SPARK Talks 2019: Week 2

Why did a three-time World Series champion experience loneliness? What is the one word that changed the life of an Army paratrooper? How can curiosity help a vulnerable child? Three people share their stories.

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    LENA SCHULER: Welcome to Crossroads.
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    LENA SCHULER: We're so glad to have you tuning in for our Spark Talk Series.
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    LENA SCHULER: You know sometimes the daily grind can just wear on us,
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    LENA SCHULER: right? And so our hope is that in the midst of this series, in
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    LENA SCHULER: the midst of this hour that you're spending with us something
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    LENA SCHULER: is sparked in you where you have some new ideas and new fire
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    LENA SCHULER: moving forward.
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    LENA SCHULER: And so to kick us off we're actually going to spend some time
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    LENA SCHULER: worshipping together. Worship
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    LENA SCHULER: is just an opportunity for us to put prayers to song.
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    LENA SCHULER: And so if you don't believe these words yet, that's totally
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    LENA SCHULER: okay, but I just am asking right now that God would actually
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    LENA SCHULER: spark something in you in the midst of these songs.
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    LENA SCHULER: Hey, I love worshipping alongside of you from anywhere you might
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    LENA SCHULER: be right now. If
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    LENA SCHULER: you enjoyed those songs, you enjoyed spending time with God in
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    LENA SCHULER: that way, you can do that more often.
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    LENA SCHULER: You can catch all of those songs on Spotify or on YouTube
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    LENA SCHULER: through the Crossroads Music channels. And
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    LENA SCHULER: it's a great way to deepen your relationship with God during
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    LENA SCHULER: the week by having conversations with him through songs.
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    Well, hey, I'm Lena Schuler and I'm the Crossroads Anywhere.
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    Community Pastor.
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    So glad to have you joining us for church today from anywhere
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    you might be.
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    We are going to get to hear a few Spark talks today.
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    Talks that should ignite something in us to have a lasting
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    impact, some new ideas that go beyond our normal daily grind.
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    It's gonna be good.
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    But before we do that, I want to let you know of some things
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    that are happening around the church, some ways for you to get
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    involved, some ways for you to get connected.
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    One of the things that we're doing as a whole church is
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    something called Summer Social.
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    It's purely a social this summer.
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    Regardless of where you live, we want to give you opportunity
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    to meet with other people who are part of your church who live
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    near you, around you, maybe even might be your neighbor and you
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    don't even know it yet.
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    So if you head to the Crossroads website you can check out
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    Summer Social and the locations that that's happening.
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    We have this happening across all parts of the Cincinnati and
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    Lexington areas and part of lots of Anywhere communities around
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    the country. Ans so you can get
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    all of that information on the Crossroads website.
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    You can also chat with us on the website.
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    We'd love to help you get hooked up to the community that is
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    closest to you, wherever you might be right now.
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    You know I don't know about you, but when I am in a line
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    anywhere I tend to pull out my phone, right?
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    Like we just immediately want to pull out our phones and not
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    really pay attention to what's happening around us, kill some
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    time. I am an avid Instagram user.
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    I love scrolling through social media and I waste so much time
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    And yet there is a better way for me to spend my line time than
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    Instagram, and that's actually in the Crossroads app.
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    If you go and download the Crossroads Anywhere App right now,
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    in there there's constantly new content that's being added and
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    curated and things for you to do that might have a little bit
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    more substance than your Instagram feed.
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    And I often find something in there that I immediately want to
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    share with a friend.
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    I want to send them an article or share a podcast. And
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    so I can't help but think of friends and family who would love
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    the things that I'm reading and watching.
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    And it's really simple and easy to do that from the Crossroads
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    App. So, download that today and start using that in your
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    downtime when you're trying to kill some time, when you'd
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    usually go for Facebook or Instagram, maybe switch it up and go
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    for the Crossroads App this week.
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    Well, you know, in the Bible God says that when we're faithful
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    with the little He gives us more. When
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    we're faithful with the resources that He's given us, He gives
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    us more resources to be faithful with.
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    And one of the ways that my husband Nick and I consistently try
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    to be faithful with the resources that God's given us, the
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    money that he's entrusted us with, is we want to be generous
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    with that money.
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    We say to God, "We trust You to take care of us financially and
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    we want to be faithful with the money that You've given us,
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    because we want more from You.
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    We want You to trust us with more."
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    And so maybe today you want to take a step in telling God you
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    trust him by giving a little bit of money away, by being
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    faithful with the money that He's given you.
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    If you want to do that, you can head to
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    and just sign up for a one time gift or maybe even a recurring
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    gift. And today we get to hear from a few different speakers
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    that I think are gonna spark something special in you.
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    Let's check it out.
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    KIM BOTTO: I grew up loving the Beatles.
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    KIM BOTTO: In that song All You Need Is Love, I believed that to be
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    KIM BOTTO: true, that love is all you need.
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    KIM BOTTO: And then as I started to grow and mature I realized, is that
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    KIM BOTTO: really true, All You Need Is Love?
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    KIM BOTTO: Is that all?
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    KIM BOTTO: And then I would try to love somebody and I really didn't know
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    KIM BOTTO: how or I would try to love a kid and the kid didn't know how to
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    KIM BOTTO: receive my love.
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    Here at Crossroads we have five to six thousand kids and
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    students a week.
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    So as you can imagine I've seen all kinds of things.
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    And as much as I deeply love these kids, some of them have
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    challenging behaviors.
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    And some of it is due to the fact that they've experienced
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    So you may wonder, how does trauma affect a kid?
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    So imagine this: you're driving your car and out of nowhere a
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    vehicle runs a stop sign and almost hits you, or maybe they
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    actually do hit you.
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    When that happens, the stress hormone cortisol is released.
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    It makes our heart race, our palms sweat, and we become hyper
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    focused on one thing and that's protecting ourself, surviving.
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    When kids live in fear or experience trauma, they have these
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    same symptoms.
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    And trauma can affect people differently.
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    Trauma can be a one time event, or it can happen over and
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    over, day after day.
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    Trauma is really anything that's messed up or scary that our
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    brains simply can't process.
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    So, when a kid is abused or neglected, that's trauma.
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    When kids have to go live with their grandparents because their
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    parents have overdosed or gone to jail or simply can't care for
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    them anymore, that's trauma.
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    When children are separated from their birth parents, whether
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    it happens in the hospital when they are born or many years
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    later, that's trauma.
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    But I used to look at these kids when they're challenging
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    behaviors and I think, "What's wrong with you?
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    You are in a safe environment now. You
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    have parents that love you."
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    Or I'd look at their parents and I'd go, "You just need to be
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    tougher on your kid.
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    You need to discipline them.
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    You need to train them up.".
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    And then I got to know these kids and I realized how wrong and
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    judgmental I was.
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    One little guy I met, he had a little plastic grocery bag
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    filled with all of his treasures, which was adorable.
