A podcast full of miraculous stories about the shocking goodness of God.
A lot of people believe humans were created by God. Not many realize we were created to be with Him. Without acknowledging this reality, we’re like cosmic orphans or like ICU patients without life support. We need God like we need oxygen.
Celebration three-dozen episodes and taking a look ahead to see what’s in store for future episodes. Justin also announces a short break for the podcast and shares a little backstory for it. One final announcement is the podcast will be moving onto Youtube in the not-too-distant future, Lord willing. The show will continue to be featured on the various podcast mediums it is already featured on for those who prefer to listen audibly. A taste of the future episodes in the production pipeline: HIGHLIGHTS A massive series on Jonathan Edwards, exploring his life story, revival ministry, prolific theology, family legacy, personal spiritual disciplines and much more. Multiple guests are slated for the series. Scotty Kessler is booked for two upcoming episodes featuring two different inspiring men of God. The testimony of a Mexican man who escaped custody, tried to murder a guard and was finally saved by Christ from a life of addiction. Multiple episodes featuring different members of a group of mormons who were all saved out of the LDS faith and into orthodox Christianity. And many more!
12 min 53 sec
Brian Barcelona had a radical encounter with God as a young adult. Not too long after, this led to Brian preaching the Gospel in high schools. The first Jesus Club had 30 kids, but as Brian preached straight down the middle with the unadulterated Gospel message, the club soon grew to 600 kids meeting regularly to hear the Word and encounter the living God. Sometimes Brian would encounter large groups of kids who were devoted to living life in violent gangs. “Why are you fightin’ over colors? Are you Crayola? Why are you fighting over streets? Your parents can barely afford their rent. Why are you dying for something that means nothing?” As Brian declared this at one particular meeting, a gang member stood up and said, “What do I have to do to be saved?” Brian’s response: “Man, give up everything.” It’s this type of fidelity to the testimony of the Gospel that has stirred so many hearts in a growing number of Jesus Clubs throughout the nation. As Mark and Stephanie Kram testified on Episode 27, 100 kids got saved at a high school in Justin’s neighborhood last year through a Jesus Club on that campus. Listen to this week’s episode (audio above) to hear the full report of what God is doing through this encouraging ministry. HIGHLIGHTS Brian moved his ministry to L.A. where he ended up on the 700 Club and many other Christian shows. This exposure helped spur the Jesus Club idea into a movement that grew far beyond Brian's direct ministry. Brian shares at the beginning of the episode how the Dream Center, a Christian nonprofit, is serving people in need during the coranavirus quarantines. Brian got to travel to Brazil to witness the historic gatherings that took place during the recent revival.
48 min 34 sec
In Episode 9, Derrick Rhayn shared the incredible story of how God led him to Himself. In this episode, Derrick is back, sharing from under 24/7 quarantine in Paris. Derrick has been trying to live as all-in as he can to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Even though he is only a little more than a year old in the faith, Derrick has seen much encouraging fruit from the last several months of constantly saying “Yes!” to what God asks of him. In the time since recording his testimony on the podcast, Derrick has been on a mission trip to Mazatlan Mexico, a brief mission to Boston, another back to Mazatlan and an 81-day prayer-laden trip to Macedonia. Now, Derrick is preparing to enter into a discipleship training school at the YWAM base in Paris. He almost didn’t make it to Parish though, as he wasn’t due there for another few weeks and the presidential order halting travel to and from Europe would have grounded him stateside. Thankfully, God prompted Derrick to leave on the 13th and his plane was the last one leaving the Denver airport to Portugal (his connecting flight). In this episode, Derrick shares the apparent insanity of saying “Yes” to God–even to two-hour mission trips across the U.S. and the fruit that he’s seen from them. He shares how he’s seen the Lord save over 50 people on these little excursions and also the deeper fruit of forging a faith-first relationship with Christ. Derrick also opens up about the journey in his prayer life the Lord has had him on and how it wasn’t until hour three in a particular prayer session that he received impromptu direction from the Holy Spirit to go on a mission to Macedonia. While there, he continued his journey in prayer, praying for several hours per day. Listen to the audio (above) in this week’s to hear the full report from this young missionary’s travels. HIGHLIGHTS His second Mazatlan trip was only 24 hours but him and his ministry partner saw around 50 people saved during that time. While in Mazatlan with his church (City Central), Derrick saw a Spirit-inspired picture of the WOrd of God being planted on a local island that has the reputation of being particularly dark, spiritually. Now the local Christians have put up signs all around the island that have Bible verses in spanish. In Boston, Derrick met a woman who was struggling with suicidal thoughts and he was able to tell her, "God sent me all away across the country to talk to you." Derrick is enrolling in a music-based DTS that will minister abroad with music.
1 hr 8 min
The stats wouldn’t have predicted Josh McDowell would turn out to be one of the world’s most famous evangelists. Josh’s early life seemed headed for destruction. His dad was drunk just about 24/7 and a man who lived in Josh’s childhood home repeatedly sexually assaulted Josh for much of his young life. That is, until Josh violently threatened him to never touch him again. Josh’s anger being used as a tool to attempt to bring some order to the chaos of his home was a recurring theme. When Josh’s dad would hit Josh’s mom, Josh would fight him. He’d even tie up his dad in the barn to keep him from embarrassing the family when guests came over. In frustration he even swore off his belief in a good, loving God. It’s perhaps no surprise that when Josh came of age and enrolled at community college, Josh became antagonistic to a group of Christian students that attempted to love him. The group’s joy and kindness frustrated Josh and he set out to disprove their belief using all the tools of modern academia. Josh even saved up and flew himself to the other side of the world to study in Europe’s great libraries. He had hoped to disprove the truth of Jesus’ resurrection. Instead, he wound up believing the truth that it had indeed happened as described in the pages of scripture. Josh surrendered to Christ in the months that followed that epiphany and God began to move in His life powerfully. After being discipled by a local pastor for some time, he was encouraged to confront his dad and forgive him. Hesitantly, Josh followed through with setting up a time to meet with his dad. When he did, all that came out of his mouth was “I love you.” Those words had a profound effect on teh senior McDowell, and he ended up giving his life to Christ sometime later. The change in him was so radical that his small town immediately took notice and, before too long, others came to Christ. Josh’s mom passed away and he never got to speak to her about Christ. Then, a few years into his walk with Jesus, Josh’s dad passed away. This left Josh without family and pondering the state of his mother’s soul. One day, he was praying and asking God to show him whether his mom had ever surrendered her life to him. Josh thought this prayer would likely never be answered, but 90 minutes later, as he walked a pier not far from his seminary campus in California, he ran into a sweet older lady fishing on the doc. The lady struck up conversation and mentioned that she had family in the same town in Michigan Josh was from. It turned out that this lady was Josh’s aunt, his mom’s sister. Finding out that this woman was very dedicated to God, he asked if his mom had ever given her life to Christ. His aunt told him the incredible story of her and Josh’s mom giving their lives to Christ at a tent revival meeting as teenagers. The Lord had brought them together that day, thousands of miles from Josh’s home, in order to answer Josh’s prayer for assurance as well as to address Josh’s lack of family. Listen to the full story as well as hear Josh’s parenting and discipleship advice in this week’s episode. Audio above! HIGHLIGHTS Josh shared on his 7 keys to effective parenting with Justin (link below). Josh's real name is "Jos" but when he was a school athlete, someone printed it "Josh" in that paper and it stuck. Josh shared about his great wife and the advice his mother-in-law gave for raising great children. Even though Josh has written over 150 books, Josh said he'd be fine if he never wrote another one again because each one "guts you."
33 min 54 sec
Hudson Taylor is one of the most famous missionaries of the modern era––and for good reason. By the end of Hudson’s life, countless Chinese Christians owed their spiritual salvation to God working through Hudson Taylor’s willingness to venture where few would dare. Born to a Christian family, Hudson’s father had a strong desire to evangelize China but was unable to due to life circumstances. So his father did the next best thing, he prayed and asked God that if the family had a son that he would be a missionary to China. Though Hudson didn’t learn of this story until several years on the mission field, God still answered this prayer mightily in making Hudson the most influential missionary to ever evangelize China. Hudson’s spiritual legacy wasn’t limited to his father. His mother and sister both set out to pray for Hudson’s salvation while, as a young man, he ran with “infidels.” ONe day his sister enetered in her diary that she would pray for Hudson every day until he was saved. A month later, Hudson’s mother was on an extended trip when she fel thte uncontrollable urge to leave the dinner table and pray for Hudson until he was saved. Mrs. Taylor poured out her soul for hours before God until, just as her last bit of energy was sapped, she felt the Spirit tell her he was indeed saved. At that same hour, Hudson felt the pull to read a tract in his father’s study which convicted him of the truth of the Gospel. Hudson later wrote that the unbelievers he hung around used to say that the Christians they knew said they believed the Bible but didn’t live like it was true. When Hudson was saved, this notion stuck with Hudson and made him resolve to live like the Bible was true. This started with training himself for the mission field by living on as little as possible as well as living by faith. Sometimes he would just sell off anything he owned that he felt he’d feel ashamed to give an account to Jesus about if the Lord were to come back in that moment. Other times, he’d do things like purposely neglect to tell his boss when his paycheck was long pass due. He opted instead to let God remind the absent-minded supervisor, which God always did, but at the last possible second so as to underscore the miraculous nature of the situation. After many experiences like this, Hudson set out to China on a miraculous voyage where, had it not been for God responding to the prayers of the few believers on the ship, they would have died on multiple occasions. In China, Hudson had many more miraculous adventures in the early years until he was finally led to start the China Inland Mission. Listen to this week’s episode (audio above) to hear many of the miraculous stories from Hudson’s missionary life. HIGHLIGHTS When Hudson arrived in China, he found himself in the middle of a war with little to no contacts. At several points, Hudson or a fellow missionary narrowly missed by bullets or canon balls. Just before the Boxer Rebellion, which targeted Christians, and after long decades of Taylor's service, the China Inland Mission boasted 811 missionaries, 171 stations, 223 out-stations, 387 chapels; 581 paid native helpers, 193 unpaid native helpers, 12,964 total baptisms; as well as, 266 churches, 788 boarding scholars, 1382 day schools, 6 hospitals and 46 opium refuges. It is estimated that roughly 1/10 of China's 1 billion population is Christian. Today, many Chinese Christians take a spiritual pilgrimage to Hudson's hometown in England to see where their spiritual heritage began.
