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The Journey Principles Podcast

It is our hope that the Journey Principles Podcast will help you grow and lead you toward the life you want with amazing guests, easy to apply practical principles, and personal motivation. Stephen shares from his knowledge, his experiences, and most of all, his heart! He knows all about suffering and bears witness to how amazing life can be when we choose to take a stand and apply principles that matter. Many of these are the same principles that transcended him from being virtually homeless and ready to take his life to becoming a respected and successful business owner. In a very transparent way, Stephen and his guests will walk you through the principles they have adopted into their lives and use daily. They will teach you how to transform from who you think you are today to becoming who you’re meant to be! It does not matter what kind of setbacks you have experienced so far. Stephen and his guests share from their personal, real-life journeys in order to empower you, the listener.
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Now displaying: May, 2016
May 30, 2016

Hope Through Suffering The Loss of a Loved One with Pastor Ferrell Hardison:

Welcome back JP Family! Today we have someone with a genuine heart for helping others. Pastor Ferrell Hardison has 40 years of experience being a pastor. The church he leads is called The Bridge and it has about 2500 people in attendance. Most people feel that The Bridge is a large church with a small church feel. Pastor Ferrell and his church truly care about everyone and wanting to help them.

Pastor Ferrell grew up in a traditional church setting. His father was a minister. At the age of 17, Pastor Ferrell could really sense a pull to go into the field as well. He had always felt a little tug towards being a pastor. His home had Christ and the Word at the center. At age 19, he went for it.  

The Bridge has the ability to sincerely care for others. They have such a sincere heart. The church, as a whole, decided that they wanted to be Jesus in the community. Let others see Him through them. They realized that when you are constantly in someone’s face telling them all the wrong things they are doing, they don’t listen. But when you are able to show Jesus and demonstrate His love, people start to ask questions. People don’t want another explanation of the gospel, they want a demonstration.

Like many of our guests, Pastor Ferrell isn’t a stranger to his own adversity. March of 2014, he and his family lost their youngest boy, Mitch, to a drug overdose. Pastor Ferrell was in Atlanta, GA when he heard the news from his wife. He immediately got in his car and drove the 5 hours home. He said that was an incredible time with God. It was just him and God on that car ride home. He was able to come to a certain state of mind so he was able to minister to his wife when he got home.

One of the struggles Pastor Ferrell and his wife faced was guilt. They actually still struggle with it now; it hasn’t been too long ago. They keep asking themselves how they couldn’t see the signs of the addiction. But they are comforted with their walk with Jesus and knowing they will see their son again one day.

Many people feel that once you start your walk with Jesus and accept him as your savior, you will lead a life without struggles and obstacles; that you have to start living a sinless life. God did not promise a painless life. He just simply prepares you for your walk in those struggles. If you are able to walk with Jesus through your struggles, they become much more bearable and you are able to come out the other end of it.

Some people make the mistake of saying that suffering proves there is no God. But there is actually more proof there is a God when someone can walk through their struggles and come out with a smile and joy. You must trust in Him and ask for his guidance. You have to learn to suffer well. Suffering well defines a character. The world is usually looking to see how someone responds to bad things instead of good things. And what better way to help someone go through the same struggle that we already walked through.

No matter who you are, what you’ve done, where you’ve been, we love you. We have all been there one way or another. We have no right to judge anyone. Pastor Ferrell and The Bridge church doesn’t judge and welcomes everyone into their church. That is one of the many things that Pastor Ferrell and The Journey Principles have in common.

Pastor Ferrell leaves us with three steps or principles that we can live by that will help us become fruitful today and help others.

  1. Our top priority is our intimacy with Jesus. We need to have a personal relationship with him. Someone people might be wondering “but how can I find that?” You just have to ask. You don’t have to say anything specific; you just have to be real with Him.
  2. We must love people. Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was. His response was first to love Him. And then next was to love your neighbor as yourself. All the other commandments are based from those two.
  3. We have to be real with people. We must be transparent, vulnerable and honest. People appreciate that.

None of us are processed. We are IN the process. There is always a next step for us.

