammar or are typed like this, “HI I NEeD HeLp…”). My heart aches with my sin and my loss of direction; however, Jesus is most definitely taking care of the both of us AND the entire world. I hope the best for you, God bless.
      -Joseph

  90. Kevin McPherson permalink

    Hi Mark,
    I needed your Journey blog today. I just talked to my mom and dad. Dad is week after over a year and a half battling lung cancer. I praise God that He saved Dad a few months ago, so he’s ready to go home. But it’s hard hearing his weak voice on the phone, and knowing that he’s thousands of miles away. Please pray for him,and my mom, who’s taking care of him. The Hospice nurse gives him a month to live.
    As for me; My Bible reading is at most once a week, when I do a Sunday afternoon study. I truly want to up that to daily. I pray a lot, but not as often as I should in a “prayer closet” setting as I should. I LOVE church, and look forward to it each week! Our pastor is passionate about God, His Word, His children, and the lost.being saved! Our adult Bible class consists of a group that love, pray for, and tangibly help each other. The sins I struggle with are mostly in my mind. They’re the hardest to resist and control.
    Please pray for me. I’m praying for you.
    Love in Christ,
    Kevin J. McPherson

  91. Angela permalink

    Wow, I thought you somehow knew me personally when I read the above. But in fact for me too it has been years since reading the bible, I might attend church on Mother’s Day or something. Praying has become an activity only done in an emergency. I’ve even, ashamedly, gone so far as to tell people I’ll be or have prayed for them and some how never get around to it. I’m so sorry. I guess that puts us into the sin dept. Lying sometimes about praying, not controlling my temper at times, sexual sin sometimes,and reading the bible only to answer Jeopardy questions. Over the years my discontent with organized religion has grown exponentially. It all started when I used to sing in the choir and was very active all around church. Then one day I felt overwhelmed and left the choir and left church and only went back sporatically, which is where I’m at now. It’s been maybe 15 to 20 yrs of sporatic attendance. So now I’m in search of a church home where I can go at a slower pace and really be biblically taught with no distractions.

    • Shelley permalink

      Hi Angela-

      As there is no judgement here……I believe it’s really important to find a church home that is completely biblically based. We can get caught up serving in the ministry and find out that we are not getting what we need “the word”. May God continue to bless you and I pray you find a church home.

      Shelley

  92. Wanda permalink

    I think that you need to carefully read the scriptures regarding worshiping the Lord on the first day of the week. He commands that we come together with others. He requires that we fellowship, sing, take the Lord’s supper, pray, etc. I don’t see how you can do that online. How can you greet one another with a holy kiss. I think that we must worship with others, in person, and not at the computer or online.
    Remember that God set up the weekly worship service the way that HE wanted. This service is what He requires that we do for Him in the manner that HE prescribed.
    If we love Him we obey HIs commandments. This is specifically commanded!

  93. Shelley permalink

    Honestly, I’m struggling with my prayer life and bible reading daily. Yet I’m having maritial problems and many family issues. God is continually blessing me and giving me grace and mercy daily. This information has given me a serious reality check in my spirit! As God had committed to taking care of me I will re-commit myself to my daily prayer and reading my word. I have a church home which I attend twice a week and sometime watch on television. I have a excellent Pastor but when I’m at home I have to learn to stay in that personal relationship with God. Thank you for giving me a reality check and a chance to start over again.

  94. Frankie permalink

    My struggles come from the losing of my daughter it has been very painful. I’m trying very had to get back into bible reading and prayers I want God in my life so bad. I’m Ina better place now than I was monrh ago. My main focus is to get my life in order with God so I can to be welcomed into his home when it’s my time.

  95. Wow! Great post! For about 2 years or so I stepped away. Stopped praying (actually I couldn’t pray for some reason). Stopped reading my bible and stopped going to church. At that time my “Sin Meter” went through the roof.

    About 2 months or so ago, I forced myself to pray and just ask God for some help. After that I forced myself into the Bible and just read 1 chapter a day. I’ve been doing that now for a couple of months. Almost daily. It is a good thing. I feel like I can communicate with God more. I still haven’t found another church. I’ve been trying this LifeChurch.tv thing and watching some of your sermonettes online too. However, I feel God pushing me to go back to church. I wouldn’t mind going again. Oh and since my first prayer and bible reading, my sin meter has come way down. I still struggle with things but not as badly as I was.

    Thank you for this great post!

    Jeff
    http://www.GODSurfer.com/
    “If you have Articles, Blogs or Sites you want to share with other Christians,
    add them at http://www.GODSurfer.com/ – Where you can help to bring God Online!”

  96. Adriana permalink

    Thank you for your page on fb God uses it to minister to me alot! I pray everyday but sometimes it feels dull, I know God hears me and He answer my prayers but usually I have to make myself pray…how to I make prayer life enjoyable and exciting?? I’m struggling with sin, one in particular I can’t seem to knock it. I do know God forgives me but I still feel guilty because my intentions are to stop and when I’m tempted sometimes I don’t put up much of a fight, I just cave in. I feel like I’ve failed God. I do read the bible almost everyday and I’m working on committing time to spend with God each morning to nurish my soul everyday. The Lord is so faithful, and I’m so thankful for my salvation. -Adriana

  97. LaGina Hill permalink

    Your first paragraph described me to a tee, and I didn’t realize it untill I read your words. Like many people, my children and I are going through a very difficult time right now in our lives. As the adult I am diligently trying to instill in my teenage children that “when one door closes another one will open” I am saying these words to them, and they listen but the looks in their eyes tell me they are doubtful. I now realize, because of all the changes we are having to go through (I will breifly describe) job moved overseas, house forclosed on, moving in with family, changing schools, and I am now in college….With all these many changes my praying and bible reading have seriously taken a back seat, and no one untill now is ever there to suggest lets get down on our knees and pray. Even as I subscribe to your e-mail…today is the first time in weeks I have taken the time to read….Thank you Mr. Brown for waking me up this morn ing with your wonderful words of wisdom.

  98. Dee permalink

    I have been unemployed for far too long. I am without my own home and living with my sister. Feeling like I don’t fit anywhere and wonder a lot why is this happening to me. Read my word, confess my sins but God told me the other night after asking Him what was wrong with me that I was arrogant, prideful and boastful. I feel so bad right now and don’t know what to do. Pleaded the blood of Jesus over what God said I was and reading scriptures on humility. Still trying to move forward, but oh it is so hard. Just so tired of being rejected on every corner.

  99. I struggle with sin on a daily basis.Mainly with booze,it leads me to different lows all the time.I need to do what was said above,bible reading more,pray more and stay close to my church friends.
    Bill

  100. Marshall permalink

    Wow this really hits the nail on the head huh. I have been struggling everyday with my devotion time. There always seems to be some kind of excuse, and its never good enough. It’s time to stop the excuses and get the job done. Amen.

    Thank you for the encouragement.

  101. Becky permalink

    I don’t read the bible as often as I should. I get up and do everything else first. The same with prayer. About church, I am having mixed feelings, sometimes I don’t think I belong there, I feel like no one there cares about me. I know that is a trick of the enemy. I am a leader in the church, and sometimes, just don’t know what to do, and I am struggling with sin….

  102. I had also gotten away from reading my Bible, but I have started reading it last week. My weakist part is not praying enough and not listening to me. I am going to start praising Him, before I start my Bible reading and praying to God. I know that He loves me, but he deserves more of my attention every minute of my life and everyday.

  103. Dear Mark,
    I am seeking God for the anointing of the holy spirit. I’ve been a christian for many years now but have felt like I’m missing something. I have started reading more of my Bible and a personal relationship with the Lord. I’m not there by any means but I’m working on it. I have a wonderful church family and a great pastor. I presently sing with a Southern Gospel Group, called Anointed Vessels. The Lord has been really dealing with our group. He is opening the doors so that we can minister to the lost. We have gone through some trying times and had to distant ourselves from one of our members, He was doing things that were not pleasing to God and it was damaging our ministry. It seems like God has really opened the doors since we asked him to step down. I was just wondering if you could pray for us and this person, God know’s who it is. We are praying for him and asking God to show him the way. He says he is a christian but his fruits do not show it. We are trying to move forward with our ministry and its very hard. Just put us on your prayer list. God bless you, Carole Sell and Anointed Vessels.

  104. How is your Bible reading? How’s the prayer life? How you finding church? What sin are you struggling with right now?

    How’s the Bible Reading?
    It could be alot better. I want to make a binder of the scriptures I’ve studied with notes as well as a personal reference section.

    How’s the prayer life?
    This area is always great! No complaints, I do want to spend time in the morning praying for others needs. I do it as I go throughout the day.

    What sin are you struggling with now?
    I am struggling with anger and frustration. But I am learning to express my feelings and talk it out to others. I also twitter and that helps…lol

  105. Jessica permalink

    I fell away several years ago, and it started just like the blog indicates, my life became a dark disaster. I tried several years ago to start calling out to God, to restore my relationship and have godliness in my life. Right now, I have had my children taken away as a result of a man that I brought in to my life and subsequently married and had a child with. I struggle daily with pain, pain that is unbearable and takes my will to live often. I am reading the bible everyday, praying all day and attending a wonderful church. I had to resign from my teaching career and am wondering if my life is beyond fixing now.

  106. Robyn permalink

    I have lots of problems with reading the Bible… I have multiple sclerosis and it has been affecting my brain which in turn affects my memory and concentration. So when I read my Bible I don’t remember what I read. Trying to get a new treatment which will help that. Please please pray that I can get the new treatment so I can read, remember and Pray like I should.

    • Robyn, I just feel led to pray fro your healing now, I pray that The words of the Bible become alive in your mind and that they fill your spirit with joy. I pray that pain and tiredness leave your body and that the Holy Spirit fills you with vitality and invigoration. Lord Jesus thank you for doing this in your name-Amen!

  107. THAT WAS REALLY A GOOD TEACHING REVD MARK..THANK YOU FOR HELPING ALL OF US TO MAKE SENSE OF FINDING A CHURCH…IN THE PERFECT NAME OF JESUS…I PRAY AND I THANK YOU FOR YOUR GODLY HELP. AMEN

  108. Dee Mulhern permalink

    I have been slipping on my Bible reading , my prayer life is ok, but sometimes I fall asleep talking to Jesus . Is that ok ? And I am now going to Suday school, not just church and am finding it very intresting.

    Please Pray that my reading will get better. I am learning …..

  109. Janana25 permalink

    I think that my BIBLE reading is getting better every day! I try to read the BIBLE every night before I go to bed. My church life is not always «easy»! I haven’t find the «right» Church where I really felt a connection. Most of the time I «pray» in my own home cause its pretty confortable and calm.

    Pray for me especialy regarding my personal life and school. Thank you and God Bless.

  110. raymond wyman permalink

    I have fallen away from bible reading,I have no good study group to get involed with,I pray each day before work.I am going thru some hard times,I know I need to fellowship with other christians…………I fall so short……..please pray for me………………I am at the bottom of the barrel so to speak,I love god and deeply believe in god,god gave me a second chance in life when I rupture my spleen at 12 years old,please pray for me and my family.I need to get right with god

  111. Althea Nelson permalink

    This is a very good article with practical questions. People sometimes forget the importance of these questions and often don’t want to be held accountable to a godly standard, not realizing their lack of commit and failure to submit their lives to the will of God impacts their decision making. The word says you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears and this how you can tell as a Christian when you are not spending time in His word, you began to draw away from the principles of God’s word and fellowship. They may also cease being a witness and become uncover Christian.
    Thanks for this is great spiritual check list.

  112. Jonathon permalink

    i clicked on the link because i was curious as to what the “questions”are.

    now i need to write them down, so i can ask my “war buddies”. and we can do a better job of holding each other accountable. moving on to my comment…

    the first thing i noticed after clicking on the link is the phrase”here i am…”. i just preached my first surmon in front of a church congragation. the title “ansewring Gods call” the key phrase was “here i am”. i cited a few old testament people in that they said to God “here i am” when God called them. the main body of the text was taken from acts 9:, sauls conversion to paul. how we must awnser Gods call!

    which is something i am currently struggeling with. as a teen in high school when people ask “what are you going to do with your life?”, my answer was always i am going to be a youth pastor and a photographer! (with certinty!).

    well for the last 20 years i have been a mechanic and passing as a terrible christian. far from youth pastor, and photography has become a lost passion.

    for about the last two years i have been under the mentorship of an associat pastor at my home church, who has moved on to be the inturm pastor at a chruch plant that my home chruch planted. the chruch plant is where i got to preach my 1st public surmon.
    still a mechanic, but wondering just what God has planned for my life. looking for conformation that i need to make the move into minsitry.

    i find it interesting that today, monday, the day after i preached my first public surmon i find this link that states “here i am…”
    do you think God is trying to say something to me?

    good to hear of your passion for the Lord, keep up the encouragement and spreading the good news,
    love you brother!

  113. derrick permalink

    I think because of my sin I am not able to see the bigger picture in my life while everything i do impact lives of others and end find myself alone with no 1 expect pray to God for looking after me.

    Pray for me that people will respect each other in my family and each and every human being

  114. Lillian permalink

    Hello: Mark, I need to read the bible and pray more often would you please pray for us my fiance and I we just lost to beloved cats and we need prayers they were like our kids that we do not have my kitty past away 9 days ago and our beloved Morrison past away yesterday and we need confort in our heart God bless you.

    Lillian&Emerson

  115. May permalink

    Thank you Mark and everyone! I once was a wayward child for a long time and recently (beginning of this year) returned wholeheartedly and broken to the Father. After sinning and feeling no permanent satisfaction in anything in this hopeless, greedy, selfish, and corrupted world for many years, I got fed up with all this darkness surrounding me and finally surrendered to the Father’s grace. I truely believed that others have been praying for my genuine repentance and that God truly was very gracious and merciful to guide me back to Him. Look at all the pain, sorrow, tears, family dysfunction, sickness, etc. all around us!! We can change the world a little bit at a time, with the power and love of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Our God is a supernatural God and we are meant to walk a supernatural life, representing our victorious King Jesus!! Hallelujah!

  116. I was encouraged by my pastor to get a one year Bible which I did and started reading about 3 months ago. I’m amazed at how alive His Word has become. I am determined to follow thru, even when I have missed a day or two I will make myself read more than a day to catch back up. I pray almost every day but not as much for others as I should. I love my church and my Pastors, I am being well fed and worship is Awesome. The sins I am struggling with is fear and not trusting the Lord like I should, and allowing anger and resentment towards my husband to build up again. But the Lord is gently allowing things in my life that are causing me to have to trust Him, from glory to glory. Amen.

  117. Cherylynn permalink

    I just seperated from my agnostic husband who I married knowing we were unequally yoked. For 12 years I have tried to get him to be a christian but have come to realize that I can’t do it for him and he does not want to. He doesn’t want me to leave him but I am struggling so much to stay with someone whose heart isn’t for God and it so shows in his daily life. I am working at praying more and harder, I am attending a good Bible believing church more now and am making the time to read the Bible more, I am just so sad right now about the way this has turned out. I am praying God gives me direction from here about my marriage.

  118. Darren permalink

    Mark,
    Thank’s so much for reminding us
    How important accountability is. I used to have a close friend that we could just look at each other and know that something was not quite right. He has since moved and we do not get to have the great talks or share struggles with each other and I really miss that connection, that closeness. I am married, but I feel (and this is my opinion) that there are some things that should not be shared with my wife, especially of a sexual nature.
    I have a great church and church family that without I would be lost. One of my biggest downfalls is that I absolutely HATE to read. Reading has never been something that is pleasurable for me. Daily reading, when it happens, is brief and usually related to a topical devotional.
    As a result of sexuat abuse when I was 10 (now 36), I struggle with sexual identity. Recently dabble with online porn, beat myself up with shame and guilt, seek forgiveness, receive it and will do well for a week or two then fall into it’s trap again! I have heard about generational sin and fear that I my Kids will fall into the same traps that I deal with. I pray against that. I listen only to Christian radio, the songs always seem to speak directly to me. The lyrics are usually always in my head or on my lips.
    I am also thankful for the Aussie that the Lord equips to speak to me on facebook each day. Thanks for caring and listening.
    by Grace,
    Darren

    • As long as your “secret” remains so it retains it power. You need to release it and be honest, maybe not to your wife at 1st but it has to come out. These things encompass shame that can literally engulf your life if left unchecked. Do you think its by chance that this happened to you, this was a seed meant to destroy your life long ago. What are you going to do about? Let it ruin your life or take back your power and do something. Turn what was meant for your destruction into something good. Tell your secret!

  119. Joseph permalink

    My Bible reading is not very good. I enjoy reading the bible. It’s not a chore to me like it is to some people but i have a hard time sitting down and reading it. In the past when i have read it, i’ve always only read one chapter at a time (i’m reading it in three places at once though). I realize that to have a deeper understanding of the word i should sit down with the word and read it and ignore time and chapters limitations.

    Prayer is a little better. I pray everyday;however, when i pray it’s a, “polite prayer” it’s not usually a, “Ask, seek and knock” prayer. I need to spend more time praying and to pray vigorously.

    I really enjoy church. My pastor is a good pastor who sticks to the word and teaches on it. I’m finding church enjoyable.

    SIn. That’s a big one. Everyones struggling with something everyday. Me? I’m struggling with my faith. I’d don’t live in a christian household. When i became saved my parents didn’t change their attitude towards me and still expect me to fail and go back to being the little sneaky liar/manipulator i used to be. I’ve been saved a little over a year ago and they still expect me to fail. I receive little support to my faith; for instance, i have subscribed to Pastor Mark Browns blogs, and when i’m really upset or lost about something in faith i call my friends. This is the only spiritual support i receive. It’s very difficult to live with and i struggle Satan’s lies. I’m so very lost with whether i can make my own decisions or i’m supposed to let everything happen to me, the good and the bad. Satan’s lies are so complicated and stupid that it’s too hard for me to explain, but i’m trapped in them and i have no idea what to do. I pray, I read the word, I worship, but i have a hard time standing up against Satan. I am lost.
    Will you pray for me?

    • You are not lost-Jesus found you and that remains forever. You recognize the fact that the evil one if a liar, but now recognize this: He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world. God has won, He has the power and He lives inside you. Walk around with that power and use it-God wants you too! You can make your own decisions-and you already made the best one-to follow Christ. And if you make a mistake, it’s OK God knew what He was getting, you are no surprise to Him. Start holding your head high and put on Gods armor to fight the good fight-He needs to NOW!

  120. Van Rolle. permalink

    My Bible reading has slipped a bit. It used to be every night before I go to bed. But sometimes I just seem so tired. However, I do read other books during my day, such as book on Jesus’s ministry and a book called the Bible in 40 days, which is a summary of all the books of the Bible. Do you think it is wrong that I don’t read my Bible some nights even though I read other books during the day? My prayer life is going great I love to pray. I am active in my Church back home in The Bahamas but I’m away to school right now and recently became a member of a local Baptist Church near my school’s campus. As far as struggling with sin. I want to bind this lustful spirit that tempts me. Please I would love to hear your opinion. Can you email me? Thanks Mark. God Bless You!

    • Read the Bible with joy not because it is some chore. There is no “correct” amount of time for Bible reading-thats between you and God.

      In the name of Lord Jesus-name above all names, I bind the spirit of lust in this persons life, now BE GONE! Amen

  121. linda feger permalink

    Hello to all. This is my first time on this blog. To talk about the steps Mark suggested. I have been a christian for a number of years…but the past 6 or 7 years I have tried to go deeper with my relationship with God. I have done the things Mark suggested and I still find myself seemingly going in a circle. I have needs of salvation for family, healing and deliverance, great need of a financial break through. As I go through this daily walk with the Father, I know He is the answer, He can fill all of these needs according to His riches in glory. I know of His mercy and grace that are made new every day to cover my repented sins. My heart knows His love for me, but my head wants to know why these prayers are not anwered, why I as a believer i cannot be more effective in my walk with Christ. Nonbelievers look on our lives to see evidence of what we say the Word of God says on how to live our lives. But as a believer not to have prayers answered that you know are the will of the Father it is discouraging. When Jesus was on the earth needs were meet and filled at the time they asked. This was done so everyone would know that this was the power of God. Today we need that same example from God to show our families, friends and co-workers that God is alive and well. I guess I need the Father to encourage me, because my heart grows tired and I am weary crying out without an answer. Pray for me.

    • Linda, I HEAR you! Please keep believing and keep hoping. It is a test of endurance-you can NEVER give up. Even if you have to crawl over the finish line you are a winner.

  122. george mcwhinnie permalink

    1)ive read the bible front to end twice the first time left me stunned and the second reading convinced me that it was nothing more than ramblings from middle eastern madmen (always men)who having no answers created god and i hope all of you who live their lives in adherence with this misdirected writing are following its rules dilligently by beating your kids when they talk back, stoning to death your adulteress friends and burning witches at the stake.2)my prayer life?oh please..it is fact that prayer has no affect on any outcome at all. yes your prayers may seem to be answered occasionally but think about what you prayed for….something that had a very good likelihood of actually happening..but please convince me otherwise…maybe if all of you prayed at once for a pet unicorn youd get one..cmon try it…id love to see the results. 3)i like many others (a percentage which grows bigger every year now) find church and its ancient misguided doctrines to be completely irrelevent and the god you adhere to to be lazy rude jealous murderous incestual perverted and quite powerless..but of course god loves you…and he hates the 10 million children who die of starvation or disease annually…and cant be bothered to end the eternal religious wars fought over mere interpretation of his manmade word.4)as the rules in the bible about sin are impossible to follow100% i find sin along with faith to be very scary controlling ideas that churhces use to keep their weak minded followers in line…there is right and wrong…but the idea that planting different types of plant in the same plot is sinful (leviticus) is just silly. though i remain endlessly curious about what people see in the bible that allows them to ignore all the god made evil and believe these lies…for the record i believe something made all this but as it has not been made at all obvious as to who what or why it was done that its okay to not know and that life is the real gift and a truly intelligent creator would reward those who asked questions rather than sucked upto him their whole wasted lives….

    • Lord Jesus I pray that george finds the way, the truth and the life. Amen

  123. Elizabeth Swartzendruber permalink

    I am reading through the Bible and IT is not as consist as it should be but I am finding that when I do read the Bible the day goes much better and I have a better outlok in life. My prayer life is great and I am being blessed by see God answer prayer also when friends come with thier problems and we share together then I reminded more of how much praying for myself for wisdom and for each other is important. I love my church and I have recently decided that if I want my church to be a certain way then I first of all need to be that kind of person Thank you God for that revelation. The sin I struggle with the most is being satisfied with where God has placed me and sumission and reverence for my husband. My husband is a godly man and I think to often we women take that helpmeet role and use it to dictate our husband when God asked us to submit to them and that does not mean we are any less worth but God has placed the husbands as leaders in our homes and we need to trust God and pray for them in that GREAT responsability because they will have to answer to God some day and not us on how they did.

  124. Darlene Aaron permalink

    You are right on the mark today! This is what God was already dealing with me about for the past week or so. I won’t list my issues, but I am determined to get back on track more often with my prayer and daily Bible reading. God bless!

  125. Gina Booth permalink

    Not so good since I packed my Bible in the move. I’m in Berea & all my stuff is in Seville…45 minutes away. I love Jesus like crazy. I can always improve prayer life, I just tend to get distracted with my 3 year old & whatever else consumes my mind. I definately have absolutely NO ALONE TIME right now. Church is good, will be better when it’s back on schedule – regular routine (child care available again.) This is after next Sunday. What sin am I struggling with? Is not knowing how to enjoy life a sin? I always feel I have to be doing something or making something better. I don’t know how to enjoy life. I only sometimes have energy & know how to enjoy my daughter. I feel sorry for her because I’m usually drained. There’s got to be some kind of train of thought I have that needs to change. (Of course allergies don’t help me either. Plus the heat this summer has drained me.)

  126. mandy permalink

    My sin that i am struggling with is, sex and not being married. Ive met someone, and have been dating for a while now. The subject of being married before sex hasnt come up yet, and not exactly sure when it does, how it will go. I want to be pleasing to GOD, and I also want a relationship, we havent had sex yet, but Im sure it will come up

    • Don’t go it,not because God wouldn’t forgive you because He would. But it would only end in drama, why put yourself thru that. The trap has been baited-don’t take the bait. If this guy cares anything for you at all he would want the right thing done. Relationships are great, everybody wants one, but do it the right way and save yourself the heartbreak.

  127. Steve Gill permalink

    Hey Mark…
    Not to be discouraging… but since when do I need to be “rated” by anyone with how I’m doing with God. I really am finding God more outside of “MY CHURCH” then inside “MY CHURCH”. In America our churches still tend to think we have to be noticed for our helpfullness. Most of the time when people ask me those types of questions, they are doing it out of Self Rightousness. Mark…. I pray unceasingly (At least by my standards). I put God FIRST and FOREMOST in everything I do. Yet…. my church wonders where I am when I miss worship and then they ask “Are you Ok?”. I don’t even need to tell them that I’ve begun my ministry because I’ve asked them a million times to join me as I walk into the streets and build relationships with people of poverty and of different color. We should be asking questions like “How can I help you brother” instead of “Are you praying?” or “Are you going to church”. Besides, church is not a building. THE CHURCH is God and we are His Children. We should act like it and listen when he says “Go…. “. If I go to “MY CHURCH”, I’m not Going to the place where God is leading me. Every time we ask…. we should be very careful that we are not anything more than sinners in need of a Savior. The closer I draw to God, the less I feel like I’m able to ask people about their faith because I see how weak I am with mine. Love to you Mark…. I’m thankful for your awesome “questions” about how to walk this amazing path. I find it harder and harder, but I can see where GOD IS DOING AMAZING THINGS THROUGH ME. I am truly humbled that he uses little ole me. I love Him so much that I see prayer as being as natural as breathing and I open up the word whenever I forget the word that I know Has Been Written on my heart. Peace to all who follow The Lord. Enjoy your day in this temporary world.

    • Sonya permalink

      Enjoyed what you said – I agree with a lot of it. I am a “baby” Christian – 3 years old. I really look at my prayer life as a conversation, more than being on my knees all the time. Not that He’s not worth of that, because He is but He’s my friend, my teacher and all the other words we can come up with. I conversate out loud a lot with Him and people sometimes wonder who I am talking to by the looks I get, but its alright. He is in my heart and I know He knows it! I need to church to help me learn, to get out of my isolation of doing it all myself. I am just realizing that I am a part of a family now, God’s family and I’m not alone, we are all in this together! I do believe though that we are to be accountable to a degree to eachother, it says that in the bible and I don’t think that Mark meant to, but there are some church’s out there who take it a little to far! Would like to write more, but dinner calls – actually the kids. Thanks for the comments!!

  128. RedRose permalink

    I am struggling with letting go of what I want and going with what God wants. Sometimes I can’t tell what God’s will is or what he wants me to do and when he tells me sometimes I ignore it or act like that wasnt him speaking to me it was the enemy. I have a false security or comfort in my guy friends (nothing sexual) good christian guys that help me but i run to them before i run to God sometimes. My other sin is that I have a problem with loving and honoring my parents especially my father. There is almost no love in me for my family and I hate it. Please keep me in your prayers I know I will be delivered from this all.

  129. Sonya permalink

    God has recently given my employment that has showed up just on time / God’s time and I know this is all Him, but the hours and work have completely exhausted me all together. Then next week, kids back to school (homework) and I too am taking 2 college classes (homework) added on top! How do I fit all this in? Oh and He also connected me with a lady from church (I’ve been avoiding for a year – scared of close relationships) and she is starting a new womens ministry at our church with a sunday school class after service & I am now a part of that team!!

    What to do??

    1. Too tired to read, so I haven’t!
    2. Talk to God on the way to work, at night I pray in bed for a second, till I either fall asleep or I get so emotional all the time (when I even think about talk/pray to him) and there seems like so much to say but it will take to long and I am so tired so I just don’t do it!! I used to prayer walk but have had issues with one of my feet, so I haven’t been able to!
    3. Go to church every Sunday!! But this new job I just missed last Sunday because I had to work. Scared to ask for Sunday Mornings off for church being a new employee and they are very busy right now too! Don’t know what to do – I cried Sun Am when I couldn’t attend.
    4. Dealing with sin, don’t think about it too much but am convicted all the time if my “attitude” is wrong or words also! Do ask for forgiveness but I’m sure there is more that I just don’t see…

    Need Prayer please Mark! I know God won’t give me more than I can handle and right now I am leaning on Him more and more, because I can’t do all these things without Him, He’s all I have!!

  130. Julie permalink

    I don’t pray as often as i should. I try and make and effort but you know we get lazy at times. I don’t force myself to sit down and read the bible as often as i like. It’s all in disiplining myself. I feel what the one guy said about prayers hitting the celing. I feel the same way. I feel like he isn’t listening sometimes when things just fall apart. I thought he was punishing me for something, but my friends were telling me, no he is just testing your faith. I can understand that. The thing is i am in love with a man, (Who’s name i am keeping anonymous) who doesn’t even know who i am. I have prayed for God to make this possible, and i know he can work miracals. And i kinda see some of his works in it, but it’s just not happening. I am fustrated on it. I have asked God for sign after sign, that i don’t know what to do. He shows me signs, that tell me not to forget this man, but nothing to tell me what i should do. I am fustrated. I was so fustrated one day i said “God please take this love i have for him away if we are not meant to be together. if he is not what i need.” I still love him as deep as i did before. I just don’t understand. Anyone have any advice on what it i should do????

    • the fact that you are “frusterated” means there is no peace present in this matter. you have to move on and move past this “man”. if it were God speaking you would have peace about it. this might sound harsh and i know i dont know all the details but try it for awhile.

  131. Julie permalink

    Please notify me Via e mail with any advice anyone can give jui36@hotmail.com

  132. Mark, this is exactly what I’ve just gone thru!!!! Amazing how we look good on the outside but people really don’t know what’s going on inside our hearts right?! I have pledged to read my bible daily now & as for church, I live & work in Kuwait so that is not really a possibility but online churches are so! Sin, well there are a few I’m dealing with but God is seeing me through them day by day. God’s timing is so right on the money, thank you for being faithful! We never know how we touch other’s lives so please keep doing what you’re doing. You’re going to have a long receiving line in heaven of people that are going to thank you for your contribution in getting them to heaven!!!!!!!! Have a blessed day.

  133. MelissaC permalink

    I read the bible just about every day. My prayer life is lacking greatly, because I can’t think of what to say most of the time and when I do it seems that I say the same things over and over again. If I were God I would get tired of hearing me.
    I have a terrible time going to church because I have a social phobia. It has always kept me out of church. I only have one friend but I am afraid of losing her because of social anxiety. The bible commands us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. I guess that is a sin that I do over and over. There are some sins that I can’t seem to get victory over, but I don’t go very long before I am asking for forgiveness.

    Please pray that the Lord sets me free from social phobia so I can be a part of the family that I became a part of when I got saved. And please pray that God gives me more to say. Thanks and God Bless!!!

  134. Lauren permalink

    I can’t stop thinking evil thoughts. I get bad thoughts about Jesus all the time. Like he is a deceiver or something. I pray everyday to God and ask him to help me to love him and have faith in him. I’m selfish and when I do good, I expect something in return. Im not patient at all. I beg God to help me believe in him and that Jesus is my lord and savior. I’m always doubting and am easily influenced my the bad things I hear or see. I just don’t seem to have any faith or love what- s-every. Is it right to only want to love God to go to heaven?

    • The devil is a liar and does not want to see you set free. You believe that Jesus is who he says he is and the rest will come. 1st know that those thoughts are from the evil one who wants to steal your joy. Fight the evil one with a weapon that he cant beat, the sword of the spirit which is the word of God. Seriously-its time to take back your joy and it will begin with this knowledge.

  135. crystal permalink

    Well, growing up attending a great Christian elementary school with a very faithful grandmother & other relatives I had a wonderful walk with God, though I still dealt with problems. After deciding I wanted to try public school in Jr High I never went back. Youth group & church kept me going, & I got a great teen study Bible that I began reading regularly & began a journey to try to read the whole Bible. I got pretty stuck, though, and gave up. Later, towards the end of Jr High I said a curse word for the first time. It went downhill for from there. I began to be interested in boys & let that become greater than my interest in God. I had friends that would taunt me about my faith & assumed I was ignorant for it & would incessantly argue evolution, pro-choice ideals, & so on to me. Eventually I broke down. I went to a secular college & tried alcohol, drugs, sex outside of marriage, became interested in Buddhism, and many other sins. I fell, surprise, surprise, into a deep depression. But I never truly gave up God. & He was always giving me ways to come back to him. At the end of my senior year of college I met a nice boy who was a strong believer & we started going to Church together on Sunday morning, I didn’t realize it at the time but it was a great witness to our friends that we would retire early on Saturday nights while everyone else partied. Anyhow, I began playing piano for a local church and still felt like I was going through the motions- but I began to wish I felt God’s love for real. I was living wrongfully & unwed with my boyfriend for a year after college while working to pay off my school debts. I kept making the same mistakes over & over. Eventually I moved to a farm to begin work with my hands that I believed in- that benefited humans & where I would be consuming minnimally- no running water & growing my own food. Before hand I attended a Buddhist meditation course (10 days silence learning this technique) & there realized that I should be walking with God; the last day I felt like this was a terrible place, became afraid for my soul, & prayed. Suddenly the overcast sky opened up & the sun shone down directly on me- I was the only person outside. I felt renewed & ready to rededicate my life to Jesus. Amazing how God works! Well, easier said then done, but during my time at the farm (where I currently still am & have since found a wonderful church home) I went home to Maine for a visit, and wouldn’t you know my amazing Grammy asked me to accompany her to church. She took me to the church where the pastor there had baptised me in my youth. He spoke out of Ephesians & I got riveted. I wanted to read more. I had to stop myself from reading on so I could hear the rest of message! I got home and found my old Bible- started to drive off back to Mass (from Maine) without it but remembered a block away, turned around ,& got it (one of the smarted and most God-interceded acts of my life!). Anyhow, I’ve been reading daily ever since, with only 2 misses, when I’ve been traveling. I love prayer & I love to read. I can’t believe I ever didn’t like to read! (also read a free book online- Revolution in World Missions- very good.) Sometimes I hate to stop- I read in the mornings when I can, at lunch when I have time, and always before bed. I usually pray whenever someone or something comes up – blessing or need, and usually also at night. I’ve been getting vocal online or should I say; type-al??) about my faith, without even thinking about it- and it’s been an exciting journey to see the responses. I think God has truly used my mistakes for his Glory- I now understand the issues many non-believers feel about Christianity (boy are there a plethora of misunderstandings/misconceptions & false teachings, biases, & errant paradigms). I can relate and prove that the true message is above human mistakes and that we don’t have to settle for mediocrity in life! I’m still a neophyte but I’m loving being able to see how God has worked in my life so far. My current it may be a guise- a physical manifestation of some other problem. But I feel sinful in A) spending money & B) indulging my desires, also C) harming the holy temple that is the blessing of the body I’ve been given on this earth. I’m relatively fit, but I give myself stomach aches often & feel terrible about myself- how can I justify low self-esteem with God on my side? I’m praying to God to give me strength- food is such an important part of the Bible- between fasting & the breaking of bread in rememberance of Him I know I could be doing better- not hoarding & storing up but giving my surplus- which is why God allows us such. I want to give more, in general, also. I want to spend less- many of these Christian values are ideals shared with those interested in the environmental movement & “hippies”. Paul talks about the wisdom in the world- he doesn’t say it isn’t accurate or true; he explains that what’s missing is God. Anyway- I’m also trying to learn to give my cares & worries to God & remain balanced all the time, living contentedly in the moment. I want to be his witness through my actions & give up my life for His works. Loving and building up the people around me and letting go of the ego. Dealing better with anger. I definitely need help, and I feel blessed to see things like this website. God bless every one of you.

