If you're going to wait for someone to find you, it's not going to happen.
You've got to meet people, you've got to engage with people, and you pray in the Spirit that God will direct you to those people that God would say, this is the long hauler. This is the one that will drag his or her haunches around to help connect up with you down the road. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Dave Wilson. And I'm Ann Wilson. And you can find us at familylifetoday.com or on the Family Life app.
This is Family Life Today. All right, I have a lot of guy friends in my life. Yeah, you do. And that's a good thing.
But there's one guy friend, I don't even get to see him that much, talk to him a whole lot, but every time I do, I'm like fired up. You know who I'm talking about. Who is he? He's sitting across the table right now, Carl Clausen. Carl, I mean, I'm so excited you're here. You fire my soul up. He fires everybody. No, it's just me.
It's only me. Dave, I love you too, man. I really do. And you know what? If we had, you've been taking your vitamins, maybe we ought to go plant a church together somewhere sometime.
This might be a prophetic moment. I don't know. Carl is a pastor.
I know. He has started a church. I think I need to become one again, that's what I'm hearing. No. Yeah, you have a church? What's the name of your church in Chicago? 180 Chicago. We're in the South Loop.
Seventeen languages spoken in our young church. Come on. Yeah. Isn't that great? Wow.
That's phenomenal. Yeah, here's what's great about 180 Chicago. We cannot do anything but meet at the foot of the cross.
When you've got seventeen languages spoken, you've got so many different issues that could be tackled, you've got no time for any of them. It's like, all right, everybody to the foot of the cross. We're going to just meet at the foot of the cross. And it's beautiful because we keep Christ so central in this thing and we celebrate Him. It's just we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. So it's a ride and a half right now. We're the little engine that could. We're coming out of COVID and almost like a restart again, because we'd launched right before it.
But man, God is moving in the hearts of people and it's a joy to be a part of. And you're on a morning show every day in Chicago? Yeah. Four hours from five to nine a.m. every weekday morning in Chicago. Carl and crew.
Carl and crew. And we reach out to a good number of folks. We have about 280,000 people a week that listen in Chicago. Wow, that's awesome. Yeah, it's tremendous.
It's like this incredible pool of folks, of which about 30 percent of people that listen at any given time do not have a church home and probably do not know Jesus personally. So it's this unbelievable opportunity to share hope. Yeah. And you're here today to talk about a book you wrote called The Seven Resolutions. We've already covered a couple of them.
You were actually here a little earlier and we covered it a lot. So one of those resolutions I want to get into today, because we've been talking about how God can change your life through the power of His Holy Spirit that lives in us, resurrection power is available to us, can change our life. But one of your resolutions is choose your friends.
You've got to have community to see real life change, right? Yeah, absolutely. I had a buddy tell me this one time and I thought, oh man, that's insightful. He said, friends are like an elevator. They either take you up or they take you down.
And there's nothing in between. And I'm like, that'll preach. I get that.
You know, sometimes the best way to discover what real friends are is, oh, unusual. And I got a crazy story for you. I'm going to take you back to the Iditarod Trail Race.
One of my favorite dogs in my team was named Alaska. If you haven't listened before, Carl did and completed the Iditarod at age 18 years ago. Yeah. 1979, man. Wow.
21 days, eight hours, 12 minutes and 32 seconds. So I had in my team some incredible dogs, but one of them was Alaska, big, white, husky, blue eyes, just beautiful. Not the brightest guy in the team, but strong and faithful. Just one of those kind of guys.
And he was my buddy. We had been mushing up the Yukon River for over a hundred miles and we came into the village. You say that like, yeah, we just mushing up the river for a hundred miles.
Yeah, I had a little cup of coffee in the back today in the back. It wasn't that easy. It was a long haul, but we're tooling up the Yukon into the wind. We finally get to the village of Caltag and man, when I saw the bank going up to that village, I'm like, oh, hallelujah. Because from Caltag, you go a hundred miles over the pass to Unalakleet and now you're close to Nome.
You're only 300 miles away then. So we come into Caltag and there's no checker. It's three in the morning. Checker is a person that checks you in. Yeah. Checks me in. So there was no checker at that checkpoint. And I'm like, what's going on? There's no one here.
