March 20th, 2018 — IGNITE

Can I just tell you, I know what I would have done. Probably could tell you what you would have done too – you would have defended yourself! That’s exactly what I would have done and still do – defend myself. Maybe it’s a natural defense mechanism built into us or maybe it’s out of pride we do it. But the truth is when someone accuses us of something, rightfully so or totally wrong, we defend ourselves.

While I’m reading the whole account of Jesus betrayal and trial, I noticed something – everybody has a voice, but Jesus. He doesn’t say a word. That’s exactly what the Bible tells us…

“… while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer.” Matthew 27:12
“And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so that the governor was quite amazed.” Matthew 27:14

That governor was a man by the name of Pilate. Pilate didn’t like to deal with trouble, though it was part of his job. So when Jesus was brought to him, he found himself in a precarious position. On the one hand he couldn’t find any of the accusations about Jesus to be true. As a matter of fact, if you were to read this same account in the Gospel of Luke, you’d hear Pilate say three times, “I can’t find any crime committed by Him.”

But on the other hand, the chief priest persuaded the crowd to demand the release of a true criminal named Barabbas, and have Jesus crucified. Talk about extreme demands.

Pilate wasn’t stupid though. He knew these religious leaders brought Jesus to him because they were envious of how people were attracted to Him. But he also knew there was the strong possibility of a riot breaking out in his city, and he didn’t want that and couldn’t afford that to happen. All the while, Jesus stood there, listening to the hate… the lies… the injustice… never saying word to defend Himself.

Today, we live in a time where truth is twisted and confused. Truth is often based on whoever has the loudest voice… the biggest crowd… the meanest look. Whoever objects the most vehemently has the truth.

Today we are mostly influenced by whatever is trendy and since we don’t want to be singled out, we’re afraid to walk the path of truth.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: You never have to defend yourself when it comes to speaking the truth – God always will – when you speak up for Him… when you live your life for Him… when you let your light so shine for people to see. Though people maybe harass you, or accuse you, just listen and realize Jesus has stood in your shoes and is still standing in your shoes with you. He will defend you!

Give us a brave heart so that we can be a living witness to Your truth. Shine Your love and light on us so that all may know we are Yours. Defend us! In Jesus name we ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

March 19th, 2018 — IGNITE

I don’t mind bragging here for a moment – my bride is a great cook. She makes everything taste great. It doesn’t matter if it’s something simple like banana bread or a main dish like beef stroganoff or chicken alfredo. Her lasagne is out of this world. She makes her own spaghetti sauce which gives all the flavor.

I bring up the spaghetti sauce because every time we have it, I end up wearing some of it as a constant reminder of what we just had for a meal. You know what I mean? It doesn’t matter how much I try to keep clean, I always get that red sauce somewhere on me. Most often it’s on the front of my shirt, but I’ve had it on my sleeves and even my pants. I never thought of myself as a sloppy eater, but you’d never know that when it comes to spaghetti sauce.

I thought of that as I read a couple of very familiar Bible verses today. Here they are…
“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2

I know, you’re asking what Romans 12 and spaghetti sauce have in common. Let me explain. It only takes one spot of spaghetti sauce on my clean shirt to dirty the whole shirt. The same is true with conforming to this world. Someone does something to me and I get angry. But the anger doesn’t stop there, it festers and grows. Worry starts off small and almost sounds caring but then it too grows and we add stuff to it. Gossip starts off as a whisper but then it grows and everybody’s talking about it. Lies start off as “white” but as we keep doing it they turn “black.” You get mad and the next thing you know you’re bringing up stuff that happened 20 years ago. It doesn’t take much for us to soil our clean attire – just like one drop of spaghetti sauce.

But the Apostle Paul told us to be transformed. In other words, because of the atoning work of Jesus, we’re not the same people we used to be. We have been cleaned, renewed, restored. We need that to rumble through our minds all the time. We’re different. We’re whole… we’re rejuvenated… we’re blessed!

