Mark Etting

Shaped by God

Self-deception is one of the defining features of sin. We convince ourselves that everything is alright, but in reality, we struggle with sin, rebellion, selfishness,

Remembering the Past

This year seems to be a year of milestones. Nora and I are celebrating 35 years of marriage, Church Investors Fund is celebrating 50 years

Open Your Fist

Like many others, I always enjoy visiting the primate exhibit whenever I go to the zoo. We find something about their playfulness and curiosity somewhat

Finding Happiness This Christmas

It is hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner. In Christian churches throughout the world, the preparations are already well underway for

I Need Discipline

I need to be disciplined. The world around us is forming habits in our lives – and not necessarily good ones. As Christians, we are

Reminisce

We hadn’t been back to Chicago to visit family in quite a few years. There always seemed to be a reason we couldn’t make it

Quiet Time

When my kids were growing up, there were times when they would get a little rambunctious or cranky, and they just needed a little Quiet

We Need Discipline

While growing up, my parents believed in discipline. When I was in the moment, there were many times I felt the need for discipline was

Plans Aborted

It was supposed to be our first Christmas away from home…ever! Our three boys are grown and scattered throughout the country, but we were all

God is With US

Is life nothing but random events, or does God drive them? The truth is God is always with us, and He speaks when and how

Gather Together

We are living in a world driven by technological advancements. Just about everything we do today uses some form of advanced technology. Just look at

5K Run

I had been exercising regularly in preparation for a 5k I was going to run with a dear friend. I felt I was fairly well

Life Has Trials

Life is filled with trials. It’s not a matter of whether you will face trials, but more a matter of when. These trials come in

Financial Growth Mindset

I have been reading a book titled Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck. In the book, Dweck explains how our natural abilities can bring us initial

Not What I Hoped

Well, this past year didn’t go quite like I had hoped – for various reasons. The COVID pandemic never ended like we had hoped, we

What is Normal, Anyway?

I have heard quite a few times over the past months that we need to make changes in order to adjust to this “new normal”.

Hurry Sickness

I think I might be suffering from a touch of “Hurry Sickness”. I tend to be an impatient person. There I said it. Those that

Attitude Reflection

Dear Future Self: It seems everywhere we turn nowadays we are inundated with bad attitudes. Whether we are talking about politics, racism, discrimination, crime, religion,

Finding Balance in Saving

Save every penny you can for the future or enjoy life now and worry about the future later? Which is correct? I know one young

Don’t Miss Out on Blessings

My son Leighton had an opportunity to attend the Final Four at the recent NCAA Basketball Championship in Indianapolis, IN. The college my son attends

He Is Always With Us

My son called me from college the other day, and he sounded tired and beaten. He had a couple of exams in his more challenging

Value in Organizing

I love organization and can’t stand clutter. Few things in life bring me more satisfaction than purging the unnecessary and organizing what is kept. Unfortunately,

You Are Not Alone

It has been an interesting year to say the least. I find it maddening that we can live in a world filled with billions of

Appreciating Hard Winters

I lived in the Chicago area most of my life. In fact, I worked in the city for 15 years. In my opinion it is

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Lessons from the Past

When I was in my early teens, I had a paper route. I got up excruciatingly early to prepare and deliver the Chicago Sun Times

A Silver Lining

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought many emotions, including anxiety, fear, impatience, resentment and sadly even hatred, but it has also given many a fresh outlook

Hope is Built On Nothing Less

The world is in panic mode. Toilet paper, cleaners, sanitizer, milk, eggs, meat, and much more are being horded. People are told to stay home,

Negotiating Time

It was one of those nights – one filled with negotiations. You too have likely had one of those nights. You know the type. You

Money (In)Security

Money brings security. Whether you agree with the statement or not, it is this false understanding upon which America was built. The truth is, money

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2020 Vision

Well, the year 2020 is upon us, and as we focus on the year ahead, we look for clarity in what God has in store

2010s – A Decade to Remember

This New Year’s Eve, we will say goodbye to another decade and usher in the 2020s. I saw a recent article on Entertainment Weekly that

Becoming Lukewarm

We live in one of the wealthiest countries. Most of us are blessed with the ability to walk into a grocery store and not only

Wedding Plans

A wedding is usually a one-day event that requires months of planning. Over the past few months, I helped organize a wedding, attended another, and

In Need of Relief

Our pastors have invested in us, our families, and the communities we serve. Whether they’re teaching us through their sermons, leading us in worship, pouring

Anything For Our Kids

I was talking to a friend the other day. It had been a while since we caught up on each other’s families. She is a

Puppy Training

Lacey is now a 10-week-old Goldendoodle. She is very intelligent and has the sweetest temperament, but like all puppies, she is a lot of work.

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Seeding a Church Plant

Here at Church Investors Fund we have been blessed to partner with churches to purchase land, construct new buildings, renovate, refinance existing debt, or even

Wedding Speech

I gave my first wedding speech at my sister’s wedding, but that was many years ago. I couldn’t tell you what I said or what

There’s a Hole in My Pocket

Saving my hard-earned money when I was a teenager was not my strong suit. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I would swear there

Carrying Others’ Burdens

My wife and I woke up early that morning. In fact, way too early in my opinion. It was 3:00 am when the alarm went

Stewarding Our Time

The last I checked, there are still only 24 hours in a day. God set this up when He created the heavens and the earth,

Confidence in Tomorrow

It’s a new year. The house has suddenly become eerily quiet as the conversations and laughter of family and friends has left what was a

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A New Year

It’s hard to believe that in a few short weeks the New Year’s Eve ball will drop, marking the end of another year and the

Retirement Pitfalls

Congratulations, you finally made it to retirement! You can now relax and enjoy the nest egg you worked so hard to build. At least that’s

Legos

I still remember the first time I received Legos for Christmas. It was a huge plastic bucket filled with endless possibilities. The question wasn’t what

You Will Have R-E-S-P-E-C-T

When I write R-E-S-P-E-C-T, you probably instantly think of Aretha Franklin’s popular song called Respect. What an amazing artist. Over her singing career she had

Live Life Together

So often as Christians, I think we undervalue our own need to be around other believers. Yes, it is important to reach out to those

It’s About Relationships

Have you ever toured a college campus during the summer and thought “it does nothing for me”? Maybe you find that “it seems so cold”;

Expectations

We can’t live a life of expectation, and not accompany it with deliberate discipline and planning. Unfortunately, a lack of discipline and planning has placed

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