@mattiemontgomery - Don’t Let Teenagers Train Your Kids w/ Mattie Montgomery

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This episode features Mattie Montgomery, aka @mattiemontgomery, former vocalist of renowned spirit-filled hardcore band “For Today” & current pastor of The Altar Fellowship.

Where you can find Mattie Montgomery:

https://www.instagram.com/mattiemontgomery/

https://twitter.com/ForTodayMattie

https://www.facebook.com/MattieMontgomery

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC174jVvfh93MnIGebKPIzZg

Welcome back to young marry Christian, where we are on a mission to see a Gospel Center home made available for every child in the foster care system. Today it's just me. I'm solo because James is at home taking care of his brand new more and baby jj is. We are very excited about and now James has become our ideal demographic for the podcast. But we are excited for you to hear today's episode with Maddie Montgomery. If you don't know him, I was fan boying out the whole time because not only is he the lead pastor of the altar fellowship, but he is the former lead singer of the hardcore screaming band for today. The interview was a mosh pit of a good time. We went into stories of his bands touring past, some involving the cartel, some involving a guy almost dying, and then we also talked about encounter with a satanic worshiper that was at one of their shows and that, through the power of prayer and through Jesus is love, he was able to turn over his life to Christ. Do you have a relationship with got? No. Would you like one? Yes, I can't wait for you guys to hear it. We also talked about Biblical definition of marriage and Maddie talks about the purpose behind marriage and why we even get married. So it'd be interesting for you to compare and contrast how you're living out your marriage to what Maddie talks it's about. We also went into the importance behind naming your children. It's not supposed to be that easy, and how significant a name can be for a child, and Maddie talks about the process of naming his three boys as some involving hearing from God and even receiving names through dreams. So I'm excited for you guys to hear it. There's somebody here in this hold onto your prayer, beats Janis, because we are young, married Christian. We did yeah, Hollywood studios, animal kingdom for a ride, back to Hollywood studios for Ries the resistance, back to animal kingdom for dinner and then we came home. They probably had you guys flagged by the end of the day. They're probably looking for these people. It's suspicious. They were suspiciously running through the park together. I think they're just here to exercise. Yes, jogging. I think that. I mean there's people that do go to the parks and they just like run around and I'm like, go somewhere else. Yeah, what are you doing here? Say, like you're making me feel bad. I'm over here eating a dull whip in one hand, right, and I got my Mickey Bar in the other hand, and you're jogging like right, why are you sweating here? Yeah, you shouldn't be doing that. So, other than theme parks, one of my big obsessions is fast food. Don't judge me, but I want to know. On a Sunday you're leaving church, you have to go through a drive through, so you already know it's not pret blessed. Where are you going? If it's true, call a drive through? MMM, Taco Bell, Taco Bell, yeah, well, I think Taco Bell. As far as national chains, yes, phenomenal. Like I've never had an expensive Bougi restaurant. That is as good to me as like a chicken case of DEA. From talking about so good that that's what I'm talking about. A Baha blast to wash it down with. You can't beat it. But but also in east Tennessee there is a chain called pals. It's a burger spot. Okay, tell me more. It's just phenomenal. They've got there's a an East Tennessee a soda called Doctor Enough. It's like mineral sprite. It's a it's a weird sort of thing. Man. I was thinking doc but it supper. No, but it's like the home team soda. So you got to get it. They serve it at pals and so you get a pals sauceburger with cheese, Sauce Burger and they've got sauce. Yeah, it's Saucy salceburger with cheese, or the big pal that has like tomatoes and onions and pickles lettuce and stuff on it and pretty, pretty good, super good. Have you tried the new Taco Bell Taco, Sandwich Art Sandwich Taco? I don't know what it's size. Yeah, I'm trying to. Yeah, I haven't been recently. Okay, I'm married, so it's like once I become married, no more fast feed forbidden. No, well, it just know you got you're always with your spouse seeing at a kind of check like are you good with this? She's not. So, yeah, I feel like typically and the Express. It is Panda Express. That's a good that's a good call. Healthier. I'm slaying great. Yeah, I feel like I mean, you guys have a Tshirt. Actually, that was a Taco Bell for today shirt. Forgot about that. Was that like like? I mean, I'm sure in the earlier days of for today, when you guys are going around touring, I'm sure it was a lot of fast food. Was it just kind of like that was our favorite one? They actually endorsed us for for a couple tours. They would just your kidding. Well, I don't know how...

...that happened. They might have seen the shirt or something, I don't know, but they would just send the stacks of gift cards, like thousands of dollars worth. To talk about gift cards, which was life changing for us. So, wait, a lot of Taco Bell and what did you have to do in return? Just eat to talk about they they didn't require you to make that shirt. They didn't require you to get on stage and scream talk up. I would have. I got to talk about Tattoo on my neck like I loved it. When all, when all we were ever eating was fast food, Taco Bell was like closest we got to heaven, you know. Yeah, okay, besides fast food, help us to understand. What was it like in the beginning days of for today, when you guys are just getting started, you're going on the road. I mean I'm sure you're not riding around on a Bougie Charter bus and and I'm sure you don't have like a whole team that's like setting up your gear. And I mean how was it in the beginning when you guys were just getting started and you put this whole thing together? Yeah, we just we had a purple family van, you know, a seven seater family van with six guys in it. Wow, and yeah, and that's how we, you know, live. So basically the day was you, you know, start it seven, six am and you drive six or seven hours to wherever the next show is and then you get there at like, you know, one or two in the afternoon and then you load gear in. Then you have a couple hour break between the time you load gear in and sound check to, you know, walk to a restaurant or take a nap or do whatever you want to do for that span of time and then you come back and play the show at, I don't know, eight, nine, ten pm and then get in the van. And now, in the early days we couldn't afford hotels, so we would at the show. It was like, please, let us sleep on your floor. So from the stage you have save this. There were be times I would say from the stage or we would at the merch table. Wow, and you know, we've never been to this city before, we don't have money for a hotel. Can we please sleep on your floor? We met some amazing people doing that. You know, their parents would make us spaghetti or something and we, you know, lay out, they lay a little palletts on the floor, something for us. I mean we met a lot of try people, probably doing that too, sketchy people who make bad decisions like letting band guys sleep on the floor, you know, hmm. And so we we would show up there at probably one or two in the morning after the show had ended and would sleep for five or six hours on somebody's floor and then we get up and load all our gear into the van and drive for six hours to the next show do it all over again. When you say sketchy, was there ever a time where you're like this is so bad, we need to like leave, like as soon as they aren't looking at us, we need to make a break? There were times when I felt that way. There was there was leading you, but not the band. Yeah, there were a couple times. It was one when my right after I got married to my wife, we walked into this House that had said we could stay there and as soon as you walk in you just get hit with like this wall of pet smell and there's just pet hair and like cat turds on the floor and we walked in and then just immediately turned around and walked back out to the van and we were like we'll sleep, we'll sleep in the van in the rent, but the rest of the guys can be there to socialize and be cool and everything is good. They're actually the night that I met my wife, one of the reasons that we were talking was she she had offered for us to stay in her dad's basement. He had a finish basement we could stay in. Can you know, plush carpets to sleep on it. It would have been a nice, nice spot, but we already had a place that night. So she gave me her number and said, hey, if you guys ever need a place to stay, just you know in Birmingham, let me know. And so so that night we stayed at one of the wildest places we have ever stayed. They didn't have a driveway that we could drive our van and trailer down, so we had to park way out by the road and then this guy, the dad of these girls from the show that had invited us to stay, came out with this truck, loaded us all in the back of his pickup and sort of drove us through the this path in the woods to get back to his house. We get back to the house and there's multiple confederate flags waving outside. At this time I'm half black and I'm half flack and half white and at this time I had long dreads. I looked extra black and and I thought, man, this guy, this guy is not going to like me at all. And I get into the House and there are framed photographs of actual slaves on the wall. There's people in chains working in cotton fields and and I think this is not going to go well.

And now I will say this. Everyone in that house was Super Nice to me and to all the other guys in the band. They weren't rude in any way. I'm not sure we didn't. I didn't bring up the hey are you guys racist conversation I figured I was. I was in their house, so we're probably pass that that point, you know, the point of deciding whether I was going to like these people are not you know, we're here. But at one point he pulled out an oozy and was showing us his gun. He had a rattles a rattlesnake in a jar that he had caught, a baby rattlesnake. It was an adventure and they ordered his Papa John's pizza. So it was a good night. But I was texting candice, I just met her a few hours earlier, and I was like we're definitely going to want to stay at your house next time. This place is out of control. So that was a trip. We've stayed some wild places, for sure. I managed to survive that one, though. Oh my goodness, like I was getting nervous just as you were going through this story. You know, it's like when you watch a TV show and you know, like if the main character is getting into trouble and you're like nothing can happen to the main character, like they've got to get out as somehow, but the show makes you believe you know, oh my goodness, something's going to happen like I was literally like did Maddie survive the story? And I might. He's here it in front of me ire right. This is the PREQUEL. Sound in any other interesting stories from going around House to house? I know one that you in your book scary God that you talked about was very interesting and it wasn't necessarily someone's house. I think that they put you up in maybe their church building. Yeah, so there was a church that had a trailer and Virginia beach that had a like a sort of a double wide trailer parked on there in the the parking lot of their their church building, and that trailer was open seven four people to come prey in and half of the trailer was this prayer room and they had a you know, a stereo and a bunch of a bunch of books of CD's. Remember CD HE's? Yeah, I do. I know. I look back in the in the distant in the distant past. I had remember Casstts, oh my goodness. Yeah, and, you know, candles to lie and you know that. I think there was a chalkboard that people could write prayer requests on, things like that. Then the other half of the room was just a lounge with couches and things like that. In the pastor of this church had been at our concert that night and he said we can come and sleep in the lounge of the prayer room, and so we thought great, that sounds awesome. You know, let's let's do it. And I you know, at that point we were touring. We're playing three hundred shows a year, so we were on tour all the time. Wow, and and so to have the opportunity to be in a prayer room or at a church was a really rare thing that I really cherished. So we got to the prayer room that night and I spent probably an hour after the other guys had gone to bed in the prayer room just, you know, worshiping and praying and thank God for that Church and for just the opportunity to even be in a place like that. If felt really special and you eventually I went the other room and got into my sleeping bag and fell asleep, but probably, I don't know, three in the morning, I woke up to the sound of this music that was coming from the other room. It was, it was actually it was a song called people get ready by Misty Edwards, which, if you've ever heard it, is the scariest worship song. That's the best. I love it coming on a hardcore seeing. Yeah, well, you know, it's just not it's not Chris Tomlin, you know, and who I love. It's just a different it's a different thing altogether for sure. And it's so the song, it's pretty intense. It's you know, it's in a minor key and there's lots of life, sort of low rumbling stuff and and and over this is the sound of someone clapping and like shouting to the Lord. And so I'm sort of startled awake and and and as I as the fog of sleep lifts off my mind, I realize, you know, I'm hearing a woman deep in prayer and she's praying a different way than I have ever heard anybody pray before. You know, prayer for me at this point in my life was sort of like, let me go through my check list of needs to the Lord and Jesus name a man and then just move on. But she's, you know, this is what, to put it in Bible terms, would be considered like travail. I mean she's she's groaning and she's crying out to the Lord for the salvation of her children. She's crying out to the Lord that he would protect and bless her church. She's crying out to the Lord for Revival to come to her city and to the nation. And I lay there for probably a half an hour just recognizing that what I was hearing was sacred. It felt like, you know, like this deeply intimate and personal and vulnerable conversation between a mother and and her God.

And you know, it didn't feel it didn't feel casual at all. It was. It was a holy moment. You know, I it's sort of it felt like if you've ever stood on a stage during sound check and you can hear the low base, maybe in the subwaffers under the stage, in the whole stage shakes, you could feel it in your chest, you know, if you're standing on the stage, you can feel it in your feet and up your legs. It felt like there was just this sort of gravity, this electricity in the air that that was so holy that I felt like if I would, you know, if I would have moved or if I would have disrupted or interrupted this moment she was having in some way, that that the I guess. I don't know what would have happened you know, but it felt, it felt, it felt too holy to mess up, and so I just sort of laid their still and, you know, just breathing shallow breaths to make sure that I didn't interrupt this holy thing that God was doing in the next room. And you know, I actually say in the book in scary God that I feel like that was maybe one of the first times I encountered the fear of the Lord, like I had never known a holiness that made me afraid before, and I think, you know, we build church to make people comfortable and to be inviting and accommodating to people, but the truth is that, you know, all the Bible's riddled with stories of people who come into the presence of God and they don't sort of skip casually into God's presence. They fall on their face as dead, as John Puts It. You know, Isaiah falls down and he begins screaming what was me? I'm a I'm undone from a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of Unclean Lips and my eyes have seen the Lord, the King of glory, and so there's there's this sort of consistent response to to the fully revealed holiness of God. That is fear, I mean terror. It's not just all or respect, like many people who taught about fear. It's actual, an actual sense of being horrified, afraid for your own life, you know, questioning whether or not you're even going to survive this because of the intensity of God's holiness. And you know, I guess I can't equate that moment to the fully revealed glory and Majesty of God, but I can say that that was the first time in my life I experienced something so holy it made me afraid. But I think that's sometimes a right response. Man. Yeah, well, first off, I love that you're literally laying asleep and you're the one that's worried that you're going to bother her when and she's probably like jamming out over here, probably, I'm guessing, not aware that you guys are asleep. Yeah, in the rooms. That's there in the next room. Yeah, but it was pretty intense. So it's like because typically you would think somebody who's a sleep is not being worried about the other person, but the other person worried about bothering the person sleep anyways. But it's so cool to think about the fact that God had like a divine intervention, like a set time and place for you in that moment, that as you're going around touring and you're literally like have no idea where we're going to sleep tonight, and God's like, well, I know exactly where you're going to be and I know exactly who's going to be there. And then that completely changes how you think about prayer and I'm guessing that that probably had you thinking for days and weeks and probably radically shifted everything that you'd ever been taught and everything that you I mean, I wrote about it in a book, in the first chapter of a book, Ten years later. Yeah, so, yeah, it made a huge impression on my life and and yeah, I think God's really smart. Oh, it's way smarter than me, for sure. Going with a theme of being in the right place of the right time, on the reverse side of that, you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I know you told a story about when you're in Montana. Oh, yeah, it was the wrong place at the wrong time. Yeah, yeah, what what happened in Montana set the story up. I know when you told Ashley and I might have been Wyoming. I get those two states confused. It's they're similar. It was a frontier, it was a desolate land. Yeah, nothing, it was the opposite of Orlando. Right. We were on tour and we had just played a show, probably in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Great Barbecue there. Oh, it's a great it's a great, beautiful place. And Yeah, and you know, we stayed at some random house with some random guys. We had the day off the next day, so we were kind of just hanging out killing time and we said, so, what is there to do around here? And they said, well, there's a there's a waterfall nearby with some cliffs on the side that you can climb. Cool experience, and we said let's go do that. So we drive out there. On the way where we get kind of lost. So we stopped and flag down this passing car and we ask this guy for directions. He knows right where it's...

