Welcome to Mark's Spiritual Views

(Picture of an open Bible on the front of the shirt, this on the back):
When All Else Fails, Read the Directions.

My christian faith is primarily influenced by a loving family and Baptist evangelical traditions.  In addition, training as an engineer has led me to a faith, not based on blind obedience, but based on the observation and recognition of the hand of God in the creation and modern intervention.

He has opinions and experience with:

Every act of love is a work of peace no matter how small.
Mother Teresa
Aloving heart is the truest wisdom..
Charles Dickens

Personal Views


To be supplied in the future.  But in the meantime, a collaboration of a 13th century prayer by St. Francis of Assisi and contemporary song writers Kirk & Deby Dearman

Instruments of Your Peace
Kirk and Deby Dearman

Lord make us instruments of Your peace
Where there is hatred let Your love increase
Lord make us instruments of Your peace
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are instruments of Your peace

Where there is hatred
We will sow His love
Where there is injury
We will never judge
Where there is striving
We will speak His peace
To the people crying for release
We will be His instruments of peace

Where there is blindness
We will pray for sight
Where there is darkness
We will shine His light
Where there is sadness
We will bear their grief
To the millions crying for release
We will be His instruments of peace

Lord make us instruments of Your peace
Where there is hatred let Your love increase
Lord make us instruments of Your peace
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are instruments of Your peace

Evil & Sin

Essentially all sin is based on selfishness.  If we look at the laws of God, we have the gospel of Matthew verses 22:37-38 (NIV) 'Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment."'This is a focus on God, not yourself.  And continuing with Matthew, verse 22:39 (NIV) 'And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."  Again, to not put yourself above others.  We could look at the Ten Commandments given to Moses.  Whether they be a "Do" or "Don't", each of the commandments focus is on the benifit of putting others before yourself.

It may not be definative, but understanding God's meaning of sin can be put as simply as "Sin is selfish behavior".  In Genesis, the eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge made us self-aware.  Ever since, we have had a sinful nature.  God's way is love and sacrifice. "Go, and sin no more." (John 8:11).


To be supplied in the future.

Being a Living Sacrifice

You have heard the urging to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 7:1).  What does this mean to christians?  If we are to allow God's love to be expressed and grow in his people, you must become vulnerable to our fellow man.  If you sin, you can not hide it.  It is not good enough to confess our sin to God.  We must confess our sin to those that we have sinned against.  In the act of confession, we expose our sinful nature to another.  We become vulnerable to their actions - even to their retribution.  Doing so, we have acted as a living sacrafice - vulnerable to the actions of another person.  Just as a sacrificial lamb is at the mercy of the the blade - we must be at the mercy of God's people.  But unlike the lamb which needed to die, Jesus has paid that price.  God's people can afford to be merciful.  God's people can afford to love one another because Jesus' sacrafice has removed the need to purge the sin with more blood.  We do not need to hide in shame and in fear of death.  We do not need to cover our imperfections because God's Love can cleanse us from the stench of sin.

But, God's love can not grow within God's people unless we confess our sins and become vulnerable to your fellow man.  Unless we bear our soul of our sins and transgressions, we can not be humbled and God's grace can not pick us up.  We are told to hold nothing back, because if we keep any part of our nature to ourselves, we keep secrets.  Hiding any sin is an expression of self-destiny and our lack of trust in God's people.  If we are to truly be a living sacrifice, there can be nothing of our will seperating us from God's will.  But never fear.  If we have confessed our sins to God and man, death no longer has mastery over us (Romans 6:9).  We can faithfully offer our bodies as living sacrifices because we are no longer under the law, but under God's grace (Romans 6:14).  Essentially, we have nothing to lose.  Ultimately, Christ has paid the ultimate price for sin - death.  Even as we offer our bodies as a sacrifice, our bodies are already dead and we are not slaves to sin (Romans 6:6-7) and no one can not take what you have given to God.

Like in a marriage, love grows between a couple as they let down their natural defenses.  Intimacy is letting down your defenses, becoming vulnerable to another person.  It is in this intimacy that you can express love.  Without the intimacy, we expend much of our time and effort defending ourselves from being hurt.  But the rewards of intimate love is forgiveness, charity, grace and trust.  With these rewards, we are freed up to focus our time and energies in pursing God's will for us.  And this should be our ultimate goal.  By being a living sacrifice, 1) God's love and grace to be fulfilled thoughout his people, and 2) God's grace frees us from the shakles of sin so we can boldly pursue God's will.

The Challenge of Service

A common snare that can entrap a god fearing soul is the natural tendency of loosing focus on God working through us.  We are taught to humble ourselves before God (Matthew 23:12).  And as a humble servant, God can do good works though us (Reference).  As God works through us for great good, we can easily see our lives as great and begin to loose the humility that allows us to be good instruments for God to use.  We are naturally selfish creatures.  We begin to see ourselves as being good - and even the source of the good works.  Self-confidence in ourselves and our godliness begins to twist our outlook and overshadow the humility that led to the good deeds.  Eventually, the self-confidence leads to a belief that we can perform the good works on our own.

