Wednesday, October 19, 2016


I'm not going to tell you for whom to vote in this year's presidential election.  But I am going to offer some biblical advice on decision making so that you can be at peace with the decision you make when you vote on November 8.

In the conversations I've had, many are struggling with their decision because there are questions surrounding the integrity of both candidates.  Which brings up a great question: When I don't know what to do, how do I make the best decision?

Here are a few principles of decision making I've learned from God's Word over the years.

Principle #1 - Pray about it.  This is what God says about prayer and decision making, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God..." (James 1:5).  Great advice because God is all-knowing and all-powerful.  If we don't know what to do, God always knows what to do.  So we need to listen to Him when faced with difficult decisions.  At times, He makes clear what He wants us to do as we read the Bible.  If we don't know where to look in the Bible, ask a trusted Christian friend or pastor.  The Psalm-writer put it this way, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:105).  At other times, He reveals what He wants us to do through the advice of godly friends.  "Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm" (Proverbs 13:20).  So when we pray, look for God's answers for wisdom and guidance in His Word and through the advice of His people.  Not only that, but when we pray for guidance, let's ask God to keep us focused on His will that all people be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:1-6).

That brings up another very important point.

Principle #2 - Be informed.  That involves listening.  Often times, when it comes to politics, emotions run high and people don't want to listen to each other.  That's a big mistake.  Again, God offers great advice, "Be quick to listen; slow to speak and slow to become angry" (James 1:19).  When faced with a decision regarding candidates, it's wise to be informed and to know where they stand on the important issues.  A good resource to find out where the candidates stand on the issues is this link:

One of the big issues when it seems that you can't trust the candidates who may become president is to look at who they have as their supporting cast.  What kind of people will they surround themselves with?  This question was addressed well by one of my buddies who is a pastor on the West Coast.  This is what he had to say recently, "As I watch what’s unfolding in the presidential race, I can’t help but think that if I struggle with the morality and speech and lives and lies from both candidates (surprise, surprise, right?!) that I should spend some more time looking at the supporting cast they have chosen, or that they are looking to choose for help and guidance, and to influence our great nation along the way. I think back to the VP debate and saw a major difference between supporting cast members. But one of the most important questions to me in the last debate was the one about appointing a new Supreme Court Justice. I won’t feed you my thoughts directly, just ask you to look back on the answers from both candidates. I believe my Christian friends will receive some help from that question alone in your decision this November.  Practically speaking, “water seeks its own level,” and you can tell a lot about someone by the people they surround themselves with. Examine not just Hillary and Donald, examine their current surroundings and who they are looking at bringing to the national stage (VP, SCOTUS, etc.)"  (Pastor Andy Schwartz).

Principle #3 - Trust the Lord above all.  "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).  No matter who becomes president, as Christians we are blessed to know that all of us answer to a higher power, God.  He simply asks us to trust Him with this election.  Trust Him with our decisions.  Trust Him with our prayers.  He will bring eternal good for Christians no matter who becomes president.  Remember, the greatest good for all people occurred when Jesus died at the hands of a pagan governor named Pontius Pilate.  Through Jesus' death and resurrection our sins are forgiven and our eternal home in heaven is guaranteed by faith, no matter who is in charge as governor or emperor or even president.  If our all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God could pull that off, then He can handle bringing good for His people from this election as well.

Peace to all of you in the name of Jesus,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Just ask... Prayer Pointers

I've noticed phrases like these pop up in action flicks pretty regularly. The hero usually tries with all their might 3-4 different strategies and nothing seems to work. Then someone in the group says with a defeated sigh, "There's nothing more we can do. All we can do now is pray." From my perspective this is more than a little up-side-down and backwards.

Why do we have such a hard time coming to God in prayer first? Surveys will tell you these are the reasons:

Don’t have time.                        Doubt if it does any good.
Not important, no great needs.   Satan is opposing it.
Don’t know how to pray.            Trying to avoid God.

I have therapist to talk to.           Don’t care enough for others

Perhaps some of these have prevented you from going to God first with an issue. Instead of dwelling on sins Jesus paid for let's remember the privilege and value that prayer really is. Every Christian has the following promises from Jesus.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. -- John 15:7-8
 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. -- Luke 11: 9, 10
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”  -- Mark 10:27
Prayer is an awesome blessing and powerful because it is talking to an awesome God. I encourage you to pray first and then take action on whatever you're facing today.

And at St. Mark we love to pray for people. If you would like to be on our prayer team or be prayed for please email us at: