Discipleship Thought began as a weekly email from First Baptist Church at the Mall's Discipleship Pastor, Mark Bedwell, to his Sunday Morning Connect Group Leadership Team. These Thoughts were meant as a weekly encouragement, point to ponder, break from the day and sometimes even meant to make you stop and say "hmmm?"

We hope you find encouragement. Feel free to pass this along to someone who might need a little encouragement today!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I was reading an article on the internet this morning about new uniforms created for the Russian Army by a top fashion designer.  While the suits are thinner and more chic, hundreds of servicemen have been hospitalized from flu and pneumonia due to the new snazzy uniforms inability to withstand the Arctic chills that sweep through the country’s northern reaches.  The soldiers claimed that they “literally felt naked outside.” 

Monday night….I identified with those soldiers as my wife and I attended  Disney’s Candlelight Processional at an outdoor theatre in Epcot.   It was cold…I don’t mean the kind of cold that makes you reach in the closet and grab your windbreaker.  I mean the kind of cold that requires layers of clothing.  Extra socks.  Gloves.  Two Jackets. Scarves. Thermal underpants.  The kind of cold that makes going to the restroom a major ordeal and the kind of cold that reminds you why you moved to Florida in the first place.  

Friday, December 3, 2010


I have always loved sweet potatoes. Sweet potato pie, sweet potato casserole, sweet potato French fries, sweet potato squares, sweet potato bisque……..and my favorite of all time was ostrich steak and sweet potato ravioli….served at the Flying Biscuit in Atlanta.  It is quite delicious. 

Last week as preparations were being made for Thanksgiving, I wandered into the kitchen to do a little taste testing.  I noticed that there were some sweet potatoes on the counter about to find their way into a wonderful casserole dish.  I opened up a drawer…..withdrew a fork….inched myself over to the bowl of sweet potatoes that were awaiting their smashing, mixing and delicious additions and I inserted my fork into the bowl. There was steam rising from the bare potatoes…but I was willing to take a chance.  I pulled out a tiny bite.  It was quite hot…but I ate it any way and found myself making the “hot hot hot” noise as I let the potatoes dance around my mouth attempting to cool them off.  I went for another taste.  This time I blew on the potatoes long enough to get them to at least a bearable temperature for tasting.  I began to chew and taste….and to be quite honest…

Monday, November 22, 2010


If your life was a song, what kind of song would you be?
What words would fill the chorus line..what rhythms would we hear?
Would you be a country ballad full of sad tales and hard times…
Full of Drunken words mixed with  painful tears?

Would you be a gangsta rap and raise your hand up to ‘the man?’
Would you blame and would you rant for the  place that you are in?
Shaming what is right, and mocking what is true,
Bringing glory to what is dark and what is sin.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It had been two years since Antonio Margarito had been in the boxing ring.  Accused of cheating, he has been serving a suspension and had basically disappeared off of the boxing horizon…being shunned by fans and being the target of main stream media cheap shots and headlines.  It seemed that he only had his fellow countrymen behind him…the faithful few in Mexico who still believed and still chanted the name of Margarito…the Tiajuana Tornado.  After two years of silence, Margarito emerged this past Saturday night in Dallas.  He would headline a boxing pay per view and fight against the Phillipine Congressman, Manny Pacquiao. 

Friday, November 5, 2010


I was traveling down South Florida listening to Christian Radio….(I can’t lie)…listening to NFL Satellite Radio….and I received a call from Kim.  I asked her if she needed anything and her response was “no, not really.”  Now, men….you know what this means…this means that our wives are calling simply to talk and it is time to buck up and it is time to turn down our radio and put on our listening ears. She talked of school lunches  and of funny conversations.  She updated me on Google news…how her parents were…and the local weather conditions in Las Cruces, New Mexico (where her parents live). She was in the process of grade updates for both of our kids….class by class…when she stated that Shelby “had a quiz, not a test.”  That is when I did it.  I inserted a question. 

Monday, November 1, 2010


This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house.’”

Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.
Haggai 1:2-7

It was October 31st and I was sitting in the front yard with my family roasting hotdogs over a fire pit and watching children as they scavenged through the neighborhood going door to door looking for candy.  Neighbors stopped by just to say hi.  Typical conversations were held about the weather, the football game, the economy……and the housing market.  As one of our neighbors approached, I noticed that at the end of her leash, she had the most beautiful black dog.  His hair was soft and curly.  His eyes set close together and they seemed to be chocolate brown.  He had an under bite,  a slight wheeze…and within seconds I had fallen in love.  (Please don’t tell my dog, Max.)  As I was rubbing his belly, I commented...  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Faith Riders @ Brits Cafe

Mark speaks at F.A.I.T.H. Riders Bike Night 10/21/10


***This Discipleship Thought was written in honor of F.A.I.T.H. Riders Ministry.  I had the great opportunity to spend some time at one of their bike rallies this week and I encourage you to check out how God is using this amazing ministry.  Click on their link at www.churchathtemall.com.

True Story.  Harry was in the front yard trying to teach his son Shane how to ride a small motorcycle that he had purchased for $50.  It looked like something that clowns would ride in a family circus. As Shane stood beside the bike, he grinned as if he were standing beside a Harley Davidson.  He had an adult sized helmet on….so big in fact that you could have fit two of his heads inside of it.  This was shaping up to be one of those Hallmark father and son moments.  As Harry was trying to explain the nuts and bolts of riding a motorcycle….Shane was looking off in the distance and saying what sons say at a time like this….

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I have a really nice closet.  Actually, it is more than a closet…it is an entire room. You see, we have a room in our house that is a combination scrapbooking haven, office, and home for my clothes.  While I actually am supposed to use the closet in the room, I have found that the room itself..i.e….the chair, shelves, ironing board, and desk all make perfect homes for such things as t-shirts, shorts, or other clothes that I don’t “have time” to hang up properly.  Basically the scrapbooking/home office has become Pastor Mark’s World’s Largest Closet.  And I am good with that. But two months ago something changed.  My daughter entered middle school and she invited me on a tour of her cramped little closet in the back corner of the den that she had been using to house her clothes.  As I looked into the tiny abyss that was her closet…I quickly knew why this viewing had been requested.  On this day, she wasn’t after my money, she wasn’t after my time my time…..”gasp” …she was after my closet!!!  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


So, there I stood at the sink in the Waffle House bathroom in Orlando, Florida.  As I reached up to get the soap, I noticed an instruction guide on how to wash your hands posted on the wall in front of me.  The guide even had clip-art illustrations in case simple words didn’t do justice to the quality of information that was being presented. While part of me thought it was pretty funny..part of me thought it was pretty sad.  “Did they really need to tell us step by step how to wash our hands?” Apparently, they thought so…and apparently I felt obliged to not only read through the steps…not only to walk through the steps as I washed my hands…. but to share the steps with you as well.