A Minute with Mark – A Worthy Prize

When the pressure's on

When the pressure’s on

What a finish! For the first time in history, an Aussie has won the Masters. When Adam Scott birdied the second playoff hole to win, Australia must have exploded. He will certainly be a national hero. You have to feel good for the 32 year-old Scott. The joy on his face was contagious. The crowd roared. Millions were glued to their TV’s. He rode quite an emotional roller coaster – thinking he had won with an amazing putt on the 18th only to be tied by Angel Cabrera, then having to settle down for the playoff.

Few of us will ever know that kind of pressure. Performing at a high level in that environment requires an unusual skill set and mental framework. But don’t underestimate your own challenges and opportunities.

I am impressed by young people who are not ashamed of their Christian convictions while being confronted with peer pressure. I see others keeping the faith:

Conducting business in the current climate without sacrificing ethics and integrity is no simple thing. Single parents who balance family, work, and other demands find time to nurture themselves and their children in faith and practice. Many senior adults who see their worlds shrink in the face of health and financial challenges live with grace and dignity, giving thanks for what they do have and can do.

No, not many of us will have someone place a green jacket around our shoulders like Bubba Watson did for Adam Scott. But don’t forget, there is a higher prize waiting for us, each of us who decides to live for greater acclaim. Paul put it this way: “And now the prize awaits … not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His glorious return” (2 Timothy 4:8). The prize is a crown of righteousness – the approval and acceptance of the Audience that really matters!

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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