I've created a weekend retreat package called “No More Pillows” based on the themes I introduced in my book, "Pillows For Your Prison Cell". Fee includes presentations and breakout sessions for a weekend, plus beautifully printed, hard-cover copies of my book and soft-cover workbook for all attendees.
I can tune this life-changing experience to match your schedule and your audience from High School or College to Men, Women, Families or Couples. And with a mix of presentations from me and a few structured breakouts, the experience works equally well for small or large groups.
This is a letter highly recommending Mark D Bullard. I have known Mark for more than 18 years as both a friend and a colleague and have worked with him in a variety of settings. I have witnessed Mark’s work independently and collaboratively; I have seen Mark work with youth and adult in one on one, small group and large group interactions; I have worked with Mark in an academic classroom, as part of a board meeting, on leadership teams and in workshop settings.
Mark is a natural leader. He is comfortable “in his skin” and relates well to his audience, whether child. teen or adult. He is likeable and has an easy-going nature that immediately puts others at ease. Yet, at the same time, he is professional, always well prepared, organized and forward thinking. Mark is not afraid to take responsibility for his duties and can work equally well independently or as part of a team.
Mark has been a role model and teacher/mentor/leader of youth at our church for years. He is committed to each of these roles and takes his job descriptions seriously. He has a way with youth that makes them feel honored, valued and as important members of his class. He knows how to have fun with them, but earns their respect at the same time; Mark’s students love him. At the same time, he works well with his co-workers, generating ideas for future lessons, planning and implementing goals for their classes, scheming and dreaming for the future of his class and of his students. It takes a very special individual to work with middle school and junior high student and Mark exhibits those skills on a weekly basis and continues to do so year after year.
Most recently, I was privileged to take a class taught by Mark discussing the important issues presented in his newly published book, Pillows For Your Prison Cell. Mark did an excellent job not only teaching the materials presented in this book, but also in leading dynamic group discussion about sensitive and sometimes highly personal topics like debt, guilt, shame, pride, responsibility, etc. Mark handled these conversations with great sensitivity and care, always making the person sharing feel valued, respected and heard, while also including the rest of the group into the dialogue, which is not easily done. During these class sessions, Mark did a masterful job inviting conversation and drawing everyone into the dialogue, finding way to engage everyone present, young and old alike.
I would highly recommend Mark for a variety of tasks – teaching, leading, writing, mentoring, coaching, facilitating, etc. He is a charismatic, dynamic leader who will not disappoint. Please feel free to contact me with any further interest and/or questions. I would be happy to give any additional information needed.
I have had the privilege to work with Mark Bullard during my time running high school business programs. Mark was by far one of our most highly rated speakers. He had an amazing connection with our youth and felt like he was talking with them as opposed to speaking at them.
We also got the opportunity to have Mark our at our yearly volunteer training where he spoke to 75 diverse volunteers. No matter what age, background or career level, all of our volunteers loved how Mark was so down to earth with them and how he delivered his message.
If you are one the fence about him, take it from me, you will be very happy with his presentations!
Response from No More Pillows:
I had the opportunity to work with Tracey at least ten times, presenting to groups ranging from 75 to 250 people. Mostly high school students, but also many adults and college students working as facilitators for the program that we were presenting. We worked together to develop different programs for different circumstances including:
- a big kickoff presentation I called “Gotta Be In To Win” at the beginning of a week-long business camp for high school students;
- a speech about entrepreneurship called “Entrepre-wawa?”
- a workshop called “Mission:Possible” about the importance and process of creating and living by a personal mission statement
- a workshop for facilitators called “The Power of Story” that helped leaders and facilitators draw on stories to teach lessons.
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 60 - 360 minutes
Languages: English, Spanish
What to Expect
The workshop is designed to work best over a 2-night, 5-meal weekend retreat, though it can be modified to work over a 1-night, 4-meal mini-weekend. It may also range from intense (lots of structured personal reflection and group sharing in addition to my presentations - great for a men's/women's retreat or college retreat) to light (unstructured or optional sharing and personal reflection time - great for a family retreat or high school event).
The following is a SAMPLE schedule. It's completely configurable and I'll work with you to define what will work best for your group and recognize that it may even evolve over the course of the weekend as the Spirit does His work.
Friday Evening Presentation 45-55 min
Saturday Morning Presentation 45-55 min
Personal Reflection 45-60 min
Saturday Afternoon Presentation 45-55 min
Group Sharing 60 min - This can be open ended if facilitated by experienced small group leaders or in pre-existing groups.
Saturday Evening Fun I can host your "talent" show, game night or other festivities
Sunday Morning Presentation 35-45 min
Personal Reflection 15 min
Group Sharing Takeaways 45 min
Contact me to discuss what will work for you!
WHO ARE YOU?
First of all, the most important thing to know about me is that I'm a broken man who believes with all his heart that Jesus is the One True King and the only path to salvation now, and in the eternal life to come. I'm doing the best I can to be an awesome husband, though I've failed miserably in ways that lead me to write a book I'll tell you about shortly. I'm a father of a girl that has blown my mind in every conceivable way and has given me the slightest glimpse into what it must feel like for our Heavenly Father. I'm a business man who has done fantastically well and failed terribly and done fantastically well again! I'm a leader in my community, and I love meeting new people and connecting them with others. I love speaking to groups large and small and look for opportunities to teach and mentor whenever possible. If you want to know more about me, just look for Mark D Bullard on any social platform. I'll be there. :)
SO WHAT ABOUT THIS BOOK?
