Mark J Martin

Mark J Martin

Out Before In

Clutter slows us down.

The progress of elimination is that when the table is dirty, you clean it off before you set it.

When the life is overloaded, you remove the excess before you move forward.

“Out with the old” before “in with the new.”

Do you have 3 goals that need to come off your goals list?

Do you have tasks that are sucking your time like a vacuum cleaner?

Do you have time wasters that don’t yield what you value?

What needs to be eliminated?

[Of course, what precedes elimination is knowing what you value.]

Have a profitable Monday!


The Progress of Elimination

You have most likely come across at least 5 to 10 new years goal posts.  It’s that time of year – a time that naturally lends to reflecting on last year and making plans for the coming year.

There are a lot of great voices on new year plans.  My goal in this post is not to add to the voices talking about how to make goals and stick to them.  I simply want to offer you one thought.

It’s about “the progress of elimination.”

The productivity experts typically have an elimination step.  And rightfully so, because life tends toward clutter, and that includes our plans, goals, and schedules.

One of the best opportunities this season provides is the chance to decide what’s going to go.  It’s the “out with the old” part of the maxim.

What will you NOT do this year?  What has been taking away from the more important aspects of your life?

Is there a good goal that will conflict with a greater goal?  Does the lesser goal need to wait until another season of life?

Many times, we have good goals, but we aren’t progressing because we have overloaded life.

Before you move forward with your goals, what if you were to eliminate first?

Eliminate the excess. Then progress.

May you have a great new year!  And Happy 2016.


Delaying the Editing for Later

Maybe some of my perfectionist friends can relate to this.

I was working on writing some music tonight, and I was struggling to get the juices flowing, and it occurred to me why.  See if you relate.

I realized, though not for the first time, that I don’t like the “draft.”

I don’t naturally do “rough draft.”

And that’s a problem.  It slows me down.

What do I mean?

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The Irony of Idolatry

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. … My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. 7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. – Psalm 62:1-2, 5-7

​​​The irony of idolatry is that it crushes the very thing we are worshiping. Nothing can live up to our worship except God. ​

God rebuked me last night and this morning with that phrase “He only is my rock and my salvation.” There is an exclusivity in that phrase. David is saying that only God is his hope. Nothing else.

We put our trust in things other than God, and that places a pressure on those things that nothing can take except God. He is the only One who can bear the weight of our hope, our trust, our confidence.

I wanted to pass along these verses to you. I hope they nurture your soul like they did mine.

Put your trust in God, not anything else.

Have a great week!


Grace Runs Deep – Project for November

I’ll be releasing a piano sheet music collection and accompanying album in November.

I want to keep you in the loop about it.  I’ll be talking more about it as we go along, but to get the best info the soonest, I need you to do this for me.

To get on the inside track, go here, and I’ll keep you in the loop.

Looking forward to this.  I pray it will touch lives.

Oh, and do me a favor… after you sign up here, click one of the share buttons below to let your social media empire know about it (ok, even if it’s not an empire, let your friends know. Thanks!)


A Time Saver Tip

Here’s a tip for saving time typing the repetitive content in your weekly order of service cards.

This can work for you whether you type out your worship set in Word, or an email – whatever you use to type the list of songs for the week.

It’s a free software called Phrase Express. (for Windows; there are similar text expansion programs for Mac.)

It’s simple.  Once you’ve downloaded, installed the program, and opened it, you enter a template.  Then you assign a set of keystrokes that will trigger that template.

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The Lead Sheet

If you are playing the piano in a church, chances are you’ve had someone ask you to play a song for them from a lead sheet.

If you’re not familiar with that term, a lead sheet is a piece of music that just has the melody line on the staff with the letter name of the chords written above (such as C, Em, etc.).  They are also called “chord charts.”

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