This is usually not an overt rebellion of God's will, but a subversive distortion of focus.  To rejoice in the good works is fine - but to lose focus on the source of the good works leads to selfishness and sin.  Let others see the good works in you and let them bring praise.  As Peter said: "It is better ... to suffer for doing good than for doing evil" (1 Peter 3:17), and always be mindful that promoting yourself over God is a sin and evil.  We must remember Psalms 14:3 and Romans 3:12 (NIV) "...there is no one who does good, not even one".  It is God who does good and we must aspire to humble ourselv es always so that we can be his instument.

Wisdom can even be found in a Chinese fortune cookie

It is not the person who has too little,
but the person who always craves more that is poor.

Suffering is caused by attachment to impermanent things.

Gain the wisdom to change the things you can change.

Selected Issues of our day

Spiritual People Inspire Me.
Religious People Frighten Me.

Evil Spirits

To be supplied in the future.

Homosexual Behavior and Homosexuality

To be supplied in the future.  Meanwhile, a song from my youth.

For Those Tears I Died
Marsha Stevens

You said You'd come and share all my sorrows,
You said, You'd be there for all my tomorrows;
I came so close to sending You away,
But just like You promised You came there to stay
I just had to pray!

Your goodness so great I can't understand,
And dear Lord I know that all this was planned;
I know You're here now and always will be,
Your love loosed my chains and in You I'm free
But Jesus, Why me?

And Jesus said, "Come to the water,
Stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty
you won't be denied;
I felt every tear drop
When in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you
that for those tears I died."

Jesus, I give You my heart and my soul!
I know that without God I'd never be whole;
Savior, You opened all the right doors,
And I thank You and praise You from earth's humble shores,
Take me, I'm Yours!

And Jesus said, "Come to the water,
Stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty
you won't be denied;
I felt every tear drop
When in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you
that for those tears I died."

Alcohol for Christians

From one of the most sacred ordinances of the Christian church, Matthew chapter 26 verses 27-29 (NIV) 'Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered to them, saying, "Drink from it , all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom.' Several things are apparent.  First, Jesus drank wine.  He had drunk it before and even offered it to others.  Second, Jesus expected to drink it again - in the Father's kingdom.  This implies that at least wine will be available in heaven.  So, even if the old polka is true that "in heaven there is no beer", then there will be wine.  Probably the good stuff, too.  I do not mean to be sacrilegious on this point, but I do wish to point out the zealot's advocating to abstain from all alcoholic drink is not entirely based on the Bible.

Drunkeness is a another different matter.  Drunkenness is the abuse of alcohol.  As with the abuse of any drug, or even gluteny, it is a sin to abuse the temple in which the holy spirit abides - your body.  If taking a drink leads to drunkenness, then it is better to never take a drink - extrapolating from Matthew 5:29-30 (NIV) 'If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of you body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of you body than for your whole body to go into hell.'

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad.
Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 8:15

Special Message

Here are some trinkets of other spiritual insights that may interest you.


A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"

The young boy was apologetic. "Please, mister...please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do," He pleaded. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop..." With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother, "he said "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up."

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. "Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy! push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home..

It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: "Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!" God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It's our choice to listen or not.

Associated news

Here are some sources of other spiritual insights that may interest you. Here are some organizations that put faith into action.

A Bit of Humor

Boy Talk

Two little boys are in a hospital, lying on stretchers next to each other outside the operating room.

The first boy leans over and asks, "What are you in here for?"

The second boy says, "I'm in here to get my tonsils out, and I'm a little nervous."

The first boy says, "You've got nothing to worry about. I had that done when I was four. They put you to sleep and when you wake up they give you lots of Jell-O and ice cream. It's a breeze!"

The second boy then asks, "What are you in for?"

The first boy says, "A circumcision."

And the second boy says, "Whoa! I had that done when I was born. Couldn't walk for a year."

Preacher troubles

There was a preacher whose wife was expecting a baby. The preacher went to the congregation and asked for a raise. After much consideration and discussion, they passed a rule that whenever the preacher's family expanded, so would his paycheck.

After 6 children, this started to get expensive and the Congregation decided to hold another meeting to discuss the preacher's salary. There was much yelling and bickering about how much the clergyman's additional children were costing the church. Finally, the preacher got up and spoke to the crowd, "Having children is an act of God!" Silence fell on the congregation.

In the back of the room, a little old lady stood up and in her frail voice said, "Snow and rain are also acts of God, but when we get too much, we wear rubbers."


Smith climbs to the top of Mt. Sinai to get close enough to talk to God.  Looking up, he asks the Lord, "God., what does a million years to you?".  The Lord replies, "A minute."

Smith asks, "And what does a million dollars mean to you?"  The Lord replies, "A penny."

Smith asks, "Can I have a penny?"  The Lord replies, "In a minute."


Three friends from the local congregation were asked "When you're in your casket, and friends are mourning over you, what would you like to them to say?"

Artie said: "I would like them to say I was a wonderful husband, a fin spiritual leader, and a great family man."

Eugene commented: "I would like them to say I was a wonderful teacher and servant of God who made a huge difference in people's lives."

Don said: "I'd like them to say, 'Look, he's moving!' "

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Last modified January, 2007