  136. Hi Mark,I believe in God. I don’t read the bible, I do pray to god though and to my guardian angels to keep everyone in my family safe.Just not everyday. I have to many sins to even count. I am really struggling with one of my sins. I also don’t have time to go to church, I work 2 jobs, take care of 4 children and a husband. I would like to be more christian then what I am, I am not sure on how to do it.

    • Just keep believing in Christ and praying (talking) to Him-never stop! He will show you the way

  137. Ali Michelle Bordsen permalink

    I read my Bible every night. I have to or I cannot sleep. :] I love reading my Bible. I pray all the time throughout the day. If I need help or someone else needs help I pray. I am finding church as a great thing. I go four times a week for four sessions. Once Wednesday, Once Saterday and Twice Sunday. I am the only one in my family that goes so it is extremely hard to get rides sometimes but I usually get there. I love it. I don’t know what I’m struggling with, it varies on the day. Sometimes lying and sometimes I just need to be nicer. But I definitley push temptation away as much as possible. I have stopped cussing, listening to bad music, watching bad movies that my parents watch, and more. :]

  138. Barry permalink

    Dear Mark, Thanks for asking some really challenging questions. I need work in all three areas. Need to pray more often, need to read the Bible more and need to break my addiction to ciggarettes. I opened your email just after I got up this morning and it made me begin the day with a jolt. I’m going to think about your challenge all day today and really ask myself the hard questions. Thanks for the link to ‘Life Church,’ I’d never heard of it before and am keen to check it out. Bless Ya Mate, Regards, Barry.

  139. Kim permalink

    I’ve slacked in the past year. I haven’t been reading my word, praying or going to church faithful. I really don’t like the church I go to, I’m not being “fed” there. But my husband won’t leave. He’s not being “fed” either (his actions prove it, considering he goes to church faithfully.). He’s on a ministry there that acts more like a fraternity. He also likes the fact that people think highly of him there, but I know its not where we should be. So I’ve been staying home watching different sermons on tv. I want to please God so today I read my word and prayed and I’m going to commit to doing this everyday. I’m also going to go back to church with my husband and pray that something changes so that we can be spiritually fed. The sin I’m struggling with right now is lust. My husband’s sex drive is terribly low. I find myself dreaming of straying and getting satisfaction from other men. Although I haven’t had sex with anyone, I’ve come terribly close. Its the guilt of letting God down that stops me. My husband’s feelings aren’t considered at all. I’m praying that God blesses our sex life so that we can both be happy.

  140. Denise permalink

    Dear,Mark i try to do what’s right by the lord i pray every night ,althought i don’t go to church every sunday i have to work am a single mom who live from pay check to pay check to support her four kid ,so i keep giving god his praise and ask that god forgives me of my sins!

  141. I am curious Mark. Why are you attending an online church instead of a local church where you can gather with your brothers and sisters in worship? There’s nothing like a hug from a fellow believer and to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. Do you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit online?

    • Hey! I attend a church offline as well. And yes I feel the Holy Spirit online! The Holy Spirit is not limited by a building! 🙂 God bless, Mark

  142. josephine permalink

    I admit that my relationship to our God was not that strong right now. before i have a great relationship with Him but after 4yrs i change maybe due of my working style and environment, But i’m looking forward to come back my optimistic that i use to do before once in awhile i’m praying that He will forgive me and i do the same i use to be. its a beautiful feeling with the lord is all simple and peaceful life everything is so easy no fear, no worries and i miss that I hope i will be free in my sin in God’s time.

  143. Debora Shores permalink

    My church life is good, although I could be more involved. My prayer life is good. I pray a lot. My Bible reading is, well, Ok, I’m not reading big passages, but I’m studying and praying scriptures that I receive each day from a variety of places. So, I guess my Bible reading could improve. My sin I’m struggling with is keeping my spirit up while our family is going through a really, really difficult time. I have faith in God. I believe He is here with us. I believe it will work out in the end, but the going through is very, very hard and things just keep coming at us. Each time we get comfortable with the fact that God will get us through, then something else happens to make it worse. My spirit has just been low the last couple of weeks and I know that is not what God would have me be. I also struggle with correcting my adult children’s behaviors that I know are sin. One part of me says, they are adults, it is their lives, and I shouldn’t interfere. Another part of me says if I don’t try to correct their sin, then it is my sin as well. I guess my sin in this is not knowing which to do, or knowing what I should do and not doing it. I’ve been dealing with some past sins that I have acknowledged and received forgiveness for such as selfishness and not being where I was needed. I still deal with some unforgiveness of myself. I deal with some hurt and anger at people who have caused us so much harm and I am trying to forgive them and pray for them as God would have me to do. If you would pray for me, it would mean so much to me.

  144. Cheyenne permalink

    Ive started going back to church about 3-4 months ago I havent been since I was little. I go to Faith Temple I love it there. I resently got saved which was awsome! I do need to read my bible more then just on sundays though. I pray all the time doesnt matter where I am I pray. Ive come to the Lord about my sins and I know that he has forgiving me but I do still need to work on some of the things I say.I do know that he will help give me strength and guide me and my family and I love it.

  145. Kathy permalink

    Mark, I watched LifeChurch.tv last night, and I really like it, but I’ve been wondering – is that your only church now? I hope you and your family still physically attend a church in your community. That fellowship is very important. Online church cannot take the place of it.

  146. I want to be reading all the time, but I am falling short. I have decided that since my girls went back to school, I am going to focus on getting close to God again by reading and praying. I am going to focus on my calling of writing more and believing that if God called me to do it, as long as I stay close to Him, He will guide my words. I struggle with doubt, worry and trust. I know, however, if I stay close to Him, those worries and doubt will disappear into Him and I can trust that His word is true.

    Be blessed in your Journeys!
    wt

  147. Dana permalink

    God created us all human which means he knew we would make mistakes.He does not judge us. He loves us.He is always with us.When people say to me I found God THATS GREAT. HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE U HAD TO DECIDE TO SIT STILL AND LISTEN. Church is a place that like minded people go to worship the lord. Who decides who is right and who is wrong? I do what I feel in my heart that guides me. Love laugh and sing my friends….

  148. I try to read a scripture at least once during the morning when I am starting my day. I pray some days all days it all depends on what my strugles are for that day. I am a Seventh-day adventist but I left the church six years ago because I was holding positions in church but my prayer life was weak. I recently went to visit with the pastor and have not been back. every saturday I wake up and say that today is my day but I am afraid. My sins are many my biggest one is smoking cigarettes and I hate that I do smoke. I am praying now that God will continue to be patient with me and he knows that I will not give up the good fight.

  149. Tammy Sheppard permalink

    Hi Rev Mark. These are good questions. I read my Bible everyday. I pray when I think of it. I need to work on that a little more. I’m a massage therapist so I work on a lot of people. Sometimes I pray over them as I work. I don’t go to church for a number of reasons. One, my work makes it extremely difficult to go. Two, I’m tired of running into false teachers and people who only claim to be Christian but are not saved. I have my own faults and don’t need help sinning. The sin I’m struggling with most right now, is hating people who abuse me because of their position in life. I can put up with a lot. But just like everyone else I have my limits. I’ve put up with all kinds of abuse over the years. But as I get older and because I see everyday how wicked people can be, I have less patience with abusive people. And I find it extremely difficult to pray for them. I find myself wishing evil upon them instead of praying for them to see the error of their ways. It’s something that bothers me when I think about how offensive that is to God. I need God’s help with this in a major way. God bless you Rev Mark for the work that you’re doing.

  150. Barbie permalink

    My bible reading isn’t very good. I only read a few verses when I really need it. But not often enough. My prayer life is not good either. I do pray but not enough. I pray the Lords prayer once in a while but I have allot of bad habits that I need prayer to stop doing. I feel like I’m stuck in a stressful rut that makes me feel guilty.

    I go to church every once in a while. Like one Sunday I’ll go and then like 3 or 4 Sundays later I’ll go. Something like that. I think that my church is boring most of the time and the people there near my age don’t hardly talk to me. I did have one friend there but she left probably for the same reasons I want to leave.

    Right now I am struggling with overeating cause I love food. I am obese and need to loose 65 pounds to get to my goal weight. I am also struggling with depression cause I have hypothyroidism and cause of a bad attitude off and on ever since I lost my sister Tammy who had Cystic Fibrosis. I lost her in 1998. I wish I never got angry when I lost her which is the reason why I have to now overcome some annoying habits. God does bless me and I do have happy days but I need prayer that God and Jesus will give me the strength to overcome my fears and help me be the way Jesus wants me to be. Sorry this was long.

  151. Amanda permalink

    I read the bible about every other day. I pray continually, I try to talk to God all the time during the day & I pray in a prayer journal about every other day. Church is great, but it’s the only time I fellowship with other believers. The sin I struggle with currnetly is letting food control my life instead of God.

  152. Andrea permalink

    My bible reading is very little every day. I usually read it in a devotional or in a blog. I really need to devote more time to reading the Word and praying more every single day, even if I have to lose some more sleep until I get into the habit. I love church and wish I could go every day.
    The sins I struggle with are lust and fearful thoughts. I have been divorced for four years and at 38, it’s a struggle to be single-again and be a single mother. That’s at any age!! Please pray for me. I haven’t dated at all and have had no physical affection for four years!! I know I can wait on God but it’s difficult.
    Blessing to you all for reading my silly post!!
    Andrea

    • Hang in there. Life and come forth from the ashes 🙂

  153. C.M.D permalink

    We really need to stress the importance of fellowship… not online but in person, with other believers.

    Hebrews 10:24-25:
    And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day (of the Lord) approaching.

    As I look back over the past year, though I’ve gotten bumped around and bruised, meeting with the same believers, each week, in a small group, has helped me grow, and I have seen progress in overcoming temptations. I think we are more prone to temptation if we’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. And when all 4, good night! So, try to take that step off your island back onto the mainland. It won’t be easy, but there will be blessings that will help make up for the hardships.

  154. Fabiola Andrea permalink

    Hey Mark!
    You really have no idea about how deep has this message thouched me. I’m struggling with my going to the church… so, as i have not seen any christian lately, anybody had asked me those important questions. And the las time someone did, i felt judge…. So i want to underline this important thing God has showed us through you: asking in love! 🙂
    Almost nothin is going good with me lately… i think i’m so far away from God rigth now… but also i’m trying to get back, back to home.
    Blessings!

  155. i need to fellowship with other christians. i read the bible and pray but find it difficult to connect with others. i just dont like people sometimes. traditional sunday church turns me off-what else is there?

  156. Karen Goldie permalink

    It always to read these blogs and find that we all are fighting the same battles and that we or (I) am not alone…I Have a Good Prayer life and I love church a Great Pastor who preaches Great lessons from Gods word…My Greatist struggle is Bible reading…I have a hard time finding where to read and even if I start a program like reading in a year…I still have struggles with it….I want the word to speak to me and to understand what I am reading …I do better in reading the New Testement and then I feel guilty about not reading enough..I also know that memorization is important and I have problems with that..I know Rom 12:1 says we need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind…I struggle with making the time to concentrate on what is most important in the spiritual life which should really be number one…I KNOW GOD LOVES ME in spite of my inadequacys… God will help me…. God Bless You All!!! kg

  157. Rosemary Potter permalink

    Mark Right now I am struggling with self discipline. The Sundays that my grandchildren are not able to go with me, I tend to stay home and watch Church Services at home. I am going through pretty severe depression, that not for my faith I would have committed suicide long ago. It’s so hard being alone and getting old. God bless you for sharing, it makes it easier to share with you. RoseMary.