...at. He says you just go up half milets there on your left, and we get there and we're climbing up these these these rock faces on either side of the waterfall and having this awesome moment. Are we talking really steep or are we talking like a gradual slope? They're pretty steep, but they've got a lot of big rocks sticking out, so it's not it's not super treacherous, you know, okay, but it's not like tiny little crimps. They know. Yeah, we're not expert rock climbers, you know, we're just a hardcore kids got that don't have a mom around it tell us how stupid this is. So so we're climbing up and and, you know, we get up probably, I don't know, sixty, seventy eighty feet, and some of the some of the other guys in the band and some of the guys that we were with whose house we'd stayed at, started picking up rocks off the side of the cliff and like throwing them down to see him break through the trees and kind of explode on the on the ground. It's like the hardcore version of when you're at a water park spitting off of the top of the ride. Okay, so you're just launching boulders right. Yeah, and there's nobody there. I mean, you know, when we pulled in, there were no cars or anything. And so they they pick up of the guys we were with, picks up a rock, probably the size of a football, pretty big rock, and he throws it down and a few seconds later later we hear a break through the trees and then we hear somebody down below start screaming at the top of their lungs and Gosh and we think, oh no, we killed the guy. We thought one of the other guys said. I could have swore he said you killed my daughter, but he I'm not entirely sure what he said, but it was probably something like you hit my arm, because this rock was sort of rolling down the side of this cliff. It bounces out and it's coming straight for this guy's face and he sees it at the last second and manages to get his arm up and, y'all, I wish there's a picture of it somewhere. And he's got a gash from his elbow down to his wrist that is so deep you can see the through the muscle, you can see the tendons and the fat and his arm. It is just beyond gnarly. And it was the guy we had asked for directions. He he just thought you guys seemed cool and I wanted to come hang out with you I didn't have anything else going on, so he came back to just hang with us and show us around and and we hit him with a giant rock instead. So we, one of our guys, ended up driving him to the hospital so he could get stitches and get put back together. I the the prognosis was good, that he was going to be fine, but yeah, we felt pretty stupid for a while. Okay, so I didn't throw the rock for for the record, for the record, and it wasn't anybody in the day, wasn't any other guys, just some random guy that was definitely not a part of for today. Right. So, in that moment when you hit him and you hear a scream, like you're far enough away to where you can, in that moment, decide we can run, like no one has to know who we were, or you go and check on him, like what was that Split Second Decision? Like? Of We could have just killed a man. Yeah, well, if I can be totally honest, I was a lot younger than my first response was. Thank God I didn't throw that rock. Somebody using a lot of trouble right now. One of these idiots is gonna have to answer for this. You know, no, but I think we all started, we all, you know, at once you got past the initial shock. We all started climbing down to just I don't think we really consider the possibility of trying to escape. We just had to get down quick and see what had happened and see if there was anything we could do to help. Yeah, I bet that guy's never given directions to anyone else. I'm sure he wears a helmet when he's hiking out there now. Yeah, he's just like, Oh, you need something fun to do, go play chess. That's right. Yeah, we're actually known for our UNO playing skills here. You know, he has the dull the edges of the card, so no one like cuts him open. That's right. Yeah. Now, one of the other stories you talked about was when your equipment got stolen. Oh Yeah, yeah, can you tell us about that? It wasn't that guy, was it? He didn't come back for revenge? I don't know. Yeah, could. This is insane. Antonio Texas. He went to great lengths if you did, man. But yeah, we had just played a show in San Antonio and we were going to play Houston the next day. We went to a hotel there in San Antonio and I actually stayed with a friend that night. The next morning I got a call. I was on my way back to the hotel to meet the guys drive over to Houston. I got a call from one of the guys that said, Hey, where did you park the van? Now, at this point we had grown quite a lot and we were in a bigger fifteen passenger van and had a big, I don't know, twenty foot trailer and probably, I don't know,...

...two hundred or two hundred fifty thousand dollars worth of gear between you know, light, light gear and a light board. We brought our own soundboard. You know merch that we were going to sell guitars. I mean lots of guitars, drum set everything, and I'm curious how many guitars do you bring just in case you like slam one down? Is that why there's backups? They just have the guys had songs and in multiple different tunings. Gotcha, and so they would like. I think they would each I think each of our guitar players had four guitars on tour. Wow, to be able to switch back and forth and then our tech would tune them. You know, while we're playing one, he would tune another. But okay, we did. We didn't have any smash guitars, though I wish we could have done that. If we got a little bigger, maybe we would have not even like the finale like the last show that you guys did. You just like our keep trying to drum said, slammed it down, slide it all on fire. We so he calls me in the morning and he says, Hey, did you move the van? Where's The van at? And I said, I know, I didn't take it. And and so they're sort of walking all around the parking lot thinking somebody, you know, one of the guys, came out and moved it and forgot where where he put it, or it's somebody's pranking us or something. And after about half an hour of searching it becomes evident that none of us know where the van is and it's gone. So they called the police and the police come out and file a report and our van has been stolen, along with our trailer, along with our gear and our livelihood. I mean they took, you know, our guitar picks and drum sticks. They took our suitcases with our toothbrushes in him like they took not everything fresh. It's not. I know too. They took everything total value of two hundred fifty thousand plus. Pretty serious. Two or fiftyzero dollar. Yeah, gone, gone. And so there was some speculation actually that the the night manager at the hotel had called somebody to say that there was a band here that probably had a lot of money parked in the parking lot. I can't say whether that's true or not. But we were only inside the van, was only on supervised for like two hours, two or three hours, so it was pretty pretty quick. But so we are faced with the decision the next day. Do we call the two are off, we don't have any gear. Do we ask the other bands if we can borrow gear? Do We delay the next couple shows and try to buy new stuff? What do we do? So what we come up with is we are going to rent a couple cars. We're going to just drive over to Houston and wing it. That night we were headlining the House of Blues in Houston. A couple thousand tickets sold. It was going to be this massive headlining show for us, biggest one we've ever played. And so we drive over to Houston and the staff at House of Blues is amazing. They heard what happened and they like donated a bunch of House of Blues Shirts to us so that we'd have close to where. I think they gave us some de Dor and toothbrushes to because Lord knows we needed it. But you know, we just had this amazing piece about it all like that. It was unjust, but God is good and you know, if we don't ever get any of our stuff back, like God is on the throne and it's okay. You know, our our joy isn't tied to our gear and whether we have the gear or not, like we do have a good king who's seated on the throne, like everything's okay. So we're driving over there to Houston and we get we get to the venue and it's hilarious because we're playing with a few other bands that are great bands and they've all got cool light shows and, you know, big backdrop banners and things, and then the headliner comes up. We didn't even have our own gear, let alone our light show or our backdrop, our big banner behind us or anything like that, and so we just sort of go out and play. I don't know, ten songs or something and we play it all on borrowed gear. We had to borrow one of the other band's drum sets and sticks. The guys were like, we don't have any guitar picks. Could we use some of those from the other musicians on the tour, and they were all kind enough to help us. It does the base round on the set. Say says, and yeah, says. Some other bands think yeah, all of it is just as weird as possible. Sure the audience is so confused right? Well, and we explain to him what happened. It was it was a cool thing. Like we didn't even have any merge to sell to try to make this money back, so we couldn't say hey, our stuff got stolen. Go buy a shirt to like support us, and so that show, the was one of the coolest shows because the crowd is so support of it, encouraging. People were like crowdsurfing to the front and just laying wads...

...of cash on the stage, just like we just want to help you guys and support you, we believe in you and thank for your band. was really sweet and that night I think we posted something on facebook saying like if you have any information about where our gear could have gone, like just let us know. Email our manager. So our manager gets a message from from some kid that says hey, you know, is there any kind of reward if I know information about where your stuff went? And I think our manager responds with something like the reward is you don't go to jail to like to tell me what you know. And and so he explains that he's a fan of the band and he had been at our show the night before in San Antonio. He woke up the next morning to seeing his dad in his uncle loading a bunch of gear out of a trailer that said for today on it into a shed on their property. This kid's Dad. It's dad and uncle. Yes, and so he's like my favorite band, right, or my family. Yeah. So he caught, he tells, which is crazy wild. So we get so what we do is we send our tour manager back, our tour manager and one of our road he's back to San Antonio to just go figure it out, go meet with the police, get to get a plan together. We've got to keep going West on this tour. So so we we're headed headed out. I think we had shows later in like I don't know. I'll Passo, PHOENIX, Vegas La, I think it was something like that. And so so we're just driving, going out playing shows with no gear and just live in our best lives. But they go. So they go back to San Antonio. They get the address from this kid and they give it to the police. They give it to the detective in charge of our case and he says, okay, you know, we know this neighborhood. Just you know, you guys can go near there, don't go to the house. Just trust us on this. Don't go to the house. We're going to get there as soon as we can. So my guys go over and they park probably two hundred and fifty yards away from the house, but they can see it and they're just keeping an eye on it. And after a few minutes they look around and they begin to see people in this neighborhood in San Antonio, pretty rough neighborhood. They start coming out of their houses and just looking at this rental car that they're in. It's like a Prius, you know, not the sort of car that you would see in a in a rough neighborhood in San Antonio. So so they're out looking at at this rental car and then and then they sort of go back in their house and then people have come out there on the phone or something. After a few minutes they see the dad, the guy that stole our stuff. He walks out of the house and he's just sort of messing around with his car a little bit and he's kind of walking around on the front yard and then he opens the trunk of his car, you like bends over into the trunk and he's just kind of messing around, and then suddenly he whips around. He's got binoculars in this hands. He whips around and looks directly into the car. Okay, and then it's just like, my guys are terrified. Lean seatback. Yeah, right, they're like, Oh Goss what do we do? So they they're just like, we got to get out of here. So they start driving, just driving, just don't stop, so that they don't know where we're going to be next. They're just driving aimlessly. Now there's a pre as just doing don't I know, and its hood. Yeah, and and so this guy, I guess, while they're driving around, he gets in his car and takes off and then, you know, ten minutes later, so they're driving by the road that the house was on and they see a helicopter fly overhead and they see a bunch of black SUV's like flying through the neighborhood and they go over near the House and they see they've all come to the house, that San Antonio Swat has showed up in our raiding this house. So my guys they pull up to the House and the SWAT team is gone in and cleared it. The Guy He ran away, but they actually ended up catching up with him later that day and that was his third strike. You've been in prison twice. So he's in jail for life. Now. It turns out that he was a member of like a drug and weapon smuggling cartel that had been bringing drugs and weapons across the southern border for years and they've been trying to figure out a way to get into this guy's house and to break into this neighborhood, because it wasn't just him, it was others around him, but they just couldn't get a justifiable reason to get a warrant until he stole our stuff, and so they got the warrant and they raid the house and they find I mean there's bricks of cocaine sitting on the kitchen table. There are, you...

