This is Stu Epperson from the Truth Talk Podcast, connecting current events, pop culture, and theology, and we're so grateful for you that you've chosen the Truth Podcast Network.
It's about to start in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, and please share it around with all your friends. Thanks for listening, and thanks for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Well, I don't know about you, but I think one of the major problems in our society today is men not raising up young men to love and know the Lord. My guest today has a camp that is really focused on impacting the lives of young men, but he's also a great evangelist. So you're going to stick around today as we learn how we can impact the lives of the next generation of young men, and how we can share our testimony with everybody that we know, so they can learn about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Welcome to Christian Perspective today.
My name is Chris Hughes, and I'm so excited that you've joined us for this show today. I want to give a special thanks to Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Mid-America is located in Memphis, Tennessee, and if you're looking for a college to attend, the College at Mid-America is a great undergraduate institution where your children and grandchildren can go to school and learn how to develop a biblical worldview.
There's none of this negative or liberal stuff that's going on college campuses across the country at Mid-America. There's no critical race theory, just a sound and great education, and particularly teaching your student how to develop a biblical worldview. Maybe you're at the point in your life where you're looking for a place where you can go to seminary and you can get a master's degree to learn more about God's Word. You don't have to be a preacher and evangelist to go to seminary. You might just want to learn more about God's Word. Then I encourage you to check out Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.
You can learn more about them at mabts.edu. And of course, I want to thank our show sponsor, the Citizens for America Foundation, where we are dedicated to impacting the culture for Jesus Christ. We train and educate Christians how to develop a biblical worldview and then encourage them to take that biblical worldview into the arena of public policy and politics. You can learn more at citizensforamericafoundation.com. And while you're there, be sure to check out our Culture Engagement Summit, which is coming up in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 30th. We have some of the biggest names in the political arena and in the church world coming to speak that great day, and tickets start at only $15.
Again, you can learn more at citizensforamericafoundation.com. Well, my guest today is somebody that I love. This man is always happy every time I see him. He has an anointing of the Holy Spirit on his life, and he is one of the greatest soul winners I've ever met. Neal Hatfield, welcome to The Christian Perspective. Chris, what an honor to be with you. Man, I want to thank you for what you do for our Savior and for our nation. We're just trying to follow your footsteps because I have watched you from afar, and your passion for Jesus has rubbed off on me, and I'm so thankful for your life and your testimony, Neal. Neal, before we jump into some of the things that you're doing for the Lord, I always like our audience to get to know our guests kind of on a personal level. So if you don't mind, kind of let them know who you are, your family is, and your life story.
Yeah, man, I'd be glad to. One of the greatest highlights in my life, other than coming to Christ, was to be able to marry my bride. We just celebrated 41 years of marriage. Wow, congratulations.
Yeah, man, I'd love to think I'd get another 41 with her. She's just an incredible rock, loves the Savior with all her heart, all her soul, and we've been blessed with three unbelievable kids. They're not kids anymore, they're all adults, but our oldest son, Jake, and his wife, Becky, we have three grandkids. Jake is the campus pastor for Southeastern Seminary and is just doing a great job over there, pouring into young people. Then our middle son, Justin, and his wife, Christine, with two grandbabies, lives in Casper, Wyoming. Justin is a professional horse trainer. He trained under a great and godly man, Ken McNabb, for many years, and it's just amazing to watch how he uses the equine industry and relates it to a relationship with Christ and how he's touching so many people. And then we're blessed. Our daughter, Joanna, serves with us on our ministry team and is just an unbelievable influence on teenage and college and career age women. It's almost like God has given her a holy magnet in her life to be able to pour into that age group, but we're blessed.
Blessed beyond belief, Chris. Yeah, it sounds like it. So your son that's in Wyoming, I know, so they don't know you, but you're the typical, and I mean it's a compliment, but you look like a cowboy to me. You wear the cowboy boots, the hat, and all that. Are y'all from Wyoming originally?
No, people laugh at this. I was actually born and raised on the west side of Orlando, Florida, prior to Disney World, and at that time, the two great industries in Florida were the citrus industry and the cattle industry. I'm not sure if it's still this way today, but there was a point in that time that the state of Florida had more cattle than any other state in the nation, including Texas, and so it was very cowboy-oriented.
