Risk-taking is the Christian life.
It's putting us out there where we can't do it, whether it's giving of your gifts, your finances, your time, your life. Take risk. Take risk. Put it out there. You got to get out of the boat, man. You got to take some steps.
And when you do, you find yourself in total reliance on God. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson.
And I'm Dave Wilson and you can find us at familylifetoday.com or on our Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. So we've never had in the studio a participant in the Iditarod. It's never happened.
It'll never happen again either. I didn't really even know what it was until our kids started watching a movie when they were little about the Iditarod. And I thought, this isn't possible. How could anyone really do this? Yeah, but the truth is, we got a guy that did an 1,100-mile, 21-day, how many dogs did he have?
Well, I started with 13, and I finished in Nome with seven. And a lot of people wondered, do the dogs die? Yeah.
Immediately. So let me disclaim. None of my dogs died. But I dropped them at different checkpoints. Maybe they're dehydrated, or they've got a pulled muscle, or they've got a lacerated pad or something like that. Little cut on their pad. And we take good care of these dogs. They're incredible athletes. So you finished with seven.
I finished with seven dogs. And they could do that. They could finish. Oh, yeah.
They're strong. I had two girls up in lead. They were sisters. That's right, you did. Yeah, they were amazing. Okay, Ann, you want more where that came from, I'll give it to you, sister. I had a dog named King.
Sounds pretty stereotypical. He was a big strapping guy, but he was super fast, too. He was a super athlete and very smart. But when I got out on the west coast of Alaska into the headwinds of the Bering Sea winds, he couldn't handle it.
So I had to pull him back into the team. And I was looking through my team, and I grabbed these two sisters. And they both were born together in a remote village. They trained together, they raced together, and they died together. And they ran in tandem lead side by side. And they had the same name. White Eyes.
They were both white eyes. And so I put those girls up in lead was facing a stiff wind coming out of shack to look headed for the village of quick we were mushing right across. Dude, I feel like I'm in a movie. We were mushing right across the coast.
Yeah, we need some sound effects. And actually, I'd ignored the counsel of a village elder in shack to look. And I got out on that ice. And the wind began to pick up. And when I say on the ice, we were on the ocean from shack to look to quick, you're running right across the ocean. You're a long ways away from land.
So there's some pressure cracks with the tides and different things. But we were making pretty good time. And blue and blue and blue.
And those girls were doing great. And then it got to a full white out condition. And I couldn't see beyond my hand stretched out. And I was peddling with my muck luck.
So it's like pushing on the snow. And I'd put my feet up on the runners just give myself a break. I put my foot back down and we're stopped. And I'm like, Oh, no. So I crawl up to my dogs. If you're ever out in the situation, David and here. So here's some coaches.
Actually, it might happen in the next week or so. We might need this advice. Yeah. So if you're ever in a situation like this, you never want to let loose of the sled or the gang lines or the dogs. So I crawled on my hands knees because the wind was gusting. I didn't know at times gusting in 92 miles an hour. And two snow machines had come out looking for me and it ripped the cowling off one snow machine. So they decided to turn back.
And this is prior to GPS or anything. So I'm out on that sea ice alone. And I got pinned down for about five hours. And that's where I did a foxhole prayer. And I said, God, get me out of this one, man. But God showed mercy.
He let that windstorm let up. But before it let up, I got my dogs into a little ball. And by this time, I had eight dogs in my team. And I had these two girls up in lead. And then I got them into a little ball. And I just huddled around them. And I said, Guys, we're gonna get out of here.
And it's like those white eyes girls looked at me like we're gonna make it, Dad, we're gonna we're gonna make it. But I crawled back to my sled, I put up a snowshoe in the sea ice. And I put some Gore Tex up for a windbreak. But I felt all that wind cutting through all my gear. And I thought there's a better chance and not I'm gonna die out here. So I called out to God. And five hours later, I had a break in the storm, I could see just above the ice crystals that were at about a five foot levels where they stopped.
And I could see the lights of quake just barely off in the distance. I got those dogs strung out, I got those two girls back up in lead. And I said, Girls, we got to go. And I think they knew we had our Tookie in a squisher here, folks.
