The Cordial Catholic

049: Two Sides of a Catholic Conversion Story (w/ Keith Nester and Devin Schadt)

March 04, 2020
The Cordial Catholic
049: Two Sides of a Catholic Conversion Story (w/ Keith Nester and Devin Schadt)
Chapters
The Cordial Catholic
049: Two Sides of a Catholic Conversion Story (w/ Keith Nester and Devin Schadt)
Mar 04, 2020
K. Albert Little

In this episode of The Cordial Catholic, I'm joined by former Protestant pastor Keith Nester and author and speaker Devin Schadt to discuss the process of Catholic conversion from two sides of the same story.

In a first for this podcast we unfold the narrative of a Catholic conversion–Keith’s conversion, in this case–from two different perspectives; from the perspective of the Catholic loving and practising and sharing their faith, and from the side of the skeptical Protestant doing the exact same thing on the other end. You'll hear how these two friends journeyed together, how they used apologetics, how they argued and debated and nearly got arrested one time, but how the Holy Spirit ultimately used Devin's witness, and their friendship, to convince Keith of the truth of the ancient Catholic faith.

It is an incredible story and a real privilege to share it with you.

For more from Keith Nester visit his website and check out his fantastic new book, A Convert's Guide to Roman Catholicism: Your First Year in the Church.

For more from Devin, visit his website at The Father's of St. Joseph.

For more, visit The Cordial Catholic. Send your feedback to cordialcatholic@gmail.com.

This show is sponsored by Select International Tours. To learn more about their pilgrimages and tours, especially during their trips to Ireland, please visit their website and help to support this show.

For more information about sponsoring the show, keeping this podcast going, and helping me to continue to deliver quality content please visit the Patreon page

Even $1 or $2 a month can go a long way to helping make this podcast sustainable and will give you access to a special Patron-Only podcast featuring behind-the-scenes content and early access to upcoming material.

If you can give $5/mo or more you'll also be entered into monthly draws for fantastic books hand-picked by me.

If you'd like to give a one-time donation to The Cordial Catholic, you can visit the PayPal page.

Thank you to those already supporting the show!

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of The Cordial Catholic, I'm joined by former Protestant pastor Keith Nester and author and speaker Devin Schadt to discuss the process of Catholic conversion from two sides of the same story.

In a first for this podcast we unfold the narrative of a Catholic conversion–Keith’s conversion, in this case–from two different perspectives; from the perspective of the Catholic loving and practising and sharing their faith, and from the side of the skeptical Protestant doing the exact same thing on the other end. You'll hear how these two friends journeyed together, how they used apologetics, how they argued and debated and nearly got arrested one time, but how the Holy Spirit ultimately used Devin's witness, and their friendship, to convince Keith of the truth of the ancient Catholic faith.

It is an incredible story and a real privilege to share it with you.

For more from Keith Nester visit his website and check out his fantastic new book, A Convert's Guide to Roman Catholicism: Your First Year in the Church.

For more from Devin, visit his website at The Father's of St. Joseph.

For more, visit The Cordial Catholic. Send your feedback to cordialcatholic@gmail.com.

This show is sponsored by Select International Tours. To learn more about their pilgrimages and tours, especially during their trips to Ireland, please visit their website and help to support this show.

For more information about sponsoring the show, keeping this podcast going, and helping me to continue to deliver quality content please visit the Patreon page

Even $1 or $2 a month can go a long way to helping make this podcast sustainable and will give you access to a special Patron-Only podcast featuring behind-the-scenes content and early access to upcoming material.

If you can give $5/mo or more you'll also be entered into monthly draws for fantastic books hand-picked by me.

If you'd like to give a one-time donation to The Cordial Catholic, you can visit the PayPal page.

Thank you to those already supporting the show!

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/cordialcatholic)

