Our family just got back from a few days away in New Hampshire. It was a joyous time of enjoying the outdoors and experiencing the Mount Washington area. Breathing in the majesty of God’s creation always fills my creative tank and fills my heart with a greater awareness of His power.
I wanted to take a moment and share with you what has been going on this year and also let you know what I am working on in the coming months.
July, August and September have always been critical seasons in my life. My history with God has often trailed back to what has happened in those months. For example:
- was hired as a youth pastor in July/August of 1995
- got married in August 2006
- left a staff pastor position in August/September 2006
- started a church in September 2010
- left pastoring in September 2015
I find three things happening in this season:
- God often calls me into sabbatical; a dedicated time to pause, seek Him.
- Listen to direction and hear strategy about the next steps.
- Write in a dedicated manner what God commissions my heart to develop.
This year, I have been focusing a lot of my time coaching and consulting in the area of personal and organizational transformation. I’ve had some unique opportunities to help individuals break through personal barriers in a wide variety of areas. The issues that come to me are often intense, but God has been faithful to use these sessions to equip people who hunger for breakthrough and want to live healthy lives. Most of these sessions are actually over the phone, where I have had the privilege of working with people all over the country and a handful of people from other nations.
I’ve also worked on some church consultation in encouraging the family of God to move more into living with heart health. This has been a lot of behind the scenes work and has at times taken a lot of energy and investment. Some situations have shown great fruit. In this I rejoice.
At the same time I am witnessing many that are not always willing to turn from dysfunctional patterns. We often want the results of transformation, but not necessarily go through the process involved. I’ve had to spend some time grieving this. I am sure many of you reading this have had to grieve this dynamic as well.
Yet I am encouraged that there is a remnant who hunger to experience God’s transformative power in their every day life. In order to experience this, it takes bold decisions to move from old patterns and into more fruitful ones. My prayer every day that is that God would lead me to those who want to overcome. I am committed to equipping them as God crosses our paths.
Because Melissa and I value family so much, we have to pace ourselves in this journey. We are committed to living alive and free from the heart. But this cannot be done in the typical modern life that most people live in. It takes intentionality and sacrifice to make personal growth, marriage and family a priority over all other ambitions. We are finding many striving for achievement and success on the altar of living whole and grounded.
With that in mind, we have to keep our ears tuned to what God is saying and take in the wisdom He can land in our hearts. So with each person, project and situation, we seek to be intentional about what we invest our energy in.
In July, I have scaled back personal work with people, in order to focus on some writing projects that need dedicated focus. My session schedule is cut in half in July and will be down to none in August. Melissa and I will also take a break in August from the podcast. Our hearts need a break form the intense work we have been doing with people and we feel strongly that new writings need to be published.
When I take sabbaticals to write, I usually do it in another location. Much of my writing will be done out of town as we go south to the Carolinas to also visit friends and family. It gives me a chance to get out of my normal office and home space to listen to God and write.
As I work on the book projects, I feel strongly about working on the following areas:
- One of the books that has received great feedback is “Exposing the Rejection Mindset.” I feel that this has been one of the themes that God has put on my life to bring more awareness to. I have felt for a while that I wanted to develop a second edition. From the feedback I got from readers, they loved it, but did not get through the book. This next edition will be trimmed down, more concise and filled with updated insights.
- It has been 10 years since I worked on “I Will Not Fear,” which addresses anxiety, worry and fear-based thinking. Much has happened over the past decade and I want to have a second edition released that will be almost a whole new book. Since my personal freedom, I have learned much in how to help people with enhanced insights. My writing has also grown since the first edition. I want to enhance that writing to equip people more in overcoming anxiety, stress, worry and all manner of fear. I am concerned that the church is beginning to think we just need to live with fear like we have to live with paying taxes. I want to cut through even louder with a message of freedom that I do not hear being taught.
- I am also working on smaller book projects. Books that will be less than 100 pages and address smaller topics. I want to address many of the topics in short form. Many people come to me over similar issues and this can help people right from the jump. This will also help create a wider net for people to get help for their transformational journey. I don’t know how much I will get to, but here is what is on my heart for the future:
- Experience God’s Love as Father
- Overcoming Perfectionism
- Breaking Through People Pleasing and False Burdens
- Overcoming Guilt Based Relationships
- Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
There are more on top of this. It sounds like a lot, but I write pretty much every day. Many of these messages have been on my heart for years and have been in development. The only thing I need to pay attention to is the how long should a certain work marinate. Sometimes I want to go ahead and publish, but I have learned to let things marinate.
Some people think, “well it must be nice to take a sabbatical to write.” Those who say that have no idea the risk involved. Taking time off from sessions also means taking time away from income. We don’t wait for finances to line up perfectly in making decisions like this, so this is certainly a strategic step that takes boldness.
With that in mind, I first ask that you pray for us in this next month; that we’d have wisdom, direction and effectiveness in each step.
Second, I ask that you consider giving towards this strategic season. Our financial support comes from our monthly partners, resources and through our session work. Without the session work, that certainly cuts finances dramatically. But we sense this is the right thing to do.
Many of you are monthly partners with us and that means so much. Others of you give from time to time and it makes such a HUGE difference. We are so grateful.
As you consider giving, feel free to use the online link to make those donations, or consider the monthly partnership: markdejesus.com/donate
Thank you for taking the time to consider this and we look forward to sharing new updates.
If you looking to sign up for personal sessions, we will begin resuming those in September.
We are excited for the newt things ahead!
Continued love and grace,
Mark and Melissa
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