Mike is on a mission to find everyday people who are Delightful... The people I interview have attractive energy and a positive outlook on life, and I want to provide a platform for them to share their journeys and stories with you! I will uncover the life experiences of my guests, which have enabled them to look at life in such an inspiring and delightful way. Is it possible... while in our Darkest hours we are given the tools and gifts, we personally need, to find the light which leads to our greatest Delights?
Most of us remember the story ESPN highlighted in 2006 about a young man Jason McElwain, with Autism entering his first and only High School game with 4 minutes remaining, where he caught fire and knocked down 6 3-pointers in a row. Have you ever wondered who his coach was? Let me introduce you to my friend and one of my personal hero's Coach Jim Johnson. You won't want to miss his message!
In the words of Coach Johnson "On the night of February 15, 2006, the bleachers at Greece Athena High School near Rochester, New York, were packed with students who had just begun cheering wildly and jumping up and down. During that same moment, I collapsed into my seat as tears welled in my eyes.
Never before had I made a coaching move with such impact. Never had I felt such emotion in my career. You’d think we had just won a championship. It wasn’t a buzzer-beating basket; it wasn’t a heave from half-court that made the place go nuts. In fact, it wasn’t even a specific play. All I had done was turn toward the player with uniform number 52, point my index finger at him, and say “J-Mac.”
Up bounced Jason McElwain. In giving him some playing time, I enabled him to realize a lifelong dream. It was the last home contest of his senior year, and Jason was seeing his first varsity action.
Now this might seem like a fairly ordinary moment, but Jason wasn’t your ordinary basketball player. He was small and skinny. He stood all of 5 feet, 7 inches and weighed only 120 pounds, and his blonde hair was partially covered by a head band.
Jason—or J-Mac, a tag I had hung on him two years earlier when he first managed for us—was so excited to enter the game that he started right for the basketball court without first checking in and had to be redirected to the scorer’s table. But very few people noticed that; they were just so happy to see him get in the game.
Why were they so happy? They were happy because Jason is autistic and learning-disabled. Knowing his limitations, the crowd was moved while witnessing Jason entering the game. And so was I.
Throughout the night J-Mac—and the increasingly impatient spectators—had wondered if I was ever going to play him. Finally, with 4:19 remaining in the game, a large lead and all my other substitutes having seen action, J-Mac ascended his stage with the fanfare of a rock-and-roll star. In fact, many fans had brought blow-up photos of Jason attached to wooden sticks, and they began eagerly waving the placards upon his grand entrance.
My simple reason for playing Jason was because I loved the kid and wanted to give him the shot he deserved. I didn’t do any of this for hype, but what a beautiful scene nonetheless, and enough reward right there for me.
When play resumed Jason promptly launched an air ball, and I put my head in my hands. Prayer supposedly isn’t allowed in public schools, but I started praying for all I was worth: “Please, God, let him make just one basket.”
He then missed a layup. I started praying harder.
Fortunately, God must be a basketball fan. And he apparently had a message to deliver to the rest of the world that night. In fact, I believe it was nothing short of a miracle.
...I’ve read and heard, many times over, the Gospel accounts of miracles performed by Jesus. These acts typically involved common, everyday folks. Some of them had disabilities. All had faith, and they became a positive example for others.
From that same inspiration of faith I find the meaning behind the miracle of February 15, 2006. As it turned out, I’d say J-Mac and I were just the kind of people God might employ to send a message of hope to the rest of the world in the form of a timeless, feel-good story.
Author of: A Coach and A Miracle
Website: https://coachjimjohnson.com J-Mac ESPN Video: https://youtu.be/__JQcJ-wr0M
Coach, Thank you for inspiring me over the past few years. You are one of my personal hero's that I am grateful to call friend.
Todd Sylvester shares his amazing journey from a Dark place lost in addiction to a soul on Fire now working full time to help others believe in themselves and gain the determination to believe in themselves and creating a great life. Todd currently works as an Addictive Voice Recognition Counselor at an addiction recovery treatment center for those struggling with with drug or alcohol addiction, where he provides one-on-one mentoring to both local and international clients. Described as having “a unique gift to develop trusting relationships quickly,” Todd has guided hundreds to sobriety and other behavioral successes through the individualized support he offers to each client. His ability to “speak to a person’s soul and help them find their true motive to change” has been the key for inspiring others to make permanent lifestyle changes. Todd’s profound influence grew from his own personal experience — a journey from self-hatred and hopelessness to faith and recovery. At a young age, Todd was exposed to drugs and alcohol and quickly became addicted. Years of rampant drug abuse lead to devastating failures and a conclusion that his young life had nowhere left to go. Change can come from the most unlikely of places. For Todd, that place was a neighborhood lemonade stand, when he made the spontaneous decision to become one little girl’s most generous customer. This simple act – and the positive reaction that came with it – provided Todd with a sense of hope that he had never felt before. Todd’s strengthening sense of purpose sparked a fervent determination to change his life and to prevent others from enduring the physical and emotional pain that had threatened his very existence. As he moved forward with newfound faith and a desire to serve others, Todd learned that the human soul – on fire – is more powerful than any addiction. Today, Todd utilizes his firsthand fight against addiction to connect with fellow addicts on an authentic level and provide hope to thousands of teenagers, parents, and adults. His story was recently told through a popular YouTube clip titled “The Hope of God’s Light,” that received over 3 million views and has been translated into 3 languages. Todd has been married to his sweetheart for 23 years. They have four children and live a happy, busy life together.
