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Finding Purpose Behind Bars: The Miracles and Transformation of RJ Johnson

From contemplating suicide on train tracks to finding redemption in God's embrace, former inmate RJ Johnson's powerful journey of resilience and faith inspires hope and purpose amidst life's darkest struggles.

"In prison, I learned the importance of love and acceptance. We are all in this together, none greater or lesser than the other." - RJ Johnson

Access all show and episode resources HERE

About Our Guest:

R.J. Johnson, also known by his pen name Luke Chance, is the author of God Doesn't Waste a Thing and the founder of Not My Will Ministries. His incredible journey serves as a testament to the power of faith and resilience. After serving seven years in prison out of a 20-year sentence, R.J. has dedicated his life to delivering hope to those behind bars and educating the community about the ongoing miracles performed by God. Through his ministry, he aims to challenge our perspectives and encourage us to see beyond the walls of prison, recognizing the hearts yearning for redemption and love. R.J.'s story is a powerful reminder that even in our darkest moments, there is always hope and a purpose waiting to be discovered.

Reasons to Listen:

  • Discover the power of redemption and transformation on your journey to a brighter future.
  • Embrace the importance of love and acceptance as vital ingredients for personal growth and fulfillment.
  • Overcome societal judgment and find the strength to reintegrate into a world that may have doubted you.
  • Unlock the extraordinary power of faith and resilience to overcome life's challenges and thrive.
  • Experience the unconditional love and support that can uplift and empower you on your journey towards hope and purpose.

Content Warning: This episode contains a candid conversation with an individual who has a criminal past and has served time in prison. While we delve into themes of redemption and transformation, we recognize that some discussions may be difficult for those who have been affected by similar crimes. Please exercise discretion when deciding to listen and take care of your well-being.

Episode Resources & Action Steps:

  • Check out RJ Johnson's book, God Doesn't Waste a Thing, available under the pen name Luke Chance, to read about his journey and the miracles he witnessed in prison.
  • Explore Not My Will Ministries to support their mission of delivering hope to the church behind bars and educating the community about the miracles performed by God.

Resources for Leaders from Tim Winders & SGC:

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  • ๐Ÿ“ Faith Driven Leader Quiz: Discover how well you're aligning faith and work with our quick quiz. Take the Quiz

Key Lessons:

1. Transformation: RJ Johnson shares his personal journey of transformation in prison and finding his purpose through God. He emphasizes that no one is beyond redemption and speaks about the power of God's love and forgiveness.

2. Acceptance and support: RJ highlights the importance of love, acceptance, and support towards those in prison and individuals with a troubled past. He shares how a supportive friend and his father's unexpected support made a significant impact on his life.

3. Taking responsibility: RJ stresses the importance of taking responsibility and ownership for one's actions instead of playing the victim. He encourages listeners to confront their distortions, repent, and align their self-perception with God's truth.

4. God's Miracles: RJ shares numerous stories of the miracles performed by God in prison, emphasizing that God does not waste anything and is always at work. He encourages listeners to recognize and praise God's miracles, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

5. Making choices that honor God: The episode discusses the contrast between limited choices in prison and unlimited choices in the outside world. RJ and host Tim Winders highlight the importance of making choices that honor God and others, regardless of our circumstances.

6. Sharing and supporting prison outreach: The episode concludes with RJ highlighting his ministry, NotMyWill Ministries, which delivers hope to prisoners and educates the community about miracles performed by God. Listeners are encouraged to support prison outreach and visit RJ's ministry website.

Overall, the key lessons revolve around personal transformation, love, acceptance, taking responsibility, recognizing God's miracles, making honorable choices, and supporting prison outreach. The episode serves as a reminder that God's love and redemption are available to all, regardless of their past.

Episode Highlights:

00:00:00 - Taking Responsibility and Ownership

RJ emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility and ownership in order to deal with personal distortions and challenges, rather than playing the victim.

00:00:45 - God Doesn't Waste a Thing

RJ shares his experiences and miracles during his seven years in prison and how he believes that God works all things for good, even in difficult circumstances.

00:02:10 - Purpose and Paycheck

RJ discusses how he finds purpose in his work by connecting hearts in the community and the prison system, spreading love, and sharing the hope he received when he felt alone and undeserving.

00:05:02 - Redefining Success

RJ delves into the concept of redefining success and discusses how his life journey, including his past actions, has led him to redefine success through faith, redemption, and grace.

00:09:10 - Idols and Gods

RJ reflects on his past idols and gods, such as popularity and attention, and how they ultimately failed to fulfill his deep need for identity and purpose. He highlights the importance of firmly planting one's beliefs and finding fulfillment in a higher power.

00:16:05 - Dealing with Repentance and Taking Responsibility

RJ discusses the importance of taking responsibility and ownership of one's actions, instead of playing the victim. He talks about the process of repentance and aligning his choices with what God says about him.

00:19:22 - Dealing with Feelings vs. Truth

RJ explains the difference between feelings and truth. He emphasizes the importance of aligning one's feelings with the truth found in the Bible and relying on God's love and protection.

00:20:37 - Choosing Transparency, Vulnerability, and Intentionality

RJ shares his decision to live a life of transparency, vulnerability, and intentionality. He discusses the importance of sharing one's truth and trusting the outcome, even if it means potential judgment or rejection.

00:24:34 - Finding Identity in Prison

RJ reflects on his time in prison and the leveling effect it had on everyone. He discusses the need for individuals to discover their true identity beyond material possessions and achievements. RJ also expresses gratitude for the fulfilling moments he experienced while working as a prison chaplain's assistant.

00:27:01 - Facing Challenges in Prison

RJ shares the challenges he faced in prison, including threats on his life. He highlights the irony of the hierarchical system that often leads to violence and explains how he chose to handle those situations by seeking help from authorities. RJ emphasizes that God can use even the most difficult circumstances for a greater purpose.

00:32:18 - Recognizing Perspective

RJ reflects on the mindset of prisoners and how they compare themselves to others in order to feel better about their own actions. He emphasizes the importance of unity and the realization that everyone is in this together.

00:33:44 - Simplicity Behind Bars

RJ discusses the simplicity of life in prison and the limited choices inmates have. He contrasts this with the unlimited choices and temptations that people face in the outside world, highlighting the challenges that former inmates may encounter when reintegrating into society.

00:34:37 - Making Honorable Choices

RJ shares his personal struggle with making honorable choices and avoiding sinful opportunities. He explains how his faith in God and the desire to honor and uplift others guided his decision-making process.

00:36:13 - Growth Process

RJ acknowledges that his transformation didn't happen overnight and describes it as a growth process. He shares how witnessing miracles, experiencing God's mercy and grace, and aligning his choices with love for God and others contributed to his personal growth.

00:37:33 - The Turning Point

RJ recounts the turning point in his journey when he encountered a chaplain who listened to him without judgment. This experience, along with reading the book of Job, helped him realize that it's not about him but about living how God calls us to live.

00:46:55 - Focusing on Others

RJ discusses the importance of turning focus on others instead of oneself, and credits Pastor Matt and chaplains for encouraging him to love others. He shares his friendship with Mike Freeman, a former inmate, and how making Jesus his Lord impacted his attitude towards others in prison.

00:48:24 - The Difference Between Savior and Lord

RJ recalls a conversation with Mike Freeman where he was asked if he had made Jesus his Lord. He learns that while claiming Jesus as Savior saves one person, making Him Lord impacts everyone around you. This realization shapes RJ's mission to love and support those around him.

