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Archive for the category “Mark Breta”

Midday blog: Codependents Identified

“My name is Mark… and I’m codependent.”

In those seven simple words, I’m opening up a door of vulnerability.

One of the definitions for codependency on Wikipedia states that it’s “the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.”

On the first read, how could that be a bad thing? Romans 15 encourages us to serve others and not please ourselves. Verse 3 says that Christ is the example of this!

I hope you sense my slight sarcasm and see the challenge I myself have found to think more deeply about this. The Wikipedia article also says that “codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships.”

There are those in my life that I consider close – whether they are my blood family or “brothers from another mother.” There aren’t many things that I wouldn’t do for any of them. I enjoy nearly every minute I spend with them. I want to make sure they know how much I care about them.

You might say, “That’s so great, Mark. You love deeply and care intensely.” Okay, I might agree with you! But as some of my relationships grew, at a certain point, I had realized how much I had depended heavily on some of these people for my happiness. If I wasn’t doing something fun or hanging out with them, it bummed me out – to the point where I was sad and emotionally paralyzed.

I eventually had to realize that I couldn’t rely on other people to be happy. It was definitely easier said than done, and it didn’t happen overnight. But through self-examination and reading God’s Word, I can say I’ve experienced the peace that surpasses all understanding – and as Philippians 4:7 says, it guards my heart and mind through Christ.

Do I still struggle with it? Every day.

Are there times – or people – that cause you to lose focus on yourself, or on God? How do you reset when you face those times?

 

Mark BretaMark Breta has been with Moody Radio since 2007 and has worked with many of its programs. Mark currently works with Midday Connection, the Bring to Mind podcast and Treasured Truth. He has led worship at conferences and events, and more recently, at Chicago area churches in Arlington Heights and Oak Park. Mark has been posting a daily audio blog throughout the month of June at his website.

 

 

Midday blog: Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

As a worship leader, I continue to learn and grow in how to choose songs for a church service. Years ago, I used to think that a song that has a repetitive chorus was shallow (or that the songwriter was lazy. Ha!).

I discovered, though, that there are times when repetitive songs can be used effectively.

I recently came across this worship song, and God has been using it in my life over the last week or so.

“There is power in the name of Jesus

There is power in the name of Jesus

There is power in the name of Jesus

To break every chain

Break every chain, break every chain.”

It has been a great reminder to me, while sorting the stuff of life – that nothing has to bind me.

Are there any songs, Bible verses or meaningful quotes that run through your mind throughout the day that have brought you encouragement lately?

Mark BretaMark Breta has been with Moody Radio since 2007 and has worked with many of its programs. Mark currently works with Midday Connection, the Bring to Mind podcast and Treasured Truth. He has led worship at conferences and events, and more recently, at Chicago area churches in Arlington Heights and Oak Park.  You can follow Mark at his website.

Midday blog: Terms of Identity

Those close to me know that I have an appreciation for terms of endearment (the words, not the movie… ha!) and there are special meanings for these terms associated with those in my inner circles.

Some use the term “bro” for someone they work with, their group of buddies, or maybe to any random person. I only use it for my three brothers (two of whom are non-biological brothers). One of my cousins and I refer to each other as “Cousin” as if by name:
“Hey, Cousin. Wanna grab a bite to eat tonight?”
“Sure, Cousin. What time do you wanna meet up?”

My brother and sister-in-law and younger cousins call me “Kuya,” which in Filipino is a title given to an older sibling or relative. To my nieces and nephews, I am “Tito Mark” or “Uncle Mark” — and some of them are not blood-related. This also include the kids of close friends with whom I grew up and still regularly keep in touch.

These are just a few reminders of special relationships in my life. When any of them call me, email me, or even send a text message, and they call me by that unique “term,” I get that special link of identity that affirms the bond I have with that person. There are times when they use my “real name” and, being used to hearing the other name, it somehow sounds strange!

One of my co-workers refers to her closest girlfriends as her sisters. Many have different names for grandparents. Then there are the current colloquialisms, “BFFs” or “besties.” My sister-in-law’s siblings occasionally call their mother Sandra, “San,” sometimes meant in jest, but truly a demonstration of love.

What special identity markers do you have with those who know you best? And what does it mean to you?

 

Mark BretaMark Breta is a radio producer/announcer, musician and foodie. He has been with Moody Radio since 2007 and has worked with many of its programs. Mark currently works with Midday Connection and Treasured Truth. He has led worship at conferences and events, and more recently, at Chicago area churches in Arlington Heights and Oak Park.  You can follow Mark at his website.

Midday blog: Non-Resolutions

It’s that time of year where most people need to do a reality check… when you know you’re on the good path to following through on that “New Year’s resolution” or that you realize it ain’t gonna happen.

Statistics say that 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually follow through and achieve their goal. Am I a part of that statistic? Yes… and no.

In 2013, I decided I wanted to avoid eating at a particular fast food establishment. Though opinions will vary, there is nothing necessarily wrong with this restaurant – but I know that I would abuse (and have abused) my choice in what I eat there.

I didn’t make a deliberate decision on December 31 or January 1. But, by late January, I realized I hadn’t made the almost-routine visit to that drive-thru, so I thought I’d see if I could avoid it for a longer period of time. By summertime, I had felt good about my achievement so far – and it seemed to be an easy task.

In the fall, I had no cravings for my favorite sandwich. And by winter, I was excited to be close to the finish.

I visited my brother and sister-in-law who live near the eastern coast over the holidays. We talked about this unlabeled goal – this non-resolution – that I never really thought about as a big deal. I didn’t put up motivating Post-it notes. I didn’t tick off days on a calendar. I didn’t set up any milestones to achieve. But we did discuss if a celebration was in order.

And on January 1, 2014, we treated the whole family to one lunch meal at this place. I got to eat my favorite sandwich. We all had some a share of the unbeatable french fries. The kids got a taste of the little nuggets of chicken. It was a good day.

It’s now about a month into this year, and I haven’t had a hankering for it since then.

It was one “small” goal. Sure, I ate at other fast food joints, but on a rare occasion. Am I any healthier because of this? Maybe, maybe not. But I know I can set a goal that works into my everyday life and see how far I’ve come.

What’s next? I’ve always wanted to read through the Bible in a year. I want to write a new song, maybe one a month. I want to get back to the gym. I don’t have to wait until next January 1. I can start now… and work it into my everyday routine.

Is there anything you’ve wanted to do – and just need to quit thinking about it and do it?

Mark BretaMark Breta is a radio producer/announcer, musician and foodie. He has been with Moody Radio since 2007 and has worked with many of its programs. Mark currently works with Midday Connection and Treasured Truth. He has led worship at conferences and events, and more recently, at Chicago area churches in Arlington Heights and Oak Park. His now once-a-year craving is the double cheeseburger. You can follow Mark at his website.

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