I think the greatest definition of my life is what Jeff Foxworthy said. He said, a redneck is the glorious absence of sophistication, and I fit that bill real well. Well, you know, people may not realize, Neil, and I'm from Panama City, Florida, which is up in the panhandle, but you're right. People think of oranges and tourists and beaches, but the cattle industry is huge in Florida, and there's a term, and I'm sure you're familiar with this, where people talk about Florida crackers. If you ever hear that term, it came from the cowboys in Florida, because they would have a bullwhip, and I may be wrong about this, so you correct me if I'm wrong, Neil, but the cowboys would have a bullwhip, and they would crack that whip to move the cows along where they were supposed to go, and that's where the name the Florida Cracker came from. Absolutely, and I'm one of those rare breeds that actually was born and raised in that state, but yeah, that's the true story, and those guys were experts for those whips at that time.
Yeah, well, how about that? I didn't know you were from Florida. Well, Neil, thank you for sharing about it, and you have such a precious family. I think I've met one of your sons and your beautiful wife and daughter, and it's such an encouragement when our family is in ministry with us, and that's just a testimony to you and your wife and what y'all have been able to do to raise three children who love and serve Jesus Christ. I mean, there's no greater testimony than to have our children love our Savior, so I commend the two of you for doing a great job of parenting the kids. Speaking of Jesus, Neil, I'd also like for our audience to learn about how our guests came to know Jesus Christ, and God has used you in such a mighty way. How did that journey begin for you, and how did you get to know Jesus as your personal Savior? I was raised in a home, earthly speaking.
I had a good mom, I had a good dad. There was some religion in the home, but it was a non-Christian home, and as I was raised or growing up, I basically equated Jesus Christ on the same plane as Greek mythology. I did not understand his deity.
I certainly did not understand what he had done. I had another hurdle that I had to get over, and that was the fact that I was deeply steeped in evolutionary training. At that point in my life, when I came to Christ, I was in my undergrad work, and I was preparing for veterinary medicine.
And all my life, I had thought I was going to be a vet. I just absolutely loved animals and always just enjoyed being around them. All of the sciences that I was involved in were just deeply, deeply steeped in evolution. I heard one great preacher say that the sanctioned religion in America is evolution, and sadly speaking, I'm a product of that.
And with all that, when I first was told about Jesus Christ, and it's interesting to know that was when I was 19 years old, the first time I'd ever heard about a personal relationship with Christ. I just, in my mind, could not put the two together. I could not put a God that I heard those believers speak about, along with my learning in that field of evolution.
It's a funny little joke, but I heard about a wife that called her husband theory instead of deary because he didn't work. In my mind, I could not make this whole thing work because of how I had been taught in evolutionary training. And then I just came to that place once I came to Christ, and I realized it doesn't work.
And here's the neat way that God orchestrated my salvation. I took a summer job at Walt Disney World the end of my freshman year in college, and I was assigned to the character department, and one of my jobs was to help in the electrical light parade at Walt Disney World. Well, it's interesting because at that time, Disney would take good-looking people and they'd give them facial parts, and they'd take people that looked like me and they'd hide them. And I was assigned to drive Alice in Wonderland's mushroom in the electrical light parade, and that mushroom was a neat engineering design in itself. I think it was 22 feet high, it had tens of thousands of lights on it, it was a battery-run machine, and it was one of the floats that would go through the park.
Basically, my job was to make sure that it was operational, it was ready for two parades at night, that all the lights were working, the battery packs were charged, and I was not supposed to run over small children in the theme park. And Alice in Wonderland sat on top of that 22-foot high mushroom, and as God would have it, my very first exposure to Christianity was one night after a parade, I was helping Alice off of her mushroom, and she looked at me and she said, I just want you to know something about me, Neil, and I said, well, what's that? And she said, I belong to Jesus, I'm washed in His blood, I am His, and He is mine. I've never met anybody that's led to Jesus by Alice in Wonderland, and this is going to be great.
Take her out. It gets better. We'll be right back with more Christian Perspective. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for, a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about.
Order your coffee today at shopgenerousjoes.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus and see the Bible come to life. This December, join nationally syndicated radio host and founder of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes, on a life-changing trip to Israel. It's one of the world's oldest and most fascinating travel destinations, luring the faithful from all over the world for thousands of years. Visit Jerusalem's religious quarters and explore Christianity's most treasured religious sites, like the Wailing Wall, the Dome of the Rock, and the Via Dolorosa. Walk with Chris through the winding alleyways of Nazareth's old city and visit ancient Bethlehem, the place of our Savior's birth. Float in the Dead Sea, visit the Sea of Galilee and the Jewish fortress of Masada. See firsthand where the events of the Bible took place. Touring Israel with Dr. Chris Hughes is a travel odyssey like no other.
