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Weekly Blog

Our Challenging Times…Three Things We Can All Do

Regardless of whether you’re on the political left or right, or right down the middle as an independent, we can probably all agree that our country is facing challenging times. In talking to folks, although the above is the consensus, it’s typically followed up with:

  • “There’s nothing I can do” (or)
  • “What can I do about it?”

As indicated in previous posts, I’d suggest taking that question to prayer, like we should all things, asking God to speak into our challenges and our lives. That said, there are three things that all of us as Christians can and should do, assuming we want to make a positive impact on those around us and the broader society…yes our country.

Those three things are indicated in the:

  • Great Commandments – Mark 12: 30-31 or Matthew 22:37-39
    1. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength”.
    2. “The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
  • Great Commission – Matthew 28:19-20
    1. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.

I heard a Priest once say that hardly anyone confesses sinning against the First Commandment, which is “I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me”. The fact is that in abiding by this Commandment, including how it is stated in the positive above (“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength”), the other 9 Commandments are much less an issue. I don’t say this because they’re not important. I say it because if we truly love God and do so before all else, the degree to which we sin is far less.

In abiding by the first part of the Great Commandments, we’re happier and healthier, helping those around us to be the same.

Many of us know the Golden Rule as “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Jesus tells us this in Matthew 7:12. Stated in the positive, as Jesus expressed in the Great Commandments, we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. What kind of world would we live in if this were always first and foremost in our minds?

The Great Commission speaks to our call, not a mere suggestion by Jesus, to share the love of Christ, to share our faith with others. Jesus makes the point that He’ll be with us every step along the way.

So many in our society, as evidenced by the dramatic decline in practicing Christians (including Catholics), don’t know the love of Christ. Statistically we’ve gone from 75% claiming themselves as being Christian in the 80s and 90s to just 50% today.

What would happen if we could change the above trend? Think about it. Think about the impact it would have. In summary, love God, love others, and share our faith. What would our country look like if we all did a lot more of that?

The next time you think “there’s nothing I can do” (or) “what can I do about it?”, do the above. Again…Love God. Love others. Share our faith.

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

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

Remember….God made you for GREATNESS!!!

 

Mark Joseph

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Weekly Blog

Your Path to Peace…Guaranteed

We began this series the first Wednesday after New Years’, with accompanying videos every Friday. We identified the things that overwhelm us (chasing the things that can’t bring us happiness), then discussed my lived experience in how to overcome them. You’ve heard me say that in understanding and internalizing the unconditional love of Jesus Christ: 

  • The unimaginable is achievable
  • There can be Heaven on earth
  • There exists a definitive path to peace, joy, and fulfillment. 

God loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done…He made you for Greatness. You have unique and special God given gifts and we are put on this earth for a specific purpose.  

We’ve discussed the things that add to your greatness, your happiness…all the attributes of discipleship: 

  • Our identity in Christ, knowing God’s love
  • Active prayer life
  • Vibrant Sacramental life
  • Living by the teachings of Jesus
  • Authentic Fellowship
  • Serving those in need
  • Sharing the love of Christ 

Embracing the above, although simple but not easy, is the only way to live a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment. The “peace” portion of that includes the following:  

  • Surrender – it is only in me truly knowing God’s unconditional love that I could trust Him. Convinced He made me a specific way for special things; He knows me better than anyone, knowing what will make me happy. Knowing that He knows best and wants the very best for me, I can experience Greatness by surrendering to our all-loving God.  
  • Gratitude – it’s understanding that everything in my life happens for a reason, according to God’s grand plan, shaping me for His glory and my fulfillment. I may not know “why” now, but it’s all to bring me closer to God and for a greater good. In addition, I’ve learned I need to have an attitude of gratitude. 
  • I know in Humility that it’s not me, but God working thru me that Greatness occurs. Knowing this and coupled with Surrender, I give all over to Him, which relieves me of all the pressure…I just do my best and leave the rest to our Lord
  • Love, love, love. This all culminates in love, fulfilling the Great Commandments in loving God and loving our neighbors. 

That’s it. Not overly complicated…definitely not easy. But oh, is it worth it though. It works, which doesn’t mean that all your problems are going to go away, but here’s the deal. In knowing the love of Christ, you’ll have a joy that is independent of substance and circumstance. You’ll be fulfilled. You’ll have peace. 

Stay tuned for what we go to next. Shoot me a note with any requests. Reach out to me if you want to chat about any of this and as always, please email me with questions, concerns, comments, or prayer requests at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.  

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

Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!

Mark Joseph

 

P.S. Tomorrow marks what would have been my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. Miss Dad, Mum. I love you!!!

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Weekly Blog

It’s Been Four Years!

April 25th marks the Feast Day of St. Mark the Evangelist, my patron. It also marks the day, four years ago, that I began posting weekly…never missing a Wednesday since. As such, this is my 209th straight blog. Other posts, mostly on Fridays, have included notable quotes or short videos (vlogs), in addition to the occasional holiday or holy day message. Wow!!! I can’t believe it’s been four years. 

I’d like to thank you for being on this journey with me. It’s been my pleasure to engage with you. It’s my sincere hope that you’ve been as blessed as me by our time together. I’ve learned a lot over these four years. That said, the message has never changed….knowing the unconditional love of Jesus Christ is foundational to who we are. And fundamental to living a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment. 

