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Author Topic: Pastor Mark Darling #MarkDarlingIsMyHero  (Read 11944 times)
wendysulzer
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« on: March 17, 2018, 07:52:26 am »

My walk with God would not be where it is at today without Mark's direct influence, and I will forever be grateful for this, his teaching, and his example.  

I spent a few years at Bloomington, then I joined The Rock when it started up in 1999.  As I continued there it became so obvious the sacrifice and love this man has for the church.  His faithfulness is inspiring.  What makes the Rock Church so special is the immense love and genuine care that Mark has for his flock, and the outflow of that love is evident throughout every member and leader of that church!  People that are wiling to lay down their lives for one another, because of Mark's example.  It is truly special to find a pastor that devotes himself so selflessly and wholly; and a family that stands behind him wholly and sacrifices much.  

Mark remembers everything.  Do you know how much effort is needed to remember the little details of everyone's life, hundreds of people?  Many times in passing when he asks how you are doing, and I have mentioned some issue, weeks later, he will come back to you and ask about that issue, and let you know how he has been praying for you.  I don't even have words for all that Mark is.  My daughter was hospitalized recently for 7 days, and Mark emailed every day, to let us know he is praying, and apologizing daily that he wanted to visit so badly and was distraught, but could not because of traveling.  And he would rejoice, every Friday service, for weeks, when he would see my daughter well again.  He pours his entire life into his church, he pours his entire heart into the gospel, his church, people, and his family. He is an amazing man and example that I have watched for the past 19 years.  THIS is his life's work.

I  got see a side of Mark that many have not seen.  His youngest daughter Jessica was very sick for 6+ long, long years.  Three separate times they thought for sure she was going to die.  Up until this point, it was the darkest days of their lives, but it lasted for 6 long years, with no end in sight, no answers for the sickness, no healing.  At one point, I knew that Jessica was too sick to leave the house for physical therapy, and since I have a background in this, I felt led to offer to come to the house to help.  A short time after I started coming to their home, Jessica was hospitalized.  In that hospitalization time they finally found a doctor that was able to heal one big area of her sickness.  But she had a long road of recovery ahead.  My husband approached me and said maybe we should offer Jessica to come live with us. Well, God had also placed this on Mark's heart, as he approached one day, asking if we would possibly consider letting Jessica live with us.  This was a bridge for her from her life of sickness, into her adult life of independence.  And with much help from her parents, and her now husband Mark, she moved in with us for a year.  I have seen Mark in dark days, darker and scarier than any of us most likely have yet to experience, when any of us would have absolutely crumbled under the pressure, the fear and direness of the situation.  But Mark pushed on.  It was not easy-it was incredibly difficult and dark, yet he was honest with his struggles, and his wrestling with God through it, and his utter dependence on God. But it is a testament to his faith and steadfastness, his walk with God, his strength, the fruit in his life and character.  You can't fake it when life is literally crushing you, this is when you will see the true character of a person.  Mark Darling's character NEVER waivers.
 #MarkDarlingIsMyHero
  #DiscipleStrong

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Heidi
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2018, 10:20:40 am »

Wendy-

I have one question with your statement. 
You said that " Your walk with God would not be where it is at today without Mark's Direct influence," and that Mark is your hero.
  You give Mark a lot of honor and credit for you faith and walk with God.  To me, this may indicate that Mark is on a pedestal that only Jesus should be on.  I am not saying that Mark is, but I ask it sincerely as a question for you to seek the Lord on. 

I ask this because in my life- I had Mark Darling and John van Dyck on that pedestal.  They were both heros to me.
This was idolatry in my life. 
John exposed some things to me that I felt, at the time, were very slanderous. 
God used it to bring me greater freedom and healing in Jesus.