Visit citizensforamericafoundation.com and get ready for an unforgettable trip and memories that will last a lifetime. Do you desire to build family relationships that stand the test of time? Does creating a godly family seem like a daunting challenge?
You're not alone. I'm Connie Yaupers, author of Parenting Beyond the Rules and host of Equipped to Be. As a mother of five, I understand your struggles. For 35 years, I have been helping families just like yours build lasting relationships.
I'd like to invite you to tune in to Equipped to Be and visit connyyaupers.com, where I share useful tips and proven strategies to help you navigate the seasons of motherhood, faith, and life with confidence and joy. History was made on today's date. Stay tuned for an American Minute with Bill Federer. Houston, we've had a problem, was the message received from Apollo 13, which was launched for the moon this day, April 11, 1970. Mission control identified that an oxygen tank had exploded, irreparably damaging the craft. The New York Times reported special prayer services. Prayers were set at the Chicago Board of Trade at St. Peter's Basilica by the pope at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Even the U.S. Senate adopted a resolution urging prayer.
In sub-zero temperature, the crew ingeniously pieced together an oxygen filter, jump-charged the command module batteries, and manually steered the ship to land successfully near a raging hurricane. This has been an American Minute with Bill Federer. For a free transcript, call American Minute at 1-888-USA-WORD. Welcome back to Christian Perspectives. Chris Hughes, my guest today, is Neal Hatfield. He's sharing his testimony with us of how he worked at Disney World and drove the magical light mushroom in the magical light parade for Alice in Wonderland. And one night she looked at him and told him how Jesus is her savior. Neal, I hate that we had to break that, but it was a good breaking point.
It was a teaser to come back. So tell us what Alice said and how you came to know Jesus. Well, like I had said earlier, I had never been witness to.
To my knowledge, I had never met a Christian to that point, 19 years of age. And she stepped off the mushroom and I believe her words almost exactly were, I belong to Jesus. I'm washed in His blood.
I am His and He is mine. And Chris, to me, that was like a foreign language. I had never heard any of that. I thought, what in the world is that woman talking about? But that was the doorway that he used to open her witness to me. And throughout about a period of a year, I would call her about once a month and just say, Hey, let's go grab a bite. I've got some questions for you. And I had thought that I had found some chinks in her Christian armor and I would have a question that I thought would defeat her faith.
And as soon as I would launch the question, she'd come back with a scripture that would just absolutely shred my argument. And this was month after month after month, just friends. At that particular point in my life, Chris, I was chasing some athletic dreams, as well as my undergrad work, and I blew my knee out in college.
And as a result of that, I had some pretty major reconstruction on my left knee, changed a lot of what I had thought my life was going to look like. And I went into the hospital, then you would check in the night before. And I checked in the night before and I called her Alice in Wonderland and I said, Would you bring me that book you read? And she said, What do you mean that book I read? I said, Would you bring me that book you're always reading it? And she said, You mean my Bible?
I said, Yeah, that one. And so she literally came to the hospital that night, brought her Bible and handed it to me. And I thought, you know, this is just like any other book.
I'll just read it tonight. And so I opened it up the night before surgery and started in Genesis. And Chris, I got so confused, all those names and all the things that I had never heard of in my life. And I finally remember just shutting that Bible, setting it on the stand there next to a hospital bed. And by the time I did that, the anesthesiologist walked in. Anesthesiologist walked in. And he handed me a paper and said, You need to sign this. And I read it. And just in simple terms, it basically said, If I give you the wrong amount of dope and you die, it's not my fault, it's your fault. And for the first time in my life, I thought, Man, I could die.
And a lot of the witness that Alice in Wonderland had given to me became current now in my mind that I began to think about what she had said. The surgery lasted about six or seven hours, and I came out in recovery. I was in traction for seven days in the hospital, and the doc came in at the end of that seven days and said, Neil, I want you to go straight home. Don't drive.
Don't do anything until our next visit. And I can clearly remember they rolled me out. I hobbled over and got in my truck and drove straight to Alice in Wonderland's house. And I knocked on her door and I said, I've watched you for a year. And I've heard what you've said over and over again about this Jesus. And I said, I want your Jesus. I'm even emotional now, Chris.
