How I See It
By Mark Pratt & Justin Sternberg
How I See ItSep 26, 2023
Join us today as Mark shares a little about a shared vision for Sparrow's Rest - a homestead retreat center focused on strengthening marriages. Hear how he and his wife Chris are turning this dream into a reality by renovating a farmhouse, adding acreage, and prayerfully evolving the vision over time. Discover how their partnership and God's provision are making this unique ministry progress toward reality.
Do you tend to take yourself too seriously? Join us as we discuss the benefits of being able to laugh at ourselves. We explore how personality, pride, and life experience shape our perspectives. You'll hear stories about the intensity that comes out while driving and trying new things. We share thoughts on self-awareness, patience, and adjusting expectations. Tune in as we challenge each other and you to consider taking ourselves a little less seriously.
In this week's episode, Justin and Mark explore cognitive biases - the shortcuts our brains take that shape our thinking. While covering a handful of types and categories of biases listed on Wikipedia, they note that they are not necessarily good or bad — but it's important to recognize the role they play so we can improve our decisions and have more balanced perspectives. We encourage you to explore cognitive biases further as it can provide insight into how you think.
Thanks for hanging in there with us last week and listening to our "Encore" presentation of the "White Blank Page" episode.
This week, we're back in the studio, and we got a brand-new episode for you. On this latest episode of How I See It, we wrestle with the ideal of "excellence" and how to pursue it in a healthy, sustainable way. We discuss how the relentless chase after excellence can become draining and debilitating. Mark argues true excellence is less about perfection and more about living wisely and maturely day by day. Tune in to hear our full conversation on reframing excellence.
White Blank Page (ENCORE!)
Mark and Justin are taking a break from recording new episodes this week, so we're bringing you an encore presentation of one of our most meaningful conversations from the archives - "White Blank Page."
In this episode, Mark and Justin dive into overcoming perfectionism and approval addiction. They talk honestly about surrendering unhelpful thoughts, learning from failures, and realigning priorities based on identity in Christ rather than external validation.
Tune in to re-listen to the insightful discussion between Mark and Justin in this classic episode as we highlight the archives while the hosts take a brief recording hiatus. We look forward to bringing you new episodes again soon!
Beards & Tattoos
Mark and Justin discuss how beards and tattoos have become meaningful parts of their identities. They share stories behind Justin's 11 tattoos and Mark's 5-year beard journey. Though cautioning against over-identifying with external appearances, they reflect on how tattoos and beards can represent faith, relationships, interests, and uniqueness.
Share your beard, tattoo, or other appearance story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on our contact page: https://howiseeit.click/contact/
Sticks and Stones
"Sticks and Stones might break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
Don't you wish this was true?! In today's dialogue, we unpack stories of words that impacted our lives, exploring the power to build up or tear down. We share some thoughts on critiquing carefully (or not at all), embracing the gift of encouragement, and walking with humility. From inner insecurities to regrettable outbursts, we're learning the importance of mindful expression. Enjoy this thoughtful conversation on language's profound role in human relationships. We hope it helps you further grasp how words shape, uplift, or undermine, and how to wield them wisely.
Big decisions got you tossing and turning all night? In this episode, we (Justin and Mark) have an earnest discussion about how to approach important life decisions, specifically as people of faith.
Responding to Mark’s probing, Justin explains some of his big-decision-making process. And we talk about the value of coming to agreement with a spouse before making big decisions to prevent future resentment.
The conversation covers many practical practices you’ll have to listen in to discover!
Kneeling During National Anthem [ChatGPT-provided topic!]
In today’s episode, we decided to pull an episode out of a hat… An AI ChatGPT hat. We used ChatGPT to generate some random topics using our previous episode titles as the source/inspiration, then put those topics in a randomizer. The topic for today… "Should athletes be allowed to kneel during the national anthem?"
Proceeding with this topic, we discuss how this is a polarizing issue, with Mark's first reaction being about "freedom" while Justin's is about "racism.” We unpack the complexities around concepts like patriotism, the right to protest, the meaning of team unity, and more. We touch on how people tend to want simple "heroes" and when those public figures use their platform to be more complex, it can create dissonance. Finally, we find common ground in agreeing athletes should have the right, while still encouraging thoughtful motivations.
We hope you enjoy this episode, and stay tuned for future AI-generated episode topics!
