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Armed For Battle

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff
The Truth Network Radio
August 19, 2023 1:00 am

Armed For Battle

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff

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August 19, 2023 1:00 am

Today, Nikita speaks with good friend Tom Stewart. Listen as he shares how important school safety has become.

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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, I have a combination businessman slash minister with me, Tom Stewart.

Welcome to the Man Up show. Thank you, Nikita. Well, great to have you with me, Tom. And, you know, we go back a number of years now to when we met. Of course, you're up in Northern Virginia, right?

Yes, sir. And now, of course, I've been up to Dumfries, Virginia, in the Woodbridge area many, many times over the last 25 years with Pastor Brad Lewis and Pastor Gary Carruthers. Do you know how I met those guys?

Have you heard the story, Tom? Yeah, I think you met them in Florida, didn't you? We were at a revival in Florida. It was not long after I had just really given my life to the Lord.

It was standing in a line for the bathroom. And Pastor Gary turned around, and I had grown my hair out, right? So, like, I literally had this mullet, right? And I had shaved off my facial hair, and he turns around. He's, like, standing right in front of me.

He turns around and looks at me. He goes, you look just like a wrestler, Nikita Kolob. I go, really? He goes, yeah. I go, well, it might be because that's who I am.

He's, like, get out of here. No way, right? So, anyway, that initiated a conversation. He introduces me to his son-in-law, Brad Lewis, who was the youth pastor at the time. And from there, they brought me up to do some, and I've been back, gosh, I don't know, 12, 14, 15 times, and of course, eventually met you. You're a part of that church community now, right?

Yes, yes, and you did know them long before we met, but I feel like we've been friends for as long as I can remember. Now, what's your role? Now, I mentioned, I'm going to get into, you know, the business side of what you do, and on a ministry side, I mean, you have a real heart for men's ministry, and of course, that is one of the things, one of the roles you've played at Montclair Tabernacle there in Dumfries, Virginia. What's some of the other responsibilities you had there at Montclair? Well, I've done several things there, Nikita.

We've been, my wife and I and family have been at Montclair for probably going on about 14 years now. Originally when we came up there, I was the Foreign Ministries Director, and I coordinated and set up multiple mission trips to various countries, and I've been involved with men's ministry in Church of God off and on for over 35 years, and so that was kind of a natural fit for me. There wasn't really an opening at the time, but about five years into it, I transitioned over to the leader of men's ministry, so I'm the men's ministry director there, and I have just always enjoyed interacting with men at all levels, all ages in my life, and just sharing stories, helping each other.

You know the old saying, iron sharpens iron. And there's just been so many good men of God in my life that have just helped me throughout my life, and I think that's part of the attraction of staying involved in men's ministry for me. My wife and I also do the marriage ministry at our church. We're part of a three-couple team, and we enjoy that very much. We just celebrated 36 years of marriage last May. Nice, congratulations.

Yeah. Thank you, thank you. We have two kids, so our kids are grown. My son's 30, my daughter's 25, and two grandkids, seven and four, and we've just been blessed. Like every family, we've had our struggles with various things, but God has just always been so good and so faithful to us. Tom, you mean you have had struggles? For those listening out there, I mean that just comes with the territory, right? It's like you surrender your life to Christ and you put a big target on your chest, right?

Or in some cases, a target on your back, right, depending on how he shoots those fiery arrows, right? Oh, yes, sir. Well, your lovely bride, Connie, right, and your children. So who is Brandon? Who's got the grandchildren? My son, Brandon.

Okay, Brandon does, okay. My daughter's unmarried. She's a teacher down in Georgia.

I'm actually down here right now in Georgia, visiting her, and she is a third grade school teacher down here. And what's her name? Lauren. Lauren. Okay, Lauren. Well, good. We don't want to leave her out. We got all the other names.

We don't want to leave her out. So you've had this real hard. So was it at a younger age, like you had a real heart for men and for men's ministry, or that just kind of evolved over time? It evolved over time, Nikita. And one of my greatest revelations being the age I'm at now—I'm retired from my career in D.C., so to speak.

I worked there for 30-some-odd years. One of my greatest revelations is that I realized how much of my life has occurred since I was just a poser. And in doing that, you think you're doing the right things a lot of the time, but you're really just going through the motions. And when you get older, your kids get older, life starts to happen to you in a different way, physical challenges and so forth, you're kind of looking at the last 25 years of your life, you realize that it's time to get serious.