I had to confess the sin of having John and Mark on the pedestal they were on, and Renounce that sin in prayer. In prayer  I put Jesus back on that pedestal. 
This was a dark, but healing time for me.  That was in 2002.  I did a lot of therapy and prayer work.  I left Evergreen for a while, and came back, because Jesus was in his rightful place. 
I understand the hurt and darkness people are going through now. 
This is a painful time for so many. 
Sincerely- Heidi van Dyck Anfinson.
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GretchenGail
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2018, 10:52:50 am »

Wendy-

I have one question with your statement. 
You said that " Your walk with God would not be where it is at today without Mark's Direct influence," and that Mark is your hero.
  You give Mark a lot of honor and credit for you faith and walk with God.  To me, this may indicate that Mark is on a pedestal that only Jesus should be on.  I am not saying that Mark is, but I ask it sincerely as a question for you to seek the Lord on. 

I ask this because in my life- I had Mark Darling and John van Dyck on that pedestal.  They were both heros to me.
This was idolatry in my life. 
John exposed some things to me that I felt, at the time, were very slanderous. 
God used it to bring me greater freedom and healing in Jesus.

I had to confess the sin of having John and Mark on the pedestal they were on, and Renounce that sin in prayer. In prayer  I put Jesus back on that pedestal. 
This was a dark, but healing time for me.  That was in 2002.  I did a lot of therapy and prayer work.  I left Evergreen for a while, and came back, because Jesus was in his rightful place. 
I understand the hurt and darkness people are going through now. 
This is a painful time for so many. 
Sincerely- Heidi van Dyck Anfinson.

Heidi,

I agree with Wendy, I too would not be where I am at without Mark's direct influence in my life.  I feel the same way about my husband.  The thing that Wendy and I both know and understand (I'm stating this because I know and love Wendy - she's been a solid sister and prayer warrior for years) is that our husbands AND Mark are sinners.  We KNOW Jesus cannot sin against us.  We know His word is the absolute Truth and that our dependence is on Him alone.  Our encouragement comes from Christ.  Mark has been a cheerleader to us in our faith.  He has encouraged us through many difficulties.  Is he on a pedestal - NO!  He has faithfully prayed for us and helped us through many difficulties.  He has been a listening ear during hard times.  He points us to the Word of God. He has admitted in tears when he was wrong and apologized to me when my feelings have been hurt.  He's been an example of courage through many sufferings.  He has loved my parents to Christ and helped my family through really hard things.  There can be spiritual Heroes our lives (one of my Heroes Ruth Graham) who God uses to strengthen our faith and they are not God's or idols. 
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JessicaNoelDarling
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2018, 10:58:34 am »

Wendy-

I have one question with your statement. 
You said that " Your walk with God would not be where it is at today without Mark's Direct influence," and that Mark is your hero.
  You give Mark a lot of honor and credit for you faith and walk with God.  To me, this may indicate that Mark is on a pedestal that only Jesus should be on.  I am not saying that Mark is, but I ask it sincerely as a question for you to seek the Lord on. 

I ask this because in my life- I had Mark Darling and John van Dyck on that pedestal.  They were both heros to me.
This was idolatry in my life. 
John exposed some things to me that I felt, at the time, were very slanderous. 
God used it to bring me greater freedom and healing in Jesus.

I had to confess the sin of having John and Mark on the pedestal they were on, and Renounce that sin in prayer. In prayer  I put Jesus back on that pedestal. 
This was a dark, but healing time for me.  That was in 2002.  I did a lot of therapy and prayer work.  I left Evergreen for a while, and came back, because Jesus was in his rightful place. 
I understand the hurt and darkness people are going through now. 
This is a painful time for so many. 
Sincerely- Heidi van Dyck Anfinson.

Heidi, i don't understand or share your perspective on this. In the context of the situation, she is trying to contrast the allegations with her real life experiences. My dad is being appreciated, not being put on a pedestal. There is a big difference. Folks who have unhealthy attachments never take the word of their leadership that leadership are just servants saved by grace, simply at a different stage of their spiritual walk attempting to humbly help other believers grow in their faith, teaching them to ever put God on the pedestal of their life. Everything my dad teaches is about how to help people with their own walk with Christ. Wendy is a humble person who understands this too. I know her well enough that I can say this in confidence. Wendy wouldn't tolerate any nonsense with idolatry in this fashion. We are all SO indebted to Christ...for EVERYTHING!
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wendysulzer
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2018, 03:00:58 pm »

Wendy-

I have one question with your statement. 
You said that " Your walk with God would not be where it is at today without Mark's Direct influence," and that Mark is your hero.
  You give Mark a lot of honor and credit for you faith and walk with God.  To me, this may indicate that Mark is on a pedestal that only Jesus should be on.  I am not saying that Mark is, but I ask it sincerely as a question for you to seek the Lord on. 