spk_1:
00:00
Hi. Hey. Welcome to the Cordial Catholic, a podcast for non Catholics, new Catholics and those looking to dig deeper into the Catholic faith. I'm K Albert Little on evangelical nondenominational convert to Catholicism, and this podcast is born out of one particulate. Her idea. It began for me when a partisan passer I was working for asked me the question. What's more important, the Bible or tradition? As an evangelical in my early twenties, I thought the answer was easy. But as I began digging into the formation of the Bible into how the Scriptures were written and collected and preserved, as I began to study the history of Christianity, I encountered the ancient Catholic faith. It was then, as I began to read about Catholicism's from actual Catholics, that I've realized that what I knew about the Catholic Church was wrong. My understanding was based on miss information and more often than not, simple mis understandings. This bond gas exists to fill in that gap the gap between what you think Catholics believe and what we actually do. We have riel Catholic conversations with riel, Catholic thinkers from the heart of the Catholic Church. No miss information here and this episode, this very episode is maybe the absolute best one we've ever put together. I mean that I'm joined by Keith Nestor Ah, good friend of the show. And his good friend Devin Shod Keith, you might remember, was a Protestant pastor for 22 years before eventually quitting his job to become a Catholic. His conversion story, recorded and put up onto YouTube, went viral, and the rest is history. Devin on author, speaker and the founder of The Fathers of ST Joseph Apostle. It figures large in that conversion story, and we take it from there in ah, first, for this podcast, we unfold the narrative of a Catholic conversion. Keith's conversion, in this case from both sides of the story and the results you'll hear just now are amazing. This is amazing story and hearing it told from both perspectives, from the perspective of the Catholic loving and practicing and sharing their faith, and from the other side of the skeptical Protestant doing the exact same thing on the other end. Well, this conversation is one you cannot miss, and I am so utterly privileged, and I mean that guy's to be able to bring this to you. You're going to love this episode. I guarantee the history of Catholicism's in Ireland goes all the way back to the fifth century. Abby's castles and cathedrals are abundant in Ireland and offer Pilgrim's ah host of opportunities for spiritual enrichment. Select International Tours wants to send you to Ireland to explore the beauty and history of your Catholic faith. Click on the link in the show notes for this show to enroll in a trip today that's select international tours and cruises. Check the link in the show notes, and I thank them for their generous support and thank you to my patron that patri and dot coms last quarter Catholic who helped keep this show going. Head over there please to find out how you can help patriot and dot com slash cordial Catholic. And now, without any further ado, here's my fantastic episode. Keith, Nestor and Devin shod Please listen and enjoy. Hi, welcome back to the cordial Catholic Today I'm joined by not one but two incredible guests who together are going to help us to unpack the journey, the experience of Catholic conversion from two different perspectives. First, I want to introduce Devin Shod Devin is a speaker, a writer and the author of a number of books on the Importance and the meaning, the Mission and location of fatherhood and is one of the founders of The Fathers of ST Joseph. Apostle it, Devon, I've heard a lot about you a lot about you. I'm excited to hear from you today. Thank you so much for being here.
spk_2:
05:23
Thanks for having me on. This is great.
spk_1:
05:26
I also want a welcome back, Keith. Nestor Keith is no stranger to this program. We first spoke way back on Episode 26 where he came on to unpack his incredible conversion story as a Protestant pastor for 22 years turned Catholic convert, Keith has a popular YouTube channel where I'm sure he could film himself eating a sandwich and get over 10,000 views within a kn our lucky for us. His Catholic content is much more important and edifying than that. Keith has a brand new book out Ah, converts Guide to Roman Catholicism's Your First Year in the Church, which I must say is fantastic. Keith, welcome back to the show. I am so excited to talk to you once again.
spk_0:
06:19
Always great to be here with you, Keith. Love the show.
spk_1:
06:23
Thanks so much, guys. I'm not sure if I'm up for this. I'm not sure if I'm walking into a trap here. If this is a good idea at the bit ever experiment but bringing Thio bringing together two friends who have kind of been, uh, working together on this journey on different sides of Catholic conversion, I think there's a lot to unpack here and a fantastic story to tell that I think our listeners are going to absolutely love. And Devon, I want to start with you want to bring you into the story right away because you're the Catholic in the story, at least at the beginning. Not not the only Catholic by the end of the thing, spoiler. But I wonder if you could tell us. I want to set the scene here before you guys meet. Uh, what was your upbringing like, where you raise Catholic or you devout Catholic your entire life? If listeners have listened to Episode 26 to this podcast or Red Keith's fantastic book, they'll know a little bit about you, I think because the sketch that we've heard of this? This Devon fellow is very devout Catholic. So where did that begin? Can you unpack your Catholic faith and baby walk us up to the point of young adulthood when you Ah, first maybe met Keith and then we'll bring him to the story.
spk_2:
07:50
Yeah, sure. So was I always Catholic? Will. Technically, I was baptized catholic. My mom was Catholic. My dad was not, um My dad's a great guy, but he had really no interest in church. A cz faras. I knew God, um, so baseball, football sports. That was my childhood. You know, I followed my dad in pursuing sports schools, loved baseball, loved football, even though I'm a kind of a midget like Keith, Um, I was a bit of a daredevil on the football field and love that, but, um, my mom, you know, she was kind of she was a Catholic, but it wasn't like it. The overtones of Catholicism's were, like, rich in our family at all. Um, I would say that she was praying behind the scenes, probably for the salvation. My father and then eventually for us, I've got a brother. I'm the oldest. Got a brother who's a year and 1/2 younger than me and a sister who, seven years younger than me. Um, I just think the big thing here is that, um I saw religion as more of a bunch of rules, and it was like a legalistic kind of way of life. Uh, I was not receiving anything that I would say. We like the true spiritual goods of Catholicism's or of Jesus Christ and his call the sanctity and redemption in the good news of the gospel. I wasn't getting really that at home. Um, in fact, by a very early age, I was I was out of control. I mean, I was, uh I was committing pretty much every sin you could, Um, that was, you know, breaking the 10 Commandments. I was out of control. And so that just escalated. Um, that escalated all the way until I was in college. And, um, you know, is partying. I was deceiving. I was doing a lot of crazy stuff, and, um, I was, uh, dating a gal for seven years. And, ah, she broke up with May. She's about the only person who could stand me at that point, and she even said, You know what? I hate your guts. I never want to see you again. And so I had an all time low. I was graduating art school and I needed to take my mind off of things because I was just such a wretch. I was just I was I was pretty much suicidal at that point. And I remember going out to this playground shooting hoops by myself. Just get my mind off things. And it was the parking lot of a Catholic church and, uh, the ball I caromed off the rim. I missed the shot I chased after the ball. I grabbed the ball, I looked over the ball and I'm staring right at this Catholic church. And I thought, you know, I haven't been in it in a Catholic church in years, I don't know, but I just felt really drawn to it. And so I put the basketball down. This is days when Catholic churches were unlocked and I entered the church. It was dark, not a soul was in there. And I started walking up the aisle and all of a sudden there was this massive weight that came down upon me. but it was a good weight. It was It was not oppressive, but it drew me to my knees. And I was overwhelmed with what we would call the Holy Spirit now. But I had no idea what was taking place. And I just began to weep, and I didn't know who Jesus was. I had heard about him. Um, and I really didn't know who God was, but I just said, you know what? I've been driving this car way too long and I'm stuck in a ditch and I need you to take over and I'm willing to do whatever you want. And all of a sudden, this glorious music kicked on and I thought, This is a sign from heaven, And, uh but it was like this 90 year old lady up in the balcony she was practicing for Sunday Mass. Evidently. And, uh So I sheepishly crawled in the pew and then continue to give my life to what? What I know now is Jesus Christ. And so after that, I toggled around. I went to different churches. I went to Baptist Church Lutheran Church, But I couldn't shake my Catholic roots. And my mom a little backstory. My last year's high school, we moved. We went from the Chicago land area to kind of a country town, and, um and my mom thought, Be a good idea to send me Catholic school and I hated it. I went from a graduating class of 1100 kids to 200 kids in the whole school, and it was miserable. And but there was a priest there. Father Michael Phillips, who, you know, was kind to me, you know, befriended me, cared for me. But I didn't really understand any of the Catholic stuff, really. You know, I didn't really understand the faith as it really is. And but I remembered him. And so I went back to him and asked if I could meet with him, and he suggests that that he hear my confession. And so when I went to confession to him, it was like, you know, it's one of those life confessions, and when I got done, when he absolved me, all of a sudden, I felt this massive weight just come right off of me, and I had to stop him. I said, Father, I feel I feel something just happened. This this huge way, he says. That's Christ taking the cross from you. And, uh and so that next week I think I went back up to that Catholic church up in Waterloo because I was living two hours away and I received my what I call my first Holy Communion. And that was also a bit of a mystical experience, because when I received our Lord, there was, like, this massive burning in my chest to the point where I before I could even get back to the pew. I was weeping, and that was the beginning. That was the beginning of something big in my life. I was 24 years old at the time. Um, I knew that Christ was operating. I was searching, Um, but I decided to land in the Catholic Church. Now. Did I know anything about the faith? No, not really. And so I started digging in because, you know, I was searching into all these churches and and but I wasn't really digging in too much. I would say some and then maybe, like with the next couple years after getting married. That's when I really started to listen to the radio, a lot of Protestant preachers. I was listening to a lot of Protestant preaching. I was reading the Bible. I was going on retreats. Um, I started, you know, just praying a lot. And really I mean, the only way I can explain what happened to me was it was like an infusion. I didn't go to school. I didn't go to theology school. I never, like, really formally studied. But it was like something happened where I was remembering the gospel from mass. I was connecting the dots. I was putting things together, biblically, and and then all it would take to be a talk from Scott Han here or listening. Thio. You know, Dr David Jeremiah, who's a prostate preacher there, And I was starting to put together these things, and and so by the time I met Ki I was on fire. Um, does the pastor, that priest that heard my confession asked me to come back there and be a youth director? Uh, I not knowing much. I decided to do it. Uh, not realizing that, really. Youth ministry is just like a Band Aid on a gaping wound. But I thought I was I was so full of myself, Very prideful. So I thought I could be like the Savior. And, um, that's where I met keys. And that was kind of a humbling experience because, as you know, Keith Little Keith's got some pretty cool hair, and, uh, he's pretty cool guy, you know? He drives the motorcycle, he's got the tats. He's he's a cool guy. And, uh so he was just starting up his youth ministry close to around the same time. And, uh, that's about the time we met.
spk_1:
16:06
What? That is an incredible story you've already shared with us. Devon, that's really interesting conversion experience from Low Point in your life playing basket poem. You're a Catholic church to this incredible good grackles infusion of several experiences and then this incredible Thurston and longing and desire to just know more. But the faith that's brilliant. That sounds a lot like the guy that I had heard about when we heard about Keith's story when he first met you. So I wonder Keith, can we bring you in here? Because, uh, what are the favorite stories that you tell in there A lot in your in your fantastic new book is how you. I first met Devin where you were. So could you maybe just paint a picture And I guess me and we can't We can't sketch out both of your entire life stories. I think if if listeners want to hear more, but that they could go back a little bit in the archives or our pick up your book because you give a bit more of background. But you you were beginning in youth ministry. You needed a logo. Ah, uh, give us a little bit of that taste of that And how you got to the front door of this guy who I think you described as having more statues than the Vatican for something.
spk_0:
17:25
