Partners Of Gbm Academy
First Name: Mark
Last Name: Stalnaker
Joined: 01 January 2023
Growing up searching for God
I grew up in a military family. I was always searching for God from as early as I can remember. I’m not sure why. I was Catholic and I would follow the practices thinking maybe this would get me to know God. I always wondered, “What is He like? Being in a military family we moved a lot and I learned to adapt.
In my teen years I was not part of the “in crowd.” Actually I was not really accepted. I was smart and good grades came easy to me. I was actually pretty athletic and held a school track record for years. But I was a loner and I read all the time. I read success books. I read every success book that was available, some more than once. During these years I was still searching for God, more than ever.
After High School I had no money to go to a University. I got a full time job at night in a restaurant and went to a local community college. Then I decided that I had to do something or my life would not change. I had a dream from childhood to be a fighter pilot. So I enlisted into the Air Force and finished my college at night. I was still searching for God.
Enlisting into the Air Force to be a fighter pilot is not the way to do it. It is possible, but really there is a slim chance of it happening. A very long story short, God did miracles. He let me live that dream by His grace.
I got saved walking in a field at night by myself. I had read a little book called, “More than a Carpenter.” Suddenly I realized who Jesus was and is. I accepted Him and everything was new, I was just different.
A few years later I was reading every book I could get my hands on about Jesus, ministry, the Spirit, just anything. I read about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I wanted that! I had some christian friends who held home meetings. I invited them to my home to lay hands on me and to pray for me. When they did, I saw my first external vision (no, I did not know what was going on.) There was Jesus standing at the top of a water fall and the river that came out of that water fall just rush through me. I was clean and I was full of joy.
Then the gifts started and I was not really sure what was really gong on. But I did not care, finally I found God. I found Jesus.
Preparation (though I did not know it)
Another miracle, I got into pilot training and I became a fighter pilot. Too many miracles to cover how that happened, but it was all God’s grace.
What did I learn? How to handle pressure. How to rely on myself (not necessarily a good thing as we will see later) and how to overcome. You don’t make mistakes, they can be disastrous. How to take intense correction and learn from it and not be offended. You were with the best and you had to be the best. That was the atmosphere for 20 years. I loved it.
Then came ministry. I was flowing in some gifts and I was just binging on the word. I could not get enough. I had learned grace in such an intense revelation. At that time I joined a church and ended up as the youth pastor. The pastor was very legalistic and did not agree with my teaching so I was kicked out. I then started a home church that lasted for almost a year. But I was still in the military and we moved.
I could never find a church after that and the Lord just kept moving on me and I could not let it go. So I did a search and found Les Crause. Some guy in Mexico teaching on the Prophet. I did his application thing and his response just moved me to tears. So I completed the course on the Prophet.
Couple of years later I had his daughter come to my house and the Lord moved mightily. It was an event! So I started off in ministry again, but I could not do it in my own strength, which was all I knew. My strength had been my life for 20 years. So I ran away from ministry and said, “Enough!”
I went fully back to the world for 13 years. I was very successful. I had retired from the military and was in the software industry. I had a ranch and all the stuff. I did so many different things and succeeded at all of them. I did not even have any debt. But I was unfulfilled and unsatisfied. Many times I just talked to the Lord. I knew I had failed and I knew that my call was over. Even my wife at the time said,”What is it? What is wrong?” I knew, but I knew no way to change it.
Then when I thought everything of God was dead and gone. He called me back. I am not even sure how He did it. I was coming home from a business trip. I was in an airport. Suddenly I thought, “ I wonder what Les Crause is doing? Wonder if He still has a ministry?”
So again I did a search. I found this little article by Les Crause. “How to know if you are called to be an Apostle.” I thought, “OK, why not?” So I read it. At the end of it I thought, “Oh no! What am I going to do? This cannot be!” It was an emotional event. Then Jesus was there right in the airport and in the Spirit sat down on me and said, “ You are what I say you are.”
So a couple of days later I thought. There is no way this guy is going to take me back after I ran away. But I thought at least I can help support him, so I sent in a donation. Of course He took me back and GBM has changed my life. I am here by the grace of God and the faithfulness of those who have poured all the Lord has given them into me.