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This is the Truth Network. Hi, Nikita Kolov here and I am excited to announce the second annual Man Up Men's Conference, a champions summit at Morningstar Ministries in Fort Mill, South Carolina, June 15th through the 17th. Why should you attend the Man Up Conference? There's never been a more critical time than now for men to stand up, step up, rise up and man up. This is a rally call for men of all ages, young and old alike, teens, twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties who desire to grow in their manhood and masculinity, enhance their marriage and fathering skills, be better equipped as a godly man, godly husband, godly father, be more effective in the marketplace as salt and light. We'll have a special father-son workshop and rite of passage ceremony to celebrate this special Father's Day weekend.
Be there. This is the United States champion. He became my personal savior. Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is set for one flaw.
Introducing first from Lithuania, he weighs 123 kilos, the Russian nightmare, Nikita Kolov. Now, The Devil's Nightmare. Welcome back to another episode of It's Time to Man Up. I've got for you today, what a fascinating story I have for you today. And I'm excited to introduce to you today, Steve Lenz, Steve Lenz Esquire.
Steve, welcome to the Man Up show. Thanks. It's good to be on.
It's good to have you with us. And I always find it interesting, maybe jump right into the Esquire. What's the story behind the Esquire before we get into just more of your story as part of your title? Yeah, that's kind of the official designation for an attorney. Okay. So actually, attorneys have a juris doctorate, so it could be Dr. Lenz. But if you see an Esquire behind the name, it means that, you know, you have an attorney, you know, in your midst.
Ah, gotcha. Okay. Well, you are, I think, officially the first attorney I've had on the Man Up show, just so you know. Don't hold that against me. I've woken up.
Glad you're here, though. So let me just, let me just give, add to the introduction, because you are recognized, from what I understand, and through my research, you're recognized as one of the top five church law authorities in the US. And of course, you represent denominations and churches in all 50 states, every province of Canada. And we'll get into some of that. But before we do, let's do this. I always love to, you know, introduce our listeners to, you know, more of who we're talking to. So give us some backstory. I know you're up in Virginia Beach, Virginia. But tell us maybe a little bit, Steve, maybe about your family and kind of your early life before we jump into what you currently do today.
Absolutely. And again, thanks for having me. It's such a privilege to be here. You know, like all of us, you know, our stories are kind of a weaving. In fact, in my early years, you know, I met the Lord in 1972 in law school at William & Mary. And I know that seems improbable since the Bible says, What are you lawyers? But, you know, the Lord completely changed my entire trajectory of my entire life in 72. And gave me what I feel like is a life scripture for me, which was Matthew 633, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all your needs will be added unto you. So, you know, I tell people I've only had one job since I met the Lord in 1972 and that was seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.
All the rest have been assignments. And so in 72, you know, we had a little Bible college study going on at William & Mary in Williamsburg. And all my kids were born there. I've been married for 50 years.
I have four adult children, seven grandchildren. But, you know, they were all born in Williamsburg. And, you know, so at that time, you know, I thought I was going to be a, you know, landed Virginia squire. I was too dumb to be a doctor, so I thought I'd go ahead and go to law school and be a lawyer. And the Lord found me, you know, just sovereignly. I wasn't from a religious background or family, had no training at all.
So it was really the beginning of an entire family line for us. But during that time, you know, I was actually also on staff with our church. That Bible study became a church. And I ended up, I was the associate pastor of that church.
It was a non-denominational church. And during that time, we had the privilege of meeting Corrie ten Boom. I don't know if you're familiar with her story. Oh, yes. The hiding place, right? Wonderful Saint.
Yep. Wonderful Saint of God. And I met her several times, actually, and it was in her house in Orange County and everything. But she had a story about a weaving and how our lives are like a weaving. And she always had a, you know, a visual aid whenever she would talk. And so for this particular principle that she was talking about, she had a tapestry that she was knitting. And she talked about her life as like a weaving between the Lord and us. We see the underside, and so she would show the backside of the weaving, and it just looked like a complete jumbled, chaotic mess of threads that just didn't seem to make any sense at all. And there were dark threads and light threads and black threads, and it was just, you know, completely jumbled from the backside. And then she would flip it over, and she would say, but God sees the other side, and she would flip the tapestry over and it was a crown. And, you know, she was just talking about how our lives are like a weaving, and that a lot of times we don't understand what God's doing. And there are all kinds of colorful threads, there are bright threads, but there are also dark threads in our lives. And sometimes we don't understand, but we need to understand from his view, he is weaving our story.
