This Strong Disciple ministry would not be possible if it were not for the faithful love, prayers, and financial support of so many of you. I praise God for every one of you. I give all the praise to Jesus Christ for the impact that God is using this ministry to have on the fathers and men I have the privilege to help, pray for, and mentor. It is all because of God’s grace and wisdom.
I thought it would bless and encourage you today, as we begin this new year, to read this wonderful testimony from a dear father named Nathan.
Thank you, every one of you, for your tremendous love, prayers, and generosity. You help make all of this possible. I am deeply grateful, Mark Darling
STORY OF IMPACT
Nathan from Minnesota, Husband/Father of 4
Over the past 18 months, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of being directly mentored by Mark Darling. Through the weekly Thoughts Provoking articles, messages, and personal meetings, he has brought significant enrichment to my life through various questions and trials.
There have been many specific Thoughts Provoking articles that have caught my attention and resulted in life changes. Whether it was The Mirror – reminding me how important it is to start spiritually prepared for my workday, the helpful acronym APO (Attitude, Perspective, Obedience) – helping me remember how to navigate situations each day, or being prompted to re-engage and improve prayer time with my wife, I always come away with insightful, actionable insight. The timeliness of these articles has benefited both my wife and me right in our current circumstances.
Order From Chaos came right at the best time to help my wife with a very stressful household situation and Cannibal Christians were just what I needed to hear during a very strained time of relationships with fellow brothers. Above all, my favorite article (and impacted me greatly) was “The Hardest Thing God Ever Asked Of Me”. I resonate at a very personal level with all the family attacks and trials I’ve sustained over the years. This message lit a fire under me to be prepared for the trails my children would eventually face, that I could not control, and strengthened my resolve to pray for them.
I’ve also been greatly blessed by Mark’s messages on the strongdisciple.com website, both old and new. The “Understanding Our World” series helped clear up some questions I was having about spiritual warfare and opened my eyes to how essential and real prayer is as a weapon against spiritual battles. More recently I’ve gained great Biblical insight from one of his messages about the Rechabites in the Old Testament, connecting history I missed in my Bible reading. The “God is our Solid Rock” message was a very welcome reminder of how important our solid foundation is and not to compromise our convictions in the God of the Bible. Even my 7-year-old son has benefited greatly as he was listening intently to Mark’s recent message on Thankfulness from Ps.50 and we noticed an eye-opening change in his nightly prayers. He began praying about thankfulness for our house, belongings, food, and many other things he has never prayed thanks for.
Mark is a great encourager and has been helping me grow in my own personal faith as well. Our meetings always leave me with deep truths to ponder. He has continued to encourage and guide me in leadership and service and provided great reading resources. Above all, he has continuously supported me in prayer. One additional benefit of our meetings has been all the specific situational help, counsel, and advice he’s been able to offer. From simple things like recommending air duct cleaning during very bad family health issues or recommending Karate and Swim Lessons to improve my children’s work ethic and discipline, to well-placed advice when navigating fractured close relationships and marital disagreements.
I’ve received very specific parenting advice that has helped us with difficult situations. When a suspicious youth started hanging around our yard and enticing our children in a concerning direction, Mark gave the great wisdom to install a privacy fence, as our backyard borders a school playground. There was one time I was at a complete loss as to how to correct one of my children’s habit of lying. Mark was able to assess my child’s situation and recommend age and personality appropriate consequence alternatives to help this child see the severity and impact of lying. When we were facing burn-out due to many significant trails and issues wearing on our family and my marriage, Mark was able to recommend ways we could improve our sleep (even with a screaming infant) and make practical suggestions on how we could get a mini vacation. These were well-needed changes that brought much restoration and peace to our family.
What I’ve appreciated most about the past 18 months of Mark’s friendship and mentorship is his openness and transparency, combined with a genuine interest and desire to help me grow my faith! I thank God for the Strong Disciple ministry and Mark’s ministering love and care in my life.
– Nathan from Minnesota