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Introducing first, from Lithuania, he weighs 123 kilos, the Russian nightmare, Nikita Kolob. Now, the Devil's Nightmare. Welcome back to another episode of It's Time to Man Up. Today is exciting for me because it's a subject that's really very, I would say it this way, near and dear to my heart, and that is the topic or the subject of daily devotionals, and we're going to dive into what that looks like today with our guest, but let me just do that. Let me just introduce Don Hawker to you today. Don, welcome to the Man Up show. Thank you, Nikita. It's great to be with you. Well, it's great to have you, and I'm excited to talk about this topic, but before we do that, before we came on air, you'd mentioned something interesting to me about your familiarity with the Russian nightmare, and we'll get into that in just a moment. But let's first introduce our listeners around the world to Don Hawker. Give us a little background. I know you're calling in from South Carolina, right?
Right, right. I'm in a little town called Lawrence, South Carolina. It's about 30 miles south of Greenville, which is in the kind of northwest section of South Carolina. I grew up here and raised my family, been married for 46 years, and I have two grown children. My son and his wife and my grandson live in Lawrence, and my daughter lives in Greenville, so I got both my kids close to me, and so been here just about my whole life. Okay, and congratulations on the 46 years of marriage, man. What a milestone in today's world, and so congratulations on that. What's your beautiful bride's name, Don? Her name is Gail, and she gets all the credit because she's put up with me for this long. We both went to Clemson University and met there and dated, and then right after we finished school, got married and raised our family, and it's been a great time. She's a very large part of my spiritual life, and we're just really, really close. Great marriage, and so it's great to have her with me. That's awesome.
Well, that's amazing. Well, Clemson, so you mentioned Clemson University. I interviewed a while back, and you may or may not know the name Perry Tuttle. Is that name ring a bell at all?
Yes, yes, yes. He was instrumental on the 1981 national championship team that Clemson had, made the winning touchdown catch, and he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, so yeah, Perry Tuttle is very well known amongst us Clemson Tiger fans. You know your history, Don. Well, and Perry, I'm doing a huge, huge men's conference in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Yeah, Father's Day weekend, June 15th to the 17th, and Perry is going to be one of the featured speakers. Oh, man. I'll make sure you get some information. Of course, all our listeners are going to get that information too, so yeah, Perry's going to come in and be one of our speakers over Father's Day weekend.
Oh, man, that would be great. My brother-in-law lives in Fort Mill, so we're very familiar with that area of South Carolina, so yeah, please send me some information on that. I will, and well, so let me ask, so Greenville, of course, I'm somewhat familiar with Greenville. I think what comes to recollection is the Greenville Memorial Auditorium, and I know before we came on air, I guess so you watched or you're familiar with some of the, as we say in the South here, wrasslin' back in the days? Yeah, when growing up, my dad used to take my brother and I to Greenville Memorial Auditorium and to watch some wrestling matches, and then when I was in high school, Monday nights, a bunch of us would load up in the car and go up there and watch, so I'm sure I saw you not only on TV, naturally, but also in Greenville.
So yeah, very, very familiar. That Greenville Auditorium is no longer there, but they still do have some wrestling events in what we call the Bylow Centers, called something else now, but yeah, very familiar with that. Well, and you just brought them in Monday nights. I mean, back in the day, Jim Crockett promotions ran every Monday night. Well, I think 48 times a year, because I'm going to tell you something you don't know, or maybe you didn't know, but 48 times a year, we knew, we knew back when it was just the territorial days that we were either going to be booked in Greenville, South Carolina, or Fayetteville, North Carolina, the Cumberland County Arena.
Either or, one or the other, every Monday night. It's crazy to think about now, but you bring back that memory. Hey, let me ask you this. So, do you have a favorite match or favorite memory? And I'll let you off the hook.
It doesn't have to be Nikita Koloff, just by the way. But do you have a favorite memory? Yeah, well no, just Saturday mornings. You know, growing up, wrestling would be, I forget what time it came on, maybe late morning in the Greenville Station, but just getting up and watching wrestling matches on Saturday mornings. That's probably the memory that stands out the most. Wow, that's, and any particular match, or particular wrestler? Well, you had, you had a three match, I'm wanting to say it was Magnum TA, it may have been another wrestler, but you wrestled like a match every week, and there were three matches. Of course, you won one, the other won the second one, and then the third match, and I'm not sure how it turned out, but I'm wanting to say it was with Magnum TA, but I may be wrong on that. Well, no, you got the name right, so it was Magnum TA, and it was for the US Heavyweight title. This is probably the most mentioned thing of my career, and it was actually, we took a page out of the baseball world, the best of seven, right?