And it's a beautiful story. And we're kings and priests unto God according to, you know, the Bible, and so my life has been like that. So, you know, I practiced law in Williamsburg, then I went on staff as, you know, a staff pastor at the church. And then, after about 10 years, that church kind of started going sideways, and so I went back into the practice of law, and got recruited in television, right at the birth of the cable industry, back before cable was even legitimate television. And from that, I met a guy in church, and he said, Why don't you come and interview? You know, I was practicing law, and so I interviewed with him, and it turned out that they liked me. So why don't you come into this industry?
I think you'd like it. And so from that, I ended up, you know, becoming one of the executives for the Family Channel, and ended up heading their ad sales worldwide. And so I ran their offices in New York, Detroit, Chicago, LA, London, and Hong Kong, and was responsible for all the revenue that came in.
That eventually led us south to Murdoch for about $1.8 billion in the late 90s. And so that, you know, the sales and marketing part of my career was on-the-job training. And, you know, when the guy hired me, the initial man who hired me said, I know you don't know anything about cable, or television, or sales, or marketing, or broadcasting, but I've got this job where I don't think you can hurt anybody.
If you're a lawyer, you know, we'll keep everybody at bay, you know, until you can figure out what the heck's going on. But from that, you know, it launched a beautiful career, and gave me my national and international business background that has served me well. After we sold to Murdoch in the 90s, I became president of Middle East Television, and I ran the largest superstation in the Middle East. Our sales were in Tel Aviv. Our politics were done in Jerusalem. But the station was in South Lebanon, in a war zone. And so that's where I wrote, you know, the book Bulletproof was about my experiences of doing business in a war zone, leadership principles that I learned there. And so I had 72 employees, and 32 were Shiite Muslim guards with AK-47s, guns, dogs, bandoleros.
And, you know, it made HR moments really interesting, because you had to disarm your employee before you could terminate them. And the word terminate there had a different word, a different meaning. Okay.
Okay. So, eventually, the Hezbollah overran our positions in South Lebanon, and that station, you know, is now being run by the Al Jazeera and different political factions, you know, from the guerrilla side of the world. And that's when I opened up my law firm. And so now, you know, I had an international and national business background. So I'm a complex business lawyer. So, you know, we do mergers, acquisitions, contracts, corporate law, start companies, sell companies.
A subset of that is nonprofits, and a subset of that is church. And that's why I brought my, you know, complex business law background into the church world to serve the church and help equip it for the day we listen. So that's my tapestry. Wow.
That's amazing. I'm making notes here. That's what I loved about your story. I was fascinated when we talked prior to you coming on the show, is, you know, you sharing some of that and then even some more details to that. So you've given us a lot there. Let's back up just for a moment.
And so with the four children and the seven grands. So did you meet your wife at William and Mary? Where did you guys meet? No, we were actually high school sweethearts. I took her to the junior-senior prom. And we met each other when we were riding bikes before we had driver's licenses. So we've known each other for probably 60 years, but we've been married 50.
That's amazing, by the way. Congratulations. Now, I guess they call that the golden anniversary. Like 25 years, I think, is silver and 50 is golden, right? Yes, it was. Wow.
That's amazing, though. 50 years of it. Congratulations on that. I joke with people. I'm on my fifth wife and they look at me and their eyes get kind of wide. It's like, because, you know, we change over the years. Right, right, right. You know, as you grow and as your family dynamics change and everything, you're new people. And so you get to explore each other all over again. So I never understood people who break up with their spouses saying, well, you're not the same person I married. It's like, duh, of course you're not. Right.
Well, hello. Right, exactly. I've hopefully grown and matured and changed, right? So you can't stay the same your whole entire life.
Well, that's just even the thought of that is pretty amazing as well. And, you know, I'm thinking, you know, yeah, as you grow old together, you get to know each other. And to your point, right, you go through seasons, different seasons, like you first get married, like there's typically there's no children involved. Right. But then children come along that that changes the dynamic. Right. Children grow up like you say.
Yeah. You have you have four grown children. So and then that the expression, I guess it comes to mind is empty nesters. Like I got a good friend right now, him and his wife.
His wife is really struggling with it. But they're they're brand new empty nesters and he's their missionaries over in the Far East. And they're trying to navigate that new season of life. Right.
Kind of to your point, you know, of the marriage dynamic changing. Right. You're listening to the Truth Network and Truth Network dot com. Nikita Koloff here and I am excited. Did you hear the huge announcement, the big announcement?
Well, maybe it's a minor announcement. Anyway, Facebook, go look up my new fan page, Nikita Koloff fans and like it and follow today. If you would like to support Koloff for Christ Ministries for a gift of twenty five dollars, Nikita will send you his two CDs, Adoration and Declaration. For a gift of fifty dollars, Nikita will include his book Wrestling with Success. And for a gift of one hundred dollars or more, Nikita will include a signed copy of his newly updated life story, A Tale of the Ring and Redemption. Go to www.koloff.net and donate today.
