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Shelby Abbott: Meet the New Guy

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
June 19, 2022 10:00 pm

Shelby Abbott: Meet the New Guy

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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June 19, 2022 10:00 pm

Real Life Loading is FamilyLife’s brand-new podcast for young adults. Here’s your chance to meet its host, author and speaker Shelby Abbott.

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Shelby Abbott's devotional -- It's a motivational tool-inspiring believers to share their faith.

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If you deal with stuff in an earlier age are able to be freed up to do more for the glory of God in your later years, college-age students are young business professionals are just getting started. They change the world.

They are the future. Dr. Bill Bright was like if you reach the college campus today you reach the world tomorrow. If you reach young people today will reach the world tomorrow and young people today are experiencing struggles and difficulties in ways that have never been experienced before. Because of the Internet age. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and will and Dave Wilson.

You can find his way we live today.com or on our family life. Family life today.

Okay, so what would you guess was pretty much my pet. With the church growing up being fake people not know about that a lot is just that.

Was it more than anything is you know you sit there and you feel like thereby sort of plastic and or you feel like I can never attain what they have and so you think it's hopeless for me. Then I fell I goes for the worst sooner. I thought things did things nobody else here does and then I found I guess what everybody there is broken and hurting. But again, nobody would talk about it and if I would say the next generation. Our kids even our grandkids. What are they looking for in a community of believers realness so they we get to talk about real life with Shelby Abbott. Shelby is in the studio with this year to recognize his voice. As soon as he says hello, but shall be welcome to family life today hello more word so people go.

I think I've heard that voice somewhere on behalf of Dave and Ann Wilson.

I am here now and why would somebody organize your voice because I recently took over for Bob Lapine as the voice of family life today talking to our listeners at the end of each program and it is been a huge learning curve for me and I sat under the best who was at it for 30 years as we did. It's not easy.

It has not easy. It's really not easy.

I thought I would be able to translate the skills that I have what I've done. Stage stuff in front of students over the last 20 years I thought to be able to translate it pretty easily into communicating behind a microphone, but it's actually been a lot more difficult than anticipated and humbling, but in a good way because I feel like I've grown and learned quite a bit in the last year, so learning under Bob Lapine. Bob's master master coach. She has coached and mentored us for almost 3 years in studio with him and now without Amon and now the same with you and so they were of the three of us are sitting here the children that we are and we replaced you know Dennis and Bob were legends. They have built something that God is it's unbelievable in the two sit here is pretty humbling. Yeah, I'm just grateful to be in the room metaphorically now physically in the room home here with you guys. I'm just super thankful and trying to be intentional, to remind myself that this is a gift of God's grace to be able to do this is not like something I earned my right to be here. It really is just a gift, and so I'm thinking through that intentionally, as I'm speaking and communicating behind the mic and doing new things with him in life.

So Shelby tell us like what's your past. What have you been doing the last two years specifically have been with family life on the content team writing the previous 20 years to that since I graduated from college at Virginia Tech. I was on staff at the campus ministry of crew so I did. I was seven years at James Madison University in Virginia working directly with students discipling evangelism Molokai.

Good stuff. And then since 2006. I've been doing a number of different things with crew still in the campus ministry.

I did some stand-up comedy for four years and then I did some stuff with our publishing arm in the campus ministry marketing and things like that hopped around, worked with the media team of videographers and graphic designers and always kind of writing in the back on the road a few books for the campus ministry is well with you on a book that you've written.

What are the books that you've written with the campus ministry.

I wrote a book called Jack which is a devotional about motivating and inspiring students to share their faith ask, like short little snippets to help them gain a heart for communicating the gospel with others. How did you come up with a title, me, Jack. I thought if you had a proper perspective on what the Scriptures communicate on how you should communicate.

You get totally amped up for it so it's not like Jack like messed up back like super ripped and energetic. That's where that came from and I decided at one point to that a lot of students who I was working with had a lot of great qualities in allotted ways, but they were getting it wrong when it came to relationships with the opposite sex. And so I decided to write a book kind of to what would've been my college self about dating and how to handle dating in this modern world of Internet technology and smart phones and I was called amped more clever. It's cold. I am a tool to their dating life. Yes, so I let Malekula as well.