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    But when he brought it to church it was super annoying, because
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    he wouldn't share any of his things with anybody.
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    He didn't even want the other kids to look in his bag.
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    So of course, the kids were really curious. And
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    when they started to get close to the bag he'd get angry and
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    sometimes he'd lash out at them physically.
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    So one day I said to him, "Hey there, Little Buddy, how about
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    you leave the bag at home next week?".
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    He then told me that because he had been in multiple foster
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    homes and sometimes had to leave quickly that he'd had
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    treasures that were left behind that he never ever saw again.
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    And this was a smart kid. And
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    he said, "That's not going to happen to me again."
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    So he got his little grocery bag and he put all of the
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    important things in his life in this bag.
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    That little boy, he wrecked me.
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    Because it was through him that God called me to advocate and
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    fight for these kids because this little boy, he wasn't a bad
  • 00:21:03
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    He was hurt and he was afraid and his brain was just trying to
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    process what was going on around him.
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    He was scared.
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    The most important thing to him was protecting himself and his
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    possessions. And this little boy, he's the least of these that
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    Jesus talks about.
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    And what we have learned through science, when somebody lives in
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    a state of chronic fear, like this little boy, it actually
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    changes the architecture of our brain, that then changes our
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    ability to cope and to think logically.
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    Experts have also learned that the best therapeutic experiences,
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    they don't always happen in therapy.
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    Actually they often happen in healthy, safe relationships.
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    Dr. Bruce Perry is a psychiatrist who's worked with thousands
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    of kids who've experienced trauma.
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    So kids are often harmed through relationship and then it's
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    through relationship that they can begin to heal.
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    But I know being in a relationship with a kid who has
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    experienced trauma is emotionally and physically exhausting.
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    It's much easier to say, "Hey, you know what?
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    There's programs and government agencies for that.
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    I'm just going to let them handle it.".
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    But that's why God created the family and community.
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    It's for us to handle it, because kids must be in a nurturing
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    relationship to thrive and to heal.
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    And that's why I am so thankful to be in a community and on a
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    team that's passionate about reaching these kids and their
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    A team that doesn't quit when it gets hard.
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    Here at Crossroads we have kids and students that come who are
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    kicked out at other places. And
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    they're welcomed here with open arms. Because
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    the teams here they want to create a safe environment for them
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    to hear about a father who will never leave.
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    To hear about a dad who knows them and has a great plan for
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    their life.
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    And I just want to say if you're here and you're in that
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    fight, well done.
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    God is pleased with the work that you're doing.
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    and I know it is a difficult journey.
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    I also know that when we do this, we get to see the miracle when
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    a kid begins to feel safe and starts to be able to receive
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    I also know that God is not finished working through us to reach
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    more of these kids.
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    We aren't all called to care for these kids in the same
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    way. For my family, we were called to take kids into our home
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    and into our family 24/7.
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    You might be feeling the nudge to do that.
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    And maybe that's not you.
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    And that's totally okay.
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    When we look at currently there are over 400,000 kids in foster
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    care across the nation, and many more who have experienced
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    trauma. And it can seem overwhelming.
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    And you might be sitting there going, "I can't fix that."
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    You're right, you can't fix it.
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    But what we can do is we can take a step towards one.
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    I was recently talking to a young woman and a couple weeks ago
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    she wasn't a mom.
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    But she got a phone call and she was told that there was a
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    relative of hers that was no longer able to take care of their
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    kids. And this brave woman said, "I'll do it.
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    I'll take her kids in." And
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    so people kept asking her, "What can I do to help?"
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    And she'd go, "I don't know."
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    Because she was a brand new mom, she had no idea what she
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    needed. And what we could do in this situation is we can take a
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    step towards her and mow her lawn.
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    We can take a step towards her family and say, "I'm going to
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    bring dinner to you this week so you and your husband can take
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    a walk or a nap."
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    We can also for other families that are struggling, we can take
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    a step towards them and offer to take their kids bike riding
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    and burn off some energy and give mom and dad a break.
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    Or we can be a safe, nonjudgmental place for them to process
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    their difficult emotions and experiences.
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    We can also commit to praying for them regularly.
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    And if we do that, let them know.
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    Send them notes, send them texts.
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    And every time you do this, we're making a difference.
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    We are taking a step towards the least of these.
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    A quote that really drives me is from Josh Shipp who spent
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    years in foster care as a kid.
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    And he says:.
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    I have seen that firsthand.
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    I have a 17 year old I was hanging out with recently and she
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    said to me, "I just need somebody to remind me who I am because
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    sometimes I forget."
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    So I get to tell her, "You can do hard things. You
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    are empathetic. You
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    are beautiful.".
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    I can also remind her to clean up her social media.
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    And I get to be a part of her life and her story.
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    I want more people to experience that.
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    Remember the kid with the bag that I talked about?
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    Well, every day his adoptive parents told him and showed him
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    that they weren't going anywhere.
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    And his leaders at church, they found a safe and secure place
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    to store his treasures.
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    And one day he left his bag at home.
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    And then later the contents of his bag ended up being scattered
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    throughout his house, because he was beginning to feel safe and
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    he knew that he was home.
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    And his story isn't over, but because of the challenges he's
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    --because of his experiences, he may always have challenges,
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    but he now has relationships and people around him that he can
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    count on.
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    So you know what?
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    Maybe the Beatles weren't that far off.
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    Love is needed, but it's the kind of love that might introduce
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    mess into our life.
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    We might get hurt.
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    We might grow in ways that we never imagined possible in when
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    we take a step towards that one, we can be the difference that
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    enables that kid to be a success story.
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    Thank you.
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  • 00:28:27
    ANDREA: Music has always been my main thing.
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    ANDREA: But it's hard to find the quiet space to do that with three
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    ANDREA: boys at home.
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    So I started painting last year with my kids and I just fell in
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    love with it.
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    I realized in painting that I had forgotten how to just play and
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    discover freely.
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    Like I had grown up and traded freedom for rules.
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    But there are no rules in art and I love that.
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    Painting with watercolors also requires a lot of observation, so
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    it ends up being really meditative for me.
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    Like I walk away from it with a quieter mind and with that
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    childlike delight of play.
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    To be inspired I look to nature.
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    I love creating pieces that might spark beauty and joy in
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    someone else's space.
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    God is the ultimate artist.
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    His work is unnecessarily beautiful, extravagant, and sometimes
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    downright bizarre.
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    And as many things as I might question or doubt about God, His
  • 00:29:43
    creativity is not one of them.
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    I'm Andrea and through painting God has sparked in me the joy of
  • 00:29:51
  • 00:29:55
    OTIS WILLIAMS: The answer is you've got to be committed.
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    OTIS WILLIAMS: The question is what does it take to change my life.
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    Hello, Crossroads, My name is Otis Williams and I want to tell
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    you a story about the one word that changed my life forever.
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    There was a time when I was totally terrified of heights. And
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    one of my life's philosophies is whatever you don't face will
  • 00:30:18
    stay in your face.
