July 27th, 2018 — IGNITE

As I read the Word today, there were many thoughts tumbling through my head about how I feel when things start falling into place and start working out for my benefit. Hopefully you can relate.

Maybe we notice it or not, but as we’ve been planning and working, and then working and plan, and things start happen, we find ourselves “in the grove.” And I’ve got to tell you – there are few things better than when your life starts comeing together.

Your relationships are good… your job is going well… financially you’re secure… you physically feel good… you’re faithfully reading your Bible… your prayer time is precious… the sin you’ve struggled with seems distant – and this isn’t a dream. This is really happening and you feel good about it.

There are seasons when our lives feel good, everything is going our way, we’re grounded in our faith and bumps in our “spiritual road” don’t bother us much.

Then, all of a sudden, one bad turn turns into another bad turn, which turns into another bad turn and we find ourselves discouraged. This happens for many reasons and it’s often because whether we realize it or not, we begin to pull away from God, believing that we need Him less. The small bumps in the road seem to suddenly turn into massive potholes.

Rehoboam is a perfect example of this. He was the son of King Solomon and heir to the throne. There were some early snags in his career, but then everything started falling into place and was going fine. Here’s what we read in the Word…
“It took place when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established and strong that he and all Israel with him forsook the law of the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 12:1

We’re not that much different from Rehoboam. I don’t know about you, and I hate to admit and confess this, but it’s so  easy to forget my God and His blessings, and start to rely on myself.

We overestimate our own strength; acting as though we are our own Superman, and as though we can tackle anything alone. We essentially abandon God for what we think is the best for us. But the truth is, Jesus says…
“… apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

But, let me tell you, it doesn’t have to happen! You and I, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us, can create consistency in our faith by intentionally remaining in fellowship with God.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: As you hit your stride and things begin to click, remember to thank the One who has brought you to this place of consistency.

If there’s a steady stream of thanks and praise coming from your mouth and mind, you’ll seldom forget the One who supplies all you needs. That Superman cape doesn’t fit you anyway.

I can’t do this life on my own. I need you this day and everyday. In Jesus name I pray this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 26th, 2018 — INGITE

I get the opportunity to meet a lot of different people. Now, I don’t mean different as in “different”, but many people from all over the world. I actually like meeting new people, talking to them about whatever they want to talk about, chiming in on their conversation with my own experiences and celebrating this thing we call life. I like hearing where they’re from and what they do and why they do it.

Today I was reading about this lady in the Bible – she was a queen from a far away land – who heard of a king, whose fame reached her homeland and she wanted to meet him. We don’t even know her name. She’s just listed as the Queen of Sheba. (2 Chronicles 9)

Now, I’ve been to a number of countries in the world – not close to all of them – but I was a little curious, because I couldn’t recall, geographically, where Sheba was. So I had to do a little research. Turns out Sheba is the country of Yemen today, which is in the southern part of Arabia. At one time it was a very wealthy kingdom with all kinds of gold, spices and precious woods.

What I didn’t know was the distance. Sheba is about 1500 miles from Jerusalem. Think about the transportation service of her time and what it must have been like to travel that far.

Now the Bible tells us she heard about King Solomon and all his wealth and his wisdom, even from that far away, and she wanted to meet him for herself. When she got audience with Solomon the Bible tells us…
“… she spoke with him about all that was on her heart.” 2 Chronicles 9:1

“Solomon answered all her questions.” 2 Chronicles 9:2

After all her quizzing… her thorough investigation… her inquiring… the Bible says…
“She was breathless.” 2 Chronicles 9:4

Then I remembered that Jesus even spoke about her, but I couldn’t quite remember what He said about her, so I had to look it up. Here’s what Jesus said…

“The Queen of the South shall rise up with this generation at the judgement and shall condemn it, because she came from the end of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.” Matthew 12:42

What’s His point? Well, if the Queen of Sheba traveled “from the ends of the earth” to meet King Solomon… see his kingdom… ask her questions and hear his wisdom… how much more should we seek Jesus and the glory of His kingdom?