Check out Todd's Podcast found on all major podcast channels called, Beliefcast: https://toddsylvesterinspires.com/beliefcast/ His personal Website can be found at address: https://toddsylvesterinspires.com/
Todd, God bless you in your efforts to change lives. You are a great man!
Stacey Harkey, who some of you may know from his acting days on Studio C, shares his amazing story growing up a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, serving a Mission, attending school at the Church owned University BYU, and coming out as Gay. The interview was particularly special due to Stacey's love and devotion to God throughout this entire experience. He talks about being younger and realizing there were things that were "different" about him than other boys, and how he took a part of himself that is very real and tried to lock it away in order to deflect some of the shame which caused him to question who he is.
After serving a faithful 2 year mission for his Church, he returned home to start college at BYU. Stacey talks about his experiences dating women, and although he really liked some of the women he dated, he never felt an attraction to them so it felt like he was wasting their time. He had always been attracted to Men but this was against everything he believed was right and that he was supposed to do, so he kept it hidden with everyone but God. He talks about taking his attraction to men to God and asking him to help and change it, but that never happened, and one day instead of asking God to change him, He asked God "Tell me what to do, and I will do whatever you want". He felt immediate peace and the sense that God loved him exactly how he is, and in fact created him to be just that... Himself. Stacey felt that God was saying to him "Why do you hate the way I made you?" and realized how arrogant he was being thinking that the perfect Creator (God), who doesn't make mistakes, somehow made a mistake on him."
Trusting this answer to his prayers he finally was able to embrace his authentic self and gain the courage needed to talk to his religious leaders, friends, and family. He now feels more peace and freedom than he has ever felt.
Stacey loves God, and I could feel his deep love for God throughout our conversation. His journey is amazing and so needed as young people growing up in families where coming out as LGBTQ is not safe, and some are even ending their lives to suicide feeling ashamed. Stacey is an example to show that it's ok to be yourself, to want true love in your life, and have the courage to talk about who you are. Stacey is a hero to me, and has opened my eyes up quite a bit to the idea that loving the sinner and hating the sin, is a cheap valueless way of attempting to show acceptance to someone that is different than you. I learned from Stacey, in a much deeper way, that it is my actions surrounding my words that bring value and if I love all as God commands, then I need to love all regardless of their "sins" or differences of opinion/beliefs.
Thank you for your courage Stacey! May God continue to bless you on your journey my friend! Keep making us laugh, always!
If you don't know Stacey's work on Studio C, I encourage you to check it out by searching on YouTube either using his name or Studio C. Studio C is family friendly clean humor that has had huge success. Keep your eye out for his upcoming projects under JK Studio's he and his friends recently started.
Chad Rawlings is a Husband, Father, and Son of God with a lot of faith and courage. Chad definitely rolls up his sleeves and courageously share's his experience coming home early from a full time Mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints early not only once but twice.
Young Men and Women that grow up in The Church of Jesus Christ are taught from the time they can say their first words that they should serve a full time mission if at all possible. For young men The Church teaches it is a commandment from God and for young women it is not a commandment but it is highly recommended if they feel prompted to go. At times there are young men and young women that choose not to go and as a result they feel ashamed of themselves, have feelings that they are not worthy, and face judgement by others that belong to the faith. This is not due to any doctrinal teaching from the Church itself, rather it stems as a result from Members of the Church being so close in association and proximity to each other. Each year some young men and women disengage from activity in the Church because of this, and they struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, and self worth to the point that some want nothing to do with the Church ever again so they don't have to feel those feelings anymore. These are a few of the reasons that Chad's story and courage to share is so important.
Chad grew up talking about serving, wanting to serve, and eager for the day he turned 19. When it came he explains that he felt ready and excited, but as he entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC) as a 19 year old young man, he was engulfed with anxiety and fear. Unable to eat, sleep, focus in training classes he began to doubt himself and his ability as he saw the other young men and women surrounding him happy, engaged, and able to learn a new language with what seemed at the time ease. The first time he decided to return home early he made it about 2 days, he was no longer able to work through feeling overwhelmed and like he wasn't good enough so he called home to his Mom and Dad and begged them to come pick him up. His parents were frustrated but they loved him and although they didn't know how to process Chad's decision they wanted their son to feel love and value.