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: You may not be a sloppy eater like me, but you may have some noticeable stains that need to be cleaned because you too have conformed to this world. Let Jesus wash them away. You’ve been set apart for  purpose – His purpose, His will. Be transformed.

Transform me today to walk in Your will. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

March 16th, 2018 — IGNITE

I’m sure we all love this Bible verse…
“…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Romans 10:9

We’ve read it, heard it preached, recited it ourselves. It brings us comfort, joy and strength. It assures us, confirms us, empowers us. But I wonder if we realize the depth of this verse?

You see, in the first Century when Paul wrote this letter to the Christians in Rome, everyone, both Jews and Gentiles, lived under Roman law and the rule of Caesar. Whenever Caesar sent his soldiers out to conquer different territories, he would allow those defeated to keep the gods and their religious practices as long as they recognized that he was lord to them. He had the power to rule them… crush them if needed… push them and pull them.

For the early Christians to declare they were under the lordship of Jesus created some tension. To say it out loud not only created tension but pronounced treason. Their commitment to Jesus often made them better citizens, but the Roman government often saw them as subversive and rebellious. Christians would not allow Jesus to be just another god on the smorgasbord of gods list, nor would they limit His rule in their lives. They put their lives on the line every day. Many of them lost their lives because of their commitment to Jesus.

Saying, “Jesus is Lord” today looks so much different here in the United States. We have our own brand of Christianity, though it’s being challenged in new ways all the time. Our American brand of Christianity looks something like this – we go to a worship service on a Sunday morning where everything is decorated nicely (nothing wrong with that), the coffee is brewing (nothing wrong with that), where we do some rituals to help us in worship (nothing wrong with that either), where we hopefully have a spiritual encounter with God (definitely nothing wrong with that – that’s a good thing), and then go back to the rest of our daily life until we can get our next dose of Jesus in another seven days (Ok, nothing right about that!) What we’ve done is moved God to nothing more than a pit stop in the middle of a frantic fast paced life. We’ve given Him what we have left over, and after a hard and busy week, our bodies and minds are tired, and we barely stay awake to hear His Word.

To say “Jesus is Lord” means He invades every area of our lives – everything belongs to Him. We may not be in Rome with a pantheon of gods that we worship, but we still have our own unique cultural pantheon of “gods” competing for our attention and allegiance.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Ask yourself… who’s fighting for my attention and allegiance today? And who will I declare as Lord of my life?

I pledge my allegiance to Your Son, my Savior, Jesus. Holy Spirit, help me. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

March 15th, 2018 — IGNITE

I’m wondering if you can feel the tension in the room? Picture it with me. Jesus is in a home with His disciples and friends. He’s just been in the temple teaching to many and ended His teaching with these words… “… the Son of Man is to be delivered up for crucifixion.” (Matthew 26:2) I wonder if anybody heard Him, because no one ask what He meant by that? Did what He just say resonate with them, or was it like one of the many sermons we’ve heard? You know, the one you can’t even remember as you leave the church building.

But I know for sure there was one person who heard Him. One person whose life was so radically changed because of Him. One person who was so indebted to Him for all that He had done for her. One person who couldn’t hold back expressing what He meant to her. I’d like to tell you her name, but I can’t. It’s not a secret or anything, we’re just not told what her name is. It might as well have been you or me!

But this one grateful lady walked into the room in the house where Jesus was and took some perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head and anointed Him. It was very costly perfume. The scent filled the room. Many of woman would have savored this costly perfume and dabbed a little here and a little there in trying to preserve it for as long as she could, saving it only for special occasions.  

But not this lady. She pours it all out. She pours out her praise and thanks. She pours out her love and admiration. She pours out her soul before everyone. The disciples in the room became angry. They thought it was a total waste of resources. They could have sold the perfume and given the money to the poor.