I mean, no one. Lights are out in all the village cabins. And I go walking up to what I thought could be the checkpoint and I knock on the door. No one answers. I open it up and walk in. The minute I step inside, I hear the worst dogfight I had heard in a long time outside. So I sprint back out to my team and there is blood all over the ground.
Got my headlamp on. It's dancing around in the snow looking at what's the damage here. And what had happened was some loose village dogs didn't like the fact that my team had encroached on their turf and they came out and attacked my team. Well, Alaska, my big boy in wheel decided to defend the whole team and he did.
And he got the worst end of it. Blood everywhere. His hind quarters are chewed up, his stomach's chewed up and I pick them up and then we haul them back inside.
By now the veterinarian is awake and we've got some checkers that are awake. We lay them on a table and this big old brute of a buddy of mine, he's just looking up in my eyes and he's looking at me like, dad, I did it. I took them on. I protected the team.
He felt like that was his role. You get close to these dogs when you train with them for a couple of years like this. And so I thought, I can't go without them.
I got to have them to go from Caltech, I got to go up over a pass and I need my big old beefcake Alaska there in wheel. I got to have them there. And so I waited seven hours and after seven hours, he got more stiff. It's kind of like our injuries. The longer you kind of sit there, the worse they can get. And he got so stiff that I'm like, I can't take them. So I told the checkpoint, I said, I've got to drop this dog from team number seven. I had to officially sign off. I'm leaving him behind.
And he's out of the team. Well, he didn't know it until I harnessed up the team seven hours later. And now he's on a stakeout chain outside in a protected area.
And I pull out the snow hook, which is the emergency brake for a dog team. And we mush out of Caltech and go around this corner. And here's Alaska, a hundred yards away, howling at me.
I had to cover my face with my parka hood because I couldn't bear to see this guy. And he's just like, where are you guys going? So we headed out. We made it in about 25 hours to Unalakleet.
I had to snowshoe a good stretch of that trail because it had wind blown over and it was just a mess. I wanted Alaska with me so badly, but I land in Unalakleet with my dog team and I'm hungry. And they said, you're hungry? I said, I'm hungry. They said, we get some chili for you over at this home. So they point over there.
I'd mush my team over to that home. I park it. I go inside, get off all my gear.
I sit down to eat and big knock at the door and I'm like, Oh, sure enough. Checker says, you got a problem with your dog team out here. One of your dogs is loose. I'm like, I'll add another one loose.
You gotta be kidding me. I go outside, walk around the corner and guess who's there? Alaska from a hundred miles ago. And what happens here is when you drop a dog in like a Caltech, they'll fly it to a bigger city like Unalakleet where I was now. And so I knew that they had flown them in overnight. So we go down to ham radio operator and they're confirming this and ham radio operator says, Hey, Carl, come on over here. We got a problem. I said, what's going on?
I just radioed Caltech. They haven't had any planes fly in or out of there. There's been bad weather there for the last day. I said, well, what do you mean no planes have flown in or out? No planes have flown in or out. I got Alaska in my hands.
He's standing right underneath me. They said, but one thing did happen. They had a dog from team number seven chewed himself free and they haven't been able to find them.
My Alaska followed me a hundred miles to Unalakleet to be with me. Here I am crying about a dog. I mean, seriously, and he was injured that hard. He walked it off.
How did he do it? He walked it off. You know, you're an athlete. You understand this and you're an athlete too. You get this when you're sometimes it's best to walk these things off. And so he probably, you know, I've never shared this part of the story. You get it right now. He probably drug his hindquarters for a few miles until they could get, yeah, he probably drug his hindquarters.
But by the time he got to me, the limp was almost gone and that big old boy was staring me in the eyes. Now you got me crying. You know what? We need to choose friends like Alaska and they're out there. I think, Carl, I think so many of us have been hurt that we've pulled away. We don't think they are out there. I've talked to so many wives that say my husband doesn't have one friend except me. So like, how do you get beyond that?
We have to take initiative. You know, I have people on our radio show calling all the time. They're just hungry for friends. And if you're going to wait for someone to find you, it's not going to happen. In order to find the kind of friend that Alaska was to me, and they are out there.