One or two weeks after Chad left his mission, he still felt like he really wanted to serve God on a mission. After meeting with his religious leader, the decision was made to try again but this time in hopes that Chad could serve somewhere in the United States and not a foreign land speaking another language. Chad was called to Florida, and was again ready to go feeling passionate again about the opportunity to serve God, but as soon as he stepped into the gates of the MTC and parted with his family, all of the feelings rushed back. He stayed as patient as he could but couldn't sleep, eat, or focus in class and was once again overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy. Chad, again packed up and left the MTC.
Chad shares some very insightful and helpful principles that can help us understand how to show up for people when they feel lost in failure. He talks about the ways God continued to show up for him to help him gain confidence in himself and belief that he could have a successful life full of love, faith, and service to God. Chad lost no value to God because he didn't stay but he did grow in self confidence because he stayed engaged and faithful to God. Chad is a close acquaintance of mine and I have seen him show up over and over again for people who are lost and feeling worthless. Because of what he has faced in his life I have witnessed his ability to recognize people who need to feel loved and then he shows up for them.
Chad, your mission may not be the typical mission, but you have served your mission faithfully. I know that God is pleased with you and you are a hero of mine.
Brady Bluhm, also known as the "Billy" the Blind boy from the movie "Dumb and Dumber" who was duped by Lloyd (Jim Carey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels), joins me to share his life and faith Journey. Brady, grew up in a family belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints also known as Mormon's, and from a young age loved and believed in the teachings and Doctrines the church teaches. He served a full time mission for two years, a highlight of his life, and after returning home marrying his wife Abbie, and starting a family, he began to question his faith due to some of it's past history and teachings. Brady, who no longer belongs to the church, shares his journey and faith struggle with us. He is very open about what he went through after personally discovering what he had believed and devoted himself to his whole life wasn't true. He talks about depression that came, how he felt lied to and betrayed, and how he questioned much more than just his faith due to the crumbling foundation of truths he once believed. After going through many life changing events the past few years Brady speaks about the things he has connected with that have led him to feelings of light, peace, and goodness in his life again. He also talks about the amazing support he received from his wife Abbie.
Bitterness does not control Brady's life, and although there are still some painful feelings to overcome from all of this, he has risen above the hatred and bitterness that could hold him hostage and instead he puts his energy into seeking things that bring into his life and that of his family members, Light, Love, Peace and Security. He speaks about the blessings Yoga, the study of Yoga, and relationships he has created as a Yoga instructor have brought into his life. He talks about the renewed desire and ability to learn from all people of different cultures, religions, races, backgrounds, etc... and that we can learn something from everyone even those we don't agree with.
I love Brady and his family, and as I have watched his journey over the past few years, I wanted to learn more because I wanted him to know that no matter what he believes, he and his family are loved by me and my family and they are safe with us, we support them 100% in their search for truth, even though I belong to and fully believe in the doctrines of the church he and his wife left. Brady, shares so much that can help so many of us understand how to react, respond, and show up with love, when friends and/or family members walk away from something we believe in as absolute. He talks about the pain that comes when people who claimed to love him no longer accepted him due to leaving and how a very only a small number of friends and family members who belong to the church reached out to him after he left.
This is the story of a man's search for light and truth. Brady, could easily and justifiably so be living a life full of bitterness and anger fighting against the church he no longer believes in, but instead devotes his time to goodness, connection, learning and growth. He loves his family and is doing all that he can to help them see and feel connection that surrounds them in this world so that they can live a life of love and light as well.
Brady, you are a great man and a brother of mine always. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your journey with us.
I am grateful that Brady would share his story with us on my podcast. I invite you as you listen to Brady, to think about your life and the friends and family members in your circles that may feel unaccepted and ashamed because they believe, behave, or have made choices that are different from yours or the culture that surrounds them. If anyone comes to mind, I encourage you to reach out to them with love, respect, and a desire to learn more about their Journey. We can all do better Loving without boundaries as God Himself does. God is Love
Jon starts his journey by sharing the one single truth that has recognized and held onto throughout his entire life, “I am a child of God”. Through it all, good times and bad times, this single truth is what Jon has held onto and relied on to guide him in his decisions and efforts during his life on earth, and in dark times of depression and suicidal thinking. “I am a child of God”, is the message of Hope that has helped Jon not only overcome the odds to achieve the goals he set as a young boy to become an Endodontist professionally, but it is that very Hope that pulled Jon from the darkness of shame and worthlessness on the verge of Suicide, back into the Light.
Jon shares his inspiring story beginning as a young boy growing up in California, Mormon (LDS), in a family of 8. His family did not have much money and at times his Dad and Mom struggled to fill the pantry; however, what they did have... money could not buy, and that was the understanding that all people are Gods children and all people regardless of class, religious background, race, or politics are of infinite worth. Jon shares the way his parents lived and the example that they set of loving all without judgement and working hard doing good things shaped Jon into the man he is today.
