Jesus Calling: Stories of Faith podcast

God Can Transform Us In Our Darkest Moments: Edward Grinnan & Damon West

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Romans 8:28 reminds us that God will work all things together for good—not just the rosy parts of life, but also the ugly, twisted parts. This week’s guests have both overcome addictions that could have wiped them out completely, but instead they chose to call on God in hopes of finding something better—and were amazed to see Him show up in their darkest moments. Editor-in-chief of Guideposts Magazine, Edward Grinnan, grew up in a family bound together in faith—a faith they had to lean on heavily after the tragic loss of his special needs brother, Bobby. In trying to cope with his brother’s death and navigating life as a young adult, Edward turned to alcohol as a source of comfort, and battled that addiction for years. After starting at Guideposts Magazine in what he thought would be a temporary position, Edward ended up climbing the ranks and staying there until this day, where he continues to inspire and be inspired by the stories of faith of everyday people. Motivational speaker Damon West has faced countless obstacles in his young life, including drug addiction and prison time. Although Damon believed he developed negative patterns of behavior at an early age, he used his time in jail to learn about the Bible and to get insight from his fellow inmates about how life circumstances can transform you for better or worse. Damon ultimately chose—with God’s help―to become his best self. 

 

Links, Products, and Resources Mentioned:

Jesus Calling Podcast

Romans 8:28

Jesus Calling

Jesus Listens

Past interview: Karen Ehman

Peace In Uncertain Times Series: Jennie Finch

Upcoming interview: Joni Harms

 

Edward Grinnan

Guideposts Magazine 

The New York Times 

Conde Nast 

Vanity Fair

Esquire

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Edward Grinnan’s books

https://www.guideposts.org/

Get a FREE issue of Guideposts at: shopguideposts.org/friends

 

Damon West

University of Houston Downtown

University of North Texas

Serenity Prayer

https://damonwest.org/

 

Interview Quotes:

“I came from a family of very, very strong faith, and when you lose a child, that tends to tear apart marriages. And looking back all these years later, I didn't really see it as a child, but my parents stayed together. Their marriage was as strong as ever, and that's because they turned to their faith every single minute of that crisis and every single hour after that crisis.” - Edward Grinnan

“The alcoholism slowly but surely ate me alive so that by the time I was out of graduate school, my late twenties/early thirties, I was basically a homeless wreck. I was just living on the streets on and off, begging for money just so I could continue drinking. There's lots of things that happened in between, college, jobs, travel, vagabond travel, graduate school, but at the end, life spit me out onto the streets.” - Edward Grinnan

“God had brought me to the place where I needed to be.” - Edward Grinnan

“I began to feel that my own spiritual anchor was being strengthened by these stories and this audience. And I suddenly realized as I was going through a story with a narrator that my own faith was being strengthened. And eventually I realized that the bargain that God was offering me was, ‘I brought you to Guideposts and I want you here. In exchange, I will help you with your sobriety and you will help me with Guideposts.’ And that was the bargain I struck in 1986 or so, and it's the bargain I’m keeping to even today.” - Edward Grinnan

“My sponsors in AA said you should have prayer time every day whether you think it does any good or not. And, you know, prayer for me was something I had to practice. I had to get good at it. I have to believe in it. And it was a part of my spiritual evolution. As I began to believe that God cared about me, He cared about my life, the more I believed I could reach God through prayer.” - Edward Grinnan

“Without hope, we don't get up in the morning. We don't love without hope. We don't forgive without hope. Hope is the underpinning to all of those human actions that make us better people and closer to God.” - Edward Grinnan

“My bad belief system at ten and twelve years old said, ‘All you're doing is drinking a little beer, smoking a little pot. You're not hurting anybody. You're not even hurting yourself.’ But I couldn't be more wrong because those belief systems, those behaviors took me further away from Christ and the home that I grew up in.” - Damon West

“I gave away my job, my home, my car, my savings account, my family, my tethering to God. I went from working on Wall Street to living on the streets of Dallas, homeless, living in abandoned buildings, sleeping in people's parked cars, living in dope houses with the dope fiends, because that's what I am, is a dope fiend. And I start committing property crimes to fight my addiction.” - Damon West

“I remember saying to God, ‘Hey, God, if you're out there, if you're even there’—because at this point I'm so lost in my life, the spiritual warfare going on inside of me is intense. And I remember saying, ‘God, if you're even there, man, just know I'm so tired, I'm ready to be done.’” - Damon West

“I got on God's back and God carried me all around that prison.” - Damon West

“Jesus died on the cross for our past. And so I had to come to terms with that and my past doesn’t define me, we all wouldn't be listening to some ex-con from Texas talking about the things you learned inside a maximum security prison. But it's because our past is our lesson. And our present today is a gift. And that gift, it's not a gift for you, it’s a gift of what you can do for other people.” - Damon West

________________________

Enjoy watching these additional videos from Jesus Calling YouTube channel:

Audio Playlist: https://bit.ly/2PrbuwH

Video Playlist: https://bit.ly/2PsmEkJ

What’s Good? Playlist: https://bit.ly/3i7VUlZ

________________________ 

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    When Your Eyes Are Blurred with Tears, God Will Help You See: Dave Pittman & Briana Domenica

    31:42

    *Trigger Warning*  This episode contains content that talks about suicide and self-harm that could be disturbing to some listeners.    Many of us could never imagine that we would ever go through a dark time so dark and so hopeless that we would consider taking our own lives. Yet, so many people who have experienced deep depression know what it feels like when their minds can’t seem to grasp on to hope any longer. During Suicide Prevention week, we’ll speak to two guests whose lives have been directly altered by depression and suicide, American Idol alumnus Dave Pittman & singer Briana Domenica. Dave shares how he was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at an early age, how being “different” and not understanding why caused problems at school, and how the hopelessness he felt sent him spiraling down a dark path toward taking his own life. Briana Domenica recounts her own struggles with suicidal tendencies and how she has tried to turn her pain into purpose by pouring her heart and soul into music—hoping she can uplift others and encourage an environment of positivity and love.    Links, Products, and Resources Mentioned: Jesus Calling Podcast Suicide Prevention week Sarah Young Jesus Calling Jesus Listens National Suicide Prevetion Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 Past interview: Chad Robichaux Upcoming interview: Larry Fleet   Davd Pittman “Crazy Brave’ song “Different Kind of Love” album Tourette Syndrome ABC’s American Idol Neil Patrick Harris Bible Gateway   Briana Domenica Psalms 23:4 NIV Angel in the Sky Romans 8:28 NIV brianadomenica.com   Interview Quotes: “I was more afraid of living through that again than I was of dying.” - Dave Pittman, on being bullied as a child with Tourette Syndrome ”My mom—both my parents—just drilled into my head and my heart the importance of accepting yourself for who you are, and not just who you are, but who you are in Christ, your identity, who you've become in your walk with Christ.” - Dave Pittman “I think it's okay to ask why, even now, because Job did. We look at Job in the Bible, he asked God, ‘Why? Why is this happening to me?’” - Dave Pittman “Anyone can accept something they have to do, but when you can embrace something that you get to do, it’s different. It changes things.” - Dave Pittman “I dealt with this hopelessness for four years until my aunt Linda noticed the cuts on my wrist. She kissed them and she told me I was worthy, loved, and a child of God. That conversation not only saved my life, but it encouraged me to get the help that I so desperately needed.” - Briana Domenica “I think simply starting a dialog can combat that [mental health] stigma because unless we start a dialog, we will never see change. And I want people to know that they are not alone. There is help, but most importantly, there is hope. And I love this acronym for hope: hold on, pain ends.” - Briana Domenica “Everyone's journeys are different, but moving from a place of darkness to light is possible. All you need is a little faith, even if it's the size of a mustard seed. Take it one day at a time, speak up, and reach out, because help and hope are available.” - Briana Domenica ________________________ Enjoy watching these additional videos from Jesus Calling YouTube channel: Audio Playlist: https://bit.ly/2PrbuwH Video Playlist: https://bit.ly/2PsmEkJ What’s Good? Playlist: https://bit.ly/3i7VUlZ ________________________  Connect with Jesus Calling Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest YouTube Jesus Calling Website
  • Jesus Calling: Stories of Faith podcast

    Hold Up Your Lost Dreams To God: Brett Young and Sarah Jakes Roberts

    22:20

    Do you have a dream for your life that didn’t pan out exactly as you had planned? Maybe something out of your control happened that made that dream impossible, or maybe you made some choices that turned your life in a direction that wasn’t in line with your hopes and goals? Though we can be filled with regret over dreams lost or deferred, God has another way of looking at those shifts in our lives and He encourages us that He will always guide us to where He wants us to be, as we’re reminded in Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Country music star Brett Young had dreams of being a pro baseball player until an injury halted his career. Sarah Jakes Roberts, daughter of Bishop T.D. Jakes, never imagined that she would become pregnant as a teenager and for many years dealt with the shame and disappointment of having a life that didn’t turn out as she had planned. Each of these stories shows us that God can take our circumstances, no matter what they are, and still get us to where we can live the amazing life he has in store for us.   Links, Products, and Resources Mentioned: Jesus Calling Podcast Proverbs 19:21 NIV Jesus Calling Jesus Listens Sarah Young Past interview: Pastor Matthew Barnett Upcoming interview: Ben Courson   Brett Young Fresno State Arizona State Love You, Little Lady Weekends Look A Little Different These Days  www.brettyoungmusic.com   Sarah Jakes Roberts Bishop T.D. Jakes Woman Evolve The Potter's House One Woman Evolve: Break Up With Your Fears and Revolutionize Your Life   Interview Quotes: “Without my faith, I wouldn't have been able to get over the injury and let baseball go and be open enough to let something else come in. And music ended up being something that I love more than I loved baseball. And it feels exactly like what I was supposed to do in life.” - Brett Young “I always say, ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.’” - Brett Young “The fact that God is giving us this life and these unique days one at a time, it feels almost irresponsible to try to fit them into a mold or try to make today yesterday or look forward to tomorrow rather than living in this precious moment that you've been given.” - Brett Young “I think life is a collection of God opening and closing doors. And I think we're the only ones that get in our way of seeing when a door is being closed and when the door is being opened.” - Brett Young  “[I] decided to completely stay away from anything that looked like ministry and even God, because I wasn't sure that there was a place for a girl who had made such a big, big mistake that I thought was beyond recovery.” - Sarah Jakes Robert “It took a step of faith for me to believe that maybe [salvation] applied to me too, not just the woman who's on the other side of the pew or my neighbor, but this same redemption is available to me.” - Sarah Jakes Roberts “It doesn't matter what color we are—on the inside, we're all trying to sort through the sin of life and missing the mark and wondering where we fit. And I have found that sometimes we allow things to divide us that keep us from actually being able to edify one another because of the barriers that exist in culture.” - Sarah Jakes Roberts  “God's presence is always available to us. But sometimes we are present in our life, so much so that we miss out on God's presence.” - Sarah Jakes Roberts ________________________ Enjoy watching these additional videos from Jesus Calling YouTube channel: Audio Playlist: https://bit.ly/2PrbuwH Video Playlist: https://bit.ly/2PsmEkJ What’s Good? Playlist: https://bit.ly/3i7VUlZ ________________________  Connect with Jesus Calling Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest YouTube Jesus Calling Website

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