I ask this because in my life- I had Mark Darling and John van Dyck on that pedestal.  They were both heros to me.
This was idolatry in my life. 
John exposed some things to me that I felt, at the time, were very slanderous. 
God used it to bring me greater freedom and healing in Jesus.

I had to confess the sin of having John and Mark on the pedestal they were on, and Renounce that sin in prayer. In prayer  I put Jesus back on that pedestal. 
This was a dark, but healing time for me.  That was in 2002.  I did a lot of therapy and prayer work.  I left Evergreen for a while, and came back, because Jesus was in his rightful place. 
I understand the hurt and darkness people are going through now. 
This is a painful time for so many. 
Sincerely- Heidi van Dyck Anfinson.

Heidi
Thank you for reading my post.  I am sorry you went through a dark time in your walk.

What Gretchen has said above is spot on.
 
#MarkDarlingIsMyHero....i saw it on facebook on one of Suzanne's posts, in the comments, before she blocked everyone.   He is a hero of faith, for he lives out an example of laying down his life for his wife, his children, his church, his friends, his neighbors.  Over and over and over again.  He teaches the only way to do this life is with a complete dependence on God.  THIS IS WHAT MARK TEACHES THE CHURCH.  Not unhealthy in any way whatsoever.  The two women who have spoken for me are absolutely right on (and thanks for the kind words sisters!).  Your perspective is muddled in this, and taking what was spoken and twisting to mean something different is not helpful. I dont believe you are concerned for me, but more concerned about an opportunity to point out the perceived wrongs of Mark Darling that you, and people on this forum insist on believing no matter what is spoken.   There are two sides to every story.  It is time that the other side of the story is shared.  I hope more and more people will come and share their stories of Mark, his character, his love.  You can't fake character.  Either it is there, or it isn't.  Character is consistent, it is the same in good times and in bad.   
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Digital Lynch Mob
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2018, 06:20:41 am »

Thank you Wendy for all you are doing to support a good man from these awful attacks.
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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2018, 08:29:43 am »

None is good but God alone.

I would not want anyone to start a movement, proclaiming how good I am.

How quickly I would fall from that pedestal. 

Jesus said that only God is good. 

We are righteous only because we are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus. 

Any good that we have done, we owe it all to Him. 

"All Fame, and Honor, and Glory to Him."
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G_Prince
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2018, 12:19:14 pm »

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Here's an easy way to find out if you're in a cult. If you find yourself asking the question, "am I in a cult?" the answer is yes. -Stephen Colbert
JessicaNoelDarling
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2018, 02:17:02 pm »

None is good but God alone.

I would not want anyone to start a movement, proclaiming how good I am.

How quickly I would fall from that pedestal. 

Jesus said that only God is good. 

We are righteous only because we are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus. 

Any good that we have done, we owe it all to Him. 

"All Fame, and Honor, and Glory to Him."

Does anyone disagree with you about only God being good? I certainly don't. I thank God every day for His goodness and mercy in my life. It bothers me that you're taking this out of context to make the other party appear to be saying something they're not. When someone says, "He's a good man". Do you honestly believe they are trying to equate that person to God's perfect goodness? Lets stop playing these games and have a conversation.
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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2018, 02:28:19 pm »

I don't think I am taking it out of context at all.

How can we possibly define "good" without God?

I was not trying to be difficult. 

When I get to heaven ANYTHING good in my life is because of God's grace and mercy.

I think it is interesting that when a great preacher told Billy Graham that he considered Billy a hero from the time he was a little boy, Billy told him that he really did not like hearing that.  Billy said he was not worthy of being followed. Billy pointed to Jesus.
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Digital Lynch Mob
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2018, 02:34:24 pm »

Billy said he was not worthy of being followed. Billy pointed to Jesus.

As does Mark.
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JessicaNoelDarling
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2018, 02:53:09 pm »

I don't think I am taking it out of context at all.

