Divided Nation

Divided Nation


Started in January, 2020

I can’t believe all the things which have happened since I started writing this novel.

The shock of Covid-19.

The anger of the George Floyd Murder.

The challenge to change a culture.

All of these things have impacted the writing of this novel.

5 Years after Covid-19, Christians accidentally spread the next pandemic. Within a few weeks, Christians are “Public Enemy #1” and start losing rights.

How will you handle persecution if it comes to the USA?

The last few week’s and month’s events demonstrate this is not as far-fetched as we would have thought in January, when I started writing this novel.

This is still a fun read, but it is also a sobering read, with characters which you will remember from Divided Together.

Pre-Purchase now. Available November 1st, 2020.


It’s still being written.

I told a friend recently, this is the most complicated novel I have ever written.

Watch the vast majority of Characters handle persecution well.

But watch the vast majority of “so-called” Christians turn their back on Christianity.

It’s a novel with a message: How will you handle persecution?







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Unity In The Church

Unity In The Church

(Originally Posted July, 2018)


  • #ChurchUnity

  • Unity Because We Need It

  • Unity Because We Don’t GOT it

In July 2018 I was spending a lot of time in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. While it was specifically written to the Israelites, I believe that it gives us some interesting “jumping-off” points that we can apply to our lives.

Please hear me when I say that I’m not being critical toward either political party or various theologies, even though I have strong beliefs myself. I am being critical towards us, in the church, us that are saved, that are NOT IN UNITY with one another simply because we think differently than others.

In fact, the reason I wrote this book, and still haven’t finished The Pray-ers, Book 3, is because this DISUNITY is killing us! Look, people may baptize, or pray, or vote, or look different from you, and WE CHOOSE disunity rather than humbly getting off our soap-box.

And, NO! Just because you’re right doesn’t mean you open your mouth.

I Jesus said something about “Log-Jams” in our eye. (Matthew 7:3)

Remember, we are the problem, when it comes to lack of unity, not the world! The world is acting like the world. The problem is us, the saved, the church. We are acting like the world also. And that has got to change! Let me confess to you, I’m talking about me as well as you. When I use the word “you,” I’m using it in the Southern sense “y’all,” which includes me.

We have prayed 2 Chronicles 7:14 for years that God would fix Washington DC, or Nairobi, or Mexico City, or Tegucigalpa, depending upon where you live. But we have completely ignored the first clause in that verse, which is humbling ourselves before God. We can RIGHTLY point out the ills in everybody else’s life, but we refuse to talk to God about the sin in our life.

To my shame, I know that I sure do. And I don’t think I’m that much different than many of you.

I wrote this post nearly 2 years before Covid-19. . .I’m just curious. From your perspective, has Christian Unity improved with C19?

Christians’ Future

Friends, WE HAVE the opportunity, the GREAT opportunity, and, I believe, responsibility, to demonstrate UNITY IN THE MIDST OF DISAGREEMENT, which the world does not have the ability to do.


Look at the radicalization of attitudes in our world, such that, we see people in Great Britain tearing down bus advertisements (https://www.facebook.com/FranklinGraham/posts/2013195845403253) because they don’t want others to hear Rev. Franklin Graham talk about hope.

Again, this is the world, and we expect that from the world!

I’m concerned that in the Church we are just as obstinate.

If you know the Mission Statement for Common Thread Ministries, “Rebuilding the Foundations of Prayer” from Psalm 11:3, you may know that the reason this is our Mission Statement is because I believe that things are going to get much worse before Christ returns. You may have even heard me say that “if your prayer-life is not solid, when things get worse, you will cave.”

I heard this in one of my prayer calls, “If you only pray when you’re in trouble. . .you’re in trouble.”

I told you that I have been spending a lot of time in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, and again, while this was written to the Israelites of old, I fear there are solid applications for us today.

God, speaking to Jeremiah says:

“. . . They will cry out to me, but I will not hear them.”
Jeremiah 11:11b (HCSB)

And then three verses later we read that God tells Jeremiah:

“As for you, do not pray for these people. . .”
Jeremiah 11:14a (HCSB)

Remember, that God is talking about His chosen people in the two passages above. Nevertheless, While I DO NOT THINK that God has said this to us yet, is He getting ready to?

Again, I wrote this nearly 2 years before C19. If this experience doesn’t change you, WHAT DOES GOD HAVE TO DO TO GET YOU ATTENTION?

YIKES: Have we SOOOO DROPPED THE BALL that we have been asked to carry, that what portends us is, and should be, scary?

Remember, my SOLE-REASON (you may want to say “soul-reason” and I’d agree), for writing this is to point us to unity in the Body of Christ!


Make The Main-Thing The Main-Thing

Beginning with those in The Church that disagree with you.

And what is the main-thing?

Jesus made it clear, and it HAS TO BEGIN with us. In John 17:21 (His high-priestly prayer) He said, “The way they will know that I came from the Father, has NOTHING to do with your ability to parse doctrine. The way they will know that I came from the Father, has NOTHING to do with love (which He brings up 2 verses later). The way they will know that I came from the Father, has NOTHING to do with your politics! The way they will know that I came from the Father, is if you have unity.”

And Baby We Do Not!

I could be way wrong on this, but here is my bottom line. Expect God to say to us what He did to Jeremiah, if we continue this constant salvo of pointing our fingers at others, including, and especially, fellow Christians.

We have no more for time for petty differences! There’s a reason people do not want our Jesus and it is because they know us! They see our lack of unity!

And if our lack of unity is a sin, then we have so many sins that we can’t see over them (Psalm 40:12).