By the way you go back a list of those interviews, something like today's good are our website, but you're also married I am taught talk about that along kids, Rachel had been married for 15 1/2 years we got married in the early part of the summer of 06, and we have two daughters, a 10-year-old named Quinn and an eight-year-old named Hayden and they are delightful and very difficult at the same time high highs have been with my kids.

Low lows have been with my kids and the most sanctifying work that Jesus is done in my life apart from a couple of physical ailments and if that is been being a father loved it that every parent yes he cannot. Highs in the low everyone's relay. Yes, I'll raise my hand yet to you have a passion for that age group college age 18 to 28 and have launched a podcast with family life: real life loading talk about that.

What is that all about.

I wanted to be a part of the solution when it came to the real issues that young people wrestle with that is a unique.

In in their life there out from under the kind of label of high school, so there out either in college or doing some sort of vocational work there not and in grade school anymore, so they're making decisions that are impacting their future and are doing it, not because their parents want them to do it. Generally they're doing it because they make those decisions to do them on their own and leading from the college-age years, 18 to 22, and then 23 to 28 or so.

Your start to get your feet under you start to figure out who you are, what you're passionate about what you're going to be gifted at the most.

What kind of contribution you can make to the world and that unique period of time will often lay the groundwork for what the rest of your life will look like. Not always, of course, but I've also found that in those moments it is formative in a number of different ways because you can't lean back on the experience that you have because there is not a whole lot of experience. We have all this energy at the same time to be able to pour your life in the something and be passionate about it and I found that college-age students are young business professionals that are just getting started. They change the world. They are the future. Dr. Bill Bright was like if you reach the college campus today you reach the world tomorrow. If you reach young people today you will reach the world tomorrow and young people today are experiencing struggles and difficulties in ways that have never been experienced before. Because of the Internet age and so I really wanted to create a podcast that was Christ focused, theologically sound super real and honest about the struggles that they go through in order to help kind of be a well trusted guidance come alongside of them well trusted friend to say, let me help you walk with Jesus in the humor and hardship of life because it's a combination of both. Yeah.

So let's talk about Shelby Abbott when he was that age and partly will talk about real life loading and here's some more were going with the book. Your listeners are like who is this guy that does the intros and beckons of family life today Shelby Abbott. So when you are a team better not go back to like 70 years old tells little bit about your family if you could think of a word or two to describe your home or your upbringing. What would be well come from a broken home, my folks got divorced when I was three and then my mom remarried when I was six and when my mom remarried the man who I call my daddy's raised me since I was six. He was in the military and so military lifestyle like if you know what you know it and you understand it and so I went from being in one place in California my whole life to all of a sudden moving all of the time, and a relatively at the time I used to be a relatively inflexible person not wanting to take many risks kind of very shy and want to keep to myself. I just always do the right thing. The military lifestyle forces you out of that for good and for bad. And it makes you into the type of person you gotta make friends quickly or you're not going to make friends also being the constant new kid in school, came with its significant challenges, but at the same time.

It also made me into the person I am today and so looking back on it I probably wouldn't choose it again. For myself, but I'm also deeply grateful for it. So I mean just to give you a small example of what that means my freshman year of high school.

We were in Stafford, Virginia.

My dad was assigned to the pentagons we were to the Pentagon that year. My sophomore year we were in Montgomery, Alabama my junior year we were in Great Falls Montana and then my senior year my father got assignment to go to Panama Central America so I decided to stay behind and live with the different family, my senior year while my family moved to a different country. So I had four different experiences for four different high school years. So being the new kid in him being costly uprooted with that is just think you can grow bitter and cynical about the sky things and partly did and in a lot of different ways but I look back on that I'm actually I see the finger of God leading me through those difficult years to shape me into the person I am today and I'm I'm grateful for the pain, so to speak, we can sidestep that link. Your parents got divorced when you are three tell us about your dad a little bit here biological dad.

He had a relationship with him and was active or something because a lot of kids in that 18 to 28-year-olds they've gone through that experience of their parents being separated or divorced him. Or there's just so much going on in their lives, but that difficult for you yet course, I mean it was one of those things were met.

My mom got full custody of me and my sister, but then we had summer visitation rights with my father. And so we would spend the school year with my mom and my dad, my stepdad and then during the summer for about eight weeks or so.

We would go back to California and spend the summer with him and when it came to my father. He was interested in me until he wasn't and I kind of recognized that he talked a big game about a lot of stuff.

