Archive for March, 2010

He Knows My Grief and Sorrow

When I think about Easter, it’s not just a “He Lives” kind of celebration that comes to mind. It’s actually a combination of a lot of different feelings–a journey of sorts, through the final days of Christ’s life. And yes, even though we know how the grizzly, tortuous story ends, I still feel it’s important for me to walk through the details of his death.

I especially want to be reminded how Jesus is well acquainted with grief and sorrow.

I love how Sarah Young writes in Jesus Lives about sorrow, effectively using the voice of Jesus:

“Remember that I am a Man of sorrows, full acquainted with grief. Because of all I suffered, I can empathize with you and share your pain. As you pour out your emotions in My Presence, your heavy burden grows lighter. You no longer carry your sorrows alone. You release them to Me, and I then relieve and refresh your soul. Moreover, as your heavy heart grows lighter, you are freed to learn more of Me: who I really am.”

Whatever you are going through today, Jesus is with you. Just as he carried the cross up to Golgotha, he is carrying you now.

With Hopeful Blessings,
Mark

"Pilgrim Man" – Update

Thank you to everybody for responding so amazingly to my “Pilgrim Man” tune. This might sound weird, but people are saying things that I have always dreamed of them saying. Does that make sense? I have hoped for so long that people would be impacted by my singing and writing, and so to have those two things combined into one package called “Pilgrim Man” is quite a joy for me. Check this out from Julie Branham, Director of the Nashville Soul Choir:

“It drew me in from the moment I heard the opening pulsing rhythm, like a weary heart beating from a long journey, and then the encouraging words “Pilgrim Man, don’t give up. Though the road may be long and the journey hard…” I think we’ve all been there at some point in our lives, wondering if this is all that life has to offer, wanting to let go and give up. Pilgrim Man is a song for everyone who needs to know that they are NOT alone on this journey of life. That every day IS a brand new day and the best is yet to come.

There is nothing like hearing a song by an artist who has penned something that they have obviously, personally lived, and then delivered with a passion that is unmistakable.  And, to me, Mark’s voice has never sounded better. Throughout the song, that ‘weary heartbeat’ gets stronger and stronger and then the song explodes into a huge chorus that will surely become an anthem for many who hear and experience it.”

Wow!! Thank you so much, Julie!!

RADIO CHART INFO: It’s a super slow climb up any chart. Slower than I had anticipated, or feel like I can bear at times. I don’t know what’s normal, what’s good, what’s awesome…so I just have to wait and see. Kind of a strange, out-of-control feeling. Is it enough of a success if my song has had a potential audience impression of 48,800? How many impressions or spins is enough? I think I need to answer this question…but for now, I’m unclear — but still thrilled.

Here’s a new role call of stations who have taken a chance on playing the tune:

WFST: Northern Maine and Western New Brunswick 
WKBO: Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle 
KGPS: Kingman, Az. 
WBYN-AM: Lehighton, PA/ Allentown, PA 
WLIX FM: Long Island’s Voice of Hope
KFLO-FM: Shreveport
WNPQ: New Philadelphia, OH
WXML: Upper Sandusky, OH
WJFY: Heath, OH
WGMA: Spindale, NC
WSWV: Pennington Gap, VA
WKBO: Camp Hill, PA
NewCreation internet radio
Joglen Gospel Internet Radio, MD
BethelPilotRadio – Bethel College (IN)
Signs & Wonders Radio – Ashland, VA
Hope Radio Online: Leitchfield, KY
EJNM.net: Montreal, Que.
thecssonline.net: Glendale, AZ
radioforlife.net:
WWIP: Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Newport News 
Word Outreach Radio: Northamptonshire, England

Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement!!! Mark

Where Did Everyone Go?

I confess I am one of those people who has grown up in the church and feels like he’s heard it, read it, written it, or spoken it all. Still, I really love my church. And mostly because my pastor has a way of continually revealing Jesus to me in new ways. Yes, ever cynical, been there done that, me. I like to be reminded that I don’t quite yet know it all. And I also like to be reminded that I’m not alone.

Just prior to his death, Jesus experienced what it is like to be completely alone–to be completely abandoned, even by those closest to him, you know, the ones who said they’d never leave him? I believe Jesus demonstrated this to us for a reason.

Even though it might feel like everyone in your life has abandoned you, especially when you need it the most, Jesus will never leave you. He is with you. He is that constant companion who sticks closer than a sibling. Rest in the truth of his constant presence.

Here’s a prayer for you from Psalm 33:20-22 –
Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
Let Your Mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.

Blessings to you, knowing Jesus is with you,
Mark

I Want To Walk Where Jesus Walked

Have you ever read a book, or seen a film that centered around a particular locale? For instance, when I watch “Lost,” it makes me want to go to Hawaii. When I watch “Room With A View” (or any Merchant/Ivory production!), I check online for good deals on trips to England. When I read Stephen Mansfield’s God and Guinness book, it makes me seriously long for a trip to Dublin.

I have that same feeling after reading the Bible my whole life. Learning about all these amazing places for so long, without actually seeing them, it’s easy to start making up in my head what they probably look like. But I want to see the real thing sometime. You too?

In the meantime, world-class photographer Ken Duncan has put together a couple awesome books that show us just what the Holy Land looks like. In Where Jesus Walked, Duncan introduces readers to awe-inspiring photos of places in and around Israel where Jesus lived, died, and rose again.

In The Footsteps of Paul traces the route of Paul’s missionary journeys. Ken’s stunning photos, combined with Scripture and writings from noted authors, creates an exciting platform for experiencing the life and times of one of the apostles who introduced Jesus to the Roman world and beyond.

So, until we can visit in person, let’s explore these amazing photographs, and see the Holy Land as it really is – it’s certainly brought Scripture to life for me. Hopefully it will for you, as well!

Real Blessings,
Mark

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