John places 3rd in state in public speaking competition with speech on heroin

John wrapped up his competition for Toastmasters International and placed third in the state!

Here is a summary of his speech…

It is titled “The Hero-in Solution”. It is about the opioid/heroin epidemic which is now killing more people than guns and car accidents combined in our country. It invites the audience to open their hearts and minds to looking at people with the disease of addiction as people who are sick and need help. Just like someone with heart disease or cancer, they need support from family, doctors, medications, treatments, etc. to fight the disease. Similarly, people with addiction need help and support from family/friends, church, counseling, treatments, medications, support group meetings, etc. to fight their disease. The speech concludes by inviting the audience to help be a HERO IN the heroin solution by supporting those battling opioid/heroin addiction that has reached epidemic proportions.

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John would like to thank all the support he’s received from his family and his local Toastmasters “homegroup” Franklin Toastmasters.


Spouse of recovering addict is brought to tears…for a good reason this time

I will be the first to admit that I, the wife of a recovering alcoholic and addict, have been put in some pretty terrifying situations throughout the years of active addiction in our home. I am extremely grateful to be able to post these photos, which show how God can redeem people who may sometimes seem hopeless after multiple rounds of in and out-patient rehab.


John is now teaching a Drug-Free Workplace Training for Addiction Campuses to businesses and city employees, like here in Lawrenceburg, TN.

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John took first place in Division D of Toastmasters International public speaking contest with his speech about opioid addiction.

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John had the honor of speaking on a panel Trevecca Nazarene University’s Community Conversation Chapel on the issues of addiction and pornography.

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John spoke at Belmont University on behalf of Addiction Campuses. The biggest honor was dedicating his speech to his brother, Matt.

My Biggest Fear Is Not What You Think 

It’s John, here. Thanks for coming to read this personal story of mine that centers around my journey to face my biggest fear. Keep reading and I think you might find that my biggest fear might actually be yours, too. You probably just don’t know it or, you know it and just don’t want to admit it. Study after study show that most people’s biggest fear is public speaking. Countless people fear speaking in front of a group more than death. That’s extremely profound! The official name for it is Glossophobia. Surprisingly, public speaking is not my biggest fear. It’s my second.

Anthony-Robbins-Picture-Quotes My biggest fear is facing my true self (see video at end of blog of my speech). I have yet to   find anything more challenging, depressing and, yet,  liberating than digging to the deepest parts of  my  being to  discover who and what I truly am and why I  do the things I do. Most people would rather  go on  making poor decisions about their lives, their  relationships, jobs,    finances and health than to stop and work backwards for a period of time to discover why they do what they do. I have discovered through literally thousands of hours of  medical and psychological care that going as far back as you need to – and many times it’s going back to your early childhood events – can reveal valuable information  about what fears currently drive you today.

The mission of Mabry Living is to “serve others by using our unique gifts and outrageous antics to ignite creativity, growth and laughter in the world, with an emphasis  on fitness, simplicity, truth and love.” Fulfilling that mission entails communicating effectively through the various mediums Sarah and I use to express ourselves (i.e. this blog, Facebook, Vine, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube). Public speaking is a part of what we do to share our experience, strength and hope about our real world struggles.


In an effort to be best prepared to deliver clear, effective and moving speeches to groups about my life’s journey, I joined a local Toastmasters group to help coach me to be the best public speaker I can be. For those of you who don’t know, Toastmasters empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders and is accomplished by having members work through a number of speeches that are critiqued by your group.

My journey toward addressing my second biggest fear – public speaking – started by first pressing the “pause” button on life to seek out my true self, which was completely disjointed and mangled. Honestly, excavating through the minefields of my past was the most fearful thing I have ever done. It was more frightening than making the decision to amputate my leg. I never knew what I would find in counseling sessions, inpatient treatment and through working the 12-steps of a recovery program. At any moment a bomb from my past experiences could blow up, causing me to react in anger, fear, disappointment, loathing, jealousy, disgust or self-hatred. I, like most people, don’t want to turn over the wreckage of my past because it is too painful and takes too much time and effort. I have found, however, that what initially looks like taking steps backwards by stopping to deal with your true self – which is many times broken and closed off – actually yields profound results in moving forward in one’s life. Like I said before, I think many people out there are actually more afraid of connecting with their brokenness than anything else. If that strikes a nerve with you, watch the video below.

To help demonstrate the difficult, yet rewarding, journey toward unearthing my true self, I would like to share with you a version of my very first Toastmasters speech. The goal was to introduce myself to the group through a 4-6 minute speech about me. The title of my speech was “Public Speaking Is Not My Biggest Fear.” Here is a video of what I presented to the audience. Life is too short not to offer the world your best. I hope you will find some inspiration that you, too, can overcome any obstacle that stands in the way of connecting with your true self.