Mark12ministries is about Mark 12:28-31 “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Secondly, mark12ministries is a remnant of a former ministry I was involved with. This weblog will be an effort to carry on a small part of that ministry in the area of loving God with all my mind. Today’s blogs are similar to the journals of previous generations of believers and as such, this blog will be an attempt at a spiritual discipline that will keep my thoughts aimed at Christ as the center of my existence.

This blog will deal with my efforts to wrestle with things related to the bi-vocational ministry and small churches, scripture, theology, church history and some apologetics. I will also throw in some personal stuff and make some comments about the news of the day. I will  have some fun on this blog, discussing things like favorite recipes, guns and hunting, politics, history and economics, book reviews, etc. All of life should be captured by the gospel and lived for the glory of God. Sunday School lessons, sermons, and a few rants on various topics will all make an appearance. And there will be stuff about my son’s military career.

Who am I? I have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in Texas since 1985. I have worked in the security field since 1985 and I pastored a small Baptist church for 15 years. I am a US Army veteran, serving as an Infantry Officer in a light infantry platoon, heavy mortar platoon, and as a company XO. I left the Army in 1985 as a Captain with an EIB. I grew up mainly in Oklahoma, attended OU on an Army scholarship and graduated with a BA in history. I am a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with an Master of Divinity.

My hobbies include blogging (duh); reading (ancient history, church history, the reformation, American history, politics and political theory, economics, theology, classics of literature, science fiction); music (my wife sings classical music with the Oratorio Chorus and Ft Worth Orchestra; I like baroque, classical, romantic, classic jazz, oldies, folk, classic soft rock, some country, contemporary Christian); cooking; guns and hunting.

Favorite Musicians/Music/Songs: In the classical genre I like Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Wagner and Strauss, Vaughn Williams. In Jazz/Big Band I like Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Lawrence Welkd, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Vince Gueraldi, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holliday and others.

My Politics: I am a conservative, a member of the vast right wing conspiracy, and the religious right, but I have a few libertarian views too, being somewhat influenced by Ayn Rand.  I like economists like Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams and Milton Friedman. I love Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark DAvis, Mark Levine, Laura Ingraham, James Dobson, Cal Thomas, Mike Adams, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, William F. Buckley, etc. Favorite Presidents include Ronald Reagan, John Kennedy, Harry Truman, Theodore Roosevelt, Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

My Theology: I believe the Bible to be divinely inspired, it is the word of God (not merely containing the word of God) and is inerrant, infallible, sufficient and authoritative. I believe in the Triune God- The FAther, Son and Holy Spirit- One in essence yet three in person. I believe that God is Holy, Sovereign in all things, and Loving; he is Spirit and created all that is. God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and eternal. He does everything for his glory and pleasure; the universe is all about Him first and foremost. I believe in Jesus as the eternal Son of God who took on human flesh in the incarnation, thus he is fully God and fully Man, 2 in nature yet 1 in person. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary through the miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and lived a real human life. The miracles recorded in the Gospels are true and Jesus died a substitutionary, atoning death on the cross to propitiate the holy wrath of his Father and to bring expiation of sins to us. Jesus literally, physically rose from the dead, ascended to the Father and is coming again to reign. The Holy Spirit is sent from the FAther and Jesus to indwell each and every Believer and to seal our salvation in Christ. We are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith in Christ alone, not by works. Salvation is monergistic in that it is all of God, I contribute nothing to my salvation because as a lost sinner, I am spiritually dead and powerless to repent and would not even want to repent apart from a miraculous work from the Spirit called regeneration.

In short, I am a Reformed, Calvinistic Baptist. My favorite theologians and preachers include: Paul, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, many of the Puritans, John L. Dagg, James P. Boyce, CH Spurgeon, Charles Hodge, AH Strong, BB Warfield, Herman Bavinck, Lewis Berkhof, Francis Schaeffer, Millard Erickson, John MacArthur, RC Sproul, James M. Boice, Michael Horton, James White, John Piper, and my current pastor- Tim Presson.

Welcome to my blog, welcome to mark12ministries.

