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Weekly Blog

You Have No Control

It’s a simple fact: we cannot control life, no matter how much we try. None of us can.  

Many of you might be thinking it isn’t true that you have no control. With a good plan and solid people around you, it’s possible to control things. Sure, much of life allows for you to have a certain amount of control, as long as you allow for contingencies, but even then, things don’t always go perfectly. The fact is that most of life is beyond your absolute control.

  • Other people, their choices and behavior are beyond your control.
  • Tragic events, disease, accidents — these things are all way outside the scope of your control.

If you’ve been following my blogs or have read my book, you know that everything changed for me when I had my conversion, when I first experienced the unconditional love of God. Concurrently, I found that I had very little control over things in my life. I was so tightly wound, trying to control my company and everyone in it, my customers and my vendors, trying to keep track of my family and their needs, and in the end I just couldn’t maintain control.

God Knows Best for Us

What I’ve learned on my 13-year faith journey is that we have a God who loves us more than we can imagine, Who wants to see us happy, Who designed us for a specific purpose, uniquely and individually, Who knows best for us — the God who made us for greatness. I know this to be true for me and to be true for you.

So let’s consider these points objectively:

  • God loves us unconditionally
  • He wants the very best for us
  • We really have very little control
  • We’re overwhelmed by what the world offers us as solutions to life

What Surrender Means to Most

If you’re like most, surrender probably isn’t a word that you’ve considered much, and for good reason. It’s generally thought of as in giving up or acquiescing, not having control. It certainly doesn’t imply strength or independence, the things we are taught that are so important.

Growing up playing sports, followed by starting my career in sales, I never thought of giving up, of surrendering. It was always about winning, either the game or the deal. And winning was about more than just winning. It was about what it said about me…my talents and strengths. Losing pointed to just the opposite…my faults, failings, and frustrations.

The Real Impact of Surrender

It’s a simple fact: surrendering to God’s Will relieves the pressure you feel and plays a critical role in you living a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment.

Instead of conceiving of something on your own, relying on yourself to get it done, and then facing the consequences alone, you can surrender to God’s Will, discerning what He wants for your life and particular situations, and relying on Him for whatever happens. You can use your unique and God-given gifts to do your very best, leaving everything up to Him and understanding that everything in life is part of His grand plan. As long as you know His love, it just doesn’t matter what others think.

God our Father loves us absolutely and handing it all over to Him brings incredible relief. In my case, surrender removed the pressure. It wasn’t just me alone that was responsible. I no longer had to own the outcome. Instead surrender leads to peace, joy, and fulfillment. All we can do is give every action our best, using our God-given talents, remaining open to His will, and leaving the outcome to Him. Try it…you won’t be disappointed.

Please comment to me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.

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

Mark Joseph
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Weekly Blog

Thank God for Thanksgiving

Thank God for Thanksgiving!!!

Note: this is going to get positive in a minute….stick with me. 

You don’t have to be an avid follower of the national news to know that we have big challenges in our country, the latest of which is our contested presidential election. Thank God for our US Constitution, which provides for provisions for such things. Then there’s the dramatic division within our country, primarily along political party lines, as manifested in race issues, the debate over defunding the police, and shutdowns, given COVID. Everything is political, including getting a vaccine to market. 

Add to the above all the social unrest, i.e. vandalism, luting, assaults, riots…with significantly increased crime and homicide rates. In addition, in the land of the free, the United States, we’re experiencing censorship in a significant way, both by the mainstream media and social media. 

Assuming you pay attention to this stuff, it can really take its toll. It’s crazy; it’s scary. It’s absolutely bizarre to think about what’s taking place in our country.   

Having stated the above, we have a lot to be grateful for, to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving, 2020. We get to live in the United States of America, the greatest social and economic experiment in world history. There’s no place in the world that compares to our country. While others have great architecture and landscape, no one has our freedoms, those things held so dear by our Founders, that include the freedom of:

  • Religion
  • Speech
  • The Press
  • Assembly
  • Petition the government

Photo by Aaron Schwartz from Pexels

And that’s only the First Amendment. While race and gender inequality existed at the country’s founding, significant measures have been taken over the last 60+ years to dramatically improve the situation. Without question, there’s more work to be done. 

But even with these challenges, we’re in a far better place than the rest of the world. Americans are a good people, a compassionate and generous people…statistically speaking, the most generous people in the world. There’s not another country that is so welcoming of immigrants. Nor another country that takes so good of care of them or its residents.   

