Hey, this is Mike Zwick from If Not For God Podcast, our show.
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This is the Truth Network. Coming to you from an entrenched barricade deep in the heart of central North Carolina, Masculine Journey After Hours, a time to go deeper and be more transparent on the topic covered on this week's broadcast. So sit back and join us on this adventure. The Masculine Journey After Hours starts here now. Welcome to Masculine Journey After Hours.
This is Danny filling in for Sam, who we haven't roasted very well so far, but I think that's going to be ended soon. We've been talking about created for a purpose, and it's just something God laid on my heart last week. And the scripture that I had with it was, for it was you who created my inward parts, you knit me together in my mother's womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.
Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well. And kind of the heart behind it is not so much your defined purpose, but the journey that goes along with that and, you know, the battered lives that some of us lead and everything, but you still have to center in on the fact that God created you. He had something in mind when he created you, and it was a good thing.
And, you know, as we talk about right here, you know, we all have a special sauce kind of thing. So, anyway, we're going to go to Mr. Jim, who's back with us. Glad to have you back, Jim. It's good to be back and kicking, and you're ready for me to just keep talking.
Just keep rolling there, big guy. When I heard this, well, reminded me, the first thing I thought of was an old joke that most of you probably heard, but I'll tell it anyway. There was the pastor doing the children's sermon. Something used to happen in a lot of churches, and he's talking about, well, first I want to talk about something. You're familiar with it. This is something that loves to run up and down trees, and it eats nuts, and it's got a big furry tail.
A little kid raises his hand. I know what it is. It's Jesus, but it sure sounds an awful lot like a squirrel. So, my first reaction to this was, well, my purpose is to follow Jesus, to have a relationship with him. And I thought I was done, and that was one of the longest times I think I've ever spent on pursuing the topic. From there, I wandered all the way up to my communicants class. I was raised Presbyterian, and I had to learn the shorter catechism, and I thought, well, the chief end of man.
I still remember the first one, and it's to glorify God and enjoy him forever. I said, well, that's a good answer, and it sort of went downhill from there, and I wandered around in a lot of areas. I looked at clips.
I didn't like anything I was seeing. I prayed about it. God didn't talk to me, and God is about to talk to me.
Let's hear what he's got to say. I think there was something about a farvek nugun trail of some kind. Nothing to do with going, driving far. Was it a rabbit that you had a different? We're going to get to the, I started with a squirrel. We started with a rodent. We're going to move up to a lagomorph and chase rabbit trails. Ding, ding, ding. There we go.
Farve nugun. Yeah, that just means going. It's kind of long.
Germans like to have long words that we can shorten a lot, and Hebrews shorten the best of all. But anyway, we're going to fill up your time slot here, even though we blew. That is the rabbit trail. And we're on a rabbit trail, and I'm good, and I've got a brain that wanders all over the place, and these guys are enjoying getting me derailed, but we're going to get back to it. But where I ended up after that is I said, well, it's got to be about me, and that's where I really got okay.
I don't, I was in a funk most of this week, and I was scrambling around, doing a lot and accomplishing nothing. So I'm usually the peaceful, easygoing guy, but as my wife told someone, you know, he seems calm, but you don't know how fast the, oh, we got ducks in this one too, how fast the duck's feet are moving under the water. I'm quacking up here.
Yes, no quacking up here. But ultimately, I got to where I was looking at, okay, I got to look at me. I did this five-day study in three days, and during that, I don't remember much about it because I wasn't really pay attention to what I was studying, but the guy said something to the effect of how do you leave you leave a room?
Are people more cheerful, happier after you're gone, or are they more stressed because you were there and you're leaving a room stressed or peaceful? And God finally said ding, ding, ding, ding, as somebody else just said recently. And the first thing that came to mind is this song, which we are finally going to get to.
You're from the other side. wooden ships on the water, uh, that had significance and I don't know why that one came because I hadn't thought much about that song in a long time, but, uh, 40, excuse me, 50 years ago, I bought my first cassette player. It was sort of like a boom box, but they weren't calling them that yet. And the very first cassette I bought was Crosby stills dash.
