AlongTheWay

100 Journeys AlongTheWay - Featuring Doug Stringer - AlongTheWay 100

October 04, 2021 John Matarazzo / Doug Stringer Season 1 Episode 100
AlongTheWay
100 Journeys AlongTheWay - Featuring Doug Stringer - AlongTheWay 100
Show Notes Transcript

For 100 episodes, host and Fellow Traveler, John Matarazzo has been joining people along their way as he’s tried to become more like Jesus every day. Doug Stringer returns for this milestone episode and they look back at God’s faithfulness and the lessons learned AlongTheWay.

Somebody Cares

A Word in Season


Doug’s first episode

https://link.chtbl.com/ATWDougStringer

Lisa Stringer

https://link.chtbl.com/ATWLisaStringer


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John Matarazzo:

Well, this is a very special episode of along the way, this is actually episode one 100. This is quite an achievement, I think anytime that you set out to do something in your life, and then you end up doing 100 of them over a period of time and you're consistent, you've achieved something pretty great, especially whenever God is given is the one that has given the vision to get things going. And that's what happened with me with this podcast. I'm grateful for everybody that has been listening along the way. For these 100 episodes, there's benefits, some bonus episodes in there that are a little bit off the normal format. But when God spoke to me about this podcast I had, I was just wondering, okay, God, you've given me this vision, this idea, something that you want me to do, but how's it all gonna work out? And that was a question that I had for God. And I just decided I was gonna start. And so April 15, is when of 2019 is when along the way officially got launched. And the was was public. And I decided I was going to put out an episode every other week. But then God actually provided an opportunity, and just the guest after guests, and I was able to do an episode every week. And at least for most of this time, up until recently, when I moved to Florida, things of my schedules changed a little bit. But I was kind of running out of the people that I knew, right at the beginning, I had interviewed the host of my TV show that I was producing at the time. And I was kind of like, okay, God, how's this all gonna work out. And then God brings my guest that we're going to be talking to in just a moment into my life. And Doug stringer and I had, we had interacted before, but never quite to the level that this podcast has actually helped us become really, really good friends. And it was I never forget the conversation that Doug and I had offset. And he said that he was going to be sticking around in town for another couple days. And he would love to do a podcast with me. And we booked it. And we made that happen. And I want to say, Doug, thank you so much for rejoining me along the way and allowing our allowing our paths to cross again. And I just want to say that that conversation and those series of events, is something that God really used to really confirm in me that this idea was from him that he was going to bring people into my life along the way. And I'm so grateful that the way that he brought you into my life wasn't just a chance meeting. And like a temporary thing. You've been somebody that has continued to be in my life since then. I mean, you've actually, you've been back up to the studio, you brought your wife with you. And then you said you need to interview Lisa, which was another great episode. And we've just done, we've just kept in touch and you text me periodically just to see how things are going. And I do the same with you. And like, God just use you in my life. To let me know that as I'm available and obedient, that God does some great, great things. And he can use all of us. So Doug, thanks again for joining me for this very special 100th episode of along the way.

Doug Stringer:

Wow, john, I am extremely honored and blessed and privileged to be able to be your 100th podcast and, of course, really enjoyed our friendship over the years. And you're right, who would have thought that just the over two years ago, when you started your podcast along the way that you would be doing what you're doing today? I mean, of course God had used you extremely in so many ways and breadth of ways. But to see what God is doing now and the reach you have globally has been amazing. So, so appreciate you and I appreciate your consistency. And of course always but I like that message. I think I'm going to borrow that from you. Okay, available. And I like that I think I'm the minister that some time. Oh,

John Matarazzo:

I think you should definitely I mean I definitely I forget who I stole that from I think it was the this guy that Asian Forrest Gump. So yeah, I mean, whenever you whenever you just drop that in the in our interview, and you just, you just basically summed up the how to be a good Christian how to be a follower of Jesus in two things being available and being obedient. Yes, and I'm like, out of all the things that I've learned in my life, I can do that. I can make myself available and I can be obedient to what God calls me to do. And that has been a consistent challenge in my life, just to continue to do that. And just to see how God has, has met me along the way through that. So we have, john,

Doug Stringer:

that when I think about this, it's been 40 years, I'll be celebrating 40 years. But when the Lord really, really invaded my world, and in the trajectory of my life changed 40 years ago, but one of the first things I felt like the Lord spoke deeply to my heart was if you'll be available, and obedient, and I thought, well, Jesus says the Alpha and the Omega, the eo site in my head, I even say, the point is, if every day is just about surrendering to him, just making ourselves available to him. And then we walk in simple obedience, because that's the highest form of worship isn't because first time the word obedience, or the first time the word worship is ever mentioned in Scripture, is not in the context of singing or instruments, but in the context of obedience.

