Weekly Blog

False Happiness, False Gods

Johnny Lee sings a song called, “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.” I believe that to be the case for most of us. We also look for happiness in all the wrong places. We all have a “God-sized hole in the center of our chest,” and it can only be filled by God himself. The trouble is, many of us spend a lot of our lives trying very hard to fill it with something else.

Money Was My God

For me, for a very long time, I wanted to make money for all the wrong reasons. I wanted, needed to accumulate wealth and be successful to prove who I was, to feel the love I so desperately wanted and needed. Wealth accumulation, material possessions, success, power, prominence … these were my areas of concentration. It is clear to me now that because I was serving money as my master, I couldn’t become the best version of myself.

The 4 Ps

All of us want to live good lives, to experience success, be happy, and feel loved. Most of us pursue these things in four basic ways, which include:

  • Prominence – we want to be noticed for our achievements. That could mean career success or social standing. Others want notoriety for excelling in a field, including education, or even philanthropy and doing good deeds. Prominence makes us feel respected and admired, held in high esteem, and most importantly, loved. Why do we seek prominence? To fill the hole. And of course, it never works.
  • Possessions – look at the houses we live in, the cars we drive, and the things we wear. It’s a universal issue, no matter our sex, race, religion, age, or socioeconomic position. We value stuff. The amount of electronic gadgetry that most of us have is over the top. We try to fill the hole with so many things that are really so meaningless. What is it for you? I’m not suggesting that we should go without a house or a car, but instead understand why we buy what we do. Is it for functionality or status?
  • Pleasure – when we don’t know that we’re made for greatness, we rely on distraction and entertainment, anything that provides us with pleasure. Far too many people equate pleasure with joy. They’re not the same. Joy is long lasting, not dependent on our specific circumstances. Pleasure, on the other hand, is only experienced in the moment. Once the act creating the pleasure is over, the pleasure is gone. It is fleeting. And let me tell you, you’ll never be able to experience enough pleasure to fill the hole.
  • People – whether we realize it or not, many of us turn other people into false gods. They may be professional athletes, actors, musicians, politicians, dignitaries, the wealthy, very successful, or those that hold prominent positions. But they can also be people in our own lives. The truth is, idolizing other people in any way only sets us up to be deeply hurt and disappointed. It can never fill the hole in our hearts.

We Want to be Accepted, Respected, and Loved

It can seem almost deceptively simple. We just want to be accepted, respected, and loved. We have this God-sized hole in the center of our chest, and to fill the hole we chase after all these things that can’t bring us happiness. We chase false happiness and false gods. And we continue to be overwhelmed because of the effort it takes and the emptiness it still leaves.

There is hope! But we have to stop looking for fulfillment in prominence, possessions, pleasure, and people. Only one thing can fill that God-sized hole, and that’s God himself.

Please share your thoughts with me at

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

Mark Joseph

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Resentment Can Consume You

Most of us have had the experience of holding a grudge. Many are trapped and overwhelmed by the resulting resentment. If left unaddressed, resentment can consume us. Does this ring true to you?

For quite a while, I was overwhelmed by my wounds and resentments, almost in disbelief that these seeming “injustices” could have happened to me. I experienced a range of emotions and remember being angry and bitter almost on a constant basis. It was real. It was penetrating. And it hurt, sometimes almost physically. I felt very isolated, embarrassed to share the details with anyone.

Swallowing Poison and Waiting for the Other Person to Die

There’s a painfully true saying that “resenting someone else is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die”. In other words, when you harbor resentment, the only person it really hurts is you. Even if the other person knows of it and feels its repercussions, the impact on them pales in comparison to the impact on you.

There is no question that people wrong us, hurt us, sometimes very deeply, whether with malice or not. But when we let this fact get in the way of us living with peace and joy, we only hurt ourselves.

You Can Only Change Yourself

So how do we get out of habits of resentment and hurt? The fact is that the patterns of resentment that weigh us down are often rooted in the false belief that other people have to change in order for us to be happy. And this lie has roots in the lack of self-love suffered by most…if I believe that my whole worth is based on what other people think of me, then it stands to reason that I will resent people when they fail to love me.

Step #1

A first step in healing is moving past the idea that other people have to change. Instead, look to yourself, remembering that even when people treat you terribly and hurt you, that does not diminish your worth one bit. Because your worth is rooted in who you are (not in what you do or how you perform), you have the power to take responsibility for your own life, beginning with choosing to let go of resentment and hurt.

Step #2

An important second step has to do with our identity. Our tragedies, wounds, and set-backs are not to define us. When we allow our identity to get wrapped up in our hurts, it makes it difficult to surrender them, to experience healing, and to move on. As such, we need to understand our identity in Christ, each of us made by His Father, perfect in God’s image and likeness.

Step #3

Lastly, it was critical that I take ownership of my role in each of my painful circumstances, recognizing that I bore at least some responsibility for what had happened. It wasn’t until I started the challenging process of fixing myself, and yes forgiving myself, that I could humbly acknowledge my role, allowing me to also forgive others (which doesn’t mean condoning bad behavior).