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Who would you like to meet? Who would you like to talk to? Take a selfie with? Who is it that would take your breath away? Now, multiply that by a gazillion, because when you meet Jesus, you’ll have meet the best! How far would you travel to meet Him?

I want to meet Jesus all day long today. Jesus, it’s in Your name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July25th, 2018 — IGNITE

I remember as a little boy trying to get my mom to react in a certain way. It was during those times that I wanted something. Maybe it was snack… to go play… to watch TV. But for whatever reason, she said, “No.” Maybe it was too close to supper time, or she didn’t want me just wasting away in front of the tube.

Well, I had seen my friend try something with his mom and it worked, so I thought I’d try it with my mom to see if I could make it work. My plan? My magnificent plan? Hold my breath! Yup, that was my brilliant plan. I was going to get what I wanted by holding my breath, and then my mom, seeing my face grow red in desperation, was surely going to give in to my demands. I was going to get what I wanted just like my friend.

Unfortunately for me, my mom let me hold my breath without batting an eye. I remember her standing right in front of me, and even as I think of it – I think she had a smirk on her face. It was as if she didn’t care (which wasn’t the truth). What she knew, and I didn’t in my lack of experience, was eventually, I would come up for air. And of course I did. And I still didn’t get what I wanted. As a matter of fact I got a life lesson for attempting my foolish act, if you know what I mean.

I tell you that little encounter because of what I read in the Word today…
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.” Psalm 150:6

That verse made me stop and think of the many times I have the opportunity to praise my God for all that He’s done for me and is still doing, but instead, I clam up my mouth, and in a sense – hold my breath.

I want something… so I pray. It’s doesn’t happen immediately, so instead of praising, I complain. I hold my breath!

I step out in faith, but my way isn’t always as clear as I’d like it, because I’ve never been this way before. Nor is it as easy as I had hoped. As a matter of fact, it’s hard cutting a new path. Instead of praising Him for new adventures – I doubt. I hold my breath.

I know He’s my supplier, but the funds aren’t always there. Instead of praising Him, I either take it into my own hands… let my mind wander for solutions… or let fear rise up. I hold my breath.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Everything with life and breath is to praise the LORD. That includes you and me. It includes the times we didn’t get what we wanted and the times we are still hoping to come. Stop holding your breath – it’s only going to give you a headache!

I will praise You today because there is breath in my lungs. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 24th, 2018 — IGNITE

So how do you perform? I mean, does it make a difference how you do things based upon who’s watching? For some people it does.

I remember a guy I used to work with. I thought he was a terrible worker because he never really did anything unless the boss came strolling through our area. Then he was up on his feet, lickety split, impressing the boss with his diligence and hard work. Of course it was all fake. I think our boss knew it, but just never did anything about it.

So, does it make any difference how you do, what you do, whether others are watching or not? If someone is watching, let’s say your boss, do you put a little more effort into it, so as to impress him/her?

I learned a good many years ago that I play to an audience of One. There’s really only One who’s watching me, and is watching me all the time, and I don’t have to try to impress Him. As a matter of fact, I can’t impress Him. But still He loves watching me anyway.

I’ve had the privilege and opportunity to preach before thousands, and lead worship for a crowd. I’ve also preached before a handful and sang for one. In the end, it wasn’t about how many noticed… or how many were watching… or did they appreciate what I was doing… or would I get complimented, but knowing there was One who I wanted to bring glory to.

I’ll have to be honest with you… there have been times and still are times when I catch myself trying to impress somebody… trying to be noticed… trying to be recognized. It doesn’t take as long for me anymore to catch myself and remember there’s One I’m living for.

Why do I share all of this with you? Because this is what I read in the Word today. Here’s what Jesus said…
“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps alight.” Luke 12:35

Let me see if I can paraphrase that for you to try to apply it to our lives today…
Be the kind of person who never needs to be told to be ready, because you always live in that condition.

It’s easy for us to say we’re Christians, but take that one topic… that one person… that one moment in our past and we no longer are ready for much of anything, especially letting the light of Jesus shine through us for people to see.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Bottom line… we all play to an audience of One. God is always watching us. We don’t have to try to impress Him. Because of Jesus in our lives – He’s already impressed. He wants us to stay in state of being all the time. He want us to be the kind of people who don’t need to be told to be ready, because we are!