...know, machine guns and shotguns like laid against the corners of late in the corners of these rooms. There's kids living in the house too, and and in the middle of all of this is our stuff. It's like our guys walk in and there's like there's Maddie's sleeping back and there's, you know, there's Ryan's laptop and like all of our stuff had just been in this house. And so the swap team comes out to our guys and they say, Hey, just come in and take whatever's yours, and so the guys sort of long, yeah, that's my break of coke right. Yeah, it's like they just sort of walk in like all right, like sorry, kids, that blanket your dad got you, like he stole that. I we gotta, we have to take that back. And so they sort of gather up all the stuff and in the shed out back where a lot of our guitars are drums, the entire drum set, a bunch of our stuff. The van and trailer was still gone. I think we ended up getting the van finding the van abandoned like so them where miles and miles away. A couple weeks later, or something, but it was just and then I think we actually also the guitars that we didn't get back. We found a friend of ours saw them in a pawn shop like I don't know months later and was like, I think that's I think that's the for today guys guitars. So we were able to match up the serial numbers with numbers that we had from Gibson and so did you just say, Hey, actually, that's my guitar. Yeah, it will. They call her holding it for us. Right, you call it. They called the pawn shop and I think there's protocol for for that. And so the the police were able to get him back for us, but its just a pretty insane scenario all the way around, and there's a helicopter involved. They ended up like pulling the Lynch pin this guy out of this international drug and weapons smuggling cartel. And and and probably the best part, my favorite part of the whole story, is that his son, who turned him in for this, had heard me preach the Gospel at the show and San Antonio the night before and one of our guys, are one of our tour managers, that was there getting the stuff back. He sort of pulled them aside and talk to him about it, what a big deal it was, how grateful we were that he would help us get these things back. And and they sat on the steps of that House with Swat guys running all around, and and this guy's son said, I just don't want to live the life that my family lives and I want a new life in Christ and so he prayed that day, the day that his dad went to prison for life, he prayed to receive Christ's so, yeah, really amazing story all the way around. It. If all we had to lose was a couple hundred thousand dollars of stuff for that boy to be born again, than I think it was totally worth it. Yeah, I mean, because that's a big deal. You're not just turning in family, you are literally putting your life on the line against the cartel, right, and I would like to thank you. And we not only do we have woke culture coming after us on the podcast, now we got the cartel involved, like we were only on episode eight. MAYNECT WE I don't know if I need to like relocate or what now. That sounds like it's straight out of a movie, like that is saying. Is why I think those are the stories that we live for, you know, those really kind of experiences we want to have to be able to, you know, tell people when we go out. Funny Story. Here it. I woke up this morning and I was like, okay, I want to try to wear this old for today shirt that I have, because I already told you this the other day. You're the first guess that we've had on the show that I was like a fan before I started doing like research and, you know, like getting to know you. So I'm like Fan bloing out over here, just so everybody knows. But I was trying to put this on. So I used to be a part of I had started this like young adults ministry in my now and called ignite, and we would just meet in this abandoned building. It was super sketchy and we would just like kind of talk about God to whoever would show up, mostly for people that wouldn't go to church normally. We were doing that. Well, my friend Cody Burne, who he bought us these shirts that, since we were called IG night, it said take my flame, ignite the world for today, and so he bought it for the whole leadership team. Well, I thought I could fit into it today? Apparently not. Apparently I need a bigger size. But so instead I wore my young life shirt because when I think back to when I was a young life leader in Kentucky, I would take a lot of my guys, you know, I think back to guys like Zach Lunsford and Seth Collins who I felt like they were so into the the scene culture, the hardcore culture, and that it was it was such an easy way for me to minister to them because it was like hey, guys, you want to go...

...to this show? Oh Yeah, do you? But let's go. So we'd be driving down the road and my I had a black cavalier called Lebron, because you know, what else are you going to call a black cavalier that? You drop course and we're riding Lebron and like we're blasting, you know, your music were blast in August, Burns, read, haste the day whatever to the show. And I mean they're rock in this cavalier. I mean I was like this car is going to break like it was old. But you know, we get to the show and and they'd want to be in the pit, like they weren't the kids that want to hang out in the back. They weren't the kids that wanted to take photos in the front. They weren't the kids that want to stand off to the side and like, you know, just kind of like look all goth like, like they were like, debot, we want to be in the pit. And I mean it's teenagers. They had so much energy, like they could run around, and I'm like mid s. So I'm like, you know, I still got it in me, and I go in there and I try to throw down. I mean, you see my biceps, like you're just crushing kids. Look as I mean, it absolute Jack Hammers. If a medium sized woman got into the pit, I would get knocked out of Kay's. And so I was doing this. I would always get a lot of pushback from other members of the Church or people that I did like community groups with, because they'd be like, Debot, it is not Christ like to get in the mosh pit, it is not Christ like to slam dance. Like what about that is is Christian. You know, how can you justify like going in and like throwing down? So my question to you, because I've given my defense and it never worked. They were just always like yeah, you're wrong, you know. But what was your defense? Because, I mean, you guys could have chosen any type of ministry and you could have chose any genre, but you chose to go into the hardcore Christian scene where you knew people be throwing down walls of death, all kinds of craziness. Like, how is that? How would you defend that as Christ like or okay for Christians to do? Yeah, well, we've got to understand a couple things. I think, if we're speaking purely theologically, you can't make an argument from silence. If the Bible doesn't talk about something, that itself is not an argument. To say, you know, Jesus didn't come out and say, Hey, I'm everybody, I'm cool with Mohing and so therefore Jesus isn't cool with washing. That's a that's a huge leap and that's not a conclusion that you really can draw. But I think, just to put it in a right context, I didn't view my place in the band as some sort of sacred, holy, you know, ministry that I would want to train other people up in and launch them into. It's it was my job, you know, and I mean if certainly Jesus doesn't explicitly say that he loves Mohing, but he doesn't say that he loves accounting or real estate either. And I think we've got kingdom minded accountants and realtors and surgeons and lawyers as well. And and so for me that was just my job. It's it was. I had a skill set and an opportunity that sort of came together and I was able to support myself and my family doing it and also to point people towards Jesus. And so for me I would just go to work. My job happened to be performing music, writing and recording and performing music, and so I would just go into work every day determined to point people to Jesus while I was there. And you know, it's my work. May Have looked different than somebody else's work, but it was just it's it was just my work. And and so I think when, you know, when we get into the weeds of like was it glorifying to God, I think it's. I think it's in adamant. It's the it's just the work that I would do and it's the job that I had. That's how I took care of my family. I think working to take care of your family is certainly a biblical and holy thing and I thank God that I had a skill set that was able to provide for my family in that way. It just like a realtor or a graphic designer or, you know, a surgeon or whatever else. So a podcaster and I think, you know, I think, I think that whatever, you know, the lesson that I took away from it was a broader one than just like God loves hardcore of music. I don't, you know, I think that that God is interested in whatever he can use for his glory, and so I'm thankful that God was able to be glorified and the people were able to hear the Gospel because of the kind of music that we played, the kind of venues and environments that we went into. And I recognize that those people aren't listening...

...to Christian realtors or accountants, you know, they listening to vocalist and hardcore bands, and so I'm thankful that God gave me their attention for a season, and it was a beautiful season. But I don't want to be an apologist for, you know, hardcore subculture ministry that's, you know, or for tattoos or for mashing those those aren't hills that I'm willing to die on. You know, I'll stand for Jesus and whatever context I can. I think Jesus deserves to be the center of attention in every situation and circumstance, so whether it's in a church building or a you know, a nightclub during a hardcore concert, and I'm deeply convicted about that. But I you know, I don't want to be the reason that somebody decides to hardcore music is cool. I want to be the reason someone decides Jesus is cool. HMM. And and so that's I think, you know, the argument that I'd be willing to make and the stand I'd be willing to take is just that I think Jesus deserves to be talked about and and you know, if somebody doesn't lie hardcore music, well then that's great. I'm sure God will give you other opportunities outside of that sphere to bring the Gospel in your workplace, for sure. Yeah, yeah, well, because for me, you know, I was I remember episode three talking to candace pain and I was talking about music that we will have in heaven and she was very about the fact that she was like there will be mosh pits in heaven. We will have like screaming it, like hardcore music in heaven. So I'm like imagining the day where you have for today followed by a Chris Tomlin Song, followed by a Lacrais Song, and just like all of that in heaven, all types of people. You know, maybe a little Kanye West to when we're in heaven one day. But one of the things that I felt like was so distinct, and I don't know if this was the reason why you chose that as your ministry or you know, like, okay, if I'm going to do one thing, but the diversity of the audience. You go to a Hillsong United Concert, everyone in the audience is typically somebody that is a part of a local church body. You go to a KB rap show, even though it's hip hop, typically everyone there is going to be a believer in Jesus. You go to a for today show, the audience was very diverse, not only in types of people but types of beliefs. Yeah, so what was that like? Like? What was the I don't know what the word dichotomy or just I mean, because sometimes I'm sure you would have pastors, like you said, and then you'd have people that probably hated to what you were preaching. Yeah, I mean, you know, on our aren't on our farewell to her. I've actually still got this little pentagram necklace pendant from a kid who you ripped it off his neck. He ripped it off his own neck. He gave his life to Jesus us what you know. And it just totally he said, I just, you know, had this Pentagram necklace on and and he came to to the show and and waited around for me afterwards to start an argument. And, you know, he said, how can how can you trust the Bible? And you know, how do you know? How can God be good if there's bad things that happen in the world, and all of these hard questions. And so we're talking about some of the stuff and and he talking about how God is good and why we can know that God is good and and he says, well, if God was good, then he would heal my back. And I said, well, what's wrong with your back? And he said I just think I've got a pinch nerve in it. It's been excruciating, the painful, like I can barely bend over. I said, well, let's let's pray. You know who knows right. Let's let's try, and so so I lay hands on his back and I just pray, simple prayer, like Jesus. The Bible says that by your wounds we are healed, and so I asked you right now to heal his back. Let that become reality for him. And because this is a Christian podcast, I probably can't repeat all that he said, a lot of explatives, a lot of explatives. After I prayed for him, because the pain in his back suddenly left. He bends over to touch his toes and he looks at me with his eyes as white as saucers and his jaw on the floor. He's just losing his mind and he said, I can't believe this, and he starts running back and forth across the room and he's got a couple friends with him that were kind of standing back from the conversation and now suddenly he's causing this huge commotion. He's cussing and screaming and what the heft did you just do to me? And how did that? How did that happen? and Oh my gosh, and and then he sort of runs around for about thirty seconds and then he comes back up to me and he rips the Pentagram off of his necklace and he puts it in my hand and he says, I don't need this anymore. He said I want I want what you have. And so we prayed for him to make Jesus the Lord of his life that day. And so,...

...you know, you don't get that at the like Uber Christian conference. Right. That's the he was just there to Tomsh he was, you know, he was there to hang with his friends and probably drink beer at the bar and and hang out. But I think that's the beautiful thing. You know, sometimes a little messy and weird and you have people, you know, cuss it, responding to the move of God by cussing up a storm. But Man, God was on the move and he saw that kid in that moment in that bar with all his issues and confusion and brokenness and immaturity, and still decided to demonstrate his love for him. Yeah, I mean, because you don't typically see a ticketed show containing Christian artist with, you know what, calm secular artist or non Christian artists whatever, like you typically don't. We would intentionally bring out not just secular artist, we would bring out antichrist bands, bands that you know, we would we would go on right after the band with the Pentagram on their shirt, the upside down, cross the six and sixty six, and we would do that on purpose. Act Ever, clash? No, the reason it wouldn't clash is because, like, Jesus is actually the Lord of my life and Satan is not actually the Lord of theirs. MMM, I mean he is sort of by default. But like, they don't love the devil, they just love the shock value of pretending to love the devil, you know. And so I think that's the thing, is that their beliefs were just a show and and my beliefs were, we're real. It was really how I lived and continue to live my life. And so behind, you know, on stage, they would pretend to be these like shocking ultra evil, you know, heavy metal guys, and and then backstage they're just sort of your average runner the mill atheist who, like you know, claims to be an atheist because he thinks there's probably not a god, but doesn't really know. If you get him, if you get him talking and and frankly doesn't care to know, because if he finds out that there is a god, then he suddenly becomes accountable for his own actions and he doesn't want to be. He wants to do what he wants. And I mean that's, you know, the vast majority of Satanists I have met. That's where they actually fall. There are agnostics who pretend to be atheist because it's easier to bury your head in the spiritual say and then it is to acknowledge your own accountability to God and the judgment really is coming for the choices that you make. So, you know, there was never a clash. I think they respected our commitment to the stuff that we preached, that we really were the people off stage, that we that we acted like on stage, and I you know, and even while we may not have agreed spiritually or religiously, you know we did have quite a lot in common. We were touring band members and we could talk about gear and shows and, you know, we were having kind of similar life experiences. So we did have some things in common that we could connect over. Yeah, and I mean they've got a respect just the fact that, you mean, as a musicians, you guys were you could stand toetotoe with any other band in that genre. I mean you it's not like you guys were playing Basic House beats and, you know, like trying to be the you know, Christians that are not as good as like, you know, the other bands, and it's like, Oh, you know, they got on this tour because, you know, they're the that we needed a Christian band. Like. No, it was like for today, they're here, they're going to jam, they're going to get the audience going, and so you guys could stand toetoe now on the so on one side of the spectrum you have this guy who's like the satanic kid that you're praying over and he's given his life to Christ. On the other side, did you have any fan interactions where it was almost like a supernatural kind of interaction with somebody, where it was like Oh, like, this isn't just like a normal person who has come to see our show? Did that ever? Yeah, yeah, yeah, we play. There's one I remember in particular. We played a show in North Carolina and, you know, it was interesting. There were several bands before us and they would stand up on stage and they talked about politics and everybody would clap, or they talk about, you know, their relationship and their love for their mother and everybody would clap and they talk about believing in yourself and standing up for the people around you, and everybody would clap. And then I stood up on stage and I mentioned the name Jesus, you know, and it always as soon as the name comes there's something about the name that just it demands a response. And this this girl toward the front, she screamed something like shut the FOP, this isn't effing church. Just really like vile and profane. On Your Life, it was. It wasn't my wife, okay, not yet at least, but she just she just screams at me and and I just say like Hey, Jesus loves you, you know, and I just continue on and I don't know, probably as she spends the rest of the show like holding her middle fingers up...

