Lift other people. Lift the Lord. Lift the circumstances. Make things better than they used to be.
And that works better when you're humble than when you're proud, and when you're team-oriented than when you're self-oriented, which means you're going to be counterculture in a consumer-based, selfish, performance-driven, me, me, me culture. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott, and your hosts are Dave and Anne Wilson.
You can find us at familylifetoday.com. This is Family Life Today. Let me start the day because we've been talking about manhood for the last two days with Jeff Kemp, which have been phenomenal.
But Dave, as I'm listening to Jeff, I'm thinking, you are this man. Like, you've had a rough past. You've had a miserable childhood in some respects, but you are living out what it looks like to be a godly man.
And now that we're older, we have grandchildren, but when our sons come to you and might say like, Hey, Dad, this wasn't too great in our family, and this hurt me when you did this. The fact that you have been so humble to say, Tell me more. What do you mean by that? That is being humble. And I have loved watching you get older and become more dependent on Jesus than ever before. And you just said that. My first thought was the opposite.
What do you mean? The fact that you're saying that, I'm like, Oh, that's good. I was like, as I last two days with Jeff, which I love and agree with everything he's saying, I was feeling I didn't measure up. I wasn't that husband. I wasn't that dad.
I mean, that's where I went rather than, and in one sense, I was inspired, like, I'm gonna. I'm not dead. I can still breathe and I can do it.
But again, there was a part of me is like, Oh, I failed. You ever sense that, Jeff, still? Of course, we're competitive.
And that's the carnal side of us that wants to do it ourselves. Yeah. And always compares and feels less than. At the beginning of this book, Receive, I say, Let's take a look at the quintessential man. You know, the man for all seasons, Jesus. But when you look at him, don't compare yourself to him because you're going to be pretty stinking rotten to use one of Ann's words compared to him. Right. And you'll beat yourself up and all that stuff.
That's not the gist. Looking at him gives you the essence of who God's going to turn you into and who God gives you credit for because Jesus lived it and then he died. And then he gave it to you if you receive him and are born again and say, You're the center of my life. You get credit for that. That's how he's seeing you and your wife. She not only sees a lot of good performance, but she sees when you don't that you want to be different. She's giving you credit for that. That was such a sweet, great dynamic of marriage right there.
And we're talking to Jeff Kemp, who's married to Stacy, who's pretty wonderful, too. How many years have you been married? Forty. Forty years. And you have four?
Four married sons and nine cool grandkids. And we're talking about his book, Receive, the subtitles, The Way of Jesus for Men. I love this conversation. It always gets me excited.
I bet other women are, too. When men are talking about what it looks like to be a man of God. Even your title, we said it earlier, it's a quarterback writing a book called Receive. But as a quarterback, we both know this, we love great receivers and great receivers have attributes. And I was thinking, your book's a little bit like that, to receive from Jesus to be the man we're supposed to be. We have to be good receivers.
We have to follow the way of Jesus. It's proactive. Exactly. It's not passive. Right. I had a few really smart, great authors tell me the word receive doesn't sound real strong, not that catchy. It doesn't sound, you know, masculine enough. I talked to another friend.
I said, how about if we put a tagline, The Way of Jesus? He goes, that's strong. Yeah. But, you know, Steve Largent is in the Hall of Fame.
He wears a real cool gold coat. So does Jerry Rice, two guys that I got to throw some of the touchdowns to. Those guys were incredibly intentional and proactive about receiving the ball. Steve Largent used to look at the tip of the ball, not the ball in general.
Yeah. Aim small, miss small. Both those guys would tuck the ball away and wrap it between their palm and their armpit so no one could punch it out. They would catch with one hand to be ready for one-handed catches, okay?
They'd catch with a bag in their face to get better at difficult ones. The best receivers in the NFL are unbelievably trained to proactively go get the ball, okay, and make the quarterback's job easy. They're serving the quarterback.
Yeah. Now, a good quarterback is actually supposed to be serving the wide receiver and throw the ball to a one-foot diameter of accuracy ahead of him, not behind him, not low or high, protect his ribs, you know, get smacked in the jaw, Mr. QB, but put the ball in the money. Drew Brees was my example of seeing someone do this over the years. He was an investor in the success of his receiver, all right? That's the same principle in marriage. Ann invest in Dave.
Dave invest in Ann. Where do you get the power to do it? You both can't do it. You're just humans.
You're sinners. Receive it from Jesus as a daughter of God, Abba, Ann, and as a son of God. That's the receive principle. So proactively be dependent, be humble, be connected, be listening, read the Bible as a son, listen to a sermon as a son, listen to a podcast as a son or a daughter, and wait for him to speak to you. God is real. He's not limited by anything that the world says. So that's proactive receiving, and it is something strong, but it doesn't depend on you.
It depends on him. You just got to make yourself available to him and believe that he's good, which is why we've been talking a lot about you better believe God is who he really is and get an accurate view. Once you do, you can get an accurate view of you. An accurate view of you is humble.
Humble means seeing yourself through God's eyes. I am incredibly valued. He makes me. He made you.
He doesn't make junk. I'm made by the master, but I am so stinking flawed. I ran away from him, tried to do it my own way, got a bunch of hidden pride and lust and this and that and stupid motives, and I mess up. So I'm more flawed than I could ever imagine, but I'm also valued and created with this great potential. And he died on the cross for me. It's the gospel.
Yeah, right. If you have that accurate view of your God and then your accurate view of yourself, which you receive from him, which you can't earn, then you can start receiving from him minute to minute guidance on how to live. And so I laid out the number one thing is receive. The second big thing is transform. Keep changing into a better version of you through God's power. You don't have to do it on your own. It's transform into Christ-likeness, you know, Romans 829. The purpose of life is to be conformed to Christ. That'll make a better husband, better radio host, a better quarterback, a better janitor, a better software designer, dad, mom, whatever.
So transform is always be ready to grow. Be humble and on the journey from as is today to to be. And by receiving from God, you'll get a lot of that help. And secondly, by huddling, connecting, opening up, talking, supporting, praying with each other. I ask the question every week of my buddies and they have me. What's the most important thing you need to talk about?
And what's the most important thing that I can pray for? This is level five. That's level five friendship.
I have heard God speak through my buddies when I just get that honest. And that has been changing me, transforming me from the as is Jeff of three years ago to the version today, which has a long way to go to be more Jesus-like. But it's getting better. OK, and I'm not there's no scorecard. I'm not better than Dave or worse than Dave.
I'm obviously much less good than Jesus, but I'm not going to beat myself up for that because he already gives me credit. It's grace, grace, grace, grace, grace, grace. And men, you don't just need friends, as Dave Wilson said last show, or you're going to crash and burn in loneliness and isolation and unaccountability and some stupid decisions. You get to have friends. It's fun.
It's awesome. It's teamwork. So the first word is receive. The second is transform.
Always changing. The third is huddle, which is this level five friendship. Don't go alone. And the last one is lift. It's kind of your mission as a man. Lift other people. Lift the Lord. Lift the circumstances. Make things better than they used to be.
And that works better when you're humble than when you're proud and when you're team-oriented than when you're self-oriented, which means you're going to be counterculture in a consumer-based, selfish, performance-driven, me, me, me culture. Have you guys been around other men that have done that? Give me some stories of men that have lifted others up.
Lifted. I got the word from Bill Bennett, used to be the secretary of education in the cabinet with my dad for President Bush. When dad died, Bill came to our house and told my aunts and uncles, sisters and brother and my mom some funny stories about dad, which was kind of masculine.
He made fun of dad and we loved it. And they said, but I got to say this about Jack Kemp. Wherever he went, whatever the issue, whatever the audience, Jack Kemp brought lift, a sunny, optimistic disposition that we can make the future better than the past and a belief that everyone has great potential to live up to their God-given dreams. I took that word and I thought, man, that's really how I want to live. I don't just want to do ministry so people say, oh, that was good. Your ministry's good. You know, nice speech. I wanted to lift Jesus and I want to lift people to what God wants them to be.
And then I thought, wow, lift. It's a cool acronym. Life is for transformation. It's moving from proud to humble, isolated and alone to connected and team, stingy to generous.
If you're quiet all the time and never open your mouth, hey, open up, share a story. First name came to my mind was Jim Caldwell. Really? He was a former Detroit Lions coach. Now he's with the Carolina Panthers and he was a lifter of men. He is a man of God. He's a lot like Tony Dungy. Who I thought of. Unbelievably humble lifter of others.
Yeah, they're clones. And I know Jim was discipled in many ways by Tony, but he walked in a locker room, he walked in our Bible study, you name it. His eyes were always on others and seeing greatness in them and lift them up. You know, the other guy I thought of was Josh McCown.