John Matarazzo:

Wow. So, you know, Doug, I want to ask about this, because it's been two years since we did your initial interview, actually, but closer to two and a half years now. And the world has changed quite a bit. And, you know, we've had the coronavirus pandemic that we're still dealing with. people's lives have been drastically changed for that people have lost the loved ones, people have lost their jobs. There's been all these crisises. As a result of that, throughout these last couple years, how has that mantra of being available and obedient, continue to resonate with you and open up doors for you?

Doug Stringer:

Oh, absolutely. You know, within that, obviously, is the factor of many, men's hearts, fail them out of fear. We see that in Luke chapter nine, when it talks about that, or Luke chapter 21, the men's hearts will fail them. And so we've seen so many people who even are people of faith, who have been overtaken by stress, anxiety, and even recently, I was talking about the the impact of what I call corporate trauma. Because every day if we're honest, even internally, we're all struggling through these thoughts, all the information we're gathering all that we're hearing all the the the dismissiveness the increase of challenges, global challenges, of course, exasperated by the pandemic and other issues. And so we're constantly internalizing these things. And so we end up having this what we call corporate trauma. And so for the last two and a half years since our podcast together and being together actually doing a podcast live, recorded live in Pittsburgh, that so much has changed. And so, in fact, I was in Tokyo, Japan, and I was in Malaysia, December of 2019, actually meeting with leaders and friends to talk about what to do for the 2020 Olympics, about how it reaches so we're already moving in that way, how do we use that as an opportunity to minister and of course, a pandemic happened in 2020 Olympics was postponed, and it changed everything. But in the midst of that, I realized look just like when I went through, we talked about before, I went through stage four B cell lymphoma cancer back in 2015. And I had to come to the realization that, you know, the circumstances that were that had been put on me, are things that can either dictate the way I live, or I'm going to continue to be available and obedient Lord, and recognize what is my greater calling? So I don't want to walk in fear. In fact, Leonard Ravenhill is is you know, had an influence in my life, you know, he was like a spiritual grandpa. And he said to me, let others live on the raw edge of the cutting edge, you and I shall live on the Edge of Eternity. And so when I process these moments of unexpected detours and challenges, I begin to process the importance of look, am I going to let the circumstance caused me to cower and to sit in my chair and just tremble? Or am I going to say, look, I need to walk in wisdom, walk in caution, faith, not presumption, and discernment. But I also have to use these moments to say God, how can you use me to reach more people? What's the strategy that is Dr. Edwin Lewis Cole used to say that the wisdom is in the strategy so God give me a strategy, this new wine skin for this new wine of what you're pouring out? How can we take what's meant for harm and turn it for good? And so we've seen an expansion of influence. In fact, I'm probably busier than I've ever been, as you probably are as well. And I'm I'm ministering to people all over the world. I mean, one moment I was on during this whole last two years, I've been on calls with leaders in Iran, leaders in North and South Korea, leaders from all over the world via virtual in ways and people really now tuning in to hear in ways they weren't listening before or people were about doing their business. I think moments like this bring us to a place of having to read to read, reevaluate, recalibrate, and to really begin to review where we really are and where we're really going. Yeah,

John Matarazzo:

and I remember something that you know, I I learned from you, I think you've posted this on social media during the beginning of the pandemic, where you had just kind of randomly, but really from God, a storehouse filled with these K and 95 masks that were like, worth their weight in gold at the beginning of the pandemic. And God used you to distribute that. I want to ask about where did those originally come from? And then How was that received? And just, again, that was you being available and obedient. Those years? I remember you said that those were sitting in the warehouse for a while. So like, tell me that story.

Doug Stringer:

Sure, you know, because we're we get involved in a lot of disaster relief efforts and partnering with a lot of our partner organizations and, and during the North California fires in just about two and a half, three years ago, we had given away 10s of 1000s of in 95 mass and been donated to us. And and as things were transitioning, they realized they didn't need the in 90 fives anymore. So we had about 100,000 left. And with all the we're doing I had totally forgotten we had that many left. And so when the call came out from you know, the White House at the time, and government officials and medical professionals, first responders, were we have a shortage of N 95 masks, and I'm thinking, I think we had some left, let's go check. We looked at our storage and all that, oh, my goodness, we have about 100,000 of these. The next thing I realized we in created an equity, relational equity because I had medical hospitals, urgent care clinics, we had first responders, police departments, we had nursing homes, we had so many people saying, look, we're desperate, we need some. And so we were able to provide those 100,095 met even the Navajo nation in the Vice President and the president of the Navajo Nation, the largest tribal nation in America. You know, we had a relationship with the president, vice president of the Navajo Nation, we provided and 95 masks for them and, and other resources. But the reality was we had these resources almost like as a virtual Joseph storehouse, that we didn't realize we talked about it a lot. We have relationships like that. But in this moment, literally the things that we had not even prepared for intentionally, God had already had a plan. And we provided those things. Even fast forward even to today. I mean, literally right now, people are still responding to me thanking me back, we were working and doing some stuff and mobilizing for the earthquake in Haiti recently. And then, of course, other things that the hurricane Ida in Louisiana, as a result, some of the people that contacted me and medical professionals and others, turns out they go, you know, you helped us out during, during COVID, you actually gave us and 95 bass in California, and you gave us everything we did, totally forgot who we've been working with. But here's this medical doctor who's helping to mobilize medical teams into Haiti and seeing how they could partner with this in after Hurricane Ida. And our relationship started way back with a friend of a friend said, Hey, if you need a 95 mass for your clinic, there's a guy we know in Houston that has that might help you out. And so we did you know, so Wow, all these relationships, I was looking at a word recently, john, is called synchronicity. And it's all these multiple facets of things that that seem to have now connection, but from unrelated areas, but they come together and nothing isn't how God works with there are multiple things and multifaceted things that God is doing simultaneously that we don't see in the moment in a crisis or a situation. But God is already working things out for our good and our benefit.