...at me and spitting at me, and it's just so upset. Now I looked for a bit after the show and didn't see her, but I got an email like the next day from her and and she said, Hey, I just want to apologize, like you know, that's not really my personality. I don't know why I blurt it out like that. I don't know what would possess me to do that. Was a funny choice of words. M and she says, I, you know, I don't know what would possess me to do that. She said, like I'm not a Christian, but I am into spirituality. I've been reading the Satanic Bible and some of the writings of Aunton Laveay and and you know, she said, recently I've been having these dreams where these sort of dark figures come into my room and they like choke me and hold me down at night. And she said, I'm just, you know, I like I don't really know what to make of all that stuff. But she said, I just something just came over me when you started talking about Jesus and I just I just didn't want to hear it. She said, I don't know, maybe you could pray for me or something, and so I wrote back and I said, hey, you know, it's interesting you would use the phrase I don't know what would possess me to do this, like there's something in your life that hates Jesus, and I'd be willing to bet that it's connected to those dark figures that come and attack you at night. I'd be willing to bet that it's connected to the books that you're reading in some of the stuff that you're feeding yourself spiritually. And and so I just begin to share the gospel with this girl and she ends up receiving Jesus. She prays there in her bedroom to receive Jesus as she's reading this this email that I sent back and and she sends me a message maybe a week or so later, that she had a dream that these that these dark figures came and set her bedroom on fire and she went to stand at her window and she saw Jesus down at the bottom with one of those like like a blanket or whatever, the trampoline things that fireman hold and and he was asking her to like jump, to jump out of the window, to trust him and that he would catch her. And so she she eventually jumps and Jesus catches her and and she said, I've just never had peace like this before. This is incredible. She said, I know that Jesus is my my savior and that he saved me from those things that I was exploring before. So, you know, we had a lot of people. They weren't all that successful, some people who are just real angry at me, and that was the way it ended. But yeah, you know, there were the dramatic responses to the Gospel in that context. Some you know, you'd have a person with their middle fingers in the air cursing at me and spitting on me, standing right next to somebody with tears running down their cheeks as they raise their hands and surrender to Jesus for the first time. It was beautiful. That is absolutely beautiful. Yeah, I know when Ashley and I we did this road trip around the United States. We actually ended up somewhere, I guess South Dakota, because we went through like Montana and Wyoming. We saw the desolate. Yeah, so we're in South Dakota and we stayed at this haunted hotel. We had no idea that it was haunted prior to showing up, the Roosevelt Johnson or something like that. So we're there. We show up and like immediately the guys like, Hey, we've got these ghosts detectors. If you want to go around and like, you know, find the you know, some like spirits, you can. There's like some some evil spirits. It kind of like haunt these different sections of our hotel, and so we're kind of like, I mean Yolo, I guess you got to go like check this stuff out or whatever. And so we're like going around because, I mean we're like this is all like a hundred percent fake. It's a hoax. And so we're walking around and then all of a sudden, you know, it starts like going crazy in this one spot and we're like what like okay, and a guy's with us were like what happened here? Then like this is where the guide died, like this is the spot. And so if, and I mean yeah, you'd pull it back. Nothing, you put it there and go crazy. So we're like, okay, this maybe this is like some legit stuff. I don't know. Let's let's just get out of this section, let's go to our room like be done with it. And it was like after we stayed at that resort that are well, not a resort, is just a hotel. After we stayed there, Ashley started having these dreams kind of like you were talking about like dark figures, and she'd wake up like the same time every night and just kind of like in a sweat. And and we talked about like okay, what do we do? Like we need to pray over this, and she had this moment where one of the nights, these dark figures are there. She starts praying, like, I guess in her dream, for Jesus to come and singing worship and she said in that moment she just felt like and she could see Jesus showing up and just casting out like all of these dark spirits and I think it was like the first time in her life that she ever had I don't know if you consider that spiritual warfare or what was really happening there, but it was like after...

...that everything was gone. And so she didn't tell anyone because she was raised Catholic and so, like you know, in the Catholic Church you don't really talk about that a lot. I mean I guess you have the exorcist movie where the where the priest is like you know, but having like a real life encounter with, you know, maybe like a demonic spirit or like an evil force. She didn't tell me. Well it finally she tells me, and I'm talking to one of my friends Justin about it, because he's like all into, you know, connecting to the Holy Spirit and like the spiritual realm, and he tells us a story of his friend that went through the exact same thing exact same thing happens. So it was just like, I don't know, there are things that in the spiritual realm. I feel like that sometimes as a Christian, when you're trying to explain it doesn't always make sense to people, I guess when you when you talk about it, and I'm probably hacking that story from Ashley, but I am interested in maybe an explanation because this was something from your band that you guys put out. I was the breaker album. It also showed up on your last album wake and it was the symbol the cover art. And they're not going to be able to see it on the camera and I'm I'm sorry you're not going to be able to hear what this looks like on the podcast, but it is a very, very interesting symbol. Yeah, and I've never seen anything like this in the Bible. Also, I don't have pictures in my bibles, I guess that's why. And I've never seen anything like this in Christian art. But what is the meaning behind the symbol? So the this cover was was actually something that I sort of discovered on Gosh. When we were in the studio recording this album. We were I was working on lyrics and things and there was a similar design that I saw, I can't even remember where it was, on some I don't know, new age apparel website or something, hot top and hot top Ofcom Spencer's gifts and and I just you know, so it is pretty biblical. The Bible talks about these creatures that fly around the throne of God called Saraphim, and I was really sort of studying them a lot and and the word sarahim means in Hebrew, means burning ones, and the Bible describes them as creatures that have six wings, with two wings that cover their face with do they cover their feet with two? They fly, and that's really what a central to this picture is that idea of the Seraphim. And you know, it's interesting that like God, who's described is biblically as being like a Jasper and a Sardius stone, or one that looks like he's burning from the waistuff up and burning from the waist down by Ezekiel, and so there's this you know, sort of glowing red, fiery intensity around the throne of God, so much so that those that are closest, the creatures closest to him, are described as burning ones. And I thought there was just something really amazing and awe inspiring about the nature of God. I mean he's not just, you know, an old white man with a beard and a robe. You know the way that God's described in a lot of detail and scripture and it's it's pretty intense and pretty otherworldly, and what it produces is that the ones closest to him are are defined, they're characterized and named as as burning, you know. And and then there's the old the old quote, I want to say, by Wesley that says something like set yourself on fire and the whole world will come to what you burn. And you know, there's just this, I think, almost indifference toward toward the holiness of the intensity, The majesty and supremacy of God. But I think as we get close to that stuff, that we recognize who he is and what he's like and and seeing God clearly, it transforms the way that we see ourselves, the way that we act and think and live and prioritize things as well. And so you know what we made that that logo that we came up with during the break our album cycle. That really stuck with us through the rest of the time that we were in the band. It was a Sarah Fhim logo and that was we wrote a song called Saraphim that says we are the burning ones, you know, and so I think that that became sort of a central theme of a lot of my lyrics and a lot of our thinking around the band. Was We wanted to be, you know, a creature, a creation that came so close to the creator that his fire became our fire, that his passion became our passion, that his intensity became our intensity and that we could really reflect him to the world.

HMM. I was such a proud older brother when my younger sister requested Sarahim to play at her sweet sixteen birthday party. I D Jadis and it was funny just watching all the kids, you know slam dance in the middle of like all these hip hop and, you know, pop songs. It was funny. I love that. Yeah, well, we ever get to see for today, reunions or no, not even like an acoustic like hey, we're older now, we're just going to play our songs and maybe a so that would that would exclude me. There wouldn't. No one was to scream over acoustic guitar. So I think I would. I would gladly attend one of the stops on that concert and watch the really talented musicians in the band. They would need you there. I feel like they would need you there more for just because, for today. What I think stood you, see, you guys, apart from every other band was that you weren't just musicians like you would literally get up and and preach a word and and with passion and with fire. So I think they would need you. Yeah, even if it was just to like open maybe and like maybe I can be a Hologram like they did with Tupocket, that coach Ella. Maybe, maybe you get the rest of the band for real and then you do a Maddie Montgomery Hologram and everybody's happy. Yeah, and be great. How how did Lee I just it sounds like I go. It sounds like I hate the man. I like I don't get along with the guys. We still have a group chat five years later. I love them so much. They're great. We get along awesome. You know. We Ryan, the Guitar Player, just found out his wife's having triplets, whoa bless his heart. So so we're like texting about fatherhood and I'm making fun of him and stuff, and it's you know, we just we love each other really dearly in it, but it just it was just the right time to move on, you know. And and the band was still doing well and it was we all still got along with each other and I think Christians, you know, we sort of have a tendency to like stick to something when it's working and we make the method our master instead of God himself. But you know, I didn't join the band because I thought it would be a smart strategy to advance my career. I joined the band because it's what God called me to do. So when God started calling me away from that, you know, I where I wanted to be was not out on a stage or in the spotlight. where I wanted to be was in obedience and submission to the word and the will of God for my life. And so when the Lord called US away, my wife and I, it was that was it. That was the end of it, you know. And so I don't really have a any kind of bitterness toward the guys in the band or the band itself or the lifestyle or anything. It was amazing, amazing experiences, but it's just not where I'm made to be anymore. Yeah, and now you're overseeing a church. Yeah, so I'm curious how did leading for today Lee help you to now pastor at Church? Yeah, good question. I think being away from the Church so regularly, like I said, we were playing three hundred shows a year when for the first several years we were in the band. I think being away from the Church so regularly made me really passionate about Christian Fellowship. I sort of I was a kid raised in church and I think probably for a lot of people raise in church, it's easy to take church for granted and to think, you know, I stayed up late Saturday, I don't really want to get up early and go to church on Sunday, or, you know, the people are going to be a little cheesy sometimes, or the pastor's jokes aren't as funny as he thinks they are. You know, and there's a lot of reasons that we can be really critical of the Church in Orlando. It's Oh, it's raining, yeah, it's right, America's rain, right. Yeah, and I think you know, there's like what a an insanely privileged society we are as American Christians. To to be able to to just to have church so easily accessible to us that we can afford to criticize it and to just leave that church and go to the one down the street or to just all skip this Sunday. And you know, I'll catch the podcast or I'm staying home and watching the live stream. You know, when there are our brothers and sisters around the world that you a risk their lives to meet with the one group of Christians in their entire city and it's a group of a hundred people and that's that's all there is, and they have to meet in some basement. If anybody ever finds out they meet there, then they'll get murdered for it. Like that's a reality that our families living in and we're like, it's raining, so I'm not going. You know, it's so and I'll just catch the podcast. It's just so we're sort of so privileged and so comfortable and and so. And I was like that. I think many people are like that. I was like...

...that until I couldn't get to church because I was on tour all the time, and I remember, you know, waking up some some Sunday mornings after having played a show and gotten in it two am on Saturday night and I would just start walking and find whatever church was closest to the hotel or the house we were staying at. It there's walk into some random church and sit in the back row and just cry like, thank you God, thank you God. I'm not the only Christian in the room, you know. Thank you God that I'm not surrounded by, you know, critical, combative people who are given me the finger and spitting on me for this thing. You know, it's so good to get poured into and and so I just really developed a high view of the The holiness of church, of gathering together with other believers, and it was something that it made me really, really grateful. You know, says absence makes the the heart grow fonder, they say, and so, you know, I was absent from the Church really for about ten years and during that time, man, I just had a real fondness for the church as a whole, for just the gathering together a believers, how special and significant sacred that is. So I think that is probably the biggest thing. It also taught me to deal with belligerent, immature people, which is you wouldn't imagine. Sometimes, sometimes occurs when pastoring a church. What you know, I'm yeah, stunning. It taught me to take criticism really well because you know, you have the people cussing you out in front of a room full of people. You don't generally have that pastoring a church sometimes, but you haven't had anyone showed to the altar fellowship double middle fingers the whole time you're preaching. Not yet. I did have a guy stand up in the middle of a message and scream at me and storm out angrily, or pretty recently, just a couple months ago, as he drunk. No, he he had a sort of reconceived notion for what all Christians and all preachers are like. And you know he sort of believes that, you know, Christian, no Christian preachers teach the Bible anymore and it's all just opinion. And so I was just introducing the message for that night, introducing myself and saying glad you guys are here and and I quoted an old African proverb that says if you want to go far, go alone, but if you sorry, if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far go together. How dare you right? Well, and he was like furious because he thought I'm going to teach a whole message on an African proverb instead of the word of God. And I was like, well, if you give me just a minute, like I'm just I'm just introducing the concept to people of like fellowship and unity, and I think that was a message on the the essential interdependency of kingdom culture. WHOA and so I was going to get there and I talked about you know, I always teach out of the Bible. You know, I think expository preaching is is your best bet to preach accurately how to the word of God if you're just teaching what the word of God says. And so that's ninety nine times out of a hundred. That's what that's how my message is structured. It's just I just teach through a portion of the Bible. But he didn't stay long enough to hear the portion of the parable he actually did. He stormed off. He was really angry, but he did end up so a couple of the guys from the Church went out and talk to him and and and that he ended up coming back in and apologizing afterwards for that burst. And and later that day he went to have lunch and sit down on the server, came up to get his drink order and he was like, where's my food? Why is my fom not here? They're like, well, there's a process. Yeah, that's right. Where or kids? Introducing myself to you. Yeah, yeah, welcome to chatters, and now I'm getting yelled at. You answer right. So I'm curious with you because you're probably, when you're like the head of a church, you're having to make a lot of decisions. Probably get yelled at for the Jesus is the head of the church. I'm the neck. Oh, okay, I try. I connect the body to the head. That's right. A thick neck at that man, not a scrawny one for sure. So as the neck of the church, you're probably making decisions like, okay, what color of carpet do we want? People are yelling at you that that's wrong, or what kind of wallpaper do we want to have, or but I think a lot of what I see it now developing in our generation of I don't know you and call it postmodern church whatever, but you see a lot of heavy production churches, and so I'm curious your stance because it's like on one side, you have people that are arguing give your best to God. He wants, you know, if you're very artistic, show that off. You know, we always give your best. Then you have people on the other side that are saying this is literally just entertainment focused and you're bringing people in as like consumers.

