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Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
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June 6, 2023 9:00 am


Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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June 6, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah interviews a special guest about the history and the legacy of the YMCA.

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Hello, everyone. Today is Tuesday, June the 6th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at You guys can help us keep the conversation going by supporting the show, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes or Spotify, anywhere you might get your podcasting content from.

We're going to leave a link in the description of this podcast so you can do just that. But before we do anything else, it's the verse of the day, Tom. The verse of the day today comes from Luke 19, verse 10. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Yeah. That was his purpose. That was why Jesus came. He came to fix what was broken, to seek and save that which was lost. And not just lost and broken that's in us, but what's broken in the world, all of creation. He came to redeem all of creation back to himself.

And so that's supposed to be our goal as well. I was actually writing a paper last night for school on the connection that Paul makes constantly between what Jesus did and what we're to do. They're inherently connected, even to the point of the resurrection. We tend to think it's like, well, Jesus rose again, so now I have hope.

But you also are going to rise again. Everything he does, Jesus himself said, you're going to do greater things even than me. And so I think that's kind of the thing.

If the Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost, that's not just his mission. That's yours as well. Right.

I love that. I mean, we call ourselves Christians, right? That means little Christ. That's right. Not that we go out and have deity and we are the Messiah, but the things that he did and the things that he was about, we should be about too. People should be able to look at us and learn what Jesus is like.

That's right. We've got an exciting episode planned for you guys today, a guest on our episode, and we're going to get Dr. Shaw in just a second. But if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at

We'll be back after this. Hey, everyone, my name's Elli. And I'm David. We want to take a minute and let you know how we can actually serve you as you're listening to Clear View today. The Bible paints an extraordinary picture of who we are as a church body. The mission of Clear View Church is to lead all people into a life-changing, ever-growing relationship with Jesus Christ. A huge part of leading people is praying for them. A big reason that Christians have unanswered prayers in their life is because they're not praying.

You know, 1 John 5.15 says, and if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him. If you're listening to the Clear View Today Show, we want to know how we can pray for you as well. There's a number of ways that you can get in touch with us at Clear View and share your prayer requests. But the best way is by texting us at 252-582-5028. You can also send us an email at prayer at

Or you can download the Clear View app on iTunes or Google Play. You know, on that app, there's a dedicated prayer wall that helps us to get to know what's going on in your life, how we can pray for you, and how we can take any necessary steps to get you moving in the right direction. Thanks for listening.

Now let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at

Or if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can visit us online at That's right. And if today's your first day ever joining us here at the Clear View Today Show, we want to welcome you, let you know who's talking to you today. Dr. Abbadan Shah is a Ph.D. in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show.

You can find all of his work on his website. That's That's right. And Dr. Shah, we have a very special guest with us today. I'm going to kick things over to you. Do you want to introduce our guests to our listening audience?

Of course. We have Paul Ross with us, who is the director. What is the exact position? I was going to say CEO.

It kind of depends on who you ask. But yes, the CEO. CEO of our local YMCA, local Y in Henderson, North Carolina. And I'm blessed to be part of the Y membership, but also I'm on the local board. And so, you know, there's a big anniversary coming up.

Every year, I guess, it comes up. And I said, why don't we get Paul in here? And in fact, John brought that up. He said, what do you think?

If you bring Paul? I was like, I would love that. So, here you are. Absolutely. Thank you for being on the show with us today. Thank you for having me. It's awesome.

Amen. Well, how did you get started? I mean, how did you come to become the CEO?

How does that happen? Oh, gosh. That's another up and coming. But no, I'm a lawyer. I was working in Raleigh with the Judicial Standards Commission. And so, on the dispatch one day, the position was coming up and Woody Caudill, my predecessor, was retiring after 14 years, I think. And I felt bad because I wasn't really engaged in town.

Commuting took up so much time. And Henderson has its struggles, like a lot of small towns do. And if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Right. That's right. I agree. So, I said, let's see what happens.

Let's apply for this and see what happens. And a lot of great things have happened. I've been a member, I want to say, since 2017, something like that. I believe that.

Yeah. And we have been blessed by the Y. And actually, we're an old Y family.