It is our hope to empower your mind and motivate your heart through today’s podcast with Pastor Ferrell Hardison. You can find out more about him and The Bridge at bridgechurch.cc. You can also follow him on Twitter @pastorferrell.

Make sure to like, share and comment on the show. As always, keep sending in your questions and comments to the team, feedback@journeyprinciples.com. Until next time be sure to follow us on Facebook, Stephen Scoggins The Journey Principles and on Twitter @stephen_scoggin. We look forward to spending some more time with you on the next Journey Principles.

May 23, 2016

Military Men and Women Matter with John Falkenbury:

Have you ever wondered how service men and women adapt and grow from service troubles? Or if there was some way you can help to do something that could benefit their lives? Well today we have the president of the North Carolina USO with us, Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel John Falkenbury. He is going to talk with us about what the USO does and how they help our military overcome struggles they are faced with.

John currently lives in the Charlotte area and travels at least once a week to their state office in Raleigh. He is a third generation career military with his grandfather, father and brother also serving. His family has a history of serving during times of peace and war. In 1999, John retired from the Army to take over a family business. Their family business was a nursing home. It was a change of pace for him but definitely the right thing to do. When 9-11 occurred, he felt an urge to volunteer and go back. He had several good friends telling him that he was doing exactly what he needed to be doing at that time. He was currently telling his army story and the military story on radios and television in the Charlotte and Raleigh areas. John heard about how the North Carolina USO was undergoing some changes and their need for a president. He applied and was offered the job in 2009.

The North Carolina USO is the oldest operating USO in the world because of their Camp Lejeune center. In 2003 that was their only remaining center in the state. Since then they have opened nine more centers and a mobile unit. They are one of the few, besides the National USO, that has a mobile unit. All of their funding comes from within the state from the generosity of Carolinians.

The USO, as a whole, has been serving wounded and hurting service members consistently for 75 years now. It is much bigger than entertainment and airport lounges. Many people associate the USO with those things. Their national mission is to connect service members with their family, home and nation. They fill the gap where the military services can’t fulfill. They have multiple programs that help a service member when they enter into the service, during their time of serving, exiting the service and after they have served. The USO works hand in hand with the military. They don’t replicate services because that isn’t a good use of their funds. They will continue to do the airport lounges, the home comings, the send offs, as well as reading bedtime stories to children but more importantly, they have to be there for the resiliency programs, the transition phases and the multitude of other programs they offer.

The USO has an amazing honor support team. If a service member is killed overseas, the team ensures they are treated with respect on their way back home. They make sure the plane is there waiting to receive the casket and the Honor Guard is there to escort the member to their final resting place. If someone is traveling throughout the country, the USO network activates. They communicate between each other to help with the travel making sure nobody is alone.

Among many other things, the North Carolina USO will focus on a service member and their spouse during the time of separation from the military. They will teach them how to build their resumes, dress for success and will do mock interviews. Their goal is to not only educate the service member on getting a job but to also educate the corporate world. One thing they do around the state is hold HR Summits for companies. They want these companies to know the military culture, the rank structure, awards, things that aren’t appropriate to say or ask a military member. They will also offer job fairs to help the member get connected with companies that are looking to hire. The North Carolina USO really goes above and beyond to help our service members transition into a civilian lifestyle.

The North Carolina USO has many programs such as the resiliency program and the reset program. The resiliency program teaches techniques of how to overcome negative self-talk. Negative self-talk can lead to much heavier internal conflicts.  The reset program has a resiliency part to it and adds in life skills to incorporate into the home life. Stephen has had the honor of speaking at both programs. When Stephen was at his first resiliency program, he spoke for about 30 minutes. He had a young man come up to him afterwards and said that he really connected with Stephen’s story. That young man also shared that he was planning on taking his own life that night but had changed his mind. The Journey Principles has a goal to help reduce military suicide by 10%. We have locked arms in multiple ways with the North Carolina USO. And each time our relationship gets stronger. In September we are partnering with them to host an event called Light Up the Darkness. The goal of this event is to raise awareness and funds to continue serving service members and their families.

