Dad 2.0 Summit 2018

Where Dads Connect to Positively Influence Fatherhood!

As I sit down to reflect on my first Dad 2.0 Summit 2018 this year, I am overwhelmed with emotion as I think of all of the fun I had, all of the food I ate, and all of the friendships I formed–in only 2.5 days!

It all started off when I hopped in the #KiaDad Sorento car with a few guys from the City Dads Group from New York. How cool to meet the guys that helped start a national dad group.

Next, during the New Orleans photo tour, I met some dude who humbly told me, “I had a twitter account go viral.” He didn’t have much of a voice, but he sure nailed his Threenote on Saturday afternoon-@James Breakwell. During the photo tour, I also met the energetic and highly talented Andrew Tiu. Vlogging will never be the same again.

Every time I turned around, I was encouraged by all of the dads who were so passionate about being dads. Each one has his own niche: The Architechnologist-@Michael Kaufman, James Lopez of #FatherhoodisLit, Anthony Detrano from Vroom, the social media expert from Texas Tech University, Eric Rasmussen, PhD.

I had the opportunity to meet an adventurous young couple who gave up the corporate world to live life on the road, Ben and Rebecca from #TheFamilyFulfillmentProject.

I learned so much from meeting the guys from the City Dads Group, Brock Lusch from Cincy, Lance Somerfeld and Kevin McKeever from New York, Chris Brandenburg from the Twin Cities (MN), Jeff Tepper from Dallas, Darren W Carter from Cleveland, and many others. What an amazing group of dads! Thanks again for dinner, Lance and Matt!

So amazed by guys like Brandon Tijerina from Tyro, helping to turn tragedy into triumph. Guys like Perry Towle from Ungloo, helping modern dads with self-development and the Upleveling for Dads. Guys like Christopher Lewis, who crushed the Twitterverse table group with awesome resources made from a servant’s heart. Guys like Peter Gandolfo whose executive coaching gets to the heart of not only the executive but also the dad behind the executive.

Finally, it was great to finally meet Brandon Handley of Fatherhood for the Rest of Us, in person. Brandon’s passion to figure out this whole fatherhood thing is evident in his thoughts, his words, and his energy.

A huge thank you to the vision of Doug French, the guy with the hand-me-up shoes, John Pacini, Whit Honea, and the entire Dad 2.0 team for creating this wonderful, energetic, and much-needed space for dads to thrive!

See you all in San Antonio next year! Mark

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Merry Christmas and a Heart-Warming Story

Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

To my family, friends, and clients!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!  Jen, the kids, and I are fortunate to be spending time with my sister and her family as well as my parents.  Over the past couple of days, we have been texting, talking, and leaving voicemails–making plans of what to do, meals to eat, and where to open presents.  The anticipation continues to build, even as I write this email to you!

But…through it all, I find myself focusing on things other than the true meaning of Christmas.  Does anyone else feel like this?

Then, as I was taking my kids to school today, I heard Paul Harvey’s Christmas broadcast from 1965, “The Man and the Birds.”  It hit me in the gut.  It instantly reminded me what this season is all about.  As I was nearing my house, I looked out the window and saw a sign on a motel I pass every day.  It says, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” (See picture above)

After hearing Paul Harvey’s 1965 Christmas broadcast and seeing the motel’s sign, I realized that God is constantly pursuing me.  He will even use the radio and motel signs to connect with us.

If you are in need of a reset on this Christmas Eve Eve Eve, I invite you to listen to Paul Harvey’s Christmas message, “The Man on the Birds.”

You can check it out here:

Merry Christmas!  

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The Box

A Reflection on Contentment

Several years ago, after my grandma passed away, my grandpa transitioned from their house to an apartment. As we were moving his belongings from his 2-story home, we managed to fill his 2-bedroom apartment and a single car garage with the things that were most important to him. We unloaded boxes and bags filled with items he wanted to hold onto.

Several years later, it was time for my grandpa to move to an independent apartment that was attached to an assisted living center. My grandpa was always a futuristic thinker and decided it was the right time to make this difficult decision in anticipation of any medical issues that may arise.

Again, my family and I were able to help him move from his independent apartment and again to his assisted living apartment. Before he moved this time, my grandpa, now in his late 80s, decided to downsize his belongings each time.

