This is Andy Thomas from the Masculine Journey podcast, where we discover what it means to be a wholehearted man. Your chosen Truth Network podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network, where you hear from ordinary people instilled with an extraordinary passion. Together we explore the stories of men and women who take what they love and let God turn their passion into kingdom pursuits. Now live from the Truth Booth, your host, Robbie Dilmore. I'm hearing nothing now, Carmen. Welcome to Kingdom Pursuits, where we hear how God takes your passion and uses it to build a kingdom.
Not sure what has happened, but something happened and I don't actually hear anything. But we have with us today, and I guess I will just, we have actually Tad Weiss, who's the author of 25 Meters to God. There I am. I like that. So welcome, Tad.
Hey, Robbie. Great to be here. Thank you. Thank you.
I apologize, I've got a lot of struggles with our systems today, and I'm not exactly hearing myself, but I can hear you good. So just to start off, tell us a little bit about your book with Tad. Yeah, thanks, Robbie. The book 25 Meters to God tells the story of my daughter's accident, which happened in Sevilla, Spain about eight and a half years ago. She was a college student and went over to Spain to study abroad. And she was out for a run one morning and was hit by a bus going 37 miles an hour. It was a little over 20 tons of bus, and it threw her 25 meters in the air. So that's partly where the title comes from, is that God was waiting at the end of that 25 meters to catch her and performed a miracle and saving her life. Really? And when you say saving her life, she lived through that?
Yeah, she did. And that's part of the, certainly a big part of the story is we can't come up with any other reason that someone could survive an accident like that. 25 meters, if you want some perspective on that, just go look at a regulation swimming pool.
That's how long a swimming pool is. So just amazing to look at that distance and to think of her absorbing that impact and flying through the air. And yet somehow she survived and we can't attribute it to anything but God and his protection.
And also the body of believers and some incredible medical care from people that he put in place to take care of her and also to take care of us. So it's just been a fantastic journey and not only has she survived that accident, but just this thriving in her life and it's been quite a journey. Wow, we're looking forward to hearing more about that today, undoubtedly. And then really neat, I got a voice from the past, I got an email from a friend who I knew years and years ago when I was in the car business, I guess nearly 25 years ago, Gary O'Neill is now an actor and a comedian in Los Angeles. Welcome Gary.
Good morning. How are you doing, Robbie? I can't tell you what a delight it was to hear from you. So share with our listeners a little bit about where you met me. Well I met Robbie, Robbie was, I believe, were you like the general manager about Bob Neill Chrysler in Winston Salem?
I was, I was when I met you. And I was actually like 17, I was like 18 or 19 years old. I was attending the North Carolina School of the Arts and I needed to make some money so I was led to go work at Bob Neill Chrysler. I was a shuttle driver and it's just so like, it puts people's names in my heart and in my spirit that I haven't talked to or seen in ages and one day something just said to look up Robbie Gilmore. I don't know how I did not forget your name but I think you stood out to me for one reason because you were extremely tall. So that's what reminded me of him and then you also reminded me of Tom Fellett, so.
Oh wow. No, go ahead, I'm sorry. No, so you googled me and I guess you saw my radio shows and so you now are in Los Angeles. Tell us about what you're doing now. Well I am an actor slash comedian. I've been at it for a little over 16 years. I am beginning to have my breakthrough now.
I actually just shot a commercial yesterday for Farsica so it's a pharmaceutical drug commercial and I was on roller skates all day so I'm kind of sore because I hadn't been on skates in over 25 years but it's a blessing. It's a blessing that I was able to do it and you know it's part of my passion so you know it goes with the territory. Very fun, very fun. Well you know since it's Kingdom Pursuits we got to do our jokes which you're going to like that Gary so speaking of meters. So it's something we get to do every time on Kingdom Pursuits, Tad and Gary, we get to share some of my humor with our listeners and then they get to answer a riddle. So when we come back, because I'm hearing the bump music, when we come back or I didn't mean to hear another okay, a lot of struggle. So two dogs are walking over because we're talking about meters, two dogs walk over to a parking meter and one dog says to the other, you got any ideas Carmen?
No I'm not sure. What does he say? How about you Gary, you got any ideas what the dog walks over to the parking meter and says?
No. You're going to like this. What do you think about these? Pay toilet. And you know what happened to the frog that didn't pay the parking meter right Carmen you heard that one? No I haven't, what happened to him?
He got towed. I don't know if you know this one but did you know the French meter sticks are about a foot shorter, do you know why? The French meter sticks would be a foot shorter? No idea. Got any ideas Gary or Tad? No I don't.