John talks about the greatest struggle in the military with active service members. He says it is operational tempo and declining resources. One of the first things to get cut in the military is the family resources. That is where the USO fills the gap. They are here to help not only the service member but also their family.

As a nation we owe a debt of gratitude to these service members. We have been in a war for 13 plus years now and 98-99% of the American citizens have not been directly affected by it. There is currently 1%, or less, that is serving in the military. And they continue to do so freely and without reservation. We should be proud of our men and women serving for the country.

There are many ways that you can help this amazing organization! They are always accepting donations either online or via mail. 92 cents of every dollar goes towards these amazing programs John tells us about. But money is not the only way someone can help. Giving your time is also a great way to contribute towards their cause. The heart of their volunteers is what keeps this organization going. And one more way you can help the USO is by donating items. For example a company just came into the USO lounge at the Raleigh airport and redecorated. It helps make these service members feel more at home. You can get in contact with the North Carolina USO through their website, uso-nc.org or through Twitter and Facebook. All the centers across the state also have their own Facebook page.

We know that today’s podcast was a little different than most of our others. But we sincerely hope you enjoyed hearing about this great organization and how they help our military overcome their struggles. The USO is truly an amazing organization that has passion and dedication to helping and serving the ones who so selflessly serve us.

Please like, share and comment if you enjoyed the show. Also continue to send in your questions and comments to us, feedback@journeyprinciples.com. Until next time, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Stephen Scoggins The Journey Principles, and on Twitter, Stephen_scoggin. We look forward to seeing you again on the next Journey Principles!

May 19, 2016

Working Through Sexual Abuse with Hope Part 2 with Dr. Jason Newsome:

On today’s show we have Dr. Jason Newsome with us again for Part 2! We are very excited to be able to share with you guys two shows with this amazing overcomer. He shares with us some great insight on what is going through someone’s mind after they have been abused. He starts with their belief system.

Our belief systems are based on our past experiences. Our brains do a wonderful job of cataloging how we react to situations. A person who has been abused usually has a different view on things. Dr. Newsome uses his sexual abuse as an example. He was sexual abused by 5 different people, starting at the age of 5. It gave him the idea that something was wrong with him since it had happened with 5 different people. At the same time he didn’t tell anyone that it was happening so that contributed to his dysfunctional thinking. He didn’t have someone to tell him that it wasn’t okay and that he wasn’t doing anything wrong; the abusers were doing wrong.  He thought this was part of experiencing life.

Dr. Newsome’s abusers were hurtful for the most part. When he would try to resist, he was forced to be abused. When he said no, they would harm him. Then there were times when his abusers were nice and that was very confusing for such a young boy. This led to the thinking that in order for people to be nice to him, he had to say yes. If he was to tell anyone no, he would get hurt. He became a people pleaser. He felt like everyone had to be happy with him all the time. But in reality that is impossible to do. This would then lead to anxiety when he felt like others weren’t happy with him or his decisions.

What is it about any type of abuse that makes people feel that they need to stay silent? Dr. Newsome answered by saying fear and shame. His abusers told him that if he was to tell anyone, he would get in trouble. He was then afraid to say anything. He also felt that two of the abusers might even kill him if he was to tell. That kept him quiet.

Shame also keeps many people silent when abuse is happening or happened. Most people believe they should be better than what’s happening and that they are good enough to avoid these situations. In cases of domestic violence, they feel they should have chosen better or somehow prevented the abuse from happening. When it has been going on for a while, they feel they should have done something before now. In reality the person who is being abused is not at fault and there is nothing they are doing wrong. But in their mind, they are filled with shame and therefore won’t say anything.

In most abuse cases, the abuse doesn’t start until after they have manipulated the victim. Abusers are very good at drawing someone into the situation and then taking advantage. We must forgive in order to live a life of enjoyment again. Un-forgiveness hurts us and our souls. But it starts with us. We have to forgive ourselves before we forgive others. We have to let go of the shame and guilt and understand that it wasn’t our fault.