Join Mark and Justin today as the duo explores the value of quietness. Mark begins by describing a serene encounter with a fox on an early morning run, which prompts reflections on introversion, extroversion, and the evolving relationship with solitude. They delve into the peaceful and contemplative aspects of being quiet while acknowledging its challenges, especially for those facing mental health issues. Justin candidly shares his journey from needing approval to finding solace in solitude. Listeners are invited to embrace moments of quietness and introspection, making this episode a thoughtful exploration of the beauty and impact of "quiet" in our lives.
In this episode, we discuss the topic of quitting. We explore the stigma associated with quitting, and how and why it is sometimes necessary. We share personal experiences with quitting, and how we have learned to recognize when it is time to move on. We discuss the importance of knowing when a season is over, and how to gracefully transition into a new season.
Today, we discuss the concept of spiritual balance and the duality of good and evil. Mark reflects on a recent sermon about the authority of Jesus and the limitations of seeking balance from a cosmic perspective. They emphasize the importance of faith and trust in our higher power, even when answers are not fully comprehensible. We explore some theological concepts and challenges of understanding good and evil and highlight the significance of seeking the kingdom of heaven vs trying to create heaven on earth.
In this podcast episode, Mark and Justin discuss the five apology languages, which are similar to the five love languages. They talk about how important it is to understand your own apology language and the apology language of the people you care about. They also discuss how pride and guilt can sometimes get in the way of apologizing effectively, and offer some tips for overcoming these obstacles. We hope this episode provides helpful information about our natural apology styles and how to use new tools to improve your communication with others.
You can check out the Gary Chapman Apology Language quiz here: https://5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/apology-language
Abortion - with guest Sarah Hall, Part 2
Today is the continuation of the conversation we started last week about abortion, with our guest Sarah Hall. We appreciate her coming on How I See It to share her personal experience with abortion, and bravely offering encouragement to others who may be in a similar situation. We talk about the importance of offering love and grace to those who have had abortions, rather than judgment, and we discuss the need to have both political and personal conversations about abortion, and the importance of promoting change from within.
Abortion - with guest Sarah Hall, Part 1
Sarah shares her personal experience with abortion and how her views on the issue have evolved over time. She discusses the challenges of being pro-choice and pro-life and argues that a middle ground needs to be explored. She also talks about the importance of faith in her journey and how it has helped her to change her mind about abortion. Listen to this thought-provoking discussion on this extremely polarizing subject, and check back next week for Part 2.
Today we explore the concept of pride; the positive and negative facets, and examine its implications in various contexts such as personal achievements, national pride, and parenting. We compare the differences between humility and false humility, highlighting the delicate balance between accepting compliments graciously and avoiding excessive self-focus. This episode also emphasizes the importance of recognizing one's limitations and staying grounded while striving for personal growth. Tune in for an insightful exploration of pride, humility, and the complexities of navigating self-worth.
Brains (Discussions on Elon Musk's Neuralink, etc) – with guest Lizzie Pratt, Part 2
Today is the continuation of the conversation we started last week about brains, with our guest and Mark’s daughter — Lizzie Pratt. Together, we explore brain science, focusing on the advancements by Elon Musk’s Neuralink in connecting the brain to computers. We recruited Lizzie, a biopsychology student, as our “expert” on the subject, and she shared insights into the interplay between biology and psychology and the significance of the brain in understanding behavior. We touch on neuroplasticity, brain injuries, and the potential implications of brain-machine interfaces, especially considering the theological and ethical concerns.
Brains (Discussions on Elon Musk's Neuralink, etc) – with guest Lizzie Pratt, Part 1
“If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t.” — physicist Emerson M. Pugh
Today, we introduce Mark’s daughter, and our guest, Lizzie Pratt. Together, we explore brain science, focusing on the advancements by Elon Musk’s Neuralink in connecting the brain to computers. We recruited Lizzie, a biopsychology student, as our “expert” on the subject, and she shared insights into the interplay between biology and psychology and the significance of the brain in understanding behavior. We touch on neuroplasticity, brain injuries, and the potential implications of brain-machine interfaces, especially considering the theological and ethical concerns. We hope you enjoy this part 1 of our conversation and will tune in next week for part 2! Be sure to check out the podcast page for the show notes where we’ll provide links to the resources mentioned in this episode.
Social Media and Kids
Today on How I See It, we explore the impact of social media on children's developing minds. We discuss how it affects their self-esteem, body image, relationships, and mental health. Through research, we uncover the risks of excessive screen time including things like cyberbullying. We provide a few how-I-see-it strategies for parents to foster healthy digital habits and open communication. Tune in for insights on navigating the digital landscape for the well-being of our children.
