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Turning Game Time into God Time

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff
The Truth Network Radio
June 22, 2024 1:00 am

Turning Game Time into God Time

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff

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June 22, 2024 1:00 am

Today Nikita talks with Bret Dusing for another agreat episode of Man Up !


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Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network. 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. Welcome back to another episode of The Man Up Show, yours truly, Nikita Kolov, your host. And turning game time into God time. All right, pause, reflect on that for a moment. Turning game time into God time. Well, Nikita, I'm trying to follow you.

What do you mean by that? Well, with me today, I've got CEO, founder of True Play, Brent Duesing with me today. Brent, welcome to The Man Up Show.

Good to be with you, Nikita. So, True Play, play in the light. I like that.

We're going to dive into what that looks like, turning game time into God time. But let's take a minute here and tell our listeners, just give us a little background on Brent. Yeah, my background is, you know, I grew up in Missouri in the 80s, you know, actually grew up watching wrestling. So I enjoyed your career and looking forward to talking about that a little bit. Went to Harvard in the late 90s, graduated in 2001 and moved to Silicon Valley.

Spent a year before that working with homeless people and refugees in South Africa at a church. And then I've kind of since then, since 2001, become a serial tech entrepreneur. I founded a company called Cellfire.

Some of you may have used it if you've ever seen an app that said, use your cell phone to save money or use coupons in the grocery store on your phone, digital coupons. I invented that and we grew that business and had a successful outcome. And then since then, been mostly doing Christian video games.

So basically spreading the gospel through really high quality games and content and excited to tell you about that today. Well, and so family? You have a family? Yeah, married. Yep. Married, three kids.

Yep. Married and three kids. Now, are you still based in Missouri? No, we live in Austin. So I haven't lived there since I was 18 years old. I went to college in Boston and then I was in South Africa for a year and Silicon Valley for 15 years.

And we moved to Austin nine years ago, I think for a lot of the reasons that a lot of people who live in California moved to Texas. So you have a kind of a diversified background there and currently in the, as we mentioned, the video games with Trueplay. And before we get there, so your experience in South Africa was all ministry related? Yeah, I worked at a church in 1998 that had a homeless ministry. So for those who don't know the history of South Africa very briefly, apartheid ended in 1994, which if some listeners may be too young to know what that was. So South Africa was kind of the last country in the world where it was heavily segregated by race and you couldn't vote based on your race. So there was a, you know, essentially black people couldn't vote, didn't have a lot of civil rights. And that apartheid ended in 1994. Nelson Mandela kind of was ahead of that movement. Spearhead of that charge, right? Yeah.

Yeah, that's right. I'm condensing a lot of complexity in history here for the sake of the conversation. But basically that ended in 94. And then I went over there in 1998 and worked at a church in downtown Johannesburg with homeless people and refugees. And what was interesting was that was two things were happening besides the apartheid ending. One was a lot of refugees were coming to South Africa from different African countries because South Africa has a lot of infrastructure and kind of advanced technology and job opportunities vis-a-vis a lot of other countries.

So they draw a lot of immigration. And the other thing that was happening, unfortunately, was that was right when the HIV crisis happened. So there was a time in South Africa where they were having a double digit HIV infection rate. And so I was kind of there during that time. So you probably wouldn't know this about me, most likely, but so I made five different trips to South Africa between 1995 and 2004. So it would have been ironic that you were there, perhaps even one of the same times I was there. Does the name Ray McCauley strike a chord with you at all?

I feel like I've heard the name, but I don't know him. So Rhema Bible Church in Joburg, Pastor Ray McCauley was who I was connected with and go over for pastoral, he did a huge annual pastoral conference there in Johannesburg for years and years and years. And that's what I would go over for and then stay over maybe an extra week and do ministry. I went down to Durban, South Africa, and just traveled around different parts of South Africa, working in small villages, et cetera, helping to build daycares and small medical clinics in some of these villages. Incredible experience for me. And so that's why you piqued my curiosity when you mentioned being over there and then being in Johannesburg. I said, wow, what a small word it would have been if you would have been at Rhema Bible Church.