You're listening to the Truth Network and Truth Network dot com. That's right. And tell them just just to relax, because the kids have come back. So two of our married kids have lived with us at four different times, you know, so with their kids.
So, you know, the empty nesting doesn't necessarily it's not a permanent condition to enjoy. Enjoy the window they're in because kids have a tendency to come back again. That's good advice. I'll mention I'll mention that to them.
That's good advice. And then, of course, you know, you mentioned grandchildren, right? You've got seven and and even that dynamic of of having grandchildren over or being able to spend time with with them.
And again, just another dynamic right to to the whole for sure marriage. And so, well, that's amazing. And so so you're at William and Mary.
I just want to highlight that for a moment. You're at William and Mary. You're involved in this Bible study and you've got your I guess you might say a vision or a picture of what you might want to do with your your life. And then 1972, you're introduced to this man named Jesus and everything changes. Right. And for sure. And again, to kind of to your emphasis on Matthew six thirty three, seek first the kingdom of God and everything else will be added on to us. So that became the the real foundation in and and part of the vision for whatever. I like how you said, Steve, you know, everything else is just an assignment. So that's that's the foundation of who you are now. And then everything else just centers around that. Right. Yeah, for sure.
Yeah. I you know, and my wife, who was my fiance at the time, led me to the Lord. So she was a year behind me. I grew up in Ohio.
I hail from Bowling Green, Ohio, went to Bowling Green State University. And so did Gabby, my wife, and she was here behind me. So I went to law school first semester and, you know, tried to bury myself in the books and everything, but it felt very unfulfilled. And I was looking at, you know, the crowd around me and whether they were intellectuals or whether they were the party or nobody was really happy. And I thought, man, what's going on?
You know, what what what's really the meaning of life? Meanwhile, back at Bowling Green, a couple of students invited Kathy to a Bible study and and she gave her life to Jesus. So she called me up one night. She's in Ohio. I'm in Williamsburg and I'm I've got my, you know, Jewish Afro and my cut off glasses and my pipe.
And I'm in the lawyer world. OK. OK. And she calls up and she says, you know, I found Jesus. He's alive and you need him. Come on, come on. And I'm telling you, it was electricity coming through the phone. And I said, well, what do I do? She said, she said, get on your knees and pray and say, Jesus, if you're real show, show yourself to me and you'll take it from from there. And so I did. I got on my knees at night.
I thought, this is silly. You know, I'm sure there's probably nobody there, but if you're real, I will follow you to show me, you know. And so over the next couple months, the Lord just did things that only would matter to me because, you know, he's such a personal God. You know, there's a number of hairs on our heads. And so he's intimately acquainted with our ways. And so he just kept proving things to me that would only matter to me. So she came in the spring of 72 to interview for jobs. And, you know, at night I was taking her to parties and, you know, introducing her to all my friends. And during the daytime, we'd walk around the William & Mary campus and she would tell me about Jesus. And finally, she said, do you know anybody else who's a Christian? I said, well, there's this one guy in my property class who talks like you talk.
And so we got with that guy, he's a newlywed, and we went to his apartment one night. And she said, listen, you know, my fiancé, he's an intellectual, he's got questions. I don't know how to answer them, but I'm a Christian.
Can you help? And the guy looked at me with just a wonderful word from the Lord. He said, well, Steve, you know, the Bible says your carnal mind is at war with God. So you'll never know God with your intellect. So do you have any other questions other than intellectual questions? And I looked at him and I thought, no, what other kind of questions are there? And he said, can you think of any reason why you wouldn't want to give your life to Jesus right now?
And I said, no, I really can't. So I got on my knees and prayed that night and got saved. And, you know, it started an entire lineage.
Now all my kids are saved, my grandkids are saved, my parents are saved, my brother's in heaven now, he's saved. And it changed the entire trajectory of an entire family line that night. Yeah, I mean, the whole genealogy. Now, Steve, you mentioned, you threw a little phrase out, you're Jewish Afro, so you have Jewish roots. We do have some Jewish family roots. But I was never introduced to the faith, you know, that way.
But yeah, we did, we definitely have Jewish roots from Germany. And your wife as well or just on your side? No, just me.
She's French, Scottish. Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. Wow. See, I just, I love your story.
It's just so fascinating to me and just even that part of it. And how, for those of you listening out there in radio land and, you know, the podcast world, just as you're listening to Steve's story, I can relate as well. Steve, you mentioned a word unfulfilled and I for one can really relate with your story because, you know, successful in wrestling, you know, had this storied career in some people's eyes in professional wrestling and quite a fan following. And when I walked away from wrestling from that career, I tell people, I wrote it in one of my books, I was successful, but I was unfulfilled.
