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Serenity Now

My favorite sitcom of all time is Seinfeld. My wife and I continue to watch the occasional rerun. I think it’s the greatest writing in the history of television. The cast was second to none. I once heard that part of the brilliance of the show was Jerry Seinfeld’s insistence that all of his costars share in getting the funny lines and the meaningful scenes….they weren’t just reserved for him.

One such example was George’s father, Frank Costanza, as part of one of his many crazed scenes over the sitcom’s history. He screamed, “serenity now, serenity now”.

Although I posted on “serenity” March 27th, 2019 (in a much shorter blog), it came to mind this past week. I don’t know about you, but given what’s going on in our country, as exemplified by the election, I feel like screaming, “serenity now!!!”


Photo by Tim Gouw from Pexels

Dictionary.com defines serenity as the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil. Serenity, synonymous with “peace” is important. I’d suggest praying the Serenity Prayer regularly in your life. I do. As identified previously in my posts, it is one of five rote prayers I say every morning. I say each very slowly, hanging on and praying through every word. I’d invite you to do the same.

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely joyful with Him
Forever and ever in the next.

Amen.

The breakdown of the above is as follows:

  • The first four lines ask for God’s help in maintaining the serenity within us, distinguishing between what we can control and not, then giving us the courage to take action.
  • The second part of the prayer is a recipe for how we ought to live our lives, such that we can experience happiness here on earth and joy thereafter.

You may feel compelled to act, given what’s transpiring in our country. Or it might be something else in your life that you need to discern. Pray the Serenity Prayer. It helps me…it can help you too.

 As always, feel free to reach out to me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com, with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests. I’m here to help…seriously!!!

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

Mark Joseph

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Weekly Blog

Agitated, Depressed, or Dissatisfied?… Try This!

Related to how you might define living a great life, what are the three characteristics that would be most important to you? Assuming that you’re a reader of my book, Overwhelming Pursuit: Stop Chasing Your Life and Live, my blog, or website you won’t be surprised when I say that for me they include:

  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Fulfillment

Those would be my big three. Why so? Let’s look at each based on Thesaurus.com.

Peace

Antonyms

  • Disagreement
  • Hate
  • Discord
  • Agitation
  • Disharmony
  • Distress
  • Fighting
  • Frustration
  • Worry

Synonyms

  • Accord
  • Friendship
  • Love
  • Reconciliation
  • Unity

 

Joy

Antonyms

  • Depression
  • Misery
  • Sadness
  • Sorrow
  • Unhappiness
  • Discouragement

Synonyms

  • Amusement
  • Bliss
  • Charm
  • Cheer
  • Comfort
  • Delight
  • Elation
  • Humor
  • Satisfaction
  • Wonder

Fulfillment

Antonyms

  • Dissatisfaction
  • Failure
  • Forfeit
  • Disappointment
  • Frustration
  • Unfulfillment

Synonyms

  • Achievement
  • Attainment
  • Contentment
  • Gratification
  • Perfection
  • Realization

I think it’s that simple. Do you want Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment as defined by the above synonyms or the opposite as indicated by the antonyms?

I know what I want and I know how to get it…which I share in my book, my blog, and on my website. If you want more information on how to get there, please contact me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com. Please also feel free to send me your comments, questions, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.

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

Mark Joseph

 

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Weekly Blog

How to Achieve Peace

Do you experience peace on a regular basis? Or instead are you overwhelmed by what’s going on in your life? Does the busyness nullify your opportunity for any downtime, let alone peace of mind? Does the pace crowd out the peace? If you’re answer is “yes” to any or all of the above, be assured that you’re not alone.

For the longest time, I had no peace in my life. I was totally overwhelmed by life, trying to build a business, raise a family, coach our kids in their sports, stay in shape, do chores around the house, have a social life, etc. I prided myself in how much I got done, or thought I got done. What I wasn’t achieving was peace in my life. Likewise, I wasn’t experiencing joy, nor was I fulfilled in what I was doing.