00:52:29 - Writing the Book and Finding Purpose

RJ explains that he started writing the book after his release from prison. He reflects on the miracles and experiences that led him to understand that God doesn't waste anything. He seeks to encourage others who are going through difficult times to see that God can use their circumstances for good.

00:52:51 - Reassimilating into Society

RJ shares the challenges he faced upon reentering society, including the sudden shift in how he was perceived by others. He discusses the strange feeling of being deemed dangerous in prison but considered safe in society. RJ also mentions the struggle of readjusting to societal norms and interactions.

00:55:21 - Identity and Believing the Truth

RJ discusses how his identity remained strong throughout his time in prison due to immersing himself in the Bible and surrounding himself with other Christians and mentors that showed unconditional love.

01:02:42 - Feeling Alone and Hopeless

RJ shares his experience of feeling isolated and hopeless, leading him to contemplate suicide. He recounts how he lay on the train tracks, but thankfully ended up on the wrong track. His father's unexpected presence and unconditional love provide a powerful analogy for God's unwavering support in difficult times.

01:04:04 - A Father's Unconditional Love

RJ describes the emotional encounter with his father after his suicide call. Despite not having a plan, his father came to be there for him, fulfilling a promise to his mother and God. This story mirrors the biblical Prodigal Son, emphasizing God's love and forgiveness, no matter the circumstances.

01:05:14 - Finding God in the Midst of Pain

RJ highlights that when we are in the depths of our pain and sin, God is already waiting with open arms. He encourages listeners to reach out to God and experience His presence and love, even in the darkest moments.

01:05:54 - Sharing the Message and Supporting Others

RJ discusses his ministry's website, NotMyWillMinistries.com, where he shares his testimony, offers speaking engagements, and promotes his book, "God Doesn't Waste a Thing." He also invites people to support prison ministry, emphasizing the importance of showing love and support to those forgotten by society.

01:08:00 - Softening Our Hearts

Tim commends RJ for his vulnerability and emphasizes the importance of softening our hearts.

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Transcript
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In order to truly deal with your own mess, in order to truly

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deal with your distortions and the things that are going on in

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my life, you have to get to a mindset of

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taking responsibility, taking ownership,

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not playing the victim.

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Do you ever wonder if God is really working all things

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for your good? You know that scripture we all quote from Romans 8 when things

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do not look good in our lives? Today on seek, go create, we

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welcome RJ Johnson, a man whose journey is a

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testament to this scripture. RJ, the author of God

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Doesn't Waste a Thing under the pen name Luke Chants, Cheers the

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miracles he's witnessed and experienced during his 7 years in prison that

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he served out of a 20 year sentence. Through

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his NotMyWill Ministries, RJ is on a mission to deliver hope

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to the church behind bars and educate the community about

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the ongoing miracles Performed by god. He

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challenges us to look beyond the walls of prison and see the hearts

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yearning for redemption and love.

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RJ, welcome to SeatGoCreate.

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My true pleasure to be here, Tim. Thank you for the invite. This

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is something I've had on a bucket list since I met you, so let's do

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this, bro. Cool. Gonna have fun. I wanna start with my

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Question that I ask. I don't know if I ask you this, we met a

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little less than a month ago. We were introduced by a good buddy of mine,

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Caleb, at a networking event up in Denver, And I

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usually will ask what you do. So, if I bump

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into you somewhere, I don't know if I asked that or not when we met,

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but If somebody asks you what you do, what do you usually tell people?

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And I, a mentor of mine often says that in most of our

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lives, we have a purpose and a paycheck. And so

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what I do for my paycheck right now is I do sales for

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an unbelievable IT company called Uncommon Solutions, get to meet a

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lot of great people and introduce them to a really great company. The

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passion, purpose is what you said in my intro.

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I I try to connect hearts out in the community with

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hearts and souls inside of a prison. So what do I

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do? I try to share Joy, I try to spread love and

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hope because I was the recipient of

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love, hope, grace, mercy when

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I felt alone, isolated, and, like, I didn't deserve any of

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those. So I try to align the holy spirit as

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often as I can. The reason that's a good answer to the question, you and

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I were talking about this a little bit before we hit record. It's sometimes

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a very superficial question. What do you do? I'm in sales. And we give

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a title. I know where your heart is. You were giving me a

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little more of identity type things Right out of

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the gate there, which I like. I I like that a lot. Yeah. You and

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I connected and connected really well, and one of the things that

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we do here at Seek, go create as we love

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stories about redefining success

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because In our culture, in our society, in our world, there is

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this thought, this perception, this idea of success,

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and sometimes people Will go through life and maybe they never have

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questions about it and all that, but some of us go through these

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experiences where We are forced to

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redefine or rethink it, and I believe your story

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that I've heard, and I haven't heard a lot of them, looking forward to this

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conversation, really personifies that. Alright. So when

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I start off and I say that somebody spent time in prison,

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someone is gonna Immediately wanna know, okay, we need to know

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a little bit more about that before we start talking about all the ministry and

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stuff that's going on. So Sure. Let's just give a

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real quick kind of what happened and how that came

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to be, whatever you wanna share there, And then we'll we'll

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talk about the all things, scripture from Romans

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8 that that we started off with.

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That's really funny that you don't know yet how impactful and

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how pivotal of a moment in my life, Romans 8/28 was. You'll get a good,

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good chuckle out of it if we happen to wander down that road. But

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how I landed inside of a prison serving 7

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years, thankfully, only 7 out of a 20 year sentence

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was in 2012, I made the decision to

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sexually assault a high school student of mine, and

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that is the catalyst for which coming to know the Lord,

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mhmm, going through a whole lot of

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transgressions, heartache, tragedy,

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isolation, loneliness, like all the verbs,

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good, bad, ugly, scary, Death threats.

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All of that stuff fell upon me because of my choice.

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That I made Circumstances come from

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my decisions. And that's what got me

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to where, Thankfully, all things work

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together for good, even when you don't see it, certainly when you don't believe it

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or feel it, he's still working those things out. Alright, RJ, I

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want, I'm doing this question for the listener. I've talked to you more, but

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for the listener, there are some people that were

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extremely repulsed And turned off immediately when they

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heard you sexually assaulted a student. I want you to real

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quickly tell the listener why they need to keep listening

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To this conversation. Yeah, it

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is a horrible act. It was an absolutely

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The legal assaultive wrong thing. And

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all sin is I hope the listener can hang in there and get past some

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of their personal views of it. I'm not proud of it. I there's

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it's not like I'm standing here today trying to glorify that at all. It

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hurt a lot of people. But If you can hang

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in, hopefully, you'll get the whole gist of what my mission and

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my purpose is now, which is to Share

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that God is in the miracle business, and he will show up

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in the thing that usually most people

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say keeps us held back or keeps us knocked down

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or keeps us living in shame or keeps us being afraid. That's the

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reason I hope you stay and listen. If you have to walk away, if you

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have something too close to it and your the history or someone in your

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family's got it's a little too close to home.

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I honor that seek some help reach out. My goal here is

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not to traumatize or trigger anyone. It's to point

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all of this back to Jesus in that There's redemption.

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There's grace. There's love and there's always

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hope. Yeah. And there there's A book in ministry and all at the

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end of this, God doesn't waste a thing. I guess one thing I'd like

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to do maybe is to just for a little more Context, and

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you can share what you want to about the any

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other circumstances That's because one

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of the things that I know is that

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people listening in myself, others are always at

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various levels of mindset. And you mentioned sin and people

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are all at various levels of

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sin, just, you know, reaching its Tentacles into our lives. And

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so I would really like to, again, we're all about the

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redefining success here and You were,

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had an appearance of success. Had I known you years

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ago? I probably would have looked at you and thought

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Pretty cool guy, got a lot going on and all that kind of stuff.