I have them now in human form. They're a hundred mile friends. They'll follow me that far in order to find them. You're going to have to find yourself not going to church, but being the church. You can sit down and warm a chair, but you've got to meet people.
You've got to engage with people and you pray in the spirit that God will direct you to those people that God would say, this is your Alaska buddy. This is the long hauler. This is the one that will drag his or her haunches around to help connect up with you down the road. And I believe God has them.
Initiation is a big one though. That almost overlaps with what we talked about formerly here, taking risks. Sometimes you've got to take risks to find those friends. But if you're looking for someone that we predictably look for in a friend, which is someone who kind of rubber stamps everything we do, we're looking for the wrong person. This is one of the coolest verses in the Bible on friendship. It feels so twisted. It feels like it's a mistake in translation almost. Here it is, Proverbs 27.6, faithful are the wounds of a friend, profuse are the kisses of an enemy. And you're going, hold it a second here. I thought friends kiss you and hug you and tell you how awesome you are.
No, no, no. I mean, what's laid out here is something profound. And I love to write about it this way, and this is what I did in the book. I did a comparison of suck-ups versus surgeons, because that's what the proverb is saying. It's saying real friends are like surgeons, they'll cut you, but they don't cut you to hurt you. They cut you to help you. Whereas suck-ups, they cut you to hurt you. They want to take you down. And so some of you find people that you're around that tell you what you want to hear. We don't need that. We need the long-haul friends that tell us what we need to hear. That's where lives are changed. So when you're looking for friends, don't look for your garden variety suck-up out there.
Look for one of those surgeons who's willing to cut you and say, you know, I want to challenge you on this. I want to encourage you in this. I want to ask you to be bolder here. That's what we need, men and women alike. My best friend, Michelle, we were just getting to know each other. And I need that. I need somebody that will speak the truth to me.
That's important to me because they just need it in my life, somebody to be truly honest. So we'd been friends for a little bit. We didn't know each other super well. But she said to me, you know, you never initiate in our relationship. And I said, well, yeah, yeah, I do.
What do you mean? She goes, no, you really don't. What a good friend. I'm the one that is always calling. I'm the one that's always initiating and it hurts my feelings, feels like you don't care about me. And I said, well, maybe we should define our relationship.
Like, what do you need from me? And we both had little kids. We were busy. And she said, I need you to call me every day. And I'm like, I'm not going to call you every day. I don't have time to call you every day.
What did you guys do? And so she said, like, well, let's just compromise. I said, well, what would I say if I call you every day? And I had, I was close with my mom, close with a sister. And she said, I am dying here raising my three little girls and I just need you to say, are you doing okay?
How can I pray for you today? That's great. And I said, that totally makes sense.
I need that too. And so I said, I'm not going to do it every day, but I will initiate at least several times a week. And then we had like, it's kind of like Dave and I, we had to work on the relationship.
Dave and I have a date night, Michelle and I would go out at least once every three weeks and we would just spend the evening getting to know each other. But I love that she said, like, you really hurt my feelings because a lot of people would have just pulled away. And then I would thought, it's must be me. It must be me. I did something wrong. I'm doing something.
I always hurt people. And I don't know why, but I love that she had the guts to say that and we've always been honest. And I think, you know, Carl, you know, this, it's a real challenge for men.
Big time. I mean, I'm not saying it isn't for women, but there's something in us that's like, I don't really need, you know, Alaska, I don't need, you know, and I'll tell you what, just a few weeks ago, a really good friend of mine died suddenly, uh, 69 years old. He was the best shape I'd ever seen a 69 year. We used to joke and say, dude, stop taking steroids, man.
You must be taking something. He wasn't. Nobody can look. He wasn't. But he was bowed up.
He was just in really tip top shape and still to this day, nobody knows exactly what happened. Oh my goodness. But here's why I'm telling you that story. When we started our church in 1990, two years later, I decided what you said, what the Bible says. I need, I need men in my life and it was selfish, but I'm like, I need community and I'm going to start. I called it T two second Timothy two, two says, and trust what I've trusted you to faithful men who, who will pass it on to others. So I said, I'm starting a T two group, second Timothy two, two, we're just going to call it T two. I picked, literally pick 14 guys. This is crazy.
