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January 23, 2021 12:00 pm
Pastor Joe Phillips - communicator, comic, author, actor, filmmaker, and longtime friend - joins Nikita to talk about his passion for youth ministry and evangelism, his missionary work in the US and around the world, and even to reminisce about his brief stint in the squared circle with the former Russian Nightmare... all in this first installment.
Hey this is Mike Zwick from if not for God podcast our show stories of hopelessness turned and I hope your chosen Truth Network podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing The Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network. Once a world champion wrestler, now a champion for Christ. Once the Russian nightmare know the devil's worst nightmare in your tagteam partner cheetah call time at your youth pastor step into the ring with the Russian nightmare. The cuticle well pastor Joe Phillips, Pastor Joe from the city of Angels way till you hear his story and the outcome will limit welcome to the show, Joel Phillips, longtime friend affected me to list here.
Pastor, evangelist, author, actor, director, producer, screenwriter, comedienne, husband, dad, granddad Joe walked the show I missed and thanks a lot Nick, I appreciate it. Well what that what that list means is I can keep a job. I don't know. I might have to argue that point. I think there would be many out there that would want to hire you. Just with that laundry list of accomplishments and things that you've done and are doing your American cell like for real well.
This is just a special blessing for me to have you here and you are relationship goes back as trying to calculate. You might be able to help, but goes back when I come is about 25 years about the mid-90's when you came you became youth pastor to my will.
The girls Taryn and Tommy equity.
A wonderful, wonderful time that's exactly right and will and wonderful memories because I know I know how much of those two girls love you and love your family and so many things that that course. Our families have done together over the years and I have some in the show a while back promoting his book Caldwell that someone you might know a mutual friend of ours that has even more history with you. Jay Stewart right we go back.
You and I go back to the marriage conference we were attending and was looking at you and I had this crazy idea. It really I don't oppose the Lord or the devil I should wrestle that guy for a gimmick and man I kind is live to regret that. Well that's pretty that that's that's interesting yeah what was it was Jake conducting a conference, nothing. So yeah him and Melanie rented out because you guys have to get back to your holiday was probably the first Christian I met when I was 18 I became a Christian. Okay so far back we can and you and you. What does that school.
If you were in college to get a Plano basketball team here to college okay well and and it's been a blessing. I've known him little over two years longer than than you, I guess, but that both these relationships been a huge blessing to meet you. Much of the wrestling. This is kind of it.
So here's a memory I have.
When you came to me with Kazaa… I think he's get right.
But when you came to me with that idea and you said take can we do this and I can like to see right now some the build up for that.
I remember on a Sunday night you are you are preaching it and in the big sanctuary and a suck up China from behind pick you up like a body slamming unplanned all your pencils and pens in your pocket where we went cascading down the down the stairs and the look expression on your face was priceless in the butt, but I fast forward to that. Here's my member from from from that night because we built up we said hey you got have I think like 300 kids over not having it end up having if I remember it like over 500 including adults who got wind of what you were doing back that's a fact. Over 500 adults and I'll never forget I was in the dressing room getting changed in your lovely bride Cecelia who is going to be your Valley that night.
Pastor Joe from the city of Angels versus the Russian nightmare knocking knuckle… I when I was in I was I was dressed in the little room where Justin if you would matter you made. I member the hug as she walks in and and she looks at me and she covers her.her eyes and she was awesome I got. I am so sorry I did not know you were getting dressed to sell. You know like I address this is what I wear to the right one Blu-ray and I have my I have my wrestling singlet on just for the record, but man, my girls were so impaired is in the ring with you. 18 1/2 minutes of sheer terror picking me up in body slamming me put my head in the ropes which are nothing but steel cables wrapped in black electric date yeah and that was should've taught me, but I did it two more times and once in Atlanta and another time in Charlotte and I retired and she had the trifecta of wrestling for you and I'm beat you like a borrowed mule and I put I hung up my singlet. Hey, that's the window as similar to my career, walked out on top is a member. The next year, we had to we did attack were like a little break here.
We did attack at George South I think is your partner and and Ted DiBiase element in your corner and over a thousand people that night over a thousand came that night so no I respect your decision to decline any future so but fun memories man 500 members is as in those days with with you as youth pastor and a couple of things I remember to Joe is you you are you honored me. I felt very honored to you invited me to be a chaperone. I think probably more security guard than anything. But to be a chaperone on several youth trips.