Yeah, so I mean, I had been in youth ministry for a couple years. At that point, I needed a logo because I wanted my youth ministry to look really cool. And so I cracked the yellow pages, called up the first person I saw in the Yellow Pages, and it was some woman who so well, I can't do what you're talking about. But this guy named Devane shot is a guy You should talk to you. So came his number and I called him. He immediately said, Yeah, that sounds like something I could do. And we talked, and I thought this guy sounds pretty cool. Um, so he invited me to come over to his house. He asked me some questions about the youth ministry, and I went over to his house without my bosom anniversary that night. Probably my first or second anniversary thinking. Okay, this guy's artwork is gonna be really lame. Because I'm looking at your house and I'm thinking it's gonna look like old English or something from, like, a Renaissance fair or a place where loppers go and you know, So I pull up to your house, and the first thing that struck me was what are all these statues for? And I'm thinking, as I'm walking up to the to the door, Why does this guy have all these statues? I I recognize the one of the Virgin Mary, but the other guy, I didn't know who he was. And I'm thinking maybe maybe he lives with his grandmother. You know, maybe maybe this is his house. Maybe he's a Aah, Neck beard, basement dweller. And so I knocked on the door and this this guy answers the door and, um, I instantly felt felt at ease because he was shorter than I was. And
spk_2:
19:03
I don't know, man, I think we're pretty close now. Your hair might make a little taller. I don't know. Well,
spk_0:
19:10
I walked into Devon's house and seriously with, you know, all kidding aside, I was struck by the fact that there wasn't a TV in the living room and that there were statues and there were pictures of what I referred to in the book is Catholic looking people. And my, you know, I had no exposure to Catholicism at that point in time. I hadn't given it much thought. I didn't think anything of it other than no, it's It's this crazy, superstitious, you know, non Jesus biblical, non biblical, non Jesus focused religion. And I had no time for it, you know. And so I was thrown off by when I met Devin and I sat down and we started talking. He showed me the logos that he come up with, and they were amazing. The 1st 1 that I saw, I was like, Yeah, that's it. And we start talking. And Devon, he just had this way about him. The way he spoke to me that night, where I was just pulled into his personality and I was drawn to the excitement in his voice when he talked about Jesus and he talked about his faith and it just made me stop and think to myself, This guy is not like what I think Catholic people are supposed to be like. He's way too on fire. So I remember I stopped and I asked him, Ok, you're Catholic, right? Is it? Yeah. And I'm like, Well, what? What What about Jesus? Don't you believe in Jesus? He's like, Yeah. And I said, you gotta explain that to me has threw me off.
spk_1:
20:40
So what did you say in this first encounter? Devon? Did you Did you Did you plan to debate with this Protestant youth pastor before you even met him? I mean, were you thinking when you've when he when he started up to your door, this fancy hair and his cool swagger, as he described it, making out
spk_2:
20:59
like John Travolta? Yeah. Yeah, well, little lamer than that, but yeah, I was I was looking for the cash, you know? I mean, no No. So Keith and I can't remember the details of the discussion. I didn't have any preconceived, you know, like, um, like motivations to talk to the guy about religion in the faith. Um, you know, my wife was upstairs pregnant with our first Well, she had a miscarriage. So our second child and she was sick upstairs. Keith comes in. Um, he says, Look, I only got a couple minutes here. Just show me what you've got, because I got, you know, meet my wife for dinner for anniversary, and we start talking yet. I remember Keith got C started drilling. Um, and the big question was Okay, Devon. So when were you saved and that that was game on? And so I said, I said, Well, I have been saved at baptism. I'm being saved and it will be safe, God willing. And that was like, Oh, you could just see Keith was like, What does that mean? And so then it was either your savior, you're not saved. And there was no scripture verses, and I'm trying to do my best to throw some scripture versus back. And pretty soon that 15 minute conversation ended up lasting well over an hour. I mean, well, over an hour easy. And we're full throttle where yelling were arguing. And finally, um, I just say, Look. Okay, so you believe the Bible? He's like, Yeah, I believe the Bible. You believe what it says? Yeah, I believe. What says? Well, Jesus says unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you don't have life within you. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood I abide in him and he abides in me. And my flesh is true food. And my blood is true. Drink. So do you believe that he's like, Yeah, yeah, I believe that. So you believe what you receive at your church service is Jesus body. But yeah, I believe that. I said, go ask your pastor. And so the next time we meet, he says, we're talking about all this other stuff and he says, By the way, we don't believe that s O. That is like the beginning of getting through a lot of these basic differences. But my wife kicked about my wife's like enough is enough. He's got to go home and meet his wife for their anniversary. So, uh, Keith Keith was kicked out, but what was really beautiful about it was this is what I think we really need in the Catholic Christian man. Culture, if you will, is that we need men who are not afraid of conflict but at the same time are willing to let their egos be crushed. We need men who are willing to enter conflict and willing to be humiliated in order, received humility in order to in the search of the truth. And I found with Keith that's even though we battle and we'd argue and we debate. That's what I found with my found a partner in which we were searching for the truth because, like even though I wanted to say, I had the truth, which is a convict, a stupid Catholic thing when you first can you convert or you get into politics you like I've got I've got the truth. I've got all the truth. Well, you don't because you're not in heaven and you're not God. You can always grow in truth. And by meeting Keith, what was so beautiful about it was I was actually learning my Catholic faith through a Protestant lens, and so I was becoming a better Catholic because of keys Protestantism, and so he would challenge me. And if I didn't have the answer, that I would go digging and then I would rebuttal and I'd call them, You know, we'd be calling you from my work. You call me from your work, we'd get together for lunch. Uh, you know, sometimes at night he accused me of being Martin Luther one night, which that was like that was like, That's but worse in the f word. I mean, it was like, crazy for a Catholic to hear that. So, uh, so then I was diagnosed with malignant cancer, and my friend who was in the seminary at the time, who is now a priest, I said, search the library and get me any works on Martin Luther. So he came back while I was recovering with all these works, Martin Luther's writings, writings about Martin Luther. And I read all of them. And I was, like, so disappointed because what I realized you, Keith, was what he was saying is is you haven't earning theology. You you have this earning mentality. And the earning mentality is born from a wound from my childhood, right as it is with a lot of us, we feel like we need to be significant worthy of people's attention, importance. And so a lot of times, whatever were wounded in that causes us to overcompensate, to try to fill that void with something that we think is going to give us value. And usually it's human respect, whatever way we can get it. And so for me, I was kind of like an earner, you know, with God, you know? And so it was beautiful because it took Keith Thio and Martin Luther, I guess. And Martin Luther, in a sense, his his example, his poor example, um, to liberate me a little bit from that. Um, but Luther is still heretic,
spk_1:
26:22
so Well, that's it really interesting perspective. There's there's so much in there to think about in tow. Unpack. And I'm thinking about this first encounter that mean that the very first encounter to get you guys had and you argue you argue of, well, an hour on Keith's wedding in first rate, one might question his judgment being there in the first place, But, uh, have this discussion and I mean, I love what you say about the need for this culture to be able to have these confrontations in humility and admit when we're wrong and make the change and let our egos go. There's so much in that first encounter that I think could have ended in this discussion is that's the end and that's it. There's no more to it. It could have been just a meeting of minds conflict, Ah, of two of two guys and then you guys walk away and maybe you give him the logo and you ever see him again? Uh, Keith, I wonder from your perspective, what what brought you back into discussion with with Devon after that first encounter and then over and over again? Because obviously, this friendship kept growing in. And we know the end of this of this this journey. What brought you back?
spk_0:
27:42
Well, a couple things I want to. I want to say something about about that because I think that point that Devon was making about this the ability to have these conversations in humility. We weren't there at that point in time. And I think in some ways that is why we kept going because we If we were both more humble, we probably would have never seen each other again because we've just been like, Okay, that's nice. I can I can let that guy be him and you can let this guy beat me. But I wanted to prove him wrong, and he wanted to prove me wrong. So most of our our our friendship was was based in this sort of adversarial setting in which, Okay, I'm going to try to to show him why he's wrong, and he's gonna try to show me why, why I'm wrong. And it wasn't that I didn't want him to become Protestant like I wasn't like, Hey, I've got to save you from Catholicism's I just And here's what Here's right thing. Devon was really good at. He was good at putting me on my toes because most Catholics don't live like that. Most the time and conversations between Protestants and Catholics. It's the Protestants putting the Catholics on their toes. It's the Protestants are the ones that are coming after the Catholics and saying You guys aren't biblical. You don't know your faith. You don't know about Jesus. You worship statues. You Ah, you know all that kind of stuff, right? And that's the world I lived in was, that's what you did. And most Catholics, when they hear that, they just kind of shut down. And they're like, Oh, well, Devon, But But I mean, how often does it does it Catholic come after a Protestant and and put it, put them on their on their toes? So that's what he was doing to me. And it was something that I wasn't used to because I was in a position of authority in my church. And, you know, I preach to these kids every week, and I talked to stuff and like So I was the one given the given the information. And now here's this guy. Not to mention this Catholic guy who's just drilling me, and he's asking me these questions, and I'm realizing, Okay, this isn't as easy as just Oh, don't you know in the Bible, it says, Call no man, father. And like all the stupid Catholic stupid Protestants stock, Catholic objections or whatever, I tried every single one of those on Devon, and he had an answer for every single one. So and then he started put me on my toes asking me about solar script, tour and the Eucharist and these things. And so part of me was like reacting to that. But I wanted to justify myself. I wanted to be able to show him that I didn't have to be a Catholic because I found the right answer. So it wasn't so I was, like, trying to convert him. I mean, it seemed like that to him. Price sometimes. But more than anything, really, I was on the defensive, and I was I was just trying to to fight off what was happening. But in all of that. So I think there is a degree of pride there, at least on my part. I can speak for Devon, but at least on my part was I gotta I gotta show him that he's not gonna win that. I'm not gonna be convinced by his arguments or by his questions. He's not gonna stump me. I'm gonna have answers for these things. So I'm gonna find him so that whenever I find something, I would call him. Hey, Devon. I found this Martin Luther, um, or whatever
spk_2:
31:08
it might be. So in some ways, I think
spk_0:
31:12
it was our lack of humility or least my lack of humility. That was the reason why we would talk. But in hindsight, I see now that and of course, Devon and I would get to a point eventually where we would just be friends for the sake of being friends. And we stopped trying to to convert each other, and we just instead of being like against each other, I think we realized that we needed each other as brothers in Christ to move through things in life that are happening to us. You know, Devon had cancer, and, you know, there was some rough parts of my life, too, and and we walked with each other through those things. I mean, he helped me a lot, and, you know, eventually it just got to a point where we said, Okay, we're not gonna do this anymore.
spk_2:
31:55
Yeah, I think, though you were very, um, bullet times, like so one of stories. That's kind of I think, very that's in my mind is I don't know how many years keep. That was after we were hanging out and debating and going to lunch together. But, um, Keith had a youth summer camp. And this is like the big deal. You know, hundreds of kids falling at Camp Abe Lincoln and and I gave him a Scot Han conversion story tape, which he played in front of all the other Protestant pastors who were helping run the camp, which is hilarious of man. So that was it. Yeah, that was funny. So, um, so then But they had a communion service at this camp and talk about humility. I mean, here, here, Keith and I are battling it out. You know, we're friends, though. I mean, we we get along great, really. I mean, but whenever it religion comes up, I mean, we're gonna battle it out, and he calls me from this camp. It's night, it's late. And he's like, sounds like he's been crying a little bit or whatever you want to say. And I'm like, Okay, and he's like, Yeah, man, I, uh I just had to step out. We're having a community service, and I think I want to become Catholic, and I'm like, What? Why? Because I want to receive the Eucharist. And for me, that was like a big moment for me to see the inside of Keith because, you know, uh, you know, Keith keeps pretty tough, and, you know, I don't know if I'm very tough, but I like to act like I'm tough or, like, slightly used to act like I was tough. And so for him to open up and be humble enough to admit that that just like that blew me away. I had my respect level for Keith was already high, but then it it went to a whole new level and we would do things like, Remember key if you took me the acquired fire. Ron Luce, you know a way. You know, Keith driving this huge school bus, and, you know, we got all these kids, and we're going to acquire the fire in Chicago, I think, Ron loose and and Ah, And