This was 43 years ago. I went into her living room. She had no mercy. She said, get on your knee. And I say, knee? My other leg was in a cast from my groin down to my toe.
And I can remember trying to get that full leg behind me. And I got on my knee and she opened the Bible to the Roman's road, what we call the Roman's road. And she showed me that all of sin comes short of the glory of God. And there's none righteous, none of one. And God committed his love for us while we were yet sinners. Christ died for us. And the spouse confessed with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God has raised him to the dead and that I should be saved. And the question was asked, do you want this Christ?
And I said, yes, I do. And they're in a living room. Chris, it wasn't a revival campaign. It wasn't in a church building. It wasn't a preacher.
It was a dedicated born again believer who loved the Lord Jesus Christ. And I gave my life to Christ in that living room that night. And all I can say is, in faith and repentance on that night, it was a Friday night in the month of May, I saw the ugliness of my sin. And by repentance, I ran to God and I confessed it.
I was ashamed of it. And I invited Christ into my heart. I actually prayed and I remember this. I prayed.
Nobody told me how to pray. I just prayed and I said, Lord, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. And Jesus, I am so ashamed of my sin.
And I asked him in my life. And that night miraculously, just like Alice in Wonderland had told me, now I belong to Jesus and I was washed in his blood. And as a result of that, I became mine and he became mine and I became his. And it was a radical change in my life. My worldview changed overnight, Chris, literally just changed overnight. And now I know 2 Corinthians 5.17 where it says, Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Behold, all things become new.
That verse is a progressive verse, a day by day progression. And that's what he's done in my life. I'll share one other neat segment of this and that's the fact that that was a Friday night that I gave my life to Christ. Well, I went to Sunday school with Alice in Wonderland on Sunday morning, just two days after. And I was amazed.
I walked into this college age class and there was probably, I don't know, maybe 100, 120 college students and I've never been exposed to anything like this before. And I looked up and the guy that was teaching, he was a sergeant in special forces. And I thought, great day, you mean a man can be a Christian? And this guy taught like a man, he looked like a man, he acted like a man. And I just stood there amazed that Sunday morning, first Sunday school class in my life as a new believer. And after the class he came up to me and he looked me straight in the eye and he said, Neil, I heard you gave your life to Christ on Friday night. And I said, yes, sir. And he said, you and me are going soul winning on Thursday night.
I said, what is soul winning? And he said, we're going to go out and tell people about Jesus. Chris, I know this isn't what you're supposed to do, but this was a sergeant in special forces and I stuck my finger in his chest, first time I'd ever been in a Sunday school class. I said, sir, I respect you. And I'm going to go with you Thursday night. But I said, if you make me say one word, I'm going to whoop you.
That's exactly what I told. And he laughed and I laughed and I found myself in the church parking lot on Thursday night. We drove across town. He jumped out of his truck like a wild man, ran up to a door, knocked on the door and the door swung open. A lady stood there and he said, ma'am, I'm so glad that you opened the door. We're here to tell you about Jesus Christ. And tonight Neil is going to tell you how he gave his life to the Lord. And Chris, in that little living room, for the first time in my life, I shared Christ. And that precious woman broke in about her sin, fell out of her chair on her knees and trusted Christ. And I'm only, what's this, less than a week old in Christ. And I saw that woman embracing Christ and I thought, Lord, she's just like me.
Nobody's ever told her. And God began to break my heart for the souls of men and women and people and boys and girls because I realized how many were out there just like me. What a powerful testimony, Neil. And folks, you know that if you listen to this show, I tell you that one of the primary responsibilities of every Christian is to tell other people about Jesus.
We can't impact the culture for Jesus if we don't tell the people in the culture about Jesus. And here you hear Neil's story where it was simple. Just a college-age girl, I assume, Alice in Wonderland, just told him one night that Jesus was her Lord and Savior. And because of that, it led to an eventual reality where Neil knew that he needed to have Jesus in his life.
What a powerful testimony, Neil. So before we take another commercial break, so do you still know Alice in Wonderland? Well, that's the neatest part of that story. Alice in Wonderland, once I gave my life to Christ, I tell people she went deaf, dumb, and blind and fell in love with me. And that's the lady that I've been married to for 41 years, the lady that led me to Christ, the original Alice in Wonderland at the electrical library in Walt Disney World. So not only did I marry Alice in Wonderland, but she led me to Christ.
