In just a few weeks my Strong Disciple ministry will be officially one year old. It is hard to believe as one year has flown by at the speed of light. This ministry would not be possible without the faithful love, prayers and financial support of so many of you dear friends.
I thought I would share three real-life stories with you. These are written by some of the men I am mentoring, whose lives are being impacted by this ministry. God has been tremendously faithful and He is working wonderful things in the lives of husbands, fathers, and families.
Thank you for your faithful love, support, and prayers.
14 Years ago, Osage Beach Missouri drew many, including me, to a Faith Walkers conference where I first heard Mark Darling speak. In an iconic black leather motorcycle jacket, just as I wore, I felt an immediate preliminary connection. Mark spoke of the Revolution of Christ and inspired me to pursue Christ with a zealous fire in my bones.
When I’d heard of Mark’s new Strong Disciple ministry for building up men in Christ, I sought first to minister and encourage him, but somehow found myself ministered to and encouraged instead. Mark’s like that. He looks to serve everyone in any way that he can.
Since last fall, what began as a single phone call and a Thoughts Provoking sign up has become a weekly phone call that communicates sincere and personal care for me, and a weekly Thoughts Provoking article with great wisdom and insights for my marriage, my fathering, and my pursuit of Christ.
I stepped into that first phone call in a timid and broken state over personal struggles. Mark’s uncanny ability to speak the truth directly in a gentle and loving way that day drew out a deeper understanding of God’s grace that I’d otherwise lost sight of. He’s rekindled the passion in me. He’s equipped and established me in love. And his words have empowered me week by week to minister to those around me with new confidence unlike any I could ever bring forth in a life of my own.
Mark’s words are not cliche, positive-encouraging scripts to be emblazoned in gold, and sold in the Hallmark section of the Christian Bookstore. Rather they are raw, authentic, biblically wise and practical for use in real daily life. My children were touched by real actions my wife and I would not have done in just the last few weeks, if it were not for the suggestions I’d taken from Mark’s weekly Thoughts-Provoking Emails, not to mention Mark’s messages on StrongDisciple.com .
There’s not a Christian speaker I’ve heard that has successfully brought more zeal, love, discipline, wisdom, and inspiration as Mark has, and there’s an archive of messages to last a lifetime that Mark share’s free with all. To hear passion conveyed in the words of these messages is simply indescribable but to say it will change your life is not an exaggeration — it has mine.
I praise God daily for what Mark’s bringing to men through his Strong Disciple ministry.
From Loren in Colorado
GIS Implementation Specialist, Husband, and Father
Recently in my life, I had a job change. It really is an ideal situation, as I am in the field I love, work alongside great people at a great company, and for the first time in my life, have my own office (with a mountain view none-the-less). However, the job I had just before this one turned into a bad situation and Mark Darling was there to help me through it. I am married and have three little ones, so my career is an important thing in the life of my family, and I don’t take job changes lightly. But when things turned bad at my former employer and I knew that it was time to move on, Mark listened to my situation, made time for me over the phone and via email, and coached me. He reaffirmed my feelings about some of the abuse I was taking from my former boss, encouraged me to interview with other employers in the area to find a healthy work environment, and seek market value pay for my position. Mark regularly emailed me throughout the months of job searching and interviewing, asking me how everything was going and encouraging me along in the process. Then when I finally did land my new job, he said something to the effect of “that’s awesome! isn’t God good!?”, celebrating with me. There have been other situations as well in which Strong Disciple and Mark Darling have been a positive influence in my life over this last year, but this is just one account.
Mark has urged me on both through his Thoughts Provoking, weekly articles, and by phone and email, to be a provider, comforter, leader, pray-er, bible teacher, a father who shares his stories of faith with his children, and all-around stronger man. In a world where many fathers are absent and many husbands are on auto-pilot, I thank God for men like Mark, who are daily fighting the good fight and pointing the way toward true biblical masculinity and godly fatherhood. Thanks for everything Mark!
From Christian in Maryland
Construction Estimator, Glass Specialist, Husband and Father
I met Mark once when I was 15 years old in high school at a conference. I got a few of his taped messages, years ago and would listen to them over and over. It helped me tremendously at a young age to know who I am in Christ. He had this message called Feeling Good About You, with a set of Bible-based affirmations that Mark wrote, called “Because I Am”, that I would listen to and read over and over again. I never heard a preacher talk about this subject.
I have found this to be true in my life. When the praise and truth of God are not on my mind. When I am not focused on God, when my mind is not caught up with God’s truth, then my sinful flesh and sinful nature want to dominate. My sinful nature dominated my 20’s and 30’s. You could say I was very much a lukewarm Christian. I wasn’t seeking God. I made myself God and didn’t listen to anyone. I always felt empty, no joy, my friends were as selfish as me, and I had a total sense of loneliness. I found myself wishing I still had the cassette tapes from Mark, from high school.
That’s when I began trying to find him online and I discovered Strong Disciple a few years ago. I have gotten to the point that I listen to one of his messages from that site every day. I started emailing him a few months back. He always responds to me quickly and with godly care. He asked me a few months ago if I would like him to call me and help mentor me. I said absolutely and I have been so blessed by his discipleship and fatherly love!
Having Mark and Strong Disciple in my life has helped me grow more than I’ve ever grown in my life! I would highly recommend you giving Strong Disciple and Mark a try! God will bless you for it! It is blessing me!
The Strong Disciple website and Mark’s fellowship is more valuable than silver and gold! I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world! Because I know my relationship with God will continue through eternity forever and ever. It’s also very cool to know that Mark will be there also!
Life is very very short and what you seek after will affect your eternity. Your kids eternity. Do you seek God? Do you go after God? I now seek God. I didn’t for 20 years. I want God, wisdom, strength, help, fellowship, and guidance. I get this in the Bible, prayer, and Mark’s Strong Disciple ministry work. My mentoring phone call with Mark each week is the highlight of my week. I am eternally grateful for Strong Disciple and Mark’s personal help.
From Ryan in Nevada
Pilot, Husband, and Father