  158. kirsti rodrigues permalink

    Lately, i have been getting farther and farther away but at the same time it doesnt. sorry if that doesnt make any sense. i know that in my time of need when i pray to God and try to give it my all, He does truely answer my prayers. At other times though when i pray and do give my all at times, it feels like my heart isnt all there though i know it is. My family has stopped going to Church for sometime and the last time we went to Church was for Easter and then we went to this Christian concert. I feel as though i am getting farther away, but everytime i ask my mom if we can go to Church she tells me no. even though it is only half an hour or so away. I feel as though Church is very important in my life right now especially because i was going through a rough patch in my life and now i am trying to pick up the pieces. I know that before i made an attempt to try to Bible study every night, but at some point, i just stopped doing and dont really remember why. Recently though, I have picked up Bible studying again and have been reading from the book of Pslams because it really relaxes me and gives me more hope.
    Recently, I just talked to one of the counselors at the Church. We have been emailing and trying to set up an appointment because i really feel more comfortable in a Christian enviroment talking about my problems and what really is nice is that through this i can most likely and hope to get closer to God. and hopping it really does help with the issues i have been having recently. well this wednesday i plan to go in and talk to the counselor. i really want to get back to God, and really want to just live my life to the fullest for God

  159. Jodi permalink

    Bible reading could be better, I do however do devotions and get scriptures sent to me multiple ways every day. Need more Prayer. Love church, however, it could get to feeling like a chore because I recently became a member of the staff. I’m required to be at all church events as expected and in service every Sunday. I would be there anyway… The politics and gossiping and dealing with everyone on staff is exhausting. My sin is allowing others discontent to make me discontented. In also allowing feelings of helplessness and wanting to quit into my life regarding my business on the side. I don’t have anyone in my life who will check me on spiritual matters. That’s difficult, I think. I appreciate your devotions, I appreciate these questions!

  160. brenda king permalink

    I am now reading His word & praying daily. I am learning from His word, who I am in Christ Jesus. And growing into His image. The truth of His word is making me free. I am being established in His word and continuing in His word. I am learning line upon line and precept upon precept here a little and there a little. His Spirit is my teacher. He is giving me understanding of the scriptures and teaching me to rightly divide His words of truth. And as I read I am learning to meditate in His word. And as I meditate, He is wriitting it upon the tables of my heart and appling it to my life. His Spirit of life is making His written word come alive in me. I give Him praise.

  161. eyeamm permalink

    Keep hope alive…

    http://www.eyeamcash.net

  162. John permalink

    Mark, I love your thinking. We christians have become so caught up in the normal daily rushing around of life that we have moved away from really worshipping our creator.

    I look forward to reading your emails.

    John

  163. Frederik permalink

    I gave it all up i just wish my dieing day could come

  164. Frederik permalink

    Help cuz i gave every thing up

  165. Fritz permalink

    My husband & I read the Bible daily. Me, my daughter & my son pray 2geder every night. We became closer to God now that we are experiencing hardships in life. We know that He is the answer to all our prayers. Just continue praising & obeying the Lord so that He will open the gates of heavens for His overflowing blessings in His own perfect time…

  166. Charles permalink

    Hi, Mark,

    I can entirely relate with what you have spoken about. I am currently at that point where i just cannot seem to read my biuble and sustain fellowship with the lord either by prayer or meditation. And I am also coming from a place of commitment and dedication to the lord and his work as I was a fellowship leader while I was in school a few years ago. It’s so painful right now because I have fallen into sin and I just cannot find my way out of it. My earnest desire is for the redemptive power of the blood to cleanse me and set me back on the right path. Thanks for setting up this blog. I am greatly encouraged the words and scriptures shared here. May the lord grant all your hearts desires.

  167. I have sinned by not weddding my husband and we have lived as such for more than ten years now .It hurts me badly and I have given up talking him into accepting to tie a knot.I read the bible rarely and I fail to pray most of the time because I have stressed over some things which I have prayed for for four years and it not coming right.

  168. Anna permalink

    Wow, I thought I was the only one holding on to my sins after giving them to God. They haunt me because God is so good to me, so I’m ashamed. Mark, thank you for being real, open and honest. Most of all obedient to God because every blog helps me daily. God bless you.

  169. Shannon Buttram permalink

    I received this email around 4:30am my time. I just recently came out of surgery and forgiveness has been heavy on my heart. I myself have trouble on forgetting after asking for that forgiveness. I also have troubles letting go or the hurt people have done upon me. Especially my husband. I have been deeply hurt by him and I retaliated by trying to hurt him back. This has been going on for two years now. We both understand and know the word or God, right from wrong, and we still do this behind closed doors. I pleed for help in letting go and moving forward. We, as well as our son attend church everytime the door is open and are involved. As soon as those doors close we are on a war path. I have been trying to understand this for sometime now. I no longer want to stray from God, nor be tempted by the devil. Reading this at the time I have really touched me. My head may still be a little loopy from my anesthetists, but my heart is pure and willing. This is just the message I needed to hear! Thank you and God Bless! Any advice for me is welcome, just email me at Shannon.buttram@yahoo.com

  170. HI WE FALL DOWN BUT WE GET UP, NEVER GIVE UP NO ONE EVER SAID IT WOULD BE EAZY, BUT I BELERVE GOD IS LOOKING FOR US TO HOLD ON TO LIFE AND HIS UNCHANGEING HAND I AM NOT PERFECT EITHER I READ WHEN I CAN AND PRAY EVERYDAY EVEN THOUOUT THE DAY FOR MYSELF AND FAMILY, I KEEP BELIEVEING GOD HEAR’S ME HE MUST BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN THOU IT ALL AND AM READY FOR ANYTHING, IF I HAD TIME TO GO THOU THE LIST IT WOULD BE TO LONG, BUT I WILL SAY OH AND I LOVE MY CHURCH WITCH IS IMPORTAINT TO LOVE GOD’S PEOPLE HIS CHILDREN BUT TIME, WIND, AND LOVE WILL BEAT ON YOU BUT PRESS ON, TAIRD WERRIED AND SOMETIME SICK BUT I REFUSSE TO GIVE UP HE IS MY BEST FRIEND, PROBLEM’S AND FRIEND’S COME AND GOOD BUT GOD HAS NEVER LEFT ME NORE FORSAKED ME I BELIEVE THAT. JUST REPENT AND DONT GO BACKWARDS LIFE IS TO SHORT.FORWARD IN THE LORD…

  171. Greg permalink

    Forgive myself? Hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do.

  172. david s permalink

    I am struggling, I am miserable and unhappy. I am having a hard time reading the Bible and praying.

  173. Dorothy permalink

    This is about SIN.. I have only been baptized for about a month. When I gave myself to JESUS as JESUS taken me in.. all the sins of my past and I mean all seem to have just poofed away on me.. Now sometimes i do think about some of the stupid things I had done and usually its do to someone from my past who thinks they know me.. but the funny thing is – is that they don’t know me, JESUS knows me’ and all i have done is gone’ AMEN!!
    My big sin now is that I am not doing enough for JESUS.. as in reading the Bible, going to church , getting out there and talking about Him.. I am on my own journey and it is not for me to make that path but GOD, I will just follow ..
    Now for the minor things i do wrong ( which are sins ) I pray alot and alot and write it on a small paper and throw in the trash bin.. but my faith is in Jesus..

  174. Frederick permalink

    Today is the first day I have watched livechurch…I really enjoyed the message and all the helpful info you all give on everything.I gave myself to christ years ago, but was never baptized.I really thought that was good enough, but what I heard today that was just a surrender to jesus…I now know I must be baptized…I really hope God puts his hand on this ministry…The only worry I have is, don’t it say in the end of time there will be one organization,one group??? I heard Mark Brown say those very words on his facebook account??? I was just concerned…

  175. Cheryl permalink

    1. Read the bible and daily devotional everyday
    2. Pray for family, friends, those in the community and myself frequently. Pray at dinner every night
    3. Attend church most Sundays
    4. The sins I’m dealing with are forgiveness, living with boyfriend outside of marriage, quick to speak before thinking

  176. Bill permalink

    Mark,

    I too am struggling with forgiveness right now, and I must learn to forgive myself. The deep shame and and guilt that I feel are as a result my unwillingness to let go of the past, and who am I to not offer myself forgiveness ?? It’s arrogant, as the Lord has forgiven ME, so in effect I could be negating His Grace. Today- I will forgive myself, and move on, as He has done. Grateful for His unconditional Love.

    Bill

  177. Dennis Bisner permalink

    I too have the problem of not letting go of my past sins. While I know that I have been forgiven it is really hard to accept that forgiveness. I ask God for the wisdom to know that and let go, and let God. This is easily the hardest thing I have to do in my life. I pray daily for all those lost souls that have not found God yet. Thanks Pastor Mark for your great insights.

  178. Crystal Mora permalink

    I too like you am struggling with the forgiveness of myself but dealing with forgiving others who have harmed me. I have to let it go because I know the outcome if I dont. I want to so I can finally be free. I want to have the Victory, their offense is only hurting me…

  179. lisa permalink

    Oh Jesus! this is my letter to you.A few months back,i was in love with you that even i felt to become a nun dedicating my life to you.but afterwards after havin an account in Facebook, i feel that i am going away from you.please make me closer to you Jesus.I agree that i am a sinner .God please help me to decide my future.whatever is your plan i need to be with you.but i am going away from you.i don’t know what to do Jesus.please help me

  180. Kristen permalink

    I have a hard time letting go of my sins from the past. I guess I find it difficult to let go, because I’m afraid they will be brought up again by someone who wants to use my sins against me or just talk about in general. I do not find it hard, however to let go of wrong doings done by others, which is a blessing because no one should harbor bad feelings of the past by anyone. I’ve learned to forgive others and not necessarily forget, but to move on from the past. I’m in the process of trying to learn that same thing with my own sins.

    • Steve Gill permalink

      Kristen….
      Last week we didn’t have enough money for food so we needed to humble ourselves before The Lord and accept a “giving” of food from a friend. I used to find it so hard to receive any GRACE from anyone because I was a giver and loved helping people in there time of need. But, God knows what I need so he is teaching me to understand what it means to be a graceful receiver.

      This is after I had come to Him and asked forgiveness over all my sins and I struggled to forgive myself for those things I had done like you. I was afraid that the woman I had extra marital affairs with would ruin my marriage after I told my wife I had cheated on her. God’s grace has put all the pieces to what I was afraid of together. I can’t run from my past. I have to run to it and put it at God’s throne and He WILL DO THE REST.
      God’s Grace has already washed away your sin. Not acknowledging that the God of the Universe can wash it clean is part of what we all do afterwards. We can’t believe that we are worthy enough to have our sins washed away. We’re not! And yet He does it anyway. That’s why they call Him The Messiah. Love to you today sister. May you never forget what you did, but may you be able to use what you did as a WITNESS to God’s Grace.

  181. Kim permalink

    Thank you for sharing this . As always God is good all the time .It always amazes me how He puts us just right where He wants us to be at the right moment. I too have been struggling in all of the above and trying to get myself back on track and it is not easy. I have been asking myself just what is my purpose in life, what is it that God has for me to do, my God given purpose? I came up blank.. Then just 3 days ago I found a book at WalMart to do with just that topic and I wasn’t even looking for that WOW!! Plus just within the past week the subject came up during a church service after I had already been asking myself this question for awhile. It is a study guide for 40 days and you are to have a partner to help hold you accountable to doing this book. So if anyone is interested please feel free to join in together here or emails.

  182. Jerry permalink

    Interesting this is just what I was praying this morning. God can cast our sins as far as the east is from the west, but I keep reminding myself of them (or rather satan keeps reminding me). I was praying that by letting go of them and forgetting them it would keep me from returning to them. Reading everyday this week Ephesians 5 and 6 to help me be the man God wants me to be and make an impact that God wants me to make!!!