Boundaries (Codependency Continued)
In today's episode, we explore the role of boundaries in codependency. We discuss the challenges of setting boundaries in codependent relationships, the reasons behind boundary violations, and practical strategies for establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries. Join us as we discuss the difficult but important work of establishing boundaries in order to foster healthier relationships.
Truth – with guest Jeff Lindholm, Part 2
Today, we continue our discussion of truth with guest Jeff Lindholm (be sure to check out part 1!). We continue with our exploration and questions such as: What is truth? How do we determine what is true? And how do we reconcile differing viewpoints on truth? Together, we delve into the importance of seeking truth, both personally and in our communities, and how it can lead to greater understanding and empathy for one another. Join us for this thought-provoking conversation. We know you'll enjoy listening to our special guest as much as we enjoyed chatting with him.
Truth – with guest Jeff Lindholm, Part 1
On this episode of "How I See It," co-hosts discuss the often misunderstood and complex topic of truth, joined by guest Jeff Lindholm. They explore questions such as: What is truth? How do we determine what is true? And how do we reconcile differing viewpoints on truth? Together, they delve into the importance of seeking truth, both personally and in our communities, and how it can lead to greater understanding and empathy for one another. Join us for this thought-provoking conversation. We know you'll enjoy listening to our special guest as much as we enjoyed chatting with him.
Be sure to check out part 2!
Welcome to "How I See It"! In this episode, we're getting real about codependency as we kick off a multi-episode chat regarding codependency and boundaries. Join us today as we dive into the world of enabling and addiction, and explore the struggles of codependent relationships. But don't worry, we're not all doom and gloom - we'll be tackling this heavy topic with some of our signature shenanigans. So grab a cup of coffee (or "Quiet Time Kombucha", patent pending...), sit back, and let's chat about codependency.
Last week, we discussed marriage counseling, and this week we discussed what often happens when a marriage goes sour — Divorce. In this episode, we share how we see divorce, our own experiences with those on the brink of divorce (or tipped over), and discuss what we believe Jesus and the Bible have to say about it. Tune in to find out where we land on this tricky subject. If you've experienced the pain of divorce, we'd love to hear your thoughts. You can contact us at howiseeit.click/contact.
Links referenced in this episode:
Today, we dive into the polarizing topic of marriage counseling. Some people swear by it, some simply view it as a waste of time and money, while others see it as a shameful admission of failure. Mark shares a bit of background into how and why he (and his wife Chris) became so passionate about the topic of marriage, marriage counseling, and marriage ministry, and Mark and Justin each share their perspectives on how it's such a valuable tool for couples. They also discuss the stigmas and stereotypes associated with seeking therapy for relationship issues. Tune in to hear our co-hosts attempt to destigmatize this often contentious issue.
Purpose is the focus of today’s episode on How I See It, as we chat about the ways we seek out and discover our purpose, as well as the importance of finding our purpose through the mundane and routine experiences of life. We hope this episode brings encouragement to begin or continue the hunt for your divine purpose.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for" - but what does that mean? In this episode of "How I See It," we explore the topic of faith. From personal experiences to Biblical beliefs, we dive into how faith shapes our lives and perspectives. Join us as we discuss the role of faith in our lives, how it shapes our views of the world around us, and more importantly our view of God.
As society continues to embrace and promote gender self-identification, we are beginning to see a new era of gender confusion and second-order consequences. In this episode, we discuss what acceptance can look like, the struggles we have with accepting those not like us and advocate for the ability to empathize with both sides of the conversation.
Through this episode, our co-hosts aim to promote compassion and empathy, regardless of an individual's gender identity, and as always, to encourage healthy and respectful conversations.
Today we'll be diving into our brains, and discussing relatively recent scientific findings. Neural pathways are the connections between different neurons in our brains, and they're responsible for everything from our thoughts and emotions to our behaviors and habits. Neural plasticity refers to the brain's ability to change and adapt these neural pathways in response to new experiences and learning. This means that we have the ability to shape our own brains and change the way we think and behave. Where does God fit into all this? Join us and find out how we see it.