Let me briefly say something that may sound to you like I am speaking out of the other side of my mouth. If you are in politics, remember that you are to work as unto the Lord, and not unto man. And whatever you do, do it with excellence because it is the Lord you are serving (Colossians 3:23-24).

YIKES: Because of our arrogant choice to NOT BE IN UNITY, if He hasn’t already, I fear that God is getting ready to tell us what he told Isaiah, “I will not listen to you anymore. I don’t care, even when you raise your hands towards me or how often you pray” (Isaiah 1:15). Or maybe God is getting ready to say to us, when we pray, like He said to Moses, “Stop talking to me about this subject!” (Deuteronomy 3:26b).

If we refuse to be united with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I don’t think God is interested in listening to ANYTHING we have to say!

What Church Unity Looks Like

Church unity is best understood by looking at a foundational point of the Christian’s existence here on Terra Firma, namely, that this is not our home! Just look at Hebrews 13:14 and 1 Peter 2:11.

The truth of these two verses, and their impact on #ChurchUnity came home to me recently when I thought through Colossians 1:5 where we are told our “hope is in Heaven.” 

When our hope is NOT IN HEAVEN. Where is it?

That’s Right: When our hope is not in heaven, our hope is on things here, on earth. How foolish and how selfish we are!

I believe that when our focus is on the things of the earth, our selfishness does not allow us to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21).

Does this short discussion of #ChurchUnity remind you of the passage that says, “deny yourself?” (Matthew 16:24) Well it should.

Unity In The Body

This is what the Lord requires of us.

Turn Him down to your peril, and to OUR peril, as a Body.




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Prayer Denied

Prayer Denied

(Originally Posted August, 2018)

This is NOT a Political Hit Piece

I know what you’re thinking, “Mark, anytime prayer is denied it’s probably political!”

I hear you, but just read on

What physical “needs” do you pray for?

Food, Clothing, Touch, etc.

What emotional “needs” do you pray for?

Security, Affection, Comfort, etc.


I have been burdened lately by Matthew 16:24, “. . . deny yourself. . .”

Matthew 16:24 (HCSB)
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.


So, I have a simple question:

“I wonder, how would our prayers change if we denied ourselves, to follow Christ?”

Just wondering,




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Epaphras Struggles with Thanksgiving

Epaphras Struggles with Thanksgiving

(Originally Posted July, 2016)

We All Struggle Thanking God, HIS-WAY

At one time or another, we all struggle with this.

Even the Prayer-Heros of Scripture.

Epaphras is known as a prayer warrior (Colossians 4:12), but even he struggled with this. . .in my novel.

In The Pray-ers, Book 1, Troubles on page 97-98, Epaphras struggles with THANKING GOD FOR everything, as Paul instructs him:

Epaphras still recalled his challenging learning experience with Paul three years earlier, about being thankful, when he remembered some more of Paul’s conversation. His memory made him feel like Paul and he were back in their meeting room. Paul had just told Epaphras, for what seemed like the “umpteenth” time, “Epaphras, wait, you do not get to be thankful in[1] a difficult situation and not be thankful for[2] the situation. That is just illogical, and I might add, selfish on your part.”

“Why Paul?” Epaphras began to get a bit angry with Paul, “Surely God understands that there are just difficult circumstances that He has allowed into my life through which I would learn endurance. I can learn in it and not be thankful for it.”

Paul lowered his face and his eyes into his lap, gave a short chuckle and Epaphras knew that his argument would be cast aside, with love, of course. How long would Paul take? Two sentences, maybe three?

“My friend,” Paul said, “because God is sovereign. nothing is in your life that God did not plan for and approve. He chooses to use these circumstances by His good graces and Your faith in Him for the better. In everything or for everything isn’t the point Epaphras. The point is that we are to be thankful about everything … because God is sovereign[3] and He works all things out for the better for those who love Him and are called according to His promises.”[4]

“Three sentences,” thought Epaphras sarcastically. “But the first sentence had so many words in it that it could have been counted as two, making Paul’s explanation four sentences long, not three.

“Alright Paul, I get it. I’ll start asking the Lord what things there are in my life that I can be thankful for, because of the problems Agathon has brought into my life …”

[1] 1 Thessalonians 5:18

[2] Ephesians 5:20

[3] Psalm 103:19

[4] Romans 8:28



I so enjoy these characters and the way they model prayer for us.

Alexander Rich on page 148 of the same book, deals with this SAME issue as he prays:

“Lord, Your word says that when I need wisdom I should ask of You and You will give it to me generously.[1] Oh Father, I need Your wisdom today.”

Deep in silence and waiting upon God, he fidgeted thinking about pulling out his Wesley Family Prayers Book, as he had come to call the book that he found when he and Dwight were stuck overnight in New York City, those many years ago. As he started to reminisce about that trip, he had an immediate sense that the evil one wanted to distract him.

“Your Word also says that I am to be thankful regarding everything.[2] So I thank You, Lord, for this heaviness on my heart. I don’t know why it is there, but I trust You to unfold for me what I can give thanks for.”

“Lord,” Alexander continued, “I know that it makes no sense to thank You for difficulties, but you have shown me that You are sovereign, that Your throne is above all of the heavens.[1] You are my light and my salvation, whom do I have to fear?”[2] Chuckling to himself he went on, “You, oh Lord, are awesome! You have given me a peace that transcends every bit of my understanding,[3] a peace that I did not have a few minutes ago. Oh Lord, forgive me for the times I come to You with prayers and petitions and fail to also be thankful.”

[1] Psalm 103:19

[2] Psalm 27:1a

[3] Philippians 4:7

[1] James 1:5a

[2] Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoyed writing them.




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