How can we possibly define "good" without God?

I was not trying to be difficult. 

When I get to heaven ANYTHING good in my life is because of God's grace and mercy.

I think it is interesting that when a great preacher told Billy Graham that he considered Billy a hero from the time he was a little boy, Billy told him that he really did not like hearing that.  Billy said he was not worthy of being followed. Billy pointed to Jesus.

You are not listening at all. You see, you've clearly solidified your mind that the people supporting him MUST be coming at this from an unhealthy place (probably because you wanted the thread title to mean something that it does not). That is the problem in this conversation. We understand who my dad is, but you want us to be askew in some way to make your point easier. We understand he is a sinner saved by grace, just like the rest of us, but we're acknowledging that my dad has displayed fruits of the spirit in his actions and day to day life that contrast the accusatory depiction of him to be somehow abusive. The conversation is about whether my dad showed ANY signs of abusive behavior so bringing up the things we admire about my dad (the things we've witnessed and seen on a regular basis) seeks to add to the conversation. As an example, I posted about my dad as he helped me through years of illness. You see, people show their true colors when terrible circumstances knock at the door. My dad faithfully served me day in and day out through hellish circumstances when many people would've given up. I witnessed that. It can't be unwitnessed. You can try to invalidate my perspective or try to derail this conversation to mean something it doesn't, but I've seen his character. Please stop trying to make this thread something it's clearly not. Are you ready to have an actual conversation?
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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2018, 04:28:18 pm »

I am not trying to read your mind, and you are not reading mine very well.

It is the world outside of Christianity that is so big on being good.  And claiming they are good.  The good outweighs the bad.

I think if someone started a thread on my pastor with "Pastor So and So is My Hero" he would cringe.

I'll have to ask him.

I think he knows better.  (My church is not perfect by the way.)
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JessicaNoelDarling
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2018, 05:23:02 pm »

I am not trying to read your mind, and you are not reading mine very well.

It is the world outside of Christianity that is so big on being good.  And claiming they are good.  The good outweighs the bad.

I think if someone started a thread on my pastor with "Pastor So and So is My Hero" he would cringe.

I'll have to ask him.

I think he knows better.  (My church is not perfect by the way.)

So, I might encourage questioning first when you don't understand something. You can then gain more clarity as to the motive of the other person and additionally understand the specific and surrounding context, thereby understanding their meaning more clearly. For example:

Question: "What do you mean by '#MarkDarlingIsMyHero'? It sounds like you're putting him on a pedestal.
Answer: "No! Absolutely not. You see...(sensical, clarifying, explanation as seen above etc etc)"
Question: "Does your church believe that all fall short of God's glorious standard as stated in Romans 3:23 (Including Mark Darling)?
Answer: "Yes, absolutely we do. "
Question: "Do you think your church is perfect?"
Answer: "No! Absolutely not! We have an imperfect church made of imperfect people saved by God's grace"
etc.
etc.

It takes more effort with written communication to understand each other fully.  We should seek to understand first, rather than jump to conclusions. Then positive conversations can actually take place.

But ultimately, I think you have understood the point of this thread the whole time. I'm guessing your real issue is not wanting to see anyone shine light on who my father really is (his consistent character etc) and that you'd prefer we don't talk about any of his positive character traits so that it won't contrast against the allegations against him. It seems to reveal where your motives are.
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Following
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2018, 05:39:11 pm »

As somewhat of an outsider looking in (never attended ECC, first time posting though I have been following the forum since this situation surfaced), I am surprised by the value that those who believe in Mark have been putting on all of the good things he has done. I understand not believing the accounts that have surfaced until proper investigation has been completed. But if the allegations do prove to be true, all of the positive reports of character in the world will not erase or offset the harm done. Am I missing the purpose of these stories? I do understand that he is well known and well loved, even that he has done many good things, but that is not what is being questioned. Showing that he has exhibited positive character traits does not disprove the allegations.
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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2018, 05:53:07 pm »

For me, my motive has nothing to do with the allegations against Mark Darling in this string. And I get to say my motives. 

No matter who it is, any pastor,  it raises a red flag if it looks like a pastor is being put  on a pedestal. 