John Matarazzo:

That word synchronicity is really, really cool, because you know, God does us so many different things all at the same time. And it's just beyond our scope. We just, you know, the Bible says to Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, you know, our own understanding if we lead on that. I believe it was Bob DS that said, basically, if you lean on your own understanding, you're going to fall because there's nothing there. But if you lean on Jesus, he's going to be the one to hold you up. And so as we trust in the Lord, as you've done so faithfully for so many years, like God's enabled you to work with his synchronicity and develop those relationships that you didn't even realize were happening. That's so good.

Doug Stringer:

Isn't that going back again to it's not anything that I've done, it's just just being available. And an obedient even early on to say, Lord, just it whoever you bring my way today, let me be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and sensitive to you and to the needs of the people. You bring my way. Even as I do that, then that availability gives access to opportunities to minister. So even in what we do in our ministry, that a true witness rescues live is one of our themes, you know, with the Proverbs 1425 is that if we are ministering in tangible ways, then it opens the hearts of even people who disagree with us mentally or intellectually. But if we touch the heart, it draws him in to receive our message and good news.

John Matarazzo:

Amen. Amen. You know, Doug, is we're talking here, I'm just thinking about the relationships that God has brought into my life through this podcast. And, you know, I've done 100 episodes now, and I've done some with multiple people, but that's like, you know, probably 80 people have been brand new people in my life in different ways. And I'm so thankful for those relationships that God has brought into my life. And I just mentioned, you know, I didn't I did an interview with retired Major General Bob DS. And I know that he actually spoke at one of your leadership seminars that you've been doing. Can you talk about that, and how those relationships have led to you now pouring into other people's lives in specifically these relational ways?

Doug Stringer:

Short Here comes that that unrelated, seemingly unrelated moment again, I didn't even realize until just a few days ago, because Jeff, Major General Bob DS, retired military, actually serves on my advisory board for our ministry, and is spoken at our summit. He's spoken at our leadership intensives that we do for leaders, and someone brought to my attention. Well, Doug, you know how you first met? General deza said, Well, no, we're talking about 20 years ago, we were doing this inner city work, and with these different ministries, and we are bussing in and getting limousines and escorts and all that to bring these children who had never experienced a premiere read, walking the red carpet, so we are premiering a movie, and we bought in all these inner city kids to the movie theater to get like the big to do run by limos and, and had people to chaperone them. And general Bobby's is one of the people that was a part of that. And so I forgot our relationship began all those years ago, and then you fast forward and, and incredible blessing is to us. And so it's amazing. And you know, and incredible work he's doing obviously. So yeah. And then we ended up serving together on the PTSD Foundation of America, which is works primarily with military and post traumatic stress. And so he and I'd served on the board of that. And so there's many things that we've done interact, to the point that now we are literally he would consider me a good friend, I consider him a good friend, and he serves on my advisory board.

John Matarazzo:

Wow. And so he spoke at one of your, one of these seminars that you are doing that's virtual. And, you know, you're you have people tuning in from around the world that, you know, are grateful to learn leadership principles, how has that been received? And how, you know, how did you get started doing this and say, hey, I want to, I want to make this available? Like, tell me tell me a little bit about that. And so who are the some of the people that you've had? And what are some of the outcomes of that?