Yeah well they have a habit of cutting the heads off their rulers. Did you ride that when you fell? So my brother keeps saying that my friend Rick is two meters tall but you know I say he's closer to six feet. He doesn't think I've met Rick, there you go just so you can groan a little bit today if you hadn't you know. And so you do at the end of those shenanigans I would actually get to my riddle so my riddle today is how many and this is actual riddle here this is something you can riddle Carmen. So how many meters tall was Goliath really seriously how many meters tall was Goliath that'll help us you know see the 25 meter idea so in meters how tall was Goliath you know he wasn't just known for his big feet he had a big meter so 866-348-7884 if you know the answer to that riddle and if you can Carmen tell them what they win. If you know the answer to that call in and let us know and you'll win a wonderful prize for marking new pursuit's prize vault so if you know call in.
866-348-7884-86634 Truth and if you hear me stammer a little bit we still got a bit of a delay I'm hearing so it's an interesting challenge to talk here but we are going to fall back tomorrow as far as daylight savings time and I'm getting a chance to fall back just for about a half a second in my head. So we'll be back with much more Kingdom Pursuits we've got Tad Weiss in his book 25 meters to God I'm so excited to hear more about this story and my friend Gary O'Neill from my Bob Neal days who's now an actor and comedian what God's doing with Gary in Hollywood so we'll be right back with much more Kingdom Pursuits meanwhile call us 866-348-7884. We're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com Welcome back to Kingdom Pursuits where we hear how God takes your passion and uses it to build the kingdom and so fun today we have what is an old friend of mine we're getting reacquainted Gary O'Neill he's an actor and comedian in Hollywood as well as Tad Weiss he's the author of this amazing book 25 meters to God this amazing story of his daughter's encounter with a bus that was unbelievably so how long was she in the hospital Tad? In Spain for about 23 days and then we flew her back home to the United States back to Minneapolis and was in the hospital there for another three weeks before we were able to bring her home so a little over six weeks in total in the hospital and then more rehabilitation certainly at home and through the following years. Wow and what kind of were the extent of her injuries?
From the impact and from landing she had seven broken ribs, badly shattered pelvis on both sides, a broken elbow, a lot of road rash and the biggest risk and probably the hardest part of the recovery was a traumatic brain injury in two places one where the bus where her head hit the windshield of the bus and then the second on the back of her head where she landed on the pavement so that was the that was the diciest part of her recovery was just making sure that her brain stayed stable until the time she kind of got through the original few days of dealing with the trauma. Wow and then you know you'd have no way of knowing this Tad but actually and Gary wouldn't know this either that you know right not long after I started with Truth Broadcasting I fell about 35 feet out of a tree onto the ground thinking that it would be the end of my life since I fell upside down and came down headfirst and landed on my shoulder and similarly broke all these ribs and I know what it's like to come back from that as well as I had some brain surgery as well not on that particular time but another time when I had cancer and so I can relate how it's amazing how God made our bodies that we come back from all these different things but one story I'll never forget was I was if you've broken a bunch of ribs about the last thing that you ever want to do is laugh and and for me that's not such an easy thing because naturally I'm sitting there actually the day after I fell out of the tree and I'm just flipping through the TV and I turn it on you know to a movie and I'm trying to think of the name of the actor who played elf anyway and this movie where he's got this spear gun and it's obvious that he's gonna shoot himself for the spear gun and even though I know it's coming and I can't laugh for nothing I watch this thing and then I put myself in this unbelievable pain as I'm trying to laugh at the funny but it's amazing what your body can come back from right Ted yeah it really is and I think in Maggie's case you know she was in a medically induced coma for for well over a week so that gave her some time for the for the ribs to heal and so in a lot of ways she she was kind of a she was certainly the main participant in the recovery but she just kind of you know was able to do what she needed to do and she doesn't have any memory of the accident or her recovery for the first 30 days so total amnesia of one one month in her life so it's been it's been good for her to read about this and she's certainly heard it from us over the years but yeah quite a quite an amazing recovery it sounds absolutely and so Gary actually I was wondering you know since you were talking about in the email that you sent you talked about Don Mikey somebody I hadn't heard that name in in years and years one of the nicest people I ever met by the way I never ever heard Don Mikey ever say anything bad about anybody I don't know that I ever met anybody quite like him but Gary what was your memories of of Don Mikey Don Mikey my memories of Don was Don was he was well put together he was well dressed he had an amazing personality and he he understood he got and you know I think at that time not a not a lot of people understood it I guess it was a little different for people to you know work with a kid to go to the school of the art you know it I mean that this is just my take on it but no Don was he was very well put together I remember when I first met him I had to go give him my memory of his strong I had to go pick him up from his house because again I was the shuttle driver and he had a very nice house and he was this is when he first started working with the company and he was just he was just a really awesome guy and again like I said it it the spirit is what led me to remember you guys and again you both made such a good impression that it was different it was it would have been impossible to get either one of you guys that's so cool were we doing the Bible study when you were there do you remember that um I don't I don't believe so I don't believe so if you were I definitely knew nothing about it but no I don't remember but I do remember that you did you you beg I vaguely remember you all