So they like, I gave him the command hike, and we headed out and ultimately made it in. I had breathed in ice particles for that whole time. So my wool face mask was frozen to my face.
And when I got into the village of Koyuk, there was no doctor, but there was a veterinarian and that was good enough. He put me over a stove. And we heated it up and it began to melt. And then he cut the wool face mask up the back and peeled it off. It just took one full layer of skin off my face. So I needed to put some Vaseline on, sleep about seven hours, and then we headed out the next morning from Koyuk. Who are you? He's like a movie character.
This is amazing. I had my Tookie in a squishy, whatever you say. Oh, I had my Tookie in a squisher.
You're in trouble when you get your Tookie in a squisher. I guess you are. Well, I mean, when I hear that story, I'm thinking, okay, it is a metaphor of life. So much so.
I mean, the whole race probably is. Especially with the two female dogs in the front. There's something about the strength of women and even together. Yeah, that'll preach.
That's okay. I'm just going to say it for the women today. Well, I mean, we're talking, you know, today and yesterday about the seven resolutions that you wrote, a book, and your subtitle where self-help ends and God's power begins. Walk us through that. That sounds like a lot of self-help. And let me say too, Dave, if you missed yesterday, go back and listen because you're going to hear more of what Carl just talked about.
Like, you're going to want to hear that. Yeah, self-help, you know, we can do a lot in our strength. I love to tell people in our church and even on radio in Chicago where I host a radio show. I love to tell people, you know, a good prayer to pray is just a little bigger than me, God, just a little bigger than me. I got that prayer was on that ice from Shaktoolik to Kooyak because it was there when I started to pray.
It was beyond me. I could not get off that ice. And I did a foxhole prayer that I didn't mean, but God was extending mercy and he got me off that ice. But ever since then, I've been telling people this, whether it's giving of your gifts, your finances, your time, your life, take risk, take risk, put it out there. You got to get out of the book.
Man, you got to take some steps. And when you do, you find yourself in total reliance on God. And so believe it or not, I don't ask people to find an easier path. I actually believe that the blessing of God is found in the toughest times when we're in over our heads and we know it. Now, here's the reality. We're in over our heads all the time. But sometimes God has to prove it to us. We're getting out on that edge. When I was reading your book, Carl, I put it down for a second after I read what you just said. And I thought, when was the last time I did something so risky that I couldn't do it apart from God? Yeah.
And it's been a while. I think that we get comfortable. I think that we get older too, and we don't want to take the risk. Risk taking is the Christian life.
It's putting us out there where we can't do it. It's a beautiful thing because every time I get myself in over my head, we planted a church in South Loop in Chicago. And because of what had happened before in mine and my bride's life, I call her my bride.
I've been married 34 years. Because of what's happened in our life in the past, I thought, we're going to build it and they're going to come. We built it. I feel like I'm preaching better than I ever had, understanding the grace of God. But I realized something.
South Loop in Chicago is tough ground to hoe, man. God, by His grace, allowed me to see something, the very thing I'm writing about. And that is that this isn't about your fancy footwork, your ability to preach.
God wants to keep us reliant on Him all the time. And I'll tell you what God did in me. He showed me that it's easier to gather a crowd than it is to make disciples.
And so that's my most recent, whoa, I'm out on the edge. Now we're planting this church, but we're getting some sweet people, 17 different languages spoken in our little church. But I will say this, they are hungry for God and we're making disciples.
And it's an awesome thing. What if I had learned the lesson? Had people been showing up? Now, I think we'd have been managing crowds more than discipling people. And so I praise God for even difficult moments doing ministry.
It's awesome. You know, when you say that it's easier, you know, to bring a crowd than make disciples. Talk about that in your family.
What's that look like? Because as dads, as moms, we're called to make disciples in our own home. I've found as a pastor, it's easier to do it out there than it is in here. Big time.
And so what's that look like? You know, I'm so glad you asked that because I think the key for us sitting here today, and I thought about this, I'm coming on family life today. All right.