Right. And so, it was the best of seven for the US Heavyweight title. We did a deal, a contract signing, where he got stripped of the title, because he came, I made a comment about him being a mama's boy, because he had his mama at the contract signing. I had Uncle Ivan with me, right? And he was unbecoming of a champion, because he attacked us, prompted by my comment, but all that said, that led into him being stripped of the title by Bob Geigel, the president of the NWA, and led into a best of seven.
Yeah, fond memory, because I went up one nothing, two nothing, three nothing, and then he scrapped and fought back, three to one, three to two, three to three, and then, of course, in Charlotte, North Carolina, I took the seventh in decisive, and the dirty Russian got the US Heavyweight belt, right? Oh, yeah. Set the fans on their ear, right? Oh, yeah.
Yeah, exactly. But, well, I appreciate that. You helped me kind of reminisce about some of my career as well. Well, let's transition here, Don, because I wanted to have you on the show, because as I mentioned in the opening, a subject that's near and dear to me, and that is daily devotionals. Now, I'm going to say it this way, a certified lay speaker, first explain to our listeners what a certified lay speaker is, then we're going to jump into some things that you've written and talk about this.
Okay, sure. In the Methodist Church, a layperson, after taking a certain number of courses, can receive the title, if you will, of a certified lay speaker, and that authorizes that layperson to not only conduct worship services and preach in their home church, but anywhere in any Methodist church throughout the state. And so I routinely fill in, not only at my home church in Lawrence, but other churches as well when the pastor is sick or has to be out of town or whatever the case may be. So that gives me the, quote, authority to conduct worship services in the Methodist Church. Oh, that's awesome.
And I'm going to tell you a little funny side story here that, of course, you know, each, seems like kind of each denomination has their, you know, like titles or whatever, right? Right. I remember the first time, and I minister, to date I've ministered in, I just stopped counting at 1,200 churches, okay? Right.
From the time I left wrestling. That's a whole other story for another time. But over 1,200 churches, I've been to all 50 states, so far I've been to, I think I've counted now, calculated 36 different countries and 29 different denominations to date, right?
Wow. And Baptist churches are what I'm probably predominantly in. And I remember the first time I heard this term that I just straight up honest had no clue what they were even talking about, and it was this term, pulpit supply.
And I'm like, am I going to a lumberyard? I mean, what's pulpit supply? Somebody had, I went back to my pastor, I go, Pastor, have you ever heard of pulpit supply? And he just started to laugh, and he goes, yeah, that's kind of like a Baptist term.
Not to pick on, I'm not picking on the Baptist out there, by the way. I just did, I was unaware of what that actually meant. Now I know what it means. Yeah, I've heard that term too.
Yeah, I've heard it. Yeah, well, okay, so let me, just in case, because Don, there may be somebody out there who, like me, doesn't know. So what I come to find out is if a pastor's sick or a pastor leaves the Baptist church and they don't, it's a list they have.
Literally a list of people who can fill in on Sunday morning to preach if they hadn't yet hired another pastor or need somebody to fill in. So I'm like, okay. So there you go. Anyway, all right, well, so you have, so you've written, so I'm just looking at my notes here. The discipline of daily devotional time with God is one I have written down, and then I have two. I'm excited to go talk about this. Author of Just Me, Lucy, and the Lord.
Right. A 31-day devotional about the discipline of, again, daily devotional time with God. So first, let me just ask you this first. What has inspired, what inspired you to write these devotionals? Well, my faith journey actually began probably, well, as I note in the introduction of my book, I actually was saved on February 15th of 2011. And God just, after that, when I really started doing daily devotionals and really getting into Scripture and really making it a part of my life, and God just touched my heart and said, you know, I want you to write something. And initially, I was going to write a, I guess, just a book about my faith. Really had a hard time putting that together, so God just kind of came back to me and said, how about a devotional? You know, you don't really have to outline anything.
Just pick out some passages of Scripture that are important to you and that you can write about. So that's what I did. And so really at the beginning of COVID is when I started with my writing and produced this 31-day devotional and got in touch with my friend of mine who had also had written some books, had used a Highbridge publishing company, and so I contacted them to see if they were interested in taking a look at my book, and there it went. You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com Nikita Kolof 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 Kolof Fans, and like it and follow today. And for a gift of $100 or more, Nikita will include a signed copy of his newly updated life story, A Tale of the Ring and Redemption.