I always want to be ready. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 23rd, 2018 — IGNITE

Stuff! We all have it! We have closets and rafters full of stuff.. We have stuff we haven’t used in years. We have stuff we don’t even remember having. We have stuff that no longer works. We have stuff that is sentimental but is only taking up space.

But did you know that our accumulating of stuff can become a blockage to serving others? Common sense says if you have more stuff then you should have more ability to help others in need, but seldom is that true.

Jesus sees it from a different viewpoint. If you ever sit down and read Luke 12, Jesus tells a parable of a rich farmer whose land was very productive – so much so that he decides to tear down his old, small barns and build bigger, new ones. (Luke 12:18-19)

Jesus then tells His disciples (including you and me) that our lives should be on a radically different path – living for His Kingdom, and here’s how He ends it…
“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:33-34

So what’s He saying? Well, as followers of Jesus, a big part of our mission here on earth is to be a glimpse of Jesus’ coming kingdom. Our life is suppose to be like an appetizer for the upcoming, amazing banquet feast of the Lamb. When we have too much stuff, it hinders us from living out our mission.

Let me see if I can explain why…

The more stuff we have, the more we want more stuff. It’s a consumer mentality and it’s addictive. The draw… the tendency is to pursue the bigger… the nicer… the better… the fancier (you fill in the blank).

The more stuff we have, the stronger our grip is on that stuff. Somehow our stuff easily becomes the source of our security and has the capacity to turn into an idol we worship.

The more stuff we have, the more our stuff becomes the desire of our hearts. Remember Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” 

The more stuff we have, the more of our time and energy it requires. Just look at your calendar. A lot of time is used keeping up our stuff, rather than serving others.

The more stuff we have, the less we are able to see the needs of others. It blind us… make us oblivious to those around us.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: If you’re anything like me you have stuff – some good stuff… some unusable stuff. But today recognize that God has blessed you with stuff so you can be a blessing to others and be a glimpse of His kingdom right where you live, with the people around you.

Help me to use my stuff to bless someone else today. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 20th, 2018 — IGNITE

I’d like you to read 2 Chronicles 20 today because I want to ask you which day you’re living in? I mean you might be in Day 1 – pre-battle stage – you know the fight is coming. Maybe it’s a fight in a relationship, or maybe a battle at work. Maybe the conflict is a health issue or maybe a financial one. Whatever it is, you know it’s coming. So what are you going to do? Sit and twiddle your thumbs? Get anxious or depressed? Ignore it? You know the enemies coming. He only comes to “steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) So what are you going to do?

Let me give you some advice. Put everything aside, and I do mean everything, get some of your Christian friends together for one purpose, prayer. Admit to God…
“We are are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” 2 Chronicles 20:13

Then get ready for day 2. The Bible says, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15

You need to go the battle ground. You need to go where the fighting is heavy, but you won’t need to fight, because God’s got this one. What you need to do is start praising God… thanking God… blessing God that He’s on your side… taking care of business… defeating your enemy… winning your conflict. And when you do, you’re going to watch and witness the awesome power of God dissolving your problem… your dilemma… your situation… winning your campaign.

But wait! Don’t stop there! Many people I know are happy stopping right there, knowing the battle’s over. They never enter into Day 3. Day 3 is where you take back what the enemy has taken from you. You collect all the spoil… everything he left behind. And let me tell you, he has stolen from you more than you can imagine. Take it back. It belongs to you. It’s your reputation… your godly pride… your hope for tomorrow… your peace of mind. It’s all yours – take it back.

Then enter Day 4. Read this… “Then on the fourth day they assembled in the valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 20:26)

Day 4 is where you want to be. It’s the day you want to live in. Many of us don’t because we never started in Day 1 seeking the Lord – we’re just waiting for the battle. We’re still in it, trying to fix it ourselves. We’ve never allowed God to fight for us. And very seldom do we ever win, so we still walk away defeated with nothing in our pockets.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today:
Day 1 – Pray – seek the Lord!
Day 2 – Face your strife, but allow God to fight it!
Day 3 – Collect what is rightfully yours
Day 4 – Bless the Lord

I want to live in Day 4. Today I bless Your holy name. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 19th, 2018 — IGNITE

Have you ever had a song or a tune get stuck in your head? You know, it’s a tune you’re familiar with and after hearing it, you keep playing it over and over again for the rest of the day. You hum it… you whistle it… you even start singing it out loud.