In doing all of the above, I let go of my resentments. How about you? What have you done or what are you prepared to do to have peace and joy in your life?

Please share your comments with me at

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

Mark Joseph
Weekly Blog

Three Reasons Why I Wrote This Book

It is said that everyone has a story to tell, which is very true. We are all unique individuals, with God given gifts and a specific purpose. Our experiences are varied and incomparable.  

You have a story and I have a story, each individual and unique. 

The question has been asked of me why I wanted to write my story, specifically my recently released book, titled Overwhelming Pursuit: Stop Chasing Your Life and Live. Although not autobiographical, it does include stories from my life, giving examples to the lessons I learned and that I am so passionate about sharing.

So why did I write this book? There are three very specific reasons:

  1. My life has been absolutely transformed in understanding the unconditional love and forgiveness of God
  2. I don’t hear the lessons I’ve learned (my message) delivered anywhere, definitely not consistently, inside or outside the Church
  3. Given how dramatically my life has changed, I am convicted to share the message with as many as possible

So, let’s look at each individually.

My Life has been Dramatically Transformed 

I had a dramatic conversion experience in March, 2006, which began my journey of going from overwhelmed to a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment. As such, I learned not only that in understanding God’s love that the unimaginable is achievable, but that God made each of us with very unique gifts and put us on this earth for a special purpose. God made each us for greatness. That includes you.

The Message is Not Being Delivered

I believe that if every Priest, Pastor, or Minister, across all of Christianity, gave every homily, sermon, or message, every Sunday for the next 5 years, on the topic of God’s unconditional love, that it wouldn’t be enough because WE JUST DON’T GET IT. It’s a message that so desperately needs to be delivered, given how absolutely life changing it is. But the fact is, we rarely (never) hear that message. It’s not given in our Churches or anywhere else in society.

I am Convicted to Share It With As Many As Possible

The change in my life is so dramatic, that I am convicted to share it with as many people as possible, so as to positively impact their lives. Given our technology savvy world, the means to do it include my website (, blogs, social media, my book, and speaking engagements. I’m convinced, given my personal experience, if more people knew God’s love that not only would they no longer be overwhelmed, but that the world would be a different and better place.

In addition to the above, it’s going to take prayer, you for me and me for you. I’d obviously love for you to read my book and engage with the resources on my website (I truly believe that they can significantly help you on your journey), but more importantly, we need to pray for one another, that we all come to understand and internalize God’s unconditional love, which is the only thing that can put us on the path to peace, joy, and fulfillment.   

So, I invite you to join me on this journey. Become part of the movement.

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

Weekly Blog

The Difference a Smile Makes…It Can Even Change Hearts

Have you ever noticed what a difference a smile makes? It’s contagious. When someone smiles at you, you smile right back. It changes your mood. It can even change your day.

The Impact of a Smile

My wife (Cyndi) and I have been active members of the greeter ministry at our Parish for the last 3 years. As such, we along with a team of others, stand at the various doors of the Church, greeting people warmly as they come in. Not only do we smile and wave, but very often shake hands and exchange pleasantries. Above all, we make them feel welcome.

With many at the 5PM Mass being regulars, we’ve gotten to know them and those they often attend with. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that in some cases friendships have been formed. 

We also say good-bye to them as they leave, wishing them a good week and often including a “God bless you!” Regardless of what time they arrive or leave, late or early, they get the same positive, enthusiastic greeting from us, all part of our efforts (with other things) to attract people to our Parish.

It’s working. Several families have registered at the Parish, many of whom tell us that it’s solely because of how friendly we are. As such, they get to join our Parishioners in experiencing Jesus and being transformed.

Changing Hearts Too

Not only is it changing the hearts of our Parishioners and newcomers, but ours’ as well. You see, Cyndi and I have noticed something going on within us. Whereas we used to judge those who would show up late and leave early (or do other things strange to us during the Mass), now we are just really happy to see them.

The judgement has left us. The cross-eyed stares are gone. We could care less when they get there or how long they stay, as we are genuinely grateful that they come to participate in our Liturgy.

Why the Change in Us?

I think it’s a few things:

  1. It’s the specific work we’re doing for the Church, knowing that we are called to be Jesus to our Parishioners and Guests
  2. Friendships are being created. As opposed to them just being people in the pews, we are engaging with individuals and families, really getting to know them. We genuinely like them.
  3. A smile goes a long way; numerous smiles go even further

Our Pastor speaks highly of the culture of hospitality that’s been created, which is in great contrast to the way it used to be. Interestingly, we also are not the way we used to be. We’re a lot less judgmental, outside of Church too. Something about those smiles…and knowing the love of Christ…what an unbeatable combination. 

What You Can Do

So here’s what I’d suggest if you want to soften your heart and experience greater joy. First, see Christ in all and be Christ to all. Second, make friends. Be nice to them and pray for them. Lastly, smile because there’s nothing like it. You do these three things, inside or outside of Church, and you’ll be happier and healthier.

Please feel free to share your comments with me at

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

Mark Joseph