Dr. Newsome makes a good point that many people talk about forgiveness without truly understanding what it means. The word Jesus used in the Bible for forgiveness means to discharge debt. So when we forgive someone we are releasing them of debt. When we don’t forgive, we are constantly seeking repayment and we seek it in different ways.

The truth about abuse is that we can never be repaid for what was taken. The things that were taken hold no monetary value. Dr. Newsome gives us three steps in how to effectively forgive someone.

  1. We have to acknowledge that we have been harmed. Someone has done us wrong.
  2. We have to truly understand that the abuser cannot repay us for what was taken. And we can’t seek repayment from any other source.
  3. We have to stop seeking repayment. This can be the hardest step in forgiveness.

Dr. Newsome wraps up the podcast with three things he would tell his 11 year old self. At that age he was still being abused and had already been abused by multiple people.

  1. Please tell someone that you trust what is happening. Don’t keep it inside. In order for the abuse to continue, the abuser needs you to stay quiet.
  2. What is happening is not okay and it’s not your fault. No matter how many times or how many people abuse you, you are doing nothing wrong.
  3. You can make it! This does not define your life. This does not have to be your identity. You will have an identity beyond this situation.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy today’s podcast with Dr. Jason Newsome for the second part. He is such an overcomer and has great knowledge to help others overcome abuse. For more information on Dr. Newsome or to get in contact with him, visit his website at drjasonnewsome.com as well as Twitter and Facebook under Dr. Jason Newsome.

If you enjoyed today’s show, please like, share and comment. Many people can relate to the subject of abuse. This might be the show they need to hear in order to give them the courage to tell someone. Please continue to send us your comments and questions at feedback@journeyprinciples.com; we enjoy hearing from all of our listeners! Until next time be sure to follow us on Facebook, The Journey Principles, and on Twitter, Stephen_scoggin.

May 16, 2016

Working Through Sexual Abuse with Hope Part 1 with Dr. Jason Newsome

Welcome back JP Family! Today you are in for a treat. We have Dr. Jason Newsome with us. Dr. Newsome and Stephen met by chance from a Tweet. Dr. Newsome had just read Stephen’s book and replied to a tweet Stephen had made. They started talking from there and we are honored to have him on the show.

Dr. Newsome grew up in southern West Virginia in a poor community.  As a child many don’t realize they are poor, especially when everyone in the community doesn’t have much. His parents taught him that hard work is the most important thing you can do a daily basis. He will never forget the days of working hard for what you have. It has given him the freedom to know that if he was to ever go broke, he would survive. That is not a fear of his and something that he holds close.

When Dr. Newsome was 22 years old, he lost his youngest brother. His brother had brain cancer and had a complication with the treatment. After the funeral service he was giving his last goodbyes to his brother while walking pass his casket. He turned around to walk away and came face to face, nose to nose, with the fifth man who had molested him when he was younger. This man was a family friend. He molested him multiple times between the age of 11 and 13. When Dr. Newsome saw him, he had no idea what to do. 5 seconds felt like 20 minutes. All emotions came to him in such a wave he can’t even recall all of them. His final action was one of maturity. He stuck out his own hand and shook that man’s hand. He simply walked away afterwards. That was the first step of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a process. Many Christians talk about forgiveness as something that is an instantaneous event. It’s not an easy process. The greater the trauma, the greater the process. Dr. Newsome began his process the day he came face to face with the man at his brother’s funeral. There was a point that the man represented all 5 abusers. He was able to forgive. He went on to study mental illness and understanding the world of abusers.

There is a cognitive change when abuse occurs to someone. There is a belief that the world is dangerous. It’s not a conscious thought but it’s the core of all assumptions. Once you have that belief, it is tough to trust people at that point. A person is always on guard and always trying to protect themselves.

 There is a model of mental illness development that Dr. Newsome likes to teach his students. It is called diathesis stress model. This model states that in order for anyone to develop a particular mental disorder they must have a genetic predisposition for the disorder and enough life stress. It doesn’t have to be a 50/50 split between the two. If someone has more points towards a genetic predisposition, they don’t have to experience as much life stress to trigger the mental illness and vice versa. It is a very interesting and complex model but one that Dr. Newsome feels explains the development.