1 hr 20 min
In last week’s episode, we heard the gripping story of Kim Phuc’s life before being saved by Christ. We heard about her idyllic childhood being traumatically altered by the napalm attack which was captured in the world-famous “Napalm Girl” photo. We heard how her only dream was to be a doctor so she could save the lives of others just like the doctors of the Barski Unit that had saved her life. We heard how that dream was stolen from her by the communist government who used her as political propaganda. And ultimately, we heard how Christ miraculously saved this despairing young woman just two days before her planned suicide. When we left Kim, she was still living under the oppression of the Communist government, who had shutdown her church and imprisoned its pastors. So what became of Kim and her new faith? Did her faith survive spiritual isolation? Did Kim survive Communism at all? Better yet, could she escape these terrible circumstances as a young girl with no connections and no means to do so? In this episode, we pick Kim’s story back up and we will get answers to all these questions and more. Once again, you’re up for an unbelievable journey as the conclusion to this story is just as wild as the start. This episode is about how God miraculously saved Kim Phuc from Communism. One of the first significant steps the Lord took to save Kim from Communism was to miraculously create a friendship between the Vietnamese Prime Minister and herself. This friendship allowed Kim to leave Vietnam under the auspices of studying abroad in Cuba. Cuba was still a Communist country but at least moving there kept her away from the abusive hands of the Vietnamese Government as they continually objectified her as mere political propaganda. Kim was still without Christian fellowship for many years but it was in Cuba that Kim met her husband. She wasn’t sure if she’d ever be seem beautiful again to a man after her accident, but this man 100 committed to her. The two married and planned their honeymoon in another Communist country, which was the extent of where they were allowed to travel by the Communist regime. It was on this trip that God worked a series of major miracles in the couple’s life. The miracle that set off the whole chain of divine blessings happened while they were at a quick layover in the Toronto airport. Kim had been looking for a chance to defect from her country and the Lord revealed an opportunity to do just that as she waited in that airport. Kim told her husband, who wasn’t a believer, that she felt the Holy Spirit told her this was the time to defect and that she was going to obey what God had shared. Her husband thought she was seriously challenged, not knowing what to do, but ultimately his love for his wife was enough to take the chance. The couple did not get back on their plane. They instead hid and took a leap of faith asking someone what they should do. They didn’t know anyone in Canada and they didn’t have any resources to support themselves. All of this would be moot though if Canada wouldn’t let them enter the country. Kim’s husband was very scared as the consequences for their actions could be very severe. But the Holy Spirit assured Kim and she spoke to her husband confidently that everything was going to miraculously work out because God was taking care of them. Sure enough, divine appointment after divine appointment started revealing themselves. Perhaps the chief among the miracles was that this exact time happened to be during a very small, unprecedented window where Canada was allowing people in the couple’s situation to enter the country. Eventually God secured the couple housing, jobs and even a church. This last blessing was not only sweet for Kim who had been spiritually surviving only with her personal Bible and solitary prayer, but Kim’s husband had become a Christian as well. Once he had witnessed the miraculous way God had saved the couple from Communism, his eyes were opened and he gave his life to Christ. Listen to the episode above for the incredible full story of Kim Phúc’s life. Don’t miss part 1, as well, if you haven’t hear d it yet. HIGHLIGHTS Kim's parents, who were dedicated to the Cao Dai religion of her youth, have converted to Christianity and, by the grace of God, been able to move to Canada to be with their daughter's family. Kim lived in Cuba for six years. Today Kim has undergone advanced treatments that have relieved her of the lifelong pain caused by the napalm. The napalm attack actually perpetrated by the U.S. military. The attack was not supposed to be carried out but was an accident. Kim met the pilot later in life and he profusely apologized while Kim completely forgave him.
55 min 8 sec
On June 8th, 1972, Vietnamese AP photographer, Nick Ut, snapped a photo that would become what is thought to be one of the most memorable photographs of the 20th century. The photo, which was later dubbed “The Napalm Girl,” captured a heart-wrenching scene that took place just after a Vietnam-War napalm attack. Children are fleeing toward the camera as their mouths make out visible screams. Soldiers follow close behind with smoke filling the whole of the background. But the center of the photograph is a little girl, naked, screaming out in pain from the napalm that had gripped hold of her skin. It’s a startling photograph to take in. Many attribute it helping end the Vietnam war as its powerful imagery made its way around the globe as front page news. The photograph was soon the recipient of the 1973 Pulitzer Prize, earning its place in our collective cultural memory as one of the most iconic images of its generation, but what about that little girl? What ever happened to her? What became of her injuries? Her life? Did she survive? Did she go on to live a healthy life or did she even live very long after the photograph was taken? The little girl’s name is Kim Phúc and her story was only beginning with the events captured in this photograph. Shortly after the attack, Kim found her way to a hospital where she was basically left for dead. Through a series of Divine miracles, she was rescued from this place and admitted into an exclusive hospital that specialized in cases like hers. Through excruciating pain, Kim was brought back from the brink of death, but the pain would torment her for decades. Ten years after the attack, when Kim was 19 years old, she was studying to become a doctor at a Vietnamese university. The dream to become a doctor and help others the way she was helped after the attack was the one hope that had pulled her through the continued suffering and lingering trauma. This dream was stolen from her by the communist Vietnamese government that discovered that the world-famous Napalm Girl was still alive. They saw in Kim a propaganda tool that could help advance their political and policy goals. The communists began pulling her out of class and ushering her off to press conferences packed with Western reporters. The reporters would ask questions and Kim would answer honestly in her native Vietnamese tongue, but the Communist interpreter would answer the party talking points instead of relaying Kim’s actual responses. Eventually, Kim was kicked out of school for missing so much class time as the Communists continued to interrupt her studies in pursuit of their political goals. Not only that, but the government assigned a minder to constantly monitor her and follow her around. Kim had lost her privacy and, most importantly to her, she had lost her dream to become a doctor. Kim was at the end of her will to live. She began to plan the taking of her own life. As she was hiding from her Communist minder a few days until her planned suicide, she sought refuge in the city library. She plopped down in the religion section and began to peruse books until she came across a New Testament written in Vietnamese. With curiosity, she began to devour the Scriptures until she landed upon the words of Jesus in John 14:6, ““I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Fatherexcept through me.” This contradicted everything Kim had learned from her universalist Eastern religion taught to her by her local Cao Dai priest. Jesus was a good moral teacher, how could He claim to be so exclusive? Yet, she persisted in wrestling with the Scripture and Jesus’ claims in them until God began to reveal the truth of Christ and His teachings of being the only way to God. At the same time, God sent a pastor into her life from a local church that would soon after be shutdown by the atheistic government. Though these leaders would soon be imprisoned, God used them to assist Kim in her journey to understand and accept the Gospel of Jesus. In the life of Jesus, Kim saw someone who knew suffering like she knew suffering and yet offered unadulterated hope. Kim found freedom from all her bitterness, pain and suffering in the Gospel of Jesus. In today’s episode, listen to Kim Phúc tell her amazing story of suffering and faith in Christ. Stay tuned next week for part 2 where we jump deeper into her story of how Christ helped Kim survive, and ultimately miraculously escape, Communism. HIGHLIGHTS Kim had a happy, idyllic childhood before the war. Kim's relatively well-off family were the benefactors of the local Cao Dai temple, where Kim learned the universalist religion of her childhood. The family was seeking refuge in the temple when the napalm attack took place and Kim was burned. The pastor who helped disciple Kim, just happened to come into her life right at the same time she had encountered the New Testament in the library. All of it adds up to God divinely pursuing Kim in her brokenness. LINKS John 14:6 Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace (Kim's Book)
Dan Hegelund was born to the radical Jesus-Movement leader, Linda Meissner. Linda had been used as a powerful evangelist, seeing tens of thousands of people come to Christ. At one point, Linda was preaching the Gospel on the streets of Scandanavia and felt led to move into an abandoned military base where a community of hippies had created living space. As Linda lived among these hippies, she saw people begin to come to Christ. One was a man who, after a walking with the Lord for a while, decided he wanted to pursue Linda. The two were married and shortly after welcomed Dan into the world. Unfortunately, not long after, Dan’s father backslid into a lifestyle of alcohol and drug abuse. Nevertheless, though LInda’s heart was broken, she committed to being a godly mother to Dan and continued to preach the Gospel. Unfortunately for Dan, the community became a hostile place for a child. Police raids and the lack of the rule of moral law left Dan feeling despairing of life as a small child. Yet, this is exactly when God showed up in Dan’s life. Dan began to intimately encounter God at a young age and by the age of 13 had what he would call “the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” This experience was not a rare thing in the Pentecostal background of his mother, but it did produce uncommon results. As a 13-year-old, Dan was regularly evangelizing non-believers and bringing them to a weekly Bible study that he led. The young man was on fire for God. Later, he finally found a church that was different than the stale, dead churches he’d previously encountered in Scandinavia. He felt led to get involved in it and for a time this seemed to quench the fiery ministry he’d been leading. The trade off was that he was able to grow in discipleship and maturity as a follower of Christ. God blessed this season, bring Dan a wife and giving him many ministry opportunities. For ministry, Dan started and led Gospel choirs and eventually became the worship director of a Central-European church that was experiencing massive revival. One day, Dan felt he received a prophetic word for his mother, Linda. It had been 40 years since her heyday as an evangelist and he felt the Lord say to her that, like Moses being in the wilderness for 40 years in a foreign land and then being called back to do Kingdom work in his twilight years, God was telling Linda he had work for her to do back in the U.S. where she had been a central part of the Jesus Movement in the 70’s. Dan, Linda and Dan’s family all moved back to the United States and, after settling in, God shared with Dan that it was time for him to resurrect that vision he had as a fiery teenage-church-planter and plant churches himself. Today, Dan has planted a church in Tacoma, WA where his mother serves as the Lead Evangelist. Listen to this week’s episode (above) to hear all the details of what God has done in Dan’s life! HIGHLIGHTS Even though Gospel choirs originated in Black American culture, they've become very popular in Scandinavia. Dan started and directed large one that were televised on T.V. The church that Dan was on staff at not only experienced a truly massive revival, from the church, countless churches have been planted. Dan recounts how he experienced "power" after he was baptized in the Holy Spirit, which is similar to how the early Pentecostals described their experience. They testified that their ability in ministry and discipleship was greatly strengthened.
