Growing up, I had little concern for spiritual things, and, unfortunately, my life reflected that void during my teens and early twenties. Most of those years were wasted bouncing from this to that, seeking my place in this world in many foolish pursuits. I was blessed, though, during that time to have had several divine “interventions” that at least gave me the foundations of the faith, but it would take many years before those seeds would take root.
While I was not hostile to the faith, I didn’t really know who Jesus was. I knew what others said about him, but I didn’t know if he was the Son of God or not. And to my shame, I never took the time to find out.
I met my wonderful wife in 1988, and her gentle spirit and warm nature drew me to her (not to mention that she laughed at my silly jokes). She was raised in the Church and challenged me to look more deeply at my faith. I attended church with her, but only made Jesus “a part” of my life. I figured I could give one hour a week to church, especially for the health of my marriage and as kind of an insurance policy—just in case what everyone said about Jesus happened to be true. I respected Jesus and certainly wouldn’t say anything bad about Him. But in truth, I didn’t acknowledge him as Lord and Savior. I was as lost as I had ever been, just a little better at concealing it.
When my wife was pregnant with our oldest son, the doctors delivered the devastating new that our son had hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid on the brain and a leading cause of retardation and death in infants. As we got the news, we were both crushed. But I couldn’t share with my wife everything I was feeling. I truly believed that God was punishing my son for my sins.
I went to the only place that I could. I prayed more in the short amount of time than I ever had in my life at that point. I begged God to give my son a fair shot at life. I promised to be in church every week, to stop swearing, to be a nicer person and all the things I could pledge in my own strength—another boneheaded move. But thankfully we serve a gracious and understanding God.
Plans were made when my son was born to have a shunt placed into his head to drain the fluid from his brain down into his stomach. The day after he was born, he was given an MRI in preparation for surgery. I’ll never forget the look on the doctor’s face as he told us that there must have been some kind of mistake: our son didn’t have hydrocephalus at all. No one could seem to explain how all of the numerous ultrasounds showing the fluid pooling in his brain could have been wrong.
Naturally, my wife and I were overjoyed at the news, and I set about to be a better person and please God (in my own strength, of course). After several months of relentlessly pursuing my plan, I failed at every turn. The Lord had miraculously healed my son and I couldn’t even keep the simple promises I made. I was disgusted with myself and slipped into a deep depression.
At the point of my brokenness, when I could do no more in my own strength, God brought a strong Christian man into my path. This godly man gently ministered to me in my time of need and provided me with tapes about the inerrancy of the Bible and the Creation vs. Evolution debate. Halfway through the tape series, I realized that every word in the Bible was true and could be trusted. And for the first time in my life, I understood who Jesus was—God’s one and only Son sacrificed for my sins—and that salvation was a gift from God, not earned in any way. I fell on my knees in my living room (in front of the TV of all places) and gave my life to Jesus Christ.
Immediately I wanted to know what God’s Word said. I devoured the Bible, reading it every chance I got. I praise God for the work He’s done with my family and me. All three of my children have accepted Christ as their Savior, as well as both my parents. Now it is my desire to share the message of God’s grace and redemptive power to anyone who will listen.
7 thoughts on “Mark’s Testimony”
Thank you for your books. I’ve read the Night Watchman books and just finished Rolling Thunder. This book touched a sore spot in me because I have a family torn apart by unforgiveness. It’s such a tragedy but I was reminded once again as the Holy Spirit spoke to me through this book that God can heal anything and anyone. Reading has always been one of my coping tools in life and I thank you and other Christian writers for realistice, life-changing fiction.
Thank you for the kind words, Karen. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the books. Take care, and God bless!
Mark, I landed on your web page tonight through a circuitous route. It’s unfortunate that, although we’re both men writing Christian fiction in the suspense/mystery/thriller genre we’ve never met in person. Maybe we’ll remedy that at a future ACFW meeting. Meanwhile, I need to start reading your books.
Richard, thanks for dropping by. I do hope we get a chance to run into each other. I’ll be looking for your books now. Take care, and God bless!
Mark, i have thoroughly enjoyed all 5 of your books. You have a real gift for writing, once I start one of your books I can’t put it down until I have finished it. I do hope you will continue the Night Watchman series, it is one of my all time favorite series. The characters are so interesting and stories captivating. I really appreciate the spiritual content of your stories as well. There are many “christian” authors/books that leave that aspect out of their books but yours never fail. Thank you again for all the enjoyment you have brought be with your stories, I so look forward to your next books!
Thank you so much! I’m really glad you’ve enjoyed the books. As it stands right now, I don’t have another book coming out in the Ray Quinn series, but you never know. Take care, and God bless!
Just finished “From the Belly of the Dragon”, and I can finally breath again! I so appreciate a mystery/action book whose characters are Christians. I feel like I learn a bit about God from each of them. I’ve ordered the other books of yours, so I’m looking forward to them coming soon! Thank you again!