While Dr. Newsome was working in the medical field he was a part time associate pastor. People would come to him for counseling but there were things that were beyond his expertise. He would refer them to a specialist but many times they would not go. It was that point that he went for his master degree in counseling. He had no intent on actually practicing until he fell in love with it. He could see how much it was helping people. Many people seek counsel when they are at the end of the road and feel there is no other option. He loves helping that person move from that place of hurt towards a healthy life. He now has his own practice called Dayspring Counseling Center in West Virginia.

Dr. Newsome was giving so much great information that we have split his podcast into two. We are very excited for you to hear the second part! So make sure you tune in next time to continue this amazing talk with Dr. Jason Newsome. Until next time be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Also keep sending in your questions. We are really enjoying hearing from you all! You can email us at feedback@journeyprinciples.com. See you next time!

May 12, 2016

Undone Part 2 with Michele Cushatt

Welcome back Journey Principles Family! As promised we have Michele Cushatt back on the show today. She is sharing with us what it is like for the family during a time of struggle. During her battle with cancer she was both the hurting and the supporting. Her father passed away from pancreatic cancer during her time between two of her diagnosis. There is struggle to be had on both sides of the coin.

Anytime a major medical crisis, such as cancer, happens in a family it is disrupted. Our everyday life is turned upside down. The person hurting is battling physical pain, emotional turmoil as well as spiritual doubts. The supporting family members are also struggling with their emotions and possibly with spiritual doubts. It is tough during those times. But Michele shares three things that she learned during her time of struggle as the hurting and the supporting.

  1. Commit and get through. Try not to make any important decisions during this time. Marriage is hard, raising children is hard, everything is harder during this time. Don’t give up. Nobody needs to pack their bags and leave. Commit to your family and get through this tough time together.
  2. Have honest, open dialogue about what is needed; what is working and not working. There are people who have a tough time asking for help in general. When the entire family can see how each member is in their own struggle, it makes it more difficult to ask for help. We need to learn how to graciously receive help as well.
  3. We need to realize that people aren’t going to always get it right. That is okay. In reality everyone is doing the best they can and during this time, the best isn’t always great. It can be hard to know what a suffering person might need. We must give everyone grace during this difficult time.

In between Michele’s first and second diagnosis, she wrote a book titled “Undone”. Eight months following her first diagnosis with cancer, her family grew by three. They took in three children who could no longer be cared for by their mother. It was wonderful and terrible timing all at the same time. On one hand, Michele and her husband were about to be empty nesters. Michele had just gone through her first battle with cancer and it just seemed like terrible timing from that standpoint. But from a divine standpoint, it couldn’t have been more perfectly orchestrated. These three children woke up each morning in an unpredictable environment, not knowing if they were safe. Michele woke up each morning with a similar feeling after having battled cancer. Their cancer journey prepared them to love these children who came from such an unexpected journey themselves.

Her book was finished by the time she was diagnosed with cancer the second and third time. She had to rewrite the epilogue three times because her story kept changing. Her book is coupled with a journal. Journaling was something that Michele did throughout her life off and on. Especially while she was battling her cancer, she would journal every day. She feels that we need to catalog our struggles and doubts. But not only that, we need to also write down our good and beautiful sources of joy.  It is easy to lose sight of the gifts in life when we are in the middle of pain. We should take the time each day to write at least one reason we are thankful. Michele said that saved her in so many ways. It helped her get through that tough time as well as get through things now. It continues to build her faith. She can look back on that journal to see the proof and evidence in God’s faithfulness.

“Hunger drives desperation.” Michele wrote this in her book. She explains to us multiple meanings to that quote. From a physical standpoint, hunger drives desperation. She went 4 weeks without a single drop of water on her tongue. All her nutrition came from IVs and a feeding tube. It’s hard to imagine what that type of thirst is like. From an emotional standpoint, hunger drives desperation. When we have a hunger for something that we cannot fill, we become very desperate. We tend to fill that hunger with all the wrong things. When there is a need for love, approval, purpose, reassurance, etc., a person can be driven to become a very desperate person. There are so many things that are quick and easy fulfillments that we have access to. But the true fulfillment is having a relationship with God. Each time Michele tries to seek her own fulfillment in sometime besides God, he reels her back in.

