John Markum

Risk Takers

Risk TakerI’ve known of some people doing some pretty incredible things:

  1. I watched Robbie Madison ride a dirt bike up a ramp, land it on top of the Arc de Triomphe in Las Vegas, then ride it back down in a 100 ft. freefall.
  2. I saw Nik Wallenda tight-rope walk across Niagara Falls.
  3. I got to be there live for Darren Taylor – aka, Professor Splash – dive from 35 feet into 12″ of water.
  4. My own father once went cage diving with great white sharks over 15 feet long! Continue reading “Risk Takers”

Blessing Blockers

Last night I preached a message called “Blessing Blockers” as part of our last week in a series called The Blessed Life. We looked at five things that get in the way of us experiencing the powerful, grace-filled life that God wants each of us to experience. I thought I would share them with you as succinctly as possible:

  1. Faithlessness: “I have difficulty trusting God.” Hebrews 11:6, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” God’s greatest desire is His glory, and my good. So I can trust Him.
  2. Inconsistent Walk: “I can’t seem to stay on track spiritually.” Rev. 3:16, “Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out!” God loves me more than the awkwardness between us. So I can always come back to Him.
  3. Fear: “I am afraid of the possible outcomes of following God.” 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, courage, and of a sound mind.” There is no situation which God is not “God” over. So I don’t need to fear.
  4. Unconfessed Sin: “I hold onto a sin while trying to move forward.” Psalm 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Jesus died to take away my sin. So I don’t need to carry it anymore.
  5. Feeling unworthy: “I don’t think I’m good enough for God to bless me.” 1 Corinthians 1:30, “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.” I am not worthy on my own. So God made me worthy through Christ.



What you CAN’T See

2 Kings 6 tells this fascinating story of Elisha being surrounded by the Aramean army. He had been relaying the details of their battle strategy to the king of Israel, and when the enemy found out they didn’t want to take chance by only sending a dozen troops. So they sent the likes of an entire battalion… for one man.

You ever felt the same way? Like you were being surrounded by seemingly impossible circumstances and the future was unclear, and there was no clear way of survival? Maybe for you it was a relational thing. Or college. Or your finances. Chances are, you can fill in the blank with your own example of an army surrounding you.

The best part of the story is when Elisha’s servant looks out the door to see the army surrounding them: No way of escape, no weapons, and outnumbered 1,000 to 2. Elisha prays for God to “open his eyes that he may see.” As God does so, the servant sees them being protected by an even greater army – an unseen army – made up of the hosts of Heaven.

Elisha does not pray for the army to be killed, he simply asks God to blind them. Then he leads the blinded battalion to the king of Israel, asks God to restore their sight, and then allows them to go back to their land unharmed. The Arameans leave Israel alone after that.

Funny, how something that looked so impossible was resolved, and without even a battle taking place. That’s how big our God is! Our God will take our overwhelming odds, and thwart their efforts to harm us.

Real faith is believing that there is something greater at work than what we can see with our eyes.

He never promised us bad stuff would never happen to us, He only promised that we’d never be alone, and that through Him we are more than conquerors. We will overcome by the power of our God. He is greater! He is with us! What can possibly stand in our way? Do not fear your circumstances. Look to our God, and expect great things from what you do not see.



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