So I think that's a pretty historic environment. What a powerful testimony, and to marry the woman that led you to Jesus. That's an incredible story, Neil.
Well, folks, my guest today is Neil Hatfield. We just shared a powerful testimony. It just accentuates the need for every one of us to not be ashamed of Jesus, to tell everybody that we know what Jesus has done for us.
Sharing your testimony with somebody is not telling you what happened to Neil or what happened to Chris, but just simply sharing what Jesus has done for you. And he's done something for every one of us. And if we pray every day that God will send somebody to our pastor, that's what you need to do every day. When you wake up, just pray, you know, Dear Lord, please send somebody today for me to tell what you've done for me. And when you do that, God will send somebody. And when the Holy Spirit nudges you, you just need to have the courage to say what the Holy Spirit is telling you. You know, Neil shared that he was scared the first time he gave his testimony. The Bible tells us in Luke 12, 12, which is to be obedient that the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say when the time comes. We've got to take a quick commercial break. When we come back, we're going to talk about the philosophy that Neil has in his life.
Stick around. We'll be right back with more Christian perspective. The United States of America has a strong Christian heritage, but most Americans don't know the truly important role that God in the Bible played in the founding of this great nation. This June, join nationally syndicated radio host and founder of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes, for four amazing days in our nation's capital. With Chris, you'll embark on a journey of discovering the hidden secrets of Washington, D.C. and rediscover much of America's forgotten Christian heritage. Your tour will include an up close and personal look at the nation's establishment and how it's evolved over the centuries. Learn about the government and the men who helped forge this new kind of republic, one that acknowledged the creator from its very inception.
Know the truth about the creation of the United States of America, about the faith of the founding fathers and how Christian principles were used to establish this form of government. Visit CitizensForAmericaFoundation.com today and secure your spot to join Chris Hughes in Washington, D.C. this June. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for, a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about.
Order your coffee today at ShopGenerousJoes.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about. The Conservative Baptist Network is a dynamic movement of Southern Baptist pastors, churches and Christians committed to standing for the sufficiency of God's word in the face of a culture of compromise. The passion and prayer of the Conservative Baptist Network is that God would help Southern Baptists stay bold for the gospel so that we might see revival in America and the world reached for Christ. Visit our website today at ConservativeBaptistNetwork.com to learn how you and your church can join and support this exciting movement.
Welcome back to Christian Perspective. This is Chris Hughes. My guest today is someone that I just love so much. Neal Hatfield is one of the greatest soul winners I have ever met. But I had no clue that his wife with Alice in Wonderland at Disney World and Alice in Wonderland led Neal Hatfield, a tough athlete and cowboy, to Jesus Christ.
Neal, I just love your story. So you have a habit of saying that building world changers for the cause of Jesus Christ is something that we need to do. What do you mean by that? Well, Chris, in my life I quickly realized that you can't have a head-on collision with Jesus Christ and walk away the same. And God began to build a passion both in my bride and my life about building champions for the cause of Christ. And as we began to study and look, we realized that so many of the great moves or awakenings of God throughout history began with young people.
And we began to develop the passion to attempt to do that. You know, it's interesting to me, and I'm sure there's some that might dispute this, but I don't find the concept of the American teenager in the Word of God. I don't see that anywhere in my Bible. It seems that our culture has left young people from about the ages 12 till 18, 19, 20 years just to basically do whatever they want and act irresponsible.
And I don't see that. I see a progression in my Bible from childhood into adulthood. And I think that's why 1 Timothy 4.12 says, Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in spirit. Building world changers, the passion that we have is to build a generation of young people that are examples, just like Alice in Wonderland was to me. I've got these great preachers named Dr. Ron Riley.
Ron wrote a book, I don't know if the title was original to him, but the title of the book was Better Building Youth Than Mending It. And I love testimonies like mine. I really do. I was lost. I was away from anything that resembled godliness, and I thank God for the grace of God. But I would sure rather a young person have a testimony that they were reached in a time before sin had polluted their life, and that their commitment was so real and powerful that they wanted to be built into a champion. I think, Chris, we're seeing that this is the first generation of young people I know of in America that are having to pay a price if they make a decision for Christ. And I'm not sure that we had prepared a generation of young people for that, and we're reaping the bad benefits of not building champions, people that make an impact for Christ.
