President’s Ponderings 15.1


“Practical mentoring” is a part of Northeastern Baptist College’s mission. Recently, a student asked an important mentoring question. “President Ballard, what do you do in your personal time with the Lord?” The question pleased me. A part of mentoring is sharing practical life experiences.


“Daily, I follow a Scripture reading plan and a prayer plan,” I said. “My prayer time begins with praise and moves to petition. My petitions include praying for:

  • My family,
  • Our students, staff, faculty,
  • Churches in the area, and
  • Several friends.

In addition, I receive four ‘daily devotional thoughts’ via email. I read each of the verses and often the chapters in the Bible where the verses are located. This allows me to enjoy a planned reading, and a variety of passages beyond my reading plan.” A growing personal relationship should be relished, not rushed.


A recent devotional reading was based on 1 Chronicles 29:13, “Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.” Reflecting on the verse inspired a time of praise and thanksgiving to our amazing Lord! That morning I added to my usual praise and petitions, praise and thanks for:

  • My prayer partners,
  • All our God has done to establish NEBC, and
  • How He allows our NEBC family to impact the hearts and lives of individuals in the Northeast.

I then returned to read 1 Chronicles 29 on my Bible app. I was surprised.

You probably remember, David wanted to build the Temple but God did not allow it. He promised that Solomon would do the job. David was, however, allowed to prepare the way for his son.

Here is the surprise. First Chronicles 29 is about a successful fund raising campaign. David gathered abundant building materials for the future Temple (vs. 1-2). In addition, he gave an exorbitant personal offering [110 tons of gold and 260 tons of silver] (vs. 3-5). He stated the reason: “because I have set my affection on the house of my God” (v. 3).

The king’s generosity inspired others. The nation’s leaders “offered willingly” (v. 6) an even larger offering [gold—190 tons; silver—375 tons; bronze—675 tons; iron—3,750 tons] (vs. 7-8). In addition, “the people rejoiced, … because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the Lord” (v. 9). David followed up, leading the people in a time of praise and thanksgiving (vs. 10-20).


David’s gifts, over and above what he collected, caught my attention. He gave from his own treasure. He gave out of affection for the Lord’s house. Right then I asked the Lord to show me a way I can give to Phase 1 of Forming the Framework for the Future. I gave earlier this year, as did other faculty, staff, and students. But I wanted to give in a special way—as David did. Obviously, I don’t have David’s special treasures, so I needed the Lord to show me how I can give. As I continued to seek Him, he reminded me of my special treasure.

Most Sundays I have the high privilege and great joy of preaching God’s Word at a local church. Sometimes the church gives an honorarium. When this happens, I use the funds for special things I would not otherwise be able to do. Last week the Lord showed me that I could commit these funds to the campaign. Beginning with Sunday November 19th through the end of 2017, I have committed before the Lord to give any and all honorariums given to me.

A second thing in 1 Chronicles 29 caught my attention. Israel’s other leaders responded to David’s gift. They too gave liberally. So, I am asking the Lord to stir up the hearts of pastors and other Christian leaders to give willingly to the campaign over the next few weeks.

Seeing David give, and seeing the response of other leaders across the nation, the Bible says the people, “with a loyal heart offered willingly to the LORD.” It started with David. It expanded to other leaders in the nation. Soon, everyone wanted to give. Not only did they give willingly and with a loyal heart, the Bible says they “rejoiced” to give. It was a joyful celebration. Giving became a part of their worship, praise, and thanksgiving. I am asking the Lord to do the same over the next few weeks of NEBC’s Forming the Framework for the Future Campaign.

I am so excited about this thanksgiving and giving opportunity! I cannot wait to see all that the Lord is going to do. Wouldn’t it be great if we not only met the $5,000,000 goal before Christmas, but we actually exceeded it? I don’t know how the Lord will accomplish this, but however He does it, we will rejoice! We will offer our praise! We will give Him thanks!

With Great Anticipation,

Mark H. Ballard




President’s Ponderings 14.1

I am often asked, “What’s it like to start a college?”

“It’s always exciting, never boring, and most of the time, it’s fun!” Continue reading >>

President’s Ponderings 13.1


Last Friday and Saturday, Cindy and I attended our 20th annual Baptist Convention of New England. Ben and two of our students attended with us. It was thrilling. We talked with old friends and met new ones. Continue reading >>

President’s Ponderings 12.1


October 31, 1517 was a crucial day in Christian history. That day, an Augustinian monk, Martin Luther, nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Other people and events contributed to the Reformation, but Luther’s action was decisive. He intended to begin a debate about the Roman Catholic Church’s fundraising method—selling indulgences. He sparked an unintended firestorm instead. Continue reading >>

President’s Ponderings 11.1

What comes to mind when you think of God’s blessings? In blog 10.1, I noted how God blessed His people in Jerusalem in Haggai’s day, and how He blesses us in our day. God’s children experience His supernatural favor when we adjust our lives to live His priorities. Continue reading >>

President’s Ponderings 10.1

What comes to your mind when you think of God’s blessings? Do you imagine they exempt you from problems, challenges, and trials? Do you think His blessings guarantee your health, wealth, and wisdom? According to Haggai, in spite of problems and trials, even without health and wealth, God’s people are blessed when they pursue God’s priorities. Consider three important truths about God’s blessing. Continue reading >>

President’s Ponderings 9.1


How are your 2017 New Year’s Resolutions working out? After 9½ months, are you trim, toned, and bi-lingual? Congratulations! You are exceptional.  Continue reading >>

President’s Ponderings 8.1

A 34,000-Foot View

Day or night, rain or shine, the view from a jet flying at 34,000 feet pleases me. From time to time I pause my reading and enjoy looking out the window. I also relish the connection opportunities on a flight. Continue reading >>

President’s Ponderings 7.1

God is at work at Northeastern Baptist College! You read that often in my blogs, articles, and letters. It’s also a consistent theme of my preaching. I’ve been pondering the statement anew since early this morning. Allow me to share what I intend to communicate.

For me, “God is at work” is more than positive thinking. I never want it to become a pious cliché I use to fill space in sentences. “God is at work,” is a statement of truth, a confession of faith, a declaration of reality. Continue reading >>

President’s Ponderings 6.1


When I first saw him, I assumed he was an ambitious hotel manager, enhancing public relations. His smile was warm and welcoming. He chatted with guests at each table as he made his way around the dining area. Cindy, Ben, and I enjoyed our Sunday morning breakfast. He progressed, guest-to-guest, table-to-table, toward a divine appointment … with me. Continue reading >>