spk_0:
34:08
that's a big Protestant youth worship. Ah, like a big youth convention. For those of you that don't know.
spk_2:
34:15
Yep. Pyrotechnic tronics. You know, flames and smoke everywhere. And guy yelling at your kids, going crazy. Yes, is very entertaining. Um, remember the ride back. You're starting too tired. Fall asleep. So I decided argue with you about purgatory keep you awake wear that, but But I I just think that in the kids on the bus thought we were nuts, you know, arguing about purgatory were they talking about? But, um, I think that that was that was Keith was very humble. And then I remember, uh, some of his kids. He had a huge youth ministry. And so, like, right after that happened, his youth ministry went from maybe, like, 40 50 kids and exploded like I'm talking like, 250 maybe upwards of 300 kids. Rock band, I mean, the place huge, huge, you know, area like I don't know. It was almost like an add on on the church for that. It was it was incredible. And his minister exploded. So then that fell into the background. The idea that I want to become Catholic. I love you, Chris. That kind of fell into the background. And so we just let that kind of fade a little bit. You know, we'd still get together and argue, um, and talk about these things over the years.
spk_1:
35:35
What I'm wondering about Keith from you is here's this arguing back and forth these debates and, you know, one of the things we do as Catholics as Catholics who want a sheriff A through a passionate about our faith is we often want to learn all the answers and learned the faith and debate with people. And I know for me, I just I love these discussions. Uh, and I'm so often relying on myself and we forget, uh, you know, God gets lost in the conversation. Sometimes we don't rely on the Holy Spirit. Rely on our pride and our knowledge of things and the conversations and our eagles get inflamed. I wonder from you. Okay, what brought you to the point of making that phone call to Devon during that communion service? Was it these arguments who is making from John six and the literal words of Christ in the Eucharist? These things that we, as Catholics, I mean, hold up. Could do you know what? What brought you there exactly that point?
spk_0:
36:35
I can't say it's one particular thing, but it's probably accumulation of all the things that Devon I have been discussing and the things that he'd had me watch and read. This was back before the Internet, so he would give me booklets and books VHS tapes, that kind of stuff. And I was learning all this thing but it, but it kind of caught me off guard. It was that night when a friend of mine was doing the We'll call it the Communion liturgy. It isn't really a liturgy, but he stood up in front of these kids at camp. In these I got this bread in this world is grape juice, and he's riffing through that and making it up as he's going along. And I'm just sitting here listening to this watching it, which I've done a 1,000,000 times, And I just think it was the Holy Spirit. Something just hit me and all of the stuff that I've been hearing from Devon and Elvis, things that he had been giving me. I just I just felt like that was what I wanted. And I felt like what I was experiencing wasn't wasn't ultimately what I wanted. And I felt the Lord just called to me and saying, There's more and it bowled me over emotionally, You know, I remember that night running outside and calling him and just feeling so alone in that moment, because nobody around me understood where I was going through, I hadn't shared it with really too many people. You know, I hadn't talked to my wife about it. I had because I was afraid. You know, what am I messing around this Catholic stuff for? And I was scared, and I don't think it was one particular argument, but it was just a culmination of things that were happening around it. See, I think that's part of the conversion experience for people is that you can have all the knowledge in your head come to you, you can hear everything, and that's great. But at some point in time, the Holy Spirit gets involved in that process and relates to you in a deeper way than what's just going on. Intellectually, it relates to you and your soul, and he comes into your soul and he reveals truth to you in a way that you've never experienced before. And that's the same thing that would happen to me years later. You know, sure we'll get to that. But that night I I can't explain. It wasn't like I just thought of an argument. It was God's spirit just showing me You know what? All that stuff you've been learning about. It's really
spk_1:
39:00
the same. The same, uh, was a force that ruled that basketball toward the Catholic Church for Devon Hey, although that way back when that's that's beautiful, I think one thing I want to say before move on actually is you you mentioned. I think I don't know if it's in the last conversation we had back in this podcast or in your book, but you mentioned Devon's reaction when you called him and and that being something, that was, I think pretty powerful for you.
spk_0:
39:30
It was because I was fully prepared for him to be like I told you so, you know, And because, I mean, that's probably what I would have done if it would have been that she would have been on the other foot, you know, Um, but he wasn't like that. He was. He was Really I just I remember one of the things he specifically said to me. He said, I just was just kept saying my son, I don't know what I could do. I don't know what I'm gonna d'oh you know, I don't know what's happening. He just said to me, he said, the Lord's calling you home, you know, he's calling you home. And he was He was calm. He was He was compassionate. And and, ah, not for one second did he gloat or do anything that was like, Ha ha. You know, finally, about time you listen to me. It was just It was just really peaceful. And that was reassuring to me. You know, at that moment
spk_2:
40:24
you have one other thing that I recall saying was, you know, the Lord is gonna The Lord is going to call you If this is really the Lord is going to call you in his own time. You know, it's not gonna be on my trajectory, your trajectory, you know, even though I probably didn't use the word trajectory. Fact that. But but But yeah, it's the Lord is going to do it in his own time, you know? And I think that's important for us to realize, because that was a big lesson. I had to learn in my relation with Keith is that it's not about me winning the convert. It's not about me controlling the situation. It's not about my pride and the fact that I think I'm right. What it's about is about God and what he's doing in that other person, this story, these writing in their life. And we have to respect that. And for me, it took a long, long time for me to learn that lesson. But it was liberating when I did.
spk_1:
41:25
And you know what? I think that absolutely beautiful thing in that story is I remember Keith, you told the story, your perspective, way back when in this podcast and and that sat with I mean, I'm sure our listeners, uh, they're out there. There's lots of them. Hopefully, hopefully you have a few more day by day. But that sat with me like so. So Devin, your reaction to Keith calling Keith told his story back in Episode 26 that sat with me. It has sat with me since then, and I even had similar experiences in my life where I'll get an email out of the blue from somebody I know who's heard the podcast or I'll have somebody on Associate two's listens to it say, Hey, you know, I was interesting episode and my response is, you know, I guess, what would what would Devon do? maybe, but I think I instead of saying, Oh, yes, I got you like, Yes, you. That argument was so good in that episode, that guest would just nailed it. Now that you know, now you're convinced, aren't you? I thought no, no, no. I've thought of the story. The Keith told I thought of your reaction. I thought, you know, that is, that's an important reaction we have to have. As as Catholics who are praying for are you know, all Vollmann Catholics out there like that? Such an appropriate response in such a name. Pro PRI. It perspective to have That's not our story. It's not our time line, you know. And you maybe imperfectly, as you say, it took you a long time to learn that. But that's such a valuable lesson for us to hear. I love that.
spk_2:
43:04
Yeah, and I don't know if this is, you know, taking it too far, but I mean, well, first of all, you know, we were called the Fishers of Men, but it's not our catch, you know, Um and I think that's the problem is that we think it is our catch. And for me, I I eventually just have come to the place that God is in charge and I cannot control the process. And if and if he really wants them to be Catholic, they will be Catholic. And if he doesn't, then he will find a different weight. I dare say to save them, you know? I mean, I have to believe that, especially if they have that desire and that that longing to be in full commune with God, you know, um and so a lot of my Catholic kind of fundamental bias is like, you know, I do believe that the church is the true church. I believe it's the minister. Salvation, The harbinger of truth. It fosters this deep personal relationship in union with Jesus Christ for the sacramental life. Um, all of that. But as right as it is, I cannot look at another human being who's not Catholic and say, Well, you're going to hell, you know? Sorry, You're going to help. And so for me, it's to see, finally that God is in every human being and I need to respect the process of what's happening in their life. You know, um, it's not up to May.
spk_1:
44:36
I think that is such an important thing. Toe learn. I think it takes all of us a long time to learn that. Especially when when we have these close friends that were praying for so fervently. I mean, but that doesn't that. I mean, there I say abandonment to God's providence like that, that abandonment to know that God is in control. That story that doesn't diminish our evangelization. I think that that empowers it to know that we are not the soul person responsible for bringing in this person's soul. Is that a bad pun into the church?
spk_2:
45:15
Yeah, and actually it allows us to be a little bit more free and be off the hook, because then we can actually speak the truth without having any expectation in return. You know, this is the idea of the gift. Just the idea of being a gift to a person is we're not truly being a gift if we expect something in return, right? But if I'm if I'm truly being a gift with the gospel and I'm sowing the seeds and I expect something in return, well, that's for me, you know. I mean, I have to do it for the goodness of God and let go beady Tash. And so when we do it that way, there's a massive freedom in that I don't have any expectation on me. In a confessor once said to me, he said, self hatred and self reliance, Our evil twin sisters. Because when you're self reliant, you do something good. You like yourself when you're self reliant and do something bad, you hate yourself. And that happens in evangelization all the time. We end up either loving ourselves too much or hating ourselves too much because we're so darn self reliant. But I think what we we plant the seeds or we sow the seed, whatever we're doing. And we do it in this earnest type of love for the other person. And then we just wipe our hands of it. Walk away. That's very free,
spk_1:
46:36
Eamon. Okay, take us. Maybe. Keith, You want to start, take us to Manta, Gloria, because here you are. Your youth group is thriving. As Devin said, You're this cool guy with its cool band driving around in a motorcycle, maybe, and gel in your hair. Andi, you wind up, you wind up on a bus in Manta. Gloria. So how did this happen, Keith? So
spk_0:
47:03