In this episode, we're inspired by the ongoing spiritual awakening happening through events across the country, all triggered by a 2-week long chapel service at Asbury University. We talk about what makes this current move special, and some of its defining characteristics. And finally, we discuss the meaning of revival, and how it can be a deeply intimate, personal, and private occurrence, just as much as it can be a shared public experience.
Year in Review!
Welcome to How I See It's “Year in Review”! In this special episode, we reflect on our first year of podcasting, celebrating the amazing guests we’ve had the honor of interviewing, and take turns sharing some of our “favorite” episodes, including the insights we’ve gained from these conversations.
We hope you’ll join us in this celebration of our journey!
Inspired by this Brené Brown, The Power of Vulnerability video, Mark and Justin discuss the many facets and unintuitively powerful nature of vulnerability. This word is often associated with weakness and abuse and therefore avoided at all costs. We would rather live in private shame than openly admit our struggles, but often this vulnerability is the key to unlocking incredible strength and change. Join us as we try to tip the balance in favor of this important virtue.
Calling all Listeners! We want your feedback (by 2/14/23!)
We're so thankful for our listeners and the great feedback you've given us over this first year of our podcast. Next week, we're going to be recording a "Year in Review", and we'd love to include some listener feedback! Please send us your thoughts/comments/feedback via the various social media platforms, or emailing us at email@example.com, or on our contact page: https://howiseeit.click/contact
We can't wait to hear from you!
Win the Morning
Join co-hosts Mark and Justin as we learn the ropes of our new recording setup (not without our usual mishaps), and discuss the value of winning the morning, and as a result, the day.
Dive in with us as we explore the benefits of rising early and establishing a daily routine. Discover how setting aside time for meditation, productivity, and priority-setting can positively impact your life and help you define and achieve success. We outline some practical tips and tricks for maximizing your mornings and kickstarting your day on the right foot. We hope this episode of "How I See It" inspires you to start winning the morning.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary chose the term "Gaslighting" as its 2022 word of the year as it was searched on their website 1,740% more in 2022 than in the previous year.
"In this age of misinformation—of 'fake news,' conspiracy theories, Twitter trolls, and deepfakes—gaslighting has emerged as a word for our time."
Today on How I See It, we discuss this term—how it's come to be used and abused in our culture, how we can recognize its effects in our own lives, and work to eliminate its telltale signs from our conversations.
Gun Control, Part 2
Join us for part 2 of this episode of 'How I See It,' where Justin & Mark go toe-to-toe, delving into the controversial topic of gun control. From the Second Amendment to background checks, the hosts explore the different perspectives on this polarizing issue. From pro-gun advocates to those calling for stricter regulations, the co-hosts will examine the arguments from both sides, and share their own views on the matter. Tune in for these thought-provoking and nuanced discussions on the topic of gun control. If you haven't yet, be sure to listen to part 1 first!
Gun Control, Part 1
In this 2-part episode of 'How I See It,' Justin & Mark go toe-to-toe, delving into the controversial topic of gun control. From the Second Amendment to background checks, the hosts explore the different perspectives on this polarizing issue. From pro-gun advocates to those calling for stricter regulations, the co-hosts will examine the arguments from both sides, and share their own views on the matter. Tune in for these thought-provoking and nuanced discussions on the topic of gun control.
"The Bible, Smoked Meat & Football" - Troy Knight, Part 2
Listen in to part 2 of our interview with our good friend and Pastor, Troy Knight. Troy is the lead pastor at Generations Church in Southport NC and the owner/co-founder of the local barbecue restaurants, Southport Smokehouse and Leland Smokehouse. In these episodes, we cover a lot of ground. Topics covered include what it takes to balance his two passions, advice to 20-something young men, what it's like to have a daughter pursuing ministry leadership, and even a little football. If you haven't yet, be sure to listen to part 1 first!
"The Bible, Smoked Meat & Football" - Troy Knight, Part 1
Happy New Year from How I See It! To kick off 2023, we're bringing you a 2-part interview with our good friend and Pastor, Troy Knight. Troy is the lead pastor and cofounder of Generations Church in Southport NC and the owner/co-founder of the local barbecue restaurants, Southport Smokehouse and Leland Smokehouse. In these episodes, we cover a lot of ground. Topics covered include what it takes to balance his two passions, advice to 20-something young men, what it's like to have a daughter pursuing ministry leadership, and even a little football. Join us this week and next for this light-hearted conversation.