And they're getting chewed up. They get chewed up on our college campuses, they get chewed up in the workforces, and I just want to give my life to building warriors for the cause of Christ, Chris. That's such a need, Neal, of what you're talking about, preparing young people. I recently had a young lady on the show who's a college junior in New Jersey, and she travels with an organization I know you've heard of called Students for Life, where she speaks about the importance of defending the unborn. And this young lady said, you know, when I went to college, I thought that the criticisms would become because I was pro-life. And she said that paled in comparison to when people found out she was a Christian. Just vicious attacks came both from professors and from her fellow students, and our kids just aren't prepared for that. Yeah, you're absolutely right, and we are reaping the terrible benefits of the lack of preparation.
Yeah, it is bad. So what do you think are some of the key biblical truths that need to be instilled in our kids today? Well, I love this question. I really believe that we must teach young people their great value. They don't see it.
I think you see that reflected in the drug use, the suicidal statistics, the lack of self-esteem or confidence. The scripture says in Psalm 139 14, I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are thy works, that my soul knoweth right well. I was sitting years ago in the Convocation Center at Liberty University, and Elizabeth Elliott was the guest missionary speaker that day. And if you've ever heard of Elizabeth Elliott, those of you that are listening, she's a lady of elegance and sophistication, and she stood up and she said, I'm speaking to young ladies right now. There were many men in that room, but she said, I'm speaking to young ladies right now. This is what Elizabeth Elliott said in that Convocation Center. She said, ladies, if you could not go back to the privacy of your dorm room right now and disrobe and look at yourself in a full-length mirror and quote Psalm 139 14, I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are thy works, my soul knoweth right well. Elizabeth Elliott said, then you are backslidden.
And Chris, that just rang my bell. I realized our young people don't see their incredible value. And because they don't see that value, they don't understand the beauty nor the value of the biblical family. In my Bible training, I've been taught that God created three great institutions and first was the family and then was government and then was the church and the criticalness of the family and the value of those of us that are in that family. The scripture in Genesis 9 says, and you be fruitful and multiply and bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply therein. The scripture that you and I have used so many times in Mark 10, 6 through 9, from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
The bridge calls for a man to leave his father and mother in Cleveland to his wife. They claim to be one flesh, there is no more claim but one flesh. What therefore God hath thrown together, not man put asunder. These are principles that need to be taught to our young people, and by the way, they quickly clear up the confusion in the sexual insanity in our culture right now. Dr. Bailey Smith was a Dior friend of mine, Bailey's with the Lord now, but for years Bailey would travel across the country and he had one message that he would preach many times and he titled that message, It's Sex or Plot in America, and it was just talking about the insanity that we have pushed on our young people.
So I think their value is a critical key. I think them understanding the God-called greatness of the biblical family and God's design. And then, I really believe this, we've got to show young people the incredible power of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. They don't see the relevance in the church. Many of our young people compartmentalize their so-called faith, and all it is is an hour or two blocked, one hour or two hours a week, and yet Jesus said in Matthew 16 18, upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against this.
I was in a class, this was years ago Chris, and the professor was standing up and he said, I want you to imagine having a battering ram, and he said, I want you to imagine as a part of the bride, the boyhood bride of Christ, being at the gate of hell and taking that battering ram and bashing the gates of hell backwards. And then he said, that is the call of the mighty church of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what you have seen, and by the way, thank God for the work that you do, the church hasn't been the battering ram many times, they've been the doormat. And youth need to know that there is mighty power in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. There's another thing that's so critical, and that's the fact that this generation needs to see and understand that God has given all of their work, maybe their vocation, and how critical that is. To teach them a work ethic.
I was in a business just the other day, and the owner of the business said, yeah, he called the young man's name, and I've been there and seen him very work there, and he said, yeah, he doesn't show up for work regularly. And I thought, how sad that is that nobody taught this young man how critical a work ethic is and how valuable his work is. 1 Corinthians 10 31, whether therefore you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do it all to the glory of God. That ought to be the attitude we teach young people as they pursue their God-given call. I love Colossians 3 23, and whatsoever you do, do it harder, yes, Lord, not unto men. I believe those are definitive things that we must instill in young people, and we've got to help young people see that they are the great missionary force.
Of this generation. Chris, had it not been Alice in Wonderland, more than likely, the trajectory of my life, I would be in hell today. But somebody instilled in that young woman her value and her call. Proverbs 29 18 says, whether it's no vision, people perish. But now listen to the key of this verse. But he that keepeth the law, and I believe that word law is synonymous with the word of God that they have.