Yeah, and you know, as like brain dead Christians, like Oh, concert and then a standup comedian and then you go home. Right. So, so where do you stand and what's that line in between there? Yeah, I my official stance is I don't care the method. It matters in that like we can take away from or distract from what God is running to do. Certainly so. So I think the method matters in that regard. But in the same way that I could be the pastor of a little church up in the mountains of East Tennessee or I could be the front man of a hardcore band playing in a sold out show in Los Angeles. It's the same it's the same message that permeates the movement. And so if you have got a mega church with thirtyzero people in it and lasers and fog machines and, you know, just world class production, but but your central message is the gospel of the Kingdom, then come on, more power to you. That's beautiful. You know, if you're a local church that has been in the same building for the last thirty years and have never had more than a hundred people in your congregation and your main message is and you don't have any production, it's just the preacher preaching and his wife Playing Piano and leading worship by yourself, La son on the triangle and the yeah, you know, and those churches are holy too. It's a beautiful thing, as long as their central message is the message of the gospel of the Kingdom. And so I think, you know, we treat methodologies like they themselves are sacred and they're not. God is sacred. HMM. And so what you know, what works about, for example, Rick Warren Pastor settleback Church, when these churches in the country incredibly influential and just massive church? You Know What Works for Rick Warren Works for Rick Warren because he's being obedient to what God called him to do. Now, if I try to be obedient to what God called Rick Warren to do, it's not going to work for me. I could emulate his methods and strategies, but the thing that works so well about Rick Warren is that it is that it's birth from obedience, from a genuine desire to honor what he knows God has called him to do. It's his authenticity that that makes his ministry impactful. Now, on the same the other side of the same coin, you know, I was sort of raised in the ministry by a spiritual father down in Mobile Alabama that is pastor the same church for thirty three years now and I don't think the Church has ever been more than two hundred people. And he is, you know, as kids are on stat. He's just a faithful man of God who's just walking the path one step at a time and he's training make training up and a young man and raising up disciples and sending them out and and he's just an amazing faithful man of God whose world looks totally different than Rick Warrens. Is Teaching Sounds Totally Different Than Rick Warren's. His methods and his approaches are totally different than Rick Warrens. And yet my spiritual father would tell me, Maddie, you can't answer God's call on my life. You need to answer God's call for your life. And I think that's the thing that we have to understand, is that that the the the system or the methodology isn't it's not holy, it's just it's not anymore holy than the plate that brings your food. Nobody really cares what kind of plate the food comes on. They're after the food itself, and so I don't really care about what kind of played the food comes on, as long as the food gets to me, like that's the you know, that's the important thing, because it's not made of like, like those paper straws that like does. As long as it's not those, that's the US absolute deal breaker. Yeah, there's a few churches that are like paper straws, but okay, they fall apart. They fall apart under the way to the message. But I think there's like this, you know, this sort of obsession with what what, what method is best, and frankly, I think it's whatever method God calls you to. As long as the message stays central and Jesus is king and your church, then I think you're fine. You know, now for us at the altar the church that I passed her. You know, I, and maybe it's an overcompensation from having been a performer for ten years. But you know, we're sort of real low key and I sort of have jokingly said to our congregation a couple months ago I'm trying to figure out how we can change the world without letting our church get any bigger. We want to, you know, we I'm thankful for the people that God to send us and I'm you know, there's more people. It feels like moving into the city to join the church every week, but we are. We've got an awesome community of amazing people and I'm having so much fun getting to know them and walking through life together. But our church, you know, we've got some Edison lights around...

...and you know, it's not it's not big on production. It's, you know, we really just emphasize family and we're trying to build an environment that is conducive to family time, letting our kids dance and worship with us and be free and explore what God's presence is like. And you know, so we're not we don't have any fog machines or lasers or anything like that, and I think that's what's right for us. Yeah, but churches they have that stuff. You know, I love them and bless them and I hope that they succeeded. Everything God has gone to for sure, and I think that's so huge with so many things our world, because people will point at oh it is that way, which means all of these other million things. Oh, if they have lasers, well then there this type of church. Right. Oh, they have a fog machine. They're going to, you know, preach in this way. And I think that you know so many I feel like Satan is using division in so many ways, just not only in the church but in the world right now, by saying that this one little thing makes this the whole thing. I mean, Kanye West comes out on stage with Marilyn Manson and a baby and all of a sudden he's a Satanist, you know, because just because of who he brings on stage with him, and it's like did you listen to the music? Like and I think that our world needs to understand that not only things and places but people themselves are just so much more complex than being able to say there's black, there's white and there's just two sides right, and there's so much other thing. I have your Church's mission statement here and you were kind of bouncing around it as you were speaking but it's to succeed in family and to thrive and worship. I think I have that right. I'm curious what are the intentional things that you guys do to try and accomplish that? Oh Gosh, there's a long list. You know. I think for me, as as an evangelistic voice for so many years, as the one that would come in for one one night or one weekend, whether it was at a concert or a crusader conference, I saw altar full of people, people that would say I want to begin a life with Jesus. It's a beautiful thing and we rejoice in that. I'm so grateful for those sort of life defining moments, the moment of salvation for somebody. It's a beautiful thing, but there was always a burden in my heart about well, what next? You know, when I pray over them at the altar and they're crying and they turn around and walk away, what are they walking away into? What kind of home are they going into? What kind of city or community, what kind of Group of friends? And you know, I recognize that we're not called to make converts of all nations. Were called to make disciples of every nation and discipleship takes time. It takes, you know, consistent progress toward maturity or to the end goal of Christ likeness. And so how do we make disciples? And I think that's been a huge part of sort of the thought process or the driving one of the driving thoughts that has moved us toward our vision for church. And in fact, I would even say Jesus gives his disciples a new commandment. Is New commandment is love each other as I have loved you. And he says by this the world will know you are my disciples, by the way you love one another. and John Seventeen, Jesus praise for all believers. He starts by praying for his disciples and then he says I don't pray for them alone, but for all of those who will believe in me through their message. That's that's you and me. And then he says, I pray that they would be one, just as you, father, are in me and I am and you. I pray that they also would be one in us, so that the world will know that I was sent by God. And so so twice Jesus hangs not not only our identity as disciples but his identity as God in the flesh, the son of God, the second person of the God had. He hangs the revelation of his own Lordship on the unity of the church, our the depth of our devotion and commitment to each other. And and so it's interesting because in our evangelistic efforts we think it's going to be the miracle that God does when we're praying for the sick person, or that it's going to be the lights and the fog machines, or that it's going to be the coffee shop we have in the lobby of the church, or that it's going to be, you know, the Super Bowl outreach with free pizza and wings or whatever right, that that's going to be the thing that brings somebody to the acknowledgement of the Lordship of Jesus. Or we think it's going to be our apologetics, you know, our intellectual or persuasive preaching. Now, all of the I think we should do all those things. I Love Pizza Party outreaches. I think that we should be great at apologetics, we should be able to defend our faith. But at the end of the day, Jesus explains in John Seventeen that the thing that will help awaken the world to the identity of Christ is the unity...

...of the church. And and so I have this suspicion, and I think it was born from trying to trying to read and believe what the Bible says. I have this suspicion that that my ministry will be more evangelistically fruitful if it's a ministry that's birth from a deep devotion between people and between a group of people in God than it ever would be if we focused all of our resources and energy on reaching more people. And so you know, I have said that I think there's that there's no more effective evangelistic force than an exalted Christ reigning in the hearts of a unified church. And so I think when we stand together to experience and Exalt Jesus with one voice, across our cultural boundaries, across our racial boundaries, across generational boundaries and denominational boundaries, what happens is that we become the greatest evidence for the legitimacy of the Gospel. And and I don't just want to tell the world the Gospel, I want to show the World The Gospel, and I think that starts in the way that we cultivate family and so that's that's why we prioritize family, that's why we prioritize worship, because the Bible says. Sorry, I've heard it said, sound of the Bible, I've heard. I've heard it said, I've heard it said, that cause creates community, that having a common focus, a common priority, it draws people together. You know, it's why players on the same football team will, like you know, really fight for each other and really stand up for each other because they have a common goal. Yeah, and so what's our common goal as a church? Is it to win the world? Is it to preach to more people? I think, you know, if we come together as family, we've got to have a common cause. And Evangelism is critical. It's really, really important and I spent many years of my life doing it and training other people to do it. But I recognize that there is a day coming, and a day coming soon, when there will be no more evangelism and and and what endures in that day is worship that a hundred million years from now, will still be lost in loving Jesus. And so I want to help not only build a culture where people are really deeply devoted to one another, but also a culture where the the sort of core principle of who we are and what we do is to enjoy and experience Jesus. Like the Westminster shorter catechism says that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. And so we want to see God glorified not only in the way that we tell people about God's love for them or or Jesus death and burial and Resurrection, but we want to see God glorified in the way that we love one another. But we also want to make sure that we commit ourselves to enjoying him and enjoying him forever, because that really is our eternal call. Man. That's phenomenal. It's like, would you rather have a hundred men trained and armed to fight for you, or would you rather have an army of a thousand who don't know what they're doing? Right and, and I mean that, I'll take I'll take ten trained guys that work pretty well together. Yeah, over over a thousand. You know, people who don't know each other and every man's looking out for himself. You just don't know who's going to be doing what you can. You can get a lot done with a small group yeah, somewhere in the middle of all of that that you were saying, you said something about like racial, national, sexual, kind of different things. I know our world puts all these new labels on those things. I can't keep up with all the labels. You. Yeah, and and some Christians Yell Centers, you know, at them and you know how you know horrible things. And then you have the other side that's like, oh, it should be loving everyone and accepting everything and just taking people for who they are. And my thing is like, okay, I don't think that loving someone equals acceptance. I also don't think that you should be out there screaming at these people. Where's your stand on that hot topic? I have never met a person who believes we should be out screaming at people. I know they exist, except that guy in my church, and I was you're right to say, yeah, just that. But yeah, I think they exist. But you know, we're sort of fighting a an invisible not an invisible but an irrelevant enemy in that regard. You know, it's like it's sort of like our nation's obsession with with White Sup premacy and like are their white supremacists sure? Are they a relevant voice in our culture, not even a...

...little bit. And so we can go protest white supremacy if you want. What I think fatherlessness is probably a way bigger issue that we're actually trying to affect change, like wide supremacy. It's the Boogeyman in America. I've been a person of color my entire life and yeah, anyway, that's a rabbit trail probably for another podcast. But I think here's the issue, man. I think if we're talking about sexual orientation, which it sounds like we are, that that we're dealing with an issue that attaches itself to people's identity. You know, it's it's it's not just what somebody does or what somebody likes or prefers, it's like who they are. If you can't accept my sexuality, then then you're rejecting me as a person. And you know, I suppose my response to that would be I just, I just disagree with that. I disagree with that because I think that you're more than your sexuality. You know, I may disagree with your your sexual expression or your sexual impulses, but I also think that you know, you're probably a creative and compassionate and intuitive and intelligent person, and I think you have a lot more to offer than just who you want to sleep with, and I think that's that's one of the issues, is that we sort of make people this monolithic expression of their sexual orientation or their race or their gender, and then therefore there is no more room for any any more nuanced conversation. You know, like there may be a black person who is a you know, an unarmed black person that gets shot by a police officer, like that's an unjust thing. You know, if they get shot unjustly, then then that's wrong and it's terrible and that police officer should be dealt with really harshly. Now, part of that person's story, maybe that makes a really terrible decisions in their past and they've done some really nasty and horrible things, and so I'll do they suddenly now deserve to be shot unjustly by a police officer? No, and I think, you know, I think our issue is that we we that it's like there's a white cop that shot a black civilian and that's just the beginning and end of it all. This guy, all this copy is, is a white cop and all the black person is is a black civilian and there's no more room for any more nuanced conversation. So I'm sorry, I'm getting off on rabbit trails. I'm I've got a lot of feelings, but now that's all very relavant. Yeah, but I think when you know, when we're talking about sexual orientation and how we deal with it as Christians, I think first of all, I think we're all pretty pretty bad at teaching biblical standards on Sexuality and I would say as bad as we are teaching and we're probably even worse that living it out, and I think that probably undermines our ability to call anybody to accountability. When you know, divorces among Christians are just as high as divorces among Non Christians, and so I think there's in rates of like infidelity and abuse in marriage and Christian marriages are just as high as those rates and Non Christian marriages. So I think there's an issue with that. But I think also, you know, we say like love the sinner and hate the sin, and that's a nice Christian catchphrase, but the truth, the truth is I think most of the people I've known who say that are much more interested in hating the sin than they are loving the sinner. And so you may go out and want to protest or, you know, legislate or bring some sort of correction post to facebook, post, you know whatever, about somebody sin issue, but I feel like loving the sinner is a prerequisite to to hating their sin. Here's what I mean. The woman caught an adultery as brought to Jesus. She's guilty and she surrounded by people that want to take her life, going a stone her to death, and they say well, Jesus, what should we do? And he saves her life first. Now it's interesting because he doesn't pull her aside and say hey, do you promise to never do this again? In fact, we don't know what she does after this. You know, I'd love to find out that she totally repented and follow Jesus for the rest of her life. She might have gone straight back into bed with the man she was with before the story started. And I think that's the incredible thing. Jesus says to her after all of her accusers leave, he says he is without sin. Let him cast the first stone. And so they all begin to drop...