I've told Paul that years prior to that. We were still on the same board of another agency. And I came back from India and I gave him a bunch of keychains of the Bombay Y. Oh, wow. This is the YMCA in Bombay, which was founded, I would say, in the late 1800s.

Is that old? That's probably correct, yeah. And because the British were in India, so they brought the Y very early on. And growing up, if we were going to Bombay, we didn't stay anywhere else. But there were two places we stayed.

One was a Methodist center, another one was the Y. See, that was what was interesting to me, because you said the first time you ever told that story, you were like, we would stay there. And I'd be like, what do you mean, you would stay there? Like, you stay there? Like, you go work out and then you're like, no, we stay there.

They used to be. They would have staying facilities. And while you're there, you can go work out, you can do a lot of things. Like, while we were there, we've been there so many times, you can look out the window, they have a courtyard in the middle and they have rollerblading going on.

They have kids coming from school and exercises and this and that. I mean, it's kind of funny. That's incredible. And then you guys would stay there. I guess that's why they say it's fun to stay at the YMCA. That's right. That's the reason. That's the reason. That's in the song.

I never understood that. Check out your old Andy Griffith rerun. Whenever Barney was going to Raleigh, he would stay at the YMCA. Wow.

That's incredible. Are there any plans to open up a, like a motel there? Bed and breakfast.

That's not on the table. What if I really need somewhere to stay, though? Like, do we just come find you and like stay at your house?

Yeah, that's fine. Knock, knock, knock. I'll help you out. Hey, I snuck into the Y, but they kicked me out, so.

Can I crash on your couch? You're not the first one. When I was a kid, I actually went through the summer camp program at the YMCA, like for years and years and years. And what stuck with me was every morning they would do this like song time where all the different groups would meet in, I guess they still call it the little gym. The kids' gym.

Yeah, the kids' gym. Yeah. And we would do these song times and they were all Christian songs and they were like Father Abraham and this little light of mine. We would do these songs collectively.

And that's still one of my best memories is learning those Christian songs as a little kid at the YMCA. Yep. Still going on today. Really? Yes.

Nice. Well, and there's a reason that we're, not just because, Paul, because you're a good friend of ours, but because today is the anniversary of the founding of the YMCA. That's right. In 1946, 1844, the very first YMCA was founded in London.

I didn't know that. I thought the Y was a, you know, exclusively an American thing, but then you shared about the Y in Bombay. And so we dug into a deal of research and today is actually the anniversary of the founding of the Y. That's incredible.

Yeah, it was pretty cool. It was all started as a Christian project. Young men were coming to London to work in dry goods stores and they were looking for work and they were coming in and they would live in rooms over top of the places where they worked oftentimes. And so they'd work 12 hours, six days a week, and then that's where they slept and eight was above. And then on Sunday, some would go to church, the majority were going to pubs, other places for other types of ways to pass.

We won't go into detail. And yeah, these guys got together and decided we need to provide a wholesome alternative. And I love it. In one of the YMCA history books, they talk about another expression of the gospel was the starting of the YMCA. That's right.

That's right. It was a phase in the 1800s called muscular Christianity, you know, where they were looking at, you know, how we can be more fit as believers. And so it's not just the heart, but it's also the body. It's also, you know, just exercising and just be kind of a chivalrous masculine Christianity is what it was kind of bringing up. And so this was part of that movement. And several other groups came about through this in a good way. And YMCA was one of them.

And it had such an impact all over the world. I mean, you're talking about close to, if I'm not wrong, 14,000 some Y's all over the world. I may be wrong. Maybe 1400. I don't know. I'm not sure. There are, there are over 880 associations in the United States, but like we're a single association.

We have one site, so we're a standalone, but YMCA, the triangle 26, 28 facilities, camps around. So yeah, it could easily be. Yeah. I was starting to check the numbers, but it was, it's way up there. I was shocked.

That's incredible. That's surprising to a lot of people because I feel like when people think about the Y, most often people think about this place to go and work out, but there's so much more that the Y offers. There's so much more that the Y does. Do you want to talk for just a second, Mr. Ross and Dr. Shaw as well about, you know, the different things that are available through the Y, the different programs, maybe some afterschool stuff or summer programs, what all is available at our Y or even just your typical YMCA?

