Mark Affleck

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Assassinations: The WORLD Or The WORD?

This weekend’s assassination attempt on a candidate for the American presidency had my attention in a headlock. While wrestling with its tight grip, my mind returned to a familiar theme: Life today in the 21st Century is a terrifying roller-coaster ride rumbling through a nasty run of inflation, crippling crime; wars around the globe, dizzying technological advances; and a pall of uncertainty that...
MONDAY

Are YOU Free From the Chains of Self-Pity?

My dominant thought this past weekend was SELF-PITY and how so many believers—including ME—validate negative circumstances and soak our soul in past and present hardships. Here’s the theme that my thinking produced for this message: Self-Pity is moving FORWARD–with excessive, self-absorbed unhappiness over our troubles–and leaving God BEHIND. Self-pity comes knocking when we tell ourselves...
MONDAY

Christians are NOT Growing in 2024. Are YOU?

Christians are NOT Growing in 2024! That was my conclusion this past weekend when I realized how little spiritual maturity was being talked about in these days of modernity and convenience. Here’s my outlier view on why this is the case: Our sophisticated and comfortable lifestyle–with the internet and artificial intelligence seemingly able to answer or cure or address anything—makes it difficult...
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Is YOUR Ambition Healthy?

Celebrating Father’s Day yesterday had me counting a mountain of blessings and especially thanking God for taming my AMBITION so I could be the father he wanted me to be. You see…I’ve been driven by AMBITION my entire life. It started in elementary school trying to dominate recess. Expanded while performing on the football field in high school and college. And exploded in the marketplace as an ambitious...
MONDAY

I RELEASED Control To My Dentist, But NOT To God

I released control when the plane rumbled down the runway and gave itself away to the blue. I released control when the roller coaster barreled down the track and danced on one edge around the first curve. And I released control to my dentist while squirming in her cold and uncomfortable chair. But I did NOT release control to God. That was early in my faith walk when I released NOTHING to God. Not...
MONDAY

Are You Trying to Spin Plates in Front of God?

Before fully RELEASING CONTROL of my life to God, I worked relentlessly to manage every part of life. I wanted to keep everything in motion like a circus performer’s frenetic effort to spin multiple plates on sticks simultaneously. In my case, the plates were my CEO job. My money. And my mansion. I worked very hard to keep those plates spinning at the same time without any of them dropping to their...
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Are You a GOOD Christian?

A social media fight captured my attention this past weekend that featured two people having a ferocious debate over the definition of a “GOOD CHRISTIAN.” It was simultaneously captivating and sad. I fought off the urge to jump into their intriguing duel and decided instead to write this blog. This experience immediately transported me to a time early in my faith walk. Back then I thought the hopelessness...
MONDAY

I Was Nearly Destroyed By My OWN Deception

Mother’s Day and time with family sent my memories racing for context this past weekend as I counted my blessings and thanked God for his soft hand of CONTENTMENT. That led me to celebrate how he helped me tame my lust for success, money, and possessions early in my faith walk and time as a corporate CEO. Back then I was DECEIVED by the evil one who used delusion, one of his favorite tricks, to make...
MONDAY

I Made JESUS Wait in Line for ME

God is NOT in the habit of getting in line for our attention. But that’s where I put him for many years early in my faith walk. I have NO excuses, but I also know that living in the now with Jesus “first in line” for our attention is tough today as we absorb myriad assaults of sound and sight. This “in line” thought thread hit me hard over the weekend when I was looking at videos from early in my...
MONDAY

Where is God’s LINE Between CONTENTMENT and AMBITION?

I spent some time this past weekend searching for the LINE between God’s CONTENTMENT and the world’s AMBITION through this piercing question: Is it possible to separate a believer’s contentment from ambition and our goals to “achieve and succeed?” While it was difficult for me to find a clear answer about a line ensconced in blurriness, God DID illuminate the subject—if not eliminate the blurred...
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