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!

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.  

Monday, October 18, 2010


Iniquity: [ɪˈnɪkwɪtɪ]  [from Latin inīquitās, from inīquus unfair; disrespectful act, dishonest, violation of the law, absence of respect, lack of spiritual values, sin

I could just see the look of frustration on New Orleans kicker Garrett Hartley’s face.  The Saints had fought so hard to make it into overtime….drive the length of the field…and give him the opportunity to score the winning field goal to defeat the Atlanta Falcons.  As he stood there watching the kick soar past the goal post…the sounds of “wide left” must have echoed in his ears.  He had missed the kick and the Saints went on to lose the game. 

I could just imagine the next morning….Garrett waking up in his suburb condo just outside the city skirts of New Orleans…opening the Times Picayune paper and seeing his image and those words...


Dear Pastor Mark,

Thank you for your support of our Saints, and for the kind words regarding my “wide left” kick last week against the Falcons.  While it was a difficult loss for the team to deal with, we also realize that we are one field goal away from a perfect season so far.  There is no need to panic.  I wanted to thank you for your insight on how our iniquities (our mistakes, failures, wrong doings) exposed actually force us to deal with them, learn from them, and hopefully grow through them.  While I am writing to thank you for your kind words, I am also writing to let you know that...


We were driving through Melbourne, Florida and sitting at a red light.  My wife looked off to the right and noticed a Publix grocery store that was empty and closed.  She stated, “That’s strange, I have never seen a Publix that was closed before…..especially in such a good location.” I was in the middle of a conversation with my son about what we were going to do first when we arrived at Melbourne Beach….one of our favorite family destinations.  As I drove past the Publix……I noticed movement on the inside of the store and quickly deduced that this movement wasn’t movement of “shutting down” or “going out of business”  but movement of “opening up.”  I made the statement that the store wasn’t closing, but rather...