Me too. I thought of Josh. He walks in a room and he's a man of joy. He's only in Detroit as a quarterback one season and we just bonded, became great friends. And now he's coaching the Heisman Trophy winner from last year, Bryce Young.
He's the quarterback coach now in Carolina with Jim Caldwell and another great man, Frank Wright, who you know and I know. Frank's a friend and he's a lifter of men as well. And I'm not just thinking of athletes, but those are men that came to my mind.
I can think of guys that have names that we recognize with big achievements. But how about a heating and air conditioning contractor who got his girlfriend pregnant at 19, chose to marry her against his family's wishes. They kind of got mad at him and he said, well, all right. And he moved from Pittsburgh all the way to California and didn't know God. And she worked for Christian business people in the heating and air conditioning and he worked for a different one. And this is my friend Chuck. His wife said, Chuck, you've got to come work for these guys. They're so nice. He goes, yeah, but they're all churchy Jesus-y.
I don't like that junk. They lived it out. They were so honest, so ethical.
They gave money back to customers who were overpaid and stuff like that. And he came and worked for them and he ended up receiving Jesus. And he should have been an attorney if he'd been able to go to school and do law school because his mind was like that. He put it into the Bible and he studied the Bible so well that we ended up kind of pushing our chaplain for the Rams to the side because he brought in this guy to teach. And we made Chuck the chaplain. And then the Angels made him the chaplain.
The ducks, Anaheim Ducks hockey team made him their chaplain. And he became my best friend. We moved in his neighborhood. They took care of my family when I got traded to San Francisco. When I got traded to Seattle, he took care of my family. He sold a car for me. He served me unbelievably. He came to my house every morning for a year and taught me the Bible and Christianity.
He played catch with me when I couldn't work out with the Niners because I was in L.A. and I couldn't work out with the Rams because I wasn't on the team anymore. Unbelievable friend. And every conversation was really real, honest, blue collar, funny sense of humor. No churchy Christianese.
I'm not against someone who knows a lot of that. But he always brought it back to God's truth and he knew the scripture so well. He'd tie every conversation to God's way of doing things and God's principles in the scripture. He was the most popular chaplain.
You know this from history. Guys on all the teams said, I love that Abramsky guy. I learned so much from him.
I still have his notes. And when he died of cancer at 46 or 7, he preached for a year and a half straight. He's got morphine, IV, an oxygen tube up his nose. He's lost 60 pounds.
He has no hair. He's sitting at a chair in front of his thousand person church with the big old Bible, study Bible. And with his typical sense of humor, only of a man whose citizenship was in heaven.
He wasn't worried about losing earth. He was excited. He was thrilled that he had cancer because he could prove, I'm not into this God thing for some benefits now.
I'm in it for forgiveness, for love, for adoption, for freedom, for eternal life, for rewards in heaven forever and ever. This is exciting. I can tell people the gospel and they'll know that it's authentic. That's the way he did.
Anyway, he says, all right, you guys better get ready. I got oxygen. I got morphine. And I got the almighty word of God.
This could go all day. That was Chuck. He lifted me. He lifted his wife. He lifted his kids. His son in law became the chaplain of the L.A. Angels who didn't even really admire Chuck a lot. But when Chuck got cancer, he said, well, you mentor me. He did. And this firefighter became the chaplain of the Angels.
That shows his influence. That's lift. Any man can lift. First, lift the Lord to get all the glory. Second, lift your wife and love her like an investor.
Third, lift your kids like a Gideon dad saying, hey, I don't care that you got pimples and you got D's. I know who you really are and I know who you're going to be. And I love you unconditionally.
And I'm on your team. There was a man in our hometown, Morris Sheets, which is interesting. I barely know him. I think they had six kids. Some of the kids were around our age.
Dave knew them, too. But I didn't grow up in a Christian home. Our family was great, but incredibly performance oriented.
So I felt a lot of pressure with everything that I did to be the best at it, whether it be school or sports or relationships. And this family, like their kids were just nice, like genuinely nice, kind, but super fun. And I remember going over to their house just once in a while.
But talk about the power of a man. This dad who had six kids, I remember him looking at me, barely knowing me. I can remember him holding my shoulders, looking me in the face, in the eyes and saying, Ann Barron, there's something special about you.