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    So I decided to face and conquer this dream killer once and for
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    And to defeat this enemy I decided to do what any normal person
  • 00:30:28
    who had a high fear of heights would do: I joined the military
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    and I volunteer to become an Airborne Paratrooper.
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    So I got a jump school and jump school is three weeks long.
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    You've got ground week, tower week, and jump week. During
  • 00:30:43
    ground week you do stuff on the ground. Tower
  • 00:30:47
    week you do stuff in the tower. And
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    if you pass and you meet the requirements for ground week and
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    tower week, you move on to jump week.
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    Now something strange and phenomenal happens at jump week, the
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    black hats, those are the instructors at jump school, they get
  • 00:31:03
    very nice.
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    And so I'm wondering, "Why aren't they being so nice to us now?"
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    because doing ground week and tower week they are the complete
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    embodiment of evil.
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    They are mean, they are toxic, they're trying to do everything
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    they can legally do to get you to give up and quit.
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    And then it dawned on me: We're getting ready to jump out of a
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    perfectly good aircraft for our very first time, so they want
  • 00:31:29
    the trauma, Kim, to be very low.
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    So it's Monday morning of jump week.
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    We find ourself in the hangar.
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    We're putting our parachutes on, getting geared up. Black
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    hats are going around, they're checking, they're making sure
  • 00:31:43
    everything's okay. And
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    then a black hat yells, he says, "Gentlemen, make sure all the
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    furniture is in one room."
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    And I'm thinking to myself, "Why is this guy talking about
  • 00:31:54
    furniture at a time like this?
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    I don't understand.".
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    But anyway we get suited up, the thumbs up come, we take off and
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    we're down the pathway getting ready to go on our our nice
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  • 00:32:06
    So our very first jump is gonna be out of a C130.
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    We load the monster of this aircraft from the back, the back
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    comes down.
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    We get on, we load it.
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    We sit on the sides of it and we wait till everybody gets
  • 00:32:17
    there. And then this thing wheels up.
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    We taxi down the runway and then before you know it, boom,
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    we're in the air, off into the great blue yonder.
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    So it's about 15-20 minutes where we reach what we call jump
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    altitude. And now jump altitude for combat jump is 1250 feet.
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    So it's not a lot of time if something goes wrong for you to
  • 00:32:39
    take corrective measures.
  • 00:32:41
    So at this time the doors on the C130 open, the wind rushes in,
  • 00:32:45
    slaps you across the face, wakes you up, as if you were
  • 00:32:48
    sleeping. And then you've got black hats one on each side, they
  • 00:32:52
    stick their head out of the door and they're looking for the
  • 00:32:54
    drop zone. So
  • 00:32:55
    they're looking, they come back in, and they
  • 00:32:57
    say, "Ten Minutes!" So you rock as you repeat it, you go, "Ten
  • 00:33:03
    minutes, 10 minutes." That's
  • 00:33:05
    to let everybody know this thing is about to go down, it's for
  • 00:33:07
    So then they disappear out the door again, they look for the
  • 00:33:10
    drop zone. They
  • 00:33:11
    come back, they say, "Five minutes!" What
  • 00:33:14
    do you do?
  • 00:33:16
    Let's go.
  • 00:33:17
    Five minutes, five minutes.
  • 00:33:18
    There you go.
  • 00:33:19
    So then they disappear one last time, looking for the drop zone.
  • 00:33:23
    They come back in., "Drop
  • 00:33:25
    zone coming up. First
  • 00:33:27
    through the pass stand up.
  • 00:33:29
    Hook up, shuffle to the door." So
  • 00:33:31
    you've got ten on this side of the plane, ten on this side of
  • 00:33:33
    the plane.
  • 00:33:34
    They stand up, hook up static lines.
  • 00:33:36
    Everything's ready.
  • 00:33:37
    Then you hear this, "First man, stand in the door."
  • 00:33:42
    Nobody moves.
  • 00:33:46
    So the black hat says, "First man, stand in the door."
  • 00:33:51
    Nobody moves. So
  • 00:33:53
    then he looks directly at me.
  • 00:33:54
    He says, "Son, you're the first man.
  • 00:33:57
    Get in the door." And
  • 00:33:59
    I'm in the door.
  • 00:34:00
    So he's on the side of me and then he gives me this speech.
  • 00:34:03
    He says, "You're going to be the first one out of this aircraft.
  • 00:34:07
    You are going to set the example for the rest of his
  • 00:34:09
    paratroopers. I need you to watch that light. When
  • 00:34:11
    that light turns green, you will exit this aircraft.
  • 00:34:14
    In other words, when this plane lands you will not be on it.
  • 00:34:18
    Have I made myself perfectly clear."
  • 00:34:19
    "Yes, Sergeant." [laughter]
  • 00:34:23
    Bam, it turns green, out the door with a nice foot in the rear
  • 00:34:30
    to help me out. [laughter].
  • 00:34:31
    So I'm falling between 20 and 25 feet per second.
  • 00:34:37
    So, it's a nice clip.
  • 00:34:39
    And I look up and everything is fine until I look up because I
  • 00:34:43
    look up and I notice that I have what the military calls is a
  • 00:34:50
    malfunction. In other words my shoot wasn't open.
  • 00:34:54
    And so at that altitude I could see the ambulance leaving and
  • 00:35:00
    coming to where I'm supposed to land.
  • 00:35:02
    And I'm like, "That's not a good thing right there." Right?
  • 00:35:06
    So I start depending on my Airborne training and I start
  • 00:35:09
    bicycling. At that point you can see the black hats on the
  • 00:35:13
    ground, they're grabbing megaphones, anything they can and
  • 00:35:16
    they're saying, "Faster!".
  • 00:35:19
    And I'm thinking, "Dude, I'm giving her all I got, Captain.
  • 00:35:23
    I mean I'm bicycling as fast as I can." And so
  • 00:35:25
    I'm bicycling, I'm bicycling. And
  • 00:35:26
    all of a sudden I start turning, this is a good thing, right?
  • 00:35:29
    So I'm turning and I'm turning and bam all of a sudden my chute
  • 00:35:34
    opens and I'm like, "This is awesome.".
  • 00:35:36
    Then I clearly understood what the sergeant was talking about
  • 00:35:41
    when he said make sure all your furniture is in one room,
  • 00:35:44
    because mine was not.
  • 00:35:47
    Anyway, I hit the ground really hard.
  • 00:35:49
  • 00:35:50
    The medics are there, they're checking me out making sure
  • 00:35:52
    everything's okay.
  • 00:35:53
    They were absolutely amazed I didn't break anything.
  • 00:35:57
    One of the black hats is there and he says, "Son, how you
  • 00:35:59
    doing?" I'm like, "I'm all right.
  • 00:36:01
    I'm doing pretty good.".
