Attended my grandmother’s funeral with my wife, 4 children, mom & dad in Florida over the weekend and into Monday. We just returned late last night (right before midnight). 1200 mile trip in 3 days, and most of it was driving – thankfully, we rested on Sunday. We really had a good trip and had NO electronics for the children – no DVD players, video games, etc. for the 24 hours in our van! That’s the true miracle but our children had fun with each other and we sang, played games, talked and laughed most of the time (a few angry outbursts erupted!).

We got back home last night and saw our pet BAT had been keeping the bugs out of our carport for us, too. (Bats are creepy-looking.)

We are exhausted now but eager to get back to doing the Lord’s work through TIL.

I wrote this email solely for the purpose of thanking YOU for praying for us during this time of grieving. My dad, Ronny, appreciates it as well as I do. Our family had a nice graveside service that went very well and I saw people in my family that I had not seen in 15 years.

One last note: though these were blood relatives we saw in Florida, what I find to be so wonderful is that I have spiritual relatives who are filled with the Holy Spirit. This new family of God is such a blessing for me as I have brothers and sisters in Christ!

Have you thanked the Lord for your spiritual family lately? What a gift from Him to give us each other in the body of Christ expressed through local churches!

Anyway, Ronny and I are back in the saddle today at Bethel Baptist Church!

Special thanks to Jason who manned the phones and taught an Intro class for me this weekend! He’s a brother in Christ for sure!

-Mark (realizing that Christ is the only tie that binds us together)