At the age of 10, Jon’s father sat his children down and talked to them about his life working late night shifts for a job that he didn’t necessarily want, and that he wanted more for his children, believing a college education should be a goal for each of them. He let them know that he didn’t have the means to pay for their education and inspired them to work towards a scholarship to help pay. Jon took this to heart and graduated high school with over a 4.0 GPA, and an opportunity on the track and field team at a community college in California. As a high jumper in High school reaching a height of 6’7 he broke records at his school, but he knew that he needed to reach 7’0 to qualify for a scholarship and earn a full ride scholarship to BYU where he dreamed of going. So Jon went to work training hard which led to an opportunity to jump for a small community college, and after qualifying for the state finals he went on to reach a jumping height over 7’2 all while defeating his Nemesis, who he nicknamed “Sloppy Joe”. Jon shares and incredible experience he had with Prayer during His last two jumps which won him the championship and earned him a spot on the BYU Track and Field team with a full ride scholarship. After the match and his incredible experience during his last two jumps and prayer, Jon found a quite place near the stadium and in complete humility gave thanks to God.
During college he met his incredible wife Dorsey and they began a family of their own, things just seemed to be going right for Jon, but during his residency Jon was upended by sudden and unjustified feelings of “Doom”, PTSD from 9/11, and feelings of no personal value, causing Shame and Depression which lead to Suicidal Thinking. Jon talks about how at his “Rock Bottom” not even caring how ending his life would affect his family, that’s when he knew that he needed help. Throughout Jon’s story you will see clearly how God put people in place and like lighthouses leading a ship to shore these people showed up for Jon to say or do something that helped Jon feel love enough to hold onto HOPE. That vey HOPE carried Jon through the Dark and into the Light, and He shares some of the valuable Gifts he received from the experiences during this painful time.
A few years later Jon achieved his Professional goal of becoming an Endodontist, and is now doing all he can to be somebody else’s “Lighthouse” by paying it forward and living in gratitude each day. Jon is the Partner of 3 Endodontist offices in Northern Colorado and Wyoming.
Jon, thank you for sharing your story. You are a hero of mine and have been a lighthouse to me and my family. Thank you for sharing your Light!
Josh Edlow tells a wonderful story of his life rising against all odds and even above the voices that told him he wouldn't amount to much. He grew up in a loving home that gave him a good foundation but as he attempted to make plans for his life he found that even some of his close friends and family members doubted he could reach the dreams and expectations that he set for himself. After serving a valiant and successful 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Josh was determined to continue learning, growing, and making a difference for good in the world. He set out to be a Lawyer in Sacramento California, and as he began his journey he heard many voices telling him that he should quit and do something else, but after working tireless hours day and night Josh graduated and began working for a Law Firm. He made it and was having big success, winning large cases with high dollar payouts and earning awards, but down the road as all of this was continuing to happen Josh realized that he was not happy.
One early morning on his way into the office he was rear ended by a car that hit him while going a high speed. The last thing Josh remembers before waking up on the side of the road surrounded by onlookers was his head striking the head rest and the window of his car. As a result of the accident Josh's future was filled with Doctors visits, Rehab appointments, and the stress of trying to keep his job and prove that he could still preform. He had a lot of help from partners in the law firm that stepped up to assist him with his cases but as time moved on and Josh was struggling with cloudiness, fatigue, and memory challenges, fear and anxiety were ever present at this time. As the sole provider for his wife and kids Josh felt overwhelmed and in a way cheated as he felt that he had done everything right in his life so why was this happening to him. In anger Josh got on his knees and said a prayer to God to ask why this was happening to him and beg for help.
The next morning Josh was preparing for the day and he felt a very clear impression from God to "Act". Not understanding what this meant but wanting to know, Josh thought of his current health of mind, body, and spirit, and recognizing that he was the heaviest weight he had ever been he decided that was one thing he could control by "Acting". So his journey began, he worked hard on his body and after consistency and over time, his mind became clear again, his energy increased, and he started to feel joy again. Doors opened for him at work and he was able to begin taking on his cases again as well. In answer to his prayer in anger, God taught Josh the power of using his agency and that when one thing is not going right in life we still have the ability to act and choose in other areas of our life that we can control, and as we have the determination and faith to do that, God will help us in the uncontrollable parts of our lives to make things work our for our good... We have to ACT.
Josh is doing great things with his life. He loves his family, loves serving others as a lawyer, and currently works on the board of a non-profit organization that focuses on helping kids that have come from homes where tragedy has occurred. He hits the gym consistently most mornings of the week and is doing all he can to help motivate others who feel the same way he did, checking all of the boxes but still empty inside.
Enjoy Josh's story. He is an amazing man that has battled through some hard trials and come out on top, humbly giving all of the credit to a loving Father in Heaven who is ready, able, and so willing to help when we choose to let him.
Thank you Josh, you are one of my hero's!