Most of you will remember the old tune to the TV show, “Ponderosa.” Or how about, “Mission Impossible.” (Even now you’re singing it, aren’t you?) How about the words to “Gilligan's Island”? Or the “Flintstones”?

It doesn’t take much, does it? You can probably start singing your favorite song from the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s, not missing a beat or mixing up the words. Most of you can probably do the same thing with “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art.”

But if that’s true, it’s also true we don’t forget the bad stuff we’ve been through. We rehash it like it happened yesterday, though it was twenty years ago. We can tell the story of the injustice… the hardship… the loss with as much energy as we had when it happened. It’s easy for us to reiterate our life story to explain why we are, what we are, today. It’s like a tune stuck in our head. The tune isn’t always there, but given the right impetus, it immediately is ready for us to replay.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in reruns. I’ve wasted enough time reliving my past, wondering how it happened… wondering what I’d be like today if those things didn’t happen… wondering why they happened… wondering about the things I would have done differently. But none of those things are going to happen, and so the tune just gets stuck in my head, and I sing it.

So, if you want to, you can join me today in making a change. I’m going to purposefully, intentionally, consciously sing a new song today. That’s right!  By the power of the Holy Spirit within me, I’m going to sing a new song. Not the old one I’ve known forever, that I’ve memorized. No, a new song. One that has never been sung before. One that will tell a different story. A story of hope and a future. A story of joy and strength. A story for today and tomorrow instead of the past. I’m praying that into existence today. Why? Because this is what I read in the Word…
“I will sing a new song to Thee, O God.” Psalm 144:9

Which makes me think that maybe my God would like to hear a different tune from the one I’ve been playing.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: What new song is just waiting to burst out of you? What new song, the one that has yet to be written, is just on the tip of your tongue, ready to be sung? Sing a new song today!

You’ve already put a new song in my heart. Help me sing it out today. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 18th, 2018 — IGNITE

I don’t know who this is for, but I really felt compelled by the Word to share this with you today. “Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19

Now, in order for you to fully understand what this means, you have to first know that quench means to suppress a feeling completely or (catch this) to put out a fire or light. Simply put, stop putting out the fire of the Holy Spirit and the light of God that is within you.

When you walk in your destiny and when your passion burns from within your soul, everyone can see it. It doesn’t matter where you are, people see the flames, it’s that noticeable. It’s like starting a fire in the middle of the wilderness. Eventually someone will see the flames and/or the smoke and realize something is on fire – YOU!

This is why you have to pursue what God has ordained for your life. It won’t matter that your in a crowd of people when your passion burns deep; they’ll see the flames. When you tap into your destiny and you allow yourself to walk in your purpose, they’ll see the flames.

Stop putting the flames out because you’re afraid of the unknown. Stop shying away from from it because someone is telling you it might be hard. Life is hard, yet you get up every morning and face it. Quit allowing people and fear to talk you out of fanning your flames.

Listen to me: when you seek the Lord and when you allow the Holy Spirit to rest in you even if you try to hold it in – you won’t be able too. You’ll be like Jeremiah saying…“But if I say, ‘I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name, then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.” Jeremiah 20:9

I don’t know about you but I pray – “Lord, let me be the sacrifice as long as You provide the fire.” God’s fire burns from within us but it won’t burn us up. However, it will burn up the stuff that needs to be gone. So stop trying to put that fire out and instead add some spiritual fuel to it. Allow the Holy Spirit to burn within you. Pray like you mean every word. Read the Word like it is water for a parched soul. Worship before an audience of One.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: I don’t know what the fire of God looks like in your life – which way He’s leading you… how He’s calling you… what He has planned for you…, but whatever you do – don’t put the fire out! Tell Him, “I’ll be the sacrifice as long as You provide the fire!” Then burn brightly!

