Weekly Blog

Who are Your True Friends?

Who are your friends? Are they always there for you? Do they always have your best interests at heart? Are they truly your friends?

I believe that “friend” is one of the most overused words in the English language, especially in this day of social media. If you’re like me, you literally have 100s of acquaintances, but very few true friends.

What is a Friend?

  • Someone who you engage with on a regular basis
  • Who you are invested in and them in you

Have you surrounded yourself with people who meet this definition? Many people don’t. Instead they surround themselves with negative people, those who only pull them down and don’t lift them up.  


Only Surround Yourself with the Best

I’ve made a conscious decision in my life to only surround myself with those who truly care for me, those who love me and want to help me be a better me. There are only a few, including my wife. I refer to this as my “inner circle” and it has the following characteristics:

  1. Based on demonstrated behavior
  2. They are regularly there for me and me for them
  3. They support me in my endeavors
  4. They don’t beat me down, but love me

#4 doesn’t mean they agree with everything I do, but they tell me in a loving way, coaching and guiding me, without the negativity or sarcasm (subject for a future blog).

Everyone Else is in Your Outer Circle

Everyone else but those few are in my “outer circle”. Now you may think that doesn’t sound very Christian. Or you’re not sure how those in your immediate family or longtime friends could be in your outer circle. I’m here to tell you that they can. I’m not suggesting that you completely turn your back on them, but instead think of them as opportunities for ministry.

Everyone wants to be loved and everyone needs the love of Christ (whether they know it or not). You/we need to love everyone, but that doesn’t mean that you should count on everyone to love you and support you….

  • Some are incapable because of what they’re dealing with
  • Some won’t take the time
  • And there are some in this world who are just bad people.  
Love Makes for True Friendship

Matthew Kelly of Dynamic Catholic, one of my favorite authors and speakers, defines love as helping others become better versions of themselves. That’s the measure I suggest we all use. Are those in your life helping you be better, be your best? If so, they should be in your inner circle (by the way…you need to reciprocate their friendship). If not, it’s the outer circle where they should go, as a great opportunity for ministry.  

Be intentional with who you call “friend”. Pick wisely. Make sure they are worthy of your inner circle. Work and grow to be better together, loving one another the way Christ loves you.

Please share with me your comments and what you think about “inner circle” and “outer circle” at

May God Bless you with Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph

Weekly Blog

Joy in the Midst of Overwhelming Challenges

Have you ever encountered people who are dealing with things that appear to be incredibly challenging and instead of being overwhelmed, they are joyful? It might be a disaster that they’re facing or the everyday drudgery of life. Regardless they always have smiles on their faces and in their hearts. You look at them and think to yourself, “I want some of that”.

I’ve certainly seen people like this in the U.S., but not nearly to the degree that I did during a recent experience I had in Haiti. I had the privilege of being on a mission trip with Life Teen, the largest Catholic youth ministry organization in the world. For a week, 16 of us from the U.S. lived on Life Teen’s Mission Base, in the Diocese of Anse-a- Veau et Miragoane.

Culture Shock

Having never gone camping in my life, the living conditions were tougher than anything that I had ever endured. Ten men slept in one room, with a concrete floor, and the occasional critter visiting. We slept with nets over us to protect us from mosquitos. We walked to another building to use the restroom, which was more like an outhouse. With no hot water, showers were very cold and very quick. We had electricity from 5-10PM daily, only because the base was fortunate enough to have a generator.

Here’s the thing, compared to how most Haitians live, we/I had nothing to complain about. Typical houses are incredibly small, maybe 2-3 rooms, with no plumbing (so no water supply, no showers, no toilets), no electricity, and no gas.

In Haiti, there is a total lack of infrastructure, the most glaring example of which is that there is no garbage collection. Something we take for granted in the U.S., no one picks up the trash and there’s nowhere to dispose of it, so it’s just everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

Then given that there’s no electricity or gas, everything is cooked using open flame, the fuel of which is Haitian made charcoal. That charcoal creates a smell in the country that you encounter immediately upon exiting the airport and doesn’t depart from you until you leave the country. The odor was so strong that it overpowered any smell of garbage.