1 hr 11 min
Tiffany Bluhm was abandoned as an infant on the streets India and later adopted by a family in the United States. She never forgot the feeling of abandonment or of being a little different than her peers. These things might have been good enough reasons to compel her to never consider adopting a child of her own. Nonetheless, the God who adopts followers of His Son, Fathering them from into His Heavenly Kingdom, stirred Tiffany and her husband Derek’s hearts towards adopting a child of their own. One day, while gazing at a small baby with dark skin, Tiffany heard the Lord whisper to her, “Your baby’s going to have real dark skin.” Since Tiffany is Indian, this wasn’t a surprise, but she felt the Lord was speaking of even darker skin. The couple eventually settled on adopting from Uganda. The couple went forward knowing their process would be arduous. They would soon find out they had no idea how difficult it would be. Initially only thinking of adopting one child, the Bluhm’s were challenged by an adoption representative to adopt two. They prayerfully accepted the challenge and eventually made their way to Uganda. After arriving, the couple were able to meet their new boys, who they named Lucius and Jericho, and they were given accommodations to live in while they waited out the legal process necessary to bring their children home. The initial adjustment period for the kids was trying. The kids, being toddlers who had rarely, if ever, seen a male adult, presented unique challenges for Derek as he sought to fill the role of a father. Even more heart-wrenching was watching little Jericho bang his head against the wall for 8-10 hours a day while he processed the trauma of this new situation. His previous life’s circumstances were very difficult, but they were all he knew. Now he found himself with people he didn’t know in a situation he didn’t recognize. Yet, over the weeks and months, the foursome settled into the reality of being a family and true, deep bonds formed in this short time. It seemed the rhythm of what life was going to look like for this family had begun to reveal itself. Then the unthinkable happened. The Bluhm’s were told that they were not going to be able to keep Lucius. It turns out he had a relative in the Ugandan government who didn’t like the idea of foreigners adopting someone from his family. This was devastating news to the little Bluhm squad. Derek and Lucius had formed a deep bond. In fact, where it had taken much longer for Jericho to call Derek “Daddy,” it was a relatively short process for Lucius. He had truly begun to flourish for the first time in his short life, and since the relative didn’t actually want to adopt Lucius himself, he would have to return to orphanage life. While the family was still processing this grief, it began to look like they might lose Jericho as well. As their stay extended well beyond their original plans and began to near the four-month mark, Tiffany says she found herself reaching the limits of her faith. Despair looked like it might overcome her. But God, Who is never exhausted and never surprised, supported Tiffany when she was at her lowest by rousing a sister in Christ on the other side of the world to begin to pray non-stop until there was breakthrough in Tiffany’s situation. It was the middle of the night where this woman lived, but the Spirit stirred her to message Tiffany and let her know that she felt Tiffany was struggling and that this sister was praying. After much prayer, the Holy Spirit gave the woman confidence that something had changed in Tiffany’s situation. Indeed, something significant had happened, because at the very hour the woman felt stirred to begin to pray, the Bluhm’s legal representation was meeting with a Ugandan judge regarding Jericho’s status with the family. The case was moved forward and not long after the family was able to come home to the United States together. Today Jericho is a school-aged boy and big brother to little brother, Kingston. Listen to this week’s episode to hear all of the Bluhm’s incredible story and to be encouraged by Justin’s conversation with Tiffany! HIGHLIGHTS Tiffany mentions at the beginning of the episode that she was waiting to hear back about a book deal. She has since written multiple books! (This episode was recorded over three years ago but just released in 2020!) The Bluhm's name for Jericho was based on one of the first promises for the people of Israel being tied to the city of the same name. Lucius means "light." Derek was initially only going to come for the first few weeks but he ended up needing to stay for the entire four months.
1 hr 2 min
Stephanie Kram never expected to be leading a high school ministry, but God unmistakably called her to it. The fruit of the ministry testifies to that well enough: the meetings are overflowing capacity and tons of kids have decided to follow Jesus. It all started one day when when Stephanie was scrolling through Instagram and noticed an account talking about something called Jesus Club. Fast forward to a little while later and she found herself listening to an out-of-town speaker at local church named Brian Barcelona. Brian just happened to be the founder of Jesus Club. While Stephanie listened to this man testify to how God had been using Jesus Club to reach kids, she had what she can only describe as the most powerful encounter with God she’s ever had. She felt the Holy Spirit come over her and bear witness to her soul that she was supposed to do something similar in a local high school. The high school she had in mind had a reputation as not being very friendly to ministries, however. Even local Young Life staff reported not being able to be on campus. Nonetheless, she felt led to pursue this particular high school as the site for her Jesus Club. So prayerfully, Stephanie pursued and obtained a meeting with the school principal. The morning of the meeting she read in her Bible about Jesus instructing the apostles to not prepare anything to say before they were brought before leaders because the Holy Spirit would direct their mouths in the moment. So Stephanie surrendered her preparation to God and prayerfully went to her meeting. In the meeting the principal initially seemed skeptical but stephanie was just straightforward about her intentions and her heart for his students. The principal seemed almost immediately change demeanors and began to tell her about several difficulties he was encountering among the student body. He then asked how she could help. From this point, Stephanie was allowed to begin to pursue starting a club on campus. As soon as she stepped foot on campus, God began opening doors. Pretty soon after she entered the school, a young woman came up to her who remembered her from a previous job Stephanie had mentoring youth. This girl happened to be a follower of Christ, herself, and upon learning what Stephanie was up to, she told her about a teacher in the school who oversaw a Bible club. Stephanie met with this teacher who then told her that the club had been dying and she had been earnestly praying for the Lord to send someone to spearhead a new effort with it. She also shared that the existing name of the club was Jesus Club–the very name Stephanie had in mind for the club and the name of the original ministry that had inspired it. From there the club grew from a few students to 80 regular attendees and even more who have given their life to Christ in the few years since Stephanie stepped foot on campus. The club has had an impact on kids from virtually every walk of life. Stephanie is joined by her husband Mark, who has taken on a leadership role alongside her and Jon Osterman (from episode 13). The couple shares several miraculous and encouraging stories from their time in Jesus Club. Listen to this week’s episode for the entire encouraging story! HIGHLIGHTS The teacher/club adviser who originally led the the club belongs to a small local church that have been praying for the kids of the school by name for years. The Krams shared with particular fondness their experiences sharing the love of Christ with members of a group of gay students. Some were enthusiastic about the invitation but one in particular seemed the least open in the group to attending the club but ended up giving his life to Christ. The club packs out two classrooms and the club leadership is actively petitioning the school administration to meet in the gym.
1 hr 5 min
Few men have impacted the world as George Müller of Bristol did. He was counted as a main inspiration for legendary contemporaries like C.T. Studd and Hudson Taylor. His witness was even the sole inspiration for the 1859 revival in Ireland, which itself was a large inspiration for the famous 1904 Great Revival in Wales. He lived a long life and before he died, he would care for over 10,000 orphans, print and distribute nearly 2 million bibles, distribute over 3 million tracks and Christian books, support 115 missionaries, pay for the schooling of 81,000 kids, and create home Sunday-schools which nearly 33,000 children attended. He paid for all this by raising over $150 million (in today’s dollars). But none of this was what George considered his primary ministry. His main goal was to make his life a witness to “a prayer-hearing God.” He did this by relentlessly praying for every need, no matter how minute or gigantic, and recording God’s answers to those prayers as they happened. In fact, he never actually raised a dime of that 150 million dollars by asking for it like regular fundraisers. All of it was miraculously given to him by donors in answer to prayers. He would then publish all the answers to prayer in regular reports for the public. However, he had one exception to this process. He would not publish the report if the finances in the report made certain needs clear. He would wait until all financial needs were met until publishing so that no one would give in response to the report itself. He went to such great lengths to make sure God got glory for these answered prayers that if there was a particularly big need, he wouldn’t even tell his wife, lest she accidentally let slip the need to someone else. Even if someone came to him and told him they’d like to give to the ministry but they wanted to make sure their money was needed at that particular time, George would refuse to divulge if there were any needs and instead tell them to go pray and ask God whether they should give. He did this even in times when there was in fact imminent, dire need. He once told his eventual biographer, Arthur Pierson, “Not once, or five times, or five hundred times, but thousands of times in these threescore years, have we had in hand not enough for one more meal, either in food or in funds; but not once has God failed us; not once have we or the orphans gone hungry or lacked any good thing.” George recounted that often he’d be on his knees praying when the answer to that very prayer would show up. Though he oversaw orphanages that housed over 2,000 orphans, George never once asked a single soul for money for them, but he did ask God unceasingly and God never once failed to answer. HIGHLIGHTS George was "a very bad boy" as Arthur Pierson described his childhood. He was a habitual liar, thief and drunkard by his teens, even though his father had arranged for him to study to be a minister in the German state church. George estimates that less than 1% of his 900 fellow students in his divinity school actually feared God, but it was at a house meeting while attending this school that George first encountered the living God and never looked back. He devoured scripture, reading through the Bible on average of three times per year throughout his 60 years of ministry. When George was in his 70's, he travelled the world preaching. He traversed the globe multiple times, traveling 200,000 miles over 17 years. His main message when preaching was that a Christian's first duty every day was to get happy with God. He himself preferred to stay in hotels while traveling so he could make sure to have uninterrupted communion with God through His Word and prayer.