But all that said, so there's certainly some relatability there. So you come back from South Africa and you launch into what? Yeah, so I basically took a year in between my sophomore and junior year in policy. I took almost a gap year in between and then came back and finished my degree at Harvard. And then I graduated in 2001 and started my career in tech. So I started out as a venture capitalist, which is, again, for those listening, where you work at a firm who invest money in startups. And then after doing that for a little over three and three and a half years, I started my first company, which was the Cellfire mobile company that we did.

It's pretty amazing. So have you always had an interest in those sorts of things or how did that come about? Yeah, it's interesting. I was certainly interested in business, even back in high school. I was part of junior achievement.

And if you're listening and you're younger, if you have an opportunity to do that, I would highly recommend that. So I had a little bit of exposure from there. And then in college I did some different internships, which were very valuable. And again, if you're younger, if you're in college or you're in high school, I would very much encourage you to try to do internships. You can learn what jobs you like and also learn what jobs that you don't like. Those can be really valuable experiences. And then after being in venture capital, which was very interesting, I kind of decided I really wanted to start my own business.

And then the first one was just very secular, the couponing play. But then since then, I really felt called by the Lord to really impact people across the world, particularly now children, through video games. And as you probably know, for kids, video games is where kids spend most of their time. The average kid is on the screen 52 and a half hours a week. Unfortunately, in America, the average child is only at church 30 minutes a week because only half the population goes to church now. And so if you look at the bulk of screen time, they're on video games. And so we feel like that's the opportunity to meet children and make some significant changes.

So I definitely want to dive more into that. Back up just for a moment for our listeners. Brent, were you raised in church? Or how did you come to faith in Christ?

How did that happen? Great question, yeah. So I grew up going to a church.

My mom was great about making sure that we went and what she modeled as well. I would define my faith growing up as always knowing God existed, and that's just a gift God gave me. To me, if you look out at the world, if you look at a rainbow or a waterfall or a beautiful face or a beautiful landscape, it's impossible to think that that was all randomly just created and carbon atoms just floated around and randomly all these magical things.

You know, that's nonsense, right? There's clearly a creator. And now, I had a lot of questions as to, is the Bible really true?

Is all of it true? Who was Jesus really? And I wouldn't say I was following the Lord. You know, there's a famous quote where I think it's in James, where he says, look, the demons even believe God exists.

They just shudder, right? And so I believe God existed, was not a Christ follower. And long story short, really came to Christ when I was 20, around 25. I was working in venture capital and woke up one morning just feeling guilty that I hadn't been to church in years. I stopped going to church for years and kind of the kind of guilt you would feel if you didn't call your mom for Mother's Day or her birthday.

You know, it really is your fault. And I opened up the Yellow Pages for those who remember those. They used to be books. Again, if you're listening and you're younger, there used to be these books. Yeah, Google that.

Yeah. And so there was an ad for church. And I just went to this little Bible church and I asked the pastor a lot of questions.

You know, at an appropriate time, I didn't interrupt the service, but you know, I just went up to him at the end and just introduced myself and said, hey, you know, I'm really actually curious. Like, did Jesus really say he was the Son of God? Is the Bible all true or is it just kind of partially true?

And, you know, is the God of the Bible the same as the God of the Muslims and the Hindus? And it's all those questions. And I really, I was not, you know, trying to put him on or trick him. I just was generally curious and genuinely curious. I'd done a lot of kind of philosophy classes, read a lot of books in college, but all kind of from a secular perspective and had never heard the intellectual side of the Christian faith. What got me, long story short, the prophecy in the Bible, and if you haven't read it, if you're listening, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Daniel, I think it's Daniel 6, 7, and 8, where Jesus prophesied hundreds of years in the case of Psalm 22, a thousand years prior.

These specific predictions about Christ. And so, too often I hear people say, well, I don't agree about this thing and so I can't, I just can't believe in a God that would do X, Y, Z. And my response is, look, if you and I are standing on a building and you believe in gravity and I don't, and we both jump off, who hits the ground first?

It's a tie. Why? Because laws are immutable. So rather than us saying, well, I wouldn't believe in a God that did X, why don't we find out who God is and then realize that we don't get to decide what God does. And I think we live in a very backward culture, but that's the truth. And so that really got to me hearing the prophecies.