Doug Stringer:

Sure. You know, well, two years ago at our global summit for our ministry, dinner, Bob days actually spoke live with us. That was incredible. And then because of COVID, we did we doing these every at least twice a month, we do these virtual ones with leaders called transforming leadership. And we've had general Bob DS, and of course, that has really connected a lot of people resonating with that message. And he has, and then we've had people like the the CEO and president of outdoor channel or an outdoor sportsman, and which is the largest imprint or footprint of, of media for outdoor sportsmen from fishing and hunting etc. Who's a believer in the Lord doing a Christian actually producing a Christian film. We've had john Beckett of it, who is a great businessman out of Cleveland, and who's written many books on loving Mondays and things like that and and we've actually had the vice president Senior Vice President and co founder of the Orlando Magic basketball team, and in I've met him because he was actually on social media, posting about one of my books and why people need to read it. I direct I direct messaged him I said Do I know you? I don't know but I love your book. I said would you wrote me an endorsement for the next print run? He was absolutely 24 hours later at a incredible you know, endorsement from him. And so we've had so many great leaders like that I have che on coming on. Soon. We have Bishop del Bronner, I'll have been longtime friend is Brian Simmons who is the lead translator for the passion Translation by Ohio. Okay. And so and we've had Bishop bond MacLaughlin, we've had so many great people and the idea was I wanted people that were in the 70s spheres of society are what some called the seven mountains. And let me just say this I agree with certain friends of mine that there's actually eight spheres or mountains. Because the true biblical Christianity and and the mountain of the kingdom of God is shouldn't be lumped in with just religion mountain. There's so many religions out there. So I agree with cherisher. But for the sake of the common language of seven nights we've talked about, so we want to reach those mountains. So doing that we bring in people who talk about their, their journey of faith, how they had a revelation of the work of the crossbar, the resurrection, and how they personally overcame unexpected detours their lives and overcame by the word that by the word of the Lord were the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. And, and so it's amazing how dialogue comes through all that. And as they begin to share, it just opens up. I've had people from Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, all over the world listening in Europe listening in on some of these, because we turn them into our podcast, but they start out as a live, you know, zoom type of conversations. Yeah.

John Matarazzo:

And your podcast, a word and season with Doug stringer and friends is also on the charisma Podcast Network. So you know, we're buddies in that world as well. And so I've been on your podcast, that was a while ago. But that was a lot of fun to, you know, to be able to connect with you again, that way,

Doug Stringer:

only to have you back on to kind of give me an update. Okay, going on with you. But I want to say answer one thing you had kind of, to earlier, because how did I get involved in doing these things I did not even want to add to my plate, doing a podcast and doing these, these other calls. But in light of what happened with COVID, these became platforms and opportunities that I felt were we had to take responsibility and but it was friends like you. It was my millennial counsel, it was others that said, Doug, you look even though you might think you're getting older, we need your voice. Yeah, absolutely. I don't I don't have the technical savvy, I don't know, it doesn't matter. You can say Mary had a little lamb just do something. Because we really need to hear from you. Our generation needs to hear your voice, right? So I've been experimenting all along the way along the way. There we go. And asking friends like you and others to give me advice. And I've been amazed at one point, I was told that our podcast was one of the top 5% of the podcasts that were being downloaded up that really, and I go back and listen to my own stuff and go, why would I even listen to that. And so we're getting creative and, and people like you are consulting us and helping us. And so that's been very good.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, I know, I really appreciate the wisdom of people that have gone before me. And that's really what this podcast is all about. One of the core things of that is, you know, I want to learn from people's experiences of where Jesus was walking with them, but they didn't realize it in the moment. But as we look back, we can learn from that. And you know, we see Jesus there, and we can learn from it, so that we don't miss him in the future. And I know, because of my time with you, Doug, I have been more attuned to where Jesus is walking with me in my daily life, where if I hadn't had this conversation with you have previous conversations with you and develop this relationship with you. I don't know if I would have been as obedient and as available. Because I was being purposeful due to our conversation. And I started realizing that, hey, God is really in this situation, I need to take a breath, say, God, where are you? What do you want me to do about this? How can I make myself available? How can I be obedient? And there's been things that I've learned from every podcast episode that I've done, you know, my life has drastically changed because of this podcast. And beyond just the conversations. I mean, it's opened up a door for me to move to Orlando, Florida to work directly with the charisma podcast, network, and charisma media. And now, I get to really coach and help our podcasters with the tools and things that God has equipped me with along the way, my almost nine years of working in TV production and doing my podcast and doing the radio school in South Africa and my eight years as a missionary with why wham, I totally see how God has used everything is kind of like building blocks for the next thing. And you know, as long as God has me here doing this, I am super excited to come alongside of our podcasters to help them reach the goals that God has for them to reach the audience around the world. And it's it's so cool to be able to work with your team and others to be able to do that with what God has given me. And he's entrusted me with and I'm just trying to be available and obedient. And so again, I thank you and all the people that I've interviewed that I've been able to take and apply things from In my life for that deposit