1 hr 19 min
In part 2 of our focus on the life of William J. Seymour, Jordan McCloud and Justin finish William’s story by reflecting on how William handled difficult situations. The short answer: with humility and a heart to glorify God. Jordan and Justin reflect on how lessons from Seymour’s life are applicable today, both in the Church and in greater society. A big theme that emerges in this episode is the Christlike way of responding to racism, bitterness and oppression. In all things, Seymour seemed to respond with humility and love out of reverence for Christ. Likewise, Seymour responded to injustices done to him from friends and even his mentor, with humility and love. He never stopped advocating for truth but seemed to take seriously that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood.” If you haven’t listened to part 1 in our series, check it out for a lot more of the details of this man’s story. HIGHLIGHTS Justin shared about how on the day Billy Graham died, God called Justin away from being political in the same way Billy abstained from politics. Jordan shared about the temptation to be bitter at one's cultural enemies in the same way Jonah was. The guys talked about the implications of Jesus' Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:20-49) in today's divisive world.
51 min 52 sec
Though William J. Seymour was about as culturally disenfranchised as an American could be at the dawn of the 20th century, and though the time of influence was relatively short, he had the distinct honor to be the central figure in one of the largest movements in the last hundred years. The son of ex-African American slaves, we don’t know as much about the details of Seymour’s life as we’d like, but we do know that he grew up very poor. He also resided in the South during his formative years when the Klu Klux Klan was terrorizing Black families and circumstances weren’t generally favorable for those of African descent living in this area of the country. In his 20’s he bounced around Northern states working various jobs and being heavily influenced by various holiness churches. He also contracted Small Pox by this point of his life, and while his life was spared, he was left blind in one eye and with a partially disfigured face. At some point he was drawn to Texas and was able to attend Charles Parham’s 10-week Bible course. Though, it must be said that because of Texan segregation laws, he wasn’t actually able to sit in the class room or be a formal student. He took advantage of a legalist loophole where Parham allowed him to sit in the hallway to listen in to his teachings. It seems that Parham loved Black Americans but later also demonstrated racist tendencies which ultimately hurt Seymour. For the time being, however, Seymour learned from this Holiness teacher’s theology and, with only completing 5 weeks of the course, took off for Los Angeles where he felt called to pastor a small house church. Parham had a conviction that the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” that Jesus spoke of was something that would only be demonstrated by speaking in tongues. It was at one of his schools in 1901 that students began to speak in tongues en masse and so, in 1906, when Seymour took over pastoral duties at the small Los Angeles church, he began to preach that every Christian should desire the gift of tongues (known as glossolalia), as it would be evidence of the gift of being immersed in God’s Spirit. This theological position wasn’t received by all but a small band from the church rallied around Seymour and, after moving their reduced meetings to the home of one of the couples, the group began to experience the gift of tongues. This of course blossomed into the Azusa Revival which later gave birth to the global phenomenon known as the Pentecostal movement and its mainstream offshoot, the Charismatic movement. There is much to tell about this revival and its legacy, both arguably for the better and for the worse, but in this episode, Justin is joined by Jordan McCloud as they discuss not only the details of Seymour’s life but also the implications of both Seymour’s hallmark humility as well as his Christlike approach to race in the midst of one of the greatest eras of racial discord in U.S. history. Truly, the Azusa Revival is known by the famous line written by its primary documenter, Frank Bartleman: “The color line was washed away in the Blood [of Christ].” Listen along as Jordan and Justin discuss the life of William J. Seymour and the ways they see that his walk with God could inspire salt, light and peace in today’s world. HIGHLIGHTS Seymour grew out a beard to cover his facial disfiguration. His family only owned two pieces of furniture. The revival was marked by black, white, hispanic and other ethnicities all communing and leading together. The quote referenced in the title was from influential Pentecostal forerunner, William H. Durham. The full quote about Seymour is as follows: "He is the meekest man I ever met. He walks and talks with God. His power is in his weakness. He seems to maintain a helpless dependence on God and is simple-hearted as a little child, and at the same time is so filled with God that you feel the love and power every time you get near him."
1 hr 2 min
Merry Christmas! Our gift to you is more than a dozen encouraging testimonies we’ve been collecting over the past few years. The stories range from helping people in need, to people being miraculously healed, to God saving folks from perilous circumstances. Justin has been walking around with a microphone in his bag almost everywhere he goes so he can collect testimonies as he encounters them. If someone started sharing a testimony with him, he would pull out his mic and ask them to share it on the recording. Even so, there are many he didn’t collect because of time, etc. and, yet, there is 90 minutes worth of testimonies on this episode. Listen to this week’s episode to hear all the encouraging stories! HIGHLIGHTS If you've heard Justin mention before how he's collected several random testimonies from one random Fred Meyer's store, this is the episode where you'll hear those particular stories, too. Truly, you'll know God can move anywhere, anytime, once you hear how many stories have happened in this little strip mall! As a bonus, Justin's wife, Brianna, also testifies on this episode in ways God has miraculously saved their family and delivered her from fear. Some of the people testifying have been guests on the podcast before. See if you can spot them!
1 hr 35 min
Tyler Connell didn’t know what he was supposed to do with his life. He wanted to serve God but he needed God to tell him how. So he instinctually drove to the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. He heard they prayed a lot there and he figured he needed a lot of that himself. During the short season he lived there, God gave him a prophetic dream that made it clear that he should join a missions organization called Youth with a Mission (aka YWAM). It was in YWAM that he finally found what he was looking for. Every YWAM’er has to go through a mission training school at one of countless YWAM bases around the world. Tyler chose to do his in Herrnhut, Germany, the famous town built by the Moravians and arguably the historical epicenter of modern Evangelicalism. While Tyler was at the training school he diligently sought the will of God for his life. One day, as he was praying, the Holy Spirit whispered to his heart, “Tyler, you’ve been coming to me like a slave comes to a master.” Instead, said the Spirit, He wanted Tyler to come to Him as a son to a father. Not long after this, a visiting leader, a woman with a prophetic gift, told Tyler she felt the Lord was going to do something special for him that week. Sure enough, as the week went on, Tyler found himself in multiple spontaneous prayer and worship times with fellow students that lasted for hours as God’s presence was almost palpably felt. Sensing a unique situation, Tyler asked God what He wanted to communicate with these sessions. It was at this point Tyler got his clarity. Via another prophetic dream and a handful of other miraculous means, God started rapidly revealing the battle plan for Tylers next season of life. Through this it became clear he was supposed to film documentary films and show them on college campuses in order to inspire folks to go into missions in the 1040 window. He also felt led to share this vision with a guy who was temporarily bunking in his dorm. He didn’t understand why he was led to do so until the guy responded with with great enthusiasm. He related to Tyler how he was a filmmaker and that he was at Herrnhut seeking vision on what he was supposed to do next. The two became partners and launched the Ekballo Project. They have made multiple films and shown them on over 60 college campuses. They have started a summer program for short-term student outreaches, as well. Tyler also shares three other powerful stories from his experiences of people miraculously coming to encounter the Gospel and the power of God. HIGHLIGHTS Tyler recounts the story of being in a nation with 50 known believers in Jesus. He and some others were worshipping for 12 hours straight when a couple walked into the building unannounced because of dream the guy had the night before involving Jesus and music in the same building. A story is shared about a muslim man who was physically blinded after a demonic attack years before. Tyler and his team ministered to him over several days until Jesus enountered the man and his sight was restored. Another time Tyler and his team were preparing to show the Jesus film in a remote village when they encountered a man who surprising spoke perfect English. The man opposed them vehemently at the start but then when the movie was shown, God spoke to the man in his mind and the man gave his life to Christ.
52 min 51 sec
Paul Ebenezer is a born-and-raised Indian. His mom, who is a Christian, was widowed when Paul was young but she forsook remarrying so she could focus on raising Paul Ebenezer in the Lord. In spite of her noble efforts, Paul initially wandered off into a life of heavy drinking. But his mom was vindicated when finally her prayers were answered and Paul Ebenezer decided to follow Jesus and to do so wholeheartedly. Following his conversion, he had the opportunity to work directly with the great Indian missionary, Moses Paulose, whose testimony reads like the Book of Acts: India. Podcast host, Justin Mayfield, had the opportunity to get to know Paul Ebenezer when Justin spent a season as a missionary in India as the two worked side-by-side servicing the ministry's tech needs. During this time, Justin, along with a few of his fellow missionaries, were used by the Lord to introduce Paul to his wife. Justin jokes that he "arranged" an Indian marriage and Paul Ebenezer often shares the testimony with his countrymen that some people came all the way to America to introduce him to his wife. Today, Paul Ebenezer is a pastor and he recently had the opportunity to travel to the United States. The reason he traveled all the way to the other side of the world is because he is raising funds to build humble church buildings for Indian Christians who have no place to meet. He is also raising funds for equipment to share the Gospel with unreached Indian tribes. Paul will regularly drive to remote villages where people have never heard of Jesus and show The Jesus Film with a mobile projector and sound system. Many people come into the Kingdom of God through efforts like these. In this episode, learn the genius of a simple life when it comes to following Jesus and maybe even gain a little insight into some of the dynamics behind why Indians have a less than 1% divorce rate! HIGHLIGHTS As a teenager, before he knew Christ, Paul Ebenezer drank whole bottles of hard alcohol in one sitting. Indian states speak different languages. Paul was able to communicate with his wife because he learned her language working with Moses Paulouse, who was from the same state. On his first flight to the U.S., Paul thought the flight attendants were trying to feed him like an animal, until he learned what "salad" was. His family and church don't spend much time recreating. They spend most of their free time in prayer and joyous worship.