Why? Because that tells you there is some God that's all powerful and He's outside time, right? He's superior to even the concept of time. And if that's true, then I better get right. And the other thing that got me was the movie The Passion of the Christ. And it was made in 2004. If you haven't seen it, it's Easter weekend. I highly recommend you go watch it. It is, in my opinion, still the very best Christian film ever made. And it's very powerful, excellent execution. And it actually planted a seed in my heart to do what I do today, because if you think about what Mel Gibson did with that movie, he was telling a biblically authentic story. But the art, the cinematography was beautiful and the music was great. The acting was fantastic. So we combined kind of beauty and excellence with God's truth. And that movie, for those who don't know, actually was an incredible success, broke all kinds of records, including was the most successful R-rated movie of all time for 15 years.

So just made a huge impact on my life and really kind of planted a seed for what I do today. It's interesting. So just a note to sell for those listening out there, because if you caught what he just said, wait, R-rated movie about Jesus?

Well, for the record, R-rated because of how graphic it was, right? And the depiction of the crucifixion, et cetera. And so pretty amazing. And you are correct in terms of, you were trying to quote the book of James. It is in the book of James and it says, it says the demons believe in God and tremble. And I've quoted that scripture, Brent, a number of times saying, it seems like they have more sense than us. When's the last time you trembled at the thought of God? Right?

The demons believe in God and tremble, right? You're listening to the Truth Network and 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. Many people often ask me, is Nikita Kolov your real name?

Well, I have news for you. Now you can get the whole story on my audio book, Nikita, A Tale of the Ring of Redemption, narrated in my own voice, gaining all perspective and insight into my whole life, including my redemption. 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 and click the donate button.

You can give monthly, annually, or one time. God bless you for making a difference around the world. 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 and donate today. You're listening to the Truth Network and And so the prophecy is what really brought you personally to the foot of the cross. And the other thing that comes to mind as you were sharing some of your story about creation is, and I think it might be in the book of Romans and what's in several places in the Bible, but saying the undeniable fact that all of this has been created, not just thrown together in a big bang, the Bible is clear. It says because of his creation, there won't be anyone that will be able to stand before him and say, I didn't know. He's like, no, I revealed myself.

If nobody even told you about me, I revealed myself through my creation. You mentioned a beautiful rainfall, a beautiful person. You mentioned a rainbow. I mean, yeah, there's so many, and I don't know how far and wide you've traveled Brent, but I've traveled to date, I've traveled to 36 different countries and I have seen some, I remember the very first time I went to the Grand Canyon, right?

I'd never been. I was going to take my family up to the Grand Canyon. For whatever reason, in my mind, I was going to Arizona desert, right?

And so I didn't pack appropriately. I get up to Flagstaff, Brent, and it's a full blown blizzard. I'm like, am I in Arizona or Minnesota right now?

Where am I? And so my first view of the Grand Canyon literally was in a full blown blizzard. It was 32 degrees at the top of the Canyon, 72 degrees at the bottom of the Canyon. And what the top one third of it was white as the snow was falling. And then the bottom two thirds was brown.

Obviously it's got warmer, the snow melted, right? And I want to tell you the expression, it took my breath. You hear that expression. Hey, that'll take your breath away.

It literally, when I ran out to the first observation deck, I literally went, I mean, it took my breath away. And I'm like, how on God's green earth could somebody look at this and not believe there's a God? But I, you know, I, people do, right? I mean, the scripture says not everybody's going to believe. They didn't, there was plenty of people who didn't believe in Jesus in the days that Jesus walked the earth. There's plenty of people that don't believe in Jesus in our modern day, right? Yes.

It's amazing. Yeah, you're absolutely right, Nikita. And, uh, you know, Nikita is referring to, of course, Romans one and two kind of really unpacks the question a lot of people have, which is what happens to people who've never heard about Jesus? And to your point, God says, you know, creation is the witness that there is a creator, that there is a real God.

And you see that again. And, you know, Paul goes to Athens and there's the unknown God and their stories, their stories in Korea. And if you ever heard the story in South Korea, the first missionaries came and they had a prophecy in Korea that somebody was going to come and tell them about the real God.