And I should have done it a lot younger. Time to get serious with God. Yeah, because sometimes, and I don't know what the percentages would be, but Barna does all kinds of different surveys, but you hear of—I think what you said, and there's probably people out there listening that could identify with, they check that box, they do the church thing, they go on at least most Sundays, let's say, or at least some Sundays, at least more than just Christmas and Easter.

There are those out there as well. I was talking to somebody just last night and it was like Christmas only. That was the only time that their family that she could remember went to church.

It was like Christmas, Christmas Eve or day or whatever. But that said, how many, and this is not anything you and I are going to resolve or come to a conclusion on, but how many sit in church week after week after week, just as you said, use the word posing, right? Just putting on the mask. One of my favorite Bible teachers is a guy named Dave Busby who says, you walk into church and there's this verbal volleyball going on with, how are you today? I'm fine. How are you? I'm fine.

I'm fine. You just kind of picture in your mind's eye, there are volleyball going back and forth and everybody's fine, but the truth probably is not any of them are fine or very few of them are fine, but they just put on the facade, right? That everything's fine and just don't get real or don't get raw so to speak and transparent and truthful and therefore they continue just to go around on that merry-go-round, hurt and wounded week after week, month after month, year after year, right? And tell, like you said, it's about time to get serious, right?

Yes. And to that point, Nikit, I realize it's hard for some men, probably a lot of men, to be vulnerable with each other and say, hey, I got this problem or I need help with this, because as men, we don't want to do that. We want to be the top dog.

You know, we want to have the nicest car, the nicest house, the nicest job, the best looking wife or whatever, the most well-behaved kids or whatever, but you know, the truth of the matter is, even if we probably have some of those things, we really don't have them. And we all have issues we have to deal with. And as a Christian, as a Christian man, one of the most important things to me is, you know, when I got saved, I had a Savior. Jesus was my Savior. But it's so much more important that I have a Lord, that He become Lord over my life. And that's a lesson that I wish I had learned earlier in my walk with Him.

That's good. And for those who maybe, maybe you're like, so like, what's that mean, Lord? You know, because Scripture is clear, you know, He wants to be Lord and Savior. He doesn't just want to save us from hell, right? And we get our ticket into heaven. No, He says, look, turn every aspect of your life over to me. I mean, every aspect, including the big one, right?

The finances, that's a big one for a lot of people, right? Turn it all over to Him, give Him full control, right? Let go of the wheel.

It's like that old country song out there, Jesus take the wheel. You know, if we would just learn to do that earlier in life, right? But, you know, and it's just part of the journey, right? It's part of the journey. Now, on that note, I want to say to that, that you have been certainly a big supporter of, of course, our listeners have heard a lot about Man Camp and Man Up conferences, Man Up intensives over the years since we've been broadcasting.

And you're a big part of that. We came up, you know, I've done two, maybe even three of the Man Up intensives there at Montclair and you kind of spearheaded the charge on that. You yourself came down, have been on the Man Camp. Now you have been instrumental in being part of the staff and sewing back into men, doing some of the teachings at camp. What would you say? And, and let me just throw, and recently your son, it was kind of cool.

You were on staff. Your son was one of the campers and got to experience that together. What would you say, Tom, for those listening out there?

And maybe this is just their first introduction. Maybe there's a pastor listening who says, hey, wow, that sounds interesting. Maybe I'll bring that to my church and my community and, or so two part question, the camp experience itself, how has that impacted you personally? So maybe start with, you know, the conference, bringing it into, to Montclair and then how did that parlay into your experience at camp? Well, when I first met you, when you came up and we did the Man Up conference, I will say that my curiosity was piqued. Number one for you as an individual, because everything you were saying was stuff that I had heard and said for years in ministry, but it just really resonated with me in a very powerful way. And that got me curious.

I'm like, okay, what's going on here? But talking to you and just digging into what you do in your ministry, it was just something very much of God and directive that God was speaking into my soul that I needed this. This, you know, kind of when things went up, well, I've done everything in men's ministry.

What's this? And so I said, I'm going to do it. And so I was able, as you know, to do the, as a camper, to do the very first man camp there in North Carolina. And it changed my life. It taught me something that I didn't think was teachable in my life.

We went to a deeper level. And I will say that growing in friendship with you and Lex, you know, you guys are the real deal. And that's very important to men in being vulnerable, in getting resolution for issues in their life, growing as a man of God. We need the real deal around us.