But what they considered waste, Jesus considered worship. He tells them, “… she did it to prepare Me for burial.” Matthew 26:11 Then He tells them, “Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done shall also be spoken of in memory of her.” Matthew 26:13

So let me ask you… when was the last time you heard a sermon on this nameless woman? When was the last time you read an article about the extravagance of her love? When was the last time you compared her abandoning expense of love to yours?

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Pour out all you have for Jesus. Take that which is most near and dear to you and pour it out as an act of worship to Him for all He’s done for you. Keep pouring out lavishly, extravagantly. Hold nothing back. Pour out every last drop, no matter what anyone says. Don’t let anyone deter you. Just keep pouring out your love for Him.

I willingly offer my love for You today because of the love I’ve received from Your Son, my Savior, Jesus. It’s in His name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

P.S. I want to encourage you to watch CeCe Winans sing “Alabaster Box” on Youtube! It will melt your heart.

March 14th, 2017 — IGNITE

It’s going to take faith. It’s always going to take faith. The difficulties in life are not going to go away simply because you don’t want to deal with them anymore. They’re not going to ease up to let you breath for a moment so you can regroup.  It’s going to take faith. I also need to tell you that in the face of life’s difficulties and dangers your faith is going to need to get stronger. Just look at some of the examples of the Bible…

  1. It took faith for Noah to build the ark and step foot in the ark when it started to rain. He had never built an ark before – he had no way of actually knowing it would float.

  2. It took faith for Abraham to pack up his wife and all his belongings and travel to an unknown land. He didn’t even have a map.

  3. It took faith for Abraham to build the altar, stack up the kindling wood, tie his only sons hand and feet, and raise his knife to make the sacrifice.

  4. It took faith for Moses to step back on the ground of his upbringing and tell the king to let his entire labor force all go because their God was calling them out.

  5. It took faith for Joshua to convince the people to shout down the walls that were keeping them out. Who ever heard of such a demolition process?

  6. It took faith for David to stand face-to-face with the giant of fear and doubt and bring him down with a stone.

  7. It took faith for Daniel to step foot uncaringly into the lion’s den, knowing his flesh would be of no interest to them.

  8. It took faith for the three young men to walk unfearingly into the fiery furnace believing not a hair on their head would be singed and even if they were it mattered little to them.  

  9. It took faith for Peter to get out of the boat and walk on water when everyone else just sat by wondering what was going to happen next.

And it’s going to take faith for you to overcome, overthrow, and overwhelm the hardships staring you in the eye today. Not faith in your own ability, creativity, or ingenuity. But faith in the Living God. Faith in the One who brought you this far and will take you through to the other side. One man said it this way…
“… when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: The Bible says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

Take me to the Rock that is higher than I!

Help me stand, help me run, help me take back what the enemy has stolen from me or keeping from me. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

March 13th, 2018 –IGNITE

When I started college (many years ago now), the very first class I had was Beginning Latin 101. I was in the pre-seminary curriculum and was given this class without me even approving it. I remember wondering who spoke Latin and why did I need to learn it. I wasn’t planning on going to any Latin speaking countries, so how was this going to help me prepare for the ministry? Little did I know before the class even started that Latin is a dead language. No one speaks it anymore. Can I just tell you, if I would have known that I probably would have dropped out. But as it turned out, I ended up taking Latin all four years of college, with the same Professor, and even got a minor in Latin.

The first Bible verse I learned in Latin has stuck with me all these years. It’s Romans 8:31 – “Si Deus pro nobis quis contra nos.” “If God is for us, who can be against us!” Not only was it an easy verse to say – it was an easy verse to understand.

But as easy as it was to say in Latin (or English) and as easy as it is to understand, evidently it’s not always easy to live out in life. We have so many enemies attacking us – all which seem bigger than life.

The financial mammoth has eaten all of our assets. We struggle from month to month wondering where is our daily bread? The physical leviathan has us knocked down and knocked out, gasping for air, hanging on to a thread, causing us to limp through life. The emotional gargantuan allows us to see the sun at times, but most often cast dark clouds overhead, draining us of joy and hope. The spiritual behemoth prevents us from hearing the voice of our Father when we pray and dulls the reading of the Word. Our worship is dry and calculating. Our love lukewarm at best. Our ministry nonfunctional.