We moved his TV, a couch, a desk from his college days, and a small kitchen table. We carried his clothes which included a few flannel shirts, a couple pairs of pants, and of course, his trademark suspenders. There were also the kitchen supplies that included the coffee maker and a few dishes.

After we had unloaded all of the household essentials, only one thing remained—one cardboard box filled with the things that meant the most to my grandpa. I don’t remember many of the items that filled that box. However, I know that his cribbage board, a few decks of well-used playing cards, and his worn crossword dictionary were among them. I imagine there were a few pictures of his wife of nearly 60 years, a few pictures of his great-grandkids, and an address book with his siblings’ phone numbers. That’s it.

After over eight decades on this planet, my grandpa’s most precious material possessions fit into one, single cardboard box.

I distinctly remember the moment I saw the box. I paused for just a moment, fully realizing how unimportant material possessions truly are. After all that my grandpa had throughout his life, what mattered most, fit into that one box.

Recently, I read this passage from 1 Timothy, and it immediately brought me back to my to that moment.

“For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it.”

-1 Timothy 6:7

So, as you sit around your Thanksgiving table tomorrow, take a moment to be thankful for all that God has blessed you and your family with.

Then, challenge yourself to be both grateful and content as we automatically enter the most marketed shopping season of all.

May you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

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A Father’s F.I.G.H.T.

with Mark LaMaster

Presented by the
Rochester Area Fatherhood Network

Friday, September 22, 3-4 p.m.

Rochester MN Adult and Teen Challenge

Join local author, speaker, and parent coach, Mark LaMaster, as he equips and encourages dads through 3 real-life rounds of fatherhood.  Mark will share practical parenting tips that will help you through the ups and downs of being a dad.

Are you ready to step into the ring?

Reserve your spot today before the final bell!



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Date: September 22, 2017—March 24, 2018
Time: 3:00 pm
Event: A Father's F.I.G.H.T
Topic: Fatherhood
Sponsor: Rochester Area Fatherhood Network
Venue: Rochester MN Adult and Teen Challenge
(507) 288-3733
Location: 1530 Assisi Dr NW, Rochester, MN 55901
Rochester, MN 55901
Public: Public

Please join me on Saturday, August 12, from 2-4 pm, at the HarMar Mall Barnes & Noble in Roseville, Minnesota, for my book signing!  I would love to see you there!

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Date: August 12, 2017
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Event: Barnes & Noble Book Signing Roseville, MN
Sponsor: Barnes & Noble-Roseville, MN
Venue: Barnes & Noble-Roseville, MN
Public: Public

7 Ways to Celebrate National Father Daughter Take a Walk Day

Today’s post is a reminder for all of you dads and daughters out there.  As many of you know, I am currently in the middle of writing my next book, Friday Night Lights for Fathers and Daughters, due this Fall.  During my research, I stumbled upon something I wanted to share with all of you.

This Friday, July 7, is National Father Daughter Take a Walk Day!

According to the National Day Calendar website,

National Father Daughter Take a Walk Day was created to promote the benefits of family bonding time between fathers and daughters as well as the benefits of physical activity. The memories that are made during your time together will stay with you forever.

So, put some time on your calendar this Friday to walk with your dad/daughter. If that is not possible, think of your father or daughter while you walk.

In order to recognize this special day for dads and daughters, I thought I would share a few fun ideas to help get you started!

7 Ways to Celebrate National Father Daughter Take a Walk Day

1.Walk a Trail

Choose a trail and start walking.  American Trails has put together “The World’s Largest Online Trails Resource.”  Explore something new and set out on a memorable journey together.

2. Walk the Mall

Dads, this might not be your favorite choice, but I can almost guarantee your daughter will love it!  Be willing to go to her favorite stores and make sure to hit the food court for a snack.

3. Walk for a Challenge

Challenge your dad/daughter to a step challenge.  Whether you have a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or any other fitness tracker, challenge each other to see who gets the most steps during your walk or during the entire day!

Keep on reading »

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What Daughters Wish Their Dads Knew About Them

Father’s Day 2017 was awesome!  A huge thank you to all of you that stopped by Barnes & Noble book signing and have listened to my recent podcasts and radio interviews.

Now that the excitement of Father’s Day 2017 has come and gone, I am focused on writing my next book for fathers and daughters.  The working title is Friday Night Lights for Fathers and Daughters! 