And this was my second favorite cup on the cup cut on that album. And it meant a lot to me because I sort of put myself in it. I also, in those days, you know, you didn't have the lyrics on your cell phone.
You were, if you had an LP, sometimes you had the lyrics, but this was a cassette and there were no lyrics. So I heard the words a little differently. And that was actually significant because when he said everybody sees a smile or in the same language is the actual word I heard enlightened way out of language.
And then at the end, he basically says, you know, we probably will survive, but it was for me, it was God may keep us both alive. And the whole thing was two soldiers opposite sides. Don't you touch that mic, two soldiers, opposite sides that bonded eating the fruit, sharing the fruit that one of them had, uh, he wanted to know who won, but there's just two of them surviving.
That didn't matter. And it struck me then. And now that most of our life is spent in combat, we talk about that, but it's against powers and principalities.
And in this case, two guys that were supposed to be killing each other came together. And that meant a lot to me then. And now, and what I ultimately heard through this is I'm supposed to help people smile to bring joy. And God reminded me that when I do go into a room, that's the normal reaction, except maybe here with my band of brothers, because we pick at each other a lot, but I am to be a peacemaker. And that is what I was created to be. And for most of my life, I was a peace seeker. I didn't want any conflict. Didn't want to be around anything that was even remotely, uh, that would hurt relationships because I love people. I've, that's a gift from God.
I'm not sure why some of them I love, but even Robby, I love to death, couldn't, couldn't live without him. And now he, now you can talk. Well, actually it was really profound. I was just going to mention actually that you hadn't got to the part, but you kind of wish that people before they heard the song would have known that because I've never heard the song before, in spite of the fact that we're the same age, almost same age, almost that, that when they heard the song, that this is two combatants that are now find themselves like the only ones left on the battlefield. And that smile is, is a sense of what you talked about at the beginning of the, uh, of your introduction, that that smile was just an indication that, you know, we could leave the room in a more peaceful way than we entered the room. And the, and the idea of the berries being like, you talked about sharing the fruit, it's just, it took us a while to get there, but it really, it's very profound.
Well, I usually go straight to the point cause you, you guys know that about me, right? But knowing you, I totally agree that you bring exactly that to the party in many situations where things are, you know, pretty crazy. And you and I have experienced some crazy situations where, you know, it's really nice to have those giftings. And, and it's, to me, it speaks to that we all have a similar purpose in being a man being initiated and whatever, but there also is something uniquely made about Jim that he brings something that I can't bring and each one of us. Right. Right. I think it's beautiful.
I really do. I was not at this one time I wasn't going to bust you. I was, I was just going to try to, you know, bring in the part about the combatants. Cause to me, that's the secret to the clip. The, one of the gifts God did give me, and I, again, don't know why, but it's a big part of who I am. I love not finding people that are like me cause that's hard to find fortunately, but the differences that we all bring to the table and the synergy you get from being with people that are different. God wanted us to love people that we may not like up front, but once you love them, you get to know them.
There are very few people I've ever met that I wanted to run away from once I got to know them better. So, you know, too, Jim, on that clip, on that clip, um, you know, stress spelled backwards spells desserts, right? Yes. I had to throw that in. I've waited on it. I wasn't going to share that, but then I got to thinking when, as you were talking deeper about, you know, the stress of war and then they shared the, the fruit dessert. So that's kind of where I was going. When you said stressed, I heard stress.
That starts with stress. So much for, uh, well, it was good. We just heard something different in your setup. What was that word you use for the rabbit? A lagomorph. Well, I thought that was a character in Andy's clip. So Andy, you have a clip for us. I do.
I do. It comes from Lord of the rings, the, uh, the fellowship of the ring and it's near the end, probably the last 20 minutes. And it's, um, Frodo and Gandalf talking and Frodo's, um, he's, uh, he's questioning why he's had to be the ring bear because of all the stuff that he has to deal with that others don't. And, and Gandalf kind of speaks into that. I'm not going to take his line now, but we'll talk about it on the other side. And then it gets into, as, as, uh, Frodo's going on to, to Mordor and Mount doom, he wants to go by himself because he doesn't want anybody else to be bothered by it.