Devon calls me one day, He says, Hey, we're gonna have lunch and I'm gonna introduce you to somebody. And I said, Okay, so we go to this Chinese restaurant that I really, really like That's not there anymore. And I meet. This guy walks in here, he's he's kind of a larger dude, and he sits down with Devon and I and he looks at me and I'm like, What am I doing here? I could tell this guy was Catholic because when we went to pray, he crossed himself, which is always a good indicator. And we start talking and he looks at me. He says, Keith, Oh, I wanna invite you on an all expenses paid trip to Europe and I'm like, Well, who are you? And he says, Well, my name's Greg. My daughter goes to your youth group, and I thought, Oh, no, he's mad because his daughter is Catholic. Girl comes to my my youth group, and this guy's probably like gonna take me to Europe and throw me into the sea or something like that because he doesn't want me to corrupt her. But he wasn't like that at all. And he asked me if I would be interested in going on this trip. He said Devil would be going and I thought, Well, a free trip to Europe, I can't really pass that up And he said, I said, Where are we going? He says, Well, we're gonna go to this place called Measure Gloria and I'm like, What the heck is that? Never heard of it. And then he started to explain to me the story of measure gory, you know, with the apparitions and everything. And remember, I'm Protestant completely at this point time and I'm like, That sounds like a place for crazy people. But we're also gonna go to Rome on Italian. Kind of cool to go there. Yeah, why not? So I thought, Well, maybe I'll think about it and I'll get back to you. Open up my fortune cookie at Thea Restaurant, and my fortune says you will be going on an exciting adventure. Yeah, so I agreed to go and we went. It was like it sounds like a bad joke. But 30 Catholics, a priest and a Protestant youth pastor got into a bus and a soon as we got on the bus a TTE this church in Davenport. We're getting ready to head to the airport in Chicago. They start praying the divine mercy. Chaplain. Now I know nothing about what the Divine Mercy chaplain is. I've never prayed a rosary. I've never been around any of that kind of stuff before. And I got 30 Catholics and then some. Some woman that I'm sitting next to you who doesn't know that I'm not Catholic. She's like, uh, you know, where's your beads? I'm like, Why? What she's like, Where's your beads? Get your beads out. I'm like, Oh, man, what did I get myself into? So I learned quickly that I was gonna have to lay low as the Protestant dude on this trip because I was outnumbered. And it was It was a fantastic trip, though it was amazing. I learned a lot of things about Catholics on that trip that were really cool. Um, I saw a side of Catholicism's had never seen before, which was Catholics that were really enjoying being together and also enjoying worship in a way I'd never experienced before to see the way that they worship Jesus on this trip just blew me away because, you know, my misconceptions about Catholicism's was that it was this dull, lifeless religion where people just went through the motions and had a ritualistic experience. But there was no life in it. So for me to see that all these people it was it was unbelievable to me, but at the same time I was I was feeling drawn to it. I was also like, Wait a minute, I can't I can't let Devon know that I'm feeling drawn to it. So we would get in some arguments here and there. And remember, there was one particular night we'd gone out for ice cream or something like that with everybody. And we're standing on the street corner in the middle of of measure gory of this village. There's people walking by. There's all this kind of stuff. And Devin and I are like Toto nose to nose, just going at it with each other and, like the cops are coming around. If I remember
spk_2:
51:13
people like the people that we're gonna fight, they were yelling at us in their language. I didn't know what that was gonna happen, but it from what Greg said that they were planning on arresting us.
spk_0:
51:24
Yeah, we don't want up in like a person over there,
spk_2:
51:29
but it's like a bad movie, man.
spk_0:
51:33
So we have this amazing trip and really, you know, the Lord did some stuff in my heart on that trip. That just again was another piece in the journey. Another another road in the journey where I just felt like God was at work in this. But I don't know what to do with it. It it completely freaked me out. But I could see that there's something happening here, and I just felt drawn to it more and more. No matter what we did in that trip, it was It was huge for me, you know?
spk_2:
52:00
Well, yeah, there was a point where we were at Father Yo Zoe's Church, and he has a translator. Nat's Nancy, who's extremely, um, outgoing. I mean, she's incredible and she's got what's the name of that castle? They've got their her and Patrick, Do you remember the name of it? It'll be a huge, a huge castle out there for pilgrims since, well, she picked Keith right out of the crowd. It must've been because he was wearing that wife beater shirt. So So she picks him out of crowd, and then he's the chosen one. He gets to go to. Nancy's hangs out to Castle. He's the popular guy. But it was so hilarious, because at one point I think you guys were coming back or something happened. You're coming back from the castle or whatever. You're walking with this nun who's probably like in her seventies, and she's all full habit. And you got your wife beater shirt on and it was hot. We took pictures of that. That was like, Ah, that's a postcard. And so I saw a side of Protestantism that never seen before. But it was It was a good trip. Uh, I think that God was doing something definitely with you in hand, picking you, Nancy, hand picking you, um, you know, giving you those special highlight moments, Uh, still early on. You know, still early on. And, um but yeah, I remember the argument on the street corner. We were arguing about the Eucharist, and I'm like, Man, it was unanimous in the early church. Everybody believed it. And you brought up to heretics. there were some obscure heretics. Well, they didn't. That was it. I had had it. So we went at it. Yeah,
spk_1:
53:51
but But, Keith, you returned to that street corner. If I understand your story correctly,
spk_0:
53:56
right? Yeah. So about a year ago, a little over a year ago, after my conversion, when I went back to measure Gloria with the stele, my wife and Greg, the guy who took us, we went, we went back there and I went back to Nancy's Castle and visited with her, and she gave me this this poster of our lady, and we were walking back, and Greg said to me, He said, Recognize that corner And I looked at him like that's where it happened, isn't it? He's like you up for you and Devon almost got arrested. So is in the middle of the day. I said, you gotta take a picture of this. So I held. I held up a picture of our blessed mother, and Greg took a picture of me standing there on that corner, holding that saw that poster and I just Texas Devin and I just said two words said, You win.
spk_1:
54:45
So this trip, I mean, this seems like a really you know, I mean, I've been back, obviously when? A once in a lifetime experience at the time. Me being very formative experiences he Catholics in this way, like you said, and yeah, to experience Catholic faith s o so devoutly and so genuinely this trip changing when you came back, I mean, was this still in the in the growing youth group phase? Like, what is this still like the heyday of of this Protestant ministry you are a part of? Or how did this trip change you and your Maybe your relationship you guys had around Catholicism's Well,
spk_0:
55:25
yeah, it was still in the heyday of my youth ministry, and I honestly feel like I was drawn to Catholicism's, but I was too afraid of what it would cost me to take that any further. I wasn't 100% convinced of it, but I was feeling pulled in that direction. And it's crazy because when you when you and you can see this in people all the time when someone knows that something is true, but they don't want it to be true, they they can walk into that truth on Lee so far before it requires them to change. And at some point in time, you have to make a decision about either gonna walk further into this truth, Or am I gonna turn around and run the other way, you know, and for me at the time, I I was still too. I was still too prideful, and I was still too shortsighted and afraid, really, of what this would look like. So I just basically shut the whole thing down. And I said, I'm not gonna think about this stuff or talk about this stuff anymore. And I just went the other way and I mean, there was probably a long period of time where I didn't talk to Devon. I didn't talk to Greg very much, and I just kind of went the other way and and focused on my youth ministry and my and my you know what I was trying to do with my life at that point in time, and that lasted for years, you know, and there were some dark times in there, but I I wasn't I wasn't I wasn't able to step out in that faith that moment, so I I I just brushed it aside and try to forget about it. Honestly,
spk_2:
57:04
yeah, and that's that's great, because it was the way we stayed connected after that was not through the debating in all that. It was through the dark times. So we resurface in connect, Um, just with their own struggles in what's going on our life And, uh, so that's solidified the relationship as a real friendship, you know, which is really what it takes. You know, I just think that we can have all the arguments and maybe sometimes once in a great well, somebody's converted by something you say. But most of time people are converted by what you do by love. And, you know, I think about all the big experiences of my life in which I went deeper or there was Yeah, there's a deeper dive in my faith. It was because somebody loved me through something and it took me to a new place. So the truth is good. It's essential. But the truth has to be embodied, you know. And I think that's what took place in a relationship. Um, especially when we didn't agree, you know? I mean, there was things we didn't agree on, but the friendship was so much more important than just being in disagreement.
spk_1:
58:21
Isn't that mean so powerful that, uh, struggles are dark times is what brought you back together and solidified that I mean, that's I just think of me. I think it's something that I had. I think it was Matt Swaim on this podcast awhile Go talking about how to evangelize your non Catholic friends and one of things that he said that stuck with me since then and has been so important to me is we don't know each other's journeys. Like he said, You know, think about your own journey most the time nobody outside of of you would have known what you were thinking. And when we're thinking of other people on their journey and trying to evangelize them, we could say all these fantastic arguments and have the best response is ready and really have no idea if those things are are hitting or what's gonna really move That person it might look like that person is. I mean, I'm thinking something, Keith, you kind of just step back from these Catholic questions. But I mean, Devon, you could have walked away from that and that could have been in it. I mean, God brought you together over and over again, mean through these these dark times. But then, I mean, I guess you don't give up the faith. You don't stop praying for each other and start praying for Keith to come for Keith to come into the church. Um, you know, even though it looks like maybe he's so far away. But you know something? Back to what? I think Matt was getting out when we talked on the podcast before. You don't know what's going on in his in his mind. You know what he's thinking, necessarily that maybe he's very transparent and tell us everything in debates with you. But in that period of time, when when it was just there wasn't a lot of that debate and discussion. I think it's safe to say that you kept praying for him and you kept reconnecting. And maybe that that l word evangelization became a lot less confrontational. But I don't think the working of God and praying and the Holy Spirit diminished in the least.
spk_2:
20:00:28
I think that, you know, I think Pope John Paul's second might have said something along the lines that God allows suffering to draw compassion from the human heart. And I think so. You know, I had had some serious events in my life. My between cancer, malignant cancer having to go through. You know, the scare of the diagnosis that you know, the potential of death, radiation, all that and in a change of lifestyle. And then then are third daughter being born at 28 weeks premature, uh, life support than coming home five days later, being readmitted, nurse neglect, almost dying because of nurse neglect than suffering severe brain injury, to the point that she's trapped in her body even to this day. 19 years later, she's in a wheelchair and we do everything for, you know, I mean, but there was easy events, and then at that time to my marriage was buckling, you know, because of all the stress. And, you know, my wife had really had a psychological breakdown after seeing our daughter on life support. And so, um, all these things were occurring, and yet Keith and I would still connect, And so then it was more like, This is real life. You know. Yeah, I can tell. I can quote John six and you can quote, you know, Ezekiel, whatever. But at the end of the day, we got a live this and there was several points in both of our lives. We realized we just gotta live this and sometimes, you know, a guy just said to me the other day, there is no victory on this side of heaven. It's the only victory is still staying in the game overcoming, you know, and I agree with that We just have to keep overcoming. And it's always in the midst of suffering or in the face of suffering that were coming. But that's the key. That's the link. That's what length key tonight together through those if you want to say it non apologetic years. You know, um, we had that connection and so breeds suffering can breed solidarity if you're really in it for that reason. So I was really in it for a Keith, you know, I wasn't in it so that I had the big catch, you know? I mean, that's stupid. That's what I came. I mean, that that's what you come to realize when you really love someone you like, man. I just want this guy to get through whatever he's suffering through, you know? And so praying for him. Yeah, sure, I would pray for him, but it wasn't like God show. Keep the truth. It was God. Just draw him. Ever close to you, Drum? Ever close your sacred heart so that he can have the fullness, you whatever that is. Whatever that is just allowed to happen for me. I believe that that's coming home. You know, that's coming to full communion. But But I don't know what that means in God's mind and God's heart for Keith, right? But the big thing here is that I want him stitched into God. I want him stitched into God's heart and no matter what he's going through, I want him to win. I want him to survive. I want to overcome. I don't want him, you know, to be another statistic of what happens to people when they suffer and they freak out and they give up their faith
spk_1:
20:03:47
that so well said. So what happened? Keith? What happened next? I mean, you you guys are debating anymore. You're you're connected and connecting on this even more fundamental level, I think. When did you come around? Ah, Thio wanting again to look into the Catholic Church are being drawn deeper in that direction.
spk_0:
20:04:15