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And so whatever your and and I know you shared a lot of your story

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here. We don't wanna go into a ton of things, but What can you share

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about those circumstances so that we can understand the mindset of RJ

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then, and now we can certainly get get your mindset now?

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I think the simplest way, the biggest difference is my

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mindset then, 1, I had no

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identity Certainly in the Lord, but my

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identity was wrapped up solely in what I believed.

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People thought felt and said about me.

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And from that bread, a life of entitlement, a life of

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manipulation, and a life of massive attention

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seeking. Every single thing was about me. How can I benefit? How can

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I receive A good

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feeling? And it was a very selfish life

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now. Lord willing. You can see that you can hear that people

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who know me can validate that and say that I

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choose now to live 1 for God and 2 for the person in front of

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me, giving them attention, giving them the honor and

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respect that they deserve and trying to always push into

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love even when it's hard. So what was your spiritual life growing

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up? Did you have 1? Yeah.

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What was it? Nonexistent. But I do think we

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We make stuff our idols and our gods, and we have choices

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related to that. So maybe the better question is you already mentioned You're self

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serving and things like that, but, what was your idols and your

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gods growing up?

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Popularity, attention,

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things I could control. I probably made some sort of an idol. When you

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don't really know where to place your eyes, When you don't know what

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to set your beliefs on until I firmly plant your feet

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into something, you just kind of grasp for things that

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make you feel Good and comfortable in the moment.

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And I did that a lot with organizing

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with trying to be the center of attention with constantly saying yes and

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appeasing those people who are around me. I didn't wanna deal with my

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own insecurities and my own lack of self worth,

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but I was constantly involved in a big group of

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friends. And the beauty of hindsight being able to look

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back now on that, you wouldn't have looked at my life and thought that's an

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unloved kid. I have amazing parents. They're both very loving still to this

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day. You wouldn't look and say that guy has

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no ability to communicate in public. I was very social.

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But deep down, it's what was I seeking? I was seeking

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for the next friend, the friend to laugh at my joke, the friend to come

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over. I was seeking for something to fill that hole, which

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was basically, like, who am I, and what am I supposed to

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do? And so If you're constantly around friends and

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noise and activities and attention, you don't have

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to deal with your own insecurities, your

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own truth. The the question that most people ask and

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hopefully are listening to here today is, like, what am I called to

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do? What is my purpose right now within this

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environment? I think what's interesting is a lot

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of, My guess is you were because just for meeting you, you seem like

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were you an athlete in school and all that? Yep. Athlete, probably a pretty

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good athlete. Chunky one. Probably, you could tell me if I'm right

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around, probably part of the cool kids growing up and stuff like that. Would

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that be right? Yep. Yep. And you used the

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word earlier entitled. So I I've noticed this some about

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myself. I might have been

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included in that group growing up and things like that,

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and there there does start to creep in this thought of

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That maybe I get to

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do things that others don't. I can Get away with

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things, different things like that. And I do

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notice, and this is a man problem mostly, I guess, women deal with it, but

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we're both men, so we're gonna have to talk like men, is that,

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when it starts coming into how we deal with

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women, primarily the opposite sex and porn and

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different things like that, we start thinking

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that certain things don't apply to us. And

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I'm guessing that that was part of the seed that kind of led to

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your transgression and some of the issues. Correct?

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Yeah. That's very accurate when you're not in the mindset

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to use words like honor and

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Support and love you try to find.

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Value in anything that's around you at the expense

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of who it hurts, what it does to that person,

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what it does to that community. And.

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Pornography is such a massive problem in society. It's

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often preached from the pulpit, but it's very rarely

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shared or confessed from out in the seats. Because, like your question

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asked earlier, what if someone is listening right now and they immediately got turned off?

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It's one of the few crimes that is completely done in

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secret. And that's

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Not trying to get too philosophical here, but if you can

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keep something secret, that means you don't have to truly deal with it and

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certainly confess it or speak it to your brothers or sisters.

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And that is an issue growing up, and it's

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It may start off as what you believe in a scent and,

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it's just a little bit of an issue. I learned in treatment that

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there's a thing called problem. What problem? Oh, that thing?

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Yeah. That's not a problem for me. That's a bad

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place to be in. There's a lot of distortions that live out of that and

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a lot of unhealthy, dangerous, assaultive decisions that come from

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that mindset. And

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one of the things, let me go here for the quote, for

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A period of time, because I think this is something I've observed in

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myself and others and especially leaders that we

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see In our culture and society today

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is there's a lot of stuff going on in secret. There's a lot

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of stuff there. And I think a lot of

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people feel like it's okay until

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they get caught. And and then,

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RJ, we see these kinda odd things go on. Sometimes we have these people

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who give these canned speeches of apology,

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whatever, and a lot of this is in the political realm and things like that.

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But I am sure that there are phases

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to That process.

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And so here's the question that I have for you. I mean, I think there's,

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the I got caught, and then there's the,

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oh, there could be repercussions, and then there's the,

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What am I gonna do to limit the damage? I'm walking through different things

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just to give you some things you could pull from. And then

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and I'm not sure that everybody gets to this place. There is what we would

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term in our spiritual walk a repentance, an actual

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turning away from Something walk

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me through again, I told you when we started, I'd like to get into your

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mindset here about where you went through

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That process, because

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when you got caught, when it was found out, were was it like,

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Oh, no. I'm repenting, or was there all of a sudden

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bars you hear the sound of the bars closing aside

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now, or is it Still working through it. What what work through a

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little bit of those phases because I think that

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entitlement that we talked about earlier, RJ, I think The

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way we think about ourselves and things like that. I think it

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impacts how quickly we maybe repent. I

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don't know. What are your thoughts on that? Yeah, it's a super

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deep question. When I have not been asked the quick answer.

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As I look at the clock to see how quick actually this will be is

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didn't know I didn't know the word repentance for a

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long time, so that certainly didn't filter into any part of

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my vocabulary or my mindset. But I've

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learned since then that In order

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to truly deal with your own mess, in order to truly deal with

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your distortions and the things that are going on in my

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life, You have to get to a mindset of taking

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responsibility, taking ownership,

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not playing the victim, not saying this

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happened, but I would like to have nothing but good things

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come my way. And so I'm trying to Choose my words to where it's not

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so and people who are listening can hear this. It's

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I found so often that People wanna be judged off of their

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best intentions, but they wanna judge others

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by their worst moments. And so

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doing that for myself even, like, going through and making a list

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of all the things that I did that were good and all the things that

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I did that were trying to help others, Like, that's what you should be judging

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me off of. Because if we get into the parts

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that were really difficult inside of prison for me, A lot of it was when

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I was getting people coming at me, judging me,

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threatening me, asking me questions. Well, Tim, I

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for the 1st 18, 24 months,

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if not longer, I wanted

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0 things to do with telling the truth

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to random people who came across my path. It wasn't

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until I ran into a couple of my mentors that said one of the

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most powerful things ever to me. And know what, Tim? I didn't even respond to

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it how I was supposed to for another 2 years. And

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he said, RJ, the power is in the

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secret. You keeping this a

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secret is feeding into the fear of what will actually happen if

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you're honest, if you take responsibility, if you choose

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to give this to God And let him work this

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out. You're choosing. I

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don't trust that. I trust him with all these other things, but I don't trust

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him. With sharing my truth, which is feeding right

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into to Satan saying, yeah, go ahead. See what happens. Tell the

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truth. Watch how these people turn on you. Watch how they

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try to kill you again. Watch how every person that you think loves

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you runs away. And

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so it was a long walk and it wasn't until I

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was truly able to sit back. Look at my

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decisions, my choices,

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my distortions, and start

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aligning it with what do I say about

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myself versus what does God say about me?

