Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for I find him a useful assistant. 2 Timothy 4:11, N.E.B.
Mark’s mother was a convert to the Christian religion, and her home at Jerusalem was an asylum for the disciples…. Mark proposed to Paul and Barnabas that he should accompany them on their missionary tour. He felt the favor of God in his heart and longed to devote himself entirely to the work of the gospel ministry….
Their way was toilsome; they encountered hardships and privations, and were beset with dangers on every side…. But Paul and Barnabas had learned to trust God’s power to deliver. Their hearts were filled with fervent love for perishing souls. As faithful shepherds in search of the lost sheep, they gave no thought to their own ease and convenience. Forgetful of self, they faltered not when weary, hungry, and cold. They had in view but one object—the salvation of those who had wandered far from the fold….
Mark, overwhelmed with fear and discouragement, wavered for a time in his purpose to give himself wholeheartedly to the Lord’s work. Unused to hardships, he was disheartened by the perils and privations of the way…. He had yet to learn to face danger and persecution and adversity with a brave heart. As the apostles advanced, and still greater difficulties were apprehended, Mark was intimidated and, losing all courage, refused to go farther and returned to Jerusalem.
This desertion caused Paul to judge Mark unfavorably, and even severely, for a time. Barnabas, on the other hand, was inclined to excuse him because of his inexperience. He felt anxious that Mark should not abandon the ministry, for he saw in him qualifications that would fit him to be a useful worker for Christ. In after years his solicitude in Mark’s behalf was richly rewarded, for the young man gave himself unreservedly to the Lord and to the work of proclaiming the gospel message in difficult fields. Under the blessing of God, and the wise training of Barnabas, he developed into a valuable worker. Paul was afterward reconciled to Mark and received him as a fellow laborer.
Conflict and Courage p. 348
Prayer Requests
—–Urgent prayer for my father, Kenneth. At hospital. Marilynn
—–Please pray for Zach . He is 30 years old and suffered a heart attack while riding his bike. He is in a coma. Someone saw him go down and performed CPR. Aaron
Dear Friends,
When Eileen was two years old, we moved to Pennsylvania because Ron got a job there selling books door to door. At first, this job supplied our needs, but after awhile because of certain circumstances that arose, we began having a very difficult time financially. Every day, Ron would work from morning till late at night. Every day he came home without making a sale.
During this difficult time, God did not forsake us. He put compassion into the hearts of two church members. One of these men was a goat farmer. He supplied us daily with goat’s milk. I did not like the taste, but I learned to drink it and cook with it anyway. That goat’s milk was very good for Eileen, who needed good nutrition at such a formative age. This man also sold Mason shoes and gave Ron a pair of these expensive shoes. Ron was overwhelmed at his kindness and very thankful. Those shoes were very comfortable and he wore them for many years.
The other church member, whom our Gracious Heavenly Father raised up to help us, brought us coal for heat. Before his kindness, I had been going daily out into the woods to gather firewood for heating and cooking. The wood I was able to gather, did not keep the house warm. Often Eileen and I would burn ourselves as we huddled very close to the small heating stove to try to get a little heat. The coal burned hotter and longer and kept the house comfortable. I was very thankful for his kindness.
Everyone has difficulties in this life—for some, it is poverty; for others, it is health issues; still others have worries and perplexities that overwhelm their very being. It is how we react to those difficulties that determine our future. Do we fight against the trial and blame our troubles on the only One can help us, or do we trust our Loving Heavenly Father through both the hard times and the good?
The Bible is full of stories of people who trusted God even when all seemed against them. My favorite Bible story is a good example of that very thing. When Joseph was sold as a slave by his own brothers, he had not only the fear of the future to deal with, but he also had the heartbreak of knowing that he was in this situation because those he loved hated him. What a difficult trial that knowledge was! Yet, through all of this, Joseph determined to be true to God. As Joseph stood upon that auction block, God controlled who bought Joseph. If it had not been Potiphar who bought him, Joseph might have been sold as a common laborer and perished quickly. The rule of Joseph’s life was brought out in the words he spoke when urged to do evil by Potiphar’s wife, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Gen 39:9 Although he suffered for his steadfastness, God did not allow the suffering to last. He lead in other lives to bring about his purpose for His faithful servant.
“God was with him, and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt ; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt , he sent out our fathers first. And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph’s kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. Then sent Joseph , and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.” Acts 7:9-17 Joseph received a great reward for his faithfulness. He became second ruler in the kingdom of Egypt. Even dearer to him than his position, was the eventual reuniting with his family. What an example he is to us, for, even though his own brothers had hated him and sold him as a slave, he forgave them freely.
May we determine, as did Joseph , to love God and keep all of His commandments no matter what our circumstances might be. May we put away all of our feelings of bitterness toward those who have done us harm. May we follow our Loving Shepherd all the way to His glorious, Heavenly Kingdom is my prayer.

This Dropout Made Good
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