Doug Stringer:

was speaking of why Wham you know over the last two and three years I've been speaking a lot for why Wham Tyler and others interconnect of course was circuit riders and others and but I was actually speaking to a gathering of a few 100 of why whatever is coming in to Tyler we talked about where do we go with our next season of why Wham. And it was I felt like it was time for that new wine skin time for that, get back to what has has been your core values, but bring it to the present in the context of the present. Little bit I realized that in fact, I ended up having coffee and hanging out with a guy named Dustin Tavella and and so afterwards, and he was one of the people part of why Wham there. And next thing I know, I'm watching and hearing from everybody say, oh, Dustin, just one What was it? Is it America's Got Talent? Yeah, the one that I'm thinking that's Dustin, the guy that we were hanging out with it? Why would so God is doing something fresh and why when helping lead the way with things like the sand and frontline missions and in Afghanistan, it's amazing how God will take those who have been consistent in their values. And he'll bring it for a moment those suddenly moments, you know, in the Scripture, the word suddenly is written over 80 times. Okay, and so when that suddenly moment comes, it's not because just happened suddenly to it to suddenly to us, but God had already been orchestrating things. And I think if we're consistent, we're available, we walk in simple obedience to God, then God can entrust us in those moments like we're going through right now for people to expand the purposes of the kingdom and to reach more people for Christ.

John Matarazzo:

So now I'm getting this from you that I've got to add a C to that a and the Oh, so consistent, available and obedient. Okay, I gotta work on that, yeah, be more consistent,

Doug Stringer:

that's good with with that see his personal consecration, you know, it's like I, I tell my friends and my family, I said, Look, God calls each of us when you go to a new level of responsibility or influence is also requires a new level of personal consecration, I'm not talking to external piety, but that place of totally surrendering to God, and so others may or may not. And so, but I don't want to project my personal consecrations on others, but I am responsible for what God's called me to go deeper. And there are some things that I that others can do that God's saying that I don't need you to do that I need you to hone in, get refined, and just stay focused in the lane I've given you.

John Matarazzo:

Amen. Yeah, being focused in that lane, that God's given you to do is, it's a very freeing message, because it's so easy to get distracted by things that are on the right or the left. But, you know, I just heard somebody say recently that if you, if you were to fly a plane from Los Angeles to New York, and just be off by like a degree or two, by that time, you would totally, totally Miss and you'd be somewhere in Florida, I think, if you're, you know, off by just a couple degrees. And so if you're not paying attention to the lane, that God has you the things that he's called you to, and you're trying to do all these other things that you know that God's not calling you, too, I'm not saying don't try other things, you know, figure it out what it is that you're called to, and figure out what you're not called to. And that is just as helpful as figuring out what you are called to, because then at least you can, you can know that you need to focus your energies on, you know, don't focus your energies on something that you're not as good at, let's do what God's gifted you to do. And one of the things that God's gifted you to do is writing and your books. You had a book recently that got rebranded and added to it. And can you talk about that a little bit, I just grateful that your books, the messages that God has given you are really timeless and you can just kind of add to them and say, This is the results of what has happened from these from these books.

Doug Stringer:

Well, this book you originally was written and published in 2001, was sported by jack hayford. And so he had actually had me out to California to speak to a group of pastors. And he told the publisher, he said, You need to get this young man's message out, and obviously I want to get his message out. And so I said, Well, if you want me to write the book, jack, no one's gonna read my book unless you write the foreword. So he's, so I tell people, they'll read the book because of Jack's board, but so in the last guest couple, three years, a publisher, Whitaker house publishers in Pittsburgh, who was one of my publishers, and said, Doug, we really feel like that message that you originally wrote in 2001. needs to be rewritten or updated and re released because it really is a title as you said, a timeless message. So the original was called somebody cares, because was the name of our organization. And I didn't really like the name of that, but God knew it used it. Yeah. And but then it really was about the principle. It's why we call it now the original title was mending the net. And that's what it's called now. It's called mending the net, bringing hope in a hurting world, we added two new chapters on the front end and the back end and made some edits throughout the book. But it's amazing the response we're getting today, but 20 years later, from that message, because it's a book that I believe is resonating with people today, we need to bring hope in a hurting world. But it's also about you can't catch a, you only catch one fish with one fishing pole. But if we become amended net together, and we're secure in our piece of the net, but we're mended together, cast by the Lord, we bring in a lot, a lot more fish together, and the harvest is greater. So we talk a lot about the stories as a lot of effect. You know, I've told you the story of a person that had AIDS that really hated Christians and, and so unbeknownst to him, as he was harassing us and harassing me on radio, and different times, we paid his light bill and his electricity, his light bill and his grant, anonymously. And when he found out about it, he didn't know what to do. And so the night before he passed away from from AIDS, I sent one of my spiritual sons there to visit with him who also had HIV. And because I was out of town, and and the person that hated us kept saying, why did you pay my rent? Why did you pay my light bill? And so he would file it, he said, because that's what Christians do. Because but I harassed you, that's okay. We didn't respond based on how you thought about us. We want to respond Christ like, well, he ended up giving his life to the Lord. And the next day, he ended up entering the kingdom into the kingdom and the doorway to heaven, right. And so I was telling that story, never mentioned his name at a large church in another part of Texas. And between services, a woman comes up to me and says, says, excuse me, can I ask you the story you were talking about? What's his name such and such? I said, Yes. Did you know him? She begins to cry. She was That was my son. I had been praying God would you send people to reach my son. So we never know again, those moments of obedience, that impact one life, actually is a connection to people's prayers and impacting many more lives. And so we tell stories like that throughout there, but also, the update, 21 years of things have been going 20 years, the things have been going on, since it was first written, all written in the book, many in the net bring you hope, and a hurting world, but it's about spreading the net, washing the net, being laid out before God, and then mending the net, we all need to be healed. And God is doing the work in us and together as the church the body of Christ. So once we're mended, then God can take us and cast the net together, and bring in a greater harvest.

John Matarazzo:

Wow, Doug, that story is amazing. And I love glimpses of that, you know, when you get to see, like that mother had probably had no clue that her son received Jesus on his deathbed until she heard you tell that story? Absolutely. And you just know that, you know, it might have taken more than 20 years for her to find out about that. But to bring that peace to to her life is is remarkable. And so I

Doug Stringer:

tell people often john, it's not about really, we get to be the donkey that Jesus writes on. It's not about us. It really was about this praying mama is about the passion of her cried, and to encourage you and I tell people all the time, if you're praying for your last child, if you're praying for an unsaved loved one, don't stop praying those prayers were barding Evan

John Matarazzo:

Absolutely. And it's it's just amazing to see how God does have that synchronicity planned you know how he usually brings those things into our lives at the right time at the right place, and sometimes he's waiting for us to be ready to hit that mark at the right time. And he's preparing for those things and you know, like the guy that you mentioned Dustin Tavella you know, God's been preparing him and now he has a platform through winning America's Got Talent I mean, he was a missionary with why Wham he's done music and he wins that for his magic show. I mean that's that's pretty crazy like you know God's been preparing him for that you know God's been preparing the here's somebody else that I see on your social media a lot the the kingdom ninja or the

Doug Stringer:

American Ninja Warrior warrior Kingdom yet

John Matarazzo:

how did how did God connect the two of you I know you're like a kingdom ninja yourself. But, you know, I don't I haven't seen any videos of you doing one of those courses yet, though. Well, I

Doug Stringer:

actually did something with them. We did. There was there was a Make a wish was trying to help a young boy that he learned A Liam who has cancer had cancer and, and they because of COVID they couldn't do honor his wish so his secondary wish was, he told us and who happens to work with us. I would love to meet American Ninja Warrior Kingdom ninja Daniel Gill well Daniel is a worship leader in Houston at a church I speak at a lot so we got to know each other that way. And then he also had works at a training facility a gymnasium that also does a lot of the Ninja training so I said well, we can make that happen. And so Daniel was so gracious and spent so much time with Liam and and and so they all convince me to run up one of the walls I did do one of the walls, but the big one, no way right now. And But Daniel is a great guy. In fact, a few years ago, we actually went to Japan together. And so here you have this American Ninja Warrior. And then you have the way they call me the the Oji the old old generation Kingdom ninja. And so that was a great time together was were administering in Japan with a group there called 10. c. And, and so we've stayed friends ever since. And so he's actually been one of my speakers before. And he's been on my podcast and also our video series. And and so we actually text like you and I do from time to time just checking on each other. And yeah, and he wasn't able to to he was the actual all time winner on in 2020 for American Ninja Warrior, but because they tested positive wasn't feeling any symptoms, but during the 2021 season, at one point, he tested positive, which then eliminated them from the COVID season. Yeah.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah. Which is Yeah. Yeah, just wanted to make sure that we you know, he tested positive for COVID not any other substances, right?

Doug Stringer:

That's right. Yeah. But his attitude was so great. I told him, you're still a champion of champions. And, and because his attitude was right, he's grounded in the Lord. And he's just preparing already exercising and get ready for next year.

John Matarazzo:

Wow, that's really cool. I love the connections that God has provided you with and you know, God's provided me with too. And it's something that you can really just appreciate, as you look back, and you see, wow, there's these connections have really been a blessing to my life. And the connections themselves have multiplied our efforts multiplied, the multiplied the the benefits of that, and we've both benefited from these relationships. And I definitely feel that way about about you, Doug, and your wife, Lisa, who I got to interview with her book. God did not do this to me, which, you know, I'm going to in the show notes here, I'm going to put in a link to Doug's first episode with me, his wife, Lisa, is episode. Anything else related that I can throw in there, just you know, just so you can hear all these amazing things that God has allowed us to do together along the way. And I'm just so grateful for this opportunity that we have to kind of look back at that, Doug, what advice do you have, as we are moving forward, in this season of life that we're in, you know, I just went through a giant season of change. I moved from Pittsburgh, where I had been living for 36 years other than my eight years as a missionary, but that's where my family's from. And I had been working there for a while, and I felt the Lord saying now is the time and he provided an opportunity and confirmed it. And I picked up and moved to Orlando, Florida. So this is like a brand new chapter for me. And so, you know, I've labeled everything in that I've been doing in my podcast still is season one. But I kind of feel like in my life, I'm in a new chapter or in a new season right now. What advice can you give to me as I'm continuing to go along my way, especially something that you maybe haven't given me before.

Doug Stringer:

But Well, two things in particular, because I think you you actually epitomize this in your, in your life, you use, you continue to have a spirit of humility, with confidence. And you continue to want to stay low before the Lord but yet he picks you up and expand your capacity. But you also always wanting to be in his presence, which allows you to draw near to here with the spirit The Lord is saying, so you can then move and do what God says to do. Those are sensitivities that only happen when we draw near to him. Everything we do, should be out of his presence, if what I do the good work that I do. It's not about the good work. It's about being motivated because of Christ in me who gives me hard to do good works. So now it's not out of the work of my flesh. It's out of being led by the Holy Spirit. So I think presence and then intentionality of something our mind doesn't want to do because our our flesh wars against a spirit. How can we have the mind of Christ if we don't intend wash our mind in the presence of his word, because he's the living word, but I have to intentionally get into his word. And sometimes I don't feel like it. But I, as I begin to read, I might get stuck on one verse, I don't feel like I have to go beyond that, if I'm stuck, that's the Holy Spirit speaking to me. And I want to just kind of kind of simulate on that for a little bit, just don't want to just nurture, nurture that moment. But staying in His Word, and declaring that His Word is true, and and staying in his presence, I think are important. And then something you said earlier, that I think, is for all of us, relationships, define our destinies. And the degree of influence we have on life relief to the next generation is determined on the level of those relationships, first with God, then with one another, because the kingdom of God is built on relationships, I think we don't forget that piece as Christians, that we have what we have, we are who we are, because of this great act of love that was bestowed on us through Jesus Christ in the work of the Cross and the power of the resurrection. So that relationship with God allows us now a stewardship of relationships with other people, and even people who disagree with us when they see Christ in us, Matthew 516, Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works. I'm a glory to your Father in heaven. At the end of the day, it's not about us, it's about Christ in us, the hope of glory.

John Matarazzo:

Amen. Amen. Like, I thank you for that, you know, I have the benefit of you know, I'm going to be putting this episode together, and I have it recorded. So I get to listen to that wisdom, and that inspiration and encouragement many, many times. And I just want to encourage everybody that is listening. You know, first I want to thank you for listening. You know, many hopefully, you know, if this is your first time listening to along the way, I hope you go back and listen to many other episodes. And if you've been listening to this podcast from the beginning, I hope that you have a lot of along the way moments in your life as well, because of the things that you've learned along the way in this in this podcast. And and I just want to say that this has been a tremendous blessing for me just being obedient to start this podcast, and seeing what God has done with somebody that, you know, I don't have a national platform already. I don't have a ministry backing me, you know, that's paying for me to do the things that I'm doing. I've just tried to be available and obedient. And I've seen God, you know, take this podcast around the world. You know, when I just checked this, this the statistics earlier today, this podcast has reached 188 countries. I'm over 86,000 downloads since I started. And as a somebody that was a former missionary with why Wham I was I was able to go to 15 different countries in person to preach the gospel. And it was hard whenever God called me off the mission field into a new season. But now, my voice and my message and the things that God speaking to me and through through me to other people, and from other people, to me, in the case of these conversations has now reached 188 nations. And I love absolutely love hearing from people that their lives have been changed because of something that they've heard. I know several different people that reach out to me through social media, or through email periodically, and just let me know that something that they heard, made a difference in their life. And so I want to encourage everybody listening, if there's something that you've heard today, or in a previous episode, whatever it might be, I would love to hear how this podcast is making an impact in your life. I would love to hear how the things that Doug has said whether it's this episode or Episode Number 14, called the Asian Forrest Gump, or, you know, something else that has been said has made an impact in your life, you know, as we share those things with other people as we share what we've learned that really gets more solidified in our own lives. And I think that's one of the things, Doug that that we've benefited from is the fact that God gives us an opportunity to share these things, you know, sometimes those those concepts are so simple, that as we reshare it and reshare it they just get solidified and it become part of who we are. And you know another thing that that you said in our first episode was about this concept of legals, Wabi Sabi or kintsugi. kintsugi is the art form, that of basically taking broken porcelain mugs, ceramics and fixing them with gold. You know, I think that's something that has really stuck with me because I'm like, I would often look at something that's broken and say it's this, let's just get a new one. Or, let's fix Got how to fix it so that it doesn't look like it's broken. But what you said in that and explaining that is, is the the Japanese culture looks at those, those imperfections and that brokenness and the fact that it's been fixed as something that is beautiful. Yeah. And could you could you speak to somebody that is feeling that they have no, no value, or they feel like they can't do anything, but that God really wants them to know that, that that's the gold in the in the joints in the cracks that is going to hold them together?