That was also, that's been true in other cultures around the world as well. And so it's, you know, again, you know, God is, God is real and it's undeniable. And I think, you know, to your point, a lot of people who met Jesus, even at the time, rejected him. And so I think that's also something that's hopefully a little bit of an encouragement to those who are doing evangelism. You know, we can witness, we can explain, we can preach. And at the end of the day, though, the result of all that is really up to the person who's listening and to God. You know, so for those of you as an encouragement, if you're doing evangelism, just remember that not everyone who met Christ believed in him. And so everyone that you share the gospel with isn't going to believe either. And that's nothing to feel bad about. It's just human nature. A lot of people, you know, just dig their field in.

Right. And don't let that deter you from sharing your faith and sharing your story and sharing your testimony. Scripture says don't be ashamed of your testimony. And that we're all given a calling, a holy calling. You just got to figure out what field you're in, which I want to use this the segue into into true play and your vision for turning game time into God time, Brent.

So let's maybe start with what gave you the vision for creating creating this app and and reaching a generation that, as you said, spends, would you say, 52 and a half weeks or 52 and a half hours a week on a screen on a screen? Yeah. So here's here's what happened.

I was very much called into this and had this confirmed by some friends, some people who didn't know me, you know, just times when God spoke to me directly and in dreams and visions. But but also there was a real practical concern, which is and I'm not sure how Christians realize how bad things are for children. So let me give you a few facts. Anxiety, suicide and depression rates are all time highs for children. And too often the social conversation or the clinical diagnosis will let if we just spent more money or prescribe more drugs, things would be better.

Well, look, America has not been is not short of money or drugs. Right. That's not the solution. I'm not saying there's no medication for some people. It's not helpful, but that's not the answer. Yeah, it's not the answer.

And so give me another one. The average male is exposed to pornography when he's 11. Here's the worst stat. The people over 40, over 62 percent of us believe in God without a doubt. That's pretty good in America.

But for children, only 31 percent of American children believe in God. Why? Why are all these things happening? Here's why. Because kids are on screens two and a half hours a week.

Nikita, the Bible says the eyes are the window to the soul. Exactly. And so we've taken you're on a screen. You might be you might be doing something fairly benign, but you might be watching porn. You might be you might be watching shows on Netflix where they're essentially weaving in all kinds of bad stuff. You might be, by the way, playing video games where there's so much inappropriate sexual content, hyper violence. I mean, you know, I'm not against a little bit of action and some swordplay, but there's gruesome dehumanizing violence. Right.

Where there's drug usage and courage, where there's a lot of demonic stuff. And what's crazy is or what's different that people have to understand is that children, the bulk of their screen time now for the average child is video games. More money was spent on video games, on phones and tablets.

Last year and the year before that, the year before that, the year before that, then on movies. So people tend to think about, hey, if we just made movies, we could change people's minds. Look, movies are great, but if you want to change children, you've got to reach them in games.

Why? Because that's where they are. Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite. And if you have children at home, just ask yourself a simple question.

How many hours last month did you take your kids to a movie at the movie theater versus how many hours last month did your kid play a game on their phone or tablet? You get the answer pretty fast. Right. Right. And so lots and lots of hours. So you've created this created this app, True Play and positive biblical values in every piece of content.

You're adding new content all the time. It's high quality Christian games. And so what what's the age range for true play? And so parents listening out there and says, hey, let me check this out. Let me go to because that is the Web site.

True. True play games dot com. I want you to go there and check this out if you have smaller children. I have lots of grandchildren. Brent, you can be sure I'll be letting and I'll be seeing them here this coming week. And you can be sure I'll be letting my daughters know about your Web site.

Awesome. Well, I hope I hope they enjoy what I'll tell you if you're listening and interested in checking true play out. It's you know, it's one app with a whole bunch of games inside it. So think about like when you subscribe to Disney Plus or Netflix, you get you pay one subscription fee and you get access to all kinds of shows. Well, for true play, you pay one subscription fee, which you get access to all kinds of games.

They're really high quality games. I'll give you the results we're seeing. We're seeing the average child using true play about an hour and a half a week, which means if you take, you know, most Christians take the kid to church once a week. And, you know, that's what it is. So we're going to more and I promise to you is every piece of content we make contains God's truth. And some are biblical stories.

We have a game called King David's Battles. It's just come out stained glass where the biblical stories we have a universe of characters. You can read about our website that are living in this universe where, you know, the Bible is real and God is true and they believe in Jesus and they pray.