  • 00:36:02
    He says, "Do you feel pretty good? You
  • 00:36:03
    "Yes, Sargent, I feel great. "He
  • 00:36:04
    says, "All right, gather your shoot and let's go back to the
  • 00:36:07
    hangar and get ready for another jump today."
  • 00:36:09
    I'm like, "Excuse me, today?"
  • 00:36:12
    He was like, "Yes, today."
  • 00:36:13
    I'm like why -- why today?
  • 00:36:15
    And he says, "Because we're expecting bad weather tomorrow and
  • 00:36:19
    we got to get as many jumps in as we can so we can get you guys
  • 00:36:23
    to graduate by Friday."
  • 00:36:25
    And I'm like, "Oh, my God.".
  • 00:36:26
    I gather all my stuff.
  • 00:36:27
    We're back in the hangar redoing the whole thing.
  • 00:36:29
    Now my second jump was absolutely flawless.
  • 00:36:32
    It was wonderful.
  • 00:36:34
    Total different from the other one.
  • 00:36:35
    After I exited the aircraft I'm descending at a nice rate, I
  • 00:36:40
    can sip lattes, all that kind of great stuff, right?
  • 00:36:42
    I am able to see for miles.
  • 00:36:46
    It's a state of bliss.
  • 00:36:48
    And in this state of bliss I clearly heard God say to me, "Look
  • 00:36:52
  • 00:36:53
    So I look up and then He says, "Can you get back in that
  • 00:36:58
    aircraft?" And the answer was no.
  • 00:37:01
    And He said, "Now you know what it takes to change your life:
  • 00:37:06
    commitment." You see ladies and gentlemen here's what I
  • 00:37:09
    believe: that the blessings that God has for you and me live on
  • 00:37:14
    the other side of doubt and fear. And
  • 00:37:18
    to get on the other side of doubt and fear, it takes
  • 00:37:21
    commitment. It takes giving everything you've got, holding
  • 00:37:25
    nothing back.
  • 00:37:27
    It's taking all your chips, pushing them to the center of the
  • 00:37:29
    table and saying, "I'm all in." It
  • 00:37:32
    is when your ship reaches the shore, you give the order to burn
  • 00:37:36
    the boats and you say either I die or I win.
  • 00:37:39
    It is counting the cost and jumping out of the aircraft any
  • 00:37:43
    way. It's to get to the other side.
  • 00:37:47
    Now I know that level of commitment may be a little scary for
  • 00:37:51
    some of you.
  • 00:37:52
    But let me leave you with this, a little word of encouragement
  • 00:37:55
    from God's Word. In
  • 00:37:56
    Philippians, in that book God's word reminds us that we can do
  • 00:38:01
    all things through Christ with strengthens us.
  • 00:38:05
    So here's the command I'm leaving you with: Commit, make the
  • 00:38:10
    jump, and go get what God has for you and I'll see you on the
  • 00:38:15
    other side of doubt and fear. Airborne
  • 00:38:17
    all the way. Hoot! (music)
  • 00:38:34
    JEREMY AFFELDT: When I put on this uniform, I drive to the ballpark every day.
  • 00:38:37
    JEREMY AFFELDT: This just feels like I've been doing it for a long time.
  • 00:38:40
    ANNOUNCER: Since joining the team in 2009, Jeremy Annfeldt has been an
  • 00:38:45
    ANNOUNCER: integral part of the Giants bullpen.
  • 00:38:48
    COMMENTATOR: That's a good hook right there.
  • 00:38:51
    JEREMY AFFELDT: You know I don't start, I dow't throw seven innings, I don't hit
  • 00:38:53
    JEREMY AFFELDT: homers, I don't steal bases.
  • 00:38:54
    JEREMY AFFELDT: I've got to come in for those one or two innings or one or two
  • 00:38:57
    JEREMY AFFELDT: batters and make the best pitches possible.
  • 00:39:01
    COMMENTATOR: Got him.
  • 00:39:03
    ANNOUNCER: Was the third lowest ERA in post season history, Jeremy's
  • 00:39:07
    ANNOUNCER: dominance during the playoffs cannot be overlooked.
  • 00:39:10
    COMMENTATOR: First the pitch.
  • 00:39:11
    COMMENTATOR: He struck him out swinging.
  • 00:39:23
    JEREMY AFFELDT: This is my third experience in Cincinnati.
  • 00:39:26
    This one's looks like there's a lot more smiles than my other
  • 00:39:29
    two. My first one was when I played here and we lost what was
  • 00:39:33
    a hundred games. There wasn't a lot of smiles around
  • 00:39:35
  • 00:39:37
    My second one was in 2012.
  • 00:39:39
    You guys were all smiles until we hurt your feelings in the
  • 00:39:42
    NLDS and took three games straight from you.
  • 00:39:45
    We went on to win a World Championship.
  • 00:39:46
    We got a really nice ring out of it.
  • 00:39:48
    So I, on the behalf the San Francisco Giants, thank you and the
  • 00:39:52
    fans and all the athletes that tanked the series to let us go
  • 00:39:55
    on. Appreciate that.
  • 00:39:57
    So it allows me to come up here and talk and feel good about
  • 00:40:01
    myself with my chest up a little bit more than it was.
  • 00:40:05
  • 00:40:06
    No, about twenty two years of age I made it to the Major
  • 00:40:10
    Leagues. It was a great experience for me.
  • 00:40:13
    I accomplished a dream because at 12 years of age I was sitting
  • 00:40:15
    in the Oakland Coliseum, it was one of my first baseball games
  • 00:40:18
    that I ever got to see watching the Oakland A's.
  • 00:40:22
    And my favorite pitcher that I used to watch on TV was Dave
  • 00:40:25
    Stewart. So he was pitching that day and so my dad got got us
  • 00:40:28
    some really good seats like right in the lower part of the
  • 00:40:31
    stadium. And you're right with all the players I mean they look
  • 00:40:35
    mad. I mean all my favorite guys were there Mark McGuire, Jose
  • 00:40:38
    Canseco, Dave Stewart.
  • 00:40:40
    You're just looking all these guys and you're looking around,
  • 00:40:42
    Carney Lanceford, you look at all
  • 00:40:43
    these guys, you're like, "Man, they are massive." They're
  • 00:40:47
    massive for a reason that we now know why they were a little
  • 00:40:50
    bigger than they probably should have been.
  • 00:40:53
    they weren't drinking protein shakes, I can promise you
  • 00:40:55
    that. [laughter]
  • 00:40:57
    But they were still big and gigantic and it was just like an
  • 00:41:01
    awesome thing to see. And
  • 00:41:03
    I remember looking at my dad and I said, "Dad, I'm going to
  • 00:41:06
    play here one day." And
  • 00:41:07
    he looked at me he goes, "What?"
  • 00:41:09
    I said, "I'm going to play here.
  • 00:41:10
    I going to be amazing baseball player."
  • 00:41:12
    He said, "You're going to be a major league baseball player?`
  • 00:41:14
    I said, "Yes, sir."
