I’m Dr Ty, your humble host, and I call this volume zero because I’m going to talk a little bit about myself. Now, I don’t normally do this. I’m a private person and I don’t really like talking about myself too much. But there’s nowhere in the Bible where God says: “Hey, sit around and be comfortable.” Most of the Bible is God telling us: “Stop being so comfortable. Get off your butt and do something,” which is the reason for this podcast.
A little bit about me: Most of my life, I was a raging alcoholic. I drank quite a lot. “Like a fish” were words that were told to me quite often.
But for some reason, in 2004, when he came to me, I decided to listen. That’s one of the things that God does: He doesn’t make us listen to him; he gives us free will. And, in 2004, I decided to listen to him.
He woke me up, and it felt like a two by four covered in feathers. He hit me over the head on a Sunday morning. I had been partying the night before, but I wasn’t hungover; I was stone-cold sober.
I sat up straight in bed, and God said: “You need to go to church.”
And it’s interesting how God puts things in our lives. I started my Web design and SEO business in 2002 and three of my first four clients were Christians. I didn’t know it at the time… well, I shouldn’t say that. one of my clients was a church. So, of course I knew they were Christians.
But this was funny because when they hired me, before I even said yes, I said, Do I have to go to your church to do this? And they said no, which, when I became a Christian, made it obvious where I was supposed to go to church.
A little bit about my past. Before that, I had studied Celtic runes, I had practiced Zen Buddhism, tarot cards, I had looked into most occult stuff unfortunately. Well, I won’t say unfortunately because God can use any of our pasts.
I was born and raised Catholic, which is part of the reason why I feel like I was pushed away from church. It’s a little strict. I stopped going to church at about eight or nine.
My sister and I decided we didn’t want to go to church anymore. And we told our parents that, and so our parents stopped going to church.
And so, my sister and I thought; “Well, if it’s that easy to stop going to church, it must not be that important.”
So, I spent a majority of my life away from God. But 15 years ago, he came to me and I went to church for the first time in… I don’t know how long, decades?
And I went to the church that had hired me to do their website, and I started going to church off and on, and I started learning about God’s blessings. I didn’t know it at the time, but that’s what I started learning. I was going to church sporadically, and the more that I went, the more that I started learning about God, the more consistently I started going to church.
In 2005 I went more and more often and I realized that I had been spent my life learning about everything but God. And I knew that I needed to learn about God. so I went into a ministry training that my church offered.
In the beginning of 2006, my father got pneumonia; or, at least we thought it was pneumonia. But it wasn’t: It was Stage four cancer, and it was in his lungs, his brain and all over his body.
At the same time, my mother was dealing with last stages of Alzheimer’s, and my parents passed away 10 days apart from each other in the beginning of 2006.
Remember me telling you I was a raging alcoholic? Well, I got baptized seven days after my father passed away. I had heard that God gives you blessings when you are obedient to him. And being baptized obviously is one of the things that that is obedient to God.
The day I got baptized, I never craved alcohol again. I point that out because we don’t always know what God’s blessings are. We think of blessings as something that’s going to help us, like money or a better house or a better relationship. But God blessed me by taking something away from me: He took my alcoholism. I’ve never craved alcohol since then.
Don’t get me wrong, I have drank since then. I haven’t gotten completely drunk since then, but I have had a beer. The strange thing is, one of my favorite things in the world used to be beer, and now I can’t even stand the taste.
So, God is truly amazing. I spent some time wondering and thinking why it would take so much for God to come into my life. But I realized that God’s always been in my life.
We are born in the presence of God. In fact, John 14:16-17 says:
“and I will ask the father,” this is Jesus talking. “I will ask the father and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. The spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him for he lives with you and will be in you.”
I truly believe that the spirit of truth now dwells in all of us. Maybe not dwells in, but is a part of all of us when we’re born.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says that God will never leave us nor forsake us.
But that doesn’t mean that he’s going to bless us. I started learning about blessings when I was baptized, and the more that I learned about God, the more that he has blessed me in ways that blow me away.
They have nothing to do with money and position or physical things. It’s blessings like… clarity of mind is one of them.
I also have attention deficit disorder, and I’ve recently stopped taking the medications for it. I don’t need them anymore because God cured me of that. And It’s a prayer that I actually prayed to God for many years. But obviously I wasn’t ready until now to accept that blessing.
Think of this because I know that people will say things like: “why doesn’t God give me this? Why doesn’t God give me that?”
So I have a story for you. Think about this: Let’s say that you and I know each other and I hate you; I just I don’t like you at all. I bad mouth you to everybody around you. I’ll even say things like, “Oh, yeah, he died and he doesn’t even live anymore.”
Or “oh, don’t listen to him. Nothing he says matters.” I mean, I’m just I’m a terrible person to you. And then one day I come up to you and I say, “Hey, I need to borrow your car, give me your keys.”
You’re not going to give me your keys, you’re not going to let me borrow your car: I’m being a terrible person to you.
But he’s not a pushover either.
Hebrews 12:5-6 says: “my son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son whom he receives.”
So just because we’re Children of Christ doesn’t mean that he’s going to give us everything we want. We have to do 100% of what we can, and then that’s when he steps in with his blessing.
So when we say, “why doesn’t God feed the poor?” God turns right around. Says why don’t we?
Especially if you’re in America listening to this. Do you know that the average homeless person in America is 100 times richer than the average person in India? I’m not talking about homeless people in India, I’m just talking about the average person.
The average homeless person in America is richer than 70% of the world. We are blessed so amazingly and yet we do so little with it. And I do believe that we are blessed because remember, blessings require obedience.
But obedience doesn’t have to be a huge amount. We could be doing something and just say “thank you, God” when it turns out right. That’s being obedient and God will give us a blessing.
“On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus was passing along between Samaria and Galilee, and as he entered a village, he was met by 10 lepers. They all stood at a distance and lifted up their voice is saying, ‘Jesus, master, have mercy on us.’”
The lepers stood at a distance because, during that time if a leper touched, or even came to near, a clean person they could be killed. They could be murdered right then and there. No judge, no jury, no nothing.
Lepers had to stand away from other people, so “they lifted up their voice is saying ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.”
So, just the act of obedience resulted in a blessing. God blessed them even before they got there. “’Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. And he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving thanks. Now, he was a Samarian. Then Jesus answered, ‘Were not 10 cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”
Think about that. That means the other nine people were all Jews. There was only one Samarian.
“And he said to the Sumerian; rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.’”
So I’m going to end this episode. Just so you know, I’m not going to be talking 40-80 minutes at a time with these volumes, I like to keep things short. So hopefully the max will be 20-30 minutes.
Most of my life God gave me blessings. And there were many times where God was there for me and I still turned away from him. It took until I was 40 years old until I came back. And I really hope it doesn’t take you that long.
So welcome to the first volume of the Simple Christian podcast. It is my goal to show Christianity in a way that is simple because God and Jesus never intended it to be complicated, people did. But God and Jesus never did.
In fact, one more story. You got another minute or two? I like a speaker of a certain podcast. I think it was Faith Church, he’d ask his congregation if he could speak for five more minutes and three people would raise their hand. So he would add them up and say “there’s five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes.”
I won’t take that long, but there’s this story I want to tell you, and this is true story. I have a Doctor of Strategic Leadership, and I have spent 10 years working towards that. And I’ve gone to several different schools. My doctorate is from Faith Seminary in Tacoma, Washington, but I’ve been to several different schools.
In one of the schools that I went to, I took a test for a professor, and one of the questions on the test was: “Is God able to create a best possible universe?” And the professors answer to that question was: No, God is not able to create a best possible universe because a best possible universe would be completely indistinguishable from God himself.
Now, when I was asked that question, my answer was: Yes, of course, because God could do anything he wants to do. That’s the simple answer.
The professor came up with a complicated answer. Now, did that complicated answer glorify God or glorify that professor?
We all have to watch out for vanity. And I think whenever we make Christianity difficult, it’s because we’re being vain. I’m really hoping that this podcast will help will help take difficult subjects and make them a lot simpler for you and for me, because I’m learning a lot already in doing these episodes.
Thank you for bearing with me with volume zero.
Number one is coming up next. I’m going to be talking about “Why did God create evil?” Hopefully, I can make that simple for you.
Oh, and please comment on this volume below and subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast player. Thanks again for listening. And I will talk to you next time.