Josh Edlow and his good friend Tim Wilde also produce a fun YouTube channel called Saint's on Cinema. If you are looking for fun, clean movie reviews check them out. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmKGmoY_YmksajYJsRdDHuA
Adrienne, shares her incredible journey with us. She was adopted into an incredible family, surrounded in love, and grew up in a wonderful place with all the opportunity you could hope for a child to have. Adrienne is a phenomenal singer and actor who was very engaged in both growing up, As she entered her teenage years she began to experience depression as a result of comparing herself with her peers and fell into the habit of Negative Self talk that stayed with her as she grew up, was married, and adopted two sons of her own. Sorrow filled Adrienne's heart as she and her husband Kyle battled Infertility and after trying everything they could they were still unable to have kids so they decided to adopt and were blessed with two amazing boys. During the battle of infertility Adrienne experienced depression and feelings of worthlessness to the point that she knew she needed extra help, so she began working with a therapist. While working through her personal sorrow and pain, she began to notice that her oldest son was facing some tough challenges himself, such as melt downs before school each day, listening, communicating, etc... Adrienne and Kyle sought help from the school, family and friends, but didn't realize that the problem required help from a professional until after Adrienne had already started to feel like a failure as a parent and mother. On the outside Adrienne looked happy and like she had it together, but on the inside Adrienne was silently suffering and feeling very alone. Suicidal thinking was a daily monster, causing her so much pain she told her husband, "I don't want to be here anymore". Adrienne bravely shares her experiences with suicidal thinking, and also briefly talks about people close to her lost to suicide themselves and the pain it causes in the lives of people who love them. In her Darkest moments, Adrienne recognized she needed to open up about the reality of the darkness she was facing, so she turned to her husband Kyle, and without shaming her, Kyle sprang into action to meet Adrienne where she was, and to ensure she received the help and attention that she needed. Talking about the darkness and pain she was suffering with, brought awareness to those who love her, and as they rallied around her to lift her up she began to feel worth again. Doctors diagnosed their son with autism and they were able to then come up with plans to adjust their parenting in ways to help him which also helped Adrienne feel so much better about her worth as a parent. She held fast to her faith in God and proactively came up with a list of positive self affirmations that she could say to herself each day to help retrain her brain from negative to positive self talk. Working her way through the darkness has brought hope, passion, and joy back into her life. She is better balanced as a wife and mother, and is again able to devote some of her time into passions she loves, like singing and acting. From an outsiders perspective one would never have known Adrienne was living in so much pain and darkness, she was able to disquise the feelings and act like everything was ok, when she felt broken inside. Her story is a great reminder that there are many of us who on the outside look like they may have a "perfect" life but on the inside they are hurt, alone, and broken. I am so grateful for Adrienne's willingness to share her experience. I grew up with Adrienne and from my perspective... she had it all. She was popular, talented, pretty, and just seemed to have everything figured out, but knowing what Adrienne has faced in her life is a great reminder to me that the illusion of the idea that "the grass is always greener" is not true and everyone faces their own battles and demon's. I hope her story will inspire you as it did me to look out for and show up for those we love in need. Thank you so much Adrienne, you are brave!
Adrienne shared a resource for those struggling suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Tiffany Turley Bowcut grew up in a wonderful home with parents that gave her all of the tools to excel in whatever she determined to do. When she moved to College at BYU she wanted to get married and have children as soon as possible and truly looked forward to finding a great man to marry and be a mother to kids. At 19 Tiffany was married and a short time after that she learned of her husbands addiction to pornography which led to infidelity and shattered trust. After her divorce, Tiffany relied on family and close associates to help her hold onto hope and continue forward. Trust was ripped away from Tiffany and as she worked to rebuild it she had help along the way.
A short time later as she had rebuilt some of that trust, a colleague Sexually Assaulted (Raped) her and like most cases of Sexual Assault/Rape, it was by a man that Tiffany thought she knew and could trust. At this point her whole world turned upside down and her Trust in others was destroyed. She began to have suicidal thoughts and feelings and thought that she had no value to anyone which led to some very dark times. Feeling alone, lost, and without hope, Tiffany was thinking through suicide and was impressed to think about what it would do to her family if she went through with it. She had the thought that she needed to visit her grandparents and although she didn't know why she should, she decided that she needed to act on that thought. During her visit to her grandparents home, her grandfather did something not typical for a grandparent who is talking to a grandchild who is having thoughts of Suicide. Rather than telling Tiffany all of the wonderful things about herself that family members say, Grandpa talked about the difficulties that her ancestors faced, and of the amazing faith, strength, and courage they held onto to make it through their own hopeless times. That gave Tiffany Hope and helped her reconnect with the strength that she had within.
In her Darkest moments Tiffany teaches us how she was able to hold on, and how she approached God. She shares a beautiful and tender moment she had when she was in a lot of pain, she envisioned herself with God before her life on earth having a conversation about coming down to this earth to live away from Him. She envisioned God telling her it will not be easy, and in fact it will be hard, but I know that you can do it. She then pictured herself responding that she would go to earth and although she knew it would be hard, she knew that because her Heavenly Father trusted her to go, she could trust in Him knowing that she could do it. This tender experience helped Tiffany rise up and move forward. She had renewed faith in herself and knew that she could have a beautiful life, if she could just trust God and move forward no matter how small the steps were.
The gift Tiffany received in her darkest hours was the gift of recognizing her infinite worth, and divine nature. She now understands how God feels about her and knows that God believes in her so she can trust in His belief in her and the work He is actively doing in Tiffany's life to help her along the way.
