04-04-12 Wednesday Night

Beautiful Outlaw Chapter 16:  Letting Jesus be Himself Encounters.mp3

Excerpt from Participant’s Guide:

We should expect to encounter Jesus anytime, anywhere, everywhere.
Such a simple and profound thought. Anytime? Anywhere? Everywhere?

What does this truth stir up in you? Hope? Joy? Comfort? Fear? Anxiety?

Be open to the ways Jesus wants to come to you. Don’t insist it be in exactly the way he comes to someone else. This artist is infi nitely creative.
Don’t let someone else’s remarkable encounter with Jesus diminish the beauty of what you know of him. Hold fast to the treasures you have. But, at the same time, you haven’t experienced all there is with God. There is more. Much more.

Those new possibilities are often opened to us through hearing the ways Jesus is working in other people’s lives. Put down both the ashes and the stones. Let’s discover more of Jesus, together.

Have you ever felt that your encounters with Jesus should look like someone else’s?
Or have you felt limited by the encounters others have had?

In what ways, times, or places have you experienced Jesus in a way that feels unique and personal to you?

If we will get rid of the limits and the religious constraints, we will see him everywhere.


Hi I am Pastor Mark...

I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years now (2018), though never quite like I am today. (more on that in a moment)

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my best friend, greatest personal support and most valued aid.
As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught. I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled). Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,

"If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling."

~ Fredrick Buechner

By 2009 I’d been Pastoring for nearly 20 years. Earlier in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our church was not in keeping with the New Testament. This was a shock to me and it is was a revelation that did not come all at once but over the course of a few weeks.

We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until about 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We believe the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly and though we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me. I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!