One being mulled over night. You want to molt over and I'm sinking on the drive to the studio today. Here's one of the fond memories. I'll never forget and little Henry. He was about 10 or 11 years old and and I began to engage in. You know in with him over the days that we were there little little round wire rim glasses iced over to him and and Joe will blow me away was as we got to talking to my want I skip Henry how many languages do you speak 10 or 11 years old. It looks amigos five I go five like really goes yes or I go, what lays like right like Chris Russian, German, French, Spanish, English course right Kazaa is I don't know any of those, including Russian just for you know, the Russian nightmare who knows no but some like to test this kid so Mike and Henry tell me this in French like I threw something out there just flowed from his top five languages fluently. Amazing. It wise, but it and you course you put together sports camps and stuff mulled over and we saw some people say was save unbelievable yet when we cucumber sandwiches every meal you could out while here's the I remember you handing out tickets for lunch and their entry into lunch was they had that they had to listen to the gospel message and I member the very first time you had me share remember the very first time, like a game like an altar call if you want to say her invitation and I just about every hand went up and I looked at the interpreter and went. I don't think they understood what I'm asking. Let me ask that again a slightly different way and in how many base going to give your heart to Jesus and just about every single crown was blown away, but time. Kudos to you for for mulled over Singapore know you and I were talking I like Ike I thought for sure you were there, but you had wrote a play called the switch right and what inspired that plate actually J and I wrote it together.
Your friend J. Stewart, my friend, and to refer we can collaborate on that. I think they gave me the humans job of the put it together but it was just just do something out-of-the-box will get people in a seat would not normally come for a quote on quote revival service income for production.
In this I been doing that kind of stuff ever since. But it was just based on getting people into see a dramatic presentation with the gospel means in and we did it. I really want to do it overseas, which you and Doug after I left a few months earlier. You guys doing over there and did it and had great success with what we we did you hit you factored me and as Jesus of you guys out there can believe the cuticle of the Russian nightmare playing Jesus when the first time that a play Jesus actually bought you had given me that opportunity in and we had the body forgot I had the body for the play big boy from the old rest so they would ignore the big boy big boy means that you modern-day Google Google but well and and and you're exactly right… I here's one.
One incredible member from that as we did chapel services at the Christian school that was attended by mostly mostly Muslim student gifts actually and and I'll never forget my oldest daughter Taryn and a friend of hers had befriended this dish. This young Muslim girl who couldn't come to the chapel take you guys go up to that they go to the lunchrooms anyway. They invited her to see the switch when she came she she informed her she was now when I come there that night.
Your only to see my eyes because she had to wear. I'm not sure on Burkitt's.
What size I job or something like that right just to please.
She was pleased. She begged my daughter and her friend, please remember my eyes and she came and and and at the end she came down to the altar and never forget Taryn gave her personal Bible sick can you take this and she said I can take it as a gift that's allowed while that's allowed esoteric gave her her personal marked up by letting him know that the school that she took home his will. I remember Columbia and you more than anything. I was thinking of the way up here will. Here's what I remember first what you remember. Because what I remember is you gave me one of really one of my very first ever opportunities to preach, you come to me as it has. I feel like this was due on the services here and and lo and behold the Lord been dropping a message my spirit and you know and so so I did.
That's kind of my memory as is one of the first-ever times and you give me numerous times or number of times after that it you services and think that's was one of the very first opportunities I have had to preach was in Bogotá, but what you remember about the trip.
Lots of things. One thing we were driving in the city of 8 million people in your driving the speed of light car like a maniac because you had to to survive.
I remember so many things but we didn't have any us assemblies. The day we arrived in best missionary I've ever worked with Mike and Naomi Baldy game remember his last name Mike and Naomi.
They were fantastic but they couldn't get us any assemblies, but by the time we left, they were literally chasing us down in the street administrators were chasing our Vance and please one more. We did a reform school and that was the smallest and I thought the worst assembly we did it turn out to be the best. It was in the room that was so tiny that not any of us could get in except the performers but they shut the reform school down to come to that. They love that assembly so much. They shut the reform school, which was the worst of the worst of Bogotá. And they brought him to church 300 students that night you were speaking and we had a problem we been inviting people all week to come to that service and's and it only set 300 and so I had a guy name Tim Caskey that still works with us to this day was a 16-year-old boy and the missionary said he found my hands in front of some equipment I don't know.
We can use irony know how to use it. I said I got a kid on his team that could build space shuttle with a ceiling fan and a roll of duct tape. Let me get him to look at the box he a corrected output close circuit television on the side of the building to hear you preach city buses were literally stop like a drive-in movie and watching that go on and when I remember praying before I walked outside the church fumbles that were going to pray constantly but I said I said what I said and I look up and not one person in that audience is frankly never even heard of prayer and's and I think 300 people give the heart the Lord that when you preach. Yeah, I can never forget that while that's while I didn't remember me. I remembered some of that I did not remember some of those details.