Now years later Tiffany is happily married to a wonderful man, and they have 3 young children. Tiffany's life is devoted to them and to giving back to women as she has worked in the Women's Center at Brigham Young University (BYU), and now oversees the Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Domestic Violence division. Tiffany has so much knowledge and wisdom to share on these subjects, listening to her tell her story will help give parents ideas of how they can better prepare their children for when they leave the home.
If you or anyone you know is struggling as a result of Sexual Assault, Stalking, Domestic Violence, or if you are a parent and have questions about how to better prepare your children, feel free to reach out to Tiffany at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tiffany, you are amazing!
Mark Pepper spent 25+ years as an alcoholic and drug addict in the dark feeling that he had no place in the world to fit in. Mark is Jewish and growing up in Utah he didn't quite feel like he fit in, as about half of the population of Utah are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). Fitting in did not come easily for Mark growing up and as he entered his teens, he found his place with the "Stoners" which made it easy for him to access, use, and abuse, Drugs and Alcohol. Mark began drinking at 15, and it continued for 25 years. His second Divorce, due to his drinking left Mark in a place feeling very worthless, broken, and Suicidal. He literally chose his addictions over his first two marriages, but as his second wife was walking out the door with their 6 year old and baby boy in her belly, Mark had a vision of his future with no one in his life and alone, this vision gave Mark the desire to put in the work to become clean and sober, mend relationships with his Father and Family, and find Belonging.
Mark is very involved in working with youth and others who are deep in addiction, his life is focused on helping those who are suffering from the disease of addiction. He has so much knowledge, information, and experience that he shares with us that can truly help you if you are an addict, or help even parents think about how we are parenting so that we can prepare our children and equip them so that they are educated about the destruction these substances can bring to our lives, and the damage they can do to young minds.
Mark is an amazing man, who has been through so much. His Journey truly shows him suicidal in the dark, finding light, connecting with God, and coming to Delight. Mark was recently married and he and his wife look forward to a wonderful life together.
Mark you are a hero! God bless you in your sobriety since 10/10/2002, and in your efforts to help bring healing and strength to those who are lost in the chains of addiction.
Richard Ostler is the host of Listen, Learn, and Love Podcast, which focuses on building bridges of inclusion and acceptance for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. He has devoted the past few years on reaching out to help those that feel oppressed to lift them up and make sure that they feel loved and embraced by all, especially in their religious communities. From the moment I met Richard I could feel of his love and concern for me and as we sat down together to talk I learned so much from this man about truly loving others no matter what and helping people that feel unseen and oppressed feel valuable and loved.
Richard is the host of the Listen, Learn and Love podcast (https://listenlearnandlove.org/podcasts) which provides a platform for LGBTQ Latter-day Saints to share their stories. The podcast also includes stories from those working through complicated issues (repentance, early-release missionaries, emotional illness, faith-crisis).
He is also the author of Listen Learn and Love: Embracing LGBTQ Latter-day Saints available on Amazon (www.amazon.com/dp/1462135773) and Seagull Book (www.seagullbook.com/Listen-Learn-and-Love-Richard-Ostler.html)
I invite you to Listen, Learn, and no doubt fall in love with Richard who selflessly serves to bless so many people in need. If you would like to contact him, he can be reached at email@example.com.
Richard, I love you my friend and am so grateful for the opportunity to meet you and Learn from you. Thank you for helping me see “a better way” to live.
Jared Smith is an incredible guy that went through a traumatic accident without any warning while having a great time rafting the river as a Young Men's Leader. He talks about the experience from not only his memory but the memory of others in his party that told him he was underwater for 10-12 minutes, without a pulse, and had to be brought back to life by CPR. The moment as you can imagine was complete chaos, so for the first few minutes his party did not even realize he was missing, then while collecting their gear someone noticed what they thought was a blue cooler, but to their utter surprise it was jared face down in the river. The group sprung to action, people who were not supposed to be there showed up to help, and Miracles happened. Jared gives us the gift of believing in Miracles, remembering how much God loves every single one of us, and the realization that to God, each one of us had unlimited and eternal value. The near death experience also gave Jared a stronger witness that we can stop worrying about things that "don't matter", and we can start putting our thoughts and energy into things that are eternal and lasting. He shares a tender experience about his last thoughts before nearly dying, being of his wife and 4 children and the sweet embrace he shared with his 2 year old little girl when he returned home from the hospital. Jared is one of the most Humble and Meek men that I have ever met, but don't let those words fool you... Jared is a Mighty Soul and anyone that is fortunate to cross paths with him is fortunate!