We need people who are sold out to Christ, who will not lie to us, who will keep us in check, but give us tools to be men of God. You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com Nikita Kolov 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 Kolov Fans, and like it and follow today. If you would like to support Kolov for Christ Ministries, for a gift of $25, Nikita will send you his two CDs, Adoration and Declaration. For a gift of $50, Nikita will include his book, Wrestling with Success. 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.kolov.net and donate today. . Would your company, business, or you personally like to partner with me in supporting Kolov for Christ Ministries, The Man Up Show, and Man Up Minutes? Go to kolov.net and click the donate button.

You can give monthly, annually, or one time. God bless you for making a difference around the world. You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com. And that's what sold me on the whole Man Camp concept and program. I love it. I love going back.

I get something every time I go down and staff, and it's just life changing. So for anybody out there who's thinking about doing Man Camp, every man owes it to themselves to go through Man Camp. And I talked about being vulnerable.

There's strength in vulnerability. And we are in a battle. We're in a spiritual battle as men, as leaders of our household, as leaders in our church, just as men of God. We're in a battle. We have to fight.

But we're not taught how to fight properly. Man Camp does that. Man Camp gives us the tools to fight the good fight, as Paul says.

Well, and I appreciate that. And again, you've been instrumental and one just sowing into a lot of men now coming back on staff. Of course, you come down with Pastor Gary Carruthers. And to date, he's, of course, our oldest camper. He came at age 72, actually right after he retired, quote, retired from 50 something years of ministry, handed the baton to his son-in-law, Brad Lewis, who has taken over. And, of course, now Gary came and experienced it for himself, was impacted even in his 70s, still hungry for more of God.

I know you said it enhanced his marriage at the time of 48 years, actually, believe it or not. And then now he comes down with you. You guys jump in the van. You guys drive eight, nine hours down to Georgia and bring guys with you.

As I said, you bring your son. Has your son said anything about how Camp impacted him? Very much so. It's given him clarity and a new direction, and it really impacted him in a way I think he's still, in a good way, feeling it out, so to speak. He has this renewed desire to be a better husband, a better father, a better man of God, and he's actually watching that play out in his life. But one thing about my son that I've noticed, my son has always had a heart for people. If there was ever anybody in need, you know, Brandon, he would give it.

Whatever it was, he would just give it. He's always had a heart for people, and I have seen his experience at Man Camp has really parlayed into that love for people that he has, and just he's growing in leaps and bounds in that area. That's good, and that is part of it. I've had guys who came to Camp five years ago who are still processing or implementing the tools that we put in their tool belt, the things they learned at Camp to enhance, as you said, enhance their relationships for the ladies listening out there. We do get a lot of women that listen to this show just want to hear, what are these men talking about?

And sometimes we have women on the show, but ladies, if you're listening out there, our goal is to send your man back home better equipped to be that godly man, godly husband, godly father, if that applies to them, godly grandfather. And so consider that. Don't browbeat them into going, but just give them your blessing and encourage them to go. And I'll say this one to go to Koloff.net. If you want to learn more, hear more, go to Koloff.net and just click the link. You'll see some incredible testimonies on that page and more information on how you could potentially attend yourself, men of all ages.

And there's no physical challenges that would prevent you from coming because we had a guy with one leg come, we had a guy with one arm come, so there's nothing we do that would prevent you from coming, including your age. Tom, I want to touch on this too. You mentioned 30-something years up in the D.C. area.

You're living up in Northern Virginia. So just touch on what line of work you were in then and you're not just in ministry. You have a business and you do other things as well. Touch on that. Take a minute and touch on that.

Sure. So I retired in October of 2018 from the United States Postal Service headquarters in D.C. And I was an IT program manager for years. Did 30 years with the Postal Service. I did 10 years in private industry before that. Started my career right out of high school and I don't know if a lot of people will understand this term, but I started out on a drafting board in an engineering group with a company in St. Louis. I grew up in the Midwest.

I grew up in a little town called Wood River, Illinois. Still have family there, sisters. And started my career at 19. Did 10 years in private industry. Took a transfer to Virginia with a company and subsequently joined the Postal Service in their engineering center. And through just their opportunities, I got my degree in information technology and developed my skills and that there.

Spent a glorious 30 years with them commuting into D.C. and beautiful city. And along the line, I realized I want to do something when I retire. So about 10 years before I retired, I became a firearms instructor. An NRA certified firearms instructor.