On this episode of "How I See It," we tackle the polarizing subject of money. We'll be discussing the role money plays in our lives, how we think about it, and how it can affect our relationships, decision-making, spiritual health, etc. Mark and Justin will share some of their own personal experiences with money and offer insights they've earned and learned. Whether you're struggling to make ends meet or trying to save for the future, this episode will give you something to think about.
Jesus/Santa — A Special HISI Christmas Episode
Get ready for a heartwarming and festive conversation on this special Christmas episode of 'How I See It'. We take a break from our regular schedule to share some of our favorite holiday memories and traditions and look into the joyful yet sometimes conflicting messages of the season.
At the center of the celebrations are 2 distinct figures: Santa Claus and Jesus Christ. In this episode, we will explore the tension between the cultural icon of Santa and the significance of Jesus' birth as a source of hope and joy for all believers. Can we find a way to strike a balance in our celebrations, or does the emphasis on Santa cause difficulties?
Thanks for listening, and from both of us at "How I See It", we wish you a Merry Christmas!
In this episode of "How I See It," co-hosts Mark and Justin discuss the concept of the Kingdom of God and how it differs from the personal kingdoms we create for ourselves. They explore the idea that God's Kingdom is a realm of God-centered service and purpose, and contrast it with the often selfish and self-centered pursuits that drive our personal kingdoms. They also discuss the implications of aligning our lives with the Kingdom of God and the benefits of doing so. Tune in for a thought-provoking conversation about the nature of God's Kingdom and how it relates to our daily lives.
Today we discuss the current state of AI (Artificial Intelligence), the science, theories, and philosophies around its future, and the potential dangers/concerns with the impending next "phase" of AI. Is it possible we can create a "computer" that is as smart or smarter than us in every way (e.g. human-level intelligence)? Many scientists, technologists, and philosophers say "yes", and "soon". How do YOU see it?
For links to the waitbutwhy blog post referenced in this episode, and other resources, check out the episode show notes: https://howiseeit.click/episodes/artificial-intelligence/
Today, the show gets a little more personal as Mark and Justin discuss the subject of Depression. Mark and Justin are no strangers to this subject. Justin's familiarity is tied to his intermittent battle with it, while Mark encounters its effects near-daily through his therapy practice.
Those who fight their mental health issues also have to fight the stigma associated with them. The most important thing we can do culturally to fight this stigma is to talk openly about the subject. To help others know, "you are not alone!"
We hope you find this episode helpful, ironically encouraging, and stubbornly hopeful. We would love it if you share it with those in your life who may be fighting this same battle.
Mark brings a surprise topic to the How I See It studio this morning: Politics!
This topic can elicit deep feelings of anxiety, anger, fear, fight/flight, and it's certainly at the top of the charts when it comes to polarization. We have an opportunity (some would say responsibility) to engage this important topic and to encourage honest enlightened conversations that go beyond the surface-level talking points. We take a broad look at a few of these points and highlight many obstacles which make these conversations so difficult. Some questions we discuss:
- How can you find "truth" amid the polarized viewpoints across news outlets and talking heads?
- Is there value in voting straight party line? Is voting independent a waste of a vote?
- Where does the kingdom of God fit in? Does Jesus provide a model for us to follow?
- How can we engage with those who have opposite and equally passionate views on these political subjects?
Listen in as we share how we see it.
MaryEllen Bunce, Part 2
Enjoy part 2 of our interview with MaryEllen. She continues to describe the benefits of a natural plant-based diet, her enjoyment of cooking and teaching others to cook in this style, and her general appreciation for the plant-based community that's been such a big help in her journey towards recovered health. If you haven't yet, check out part 1 from last week. We enjoyed our time with MaryEllen and learned so much from her, and we think you will too.
MaryEllen Bunce: devastating Lyme disease illness to healing through a natural plant-based lifestyle, Part 1
Enjoy this interview with MaryEllen: She describes her journey dealing with Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, despite the medications given, and the odds-defying healing she has found through a natural/Vegan lifestyle. Our standard disclaimer: we are not doctors! But if you're struggling with chronic health issues, this episode (and next week's) has some helpful nuggets and encouraging ideas you can talk to your doctor about.
"Gratitude is an attitude my friend" — with so much attention given to the negative in our reality, it pays considerable dividends to redirect our focus to the positive, specifically through the practice of gratitude. Today we talk about various ways we can practice gratitude, how this can influence our outlook, relationships, and opportunities, and discuss the realities of the media platforms trying to gain and keep our eyeballs to reap ad revenue.