And the discussion about, "He is a good man", is another red flag for me, no matter who we are talking about.

 A pastor can become kind of like a Rock Star, taking the glory away from where it belongs. 

That was the point I was trying to make, with no ulterior motive.

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JessicaNoelDarling
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« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2018, 06:00:09 pm »

As somewhat of an outsider looking in (never attended ECC, first time posting though I have been following the forum since this situation surfaced), I am surprised by the value that those who believe in Mark have been putting on all of the good things he has done. I understand not believing the accounts that have surfaced until proper investigation has been completed. But if the allegations do prove to be true, all of the positive reports of character in the world will not erase or offset the harm done. Am I missing the purpose of these stories? I do understand that he is well known and well loved, even that he has done many good things, but that is not what is being questioned. Showing that he has exhibited positive character traits does not disprove the allegations.

Yes, but remember the burden of proof is not on my father, it's on the accuser. Our participation is to try to help others understand who this man, my father, is and has been historically. This site as a whole is imbalanced and biased and I get that, but it also resents opposing viewpoints on the whole. Many prominent contributors to this forum have stated they believe it's extremely important to hear both sides to every story, but in practice, it's rare that people support this. Had folks who knew my dad not jumped in, there never would've been another side to the stories on this site. I'll tell you flat out, this man, my father, is innocent of these accusations and I've been more than happy to help contribute to the stories explaining why that is, but communication on a forum that has its mind made up is quite difficult. I contribute to this forum to provide truth and challenge to those who make baseless claims on someone they don't even know....and that is quite telling. Folks who are bitter for other reasons might find themselves siding with the accuser from previous bias. The evidence of this is just how quickly Suzanne gained support from people who didn't even know my dad or Suzanne that well. Other reasons I contribute here is to defend my parents, who I believe are being abused with slander. I don't support them because they are my parents, but because they are innocent. I can't just sit by and let the lies fly. It's wrong. That's my heart on the matter for clarification.
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Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2018, 07:15:37 am »

Following,

I found a story that relates to the issue of harmful sin in the life of someone who has had some positive effects on others lives, that which was evangelical in nature.  The Bible does make it clear they should NOT be leaders in the church.  It is necessary to call out their evil to the people in the church who could be hurt by it. 


Here is the link on another thread:

http://forum.gcmwarning.com/outside-the-movement/reconciling-with-harmful-sin-in-a-loved-one's-life/


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For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.        - Saint Augustine
jeromydaviddarling
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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2018, 09:45:10 am »

My walk with God would not be where it is at today without Mark's direct influence, and I will forever be grateful for this, his teaching, and his example.  

I spent a few years at Bloomington, then I joined The Rock when it started up in 1999.  As I continued there it became so obvious the sacrifice and love this man has for the church.  His faithfulness is inspiring.  What makes the Rock Church so special is the immense love and genuine care that Mark has for his flock, and the outflow of that love is evident throughout every member and leader of that church!  People that are wiling to lay down their lives for one another, because of Mark's example.  It is truly special to find a pastor that devotes himself so selflessly and wholly; and a family that stands behind him wholly and sacrifices much.  

Mark remembers everything.  Do you know how much effort is needed to remember the little details of everyone's life, hundreds of people?  Many times in passing when he asks how you are doing, and I have mentioned some issue, weeks later, he will come back to you and ask about that issue, and let you know how he has been praying for you.  I don't even have words for all that Mark is.  My daughter was hospitalized recently for 7 days, and Mark emailed every day, to let us know he is praying, and apologizing daily that he wanted to visit so badly and was distraught, but could not because of traveling.  And he would rejoice, every Friday service, for weeks, when he would see my daughter well again.  He pours his entire life into his church, he pours his entire heart into the gospel, his church, people, and his family. He is an amazing man and example that I have watched for the past 19 years.  THIS is his life's work.