46 min 2 sec
Isaac Tolpin is today known as Resolute Man, one half of Courageous Parenting, husband of Courageous Mom, Angie Tolpin, and a home-church shepherd. Yet, his early life started out in an unbelieving household of a single, working mom. God didn’t leave himself without a strong witness, though. At one point, Isaac and his sister had a run-in with the wrong side of the spiritual realm when they and their friends began messing around with a Ouija Board. Strange happenings began manifesting around the young Tolpins’ home culminating in a demonic attack from one of their friends. The friend, a girl they were on good terms with, uncharacteristically showed up unannounced one day. She sat down quietly and stared at Isaac with what he could only describe as “demonic eyes.” Without saying a word, the girl headed for their kitchen. Moments later she emerged with a large chef’s knife which she flung with all her might at Isaac. The knife narrowly missed his body and ricocheted off the arm of the chair he was sitting in. Panicked, Isaac hurriedly pushed her out the door. Thankfully, provided his sister with the wisdom to get rid of the Ouija. She found a Bible and burned the board while she read passages of scripture over it. Even though Isaac knew the existence of the spiritual realm was indisputable after this episode, it didn’t lead to immediate conversion to following Christ. That would come much later when, during his college years, he had the good fortune to captain a branch for Vector Marketing, the marketing company that sells Cutco knives. He led his branch to be #1 in sales in the country, made a lot of money for his age and felt like he had a good grip on direction for his life. This confidence was put into question, however, when the girl of his dreams walked through his office door. “I didn’t even believe in marriage until I met her!” Angie had just returned from a mission trip and was an all-or-nothing woman of God. Isaac had never met anyone like her and though he had a strict policy not to date any of his sales reps, he was smitten with her. Angie felt called to witness to Isaac and faithfully followed through but thwarted any possible romantic pursuits by actively severing ties to him afterward. Though Isaac wanted to be with Angie and couldn’t have her, he could possibly have her faith and he realized he needed to figure out what he thought of Jesus and the Bible. God was drawing him powerfully and he found himself going to services, sometimes two a day, every weekend. He searched scripture and sought God. Finally one day he had a spiritual encounter and called Angie in the middle of the night. She told him he needed to accept Christ which he promptly did upon hanging up. The next day he was shocked by the immediate change in himself. He had previously been wary of what he’d have to give up to follow Christ and now he found himself just not desiring any of those things. Soon after, Isaac and Angie got together and were married a year later. Isaac found that his conversion to Christ had made him an even better businessman. Higher quality candidates were attracted to work in his business and, after climbing the ranks to division manager, he saw God do something truly remarkable. His division was selling about $5,000,000 a year and was consistently finishing number two in sales out of 40 divisions. During a prayer time he asked God to help him grow the division’s sales. God responded with specific instructions about giving God glory for every success and being obedient to everything the Spirit told him to do. From that point forward, the Holy Spirit began to give specific instructions on how to run the division and, though the directions were unconventional compared to how things were usually ran in the company, Isaac obediently implemented the changes. The result was that during the Great Recession his division doubled in sales and crushed previous company sales numbers. Even better, though, his decision to follow Christ had given something much more important to live for than just sales numbers. During his time as a division manager, he was able to publicly declare his faith with his many speaking engagements at conferences as well as one on one with people he was leading and working with. Now he was endeavoring toward eternal things rather than mere temporal goals. Later, he realized it was his time to leave the company and he started a new company of his own. Unfortunately, pride got in the way and the company failed. The family lost all their money and they were also stuck with a half million in debt from the business. But God was faithful to fully pay off the entire debt within two years and to lead Isaac back to humility–teaching him many lessons along the way. It was within a few years of this that God led Isaac and Angie to start Courageous Parenting, which is a ministry designed to help Christian parents lead with intention and conviction in an uncertain world. Isaac and Angie know a thing or two about this topic as they have eight children of their own. Their youngest is 1-year-old and their oldest is enrolled at Liberty University. Angie has also been blogging under the name Courageous Mom for quite some time. You can find her book on Christian postpartum care here. Their podcast has blown up with over 12,000 downloads per week and 200 people or more have already been through their six-week parenting mentor program. Justin listens to the podcast regularly and heartedly recommends it! Listen to this week’s episode for all the amazing details of Isaac’s story as well an amazing parenting tip for discipling your kids in the faith! HIGHLIGHTS Justin and Isaac have known each other for 20 years because Justin used to sell Cutco knives. He was also a sales manager for a few different offices in Isaac's division, which, at the time, covered Washington and Oregon. Isaac and Angie's goal with their ministry is to impact one million family legacies by helping parents have a huge impact on their families. Angie's book, Redeeming Childbirth, is the only book of its kind for Christians on postpartum care.
1 hr 11 min
Nateh Godo, brother of Episode 2’s Tapeh Godo, moved to the United States from the Ivory Coast as an adolescent. The family grew up with faith in Christ but the culture shock incited a rebellion within the Godo brothers which would last into Nateh’s adulthood. At one point Nateh almost converted to Islam to be with a muslim girl he had feelings for, but God saved him from that apostate decision. Yet, this didn’t mean Nateh was devoted to actually following Christ. In fact, Nateh found himself addicted to Cocaine and living as a full-time drug dealer. Though Nateh found himself desiring more–he longed to be a pilot–he felt stuck in his broken lifestyle. He justified his continued life of crime and addiction with his longterm plan to save $100,000 in order to attend flight school. It looked as if Nateh might actually save his desired goal, but, just before he reached $100,000, he said a prayer in a moment of desperation that would forever change his life. One day, while high, he cried out to God to save him from his dark and fruitless lifestyle. He was miserable and he longed for God to save him. The answer to that prayer came in swift, dramatic fashion when, in the same week that Nateh reached his $100,000 goal, the police showed up to raid his home. They arrested him and seized all the money. Yet, Nateh recalls feeling a great relief and experiencing deep gratitude to God for saving him from the veritable hole he had fallen into. After a year in jail he was free, and not only that, had become a serious disciple of Jesus while locked up. Today, Nateh lives with his brother Tapeh’s family and works in the airplane industry. While it’s not the job he always longed for, it’s an honest job and, at the time of the recording, had just earned a promotion! HIGHLIGHTS The Lord consistently pursued Nateh through many ups and downs. One example is when Nateh was at a particularly low point, he walked outside and saw that an airplane had written, "Smile, Jesus loves you." When Nateh was considering converting to Islam, he felt prompted in prayer to just accept Christian doctrine by faith. When he did that, he was filled with the Holy Spirit, having a 20-minute encounter with God. Justin and Nateh speak in-depth about the doctrine of the Trinity and Justin attempts to exposit some deeper truths of the Trinity in response to what Nateh's girlfriend had told him all those years before.
50 min 56 sec
Brad Summers truly hit rock bottom when he found himself on the floor of a Fred Meyer’s, trying to saw through a liquor bottle just for a drop to please his addiction. It was a long road of broken childhood and adolescence that basically left him without much to live for but the bottom of a bottle. Yet, in that moment on the grocery isle floor, God gave him enough self-awareness to realize that there could be more to life than what he was living for in that moment. He decided that his only options were to “find out if God was real” or to drink himself to death. Brad checked himself into treatment for the upteenth time, but the major difference this time is that the program was Christ-centered, whereas previous stints had been secular efforts, full of humanistic ideas Brad gave his life to Christ in this program but it wasn’t until God miraculously cleared his criminal charges in court–to the visible shock of both the prosecutor and his own attorney–and miraculously paid the fine that he owed that Brad began to fully grasp the weight of what he’d done. He hadn’t just made a resolve to do something good with his life, he had been connected to the Sovereign King of everything Who holds Brad in His hands. Not only did this have a lasting effect on Brad, in that he was able to stop drinking, it gave Brad a hunger to follow in the footsteps of Christ, to honor His commandments and work for His Kingdom. HIGHLIGHTS Brad often struggled with suicidal thoughts and even tried to end his own life once before meeting Christ. The program he checked himself in at was at the local homeless shelter, The Rescue Mission, and was called the New Life Program. Brad new that God was the one who miraculously paid his fines, and that it wasn't even through another person working on behalf of God, because he had borrowed, cheated and stolen from everyone he knew and they would never pay his fine for him.
55 min 29 sec
Today, Bubba Jennings is pastor of Resurrection Church, in Tacoma, WA, but it was a long journey to get there. Bubba was born to teenage parents. In spite of partying and bouts of poverty, his parents did provide a loving atmosphere in his home during his pre-tween years. However, after a long bout of unemployment, the family found themselves living in a shed with no heat or running water. Not long after this, Bubba’s mom left his dad and began raising the kids as a working single mom and Bubba found himself having to act as the man of the house at the age of ten. Bubba began acting out in all kinds of destructive ways as a result of the divorce. He began having anger outbursts, randomly lying to his mother, sleeping on the street and breaking into homes. He describes himself as a teenager as “rebellious, angry and proud.” When his mom moved out of town, Bubba stayed behind, getting an apartment and finishing high school. On the outside the fact that he got a job and went to college made him “the successful one” in his family. He was actually the first one in his family to graduate high school. Yet, it was around this point that on the inside he began to slide deeper and deeper into despair. He lost most of his friends and began doing a lot of drugs. It was at this point that Bubba entered what he would consider an existential crisis. He despaired of life and wondered if there was any meaning to it. He thought that if there was no meaning that he wanted to destroy everyone and everything, including himself. However, he did wonder if God existed and took a world religion class in an attempt to find out. The class didn’t cover Christianity, but Bubba did get something out of it. He realized every religion he heard about had one thing in common: they all had rules that had to be followed in order to find salvation within the religion. As someone who had lived against the grain and hated rules, this was not welcomed news for his journey of finding God. God had a plan, though. As Bubba’s angst had led him out of mainstream interests into “underground” activities like playing in bands, God used this very thing to lead Bubba to Himself. One day a guy named Corey approached Bubba in the gym and asked if he wanted to jam. Corey had Bubba meet him in the middle of nowhere at midnight one evening and led him down a dirt road. In spite of the sketchy circumstances, ultimately Corey led Bubba to a little country church building which contained the nicest drum set Bubba had ever had the chance to play on. This began a friendship that eventually led to Corey discipling Bubba toward following Jesus. One day, Corey suggested that Bubba read the Bible and as Bubba read through the Gospels he found himself believing in Jesus. He realized that “Jesus followed the rules so I didn’t have to.” Yet, as he saw the great love that God displayed in both His pursuit of Bubba and in the Cross itself, Bubba found himself wanting to live in such a way that pleased God. Eventually, Bubba moved to Seattle to play music and got connected to a church that had a presence in the local music scene. It was through this church that Bubba was able to plant the church he now leads. Listen to the full story in this week’s episode! HIGHLIGHTS Corey was quite the character: When he first approached Bubba in the gym he randomly said, "I play Christian music! You got a problem with that?" He then flexed his chest. Corey was also the perfect guy to disciple Bubba as they shared similar circumstances from their childhoods and from their teenage years. Corey even lived on his own as a teenager. When Corey asked Bubba to meet him "at the Sonic" in a country town at midnight, Bubba says he called his dad and told him the details in case he turned up missing so his dad would at least have a clue where to start looking for him!
