Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Your Money. Your Story. Your Life. This Changes Everything.

We all need a plan for our money. Financial Peace University (FPU) is that plan! It teaches God's ways of handling money. Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small group activities, FPU presents biblical, practical steps to get from where you are to where you've dreamed you could be. This plan will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and much more!
Here is a true story from someone who took the class in our area.
The journey began in February 2014. We enrolled in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course with over $76,000 in debt. This course taught us to learn to work together as a team. It was challenging but with a plan, discipline and dedication, we have arrived at this day where we feel at peace.
It took 13 months but with student loans, 2 vehicle loans, Invisalign, credit card debt and a wedding loan out the window, we can finally say WE’RE DEBT FREE!
Trust us, this works, it really works! #‎DaveRamsey ‪#‎FinancialPeaceUniversity
Join us this fall for the Dave Ramsey Class at St. Mark! And share it with a friend - you just might help change their life!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Operation Clean Start - Helping the Homeless in Green Bay

Meet Jordan McClellan, a single mother of three.  She’s gone from program to program, never getting far from the brink of homelessness.  “There have been many days where I just wanted to give up,” she says. “I felt nobody heard me, nobody cared.”  It began eight years ago when McClellan had two small children and was pregnant with her third. She lost her telemarketing job and was evicted from her apartment.  As many families do, she went to live with a parent, but that didn’t work out. So she moved into a homeless shelter for a year, then transitional housing where her rent was subsidized. When she got a job as a medical assistant, her subsidy went down.  “And literally, the month that my rent went up, I lost my job,” says McClellan. (

This account is not unique.  There are many who face the challenge of getting back to independent living right here in Green Bay.  That's why we are creating "Operation Clean Start" which will be an ongoing ministry of our Green Bay site.  Operation Clean Start will provide basic household supplies to newly housed persons who will be coming from shelters, half-way houses and returning to independent living.  We will be networking with Freedom House and the Brown County Jail system.  There is potential that we may be helping transition up to a dozen families and individuals per month.
The effort will provide basic cleaning products to assist with reentry to independent and productive living.  St. Mark will also provide a Bible and information for spiritual growth as well as a resource folder with places to go if they are in need beyond what St. Mark can assist.  Our goal is to help these individuals and families not only get a clean start in their new place, but also a clean start with God.  
We do this knowing that our greatest need is a clean heart before God.  "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10).  A clean heart is only made possible through the forgiveness that Jesus earned.  It's because of Jesus that our yesterdays are cleaned, our todays can be new and our tomorrows can be steadfast.  That's why we want to share Jesus through Operation Clean Start.
Volunteer opportunities for this project include: 1) Helping coordinate this project; 2) Helping collect donated supplies each month; 3) Helping package the donated supplies into our Operation Clean Start kit; 4) Distributing the kits to those in need each month; 5) Becoming a prayer partner for those seeking God while seeking to regain independent living.
Do you want to learn more about this opportunity to make a difference in someone's life?  Are you sensing the Lord's calling to get involved?  Attend our next Outreach Team meeting at our Green Bay site on Monday, August 29 at 6:30pm.  Our Green Bay site is located two blocks north of Lambeau on Oneida St. (1167 Kenwood, Green Bay).
Got questions?  Contact Pastor Chris at

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Is it better to view pornography, if it makes you more likely to resist premarital sex? -- Guest Blog from Summer Vicar David Spaude

At a recent small group Bible study I got into a rather timely discussion. The group consisted of young people and so it was really no surprise when this discussion arose. This discussion took the direction of sex, pornography, and lust. The question came up, “Is it better to view pornography, if it makes you more likely to resist premarital sex?”

I had to do some extra research to better grasp the question and form an answer. What we need to remember with these two sins is that both are manifestations of lust of the flesh. Lust of the flesh or desire of the flesh is sinful because it “comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16). However, this doesn’t answer the question. It’s a question of comparison. So which is better? Or more accurate yet, which is worse? Viewing porn or having premarital sex?

When Pilate was deciding Jesus’ judgement before the Jews Jesus told him that the one who handed him over to Pilate committed the greater sin (John 19:11). Scripture doesn’t explicitly tell us to whom Jesus was referring, but it was either to the High Priest Caiaphas, the Jews, or Judas. We know that Caiaphas, the Jews, and Judas played crucial parts in handing Jesus over to Pilate and should have known better. Pilate, on the other hand, didn’t know Jesus was the Son of God, but still sinned in handing Jesus over to crucifixion.  So Jesus calls the sin of Caiaphas, the Jews, or Judas a "greater sin" than Pilate’s sin. 

Scripture speaks of deliberate sins (Luke 12:47-48, Numbers 15:29-30). In doctrinal terms, these are also known as voluntary sins. The danger with voluntary sins is that they can result in a person losing faith in Jesus and falling from grace (Romans 8:12,13), which leads to eternal death in hell. It’s a deliberate sin like the sin of Caiaphas, the Jews, or Judas that can lead to a fall from grace, ultimately hell.

Back to the original question, which is the worse sin? Viewing porn or having premarital sex? If they are done deliberately, they are equally destructive because they can lead to a fall from grace and ultimately hell. 

Sexual temptations are all around today and are especially pressing for young people. It’s a daily struggle to fight these temptations as it is with all temptation (Romans 7:15-25). But it’s in Christ that we find forgiveness, comfort, and strength to fight lust in any form it may take. Paul put it this way in Romans 7, “Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (vv 24b-25).