I  got see a side of Mark that many have not seen.  His youngest daughter Jessica was very sick for 6+ long, long years.  Three separate times they thought for sure she was going to die.  Up until this point, it was the darkest days of their lives, but it lasted for 6 long years, with no end in sight, no answers for the sickness, no healing.  At one point, I knew that Jessica was too sick to leave the house for physical therapy, and since I have a background in this, I felt led to offer to come to the house to help.  A short time after I started coming to their home, Jessica was hospitalized.  In that hospitalization time they finally found a doctor that was able to heal one big area of her sickness.  But she had a long road of recovery ahead.  My husband approached me and said maybe we should offer Jessica to come live with us. Well, God had also placed this on Mark's heart, as he approached one day, asking if we would possibly consider letting Jessica live with us.  This was a bridge for her from her life of sickness, into her adult life of independence.  And with much help from her parents, and her now husband Mark, she moved in with us for a year.  I have seen Mark in dark days, darker and scarier than any of us most likely have yet to experience, when any of us would have absolutely crumbled under the pressure, the fear and direness of the situation.  But Mark pushed on.  It was not easy-it was incredibly difficult and dark, yet he was honest with his struggles, and his wrestling with God through it, and his utter dependence on God. But it is a testament to his faith and steadfastness, his walk with God, his strength, the fruit in his life and character.  You can't fake it when life is literally crushing you, this is when you will see the true character of a person.  Mark Darling's character NEVER waivers.
 #MarkDarlingIsMyHero
  #DiscipleStrong



Bump. Everyone wants to forgot about these brave women and their stories...
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JessicaNoelDarling
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2018, 02:45:20 pm »

My walk with God would not be where it is at today without Mark's direct influence, and I will forever be grateful for this, his teaching, and his example.  

I spent a few years at Bloomington, then I joined The Rock when it started up in 1999.  As I continued there it became so obvious the sacrifice and love this man has for the church.  His faithfulness is inspiring.  What makes the Rock Church so special is the immense love and genuine care that Mark has for his flock, and the outflow of that love is evident throughout every member and leader of that church!  People that are wiling to lay down their lives for one another, because of Mark's example.  It is truly special to find a pastor that devotes himself so selflessly and wholly; and a family that stands behind him wholly and sacrifices much.  

Mark remembers everything.  Do you know how much effort is needed to remember the little details of everyone's life, hundreds of people?  Many times in passing when he asks how you are doing, and I have mentioned some issue, weeks later, he will come back to you and ask about that issue, and let you know how he has been praying for you.  I don't even have words for all that Mark is.  My daughter was hospitalized recently for 7 days, and Mark emailed every day, to let us know he is praying, and apologizing daily that he wanted to visit so badly and was distraught, but could not because of traveling.  And he would rejoice, every Friday service, for weeks, when he would see my daughter well again.  He pours his entire life into his church, he pours his entire heart into the gospel, his church, people, and his family. He is an amazing man and example that I have watched for the past 19 years.  THIS is his life's work.

I  got see a side of Mark that many have not seen.  His youngest daughter Jessica was very sick for 6+ long, long years.  Three separate times they thought for sure she was going to die.  Up until this point, it was the darkest days of their lives, but it lasted for 6 long years, with no end in sight, no answers for the sickness, no healing.  At one point, I knew that Jessica was too sick to leave the house for physical therapy, and since I have a background in this, I felt led to offer to come to the house to help.  A short time after I started coming to their home, Jessica was hospitalized.  In that hospitalization time they finally found a doctor that was able to heal one big area of her sickness.  But she had a long road of recovery ahead.  My husband approached me and said maybe we should offer Jessica to come live with us. Well, God had also placed this on Mark's heart, as he approached one day, asking if we would possibly consider letting Jessica live with us.  This was a bridge for her from her life of sickness, into her adult life of independence.  And with much help from her parents, and her now husband Mark, she moved in with us for a year.  I have seen Mark in dark days, darker and scarier than any of us most likely have yet to experience, when any of us would have absolutely crumbled under the pressure, the fear and direness of the situation.  But Mark pushed on.  It was not easy-it was incredibly difficult and dark, yet he was honest with his struggles, and his wrestling with God through it, and his utter dependence on God. But it is a testament to his faith and steadfastness, his walk with God, his strength, the fruit in his life and character.  You can't fake it when life is literally crushing you, this is when you will see the true character of a person.  Mark Darling's character NEVER waivers.
 #MarkDarlingIsMyHero
  #DiscipleStrong



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