...the stones and they walk away and Jesus gets down at her eye level and he says where are your accusers. Has No one condemned you? And she says no, and he says, well, neither do I condemn condemn you, go and send no more. And I feel like generally we have one of two camps. People set up shop in the neither do I condemn you, camp like your sin is no big deal, no problem, or we set up shop in the go and send no more camp. We better clean up your act. Then I think it's it takes both of those phrases to adequately convey the grace of God that you're not condemned. And the the, the, the, the, the appropriate response to the mercy you've been shown is to turn away from the sin that got you in this situation to begin with. And so I think, I think we've got to be grace people. Go graceful people, like I think, if you've got a homosexual friend or co worker or family member, that your first impulse needs to be loved. And then and love in a way they can feel like Jesus didn't just tell this woman, Hey, neither do I condemn you, go and send no more. He saved her life, he defended her from the people that sought to destroy her. And and I think that making sure that a homosexual person can feel your love has to be your first priority. They need to know that you love them. You can't just tell them I love you. You got to get your stuff together. You got to show them in a way that they can say undeniably, this person is for me, like that's what the woman caught an adultery was faced with. The she knew undeniably that Jesus was for her, he was with her, he was on her side and then, from that place of the position of compassion, from the position of trust that had been produced because of the love he demonstrated for her, then he was able to say, listen, I don't condemn you either, but it matters what you do. Go and send no more. And so I think that's probably my first and most important point on that is that love, it has to be a prerequisite for accountability, and not just a internal feeling of love, but in an outward demonstration of it toward the person that we're seeking to hold accountable. I was waiting for two more points. As a pastor. You have three points right. If that was the first, there's got to be too known. So I got more points, man, and I feel like I if that was the case, if every Christian lived out like that, like, how radically different our world would look? How, how better the church would look, honestly, if if that was how we lived down our faith and and it was loving the person before calling out their sin. You know, and I love that as a prerequisite, you mentioned and talked on the fatherless. You were starting off saying, you know, more people are worried about racial inequality or white supremacy than the fatherless, and that's the whole mission behind young, married Christian is. You know, there are four hundred thousand kids and foster care in America and also the same number of churches. You know, both roughly four hundred thousand, and so our mission is to get every child in the Foster Care System into a Gospel Center at home. But also we are passionate about families and then succeeding, whether they be just a couple as married or they have kids together. But I think that for us to have marriages that thrive, we also have to understand what the Bible and what God's purpose is behind marriage. So how does the Bible define marriage? Because is it's not just the ticket to having sex right, right it's right. It's not that no sex than sex and marriage is right. That's pretty got to get to get God's stamp of approval. Yeah, so that's how a lot of young Christian guys especially approach it, like yeah, yeah, that's God loves it, you know, and there's just no, no revelation of what changes. And it's interesting because every married couple I meet thinks that when they're engaged are every engaged couple I meet they think that, well, we're engaged, were committed, you know, deeply in this relationship. We're basically married and you see a lot of couples fall into sexual sin because of that. They think, well, it's pretty much the same thing. You know what, what could be different? We're in a deeply committed relationship. We just haven't walked down the aisle yet. That can't make that big a difference. And crazy thing is it does, and I can't begin to explain it to you, but every married couple I know will say no matter what kind of sin they lived in prior, how they may have lived together and slept together prior to getting married, but when you stand before God and say I vow to love you for the rest of my life. So something shifts. It's a deeply spiritual and significant transformation that happens,...

...and so it does change things. Now, so if we're asking what the Bible's definition for marriages, I think you got to go to Ephesians chapter five. Now let's go to genesis one first, come on, gotta Heaven the beginning. We got to have a beginning. That's right, that's right, it's so, God says in Genesis One. And Twenty six is really interesting, says. Then God said, let us make man an our image, according to our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Verse Twenty Seven says. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God. He created him male and female. He created them. Now this is really interesting, right, because goddess is saying, I'm going to make man in my image. What is God's image? It's male and female. Now that's, I think, contrary to a lot of teaching. I mean, we always refer to God as he right, but there's a name for God in scripture called else should I shad is the Hebrew word for like a woman's breast. Else should I means like literally translated, means like the many breasted one. It's a picture of God's that that, out of his own self, he nurtures and sustains his children, the people that are his, and so there's a there are. There is a biblical sort of picture of God as being one that that has masculine attributes, of course he's a warrior, King, a father, but also of having feminine attributes as well. Now, I'm not saying that God is both male and female and saying that God is neither male nor female. God is God and and that the attributes of God are demonstrated not only through the masculine but also through the feminine, that all people are made in the image of God, and that's where we get this idea from. All people are made in the image of God and in fact males themselves cannot demonstrate the the the nature of God, because when God makes man, he says, I'm going to make man in my image and if I'm going to add act, if man is going to accurately carry my image, we're going to need male and female to do that. And so he makes them male and female to demonstrate his image. Now this is why, you know, I teach it that at the church, and pretty openly, that marriage should be a monogamous, faithful, lifelong covenant between a man and a woman, which in one man and one woman, because it's the purpose of marriage isn't to satisfy your sexual desires. The purpose of marriage isn't to create create more financial stability. The purpose of marriage is actually to demonstrate the nature of God. And a genesis one, what we discover a gensis one, twenty six and twenty seven is that the nature of God can really most adequately be demonstrated by the masculine and the feminine being presented simultaneously and in communion with with each other. So that's first point. Tennasis one, twenty six, twenty seven, and then and then there's Ephesians five. It's real scandalous. It starts in verse twenty two. If you just five, says wives, submit to your husband's as to the Lord. Oh my God, why I know they're going to march and March outside my church next week. Every woman just took her earphones out. Well done with I hope. I hope she doesn't, because the I want to go back to verse Twenty One. It says the Verse Twenty One says submitting to one another in the fear of God. And so the idea of submission isn't something that's mutually applied to to the the female, to the wife and a relationship. The idea of submission is something that that all believers if they're succeeding, if they're seeking to succeed in covenantal community with people in their church, with people in their family, with their spouse, it's going to take mutual submission. And so it's not actually an issue of, like husband should dominate or control their wives. It's actually an issue of, like, husbands are the accountable party, and I think that's you know, when you look back at the story of Adam and Eve, eve ate the fruit first. Eve was the one that opened the door. She ate the fruit first and then she convinced Adam to eat it as well, and that's why, okay, let's get really scandalous. You Ready? Sorry, I'm passionate about this stuff. Man. We don't, we don't understand God's plan for gender or for marriage, and it starts. It starts here. It's all over the Bible. It's not a big secret. We just we just don't like it because we're scared of responsibility anyway. So, so in so, in genesis three, the fall of man, the serpent says to the woman in verse four, he says, you will not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of this fruit, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes and a and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.

She also gave to her husband, who is with her, and he ate. So so eve made the choice, she made the decision. She opened the door for sin to enter the world. And then she says to Adam, hey, you should eat some of this as well. So when you fast forward, the Lord comes looking for them and he asked, Adam, where are you? And Adam said, I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself. And and so the Lord it begins to talk with him, and and and he's having to decide. Do I choose woman or do that cheese God, what do I do with these people? Yeah, so, so, the Lord God said to the serpent. Yeah, so, so, the Look God said of the serpent. Because you've done this, you are cursed, more than all the cattle, more than every beast of the field. In your belly you shall go and shall eat dust all the days of your life. I'll put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head and you shall bruce his heel. Now that, I think, is an allusion to the seed of woman, that is, a man born of a woman. That's Jesus being born of Mary, would be the one to bruise or to crush the head of the serpent. I think that's a beautiful thing that God said at the very beginning. You're already I already have a plan this. This wasn't a surprise. But if I fast forward to what God says to Adam, so he starts with the serpent and then he goes to the woman, and then in verse seventeen of Genesis three, it says then to Adam. He said, because you have heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying you shall not eat of it. Cursed is the ground for your sake and totally you shall eat of it all the days of your life. So so he he brings to accusations against Adam. The the second accusation is that he ate from the tree, that he'd been commanded not to eat of it. But the first accusation is that he had heeded the the the how does it say? You've heeded the voice of your wife? Now another transit translation says because you listen to your wife and a the fruit of this tree curses is the ground for your sake. But, and I you know, guys at men's conference is love this because I say that it's a sin to listen to your to your wife, because it sounds like it's a sin to listen to your wife. But here's the issue, that there actually is some legitimacy to this. Not that Adam shouldn't have listened to his wife, but the what happened is that Adam didn't lead where he was supposed to lead. God said you made your wife lead, you made your wife choose, you made your wife the head of the House, and that dysfunction is what is has caused now the curse that you're going to have to live with for the rest of your life. And so the first accusation God brings against Adam isn't that he ate the fruit, it's that he subjected himself to his wife that he was supposed to be leading. So, anyway, that means that the the issue is that, you know, eve eats the fruit first, and Adam is the one that has to answer questions about it. God doesn't come walking in the garden looking for Eve, saying eve, how could you do this to your husband? How dare you teend him in this way? You shouldn't have led him like this. That's what it means to be the head of a house. It doesn't mean you get to dominate, it means that you have to answer for what happens in your home. Even your wife's spiritual and emotional and physical wellbeing becomes your responsibility as a husband. Come on, anyway. So wives submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband as head of the wife, as also Christ as head of the church, and he is the savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, let wives be to their own husband's and everything husband's. Love your wives, just as Christ also love the church and gave himself for her. So the standard for wives is submit to your husband's the standard for husband's is to love your wife like Jesus loves the church. That's way harder. Basically, God says, husband's, you love your wives like Jesus, and wives, you let him like. Let him love you the way that Jesus loves the church. And we all know how jus ended up loving the church. He laid himself down for her. That's exactly right. He gave himself for her that he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of the of water by the word, that he might present her to himself a glorious church, not having spought or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husband's ought to love their own wives as their own bodies, for he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church, for your members, of his body, if his flesh and of his bones. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. And then Paul says something really wild here. Feesians five hundred and thirty two. He says, this is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ in the church. Nevertheless, let each one of you, in particular, so love his own wife, adds himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. So Paul goes through all of this great detail about husbands and wives of loving each other, and then he says, I know this seems really mysterious, but I'm not actually even talking about marriage, I'm talking about the love between Jesus and the Church. And so there's there's this sort of almost indistinguishable connection between the love of Christ as is demonstrated toward the church, and the love of a...

...husband as ought to be demonstrated toward his wife. And so if we are going to have a biblical worldview for what marriage is, or at least what marriage ought to be, it is that it should be an indistinguishable earthly manifestation of the Heavenly Reality of love between Christ and the Church and the Church and Christ. And so the purpose of marriage or to define marriage. It should be as we saw in genesis one, should be monogamous, lifelong covenantal and heterosexual. And then in an Ephesians five, we understand that the purpose of this is because by having a marriage that is monogamous, lifelong covenantal and and heterosexual, we actually demonstrate the relationship between Jesus and the Church to the world. Our marriage is supposed to be a reflection of Christ, a shadow of Christ, a manifestation of Christ to the world. I think that's the purpose, the function of marriage. Honestly, there was a big issue several years ago where everybody was talking about how we ought to vote when it comes to gay marriage and if it should be legal or illegal, and if I was in a position to make political decisions, my stance would have been I think that the government should stay out of marriage is all together. I think the government should grant any person a domestic partnership with any other person that they want to have it with. It can be your buddy, your roommate, you know, your best friend, your lover, like you know, and that person then has legal right to sign on your behalf. Should you be incapacitated, they can. You know you can file taxes jointly. There's a lot of different benefits that you can get and call that just like a would you say, a legal park, a domestic partnership, okay, with any other person that you want. And I think that if you want to be married, that that's something that you should be in the eyes of God for one purpose only, and that is to demonstrate Christ to the earth. MMM and I feel like it's a Sunday and here like you are reaching leved it. Pay Your tithe. If I got to give you timper Ashead of what I'm making today, I've already paid you. Yeah, that's right. There's now when you and candace have these couples in your church and they're either going through premarial counseling or maybe they've already been together for a while and and you know, you've already defined what marriage is for them and now you're trying to help equip them with things that they can take into the battle that is marriage. You know, that lifelong commitment. And you guys have them do kind of like a constitution or are like some kind of yeah, like handwritten. Okay, yes, so we are you getting like feather pins and quills and the the continental conmic Congress. You know, we so, yeah, I have a sort of a process that I walk them through. Okay, actually, at first we talked about effusions five. We talked about Genesis One, God's role from men and women, God's plan. And here's the thing. When I say God's role for men and women, what I don't mean is that men should be like big Bush, you know, extremely masculine, you know, meat heads, and that women should be like dainty, delicate homemakers. I think I think there's a great because I would never bads. Well, there's the beautiful thing about it is that, you know, they're sort of there's like the ultra feminine side of the spectrum and there's the ultra masculine side of the spectrum, and every person exists somewhere on that, on that line, and I think we're sort of obsessing about gender identity so much that we don't realize that that actually, you know, you may have this sort of pan sexual whoever person who is really just wrestling with their own uniqueness. And I'm different than my dad and I'm different than my mom and there's something about me that's totally unique and that's beautiful. It's by design. God made you unique, but we all want to know what niche we fit in. And you know, and so we're looking at minority groups based on race, based on gender, based on, you know, sexual orientation, based on their own sort of demeanor or, you know, maybe unique gender expressions, you know, a unique mixture of what we would consider masculine or feminine. But the truth is that the individual is sort of the ultimate minority, that there's there's nobody else that is them the unique mixture of attributes that you are right and and that's a beautiful thing. The individual is. I that's not my statement, that's a Jordan Peterson said that. I think that the individual is the ultimate minority. It's a beautiful idea and in a really true concept. I think if we continue to sort of down the path of, you know, unique expression and individuality, what we discover is that, you know, every single person has a long list of reasons that they can be persecuted and insulted. Every single person has, you know, struggles that they have to overcome. Every single person has benefits and opportunities that are presented to them and...