But Sam's been kind of his sidekick all along and kind of been given that role. And it speaks both the journey of them getting to their purpose and you'll just, both of them, um, you know, both of them have a role to play in this journey in this story. I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide.
All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you. Not alone! Frodo! Mr Frodo! Go back Sam! I'm going to Mordor alone!
Of course you are! And I'm coming with you! You can't swim! Sam! Sam! Sam! I made a promise, Mr Frodo.
A promise. Don't you leave him, Samwise Gamgee. And I don't mean to.
I don't mean to. Oh Sam. So I probably should have explained there, um, Sam actually, Frodo's going to Mount, uh, Mordor and Mount Doom in a boat and Sam just runs out. He's so committed to the purpose that was assigned him from Gandalf that he just goes and jumps in the water and about drowns because he can't swim.
Obviously you hear that. And Frodo saves him so then Frodo's got purpose in that. His purpose is all over that. Gandalf's purpose of leading them. Gandalf being the Christ figure and how he leads them to it.
And Gandalf's presence is all throughout the movie as he leads each one of them into their purposes, right? But that statement, all that we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you. And it's really a powerful statement. Yes, um, it is our choice. He gives us a choice. We have to decide whether we're going to take up that call, that purpose. You know, God definitely brings a relationship. That's the most important part of our purpose is to find him. But he doesn't call us to sit on a behind, right?
He calls us to do something with him. And that's what's going on here in Lord of the Rings. Um, I like this quote from Mark Twain that, uh, I think I'll be using an upcoming talk. The two most important days in your life are the day that you are born and the day that you find out why. And I think that, you know, really speaks to, um, again, it's not just like a destination. It's a journey. That calling, that purpose, that reason you were born. But wouldn't life would be pretty born, boring if we just were called into a relationship that required nothing of us, required no commitment, required no following.
That would be a boring relationship. And I don't, and I think God knows that. And he created his heart for that journey, for that calling, for that purpose. And we have to depend on him to, to, to find that out or to find it out and then to actually execute it. Yeah, we've been watching, um, we were watching the show Outer Banks.
And, um, if you hadn't watched the show, it won't spoil much. Life is kind of like a treasure hunt. It really is that, you know, there are nuggets along the way that points you toward who you truly are. And, and, you know, those are kind of the things we want to kind of unpack is that, you know, where are those moments in life? And, you know, we could, we could do several shows on just those moments, I think, but the, uh, I want to throw something out to you guys is that, you know, can you describe a defining moment, a treasure, a treasure pointer, if you will, where God took a moment and, and pointed you toward your purpose?
Harold? I had one quite a few years back. I think it was around 2002, 2002, to be exact. I had been having symptoms of heart issues, but didn't recognize it because I didn't have chest pain. I didn't have shortness of breath.
I had a tightness in my throat, uh, when I would be exercising. Well, I, I was at the doctor to be checked out. And, uh, so they sent me to the hospital to have a catheterization. When they started that process, I checked out twice.
I flatlined twice and was paddled back. I didn't know it at the time. My wife told me later, but, uh, the, the next morning they cut me open and did five bypasses.
I had a hundred percent block in the major right, and I had a little over 90 in the widowmaker. Uh, so they did, they did the surgeries. I was laying there in the recovery after I'd kind of got my senses back. And I thought, why me? You know, of all the kajeian people over the face of the earth that die every day from things similar to me, why did I not, uh, with, uh, with, they had made the statement, if I'd have had a heart attack, I'd have had one, no second chance with what was going on with me. And I lay there and I, and it was, you know, why me Lord?
Why am I spared? And it came to me that I needed to tell people about the heart symptoms that I experienced because they're not the typical ones, but they're, they're serious. People need to know when to act regarding heart issues. They also need to know when to act regarding spiritual heart.
