AuthorDino Katsiametis

#82 Changing From A Selfish Man To A Father – Jon Farkas

    1. During a dark time 23 year old Jon Farkas found the God’s Men of Influence podcast.  After listening to the James & Teri Craft show and a drive he cried for 2 days.  Since then he’s been listening and letting the testimony of men inspire him and open him up even further to God’s love.  This is his testimony.So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.That, however, is not the way of life you learned  when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

      Ephesians 4:17-24

        1. Biggest Weakness – Being judgemental of people.  He looks at people as if he is better than, but is humbled when he finds he is not..
        2. Biggest Strength – The love of the father.
        3. Jon was adopted and grew up in an evangelical home, but it was dysfunctional.  He never felt close to God.
        4. Jon feels emotionally disconnected to his adopted parents and therefore doesn’t feel like he belongs anywhere.  He was always getting in trouble as a kid.
        5. Dark Time – The last few years he’s brought many self-destructive issues into his relationship.  His girlfriend was very stable, but he was not.  He was addicted to porn and was unfaithful.  She got pregnant had the baby and then he was unfaithful again.  He told her what happened and they separated.  Jon ran away and got into other relationships and partied.  His girlfriend moved away with his son and won’t let Jon be a part of his life.
        6. Jon went to Missouri where they are now living.  He played with his son and began making excuses for not being there for him.  On his drive back he found the God’s Men of Influence Podcast.
        7. He realized he was driving people away with his actions and has decided to surround himself with men who will hold him accountable.
        8. Jon thought he needed to separate from his son to get things right in his life, but now he realizes he needs to be with his son.
        9. His son’s mother wants him to give up his rights to be with his son, but he now he won’t.
        10. Jon considered ending his life, but thought about his son and now he wants to be the father he never had.
        11. Recommended Books:  “How To Raise A Modern Day Knight” & “The Purpose Driven Life”


       

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#81 How Do You Reconcile the Death of a Child With Faith – Pastor Erik Rees

          1. March 3, 2011, Jessie Rees (age 11) was diagnosed with an incurable form of Brain Cancer.  She moved to heaven on Jan 5, 2012 and Erik knows that through Jesus he will see her again.  Erik has to invest in his family everyday, there is no rewind button.  This is his testimony.“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” – Ephesians 2:10
              1. Biggest Weakness – Selfishness.  We all fight it, but this hit him hard after Jessie was diagnosed.  Erik had taken his family for granted.
              2. Biggest Strength – Faith in God.  It’s what got him through the death of his daughter.  Erik yelled and screamed at God, but has held on to the promise of heaven.
              3. Dark Time – Grew up in an abusive family with an abusive father, but although the time with Jessie was very dark, she was the silver light.  Every dad wants to save their child and when you can’t the only option is to trust.
              4. Jessie asked the question “when do the other kids go home?”  After hearing the answer she asked, “How can we help them?”  This changed everything.
              5. She created bags for the kids who couldn’t leave the hospital.  Jessie’s middle name was Joy and so they came up with Joy Jars.  Erik and Jess did this in the garage and then would bring them up to the hospital on her next visit.  During Jessie’s 10 month 2 day fight she sent over 3,000 Joy Jars to children with the message of NEGU (Never Ever Give Up).
              6. To donate go to jessie.org
              7. Erik uses Jessie’s NEGU motto to get through every day.  He spends a lot of time pastoring to families of children with cancer.
              8. Our faith does not tell us to sit on the sidelines, so Erik focuses on creating smiles.
              9. Erik had prayed and screamed and begged God to help his daughter.  When she wasn’t, he took the only choice he had which was to believe in God, his family and to not be bitter for their sake.  God had answered the prayer that Jessie wouldn’t suffer.
              10. After Jessie went to heaven, Erik’s wife went through severe depression and despair.  It took them a year to a year and a half to get through the initial grief.
              11. Jessie’s mom is now heavily involved in the foundation.
              12. Great Advice: Find people to be your anchors, who know you as well as God does and be real with them.  Get help.
              13. God’s Man of Influence – Allow God to work through you to do good in the world.
              14. Recommended Book: “Living the Life You’re Meant To Live” by Tom Patterson

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#80 Fear, Insecurity, Anxiety and the Healing Message of the Bible – Mark Giraud

          1. What happens when you grow up lacking affection from your parents?  Insecurity, fear of transitions and anxiety ruled Mark Giraud until he read his bible and began to heal.“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” – Proverbs 3, 5 & 6
            1. Mark is a wealth consultant for Vantaquest.  At Vantaquest, they encourage clients to find their calling not only financially but in life.
            2. Today Mark is grateful that God has brought him to a place where he can be obedient and happy in his relationship with the Lord and his family.  He’s very involved in Celebrate Recovery ministry.
            3. Biggest Weakness – A drive to perform that became a false Idol and an effort to control.
            4. Biggest Strength – Commitment to Christ and be faithful.
            5. Dark Time – Grew up in New Orleans and was missing a lack of emotional connection with his parents.  Normal transitions were difficult for Mark, because life felt scary.  Mark struggled with low self-esteem and anxiety.  He was socially awkward and when his parents divorced it made things worse.   The lie was that he had something to prove and led to a performance focus that left him empty.
            6. His life looked OK when he was first married, but he was dying inside.
            7. At 25 he became a Christian when he missed church on Christmas Day and went back to reading the bible.
            8. God showed Mark a book “How People Can Change” by  and this taught him about community.  Mark found a counselor who said he was not loving his wife well by not confronting her problems. His wife wasn’t interested in transforming their marriage.
            9. Mark had to change the pattern of avoiding conflict and he couldn’t do it without community and God.
            10. In every addicts life, there’s always an enabler helping them to continue their behavior.  Mark became very intentional about getting better.  He had to acknowledge the things from the past and grieve for them with God.  Then he repented for carrying the lies with him about himself and take responsibility even though it was easy to feel like a victim.
            11. God’s Man of Influence – Be aware that the Holy Spirit lives within you.  Seek God’s will and be obedient to it.
            12. Recommended Book – “S.H.A.P.E” by Erik Rees
            13. 562-598-7800

            mark@vantaquest.com

             

 

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#79 God Wrecked Him In Order To Help Him – John Tumminello

          1. God will show a man who he’s been so that he can change who he will be.  This is a lesson that John Tumminello learned when he woke up having everything, looked in the mirror and hated himself.“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” – John 15:5
            1. John is from NY.  He’s a father of 2 children and husband.  While trying to help people, he believes he’s learned more than he’s given.  God has wrecked him to teach him.
            2. John’s non profit’s are focused on the fatherless and those who were wounded by their experiences with their fathers.
            3. John’s father had one arm and ran a deli to keep the family fed and his mom was detached.  He didn’t feel a lot of affection as a youth, because his parents suffered from the were scared to stop working.
            4. Biggest Weakness – When he’s running ahead of God
            5. Biggest Strength – To encourage people.
            6. Dark Time – He didn’t even know how he got there, but his dark time lasted 5 years.  He was told he was selfish emotionally and would consume people and alcohol.  He was very promiscuous  John was at a high point financially and in business during his dark time.  He used his skills for his own advantage instead of for God’s kingdom.   Anyone who has God’s spirit does not enjoy that lifestyle, it’s there to cover the pain.
            7. John grew up Catholic, but it was more of a cultural experience.  In that space God, put the right people in front of John, like a Christian brother who prayed for him from age 16 to 38.
            8. 2 people who were really close to John that called him emotionally selfish was the change he needed.  He woke up, looked in the mirror and saw the ugliness.
            9. It took 5 years to change his life. John went into isolation.  He moved to California to try and get away from himself.
            10. The final transition was when he started reading.  Found a book called “Just like Jesus” by Max Lucado.  It was when he first really heard the Gospel even after Catholic high school and college.
            11. When John struggles it’s because he is not trusting God.
            12. God’s Man of Influence – Less words and more action.  Lead with who you are.  Walk in a way that let’s people know that God is in your life.
            13. Recommended Book – “Tattoos on the Heart” by Greg Boyle and “Abba’s Child” by Brennan Manning.

             



 

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