you know speaking about the Lord a lot so that is awesome and obviously had great favor for you and and being able to actually live out your dream in Los Angeles I mean that's a beautiful thing is that is not an easy place to break into is it no not at all but um when I before I moved out here I prayed and asked God to guide me and basically I waited for an answer and basically what he said was you go out there I'm gonna let you have what you want but you're gonna have to show me how bad you want it before I get it I clearly heard that and you know he also told me that his hand will be on me at all time and I just have to move in faith and you know it it's been a journey but I wouldn't trade it for anything like I've experienced homelessness like where I slept in my car um I've experienced a lot of death you know as far as family members and friends and it actually California has actually it helped me to grow up and become a better man and it also got me a lot closer to God because I understand that nothing is possible without God in your corner or you know you have in that relationship with God that is yeah and so I couldn't help but think you know to add as as you wrote this book or you began to write it you know it takes a lot of courage to go out there and then you got to find a publisher and all that did you sense God's hand and all that as well yeah I certainly did I think that the I think that the the writing of the book really when the accident happened I did quite a bit of writing on a site called Caring Bridge which is a company actually started here in Minnesota where you can go on and set up a website and put one post one entry out there and everyone that's following along and that's praying for you and following your story can go in and log into that website versus sending you an email or sending you a text so that was where where my writing really started and it started out very innocently I wasn't planning on writing a book and I wasn't really planning on writing about spiritual matters but as as we as our journey continued and we went over to Spain and we just saw God working in all these miraculous ways and just these God sightings that were just happening time and time again every day my writing started to take a turn and a few days into doing that I just heard God say to me through a couple of events that hey I just want you to be bold here I want you to tell people what you're seeing and and what I'm doing for you and he calmed us in a way where we knew that our daughter was going to be okay and that he had that part covered for us so we didn't need to worry about that and that freed us up to write about what we were seeing and be there for the people that were coming around to see us and it kind of turned this whole experience into one that not only was about the healing of our daughter but was a true worldwide community experience that was that was helping a lot of people heal in a lot of different ways and was just a true beautiful picture of the body of Christ at work around the world so that was that was kind of where the Caring Bridge writing started to certainly take a turn and be more of a of a spiritual nature and then as time went by I just had so many people say hey you got to turn this into a book and about four or five years ago I started doing that and started putting the book together and and then about I'm not a very fast writer Robbie so it was taking me four years to get it done and then just finally got some inspiration to get it finished and went out and found a publisher and a wonderful organization called redemption press and they helped me pull it all together and get the book out on the market that is so cool again the book is called 25 meters to God and they're also hearing from Gary O'Neill actor and comedian out there in Los Angeles but you you know for you guys that you know the idea originally behind kingdom pursuits was how does God take your passion and use it to build the kingdom that idea being that everybody gets these different you know little nudges from God along the way to go do something and it was my hope through the show that people would hear your stories and that they would be encouraged with their nudge whether that's to write a book be a comedian you know write a movie whatever it is that God has put there that you know is from him like wow you can hear the stories week in week out of people that go on that adventure and and how thrilling it is in so many different ways so we'll be right back with much more of course we're going to fall back tomorrow so don't forget that and we'll be back with more kingdom pursuits in just a moment. You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com. Welcome back to kingdom pursuits where we hear how God takes your passion and uses it to build the kingdom and we're so blessed to have with us today our friend Gary O'Neill that we met back in the 90s with Bob Neil Chrysler Plymouth who now is an actor and comedian in Los Angeles and Tad Weiss is the author of 25 meters to God as always you can go to kingdom pursuits.com and find Tad's book and links to his website and all that's going on with that but Gary I know as we heard a little bit about the actor but I'm dying to know being that I get a chance to tell my jokes and stuff on kingdom pursuits is what about the comedian aspect? The comedian aspect it's going through a transformation because I understand that to get further in the business that I'm in I have to work clean and you know in my transformation and you know in me working on my walk with God to be closer I have to reconstruct my jokes because I was blue I work blue I'll be honest because that's you know that's the only way that I'll be able to grow is being honest with myself and they are we're getting better let's just say that but you know I understand that in this business the cleaner you are the further you go so you know it's a work in progress but it's definitely moving forward. So that's a term I actually hadn't heard what does that mean you work blue I didn't I've never heard that before. Blue means okay remember when you were younger you had to speak and listen to your favorite comedian because they spoke about things that were that that only adults talked about. That meaning blue meaning that it was the file language and things of that nature in adult content and things like that but again I'm working now to change that so that I'm working clean and I'm talking about things with substance. It's so cool that that you know that's part of the journey right like it is if you knew me back in the 90s when I first came to Christ and and oh my goodness my language was unbelievably horrible.