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That's when you can start to deal with repentance.

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For me, that's when I could start to deal with

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Feelings versus truth. And

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Chaplain, Matt always does this Feelings

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do this. They go back and forth constantly.

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The truth, the Bible, what God says is here. It doesn't

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change. So you take that feeling and you bring it to truth.

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The feeling, if I actually tell Tim today, here

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in 2023, What I actually did, he's

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gonna turn his podcast off and we're gonna lose a friendship. The truth

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is I am loved. I'm covered. And God

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has only good things for me. He's gonna bring great things into my path.

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That was impactful, but it still wasn't like life's easy. No

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more feelings issues. It it's been a walk, man, and it's

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taken a lot of great friends to come alongside and be

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like, What's that what's that feeling we're living in right now?

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What is the truth about your situation? And how

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can we deal with that and align that to

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God's word? Yeah. The interesting thing is

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When you walk through that, that, if I tell Tim what happened,

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but yet that's That journey is

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what attracted me for us to have this conversation,

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and it opened that We're at a networking event about business. And

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After 2 questions, we're talking about me sexually assaulting

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someone. And I made the decision, like,

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year 6a half, 6.75

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that I'm going to choose to live focusing on 3

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words. Yeah. Being transparent, being vulnerable

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and being intentional. Well, that mean gonna have to lay out your truth and

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trust that what's gonna happen is gonna happen. Yeah. I I wanna

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say something right here because I actually am seeing the video, and I actually

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saw myself smiling when you brought

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up Sexually assaulting. And I wanna tell people that we are in no

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way attempting to be insensitive to

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the crime, and we'll call it that. We're attempting

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To have conversation about,

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the person that initiated the crime and what they can

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do to get to a place that's beyond that and

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miracles. We're gonna talk about that here shortly. But, RJ, one

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other one other Quick thing, and then we'll move along and fast forward and get

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you into prison so that we can talk about some things that happened there. And,

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again, my please, my sense of humor. People that listen in know I

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am in no way making light of the situation. I'm actually

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attempting to soften a very sit serious situation, so

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please give me a little bit of grace. My my regular

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listeners, I think, will will definitely do that. But,

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RJ, Elisa, I think Kubler Ross, In going through the stages of

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grief, and you may have done this when you went through therapy and things like

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that, talks about the different stages, denial, and then

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there's Different things like that. My guess is

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and, you know, you can kinda say yay or nay. My guess is is

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when this initially, came to a

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head that you possibly blamed

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others, you know, your Your spouse, the

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victim, and all that. And then I wanna bring that up here for a specific

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reason. So is that was that in the realm when you first

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Got caught, I'll say. Is that okay to say?

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Yeah. I don't have the words to explain, like,

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The amount of fear that was washing over me of what my choices are

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gonna actually lead to leads to a ton of wrong,

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negative, unhealthy thinking. Anybody other than

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myself, I want to point to and try to

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act like they had a role to play in it. But the bottom line

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is it was me, and that's that's a pretty crappy place to

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be when you're scrounging for anything. But the

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only thing you can deal with when you're in an 8 by 8 cell and

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the 1st time those bars close is, oh,

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I'm here because of what I chose to do

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nobody else. You don't land there right away. If

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someone does that right away, amen. Power to you. You're gonna, You're an

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awfully long ways further than I was day 1. So

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let's move along here and

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Transgression crime occurred. You are caught,

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you go to prison and You're in

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the you're in the prison system, and there there are a

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lot of people listening in. We've actually interviewed about 3 or 4 people that have

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In the prison, interviewed one that I'm might even link to this. It's a

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fascinating conversation with Kwan Hung that actually shot and

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killed someone And went through the prison system and then was released, and

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so fascinating story with some

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similar themes that's very interesting. But

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So you're in the prison system, and, definitely not

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a fun thing, I'm sure. So what do you wanna what do you

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wanna tell about that that really have no idea what

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you're talking about when you talk about being behind bars.

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Yeah. It there were some really bad times. Like, I'm, again, not making

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light of it. Brutal truths, and there are some terrible evenings.

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I often say I I don't wanna spend another night in prison, but I am

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always excited to go back in. And one of

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the most real moments, themes in

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my life was almost

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without fail. Anybody I speak to in there, if you ask him, like, what was

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your life like before this, you start mentioning or naming

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things, items in your life. I had a big house. I had

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multiple cars. I made this much money. My wife was there. My

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career was this. My friend circle. When you go to prison,

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Everybody's put on a level playing field. You get the same

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3 in Colorado, green shirts and green pants, a

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few white undershirts. You get the same garbage y boots,

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the same food, and the same pay until you kinda get further

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in your sentence, and you can get different jobs. When everything is level.

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That's why they take your name, your number.

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Now it's pretty apparent, like, we've gotta do some identity

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work. We've got to figure out who are we when there are

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no jobs or accolades or rounds of applause or coaching

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wins or 6,000 square feet, or

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who are you now? And what are you gonna do?

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And Tim I've had Hands down the best

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times in my life in prison when I was working as

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a prison chaplain's assistant for 87ยข a day.

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It's quite a ways into the story. It took me a minute to get there.

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But my purpose was so clear to me to

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love the person who came through the door to not focus on

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me to without a doubt focus on.

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And I call it in the book, Me 3, God first, the person in

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front of me, 2nd, Me 3, I'm 3rd.

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That lines up with a lot of joy that lines up

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with what God's called us to do.

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To be there for your brother's iron sharpens iron, what you're doing right now. It's

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what you do every day with your podcast. You help people

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seek who they are. Go and find

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who your identity is and who says it is about you. Then

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create an amazing life for those around you. I love it. I love the idea

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of what you do. And so in prison to go there, my

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first 3 days. I had a group of

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Nazis try to kill me because of what my crime was. They found out, they

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said you're not welcome in this room. And my choice was

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to deal with option a fight.

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All the time until I quit or die

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or b go run and tell the cops I can't deal with this. It's called

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checking in. Did that within the 1st 3 days,

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man. And I got 240 months left.

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I get to another prison and I make it 6 months

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before my crime comes out once again.

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And this time I was pulled out of my cell

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and I later learned this under an hour before

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An actual murder attempt was going to take place.

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And I've done nothing to these guys other than I chose to do what

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I did in 2012. And in

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prison, there's an ironically weird hierarchy

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of, at least I'm better than that guy,

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which keeps you from wanting to share your truth when even when

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people find out what you've done ish, they wanna kill

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you. No. That's not okay. That's not ideal,

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but the book's called God Doesn't Waste a Thing. I didn't know God.

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I had no idea. I was that selfish person. Like, why are you guys doing

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this stuff to me? I didn't do anything to you. Blaming

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other people. Being the victim. Will God, even

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if you don't ever say the name God, he's still working

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and loving and creating an Unbelievable masterpiece

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for your life to play itself into. And that was what was

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cool was those 2 murder attempts. Not

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fun. Terrible for me. Terrible for my family is what

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God used to get me to the prison where I met

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Mentors of my life gave my life to Lord and found my purpose.

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And that's where a lot of these miracles show up where it's,

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this is the coolest thing ever, Tim. Not happy

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for what I did to get here, but I'm here.

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And what can we do to love and share and encourage

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those right now in the middle of this Pain in

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the middle of this shame, in the middle of this tragedy.

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That's the really cool part. I just shared that this morning at a at a

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men's group of most people. If we can just fix this one thing about

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my life, then I'll be able to do something. God shows

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up In that thing.