Go to www.kolof.net and donate today. You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com And so it was just kind of a process, but just a good process. Well, and it's an amazing story. And certainly, again, for me, and I'm thinking here, I know the past, I guess it would be the past. So 2011, you surrendered your heart, surrendered your life to the Lord. Let me just ask you, so within your family dynamics, you mentioned raising two children, now you've got grandchildren. Have you seen an impact since that time and that decision on that day, since 2011, seen a greater impact on your own family and even your own marriage as well and you making that decision? Yeah, yeah, it has.
And let me just kind of take you back. This whole process kind of started by, Gail and I took a five-week couples Bible study, as I mentioned in the book, it's called Couples Boot Camp. And we did that, and that was kind of the start along with, I joined a Tuesday noon men's Bible study group, and those two things kind of started, both Gail and I, started us on our road, on our spiritual journey. And then once I became saved back in 2011, I think just by example, my family, my kids, knowing what I do every day and how I've tried to live my life, I think it's been a good positive influence on my family. And I have seen where their faith has grown and has strengthened just by the example that I have tried to set for them.
So it's been just a good positive situation all the way around. Yeah, and I don't have the stats in front of me, but the long and short of it is, when the man in the home comes to surrender his heart to the Lord, a high, high, high majority of the family eventually come to the Lord. You know, if it's the wife first, it's a smaller percentage.
If it's the children first, it's an even smaller percentage. So that's amazing. Now, I know for the last about 12 or so years, you've had this journey, this Bible study. Really, you know, each morning, and if people caught the title, Just Me, Lucy, and the Lord, people might think, they probably don't know who Lucy is, but I'm going to let the cat out of the bag, or should I say the dog out of the bag. Lucy was your dog. Okay, so tell us, through your beloved dog, Lucy, at your feet, how that impacted the title of this devotional, this book.
Give us a little quick backstory on that. Yeah, yeah, be glad to. You know, both my kids out of the home, Gail was still working at the time. She would leave, I'd clean up breakfast dishes, and that's when I would have my quiet time. And the first several times a week or whatever, I would get Lucy, carry her, and we'd go in my study, I'd put her in the chair with me, and I would have my quiet time. Well, one morning, I just walked past her, did not pick her up, but she knew what we were planning to do, and she just got up out of her little bed in the kitchen and followed me down the hallway into my study, and from that point on, every single morning, she would be with me during my quiet time, and that happened every morning until her unfortunate death.
We had to put her down, she was about 14 years old, and that was quite a sad day, but that being said, Lucy was a very large part of my initial time spending it with the Lord every morning. Yeah. And, yeah. Well, and her legacy lives on, because she's in the title of the book, so. She is, and I've written a second one, it will be going to the publisher next week to start that process, and I got real creative with the title of the second book, Nikita, just me, Lucy, and the Lord, too.
So, yeah, her legacy is continuing. Awesome. Yes.
Well, awesome. Let me ask you a couple more specific questions that I think will be helpful to our listeners. So, in your observation estimate, and based on your experience, why is it important to spend quiet time with the Lord every morning? Why do you feel that's important?
Well, you know, with any relationship, whether it's with your spouse, whether it's with your children, a close friend, for any relationship to thrive and grow, there has to be time spent together. And I think that's why it's so important for all of our faith, in all of our faith journeys, that we spend that regular and constant time with the Lord, reading His Word, and just spending that time, and the relationship that I have with the Lord is so important to me, and I just don't feel like I can maintain that close relationship without, every day, spending time in His Word and praying. I'm trying to do more meditating that I've not been very good at, but I'm trying to do more meditating, trying to listen to what God has to tell me, and let me just kind of digress just one second, if I may, Nikita. Before I came to faith, I was like a lot of people that I thought that I was good with the Lord. I was good to go. Man, I was regular in church, served on committees, even taught a little Sunday school, and I thought I had it, but I realized that day, back in 2011, that I didn't. And I felt like checking the box.
I could check the box and check my list, and everything was good, but I came to the realization that I did not have it, and I needed to make a change, and thank goodness I did. Thank goodness the Holy Spirit was on me that morning, and thank goodness for that. Well, and I can relate to that. I've said part of my life journey, and we're very relatable in some of the things you're saying, that something was still missing. I had the head knowledge of who Jesus was, but the story never moved from my head down to my heart.
And I think there's a lot of people out there, based on what you just said, Don, that could probably relate. I was recently with Lee Strobel, who wrote the book Case for Christ, a former atheist who came to the Lord. Don, he said this, you can sit in church for 20 years as a believer in Jesus. I mean, even the demons believe in Jesus. Go read the book of James. But until you receive, right? So believe plus receive equals become. And once you receive that free gift of salvation, like you did in 2011, February 15th, then you become a child of God and a follower of Jesus. Well, let me ask you this.