I still can't you know think how in the world God cleaned me up to the point but actually it's him that does that and and so it's kind of cool to hear Gary he's doing that in your life as well and you're not exactly in an environment that that makes that all that easy I would imagine right. Well I think it's the environment is what you make it because you know you can in Hollywood you can choose your own lane or you can take the lane that everyone else is traveling in. Me personally I prefer to be unique because that's what makes me stand out you know because of my personality because of my jokes and my energy I am unique I'm different from each and every other comic that's out here so I just feel as though staying in my own lane and creating my own path is the best way to go for me. And so have you actually had a chance to do you like stand-up comedy and clubs there? Yes yes I do a lot of stand-up here and also travel throughout the country but lately it has just been more acting than anything but I'm actually it's funny because I'll actually be in Winston-Salem not performing my mom actually moved back to Winston-Salem.
I'm gonna be there in December and I'm gonna try to find some comedy spots to go up in while I'm there. Oh that's awesome I would love to see that by all means we will stay in touch plus you don't know this Gary but I have a radio drama we do called Christian Kargai Theatre where we are using actors and comedians and all that and I've got a link to several other actors but also would love to have you you know write you into the script and let you do some voice acting for us that'd be cool. Look at God look at God look at God this is this is what he does for people that are obedient to his word this is what this is what he does. Oh it really is because that way if you knew the whole story behind Christian Kargai Theatre and all that we do with that it would blow your mind it blows my mind every time and the actors that he's brought us along the way and all that goes into that but Ted in the same way I'm curious what do you do besides be an author? For my profession I'm a certified financial planner and my daughter does that with me so she's been working with me for five years now so that's been a neat thing to share. For hobbies well I've been married to my wife Wendy for 32 years and our children Maggie and Peter but for hobbies my daughter and I both race in triathlons and part of the part of her story I mean I'm in the older divisions Robbie so there's no delusions of grandeur for me but my daughter is a very competitive triathlete and that's kind of part of our story too part of her story is that after the accident she got into the sport of triathlon which is for those who don't know it's swimming biking and running all in one day one event there's all different kinds of distances that you can do but in the last couple of years she's done two Ironman triathlon which is a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride and then a 26.2 mile run or marathon at the end of that and Maggie just completed one of those in Madison Wisconsin and actually won the women's division in that race and she'll be going on to the world championships in Kona Hawaii next year so it's just an amazing story of God not only healing her saving her and healing her but then this this journey that she's been on to heal her mind and heal her body and to heal spiritually and emotionally it's really been it's really been an eight year plus journey and just kind of a cool culmination with this with this last race that she did so that's something that we like to do together and that's that's a big part of our story too and I think it ties in really well with Gary's story too and you know the the faith journey and walking with Jesus is not it's the harder path it's not easy in the world that we live in to do that but but the rewards are so great and having the power of God and the power of Christ behind you is just such a such a better and easier way in the long run to go through life on this earth and the the journey is the journey is amazing and it's just so cool to see him at work in Gary's life and in my daughter's life and and as well as as you and me Robbie oh yeah and I you know if you get a chance to see the book which again is at KingdomPursuits.com is a picture of your daughter right finishing the race that's the picture on the the cover right yeah yeah there's two two photos one of her in in the ICU over in Spain probably on day two or day three after the accident where my wife Wendy is reading to the Bible reading from the Bible to her and she's you know in a coma and not not hearing those words or at least her parents isn't that she's hearing those words but we knew she that she that she heard them and that she and that she heard what we were saying to her and hearing God's word and what he wanted for her life and what he wanted for her was to was to heal and to meet her husband which she which she did and to come work with me and and to do this this sport of triathlon and they're just all ways that she can point to God through through her life and and show others the power power of Jesus so it's been an amazing story for her and for me and a big part of 25 meters to God is that's how far Maggie flew through the air but I also view it as the distance that I was holding God away I knew him I was a follower of Jesus but I also was running my own life and running my business and kind of doing them my own thing and feeling like hey I'm I've got things going here and he just took me a place to a place in a heartbeat where it's like I had nothing to give I'm in a foreign country I can't speak the language I know nobody and my daughter is just had to rely on God to carry it through that