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And begin to see create his masterpiece. God showed up in the prison. It

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wasn't When I get out of here, we'll start to paint a beautiful future.

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No. No. It was in the darkness where he shows

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up. He's in the fire. He's there. Right. RJ, what is

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up with the pecking order

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for crime, or I'll even go I'll jump out To

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church world. What is up with the pecking order for sin?

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What, why is it that, and maybe we can contrast

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those 2, because it's, It's interesting that came to my mind as when I was

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about to ask you, why is it that a group of Nazis that if we

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saw their rap sheets and what they were there for, but

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yet, And listen, again, we're not making light of any

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crime, but Yep. What is up with that pecking order,

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And why is it that even as Christians, many people that are in religious

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circles, why is it that they will say

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that this sin holds a worse

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penalty or whatever than other when it's all

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sin. What are your thoughts? Maturity

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is required to get to what you just said at the end.

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You must get to a place where you recognize that he went to that

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cross for all sin. Not for some,

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all. He died for

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the smallest sin to the largest sin. I do not

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like the word religion because it does that. It starts to

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compare and separate relationship, I say

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I'm a Christ follower. To be able to parallel the 2, like,

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why is there this weird pecking order in prison? It's

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because when you're in a position where the rest of

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society has said, you are so awful, you're so dangerous,

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disgusting, scary, not wanted unusable

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devalued that we're going to throw you into a

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compound behind multiple barbed wire fences, some kill

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fences. How are you supposed to feel about yourself? That's

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why the ministry that I've created is in place is to

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let them know inside you have value. You

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have a purpose. You are loved and you are

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loved. If you don't have that mindset, if you're

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still living, dealing every morning with your own shame and your

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own guilt and feeling like, Well,

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I don't want to deal with my crap because that's just

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too scary and too real, and I'll have to come face to face with my

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truth, and my identity. So I'm gonna instead at least I'm not

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that guy. Church mindset. I may have my secret

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sin over here, but at least I'm not coming in here hungover drunk

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with 2 different shoes on. At least I'm not that.

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In prison, it's that mindset. Murderers, well, at least I

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didn't Hurt a child. Thieves. At least I

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didn't sell drugs that killed someone. It's

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hilariously. Stupid, Bro, we're all in this

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together. None of us are walking out of the front door today. They're not giving

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us keys, and they're not giving us any access to make a decision

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other than what can we do in our circle right now, but yet

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they feel I'm above that guy. I'm better than that. Pretty

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stupid behind bars. And it's actually pretty Stupid on this side of the bars

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also. Totally. People do that, but yet we

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see people doing it other time. 1 other 1 other just

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maybe Prison question before we get to, a

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conversion that occurred. I wanna hear that story a little bit and dig on that.

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But, I think when I've talked to people

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that have been in situations like like behind bars,

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and I also think about our modern culture with I can't point to

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them. You know, we're on devices, and we've got all

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these things coming at us. To me at

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times, it seems as if and you said a little bit of it. You

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gave some glimpses of it. There is some degree of

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simplicity. You don't have a lot of choices.

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You're boxed in literally, figuratively, a lot of ways.

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So talk about the comparison between the world,

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and I think this is causes challenges for people that come

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out of those systems too, is that all of a sudden,

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it's like there are choices. We were talking earlier about, you

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know, How some men can be on their

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phone, and there's so many temptations and all theirs, like,

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probably didn't have that when you're behind bars. A little bit about that contrast

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between the limited choices and now the unlimited

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choices that one faces when they're outside of that environment.

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Sure. And I am certainly no expert on eliminating

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lust distractions,

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sinful opportunity. I am as struggling as the man

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beside me. But when it does get broken

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down, once I was able to come and give my life to the Lord after

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witnessing some of these miracles and truly feeling what

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it is that God has earned

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yearning for me to walk in. It breaks it

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down to, is this, if I make this choice, is this going to be

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honoring and uplifting and loving for God

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and those around me? Or is this gonna be separating me from

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the Lord, my family, My mom, my dad, my

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nephew, my brother. And because of

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that, like, that decision can still be equated in

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society. Every single choice

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has a reaction. Every intent

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does not align with the impact that it's had.

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That changed the way I tried to think about each and every day. And I

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fell. I struggled, But it was cool because the more I

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learned and walked and witnessed and

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tasted and experienced the glory of God and his

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It, great mercy and grace.

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The more quickly I came out of my own quote unquote prison

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cell. Like, I was in a prison, but I would go and

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lock myself up because of a feeling I was having or a

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reaction. It isn't until you're able to identify those

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are not my truths. I'm gonna let myself out and go live in

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the freedom, live in the glory, live in the victory. We

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are more than conquerors. That's not day 1

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of your walk with the Lord. It it's a growth process, For

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sure. And so you're behind bars, you're

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going through the process, you've got all of these things

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occurring. Obviously, now that you look back on it, there were miracles occurring,

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but at some point, either your heart was

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softened or you interacted with someone or Something occurred is

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probably a long process, but tell me about the point

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where you now look to as the turning point

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that you say that, and it may have been a longer process. It may not

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have been a day, minute, second, but what happened

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there, and and I think that's gonna lead us into the conversation of now

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why you go back in. There was the multiple death threats,

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and there were a few circumstances and situations. And

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I said I was so blessed and joyful to be able to go to

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territorial prison, the 2nd oldest prison in the entire United States. It

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was when it was Louisiana Purchase Territorials Prison,

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I didn't wanna go there because after the 2nd death threat,

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I actually was begging the state of Colorado to put me in protective custody

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for 20 years. I was stuck in a hole. They're trying to figure out what

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to do with me, how hide me, how to keep me safe, and figure out

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where can we possibly put this guy. He's clearly not being successful at these

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prisons. During that, I grew a really big beard because they wouldn't give me

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a razor. I went to a hearing and asked

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them, will you hide me for the next nineteen and a half years? And the

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lady who was in charge of this hearing looked

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at my beard and says, your beard is a wonderful disguise.

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And I notice here that you have a master's degree in education and math.

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I'm like, why are we talking about facial hair and mathematics? Like,

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people are trying to kill me, lady. Can I go hide? And she's like, I

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think with this disguise. In your math

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education, you could go to this prison and no one will know who you are

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When my name is on my shirt, Tim, and I'm probably gonna

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shave and you can go and help people get their

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GED. That's the funny part of the title of the book. I

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didn't get my way. Thank god. There's so many times in our lives where we're

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like, god. This is what we need. This is what I know is best.

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I didn't even know God, but at that moment, I'm telling these professionals,

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I know what's best. Send me to the whole

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until 2032, Tim. I asked to go sit alone until 2032.

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It's 2023. I would still be sitting there if I got

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what I wanted, but God doesn't waste a woman who made

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a decision based off facial hair. So once I got to

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territorial, Still don't know the Lord. I wander

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into the chapel. I rattle off about an hour's worth of why

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God is not real. And if he is, he's Certainly not just, and

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he's not kind and probably a lot of really stupid words I can't or

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wouldn't wanna repeat. And this chaplain had me turn to Job.

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And this was the 1st time chapter

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38, where basically God's like, you done talking job.

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Let me have the microphone for a bit. Where were you when I

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did? And he just explains his almighty

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power. The way that he speaks things, I know existence and

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something kind of clicked like, oh, it's not

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about me. And that led to an introduction at Chaplain

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Matt, who this shouldn't be glanced over.

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Matt was a volunteer for 18, 19 years to go

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into prisons and share the gospel. But more than that,

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he was the 1st guy since being locked up that I sat down

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with, told him the truth of what I've done.