Michele shares with us a very touching story about her son and one of his races. She learned two things that day her son ran in his first race.

  1. It doesn’t matter where we finish in a race, it only matters that we finish. Her son had a difficult time in his first race. But the fact that he actually finished, meant so much to him.
  2. Michele’s son asked her to stand two thirds of the way into the race. She was very puzzled by this request but did as he asked. When she saw him she could tell that he was on the brink of quitting. She started to cheer like she has never cheered before. That drove him to finish his race. We have been given key moments in other people’s race. Sometimes we aren’t meant to be at the finish line, we are meant to help during the struggle.

Journey Principles does this. We cheer people on wherever they need our help. If it is two thirds of the way into the race, we are there.

The most important thing to remember about suffering is the amazing teacher that it can be. Some people will turn bitter and angry when they are faced with struggles. Allow God to turn that bitterness and anger into growth, wisdom and maturity. If you are currently in a place of grief or struggle, it is worth the effort to become a student rather than a victim.

It is our sincere hope that today’s podcast will grow your mind and motivate your heart. Please comment and share with others. Michele’s story might be the exact testimony they need to hear in order to heal or at least begin that process. You can follow Michele through her blogs at michelecushatt.com as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Until next time, be sure to follow The Journey Principles on Facebook, Stephen Scoggins The Journey Principles and on Twitter, @Stephen_scoggin. We look forward to spending more time with you on the next show!

 

For Michele's Free Gift copy this link or click here |  http://journeyprinciples.com/michele

May 9, 2016

Undone Part 1 with Michele Cushatt -

Today we have one of the most courageous women that we know on the show. She has spent the last 5 years of her life battling cancer and fighting for her life. Michele Cushatt is a living example of faithful perseverance. On top of her struggles, she is a successful speaker and book writer, as well as an instructor and key team member of Dynamic Communicators International. Her first book, “Undone”, was just released and is quickly getting into the hearts and minds of many. Her book is full of grace and poetic truths.

Michele shares with us a cliff notes version of her life over the last 5 years. She starts her story on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in 2010. It was an ordinary day, her three boys had just left for school, her husband had already went to work, and she was about to leave to go grocery shopping for their big Thanksgiving meal when she got a phone call from her doctor. The conversation started with “Michele, it’s not good.” What her and her doctor thought was a simple ulcer on the side of her tongue due to too much acidic food actually ended up being tongue cancer. Over the weeks that followed she had many doctors’ appointments and had a small section of her tongue removed. They thought they had caught the cancer early enough and there was nothing to worry about. Little did she know that Tuesday morning was actually the start of a 5 year battle that she is still going through.

Three years after she was diagnosed with tongue cancer and when they felt that the cancer would not return, it did. This time it was more severe. In March of 2014 she a more extensive surgery where a third of her tongue was removed and reconstructed. 7 months later, it came back for a third time. This time, as we can imagine, it was much more aggressive and advanced. Within a couple of weeks, Michele has radical surgery. It was 9 hours long and two-thirds of her tongue was removed. They reconstructed her tongue with blood vessels and tissue from her arms, left leg and neck. The doctors gave her 3 weeks to recover and then she went through an extensive round of radiation and chemotherapy. 6 weeks after that she had another surgery with internal radiation on her mouth. Talk about an uphill battle!

A year ago from now, Michele had third degree burns from her face to mid-chest, her vocal cords did not work, she had a feeding tube for 5 months and a tracheotomy opening for almost 2 months. Her doctor said they took her body to the brink, when her body couldn’t take anymore without dying, they brought her back. For the last 12 months she had been trying to come back to life.

On top of all this, her and her family took in 3 more children from a traumatic background and she lost her father to terminal pancreatic cancer. One of the many things that she learned during this struggle was that our lives can be turned upside down in such a short period of time.