I am super excited about this project.  After having one book under my belt, I am able to focus more on the writing rather than the process.  I must admit, the second book has been a bit more challenging to write, mostly because I want to give dads the latest and greatest advice based on current research, my coaching experiences, and what is most relevant for our tween to teenaged daughters.

A few years ago, fellow blogger, Jonathan Holt asked his two teenage daughters this hypothetical question:

“What do you think your friends wish their dads knew?” 

 His daughters came up with some great ideas.

So, I thought I would adapt his question and ask for your help as I continue to seek out the best fatherhood information for the dads who read my next book.

If you are willing to help me out, please click the appropriate link below:

Dads, click here:  Dads, would you be willing to ask your tween or teenage daughter what they wish you knew about them?

Moms, click here:  Moms, would you be willing to share what you wish your dad knew about you while you were a tween or teenager?   

 I would love for you to join me as I set out to write a book that will enable dads and daughters to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships!

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Tide Turners Kids Summer Sizzler Program 

Guest Blog: Cardiff D. Hall

Now that your kids have been out of school for a couple of weeks, you might be hearing a few, “I’m bored,” “I don’t know what to do,” or “I’m already tired of doing that,” comments from your kids.

If you, like me, are looking for creative ways to slow down the “summer slide” from school with a fun and creative way to continue your children’s education, my friend and fellow author, Cardiff Hall, has the answer.

Cardiff Hall is an author, coach, and speaker. Recently, Cardiff’s book, Tide Turners, hit the shelves and has helped countless men and women take back control of their lives and achieve their life goals.

However, having a 7-year old of his own, he wanted to create a summer project for his own daughter.  In doing so, he realized that he could help serve other kids (and their parents) as well.

I will let Cardiff explain the rest! I hope to see you and your kids in the program soon! P.S. It’s absolutely FREE!

Tide Turners Kids Summer Sizzler Program (for kids ages 7-14)

Do you remember your summer as a child? Ok, it’s mostly like been some time ago however, take a moment to reflect back on your summers. I can remember riding my bike, of course without a helmet and leaving my house in the morning and returning home by dinner time. I had a small job on Friday’s washing a food vending truck and loved making my own money.

I’m sure when you grew up, there were not many distractions in the summer. Today, there is the internet, video games and other “shiny objects” which can draw kids into possible binge activities.

Now, if you did not have a computer with games, remember how fun it was to play all day? Well, not in my house, playing on the computer all day never occurred.

I agree summer should be about fun given school is out and I believe kids can still learn in activities they do, which will broaden their scholastic skills.

Earlier this year, my first book was published entitled: Tide Turners which helps individuals gain clarity, increase their joy and sustain achievement. Having a seven year old daughter it was apparent to me, kids can be Tide Turners!


So, for the past few months, I’ve been developing a Tide Turners Kids program, where they can utilize the summer to start their own business in seven days!

Here is how the program came to life. Click the link to hear about this amazing program – Summer Sizzler Program. If you’d like your child to be a part of this program visit the Summer Sizzler Program website.

My mission for the summer is to have kids all across the country startup their own summer business. In fact, I set a goal of having 500 kids participate in this program and be TIDE TURNERS KIDS!

Tide Turners Kids Entrepreneurs Summer Sizzler Program overview:

Keep on reading »

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4 Powerful Takeaways from the 2017 Act Like Men Palooza

4 Powerful Takeaways from the 2017 Act Like Men Palooza

This past weekend, I went on a mini-vacation to the “Mitten” of Michigan. It was an epic road trip in the somewhat cramped white Corolla, nicknamed “The White Mamba.” What was supposed to be a nearly 9-hour trip that skirted around Chicago and hugged Lake Michigan, ended up turning into an 11.5 hour marathon plagued with road construction, car crashes, and a even a mystical Chick-fil-A!

All that being said, the road trip was worth it! Here’s why:

  1. Authentic biblical manhood is alive and well!

    • Worshiping, praying, and camping with over 1,300 men of faith in the woods of Michigan proved this takeaway.
    • I have been to several men’s ministry conferences before, both large and small—whether it be in large convention centers, a mega church, or the local church. But nothing compared to the camaraderie of what took place at the Palooza!
    • Heroes emerged throughout the weekend: The Hot Salsa Guy, The Knife Guy, The Rubik’s Cube Guy, and the Homerun Guy.
  1. I need to step up my prayer life!

