E158: Fighting back agains pornography

In this episode Mark interviewed Zach and Darcy Spafford. They formed a program called “Thriving Beyond Pornography.” 

They had to face the problem of porn in their own marriage. They found a pathway to overcome and thrive. Now they help other couples walk that same path. 

You can find out more about their work here: 

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E156: You have 18 years to teach your kids one thing.

Parenting is going to be hard. You can work hard to a great place. Or you can work hard and end up in a place you don’t want to be. 

In this episode, Mark talks about the one lesson that you must teach your child. 

When your child realizes “Life is not about me” they will be transformed. We can help our child grow in these mindsets by doing the following things. 

  1. Have them do chores that serve the family
  2. Say no to them. 
  3. Volunteer as a family
  4. Use all of life activities to teach this
    • Christmas is a time for them to give to others. 
    • Vacation time is also about being a blessing to people.
    • School is a great place to practice being nice to people. 

Here are the video courses Mark mentioned:

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Why does the job of my dreams feel so empty?

My grandchildren love bubbles. They love to watch them fall to the ground. They love to reach out and touch them. Of course at the moment they are touched, they disappear. Life can feel like this. We can see something that looks so appealing, and chase it, but once we touch it…it’s gone. 

Recently I heard someone say, “I moved to the country of my dreams, and got the job of my dreams, but I only feel empty.” It kind of reminds me of a dentist I once spoke with. They have been running their own dental practice for 20 years. But she said, “I think I chose the wrong occupation.” I spoke with a man who played briefly in the National Football League. He told me, “It felt like nothing. People were so excited about me getting to the NFL, but when I got there, it just felt like a job.”

What we are talking about is disillusionment and disappointment. And these things lead to discouragement and depression. I want to bring you clarity that can help you chart a different pathway that will lead to fulfillment and excitement about the life you are living. 

There is one fatal mindset that sets us up for this empty feeling. 

Here is the wrong mindset: 

We are looking for something outside of us to acquire or achieve to validate ourselves. We tend to think “If I accomplish something great, I will be great.” Or, “Once I get the house of my dreams I will have made it.” Many people think this way of their occupation. “If I get that job, I will be somebody.” 

But what if we saw life from a really different perspective?

Instead of finding something great outside of me, what if I give the great gift inside of me to the world? Instead of looking for a job to make me great, what if I get a job and I make it great by how I do it? Instead of chasing bubbles, what if my life produces fun bubbles to bring joy to others? 

Let me explain it this way. Think of Thomas Edison. He did some great things. The invention of the light bulb was one of those things. I really doubt that he was trying to do that in order to prove or validate himself to the world. He probably created the light bulb because he had a great desire to make a difference in the world. Instead of trying to prove himself to the world, he simply gave his gift to the world. 

The search to validate ourselves is a primary cause of our disillusionment with our life and career. We try to validate ourselves through external accomplishment. We watch others accomplish things, or work a job we dream of, and we assume they are really fulfilled. So we strive to find our great thing out there in the world. But we are just chasing bubbles. 

There is a different way. We can see ourselves as a person with a gift for others. And we can greatly give our gift. Instead of trying to become great; we can serve greatly. We can show up boldly. Instead of having something to prove every day, we can have something to give every day. 

With this mindset, you will grow in fulfillment. And over the course of time you will accomplish great things. And with this heart of fulfillment, you can live with the joy of serving every day instead of chasing bubbles every day. 


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E155: A common sense look at mental health problems

Many people are living in fear when it comes to mental health problems. We are afraid of members of our family falling into depression or anxiety. In this episode mark offers a way for us to be proactive in this battle. Instead of being powerless in regards to mental health issues, we can do common things to become mentally strong. 

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E154: Is this the end of your world?

In this episode Mark and his son, Matthew, have a conversation about lessons from The Walking Dead tv show. This show demonstrates an intense battle that people are facing during apocalyptic times. In modern society we have many conveniences and comforts that cause us to not realize the intense battle that we are in. 

We are in a battle for our freedom, our joy, our love, etc. 

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Is freedom possible?


I sat in a circle of friends today and we discussed the topic of freedom. It was incredible. Freedom is one of the most powerful longings of the human heart. That is why the topic is also scary. When we have no freedom it becomes difficult to talk about. Deep down we fear that we will never have it.

Who do you know that you feel lives free? 

I was at a breakfast with a friend and we were discussing this. The waitress came to the table and we posed the question to her. She gave a surprising answer. She said, “Maybe an indigenous group of people that don’t have modern civilization and simply live off of the land.” Her answer was profound. I was stunned when she said that. Why would a waitress have that answer off the top of her head? Does she know anyone that lives free? Does she think that freedom is possible in this modern world?

It’s hard to find freedom when we don’t know the reason for the bondage. 

Oftentimes, we don’t know the cause of our bondage, so we look for the wrong key to get freedom. It doesn’t matter how many times you put the key in the door lock, if it’s the wrong key it will not work.


Freedom does not happen after a problem goes away. 

Many people feel that their problem is the reason they are not living free. Instinct says, “I need to fix my problem, so I can be free.” That sounds logical. But it’s impossible to fix our problem until we find freedom. Normally, our problem is happening because we are living in an invisible prison. The problem is not why we got into the prison. The problem started because we were in the prison. 

Many people live in bondage because of what happened between them and people, but we fail to see it. 

For example, let’s say that a married man or woman is struggling with an addiction to pornography. It seems like pornography is the problem. But, what if I tell you a little more of the story. Let’s say their spouse was caught up in their career and stopped pursuing them. You might say, “Well, that’s no excuse.” It’s not about having an excuse, it’s about understanding what happens in our life so we can experience freedom. By the way, having a spouse that pursues you boldly is like water to our bodies. It is more than important, it is essential. 

Freedom is hard to find because fear and comfort are everywhere. 

We can live our entire life being distracted by fear and comfort. We can run from fear, and toward comfort with every moment of our existence. Culture will support you in living that life. Nobody is going to tell you, “Stop living in fear.” And at every corner someone is selling you a quick way to have more comfort. 

Freedom has a price that many are not willing to pay. 

Freedom requires something that nobody wants to do. We are willing to make many sacrifices for things that we want in life, but freedom asks us to pay a price that most are never willing to pay. What is the price? Surrender. I will not attempt to explain surrender in this post. But I will say this, surrender enables a person to step into the pathway of freedom, and freedom brings with it a reward that makes you forget the price you paid. 


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