Not only did she face a physical struggle, she also faced emotional and spiritual struggles. Her emotional response is a PTSD response. She is still wrestling with this today. She had many questions regarding her faith. She grew up knowing Jesus. She has gone to church since she was 6 months old. But her view on Christianity was much like a math equation. She felt that if she always did good things and didn’t do wrong that she would have a good life. So when she was faced with such an adversity, she got angry. She wrestled with 3 questions that she feels that many people who are faced with adversity wrestle with.

  1. Is God real? Our suffering might indicate that God is not real.
  2. If God is real, is He good? How could a good God allow suffering?
  3. If God is real and He is good, then can I trust Him?

The way Michele came out of these questions was with lots of reading and research. She read the Bible often and books on suffering and the purpose of suffering. With this research she found 4 foundational truths.

4 Foundation Truths

  1. The unexpected is unavoidable. – Michele thought suffering was unique to her. That she was the only person in pain. Once she opened her eyes globally and began listening to other peoples’ stories, she realized suffering is universal. You can’t avoid it.
  2. Suffering is invaluable. – She first viewed suffering as simply an obstacle to the joy and happiness in life. She learned that suffering is the most valuable teacher that we can have. Many people resent suffering rather than learn from it. She was taught more about compassion and the value of the presence of God.
  3. The truth is unshakable. – Michele was in fear that her doubts would lead her to a place of no God. That if she was having doubts that meant there was no God. But in fact doubt didn’t mean she didn’t have faith. Doubt was actually a means to deepen her faith. We must be honest about our doubts, present them to God and allow him to walk us through. The truth stands regardless of us. Our doubts don’t diminish the truth; it leads us to a more understanding of the truth.
  4. The reward is incomparable. There is no comparison to the reward of understanding suffering and struggles. Many times we feel that what is at stake is our health, our career or our finances. But what is really at stake is our faith. Ultimately the only thing we can take with us is our faith or lack of it.

Michele is now much less apologetic of her faith. Before she was very cautious to not offend someone with her beliefs. But now she lives life every day with not knowing if she will be here the next. She feels that her faith is too important not to talk about it. She encourages everyone to live life as if every day is a gift, because it is.

In western civilization we are so buffered by our own desire for comfort and the fact that we can get any need met in a span of seconds. Because of that, we don’t have much of a grasp of the urgency of our circumstance. We don’t spend enough time on the fact that we are mortal. We shouldn’t take a day of our lives for granted. Every single one of us should operate with the foundational awareness of life and death. Always value every moment and the peace within that moment.  Everything can change in a matter of seconds.

Michele has such a fantastic and inspiring story that we have broken it up into 2 segments.  It simply could not fit into 1. So please listen again in a couple of days for part 2 of Michele Cushatt.

We sincerely hope you enjoy today’s podcast. Please comment and share with others. This might be the one testimony that a friend or family member needs to hear. Until next time, continue to follow us on Facebook, The Journey Principles , and on Twitter, @stephen_scoggin. Also keep the questions coming! We enjoy hearing from you all. We will be starting our podcast episode with your questions very soon!

 

May 2, 2016

Mastering Mentorship through Adversity with Doug Stewart: Can you think of something you can do today that will make your life worse? What about something that will make your life better?  Now, are you willing to do what it will take to make your life better? Or will you be a victim?

Our guest today, Doug Stewart, is no stranger to living a life as a victim. It wasn’t until he was in college that his whole mindset changed. During his school years he was told that he had a speech impediment, ADHD, and narcolepsy. He couldn’t write his alphabet until the age of 11. He had one person believe in him and that changed everything.

Doug’s college experience was different than his grade school experience; they actually expected him to perform in school in order to play sports. When he was in grade school, many teachers allowed him to get by because of all his disabilities that were listed in his folder. His 1.4 GPA in college landed him in the office of his academic advisor, Sarah. Sarah is that one person who believed in him.