I challenged them one on one. I want you to join me. I don't know how long this is going to go.
I think it's going to go our whole life. We'll see what happens. We're going to meet, not every week, we're going to meet once a month for the whole night. We'll have dinner at one of our houses and we're going to get into each other's lives once a month. It's going to take seven, eight hours, but we're going to do it. The first meeting, 14 guys show up. The second meeting, eight guys show up. The third meeting, it ended up being six.
Those six. Oh my goodness. We've done life for 30 plus years.
That is awesome. Dan was one of them that just died and we've met continually. Michelle is one of those guys' wife that Ann was talking about. And the wives have met in that same amount of time. And Ann said to me when I was getting ready to do the funeral, which was so right on, she said, you should bring those guys up to the front of the chapel. That's power. They all need to see the visual of a community of men. And so they all came up and only two of them said something. But I had more young men at the reception later come up to me and go, dude, that visual, I need that. That's what I need. It's what you're saying. Choose friends.
You got to choose them and you got to be intentional and you got to be vulnerable. The most graphic thing and coolest thing that I've ever seen along these lines was a native Alaskan friend of mine. And we're sitting in this circle and it was a time facilitated by a man named Dan Allender. He used to be on the speaker team. Many listeners probably know Dan. Yes. And Dan is one of the greatest wise men about how to cultivate the heart, how to nurture it, how to let God minister to it.
So he's up there facilitating these times. My buddy to my right is a native Alaskan man, probably 10 years older than me. And he began to open up his heart and he talked about sexual abuse in the village of him. The sexual abuse rates in the villages in Alaska are the staggering numbers are somewhere close to 85% of people never come out unscathed from a village. And he looked at me and he's sharing his heart about the sexual abuse he went through.
Now you need to know something. This is a spiritual stud muffin. This dude's Mr. Alaska, right? He's a dude and he's weeping. At the end of his story, he did something really powerful. He looked at me and he said, my friend Carl, I want you to open your heart to me. And he put a red heart on my kneecap. And that was the signal in the group when a friend wanted to hear from another friend, his heart.
First I started crying like a baby, and then I began to initiate back to him and that group with some heartfelt things from my own story. And you know what? It's risky. It's hard.
It's not normal. You don't learn that stuff in locker rooms, man. You don't learn that in locker rooms, but you learn it at the foot of the cross. And I once had a man tell me, talk about a dear friend. He said, do you trust me? We were in a real contentious situation and he was a mediator and I said, no, I don't trust you. I don't know you.
Of course I don't trust you. And he chuckled. He goes, that's a good answer. He said, I'll make you a deal, Carl. He said, I'm going to go to the foot of the cross and I'll be on my knees there with my life through this process. And if you come to the foot of the cross and you fall on your knees, you throw your arm around me and we'll be there together. And we were. It ain't easy.
It's not often talked about, but choosing friends is the richest of rich ways to walk this walk of faith. Yeah. And like you said, it is scary. I mean, there's a fear inside of you to get vulnerable big time. You know, it's so much easier to cover it up. And men especially are just so afraid they never ever, they go to their grave.
Nobody's ever heard their vulnerability. And yet when you step into that fear, sometimes even trembling and you, you reveal a weakness or a sin or I need, I need a brother to help me right now. It's the most freeing moment in your life, but a lot of guys never get there. They're too afraid to do it.
Liberty man. I mean, you got to do it. One of the things we did in my group, which is crazy to think about now, we had a year where we decided, cause again, we're meeting every month, let's get, give each guy a gift and a gift meant tell him his blind spots. Oh boy. We called it a gift, but it was a blind spot and it's a blind spot cause we can't see it, but everybody else does. So, you know, one guy would leave the room and we'd all talk about him for a minute and say, man, Carl's amazing. He's incredible.
Let's talk about his gifts, but he's got two blind spots. Okay, Carl, come back in. Oh dude. I remember when I went out of the room, you know, and I thought it'd be like, we did it as a wife. Oh, it's unnerving. I thought, you know, there'll be, I'll be back in the room in 10 minutes.