Something was still missing. And of course, as you just gave such an eloquent story of how the Lord just nudged you along and brought you to the foot of the cross. That's what he did for me, 17 October 1993. And that just changed everything. So just amazing.
I wonder, you mentioned a name that some people may not be familiar with, Corey Ten Boom. And of course, it's interesting you brought that up because even just within the last six months, I've probably watched the movie The Hiding Place. I know at least two different times, if not more, I've seen it way more than that, but I want to just emphasize what an illustration of the tapestry and anyone who would look at a tapestry. Certainly you gave quite a visual on one side of it, on the backside of it, just everything all jumbled together. And it is quite an illustration or can be of life itself. And then flip it over and you see this beautiful portrait the Lord showed me one time.
I was out on a prayer walk and he was showing me how he gave me an illustration of a coloring book. Connecting the dots, right? Where you connect all the dots, you know, one, two, three, four, five, right, all the way in. And you don't know what it looks like when you're just looking at a bunch of numbers and dots.
That's all you see initially. And then you start to connect all the dots and by the end, it creates a picture, right? And it's similar to Corey's story of the tapestry. The Lord showed me, look, you're going to connect the dots along the long life's journey. And sometimes you're going to go from two to four and miss three, but that's okay. I'm going to help you with that. And eventually it creates this portrait. He says that's an illustration of your life. And by the end, once all of the dots are connected, you're going to be pleased with the end result and what that picture looks like. And I just want to encourage people out there, if you've never seen the movie, The Hiding Place, Corey Tenby, just go on Netflix or wherever you can. You'll find it somewhere, but go watch that movie.
Watch it with your family. It will impact your life. And so that's amazing. You got the opportunity to meet. I would have loved to have met her. I look forward to meeting her one day in heaven because what a story of just so many things that come to mind. I mean, perseverance, what her and her family went through in the concentration camps and all of that is just such a fascinating story. I would say one of her life messages is another reason why people should watch that movie or at least acquaint themselves with her. She's written several books too. She's in heaven now, but she didn't even start her ministry, I think a worldwide ministry, until she was like in her 60s.
Right. But she was a prisoner in the concentration camp and her and her whole family, even though they weren't Jewish, they were hiding the Jews in Holland. And so they were all thrown into the camps and all of her family died except her in the camps.
Yeah. And when she was released, she started a worldwide ministry called Tramp for the Lord and one of her main life messages was forgiveness. Because she had witnessed so many atrocities and her sister had been horribly abused in the camps. And during one of her evangelistic meetings somewhere on earth, I don't know where it was, she looked down from the stage and the man who had so abused her sister was there. And God really worked on her heart about forgiveness. And a lot of people hurting out there right now, people who have been mistreated, abused in the church world, sometimes it's even worse.
Yes. And I think trying to, you know, navigate hurt and first of all, not run from it, but acknowledge it, bring it to the Lord so that He can release us from that is such a big part, I think, of today's Christian world. That's a good point. And I want to wrap up that part of our conversation. We're going to have to see, we're going to do a part two, we're going to bring you back, sound like a good plan?
It sure does. I'll enjoy that very much. Thanks for having me. Well, I tell you, as you're listening out there, Steve, let me ask you this, just how can people find out more about Steve Lentz? Let's go ahead and put that out there too.
Yeah, there are two. My personal website is just my name, Stephen with a P-H, StephenDLentz.com, and it lists my books and some of my bio. And my law firm in Virginia Beach is, you can find us at www.anchorlg.com, Anchor Legal Group, anchorlg.com. And of course, as I mentioned, all 50 states, all provinces across Canada, so wherever you're listening, you know, across North America, you can access, potentially access Steve and his services and especially if you're running it.
In today's climate, let's face it, especially as Christ followers, there is a real attack if you've been watching the news or following things at all. And so, Steve's services may become very valuable to you and or his resources. And so, Steve Lentz, thank you for coming on the Man Up show today and for all of you tuning in.
And be sure to come back. You're going to want to hear part two as we dive deeper into Steve's story. God bless you. This podcast is made possible by the grace of God and your faithful prayers, support and generous gifts. May God bless you for your continual contributions. Go to Koloff.net and donate today.
Hi, Nikita Koloff. Be sure to check out the Man Up show now available on television, broadcast and podcast. Go to MorningStarTV.com or the Truth Radio Network. Check out your local listings or better yet, download the Truth Network app today. If you are enjoying the Man Up show, would you help us spread the word? Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your neighbors to download, subscribe and leave a comment. Nikita Koloff here.
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That's right. A trip to the Holy Land with the Russian nightmare. And I'm extending a personal invitation to you. Join me December 27th, 2023 to January 5th, 2024 for a once in a lifetime trip. Go to Nikita koloff dot com and get registered today for the Holy Land tour. This is the Truth Network.
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