  • 00:41:15
    I said, "I'm a play on that field.'
  • 00:41:18
    And he patted me on the head like all good dads
  • 00:41:20
    do and said, "Go for it, kiddo."
  • 00:41:22
    And he didn't put me in any baseball camps.
  • 00:41:25
    He just let me go play baseball. And
  • 00:41:27
    then when I was twenty two years of age I walked in the
  • 00:41:29
    Coliseum through Centerfield where the bus dropped us off and I
  • 00:41:33
    got my little Nokia phone out.
  • 00:41:35
    And you guys remember that Nokia phone, man it had like the
  • 00:41:37
    snake game, like 1, 3, 7, 9, all the -- some you generation,
  • 00:41:41
    you're an iPhone generation.
  • 00:41:42
    Well my generation our game was the worm game and you had to
  • 00:41:45
    chase this little dot around the circle and he had to do it so
  • 00:41:48
    many times and try not to hit your tail end. You
  • 00:41:51
    know? And all we have is 1, 3, 7, 9.
  • 00:41:53
    We didn't draw on a screen, so it was kind of -- it was a fun
  • 00:41:56
    game and you got mad. And
  • 00:41:58
    you could actually throw that phone down and the screen didn't
  • 00:42:00
    break. That was sweet, right? [laughter].
  • 00:42:02
    So I got out my Nokia phone.
  • 00:42:04
    I said, "Hey, dad."
  • 00:42:06
    I called my dad and he answered. And
  • 00:42:07
    he still has a telephone, he still today has a landline.
  • 00:42:10
    It's impressive.
  • 00:42:11
    And I said, I said, "Dad," I said, "Do you know where I"m at?"
  • 00:42:14
    He said ,Yeah, you're in Oakland."
  • 00:42:15
    I said, "Yeah, you remember what happened here in Oakland?"
  • 00:42:18
    He said, "What are you talking about?"
  • 00:42:19
    I said, "Dad, I see the very seats we're sitting in when I was
  • 00:42:22
    twelve years old and I said I was going to pitch here. And
  • 00:42:24
    tonight, Dad, I pitch in Oakland.".
  • 00:42:26
    And he hung up the phone.
  • 00:42:29
    And I looked at my phone and I was like, "Man."
  • 00:42:31
    So I hit talk again and my mom answered the
  • 00:42:35
    phone. And I said, "Mama," I said , "What happened?
  • 00:42:37
    I was talking to Dad."
  • 00:42:38
    She's like, "He's crying." [laughter].
  • 00:42:40
    He's a military guy, man, he dropped bombs for a living.
  • 00:42:43
    They don't cry.
  • 00:42:44
    he didn't want me to hear him.
  • 00:42:45
    So she said, "He's crying.
  • 00:42:47
    He just just so pumped that you accomplished your your
  • 00:42:48
    dream. And he just couldn't, he didn't want you to hear him
  • 00:42:52
    And I was like, "All right. Well, tell
  • 00:42:54
    him I'm here and I'm excited."
  • 00:42:55
    And that's when I kind of realized what I had done, I had
  • 00:42:58
    accomplished a dream. And
  • 00:42:59
    four years I hated the game of baseball.
  • 00:43:02
    I hated it.
  • 00:43:03
    Absolutely hated Major League Baseball, didn't want any part to
  • 00:43:06
    It was miserable.
  • 00:43:08
    And the problem was is it's a very lonely feeling when you hate
  • 00:43:13
    doing what you do for a living, especially Major League
  • 00:43:16
  • 00:43:17
    Because if I'm a go to you and I say, "Hey, man, what do you
  • 00:43:21
    do?" And you tell me what you do, whatever you know, zookeeper
  • 00:43:24
    or Zoo York or whatever, you know, you've got the shirt on.
  • 00:43:26
    So, you know, so -- it is a zoo by the way, you're right.
  • 00:43:30
    So you know, and I say, "Well, I play Major League Baseball and
  • 00:43:33
    I hate it."
  • 00:43:34
    I'm sure you would be like, "Dude, I totally understand the
  • 00:43:36
    feeling. I would hate it too if I played Major League
  • 00:43:38
    Baseball, man. It would stink so bad, man.
  • 00:43:41
    And I just don't even know why you'd even want to do that for a
  • 00:43:44
    You know like I didn't have anybody I could tell that I hated
  • 00:43:48
    the game of baseball. And
  • 00:43:50
    it was super scary for me too because I was like, man, I don't
  • 00:43:53
    have anybody I can talk to, no one's going to relate to me. And
  • 00:43:56
    I'm kind of I feel like alone on an island here and I don't
  • 00:44:01
    know who I can -- I don't even know what I'm doing on this
  • 00:44:05
    planet right now.
  • 00:44:06
    Why am I in baseball? What
  • 00:44:07
    am I called to do?
  • 00:44:08
    God, why do you have me do this? It's
  • 00:44:09
    Groundhog's Day.
  • 00:44:10
    I go to the field, I get booed, I get cheered.
  • 00:44:12
    I go to the field, get booed and booed some more and then I get
  • 00:44:15
    cheered a little bit.
  • 00:44:16
    I played with Kansas City in early 2000s, we got booed a lot.
  • 00:44:19
    So they can't -- Cincinnati now, think that like every year.
  • 00:44:22
    Okay right? So, it was just miserable right.
  • 00:44:26
    It was just a tough deal.
  • 00:44:27
    And I remember sitting on my counter crying, I wanted to go
  • 00:44:30
    home. But my wife wouldn't let me quit because she's like, "You
  • 00:44:33
    know you can't quit.
  • 00:44:35
    And you know as an athlete you're not going to do well if you
  • 00:44:37
    quit. You gotta run this gauntlet.
  • 00:44:39
    Play it out.
  • 00:44:40
    I'm here for you.".
  • 00:44:41
    And she was here for me.
  • 00:44:42
    And I was -- but I was just so frustrated with doing terrible.
  • 00:44:45
    I got put on the DL one time for a broken fingernail.
  • 00:44:47
    That's how it was going, okay?
  • 00:44:49
    So it's a really bad deal.
  • 00:44:50
    So it was it was just a miserable time.
  • 00:44:53
    And I was begging God in 2006. I"m like, "Please
  • 00:44:57
    trade me, either trade me or release me, because if you release
  • 00:44:59
    me I'ma take the uniform off.
  • 00:45:02
    I'm going to go home and say I gave him my best try.
  • 00:45:04
    I didn't quit.".
  • 00:45:06
    I said, "But if I can't -- if you're not going to release me,
  • 00:45:08
    God, then you got to trade me cause I've got to get to Kansas
  • 00:45:11
    City because it's making me miserable to be here.
  • 00:45:14
    I hate going to work every day."
  • 00:45:16
    And five minutes before the trade deadline on July 31st, 2006, I
  • 00:45:20
    got a call from my GM. He
  • 00:45:22
    said, "I've just traded to Colorado Rockies." And
  • 00:45:24
    I was like, "Oh, awes-- Oh, that's -- okay. Oh,
  • 00:45:29
    man, God, sorry didn't work out. You
  • 00:45:32
    know Dayton, man, I just tried. You
  • 00:45:34
    know, I know you had to do, you've got to do what's best for
  • 00:45:36
    the team and I hope you got somebody for me," blah, blah, blah.
  • 00:45:39
    You know? And
  • 00:45:40
    then I told my wife.
  • 00:45:41
    I said, "I just got traded." And
  • 00:45:42
    she starts screaming. And
  • 00:45:44
    I was like, "Hey, honey, the GM still on the phone." [laughter]
  • 00:45:47
    "Back it -- back it down a little bit, you know?"
  • 00:45:50
    And she's like, "I don't care.
  • 00:45:51
    I'm packing your bags. This
  • 00:45:53
    is awesome.".
  • 00:45:54
    So I'll be all right.
  • 00:45:55
    So she's packing my bags and I go to the field and she meets me
  • 00:45:57
    at the airport.
  • 00:45:58
    We're flying into Colorado.
  • 00:45:59
    And I'm flying in, my wife still has to get our dog and stuff
  • 00:46:01
    packed up so she stay back. And
  • 00:46:03
    as we're landing I realized that there's no gravity in
  • 00:46:07
    Colorado, right?
  • 00:46:09
    If you understand how -- what happens in baseball, like when it
  • 00:46:11
    gets hit in the air it's supposed to come down.
  • 00:46:13
    If it doesn't it's a homer.
  • 00:46:15
    Well, it doesn't ever come down in Colorado.
  • 00:46:17
    See you try, in fact the first guy I faced was named a Prince
  • 00:46:20
    Fielder. And I threw this curveball and the first pitch ever
  • 00:46:25
    threw in Colorado, I threw a curveball, he hit it for a homer.
  • 00:46:27
    And all I heard was welcome to Colorado from the -- "Welcome to
  • 00:46:30
    Colorado, " from the crowd.
  • 00:46:31
    I mean this is getting worse for me, right?"
  • 00:46:33
    It just was not good.
  • 00:46:35
    And I remember I was staying in my hotel and I got up that
  • 00:46:38
    morning and the Mermaid was calling to me, right?
  • 00:46:41
    I was like, woo, I gotta go to Starbucks, you know?
  • 00:46:44
    So I was going towards the green mermaid and I was just walking
  • 00:46:49
    down the street just remember how miserable I am.
  • 00:46:51
    I'm like I literally first pitch I throw I give up a homer.
  • 00:46:57
    I'm just -- I don't want -- I just a failure, failure, failure,
  • 00:47:00
    failures, non-stop failure.
  • 00:47:01
    I don't -- I don't want to -- I don't want to do this.
  • 00:47:04
    And I was just begging for a way.
  • 00:47:06
    I could not -- It's like God was keeping me in prison and
  • 00:47:09
    laughing at me by getting me traded to Colorado at the same
  • 00:47:11
    time, because I obviously wasn't very specific on my prayer.
  • 00:47:15
    And so be specific when you ask him stuff. Okay?
  • 00:47:20
    So, I remember sitting there and I see this girl sitting
  • 00:47:24
    where I'm at this street corner.
  • 00:47:26
    I see this girl sitting across the street.
  • 00:47:28
    She's kind of sit in front of this RiteAid and the Starbucks
  • 00:47:31
    right next to it, right?
  • 00:47:32
    And she's got this Cup of Noodles in her hand, dry
  • 00:47:35
    Cup of Noodles with no water. She's
  • 00:47:37
    just eat this Cup of Noodles.
  • 00:47:38
    So I walk across the street and I kind of stop and I look down
  • 00:47:41
    she's got a split lip, black eye, torn jeans.
  • 00:47:45
    She did not have a good night the night before, trembling. And
  • 00:47:48
    there's a lot of street kids in Denver, right?
  • 00:47:50
    There's a lot for what, they congregate there.
  • 00:47:52
    And I just kind of reached down and touched her on her
  • 00:47:56
    shoulder. And she jumped away from me and I said, "Hey, I don't
  • 00:47:58
    want anything from you.
  • 00:47:59
    I just want to know if you want something to eat."
  • 00:48:02
    And she said, "Yes, please.".
  • 00:48:03
    So I went into Starbucks and I got that green sludgy
  • 00:48:06
    drink, Naked says on it. It's
  • 00:48:08
    like it looks really bad, taste pretty good, right? It just
  • 00:48:10
    looks like algae, right?
  • 00:48:12
    So I'm like, "I think I need that for sure.
  • 00:48:15
    And then I need whatever has the most sugar.".
  • 00:48:17
    And so she handed me a blueberry muffin.
  • 00:48:20
    Another fun fact: Blueberry muffins have most sugar at
  • 00:48:22
    Starbucks according to the employees.
  • 00:48:24
    So they handed me a blueberry muffin.
  • 00:48:27
    So I walk out, hand it to the girl, and she looks up and rips
  • 00:48:31
    the bag from me. And
  • 00:48:33
    she looked and she's looked at me and said thank you.
  • 00:48:37
    And I stared down at her and it was probably about five or six
  • 00:48:40
    seconds, it felt like 30 minutes.
  • 00:48:42
    And it's like our -- we met, we locked eyes and It's like we
  • 00:48:47
    connected in an amazing way.
  • 00:48:49
    I just stared at that girl and she wasn't saying thank you for
  • 00:48:52
    the food.
  • 00:48:54
    She was saying, "Thank you for letting me know I exist.".
  • 00:48:57
    Because when we see homeless people at times we get the fake
  • 00:48:59
    phone call or temporarily deaf or we randomly blind and we
  • 00:49:04
    can't see them or we'll go in the other side of the
  • 00:49:06
    street. Because it's an awkward deal right.
  • 00:49:08
    Like like it can be awkward.
  • 00:49:09
    We've all been in the cities where homeless people are around,
  • 00:49:12
    and it kind of feels weird, it feels awkward and it doesn't
  • 00:49:15
    feel safe.
  • 00:49:16
    And when she said that, see our nice clothes.
  • 00:49:21
    I was living in a five star hotel.
  • 00:49:23
    I went to an unbelievable office called a baseball stadium.
  • 00:49:26
    I had a wife at a home.
  • 00:49:28
    I didn't have problems with bills and knew -- I ate at nice
  • 00:49:31
    restaurants. And I looked at that girl and she didn't have nice
  • 00:49:35
    clothes. She didn't have a job.
  • 00:49:38
    She didn't have anywhere to live, yet our realities were the
  • 00:49:42
    same because we were both lost.
  • 00:49:44
    We're both lonely.
  • 00:49:45
    We're both scared and we neither of us had anyone to talk to
  • 00:49:49
    about our current state.
  • 00:49:51
    And I remember when she said thank you, it was thank you for
  • 00:49:54
    letting me know I existed and that was something I needed so
  • 00:49:57
    bad at that moment was to be able to be something for somebody
  • 00:50:03
    because I didn't feel like I was being anything for anybody.
  • 00:50:07
    And I needed God to encourage me.
  • 00:50:10
    And He traded me and He put me in front of that girl that day
  • 00:50:12
    for a reason, because it changed my life.
  • 00:50:14
    If you flip over my baseball card, my baseball card all the
  • 00:50:17
    numbers all of the sudden get really good.
  • 00:50:18
    And I'm not saying He all of the sudden just sort of blessed me.
  • 00:50:21
    I think he was always there. M
  • 00:50:22
    my talent was always there.
  • 00:50:24
    My ability to succeed was always there., I just didn't
  • 00:50:26
    have a reason to do it.
  • 00:50:29
    I didn't have that desire to why I was a baseball player. What
  • 00:50:33
    was I a baseball player for? What
  • 00:50:35
    was I gifted to be a Major League Baseball for?
  • 00:50:37
    Because if it was to be just a Major League Baseball player, if
  • 00:50:40
    my gifting were just to be a professional athlete.
  • 00:50:43
    It didn't make a whole lot of sense because I'm not bringing a
  • 00:50:45
    lot of impact to anybody.
  • 00:50:48
    Except for I'm entertaining America for $12 dollar beer, you
  • 00:50:52
    know, which is cheap nowadays in the baseball stadiums and a
  • 00:50:55
    $30 ticket and $25 parking ticket to park.
  • 00:51:00
    And they boo me. And
  • 00:51:01
    that's what I'm here for.
  • 00:51:02
    THat's not I want to do. So I went to the
  • 00:51:04
    field that day and I felt so amazing sitting in the bullpen.
  • 00:51:09
    I said this -- why do I feel good for the first time in like
  • 00:51:13
    four years I don't feel depressed to play the game of
  • 00:51:15
    baseball. And I went to my hotel room that night and I did what
  • 00:51:19
    I never -- I told my self I would never do.
  • 00:51:22
    I became the guy that just stuck his fingers in the Bible and is
  • 00:51:24
    like open it up and thought God would talk to you.
  • 00:51:27
    Some of you had done it like. [laughter]
  • 00:51:30
    You know and then you're like looking down, you know? And
  • 00:51:34
    I've tried it multiple times.
  • 00:51:35
    It's never really worked, but -- because then you open it up and
  • 00:51:39
    all sin is like death becomes you. And
  • 00:51:41
    that's great. That's
  • 00:51:42
    what I needed.".
  • 00:51:43
    You know, you got all these awkward verses being thrown at you,
  • 00:51:46
    so you're like, I don't really know what that means."
  • 00:51:50
    So, I did it again because I was that desperate and I -- And it
  • 00:51:54
    worked for the first time ever.
  • 00:51:55
    It was like God knew, He was like, you know what?
  • 00:51:57
    I'm not going to laugh at this time.
  • 00:51:58
    I'm actually going to help him out," right?
  • 00:52:01
    And it was Matthew 25, no joke where it separates the sheep from
  • 00:52:07
    the goat when he comes back. And
  • 00:52:09
    the guy says, "Well, how do I know if I'm a sheep and a goat?"
  • 00:52:12
    And he says, "Well, when you do the least of -- what you've done
  • 00:52:15
    -- whatever you do to the least of these you do to me."
  • 00:52:16
    He's like, "Well, how do I know if I'm -- what I'm going to
  • 00:52:18
    do?" he's like, "Well have you ever -- If you don't, you know.
  • 00:52:23
    if you don't visit me in prison or you don't feed me when I'm
  • 00:52:25
    hungry or if you don't give me something, water when I'm
  • 00:52:28
    thirsty. You didn't help me out. So
  • 00:52:31
    And he's like, "How do I know if I did that?"
  • 00:52:33
    He goes, "Whatever you did it to someone who is in prison, to
  • 00:52:36
    someone who is hungry.
  • 00:52:37
    to someone who is naked, to someone who is in need.
  • 00:52:41
    And if you do it for any of them, you'll do it for me."
  • 00:52:44
    And I remember what I did for that girl.
  • 00:52:48
    And I remember my heart was so pure and when I did it for that
  • 00:52:51
    girl and I felt so good.
  • 00:52:54
    It was like I fed Jesus that day and He fed me back.
  • 00:52:58
    And he changed my life.
  • 00:53:01
    And I finally understood Luke where it says, you love the Lord
  • 00:53:08
    your God with all your heart soul and mind and you love your
  • 00:53:10
    neighbor as yourself.
  • 00:53:12
    They are the same.
  • 00:53:15
    And when I'm hungry I want some to eat.
  • 00:53:17
    When I'm thirsty I want something to drink.
  • 00:53:19
    And when I want to go live somewhere I go to my house.
  • 00:53:23
    Right? And when I'm naked I'm difficultly going to want to put
  • 00:53:27
    on clothes, unless it's Cincinnati, then it's you're
  • 00:53:29
    tempted. You know?
  • 00:53:30
    to walk around naked, it's way easier, it's a lot cooler, you
  • 00:53:33
    So you know, so you get all these, you know, you and I remember
  • 00:53:37
    feeling that and just God just saying, "Jeremy, this is what I
  • 00:53:40
    want you to do. I
  • 00:53:42
    want you to use baseball as a platform.
  • 00:53:45
    Your success will only be the success that I wanted to be.
  • 00:53:49
    If you can encourage others and show others and give others the
  • 00:53:52
    opportunity to have success."
  • 00:53:54
    And I said, "How do I do that?"
  • 00:53:56
    Do to the least of these what they need done and give them a
  • 00:54:01
    chance to be able to look at their dad or mom one day and
  • 00:54:04
    say, "One day I'm going to be..."
  • 00:54:06
    Because everybody deserves the opportunity to say, "One day I'm
  • 00:54:09
    gonna be."
  • 00:54:10
    And everybody who has ever said, "One day I'm gonna be," that
  • 00:54:13
    has had some hard times come where they weren't able to achieve
  • 00:54:15
    it, deserve a chance to still achieve it.
  • 00:54:17
    And I started an organization called Generation Alive right
  • 00:54:21
    after that.
  • 00:54:22
    And it dealt with young people in poverty. And
  • 00:54:25
    we now go into schools and we need to have these action teams
  • 00:54:28
    in these public schools, public high schools.
  • 00:54:29
    The only reason I'm able to get into half of them is because of
  • 00:54:32
    what I did for a living.
  • 00:54:34
    And I go in and we start these action teams. And
  • 00:54:37
    we basically tell kids to understand what poverty looks like in
  • 00:54:39
    your community.
  • 00:54:41
    What does poverty look like?
  • 00:54:42
    What are the pains that poverty causes, and how can we
  • 00:54:44
    alleviate those pains through acts of compassion?