  183. austin permalink

    thank you for your words of encouragement.my prayer life is not as good as i want it to be. i struggle alot with sin and one thing that disturbs me a lot is the sin of masturbation. how can i overcome it. i seem to have tried all but to no avail.
    Thanks.

  184. Psa. 84 is also a wonderful word from God to His children. As His temple it is good for us to know that He is ever present with us. When we realize our sin, confess and repent it is gone. As New Covenant children our sins are covered by the blessed sacrifice of His son. “What joy for those who can live in Your house, always singing Your praises.” Psa. 84:4 NLT

  185. Debra Musil permalink

    I am having trouble with everything. I have been reading more bible of late. It has been a year since I left my ex…divorce was final Oct 16 of last year. I have been staying with my Mom who has made it more difficult for me…she is homebound and I have been trying to take care of her and my 8 year old son who is autistic…
    I no longer have a job and it has been over a month…I can not stay with her anymore…too much bitterness and hateful remarks about stuff that happened years ago. Pain is bad…want to help but can not. Try not to smoke …back at it again…feel like failure at everything…tears won’t stop. I KNOW God is good and that he loves me…can not get a hold on my emotions…please pray for me to find peace and the strength to do what I must… Thank you for being here you have no idea how much you have helped me already. As I scrolled down to this comment section I saw that there are many hurting people out here…I pray God touches each and every one of them as I know He will…to God be the glory forever amen

  186. Christy permalink

    With all the miraculous things God has done in my life, and how much i love to be in His presence, you would think i couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning to spend time with Him! The fact is I find myself doing everything but spend time with Him! It has always been a struggle for me, so i don’t understand why the dichotomy, if i love to be in His presence why the struggle?

  187. mariam permalink

    first thank u Mark for everything u shared here ,,that was really encourging and those questions are sooo important ,,we get in our lifes and forget essential things like reading the Bible and praying ,,i raised in a home where that ‘s very important ,,,,and Dad used to ask us these questions when i was a little kid ,sometimes when he forget i also forget reading and praying but by keeping asking we used to do this and now when i grow up reading Bible and praying like saying good morning to each others like u can’t forget having breakfast ,,,,thank u again

  188. Cindy Braun permalink

    I struggle with my past sin so much.I’ve asked God to forgive me but then I continue feel like I am not forgiven. I know its the enemy doing this to me but it doesn’t stop..I read my Bible during the week and pray then I go cold and I don;t for a while. I Love God and all He has done for me but my past keeps coming back. I do not feel free. I cry and pray but this thought never leaves me. I feel so alone….

    • Brian permalink

      nothing can take you out of God’s love. If you want forgiveness, seek it; He wont hold it back from you. It sounds like you are truely sorry and humble.praise him for all that He has done for you and for others with and around your life. this can make you feel better.

  189. Kimberly permalink

    I love getting your emails! They are great and helpful. I am a follower of the Lord and take my two boys, 1 and 4, to church with me by myself. My church family is wonderful and there for me when I need. My husband doesn’t go with us. He believes but finds church to be boring! He went with me when we were dating and first married(6 years ago) Can I ask that you pray for him and our family! I need him to be the leader in the house and lead us to Christ! He is supportive when my 4 year old say the blessing or will sometimes his self say it when our son doesn’t want to, but other than that we do not pray as a family and I want to. I sometimes pray with my son before bed but usually my husband tucks him in. But I did have one question. Do you know of a spacific place in the Bible where it says that God forgives “and forgets” I thought this but my husband made a comment that he forgives but he doesn’t forget. I would like to show it to him. Thank you and thank you for posting blogs! I want you to know that it is awesome what you are doing and I am sure that you are helping many people around the world as myself. May God continue to Bless you and your family!

  190. Two Scritures for today…1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us,who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 1 John 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.

  191. Sam Shepherd permalink

    Forget the rubbish….I know at 63 years old that God has removed all my past sins but for some reason ,I cant keep them from returning and then I start to beat myself up all over again.It is like living a life that always plays it self out then rewinds back to start.I often wonder what is being gained by replaying your life all over again when I know it will be replayed for me on judgement day. never the less you must stay the course and push forward and ask Jesus to walk with you and when it becomes too much to bare then he will carry you to your new home in Heaven .

  192. Ambykind permalink

    Thank you for your insight into forgiveness. I to am struggling with this right now and continue to seek God for His unfailing grace and forgiveness.

    Peace & joy and be yours,
    Amber

  193. Toni permalink

    This is so true! I went through this and am still struggling with it. I have a dear friend who used to ask me this all the time, but since we are far from each other now, its difficult to keep in touch on a daily basis. I miss her a lot. But thank God He is so patient with me and keeps reaching out to me. This reminds me that I too can be that kind of blessing to someone else like my friend was to me.

  194. Mark, this blog was excellant and questions that we all should not only ask ourselves but help others with. God’s Word is alive and active and should be in our hearts. I am going to link this on my facebook page for others to read. ‘
    God bless and keep on doing God’s work.

  195. Debbie permalink

    Thanks for all and Mark Brown. I have been going to church every since I was a very little girl. Became a christian when I was 9. I have to say that church and it’s people are not always what God wants them to be, so I had to leave my church of many years about 15 years ago. Since then my husband and I have struggled to find where we belong. We started going to a large Baptist church about 9 months ago, and like it a lot. Although a have gone to small churches all of my life. We go to church every Sunday, if not sick or something wrong. We attend Sunday school a lot also. I read my bible everyday, but not enough.
    I pray morning and night, but could pray a lot more. I try to remember my family and the sick especially. I have had a lot of faith in the past, but lately falters since I have been sick and on medical leave, but God will take care of me. I struggle with sin everyday. the devil is strong, but will never win. I appreciate prayer from all. I will pray for every one everywhere to have more faith in God. God bless you all

  196. MARK permalink

    @ Cindy…I feel your pain. I can only say that continually encouraging “myself” in the word via the bible,t.v.,music and prayer works slowly but surely of getting rid of the flashes you see in your head of your sin. I’ve noticed that steering my mind clear of any triggers that would bring me back to the condemning thoughts helps big time. If I HAVE 2 good days forward and see or hear something that will trigger the thought of where I sinned I INSTANTLY cry out and cast that imagination down and take it captive by the word of God that says I AM FORGIVEN, IT’S A NEW DAY and I’m moving forward, forgetting the past and laying hold of tomorrow….you know the difference between a pig and a sheep? If a sheep falls into a mud hole he cries to get out, if a pig falls into the same hole, he like it there! I will stay on my face at His feet all the days of my life humbled by my frailty and weaknesses BUT STAND STRONG IN THE LORD!

  197. Judy Rice permalink

    God bless you Mark for your blogging.
    Most important scripture for me….taking it all a huge step FORWARD is:
    John 6:50 to the end.
    more grace from Jesus Himself, throught the Holy Spirit…
    Eat My Body, Drink My Blood
    and you can’t do that at the computer…or sitting on the couch,
    (but Jesus is available also to the hospital sick and homebound)
    He REALLY meant it….and thousands turned away…..
    started His Church with Peter…told Peter to do this,
    Peter is the first head of the church, the first Pope…
    the church that has been going since Jesus started it…
    what happens at Mass? We can Eat His Body and Drink His Blood for real, NOT a symbol…..just saying….if you want more graces, this is where you can get the
    real meal deal !!! And you can also do this everyday….really Jesus!!! AWESOME
    and the MOST powerful prayer any person can pray….receiving the Eucharist in Communion with Jesus…the real Presence of Jesus.

  198. Please send any and all information on study materials related to the study of GOD’s word….. Thank u….

  199. Brian permalink

    Prayer is struggling and sometimes forced. Im having trouble finding a place to start reading the Bible from. And Church seems like it needs changes but is pushing for them.

  200. Sephora Cameron permalink

    Im in a point of my life where patience is a must..ive made alot of the wrong descions in my past and i feel that the experiences helped me to become the person that i am now..God has called me and i answered Him…He has blessed me and helped me in so many ways its so beautiful..I love Him so much….His word lives in me..its a part of my life… honestly i dont continue to read as much as i should. but wat i have read is inside me so watever i deal with or go through.. i remember wat the Word says..church is also an issue..i dont go as much as i want to..and also im getting baptized for the first time in less than a week..please pray for me im very willing to learn as much as possible..God is the answer and im ready for watever he has planned for me.

  201. Sarah Arseneault permalink

    my prayer life is minimum
    my bible reading is next to none
    I struggle with apathy no desire to pray or reading the bible everyday. I do read verses here and there and pray here and there but its not constant. I know I need the power of the H-S to help me. Please pray for me. thankyou. Tomorrow I’m meeting pastor John for lunch, we’ll have prayer too. Thanks again for everything.

  202. Steve permalink

    Hello all,
    I’m Steve and I just got done smoking a cigarette. I don’t want to smoke anymore. I don’t want to want them anymore. I’ve struggled with pornography most of my life, but it looks like It this one may be over soon… and these are just the ones most would consider major.I am a child of God and Jesus is my savior.
    One day about 5 or 6 years ago things started going south for me. Physically I started having problems. One day I came home and fell down in my chair and quit doing almost everything. I probably had already quit reading my bible by then, but I just felt so tired and over encumbered that I pretty much quit everything else.. I quit going to church(and as far as I remember no one ever called to check on me, but I tended to be a sporadic person anyway.). I quit going to church functions. I was barely making it to work. People were accusing me of being lazy or just stupid and my doctor had no answers. I didn’t know if it was because of sin in my life, if it was because I had said bad things about the pastor or his daughter, or if it was because I had failed to reach this “break through” thing everyone kept telling me about.
    A few years ago I started trying to live again. I started going back to the church I had left, but things still didn’t seem right. I’d be right as rain when I left home, but by the time I got to church, I’d develop flu like symptoms. Eventually
    I overcame that part. Next I started having other problems. Things just weren’t right in me. I ended up back in the world convinced that God didn’t want me. Before all was said and done I ended up beaten and pretty much stripped naked(not much different than my childhood) . That almost convinced me to lay down and die. Instead I went to a deliverance service… I was convinced that I had a demon problem. It helped a little, but I don’t understand how or why I had them.
    I’ve been absolutely humiliated and emasculated. I live in a small town and the gossip chain has pretty much done all it can to kill me. Anyone that knew me before I was a church goer knows I was a bad alcoholic and they’ve put that out there too. I’ve been beat on and beat on at my job pretty much from the time started working there 7 or 8 years ago… when I’ve tried to stand up for myself, it’s just made things worse.
    In the last year or year or so I’ve received words that God allowed these things to happen to me so that I would see he’s the only one that I can trust and some of them were from people from other countries. He’s also led me to a new church and they’ve helped me tremendously… even got rid of some more demons, one being insanity(I was told another was Beelzebub, but I never felt him).
    A few days ago the pastor asked me if I was in the word. I told him that I’ve never been able to develop a consistent routine, and now I’ve been hitting routinely everyday since then. I’m walking around work like I know I’m forgiven, people are letting me know how I’ve messed up and it’s starting not to bother me…. they me be trying to teach me a lesson – we’ve got some guys that think
    it’s their job to punish people or something and anytime we get new employees I warn them… turns out I said something to some of their friends… anyway, back to the subject. I’m starting to accept that regardless of what you have or haven’t done people aren’t going to like you because of Jesus in you. His countenance is becoming more evident on me, and I’m appreciating it.
    But now after all that I think I’m hearing something from behind the pulpit that scares me. I don’t know if it’s for me, but now he’s saying someone’s in danger of missing their season and it won’t be coming around again for 20 – 25 years… because it’ll take ’em that long to recover from their mistake. This frightens me terribly. I just wish God would show me/confirm what my call is and how long it’s supposed to be before I operate in it. Some people say prep time is 20 – 25 years, others say now.
    I also think I might be dealing with pride and anger.
    Anyway, I’m gonna quit now. Sorry I wrote so much. If anyone actually reads all of this, it must be God.

    • Elsie permalink

      I pray our God will help you. Amen.