    • The Harvest Bible Chapel team of pastors’ Palooza theme centered around the power of prayer.
    • I learned new ways of praying, how to pray, and why prayer is so powerful.
    • Sometimes it’s necessary to “Hit your knees now” and “get your face in the dirt” when you pray.
  1. Life in the fast(ing) lane

    • Pastor James MacDonald challenged all of us men to fast (just water) for 24-36 hours. Why?  Because “desire for God germinates in the soil of self-denial.”
    • This past Tuesday, I took Pastor James MacDonald up on his challenge and completed a 32 hour fast. I focused on His Word, prayer, and admitted that I didn’t know what my next step in one area of my life was.  As Pastor James taught us, I humbled myself in front of the Lord.
    • During my 32 hour fast, I heard from an acquaintance who helped me get back on track on this particular area of my life!
    • I now consider myself living in the fast(ing) lane!
  1. Biblical Manhood Pledge

    • As many of you know, my passion is to help dads raise their kids into the young men and women that God designed them to be. In my first book, Friday Night Lights for Fathers and Sons, I help dads connect with their sons on a deeper level through fun activities and lessons straight from the Bible.
    • At the Palooza, I got chills up my spine as at least fifty 15-year-olds walked down to the Palooza platform with their dads to take the Biblical Manhood Challenge. Can you imagine the power of this manhood ceremony from the perspective of a 15-year-old?  Standing in front of a crowd of 1,300 God-fearing men with your dad at your side acknowledging and affirming your transition from boy to man!
    • I cannot wait for my son to take this pledge when he is 15 and experience this powerful manhood ceremony surrounded by a community of witnesses!

Want to learn more about Harvest Bible Chapel? Click HERE now.


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5 Ways Single Moms can Celebrate Father’s Day!

As we approach Father’s Day 2017, so many of us look forward to this weekend of celebrating fatherhood. Whether it be our dad or celebrating our own fatherhood with our family, many of us are looking forward to Father’s Day.

But recently, I was asked a question I had never been asked before, and honestly had never even thought of before.

KROC-FM Radio Host Danielle Teal asked me a question that caught me a bit off guard–a true sign of an excellent host! Danielle asked me what advice I might have for Single Moms this Father’s Day.

As many of you know, I have been focusing my content almost exclusively on dads and how to develop deeper relationships with their kids. But Danielle, a Single Mom herself, pressed on, knowing firsthand that Father’s Day can be challenging for Single Moms.

So, I took what I have learned from my experience coaching dads, asking other Single Moms I know, and came up with 5 Ways Single Moms Can Celebrate Father’s Day!

Please know that I do not claim to be an expert on this topic, but felt convicted to answer this question as respectfully and as humbly as possible.

If you are a Single Mom or have a friend or family member who is, I would love to hear your thoughts on these 5 Ways or, better yet, share your own ideas!

I pray that this post might reach a Single Mom who is struggling with what to do this Father’s Day, and that one of the 5 Ways helps her to celebrate a day that may normally like to forget.

5 Ways Single Moms can Celebrate Father’s Day

Here is the post Danielle Teal shared on KROC-FM 106.9 Rochester, Minnesota

Mark LaMaster and I continued the conversation and discussed the dynamics of a single parent mother that might not have the father involved. He gave some great insight on how you can make the day special for your child and their father regardless of the circumstances. In the end what matters is the child’s happiness.

1. Celebrate your children’s dad by sharing the good memories, his good qualities, and which of his traits you see in your kids. This will honor him and show your kids that you appreciate fatherhood.

2. Rise above and honor your kids’ dad, even if the same was not done for you on Mother’s Day.

3. Point to the positive male role models in your children’s life. Celebrate this man, whether it be an uncle, family friend, grandpa, just as you would their own father.

4. Don’t go it alone! If you have joint custody and your kids are with their dads this Father’s Day, make sure to make plans of your own. Take advantage of this day, invite a friend or two, and do one thing that you wouldn’t be able to do with your kids at your side.

5. Do a “dad thing” together. If you don’t regularly do any of the following, try something that a dad might consider doing on Father’s Day. Take in a local baseball game, go fishing, or barbecue some ribs on the grill together. Make sure to let your kids know that all of these activities can be done with Mom as well!

A huge THANK YOU to Danielle Teal for asking me this tough, but necessary question, that I hope will help Single Moms this coming weekend!

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