I do not want to quench Your Spirit within me. Provide the fire. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 17th, 2018 — IGNITE

Have you ever been in a hurry? Dumb question, I know, but hurry up and answer it!

We’ve all been in a hurry. We’ve been in a hurry to get to work on time, but the traffic is slowing us down. We’ve been in a hurry to get a project done, but our coworker is slacking on their end. We’ve been in a hurry to get to the Post Office before it closes, but pull up just a minute short. We’ve been in a hurry to use the restroom. :-0

I looked up the definition to the word hurry. It goes something like this: to move, proceed, or act with haste. That got me thinking. Why is it we, as children of the Heavenly Father, don’t hurry to Him. Why aren’t we in hastening mode to go to His throne. Why don’t we petition Him more or why don’t we hurry to ask of Him what we need?

Here’s what the Bible says…
“Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

I mean, if hurry means to do move, proceed or act with haste, why aren’t we moving towards God’s throne? I know it’s easier to mumble and complain… it’s easier to have a pool pity party… it’s easier to stay in the boat, but why won’t we venture to our Father’s throne where real help lies?

The Bible says that because of Jesus…
“… we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.” Ephesians 3:12

Why don’t we hurry? We say we need rest but Jesus says…
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

We say God isn’t answering our prayers but have you asked why lately? Jesus tells us…
“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Luke 11:9

We say we believe… we say we have faith… but then we get scared to step out when we see the enemy hiding around the corner, but Jesus said…
“… I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.” Luke 10:19

Why aren’t we in a hurry to go to our Father’s throne? Why aren’t we in a hurry to ask God for what we need when He has it all? Where is our faith?

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Hurry Up! Today make a change. Before you get overwhelmed by everything bombarding you, hurry up and go to the throne. Before you get overcome by the rising waters, hurry up and go the throne. Before you feel the sting of death, hurry up and go to the throne. He’s waiting! He’s invited you. Since He’s not constricted by time, He’s not in a hurry.

Thank You for waiting patiently for me. Help me react and refocus on You first. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 16, 2017 — IGNITE

I know all of you have experienced this before – at least those of you from the United States. You’re driving somewhere, anywhere, whether to work, shopping or just going to visit someone, and all of a sudden you find yourself stuck in traffic. It’s barely moving – just a snails crawl. Then you realize it’s not because there’s so much traffic, but there’s an accident upahead and everybody has to slow down because they have to see what’s happening. Traffic isn’t bottled up because of anything other than people being nosey. And because they were nosey, I and everybody else on the road have to suffer because of it. I wasn’t stuck in traffic because I did something wrong but because someone else had the mind to gawk at what happened to someone else.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I had to get in trouble for being late to something, I’d want it to be because of my doing and not somebody else’s. I mean, if I have to suffer for anything, let it be for me being Godly and not a gossiper. If I have to suffer for anything, let it be for being notable and not nosey. If I have to suffer for anything, let it be for being merciful and kind not a meddler. If I have to suffer for anything, let it be because I have and am a testimony and not a troublemaker. If I have to suffer for anything, let it be my doing.

You see, I’ve learned in my years of spiritual growth that in order to avoid suffering for somebody else’s sake, I’ve got to mind my own business. See, it’s a sad day when you can’t grow because you’ve been stunted by somebody else’s mistake.

But the only reason their mistake became your mistake was because you stuck your nose in where you shouldn’t have and when you should have minded your own business. Through experience, you should know you can’t get a bloody nose unless you jump into the fight… you can’t be burned unless you get too close to the fire… your name won’t get muddled if you don’t get in the mess.

Now, this just isn’t good advice for ole Pastor Mark. No, this is straight from the Bible. Here’s what it says…
“… make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Stop commenting on everybody’s stuff… stop putting yourself in squabbles that don’t affect you… stop trying to find out what’s going on with others… stop giving your unasked for advice. It’s none of your business.

The Bible says…
“Like one who takes a dog by the ears is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him.” Proverbs 26:17

And we all know what might happen if you pull the dog’s ear, right?

Thank You for the direction of Your Word today. Help me live it like You wrote it. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen