Ep. 70 | Taking Risks and Building Community w/ Larson Hicks

In this week’s conversation with Larson Hicks – a husband, father, business owner, and church planter – we talk about taking risks, dating, providing for your family, creating community, and why a lot of our problems today can be traced back to an improper understanding of our roles as male and female made in God’s image. Larson shares how spiritual formation helped his family navigate tragedy and provides some words of wisdom for those in search of strong relationships and community.

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Show Notes

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Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] Welcome back to the life on target podcast. I’m your host, Nathan spearing, bringing you my interview with the Larson Hicks. Husband father entrepreneur, business, owner, and elder in a local church of my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama. Larson shares. Hard learned lessons and wisdom that he and his family.

[00:00:25] Faced as they endured tragedy. Relocated across the country and planted a church and grew a business. Specifically a lot of wisdom for those of you that are feeling that community is missing. Where you are, and not really sure whether you should plant a church or relocate to somewhere that already has a thriving community.

[00:00:47] Larson shed some light on. How he would go about making those decisions. Before I get to the interview. I’d like to go ahead and announce those of you that haven’t been following along on social media. I’m [00:01:00] going to be taking part. In Will Spencer of the Renaissance of men’s digital summit. “What Men Need to Know”

[00:01:08] I’ll be speaking alongside. Five other talented men in addition to Will on a variety of subjects will has asked me to speak on courage. I’ll be opening up the panel on Saturday, March 25th. I have posted the event bright in the show notes. For those of you all that want to register for that, you can get a discount if you use.

[00:01:35] The code spearing, my last name S P E A R I N G. And enjoy hearing from other speakers. We got. Discussion on boldness determination, resilience. Self-mastery. And there’ll be some questions and answers as final session lasting all day. March 25th, be sure to check out the event bright and without further ado. [00:02:00]

[00:02:00] Let’s get to the interview.

[00:02:01] Thanks for being here with us today. And,

[00:02:06] Hey, it’s good be here.

[00:02:07] go ahead and, cue, the listener in on the kind of the, the wave tops of Larson Hicks’s life to date. Before we go deep, I’m sure you’re, you’re a podcaster and so you’re used to giving the, the elevator pitch on, on who you are and, and, and kind of where, and I, the way that I heard it was you’re supposed to be coming to North Carolina

[00:02:32] and

[00:02:33] Oh, that’s true. That

[00:02:33] my, my hometown, uh, our mutual friend Jean actually texted me yesterday and was like, we gotta link up.

[00:02:40] So if you would, Ben made it the whole way. You would’ve been able to hang out with us here in, uh, Southern Pines. But

[00:02:46] That’s too. It’s hard, it’s hard to hear. Yeah, man. Uh, we were on our way to North Carolina. That was the game plan for sure. Um, and that’s a, that’s a fun part of the, the [00:03:00] story of kind of our, our journey. But, um, yeah, we live here in Huntsville, Alabama. We’ve been here for eight years now.

[00:03:08] Um, we got here, my wife and I are both from El Paso, Texas, and we came to Huntsville via Moscow, Idaho. So we did, we did 12 years up in Idaho. I went to New St. Andrews College and, um, stayed and started our family there. And were there for, for like I said, 12 years. And, and yeah, I was kind of ready for, I mean, the, the, the two big reasons we left were one, um, I was eager to lead, you know, and to kind of spread my wings and, and, um, and kind of make my mark and I felt like.

[00:03:42] Um, Moscow was such a wonderful, delightful place to live, but I felt like it was kind of an incubator. It was like, I’m just getting fat , you

[00:03:49] know, like,

[00:03:50] like, I need to get out there and scrap it out a little bit. Um, and, and, and like, you’ve, there’s this sense I always had that, like, for [00:04:00] anything that needs doing in the church community, especially, um, there are at least 200 men at this church who are more capable, who are more capable, more qualified than I am, you know?

[00:04:10] And so, and that’s like, and that was like not an understatement. Like that was totally true. And so it was kind of like, you know, if you’re a young man who’s like, eager to serve and to, and to lead and to grow into, you know, greater, uh, leadership, you’re, you’re like, I, I don’t have, I didn’t feel like I had a lot of opportunities there.

[00:04:29] So that was one, that was one piece of it. Um,

[00:04:32] I feel like probably in the spread your wings aspect of that too is those guys are older men in, in a lot of ways too, that just, it’s experience and wisdom that comes from experience going through those experiences, relying on the Lord to grow you. So, and you just catch a, uh, a guy. That’s on fire for the Lord, age 55.

[00:04:56] You know, you don’t take the reins from that guy, you learn from him. [00:05:00]

[00:05:00] But,

[00:05:00] uh, you’re not gonna catch a guy that’s full of the spirit and getting after it. Uh,

[00:05:07] That’s right.

[00:05:07] you’re gonna catch a guy that’s lazy and, and kind of, I’ve arrived. Listen here, bub, this is how it goes down, or the, the, the old school, uh, boomers.

[00:05:17] But that’s, that’s not the population up there, uh, as much as it is else.

[00:05:22] Yeah. It was a just a wonderful place where we just drunk it in and just, just learned and grew and thrived and got to see what a healthy church dealing with crazy. barrage of internal, external, just, you name it, they had so many crazy stuff. You know, so many crazy things happened to people that we knew very closely.

[00:05:46] I mean, there were good friends that were impacted by a lot of these crazy things that the church went through. And we went through a lot. We lost a son while we were living there, and we got to see a church rally around a [00:06:00] family, uh, who’s lost a child in a way that was, that was life changing for us. Uh, and profound, um, you know, anyway, I, I could go into so many, so many different stories, but that, but our time there was so rich, informative, transformative, and we, um, and so we were full and it wasn’t, you know, there was not a shred of like, we gotta get outta here at all.

[00:06:24] It was really, I, I got to a point in my career where I had sort of, you know, I’d, I had started at this company in customer service while I was finishing my. College and I got, and then I got into sales and, and then I got, and then I got this opportunity to, to, to be the first ever product manager at the software company.

[00:06:47] They never had anybody in that title. I didn’t know what that meant. I just read some books and a mentor said, Hey, you should try this. Like, we should pitch this to their boss. And they’re like, sure, we’ll make you a product manager. And I took over this [00:07:00] product and was able to grow it like a lot, you know, in the course of a year and a half or so.

[00:07:04] And it was like, oh, I, I love this. I think I’m good at this. And, uh, and then, um, and, and I kind of got to a point to where I felt like I, there wasn’t, there wasn’t much of an opportunity for me to go any further at that particular company. Um, I didn’t feel like I was making as big an impact as I I could be.

[00:07:24] And so I was just hungry and my wife and I just kind of always said like, . If you get to, if we, whenever we get to a place to where we’re not being stretched, we’re not growing, we’re not, um, learning, um, it’s time to move on. You know, like we don’t, I, like, I as a young dad at that point with, with a bunch of kids, I, there was no room for me to like coast and just ride it out.

[00:07:47] Like there was no room for me to go, dude, I’m making more money than most of my friends. Um, I got a secure gig that’s easy. Um, I should just chill. You know? Um, that was the [00:08:00] temptation. Um, and that was the opportunity. But for me it was like that’s, that’s not, um, being a good steward of the talents that God’s given me.

[00:08:10] And I need to, I need to keep pushing and growing and, and, and frankly, My life’s only getting more expensive. You know, my ki I’m only having, we continue to have kids and they continue to get bigger. Uh, they’re all headed to college someday, probably. And so we gotta, we gotta be prepared for all this stuff.

[00:08:27] Um, and we, and I gotta, my stock has gotta go up. Like, I can’t stop here. So, um, so yeah, I told my wife, Hey, I think I’m, I think I’m, I think it’s time for me to quit. And we had had this conversation a bunch of times, but I was like, I think it’s time. We talked about it. We prayed about it. We agreed. Yep. I think that’s right.

[00:08:47] And I, I remember the morning she, we drove our kids together to school and then she dropped me off at work and we prayed in the car, you know, . We prayed about it one, one more time, and then [00:09:00] when I was getting out, she’s like, but you’re not quitting today, right? I was like, no, no, no, no. I’m not quitting today.

[00:09:04] Like, that’ll, that’ll happen and that’ll probably happen in a, in a few weeks or a month or so. And then I walked in and it just happened to be that my boss walked up to me that morning and said, Hey, could we talk? I was like, sure. And he pulled me into his office and said, how are things going? I was like, you know, uh, I don’t know.

[00:09:19] And he is like, what do you mean? And I was like, uh, I don’t know. I don’t, I don’t really, th I, it was just like I had just made the decision, you know? And I was like, in that head space. He’s like, wait, are you, are you saying you’re not, are you, you saying you’re not happy here? And I’m like, yeah, I think I’m, I don’t think I am.

[00:09:36] He’s like, are you quitting? And I was like, yeah, I’m quitting . He was like, wait. So anyway, it was, it was like, uh, but anyway, it was just cool that I had a wife who was like, let’s do it. You know? We’re not getting any. We’re not getting any younger. Like, if we’re gonna take risk, we gotta take ’em now. So let’s go.

[00:09:57] So quit tried to start a few businesses [00:10:00] failed, um, you know, found my way into some, some just sort of corporate hustling, uh, you know, contract work and, and consulting. Anyway, decided that that was the direction I was gonna go with my career. Doing kind of consulting for startups and helping people start businesses.

[00:10:17] And that’s sort of what led us to what we thought we were go heading out to the triangle, um, to jump into that community, into that, that startup scene. And God sort of, uh, intercepted us here in Huntsville. We stopped here for what we thought was gonna be like maybe a month, um, kind of as a pit stop with, with some.

[00:10:39] And, uh, got roped into this church and then a job and, and so yeah, the rest is kinda history. We’ve been here, so we’ve been here for, uh, eight years. Planted a church two years ago. Uh, that’s, that’s, that’s taken off. Uh, we’re, we’re at like 315 members now and, and probably, um, yeah, [00:11:00] more than that on Sunday mornings, but that’s the membership.

[00:11:02] Um, and um,

[00:11:05] and

[00:11:05] yeah, I run a, I

[00:11:06] to

[00:11:06] worship with y’all. Uh, it’s nice to have a have a C R E C church in my hometown. Um,

[00:11:14] you know, my

[00:11:14] parents are still there, so it’s fun

[00:11:16] Was I in town that morning or was I out town? I’m

[00:11:19] yeah. You were, you’re up, up front. And uh,

[00:11:22] Nice. Yes, I do

[00:11:24] week that your, you’re associate pastor started, but ha wasn’t I think he just had just moved down there. You guys had a fellowship meal, you guys, Mel Fellowship meal every Sunday.

[00:11:35] We had a fellowship meal every Sunday for our first couple of year, like our first year and a half. And then, uh, size and just logistics made it to where we needed to, to bump it down to once a month. So we do once a month, but we have, our church is divided into five, maybe it’s six, I think it’s five parishes.

[00:11:54] And those parishes are all, um, organizing their own kind of fellowship [00:12:00] events, you know, throughout the month. And so, so yeah, there’s one big church thing every month, and then there’s, and then, you know, we, it’s a pretty active church, so there’s lots of stuff going on, lots of opportunities to, to uh, to be in community with people.

[00:12:14] And you guys people driving down from Chattanooga. Uh, know, um,

[00:12:21] Yeah, we got a couple families in Chattanooga. One is interested in planting a church out there. And, and that’s been kind of the goal, you know, long term for them. And, and we’re thrilled to, you know, this is part of our story is like, um, it’s really hard to lead without a vision, right? Without a vision that people perish.

[00:12:41] You know, this, you this all day, every day. Um, so many church planters, and I’ve talked to him like I’ve, I, like, this is part of our direct story. I was gonna try to get involved with a guy who was gonna plant a church in Huntsville. And when I asked him like, Hey, gimme your vision, like, what, what are we doing?

[00:12:59] You know, [00:13:00] it was like, you know, I know what it isn’t, but I don’t know what it is. And I’m like, okay, like, what do you mean? He’s like, what I can tell you about all the things I don’t want it to be.

[00:13:10] Mm-hmm.

[00:13:10] I’m like, okay. I was like, well, that’s a terrible vision. . Like, that’s awful. Like nobody, like how do you lead people when it’s like, okay, everybody, we’re not going.

[00:13:21] all these different places, like we’re going somewhere, but we, I don’t know where it’s like, that’s not leadership, you know? So for us, you, we didn’t realize this when we were in Moscow, but, but that was God preparing us, giving us a vision for what a healthy, vibrant church community looks like, you know?

[00:13:41] And so when, when that opportunity happened, and by the way, I mean, we, we, after like six years in Huntsville, we decided we’ve, we’ve plowed hard here. . Um, and we have not found community. We haven’t found a solid church. We’ve [00:14:00] tried, I mean, we were members of two different churches and we threw ourselves into it, you know, threw everything we had into it and, and really just were really discouraged that we could not, and I, I was organ, I was doing these beer and hymns events every month for years.

[00:14:14] I, I brought in speakers and organized events. Like I was actively trying to get, like find our people

[00:14:21] weren’t, you weren’t that family that came in. Five minutes late to Sunday service and like race to the car when the last him and then, and then six months later is like, how come nobody’s hand us over for dinner once and we, you not ever come to a prayer meeting like, you’re supposed

[00:14:40] No,

[00:14:40] supposed to chase me down in, May, make me join your stuff.

[00:14:45] That’s how I get the best out of this church. You know, like

[00:14:49] That’s right.

[00:14:50] So, I mean, we were, we were plowing and it just wasn’t happening. And so we, Bethany and I were like, look, we just realized, you know, our older boys grew up in this lovely [00:15:00] community and, and share our vision of what being a Christian means, you know, um, they have the same trajectory we think that we do.

[00:15:09] Like we’re heading in the same direction, but we have this younger crop of kids that we feel like are growing up in this church environment that isn’t, is not at all the direction that we’re trying to launch our kids. And so we just said, look, this isn’t like a nice to have, this is a, this is a necessary piece of infrastructure for the Hicks family, and we’ve done our d.

[00:15:34] Here to try to make that happen. It hasn’t happened. And so we just, Bethany and I committed to each other. We’re gonna give it six months. We have no business planting a church. I don’t know what planting a church means or how that’s supposed to happen. Haven’t taken a class or anything. I, we just said the only thing we haven’t tried is to plant a church.

[00:15:52] Let’s, let’s give that a, a, a, a legitimate college try for six months. [00:16:00] And if God doesn’t bless it, uh, if we, if we get six months from now, we put the day on the calendar, on that day, we’re gonna have a conversation. And if it’s clear that the Lord’s not blessing, this doors aren’t opening, then we’re not gonna be delusional about it.

[00:16:14] We’re going to take that as God saying no. Uh, and obviously we’re gonna be praying that he does bless it, but we’re gonna hear his no if he gives us a no and we’re gonna leave, you know? And it was, we are gonna go North Carolina, we’re gonna go to Texas where my family is cuz they’ve got a great church, or we are gonna go back to Moscow.

[00:16:31] I mean, it was one of those options. And um, and of course, uh,

[00:16:36] was that date that wa what was the date that you planted? Officially and then the six month R you know, rough, rough plus or minus month and I’m, thinking end of 2020, right? Like,

[00:16:49] Well actually it summer. It was like summer of 2019 when we, when we kind of made this like, okay, we’re doing this. And so I spent, we spent six months, [00:17:00] um, meeting with, you know, God just kept bringing guys like, I mean, and this is the thing, it’s like I love hearing people talk about church planning cuz I, because because it’s mostly just hilarious.

[00:17:12] Because it’s like, it’s, it’s just funny to even pretend like there’s a, there’s like a, a process. I mean, there are, obviously you can tell your story and, and glean wisdom and glean some ideas, but, but generally it’s like, Your church plan. Like if you’re just trying to do like the megachurch thing, then yes, there is a roadmap for that.

[00:17:32] Like there’s totally a

[00:17:33] business plan, not a church plan.

[00:17:36] Right, right. So yes,

[00:17:38] marketing, let’s see how many people we can get in. We can convert this many, you

[00:17:43] know, blah, blah,

[00:17:43] blah.

[00:17:44] all that Right. But if, if, if you’re trying to plant a faithful, uh, God-fearing church, um, God’s gonna have to bless it. You know? Like God’s gonna have to pull it together and, uh, and if he doesn’t, it’s not happening.

[00:17:58] And so for us, [00:18:00] it’s like, I can just look at the whole story and go, I di like, I didn’t know this guy was gonna turn up and I didn’t know this guy was gonna turn up and I didn’t know that this guy was gonna have these gifts. Uh, but they all showed up, you know, at the time when we were praying for God to, to open doors and bless this thing.

[00:18:15] And so, yeah, we s we met me and a group of guys for several months. Um, it was, um, , I think it was, let me think about this. Um, we hadn’t committed to the c c um, we were still, I mean, this is how I was pretty wide open. Like, maybe we’re gonna get, we’re, you know, we’re gonna do this in a different way. I don’t know.

[00:18:37] Um, and so we had some worship services that nobody came to, but we had a bunch of parties and events that tons of people came to. And it was like, okay, this is weird. Like, there’s people who wanna be on our list, but nobody’s coming to worship. We were doing on Sunday night, um, that was end of 2019. And then 2020, early 2020, I think in February, I got a call from [00:19:00] Rich Lusk and he was like, Hey man, I’ve heard rumors that you’re like doing something down there and I’m curious, are you gonna do it in the CREC?

[00:19:07] And, and uh, I was like, ah, we’ve been thinking about it. I don’t know. And he said, well, if you guys wanna go CREC like we’d love to sponsor you. And I was like, oh, cool. So we did that. So it was like February of 2020 when we were like officially, um, that was like kind of the start date. Like this is actually a thing now. We have like a steering committee, we have a church that’s sponsoring us.

[00:19:29] And then it was kind of, um, well, what’s next? You know, like, how’s this gonna happen? . Um, and by then we did feel like this is clear that God’s bringing people together and making things happen. We just dunno how it’s all gonna play out. And then Covid happened and

[00:19:45] how many families were you at February? Mark? The, the, what was the

[00:19:50] so February we had, we had a steering committee comprised of Jason Cherry, who’s one of our elders, and he preaches, um, [00:20:00] I think Matt Carpenter was a, was a, um, who’s now our, a full-time pastor at our church. Matt had been a pastor in the CREC in Idaho and had just moved back to Alabama. Matt, uh, was on our steering committee and he was like, I’m not gonna be a part of this church.

[00:20:19] I’m just here to advise. Um, . And then, uh, David Francis, who’s one of our ruling elders now, had come out of, he’d been a Baptist, he’d been a deacon in a, in the baptist church in a Reform Baptist church. And then, then was kind of a leader, a community, you know, small group leader at an Act 29 church. So there was three of us plus us.

[00:20:40] So there’s four that were part of

[00:20:42] the

[00:20:43] men and that, that doing the rough math, that’s like 43 children

[00:20:47] probably

[00:20:48] Yeah, something like Yeah. No, not that many. But, but, uh, but a, a good number of children, um, for sure. So there’s four of us. And frankly, I, I can’t even say [00:21:00] that I, both Jason and Matt live kind of the next town over, so they were like, look, I, at that time thought we were planting in South Huntsville, and they were like, we’re probably not gonna be a part of a South Huntsville church.

[00:21:11] Like, we want to help you. And because I was trying to do something in our neighborhood, right. And uh, and it just was clear to me at that point, like, God’s like, . Um, I th I, well, I’m, I’m jumping ahead, but, but, but ultimately it became clear that my idea that it was South Huntsville was not God’s idea. That it seemed like God was bringing us people.

[00:21:34] We were praying for God to bring us leaders. He brought us leaders. They don’t live in South Huntsville, so this church is in the wrong spot. So we, we decided to, to set it up in a more central spot, um, which probably frankly was, was probably also, you know, a good thing, um, the church in those early years.

[00:21:54] Um, so yeah, so it was, so Covid happens. We’re still members at our PCA [00:22:00] church and they’d stopped meeting and for Covid, so we’re like doing the video church thing on Sundays. And one of our neighbors who is on our mailing list for our, our, um, our, uh,

[00:22:12] beer

[00:22:13] a church plant thing, right? And was also, yeah, this guy, like I used to do, I call it prayer and pancakes.

[00:22:18] I do like book studies on my back porch. And he, he’s a neighbor who’d come to my book studies. So they’re walking by our hou, or actually my wife and his wife are going for a walk on a Thursday morning and she goes, what are you guys doing for church? Everyone, no one’s meeting. And she goes, yeah, we’re, we’re tuning in online.

[00:22:34] What about you guys? Like, yeah, we’re tuning in online too. And they’re like, we’re just tired of this. Do you guys wanna like, could we worship together on Sunday morning? You know? And, and Bethany was like, actually, yeah. I mean she’s like, cuz aren’t you guys planting a church? She’s like, yeah, we are. Uh, yeah, let’s do that.

[00:22:50] Uh, why don’t you guys come over and we’ll just, we’ll call it the church. Pla I mean, it’s, I mean, I think, yeah, let’s just, let’s make it a worship service. And so I called the guys, I’m like, Hey, get the band [00:23:00] together, like we’re doing this, you know? Um, that family was at my house, backyard. You know, I’m looking at my window where, where we set up, um, our house backyard Sunday morning.

[00:23:12] We’re gonna do a worship service, get your, you know, get your sermon prepared. And, uh, and that one family just through spreading the news, and we en we just sent out the email saying to the list going, Hey, if you guys wanna come worship, we’re gonna be worshiping. And we had nine families show up the first Sunday in our backyard.

[00:23:30] and what, what date was that? That was February,

[00:23:33] That was, I think that was April. I know it was April of 20, of 2020, I think. . And so we proceeded to meet every week. Every week it got bigger, uh, within six weeks we were like 16 families or 15 families or something. And we were like, man, I think this thing’s happening. And so anyway, so that’s kind of how, that’s kind of how that thing, we call it covid church.

[00:23:56] We actually, like, I, I don’t know if you know the symbol of a ball and [00:24:00] cross. Um, it’s on a lot of steeples. So you’ll see it’s like golden. It’s a ball and then it’s got a cross coming off of it, and it’s supposed to represent Christ’s lordship over the world, over the planet. Right. The ball and cross. So we had the family that, that, that had said, Hey, let’s do this thing.

[00:24:15] He’s actually a designer. So I said, Hey, could you create a ball and cross? But the ball is a Covid virus. And so he is like, yes. And so we made this Covid

[00:24:24] I will do that for you for

[00:24:26] free.

[00:24:26] Yes, yes.

[00:24:27] So that became our, we called it Covid Church for those couple of months that we met, or weeks, really, it was like six or seven weeks that we met.

[00:24:36] But that was on the, our programs was the Covid ball and cross.

[00:24:39] Heck Heck

[00:24:39] So

[00:24:40] anyway, so yeah, that’s the, that’s the story of the church. I apologize every time I try to like give the summary, I dive into the details so

[00:24:49] No, that’s fine. The two things that kind of from the beginning, you know, you talked about being there 14 years and talked about a couple things, and I would love to

[00:24:58] yeah,

[00:24:58] hear, [00:25:00] um, how you found your, found your wife a little bit about story. I think I’m seeing, uh, a lot of need for dating and relationship advice in the these days.

[00:25:16] So just, it doesn’t, know, two to three minutes about how you went through that, um, how the authority worked with, you know, you know, the, her, her dad family, is, what are the dynamics there?

[00:25:31] Yeah, happy to. Yeah. And, and I’ve got my bro, my little brother, I, I call, he’s little cuz just by age. He’s a, he’s a, he’s a beast. He’s a marine. So he’s, he could kick my butt. Um, but he, uh, he and I

[00:25:45] my

[00:25:45] tongue about Marines,

[00:25:47] just, but

[00:25:48] I have to announce I’m holding my tongue

[00:25:50] Yeah, yeah. Roger

[00:25:51] that.

[00:25:53] Uh, we, he, uh, drew, um, drew and I recorded like a two hour podcast on my, on [00:26:00] my own just kind of personal channel, uh, about ba dating and courtship.

[00:26:03] Cuz cuz we both have pretty, very different stories, very different experiences. Um, but obviously we, we agree a hundred percent on, on the biblical principles, so just talking about that. But, but yeah. So for,

[00:26:17] in the show notes. We’ll get, I’ll

[00:26:19] yeah. Okay.

[00:26:19] get that

[00:26:20] from you. So the guy, they, they can dive into that if,

[00:26:23] Sure, yeah, for sure. And that’s, and like this is stuff that, you know, I, I’m not trying to plug everything, but, but I’ll just mention Rich and I have a podcast together called God A Minute, and we’re, we’re talking about just theology and philosophy and all kinds of fun stuff, but we always tend to come back to gender stuff.

[00:26:41] And, and it’s actually our last episode is on Genesis three and how everything is in gen is in is in Genesis three. And, and I’ve become more and more convicted and, and come to the realization that these sin, the first sins, , you know, like the [00:27:00] fall is fail, is a failure of gender roles. It like, Eve is the first feminist, Adam is the first passive man.

[00:27:09] And, and, and we, when we fell, we fell in very gender specific ways. Like it wasn’t just sin, you know, it was, it was.

[00:27:19] The hierarchy failed up the.

[00:27:22] Yeah,

[00:27:23] absolutely.

[00:27:24] but, but each within their own realm

[00:27:27] that’s right. That’s right. That’s right. Um, so anyway, I digress. But that’s stuff that I just say to say d you know, me and Rich love talking about this stuff we talk about all the time. And we’ve talked a bit about courtship and stuff too. Um, so my wife, it’s kind of funny. We, we were, I was at public school.

[00:27:45] She was at public school. Um, I’m one of five. I was the only of the five kids who wasn’t like a, a problem , like my, most of my siblings were, were getting into lots of trouble. Uh, they’ve all [00:28:00] turned out tremendously success. Very successful. Between the five of us, we have 30 kids, so like, it’s. Yeah, it’s glorious.

[00:28:10] God’s, God’s redeemed all of our foolishness in all of our early years. But, um, but yeah, so I happened to be this kid. I was at a Christian school that I thought was full of people who didn’t, who weren’t Christians. And I told my parents like, I don’t think it’s good for me to be here. I’d be better for me to be in public school, um, than it would be for me to be here.

[00:28:30] All these kids are doing drugs and partying and, and like, I might as well just be at public school and I can, I can be at least be salt and light. And I was like, I was ready for that. I wanted that. And so I went to. , I was probably 16,

[00:28:45] Okay.

[00:28:45] so I showed up to this public school with long hair and I wore a huge cross on my, you know, on my neck.

[00:28:53] And I went around and was friends with everybody in the school and became the, the president of the, of the Christian club on [00:29:00] campus. And, and so was like, that was my thing, you know, I mean, among other things, that was one of my things. And so, um, we would have these bible studies at my house when I was a kid that my mom would teach, uh, these years in high school where like 60 kids would show up and, and my mom would just teach like line by line.

[00:29:17] She’d teach through a book of the Bible, you know, and these 60 teenagers would just sit there and listen. Um, and I’d play guitar, you know, and sing worship songs. So, um, so Bethany was, I mean, just the far and away, the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. Uh, and, um, I see her in my class. She had, uh, Anyway.

[00:29:40] She is, she’s in one of my classes. And day one, I was like, that girl, that’s the one. And just, just hard, hard, full court press from day one. Um,

[00:29:51] What age was

[00:29:53] uh, sh I was, okay, so I was, I was 16. She had not yet [00:30:00] turned 15, so she was 14. Okay. So she’s 14, almost 15. She’s in a, she’s in a junior level class. She’s a sophomore.

[00:30:09] Uh, because she skipped a grade. Uh, cuz she’s smart and she wanted to, anyway, that’s so, so I’m

[00:30:16] I was just asking that because I saw my wife when I was 17. She was 16, and I was like, that’s the one.

[00:30:27] And I went like, that was it

[00:30:30] for a

[00:30:31] Yeah. Same. Same exact deal.

[00:30:33] get married. So,

[00:30:35] And so she was raised Catholic and so I’m a Baptist at this point and I’m like, I’m not gonna date her if she’s not a Christian. Right,

[00:30:43] This gets very interesting.

[00:30:45] Yeah. So I’m like, I’m not gonna date her if she’s a cri, if she’s not a Christian. So it’s hilarious cuz my wife saved all of our notes.

[00:30:51] You know, you’d write notes to each other in class. Right. And pass ’em to each other in the halls. She saved all of ’em and going back through ’em and reading ’em. It’s hilarious cuz like every single letter leading [00:31:00] up until the time we actually started dating. I’m asking in one form or another, I know you say you pray, but have you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior?

[00:31:10] you’re a great Baptist at this point.

[00:31:13] Proof on paper.

[00:31:15] Yes, exactly. So I’m doing the like, conversion thing, you know, and um, she’s like, I don’t know what you mean. Like I, I don’t know. I go to church, uh, when my parents take us. So, um, so we have like a e That’s right, that’s right. So we have like an evangelical once a month thing at our Christian club where we present the gospel and we hand out cards and people can check the box if they prayed the prayer.

[00:31:42] And, and one week she started coming to them because I was pursuing her really hard and she was following me around and hanging out with me a lot. And she came 1, 1 1 Friday. And, uh, afterwards I look at the cards and she had checked the box and I was like, she’s saved. Let’s go. [00:32:00] You know, it’s on, you know,

[00:32:01] Praise the Lord.

[00:32:02] and, yeah, that’s right.

[00:32:04] So some, you know, shortly after that we started dating. That was in 1999. So we started dating in, in October or November of 1999. And, uh, and then I went to a church camp where, uh, they were teaching about, you know, this Josh Harris book about kissing, dating, goodbye.

[00:32:22] Mm-hmm.

[00:32:23] And I was like a leader at my church.

[00:32:25] You know, I was, I, I, uh, I went off at, uh, I, I can’t remember when this is exactly in the whole, well, I think I’m still at school. Um, so I was like, man, I, I’ve got a responsibility to this group, you know, to like, be an example and we’re learning this, and I think it, it looks like it’s legit and true. And so, so I went to Bethany and was like, Hey, I’m sorry, but you know, I don’t think we should be boyfriend and girlfriend anymore.

[00:32:50] You know? And she’s like, what’s that mean? I’m like, well, I don’t know, but I, I just know that I can’t, like you can’t be my girlfriend. So,

[00:32:58] term cuz it [00:33:00] immediately leads to outta wedlock birth

[00:33:02] that’s right. That’s.

[00:33:03] you know,

[00:33:04] That’s right. Yes. And she, and listen, I mean, yeah, God’s so gracious. I mean, Bethany, Bethany was, was u very unprotected. Her, her parents were divorced. She lived with her mom. Her dad was outta town. And so, you know, there was plenty of opportunity for us to get into trouble. We, we, by God’s grace, you know, were able to, to make it to marriage, uh, intact.

[00:33:27] But, but it, it, it was god’s, it was God’s grace. But she, um, but somewhere in there, like maybe it, it, it was probably six months into this hole. You’re not my girlfriend, but I’m gonna pound any dude that even looks at you the wrong way. Like, like we are in this weird mode where she had like abandoned all of her friends her whole life and had become a part of our church and our family basically.

[00:33:51] But we were trying to like not be boyfriend and girlfriend. And so somewhere in there I was, I was working at Popeye’s Chicken and I’m like washing [00:34:00] scrubbing dishes and I’m like, I hate this. I just hate this. Like, that girl is my girl. Like, sh I’m gonna marry her. And so

[00:34:08] hate the dishes at Popeye’s. You hate the, the re relational, uh, Ambi

[00:34:13] the relational thing, it was just bearing down on me. So I called her on after that shift, I was like, look, Bethany, I don’t know what to call it, but I can, I’m gonna tell you this, I am gonna marry you someday, so whatever you want to call that, that’s what it is. Okay. And, and she’s like, yeah. She’s like, okay.

[00:34:32] So, uh, I went off

[00:34:34] what age? This is

[00:34:36] senior

[00:34:36] So this is still, I’m probably, I’m probably 17 at this point or something, you know, I mean, it was so, so I’m still pretty young, but I’m, I know that she’s the girl and, um, and she’s, by then I knew her character. I knew that she was a great woman. Um, and, um, and that we were a good fit, you know, for each other.

[00:34:57] So I was, I was locked and loaded. [00:35:00] Um, did Youth with a Mission, you know, so that took me away from El Paso for, for a season. And then I ended up, it’s a long story. This is a long story too, but I ended up in Idaho. Uh, my pastor at my Little Baptist church basically bought me a ticket and said, let’s go check out the school in Idaho.

[00:35:17] And so I’m like, Hey, I’m up for an adventure and ended up in Idaho and, you know, uh, Bethany’s like, this is probably the end of our relationship. You know, you’re gonna be all the way on the other side of the planet. And she was hoping to go to school in Florida, so even worse. Um, but I basically spent that whole freshman year calling her dad, who I, who I’d only met a couple of times.

[00:35:40] Uh, but he’s a good man, great man. Um, he’s an army guy, um, former army guy. He lives here in Huntsville. So, um, we’d only met a handful of times, but I spent that whole year calling him probably once a week and just, Just, just getting to know him and, and explaining to him what my intentions [00:36:00] were with his daughter and trying to get his blessing to let me marry her.

[00:36:04] And, and he had no framework for any of this. He was just like, you know, a as, as he saw that this wasn’t gonna stop, that Larson’s gonna keep persisting on this. It got to where he was like, okay, well what if, what if she just transfers up to college up there and you guys, she can live up there and, and you know, if you guys end up, you know, like, whatever, you know, maybe you don’t have to get married.

[00:36:27] I’m like, no, that’s not a good idea. I don’t want to do that. Um, I don’t think she, she wants to do that either. And so we just, you know, we had this conversation and eventually very tentatively he was like, all right, you’ve got my permission. You can propose to her this summer and get and marry her next summer.

[00:36:47] I was like, all right, I can do that. You know, so, and especially if like, she’s in Texas and I’m in Idaho, I can probably handle a long distance thing.

[00:36:55] Mm-hmm.

[00:36:55] So that’s what happened. So I proposed to her the, the year af the summer after my freshman year. [00:37:00] And we got married the summer after my sophomore year. Um, and I, you know,

[00:37:04] want her to move up there as a student where you guys weren’t married? Like if she moves here, we’re gonna be married

[00:37:11] Yeah. Yeah. We knew, we both knew that, that, yeah, we knew that that was not a good idea, uh, that, that, that without supervision and, you know, we were just like, we were ready to be married and, and it was gonna be impossible for us to, to go a year without, without, uh, without breaking down, you know, uh, sexually.

[00:37:31] So, so that was like, um, so that was the right thing and it was great. She got to prepare for her, give her dad, her family a chance to really prepare themselves forward. And, and I promised her dad, I’d get her through college. That was really the biggest thing. He was like, just, I want her to finish college and get her degree.

[00:37:46] And so she had, uh, our first son the summer after her junior year, uh, and then had our second son the summer after senior year. Um, so she kept, she kept going and

[00:37:57] at, and she was at NSA as well up there, or

[00:37:59] No, she [00:38:00] went to, she went to Washington State actually, so she was a fashion design major and uh, they had a good program at Washington State.

[00:38:07] So we, we, uh, we lived over there to get residency. So we get in state tuition,

[00:38:12] Nice.

[00:38:13] delivered papers in the morning, you know, every morning, seven days a week, 4:00 AM delivered papers. Uh, and then I drove out to a little factory out in Troy, Idaho and made these, uh, silicone heating blankets. And then, uh, and, uh, she went to school and, uh, and then I drove to the hospital in Moscow and worked an evening shift and, uh, at the admitting desk.

[00:38:36] And, uh, and we made it work, man, rugby

[00:38:40] were in school during that,

[00:38:42] I took some time off of school. Yeah. I took some time off, off of school to get her through. It was, we didn’t have any money. I, I was my dad, and actually I’m probably gonna do this with my sons when I. started college. My dad just said here, he’s like, and, and I’m the fourth son, so, or fourth kid.

[00:38:58] So by this time he had kind of been through [00:39:00] this with other kids and seen different things work and not work. And he was like, here’s a check. Like this is all of the money I’m giving you for college. This is all the money I have for you. And it was a, I think it was like $20,000, which was a ton of money at that time.

[00:39:14] And he was like, I don’t know how long that’ll last you, but you

[00:39:19] all you get?

[00:39:20] that’s all you’re getting. So he was like, I’d prefer you not work your freshman year. And I was like, fair enough. So I, I didn’t work most of my freshman year, I think somewhere in there I was like, dad, I need to work. This isn’t gonna last me long enough.

[00:39:30] So, so I, uh, so yeah, I ran, I mean we, we, I burned through that money before I think I even got married. So when we got married, I, we were, I was working at a, at a, at the Ale house in Moscow. Uh, in the, in as a cook. Uh, and, uh, so there was, there was not like a ton of money coming in or anything. So I, I just need to hustle so I could get my wife through college and pay the bills, um, and support this growing family.

[00:39:58] Cause we, we had [00:40:00] kids immediately.

[00:40:01] you’re, you’re getting a return on investment. I mean, the, the, the family’s growing, you

[00:40:06] Oh yeah,

[00:40:06] it’s, uh, for sure.

[00:40:09] So, yeah. So, um, so that’s

[00:40:12] went back to school.

[00:40:13] Yeah. And then I, and then I went back and, uh, kind of piecemeal, you know, uh, this is a common thing at New St. Andrews, but people get behind on languages cuz languages, it’s like everything else. You can sort of, you can sort of grope your way through without, um, something about languages.

[00:40:33] You just, there’s just no shortcut to the languages. Like, you can, I can write a paper and, and get a D on it or a, or a C on it. Uh, uh. , and that’s good enough. But with the languages, it’s like, if you don’t just do the work and just drill and put in the hours, like it’s, it’s pretty hard. Um, so, so I was one of these guys who, um, who just had gotten behind on languages.

[00:40:57] And so I had a, a couple of years where [00:41:00] I was just doing Greek and, and Latin. Um, so yeah, so did a, did that while I was working. Yeah.

[00:41:07] Mm-hmm.

[00:41:09] So lots of late nights where my wife was like, I want to go to sleep, but I, I want you to get your work done more. Cause I want you to be done with school and so I’m gonna brew a pot of coffee and I’m gonna sit here, you know, next to you while you get your work done.

[00:41:23] You know? Um, so yeah, lots of that kind of stuff. Uh, but it was good, good years, man. Sweet memories.

[00:41:30] The next thing that you said is, you know, quitting secure job,

[00:41:36] um, recog doing an honest assessment that you weren’t pushing yourself anymore. I think that that’s super pertinent in America today. Our pastors doing Sunday school about, you know, uh, church culture and saying the American dream is swallowed up the church is kind

[00:41:55] of what he’s saying. And, and that is just, I [00:42:00] can’t stand it, man. Like, and that’s a lot of the interactions I have around the podcast and stuff. It’s like, dude, quit working for somebody else that is not aligned with your, like, you’re building and creating value for something that’s hostile to our way of life and the comfort.

[00:42:23] Level is they’re scared of, of reducing personal overhead. And, and also I think for guys, and I talked with Dr. Merkel on this, on this podcast, said, guys just don’t realize that they can do more work. You know, they think

[00:42:39] that they’re working so hard because they’re working 37 hours a week, you know, and, and you’re not doing an honest assessment of what you can put out as far as output.

[00:42:52] And, and then as well, you’re not seeing God work. So, I mean, with that little bit of, uh, of layup, talk through some of [00:43:00] those dynamics that how you saw God work, you, you’ve, you had failure. Uh, it wasn’t just waltz right into things and then where, kind of professionally, how you’re, cuz you’re not a, a paid pastoral staff guy,

[00:43:15] uh, and you’re doing, you’re working too.

[00:43:18] Like these, these other, we

[00:43:19] haven’t really even talked about vocation. Much.

[00:43:23] Yeah. So today, so just to, just to start at the end, and then we can start back at the beginning, but today I’m, I’m the CEO of a, of a physician staffing company and we’re not huge. We’ve got like 15, I’ve got like 15 employees and, uh, we’ve got a couple hundred doctors working all over the country.

[00:43:38] Um, but that’s what I do, uh, for a living today. Um, um, but sort of going back to that time, um, I was, uh, you know, the thing that, um, I landed my job at EMSI because at that time I had three other jobs. Um, I [00:44:00] was, um, I think I mentioned, I think, I think the three that I mentioned to you were the three jobs I had immediately before I got the job at the software company.

[00:44:08] Um, but the reason I got the job was Gabe Rench sent out a church email saying he was working at EMSI, but he also had a side business doing construction. And he sent out a church email

[00:44:18] Gabe doesn’t have side businesses.

[00:44:20] Yeah, right. I know, right? That’s all. Gabe is. Gabe Gabe’s side hustle wrench. Um, so Gabe, uh, sends a church email out saying, Hey, I’m, I’ve got this demo project this weekend and I don’t have any help if somebody’s available.

[00:44:36] And I was available, it was a Saturday and I’m broke as a joke and always looking to make a little extra money. And I think that Saturday my wife had something going on, so it was like, why not? Um, so I showed up at Gabe’s at this job site where we were just taking sledgehammers to concrete and loading wheelbarrows, you know, and just, just, [00:45:00] just l manual labor, you know.

[00:45:02] And uh, as we’re talking over the day, he’s like, what do you do? Like, what do you do for work? And I’m like, well, I do this paper out. And I also work at this factory. I also work at the hospital. Um, And I’ve started this men’s, this Christian men’s rugby team, uh, and he’s like, dang, dude, you’re doing a lot of stuff.

[00:45:18] And I’m like, yeah, you know, I mean, whatever. And so he went back to work on Monday and was like, Hey, you guys should hire this guy. Um, and so I got a call from Andrew, crappy Shez. He was like, Hey, you wanna come work at EMSI? And I’m like, I don’t know, man. It’s like, well, I, I’ll pay you as much as all of those other jobs, uh, and you can quit them all.

[00:45:37] And I’m like, that sounds pretty awesome. Uh, and he is like, and, and I’m cool with you continuing your, your, you know, finishing your degree. And I’m like, all right, that sounds like a plan. Let’s do it. So it was like,

[00:45:47] that, is Andrew who you ran into when you walked into, like, was that the or or is it that some somebody else when you quit?

[00:45:56] uh, when was that?

[00:45:58] when you said, when you like walked in and were like, [00:46:00] I’m not gonna,

[00:46:01] I’m not

[00:46:01] Oh, no, no, no,

[00:46:02] It was, it

[00:46:03] no. That was at that. Yeah, that was a different, I was re so I, I reported to an at my last. Job at EMSI, I was reporting directly to Andrew. And then, and then EMSI was bought by a career builder and career builder told Andrew he had too many direct reports. And so he was like, you need to like trim this down.

[00:46:23] And so I ended up reporting to another guy and um, and so that was kind of the, that was a few months before I ended up quitting. Um, cuz I just didn’t, anyway, I wasn’t pumped about things. Um, but uh, but yeah, so that, so I ended up working there for eight years, seven and a half, eight years and had a blast.

[00:46:45] That was a great job. Um, Yeah, I mentioned it already. You know, I, I will tip the hat to Rod Alt, if you haven’t had him on the show, you should. He was a naval aviator, lier. Um, he’s got, he’s [00:47:00] successfully launched some amazing children. Rusty, uh, is a, is a entrepreneur, wonderful father and a elder at a church.

[00:47:08] And he’s just got, he’s done a great job. Uh, and Rod became a mentor for me and his, his his, one of his central things that he teaches on, teaches men is this idea of the seasons of a man’s life. And, and the quick sketches, like as you get older, as a man, your responsibility levels are growing, right?

[00:47:32] You’re getting more and more responsible in your job, in your church, in your family. You’ve got more, you’ve got a mortgage, you’ve got all kinds of stuff, right? So it’s responsibility is doing this. At the same time as you were getting older as a man, your energy levels are doing this. Like, so you are, you are, you’re, you’re getting, you’re getting older, your testosterone’s dropping, like you, you like, like things are happening physiologically that, that are making you have less [00:48:00] energy.

[00:48:00] Right? And at some point, those two lines cross and he said as a, as an aviator, they call that being behind the power curve. And that’s when you crash your F 14 into the back of a, of a aircraft carrier. You know, that’s, you don’t want to be there. Um, and so he sort of takes that, that framework of energy and responsibility and kind of plots out these different points in a man’s life.

[00:48:24] And, and basically

[00:48:26] you have to have 10,000 slaves by the time you’re 80, so you can keep up with responsibility,

[00:48:33] That’s right. Well, his, the way that, like, that point where those two lines cross is basically when most men go through a midlife crisis, that’s the point where most men, that’s the point

[00:48:44] up with what I used to be able to just gr gr through, grit through and get it done.

[00:48:49] Yeah. And, and his, and his point is that up until that point, you need to invest those years leading up to that point. You’ve gotta invest those years in [00:49:00] taking risks in order to discover what it is you’re good at, um, and what it is you you’re bad at. And, and either get better at those things or stop doing those things.

[00:49:11] Right. And, and, and if you do that, you’re going to find yourself when you get to that point where you can’t. Gritted out anymore, right? Because you just don’t have the energy and there’s too much responsibility if you haven’t a discovered kind of your calling and kind of your power band, like the stuff that you’re good at.

[00:49:31] And B, if you haven’t invested heavily in those years in your wife and your marriage, um, you’re gonna get to that point and you’re gonna crash. Like you’re gonna go, I only know how to be a customer service representative. That’s all I’ve ever done. Like, and I can’t do anything else. Now I’m trapped and I don’t even know that I like this job.

[00:49:52] You know, I mean, this happens. I’ve talked to doctors all day. I’ve doctors, I mean, doctors burn out harder and more frequently than almost any profession out [00:50:00] there. These guys put hundreds of thousands of dollars into this career, and they, and they find themselves in the exact same position. I don’t want to do this anymore.

[00:50:11] I don’t, I don’t like this and I’m trapped. I don’t know how to do anything else. They think they don’t know how to do anything else, and I’ve got this lifestyle and I’ve got these responsibilities and, and what do I do? And so that’s when like the divorce happens. That’s when the mistress happens. That’s when the get the Porsche and, and abandon your family and, and, uh, grow your hair out long and, you know, start, you know, go whatever.

[00:50:34] Right? I mean, there’s bad things

[00:50:36] you, you, you, you yank on the responsibility lever.

[00:50:40] Uh, in desperation, you don’t, you don’t understand what to do with the energy side of it because you haven’t put your energies in the right

[00:50:48] That’s right. That’s right.

[00:50:49] That’s so good. Uh, that’s exactly why I left the military at almost 14 years because I was. , [00:51:00] I, I see four, you know, literally, uh, this month will be 20 years if I had stayed in.

[00:51:07] Um, but I’ve built a couple businesses now since getting out six and six and some change years ago. And I love what I do, you know, and, and the earning potential eclipses of pension

[00:51:22] Yeah, for

[00:51:23] after it. And, and so, but I’ve never heard it obviously phrased with that framework, but it’s, when I listen to that, it’s like, thank

[00:51:31] goodness when I was 33, I was like, I don’t think this is it.

[00:51:37] It doesn’t mean, you know, any of the guys listening to this too. Like, it’s not like, oh, you blew your shot either. Cuz that’s the reality is God can bring a yield

[00:51:46] that is un like just he does that. It’s, it’s you taking the risk and that’s what you get in entrepreneurship. I think you take that risk.

[00:51:54] right.

[00:51:55] It’s either either poverty and you crash and you have no money because that’s what you [00:52:00] need.

[00:52:00] God needs to sanctify you that way, or he says, no, I’m gonna bless it cuz you

[00:52:04] have faith and we’re doing this. You know?

[00:52:07] Totally. Yeah. You learned dependence on the Lord and, and, and on the wife that he’s given you, uh, on your, on your faith. I mean, so I can tell you a personal, you know, so I think it’s 2009. Uh, we, we, we look at 2009 as the, as like the worst year of our lives. Uh, and, and um, and it was like, it was the year that my parents divorced.

[00:52:30] It was the year that our dog died. It was the year that, um, that our son died. . It was, it was, um, it was like just, there were other things I can’t even talk about, but there were lots of things that happened in that year that were just, uh, awful. And um, and I remember. , and this is the other thing you have to be investing in is, is your faith and your church.

[00:52:58] Um, and, and not just, [00:53:00] uh, so, so I remember the day and it was just, it had just been so many things and we were so, we were just fragile cuz it had just, God had just been crushing us, you know, just so many heavy, hard things. And I get a call that my dog, the dog my wife and I bought are, you know, right when we got married and we thought of as like, you know, it was a really special dog, right?

[00:53:25] And that I had sent to live with my mom in Texas. That that dog had to be put down and we loved that pooch, right? Um, but, and, and you know, in the abstract it’s like whatever, it’s just a dog. But it was like a dog on top of all of these other things. And it had just been such a terrible hard year. Um, and I remember I came home was like, babe, the dog had to be put down and.

[00:53:51] The only thing I knew to do was, uh, get on my knees and I said, Beth, let’s, let’s get on our knees with our boys Here’re, like in [00:54:00] diapers, and let’s sing the Psalms. And we just sang. We just sang the Psalms on our knees in our living room. And um, I remember. Telling my wife, I always thought that I came to Moscow, Idaho, uh, in New St.

[00:54:16] Andrews so that I could learn how to crush an atheist. Like I was gonna like an argument someday. And it wasn’t until today that I realized why, why I was here. This is what God was preparing us for. Uh, these are the reps like we were putting in. Uh, and this is, this is game time. Like this is the moment where you’re just in the depths of despair and you realize God’s, God’s got a, god’s got tools for that.

[00:54:40] Like he’s given. He’s, he’s equipped you and you know how to use them like you’ve got them at your fingertips and you can break out and saying, the Lord hear me in trouble times. May Jacob’s God defend me and send out strength from Zion. Like you’re, you’ve got that on your lips ready to go, right? Um, be not far off when grief is near.

[00:54:59] Uh, [00:55:00] like you’ve got those psalms at your fingertips ready to go. Um, so those are the things I think. A man and a and his wife have to invest in. Um, and if you’ve done that, if you’ve done that, like it’s not about, it’s not at all about your 401k or about your career status or your title or any of that stuff.

[00:55:21] It’s about do you have those fundamentals in place where you know who you are. Your wife has got your back entirely. She knows you’ve got her back entirely and uh, your tanks are full. You know, you have fat souls. Um, you’re unstoppable at that point. Right? Um, and that was our experience. I mean, we, we tried to start a few businesses.

[00:55:44] They failed. We ran outta money. Um, we prayed. God brought us opportunities that were totally unexpected and he kept bringing more opportunities. We kept hustling and you. The rest is, you know, rest is history, but it’s, [00:56:00] it’s, um, but yeah, that’s, that’s a, a profound and powerful message that, that is, uh, that I’m, I’m, I’m certainly trying to teach as many men as I can.

[00:56:10] So, you know for sure. Um, like it’s, it’s powerful how singing Psalms. The other side of that is that when your family is singing it

[00:56:22] together and there’s just that whole range of kids’ voices, you know, of your wife there, there is a going out on a limb because, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s not necessarily something comfortable that a man, a man is comfortable with right off the bat.

[00:56:41] Like off the street, right outta public school. Heck yeah, I’m gonna belt out some psalms, let’s do this guys, you know,

[00:56:46] um, but requires reps. Um, coincidentally also the thing that crushes atheists

[00:56:54] when they hear that. Um,

[00:56:57] true.

[00:56:58] cuz I, I’ve posted some psalm [00:57:00] sing stuff around the table on social media and got some messages from people way back in the past.

[00:57:06] Like it’s just evidence

[00:57:08] of the spirit being at work and they don’t necessarily know

[00:57:13] it what it is. They know it’s. , it’s something, you

[00:57:17] know, and, and, that’s why, you know, during the, the covid stuff, the singing at the city hall, you know, and just say, what are you gonna do?

[00:57:27] We’re singing, like, how is this, how?

[00:57:30] And, and so that’s beautiful that the reps to, to get it. We did the, when I came for the Warriors Standing Garden kind of social, like starting the hymns, passing out the packet, 90 men there, some of ’em were kind of sideways looking, , like they weren’t in the normal crowd, I guess, but it’s like, Hey, we’re gonna do it, you know?

[00:57:50] And, uh, so, so maybe, we’re getting, getting close to that hour mark and, maybe a, a prescriptive out of that, [00:58:00] that being so critical and so much the foundation that got you through it, a man out there, I’ve said. Move to Southern Pines. Uh, if you’re thinking Moscow, give Southern Pines a a a cuz I feel like there’s, we’re a startup, startup phase here in a sense.

[00:58:17] Um, and Huntsville too. Like, there’s just this opportunity. You need people to move into the breach. Um, you, the infrastructure isn’t all there. I think that we’re in a similar, we have, I mean, I think we had 250 Sunday, but there’s at least where you ti getting to that point now that your administration, uh, isn’t, the infrastructure’s not there to support the size and you need men that are gonna do things, functional things for the church, out of margin they have with their time because they invested their money.

[00:58:53] And, um, so yeah, just maybe talk about, um, those guys that are like, I have heard a [00:59:00] lot from guys, Hey, hey man, I’m, I can’t find a church. And I’m like, all right. I get on the website for them. I say, all right, where are you at? Okay, C r C website looks like there’s one here. How? Oh, that’s 30 minutes away.

[00:59:12] I’m like, bro, you guys, this, you gotta church 30 minutes away. That’s easy. You know, go

[00:59:17] check it. Oh man, it was amazing. It’s like, so did you, the thing that you, you said that came out, it was like we did our due diligence. Like we looked, we tried, we committed, we we served. Um, and you, you elected to plant, um, cuz God was calling you.

[00:59:32] But I’d say maybe just give him a little bit of a flow matrix as a man. You got a wife, you got kids. Things are, and, and my pastors said also as a little quick thing is a lot of times it’s, you want to do those, if you start trying to do the investment when you’re in the dumps, you know, it’s not too late cuz it’s never too late.

[00:59:51] Um, but it’s hard if you finally have the guts to say, I don’t know, when you’re at your rock bottom, that’s, [01:00:00] that’s,

[01:00:00] yeah. You’re running on

[01:00:01] power. You’re behind the power curve.

[01:00:03] Yeah, you are. Yeah. I mean, I, I would say, you know, um, I mean, I have a video on my channel saying, don’t plant a church. Here’s why you shouldn’t plant a church. And, and, and I’m basically saying if, if you’re somebody who, who is running on e like you’re talking about and desperately needs a church, and, and you don’t have a cl, you don’t have the, the bandwidth.

[01:00:31] uh, and you don’t have the, uh, vision, you know, for, for a church. Just go, go find one. Like go uproot your family. People uproot their lives and their families for jobs without even batting an eye. I mean, it’s like everyone does that, but the idea, and then you hope to find a church wherever you land. And the idea

[01:00:50] Yeah. How crazy. Huh?

[01:00:52] Yeah. the idea that maybe you’d start with the thing that, that is more essential to your life and to your, to your [01:01:00] family.

[01:01:00] The church, start there and then figure out the job thing next. Like I’ve seen, I mean, we, I got a family in our church that showed up. From Michigan, and this guy had been driving all over the country looking for churches. He’s a farmer and, and he’s a farmer who’s invested his money well and has, has lived very frugally and is able to have the freedom to figure things out and, and go without a, without a, you know, a, a nine to five job for a long period of time.

[01:01:30] But thi but this dude drove all over the country looking for a church and he landed here. Uh, and it just come out, you know, without a farm. I mean, dude, dude is a farmer, wants to own, wants to have a farm, you know, but it’s like, there’s a lot of pieces. He’s a dairy farmer. He like, there’s a lot of pieces involved, but, uh, He and his family took the leap of faith that the church is the first and most important thing, and we’ll figure out the rest.

[01:01:55] And he has, I mean, he’s been hustling and doing all manner of things, and he’s making, he’s providing for his family. [01:02:00] Um, it’s not comfortable, you know, necessarily, but, but the message that you’re preaching to your children, your wife is like, I care more about you and about your salvation and about your success spiritually.

[01:02:10] Um, I care about that more than I do about the, the paycheck. Like, I can, I can get a paycheck, I can go get a job at Home Depot. I mean, so This’s, the other thing is I think guys need to, I know you asked me to, to make this short. Um, One thing I’d tell dudes is, um, imagine the worst case scenario. Like actually do the diligence to, to write out what is the worst case scenario.

[01:02:35] Like we quit our job and we move to Southern Pines. Uh, and I don’t have a job. What’s the like, actually walk out the absolute worst case scenario because I think when you do, like, we’re more scared of the unknown, um, than we are of the known. So you make it known by actually going, okay, is there a Home Depot in Southern Pines that is hiring?

[01:02:57] Okay. Um, I get to ho, I get [01:03:00] to Southern Pines, I apply for jobs. I don’t get one. The one that I was hoping for, can I go apply it at Home Depot and get a job paying 20 bucks an hour or whatever, can, can I get a, an apartment or whatever and take care of my family on that? Yeah, I can. So it’s like you sort of let yourself actually play out the worst case scenario so that you realize like, I, I can, we can deal with that.

[01:03:23] Like, that’s, that’s actually something we can survive. We can live in a Van , you know? And, and,

[01:03:29] Well, I, I did that. I literally was, was thinking the getting out, you know, I was like, I, I don’t know exactly what it is. I should have done better about planning that out. Um, but I know for a fact I can go to Starbucks. As woke as it is, and I could crank out some drinks and I could be the guy that’s making it happen, and I actually might have fun talking to some people

[01:03:53] and that may lead to some other stuff and we are gonna be fine, you don’t have to work a whole lot to get benefits for this particular company. I [01:04:00] knew my sister was a barista, you know, it’s like, all

[01:04:02] Yeah.

[01:04:03] Worst case scenario, I’m a barista

[01:04:06] and I’m in church every Sunday with my

[01:04:09] kids. I’m not traveling eight months a year anymore. There’s no pager going off.

[01:04:13] There’s none of this bowl crap. I’m present and I’m with family, church, family, and actual family and it will be fine.

[01:04:21] And when you’ve got kids, I mean, I, you know, uh, uh, everyone says this and I know that it’s like tired and you’re used to hearing it and everyone tunes it out. I’m telling you, man, my son who is going off to college in a few months was a little kid last year. Like he was a little dude, and, and he is now a man heading off to, to start his own life.

[01:04:44] That happens so incredibly quickly. Your time is incredibly limited. You’ve. You’ve got decades to make your fortune and whatever it is you, you want to do, you don’t have much time to the, while the [01:05:00] concrete is wet, the concrete is wet right now with these kids. You’ve gotta pour it into a solid mold right now, you know, cuz it’s drying, it’s drying before your eyes and you’re gonna be shocked at how fast that happens.

[01:05:13] And once it’s dry, it’s dry and you’re gonna, and, and God’s kind and God, you know, uh, love covers multitude sins and God loves his people and, and isn’t looking to just crush you because he screwed up. But, but, but really take, take responsibility for the, for the, the, um, obligation God’s placed on you as a father to provide for your family, first and foremost, spiritually.

[01:05:37] Um, so I think that’s the, I think that’s the thing. Uh, don’t, don’t, um, You know, uh, don’t be afraid of risk, be ambitious. Ambition is a good thing. Uh, it’s a godly thing. Um, and, uh, and, um, and hustle. I don’t even remember what your question was now. Uh, uh,

[01:05:56] Well, I, I think it, it, you answered, I was talking about just what [01:06:00] a prescriptive kind of, to

[01:06:02] a man, that’s what do I, what should I be doing? I think that, uh, another thing that like, maybe like you talk on taking risk, I think that there

[01:06:11] is, there’s some finesse in taking risk, um, that your wife is not comfortable with,

[01:06:21] um, if that makes sense.

[01:06:23] Um, and, and there, there can be this, I I, I was talking on, uh, you know, social media about, and I think I’m probably gonna do a standalone podcast in this, but you, you can’t, uh, recognize the state of your family spiritually. and then just yank the wheel and be like, we’re moving. Like it, it can happen in a couple weeks.

[01:06:47] And you know, if you haven’t been the guy that’s been leading well and deserving respect, you can’t just say we’re moving. I just, I see this problem. We’re, we’re, we’re leaving everything. I’m [01:07:00] picking the church. You know, like there is some, some leadership that needs to happen, but it also, and the way that I feel like it happens in with, in my life and micro situations is I haven’t really talked to my wife of how, how much I’ve been thinking about this for months.

[01:07:18] Cuz my mind is, as an entrepreneur, mine’s going, I’m thinking about this, okay, how’s this fit with this and this and this and this? And I’m thinking, she’s tracking with me that I’ve been planning this for months and I’m, Hey, I’m thinking about, and she’s like, what are you doing?

[01:07:31] What are you talking about?

[01:07:33] Like, and I’m like,

[01:07:34] Yeah. I mean, your, your wife.

[01:07:36] out loud,

[01:07:37] That’s right. Your Wi God has given you a helper, uh, for the work that he’s, the mission that he’s given you. He’s given you a helper and, and, and you are a huge fool if you are not availing yourself of that, that priceless resource God’s given you.

[01:07:54] And, um, and so like I told that story about quitting my job, and it may sound in the story like [01:08:00] my wife was just this crazy woman who was like, sure, go for it. We had been in a habit, in a practice of sitting down regularly and, uh, not in a structured way, just this was part, this is our life. I sit down and talk through the stuff I’m wrestling with at work and I go, what do you think?

[01:08:17] Like, this thing’s going on. This thing’s going on. This is how I’m handling it. What do you think? And sh. Nine times outta 10. My wife’s got a good word for me. Like, have you thought about asking this guy that, or Have you, you should, you should ask about that. Or, you know, you know, just like, have you over and over.