Boy, we could do a whole show on that, but let me ask you this, because I want to get to this, too. Real quick, give us some practical tips for spending quiet time with the Lord. Okay.
All right, sure. I think a good way to start is to get a good Bible commentary. Because, you know, Scripture, I mean, I'm no Bible expert or great theologian or anything like that. Scripture can be very, very difficult. But if you start off by getting a good Bible commentary, and there are a lot of good ones out there, to start off with and to help you understand what you are reading.
Because again, it can be very confusing, it can be very frustrating, but if you have a good commentary to kind of lead you on. And then once you kind of get into the rhythm of that, then develop a plan. What I'm doing right now is just real simple. I'm just reading a book of the Old Testament and a book of the New Testament. I may read a chapter a day in each. I may read a half a chapter.
I may read more than one chapter. But that's what I'm doing right now. But just develop what is comfortable with you. And then just run with it. But always try to include prayer time.
That's so, so very important. Like I mentioned a moment ago, I'm trying to do some more meditating, either at the beginning or at the end of my quiet time. I'm trying to do more. But whatever works for you, just do it. And then just make sure that it's on a regular, daily basis. Find a good place in your house.
I use my study when I'm traveling, hotel room, other places. But just make it regular and make what is ever comfortable with your own particular situation. Well, and I can relate.
I can relate in the sense that I'm, again, on the same page as you. And when it comes to Bible reading and prayer, it's the listening part that I'm working on like yourself, Don. So taking time to just meditate, listen to the Lord.
And so, well, those are some great practical tips. And just before we're out of time, just take another minute. What do you think is the main thing, what would be the main reasons that keep people from spending quiet time with the Lord?
Give me 60 seconds on that. Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, we have so much, we have so much busyness. We have so much clutter in our lives. We all are constantly on the move, and we just have things that will distract us.
And of course, Satan, he loves to distract. But you've just got to keep focused on the mission, focused on what is important in our lives, and that is a relationship with Jesus Christ. What keeps me so motivated is I just, every day I have a newfound appreciation for the cross.
And in my second devotional book that I'm sending to the publisher next week, and I even mentioned this, I have a lot of focus on the cross and what Christ did for us. And just to stay focused on that and just try to keep the clutter of this world, the clutter of our culture, just try to tune it out. At least 30 minutes every day, just try to tune it out. It's hard to do, but that's the focus. That's good, a daily discipline. And you hit a key, daily. It's got to be daily.
Any good, as you said, any good relationship is built on a day-to-day basis, not once a week for an hour or two, and as you said, check in the box. So just me, Lucy, and the Lord, volume one, volume two coming on, is it Amazon? Don, where can people get it? Amazon, where else? Amazon and through my publisher, Highbridge Books, Highbridge Publishing, those are the two main places where the book can be acquired.
Let me just mention this one last thing, if we've got a few seconds left. I have given this book away. Any sale proceeds, any donations that people have just been so generous and made, I give it all to charity.
I've made no money off this book, and I plan to continue doing that with the second book. I've given it to various charities, and so if anybody wants to contact me, I'll mail them one for free. Okay. Well, I'll take you up on that offer, Don, because I don't have a copy yet.
Okay. Well, email me your address, Nikita, and I will give you a signed copy. It would be just my honor to be able to do that. Well, I would love to. I'm looking forward to just me, Lucy and the Lord, a 31-day devotional, and Don Hawker, man, what a joy to have you on the show today. And what's some great, you know, just basic wisdom and insight that you have shared today, and I hope all of you out there listening appreciated Don's story today. And Don, thank you for being on the show.
Well, thank you, Nikita. It's just been really a treat for me, given the history that I have with you through your wrestling and the fact that you're a man of faith. And so it's just been a delight and a pleasure to be with you these last few minutes. Well, thank you, and thank all of you each and every week tuning in, dialing in to It's Time to Man Up, and hopefully you are blessed by all these conversations and these interviews. Have an amazing day in the Lord. 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 kolof.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. If you're needing to buy a car and have marginal credit and considering using buy here, pay here, that's worse than taking the Russian sickle. Winston-Salem Motor Cars will put you behind the wheel of a car you can rely on while helping rebuild, repair, or establish your credit score.
If you're looking for a car that's conveniently located on Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem, be sure to check them out today at wsmc1.com because you are number one. Hi, Nikita Koloff and I am excited to announce that I will be hosting my first ever Holy Land Tour. 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 27, 2023 to January 5, 2024 for a once in a lifetime trip. Go to NikitaKoloff.com and get registered today for the Holy Land Tour.
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