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He didn't judge. He didn't make me feel

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worse. He didn't give me a 1,000 things I need

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to do. He did nothing but listen,

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ask great questions, listen again, And then he came back the next

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day and the next day.

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What would make a man do that, Tim? It's living

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how God is calling us to live, love those in

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prison. Love those despite their worst.

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Behaviors love those in the middle of their

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chaos. And so I'm witnessing the holy

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spirit. I'm hearing the truth. I'm seeing the fruits of it. And

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as I'm talking about this and taking responsibility for my

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crime, finding freedom and the difference of shame

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of, I am such a terrible person. To

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guilt. I did such a terrible thing different.

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I still have value. Being able to learn that

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and experience that and have that mind shift of I went from

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not even knowing the name God and wanting to be there. But thankfully,

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a beard got me there to now I have a whole new purpose

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for my life. I'm making 87ยข a day, like I

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said earlier, And I'm super happy. I'm

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excited every day to run down to the chapel to see what God is going

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to bring to me and who is gonna walk in And how can I just

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show up for them? But then I started watching these miracles happen

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around me, Tim. Every Friday in the chapel,

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the Muslims would have their service. I was responsible for setting up services for the

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entire prison. So that's why it's funny when people in the community are like, I

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don't go to that church because they don't believe in this thing.

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In prison, Muslims, Asatru's, pagans,

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Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, Mormons,

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the list goes on and on. All have to worship in the same

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chapel. So their request was on Friday afternoons

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that the Christians leave and we cover the cross.

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Hard for me to do. I just understood what the

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cross means. Like, it is it's It's very important to me, and I'm like, I

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don't wanna cover this. But I had begun praying, and I could hear

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the holy spirit say, I'm not on that cross.

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And you can cover it all you want. I'm still in this building.

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So what I was called to do was to love those around me. And for

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me, that meant I'm not supposed to convince these Muslims to worship

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my god and to worship my way. I'm supposed to create the most loving,

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Comfortable and relaxing environment for them

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to worship how they believe they should.

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Which was a cool dichotomy from everything was supposed to be about

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me. But here's the 1st real cool miracle. We would go down

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every Friday to give them their privacy, and we'd go sing to the men who

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are serving their prison sentences in the dementia pod, men who have

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Alzheimer's, early onset dementia. And there was a man down

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there named mister Green. He

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was one of the most brilliant lawyers in the state of Colorado,

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And he was one of the most brilliant prison lawyers when he was locked up,

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but he had all but forgotten every single thing in

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his life, but two things, How to rub his stomach and pat his

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head. That's all he did all day. Tim for

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3 years. This man never spoke a

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word, nothing. And I would

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go down there every Friday and I'd lean in. I'd be like, Hey Mister Green,

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we're gonna sing again. Just wanna let you know I love you. Next

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week. Same thing. Next week. Same thing. 1 of these weeks,

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I leaned down and say the exact same thing. Mister Green, I love you, my

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man. And the nurse goes, why do you do that? I go, why do I

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do what? She goes, why do you talk to him? He doesn't know what you're

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saying. He doesn't know his name, and he's certainly not gonna talk back to you.

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There's nothing on up there. I said, I guess I just love him,

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and we went and started singing. Tim in the middle of us

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singing as we normally do, couple of chaplains, me and another guy who's serving his

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life sentence, We start singing Amazing Grace

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and out of the corner of my eye I see tears coming down mister Green's

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face And he is singing out loud

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every word to amazing grace.

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Tim, I've been a Christian for less than 4 or 5 months.

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I'm balling. He's balling. All of us are like,

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this guy doesn't even talk. You said he doesn't

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even know his name, but now he can recite every word to Amazing Grace.

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And the coolest part of this, that nurse came up and was just

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standing there watching with mouth wide open. And

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afterwards, he never spoke again, went right

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back to patting his head and rubbing his stomach and she looked at us and

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said what was that. And I'm just a smart Alec I go

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yeah what was it. Did you give him different carrots. Did you give him different

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medicine? Is it just a lucky day? And she goes, no. Seriously,

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what was that? And chaplain Matt goes, what do you think it is?

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And she said, was that God? And he goes and this is the most

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brilliant question ever, Tim. You can take it from him. He'll be honored. He looked

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at her and said, yes. But the more important piece of that is,

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what are you going to do with it? Tim, you can't

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witness that miracle and then be like, well, that was a good day for mister

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Green. You make a decision. Tim,

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she accepted the Lord into her heart and life that day.

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So why is the book called God Doesn't Waste A Thing? He didn't waste a

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beard to get me there because that's what brought me to come to know the

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Lord. He didn't waste over 3 years of silence for his first

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words to change her eternal future.

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And I have stories upon stories and I know we have not much time

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of God showing up In these mighty miracles.

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And that's my passion is people in the community, chalk it

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up to good doctors and he's lucky and

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he's rich. When you have, like I said,

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the same clothes, the same outfit, the same food,

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you can point right where it's supposed to be given praise to, and that's to

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god. That's a I love the story of that because

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I saw something Similar with my dad who

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little less than a year ago passed away with dementia that he you know,

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mentally, there were not things there, but yet Some music and

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song and, some church things we're able to pierce through. And

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the thing that I wanna ask here, RJ, is that

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Sounds like within a few months, you went

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from not knowing the lord

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to knowing the lord and then serving

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the lord. I think a lot of people move into the knowing the lord

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and they never move into the lord. Or maybe they do in their own way,

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and we can't see it. I'm not judging that, but a lot of people,

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it's still about them, and they all of a sudden they don't really turn and

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focus on others. Was that something that pastor or

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chaplain Matt encouraged you to do? Did you do it automatically?

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Was it just something snapped and you did it, Or you didn't have

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anything else to do? You're in prison? Why not just set up chairs for the

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Muslim servant? What was the catalyst that moved you

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from not knowing the lord, knowing the Lord

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and then doing work for them.

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Teed up an opportunity for me to talk about one of the heroes in my

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life. His name was Mike Freeman. He did 27 years

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straight in prison. Used to be one of those hardcore white

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boy Nazi problematic, hateful,

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especially towards sex offenders. He became one of my best friends before he passed away

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inside. And after about 2 years of me walking

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and talking and learning and loving the Bible

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and God and Jesus and understand the holy spirit.

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So I wanna give chaplain Matt and chaplain Troy and chaplain Abner, all people who

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are addressing the book, a lot of credit. Yeah. They encouraged me to love others,

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But there was a specific night where Mike Freeman comes

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and he goes, RJ, Who

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do you say Jesus is?

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And I'm like, oh, I got this because keep in mind

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about 18 months to 2 years before, I didn't even know there was a new

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and old testament. Like, I was not aware. So I'm like,

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I got this answer. I go, easy. Jesus is my

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savior. Boom. Mic drop. And he looked at me. He goes,

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that's true. Is that all he is? And I was like,

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I miss. What where'd I miss? I go, what do you talk about? He goes,

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have you made Jesus your lord yet? Have you

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made a Lordship decision? I go, what does that mean? He goes,

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here's the simplest way I can explain it. He was,

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when you claim and say

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that Jesus is your savior, You

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are going home. You are going to heaven. That impacts 1

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person. You are saved. But when you choose

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to identify him as your Lord, now you're choosing

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to follow him, to listen to him, to love those

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around you as if you were him. I'm not saying I'm

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Jesus. I was trying to love those like Jesus would.