I do that. I have my own business. I do active shooter training prevention for churches as a ministry.

Teach churches and businesses how to set up and prevent and respond to the unfortunate incidents that could possibly happen. I also work at a public high school in Stafford County, Virginia. I am a state certified security officer at our high school in Stafford. And I love working with the teenagers.

They're very challenging. A while back in my lay ministry, I also used to be a youth pastor. So I really enjoy working with teenagers and sewing into their life and watching them go through the challenges that they face on a daily basis. That's kind of my career in a nutshell. I will say that I thought when I retired it would be slower than this, but it's probably twice the speed as when I was working in D.C. Right, yeah. You're not the first to tell me that life got busier after, quote, retirement.

Life got busier. I think invariably everybody I know has said that. So would it be fair to say, so gun safety, if I just would condense down what you just said, gun safety is kind of what you teach now and what people can have access to? Yeah, I do the gun safety course. And I also do intermediate and advanced training for anyone. When we get into the security team training aspect of firearms and so forth, we do get into more advanced training. So yeah, I enjoy doing that. It's great to see people be safe with firearms.

Yeah, absolutely, especially in today's world. If churches or businesses or individuals wanted to find out more, maybe they live up in the Northern Virginia area and our show goes into Richmond and other places in Virginia and around the world actually, but is there a website? How would they connect with Tom Stewart? Yep, all you have to do is go to Facebook and search under groups and you're going to look for Virginia Patriot Training LLC. Virginia Patriot Training LLC.

It's a group in Facebook. Okay. And of course they can learn much more and how important is that? Let me ask you a question if you've got to kind of give me a short answer on this in regards to school safety.

Now, obviously things have changed over the years. Here's my question for you though. Okay. And you might say, I want to just get your quick thought on what would you say if someone said, Tom, how can we make schools safer? Give me a short answer if possible on how to make schools safer. Yeah, well, there is a short answer to that and there's also a whole one day seminar that I do.

I'll give you the short answer. The short answer is hardening the perimeter of a school. And we have to harden the perimeter in such a way, not to make it look like a prison, but harden the perimeter with entrances, exits, monitoring via cameras, those entrances, exits and the activity that goes on. And most schools do a very good job of that. Some schools are moving the metal detectors. There's actually, there's other technology coming out with infrared cameras that will detect firearms and backpacks.

Some schools are going to that. That's a very expensive solution, but it's about awareness. It's about being aware of who's in your building. Are they supposed to be there?

Are they properly bad? And then again, watching the perimeter of those coming and going. Yeah, it just seems like to me, again, maybe this is just my kind of a no brainer solution myself, that if they had, if every school had a resource, let's just say officer like yourself, a safety officer, resource officer, and the community was aware of that, that it seems like it would cut down on some of these tragedies that we've seen happen over the last period of years.

And so now I appreciate that insight. And hey, maybe you're out there and you're a school officer or you're a school principal, or you're listening to this program today and you want to learn more about what Tom Stewart does in terms of teaching, whether it's your business, a church, your school, safety. Man, reach out to Tom.

I'm telling you, he's become just such a dear friend and again, so instrumental, not only in the business world and helping people along those lines, but over a flip side, over on the ministry side of things and being a part of Man Camp. And of course, up there at Montclair Tabernacle. I should have wrote this down, but do you know off the top of your head what the website for Montclair Tabernacle? Yes, it is MontclairTab.org. MontclairTab.org. Okay.

And then one more time, Facebook, how can they find Tom Stewart on Facebook? Facebook, search under groups and it's Virginia Patriot Training LLC. All right. And if you want to come to Man Camp, hey, we do one in the spring, we do one in the fall. Our next one will be October 15th to the 20th and we have scholarships available for first responders, lead pastors, men in uniform.

If you're 18 and older, go check out Koloff.net, click the Man Camp link and we'd love to see you down in Royston, Georgia with us October 15th. Tom, so great that you're such a dear friend. Thank you so much for being a part of the Man Up show today. Well, thank you, Nikita. And I will say that I'm blessed to have you as a friend and thank you for what you do and let's just keep doing it together. I appreciate it. Well, in a good old wrestling term, Tom, we'll continue to tag team for Jesus.

How's that sound? Amen. And thank you for tuning in to another episode and hey, go out today and live a God-filled, God-blessed day. 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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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-26 16:27:56 / 2023-08-26 16:39:30 / 12

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