What's the kicker here? We want to pass off to our kids the right things. But in an Americanized Christianity, and I'll keep saying this, we have a propensity to bootstrap, self-help, pull it up, we go do it.
You know, we ought to, we should, let's get to church, let's get plugged in. All those words easily come off of our lips. But that's mainly focused on behavior. Behavior modification will never change anyone.
Never changes anyone. I was studying, again, a book that I had read many years ago called Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard. And he builds a case, and I can't believe I set it down. I ran downstairs, talking to my bride.
I was up studying and I ran downstairs and I said, babe, babe, look at this. Here's what he says. He says, we're going to be stuck in behavior modification until we come to the point where we're broken. And then we have this huge vision of God.
He says, here's the problem, and it's true. Our behaviors follow our belief. And so for any parent, grandparent, anyone that wants to leave a legacy in the home, Dave, your question, the key is you be boiling with conviction about what you believe about God first and foremost.
Because it's easy to pass off behavior modification to kids without even knowing it. And the secret sauce of the abundant life that bears fruit, and it's to God's glory that we bear much fruit, so he's all for that, is a life that says, oh God, I'm going to believe you and I'm going to trust in you. And then our behavior begins to get aligned with God.
You know, I look at this story in John 15. Jesus said, I'm the vine, you're the branch, you abide in me, you'll bear fruit. We've got a choice. We can either focus on fruit production, which is really just performance or behavior. I've got to have love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and that last one, self-control, got to have that. Or we can focus on proximity to Jesus, but we can't do both.
And we've got a choice. And the legacy to leave our kids and grandchildren is that they see mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles, living in proximity to Jesus, stumbling, bumbling along. But don't even give them a hint of, you need to be loving, you need to be patient. No, no, no, no, man, that's the fruit. That's the fruit of an abiding relationship with Jesus.
And you know what happens? If we aren't producing the real stuff, we'll wind up as parents and grandparents. And we can all fall into this, by the way. And it's easy to do, but as much as we can fall into it, God can pull us out. But when we know we've got to be producing fruit, or at least that's what we should have, shouldn't we? I mean, we're Christians, don't you know? And we don't have it, we're pasting on fake fruit.
Fake grapes, fake bananas, fake apples, and here's the problem. The closer people get to you, the more they know it's fake. The ones that really know are your kids. If you're faking it, they know it in a second. Yeah, so often as a pastor, like you said, you've had the same thing, people come up after a sermon, you're hoping they're going to go, man, that was the best sermon I've ever heard in my entire life.
But that's not often what I hear. But often I did hear from a dad usually, you know, how do I get my kids to follow Jesus? You know, I've got a 10-year-old or I've got a 17-year-old. Or a 20-year-old. How do I get them to follow Jesus?
And they're wondering and they're expecting, you know, get them in a good Christian school, make sure they're in the youth program here. We've got all this stuff going on. And I've never said that. I've never said that one time. I said, are you on fire?
That's it, Dave. And they look at me like, what? I'm like, are you on fire for Jesus?
And I can't even talk about your wife because that's up to her. But are they seeing in your home a man who's, what you said just earlier, taken risk where if God doesn't show up, we're toast. You're scared to death because you're stepping out on water and you're saying, God, you've got to make this solid and that brings fire in your soul.
Because, man, I'm sharing Christ with my neighbor or I'm giving more money and I should be giving. Whatever the risk is, are they seeing an on-fire dad? Because, like, they're going to catch it. They're not going to be taught it. It's either going to be passed on because they catch it. And they just look at me like, yeah, I gave them the wrong answer.
Like, you didn't tell me what to do. I'm like, yeah, just fall on your face and ask God to stoke something in you that's real. That'll be passed on, hopefully, to your kids.
It's actually the only way. And somebody's listening right now going, well, how do I get that again? I'm going to tell you.
You're listening to Dave and Anne Wilson with Carl Clausen on Family Life Today. We'll hear his answer in just a minute. But first, here's a special message from Carl himself. Hey, Carl Clausen here. And I want to lay down a challenge and it's a good one for you.
A lot of us think of different things that we're investing in in this world. The weekend to remember, whoa, don't turn away. I know you've heard it a bunch, but you want to see something rock your world. You want to take hold of God's power. You want to get challenged in a way and get hope in a way like you haven't lately.
