John Markum

Bullies, Flashlights, Fire, and Kali

What could possibly have come from the mouth of my precious little 4-year-old daughter, Kali? This story that she dropped on me and Tiff this afternoon:

Kali: “Mom. Dad. We have to go now!”

Tiff: “Why, Kali?”

Kali: “To get the flashlights!”

Tiff: “What flashlights?!?”

Kali: “The flashlights that the bully took!”

Tiff: <snickering> “Uhh, John? You might wanna hear this one!”

Me: “What is she saying?”

Kali: “We have to go to the bully’s house to get the flashlights back! Uh huh, that’s sounds like a good deal…”

Me: “Kali, how are we going to get the flashlights back from the bully?”

Kali: “We’re going to tie him up with the rope and throw him into the fire, and he’s going to get all burned up.”

Me: “WHAT!?!”

<Kali repeats, quite adamantly!>

Me: “Kali where is this bully?”

Kali: “At his house!” <said with an obvious “duh, Dad!” attitude>

Tiff: “And where is his house at, Kali?”

Kali: “It’s far, far away. We have to get a whole million gas in the car and go get him!”

Tiff: “Kali, we can’t burn up bullies…”

Kali: “Yes we can! We have to get the rope, and…”

John: “Kali, if we tie up a bully and throw him in to the fire and burn him all up, then we go to jail…”

Kali: <disappointed> “Ahhh…”

Don’t mess with my kids… They will straight-up tie you with rope and burn you! I laughed so hard at this today, but secretly feel a little worried. Just don’t tell Kali that. I’m afraid of getting up in the middle of the night with a horse head laying next to me.

Blessings (LoL),


Monday Morning Review

Welcome back to a regular work week! I hope you all had an AMAZING Thanksgiving day with friends and family. Last week for me, our family, and church broke down like this:

  • Spent the first part of the week recovering from my trip to Indiana where I got to speak to 80 teens at an All-Nighter.
  • Shopped, prepped, and cooked Thanksgiving dinner with my family. Pics and recipes coming soon, I swear!
  • Ate food, played with kids, and spent time with my wife. So grateful for all the good things God has blessed us with!
  • Stayed up way too late playing video games as my coupon clipping, sale-hunting, savings queen-of-the-universe wife (official title) left at 11:30 Thanksgiving night to spend the next 8 hours systematically hitting the best black-Friday sales available. She spent far less than most. God loves me…
  • Took wife and kids to the Festival of Trees Saturday morning. Ran into a friend from church who gave us a $10 punch card to play the games. I love our church family! We all had a great time together.
  • Got our worship on Saturday night with a good crowd. Saw more visitors, some from out of town visiting family. We worshiped like we loved Jesus, preached God’s Word, and people gave their lives to Christ. Jesus is awesome!
  • Came back Sunday morning to see more of our out-of-town college students. I love their generation! They are world-changers… you watch and see!
  • Came home, cleaned the house from a crazy week and watched Iron Chef America with the newest Iron Chef winning his first battle. I’m a food nerd…  I can’t help it.

I hope you have a great week getting back into your routines. May you experience God’s blessings and power in your life. I look forward to seeing many of you back this Saturday for our new series “Shine.” More on that later this week!



The phrase no pain, no gain has been a mantra for athletes and fitness junkies for years. And what they understand about physical pain needs to be broadened to a much more general use in all of our lives. Pain hurts. That's the whole problem. No one enjoys it, and if someone does, we rightfully

The Premium of Pain