“He is God, I’m not.”
Updated: Oct 17
Story by Mark Berg
I have been a believer since my early teens. I grew up in the small town of Rice Lake Wisconsin with a population of around eight thousand. Going to church back then I remember what I was being told just didn’t make sense. Things like, "You will go to hell if you step foot in a Lutheran church." I kept telling myself that is not the God I know. I came to the realization that being a believer was about having a relationship with God, not by following a bunch of rules. I am now on the north side of 70 so it has been a while.
At the start of my freshman year in high school, I moved to Green Bay WI and yes, like many others, I drifted for a while and spread my wings. I finally realized I had drifted further than I should have and made the turn-around. Once I had made the turn, I wanted to start serving Him as a way to acknowledge my love for God.
In my mid-twenties I was in a band called Whirlwind and learned the basics about running a sound system. That lead to my running sound for an annual Barber-shoppers concert. Then a DJ friend of mine, Scotty Gray, from the Christian radio Q-90 FM kept urging me to start helping out at the Cup O Joy. The ‘Cup’ as it’s known is unique in that some of the biggest Christian bands and comedians in the industry come to perform for free – sort of. A Love Offering (pass the hat) is the only pay they receive, and they are lining up to play there. God has his hand on that place.
I also got involved in running sound at a Christian music festival. Lifest in Oshkosh WI. Six stages and four days. After 25 years, it is one of the largest Christian music festivals in America. One day back in about 2010/2011 while running sound, I always worked the Café Stage, for a seminar at the festival, there was a speaker who made the statement, “He is God, I’m not.” I knew that, but that day it caught my attention and stuck with me. It reminded me of a time in my work life where I was being called ‘god’ in my workplace because I always made sure coworkers knew what I knew.
I have never hated that people have tattoos but always said I would never do that to myself. I would say, “what is that going to look like when they are old and gray?” As the statement of “He is God, I’m not” wandered around my head for a while I started thinking maybe I should publicly display my love for God with a tattoo. I wanted to get that statement tattooed on my arm.
As I got very close to pulling the trigger and visiting a parlor, I was suddenly hit with a blood clot that the doctors told me should have killed me, even saying that "someone upstairs must like you." After further testing it was determined that I have the factor 5 leiden mutation which increases the risk for developing blood clots in the leg or lungs. Because of that clot and future potential clots, I would have to be on blood thinners for the rest of my life. I was slightly disappointed that I would not be able to get the tattoo any longer because of having to be on blood thinners.
As I thought through this disappointment, it dawned on me that God must have been telling me that I did not need a tattoo for Him and that may also have been His way of preventing something more dangerous happening to me if I went through with the tattoo. He saved me from something more serious happening to me. Thank You God! I will survive without the tattoo and God still knows I love Him.
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