It was like 45 minutes later. I'm like, oh boy, they're in there like talking. And I sat down and it was great cause they said, we love you. Here's what we love about you and affirm me.
And the whole time I go, okay, here it comes. And then they spoke truth and it was all true and it was hard to hear, but I needed to hear it. Did you know they loved you? Oh, you can't do it without that trust. And that builds over time for us over years and there was, there was trust and there was vulnerability. I mean, there were nights where we were in a kitchen of a buddy whose son was addicted to drugs. There were nights, one of our guys and an affair happened.
I mean, all those moments we walked together. That's why you choose friends. You've got to.
Yeah. And let me, this is on my heart. Choose friends. Too few people are choosing their friends. We're just taking whoever drifts into our life. There's been a social scientists study done recently that says if you take your five closest friends in your life, you are the median of them. In character, in quality, in style, in relatability, you're right down the middle.
And here's a reality. Look at the five closest friends that you have and just ask yourself a question. Might I benefit from choosing some friends that have a whole lot more of streams of living water flowing through them? This doesn't mean you go scorched earth and start eliminating friends going, yeah, you know, this guy, Carl, he told me to get rid of you. No, that's not what I said. It's about the bigger yes, but take control of the friends that you have. God's given you not just the authority, but the responsibility to do that. And I'll add one last thing. The thing we never thought about is if you do that as a husband, if you do that as a dad, as a mom, as a wife, trust me on this, your kids are going to copy it.
Oh yeah. They're going to see it modeled and they're just going to think that's how I should do life. Our three sons have men in their life and I think it's largely, we didn't preach it all the time. We did say it, but they saw it and they're like, yeah, guys are showing up at our house that are dad's friends and they poured into my son's life too. But it changes a legacy.
And I tell you what, if there's anything we're about here at Family Life, it is that word legacy. It's why I love Carl. You know, Anne, you know what I really love about Carl? That he's your twin. He has more energy than anyone else in the world besides you. He does. You talk about high caffeine. He's beyond me.
And that's true, but that's not really what I was thinking about. Carl, let me tell you, dude, you make me want to stretch myself as a man, as a dad, as a husband, even as being a grandpa, I want to be the best I can be. And here's what I really love about you, Carl. You're raw, you're honest, and you're real.
There's no posturing. You are just flat out transparent about your shortcomings and it makes you believable. That's so true. And I think that's exactly what we attempt to exude every single day at Family Life. And I can speak for all of us, even the folks on the other side of the glass, as they often say in the radio world, we're just a bunch of imperfect people who are working together to redeem our brokenness.
And God will redeem anyone who is just willing to say yes to Him. Yeah, and every day we get to serve up conversations that are intended to help you reach higher, to that higher place that God intends for you. It's a place of joy rather than sorrow. It's a place of second chances rather than defeat.
It's a place of hope rather than disappointment. And I tell you what, now's the time to respond. We've come to the end of the year. God has blessed Family Life with an astounding $2 million matching challenge. So let me tell you, together let's put fuel in the tank. We have the opportunity to catapult the impact of Family Life in 2023 through this generous matching challenge.
I'm telling you, just like Carl challenges you, I'm going to challenge you. Jump in. Let's do this.
Jump in. This is the year to say let's make a difference in people's lives in 2023. You're listening to Dave and Anne Wilson with Carl Clausen on Family Life Today. Carl's book is called The Seven Resolutions, where self-help ends and God's power begins.
We've got copies of Carl's book available at familylifetoday.com. And right now, any gift that you give will be matched dollar for dollar until we hit $2 million. That's for a one-time gift or if you become a monthly partner. Right now, your monthly gifts will be doubled for the next 12 months.
You can give today at familylifetoday.com or again, you can give us a call at 800-358-6329. That's 800 F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. Do you ever feel like you've been dragged around in life without direction or guidance?
Sometimes I genuinely feel like that. Well, tomorrow on Family Life Today, Dave and Anne Wilson are back again with Carl Clausen to help you focus on finding your why, focusing your efforts and redeeming your time. That's coming up tomorrow. We hope you'll join us. On behalf of Dave and Anne Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
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