The economic opportunities in the United States are second to none. The story of our country is immigrants coming here and having financial success, finding a better life for themselves and their families. The same opportunities and experiences exist for American citizens. And as time progresses and innovation persists in this great country, more opportunities exist. 

The United States of America is the leader of the world. That’s not by accident or just because we have the mite to make an impact…militarily and economically. It’s because we’re the role model for the world. We’re the best of the best and others want to emulate us.

I write the above, knowing that we still have challenges in this country. The one closest to my heart, in addition to the pro-life movement, is solving for poverty. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to remove politics from the conversation, understanding what has and hasn’t worked over the last 60+ years. Having spent trillions of dollars on the issue, wouldn’t it be great if we used the same innovation to lift families out of poverty as we have to startup businesses that become thriving successes.   

In closing, I’d like to offer the following prayer for our country: 

 

Dear Lord, thank you for all of our many blessings

Here in the United States of America; 

Help us to remember the freedoms you have provided us, 

And the opportunities you have given us.

Help us dear Lord, come together as a nation, eliminating the division. 

Lord, let us feel Your unconditional love, not caring what others think, 

But being all that you call us to be. Help us to see Christ in all and be Christ to all, 

Living Your Will, helping others be the best version of themselves. 

Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, we thank you for our great country; 

We ask for your continued blessings on its citizens and all that travel here. 

Amen!!! 

 

As always, please contact me at Mark@MarkJosephMinsitries.com with questions, comments, concerns, challenges or prayer requests. 

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

Mark Joseph

Categories
Weekly Blog

Why are We Losing our Liberties?

Why are We Losing our Liberties?

The New York Post broke a story a week ago about presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son’s pay for play behavior with several foreign countries, including China and Ukraine. The intent of this blog isn’t to argue the merits of this apparent scandal (you can decide that on your own), but to call out the fact that Google, Facebook, and Twitter blocked the story. While their rationale is that the story wasn’t substantiated, these are the same organizations that routinely publish things on Donald Trump that are unsubstantiated. The hypocrisy is so rich that it’s sick. Again, you can agree or disagree, which doesn’t change the message of this blog.

The above is an indisputable fact. Here’s the issue though, democrat or republican, what we’re talking about here is censorship. We’re the United States of America, not Russia or China, not Cuba or North Korea. Unlike these communist countries, who have a history of censorship, we don’t behave that way. We’re Americans and the freedom of the press is critical to our democracy.

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

The First Amendment to the US Constitution reads as follows… Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Understanding that we’re people of faith, notice that the First Amendment includes
“respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. My fear, based on what we’re seeing happen in our country, is that our freedom of religion is next to go. The same people who are squashing our free speech have no tolerance for our religious liberty, as evidenced by the criticism of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for her (our) Catholic faith.

Why is This Happening?

True to my beliefs, I state often that everything happens for a reason. The question then becomes, “why is this happening now”? Why are we where we are as a country? In praying about it the other morning, I thought of repentance as indicated in Scripture. Referencing the Bible, I found:

  • Mark 1:15, Jesus states, “repent and believe in the Gospel”.
  • Luke 13:3, Jesus states, “but unless you repent, you too will perish”.

The above are two of over 100 like verses in the Bible. I think it’s clear. As a society, we have dramatically sinned. We have far fewer attending Church today than decades ago. We’ve removed God from our schools. Our society is hostile towards religion. We’re aborting over 800,000 babies a year. Two thirds of our babies are born out of wedlock. Instead of concentrating on character, integrity, and courage, people are busy chasing prominence, possessions, and pleasure. It seems that the richer our country becomes, the more secular and depraved it is.

There are many, although far fewer as a percentage as compared to past generations, who are passionate about our faith. That said, as a collective society our sins are many and grievous. Clearly, we need to repent.

I’ve indicated before in these blogs that all the answers to life can be found in Scripture and are taught by the Church. Maybe what is happening in America is happening because God has had enough of our pettiness, our hedonist ways. Given where our country has come, in this post Christian time, we need to repent…individually, as the Church, and as a nation.

In closing, related but slightly divergent, there’s no moral equivalent between the sanctity of human life, i.e. abortion, and any other issue, the former being intrinsic evil as per our faith.

God Bless America!!! John 14:6, Jesus is the truth, the way, and the light.

As always, please contact me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.

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

 

Mark Joseph