Week in to remember. It'll do something to fire those boilers of love in your marriage that maybe has been gone for a long time. I'm telling you, it'll put fuel in your soul and you will find your marriage radically transformed. I want to encourage you to check it out right now. This is a vital time.
It's like half off on this thing right now. So check it out. Family Life Weekend to Remember.
There's got to be one near you. And even if it's a bit of a drive, it's worth it. Take the trip. It's worth it. Take the trip. He's right. It's totally worth it.
Register for your weekend to remember right now and get 50% off at familylifetoday.com. All right, now back to Dave and Anne with Carl Clausen and how to pass on real faith to your kids. Go to Matthew 13, and there's two stories that prove one point Jesus told. He said the kingdom of God, so kingdom life, living in the kingdom, which is power. He said the kingdom of God is like a guy who walked into a field and he found a treasure.
I got chills right now. There's nothing like the word of God. See, he finds a treasure, and that treasure was so bodacious. He buries it, covers it up, goes home, liquidates all earthly assets to buy that field. Then Jesus said, and there's a guy who was a pearl hunter.
He was looking for the best pearls on the planet, and he found this pearl, and this thing was gleaming, and he went and liquidated everything he had to go get that pearl. I don't care what you got to do. Go climb on top of a little hill somewhere, but you need to let Jesus rekindle that love that you once had because that is the stuff that's going to stick to kids.
That's the stuff. I couldn't agree more, and I think for people listening, they're like, I want to do that, but I'm not. You're saying the first place we go is we bow. We say, God, I have nothing. I think, too, we can't fake it. It is every day, it's that prayer of God, I surrender all, all that I am, I give it to you. Our kids see it. They're watching, and they know it, and they pick up on it. I wanted to say, too, Carl, you mentioned before we were on air that you're discipling a son that's older because he came to you.
Yeah, and it's awesome. I mean, my son, he's in the tech industry, and he's a great kid. You know, he's 6'8", strapping kid. Handsome, has everything.
Yeah, he's got a lot. It's a blessing to be able to have my adult son to be coaching him up in the Word of God and sharing with him and even looking back and telling him, you know, son, I missed an opportunity to really pour into you. I let it become professionalized.
I almost outsourced some of my discipling of my son to a youth ministry. Do you regret that looking back? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Sure, man. I got more regrets. Look at that stack of regrets behind me back here. But we can learn from those. And by the way, it's one thing to have regrets. It's a dangerous thing to never share them with someone because that's when they have power for something positive. So you told your son.
Oh, yeah? Say, hey, I missed an opportunity, man. In fact, I told him straight up I didn't disciple you. I didn't disciple you, son.
And it got that quiet right there. I was going to say. But it's never too late. You're seizing the moment now. Yeah, we're seizing the moment and we're watching fruit born out of it. What about your marriage? How do you keep that fire? We have these talks where we look face to face and we do this is not checking your man card, by the way, men. But I look into my wife's eyes and I'll take her hand and I'll ask her, what's going on? How are you doing?
What are you feeling? And we go to feeling because feelings oftentimes we talk in terms of what we're thinking or what's going on or what's going on. But you got to get down to feeling.
You know, the first time I ever saw one of these goofy feeling wheels, you ever seen a feeling wheel? Oh, yeah. Oh, my word. Oh, my word. I thought, oh, my manhood is gone.
I'll never be able to grow up here. The feeling wheel was tongue in cheek here. I was invited to come to a group. Oh, goodness sakes, 14 years ago. And guys said, yeah, come on up. Group of men are meeting in this upper room. And they said, be there at six o'clock. I walk in and I walk in and there's this five foot diameter thing in the middle of this circle.
And I'm like, what in the cat hair is this? And I'm like, what's going on? And I sit down and here we go. Somebody prayed and then here we go. And we got these granite rocks in our hand that were given to us.
And we're supposed to lay this rock down. I'm catching on quick. I'm catching on quick on the feeling that we have. And I'm like, did I miss? Who stole the ladies from this room? And what are the dudes doing here? And they start going around the corner talking about their feelings. And it gets to me.