He was kind of overpromise and under deliver and my eyes were open to that. Around the age of 10 or so and when that happened. Our relationship fractured when I discovered got lost a little of that childhood innocence of, like, just believe whatever mom and dad tell you. All of a sudden I question that specifically with him and that changed everything. I think even a change for him to because he wasn't used to being questioned by his tone, children and so since that age, he hopped around a few more times. I didn't have to go back for summer visitation. When I reached like adolescence and so I chose not to you and then I saw met my high school graduation he came to my graduation and then I didn't see him again for close to think 17 years and that was the just not interested anymore in May and there was no phone calls no cards Christmas no.

Would you be willing to come down and visit.

I think at one point he had said my doors always open, putting it on me like you can always come down to visit me but not taking an interest in my life I became a Christian in that period of time.

January of my freshman year and so I tried to reconcile with him. I remember specifically through email.

My my senior year emailing him back and forth seeing if you wanted to connect and there's not a lot of reciprocation there either. And so the last time I saw him was at his mom's funeral.

Back in 2017 and that is the first time I'd seen him in almost 2 decades. Okay, that's big stuff going through.

I had this happen this happen. And as we all do what we've gone through anything traumatic.

Growing up, it's just that's my life that's normal. But now as a man now as it like that probably broke you in many ways inside a feeling I'm guessing as a kid. Like that's rejection and abandonment.

Yeah, I don't think I would've ever labeled that when I was younger I asked that yet I see a counselor in my late 30s. Help me to recognize just exactly what you are saying.

So I was struggling with a lot of anger critically manifesting itself in road rage of just screaming and be angry in the car and in yell at people and while was in the car by myself like his yelling at people to know this is not only their debut, the need to see someone I think how I will as early as I got to a point where I was like this is abnormal. I should not be this angry over someone not using their blinker so my love answering drives in the left lane that you r so that the bomb I discovered was with me not to sail with traffic and my wife Rachel was like why you see someone about it. Okay, so I decided to and it took a while to peel back the layers in the course of meeting with my counselor, but he put his finger on something specific and said do you see what happened with your father in this moment and it was right around the age of eight, where I began to discover some of the truths about who might father actually was and I was able to trace that all the way up to the things that I fundamentally wrestled with as an adult of like acceptance, love, try to perform in order to gain people's approval.

Things like that and then after I said that he goes holds your oldest daughter right now she's 678. He goes do you think that's a coincidence and it my world just opened up there and I was like oh I'm seeing my life again through the eyes of my daughter in this moment when she is the age that I was when I experienced this moment of deep wounding.

That made me well maybe understand who I am in a lot of ways and what my motivation is behind stuff, but also made me to go okay now I can understand that, see it, label it and then be able to get on the solution side of it through the power of God's redeeming work in my life to the power of the Spirit does talk about that little bit because in some ways, I have a very similar story when I was watching my five or six-year-old son play on the carpet in front of us, a Sunday afternoon and said can you believe my dad left when I was at agency with wisdom says you know you got issues with your dad and I refined it all and she literally said you're going to have to choose to forgive him one day and I sort a laugh like like I'm a pastor. I've forgiven and so I just didn't think I really needed to take the journey and lo and behold, my wife was right again him but it started me on a I thought would be a week or two journey and it was almost 5 years of this journey toward forgiveness of my death have you gone on a similar journey. Are you still in the journey.

Yeah that's a good question. I'm still in that journey. This is Shelby Abbott and you're listening to Dave and Anne's conversation with me.

Actually will hear about the journey of forgiving my dad just a minute. The first jump in here and say I joined family life scheme because I believe in the mission biblical truth applied to today's family is arguably more important now than ever. So if you feel the same way, would you consider supporting family life today with the donation when you give any amount this week. We want to send you a copy of my book called what's the point asking the right questions about living together in marriage is our way of saying thanks when you give any time this week. You can do that online@familylifetoday.com you can give us a call with your donation at 800-358-6329. Again the number is 800 F as in family L as in life than the word today about my conversation with David and in the ongoing struggle to forgive my dad so after the funeral of his mom's funeral when I saw him. Most recently it was an open bar and he was about four or five drinks in and they came and sat down at my table and said, can we just put all the stuff behind us now. I won't have a relationship with you know like if you want to talk about this for real.