So your physical heart keeps you alive physically, but unless you take care of that spiritual heart, you're dead forever. So yeah, I think I had an experience that gave me a purpose in life. You know, there was a, there was a time in my life when I was on the cusp of what became Ashboro Ministries. And, you know, God was dealing with me a lot of stuff, but, but I was the last guy on the planet I viewed as a leader or as a minister or a pastor, any of that kind of stuff because of all the wounding, all the, all the stuff that, that I had become convinced of. And I remember meeting my dear friend Ron Harris and, and for the first time ever, and, you know, he looked at me in the eye and he, he quoted a scripture that I had been studying for two weeks. God would not let me get away with it, get away from it. And, you know, he says, you know, you're trying to follow, but God is telling you to step out and lead.
Those men in Ashboro need a leader. And yeah, it was a defining moment for me was that, you know, I'd love to tell you, I took off running toward destiny, like nobody's business, but, you know, a lot like Gideon, I really like this wine press. I really do. And, you know, so, but those are the things that, you know, God is pointing, got road signs, got clues and all that kind of stuff on this adventure.
And it's, it's those moments like Harold was sharing that, that really make us or break us, I think. So Jim, you got something I do, but after those, it seems almost silly. I use the word lagomorph earlier.
Biology was my least favorite science. And I think I remember the other word. I have a good friend. That's a whole lot smarter than I am and lifelong. I met him when I was 18. And the defining character, one of the defining characteristics of a lagomorph is they are coprophagic.
I believe is how it's pronounced. Look it up. Cause even in after hours, we don't want to talk about that, but God sent me and I knew it was God. I knew I had to do it to talk to him about faith.
He was a fallen away Catholic, still love the man to death and one of the most impressive human beings I've ever known. And I said, I can't do that. He's going to shake my faith. Cause this was pretty early in my journey that God said, do that. And he told me to do it. And we sat up talking. We probably started about 11 PM and we were still sitting out in his driveway at three in the morning and there was not an immediate effect, but I didn't lose my faith.
And that was real. I really was, you know, he's going to talk me out of God and I don't want that. So I'm not going to talk to him. But when God tells us to do something, we do it, especially if we don't see a way of doing it. Cause that's a good way to know it's absolutely God. If you can't see any way to do what you just heard him say, it's going to happen. And that was a huge faith builder for me.
And let me know that it's not on me to be successful. I do what I'm told to do following God. And then he brings about the outcome. And 30 years later, he's back in the Catholic church and he is, he was one of the most, uh, I forgot the word. See, I can't remember the easy words, but he was the most, had the best integrity of anyone I've ever known in my life.
And Chuck is now in God's hands. And I don't know if I had any impact or not. And I really don't think I did, but God did.
Anybody else got anything? I guess mine was, um, probably, um, um, talk about it in the calling talk. Um, just 2016, uh, been separated for quite a while and was really not getting a lot out of where I was working. And I was really just not really advancing like I wanted to. And I wanted to change and I went to work for a new company and it's about the time I joined the ministry and, and it really called me into something, a journey, uh, something different that my heart needed at the time. And I, I look back and I see how God prepared me for the point. I had to kind of go through a mess and try to do stuff on my own, but it was him leading me to this place. And he did so much in helping me recover my heart, finding my identity, finding sonship and all these things.
And then the purpose and the calling became out of that. Well, I was like, okay, this has changed my life. This really impacted me. I need to share this with others.
I think most, all of us that sit here have had that same thing. You could get this and God could make all these incredible changes, but you know, did it really impact you enough to cause you to go share it with others to want to do that, to put yourself out there on the line? And I'm not a public speaker, but to share my story and, and be able to do that, that, that is where I've just feel, feel like I've really found my purpose and place in the story.
Yes. So often we don't know how we impact folks or, or, or even that we are. And that's a beautiful thing about what we do, I think. And, you know, I just want to correct a small agreement I heard just a second ago of I'm not a public speaker. I'm on the radio, but I wasn't a public speaker.
Oh, we all, every single person that ever spoke is a public speaker and God gave us all a voice because, you know, we all have something to say. That's He gave it to us. Robby, we got some things coming up you want to share?
We got about 30 seconds. We have an entrenchment that's going to be coming up in Lexington. That's going to be awesome in April, but we're, first of all, we've got people need to register right now for the advanced bootcamp. So if you've been to any of our events or another John Eldridge event that's coming up May 30th through April 2nd, March 30th. March 30th through April 2nd, advanced bootcamp.
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