He that keepeth the law, and after you see. The youth are not the church of tomorrow, Chris. They're the youth are the church of today.
And we have got to build them. That goes back to the world changer, philosophy, and my Bible says in Psalms 126 5 and 6, they that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that go forth and reapeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come in with her joys and gracious sheaths and women. Let me just wrap this part of this up by saying, Alice in Wonderland, my bride Sue, saw the passion and she understood that there was no such thing as missionary dating. She didn't date me as a lost man, and yet she never lost the compassion for my soul. I've preached this to young people all over the country. Friends don't let friends die and go to hell. And Sue exemplified that in my life, Chris.
Amen. Folks, we're talking to Neil Hatfield and he's just sharing his heart with us for the next generation. Well, they're not next generation, as Neil says. This is the generation leaving right now. Stick around.
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Visit CitizensForAmericaFoundation.com today and secure your spot to join Chris Hughes in Washington, D.C. this June. Welcome back to Christian Perspectives. Chris Hughes, my guest today, is such a powerful soul winner. Neil Hatfield is just a dear man who has a heart for Jesus like few other people I've ever met. He has shared his testimony today of how his wife, when they first met, they weren't dating.
As he said, they weren't missionary dating, but she told him about what Jesus had done in her life because, as Neil says, friends don't let friends die and go to hell. We've been talking about the biblical truth that needs to be shared with young people today. Neil, we've just about run out of time for today, but in this last segment, can you share with us your thoughts about what you call the Uplands Way?
I would love to. We have a few segments or statements that we've gathered over the years that are not original to me, but things that we try to instill in young people that we work with. They're so basic. One of those is the simple phrase, never quit. If you're around our summer college interns, they'll say that a thousand times in the summer, never quit, never quit, never quit.
Some of that was instilled in me in my past athletic times, just knowing that you keep going regardless of the circumstances. It's just an Uplands Way to teach them that even when things don't go your way, you never quit. What is next to your controversial, Chris, we teach them to be regularly late, just to be lazy.
That flies like a brick in culture today, but it's the truth. Along with that simple principle, this is what our staff shares all the time with our young people. To be on time, to be 10 minutes early. If they are serving with us in an intern position, we teach them, listen, if your workday starts at 8 o'clock, we want you at your desk at 7.50, to where at 8 o'clock you begin to work. They look at you like, man, I've never heard this, but when you put the expectations out, it's amazing to see how they embrace them.
I love it. Another one that we say, and it's certainly not original to us, but talk is cheap, action is cheap. We just want young people to be young people of honor and integrity, and that their Christianity is not mere words, but it's the light that they live day by day. I borrowed this one or stole this from Dr. David Jeremiah, and I love it. We teach them that all of our successes are prayer successes, and all of our failures are prayer failures. A big part of what we do, in any way that we work with young people, we teach them the incredible power of prayer.
The access that we have to the throne of God, and I love watching young people embrace that or grab that. Another thing that kids need to see today is that prayer really is important, and parents listening, and grandparents, your kids need to see you pray daily. They need to know that you don't do anything without talking to God first.
Just this morning, I'm going to get in trouble here. My daughter's got a big decision coming up in a couple of days. She asked me earlier, what would you do? I'm at that point in my life where I'm trying to be careful, because kids as they grow up need to make some of their own decisions, and particularly one that affects her total life. But I told her, I can't answer that question until you give me a little bit of time to pray about it. I'll pray about it, and then I'll tell you what I think God says about it. I think kids need to realize the importance of everything. I mean, every single thing we do, Neil, needs to be bathed in prayer.
Oh, me. Chris, one of the great honors now that our kids are all adults, and their spouses, and even our grandkids, is when they'll call us and say, Hey, would you pray with me about this? And it's just like you and your daughters. That's one of the honors that your kids have seen in the end, and they want it. They want that power. Well, I'm sorry I interrupted your tips, but prayer is so important.
I just wanted to jump in on that one. Well, and it is, and it's the key. These last few are just basics, but we tell them if you use it, put it up. If you drop it, pick it up. If you mess it up, clean it up.
If it's dirty, wash it. And we had two incredible young men that came to our summer program that were both about to head off. I think they were going to NC State, and we were giving them the staff tour, and we said, Okay, this is where you'll wash your clothes. And they both looked at each other. They were brothers, and they said, How do you wash clothes?