Well, you know, after a few years after that and you know, Devon and I would stay in touch about things, but I went back. I moved into a different church Youth ministry missions, ministry preaching. And, you know, the denomination I was in started to go through a lot of a lot of struggles, and I thought this whole Cathal Catholicism's thing was behind me. But when I started to experience some things that were happening in my in my denomination and things were beginning to move in directions that I just couldn't deal with, and I'm looking for answers and I'm saying, How do I How do I rest with this? I would I would argue with people about what the Bible says, and and they would say What we have the Bible, and I would say, Okay. And then I realized I needed to get to a different place. I needed to get to a deeper answer because I was looking for the authority of the church. Honestly, and I realized that I couldn't stay where I waas, that my faith wouldn't allow me to remain in this, you know, mainline Protestant denomination that was struggling with what I consider to be, um, you know, pretty no brainer issues about the faith and about life. But where was I gonna go on? And I was remembering enough of the conversation I've had I've had with Devon. The things that he taught me about the church, that I knew that another denomination wasn't the answer. And I felt like, Okay, maybe there's something to this Catholicism's stuff. It was right around this time in our good friend Greg and his wife came into our town and took a stele, and I to go see this movie that had just come out. That was happen to be a documentary about magic, Gloria. It was in the theaters and I thought, Oh, that'll be fun to relive some of the memories of that trip so long ago I hadn't thought about in years. And when we were, we were at this this movie. We watched it and we were talking about it. Afterwards, I was just like something hit me and I just felt, you know, it was that that moment like that drew Devon into the to the church after after, after he missed the basketball. Um, it was I started to feel that type of thing, being drawing me too, to our blessed mother and which was something I never would have thought twice about before. And so I started on this journey to its resurgence of this state and so through that I would call Devon and I would talk to him, and I said, Okay, listen, here's Rahmat. I'm starting to feel like I want to look into this again. And I remember conversations with him where we just unpacked it together. And he was never, um, you know, confronting me about that. He was just a help to me in that. And after a few months, I remember specifically, there was one moment I was driving down the road. I was talking to Devon on the phone and I said to him, and I was wrestling really hard with what to do because, you know, three kids wife, mortgage ministry, all of this, you know, can I walk away from all this? And I didn't want to repeat history. I didn't want to feel like God's drawn me into something, and then I bail on it again. I remember I wasn't, but I was. It was like I needed to get psyched up for, you know, like, I was like, all right. And so I I remember I said this and I thought to myself, If I say this out loud to Devon, I will have to do it. And I remember saying to Bevan, I listen, I'm going to convert. No matter what happens, even if I lose my job even if my church says see you later, whatever. I'm going to do it. I have to do. And I remember saying that to remember exactly where I was. And, you know, he was like, Yeah, right, that'd be awesome. You know, uh, I was being sarcastic, but I think he's probably back was my going He's not gonna do that, you know? He's not gonna do that. Well, eventually that's exactly what happened. And, you know, I've talked about it. My testimony, it's in my book. The whole thing about when I had this encounter with Steve Ray at that church, where were the lord like like, spoke to my heart literally from the crucifix and called me into the church. Devil was there that night. Greg and Devin. We're both there with me. It was it was amazing to have that life changing experience with these two brothers who had walked with me through everything in my life over the last almost 20 years. And these guys have been there through all of it. And they were there that night, you know, And the night before. So I made this decision, you know, we're gonna I'm gonna come into the church and I'm gonna become Catholic. I quit my job, all of that. And I talked about that before. Well, the night before, I was going to to come into the church. That was Devon's daughter's wedding. And Estelle and I were the photographers for Devon's daughter's wedding, and it was so awesome to be there. It just felt like everything was coming to this to this amazing place where we were there together, celebrating his daughter's birth. And, you know, I'd know Devin since before he had kids. And and to be there with him, celebrating this amazing event, knowing that the next day, and I remember I just felt so, so humbled but proud at the same time to say, Yeah, tomorrow I get to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, you know? And it was just it guys just so awesome. And I remember that feeling at their wedding and stone. I talked about this How this wedding took forever, man. And the reception, like classic, like, nine years. Now, when you're a photographer, you're be tired. By the end of the night, you know, we were taking all these pictures. We've done all this work, and usually by the time you know, we're wedding photographers, you're done by the after the after the reception, about an hour and 1/2. It was probably four hours long before we were even thought about being done this reception. It was so And I remember saying to Stell, I'm like, look at how everybody's still here. All these Catholics, they all just love each other, and they all just celebrate. And, you know, well, all the other pictures that we've taken weddings, people. As soon as you get to the reception after the first dance and the toast and the the cake cut everyone's gone. And that's why you know, after two hours, the only people left on the dance floor like somebody's drunk uncle and a bunch of little kids running around, you know, But this wedding was different. I remember just looking around going. I just felt so honored that the next day I was gonna be coming into this church, you know? And I just remember thinking the Lord for that and talk to my wife about that. You know, I'm just saying it's gonna be so amazing, you know? And it was just It was just It's just been incredible. And I'm so blessed to have had Devon in my life. Thio walk with me through this. I think the one thing I'm gonna shut up in a second But the one thing that that I've caught through this is that when it comes to this type of evangelism this relational Evangeline, you have to play a long game. It's not. It's not a sprint. It's a marathon. You can't be impatient. You have to just be, You know, you have to be like that father in the prodigal son who just waits for the sun to come home. he's there patiently waiting. And I think that's the way Devon was. He just He didn't pressure me. He wasn't, you know, call me up and and bawling me out or whatever. He was just there when I needed him to be there, and I knew that I could count on him for that.
spk_2:
20:11:45
Hey, what was it that Steve Ray said? Do you remember? If you're not serious about this, walk out that door and never think about becoming Catholic again or something like that. What was
spk_0:
20:11:57
so right after his talk? You know, Greg pulled us up there to meet him, which I did not want to do this. I thought that was cheeseball, but, you know, it looks like we're gonna go talk to him. And there's all these little ladies like George and pictures of their grandkids and stuff
spk_2:
20:12:13
a state. Look at that, You know, just like, you
spk_0:
20:12:15
know, and and s o. Greg says to Steve, Ray and Keith, a little no Steve arrangement on the podcast a few times. He's a great guy. He says. Greg says, this is Keith. He's a Protestant pastor and he's thinking about becoming Catholic. Could you give him your cell phone number. And what have you been reading? The church fathers. I'm like, Yeah, all this and he looks at it. He just laughs. He goes, I know where you are. And he says, I mean, let me give you one piece of advice. You either need to become Catholic right now where I need to turn around and run the other way and never look back. Don't read the church. Fathers don't think about the Eucharist. Just run because you cannot stay where you are right now. You are going to just die. And he was 100% right. And that that that went that ride home. That was the right home where I said to Greg, That's it. I'm doing this and I'm doing it right now. I'm not gonna wait and that I got home and I told Stone, I think was probably the day after that. But I went and told my pastor I was doing this
spk_1:
20:13:12
so definite. These air, the seeds, we talk about being implanted. I mean, I'm thinking about you guys met ages before, and these debates these discussions this period of this amazing trip to Madrid, Gloria these experiences, uh, in this time of just friendship and true deep friendship through struggles and, you know, God working in and through all of that. And then those those seeds, those seats that were planted back when are suddenly coming to fruition. And I wonder what what? What you're thinking when Keith begins to ask those kinds of questions because he says I sure rightly so That you were this safe person to talk to you. It wasn't this coming back to debate and to confront all these things. It was I mean, you had, obviously, I mean, maybe both of you. I don't know what Keith, but you certainly had matured in this time, you know? So what was your perspective when you get circled back around that conversation again?
spk_2:
20:14:13
Yeah. I just think that finally my testosterone reduced enough that I was actually cordial. No, I think that Keith, do you remember when we met in AA? Is it is it Wilton? It was that halfway between your town in mind at that piece of joint. And it was when everything was fall apart in the Methodist Church. Um, do you remember that?
spk_0:
20:14:36
Yeah, that was yeah. I remember that. Yeah,
spk_2:
20:14:38
it was It was an incredible meeting because it was like I wasn't coming. There is a Catholic, and I don't even think Keith was coming. There is a Protestant. We're We're coming to that meeting like, OK, what do we do with this? Because his church was basically imploding on some moral issues. And, Keith, I remember you. You were at some huge meeting with your church and you're sitting at a table with some very important individuals, and and somebody mentions something about authority, and you challenge him on it. And it was kind of like from a Catholic, it was from a Catholic perspective and they didn't have the answer. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so Keith is sharing that with me at the table, you know? I mean, and all I could do was think about what if that was my church. What if I was sitting there out the pope and some bishops and we had this huge moral issue going on and these guys were caving and then, you know, and I have nowhere to go. And so I just felt like compassion, but at the same time, like man, what do you do? You know? And it wasn't like saying, Keith, you gotta become Catholic now. That's the only way. You know, we just talked about it and yeah, I think we did talk about some scriptures and things like that. And really, I think it's very interesting how the dialogue changes, because before it's trading Bible versus Okay, you know Well, you know Isaiah 22. Okay, Matthew 16. You know, James, this you know, John six, you know, is this is trading a Bible verses. But as you mature and you get older, what happens is you're talking about things, innit? Like more of a theological, philosophical, natural law way, Because you're talking about real stuff. You're not just trying it. Argue legally, you know, like you're in a courtroom, you're trying to get to the bottom of it. Well, what's the truth here? You know, what does this mean? You know, and in the authority issue ended up becoming the big issue, you know? And that falls right on Scylla script Tura. And and it was amazing to see how I mean the argument against the scrip scrip Tura is amazingly simple. And yet at the same time. The arguments, you know, for it are like a It's a circus, you know? I mean, just all the acrobats and all this stuff. But when it comes down to it, when you've got an issue in your church like Keith had, um, man, that that argument is very simple. And so that's what I said a cross table and just listened to Keith's blight and felt it. And, you know, you're talking about Keith. You're talking about the long haul, you know, the long road as faras conversion. You know, um, I think that yeah, it's the prodigal father, but it's got to be love, because if I don't really think of it, I guess if if we're talking to these listeners out there, one thing I will say is, yeah, if you want to be in the for the long haul, you better love the person that you're in the hall with. Because if you don't and you're just in it for the conversion, you're gonna peter out.
spk_0:
20:17:51
Yeah, amen,
spk_1:
20:17:53
