Mark J Martin

Mark J Martin

Because of Joseph, It Seems More Real Now

“Willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8

I grew up with his older brother. We would invite each other to the other’s house in order to stay up all night playing video games. Sound like a waste of time? To us it was the essence of fun!

When I was younger, my friend had two older siblings, a brother and a sister. Everyone thought that this was how the Shank family would always be. Then, a surprise came!

Read More

Moving to WordPress

I’ve had a blog on blogger ( for several years now.  I’ve heard of the benefits of a wordpress site, and it seems to me to be better than blogger, so I’ll be in the process of migrating my posts over here. In the meantime, I’ll post new entries here at this site.  Hope you enjoy the reads!

Plan to Put Him First

So… It’s here!  Already! 2010 has passed like a lightning bolt, and 2011 is moving forward quickly and picking up steam.  Soon, we’ll be saying the same thing about 2011 and 2012.

Since life moves by so rapidly, we can’t afford to approach our Christian lives “shooting from the hip” (if nothing else, that sounds kind of dangerous).  We are told in Ephesians 5:16 to “redeem the time, because the days are evil.” To make the most of the time God has given us, we need to plan and live on purpose. God wants us to live for Him, and that doesn’t happen by accident.

Read More

Lessons from 2010

As this year is coming to a close, I look back over the year and see some distinct lessons which God has taught me this year. I would like to share them with you.

1. The necessity of planning priorities.

Before the start of 2010, God used several different sources to encourage me to plan based on my priorities. 1) Podcasts by Pastor Paul Chappell 2) Blog posts by Pastor Cary Schmidt and 3) Gordon MacDonald’s book Ordering Your Private World. As one who has historically been a last-minute “by-the-seat-of-the-pants” planner, I can say that I’ve learned a lot about the value of planning ahead (even though I have a long way to go yet). It has greatly reduced family stress, increased productivity and brought about growth in several areas of ministry. I can say that God has changed me drastically here. I pray that I will continue to improve in 2011.

Read More

Why Did Only Some People Notice?

Life in the 21st century is anything but quiet. We race from one activity to the next, barely stopping to catch our breath. Noise is constantly going on around us. From the noise of cars rushing down the highway, to the sound of the busy shoppers in the mall, to the constant hum of electronic devices, America is truly a noisy place.

Read More