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Writing a blog as the Executive Director of The Love Akron Network has been a wonderful experience for me.  When I became the full time Executive Director in 2009, I looked for ways to connect with anyone out in cyberspace who struggled with insomnia and needed something to help put them to sleep.  Much to my surprise I discovered there were people besides Sarah Klingler, who edits my weekly scribbles, who actually read the blogs.  I have a few who have shared with me that my Ford’s Focus was the first thing that they read on Wednesday mornings when it was released at 5:00 a.m.  Some even forwarded it on to others when the message inspired them to inspire others.  I’ve briefly considered turning the Focus into a devotional, which would be tied to Scripture and reflection questions that could be triggers for journaling.  My biggest concern is that by the time I purchased 20 for Christmas gifts and Sarah purchased her copy, I don’t know where I would store the other copies waiting to be placed in the dumpster after my departure from this planet. 

By the way, did you know that the devotional My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers was created by friends after Chambers moved on to his eternal reward?  Chambers probably died never imagining the impact his writings would make on the world.  Like the Old Testament prophets, Chambers, though dead, still speaks.  Be assured I’m not sitting at my computer with aspirations of becoming the next Oswald.

Really the blog was one of my outlets to express my heart since I wasn’t able to preach as often as I did when I used to pastor a church.  The blog became my pulpit to address issues that were currently hot topics on the world’s stage.  I attempted to use a bit of humor to help all of us to take a deep breath and lighten our hearts, providing some relief in our seemingly bad-news filled lives.   Hopefully God has used the blogs to lift someone’s spirit or inspire them to “stay in the game of life” and never give up.  One of my blogs incensed a donor’s wrath so much that she cut off her investment in Love Akron’s mission.  If I had a do-over would I have written the same blog again?  The answer is ABSOLUTELY, since I’m driven by principle and not controlled by public opinion.  I’ve sought to stay true to my convictions and allow my character to answer critics. 

In last week’s blog, you read that starting in July The Love Akron Network is inviting people like you to contribute to this weekly message.  The goal is to hear many voices from ministries, para-church organizations, and others from all across the Greater Akron Area.  I applaud this creative idea and enthusiastically invite you to accept the invitation to let your voice be heard.  Reach out to Sarah at sklingler@loveakron.org if you’d like your group to be featured. 

It’s been an honor and privilege to connect with you this way, and I want to say thank you to all of you who have invited me into your lives, as I’ve invited you into mine through my Ford’s Focus.  As I move into a new phase of ministry after our Annual Awards Breakfast on September 24, I’m not sure if I’ll continue to blog, but if I feel I have something worthwhile to say, I very well might find another platform to share my thoughts.  I’m sure we’ll connect sometime or somewhere other than through this weekly musing of mine.  Until then, keep looking up.  Jesus may return today.  And remember, the best is yet to come!

4 Comments, RSS

  • Ken Gifford

    says on:
    June 26, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Thanks for the many years of inspiring blog posts as well as your effort to unify the Christian body in the Akron area through the love of Christ. I applaud the new direction because we always need to be open for new wine in new wine skins. Mark, I’ll continue to keep you in my prayers through this transition as well as The Love Akron Network.

  • Glo

    says on:
    June 26, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    I too, am one of those who look forward to your messages each week. It’s the only way I would have known about your heart attack, and other events in your life. I miss you and Jana. I’ll miss the periodic contact and updates of your life. I hope you will keep us in the “loop” in some manner after you leave Love Akron!

  • TED Horrisberger

    says on:
    June 27, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Brother , you’re really are ready to retire , oh no !!! ??? Well so long see you in Glory , all that’s needed is Jesus’ baptism in Holy Ghost and Fire !!! Mat,3:11 .!!! Amen !!! Ted Love Y’all !!!

  • Lori Lathrop

    says on:
    July 1, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Please keep me informed of upcoming events