In this week’s episode, Josh Acosta and Michael Louderback are back to share a collection of miraculous stories from their street evangelism ministry. Like the stories they each shared at the end of Episode 15, these stories are very encouraging and faith-building. The guys share multiple stories of miraculous healings, testimonies about people giving their lives to Christ in the most unlikely of circumstances and the lessons they learned from God all along the way. As encouraging as these stories are, the most powerful theme in this episode is understanding that every follower of Christ can walk in the same power of the Holy Spirit and boldness to preach the Gospel. It all starts with believing Christ when He says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12) Followers of Christ should always remember Mark 16’s promise/warning: “Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart… And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation… And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.’” HIGHLIGHTS Josh led a girl to Christ just after she was involved in an car accident with him. A guy was healed of carpal tunnel that Michael prayed for. Josh saw someone have their foot healed where the young man could not wiggle his toes for four years previous to that moment. A man with chronic back pain was fully healed through prayer when Michael decided to pray for him. Several other stories were shared, including a past evangelism encounter of Justin's.
56 min 18 sec
This week’s guests, Josh Acosta and Michael Louderback, both share come from hard beginnings. Josh grew up in a dysfunctional and abusive home. He found himself addicted to drugs, alcohol, and lust as a teen. He tells the story of his mom, who was at this point a believer in Jesus, being led by the Holy Spirit to the house he was partying at one night and finding him passed out, on the brink of death. She got him to the hospital in time to save him. He continued his lifestyle, unfortunately, and felt depressed and empty. He went from girl to girl until, one day, he found out his girlfriend of 3 months was pregnant. The two married but she didn’t understand the level of his addictions. Nor did she understand his addiction to women. Soon he cheated on her. They moved to a new state. He cheated again. The marriage was over and he found himself more depressed than ever and hopeless. By the grace of God, Josh’s mother encouraged him to go to church and cry out to God. He brought his daughter to a service at a local church he’d heard about. He felt exceptionally welcomed and loved at the service and the message seemed to be tailored directly to his life. He gave his life to Jesus, joined Celebrate recovery and today is growing strong in the Lord with an evangelism ministry. Michael was born into a rough family. Both of his parents were distant and addicted to substances. In spite of never feeling mothered or fathered, he did what he could to teach himself how to be a man. As he got into his late teens, he found himself partying with the cool kids. Partying gave way to hanging with tougher and tougher crowds. People around him were involved in gun violence and theft. This led him to look for a new crowd of people. He found some guys who seemed more tame than his previous crowd. It turned out these were backslidden Christians who partied but, from time to time, they were good to one another and he’d never seen that. It was through this group that he met a guy who was genuinely trying to live his faith and spoke to Michael about Jesus for the first time. Michael ended up getting connected with Martin’s friend group and even moved in with a few of the guys in it. It would take years of hanging around these guys and even casually attending a Bible study with them, but eventually he had a few experiences that led him to know that God was real and the Bible was true. The most significant thing that happened was that Michael woke up with bloody noses every morning, as a side-effect his partying lifestyle, and one day a man at the Bible study offered to pray for him. The bloody noses stopped after that moment and he never had one again. This was the shifting point for Michael. He got plugged in with a church and devoured the Scriptures. After a while he noticed the group of friends he was hanging around were fairly lukewarm with their faith and he longed for more. The Holy Spirit spoke to him to move to another state in order to get plugged in with a specific church where people were walking out their faith with a lot of passion. Michael was obedient and moved there. At that church he encountered many miraculous works, including healings and prophecy, and this experience matured and deepened Michael’s faith greatly. Today, Michael and Josh co-lead an evangelism ministry where they witness to people on the streets and are used by God to heal people as the Spirit leads. They each share a powerful story at the end of the episode demonstrating how God is moving through the ministry. HIGHLIGHTS Michael shared a story of an old man who got healed of a health issue he'd had since he was 12 when Michael prayed for him at the mall. Josh shared a story of witnessing to a man from a similar background as his and the man giving his life to Christ. The man pulled out his crack pipe and through it on the ground and crushed it with his foot. Next week, we will be sharing part 2 which is just stories of miraculous encounters in their street ministry.
1 hr 31 min
Today Pastor Brian Headrick is a passionate minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but for 24 years of his life he was a severe criminal and drug addict who estimates he may have committed over a million felonies in his lifetime. Brian started life in a tough situation. He was the son of a single mom and was molested as a kid. He poured everything into sports but after a motorcycle accident ended his sports career at 17, he quickly fell into drugs. This, in turn, led to a life of crime in order to support his habit. Throughout the 24 years of this sordid life, he was in and out of prison for over 50 felony convictions and arrests for hundreds more. He estimates that it was common to commit hundreds of felonies in one night as he struggled to support an incredibly expensive habit. At one point, Brian and his wife’s habit cost $700/day. After meeting his wife, the two settled down together, started a legitimate business and had kids, but after a period of time, the habit came back and this landed them both back in jail. This particular go-around was hard on Brian, as now his kids were fatherless just as he had been growing up. This was the tilled soil God decided to use to pursue Brian. One day, not long before he was busted and sent back to jail, he heard God speak to him audibly and tell him the two paths that laid before him. When Brian found himself back in jail, God, once again, audibly spoke to Brian saying, “And this is going to be about faith.” God did more than just speak to him in that moment, though, Brian felt his heart heal supernaturally. He testifies that he didn’t even know how sick his heart was until God graciously reached down and healed it and he knew in that moment that all the drugs he’d ever done were to cover up the wound God just healed. He also knew, now that God had healed him, he would never get high again. This began a seven-month journey where Brian went searching for God in every type of religion. He read the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and the Jehova’s Witness writings. He attended Jewish services and Buddhist meditation hours. He didn’t know anything about Jesus or Christianity. Brian just knew God spoke to him and he wanted God, Whoever He was. During this time, God kept gently leading Brian back to the Bible–in spite of there being no Christian ministry in his jail. Finally, Brian had a supernatural encounter with the Book of James in the Bible where, through a series of circumstances, God led Brian to read this passage of scripture and then pray with faith, as it instructs. Very quickly Brian saw a miraculous answer to his prayer and knew from that time forward that the Bible was set apart as more than a mere religious text. Eventually Brian served some of his time in the Pierce County Jail, where he began to be discipled by ministers of the Gospel. After Brian’s sentence was up, he began attending a small church whose pastor recognized Brian’s fire for the Lord and encouraged him to attend seminary. Brian didn’t know what seminary was and had no plans to become a pastor, but was excited to spend much of his week reading the Bible, praying and worshipping. Two years into seminary, God used certain circumstances to open Brian’s heart towards the idea of being a pastor and eventually led him to pastor the church he currently leads. HIGHLIGHTS Brian describes the voice of God as thundering, loud and simultaneous outside and inside him. The math Brian used to calculate the amount of felonies he may have committed is thus: It only takes 10 nights of committing hundreds of felonies a night to reach 1000 felonies. Over the period of 24 years of doing this night after night, this could easily add up to a million. Brian is the pastor of a Calvary Chapel in Tacoma, WA. During the same exact prison stint, God reached Brian's wife and she also became a believer. This, in spite of neither of them knowing about the other's transformation.
1 hr 4 min
115 years may seem like a long time, but in many ways Christians in the Western world were facing many of the issues believers face today. This is especially true when it comes to all the distractions the wealth of the modern world brings. This period of history was just at the point when the 1st World emerged from an Agrarian, simpler way of life into an industrialized, busy way of life inundated with the distractions of materialism. So while the people of the early 20th century didn’t have to worry about smartphones or Netflix, they still found plenty of distraction in drinking alcohol and attending myriad entertainment events. Yet, there was a faithful contingent of Christ-followers in the tiny nation of Wales who dedicated themselves to fleeing the distractions of the world and seeking God in prayer, day and night. It was from this faithful place of prayer that God unleashed one of the greatest moves of His Spirit in the last few centuries. One observer described it like independent wildfires breaking out all over the entire country. It was hard for anyone to point to a specific leader who was catalyzing it. The movement just seemed to spring up on its own in the form of spontaneous prayer and testimony services in virtually every town throughout Wales. The results are shocking to anyone finding themselves struggling with apathy or faith. 100,000 people of this tiny land gave their lives to Christ in the period of six months. Pubs were closed down because no one was buying alcohol. Judges had no cases on the books and policemen started attending the meetings out of shear curiosity of why there was no crime. Countless stories of people reconciling, forgiving, and paying back old debts are common from the revival. Though there was no leader who catalyzed the revival, there was a young man who, in humble faith, became the pure-hearted inspiration to many in the revival. His name was Evan Roberts and in this episode we dig into his story as well as recount many of the testimonies from the inspiring time in history. If you’re curious about what revival looks like and how the Gospel can flat-out transform a society, listen along as Justin and episode guest, Jon Osterman, help each other tell the story of the revival. HIGHLIGHTS The revival meetings were always packed to the gills with people trying to climb in through windows and stand outside, if need be. Evan Roberts had an intense prayer life and even recounted a season of his life where he was being transported into heaven in the middle of the night. While preaching wasn't a central piece of this revival, Welsh Christians were historically very dedicated to reading and practicing the Bible and Bible sales greatly increased as a result of the revival. Interestingly, unlike the demographics of many modern Evangelical churches, the majority of the people who gave their lives to Christ in the Welsh Revival weren't women but poor, gruff, coal-mining men. Of course, many people from every walk of life, and from both genders, were touched, however. One testimony from the revival tells of an anonymous woman who inspired the organization of thousands of prayer groups throughout England ahead of revival meetings in London scheduled by the famous R.A. Torrey. The meetings had some fruit, but certain spiritually discerning persons understood that these prayer groups were likely the spiritual match that actually lit the Welsh revival. However, the seasoned wood, so to speak, was in the neighboring area of Wales.