Given the impact that the Lord has made on my life, my passion continues to be sharing the message with as many as possible. As such, I have a favor to ask. Assuming you like what you’ve experienced, can you help me share it with other?  

Weekly Blog 

This is what you’ve been receiving every Wednesday…primarily real-life issues related back to the faith…all free of charge. Please consider sending this (link) to a friend or two, helping them along the same journey you’re on.  

Mark’s Book 

Overwhelming Pursuit: Stop Chasing Your Life and Live (found in my store)…like my blogs, it’s all based on real-life experiences, where all my lessons were learned. It’s my deepest desire that you and your friends benefit from what our dear Lord taught me. It’s not about the money. 

  • If you want a book and can’t afford the $15.95, pay me what you can. 
  • If you can’t afford it at all but still want it, I’ll give it to you for free. 

My passion is getting the message that God so blessed me with to as many as possible.  

Speaking Opportunities

As part of my ministry, I do keynote talks, Parish Missions, and seminars, most of which are done on the Parish level. I’d be grateful for you to connect me with your Pastor. You can see a sampling of the things I speak on my speaking page. Should you be interested, I’d suggest emailing me so that we can connect and discuss the opportunity.  

All of my past blogs are archived on the website. There are free resources, i.e., eBook there, as well as my course and other useful items. 

I know you know, but my primary message consists of the following at a high level: 

  • God loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done. 
  • In understanding and internalizing that love, the unimaginable is achievable. 
  • God made you for Greatness. 

The problem is that nobody talks about these things. Let’s change that together. 

As indicated, I’m blessed that you’ve accompanied my on this journey. I’ve asked for your help above. Likewise, if there’s anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

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

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

Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!

Mark Joseph

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Weekly Blog

What Does the Church Know? 

Last week I asked you to imagine yourself a professional athlete or Olympian, or an actor, musician, or artist, pointing to the disciplines needed to excel. I then related that to our talents and purpose, making the point that the only way we find our greatness and live lives of peace, joy, and fulfillment, is to avail ourselves to God’s love, grace, mercy, and wisdom. We do so all 7 days of the week (not compartmentalizing our faith) in knowing our identity in Christ…knowing His unconditional love. We also do it in relationship with Him, the Holy Trinity, which is through prayer and the Sacraments. 

I’m hopeful that those connections ring true to you. They do to me and have changed my life. 

With me knowing my identity in Christ, knowing His unconditional love, in embracing my talents and purpose, I’ve developed a deep thirst to grow in faith. The longest 12” in the world is between the head and the heart…we need both on this spiritual journey

  • The heart feeds the mind as guided by the Holy Spirit
  • We can’t be catechized until we’re evangelized. 

Related, believe it or not, it’s only following what the Church teaches(disciplines), that you’ll find peace, joy, and fulfillment. What we’ve not discussed yet is the what the Church has to offer us in this regard. Tons of things can be found within the Church proper and other places:

  • Holy Scripture – so many ways to read and pray through it
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church – rich with historical perspective and information on our faith; comes in several forms
  • Encyclicals by our Popes, documents by Doctors and Fathers of the Church
  • Books by Scripture Scholars and Theologians…hundreds of years old to current day  
  • Faith-based books like mine, where the author has a significant spiritual experience(s) and wants to share it to help others 

Where to Find this Stuff

In today’s world, it’s not just books. There are videos, podcasts, blogs, vlogs, websites, social media posts, internet searches, conferences, virtual events, seminars, webinars, video conferences, Parish Missions, Retreats, teaching series, individual talks, online and on ground education, including graduate level, certificates, certifications, and more…I’m sure I’m missing something. You name it and you can avail yourself to it…really anytime day or night. 

No matter who you are, you can find things that speak to you. There is so much out there, on so many topics related to our faith, those that:

  • Feed the heart 
  • Feed the mind

“Back in the day”, I used to follow Zig Ziglar, famed sales trainer and motivational speaker, who said that by listening to cassette tapes (aging myself) for 30 minutes a day, you could gain a master’s degree in 2 years. Although I’m not sure exactly how true that is, I’ve also heard that reading just 15 minutes a day can change your life. I read 45-60 minutes a night and I believe it has changed mine. Consistent with our current times, I think that applies to listening and watching too…good stuff that helps form yourself into being your very best. 

There’s an expression…you can judge the character of a person by the books he/she reads and people he/she associates with. Prior to my conversion, I read books on wealth creation and management, leadership, organizational health, sales and sales management. I hung out with a bunch of guys that wanted to make gobs of money. Today I read mostly faith based books and surround myself with brothers in Christ. 

I believe all the answers to life are taught by the Church and can be found in Scripture. We’ve covered a small part of it here. Keep looking though. The more I learn, the more I find I want to learn. And one thing I’ve learned is this. We know the end of the story. We know that Jesus won victory for us. What many don’t know is that not only are we made for greatness, but…there is a practical reality to living that greatness all 7 days a week, instead of compartmentalizing our faith. 

As always, please email me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com with any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions (of future blog posts or other), or prayer requests. 

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

Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!

Mark Joseph