The poverty is so dramatic that it is overwhelming. I was literally in shock the first three days I was in Haiti, pondering how we possibly allow our fellow man to live like this. I saw things that I had never seen before, things that I just can’t erase from my eyes.

Simple but Joyfull

So with all that as a backdrop, I’ve never encountered more joy filled people in my life. Everyone, and I mean everyone, had big smiles on their faces and were super, super friendly. In addition, you ought to see how the Haitians worship our Lord.

As most of us have experienced, Churches in the U.S. are rather lethargic, with very few singing. In contrast, not only do the Haitians sing at the top of their lungs, but also dance to worship music. They are both exuberant and very reverent. It is incredible to experience.

In the midst of the extreme, awful poverty that they live in, why do you think the above is the way it is? My guess is twofold:

  • The Haitians don’t have near the distractions that we do. Life is simple and to many of them life is good, even in the midst of what they face daily.
  • The Haitians know the love of the Lord, the peace of Christ, in a way that many of us in the U.S. don’t. As such, they know what’s really important. They have peace and they have joy.

We live in a culture in the U.S. that loves things and uses people. I think we could learn a lesson from the Haitians in that we are called to use things and love people. Maybe then we could experience their joy.

My God Bless you on your journey of Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph


What do you think? Please share your comments with me at

Stay connected and get the FREE resource “Going From Overwhelmed to Fulfilled” here!

Weekly Blog

Made for Greatness

Did You Know that You Were Made for Greatness?

Most of us have no clue as to the above. Many of us strive for greatness (or at least being very good at the things we do), but that doesn’t mean that we know that we are made for it, specifically designed by God to achieve it.

The same God who made us for greatness wants nothing more than to see us live lives of peace, joy, and fulfillment.

Assuming the above to be true, why do so few of us know these things, let alone live lives that reflect them?

I Didn’t Know

I didn’t know any of the above for most of my life. Then not unlike many others, I had some things happen that led me to the Lord. Since then, I’ve learned things that I never knew before, that I never thought possible before.

There was a time that I was overwhelmed with life. I was pursuing what I thought would make me happy, i.e. possessions, prominence, and pleasure. None of it worked. Back then, it was all about the pace. Now, it’s all about the peace, joy, and fulfillment God wants for all of us.

Gratified for the journey and convicted by what God has taught me, I feel called to share the lessons I’ve learned with as many people as possible. As such, I’ve written a book, titled, “Overwhelming Pursuit: Stop Chasing Your Life and Live”, which will be published in September, 2018, by Our Sunday Visitor. I’ve launched I am now blogging and continue to do the public speaking I’ve done for a while.

Why I’m So Convicted

A major part of my conviction is in what’s not being said, at least not frequently enough or specifically enough. To start, God loves all of us more than we’ll ever know, no matter what we’ve ever done. In addition, the following is abundantly true:

  • God made you with unique gifts
  • He doesn’t make mistakes; doesn’t make junk
  • You are a 10 on a scale of 1-10
  • God has blessed you with a specific purpose
  • He wants you to live a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment
  • God made you for GREATNESS

It’s Simple, But Not Easy

For me to truly grasp all of this, it didn’t happen overnight. Although simple, it’s not easy. That said, it’s very possible. By the grace of God, I’ve identified the process to get there. God showed me the way. I did it and so can you.

Join Me On This Journey

I invite you to be on this journey with me. Although you may not agree with everything I say, what I have to offer will cause you to think, and hopefully to grow. And after a period of time, if you don’t think it makes sense for you, you can “opt out”.

As with all my future blogs, I invite you to comment to me via email at

May God Bless you on your journey to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph

Stay connected and get the FREE resource “Going From Overwhelmed to Fulfilled” here!