1 hr 20 min
Angus Musselman didn’t have much of an understanding about the spiritual realm, but that all changed as he started to look into things like witchcraft and demonic activity. What seemed to Angus as a harmless curiosity about supernatural things, led to his life being turned upside down after he allowed himself to be possessed by demonic forces. This culminated in Angus becoming a terror to those around him as he had intense supernatural encounters with demons. Eventually, though, God’s grace reached Angus and he was able to be freed by giving his life to Christ. Follow along as you hear how Angus was ultimately delivered from slavery by dark forces to walking in the freedom of the light of Christ. HIGHLIGHTS Angus' dad was killed on the freeway when Angus was young. Angus was enticed into pursuing demonic things by promises of having "powers". Soon after, he began seeing terrifying phenomena at his house, including the furniture rearranging itself and demons manifesting in visual form. Angus visited many churches, but few knew what to do with him until he came to Justin's home church of City Central. There he found believers equipped with the knowledge to lead him into deliverance, through the power of Jesus. Angus was not only freed from demonic possession but was also freed from depression and having to use medication.
51 min 28 sec
Erika Wilfong grew up in what many might call almost idyllic circumstances. Her loving family, who started one of the largest churches in her town, not only loved her well but set an excellent example for her. Unfortunately, instead of inheriting the real faith of her parents, she saw church, and its accompanying practices, as something to merely be good at–at least enough to put on a show for others within the church. On the other hand, her curious personality led her off in search of that which excited her. So, in spite of having much success in beauty pageants, sports, and her academic career, Erika developed an addiction to the opiate OxyContin, and later, heroin. Over the course of seven years, she witnessed the demonic habit claim the lives of those around her while completely ruining her own. She tried getting clean on multiple occasions, but it wasn’t until getting pregnant through her drug-dealing boyfriend and landing in prison for numerous felony convictions, that she was forced to encounter the true faith that she missed as a child. It was this trust in Jesus that finally freed her from her tragic addiction and, in the process, gave her the fulfillment she had been looking for all along. Along the way, Jesus showed her her that her true value and identity are rooted in Him. In this episode, Erika also details several miracles the Lord worked in the process of delivering her from the demonic clutches of drugs and even some of the tragic consequences of her sin. The God of Grace is on full display as Erika joyfully proclaims all that God has done in and for her. HIGHLIGHTS This episode is filled with countless spiritual insights from Erika's life and she delivers them with God-given enthusiasm. Erika was Miss Greater Tacoma and competed for Miss Seafair. She wants to start a non-profit called "A Diamond's Worth" focused on reaching and mentoring adolescent women Erika's great uncle received one of the only public processions ever given to a Westerner in Calcutta, India, to mourn his death because of the large humanitarian ministry he started there. The only other person to receive such an honor was Mother Theresa. Today, Erika is a wife and mother to three beautiful children
1 hr 24 min
Today, Dr. Ted Roberts leads a ministry that has impacted over a million men, but it was a long climb–and required a healthy dose of God’s grace–to get to that point. Growing up with an alcoholic mom and being at the mercy of seven abusive stepfathers, Dr. Roberts was full of pain but no godly wisdom for knowing what to do with it. He determined to make something of himself in the world’s eyes and eventually found himself flying missions in Vietnam as an elite fighter pilot for the Marines. Yet, this endeavor didn’t bring healing. It wasn’t until he found Christ in the midst of a Vietcong rocket attack that healing truly came. The next day after he had given his life to Christ, he was miraculously saved from a Vietcong ambush in his fighter plane. The Lord spoke to the young Roberts and telling him that He protected him because Ted had given his life to Christ the night before. Over the course of the next season of his life, God freed him from many vices, including sexual addiction. Later, God would use him to lead many out of their own addictions. Some years later, he was led into the ministry where he reluctantly took over a dying church with orders from his denominational supervisors to shut it down. The church was millions of dollars behind in their building payment. God tole Ted that he would miraculously pay it off within a year and almost to the hour, it was paid off. 10 years later, the church was thriving at 7,000 people, 85% of which were new believers in Jesus. At the heart of this miniature revival was a healing ministry where a 1/3 of the participants had no background with church. Great numbers of people gave their lives to Christ as they found healing from the brokenness that had plagued their lives. These people were encountering the truth of God for the first time, while finding tangible, and eternal, freedom. These days, Dr. Ted leads Pure Desire Ministries, where he councils pastors away from sexual bondage. He also is featured as the main teacher in the Conquer Series, which has impacted the lives of countless men, giving them freedom from pornography addiction and sexual bondage. Listen to this week’s episode to hear the inspiring details of this godly man’s life! HIGHLIGHTS Dr. Roberts also developed Seven Pillars of Freedom, an in-depth character-development program for men. Ted and his wife have been married over 50 years! His wife "Went fishing" for him in college: after noticing him on campus, she began to strategically plan her schedule around his. Jeremy Wiles, the producer of the Conquer Series, called Dr. Roberts out of the blue, saying he was the only one that Jeremy could find that seemed to have an effective understanding for how men can get free of sexual addiction. The Conquer Series was born. 1/3 of internet traffic is porn-related, but the Conquer Series is helping countless men make a break from the patterns of the world. A funny story from Dr. Ted's first experience praying in public as a young believer took place at his wife's women's bible study. Not knowing any better, he spoke the prayer, "Whatever the hell you want us to do, we're ready." The women were gracious in response.
58 min 41 sec
God’s providence was clearly shown in Derrick Rhayn’s life from the moment he left the womb and was good as dead. Miraculously, Derrick, being a twin, was not only six weeks past his due date, but, being a twin, was well past when twins are expected to leave the womb. This turned out to be God’s sovereign grace as Derrick left his mother’s womb deprived of oxygen and the hospital he was at wasn’t equipped to help him. Yet the hospital’s new building, which was equipped to help him and due to open in two days, was able to be utilized to help him. In spite of both this miracle and his Catholic upbringing, Derrick would end up pursuing spirituality in almost every form except the Way of Jesus. This ultimately led Derrick to severe spiritual bondage, demonic oppression and, finally, possession. Yet God’s explicit pursuit of Derrick didn’t end with the miraculous circumstances surrounding his birth. Over the course of seven years, God revealed Himself to Derrick in the series of three supernatural dreams. Each dream featured a different member of the Trinity until finally Derrick had encountered Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That these revelations were the grace of God, was made even more evident because, in the meantime, Derrick had jumped in headfirst into the New Age movement and, as a result of the demonic foundations of such practices, Derrick became possessed by demonic spirits. The demons forced him to do self-harming and crazy things until Derrick finally found himself calling out to Jesus. The demons left him immediately, but it wasn’t until Derrick had the third and final dream that he finally understood what he was missing all along: encountering the Word of God, repenting of his sin, and acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This is a special episode because podcast host, Justin Mayfield, had the honor of being a part of Derrick’s testimony over the period of several years. Listen along as you hear not only Derrick’s incredible, God-glorifying story but also the mistakes made and lessons learned as Justin helped lead Derrick to Christ. HIGHLIGHTS Justin and Derrick initially did community development work together while Derrick was the president of Go Local, Tacoma's buy local organization. Derrick was a Quaker for five years, but as Quaker's generally don't emphasize the Bible, Derrick wasn't able to come to a knowledge of the Truth of the Gospel through them. The Devil oppressed Derrick into trying to take his life by crash head first into a utility pole on the freeway, but God miraculously protected him from being hurt. Jesus told Derrick that He wanted him to give his life to Him in the dream and Derrick told Justin this but Justin totally missed the opportunity to preach the Gospel because of shame in his life. Next time, Justin was ready when Derrick called him to do spiritual warfare over Derrick's apartment. Justin much more clearly (but not perfectly) proclaimed Derrick's need to repent of idol worship and acknowledge the Lordship of Christ.
1 hr 19 min
DeQuin Evans started on the streets of Compton as a gang-banger and quickly found himself in juvenile detention. What DeQuin didn't know is that he was destined to meet someone in that prison that would forever altar the course of his life. That someone? None other than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who was filming a movie in that same prison. Through one conversation, he inspired DQ (DeQuin's preferred name) to work hard to achieve something of value in the world. So, in spite of having no football experience, DQ went to work to become a football star and, after a few years of grueling hard work, found himself on a bonafide NFL roster. But there was still more to his destiny. After a few seasons of putting in his dues on the Cincinatti Bengals' roster, DQ had the opportunity to be featured on HBO's Hard Knocks. This seemed like a blessing initially, but as the season was airing, it was announced that DQ had been suspended for the use of performance enhancing drugs, or PED's. As we find out in this episode, the story wasn't what it seemed like to the average fan and that meant that the magnifying glass of Hard Knocks only amplified the backlash on social and traditional media outlets. Perhaps the worst part was that DQ had to go without a large portion of his seasonal paycheck as a result of his suspension. Yet, his destiny had one more important development which would reveal itself to be what this entire saga was leading to all along: DQ encountered the person of Jesus Christ and in Him, found the salvation he had been striving for throughout his storied life. Listen along as you hear about DQ's hardships as a gangbanger, his encounter with The Rock, the details of his PED use, and finally, his encounter with the Lord of Glory, Himself, Jesus. HIGHLIGHTS With only a few years of football experience, DQ found himself as the #15 defensive end in college football. DQ's wife is Jenna Evans (née Martin), who competed in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. DQ and his wife recently had a baby and before that they fostered his sibling's children. DQ and Jenna gave up a beautiful Florida beach community to live in the rainy (and beautiful!) PNW. DQ recounts it took some convincing for his wife to sign on to moving into a historically rough neighborhood but they ultimately felt God led them there.