Jake is one of those guys you meet and immediately you recognize that there is something special about him. His smile and energy are contagious and you feel like he is your best friend after a few short minutes with him. From the beginning of Jake's life "all odds were against him". His birth Mother and Father never married and separated before he was born. His mom was an alcoholic and Jake had to grow up fast, remembering many nights that he had to put her to bed. At 8 years old Jake watched his mother be handcuffed and hauled of to jail which left him feeling all alone in a big scary world. He went to live with his recovering Alcoholic Dad and Step Mom, and at first it was a stable home which Jake flourished in and got a taste a Happy Life. In his Teenage years Jake's Step Mother committed Suicide without warning, which wrecked Jake because they became very close. Jake talks about how the community rallied around him at this point. He had friends reach out to him in love who helped him learn about God and his value as God's Son. Faith entered Jake's life and as it did Doors opened for him to serve a two year Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which changed him. When he came home he had some "demons of the past" that he had to face. Through the Power of Prayer and with his amazing wife, right by his side, he faced those demons head on and experienced a lot of growth as a result. Jake is brilliant, and his life is absolutely inspiring! No matter how many times life knocks you down... Get Back Up and Never Quit. Put your Faith in God, Pray and ask for guidance, and He will take you by the hand and lead you to light, love, and joy!
Joseph Sorensen’s story is multi-dimensional and has given him the ability to love and empathize for individuals that come from very different up brings than he had. Having been raised in a family with 3 birth siblings and 5 adopted black siblings, Joe began to recognize from an early age some of the challenges and difficulties his siblings faced growing up in Utah, because of their skin color, and the burdens that they had to bear from the day they were born that they had absolutely no control over. Joe speaks of the hurt he experienced when one of his adopted brothers was killed, the powerful lesson he learned about battling feelings of Anger and bitterness, and the importance of the Black Lives Matters Movement. From his schooling at Harvard University to his experience in the Public Relations Department at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Joe has had many unique opportunities to see through different “lenses” and walks of life and he shares an inspiring message about understanding and showing true love, empathy, and Compassion for others.
As a life coach who has passed through the tragedy of losing both of her parents at a young age, Rachel has passed through dark times and found effective ways to seek light in life. Rachel is a brilliant person, full of light, and she gives some tips for processing negative emotion and feelings that enter into our lives. She speaks of what she calls the skill to C.O.P.E., which is an acronym she uses to define overcoming negative emotions, it stands for 1. Catch it, 2. Observe, 3. Pin Point, and 4. Experience. She talks about how to put C.O.P.E. into practice and how to let emotions "play out" or run their course and not just trying to force them out of our lives or feel ashamed we are feeling them. Rachel is wonderful. Enjoy!
Spencer Hall, was the creator of Salt City Hoops a blog that covers the Utah Jazz, a past writer for ESPN, and Director of KSL media.. All of this experience gave Spencer experience with people from different backgrounds. He talks about the importance of learning about all walks of life from religious, racial, cultural, etc. Spencer shares some fun memories of conversations with the late Coach Jerry Sloan, and as a blogger for the Utah Jazz. During our conversation Spencer talks about Empathy for others, the importance of empathizing with people different from ourselves and validating the experiences and feelings that they have. He talks about giving others Grace to Grow. We discuss the reality of what we choose to put out into the world and how it will come right back to us, so we can choose to seek for beautiful and good things, which makes life so much better and fulfilling for us. Spencer, offers wonderful insight to some of the Parenting Practices used by his Mother, who has recently passed away, and how as a mother she would embrace the nonsense, letting her kids play while ignoring the clutter, and things that she would do to make sure that her children felt love and felt celebrated. One of the most powerful lessons that Spencer has learned in his life is that one’s Value does not Change to God no matter what we do, and that Grace is not earned by our efforts, but is freely offered to us all, which in return gives us the ability to turnaround and offer that same gift of Grace to the people in our lives.
Ashley's story is one of those stories that you hear and think to yourself, "No way someone could go through all of that, and still be productive and happy in their life". As a young newlywed Mom of one son and one on the way Ashley's husband, without warning, committed Suicide. Ashley share's her story and experiences of pain and the guilt she felt as a result, almost feeling in some way as if it was her fault. Once the dust from the suicide settled, Ashley was married again but because she was trying to heal fully from the loss of her first husband to suicide she ignored "red flags" with her second husband and it became a very unhealthy marriage which lead to a divorce. Now with feelings of Shame as a result of a failed marriage Ashley thought she was worthless and that her life would amount to nothing more than being a single mom. She learned to trust and rely on the promises of her Savior Jesus Christ and began to have hope again, that is when she met her husband Jeff. She is now a mother of 6, a recent college graduate and looks for opportunities to reach out and uplift anyone in need. Ashley is truly a Delight, light emanates from her and you see it in her eyes! A true story of overcoming all odds and making a beautiful life!
After living a life of unmet expectations and lies to cover the expectations that he hadn't lived up to Dan was at the end of his rope and ready to throw in the towel for his life. Darkness, shame, and loss of all self respect encompassed his life and a divorce left Dan at Rock Bottom with no hope for a better life.
Grace entered Dan's life as he was excommunicated from his church, this caused him to look into his own soul and face himself to uncover what he truly wanted. Dan learned that by living with vulnerability, personal accountability, and honesty he could have true and lasting joy. All the hurt, pain, and resentment that had held him captive for years was finally released and Dan now lives his authentic life and now has a life full of hope, light, and passion to serve others. Enjoy!