...and everybody's experience of the world is different. Every individual person and and so that's a really that's a really beautiful thing. And so we talked when we're talking about marriage, that's that's sort of where we start, is by talking about this stuff and talking about the masculine and the feminine and where they fit together, how they complement each other there and recognizing that, you know, you may have you may be a guy that's five foot two and a hundred and three pounds and you may have a wife that's six foot two and two hundred and eighty pounds, and that's a beautiful like, it's fine, it's cool, like if you guys love each other, that's great, like, love each other for the glory of God. You guys are going to have an awesome marriage, you know, and kids and beautiful. Yeah, you have great kid like, I don't care, you know, if a guy's may be more traditionally feminine or girls may be more traditionally masculine, like, it doesn't matter. I don't think they deserve persecution or disrespect in any way. But we talked about the the sort of interplay between the masculine and the feminine and how God could be demonstrated through that, and then we talked about identity and things, and then and then I get into the the Geneva Convention, which we can talk about if you want, but we sort of end with the the constitution of the marriage. I think the American constitution is one of the most significant and beautiful documents ever written. I think it was God inspired. Like, I don't think I I cannot imagine that a group of hardheaded, stubborn men like the the members of the Continental Congress, would ever be able to get together and come to any kind of consensus, let alone a consensus as really historically revolutionary as that one, that they would make a declaration like we believe that all men were created equal and were endowed with certain in alienable rights, you know, among them the right to life and liberty in the pursuit of happiness. I mean that concept alone had never been that's revolutionary in a couple different ways. Way. Number one is that it's the first time in history that a political document had been released outlining that people had rights that were given to them by God and that the function of government is not to grant rights but actually to protect the rights you've already been given. I think that is that is a revolutionary concept, and that's the first time in history it was ever, it was ever presented to the world that the role of government wasn't to give you rights. The role of government was to protect the rights that God has given you. That's a revolutionary concept in itself. And then, and then to go along with that to say that all men were created equal. I mean, why they didn't accomplish it there? While they were writing the constitution, they laid the groundwork for what became the end of slavery, the end of Segregation, women suffrage. I mean the most substantial advancements in human equality came as a result of philosophies and ideas that were written in the American constitution. It's an amazing document, an amazing accomplishment for these men to come together, I mean flawed, broken men, some of them slave owners, I mean like Meth for you know, bad guys, based on who you ask, who were able to accomplish something enduring and significant that has really changed the world in a lot of positive ways. We haven't arrived, of course, but but we're moving in a good direction. The world was a lot more equitable than it was two hundred and fifty years ago when they when they wrote that document. So things an amazing accomplishment and something that is worth acknowledging and in affirming now. At the same time, I think one of the more significant parts of it is that it's just it's just an objective document we can come back to and and refer refer to over and over and over again, and and and we do as a country. We go back to the the constitution and you know, we went back to the constitution to draw some conclusions about what we should do about segregation and Martin Luther King Junior's Day, and we went back to the constitution when in Lincoln's Day, when we abolished slavery, we did so based on the ideas in the constitution. And so we certainly grow in our ability to apply this objective truth, this document that is really more maybe a philosophical document in a political one. And and so we've we've applied it in a lot of different ways through the years, but having something objective that you can go to, so it's not just one party against another or it's not just one group against another, we can actually come back and say, well, this is the goal, this is this is what we all agreed to when we became Americans and this is what we're all striving to become. I think that's a beautiful concept, and so one of the things I do when I'm counseling couples who are...

...are going to get married is I walk them through a process of discovering and uncovering who they are as individuals, who they've been called to be, and I'll have them write that out. You know, I'll have them intentionally not discuss it with each other, for the the girl to come and say, Hey, this is who God has called me to be, this is what God has called me to do, and for her, her fiance, to come and write down, you know, for himself, this is what God is called me to do and who God has made me to be, and then I'll say this is beautiful that I have them trade that and say, you know, his call becomes her responsibility and her call becomes his responsibility, and when we're in covenant together, my main priority needs to be that you become who God has called you to be. And then I'll have them together, spend a week praying and writing essentially a constitution for their marriage that this is this is our our goal, this is our vision for what marriage ought to be. We're committing ourselves to. You know, we're going to prioritize daily prayer, we're going to raise our kids in the presence of the Lord. We're going to be a family that worships and doesn't just talk about it. We're going to be actively involved in our church. You know, there's a lot of different couples that value and prioritize a lot of different things, but they, you know, they go through and they make some commitments and some declarations that they both can agree on about what the culture of their marriage is going to be like. And most of the couples that go through that they'll print it off and like frame it and hang it in their house somewhere so that, you know, instead of saying, Hey, you hurt my feelings and now I'm mad at you, you can they can just sort of point at the constitution. Like you said, it's not about what I want, it's about what you want. When we were engaged and we went through premarital counseling, we had this idea about what our marriage should be like and you know, your pride or your disrespect or your anger or your lust, it's undermining the goals that we set. And and I don't want to hold you accountable to my standards, I want to hold you accountable to your standards. And these are what you said your standards were. And so I think having that objective document that's outside of, you know, my heart or my wife's aren't having an objective document to come back to, is a really beautiful and useful and beneficial thing. And so, yeah, I have them sort of write a constitution for their marriage so that they can revisit it whenever, whenever they need. And and it's never used as like you're in the middle of an argument and then all of a sudden you grab your spouse's wrist and like Yank Im downstairs and you point to you like see, I'm right, you're wrong, like I'm sure it's not used in that way, because then every that constitutions gone. Ever, yeah, that spouse rips that thing up burns is like you will never do that to me. Well, I don't know. I mean, I I want to feel like if you know, if my wife did that to me, I'd be able to say, you're right, MMM, you're right, like I said that I wouldn't speak to you like this and then and I just did and it's there in black and light on the wall, like I violated my own commitment to you and to the Lord, and I'm really sorry about that. You know, I want to think that that would be, at least for some for some people, a great way to be accountable to what we say we want. Yeah, okay, so I feel like to stay in history class. I do want to go back to what you talked about with the Jivajiva Shudn't Eva Convention. You could tell how well I did in history. I wasn't I was a math major. But I want to stay in this history zone and go with what you were talking about with the Geneva Convention and for those that are listening that are like me, that don't understand at first, kind of talk about what that is and then talk about how that connects to a healthy marriage. So the Geneva Convention is sort of a treaty convention signed by all the major world leaders right after World War II that essentially highlights rules for war. So part of the Geneva Convention is that it's against the the convention, the Convention or the agreement to use chemical or biological weapons it's against the convention to attack intentionally attack civilians. It's against the convention to Torture Prisoners of war, and so it's essentially a a commitment by all the civilized nations in the world to say that even when we're at all out war with each other, there are still things that are over the line, still things that are too far that will undermine the basic principles of human dignity that govern society civilization as a whole, and therefore, even in all out war, we won't violate these things. And and I think, I think there's probably some wisdom in that, when it comes to any type of conflict, that you have boundaries you won't cross, even when you're in an argument with your spouse, and that's kind of how we pull the idea of the Geneva Convention into premarital counseling. is...

...to say, you know conflict when you live with someone day in and day out for the rest of your life, it's unavoidable. Now conflict doesn't have to be a huge, knock down, drag out fight. The police don't have to get called, it doesn't have to be a screaming match. You know you may live your entire life without getting in a full on, you know, high temper high pressure, intense, aggressive fight with your spouse, which would be great. I hope that that happens for every couple. But but even for maybe more even keeled, slow tempered individuals, you know, there will be some sort of conflict. It may just be like, I don't really want to eat at that restaurant or you know that friend of yours that you think is awesome, I think they're obnoxious and don't really like spending time with them. Or you know, hey, you want to put the medicine in the bath through cabinet and I want to put it in the kitchen cabinet, and where are we going to put it? So there's you know, there's conflict. It's just differences of opinion or priority. And how do we resolve those things? And while seeking a resolution, we may we may have, you know, a stalemate and and in those moments there have to be, I think, rules of engagement to make sure that we don't undermine, you know, the human dignity of our partner and that we can can sort of wake up and stand to look at them the next morning. So I sort of walk people through a number of bits of practical advice, things that you can't ever do even when you're fighting, just to make sure that you're that you don't get in an argument over like where to put the medicine cabinet, that that ends in some maybe irreferable damage to your ability to trust and cooperate with your partner. HMM, okay, yeah, and and with you and candace, I'm guessing you guys are using the things that you're telling people to use. Yeah, we're trying to. They are much easier to say that they are to do, I mean in that life right. That is like I want to rewind on you and Cannas, because I want everyone to know the story of how you guys met. You told us the other night and I was just like what in the world? So, are you serious? And and and you kept going with it. I was like, okay, I guess this. I'm not being pumped right now. No. So so, you know, because we get to talk about you know, everybody like the way that they men. There's all these magical ways or, you know, exciting stories or like crazy coincidences. But you guys have a story unlike any that I've heard. So good one. It's maybe more like Cinderella. Yeah, we I scoured the countryside try and choose on strangers which if Cinderella's. She was a perfect fit. How to fall off in the first place. Hey, wow, come on now, wake up. She pull man. It's all a conspiracy. That's as. He's a lie. That's right, Disney's fake news. I don't know why. I don't know why. We were just moving at trump. I'm well. So we met in December of two thousand and seven, December fifteen, two thousand and seven. My Band had just been playing a show in Macala, Alabama, this little city, maybe forty five minutes outside of Birmingham. MMM, sweet home. Yeah, we're all tight and we we so we played the show's maybe four hundred and twenty five people there. Now, early that morning we driven overnight and we slept inside the venue for a few hours in the morning, her like early, two, three in the morning, and I woke up earlier than the rest of the guys and I went outside and which is walking, pray and spending time with the Lord. While I was out there I found a ring on the ground, kind of a nice ring. I think it was just a piece of costume jewelry like, not like somebody lost their engagement ring, but it was. It's kind of Nice and I felt bad just throwing it back on the ground, you know. So I dropped it in my pocket and didn't think much about it. We later than we loaded all of our gear in, we went out to lunch, we came back and sound checked, we went out to dinner. You know, four hundred and twenty five people show up to the show. It's a great night. We play our show, the the other bands are playing at the very end of the night. Right before we started tearing stuff down to load it away, loaded back up in the trailer, I was standing back behind our merch table and I was talking to our our Merch Guy, and while we were talking I just sort of stuck my hand in my pocket and I felt that ring again and I thought, Oh, I gotta figure out something to do with it. So I pull it out of my pocket and as I do so, these these two girls walk up to the table and I just held my hand out with the ring to one of them and said Hey, this is for you, and she took it and stuck it on her ring finger and she said, oh, crazy, it fits perfectly. She said, I guess we're supposed to get married, and we both laughed and laughed and we've been here now for twelve and a half years. See now we can't fifty shot there. It could have been her friend, Casey, I think it was her name. Yeah, it which is I think I got the...

...better deal. Yeah, I think I chose right, I would say so. Yeah. Wow. So in that moment, your hand in this ring over to her, and is she kind of like pushing your shoulders down to get on one knee, like let's make this a fin like it? No, so she was not. I mean, you got to understand I probably hadn't taken a shower in two weeks. I had dreadlocks at this time. I owned one pair of pants and probably two shirts. Like it was. Nobody would want to marry that pile of filth that I was. I was a touring musician and but we just got to talk in and I asked, you know, who did you come to the show to see? I figured I was going to give some girl a ring and she was gonna Think, oh, that's so funny and she'd buy a shirt and she'd be a fan and we'd have like you know, it just was a random thing. I didn't occur to me that it could be romantic. I wasn't flirting with her, it just she literally was the first person to walk up to me and so I I just we got to talk in and I asked, you know, who did you come to see at the show? And she said, well, actually, before I gave my life to Christ I used to come to these shows and like get drunk and heckle Christian bands, and so now I'll I love Jesus he has. She used to. She used to be the one screaming, you know, shut up, this isn't church. She wasn't the girl in the front row, at the middle thing, not at that not at that show. No, not for us. She'd never hackled us before. But she she came to these the show thinking just want to share the gospel with girls that are may be in the position that I used to be in. So we got to talking about that and I thought that's awesome, you know, and I found out she was about my age, a little a couple months older, and so we got to chatting and and she she said her dad had a basement we could sleep in, and so she said, well, here's my number. Let me know if you guys ever need a place to stay in Birmingham. She just thanked us for sharing the Gospel and got a shirt to support US and help us get gas money to the next show. And so then that night, you know, I end up in that crazy confederate flag slave house, and so, wishing, you went to Canadas. Exactly wishing. So I'm texting her, like you will not believe this place. So were staying? Just heads up, we're definitely staying at your place next time. And you know, maybe it was a couple weeks later that I was in prayer and the Lord sort of interrupted what I was praying about and said that girl Candis is going to be your wife some day, so don't screw it up. And you know, the rest of the rest is history. But so it was texting. I'm trying to think, two thousand and nine. So yeah, our two thousand and seven, you said. Yeah, we were is probably nine. So ninety nine in each other. So your ten nine and her, yeah, which sounds inappropriate. But you're messaging her, and did you just tell her like hey, guy, just told me that you're want be my wife's yes, or I try to come up hard and the story out, because I would advise young men if God told you that you should marry this girl, you should probably just keep that between you and God. But I didn't have any accountability of my life yet. Too Much Taco bell in your system, said, because here's the thing, most of the young men I know don't really know what the Voice of God sounds like. They think, I think she's hot and she loves Jesus, so she must be supposed to be my wife. And and I think we need accountability and leadership in our life to help govern, you know, those big sort of life decisions and help us navigate those things in a wise way. Now, by the grace of God, things worked out okay for us, but I know lots of guys that are told four or five girls the Lord said you're supposed to marry me, and it hadn't worked yet, and so they're just sort of stumbling through manufacturing these words from the Lord that are making everybody's life a lot more difficult and confusing. Mostly there's and so I I think if you're a young guy and you feel like God told you that you should marry that cute girl in your class. Just keep it to yourself, you know. Yeah, and why don't you go introduce yourself first, like that's I think. you start with, like hey, you know, my name is Jeffrey. Next to me. What's your name? You know, go meet this girl. I like your day it's not Jeffrey, and just see what happens. Just say Jeffrey Anyway. Who could? Don't start it off of the lie. Yeah, finds out you're totally not a Jeffrey. That's right. And now here you guys are. Almost thirteen years later, twelve, yeah, thirteen years, like, yeah, and you got three boys. Yep. How is it? fathering three boys as the best? Yeah, yeah, I don't know about boys in general, but my three boys are the greatest hilarious kids. I mean, there's never a dull moment. They're just painfully cool and talented and smart. They're just like they're just so awesome. Yeah, they're great. I mean, basically, to raise good boys, all you have to do is just attack them from time to time. That's it, you know, you just grab them, Sucker Punch. Yeah, just, well, just, you know, keep the punch into a minimum probably, but you know, just grab them and throw them on the couch and put him in a headlock. They just love it. That's all there is to it really. That's awesome. It got a feedom occasionally to, I guess. Oh yeah, not mashed potatoes, though. No, my oldest. Yeah, he doesn't like them at all. Yeah, I saw the whole video of him...