Doug Stringer:

Absolutely. And john, you said it well, because the art of kansui does fit with Wabi Sabi. And that the art of kansui is taking broken pieces that seem to have no more value, putting them back together with golden silver. So the value out of brokenness becomes greater than its original form. And God has a way of doing that. He takes broken people, broken pieces, he puts us together. And it's the value of the kingdom of God that he puts into us that gives us greater value than where we were in our brokenness in our broken state. He creates new creatures creation, because he himself has handpicked us. He has beautifully wonderfully made us, he formulates us. He is the potter and we are the clay, and we trust him. He does something far greater than we could ever do on our own. And secondly, the word Wabi Sabi goes with that, as you mentioned, john, Wabi Sabi is defined beauty in imperfection, it kind of goes hand in hand with artists consuming value out of brokenness, and then the beauty and imperfection. One thing in Japanese culture is, you know, I was born in Japan, john, and one of those things is that, to see even as people look at aging and some culture as being like, wow, they're getting old and wrinkled, but they find a way to find value in even finding value in beauty in your aging process, to see the wisdom of the age to see that the experiences of the age, they begin to respect and honor the age, the former generation, and then also see, like, Look, friends that we know that people that we know, that maybe don't have limbs, and yet they're reaching hundreds of 1000s of people with the gospel, out of that place, what seems to be important, they're not on the front of a bodybuilding magazine, there may not be on the front of some women's magazine. But it's not about the beauty externally. It's about the beauty of the soul, and the beauty of the heart, the beauty of the life, and the willingness to say I'm available to God, and God can take broken people, give them great value, and take imperfections in the natural and turn them into great places of value, and beauty.

John Matarazzo:

Amen. Would you pray for somebody that that really needs to receive that message, right, so

Doug Stringer:

Father, we thank you so much that you transcend moments times, geographic areas, I thank you there right now, Lord, that every one who will be listening to along the way, podcast, Lord, and those who will be sharing what they take in and gleaned from this podcast to others will have an anointing of your presence, or asking Lord for the Ministry of your presence, because it's in your presence, that brokenness leaves that value is is made and that we find that place of purpose beyond what we've gone through. God, I'm praying for those who feel like giving up if you would show them that their circumstance or what they're going through right now that you're already working in other areas around them that they cannot see. And then when that suddenly moment comes, the outpouring of your presence, that all these discombobulated pieces will come together in that valuable moment of your manifest presence for their lives. And the breakthrough because you're the master breakthrough will come on their behalf, you've gone before us, and you're our rear guard. But I prayed for just a supernatural center of your presence. Surround them, Lord God with a sense of love and joy, your manifest peace that surpasses human comprehension. And I pray, Lord God, that out of the most humanly impossible circumstances, you would give them a sense of destiny, and to bring forth something that they could have never done on their own. Just like you did with Hannah, out of her human impossibility, she brought forth a new generation of Prophet and judge to her generation, when I'm praying the same thing out of the most humanly it difficult, impossible circumstances. Bring forth your seeds of destiny in in through those individuals that are looking desperately for answers in their lives in Jesus name. Amen.

John Matarazzo:

Amen. Amen. Doug, thank you so much for giving me some time to reconnect with you along the way. And I've really enjoyed the fact that we've become really good friends. Even though we don't get to see each other in person as much. We stay in touch. And it's been an honor to be able to let you know how much of an impact that you've made in my life, and I would encourage everybody listening that, like I said earlier if this podcast has made an impact in your life, please let me know, email me at john along the [email protected], you can go to my website along the way dot media, and listen to other episodes and join my email list and things like that. But I would just love to hear from you how your life has been impacted, what big or small, whatever it might be, that would really encourage me. And I want to encourage you also that if there's somebody in your life that has said something that has done something that has really helped you in your walk with the Lord, take a moment, send him a text, let them know, however it is, you know, send them a text, email in person, call them voice memo, whatever it is, let them know that they have made an impact into into your life. They might have no idea until you tell them. But that would be a great encouragement. That's something that you can do to apply what what Doug and I have been talking about in this episode, and in a previous episode. So Doug, I just want to thank you, again, for being my friend and allowing me to join you along your way again,

Doug Stringer:

amen. And likewise, my friend, I've really enjoyed our journey together and of course, gleaning and learning from you. And that's one thing I've felt is a very important even for my generation is that we need to also we never stop learning. And I want to keep learning from those who are even coming up and those who are, who are leading the way like you are along the way in the areas of the giftings God's given you. So I pray that I will always be humble and be able to learn and grow and you've been able to be a huge impact and blessing in my life as well.

John Matarazzo:

Amen. Thank you, Doug. Thank you. Thank you, brother.