yeah it was the best of times it was the worst of times right how many times or it was the worst of times it was the best of times I always get those confused because they fit so well together we're gonna be right back with more kingdom pursuits so stay tuned you're listening to the truth network and truth network dot com welcome back to kingdom pursuits where we hear how God takes your passion and uses it to build the kingdom so excited today to have with us Ted Weiss he's the author of 25 meters to God and my friend Gary O'Neill is an actor and comedian that we met years ago and he worked here in Winston-Salem and so guys we just have a little short segment this time and I'm wondering Gary was there anything that you wanted to make sure you got said today as we only have a few minutes left to our listeners which by the way you may not even know because Gary took this show on sort of a moment's notice that this show is on the air in Ohio in both Toledo and Dayton it's also on in Richmond Virginia it's on in Charlotte Raleigh and Winston-Salem and really all over North Carolina but what do you think and Gary what did you want to make sure you got set um I think that people more people need to understand that if you rely if you're obedient to God's word and step out on faith and you know in your heart that you will be able to accomplish what you're going after because you have God in your heart it will happen it may not happen the way you want it to but it will definitely happen and it may not even be exactly what you want but I will definitely make it possible for you when you believe in him completely. Yeah it's it's kind of cool that he actually is stretching our there those tests along the way or are stretching your face so that you can actually absolutely rely on him when you don't know that you can which is clearly what happened to you Tad as I could picture I can't even imagine my daughter in that kind of situation in the hospital your faith was being stretched yet yet he came through for you in a big big way didn't he yeah he really did and if I could just you know a couple of things that I'd like to add is that the God of the Bible our God the miracles that he performed 4000 years ago and 2000 years ago Jesus walking the earth that that same God will perform and can perform those miracles in your life and I saw it with my daughter and in my life and then just that everyone has a story to tell and and that may may be in a different way than you expected I never set out to be a writer or an author but God pointed me in that direction and I think that's just a part of all of our faith journey is to listen to where he's calling us and leading us and be obedient to him and and let him let him do the work.
Yeah testimony is a wonderful unbelievable concept if you read the 119 Psalm and notice how many times that the word testimony is is connected to faith and it's connected to obedience and just as you were talking about Gary and Tad as well that as as we walk in obedience and then that all of a sudden he becomes the hero of the story and when he becomes the hero of the story then they obviously you know it's it's his story that's the idea of history right so again Gary going back to you for a second what are you looking forward to that you got coming up before you come to Winston-Salem? I just shot it like I said I just shot a national commercial yesterday that probably won't air until February but right now I'm basically just a mentor kid and that's going very well and it's just basically teaching kids to have confidence and faith in being able to just believe that when you put your mind towards things that it definitely happens. That is so cool and how about you Tad what are you looking forward to the rest of this year? Yeah it's been a very busy year for me both with publishing the book and the racing that my daughter and I did and some fundraising that we did around that so it's been nice to take a little a little break and a little breather but I think more than anything it's just listening to God and see what he would like to do with the book and trying to be obedient in how we promote it and continue to tell his stories so I'm in a little bit of a period here where I'm waiting and praying and but it's just a privilege to be on with you and to tell your listeners about our story and to point them to Jesus and it's an honor to do that. What's the best way for them to get the book from your I know some people want them to go to Amazon they go to your website what would you prefer? Yeah I would strongly encourage them to go to our website which is 25 meters dot com and when they go to that website there will be a link which will take them right to redemption press and they can purchase the book through redemption press at a for much less than then they would at the other online booksellers so through redemption press or through our website at 25 meters dot com and it's available in hard copy and paperback as well as digital version and an audio book. Absolutely well guys I can't tell you how much I appreciate you being on with me Tad and Gary today again go to Kingdom Pursuits to check out 25 meters to God dot com and now it's so awesome that you're listening I'm so glad you're listening today we got so much truth coming your way it's encouraging prayer coming up next with James Banks very encouraging ones that we can fall back on now that you got to do that tomorrow and then as followed by masculine journey starts here now at 12 o'clock in Winston Salem and of course Nikita Koloff is going to have everybody manning up here at 1230 so much truth coming at you on the truth network thanks so much for listening this is the truth network.
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