It’s been some time since I posted on this blog. Honestly, I’ve had many other priorities in life that have kept me extraordinarily busy. I even posted on Facebook back in (I think it was) January of this year that I’d shortly have an update. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I wasn’t able to provide it. So hopefully this will suffice and bring you up to speed on what’s been happening.

First, about three years ago, I decided to pursue a Master of Divinity in Apologetics. It all started a few years ago when I read Nabeel Quareshi’s book Seeking Allah Finding Jesus. I decided to lead a small group discussion on the book and as I dove deeper into the discussions, I realized I was answering a lot of life long questions that I did not have good rational arguments to support. It also showed me how some of my own thinking was flawed.

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One day I just feel a leading to search for an apologetics conference. I cannot really explain why, but I found a conference online being offered by Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES). This was during the COVID lockdowns so it was all online and it was easy to attend. So I signed up for it. About the same time, I was also involved in a small group at church that was being started around apologetics and it turned out that the leader of that group was friends with some of the professors at SES.

A couple years earlier I had happened to go by Lifeway Bookstore while they were going out of business and was shopping some of the sales and stumbled across a book by Norman Geisler called Systematic Theology In One Volume. It’s about 4 inches thick and I found my self not being able to put it down and even though I was not planning on spending as much as I did, I bought the book at a discount for around $65 and started reading it. I made it through the 120 pages and got distracted. I had set the book aside not realizing that this was the main Systematic Theology textbook that I’d be using a couple years later and would actually read all the way through during my program at SES.

During this time, kept feeling led to college ministry, but there were no opportunities for this at my church and to be honest, I was not ready for that, but I was working with the 6th grade boys and ended up serving them for about 5 or six years until my last year when I picked up my first group again (11 and 12th grade boys). It was a lot of fun and I absolutely loved working with them, but there were only a few boys that were thinking about the deeper issues of faith and questioning, but I was seeing all of the issues that these kids were dealing with as they were going through school.

So, when the conference was over, I prayed about signing up for a class and decided to apply into the program to see if it was something I wanted to pursue. The first requirement was to take an English class and I was taken back to my school days and prepared to write papers again. Honestly, it was a little difficult for me to go back and relearn all of the basics of sentence structure, diagramming and writing term papers. However, I did well in the class and because I picked topics that I was interested in writing about and were aligned with my other ministry work or future school pursuits, I really enjoyed it. So, I continued. I am now about 1/3 through the program having completed almost 30 hours. Yes, it’s a 90 hour Master’s program.

The first year of my studies, I continued to server the youth at my church, but last year I felt God calling me and my wife to a different church. We moved my mother-in-law to be closer to us and thought we’d be able to take her to church and it was a lot like what she was used to be part of and would feel comfortable there. The teaching was good and there seemed to be a good fit for us both to contribute to the ministry in the church. So, we followed God’s leading and made the change after seven years at The Pointe Church.

All of this time, I was looking for opportunities to go into college ministry work and last fall decided to pursue an opportunity with Ratio Christi (ratiochristi.org). I applied and was offered an opportunity with Winthrop University as a Volunteer Assistant Chapter Director. Since then, I’ve been working along side Bobby and Keri Murray and our student chapter there.

In the midst of all of this, somehow, I’ve continued to manage a team of Technical Architects in my very demanding full-time job. Honestly, I do not know how I’ve been able to juggle it all, but I divide my time up and work to make sure I’m as effective and efficient as I can be. God has truly blessed us and he’s given me some awesome opportunities to serve Him and others and for that I’m eternally grateful.

Over the next few years as I continue to close in on retirement, I will be taking on more in my role with Ratio Christi and when the time is right retire from corporate life into a full-time ministry role. I just cannot see myself ever retiring. There’s just too much to be done and I feel a heavy burden on my heart to help those who are coming up behind me to know and life the truth.

If there is one thing I have learned from my time so far at SES it is that there is an ultimate truth. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He claims to be the truth and finally I can say that I understand what he means by that.

For those interested, I am continuing to serve on mission trips with Joey Potter Missions (www.joeypottermissions.org) every year, maybe more if time allows and with other groups. I also continue to serve in a volunteer capacity with the Least of These Bridge Camp working as a camp counsellor.

So now you know why I have not been writing as much or posting on social media. I just honestly have not had the time to focus on it, but expect over the next few years to begin sharing more as I make a transition to full-time ministry.

One response to “Update”

  1. Wesley Connors Avatar
    Wesley Connors

    You’re awesome Mark! May God continue to bless all that you do. I’m a few years behind you but my heart is in the exact same place. Gratefulness, humility, and this feeling of never being able to do enough to repay my Savior and serve the One that brings me such joy. Let’s connect, as I would love to hear more about some of the details of the corporate life interactions 🙂
    Sincerely, Wes

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