[01:08:36] And so what’s happened, and this is, this is such a sad thing to see, is for a lot of men, as they get older, they, they become more specialized in their career and they’re talking their own language jargon. And this is especially hard in Huntsville. They’re all rocket scientists, right? And so it’s like your, your workplace is this like completely different thing.

[01:08:56] And then like, how do you involve your wife in it? It’s a real challenge. [01:09:00] But, but I just would encourage every dude from the very beginning of your marriage, be talking regularly with your spouse, your wife, about your work and, uh, strategizing together. You know? Because, uh, because yeah, when that moment came where it was like, I know that it’s time.

[01:09:17] I think I’m, I think I’m, I need to leave. My wife was like, I agree. , we’ve been talking about it. I know. Like, I agree. I can tell.

[01:09:25] Well, my wife specifically, when you talked about. Not the vision of what you’re not gonna do. We had that, uh, happen in the, in the military. I was like, that’s it, we’re getting out. And, and my wife was like, okay, um, I don’t want you to be gone eight months this year with two mortgages. One house being that’s ripped apart.

[01:09:48] I’m pregnant with number four. You know, we just got a $90,000 bonus that we’re gonna have to pay right back. Like, you know what’s I’m, I’m, I’m looking at this. What are we going towards [01:10:00] if we left right now? You know, oh, like, I don’t know, but I’m not gonna put you through this year. I’m not gonna do this.

[01:10:05] And she was able to say, Hey babe. Like cuz I, I was very um, set on not asking because there’s a lot of guys in the military, they’ll be like, uncle Sam says I’ll gotta do this, you know, and sorry. And they’re abdi. They just won’t tell their boss. No. Cuz there is ability to tell your boss no on some things.

[01:10:23] And

[01:10:23] hey, I can’t do that trip. And this is, and it’s not leadership to say, my wife said no. , my boss said, yeah, said I had to, like, you’re still in the helm. So I was like, I was like, hell bent on not doing that to my wife. Like, we’re getting out. I’m not even asking you to do this. Like, and it was, she was able to kind of be like, Hey, I’ll be okay.

[01:10:45] Like, we’re gonna be fine. We, we have to have a vision for this. We’re not doing it yet. And we did it two years later, you know, and even then was like, no idea what’s gonna happen. But there was, there was continual talk. Now I don’t give her [01:11:00] every, you know, interpersonal cuz she’s got, you know, all her kids and things.

[01:11:04] But the, the, broad brush strokes for sure. My most trusted business counselor

[01:11:10] by far, cuz she knows me better than anybody else. And she can see through my vanity metric on

[01:11:16] so.

[01:11:17] that’s.

[01:11:17] and say you say three months, it’s probably gonna take you

[01:11:20] nine months to 12 months. That’s how you need to do your planning. Wets coming off the plate.

[01:11:25] Come on, talk me. And I’m like, dang it. You know if you got me

[01:11:28] again, you

[01:11:29] taught her too much. Yeah, it’s good, man. No, it’s good. Well, the thing I, I, I kind of remembered a also part of your question, which I think is important to mention.

[01:11:39] It’s just like, um, when, if you’re, if you’re thinking about taking that, taking that plunge and, and finding a church, like getting to a good church, getting your family to a good church, I think one of the, the, the metrics or the ways to look at it is, is like if you walk into the room and you, and there are a bunch of men who are worshiping God, um, and, [01:12:00] and, and who are doing men that you look up to, like men who you’re not cringing as you watch them singing.

[01:12:07] A love song to their boyfriend Jesus, you know, but, but like men who, men, right? men who, who you go, I’d like to be friends with that guy. I’d like to, I’d like to, uh, be like that guy, you know, I look up to that man looks like somebody I would respect and follow. Like if you can walk into a church and see those kinds of men in the room, um, then, then that’s a place that’s worth investigating further.

[01:12:31] That’s probably a really good sign. And that’s, you know, when I, I’ve done now, you know, many, many membership interviews and, and one of the, for families joining our church, and that’s one of the mo more common is we walked in and I’d never been to a church with so many men singing. Um, I’ve never, I’ve never heard that.

[01:12:52] I’ve never seen that. Just a bunch of men singing and that

[01:12:54] there’s something

[01:12:55] about that that’s powerful.

[01:12:57] It is in this day and age, it’s, it’s, I mean, it’s powerful [01:13:00] no matter what, but yes, especially today, the contrast, when you go from every other church in town that’s mostly women leading and it’s mostly gay, um, homoerotic worship songs, uh, that you could easily replace Jesus with my boyfriend, and it would, and it would play just as well.

[01:13:21] Um, dudes don’t feel comfortable there. They shouldn’t feel comfortable. Uh, and the fact that they stay anyway is a sign that they’re a little gay themselves. like, get out of there, man. Like, get out of there. It’s bad for your soul, you know? And get

[01:13:36] or they’ve just been, they’ve been wife whipped, you

[01:13:39] yeah.

[01:13:40] and it’s, they, that is, is one way you’re behind the power curve. You know, your energy, your responsibility, and so you’re just gonna be l dead inside

[01:13:51] and just, you know, oh, well this is all I got. You know? I just, if I don’t, if I don’t go along with it, my wife isn’t happy with, you know, [01:14:00] letting her lead.

[01:14:02] Yeah.

[01:14:02] then my life’s gonna be miserable. But then your wife’s life’s miserable anyway, but we don’t even need to open that box up. We don’t got

[01:14:08] Well, you just, you need to be, I mean, you need mentors. I mean, that’s, uh, that, that, that’s true for any and every man in the world. You need mentors. Like you need men that you look up to and who are models for you of what being a godly man looks like. And so if you’re looking around your church and going, I don’t see any of those here.

[01:14:26] Uh, that’s a sign that you’re not somewhere. Cuz your job, your duty for your family is as, as priest, you know, is to provide spiritually for your family. So, so, That includes you as the leader. Like, is your tank being filled? Like, okay, your wife likes the worship music. Your kids like the Sunday school, but are you thriving spiritually?

[01:14:47] Like, are you feeling challenged? Are you feeling, uh, convicted of your sin every Sunday? You know, are you feeling inspired by God’s word to go try harder, work harder, [01:15:00] you know, live more faithfully. If not, you know, you, you should get outta there, man. Uh, you, you need, you need more. Like you, you’re not gonna be able to lead.

[01:15:08] You’re gonna get behind the power curve and, and the plane’s gonna hit the back of the, of the deck if, if you don’t do something about it.

[01:15:16] mm-hmm. . Mm. Good stuff, man. Well, I’ll, I’ll, uh, I’ll get all the, the, uh, the links and everything from you after the fact

[01:15:25] where people can, can link up with you. I’ve shared, shared your, uh, why we need more Christian Billionaires podcast. That was,

[01:15:33] Oh, good.

[01:15:34] it was a, was a good one I’ve referenced before. So, um, we’ll dig all these links up and point ’em your way.

[01:15:41] After you’ve checked out Southern Pines and it doesn’t meet the criteria, doesn’t measure up, and you think that maybe there’s a chance, a better spot, you guys check out eight Huntsville, you know, and, uh,

[01:15:52] Well, you guys have, you guys have the, the rugby scene out there. We, we didn’t talk about rugby at all, but um, but the rugby stuff [01:16:00] going on out there is pretty special. And, uh, talk about a way to, to, to build some camaraderie and, and push yourself physically and, and regain your, some testosterone. That’s a, that’s a pretty awesome, pretty awesome, uh, activity for sure.

[01:16:17] All right, man. Thanks for the time and,

[01:16:19] Yeah. Thanks for having me on. It was, it was a pleasure.

[01:16:21] all right.

[01:16:23] God Bless.

[01:16:23] There you have it. A. Wisdom packed in the lightening interview with Larson Hicks, I will link. His podcast. Showed in the, in the show notes. And as well as some of the other things that we discussed during the interview, as always, if this provided value to you in a way benefited, you encouraged you.

[01:16:46] Maybe to get the lead out and get busy. Maybe to relocate and find a place that has community or sparked. The desire for you to plant a church where you are. And [01:17:00] rally other believers to you. Be sure to share the show. With a friend. That would find this encouraging. And don’t forget to check out the link for the Renaissance of men.

[01:17:13] Digital conference again. The discount code is spearing. My last name S P E R I N G. And as always. We put the show notes on our website, spearing.co. With a variety of links to D most popular podcast players. If you’re somebody on apple and your friends on Google, or you don’t know if they have a Spotify subscription, whatever you can copy and paste that link to them.

[01:17:38] On our show notes also has everything categorized. You can surf around to kind of find some of the other episodes. If you’re new to the show, trying to catch up and figure out what are the things we’ve talked about. You can sort the podcast episodes by category and deep dive on what we’ve talked about with respect to family and faith and entrepreneurship and living [01:18:00] boldly.

[01:18:00] So check out our show notes at my website, spearing.co. And as always have a good one.


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