Remember we had a girl and a cast on her foot and she got lost in the city of 8 million people separated from the group. Somehow, and we were praying fire down drive and say that early founder thing man, why you may remember this to at least I'll never forget it. It was it was because I wasn't that far removed from from the days of my active professional wrestling right and and I remembered we would. We were the kids got wind of a gas as we were there that I had been a professional wrestler and so kind. Everywhere we started going.
I was surrounded by them and I never forget you. At one point you like like a week like we got to go kind of thing you know this and I will avoid it.
I don't know that I really can live up to this, but you like to I feel like Col. Parker try to get Elvis out on the building.
I mean, oh my God this is crazy like he was alone. I believe they were gone and I found that to be true. And like many of the foreign countries that I've gone to the wrestling what what whatever reason it has a universal appeal all over the world just love it.
You know, for whatever reason, but they do and certainly the kids of Bogotá gravitated towards that but other forget they like eight yo Elvis, like come on like we got to go time to leave the building. I Elvis has left the building, but great memories.
Many great memories there.
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I know you want my latest book you receive personalized, tail of the ring redemption you would go on the you would eventually go on to. I know Georgia and Florida right with another youth position like right, well it was an absolutely agonizing decision to leave Concorde because of all the relationship like with your daughters and you, but I knew the Lord was calling us to Atlanta. We went to Atlanta to church right there on 285 for 11 months in the state of Georgia elected Sissy and I to be the state you directorship 230 churches, which is the largest landmass Lisa Mississippi so from Chickamauga near Chattanooga down to Kingswood near Jacksonville was pretty big territory. We did that for two and half years and it was really taxing physically on my wife and we left there to go back and youth ministry, which is really what I am heart is just an old grizzled youth pastor I love you did that for a few years and then we fill a call to pastor a church in Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia West Virginia brought you up for arresting people. We can have you wrestle that night we just said you cannot work in that it was phenomenal.
Yeah, I and you taught me how to lift at the YMCA and I've been doing it including last week in Columbus, Mississippi yesterday in Birmingham Alabama. The same routine. You taught me in Huntington. I continue to do it three times – that's amazing is what I remember about that particular trip spent several days up there with you and I think some younger girls with me.
I think Colby and Kendra with prof that if I remember right, is a love hanging out with all your kiddos and what I remember, partly about the accuracy of five years up there. I was three years three years old but I do remember the walk as you like your Kelly hesitantly offer a bike. Now come on dude and I don't know I told you then. Or, and I may have. I go do. Don't you understand the going in there as pastor of this community what what evangelism Jennison evangelism feel their mentor and I like Chamberlain, you told me that but I think that's initially what maybe cut either encouraged you are prompted you that. Plus we had a radio show yesterday about like this and you forge a Cadillac and you were walking across the street and I remember standing thinking that's how a grown man should look in a dress shirt coming out. He wanted taken from her.
Not like that's what Amanda I look now. It must muscles.
This ain't what a mantle to look like and address your neck and also his motivating factor. Well, that I have encouraged it to that was a number of years ago so that you are passionate there was 16 and €17.67 a and for you listeners out there. Be inspired by that you know just something inspires you to do it and then stick to it don't stop me.
Here is just yesterday day before, 16, 17 years later still in the Army. Something is better than nothing when it comes to taking care of your temple to take care your physical body.
Something is better than nothing. Fact I'll just put this plug-in right now. I know you've been on some of the camps and in things I've done in the past and currently Lex Luther and I are doing man camp and that's what make camps about its helping people get physically well in healthier store stay that way. Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and I've lost 38 pounds and set YMCA workout pass amazing and and kept it off and I will most 30 pounds and I found found 10 of it but I'm still the right side of the equation. Yes you are. You're still on the positive side of things. So that's phenomenal well so I remember those trips to the Y and and I remember you sharing with me later how that really did kinda become evangelism feel that we how you built a number that you shipped number of people there so will then you get if I you can help me out kinda come full circle and and you work your way back to Concorde and yeah the irony is that is I was gone for eight years and in that eight years of time I lived in Atlanta Macon, Fort Lauderdale, and West Virginia in eight years. Just pulling up stakes all the time and so I have had my my roots in Annapolis now for going on 15 years and am so thankful for that year we had a whirlwind time and then the in in West Virginia. I live in Ohio across the river from Huntington and the Lord begin to deal with me but evangelistic feel it took me a year to pray through on that and then finally when I decided to do it was miraculous.
I'd try to be an evangelist. 10 years earlier and it just crashed and burned so bad. So when God was dealing with me on like Lord III blew it the first time it cost me so much up to 10 years to pay that I just didn't know what I was doing and so I decided to do it.
