This is a guest post from Mark Shawky – a life coach with a passion for helping others discover their best selves who has also guest posted on this blog before.  You can follow him on twitter, @Shawky_Mark.  And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.


Shortly after starting my Masters program, I was seeking to do something a little more to give back to the community; so I entered coaching school. For those who aren’t familiar with life coaching, it’s goal is to address everyday issues to help someone move forward from good to great – as opposed to therapy which aims to help people move from dysfunction to functional.

Utilizing my former psychology degree to expand into coaching, I noticed a common thread between many of my clients– it’s that dirty little feeling we like to avoid and run away from whenever possible; that gremlin that forces us to cower in pain as reminders of our past shortcomings, sins, and faults come to light…SHAME!

Whether I am working on leadership skills with business executives or helping regular people establish healthy relationships, shame always seems to be there – surfacing in every coaching session, rooted in the consciousness of the client, and rendering them powerless by nurturing a victim mentality. Shame can feed off your fear, crippling you just as easily; preventing you from moving forward in life.

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A Story About Marriage

January 21, 2015 — 14 Comments
Today, January 21, we celebrate one of my favorite feast days in the Church – the Wedding of Cana when Jesus turned water into wine for His first public miracle.  Because of that – and also because January 21 is also the day that Marianne and I got engaged back in 2001 (man I looked sharp back then!) – I am posting one of the most powerful stories I’ve ever read about marriage.  It’s a bit long, but it’s absolutely worth it.  Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.   Whether you’re single or married, I promise you, it’s worth the four minutes it’ll take you to read it.  Trust me…you’ll thank me when you’re done.


When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, “I’ve got something to tell you.”  She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, “Why?”

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, “You are not a man!”  That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage.  But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

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Letting Go & Letting God

January 16, 2015 — 6 Comments
This is a guest post comes from Robert Basilious – a member of St Mark Coptic Orthodox church in London, England.  Robert works as a software engineer by profession, but his true passion is serving church communities across the UK with their software needs.  You can check out his work on his website, Serving Jesus.  And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.

let go let god

Anxiety.  It’s something we all face.  Whether it’s coming from work, or from school, or from marriage, or from money (or lack thereof), it’s something that everyone deals with.  The consequences of having anxiety are well documented – hyperventilation, nausea, feeling loss of control, and feeling on edge.  No one likes being anxious.

Anxiety results from our interpretation of situations. An assessment of a situation as threatening, damaging, or challenging, coupled with doubts over our ability to cope and respond in a manner that produces a desirable outcome can lead to anxiety.  But often our interpretation of those situations is distorted – leading to misguided concern rather than the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.

“The servant of the Lord will be afraid only of his Master, while the man who does not yet fear Him is often scared by his own shadow.” St. John Climacus

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who am iHave you heard of Benjaman Kyle?

It’s a true story and a very sad one at that.  Benjaman Kyle is the name given to a man who was found beaten, naked and unconscious outside of a Burger King near Atlanta, Georgia back in 2004.  The beating was so severe that to this day, he suffers from dissociative amnesia – a condition where he can’t remember anything about himself or his life prior to 2004.


He doesn’t know how old he is.  He doesn’t know who his parents are.  He doesn’t know if he has any brothers or sisters or uncles or cousins or even any friends!  He doesn’t even remember his name!  “Benjaman Kyle” isn’t his real name; it’s just what the hospital began calling him because they needed to refer to him as something!

Sad isn’t it?

And for the past 10 years, he’s done everything he can to discover who he really is.  He’s done fingerprints, blood tests, DNA tests…and discovered nothing.  He’s appeared on the local news, NPR (National Public Radio) and even the Dr. Phil show – hoping that someone out there would recognize him and know his story.  Still nothing.  They’ve even made a documentary called Finding Benjaman in the hopes of helping this man discover his true identity.

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We wrapped up the In The Waiting Room series yesterday and the final message focuses on a very practical task that we can focus on in the waiting rooms of life…COMFORT – what it is, where it comes from, and most importantly, how we benefit by being a channel for God’s comfort in the lives of others.

If you’re looking for a practical takeaway from this series – something tangible that you can start doing today, be sure to check out the message above and start practicing it in your waiting room today.

in the waiting room

If you’re looking for a way to kickstart 2015 and maximize what God will do in you and through you during the coming year…then LOOK NO FURTHER!  Momentum 2015 is right around the corner – February 13-15 – and this might be just what the doctor ordered.

Check out the video below to learn a little more about this year’s conference and also check out the links at the bottom to read more about Momentum conferences in the past.  Early bird pricing ends this Sunday, so go to to register or get more information today.

CLICK HERE to read more about Momentum 2014

CLICK HERE to read more about Momentum 2013 

momentum logo

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because,
having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life
that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”  

(James 1:12)

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!  Hope you had a great holiday week and are ready to get back into the normalcy/routine of life (I know I am!).

We got back into the swing of things at STSA by going back In The Waiting Room.  This week our message focused around God’s purpose for our trials.  We all know we’re waiting for something, but what?  What is the intended outcome that God is trying to achieve from this?  What exactly am I “waiting” for anyway?

The answer may surprise you.  Make sure you check out this week’s message to find out for yourself.

And as a special bonus, somewhere in the middle of the message I made my first “BOLD PREDICTION” for 2015.  I guarantee you’ll be interested in finding out what that’s all about…

in the waiting room