But there is a truth we‘ve forgotten. It’s found in the cross. The cross says it all, because the cross paid for it all. Jesus came and conquered those colossal monstrosities so that we could and would rise up above mediocrity and live in faith because God is for us and nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing that rises up against us, can defeat Him. God is for us and so therefore nothing can be against us!

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: This is going to take faith. It’s not as if all our enemies are just going to walk away and give up on us. No, they’re probably going to attack even more. They’re going to be relentless in their attack hoping that you and I will once again get tired and give in. But not this time. We’re not going to give in because, “If God is for us, who can be against us!”

Let Your Word encourage me today. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

March 12th, 2018 — IGNITE

If you were to read Numbers chapter 30, you would read about a Law the Lord God gave to the people of Israel about making vows. It got me thinking about what I’ve heard people say over the years about making a promise to God, only for them to break it. Here’s what the Bible says…
“This is the word which the LORD has commanded. If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” Numbers 30:1-2

Now please understand, this vow is a promise made to God. Remember? We’ve said things like, “O God, I promise I won’t do it again!” or “God, I promise if you allow me to get this job, I’ll go to church more,” or “Lord, if you heal my body I’ll serve you,” or “Lord, I promise I’ll be a better husband,” “God I promise if you get me out of this, I won’t do it again.” Yet we never hold to our end of the vow. Aren’t you glad God doesn’t just strike us dead for not keeping our end of the bargain?

Bottom line? Stop making promises you don’t intend to keep. That’s like constantly  saying you’re sorry when you know you really don’t mean it. That’s like asking for forgiveness for a lie. That’s like taking the blame for a mistake you have every intention of making again. It just doesn’t make sense.

We need to be people who say what we mean and mean what we say. We need to stop trying to be something we were not meant to be but would like to be because it looks good or sounds good. We need to stop making promises that are cheap words. Why? Because God’s going to hold us accountable and He’s coming back one day to repossess what belongs to Him. That’s right! Just about the time you think all hell is breaking loose on your life, it might just be God reclaiming His stuff. You did make a vow after all. You promised! All I’m trying to get you to understand is this – don’t make a promise you don’t have any intention on keeping, because they are easy to make and hard to pay for.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today. Here’s what it says in the Bible…
“When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it, for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.” Ecclesiastes 5:4-7

Help me be a man (a woman) of my word. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

March Message from Wendy Showalter


Sometimes we forget just how big God is. In fact, we even forget the truth that God is unfathomably big. We are short sighted and self-absorbed so often that we neglect a relationship with God – who is so amazing.

Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart? Have you ever felt the nudging and leading of His hand? That voice that whispers, “Come be with me. Open my word, internalize its truth. I will transform you,” and then rolled over and went back to sleep? Or, decided to keep watching your favorite TV show instead? If so, then think on this simple analogy: a powerful politician or leader of a national societal issue asks to meet with you to discuss a current topic.  Wow!  The publicity – the notoriety – the fame!  Would you accept the invitation?  Would you go?

Many of us would answer yes. We would quickly respond to the call of someone so powerful and important. I’m sure by now you understand where this is headed — but there is none more important, more powerful, or more worthy of our time than God! Yet so many times we turn to things so unimportant by comparison, and ignore the very God who made and saved us. When God calls us, we should be as Samuel was, responding immediately, “Here I am!”

March 9th, 2018 — IGNITE

Nobody likes setbacks. As a matter of fact, many people don’t like hindrances, obstacles, stumbling blocks, or whichever way you choose to phrase it. We are adverse to anything that impedes our direction.

Many times we find ourselves being so consumed with just trying to survive that we, in a sense, forget how to live. We are only surviving, not thriving. We get so caught up in everything happening that we miss the message God has laid so plainly before us. We fight trying to understand why it always happens to us and why it always happens now, that it’s easier to focus on the stuff rather than God and what He’s doing.