And there's all kinds of conflicts and exciting adventures with bad guys. But the point is every piece of content you use contains God's truth. And so if you're we're going to more than double your kid's exposure to God's truth if you're taking your kid to church once a week. The other thing is to say is that we're finding if a kid plays true play or plays roadblocks, they're more likely to come back and play true play than they are to go back and play roadblocks.

So we're seeing just fantastic testimonies of people, moms especially, and dads too, saying, you know, my child started to understand the Bible in a new way. They love true play because it's safe. There's no ads. There's no hidden in-app purchases. There's no chat rooms. There's been a lot of problems, you know, for those who know with chat rooms and kids games where there's been some real child predatory behavior.

There's none of that on true play. And so and not just that, but the kids love it. You know, you're not it's not like forcing your kid to take Robitussin. Hey, I know I know you don't like this the way this tastes, but need a drink. It'll help your cough. No, it's like giving your kid chocolate cake that has vitamins and protein and calcium that's healthier than what you feed them for breakfast. And so they want to eat chocolate cake for breakfast.

And you're OK with it because they're getting more nutrition than the stuff you were going to give them anyway. And so it's it's really been awesome to see so many moms and dads and kids just respond that how much it's changing their lives and introducing them to the Bible in new ways. Well, that's amazing. I want all of you out there in listening land. I want you to help spread the word on true play games. Kids love and parents can trust. And I want to tell you, just to reemphasize what Brent's been saying and you may already know, but when you hear some of these staggering statistics and or numbers that he's sharing, I can tell you for a fact, they're not exaggerated just because through my own travels and in the time I spend around my own grandkids and see how much time some of them spend on screens.

And so I, for one, can can testify and say these kids are spending lots and lots of time. CEO, founder of True Play Brent Duesing. And again, the website.

Go ahead, Brent, one more time. Tell them what the website is. Yes, true play games dot com t r u p l a y games dot com. And again, it's it's just phenomenal content. You're pure to love. It's all about God's truth and Jesus Christ. And also add we've been endorsed by some phenomenal people.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Promise Keepers, Sam Rodriguez, Dean Kane, Kevin Sorbo, Candace Cameron, a lot of other, you know, a lot of other just great folks out there who've taken a look and said, hey, this is not only is this great, but it's you know, you can trust it and it'll be something that'll impact your life. And so I really hope that it's a blessing to your family. I think, look, I'm a parent. I have three kids. I think too often I feel like the technology platforms and the entertainment products that are made for kids are working against everything I'm trying to teach my kids. It's like everything your mama taught you was wrong.

They're trying to tell you is right and vice versa. We're coming alongside parents. We're coming alongside churches to say, hey, look, we know parents are doing. Christian parents doing everything they can. We know churches are doing everything they can.

We want to be something. And look, you take church kids to church as often as you can. But when they're not at church, you know, Sunday night, Sunday afternoon through Saturday night here, they're going to be on a screen. Let's give them something they're going to love. That's going to plant, you know, that's going to grow their faith and grow their understanding of who God is and what the Bible is about. Right. Plant some good seed and get them at a young age, right?

That's right. So I know the website says ages four to 12. But even I'm sure there's even content on there that even some of the older kids would be interested in. Well, that and we have a lot of adults play with a lot of parents enjoy playing the games with their kids.

They compete with their kids for high scores. And I look and you know this, you're a dad, I'm a dad. It's not always easy to find things you you and your kid can do together and enjoy.

And we're finding a lot of parents. There's testimonies on our website where they'll say, hey, I actually enjoy play the games, too. I got something out of this, too. And so just like if you've ever seen, I don't know, like I really like the old version of The Lion King. And I get a lot of value out of watching it personally, even though it's an animated movie.

We hope that our content is something that as a parent, you know, you're going to enjoy and maybe pick up something, too, for your life. That's amazing. True Play.

Check it out. And I want to thank you each and every week. You're so faithful to listening to the Man Up show. And hopefully you were blessed by Brent's conversation today and with with True Play.

Until next time, go out 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 and donate today. I, Nikita Koloff, be sure to check out the Man Up show now available on television, broadcast and podcast. Go to or the Truth Radio Network. Check out your local listings or better yet, download the Truth Network app today. Nikita Koloff here.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-22 02:29:51 / 2024-06-22 02:42:40 / 13

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