I think of I mean, that's an interesting story and the idea of because this for me, was also a draw for the Catholic Church, and I mean Funny enough when I mean my journey really began when I was working for a Protestant pastor who asked me what was more, you know, he was looking into his Catholic roots. He's still spoiler Alert remains Protestant. He has not, and I don't know if he has any interest in becoming Catholic anymore. But number. Yeah, I guess Devon's good at that, eh? Back at the time. And you know what? This is even too funny because also called this in a minute. But back at the time, he was doing some studies for his master's. I think it was, or maybe it's a doctorate studies. And he was looking into his Catholic roots in the early church, I think, and he asked me. I was an intern at the church and he pulled me in his office and close the door and drew the blinds like, literally was on, he said. What's more important, Scripture or tradition? And I was, you know, a Sunday school answer. Well, of course, it's the Scripture tradition is Faris ease? And then he says, me. But But who put that scripture together? Wasn't that the tradition that put that that drew in the Scriptures together and and that's what we left it and I was and I was stumped and that for me began this journey right. But then I came back, and this reminds me of your story, came back to you know, I had this long, long, long journey and we kind of lost touch. But this this pastor ended up actually working at my wife's parents church years later, just by sheer coincidence and visiting, visiting her parents. When weekend together, I went out with him for coffee and I outlined my journey for him. I said, Look, you asked this question way back when And here's why I've gone since and the intervening like decade. I've been thinking of these things and I'm ready to become Catholic based on you know, you began this question and I said, Stop me, I said, Why? Why shouldn't I become Catholic? And I remember I'll never forget it. He can't, I said, Well, it might be hard for your marriage if you're Catholic and your wife won't convert. And I said, Is that it? Is that all you've got? Because I'm thinking I'm gonna get talked out of this and This is my last kind of life Kind of hope. And hey, was it was No, that that seed he unwittingly planted way back when had just grown to this thing. And then when it came down to it, Well, there was nothing to stop that and all that to say. This guy, Keith, when I first saw your video on YouTube, which we're gonna circle around to that and how that came about because I know Devin had a role in that too, which is kind of funny. I mean, God has a sense of humor. But the person that you reminded me of Keith when I first saw you and heard you speak in the Italian candor that you have and the and the hair and the diminutive stature, was this was this pastor that had first asked me that question years ago. And I think something that that drew me to you initially was just that that commonality like I mean, I saw this guy that I was so familiar with the new so well in you and thought, Oh, this guy like it's so familiar to me. And it was the pastor who years ago had asked me that one fateful question. So, I mean, is this funny circle of life of God drawing these things together. And I mean it all. I think I I think the cataclysm, um I don't have to paraphrase this, but talks about, you know, the the end when we are in heaven with God and the beautiful vision and the end of of our journey, we're going to see one is sea or the beautiful things about But heaven and seeing God face to face is that we'll see this whole picture of what God had in mind intended from the beginning and how we all fit into it. And these are these little small glimpses. These seeds we planned. These conversations we have these relationships we have are all the small glimpses. But then, you know, then we'll see the complete picture, and we'll just be like, floored by that.
spk_0:
20:22:10
I think it's great when we see you know how even the small things that happen in our lives that we don't even realize they're so significant lied to so much unbelievable things. I mean, think about that for a second. If Devon actually knew how to shoot baskets and play basketball. And he would have made that shot this, you know, we probably wouldn't be sitting here. You know, the fact that he that he bricked it and it went into the parking lot? You know, that's what that's what. That's how we're here, right? So So I mean, But you wonder you go well, God found a different way, probably. Who knows? I mean, it's just kind of an interesting exercise to think about how God weaves all these things together in his own way in his own time, in his own plan. And it just makes you realize that he's he's amazing and incredible, and there's there's no way we can feel like we can figure it out. We have to understand that his plan and his his his will is, is so sovereign, and so we can trust him. We can trust them, but we have to put ourselves in his hands and be guided by the Holy Spirit. And I've learned so many lessons about how to relate to people you know, from the way that Devon related to me. And I'm sure you have to keep from the way that just that one probing question. That pastor asked you, How many times have you asked that question to someone else, you know, or a question like it. And maybe maybe in your mind you may be in your experience. You asked them and nothing happened. But there, right now, that seat's being being watered by God. And that scene that you planted in them is is going to turn into something amazing. I mean, that's what Jesus talked about. The Kingdom of Heaven is like the mustard seed. It's the smallest of all seeds. But yet what it When it grows, it's It's this giant shrub that happens, and and that's the way the kingdom works, you know, we sow these seeds and God, so's them through us, and we don't have to figure that. I like the way Paul puts it. He says, Look, one person, so is it. I just watered it. You know that someone else will take the fruit off it. It's not about us,
spk_2:
20:24:22
but God makes it grow. God sakes grow.
spk_0:
20:24:26
Yep. And we have to remember that because sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking that we have to make it grow.
spk_2:
20:24:32
Yeah, Yeah, no kidding. And that's the best s one Ministry tanks. That's when ministry becomes a business. You know, that's that's when we turn God into what I can get out of him rather than what I can give to him. Um, what you're saying it resonates with me it gratitude for those little things. Gratitude for the brick hitting the gratitude Because because that Jesus will God says through the psalmist, he asks basically for two types of sacrifices. The one we know very well. Some 51 humble contract heart. The SAS is sacrifice, God desires is a humble contract. Heart Hubble Contract spirit. Oh, God, you will not Sperm. So repentance. You know, we're sorry for our sinfulness, but the 2nd 1 sold 50. He says The sacrifice that I desire is the sacrifice of Thanksgiving. And it is a sacrifice because a lot of times excuse me, especially for us men. Bulletproof, individualistic. You know, we think we can do everything on our own Self reliant. We want to take credit for what? What's going on in our life. We want to take credit for what other C and God saying, sacrifice your pride and thank me because I've arranged this because I love you. And so when we live from a spirit of Thanksgiving that Thanksgiving breeds joy because we rejoice in God, what he's doing in our life and and other people's lives and that joy in HK locates piece because no more striving no, no more looking for fan bases in hits and likes. And I mean because we're like, God, it's for you. We're at peace. Were peace with ourselves for no more We're no longer wrestling with their egos were just gods And we're doing for his glory. That's that's the Thanksgiving sacrifice.
spk_1:
20:26:27
God's people said, Amen. I want to know. Okay, so I want to end this, uh, on the note about how Keith's video got onto you two in the first place. But I want to ask one more thing before we get there of both of you. And I wonder Devon, from your perspective, I mean, you you watch this journey unfold as somebody who very much wanted the best for your friend. You wanted whatever that meant. But ultimately, uh, wondering that the closeness of God that you experienced with the Eucharist with sacraments with Christ and his church. No way have listeners, lots of listeners who I've been on that process that that that journey to the Catholic Church have done that, some that air on that journey. Now some that you know I have a passing interest in the church, are and and listen to toe learn Maur and many who, I'm sure, have family friends who have loved ones who who are not Catholic. But they wish would would see me the truth of these arguments and the real presence of Christ. We've put our episodes on these things. Even in this podcast. What would you what advice would you have to looking back on this experience? What advice would you have? Two people who are praying for and trying to live in relationship with people that they do wish would come into the fullness of the Catholic Church. What would you say to those people?
spk_2:
20:28:00
That's a great question. Well, I think the first thing is, if you think you're right, just because you think you're right, then you're wrong. God is right. And if you are in the truth and that's a gift and you don't have the right to innocence, impose that on someone else or for someone else to believe. I know it's a negative approach, but it draws us any humility. And here's why. Because if I'm humble enough in prayer that I'm really having an active, uh, communion with God, where God is actually infusing himself into me day after day, through prayer, through the Eucharist, through the sacraments. But through daily prayer, actually, silence, you know, before the Lord, then what takes place is I. If that's happening to me, I become a manifestation, a revelation of God's glory, which is going to be seen by other people, especially people that I'm hoping will convert. And that is the key. So my advice is, pray, pray and pray, but But don't just pray. I pray that so and so will see the truth. I prayed it so and so will see that I'm right. I'm pregnant. So and so we'll see that the Catholic Church is the one true church. Well, that that's fine, but I think, more importantly, God, I just pray that they will be so close to you that they can't resist you. And I pray that I will be so close to you that you'll be manifested through me, that they'll see you through me and they want what I have. But this is the problem. I think right now with evangelization is that people don't want what we have, because really, we don't have it because we're not praying. There's a lot of Dewar's, but a lot of us are being with God. And what happens then is we start spinning our wheels and we chuck mud all over the place. And we wonder why our cars and going anywhere and it's because we're not praying. So my advice hands down is humble yourself before the Lord enter the silence daily at least five minutes after your per Just sit with the Lord and just listen and wait and then let him begin toe work through you seek me a manifestation of his glory. And if you start to feel yourself heating up in the discussions, which you will, if you start to see feeling like the blood is boiling or just back off and remember, you've got a person in front of you and not an argument, you don't have to win that argument. You just have to show them Christ love and that will win them.
spk_1:
20:30:33
That's so well said so, Keith, I want your perspective now, too. So you've you like me have been through this journey? What advice would you have to give to mean? I guess those same people who are who who were praying for you and for me. I mean, I think of the story before I think with Doug Beaumont. No way, Way back when. But ah, guy that I was living in a house with who was a devout Catholic heard about my You know, that I was interested in the church and I was I was reading very little time, but very, very early in my conversion. And he gave me a copy of Scott Hans Rome sweet home, and I didn't read it. It sat on my shelf. Was was to be the studies and undergrad, and I did have time and and I give back to the end of term and said Thanks, but like no thanks, I'm too busy. But he kept praying for me. And I mean, even in my own journey, these people have existed that we're praying for me as I was on this thing. This journey. Andi, I have a lot to say about to those people who were praying, But what would you say? Keith Thio, two people who are who are concerned, who love people so much and want them to know Christ better. But I don't see a way forward or maybe might get discouraged or aren't sure what's going on.
spk_0:
20:31:57
I think the most important thing is to always leave the door open and to check in with people, um, and to show them that you care about them as a person. So is long. So if they know that year there, when they have those moments for questions, when they have those moments where they're in a dark place, if they know that you're a safe person and they know that you're a loving person, then that's going to give them opportunity to come to you when they're at that place. And then, of course, pray. So you do what you can do, and then you trust them to our lower to do what he can do, and he could do a lot more than we can do. But he needs us to be that vessel when that person is ready. So I would I would say never give up on anybody and always leave the door open. But sometimes I think about it more often in terms of like what you shouldn't do then what you should do, you know, Then what you shouldn't dio is spam. Um, with articles and stuff and And hey, you should read this. And hey, you should do. I mean, if they're interested in there asking, that's one thing. But, you know, I call it drive by evangelism, and I I think that it's best not to do that because here's the Here's the problem with that stuff. If a person is always getting put on their on their defensive, then they have walls that have to be inherently constructed around their heart to whatever it is you're trying to tell him. So whenever whenever the Holy Spirit is working on their heart, there immediately gonna have a wall there because they don't want to be proven wrong. But if you if you just let it let God do his work. When when those things come, though, think of you as a safe person, they can work through those things with and so I would say that, you know, from active perspective be that safe person who isn't afraid to challenge. I mean, I think it's okay to do that. I think it's okay to challenge people in those conversations, but it needs to be a challenge. You need to be challenging them against themselves, not against you. And what I mean by that is to say, instead of going, Hey, look, here's the truth. Pretty soon you're gonna admit that I'm right to say, instead of phrasing it that way or whatever, which I mean, that's pretty harsh, But But to say something like, Well, I want you to pick a bottle like this, you know? How would you approach it if it was this way? Or how would what? What are some reasons why it might be this way? Get them thinking about it within themselves, not as though they're having a dialogue with you have them dialogue within themselves because they're already in that place where they're feeling drawn to the church, help them tow to sort through those things and understand why they're being drawn there.