I'm going to do this at home. And I'm like, oh, I got to put a feeling down here. And I forget the feeling that I haven't put the rock on. But the minute I set it on the feeling, I start crying. And I'm like, pardon me, I ran the Iditarod and I'm sorry for doing this right now. I didn't say that, but that's what I thought.
I thought, go ahead, grief. But this is all that we're talking about is getting postured at a point of need before God and understanding how we feel. And for me to mine that out of my bride, what are you feeling? I can help her process things in truth that will help set us both free.
And she does the same for me. Date nights are awesome. You know, 12 years I spoke with Family Life on weekends to remember. I remember telling Dennis Rainey back in the day, I remember coming up to him.
And I said, Dennis, I love these weekends to remember. But we need to focus on the power talk. Because without the power of God found through brokenness, enough emotional intelligence and space where we can get in touch with our feelings, without the power of God deposited in those moments, all the rest of this stuff is Band-Aids.
It's all glitter. It doesn't matter one bit compared to being broken and understanding who we are and our need before God and letting Him meet us there. Yeah, as you've said so often, it's where self-help ends and the power of God begins. It's like, if you don't have the power of God, we say it every weekend to remember.
You can take this manual home. There's good stuff in here. It's the Word of God. It will do nothing without the power of God. Not a chance.
Your life will not change. One of the things Ann said to me years ago that she wanted to do in our marriage, and it really does bring fire back, is pray together. Oh, big time. Every single day. And there's part of me that's like, really, every day? It's like, do it. And we've told couples, just start there.
I mean, I think what you just said is awesome. Ann told me years ago, when we were alone, would you just ask me? I had to write this down, Carl. Okay, tell me what to ask you. How are you doing? How are you feeling?
Oh, I love the feeling word, too. What? You want me to? What? I was like, really? She goes, you don't even know what my life is.
You don't know what's going on. You never ask. I'm like, it's that simple. You just ask. But I think, Dave, too, we get so busy.
And I think families are so busy, even with their kids. But for me, even to turn to you and to say, how are you feeling? I want to get that rock in the feeling chart. We're not doing that. We're not putting one of those in our bedroom. But Dave, I remember we were here one time and somebody asked you a question, like, do you ever get lonely? And you said yes. And I thought, I've never asked you that question. Are you lonely?
Do you feel inadequate? We're not going to do it here, honey. I'm just saying, I think it's mutual to really get into the depths of each other's hearts. And I'm thinking, if a couple listening right now, you want to do something risky. And one of your resolutions is take risk. Here's a risk for you and your marriage.
Get on your knees together with your spouse and pray. Maybe you've never done it. Maybe you've done it a hundred times. I'm guessing most couples I talk to is like, well, we get on our knees. And I'm going to see if there's some special thing about that. That's a posture of surrender and humility.
When you go down on your knees, you're like low. It's like, I need you. We need each other. And if your spouse won't do it, then you do it.
But man, if you two can do it together, it could be a brand new start. And I'll say this too, Dave. As I've said this before, if your spouse doesn't pray with you, there's something that's magnificent about you reaching over, putting your hand on your spouse, even in bed and saying, God, thank you for my spouse. And then say the things that are good about them before God. Like, thank you, God, that he's a good provider. Thank you that he's kind. Thank you that he's good hearted. And you may have problems at first coming up with some things, but to speak life as you pray and saying the things that God sees in your spouse, there is power to that too, and then to say, help us.
God hears those prayers. You've been listening to Dave and Anne Wilson with Carl Clausen on Family Life Today. His book is called The Seven Resolutions, Where Self-Help Ends and God's Power Begins. You can get a copy at familylifetoday.com or by calling 800-358-6329.
That's 1-800-F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. If you know anyone who needs to hear today's conversation, be sure to share it from wherever you get your podcasts. And while you're there, a simple way you can help more families discover God's plan for marriage and families is by leaving a rating and review for Family Life Today. Now tomorrow, we'll be back with Carl Clausen to talk about reigniting your fire for God through killing your sin. That's tomorrow. 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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