Mark & Kristin were married in Cozumel (1996). After living 14 years in Minnesota, they are currently in American Samoa where Mark has been painting and writing, and Kristin has been homeschooling their 2 youngest (out of 4 children) and writing.
Began drawing at an early age. As early as elementary school, his drawings and paintings were placed in community art shows. Mark won art awards every year he attended Redlands High School, Redlands, CA. Realizing the need to leave Redlands, he gave up a 4-year art scholarship. Besides, his father said, “No son of mine is going to make money painting”. Mark believed his father. Parent’s words are powerful…Mark encourages his 4 children and others to follow their dreams…to pursue their giftedness and passion that God gave them.
August 26, 2007, Mark felt someone “touch” him early in the morning. He wasn’t quite sleeping. He had his back to the door and thought it was his youngest daughter. Turning, he saw no one. He felt then, it was the Holy Spirit …but why? September 26, 2007 Mark dreamt he was driving on a highway with a wheat field to his left. The horizon was dark and ready to rain. The wheat was golden and bending over from the “fruit” and blowing in the wind. Golden light was shining upon the wheat. The light was Christ, the harvest was near, and the rain was God pouring out His blessings! That morning, Mark began a devotional study from a book written by John Bevere: it began, “Think of your life as God’s garden, and He is the garden’s caretaker. Having planted you in good soil, He provides the rain and sunlight. All you need is to grow and flourish and bear much fruit. Your job is simply to keep growing upward toward the sun.” Within a few days thereafter the Lord prompted Mark to paint the dream, the wheat field and sky. Mark thought the Lord was crazy. He hadn’t painted since 1981. Mark had faith that God would move through him. God is wonderful! He used those 25+ years to prepare Mark. Today, Mark’s paintings are inspired by God and based on God’s Word. Paintings are a silent witness: once someone looks at a painting the image is left with them in a way that words cannot express.
Mark’s other passion is writing. Inspired (and prodded) by Dr. Timothy Peterson and wife Cherrie’ Peterson (Senior Pastor and Pastor, respectively, Christ’s Family Church International, Eden Prairie, MN and Christian Family Church World Outreach, Owatonna, MN), Mark wrote “Giving God the Helm, Overcoming Storms of Adversity.” Mark is currently co-writing a book with Dr. Peterson titled “The King’s Journal.”
Painting and writing has evolved into Overcoming For Life! Mark and Kristin are creating materials to equip saints that includes a DVD called “Tree of Life, A Contemplative Prayer.” This DVD is about resting in the Lord’s presence, focusing on the Lord, and listening to the Lord. Think of Mark as your tour guide and the image of his painting “Tree of Life” as the starting point of your journey. From there, you let the Holy Spirit lead and show you His way. As you meditate, the Holy Spirit will take over and fill you with images, thoughts, and more.
First heard what many call the “prosperity” message in 2003 at what was a new church they were attending. She almost wrote it off as “not of God,” but rather of the flesh or worse, of Satan. Kristin prayed unceasingly for a change: either in her or in her church. He changed Kristin! God is faithful. He spoke directly to her heart and assured her that she was at the right church. He spoke to her His own words: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Kristin was leaning on her own understanding all along! Obediently and with love, however, she complied. Mark and Kristin continue calling Christ’s Family Church International, Eden Prairie, MN their home church.
Shortly thereafter, the Lord was working in her heart- showing her things she now saw with fresh eyes, telling her things that were previously falling on deaf ears. Kristin was humbled. As such, He now uses her to boldly serve the Kingdom of God. Kristin’s speaking engagements are powerful: she is anointed to bring you the Lord’s joy, peace and comfort in her heart-touching messages. Her testimony is wonderfully expressed in her message Rahab, Me and You, Nothing is Unforgiveable!
February 2005 Mark and Kristin attended a Francen World Outreach Crusade in San Salvador, El Salvador. March 2005 they attended a Bob Harrison Increase Event in Waikoloa, Hawaii. These 2 events and the juxtaposition of them changed Kristin’s life forever. In beautiful, but poverty-stricken El Salvador, she learned that God is still working miracles, signs and wonders- and many of them. She learned that the world is hungry for God and the things of God. At the Increase Event Kristin finally heard what God has been trying to tell her about the so-called “prosperity” message. It’s not about her! God wants us all to use His blessings to bless others! “If we are only blessing ourselves and our family, we are missing the mark,” Kristin said. She went on to say, “We are not living God’s perfect will for our life. Every bit of what we have is a gift from God and if we are not using the gifts He has given us- or the gifts he has created IN us- to further His kingdom we will never find true joy. We will go to our graves wondering, what if?”
Kristin’s favorite quote: A.W. Tozer said “I have for years carried a burden of sorrow as I have moved among evangelical Christians who somewhere in their past have managed to strike a base compromise with their heart’s holier longings and have settled down to a lukewarm, mediocre kind of Christianity utterly unworthy of themselves and of the Lord they claim to serve.”
God is a God of greatness. In Revelation Jesus vomited out the lukewarm believers because they were neither hot nor cold. Kristin’s call from God- and the call to all believers- is to be hot. Kristin choses to become all that God created her to be; to let Him work in and through her; and to be a worthy follower of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.