Katie has worked in an industry for 10+ years that has given her the opportunity and ability to help youth and women facing addiction, living on the streets, growing up in broken homes etc... She has learned the power of vulnerability and its need for people looking to change their lives and find the light in their lives. She speaks about the idea of showing up, practicing empathy, and walking with people through their darkest moments to help them feel loved and personal value again in their lives. Once someone believes in their worth again, they have the ability to own their decisions, be vulnerable with their past, gather their "Team" of support and overcome their darkest hours.
Katie provides an awesome perspective of overcoming darkness and finding delight again based on 10 years working in an industry helping people in their most desperate times. We hope that some of the tools and principles she speaks about will help you do the same for someone in your life. Enjoy!
Dr. Jeff Knight ON - Jeff was introduced to tragedy early in his life, his sister Kim was killed in a tragic automobile accident and shortly after as his family was suffering through deep pain and trauma his parents divorced. Without the foundation of family and home Jeff was used to he watched another of his sisters begin to lose herself in her battle with drug addiction. Jeff was determined to learn from the mistakes of others and the tragedies that life had handed him, to do this he learned to look to and trust in God. I have known Jeff for years and seen first hand how he has dealt with and met head on pain and suffering and because of faith he held onto during the darkness he was surrounded by, Jeff is now the first person to Show Up when anyone he knows is in trouble. The empathy he now has the capacity to offer is magnetic and when Jeff shows up with love to lift another, the power of God is with him and miracles happen. I personally am a first hand witness of this as Jeff helped to rescue me from my darkness and alcoholism, bringing love and worth to me when I had none for myself.
Jeff speaks about trusting in God, the power of prayer and direction that God brings to life when you pray, listen and follow promptings that come. He also talks about losing yourself in service to others, and surrounding yourself with people that lift you up.
Dr. Knight is a Chiropractor and just opened a Non-Profit Organization that specializes in serving kids with Autism.
Jeff is a very wise man, he makes the choice to live with Delight each day and lives a life that inspires and uplifts those around him. His energy is contagious and his Dance moves are magical. Enjoy!!
Bailey Roquemore, blew us away. As a young 20 something fighting Glioblastoma Brain Cancer she is strong! I am in awe of the faith that she lives by and her focus on finding her "team" and surrounding herself with people who will fight this battle with her head on. Bailey's positivity and light are recognized by all she crosses paths with, which is mind blowing considering the type of Cancer she is fighting. Dan and I are proud Team Bailey Members and two of her biggest fans. Let her inspire you!
Kristin Petrucci is a public speaker who has quite a story. After having a Grand mal seizure in her sleep she faced a new reality and couldn't connect with her old, happy self, which caused fear to come into her life and even lead her on a path near suicide. Facing an uphill battle Kristin learned tools that helped her learn face her new reality with a new found confidence and passion. She began a quest in search of Gratitude, Wonder, and Connection in her personal life and now that she has regained her life and has awakened her true self she is on a mission to give back and help others who are struggling. We love Kristin's passion and energy, and hope you will too!
Mike discusses his path to finding delight in his life. After a childhood of unfulfilled dreams, ADHD and struggles in School, Depression, and the shame of not living up to unrealistic expectations, Mike’s life changed when he found God began to realize that service to others and getting outside of oneself provides peace and happiness, which lead him to a decision to serve a 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Indiana. Although Mike’s mission was an incredible experience for him and he returned home “on fire” to continually serve others and live of service, Mike lost his footing, went through a divorce, began drinking and using drugs again, which lead to full blown addiction, and after years of this he found himself all alone in pure shame, guilt, and darkness. On the edge, contemplating suicide Mike had an experience through prayer that taught him his value to God and which gave him the courage to, rise up, face the life he had created. Mike decided to forgive himself and take ownership of his life and to carry no shame for past choices but rather to choose to see them as valuable experience that no allows him to serve others in their own dark places. He speaks about the “failures” of his life as his greatest blessings which now give him purpose, Shame as a dark lie, and rising each time we fall.
Welcome to Come Towards Delight the Podcast. The reason I started Come Towards Delight and what I hope to accomplish, is to find amazing people with incredible stories and giving them a platform to share with us. Throughout my life I have always been attracted to people with light and energy in their souls. These people seem to look at life with passion and energy and I see them as the one's that jump at the chance to try new things, serve someone they don't know, and wrap their arms around someone that is having a rough time. Examples of these types of people in my life have made me realize that when all is said and done and life is over, I would be happy to be defined as someone who is delightful, brought delight to others, and saw this life as nothing less than full of delights all around. As I've paid attention to people with Delight I have noticed a commonality between the majority of them, it is that they have gone through some difficult challenges, trials, tragedies, and some of them have even passed through the darkness of despair. Why is it that someone who has passed through hard things and dark times see's the world with so much more beauty, gratitude, and Delight? Join me on my quest to understand why!