    • Elsabe permalink

      Hey Steve! Bless you brother for your openness. I just want to tell you to keep on, keeping on!!! Yes, people will prosecute you. That’s just the way it works. (If they are not Christians). After my husband committed suicide in 2007, I became an alcoholic and a drug addict. I just had one thing in mind and that was to see how quickly I can self destruct. I did an awesome job! People talk about rock bottom. Well I tell you, I was so low, that I was trying to reach up to rock bottom. Then the day came, where my whole life and world changed. I met Jesus!! That was and will always be the most beautiful day of my life. I served the Lord with more passion than I even knew I had. Up until today, I still find people looking at me trying to see if I’m straight. It hurts me because God forgave me, I’m a changed person, so why do they judge or question my salvation? I moved away from my town and tried to make a new living, but I fell. And I fell hard. So I can understand by you saying that going back to church, things just didn’t feel right. I’ve been searching for a church for the past year, trying to compare them with the one I got saved in, but nothing fitted. I came to realize (last night actually) that is wasn’t the churches that was wrong, it was me. So what do we do? We ask God to renew our minds and give us new hearts. People can do and say what they want about me. At the end of the day, they are bad mouthing God, because His son lives in me. I will pray for you brother. God bless you!! PS!! Must be God, because I read your whole letter.

  203. Scott Coop permalink

    I make a covenant with my eyes tonight. Job did it.

  204. Elsie permalink

    I like your blog. I pray my God helps me to be more deserving of His provisions. I saw a college football player pray over his food and I felt stupid for praying in my mind. I pray God helps me to be so entwined in His love that what people think won’t bother me at all. Amen.

  205. Dan permalink

    Being open to Gods will, and God’s help in my studies.

  206. Ben permalink

    Asking is important. The word says ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened. However, many ask but they ask amiss, they seek but only for worldly gain, they knock but not on the right doors. And as for reading God’s Word well all of the churches I have been in the majority of the congregation blindly follow their pastor because they will not take the time to read the Bible and search out the truth with the help of the Holy Spirit. As for finding a church well that has become almost impossible because religion today has become the latter day church having a form of religion but denying the true power of God. Church congregations following the pastor are too often like the blind leading the blind and the pastor is pulling his congregation into the deep ditch of doctrines of men and half truths that will take them down the road to prediction on the wide path of a form of religion without Godliness that will lead to destruction.
    A very annoying fact is that I am visited by very young men from the Mormon Church wearing tags that say “Elder” and their name after that title. These people are all under 30 most of them in their low 20s with very little knowledge of the Bible, definitely not fit to be called Elders. And when we start talking it only takes a few minutes to see that they do not read the Bible. What they know is what they get from the training from Mormon Church and that is very little from the Bible. Their biggest conversation is about their Prophet as they call him or her or whatever. The Mormons claim to be the only church with a True Prophet and the only true church. But then I have heard that line from every church. I my working years I spent time talking with people about God and the Bible at work. One day as I entered a control room one of the operators came to me and pulled me aside and told me “Ben I will talk to you about God a the Bible anytime unless that person is around and he pointed to another worker. Well it turned out that worker was Baptist and had just taken a witnessing class. I don’t know what the Baptist Church believes but he told my friend who was Catholic that if he did not get out of the Catholic Church he was going straight to hell. And so the operator told me, we will take, but the door is forever closed to that man. People need to remember Christ with the woman at the well. Christ spoke with LOVE not with condemnation.
    Another lie I heard all my life is you are required to give 10% to the church. If that is the case then we should all be offering animal sacrifices because the 10% tithe was the Old Testament Covenant not the New Testament Covenant through Christ. Another lie that goes with the 10% tithe is that you should give your 10% as your duty and not worry how it is used. That is a lie of Satin and the Latter-day Church that has only a form of Religion but no true Godliness.
    About a year ago I researched the American National Organization of Churches and there first statement was they are one of the richest organizations in America. Why!!! Well the fact is that the Churches formed just after the crucifixion of Christ used the money to care for the church and pastors and the remaining money was used to care for the needy. But it did not take long before Marcus Peter found that there was a fortune to be made in Religion and today every TV minister I know is a filthy millionaire and that does not line up with God’s Word. And in my life church after church I attended told the same lie about the 10% tithe and the pastors are still telling the same lie. If the Churches and the national church organizations would live on just what they need instead of wanting to be millionaires or like the TV minister in south Louisiana who openly says he strives to be the first billionaire TV minister, if they did live according to the word of God on just what they needed, then there would be no need for the welfare system. But we pay taxes to cover the money the church administrators, Church national organizations, and many so call ministers and Evangelists are putting in their pockets, hoarding, using to build their kingdoms and make themselves millionaires on earth. These Church administrator, pastors, and so call TV evangelists have forgotten that God’s Word says lay not up your treasures on earth but rather lay up your treasures in Heaven because where your treasures are there is where your heart will be. And in my 60 years of life I have found that where your treasure are is where you worship and where you worship becomes your god so if your treasures are not in heaven then you worship a false god. God knew this greed in man that is why the tribe of Israel that ran the church was not able to own land. Their lives were devoted to God and to running God’s Church and they live from the 10% tithe besides using most of the 10% tithe to care for the needy. But with all the greed in religion today It makes me glad that the Bible says that where two are more are gathered in God’s name there HE is with them because I only find true worship of God at home. There is a lot more I would like to write but I guess another time.

  207. Mariah Lynn permalink

    I have been feeling the exact same way as you mark. I know God forgives my sins but why can’t I forgive myself for them? Is there any advice that you can give me on how to handle this?

    -Mariah lynn

    • Ben permalink

      Forgiveness for sin is easy for God because HIS word says “When God forgives He throws the sin and the memory of the sin into the sea of forgetfulness to remember it no more. But for us it is much harder because we will remember our sins. And another problem is as the word says “Satin is ever before the thrown of God accusing the Saints. To understand where the thrown of God is we have to remember that Christ said that people are looking everywhere for the Kingdom of God and cannot find it. Then Christ told those around him that the Kingdom of God is in the hearts of God’s Children. Now you must understand that God’s Thrown is in His Kingdom, so God’s Thrown is in your heart and mind. Satin knows this so he uses this to try to condemn God’s children hoping to make us give up and return to our old life. Just a quick thought about the heart of man. When the Bible talks about the heart of man the Bible is not referring to the organ that pumps blood but rather the core of man. A good example is a tree. When we talk about the heart of a tree we refer to the inner core and the condition of the inner core of the tree is what makes it weak or strong. And the same is true for mankind. I hope that I have not confused you further because forgiveness must be accepted by faith. And many times there is nothing we can do to right the wrongs, take back the mistakes, or cover our sins, and for me learning this fact took years. You must remember that forgiveness is a free gift that you can only receive by Faith. This is why it is written that without Faith we cannot please God. And Christ said through much tribulation will you enter the Kingdom of God. And walking through these tribulations by Faith with God’s help will help you increase your faith. The only way you are going to forgive yourself is accepting that only God can forgive your sins and by faith after you accept God’s Forgiveness you will walk through the tribulations and satin will accuse you and make you feel guilty but rebuke Satin and remember that through God’s power you are forgiven . There is no single answer for reaching the point where you can forgive yourself this will only come by walking faith to faith through your daily life and tribulations. Remember that Paul walked through years of tribulations but he did reach the point where he said “Never the less not I but Christ in me.” And you have to remember that forgiving yourself is a work of the Spirit by Faith, your flesh cannot forgive you and we are not like God we cannot throw the memories away we have to put them aside by faith and remember that Satin will bring them up whenever he think he can make trouble for us. Also remember that Christ said “The Spirit is will but the flesh is weak. So we must feed the Spirit man more than the carnal man and walk everyday by in the Spirit by Faith in God.

  208. Mariah Lynn permalink

    God bless you all 🙂

  209. Tyrone permalink

    My bible reading is not goob
    My prayer life is not good
    And the sin that I am struggling with is poem
    I can’t seem to
    Give it to him

  210. Jen permalink

    I have been going through some of the same feelings and what I am discovering is that what we focus on is what becomes first in our life. If we focus on our past – then that is what is first. But if we focus on Christ – then He is first.

    God is leading me to meditate on His word. And I follow wonderful ministries that seem to be saying the same things. Joyce Meyer and Joseph Prince.

    Lord – You are our focus! Thanks for your Son!

  211. victor permalink

    bro.mark, i am also dealing with past sin as well my brotha its positive people like you in our ministry what makes other chistians to continuly to serve our lord more faithfully my brotha, i read my bible daily and i pray constantly what a holy recipe for life’s most enduring times, i would not trade it for anything but i would always share my experiences as well because we never know what the other person is going through and its positive people like me and you my brotha that really make ministry that more fulfilling to serve our lord for the ultimate sacrifice for our lives for an eternal blessing for the rest of our lives……………thanks my brotha in christ.

  212. Bible reading: going great! I got all caught up (and a little bit ahead just in case) and I’m not gonna get that far behind in the readings ever again! Prayer: Pretty good, i think i need to be more awake when i pray though. Church: every Sunday (unless i’m sick, or traveling of course) i go to Sunday school class and Church service, and on Thursdays i got youthgroup which i LOVE! Sin: what sin? being mean to my sister. we used to be so close, and play games together, but now we fight more often. i try to avoid fighting as much as possible, and some days, like today, there’s no fighting. I’m praying about it, will you pray for me too? Thanks for spending time writing the email devotions, and video devotions, they have really helped!
    Je7n.
    (the 7 is silent.)

  213. Stacie permalink

    Since I have come to Jesus I have already struggled in believing the truth to be the truth. I don’t know why I question the existence of God even at times. I get sad to think I accepted Him and then bam I don’t know what to think if he existed or if he did exist at all. At times I get numb to know maybe I am going to Hell. I don’t even feel saved and all around I hear all the time people are getting saved. I don’t understand this thing. I know it is by faith we believe, i have no problem with this. What bothers me is that when I came to Jesus I thought I believed? and I got baptised. I actually believe that Jesus had died and was risen from the dead by God, but I don’t believe in all the stories in the bible. I am confused actually …

    • Ben permalink

      We must believe by Faith and not by sight or feelings. God’s word says “For by Grace we are saved through faith and not by anything we have done it is a free GIFT from God the Father through Jesus Christ. One of the hardest parts of beginning a Godly life is building our faith to the point that we except in our heart and mind, by faith in God the Father that we are truly forgiven of sin. The battle we fight is in our heart and mind. And remember there is a spirit world around us both good and evil. This is why the Word says “God is Spirit and we that worship HIM must worship HIM in Spirit and in Truth. God has no problem forgiving us when we repent because God has the ability as it says in the Bible “When God forgives He throws our sins and all memory of our sins into the sea of forgiveness. We on the other hand do not have the ability to erase our memories but we can build our faith to the point that we can by the grace of God lay our past aside and look at where we are now because now is where we will be a child of God or something else. As Christ said, “Yesterday is gone and cannot be changed and do not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow may not come to us and beside that it is enough to fight the evils of today.” So your Christian life is not based on yesterday, it is not based on feelings, it is not based on what we thing others see in us, but is it only based on our faith in God’s free gift of forgiveness and the life we live step by step each day. And Christ left us with two commandments, “You must love the Lord God the father with all your heart and with all your mind, and with all that you are and do. And you must love your neighbor as yourself. And then He said if there is any other commandment it is surely covered by love.” And remember Christ is the first born Son of the family of God. Christ is our sacrifice for sin, He is our mediator seated at the right hand of God the Father and Christ will return to earth with God the Father and Christ will rule the earth for a 1000 years. And the great thing is that if we live striving for a godly life our reward will be a spiritual body just as Christ has now and we will be children of God’s family just as Christ is now. But please remember that salvation is a free gift of God the father through the sacrifice of Christ His son. Your salvation is not based on yesterday, or by sight, or on our feelings, or what others may think about you. Salvation is a free Gift of God the Father. And remember the two great commandments of LOVE and also that Christ said if you love God with all your heart you will keep HIS commandments. The bible says “Here in is love not that we first loved God but that God first loved us and HE sent his Son to be the sacrifice for our sin.

