By Dr. Mark E. Shaw, with TAC TEAM

The Addiction Connection released 35 podcasts in 2023. We started as a listener only podcast and now we have advanced to having videography at all our podcasts so you can listen and watch as I interact with guests. It’s a lot of fun!

What were YOUR favorite episodes on The Addiction Connection Podcast? Who were your favorite guests?

The top three podcasts of 2023 were not determined by a scientific survey, by any means. I simply decided to look back at 2023 even though it’s February 2024 already and choose my favorite three! It’s fun to look back at all the great conversations we had, all the current addiction topics we covered, and all the terrific guests we hosted! All of them were fantastic!

But for now, here are the top three podcasts of 2023.

#3 Podcast of 2023

Dopesick: Pain–The Fifth Vital Sign: A Biblical Analysis The Addiction Connection Podcast #203 #TACPod

TAC Podcast episode number 203 is called Dopesick the fifth Vital sign: a biblical analysis. We provided an analysis of episode three of Dopesick. Here’s the story if you missed it. We started the year 2023 reviewing the television program that was airing on Hulu. Michael Keaton was the star, Arischa Conner was also a star in the series. Because of the accurate portrayal of what drug addiction looks like in families we thought it was well done. We would rather that it didn’t show the exact nature of the raw world that drug addiction lives in but in order to portray it so well, they chose to do so… I hope people understand that we are not for everyone watching it but we do think that the discussions around it can be helpful.

 Favorite quotes from Podcast #203: (chosen by TAC TEAM)

“We’re not doing this [podcast analysis] because we’re trying to be edgy. We want to be the least edgy people out there. Our message, The Gospel, is already edgy enough, and it’s a “rock of offense” (Read Isaiah 8:14, Romans 9:33, and 1 Peter 2:8)) –Mark E. Shaw

“God has called us to be a voice for Him in the world of addiction and we’re definitely the minority voice. If you wonder what it’s like to be the minority voice, you know, if you wonder what it’s like to be a minority, believe what we believe, and you’ll find out. There aren’t many people that believe what we believe. And so, we are trying to be faithful to God…” –Mark E. Shaw

“The difficulties when it comes to the front line of addiction ministry… I mean addiction is a very, very difficult ministry to be called to serve in. And this is one of the difficulties—that the secular world’s influence on it is just—it’s almost diabolical. It’s diabolical really. It is. They’ve dismissed ‘drunkard,’ and biblical words like ‘idolater’ and made it a disease and made it something that really is —wicked.” –Jim Quigley

“I’m just super thankful for The Addiction Connection, and the fact that you have Jim down there in North Carolina, you have Mark down there in Kentucky, and we have people scattered throughout the world that have this biblical perspective and that are bringing biblical truth and Gospel hope to people that are struggling with addiction. And that’s what lasts! So I’m just super thankful just to be a co-laborer in The Addiction Connection and be a part of what God is doing. That’s all I have to add. I’m just thankful to be a part of this team.” –CJ McMurry

#2 Podcast of 2023

Dr. Kevin Carson: Restoring Addicts as Families, Friends, and Pastors–  The Addiction Connection Podcast #223 #TACPod

Dr. Kevin Carson blogs at and is the Pastor of Sonrise Baptist Church in Ozark, MO. Dr. Carson made a guest appearance on the show and “flipped the seats” so to speak. He became the interviewer of me in this podcast and that hasn’t really been done before. This afforded me the opportunity to talk about some of the things that I believe from Scripture… some of my thoughts… and some of my approaches to Addiction Counseling in a local church setting. Dr. Kevin Carson is a gifted guy. And he shepherds the flock among him.

 Favorite quotes from Podcast #223: (chosen by TAC TEAM)

“Grace- Grace has to abound… These addiction situations take up a lot of time, a lot of resources, a lot of energy. So a disciple-making program like some that we’ve mentioned—that can be a real blessing to a church. And then what’s great is when the church gets back involved, to receive them back, then that program can help them and say, “Hey, Here’s what we’ve covered. Here’s where we are…” And the guys I’ve gotten back… they’ve just been stellar. I’ve utilized them in certain roles in service and in  ministry.” –Mark E. Shaw

“Randy Patten… thinks about the Prodigal son, and he would say that when someone comes back, your party needs to be greater than when you sent them off… Sometimes a church may even do public discipline, but then somebody comes back quietly. Randy would say, ‘Let’s throw a party,’ because if it was public here, then let’s make it even bigger when they return… to rejoice in that.” –Kevin Carson

“I want to help them understand the Word, and help them understand it in a way that produces obedient people… I’m trying to produce an obedient person but I don’t want to argue at the same time… I’m correcting in a hope that God will help with repentance and here [in this passage] I’m supposed to be teaching for good works and obedience…” –Kevin Carson on balancing Titus and 2 Timothy

 “We’re people. So we don’t know—like Jesus knew their hearts—He’s fully God and fully man. And God knows, but we don’t know. So we have to ask questions. And I think that’s where we need to be skilled and wise is to ask good questions. But don’t be afraid to say the hard things… maybe wrapped in gentleness and kindness.” –Mark E. Shaw

 “Understanding the heart of addiction, it really comes down to who or what are they running to. I’ve got to get them running to Jesus… the body of Christ… the local church. Be involved in that, start serving other people, and enjoying worship, and time in the Word.” –Dr. Mark E. Shaw

#1 Podcast of 2023

Coming in at #1 for the top podcasts of 2023 chosen by Dr. Shaw:

 Dopesick’s Arischa Conner on Addictions, Family, and Pursuing Your Dreams–  The Addiction Connection Podcast #227 #TACPod

“I always try to encourage (families of those in addiction) in this concept of tough love which I think you just portrayed beautifully because tough love isn’t… you cut someone off… it’s that you’re actually right there with them, but you’re still following through with very tough things. You’re not trying to relieve consequences from somebody, you know, when their justified. And I could literally say, “Hey if you want to see what a good portrayal of tough love [is],” I could show people your scenes.” –Jim Quigley talking with Arischa Conner

 “What I love about that is that you’re the one person, your character is the one person that doesn’t give up on him. And even though it’s tough love and all that, there’s encouragement, there’s support. I mean, your character is the epitome of love in that show, and you brought that out.” –Mark E. Shaw speaking to Arischa Conner about her portrayal as Leah in Dopesick

 “When you speak, you have to make sure that you are speaking positively… What you say… what comes out of your mouth is important because it has the power to touch the world and your community… I’m very aware of the things that I say when I’m around people. I think I’m more compassionate now than I was before because being a part of, you know, people’s stories and seeing different facets of different lives through this art… I was in an acting class…her name is Diane Charles, and we really studied empathy, and it made me just a more compassionate person. And I’m aware of that especially more now. Being in this acting world has made me hyper aware of what I say, how I am, and how I treat people.” –Arischa Conner

The Addiction Connection is Here for You!

The Addiction Connection is a network of ministries who offer hope in Jesus for those struggling with addiction of any kind. Our network of encouraging resources, ministries, and biblical programs that stretch across America and the world will always point people to truth in Jesus Christ for answers.

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