spk_2:
20:34:43
Yeah, I think another thing, too. Is that the reason we become defensive and arguments is because we're really deep down, afraid that we don't have the answer for what we believe in. And I think that a lot of times when we get in these theological discussions or apologetic discussions, we start to get inflammatory or or angry is because we're really afraid that the other person is gonna one up us. We're not ready. Well, there's something we don't know. I think there's always gonna be something we don't know. But I think the this it's always important. As Catholics, we really need to be in the word of God. And I'm so thankful for Protestantism because it actually drove me to embrace the word of God toe love the word of God to memorize the word of God. And because of that, it wasn't just like I was memorizing for apologetics, although that that was nice. But I was having a relationship with Jesus, you know, And so when you when you do have that safe person, you're going to in a safe person, no Scripture, the safe person can speak your language. That's a big deal.
spk_1:
20:35:57
I think that's so powerful. I mean, I think of my own conversion from non faith to even Joeckel Christianity When I was in high school, you know, 13 14 years old. And it was my best friend who we never, ever actually talked about our faith. But I knew he was Christian because the way he lived in this piece, I felt when I was at his house, when we used to hang out a CZ kids, he was that safe person that I went to. And we didn't because I didn't know anything about God. I I asked these questions in my eyes were opened to maybe something out there. I didn't know what it was or who it was. He was. The guy went to like it's, you know, and I don't even know what it was that drew me. And apart from that, knowing that he had a piece of this family, had a piece in their house and and and that's that's where I went, right? We have to be. We have to be those kind of people for others. If we're going to, I think, fulfill what God wants us to do with his hands and his feet as a person that that that plants those seeds that that he then Waters, Listen, I wanna how long have you guys One more thing? Because this I think, circles around just so poignantly Because, Keith, I met you. And I'm so glad that I did think we have a root fantastic friendship. But I met you because your video auto played on YouTube after a video I was watching doing some research for my show here, you popped up. And like I said, you looked like this pastor. I used to know way back when who after that really important question. And you sounded like him. You're about his height in your hair was very similar. Turns out you're both Italian. Background makes a lot of sense. Now, maybe, Devon, you can tell us a bit of the story. But how That video I saw got there because I understand that you have had a role in that.
spk_2:
20:38:01
Yeah, I think one of the big questions for Keith was when he was converting is, you know, he he's like, whatever God wants, whatever God wants. But I just can't imagine that he's going to stuff all this, you know, desire and this motivation to share the Lord's Gospel with people. And I didn't believe for a second the Lord was gonna stuff that. In fact, I knew that the Lord was preparing Keith for something very special. Um, and then so a friend of ours was putting on this conference. What's so great about being Catholic? And she wanted me to speak at it because, you know, I'm a speaker from time to time and and I'm just like, you know, Jackie. I think the guys around here, the people around here, have heard me enough. You know, I think what you really need is Keith Nestor and she's like, You know, I've heard of him before. You know, somebody else mentioned him and I said, Well, let me tell you, if you get Keith there, he'll just blow you away. And so Keith ended up taking my slot. The video was recorded. He talks about shredding guitars at length, and, uh so then it is posted on his YouTube channel, and it's like I don't know how is it 200,000? I don't know where it's at now, but that thing went viral and overnight. Keith is, you know, in a sense, a Catholic name and um, and meanwhile, poor little Devon. No, I'm just kidding. Eso anyone? Yeah, but the point is Is that man, That's what God wants. You know, God wants us to step off the stage to put someone there who really should be there. And I really believe that Keith was supposed to speak at the conference and and, you know, yeah, just recently, Keith's joined stewardship of mission of faith, and, um, I was able to help make that connection, and and I really believe that even bigger stuff is gonna happen. And bigger things are gonna happen in Keith's life. And for people that Keith speaks to and evangelize to. I really believe that great things are gonna happen, doesn't. But this is this is the kind of like the cultural norm is that we need it. We need to carve out our own space. We need to create her own image. We need to protect our own, you know, assets and take the e t s off. That too. You know, we we just We are always all about a self important self glory. And ST Joseph is like, be patron for me. I love ST Joseph and ST Joseph was little nothings humble, silent and hidden, and one of things I realize that is there's a lot of guys who are clamoring for attention, and I don't want to be Muslim. I wanna be like ST Joseph. And so if I can give an opportunity for someone to use their gifts to bring God glory, I'm gonna do it, especially with Keith, especially because I trust him. And that's the thing. I wouldn't put anyone else in that position, you know? I mean, I trusted Keith and Keith pulled through, and I trust him on a number of things, and he always pulls through. It is because he's faithful, and and so I think that that's the key. We need to be collaborators. I love Barnabus because Barnabus doesn't get in the way of Paul. In fact, he goes to Antioch to search for Paul, and I think it was e think it was. You want Danny, I can't remember now. But he went and he got Paul and they lived in Antioch for a year, and Barnabus was not about eclipsing Paul. He was about, in a sense, serving Paul and coming alongside a pole and and bringing called the other apostles and saying, Look, guys, he's really this is good. We need this guy And that's kind of how I feel about keys. You know, I'm I'm a little bit like Farm Barnabus or Samwise Gamgee and, uh, and Keith gets to carry the ring. You know, um Keith of ST Paul. He gets to carry the sword and may God be gentle with him as he does. So
spk_0:
20:42:05
that whole thing that Devon was just saying is it's It's such a homely thing to think about. You know how it's It's about the kingdom, you know, it isn't about any of us in particular, and God does what God's gonna do and and it isn't about any of us, and you know, the stuff that's happening with with YouTube and different things. I look at that, and I'm just so blessed by it, and I'm surprised by it. But I can honestly tell you guys like it's all for God's glory, you know, it's all for God's glory. I don't I don't receive any of that for me. I don't I don't feel like Oh, I'm some big, big shot guy because I mean because the truth is, what I'm doing is is from a worldly perspective. It's nothing. But what I What I'm most excited about isn't you know how many video, how many views that video has? I mean, that's great. But what I'm most excited about, like what happened to me to dig, And I got a phone call from a guy who I've never met before, and I'm really I'm like, How are these people? Get in my phone number. I'll get these random phone calls and I probably shouldn't say this on the air, but I realized that I put my phone number. It's on. It's on my Web site, and I like, Oh, that's because I'm so I just put my phone number on my website, right? So anyway, this'll guy called me. This young man called me today and he was so broken and he was just He was weeping and he said, I just watched your talk on YouTube and he said I felt like you were speaking right to me. He said, I'm I'm in this thing, this really tough situation. I feel like God's calling me to be Catholic and I'm scared, and I don't know what to do, and I'm wondering if you could help me. I don't know who this guy is. He just saw my video. But you know what? I talked him on the phone for, like, 1/2 an hour today, and it was like, that's why I got up this morning was to talk to this guy and and to try to just offer him some support and some help with his own journey. And to me, like the fact that God would would give me the opportunity to do that. I mean, I really honestly thought that ministry for me was done when I when I left the church, the process church became Catholic And what God has done through this stuff, it's just I'm so humbled and so grateful to have the opportunity to do that and that anybody would care to listen. Anything I have to say is just beyond me. But I'm so grateful for for these opportunities and to Keith for for having me on his podcast and for you, Devon, for, um, you know, given me the opportunity to speak at that conference and for helping me get to where I am with stewardship and a mission of faith, which is allowing me to do some some things I just can't believe. So I just feel so blessed into me. It's It's like, you know, I read like the Apostle Paul and how he talks about the you know, he's a father to all all these people in the faith, and I feel like vast this relationship, you know? I mean, you and I are about the same age, but in some ways you've been like this father to me in the faith, from the standpoint of just walking me through it every step of the way, and it's, it's, you know, the victories that air wand through. Whatever happens in anything that God uses in my ministry, it circles back to you, Um, from for being that vessel, you know, and that's a lesson to all of us that we can be. You know, we could be that vessel, and that's really what it's all about, because that's how Christ has chosen to work. He doesn't have to do that, but he chooses to do that, and that's a powerful witness that we can all have
spk_2:
20:45:37
the greatest gift that we really have is a participation in God's plan. The greatest game
spk_1:
20:45:44
in Amen. Guys, this has been an incredible conversation. You know what? It's been fantastic, and I'm very grateful to have been a part of this. I mean, I think there's so much in here for so many listeners, and I can't wait to get this out for everyone to hear. Devin, why don't you go first? Just tell the listeners where they can find out more about things you've written things that you are doing. I mean, they're gonna definitely want to check out your stuff. So where can they go to find you?
spk_2:
20:46:19
Sure, they can go to Father's f A. T. You know, fathers of s t joseph dot org's. So fathers of ST joseph dot or ge s ti joseph dot organ. You'll get a taste of what we're about there. It's a little confusing, but we've got ah, lot of books, CDs and things like that that are available, Um, and some good stuff that's coming up along the way here soon. So that's where you can find me. You can email me through that website,
spk_1:
20:46:49
Keith working listeners to somehow have not heard of you perhaps dig into more than stuff that you
spk_0:
20:46:58
are doing well, my phone number is no, Um, can I can go to my My website is keith nestor dot com and and they can go there and they can also find me on YouTube. Just YouTube search. Keith, Nestor, You'll find me there. I've got Instagram. I've got Facebook. Um, and you know, I have a book that's that's out now on Amazon, it's called the conference Guy to Roman Catholicism your first year in the church. So go on to Amazon and and find that. And also, you know, Devon and I are both part of stewardship of Mission of Faith, which is a family of ministries that are united in this goal, too, to bring the gospel to people all over the world and lots of exciting ways. So if you go to that Web site, which is stewardship mission of Faith dot or GE, you can you can learn about Devon's ministry and my ministry and and a lot of other things that are happening there, too. So we're part of that. So now Devon and I are like, we work together now, and we're part of the same family of ministry, so that that's that's really, really exciting as well.
spk_1:
20:48:02
It all comes full circle. Well, guys, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this for blessing me and blessing their listeners with this conversation. I want to say God bless both of you and your families and your ministries. This has been amazing. So thank you so much. And God bless.
spk_0:
20:48:19
Thank you guys so much.
spk_2:
20:48:20
And God bless you.
spk_1:
20:48:22
Take care. Thank you once again for listening to this episode of the cordial Catholic podcast. I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Devon and Keith. I think it was fantastic. One of my favorites, one for the record books and I have more conversations just like this one coming up. I can't wait to share them with you. The website is the cordial catholic dot com for show notes and links to Devon's website. His books An Apostle, It Keith Substate in his fantastic new book, too. Check those out in the show notes. I'm at Cordial Catholic on Twitter, The quarter Catholic on Facebook and Quartile Catholic at gmail dot com For your e mails, please do Get in touch, Let me know who you are, where you're listening from and why. Oh, why you Listen, please subscribe to this podcast or follow it wherever you find it, please. Right now, go into the app on your phone and leave us a rating or review if you can. Those ratings and reviews help push the podcast out to new people and expand the mission of evangelization which underpins this whole thing. I appreciate your prayers and financial support. If you want to help to support the show financially, you can go to paypal dot Mieze Last cordial Catholic or Petrie on dot coms. Last quarter Catholic for a monthly donation. Your funds helped me to increase the mission of this podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Please come back again next week. No, I'm praying for you. Please pray for me and God bless. Thank you so much. Friends. Take care
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