I told my board on Wednesday not too much church on a Sunday on the Friday in between a man I had coffee with one time in Concorde North Carolina called me and said hey we want to staff evangelist would you come back and he said will set you up in an office and with a base salary and credit card get you started and on that day, a man who had stopped once cut the grass and weed. I've always wondered by your house you want to sell. As I said next Thursday be fun riding my wives also house letter put the sign in the yard so I just knew God was in that and on that and I have no regrets it and said that was 15 years but almost 15 years ago you. Since that time, give our listeners one or two stories that I may I add hard to condense it down.
You've done so much meaning you're an amazing evangelism. II say that with all sincerity and really mean that gives the story to those 15 years, and stepping out in the world evangelism story to the just kinda comes to mind. Like that was one want to get ahead of of of the agenda here but working talk in the next segment about moving.
And here's a store the pots in my mind that similar to that story of the guy stop and once cut grass that I just had this missionary email me and say Joe, I'm going to Thailand to set everything up for you which will talk about all that I'm going to go. I've bought my ticket and I remember thinking, I can't let this missionary be on the hook out of his pocket for trip to Thailand, but I know how I'm to get there below the film crew. However, pull this off and I need your help. That was on Sunday morning. I pray that nobody heard me pray that I was in a little country church and George maybe had 45 people that morning, a preset morning preach Sunday night that you shared with the congregation. Please pray for project were working on an old man walked up to me said Richard. God then told me to help you with that movie he give me a figure yet, but when he does, it'll be substantial.
Can I get your email to my email got his went straight to the pastor surpass that old man said he wanted to help me and I just want you to know about a veteran that encourage me.
He said a guy sitting take it to the bank the next morning at 11 o'clock a look at my phone and I get this email preacher got done. Give me a figure to help you with this thing and I don't make no sense to me for night right, just tell me $28,235.53 and that was on Monday on on Wednesday. That check was in my box. It was in the bank on Thursday and all of Mike's actors and staff all of their plane tickets were bought on Friday has been doing that kind of stuff over the last 15 years is just blows my mind whereon I know you have so many stories and and and so here's here's the deal because you have so many stories and so much more to talk about were bringing you back for the show because for the listeners you heard Virgil make a reference to movie and talk about that but there are some other things to you talked about writing the switch.
But we come back in the next you want to talk but the Scrooge play on a talk about that I want to talk about the clergy collar comedy to and so for the listeners out there. I'm telling you are going to want to dial back in to hear what Joe Phillips has his hands in right now because it is amazing is a very good, as you've already probably figured out and listening to this show. That is a very gifted a very talented man in in many ways just just by his introduction, you can tell he was joking.
Sanchez means that nobody will employ him.
However, the main employer God Almighty has had a plan for his life and and gifted him with many talents and so work at work. I talk about all those things we got maybe just a minute or so left show that story. It is certainly impacting you said there's so many stories like that can give us in in 60 seconds. One well Dorian I think the just the origin of my life. I was conceived to a woman who was unwed in the 60s. She had to severe mental illness is borderline on the third was on her way to get an illegal abortion. In my grant, her sister granola Sue Mills assister Zofia Madonna Philip said don't do this lets you see what this kid might become.
She had me didn't want me gave me away to my cousin after three years and so the whole beginning of the thing is miraculous, and I give God all the credit and glory for anything he's done in our lives. That's powerful. And maybe you're out there and you're listening today and you're like, man is God have a plan for me and I want to encourage you that Hope I Joe story are encouraged to know that he doesn't even if you maybe initially worked wanted or didn't feel wanted or felt like you were a mistake. I want you to know you're not. I myself had that feeling an early age. My dad left when I was when I was three.
You may have heard on an earlier show how I talked about my story with my dad and how God redeemed all that and I know Joe has so many more stories to share, even in relation to what he just shared about his humble beginnings and I just want to encourage you as your listening. God has a plan for your life and if you don't have a relationship with Jesus and we just encourage you with this today.
Maybe pull review listen to this while you're driving or listen to it on a podcast or something. I mean, now's a good time to pause and not just reflect on your life but where it's been to where it's going and if it's if you don't have the Lord in your life as your personal savior today would be a great day to make that decision is ABC just accept the fact what Jesus did for you on the cross, believe that in your heart that he lived, died and rose again the right hand of the father believe that in her and can't just confess God I'm a sinner I'm a sinner. I repent and I open my heart the door of my heart to invite you and we come back. Joe Phillips amazing story. See next men I would like to challenge each of you to consider spending five days with less louvered.
I am pursuing the heart of your listening will send your manhole with God godly husband and God you give them your blessing them. Sign up today at band camp.full pastors you would like to bring Holland for Christ ministries and man up conference to your community protocol off.org and email. Remember this. It's time to man up. This is the Truth Network