Sure. Well, at our Y, we're one of the smallest communities in North Carolina and in the U.S. it has what we say a full service YMCA, a gymnasium workout space, group fitness spaces, a pool, you know, all a lot of amenities. Some Y's are like a storefront.

It's really just some fitness, but you can't do a lot of the other stuff. But yeah, we do afterschool programming. We'll have 80, anywhere from 60 to 85 kids come to the Y every afternoon. We run buses all over town.

Some buses drop off. And so we've got them from say 3.30 to 6 when parents are getting off work. So we're really, we're helping the development of the kids, but we're also helping the parents because they've got a safe place for their kids to go. They get homework help.

They get a healthy snack every afternoon. And then we play with them, but they do some STEM activities. They do field trips. They swim. They teach them how to swim while they're there for camp. Summer camps the same way all day long from seven to six.

We've got them. And they do field trips. It's just amazing what Christine Williams, who was our director of all of our youth program and what she does with them.

She's phenomenal. We do diabetes prevention work with in cooperation with the health department. We are their number one site in a seven or nine county area for not just numbers, but success.

Individuals who lose weight get fit, maybe even get off their insulin because they have changed how they eat, exercise, lifestyle. So it's a lot that goes on swim lessons. Of course, we do a drowning prevention program for every second grader in the County, in the public schools.

Wow. They come in, we teach them basically if they fall in the water, how not to drown and how to survive because a lot of the kids, particularly in our community, have never been in a pool, never been swimming. And so it's really just trying to prevent a death and no child should die because they haven't had an opportunity to learn. Right. Particularly in this community where there's not so much water.

That's true. I mean, I learned to swim with the YMCA for the first time. I know that's, like I said, that's one of my earliest memories and you don't realize how many of them when you grow up in a community with a YMCA and you're involved, you don't realize how much of their life skills that they're actually imparting on you.

When you're older, you're glad you have them because if not for that, I probably, I don't know where I would have learned how to swim. You know what I mean? Or just, or just any of the other things that they instill. Like I remember being in summer camp, all those banners that they used to have with their values. Like it was, I was like, it was like caring, honesty, respect, responsibility.

And you look at it every day and you don't realize as a little kid, you don't realize how much it's impacting you until you're older and you look backwards. Yup. Yeah, absolutely. And that's all really intentional from day one.

That's what we're looking at. It's the whole child development. And so much of that is the spirit. Healthy spirit, mind, body. That's right.

The Y, the three legged principles. That's right. That's amazing.

That's amazing. And the Y's, you know, doctor, you mentioned the Y has been a blessing to your family. I know that you and Nicole attend there and even your kids now, your boys are there working out regularly. I mean, I'll go in and most of the time I'm going to see either Nicholas or Thomas there working out, lifting weights. My kids have gone through swim lessons there. My wife and I go work out. It's a blessing to be a part of that.

That's right. I mean, growing up, it was a blessing to us. It was not in our hometown because it was a little too small to have a YMCA, but the Bombay one, I mean, every time we went there was like, we're going to Disney world. We're going to the Y. So it was a big deal. But then in 2017, when we joined, we felt like it was time.

You know, life is so busy and you're here, there, everywhere. Felt like we need to systematically join and start working out. And we began doing that. And then I asked the whole team, I said, if we, as a church, find a way for you guys to work out and have your family at the Y for different activities that go on, would you take it? And they all said, yes.

So I talked to the finance committee. And so this is a gift from our church to our whole staff. And so every morning, David's there, probably the earliest one there. What time do you get there, David? Uh, normally I try to get there at like 5 36 and here recently it's been more like seven or eight, but sometimes that happens. And then I come in and then Ryan comes in later on and then John comes in in the evening, the whole group.

And Nicole goes in the morning, she attends the classes over there and you know, she comes in and says, man, they're killing me. But you don't in a good way, but it's such a great gift. How many people can say that my job or my, my community or my church offers me a way to be able to go and do that and what a privilege it is.

And then it also just on a physical level, it disciplines you and it gives you an incentive to go to invest in your body. Well, one of the incentives for me is that are the group of people that come every, I don't go in the afternoon. That's not my time cause I'm here, work appointments, but in the morning it doesn't matter if I go at six o'clock, I know a group that comes there and I know them.