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When you make him your Lord, that impacts everyone

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around you. Save your decision. 1 person you're going to

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heaven. Lordship decision, watch the entire

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environment around you change. That was pivotal for me, and

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he made it so simple. There wasn't some really ridiculous hard

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15 scriptures to go read and do these 1500 things. And

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it's that simple. Lord and

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savior. That's when I began truly saying

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Okay. How am I going to

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Energize love transform support

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share hope encourage All these men that around

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me now and presently that are still

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inside hearing from the guards. You're nothing but

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a blank. You're worthless. You're in here because no one

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loves you. Society can't even stand to look at you.

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Those are all false. That's all false. You're exactly where

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god has you for the moment, and let's find what your purpose is while you're

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there. Did you start writing the book while you are behind

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bars, or did you do that later? When did that process start?

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I did that once I got out because I I would

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have never used the phrase, God does a waste a thing. Because even in the

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midst of experience these miracles. I wasn't like, I'm so

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happy that I grew that beard, and she used that to bring me here because

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now I've just gotta witness This miracle, I wasn't intelligent enough and I wasn't

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mature enough to witness what was still going on. But

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once I got out and was able to look back and, honestly, The

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thing that released me 13 years early

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was the exact same thing that almost got me

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killed In the 2nd murder attempt, identical thing. It's

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in the book. When I got put back in the media

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And able to step back and go, like, why am I here? Oh,

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it's like the story of Joseph, who I love

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and can relate to everywhere he went. God was with him.

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And at the very end, after his father had died and all of his brothers

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are like, oh, no. We're in for it now. He's gonna

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kill us because we chucked him in the pit and we sold him. And

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Joseph looked at him and said, Bless you. What all

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y'all intended for evil? God used for

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good. That was the moment I'm like, I need to are putting

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these things down in the book. Because so many people

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in society. In prison in churches are in

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the middle of their thing that they would say, this is evil.

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People are spreading rumors about me. I'm in the middle of my sin. I'm sitting

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in a prison cell. I'm about to get divorced. I just had a son who

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just told me blank That's the

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moment where God's like, I can play in this game right now.

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If it looks impossible, God's gonna sub himself in.

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That's when I started writing the book. So,

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obviously, released early? Yep.

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And 2020. Right in the middle of COVID. Right in the middle of COVID. What

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was that like as you exited the prison

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system. The weirdest part

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that I don't often share is I got

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released May 27, 2020, May

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26th at 9 PM.

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I was considered to be so dangerous that I had to stand for count

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as normal. And I was only allowed to use a plastic spork

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And I'm locking down in a cell, but somehow, Tim,

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8 hours later, according to society In the

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prison system, praise God. I got out, but now

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I'm walking free. I'm going to Walmart. I can go to

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Applebee's or I can go to Outback, and I can use a fork or a

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knife. And I'm the same person,

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but I'm not as dangerous or as scary.

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It's the weirdest mindset of like 7 years.

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I couldn't use anything, but a toothbrush this

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big, because it can't be made into a shank. Now I

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can go to ACE hardware and buy Garden shears

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that are this long. There was a lot of

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things that had changed. There was no Use your phone. Tap

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to pay. There was no Uber and Lyft, and there now dudes are wearing

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masks. Skin girls are wearing masks. It's Why did I come out

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here to? It almost felt safer inside, but

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it was a good and very pleasant struggle to reassimilate.

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I always had great support. Like I said earlier, great family who's there

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to always love and support, encourage me.

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But there were definitely times where, like, my 1st trip to Walmart

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was it didn't go well. Way too many people and people reaching

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across and shoo shoo. I'm used to prison where the number one rule

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is be respectful. You reach across someone in prison,

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you might, if you're lucky, get a, hey. What are you doing? Most often, you're

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gonna get a shove or a fight because you just disrespected

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someone. Walmart's not the most respectable place, Tim.

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I'm not super excited about my visits to Walmart and Costco. I did

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this last week and things like that too. What about,

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Well, alright. You're obviously your identity changed while you were

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in prison. Was there any impact on your

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identity as you Exited because of the change in the

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surrounding circumstances, etcetera. You said some things just

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then, but any Anything go on

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with your identity when all of a sudden you're hardened

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criminal, using a sport, and then all of a sudden now

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Society considers you a okay. Here you go. Here's knives

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and probably no weapons, I'm guessing, but, you know, here's here's

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whatever here's whatever you can get that would be

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any identity issues you you dealt with when you were

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released? I can honestly say no because

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of the

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Hard. Times dive into the Bible and the hours

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upon hours of sitting in that chapel. Like that was my job from 7

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AM till 8 PM to be around chaplains and believers,

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to really be able to pound in me and believe in my heart.

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I am exactly what this Bible says about me. I was made

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in the image of God. I don't wake up every morning, like,

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I'm such an image of God today. I can't wait to go and share this

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with everybody, but I wake up knowing the truth that

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I chose to do something, but that doesn't get to define me for the

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rest of my life. Others may choose to do that. I

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still have issues with people in society, like not being able to

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get past. Having to register or not being able

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to hear I could read off

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what the Powerball numbers are gonna be tomorrow night, and there'd be some people like,

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I don't wanna hear a word you have to say. Because no matter what you

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say, it's coming out of the mouths of a sex offender.

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I don't get to choose how they respond to my truth. I don't get to

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choose how they respond to my words. And if I love them,

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all I can do is share and love and encourage.

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And it's hard to like, let their

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reaction go. And there's

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been some not so great reunions, But there's

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been some absolutely wonderful ones, and I

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don't give this man enough credit. 1 of my Greatest

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friends, mentors in my life. He's a couple years younger than me. His name's Brett.

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He never lost support for

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me. He never chose to judge me or shame

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me. And when I got out of prison, he

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introduced me to the majority of my great friends

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right now who are in a men's group that I'm so honored and proud to

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be a part of. Had he not done that, I don't know where

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my life would be right now because what he chose to do was to say,

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that's scary, Tim. If you think of your most inner circle,

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Are you gonna walk in someone they don't know and be like, Hey. This guy

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just got out of prison. This was the crime he did.

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I love him, but how about you guys accept him in? He

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and I had over 30 years of history,

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But that group is walking and

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talking and living and trying to follow the Lord. So they respond

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in kind, like You are not what other people say

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about you. You are what we believe the Bible says about

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you. That's really impactful to have a friend like that.

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Who's willing to not just be like, I love you in secret, but

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to stand on a rooftop and be like, Hey, this guy, This is

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my guy. And even though he chose to do what he

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did, I love him. That's changed

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my perspective of how I can Help all my friends who get

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out. Not be like, I liked you inside, but now that I'm out here, I

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got a I got an agenda. I got my own image to protect, so

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I gotta push you away. Now I one of my best

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friends is serving a life sentence for murder,

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And he's probably the kindest nicest easily the

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funniest person I've ever had in my life.

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And the really cool part of the book, he edited

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it and did better than most professionals ever could. And

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actually heard that from the publisher. They're like, Who'd you have that at this? I

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go, a guy serving life in prison. They're like, dude, he nailed

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it. All the commas, all the punctuation, everything was grammatically. It

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was so easy for us. I'm like, Praise God. That shows

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a lot of maturity from your buddy

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that he obviously is comfortable in who he is, That he would

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introduce you and connect you. And I think

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it's fascinating. I think there's a great lesson

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In understanding Sabbath rest, being just where

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we need to be as best we can regardless of

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circumstances, what society, culture, Other people say about us

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when you exited. That was very powerful. RJ

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Society calls you a sex sex offender

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society calls you a sex offender.

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Scripture says that you're been

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forgiven and washed of your sins.

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Do you truly believe That you have been forgiven of the sins that you've

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committed? Yes.