  • 00:54:48
    And it's not feeling bad for the person, it's actually putting
  • 00:54:50
    it to action. So you don't look at someone that's struggling
  • 00:54:53
    and be a, "man, that sucks," and keep walking. Or too
  • 00:54:56
    bad for them, walking. Or
  • 00:54:57
    use the religious jargon, right? "I'll
  • 00:54:59
    pray for you," because I'm going tell you right now, most
  • 00:55:01
    people won't do it.
  • 00:55:02
    "Yeah. I'll pray for you."
  • 00:55:03
    "Uh-huh, yeah. Okay, I'll come back next week and I'll ask what
  • 00:55:05
    your prayer was," because we don't really know what to say,
  • 00:55:09
  • 00:55:10
    Compassion is actually doing it. When Jesus
  • 00:55:13
    hung on the cross, He carried an act of compassion.
  • 00:55:16
    When He fed 5,000 people are acts of compassion.
  • 00:55:20
    So I started an organization that did that. And
  • 00:55:22
    we've in the last five years we've fed over two and a half
  • 00:55:24
    million people and kids have had to -- [applause}
  • 00:55:28
    Yeah. And kids have had -- and all youth have had to raise the
  • 00:55:30
  • 00:55:31
    All kids have had to raise the money. It's 25
  • 00:55:33
    cents a meal.
  • 00:55:34
    We also help rescue women out of human trafficking and create
  • 00:55:37
    backpacks and have their personal things that they need when
  • 00:55:40
    they get rescued.
  • 00:55:42
    And they share the love of Jesus with other people and they
  • 00:55:45
    feed people they don't even know because it's a simple act of
  • 00:55:48
  • 00:55:49
    Because in every community there's hunger, in every community
  • 00:55:51
    who's trafficking.
  • 00:55:52
    And now kids are finding other -- now or action teams are
  • 00:55:54
    actually finding other areas that there is poverty and what is
  • 00:55:58
    the pain that poverty causes.
  • 00:55:59
    And they're creating their own ideas.
  • 00:56:01
    It's very very amazing.
  • 00:56:02
    And I had a kid come up to me and say, "Why does this feel so
  • 00:56:05
    good?" And I said, "Are you asking me the question, because if
  • 00:56:08
    you ask me the question I'm in a public school.".
  • 00:56:10
    So I said, "If you ask me the question I give it to
  • 00:56:12
    you. So are you asking me why you feel so good?"
  • 00:56:15
    They said, "Yeah, why does it feel so good to do this?"
  • 00:56:17
    I said, "Because that's the love of Jesus."
  • 00:56:19
    The kid looked at me.
  • 00:56:20
    Right? [applause]
  • 00:56:22
    And I said, "It's unconditional love, and we're all built for
  • 00:56:25
    it and we're all born with it.
  • 00:56:27
    We just have to find it.".
  • 00:56:29
    So my loneliness came from the fact that I didn't know who I was
  • 00:56:32
    and I didn't know why I was doing what I was doing.
  • 00:56:34
    And I got very lonely in an area that most people would think
  • 00:56:37
    you are not lonely.
  • 00:56:39
    And it took a young girl on the street to be able to change my
  • 00:56:41
    thought process and God put her there.
  • 00:56:43
    And for the rest of my career I was not lonely, I was very
  • 00:56:46
    fulfilled, three rings to prove it, just saying, but...
  • 00:56:50
    I'm messing with you. I'm messing
  • 00:56:53
    with you.
  • 00:56:54
    I've got an extra two minutes so I thought I'd make a joke.
  • 00:56:57
    So I just -- but I just wanted to tell you.
  • 00:56:59
    I said, I've been very fulfilled and what I did and I know
  • 00:57:02
    why I played and I had my why.
  • 00:57:05
    And I know who I am and I know what I played for, and I'd still
  • 00:57:08
    do it to this day.
  • 00:57:10
    And I love sharing the love of Jesus through acts of compassion.
  • 00:57:14
    And that's how I found who I was. And
  • 00:57:17
    I got to tell my dad at twelve years old, "One day I'm gonna
  • 00:57:19
    be..." And I got to accomplish that.
  • 00:57:21
    And when I retired -- when I retired my dad was on the field on
  • 00:57:25
    my retirement speech.
  • 00:57:26
    And I hugged my dad and I said, "Dad, you gave me the chance to
  • 00:57:29
    say one day I'm going to be and I'm hugging you because I got
  • 00:57:32
    to tell you that I'm happy that I became it.
  • 00:57:34
    And I'm a better man for it and I've got more to do.
  • 00:57:37
    It was because of the platform that you gave me by encouraging
  • 00:57:39
    me. And I found my place in Jesus and my identity in Christ.
  • 00:57:43
    And now I can give to others and love other people.
  • 00:57:45
    God bless you.
  • 00:57:46
    Thank you for letting me share with you. [applause]
  • 00:57:50
    LENA SCHULER: Man, How fun was that?
  • 00:57:52
    LENA SCHULER: I hope that something new was just sparked in you.
  • 00:57:56
    LENA SCHULER: You know we have a team of people that would love to pray for
  • 00:57:59
    LENA SCHULER: you and who would love to help connect you.
  • 00:58:02
    LENA SCHULER: So, if you head to the Crossroads website you can chat with us
  • 00:58:05
    LENA SCHULER: on the website.
  • 00:58:06
    And we'd love to get you connected into a Summer Social near
  • 00:58:10
    you. So just head to and you can find
  • 00:58:13
    all of that there.
  • 00:58:14
    We'll see you next week for week three of Spark Talks.
  • 00:58:17

Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Chaser—a few questions after the weekend service to start conversations. If this is your first time in a group, or your group has new members, take a few minutes and introduce yourself. Two truths and a lie is always a good place to start.

  1. We kicked off service with All You Need is Love. What’s your favorite Beatles song and why? If you’re not a fan, or have never heard of the Beatles, that’s weird. But, share why.

  2. Which of this week’s Spark Talks resonated most with you? Why?

  3. “Whatever you don’t face, will stay in your face.” Share a story of a time you ignored a fear, or challenge or prompting and it stayed “in your face.”

  4. Having an impact can mean sacrificing comfort, safety, security—everything. (These Spark-Talkers sure did. And God did too.) Have you ever sacrificed for the good of someone or something else? What made you do it?

  5. Read this passage in the book of Romans out loud. This type of connection and empathy can be a strong motivator for us to act. What sticks out to you in the passage? How can we “live peaceably with all” AND still make an impact in the world?

More from the Weekend

Empathy is tough. At some point this week, you’ll run into a Romans 12:14-21 situation. When you do, take the time to do what the writer of Romans says. Bless an enemy. Share joy with a happy person. Weep with someone who is weeping. Then, share it with your group.

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(This stuff helps us figure out how many fruitcakes to make come December)

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Jul 6, 2019 44 mins 42 sec

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