If I go at seven, there's a different group and I owe them to eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 12 is too late for me, but I have friends and beyond this staff that come and I know exactly who to connect with and we've been connecting and it's fun. Yeah. Yeah. We, I've always said the wise of community. It is a community.

Yes. And we, we put as much emphasis on that and relationship building as anything else. And one of the things that we really are proud of is we are the most voluntarily diverse organization in the county cause nobody has to go to the Y, you know, that's all voluntary. And you know, we are, we pretty much, our membership reflects the demographics of Vance County. Absolutely. And we're proud of that fact.

That's right. I mean, we, I see people around town community now that I didn't know before, but going to the Y, I had a chance to meet them, work out with them. And then I see them at board meetings or I see them in the restaurants and I know as a, Hey, how are you? And because of you doing that, a lot of those people, we had one person come, like come to the church this past Sunday that I was like, Oh man, is that really, that's really him.

And he was here. And it's because of your influence and going to the Y and that, that time and that consistency that you've been building. Right. And just the friendships you build.

And then, you know, sometimes they come and sometimes they go into other churches. Great. It's just wonderful. It's really relatable what you were talking about. The, the different, like every single hour block has like a different culture. It's so weird. Cause I think you and I were talking about that one time at the Y, like, like if you come in from five to six, it's a completely different atmosphere than if it was like six 30 to seven.

It's so crazy. And people are such creatures of habit, you know, once you get going on, which is a good thing because it keeps you on a routine. But you know, you, you kind of know when the people come and, and a lot of times, you know, after day two, well, John hadn't been there yet. What's going on. Yeah. I was out for a couple of weeks.

Well, a couple of months, just busy, busy season in life. I had so many people checking on me. I mean, they're not a church here. I mean, they just, they're just a Y family and you're not going to get, I was going to say, you're not gonna get that at Planet Fitness in any other gym. No LA Fitness is going to do that. They're not going to check up on you.

No Gold's gym is going to call me up and say, you're not coming and picking up your heavy weights. But people at the Y who care about you, it's really awesome. That really reflects the community there. Yeah. Yeah. We try, we really try to foster that atmosphere.

Yeah. Now there's a lot of good things that are coming are in the works. How much you want to talk about that, Paul?

I can share a little. So we're really fortunate that Henderson Vance Healthcare, which is basically the old Mariah Parham Hospital, the corporate entity, you know, they sold out years ago. They still own a little bit of the hospital, but it's primarily Duke and Life Point now. But the proceeds from the sale of that, that interest in the hospital has been funding a lot of projects we're trying on with healthcare the past 10, 12 years. They are working with us to do a major renovation of the facility. Our Y was built, it opened in February of 1990. It was originally projected to cost about $13 million. It got built for under two. Wow.

Holy moly. So you had a lot of people who are really bought in on this for the good it would bring the community, volunteer time, effort, oversight. And, you know, some things had to be done to reduce those costs that didn't necessarily promote the longevity of the physical plant. So a lot of stuff is just unaddressed depreciation.

A lot of nonprofits struggle with that deferred maintenance issue, taking care of your property. But they have graciously agreed to work with us when talks with architects now to design exactly what we're going to do, what we can afford to do. But we have a substantial commitment and there's going to be some serious renovations and additions, not only to the building and probably building a new natatorium, new pool. But we had a gift that allowed us to acquire the DSS building, which we're going to take down and develop the entire campus.

Hopefully redo the track. Pickleball is huge right now. We're probably going to build some pickleball courts, redo some parking, redo the playground and really make it something the community can enjoy and be proud of. That's amazing. That's incredible.

I've seen some of those plans being on the board. I'm just going to tell you, even the least of the least is pretty amazing. I can't wait. I can't wait. Every time I go in, I get excited because you've got the little projected artwork up there. But I like it, man.

I like it. And it makes me excited. And I think putting that out there is good because people can see it and they know something's happening. God's moving. God's working. And you guys are moving and working on the board and with the staff. It's just encouraging.

And I love to be places where life is and where life is happening and new things come. That's right. Absolutely. Dr. Shaw, you mentioned being on the board. Will you talk about that for just a minute? What does that look like? What are you responsible for?