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Like, I know you're probably wanting more context to that, but

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Yes. No question.

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And one of my favorite things to share with a lot of the guys to

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don't know the Lord that are sitting in prison. Like, yeah, he can forgive

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you because you didn't kill someone or you didn't do this to

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50 people. Or If you remember

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Jesus on the cross, he's got his 2 dudes beside

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him and one's rattling off. Hey. If you're really who you think

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you are, Why don't you get us off of here? At least yourself, bro.

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And the other one was like, don't you understand what's going on here? And he

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says, hey. I I'm confessing who you

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are. You must be the lord. Romans 10/9. Believe with your heart and

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confess with your mouth that he is lord. You will be saved.

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Jesus doesn't look at him and say, Hey man, before I

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forgive you and allow you to come in to paradise with me, what, what did

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you do? What, sorry about that. Yep. Good

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luck hanging here. He forgives

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all sins. Paul,

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amen. So I follow-up question.

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This is a little bit of an audible. I usually would have a Question as

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I wrap up. But RJ, I would love for

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you to some people may be watching this via video. Some people may be

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listening in on the audio, but I would love for you to just look

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into your camera, speak into the mic to

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anyone that I don't know if

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they are where you were before

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The crime or they may be in a situation that you were

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during your incarceration before you met the lord. They

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may be in a situation even after that. Whatever the holy spirit puts

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on your heart, just take a minute and just speak directly

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to someone That has listened in to this entire

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conversation and minister something to them before

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I put some, as much of a bow as I can on this on

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this conversation. Thank you for that opportunity.

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What I didn't share to whoever it is that's watching,

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looking, listening, My story started with me

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laying on the train tracks. Trying to kill myself.

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Before I got sentenced to prison. I knew I was

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gonna end up there and didn't think I could deal with that

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circumstance. There were several tracks

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that were at this location that I went and hid my car and laid on,

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and it was late at night. And my dad drove trains his entire life,

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And I know if you can't see 1, you can hear 1. And if you

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can't hear 1, you can feel it. And so I felt the tracks and I

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knew which track that train was coming on. I laid on it

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Neck on the rail. Because I

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felt alone. I felt isolated. I felt hopeless.

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This was the only way out. Called mom, dad, brother, best

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friend, and said, hey. I'm gonna kill myself. I did something I can't even deal

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with. Love you. Bye. The track that I was on,

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thankfully, was the wrong track. And the train went by beside

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me. And I'm gonna land this plane, but this is really

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important. I drove around the city of Denver for 4 hours

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because I was afraid to go home. I was afraid thinking the cops are gonna

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be there, and I'm gonna have to walk it the circumstance, this punishment.

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When I about ran out of gas, I drove

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home and my parents lived 5 hours

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away from me. Four hours.

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I walked in to my apartment and I

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took the 1st step in thinking the cops are gonna be in there.

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And sprinting out of my bedroom in the back was my

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dad who was at home 4 and a half hours

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ago or 4 hours when I called him and said I'm gonna kill myself, and

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he's crying. And I'm not a believer, I didn't understand this until

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I finished writing my book. I looked at him and I go, what are you

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doing here? And he put his arms out,

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and he said, I didn't know what else to do.

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I said, dad, I called you and told you I was gonna kill myself. What

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was your plan? He goes, I didn't have 1. I go, why'd you come here?

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He and he said this. And in 2012, this didn't make any sense

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to me. He said, I promised your mother and God

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that I was gonna take care of you and your brother until the day that

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I died. So when you called, I came.

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I said what he goes, you called. I came. And his

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arms were out. He didn't yell at me. He didn't tell me to apologize or

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to do a 1,000 things. He put his arms out. And as a

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30 year old, I ran into him and hugged him and fell asleep in his

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arms scared, and they went to the police station the next day.

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Here's the thing I'm telling the person listening.

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That's the perfect representation of what

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Jesus does. It's in the Bible called

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the prodigal son story. We might be in the middle of our pain, in the

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middle of your sin, in the middle of your fear, in the middle of your

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circumstance that you cannot deal with and you're feeling alone, you're feeling

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isolated, hopeless, scared, Full of fear.

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God is already standing there with his arms out.

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He's already come. All you need to do is

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call. And go. And

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that is the thing I can share the most in the middle of what

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you're going through. He's already there. He's not

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gonna waste it. Thank you, Tim, for letting me share that. Thank you,

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RJ. RJ, where can people find god doesn't waste

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a thing and give your ministry website and all if they wanna support

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because you're going back into prisons, Yep. And you're able to go

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back in there and share this message and minister there. Give

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just a little bit of where people can find it. We'll include it down in

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the notes, and then I'll wrap up. Awesome. Yeah.

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Not my will ministries.com is the ministry website. You can see

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some of my Testimony of couple of the places I've

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spoken with and couple of the churches that I've stopped and shared

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what the lord has done in my life. There's links to have me come and

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speak at your men's group, at your church. I'd love to do that. I'd be

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honored to be welcomed in anybody's community. You can find the

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book on there. You can there's links to go to my publisher. There's links to

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go to Amazon. Like you said, it's God Doesn't Waste a Thing by the pen

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name, Luke Chance, which Chaplain Troy, his 2 sons'

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names are Chance and Luke, so it was an awesome way for me to give

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honor to him coming in and loving me when very few would.

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A goal of mine is to continue supporting and going into those inside of prison.

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So if you're feeling called or urged or led to learn more

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about that, where if you're trying to find a really cool way to tithe or

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donate or support, I'm not telling you to not give your money

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to your local church or ministry or food bank. But

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there's a lot of people who need to know that we love

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them, that they're not forgotten And a donation can help

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them communicate with their sons, daughters, wives, buy shampoo.

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It's a worthy cause, and I would really ask that you pray about it. And

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if you're interested, go to not my will ministries.com and reach out to me,

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and look forward to doing prison ministry with you. Thanks,

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RJ. We'll include everything down in the notes, or if you're watching this via video,

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you can find it all there too. We are seek, go create here,

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and, we have conversations That people don't have in

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a lot of other places as you were, listening in and

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viewing here. I appreciate RJ. I wanna honor you,

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Not for what you did, but for your identity and who you are

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and for your vulnerability in sharing that because I

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think that's when our hearts are touched, and I believe that our journey

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here on this Earth is to soften our hearts. You

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definitely helped do that, and I know you continue to. So again,

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we're see go create. We've got new episodes every Monday, And

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until next time, continue being all that you were

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created to

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Seek Go Create - The Leadership Journey for Christian Entrepreneurs, Faith-Based Leaders, Purpose-Driven Success, Kingdom Business, Entrepreneurial Mindset, Leadership Development
Seek Go Create - The Leadership Journey for Christian Entrepreneurs, Faith-Based Leaders, Purpose-Driven Success, Kingdom Business, Entrepreneurial Mindset, Leadership Development

About your host

Profile picture for Tim Winders

Tim Winders

Tim Winders is a faith driven executive coach and author with over 40 years of experience in leadership, business, and ministry. Through his personal journey of redefining success, he has gained valuable insights on how to align beliefs with work and lead with purpose. He is committed to helping others do the same, running a coaching business that helps leaders, leadership teams, business owners, and entrepreneurs to align their beliefs with their work and redefine success.

In addition to his coaching business, Tim is also the host of the SeekGoCreate podcast and author of the book Coach: A Story of Success Redefined, which provides guidance for those looking to redefine success and align their beliefs with their work. With his extensive background, unique perspective and strengths in strategic thinking, relationship building, and problem-solving, Tim is well-suited to help clients navigate through difficult times and achieve their goals.