  214. Steve Gill permalink

    All of you on this blog that are struggling …. take heart. The Lord has heard your cries. You have a choice at this moment. Believe that The Lord is in your midst…. or believe in the Deceiver. There is so much pain in your comments. Don’t you know how much pain our Lord went through so that we could live again. He was mocked…. spit at…. flogged…. dragged to his bloody death. I am so grateful that I call Him “LAMB OF GOD”. Wow…. we can’t make it through a day without failing. We must come and plead for His Forgiveness because God needs us now. This is our time to stand up and say “I AM HIS”. Please stop wondering and wandering and know that whatever you are going through…. YOU CAN’T FIX IT YOURSELF. God will make it right…. but you can’t. Stop trying… and start crying! He loves you. He loves you so much He took all your pain before you were even born. Don’t you know that someone that made such a beautiful and perfect human body had to be….. well…. Holy. We must start to trust that God is our maker and start to let Him lead us instead of us leading Him. May all your pain be taken away tonight as The Great Physician heals your body and soul. You are worthy to God but we must turn to the light and let him love us while he shows us His ways. Peace and Love to all of you. Tonight is the night that you must trust Him and start to follow Him with all your heart.

  215. Heinrich Steenekamp permalink

    Goodday Mark

    Thanks for inspiring me everyday to lead my life the way God intended me to do. I do try read your posts as it helps me realise that im also only human and dont need to beat myself up when it comes to dealing with sin, though i know i should try harder at being obediant to Gods word. Im constantly faced as many others with addiction issues, letting go of daily routine sins and many other challenges the world brings but at least i know God knows me and he looks at m heart and he will renew me completely when i am worthy of being in his pressence more, the way he knows i want to be. Starting today again in my quest to be worthy.

  216. Greetings Mark, I so enjoy everyone of your posts because I can tell you are speaking from your heart. It’s somewhat comforting to know that I am not the only one who struggles with letting go. I have had a long journey down this path but praise God by being diligent in spending time in the Word daily and communing with the Holy Spirit, things are changing. I’m starting to look forward and I praise His name.

    Please keep journaling your journey so many of your fellow “Pilgrims” can join you on this journey.

    GBU Mark!

  217. Tad permalink

    Reverend Mark,

    Thanks for this blog and the emails. They have really been encouraging melately.
    I have been struggling in all of these areas lately. I haven’t been reading my Bible. My prayer life was suffering, but it’s beginning to get better, though it is far from what it should be. I serve in many areas in my church and I love it, but I’ve lost the desire to attend services. I struggle with sin everyday just like anyone else, but where I’m having the most trouble is feeling guilty and condemned.
    I definitely feel like God is bringing me into a new season and I am about to come out of all of these “funks”, but I would still appreciate some prayer and any advice you could give me.
    Again, thanks for all you do.

    In His service,
    Tad

  218. Evan permalink

    first Scripture reading tonight here at school!
    I’m excited to start up the weekly readings once again.
    I’m struggling with understanding God and the scheme of things as it applies to religion vs. my new astronomy class where I learn a lot about science and what little sense it makes for us on Earth to be significant when we are so insignificant in terms of astronomy.

  219. Joye permalink

    Right now I do read my Bible or some kind of devotion daily, there is hardly any day that I miss that. I do pray throughout the day…I could pray more though. I go to church every Sunday, but do always the same church…it varies. I do struggle with sin and temptation everyday of my life and I have things I want God to answer as soon as he feels the need too. Please pray for me and that I would seek God’s will in my life and to further my relationship with him.

  220. Joye permalink

    I have great difficulty letting my old sin alone. I destroy myself with anger and regrets, but I want to do better…I want to be a better person and I don’t want my sin to return. Please pray that my sin won’t return and that I would continue to serve God! PRAISE THE LORD!!!

    • Ben permalink

      Joye, the road to heaven is not easy. The bible says “Through much tribulation do we enter the kingdom of God. One thing to remember is that the kingdom of God is within all those who strive to be God children. And the thrown of God is in HIS kingdom. The Bible says that Satin is ever before the Thrown of God accusing HIS children. You must understand if you are striving to be a Child of God then your mind is God’s thrown for you and Satin is using your own past to torrment you hoping to make you give up and fail. Paul wrote in the Bible ” The things I should not do somehow I end up doing and the thing I should do I have trouble doing but as he walked in God light for years he finally reached the point were he could say never the less no but Christ in me. So strive every day to remember that slipping into sin is not the end what we must do is get up and repent and move closser to God each day and the time will come even if it takes years when you will be able to say “Never the less not I but Christ in me, the hope of Glory in Heaven.

  221. Jennifer in Texas permalink

    I am frustrated with finding a church. My husband and I met on a mission trip through our church. We loved missions and our church. But we were hurt by our church and “the Christian RULES” they thought they had to impose on us for us to be “better Christians.” We since left that church and have been trying to find another church home. We LOVED that church and the “family” we had found. But we cannot go back due to the church leadership being rules based instead of grace based. But it’s been over 6 months and we cannot seem to find another church we can get in to. I feel like my husband is giving up. Thank goodness, not on God, but on finding a church. Can someone pray for us and that God would lead us to the right place and that my husband wouldn’t give up!!! Thank you and God bless anyone who prays for us!!!

  222. Ben permalink

    Jennifer, This is something that I have experienced first hand several times. First let me say that Christ said “People are going here and there all over the place looking for the kingdom of God. But the Kingdom of God is found in the hearts of the people who worship God. Next is the difference between Godliness and Religion. Christ gave the two great commandments “You must love the Lord thy God with all your heart, mind, and strength, or everything you are and do. And you must love your neighbor as you love yourself and if there be any other commandment it is covered by LOVE. This is the core commandments of Godliness. Religion however is manmade systems that were supposed to teach people to live moral and upright lives. Every religion has its own set of doctrines adopted by the original founders or by future administrators. These doctrines may or may not totally line up with God’s word. To me Churches and religions can be a good place to fellowship however if you choose to be a part of a church you must know their doctrine to judge if you are willing to live by their rules. Another problem with Churches is money. First the 10% is an Old Testament covenant not the New Testament covenant in Christ. And in every church I have been in the people giving the most money are regarded much higher than the people who were not able to give so much. But remember the story Christ told about the Cleaning Lady who gave 2 Cents because it was all she could give. And Christ said that the cleaning lady gave more that all the rich people. The fact was that the poor lady quietly gave all she could afford to give and God was pleased. But the rich came in ringing bells and getting attention with their bags of money but it was much less money than what they could afford to give and they were filled with pride so God was not pleased with the rich. There is a lot more I would like to say about churches if you are interested I am on facebook as Ben Cornwell. But please remember that there is a great difference between (churches or Religions) and true Godliness. One other small thought, Christ said “He that calls himself religious but cannot hold his tongue, to him his religion vane. Also the Bible says “Where two or more are gathered in God’s Name there God is with them” So my wife and I worship a home for now. Will try to send you more info later through facebook.

  223. Susan permalink

    I have been reading with the reading plan that you posted in January. I will read real well for a while, but this summer have gotten behind. I pray most every day. I love just going and being in the presence of the Lord. I love church. I wish that everyone could be and do what we are supposed to at church. I hate sin. I hate that it breaks relationships with people and with the Lord. Lord purify me so that I can be in perfect relationship with you.

  224. Ben permalink

    Susan, I am thankful that God created mankind to have someone to fellowship with in this temple of flesh and God deepest desire is that we live in HIS will in this life and then join HIS spiritual family to be His children in a spiritual mansion of eternal life. We are not striving to live in God’s will to have a physical mansion in heaven but we strive to become a spiritual being just as God and Christ are now. It will be great to be an eternal spiritual being that has no need of food, water, air, or place to live all we will need is fellowship with God the Father. Man in his feeble attempts try to go into space hoping to explore the universe but their temple of flesh will always limit their ability to go outside earth’s atmosphere. But those that strive to do God’s will and endure to the end will be given a spiritual body that will be free to go all over the universe and beyond. But for now we labor to do God will and keep his commandments. Christ said “Through much tribulation do we enter the Kingdom of God.” And Paul wrote” the things I should do I sometime fail to do and the things I should not do I sometimes fail by doing them. But after many years of striving to do God’s will Paul was able to say, ‘Never the less not I but Christ in me” God knows we live in this flesh and as Christ said the Spirit is will but the flesh is weak. So has we walk in this life striving to do God’s will we must strive to feed and exercise the Spirit within us more than the flesh. Remember that Paul wrote “Physical exercise avails little but is good for the body, but Spiritual exercise avails much more because it can bring us to spiritual and eternal life.”

  225. Shirleyl permalink

    I wish someone had been asking me these questions over the past year. I was looking good on the outside, but drying up on the inside. I was struggling with thoughts of sin and eventually followed through. I was surrounded by Christians, but isolated at the same time because it wasn’t at the accountability level. Now I’m in pastoral counseling over my sin. He makes me accountable for my bible reading and prayer. A new small group I’ve joined notices when I’m not at church. But I still have sin issues to deal with, seemingly on my own.

  226. Wendy Bakken permalink

    Hi Mark 🙂

    Looks like your pretty busy, with the getting fit, Yearn-thru- the-year Bible-verses,your blogging, et al.

    What an exciting time the Lord is Leading us through! 🙂

    How’s it going with your personalstudy in the Word?

    Feeling connectected to God, or kinda “away” from un-dealt-with-sin?

    I’m glad you are loving the Online Church!! Are you getting/giving nourishment in true fellowship with your Christian small group family?

    I ask; Because I care about you.
    (not everyone really knows howlonely Kings and Leaders can get) Please get close with “afewgoodmen).

    Thanks,

    Wendy

  227. joe permalink

    Hi
    This post is so timely for me as I am trying to clear the wreckage of my past and I’m finding certain sins I have to be totally unacceptable to me and I’m unforgiving to myself for commiting them and being unable to forgive me for them-I am told by you and many others that these sins are forgiven by God so who am I to say anything different but what they have done to me is to make certain behaviors run in my life and that is the killer for me because I want to be free and clean of these transgressions but the distortions I have because of them haunts me and brings up the original sins that i commited to have these thoughts and behaviors-please keep writing and may your day be Blessed as you give me hope !

  228. Marsha permalink

    I am struggling with grief as my daughter unexpectedly passed away 6 months ago. I have so much anger built up inside me. Patty was 35 years old, a single mom of 2 children. A son 15 and a daughter 7 not the same father. Now the kids will be separated, because my granddaughter will be living with her father. He has never met her until after her mother died. Both kids are struggling with this upcoming separation.

    The day after my daughter died, my oldest brother’s daughter was calling me and my family and harrassing us. Claiming that we killed her dog. She did this for almost a week until my nephew had to press charges against her.

    I know that God forgives our sins, I have problems forgiving the sins of my past.I am struggling with forgiving my niece for what she put my family through during a difficult time. Also with opening up my feelings and dealing with my pain inside of me. I keep thinking what if I did something different, would my daughter still be alive today? My sins lead me into thinking thoughts that are far from the truth. I pray that God leads me into the path He created for me, but every thought I have I think so deeply and forget the big picture. I pray that He can reach into me, and into my soul, and help me. I pray for a deeper relationship with God. I’m glad I found this site. Please pray for my family.

    • Steve Gill permalink

      Marsha…. Please know without a shadow of a doubt that The Lord is with you. I’m so thankful for your honesty and I know that God is desiring to show you everything about “Why He Created You”. You are not a mistake Marsha. You are His Child and this time of losing your daughter and having to go through this struggle is a time for you to lean on Him for understanding. I know that no person can truly help you like our God can. I will be praying for you Marsha and I will never see your face. That is how remarkable God is. Sister…. please pray for me also. I will need that also. Your daughter is in Heaven with God now. She wants you to know that it is a beautiful place and she is fine. I know you miss her. Don’t ever lose that wonderful deep loving feeling. God gave you that. You’re new “invisible” brother…. Steve.

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