I'm the author of Pillows For Your Prison Cell, a powerful, allegorical tale about a boy named Amir who is sent to an infamous prison from which no one has ever escaped. In the story, I develop a metaphor in which “pillows” are comforts that trap us in a self-induced “prison”. Whether it’s debt, addictions, performance, or just being good; we are all guilty and there is only one path to freedom.
While I hesitate to compare myself to C.S. Lewis, I learned from him to tell a story that points to Jesus without doing so explicitly. As such, the book appeals to a broad audience of those who know Jesus and struggle to release their life to him, as well as those who are just trying to figure out who God is and whether he loves them. Kirkus Reviews calls it, "A deftly told tale about breaking free from the yoke of voracious and unsustainable, media-driven consumerism." While I like getting a great review like that from such an esteemed book reviewer, the following reviews from other readers just like you are more meaningful.
"It is impossible to put down, sucks you in and hits you in your heart." - Donovan, Virginia, Father, Fortune 500 Executive, Believer
"This fast-paced story engages the senses as it examines the source of our desires and the trap they lure us into." - April, Washington, Artist, Recently Divorced, Single Mother, Believer
"It's simple, eloquent, and packs a mean punch that sticks with you." - Ryan, California, Newlywed, New Father, Pilot, Adventure Junkie, Exploring Faith
"This tale is a quick read and one that will stay with you long after you have finished it." - Amy, Washington, Wife, Mother, Believer
WHAT IS "NO MORE PILLOWS"?
I've created a workshop called “No More Pillows” based on the themes I introduced in the book. The workshop can be presented all in one day, or in consecutive sessions, but the best forum to really engage with the content and make it personal is in the context of a weekend retreat. I call it a "workshop" because it's more than a collection of speeches or a one-way presentations. My desire is to engage people where they are, challenge them to evaluate their lives in a rich and meaningful way, and then to help them define a plan for moving forward in the grace, love, and power of Jesus. I do this through a mix of presentations, structured group breakouts, and individual sessions. This workshop approach is very flexible and works equally well for small or large groups. I can adjust the workshop to match your schedule in terms of the number and type of sessions. And I'm very comfortable with a variety of audiences from High School or College to Men, Women, Families or Couples.
HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER WEEKEND RETREATS?
I've attended a lot of retreats over the years and one of my biggest frustrations is translating what I've learned at the retreat into action once I get home. I believe the solution to that problem is to engage attendees BEFORE they arrive, give them opportunities to learn in a variety of formats DURING the retreat, and then to provide opportunities to interact with the material and others in community AFTER the event.
In advance of the retreat, I will send you beautifully printed, hard cover copies of "Pillows For Your Prison Cell" to give to all of the attendees. (For a reasonable shipping and handling fee, and with sufficient notice, I will send the books directly to your guests.) I would encourage every attendee to take a short break and read the book in advance. It should provide interesting food for thought as guests approach the date, and it's a quick read. Don't worry, I'll have extra copies for anyone that didn't sign up early and reading the book is not a prerequisite to getting value from the workshop.
At the retreat I'll give out a "No More Pillows" Workbook to every attendee. The structured workbook will have spaces to capture notes and thoughts from the presentations, group breakouts and personal reflection times. Nobody will go home empty handed.
Once attendees go home, they will have the option to continue capturing notes in the NMP Workbook as they engage with the "real world" and apply what they learned from the weekend. Plus I will encourage everyone to checkout (link hidden), where they can share personal experiences with their "pillows" and read those of others.
WHAT ARE YOU LIKE AS A SPEAKER?
I love to be on stage. Give me a platform and a microphone and I'll tear it up. When I was younger, I struggled with wanting the attention on me. But I've learned over time that speaking, teaching and leading are all gifts from God, and when used to honor Him and point people to Him, He is glorified. So, now I get to do what I love and guide people toward a loving God that releases us from bondage, who sets us free with his eternal truth. I like humor, and though I've done some humorous stage work, this topic is a bit more serious. So I keep it real with a light sense of humor, but am careful to avoid making light of some of the hugely personal topics we cover. The fact that I'm so comfortable on stage makes the audience much more comfortable as well, and over the course of the workshop I'll set the tone, by sharing some deeply personal and intimate experiences with my own "pillows". All of this creates an environment in which individuals will be free to go a little deeper and experience a life-changing new perspective on their lives. Not to mention the impact of creating new, deeper connections with the men and women with whom they attend the workshop.
While the book is suitable for children 8 and above, the workshop is geared for High School and up. I have a lot of experience talking to Middle School (taught 7/8 Sunday School for 5 years), High School (started and lead High School Youth group) and College (keynote speaker for business camps and student conferences for years). I also have a lot of experience teaching and leading adults.
Additional Booking Notes
I require a bowl of 30 blue M&Ms before every performance... Just kidding.
I understand David Lee Roth was anti-brown M&Ms, but for good reason.
In all seriousness, I do require access to a projector and power.
While it is possible to conduct the workshop without projection it is far superior to have it.
|Mark D Bullard||Speaker|
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