When Doug went into her office that day, the words she spoke to him changed his life completely. She knew he wasn’t living up to his potential. She said to him “you know what your problem is? Your problem is that you’re a victim of your own thinking.” Sarah made him come into her office every day so she could help him in his classes. Sarah would read his homework out loud to him and he was to draw picture of what it reminded him of. After a couple of weeks, he became more comfortable in his classes. He was remembering the things she read to him and the pictures he drew. He started making higher grades on his tests. At the end of the semester he went to look at his grades and he had an “alarm clock moment”.

An “alarm clock moment” is that feeling you get when your alarm didn’t go off and you are going to be late to something important. He felt that he was behind and he was going to miss out on LIFE. He had missed so much in his life already and he couldn’t wait any longer. He now knew that he could learn and his disabilities were not going to hold him back. Doug started to find ways to develop himself and he needed a mentor to do that. He actually needed many mentors because he was behind in all areas of his life.

Think for a moment if you had a boardroom inside of your mind. Who would you have sitting at your round table? Who would you want to pour into your life? Stephen talks about his board members and they are all people who want to help him succeed and people who he wants to help succeed. Doug talks about all his board members and all the mentors he has in his life. He gives us 5 and a half types of mentors that we should look for. And yes, that is half of a mentor that we should look for in life.

  • The first mentor we should have at our table is a “street view mentor”. This mentor is someone who is wearing the same jersey as us, similar perspective and same mission. Doug gave an example of his wife for this mentor. She has the same perspective as he does and she is on the same mission.
  • The next mentor to look for at our table is a “world view mentor”. This mentor is someone who has a different perspective as us but still the same mission. Doug’s example of his world view mentor is a couple from his hometown, Raleigh, NC, by the names of Tom and Molly. They are a couple that sit above his perspective and can help him miss the road blocks of life.
  • Another mentor to have sitting with us would be the “categorical mentor”. Think of this mentor as a filing cabinet. There are things in this mentor that we would like to replicate but then there are also things in this mentor that we would like to keep closed. We can pull the areas of influence out from this mentor but we don’t have to follow everything about them.
  • The fourth mentor to look for is called the “stealth mentor”. Think of this mentor as a ninja. They go unnoticed. They are people who are mentoring us but have no idea. We are able to have a conversation with them and an impromptu mentor session.
  • The “time machine mentor” is the next one on the list. These are people that we can no longer sit down with to have a cup of coffee but have left us resources. They have come before us and have given us a legacy to follow through with. Doug gave the example of his grandfather, Abraham Lincoln and Jesus. They are no longer here on earth with us but have left us many resources that we can gain wisdom from.
  • This mentor is the five and a half mentor. The half is very important because this person needs to be part of our mentors but shouldn’t take up as much time as the other five. This mentor is called the “anti-mentor”. More than likely we have already thought of a person that would be an anti-mentor of ours. It’s someone that we want nothing to do with and wouldn’t follow anything in their life. There are as many lessons in people we don’t want to be like as there are in people we want to be like. We need to know what we don’t want as much as we need to know what we want.

Having mentors in our lives are important. Something that is just as important, if not more, is menteeship. Menteeship is the capacity and willingness to learn from things around us. In order to be a good mentee, we must recognize that we don’t know everything and we must be willing to learn, not just for ourselves, but for other people’s benefit.

Doug intentionally learns something new each day. He went from not wanting to learn at all, to wanting to learn everything. He lives a life of enthusiastic discovery. He is always willing and wanting to learn.

Everyone has more potential that we all know. Our effect on the world isn’t our responsibility. Our responsibility is to take action and plant seeds. God will harvest those seeds. Our adversities never feel good but the result when we overcome is amazing! Once we start sharing our story, we are planting those seeds.

How many lives would you change if you were to face your main obstacle head on? How many seeds could you plant? If you are willing to change your own life, you can change others. You too can live a life of enthusiastic discovery! To get more information on Doug Stewart, visit his website at dougstewart919.com.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy today’s podcast. We had a great time getting to hear Doug’s story and how he views mentorship. Please take the time to comment and share this with others. As you come across questions for us and comments about Journey Principles, email us at feedback@journeyprinciples.com. We will be having a whole show featuring your questions, so please keep them coming! We look forward to seeing our Journey Principles Family next time!

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