Great Expectations

My name is Mark Smith. I'm a guy who loves Jesus, His Word, and His Church. I am filled with Great Expectations for what the future will ultimately bring - Matthew 24:14.

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Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

My favourite verse is Psalm 16:11, my other favourite verse is Acts 20:24, my other favourite verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19, and my other favourite verse is Matthew 24:14.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

An Unfair Comparison?

If I were to compare Joel Osteen and Mark Driscoll, would it be fair? Some would say no - because their ministries are so much different. But I would say yes - because as different as their particular ministries are, they are both still Pastors! So let me compare them for a second....

I'm watching a Vodcast from Mark Driscoll ( right now and he talked about confession, and the necessity of change after encountering Jesus, and the reality of being a sinner going to hell until meeting Jesus right at the start of the message. (Did he also make a joke that many traditional churches would not laugh at but rather get upset about? Yes...but that's okay :) ) (I'm referring to the joke about coveting his three week old baby in the message "Christians Gone Wild: Servants of Jesus" hahaha...what a guy...)

Meanwhile, I read Al Mohler post on his blog ( some questions that he says need to be asked about Joel Osteen (who is featured in New York Times today and you have probably seen smiling on his best-selling book in your local Christian bookstore) Mohler writes,

"The first question is this -- Would anyone watching his television program, or sitting in his vast church facility, hear in Mr. Osteen's message a clear and undiluted message of Gospel proclamation? Would this person have any reason, based on hearing Mr. Osteen's message, to know himself as a sinner and to understand how the cross of Christ is the only ground of his salvation? Would he come to know that Jesus the Christ is fully human and fully divine, and that He came in order that we might have everlasting life -- not just a good parking space?"

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Why I Love Randy Alcorn

Because he writes great small books about topics that people don't really like to talk about.

Because he has a "Quote of the Week" box on his website.

Because I've heard him use the word "hedonism" (referring to "Christian Hedonism") when talking about money.

Because he introducted me to the following quote by John Stott: "The thing I know will give me the deepest joy—namely, to be alone and unhurried in the presence of God, aware of His presence, my heart open to worship Him—is often the thing I least want to do."

Because he gives away all the royalties to all the books he writes.

Because he has a whole section on his website dedicated to Missions.

Because there are a lot of free audio/video downloads on his website.

Because he loves John Piper as much as I do.

Because the name of his ministry is awesome: Eternal Perspective Ministires.

Randy Alcorn's Website is

Monday, March 27, 2006

Underground Church Leader

I heard this quote today from an unnamed, underground Chinese Church leader. The quote was read by Justin Taylor at the Desiring God National Conference on Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. The quote was from the Chinese leader to the American Church:

"Stop praying for persecution in China to end, for it is through persecution that the Church has grown. We in fact are praying that the American Church might taste the same persecution so revival would come to the American Church like we have seen in China."

That is a shocking quote. It is worth pondering.

First Blog

I decided to begin a blog today. My first official blog entry is going to be a quote by Roger Youderian who was killed for Christ. He said:

"I can't say now what the calling will be but I want to be a witness for Him and live following Him every second of my life."

Amen Roger Youderian.