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16 Responses to “About”

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Hi! Ruffin Snow here. Actually I’m just attempting to find out to whom I am writing on this sad/happy day. I totally concur with you about Cyd and George and Peggy. Talked with Betty Vorpahl who has been living with them in recent years but have not talked directly with George. My email address is rsnow@tcbc.org and I was the pastor at Lakewood 1982-1985. Your blog is great! We were blessed to have known Cyd. Ruffin

Hey Brother Ruffin, this is Bryan and Dawn. Haven’t talked with you in a while but have great memories of our time at FBC Lakewood back when you were there. Send me an e-mail so we can get caught up!

Hi Bryan,
Would you be the Bryan I knew at OU? I was there 1979-82, and I also saw you at SWBTS one or twice. I hung out with Larry Woods, and came with him to start a BSU at Michigan State in 1982. If you’re the same feller, howdy! I’ve come over to the Doctrines of Grace side also. I pastor a small (50-ish) congregation north of Detroit, and have been here since I graduated SWBTS in 1993.

Hardy Smith
New Covenant Church, SBC
Auburn Hills, MI

Hey Hardy! Glad to hear from you. Yeah this is me. I emailed you at the juno.

Hi. Thanks for your transparency and encouragement. Do you have connections in Northern VA/DC area? I’m interested in finding a group of Brothers and Sisters in Christin the area which is already established in preparing for disaster so my family and I can develop community.

Unfortunately I have no connections as far as the disaster preparedness goes, but one of the best churches in the country is Capitol Hill Baptist, pastored by Mark Dever. Biblical, conservative, Reformed Baptist. I highly recommend.

Put me on your mailing list. Thanks

Well I don’t have a mailing list but you are sure welcome to add mark12ministries to your favorites or Bookmarks!

I have just begun to do disaster preparedness. I just found your blog, and it is refreshing to find a voice that is practical about being prepared. Some take on the survival mentality and though much of their information is helpful, sometimes they get a bit spooky. Am glad that there is someone who can help me keep in balance. I have been reading the scriptures to keep me in balance, especially after reading the novel, One Second After by William Fortschen.

Welcome aboard, I am glad to be of some encouragement to you. The LORD told Noah to be prepared and he was, but it was all of God’s grace that he survived. Abraham had over 300 TRAINED men, and when his nephew got into some trouble, Abraham was able to rescue him because he was prepared and the LORD was with him. Jesus told his disciples in Luke 22:36 “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” The LORD himself acknowledged that times would get tough, and rough, and he warned his disciples to be prepared spiritually AND physically.
We are entering the Last Days, America has fallen, tough times are coming. Be ready, trust in the Lord, he is coming soon!

Read some of your blogs…. excuse me… I have to go wash now… I feel so unclean… and dumbed down…

I’m with you. This is enough to turn anyway away from the Lord. Not much love happening here.

To Wall Dodger and WakeUp American:

You have read the blogs and feel unclean and want to turn away from the Lord? What comments exactly have you feeling that way? Have you checked Bryan’s commentary with the Bible?

I am reading Daniel and Revelation. In light of our Genesis study in Sunday School, I notice that the 144,000 in Revelation are from the 12 tribes. My questions: 1. These are all men, correct? 2. Have the 144,000 been born and died already, or are they are future sealed people during the Great Tribulation? 3. According to Revelation 14:7 it seems that they are all men, why is that? Are the 24 elders all men, and are they from the 12 tribes? What special role will women play in heaven in light of the 144,000 and the elders? Please let in be known for the sake of people who may read this and are not Christian that my questions stem from a desire to gain a better understanding of what God has prepared for his people, for he put it in his word that it may be known. As a Christian woman, I do believe women have a specific role in the kingdom that has nothing to do with equality or position. This gets misinterpreted and taken out of context by feminists who discuss equality. We are all equal in Christ; the Bible professes this fact. Yet, genders have specific roles that are of the Lord’s good pleasure. I look forward to your response Bryan, and I enjoy you and Dawn every Sunday. God Bless!


Hi Bryan, long time no talk! I had some time on my hands and looked you up again, and on your recommendation I have ordered a commentary on Zechariah.

I hope you’re doing well. I’m still in Michigan, still at the same church, still a Calvinist, and still seeking to serve Jesus. My new email address is hardy50@att.net

-Hardy Smith

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    This blog exists to study the bi-vocational ministry, explore the Bible & Theology, and look at current events, history and other world religions through scripture, and have fun doing it!


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