Overtime, I’ve come to believe that there’s a distinct path to peace, which includes surrender, gratitude, humility, and love.

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

Surrender
Acknowledging that I don’t truly have control over anything in my life, coupled with God loving me unconditionally, making me uniquely with special gifts, and wanting me to be fulfilled, I now surrender all to Him.

Doing so means trying to abide by God’s will (He knows best for me) and doing my best, while leaving the results to Him. Knowing His love for me negates my need for validation from others. He and I are in this together and He has my back.

Gratitude
Be thankful. More than that, believe that everything happens for a reason, that there are no coincidences in life. It’s true. Everything is part of God’s grand plan. So live in a place of gratitude; be grateful for everything that happens, even the crises in your life.

Gratitude isn’t just good for the soul, it’s good for the body too. Experts are constantly talking about the benefits to living a life of gratitude, including being happier, healthier, more optimistic, more spiritual, a better friend, a better boss, and many other good outcomes. A true attitude of gratitude is one that allows us to see the hand of God in all things and trust that everything will turn out for the best.

Humility
To me, humility is the opposite of ego, which is our false self, the identity that we create that is often very far from the truth of who we are. The truly humble person lives from the truth of who he is, strengths and weaknesses.

A humble person is genuinely happy for others in their successes. He is accepting of others’ ideas and thoughts (accepting doesn’t mean always agreeing), always very willing to engage in dialogue. The humble person doesn’t always have to be right, be in control, or even win. Humility allows us to accept others for who they are, rather than judging them or trying to change them.

Being humble is understanding that it is only in God working through us that we can perform or achieve anything worthwhile. It is His doing, not ours.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Love
Above all else, we are called to love. Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves, second only to loving God with our whole heart, mind, strength, and soul. We need to love. When we fail to love, we leave those around us empty, and we are empty too.

Without relationships, life is meaningless. True relationship is impossible without love. To love, we need to be vulnerable; we need to trust; we need to care. Like Jesus, we need to love all.

Please share your comments, challenges, or concerns with me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.

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

Mark Joseph

Categories
Weekly Blog

Satan Must Be Pleased

Given what’s occurring in our country, I thought I’d write about two things this week that have been on my heart:

  • Destructive nature of Division
  • Importance of Unity

Regarding the first point, Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:25 “Every kingdom divided against itself will become desolate. And every city or house divided against itself will not stand”,

Abraham Lincoln made a very similar point, on June 16, 1858. When running for the US Senate and addressing the issue of slavery, Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (recognized by many as related to Jesus’ message in the Gospels).

Our country is about as divided as it can be. Most can’t believe what is happening, whether in our streets, in our government, within our Churches, or our families. We as a nation are divided and individuals are divided.

Unless things change dramatically, it’s difficult to see how we’re going to recover from this moment in history. The words of both Jesus and Abraham Lincoln would appear to ring true.
I’m sure our country’s adversaries are enjoying what’s happening. So is Satan, who must be very pleased, with one of his primary strategies being division, in addition to deception, diversion, discouragement.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Importance of Unity

The older I get, the more I point to Scripture and the Church for the answers to life. Related to unity (and all other things), examples are numerous:

  • Jesus prayed for our unity prior to Him being arrested and crucified, in John 17:20-21, “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,Anchor so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us”.
  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 817, “Where there are sins, there are also divisions…where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers”.
  • Colossians 3:12-14, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do, and over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection”.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:4-8, Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Tying the above together, Jesus prayed for our unity, knowing its importance. Sin (we need to resolve to be better) creates division, whereas virtue (we need to resolve to be better) causes harmony and unity. We need to forgive others with compassion and kindness. Lastly, we need to love, as characterized above.

Given what’s transpiring in our country, I continue to discern what God is calling me to do. Regardless of where my prayer takes me, from the above I think it’s obvious that I need to first love those around me and bring unity wherever I can, balanced by the truth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Please join me in praying for our country!!!

As always, feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, or comments at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.

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

Mark Joseph

P.S. Cling to the Cross….our only source of TRUE PEACE!!!