1 hr 15 min
It's probably no exaggeration to say that C.T. Studd was the Babe Ruth of England. He was more than a generational talent within his sport of choice, Cricket. Yet, he shocked the world and sparked a revival when he announced he was leaving it all behind to become a missionary to China with Hudson Taylor's famous China Inland Mission. What resulted from this decision was a life of hardship and suffering, on one hand, and Spirit-fueled endurance and inspiration to countless believers, on the other. From China to India and finally the Heart of the African Congo, C.T. was faithfully devoted to pursuing the call of Christ to preach the Gospel wherever he may be sent. He did all of this without any fundraising and he solely trusted God for provision--in spite of having been a millionaire who had given away his large inheritance. Along the way, he would also have to endure countless exotic diseases, like ongoing bouts with Malaria, and tolls on his health. He even endured the loss of children, but God seemed to always provide just what he needed to make it through to the next season. There were surely a lot of ups and downs in C.T.'s life, but one thing is clear: when the curtain was drawn for his time on the Earth, it could be said that C.T. finished the race, to have fought the good fight of the faith. He died surrounded by thousands of African believers who had devoted their lives to Christ as a result of C.T.'s own devotion to Christ. Today, the organization he left behind is still responsible for sending thousands of full-time missionaries into the field. He also leaves behind a legacy every believer in Jesus will greatly benefit from knowing more about. In this episode, Justin sits down with discipleship trainer, Scotty Kessler, to talk about the life of one of the modern era's greatest missionaries. HIGHLIGHTS C.T.'s dad was converted to faith by famous 19th century evangelist, D.L. Moody. C.T. gave away the equivalent of over five million dollars in today's money, which he had inherited from his rich father. The Moody Bible Institute was started with money donated from C.T.'s inheritance. C.T.'s life story is a who's who of late 19th-century, early 20th century Christian preachers and missionaries. George Mueller, General Booth and other Salvation Army leaders, Amy Carmichael, D.L. Moody and Hudson Taylor all played a role in C.T.'s life. "Wuzza" is a reference to a bad joke Justin made in the episode about C.T.'s nickname being C.T. "Wuzza" Studd.
56 min 22 sec
Last week, over 60 people gathered in the middle of the city to, in the words of the psalmist, "make known his deeds among the peoples," and to "sing praises to him." (Psalm 105:1-2) We set up a stage and a sound system in the middle of a downtown plaza and many people began to share testimony after testimony of how God had saved, healed, freed, provided, protected, grown and encouraged them. This was all in the midst of a powerful worship set where curious onlookers heard the name of Jesus being praised earnestly and beautifully. Loud cheers, claps and praises for the name of Jesus could be heard emanating from the plaza. Three 10-20 minute powerful salvation testimonies were shared and then the mic was opened up to anyone who wanted to share a testimony. The open mic produced some very encouraging testimonies we captured for this episode of the podcast. Lastly, a special testimony from Tom Stewart, a man who endured terrible sexual abuse at the hands of his scout master as a child, shared how God healed him and freed him from the bitterness and anger. A movie is in the process of being produced about his story. Throughout the event, passersby couldn't help but stay and listen to whole testimonies. People seemed to feel very welcome to join in. At one point a man smoking a joint just sat down and listened right next to the gathering. Before the event even started, a woman walking by shed tears at the sight of people praying and the worship team sound-checking. She confessed that she wanted to recommit her life to Jesus. We're still tallying all the reports of people who gave their life to Christ or felt encouraged in some way, but the overall sense from the reports we've received is that it was not only encouraging for all those who attended to hear the testimonies, but it felt spiritually significant to be boldly proclaiming the truth of Jesus in public, like so many generations of Christians have before. There was a palpable connection to the believers in Acts who gathered to worship their King in temple courts or the market streets.
Mandy Young is the only one on the planet with a previously-unknown genetic condition that has caused a lifetime of severe medical issues. It took the doctors 23 years to diagnose her and, in the meantime, she was subjected to countless hospital stays and being an object of medical research. Before the age of four, Mandy had Spinal Meningitis three times, tubes put into her ears 11 times, a stroke that paralyzed the left side of her body, so many seizures the doctors said she'd be a human vegetable, three separate comas, Scarlet Fever, double Pneumonia, a fever blister outbreak, an infective lymph node, and more. By the age of nine, the doctors amputated her leg. Yet through it all, God's grace and Mandy's trust in her Creator, strengthened and sustained her. Today, not only has the research done on Mandy been used to help people with different serious medical conditions, but God has blessed her with joy and a good humor about it all. God has also blessed Mandy with a family that trusts in Him in the worst of circumstances. Mandy sees purpose in it all and understands that God has important work for her on this Earth that he has preserved her for. Her testimony helps put things in perspective for those who hear it. Mandy is friends with Kirck Cameron and Candace Cameron Bure, who's last name Justin couldn't pronounce correctly in the episode (it's "Burr-ay"). She likes to make hilariously creative costumes designed around her amputated leg. She warns that not everyone finds them hilarious, but Justin does. Mandy met with David "The Bubble Boy" Vetter's doctors, who told her that had they met her earlier, they would have put her in a bubble, too. Mandy is a conference speaker and wants to build a platform to help encourage people to seek God through the midst of all circumstances.
48 min 17 sec
Mary was born and raised in a relatively liberal town in Pakistan. Even so, Mary asked us to not use her real name because, on account of the story she shares here, there is a real fear for her life from members of her community and even her own family. After a lot of hard work, Mary was chosen to travel to the United States to study on a scholarship. She came seeking to further her studies, instead she received more than she could have ever imagined. While studying, she was connected through a school advisor to a Christian family, who, in turn, invited her to church. This began a process that turned her life upside down. Something happened to her through that process that she had no words for, but eventually she would come to feel like her whole life was leading her towards this moment. Listen along as Mary, and her friend Bebhinn, share about the miraculous journey that led a Pakistani muslim woman to find her life in Jesus.
48 min 48 sec
If you've ever used internet while flying on an airplane, you may want to send a word of thanks Geoff White's way. Or, how he tells it, God's way. Geoff led an experimental research group at Boeing in the 80's and 90's that created the prototype antenna that enabled the transmission of internet while in flight. Like in all scientific advances, in-flight internet was ultimately a collective effort, but Geoff's team paved the way for what was to come. Most poignantly, his deep commitment to Christ enabled him to lead his group through a fairly unfavorable, even sometimes hostile, work environment. In the process, his witness stood out in an environment where few Jesus followers discussed their faith and this had a profound effect on more than a few people.
1 hr 9 min
Tapeh Godo encountered God as a teenager. He decided he wanted to follow Jesus, but he had some other distractions that he wanted to divulge in first. "I'll get back at you later, God," he recalls saying at the age of 15, as he left a church meeting where he had professed to want to know and follow God. Unfortunately, pressing pause on his commitment to God ended up causing a lot of damage to his and his future family's life. He managed to marry his junior-high sweetheart, who he identified early on as the love of his life. Yet his faithfulness to her was nonexistent as he habitually engaged in extramarital affairs. Eventually one of his mistresses introduced him to cocaine and as a man in his early 30's, he hit rock bottom as a drug addict, habitual smoker, partier and adulterer. The clarifying moment came when his wife confronted him at the house of one of his girlfriends. This landed his kind-hearted wife in jail and him alone, trying to be a father. He knew he needed supernatural help and after a primal, two-hour prayer session in which he asked God for that help, he arose a new man. This is the story of how God transformed an unfaithful man into a dedicated husband, father and humble follower of Jesus.
43 min 7 sec
Xola Malik, perhaps better known as Kid Sensation, is a platinum-selling artist who started his career as Sir Mix-a-Lot's right hand man. After supporting Mix-a-Lot on his debut platinum album, Xola struck out on his own to try his hand as a solo artist. Though his career was what would universally be considered a success, he found it ultimately unsatisfying. Listen along as he recounts fame, fortune and ultimately finding Jesus.
48 min 45 sec
Why transformation? And why a podcast? Get to know the host, Justin Mayfield, as he dives into the nitty gritty of what inspired this podcast and what you can expect in every episode. Justin first plays clips from upcoming episodes that give a sample of the type of guests and stories you will hear. Then he shares the manifesto, so to speak, of what this podcast is all about. His main points are: Transformation is different than hypotheses about what could make the world better. After years of community development work and community organizing, the only profound transformation that Justin has witnessed is from the Gospel of Jesus. Justin spelled out the difference between our cultures obsession with ideas vs. the proof-in-the-pudding Gospel. The world is full of stories that glorify the works of the flesh or the works of the Devil. This podcast is meant to be a medium for communicating the works of God that happen around us every day. Justin is convinced that God is working miracles around us in our churches and cities every day. He shares the stories of upcoming episodes where different guests, who don't know each other, all had miraculous encounters with God in the same strip mall. This was to demonstrate just how common God's miraculous works are. Psalm 105:1-2: Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! It’s biblical! Shared lots of scripture talking about why testimony is important. The Psalms are full of phrases like, "...that I may tell of all your works." The Bible itself is largely made up of testimonies, from Genesis to the book of Acts. In the book of John, Jesus says that both the Holy Spirit and His disciples shall be His witnesses and the Spirit and His disciples have worked together to testify about Him ever since. Also in the Book of John, Jesus spoke to some Jewish people who weren't intellectually convinced that He was the Messiah, Jesus said, "...even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." Revelation 12:10-11 says, "And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." Faith begets faith as testimony begets testimony. There can be an upward spiral of someone stepping out in trust of God, God acting in reward for that trust, the person testifying about that act, someone else hearing their testimony and that second person's faith increasing, they step out in faith and the cycle continues.
23 min 13 sec