When you're not completely hammered like I'm willing to do that and when I got back from that funeral. I was really angry just really angry remember telling my wife.

I'm just angry because he did this and said this again is never going to be any kind of reconciliation and I remember driving back from something one time listening to a Tim Keller sermon on forgiveness and the Holy Spirit just super super just specifically convicting my heart of the fight that I had not forgiven I father and I was like a different like coming face to face.

Grips with it. So I got home and we had little kids so I told Rachel like hey I need to talk to you about something. After we put the kids to bed tonight and if I don't tell you right now that we need to talk about it later. I'm going to stuff it and not want to talk about it. She was like that theory is up to do with me not know it's about my father and I think I need to forgive them and she was like oh okay, sure enough couple hours later finally get the kids down and she's like all right, we need to talk about it was like I don't want to talk about you that you told me you want to talk. This is a okay I think I need to forgive my father. So this was a few years ago that I said that to him but I'm still in the midst of that journey very close to writing something we've been emailing back and forth me and my father just kind of news and weather type stuff, saying in a couple paragraphs really nothing to one another and sometimes I respond to him and sometimes I won't depending on how I'm doing in those moments, but God is really been working in my life that I thought I truly believe that God in his infinite purity. Holy and wisdom decided to reach out to me and forgive me for my cosmic sin against his purity and holiness. I need to be willing to forgive others who have sinned against me as a reflection of what Jesus is done for me. So when I focus on the person of Christ in my relationship with God then I'm able to see forgiveness in a new light, so I'm not where you're at Dave but I'm in the process and I'm steadily inching closer all the time to getting to that moment it can be a long process again. I thought Ephesians 432 I preach that as a preacher is crisis forgiven you, so you forgive others. I just was not even enough to think okay I know this I teach this list do this, you know, and for five years later I'm struggling along like oh my goodness.

I remember when I was reading a book, forgive and forget. By Louis Smedes, Lewis pieces in this book. When you forgive someone you set a prisoner free only to discover you're the prisoner him and I can tell you, on the other side of the.

The freedom that's on the other side of forgiveness. Again, it isn't like one and done, because you still get triggered in the open court, but when you really do give up your right to punish ice to stand in front of the men at our church and said I became a man at age 35 she knows like what you been man said no I was not free until God did that would Smedes call spiritual surgery.

So here's the question in your own life your walk in the journey talk more about this, but that's a journey that the 18 28 that you are speaking to impassioned about man oh man, our kids there, walking a journey as well. Right yet they are, they may not be of the put their finger on it.

The way that they want to or if they've been to a counselor have been to a counselor and I've seen some pretty emotionally healthy and really mostly intelligent young people will be able to pinpoint exactly what was going on in their lives when they were younger and say this is why am this way. It took me until my late 30s to figure that out, and I'm obviously still in the process, but the reason that I wanted specifically with this podcast of them starting with family life to get in to these things.

Early on, the more you allow God to work in the reality of your life. Earlier on, the more God uses you without all your it's all about me and my issues and you get tripped up over that. But if you deal with stuff in an earlier age you're able to be freed up to do more for the glory of God in your later years and that often comes with someone putting a mirror up to your face and saying, is this the issue that you're wrestling with.

Now if we can deal with those things early on in someone's life there going to be able to be freed up to do the glorious work that Jesus has for them in their later years, and not be tripped up by the issues that have tripped me up. For example, for so long.

So were not just talking about father wounds which you know there are plenty of us but were talking about anxiety were talking about fear, loneliness, addiction, all the new problems that come to the surface as a result of social media and the Internet which are in reality old problems that are just being forced to the surface a lot quicker because of the Internet and social media sonic confront those head on deal with them. Allow people to work through them in a healthy way and be able to point to Jesus and say he deserves the glory for this. And there's grace for the failings that you're in right now. It's going to get nothing but better as you get older I'm Shelby Abbott. You've been listening to my conversation with David and Wilson on family life to if you know anyone who needs to hear today's conversation. Be sure to share it from wherever you get your podcasts and why are there really help us out if you rate and review us tomorrow.

David and Wilson will continue the conversation with the knee I open up about some of my struggles from trying to earn my own salvation to opioid addiction because of chronic pain is about to get real real.

That's tomorrow on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm Shelby Abbott. See back next time for another edition of family life, family life to the production of approved ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most


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