There's something really special about you. And I knew it wasn't what I did. It was who I was. It was so compelling and attractive for an older man to have this sweet, pure motive of just saying, I see something in you.
That's the Gideon principle. And you're tearing up as you speak of it. He helped speak into your identity that the father really gives you and sees. And I didn't even know the father. But all I knew is this family loved Jesus. And I want to know a Jesus who does something in a person's heart that can lift others like that.
Yeah. All my life, Jeff, growing up in the same hometown, I wasn't a Christian. And any time I got around this man, because his son-in-law married a girl in my class.
So I knew Maury Sheets. Every time I was around that guy, I was like, if that's what a Christian is, that's what I want to be. Did you feel that, too? That's the shining light that Jesus said. Let your light shine. That was my dad's favorite verse.
Let your light shine so that your Father in Heaven gets glory. Yeah, he was a magnet to Jesus. He probably influenced me more than I even realized, because years later, I came to Christ, went back and spoke at their church, and I can still see his smile. He's in heaven now, but man, he was a lifter.
And he's just a regular guy. I interviewed 30 men in addition to looking at everything I could find about Jesus for this book. And they were all men I respected that had integrity, and they lifted.
Robert Lewis, Tony Dungy, David Robbins from Family Life, and I interviewed Russell Wilson. And Russell said that he was a hooligan. He was a troublemaker in junior high. All he liked was sports, and all he cared about was his sports and himself. And he said, but a man came in his life and lifted him to a different vision. His name was Booker Corrigan. He was a junior high teacher. And he pulled him aside, and he said, you know, Russell, you have no idea.
If you put as much energy into school, like academics, and people, treating them well as you put into sports, you have no idea how far you could go. Russell said that hinge shifted his life. He also had met Jesus when he had a dream that his dad would die. He went to church the next day and accepted Jesus. But this man gave him the vision for an other centered life, a lifting life.
And I'm amazed. Russell, he studied football. He practiced so much. He did all his extra stuff. Every single Tuesday, he'd go to Children's Hospital in Seattle.
From the time he was a rookie all the way through, he was MVP of the league. He would make sure he focused on serving others and calibrating him. He's not a perfect guy. You know, I'm not a perfect guy.
Jesus is the perfect guy. But lift, Booker Corrigan was a lifter, and he influenced this other guy. Yeah, and I think we want to be known as bookers. This woman is a lifter. She is a lifter.
It's crazy to watch. Sorry about her bench press. It's what she does to lift the spirits, the identity, the vision, the stewardship of people's giftings, lift their spirits, lift their hope.
That's what lifting is. Yeah, yeah. She's a real man. That's what she is. She's a real man. No, but I mean, I've said this before, but I've watched Anne in airports walk up to total strangers. And I know what she's going to do. I see her start walking, and I'm like, here she goes. And she feels like God has given her something to speak life into this person.
And I can't even hear the conversation. I'll see this woman sitting in an airport chair, and you just see her face go from maybe discouraged or having a hard day or week. Maybe they've got little kids. I've seen them do it with moms on planes, picking up their bags. And you just see their face go from discouragement to life. And I'm like, there she did it again.
It's not that hard to do, but many people don't. But the reason I've heard Anne, Anne used to not have confidence. Beautiful, young, talented, can do everything. Gail, who didn't think she was good enough, didn't think she was special, didn't think she was cherishable.
She got her identity through this relationship with Jesus over the years. Knowing who you are, your tank is full. Now you're looking for who can I pour it into. So that's what we've been talking about.
Please, everybody, me included, let's receive totally who Father God, Abba Father, the real dad, says you are, as his daughter or as his son. And we men particularly need this because we go for the image of performance and achievement too much. And it's it's hurting us and it's hurting our sons and daughters. It's messing up our marriages.
And the church is missing the Jesus-like studs that it needs. You guys, I agree. And you have, like, when men do this, we as women want to stand up and applaud. Like, look at you guys go. We long for that and we see it. And when we see it, it's pretty magnificent.
And I'll say this. And we talked last night about a friend of ours, Jamie Winship, who walked into our church decades ago and never knew who he was. Our global guy met him. Long story short, one of the things Jamie said, because he's always teaching from the word of God about identity. It's in everything he does. And I'll never forget, one of the first times I heard him speak and I had him come in, teach some Bible studies for Detroit Lions. I'm like, I want to get this guy in front of these guys.