...like spitting them out and then like literally having a melt down big over mashed potatoes, for sure. Yeah, very unique names for your kids. Kai Carver, and then, I guess Kay looks the normal name there, but in any significance or reason for those names. So Kai's name is Malachi. Okay, and my my wife actually, before we even met, felt like the Lord told her that her first born child to be a son and she was supposed to name him Malachi. Now, the name Malachi means my messenger. And now we didn't want to call him Maliki. That's a lot of syllables, and we didn't want to shorten it to like mal that's weird. And and we thought if we spelled it a Malacchi and then he had to write kai like hi, that everybody would call him chee because he was growing up in Alabama and you know the yeah, so they're not hooked on phonics. They're not. That's right. On pahnas. Yeah, and that Hook it on Pahnas. It's so. So they're so. WE SPELLED MLA KAI. Yeah, so we call him Kai for short, and his full name is Malachi William Montgomery, which translates to my messenger, defender of the Kingdom of the mountain. Pretty legendary. What's my boy? He's cool. And Caleb, his younger brother. His name is Caleb Owen Montgomery. We called him, we actually called him Owen for the first couple of years of his life and when he was maybe for he I was telling he and ki the story of Caleb and Joshua, believing God that he would be faithful to help them take the the promised land, the land of Canaan, with the despite the giants that were in the land and and the this land that was flowing with milk and honey. So I'm telling you the story and I'm telling him about Caleb. You know, the other ten spies didn't believe God and they brought back a bad report, and so the Israelites wandered for forty years, but God sustained Joshua and Caleb and and when they finally did come into the land that Caleb and his family got to inherit an entire mountain and it happened to be the mountain where the giants live. And Caleb said, I'll take it anyway. I'm I'm that mountain belongs to me, not those giants. So I'm telling them this awesome story about this awesome man, Caleb, a great hero of our faith. And I said, son, that's who you're named after, and he said that's who I'm named after, yeah, buddy, and and he said, well then, can I go by Caleb from now on? So we called him Owen for the first I mean, if you see any videos or pictures or anything from I don't know five, four or five years ago, we're probably calling him Owen. But until that night and we said all right, well, we're going to change it to Caleb. So it's Ky and Caleb. His name means courageous, Young Warrior of the mountain, Caleb. Oh and Montgomery and then carver. We had a couple names that we might name him and actually had a dream when cannas was pregnant with him, that we were that I was playing with this baby boy and calling him carver. And then I just sort of knew in my spirit, in the dream, that it was because of George Washington Carver, who had sort of been a hero of mine. But I hadn't honestly hadn't researched to ton. I think I did a couple reports on George Washington carver in middle school or something, but didn't know a lot about him. I knew it was a scientist and that he worked on peanuts. But turns out George Washington carver he was he was born a slave and when he went to school it didn't have a name. He had the last name of the people who owned his family, the carver family, but he needed he needed a first and middle name, and so they asked him in school what are your name? What's your name, and he just didn't have one, and so we just picked a name that he knew, George Washington, and so he picks to coeorge Washington carver as his name now, George Washington carver. Some historians believe that he he actually was not by the carver family. They were really kind to him. That's why he kept that name, but but by a different family later in life. That he was actually castrated, and so I think you can imagine how brutal and painful and, you know, demoralizing that might have been. But despite the fact that he was born a slave, that he was, I mean really brutally abused by white people, he went to college at the University of Iowa and they wouldn't let him inside of the classroom or the dorms. So he had to sleep in the boiler room with the servants at the University of Iowa and then he had to sit in a chair outside of the building and listen through the window to get his education. But he finishes at the top of his class and then eventually comes back and becomes a professor at the University of Ioa. Then he gets hired at Tuskegee University in Alabama and he comes down to Alabama and he he's an agricultural scientist. He noticed is that the farmers in Alabama they're not letting their fields rest,...

...they're not doing corop rotations. There's a lot of things that they could be doing to have a lot more productive farming operations, and so he sets up dislike traveling sort of agricultural science circuit and he like rides around and totally revolutionized his agriculture. In the south he becomes such a trusted name that they invite him when the government is arguing over whether or not they're going to tax imported peanuts. They they invite him to come, and so he gives I think the senator, this white senator, gives him ten minutes to speak on peanuts. At the end of his ten minutes he's wrapping up in the Senator Says No, you keep going for as long as you want, and so he just he talks for like an hour in the senators are that are part of this committee on, you know, peanut imports are so stunned at how much he knows that he says like the set of the senator who's the chairman of the committee says, how do you know all this? And he said how I learned it from an old book. And the guy said, well, what what book is this? And he said the Bible. In the senator says, I don't think the Bible says anything about peanuts. How did you learn this? And he says you're right, it doesn't, but it talks a lot about the God who made the peanut and he said, the closer I've gotten to him, the more of his secrets he's been willing to share with me. And so he there's a lot of documentation about him using his influence to do really do two things. Number One, to point people in the direction of actual intimate communal relationship with God, to share the Gospel through his agricultural science and in his position of influence in the country, and number two, to work toward racial reconciliation and racial cooperation. And that, despite being born a slave, despite having potentially been castrated at least he was unable to have children because of what some of his slave owners had done to him. You know, despite some of the horrors that he'd experienced at the hand of white people, he was still a proponent of racial reconciliation and cooperation. So I have always been. I think he's amazing and I felt like the Lord, I know this is a long story to why we named our son Carver, but he his name's Carver, carver Jace Montgomery and and he's our youngest, but I really felt like the Lord had really sort of tied his destiny and call with George Washington carvers in this pretty special way. So yeah, we named him carver man. I love the intentionality to the names and just because I feel like names, they do a lot to a person, you know, and just like hearing you talk about Caleb and how once he knew why he was named Caleb and he was like, oh no, I want that name. Yeah, I stop calling me Owen, like I want to be this guy overthrowing giants. Yes, please, let me be that. One of your posts that you talked about with your boys on Instagram, I think it's it was something that I think a lot of our listeners can kind of connect with when you know they have kids. Was that you talked about the eighteen summers that you get with every child and how you you have to optimize and use them, you know, to your fullest. And I know that your post was about like all the crazy things that you did with your boys. Can you talk a little bit about just kind of that, I don't know, recognizing the fact that you know your time is limited with them and like what? What? What can people be doing to be intentional and especially with boys, raising them up to be men? Can you talk into that? Yeah, you know, there's two things I think that come to mind. First, number one is that from the beginning, candace and I have been really determined to remind ourselves that we are not raising babies, we're raising men who happen to be babies right now, and I think there are a lot of people who are sort of dismissive to the immaturity of their children because boys will be boys, but the truth is that boys will be men whether we like it or not, and because we are not training our sons, they are turning into giant sort of man children. You know I mean? Here's what I mean. I grew up without a DABT my father. He died of cancer when I was eight years old. And years into my marriage I began to realize that a lot of my views about relationships, romance and sexuality were shaped like every boy. When I was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen years old, when I was first sort of discovering sexuality, when I was noticing girls and girls were noticing me. And you know, what does that look like? And so who are the guys? Who are the people that I was looking up to as a model for for manhood when I was a fourteen year old boy? You know who was? It was seventeen year old boys. HMM, eighteen year old boys. And so what defined sexuality in Romance and relationships for me, sort of Inter gender relationships for...

...me, was seventeen year old boys, eighteen year old boys, because they had beards and they drove cars and they slept with girls and they had jobs like that was my picture of masculinity. And and then suddenly I was a twenty eight, twenty nine year old father of two having to face the fact that a lot of my views about sexuality were shaped by eighteen year old boys, by high school kids, and I think there's many men who are the same way. Their views about sexuality get defined by Juniors and seniors in high school or maybe in college. You know, they're looking at at bigger guys and older guys in college and that's sort of their standard for sexual success or health. And so you know, they're on in their s and S and s and s, thinking, thinking the way that they thought when they were seventeen and eighteen years old. And so we have got to understand I'm not training my kids to be kids, I'm training my kids to be men and their kids now they're in that process, but the end goal is that they would be men of honor and virtue and self control, that they would use their the unique features of their own masculinity to serve and to protect the people around them, not to dominate or manipulate them. And and I think this is one of the issues in our culture is that we we sort of shrug our shoulders and say boys will be boys and we don't recognize they're not always going to be boys. You know, like you said, we only have we have eighteen summers with our kids before they're who knows, who knows where, and frankly, maybe not even that many. As you know, they in a lot of ways have decided which way they want to go at sixteen, seventeen years old, and so we've got to be really intentional. And if I'm honest, man, I think you hear the stuff and you think you've got to have it figured out as a parent immediately and capitalize on it from year one. First, you know, the first summer. And frankly, what it takes is not a ton of money, it's not, you know, some sort of PhD in parenthood. What it takes to be a successful parent. It's to take the time and energy to care and to just make sure your kids feel that you care and if that's all you do is to just say I don't have the money to take you to Disney world every every year. I don't have the money to fly you around the world let you get all these exotic experiences. I can't buy you the newest bike or the coolest shoes. But, like I want to hear how your day went and I want to include you in my own personal pursuit of the Lord. I want you to see me pray and worship, you know. I want you to see me admit to my wife when I was wrong. You know, I want you to see me take care of and serve my wife. I want to, you know, when my wife comes home with groceries, I want to be out there waiting to help her carry those groceries in. I want to, you know, let her, you know, see the benefits of my strength as a man like I'm going to carry groceries in for her. I want to serve her to the best of my ability and I think that that just sets the the framework for our kids to just understand, especially boys, to understand their their place in the world and why God has made them unique in the ways that he's made them that you know, their masculinity isn't to to dominate other people. It's not to be aggressive and intense just for the sake of aggressiveness and intensity. It is to to bring your strength to the table to serve and protect the women and children that God might put around you. And I think, I think that just starts with caring. You know, you don't have to have all the answers or all the money in the world. It just starts with consistently waking up every day and caring about the character of your children, caring about what goes on in their life, giving them a safe place to share their heart and being willing to share your heart with them as well. HMM. And that's something that everyone can afford. Everybody can afford that. That's right, but one of the hardest things probably to give you know, you have to do it intentionally, right. It's not something that just happens. That's right, for sure. Well, it's been amazing having you here today. Our time together. I feel like I've learned so much. I mean, as much as this podcast is for the listener, it's also for me and just figuring out, you know, going into marriage, you know, we're now looking at a date next October, and so we're super excited and so it's amazing having people like you come in and bring wisdom and candace. Being able to meet both of you guys has been phenomenal. I know that you guys at your church have a new album coming out. I. Yeah, I know that you're working on a new book. You've also done a book called Scary God. I feel like you have so much going on. How A men's conference going on and Las Vegas us in the spring. Yeah, yeah, so how can people not only follow you and what you're doing, but learn about all of...

...this other stuff? where? Where do they get well, I think the central place would be the church's website, the ministry's website, the alter dot org. Altar. Yeah, the alter dot org, and that you know. There there's information about our national men's conference. were calling together seventeen thousand men from all around the country to take a stand for biblical manhood again, and I think that's going to be really significant. You know, new new books and albums and all those things. Social media links and you know, ways to connect. I think our even to partner are there on the website. The alter dot org. And you know, at the end of the day, if somebody wants to find me, I'm in my office in Johnson City, downtown Johnson City, Tennessee, and if they want to come hang out and run the race and I'm not hard to find. Man. I absolutely love it and I appreciate once again coming down and if they're looking for you specifically, it's at Maddie Montgomery on like, instagram, on instagram and facebook. I think. Yeah, okay, awesome. Well, thank you, guys, so much for listening and tuning in once again. Stay Young, stay married, but definitely stay Christian. We'll see you guys next time. All right, y'all, we hope you loved that conversation. Here at Young, married Christian, we are on a mission to see a Gospel centered home made available for every single child in the foster care system. There are four hundred thousand kids in the foster care system and there are four hundred thousand churches in America. You, all, the church, can solve this problem. If you want to join us on this mission, text the word freedom to eight three, three, three, seven hundred one six hundred one hundred. And another thing you can do to help us grow the reach of this podcast is to leave a rating in apple podcast. It's super simple. Just go to the show's page, scroll down and give us a rating for this show, debot. What's a good rating? Typically just count the fingers on my hand and then I click that many stars. All right, so we're not telling you to give us a five star rating, but for the love of everything holy, it would help us tongue if you went and give us a rating. I guess for that guy that has four fingers, just add one. Yes, you don't even have to leave a review, because, let's be real, that takes too long. Just go to apple podcasts and leave us a rating. Yes, but seriously, though, if you do nothing else, at least text the word freedom to eight three three three seven hundred one six one hundred and eight three three three seven out one and six one hundred. Hey, three three thirty seven out one six one hundred and eight three three three seven out one six one hundred and.

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