And I said, You've got to be kidding me. And they said, We've never washed a load of clothes in our life. Our mother's done that for us. And I said, Well, guys, I'm not your mama, and you're going to learn it if it's dirty you are. And it amazes me sometimes how little we teach our kids.
And then we teach a simple principle, leave it better than you found it. We had a group of neat young people, most of them were teenagers, and we threw them to a state park. We had a big fire and cooked some food and all that. And I loved watching it. When we all finished up, one of them jumped up and said, Hey, let's leave it better than we found it.
And they started picking up trash. And I just thought, Lord, that's a neat principle to live with. This particular statement, Chris, was a man that was instrumental in my life, Dr. Lee Robinson at Tennessee Temple University many years ago. He used to say this every time that you'd be around him very long. He'd say, Everything rises and falls on leadership. I want to raise up leaders, and they need to understand there's a responsibility in leadership, and there's a cost to leadership. And that takes us to the next thing we teach, and that's, I use this statement, Think like a boss.
We'll say that over and over again. Jake, who is our oldest son, who's the campus pastor at Southeastern Theological Seminary and the undergrad program there, he called and said, Dad, they want to use your statement. I said, What statement? He said, That one about think like a boss. And I said, Well, it's not mine, but have at it.
And the dean of students there said, Man, I love that principle to think like a boss. But we're not dealing with children, Chris. We're dealing with adults that are supposed to be acting like adults and not living in that teenage insanity that we've produced in America. Then the last two, Keep your eyes on Jesus. That's all that matters.
That's all that's going to matter to him is that we have followed him, been in his word, checked our eyes on him. And then great passion in my heart, Chris, and this is a part of my desire. I don't know how old you are, but I just feel like the world's oldest teenager.
I just turned 62. You know what? I also want to do, Chris, finish well. And we teach that to young people. Give your life to finishing well. It doesn't matter if you come into the great splash, do something big in younger years, finish well. And that's my heart's desire for me, Chris.
Well, I know what you mean. And I was sharing with my kids the other day that I just pray, almost like Samson in the Bible. I've certainly had my share of sin and failures in my life, but I'm just praying that God will give me one more chance to do something great for him. A guy went to high school with me the other day and was like, What are you doing? You've got this radio show and you're having all these national conferences, you travel around the country and speak, and the rest of us are retiring. You're supposed to be retiring. We never retire when it's for Jesus, but like you said, I want to finish well and finish strong for Jesus.
Neil, we've got a couple of minutes left. I want you to real quickly just share about your camp, your ministry, how people can learn more about you and pray for you. Well, when I gave my life to Christ, Chris, almost immediately, I was 19 years old, almost immediately we began working with young people. We went as camps to a couple of different camps with young people from our church. God just broke my heart for the youth of this generation. We devote an awful lot of energy to working with young people, junior age, college age, and that probably is what our ministry is best known for. I'm really thankful for this, Chris. Two summers ago, we crossed a great mark in what I consider our journey.
Typically, we don't work with large groups. We have found that the smaller groups give us more ability to really pour in these kids. I think it was three years ago we crossed the mark that 100,000 young people had come through our camp programs over the last 30-something years.
It just thrilled me. They called it the Summer of Love back in the 60s, I think it was San Francisco. 100,000 young people gathered and they were smoked open. They yelled out to rebel against the Scriptures.
Chris, they left that Summer of Love and they changed the face of Europe and America. I always thought, Lord, why can't we as believers raise up 100,000 that could take this nation back to the Lord Jesus Christ? Well, Neil, how do they find your camps online? The name is Upland's Reach. That's U-P-L-A-N-D-S and then the word reach, Upland's Reach.
There's websites and all kinds of things. I would love for people to see if we can help in any way. We've just had a great new move. We're relocated.
Beautiful facility in Yadda-Deeville, North Carolina. I just can't wait. Sue and I have been serving the Lord for 43 years. I'd love to have another 43 years to keep on going.
The Lord doesn't come back first. Amen. Well, Neil, thank you so much for being with us today. We sure enjoyed having you on the show.
Chris, God bless you. Keep up the great work. I'm very excited about your upcoming conference that you're doing in Mid-America. You keep up the great work. Thank you, I will. Folks, be sure to check out Upland's Reach.
They have great camps and so many super events out the year. Be praying for Neil and his family as they continue to reach the world for Jesus. Tune in every day at the same radio station at the same time. If you can't get the whole show, remember to be released as podcasts later today. Share with your friends on social media. God bless and now let's go attack the culture for Jesus.
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