Right about now, you’re probably asking, then how am I supposed to understand why I’m not succeeding at the place God sent me to? I mean I can’t make heads or tails out the situation. You can’t make sense of why God would bring you this far and then allow everything to crumble right before your very eyes. Or why He waited until you got ready to retire for sickness to attack your body? Or why He would allow death to show up when your marriage was falling apart? We’ve cried out, “Why God?” Why am I struggling more when You were the One who told me move? Why am I hurting more when You were the One who told me to go? Why am I frustrated more when You are the One who told me what to say?

But have you ever stopped to think the hardship you’re facing right now was intentionally placed there by God? Has it ever dawned on you, what caused you to stumble was God’s way of intentionally knocking you back to save your life? Have you ever stopped to think that you thought was for your bad was actually for your good? I know, it sounds weird. But let me see if I can help you understand.

How many times did you pray for the place you are, even though God told you no the first time? How many days/nights did you plead with God for the very thing you’re crying over right now even though He told you no? Think about it because maybe, just maybe, you’re in a position like a guy named Balaam in Numbers 22, finding yourself on your road in life, on your ass. (By ass I mean donkey!)

See, this guy Balaam found himself in a predicament because the ride he thought would be easy turned into one with a few bumps and delays because God allowed Balaams donkey to stumble. Balaam was mad and told the donkey if he had a sword he would have killed him but what Balaam didn’t realize was that falling on his ass (that would be his donkey again) saved his life. Read this…
“And the angel of the LORD said to him, ‘Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me. But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live.’” Numbers 22:32-33

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: I don’t know where you’re at today on your journey, but falling just might be the reason you’re still alive. In God’s infinite grace and mercy, you’re misfortune was for your good. “… in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Help me see You control all and have my best in mind, even when I get knocked down. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

March 8th, 2018 — IGNITE

In this year, 2018, my bride has dedicated a new word for her walk with God. The word is “surrender.” But not surrender like, “I’m giving up.” Or “I can’t handle this anymore and I just quit.” No, her surrender is more like, “I surrender my perceived right to be hurt… my perceived right to be betrayed… my perceived right to be abandoned… my perceived right to be rejected.”

Here’s what we need to know and be challenged with: When I let go and I let God, you know, let God have His way… then things start happening. We need to let go of fear… of what we think… of being right… of thinking, “This might not be my time,” and just let God. Let God have His way and we let go of our way.

You see, when we try to do it, most often we only mess it up more. When we try to figure things out on our own, we end up adding more problems than we had before. When we try to take ourselves places, the doors won’t open. When we try to rise without God, we find out there’s no fire in our hot air balloon. Get the picture? When we try to do it, it never works. So you know what” Let’s just surrender to God!

Somebody, today, knows exactly what I’m talking about. You’re fighting in your sleep because the enemy is determined to not let you succeed. You’re fighting when you’re awake because the so-called Saints are more conniving than the unsaved. You’re fighting on the job and then you fight at home. You’re struggling with your finances trying to make them stretch only the elasticity is all gone. You’re fighting with your car, begging it to hold on. You’re fighting with sickness because it’s trying to kill you And you’re asking, “When will this all end?”

It ends today! Whatever you’re fighting – It ends today! Because here’s what God in His Word says…
“Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

Friend, go build a spiritual fire and throw everything that you can’t fix into it and allow the aroma to make it to God’s nose and then let Him handle it. Don’t go another day in depression or trying to figure it out by yourself. Don’t move another step without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Don’t make another decision without God’s approval first.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Today is the last day you will be depressed, broken, or wounded! Today is the last day you will be without. Today is the last day you have to fight alone. The negative thoughts, the tears, the fears, the strongholds, the generational curses, the mistakes of your past, the “I can’t do it” talk; it all ends today! Why? Because He says, “I will never allow the righteous to be shaken!”

I surrender my perceived right to even have a perceived right. I hear You and I trust You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.