What do those decisions look like? Well, honestly, not a whole lot. When Paul asked me to come on the board, he said, just come, sit, listen, take it in and get acclimated to what's going on.

And I said, thank you, because I really don't know what's going on. But it's filled with a group of people who genuinely care about the community, number one, and the people of faith. So to me, that's a big deal.

I'm on a lot of boards where people come from all kinds of backgrounds and that's fine in those settings. But in this setting of the Y, you have people who have their faith in Christ. And so it's a big difference.

And there's a difference between identity and availability or attendance, I guess you can say. Everybody's welcome to the Y. It doesn't matter who you are, what you believe, everybody's welcome.

But identity is coming from the Christian base and that's what I like about it. So, so far, what I'm learning and understanding about the workings of the Y or the finances and the decisions, the vision coming up, it's pretty incredible. It's beautiful to be part of something so incredible. And our community is growing. A lot of things are happening, coming this way. And I look at it more from a faith perspective that strategically, God is expanding this place to be a place of impact for all the people that are coming this way, in a good way. So it's positive.

That's awesome. I think Abenon undersells his contribution a little bit because he is so well-informed and attentive to details. But our board sets the policy. They're the groundwork. The staff implements what the board establishes. Of course, we help with, they say, Paul, we need to know about this. Will you get that data for us for next time?

But yeah, our goal as staff is to put into place the direction, the strategy that our board puts forward. Well, if I can temporarily set aside the Y for a moment and talk about you and your family, a lot of exciting things, your granddad. Yeah. I've got three grand boys. I have two daughters and now I have three grandsons. Wow.

How has that changed your life? It's the best thing ever. It is absolutely the best thing ever. Being a grandparent, I've always heard people say it. And now that I'm there, it is the absolute- You're having fun.

You and your wife. Oh, it's nothing better. Yeah.

We get to keep the eight month old for 10 days in jail. And so I'm looking forward to that. I also heard about the giving back. You keep them, but you get to give them back. Oh, absolutely.

That's a good part too. Spoil them. Spoil them. Do whatever you want. Send them a right back.

Do all the things that your parents did to your kids. That's right. You see it now.

You see it now. It's like, I see why my mom did that with my kids. I'm going to do it too.

And they say, no, you can't do that. I'm like, when you're gone. Yeah. It's fair game. They're grandpa's house.

I'm taking care of grandsons way out. That's right. They have papa's house. All rules go. You got it. I love that. I've heard that from my parents.

We did all the hard stuff with you guys, and now we get to do the fun stuff with the grandsons. That's the best way to put it. That's spot on. That's too funny.

Man, I love it so much. Just a quick, why should people attend the Y? Why should people invest? Why should people join the Y?

What's a good pitch for them? Basically, we're there to put Christian principles into practice through programs that grow spirit mind and body. That's why we exist.

We are multifaceted people, and we've got programs with your fitness, your swimming, the socialization part, making new friends, people to talk to and engage with. Take care of your kids, and we're at you from cradle to grave. We got you all the way through. So we're there for you for life. I love that.

That's awesome. That's shining encouragement to the listeners. Why should they invest in not just the Y, but fitness? Well, the local one, you get to see me. If that doesn't sell you in it, I don't know what will.

I mean, come on. I think next to, for believers next to your church family, this is a great family to have, to come and connect and have a good time. But again, like I said, identity and audience, everybody's welcome, and you get a sense of community.

When you come out here, you meet people, you interact with them, you have a great time, and you need that physically, but also socially, emotionally. It's a wonderful facility. There are a lot of people in our community who haven't joined the Y, but they are walking the track. I know my wife, she was walking the track back in the early 2000s.

She would be out there walking every day and kept on doing that until we actually joined and came inside. So, welcome. We'd love for more people to come.

That's right. So important for us. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, and you'd like more information about the Y, ways that you can be involved, send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can visit us online at

You can partner with us financially on that same website. Every gift that you give goes not only to building up this radio show, but countless other ministries for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mr. Ross, thank you so much for being on the episode with us today. Oh, my pleasure. Thank you for having me. We love you guys. We'll see you next time on Clear View Today! We'll see you next time on Clear View Today!
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-06 10:26:01 / 2023-06-06 10:38:30 / 12

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