I remember him saying this. When you understand your identity in Christ, when you understand who you are as a man, a beloved son, a beloved daughter, you walk in every room and you own it. You're so fearless because no longer are you trying to impress anybody in that room. You don't need to. You found out who you are in Christ. You are secure.
And that's one of your words that's in your book, security in identity. And he says, so then you walk in the room. It's no longer like, what do I look like? What do they think of me?
What am I going to say that's going to impress somebody? Who cares? You now are other centered. You're a lifter.
It's like, it's not about me anymore. I've got it. I'm totally fearless. Okay. I see somebody that needs a word.
I can speak it with no fear. I don't need to fill my tank anymore because the father filled it and now I'm going to pour into others and you can stop consuming. Think of how much guys and gals consume in their dating relationships and think of what happened to the beauty of sex. It turned into a consumer product and we got it all whacked out and we're not even enjoying it in marriage enough anymore.
Young men using porn and not loving and enjoying intimacy with their wife. That's typical of Satan. Take a good thing and twist it. The real thing comes from the father. And when you're secure, then you can use all of his gifts. So that's why we're talking so strongly about identity.
It all starts there. Who's God's identity and who does he say I am? Because of what Christ did. Now that might bring us back to the gospel. If you've not yet received Jesus Christ's forgiveness and God's adoption as his son or daughter, you're not going to feel this sense of assurance and confidence and it's awesome to be his son.
But not only do you get eternal life, but you get a change in this life. So please ask God to search your heart and tell you that Jesus is the answer and receive him fully, accept him. Believe means put your faith in him, not just say, I think a chair is going to hold me up. You sit down in the chair.
You trust him. We're at a time of year where as the holidays are approaching that we start thinking about Christmas, of Christ coming, being born for us and then dying for us. What a better time to surrender and give your life to Jesus. Jeff, I'll just say thank you. You re-fathered people in the last three days. The Father did and I got to maybe be a little bit of a raspy voice to assist.
But you know what? The Father is a way better owner than us. So give him ownership of your life, receive the greatest gift ever, not just Jesus or forgiveness, but adoption as his son or daughter. Jeff, pray with the listener. Let's do it.
Yeah, let's do that. Father God, I just want to pray that any person who hasn't yet experienced the total surrender, belief and trust in Jesus Christ to give him complete assurance of forgiveness and not just eternal life, but amazing life now lived for your purposes. Give them that experience through the power of your Holy Spirit.
And for those who do know Jesus, but haven't let him turn them into the adopted son or the adopted daughter, give them their identity. Give them an accurate view of you, Father, accurate view of themselves and help us all walk by receiving, listening, depending upon you every second of every day. In Jesus' name, amen. What a beautiful prayer to remind us of our need for Christ. You know, neediness in the Christian life is a good thing. I know it's the opposite of everything our culture screams at us today, but be needy and watch God show up to do in our lives what we'd never be able to accomplish in our own power. I'm Shelby Abbott, and you've been listening to Dave and Anne Wilson with Jeff Kemp on Family Life Today. Jeff has written a book called Receive the Way of Jesus for Men. So if you want to grow in your relationship with God, develop and reach your potential as a man of Jesus, this book is going to help you do that. And it's going to be our gift to you when you partner with us financially here at Family Life Today.
So how do you do that? You can go online to familylifetoday.com, or you can give us a call with your donation at 800-358-6329. If you missed that, again, our number is 800-F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word TODAY.
That'll help you remember. And feel free to drop us something in the mail if you'd like. Our address is Family Life 100 Lakehart Drive, Orlando, Florida 32832. As you were listening to this podcast today, if someone came to mind who you think would be blessed by the conversation, there's something super simple you can do. You can forward this episode to them in either a text or an email or direct message or on a social media post.
So you can hit the share button in your podcast app right now. It's a simple way that you can bless someone today. And make sure to check out Jeff's Level 5 Friendship Playbook in the show notes as well. Jeff is going to show you how to build a brotherhood of men in a small huddle of guys who you could share everything with in life and grow closer together in Christ.
Again, you can find all of that in the show notes today. Now tomorrow, we're going to hear from a guest who wants to punch you in the face, but she still loves Jesus at the same time. Sherri Lynn is going to be with us tomorrow to help us gain a deeper understanding of PMS. You won't want to miss tomorrow's show. 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 donor supported production of family life a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most
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