Outside of our wedding and the birth of our children, Mary and I have had the BEST week of our lives! Here it is in a nutshell:

Saturday, April 6th: We watched the Final Four and my lifelong team, the University of Louisville Cardinals, overcame a key injury to advance and survive. Without their 6th man and a great player, they won a close and exciting game! We shared the memory with the precious Brubakers in Indiana which made it even more special.

Sunday, April 7th: Faith Church voted 99.7% positively in favor of me to serve as a member of their pastoral team. I will direct Vision of Hope as I serve as Executive Director of that incredible women’s program. Go to www.faithlafayette.org to find out more! Faith Church is leading the world in biblical counseling and it is an honor for me to serve there with that team of committed Christ followers. It’s like being called up from the minor leagues to a major league team to play baseball for the Yankees, the best of all teams in the majors (though I am not a Yankees fan, mind you). It is a huge blessing and honor.

Monday, April 8th: We slept in Louisville the night before and found the Sports Illustrated magazine with the Cards’ injured player, Kevin Ware, on the cover. We met some really great UL fans while in town and drove home in time to watch the Cards win the National Championship for the first time in 27 years. It was a long wait. What a great team and we stayed up as a family until 1:00 am celebrating the victory!

Tuesday, April 9th: We counseled together and announced to our TIL team and counselees that GOD had called us to Indiana to serve and that Truth in Love Ministries would continue in Birmingham, Lord willing, under new leadership. TIL will also continue in Indiana, too, in days ahead as we transition there.

Wednesday, April 10th: We met with William Dill about becoming our Regional Director of Truth in Love Ministries to continue counseling and training in the Birmingham area. Meeting was great and Bill is the right man for the job because of his vision, passion, and understanding of the TIL mission. Also, we received an offer on our house to begin considering so that we can sell and move to Indiana. “Wow, praise the Lord” is all I can say about that!

Thursday, April 11th: My son and I take 4 flights and land in St. Petersburg, Russia. We had a very smooth trip and a good time together.

Friday, April 12th: We walk around St. Petersburg and grocery shop. The culture here (I am in Russia now) is amazing and words cannot describe it well. You just have to come here to experience it. We are with Artyom, a great man of God and servant of the Most High. He translates so well and is so fun and funny. What a blessing!

So a church appointment as pastor is an answered prayer, Truth in Love to continue is an answered prayer, more work in the area of addictions at Vision of Hope is an answered prayer, University of Louisville Cardinals National Championship in my favorite sport of basketball is an answered prayer (ok, maybe I am going too far on that one), an offer on our house to consider, and then a trip to Russia to teach pastors biblical counseling applied to the addict’s heart for 2 weeks! Wow, what an amazing week provided by an Amazing God with amazing grace!

-Mark (too blessed to be depressed)